Monday, December 27, 2010

Chameleon-in-Chief

Well, I'm back now. Hope everyone is having a happy holidays.

Michael Barone's latest article, Even After Shellacking, Obama Looks OK In 2012, is in my opinion required reading for those who keep up with politics regardless of party or position.

Barone is a conservative columnist and author as well as a historian of sorts. While most conservatives are touting the 2010 midterms elections results as the beginning of Obama's end, Barone's insights should be good cause not to be so glib and confident about it.

Ever since the midterms, Obama has begun to dance the Two-Step, albeit not our Texas version down here. He has shown at least a little bit of willingness to broker compromise while managing to end up with a lot of the spoils on his side.

Other brave conservative columnists such as Charles Krauthammer come right out and posit that Obama did some shellacking of his own with a Tax Bill that the lame duck Congress passed, ending up with extended unemployment benefits, a payroll tax holiday and various other credits in exchange for continuing the Bush tax cuts for everyone. Obama then wrangled deals to pass a repeal of DADT and a continuation of START.

Krautie even dubbed Obama the new Comback Kid. I find that I must acknowledge a newfound respect for the guy, and I wouldn't have passed that tax bill (too much cost and the rich can afford a tax increase is pretty much how I see it). I think Krautie is spot-on in recognizing Obama's stubborn cunning when it looked like he was about as down as a President could get.

I know this marks a change in how I look at Obama and I needed to note it. There is still A LOT I cannot abide in him. But where I can abide, I want to recognize.

What he did with the Lame Duck Bunch is classic Generation X Just-Do-It ruthlessness. Watching it in action is almost breathtaking because it defies the odds and shows maximum risk-taking. This is part and parcel of the greatness that I knew he possessed, my beef was that he was not yet ready for prime time, an observation that I think has been well proven by now in the many ways he has bombed on the job. Yet, he does exhibit a penchant to be a quick learner, so he may yet grow into the job.

I think that both Krautie and Barone sense what I've described and they know it's special talent. They are both going against their party powers-that-be and proverbial thinkers by writing their columns, too, by the way. I follow what Krautie writes and he heretofore had been biting about Obama's behaviors that Krautie perceived to be childish and immature for the most part. My take is that Krautie finally has found some behavior in Obama that he admires, that Obama has finally begun to rise to the occasion, something that is expected in American presidents.

Whether Obama continues to please remains to be seen, but the most important thing that I take away is that the man cannot be underestimated or predicted. That alone makes it impossible to rely on election results or mandates from the public, because all Obama has to do is appear to mirror those mandates. Conservatives/Republicans would do well to remember that as they take leadership of the House and sport a more powerful caucus in the Sentate. Obama is doing everything he can to put the ball in their court so they can screw up as he lays in wait.

I find myself saying a nightly prayer for Speaker Boehner, because I feel that he has the talent to be a statesman and above the fray, as long as he doesn't fall into a defensive trap laid by Team Obama. If he's alowed to be the statesmen, we all win. If he becomes a defensive snipe, we all lose.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

This Video is Amazing!

Since I love history so, this is like giving me crack cocaine, I imagine. I admit, I got a thrill watching it. What a cool way to show this over time! Enjoy!

~Click on the square in the lower righthand corner of the YouTube menu to watch fullscreen. ~

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kick-in-the-Pants Kind of Week...

~ Cartoon by LISA BENSON ~



I was just thinking about how partisan everything seems to be nowadays, how that shadows both of the topics I wanted to blog about.

First topic: the Palins. Loved Sarah's new show. The next morning I surfed around to read several reviews of it. I got a diverse mix of different points of view on Sarah and Bristol, but one thing that rang consistent was the comment sections.

Best jewel mined from the comments was this: after the exchange grew partisan (as they all do), one particularly nasty insult to Sarah resulted in a responding comment "you are just jealous, you know you can't wait for TLC to produce "Alan Grayson's Florida!"

LOLOLOLOLOLOL, that was histerical.

And then it devolved back into hideous partisan crap-throwing when later that day, Willow Palin was getting slimed on her Facebook about the tv show, and Willow -- in typical teen fashion, trust me, my child was recently a teen -- shot back with replies like, "you're gay". So the next day, the Huffington Posts of the press came out with suggesting she's guilty of gender bullying. omg, that is what teens say and the fact that it's not politically correct is part of the sarcastic humor in using it. I'm not defending the practice, but I have attempted to understand it. And it is so prevalent as to not be bullying. Bullying has to have some degree of measurable effectiveness, and this is a ridiculously lame attempt and does not succeed. I mean, if you use humor to make fun of something and your accuser chooses to not see the humor, are you guilty of what they accuse? Just sayin...

Then, the story broke about all the pooping over Bristol beating out Brandy to go on to the finals on *that dancing show* (that I used to watch religiously). My gawd, you'd think it was something worth a crap. Here's the deal. Was there even a peep of a comparative whine when Emmett Smith kept winning every single week and even won the dang thing? No? Well, them's the rules, live with it and get over it. Damn, when Emmett beat out Mario, I was whining loud. I clearly remember criticizing the taste of his fans, but that's it. Now, the going comments are full of it being a tea-party cheat party of vote fixing...when what Bristol's fans are doing is...following the freaking rules of DWTS.

What the heck? And what's your point? and Really?

Okay, so here is where this led. Into one of my daydreamin' what-ifs. It's best to say that if Kanye West is seated in the audience, look out for a repeat, jumping on the stage as Bristol wins and saying that Brandy was robbed! LOLOLOL Just kidding. My wild imagination!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

T minus 5 minutes and counting...

~TLC "Sarah Palin's Alaska" promotional photo~
As I sit here waiting for Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC, I am reflecting upon the fact that now is the first time I've felt like President Obama is in a *sincere* compromising spirit. And yet, my suspicion is running high for it not really being what it appears. I'm not alone either, by any means.

It's a public reaction that I have to wonder if Team O anticipated or fully recognizes. I often see analogies in current events to books and film. The parable fables Emperor's New Clothes and The Boy Who Cried Wof leap to my mind in this circumstance. We may look back on this time and realize that when Obama lost the majority of the American people it was because they lost their trust in him. He may win it back, but that's still a future possiblity and as of now, not a sure thing.

The current event I'm thinking of is the posturing around the tax cuts expiring. My personal opinion is that neither side has it right. I don't think that any income level should be getting permament tax cuts. This consistent, if you think about it, with my position that everyone should own some tax liability. Logically, you would extend the cuts to everyone in this recession but re-visit it year to year. Since yearly is not long enough a time frame for business investment decisions, then 2 or 3 years max. We have problems and those millionaires are only delaying the inevitible. I am looking at it dispassionately and without ideolgy.

I do have to mention my utter amazement at Speaker Pelosi. She has no shame at all, and is becoming increasingly similar to one of those creatures in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in that you could not seem to kill them. Her decidion to stay in leadership feeds the suspicion of insincerity for real compromise.

Well, time for Sarah. Laterz...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A New World Every Day

Reggie poses with his new heater
Did you ever have one of those weeks, where something breaks or messes up everyday? You solve the day's problem and the next day something else totally random occurs? Yeah, I've had a whole week of that, and it ain't stopped yet.

I'm typing this on my laptop, which I am very fortunate to have, but I usually blog on my desktop where all my photos are stored. About an hour ago, my desktop's monitor died. I went outside for a while and came back to a black screen and the on button was lit. A reboot did nothing. I could hear the cpu do all of its normal noises and then I remembered...this has happened to me before and it was the graphics card that time.

Makes me wanna cry, because I am going to have to access that hard drive, so I am forced to get a third graphics card for this computer that I should have replaced a while back but I was unsure about getting another desktop versus a laptop.

I have a Laserjet that I love that only talks Windows XP and nothing more recent. That was one big reason I was hanging onto the desktop. So, I have some decisions to make right away. One lesson learned is to move my online bills over to my gmail account. I think the next time something is due is 11/18 as I just paid some bills the other day. Worst comes to worst I can go to every bill website and see if I've paid or not, lol. Guess I shouldn't laugh cuz that may be what I have to do.

The upside is, that is all that is top priority on my computer. The rest that is valuable to me on the hard drive can wait until it can be retrieved. And I can access my email accounts via the ISP webmail site. I need to keep repeating the upsides to keep my stomach from churning...not supposed to stress out per the doctors. But that is only the latest thing that's fallen out of the sky to bless me...

Let's see, in no particular order:
---> the kitchen faucet cracked on the handset and sprouted a leak. Luckily Price Phister is sending us a replacement, free. Lifetime warranties rock, as that unit cost us $100 just 3 years ago.
---> Hubster has 3 grinder molars all in a row that are gold-capped and the middle tooth cracked in two, popping off the gold cap that he almost swallowed. So, he goes to the dentist who tells him that he can't have a bridge since the surrounding "pillar" teeth are capped and not sturdy enough, and referred him to a specialist who says he needs an implant and that'll be $2302.00 since our dental plan does not cover implants. So, I call the insurance in disbelief and they recommend that I ask for a "pre-determination" which will probably end up with the same results but there might be an alternative treatment agreed upon. I can't get past the fact that we have the high plan. I also cannot quit imagining that between us we'll probably end up needing our entire mouths implanted before it's over and spend all our savings. Ugh.
---> Right in the middle of the last cool snap (low 40's at night), Reggie's doghouse heater quit. To be fair, it was past time, and I discovered it in enough time to order another one on Lowes website so Hubs could just go pick it up before they closed.
---> Hubs cannot seem to get the wallboard above the bath tile cut right. The walls and ceiling are not plum or level exactly, so he has had to shop for appropriate trim. He's been avoiding nails, opting for adhesive, and nothing he buys is working that great. The front bath is 99.5% finished, but already Hubs is talking like he's sick of this house. Ha! He is so predictable -- the talk is due to him actually having to do some repair work around here. Can you tell, I am not impressed or paying attention. Like we could sell the house right now. Anyway, it seems like we have been working on this bath forever.
---> My dad has announced plans to move back down here by 12/31 so he won't have to pay 2011 state income taxes where he is. That means a pre-Christmas or Christmas move. I think. I don't really yet know exactly what that means. He is still figuring it out himself. Two weeks ago, it was just fuzzy tentative plans, then a friend warned him about the income tax residency. But even before that, Missy's apartment lease is up and she is moving Thanksgiving weekend. Hubster has taken off a day to help her, and every time she moves some kind of drama happens. I can't wait.
--->My playroom redo is inching along in slow motion, more like watching grass grow. I am beginning to wonder if I'll even be able to make Christmas cards now. Every day I plan to move something or do something in there and every day something else pops up. I have been able to organize lace and ribbon, but that is really trivial compared to getting a few more big furniture pieces ready and moved.
---> We need to get serious about getting our mortgage refinanced if we are gonna do it. We've been working on it, but annoying little obstacles keep appearing to thwart success. Tried Lending Tree and our balance is not high enough. Tried our local bank (just barely made the balance minimum with them) and Hubs thought the interest rates were too high. Going to try to get it together to go next days off to our current lender and see what they can do.
---> I was supposed to figure out if we should keep our medical insurance with the PPO plan or move down to an HMO plan, but I let the open enrollment deadline pass without doing a thing. The whole thing gives me a headache and makes me wanna cry every time I try to research it. I finally told Hubs that he was the one who needed to ask his coworkers pros and cons on their experiences, so suddenly it was 'let's just keep what we've got' from him. I swear, he needs a whack upside his head sometimes. However, I'm too lazy to do it myself, so he lives to fight another day.

So, as you can see, nothing deadly or dangerous or really worthy of complaint, just annoying crap day after day like waves hitting the shore, never ceasing. Some of you may read this and be wishing your days were this easy and I shouldn't complain. But my days are usually uneventful, so this is a bit traumatic for me. I guess it's all in the perspective and the ability to handle stress (which I suck at). I have been working hard at pretending that I'm just waking up in a new world every day and it's all a great big adventure.

Not my best fantasy....winkwink

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Midterm Call

~created in Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, public domain images from google, snark by me~
Feel free to copy, forward, link... click on image to see larger...right-click to save...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lots of Treats for Me

Well, today was Election Day nationwide and I waited to post until a couple of my favorite races were called. I can honestly say that I'm very happy overall with the results.

My favorite news was hearing Fox News call the House of Representatives majority change from Dems to GOP, which of course means NO MORE SPEAKER PELOSI!

There is truly a God (winkwink).

My second favorite news was hearing that John Kasich eeked a victory in the Ohio Governors race. IMO, Kasich isn't necessarily someone you might like personally (he's a bit of a stuffed shirt...I'd be nervous around him), but he is someone you want handling your stuff. He is very fiscally prudent and pretty hard core. Let me just say I'm jealous of Ohioans tonite.

My third favorite news was early on in the evening when Rand Paul's Kentucky Senate race was called in his favor.

My fourth favorite news, heard just now, is that Republican Mark Kirk just won Obama's old Senate seat in Illinois. WOW~!

Shocker - Dem incumbent Russ Feingold lost in Wisconsin!

Oh, and a truly wonderful moment was when I heard that Florida Congressman Alan Grayson lost his re-election. What a nutso jack ass. ;-))

Also enjoyed seeing McCain re-elected handily for his last Senate term out in Arizona. We will need him there.

Finally, Harry Reid's son Rory has lost his race to be Nevada's Governor. I'd hoped the voters there would have ousted Dad, too, but it was not to be.

Now, let me say something. The Left is saying that because the GOP didn't sweep both Houses, then they failed. I completely disagree. To begin with, a Dem-controlled Senate is great in my book, because I do not want one party controlling all of Congress. That was part of the problem that we just voted to correct. Hello!

I like a divided government. So, I tend to focus only on the amount of House seats the GOP is picking up and it is historic. Just as important, though, is the fact that tons of state offices are changing into GOP hands. The Governorships changing are awesome. Re-districting is coming up and that affects the 2012 election.

So for all those reasons and more, I am enjoying the election returns tonight and am pretty darn happy. I thought that incoming House Speaker John Boehner's speech tonight was very touching and heartfelt. I'm happy with him in that job (he's another Ohioan, those lucky ducks -- I thank you, Ohio!).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Not as bad as I thought

Mr. Bipartisan-in-Chief
In 2008 when I voted for a Republican for the very first time in my life, I still did not vote a straight ticket. But Friday we early-voted and I voted a straight GOP... to send my little message.

We have only one early voting location in my town versus dozens on election day. Still, I've voted early lots of times in the past and even at peak times like after work it's never been more than 10 people in line ahead of me.

Friday we went in the afternoon and the line was out the door. Hubs walked to the bathroom and counted 50+ people in line in front of us and it took 45 minutes to get into a booth. It was uneventful and the line did move, although not as fast as we would have liked. I tried to fixate on being lucky to be able to vote, unlike many servicemen and women in other states. Running into a few old friends helped to pass the time, too.

Like Houston, my town had a proposition on the ballot to limit the use of red-light cameras. I voted in favor of ours, although I'm a bit conflicted as to how I feel about them. Encroachment of Big Brother finally swayed my vote, I guess.

I haven't "weighed in" with a diet update in a while. I'm still trudging along with Nutrisystems. I'd hoped to lose a minimum of 16 pounds by today (10-31), but I've only lost 12.5 total -- that's 3.5 pounds off. I weigh again tomorrow and hopefully I'll have lost some of those 3.5 pounds. I can feel a little less fat in my gut, so I know that something good is happening somewhere.

I still like Nutrisystems and plan to continue on with it, but it's a bit like watching grass grow for results. Slowly is the best way but it's torturous.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Healthcare Spin Cycle

Lisa Benson
When I read today about West Virginia Governor and Senate hopeful (D) Joe Manchin's flip-flop on his support for the Obama Healthcare bill, I had that little moment when you just don't know whether to laugh or cry or throw a fit. I ended up laughing because I've had a pretty calm day, but still...

I seem to have that little moment a lot lately when I talk to people about some of the news lately, like major employers considering dumping insurance coverage or applying for compliance waivers to avoid having to cover children over 21 on their employee parents' policies, or insurers jacking up premiums like the price of bottled water after a devestating hurricane.

I end up asking, prodding them: Now think. How in the world does the government get to be the insurance carrier from this employer-based system we've had for 40-50 years? Think like Columbo. There would have to be incentives to dismantle the current system. If it costs a company less to shift their employees over to gov't care, they totally will try. And at the same time, if the insurers can price their product as high as possible to offset the reduction of group coverage customers, they totally will try. Oh, wow. Bingo. They are trying now.

In other words, this is exactly the game plan that Obama and Co. knew would happen. It's what they want to happen, because it brings them closer to the day when government care is all there is for a lot of us. And that was their original objective, wasn't it? Make us all like those 30 million estimate without healthcare?

That they did not tell us, well, what else is new... Playa in Chief, remember? Back when the premiums increase stories came out and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stood at her podium hemming and hawing, spewing baseless lame threats to the insurance companies, I knew it for sure. Lemme ask -- how many insurers have had charges filed... or even been investigated? Anyone anyone Bueller? Oooh, that lady makes me quake in my boots. Not.

My friends, Obama and Co. will stand there the entire time this *transition period* lasts and while it gets uglier, costlier and riskier for all of us, they will chant their bullshit and do absolutely nothing, because they know it brings them closer to their objective: single payer givernment healthcare.

And when asked about it point blank, they'll deny, because they think we are stoopid thought lemmings and just take what they say as word. Some of us are but most of us are not, eventually. This is one area where I'm almost shocked by how much Obama and Co. have underestimated the American people. They must be one cynical and superior bunch to assume that people don't defend against being spun and lied to. If there is one phrase among folks I know who voted for Obama, it's "never again", "won't be fooled again", etc. It's like that old saying, "Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me."

And I'm also amazed by how they just keep repeating the offenses. Remember the gaff during the campaign when Obama addressed a Leftie crowd in San Francisco and was taped describing folks in Pennsylvania as bitter about life passing them by, clinging to their guns and religion? You'd think he would know better after that, but just last week Obama blamed “tribal attitudes” for a recent rise in racial incidents among Americans who are hurting financially. And at a Boston event, he rationalized that voters who have gone anti-Dem have done so out of  "fear and frustration”. Oh, Wise One, Heaven forbid that any of us are using simply our logical brains to arrive at our opinions. I tend to suspect that after it is explained to him how he has eaten his own foot, he cringes not for being so lame-brained and insulting to fellow Americans, but because he didn't ace the challenge or because he had to communicate for the benefit of so many beneath him. There is just something wrong with that.

The presidency is not a video game or a science experiment, and neither is our healthcare system. If the choice is to burn down the village in order to save it, or not, I'm voting not...on Nov. 2.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's All Bush's Fault...

To my list from yesterday's blog entry, you can add this: as much as I'd personally love to blame George W. Bush for everything (like President Obama always has, continues and maybe always will), I know in my heart that it's just another lie pandered by our Playa In Chief. In my opinion, only a Zombie could believe his bullshit by now. I mean, it is Halloween season, but seriously?

Consider this bit of info from HotAir.com . There is a graph and a timeline that pretty clearly shows that Congress owns more blame for our present situation than the Executive branch ever did, and the party that controlled Congress wasn't the GOP.

Look, I'll be completely honest here. I have a very strong suspicion that 9/11 was caused by a family feud, where the black sheep of one family (Osama bin Laden) hated the influence that the Bush family had over his Saudi royalty family. No matter the circumstances, I will never ever condone any American using this country to fight a family feud. That's what mafia, kings and dictators do, not American elected officials. No matter what's been done to your family, you take it outside of the government and fight your battle on your own.

So, you can see how tempting it might be to agree that it's always Bush's fault...except that the facts don't support it. And frankly, since I know that our economic crisis was caused in very large part by the housing financial corruption that resulted from allowing (some argue requiring) unqualified buyers to participate in home ownsership, and as early as 1998 when we bought our current home and I saw firsthand how risky the process had already become -- under the Clinton admin and a Dem Congressional majority I might add, then Obama's spin to blame Bush for said crisis becomes almost laughable.

The above-linked article reminds us that GWB asked Congress 17 times for more regulation over Freddie and Fannie or to end it, as early as 2001. That's pretty damning and not for GWB. Congress clearly dropped the ball. A Democratic Congress for much of that time, I might add, including the Clinton years when this  housing scam began as a new way to grow the market and help those who...well, who couldn't afford to own homes own homes. Wow, in retrospect, WHAT PRESRIPTION DRUGS WERE THEY ABUSING????

To illustrate just how ridiculous this problem had already gotten by 1998, we owned one home (FMV: $75,000 / Mtg balance: $11,000) and were buying another with the intent of selling the first house as soon as we made cosmetic repairs within the next year. We go to the mortgage broker, who checks out our credit and then tells us we can buy the $80,000 house we want with ZERO money down and we can add another 25% to the loan balance if we want, for those "extras" or whatever we needed the cash for. All this without requiring a second mortgage on House #1 or anything, really.

Just so you know, we declined the loan of 125% of House #2's FMV and instead put 5% down on the closing price with a loan for the balance. In our case, paying two mortgages turned out to be pretty do-able until we sold House #1, so the broker was right about our ability to pay. But, my problem with it even then was, if they are willing to take us out on such a limb, what are they doing with folks less credit worthy or risk-seeking or both? I remember thinking that, hand over heart. And some part of me wanted to make a citizen's arrest, as in you people cannot do that! You know, I knew back then it wasn't right. I'm proud that we did not take the bait and it was tempting, lemme tellya.

So, the next time you hear it is all Bush's fault, ask exactly how is it that way, and demand specifics. Remember the chart and the timeline, and that you are too smart to be blinded by the hyperbole of spinmeisters and others who have no respect for the quality of the average American's thinking mind. We're not all Zombies out here!

On a related note, I'm currently reading Jason Mattera's book Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation. Mattera goes into detail to illustrate and document exactly how the Obama Spin Machine operated. Of course, reading it now just crystalizes how stupid his believers were (and some still are). You can look back on this blog to the Spring of 2008 to see that I didn't take the bait or drink the Koolaid, so I have to confess that it's been satisfying to read this book and see further confirmation that I was right all along.

Mattera's book is what Game Change should have been, or at the very least it proves that Game Change was just so much propoganda for Obama. After reading Game Change, I remember deciding that it was proof that even the most awesome campaigner in history does not a governor make (governor, as in one who governs). And neither does the most awesome orator. God, I do hope we have all learned that lesson by now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

JUAN-a Boycott?


Leave a comment on NPR's Facebook page about Juan's firing:

Join the Boycott NPR For Firing Juan Williams Facebook page:

Contact your local NPR radio station and tell them no more money!

I am so stinking pissed off and have been all day long. It's Oct. 22 now, but ever since waking up on Oct. 21 (yesterday) and hearing right off the bat that NPR had fired Juan Williams...for being honest about one of his fears. He was a News Analyst for Npr and one of my favorites on The Factor on FNC.  He was not analyzing news, he was voicing his personal fears and feelings. Juan Williams is and always has been one of the fairest and most thoughtful talking heads on TV even back in his days guesting on CNN's "Crossfire", and I believe that because he treats FNC with respect like it's a legitimate news network, he was fired. That's what I think caused this. And now, fellow NPR analyst and FNC commentator Mara Liasson appears to be next on the chopping block.

Now, here is the lamestream media's account of what happened  , which you can find a story to read if you need to know the basics of what happened. THEN, I'll add the very very very important other fact that they leave out (conveniently) that helps us see clearly what the FUCK is going on here. Go ahead and read the link if you need to, my lovelies, I'll wait.

Tick Tock Tick Tock... okay. Enough time. Here is the important info you must know: World Gazillionaire (whose holding company is based in Curacao where he can avoid most taxes) George Soros just recently gave NPR $1.8 million. He also gave Media Matters $1 million (the PC Nazi intimidation machine run by gayguy David Brock who, before outing himself and deciding to defect to the other side, was a hit author for the Conservative Right back in the 1980s and 1990s -- he wrote vicious unfair books like "The Real Anita Hill").  Michelle Malkin has all the poop here. Soros almost ruined the British economy a decade ago by breaking the Bank of England with short-selling....apparently just because he could! And, lest we forget, he was one of the benefactors of one Barrack Hussein Obama in his run for president. Ten to one, most of those unnamed little donations were Soros contribs. But I digress...

According to NPR's "news", the Chamber of Commerce is the devil, Tea Party members are teabaggers, and Sarah Palin is an idiot, right? And now, if you candidly confess that seeing Muslims in Muslim clothing on your airplane makes you nervous, well then you must be unobjective scum and you must lose your job.

You know what? I have had it up to here trying to accept that:

1. my president socialized and worked former Weathermen terrorists like Bill Ayers yet we are supposed to believe that none of that mindset was shared;

2. he sat in a pew of a Black Liberation theology church for 20 years but I'm supposed to believe none of it was ingested or agreed with (or that his children who sat right alongside didn't either);

3. he trained others in community activism using Marxist activist Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals and a huge amount of his campaign and administration's actions have mirrored this book's axioms yet we are supposed to believe that none of that was absorbed between Mr. Obama's elephantish ears;

4. he comes from the Thug Capital of the World aka Chicago, IL (and you are reading this and live in that piece of shit town, SHAME ON YOU for letting it continue, I'm tired of it), yet we are supposed to believe that neither he nor any of his thug underlings operate under the rules of The Chicago Way - HA!);

5. and now, it is becoming less of a secret every day that George Soros owns Obama's ass as well as all of the DNC's asses and now NPR and Media Matters, yet I'm supposed to believe that he is just an innocent citizen of the world who does super good deeds with his Tides Foundation (Ariana Huffington's Daily Beast just got a little cash infusion by Soros as well since she is losing her shirt);

When are we gonna face facts and The Truth? George Soros runs this frickin country right now. He's made no bones about his belief that Fox New Channel is not a real network...and lo and behold, Obama said that, right? Hell, he fashioned part of his ridiculous press strategy with it. Soros has long believed that pot should be legalized and now we are closer to that happening than ever before, and wow, there is a Mexican drug cartel problemo at our border that Obama just kinda ignores? I am beginning to wonder if the Mexicans aren't fighting US as much as they are fighting Soros' influence, the more I think about it. I have to wonder how much money Soros has spoon-fed the Mexican gov't to ignore their cartels...

And that economic meltdown we had one very convenient month before the 2008 election, when McCain looked like he might inch ahead of Obama and take it? You could not TIME a meltdown any better for Soros' candidate, could you? Hmmm....

Now, I ask you: after you have broken the Bank of England and brought the British economy to its knees (the reason he gave has been "to teach them a lesson"), WHAT IS YOUR NEXT CHALLENGE? Seriously, really. What? Get an American preseident elected who is your puppet, maybe?

Let me also ask: where is the thorough explanation of what exactly happened to cause that meltdown? Huh? I've heard lots of people partially explain about short-selling those bogus refinancing derivatives until they were exposed to be the junk they were, hereby causing the fake walls to tumble down. But only partially, like they don't wanna have to be asked too much.

Just saying. This country, as long as you vote for Obama or anyone who supports him, will continue to be owned by a very rich man who does not care about our country or about us nor is he accountable for doing that, except for what it can do for him and what he can buy. Is that what you want, because you should just know what you are "BUYING" with that vote.

Time to quit staring at the malignant facial mole and saying you don't see it, Doctors!

And Juan Williams is the first poor scapegoat. Mara Liasson, another NPR contributor, and someone who appears on FNC's News show with Brett Baer, and who like Williams has been asked by NPR to not appear on Fox in the past, is the next target. Media Matters is among the Nazi Left asking for her head next. What good little puppets THEY are, eh?

Now, the Lefties will say that ultraconservative Richard Mellon Scaife ran this country in the 1990's, so it's just the other side's turn, but wait a minute. Who was president in 1990's and what party did belong to? Kinda apples and oranges, idiot Left. Yes, Scaife's minions (of which David Brock was one, remember) did probably try to bring down Clinton, but they did not succeed. All the MORE REASON to keep Soros from succeeding, and I say that as one of the biggest proponents of pot legalization in existence. My country means a little more to me than that.

We cannot let anyone own this country except us, because once it changes hands, it is gone baby gone. Where else can we move to? Where else is there an America?

It just makes me so angry. I am boycotting NPR and even my local NPR stations. I'm writing letters (snail mail ones that they have to open and look at).  The NPR Radio app is gone from my ipod. I do not even mention I want their government funding yanked because it is only 2% of their budget. This is their little fundraising week and I want the phones to be silent! I want them to hurt so bad that they have to rely solely on the Soros Devil's money and then what kind of organization are they? Faux News? Oh my!~ ;-)))

Oh and since my gloves are off and I'm all ticked and pissed, I'm closing down commenting here again. I'm only getting around 5 spams a day but they are annoying. And as I detest turning on CAPTCHA, my only other option to not have to deal with the spam is to just close down the comments. Just read and move to the next blog. Email me if you want to comment. I'll even quote you in my next post if you want (be sure to let me know that).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aimeslee Lately...

Goodness! It's been awhile, but when I haven't been sick (since Oct. 4th !!!) I've been working with Hubs on some home work.

We are finally tackling our front bathroom. The bathtub tile needs to be regrouted and the wall above the tile needed to have the wallpaper stripped off and covered with more durable bathroom wall board. The ceiling needed repainting, too.
You can see a little of the wallpaper left to strip. The whole room is wallpaper and I like it. I know, weird maybe, but I do and I want to save it as long as possible before having to replace. So we are limiting the stripping to the wall above the tile.


See that vertical slice out of the grout? That was The Hubster's attempt to do it himself. He bought a Dremel Mighty Max Oscillating tool and started with lots of determination and drive but after discovering how long it takes an amateur he finally did what I'd been asking him to do and find the number of a good tile man from one of his buddies at work. I've stumbled upon a fabulous way to get Hubs off his tush and taking care of what bizness he can around here, the magic button to push, finally after all these years: start making plans to pay someone else to do it instead.

Amazingly simple, eh? He has finally had his dream bubble burst about being able to retire early, so I guess he's begnning to see more value in his own labor -- as in, saving money. Luckily, we've found a guy who does a lot of miscellaneous home repairs and charges a reasonable price, so my honey-do list may be getting shorter in the next few months. I'm ever hopeful!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tasty Organization

My newly-organized NutriSystems cupboard space...this is between half and two-thirds of a month's worth of food, so the two shelves I cleared should be enough room...
Just wanted to show off another *mindless* chore I finished while suffering through my allergy/cold/virus thing. Even when I couldn't concentrate on art, I found that I could *clean*. I just took it a bit at a time and laid down for breaks whenever I felt bad or had coughing fits.

I really had to do something, as my food has just been sitting on my kitchen table in basket boxes since I began Sept. 1. Not very attractive or efficient. One added bonus of the way Nutrisystem ships is that I get 3 of these basket boxes with every order as they are stacked inside one big box and helps to separate and protect my selections. I've already put a few boxes to work holding lightweight things for temporary storage.

As you can see, I am recycling post office shipping boxes. The one on the top shelf holds my breakfast foods. The green-labelled foods next to it are my lunch items. On the second shelf, the red-labelled foods are my dinner entrees, and the box next to them holds my dessert items. I'm really enjoying not having to pick up the heavy basket boxes, and I love being able to see my choices easily.

I was so afraid I wouldn't have enough space, so I got very stern with myself and lobbied Hubs to let me throw out the Ronco Rotisserie grill and a few other old appliances (this has been our appliance cupboard for a long time). That grill hadn't been used in a few years, ever since we got our invection toaster oven, but we certainly got our money's use out of it before that. So, neither of us felt bad about saying goodbye to it. Once he'd agreed to that, I finally felt like I was gonna be able to put my "groceries" away properly.

I haven't really written much about the progress I'm making on Nutrisystems, but I am having slow and steady success. My goal currently is to lose 8-10 pounds per month (their literature says I should lose 1-2 pounds per week, so that's pretty much in line when extrapolating to a monthly amount.

I did lose 10 pounds exactly for September, and I'm 3 pounds farther down as of 10-11-10. So, so far so good. I did have a minor setback the other day. I got sick again, this time involving my digestive tract. I think it was Monday. Neither of us felt great, but nevertheless we decided to go have my planned cheat meal of Mexican food (fajitas for two) at our fave restaurant as to celebrate my meeting my Sept. goal. Well, my digestion just shut down later that evening and I went to bed with horrible indigestion and loud stomach gurgling that ended in dull pains.

Tuesday, I awoke feeling no better, and made it into the kitchen for some Pepto Bismal just in time to throw up in our kitchen sink! Big meaty undigested chunks...just perfect for the garbage disposal, LOLOL. I felt better after that (and after a gazzilion doses of bleach to the sink and drain). But I still felt *off*. The same day, Hubs began getting the stomach symptoms and he had the runs instead of throw up. Then Wednesday, we each had what the other had had the day before. It was really strange, and another strangeness is that neither of us think it was from the Mexican food. We think it was like a second act to what we had last week. Like a two-part virus or something. Like I said, straaaaange.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's a Web of Conspiracies

Sorry it's been so long, but I've been down with allergies/cold/virus stuff going around. Finally am beginning to feel human again, and I just have to share the idea that came to me, in case it comes true. If not, never mind. {cheesy grin}

The other day I was watching Congressman Ron Paul being interviewed. He was a speaker at the Virginia state Tea Party convention, and he had also won the straw poll for 2012 President nominee. So, when he was asked if he was planning to run, he demurred but definitely said he had not ruled it out.

I've never been an ardent fan of Paul's, but I've known about him alot longer than America has on account of his district being just south of Houston. He's always been a colorful figure in Texas and Houston news. He spent many years being lumped in with Lyndon LaRouche on the Crazy Conspiracies circuit. And I thought of that and noted how interesting that he's not so crazy now, is he? A lot of what he has preached has transpired. He's taken seriously nowadays and if any year was his year to run, it may finally be 2012...cuz we are frankly so bad off that we finally need his prescription (haha, he's a medical doctor so I had to use that).

Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The bumper stickers: "I'm a-PAUL-ed, aren't you?" "Paul and Paul in 2012". And no, not talking about his son Rand Paul as his VP running mate...it occurred to me that Congressman Paul Ryan would be a great choice. So, if that happens in 2012, don't say I didn't tellya, okay?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just Pissed Off

I've got some good things going on in my life right now, but that still doesn't stop me from, in general, just being pissed off.

I officially began Nutrisystems on September 2nd, but it took me two days to quit snacking on what was in my kitchen, so I really began it on September 4th. On September 11, I weighed and had lost 8 pounds in 11 days, so it appears to be working fabulously so far. The food, with the exception of Turkey Tetrazinni which totally sucks (I spit it out right off and fed it to Reggie, who would eagerly eat rotting crap), is amazingly tasty even with the total absence of any fat. My order arrived in perfect condition, on time, and with no mistakes. I received my re-order notice today and it gives me plenty of time to amend my standing menu selections before shipping out on September 23. Yes, I will be deleting Turkey Tetrazinni and making other changes, like bulking up on some of my faves.

Oh, and the best part was that I received almost $50 off my first month and was almost shocked to see that I get that discount every month! So, a month of food is $259 instead of the $300+ that it usually sells for.

For me, the Nutrisystems approach works well. It's calorie-based, but only in part. The other thrust is on portion control. The food is low-carb, low-fat and high-fiber. My biggest fear was that the food would be awful, but I can tell you it is incredibly tasty. Plus, it is easy to prepare. Most entrees are either microwaveable or oven-heatable. The entrees that resemble TV dinners are ones that I heat in the microwave and they take about 1.5 minutes. I usually heat the pizzas in our handy dandy toaster oven because they just taste better heated that way, and that takes all of 5 minutes once the oven heats up.

The deserts are delish, and the chocolate-y ones taste almost like I am cheating. There is a large assortment of breakfast foods, even without selecting any cereals (which is almost a third of the selections). I'm lactose-intolerant, so I avoided ordering the cereals, but I did end up using a little milk to prepare the pancakes and they were quite tasty. Don't know yet if I will continue getting the pancakes because we don't always keep milk in the house, but right now my breakfast fave is the apple streudel pastry, so I'd be happy eating that every day.

I do wish they'd include more snack foods. For me that's the hard thing, when I'm just hungry and need a little something. Right now, since I'm so overweight, I can easily add 500-1000 calories a day to the Nutrisystem foods and still lose. This is what I was doing to lose the 8 pounds in 10 days with 2 days of outright cheating with fast food. I plan to go to the grocery store shortly and buy some Lean Cuisines to supplement my daily menu. I also plan to buy some low-calorie or low-fat or reduced-calorie ice cream sandwiches, whatever they have. I've been dreaming of ice cream sandwiches. I guess cuz it is summer and hot. And it's chocolate-y. I've put off going til now because I have been doing research online about which grocery store foods are best for me to buy, and that has been taking a while.

So, lots to be happy about in that dept, but it still sorta pisses me off to have to do so much work. And in my online crafts world, I've been pissed off lately at how it seems that everywhere I turn I am bombarded with people selling stuff. Workshops and online tutorials and etsy out my ass. If most of these folks were awesomely talented, that would be one thing. But, seriously, I am not lying, it looks like most of the new ones I've seen recently aren't even as talented as I am!

The Urban Dictioary defines the word shister as "One who speaks bullshit fluently in order to fool people out of money or other possesions". I think that applies to the people I'm talking about.

I kid you not, I'm a member of an art journaling ning group, and one of the leaders over there had listed a link to her blog in a post, so I go over there to check it out and she's got a page spread from her journal that a five year old could have done a better job on. She took a few pastel crayons and drew stacked horizontal lines on the lefthand side. Without glasses on, I would have thought they were children's picture books stacked up, okay? Then, on the righthand side of the spread, she has an arrow pointing to the lines and she has scrawled a sentence about it.

I almost posted a nasty comment to her right then, but I controlled myself somehow. I mean, come on. Then, I look in her sidebar, and she actually collects money teaching you to make those kind of pages in an online workshop! I became very obsessed for a while wishing I knew how many idiots signed up for that. Then I decided that it would really be much better if I didn't know that. I do think it's fair to say I'll probably be leaving that ning very soon. I can't hang with people I've zero respect for, especially while others are fawning all over them. Yuck.

Stuff like this just increases my core belief that commercial art corrupts. Michael de Meng had a great post a few months back about how the real artist needs to give back far more than he/she appears to be getting. To actually work towards that end. That maybe it would make commerical art less corruptible if everyone did that. And the some who do that are true gems. It's the shisters who think they can just walz in, start up a ning or workshop, and then pronounce themselves artist and make it come true. They just piss me off.

de Meng didn't mean for artists to count the hours running a website or blogging or returning email as giving back. Oh no. He meant actually GIVING people artistic gifts. Like freebies. To quit metering out what you give and just give it! Quit trying to grab the nickel. Quit looking at EVERYTHING you do as a money-making opportunity, because you are an artist and that's what separates you from a businessman who sells art.

Finally, I'm pissed off at Democrats and Republicans both, as usual. The Dems, more so, as usual. I've taken lately to calling our House Speaker Nazi Pelosi. I think it has a nice ring to it. She makes me want to vomit every time I have to pay attention to her. She also makes me very ashamed as a woman.

Of course, Mr. Obama continues to disappoint, and that disappointment is now being compounded by how he thinks he can just suddenly say a few nice words about Dubya after years of horrid insults. By how stupid he think s we all are, that we'd believe he's actually sincere? That he can instruct his little dog Biden to do it, too, and it's supposed to be sincere? Obama continues to amaze me by his immature and childish hudspuh. I am no fan of any Bush, but Obama's incessant and unceasing blaming of Dubya for everything wrong would stop any mature and reasonable individual from then brazenly spouting false complement in a few 9/11 speeches to audiences filled with Dubya fans. OMGosh, can we say transparently hipocritical, too? But, you know, that's Mr. Obama. He and his are in their own little world, lavishly detailed by fairyland babble, and that must be the way he likes it. My stupid father, ever the loyal yell-dog idiot Democrat, frets that he must have bad advisors. Every time I hear that, I bust out laughing, like yeah, that explains it. I think, you wish. What I actually reply is, yes I agree, he does have bad advisor and he chose them and he knows it because he agrees with them. So, who's responsible, Dad? Seeing the light of day is so hard for some people.

I was irritated by Michelle Obama's Let Them Eat Cake Spain tour, irritated by Arizona being sued instead of being helped, irritated by the piss-poor handling of the Gulf oil spill, and this week I've been irritated by Obama's attack on John Boehner. Personally, I don't think Boehner made any mistake by noting that he wouldn't vote against a tax cut for middle Americans. He compromised. That's what it is called and that is what we need right now. And this is why I'm pissed off at the GOP because the smart thing to have done would have been not to disassemble into catfighting among yourselves when one member of the group says something you do not particularly like. No, you maintain group unity at all costs. So, when the Wall Street Journal wonders if John Boehner is ready for prime time, I'm wondering if the GOP is instead. 

Not that the GOP's stupidity really makes any difference. This is small potatoes compared to the fecal mess that "Nazi" , Obama and their cohorts have created. The GOP is the only option right now for November, and that is coming from an independent moderate. The Democrats must be voted out of their misery as soon as possible. We have a two-party system and sometimes both of the parties are crap. There is no room for idealism in reality. Voting for the lesser evil is the reality here, especially since so many of you la-la land idiot toadies voted for Obama and put us in this place. Remember that as you are paying your increased medical premiums and/or still hoping to be covered by any insurance that you thought you'd have by now expecially since we are all paying more. K?

And yes, might as well piss you off, too. Misery loves company. ;-)))

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Love me some Bob and Norma

Their Own Desire (1929) Robert Montgomery,  Norma Shearer
~ Photo courtesy of Olde Tymes on Flickr ~

I've mentioned Bob Montgomery, legendary Golden Age of Hollywood MGM leading man and solid reportoire player, who appeared on screen with Norma Shearer more than any other man.

I was on Youtube the other day and chanced upon this sweet video of clips of Bob and Norma flirting and kissing in their various career roles (they were most often cast as very good friends, he usually wanting to wed her, she usually wanting not to but not for any fault of his...and they seemed to genuinely care for and respect each other no matter their roles, even in 1931's Private Lives, in which their characters fight and bicker throughout).

Another big fan made it, someone named Tap2323, and I'm very grateful, for it is a perfect example of why I love Bob and Norma together, why I love watching them. They always leave me feeling better. The older I get, the more precious that kind of magic becomes to me. Hopefully, you'll experience the same. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Norma Shearer Day

Miss Shearer with her 1931 Best Actress Academy Award

Let me just say it straight up: I love Norma Shearer. I've seen and love every one of her movies that still exist. The reason why I love her -- aside from her awesome acting abilities -- is that watching her is never boring, watching her always leaves me feeling good.

Norma had the rare ability to resonate kindness, sincerity and genuineness.  Just as Shirley Temple always left her audience smiling and feeling great, so did Norma. And after reading no less than 3 biographies of her, I believe I can safely say that even though she was the Queen of MGM until she retired in 1942, she was a sincere, generous and kind person to her fans and to her peers.

Most people today don't even know who she was, and that's too bad. But afficienados of classic Hollywood Golden Age film sure do and they rate her highly. Today is Norma Shearer Day on Turner Classic Movies. They're playing her movies all day long, so if you get a little time and the chance, check her out.

I just finished watching the movie that made me fall in love with her: the 1925 silent film Lady of the Night. But I can recommend a few more of my favorites:

TCM Movie Schedule for Norma Shearer Day (all times Eastern):

6:00 AM Lady of the Night (1924)
In this silent film, a young man must choose between a woman from the streets and a refined woman, both of whom are in love with him. Cast: Norma Shearer, Malcolm McGregor, George K. Arthur. Dir: Monta Bell. BW-61 mins, TV-G

7:15 AM Lady Of Chance, A (1928)
In this silent film, a female con artist lures men to her apartment so she can blackmail them. Cast: Norma Shearer, Lowell Sherman, Gwen Lee. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard. BW-78 mins, TV-G

8:45 AM Their Own Desire (1929)
A young couple's affair is complicated by her father's relationship with his mother. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone. Dir: E. Mason Hopper. BW-65 mins, TV-G

10:00 AM Complicated Women (2003)
Documentary that looks at the phenomenon of "pre-code women" during the years 1929-1934. Cast: Narrated by Jane Fonda. Dir: Hugh Munro Neely. BW-55 mins, TV-PG, CC

11:00 AM Divorcee, The (1930)
The double standard destroys a liberal couple's marriage. Cast: Norma Shearer, Chester Morris, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard. BW-82 mins, TV-G, CC

12:30 PM Barretts of Wimpole Street, The (1934)
An invalid poetess defies her father's wishes to marry a dashing young poet. Cast: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton. Dir: Sidney Franklin. BW-109 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS

2:30 PM Riptide (1934)
A chorus girl weds a British lord then falls for an old flame. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Herbert Marshall. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-92 mins, TV-G

4:15 PM Escape (1940)
A Nazi officer's mistress helps an American free his mother from a concentration camp. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. BW-98 mins, TV-G

6:00 PM Idiot's Delight (1939)
A hoofer and a fake Russian countess are caught behind enemy lines at the outbreak of World War II. Cast: Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Edward Arnold. Dir: Clarence Brown. BW-110 mins, TV-G, CC

8:00 PM Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, The (1927)
In this silent film, a young prince attending college falls for a barmaid below his station. Cast: Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, Jean Hersholt. Dir: Ernst Lubitsch. BW-106 mins, TV-G

9:56 PM Short Film: Norma Shearer Biography (Janet Leigh, narrator)(1962)
BW-4 mins.

10:00 PM Private Lives (1931)
A divorced couple rekindles the spark after landing in adjoining honeymoon suites with new mates. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Una Merkel. Dir: Sidney Franklin. BW-84 mins, TV-G

11:30 PM Romeo and Juliet (1936)
Shakespeare's classic tale of young lovers from feuding families. Cast: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore. Dir: George Cukor. BW-125 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS

1:45 AM Marie Antoinette (1938)
Lavish biography of the French queen who "let them eat cake." Cast: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, Robert Morley. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II. BW-157 mins, TV-G, CC

4:30 AM Strangers May Kiss (1931)
A sophisticated woman risks her marriage for love of a ruthless schemer. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Neil Hamilton. Dir: George Fitzmaurice. BW-81 mins, TV-G, CC

Finally, my choice among today's actresses to play Norma if they made a biopic of her life:
Jennifer Aniston's face Photoshopped onto Norma's - can you see the physical resemblance?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Kidnapped by {arrogant} Krap

"...the next one gets it right between the eyes..."

Do ya ever have a day that begins normally, then slowly begins to take a life of its own, and then 4 hours later it's spiralling into a kidnapping against your will? And what you end up doing against your will is just effing trivial KRAP?

Yup, I just had one of those, it's not over, and I need some kind of therapeutic break before diving back in and desperately trying to salvage a few minutes of productive time on my own terms.

I think I'll bitch about pent up stuff in my Pent-Up Stuff mental file. Yeah.

First off, I really want to talk about a blogging friend who somehow cannot leave it to readers to subscribe on their own. Oh no, she's got to send out a group email alert to anyone and everyone the minute she so much as sneezes on that blog. Now, I might well consider this a smart marketing ploy IF she visited the blogs of the people on this mailing list or even of those who post her comments. But, no again. She's therefore expecting others to read her while not returning the favor.

I myself played along for awhile and then one day emailed her telling her she should reciprocate. I got a reply with well okay, excuses excuses. Fine, we all have excuses. And I am farrrrrr far far from being a good blog return commenter, but then because of that I do not ever expect it in return. You know, one or the other. Or else, I'm irritated.

So, anyway, I said to hell with it a few minutes ago and blocked her from sending me any more of those twit emails. Moral of the story here is that anyone has all the freedom in the world to act like a primadonna, but I don't have to play along with it. And in case she thinks that I'm acting like one, then Moral #2 is that I get to act like one, too. Hey, that's a 2-fer, right? I like it!

I'm beginning to feel better already. So, I'll do just one more and then I'm outtahere.

Here's another huge bitch. Have you ever tried to buy sheet music online? Well, if you ever need to (like if your luddite father wants the "piano vocal guitar" version of Delta Dawn but can't bother himself to learn how to even open an email attachment and he lives 600 miles away), if you ever need to, then do not use at any cost this site: Sheet Music Direct . I am warning you, run away from this place!!! We are talking about a website so slow you can literally toast bread while it loads a page. And their process for enabling you to print out the music you have purchased is so arcane it might be extinct.

Having experienced this torture today, I can tell you that any business like this needs to have the music in a .pdf format, and they should either email it to you or let you download it. I will never ever use this site again, that's a promise. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to find the song I wanted and then close to 2 hours to purchase and print. I had to download a stupid printing software program to boot (which I am removing the minute I post this, as it makes my system run sluggishly).

I don't know whether to smash a fist thru a wall or laugh histerically at this company's lack of salesmanship and technical prowess. Again with the arrogance! And my dad can just google a company that has an 800 number from now on, because what he really needs to do is LEARN and this might might help him move in that direction. It's not like he can't, or ask ten or twelve of his friends to help him. That's like I really wanna read some ridiculous self-absorbed angst from someone who cannot lower herself to read my self-absorbed angst in return, like any self-respecting polite person. 

Whew! {Shaking off the f-uglies} That was helpful! Now, back to the cesspool of chaos that my day's become...I'm draining the swamp! xoxo

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Serendipity of an Idea, Part Deux

In my last post, I provided two examples of the same idea in the soup of current events about our culture, our society, and how it's changing.

The two authors quoted differ substantially in their political and cultural outlooks, which makes it all the more serendipitous to me.

The quoted author from the conservative magazine American Spectator is unsurprisingly conservative, but the other quoted author is considered to be liberal. Here's a good description of his world view, from the article:

"John told me that among his favorite writers was the Spanish poet and philosopher Juan Ramón Jiménez and quoted a line from Jiménez that expressed his own sentiments: “Foot in one’s accidental or elected homeland; heart, head in the world’s air.”
Yet, both lament the same thing. Now, younger people may call that lamenting progress, and that is correct to a degree. But, is it good progress? That, I nor anyone else knows not for sure. Only time will tell.

I don't know how this connects exactly with today's big story about former Georgia USDA employee Sharon Sherrod, but I believe it does. I immediately doubted that the clip on Breitbart's Big Government website was the whole story. It was something in her voice. Sure enough, there was more. Monday night, I heard all the news channels playing along with the surface explanation, but I felt there was something differently deeper. Tuesday, we all learned the video clip was just that, and that she was really telling a story of Rodney King redemption, aka Can't-we-all-just-get-along? (which I catch myself asking all too frequently).

We also learned why Breitbart had deliberately run just the provocative clip: because it contained a racist attitude against whites on the part of Sherrod's audience as they listened to her describe how she discriminated against a white farmer at first (then went back and corrected that and helped him in the end). Breitbart has had a standing offer to pay $50,000 for video of Tea Partiers actually doing what Congressional Black Dems have accused during that march on Washington earlier this year (spitting on them as they walked up the Capitol Steps, for example)

Breitbart used this Sherrod clip to bait the NAACP, who had been accusing the Tea Party of harboring racist members. For Breitbart, this appears to be *war*, and people like Sherrod are casualties of that war, be it friendly fire or collateral damage. His response to how dare you do that is, yeah, so what? This is what you did to the Tea Partiers. Stop doing that and I'll stop, I did not start this, you did. I'm just defending the Truth in baiting your behavior, in hopes that you will exhibit the same behavior you trash us for.

Something like that, but more partisan on his end, of course.

On one hand, I do admire him. He has taken on a few of the ugly, nasty situations that illustrate how sad our race relations are. ACORN, anyone remember the fake white prostitute and pimp videos? That was, if not a Breitbart production, it was a Breitbart promotion. And it turned the tide of opinion against ACORN, forcing an eventual bankruptcy. But, now we are hearing snippets of liberal media covering, asserting now that the whole entire was fake controversy. And there is Breitbart, telling people you are missing the point. The point is how ACORN reacted. They exposed their corrupt ways, and there was nothing fake about that.

Here, we have Breitbart attempting much the same thing. And, if the standard is to show that every group has a racist element and don't just pick on the Tea Party, then Breitbart succeeded again. Anderson Cooper tried every single thing he could on his show tonight to lay the entire fault at Breitbart's door, yet there was still that pesky behavior of the audience in the clip, still the knee jerk reaction of the Obama Admin, the NAACP, and the entire press. And left exposed, many of the media decided to blame it on the Right. And even scold the Obama Admin thru Robert Gibbs for letting Fox News run the show because the knee-jerking was in fear of being skewered on Glen Beck that evening.

I guess the lesson I am left with is, when we try to force political correctness on everyone and in an unequitable way, those who comply become clones of sameness and dishonesty, and those who do not become freaks...racists, for example. Mixing in politics at best turns both sides into the equivalent of child siblings on a road trip in the backseat, aka Bill Cosby's Parenthood routine ("She's touching me!"), and at worst takes us to perhaps the brink of nastiness  I don't even wanna contemplate.

Two things happening about this time 2 years ago -- my reading Saul Alensky's Rules for Radicals and my reaction to Obama's Reverend Wright Under the Bus speech -- pretty much helped me decide to support McCain. I had the really awful fear that Obama would encourage the unleashing of racial frustrations and then let them form their own chaotic directions. And to this day I believe I was right about it, so this entire unfolding of events is so uncomfortable to me. It's not not blacks, it is also Hispanics with the border issues.

But I have problems with Breitbart's mercenary ways, just as I do with Team Obama's mercenary ways (Tea partiers are racist, violent...Congressional Repubs don't want to extend unemployment and help Americans just because the GOP wants it paid for out of the unused stimulus and the Dems won't agree to pay for it at all.)

Rodney King had it right when he asked us to all just get along, each of us as we are.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Serendipity of an Idea, Part One

Today began as any other, with me trying to get past emails and all the "click on this" links that suck the time right out from underneath me, so that I could try to finish some mail art. Finally, around 11 a.m., I had my enveloped treasures ready and set off in my car for my usual post office ten miles away.

I have had the habit for awhile now of preferring talk radio to music when I drive locally, and it was this habit that spawned my love-hate relationship with Rush Limbaugh, whose radio show is on here from 11-2 weekdays. I say love-hate because I strongly belief that El Rushbo is out for no one but himself, and while he may make a lot of sense surprisingly, one always should be on guard for what I call his Rushbo Mumbo Jumbo (his little plots of mischief helping no one in the end but his reputation among his rabid fans, his ego and his bank account). Let's just say, I respect the many good points he makes, but not what he wants to do with them most times.

So, on today's show, Rush pre-empted his regular script to ooh and aah over a new article in the latest American Spectator called "America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution" written by Angelo M. Codevilla.  Basically, the author describes our current political partisanship not so much as Dem vs. Repub, but as The Ruling Class vs. The Country Class. Dems, being the party in power currently, but whose majority has eroded to a minority after only two years, are the R Class; and those of us who are disillusioned, pissed off, saddened, and otherwise void of Hope and Change, who are now the majority, are the C Class. And there is a humongous divide and disconnect between the two Classes that could not be more impossible to bridge if it were in a Shakespearean or Greek tragedy.

You can read the article linked above to find out more in detail (it's a good article, easy to follow and I found it authentic and identified with it immediately). I read it as soon as I returned home.

One notion struck me deeply in it, and because I cannot dare paraphrase it well enough to do it justice, I'll quote the paragraph that contains the jist of it:
Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and "bureaucrat" was a dirty word for all. So was "social engineering." Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday's upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.
I knew when I read it that this was a kernel of an idea that I'd never really explored before but has the tonnage of an bomb. But as often happens, I mentally filed it away to access later on, and continued reading. I knew I agreed and that there was much more there. But I needed to marinate it a bit.

Then the mail came and with it, my latest issue of Texas Monthly magazine. Last month had such a good cover story about Texas writer Larry McMurtry and his novel Lonesome Dove. So, when this issue featured a cover story on another Texas writer, John Graves, whose classic novel Goodbye to a River is sort of a cult rite of passage for wannabe student writers (and I was one of those in my younger day), I just gave up on doing anything else, got my coffee and cigarettes, settled down outside on the porch in my rocking chair and had a very satisfying afternoon smoking, sweating and drinking in the issue cover to cover. I also enjoyed reading a riotous article by Kinky Friedman about his advice to our gubernatorial candidates in the upcoming November election, but I'll leave that one for another day.

So, I am almost to the end of a very good interview with Graves by 37-year veteran TM contributor Gary Cartwright (and he's now retired, unfortunately...this being his last regular contribution), when a paragraph in this article hits me like a ton of bricks. Cartwright had asked Graves what his feelings were about Texas today. Again, my paraphrasing would not do it justice, so here are Graves' words:

Maybe it's a sign of old age, or decreptitude, but I'm not very optimistic about the future of this country... People here, they weren't what you'd call an admirable hunk of American society, but they had their own ways, which I got used to. They were a distinctive variety. But that's all been wiped out. It used to be that the differences among people were big, and those differences always interested me greatly. But now I find alot of sameness. I don't like the way things are shaping up.

He goes on.


Difference in modes of human work, play, manners, language, and even appearance have fascinated me forever, and I have come to believe that these differences not only hold rich and interesting color and drama but are a stout force in the possibility of humankind's endurance on this planet, for as Darwin knew, variety fosters survival.
I'll end this for now, but has the coincidence or serendipity of this idea struck you as it did me? What are your thoughts? Does DeTocqueville's wise observations about what makes an American come to your mind as it did mine? Did Orwell knock at the door as well? Part Two tomorrow....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On the Butt Crack of Retirement Age Reform

Yup, that's me. I'm sitting right on the butt crack of retirement age reform as of this moment. In 6 months, I turn 55, which by all accounts so far is the golden minimum protection age. *So far* meaning, that could certainly change. But as long as they don't change the current laws before March of 2011, or make them retroactive to before then, I stand a good chance of escaping having to wait to get SS benefits until I'm 70.

Since I don't work right now because of disability, that's gonna be a loonnngg wait. Even longer because I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and therefore do not qualify for SS Disability. I may have to go suck it up and get a job and somehow barely hang onto it long enough to qualify for the ever-elusive benefit; then, hope I luck out and successfully fight to get approved for it, with a lawyer of course. Since I'm really not supposed to work, though, and I cannot even fathom being able to hold down a steady full time job for longer than a week, that would be a small miracle.

Up until now, I thought I was doing the right thing by not gaming the system. But, I've been following the D.C. chatter this past week about SS reform ideas being kicked around, and I'm fearing that I may need the Disability income to offset not getting my SS benefits when I'm supposed to. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul!

Ohio Congressman John Boehmer has been echoing Florida Senatorial candidate Marc Rubio this past week, saying that if he were elected Speaker in November (if the GOP takes the House, he probably will), then he will push for raising the retirement age and well as means testing for wealthy Americans. If you read my last blog post, you know that I wrote that I favor both of those. But now Boehmer is talking about 55 being the cut-off age and I'm like, WHAT? That's only about 10 years to adjust to that, and that's not enough time. Completely unfair!!!! I dunno, is he on crack? Jeez!

Now, here is a little factoid that I realized while reading about his remarks. He completely avoids listing raising the amount of wages that are subject to FICA tax. According to recent research, 50% of Americans support raising that ceiling, including the high wage earners who would be affected by it! 50% may seem like a low percentage, but when it includes the very people who would have to pay the tax, it means there is support for it. But typical Republican that he is, he doesn't even put that on the table. You can bet that Team Obama will, though. And, thank goodness for it. Cuz, the ceiling has not been raised in decades, and hey, my own husband exceeds it most years. When that happens, it's time to raise the sucker, trust me.

Furthermore, a whopping 78% of Americans oppose raising the retirement age and only 2% believe that SS is the cause of the deficit woes.

Man, if they take this issue on, there is gonna be one heckuva cat fight over it, and you may see me on the big screen nearest you right up there on Capitol Hill, clawing Boehmer's eyes out. Meow! winkwink