Saturday, March 31, 2007

in which we do what it is we do

Currently listening to Afro Cuban All-Stars, not understanding at all due to my limited grasp of Spanish but understanding completely due to my unlimited grasp of damn fine music.

I actually had to look up "puede ayudarme con la basura" for a myspace survey I wrote earlier. Yes, I wrote a myspace survey. The thing is, mine don't suck. If you are lucky enough to be a myspace friend that happens to read those damn things, then you fucking know!

I should admit right here and now that I'm a bit in my cups. It's my own drunkblogging night here at happy acres, and all bets are off. Little else is off, though the kids are off to sleep and the wife is off work sometime in the next . . .uh . . .couple of whiles or so.

I've done some amount of rushing around cleaning the house today and into tonight. We've had some trouble getting a babysitter for some time now, and we have one tomorrow (tonight for most as it's already late o'clock here.) This is all no thanks to a certain grandmother who could stand to watch her grandchildren for a night here and there, though she is springing for the over nighter that allows us to drive a long, long way for a derby match, so I shouldn't complain or something, but I do. Regardless, we do in fact have a night out, some hot wings and a live band if we get lucky and fit through the door. And I can't let her walk in and see the mess that this house usually is. I'm afraid she might never come back.

Anyway, tonight (last night as you read this) we have the late ass night followed by the early ass soccer game. We'll come home for long enough for Momma to change pants, and we'll take her to work. I still have cleaning to do so that the babysitter doesn't freak out at the sight of it all, and then at some point in the evening I'm driving downtown to meet Momma and go out.

None of those plans are the least bit helpful at the moment as I still have drinking and waiting to do. It's really hard to sleep well with half the bed empty, so I end up waiting for Momma to get off work. The problem here lies in the fact that Momma is working late and in the soccer coach that wanted to get all the games out of the way first thing in the morning. He was nice enough to con someone into scheduling all our games at 9:30 in the fucking morning. And he tells the kids that Jesus loves them.

I've not bothered to approach that one. Even without Momma's current Friday night schedule, 9 fucking 30 in the AM on a Saturday is retardulous. It's fifteen different kinds of stupid and wrong. It's wrong like rubbing your pussy on a gay man to try and turn him back.

Really, there's nothing worse than trying to make a gay man straight, and the ones that want to be straight are fucking idiots. My theory is that no one gets more blow jobs than a gay man, and if you can find something better than a blow job please email me.

That's where we end for the night. If I keep writing I'll end up actively trying to offend as opposed to giving myself giggle fits. It's not really me, it's the bottles of beer lined up accusing me of drinking their essence and killing them. That's all good though as I got mine and those beer bottles are empty as my soul. So fuck 'em.

Friday, March 30, 2007

quote o' the week

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.
this gem from George Jean Nathan via The Quotations Page who refer to him as a "US drama critic and editor. HERE is the wikipedia page if you are so inclined. I know nothing about him beyond that he said at least one really bright thing. Maybe I should read the thing I linked.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

finding a homeschool group

Tramping through my list of blogs I read, it seems today's common theme is the local homeschool group. Momma and I went through this same kind of thing not so long ago when Big Brother was a good bit smaller. She was home most often then so was most in charge of seeing to it that things happened homeschoolishly, and she did a damn better job than I ever have.

She did the usual round of searches and found a local group on Yahoo. We could tell that it was at least somewhat religiously motivated, but it seemed workable. The group was fairly active planning park days and field trips and educational opportunities. We were sure we could avoid the religious parts and hoped that folks would be able to let us.

The group is basically an email list. You can join and email the moderator with your plans or ideas, the moderator sends the emails to the group. I never delved too much into it, but that idea is basic to our eventual problem.

The group was never very helpful to us, and our leaving was fortuitous in that we eventually found a much better group of people when we did finally give up on the more fundamentalist types.

The turning point was the anti gay marriage petition request. For a short time in our state, a small group of very vocal people were calling for discrimination of gay and lesbian people by having anti equality rhetoric written into our state constitution. A member of the homeschool group sent a petition to the group and the moderator allowed it and sent it on.

So we get this request and are of course instantly offended. Momma, possibly a little heated, quickly emailed the moderator with her complaint, partly the offensive nature of the request, partly the appropriateness of such a request in a homeschool specific group. As happens when dogma gets in the way, Momma was of course the bad guy. Their complaint had more to do with internet etiquette than anything else, though they did try to assuage us with their open and welcoming hypocrisy.

Now Momma had a mission. She started her own Yahoo group. We had no idea what would come of it, but we knew in a town the size of ours, we couldn't possibly be the one family that homeschooled and were really open and welcoming. We couldn't be the only homeschooling family that weren't zealously religious. We couldn't be the one family that homeschooled and believed in equality.

I've said it a few times around here that I'm pretty much an atheist. Some atheists might call me agnostic because I'm not a militant asshole about my beliefs and can allow for any number of things being possible, see dragons, witches, hobbits, etc. I see most religious belief as a form of superstition tied to a myth, but I also understand that people are obviously predisposed to find superstitious causality. None of that is really my point here, and be glad that I'm not going into my theory on interstellar entities and gods.

So we are not believers, and for too many believers, that's a huge and insurmountable obstacle better left alone except to pray at it. We don't really care what you believe, and don't care if you pray for us. But we will defend our lack of beliefs with what we hope are reasoned arguments, though we'd prefer not to have to. That segment of religious people for whom this is a problem are that same little bunch that cause the problem in the first place. They just can't let you be.

Years later, not really a lot of years, but some, our little Yahoo group is still little. We do have a number of wonderful families that meet weekly and sometimes slightly more often. Our kids are mostly within a few years of each other, but with homeschoolers, close in age really means that there are a few years between the baby and the ten year old, but no one gives a shit.

I think we are still the only atheists in the group, but we have some unitarians and some wiccans. I'm pretty sure we have a family that's not only christian but republican leaning. And then you have the families about which I'm not certain as to their belief, and in all honesty, I don't really know that much about the beliefs of the families I attempted to describe above. It's this little thing I practice called not giving a shit. I may have mentioned that somewhere.

The lesson that everyone should learn from all this is that secular doesn't have to mean anti christian. We aren't anti anything except being dicks to people, and that was where we found ourselves at the end. We didn't want to hang out with people that were going to be dicks because of differences in assumptions about beginnings of life or sexuality or the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. We didn't want to have to pray before we walked into the zoo. We didn't want to be ostracized because our women wear pants. And the earth is older than six thousand years.

Start your own group. Use buzzwords in the description like open, secular and inclusive. Either mention atheism, agnosticism and belief in faithy kinds of shit, or don't mention any of it at all. Put up a notice on the christian group, because there are very likely more people just like you that never thought to start their own group. And then sit back and watch the crazies roll in. And the best part, if we forget to comb the kids' hair, nobody seems to notice.

Momma just read through this and reminded me of something. Avoid the word eclectic. Seriously, it just doesn't do you any good. Some really lovely people that I know and some really lovely bloggers I read don't seem as though they would fall under the generally accepted use of the word eclectic as it appears in the homeschooling world. To add to the things about which we don't care, we also don't care how you attain with your children that precious thing, that golden apple that is homeschooling. It's part of that shit that I don't give. I don't care if you and your kids homeschool by wandering through life with a magnifying glass or if you have desks and books and, heaven forfend, a chalkboard.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

more bookery type thoughts

My last post was about the first chapter book we read in its entirety to The Boy. The Boy is less than two months from being four years old, and if I remember correctly, it would have been about this age that Big Brother also became interested in chapter books.

I hate the term "chapter books" but I don't know a way to differentiate between the picture heavy books of the very young and the more text centered books that we're moving toward. So I'll hate the term and use it anyway.

This is an exciting time for me as I consider all the books we will soon be able to read. I don't want to suggest I'm tired of the picture books. We do have some clunkers that the boys have both loved and that I've had to read more than I could ever have wanted. But we also have some really awesome books with great stories and beautiful art.

All this is also not to suggest that we are making a break, that those picture books are somehow going to disappear into a void. Those books will find their way into the rotation still, but we'll get to add so many more books.

Tonight perhaps we start a new book. Part of me leans a little toward Little House as it's always a good time for a new person to fall in love with Laura and her family. Part of me is trying to remember when exactly we introduced Big Brother to a certain Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. He wasn't much older than The Boy is now, and he absolutely loved it.

I'd be curious to hear stories about this sort of thing from others. Name some books, tell us those gems you have or are looking forward to introducing to your kids. Did you read the first couple of Harry Potter books with that dear child only to have your child outgrow being read to then fight you for the new ones? Were there candy factories and big friendly giants? Did you read of kidnappings and escapes through the Scottish highlands?

oooohh, chapter book

Last night ended a sort of achievement for this bookish family. Though Momma began reading the book, I was the one to finish it. I actually read it first and recommended it to the household in general. Momma began reading it to The Boy, but after a few chapters/nights, he finally allowed me to read a bit on one of Momma's work nights. At this point Momma finished the book on her own since she was not going to keep up if she only read at night. I think she sat down to catch up on the chapters I had read and ended up finishing it. At some point in the reading Big Brother began to appear in his bed at the times we were reading to The Boy in his bed. At some point, Big Brother decided to just read the book during the daytime on his own.

I've mentioned reading A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh books to The Boy, and those are basically chapter books, but I don't count them as such for our purposes. We've never read them from beginning to end. The chapters each stand alone as a story, though there is mention of different situations between different stories providing for some amount of continuity. Additionally, when we've read from these books with the boys they or we tend to pick from a few favorite stories for the most part.

The books is The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. It's the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse small even by mouse standards. Due to an accidental situation, Despereaux falls in love with the princess and is banished to the dungeon to be eaten by the rats. It's a bit convoluted, but fairy tales are quite allowed to be thank you very much.

One major issue I had with this book was the addition, much too often, of references to the reader. I found it to be really cumbersome, cluttering up a wonderful story with constant asides directed to the reader as "reader." It was kind of like watching a good movie on tv. No matter how much you try to get lost in the tale, a commercial or ten keeps popping up to mar the experience.

Aside from that, I really loved the story. Every other part of it was well written, fun, a little dark, always just a little hopeful. A particular passage referring to the nemesis, Roscuro, describes his heart being broken and mended, and it's this passage that seems to have stuck with me.
". . . these things helped him to put his heart together again. But it was, alas, put together wrong."

The artwork in the book is simple and spare and is perfect for this book. The chapters are all really short with lots of great chapter endings, a boon to any book that involves a quest to save a princess. It is also a great book for a kid approaching that corner between a love for Dr. Seuss and an interest in stories.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

that thing they's doin'

I started writing a post about the visual DNA thingamajig that I saw at Contemplator's site, and then I didn't so much. And then the page was suddenly there again as I closed some other window, and I thought about the whole thing again.

The conclusion I came to is that I wasted a good couple of minutes or so looking at pictures and trying to decide whether this one or the other most meant love. I noticed that my favorite, ennui, was nowhere on the list. That alone is enough not to trust the testing capabilities of this thing, but in the end, I seem to like what it says. It's kind of like getting a good fortune in a fortune cookie. You kind of want to stick it in your wallet as if that will help make the fortune more likely to transpire, but then you forget about it for a few years until your cleaning you wallet and it's not even legible, plus it's so worn you don't recognize it as a fortune cookie fortune anyway, so what the fuck is the point in ever saving them again? But that's really not where we're going with this.

No, this is about pictures and emotions and feelingy kind of shit. You don't have to bother looking at it if you don't want to. The few people reading this that I might actually know may not even bother to try grokking whether it's accurate or not. Plus the fact that I'm a bit of lone wolf, an enigma wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a vest in a certain sense.

Oh, and the bedroom in the one picture is so unlike my own actual bedroom, the one in which the magic is said to happen. What actually is happening is that years later, it seems as if we are still moving into that one room. We'll get to it one of these days.

breast health for POH

I'm a guy, and due to this, I'm nearly titless. I have tiny yet fairly pointy nipples, but this post isn't about my nonbreastedness. It's Tuesday, and Pissed Off Housewife has made a point of discussing the female human teat and its tendency in some women to develop cancer. So for her and for all the women I love, I join in the Titty Talk Tuesday.

Finding cancer early means treatment can begin earlier and increases the likelihood that one will have a successful recovery. Breast self exams and mamograms are essential tools in finding and treating breast cancer.

I like breasts as well as boobies, knockers, chestnuts and lunghammers. I like them in sweaters and in tanktops. I like a little side boob when it happens. I also like women, who I understand are actually NOT life support systems for . . . uuhhhh, that wasn't actually me there. Sorry. I've known a woman or two here and there, and I have to say, along with the nonbreasted among us, they're my favorite kind of people.

Here is a link to a page discussing breast self exam. And yes I did puss out on the post title. I almost called this Tittie Talk Tuesday, but I keep pretending I have some random christian readers left, and I'm not willing for this post to lose a reader that doesn't care to read something blaring "titties" at her from the beginning.

Guys, hoping there are some left, ask your wife the next time you see her if she checks her tits on a regular basis. Checking regularly is important so that you will notice the difference. And I don't think that means you guys. You might want to help, but do you really think you can just feel for health? I can feel in preparation for some exercise, but health I'm afraid perhaps not.

I want Momma and I to die at 101 years old, within moments of each other and holding hands between the hospital beds. She's at work, but when she comes in tonight, I'm going to ask her if she's been checking.

Monday, March 26, 2007

uncertain schedule

This is our week of the uncertain schedule, mostly for Momma, but her uncertainty certainly effects the entire family. So we all have a bit of it.

A couple of weeks ago Momma got a bit of surprise mail. It came from our local court system, so the uncertainty really began as I pulled the mail from the mail box and scanned through what we got that day.

Any mail from law enforcement/court systems can cast a bit of a pall. It can be a Pandora's box of wonder and concern. Are they coming after me? Did I do something I forgot I did?

Momma's mail was a summons to jury duty. This was a new one for her, though many, many years ago, I was summoned to serve in the Dekalb County courts. I spent a day sitting around waiting, getting picked to serve and going to lunch. After lunch we waited around a bit more before learning that, during our sitting around, the two parties had settled their case, and our services were no longer needed.

We as well as Momma's coworkers have almost expected her to get out of having to serve, though her work schedule was created around her having to be available from 8:30 to 5 every day this week. Because of this, Momma is scheduled to work 6:00 to close every day but Wednesday which she has off for derby practice. This could be a rant in that, if she were to serve as a juror each day, she'd be gone all day this week from 8 in the morning when she would leave till roughly 1:00 the next morning when she finished work. She will be taking her knives and work clothes to court the days she does serve so that she can walk across downtown afterwards and go straight to work. I won't rant here about her boss who really should step up and do his job like a man, but that's not a rant for here, and I'm tired of even commiserating about it with Momma because it just gets us all worked up.

Today was the first day she was to serve, the day we found out if she would be exempted or would be required to be a juror. And though she's home and it's not quite 11:00 yet, we are still uncertain. For the remainder of the week, Momma gets to call the courthouse every day after 5:00 to find out if she needs to come in the next day. Apparently, our county doesn't actually schedule trials. How they expect to run a reasonable and fair court system this way I don't know. Chances are seemingly even that she will or will not have to serve. It sounds like a shitty way to run a court system, but what do I know?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

before you go

I've been on a Buck Owens bender lately, and once more, you tube is both my friend and my enabler. Growing up, we didn't really listen to a lot of country, but it seemed to be there, somewhere in the background. There is a chance though that I'm remembering things differently from how they were. I do know that I was subjected to a metric shit ton of gospel bluegrass which somehow didn't negatively impact my ability to eventually listen to and enjoy the genre sans the message.

Today we get Buck Owens. His life is a great story, hard childhood, the depression and dust bowl. He was destined for better things, destined to wear a frightfully busy yellow suit, but that's not the point. Coupled with Don Rich on the electric guitar, Buck nearly fixed country music in the mid to late sixties.

The song is Before You Go, and I decided on one that doesn't see Buck sporting the yellow suit, though poor ol' Don and the rest of the Buckaroos are stuck in pink. I picked it because it touches on so many of the facets that made Buck and Don such a powerful force for good in what had become a very unpleasant and treacly place, country music. Don't get me started on the crap that's called country today . . . seriously.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

durn cleaning

We missed a beautiful day of playing outside. I had hoped that the sun would entice the boys to do some cleaning which I was requiring for them to earn screen time. It didn't, so what should have been a day outside turned into a day of friendly reminders to pick up.

They don't seem to mind, and the news that they would also not be going to derby practice did not bring any sighs of depression. They both usually enjoy derby practice as they have a whole other set of friends there as well as skating. I generally enjoy practices as well which is sadly too often my adult conversation for the week.

The sun is still a lovely orange ball out west which means it's trying to sneak around the front drapes and into my eyes. The temperature outside is slowly dropping, though I expect a comfortably cool night followed by another beauty of a day tomorrow.

Whatever cleaning didn't get done all day will hopefully get done tonight, even if that means I do it. I'm not wasting another day like this.

Monday, March 19, 2007

book post number . . .

I'm just moments from having finished Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson. One might guess that the family picked this one up because of the recent movie, and one would be correct. We still haven't seen the movie, and I don't know that I especially want to, now that I've read the book.

The first commercials I saw for the movie looked interesting. I did know that it was a book, but I'd never been familiar with it as such. My only concept of Bridge to Terabithia came via a song of the same name, though with the name spelled Taribithia on the album jacket, from punk band extraordinaire Mr. T Experience. Should you care to find the song it is on the album Our Bodies, Our Selves, easily findable where better music is bought and sold and well worth the price of admission. One of these days I'll write about how my life is better for having found a seat on the Mr. T Experience ride. Yes that is a real album that is really playing as I write this. There you see the album cover as well. I like this picture and have titled it, Giving Myself Street Cred By Displaying My Outdated Stereo In A Picture In A Blog Post.

Big Brother read the book before I did, and I even game Momma a chance at it, but she failed to begin reading before me.

Trying to maintain a manly air, I will state first that I wasn't gasping for air, dripping tears on the pages. Perhaps aided by my own current fragile state of mind the book did see me a little damp eyed and sniffly by the end.

There aren't any battles between dragons or wizards or robots. There are no boy detectives or crimes. There are not even any truly evil intentioned villains in the book. It's just a great story, kind of sad, kind of happy. Assuming I haven't scared off any christian readers, I'd suggest a parental read through first due to a conversation that takes place after the family attends church. It was actually in the church scene of the book that I most related to the main character, though I saw bits of myself in him a few times. I didn't read it first, as I've mentioned, and I'm fine with Big Brother having read it, as if my own parental decisions effect yours, but still.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Booky McReadems

I swiped this meme from Red Molly. She has no idea who I am and didn't tag me, but I lifted it anyway, and I filled it out. So there! It's a bunch of questions about books, and it's a great way to squeeze out a blog post on a day that nothing seems to be springing into my wee little thinking part. So on we go . . .

Hardback or paperback or trade paperback?
I prefer hardbacks, mostly because they don't sustain the same damage from average reading that the softer covers seem to attract.

Amazon or brick and mortar?
I don't really care. I've made purchases from Amazon, though I tend to save them for gifts when I've had the good sense to go there first.

Barnes and Noble or Borders?
I prefer to avoid stores of this type. Large corporations tend to offer very little that you might actually look for in an enjoyable visit to a bookstore.

Bookmark or dog ear?
That this question exists here makes me wonder if it was really written by a bookish sort. The corporate bookstore question should have been a clue, but this one really begs the question. BOOKMARK!!! Dog eared pages are sad and detrimental to the overall sanctity of the book. I've even used the subscription cards out of magazines as a bookmark, and folded longways, they do a great job. My favorite bookmark is actually a bit of brown paper (like a grocery bag) that came wrapped around Momma's fancy knife. It's the perfect size and shape and has Japanese writing on it, something about Kikuichi.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
Almost totally random. Authors tend to find themselves grouped together, but the books are sorted more by child appropriateness. Like this we are able to tell Big Brother more easily what books are or are not appropriate because, for eight years old, he really reads better and more capably than he ought.

Keep, throw away or sell?
Usually keep because I'm a book geek and a pack rat. If I've bought a book it's because I want to own it, so I'm not likely to get rid of it. As far as throwing away, if I had a book I didn't want but couldn't sell, I might toss it, but even the worst book may be worth little something to someone.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
I keep them. It's part of the book in my opinion, and in the end, I'd prefer to keep that tiny little bit of protection, though I have my doubts as to what sort of danger, beyond dust, the dust jacket might protect the book from.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
I remove it. It's fairly common to find dust jackets lying around the house, though sometimes I just put them on top of the books on the shelf where the book I'm reading lives. Seriously, when you are actively reading a book, the dust jacket only really works as a sort of crappy book mark that's just dying to lose your place, so why bother?

Short story or novel?
Yes, please!

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (collection of stories by different authors)?
Again, how can I pick? I'll take a little of both if it's all the same to you.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
I'm going with Harry on this one. I'm not sure if I've even read a Lemony now that I think about it.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter break?
Even if I'm tired I'll go for the break. But if I get too tired, I'll place the bookmark back to a break in case I end up getting too tired to remember what I may have read.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Depends on the book really. I'd like to think that most people can come up with something better than cliches to open their books.

Buy or borrow?
Prefer to buy. I hate to borrow as I really hate to loan. The best way to lose a book is to loan it to someone. I will happily borrow from the library, though they are a great place to find books I wish I owned.

New or used?
Either way is fine with me. Used is generally a better deal price wise, and we have a great used book store in my town.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations or browse?
I find that I often enjoy reading book reviews, but they don't often effect what I end up reading. Lately I can do a little browsing, usually at the library, but I also tend very often to search out particular authors.

Tidy endings or cliff hangers?
I guess it depends on the book. I don't tell the author what to write, so I tend to get stuck with the book, and they tend to end however they do. A well written book seems often to end how it's supposed to.

Morning, noon or nighttime reading?
All of the above. Lately most of my reading tends to be either on the toilet or outside the back door coupled with a cigarette.

Stand alone or series?
Here again, I don't really have a preference. I just like good, well written books.

Favorite series?
In no particular order I'll name a few.
-His Dark Materials-Philip Pullman
-The Lord of the Rings-J.R.R. Tolkien
-The Little House books-Laura Ingalls Wilder
-Dragon of the Lost Sea-Laurence Yep
-Eragon and Eldest, books one and two of Christopher Paolini's trio are also the only of the series yet to be released to us hungry fans. I trust that book three will stand up to the first two.

Favorite children's book?
Wow, this one is hard because I've read so much J-fiction lately. Though not really a children's book, I really had fun reading Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson to Big Brother a couple of years ago.

Favorite book of which no one else has heard?
I don't know who has or hasn't heard of the books I like. I'll suggest an author though that was introduced to me not too long ago that I really love. I don't know how I'd try to explain Mark Helprin. He's a great writer, but he doesn't really fit in a particular niche. I'd suggest a novel as his short stories tend to leave me wanting to read the rest of the novel, though in almost a good way.

Favorite book read last year?
Probably Eldest, the second book in Christopher Paolini's trio of dragon books mentioned above. I also enjoyed Eragon, though last year's reading of that book was a rereading as I awaited Big Brother's finishing of the book. Eldest continued the story beautifully and left me waiting for the third conclusive book.

Favorite books of all time?
One of my all time favorite books is Alexander Dumas' The Three Musketeers. Just about anything Mark Twain ever wrote will find itself on that list as well. Appetite for Life, the biography of Julia Child is another top book. I'm a bit of a sucker for Julia anyway, and this book only increased my love for her.

Least favorite book finished last year?
If a book is that bad, I'm more than happy to put it down and walk away. The worst book I finished would likely have been some random child's book that was written more for a payday than to present literature to a child. But we don't always decide what the children ask us to read.

What are you reading right now?
magazines, Reason and Seed and Popular Science. I'm not currently reading a book, though we have Bridge to Terabithia from the library, and that's the book I'm most likely about to read next.

What are you reading next?
See previous question/answer.

And that's it for me. I don't like tagging people, but I'm happy for all of you (both my readers) to assume you've been tagged. Fill it out monkey!

Friday, March 16, 2007

search wha?

Anyone familiar with blogs and blog stats and searches might also be familiar with the odd search terms that bring people to your or my blog. Many people can create an entire post out of these searches, and I'm certainly neither the first nor the last to do so.

Sometimes when I find an odd search I will open up that page to see what else the visitor found when he searched his odd phrase or where in that list my own blog lands. Sometimes I don't see myself on the page of hits, and sometimes I can go through several pages and not find myself. Sometimes, and it's a little gratifying, I find that my blog shows up early in the hits or, better yet, first. I doubt it means much, but to see something I did at the top of anything gives me a little boost.

I'm also often astounded by the locations around the world from which I receive visits. In the past week my blog has hosted visitors from Russian Federation, Portugal, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Qatar, as well as the farthest reaches of our own USA.

We'll end the self aggrandizing with the search that inspired this post. If you search the words "soccer she slowly bra perky" without the quotation marks, you'll find me reigning at the top of the pack. And regardless of the rights this may or may not give me to be a little proud, I can't help but feel a wee little something, though if it keeps gurgling, I'll have to admit that it may something else entirely.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Since I've apparently run out of things to say, and because YouTube is always right there with a post topic, and because I've still got Queen on my brain . . .

This video is just adorable. The song has a bit of the cheesy, but it IS a good message and it does end up getting to me a little bit. And I don't know of a better word than adorable to describe it, though I would tend to use the word sarcastically more often than not.


Because I'll write about anything as long as it's something I can make fun of, and coming as no surprise to anyone that's read more than two posts here, I am a snarky blogger, or so says this little survey thingamajig.

You Are a Snarky Blogger!

You've got a razor sharp wit that bloggers are secretly scared of.
And that's why they read your posts as often as they can!

thanks to Housewife for this one because apparently she is my knew post fodder.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

yellow is the new red

Here in my lovely town, we're learning an often harsh message in regards to our traffic lights. Due to the installation of traffic enforcement cameras at certain intersections, once a warning, the yellow light is fast becoming akin to the red light. The red of course still means what it always has, but if you still feel like coasting through the yellow, be aware that the flash you almost see behind you is a fresh new ticket in your mailbox.

Now I've come across what I fear may be a new phenomenon at these camera cop intersections. Having retrieved Momma from work recently, we made our usual slip up and over the hill back to Broadway, passing through the original cameras that have slowly spawned all over town.

Before us was a mini van as we approached Broadway, our own street taking a sharp right turn around the end of a small ridge and the traffic light somewhat hidden by the geography. It's a light that one does well to remember, but the light is quickly in view and with plenty of time to stop safely if one is already driving safely. The light was in fact green, but the minivan driver, probably wary of the cameras, continued to slow down slightly as he approached.

"Go motherfucker!" I promptly shouted.

And immediately it hit me. Thanks to my town and those asshats that speed through intersections at the last minute, not only is yellow the new red, but green is the new yellow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

more info

Because I was vague about the ass whipping in an earlier post, Housewife asked for clarification. This is that.

There are people in this world who, for whatever reasons, are absolutely toxic in whatever relationship they develop. I know someone like this, and while I could give you his name, I'll just use his initials, POS.

POS doesn't get anywhere with girls in a healthy state of mind. He waits till girls are in a more fragile state and swoops in only to leave everyone he touches sad, hurt and disgusted.

One of his tricks is his sensitivity, the fact that he's always been such a good friend, someone who would listen to you and understand. And when he sees you vulnerable, he moves in closer. He understands how you feel, and he thinks he's falling in love with you.

I've known POS for a few years, and I've known some of the girls he's hurt. I'm quite certain that no one he's ever slept with has come away from him anything but full of pain. He has no regard for anything or anyone.

I really don't know that I can say enough about him. I could go on for days expressing how much I hate this person, how he is nothing but hell and hurt. The people he would consider friends don't think very highly of him.

I could easily hint more about my issues, not only with this person but with my own personal hatred of him, but I have my own issues apart from him that are more worthy of my attention. Rather than actively hate this person, I'll soon just get to where I can forget his existence for the most part. We have some friends in common, though any of them would have my back before his, and that's a little gratifying.

And finally, the humorous thought that keeps occurring to me has to do with POS and the book I'm currently reading, Texas, by James A. Michener. Had POS and I lived in Texas even as recently as one hundred years ago, I could have shot him by now, and it would have been okay. POS is proof that "he needed killin'" should be an accepted argument in certain trials.

Monday, March 12, 2007

forever is our today

I'm not saying you have to, but if you watch this video, you may need to grab a couple of tissues first. This might possibly be this world's all time greatest song, and if your heart doesn't leap out of your body when Freddie first appears in the tuxedo then there just might be something wrong with you. Seeing Freddie Mercury gives me a feeling that's one part wanting to start a band and one part wanting to fall asleep to the sound of our sweat drying.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Did you ever just want to grind someone into the ground? Have you ever just really hated someone so that you wanted to stomp the very flesh off their bones and grind the meat into the pavement? Did you want to stomp them till their bones dried and crushed under your feet?

new season

Big Brother started his new soccer season today, his first in a couple of years that I am not his coach. I've already seen some things I should have done differently as a coach, lessons learned for next season perhaps. Though it shouldn't be assumed that I love the coach, because he tries a little bit to bring the Jesus, and I'm not sure quite how I feel about that. He seems mostly harmless, but . . .

Part of me wants to say our kids beat the crap out of those other kids, because it's true. But another part of me feels bad saying something like that about a bunch of six to eight year olds. I really do romanticize youth soccer and want it to be about the game, not the wins or losses. I'd be lying if I pretended that I didn't want my kid's team to win though, so let's not make that assumption. But there is a level at which you have to be more concerned with the lessons than the successes.

My own proudest moments, beyond that Big Brother scored twice is that he actually passed the ball pretty well a couple of times, one of which came off a stop that he made that led to a goal. It was that initial assist that is one of soccer's beauties, that stop that becomes a well placed pass that is the assist we count as the next pass puts the ball at the feet of the guy that actually scores the goal.

I miss coaching, but I think that I've been shown that it was time to step back. This will give Big Brother a chance to decide if he likes soccer because he likes it or because I like it.

I suppose that's it for soccer tonight. I'm not talking about my own because I'm still awaiting the phone call. I'm thinking, if the kids have started playing, I should have. I may have been overlooked in the calling process for random reason, though I'm being very passive in getting my shit together. I want to play, but I kind of just don't know that I'm feeling it currently.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

really, seriously

I totally hate to do this, slapping up the old YouTube videos like some dumb cunt that cant write a good rant on something senseless when you consider the state of the world and this asshole is trying to be funny on the internet.

Anyway, if you've been paying attention, I've been spreading the love for Irish music of the twentieth century, and in skipping about on the video sharing website, I came across the following video. The commercial speaks for itself, and then, right at the end, someone didn't press the stop button before the news came on.

There's a certain eeriness to the whole thing in the end.

not to . . .

. . . liquify a dead horse, but I've got yet another song for whoever happens to stumble across this post. There's not any video to this video, but there is a great song to listen to and love. I'm giving you yet another chance to hear The Pogues AND The Dubliners.

So click play down there, listen to the song as you go about whatever it is you meant to do anyway.

drinking music

The video at the end of this post has not got any video to it. It's just green words that tell you who and what, The Dubliners and The Pogues doing a song. Feel free to play it and listen to the song as you read this. Or don't. I don't really give a fuck either way, but don't blame me when the walls come crashing down. It does provide a lovely musical accompaniment.

One of our recent additions to the family music library is The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God. On the cd, the last six songs are listed as bonus tracks, and one of these is titled Mountain Dew. I've searched it and also found it listed as Rare Ould Mountain Dew.

This is the song that's been stuck in my head lately, the song I've had to look up the lyrics to, singing aloud as the boys play video games. It's a great song, and The Boy at least seems to like it. But they're both great lovers of great music, so I'm not surprised.

The song of course is about whiskey (I'm basically assuming) (I mean, it only makes sense when you read the lyrics) which is presented in the lovliest prose. Don't tell anyone, but I snuck out for a bottle of whiskey, and it's not just that I was driven by the song. The problem with this is that I remembered pretty quickly that I kind of don't like whiskey. I've enjoyed an occasional scotch, but American whiskeys leave me . . . a little bleah. I really don't even like scotch that much being more of a tequila or rum person it seems. I do fancy a gin martini every now and again. Again, this really isn't the point.

As a parent and one who enjoys his beverages, I want my children to grow up with a healthy respect for intoxicating substances. I'm not sure that I've really got a grip on that handle myself, but recognizing that fact has to be worth something. The post is about the song and the fact that, as we speed down the road to the homeschool co-op, I'm blaring The Pogues and singing about whiskey drinking

So where does this place me on the parentingability metric? the teaching of children songs that glorify the drink? what if they're old and could even be considered classic? the songs, not the kids, being old and classic. Which of course should go without saying. But still, I want to be sure you understand the kids are young, not old, though instantly classic.

This is the kind of thing I think about. Some parents buy their children music that has been produced specifically for children, whether it be religiously motivated fruits and vegetables or a squadron of creepy Australians. I've mentioned in other posts that I don't do that. But sometimes, with kids, the random song kind of stands out for a short time.

Of course we've settled nothing. The conclusion is one we've reached before, that I'm cool because Big Brother recognizes Ronnie Drew's voice and wonders why a ship would have barrels of bones and bails of old nanny goat's tails.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

reading boy

I'm sure I've mentioned in the past the variety of books Big Brother reads. He's currently making his way through the Little House books, again.

We read the Little House books to him years ago, when he used to want a bedtime chapter or four. We read them in order which meant that we didn't read right through them as we didn't have the whole series at the time. It took us a while, but we finally got them all, shopping at our friendly neighborhood used book seller. Then we were given a couple of copies, not only new, but in hardcover as well. And then we realized we'd misplaced one and had purchased a second copy at some point.

He's also been checking out Johnny Dixon mysteries, written by John Bellairs. I checked out the first one of them he read, more for myself, having seen the author's name often enough that I finally had to. Though he often ignores my suggestions, this was a book that appealed to him, possibly because there was a robot on the cover.

He enjoyed that one and has been reading them since. He's also branched into other of John Bellairs' work. He's starting to do that slowly, recognize and seek out authors he's enjoyed. I'm so proud of him.

One comment from the current rereading of the Little House books especially amused me. I don't remember exactly what he said, but while reading one of the first couple in the series, Big Brother mentioned that he was glad our Sundays weren't boring like Laura's.

The Boy will sometimes ask for bedtime reading from a chapter book, and he's long loved A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh books which are basically chapter books. I'm looking forward to all the books we introduced Big Brother to and will soon be reading with The Boy.

I'm currently reading Texas by James A. Michener. I'll say right off that I'm enjoying it and have learned quite a bit. It's not a book I'd be likely to have picked up right now, and it wouldn't have jumped off the library shelf even if I were so lucky as to get to visit the grown up shelves.

This book was in a christmas gift given to Big Brother. Inside the box was a sweat suit kind of affair that he loves to wear and the book. The book gift giving grandparents are aware of Big Brother being a reader, though I can't imagine they'd have considered this book appropriate. I'm not judging the book as inappropriate so much as I'm saying it just seems odd that they'd have given it to him. As I've thought about this, I've wondered if perhaps the book was included due to it's size and weight, roughly eleven hundred pages, and was meant to be ballast and then returned.

So there's a few minutes reading about what we're reading. It's a delightful tale all around, one that you can tell the folks back home.

pile o' it

We've got decent weather again. I owe Big Brother cash for picking up a bunch of sticks in the yard, and I'm supposed to rake soon since I didn't in the fall. I need to get the leaves up so that I can pick up all the dog turds I've missed so far.

I need also to climb up on the roof and replace some shingles that blew off recently. If you live near me, you may remember the hugely windy days we've had recently. I have the ladder, shingles and nails to do the job, but since those windy days, I've been missing one important component.

I'm not climbing the roof without another grown up around, most likely Momma. If she could work around my schedule, I could have the job done, but life isn't that easy, so I work around her. And as soon as we get a decent day that she's home when the sun is out, I can mount the house and fix the roof.

The shower problem is still unfixed, and the entire house has been reduced to taking baths. I've done all I can there, so the next attempt at a fix comes when I'm willing to call Momma's grandfather to the house and show him what I've done. I should have called him in the first place, but he's done so much to help us, that I hate calling him for things I should be able to fix.

The garage is an absolute pile of shit. There's a little bit of keeper shit in there, but there's a lot of random accumulation. Does anyone need any nearly unbroken furniture parts? There's parts of beds, an entertainment center with slightly working doors. Don't mention the assorted engine/transmission parts that are not in the Buick taking up space in our driveway. Also try to overlook the heating/ac unit clogging up the garage.

This weekend is when we spring forward, the sign that always tempts me the most, knowing that spring really is creeping closer.

So with those words of noncouragement I wrap up this post. It isn't especially brainful or humorous, not that I ever touch those, but it is what I offer you for now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It's a beautiful day outside. The boys and I should all be out enjoying the sunshine, cleaning up the yard, playing. I just can't really bring myself to want to do any of it.

I can't walk two steps inside the house without finding something that needs my attention. With the boys playing quietly for a moment, now would be a perfect time to start any number of chores. Most of these wouldn't even be major jobs, just little bits of picking up. The kitchen needs a bit of attention, and I really need to decide what I'm fixing for supper. But I really just can't bring myself to want to do any of it.

I've had the blackest of clouds hanging over my head for almost three weeks. The cloud has been there for so long that I don't remember when it showed up, but about three weeks ago, it got darker, as if finally charging itself for a real storm.

I can try any number of ways to disperse that cloud, but it's kind of like trying to wave smoke out of your eyes with just your hand. You might stir it up for a moment, but it's not really going anywhere. The problem with smoke is that you either wait for the right wind to come along, or you have to move. Eventually, there seems always to come a wind, but you can never know where it ends up blowing.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

izz O to the izz S

Not that it has shit to do with shit, but I'm currently using Ubuntu as my operating system instead of Windows. The solution was amazing simple, and I have to thank Chris (no relation) for the help. Turns out this time that the blogosphere works more quickly than the familyosphere.

I'm not sure if I really care about my OS for the most part, but what the hell would I do without one? So I'm somewhat committed to using one assuming I continue to be increasingly tied to the computer.

I don't have any Windows or Microsoft horror stories to speak of. I've never really had any problems that weren't easily corrected. I did switch some time ago to using Firefox browser, and I've only kept Internet Explorer because every once in a while, some dumbass website (car insurance) won't work using Firefox. Other than for that one site, we don't ever use IE. And that got me to thinking.

It was actually a copy of Popular Science that got me thinking, though I have in the past very tentatively looked into Linux. So I was thinking, and I checked out the site and learned that Ubuntu uses Firefox. Well shit, I thought, if Firefox is so much better than IE, then why wouldn't Linux be better than Windows. They say they're better on their site, or seem to.

One problem that I'm having to keep in mind is that I'm running the damn thing off a cd, so it's running a little funny, almost like a little too much internet on a dial up connection but not quite.

As I mentioned, I don't really have any reason to not use Windows beyond the price difference between the two. One of them is free and easily updateable. One is less free though easily enough updateable. There's a certain part of me that just doesn't want to be tied to a huge corporation any more than I have to be, and any jabs I can get in at the big guys is fine with me.

In the end, I may dump the new shit and go back to ol' stodgy ass Windows. Who knows? But I just don't want to. I want to rebel, and at this point in life, I don't have much to rebel against that won't directly screw someone, most likely the kids, so I get my knocks in where I can.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

more beers?

Actually just one beer, Flying Dog's Classic Pale. This won't dethrone my current favorite pale, Highland Brewing Co's Saint Terese, but it is a good example of the style.

It's a nice almost amber color and has what I would call a nice hop balance. I'm a fan of beers that don't have that balance and err on the side of more hops, so it could lose some points, but it doesn't. It shouldn't be overly hoppy as a classic pale as opposed to what I think of as American pales, those glorious beers that arrive in a veritable myst of hops.

I almost got lost in a myst of hops remembered. I apologize.

It's a good beer. If you can, pick you some up. They sell a mixed twelve pack that I've heard is supposed to be made up of extra bottles. The last couple I got were a little heavy with some golden crap that Momma and I both drank out of obligation. At least they're better than Bud, but then, licking my own butt would be better than Bud.

update from the mysts

I need like hell for my self imposed writing hiatus to end, and I'm realizing for all the crap I spout on the blog page, it might have been a little helpful as well.

I haven't had the best time the last couple of weeks or so, and it isn't something I'd care to write about. The problem comes with the fact that that it's a situation that is not really ever far from my mind, and moreso it seems when I sit down and stare at a blank page.

Beyond that particular episode, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. I chose at the last minute not to coach Big Brother's soccer team. The thing I'm not discussing made me feel that I couldn't guarantee the commitment. It's going to be weird for me to be just a fan, but from the practice, what I caught while chasing The Boy around the playground, the team looks like a great bunch of kids. Of course I've said that about every one of his teams.

I'm curious about my own soccer season due to a busier derby schedule on Momma's part. Her Tuesday practice has now been moved to Wednesday, the night I've historically had for soccer practice. My Sunday games have and always will interfere/be interfered with by derby practice and bouts. The derby season this year is a lot busier than last year. The girls are all doing great and looking to meet some victims from other cities. So we'll do some traveling it seems.

We've got some new music, watched a couple of cool movies among other things over the past couple of weeks that I haven't been posting. I'm trying to come back to posting regularlyish again. I have to work to put the ugliness behind me and move on, and I feel like I need to get back to writing.