Monday, December 31, 2007

last oh seven post, see you in the future

I haven't posted much the last couple of days. I have plenty to discuss, but for whatever reasons, I'm doing all reading and no writing. 'Rithmatic can suck it, by the way.

First, don't let the song below give you delusions of seeing the end of me. The song is Closing Time by Leonard Cohen. The only closing is the whole out with the old, in with the new of New Years Eve. I love the song and don't know or care if it's especially appropriate. It is what it is.

Play the song, enjoy, and I'll see you next year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

gay flesh eating rats

Hat tip to the fine folks at TN Guerilla Women for a great video on why we should vote for Romney. If you want to avoid gay flesh eating rats, then you will vote Romney. I have tried to clue people in to the problems with gay marriage in the past, think nazi tyrannosaurs with laser eyes, and think November of oh six.

Friday, December 28, 2007

timely quote

I believe this one could just as well be applied to every single person serving at the federal level, especially at this moment in time. Quotation from Theodore Roosevelt via The Quotations Page.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.'

should actually be doing something

Another gray and drizzly day here,. Momma is at work till five-ish after which we drop off the dog for her brothers to watch while we haul ass south. My family celebrates Christmas Saturday this year.

I have six brothers. They are all married with children, and as the years pass, we've learned as a family that it's so much easier to let our Christmas happen at another date. Last year, if I remember correctly, our Christmas didn't actually happen till after the new year, and that's okay. It really is just easier. We're still getting to see each other and eat too much even if the actual calendar holiday was a week or so prior.

For a few years, the brothers and wives would all draw names for gift giving, but at some point, as the number of our children hit the teens, we decided to just put everyone that isn't our mother and father into the hat. Now we all draw names.

So my family of four has four names. That means that I get to do shopping for them as Momma has already done as much of that as she can handle. At least when she went she didn't have Big Brother and The Boy with her, but I also got to do mine after Christmas. So I can't really complain, but that's never stopped me before.

In addition to all the post Christmas mess that we really should have cleaned by now, we also have a small pile of wrapped gifts waiting to drive down to Atlanta with us tonight. I need a shower and to pack clothes for me and the boys. I'm putting that off while I get enough coffee in me to face the day, the cold, wet, dreary day.

I love seeing my family and wish we could head south more than once a year. I do have to admit that this may be the last truly comfortable trip. I fully expect to continue keeping my secret from them for a little while at least, but as we look toward the new year and wonder what it holds, I must admit that I just don't know.

And now the time has come. I'm near the bottom of my cup, that point where there is no more coffee floating brown and tasty above the black, gritty silt at the bottom. I'm sure there are some horrid cartoons just waiting for the boys eager eyes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

no good approach

Momma has asthma. It is very seldom a problem, though we will finally finish paying off an asthma related emergency room visit from just over a year ago some time in February of '08. That's the thing. While it isn't usually a problem, when it does act up it can get bad fast.

There are a couple of triggers that we know of that will cause some minor problems, and we can't ever know when the minor problem will get worse. It's a whole separate rant that the US medical system is so fucked that we can't afford the insurance that would allow her to have a regular doctor to help her better understand and control her particular asthma issues. We won't go into that here.

One of the triggers is perfumes. That's right. If you wear perfume and Momma spends even a little time near you, she will begin to have some trouble breathing. Another trigger, and the real reason for this particular rant, are the various products currently available to introduce scents into the home. Scented candles, anything from Glade, whatever the hell her mother uses that sit on little electric warmers, all these things or even any one of these things will make her asthma kick in, and she will begin to have trouble breathing.

And the sad fact is that this isn't even the real problem. The real issue here is the attitude of other people. A coworker of hers once got angry because Momma mentioned to this person that she was growing nauseous and having trouble breathing because of this person's perfume. She got mad at Momma for getting sick, not concerned, mad.

But we are only now getting to the real rant. Momma's mother and grandmother are fans of the products mentioned above, candles and such, often having several different products in use at one time. They refuse to believe that their desire to create fake odors in their homes creates an unhealthy environment for their child and grandchild. They honestly believe that we are lying to them when we explain this problem.

I have gotten into the habit, whenever we visit either of these homes, of going through the house to the usual places where these devices are being used. I blow out all the candles and turn off all the electric devices. I always miss one or two, and within a couple of hours of arriving I can hear Momma's breathing growing labored. When she has to walk outside to get some fresh air I know that it's getting serious.

And with every visit it seems we tell them all of this once again. I've even tried a few times to explain to them that they are basically creating fumes of unknown chemical compounds, and those compounds are harming someone they are supposed to care about and protect. And each time they are flippant and act unconcerned. They just don't believe it, and her mother has actually suggested that it's all in Momma's head. Seriously. Momma's mother has even argued that she used many of these products when Momma was a child and that they never bothered her then. I could argue that she also kept birds in the house (birds in the home are known to contribute to children developing asthma) and had cats (Momma has cat allergies) and that Momma hasn't taken nearly as much allergy medication as she did when we met those many years ago while she was still living at home. But that wouldn't matter. She would continue to belittle our issue, and she will continue to create harmful fumes of unknown chemical compounds to pollute the air of her house.

Is it ironic that Momma's mom wanted to burn the cookie scented candle on Christmas day? the day that sees more cooking and creating of natural and harmless odors that actually smell good? And she acted upset with me for trying to put out the two candles that she was burning while her daughter was obviously and audibly having a growing problem trying to breathe.

Merry fucking Christmas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

one last christmas song

I'm almost certain that two of my three readers are seeing this the day after Christmas, because they spent the actual holiday with someone other than me and my blog. For the one of you that is seeing this on actual Christmas day, you are loved even if you are reading blogs while the rest of us are eating ham and deviled eggs.

Part of me really is trying to keep from weighing the blog down with my love for Rufus, but another part of me is more than happy to tell you to suck it. He's awesome and dreamy and all kinds of other good things.

Anyway, here he is doing a lovely Christmas song, Spotlight on Christmas. As usual, click the linky part to go straight to YouTube and embiggen the video so that you can properly swoon.

I hope you are having or did have the most spectacular of holidays, whatever you call it, however you celebrate it, with whoever you coaxed close to you.

Monday, December 24, 2007


The Boy, walking past holding a soccer ball behind him, said, "I like my big butt."

drat those taggings

I've been tagged yet again, this time by Darryl for the seven random things about me meme. I'm not sitting down with a list of seven random things in mind, as I've been unable to come up with seven things by thinking about it and wanting to. So we'll discover all this together, just me and you, my blog reading buddies.

-I think Tim Gunn is really hot, though I have absolutely no interest in dressing women fashionably or any other way.

-On those extremely rare occasions that I wear a tie, I tie them so that they hang really long, like past my belt long, but not tacky long.

-I find the ideas behind Buddhism very interesting, but I fear I'm too big a puss to actually follow the teachings. Also, I know that if I tried meditation, that right as I was starting to achieve any sort of state beyond bored, my butt would start to itch, and then I'd focus my efforts on willing the itch away. I think we all know that that doesn't work.

-After over a decade of shaving my head I've been letting my hair grow. I last shaved it sometime last year and then just never got around to it again. At some point it became shaggy enough that I went to a little barber shop up the street and got it cut, but since then I've just let it go. I never realized how curly it is, and I'm becoming a little fixated with it.

-I use the boys' shampoo/conditioner in one stuff. I tried Momma's shampoo and conditioner (not all in one,) but I don't like the extra step involved, and I don't really like the smell.

-Whiskey gives me immediate heartburn. It doesn't even need time to get into the system like coffee does.

-All my mother's children are boys. Each of us now have children, and I am the only one with no daughters.

There we have seven random things about me. There are no great revelations here, no bright shining truths for the ages, nothing earth shattering. I'm fine with that. It's not like I let you into the dark recesses of my cold, black heart either. It is what it is.

I'm still not entirely comfortable with having tagged people for the last meme, and I've debated whether to do so for this one. That the meme suggest tagging seven people makes it especially difficult. I prefer to dose my discomfort in smaller batches.

If you feel inclined to share seven unimportant things about yourself, then consider yourself tagged. You can even link back to me under the pretense that I tagged you. Or don't. I can't say that I really care, but in a good way.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

back that tilt up

I swiped this from Lynn, but she swiped it from someone else. With all the swiping going on one might forget the real reason for the season, and no, it isn't really about babies and stars and wise men. It isn't about magic insemination of virgins by interstellar entities, though feel free to enjoy it however you please.

best christmas song ever?

Arguably one of the greatest Christmas songs ever, Merry Christmas Baby by The Ramones deserves at least an annual listen. It really is an awesome song, and the bit of video before and after only add to the seasonal joy.

Have at it, and have fun, and have a hell of a holiday, whichever one you happen to celebrate. And if you celebrate nothing, well you can just suck it.

somehow no matter what

In keeping with the undercurrent of a theme running through a few of my favorite blogs by homeschoolers I present the following song, Science of Myth by the mighty punk rock lords Screeching Weasel.

Homeschoolers are a subset of the population as a whole, and to further divide us many find that there is a further division between Christian and secular. The Christian side of this division would be more accurately characterized as evangelical fundamentalist, or a term I find fairly descriptive, exclusionist. The secular side does in fact include many Christian people as well as atheist and all points in between.

It's almost funny that the secular side is so much more inclusive and open than the Christian side, especially as they're condemnatory nature likes to suggest that it is we secular hsers who are not open.

So, I present you with a song that I feel sort of plays into this discussion, and I include the lyrics below the player for those of us unable to tease the words out of the noise.

if you've ever questioned beliefs that you hold you're not alone
but you oughtta realize that every myth is a metaphor
in the case of christianity and judaism there exist the belief
that spiritual matters are enslaved to history
the buddhists believe that the functional aspects override the myth
while other religions use the literal core to build foundations with
see half the world sees the myth as fact
while it's seen as a lie by the other half and
the simple truth is that it's none of that and
somehow no matter what the world keeps turning
somehow we get by without ever learning
science and religion are not mutually exclusive
in fact for better understanding we take the facts of science and apply them
and if both factors keep evolving
then we continue getting information
but closing off possibilities makes it hard to see the bigger picture
consider the case of the women whose faith helped her make it through
when she was raped and cut up left for dead in a trunk her beliefs held true
it doesn't matter if it's real or not cause
some things are better left without a doubt
and if it works then it gets the job done
somehow no matter what the world keeps turning

Friday, December 21, 2007

dog pile again

COD has the scoop concerning Ms. Late To The Party. I feel like I'm jumping on an over crowded wagon, and I feel as if this blogger doesn't need anymore of us hollering at her, but she is misguided, and she is being less than honest. She literally begs for it.

If you visited the link above to COD's place then you get the story. If not then here's the quick version. A site that hosts evangelical, fundamentalist Christian (EFC) homeschool blogs accepts ad revenue from a couple who write books teaching EFC's to abuse children in the name of discipline. They have been boycotted for well over a year by a number of bloggers, bloggers who represent the variety of beliefs from pagan to Christian to those like me with no faith or religious based beliefs. I will not link to them.

The EFC's, as they usually do, are pretending that anyone not in lockstep with their views is anti Jesus and a humanist atheist sinner. As usual, they are wrong. They can't stand the idea that we feel they should not be allowed to hit their children with switches and plumbing supplies, so they lie about us and damn us.

So if you read the bit over at COD's then you know his comment at one of these blogs was deleted and that the comment was supposed to be nasty and/or malicious and/or unChristian. He called bullshit and was deleted. I called bullshit and was also deleted. Here's my comment, in full and verbatim. Find the nastiness if you will, and please leave a comment to show me the error of my ways.
The Pearls do in fact suggest beating children with pieces of plumbing hose. Hitting children is not okay. People go to jail when they hit adults, but some people think that hitting defenseless children is somehow okay and even commendable. It is neither.
Many Christians like to ask the question What Would Jesus Do? and I'd ask if they believe that Jesus would beat a child? Do you think Jesus would beat a child?

I have been a fan of COD's blog (he, not she) for quite a while. I've read his comments at many blogs. You've accused him of being nasty, yet I find that very difficult to believe based on what I know of him and his writing. I think that having left his comment up would have proved that he was not being nasty, yet we now have only your word for it.
Rather than face her accusers and answer our questions she tells us we are nasty, and she deletes our comments. What is truly nasty is her ability to stand side by side with people who abuse children. Hitting children in any way is abuse, and it is abuse that doesn't end. I was spanked most of my childhood in a very aggressive and painful manner. I attended a school that allowed corporal punishment throughout most of my childhood. I still fight my own anger and abuse issues with my own children.

Hitting children is not okay. Calling it spanking does not lessen the fact that it is abuse. Calling it discipline does not make it okay. If you must hit a child then you have already failed as a parent and need help. Please get help if you need it. All our children deserve better than this.

done been selfless

Since doing the meme and admitting that I don't tend to act in a selfless manner I have found myself doing three completely different and entirely selfless things. I could be proud of myself, but I try not to, as that would kill the selflessness part, or so it seems. (jeez, compound sentence much?)

Two nights ago, having purchased my cigarettes and beer for the night, I was leaving the grocery store. As I rounded the corner to head to the rear entrance I saw a white and mostly busted tow truck mostly in a parking space. As I approached I could see the driver climbing out with that look that says "I'm about to make some sort of monetary request of you." I almost drove on, but I didn't as he flagged me down.

His request was not actually for money. He explained that he'd run out of gas and asked if I'd possibly take his money and gas can to the gas station and get four dollars worth of gas. Inward and inaudible sigh, "Sure, let me think; what's the nearest gas station?"

"It's probably that Pilot past the interstate," he answered, and he was right. And I did go and get him gas, returned all of his change and refused payment. How can you accept payment for this sort of thing?

Selfless acts numbers two and three occurred today.

I was finishing smoking outside of Toys R Us prior to going in and realizing that waiting in all that traffic was a waste as they didn't have the toy I wanted for the boys. As I finished smoking a couple of slightly olderish women approached. One entered the store while the other attempted to push her bag of fast food trash into the trash can. It's the kind of can with a little spring loaded door that you have to push open. She was having trouble, plus there was a shopping cart in front of the trash can making it difficult for her to reach. I dropped my cigarette butt into the little butt receptacle and pushed the trash can door open for her. She was then able to easily slide her trash in.

"There's my Christmas good deed," I laughed when she thanked me.

And finally, the last selfless deed. I collect tomato boxes and not because I'm a dork. They are some of the sturdiest of boxes available and make near perfect recycling boxes, and Momma brings them home whenever she is able. We currently have more than we really need.

The young lady who was there also recycling had a couple of garbage bags she was sorting glass out of and noticed that all I had to do was pop open the end of the twelve pack holder. Since we put our empties back in the box it's really easy to just open and dump. She was amazed by the thought that you could do this, and I pointed out to her the tomato box also. I had my own two boxes, one mixed paper, the other clear and/or random glass.

I gave her my boxes. Just like that. I caught her eye and told her, "I have plenty of these, so I'm just going to stick them in your trunk."

So there. I can be helpless, and baby Jesus and Santa Claus no longer have to cry when my name comes up.

really bad joke

Yay for post fodder. This from Comedy Central.

Steve, Bob, and Jeff were working on a very high scaffolding. Suddenly, Steve falls 50 feet to the ground below and he is killed instantly.

After the coroner leaves with Steve's body, Bob volunteers to inform Steve's wife of the terrible news. Some two hours later, Bob returns to the work site with a six-pack of beer under his arms.

"Say, Bob, where did you get the six-pack?"

"Steve's wife gave it to me!"

"What! You just told her that Steve died and she gave you a six-pack?"

"Well, before I broke the news to her, I asked her if she was Steve's widow. And, she said she wasn't, so I said I'd bet her a six-pack she was!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

seasonal message

DC United midfielder Ben Olsen knows what Christmas is all about. Click HERE to visit the DCenters blog to read a great piece on what Christmas should be about for us all.

And share the ball!

more on huckabee

alternate post title, oh no he didn't

As if we needed more reason not to vote Huckabee, not that it was ever an option, follow THIS lovely link to understand what he thinks about immigration and our Mexican friends. And for the record, Mexican is really not descriptive of the various countries represented in our new immigrant pool.

update: in the comments Michele has added a couple of links which do not fully appear in the comments. I don't know yet how to fix that, though I will look into it. Till then:
First link
Second link

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

just a lil ol meme

Sue tagged me for a meme, and I've really tried to do it for her, but I'm not sure I can honestly answer her questions. Question number one could be easy, and assuming I can be less tagophobic, number four may even be okay. It's two and three I have issues with.

Here's the meme itself, so you can look it over. Most people would probably easily be able to answer these, and I'll admit that I'd love to be able to as well. I'll attempt what I can with the warning that you might not like two and three when I get done. Hell, you might not even like me after that, but them's the breaks.

1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.
2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving, or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.
3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.
4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and find the spirit. Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.

1) One L and her family are real life friends. She has a daughter a little older than Big Brother and a son slightly younger. Her children are beautiful and smart and fun to hang out with. Big Brother has always enjoyed playing with these friends. The wonderful thing I want to happen is both for them as well as for kids in general.

One L's daughter is somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum. My wish is for us (all of us/huge collective everyone us) to take the time to be understanding of kids like this child. She's an amazing child to whom the world often just doesn't make sense. I can't make it make sense and don't know if anyone can. But I know that others can take the time to be helpful by not condemning or making assumptions about these children or their parents.

2) I don't know that I've ever really done anything selflessly. I'll sometimes dig a dollar out of my pocket for the bums, but I do so grudgingly. It isn't a selfless act so much as buying the chance for them to piss off and leave me alone in a nicer way than just saying it. It isn't like I'm an asshole, I'm just not not an asshole. This is an area in which I need to do some self improving.

3) See number two? I don't currently have any plans to do anything out of joy. I really have a lot of thoughts lumbering through my head currently. Thoughts of doing things out of joy only bring to mind the really hot British guy I got to kiss last weekend, though admitting that he was trying to kiss more people than his friend sort of takes some of the wind out of that sail. So we'll leave it there. I could discuss joyful acts, but I don't currently have it in me. Let me get to a better place, and maybe I can answer this whole meme somewhat more nicely some time next year.

4) As mentioned above, I'm a little tagophobic. I'm not sure why, but I really hate tagging people. Maybe it just feels like RSVPing someone without their consent and assuming a desire on their part for something they may not want. I will tag three people though, even if I have to leave this as a draft all day while I decide which bloggers I want to burden with this.

The aforementioned One L and her blog Cutting School get the first tag. If I'm going to force her into this by trying to be nice, then I'll just go all out and invite her along for the ride.

Number B is Frankie at Kitchen Table Learners. She and her son deserve a gravy biscuit every morning.

Finally I want to know what Ren of Learning in Freedom thinks, that is if she can find time. She's probably off doing something thoroughly delightful.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

homeschooler not for huckabee

No single group of homeschoolers speaks for all homeschoolers, and no single presidential candidate can be said to be the choice of even a majority of homeschoolers.

You may be asking why you should care, and I imagine most people here don't and likely shouldn't. Those readers are probably not aware of HSLDA or Mike Farris. HSLDA, Home School Legal Defense Association, is a group of fundamentalist lawyers that like to think they invented homeschooling and single handedly fought to make it legal. They are heroes to a number of families who homeschool for primarily religious reasons and have decided they like Huckabee.

Not that any of that matters until you find your family being spoken for by people who not only don't represent you but also don't really even have your best interests at heart. Because the fundy voice is loudest in the world of home education, it is often assumed that they are descriptive of us as a whole.

So should you happen to hear that homeschoolers support Huckabee, remember that not all of us do. The majority of homeschoolers I tend to associate with aren't even considering the republicans any more than to be scared that someone, somewhere is considering them.

I personally like Gravel and Kucinich. I won't give you the rant about them not getting the same share of air time as the other democrats and how that effects their fund raising. I won't rant about the whole rest of the democratic candidates combined don't have a tenth of the balls either of these two have.

I don't dislike Hillary, but her camp already trying to get the dirty game started doesn't help. The only way I could really vote for her would be not so secretly looking for Bill. I'm not sure about Obama. If he could prove that he could be as a good a president as he is a speaker then I'd vote for him. I liked Chris Dodd in whichever debate that I saw when he was actually allowed to talk, but when everyone keeps shoving past him to get to Hillary/Obama/Edwards, it's hard to hear him.

So, I don't support anyone right now. However Doc likes Hillary and even made a pretty button.

Monday, December 10, 2007

two on the porch

They stood on my front porch, two fresh scrubbed young lads, one in what looked like a knock off Member's Only jacket, both in black pants, white shirts, black ties. Both wore badges alerting me to their elder status in the Church of Something or Other. The title of elder, I daresay, was quite unearned on my porch, as I certainly have at least fifteen years on the oldest.

I learn through our conversation that I have a talker and a non talker. As the talk plays out, non talker begins to make me nervous. He's visibly tensing up at points, and I can almost sense a youthful desire to be offended and possibly have to do something about it.

"We're new to the neighborhood," the talker of the pair began. I thought immediately of a particular Myspace spam in which the spammer attempts to convince me that they are a newly arrived and quite sexy girl who enjoys both chatting as well as being naughty on a webcam. Oh how misguided that attempt is, and in a sense, these fellows are about to hit a very similar sort of block in their attempt to sell me their product. Talker of the pair continues, "How long have you lived here?"

I allow them to engage me in conversation, knowing full well it will lead to nothing. I should just run them off to the next house, which I've been doing lately. If it's nice old ladies I allow them to think their efforts are untimely so that I don't have hurt old ladies on my conscience. The kids I'm just blunt with usually, treating them more like a telemarketer.

We segue into video games, as they've seen through the doors that the boys are in fact playing video games, one of the Twisted Metal series, in fact, which seems to delight them. They make appropriate noises about children, seeming for whatever reason wowed that I've got such.

I don't know how exactly we get to religion, but I lead my half of the conversation giving them the knowledge that I don't believe in god. Well, they'd love to come inside and talk about how their belief can make my life better. I decline.

I don't tell them that they'd never find themselves in my house, but I know that, given the right mood, I'd be willing to engage them in some amount of conversation on the porch. I'm not going to do it now, because I left my cigarettes by the back door, and I'm not walking all the way back just so I can take snide potshots at a couple of missionaries, which I don't tell them either. It sounds fun, but no.

Talker of the pair really wants to push this. Maybe he sniffs conversion in the air, though all I smell are my armpits. I finally just let him have it. I'm familiar with the Bible. I know about Jesus, and it's not him I have a problem with. But I don't avoid black cats or walking under ladders, and I don't worry about people's souls slipping out when they sneeze or whether ceiling cat sees what I do in the shower.

Oh, but they have something else for me, because they have new interpretations. And of course I ask, "Oh, you mean Joseph Smith?" probably smirking maybe a little. I can't help but thing of the magic obsidian slabs he unearthed in outer Mongolia.

"Yes, have you read the book of Mormon?" Again, talker of the pair is speaking. My mention of Joseph Smith gave me that hint of non talker perhaps tensing up. I know how people can get when you mess with their heads, so I finally decide I'm done.

"Look, guys, thanks for coming by, and good luck with this, but I've got to get back inside. Stay out of traffic."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

reading sampler

Clearing the table is always fun. The boys can be relied on to put books away, but this only actually happens after I've gathered them all up and created a stack. There are always potential piles being created, even as we clear, because whatever it is we happen to be reading at the time is soon to be left out, not yet returned to the book case.

The Boy has a place marked in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that he's been "reading" on and off for a while. He doesn't actually read yet but has begun getting books off the shelf and perusing them while he eats. He's copying Big Brother in a sense, and he sometimes moves on to the most recent book Big Brother has finished and left out.

Big Brother's recent pile included five Highlights magazines, all of which are eleven years old and were given to us by my mother eight or nine years ago. Also included was The Birth of the Infanta and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde, a favorite that was a gift from a very good friend who always picks awesome books. There's a book about knights and armor titled, Knights and Armor, and finally Calculator Riddles, a Scholastic book by David A. Adler. He'd been hunting down a book we have about the states and was delighted to find it recently. Maybe when he puts them up he'll be delighted all over again when he finds it again.

I know these exact books because they are right behind me on the table that was once a console tv. The guts were removed and once housed the new tv. I Finally pulled the tv out and found a different solution to where to put the tv only to create the problem of what to do with that damn cabinet that used to house the tv. I know! Keep it so I can pile crap on it and leave it for weeks at a time because it seemed interesting to me to blog about.

And there's already a new pile growing on the table. We've got Rudyard Kipling, a book about bees, a book about frogs and one about the insides of small animals. There's also the booklet about Fullmetal Alchemist that came with the dvd. And this pile will become a slightly ordered stack that will finally makes its way to the shelves.

I'm sure this is a good thing. The bookcases always seem full, so I'm sure the books, as they cycle in and out are creating space for the next pile.

pop is tricksy

Not that my real name is hard to come by if you read here, but I've always just been me at the blog along with Momma, Big Brother and The Boy. At home I'm Pop. My oldest brother's kids sometimes called him pop, and I liked the sound of it. It's not hard to refer to yourself as such often enough with small children so that they come to know you as such. And that explains the post title.

Pop is indeed trying to be tricksy. We need to get ourselves out to the Christmas tree farm, but we have some small amount of rearranging to open up the corner where the tree goes. That involves moving the dining table to an odd and very sore thumb sort of place that totally works for the few weeks of Christmas.

There is in fact very little real cleaning needing to be done. A couple of chairs that don't have any true home need to disappear. The tub of Thomas tracks needs to slide back into the playroom. The Thomas tub is only track pieces. The roundhouse doesn't fit nor does the three story tunnel combo, though the track pieces for both do. The number of engines and cars has grown so that they occupy their own box. There's also a two lane bridge that I'm sure should fit in the tub but is on top. Every thing that doesn't fit in fits on if a bit precariously. The whole bunch of it is sitting out in the middle of the room not having actually been played with in most of the weeks it's not gotten put up.

There are a few Tinkertoys strewn about the floor. They are the round pieces that connect the sticks. They were probably bombs that got tossed at any number of bad guys which could include Sith, Deatheaters, drones, World War II Japanese or Decepticons. And yes we have explained a few times, just to make sure, that the Japanese are people like any of us and as good or bad as all of us. When we pretend we are fighting the Japanese it is actually the Axis powers. And this is all from playing Medal of Honor and the looking into WWII that it spawned.

That little bit of stuff, Tinkertoy bombs, Thomas pile, random chairs along with a handful of books, a balloon, Viewmaster and the rest of the flotsam and jetsam is really all that needs to be cleaned in the interest of making a place for the tree. The boys' room and the playroom being clean or not in no way effect the tree placement, but I'm more than happy to allow them to believe that their cleaning their areas is somehow helpful in the growing Christmas preparation.

To those things that are actually in the way of bringing in the tree, add the stacks of books everywhere but on shelves, my piles of notes still not put away since the end of the soccer and derby seasons, a pair of dirty socks and a jacket thrown somewhat onto a chair, and we do have a bit of work to tidy up for the Christmas tree. There are those jobs that have to be done and those that need to be done. The sad part is the number of times I've rearranged these piles lately in an effort to have cleaned. It's now time to actually put them somewhere.

The Boy asked to watch a video game, and I explained my desire to have the house clean for Christmas. He didn't say another word, just walked back to their room to the world of Transformers. I heard some sort of raised voice squabble a few minutes ago that they seemed to quickly work out, but other than that not even a request from Big Brother for video games, an oddment in itself considering that it's past noon.

Big Brother will quickly and happily trade the few minutes it takes to put away toys for the several minutes he'll get to play video games, so I don't even need to pretend any Christmas schemes if he asks, but I may just drag out the vacuum and see if I can use the Christmas scheme to eek a bit more work out of him.

I have a feeling that it's not going to work. And by feeling I mean that I know better. If the rain doesn't work with us then we'll end up putting the tree farm off even more, but we still haven't quite gotten back all the rain we didn't get over the summer, so it's hard to not want the rain. It also feels a little shitty to complain about the rain in light of the dousing Doc and her town got.

What I do know is that, like usual, I'll be the one rushing around at the last minute sliding tubs and hiding chairs. I'll vacuum after the tree arrives probably. For now I'm going to pretend I'm applying myself to some cleaning or other. I'll get dragged back to the computer too soon knowing all the nuggets that await me in Google reader. Along with the cleaning mentioned here are dishes to wash and probably some laundry even though we still haven't fully put away the last round of wash/dry/fold/ignore.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

a rule to live by

Never take restaurant advice from a vegetarian. If you happen to be vegetarian, then by all means, assuming you trust the taste of this person, accept their recommendation. I am an omnivore, delighting in both the animal as well as plant based foods, though I feel I should admit that I have no problem with vegetarians or vegetarian food. Vegans can suck it in my opinion, but there's no need to even bring them into the equation.

We hadn't planned to go out for lunch today, but when a friend called about the taco stand she'd found, we gave in and met her family. It seemed like the kind of place that should have been good, rough looking, possibly questionable cleanliness (not in a bad way.) The prices seemed good for taco stand food, and things seemed like they should have promised some good authentic taqueria cuisine.

Our food slowly trickled out of the kitchen, the guy delivering it wandering toward us one plate at a time. It certainly looked good, my pork enchilada combo filling the huge plate to the point of almost running over the edge. And I really needed something like that, having consumed more than my fair share of beer last night.

One bite in and I was immediately disappointed. I knew we'd been had. On top of the enchiladas was what seemed like an inch think pool of melted cheese. The cheese itself, was not only too much but also was not a good cheese and overwhelmed the enchiladas. I think the pork may have been passable if I could have tasted it. The rice was beyond overcooked and had no noticeable texture recognizable as food. The beans were bland and covered with even more of the unpleasant cheese.

I ate what I could, wishing all the while that we'd gone to Senor Taco, an infinitely better place to enjoy taqueria style food. I finally admitted as much. Momma immediately agreed as did another friend (non vegetarian) who'd joined us. The answer from the vegetarian friend was that Senor Taco's veggie burritos weren't as good, mostly because they apparently put too many vegetables in it.

And that's when I realized the truth of the matter. We'd dined poorly at this restaurant because they serve a good vegetarian burrito, and the people who suggested it had absolutely no reason to have tried any of the other options.

To reiterate, never take restaurant advice from a vegetarian unless you are yourself vegetarian. I will not make this mistake again.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

busted ass truck

Dear asshole in the busted ass truck,

Why were you in such a hurry to pull out in front of me? Seriously, you didn't even pause at the stop sign you were in such a hurry. And then when you did get in front of me you drove slow as shit.

Why did you feel the need to be in front of me when you weren't going to drive as fast as I was? I was doing fine up to that point. I'd been to the co-op for my milk and coffee. I'd hit the gas and go at Food City because their air is free, and I was so happy knowing that my tires were finally fully inflated again. Then I went to the other Food City where I usually shop and am a familiar face to the staff who are mostly really nice. Just a few blocks from home you ruined my good mood by getting in front of me so that you could drive one fucking block.

Oh, and the part where you turned on your turn signal and slowed down even further as you gawked out the window in the other direction and almost came to a complete stop instead of just completing your turn was especially infuriating. Was that your goal? to piss me off?

Look, I get enough of that shit in this town already, assholes pulling out in front of me, often in that same run-the-stop-sign sort of move, and it's always the same. There was no one behind me, so it wasn't like you would have had to wait for a line of cars. You must just be an asshole. That's all I can figure.

Either way, fuck you very much for ruining my mood. Thankfully I nearly forgot you as quickly as you pissed me off, but still, people like you are responsible for a huge amount of the stress that exists in the world. If you're just going to drive slow, then wait a fucking couple of seconds for me to get past and then mosey your stupid self on behind me. Then we'll both stay happy instead of just you, you selfish prick.

not just yet

Yet more music videos for your enjoyment, but this is a bit of something different from the music you might generally expect from me.

I don't know that I've run across much music from the Strauss family that I don't like. I'm a sucker for marches and polkas and sometimes even a waltz.

First is Radetzky's March from Johann Strauss Jr. If you're familiar then you know it's an audience participation song with the audience encouraged to clap along with the up tempo parts. The funny thing about this video is that the conductor has to shut the audience up as the orchestra begins. It's sadly funny that I, country bumpkin that I am with my pedestrian musical tastes, knew not to begin clapping right away, while the uptown sophisticates in their fancy dresses and tuxedos just started slapping away. Those dumbasses!

Embiggen for a good view of the conductor providing the clap cue, or just listen. Whatever you do, turn it up really loud. It's not just rock that gets better with volume.

Video number two, more Strauss that also deserves a loud listen. This is Unter Donner und Blitz, and I love the drums giving that sound of thunder (donner). The conductor is obviously having a blast, and he is fun to watch, but I'd really love to see the percussionists.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

one through seven

Here in the Knoxville area, local recycling centers, beginning December 11, will be accepting all plastics labeled one through seven. Prior to this date the centers were only taking one and two.

As good as this is, I have to wonder how many people have the slightest idea what they really can and can't put into the blue bins. I'm constantly seeing things that don't belong, such as mirrors or candle holders with the candle still in. As often there are people throwing plastic bags full of paper into the paper bins, as if it's just too damn hard to dump the paper in and take the bag to where it can be recycled.

It would be nice if it were more clear at each drop off location what is and isn't okay, and for most literate people it is pretty clear. The fact of the plastics hasn't been posted that I've seen, and I only knew about one and two only because I looked online to be sure what we could and couldn't recycle. That's the kind of thing that should have been on the bins from the beginning.

So now I can stop throwing away the yogurt cups and the mustard bottle that I just rinsed out today. I know there are other items we've been throwing away, but I can't actually think of them now.

And if I can really get my shit together I'll start taking the piles even sooner rather than the once every couple of months I seem to make it now. And the best part of that will be not having to dump two months worth of beer bottles all at once. I can only imagine the thoughts people have as I travel back and forth between the car and the bin, hands and arms loaded with twelve packs of empties.

If you live close to me and want more info on recycling visit Knoxville Recycling Coalition.

oh my god, an ill reindeer

As one can see from my posting frequency, I'm still not getting to the writing quite like I should. I've been sitting on this gem of a video for a couple of days, meaning to share it, yet not quite getting to it.

I have at least two other christmas song videos in mind for you to enjoy, but we'll start with this one. This is one of my top holiday songs, and I can't imagine anyone else not loving it.

So join me as we travel to New York, Hollis Queens to be exact, where mom is cooking chicken and collard greens and macaroni and cheese. I'm seriously needing to fry up a chicken soon, but until then.

The video quality isn't the greatest, but HERE anyway to embiggen, or just listen and watch below.

Monday, December 03, 2007

he could've saved the money

Yes, I'm a little late to the party, but tonight I finally watched the third movie in the newer of the Star Wars movies. It's the one where Anakin becomes Darth Vader, uses the force to choke his ol' lady and gets his parts chopped off.

I like the original three movies, but I've not felt the same love for the prequel trilogy. It all started with that damn Jar-Jar, a racist stereotype in a certain sense and an absolute waste of time and money. He does nothing to advance the plot in any way, and his gags are completely lost on me.

Oh look, Jar-Jar stepped in shit. Oh look, Jar-Jar got his hand stuck in the can trying to get the last Pringles (oops, wrong movie.) Oh look, Jar-Jar just almost got his ass blasted because he almost stole that edible creature that mean looking dude is selling. Even worse is how he gets a job in the senate and the title somehow not only makes him not an idiot but also removes him from any actual role in the movies. Sure, he keeps showing up as parts of the crowd of Naboo people that follow Princess Amadamadingdang around, and he keeps showing up often enough throughout the next two movies to piss me off that he was ever included in the first place.

The really obnoxious part for me involved the very end of the third movie, Revenge of the Sith. Padmae delivering her babies looks as if George Lucas wrote it but had no actual experience with childbirth other than having seen it represented in other movies. A couple of mid tempo screams from the birthing mother and a squeal from the baby, and it's all over. Yeah, George, you pegged the crap out of that.

Now we move to the real annoyance, the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Did he end it because he finally run out of money? Could he not find any more precarious things for them to balance on and somehow manage to continue the battle? And why didn't they kill each other the several times they had the chance?

Anakin could have killed Obi-Wan in the last indoor scene when he has his turned off lightsaber pressed against Obi-Wan's throat, so this begs the question, why the hell didn't he just turn the light saber on? It would have immediately shot through Obi-Wan's head and killed him. Is there some sort of safety device at the end of the light saber that I'm unaware of? Next, after some balancing and running along the edges of things they're in the lava. Obi-Wan has found some sort of platform that affords him a fair amount of space. Anakin however is left to balance on a droid. Obi-Wan could have used the force to yank the droid out from under him ending the battle, but he opts instead to talk and wait a minute or so. Finally, Obi-Wan makes it to land, but as Anakin makes the leap to join him and continue the battle he finds himself having just lost his legs and last good arm to Obi-Wan's lightsaber. Obi-Wan makes a couple of last statements concerning his regret and walks away.

If he really loved Anakin like a brother, assuming that he was basically dead, why didn't he finish him off? When the lava got close enough to Anakin to ignite him, why didn't he finish him off? Knowing he was there to kill Anakin, knowing that he was suffering, having lost three limbs and was now on fire, why didn't he kill him? It seems like part of Obi-Wan's nature to have finished his job both out of a sense of responsibility as well as compassion. Momma and I both agree here that Obi-Wan would have finished Anakin off.

Oh yeah, there could nave been no final trilogy, so Darth Vader has to live. Can't forget that. Let's have our characters act totally out of character for the sake of continuity. Pegged the crap out of that one too.

Maybe I've put too much thought into this, though I tend to disagree with that sentiment as I didn't even have to consider it. I understand a good action scene, but when I'm just wishing someone would die so it can be over then there's something wrong. It seemed as if George Lucas just wanted to make the movie a little bit longer. Or maybe the "on" button on the CGI machine stuck and he just hated not to put it all in?

I'll admit to wishing he'd never bothered making these three movies. The original trilogy is a classic of sci-fi movies even if Captain Kirk and Spock would have kicked all their asses. I understand that George Lucas always wanted/intended to go back and tell the beginning of the tale. Maybe he should have watched the movies before releasing them though and thought better of it.

And what the hell am I even doing here, writing the same shit I'm sure someone else did ten years ago when all this was new? After seeing the first movie when it was still somewhat new, I really didn't want to see the next two. It was so disappointing that I knew I was only going to be let down two more times. It's all the fault of the Lego Star Wars video games. I've had great fun playing them, but I realized throught the levels that it was acting as a spoiler as I saw scenes that I'd never actually seen. The family as a whole got into the Star Wars excitement all over again, and I let myself want to see them.

Well now I know. And I don't ever have to watch them again. I guess that's something good.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

a subtle difference

As can be imagined I've had a lot on my mind lately. I feel guilty for feeling good because all of this is so hard on Momma, but I've felt so good lately, free and light, ready to face the world. It's one hell of a mixed bag right now.

Honestly, not a whole lot has changed on a day to day basis. I haven't rushed out and done anything stupid, no slutty boy chasing. I haven't even been looking at dirty pictures on the internet lately, and if I did I would no longer have to feel worried or guilty about Momma finding out.

Things really are different though, which just seems obvious to say, but it's the subtle things that are different. I do feel good. I feel better just generally. I feel a little boisterous in a sense, almost like I just want to rush out and share.

Dealing with Big Brother and The Boy sensibly has been easier. While my old angry habits are still trying to rear their angry head it's gotten so much easier to give myself and the boys the time I need to not be such an ass.

Even cooking is starting to be fun again, even when I'm fighting my natural laziness. I'm less inclined to jump at the first one pot meal idea and more inclined to just want to cook something good. I even bought a rutabaga at the store today, something I'd never really considered before, and it went beautifully with the pork loin and roasted white potatoes and pole beans, though we did have a lot of butter in our random meal elements.

Momma has even noticed the change in me, and I have to think that's helping her a little. It's hard to help Momma cope sometimes. We're both in a messed up place mentally, for the same reason but with different motivation. I think I can imagine her hurt, and it's hard because I still love her very much, and I almost wish to feel different for her sake. At the same time I know I won't ever go back to that dark place I was in before. She makes me know that she doesn't want that, but her greiving is hard because I can't help but feel responsible. It's hard not to feel selfish.

One thing that keeps popping up with me is the things I'm realizing I did to myself over the years. As I said in the coming out post, I've known for years that I'm gay. It wasn't something that really bothered me, but even while I accepted this I didn't really admit even to myself that it was true. I was sure that I was the master of me, that I controlled absolutely everything. The Rufus Wainwright video I posted nearly a week ago is a perfect example. In the post I mentioned having heard of him, how his music had stood out to me, how I'd never gone out of my way to do anything about it. I remember being drawn to him the first time I ever heard him. I remember knowing he was gay the first time I ever heard him. I didn't realize it then, but some part of the reason I didn't let myself really enjoy it was some fear that it would bring all my own gay to the surface. If I kept the gay at a distance I could keep things as they were. The gay people I've met in real life had the same effect on me. I would be intrigued, maybe secretly jealous that they were able to just be, but I was also a little scared. If I didn't let all that in then I would never have to let all this out.

I'll finish with what may be the oddest thing to come out of all this. Through all the hurt what Momma and I have now is much better communication that at any time in our past. We have one hell of a history, stories the world may never know. We have years together. It took us giving each other hell for us to finally be able to talk openly and honestly. You have someone close to you. Be honest with them. Even if it takes getting drunk and sitting up till the sky grows rosy with the early morning sun, talk to them and be honest. Even if it hurts and you find that you are crying for the first time in years and is scarier than another republican white house, be honest.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

sex with the light on

Title of post from the very first line of the song. Here I present you with a song the recording of which was made when I was nearing my fifth birthday. I was not then into punk nor would I be for many more years.

Dead Boys may not be a band you're familiar with, and given the audience I seem to get, I'd not be surprised to learn that a couple of you are in fact familiar. I'd also not be surprised if you were all new to this band, and I'd be more not surprised if you stopped the song seven seconds in.

I don't have the slightest idea what that is that he ate, but if you do watch the video you'll be happy to see the condiment. It's okay, because it's not dirty, but it does rate very high on the ick meter.

Enough of the blah-blah-blah. Give us rock! Give us real punk when it was new!

Dead Boys-All This And More, from 1977. As always, HERE for the direct link to YouTube to embiggen, though you're really better off just letting it play here while you minimize the page and do something, anything, more important.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

piles of this, stacks of that

Sometime shortly after Thanksgiving, in the past few years, we've begun the Christmas music season with a family favorite, The Nutcracker. I've put it off till today waiting for that right time when we were all at the house together and could have the whole family kick off Christmas music season together.

I broke down, just minutes ago, because I need some music in the background. I have cleaning to do because I don't want the babysitter to think we live like we do. Sure the massive hole is still in the wall in the hall, and sure the carpet is stained to hell and back. But I can at least do away with the piles. Piles in sight just from the computer chair include announcing notes from this year's derby bouts, notes from soccer coaching, magazines that just don't have a reasonable home, books the boys have read and left where they finished, the unyholy trinity of VHS/DVD/video games that frame the tv and block the little remote beam making it difficult to turn things on and off.

Don't ask why there is a pair of jeans in the floor. Don't ask about the scattered critters peopling various and sundry places. Don't ask why the Hallowe'en box is still here as opposed to the attic. Don't ask about the wooden train pile. The tracks and engines and cars are in their containers, but those containers are sitting in the middle of the living room, so don't ask. The soccer ball in the living room is not new. They end up all over the house.

I need to develop the habit of maintaining cleaning, keeping things put away. I don't generally mind the clutter because it doesn't always appear in my line of site as I look about the house. I see the animal hair in the carpet only when it's stuck to a dropped piece of food or a child's face (thank Eris for small short haired dogs.) It just doesn't occur to me until I know that someone is coming to the house, then I nearly panic. Now it's time to mildly freak out, just enough to have some sense about me as I rush about trying to find a place I'm fine with the house being.

Also, I need to do some laundry and take a shower after which I need to do more laundry. I need Momma to get off work early today so I can take a month's worth of empty beer bottles to the big blue bins behind Kroger (or Krogers as we say in the south.)

Whatever you do today, enjoy it, and if it helps, imagine me standing in the living room, hands full of recyclable paper and stuff that probably needs to be filed while I try to stop my head spinning long enough to remember what I was doing. Laugh at me even if you'd like. I'd laugh if it was you.

finding me where?

In all the recent brouhaha over the Not Really Indicative Of Us At All Homeschool Blog Awards we haven't really forgotten last year's debacle, but many of us may still be getting hits from them. I certainly did get one, and I hoped they liked what they saw. More likely they freaked out and hit their back button.

Que Sera Sera!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

sweet potato soup

Wandering through the grocery store recently I was wracking my brain for something to cook. I had a short list of necessities and enough leftovers in the fridge that I didn't really need to cook anything. I was getting a little tired of the leftovers however and was wanting something, anything, else.

I considered what we had available that could be turned into something edible, wondered what few things I'd need from the grocery store to make that happen. How these things work themselves out in my brain I may never know, but I'll try to make this quick and sensible.

I remembered that Momma had recently picked up more sweet potatoes than she needed for something she had cooked, so we had extra sweet potatoes sitting around. I continued to wonder what there was, how could I make it a meal and still spend little money?

Soup! which is not really how it occurred to me, but it came to me at some point, and it presented itself more as a potato soup with sweet potatoes than as an outright sweet potato soup. And who else should appear in this idea than everyone's favorite? Bacon!

Bacon! does appear and occur that way because it's bacon, simple as shit.

I'm not really a soup kind of guy for the most part. I enjoy soup, but it really needs to be a simple something to lead you to the next something, or it needs to be a stew that you're calling soup because you started out with soup in mind.

That night did not see me making the soup as I'd originally intended, and I can't know what would have come of that original thought. The idea did stick in my brain, and I had bought extra sweet potatoes and bacon with this soup in mind, so I knew I was going to eventually make it. That night actually finally came last night, some three to four days later than I'd originally conceived it.

In lieu of a recipe, I'll give you the short version of walking you through the steps.

Four slices of bacon were cut in half across the middle, stacked on top of each other and split long ways. I then cut it all roughly a half inch and tossed it into the pot which was on the stove at about medium high. I'd finely diced some onion, carrot and celery, and as soon as the bacon was almost over cooked I eased it out to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the pot to sautee my veggies. As the veggies began to take on a little brown around the edges I added a bit of flour, as if cooking starchy potatoes wouldn't thicken the soup enough. Next were those same potatoes, four sweet potatoes, peeled and diced about an inch, one can of chicken stock (a can because I haven't made any in a while) and enough water to just cover the potatoes. Add to this two tiny bay leaves, tiny because I always use the big ones first, and I'm down to the tiny ones.

At this point, if you are making this, you can maybe run and check your email or, as I did, remind Big Brother that his turn at the Nintendo is over and that The Boy gets his three hours of Spyro the Dragon now.

Something like twenty to thirty minutes will pass, though the soup is about to go into the blender/food processor, so you're welcome to overcook them if you'd like. After you achieve the texture you want in the aforementioned device, return the lot to the burner, add the bacon and as much cream/half&half/milk as you need to achieve the thickness you want. Add some nutmeg and white pepper and salt as well. Taste it and add some more of those same spices if you want.

I enjoyed it. Big Brother and The Boy ate some and didn't hate it. There's a little left over that Momma will get to try. I was happy with it, though I wasn't satisfied with it. I'm not sure what I'm going to change exactly. Mine ended up like mashed sweet potatoes with bacon, and I really do want it more of a soup. It really begged for more stock. I used milk as my dairy enricher and would prefer heavy cream, but that would require more still more stock. My aim is to keep the sweet potatoes as the primary flavor, so it's a balancing act between the three liquids. Also, at no point should one feel the need to add cinnamon and/or ginger because we aren't looking for a pie flavoring here.


Yes, for what it's worth, and for the sake of clarification, the proper word is "embiggen" as opposed to the "enbiggen" that I know I've used at least a couple of times in recent video posts.

You should all know without needing me to tell you that it's a Simpsons word, but I'm sure some of you don't, poor backward souls. The founder of the town of Springfield, Jebediah Springfield, is represented and honored by a statue of himself the base of which contains a quote of his, "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."

Thanks to Momma for pointing out to me the thing I should not have needed to be told as she read the most recent post in which I posted a video. Thanks to me for not making a really bad embiggening joke about watching Mr. Wainwright play the piano in that same post.


Timing kitchen work with NPR is a general goal of mine, and I have always enjoyed getting to listen to Terry Gross' show Fresh Air. Her guests today were Sharon Jones and Benjamin Roth of the band Sharon Jones and the Daptones. Both were fun to listen to as they recounted stories of their past and how this band came to be.

The band has an amazing old soul sound. Sharon Jones' voice has a great power to it that I really fell in love with. As Fresh Air ended and I brought our lunch to the table, I sat down here with some YouTube and proceeded to enjoy a number of the band's songs. As usual, if you like good music, I'm just the one to bring it to you.

HERE is the Daptones Records page at YouTube. HERE is a link to the song if you want to embiggen. Obviously below is the video itself here at my little ol' place.

Monday, November 26, 2007

update? maybe?

Poor little nearly abandoned blog that I miss so. Oddly enough, I've had a lot on my mind lately. Momma and I really need to begin cutting back our drinking. We have a wall of Yuengling bottles that need to be recycled along with at least three boxes of mixed paper. And yes I did say Yuengling, newly available in my town, and I think I've drank enough to give a Christmas bonus to at least one of the gals in the typing pool.

Momma's gotten to bear the brunt of the late night drinking both because she's the one occasionaly having to get up too early with too little sleep and because I'm a beast to wake up. I haven't actually heard the alarm in months I'd wager, though my phone alarm did work to get me up (not really ever) on time for those eight soccer Saturdays.

Consider yourself lucky that I've avoided posting the last couple of days, other than the couple I did post. You'd likely have found yourself ignoring about fifteen different posts that were nothing but Rufus Wainwright videos. I even caught The Boy singing Across the Universe which he doesn't realize is a Beatles song, though I did play a version by the Beatles for him.

I know I've hinted in the past about needing to return to the work force, and that's certainly come up lately. I know I should be able to get back into the restaurant business, and I really do sort of miss it, but I also sort of fear having to get back into it. It's a huge pain in the ass, and we'd need to go back to staggering our schedule so that one of is always with the boys. It would take so much of the work load off Momma's back and let her hang out with the kids again.

Was that an update? It almost seems like it could be. I don't really have any big huge news to share, at least not anymore. I also have finally gotten both boys in bed and have not smoked my usual boys-are-in-bed cigarette, so I'll leave you with those scattered thoughts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

little bit heiress

As promised in my last post, here is the song from which I stole the line that I used as a title for said post. Guess what! I did it again on this post and from the same song. Doc is somewhat to thank for the song, as it is from a list she made recently of songs she'd purchased. Reading her post I scanned the list, recognizing names here and there but not finding myself generally interested for the most part.

And then, toward the end of the list, Rufus Wainwright. This is a name I've heard, but I'd never really gotten into him. His music has stood out the few times I've heard it, most likely on various late night talk shows in those sad pre-cable days when we actually considered the low numbers on the tv. I couldn't really tell you where I'd heard him, but I had, and I remembered sort of.

A quick search at YouTube yeilded the song and a video worth enbiggening. I had a moment, may have swooned a bit and proceeded to spend a good portion of last night watching videos. I might have to spend my pot money on cd's.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

little old doll with a frown

I've known for years. Momma has known for years. I've bottled it and buried it deep, but it was never deep enough. It's always resurfaced, and I've always faithfully pushed it back down again. Things have happened that have forced it to the surface, all the way out, never to be buried again.

Accepting that I'm gay is not difficult for me. Letting it out and knowing how to approach it intelligently is another matter. The hardest part of it all is the changes this forces on Momma and myself. All that we've come to accept as our life is now different.

I've known for years. I've bottled it and buried it and reburied it. I've avoided things that would bring it up. It's always been there. I've been learning lately how denying this truth has affected so much more than I could have imagined. I've been learning lately how much I've been lying to myself and how much work it's been trying to keep this buried.

And that's all I have for you right now. I've wanted to write this post for so long, but my many attempts have all fallen short. There's so much more to the story that doesn't really fit here right now, and I may never explain the story that this past year has been. I do hope that my having finally gotten this out will allow me to get back to my usual blogging self. Knowing that this post needed to be written yet being unable to has been my source of blog block lately, or so I hope. So look forward to me being able to write again soon.

The title of this post is from the song Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright. I'll post more concerning this as well as a video as soon as I feed some kids and grab a smoke.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

2 out of 3 really isn't that bad

But as we can all attest, the song really is. Thanks to Chris for pointing that out(in the comments) and earning the song of the day. Yes, you know going in what it is, and unless you like the song, you may be unwilling to watch this video. It's really worth it. HERE to go straight to YouTube for an enbiggening that I do honestly suggest for this treasure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Updated to add sarcasm tag, whatever that looks like.

A perfect example of what Christine was talking about. Sesame Street is sooo not for kids.

Watch the tiny video below or go HERE to YouTube and enbiggen.

Monday, November 19, 2007

oh really

So as I'm sure everyone knows, Hannah Montana's dad is Billy Ray Cyrus. Because I've included those two names in the very first line of this post I'm going outside to kick my own ass in about a minute and a half when I get through writing this .

I learned this bit of worthless trivia yesterday. We'd stopped for gas and cigarettes, me pumping, Momma getting to go inside for the smokes, and while waiting she read the headline in whatever paper apparently felt the need to put this on the front. She of course had to tell me as soon as she was back to the car.

I'm sure somewhere deep inside it's not really worthless trivia. I'm somehow strangely relieved to know that at least she comes by her suck naturally.


Yes, the title is Fishnets, yet this post is barely about them at all.

I've been a bad blogger. I received a package in the mail a week ago, though the package contents were not for me. I like fishnet stockings well enough, but I don't wear them. So who would send me these lovely items, and why would they send them to me?

They were actually for Momma. I commented at and linked to Sue Doe-Nim and did so in a timely fashion that won me the prize, the prize being the aforementioned fishnets. And now I have let time slip past and have not thanked Sue for her prize or generosity.

So thank you Sue! Momma was excited to receive new fishnets as hers wear quite worn through. She mentioned that they are the nicest she's ever owned and has sworn not to wear them for roller derby, especially on our home rink which is quite rude to those articles of clothing most likely to snag and be ruined by the ice court flooring our leagues skates on.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Turned the tv on, hoping for something not sucky. CNN features some uptight woman bitch and a pandering man bitch discussing some presidential candidate using the word bitch in regards to a female presidential candidate.

The discussion of course revolves somewhat around the fact that women willing to stand up and talk like a man are often seen as being bitches. And now we have a new wedge issue to take up time and air.

Quit being bitches about the word bitch. Sure it's not nice, but the same sort of comments are made about men, and no it isn't comparable, but neither is bitch comparable to nigger or spick.

Sometimes it takes being a bitch to get the job done. If you're so delicate that the mere word bitch can effect your ability to get the job done then you're already losing.

Step up, be a bitch and take care of your fucking business.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

been quite some time

How I kept from screaming myself hoarse I'll never know. The scene was a classic in sports stories. The small town team, having faced the league team only once and in enemy territory, now finds themselves on the night of the rematch, at home. That first meeting found our team facing defeat and a severely mismatched final score. So many things seem to be working against a win for the home side tonight, from memories of the last time to the fact that several skaters and support staff have found themselves running extremely late due to some absurdly heavy traffic for our town on a Saturday evening.

The scene is Hard Knox Roller Girls facing off against Huntsville Alabama's Dixie Derby Girls. The first bout between these teams was an absolute battle that saw an HKRG jammer taken out in the first period. Our side represented themselves well that night, making us proud even as they went down to the Dixie Derby Girls.

Saturday was our night to welcome DDG to our house. I was fortunate enough to witness one of the greatest nights of flat track roller derby I've seen yet.

Hard Knox grabbed an early lead in the first period, seeming to have put a comfortable space between themselves and Huntsville. The second period saw Huntsville begin to chip away at that lead. The third period was an absolute fever of all out derby, neither team able to maintain the advantage for very long.

The final jam began with less than two minutes on the official clock meaning that there would be no lead jammer, and the jam would last the full two minutes. As the whistle sounded to start the jam, Huntsville was ahead with 98 points to Knoxville's 94. The next two minutes were a flurry of teamwork as Hard Knox came together to win themselves a jam score of 12 to 2 and a win over DDG, final score 106-100. Our jammer was pure speed as our blockers kept a clear lane open using every tool from hard hits to timely whips.

I can't say enough about the people that came together this night. The fans were amazing, and they make everyone do their job better when they show up and have fun. Huntsville brought a ref, an amazing and charming young lady we've had the pleasure of working with before. A fine pair of gentlemen drove all the way across our state from Memphis to help our refs as well. All of the refs did an amazing job calling the bout. Dixie Derby Girls brought our town one hell of a bout and, we hope, the promise of more to come.

Monday, November 12, 2007

not surprised

You Are a Losing Lottery Ticket!

Full of hope and promise.
But in the end, a cheap letdown.

I feel like a losing lottery ticket sometimes, whatever that means.

Hat tip to Christine for this one.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


free dating sites

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • fuck (3x)
  • asshole (2x)
  • ass (1x)

So this is why I can't win the award I'm not mentioning. I'm rated R, though I suspect if they'd dug a little deeper into my past posts I would have gotten whatever comes after R. Maybe not, and maybe I care.

Either way, thanks to Lynn of Bore Me To Tears, who only got a PG, nyah-nyah!

Monday, November 05, 2007


I'm not going to post about John and Deb Lillywhite's homeschool blog award extravaganza, but in protest, I will begin my own blog award. It's not for just anyone, but if you've mentioned homeschooling or had reason for the word to enter your vocabulary in even one instance or if you or someone you know just happens to have a blog, you are more than welcome to give it a shot.

I'm sure this whole thing will backfire somehow, and I'll come out in the end looking like a giant cunt, but I propose that I'm most likely to be able to award blog awards. I am now hereby opening up my blog awards to nominations. This is the kickoff for my thumbs up award.

The rules and criteria are all about me and my perception of sucking and not sucking. If I don't think something sucks and some other restrictions and requirements to be determined along the way, you just might win this thing that will take up valuable page space on your blog but will also indicate that you don't suck in my opinion. That will soon be more important than anything else you can come up with, so give it a try before it all goes to shit and I make someone cry.

This post courtesy of the homeschool blog awards to whom I won't bother linking. Wondering what the fuss is about? Visit Doc. She automatically and without the need for deliberation gets a thumbs up award if she wants it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

more random than not

I actually let myself believe today. The Boy, having taken his Hallowe'en candy into the living room to sort through and pick a piece, continued to cradle the plastic cauldron full of candy and was caught a very few minute later having had a second piece. I almost took the cauldron away then and even asked him to bring it to the kitchen. He told me he wanted to keep it with him on the sofa because he wanted, "to keep it company." I couldn't possibly take it away then and warned him yet again against eating more candy. I was cooking supper, and it's hard enough to get healthy food in him without him having taken up valuable hunger with empty calories and sugar. And yes he had the third piece of candy as well.

On the upside, the part of his supper that was healthy vegetables disappeared entirely while the meaty, cheesy other part sits cold and uneaten on the table. And that reminds me that I've let those two bowls sit on the table for way too long. I was intending to have the boys carry their own dishes into the kitchen, but having continued to forget to do so has allowed me to completely forget to do it myself.

I find myself looking forward to tomorrow which is Saturday, the soonest anyone reading this would read it, so perhaps today for you. Either way, the crappy story to follow doesn't suck less because I'm more accurate with my wording from your point of view. And to make matters worse it isn't tomorrow so much as that there's no soccer to get up early for.

That shouldn't be a sad story after eight weeks of Saturdays beginning at eight in the morning. And it's not the soccer because I have so much fun on those sixteen Saturdays a year. The sad part is that spring and fall soccer season are the only time I regularly have to get up at any point on any day. That it's a Saturday shouldn't really come into play, but for some reason it does.

I hate getting up. I hate being told I have to get up more than anything. I actually find, as I'm in those first moments of dopey near consciousness, the dark time when I'm aren't quite thinking right, loathing everything around that could possibly have had to do with my having to be awake. As I finally get honestly awake, I get over it, and then I get to the fields and see the kids and it's WHEE HOO, soccer time! So it's worth it, but that first little moment of the morning . . .

And there you have it. Two stories in one. Each equally having taken minutes you'll never get back. Lessons? Don't listen to a four year old saying he won't eat any of the candy he has lovingly cradled in his arms. Don't wake me up! Ever! or better yet, if for some reason you have to, ignore me for at least fifteen minutes and give me coffee. For fuck sake don't ever underestimate the power of a cup of coffee, preferably a dark roast and straight out of the French press.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

freakin' sweet

Here's a heartwarming story that I've intended to post for around a week. I've had the window minimized at the bottom of my screen since then and have successfully and accidentally ignored it this whole time.

Hat tip Good As You. A high school in Davis California has elected two homecoming princes from their junior class, a darling young gay couple, and boys at that. They were elected by their classmates.

I don't really get a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings, for what it's worth, but every time I think of this it's like a brand new warm, fuzzy all over again. It really is 2007, and maybe, just maybe, that whole infernal equality thing is not so elusive after all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Book Snob

You like to think you're one of the literati, but actually you're just a snob who can read. You read mostly for the social credit you can get out of it.

Literate Good Citizen
Dedicated Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

How not true is this? Let me count the ways . . .

Okay, up to a point I'll accept book snob as not undescriptive. I think I do tend toward a certain snobbishness about things, though books would be only one of those things. However, I do not read for the social aspect.

I do read a vast variety of books. I'm currently taking a break from muddling through a book full of Jonathan Swift in order to both take a break and speed through the new National Geographic. Before this I almost began The Neverending Story, but as it was one of Big Brother's birthday gifts, I pressed pause to allow him to have first crack at it. I recently read War of the Worlds and didn't not enjoy it.

I'm not sure what I'll read next, but I do heartily disagree with the statement above that I read for the social credit, whatever the hell that even means. For real.

And thanks Sue for taking this before me and then posting it so I could finally go two days in a row with something to post about.

the window

Momma woke me much too early this morning with some sort of story that, as my brain fought to become conscious, I heard as somewhere along the lines of, " . . . the car's broken in the middle and you need to wake up and take me to work and get it fixed."

My brain fought even harder to exit the fog of having just been deeply asleep. I heard the bit about something broken and needing to get up. I sat up, feeling the normal (for me) overly aggravated feeling of being awakened, fighting to make sense of it all.

I don't usually wake up well. It takes a good bit to drag me from sleep, and if someone is waking me up intentionally, especially with bad news, I wake very irritable and even a bit angry sometimes. I'm an asshole under the best of these bad circumstances, though I have warned the wife and kids to just ignore me, give me some time and space and I will calm down and become at least as rational as I ever am.

The real story was that our front driver's side window is now in hundreds of pieces down inside the door. The motor to that window has been slow since we bought the car, growing worse each year it seems and being especially difficult in the cold. Momma had rolled the window down to get some of the fog off, but the window proved especially sluggish on this rather cold morning. Her attempts to help the motor by pulling up on the window probably dislodged the window which had probably been helped along by a few years of having pulled at the window trying to help the motor. The window then fell far enough back into the door to shatter.

That's why I had to drag myself out of my warm bed, awakened to the need to wake the boys, put on extra layers and drive the few miles downtown with one window stuck open in the cold. Did I mention that it was pretty cold this morning?

It ended up being not so bad once we were driving and had the heat cranked and I'd gotten a handle on my oh so mature early rise aggravation. We dropped Momma off and went to get gut busting fast food breakfast. That may have been the bonus, that we got to spend too much money for unhealthy food, but on this of all mornings I felt that at least the boys deserved a little something special.

I wolfed down the gut buster while perusing the yellow pages for possible window repair services, found pen and paper for the estimates, and began calling, each call beginning almost exactly like this:


Them, "Hello, Prospective Auto Glass Repair Company, friendly representative speaking."

Me, "Hi, I'm calling around looking for prices to get a window replaced in my car."

See, right there I'm letting them know I'm not calling to get a job done just yet. I know better than to jump at the first person I call, and I don't want them thinking I'm setting up an appointment. I also know that, given the nature of the work, I do need to be quick and get this set up as early as possible in order to get the window replaced today. The later I wait the less likely they are to be able to work me in. However, I'm going to call enough places to know what to expect to pay and to find the cheapest of those prices. It's pretty much a no brainer, sort of a goes-without-saying sort of thing.

I got quote number one and went to number two. They were much cheaper, and I told the woman so. She informed me that they were short an employee for the day and that she would make some calls to see when they could get me in. I informed her again that I would be making more calls, seeking the lowest price I could.

She called me back a short time later to inform me when they could get me in, and she was ready to set up the appointment. I told her not to make the appointment as I wasn't done calling other places, and that's when she did it. She made a fake little-girl-acting-sad noise, a plaintive little "aaww" that I didn't tell her could have easily lost her company the deal right there.

I did set up an appointment with the third place I ended up calling. They had the cheapest price and can at some point do the job today. They are even coming to the house to do it. I'm no more stuck in the house than I would have been had we not had to get up early and take Momma to work, though having the car and being stuck is a whole new stuck, but that doesn't really matter in the end. Either way, I'm willing to wait in the warmth and not drive around town with a window semi-permanently open. Did I mention it was cold this morning?

And that's how my day began. We are soon to be out $200 for the pleasure of having a new window. I really need to see about getting that motor fixed now, but the slow leaks in two tires and the overdue oil change and the soft brake pedal will all certainly need to be addressed first, but damn if that's not just another pile of money growing ever higher looming, waiting to further deplete our meager funds. Damn cars!