Wednesday, December 31, 2003

What Have I Accomplished

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Home Ownership. I went from being an apartment dweller to Diana On The Block. I learned how to paint my walls ( and the floor and the ceiling and my hair) any color I want, I learned how get the flood waters to recede in the basement (wait it out and keep breathing) , I learned how to turn my lawn mower on and how to keep it on. I learned how to potty train a puppy, I learned that Dish is better then cable, I learned how to pull carpet up. At work I filed around 100 bins of paper and purged 70 boxes of same. Paper in Paper out. I filled dozens of requests, more in since September then all summer. I got things done. I went to Washington D.C all by myself because I wanted to be counted and I wanted to be part of something bigger then myself. And This. I started This . I accomplished The Dianaverse. I had an idea and I did it and I kept doing and I’m going to keep doing it.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?

That there was so much I didn’t get done. That there were so many things I didn’t want to do. That there were so many things I didn’t think of doing. That there were so many things I did badly. That there were so many things I should have done but didn’t. That some of the things I did, I shouldn’t have . That there were so many things I should have done for other people that I didn’t do.

3. What do you hope the New Year brings?

Better things. A New President. The troops home. A new foreign policy. A better economy, more jobs, better jobs. I want smarter people. I want the Right Wing to be discredited. I want the GOPs brown shirts to be brought into the light and smashed. I want the criminals in the administration to be punished. I want more people to do what they talking about doing instead of just talking about what they are going to do. If you truly believe in something you must take it to the streets. Be counted.

Preaching to the choir doesn’t change things or people or the way things get done, if things are going to be changed, things are going to have to change. I want people to stop mouthing their complaints and do something about those complaints. Go to a March, write a letter, call a talk show, and tell an ass hole that they are an ass hole. I want people to stop rewarding bad behavior by ignoring it.

If you are pretending that you are in a better place it doesn’t make where you are a better place. If you are going to high end grocers to buy food not grown by slaves, this does not get the slaves out of the fields, every little bit doesn’t get much done, just making yourself feel better about an issue doesn’t make the issue moot.

I want to live in a world that people do things about what bothers them instead of talking about how bothered they are by it. I want to be one of those people.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

See Above.

5.What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

I was going to go to an Up With Dean! Party until I found out I don’t have New Years Eve day off. I think I’m going to the movies. I might drink a beer.

Have a Safe and Happy New Years! I’ll be back Monday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


I was hoping that TV Guide would have been kind enough to post the winners of their little TV award show thing last night but those low lives are totally disavowing it and I couldn’t find the results online. If I had known I was supposed to watch it to learn that stuff I would have skipped it entirely. I really tried to watch it, George Lopez seems like an okay guy, good speaking voice and he looks like he lost weight. But.

The bit of the show I did watch was a like a televised blow job. They awarded everything! Crap? Got an award, God Awful Tripe? Got an Award, Scenery Chewing On A Massive Scale? Vincent Deonfrio Got An Award.

I had to keep muting it so I missed stuff. I think there was some award for reality TV, so I muted, there was some mention of something else that scared me so I muted. I muted a lot of the part I watched. Damn that TV guide for making it so hard to snark on their awards! And it wasn’t even the official TV Guide Awards, it was just some year end media hand job.

Don’t they think about the hard working bloggers out there that need a new entry every day? That are always looking for a new thing to snark over? They have no respect for the art form. None whatsoever. Legitimate Media Fascists

I mean if you’re going to hand out pretend awards you could at least make a list and post it. They must be very ashamed. The Golden Globes™ post their results and most of them don’t even have Internet access. It’s about respecting your audience.

After looking at the sorry excuse for a TV guide my local paper carries I see that what I watched was officially called TV Guide: Greatest Moments 2003 Wow. There was a huge amount of bad TV Moments in 2003. There was a handful of passable TV Moments, I do not remember enough Greatest Moments anything on TV in 2003. They used two whole hours to show 20 Great Moments. They handed out some hand jobs and I guess swooned over how great TV is. Whatever.

The Dog and Kitty Show

The fam was all here and I was hoping that Dogger would show off all she learned in Puppy School. Her final exam so to speak. What she really learned in Puppy School:

1. To pee on the floor, repeatedly
2. To eat the foam cover on the back yard spigot
3. To turn on the back yard spigot
4. To Yank on her leash
5. To Not Sit on Command
6. To Not Lay Down on Command
7. To Not Stay on Command

Yes, those six weeks in the dark and cold, dodging cars in the pet store parking lot, Dogger successfully learned to do nothing.

Today on our walk?

- She did not yank on her leash
- She sat on Command
- She laid down on Command
- She stayed on Command

She was perfect. Grrrrrr Arrrrrgggghhhhhh.

Oh, and for my perfect dog? The Perfect Toy. It is a plastic handle with a cup at one end. The ball goes into the cup. It makes it so you can throw the ball a long way with out having to touch the ball. It also lets me, who throws like a special girl, really throw the ball hard and far. You throw your arm back, kind of serving a ball, like you would in tennis – with out all the ball touching and actual tennis playing, Dogger didn’t know what hit her. She’s never had to run that far to fetch a ball. She had the best time. The Best Time from The Best Toy. It’s called the Chuck it, Junior. The senior Chuck It would let you throw a ball like a rocket.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Santa Buh By

How was your Christmas? Get want you wanted?

It takes so long to plan for and clean for and shop for and wrap for and wait for and stress for and then its over. There are fewer packages then there was back when we all were little. We want fewer, but more pricey toys now.

Every time I opened something I was so happy to get whatever it was I felt quite satisfied if this was the last box to be opened. I got books, finally! - Santa has forgotten the last few years that I read. I got two nice thick paperbacks to read and it isn’t even vacation, the usual time of year that I have time to read. I’m going to make time for these. I also got, and this made me very happy, not one but two Oar Boats! One is a sun catcher and the other is a scale model. They are awesome. You have to love oar boats.

I think the scale model is going to go on my mantel piece . It may be time to take down the Ode To The Beach that has been there. It’s kind of busy what with the little t-shirt shops and umbrella rentals and souvenir stands. The mini sea gulls tease Kitty to distraction and the little surf casters have “caught” Dogger more times then I can count. The teeny beach walkers in their tinesy bathing suits point and giggle at me every morning when I come out into the living room. It’s time to let them go. Or squish them.

I also got the theme for my upstairs. I was going to go another way, but I got to thinking that a lighter scheme may be better in the long haul and look nicer over all. It is quite possible to be cabin-y but not cave-y and I think my original idea would over time have been closer to cave-y . The upstairs resembles a knotty pine submarine, but it doesn’t have to be a knotty pine cave. If it was any darker and more oppressive up there, there would be bear scat in the corners.

What else? This would be easier if I had put everything under the tree like it was when I was a kid. We kept stuff there until we took the tree down. I was all grown up this year and put everything away. Ooh! I got socks! Many pairs of socks! I was hurting for socks in a big way. I even bought white socks. I haven’t owned a pair of white socks in years and now I have six. Ick. Santa saved me from white sock hell.

Oh, and a bobble hula dog! Way kewl! I also got a cute top and the folks at work will be glad to learn, a new vest and storage system to properly store my Christmas decorations in. All and all, a great haul.

And then there was the day after Christmas.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

I got my shop-vac. No, Santa didn’t bring me a shop vac, the nerve of not meeting my demands! Humph. Had to buy my own shop vac. I also got a new nativity set, those were on my Must Get Must Get Cheap list. I also found a holiday sweater, a couple of very cute miniature chairs to sit on a shelf and look cute, a plastic bin to hold my wrapping paper, next years cards, and a suction cup to hold up my oar boat. Whew. No wonder I was so tired at the end of the day and then we went back the next day too. Damn.

And I got a new Santa for my table. He’s big, much bigger then old Santa. My Mom got me another Santa that looks nice with my other small Santa’s.

All in all a very fabulous holiday. Next Up, New Year’s!

Sunday, December 28, 2003


Saturday, December 27, 2003


Friday, December 26, 2003


Thursday, December 25, 2003

M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

More With the Carols

From Another Rosie Christmas album, credited to the Dixie Chicks, but I haven’t heard their version, as I live in a Clear Channel Gulag and we can’t listen to them. Clear Channel fascists. The version I have heard is by Montgomery Gentry and Charlie Pride. Lifted bodily from Absolute Lyrics.Com.

Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk
At our Christmas party
We were drinkin' champagne punch
And homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn't know what to think of him
'Til he sang Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins
From his second wife MaryNell
Of course he brought his new wife Kaye
Who talks all about AA
Chain smokin' while the stereo plays
Noel, Noel, The first Noel

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on
Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quik-Pak store
We need some ice and an extension cord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rite
A box of tampons and some Marlboro Lights
Hallelujah everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Fran and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can't remember how I'm kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motorhome in
They blew our Christmas lights
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited on our front lawn
He threw the breaker and the lights came on
And we sang Silent Night
Oh Silent Night

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on
Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quik-Pak store
We need some ice and an extension cord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rite
A box of tampons and some Marlboro Lights
Hallelujah everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Carve the turkey turn the ballgame on
Make Bloody Marys cause we all want one
Send somebody to the Stop 'n Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow
A bag of lemons and some Dite Sprite
A box of tampons and some Salem Lights
Hallelujah everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

And just for old times sake,

Adeste Fideles, Laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite ad Bethlehem.
Natum videte, Regem Angelorum.
Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus Dominum.
Cantet nunc Io! Chorus Angelorum,
Cantet nunc aula Caelestium.
Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo.
Venite etc.
Ergo qui natus, Deo hodierno,
Iesu, tibi sit gloria.
Patris Aeterni, verbum caro factum
Venite etc

And with that I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday. I’ll be back after Christmas! Be safe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Snow Globe!!!!
Tick, Tick, Tick

Why am I still here? Okay, I know why I'm still here. I'm getting paid, and it's a work day - but, I have nothing to do. Well, that is a bit of a broad definition of nothing. I have things I could be doing but nothing I want to be doing and the one thing I should be doing isn't really pressing. I could be making copies, but I'm not speaking to the one working copy machine in the building, and I have all ready got a couple of lingering chores done . I shouldn't have been such a curb buster this morning. This sitting around is just asking for makework to get dumped on my head. I want to go home!

But not too soon. I dropped off some film at lunch and told them I would be back this afternoon. I don't have a pressing need for this film but after Christmas even the hour places are going to be "okay, you can pick this up after 2 pm ... Wednesday and the film place is closer to work then it is to home and it would suck to leave out of here early and then just have to come back in this direction in an hour to get my film.

Santa Claus Is Coming To

Land his sleigh on the next radio station that plays that.

If you must play the same damn songs over and over you could at least mix it up a bit. For Instance.

At-ten-de ad te, no-li fle-re
no-li plo-ra-re, aus-cul-ta me;
Santa Claus ve-nit ad ur-bem.
Ta-bu-lam fa-cit
In-spi-cit-que bis;
Sci-tu-rus quis sit
Ma-lus et bo-nus.
Santa Claus ve-nit ad ur-bem.
Te vi-det dor-mi-en-tem,
No-vit vi-gi-lan-tem,
No-vit a-gen-tem-ben(e) et non;
I-gi-tur ne ma-lus sis!
At-ten-de ad te, no-li fle-re
No-li plo-ra-re, aus-cul-ta me,
Santa Claus ve-nit ad ur-bem.

That is the way for Santa To Come To Town.

And if you're going to flog Rudolf, try it like this:

Ru-dol-phus tur-pis re-no
Cla-rum nasum habuit;
Et si illum vidisti;
Tu dixisti ardarsit;
Omnis allius reno
Diu ridebat nomine;
Rudolphum numquam sinebat
Remo ludo ludere.
Tum nubilis dies Christi
Santus venti dix (it),
"Rudolphe naso claro, duces hoc nocte carro."
Tum reno hunc amavit
Laeti clauserant omnes,
"Rudolphe, turpis reno, in tabulis referes.

Much Better. And while you're doing the Latin right Way, take those Merry Gentleman to school.

O viri, este hilares et bono animo,
Salvator Christus est hoc tempore festo,
Ut nos errantes liveret summo periculo,
O rem unam laetissimam, Laetisssimam
O rem unam laetissimam!
De Caelo Pater misit, in terram angelum
Qui quosdam ad postores afferret nuntium!
In Bethleham natum esse ipsius Filium
O rem etc.
Jangle Those Bells
Tinnitus, tinnitus,
Semper tinnitus.
O tautum et gaudium
Dum vemimur in traha! Ha!

All these were lifted bodily from The Latin Song Book

Tomorrow, Christmas Songs I'm not tired of.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Dust Mites and Dead Wasps and Bare Floors Oh My!
(the freaky code? it's Blogger.Com's fault, not mine)

It's time again for me to make lists. There are the things I would like to do before the holiday and my family they get here, the stuff that I want to look as though they have been done and the stuff that I’m just going to have to shove under a bed. I want the house and Dogger and the Kitty to look their best. Some of the things I can do, some I want to do and some I haveto do. Most of them, if I could afford to pay someone else to do for me, and probably do better, I would. I can’t afford to pay anyone to do these and frankly, I don’t think I want strangers to know how big a slob I am, I would have to clean up before I would allow any maid to come here – and even if dealing with slobs is what these people do for a living, I don’t want to end up on some kind of end of year Slob List in Maids Quarterly or How To Clean Up, while Cleaning Up Journal.

I write on the top of a piece of typing paper:

Things to Do

It looked sloppy, so I wrote it again. Still bad, gawd I have bad hand writing. I can’t do it on the machine because my printer doesn’t work anymore. I think about not doing it at all and just watching TV. A few hours later I start again.

Things To Do

1. Clean The House
-The Kitchen
-The Bathrooms
-The Bedrooms
-The Hallway.
2. Clean The Back Yard
- Rake
- Pick up the dog bombs
- Sweep the steps
- Remove the tree limbs

The Clean The House entry is probably the easiest. I would rather wrangle dust bunnies then dog bombs.

I start with the kitchen. I mop. Well, first I sweep, then I vacuum then I mop. Yuck. The mop isn’t even clean. The mop is actually blue and gray instead of brown and black. Wow, It looks nice! after I clean the mop, the floor instead being tan with a matt finish as it has had, is actually an off white with a satin finish. It looks nice. The rest of it is just a matter of spritzing the counters with glass cleaner and using a little elbow grease. I even launder the curtains. Which are not gray after all. The sink is kind of rough, but a little cleanser and another hour in front of the TV makes it all better.

Then on to the bathroom. I have been using the downstairs bathroom as a make up mirror since the toilet got sick and I turned off the water to it. Brosky fixed it for me and I now have two working bathrooms. The bathtub is an odd color. I can’t remember what color it is supposed to be. This makes me watch more TV. An hour later, a little toilet bowl cleaner splashed around the tub reminds me.

The bedrooms get vacuumed and tidied. What I can’t throw into the laundry I put in a drawer. What I can’t wash or put back I hide under the bed. The hallway gets vacuumed and I cage up the largest of the dust gerbils and take them to the Flea Market to sell as pets for apartment dwellers.

The Back Yard. I decided not to rake it as the only thing under the leaves is mud. Mud is not pretty to look at out the windows, the tree limbs I fight Dogger over, but ultimately stack against the fence. The dog bombs, also not pretty, stay under the leaves. I do rake the steps.

Now all I have to do to keep the house clean is check myself into a hotel for the next two days and put the animals into storage for the next few years.

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Saturday, December 20, 2003


Friday, December 19, 2003

...And then They Stopped.
...We have achieved flurries 12: 47 PM.
…Boughs of FridayFive, La,La,La!

1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays?

I enjoy the cold if I can be warm. Cold and mounds of snow are great and seasonal and turns the landscape into a Christmas card, but snow is cold, and wet and turns perfectly good dirt into mud. Snow also doesn’t stay pretty and snowy, it turns into slush and puddles and other cold, nasty, messy things that ruin your shoes and track into your house and mess up your floors. I like snow best when it happens over the weekend and goes away by Sunday night. If it really wants to, it can stick around longer, but not so long that I start to hear how if it stays on the ground for more then a week that it is waiting on more to fall. I didn’t know that until I moved here. I was happy not knowing that – I prefer to think of snow as solid rain that doesn’t stick around because it is expecting friends.

2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect?

I like to have my family around me and if my family has other plans I would like to have friends around me. So far, I’ve been lucky and not had a holiday on my own. I would be pathetic and probably wouldn’t want to be around myself. I want to be warm but its okay if it’s cold outside, because cold seems festive and holidayesque, like something from a movie or a Christmas special. I really like to have a fire in the fire place, but not too as too cold is not fun or festive. If it’s too cold you can’t really get warm, and you can’t go outside to get away from the family.

3. Do you do have any holiday traditions?

I don’t know. I don’t think my family had things that we had to do every year. Maybe we did, but I didn’t think of them as traditions as such. I’m big on cards and getting them out, so I guess that’s a tradition. I always send them I get very excited about putting lights up and I did that even at my apartments and not many other people did that. I also really must go drive around and look at other peoples lights. In Dallas we went to one of the hoity toity old money neighborhoods to go see their displays, they really knew how to decorate for Christmas. It’s easy when you hire a crew and have an unlimited budget.

4 .Do you do anything to help the needy?

When I had a better job, I used to buy toys from a discount store and give them to the police to hand out for a Blue Santa program. I did that for two or three years in a row. Then I got a lesser job and didn’t have the money to help out.

5. What one gift would you like for yourself?

I really want a new stereo for my truck. Oh! I know what I would buy for myself if money was no issue! ( not the question, but anyway) I would buy one of the abandoned oar docks in Marquette and then I would buy one of the many classic oar boats that are heading to be dismantled in India and then I would remodel it so I could live on it and in the remaining 95 percent, I would turn it into a museum to Oar Boats and Oar Boat history and All Star Oar Boats and lots and lots of pictures of Oar Boats, and there would still be space for locals to make stuff and have stores and spaces for classes and whatnot and I would rent kayaks and boats and fishing stuff and show the locals that tourism is good! and can get them out of the mines and into the sunshine. My own oar boat, that would be cool.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Whine, Whine, Whine

Squuuuuueeeeeek, squeeeeeeelllllll, eeeeeeeeeeeee some one is not happy.

someone is in trouble. Someone who is cute and fluffy. Someone bigger then a bread box. Someone who is not Kitty.

The someone in question knows why they are in trouble. I know they know. They know I know. We all know. Squeeeeellllll

Someone didn’t start off their day in trouble. In fact, someone was a very nice not kitty this morning. Very fuzzy, very furry -all the good things

It rained almost all day today. It was warmer at five after six this morning then it was at five after six this evening. So, since it was raining and raining precludes walking, I was planning on getting gas for the car after work, the car is very thirsty and it really wants a drink. But.

It stopped raining. In fact, it was glorious. So, no gas getting, back to walking. I really peeled rubber on what fumes I have left, home since not only was it not raining, it was all sunshiny with the attendant glorious – ness and sunlighty goodness . Very good for walking.

So truck is thirsty and yet I ignore its needs, later I’m going to have to get fleeced at the station at the corner to get enough gas to get me to the real gas station so I can go to work tomorrow. I should mention, its cold. Very cold outside and the gas station is outside. In the cold. And now, in the dark. Brrrrrrr.

For my Dogger.

Dogger, Dogger, Dogger. Tsk. We got for our walk. Actually, we go to the field so she can run off leash and be all doggy. I threw a stick she fetched the stick. All Good. She hasn’t grasped the whole returning the stick thing, but she runs at me with the stick, she doesn’t give it back, and she won’t hand it over it I ask for it, but she does know the stick needs to come back in my direction.

During on of her run pasts with the stick I try to get it away so we don’t burn any more sunlight just running around and not fetching. Running is fun, but it isn’t as interactive as I would like. If I’m going to be out in the cold, I want to have something to do.

So. I want the stick. She wants the stick. She has the teeth so she keeps the stick. Fine, there are other sticks.

We do this every time.

Now, this time. I really want the stick. I want the stick. I am the person, there is no throwing of the stick with out the Person and there are no other sticks. I wanted the stick.

I get the stick. Yay me! Boo! On the disobedient Dogger who barked and carried on and showed her ass all over the field. Thank god we had no witnesses to this. I mean other then the several square miles that had to hear her carrying on. I get the stick, and while I’m walking away from her so I can give it back to her, she’s hoping about and lunging at me. Whatever.

I tell her to get back. About three times. At varying volumes. Blah, blah, blah She ripped the knee of my sweats and now my knee is cold and my pants are ripped. I can’t be too mad, my whole family has clothing with holes thanks to Kitty, but.

Waahhhhhhh! These were my good sweats!

Sqeeeeeeeelllllllllllll, eeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Randomness Redux

I’m watching Charmed reruns. Did the one girl ever do anything but whine about which boyfriend she should stay with? I’ve seen like five or six episodes and that is all the one girl can do is Dan or whathisface white lighter boy? To break up with Dan or not? but whatshisface white lighter boy is so full of power-y goodness, but Dan lurves me! angst! Angst! Scrunch up my nose and look very serious. blah, blah, get a better storylinecakes. I think she may have a job – she may own a club. She’s college age, presumably and she owns a club. Doesn’t serve drinks in one, strip in one or just spend a lot of time in one, she owns one. How? Why?

The other girls so far, one may or may not be a celebrity photographer? The other one goes to school? Does a lot of Tai Bo? Wanders around the house in her slippers. They share a personality.

Another Charmed question. Is the theme song different every episode or am I seeing different seasons? Or do they change whatever cover band does for each episode, like The Simpson’s credits? Is Charmed still on the air? How? Why?

On the episode that I’m watching now the girls have lost their powers. They seem nonplussed. Now they have them back. Again with the nonplussed. No reaction when the powers were wrenched away from them, not as much as a deep sigh when they were reattached. No Emmys™ for these girls? Shocker!

I can’t tell if they are really used to the powers or they just got them. They seem to know a lot about this Witch thing but they didn’t know their grandmother was a Witch? Were they very surprised to find out they had their very own caldrons and pointy hats? I don’t think they are Wicca’s. It doesn’t seem like a deep, spiritual, religious thing to them. It seems like a pair of last years Jimmy Chews. They point at something or wiggle their asses at it, ( in this episode, the Whose The Boss girl walks into the frame and we see her and her white low rise capris from behind, and it is not pretty. She must have pissed off a cameraman) whatever, and things stop, or move or let them read its mind. I think they are the Pointy Hat and Broom Stick school of Witch.

I just figured out who the guest problem of the week is! It’s the same actress who played “Anne” on BTVS and ATS! Yay me! For using up valuable brain space with TV Trivia! Wow, girlfriend needs to tell her agent to get her out of genre hell. She needs to do a Law and Order or a couple hours of 24.

Maybe The WB Network owns her, or maybe she isn’t even real, she could be a computer generative actorbot, like the cast of The Orange County, or whatever that new teen‘plotation soap opera is called. You never heard of those actors for a reason – they aren’t real! They won’t age. It’s very, very good anime. Okay, I think that sentence is kind of like Jumbo Shrimp, but, it’s the truth. Anime.

The Angel reruns are entering a low part of the story line. They had to change the story line to make room for a knocked up actress and whatever they were going to do with the story got nuked. It was dumb to start off with and then they had to change it, so it could be more dumb. Maybe I’ll go back to watching the BBC home improvement shows until they finish these episodes although I may suffer through bad ATS to avoid another round of “brilliant” pelmets, neon kitchen cabinets, and electric blue “Moroccan” style room makeovers. I can’t watch anymore Home Invaders!

Hey, is John Edwards actually Eminem? They look very much alike. John Edwards is Eminem after a shower and in a suit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Dear Santa

With Apologies to Tiffany and her great site Blown Fuse ( edited to fix link and suggest you follow the link to your right under Blogs of Note, Tiffanys site is most note worthy) . I present my letter to Santa.

Um. O/T But first. They are trying to sell some hair rollers called Jelly Rolls? And suggest we get into jelly rolling? Do they not know what jelly role is slang for? Geeze. The culturally literate don’t even try to pretend.


Dear Santa,

Hi. How are you? I am fine. As you know I have been a very good girl this year.

More or less.

So, here is my list. It’s not a list of demands or requests, think of it as suggestions and it certainly doesn’t mean that I expect all these things, or have any expectations of receiving any of them. Look at it as a road map – but not that road map , a totally do-able road map.

First off, I want an automatic cat box that doesn’t also double as a Kitty Disposal, thus scaring Kitty into pissing on my floors or make Kitty think that I don’t trust him to use the box, thus pissing Kitty off , and leading to piss on my floors. I would really like it if you could arrange for a private tutor to teach Kitty to use the toity and flush it. If this is not possible, Kitty deserves something really nice, like a very nice person to come to the house several times a day to clean out his box. For Free. Kitty likes a clean box.

Since we’re talking about Kitty. I would also like it if you could arrange for Kitty to sit down and glue together my chicken vase that he broke last week. He really smashed it and I would like it to be in one piece again, I think this can be done and I think Kitty has the time to do it of not the dexterity. So, better manual dexterity for Kitty.

Now, onto Dogger. I think Dogger could use some more toys. She is very excited about the tree limbs in the backyard that she has been using as toys, I would like her to have real toys. And to stop digging the water feature she has started. So, some big toys, like a jungle gym she can take apart or an obstacle course! That’s what she needs! Something to exercise her mind and her body! Something to make her less bored and more entertained and not entertained in the way she is by my hair squishys, which I also keep finding in the back yard, again, not actually toys. She needs toys that keep her attention, not like the basket ball that scares her and she won’t play with. A toy that won’t scare her and she can’t destroy – like the tree limbs only less like a tree and more like a toy. An attractive toy. Yard Art!! A dog toy cum yard art!

If Dogger could take herself out and clean up after herself that would be really great. Or if that is not a possibility, she could be taught how wear a little grass seed scatter-er to scatter grass seed while she’s out there. A little doggy nap sack thing! she could be Doggy Grass Seed! Maybe she could be made into a Landscaper or at least go to Landscaper school. If she could get to where she would only chew the shrubs into shapes instead of just chewing them and mow the yard, instead of just running it down and instead of inadvertently digging up the irises maybe she could learn how to separate the plants and re-plant them? That would be cool.

I also want a Wet Dry Shop Vac. It doesn’t have to do any tricks or toilet itself or do any yard work, it just has to vac. That would be very nice.


Diana, Dogger and Kitty.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Rainy days and Mondays

It’s Monday again. So soon? I think I got gypped out of at least one day this weekend. Lets see, Saturday? Put more lights up outside, raked the yard, helped Brosky and Alphagal tidy for their party, went to party, Sunday. Slept really late, wrapped gifts or rather, put gifts into gift bags, for the people at work, made out cards, took Dogger for a long walk in the Historical District, where whom ever had the fresh cut garland and wreath and tree route in there made a killing. It looked like Sherwood Forest blew up and settled tastefully to ground there. No colored lights, nativity scenes or blow up Santa’s to be found. Sad, went to Sams, left keys at cash register didn’t realize until all ready found spare set while getting rained on, recovered original set of keys went home, decided after careful consideration, and testing of theory, that Baklava should be considered a main course Yup, looks like the weekend. I think I need another day off.

It was pretty though in the District, in the day light. It looked like they had a very strongly worded suggestion from the home owners association as to what made for appropriate Yule tide decoration in the Historical District. It was so tasteful there was only one plastic flamingo with a wreath around its neck and no blinker lights to be found. I did see a couple of gold spray painted pumpkins left over from Halloween, which at least in my mind is some what questionable taste wise, but they appeared to have been spray painted with very expensive spray paint – very Martha Stewart.

Every house had a real tree inside. You could tell. They were all too full and bushy to be plastic. I guess that’s nice. I had one last year and it was like having a sick house guest for the holidays or another pet. I was glad it was there and everything, but the work it required was kind of a kill joy. I was also afraid it was going to die or set my house on fire. Not a good house guest at all.

My plastic tree has reached an age where it sheds almost as much as a real tree. It doesn’t smell as nice but neither did the real tree after a week or so and the plastic tree doesn’t poke me in the eye or bite me every time I get close to it. Score plastic tree!

The Home Owners Association in the Historical District came by to take pictures of my place as a What Not To Do, they are uncomfortable knowing that something as garish as my place is in the same zip code as their tasteful sprays of evergreen branches and white lights. Tough. My house looks like a cross between a festive Titty bar and a bait and tackle shop the weekend of a big mouth bass fish off. I like it.

On the radio I heard an add for Toys For Ta-Ta’s. If you take a new toy to the advertised Titty Bar you can get the opportunity to hang around with stripper-elves. Wow. Let them see a toy and you get to see Ta –Ta’s. It mention unwrapped toys, does that mean they will supply unwrapped Ta-Ta’s? it seems only fair. Unwrapped toys for unwrapped Ta-Ta’s or since it is a stripper bar maybe they unwrap their own ta-ta’s?

Giggle, I just like typing Ta-Ta’s.

Sunday, December 14, 2003


Saturday, December 13, 2003


Friday, December 12, 2003

Happy Happy! Ya'll I tried to find a box to put it in but none of mine were the right size and there were no gift bags at Poverty Barn I could get it in, so here it is, no wrapping no gift bags, from Dogger, Kitty and Me to you - Merry Holiday!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

It’s raining again

This is Gods way of making me mop my floor. Last spring God wanted me to mop my floor daily. God likes a clean floor.

Thanks to the rain I was able to forgo my usual race home to walk Dogger before it gets dark and went to the store, sometimes at lunch I want to eat lunch. I had an easy out with the rain. Guilt free spontaneity. Darn the luck, can’t walk in the ran!, actually, can walk, won’t.

When I came home after the store I took Dogger out quickly before I fed her. After her dinner I took her out again. This time she looked at me and said Mama may have been a yard dawg and Daddy was a son of a bitch, but they didn’t make no stupid puppies. I ain’t going out there. Phhht.. To get even with me, when I let her back in, she went out of her way to shake herself all over my clean laundry. Her Mama didn’t make no stupid puppies.

The tree at work got decorated today. By a temp. That is so sad. Last year we all put the tree up and played Christmas Carol charades. Things have changed and it is not for the Good.

The tree angst made me finally put the lights up on mine. The temp was very tidy when she put the lights on the tree. Very balanced and even light distribution. She wasn’t just throwing the strands around the back of the tree and hoping for the best. Okay, so the tree at work will be attractive from all angles and be easy to untrim when the time comes, so what. My tree decoration routine is more free form and I look at it as an artistic statement. Damn The Man.

I was supposed to decorate the tree at work. I made the Nominal Boss mad so she let the temp do it. Yesterday the NB was looking through some papers I had on a filing cabinet and she ran across some dated 2001. She accused me of not filing them since 2001. I took a deep cleansing breath and told her that I often get old documents and those had just arrived in my office. People clean out their desks, find things they don’t know what to do with and bring them to me to file. I explained this, She didn’t believe me. Today when I got back after lunch there was a letter dated 1999 on my chair. Ah ha! Vindication! I took the letter to the NB and said “This was on my chair when I came back from lunch. See? 1999.”. She was a bit under impressed. So she gave tree duty to temp girl. Whatever.

Since I was stifled in my work tree trimming, I dug out my office garland out and draped it around my door. I also taped up my one card. One card from the office nitwit. Tomorrow at lunch, Lunch Buddy and I are going to Poverty Barn to look for itty bitty gift bags. I have all my office gifties now and it’s coming down to the Christmas Party and I need to get my act together and get all of that done. I also need to wrap my family’s’ gifts too. I hate wrapping. I suck at it. Everything I wrap looks like I let some passing three year old do it. The paper always winds up crinkled and the folds are bad and I either end up with too much or not enough paper. I would like to give people pretty boxes. I like gift bags, but they are expensive and I have collected boxes all year. I am ever hopeful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Pup and Circumstance

Last day of Puppy school. Sigh. Oh the wistful memories of days gone by.

I remember when Dogger didn’t know how to heel, sit, stay or lay down on command. I remember when she pulled my arm out of socket on our walks. Ahhh. Last weekend, I remember it well.

No, really. She can do those things. She sits, more or less stays and will lay down. She won’t stay down but I now know her legs bend that way. Tonight we really didn’t do anything. The two remaining dogs went through their paces for the trainer. Dogger did so well! She’s great in class and she’ll do anything for the trainer. She will do those things for me but not with an audience. For the trainer, anything. He needs her to set the table? Not a problem! Go to the store and pick up ingredients for tonight’s dinner? Done! For me? she sees another person while we’re walking and she goes into her break dance routine and shows her ass. It’s very embarrassing. The minute. She notices someone noticing her – it’s all over. She grabs her leash and leads me on some sort of dog ball room dance thing that she seems to really get a lot out of. I get dizzy and pissed. And this is always for an audience, very little chance for me to do anything about it. I don’t feel comfortable shrieking at her in public, in my neighborhood that might trigger a 911 call and I don’t want to explain to some K9 cop that my dog won’t behave while his dog is in the car checking his email.

There is the second part of Puppy School, now officially called Obedience School - these dogs aren’t puppies any more. I want to go to these but this class is all on leashes again and Dogger has all ready shown that she will do almost anything on a leash. I need her to do anything when she’s off leash. Eating my hair squishys and shredding paper while on leash is not one of her problems. Ignoring me around the house and behaving like she doesn’t know better is one of her problems. Why can’t she remember or even try to practice her skills when she isn’t on leash? On leash “sit” and she’s down like a rock, ”down” on the leash? The Hilton Sisters don’t go down as fast. It’s maddening. I really don’t want to spend the rest of her life with a house full of toddler gates. Have I mentioned how much I do not love playing Keep Away From Mommy? or Round and Round the Dinner Table?


I also don’t want to send her to some sort of Doggy Concentration camp. I don’t need her to fetch ducks I need her to not eat my hair squishys.

And speaking of the last day of class, I wanted a diploma! I wanted something to hang up next to my Star Of the Month from the seventh grade, a three year old Employee Of The Month from my last job and my diploma. My three accomplishments to date.

I had a place all picked out for it too. I thought that a tasteful ceremony would have been in order. Dogger would have looked stunning in a graduation gown and for her big finish, she could have shredded her diploma. A big doggy Kodak™ moment.

I was really proud of her though. She did do all her tasks both for me and the trainer. She sat, stayed, heeled, laid down and got all focused on me while the trainer watched. The Sheppard’s mother even asked me how I made her do that! I was like “Oh. Its just hard work and repetition and she is a whore for BilJac™, the scent is on my fingers and she’ll follow that scent anywhere”, she looks great when she does it though, makes her looks at like she’s heeling just for the shear joy of doing as she’s told. She would blissfully follow Biljac™ into war.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Awww. It's true. Girls really do develop faster then boys! Kitty was three years old the first time he knocked over my Christmas Tree. Dogger just did it and she's only 17 months!

Oh, Ms. Postman

I also sat down over the weekend and did my Christmas Cards. I am a big sender of cards, correspondingly, I should be a big getter of cards. I am not. I used to be an even less getter of cards but I finally did the math and decided that folks who never sent me cards should probably not be getting cards from me. This took a few years to sink in. I liked those people, those former classmates and co-workers. Every year I was like Hi! Merry Christmas! Remember Me?! apparently not. Sniff.

People should send me cards. I send great cards. I don’t go after Christmas shopping for turtle necks, I’m there for the Christmas Cards. I love going to the higher end department stores and specialty paper boutiques and scoring 85% off boxed cards. In the past I have made my own cards with my own photos, but that got expensive and so now I suck it up and use other peoples images. Sniff and Sigh.

Anyway. I did my cards. I noticed that the formerly expensive cards all said “Happy Holiday” or “Seasons Greetings” and the 40 for $2.99 all said “Merry Christmas”. Do rich people not wish each other Merry Christmas? And its not like these cards had Santa and and Hanukkah Harry so there wasn’t any bi-spiritual theme. Lots of snow, though. I guess snow is bi-spiritual. All the cards feature snow. As if it can’t be Christmas with out snow. As if… as someone who formerly lived in a non-snow zone this always pissed me off. Hello! It’s still Christmas if it’s green outside! We could ride our new bikes right away! Snow. Phhht.

I have to make card value judgments. Would this person appreciate the cool, happening holiday irony card or would the less ironic, but still nice card be good enough? this person gets a left over from last years way cool, happening card, this other person gets less cool but still happening card. Elderly relatives get the Holy-Family-In-The-Manager card regardless. I don’t think the elderly relatives would really get the Dog in Santa suit or Andy Warholesque Christmas Tree card. I mean, they might, but I know that I have other friends who would get it and think it was as cool as I did.

“Less cool” cards, they are all cool cards. I am a Card Snob and there is only so middle of the road I am willing to go. Some of people don’t hear from me at all for the rest of the year and I want what little communication we do have to at least be interesting or at the very least different from the other cards they get from the other people they only talk to once a year. I can’t afford to send everyone gifts, so I send everyone cards.

The folks at work, who for the most part will get selections from one or the other of the $2.99 box O’40 cards. It’s not that I am not close to them, it’s that there are so damn many of them and they don’t really need a Way Cool card from me. They need a card from me and pretty much only if they gave me a card first.

I had to buy the 40 for $2.99 cards because after Christmas last year I got really excited by the cards I bought. So excited I didn’t bother looking at how many I was getting. Not very many was how many I got. I needed more and I will not buy full price cards before Christmas unless I buy them way, way before Christmas. Like August – I’m not sick though , I don’t just arbitrarily buy more cool Christmas cards just to buy more cool Christmas cards. Unless. Unless, they are really, really, really cute. Like an Ikea Christmas card. I didn’t see any when we were there but I bet they make cute cards.

Monday, December 8, 2003

What to my wondering eyes did appear?

Today was “D” Day. Decoration Day in the Dianaverse. The lights went up and the gloves came off – mostly because it was warmer today and its really hard to untangle lights while wearing gloves.

I bought new net lights this year because my old set was looking really faded and spent the year before last , so I got new nets. They say before you decorate your tree you should set it up and then let it just kind of hang out for a day or so before you decorate it, they should also say the same thing about net lights. Those puppies were bound up tighter then the inside of a golf ball and they were not easy to get up. I think if I had got them untangles and laid out flat oh, say three or four days ago, it may have been easier to get them up. I also had to remove approximately 11 blinky lights per net. Why does Blinky have to be the default? Why can’t they come Glowy and then if you want Blinky you can put on the Blinker bulbs and have your Blinky. And why if you have 11 Blinker bulbs installed on the net why do not also have 11 Glowy lights as back up bulbs? So that Me, the consumer doesn’t have to get all electrician and figure out how to make lights from other strands of lights both fit and glow? It’s tough cannibalizing light strands because not all light strands are created equally. Some have more pointyness to their little whatsits that the bulbs go into and some whatsits are more rounded and the Christmas Light industry does not want them to intermarry or for you to be able to not go buy new lights every year. Running Dog Capitalist Light Bigots.

But. You can make the relationship and get those Running Dogs to heel.

You have to pull the individual substitute lamp out of the whatsit on the strand you’re cannibalizing, and make the little metallic hangy things are straight. Do not pull them too hard! they break off and render the lamp useless. Carefully make the metallic hangy things straight, now take the substitute lamp and again, carefully thread the hangy things into the existing whatsit and plug it into the strand. It should work. The substitute lamp may not light, but it will complete the circuit and allow the strand to light and thus not forcing yourself to go out to the grocery store and buy yet another batch of lights.

As always, don’t do electrical surgery on a live piece of electrical anything. Unplug it. And if your lights still don’t work, but new ones, they’re cheap.

Of course after I put all these lights up I decided that I need more, I also need a light up Santa and maybe a Snowman. But tasteful. Nothing garish or blinky. I need Martha Stewart for K-Mart seasonal outdoor decorations ( on sale).

I have at least a couple of more strands of lights still to unpack and I think they are more interesting or at least bigger lights. I can’t remember if I used them last year so I should look for a plastic bag full of wadded up lights or I bought them last year and just need to look for a box. I want a display that won’t require carpentry grade tools ( I have plastic stapler shaped like a shark) or skills ( I can’t even call a plumber with out help) or time ( I have none!)

I’m going to pin my hopes on a band of traveling Christmas Decorating Elves coming to my neighborhood, perhaps to burn some Community Service hours or as a charity thing, Christmas In The ‘Hood, Santa in the Barrio I don’t care. Maybe Winona Ryder could help out, she’s been described as “elfin”.

Sunday, December 7, 2003


Saturday, December 6, 2003


Friday, December 5, 2003

I was just reminded that today marks the first anniversary of the Big Sucky Ice Storm. At exactly 2:15 AM I was woken by a street light flickering then shattering. Then it got dark and almost immediately, very cold. It stayed that way for me at least for four days. I couldn't even go to work to get warm. My tree in the front will never be the same. Right now I am thinking very warm, and happy thoughts about both electricity and above freezing temperatures. I hope it is both warm and light where you are. ( when I think about it, this is the annivesery of it sinking in I was going to
be in the dark indefinitely. The lights went out on Thursday morning.)
Friday Five Again

In honor of all the shopping we have all either all ready done or are about to do, a Friday Five from my friends at The Friday Five.

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not?

I like shopping when I have the money to shop. I like shopping less when I have nothing to spend or when I have to buy something. Nothing kills my shopping buzz like having to buy something, when it gets down to I have to have something for this person. Something. Anything!. and when I have no money? And can’t buy anything even it is really cute and I have been watching it since last February? And its June and it isn’t on sale enough yet for me to afford it? This sucks even more. I also hate shopping when the only things that fit me at the given time make me feel fat or they don’t make me feel or look fat and they are adorable but they cost too much and then I feel even worse – it’s cute! It makes me feel good! But I am too poor and by extension pathetic and I will never be able to afford to look cute again!!. Sometimes its better to not even have my purse with me. I also really have to be in a shopping place. If I’m not in the mood, nothing is going to appeal to me. I will buy for other people when I feel too poor to by for myself. If whatever it was for me, there would be no way but if whatever it is, is a gift, then it’s okay to buy it. I am not directly profiting from the purchase so it’s okay.

( addendum, do you know the fastest way to make water boil? Turn on the damn stove. It boils so much faster when you introduce heat!)

2. What was the last thing you purchased?

A pair of knock off cargo pants from Target. They don’t have all the bells and whistles that the cargo pants had a just about every store at the mall, but they look like the cargo pants I saw just about every store at the mall and they cost half the price. I was also Santa yesterday.

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?

If I have a mission. If I know what I want, I go online. It’s much easier then going to a store. I can shop around, get prices and get it paid for it in fifteen minutes. I couldn’t do the leg work in real life that fast. I miss out on the social aspects of shopping, but I also miss out on the taxes and the parking and the snotty shop girls. I can hit numerous stores, check out prices and find the right deal. I can’t try it on or see how the different makers size the same item. So I normally don’t buy clothing. I do books, CDs, DVDs – pretty much anything that doesn’t come in sizes. I have bought clothing, but only stuff I knew was going to fit or as a gift.

(addendum. What goes well on spaghetti? Butter! What did I have to throw out when I got back from Thanksgiving? DAMN.)

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?

Allowance? What is this allowance you speak of? You mean that money some parents paid their children to breath? we had to work to get money. Pftt on allowance.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?

I bought a gift that I right after it arrived I thought I was going to have problems with and I was beginning to think I had just bought myself a whatever and I was going to have to go buy another whatever to get the right whatever, but then I found what I needed for the whatever and it’s all right now.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Winter Wonderland

I was listening to one of those loud mouth radio shock jocks on the way to dog school the other night. My mistake. Anyway. The DJ said the most obscene thing. I was waiting for the loser to be dragged from the air. IO was rooting for the FCC to fine the station into bankruptcy and then really zap them.

I figured this was a one time thing, but then on the way to work this morning some drive time “team” said the same thing but with any even more offensive modifier.. I was shocked. The things you can say on the air today.

I can curse like a sailor but there are some things I won’t use in mixed company. I mean really.

Well, to be honest the first time I heard it was on the 24/7 Xmas Music station and the second time was on a sugar sweet all hugs all smooches family friendly morning show.

The shocking, obscene thing they both said?

Snow and its traveling companion, Flurries. I hate those words. It wasn’t so bad back at home. Snow didn’t stick to the ground, and when it did bring enough of its little friends with it and it piled up enough to enough to stick, it melted in hours. Snow was a pretty thing. A temporary pretty thing. It would hang on long enough to gets its picture taken and maybe make a snow balls , perhaps a couple of squatty snowmen. It was cold, it was pretty and it was gone. Like a winter festival.

Here the damn thing sticks around a like a Cats Revival. It won’t go away! It just keeps going and going and going. Snow get ugly if it over stays its welcome. It gets dry and hits you in the face. Nasty stuff.

The first year I lived here it snowed. It snowed a lot. 14 inches! They claimed this was a once in a generation thing and I should be sure to take pictures - ”It never does this”! They lied. It does this every damn year! It doesn’t always dump 14 inches of snow, granted. Some years it just coats everything with several inches of ice. Lovely. I loved sitting in the dark while watching in the glow of my flashlight as Mr. Kitty did a pantomime suggesting we cut Dogger, then merely Pupper, open and use her body for warmth like Luke did in Star Wars the Second Movie.

After that I packed up the whole menagerie and we went and camped out at Brosky and Alphagals for four days and approximately 2470 increasingly shrill phone calls, until they finally got my power working again.

You would think this was a region that never experienced a weather related power crisis. Oh, wait, It Is! Over and frickin’ over Year after year. Still can’t make the power stay on, still can’t make it go back on after it has gone out. Every Freakin’ year.

So. Not really looking forward to these flurries. It can’t be good. It never is.

I mentioned Dog School. This week we worked on Down. The Shepard went down like a sub. Dogger went down like flaming dirigible. Only with more screaming.

Sigh. On our abbreviated walk today ( Dogger poked her nose outside and gave me a look) we worked on Down as well. We worked on her spinning around in circles while I tried to force her down. She now will crouch while I repeatedly grab a hold of her collar and tug while chanting Down!Down!Down. She does get down. It’s with her bad self, but she is down and its better then class when the trainer had to all but call in a calf roper to get her down. It will get better. We only have two more classes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

By Nature or By Design?

I was reading the paper the other morning and on the front page was a story about a few of the thousands of out of work mill workers this state is home to.

Unemployed mill workers are not uncommon, common as #3 stickers on the back of Pick Ups and mullets, well , as mullets in Pick Ups. What was interesting, at least to me was that many these people could not read above a grade school level. These people didn't leave school till they were in their teens, well after they should have mastered reading and some what advanced maths. You think we just started having problems with illiterate high school drop outs?

Suddenly jobless, 45 and functionally illiterate.

Those mill jobs were according to the story "forever jobs". The mills closed, and these people can't read well enough to fill out an application at McDonald's. How did they get through the last 20 years at the mill? How did the mill communicate with them? Did they just have some old boy wander around the floor and act like a Town Crier? Did they just learn to rely on the few that did read to let them know what was going on?

That's a lot of trust. A mean spirited person could run roughshod over those people. How easy it would be to take advantage of those people?, I bet the mills took advantage of that. I bet a lot of business took advantage of that.

Or was that only the people who were all ready going to drop out, not college bound go to those jobs? Quit school early because it was all ready too much, there was all ready too much to do to stay in school, Ill parents, needy siblings easy money at the mill. Don't need no diploma at the mill. Get your task down, spend the next 40 years doing that task, do what you're told. Retire, watch TV, die.

I guess if you know how to cook, you don't always need to be able to read a recipe so you can feed yourself and your family. Kiddy books are easy to read so you can to your kids, maybe they won't have to drop out and work at the mill. But what happens if working at the mill isn't choice X? It could be for the best. A "forever" job after all. Safety, security , salvation, slavery?

How long can you cover not reading? Or not reading very well? everything is reading. Maps, menus, street signs, Birthday Cards, Announcements, Obits.

They mentioned one man who was having to learn write! They all had limited math skills. Why didn't the mills offer classes? Improve their workers! Make their lives easier. Make them better. make them more likely to find better jobs! Yeah.

They promise to take care of these people and then they close up shop and send them out on the street. What can these people do in today's work force? How many 45 year old fry cooks does one town need? Grocery baggers?, yard men or God Forbid, CNAs?

The local community colleges hired up a lot of new instructors and found more space for all the incoming students. Job training, tech classes, skills workshops. They can't take the tech classes, the job training and the workshops if they can't read the material.

I just can't understand. Where was the rest of the society? Didn't any one say anything? Did't anyone notice? Didn'tt any one up in the office say "Hey, ya know what, I think some of these people don't read too well. I think we should do something!" anything! How can this just now be news. The mills were full of these people and no one noticed? even if it was only one in fifty with literacy problems. Thousands were put out of work.

Any is too many.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Won’t get Fooled Again

See, it all started because my lunch buddy wussed out on lunch and left me by myself. It was not my fault. If she hadn’t felt it was more important for her to get her hair cut, or get her dog monogrammed or refinance her boat loan or whatever lame reason she came up with, it wouldn’t have happened. It’s on her.

It started off very well. I remembered I needed Dogger and Kitty food and I have a Sams™ card...

I get the Dogger food. 52 pounds of Dogger food and the considerably lighter Kitty food and I’m maneuvering the cart around and mulling over the statistical chances of the Drug Dealers customers being parked in front of my drive way every time I bring home Dogger food, and carrying on a little inner dialogue with myself

I need that! That is sooo cute! And it’s cheap!
No. You need that like another hole in the head. It is not that cute and since you don’t need it, it really isn’t cheap.

I know who wants this! This is perfect! And I get two of them! Kewl!
No, no they don’t. That would be tacky. And they do not want one they certainly do not want two. Move on.

That I do need. I have needed one of those.

Then I heard it. The magic word. FREE. I am the cheapest woman on the planet. The only thing better then “Free” is a Kohl’s sale. I wasn’t at Kohl’s so “free’ was going to be as good as it was going to get. They made the announcement again.

Attention Members! There is a FREE knife available for all Members in the building. Go to the Red Table to the Right of the building and pick up your FREE knife

I didn’t even think about the consequences of free knives in the hands of all the members. I just heard the FREE part. I was intrigued.

Intrigued in a “Where is the red area and what side of this cavern is the right side?! Gimme my FREE knife!” way, so I made my way, coolly to where I sussed out was the Right side. I tried to be chill about this. I didn’t want to attract attention of the other Members who might have been to into their own inner dialogues to process the FREE knife message. I skulked around the Khristian Self Help book section. So far, so good. I was the only person paying attention! But at the same time. I am not seeing FREE knives. There isn’t even anyone Official and FREE knife-y warming up around the Red Area. I had to look at a lot of Khristian Self Help titles before I started to see a group forming about a dead eyed guy standing on a box in the Red Area.

At Last! FREE knives!

Somewhere along the line it has been explained to me that There is no free lunch. I know that. This was a FREE knife.

I join the crowd. All ready the guy has started his spiel. I bet he starts this spiel in his sleep. I bet his wife owns many, many FREE knives. He goes on to tell us in order to get our FREE knife we are going to have to hear his presentation. Okay , no free lunch. Listen to his deal, pocket the knife and get out.

To make a long story shorter. I got my FREE knife and several other knives and a Euro Chopper. Not free. Not even kinda. Me? Stoooopid, Them? Richer.

And the Euro Chopper? Not Euro and not a Chopper. A masher maybe, a Chopper? Not even in my dreams. If someone offers you a FREE knife? Keep in mind, the whole There – Is – No – Free – Lunch thing, There – Are - No - FREE - Knives either.

Monday, December 1, 2003

Welcome Back

Well, Well, Well . How was your Thanksgiving? Ate too much huh? Yeah. Right there with you. Shop too much? I did some shopping at a Super Wal-Mart in a town with out a mall. I have been to hell.

Darwin was wrong. I saw people at that place that had no business having developed beyond a zygote and yet there they were trying to decide what other NASCAR™ team ornaments they wanted to add to the tree this year – that tree having gone up the day after Halloween - after they agreed on tasteful #3 Ball Ornaments and a handful of Jeff Gordon™ figurines, and Mom bought the nieces and girl cousins Official NASCAR™ Feminine Hygiene Christmas Collectors tins. They waddled off to stare at the Life Size Caroling Manager Set with Improved Red White N’ Blue Neon Baby Jesus for 2003 and wondered if they shouldn’t just put it on lay away now so they can have it for next year – this years Precise Moments Life Size Spinning Manager Set With Strobe Light Baby Jesus seems so last year.

While everyone else is perusing the Manger Sets Mom heads over to see what they have in the fabrics section to see what they have for Patriotic Red, Green, White and Blue and Camo prints this year and to get enough to make the kids matching outfits to wear for the Christmas Pageant at Church this years pageant theme “Our God is an American and a Khristian”

Dogger and Kitty had a good time. Kitty would have enjoyed himself more if he had had access to “his” bed. Kitty doesn’t dig having to share a life raft with me if he could have his own double bed. He did not understand why this was not being taking care of. He didn’t calm down until he did finally get “his” bed back. He celebrated by not leaving it for two days.

Dogger was um, high strung for the first couple of days. She would not calm down. In a previous life I think she was a very good Jack In The Box and her reward was to come back as a house pet. She! Bounced! Up! And! Down! in her box the whole time. It made her so pleasant to be around. She too, calmed down when the other dogs left and she had the garage to herself. She was playing solitaire when I went down to take her out one time. And another time when I opened her box she didn’t run me over like a large Furry Road Runner, she just put her GameDog™ down, looked around for her coat and asked if we could find a mail box so she could get her cards in the mail.

I even went Kayaking. On the open water. In the dark. I didn’t get eaten by random fresh water sharks and the boatlet didn’t get punctured by any Pinnacles of Doom or submerged logs or uncharted shoals and I didn’t drown . I had a good time.

On the way down I was fortunate that we convoy-ed. Dog and Kitty didn’t have to share airspace or seat rights. It was very nice. On the way back however, Dog and Kitty did have to share airspace and seat rights. It went well, really well – like are these my pets? well. Kitty was in his box and Dogger went between sleeping with her head in my lap and sitting up with her tongue out the window. There was limited hissing and no barking. It can be done! It means I can do it again! Yay!

I had a really great time and I hope you guys did too.