Thursday, October 30, 2003


Any takers?If you live in the Austin area and would like an awesome me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Not a social butterfly
Some friends of mine are kept more up to date on what's going on in my life from this blog than they are from a phone call or a visit. I'm not much for making phone calls or social visits. If there's an event or a reason to get together then I'll get out of the house, but otherwise I'm pretty content to just be myself during the day, puttering around the house in my own little world. Rob comes home in the evening and pries me away once and a while or maybe we just stay home to chat and eat dinner. I have one friend who uses email like I do and we definitely keep in touch; usually several emails a day and sometimes we are throwing them back and forth to each other more like instant messaging. She's the exception and most of my friends are not big email users.

This isn't behavior that came about because I lost my job. I've always been this way and even as a child I liked a lot of time to myself. I'm not exactly a loner because I'll talk your ear off if we meet for lunch or happy hour, but don't expect that every day. Maybe once a week, if even. Email is different story. I don't like instant messaging much so I don't think it's just the fact that with email there's no "personal contact". Besides, if that were the case, then I should love talking on the phone, but I hate it. I must be a throwback to some bygone era of living on the farm, keeping in touch with monthly get-togethers in town and writing letters. In fact, I'd be the one hosting the get-together because I love entertaining. We used to do a party at our house with a jam once a month (lots of musicians would come over and play) and I loved doing that. So I'm not exactly unsocial, but I just don't seem to like or need the frequency of contact that others folks seem to pursue.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

A few posts back I talked about Shadow,the stray we befriended/adopted at work.
Well,she's doing's the other employees that are the problem.
The warehouse manager and myself are on the same page page when it comes to dogs,as is the office manager.Lots of love and evenhanded CONSISTANT interaction.Being mindful she was obviously abused none of us are threatening in any way.
However, the rest of the folks around the shop have different ideas about how to treat a dog. They are as follows:
1.Plays too rough. This guy obviously loves dogs,but she's a puppy, a puppy learning some bad behaviors from this kind of play. Harmless enough,but troublesome for the future.
2.Doesn't have a fucking clue and shouldn't be allowed to have a dog. Menaces the dog with a rubber mallet,when she cows and runs away says "oh...she wasn't scared". No,of course not...she ran to me for protection just for the hell of it...please.
3.For whatever reason,she's wary of me no matter what I do,so I'll menace her every morning when I come in to...oh I don't her back for not liking me???
4.Apparently resents the dogs presence,blaming her for "giving me poison ivy" and peeing in his office was a personal affront causing this 6ft plus guy to chase her out of the building and banning her from the upstairs area. For christs sake...she's a puppy from the street no less...running around and playing and then...uhoh! Gotta pee. House breaking is going to be an issue for a stray...not a personal vendetta.For the record,if she was transferring poison ivy,I would be covered in it.
It's becoming a dilemma.
On a more positive note,she's great with kids, great with the walk in customers and she's smart...learning more every day.But the most amazing thing about this dog is her agility...she can fly almost,limber,light on her feet,highly coordinated...a wonder to see.
I wish I could bring her home...I can't.
Somebody wants this dog...I'll be posting pics of her here tomorrow...somebody wants this dog.

Monday, October 27, 2003

It was slow at work today so when lunch time rolled around I was offered the afternoon off. Considering I had laid in bed this morning insulated and loved by dogs, trying to figure out a way to call in sick-I jumped at the opportunity...well not really jumped,it was more like a "oh yeah? sure I suppose" cool response. The springs were still retensing on the time clock as I drove out of the parking lot. I have to keep up appearances after all.
I figured I'd take advantage of a most beautiful day and do my walk early and stopped at the hike and bike trail on my way home and did exactly that.
I noticed some things right away...actually the lack of things...specifically hordes of people,some running,some walking,some running with those obscene baby carriages almost as wide as the trail and geared out like a mountain bike with one or more children eating trail mix and drinking dasani water.(come on!TRAIL MIX???Give me a break.) Oh yeah...I almost forgot the guys speeding through this mass of humanity on bikes.Traffic so thick you'd swear you were in grand central station during commute instead of on the town lake hike and bike trail in hallowed Austin Tx. (Don't believe the hype and please don't move here...Austin,the REAL Austin died a long time ago) But I digress...
I also noticed an increase in animal activity...there were herons fishing and ducks diving for food,squirrels everywhere foraging,Turtles sunning everywhere...(this trail circles town lake AKA the colorado river) don't see this when the "commute" is on. It was awesome.
I was about a mile and a half into my 4.1 mile loop,when someone jogged up, put his hand on my shoulder and said," I saw all those tattoos and I knew it had to be you".
(I could never "disappear" if you know what I mean).
I knew who it was before I turned around...instant recognition from the sound of his voice,a voice from the past...Albert from the old days...I first heard that voice some 20 years ago when we worked together at a treatment center...He ended up working for some UN related organization or something and worked with people in Hong Kong and Viet Nam initially,ending up in the Balkans...I did'nt get to see him much during those years,but when he came to town we would always get together, even for a few hours.
We finished my walk together,catching up with news,most of it good,some of it was like we'd seen each other yesterday intead of 5 years,maybe 6 years ago.
I'm glad I took the afternoon off, I got a reminder that some of life's little surprises are good ones.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

I learned a lesson this weekend...Since I've been on this diet I'm under 200 ponds for the first time in a while. I don't drink as much,I don't eat as on to the story.
I got up saturday early...I had a choice after the usual morning of reading news and coffee:go for a walk or watch 28 days later before I went to meet a friend at our local hang out.
I decided to watch the movie since I have been waiting for it to come out on DVD...during the course of the movie I had some margaritas...3 or 4 i think...after the movie it was time to go meet my friend.I saddled up to the bar and ordered a marg to drink while I waited for turned to three and the next thing I know the manager is taking my drink away from me and telling me I've had too much and was cutting me off.
This has only happened to me once before,several years ago, a bartender friend served me the equivilent of 8 screwdrivers in 4...the barback gave me a ride home. was kind of in and out for me after the manager took my drink away...I remember them saying I needed to eat something and I did...I left with my friend and we took care of our business in the parking lot... then...flash!... I was home.
Frustrated with being locked in at 198 lbs. I had stepped up my exercise and cut down on my food, I had not eaten in over 24 hours and had consumed at least 8 margaritas in a short period of time...WHAM!Instant stupid.
I just hope I did'nt "show my ass"...I don't think I did judging from the moments I was present for...but I'm not sure.
I still had all my clothes on when I got home and my truck wasn't damaged (it was parked rather askew though)...
But the point is this:
I'm 43 not 23...all those years I spent honing my ability to party have been undermined by a long overdue change in lifestyle...I forgot about those changes yesterday...and it bit me on the ass.
A bite I won't soon forget.
My life is different now,whether I like it or not.
With the exception of yesterday, I think I like it

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Drunken ramblings where one thought leads to another a bit faster than I can type at 80 wpm...
I really shouldn't be blogging right now. I'm extremely sleep deprived and the only reason I'm still awake is because I have been drinking beer. Unlike many people, I do not get sleepy when I drink beer unless I only drink a few. Each beer past number three gets me more and more "wired" and if I get past a twelve pack then I'll be up all night. Right now I'm at number nine so it may be a long night unless I force myself into bed at some point. My ability to consume beer in large quantities made me somewhat legendary in my youth, at least in the crowd that I hung around with. Only one person ever outdrank me during a beer for beer match up (and there were many of these.) I conceded my title after my competitor and I had consumed a bit over a case each and he was willing to fix the hot dogs for everyone's dinner. I had decided that being around a big pot of boiling water on a stove was a bad idea after drinking a case of beer in the course of an afternoon. He decided to go for it so I declared him the winner for his bravery (foolishness) and we stopped keeping track of who drank how much after that. Who knows, I might have actually won that match when all was said and done, but I didn't mind relinquishing my title. The "I can drink more than you" thing was more important to the guys than it ever was to me because I really didn't give a shit about it. Now mind you, it's only BEER that I can tolerate in such massive quantities. Give me tequila or whiskey and I'll pass out in a reasonable amount of time like a normal person. Maybe it's my German genes though there might be a smidgen of French in the mix.

There's a rumor in my family that some great-great-great grandmother on my father's side might have really been French instead of German which in that generation would have been quite the family scandal. Hell, even my parent's generation were not supposed to marry "Amerikaners". Never mind they had all been born in America and therefore were technically "Amerikaners". Many of my aunts and uncles married outside the German community, but my folks didn't and I actually spoke German (as spoken by Texan immigrants) as a child. When I was in kindergarten, my teacher told me I should not speak German anymore because I wouldn't learn English well. Unfortunately I listened to that stupid woman and I can no longer speak German of any sort even though I did take one semester in college. I made an A, though I couldn't practice with my parents because the pronunciation was far too different from what they spoke, and I dreamed in German for about a year after that. However, that knowledge is long gone now. Learning German again is one of those "do it before I die" goals for me because I really want to go to Germany and visit where my ancestors are from in Wiesbaden and Alsace-Lorraine which I think is part of France now.

The fact that I don't know what country that region now belongs to is one of the bad things about being an American. I really have very little knowledge of the rest of the world. The news around here never devotes more than 2 seconds to world events unless our government happens to be mucking about in some other country and then you don't ever really learn anything about the country or it's culture. I'm pretty sure all the countries in Africa have changed since I had geography in high school. I have to wonder what was the point of learning all those country locations and names without learning anything else about them? I once learned a lot about India during a voluntary summer school program back in elementary school, but I can't say I was ever taught anything about any other country during normal schooling.

Now I do happen to know a bit about Mexico just by virtue of living in Texas plus there was a wonderful childhood camping trip with my extended family where we stayed by some lake in the interior for a month. No one around us spoke a word of English, my family was busy jabbering to each other in German that I could no longer understand and by the time it was all said and done, I think I ended up knowing more Spanish than German simply because the only people my age were the Spanish speakers.

I also know a bit about Canada because I used to go to a conference there every year and seriously considered immigrating at one point except that I didn't have enough "points" to qualify. I also don't like cold and snow much, and all those tower housing complexes in Toronto freak me out. But Sleeman's Brown Ale is a good beer, Lindsay is a nice little town and the countryside around there reminds me of "home" which, BTW, is not Austin even though I was born in Austin and have lived here all my life. No, "home" to me is the Texas Hill Country around Fredericksburg where my parents grew up and where I spent most of my childhood summers with relatives. I was a city girl during the winter and a country girl during the summer and if I were given a choice between the two today then I'd choose the country any day of the week. There doesn't ever seem to be a whole lot of jobs in the country, but these days there isn't a whole lot of jobs in the city either.

Rob and I have talked a lot about moving to various places in the USA as well as various countries, but I don't know if I could ever actually move away from Central Texas. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and England sound intriguing, but we don't qualify for immigration and even if we did, it would cost us a fortune to move there. Rob's got relatives in England (his mum was English), but I doubt they'd sponsor us. His dad's parents were from Nova Scotia, but we've got no ties there that we know of. I figure I must have long lost relatives in Germany since I once got a letter from Germany offering to repatriate me (back before the Berlin wall fell), but damned if I know how the German government found me in the first place. That's one of the few "what if" events from my past that I still wonder about. But if I had run off to Germany, I would have never met and later married Rob and would have missed some of the best times of my life so those "what if" moments never last very long.

Well, I think I've rambled enough here and I hope I don't wake up in the morning and regret any of this posting.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Busy, busy, busy
The last two days I've been finishing up some shirts for a sale I'm doing tomorrow and simply could not find time to blog. Rob and I are still walking our four miles a night and last night we finally did it in an hour and 20 minutes which means we've finally hit the three mile an hour pace. I think that might have been a fluke due to the fact that it got dark and we pushed ourselves to get the hell off the trail and back to the car. Tonight I get a break from the walking because I have a meeting about some website work. It's not a paying job, but one of those "could lead to something" deals. I'm well aware that they usually don't lead to any money in the bank since I've done plenty of these kinds of sites and I've yet to make a dime off of them. However, it keeps the skills sharp. Speaking of freebie sites - HEY STANLEY - if you are reading this, email me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Then and Now
One of my most vivid childhood memories is one of going to bed at 8:00 on a perfect early summer's evening. It's still daylight and the windows are open because we don't have air conditioning. I can hear my friends playing outside and I envy them, those children who get to stay up as late as they want in the summer because they don't have to get up early and go to daycare. They are playing badminton in the street in front of my house and I so desperately want to be out there playing with them until the sun goes down and you can no longer see the shuttlecock. They are using my badminton set and I'm not so envious that I take it away from them when I have to go to bed, though I do wonder how many shuttlecocks I will have to get out of the trees the next day and if I have enough in savings to replace any broken racquets or lost shuttles.

I was very young at the time, either six or seven years old, and when a similar situation occurs today, I still do the exact same thing. I'll leave my toys behind so folks can continue their fun and then fall asleep wondering what shape they'll be in when I get them back and if I have the money to fix or replace them. However, there's a distinct difference in feeling between the childhood memories and the adult version of the same situation. As a child, I didn't have anxiety or resentment associated with the thought that I might have to replace an item. It was just a matter-of-fact analysis of the situation. There was no concern over the fact that someone might be careless or that some items might not be returned at all. My "innocence of childhood" had nothing to do with trust. I wasn't blissfully unaware that people might steal or damage my things. That did happen from time to time, but I didn't fret about what I would do if Susie who was visiting from San Antonio ran off with my badminton set, never to be seen again. So what was so different then that enabled me to drift off to sleep, worry free?

My first thought was that I hadn't yet developed an attachment to my possessions, but that didn't explain it because I did value them. I worked odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn money to buy things and this was not something that was simply handed to me by my parents. My second thought was that it was from the "endless possibilities" attitude that children often have. There will alway be more odd jobs, more money and another badminton set. That didn't ring true either because while I do recall that having that attitude at one time, I'm certain that it vanished by age four. No, I think the difference is that I didn't view other people's behavior as a reflection on myself. Susie running off with my badminton set didn't carry the same meaning then as it would now. If Susie ran off with my stuff when I was age seven, then Susie might be a thief or maybe her parents packed it up by mistake, but it was all about Susie and had nothing to do with me. However, these days my thinking would run more along the lines of wondering about myself. Was I stupid to trust Susie? Maybe Susie doesn't really like me. Did I do something to make Susie angry at me? Funny, I always thought of myself as being more self-centered as a child and less so as an adult. That's obviously not true.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I'm sure most of you have heard about the case in Florida involving Terri (in a "persistant vegative state" since 1990), Her husband (has had enough) and her parents ( Can't let go and will go so far as to demonize the husband to keep their daughter "alive" , no matter what she may have said prior to her induction into the veggie hall of fame).
And then there's the lawsuits,filed tit for tat, a plea to gub'ner jeb and a reaching out to his brother the idiot...I mean pResident. The state's involved and they have reversed an earlier ruling allowing this poor woman to go.
I can relate to all of this except the state getting involved(thank god) and making decisions that should be left to "next of kin" -The husband ( who,hopefully has power of attorney,something that protects him from the parents who wishfully say she responds to them...)
Have you seen the pictures of this woman? Does she look responsive to you?
She looks an awful lot like my Dad, who died in '99 after having a stroke in '90 thet left him in a coma for 90 days and when he woke up,he was essentially a zucchini.
A zucchini that got turned and watered and fed for NINE agonizing years...
And during those years endured amputations because of gangrene,a feeding tube and countless bouts of pneumonia...Would any of you describe this as any kind of "quality" of life???If you do...may it be visited upon you and then asked of you again...WHEN YOU CAN'T ANSWER anymore because you are produce,turned and watered and fed for however long it takes you to finally run a battery...silent and unable to say what YOU want.
When my mother died in '92 I got to tell my Father over and OVER again that she was gone...we had to relive that passing for almost seven years every time I visited him , about 125 times...This was big fun,breaking my Father's heart 125 times until he died.
And Terri will die,god bless her,someday...and how many times will hearts be broken and limbs removed and infections treated before that day?
This is not a valuing of life...more like a mockery if you ask me...and you can ask me...I've been there.
I love my Dad,even now that he's gone,and I tell you what...I wish he'd died that November day in 1990,it would of saved everyone (him especially) years of unecessary pain.
Spirals that won't spiral and a charley horse to boot
I have some shirts that I want to dye in a spiral pattern. For some reason the shirts are being resistant. They don't want to fold that way, uh-uh, no how. As I'm wondering if I should allow the shirts to have their way or force them into compliance, Rob beeps me that he's leaving work early so he can feed the turtles and also walk tonight. Normally it's a choice between the two because by the time the turtles are fed, it's dark and there's no lighting on the Hike and Bike trail. I'm thinking at this point that a walk always does me a bit of good when I'm feeling frustrated, but wondering if it's a good idea to do so with a major charley horse in my left calf muscle. I might "walk it out" or I might end up curled into a ball of pain in the middle of the Hike and Bike trail with no easy means to get back to the car. And what's up with the term "charley horse" anyway? Fortunately these days I have the internet so instead of laying awake until my next trip to the library I can just look this sort of stuff up in minutes. IdiomSite
Will work for Dog Food

We purchased some really expensive dog food to see if it would help with Sullivan's allergies and one of my concerns was that all three of them might not like it. Fish and Sweet Potato doesn't sound like something a dog would like very much, but they all ate it yesterday so apparently it was suitable. I was not expecting the reaction I got this morning when I picked up their food bowls to feed them. There was an unbelievable amount of hopping and dancing around and the only thing I've ever seem them get this excited about is when we fix them chicken that's been left in the freezer too long for human taste buds. If this works for Sully's allergies then it will be worth the extra money, but I better find a job soon just to pay for the food.

Sully, Theo and Irene

Saturday, October 18, 2003

This probably won't apply to anyone reading this blog, but if you require a pot of coffee before you are coherent in the morning, never dye t-shirts before you've had said required pot of coffee. I grabbed the wrong red this morning. I noticed it was mixing "strange" for that color since the dye powder floated to the top of the water instead of sinking, but didn't put two and two together. It wasn't until I added the soda ash solution and didn't see the normal color change that I realized I had the wrong red and by then it was too late. Argh. Instead of Orange/Yellow/Red I ended up with Red/Red/Red. Oh well, I'll just overdye with black since Rob has a saying, "Red and Black; the colors of the emotionally disturbed." In that case, the red/black combo ought to be a best seller ;->
New Shoes
Prior to Wednesday, I had a choice of three pairs of shoes to wear during my walks with Rob. I have one pair of not-so-sensible pumps (they make my feet hurt), a two year old pair of Birkenstock sandals and a pair of five year old Doc Martin boots that have the heels worn down so much that they make my back hurt. Not the best choices for a three to four mile walk, but money is tight and I figured I would have to wait until next payday to spring for a pair of tennis shoes. All the same, I decided to practice the "ask and ye shall receive" routine and request some new shoes from the universe hoping this would ensure that there really would be enough money left over after next payday to buy some shoes. Well, the universe provided sooner than expected when I opened and phone bill and discovered I didn't have to pay because I had a credit. Woo-hoo! I headed out to Kohl's since I've never been in Kohl's when they didn't have at least some shoes on sale. While I was there I discovered that Kohl's categorizes their shoes with labels like "Walking", "Cross-Training" and "Running". This was very helpful because I wanted a "Walking" shoe, but I really got a good laugh over the category of "Fashion Athletic". "Casual Athletic" I can almost understand since it brings to mind games of croquet, but "Fashion Athletic"? What, do we have a bevy of fashion models in town needing tennis shoes for the runway?

Friday, October 17, 2003

I am definately ready for a walk tonight
I've spent too much time on the computer today turning my frustration into shoulder knots and a walk should work those out for me. I started the day by signing up for a bCentral ecommerce site which I'm not very happy with at the moment. I'm glad the first 30 days are free because once I got to using it, well... I'm not so impressed. I could have hand coded a ecommerce site faster than I can do it using their wizard stuff, but my mom needs to be able to use this so I figured I'd give it a try. I haven't decided to cancel it yet since it's only been one day and there's no need to rush to judgement. I'm definately not ready to show my mom how to use it so she can add her paintings. Maybe next week.

I also spent time over at e-Bay reading another set of rules and how to information. I did manage to get some items listed for sale, but I think it takes longer to take the pictures, edit the pictures and post a sale item than it does to make the shirts. Maybe it's just the learning curve. And how was I supposed to come up with any snappy product descriptions after all that dry reading? Ah well, I suppose any kind of listing better than nothing since these t-shirts aren't going to sell themselves by sitting in the storage room. Oh, and if you're curious... My Stuff on Ebay

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Unexpected Blog Hiatus
Ever have those days where you wonder where the time went? I've had a week of those. I stopped doing my usual amount of "computer time" in the mornings and have only just done email with my coffee. The idea was that I could spend my evenings reading blogs and maybe compose a post or two now that it's getting dark earlier, but it hasn't exactly worked out that way. Some of this is due to the fall-like weather we are experiencing. The temps have been just perfect for working in the yard during the day and between the yardwork and walking with Rob three nights a week, I've been hitting the bed by nine or ten o'clock at night. A week or so ago, I never went to bed before two in the morning and my concept of having "lots of time at night to do things" definitely needs to an adjustment. All of a sudden I've lost about five hours out of my day, but I'm think this is a good thing. It's been well over five years and maybe longer since I regularly got eight hours of sleep at night. Not having a job didn't change my habits, but all this recent exercise has definitely changed things. And I think it's a change for the better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Remember the old WWF on the usa network?Wrestling at it's finest.Fixed...but fun to watch...You could tell what was happening by the moves they made,you could tell who was gonna win...they had a formula...what we broke down via the alphabet.
I'm talkin' speed addled mid to late 80's's 3 am and I'm one line from a heart attack can't sleep wrestling excitement.
Which brings me to the americans who were killed in the Gaza Strip ... It's the C match,you weren't expecting it RIGHT THEN but you knew it was gonna happen and you knew it was gonna cause an outrage...just like when hacksaw jim duggan nailed rockin' roddy piper with a folding chair and mean gene okerland wigged out on the future gov. of minnesota-Jesse "the fucktard" ventura- like it was a total surprise.
Only it wasn't. And you KNEW it wasn't...but you bought into it anyway because's the WWF...full of surprises.
I'm not surprised some americans got killed in the Gaza and you should'nt be was bound to happen.They should'nt have been there in the first place...but it's that old C match mentality coming back to haunt us...what the fuck are ANY americans doing over in that shithole of a place unless they are assassins working for the CIA???But they are there - just like the undertaker was lurking in the stands during the ultimate warrior-hulk hogan death's a fucking set up.
Just like the son of osama being in Iran is a set up.
Just like the ever escalating violence in Iraq is a set up.
Just like the re-emergence of the taliban in Afghanistan is a set up.
These things may/are really be happening...but we're being set up.
Just like WWF root for the underdog no matter how despicable he or they may be...the underdog in this case is george bush's america...don't be fooled...change the channel something worthy of your time.
If they don't get the ratings they'll be forced to change...just like the WWF...well maybe we can skip the embarrassing have to suffer through them.
Time for the D match I think.......

Monday, October 13, 2003

I learned an important lesson about myself this weekend...don't gamble with expectations.
The first time I played cards I had no expectations and 25 bucks...I walked away a winner and had a great time. This time however,was different. The company was the same...that good old feeling of good old friends.The food was the same...great as usual.
What was different? Me.My attitude...I came into this game I was gonna turn my 25 into finishing my tattoo or maybe a trip to the next gun show without impinging on the monthly quote Dennis Hopper in apocalypse now, "WRONG".
So when my 25 was gone,did I push away from the table, having had my fun?No,I dug deeper,by god...I could recoup my losses and pull ahead...Trains in the station baby!look out!Papa needs a new layer of ink!
What an idiot.
Was I angry I lost? No...this was an IMMEDIATE epiphany...I had set myself up for this and applied a strategy approaching greed and it bit me on the ass.
This was not vegas....
Thank god.
Next time, I'll leave my game face at home and play like the novice I am,for fun.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

I see headline after headline justifying our invasion of Iraq and the importance of preventing "the terrorists" from acquiring wmd's and blowing the shit out of the good ol' usa.
Hasn't happened yet...and I'd venture to guess nothing remotely close to what Cheney calls a single day of horror will.
This war on terror is playing out to be this generations Viet Nam. With some important exceptions: It's about oil and big money, backed by a corrupt administration headed up by an oil is an exception.
As the american people continue to slowly wake up to what's really going on the war will lose more and more support.
The administration will continue to launch new PR attempts to legitimize it, each one more ridiculous than the last,and when you line them up and compare them they will be rift with lies and contradiction.
It's painfully obvious the players involved in this first wave of propaganda are completely full of shit...Bush,Cheney,Powell...the whole bunch. If they aren't already trying to figure a way out this mess...they need to start-yesterday.
They're trying to scare us...I don't know about you,but for me, it's not working. I'm not scared of the terrorists. They have enough sense to know that if they come into this country and attack us in a conventional sense our military will be the least of their concerns...our citizenry would kill their ass in a hurry. We have the firepower to do this.
I have an open invitation to any would be terrorist to fuck with me and mine and see what happens. This limits the possibilities to attacking our interests abroad or another 9-11 type attack. They don't have the means or the wearwithall to hit us from afar with a nuke...they should know that if they did the us of a would nuke the fuck out of the entire middle east, which would trigger armageddon and the end of the world for everyone...nobody wants that,not even the terrorists. To assume they would risk this in the name of Islam is naive...they're terrorists-not retarded.
Israel and Palestine have been trading punches for years over property and religion and will probably continue to do so. That's what were doing albeit on a larger scale...for us it's property (oil) for them it's religion.
I'll tell you what scares me...what's going on here at home.The slow(?) erosion of our rights,how the middle class is getting a first class rogering and how our neighbors are beginning to hate us. We're heading down the road to isolation in the international community and the current administration is driving our economy into the ground,killing us really...if you think things are bad now,just gets worse,Bush and his minions will see to that...the writing's on the wall and apparently the majority of americans refuse to see it and do anything about it.
Speaking of doing something about it...let's look at the opposition to the dictator currently in power....We have nine democratic "hopefuls" gunning for his job...if you eliminate the ridiculous ( Sharpton, Kucinich, Mosely,Lieberman and those other two)
that leaves Dean , Kerry and Clark...Thats two too many.The democrats shouldn't be wasting time fighting among themselves to pick the candidate to go up against the mongoloid in chief...they need to be united and focused with one candidate.But which one?
Dean? Kerry? Clark? It's hard to tell because they're all spending way too much time throwing rocks at Bush...we already know Bush is an asshole who doesn't have a clue.Let's start hearing about what YOU'RE gonna do for us that's gonna turn this country around...the bush bashing is so loud we can't hear that part of the argument.
When are we going to address in some meaningful way the coup the republicans are Texas,in California,in Florida? They're attempting to fix the election before our very eyes and we do nothing.
I'm afraid it will soon be too late to do anything about any of it.
It's groundhog day in america...the same shit over and over again...a single day of horror on replay...someone needs to step up and hit the eject button.
I realize this is rambling...but I'm so overwhelmed with the bullshit raining down on us it's the best I can do.
Maybe a simpler way of putting this is: man! are we fucked or what???

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Weight loss
I've lost 44 pounds over the last year or so, but ask anyone that knows me, including Rob, and they'll tell you I don't look any different. I look the same and wear the same jeans at 196 pounds as I did at 240 pounds (and no, they do not have an elastic waist.) This is rather frustrating. It doesn't help when I see those infomercials where the women claim they lost 10 pounds and one dress size. What, are they a size four and have bones the size of matchsticks? My jeans do fit a bit looser now, but there's no hope of getting into the next size down. Last night Rob and I started our walking program where we plan to walk an hour every night, but I did the math on the calories burned and that's at best only an extra pound a week in weight loss. However, since I'm only losing one pound a week now, it will, at least, double the speed of things. And who knows, maybe I'm only 10 more pounds away from getting into those size 16 jeans. I hope so, because I'm about ready to give up if I don't see some visible results beyond the dial on the scale.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I have intimate experience with PMS...I have learned to fear it,for awhile, the mere mention of it would cause me to clench up and break out in a sweat.
I also learned something about my partners in the past who suffered advantage of the fact they went completely psycho once evey 28 days or so and made sure I was the target of every possible pathological delusion/cruelty under the sun.
They were fucked up to begin with.
There was a difference between them and my beloved Ann...In past relationships a lack of butter was tantamount to the grossest infidelity...something I heard about for days,at a volume normally reserved for rage and somehow connected to that root thing that made me unacceptable, a perpetual "fixer-upper" somehow deserving of abuse because after all,there is NO BUTTER and I should know that the stash of butter is my responsibility alone...after all, I am the provider.
I get to READ about Ann's PMS rather than experience it...this is a woman who knows what's her shit and deals with it accordingly, worthy of support for a very real malady.
And her lack of taking it out on me affords me the opportunity to be supportive instead of defensive, loving instead of fearful...I am not cowed by the PMS,rather, I am an agent of relief...happily so.
In closing,let me share a,2 stories about the horror...the HORROR of dealing with women not in control....
I had made plans to visit a friend for the purpose of , well, drinking mostly but we were planning a art show at his house as well...when it was set up my then girlfriend was cool with it...when I attempted to leave the house a few days later,suddenly I couldn't go..."we had to talk".About what I never learned,but it was important.This quickly escalated to her trying to push me down the stairs, to her finally jumping on the trunk of my car as I backed out of the driveway and riding down to the stop sign at the end of our street. The crisis finally ended when she got in the car and asked where we were going.When I said to the fucking state hospital to get your ass committed...poof! end of crisis and she walked back to the house.When I got home there were tearful apologies and hugs...then 5 minutes later my habit of leaving socks under the coffee table was right up there with the batan death march and the holocaust all rolled into one. I soon extricated myself from this relationship.
A few years before in another relationship, I had returned from my annual trip to colorado with the same we were dividing up the gear in my living room, she cruised through the room,pointed at the AX on the floor and announced "I'd put that away if I was you" before disappearing into her office sporting crazy ass hair and a purple velour floor length robe that added to the david lynch feel of the moment.My friend decided he would get his gear later and left...I did not sleep well that night. dearest Ann, if PMS has shined it's demonic light on you after all these years and the most you do is write about it...god bless you. I am fortunate.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

So THAT'S what it feels like
I woke up this morning in a foul mood. I thought I had reached the maximum level of angry, evil bitch when I had that sinus infection, but I was wrong. I had been disturbed from an interesting dream where I was talking to Professor Snape when the alarm went off, but this happens every morning (the alarm that is, not a dream about the Harry Potter books.) The dogs stirred and bounced around on the bed when Rob got up, but this also happens every morning. Theo barked for five minutes at the "strange man in the shower" (actually Rob) and why Theo can see Rob through the bathroom window from the bed is a story for another day. But again, this happens every morning and annoying as all of that is, it has never propelled me to the level of rage that I felt today. I threw pillows at the dogs and screamed obscenities at them as I got out of bed and got dressed. I stomped into the kitchen to make coffee and bit my tongue so I wouldn't tear Rob a new asshole because he forgot to take out the trash last night and where the fsck was I going to put the old coffee grinds when the trashcan was full and overflowing? The dogs had long since fled to the backyard, but Rob asked me what was wrong and I had enough sense to just mumble something about not getting enough sleep. Rob shrugged his shoulders and hurried off to work much to my relief because my tongue was getting pretty sore from being clamped down between my teeth. I sat down at the computer with my coffee and pondered this strange feeling. Was it some sort of backlash from being depressed? "Ah, who the fsck cares; think I'll have some toast." Instead, I throw small temper tantrum when no butter is found in the fridge. Never mind that I don't usually butter my toast. Instead I scream, "Why the fsck is there NO BUTTER?" which sends the dogs running for the backyard again and the thought crossed my mind that Rob is a mean and evil person for using the last of the butter and not writing it on the grocery list. I stomp back to my computer to read email and make a supreme effort to become interested in the latest posts to the mailing lists. Later as I'm rereading an email for the fourth time, Rob calls me and the best I can do is just be rude. I decide I must be REALLY short on sleep and hungry so I start another pot of coffee and make the damned toast and spread jam on it with no butter. Just like I always have my toast and I pause to wonder why all of a sudden today I want butter? "Ah, who the fsck cares; just eat the toast and start the damned laundry!" Later on in the day, Rob checks in again and suggests that maybe I have PMS. I consider that for a moment and decide that he must be right even though PMS for me is almost always a migraine and not a temper tantrum. But my behavior sure does remind me of the other women I've known over the years who would get like this with PMS... yes, yes, it fits. And so I drive to the gas station/food market and purchase a pint of chocolate malt ice cream with fudge swirls and chocolate covered almonds because that's what those women used to do. And you know what? It worked!

I hope this isn't something I have to deal with on a monthly basis from now on, but if it means the migraines are gone... well, I might trade that for some craziness and maybe I'll learn to like ice cream and chocolate (normally, I don't eat either of them.)
I think a little background is needed before I launch....
My Mom was diagnosed with cancer in ' Dad stroked out in '90 and after a 3 month coma,woke up back at shepperds air force base circa 1968. He ended up at the VA nursing care center in Temple Tx.,an hour from our home town.Until her death in '92,I was it for her. She did'nt drive...I was her driver,to every consult, chemo,etc. and we made the trip to temple 2 to 3 times a week to visit Dad...I was glad to do it...I loved my parents,it was part of being thier child...they raised me,I helped them.
They had a "mom and pop will" (each had a will leaving everything to each other and then to me) , no need to probate until my Dad died in '99.I was told I had 5 years after his death to probate...I was told wrong. Four and 1/2 years later...missed it by THAT was four not five.Curse that overpaid cokehead attorney to an eternity in appellate court.
So...if you miss the date, what do you do? Well you apply for title to the essence,sue your sibling(s) for the estate that was left to you in the first fucking place.
Let me qualify estate by saying it's an old falling down house I've lived in since my Mom died...we're not talking big bucks here.
So I sister,who had no interest in the house and got half the life insurance money because I thought it was the right thing to do...signed an affadavit saying she had no interest in the house (much to the surprise of my attorney) ,papers were filed and then....
and then....
The court assigned an attorney to represent the make sure I am who I say I am,my sister wasn't coerced into signing the affadavit and my parents are indeed in the house of the lord, or at the very least,in the ground...fine,I can live with that.
But then...
The state charges me TWO filing fees because there are TWO wills...which are identical,only one says mom to dad to son,one says dad to mom to son.
I'm starting to get annoyed.
The court appointed attorney has a request...he wants a copy of: My parents marriage license,my birth certificate,a death certificate for each parent AND an obituary for each parent (why in the FUCK do you need this when you have 2 certified death certificates????!). Fortunately, I have all this stuff in one location (I'm sentimental that way) and submit...I'm moving beyond annoyed.
He wants the names and addresses of two "disinterested witnesses" who can testify that: I am who I am (despite having my birth certificate),That my parents are indeed dead (despite having death certificates AND obituaries) and we have to run ad's in the paper to the tune of 400.00 for each will...something you do when you PROBATE a will...which I will remind you,we are not doing because SOME FUCKING ATTORNEY told me I had FIVE years instead of FOUR.
I am beside myself with disgust...and again I ask the question I have asked many times here in different contexts...What the fuck is wrong with us??!!
My parents loved me,I loved them,they wanted me to have this house...I took care of my sister because I love her and my parents instilled in me the desire to what is right.
And what is the reality?I've got the state of texas bending me over because they can and a court appointed attorney who I never met or spoke with on the phone..nay!Nary a fucking email introduction, charging me 500.00 to prove I'm who I say I am and my parents aren't buried alive in some box somewhere so I can steal this house that isn't worth the dirt it sits on. It' value lies in the spirit of family.
Law and Order indeed.
I think we've been cheated.
I will ride this out, and when it's done I will put it behind me. Hopefully I will still have an address and not an underpass to call home.

Monday, October 06, 2003

October is my favorite month of the year. The temperature is usually just about right and I get to keep all the windows and doors open day and night (we have burglar bars and three house dogs so break-ins are not a big worry.) The sky turns a beautiful blue color and the sunshine takes on a particular golden glow right before sunset. Even the moon has it's own special look during this month. My favorite seasonal beer appears in stores on sale (Spaten Oktoberfest) and the month ends with Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year. We haven't celebrated Halloween in quite a while, but we used to throw a big neighborhood party every year where our band and a few others from the area would play on our stage deck in the backyard and everyone would dress in silly costumes. It was so much fun, but the neighborhood changed and we can't get away with such shenanigans anymore. We've been invaded by yuppies and hit with a notice to comply for just about every ordinance on the books. I had to sell my '67 Chevelle because we didn't have a garage and having it sitting under a car cover under the carport wasn't okay. I had to get it running, tagged and inspected or else they would tow it off. I managed to find a buyer, but I'm not sure all the other "fixer-uppers" around here had as much luck. And just today, I received my "second notice" from the city because one of our trees had the nerve to grow it's branches out over the street and we haven't cut it back yet. I was hoping they'd forget about it, but I guess I'll be standing on a ladder in the middle of the street with a saw because I don't have the money for the $500 fine. I wonder if I can sue the city when some yuppie runs me down in their Expedition? I think this year I need to bring back a bit of that old bohemian flavor of this neighborhood for Halloween. Throwing a party in the old style is out since the cops will just come and shut us down, but I'm thinking a front yard full of tacky homemade Halloween decorations might be in order. Of course, there's probably a city ordinance against that too.
Better Days
Well, I had a nice pity party that lasted about three days. Family and friends were supportive and came up with a few ideas to improve things. I've been too housebound without my car ((public transportation in Austin sucks) so that was step one. I've got legal wheels again and strict orders to get my ass out of the house at least three times a week. I peeled myself away from the computer for a few days and reread some of my favorite books. I had a long talk with my mom about what she will do if/when dad dies and discovered that she has a really good plan. Rob had the idea that if I looked better I might feel better and he was right so I'm no longer sporting the aging gray-haired hippy look and I'm back to being a redhead. I've been prodded into actually socializing IN PERSON with some friends instead of just chatting by email or phone. I've been reminded that there are nine million other people out of work in this country and my jobless state is not because I'm just a fuckup and a loser. I also gathered up enough guts to ask my parents for a $1400 loan so we could pay off the house and they said "of course". I mailed that check off today. I don't feel great yet, but I do feel much, much better.

Friday, October 03, 2003

A couple of weeks ago this stray dog started circling our shop...a black dog.If anyone has any question about my affinity to peros negros , let this picture of my tres peros negros put it to rest...

Anyway...this dog started coming around and had no problem with the women , but anytime a man came near she would run away,tail between her legs,ears back.
Being a black dog I had no choice...I had to win her over.
I tempted her with food...leftover chicken fajita and pork tamales...laying a hansel and gretel trail that got shorter and shorter until she was right in front of me,snatching up the food and darting away...only to come back for more.
Finally, there was a sniff of the hand and a reluctant introduction.
By the end of the day she was my buddy...she made friends with Jim, the warehouse manager over the next couple of days...more connections were made during the past 2 weeks and now she is the "shop dog".
I took her to my vet yesterday and got the shots and had her de-wormed...gave her a collar with tags and she is officially ours.
Jim and Travis (our delivery driver) put up a fence to make her an enclosure free from the potentially deadly trucks that frequent our locale...Travis' mom (also a lover of black dogs...she has 2) brought bedding and toys.
She now has a home...and a name...Shadow...not because she is black, but because she follows you a shadow.
This dog is friendly,intelligent,agile and well, intelligent...she learns commands with ease and loves contact in a non obnoxious way...gentle hugs...whoever had her before should be ashamed...not only because they obviously abused her,but because they missed out on a chance to have a truely unique experience.
An experience we enjoy and value.
I don't know what powers brought her to us...chance or otherwise...but I'm glad.
Our three black dogs came to us under bad circumstances and I'm proud to say we have given them a life of love and comfort and security.
And because of the likemindedness of my co-workers...we have afforded the same opportunity to Shadow...a black dog...and dogs ROCK.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

I got my right leg outlined last friday...almost 3 hours...ouch.What's cool about leg tattoos is you can watch the process.You can witness the transformation of plain old skin to work of art.It was cool, but it hurt like hell...especially behind the knee.But it's there...a giant squid writhing on the waves just below my knee descending down to a sea floor replete with coral,starfish,urchins and anenomes at my ankle.Color to go in in a month or so...Catharsis.
One of my oldest,dearest friends called the other night...his little brother was dead...his LITTLE brother...I drove to the city of West,Tx. for the funeral...funeral home,cemetary and church where on a 4 or so mile line on the same road...county road amazing economy of death,burial and "food and fellowship" at the Tokio baptist church. It was good to see my friend and other people I had'nt seen in at least 10 years...not the greatest of circumstances. But it was good to see them and connect, I should qualify that he is probably my dearest old friend and despite the circumstance it was good to connect with my roots...hugging him and spending time with "food and fellowship" reminded me of how important he was,how important old friendships are.I don't see him often but he is an important part of my life, a connection to what was and what will be. I was not close to his brother but I knew him and I knew how much he meant to my friend...I had to be there...for them both.And I was...and proud to be there as a living vestige of time and the meaning of friendship...Cathartic.
In a way.
The route to West was the same route I took with my Mom to Temple, Texas , home of the veterans administration's nursing care unit where my father went after his stroke in 1990...2 or 3 times a week I drove my mom to see him...a vegetable really...he knew who we were but could not communicate beyond a smile and the look in his eyes.
Everytime I drove there I died a little bit, and when my mom died in '92 and my dad fell deeper into zuchinniville, I slacked to once or twice a month.
When he died in '99, I was resolute in not ever going down that road again...but I did,for my friend.The drive was a trip down memory I drove along I remembered things...conversations with my a way.
And I tried to put it together in my mind with the fact that we are all growing older and with that age we come closer to the closure.
And when it's all said and done will we have done all the things we aspired to do?Will our lives have had meaning? Will our choices in life fulfill our possibilities? Will it be Cathartic?
Somehow I don't think so.