Monday, April 30, 2007

capital punishment


No, not that kind, the kind that happens here, in my little town, in just under a month. The lovely skaters from our state capital will descend on our fair burg to take their licks from the Hard Knox Rollergirls.

So, what are you doing May 27? If you have any sense you will find some way to get here. If you love the beautiful sport of girl on girl action, the kind that sits atop a pair of skates and throws itself in your face, then you will find some way to get here.

Okay, I know I have a total of three readers, and one of them already lives here, but still, our league could use the support, and you will never have anything better to do than watch roller derby. So find some way to get here.

someone else's idea

Perhaps today will be the multi post day, the kind of day where I rake ideas into a pile, stealing bits here and there from bloggers I read making myself post fodder out of it all. It's so much easier than thinking original thinks, and as lazy is sort of a life goal of mine, I feel I'm pretty good at it.

Cocking a Snook Too has a lovely story about her discovery of Calvin and Hobbes. If you aren't already one of her readers, then I have nothing but pity for the time you waste reading lesser blogs. If you are a reader, then you are already aware of her lovely style.

For the great unwashed masses I give you a favorite Calvin and Hobbes strip. Calvin and Hobbes is the creation of cartoonist Bill Watterson and is one of the most enjoyable comics I've ever read.

I apologize for the small size of this comic, but you didn't buy the bifocals for nothing, so lean in close and back up quick after reading it so you don't laugh spittle onto your screen.

everywhere a sign

School of Thought has a post concerning their recent travels through my birth state of Georgia. I currently feel more at home in my current little town, but there is still a part of me that's hanging on to Georgia and specifically Atlanta.

SoT discusses the religious signage, billboards that I imagine many of us are familiar with. They offer us a lovely picture of the typical blue eyed, white Jesus assuring us that he does indeed listen. According to this sign that I found, god does listen, but not perhaps to you. He does love to rock though.



And to finish it all off, I found you a short song to give you a taste of Slayer. I'm not a fan of the band, mostly because I prefer my music with either a horn section and a little '60's Jamaican vibe or with a bit of twang on the guitar and a taste of heartbreak, tears in beers if you will.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

more on a theme

Recently I wrote a long post that, while using soccer as my base, was mostly about coaching in general, or so I intended. To that post I would like to add a soccer specific update.

Many are the times on the soccer field that feet meet in a clash, fighting for the ball. Many are the times I wish I'd better heeded the following advice. This is something that all soccer coaches should warn their teams of from the very first meeting as well as at any practice where this is remembered.

While at practice recently I and the coach teamed up against the team. The drill was to help the kids learn about position and to stay in position relative to your teammates. Any coach of youth soccer knows well how the kids can easily become excited by the game and forget so many of the lessons that we try to teach. Seen from one direction this is further proof that youth sports is more about building skill than in winning games. From another direction this is further proof that youth sports should often focus on the fact that we are dealing with children. Their abilities, especially when considering also their age, must always be taken into account.

This post isn't really about that, but far be it from me to pass up a chance to preach the same message yet again. This post though is rather soccer specific as I have just said.

Often in those clash of feet we find that we are kicking or are kicked in and around the feet. This is the reason for shin guards and the reason that many youth soccer teams and organizations absolutely require that the children wear shin guards. Tonight however we are looking even lower, at the feet themselves.

From day one it is imperative that the children consider foot care, specifically their toe nails. At the practice I mentioned above, while trying to keep the ball away from a very small child, I took a shot right in the end of my big toe. The child, after the collision, took the ball and ran while I, several years his senior, a few feet taller and a number of pounds heavier, not to mention the number of years I've played being much greater than his age, was stopped momentarily. My toe nails are too long, and the lightest impact, so light in fact that the child took no notice, was enough to cause me some small amount of pain as well as allow him to take the ball and proceed quite without me.

One of the most overlooked yet most important things we can teach our teams is foot care. Keep your toe nails trimmed. I've yet to actually face a real injury due to this, but many times I've been stopped, even if for only a moment, because I had not heeded this simple advice.

So in the end, the true moral, along with the myriad skills we try to teach, sometimes we forget the simple lessons. Not to liquefy the dead horse, but if you have children that play soccer or are a coach of children's soccer, remember the toe nails, and help the kids keep them trimmed. They may not remember to thank you, but at least you'll save them some small amount of pain, hopefully.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

oogie

Today is a fairly gross day. I still haven't fixed the shower, and this time not entirely out of laziness. It seems as if it's just a bit above my ability, and I'm a little scared to mess with it for fear of making the situation worse.

Baths just take too long. I've enjoyed taking baths lately, but it isn't my preferred method of cleansing myself. I want a nice hot shower, stand under the water and feel nice for a minute, then soap my ass good and get the hell out. That's a simple request right?

I'm in dire need of a bath, though not as dire as if I worked and got sweaty. I'm developing a swampy down-there area, and my armpits have a certain homemade hamburger quality in the arena of scent. My hair is icky enough so that when I push my sunglasses up on my head they come back down a little smudgy.

I could wait till after derby practice tomorrow when I know Momma will need a bath because it's always nice to hop in with her, but I'm tired of feeling so damn . . . well, icky.

Another factor that has come into play is the clothes dryer. Did I tell you about it? Did I tell you how it mostly works except for the lack of hot air? One can't very easily dry clothes with just the spinning and the blowing, though spinning and blowing has a kind of dirty but fun sound to it. I have clean pants, but the britches what goes under the pants I may not have any of clean, and all my favorite tshirts are also not so much clean.

Don't get me started on the britches. It's past time to trash them all and replace them, my favorite pair having passed threadbare long ago and entered the world of split in the back just like I'm a little split in the back. The rest are so worn that I could probably read a newspaper through them. I'm already wearing yesterday's socks, and if I take a bath now, I'll have to sniff through the laundry to find the next least dirty pair of socks. Nothing makes you feel more like a man than putting on dirty socks directly out of the bath. And the only britches I have clean are the annoying one with snaps in the front that could be sexy on another man, access port and all, but they always come undone when I don't want them to. That's where the lazy comes in, hating so having to snap underpants.

So what's a gal to do? I'll probably just break down and start the bath soon after posting this, then I can sit in the steam and wonder why in the hell I just offered the world a story about worn out underwear, overly musky crotch and the like. It's all for you that I do this, humbling myself before the gods of the blogs. They have no more mercy than the Balrog, but at least they won't drag me into the pit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

haircut

I haven't had a real haircut, or what passes for one for me since sometime in the fall. That was when I last took the clippers to it and went as close to the skin as one can get without whipping out the razor. I've never been that dedicated to my shaved head, though I did one time shave it clean. It was a disaster and took much longer than it should. Also I had a bunch of red bumps on my head that made me look slightly diseased.

I've never been especially happy with my hair. Years ago I'd have jumped at the chance to grow it long. My father was always quick to call a haircut night any time any of the brothers started to get even a little shaggy. I grew up looking like a baptist missionary for the most part.

Eventually, as I started to grow it out, I decided I no longer wanted to. I have fairly fine hair that doesn't react well to length. I exhibit hat head quite a bit more than is right on top of being a fairly low maintenance type person (lazy) in terms of personal appearance.

Lately though, as I've put off the springtime head shave, I've had thoughts of just letting it grow a bit. This is fine with me. It'll be nice to have a bit of change, and Momma seems to like it. The problem is the complete lack of sense my hair has. Hair doesn't naturally grow in any recognizable or desirable style usually. As the hair over my ears and on the back of my head keeps getting longer, the hair on top and toward the front doesn't seem to be keeping up.

I'm quite sure that the hair is starting to thin and creep back a bit. Momma, bless her heart, insisted recently that she's never noticed this, but I can't help but feel she's just being nice.

While in Idiotapolis recently I begged a quick trim around the ears from a friend. She's a skater on Momma's team and an all 'round lovely person. She didn't do a perfect job, but I can't complain at all. It wasn't like I made an appointment, and I knew going in she had a beer or two in her. Also the barber/stylist chair was actually a cooler, and I'm pretty sure we had to pause the haircut once so someone else could get a beer.

Anyway, I'm finally, after many, many years, thinking thoughts of getting a real haircut. I really only need the sides and back trimmed a bit, and I'm sure the old guy down the street at the barber shop can do it right. I so prefer just stripping down to my britches and kicking the bathmat into the hall. I can sit on the toilet and lean far forward so that all the hair falls into a nice little pile between my feet. Quick and easy, low mess and easily cleaned. The thing is, I just don't miss being bald yet. I'm sure I will at some point, but we'll see when it comes.

I need to do it soon. With the front and sides as short as they are, the back, which currently has a certain duck's ass quality will soon be all out mullet. The da might not be too bad, and may even fit in with my jeans and tshirt kind of look. I really don't want a mullet. I'd have to kick my ass at least once a day. The only thing that could be worse would be a rat tail. And while you scoff at the rat tail, possibly remembering your own so long ago, believe me when I say that some people are still wearing them.

I think I'll leave you with that thought, that some people still wear rat tails. I offer you one of the most boring posts I've ever written, and sadly, I won't give too much thought to editing. The boys are watching Naruto behind me, and if that little orange clad son of a bitch shouts like a baby girl one more time I'm going down the street to find someone to slap.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

win-loss

Not to liquefy a dead horse, assuming you have read this same sort of thing at Shannon's or Chris's place, but I'm thinking about the difference between children in sports being driven to win and children in sports being treated as children.

I hadn't planned to write about this aside from a largish stack of comments combined between their blogs, but as I sit here now watching soccer, it's on my mind again. The game is Chelsea versus Liverpool, part of the UEFA cup, so it features some of the very top teams in the world. These are men who have devoted a great portion of their lives to the game, and they would not be here themselves if they weren't some of the best and most skilled players in the world.

I'd love to see the Americas drawing the world's greatest, or at least our share, but that's another post for another day. We won't go into my Americas (North, Central and South) versus Europe debate just now.

Any U8 soccer team can have a big enough kid that powers through the other kids and whangs the ball into the net. I've coached kids that were like that, and I very easily could have had the entire team feed this child the ball, and I could have had a number of undefeated seasons if I were willing to play this way.

My own son has some amount of skill, and if he were currently more interested in soccer, and if he worked more at home on his skills, I have no doubt he could be a top player in our local AYSO region. That isn't what he wants right now. While he loves soccer, he also loves meeting new friends and playing with them, be it soccer or tag or even just a couple dashes around the playground. Sometimes he'd rather hold an interesting leaf and twirl it in his fingers.

Watching top level soccer however points at skills that are necessary to be good at the game, skills that must be learned young, before the drive to win becomes to strong. If I rely on my ringer, I will win games, but at what expense?

Skills needed are vast, and many children need years of play time to start to see the variety of situations that arise in the game.

-passing-soccer is often primarily a game of passing. A good team is always aware of each other in terms of distance and angles. Many teams seem to play the game and pass in constantly moving triangles. A great run at the goal often involves exact passes, not to a player but to where that player and the ball will meet. Children don't often think to pass and are too young to keep their heads up and look for the pass or to put themselves in position in relation to the ball holder in order to be open for a pass in a useful place on the field.

-aggressiveness-a problem I've often faced is wanting my teams to be the right kind of aggressive. I don't want to teach meanness or cheating. I want my kids to learn to face the opponent, to be able to approach someone and not be afraid to be hurt or embarassed. This is also apparent in goalkeeping at the age. A goalkeeper has to be able to throw themselves into danger, to leap at the ball, to pounce at a moments notice into a frightening situation. Young kids fear being kicked or run into or over. They don't naturally want to go toe to toe with each other to attempt to win the ball. Youth and childhood is the time to learn that most little hurts of soccer are just that, little hurts you forget a moment later, though at the same time, they need to know that their safety is more important than anything else. They need to know that if they are hurt they will be cared for.

-ball handling-soccer is also a game of touches on the ball. Whether that touch is a pass or a fast dribble, kids need to learn some things that seem completely unnatural at first. To kick the ball with the side of the foot may be the single most difficult thing to teach kids, but it is completely neccesary for ball control. Toe kicks not only hurt your toes, but they provide no real control on passes and shots. Passing and shooting doesn't just mean side of foot kicks either. There may be a time when a quick jab with the outside of the foot is the right response, while many times the need is to get the whole of the foot under the ball. Does the situation call for a blazing shot or a wide arc over the heads of most of the other players or maybe a chip up into the air to a teammate's head?

-dribbling-dribbling falls under ball handling, but it is more about personal control. Dribbling involves so many more ways to touch the ball, tricks that look fun when watching but are again necessary to be a successful player. You have to be able to make hard fast runs, head up, confident in your ability to keep the ball at your feet, confident that no other player will be able to tackle the ball away. Dribbling involves all parts of the foot through a range of moves to keep possession and to place yourself and the ball in the best position to benefit your team.

-selflessness-soccer is a sport based on playing where you belong. Some kids are natural shooters. Their dribbling skills are beautiful to watch and they know how to take the shot and when to take the shot. The perfect shot often falls within a momentary window when the lane to the goal is gone often before it's noticed. Often enough that shot opens up for a teammate and selflessness comes in seeing that and being willing for the teammate to get credit for the goal. At the same time, some players belong in the box as the keeper. Some kids live for denying the other team goals. Some kids belong in the back, possibly never to score in their entire soccer career, but a good defense has won plenty of games especially in a sport like soccer where goals are often notoriously difficult to come by. Selflessness is the key to being a good midfielder. The players in the middle are the workhorses of soccer, often keeping up a constant run, end to end, jumping back and forth between defense and offense.

These skills are not learned sitting out while the strong players win games. These skills are learned at a young age by kids who are given fair treatment and equal chances. These skills are bit learned by winning games as children, but they are learned over time when a child's love for a game is nurtured. These skills are learned by kids who have coaches that give their best and strive to get the same from their children. We have to accept that, when our kids are young, maybe picking a flower is the best thing they can think of to do no matter how much we might wish they would have seen the ball that just zipped past them.

modern parenting?

Momma and I were busy in the kitchen slapping a lasagna together. The boys were outside playing, though they were being a little on the quiet side and my peeks out the back door had not revealed them or what they were doing.

I finally had to check on them. I saw Big Brother approaching the garage, though he immediately turned around and tried to sneak away as he heard the screen door.

I wouldn't generally mind them being in the garage, but it's a typical garage full of garage type things in addition to the fact that it's become somewhat of a storage center for more crap than we really want. Because of this, the garage is mostly off limits to them apart from the area where their outdoor/riding toys are.

I turned the corner of the house to find The Boy holding a spray bottle that is not labeled properly. I'm not sure what's in it as it's a remainder from when Momma's grandparents lived here. The smell was similar to WD40, and from the gleam on his hands and the dark spots on his shirt, I new he was pretty well covered in whatever the chemical actually is.

I sent him inside and instructed Big Brother to pick up and put up all the toys they had out. The Boy was soon in a bath, and the toys were put away. Big Brother was brought into the house. I explained to them about the dangers of chemicals on top of the fact that I've told them numerous times about the garage ban.

So, how to make them understand my point? I did a Google image search for chemical burns and was quickly rewarded for my efforts. There were of course the gruesome images, but I wasn't trying to frighten them more than was needed. I found a nice picture of someone's arm, nice and red and puffy skin burned by some sort of acid. After showing them the picture I read to them from the same page about the different types of burns, concentrating mostly on chemical burns.

I hope they've learned a lesson. I love them and want their skin to stay just how it is. And these modern days provide us some great tools for this sort of thing. Go ahead and google the phrase yourself, gather the kids around, and show them a pretty picture of someone's skin dripping off. What better way to educate the young?

Monday, April 23, 2007

'cuz i'm bad




I can't really come up with anything to add. I tried writing something funny about how bad ass we are, but if you can't tell that from looking then my pithy little lines are going to open your eyes.

Honestly, I just feel happy to be a part of the picture. And the brass knuckles you can't really see, yeah, not real brass. I think they are actually part of a belt buckle, and I'm pretty sure the words "for amusement purposes only" were imprinted on the inside.

But don't let your amusement with the words lull you into a false sense of security. I don't need brass knuckles or even steel toes or titanium knees. The hot woman next to me doesn't either. We'll stomp a mudhole in your ass quick as look at you.

friday night

In my continuing efforts to catalog our weekend, I offer you our Friday. Friday was mostly spent rushing about wanting to leave followed by a few hours of driving. We reached the hotel, dropped off our luggage, peed, and set off for downtown.

Most of the league had arrived before we did by a couple of hours. They were already well into supper with a couple of the Naptown girls. We were hungry and knew that crashing that party wasn't doable, and it was nice to have some time to ourselves. Keep in mind that we were completely childless for the weekend, the longest we've ever been apart from the boys.

Downtown Indianapolis, or what we saw of it, probably isn't nearly as confusing as it seemed. We got through 21st Street becoming something else as it bounced off the train tracks. We finally even got downtown to find it lively and crawling with all sorts of people.

I'm not sure what their Friday nights usually look like as this wasn't likely the average. The town was hosting a firefighter convention that raised the population by about 35,000 people. I have no idea how that changed the usual Naptown Friday night, but given the amount of things to do downtown, I'd imagine it's a popular place.

We parked next to the fountain which is next to the World War memorial, a large ancient looking structure that seemed worth a visit had we had the time on this trip. Not sure which direction to walk, we chose to go toward the place from which so many people seemed to be walking.

We hoofed it a couple of blocks and found ourself in a circle area, a fair sized fountain, sitting up on a sort of pedestal made of steps. That's a shitty description for the beautiful area, and it gave me an impression of what I'd expect an old European city to look like, a public space, beautifully built where people were hanging out.

We slipped into Rock Bottom Brewery only to find not a single seat at the bar. We tend to prefer the bar when we're just a couple and didn't want the hassle and time of being dining room customers. We stepped outside to reconsider when Momma spotted the word brewery on another place.

We walked toward that light which turned out to be Alcatraz Brewing. The beer earned a very strong Meh, not good enough to go back, but made by a very well trained corporate brewer. I don't really like chain brew pubs any more than I like most chain restaurants. I'd have been much happier finding the local place with the local brewer.

Alcatraz is where we hung out with the firefighters from New York. I don't quite remember now what got us talking with them. We may have been agreeing about the very noisy gentleman who seemed to think his companions were hearing impaired. Or perhaps he had vision issues that makes one foot seem like twenty. Whatever his problem was, he was one loud and obnoxious son of a bitch, the kind of guy you're glad to see go.

We considered eating at Alcatraz, but our new firefighter friend mentioned another brewpub across the street and a couple doors down. We were willing to walk and check out another place, though we later learned we'd have been happier staying at Alcatraz. I don't even remember the name of the place, but since I'm only going to trash it, that may be for the best.

I don't like corporate sports bars any more than I like corporate brewpubs. I want some soul, some local flavor. I want the bar with employees that love the place they work. I also want my wings to come with the pointy, inedible part removed. I also want my reuben to be a reuben, not some crap laced with what I'm quite certain was horseradish, totally out of place. We couldn't even finish our food, even though we took it to go after eating half. The maid threw it away for us though as we left it sitting cold and ick in the hotel room when we left.

Momma and I were nice enough then to try and fight about where we'd left the car. As it turned out, neither of us was quite right, though once we found the circle again, we were able to retrace our steps back to the car immediately. We apologized to each other for having been buttholes and insisting on our individual rightness. Then we got in the car and did the same thing all over again.

We finally arived back at the hotel. Most of the skaters were asleep, though it was early enough that we suspected someone had to be awake. Someone was, so we went and had a couple of last beers before wandering back to our room.

As an aside, a little message to the people of Indianapolis, it would really help if the people who sold beer knew what the laws were concerning late night beer sales. There's some crazy shit headed law that allows cold beer retail sales only in liquor stores. I don't get it, but I don't live there, so it's no big deal. We did get our beer and a bag of ice, so the law didn't hamper our intent in any way, though the kind lady who sold it to us wasn't quite sure if it was even too late to be selling it.

And so went our day. You can see for yourself how exciting and full of grand fun we are. That's quite fine though as I don't need grand fun. I got two nights in a row to go out childless with Momma, and that's always better than grand fun. Of course we missed the boys, so don't think we were completely heartless, but they got to have grand fun with grand parents, so I'd call it even.

back from up north

I have had the worst time since last night trying to write the welcoming myself back post. The trip was a hell of a time, and I'm sure I should only safely tell you about half of what happened. There was plenty of debauchery, though most of it was the safe showing each other our asses kind. Many asses were shown as well as a pair of testicles and possibly a peach, if you know what I mean.

I'm pretty sure that as a group we drank our weight in beer. I'm certain I helped the average, but it was all in the name of doing my part for the league and the skaters.

The bout was exciting, though I'm sadly unable to post about it. The scoreboard indicated that we lost, but your momma told you not to believe everything you read, and she was right. I'm nearly voiceless from screaming and cheering, and as usual, I could not be prouder of the girls. I can't say enough how beautiful, how awesome, how strong, how amazing the Hard Knox Rollergirls are. Chances are we are coming to your town, and chances are if we do that someone is going to get knocked sillier.

I have this secret trick I use on road trips that I call driving fast as fuck. There's no sane reason a six hour drive really has to be six hours unless it was originally and eight hour trip, but that may just be me. As long as you're careful and watch the road, there's no reason you can't use the interstate as it should be. Wide open highways with limited access via distinct entrance/exit areas are meant for high speeds and getting the fuck out of my way. I may use this as post fodder because, as you might guess, I have some opinions on this as well as about the idiots that surround me on the road. But that's for later.

My chest hurts a little, though I really don't know why. Perhaps it was the shouting? Can you strain your chest muscles by having yelled too much and too loudly? I'm sure I can. I can't complain though because I know our skaters have plenty of aches that were earned in battle. One has to wonder why Momma has so many obvious finger marks on her arms, but again, that's another story for another day.

I scalded my tongue at Starbucks, probably some infernal punishment for having gone there in the first place. But we needed coffee, and I can no longer stomach the sort of ick that too often passes for coffee. And for all the complaints I've heard about Starbucks prices, for slightly more than three dollars Momma got a medium coffee, and I got a large, though that isn't how they'd describe it, stupid venti and grande and all that other pretentious fuck awful nonsense. Seriously, just cups of coffee, a little cream and sugar, not the fat content of a porterhouse and not seventeen dollars and not a frappamochadilletante.

Saw lots of dead animals along the roads though no possums. It doesn't seem to me that Ohio or Indiana really cares that their roads seem to contain about three dead animals for every mile travelled. Maybe they need to pass a road kill bill.

We may have been the coolest visitors, but we weren't the biggest group in Indianapolis over the weekend. Thirty five thousand fire fighters were also in town for a convention. I retain to this day my childhood love and admiration for fire fighters. I even smile a little as the big red truck rolls past in non emergency mode. That people are still willing to run in when the rest of us are running out almost gives me hope for humanity. And to the guys from Rochester New York, thanks for a good time. We met them at a bar in downtown Idiotapolis, and though we only hung out and chatted for a bit, they were one of the highlights of the trip.

I'm wrapping this up. Within this post are the roots of a few more posts that are playing nicely in my brain while I think about writing. I leave you with something to ponder, a little gravity in an otherwise light and fluff filled post. Why in 2007 do towns still have a "black part of town," and why is the black side of town always the crappiest least tended to by the local government?

Friday, April 20, 2007

sue their butts off

Thanks to Darryl for posting this so that I could steal it and make a new rant. I haven't ranted in nearly long enough, so it's nice to have a softball tossed out for me.

According to THIS story, a woman in Canada purchased a sofa. Upon getting it to her house she learned that the tag on the furniture described its dark brown color as "nigger brown." The Chinese manufacturer pointed to a translation software problem that the company was sure they had fixed. Apparently it had something to do with an old Chinese/English dictionary.

Part of me thinks it's a little bit funny and wonders if the also sells a couch in a honkey white or wetback tan. Of course, I assume the color is a fairly dark brown, but then that doesn't really do justice to the myriad hues of black people. Big Brother's soccer team includes two kids, cousins even, who are black, though admittedly black doesn't really describe either child's skin color. One of the boys is very light complected while the other is fairly dark. We have a homeschool friend who would be assumed to be white though his skin is actually darker than the light skinned soccer teammate.

How does all this relate to nigger brown? Good question, and it probably doesn't. The rant here is more about the fact that the purchaser of the sofa wants compensation and wants more than just an apology. So now we get to it, the lawsuit. She's wants to get paid over her daughter having supposedly learned the word nigger from a tag on a sofa. I don't know the average age of black children when they are first exposed to the word, and I don't know if the members of this particular family are fans of hip hop music. My own children have heard the word at their young ages due to the little bit of hip hop that Momma and I listen to. I doesn't seem to have stood out as neither child has ever used the word that I'm aware of nor have they asked Momma or I about it.

As a child growing up in the south, I used the word nigger on occasion, sadly even after I began to understand what it meant. I can't pretend to know the power of the word heard through black ears, and honestly, being a fairly typical white guy, I'm sure there are lots of words that I know of or have used that I just won't ever feel the kind of sting they provide for others. I also don't much care what folks may choose to call me (just don't call me late for dinner) and have been referred to in a number of unpleasant ways. I have even once been called a nigger, by a black guy no less.

But what sort of compensation does someone deserve because of an offensive word? Certainly it would be unpleasant to hear, and one has to wonder how many channels this sofa must have passed through bearing the term nigger, and one must wonder how no one else noticed this. Will a large cash payment make this family happy? Will cash change the fact that their daughter saw an offensive word? Will it make the possible sting go away? When the hell did a black family move to Canada?

I've long thought our own country was way too eager to set a lawsuit in motion over any number of imagined or supposed slights. I've read personally of too many ridiculous lawsuits, and I've read of too many idiots winning money they did not deserve. I'm afraid this may be another situation like that. Beyond an apology and maybe a refund of the purchase price of the sofa, the family doesn't really deserve shit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

busy weekend

This will be a bit of a busy weekend for us, or at least some of us. The boys will not be partaking in the fun, but they will get their own treat, we hope. They get to spend the weekend at Grandma's house.

It all starts tomorrow night, or tonight by the time some people read this, or maybe even some time in the past by the time some other people read it. If that's the case, then maybe I don't even have to write about all this.

Also, I probably won't be blogging much for a few days.

It all starts tomorrow, as early as I can drag my ass out of bed and down to the tire store to get the oil changed. I'll sit around there wishing I'd brought a book, or I'll sit there trying to read a book while also trying not to watch the television. We seriously have to get the oil changed, totally, for tomorrow. Actually, it's the day after tomorrow as of writing time, but we've covered that once, dead horse and all.

Tomorrow night Momma and I have reservations at a restaurant. That's right, we aren't waiting for the host to get to us or for enough people to finally leave. We have reservations which means we are eating at a restaurant that takes reservations. We've heard good things about the place and are looking forward to food we didn't cook, food that we don't have to pick the green things off the Batman plate. Shit, we won't even have to get up moments after we start eating to get someone a cup of milk or to clean up a spilled cup of milk.

We may have to keep our drinking to a minimum as Great Grandmother who is watching the boys has not yet even hinted at an overnight. We'd love for her too, but she's getting the boys back on Friday to hold till Grandma gets off work and picks them up. Great Grandmother may need that few hours break.

Friday afternoon sees us off on the long ass drive to kick some ass. I may have mentioned that a certain local Hard Knox Rollergirls are traveling northish to Indianapolis. I'm afraid some Naptown Rollergirls are in for yet another loss. I'm sure I'm going to hate it for them or something. It will be nice to be far away from responsibility and get to party with a bunch of hard ass derby girls. I don't expect much from the trip itself, lots of driving compared to the amount of time we'll spend in Indianapolis. Either way it's another shit ton of miles on the car, and that's got to be good for something.

We drive back home Sunday having spent all of an entire day for our twelve to fourteen hour round trip. I won't be sure it's worth it till at least a week later when we've forgotten how big a pain in the ass it all was and are getting excited for the next round of derby based ass whooping. It's all about the ass whooping here in derbyville USA.

And that's the weekend. Look for more info sometime next week. I might give you one last goodbye post before tomorrow night, and I may get some great ideas and have to blog any number of time between now and time to get. We'll see.

Monday, April 16, 2007

are thoughts of thinking real thoughts?


Tagged by the meme, I find that I must now go and tag. It's gratifying to know that someone actually feels I deserve the Thinking Blogger award. I don't really feel as if I put a lot of thought into most of what I write. I usually feel like the sieve in my head sometimes gets a little clogged, and I'm not doing anything more when I write than to shake the sieve a little bit so that everything can flow through finally.

Pissed Off Housewife thinks I deserve the Thinking Blogger award, and I can't help but feel a little spark of something. It's like a smile from a stranger seconds after some prick cut you off, the little smile that saw what happened and congratulates you for not murdering the prick. Maybe it's like when the fast food people are nice, and then you're nice back, and you both are happier even if for no more than a moment. Or maybe it's like realizing that maybe people really do read what I write, and I've somehow managed not to drive them away.

The deal is I now have to tag five people. Here is my list, not my top five so much, but five people who think, or so I think, and will hopefully continue the good feelings.

1. We start with Contemplator, a favorite in the halls of academe.

2. Doc is easily one of the best homeschool resource links in the country. She also could stand to stop breaking things.

3. Audrey may be the sexiest homeshooling marxist mommas ever, if we believe everything she says, and the library probably sucks ass without her there.

4. Kim, another unschooling mom, and another fine thinker.

5. Finally I offer you Darryl, my sole dude. He may also be the least likely to play along, but at least he's a thinking blogger, and if nothing else, he can feel included, even if he can get beat by a dead blog. That's not saying anything though as I get beaten by catholics.

It was not my intent to bring you mostly homeschool blogs, though they aren't really necessarily homeschool blogs. Darryl offers news and sometimes some counterpoint. Kim may talk about homeschooling more than the rest, though Audrey and Doc certainly discuss it somewhat. I believe Contemplator keeps herself busy enough for a couple of people. And that is my list.

Does anyone need instructions here? It's pretty simple, and I'm sure we've all been involved in something similar, so have at it. Let's see who else deserves this award.

rude little

Rude little bitch, standing on my porch, trying like hell to be cool, giving me high fives, telling me how cute the boys are, my kids that is. Her partner was also friendly, but he too stood on my porch, running through the scheme they wanted to include me in.

They're earning points to win a trip to London, and all they have to do is get me to pick a book or a magazine. Somehow, they are also learning how to speak to people, speak in public, in front of a crowd. Oh, and for every book or magazine I pick they earn points, and she's one of the top point earners.

"So, you want me to buy a magazine?" I ask as I peruse the list of magazines she's shown me.

Of course I know that's the deal. I knew it was the deal when I saw them on my porch, but I wasn't sure till she opened her mouth what the exact scheme was going to sound like. It's always something similar though it's usually a young black male selling magazines to earn money for college. The magazines don't have to be for me. I can pick a book for the children's hospital or a magazine for a soldier.

Look, I don't have any heartstrings to pluck. You need something to strum and try to get me to buy your magazine it's not the heart you need to look toward. Maybe suck my dick and I might be willing to order a magazine or two, but beyond not being willing to play along, they weren't offering any magazines I'm interested in. So they failed at my door.

And it was all nice enough, the young lady was attractive enough. He male counterpart could not claim the same, but in the end, he was the friendlier.

"I'm not interested," I finally tell her.

She tries to play the friendly smile a bit, offers the aforementioned soldier or children's hospital, but I'm adamant. Not only am I not in the market for magazines, but I'm certainly not helping whatever company has convinced these young people they can sell magazines and win a trip to London. I wonder if they realize they are part of some scheme.

She finally realized I was really not going to buy a magazine. She snatched back her magazine list, and, without so much as a goodbye, she hops off the porch and is off. I watch her turn and go, admire the curves she's been blessed with, a little pink panty peeking from her jeans.

Watching them both go, I turn to trot across the neighbor's yard. While the magazine kids had me stuck at the door, waiting to tell them NO, the dog has slipped out. She's ignored my whistling, my calls. She hasn't gotten far, and as I reach her and get her attention, I turn back to the house. A quick jog and she's right behind me, running along to the house and back inside.

The bitch was rude, interupted my lunch, made me have to chase the dog down, and provided a little post fodder. I suppose it wasn't entirely a loss. Plus she was kinda cute as I said.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

trains

Not too far down the street from the house I grew up in was a railroad crossing. Thoughts of trains often are set at this crossing for me, the pastures of the prison farm across and to the right, the small trucking company across and to the left. These are the background as the trains speed past.

The train is coming from one direction or going away depending on the direction you're facing or perhaps on your general point of view. Staring ahead through the windshield gives the train a whole other power as it seems to pull you along, making you almost feel that you're moving.

These days I have other crossings that I sometimes find myself at, watching the trains go by to parts unknown. Before local road construction changed our usual route downtown, we often found ourselves racing alongside a train. It was only a short stretch of road, the train curving away and around the old factories and then back, the softball field in the distance, and then the train peels away to seek its own route downtown. We'll most likely cross over it, picking our way around old streets to the viaduct where we can almost see the train below as it leaves town around a curve and is gone.

This is the real power the trains have over me, the parts unknown. The contents of the train present no mystery I'm inclined to care about. It's all about the tracks leading off around the next bend and the next bend, across an unfamiliar river to wherever is next.

I'd like to say I have few regrets in life. There's a certain amount of wonder in thinking of how I could have decided things differently, but I believe to some extent the eddies around the butterfly's wings are often as likely to effect outcomes as what we do with our options. I end up not knowing what I should regret and what I should embrace.

I've always wanted to hop a train. I never have. I've sat in cars full of brothers counting the cars, getting dizzy from staring so hard, and wanting like hell to get out of the car. I've seen myself doing it, getting that running start as I see my target car coming up behind. Try like hell, I still can't quite match the train, but I run just fast enough. A quick look back, open door and an empty boxcar.

There's no way I could ever do that now, and I fully accept that. The only way I could ever hop a train now would either involve some sort of catastrophe or some sort of hollow, new age men's retreat where we got to rock out, hop trains, box kangaroos, bang drums and lament our lost boyhood.

But I still want to. It's not fixation, not something to concern folks. I sat today watching a train, amazed at all the boxcars I saw rolling past, doors wide open, the cars appearing empty, awaiting only that wandering soul, that vagabond willing to bend to the call of the road. I wanted to be that one who stepped up, leaving the car to take a running, flying leap into the unknown.

Friday, April 13, 2007

beware

The very first thing I have to say is that if this doesn't offend someone, then it's because wiser heads clicked away. I won't be providing the link to this, so you'll have to take my word that this line does in fact exist somewhere. It's from a blog that I may have visited but would never read (beyond a little post fodder I swear) and won't likely visit ever again.

The blog writer is a christian as is evidenced by the mounds of crap tacked up to every visible inch of their page. It's a little unseemly and very much an unpleasant place for me. No it's not just because I'm an atheist, and no my eyes don't burn when I read Bible verses. It just seems a bit much, a bit of Jesus and capitalism that I don't really recall as being part of the Bible, at least not the one I read.

Now to the funny, the line that sort of leapt off the page as I was wondering how exactly this blog was beating another in a particular skewed voting thing I won't link to as well. I have a feeling I'm courting trouble here, and I kind of like it, but I don't want anyone sending me death threats either.

Anyway, the writer who wrote the lines that are the subject of all this was discussing their desires concerning their relationship with their god. They explained it as, "the desire to press in and know Him more deeply."

HaHa, they want to press in and know god more deeply.

And that, friends and neighbors, is why I won't win. So thanks, and ya'll come back now.

aaawwwww

A sweeter story you might never find. Take a minute and go visit Scott and read his story. It made my stony cold heart perhaps no less stony but, even if for a moment, a little less cold. But that's just me. It really is a great little tale, like a commercial for aromatherapy candles but in real life and with no aromatherapy candles.

tunes post number 43-A

The boys have had breakfast and a prelunch granola bar. It's Friday and our homeschool co op day as well as Momma's payday. Lunch will most likely be leftover ramen noodles, and yes I said leftover. I cooked two packages of ramen noodles with some onions, celery, carrots, mushroom, cabbage and leftover beef and gave my kids a great meal of veggies and msg.

All of that is the preface, my excuse if you will, for the newest of my recurring series, youtube as post fodder. It started with looking for whatever Hank Williams might spring up. There isn't a lot, and sadly much of it is some chump putting together a good song with some mismatched film or video footage. At least I haven't yet seen the Naruto/Hank Sr. mashup which would literally send me into a murderous rage though I'm certain it's being worked on currently. Which is not to say I dislike Naruto, though I kind of do.

There of course was also the Hank Jr. stuff, but I largely ignore his ass. He was the talentless fuck in the middle of his father and son, the true stars of the Williams family. So that inevitably leads me to Hank III. What can you say about this guy? He's equally at home with country and rock, and the beauty of it is that both his country and his rock are really great music. I don't go in much for his heavier stuff myself these day tending more toward the country, but when he goes and does something like this . . .

uhhh, really?

It's new word time. This one I expect to be the surprise hit of the season. This word, like none before of which I am aware, takes the award for both giggle and raised eyebrow.

Today's word describes a type of thrush, a songbird according to the word of the day people from whom I steal these things.

The word is turdiform. No, this is not the set of molds inside your gut in which the poo is placed to set after it's mixed, though some days a machine molded poo seems like not the worst idea I've ever heard.

I won't take this any farther than I have already. I'll accept that it's generally accepted that I have very little to do with things as silly as standards, and there is not much in this world I won't gladly rip a funny and wordy hole in. But turdiforms and poo molds may take it just a bit too far.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

to complain

That's all I'm going to do right now is complain. I shouldn't really, because I know the kind of real shit that's happening around the world, but what the hell. It's what I do.

I keep seeing the sun or proof that it is indeed shining, but there just too many clouds competing for the sky that we aren't really getting a lot of sun. It's as if the clouds admit those few rays of sun every so often just to fuck with us.

This is the nicest day in what seems like two weeks. We had our little cold snap and some rain, and more rain today wouldn't surpise me. It's also pretty windy today which wouldn't matter so much, but it's just going to blow more shingles off the roof, and I really don't like the idea of climbing from the ladder to the roof. It creeps me the fuck out and is very hard for me without someone behind me rushing me and alerting me to the pussy that I am.

Even ignoring the potential for rain that the sky admits, I can't stand to let the boys out to play. I still haven't mowed the grass, and it just sucks to even look at the yard. If I were to allow that it's nice enough to play outside I couldn't very well justify not doing the yard work. There's also a part that just doesn't want the boys to have to deal with all that grass, but I really don't relish the thought of getting out there only to have it rain halfway through the job.

The worst of the yard isn't the work, it's the neighbor. One in particular that spends a lot more time on his yard than I do mine. He actually goes out of his way as if he enjoys his yard. I watch him sometimes from our kitchen window that looks past our little bit of yard and past his driveway. I see him walking down his driveway sometimes, looking at our jungle and scowling his disapproval. I almost feel bad, then I get mad at him for making me feel bad. I play out scenes in my head where every bit of redneck comes gushing out one day in a burst of "what the fuck you looking at? You don't like it you can bring your fat ass over here and mow it your god damn self!"

followed moments later with, "motherfucker" and I stand there for a brief moment to see if he's going to get buck or back off.

And really, he's a nice enough guy as far as I know, and I wouldn't ever do that sort of thing to him providing he stops looking at my yard like that.

motherfucker

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

more vote requests

I've asked for my own votes at the homeschool blog awards, and I've voted for some folks that deserve to win. For the most part, I'm not one to worry too much about other people. They can ask for their own votes.

Today I've decided to do things differently. You must believe it's not just the twins that are currently winning driving me to do this because I don't really even know any of these people. I know I likely shouldn't say it, but I wasn't aware that a blog and a link farm were the same thing, but I digress. Oh sure, they do have all those Bible verses, but they didn't write that shit either, and I'd wager they didn't even type it out. They probably just copied and pasted from the eBible, the little savages. Damn I can't stop digressing. Sorry, sometimes things just get to you, like a little piece of wood under a fingernail.

Cocking a Snook Too actually deserves to win the category the twins are leading in, the best teen homeschooling blog. She writes and writes well. She doesn't seem to have to reduce herself to artful cursery like I do, even if she does seem to have olive oil issues. Which, if she reads this, go with extra virgin first cold press. Those are the only words you need to know.

The boys need lunch, and I need a smoke, and I'm ending the plea with whatever you call that last little bit of push, like the NPR folks sounding a little desperate as the hour ends. Click homeschool blog award, then vote for Cocking a Snook Too. Don't take my word for it though. Visit the blog and see for yourself.

hands, ass and flashlight

Perhaps some of you out there haven't heard the phrase, "he couldn't find his asshole with both hands and a flashlight." Well, that's the award I feel I've proven I've won. Thank you Chris for having answered my question the first time. Thank you Audrey for offering your help. Thanks to me for begging for the help that I shouldn't have needed if I'd but taken the time, used both the looking parts and the thinking parts at the same time. The ol' gray matter just aint what she used to be. I need a bath and a beer.

Of course part of me, the part that sat here clicking and copying and pasting and repasting and recopying and cutting and previewing and being astounded when simple things work even when you try to make them hard, yeah, that part nearly giggle at the damn thing working as if I'd solved some real problem. And through the little bit of a feeling of accomplishment I have to admit that it's really not my own fault.

So it's done. The Evolved Homeschooler logo links to the wiki. Click it and go, but don't bother going to my page. It just links back here for something that didn't make sense the first time around or wasn't ever funny anyway. Either way, it works and I need to get the hell away form the computer.

Thanks again Chris and Audrey, and I can see you sitting there shaking your heads at me. Dude, it's all hard for me, so at least keep the "laughing at" to yourselves while I pretend it's "laughing with" that I keep hearing.

help? somebody?

Will you look at that? I seem to be an evolved homeschooler, and I'm certain I couldn't be happier. Sadly this is as close a description of my beliefs as is possible to approach with a homemade logo. There wasn't one explaining how I honor the unholy power of Yog Sothoth and how I quake in fear at the thought that one day the blood of mankind will warm the throats of the old ones. It also doesn't say anything about the stock pile of armaments I'm amassing to be ready for Armageddon, you know, sort of my own death bed confessional but with less confession and more going to get mine.

None of that really matters at this moment. I have a real life emergency here. I'm talking about my inability to fix or even understand computery type things. Sure, when Blogger makes it stupid easy for folks like me, with a couple quick strokes of the mouse, to set up such a fancy blog with all the gewgaws stuffed in and hanging out the edges a little. I imagine I did in fact need another thing, so I got it.

I actually sent Chris a private message trying to figure out what I was doing since he's the one nice enough to set up the wiki that gives us all that much more room to play. I think maybe he wasn't able to read my mind and answer the question I meant to ask, so rather than bother him with it again, I'll toss it here and reward the first person to help me.

As is plain to all, I can easily right click and save as. I can even go into the guts of my blog and add a page element that includes that lovely little logo. What I can't seem to figure now is how to make it a link to the Evolved Homeschoolers wiki. Did you know about that? It's true, an honest to fuck wiki for homeschoolers that don't give all the credit to interstellar entities but allow for sciencey learning as well. I'm not saying there are no interstellar beings, just that you can only credit one with so much having done before the rest of them start to get jealous and wanting their own piece of the pie.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

how cool are we?

Backing out of the driveway, heading to the stop sign and the right turn, on our way to soccer practice and looking for something to listen to. This conversation proves that I'm doing something right with my kids.

me-hmm, I think we were listening to The Pietasters on our way to practice last week, and that's sounding good to me

Big Brother-I wouldn't really like to listen to The Pietasters.

me-okay, there's plenty of music here. What sounds good? Phyllis Dillon? Motorhead?

Big Brother-I'd like to listen to Motorhead.

The Boy-MOTORHEAD

me-I can't argue with that.

That was then however and we are back home and we are now listening to Thomas the Tank Engine music which The Boy requested. He has been in the bath for several minutes at this point, and I still haven't stopped it. I also haven't stopped singing along.

Monday, April 09, 2007

award me

It's got to at least be good for shits and giggles, though I have to admit that I could write at least a little more about homeschooling. Perhaps the whole writing about part doesn't quite matter, just that I both homeschool and blog.

Either way, some kind soul was nice enough to nominate me for a Homeschool Blog award. I certainly appreciate that, but I must at the same time admit that I realize how unlikely it is I'll win. I just know homeschoolers too well I think.

I don't agree with the stereotype of homeschooler, though I do admit that the stereotype exists because there is some truth to it. I know it exists when I compare the number of members of my local group with the other local group, the one that does care how you approach matters of personal faith.

With all my expecting not to win, even through the absolute faith I have in me not winning, I still kind of want to win. There is certainly the majority of me that doesn't care, but that little sliver of hope rests quietly, almost unseen because I've buried it so deep under my facade of indifference.

This post all comes down to a plea for votes. If I'm elected, I will not raise taxes, nor will I repeal any blue laws. I won't promise to fund the schools or straighten up congress. What I will do if I win is sort of almost nearly exactly like what I've been doing.

So vote for me. If I win I will continue to write posts with the single minded purpose of making you the reader piss a little in your pants while laughing, a little uncomfortably I hope.

For all our differences we all homeschool and put our pants on one leg at a time. Some of us wear denim jumpers which is like jeans with one big leg for both your legs, and I don't know if you just step into a denim jumper or pull it down over your head. If it's over the head then both legs enter as one, unless you only have one leg, so that defeats the purpose of the "one leg at a time" homily.

Anyway, find me under the following categories, Most Powerful Erection, Most Colorful Use of Language Unsuitable For Human Ears, and Blogger Who Most Misguidedly Thinks Highly of Him/Herself. Vote early and vote often. Roll out your Tammany Hall style machine to push me all the way to the top.

UPDATE: I hopped quickly through the list of other nominated blogs that were nominated under "humorous" and I just have to say that if I don't beat everyone there by a margin of at least 100 to one then the word humorous doesn't mean at all what I thought it did. I'm not trying to be rude (I actually am) or anything, I'm just saying.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

wowzers

Because I haven't done it in a while. If you know this song, then you probably need to hear it again anyway. If you don't know this song, then you are being underserved in your musical listening. The Flaming Lips a great band. You might remember them from a random hit they might have had, but that shouldn't be the only reason you remember these guys. They are more than that one song you almost remember.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

unfinished as of yet

I tend not to post about books while I'm reading them. I've considered it before as I read over a random bit of prose that just seems especially well crafted, those hidden nuggets that you can hardly find later when your wife wonders aloud about the book you're reading.

We seem to have a fair crop of authors who've graced the town I live in. There must be a certain something that seems to seep into certain people and bring out something good in them. It might just be the bit of smog that seems to get stuck here in our valley.

Suttree is so far as I can tell a story about a guy named Suttree, though some kid named Gene Harrogate keeps showing up. I'm not too deep in the story just yet, and I don't plan to comment beyond the following quote. It's one of those that made me stop reading for a second, sort of double take and reread.
Foreign stars in the night down there. A whole new astronomy. Mensa, Musca, the Chameleon. Austral constellations nigh unknown to northern folks. Wrinkling, fading, through the cold black waters. As he rocks in his rusty pannier to the sea's floor in a drifting stain of guano. What family has no mariner in its tree? No fool, no felon. No fisherman.
from Suttree, by Cormac McCarthy

Friday, April 06, 2007

it better have

"It's stopped snowing," said Momma, peeking through the front window.

"It better have," I answer, not sure what the unspoken "or else" might have been. It was only about an hour ago that the snow started to fall and I was threatening whoever the hell thought that shit up.

Tonight gave us in my li'l town a little of the ol' wtf. I noticed it much earlier in the evening as I drove home from a little shopping jaunt. It was a late night jaunt to the food co-op for coffee, milk and half and half. I'd just passed the lutheran church. I'd laughed at them on my way to the store as they stood outside with their feelings, the spotlights making day of the trio of crosses, a black scarf across the center one as if we would forget which one had held Jesus, duh. Traveling away from the co-op minutes later, the only lutherans I saw were saddling up and heading home.

It was about this point that I swore I wasn't seeing snow. It's been a fairly windy night and ungodly cold the last few days. It had to just be some dust and dirt whipping in front of the wind across the road in front of me. But then I saw it again, not a lot, just little glimmers in the headlights. A quick look past the streetlights, still a little inconclusive, but mostly I just don't want to see snow even knowing by this point that it couldn't be anything else.

I finished my errands without spotting much else that would make me think it was snowing. I wanted so to doubt that I was seeing this infernal shit yet again this late in the year. I was snug and warm in the Carolinas when the blizzard of '93 hit this town, but having read the story and heard the story a few times, an April snow, even of the flurry variety is reason to think of grocery stores and a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread. Or more importantly, the flurry makes one think of extra six packs of beer and perhaps at least one extra pack of smokes.

I finally arrive home and whisper the dark vision to Momma. There was nothing but the cold and the weird clouds above to make one even consider the possibility. She decides to find the humor in the irony of this situation that for me only furrows my brow deeper, brings closer down those dark clouds.

Fast forward to an even later night cigarette, I'm bundled up to stand outside the back door, hating the cold and reading from my current book. What do I get for my efforts but a cold wind whipping what is certainly no longer a flurry. The snow is falling indeed and heavily enough that it's begun collecting on those places that first show the snow, the table on the back porch, the cars. Momma points out the surrealism of seeing this heavy (to us) snow while the trees are all sporting their fresh coats of leaves. The dogwoods are the white beauty we look for now, not that all forgiving blanket of snow.

It was a sight, the snow swirling now, the wind blasting it hard and cold now. It was disturbing and somewhat less than pleasant. I was so happy to wear shorts lately, almost looking forward to the yard work I never get around to. So happy that the kids won't be inside and underfoot quite so all the time. This stupid snow, for all its transience, puts one in a mood. It's the snow's damn fault too. It didn't have to come sneaking up on us.

And then Momma peeked out the front window and made her discovery known, the snow had stopped falling. My own peek confirmed this but also confirmed that for the date, it's still a damn lot of snow sitting on the ground. It better melt by the time my ass gets out of bed, or whoever thought an April snow would be okay is going to get my foot stuck up their ass up to my knee. Maybe if I was in a joking mood, but I'm just not right now, not with snow dammit.

uuuggghhh . . . easter

Let it here be known that I hate Easter. I wouldn't trade a one inch square piece of a turd for Easter if you really want the truth. And it's not just the nonbeliever in me screaming and pouting about having to celebrate one more holiday that isn't really now what it originally was.

I can sort of understand some of the ancient concepts regarding spring time renewal/rebirth celebrations. In days when the animal skins we wore still looked like the animals they had once been, we were very happy to see the end of the deadly winter months. If nothing else the ground would finally thaw enough to bury all the babies that didn't survive the cold so we can quit looking at them finally. I'm imagining a time when we were past eating them but somewhere before the enlightenment.

The reason it really gets me is that so many other people don't really mind celebrating at all, and we just can't get away from it all. I could slip into the usual media rant, but they don't get nearly enough credit for all the education they do of the nation's youth, and there's the whole point of the post to consider.

It's not like we are turning down invitations to Easter celebrations. The family celebration is always worthwhile both because we just don't see family often enough and because, as Momma says, "I may not give a shit about Easter, but I do give a shit about ham."

The only other thing we do for Easter tends to involve our local homeschool friends. I may grunt and groan my misery to Momma, but I won't turn down an opportunity for the kids to see their friends, and I won't turn down a chance to hang out with other grown ups. Plus they're all great people, and they deserve my company, my mood lightening face full of sunshine and peppermint.

Through the drudgery of preparing for the homeschool party I have found myself giggling a bit. The plan is for the families to bring plastic eggs to hide. The eggs can be filled with acceptable items for the kids to enjoy. Mine include jelly beans, some stickers I dug out of a drawer and cash. I still have three eggs that I am clueless as to what to stuff in them as I've run out of crap that I can reasonably expect not to make enemies over. I'm going to have to actually buy something at the store when I stop to get snacks on my way to the group.

The giggles started last night. We needed both eggs as well as filler material. I didn't want to go any farther than the grocery store. I need beer and smokes anyway, so that was the logical store to go to, though as it turns out, they were not the best place to find egg filler material. As I wandered the store contemplating, I kept finding myself imagining sticking every conceivable and some inconceivable items into these eggs. So I end with the list of things I will NOT be placing within an egg regardless of how fucking hilarious it would be to see these lovely children find:

-cotton balls
-combo toothpick/flosser tool
-dried beans
-dollar in pennies
-Qtips
-random legos
-banana (seriously, funny as shit in theory)
-dead battery
-travel toothpaste
-play worn Hot Wheels car
-the tiny rocks I keep finding around the house (most likely from playground at UU church where we meet)
-pencil stub
-Easter candy from last year
-coupons
-beer bottle caps

As has been made plain, I've basically laughingly considered every object upon which my gaze happened to fall that would both fit in an egg and wasn't something just wrong in the situation. I even though about leaving sarcastic little notes in an egg confirming to the finding child that this particular egg did indeed have nothing worthwhile. Alas I can't seem to go out quite like that.

And I still have those last three eggs. I'm tempted at this point to find the Easter pencil erasers we wound up with last year. It seems odd the number of times they've happened to turn up in the last year only to have completely disappeared now. I know they didn't get used because we've found these new pencils that have erasers built onto them. I wonder if anyone would get them and recognize them as having come from them. That would be funny.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

random kiddity

Brisingr!

If you don't know, this is the word from the ancient language that comes to Eragon as he kills his first Urgals.

The boys have been fighting bad guys most of the morning. I wasn't sure what they up to, what their play was based on till somewhere in the distant, in the middle of a sword fight, I hear the call.

Brisingr!

And I know that another Urgal is being consumed by the blue flames. With such warriors for the side of justice as Big Brother and The Boy, any household can rest easy assured of their safety.

the letter unsent

This week's Street Talk feature in our local alternative newsweekly was not only entertaining, but it also gave me a good feeling knowing that someone, somewhere is doing some good for underprivileged kids who desire to play golf. It's always gratifying for me to know that someone is taking up the slack of all the good I don't do.

Of course you don't know what I'm talking about. You don't have to click the link because I'll tell you. It's a short interview with a local woman who works at the Underprivileged Kids Who Want To Play Golf Association. It's actually called First Tee Program and sounds both cool and good, assuming that you are mistakenly assuming that golf doesn't suck.

This post has to do with the last question asked of the young lady being interviewed. She was asked if anything funny had ever happened in relation to children and golf and her job. She answered that the children were generally fun to watch and mentioned a particular story involving her own lack of familiarity with the game.

She admitted to standing too closely to a new player and taking a shot from a club swing in the neck. She then suggested that this wasn't actually funny. Here I must take offense. If someone getting knocked out from a golf club to the neck isn't funny then I propose that nothing is ever going to be funny again. Ever!

Here is where I relay my own knockedoutedness as a result of a golf club to a sensitive area now that we've taken care of the "where the fuck is this coming from" out of the way.

I forget now how old I may have been. It would have been in the early days of my family dabbling in golf. If I remember correctly it was my oldest brother originally. Regardless, there was a set of golf clubs at our house, though I was old enough that this brother should have been moved out, or so I remember.

The story involves myself of course as the knockedoutee and my next younger brother as the knockouter. He and I apparently remember this story differently. Due to the nature of the wound that resulted from whichever story is true, I can not justify any real belief in my own story. Wounds of this sort produce oddities of thought and comprehension, and I often wonder if this single day has any bearing on how me and my thinky parts turned out.

My memory involves me walking behind my next younger brother as he swung the golf club. I do in fact remember being on the tail end of the swing, as in, his swing stopped it's long graceful arch in the side of my head.

The brother remembers me trying to pick up a ball that he was about to hit. He claims that he warned me that he wasn't going to not swing just because I was trying to get the ball. According to his version I was being kind of a dick and insisting it was my turn to hit the ball.

Either story makes him look worse, and whichever is true, I still ended up at the hospital getting my very first stitches. I can't say that I actually got knocked out because, as I may have mentioned, my memory of the event is a little fuzzy. I may very well have gotten knocked out.

Whichever story is true, getting hit in the head or neck, whether or not you get knocked out, can be very funny. And that's a bankable truth.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

wik-wiki-wik

This one is neat if only because of the birthday I get to list. It seems somewhat familiar but probably because I've actually looked this up. The idea is to look up your birthday, month and day only, on Wikipedia and then list some wacky something or other. See the list. Thanks, Chris, for keeping the good times rolling. I might actually wait till I get a kid in bed, but ya'll won't know if I did or didn't, so what the hell do you even care?

September 7

Three Events That Occurred That Day
1191-Third Crusade-Richard I of England defeats Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf
1776-American submersible, Turtle, launches first submarine attack attempting to attach a bomb to the English ship HMS Eagle
2005-Egypt sees its first presidential election.

Two Important Birthdays
1860-Grandma Moses, American painter
1936-Buddy Holly, rock and roll icon, dead too soon

One Death
1892-John Greenleaf Whittier

One Event Celebrated
Independence Day in Brazil

fun with the ten comandments

Recent discussions I've found myself in have caused me to consider the ten commandments, those delightful nuggets of joy that the christian Bible tells us to stamp onto everything that doesn't move for ten straight minutes. So I went to, seriously, don't laugh, tencommandments.org

I've listed the first two commandments as one because they're basically the same thing. It's almost like god had to stretch it because he'd already said ten before he realized there were only nine. Or maybe the stone tablets looked uneven with only nine written out, and he added the last one for balance.

I don't know. I grew up with these things, probably could even years ago have told you all ten from memory. Now I have to look them up online. Yes, I do have a Bible. It's on my shelf, labeled fiction. No I don't feel like getting up and finding it.

-You shall have no other gods/you shall create no idols-This is one doesn't have anything to do with law or justice. This is a straight up command not to believe in other gods/religions. As an atheist, I ignore these two completely. I'd go so far as to say the majority of people of any faith tend to allow plenty of things to come between their professed beliefs and how they live their lives.

-You shall not take the Lord's name in vain-see above, and you lovely people may not know this about me, but I practice cursing in front of a mirror to make sure I do it right. But that's just me.

-Remember the sabbath to keep it holy-There's our blue laws for you. The worst of these laws is that we too often forget to pick up our tequila before Sunday and can't get it. Oh, I can buy beer Sunday, but our liquor and beer retail is closed. Growing up in Georgia I remember the blue laws only extended to retail sales. I'm sure different counties treat the law differently, but it always seemed odd that I could get as drunk as I wanted in a bar, but I was unable from midnight to midnight Sunday to purchase beer to take home. Also see Tennessee's willingness to change Sunday purchase time for the Titans games.

-Honor your father and mother-I saw a story on the news yesterday about a very young girl whose mother had set up an appointment with a porn photographer (actually an undercover cop) and the mother even brought extra clothes as well as sexual aids. Should this child honor this mother?

-Thou shall not murder-Every society in the world has seen murder as wrong. To some ancient cultures though a human sacrifice to the gods was seen as completely natural. Joshua's army in the Bible not only destroyed the city of Jericho, but they also killed every man, woman, child and the animals. As if that weren't enough, they then burned the entire city to the ground. Our own president could be condemned of murder given what he has led our country into.

-You shall not commit adultery-This doesn't give us a lot to go on, so we tend to assume what it means based on modern expectations of marriage which often have very little to do with ancient marriage, see woman as chattel, see concubines, see King David.

-You shall not steal-another law that various cultures throughout the world have settled on with no outside help.

-You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor-Lying, perjury, again widely accepted as morally wrong with no outside christian influence.

-You shall not covet-here we have the Bible telling us how to think. It's wrong to want things you don't have. We could look at buddhist teachings and find the same sort of attitude, attempted elimination of desire for things. But we could also accept that this one is really impossible to keep for the most part.

It is my opinion that the idea that law is based on the ten commandments is a very new phenomenon. I don't see it as at all likely, but so many of us have heard this for so long we've accepted it as true. Of all the ten commandments, three of them have any bearing on what most of the world accepts as moral or ethical. The other seven could be specific to any religion but could only apply as law in a theocracy.

coke as drink

It's almost three in the afternoon here. I tend to nurse my coffee throughout the day, making a couple of big strong cups and spending an hour or two on them. I'm not the least bit afraid of my coffee not being hot. At some point between then and the later drinking hour I try to get some water into my system though I readily admit to not drinking nearly enough. There's another cuppa in my future, though I tend to take a coffee break between cups two and three, otherwise I know I'll have a cup four. I try to keep it to three.

Feeling thirsty and knowing I was between cups of coffee, I pondered water but realized I wanted a coke. Where I'm from there are two different meanings of the word coke. If you want Coke, that's the stuff in the red can, Coca-Cola. If you want coke with a small "c" then you have a much broader variety from which to choose.

I did contemplate a beer, and I have a variety currently from which to choose. I'm not against afternoon beer or even morning beer. I have a friend that works late enough that he and his coworkers have an a.m. happy hour. I'm just not feeling beerish at the moment. Plus, this isn't the point, though it is nice to know I'm still slightly in control of my raging drunkenness.

I have recently found myself using the word soda on occasion though I fear what that may be saying about me losing some of my southernness, as if that's possible growing up in Atlanta before living in both Carolinas and now Tennessee. Big fat chance of me growing too urbane, and I'm a little okay with that. Before we get into my own version of the neo southern gentleman, the kind like me that can drink moonshine straight from the jar as well as admit that Freddie Mercury was really the only truly hot man in a mustache, we'll remind ourselves that today's lame ass post fodder is semantic in nature.

Coke with a small "c" can not of course be meant to include all carbonated soft drinks. While my favorite coke may be cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper, I would actually prefer, if given the option, a lime flavored Jarritos. I don't know if Jarritos falls under the coke moniker in my opinion, and I think that's mostly because Jarritos flavors are all fruit based while cokes are generally accepted to be mostly contrived of . . . limon? cola? What the fuck are those things? Neither Sprite nor 7 Up taste at all like lemon or lime or even denatured citrus additive number 1217. Okay, maybe they do taste like DCA1217, but that's still not the point. And what the hell is the glorious substance that flavors Dr. Pepper? Because even without the cherry or vanilla it's a tasty beverage.

In the end, maybe they are all coke. I might have to ask around.

And for anyone from Wisconsin and maybe even Michigan, what the hell is pop? Seriously, pop?! Pop is what you get in the mouth when you get to sassin'. Pop is the sound of a balloon bursting. Who calls their soda drinks by an onomatopoeia that has no relation to the product in question? That's just weird.

don't try

Momma and I had an interesting conversation last night. At some point, she had read my most recent post in which I discuss apathy and depression.

I think for a few years she just didn't quite understand me. That isn't an indictment of her ability but is revealing in what she was trying for far too long. What she didn't understand was my own levels of happiness and her place in my happiness and her ability to control how happy or unhappy I naturally am.

Our relationship has brought much joy and much pain as is true of all relationships in which people invest a good deal of themselves. Mostly what our relationship brings me is a happiness that Momma didn't realize. For far too long she felt somehow responsible for making me a happy person.

This is what we discussed last night. I don't want or need to be made happy, and I wish now we'd talked about this seriously before last night so I could have saved her some effort and some of her own pain.

I'm not an unhappy person, though it may quite seem like it. I'm cynical and jaded about so many things. I'm pessimistic, not in a glass half empty sort of way but in a "who drank the other half of my beer?" kind of way. It is how I am.

And I hope now that Momma has realized that I don't need her actively trying to make me happy. I certainly don't want her bringing extra stress onto herself by fighting a battle that she not only can't win but is also not hers to fight ever.

What do I want from her? Her presence makes me happy. I'm happy knowing she's there, behind me with support when I need her or leaning on me for support when she needs it. I want to know that that particular smile will always be for me, the one that makes her lip catch on the tooth she wishes she could get fixed. I'm happy knowing that no matter how bad the rest of world might seem that I can always trust her.

So ladies and gentlemen, don't try to make him/her or her/him happy because you can't. Faithfulness, trust, support, a squeeze of the hand as the tears start to flow

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

quiz questions

We begin with the hat tip to Red Molly for the quiz that gives me, as my main life philosophies Justice(Fairness) barely beating out Apathy. Hedonism is listed in third place and is actually tied with Apathy, but I've really never been a hedonistic person personally. Quiz results will follow the blathering. And I'm not trolling her for blog post ideas, but I do grab them where I can.

Am I an apathetic person? There are certainly things I have concern for, people I love and care about, things I enjoy doing, but there is a certain level of apathy that I can't deny. There's still music that can move me, and there are still books that make my eyes a little leaky. But there's also that black area that often seems to be spreading like oil on the ocean.

My plan is not to plumb the depths of my depressing soul nor to discuss my fragile state of mind. It's not going to happen. I have had the quiz on my mind for a couple of days, the ideas of justice juxtaposed with feelings of apathy. I think the quiz hits me a little extra hard due to those two concepts coupled with my own current mindset. Recent situations that I've faced have caused me to think about fairness as well as my approach to life.

I have to admit to some amount of apathy over the course of the years, and I've looked at it before, somewhat dispassionately perhaps. I'm not suddenly awakening to my own apathy, but I'm faced with the same sort of thing that I butt up against and always have, that I just can't make myself care about a lot.

I'm not manic depressive, and I'm not leaning toward the bottle of pills or the blood filled bath tub. I am somewhat a depressed person, and given my current view, I'm thinking that perhaps I've always been this way but was never really forced to see it as such. Certainly there have been those really low times, those days long black moods, but I've always thought there was a reason, something causing it, lack of love or friends or perhaps just not able or wanting to see the truth.

And that's what the quiz's suggestion of apathy leads me to. I can see myself as apathetic in a sense, but I also wonder if it's not more than that. Maybe I just don't feel like caring. Maybe I just don't feel personally good enough to really give a shit about much else. I know that I have a running theme of not giving a shit about a lot of things, and I'm pretty happy with that. At some level I think unconcern is a healthy place to work from. I don't care what you look like, who you fuck or to whom you pray or even if you pray. But sometimes I also don't care if the big tree in the front yard were to blow over and crush me to death while I sat here pecking out my little screeds.


You scored as Justice (Fairness). Your life is guided by the concept of Fair Justice: Everyone, yourself included, should be rewarded and punished according to the help or harm they cause.



"He who does not punish evil commands it to be done."

--Leonardo da Vinci



“Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.”

--Dwight D. Eisenhower



More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...

Justice (Fairness)


70%

Apathy


60%

Hedonism


60%

Nihilism


55%

Existentialism


55%

Kantianism


55%

Utilitarianism


45%

Strong Egoism


40%

Divine Command


0%

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com

PSA


Dear female readers, do you own and/or wear a top that looks like this? Apparently it's called a something something tunic top or something, and it seems as though this is the top all the gals are wearing right now. This is another example of someone devious convincing women something is true when in fact it isn't.

Ladies, are you really so blind to what looks good that you're okay with this top? I'm afraid you've been deluded when you've convinced yourself that this top looks nice. This style of top is not flattering to anyone. It makes larger sized girls look even bigger while making smaller girls look pregnant.

Finally, it's just ugly. It's bad enough that it's such an unattractive fashion, and it's bad enough that girls don't realize they are making themselves look stupid, but the worst part in my opinion is that so damn many girls are wearing this shit. Couple these ugly tops with the big sunglasses and I'd almost rather move back to the '70's. At least back then they just hadn't yet invented better looks for people.

Seriously ladies, quit listening to your idiot friends. Girls convince each other of awful things in the hopes they can make the pretty friend the ugly friend, even if for just one night. That has to be the real explanation for such devastating ugliness as this top.

Thank you for your time.

UPDATE: While commenting to COD's comment, I remembered something even worse than the ugly tunic shirt, wearing pants under a dress. I'm not talking about those ugly shirts that are almost but not quite dress length. I'm talking about a real dress over pants. It looks stupid, dumb, ugly . . . did I say stupid?