Saturday, April 30, 2005

Tell it like it is
Things have been a bit grim around here. Money is tight. So tight we are waiting for the lights to go out because we can't pay our electric bill. The pantry is empty and there's not enough change to buy a packet of ramen noodles. Okay, it's not that bad because if we cashed in our coffee can of pennies we could probably buy some ramen noodles. Rob and I weren't able to get 40 hours a week at our jobs the last couple of weeks and it's really taken a hit on the finances. I'm kicking myself now for "doing the right thing" and getting the damn car insurance that the state of Texas requires by law. Before it was a law, the rates were affordable, after it became a law the rates shot up. And that $120/month it now costs which is going to the insurance thieves would go a long way towards putting food on the table. We can't afford Rob's medication and he's gone three day's without it. Does that make him likely to stroke out any minute now? I don't know. We can hope he makes it the six days until I get paid again, but that check is going to be a small one since I've only worked about 25-30 hours a week this pay period instead of 40. I can probably hit my folks up for a loan for the medication, but that's something I'm really loathe to do since we've borrowed money from them so many times over these last few years. But this is a potentially life and death situation so I'll swallow my pride again and make the phone call tomorrow. My own health needs some attention and I was supposed to get health insurance next month at work, but it looks like I won't now because I haven't been working full-time hours and will have to wait until I work another six months in a row of full-time hours. So basically, I will never have health insurance and I've told Rob that if I have a heart attack then he needs to just let me die and not call the ambulance. Truthfully, I don't want to live if it means facing a $300,000 medical debt I will never be able to pay off. These are the kinds of choices that millions of Americans face everyday in the "land of opportunity". A land where the president laughingly tells a woman who says she works three jobs that it's "uniquely American" to work three jobs and "that's good." WHAT THE FUCK? It's "good" to have to work three jobs to make ends meet? Rob's talking about getting a second job and I'm looking at that as well as a way to keep our house and keep the lights on each month. But a part of me screams that this is insanity. We'll spend all our time working and while we might keep a roof over our heads, we won't have much of anything else in terms of a life. Now Rob is a revolutionary type, ready to overthrow the government if need be or commit crimes in the name of the greater good. If the poor of this country decided to revolt, I have no doubt that Rob would be at their side. I, on the other hand, am I pacifist. I'm much more likely to cruise down to Mexico and find me a patch of land where I can scrounge out a living rather than participate in an overthrow of the US government. And as strong as our marriage is, I don't think it could survive the loss of our house because that would put Rob on the roof with a gun shooting at the repo folk and me running for the hills. So maybe both of us working a second job for a while isn't insanity. It might just be what it takes to hold it all together.

Friday, April 29, 2005

I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN COLORADO







American Cities That Best Fit You:



65% Denver

65% Las Vegas

60% Austin

60% Seattle

55% Atlanta




Further, I find it hard to believe that I am only 60% Austin. 60%...dammit. I have been here forever. Wait, maybe that's the problem.
This may be why I've never moved





American Cities That Best Fit You:
75% Austin
70% Atlanta
60% Honolulu
60% Las Vegas
60% Miami


Which American Cities Best Fit You?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BREAK WITH ROUTINE

I used to stop at this 7-11 in the morning after dropping Ann at work for my morning coffee, until I discovered that it had a Stargate SG-1 like portal directly connected to Hidalgo Mexico and the coffee area. It was always crawling with wetbacks. Wetbacks with an air of impunity and a prediliction for diabetes level coffee...you know. Diabetes level coffee.
Instructions:
1.Procure 24 oz. coffee cup
2.Fill purportionately with capp-uh-chino, hazelnut, regular, pecan, 5 creamers and 15 sugars.
3.Stir vigorously
4.Taste
5.Add 5 more sugars and a packet of equal.
6.Stir some more.
7.Snap on lid while looking contemptuously at tattooed white guy waiting his turn to get his coffee as if to say "Si esa...I am in this country illegally and what are you going to do about it? You got a problem with that amigo? If so, write your congressman (almost falls down from laughing)
8.Repeat 1 through 7, 5 to 15 times simultaneously.
It has an almost religious quality to it. On occaision, I would find myself weak kneed in anticipation of a saint appearing. It was weird.
Anywho, I changed my habits and started stopping at the Tiger market. This place rocks. There's never a line and the clerks are pleasant, unlike the 7-11 from hell clerks who suffer from PTSD from the daily onslaught of lawnmower guys (wetbacks) and are hard pressed to go beyond muttering your total to you.
I like the Tiger Market...annoyance free coffee and a kind word exchanged.
But today was different. We stopped at another, equally fucked 7-11 on the way to Ann's work.This one has a portal linked directly to the weirdo central portal. Even the staff are goofy...and while most 7-11 employees wear green smocks, these motherfuckers are dressed in black. Black knit shirts with a 7-11 logo. Black pants. I wondered about a color scale based on profitability. Just kidding, I stumbled to the coffee area.
There was plenty of regular brew available and I was able to step right up...I got my usual. Regular blend, 3 cremes, 3 sugars....where's the fucking sugar? There was splenda and equal and sugar in the raw. No refined white sugar. WTF???
I was forced to use the sugar in the raw...which has " a hint of mollasses " flavor, which is ok if you like mollasses. I don't. But I can deal. Then the lid wouldn't snap on my cup (this never happens at tiger mart). I had to fight it on, discard it and go with another one before I got a good seal.
That's just too much work for a cup of coffee.
I will never stop at a 7-11 for morning coffee ever again.
A PICTURE'S WORTH A 1000 WORDS




But I think I can narrow it down. Bunnypants looks like a fratboy at cotillian hoping for a handjob when the sun goes down. This picture makes me sick and is a more than clear visual explaination of the fucking we've been getting lately. That saudi fuckstick looks absolutely smitten.
Please, please wake up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

FEEDING TIME

I fed the turtles and Sid, the horribly ill tempered blue tongued skink who is unusally ill tempered these days because on his last shed his left eye did not clear. While this makes him 50% less dangerous and/or likely to bite the shit out of me, I'm sure it sucks to have one of the eyes that are on the side of your head out of commission until I can soak it off for him.
Although it means closing the odds for a skink bite, I have been soaking him (it must suck to not be able to see one whole side of your world). When Sid bites...he bites hard.
Anywho...the menu last night was cherry tomatoes, mixed melon and banana. As I cut and sliced I heard multiple scratching sounds. When I looked up at the turtles closest to me, I saw my hatchlings and my ornate wood turtles pressed up against the closest side of their containers...watching me. Doing the "throat bloat" thing with necks fully extended.
They were hungry and they were'nt being shy about it.
But there was more noise coming from the living room...from the other 5 tubs. They smelled the fruit and knew it was feeding time. Clamoring around in a state of recognition and arousal that I have never noticed before when they are in the house. Outside pens are...
Phone rings...it's a friend whose wife had her gall bladder removed last week and is back in hospital with complications, she's gonna be ok but it has been a trying week for him. I'm glad he called. _______ knows, having a loved one go through this kind of shit is hard. But especially hard when your perceptions and memories of hospitals revolve around trauma and death. It's a peculiar mind fuck. Hospitals are here to help people get well, frequently, people are too fucked up to get well and they die. In the hospital. That palce where you go to get well. My friend and I have spent more than our fair share of time in hospitals watching loved ones die. Certainly, the loved one in the hospital has the winning hand on freak out,
but those of us in the waiting room experience an equally intense freak out. It's an externalized kind of freak out. I wish them well.
So here I was, rambling on about an obviously pavlovian response in reptiles in relation to the smell of fresh fruit. I was gonna say that they (my critters) are attached to me and not to the smell of food and I am an obvious ( yet insignificant ) component of food thinking it might be funny. But it's not. During the conversation with my friend about bad hospital memories, I remembered an event from my previous life as a social worker. I shared it with him. It's funny.

There was this girl who lived at the treatment center I managed. She was a very large black girl (6'2" or 3) and heavy. and, I'm sorry to say, Butt ugly. And she had GIANT feet. Part of her social history disclosed that, in the second grade she won the "bigfoot" contest. She was marked from the beginning, I swear. This kind of bullshit followed her around all her life
and by the time we crossed paths she was (understandably) fucked up. But she was smart, academically and socially. I liked her. A lot. While she could rationalize her peers cruelty on an intellectual level and understand it, her adolescence succumbed to the bullshit and she began to act out. OK...so it's not funny yet...but just hang on, I'm getting there.
We had the suicidal ideation histrionics, we had the delicate cutting, the whole nine yards. But the pinnacle was when she was discovered "passed out" in the parking lot behind the van, alledgedly overdosing on meds she had allegedly hoarded. I might add that her "passing out" behind the van coincided with the time for the rest of the group to leave, in the van, for evening activity.
She was unresponsive to the point of being ridiculous. Something wasn't right, so I instructed one staff member to summon an ambulance. She made the call. Another staff member
sensing my feeling that we were being had, had an idea. "Let's try and revive her"! he proclaimed and went in the main house and came back with a slice of combination pizza. He waved it under her nose and she was miraculously revived. She sat up and was chowing down on said slice when the ambulance crew showed up.
They could not be undeterred, having liability issues of their own, so she was whisked off to the nearest emergency room. This one being South Austin Hospital. I had spent some time here with my mom while she was being killed by cancer, other patients from the center for a variety of reasons and that time that girl from the emergency shelter tried to kill me with a curling iron. Not fond memories.
But when they busted out with giant beaker of activated charcoal and instructed bigfoot ( I wish I could remember her name...there were so many ) to drink it all, I was stoked. Here's a lesson that will stick. BF: "But I don't want to drink this...I'll get sick". ME: "That's the point bigfoot, those pills you (didn't take) took could kill you""This will clean you out" BF: "Okay...glug-glug". Shortly thereafter...."Bloooooorrrrrrggggghhhh"! this fountain of black fluid came shooting out of the ugliest child I have ever seen in all my years and cascaded down her blue gingham hospital gown, at which point she said to me " I didn't take any pills". I said something vaguely therapeutic to her like " well, when you say you have we have to take it seriously and this is the price you pay for denying your feelings...deal with it".
Her "readings were off" according to the ER staff and she was admitted to ICU...Budget ICU...A multi bed room that housed BF and this old lady who was dying. Loudly.
The ER staff decided that BF needed to spend the night, and when I could find no staff to stay with her, I signed on for the night. . So I sat up with her while that old lady died over the course of the night...I remember explaining to BF the reason for the priest and the endless line of weeping family members. All the while playing tapes in my head of riding the elevator up from the parking garages of two different hospitals for my mom and dad in their time of dying. A process that I repeated for years. It was a slow death.
When the old lady finally flatlined BF was sound asleep, still sporting the big black ring around her lips and the river of black down her gown...snoring. Free from the ridicule that had
brought her to this place.
To hopefully learn an important lesson.
We saved her with PIZZA. Go figure.
I KNOW IT'S ONLY...

Nicked from Billy who nicked it from somebody else.





Your Taste in Music:


90's Alternative: Highest Influence
Heavy Metal: Highest Influence
Progressive Rock: Highest Influence
80's Alternative: High Influence
80's Rock: High Influence
Classic Rock: High Influence
Punk: High Influence
90's Rock: Medium Influence
Alternative Rock: Medium Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Hair Bands: Low Influence




Monday, April 25, 2005

AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS JUST BLOWING SMOKE

Thanks to the magic that is free websites...go here-stink free austin. More to come.
I have not begun to fight.Bwhaaaaa-haaaaaaa-haaaaaaaaa-erk!
I fucking love the interweb.
:)

LOCAL POLITICS

As Ann mentioned in her post, local elections are coming up and there are several " hot button issues " on the agenda. The one getting the most press and attention is the smoking ban. They (Onward Austin) want to ban smoking entirely. This has bar owners on 6th street and Red River street in an uproar. They swear up and down that this ordinance will kill their business and some of the smaller clubs will cease to exist in short shrift if the ban passes. Onward Austin poo-poohs this claim saying that the same cannot be said for New York and California. Who do you believe? We don't get out much anymore because we're old and that clubbing shit is for the younger set. But I can tell you, that when we were active in the club scene, if you couldn't smoke we went somewhere else that allowed it. Most folks we know have the same attitude, and if that attitude is reflective of most smokers, these club owners are in trouble.
They are also gun shy about ordinances involving their livlihood in general. A while back there was a tightening of the noise ordinance downtown brought about (by and large) by the residents of the overpriced condos and homes in the vicinity of the clubs. Keep in mind the city war cry of "music capitol of the world". For an industry purported to be the flagship of this town, they sure get shit on a lot lately. If the ban passes, I suggest the city adopt a new marketing motto : "music capitol of the world for two weeks in the spring when we make a shitload of money, after that, turn that shit down or we'll shut you down " because, I believe, that's what it boils down to. Capitol. $$$...
Then there's the city council elections...yawn...two of the candidates for place 3 have indentical degrees from the same school and eerily similar street cred, another is a small business owner and the other is an attorney. They have all been endorsed by the same organizations. I thought endorsing someone meant you picked one. Me thinks these organizations are practicing the tried and true art of covering their ass, so whoever ends up winning the seat won't pay them back in some "city councilly way" after the election. The same goes for place one and four. Almost all of them are at least partially funding their own campaign. Now while this is a common practice in all elections in this country, somewhat legitimized by saying they "want to get the message out", which I like to call by it's more accurate description " buying votes".
And then you have the weirdos. This time out, it's Jennifer Gale. He/She? claims to be a former marine, has no address listed and works as a temp. He/She has run for a variety of elected offices over the years and quite frankly is a freak. I say this because I saw him/her putting up signs on campus the other day, on the sidewalk, with multi colored chalk. With just over 152.00 in contributions and just under 23.00 cash on hand...you know where the chalk came from. Curiously, there is no Leslie, I guess he's waiting for the next mayoral election.
Then you have the whole Toll road thing...I thought tolls were a way to finance the building of a road, so why are they planning on tolling roads that have already been paid for by our tax dollars and built already? Money grab, that's why.
And then there's this house bill, HB16, that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills or emergency contraceptive pills on the basis of refusing to participate in an abortion. The first draft of this bill was so murky, that it's author, one Frank "the fetus" Corte, a rep from San Antonio, presented a slicker, trickier version that basically said the same thing. This one has everyone jumping around trying to pull their respective panties and boxers out of their ass. It further erodes a womans right to choose is a rallying cry. Plus the usual prolife ravings of the religious right, who insist that as soon as joe's sperm penetrates janes egg, wham! it's a person with rights.
As they went dervishly round and round about this, one Sarah Wheat ( of the national abortion rights action league ) pointed out that under the current provisions of the medical safety act of the health and safety code, only licensed doctors can fill prescriptions for RU-486 or perform abortions. She went on to say " The confusion appears to be that pharmacists are somehow actually involved in medical abortions" and further " RU-486 is not something you can get a prescription for". So...it appears that Frank wants legislation for something there are already laws on the books about...that doesn't involve pharmacists in the least. No...he's a religio-nutbag who wants to deny women the right to birth control.
Busted, you asshole.
And, when you get right down to it, it's all trickle down from Bushco. The legislation of choice, of morality, the money grab.
And just for the record, I'm with Ann on this perfume thing, in fact, I see a grass roots campaign targeting perfume abusers in Austin coming soon. I promise.

Decisions, decisions
City council elections are coming up on May 7th so it's time for me to locate some information on the candidates and make a decision on which one is going to get my vote. The hot topic right now is the proposed smoking ban. I'm all in favor of segregated and separately ventilated sections for restaurants and bars as well as supporting those live music venues that choose to be non-smoking, but I will never vote on a total smoking ban until the day they also pass a perfume ban. I'd much rather sit next to the man smoking his stinky cigar than to sit next to the woman that just doused herself with a half-bottle of Eau de Sweet Smelling Flowers. The stinky cigar is a bit unpleasant but it doesn't give me the instant migraine and rash around my nose and mouth that I get when I sit next to someone doused in perfume. And yes, I know that exposure to Eau de Sweet Smelling Flowers doesn't appear to have the long-lasting health effects that come from second hand smoke, but this town has a pretty strict non-smoking policy now so people have plenty of choices when it comes to avoiding cigar and cigarette smoke. I really don't see the need for a total ban. That said, I won't be making my decision based on a candidate's position on the smoking ban. I'm much more interested in transportation issues and the age old fight between developers and neighborhood associations and I suppose my biggest concern is the high cost of living in this town. Now I have no expectations that the Austin City Council will ever adequately address these issues no matter who is elected, but I do think we could go from bad to worse so I've pledged to read up on the candidates and try to cast a vote based on my own informed decision instead of just letting the Austin Chronicle persuade me to vote for their picks. As much as I admire and respect the Chron, we don't always see eye to eye on things.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

MILESTONES

This blog turned 2 on the 20th. Our band had it's 10th birthday too. I haven't smoked anything other than camels in almost a year. I got a phone call the other day from LT, the guitar player in our band. He wanted to use our PA for his companies annual fish fry. Done...come get it. As an added bonus, his company paid us 50 bucks to rent it. Cool.
So LT came over yesterday and got the PA, he also hung out for the night. There was much talking and drinking. We talked about the band and decided we needed to go in another direction, try something new.
While I can't say what that direction will be exactly, we all agreed it should be a new one...in fact, several beers and screwdrivers into it, it seemed like a really good idea.
And in that moment my energy had returned...my energy to be in a band. A band from Austin-fucking-Texas, did I mention we have been around for ten years? Make that a veteran band from austin. By this fact alone, despite the reality that we have never achieved club status in our own home town, we rock.
This is where the hash comes in. As mentioned earlier, I have been buzz free for almost a year. Now, if someone came up to me and said "do you like pot"? I could say something glib and moved on without giving it another thought...I am so over pot. But that someone said " Do you like hash"? And something deep inside of me rose up and proclaimed " I fucking LOVE hash" ! before I had completely processed the question. I heard the word hash and melted, my steely resolve destroyed by the memories of lebanese blonde, the million dollar movie and pancakes with bacon.
Trust me, Love boat features are so much better after a few bowl hits and a short stack with bacon dripping with butter and syrup.
So I bought back a piece of the past, in the form of a gram of hash, and it was fun. But it wasn't the same.
I'm more focused on this new direction. Know what I mean?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I SPEAK-A DA EENGLISH OK?



Your Linguistic Profile:



55% General American English

25% Dixie

15% Yankee

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern




Stolen with amusement from a friend, who stole it from someone else.
SEE JANE.SEE JANE GET SPOOGED AT HER BOOK SIGNING

Jane Fonda got a face full at a book signing , a veteran of the Viet Nam war waited in line for an
hour and a half to spit tobacco juice in her face, proclaiming "she has spit in our faces for 37 years". Dude...get the fuck over it already, she opposed the war and in 1972 sat on an enemy anti aircraft gun for pictures in North VN. In 1972...that was a long time ago, and if your'e still bent about it, you need some serious fucking therapy for your displaced anger and guilt.
Jane has apologised for the picture, but not for her opposition to the war. In my opinion, she shouldn't have apologised for anything, because, as it turns out she and the other people actively opposing the VN war were right. I opposed it, I marched against it, as did many thousands of others. We were right. History has proved us out.
Back in the day, veterans were blamed and faced the derision of a country fed up with the bullshit, but now (hopefully) restoration has been made. I was against the war, but I never blamed the people who fought it.
The vets were easy targets initially, until the world woke up and decided to call a spade a spade and realized they were merely pawns. Before that happened, people like Jane made extreme commentary to shed light on an even more extreme injustice. Instead of spitting on her you should have thanked her. If I was the guy in line behind you I would have kicked your ass.
On a related note, there's this radio show I listen to on the way to work in the mornings and one of the commentators ( Sam " I'm an asshole" Cox ) equated being spit on with tobacco juice with having cigar smoke blown in his face and effectively condoned this event with his comments. Sam is an ignorant good ol' boy retired cop who is kind of like a broken clock, in spite of himself, he is right twice a day. He regularly puts his foot in his mouth and is mumbly defiant when he does, but when the other commentators challenged him on this he had nothing...beans. Except a confirmation that he is indeed a redneck asshole.
Who,by the way, needs his ass kicked.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

MAY I PONTIFICATE?

The catholics have a new pope...Benedict XIV . People I present to you the cardinal formerly known as Ratzinger. When the cult of mary thinks benedict they think of a new dawn.
When I think of benedict I think of canadian bacon, english muffins and eggs with hollandaise. So when I think of the new pope, my mouth will water. Not because I am an A: a catholic pedophile, but because B: I am hungry for breakfast. He is approaching 80, he was the right hand of John Paul, he grew up in germany and lived through the nazi thing.
There are folks who have a problem with the nazi thing. I say he's an old guy. And the other "also ran" cardinals up there in the conclave know this, and wanting to preserve their chance at being pope someday, they voted for the old guy. To narrow the lead. Remember the pope that came before John Paul? Me neither. But I do remember he died a very short time after accepting the position, clearing the way for John Paul to run the show for almost 27 years. You have to wonder if John Paul had pictures. You know the kind I'm talking about.
But enough of this papal BS.
Let's move on to politics.
There was a bill put to the texas house regarding the restructuring of child protective services, but when it arrived for consideration there was an amendment attached to it, or "folded into" the bill banning homosexuals, bisexuals and transexuals from being foster parents. This addition to the bill was way beyond the pale of the writer of said bill. It has initially passed.
The reason for this bill was to address the woefully inadequate child protective services department, who have had abuse and death and mayhem swarming around them like locusts for the last few years. Unbearably heavy case loads, limited services, limited shelters and problems with foster parents.Neglectful foster parents out for a stipend, abusive ones out for the stipend and some (pick one) sex, violence, et al. It's not pretty.
But rather than open it up for discussion, a pretty decent bill was introduced to address the problems, but the members representing I mean pandering to the religious right figured out a way to tack this amendment on that denies homosexuals, bisexuals and transexuals the right to provide safe haven and a loving home to the thousands of kids that come from abusive heterosexual households. You know the kind...husband and wife...heterosexual (great!) except...Daddy is a drunk that beats his wife and kids...the 13 year old daughter is a target as evidenced by the "accidental" bathroom encounters.
Let's take her for an example. She is finally removed from the home. She is initially placed in an emergency shelter. A shelter full of kids like her, and some much worse. During her time here she will get lots of " we are here to help you " messages from the staff ( who may or not be able to deliver ) and a shitload of "hey...check this out" messages from the peer group she is sharing the shelter with. Sex...drugs...crime...running away...a miasma of anti parent, anti authoritarian messages. As good as shelters are for providing refuge to kids, they are seething with the most unstable of our youth...some of them are really REALLY fucked up. And the most fucked up ones have been in the system for awhile. So, you have a 13 year old who might have seen some shit at school or on the street but is generally innocent and she is thrust into a world where what the staff told her on admission is very different from waht happens when the staff is not around to monitor things.
I know this to be fact because I worked in the system for over 20 years. I have seen it firsthand.
So, she is placed in a foster home where the male member of the household has more of a hard on for her than her original situation. He likes to "tuck her in"..."tucking her in" goes to "rubbing her back and tummy" to...one night it becomes a blow job. As this abuse escalates, so does the misbehavior on her part. She is finally removed from the home and finds herself back at the shelter. There's a new girl at the shelter...she is a "delicate cutter" and goth and cool to our 13 year old. Our cutter is also a veteran of foster care. She says foster care is cool...even if your foster parents are perverts. They get the check, you suck the dick ( or whatever ) and you can do whatever you want in between because the love of the check and the suck of the dick is freedom...if your'e willing to make the trade off.
And so it goes.
But instead of addressing these issues in some meaningful way, they are pandering to the religious right to prevent homosexuals and bisexuals and transexuals from being foster parents because they present a threat to morality. These lifestyles are morally wrong. If you are a foster child in a homosexual, bisexual or transexual home, you could be influenced into becoming one of the above. But what if your'e in a home of heterosexual drug abusing perverts? Or heterosexual neglectful drunks?
An asshole is an asshole, no matter what you use your asshole for.
There are scores of people who are drawn to foster care, and just like the world, some of them are bad. To target gay members of our community is fundamentally wrong, and denies this reality.
I recently visited a lesbian friend of mine, who has two kids. She and her partner are professional people. Her office was littered with pictures of her kids. On trips, at the park, on vacation...candid shots full of smiles and the vibe that says happy family.
Thank god they are the result of artificial insemination. They cannot be taken away from the home they know and love.
Yet.
So in summation, what you have is a system working against itself before the foster parent thing is brought up, much less the gay issue. And while I have to admit I have some trouble wrapping my head around a transexual sucessfully parenting a kid...That's just me.
The essence of what they are trying to convey is if you live with a homosexual you will become one. And to that I say, if you live with a drugged out pedophile you will become one.
Nobody has mentioned that if you live with a kind loving individual ( regardless of "station" ) you will become one.
And to the lege and CPS I say...quit pandering to save your jobs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

ANYBODY GOT A GUESS?

My Dad found this in a cave in France back in the 50's. Any archeaologists out there who might have a clue who made it?


Top view:



Bottom view


It's obviously cast in sand by the pattern on the bottom.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

THE END IS NEAR

And the reason I know this is because of that show "Nashville Star". Now, call me crazy, but I was under the impression Nashville, musically anyway, was the home to all things
country. I'm aware that other kinds of musicians have recorded there, but by and large, it's Minnie Pearl's town and we're just tourists. Grand ol' opry and all that.
The question is this...Why is Brett Micheals ( singer for the hair band Poison ) a judge on Nashville Star? This boogles my mind and makes me sure that the end times are near.
Think about it for a minute,the guy who sang "unskinny Bop" is a judge on a show seeking the next "Nashville Star".
I have never seen the show...But I have seen the commercials, ad nauseum. Lee Ann Rhimes in back light...cut shots of Brett Micheals and the other judges, unflattering clips of hapless contestants hacking on each other. And Brett Micheals.Of Poison.POISON! Are you hearing me? Am I crazy? Did I just miss out that they were actually a country band?
They featured a duet with Brett and Lee Ann doing the Poison classic "Every rose has it's thorn" a couple of weeks back, and now I see that Brett and the finalists are gonna cover
that Poison classic " Nothin' but a good time ". Is a Cinderella cameo next for Nashville Star?
The balance has been broken, prepare yourselves.
Gardening Day
One of the never ending supply of people looking for lawns to mow stopped by our house yesterday evening and knocked on our door, reminding us that we once again had a front yard of weeds grass that needed attention from a lawnmower. We paid them the $15 for the cut and got things spiffed up, but today our neighbor from across the street hollered over to us that our yard now looked like everyone else's in the neighborhood. He sounded disappointed and we realized he was right. For the first time in years, our front yard did look just like every other yard on the street. Now that just won't do. We've always been the odd-balls in the neighborhood with our monthly music jam parties and the front yard with no grass. The jam parties stopped long ago and the grass returned and while the inside of our house has been remodeled in a most unusual style, the front yard is about as bland and boring as they come. I've been working, ever so slowly, on returning the north side of the front yard to flowers rather than weeds grass, but I need to pick up the pace. And now there's the issue of the south side of the yard which before was occupied by two trees and the never ending supply of seedlings which made it look more like some sort of dwarf forest between mowings instead of a lawn. The trees are gone and now that I have full sun in this area my plans were to turn this side of the yard into a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, the amount of work and money required to amend the soil to grow vegetables was way beyond my budget and energy levels. I considered raised beds and I had a couple of frames already that I could use but again, there's the expense of gardening soil to fill up the frames and there was no way I could afford that right now. However, I came up with a plan that will let me make a start. I'm going to use the raised bed frames to define an area that I will use for container gardening. I will buy pots and soil as I can afford it and eventually I will have enough pots of good soil where I can just dump all them into the raised bed area some winter to fill it up for the next spring. Today I started out on this plan by planting a tomato plant and a summer squash plant in a couple of 20" containers. I'm hoping I can get the squash plant to grow up a PVC pipe I put in the middle of the pot. It might not work, but I figured it was worth a shot. Rob's got his own plans for staking the tomato plant, something about a trick he learned from a coworker that grew up as a migrant farm worker. I've got some seeds for some green bean plants that I plan to put in some smaller pots that I have around here somewhere, but I'm going to have to get some more garden soil first. Now I don't really care if we end up with tomatoes or squash, but I'm really hoping for some fresh green beans. It's the only way I like green beans. Fresh green beans rock. Otherwise, I hate them. Some vegetables such as corn or carrots are much better when freshly picked, but I can still tolerate them if they are few days or weeks out of the field. Green beans don't fall in that category and I'm wondering now if maybe peas are they same way. I hate peas. I think they taste like dirt, but I've never had fresh peas. Maybe I would like them. Maybe I'll grow some just to find out.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

THE "GOOD TEST"

I found this link at all places, portalofevil.com. It's called The Good Test and basically you rate your following of
the ten commandments.
I took it...twice. The first time I answered honestly...which basically means that with the exception of murder, I have broken them all repeatedly. ( I forgot about that frat boy I beat with a sock full of wood screws...I don't think he died so that doesn't count, right? ) Then I took it again and responded that I had only lied and failed to honor the sabbath. Two out of ten...not bad right? Wrong.
The quiz results were identical. Turns out, I have angered god either way. If I don't turn my life over to jesus and die in sin, I'm going to hell whether I skipped church every once in a while or murdered an entire town. How about that? Do you think they're trying to scare people? Nahhh...good christians would never do anything like that.

Here's another fun link... The you are a fucking moron cartoons are especially entertaining.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Taxing day
Let it be said that I have filed our taxes on time and we don't owe the government any money. It's been quite a few years since that happened. I had intended on just filing an extension today because Rob wanted to itemize this year and I hadn't quite got everything together. However, I got cut from work really early today at 11:30 AM so I figured I'd go home, gather it all up and do the math. Except I didn't have a car so I had to take the bus. And it took me TWO HOURS to get home by bus on a route that takes 10 minutes to drive at that time of day because the two bus lines that I needed to get home only run every thirty minutes and of course I missed the bus at my stop at work by only a few minutes. Then that bus decided to have a flat on the way and I had to wait at a stop midway on that route for the next bus (another 30 minutes) and then I just missed the transfer bus and had to wait yet another 30 minutes. Only 30 minutes actually riding on a bus, but an hour and a half waiting for the damn things. If I was still in shape I could have walked home faster since it's only five miles which I used to be able to knock out in a little over an hour. Those days are long gone though so I have to bide my time at the bus stop instead of hoofing it now. So I got home at 1:30 PM and I was starving (I usually eat lunch at 11 or 11:30) so I fixed up some lunch and then decided to go outside and admire the first bloom on my day lilies, pulled some weeds and other various tasks. Then I decided to play the Sims2 for a bit since Rob wasn't home and the computer was just sitting there unoccupied. Yes, I was stalling because I really didn't want to do the taxes. But eventually I gathered up all the items I needed from the far corners of the house and did the math. And as I suspected, there was no point in itemizing deductions. Even after inventing a few shady items to claim I still couldn't come up with more than the standard deduction and stretching things is not a good idea when the IRS is already pissed off at you. I even ran the numbers past Turbotax despite Rob's insistence that I go read pisser's post first. I wasn't planning on using Turbotax to file so I wasn't too worried about getting screwed. The big question on my mind was did I need to print out and fill out forms and then drive to the post office for the magic April 15th postmark date or maybe for once I could just Tele-file and be done with it. It turned out that Tele-file was an option so I went for it and promptly descended into phone hell. First problem was that I had a migraine which meant I could hear the conversations going on inside both my both my neighbor's houses, every barking dog in the neighborhood and the train that was still four miles away every bit as well as I could hear our TV, Rob talking to a co-worker on his phone, our dogs barking and the rats running around in our attic. I've had migraines for 20 years and I've gotten pretty good at picking out the one thread of conversation I want to listen to so I managed okay until it came time to start punching in numbers on the cell phone keypad. My itty-bitty phone has itty-bitty buttons and if I punch a six, I'm likely to get a three as well. This didn't make the IRS very happy and I had to call back. That time I armed myself with a pencil to use to punch the itty-bitty buttons. Things went okay until it came time to punch in the information on the W-2s. Rob had two for last year and I had two. That's a lot of number punching, but thanks to my trusty pencil that wasn't a problem. No, the problem was the teeny-weeny print on two of the forms and I didn't have my magnifying glass handy which meant that the IRS automated attendant lost patience with me while I tried to decide if it was an 8 or a 6 and ended the call. Finally on the third try I got it done and at the end of it all was told this was the last year for Tele-file. Well, I won't be shedding any tears over that. I think it would have been easier to fill out the damn forms and drive to the post office.
YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL

With those pins on either end of a flourescent lamp or you'll find out what the voltage is from the ballast to ground. It's 600 volts, by the way,and my name is ground. OUCH.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

SO WHAT? IT'S MY PEROGATIVE

I've been railing away on this god and politics thing for a couple of days now, and today I was thinking about what to write for todays entry and it occured to me. "Self" I said, " You have religious stuff tattooed on your body". Doesn't that make me some kind of hypocrite? Why in the world would someone who professes to be so fucking secular adorn their body with religious iconography? Here's the main one:jesus. This started out with the word suffer, later I added the image of our favorite hippy sporting his crown of thorns, after that I added the devil spreading his evil from above. One of the suggestions for my jesus was to " cover his face with so much blood you can only see the tip of his nose...barely". Obviously, I declined.
The simple explaination for these particular choices is jesus suffered for our sins, and if that's what you guessed it meant, you'd be half right. The flip side of this coin is I thought it would look cool to have the devil throwing the "devil sign" and wearing my earrings over the enduring image of jesus wearing the crown of thorns...his expression crying out "that pesky lucifer, always tempting my flock and listening to Dio".
My other one is a sacred heart on the inside of my right forearm. Again with the catholic iconography. I guess I just can't help it.
But what does it all mean? Nothing. And everything.
I love the idea of the sacred heart...forever burning with a love that cannot be doused, no matter what you do to it. I love the images of Jesus sporting his sacred heart, he's all pointing at it as if to say "check out my heart, it's all pure and burning with a cross sticking out of it...it rocks, I rock...and by the way, I died for your sins"."That's what you have to do to get a heart like this one".
The bottom line is, I identify with this kind of iconography. It's a visual reminder of what it means to be religious, to have faith. Back to the root of it all, before we fucked it all up. And by we, I mean all of us.



Wednesday, April 13, 2005

GOD KICKS WITH BOTH FEET AND KEEPS HIS SHOES CLEAN

This is a lyric from a Therapy? song off of the album "suicide pact: you first". Not a stellar recording, compared to other Therapy? releases. But it is reflective of songs about god and religion by ( what I assume ) are secular writers, or religiously conflicted writers. You got your church hymns and you got your "contemporary christian" stuff. Anybody who has cable has seen the adverts for " songs of inspiration " with the worshipping crowd swaying in the devine power of shitty pop music that has the word of god infused into it. All of them singing along in a trance like state, waiting for the Kool-aid.
I was all prepared to rail on about this and make some juicy allegations regarding Amy Grant, but a comment from yesterdays post kind of derailed that.
The commenter asked "What do you say Jesus Christ is" ? Good question.
Who was this Jesus dude anyway? Lemme see, He had long hair and a beard and wore sandals...Jesus was a hippy! He travelled around espousing love and brotherhood and tolerance...definitely a hippy. He was derided and hated and ultimately betrayed by people that hated hippies. And somewhere along the line, the teachings of this hippy were adopted as gospel ( kind of similar to the canonization of Hendrix as a guitar god, but come on, I can play his riffs, so was he really that fucking great?) and became the default philosophy for everyone in the world.
All kinds of people have all kinds of interpretations of who/what this jesus guy was/is. I remember a guy with long hair and a beard in sandals telling us to love each other who got fucked around by the power system at the time. His philosophies were manipulated and used to the advantage of the powerbase...sound familiar?
Yeah...those guys.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Music to get stoned by and then some
While Rob was busy blogging I decided to take control of the soundtrack in the household. And for some strange reason I picked a bunch of moldy oldies which made me think of smoking pot, something I have not done recreationally for well over 20 years. I did smoke some pot once after I met Rob when I had a really bad migraine and I thought it might prevent a trip to the emergency room (and it worked, by the way.) Anyway, here's the soundtrack:
Free - Fire and Water
Humble Pie - Walk on Gilded Splinters
Trapeze - Seafull
UFO - Love to Love
Uriah Heep - The Wizard
Led Zeppelin - The Wanton Song
Deep Purple - Pictures of Home (played for Rob)
Deep Purple - Lazy (my favorite on this album)
--- Rob's turn at the controls ---
Trapeze - Keeping Time
Trapeze - Way Back to the Bone
Tool - Hooker with a Penis
Tool - Ænima
---my turn and with the introduction of Tool, old stoner rock goes out the window----
Helmet - Exactly What You Wanted
---then Rob pops in one more before he goes to bed--------
Motörhead - Ace of Spades
---I go to play a particular CD but am mystified by the disappearance of the entire stack of CDs beginning with the letter T. I decide to go with a band beginning with the letter R only to discover the stack of Rs are missing as well. Apparently Rob has mixed up all the piles and I decide any further selections will simply be the luck of the draw---
TSOL - Flowers at the Door
Rage Against the Machine - Bullet in the Head
Suicidal Tendancies - Send Me Your Money
System of a Down - Toxicity
Killing Joke - Pandemonium
--- INSERT TWILIGHT ZONE MUSIC HERE ----
Suddenly I develop a craving for cashews. I decide to drive to the nearest convenience store to buy said cashews. Now normally I do my best to never drive anywhere unless absolutely necessary. I work even harder to avoid driving at night. And I never drive after I've had more than two beers even though two beers is no where near the legal limit for my body weight even if I sucked them both down simultaneously. Yet, for some reason tonight I decide it's perfectly okay to drive to the store at 11 PM at night after having a few beers just to buy some cashews because it's so important that I MUST DO IT NOW. Now it's been about a year since I've eaten any cashews so maybe it's some sort of unconscious ritual that I need to eat cashews on April 12th. And I have this nagging feeling that the date of April 12th is significant even though I wasn't really aware of today's date until I was typing this part of the post and looked it up. But what the hell it would have to do with cashews or anything else for that matter is beyond me. Maybe it's nothing more than a flashback of the munchies, but either way, it just goes to show ya that life is really weird at times.
WELL, I ALMOST GOT RELIGION

But the stories that they told
Were too unreal.

And so begins a song from my past, by a band called Paris. It was Bob Welch ( ex Fleetwood Mac ) , Glenn Cornick from Tull and Thom Moon ( I think). Lest you think I am a Fleetwood Mac fan, I am not, decidedly, but I once was. In as much as the hyper sexualized reaction to Stevie Nicks hyper sexualized wood nymph- please fuck me into a coma- I'm spinning- imagine what I could be spinning on big boy-buy our records influenced my appreciation of the music.
But I'm not here tonight to talk about shagging Stevie into a coma...although that would have been fun, with all the cocaine and the ovation guitars.
I'm here to talk about god.

Bob continues:

Well I almost joined the priesthood
But I ran into Don Juan...And dropped the cloth.

This is all from memory. I had this Paris album when it was a album, meaning a 12 inch long player on vinyl...I think it was in 1976. It might have been 1975. At any rate I was 17 or 18 years old, but the lyrics of this particular song have stayed with me and played out in my head over and over again. I tried to search the internet for the lyrics, but they just aren't there. I can find the cover of the record, but no track list,and this is where it gets a bit fuzzy.

Bob continues:

Lord lord
Each day I'm a little less lost
Lord lord

And with that, lets talk about god.
From the age of 12 I have had an adversarial relationship with god and organized religion. As a result I have lived a largely secular life. No, check that. If you asked any religious person about me, they would undoubtedly say I was destined to burn. But I disagree. It is they who will burn.
Religion, as a concept, in my opinion, has been usurped by a variety of groups that have twisted and turned the concepts of christianity to meet their own ends. Catholics have turned a blind eye to the clergy giving the one eye to children of the flock for at least a generation. The sexual abuse of children in the catholic faith has been ignored or pushed aside for years. I ask you, what god would allow the sucking of so many dicks in the name of religion? I hate to be blunt, but that's what it is...clergy smoking the pole of parishioner kids and getting away with it. Is god a homosexual pedophile?
I don't think so.
And then you have Baptists...Why don't baptists make love standing up? They are afraid people will think they are dancing. It's another old joke, I know. But it shows us something.
Certain sectors of the baptist church believe dancing is a sin. DANCING. Certain sectors of the baptist church believe that the handling of snakes is an integral part of the fellowship.
venomous snakes. They dance with them and are bitten by them, and by surviving they prove faith in jesus. Anti-venom be damned. It's faith. Sure, but in rural areas, I'm sure some of these snake handling miscreants die, believing they are bound for heaven. But if the point is avoiding the bite of the fang as a testament to faith, doesn't that make the victims dupes of a sham? A joke? Religion taken to the extreme?
What are you're thoughts about religion?
I want to know.
I'm not near done yet...BTW.
The religion of Bush is the end of this line,but we have a long road to tow before we get there.
Bear with me.
The Ice Cream Truck Cometh
I was sittin' out on the front porch tonight talking to my mom on the cell phone (when you live in a house with metal walls, the great outdoors provides better reception) when an ice cream truck drove by. This is a regular event in our neighborhood which has 3 different ancient vans converted into ice cream trucks as well as two push cart vendors. However, this was a new van and one I had not seen before. So I had to wonder, did one of the regular vendors get a new van or are we now going to have FOUR ice cream trucks and two push-cart vendors assailing my ears every evening with their music and bells? Seriously folks, how much ice cream can any one neighborhood possibly consume? I don't mind the push cart guys so much since they just have bells that go jingle-ling-ling, but the vans play the world's most obnoxious "children's" music amplified to a degree that would make a rock-n-roll band proud. I miss the good old days when we only had one ice cream van in our neighborhood and the music speed varied with the speed of the van. As he sped up, it got faster and when he slowed down it got slower and it was reaaallly sloooow when he was at a complete stop. It was hilarious and we got to laugh at it once in the early afternoon and once in the early evening and that was it. Not the overkill we have now. Back in the day, when the band used to play in the back yard, I was tempted to buy a decibel meter so we could stay legal. Now I wish I had bought it because between the ice cream trucks, the new noisier city buses, power-tool man next door, lawnmowers and leaf-blowers and a dog or two in every backyard we could probably successfully argue that a little band practice barely makes a dent in the overall cacophony.
Something different
I got cut loose early from work today. I've been told this was a commonplace occurrence back in the old days before I got hired, but until now it's been a very rare occurrence for me. It's happened a few times on a Saturday, but hey, no problem. I love to get off early on Saturdays and it's the one day I have a car. Today I had no car, but I was in luck because I just happened to have money for bus fare in my pocket (another rare occurrence.) So I caught the bus to HEB to do the grocery shopping until Rob got off work and could come by and pick me up. Now I hear people in Austin all the time say that the busses are always empty, but I have to wonder just what busses they are talking about. This one, like every other bus I've ridden that goes anywhere near my neighborhood, was almost full and it was standing room only after the next stop. And unfortunately the empty seat that I found was on the front row which gave me a clear view of the driver who kept turning around and talking to a passenger WHILE HE WAS DRIVING! I must admit he was quite good at driving while not looking out the windshield, but it was very unnerving. I did manage to make it to the HEB without ending up in a bus accident and I wandered around picking out something for dinner and gathering other odds and ends that we needed. Now I don't know if this ever happens to you, but there's always one family with a bevy of kids that end up in my way no matter where I go. I'm on the meat aisle and they there are. I buzz over to the other end of the store to pick up some bread and damn if they haven't beat me to it. Double back to the paper plates in the middle of the store and sure enough, there they are again! I suppose the good thing about this delay was that Rob ended up in the parking lot before I had finished checking out and I didn't have to wait outside with my cart alongside all the little old ladies waiting for their cabs to arrive. Since I had the shopping out of the way early we ended up at home before 5 PM which was a nice touch. And I really won't miss the extra $8 or so take home money I would have earned if I'd worked my entire shift. Not a bad twist to the day.

Monday, April 11, 2005

AS LINDSAY BUCKINGHAM SAID IN THAT FLEETWOOD MAC SONG

" I think I'm in trouble".


"I think a walk in faith constantly confronts doubt, as faith becomes more mature. And you constantly confront, you know, questions. My faith is strong."
- Bunnypants
"There is no doubt in my mind there is a living God. And no doubt in my mind that the Lord, Christ, was sent by the Almighty. No doubt in my mind about that."
- Bunnypants, again

For more moronic quotes and religio-nutballery go read the whole article here .

This is the man that's running the country that the cabal would like you to believe is running the country. Religion and faith, in my opinion, are largely private matters.You share your faith with those who share it with you. That's why there are churches and mosques and synagogs. I can deal with the concept of spreading the faith and the message, but when someone tells you they aren't interested, bug off already. It's bad enough to have a variety of these people canvassing the neighborhood and handing out fliers.
But this is different. This is the (lets all chuckle together) "leader of the free world" spouting off about his faith, again. This is about the "government of the free world" gradually infusing the church into the state, right before our very eyes, and we can't close the door or hang up the phone or otherwise tell them to bug off.

And how does Bunnypants "know" these things? "He'll tell you he has "faith". What exactly is that you ask? Well, it's believing. In what? Faith. What's that? Believing". AAAAAGHHH!
See what I mean? Sometimes you might get "the bible tells me it's so", or "the scriptures say". And to that I say, Stephen King says old cars can come alive and kill people, but thatdoesn't make it true. Now, Stephen King is just a writer. What were the people that wrote the bible? They were writers, right? No, they were apostles. What's that? Followers of Jesus and his teachings. OK, but what makes them different from any other writer? Anybody can make shit up and write it down, right? No, the apostles were different. How so?
That's right, you guessed it. They had "faith". Oh, yeah. That. And you explained it so well.

I think the boys in XTC sum it up nicely in their song "Dear God"...

Dear God, hope you got the letter, and...
I pray you can make it better down here.
I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer
but all the people that you made in your image, see them starving on their feet 'cause they don't get enough to eat from God,
I can't believe in you

Dear God, sorry to disturb you, but... I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
and all the people that you made in your image, see them fighting
in the street 'cause they can't make opinions meet about God,
I can't believe in you

Did you make disease, and the diamond blue? Did you make
mankind after we made you? And the devil too!

Dear God, don't know if you noticed, but... your name is on a lot of quotes in this book,
and us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
and all the people that you made in your image still believing that junk is true.
Well I know it ain't, and so do you, dear God,
I can't believe in I don't believe in

I won't believe in heaven and hell. No saints, no sinners, no devil as well. No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
You're always letting us humans down. The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found, and it's the same the whole world 'round.
The hurt I see helps to compound that Father, Son and Holy Ghost is just somebody's unholy hoax,
and if you're up there you'd perceive that my heart's here upon my sleeve.
If there's one thing I don't believe in

it's you....

Dear God.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

THANK GOD HE'S SHOOTING BLANKS OR THE NEXT KING OF ENGLAND WILL BE SPORTING ASIAN FEATURES AND STRUMMING A BANJO

No offense to our engerlish friends, but COME ON.



And that's all I have to say about this...well, actually....
What in god's name was this dumbo eared miscreant thinking when he was tappin' this ugly bitch while he had the fair and lovely D at home? I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.
WEDDING DAY

Well, I'm pleased to say that it went off without a hitch ( except for the one we were all there for that is ). I didn't have a fight with the step-dad ( sorry Nigel ) in fact we even exchanged what could be loosely described as pleasantries with the absence of any eye contact what so ever. My ex ignored us completely, which was ok by me. I thought about approaching her once or twice, but I'm glad I didn't. I'm not trying to be ugly, but she looked old and drawn and frail. She's had a rough go of it these last few years, and according to Kyle, she wasn't exactly thrilled about the wedding.
But enough about the parents already!
They were married at a place called "Ancient Ways"...a spiritual collective out in the country in a town called New Braunfels, about 45 miles from Austin. Brandy's mom is connected to them somehow, and let me tell you, they did the kiddos right. Paul, who did the ceremony, was a very nice guy. He and I and Ann visited for awhile and I got a really good vibe from him. Everybody there had a good vibe actually. The ceremony was nice, with Paul talking about the things that really matter in a marriage; Trust, love, support, kindness. They did this really cool thing with 2 vials, Kyle and Brandy combined them in a goblet and each drank from it.
After, there was lots of food and conversation. Out of our circle Kyle invited Jeb and his wife Chris, Joel and Ashley. Sadly,Ash had already planned to spend the weekend with her family out of town so she didn't make it. Jeb,Chris and Joel made it. I know that meant a lot to Kyle, he loves these people and has known them since he was a boy...9 years old I think. Jeb was very drunk when he arrived, and I was worried that he would do something stupid. But as it turned out, he was a big hit, as was Joel (not as drunk) apparently Pagans are among other things, very tolerant.
So....On to the pictures!

Brandy and Kyle


The wedding party


The blending

I haven't hugged my kid so much in one night in a long time, and not being much in the Ward Cleaver school of fatherly advice, I offered him this when we said goodnight. Be good to each other.
And that's really what it's all about, right?
I wore the clunky black ones BTW for all you fashionistas.


Saturday, April 09, 2005

UNTITLED

You have railed and assailed and impaled
You're own heart to make a point
You have seen more things beautiful
You have seen more things terrible
You have lived a 1000 lifetimes in a fraction of the years
But now you can write
Any song that you want...
THE CLOCK, SHE IS A TICKING...

3 hours and 14 minutes to go. Find and launder black slacks- check. Clean up clunky black shoes- check. Choose between steel toed wing tips, flaming wing tips and aforementioned clunky black shoes- not yet. Find ear rings that fit in my once 00 gauge holes that are now almost closed- check. I don't wear them anymore because I am a
45 year old man, but it's a special occaision, and it will bug my ex father in law to no end. Cut hair ala new recruit-check.
I don't exactly get along with my ex, or anyone in her family, for that matter. I hate her husband and he hates me. There is a slight possibility that the girlfriend I had between my ex and the love of my life will be there. I'm not the least bit anxious about this...yeah...right.
If you'll excuse me, it's time for a shower and a shave.
It's the big day and...
I've got nothing to wear. I'm not a woman who says that while she's got a closet full of clothes. The only thing in my closet are T-shirts that Rob and I both wear and his "going-out" shirts. I don't have any "going-out" shirts. I have one dressy skirt and top outfit, but it appears to be missing the top. I've looked everywhere. I do have another skirt, perfect for this wedding, but it lost it's matching top years ago and I've never found anything to go with it so I headed out to Target yesterday to see if I could find a top. I forgot the only things at Target that fit me are in the men's section and there really wasn't anything there that would go with a dark green, blue and purple gauze skirt. The place was full of rude woman (the kind that just push you out of the way if you are in front of the shoes they want to try on) and their screaming children. I did find a pair of shoes and a shirt that I thought might work (it doesn't), but the whole experience stressed me out so much I came home and proceeded to drink a twelve-pack of beer and vowed never to go shopping for clothes again. However, I DO have to go shopping again since I still have nothing to wear and this time I'm going to attempt...gasp... the mall. This might just cause a psychotic breakdown so if you never hear from me again, you'll know why.

I survived
I just couldn't bring myself to go to the mall so I opted for Mervyn's instead. I ended up with a dress that's just a bit too small from the "women's" section and a skirt and top set that's just a bit too large from the "plus size" section because there is no "in-between" section which has clothing in my size. Both selections look like fat old grandma dresses, but since I AM fat, old and so-to-be a grandma, what the heck. I'm also quite amused by the way the girly floral spring prints clash with my ankle tatoo. Maybe I'll have Rob take a picture and post it here so you can all laugh at me. Well, I'm off to shave my legs and ponder the mystery of why all the hair on my body is blond except the hair on the lower half of my legs and my pubic hair. Hell, even my eyelashes are blond. It's just not fair.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

RAMPING UP

As the wedding approaches, I have noticed that I am short on patience and quicker to anger about little bullshit things. This is all about anxiety. I know that. I'm cool with how things are going, and happy that Kyle and Brandy are getting married. But I am riddled with the nagging details of the parent. I was relegated to cook 30 pounds of lil' smokies, but in conversation with the son tonight, found out that I was free of that task. They did not have the funds for it and opted to remove them from the menu. ( on an aside I asked him how many people he expected, and it was around 40...like I said, fucking potheads.
In our conversation tonight I asked him in rapid fire: Who is the best man? Well...that was a no brainer, it's Allen, his best bud since T ball. Who is the photographer? They are handing out disposable cameras to people...While this is cool, I will blow the dust off my SLR and buy some film. Who is giving Brandy away? No one. Her Dad passed awhile back, and they just planned to walk down the trail together.
I offered to stand in, if they wanted. I think it would be cool to give Brandy away, and be a nice way to consolidate her entry into this end of the family. But, whatever they want, you know? it's about them and their new life together, after all.
God damn! I sound like a fucking hen don't I ?
46 hours and counting...Ramping up.
Ann and I covered the wedding bands, and maybe that's enough. I don't know. I've never had a child of mine marry before. I'm a bit unsettled.
But when Kyle asked if I'd school him and Brandy on shooting a .410, I was a bit relieved. Home protection. I can help keep them safe at least.
46 hours and counting.
Ramping up.
ALTERNATE HELLS

While I regard myself as a spiritual person, I am not a religious one. Having had negative experiences with organized religion on the few attempts I've had occasion to try to get involved...mainly that they were all, hands down, a bunch of hypocrites. I decided along time ago that I could indulge any vice and/or sin to my black little hearts content without the spectre of that god I pretended to believe in ruining it for me with the knowledge of the burning hell that awaits.
It has worked pretty well so far.
But the increasing focus on god and religion in US politics, the governments tampering with our morality in the name of god is really scary. Then the Schiavo thing. Then the pope died. And lets not forget that little war over in Iraq and Afghanistan which could be characterized as a crusade if you think about it that way. Evangelical hootenanny disguised as spreading democracy. At the rate Bush and company are going, we might see "The first church of republican jesus and the democratic way" centers popping up in a couple of years.
The increasing attempts at legislating "morality" here in Texas and across the country is frightening to me. The latest here is a law that would punish high schools for allowing cheerleaders to perform in "sexually suggestive ways" or some such shit. The author of this law says the country is looking to Texas to set the standard. I think the rest of the country is laughing at us. To me this is religio-insanity, and, impossible to enforce in any meaningful non arbitrary way. Example:(my mindset) Pelvic swiveling/thrusts are an integral part of dance, and by coincidence, look an awful lot like intercourse. (religio-nut mindset) It's sex...SEX...SEX!!!! If we don't put a stop to this sex right away all of our cheerleaders will contract aids, get pregnant and simultaneously be victimized by internet pedophile trolls...and get hooked on crack.
It's been a long time since I was in the same circles as cheerleaders ( high school to be exact) but even back then in the stone age, most cheerleaders talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk...sure, there were rumors and the occasional cheerleader that doubled as a slut. But cheerleading itself didn't lead to unabated sin and debauchery. If it did, I would have been there, with bells on.
Anyhoo... This long winded intro brings me to a thought I had today. What if they ( religio-nuts ) are right? Or, what if they finally convince the vast majority of us secular sinner types that they are right ?
Whatever the case, latter or former, we are all going to hell.Except the people currently in power, they are going to heaven. Why heaven? If you can actually reconcile and couple the division of church and state it stands to reason that god can be bought off if the price is right. And then I thought, what exactly is hell?
Or more to the point, what happens when I die? I've thought about this a lot. And I've come up with several alternate versions of hell.
Hell V.1 : You are simply "rebooted" and life starts over exactly like it did the first time, you encounter the same situations and choices. You know how it's going to end since you've been here before, but kind of like the game Riven, you are provided clues that will allow you to alter the course of your life.Of course, V.1 locks up, a lot.
Hell V.2 : There's nothing but fire and brimstone and your world looks like a set off the original Star Trek. It's really fucking hot and people scream all the time, except for sunday. Sunday is BBQ day. But at the end of the day, the screaming begins again. Why? All that fire and brimstone burned the BBQ and you hate hot dogs with that black leathery skin.
Hell V.3 : Baptist hell...is filled with naked women and bottles of booze. The bottles are full of holes, but the women aren't. I know this is an old joke, but when I heard it as a kid the imagery stuck and I wondered how horrible this kind of hell would be. When I got old enough, the thought of not being able to drink or fuck was the embodiment of hell.
Hell V.4 : You get to watch your life unfold from birth to death on endless repeat, seen from the perspective of people that hated you and your family, complete with color commentary.
Hell V.5 : You are reborn as Michael Jackson.
whats your version of hell?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

SPRING IS IN THE AIR

Where I work there are lots of birds and squirrels. Currently, they are chasing each other around engaging in the dance that is spring. The urge to procreate. It's very amusing.
Considering the thousands of people that have milled about every spring for generations, the animals that call campus home are oblivious to humans and carry on like we are part of the natural landscape. And being a keen observer of life on all levels, this thrills me to no end.
There's also a lot of glass doors and windows, and in the case of birds and their sexual proclivities, there's a fair amount of high speed air chases between hilarious ground displays before they do the deed and get down to the business of nest building. Sometimes the chase ends abruptly when they crash into one of the aforementioned windows or doors.
This morning I spied 2 little birds on the entry to the building we're working in. One was prone, face down, dead. the other was sitting directly across, completely stunned. I don't know what kind of birds they were, but they were beautiful. Eyes masked in black around the head, but the eyes were rimmed in white, bright red pin feathers on the edge of the wings and yellow and blue and white pin feathers in the tail. The overall color was a kind of nutmeg brown.They were small, built for speed.
I picked up the dead one and considered the trashcan nearby, but opted to place it in the ground cover instead. I crouched down by the stunned one and waved my hand in front of his face. I say his because I surmised the dead one hit the glass door first and he crashed into her, since in the bird world the boys chase the girls for the most part. I rolled my index finger under him until he climbed onto my finger, and I brought him in for a closer look. He didn't budge. I put him back down and went to work.
When we came out for break almost 2 hours later, he was still there. This time he climbed onto my finger and flapped his wings a bit and then shit on my finger and flew feebly 8 or so feet to take rest in a small tree. At lunch he was in the same spot. At afternoon break he was gone. My journeyman laughed and said maybe I had cured him.
Maybe I did...after all, spring is in the air and I've always had a way with animals. Nah... I don't have that kind of magic. Do I?
Day of rest, sort of
Today was a day off work so I set the alarm for 5:30 AM instead of 4:30 AM. I had intended to get up at 5:30, but there are times when those little snippits of 10 minutes sleep between snooze alarms feel pretty good so I just kept hitting the snooze bar until 6:30 AM when it was time to start poking Rob to get up and get ready for work. I stayed in bed until he left and got up around 7:15 or so. Not sure the exact time since all the clocks in the house are different. I got to read some blogs with my coffee until the sun came up and the pirated wireless internet signal went to shit. Then I ate some breakfast and played The Sims until it was warm enough to go outside and start weeding the former garden. It was a beautiful day and the rains we had last night helped the weeds pull up a bit easier, but still it was slow going as is any physical activity. I was born with Rheumetoid Arthritis and 43 years of it have taken a toll on my body. I've never been able to tolerate any medication for it, and given the recent Vioxx scandal I think that's probably a good thing. Fortunately I was also born with a stubborn streak and that's why you can find me pulling weeds in a garden even though it's extremely uncomfortable. I do know what it's like to be free of pain and stiffness due to a brief stint with cortisone as a young girl. That was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in my life, but it was short-lived. I couldn't tolerate the shots and still have scars from them where they pretty much just ate away the flesh on my hips. As a teenager, I was called "laid-back" by the nicer folks and just "slow" or "lazy" by the not so nice and I flunked gym class repeatedly because my teachers had no clue. The teachers were told about my ailment and I even had notes from my doctor, but they just didn't get it. I was finally able to get the gym credits I needed to graduate from high school thanks to bowling. Yes, my high school had a bowling class and THAT I could do. You throw a bowling ball once or twice and then you get to sit down for a while. And that's exactly how I have to go about life when it comes to physical activity. Do something for a while, then rest. Do it again, then rest. Eventually you get it done. I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if I had not been born with this and I've decided that I wouldn't trade out if given the opportunity. I would never had read the thousands of books I read as a child if I had been able to spend my days running around in physical play all the time. I would not have learned patience and perserverance to this degree. And most importantly, I would not have learned that it's more important to measure myself to my own standards instead of the standards of others. I still have a tendency to set my own standards higher than what is achievable, but I've learned that it's a lot easier to change your own standards than to change those that belong to someone else. And I don't think my lot in life is any harder as a result of this. We all have our own row to hoe and one man's weed is another man's flower.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

THIRTY POUNDS OF LIL' SMOKIES

I got a call from my son last night and he asked me if I would be willing to cook up 30 pounds of lil' smokies for the reception. Let me say that again...THIRTY pounds of lil' smokies.
I said "sure, I can do that". And then it hit me...THIRTY POUNDS of lil' smokies. Fucking pot heads. But the question is...grape jelly & bbq sauce or just plain old mesquite bbq sauce?
The other question is...how do you cook that many smokies? I figured it out. Pan fry 2 pounds at a time until sizzling...that's 15 times people. Boil and simmer sauce in a gigantic pot. I have a gigantic pot. Dump smokies in pot 2 pounds at a time. that's a butt load of lil' smokies...unless you got the munchies. HA!
The things we do for love.
WHAT HAVE I BECOME?

I get up every morning and I get to work on time. We get projects...80 hours here, 24 hours there. We do the work, and in between I am learning a trade. I am learning to be an electrician. There have been fundamental changes in my life since I left the psychic wars, and even more since I joined the ranks of the local 520 of the IBEW. For so many years I was in the business of twisting ( or is it untwisting? ) minds, helping people to relearn what it was to be a "productive" member of "society". So much for that, right? Even at Hines Pool there was a human aspect to it eerily connected to my former craft. I was still dealing with people, and a lot of them were batshit crazy, my employer included. But the rules and the terrain had changed. The reasons for being nice had changed and I no longer had the benefit of a security room I could throw offenders in and lock the door until they agreed to cooperate with me, the living embodiment of "normal" whether they liked it or not. It was still give and take, but it was how much shit they were willing to take and still give us the money...a different kind of business entirely from my days as a social worker, but not really. It was still about money...large sums of money. Parents paid us to make their children right. The transition was difficult, but I was finally able to equate a kid who insisted on cutting herself with a polaris cleaner that insisted on cleaning the same spot of a pool bottom despite how many times I emptied the bag and cleaned out the screen. There's a kind of zen mentality to working with kids and there's one for making that polaris cleaner clean the whole pool. And once you get it down, everyones happy. The kid behaves and the pool is clean. I might not be explaining this very well, so let me clarify it by borrowing from my new trade...This shit doesn't work right, make it right.
And so it seems I am destined to make shit work right. I was very good at untwisting minds, until my own mind got so twisted up from doing it thet I couldn't do it anymore. I was pretty good at the pool nigga thing and especially good at the retail end of it. It was a balancing act, that but for the lack of balance of the owner, I could have danced down that fence to retirement. But I was derailed. And now I find myself in middle age learning a new craft...this shit doesn't work right, make it right. And that's what I try to do. And if you think about it, that's what I've been doing all along.
So I guess I have become myself....again.
Reinvention is redundant if you think about it.

On a lighter, less reflective note...We got a call from our friend Special K last night. It was really cool to connect a voice to someone we've been "bloggin' it" with for almost 2 years. That's right...in a couple of weeks, depthmarker turns 2 years old. Dammit! Anyway, she called late so I had a buzz , I was drunk, ok, I was fucking hammered and in bed when my phone rang and leapt out of bed to answer it. Back up...I forgot to mention that we had exchanged emails earlier regarding a call and I sent my cell #. I thought it might be her and I was right. The details are a bit fuzzy, but I recall a friendly conversation and some slurring on my part. I think I may have asked her to review our CD...several times, cause I'm stupid like that after more than a few screwdrivers.I told a story of armadillo hunting as a child...well, not hunting as much as chasing and pulling. It was cool. And that voice...not at all what I expected, not that I expected anything, but it was a Joplin-like voice...and not Scott.Anyhoo...I'll be looking forward to our next chat...but this time more with the chat and less with the vodka.

Flower in her hair, flowers everywhere...
The gardening has began. Sure, it's a bit of a late start, but I had pretty much given up on the whole idea until I noticed that I had Flowering Tobacco plants sprouting up in the old garden out front. The area is completely covered with grass and weeds that grew in during and after the remodel, but I managed to notice one, then two, then a six or so seedlings and on Sunday I sat down (literally) to begin the process of hand weeding around them. I didn't get very far since it was sunny that day and I forgot to wear a hat so my face sunburned in no time. However, I've got a dozen or so possible plants provided I didn't disturb them too much with my weeding. I cleared another small area tonight thinking I'd plant something else there, but I found more Flowering Tobacco. At this rate, I might have a front yard covered in Flowering Tobacco, but that's okay with me. My goal is a front yard filled with flowers which is a completely unrealistic goal given the Texas heat in the summers combined with my black thumb. But what the heck, I've nothing to lose by trying.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Change is hard
The Daylight Saving Time switch kicked my butt this morning. The dogs were no help when the alarm went off at 4:30 AM, a time formerly known as 3:30 AM. Usually they bounce up to go outside the moment I sit up, but this morning Theo just rolled over, looked at me and pushed in for a closer snuggle to coax me into lingering in bed a bit longer. I have to admit his plan worked and I hit the snooze bar much longer than I should have . I thought that I had some extra time because I set the coffee maker up to produce a pot automatically this morning. Alas, I forgot to put water in the damn thing so there was no hot coffee waiting for me when I did finally drag my ass out of bed. I also didn't have enough time to pack my lunch so I headed over to Wendy's at lunch time and found it the most crowded that I have ever seen it. I guess a lot of other people didn't have time to pack their lunch this morning. The good side of this time change is that I'm working an extra hour each day this week so I can have Saturday off for Kyle's wedding. My shifts end at 5 PM, the hour formerly known at 4 PM so the end of this weeks shifts feel just like last week, an unexpected benefit of this blasted time change. Now if I can just get my shit together enough to get the coffee set up correctly before I go to bed.
GLOVEBOX AS PANDORAS BOX

My son and his lovely bride to be are getting married this saturday, and to make sure the future hippy grandparents to be are both in attendance, Ann is working 4 10 hour shifts so's to be off on the glorious day. I get off work at 4. Normally this isn't a problem when Ann works till 5, but she went shopping on saturday and bought enough food to last til mid week. She didn't make the connection of her planning ahead with the assassination of my "when Ann works til 5 time kill at the grocery store" strategy to avoid sitting in a barren parking lot for at least 45 minutes and sometimes over an hour. To be fair, when we both get off at 4, Ann has to wait for me to get there. Depending on the traffic that's usually between 4:18 and 4:22. Sometimes, Ann gets a late call that runs long and I end up sitting for 20 or 30 minutes even on a 4 day. So it evens out. I'm not bitching. But what is a bored boy to do, sitting in a big barren parking lot with an hour to kill? Masturbation is out because the side of the building facing the rodeo is bristling with cameras. Not placed there to catch a bored masturbating husband waiting for their wife to come, no...wait, get off , oh nevermind, plus there's no tissue.
So what did I do, you ask? From 4:19 to 5 I spun the toggle of a toggle bolt up and down the bolt by thumping it with my index finger ( while this resembles masturbation in some industrial east german way, it was a strength test ) to see how far down or up I could make the toggle go with a single thump ( almost Fruedian if you think about it long enough ). I searched my tool bag for left over peanuts.
I didn't find any. I considered sorting the mess that is my tool bag and thought better of it. I listen to Jeff Ward rail away on a bonus program for school employees in houston...80% of those qualified got a bonus and it broke down like this, ( these bonuses were based on classroom performance and decreasing the drop out rate down there in H-town) Cafe workers got an average of 132.00, Teachers got an average of 434.00, Principles got 5000.00 and "upper administrators" got 20,000. It's a fucking shame shit like this happens, considering the "upper administrators" were undoubtedly responsible for the distribution of these bonuses. During our heyday at that circle of hell known as Hines Pool, Ann and I each got a bonus of 1000 dollars. Ann for being an IT wizard and me for cleaning pools like a, well, a pool cleaner. That was before the fall. The school bonus thing pissed me off and reminded me of the larger problem in this country, which I won't go into right now because you already know what the problem is, and besides, the question remains...did I rub one out or not?
For the record...no, I did not.
But I did open the glove box. I open this glove box every day. Once in the morning to put the detachable face of my CD player in there and get a pack of cigarettes out, once in the afternoon to retrieve the face of my CD player. Now that I think about it, this daily exercise is a joke. If somebody were to break into the rodeo for purposes of liberating my stereo, all they would have to do is open the glovebox and shazaam! One Alpine CD reciever complete with handy carrying case. I guess a false sense of security is better than no sense of security at all. Also in the glove box are my fuzzy dice, relegated there years ago because the constant bobbing and weaving while riding on the rear view mirror drove Ann crazy. They always fall out to the floorboard as if to say "reinstate me to the rearview for I am so much cooler than that chicken foot hanging there now".
The rest of the stuff is old repair reciepts, oil changes, tire changes, etc. In my boredom i thumbed through this pile of secondary record and found a check stub. From Hines Pool. It was Anns. I looked at it. I winced. I found another stub, this one mine. I looked at it. I winced again. I did the math between income then and now. I winced...hard.
I closed the glovebox and thought about those days. The past, when things were flush and there were no worries. No waiting in a parking lot, itching to masturbate, waiting for the wife. And then I thought about it again. The past, I mean. I remembered Ann working 70 plus hours a week, so stressed out from the unpredictability of Andy and the waves of dysfunction that was and is Hines Pool. I remembered trying to read his mood every day with a sense of dread. I remembered the commute I hated so much. I remembered Andys mood and motives and sickness dominating our lives. Sure, the money was good, but it wasn't worth it in the long run. I miss the income. But I cherish the peace of mind.
And then I spun the toggle some more, and smiled to myself when Ann finally emerged from the building.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

POPE STEALS SHIAVOS THUNDER! GOES OUT IN BLAZE OF SEPTIC SHOCK AND HEART FAILURE

And you were there for every agonizing minute, if you bothered to watch any of the cable news channels. Every 15 minutes or so, some guy with a traffic cone on his head would come up to the podium and say "still dying, but serene" or "not dead yet, but still lucid". Not even Jackos "hand jobs and jesus juice" trial could stand up to the papal onslaught. Is it newsworthy? Of course it is. Do we really need to be beaten over the head with it? At the expense of other events, like say, that commission that has a name too long to remember saying, among other things, that the WMD issue in Iraq was in essence bullshit and that the US intelligence "community" is a giant clusterfuck? I think not.
I won't miss the pope ( his popemobile, on the other hand, is an entirely different issue, if it goes to auction on ebay I am so there.) but his passing is obviously significant to a lot of people all around the world. As evidenced by CNN's coverage of every group of catholics in death vigil mode from Tittykittyspittilampur province in India to Armpit City New Jersey. This happened in between the live updates from Vatican City..."Almost dead, but still able to move his pinky in the sign of the cross".
Every self important bigshot from every concieveable area had something nice to say. Even Dick Cheney chimed in...why his head didn't erupt into flames and locusts didn't fly out of his ass, I don't know.
Maybe tomorrow.
He was pope for 27 years, and as Billy points out, was a bit old fashioned, in a 19th century sort of way. So it's time for some new blood. We had our John Paul, how about a Ringo George for a change?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Early to bed, early to rise...
It certainly hasn't made me healthy, wealthy or wise. It took me a while to figure out why this particular job was such a challenge because it isn't the first one I've had with a 7 AM report time. But it IS the first job I've had where I needed to be completely awake and on the ball the moment I clocked in. I'm hoping that as I get more experienced and the majority of the calls start being "routine" that I can start slacking on the whole bright-eyed and bushy-tailed requirement. I tested the waters a bit this week by sleeping in until 5:30 AM, but it was a failed experiment. Yesterday I woke up stupid which probably has more to do with the oak pollen levels than skipping an hour of "wake-up" time, but either way I made more mistakes in one morning than I usually make in a month. Fortuantly they were minor issues and laughed off by the managers, but it was enough to make me set the alarm clock back to 4:30. I suppose 5 months isn't nearly enough time to change a lifetime habit of being a slug in the mornings and maybe if I'm still doing this a year from now I'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. One can hope...