assorted rants, cougardom, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary

2012 Pretty Much Sucked, Here’s Hoping 2013 Sucks Less

obama economy responseIf we could have unloaded this asshat, it would have been a far better year.  But even in spite of Obama, the apocalypse is still pending, so that counts for something.

Then again, if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass when he lands. I should try to be a bit more serene about things I can’t change, but I’m still outraged that anyone as anti-American and incompetent as Obama can hold steal the office of president.  I’m more outraged that he cheated to get there and no one will do anything about all the voter fraud that went on.  May 2013 bring Dick Nixon part deux. Congress needs to grow a pair and impeach Obama with the quickness, but Obama is too pompous and narcissistic and delusional to just resign and leave peacefully.  I know, I can’t stand this guy and the more I see of the damage he’s doing to this country with his Marxist agenda, the more I positively loathe him.

In fairness, this past year was sort of a mixed bag.  The weather was mercurial as it always is in Central Ohio.  I will mention that I’ve never seen as much snow on the ground at one time here in Columbus than what I’m seeing right now.  I’ve seen lots more snow at one time up north in the hinterlands, but I’ve personally not seen more than 6 inches of snow on the ground at one time here.

The White Death arrives- just in time for Target to put out the bathing suits and summer fashions.  Yippee yahoo.  Last year, by January 15, there was a delightful selection of swimwear, shorts, halter tops and other seasonally inappropriate attire throughout the women’s clothing section of Target.  Not a pair of long johns or a parka to be found when it’s 5° outside, but there’s loads of tankini bottoms to be had.  I just think that’s funny.

tankinisHappy New Year!  It’s 5°!  Let’s get our tans started early!

January is, statistically, the coldest month of the year here in beautiful Central Ohio.  Temperatures here are not swimsuit appropriate until at least the middle of May or the beginning of June.  I don’t buy clothes six months in advance.  It makes me wonder just how many people are buying swimsuits in the middle of January.  I can understand if you have an indoor pool or a membership to an indoor pool, or if you vacation in fairer climes during the winter, but aside from that, we poor folks have no reason for swimsuits in January.  That also begs the question: how many people who have indoor pools, or can afford pool memberships or expensive vacations, shop for clothing at Target?   Rich people do go to Target, but only because they need toilet paper and Glade products too.  You can’t buy Angel Soft at Macy’s, or refills for your Glade plug-ins at Nordstrom’s.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Target.  It’s cleaner, and there are more English-speaking people than in WalMart.   The WalMart closest to me is a real life Zombie Apocalypse that I refuse to patronize since spending 20 minutes early one morning trying to find a cashier when I was trying to buy a jug of Pennzoil.

zombie_warnThis place is too scary for pictures, and I am not easily distressed.

Action1

I also hope and pray not to have to visit the ER anytime soon.  That was the worst hospital stay I’d had since the Murphy’s Law Childbirth Experience from Hell.   Even when I was strapped to the bed and damned near made my Final Exit I don’t think anyone called me Mildred or asked about my diarrhea.  And I didn’t have to be bunkmates with a howler monkey either.  The only bright light in that hospital excursion was the two young, hot paramedics and the one nice looking male nurse in the ER, even if he did call me Mildred and ask about my diarrhea.

echocardiogram_2

Contrary to popular opinion, once the hospital staff learned I was NOT Mildred, tests revealed I actually do have a heart, though like the rest of me, it’s not quite normal.

On the bright side, nobody important to me (i.e. personal friends or relatives) died this year which is always a plus.  I actually got a really cool birthday present this year, which means even more considering that people generally forget my birthday.  My granddaughter was born at 11:50 PM on February 25- ten minutes before my birthday.  That was really cool.

sophia pink

Kids do grow fast.  Now she’s 10 months old and running- and into everything.

As far as my own personal household, the only “kids” living at home have four legs and fur.  Against my better judgment (but I couldn’t resist…) we have four cats again.  Jezebel is one of the (formerly) feral cats Jerry trapped behind the body shop.  There were a total of four.  The two grey ones and the black and white one ended up going to the body shop owner’s horse barn to help keep the rodent life in check.  We kept Jezebel because she is all black. Black cats do not fare well in feral settings and they’re not really safe as barn cats either.  They are much safer (as is any cat, truth be told) as strictly indoor cats.  Jezebel is now very much a strictly indoor cat.  Like Isabel, she shows no interest regarding what’s beyond the door.  The week before Halloween when she was trapped, she had to be handled with welding gloves.  Jerry found this out the hard way when she got her mouth on the webbing between his thumb and forefinger and latched on for dear life.

366Whachoo lookin’ at, Willis?

In eight weeks Miss Jezebel has made a dramatic change.  She is shamelessly attention and food-seeking.  She is just as bold as her mentor, Isabel (who is 14 years old and also all black) in her dealings with the dogs.  Jezebel has become a perfect, prissy indoor cat.  I just hope she doesn’t get in heat before her spay appointment March 5.

I hope the coming year is better- personally, nationally, financially, health-wise, etc.  My expectations aren’t that high, so I shouldn’t be too disappointed.

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assorted rants, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

The World’s Still Here (Told You So) and the White Death Returneth

end-of-the-world snake food

The world obviously didn’t end on Friday, December 21, just like it didn’t end on May 11, 2011 or in 2000, or 1988 or 1986 or any of those other dates set by people who desperately look for meaning in the writing of the ancients and/or the scattered patterns of the skies.

It would be easier that way, maybe, but I don’t really want my life any more scheduled than it has to be.  Routine is one thing, but scheduling all activities down to the minute is bullshit.  I can imagine that might be part of the reason why today’s kids are so apeshit.  I mean, most of them have to get up way early to go to the sitter before school, then spend all day at school with every second micromanaged, only to stay after school to play sport “A” and/or do activity “B” which is also micromanaged, and then come home to a late dinner and chores, fall asleep, and repeat the same noise the next day.

daily_schedule_prekinderThis would drive me apeshit as an adult, let alone as a freaking four year old!  I really can’t schedule my whiz times.

There’s not much room for any quiet contemplation in that kind of rat race.  I don’t respond to micromanagement well, and I don’t generally function well as a part of a group.   What if I want to stare at the wall when everyone else is dancing about the room? I would be royally screwed if I would have to adhere to a day care schedule, let along to be a middle school or high school kid today.  Granted, very few if any people share my need for copious quantities of solitude, but I’m sure that after awhile the lack of spontaneity and absence of breathing room would- given time- have to disturb even the most extroverted neurotypical.

It’s not that I’m so averse to having a schedule- as long as it’s mine and not one imposed upon me.  It’s one thing if I set aside time for an activity that I’m interested in doing, and quite another if it’s something someone else schedules for me that I’d rather not be doing.  There are also some things- like bodily functions- that just really don’t occur on a regular schedule, at least not for me.  I take a lot of blood pressure meds, I like my coffee, and I don’t have much bladder capacity.  I have to stay within reasonable proximity to a toilet.

I think that’s why holidays and so forth are so stressful for me- strange toilets.  In all seriousness, there are people I want to see and spend time with, and others I’d really rather avoid.  This Christmas I was pretty fortunate in that I spent most of the day with Steve-o (someone I did want to spend time with) and got to spend most of the day Sunday with my granddaughter (who I also wanted to spend time with) so I’m cool.  I don’t need and I certainly don’t enjoy big formal parties and such.

ballroom gown meAll dressed up, (and this looks itchy to boot) with nowhere to go.

As far as the End of the World, I say let that be a surprise.  There are some things I don’t think I really want to know about in advance.

Central Ohio is positioned in a sort of strange place in relation to weather fronts.  It’s far enough south of the lake that we don’t get the “lake effect snow” that Cleveland and other cities too far north for human habitation experience.  Columbus proper- or at least within the confines of I-270- sits in a bit of a valley.  It rains a lot and it floods easily, but we get far less snow than the hinterlands up north.  There’s a huge difference in snowfall just in going 15-20 miles further north.  Most of the really wicked weather fronts end up either staying north or sort of blowing around us.  So when forecasters say the White Death is coming to Central Ohio, I believe it when I see it.  Far too often we’re supposed to get some huge-ass storm, the mere mention of which sets everyone off raiding the grocery stores on their quests for Velveeta cheese and Marlboros, and instead of White Death of the Apocalypse we get either a shitload of rain (that’s the default for Central Ohio anyway) or a piddly dusting of snow that doesn’t even warrant me putting on boots.

Velveeta-cheese1marlborosRedneck priorities- screw the milk and bread- we need smokes, and Velveeta cheese is good all by itself!

Yesterday we actually had a substantial snow- about 4″ or so within I-270.  Despite the arrival of the White Death, I was quite able to get to work and get home in my nice little Hello Kitty Yaris.  I think the traction control light came on once.

Maybe I’m jaded because the snow situation is very different where I come from, even though it’s only about 50 miles away.  I remember one surprise storm up in the hinterlands all too well.  My sister and I ended up pulling cars out of ditches with her ’68 VW Bug and a tow rope.    She had snow tires on the back of it which came in handy.  I also remember off-roading in snow-covered cornfields with VW Rabbits.  They’re geared low and are fairly high off the ground, so they would go through a lot more than one would think by their size.

1983-volkswagen-rabbit-gti1983- when Reagan was president, the air was dirty but sex was clean, and Steve Perry wore Spandex.  Damn, I should not have sold my ’83 GTI.

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assorted rants, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary, theology

Asperger’s Is Not an Excuse, Actions Still Have Consequences, and Humanity is Still Totally Depraved

signers-drawing

I am glad that some thinking people are starting to understand that keeping people from protecting themselves and their families does nothing to change the fact that killers will kill. Even in the light of the past couple weeks’ worth of senseless shootings- and I freely admit that the existence of evil is something I don’t comprehend- I still believe that the Framers of the Constitution had the right idea when they included:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. “

The Second Amendment has been expounded upon by far greater minds than mine, however, there are two points being made here.  Some more left-leaning interpretations of the Second Amendment take the first part about a well regulated militia and assume that meant that the Framers were talking about the armed forces, National Guard and law enforcement but not about private individuals.  What they are leaving out is a knowledge of 18th century history.  In the 18th century there was really no full-time armed forces, but individuals who would volunteer in time of war (a concept similar to a very rudimentary National Guard) and individuals had to keep their own weaponry in order to be able to be available when the need arose.

the_second_amendment_protects_poster

Fast forward to the 21st century.  Most Americans have no concept of what it would be like to have to defend one’s life and property if a scenario such as the one proposed in the film “Red Dawn” would arise, where there would be war in streets and neighborhoods rather than an abstract concept of soldiers and armies fighting over obscure hills and fields in far-distant lands.  However, many Americans have experienced armed robbery, assault and other crimes of violence that could have been prevented if the victim had been able to defend him/herself.  The Framers had a solution to that: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”  The Framers not only believed so heartily in a strong national defense that it is one of only two responsibilities of the Federal government spelled out in the Constitution, but they also added it to the Bill of Rights- along with the proviso that individuals also have the right to defend their person and property.  In this statement the right to self defense is underscored as a natural right rather than a privilege granted (or withheld) by the whim of the state.

SelfDefense1

I don’t have any problem at all with responsible gun ownership.  The law-abiding person who owns a gun and has had appropriate background checks and safety training is not generally the person you have to worry about- unless you are trying to perpetrate crime.  On the other hand, the unarmed are all potential victims.  All one has to do to be a victim is to be in the wrong place at the right time.

This being said, I can go back to the fundamental argument that guns don’t kill people any more than spoons make people fat.  The conscious decision to aim a firearm and pull the trigger is what kills.  It’s easy to go around screaming “gun control,” until one realizes that the decision of a killer is the root of the lethal mechanism.  It is possible to kill with bare hands, with knives, with poison, with motor vehicles, with a baseball bat.  The possibilities of potential lethal weapons are only limited by a potential killer’s imagination and desperation.  Banning firearms just means killers will find weapons other than guns to kill people with.  There are still murders in the UK and in every other country where strict gun control has been enacted.  The murderous impulse does not lie in an armament of steel, but in the convoluted and dark malice dwelling in a killer’s heart.

heart_core_dark-1680x1050

Dark malice that can lead to murder can surface in any human being alive today if circumstances and opportunity press that individual hard enough.  Evil is that pervasive in this world.  I don’t subscribe to all of Calvinism (my soteriological leanings are more congruent with Molinism) but I agree with 100% of one of the petals of Calvin’s TULIP- the Total Depravity of man.

Human beings, if left to their own devices, are 100% self serving.  I’ve heard every excuse out there for why people kill- video games, bad childhoods, being deprived, being over-indulged, crappy schools, being bullied, being introverted, being mocked, et cetera and so on.  I think a better question, given the total depravity of man, is what keeps everyone from becoming a killer?   Or are we all killers, and the severity of our behavior is simply a matter of degree?  If so, then what is the mechanism of our restraint?  Does it have to do with the wiring of the frontal lobe of the brain, or is it a matter of the will, or a combination of both?  I believe it is entirely possible that the only thing that restrains most from indulging their darker urges is simply the grace and mercy of God.

Even though I believe that there is a God and that He is highly involved in the lives of humanity, I also believe that He expects people to respond to Him. I believe He has expectations for his creation (and maybe this is my repressed Catholic guilt coming out.)  After all, when one reads Scripture we learn that most of humanity’s problems arise from thinking our ways are better than God’s ways.

We don’t have the liberty to simply say, “the Devil made me do it,” if for any other reason than at the end of the day, God holds us accountable for what we do or don’t do.  Psychology would say that humans do what they do to pursue pleasure and avoid pain, but there is a deeper aspect- the aspect of “you own who you are and what you have become.”

Things in life can and do suck, but it’s every person’s responsibility to choose how to react to things that suck.  The question is, do we turn to God and His will or do we let evil win?

evilvsgood

I find it disturbing that society is all too willing to absolve people from individual accountability and blame their abherrent behavior on everything from being bullied as children to being on the autistic spectrum.  As someone who experienced both gratuitous and fierce childhood bullying and is a high-functioning autistic,* (apparently that’s what the medical community is calling Asperger’s Syndrome these days) I am here to tell you that both of those theories may have some credence, but at the end of the day, the decision to move beyond a painful past and to learn to work the wiring is not only possible, but it is also a moral obligation.  Maybe I say this out of a sense of noblesse oblige that I was taught- that those who are given more are held to a higher standard.  I can say that the convoluted and sometimes vexing wiring of Asperger’s or “high functioning autism” or whatever is the current terminology used to categorize the introverted, weird and/or eccentric is not a license to allow the depravity within to overcome.  Video games are no excuse. Technology in general is no excuse.  The laxity of discipline and the pervasive faux feel good PC philosophy being taught in the schools (while dreadful, false, and a contributor to the delinquency factor) is not an excuse either. There is a God, and He has standards and rules, even when it seems like society does not.

I don’t discount the influence of mental illness, and how society so conveniently “mainstreams” the mentally ill, denying that some people do have an inability to control their rage and that some people should be isolated from the greater community for a time to receive mental health treatment.  I do understand what it is to be depressed and near suicidal, but I also understand that there is help available for individuals and families when mental illness becomes overwhelming.  I’m no poster child for mental health, and insanity is downright pervasive in my family tree.  If there is anything that society (as opposed to the individual) can do to help prevent violence it is to identify mental illness and provide ways for those at risk to get help.

insaneI wish this were a joke, but it’s not.  I have ancestors who were crazier than shithouse rats.

I may never know for what purpose God decided to plop my sorry carcass on this earth, but I’m pretty sure that no matter how beat up on I was or how bizarre my wiring, He didn’t intend for me to load up an assault rifle and shoot up a classroom of unarmed, defenseless kids.

Sexy pole dancerI’m pretty sure God never intended me to be a pole dancer, either.  I’m doing good to walk a straight line without tripping over my own feet.

There I go again with that whole morality thing again, and no, I am not talking about the mundane concepts of morality- refraining from fornication,  eschewing the use of swear words, and those sorts of trite formalities, but a deeper morality.

One that says, “There is a God, and He has rules.”

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assorted rants, cougardom, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Crappy Santa, My Awesome Playlists, and Whitey Tighties

santa toiletOk, this is just a little too “festive” for my house.

I wonder what Dr. Freud would have to say about this?  Is Santa a fecalphiliac?  This just screams, “Ho, Ho, Ho, come crap in my mouth!”

While this little toilet decorating set is cute in a sort of creepy way (my grandmother used to always put toilet seat covers and rugs and tank covers on her crapper) I don’t see it making it through Jerry and the Natty Splatters.  Poor Santa’s collar would be yellow in no time (because somebody can’t aim and won’t sit) and I have to have the plunger at the ready more than I would like to formally acknowledge.

I enjoy Christmas decorations, the kitschier, gaudier and tackier the better, but the bathroom is just an area in which the fixtures, let alone the decor, have a hard enough time surviving.  Jerry was raised by wolves, and his bathroom etiquette reflects his upbringing.  It is a rare day that I come home from work and the bathroom sink is not encrusted in face fur clippings and congealed toothpaste spittings.  It’s so much easier to clean the sink before that mess dries, but Jerry does not clean sinks.  I am doing good when he remembers to flush.

pigpenThankfully, though Jerry’s outward leavings might lead one to believe he’s a PigPen, his personal hygiene is impeccable.  He is just too lazy to clean up filth that does not directly touch his own body.

No good playlist is complete without some old, live Journey.  “Still They Ride” from the “Greatest Hits Live” album (1982-3) is pretty awesome.  Anything from the “Greatest Hits Live” album is pretty awesome, including “Mother, Father” and, well just all of it.  I am an incorrigible Journey fan and I admit it.  It’s my not so secret pleasure.  I’m still on the Jethro Tull kick lately too, as well as I’m enjoying The Babys “I’m Falling” and Rod Stewart’s “The First Cut is the Deepest.”

Then I’ll probably switch over to some Metallica (“Battery” and perhaps the “Unforgiven” trilogy) or maybe some Guns-n-Roses.  Or maybe Neal Schon’s “The Calling,” which I’ve been enjoying a lot as of late too.   He may have a creepy girlfriend, but Neal Schon is a hell of a guitar player.  I don’t understand his obsession with tall, anorexic thin creepy blonde chicks, but then he can afford anyone he really wants.  It’s sad, but frumpy old brunette women with the proportions of mutant trolls do not get significant others who buy them Bentleys, or who wine and dine them.  It’s hard to go fishing when you don’t have any bait.   Women like me are doing good to get a cranky old fart who screams about breakfast and the failing elastic in his whitey tighties, and whose only real purpose in life is to generate filth for me to clean up.  Someone has to do it, but it gets tedious, believe that.

All I can say to Jerry in response to the comment regarding failing elastic in the whitey tighties is, that if your balls really are scraping your knee caps, then it’s high time you cart your sorry ass over to Target (because I really loathe department stores anytime during the holidays, and I try to avoid them) and buy yourself a six pack or two of the Hanes whitey tighties you like.  It’s really possible for you to do that.

It is not against the law for men to buy whitey tighties for themselves, and it sure looks a hell of a lot less awkward for a dude to buy these than for me to go through the checkout at Target with a few packs of men’s skivvies.  I wonder how many cashiers have mistaken me for a she-male when I’ve replenished Jerry’s whitey tightie stash.  I mean, the guys at one dealership I worked for did have one of my technicians (granted, the tech I’m referring to is Chinese and he’s maybe 5’6″ and 100# soaking wet) convinced I used to be a man because I have big meaty man hands.  I do have big meaty man hands, even for an Anglo woman, so I can imagine my hands are really huge compared to an Asian woman.  But, I was born female and even had a child in (sort of) the normal way.  No Y chromosome action going on here.

whitey tightieNo, I can’t get him to wear boxers.  Pity.

So I keep on going.

drawing butts

I love sleeping.  I should be doing that, but my insomnia is getting the better of me tonight.

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assorted rants, dogs, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary, theology

Stop Misanglody, Jezebel’s First Road Trip, and Lilo’s Butt Funk

equal rightsBack in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there were a lot of Americans who weren’t terribly fond of the Irish.

Misanglody (N): 1.)The condition of loathing all things white, Anglo-Saxon and/or Protestant.  2.) A rather pervasive and pernicious form of racism prevalent in the United States, generally ignored when directed against traditional white conservatives. 3.) Cracka-hating.

Granted, a lot of the fear generated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries regarding immigration to the U.S. had more to do with religion than country of origin.  Many people in this country were afraid of Catholics (because of their belief in the primacy of the pope and the fact that the Mass was said in Latin rather than in English) and were afraid the Catholics would take over.   This sounds sort of crazy today but before Vatican II, Catholics referred to other Christians (i.e. Protestants and Orthodox) as “heathens.”  Today Catholics have a more beneficent term for Protestants and Orthodox: “separated brethren.”

That’s a little nicer, but as someone who was raised in Catholicism, I will tell you that the Catholics still teach that their goal on this earth is to convert others (including Protestants and Orthodox) to Catholicism.  If you’re a Protestant or Orthodox, according to Catholics, you might be Christian, but you don’t have the Faith in its completeness.  Catholic theology is an interesting study- and as a confessional Lutheran I am not too far removed from it, but I don’t subscribe to it 100% either.  I got lost on the pope thing as well I got lost on the prayers to dead people thing.  To each his or her own, and I know a lot of Catholics that live good Christian lives, but I can’t consider myself to be a Catholic because I don’t subscribe to Catholicism 100%. That’s one of the Catholic Rules, that you agree 100% with their rules.  Which makes me a Protestant by definition. Just sayin’.

indulgencesThis was some of the same stuff Martin Luther had problems with 500 years ago.  I’m not saying all Catholics are party to the corruption, or that Protestants are scandal-free, but it’s still there.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Today most Americans aren’t particularly wicky about either Irish people (though I know a few people who aren’t really fond of Bono) or Catholics, which is a good thing.  I don’t have a problem with Catholics other than I don’t entirely agree with them, and as far as Irish people go I can’t say much, because a good number of my ancestors are English and Scots- just different parts of the same island.

cracker

Anyway, the point is that racism (as well as the myth that freedom of religion means freedom from religion) in this country should be a thing of the past.  It’s not, and it shouldn’t be, acceptable to use the “n” word or other racially derisive terms in public discourse.  But it seems to be perfectly OK to lampoon the “Cracka Nation” with impunity, and when white people say anything about it they get responses such as,

“White people don’t understand racism,”  or worse, “You can’t be racist against whites.”  Really?

I beg to differ, and hence, I bring to light the phenomenon of misanglody.

The popular culture is full of examples of the bumbling, inept WASP male and/or the ditzy WalMart queen WASP female.  Even in advertising, take notice how often the fall guy is a white guy.  To someone who only sees American culture from what they watch on TV, they might leave with the misconception that all white guys are Larry the Cable Guy (no offense to Larry the Cable Guy, but not all white men cut the sleeves off their shirts) and all white women are just like Honey Boo Boo’s mother.

not accurateI have body hair issues but even I don’t have five o’clock shadow like that.  Nor do I have three chins.

I do admit there are aspects of white culture that deserve the derision they get.  One is British cuisine.  Haggis and kidney pie do NOT sound appetizing in any remote fashion.  My ancestors may be Scots, but I can’t bring myself to eat mutton in any form.  The dogs eat mutton because that’s what’s in their dog food, but dogs lick their own butts and eat cat shit any time they get the opportunity to do so.  Just because the dogs eat something doesn’t mean it’s edible for humans.   I really don’t get the idea behind eating kidneys either.  I do eat sushi, (on the rare occasion I can afford good sushi) which might not make too much sense, but I just can’t get beyond the gross factor on haggis or kidneys.  Head cheese is another one I can’t get.  The fun fact about head cheese is that it is not cheese at all.

Haggis-001Do you eat the stomach “casing” too? Ewwwwwww!

So called “white supremacists” deserve the derision they get as well.  Hitler is not a role model.  Obama is not white, but he also is not a role model for the same reason.  Both Hitler and Obama are racists, just against different groups.  Anyone who goes around spouting hate against other races and nationalities- as opposed to pointing out faulty ideology or bad public policy- deserves to be called out for it.  I don’t believe white people are any better than anyone else, but I don’t believe we’re any worse either, unless you are taking into account that most of us can’t dance.

alcoholI couldn’t dance even when I could drink.

On another note, Miss Jezebel went on her first road trip yesterday.  I decided since I had to take Lilo to the vet yesterday to get meds for her re-occuring butt funk (seborrhagic dermatitis) that I would take Jezebel as well because she’s had a slight but lingering bit of the eye crusties and some sneezing.  So Miss Jezebel rode up to the vet’s tucked into my hoodie.  At least I have a closer estimate on her age (12-14 weeks) and have verified her gender.  Jezebel is definitely a girl.  She didn’t seem to mind the road trip at all, and was most compliant even getting eye ointment (most cats loathe this) and taking liquid Amoxicillin.  Usually I really hate giving cats either eye drops or liquids by mouth, because they normally hate it and it’s a good way to get scratched and/or bitten.  She has gotten through two doses of each without much fuss.  Let’s hope it’s that easy for the rest of the 10 days.

366So far, I can even give her meds without resorting to welding gloves again.

Lilo is the easiest creature on the planet to medicate.  She will even take Keflex without protest (getting it down Clara was an adventure, and yes, it does taste nasty) as long as it’s included in a bite of cottage cheese.  The combo of Keflex and Prednisone will clear up her butt funk, but I feel for her.  She does great with oral meds but isn’t so cool with the bath part of the treatment.  Baths were not suggested for Jezebel, which is quite fine with me.

liloallhangoutMost of the time Lilo is mellow.  Except when her butt itches.

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assorted rants, cougardom, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Beyond the Void, Someone to Talk To, and Miscellaneous Tidbits

hell_is_realI know where this sign is.  You can see it on southbound I-71, somewhere in Madison County- between Columbus and Cincinnati.

I don’t like to think about that most terrible place I think of as simply the void, but I was reminded of it in of all places in church this week.  It’s that bone chilling, thought shattering, crushing experience of being everywhere and nowhere and immersed in grinding, mind-blowing pain that is brought on by extreme trauma, whether it be emotional or physical.  Stephen King sort of describes it in his short story, “The Jaunt.”  What I mean by the void is a sort of airless, timeless limbo that is between time and space (if that’s possible to comprehend.)  It’s the moment in which you are hit with unspeakably horrific, life-shattering news and the grief and disbelief and shock hit you like a tidal wave- and worse.

In “The Jaunt,” the entry into the void was a bit different.  A scientist discovered that teleporting things almost instantly across space was possible, but that live animals and humans only made it through “the jaunt” if they were anesthetized.  Live animals came through the process aged and weak and died shortly after arriving at their destination- and the few humans that attempted it came out on the other side certifiably insane.

insane

Maybe King’s story isn’t the best analogy, but it’s the closest reference I can find to those times in which the wind is knocked out of you, you are transported to an airless, breathless, motionless state, and your world falls apart.  It’s infinity in there.  And not in a good way.  It’s what I would imagine to be a tiny sampling of hell- and no I’m not referring to the BMV.  I have to go there soon enough for the dreaded driver’s license mug shot, for which no matter what I do it will turn out positively frightening and should say “Correctional Institute Inmate” on the picture somewhere, because yes, my driver’s license pics have always been That Bad.  Even so, I’d gladly take an hour at the BMV waiting on having a shitty picture taken vs. one millisecond of the void.  Believe that.

mclovin-oldMy driver’s license is valid, but the pic is just as bad.

I don’t like to be reminded of the void or of the times I’ve been there.

Hell_LavaPit1

However, as far as psychological pain goes, I am almost always a delayed reactor.  I can only think of one time that I completely fell apart instantaneously, and that is when I got the news about my four year old niece being killed, which was completely unforeseen.  It seems that in order for me to fall apart I have to be caught off guard.

For years I dealt with- (and at times, still do deal with) post traumatic stress, which is the gift that keeps on giving, those brief illogical terrors that show up unbidden and in the least likely of places for the most bizarre reasons.  One of the most memorable unbidden episodes was back when I was working a really crappy job.  The only thing that kept me from going nuts in that place was that they sent me out to run titles from time to time.  It’s not rocket science but it does give you a lot of time to yourself.  You find the title offices of surrounding counties and turn in the paperwork so people who just bought cars get their titles registered and all that crud.  Most of the time back then, title offices were in the courthouse in whatever county seat so I got to investigate some really cool old 19th century courthouses.  Today public buildings might as well be prisons, but back in the day architects built things not only to last, but for their aesthetic value.  That part of the title running thing was almost fun.

courthouseThis is the courthouse in Marion County.  I hope that the powers that be don’t decide to tear this one down too.

I had to go to Union County, which was only about a half an hour out.  The title office had temporarily been moved to the old high school which was slated for demolition, while the new county building was being built.  So I find my way through the vestibule and follow the arrow upstairs.  The staircases were well-worn and crumbling, but the metal framework beneath them was holding fast.  I had a really strange feeling in that building, as if I were violating someone, or something’s space.  I found the temporary title office, completed the transfers, and as I was leaving, a huge framed glass and gold leaf memorial caught my eye.

world_war_one_memorial059

I don’t have a pic of the Union County memorial that was in that high school, but this memorial displays a similar concept.

It was a memorial of WWI veterans who came from that school.  There were at least fifty names on that memorial, and I believe eight of those names had stars next to them, indicating that they had been killed in action. I wasn’t able to linger there long.  For such a small, rural town to lose that many was sad, but the fact that the memorial was in a high school sort of struck me.  These weren’t old men.  This wasn’t a picture of grinning old men reminiscing over old times at the bar in the VFW.  These were kids just out of high school- boys who either came home jaded and scarred, or never came home at all.   I don’t know how to describe the wave of emptiness and profound grief that washed over me that day, but I had to run back to the car as fast as I could, and for some reason I was overcome with sadness and rage and I don’t know what else.  I wept over strange young men who I had never met, who had experienced terrors beyond anything I could imagine, and to this day I have no idea why.

On a brighter note, I remembered that I haven’t put up any pics of my newest kitty, Jezebel.  Jezebel was one of the feral kittens Jerry trapped back on the shop lot the week before Halloween.  The other three went to the owner of the body shop’s horse barn to keep the vermin away from the horses.  I wasn’t planning on another cat, but Jezebel, well, she’s all black.  All black cats don’t fare well in feral or outdoor settings, so we made her a house cat.  The first week or so she had to be handled with a welding glove (this is sort of normal with feral kittens.)  Now she is very social and fond of human attention, Isabel (and she looks just like a mini-Isabel) and really isn’t fazed by much of anything, including dogs.    The key to socializing cats is getting them before the socialization window more or less closes at 12 weeks.  These kittens were about 6 or 7 weeks when we found them, which is the perfect age to socialize them.  They can eat solid food and live OK without Mommy, so the mortality rate is low, but they can still learn to get along with humans, other cats and dogs.

Jezebel instantly gravitated to Isabel, (who is also all black) which we are grateful for because Miz Izz loves other cats and has always been good at schooling youngsters.  So now I have a 14 week or so old kitten who is going to have to be spayed here in the next few weeks.  But Jezebel is already a really good cat.  No welding gloves are currently required.

366Jezebel- “Mini-Izz”

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary

Good Morning, Mr. Plunger!- Ass Pilots, Weenie Commentators and Wrongful Sympathizers

plungerWhy am I the only one in my house who knows how to use this?

Ah, the lowly plunger.  It may not be my favorite household appliance (or would it be more rightly regarded as a tool, like a can opener, or a kitchen scrubbie?) but when you need, it you need it.  Especially in my house.

I should have known that the plunger would be necessary this morning, as Jerry had a lovely Natty-filled evening last night.  12 Natties or more usually = Natty splatters, but when you have the 12 Natties after half a bucket of chicken and a large pepperoni pizza, well, let’s just say the splatters increase both in bulk and volume.

Jerry is one of those rare individuals who can eat like a Sumo wrestler, drink like a whale, and remain svelte.  How anyone can be 5’10” and 180# in spite of taking in 5,000 or more calories a day, I will never understand. Bastard.

Anyway, just as I am about to beat feet out the door this morning, and I try to do that before Jerry gets out of bed and takes his place on the throne, for obvious reasons.  But I hesitated just long enough to hear the plaintive, whiny, cry of, “It won’t go down!”

overflowThis is the vision that went through my head.  I have encountered- and had to clean up- similar blowouts.

Thankfully the mess was confined to the inside of the toilet bowl.  He didn’t try to flush multiple times, which would have resulted in slightly used Natties, pizza and fried chicken all over the bathroom, which would have been a most unpleasant scenario at 7:30 in the morning, but it was bad enough.  A few strategically placed plunges, and all was well.  I am glad sometimes that I have almost no sense of smell.   I was out the door and in the car.  But it amazes me just how helpless an adult male can be, and that’s even after I’ve figured in that Jerry was raised by wolves.

raisedbywolves1Jerry’s baby picture?

I have said it before but I’m really tired of the ass pilots who go off every time some moron commits a gun crime, saying that private gun ownership should be outlawed.  Guns don’t kill people any more than spoons make people fat.  It’s what a person does with the gun or the spoon that matters.

GunsCartoonHow about a conversation regarding personal accountability?

I understand why all those football fans are pissed at Bob Costas.  First of all, football is the last place for sentient minds to be looking for political commentary.  Second of all, though I’m not a football fan by any stretch, most of the football fans I know are rather conservative in their politics.  These guys, if they don’t understand anything else about the Constitution, they get the 2nd Amendment.  The comments Mr. Costas made about gun control in the middle of a football game were at best ill timed and at worst simple minded.  One part of winning hearts and minds is using the correct forum to speak out.  The other part is having a message that actually makes sense.  Poor Bob did neither.

gun-control1Criminalize guns and then only criminals will have guns.  Gee, that makes sense! (sarcasm alert!)

Maybe I’m just getting old, but it seems as if there are so many misplaced sympathies in this world.  I don’t feel sorry for criminals, even if they had horrible childhoods and were raised by wolves.  I got the living hell beat out of me almost every day growing up.  I grew up poor.  I was lucky on some days to have a decent meal and clothes to wear. That didn’t make me a serial killer or a psychopath.  I’m sorry- but growing up poor, or getting the hell beaten out of you by everyone under the sun is not an excuse for criminal behavior.  Acknowledge that your past wasn’t exactly optimal, and get over it.  Do something productive with your life, even if it means merely refraining from harming others.

public hangingI think there would be a lot less crime if we went back to public hangings.

I am a believer in capital punishment in three instances.  Premeditated murder, rape, and child molestation- but these would have to be crimes committed without a shadow of a doubt, i.e. someone caught in the act, or proven guilty by means of irrefutable evidence.  Hang them high and hang them in plain sight.  I think that swift, public justice, as well as to stop mollycoddling violent offenders would do much to cut the rates of violent crime and thuggery in this country.  I also think way too much money and time and effort is wasted on drug enforcement.  Most of the violent crime out there is related to the drug trade.  Take away the incentive. If drugs became dirt cheap and readily available, then there would be a lot less stealing and killing over them.

CommonSenseIt’s probably a good thing that I don’t run the world.

small blue balls small pink treeEspecially when I decide to put up Christmas decorations.

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