Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things you wouldn't say to the person face to face...

One of the cardinal rules of email etiquette is, "Don't say anything by email that you wouldn't say to the person's face."
This gets tricky on blogs.
I have that neat little "Live Traffic" widget from Feedjit that lets me know how people are arriving on my page and where they go when they leave.
I've had people come here from all kinds of Google searches. Quotes, books, lines I wrote that apparently matched quotes they were looking for (i.e. "those votes won't count for anything"), etc.
Well, since I already know one author Googled her own book and ended up on my blog, I felt rather worried when I saw the search: klam "please excuse my daughter" because my blurb--actually more of a "bl" than a whole blurb--might be hurtful if the author was the one doing the search. ["Please Excuse My Daughter-Julie Klam (Memoir)--DONE B (A fun and frank memoir, but not a whole lot of substance. Kind of an ordinary rich girl's life.)]
So that brings me back to etiquette. How do you know what you might say to someones face if you don't know that you might have to do so? Does that make sense?
I mean I know anything I have said about Hellary here, I would say to--nay, scream at--her face given the chance. And obviously anything nice here is something I would say to any given person's face. But how do you know in what way a person a person will receive what you say when you fling it into (cyber)space?
Well, Ms. Klam, if you ever do read this, for the record, I very much enjoyed your book and read it in a couple of sittings. Maybe because I related so much to your situations--except the wealthy parents part--they seemed ordinary to me, or maybe your life is very ordinary, but you write well enough to make it interesting. Who knows?
And if I'm just being overly empathetic for no real, good reason, well then, I'm just being "ordinary" for myself.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh, just random collections of thoughts, I guess.

Obama just said that although he will maintain the Cuban embargo, he will open travel so Cuban-Americans can visit their relatives. That is very good news to hear.

Random quotes to ponder:

  1. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
  2. The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.-ibid
  3. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws, but conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.-ibid
  4. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.-ibid
  5. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.-ibid
  6. Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.-John Adams
  7. Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.-Dwight Eisenhower
  8. It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.-Thomas Paine
  9. The most important political office is that of the private citizen.-Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
  10. We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts--not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.-Abraham Lincoln
  11. It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.-Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson
  12. The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts ... the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.-Edmund Burke
  13. The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty.-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  14. Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.-Kurt Vonnegut
  15. Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of. -Douglas Adams
  16. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.-Mahatma Gandhi
  17. The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles.-Mahatma Gandhi
  18. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.-Mahatma Gandhi

I missed, yet again, another doctor's appointment. I think I must be willfully forgetting the damn things. I see so many doctors for so many things over the course of a year, that it is very tiresome. Dermatologist(2X/year), Immunologist (2X/year), Psychiatrist(1X/month), Counsellor(1X/month), Rheumatologist (2X/year), Internist(2X/year), Dentist(2X/year--plus three this past year for broken teeth/fillings), Gynecologist (1X/year), Opthamologist (1X/year for field of vision tests due to a medication I take). That's 38 appointments without even counting if I actually "get sick" (it's all relative) or have some other emergency. Last year, obviously, was much more what with the depression and need for weekly counselling, hospitalization pre-appointments, inpatient and outpatient ECT, etc. (That looks funny: ECT, etc.) I've rescheduled. Wish me luck in remembering.

In other news, Phil Spector is on one of the Obama discussion lists I am on. Weird, huh? I've been thinking of asking when his next trial is, but nixed it. I'll google it.

On another list (Feminists for Obama, which is a very active list which is making name for itself in various ways) is the wonderful author (and TV writer, comedian, pundit of sorts, etc., along with very nice person) Cathryn Michon AKA Grrlgenius.

The founder of the Feminists for Obama group was quoted in this article today. I love her quote, so I'm sharing.

At Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Michele Glorioso, a graduate student in women's studies who started the Feminists for Obama group on the campaign Web site my.barackobama.com, agrees. "I tell people that if Bill Clinton was the first black president, then maybe Barack Obama will be the first woman president."

I also wanted to highlight the quote from a so-called boomer "feminist" who says the most unfeminist thing she could have said.

White believes it will be up to Obama, between now and the Democratic Convention, to be properly solicitous in his relationship with Sen. Clinton and the millions of women who see themselves in her. "It's diamonds, candy and flowers time," she said.

Yeah, and high heels and makeup and chick flick dates and lots and lots of shopping and gossip. Whatever.

Don't miss Recount on HBO, Sunday, May 25 at 9 p.m. Looks like rollicking good fun and a fairly accurate replay of the debacle. You might learn something you didn't already know. (Don't forget the plural of chad is chad. Seriously.)

Which reminds me of this article. As someone who had voted in a primary for the first time in years due to my being disenfranchised as a former registered Green, I truly appreciated this brief reminder to the world.

And I don't normally watch commercials, but I had seen the first ETrade commercial featuring the talking baby, but not this second one made for the Super Bowl, apparently.

Clowns are creepy, no two ways about it.

I guess that is it for now. TAH!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Okay, this is FUNNY! (Edited 15 minutes later)

It's 9 minutes long, but it is so fun to watch right-wing pundits go DOWN! Especially when they have no concept of basic history.
"Why are you screaming?" ROTFLMAO! The good stuff starts at 4:19, but the whole thing is good.
For those of you who don't know what "Neville Chamberlain did," a quick look at not "the Google" but "the wikipedia" might help.
I'm not normally a Matthews fan, but Rachel Maddow played the clip when she subbed for Olbermann the other night.
Also love this clip from BarelyPolitical.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sweet Smells and Dead Flowers

The windows are open and the most glorious smell is permeating my house. Green, flowery, a little bit of the sweet, dead smell of fallen blooms from trees and the tiny bit of dampness from last night's drizzle. It's beautiful. I wish I could bottle it, perfume-aholic that I am.
I also have a Yankee Candle in the Greenhouse scent lit in the kitchen and it is enhancing the spring atmosphere even though it is a little bit overcast today.
In other news, when I went to bed last night and my peace lily was just fine and when I woke up the biggest flower was brown.
I freaked out. But a quick google search let me know this was normal, how to cut the flower off and that it was probably my fault the flower went caput so fast becuase when you mist the plant you need to avoid the flowers which I didn't do. Now I know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are you still drinking bottled water?

Bottled water is bad for the Earth and for you for many reasons:
  • Plastic bottles are made from petroleum. (Not to mention may leach scary chemicals into your water.)
  • The plants run on fossil fuels.
  • Most of the time the water is filtered tap water, so you're paying for something you can do at home.
  • Even if you recylce your bottles, most people don't, and don't forget the packing materials the water is sent to the store in: a cardboard flat wrapped in unrecyclable plastic wrap.
  • Bottled water is expensive over time for you, the consumer.
  • Trucks haul the water all over the country creating air pollution and consuming fuel.

We use a PUR on faucet 3-step purifier for all of our cooking and drinking water and carry our own bottles (DH even takes jugs of water from home to work as they only have bottled water and drinks available there)--I prefer the great SIGG bottles.

And that concludes my public service announcement for the day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Okay, two minutes later and I'm bawling.

CNN just did a story on children in Myanmar. Complete with images of dead and living parentless children trying to survive. Horrible horrible beyond words.
World Vision is one of the few aid agencies being allowed to hgelp in the country. There was a great piece on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer last night. They are allowed to purchase items in country and distribute them right now, but they are still negotiating flying their own supplies--which are still on a runway somewhere--into the country and to distribute them themselves so that the regime doesn't put them on the blackmarket. Without medical aid and clean water they are expecting one million deathsin addtion to the reported 100,00 already.
Please donate.
World Vision

Feeling Mellow Today

For about a year, I have been taking 0.5 mg of Klonopin at bedtime to deal with my anxety disorder. I am also allowed to take 0.5 as needed, but barely ever do that anymore. This is an extremely low dose. Many people take up to a prescribed 3.0 mg a day.
I also take a lot of other meds and supplements so I fill my four pillboxes once a week. Well, the last time I filled them, I apparently skipped putting the Klonopin in my bedtime box because I hadn't refilled it. That was a few days ago. I went three or four bedtimes without it and without realizing it until last night when I looked at the pills in my hand to make sure I hadn't dropped a pill. It wasn't in my hand, but I hadn't dropped it and it wasn't in the rest of the box either.
Now, this is interesting to me because I did not know I wasn't taking it, but I was starting to feel really anxious and angry the past few days without knowing why. this wasn't withdrawal--I've gone through that before with other psych meds and it feels like a flu. I did not feel sick at all, just anxious and angry.
So now I realize this little bit of anxiolytic is actually helping me a great deal, and it is not just a placebo effect. Because I feel so serene today. Not jittery or angry or anxious at all.
Drugs are good for you. And I will keep telling myself that with every handful I take.
This happened to me with my Plaquenil about 6 years back. I felt better so I stopped taking it. I spiralled into a flare so fast my head spun. My doctor scolded me, put me back on it and it has helped me so much. I have been on the same dose for about eight or ten years now.
That is one thing about my body: I seem to respond quickly and fully to new drugs whether for the better or the side effects and know whether or not it is a good choice for me. And I am able to maintain doses over years and years instead of having to increase doses like many people. That's one good thing about a sensitive sytem, I guess.
The bad side of a sensitive system is played out by my IBS. I leave that to your imagination for now, but let's just say it has been a rough few days on my gut for some reason. Hmmmm... maybe the anxiety I was starting to have messed it up so thoroughly? It is one of the biggest influences on IBS.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Couple of Websites I Like

The site Consumerist is interesting enough on its own for me to pop on every once in a while, but I just found the sub-blog or tag or whatever you want to call it Stupid Shipping Gang .
Alos through Consumerist I found the site Amazon Filler Item Finder where you type in the amount you need to reach free shipping, which is often much less than shipping, and they provide you with a list of items that "fit the bill" so to speak.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy "Us" Day

Don't be fooled the crap you will read about "The Founding of Mother's Day" by Anna Jarvis because it is all bull and has led to the commercialized, insincere "Hallmark holiday."

This is what Mother's Day is really about:

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.

Thank you, Julia Ward Howe!

"Screw the gas tax holiday they should look at increasing it and plowing that money into public transporation."

The title is a quote from my husband who sent me the following NYTimes article:

BUSINESS May 10, 2008

Gas Prices Send Surge of Riders to Mass Transit

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS Cities with long-established public transit systems and areas with a strong driving culture are both reporting increases in ridership.

His full quote was, "Yea for higher gas prices. I've always said it's the only thing that will change the behavior of the masses...the stupid, stupid masses. Screw the gas tax holiday they should look at increasing it and plowing that money into public transporation. "

But he's not a socialist like me. Nooooooooooo, he's a Republican registered Democratic for the first time so he can vote for Obama. Okay honey, whatever you say. I love you dear!!

By the way he also sent me this article:

Automakers’ April Sales Reflect Shift to Smaller Cars

I like the way the country is going. Now if eggs weren't so expensive, I could start egging Hummers with few people to stop me!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Some pictures of my plants and house:

My mother gave me star plant for Mother's Day a few years ago despite the fact I notoriously kill plants, especially houseplants. Nate has kept it alive, but it had gotten much bigger and became root bound in the pot. I split it into two pots:

I got a corn plant (Dracaena) from a Freecyler who rescued the the plant from the dumpster a year ago and rooted this clipping. Talk about reduce, reuse, recycle! (I've had a stack of vintage linens in storage forever and finally figured I would cover the ugly plastic craft trolleys in the corner of what was the house's dining room, but is now a den-like extension of our living room. So, voila!, instant side table. I have to add a lamp after I rewire it and also add a framed picture.)

This is my second attempt at lucky bamboo--yes, I killed bamboo. Told ya: Black Thumb Syndrome. I got three stalks because, as I learned in yoga, three is an auspicious number.

This is Zeke (13 years old in a month and still going strong!) and my new peace lily from Lowe's ($10) in front of my fireplace and my Buddha and goddesses corner. I got the peace lily because, like all of the other plants I have, it is an air purifying plant and because I like the name. Oh yeah, and it's pretty, no?

And a blue jay died in my yard after my tree was clipped by a trucker driving like a freaking maniac. I though I had nursed him enough when he finally flew away, but two days later Nate found him dead in our yard. I plucked a few of his beautiful feathers to add to my mantel "altar" which includes many interesting items, incuding two glow-in-the-dark Marys, a picture of a fractal, a shiva lingham, a small Kwan Yin, the card Nate gave me when I was pregnant with Holden which I framed and used as a focal point as I labored, a big hunk of rose quartz and many other weird goodies.

As you can tell from a few of the pictures, I am a collector of collections. The Haeger matte green speckled pottery in a few pics was one of my first obsessions--I have tons more throughout the house.

Random list: Things I've learned this year

These are a few things I have learned this past year:
  • No matter how long the darkness is, there IS light again at the end.
  • My boys are soon adults. (!!!!!!!)
  • My boys are more funny, intelligent and independent than I ever realized, and I like to think I have almost everything to do with that.
  • Keith Olbermann is the most entertaining and wonderful newsman on TV. Who knew I'd love someone from ESPN so much??
  • The face--the literal face--of politics is changing. A woman and a man of mixed race running for POTUS is amazing!!
  • The figurative face of politics can change--witness Obama's campaign full of dignity, truth and actual hope. It's not just a slogan.
  • When one is cruising through all of the CSI episodes ever made on Spike TV and CBS and has almost run out, ECT will make them all new and fresh to watch again. Not that I recommend this method of re-loving your shows.
  • Surprises can come in small and large packages, sometimes at the exact same time.
  • Life can throw crap at you for a few years and seemingly devestate your world, but it is more than likely not a lifetime of bad luck and life will bless you again at some point.
  • I am ready to try to keep houseplants alive again. (Wish me and my black thumb luck!)
  • Costco's filet mignon is about the best thing ever meat-wise.
  • Frank's Red Hot--a longtime favorite--can fix more foods than previously thought.
  • Good coffee and red wine (long consumed, but never before fully appreciated) are indispensible little bits of heaven in my everyday routine.
  • All that loud music as a kid really does effect your hearing. Sigh... (As a connected "thing I've learned": Closed Captioning is a wonderful invention.)
  • You can grow older and grow more liberal contrary to popular belief. (Right, my socialist little hubby? MWAH!)
  • You can absolutely retain "cool-ness" as you grow older. Sometimes you can even increase it.

Maybe more later.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Whine and wine

Actually more of a crazy-assed, screaming rant than a whine:

What the fuck is wrong with that smunt devil-woman?? When will she get it?? She is DONE! FINISHED! OUTTA THERE! A L-O-S-E-R!! FINITO!! Buh-BYE!! I seriously cannot take it anymore. Her pandering, her lies, her stiff delivery, raised eyebrows, ugly pantsuits, conservative beliefs, and general retardedness. GO AWAY HELLARY!! Go away, already!! Please!! We grown-ups have important work we have to get to, and you're holding us up.

And on to wine:
This article in the Times today "vin"dicates me, finally. (See what I did there? A little bilingual pun for your reading enjoyment.) I barely ever spend more than $12 for a bottle of wine and some of them are not only quite good, but actually better than some redonkulously expensive wines I have had. Unfortunately we cannot get Two-Buck-Chuck here, but oh! would that we could! And lately, due to either my trailer park roots or my love for the environment or my even greater lover for cheap, good wines I have been drinking Banrock Station Shiraz from a box! And guess what? It's very good! It's my "everyday" wine and the critics consistently rate the Shiraz from this environmentally friendly company from 78-85 points. Not bad for wine that costs me $15 for 3L. That works out to $3.75 a bottle!! And because of it's airtight packaging it tastes good for the two weeks it takes me to finish it. (One LARGE glass a night on most nights.)

Lastly--or second to lastly:
It won't happen--it WON'T--but if by some horrible confluence of events Obama doesn't end up on the ballot in November, I will be voting for wackadoo Mike Gravel. He was my favorite Democratic candidate once upon a time, and is now the Libertarian candidate. His videos on YouTube have rocked my equally wackadoo world. Here is his latest:

But you won't want to miss these, either:

And lastly lastly, and for no particular reason than I love him and therefore this piece, Tom Waits:

Later gator!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Random list: Heroes of Mine

  • Shelby Knox
  • Emily Lyons
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Liberal Mothers who stay home with their kids
  • Thomas Beatie
  • Rosa Parks
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Helen Thomas
  • Angelina Jolie--really (She doesn't take shit from anyone; she does what she wants and doesn't care what others think; she uses her celebrity to actually do good things in the world; she has adopted children and seems to be a good mother.)
  • Obama
  • people who are open and truthful about their lives
  • George Tiller, M.D.
  • 5/08/08 ADDITION: Keith Olbermann (As BFF Vicki states it: I love that man. He pulls no punches. I truly think he's our generation's Edward R. Murrow. I love anyone with the balls to speak truth to power, but few are as impeccably groomed as he while speaking it.)

If I think of any others, I'll let ya know.

Who are your heroes?

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