So many words, so little time....

Friday, August 22, 2003

Tuesday Morning Quarterback is BAACCCKKK!!

Yes, it's that time again, and the gridiron giants are bashing their preseason heads together. For those of you who don't have time to follow football properly but want to be able to understand what the guys are blathering about at the watercooler, we have the Tuesday Morning Quarterback. Gregg Easterbrook gives us a weekly breakdown of football follies and features over on ESPN's Page 2.

No, they didn't pay for this link. I just love TMQ and seeing it was back with us helped move this day a couple notches up the suck-o-meter and I wanted to share it with you. I can't put a perma-link up to them because they insist on not having a central page to find his articles outside of the Page 2 homepage and I'm not going there. I may be a geek, but I'm still a chick. ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Centrist Papers....

What do we do, we "moderates"? We are reviled by both parties; anyone who is left of Rush Limbaugh is scathingly called the L-word, and anyone to the right of LaRouche is referred to as a neocon or worse. My favorite appellation applied is "RINO" or "Republican in Name Only". Seriously? In name only? Are they somehow faking conservative fiscal-leanings?

Oh dear! Lock up your daughters.

I have found that I am not the only person who has thought some of these thoughts. One of the nicest things about being a loosely defined collective without a defined platform is we don't have to nail the planks down quite so hard. There is room for more than one viewpoint. So, in the spirit of the great polemic political tract writers of our Revolutionary period, I will begin assembling some of the moderate-conservative thought floating around out there into one meaty tome. We'll call it "The Centrist Papers".

Tonight's installment is from Bill Whittle over at EjectEjectEject, and is entitled "Responsibility". Enjoy.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Going Back to Bed and Pulling Covers Over My Head

Maybe forever. I'm all in a welter. One of the people who I know from the Fray has been terminally ill for a long time. We had all sort of come to terms with it as best we could, and welcomed every post he did. His son has just posted that he is gone.

I know very little about him in real life. I don't know his real name for sure, only his posting handle. He moved to Florida a bit more than a year ago. He has a wife and at least two kids. But even though I know so little about his life, I feel like I knew him as a person very well. He was adept at sharing his thoughts and feelings, and could stagger you with a well placed thrust of wit.

On top of everything else, this has really taken the wind out of my sails. One foot in front of the other today. Working on subduing Mt. Washmore (great name for it Franklie) and not mangling the kids. And later, I'll mourn.

Friday, August 15, 2003

I just tried out Blog This! This is quite cool! As long as I'm not doing any template changes, this is absolutely great.

At any rate, I'll be back later with real content. ;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Sniff, sniff, koff, koff...

MsZilla has been having a lovely time in the health department lately. In some respects, it's a good thing. I have been afraid that something like this would happen for a long time, and now that it finally has I know where and how my preparation for that was sufficient, and where it wasn't, and now I can take steps. It's almost a relief the shoe has dropped.

I ended up spending a night in the hospital. This concept has terrified me since the kids and I ended up on our own. What would I do? How would we handle things? I had put some things in place, but I wasn't sure what would really happen.

Well, now we've had our Hudson's Bay Start. If it was longer than one night, I would have to make some changes. But other than the fact that the kids are treating me like glass now, things went okay. I know that sounds silly, being upset because they have put on the white gloves. But I hate it when I worry them; skateZilla in particular was very scared.

But I'm home now. Hopefully tomorrow I can start eating normal food again. Still coughing and wheezing but non-contagious. I can't even go give this to our "favorite" vendor out of spite. I got back to work today, and damn do I have a lot to do to catch up. Oh well. No rest for the wicked. Not even the extremely wicked. ;)

Monday, August 04, 2003

It begins...

The dreaded First Day of School fast approaches. We must arm ourselves for the dread tasks that lie ahead. First, a trial of strength and endurance of epic proportions as we set off on our quest: School Shopping.

Seriously, we aren't going to pull a sword out of anything. We just have to pick up a few things. Come on! It'll be fun! Based on our previous experiences I took the time to write up a few things, just so you know the schedule and we are all on the same page. Take a look.
  1. $16 for a pair of socks is right out. Especially since their only feature is a green line at the toe and some incomprehensible piece of corporate grafitti on the ankle. And doubly especially since you tuck these things down into your logo-drenched sneakers so people can't tell you are wearing socks and won't see the stupid grafitti anyways. Besides, for $16 a pair they had better include the answers to your first math test, and the package says these don't.

  2. You do have opinions about these things. Exercise them. If you say "Whatever..." in THAT tone of voice when I ask you to choose between two items, I can guarantee that I will take whatever steps I can to pick the most heinous of the two.

  3. I am NOT buying anything Harry-Knowles-brown. I know all about your friends telling you that naturals are the "hot" color, but they are idiots. You do realize that color plus denim blue makes you look like a geeky website. If you don't believe me, go to This is most definately not a "hot" look. Besides, you're 12! "Hot" is not the adjective we're looking for here.

  4. Off to Starbucks for a round of Midol and a quad latte for Mom.

  5. Gentlemen, if you are that bored with this we can go home, and you can find something in your current mountain of clothes to wear that first day. That's all you will wear the rest of the year, anyways. If you continue to work my nerves, I will drag you through the ladies lingerie section again on our way back to the shoe department. And I mean the granny end of it. And I will smile and wave at the girls from your school that are stuck there with their moms just in case they might have missed you hiding under that display.

  6. Ladies, if you are that bored with this we can go home, and you can find something in your current mountain of clothes to wear that first day. If you continue to work my nerves, I will drag you through the little girl's clothing section again, making sure to pretend that we are shopping there. Can you say Barbie underpants? I knew that you could.

  7. Young man, you will only wear one of each kind of garment that first day, so put back the color-coordinated selection of boxers you were planning on graduating down your backside. Showing the top of one set of underwear is bad enough. Showing the tops of four pairs is ridiculous. Besides, you would have to walk your pants on a leash if you did that. And yes, right and left socks count as separate kinds, smartalec. And your shoes do, too, so you have to wear both.

  8. Young lady, if the care tag is the largest piece of fabric on the underwear, you can forget it. Fugly colors are fine, it's your funeral. However, please remember that you just picked out a pair of white capri pants, and that chartreuse will show through those like a lighthouse on a foggy morning. No, that doesn't mean you can pick out that loud pattern so it will look cool when it shows through!

  9. Genuflect when you pass through the door to the shrine of caffiene! Another quad latte for Mom.

  10. If the heels of the shoes are so high they have their own weather pattern, you can forget it. If they are a color that doesn't occur in nature, you can forget it. No, they don't even have that one on the Discovery Channel. I don't care if they are the coolest thing ever, they are still too small. No. I don't care if they coordinate with your technicolor-painted toenails (particularly once your toes turn that lovely shade of purple due to obstructed blood flow).

  11. If they are hobnailed or have steel spikes sticking out of them anywhere Mom may buy a pair just for the rest of our shopping excursions, but you sure aren't. If they are a color that could be used as construction traffic control or if they are lighted so they can be used to signal the mothership, it ain't happening. If they cost more than the gross national product of the European Union, you can forget it.

  12. Young lady, you are NOT leaving the house in that shirt. Heck, you aren't even leaving your bedroom in that thing. Put it back. Here, try this mumu, uh, I mean chic new blouse.

  13. Young man, there is a skimpily-dressed female draped all over that skateboard on that t-shirt. Not in this lifetime! Here, look at this one with the vaguely satanic symbols all over it. Maybe the vice-principal will think they're cool, too....

  14. Let's try Tully's this time. They're closer. Another quad for me, and sedatives for the rest of the posse.

  15. We will only be buying the stuff that is on the list they sent us. And no, those pens with the feathers sticking out of the backside are not on the list. Neither is that huge AC/DC sticker. What! They can't have dredged those guys out from under a rock. Can they?!

  16. It says college rule on the list. Why do we have four cases of wide rule in this cart? Sorry gang, that trick was old when I was in school; they can see the difference. Nice try, though. Just type it and print it out in 13 pt. font. Duh!

  17. They want HOW MUCH for that binder? You're joking! Besides, it's puke green. You're girlfriend will laugh and you won't bring it to school for the rest of the year.

  18. No, Mr. Harry Potter isn't showing up on anything we're walking out the door with, young lady. Neither is SpongeBob. Would you like to rephrase that while you still have your health?

  19. Sorry gang. We will only be going to seventeen stores per day. And that means 24 hours, smartalec. I know this cramps your style, but any more than that would strain the fabric of space-time. The dilithium crystals just can't take much more of this...

Anyone got a sword stuck in anything?

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Friends don't let friends blog drunk!

I'm not drunk, first of all, but I saw a bumpersticker that said that today and I thought it was pretty darn funny. Right up there with "My kids drive me crazy; I drive them everywhere else". I guess if it is hitting bumperstickers blogging is starting to seep into the rest of the strata of society. Should be interesting.

Have you ever noticed what I refer to as "Calling Card Syndrome"? It is when someone, for whatever reason, is so tied to one particular part of their identity that they have to make sure you know it when you talk to them. If they could do it gracefully in this day and age they would have cards printed up with that on there and hand them out all the time. A famous example of a carder would be Sir Ian McKellan (who has not only come out of the closet, but out onto the lawn). But we all know people like this, and most of them aren't homosexual - they have kids or are getting divorced or whatever, and they have to make sure it gets mentioned in every gathering at least once, just to make sure you know about it before they can settle down to a conversation.

I didn't think I was too susceptible to it, and usually I was kind of sad for people who were so consumed by that one thing that it impinged on their life so deeply. Until I caught myself doing it. I guess in retrospect that no one really thinks they do stuff like that. Sort of the same Cleopatra-level denial you see on the roads. If 30% of the people on the road get cut off in the course of their morning commute, that means that 30% of the drivers cut people off. And yes, you might be part of that 30% if you looked out and admitted it to yourself.

Unsettling as it is, noticing it in myself did give me one thing - a better handle on what it is and why it happens. In my case, anyways, I think it was a combination of fatigue poisons, and a feeling that I had to know if they would talk to me even if they knew about it. I know it sounds silly, but in the harsh light of day when I re-read the irretrievable evidence of my folly that is what I truly felt. And in that morning after, all I can say is I felt relief that it was finally sitting out there for all to see and I didn't have to figure out ways to sneak my conversations with those people around its edges without waking it up anymore.

Another important aspect is that it is my own problem - none of them have ever indicated that they would react negatively. Despite all evidence to the contrary and the certain knowledge that they were far more likely to be supportive than vindictive, I feel afraid and ashamed and damaged in some way. I felt that for whatever reason people might not handle well knowing this, and in the case of these people it actually mattered more to me that they knew this and liked me anyways than the consequences of them reacting negatively.

Now that I see it, I hope I can stop it. I have a lot of great friends and they don't need to get something like this ground into the conversation every time I am there. They get enough of that already about the kids. :)

I do want to point out that I don't care if Sir Ian goes for men, women, salad vegetables, or the family pet. I enjoy his acting and have enjoyed listening to him speak in interviews and I don't care that he and his life-partner could share a razor. Actually, the list of personalities that fall into this category is quite long. Maybe I'll do a post about what is my business vs. what is someone else's business.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Life as Art...

So many of us would like life to be like art. I am predominately more the sort of person who thinks “More matter, and less art.” Occasionally, I run across a disturbing streak of fancy, though. It mostly manifests itself in daydreaming and storytelling.

I used to always wonder what it would be like to be the characters in the books I read. I would sit in English class and suppose myself young Jo Marsh, with her silly cap on her head and “genius a-burning”. In science class, a young Marie Curie discovered radium time and time again, and Jane Goodall discovered countless secrets in the jungles of Africa. Most of my shop classes were spent with Thomas Edison watching over my shoulder. I couldn’t tell you if it helped my grades or not, but I didn’t know about Admiral Hopper yet, and I failed computer science class, so maybe it did. Or it might have been the Apple Basic. ;)

I made myself part of stories, if I couldn’t find a ready someone to be. Captain Kirk never had a better weapons officer than my Katherine Wright. She also voyaged the seven seas with Horatio Hornblower, swathed herself in battle-silks and swung sword with Captain John Carter in the red deserts of Barsoom, and soared the skies of Pern on her queen dragon Zaralith, and blew up more Cylons than you can shake a stick at out of in her Red Squadron Viper. I have some fairly pathetic self-referential fan-fiction that I would never show to a soul I wrote in high school. Some writers (Diane Duane, for one) have made huge bucks out of that, but I think I would be too embarrassed.

She was a versatile lady. Not a thing like me though. I guess she was what I wish I was. I think in some ways, she is still with me. I sometimes dream, and find myself in the story again. Last year, I had a series of very vivid dreams with her as a fighter pilot in Babylon 5. She died gloriously.

She doesn’t seem to have an easy life. Sort of like a superhero character – they all tend to have had horrible pasts, with family members dying and all sorts of tragedy. Then they triumph over all, and find true happiness and fulfillment. Or die sacrificing themselves for something in a huge battle against dire wickeness. Either way seems painful, to be honest.

Even so, I sometimes still wonder, just what it would be like. Then real life kicks in the door. I have to go make dinner and feed the kids. Sometimes it’s hard to say that sentance without a little voice in my head saying, “To what?”