Monday, August 30, 2010

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan (  know you came to play

"Coolville ain't so cool now!," he screamed out the bus window as it pulled away from the school. The Belpre Buffaloes had finally spanked the Coolville Cools 25 to 8!!

More exactly the same totally different stuff

Yes, it's 5:45 a.m. on day two of the Without Sleep Festival.  Is it day two?  I'd have to sit down with paper, pencil and erasure to make sure of that, though I'm not sure in what way I'd use those instruments.  Maybe I need I calendar. I like it better when such things can be measured with clocks instead of calendars.  Or maybe I should just shut up.  It's enough to say it's been too long since I slept.

Actually, I slept.  I looked at the clock at last at 1:4. . .something.  I woke at 3:02 or there abouts.  So that means I had. . .I don't know.  Some sleep but no where near enough.  And now I'm trying to decide if I should go to work tomorrow.

Let's see. . . I'm a bit paranoid.  I'm pretty sure no one likes me.  I mean who could like someone so weak and puny and sleepless?  Someone so self-centered that she writes not one, but two blogs about her own insomnia as if it's the most important thing in the world.  That may not be paranoia come to think of it.  Sounds reasonable, actually. I don't even like me.  Who would!

I can't do simple math.  (3:02 - 1:4 something = ?)  I never was great at math, though.  I've not one little chance in hell of counting backwards from 100 by sevens and I practice it often.

I did see that person in the kitchen who wasn't there.  But he didn't last long and I knew it was just a wee hallucination.  And yes, I know people don't usually hallucinate after just a couple of days without sleep, but I have always needed sleep more than the average bear.  I couldn't even stay awake during slumber parties when I was a teenager.

I can, however name the last four presidents and tell you what I had for dinner last night. Or was that the night before?

I'd say I'm emotionally labile.  I either want to throw things while screaming obscenities or cry.

I can't remember right now what else I'm supposed to be able to do in order to pass a mini mental status exam.

So, taking this evidence into consideration, should I go to work tomorrow?  I mean today? Did I mention that I'm a mental health therapist?  Did I mention that I've missed a heck of a lot of work because I'm a puny weenie who gets sick at the drop of a hat?  Would you rather have A) a therapist who is really good, but out sick too much, or 2) goes to work and is not quite with it in your sessions?  (Have you ever worried about the word therapist - the rapist?) Would  you rather have an employee who was 1) really good at what she does but calls in sick too often or B) an employee who is reliably mediocre?

I'm going to call Dougie, my doctor in the morning.  Well, I mean it's morning now, but I'll wait until his office opens.  And I'm going to explain to the nice young woman at the desk this whole thing and she will slowly write it all down.  Then she will put me on hold while she finds a nurse.  A nurse will eventually pick up the phone and she'll begin with a sigh of exasperation.  I will be sure that she only sighs that way when on the phone with me because either 1) I'm paranoid or B) I'm a puny weenie who thinks the world revolves around her little problems. Then she'll say something about have I tried blah, blah, blah and if it was within my power to try it, I have and will tell her so. She'll arrange for me to come in to see Dougie, who is actually a good primary care doctor.

Dougie will ask appropriate questions.  I'll wonder why I didn't just grow a pair of ovaries and go to work like a big girl. He'll tell me that people don't usually die of insomnia.  I may remind him that people might die from telling insomniacs that.  He'll think, "Well, she has a sense of humor, she must not be too bad off."

Dougie will either A) cure me right away, giving me a magic touch, pill, shot or shake a magic gourd over my head - I've absolutely no preference what form the cure takes or 2) tell me to let this take its course in which I'll have to seriously consider taking matters into my own hands.  The problem with that is that I've been handling my own problem for the past couple of days and it's still a problem.

And here comes that phrase again Torn between the things that I should do.  Thank you Kenny Rogers for the theme of my life. 

Ok, friends, it's 6:26 a.m.  I eagerly await your suggestions.  Sorry I wasn't more entertaining.  I feel badly about it already.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And now for something completely different.

It's 3:33 a.m. and I'm wide awake.  Not a wee bit awake, mind you.  Wi-ii-ide awake.  As in, my eyes can barely blink.  My feet are dancing to tunes of their own. My brain is full of the things I need to accomplish tomorrow so I can go back to work early and get busy catching up on the work I missed last part of last week when I was viciously attacked by some allergen.  Whew!  That sentence just about wore me out!

The things that go through one's brain at 3:40 a.m. when one knows one should be sleeping like a good one.  For example, I was just wondering how many times I could use one in a sentence.  Now if that's not something perfectly worthy of thought I can't tell you what is.

I could do some ironing.  I could.  It would be a quiet thing to do.    I could dust.  Dusting is quiet.  Usually.  But what if I were ironing at the moment I could fall asleep if I were in bed instead.  Ooooh, did you catch that?  In bed instead.  It was like a little poem.  A pretty good one, too.  Oh, there was one again.

Yep, it wasn't a bad poem for 3:45 a.m.  I think I'll write another one.

There once was a word called one
Who hardly ever was done.
Twas a busy one, one,
And a great lot of fun
That busy ol' word called one.

But one is the loneliest number that you'll ever do. One, singular sensation. One fine day, you'll look at me - e - e, and you will know our love was meant to be - e - e.

Do you ever start to type once and type wonce.  I do.

It just occurred to me that this probably isn't the best blog I've ever written.  But, hey, it's 3:51 a.m. and one can't be expected be too. . . . .That's funny. . . one can't be expected to be to (two).

And after that last blog, I really should try to write a good one. I'm giggling out loud now.  Have you ever seen so many ones?  But if there are lots of them, can they be ones?  Oh, that's heavy.  Far too (two, to) heavy for 3:56 a.m.

I might regret pushing that publish post button, or I might decide not to (two, too, whoo, whoo). 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Righteous Wrong

If I get one more anti-Islam email I may explode.  And let's face it, even if you don't like me much, you don't want me to explode.  I would be soooo ding dang messy.

There are ignorant, evil, misguided, dangerous, very ill, asswipes in every single religion in the Universe.  That's just a fact.  It's the nature of religions that they allow people do just about anything and back it up with some scripture.  They behave as if doing something evil in the name of religion proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are right.  They are righteously wrong and I'm really getting tired of it.

I have actually read the New Testament boys and girls.  I've also read the Old Testament, Koran and The Teachings of Buddha.  I've read some other religious texts, too.  I didn't find anything in any of them that I thought encouraged me or allowed me to do bad things to other people in the name of God. 

Did you know that the Abrahamic religions, the Big Three - Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have the same God?  No, I mean they admit they have the same God.  The Koran talks about Mary, the mother of Jesus more than the New Testament does.  Yes, it does.  And it talks nicely about her.  It talks nicely about Jesus, too.

All this "Kill the infidel" stuff I'm hearing so much about recently is no more prominent in the Koran than in the Old Testament.

I can hear you twitching, Christians.  Before you make fun of getting a bunch of virgins in Heaven, think about collecting the foreskins of your enemies. There are just ridiculously silly things in all religious texts if you want to look at them that way. 

Or we could choose to take the basic ideas of religions - treating others as we would like to be treated, love one another, the kingdom of God is within you. . . you know stuff like that, and stop demonizing each other. 
Most Muslims are no more likely to want to kill Americans than most Christians are to sexually abuse children or con people out  their savings to fluff their own nests. Remember that freedom of religion thing we have going here.  It's good stuff. 

For crying in a bucket, people, use your noggins! If you haven't read the books, don't preach from them.  In fact, don't preach from them at all if you're preaching fear instead of love. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mutant Itch From Outer Space

It started as a fine day.  Too busy, but good as far as Thursday mornings go.

At approximately 10:17, I noticed a stinging, itching area on my left breast.  I checked it out in the ladies, since it required mirror work.  I mean I couldn't exactly ask the lady in the next office to check for anything weird looking on my breast.  She frowns on things like that.

Anyway, there was a good sized red patch with an itchy and burning feeling.  Back at my office, within minutes, my arms began itching.  Then my neck.  Scratch, rub, rub, 25 mg. of an over the counter antihistamine and a quick step back to the ladies. 

Wow!  Lucy, my left breast, was sort of magenta-colored and angry as a wet hen. And from about my navel (which isn't named because that would just be strange, don't you think?) up, my body was becoming more colorful and very, very itchy.

You might think that scratching would help.  It doesn't help at all.  It makes things worse and I knew it was going to make things worse because it's a burning, painful itch.  It hurts to scratch yet I was compelled by an unseen force more irresistible than gravity, more persistent than a televangelist on crack to scratchscratchscratch. 

Resistance was futile.  I took another 25 mg. of the antihistamine.  I didn't care if I couldn't drive home.  I didn't think about the clients I had stacked up for the afternoon.  I just had to have that. . . next. . . SCRATCH.

An other urgent trip to the ladies. The door was nearly closed when I lifted my blouse in front of the mirror to discover that Rita, my right breast, was now nearly as bright as her sister.  Little dark red dots we popping up all over my torso.  My tummy itched, my back ITCHED!  Looking at it didn't help, but I couldn't not look.  We're talking fluorescent color, here.  Shocking  pink!

Back to my office. Two hands were not enough to scratch.  I rubbed against the walls and door jams like a July cow against a tree.  Coworkers were watching from a safe distance with distasteful expressions.  No one likes to see scratching and this was no ordinary scratching!  Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!  Scratchscratchscratch.

Can I take more Benedryl?  Would it help?  I caught Dr. Tran in the hall.  I itch all over! How much antihistamine can I take? I itch from the inside out!  Ohmygod, HELP ME!

He said things.  Something about what did I eat. . . will probably go away. . . few side effects. . .cortisone.  I wasn't really listening very well because I was rubbing my back against someone else' office door while scratching my arms with my hands and rubbing my arms against my torso, sort of hopping from foot to foot.  What I heard was that I could take more antihistamine.

Ok, it wasn't getting better, it was getting worse.  If only this power could be used for good instead of evil! I don't think removing my skin in front of a client would be very therapeutic for either of us.  If I couldn't remove my skin, I at the very least needed to remove my clothes, take as much antihistamine as possible without getting dead and put ice all over my body. 

Wait, I'll go to ER and get a shot of . . . . well, I don't know, but surely there is something that will save me.  But that would require walking in, waiting, explaining. . . . I don't have that kind of time, here.  By the time I make someone understand we might very possibly be dealing with an other-worldly weapon,  I could be home and wearing nothing but ice.

So home I came.  My clothes were off before I got through the living room.  Ice packs, antihistamines, squirming against the sheets and regretting it.  Good night, Irene!

I woke several hours later itching, but this time it was a more Earthly itch.  Rita and Lucy were pink, but my skin was no longer glowing.  There is a circle of dark red around what looks like an insect bite.  My head is pounding and my eyes are bloodshot.  I ache.  But I've begun to think of my skin as a friendly organ again.

And tomorrow I get to go see if anyone at work will speak to me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who's Winning this Race?

As I've discussed before, I don't understand what race means.  How do we decide what our race is.  Do we go by color alone? Because basically all the people I've seen are on a continuum of the brown family.  Somewhere between ecru to dark mahogany.
Is President Obama Black or White? Well, he's brown, too.

 I don't think African American is a very accurate descriptor either for most dark brown people in the US.  The term African American makes sense to me if someone moves here from Africa and becomes a citizen.  Actually, it would make more sense in that case to say Kenyan-American or Tanzanian-American.  What if an ecru person moves here from South Africa and becomes a citizen.  Is he then an African-American, Caucasian, Aryan?  My ex could be called New Zealand American or an Australian American because he came from Downunder and became a US citizen.  My current husband is a Canadian, not a Canadian American because he is not a US citizen. But they are both usually just considered White.

An old beau of mine is considered African-American, but he nor his parents have ever even been to Africa, and due to some relatives somewhere along the line, he has medium brown skin and gorgeous green eyes.  He hasn't traced his family tree back to Africa.  I haven't either, though if anthropologists are correct, we all technically could.  I guess the consensus now is that humans started somewhere in Africa, so that would make us all African-Americans, eh?

No one refers to me as Scots/German American.  Takes too long to say.  They do call me White.  In fact, they call me very white since I don't tan at all.  But I'm actually light tan. Sometimes bright pink.

Of course, it's illegal in the US - and it should be - to discriminate on the basis of race.  Yet one of the first things asked on any government form is race.  I usually mark "other." Who can claim just one race? Who even knows what all the choices are? There are some neonazis who claim to be pure, but I reckon if one dug  deeply enough, they'd find some great, great uncle who wasn't completely Aryan and probably couldn't define Aryan.

 Some show on the History Channel explained that though the Nazis had a very clear definition of how Jewish someone could be - I think it was at least one great, great grandparent of 16 could be Jewish and one would be considered a Jew, but don't hold me to that - Hitler himself probably was a Jew by that definition.  Or at least he had to doctor his heritage to pass for "pure Aryan." 

Certainly in the US we see every conceivable shade along that ecru - mahogany continuum.  In Sunday School I sang a song about "Red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight. . . "  People aren't red, yellow, black, or white. We are all colored.  We are brown.

I have a friend I sometimes call Negro.  Once someone overheard me and thought I was very, very wrong.  She can call me Caucasian, I don't care.  It would make more sense to call me Fay.  She could call me woman, human, tree-hugger, old hippy - all of those things would be partially descriptive of me, as is Caucasian.  It would make more sense for me to call Tiffani woman, mother of my would-be grand babies, professional, nursing student. . . . but hey, I don't always make sense.

When I am filling out a form about someone, I always ask them their race.  I've never had anyone get upset, which in itself is something amazing since some clients get upset when you ask them what day it is.  Some people are mildly amused when I ask them their race, but very often people like to talk about their heritage.  If they say "My great great uncle on my sister's side was 1/5 Japanese and Grandma was born and raised in Ireland, so I usually just say, American Eskimo."  I'll write down American Eskimo.

So here's what I propose we do.  Be creative with your race the next time you have to fill in a form.  Answer brown or green or yes or Formula One or Rat. These answers make at least as much sense at the questions.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Steaming for a Cuppa Joe

This morning I sat behind a "lady" in a green car as she sat texting away at a stop sign. I suppose I should have been happy that her right foot wasn't pushing on the accelerator while her right index finger was busy spelling out the latest chapter of her epic novel, but I was not the least joyful.  I hadn't had coffee yet and she should have assumed that there would be someone behind her who actually wanted to go somewhere.   After all, I was waiting to join about a gazillion other cars all heading in the general direction of my office and I was eager to look for the gap in the traffic that would allow me to get closer to work.  And coffee.

Someone had carelessly parked in my space at work.  My name isn't on the space, you understand, but everyone knows it's my space.  I like to park there.  It's usually available for me because I usually get there before anyone else, but today of course, I was running behind because some ridiculous person forgot to drive and trapped me for several prime minutes.  You'd think that who ever got to work before me would have had the decency to make coffee.  If you get the good parking place - the one at least four steps closer to the door, the least you can do is make coffee, don't you think?  But noooooo!  There was no coffee made. 

While driving to an other clinic some distracted, possibly brain injured person of questionable parentage who was probably a felon and not a nice person in the least got in front of my obviously important state vehicle and drove one mile per hour under the speed limit. 

Evidently the university is back in session, so the highway department decided to close some lanes here and there just to make things interesting.  There is a convenient  Starbucks on my way, but of course it was on the wrong side of the highway and with lane closures and thousands of people trying to deliver van loads of bookcases, laundry baskets and small appliances to their new apartments, the coffee was just a cruel tease.
You know how it goes when a lane is closed. There are signs: right lane ends 1000 feet. . . right lane ends 500 feet. . . right lane ends 14 feet. . . 12 feet, etc. It's not like it's a big surprise when the right lane ends. Yet one of 17 anal orifices behind the wheel will fly past you in the right lane and then sit there like a whipped puppy until someone lets them in. But not me. Not with that Starbucks disappearing like an oasis in my rear view mirror.
When I got back to my office the coffee pots had been washed clean.  It was late afternoon and I hesitated for a long minute before deciding to  make just a mug and a half.  And finally I enjoyed a well-deserved, long-overdue cuppa life-sustaining elixir.
A couple of sips later, while sitting in my office, my caffeine-fueled sanctuary,  Candy from down the hall stormed into my office. Usually she is as sweet as her name - suspiciously sweet, come to think of it.  But this afternoon she cut loose as only a flower of Southern womanhood in the depths of java withdrawal can do.
Yes, she dropped the D bomb with one hand on her hip, her head whipped dangerously side to side and a finger firmly pointed in the direction of my nose.  "Why did you think it was OK to make four ounces of coffee? Didn't you think someone else might want some damn coffee? And by the way, people who don't work should not be allowed to drive during rush hour when people who work regular hours are trying to get to work.  Don't you ever make coffee unless you make a whole pot! And they shouldn't be allowed to drive when people are trying to get back from lunch, either."
I just sat there quietly sipping one of the best mugs of the liquid bean I've ever had.  Some people!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pretty Please with Sprinkles and a Cherry on Top

I hate to beg. That is unless begging gets me what I want. You see I'd rather not beg or ask at all for what I want. I'd rather just have people use their ESPN to figure out what I want, when I want it, and what color I want it in.

I've actually only known a precious few people who have that kind of extra sensory ability and they, only on rare occasions care to give the object of my desire to me.

So here I am asking, imploring, begging even for you and all your friends and literate acquaintances to follow this blog.
It's ever so witty. It will probably make you laugh and takes very little of your time. It doesn't result in magazine salesteens or Seventh Day Adventurists or Thinner Brush Salesmen coming to your door.

Following my blog will not result in being exposed to herpes, AIDS, chicken pox, Valium deficiency, or waxy buildup on your kitchen floor. It will not cause halitosis or housitosis or toesitosis or fleas.

If you're reading this and you know how much it means to me to see a new follower listed, you'd say to yourself, "Self," you'd say, "This is such a ding dang small thing to do to make that fiddy fav year woman way down there in the hot hot south, feel happy. Why, Self," you'd say, "We simply owe it to ourselves and that poor ol' slightly off center woman to get as many people following her blog as possible!"

Yes, I'm sure that's what you'd say. And then you'd go about clicking on that follow button and cajoling all your friends into doing the same.

I mean it's not like I'm asking you to vote for me or campaign for me. Just read the words of a crazy woman from a safe distance. Could be fun, eh?

Come on. . . . live on the edge. Click for FaysofLife.

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.  (Write

"I've told you before, Darling, I'm not quite ready for true intimacy. Please be patient," he said.

But deep in her heart she wondered if she’d already waited too long.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Good Inventions

Because I believe in providing a fair and balanced blog like my friends at Fox News who also believe that their quirky opinions are the final word, I decided to bring to you some of the top inventions in the history of the Universe.

As always, I welcome your opinions, so long as you realize that if they don't exactly match mine, they are flat out wrong.

  1. Time.  I will probably never understand exactly how it works, but I can't really imagine my life without it.   I mean, really. . . the past?  Really cool.  I get to remember it however I want, and I do!  Future?  Again, it's a very fun imaginary friend.  Color it however you like.  Best of all, I've got to admit I really like the present.  What a gift!
  2. Vanilla ice cream.  I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on this.  I have been known to make the very best vanilla ice cream ever, but I've got to say that my good friends Ben and Jerry do a pretty ding dang good job as well.  Sure, there are fancier ice creams, but a really good vanilla is the best.  I know because I I've tried them all. Several of them I've tried several times. 
  3. Baby mammals.  Baby humans are so ding dang cute that they can make you forget they are basically drooling, eat-and-poop machine insomniac noise makers, but they are just not really as cute as puppies or kittens; calves or colts.  And nothing in the Universe can be as aahhhh inspiring as a day old lamb. Those little goobers will just make you forget anything bad that ever entered your brain.
  4. Fun.  Much maligned by Protestants and math teachers, this is a great idea that just couldn't be kept down.  If you've forgotten how it's done, don't go to  television or a comedy club.  Go to a preschool.  Those places are full of fun experts.  If they aren't, they are bad places that don't  deserve to have preschoolers around.
  5. Trees.  Let me just say kudos to the Great Creator for this one.  Seriously one of the best ideas ever.  Fruit, nuts, lumber, shade, homes for lots of animals, beauty, water filters, oxygen producers, swings, treehouses. . . . . What else compares?  Nuttin, honey.
  6. Dreams.  As long as I can remember (see no. 1) I have been entertained nightly by wondrous dreams.  No movie has come close to my dreams - both the day and the night varieties.  I feel sad for people who can't remember their dreams or restrict them only to nightmares. 
  7. Physical properties of water.  Water in general is really cool and probably deserves a number of its own, however water's physical properties - specifically they way it expands when it freezes as opposed to most things, which get smaller when they are cold - is just so convenient for our planet.  If ice burgs sank instead of float, they would hang out at the bottom of the ocean and poof!  There goes the jet stream.  In other words, poof! There would go the whole weather/heat exchange/life thing we've got going. 
  8. Art.  Painting, sculpting, floral arranging, dance, theatre, cooking. . . . music. (pfn) I suppose in my wildest dreams (see no. 6) I could imagine life without it, but how boring it would be. I think the Shakers tried it and look what happened to them.  Which reminds me. . .
  9. Sex.  I mean the human kind, not the amoeba kind.  Sure we have to have some way to reproduce, but it could have easily been through dropping human acorns on the ground or by taking a cutting.  But no, we get to have sex, which (when done correctly) really doesn't compare to anything else.  Actually sex can combine several of the other numbers.  I'll let you decide which. The Shakers didn't like sex - banned it as a matter of fact, and they are almost extinct.  Go figure.  But like all these special, cool things, it is just a crime (literally) to misuse it. 
And the grooviest invention yet?

10.  Life.  This is the original gift that keeps on giving; the one that allows us to experience all of the other coolest inventions.  I suppose it may sound trite or oversimplified - "yeah, man I'm high on life."  But I am high on life.  It's good stuff.  My mind is daily boggled by people wanting to end it for someone else or themselves.  That is the ultimate hollow.  You end life, you end nos. 1 - 9, too.  Bad idea.

So what say you blog readers?  What did I leave out?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bad Inventions

We tend to assume that new things are good things.  There's something magical about the word new. Because we've been bombarded with the combination every time we shop for nearly anything, we associate the word new with the word improved. Well, t'aint necessarily so.

I'm not actually sitting on a flowered sofa with a hand-crocheted Afghan covering my lap telling my grandchildren that I walked five miles through knee-deep snow, up-hill to and from school. I'm not anti-new.  It's just that there are some things that just should never have been invented. 

I've developed a top ten list for your debate.
  1. Algebra. I am still waiting to find myself in a situation where I need to figure out what X equals. I'm sorry, Mr. Scheurman, it was painful and I just don't see it.
  2. Cigarettes.  I think if someone wants to throw money away to suck poisons into her lungs and poison anyone around her who is trying to breathe,  she should be required to smoke cigars, a pipe or at the very least go to the trouble of rolling her own.  Making smoking more convenient was not a good invention.
  3. Thong underwear.  Seriously!  Why even bother?  I have never felt the need to floss my butt and I don't think other people should, either.  Which reminds me of no. 4.
  4. Underwire bras.  The inventor of this modern torture device was a sadistic, pure evil, misogynistic, testosterone-laden psychopath.  And I don't like him very much.
  5. Gym parking lots.  If people would walk to the gym, they wouldn't have to go in. 
  6. Spandex "work out" clothes.  If you've ever partaken of no. 5, you know the kind I'm talking about.  This is just wrong as well as superfluous if one has body paint.
  7. Twinkies.  I didn't taste one of these modern marvels until I was a married woman.  I immediately spit it out.  They are poison and don't even taste good. 
  8. Light beer.  If you're going to drink beer, drink beer.  Don't pretend that it's diet beer.  It isn't diet and it isn't beer.  I'm from Wisconsin and I know.
  9. Chewing gum. Who decided that what we really need is something that makes humans look like cows chewing cud? Why was that ever a good idea? And in what Universe did people decide it was ok to chew gum in a professional setting, at a wedding or funeral, or anywhere I can see them?
  10. And the stupidest invention in the history of the Universe is. . . . (drum roll, please) Methamphetamine.   Someone actually went to the trouble to find out what would happen if he mixed some cold medicine with some drain cleaner and some other fancy stuff; cooked the toxic substance down, and then smoked the particulate.  Now who on God's green Earth is actually that stupid?  Here, man, smoke this, you'll be hooked tomorrow, lose everything you have including your family, possessions, freedom and your ability to think.  Yeah, sounds AWESOME, man!  I've seen so many people whose lives and souls have been stolen by this garbage and they aren't pretty let me tell you.  Not only do their brains stop functioning like a human brain, their teeth turn into little pointy black things, their skin turns grey and full of lines and creases and they look as if they've been held captive in the dark, damp basement of an evil witch for the past year or so.  Now most people buy their first meth from someone who is cooking it.  That's just more stupid than can be expressed here in polite company. But if you were going to buy a Ford, you probably wouldn't want to buy one from a person with black teeth that were falling out  during the test drive, who weighed about the same as your house cat and was about four times a jumpy; even if that man drove a ford himself.  So why in the world would anyone buy meth from a meth cooker who looks like that?  Doesn't it ever run through the buyer's mind that just maybe the seller looks and asks like that because of the meth?  I've known a lot about drugs and worked with people who've  been addicted to all sorts of drugs but I have never seen anything that comes close to being as down right STUPID as meth.
Meth Mouth

Sunday, August 15, 2010

City on the Hill

I know government is complicated.  There's all that go along to get along, I'll vote for this if you vote for that, you donate X to my campaign and I'll do such and such. Some politicians probably go into the work with good intentions, who knows? But one thing is sure, our big government isn't efficient. 

Yet we expect it to go around the world fixing everything.  Earthquakes, starvation, lack of education, lack of health care, floods, corrupt officials - the U.S. government is supposed to clean up everything.  I think the U.S. government should take care of people who're affected by earthquakes, without enough food, who lack education, who lack heath care, etc.  It should take care of American people. 

It should make sure every American has the basics of health care, education, food, housing - you know, the basics.  As for corrupt officials and bad tyrannical governors, it has enough to deal with right here at home.  It is ridiculously arrogant of it to go to work on the flecks in its neighbors' eyes when it has a couple of 4 X 6s in both its eyes. When the U.S. is perfect - when all our people are fed, housed, educated, have health care, then perhaps the government can go help others countries.  But we're a long way from that. A long way.

I'm not unconcerned about the plight of people in other countries.  I'm very proud of the way the American people individually and as part American non-profit organizations  help people, other animals, and their habitats all over the world.  Non-profits are held accountable for their efficiency and we as individuals can choose which ones to help through.  I'm proud to be an American!  Just think how much more the American people could help if we were all secure.

And yes, I think the government must defend us from all enemies that threaten to harm us.  I just don't think we need to go far to find threats.  Our biggest threats are those we face right here.  You need only to go to an ER, look under bridges, listen to a high school English class, or talk to a 15 year old about to give birth to get an idea of what threatens us.  I would be no less proud of our soldiers if they were engineering our roads, turning around street gangs, and providing health care here at home.  And I don't think it's too much to ask of all young Americans to serve their country for a couple of years.

We are the city on the hill.  We'd better fix our roofs, wash our windows and grow healthy gardens if we expect to set a good example.

It's unrealistic for us to expect our government to be efficient if we expect it to be all things to all people.  The government, brothers and sisters, had better be us. If you aren't letting your elected representatives know exactly want you want on a  regular basis, then you aren't doing your job.  How can they represent us if they don't hear from us.  Obviously, it doesn't work when the only people they hear from are the ones who give huge gifts to their campaigns. 

It's supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people. I reckon that means the people of the United States. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Super Me!

On my way home from work today I was thinking about what super power I would choose.  Not that anyone has offered any super power to me.  Well, not for a while anyway.  I mean, there was that one guy in high school, but hey, I wasn't as naive as he hoped.

At first I thought that being able to fly would be pretty cool.  Then I tried to figure out what I'd do if I could fly.  Oh, sure, the first few days I'd probably just fly around and enjoy the wind in my face, check out what a bird's eye view really is, try to guess the buildings by their roofs - you know, normal first couple of flying days stuff.

But what I'd do with my power after just playing around a while stumped me. Before I could rationally choose flight as my superpower, I'd need to have some idea what benefit it would be to me and the rest of the world.  And in order to figure that out, I'd need more details.

How fast could I fly?  How long?  How high?  Would I be able to pick up things and fly with them, or does super strength not automatically go along with being able to fly?  These are things I  need to know.  Because  I couldn't carry any more when flying than I can when walking, and if I couldn't fly really fast and really far, I'd be limited to rescuing small animals and children who were nearby.  I suppose I could be a courier of small packages but how helpful (and how fun)  would that really be?

Then it occurred to me that times being what they are, I'd need to keep my ability a secret.  Someone would surely shoot me or I'd be kidnapped by the government and have horrible experiments performed on me.  Well, of course!  This is why flying superheros wear masks and costumes.  They have to protect their identities and their lives!  I'd never actually thought it though before. So flying, while really cool and not something I'd turn down,  isn't probably the power I'd choose.

By the time I reached the city limits I was considering invisibility.  Right away I thought that would be very cool because I could sneak in and out of places.  But what would I do with that?  I'd possibly be very tempted to turn to a life of crime because it would be so easy to steal things.  Then I'd be Superguilt Woman!  I felt bad for even thinking about it. I could listen to what people said about me, but then I'd probably feel hurt and angry.  I could foil the plans of evil-doers, but I'd have to work with people who know where to find likely evil-doers and I've already determined I wouldn't care to let the government in on my abilities.  So basically,  having the ability to invade people's privacy probably isn't something I'd choose.

Same goes for reading minds.  While at first glance you might think it would be helpful, I don't need to know what people are really thinking.  I'm frightened enough by the bits they are willing to tell me. Sometimes I don't even like being able to read my own mind let along anyone else's. Talk about invading privacy!

So what then?  Talking to animals?  Been doing that all my life.  A human magnet? Sounds dangerous.  Xray vision?  No big deal in the age of MRIs.

I though for a bit about having the ability to convince people - sort of Supercharm.  Just think of it!  I could convince everyone to recycle everything, to conserve water and give up their gas guzzlers.  I could convince people of the errors of their ways because. . .  Oh.  What if I'm not right about absolutely everything?  I know, it's a stretch to even imagine such an absurd notion, but still. . .That's a lot of responsibility.  And I've been known to be irresponsible on the very rare occassion.

By the time I got home, I realized it hadn't rained enough to keep me from having to water my gardens.  That's when it came to me.  A super power that would really improve the quality of my life (which is pretty ding dang groovy already) without being interesting enough to get me in trouble. I realized that at that very moment, in the spirit of the true Batwoman,  I'd really like to be disgusting to mosquitoes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Fishy Bee Sting

Tonight while watering my shade garden, I was ruthlessly attacked by a huge, mutant critter of some sort.  I didn't actually see it, but from the post attack pain, I'm pretty sure it had a three foot long stinger made of rusty barbed wire, I have an allergy to bees, though I'm not sure if it applies to huge, mutant bees.  So I've taken some antihistamine and I'm betting that I won't die.  However, the incident allowed me to remember another very funny near death experience.

About a decade ago, I went with a friend to his lake house in northern Wisconsin. My friend was 6'4" and looked very much like a Viking.  (This is a morsel necessary to a laugh later in the story.)  I decided to learn to fish while I was there.  I didn't think it would be very difficult, since I could see the fish swimming around in the crystal clear water.

I bought a fishing pole, stringer, some plastic bugs, a really cute pink tackle box and a fishing license.  My friend wasn't the least bit interested in fishing and stayed up in the house reading.  The house was above the lake.  Twenty-one steps led down from the house to a grassy area sloped to the lake.

On the first day of trying, I discovered that fish in this particular lake don't care much for plastic bugs.  So on the morning of the second day I went to a little fishing shop about ten miles away across tiny, bumpy roads.  It wasn't much, but it was the closest thing to civilization for miles and miles.

The man there sold me a few dozen worms.  They were especially squirmy, slimy worms.  Nevertheless, I felt bad about sticking a hook through them. The fish liked the worms and ate them all.  They did not, however become attached to my line.

So on the third day, I went back to Fishing Shop Man, who asked how much fishing I'd done.  Evidently, there is a specific way to put the worms on the hook and one doesn't necessarily put a whole worm on the hook at once.  Well, really, how was I to know that?  By the way, I think if I'm buying a lot of a person's product, he should be required not to laugh at me. 

I also complained to FSM that the worms he sold me were not pleasant to handle.  He suggested I try leaches, which are not slimy.  He showed me how to let them attach themselves gently to my once beautifully manicured thumbnail and showed me how to hook them.  It may be some sort of prejudice against blood-sucking things, but I felt less bad about sticking the hook through the leaches. However leaches don't taste as good as worms to fish in that particular lake.

I went back to FSM the next day and got more worms and detailed instruction in putting them on the hook.  By day five I had a stringer full of little pan fish.  I was understandably proud and decided to go for just one more.

When I pulled the stringer from under the dock, I noticed that it was unusually heavy. A huge, ancient turtle was the only thing on my stringer!   He smiled at me with a prehistoric, satisfied grin and belched. At least I think he belched.  I can't be sure since I was screaming hysterically at the time.  I screamed so loud and so long that my friend made it down all 21 steps and leaped across the grassy area in time to see the very happy turtle swim away.

"Big turtle,"  he said and went back to his book and the air-conditioned house.

The next day FSM was interested in the big turtle and sold me a metal cage to hold my catch in the event that I ever caught another fish, and sold me more worms. I caught one tiny fish over and over and over again, giving him a good talking to and throwing him back each time. I eventually did catch an other batch of keepers and once again went for one last fish before quitting for the day.

When I pulled up my metal fish cage to put the last fish in, that damned reptile had his dinosaur jaws clamped on to the cage and several of the fish had fainted in sheer terror.
However, this time I was not terrified.  This time I was mad!

I grabbed my new fishing knife, still in it's fancy leather sheath, and beat that critter on its giant pointy beak until it let go of my fish.  I called it every bad name I could think of, many of which were not actually appropriate for a turtle.

But I won, dang it anyway.  The turtle had to actually go work for his dinner and I, sweaty and yucky from a day of fishing, trod up the long walk to the house to clean mine.  I showed my prizes to my friend, who was underwhelmed. 

While sitting on a slab of concrete trying to separate the edible part of the fish from the rest of them, a wasp who was evidently a good friend of the turtle, stung me a few times on my right hand.  I'd never been stung by a wasp before, but I knew I was allergic to honey bees and frankly, it hurt a lot. 

So I called to my friend and told him that he'd need to take me to an emergency room.  He, of course, had no clue where the nearest ER was.  He went from lethargic apathy to panic in a matter of seconds. 

While he was looking for his car keys, I decided that I had time to at least wash the fish gore from my hands before trying to find medical help.  I had tramped across the kitchen and was nearly to the bathroom when I realized that I had left a trail of blood on the floor.   Then I realized that in my frenzied attempts to shake the wasp from my hand, I'd failed to put my my knife down.  My left hand and leg were both sliced.  

My big, strong friend saw the blood and crashed out cold on the floor.

I managed to get most of the blood cleaned up while he was coming to.  We eventually we made it to an emergency room where the doctor wanted to know why a bee sting was making me bleed all over his exam room.  My embarrassed friend declined medical treatment.

We pulled up to the lake house in time to see a very happy couple of cats scamper away from my dented, empty fish cage.  Not that the fish would have been much good after all that time anyway.

I really can't show my face at that lake anymore. 

The Benedryl seems to be working, by the way.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Golden Years

An old man mows the lawn as his frail wife slowly picks up sticks that might be in his way.  He sweats in the hot sun and she brings him a glass of cold water. He drinks it, hands her the empty glass and returns to his work without words.

At the grocery he pushes the cart and she collects items from the shelves.  He pauses when they come to the soup section.  She doesn't need to tell him that they are out of tomato soup.  At the meat counter he stops to admire some steaks.  She keeps walking and picks up a package of chicken breasts.  He silently puts the steaks back and pushes the cart along.  They hold on to each other as they take their purchases to their car.

Ah, isn't that sweet?  Cute little ol' couple. They've been married so long they don't even need to talk.  She knows when he is thirsty.  They work together.  She is concerned about his cholesterol.  A gentleman, he takes the heavier part. They hold on to each other because they're so much in love.

Well, maybe.

Or maybe they met a few years ago on  Maybe she picks up the sticks because she knows it's the only way he'll get the grass cut.  Maybe she brings him water because she doesn't want him  getting sick and laying around all week.  Maybe he hates chicken and tomato soup, but it seems to be the only damn thing she knows how to cook. Maybe he pushes the mower and the cart because he doesn't trust her driving. Maybe they hold on to each other because they're both so full of gin they're in danger of falling. And maybe they don't talk because he's sick and tired of hearing her nag and she's sick and tired of him not listening.

You just never know.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Losing It

For several days (ok, a couple of weeks)  I've been looking for my blood pressure cuff. I live in a small house and there really aren't that many places for it to hide. I thought perhaps I took it to work and it got mixed in with other bp cuffs.

I went to my nurse's cave and asked her if she had an extra cuff around.  She said yes and I thought my problem was solved.  But the extra one she had wasn't mine.  I checked with a doctor down the hall.

"Do you have your bp cuff? We have an extra one."  She pulled a stethoscope from her drawer.  I said, "That's stethoscope."  
She rooted around and found her cuff. Then she said, "But I lost my shoes."

"I understand,"  I replied.  I once lost only one shoe. By lunch time I'd forgotten to ask about my bp cuff. 

"Did you ever find your bowl?" asked one of the lunch group.

"No, and I can't find my molasses."

"Well no one would take your molasses.  No one else can stand the stuff.  Where's the salt?"

When my children were young and I did lots of laundry, I had a grocery sack full of lonely socks.  Never in the history of the world has anyone lost a pair of socks, mind you.

Where do these things go? Blood pressure cuffs, shoes, lonely socks, molasses, minds?

Sometimes things show up.  My friend found his sunglasses in the oven.  Alas, it was too late for the sunglasses.  A mysterious pig sheriff showed up on a boulder near my sister's house. I found my cup of coffee in my closet once.  My toothbrush appeared on the book shelf next to Robert Frost; an earring in the freezer.  I found my mouth guard behind the family room TV while looking for my  cuff, and I didn't even know I'd lost it.

But somethings just disappear, never to be seen again. I reckon it's a mystery as deep as the origin of the pyramids.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bears and Bombs

I am not afraid of bears.  I've never seen a bear in the wild, though I keep looking.  I imagine that if I found myself in my back yard with a big bear, I might decide to become afraid of them.  It would probably be a good, healthy thing to do.

I use to be afraid of nuclear war but I got over that.  I didn't get over it because it's no longer a threat.  We didn't remove the "Sword of Damocles" that President Kennedy talked about when I learned to be afraid of The Bomb

We used to have drills in school during which we would hide under our desks and cover our heads with our hands.  Amazingly, this did not alleviate our fear of The Bomb.  What if The Bomb happened when I was playing outside, away from the safety of my wooden desk?

Eventually we stopped worrying about The Bomb.  I repeat, we didn't stop worrying because The Bomb no longer exists.  In fact, their are many more bigger, better bombs now.  We figured out that hiding under our school desks, in fallout shelters or even in our well-stocked basements wouldn't mean spit if someone actually dropped a bomb on our town, but instead of becoming more afraid, we became less afraid.

There are so many more things to be afraid of now, it's hard to choose.  We could be afraid of climate change, cancer, spiders, biological warfare, bird flu, being hit by a meteor, vampires, going to hell, bears, people who pray differently, the number 16.

Perhaps we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Nah.  We have lots of things to fear if we want to.  We can't do it though or all we'd do all day is be afraid.  Being afraid won't get rid of climate change, bird flu, or biological warfare.  Hiding under your desk won't protect you from The Bomb. 

Fear just wears me out.  So what to do, what to do? Well, I'm certainly not going to waste time and energy being afraid of things that statistically won't hurt me.  I'm not going to fear spiders or vampires or the number 16.  I'm not going to waste elevated blood pressure on fearing bears unless I'm likely to encounter one.  And I'm not going to lose sleep over the possibility of The Bomb in the hands of bad or clumsy people.

BUT I'm not going to pretend that hiding under my desk makes The Bombs go away.  I hope that better brains than mine can figure out how to get rid of them.  I'm not sure how it will be done, but I know that forgetting about them won't work.