Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, We Did

Coming soon to a country near you...


Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On Poverty: Invisible Men (Blog Action Day 2008)

In response to this year's Blog Action Day 2008's serendipitously appropriate Poverty theme...

Poverty effects us all at some point in time, and on some level, in our lives, undetected or not.

We can deny it, make it invisible, hide from it, but it is a constant companion; poverty is a human condition.

It also comes in many shapes, sizes and forms both literal and figurative.

It may even oppose its most commonly inferred definition at times.

Indeed, poverty is not necessarily a financial compromise. But, more often than not, it has its obvious and intuitive connections.

Hardly rare is the hand-in-hand-out nature of income hardships and psychological anguish. Their paths often cross punitively ... even amongst the privileged and most well-to-do. Current economic conditions enforce this reality as our cable news screen crawl headlines remind us of violence towards individuals, and those near-and-dear to them, as they struggle up the careerist chain of command.

We are all in this moment.

Together.

Inextricably.

Now, I admit to being personally "impoverished" of late.

I am lacking in a resource called Time.

I frequently find myself unable to write the lengthy blog posts I used to indulge. Thus, I need the occasional aid of others to help fill in for me (similar to when comic strip creator Bil Keane "goes on vacation" and has Jeffy fill in for him... only someone might end up dead in this case...).

Witness below, a sort of "Suicide Note From The Soul" taken from an (*) anonymous chatroom board posting.

Found herein, a bit of insight, summing up at times crassly but sincerely, the 'poverty of the soul' many of us can succumb to as we get overwhelmed with the 'modern day drudgery' of work-life balance and its complications.

It is a periscope, a rant and an alarm, from one person's personal experience with their particular brand of poverty (I am guessing the author a male nearing his mid-life years - appropo as a modern day Jacob Marley, from one's future "passed" to another future's potential).

Despite its explicit nature, and purposefully politically incorrect tone, there are, indeed, some damningly insightful truths here. If you are unsympathetic or disagree with the sentiment the charges should still not ring hollow; most will relate to it as an expression of frustration with hypocrisy resulting in the questioner's despair.

It is not completely without hope...

(* Aside from a few spelling and grammatical corrections I have left the original content of the note in its intended format.)

~~*~~

Subject: Just my thoughts about life, and yes, I am tired of it...

What is life?

Why are we here?

When we are young we wake up every morning to go to school so we can gain knowledge to go to a better school. Then we stress out and study day in and day out so we can get accepted to college, so we can study a subject that 70% of us won’t even use the day after we graduate. Yet we still go to college and we study so hard, trying our best to get the highest grade we can so we can get a job, so we can start learning everything we can in order to be able to work in a corporation.

Then we start to advance, slowly, but we advance, with 3-6% increases in our yearly salary, waking up every morning so we can go to a job that we don’t like, and go on retreats that do not benefit us and that we dread, taking tests that qualify us to do more and not get paid as much as we should for it.

Why are we here?

Are we here so we can go through the daily routine of this dreadful, anxiety filled excuse for a life, so we can buy a house and stress about being able to pay the mortgage?

Are we here so other people can tell us what to do?

I mean no matter what position you have in a company, you will always have a supervisor, unless of course you own the company, but even then you probably have to report back to the people who lent you the money so you can open your own company. What you thought would be the beginning of a great thing, that you will actually have time for yourself and your family has now turned you into someone you never wanted to be. You are now the person that looks at the bottom line every day, the person that you hated when you were working for someone else, that is you now.

You now start to understand the decisions that your supervisors made because you have to make them yourself, and your employees feel about you the same way you felt about your employees.

Now this situation is for the lucky ones who actually get to do what they like, everyone else is either stuck at a job which, if it is not a dead end now, it will lead to one eventually.

Most people don’t even like what they do, so why do they do it?

We live in a society that dictates that you have to have a job, and it doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you must keep it because everything costs money these days, and one cannot be self sufficient anymore.

So let’s start from the beginning and see what happens:

You are born, your parents hope to raise you well so you can go to school and get good grades for the next 12 years, after which they push you to go to a good 4 year college and get a degree, one that will probably end up being useless to you because after you stress yourself and study until your brain can no longer work, you graduate and get a job. When you start this job you will go on an orientation, which is in simple terms, more learning, studying and testing. After this is all said and done you start to learn everything relevant to your position, which involves more late night cramming. You then need to work your ass off so you don’t have to be called into your bosses office, since if you do, it means that you are not doing your job and you might get fired, something that you don’t want to happen even though you hate your job and you can’t wait for the day that the place burns down.

Now you are in a rut, a routine that you hate which is broken every once in a while by a company retreat or a promotion, one that makes you oh-so-very happy because with this promotion you get a 5% raise in your salary, but you also get a 30% raise in your work load, but hey, you are getting an extra 2-4k a year now, so what the hell.

Now somewhere along the line you will meet someone, if you are lucky, you love each other, if not, you just have kids together, either way, there are kids involved, which brings us to another rut.

Now every day when you get home from your daily grind you spend your time at home, running the kids around, making your spouse feel good about her self, pushing your kids to get good grades so they can get into a good college, so they can get a good job, so they can lead a life, well, like the one you hate right now.

So far, am I on the right track?

Well, all of what I am writing right now is based on years of observing, listening, and experiencing this exact same thing.

Is this what we all wanted?

Is this what we dreamed of when we were kids?

What ever happened to those dreams we all had?

Why don’t people do something to change their lives around?

I don’t know why, and I honestly stopped caring a long time ago.

I have given up on mankind, plain and simple.

We are living in a world that those who have nothing will stay with nothing, those who have too much will always have too much, and those who are in the middle, well, if they are lucky they will stay in the middle, but that is not a guarantee.

We live in a world that you cannot confront anyone anymore because if you do you will either get sued, get fired, or get the lovely “American smile” which is the basic “oh no problem, I am so sorry, I will work on it” and then they turn around and talk shit about you.

Another thing that can happen is that if you voice your own opinion people will just hate you.
People don’t like to think that someone thinks different than they do, so when someone like that comes along, they usually shun them away and make them feel like shit.

There is also the sensitivity issue, in which case a person is too sensitive to hear the truth, and all they do is fuck shit up all day long, and when you try to explain to them nicely, they ignore you, and when you tell it to them like it is, suddenly, they are a victim of verbal abuse. And there is usually some idiot who will always come to their help, which enables them to keep acting the way they do and never change.

I am sorry, but what ever happened to the days that when someone did something stupid you could just tell them that they are fucking up and get it over with?

Since when did society become so sensitive?

WHY THE FUCK CAN'T PEOPLE TAKE THE TRUTH ANYMORE!?

We are living in a society that requires you to walk on egg shells, a society that frowns upon people being who they really are because, god forbid (and yes I said god (little "g"...) and if you have a problem with that then you can fuck off) you are different from everyone else, and that you might have an idea that doesn’t conform to what we usually do.

Why do I have to be nice to people that are assholes to me!?

Why do I have to be a different person around people I don’t know?

Is it because we don’t know each other?

Well, what if we get to know each other and the real me comes out and they can’t handle it?

Would it not have been better to be myself right off the start?

At least they would have known who I really am and not wasted their time with me.

Why is it that every time someone tells somebody what they think right to their face, that they are the bad guy, but when they tell them that they are doing a great job and go to the boss and rat them out suddenly they are doing a good job?

Since when do we like liars?

It is complete and utter bullshit that people cannot handle the truth.

I tell everyone that I meet, if it is at work, school or anywhere else, if I do something to piss you off, tell me, I can’t read your mind, and if you don’t tell me I will probably just keep doing it.
I also tell them that I will do the same to them, and they are happy when I tell them that, but when I fuck up they go behind my back and talk to everyone else about it, and when I tell them they are fucking up, well, now I become an asshole.

I respect everyone, but when you disrespect me, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, I will disrespect you right back.

For instance, I worked at a restaurant, the owner's wife (at the time I didn’t know who she was, not that it mattered) had asked me to help her throw away a tree that was dead. After looking at the tree, which was green, and far far far far far far far far far away from being dead as possible, I mentioned to her that the tree was not dead. We then proceeded to talk about the tree being dead or alive, and I finished it off by saying, “Look, I work here, I will do what I am told, but the tree is not dead.”

Well, the following day the GM (General Manager) approached me and told me that the subject had come up that I had treated her without too much respect because she was a woman. After hearing this I had thought in my head, “No, I treated her without respect because she was an idiot, being a woman had nothing to do with it, and for comedic purposes, completely coincidental.” (and yes I actually think like that).

Keep in mind that out of the 6-7 weeks that I actually worked at this place, almost every morning was spent with the GM outside talking about things that went wrong (by talking I actually mean lectures of how I am fucking up, surprisingly enough it was something different every time).

About a week after the tree incident the GM took me outside and told me he had to let me go, at which point I told him that if he hadn’t done this today, a week from now I would have quit anyway, and we went our separate ways.

Now, to stick up for the GM, which he is a great guy in my eyes, he got caught in the daily crap grinder which is work. The restaurant was bought out by another company, and since he worked at this place before, he was promoted to the position. He worked day and night (literally) to do everything he could to satisfy his new owners, which took a large toll on his marriage, which I hope that he had managed to fix, since I really don’t wish him any harm what so ever, in fact, I hope that he succeeds in life, and maybe learn to breath every once in a while.

Moving on…

People today have this amazing trait, and I have noticed this with several people, they would meet someone, no matter who it is or where they met them, but they will take their business card, promising that they will call them and do business with them, and never call back.

Now I understand if you meet someone and it is just for the night, hell, we all did that. We are out at a bar, or sitting around drinking coffee, whatever it is that we are doing, we meet someone, conversation comes up, and you talk to them, it is more of a selfish thing since all we really want to do is pass the time. This is completely fine, and again, we all do this.

But my question is why do people feel the need to lie to other people and promise them that they will call them. People, this is a spur of the moment thing, you do not have to feel obligated to call this person just because he is as selfish as you are trying to pass the time until they need to go do something else.

Look, just do what I do, talk to them, be nice, more important, be yourself, and when it is all said and done, get up, say good bye, and leave. No commitments, no empty promises.

Now there have been occasions where I have met someone incredibly interesting that I thought could benefit me as a person, professionally or socially, in which case we did exchange cards and we did keep in touch.

But for the average day to day meeting of new people for the hell of it, it doesn’t matter.

I think that the one thing people hate the most is being disrespected, and being lied to is a form of that, so this is where the whole “do onto others…” thing that our parents taught us when we were kids comes into play.

As far as life goes, I used to hope that people actually try to do something about what they didn’t like in their lives and enhance what they liked. But today, I think I am starting to realize that people would rather be safe then happy.

Most people would rather live their lives in the rut, doing the same things day in and day out, hating every minute of it, just because they know what will happen next.

People are scared to do what they like, or think they like, because it is not what they are used to.

They are not used to feeling content with themselves, and such a feeling of happiness is something that they fear, because it is different then what they are used too.

The fact that people do what they do for a crappy paycheck is pathetic, since they can do something they like for the same amount of money.

Actors say that life is a stage for us to perform on every day, and no matter what happens, the curtains will still go up tomorrow.

Artists say that the world is a canvas, and that we all paint our own picture.

Philosophers say that this is the only life we have, so might as well make the most of it.

Not many people get better lives out this type of advise, but for those select few, I am sure their lives are truly amazing, as for everyone else, I think the least they should do is try, because if they don’t, well, their lives just suck.

And if you ever wanted a catchy chick-flick-type quote from me, well, "the clock never stops ticking, so you might as well enjoy the second you’re in now, because the next one is completely different".

See what I mean?

Pass this whole message on to anyone you know, don’t be afraid. And if it effects anyone, I mean even one person, at least I know that my life was not for nothing other than the daily grind.

~~*~~

We are all poorer because one of us is impoverished somehow.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Exactly What Is A Post Turtle?

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.

The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.'
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post
turtle was.

The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and
you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.'

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he
continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself,
she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is
up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumbass put her up there
to begin with.'





Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Financial "Fail-Out" Plan

The following a letter from activist Michael Moore on the what's about to become the largest robbery in American history...

~~*~~

Friends,

Let me cut to the chase. The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies -- who must soon vacate the White House -- are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door.

No matter what they say, no matter how many scare words they use, they are up to their old tricks of creating fear and confusion in order to make and keep themselves and the upper one percent filthy rich. Just read the first four paragraphs of the lead story in last Monday's New York Times and you can see what the real deal is:

"Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.

"Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.

"At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees.

"Nobody wants to be left out of Treasury's proposal to buy up bad assets of financial institutions."

Unbelievable. Wall Street and its backers created this mess and now they are going to clean up like bandits. Even Rudy Giuliani is lobbying for his firm to be hired (and paid) to "consult" in the bailout.

The problem is, nobody truly knows what this "collapse" is all about. Even Treasury Secretary Paulson admitted he doesn't know the exact amount that is needed (he just picked the $700 billion number out of his head!). The head of the congressional budget office said he can't figure it out nor can he explain it to anyone.

And yet, they are screeching about how the end is near! Panic! Recession! The Great Depression! Y2K! Bird flu! Killer bees! We must pass the bailout bill today!! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Falling for whom? NOTHING in this "bailout" package will lower the price of the gas you have to put in your car to get to work. NOTHING in this bill will protect you from losing your home. NOTHING in this bill will give you health insurance.

Health insurance? Mike, why are you bringing this up? What's this got to do with the Wall Street collapse?

It has everything to do with it. This so-called "collapse" was triggered by the massive defaulting and foreclosures going on with people's home mortgages. Do you know why so many Americans are losing their homes? To hear the Republicans describe it, it's because too many working class idiots were given mortgages that they really couldn't afford. Here's the truth: The number one cause of people declaring bankruptcy is because of medical bills. Let me state this simply: If we had had universal health coverage, this mortgage "crisis" may never have happened.

This bailout's mission is to protect the obscene amount of wealth that has been accumulated in the last eight years. It's to protect the top shareholders who own and control corporate America. It's to make sure their yachts and mansions and "way of life" go uninterrupted while the rest of America suffers and struggles to pay the bills. Let the rich suffer for once. Let them pay for the bailout. We are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war in Iraq. Let them end the war immediately and save us all another half-trillion dollars!

I have to stop writing this and you have to stop reading it. They are staging a financial coup this morning in our country. They are hoping Congress will act fast before they stop to think, before we have a chance to stop them ourselves. So stop reading this and do something -- NOW! Here's what you can do immediately:

1. Call or e-mail Senator Obama. Tell him he does not need to be sitting there trying to help prop up Bush and Cheney and the mess they've made. Tell him we know he has the smarts to slow this thing down and figure out what's the best route to take. Tell him the rich have to pay for whatever help is offered. Use the leverage we have now to insist on a moratorium on home foreclosures, to insist on a move to universal health coverage, and tell him that we the people need to be in charge of the economic decisions that affect our lives, not the barons of Wall Street.

2. Take to the streets. Participate in one of the hundreds of quickly-called demonstrations that are taking place all over the country (especially those near Wall Street and DC).

3. Call your Representative in Congress and your Senators. (click here to find their phone numbers). Tell them what you told Senator Obama.

When you screw up in life, there is hell to pay. Each and every one of you reading this knows that basic lesson and has paid the consequences of your actions at some point. In this great democracy, we cannot let there be one set of rules for the vast majority of hard-working citizens, and another set of rules for the elite, who, when they screw up, are handed one more gift on a silver platter. No more! Not again!

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. Having read further the details of this bailout bill, you need to know you are being lied to. They talk about how they will prevent golden parachutes. It says NOTHING about what these executives and fat cats will make in SALARY. According to Rep. Brad Sherman of California, these top managers will continue to receive million-dollar-a-month paychecks under this new bill. There is no direct ownership given to the American people for the money being handed over. Foreign banks and investors will be allowed to receive billion-dollar handouts. A large chunk of this $700 billion is going to be given directly to Chinese and Middle Eastern banks. There is NO guarantee of ever seeing that money again.

P.P.S. From talking to people I know in DC, they say the reason so many Dems are behind this is because Wall Street this weekend put a gun to their heads and said either turn over the $700 billion or the first thing we'll start blowing up are the pension funds and 401(k)s of your middle class constituents. The Dems are scared they may make good on their threat. But this is not the time to back down or act like the typical Democrat we have witnessed for the last eight years. The Dems handed a stolen election over to Bush. The Dems gave Bush the votes he needed to invade a sovereign country. Once they took over Congress in 2007, they refused to pull the plug on the war. And now they have been cowered into being accomplices in the crime of the century. You have to call them now and say "NO!" If we let them do this, just imagine how hard it will be to get anything good done when President Obama is in the White House. THESE DEMOCRATS ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS THE BACKBONE WE GIVE THEM. CALL CONGRESS NOW.




Scare Bear Market


Hey, everybody!

Look!

It's your children's financial future...!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What We Meant To Say Was...

Well, yeah, somebody sure as hell is going to "come" this economic crisis. Namely the douche-nozzle profiteers who got us all there in the first place.

Please never, EVER tell me there's not enough money for social programs or national infrastructure for this country EVER again.

Thanks.

Nice going, Last-Eight-Years-of-Hypocrisy.

November 4th couldn't get here fast enough (he says confidently that the American public will finally come to it's senses...).

Monday, October 6, 2008

The End Is Ne'er

The great irony of posting this latest "fun with numerology prophesy" circulating (circulatin'!) the Christian internet sites is that half of you might take this quite seriously ... while the other half will get a good chuckle out if it (albeit with a hint of wide-eyed fear as you're snickering away). I am of the latter group (despite my Catholic upbringing), and just for the record, I intend to be quite happy in this supposed "Hell" where apparently I'll be hanging out with the likes of Jimmy Hendrix and Kurt Vonnegut...

(Should "The Number 44 Prophecy" come true please add "Rush Postage" to my delivery, by the way.)

On the other hand, if Barack Obama and Joseph Biden (you know, that other V.P...) is elected this November does that mean that people who come up with this kind of voodoo will finally just ... go away??

~~*~~

The Number 44 Prophesy on McCain/Palin

Peg and I have just returned from our Sunday AM service. As you know we have been involved in 90 days of Hosting the Lord’s Presence, and it’s been
powerful in a personal way. We knew there had been lots of warfare because
when we got home, we were tired and needed a nap. The Sunday AM celebrations
have been just worship with some intercessory prayer, but no preaching or
teaching. This morning after an extended time of worship, Dutch Sheets, our
pastor, shared an exhortation, as he called it. During this, Peg and I both
were about to explode in our spirits.

I believe you are aware that Dutch was used by the Lord to call prayer
before the 2000 Bush election that was so close. He said this morning that
this election is perhaps even more critical than 2000 because of the Supreme
Court. If the right political posture is not elected, we stand to lose
decades of progress and the repercussions are enormous. Last year, Chuck
Pierce and Greg Hood (both prophets) prophesied that in 2008, we are not
electing a president but the vice president. Dutch said he could get no
release in his heart to back Huckaby even though pressured by many in the
body of Christ. Huckaby is a good man and a strong believer, but he was not
God’s choice. Dutch also told us that he knows a man who gave McCain a
prophetic word that McCain had made a vow to God when he was at the bottom
during his POW days, and now God was calling in that vow. McCain was visibly
moved by this word.

Dutch was traveling to Texas on Friday and when he landed in the airport,
his wife called and told him to get to the TV asap. He watched McCain
introduce Governor Palin and said he began to weep, even though he knew
nothing about her. (I experienced the very same thing, and we have had
reports of many others including Newt Gingrich.-RS. I experienced the same
thing!–cb)

(ed. - Heh! Funny, so did I! Only for a completely different reason...)

He asked what the significance of this 44-year-old woman was and
he saw the clock said 4:44. He asked the Lord what that was and the Lord
said, “Ezekiel 44:4.” “He brought me by way of the north gate to the front
of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the
house of the LORD; and I fell on my face.” (NKJV) Note: North gate
represents Alaska.

A few years ago Dutch and Chuck Pierce went on a 50-state tour prophesying
over each state as their part in God’s purposes for the U.S. At the meeting
in Texas that evening Dutch was relaying his experience about the Governor
to Chuck who said, “Do you remember what the word was the Lord gave us for
Alaska?” The Lord had shown them that Alaska is the alpha and omega state.
It’s the place where things begin and end. You may realize that some of the
Alaskan islands are on the other side of the International Dateline, meaning
that the day begins and ends in Alaska. The Lord said that Alaska is a
gateway for the Ancient of Days to come into the nation. The Lord told Dutch
(while in Alaska) to tell the people of Alaska to look forward into their
destiny… Alaska has an assignment to open doors and a place where prophets
and intercessors were trained. It turns out that the Governor who was raised
in a Pentecostal Church, according to our newspaper, founded the prayer
movement in Alaska.

We will be having the last of our 90 days in a major gathering on September
11. The significance of this is that Chuck Pierce had prophesied that there
would be 7 years of war, and September 11 marks the end of that time and the
entering of the 8th year. Someone said that 44 = 4+4 or 8.

Dutch asked why he and Chuck were in Texas for this announcement and the
Lord reminded him that the word for Texas was that it is a prophetic state -
that the Lord’s purpose for Texas is this prophetic function.

Dutch then decreed Sarah Palin will enter the White House. Now, if you don’t
know him, he is cautious, has his feet on the ground, and never goes off
“half cocked” when it comes to prophecy. He said that he believes as of
Friday, the U.S. has come into a new level of alignment with the Lord and
His purposes. By the way, the Governor will be the 44th Vice President. He
continued to declare that she will be the Margaret Thatcher of America
including that she would be President one day. Many other things came forth.
I literally thought I would explode because the Lord had shown me many of
these same things yesterday.

I believe we especially need to rally prayer for the family and children of
the Governor. They will be targeted by the enemy, and I believe we need
special prayer for the oldest daughter.

Please take this seriously in your prayers


~~*~~

Enjoy your "last days", good citizens of planet Mirth; our number just may be up...

(Postscript: Just to add fuel to the fires of hell - according to a recent CNN poll - 44% of Americans believe Sarah Palin would make a good president... I kid you not.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Quote From Ronald Reagan...

"A moment I've been dreading. George brought his n'er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida; the one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work."

From the REAGAN DIARIES ------ entry dated May 17, 1986 (Edited by David Brinkley and published by Harper-Collins)

I believe the expression "rolling in one's grave" comes to mind...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Top 10 Surprising Sarah Palin Facts

After John McCain snubbed David Letterman for a show appearance last Thursday night (while appearing with Katie Couric for a Q&A only a few hours later!) seems the old cuddly & curmudgeonly TV host had a little fun at the Republican ticket's expense (his guest that night, instead, was Paris Hilton who, coincidentally, had been 'snubbed' by the McCain campaign, too)...

With Lake Lucille as the backdrop, ten residents of Wasilla, Alaska delivered David Letterman's Top Ten List:
TOP TEN SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT SARAH PALIN

10. Sometimes Sarah calls McCain "Grandpa"

9. She stole that sexy librarian look from me

8. Recently passed legislation to build a bridge to Funkytown

7. Does great impressions of Tina Fey

6. Favorite meal: Moose nuggets and beaver jerky

5. Working on a "Knight Rider" spin-off about a talking snowmobile

4. Favorite book? The Late Show Fun Facts -- available at fine stores everywhere

3. Once spent a week in the hospital after attempting to put lipstick on a pit bull

2. To improve her foreign policy experience, she recently went to the International House of Pancakes

1. Only person I know who's not afraid to go hunting with Dick Cheney

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vote MikeCaine/Palin!

On second thought a MikeCaine/Palin ticket doesn't sound so bad after all..

Reckless!

Speaking of "framing debates"...

Isn't it strange how The Dems have not seized control of their own "swift boating" tactics? And why not; politics is an ugly, ugly sport.

Word of advice from George Lakoff and others amongst the Clan of Chomsky: take control of a word to describe your opponent.

Say it over and over again until the general public has no other choice but to accept it as "reality".

Own it!

May I suggest:

"RECKLESS"

...to describe everything about McCain and his "Camp-Pain". His callous disregard of a former respectable self (one that now panders to right-wing ideology, religious Backwardism (no, Colbert! I get credit for this one!), environmental irresponsibility, economic naivete, and the most outrageously insulting choice for a Vice-Presidential side-kick in Sarah Palin!?!

Not even the most cynical of us would want this self described "lipsticked pitbull" so close to a 72-year-old presidential nominee.

Please be advised: as of today there are 54 Days left before this country wields one of its most mighty privileges.

Use it responsibly.

Vote with your intellect this time and not your baser instincts.

Happy Holiday, Dick Cheney!

I think The Onion got it spot-on in their latest issue as we "celebrate" the latest, and now, 7th Annual Parade of the Neo- Cons' pride and joy, September 11th (sincere apologies to the thousands who died unnecessarily and their families now serving as involuntary shills for modern day political cynicism).

Witness even recently at the RNC the Twin Tower images still serving as the word 'Fear's' double exclamation points!! Nice touch, Rudy; we can always count on you as the Arch-Angel of Tuneless Trumpet blowing on this one.

Ironically, so much of the Right defines their brand of 'Conservatism' as that which our most important values and lessons must hearken back to "better days" (read: until recently the 1950's (throw in most of the 19th Century while you're at it; we want to make sure African-Americans have been handily dealt with, too...) when we had the last great reasons to be afraid including the good old standby spectres of Communism and 'Nuclear War' (c) 1939), and those better days have now been notoriously rechristened.

Why has September 11th, 2001 been translating as better days for so many of one particular political party? Do I really need to elaborate on the tired abuse of symbolism as a form of helping frame a candidate's debate on his (or her) worthiness to lead a nation?

Naaaah, mostly charred, building-dusted, bloodied old-hat this one.

Better we just get our gift shopping done early, everyone; I hear there's another attack on our sensibilities brewing in November...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Seven Songs For Seven People

I've been 'tagged' to post my current seven favorite songs (and forward to seven others to do the same - you know the drill) ... but, this, I'm afraid, is a nearly impossible exercise for me as I listen to far too much music on any one given day (seven degrees of several song separation-anxiety?). Alas, I never tend to linger on any one given song for longer than can be afforded, and this for good reason:

There's just too much out there waiting to be discovered!

It's a curse, I tell you, forcing bitter irony straight into your ears.

That said, I will give this the old-college-try purely to see what I come up with... here are the rules first:

"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they're listening to."

So, here goes (and feel free to do the same even if you haven't been tagged officially):

~~~~*~~~~

7.) "Fistful of Rain" by Warren Zevon (from 'Life'll Kill Ya') - I imagine the old bard was well aware of the sickness that would soon take him when he wrote this inspirational and lovely grab-life-by-the-horns- before-it-fucks-all-this-beauty-and-poetry-up song (May you and Vonnegut be sitting together somewhere-upon-high toasting to all of this grand foolishness).

6.) "Nothing Is Innocent" by Over The Rhine (from 'The Trumpet Child') - I thought I was listening to Amy Winehouse when I first heard this stunner as it's all about addiction and falling down all done in that perfect retro-bluesy chanteuse-style. Imagine my surprise. Would do a fading diva-genius proud.

5.) "The Booklovers" by The Divine Comedy (from 'Promenade') - I was introduced to this on WMBR 88.1 FM in Cambridge, Mass. and it just rocked my literary-crashes- into-musical world. Just goes to prove reading a good book inspires great thinking and outrageously fine songwriting:
Happy the man, and happy he alone
who in all honesty can call today his own;
He who has life and strength enough
to say ’yesterday’s dead & gone
I want to live today’
4.) TIE: "The Funeral" and "Is There A Ghost" by Band Of Horses (from 'Everything All The Time' and 'Cease To Begin' respectively) - I love this band (of horses...) and not because NPR harps on them. They rock in a longing, sentimental way without being too longing and sentimental. You can actually feel cool about feeling all mushy inside.

3.) "Rickity Tikity Tin" by Barbara Manning (from '1212') - Oh, my! Doing wicked and sinister things never felt (and sounded!) so delightfully good!

2.) "The Commander Thinks Aloud" by The Long Winters (from 'Ultimatum' EP) - When it first dawned on me that this was a tuneful exploration about the space shuttle disaster it broke my heart. Such a beautifully crafted song that puts you right in the seat of catastrophe and turns your tears to vapor as you enter the atmosphere realizing all hope is lost - but wasn't it all such an amazing trip...?

1.) "Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab For Cutie (from 'Plans') - Yeah, I know, their big hit! song but you know what? This was the perfect companion for when we moved from the colder climes of the Northeast to the liberating and welcoming city of Austin. It just summed everything up so very perfectly. Love it and appreciate them for putting it to 'tape'.

~~~~*~~~~

Dare I include some runners-up? Sure! But, I'll keep it reeeal short:

"Meet The Witch" by Big Dipper (from 'Craps') - We all 'knew right from the start there would be a hill', didn't we?

"Everybody Knows" by Blake Hazard (from 'Little Airplane') - Nobody oozes sexuality and longing like the great-niece of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Love her and John D. in The Submarines, too!

"Fix You Up" by Tegan & Sara (from 'So Jealous') - I sent this catchy, uplifting little gem to someone when they were experiencing some, ahem, marital 'growing pains'. They thanked me profusely for the eye-opening pick-me-up message.

"Into My Arms" by Nick Cave (from 'The Boatman's Call') - What can I say? This was our Couples' Dance Song at our wedding. A brilliant master at his most wistful and tender. Soulful, devastating.

~~~~*~~~~

Okay, 'nuff fer now - but thanks for the brain-tease, Glenn; that was an enjoyable albeit troubling jaunt (and not entirely accurate!); there's just too much great music out there...!

(Oh, did I mention that I'm listening to Television's "See No Evil" (from 'Marquee Moon') right now and totally rocking out!? ed. - Sheesh...give it a rest, pal.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Barton Creek Beast Barks!

A rather large and bizarre, otter-like creature was spotted in Austin's Barton Creek Springs over this last Memorial Day Weekend:


Evoking absolute terror in several local swimmers that day the beast was eventually captured by one intrepid aquatic animal expert who happened to be perusing those riparian shores...


After wrestling the biological anomaly back to river's edge calm was restored to the area, and the beast was whiske(ere)d away to a nearby 'Lab'oratory for further observation...


Once safely secured it was determined that the toothy specimen was at least ... part alligator!

(OK, this entry is utter crap-nonsense but I hadn't posted in a while...)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Proclamation

Unlike many of the corporate "Hallmark Holidays" that Americans are abused by yearly (may Valentine's Day and its ilk forever be banished to the dustbin of history!) the origins of "Mother's Day" here in the U.S. was actually based on a more noble cause: an anti-war statement against the carnage of the American Civil War.

The following poem by Julia Ward Howe was written in 1870 as an early call to celebrate Mother's Day and asked that women take on more responsibility in shaping the politics of their country (given the current political landscape its as relevant as ever...):


Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

--Julia Ward Howe (1870)

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Homesteady

As promised(!), now that the furniture is mostly in place, remaining boxes put into "storage" (read: stuffed away in the Garage somewhere...), the lawn freshly "weed whacked", the cats having made peace with the dog (sort of ... nah, let's just skip that last one all together), and the rooms freshly painted, here are some recent photographs of our new home.

~~~~*~~~~

Enjoy the intoxicating stench of "new house scent" at your own risk...

The Front Yard area (some bastard won't move his car from our Driveway. Wait. Damnit, that's my car...).

The view from across the "Boulevard" ... Avenue, actually (aka - our swell neighbors, The Kroll's house).

The Front Door and Living Room area (a Triffid-like creature invaded this frame despite my protestations).

The Stairway to many wondrous rooms above (complete with dueling Chat Noirs! Pouvez-vous voir les chats?).

The Living Room proper (there is no bird in that cage, by the way; we think that one of the chat noirs must've gotten to it).

The Dining Room table with the lovely Triffid-bouquet from my dearest Mum!

The Kitchen area (smallish but, goll-dang-it-all, can we cook up a Texas-sized storm in here!).

Out back is the Backyard Porch and Deck area (complete with swing chair and cat-doormat!).

And, there's a Bamboo Garden with another raised swing chair so the mosquitoes can't reach us (pffff...).


Oh, look! Loki's in the Bamboo Garden ... eating something foul no doubt.

In the Backyard there's a tomato garden a-bloomin' (a-fruitin'??) and one raised-lumber enclosure in progress... don't even get me started about the "lawn"! Hey, do you know how hard it is to grow grass in Texas!?

Xeriscaping: 1

Flora: 0

Loki helps with some of that lawn irrigation... (n.b. - she's buried one of the cats right where she's doing her business...).

Speaking of cats, let's go Upstairs, shall we? Watch out for them kitties, though! I swear to god Marley will trip you while Anubis pushes you from behind to encourage your rapid downward momentum...

The Master Bedroom (yes, the dog sleeps with us ... we fit comfortably in the crate and she lets us out in the morning ... most days).

The Office (and Cat Room)...

... functions as the Guest Bedroom, too (don't mind the Cat Room part ... seriously, we keep the litter box downstairs).

The "Entertainment" Room (fishtanks are more interesting than television sets).

Exit through the Entertainment Room's French Doors and out onto the upstairs Deck (see the catnip plant in corner...? I kid you not).

The Zen-like Treehouse Deck (bamboo canopy shields us from the onslaught of incoming egg attacks from our neighbors).

~~~~*~~~~

Well, that pretty much completes the tour (aside from the two-and-a-half Bathrooms; I just always thought photographing toilets was a touch ... gauche, ya know?).


Ah, Home, Sweat, Home (as always a constant work in progress).

Ya'll come down and visit us sometime, ya hear?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Giants' Teeth (or, The Sky Is Falling)

Giants fought above our normally peaceful neighborhood today. Two, maybe, three. Or, more!

Chicken Little has found redemption in the skies above Austin.

Thousands of jumbo-sized teeth fell from the sky in a brutish, unforgiving torrent.

It went something like this, I'm guessing...

<<<CRAAACK!>>>

Thor with his mighty Hammer smites his younger, mischievous sibling, Loki (ed. - with apologies to our own mischievous little canine...), into dizzying, but only momentary, submission. A severe jar-rattling bludgeon to the choppers.

"Bumpety-bump-bump-bump-bump...ker-plunk!"

Those pocked molars busting loose and dancing all over my car's sun-roofed top. The tarred shingles. The front lawn. The bird bath. The street. BAIR's Paper Supply across the way. And especially all madly pachinko-ing throughout the pecan tree branches.

Odd for this time of year (Just, please... please don't shatter the windshields!).

<<<WHAAACK!>>>

Retribution is swift and merciless; another well-placed blow lands squarely and heavily only this time a hail of Thor's incisors & bicuspids trundles down in a furious, chaotic sheet of broken bone and spit.

<<<BOOOM!>>>

Good Christ, here it comes (Oh, I just know I'll be banging dents out of the SAAB's hood for weeks!)...

"Tink. (pause) Tank (pause) Tunk. (pause) Ba-dunk."

Their mouths finally run out of teeth ... what follows are all apologetic tears for 5, maybe 10, minutes more. Heavy, drenching, blinding tears.

(((R))((U))((M))((B))((L))((E)))

Two giant brothers amble off into the distance somewhere to console one another ... (perhaps over San Antonio?) ... but, inevitably, and certainly once their new teeth are again grown into place, will come back this way...

...all a fragilis-dentata-piss-and-vinegar-spewing-mad.

Angry with each other?

More likely ... furious at the world.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rock Out With Your Caulk Out!

Gotta love a new and stressed out home-owner.

So, there we were at The Home Despot (aka - The Home Desperate, aka - Wall Mart, aka - Stalag 13, aka - New Shrine To The Pathetic And Overly Obsessed Property Slave... etc, etc, etc!) picking up our new and profoundly over-priced stove, refrigerator, microwave oven, washer, drier, insert random household appliances here...

I'm very tired. Let me stress (and I do mean stress...) the word "very" for you, okay?

VERY!

Its been a long day of closings, title fees, mortgage notes, insurance papers, real estate agents, appraisal forms, legal documents, check passing and everything else that goes along with the purchasing of a new home.

And then some
.

My mind is spinning on how fast money is funneling out of my bank account. And this little man, this chattering little weasel-like creature, "Clint", is trying to sell us (by us, I mean my wife, Heather, myself, and the several dozen or so pink, blue, and green faeries fluttering madly around my head...) warranties upon warranties for each new appliance. As if three months pay wasn't enough already, all right?! If this guy were taking blood samples he'd screw the whole intravenous tube and needle thing and go straight for a sapping spigot and 10 gallon bucket!

Shortly into his pitch Mary Lou Jesus-Camp saunters up to explain even MORE great deals to be had!

And I've...

I've had enough.

'Don't our new bathrooms need to be silicon-ed or something???'

Heather, this is your show now. Have at it with these clowns.

And without so much as batting an awkwardly bent eye-lash I just blurt out, "Hey, Clint? Can you just show me where your caulk is?"

Sounds like...

Stops them both dead in their tracks (at least they've finally shut-up!).

Mary Lou turns beet-red. Her priest is going to have a rough confessional next week...

Clint fails terribly in suppressing his did-he-just-say-what- I-thought-he-just-said! shit-eating grin.

"Ummm, you mean our caulking? That's two rows down in Aisle 7."

I fail to find the humor in any of this.

At all.

I leave in a head-shaking huff.

Although, immediately afterwards, it does ticklishly get me to thinking, "Wouldn't it be great to just drop trow right about now and waddle over to Aisle 7 with my shorts wrapped around my ankles screaming, 'Hey, where's your caulk! Where's your goddamn caulk, you bastards! I need to find some caulk badly! Right here, right now!'"

The moral of this story is...

Well, there is no moral. Morals have gone completely out the window, in fact.

But, I did find the "caulking" in Aisle 7 just like Clint had told me it would be.

And, also, you can be damn sure that the next time I wander into The Home Depot I'm not going to take any prisoners: "Hey, can somebody tell me where you fuckers stack your Penis Guns around this douche-colony!?"

That oughtta hold the little bastards...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Man In A Night Time Mirror

When I met the man he stood about 5'11" but was much younger.

Down a darkened hall he stared back from inside a mirror.

All words written and spoken in Gaelic here. A small, lost town on the edge of a forgotten, pinprick of a place.

No one home.

Whole place to myself. With eggs! And milk! Bread and freshly churned butter!

And as darkness crept in and then turned into oblivion I woke up and walked down an empty-house hall. Floors answered back with every covert and careful step.

Naked.

Except for maybe my pretenses.

There he was, too.

Alone.

Naked.

Except for his pretenses.

Staring back down over eighteen years or so of darkened hallways.

We startled each other. Because no one was supposed to be home. But there we were ... facing off. Stuck in night's glue.

I discovered you down a hallway.

In a mirror over a decade and more ago. Staring me into eternity, or now. Whichever came first.

Now here I am.

Memory as time machine.

God, if I only knew then what I know now (you foolish cliche-whore!).

Stay right there, lad, stay right there.

Frozen in time.

In that night felled, cottage mirror.

Afraid.

But still safe.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pet Peeve Hypocrite!

OK, so maybe, just maybe... she's one of the greatest dogs ever?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Meet The Mouth

Dog owners are different than cat owners.

Every dog owner will make you painfully aware of that fact.

They say, "Well, we've had 'Cerberus' for 3 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 10 days, 12 hours, 13 minutes and 53 seconds."

Cat owners will defer, "We think she's about 2 or 3 years old..."

Dogs exude personality.

Cats exude independence.

Dogs know words.

Cats: "No words."

If cats do "know" words... well, then they sure as hell understand the art of feigning ignorance.

Loyalty.

Obedience.

Love.

Expression.

These are words associated with dogs.

Cats?

Loyalty (to no one...).

Obedience (Pfff. Riiiiiight...).

Love (of sunny spots and tongue baths maybe...).

Expression (as long as that expression involves a middle finger...).

There is always a BIG story behind a dog. Usually weeks in the making if not months.

Cats have stories, too. Very detailed ones. But chances are if you asked a dog to recite his or her story he or she would do it in a most excited and immaculate manner. Woofing in gregarious detail all the way!

Cats, on the other hand, would write their story down somewhere, hide it from everyone and wait until 'The Mothership' touches down before revealing their ultimate truth... (you think I'm kidding?)

Let it be clear: I adore cats.

Let it also be clear: I adore dogs.

Can there really be such a strain of humanity??

You usually don't find this happy medium in most people.

You're either one, or the other.

Period.

Dog Owners might say: "Cats = Terrorists, Dogs = Patriots".

Cat Owners might say: "Dogs = Short Bus To English As A 2nd Language Class, Cats = New York Times Sunday Edition Crossword Puzzle".

So, where does that leave us 'lovers of both'?

Dogs = Dogs.

That's great!

Cats = Cats.

Why, that's great, too!

Are we then Patriotic Progressives? Folks that are willing to negotiate with the terrorists after weeks of scholarly review? Or, just undeniably neurotic...?

Whatever. Meet The Mouth.

"Loki" (after hours of naming-rites debate between Heather and myself!).

She's a black lab mix. We're thinking a touch of Chow or Pyrenees thrown in perhaps judging by the kinky hair around her ears and the pudgier than normal snout for a normally pure-bred lab.

Did I mention she's black? Matches 'The Coven'! (ed. - oh, go get yourselves on some meds pronto, you obsessives!)

I found her ... (rather she found me!) ... at the local Austin pet shelter, "Cause For Paws."

I just couldn't say, "No."

Isn't that how the excuse usually goes?

She had me at, "Woof." (complete with jowly head-cocked, mushy brown eyes all a-drooping...!)

(sigh!)

Indeed. Stricken was I.

We are now the proud owners of one very high energy, completely time consuming bundle of canine joy. It's been awhile for me, admittedly. I grew up with dogs and loved their undying companionship. The way they would hop into your arms when you came home at night. The way you could just tell they would die inside every time you left the homestead - even for a second!

No difference here.

Loki
is only a puppy, maybe 3 or 4 months at most, and she dies inside every time you have to "crate" her for the night (merely to save the cats mind you) or leave the house for even just a moment.

She hates any activity shy of full-on buddy-buddy companionship. When she finally has your undivided attention... she then promptly pees everywhere (Chorus Of Cats be heard: "Heathen!").

That's how excited she becomes: "Oh, joy of joys, love of loves, be still my beating little puppy heart! My saviors, my companions, my pack! Once again reunited! May I christen you with the fresh bowl of water I just drank about an hour ago now??"

I am not a squeamish person. Albeit, I am no fan of full-on feces coverage either, but I can handle the fairly minor, messy "inconveniences" in life.

Urine?

Ha! What's a little body-processed H20!?

Vomit??

Hell, I used to do that all the time in college!

Poop!

Poop!?

What kind of word is "poop" anyway!? A word for faeries! Faeiries poop!

I can handle a little "poop". Why I can even handle a lot of "POOP!" (read: you should see some of the jobs I've held in my life...)

Loki is a factory full of it all.

Not so much the vomit part, really, but certainly the other exiting doggy doings to be sure.

We're beginning to feel like a maid service, in fact. We've mopped the house so many times in the past week that it's either extremely clean, or we've merely scrubbed all that puppy urine so deeply into the wood floors that the yellow shine is simply an illusion.

And that MOUTH!

Anyone want to suggest how to handle a clacking maw full of fanged, chewing, non-stop gnashing-toothy chomping action?! Please do advise! Heather has nicknamed her "The Alligator". When next we meet the holes in our shoes aren't some fashion statement for warmer climes be assured... furniture, rugs, plants, pecans, metal(!), pillows, molding ... gulp! The Cats!!

"NO, LOKI, NO! DOWN! HOLD! HOOOOOOLD! HOOOOLD!"

"Hold", our special power word for ... for everything she's not suppose to be doing, really - quite effective!

It's like a spiritual mantra all of a sudden. "Hold" will bring peace & calm to our universe on most occasions. When it doesn't work properly "Cookie?" or "Walk?" sometimes will suffice.

Without going into too much more detail (again the whole "people-who-go-on-and-on-about-how-extraordinary-and- wonderful-their-doggies-&-kitties-are-thing" happens to be a personal, ahem, pet-peeve of mine...) Loki is whip-smart, gentle, heart breaking-ly loving & lovable, criminally cute and has a bark that mimics both a feral coyote and a stray minke whale when she's lonely, and one that quickly evolves into a deep, throaty, window-rattling "BAW-ROOF! BAW-ROOF!" when she's acting all tough.

"Ha! Tough, eh? You think you're so tough, is that it? Try scrubbing crap out of a rug at 2:30 in the morning sometime, dawg! I'll show you tough!"

In short, though, we're tremendously proud and truly happy to have our new family member with us, and hoping that she'll be ... hold on a sec.

"NO, LOKI, NO! DON'T YOU TOSS THAT CAT THAT HIGH IN THE AIR! HOLD! HOOLD!! HOOOOOLLLLLD!!!"

Apologies, gotta run.

Must peel cat off ceiling...