Friday, March 30, 2012
News today that the Ryan Bill was passed in the Repo-led House
And here's what the candidates say, pandering to the rich, as usual
Your taxes at work
I'm not sure what the need for these would be
"No-Hour" really means "All-Hours"
Roddenberry would be proud
I'm keeping thinking to a minimum today. Some days are just better that way.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Let's state the obvious.
Money is the lube of the Washington machine. Candidates will make promises to those who fund their run. They better make good on those promises.
Nobody who rises very far can get there without lots of money in this country. Nor, in my opinion, without lies and manipulation.
There are plenty of people in huge power who never run for office. They call a lot of shots but We never put them there. And We can't remove them.
The Electoral College makes voting for President a token gesture.
There are few people who can handle a life in politics. It takes a particular psyche. It attracts dilletantes, manipulators and ego-driven nuts.
It's a bleak prospect for We The People. I don't like the push towards theocracy that's being foisted upon us. I don't like the backwards slide into the McCarthy era that I'm watching happen. I don't like the rich getting everything they want. I don't like "the media". I don't like opinions being called news and I don't like "journalists" who repeat party catchphrases as truth. I expect better. I just do.
One of the only reasons I won't leave Vermont is because we have Bernie Sanders in Congress. Vermont is not like many other states. We're old-fashioned Liberal for the most part. We're also a small state where you can know your Governor, and your Congresspeople. We're very conscious about doing the Right Thing by others. Maybe because we know who the others are; they aren't nameless, they're neighbors and family and friends. Everything you do here, everything you get involved with, is tentacled to others. The responsibility that comes with that knowledge makes for considered actions. It's not so in many other places in this country.
While we still live under that old Lincoln rule about fooling the people, people will be fooled when they stop thinking, stop paying attention, stop listening to their sense of right and wrong. You can fool all of The People some of the time, and that some of the time is now. That needs to end. I don't want to look back in nostalgia. I want to look forward with opportunities and ideas. But I have little hope left. With the line-up of candidates we have, no matter who wins the White House, I'll be somewhere on the disillusionment scale. All that remains is the degree.
Here now, some news. The horrible and the funny, just like real life.
Don't fear the reaper
Some people aren't human
And some humans have little humanity
Even stone gets pimped
We've lost Earl Scruggs
Our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine have had enough of it, too
God wasn't his co-pilot
Okay. Back to the juggling.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Yes, nerddom rocks my world. Our family is into the GoT series. We even took a silly online quiz and found we are Starks.
And I'm the only one who hasn't seen the series, until now.
This is a rare treat. A day all to myself and a wonderful production to watch. I may even make popcorn (what a wild life I lead) and I'm going to pull the shades, get comfy and ignore incoming everything. It's all about Winterfell and Sean Bean, a world that doesn't exist, characters that don't have any bearing on my life, a feast for my eyes and a rest for my brain and body.
Life is good. Take time to enjoy what makes you happy.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Whether this means he won't be back in the US in the next year I dunno. It does mean I can relax for the summer. :) There's work on the LotL website I need to get done so I'll ask Eileen. Which doesn't mean she'll have an answer.
HildeBeest is cone-less. She's happy to be free and she's back to her ballerina walk. She hasn't been obsessively grooming so far but we'll see how it goes. She slinks off into the bedroom where I can't see what she's up to. Little sneak. I'll be closing the bedroom door if she starts biting herself like she did. She knows better than to do it in front of me. Over the weekend I read a bunch of forums about cats overgrooming and consensus was that after changing things to make sure it's not allergies, the only thing that lasts is to let them work it out on their own. They say that when the cat goes to town not to yell or spray them. And give them lots of affection. It could take months, but it's a phase, especially after uproars in their lives. Hildie's been through many changes in the last year. It's not allergies. She'll have to work it out. Hasn't depleted her appetite any!
It was a busy weekend, but a constructive one. And here we are, Monday morning. On to the news, though I'm avoiding all horrible and mind-numbingly insipid stuff so here's what's left:
Not unusual, regretfully
Praying for a living wage and a school
Once in a lifetime:
It's another busy day so off I go.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Aside from saying I'm totally disgusted with my country, I have bupkus more to add. Besides which I have a busy day ahead and I slept late (hooray!) so there's no time til tonight to address anything. And company will be here in an hour. Go read Stevil's post, he has it well covered.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
That's near TEN DOLLARS a gallon in US$
Tell it to the Marines
I'd enjoy these more than a typing test:
I always liked George Clooney
"Diabesity" and Frankenfoods
And the world goes 'round.
Better a hundred years than never
Innovations for a better tomorrow
This is despicable in my government
They, at last, have no shame
And "Christianity" is doing better?
Faster than a speeding light particle
Black holes becoming obese
I'm psyched to see this
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Music is always good for winding down a bit, and I start with loud hard drums and wild vocals. That takes the edge off, and could take a couple of hours to get past. I wound down from Zep to the Four Tops in the end.
Laughing with someone who understands works. Of course, you start out grousing before getting to the laughter. If you're lucky enough to have somebody who gets it and can bitch at your pitch, everything lightens. (Thanks, Stevil!)
Take on a small project that involves nobody else, has no further strings attached and that you can finish in one go. It helps to have something accomplished, even if it's a little thing, on a day of bass-ackwardness. I straightened out part of the bookcases and hung the photo of Julia Child laughing like a loon.
And watch a movie that has charms to soothe the savage breast. Something familiar that you haven't seen in ages so things will strike and delight you. A 60's Rosalind Russell movie called "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" was on tonight. Silly, sweet, nostalgic and perfect for getting outta my own tense moodiness.
By gods I can get worked up. All these years in the sticks and I still have that Brooklyn temperament. All these years of dealing with disability and I still have that rage right under the surface. Do we ever stop learning who we are? Can we ever change? Or do we just have to find our own ways to deal with it when we lose it?
There are days like this in life. Years ago I would've worked it off physically with hard labor or the gym or just punching some asshole in the nose. Can't do those now so I spit hostility at inanimate objects. I finally know why my parents yelled at the appliances so much. It blows off steam, that's all. They weren't nuts, they were frustrated at life and how it turned out. It's better to spew verbal venom on things without feelings than on those you may upset with stupid comments.
It seems to me the trick is to ride the anger out and hang onto the reason behind the anger, because that's where the fixing lies. The solution is always in the problem, they say. If only everything were as easy and simplistic as maths.
Well. So nothing gets done today. I still don't even know how Brian made out because everyone is incommunicado. Just typical.
It doesn't help that it's uncomfortably warm. I absolutely hate Summer, heat, bright sunshine and bugs. It's all that today. What, we don't even get a friggin Spring anymore? 82'F in March? Are you kidding me? Plants are already up and dying.
Ach, there's only one thing to do.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
There's already a society dedicated to populating the place
I think this calls for Bowie
(I wish they still made Yardley Pot o'Gloss)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The scathingly notorious musicians that night:
Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers
Tiny Grimes and his Rockin' Highlanders
Pretty scary stuff, eh?
Every rock 'n' roller has heard of the event, but not everyone has heard the whole story.
Here is the story, better than I could ever tell it.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that it's Carl Palmer's birthday. May your skin always be tight, Carl. Happy 62~
This is the kind of post Stevil excels at writing. Don't miss it.
And so, distractions. My niece sent me a link to a site of nerdfestia, this particular being a series of cartoons about T. Rex
From that site I also found my Hunger Games name and how I died (if you haven't heard about Hunger Games, look it up)
Back to dinosaurs (with narrations by Stephen Fry)
Then a look at the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in photos from around the world:
Okay, that killed an hour...
Monday, March 19, 2012
Are the rich more psychopathic?
Will AI outsmart human brains?
The new Google thinks:
Once again, what you think is what you are
Let your mind go where it will, it's good for you
- She keeps eating from the far side of the dish instead of what is piled directly in front of her. She uses the cone as a shovel, pushing the food to the far edge and up between the overlapping flap of the cone. Mess on the floor, mess in the cone, mess when she shakes her head, sending the food in the cone flap flying everywhere.
- She believes that the cone determines all. If she's going through a doorway and the cone edge hits the jamb, she'll be stopped dead in her tracks until I come move the cone the quarter-inch that sets her free. This applies to furniture, too. The thought of turning her head has not entered the Beestmind.
Credit where due, she's finally mastered using the catbox without dumping it over on top of herself. The hydrocortisone spray makes the cedar litter stick to her. I've combed more cedar out of her fur than what remained in the box.
The cone has kept her from biting her body fur off and her coat is growing in thick and healthy. However, she can still reach her tail, and by the look of it seems to spend every moment out of my sight chewing it. More spraying is needed. At least the bi-weekly gakking has stopped. Not enough fur on her tail to make a furball, I guess.
The Beest isn't the brightest star in the sky. And she's stubborn and obsessive. Habits aren't broken that quickly or easily. She may be in the cone for a long time to come, and I'll be gimping along after, cleaning up messes and moving her head for her, doing the thinking for her, until it's over. If she only had a brain...
And so it's noon and I've just gotten round to reading the news.
Smile pretty, officer: Occupy marks 6 months
The US Justice Dept. paid $3 million to 2 Lockerbie witnesses:
The Leveson Inquiry grows wilder tentacles all the time
Gunman kills 4 at a French school, 3 of them children
A local company that wasn't really local has been sold to Proctor & Gamble
5 most-prescribed drugs and their natural, cheaper counterparts
Okay, on with the day- it's a lovely one out there.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
As we used to say in choir, "Three hymns, you're out."
Saturday, March 17, 2012
As I've said before, I was raised around the supernatural. My family actively pursued and recorded experiences in the extra-normal going back to my Scottish Great-Grandmother. My parents, in particular my Mom, followed this with a religious zeal. Many of her cohorts were in earnest pursuit of something beyond our senses, and some got there. But I can't count the number of frauds and nuts involved in the field, some of whom my family would take to their bosom. We're talking the 60s here, when I became an unwilling witness. There was a big taboo on the supernatural back then, when having family who went to seances was cause for ostracising, when there was little in the way of scientific investigation techniques and anyone with an interest in such things was to be ridiculed.
By my view, I'd say there still is little in the way of scientific investigation. It seems to me that the vast amount of those who call themselves researchers aren't. These days the popular common methods used are little more than a few handheld gewgaws and a lot of "feelings", not much different than the days of mediums and batteries. You'd think by now, almost 50 years later, there'd be instruments developed for the particular phenomena, but no. The whole field is still in infancy. It's been decades since I set foot in the ASPR and I hope they've continued to develop and research the good work of Dr. Karlis Osis but you'd never know it by what's used in practice now.
So why is there no development of good instruments to measure and record observed phenomena? Why is there nothing beyond crude and unreliable EMF meters and such? Why is nobody locking down and seriously working in notably haunted places to develop equipment that would prove these things exist? The whole field has been bass-ackwards for over a century now. Sorry, but human feelings are unreliable and mediums aren't always honest- or sane.
There needs to be real research, in situ, so that instruments can develop and be tested.
And until that happens, and reliable verifiable equipment and results can be used and measured, there will be those who have no experience of the supernatural who can continue to poopoo the whole deal, like flatearthers. They haven't seen it so it doesn't exist. Kind of disfunctional all the way round. I know these things exist. But I have no instruments to prove it and no brains nor education enough to discover the means. It's quite frustrating.
My hope is that somewhere, someone is working on this...
We haven't done big parties in a while, my crew and me. Oh, yes, get-togethers of a dozen or more, but not the 40-50 people coming and going with dancing and antics and embarrassing stories to tell afterward. It's 7 years since I threw the every St. Pat's and every Halloween fests of hilarious insanity.
I miss that. So next year, I'm commandeering Brian's house and we're doing it. Enough of this sanity. If we can't pull off one big blast a year we might as well curl up and die.
Raise your glass:
"Here's to you and here's to me,
And may we never disagree.
But if we do,
Ta Hell with you,
And here's to me."
Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Friday, March 16, 2012
So that made me think that perhaps this is my brain getting more efficient. I don't recall details that are immaterial these days but I can recall things said very well. Because nearly everything makes me stop and think these days. When you think a lot, and this week has been full of lots to think about, your brain does this defragmenting kinda thing. Or at least mine does. There's an internal widget filtering the important from the unimportant. Consequently, scenes of the past that were recorded are brought to the fore for an instant in a kind of mental "Concentration", sans Art James or Hugh Downs.
This is just part of the never-ending-figuring-out-your-life that everyone does. It usually happens here and there. This week it was downloading faster than my brain could grasp. A series of "Aha!" moments accompanied by, "Holy shit!" realizations, one after another.
Which is terrific; I'm not complaining. It's good to live long enough to figure some shit out. But it eats your brain. I'm tired and had a hard time communicating today. My saintly Girl Friday was as fried as me so there was a lot of laughing. Also great, and made us both more tired.
So I'm going to bed early. Generally bedtime is midnight, sleep at 1 a.m. but no way tonight. I think I'll sleep in late as I can. Wonder what kinds of dreams may come... 'night.
The Nude Revolutionaries Calendar
China's air pollution
Greg Lake's tour keeps growing:
Lone gunman in Afghanistan killings?
The verdict is in: Santorum's a nut
Schmear for all
It's an evocative product name, anyway...
The unnecessariness of it all...
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Low Brow- Jo Brand- Like it or Lump it (25 min)
High Brow- Bill Bailey's Guide to the Orchestra (59 minutes)
Unibrow- Billy Connolly- Erect for 30 Years (in parts)
Having no dog in this race and not being in those families' situations I don't know how I feel. It seems ethically wrong. Yet I understand why they're doing it. But it just seems wrong. But it does make managing this severe kind of disability practical. But it seems wrong. I don't know. What do you guys think?
So she can't be called Johnnie Walker Red. I've renamed her Helen Wheels.
Helen is much lighter than the late Mr. Walker. Smaller, more aerodynamic. The backrest is curved- brill!- and the basket can be hooked onto the front. I guess things have improved a bit in 5 years. It sure makes doing anything easier.
Seems the last year has been about valuing what I have. Sometimes by just realizing how much they mean to me. Sometimes by losing them. Good lesson.
A little more coffee and it's back to work. Sometimes unpacking is like opening treasure chests. But still no drums, no ladles!
Canned fruits & vegetables
Canned protein items
Cereals and other nonperishable foods
Personal care items (toothpastes, toothbrushes, soaps, shampoo, floss, denture cleaners, bandaids, combs)
Feminine hygiene supplies
Diapers & formula; baby wipes, paper towels, toilet tissue
Check with your local food bank to make sure they carry items beside food in their location; some have a separate locale for nonfood items.
Seriously, I have a day off, I think. Unless I'm in a big CRAFT state and have no clue. Always a possibility.
So I'm not thinking about anything current or eventful. I'm gonna call around and find a tattooist. Then I'll finish 11/22/63 so it can go back to the library. And I'll watch some history vids on YT I've been saving to see. Do the sewing I put aside. Maybe find some of the things I still haven't come across in unpacking. Where are my tabletop drums? And the damn ladles? Start straightening out the bookcases... Hang those pictures in my bedroom...
I gotta say I'm thrilled with my incredibly shrinking body. Good timing to stop eating a lot, too. Can't afford cheese anymore! Groceries are sky-high. Thank gods for the scratch-n-dent store or there'd be much less in the house. I put on my seersucker robe and it's huge. I can't believe I used to fill it. 75 days of watching it and eating better and holy cow. I can't wait to get back into those black Levis again, and wiggle me butt. And another 37 days before Greg! 2/3s through the wait already! Hope I keep melting, melting.
Okay, not gonna sit here. Things to do. Guess it's not such a day off. ;)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
From an email Stevil sent me:
On this Sunday, March 18th, the Vermont Foodbank will be the beneficiary of Sugarbush Resort’s Be Better Days. When you purchase an adult All Mountain lift ticket through the link on the Vermont Foodbank’s homepage (http://www.vtfoodbank.org/), you will receive a discounted $60 lift ticket and the Vermont Foodbank will receive a $30 donation. Each ticket sold translates into 180 meals for Vermonters in need of food assistance.
This year has been particularly difficult for Vermonters, and the Vermont Foodbank has seen serious increases in demand for charitable food. “During the past year, Vermonters have suffered great losses due to a number of factors—natural disasters, a weak economy, layoffs and high unemployment,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “Demand for emergency food remains high, with thousands of families, children and seniors struggling with hunger. Support from businesses like Sugarbush has never been more important. We are so grateful for their continued partnership in the fight against hunger.”
There is a 48-hour booking window, so make sure to purchase your ticket by Friday, March 16th. Please consider joining Sugarbush in supporting our local community. We hope to see you on the hill!
OK- let's look around at what's up in the world.
I love this idea
Today in weirdness
The homeless as unwitting guinea pigs?
From the lunatic outpost- no, really
The story that just goes on and on
Today is Heat Fund Recipe Day, too. I made Lawless' blender pies last night (they looked and smelled wonderful- thanks, Lawless!) and Daryl will be here shortly to take them in to the station and chat up people to donate in exchange for the recipes. This may be the last Heat Fund show of the season, I'm not sure. If not, I'll have to come up with something for next month...hmmm.
This is also Fire Inspection Day. The Fire Dept. will be around to every apartment, checking for extinguishers, that our emergency cords are hanging to the floor, and that we don't have rags and oil piled up against the baseboard heaters. Never a dull moment.The Beest woke me up scratching herself. While awake, I got the cone and cortisone spray and she is once again beconed and indignant.
We had thunderstorms last night. Big rolling Springtime booms. A bit early, but there you are.
I'll be back with world news and other hoohah later. Just wanted to start the day off with goodness.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
There once was a touchy tortie
With fur that was patchy and chewed.
The other cats in surrounding flats said,
"Tsk! Just eat your food!
"Tsk! Just eat, tsk-tsk!
"Just eat, tsk-tsk!
"Just eat your food!"
This poor little touchy tortie,
Had her head in a plastic cone,
The other cats in surrounding flats said,
"Leave your fur alone."
"Leave your fur,
"Just leave your fur,
"Just leave your fur alone!"
And she crept with a slink and a waddle and a stink,
From the hydrocortisone.
All through the daytimes, she hid herself away,
Ashamed of her neurosis,
Afraid of what kitties would say...
All through the nighttimes, she worried for her fate,
Til she forgot to chew herself
And only food she ate.
Then the one she owned took off the cone,
And with it went the weight,
And she held her head up straight!
"I'm not such a touchy tortie,
"With my fur all patchy and chewed!"
For in fact, those cats in surrounding flats said,
"We've been a little rude.
"We've been a bit,
"We've been a bit,
"We've been a little rude."
Not a creep with a slink and a waddle and a stink,
But a beautiful tortie with a lovely coat of fur,
And her head held peaceful and high.
"Say, who's a touchy tortie, not I!"
and cited from
This is not new (what the Dickens is?), but noticing it is. I'm partial to language and new references amuse me. The Urban Dictionary is one of those sites you can lose a day in. Go ahead, Joyce yourself.
So let's take a look at today's ponderings.
Another superhero, courtesy of Baffles:
Our hero Bernie's dentalcare town meeting
Redistricting & why you should pay attention to this
Training your Brain to Change
That's quite enough to ponder, methinks.
Monday, March 12, 2012
BTW if anyone wants to know how to pickle fish let me know. I'll post the recipe I developed a few years back.
As for me, I'm outta here.
And papers have backed off printing his strip. Some have moved it to the editorial page. Some have sought replacement strips until this issue is no longer in Doonesbury.
Sorry- did we go through a time warp and blast back to 1971 and nobody told me? This Puritan bullshit has to go.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I have friends who are Potterheads, too. For a few Christmases I even made Potterish things for our branch of the Order of the Phoenix. So yes, my friends are nerds too.
To my knowledge, none of us became Pottermore Betas, the select million who got to try out the site created by Jo Rowling that continues the Potterverse. The site finally goes live to the public, after months of tweaking, in early April.
If you know about Hogwarts, you know that to be part of it you must be sorted into a school house. As Professor McGonagall said,
"The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory and spend free time in your house common room. The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours."
Generally, families belong to one house as a tradition. Though I've maintained that we're Ravenclaw, we've never as a family concurred on which house we're in. And soon it'll all be academic as Pottermore goes live and we'll each be sorted individually. There are a series of questions with multiple choice answers and from that you are sorted accordingly. I'm pretty certain that some of my peep will aim for Slytherin. But I've watched quite a few sorting ceremony vids (on YT, yes, painfully nerdy) of people purposely aiming for a house and not getting it. The Sorting Hat is inscrutable.
If I had a choice, it would go Ravenclaw first, then Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin. There are some who got a choice between two houses, but not many, and they weren't always given an option for the house they were hoping to be in. So there seems a randomness to it. And people have freaked out at the results.
Really, I'm a Potterhead, but I don't think it warrants a freaking. It's The Sorting Hat, you don't have control. And just perhaps, you don't know yourself as well as you thought you did.
Silly, yes. This whole thing is silly. But it's fun and it's a long-standing family reference point now. April will be a full month of anticipations. I'm psyched. And please, please, let it be Ravenclaw or Gryffindor!
Chris Christie's an idiot
I hate flying, too, these days
A Wile E. Coyote conference
The Big Think short fiction winners
Maybe this will help on Monday
Saturday, March 10, 2012
ACTUAL ENTRIES FROM HOSPITAL CHARTS!
· The patient refused autopsy.
· The patient has no previous history of suicide.
· Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
· She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
· Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side or over a year.
· On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
· The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
· The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
· Discharge Status: Alive but without permission.
· Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
· Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
· She is numb from her toes down.
· While in ER she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
· The skin was moist and dry.
· Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
· Patient was alert and unresponsive.
· Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
· She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.
· I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
· Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
· The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
· Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
· Skin: somewhat pale but present.
· The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
· Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
And along the health lines, my southern neighbor Sarcastic Test Guy has found sugar to be nasty, too!
Look, we're not an agricultural society anymore. Even then, it makes no sense as the cows get all off schedule and it's a process of changing their milking times. Which is a huge pain in the ass. And again, unnecessary.
"Daylight Savings Time" is a load. Pick a time and stay with it, I say.
Meanwhile, set your clocks an hour ahead. We're going to DSFT at 2 a.m. tonight.
And I got a surprise package from my niece Lisa, who's the family historian and genealogist. She traced one line of the family back to 1530 in Cambridgeshire, England. That's amazing, but even more amazing is that she traced a family line that's so elusive that nobody even knew who the family was beyond 3 gens back. She's gotten them back to 1751 in upstate NY! Outstanding work!
In that package were also the HS graduation pix of my greatniece, who's beautiful. I can't believe she's this old, and grown. Seems like last week she was in grade school, a little blonde girl who loved sharks. Now she's a young woman wearing a Cthulhu bracelet and planning her career. Boy do I feel old. Thanks Lisa!
So, today turned into an Oh Yeah! day. Things are looking up. Except the Beest, who won't look up and continues her impression of a creature from another planet who's never encountered Earth's gravity before. She managed to turn the catbox over and all the bits of cedar stuck to her hydrocortisoned fur. After a thorough combing that evoked much purring, she fell asleep on my bed. She's doing all the necessary things but is clearly unhappy with a cone on her head. I feel bad for putting her through it but we tried everything else. "It's not forever, just a week or so," I've told her, but she doesn't want to hear it. Ach, just let her sleep...
Not bad for the last day of Eastern Standard Time.
Reading has remained my favorite activity. Books have a sort of migration pattern in my home. New and unread books pile up on my nightstand, where they are eventually read in order of urgency (library books first, natch). The ones I'm very attached to stay there until I have a clearing fit. The really beloved may never leave the nightstand (there's a pile of Game of Thrones and Led Zep books there now). From there they go to the sitting room to join a stack on my desk or a tabletop or be shelved in a bookcase. Years down the line, I may get rid of a few, but only the extraneous. Books, like music, mark times in my life. I'd sooner lose a kidney than some of my books.
The Guardian has reformatted its webpages, which means little. What matters is what you find in them. And this weekend, the "Books" page has lots of goodies. This is what originally drew me to the Guardian, its excellent books section. Much better than the NY Times.
500 new fairytales were found in Germany, compiled by a compadre of the Grimm Brothers
An interesting podcast about factual fiction and fictionized facts:
Characters sometimes reincarnate in surprising ways
Have a weird ebook you want promoted?
The story of a bookstore and a ubiquitous poster
The poem of the week
Ladies, take note
It's probably hard to believe but notoriety scares me. The times I've been in a media spotlight weren't always good experiences. But if you have a need to shoot your mouth off about things, as I do, these things happen. It comes in the package. You never know where an action will take you. Anyway, I don't like media moments, even when they're very good ones. It's better to do everything in a group so you don't get singled out for attention. I've learned to keep a good game face and will shake my hair and smile pretty for the camera. But my guts are jitterbugging while a pounding heart echoes in my throat until everyone forgets it. In this day and age that's mercifully quickly. I don't know how famous people do it, living their lives with the whole world watching. It must be a calling. Or a need of some kind. It'd put me right into the cracker barrel.
So Hildebeest and I are keeping very low profiles for a while. She'll give me the silent treatment and I'll just rant here, where few people read what I say. And no pictures, please. ;)
Friday, March 9, 2012
The Beest usually walks like a ballerina, one foot delicately in front of the other. At the moment she's walking like a Lipizanner, high-stepping in a disgusted prance.
Ah, she's laid down on the couch in a disconsolate hang off the edge. Well, this will take her mind off biting and scratching. I gave her tail and back a spritzing of the hydrocortisone spray, which should help stop the itch, if it exists. And she's off to the bedroom, belly dragging on the floor, slinking and high-stepping at once.
I'd laugh, but that'd be cruel. So I'll just smile.
My mother would be bursting. This one's for you, Marge the Sarge.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
And I've been uncommonly mellow lately. I can imagine how my old pals in NY are taking this. The bars will be full tonight in my old neighborhood. Cops may be called.
This is the same issue that Jon Stewart did this excellent bit about:
How many slaps in the face will it take before this right wing "Christian" crap is stomped out? I hope Jesus does come back, and kicks all their asses. I had 3 women missionaries at my door today. I had to push the woman's hand (trying to foist their pamphlet into my house) out the door and shut it in her face. These people don't even realize how insanely programmed they are. I'm so ashamed of my country and where it's gone in the last dozen years I don't know what to do. But it's my country too, and I'm not giving it up to these assholes.
So much for Women's Day.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Today, if the PO does well, the Beest becomes a conehead. I'm hoping she takes it in stride but pretty certain she won't. In fact I expect hissing, running backwards and hiding under the bed.
Yesterday, Bernie's office had me record a statement I'd made about the lack of dental services in Vermont. I don't know what it'll be used for, probably a compilation of statements from Vermonters about how our teeth are rotting because we can't go to a dentist. I'd like to tie the whole Congress to their chairs and make them listen to what people are having to live with in this country. Congress seems far removed from the reality of The People in their insulated world of handouts from the currying rich- and us.
Armandodo told me that New York City hasn't had snow since October. That's just bizarre. Our snow is receding now, though the temp is hovering around freezing, the sun is working on it. It's been a non-existant Winter here; four snows is the norm for a month, not a season.
Time to get my butt in gear. Things to see, people to do.
Certainly there's an addiction element to abnormal eating. Whether it's eating too much or too little, it's an addiction to behaviour. Other types of addicts can abstain from the substance, but food is necessary to live so overeaters must confront their substance 24/7. Anorexics are the flip side; self-controlled to the max, denying themselves even the minimum needed to support life. Body dysmorphism plays a role, too. The too-fat and the too-thin don't perceive themselves as others see them. Food becomes tangled in emotions. We all know those who eat or don't eat when emotional.
When I started gearing up for the Greg diet I came across this article
and was thrilled with the brutal honesty and courage of this guy to tell it like it is. Too often there are all sorts of excuses around overeating, but the reality remains, stop eating all that food.
In the area of anorexia I can relate only my experiences. During my college years I could barely afford to eat and that became a habit. Living on coffee and cigarettes and recreational drugs, I shrunk. While the obese are ridiculed, the thin are encouraged. And so the "positive reenforcement" of becoming a stack of bones was addictive, too. When I would eat, I'd rush to the bathroom and get rid of it. Then I started making money cooking professionally and could eat whenever I wanted and gained weight until I blew up to 280 pounds. In my thirties I went thru a second bout of rarely eating. Didn't go down to bones that time. That was accompanied and followed by a few years of heavy drinking, when I gained a lot of weight and developed the joint and bone issues I have now. I'm sure my lifelong eating irregularities contributed to the condition I'm in today.
Though I have no special insight on the baffling problems of eating disorders I know what's worked for me. Eliminate the things I can live without- flour and sugar. Don't eat until my stomach growls, independent of what time it is or what everyone else is doing. Eat until I'm 80% full. Don't buy foods that are triggers- if they aren't at hand I can't eat them. If I cook a lot of food at once, freeze all but a portion and give some away. Don't even think of food as "a treat". Eat all I want of veggies but nothing in big portions. Schedule any off-program breaks and go right back on-program after. I have to be my own police.
And somewhere along the way of my determination to be in better shape to meet Greg, a change of attitude about food happened. I don't worry about eating too much or too little, I just stay on my program. It's self-control, sure, but it's not obsessive. I eat with my head screwed on now. I'm mindful of nutrition. I buy much less food, but good things. I don't starve nor overeat. This is all new to me, because I lived in extremes through so much of my life. But it's a sort of peace that I've never known. And I don't worry about blowing it, because I know it's in my control. Every choice I make matters. And it is, at heart, all about choice.
I wish I could pass it on to others but the hard truth is that everyone has to do what works for themselves. Which is probably why eating disorders are so hard to fix. There's no one system that will work for anyone, we must each find our own way. All I can say is keep trying. Get to know yourself and be rigourously honest with yourself. And never give up.
Tributes have been everywhere all week, on radio, TV, newspapers and online.
To keep Melinda's life's work going, may I suggest that everyone give what they can to the Drop-In Center, in either food or money. Project Feed the Thousands' website takes online donations for the Drop-In Center. You'll also see a list of things that are always needed on this page.
It won't be easy to keep Melinda's projects going without her, but if we all pitch in what we can, it'll be that much easier on those who are carrying on. I'll be tithing my food budget each month, for my part. We can do this. We owe it to Melinda.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Another sunny morning in The Shire. It's cold, but Spring is in the air...
There's a lot of hubbub around the intertubes, privacy and hacking these days. The Man has supposedly infiltrated Lulzsec. Meanwhile, it's all good and legal for info mining by capitalists to go on unchecked.
All about the new age of nonprivacy and what's really going on online
Who can you believe anymore?
The actual indictments of Lulzsec folks
If you want some background on privacy issues, I recommend Caroline Kennedy and Ellen Alderman's book, The Right to Privacy.
Is privacy dead?
And now for something completely different. Rachel Flowers (for those who don't know her, she is a blind, teenaged musical genius), got to try out the new modulated Moog for Keith Emerson. First is Keith's intro, with some parts of Trilogy (by ELP) and Hoedown (by Copeland, of course) played by Rachel:
Then Rachel plays the full Trilogy; she really is incredible. I can't say that too many times.
Most importantly, I've just heard from my niece that the 7 month-old baby who'd been missing since the tornadoes, Gage, was found alive and well today. I have no details. But the fact that he's fine is enough.
And after a notice from Amazon saying my new walker will be here between March 21st & April 5th (!), today an email shows up saying it'll be here next week. Just another week on a cane? That's very good news to me and my right shoulder.
So today was a turn-around day. It's been pretty much bad news lately. Let's hope this trend stays for a while. Nothing lasts forever, even the crappy stuff has to end sometime. Today looks a lot like that sometime. Sleep well.
In the news... Oreo cookies are 100 years old today. Not all of them, just the brand. And-
My friend William took first hand footage of the protest in St. Petersburg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahGjTanuK08
Here's some background on that
This is just typical.
The Memory Test results
Are you middle-aged?
Sauce for the goose....
Monday, March 5, 2012
1. If you had a choice between a healthy dinner and fast food what would you choose? Right now, healthy. After April 21st, fast food.
2. What was the last book you read? A Feast of Crows, but I have 2 going at the moment.
3. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be? Scotland
4. Are you old enough to remember wearing seamed nylons? yes, dammit (I wonder what the boys will answer)
5. Do you believe in tipping and if so..how much? 20%. I worked in food.
6. Are you country or city at heart? Country. Not in music, though.
7. You are a contender on The Voice. What are you going to sing? Someone Like You. I'm a belter.
8. What do you say when someone sneezes? Gesundheit.
9. If you had free rein to decorate....what colours would you choose? Earth tones, like I have.
10. How many generations back can you trace your family tree? 13.
11. What is your favourite knock knock joke? Who's there? Sam and Janet. Sam and Janet who? Sam and Janet Evening.
And now for my invented questions...
1. Red or white?
2. If you could meet one living person, who would you choose?
3. Who gave you your first kiss?
4. What are you most proud of?
5. You can be ruler of one country, which one?
6. What's the best clothing outfit you ever had?
7. You must pick having 6 children or 6 large dogs. Which do you take?
8. Pie or cake?
9. What corny/sappy/uncool thing do you secretly love?
10. At what age did you start reading?
11. Who influenced you most in life?
And I'm going to do just what Lawless did. If you want to take up this challenge, go right ahead. Please let me know you are, if you aren't on my blogroll but putting them on your blog. I want to read the answers! And thanks Lawless!
Proving opinions really are like buttholes: Rush Limbaugh
The Good Gym
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not.
One minute of Maggie:
The Reformer did a nice front page bit for Melinda
Sunday, March 4, 2012
There have been a lot of deaths in my life. Each one taught me a bit more about grief. It took years to hone my grieving skills, and they are skills. They can be learned if they aren't natural to you. People have a tough time processing it all. Death isn't like anything else in life. There's no reference point. There's only one death after another. They're all different and all the same. Those steps of grief put together years ago are a framework but don't cover everything. Not everyone goes through them all or in order. But at the end of the process there need to be peace and acceptance.
What works for me is to immediately fall apart. The times I've had to conduct the funerals and had no time to fall apart were the worst deaths. Bucking up and carrying on while you're still in shock may be necessary but it's not a good way to take care of yourself. Deaths can bring ridiculous amounts of pressure and if you're already fighting for self- containment it'll leave a mark. I've learned that when I can immediately go to pieces, for however long it takes to get it out, recovery is faster.
The worst is the series of deaths. You barely get settled with one when another happens. Or when several people die at once. That's the closest to unbearable as I ever want to get.
We are grieving all together in my town tonight. Separately, but all together. Melinda Bussino knew people in every walk of life, from the homeless and destitute to the landed and rich. And everyone thought well of her. She was that rare thing, an altruist. She was "our age" and we thought she'd recover from this heart attack. She was so tough. It seems impossible and so unfair. But her mission was done.
Instead of flowers, I'm sending ten meals of food to the Drop-In Center. That'd be more to her liking.
It was that amazing stalwart heart she had that finally gave out.
On January 27th, Melinda appeared on our very local news to talk about the homelessness situation and what the Governor was planning.
Our town and everyone who ever knew her grieves her loss. This is the worst thing to happen here yet. We will always miss you, Melinda. Godspeed.
We all need a few laughs.
This summary made me grin bandana to sidetowel.
Top 10 Sibling Stories
A trashy summer beach book
Awards are the cherry on the top of blogging. They're a lovely custom among bloggers. A way to show appreciation and give a fellow blogger a boost. Last week, Delores (whom I choose to call Lawless) of http://mybabyjohn.blogspot.com/
bestowed upon me the Kreative Blogger Award. Lawless is one of the biggest-hearted people in the blogosphere. 2 weeks ago she organized and hosted a huge virtual party to celebrate Gary's 5th Anniversary ( he's at http://klahanie.blogspot.com/) in blogging. That's the kind of gal she is.
Thank you, Lawless.
It seems the graphic for this award won't copy and paste, but I'm passing it on anyway, unfortunately sans pretty picture, to Carrie of http://carrieoncarryingon.blogspot.com/
Carrie is one of the most creative folks around. She has a children's book in the works and posts about life with her family, her daughter and husband and pets (Stinky Dog is my favorite). She's an artist as well as a writer. And she has a wicked sense of humor. So Carrie, you Kreative Blogger, this one's for you.
There are few rules to this award; simply thank the person who passed it to you and pass it on. Nice and simple. It's gotten tough to dig up 7 more facts nobody knows! So run and play with it, Carrie. You very well deserve it, and much much more.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
But can't. I tried going thru my address book. No addresses in the address book, just the time out circle, endlessly running. So I shut down and rebooted and tried again. No dice. I'm getting sick of these problems. We pay thru the nose for these services in this area.
A few weeks ago I posted here about not having a working email and got a comment from a Comcast CSR telling me to- wait for it- email him! Genius!
So for those I owe emails to or was going to email, here are short answers/notes.
Carrie- Tomorrow, then. Yay!
Lisa- I hope you got my email about yr bd present. There have been missing emails, too. One I sent to myself (the March Heat Fund Recipe from Lawless) yesterday never made it. Glad I have a 'sent' box.
Paul- haggis waiting.
Boomer- yes, I found it. Come get it.
Gary- this may take a while. Tonight was going to be catch up night.
Ruthie- answer the phone.
Michael- I never got the cc if you sent it.
Okay, that'll do for now.
I blew the Greg diet yesterday by having late night donuts with a friend. And I feel like kaka today... hungoverish. Holy pants, a couple of donuts and I feel like total crap; sluggish, deflated, energyless, dragging my ass?! That really is it for sugar. What a nasty drug. In all these years I never knew what it did to me.
We didn't get the threatened thunderstorms. Nor the 50 degree weather. The snow lays on the ground, deep and crisp and even. It's windy tonight, my chimes are frantic out there.
Above all I'm sending love and hopeful words to my niece's family who are missing a 7 month-old baby and his babysitter in the tornadoes and storms that hit the midwest and south. I'm sorry my email's down.
Tomorrow is another day. Let's keep a good thought that it'll bring good things.
At least 29 people have died and many more are still missing. The destruction of these storms has left a permanent mark on our country and people. Today survivors and rescue workers are searching the rubble. Here and there they come across a miracle, but more often not.
There are many vids here from a local station in Kentucky, where the twisters caused havoc.
Today there are more warnings in the deep south as storms cross Alabama and head into Georgia, the Carolinas and northern Florida. I'll be thinking of my family in Myrtle Beach and Jacksonville.
Friday, March 2, 2012
One supernatural thing I'm sure of happening is time slips. Just recently I had a conversation with a friend where we both knew we'd just had this same conversation. It wasn't deja vu. It was like being on echo or a seven-second delay. It was a time slip. The first time slip I recall was on a subway ride in Brookyn when I lost 20 minutes. I can't even explain it. It shortcircuits my brain. I throw in those moments when you hear someone died and you're sure they'd already died; you remember where and how you heard the news and even how they died. And I think those "ghosts" that appear at regular times and are called "residual" are time slips. Some kind of loop that gets stuck like a vinyl and repeats the same instant over and over.
Most people who've followed this blog know I was raised with several religions, one of which is Spiritualism. So I began going to seances and billet-reading services from the age of 6. Through the 60s I was at my Episcopal church on Sundays and the Spiritualist church on Thursday nights. That doesn't count the circles done in people's homes and going to psychic fairs and camps. Ghosts are the Spiritualists' stock in trade. They spend several hours a week calling up the dead in a ritual manner using Christian orders of service. I'd put the number of how many seances I went to in those days at around 300. I've seen all the tricks of the medium trade. But even the lousiest medium sometimes gets lucky or manages to open that portal, and it's glaringly obvious when that happens. It's what the congregants hope for and why they all come back, like gambling. That one time when odds turn by sheer number of attempts. Of that 300 mentioned, the real thing, I'd estimate, happened about a dozen times. It's mindblowing and it changes you. It's something you can't really get unless you've been through it. I'm glad to have gotten those experiences but I don't recommend it. I think it leaves the portal open to your life forever in some ways. You can't turn it off. You can't unlearn things.
So yes, I know there are what we call ghosts, and many other things besides. There are time slips, which makes me think there are dimensions. We have 5 little senses and they aren't the sharpest on Earth. There's a lot we can't be aware of with these limited senses because we can't see/hear/smell/touch or taste them. Which doesn't mean they aren't there. Because someone is colorblind doesn't mean colors don't exist.
Well, I've rambled enough for one post. I hope these subjects don't freak anyone out, because they've been a part of my whole life and I'd like to talk about them.
I'm having a hard time with the cane today. It looks like my body isn't cane-happy, and though I did the right thing with my shoulder, trying to walk with a stick isn't making life good for any body part. Gal Friday did get me a chair so at least I can sit and do things in the kitchen. A big improvement there. I need a walker! Which is ordered (a red one this time, I'm naming it "Johnnie", of course). Amazon hasn't shipped anything yet, and I'm not paying 70 bucks for fast shipping. Come on, Amazon!
I could go on bitching and whining but even I don't want to hear it.
But here- an exercise in matrixing:
Thursday, March 1, 2012