Thursday, June 30, 2005

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

There's a new program on the FX (that's FX not FOX) channel titled appropriately, 30 Days . The idea is the brainchild of Morgan Spurlock,a shaggy documentarian. His biker mustache and hound-dog demeanor play down his indie-film credentials: he could easily have turned into last year's pet for Sundance snobs. But Mr. Spurlock still displays middle-brow appetites and he infuses the weekly civics lessons of "30 Days" with his own brand of goodwill.

The first three episodes put Average Joes through role-playing exercises, with Mr. Spurlock participating as narrator or, sometimes, guinea pig. That was his role in ''Super Size Me,'' when he ate a month of unhappy meals in an experimental fast-food-only diet. During that time his sunny demeanor turned overcast and his body turned into something subtly but profoundly different: pallid, sweaty, lethargic.

Last nights episode took an average Joe and transported him from the hollers of West Virginia to the mosques of Dearborn, Mich. This seemingly devout Christian confronts his bigotry by taking a crash course in the Koran, and then sorts through all-too-common misimpressions about Islam in the age of antiterrorist fervor. The visitor is rigid and fearful, until eventually ignorance gives way to respect.
I started watching more out of boredom than interest, but after the first 10 minutes I found myself watching adamantly to see what would happen next. The insights are astounding and disturbing.
I was surprised, by how normal the Muslims were. Their homes, their lives, even their religion. They are a devout people but very human, and not at all the way the media makes them appear.
If you get the opportunity you really should check this one out. Who knows we might actually learn that Muslims much like Christians are just ordinary people. Those who would harm others are a small radical sect, just like our own pseudo-christians. We might just find out it's harder to judge people once you get to know what they're really like. Which could lead to, oh who know, learning to live with our fellow man in peace and harmony.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday's Wonder's

Well, as it turns out, no visit to the computer doctor was necessary. The purchase of a nifty new mouse fixed the problem. I love it when I get a break.

Has anyone else been having any problems with Haloscan? I can't get comments to post and while I may have five or six comments the number "1" is all that shows up. Bleh!

How about that speech by George W.? You didn't watch? Don't feel bad, neither did I. Instead I watched my Gilmore Girls . I so wanna be Lorelai. She's such a cool Mom. A hot one too! And is that Luke a sexy devil or what? In reality I'm more like Sookie. In fact I'm a whole lot more like Sookie. Except for the whole cooking thing. I wish Podunt were a lot more like Stars Hallow too. Maybe it wouldn't be so boring.
Well, it's hump day. So maybe I should go hump something. Later duckies!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

While I'm away....

Here's a little something to entertain you while I'm away.

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're 30 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and then you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met but, somehow, now it's my fault."

Excuse me while I take care of a mouse....

Monday, June 27, 2005

Manic Monday

Just a quick note to say I'm having computer problems AGAIN. Either my mouse is bad or the driver that operates the mouse has gone out. So it's off to the doctor for Mr Computer. AGAIN!
I'll see ya'll when I get it fixed!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sermon on the Mount Blog

Friday night I watched a small part of Billy Graham's sermon on televison. I've long admired Rev. Graham. I believe he is one of the great ministers of our time. By 'our' I mean those of us from the Baby Boomer Generation . He rises far above the ilk of the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (let's not forget Jimmy Swaggert). They say this is his final crusade. One only need to look at Rev Graham and his failing health to see this is most likely true. Soon this great man will join his Lord and claim his final rewards.
Rev. Graham's message has never been one of hate, judgement, and damnation. His sermons almost always tell of God's great love for his children. Of Jesus's willingness to sacrifice his own life out of his love for his human brothers and sisters. I particulary love their signature closing hymn. Just As I Am . I can't hear that song without feeling tears well up in my eyes. It touches me the way no other song ever has.

Just as I am without one plea
but that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee
oh lamb of God I come I come

Just as I am and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot
To Thee who's blood can cleanse each spo
t oh lamb of God I come I come

Just as I am Lord Thou tossed about
with many a conflict and many a doubt
Fightings fears within and without
oh lamb of God I come I come

Just as I am Thou wilt recieve
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because Thy promise I believe
oh lamb of God I come I come

Can there be more beautiful words to the lost and weary sinner?
This is MY Christianity. This is MY God. A God of love. Of acceptance, of forgiveness.
Our country is being torn apart today by those who would set themselves up as judges of men. They spew hatred at those different from themselves. While they are only a small minority, they are a LOUD minority. I fear if they are allowed to continue spread and inflict their hate, they will infect this country with a disease for which there is no cure. They have taken the Christian religion and turned it into a political lynching party. They are destroying all that we stand for. Not only as a nation but more importantly as Christians.
We can no longer sit back and allow this onslaught on our Christianity to continue. We must stand up and shout from the rooftops, THIS IS NOT MY CHRISTIANITY . We must come together, be we democrat, republican, liberal, or conservative. We must find the courage and strength to rise up and defend our most basic beliefs, our faith. We can no longer sit back and passivly allow this hate to infect and destroy us from within.
The truth is on our side. God is a God of love. A God of forgiveness. The Bible teaches us to give unto others. To love one another. To reach out to the lost.
The life you live is a far better light shinning for all the world to see, than any words you may speak.
Much louder than that of The moral exhibitionist. You know them, that growing number of "devout" self-dramatizing narcissists among us. Those fundamentalists who condone violations of up to four of the ten commandments in pursuit of political power. I call them the pseudo-christians. I'm on firm scriptural grounds, here. "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them," Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. "If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven."
If your wondering how you, one small person can make a difference. Well, for one thing, stop letting them fool you into believing they are good decent, God-fearing Christians. They are not. Stop listening to their retoric. Don't allow it to go unchallenged. Stop shaking your head and walking away, or trying to ignore it all together. Here's a news flash for you. It's not going away. Someday, sooner or later everyone one of us is going to have to take a stand. We're going to be called upon, either by our children, grandchildren, or our God, to explain why we didn't stop the hate. What will your answer be?
By the way, if you took the time to read this post all the way through, "I didn't know, I didn't realize what was happening..." isn't going to work.
God Bless you all as you go forth into the world this week. Be brave, and let your little light shine!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Defining Moment

Over the past few weeks I've been contemplating giving up my political blog. As much as I love having a place where I can rant and rave about the injustices of our government, our political leaders and the world in general, it seemed like more days than not, I almost had to struggle to come up with something to post in both blogs. The primary reason I had kept the blog was because it's the place I can go to vent about things I don't discuss here. You may have noticed that I'd been trying to slip a bit of controversy in here, every now and then. Sort of testing the waters. A few days ago I posted a rant about a banner at Auburn University. It didn't really generate too much attention but no one seemed to be overly offended by it either. On a whim, I decided to post it over at Words On A Page . Mostly because I didn't have anything else to post at the moment. Well, much to my shock and amazement, that little rant has generated an unbelieveable number of comments. Well for me any way. Especially since I rarely have more than 5 or 6 comments. I've been so surprised I've left it up for awhile just to see what would happen. As of today the comments reached 50. 50! Can you believe that? I don't think I've had 50 comments in a WEEK over there.
Funny thing is, the discussion in the comments has become more interesting than the orginal rant. Everything has been debated. The war, religion, both the current and former administrations, and their propendency for lies. Most commenters are of course very liberal leaning, but there are two guys (Chris & Delftsman) who are strongly conservative and they don't hesitate to take on the whole bunch. It never gets nasty, just people debating their points of view. Which was really all I'd ever wanted.
By this time next week, it'll probably be back to being a little blog few people read, but for those few days, a whole bunch of folks showed up for my party.
Maybe I won't give it up after all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I've developed an unusual fondness for swearing of late. I decided, anyone who has earned a [Masters] degree from the School of Hard Knocks, with a major in the Rocky Roads of Life, and a minor in A Series of Unfortunate Events, has the unalienable right to swear to one's content.
I'm not overly fond of the *F* word, but have been known to use it liberally when provoked. What constitutes provocation can vary greatly depending on my mood of the moment. Such nasties as sh**, damn, FU**, son-of-a-bit** have been know to all spill forth from my lady-like [NOT] lips. Just piss me off, then step back and bear witness. Yes, I am well aware that last one is more of an insult to myself than anything else. Pointing that out to me could be construed as being impertinent. Which REALLY pisses me off.
If you have any doubts. Drop by my house sometime when someone has the unmitigated gall to suggest that I, the great, powerful and awesome Wonderfully Wicked-cool Wanda/Mom, does NOT know all that is to be known. Or God forbid to imply that I might be wrong (stubborn, unreasonable,obstinate,difficult,interfering, bossy,ect). Trust me, you DO NOT want to go there. Especially not in the heat of summer.
Actually you probably won't even have to make it to the house. Somewhere in the vacinity of Podunt would probably be sufficent.
The odd thing is, I'm not even in a bad mood today. I'm working hard on that **serenity to accept the things I cannot change**.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops...
That's where you'll find me.

There are times when my life is like a kaleidoscope. Everything seems to be a swirl of colors spiraling just out of focus. Everything and everyone around me seems to control me instead of my controling them. At times like this, I border on despair and must fight the desire to simply give up. Despair sucks the marrow out of one's soul, and the strength from one's body. I find myself wanting to retreat into my bedroom and sleep. Perchance to dream of a world where troubles melt like lemon drops. I'm not one who's prone to depression. But I too have had my bouts with the demons that lurk within the corridors of the mind.
I can't tell you how many times blogging has been my therapist. If I can't find one good reason to smile when blogging then the whole world must be having a terrible, awful, very bad day. Hence I don't feel so alone. It helps to know when I feel this way that I am not a lost lonely soul in a barren land. Blogging helps me say to myself, hang in there, the world will soon right itself and all will be something at least close to copasetic.
For this reason, I want to say thank you. To all of you who in your blogging take the time to bear your souls, to share your deepest, darkest thoughts and moments. To offer a port in the storm to the wayfarer who may wander into your private space seeking comfort and solace. More often than not, you have provide me with a welcome and much needed respite. You've made me laugh, you made me cry. But most of all, you've let me know. I am not alone. You are my port in the storms of life. Your always there waiting, somewhere just over the rainbow.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Monday's Musings

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

If you think about it, this is an almost perfect prayer.

There are things we simply cannot change.
There's the weather. No matter how hot it gets, or cold, we cannot change the weather.
Then there are 'other people'. We can't change others. We can try, we can talk, beg, plead, bitch, and scream. But in the end, it's up to the individual. He or she has to want to make the needed (or not) changes for themself.

Then there's changing the things we can. We can change ourselves. We can change our attitude. We can change where we live, what we do, what we say, how we look, and even what we think. Sometimes we can help others to change their attitude. We can live our lives as an example. We can work toward a better tomorrow. We can let go of the past. Or at least learn from it then move on.

The wisdom comes in knowing the difference. Knowing what we can change and working toward that goal. Knowing what we cannot change and learning to live with it.

As for me, I'm still a work in progress. I haven't quite gotten to the point where I can make all the changes I want to make. Or learned to let go of the things I can't change. So, I guess I'll just have to keep on praying...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Monster

The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

Sound familiar?
More likely prophetic, since it comes from an albumn by Steppenwolf, released in the 70's. Are we witnessing history repeating itself?
Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I don't remember feeling this sense of disillusionment, that our country was coming apart at the seams. At least not since the the 70's. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I've reached the age where I've become more aware of the world around me. Maybe I'm realizing that everything we do (or don't) is going to have an impact on my children and grandchildren. I want a better world for them. One free of war, discrimation, and hate. A world where people love and respect one another, not for their similarities but for their differences. A world where the United States is a welcome and respected member of the worldwide community.
Isn't it time we learned from the past? Maybe stop making the same mistakes? I'm just wondering...

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Okay, folks, watch out the fireworks are about to start. I'm fixin' to climb up on my soapbox and do some ranting.

I have had it . Enough is enough. Want to know what pushed me over the edge? Well, this was it. Auburn University Theatre Banner Causing Controversy

What the hell is wrong with people? A freaking banner for pete's sake. About a damned play that's been on Broadway, and in the movies for years. Some wimp assed hypocrite is afraid his gandson will see it and ask questions? If a kid in high school doesn't know by now what a whorehouse is then it's high time somebody sat him down and explained it to him. Give me a freaking break.

I am sick and tired of the zealot hypocrites on the religious right telling the rest of us how we should and should not live our lives. Trying to monitor what we see, what we read, how we live, whom we have sex with, and even how we should freaking think! If you want to be a pseudo-Christian, go right ahead. Live your life of lies, hate and deceit. But don't you try to force your damned uptight lifestyle on me. Or my children or grandchildren, or my friends and family. If I want to divorce my husband and marry Suzy down the street that's MY freaking business. Mine and hers. Not yours. Do you hear me? It's none of your damned business. If I want to watch XXX rated movies that's my business. If I want to read XXXX rated magazines that too is MY business. What I do in the privacy of my home is my damned business.

If even half the jerks who want to monitor and rule every aspect of our lives weren't such hypocrites it would be one thing. Problem is their not. Most of them lead lives of quite desperation. Hiding their sins behind closeted doors.

While I'm on a roll here, let me add, anyone who doesn't think that the recent onslaught on gays is just a guise, a means to an end, then your a fool. Do you know what their ultimate goal is? It's to eventually repeal the rights of women and minorities. If they can shove gays back into the closet, shut them out of having normal happy lives, then guess who they'll go after next?
The fact is the people in power right now want a country ruled and dominated by rich white men. It's not about having higher values, and morals. It's not about being good decent Christian people. It's about POWER. They want all the POWER. They want to legislate and dominate.
All the koolaid drinking ostrich people , better put down the koolaid, and pull their collective heads out of the sand (or from up their asses) and pay attention to what is going on in this country. Because if they don't, we will be living in a country more communist than the Soviet Union ever thought of being. A country run by rich white men, who are religious nuts. Is that what you really want? As for me I've had it. I'm not taking this crap anymore. Get out of my face, my mind, and my life. I'm taking back what belongs to me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wednesday's Woe's

Ever heard that old saying about be careful what you wish for? That's all I'm gonna say on that subject.

Regarding Jacko, I was only mildly surprised. I had held out hope that because a few of the jurors were like middle aged there might actually be some justice this time around. My bad. Clearly I over estimated the level of age and wisdom.
About Schaivo, again no big surprises here either. I didn't expect her autopsy to show that she was a normal woman with a normal brain.
As for the Alabama Teen Missing in Aruba, enough already. It's been over two weeks, what are the odds she sitting on the beach somewhere waiting for someone to find her? If the kid last seen with her wasn't the son of a high ranking judge I suspect they'd have already CONVINCED him to fess up. Aruba is an island that's 19 miles long and 6 miles wide. If they haven't found this girls body by now, then it's a given more than one person was involved and whatever they did with her, she probably isn't going to be found. Just venturing a guess here but I'm thinking a small boat, middle of the night, you do the math. It's a tragedy for sure, but there are tragedy's around us everywhere. Like in Iraq.
Speaking of Iraq, does anyone remember we have a whole lot of soliders over there in that hot, miserable place, living every moment of their lives in danger? Has anyone ask the question lately, when can we start talking about bringing them ALL home?
While I'm on a roll here, I don't know what the fluck is up with this damn blog. I have changed the skin twice now and it still loads like crap. I cut down on the images. Nothing works. The right side still take freaking forever to load (and there aren't any pictures on the right side). I'm stumped.
Can you tell I'm not a happy camper today? I really need to vent, but we can't talk here. I'm meet you in the library. Bring a candlestick and maybe a rope. That's all the Clue's I'm givin ya.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tuesday Treasure's

I found this while visiting someone's link I found on Queenie's blog today. For the life of me I can't remember which one it was. But it was just too good to resist.

1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. I work hard because millions on welfare depend on me!

4. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them. (AMEN!!)

5. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

6. Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

7. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

8. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

9. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

10. I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.

11. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

12. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room

spinning medicine.

13. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

14. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

15. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

16. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

17. Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it!

18. Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when

I grew up.

19. Procrastinate Now!

20. I have a degree in liberal arts; do you want fries with that?

21. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

22. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance

23. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

24. They call it PMS because "mad cow disease" was already taken.

25. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.

26. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three

thousand times the memory. Especially with those new camera phones!

27. Ham and eggs. A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime

commitment for a pig.

28. The trouble with life is there's no background music.

29. The original point and click interface was a Smith and Wesson.

30. I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Manic Monday

Is the White House headed for the red-light district?

Two pornographers will be among the guests at a Republican fundraising event at the White House, this week...

"Last week, Carl Forti, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, explained ... that self-described pornographer Mark Kulkis and his date, porn star Mary Carey, will be attending the two-day event, 'The 2005 President's Dinner and Salute to Freedom,' next Monday and Tuesday because their money is just as good as anyone else's." [source]

When I first read this I was skeptical to say the least. I mean after all the bruhaha over being the party of good, decent, upstanding, Christian's . The party that was elected because heartland American wanted to get back to old-fashioned morals and values. Surely they wouldn't. Naw, they couldn't. But then I read that last line again, and that pretty much explained it all.
To think this is the party that whined and bitched about the Lincoln bedroom being rented out to political contributors. And lets not forget how bent they got over oral sex in the oval office (like that was the FIRST time it ever happened). One shiver's to think what might be happening in the Lincoln bedroom after this little soiree.
On top of that, Russel Crowe's invite was retracted after his phone throwing incident. Now, I'm thinking with his money, Crowe could have made a much larger contribution than Ms Carey. In dollars that is. I reckon Russel shoulda looked more like this...

Now, I personally don't have a problem with Ms Carey and her pimp manager attending republican events. Be they at the White House or at the Lincoln Center. What I do have a problem with is republicans claiming their the party of higher morals and values. Yet they want to be able to take any skank's body's money for their party too. Buck up boys and girls, you're either the party of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, or not. You can't have it both ways.
Pardon me if I find this all to be a bit hypocritical.

ps: Incidently Ms Carey says that "despite her racy occupation, she's still a Christian, and has her own aspirations of winning the presidency in the future."

pss: The kids made it home safe and sound last night around 9:30. Thanks to all of your for your prayers for their safety.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

On a Wing and a Prayer

My baby daughter is on the road this weekend.

Yes, I know she's 25 but she's still MY baby, and the only little girl I have. They're driving right into that storm, determined to bring her big brother home.

I don't think a hurricane would have kept her from going.
It's amazing how the young think they are invincible. Nothing can hurt them. They rush headlong into places where angels would fear to tread. Sometimes this can be fatal. Such as the case with the young girl from Mountain Brook, Alabama. You know the one that's been missing in Aruba since Sunday. I know this child's parents must have cautioned her dozens of times about being careful. We tell them over and over, " Don't talk to strangers". Clearly a warning she didn't take seriously. Now, not only has she paid the ultimate price, but her family and friends will pay as well. Every Mother (and Father) knows we have to let them go at some point. We have to believe we've done all we can do, and have faith that they were listing and learning. Then we see a young woman who was raised by loving parents, in a good neighborhood, went to good schools. She and her family were active in their family church. She had a bright future ahead of her. All lost in the few moments it took her to make one wrong decision. How my heart aches for her parents.
In fact I can't help but feel some sense of sorrow for the young men caught up in this tragedy. I'm sure they never meant to harm her. I feel it was probably a series of unfortunate events (no pun intended) that lead to an ending none of them could have or would have predicted. I can well imagine what their parents must be feeling as well. I want to believe there is no evil here, just kids who let things get out of control. Now, so many lives are forever altered.

If there is anyone that I see as being responsible it's the people who were suppose to be chaperoning this group of teenagers while they were in Aruba. What on earth were they thinking letting those young girls go out drinking in the local bars? What kind of chaperone is that? The parents of all those young people placed their faith and trust in the adults who accompanied them. They bear some of the responsibity for this tragedy.

I pray my own little/big girl will heed my cautions. I pray they will drive safely and be careful who they talk to. And I pray that she will be successful in her quest.

Friday, June 10, 2005

She'll be coming round the mountain Gulf...

There's a stormy lady headed our way.
I can feel the tingle in my toes.
And, it's only JUNE!!!
This could be a very interesting summer.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Prayer Request

I don't often ask for help. It's not my nature to do so. Mostly it's a pride thing. But this is too important to let my pride get in the way.
As most of you know, I haven't seen my oldest son in several years. His current lifestyle breaks my heart. His attitude toward his son is a source of endless sleepless nights and untold hours of weeping. The hardest part is seeing the affect this all has on Zachary.
Zach is the sunshine of my life. From the day he was born he has held a special place in my heart. I can still recall the first time I held him. It was as close to pure joy as one can get. There is something so intense about holding the child of your child. In many ways he's the only grandchild I have that I get to really enjoy. I have four other grandchildren, but their Mother's are not inclined to share them with me. So Zach is pretty much all I have. Trent and Hayley are precious but I only get to see them every few months.
Anyway (yep, there's Piggy's fav word) a few days ago Kasey got an email from Daniel (oldest son) saying if she and her friend would come by an pick him up while they are in Texas this weekend, he will come back home with them. To say I'm shocked and afraid to even begin to be happy is an understatement. So, what I'm asking for is your prayers. Pray that this time he means it. That he will come home and that he will find it in his heart to finally begin to build a relationship with his child. To be the Dad that Zachary so rightfully deserves. I know with so many sick and so much pain in the world this may seem so insignificant but to me it is so very important. If you can find it in your hearts to do so, please say a prayer or two. For the prodical son to find his way home and for a little boy to finally have his Daddy.
By the way, can someone please tell me what happened to Vegasbaby? I went to her blog today and all I found are pictures ( one of a very large whale penis). Did she move and NOT leave ME a forwarding address? If anyone has an email addy for her please ask her to let me know where she has bimbled off too. I don't want to have to hire a private detective to find her!
Now, back to those prayers!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wednesday's [Wicked] Wisdom

Reasons to be a Republican

Jeff Gillenkirk, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle has decided that since he recently turned 55, it's time to be a Republican.

"The reasons are many, not the least of which is age. I turned 55 recently and, having lived more than half my life, I can't afford to worry anymore about the other guy. It's time for me.

As a Republican, I can now proudly -- indeed, defiantly -- pledge to never again vote for anyone who raises taxes for any reason. To hell with roads, bridges, schools, police and fire protection, Medicare, Social Security and regulation of the airwaves.

President Bush has promised to give me more tax cuts even though our federal government owes trillions of dollars to its creditors. But that's someone else's problem, not mine. Republicans are about the here and now, and I'm here now.

As a Republican, I can favor exploiting the environment for everything she's got. No need to worry about quaint notions like posterity and natural legacy. There are plenty of resources left for everyone, and if we don't use them, someone else will.

I want a party that doesn't worry about things before we have to. Republicans refuse to get hog-tied by theories such as global warming, ozone depletion, fished-out oceans and disappearing wetlands. The real problems -- if there are any -- aren't forecast to take hold for at least 50 years. So what do I care? I'll be dead.

Since I've finally made it to the old double nickel, I'm old enough to remember back 20 years or so when a fellow named James Watt was Secretary of the Interior. Watt was sort of a forerunner of today's fundie-fascist radical fringe Religious Wrong. He figured that since Jesus was coming back any day now, there was really no need to pay any mind to all this ecology stuff. The party of Here and Now, indeed.

That brings to mind an old Doonesbury strip (it's Sunday morning, so I'm rambling on a bit). Congresswoman Lacy Davenport is talking with her maid and asks her where she is from. The maid replies that she is from Harlem. Lacy starts to reminisce about going to the Cotton Club during Harlem's "Golden Age."

The maid says she doesn't recall any Golden Age of Harlem. Her recollection of Harlem was a place of hard times and lost hope.

Lacy tells her to have faith, that Harlem will rise again.

The maid replies, "Yes'm. So will Jesus, but I ain't waitin' up nights."


The good news for me is , if 55 is the turning point, I've got a few years to go before I turn to the dark side.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Raising Arizona

Back in 1987 there was a moving called Raising Arizona . It was a kind of slapstick comedy about a couple who wanted a baby so bad they stole one from a family who had quintuplet. Of course they had no idea of the tremendous baggage that baby brings along with him/her when he/she takes up residence in your life. They really wanted that baby, but in the end they came to the realization they were not mentally, physically, or emotionally equipped to raise the child so they gave him back to his parents. Considering the parents already had four more babies, it's hard to say who came away with the better deal.

I thought of that movie when I read little Elijah's story (see yesterday's post). I think over half the people who have children have no idea of what's involved in raising a child. To say there are sacrifices is the ultimate understatement.
A child can be a gift from God. You look into those beautiful eyes, you smell that sweet clean, baby smell. Those tiny little toes and fingers. So sweet and precious, as they lay sleeping in the little plastic bassinet. Your heart is filled with pride and joy. No one told you it would feel like this! Then you take them home.

For such small creatures, babies have seemingly endless needs. Food, diapers (lots of diapers) and burping. And that's just the first hour. This process must be repeated every few hours for months. Somewhere in there you have to fit in your own needs. Things like eating, sleeping, bathing, and maybe even a job. If your baby is an easily satisfied baby, you may actually get a few hours of sleep now and then. If not, you learn to sleep while rocking or walking, or sometimes even feeding (both baby and you). Chances are you won't have another good nights sleep for months, maybe even years. I know, nobody told you it would feel like this!
Then come the toddler years. Ever heard of the terrible twos? That's misleading. The twos are no worse than the threes. A toddler demands 100% attention. If not yours then someone's and usually anyone in their immediate vicinity. Their precarious little buggers. They have ways of getting into (and out of) things and places you can't begin to imagine. They are curious and want to know what the world is all about and what it's made of. They pursue this knowledge by any means available to them. Including but not limited to taking a bite out of life (or you, or any other person, place or thing within their reach). And guess what. These are the easy years. Just wait until they can go outdoors. I know, nobody told you it could feel like this.
The responsibility of raising a child is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for those who are dedicated to having a career other than being a parent. Yes, you can pawn a good part of that responsibility off on daycare, pre-school and eventually the public (or private) school system. But the bulk of the job still falls to you. If your not prepared to make every sacrifice, to be a full time parent, even while holding down a full time job. Then do yourself, the world and the child you don't yet have, a favor, and just say NO. No matter how much your parents, your inlaws, your friends or anyone else pushes, just say NO . No one but you has to raise your child.
Hillary Clinton wrote a book It Takes a Village [to raise a child]. But I'm here to tell you, most of the village isn't willing to do much helping. They've got their own lives to live and probably their own kids to raise. So my advice is don't look to grandparents, aunt, uncles, friends or neighbors. If your lucky, one or more of these people may be willing to step in and help. Just don't count on it. Children can be a blessing. But if your not prepared it can be a nightmare. And that's the cold hard truth, that nobody wants to tell you about.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Baby Hannibal?

Or, Neglected Child?

My 2-year-old son was booted out of his preschool for biting -- and now my wife and I are facing a summer of hell.
One afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I picked up my son Elijah from school. The other kids were all napping or playing quietly. His teacher was sitting at a low table with him, in a chair four sizes too small for her. She was surrounded by a palpable aura of exhaustion and defeat.

He bit again today," she said. "There was blood. We've tried everything. We can't stop him."

The next day, Elijah chomped on another kid, and scratched still another one over the eye. The day after that was a Friday. An afternoon teaching assistant called us at home. Elijah had put a rock up his nose, and they couldn't get it out. When we picked him up to take him to a doctor who would stick a vacuum up his schnozzle, Elijah's teacher told us we had to have a conference Monday afternoon.

"We're probably going to talk about solutions," my wife, Regina, said.

"No, we're not," I said. "They're gonna expel him."

"Don't be negative," she said.

That Monday, Regina took Elijah to school in the morning. Teacher was there, a cloud of dread hanging over her. "I got a call at home about the rock," teacher said. "Last week, I pulled another rock out of his nose. Two weeks ago, I pulled spaghetti out of his nose."

Suddenly, Regina realized that the school was probably going to posit one "solution." She came home and said: "If they do boot him out, screw them. I'm tired of feeling like I have a child who's especially difficult. Every kid has his issues. It's not like he's 7 years old and doing this."

"Yeah!" I said. "Screw them!"

Except for the few hours a week when she teaches a class at the local community college, my wife and I both work at home. The house is small. I write in a corner of the living room, and Regina, when she can, goes to paint in the garage. Even if we hired an inexperienced nanny on the cheap, the kid would still be underfoot most of the day, screeching.

When Elijah was around 14 months old, we started looking. Regina hadn't worked since he was born, and her brain was starting to melt out her ears. The two hours a day of "daddy time" that we'd set aside for me were only occasionally tenable. I may have been working in the same room where we kept the diaper bag, but I was still working.
We had a couple of flimsy recommendations from friends. Most preschools don't have much Web presence. So we flipped open the phone book.
One afternoon, we got a call from our fourth or fifth choice, a not incredibly expensive Montessori school 10 minutes away from our house. They had our check within an hour.
Elijah was in school from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The school was OK. Within a few months, Elijah knew his alphabet, his days of the week, the state of Texas on sight, seemingly hundreds of songs, and he could count to 40. At the same time, they showed the kids Barney videos while they were changing their diapers and gave them Country Time lemonade while calling it "juice." When we complained, the director ignored us. But at least we had our mornings.

And then he started to bite.

At first, it was only occasional, and totally excusable, since he wasn't even 2 yet. A kid was playing with a ball he wanted, and he took a chomp.
In particular, Elijah seemed to enjoy biting a sad-eyed little girl named Sophie, with whom he was obviously in love. He wouldn't stop talking about her at home. "Daddy, what's Sophie doing?" he'd ask. Or he'd say, "I bite Sophie!" and start cackling. I found myself having to say, both because it was true and because it was funny, "Elijah, you can only bite girls if they ask you to."
They were putting him in timeout at school, but he didn't seem to mind that, either, because it was one of the rare times he got individual attention. We devised an incentive program with his teachers. If you don't bite, we told him, you'll get ice cream. But after a couple of days of ice cream, he was sated, and he'd bite again. They told us to start sending him to school with a family picture in his pocket. If he bit they'd take the picture away. This worked for about three days. That's when we got called in for the conference.

There's no cataloging the feeling of helplessness that washed over Regina and me then. Our child was being expelled. From preschool. What had we done wrong?

The teacher said she felt "sick" about this. She'd had to talk to her boss, the school's director. The boss came to class and said, "Him? How could he be trouble? He looks like a little Botticelli... "

"He's smart as a whip," she said. "I can see it in his eyes when I talk to him. He understands everything. He just has problems with impulse control. Maybe you should get him some clay," she said. "Something he can pound his aggression into. Or find him a nanny who can give him individual attention."

I wanted to say: He already has clay, superstar. And do we look like we can afford a nanny? Instead, I said... "Can we just have until June 1?"

On the drive home, Regina and I could barely keep from weeping. Our respective families were 1,000 miles away in either direction. We were terrified at the prospect of a summer without help. The irony was that we don't have the $1,500 it would have cost to warehouse Elijah through September, so we might have had to pull him out anyway. But now we've been forced into the challenge of caring for a smart, stubborn, high-strung 2-year-old. We love him very much, but that's not the kind of work either of us wants, at least not full time.

Later at home, Regina had this to say, through tears.

"I feel like a bad mother!" she said. "I don't want to spend all summer with him! He's difficult! He's a difficult child! He wants too much from me. And you're going to go crazy if he's around all the time. Our marriage always suffers when he's home!"

"So our marriage has to suffer," I said.

"This is a fiasco," she said.
In our minds and in our hearts, Regina and I silently wished the summer away.

When I read this story my first thought was that poor little boy. I know the kids he's biting are the ones in pain, but his pain is just as real, if not as immediately evident.
A sound smack on the backside would make it clear to little Elijah that biting hurts and not just those being bitten.
Then a major reality alert for his parents.
"We love him very much, but that's not the kind of work either of us wants, at least not full time."
Apparently someone failed to tell these two incredibly selfish adults, children ARE a full time job. Not just something to take out and play with for a couple of hours a day.
How said is it when one can say "They were putting him in timeout at school, but he didn't seem to mind that, either, because it was one of the rare times he got individual attention"?
He's an ONLY child for pete's sake. He should be getting tons of attention.
There is so much more I can say on this, but I'm going to reserve that for tomorrow. This post is already way long.
Personally I think 99% of what is wrong with our children and our society today can be found right here in this man's tale of woe. What I'd like is your response. If you think it's too long for comments then how about posting something on your blog.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday Five Ten

aka, Otto's
Monday's Madness

The follow all begin with "Have you ever...
1. ...ridden on a rollercoaster? Oh Yeah! Their wicked cool!
2. ...performed (in any area of the arts) onstage? Yes. In high school I was in the drama club. We did one play every year. I played the third witch in Macbeth. The second year I played Zaneeta Shinn (the mayor's daughter) in The Music Man.
3. ...planted a garden? Not by myself. I helped my mother many times over the years.
4. ...ever had to reformat your hard drive due to a virus/spyware? Yes
5. ...written a book? A poem? A song? I've written a few short stories and even had them published. I write [bad] poetry all the time.
6. ...sang karaoke? Sure. It's tons of fun.
7. ...been interviewed by a local tv station/newspaper? No.
8. ...witnessed a tornado/earthquake/hurricane first-hand? Oh Yeah! Again, wicked cool!
9. ...participated in a photo scavenger hunt? No, but I think I'd like to.
10. ... traveled to another country? Oh my yes. Many times.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

You Were Actually Born Under:
Resourceful and practical, you are a quick thinker.
You are very observant - and it's hard to get anything past you!
A total perfectionist, you are especially picky about looking your best.
You're a big dreamer - such a big dreamer that reality can disappoint you.

You are most compatible with an Ox or Snake.
You Should Have Been Born Under:

You are totally loyal, faithful, and honest.
However, you don't trust others to be as ethical as you are!
Straight forward and direct, you really aren't one for small talk.
You are a great listener - and an agreeable companion when you're in a good mood!

You are most compatible with a Tiger or Horse.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wednesday's Wisdom

Prison vs Work...

Just in case you ever got the two mixed up, this should make things a
bit clearer.

IN PRISON. You spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell
AT WORK... you spend the majority of your time in a 6X8 cubicle with

IN get three meals a day.
AT only get a break for one meal ... ... . and you pay
for it.

IN get time off for good behavior, with accolades.
AT get more work for good behavior, with grief.

IN PRISON...the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT must carry around a stupid security card and open all
the doors for yourself.

IN can watch TV and play games.
AT get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN get your own toilet.
AT have to share with others who pee on the seat, and
throw tp all around the room, fancy and crazy like. (and some who leave crap
in the toilet)

IN PRISON...they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT can't even speak to your family or friends.

IN PRISON...the taxpayers pay all expenses with no work required.
AT get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they
deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get
out and see people.
AT spend most of your time wanting to get away from people
and go to bars.

IN must deal with sadistic guards.
AT WORK.... they are called sadistic managers.

An Audience of One
A Touch Of Heaven
Always Victoria
Bacon and Eh's
Causin a Kimmotion!
Chocolate Starfish
Critter Chick
Defiance Dolls
Emptying My Head
Joe Cool
Life After Nexcom
Life on Whidbey
Lumbering Soul
Mind Diversion
My Insanity
Out in the Open
Southern Secrets
Split Splat (KB)
Talk With Desiree
Txoceanlover's Laments
What's Up Down South
Wind Spirit
Star Wars Fan Films