Friday, January 30, 2009

Today's Snow Hell and Female Humans with Litters

This morning has been a doozy. I've already had my car towed out of the snow and I'm shelling out more money in the next hour to get my driveway plowed. Oh yeah, and snow tires, too. You'd think that after living in the Midwest for the past four years, I would've obtained a clue by now. Snow happens. Do not have sport tires on a tiny Mazda3 if you plan on getting anywhere. These are some of life's pesky little lessons learned the hard way, apparently.

Right after I shelled out about 300 bucks before 10 am for today's random snow "events," I see this article on Yahoo about a woman having a litter of kids. So, of course, this irritates me due to my already elevated cortisol levels.

You've been warned.

This woman having octuplets the other day has had a lot of press. Most of it is all over the place as a "miracle." People are actually calling this MIRACULOUS. Not to sound like a raging lunatic or anything, but it wasn't a miracle at all. In fact, God or Buddha or Allah or Big Bird or whoever you so deem as the Almighty Producer of Miracles had only a teeny-tiny portion to do with the birth of these kids. While I will admit to all children being miracles as individual human beings (so careful before you comment, pro-lifers, as I do agree with you there), she was taking fertility drugs. Presumably, she would be taking these fertility drugs because she so desperately needed to intervene with nature and try to take charge of her weak and withered fertility. Oh yes. This is what one would assume.

But wait - there's more.

I ride the fence on this fertility drug issue a bit, because well, I can. I think it's perfectly acceptable for a woman to go on fertility treatments if it's her first child and the process of getting pregnant has become a tedious, emotional nightmare of self-loathing because she can't seem to get a little sperm to stick to one of her eggs. I get that. I really do. I even understand the notion of getting some fertility "help" if it's a second child, and a hopeful set of parents just don't want to see their first born grow up without a sibling. I can get on board with that, too. But when you already have SIX KIDS running around your house, what on God's green earth possesses you to want to have more? Six healthy kids just isn't enough for you when your doctor tells you that yeah, you're going to have to go on fertility drugs to get your body to actually conceive again? Really? I don't get that at all. Could you not just count your blessings and use your vagina for something else? This woman had EIGHT more. Eight. I was an English major, but I believe that amounts to 14 kids total if I use both my hands and a foot to count them all.

I'm sure they'll get a TV show which will pay for all of them. That's what Jon and Kate did, much to the eventual stunted and screwed up early childhood healthy development of their children. I mean, it's normal to have a camera shoved in your face 24/7 when you fly out of your Mom's uterus and are learning how to use your motor skills, let alone understand why all of America is watching your every move, right? How is THAT not child exploitation? People will fight me on this, but these people don't work. Their work is the show, and that means that yeah...they're pimping their kids out for lots of money. Very nice.

So, the litter thing. I don't understand why this has become such a trend in our country. Especially when every other person is struggling to figure out a way to pay their increasing property taxes and power bills in this economy. I'm not one of those "green" types of people, even though I do have my own organic vegetable garden on the back two acres of our property. But I will say that anyone who wants to be "green" should start by not having kids like a Golden Retriever. This is just a thought, though, and can be ignored (just as my comments will be ignored by the next Angelina Jolie babymaking wannabe). God bless democracy.

When the show crumbles on TLC, I just can't wait to see how these kids turn out - and who will volunteer to pay for them at that point...I'm thinking it may be the couple who cloned their dog for the bargain price of $155,000. Holy INSANITY. There's a smart move. I wonder if they'll adopt me and pay for my next snow removal fee.

I warned you...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blizzards and Snow Drifts and Low Temps, Oh MY!

Holy shizzat on a stick, it's cold.

This morning, I woke up at my usual 5 am, and I corralled the dogs to take them outside. When I turned on the back porch light, I realized that it had been snowing most of the night, and everything was covered in a very, very thick blanket of it. It’s beautiful, I’ll fully admit, but it’s the kind of beautiful that I like to look at from afar. Today, I don’t necessarily want to be in it. Well, unless Mr. Husband decides he wants to strap a sled on the back of the 4-wheeler and pull me in it. Which could happen, so stay tuned – especially you readers that live in warm climates (jerks).

Zeke, my big baby Dane, is the ultimate depth test for the snow. His giraffe-like legs are so long that I can gauge how deep the snow is just by watching him hop around in it. If he starts to look like a miniature dachshund, then I know it’s probably not terrain that my little Mazda 3 with sport tires can get through easily. He jumped out there like a champ this morning, and quickly resembled something about as big and long-legged as a Yorkie, so we got about a foot of the white stuff. More than a foot in some places, as our house seems to attract snow drifts like a bum on a ham sandwich. So, yeah. We have more than a foot. This is from my very calculated and scientific estimation, of course.

So, here I am...another day of brutal Indiana winter, snowed in out in the country. Fighting off the Seasonal Affective Disorder with a few work deadlines and an occasional daydream about Mexico. I could allow myself to feel somewhat trapped, but have Internet, satellite, coffee, and alcohol, so really, what more do people need? The glass is half full still, but today marks the exact day of ’09 that I’m officially ready for spring, short sleeves, and sunshine. I have a long way to go until late March.

The picture above is an aerial view from our radio tower this morning. The other two cameras up there are completely covered in snow, and our house looks like a tiny little speck wrapped up in that overbearing white blanket.

Viva la Mexico. Someone pass the cocktails.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Go See This Movie, Please.

Husband Man, Stepson and I went to see this movie yesterday. I have to say, I don't usually gush over movies, but I just LOVED this one so much. It had that quality that every good piece of Daisywriter cinema has: the "underdog" coming out on top. It's the reason Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie of all time. They both have those "common man" beating the system, fighting back in the face of inequality, corrupt power know. A good ol' kick the system's ass kind of movie. This movie, however, was a true story, which made it even cooler. Set during WWII with the backdrop of genocide, it was about three real brothers who ultimately ended up saving tens of thousands of Jews. Amazing and very inspiring stuff. The kind of movie that makes you remember that love and loyalty can truly conquer all.

Now go see it. That's an order.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You Go, Vols...

This crappy, tape-it-from-the-TV footage doesn't really do them justice, but this is the Pride of the Southland Band playing at the inauguration yesterday. They've played at the last ELEVEN of them. I'm biased, of course, but I think it's kind of nifty.

All I need is a bad 1990-ish haircut, a flask of Southern Comfort, a couple of blond sorority sisters, and some really drunk frat boys in my midst, and I'd feel like I was back in the old days, listening to them playing at halftime...

Oh, how I love tradition.

Oh, and because I've been tracking my readers and I have yet to get one in Korea, here's something for my eventual, beloved Korean readers. I love this so much and just want to eat all their little faces with a big spoon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Just Don't Know About This.

I can't seem to get on board with this. I'm trying...I really am. Perhaps it will grow on me, but it reminds me too much of that Poppity Pop tour they did.

Is nothing sacred?

Change, Hope, and Cautious Optimism...

"Each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but... we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect."

Obama said that. I believe it's a very nice sentiment, indeed. We SHOULD be nice to each other. I try to do that every day. I appreciate you telling me, American government, how to uphold the golden rule that my parents taught me when I was 4.

Obama's also said that cynicism is one of the biggest obstacles he faces. After the previous paragraph, I guess I can't deny that I'm one of those kooky cynics who's waiting to see how everything he promised to everybody will be fulfilled in the next 4 years. I'm cynical of ALL politicians. I feel as though they all blow a bunch of sunshine up our collective asses while they're at the absolute mercy of the image-makers, given that image our media decides to bestow upon them. Obama has been given the image of deity, and while I feel as though it's nice for people to have something to believe in, I don't necessarily believe that Obama is the Messiah. I don’t think any politician is the Messiah. But then again, the Messiah I was raised to believe in was a carpenter who, in my mind, resembled Willem Dafoe in Scorcese's "The Last Temptation of Christ." So, I suppose I’m already jaded. And as I’ve grown up and read about other religions and their deified figures, I believe even the Dalai Lama can be seen as somewhat of a deity, but a lawyer-turned-politician? Yeah, no.

In my mind, Obama's rise to presidency and subsequent deified status is the result of people who want so badly for someone to swoop in and swaddle them in the blanket of change. His inaguration tonight is a testament to both the power of our media, the power of amazing branding, as well as underlying desperation and desire of people in this country to see some sort of change. The ones who are screaming "Change!" and "What about ME?" outnumber the ones who aren't, and as someone who really believes in democracy, this is a true testament that it's alive and well, after all. I have to be happy about that, and I am.

Obama also has been quoted as saying, "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

CHANGE is what people want. And, as a woman who's never been afraid of change herself, I suppose I should be hopeful about the possibility of it. Problem is, the changes that I personally wanted from my government didn't include someone taking care of me. I've always done an O.K. job of doing that myself. Regardless, I’m doing my civic duty of remaining a positive and patriotic American today, and I, too, shall be hopeful for change that his administration does many good things, while keeping people accountable for their own individual lives. I’ll have faith that Mr. Obama will do all of the things he promised to do. I respect his position, as starting tomorrow, he's got to roll up his sleeves and get to work. At the same time, I don’t see me spending hours in front of the TV today watching the coverage. For the record, though, I may have watched at least some of it had he chosen Mary J. Blige over Beyonce to sing for the President/First Lady first dance. Not sure what happened there...

Cheers to the next four years and my democratic right to be cautiously optimistic.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Paul Blart, Segways, and Chimps: The Final Frontier

My friend Mockarena and I were at lunch yesterday, discussing important life things like we always do while lunching on arroz con pollo at El Meson. While expressing what we both wanted to accomplish in life, it boiled down to several important and very personal things, but one thing stood out for both of us as yet another weirdly common bond and presently unachieved shared goal: the one-on-one interaction with a chimpanzee. I know, to some people this may be weird, but I've always LOVED chimpanzees. When I was a little girl, I wanted desperately to be Joan Embery when I grew up. She was that cool zoo lady that used to be on Johnny Carson all the time, and she had chimps around her constantly. Hanging out with chimps isn't something that you can just decide you want to do on a Saturday morning, find a number, then just go mark it off your list. It takes research and perseverance. It's an elusive goal, I tell you. But I will not give up until I find a way to hold a little infant chimp with a diaper on or give a somewhat grown chimp with a hat on a high five all BJ-and-the-Bear-like. This I shall do before I breathe my last breath, so help me God.

Tonight, Husband Man, my sister, and I went to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It was a lovely little piece of comedy that I thoroughly enjoyed after a week of too much work drama. My favorite prop in the movie was the segway, of course, and I can think of no better way to end this entry than to combine both chimps and a segway. You can all thank me later.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Ridiculousness of Posh and My Valentine's Wish

Look at Victoria Beckham's shoes. I mean, just look at them. First and foremost, if you're reading this, dear sweet Husband-Man, I probably need these shoes for Valentine's Day (even though I think Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday invented for suckers). Because I'm sure they cost about as much as three car payments, I won't be completely crushed if you don't actually purchase them, but I thought I'd put it out there, just in case you were feeling kooky or something. And for me, it's kind of enough to just close my eyes and imagine myself in them. Walking through the streets of Italy with two gorgeous little kids that I happened to create with my tiny little uterus.

If I ever became a mom, I'd want to look just like her. I know that the smart-girl correct thing to say is that she's a vapid fashion caricature of a person, but I just can't do it, mainly because I think it's amazing how she can teeter on Christian Louboutins with two boys yanking her in different directions. I don't want to hear her opinions on national security or the economy or anything. I just want her shoes. It's Friday, people. And, after the week I've had, that's about all I can muster for a thought-provoking, intelligent entry today.

Seriously. Those shoes kick ass.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Semester and My Call of Duty

Tomorrow, I start another semester at the university, teaching and molding young minds into great leaders of tomorrow. (It sounded nice. Leave me alone.) My teaching gig, albeit a $5/hour, tedious and mostly thankless job, is my absolute favorite job of all the jobs I've ever had to date. My students are both varied and interesting, and out of approximately 10 to 25 students (give or take) in a semester, I feel as though I actually reach 2 or 3 in the 16 weeks I have to try to teach them something useful. To me, these are great odds, and they make the crappy pay worthwhile.

I've referred to my writing classes as "teaching English as a second language" and "keeping monkeys from throwing their own poo at innocent bystanders." These are both appropriate analogies and explain pretty much what I do while trying to impart wisdom about active and passive voice and the difference between their, they're, and there. Writing is a lost art these days, it seems. I witness the constant slaughtering of the English language on a daily basis, and I'm just doing my duty to keep the dream of good grammar and the transition sentence alive and well.

At the same time, I teach what is now referred to as the Millenial. This is the kid who's raised by what sociologists now call "Helicopter Parents." These are the kids who can't take a crap without Mommy and Daddy orchestrating it. They're the entitled generation; the kids with the iPods implanted permanently in their heads and the attitude that hard work is for suckers. I truly believe that teaching this generation has taught me more patience than any other thing I've endured in life. And, I also believe that I may actually get into heaven one day as a direct result of not killing at least one a semester with a ballpoint pen.

Speaking of duties, today was spent putting out fires with my own spit. I was greeted in the morning by a pseudo-boss person who felt the need to scream at me, in front of everyone outside my office. That was lovely. Then, I was bombarded with client madness as if the whole world's gone mental and I'm the one who's taken away the meds. Everyone's just pissed OFF today, and I was apparently the perfect target. All. Day. Long.

So, I did what any normal, 37-year old woman would do. I came home after my obligatory 10 hours on the job, finally got home, changed into my comfortable black sweats and lounging leopard socks, ate some Lucky Charms for dinner, and then I sat my butt on the couch in front of the big screen TV to try to forget about my day. My stepson sat down with me, and before I knew it, he was teaching me to play Call of Duty. After a day of piss and vinegar, I shot Nazi zombies with a double-barreled shotgun in my living room, and I must say, it was KICK ASS. Even though my stepson had to intervene every so often to make sure I didn't get my head eaten by a rabid zombie, I started to hold my own, reload and everything, and shoot the crazed Nazis like it was my JOB. I'm not bad, people. Practice will make me a force to be reckoned with, I'm afraid to say.

My stepson agreed to leave the game with me this weekend so I could hone my Nazi-zombie-killing skills. I have taken on the challenge of learning what I can, as my stepson has given me a gift - much like the gift of wisdom I impart on those college students in my classes.

Now if I could only figure out how to upload my boss-person's head on the zombies. I would be a pro by Sunday. Seriously....where has this game been all my life?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rock of Love - Cornfield Style

When husband-man and I got hitched, we did so with the notion that we wouldn't do a fancy-shmancy wedding thing, but rather do something low-key, intimate, and much more meaningful to us, alongside our closest family members and friends. We did just that. We found a little church in Greenfield, Indiana that seemed perfect for us and the kind of "non-denominational, female-minister, 10-minute, no-tie-for-the-groom and a red-dress-and-leopard heels for the bride" ceremony we had in mind. It was small, cozy, historical, and a rent-by-the-hour place that coincided with our laid back, jeans-and-flip-flops post-wedding party. Just plain quaint. And perfect.

So, when we were sitting on our butts today, enjoying one of the guilty, mindless pleasures we have of watching the third season of "Rock of Love" (this time, it's on a tour bus), we were both doing double-takes at the setting of this week's episode. You see, Brett Michaels is taking all of these lovely working girls on tour with him this season, and they happened to be traveling through to one of his shows in Indianapolis. They stopped at a little chapel on the way to do an official skank challenge, where all the train-wreck, silicone-happy trampalicious chicks had to come up with their personal vows should they ever get the honor to marry Brett Michaels (I just threw up in my mouth a little).

Husband-man noticed it first. He looked at the TV and said, "Hey hon, that looks like the chapel we got married in."

I answered, "It does! It's cute just like ours, and has the same exact architecture. Huh."

And after enduring the lingerie and clear stripper heels in the church for a few more minutes, we saw the shot of them all walking out to a crowd full of people on the street...

Holy crap, that's OUR church.

Here I thought our little chapel was this revered place of history...built in the late 1800s, right in front of James Whitcomb Riley's childhood home. Quaint and small-town and very simple in its architectural beauty. But I guess it's just the Vegas chapel of Greenfield, Indiana. Well, according to VH1, anyway.

While one of the gals promises Brett to "never wear panties," I promised Husband-man to never, ever force him to eat anything that I cook. I suppose she and I are both givers, but there's the end of the similarity. After all, I think the panty thing would've put my God-fearing aunt and uncle over the edge.

Our chapel is famous - by way of mindless trash TV. If we ever renew our vows there, I still won't wear clear stripper heels. Well, maybe I will if Brett Michaels takes off that eye liner and ridiculous bandana (we know there's no hair left, dude...just embrace it already)...

Monday, January 05, 2009

2008 in Song Review...

My Mom sent this to me this morning, and while I'm sure all of my readers have probably already seen this before me, I had to post. I liked it enough to do so.

A Song to Start the Week....

Since XM and Sirius merged, I've been trying to get on board with some changes in the channel lineups on my car stereo. It used to be that Channel 54, Lucy (the XM channel), was my favorite, but the 54 now isn't quite as spectacular. So, I've been leaning towards channel 44, New Wave, as it features a lot of music that I used to listen to back in high school and the early college years. So many memories.

This morning, I heard one of my long-lost favorite songs. U2's Bad. I just love this song, and it fits this Monday morning like a glove, so I'm including the performance of it at Live Aid back in 1985. Today, it's back to a whole week of work after a 2-week stint of holiday hoopla - a somewhat grim reminder of being an adult and having real responsibility. Needless to say, I'm dragging my feet this morning. But, during my commute, for about 10 minutes, I was reminded of being that 14-year old, skinny little freshman in high school, wide-eyed and fresh faced. Leave it to a random piece of great music to make me remember the days of big hair and even bigger possibilities.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Cheers to a Happy Ending.

When I was living in Atlanta several years ago, I fostered an ex-fighting pitbull for a short period of time. Her name was Daisy, and while I was a little skittish inviting her into my home at first, I've always been a dog person; that is, I've always been a believer that dogs are inherently good. In my mind, there is no such thing as a bad dog. Only bad people who make bad dogs. I saw her picture on a local website for ex-fighters who were in the process of being rehabilitated, and I fell in love with her face. So, I went through the proper channels and ended up bringing her home and serving as a foster Mom until she found her "real" family.

Daisy would keep her distance from me at first, but it only took about 5 days for her to warm up to me, and within 7 days, she was sleeping on the other side of my bed. She was an excellent running partner, and she quickly went from very skeptical of my intentions to loving and loyal.

When I heard about Michael Vick, it just sickened me. And, lately, I came across a pictorial that showed a lot of his dogs and their new, proud owners. Additionally, I found a clip that showed their journey to their presumed happy endings. I thought I'd share, as it's a nice little "feel good" start to 2009. And, again, I'm a giver like that.

Michael Vick is a big ol' douchebag, and I will always love a story that goes from bad to wonderful. Love.

The Pictorial:

Cheers to a new year and happy endings.