Friday, December 30, 2005
False Prophets (ranting to you folks because if I go off on someone I'll make her cry and then I'd feel like shit)
The Bible warns us against both. But so many Christians don’t see the delineation that it scares me. So let’s clarify shall we? A false idol (or you could just say "idol" since presumably they're all false) would be someone or something that leads a Christian AWAY from their faith. Examples might include: Satanic worship, greed, pornography, hedonism; or if you are the type to see other religions as "the path to hell" this might also include anything non-Christian like say Buddhism, Judaism or Islam.
I’m not saying that I agree with that all those things are idolotrous nor will I debate what really goes in the Idol category but from a fundamentalist Christian standpoint I could see how these things could lead a Christian directly away from their professed faith. They either displace the values of Christ or refute the faith entirely (as in other religions). For this reason I don’t think false idols are really much of a threat to Christians. I mean they are obvious. They are so easy to spot it’s pathetic. They are the big red flashing “DANGER” signs for religious Christian fervor. We respond to them with a universal, "DUH!"
False Prophets on the other hand are far more insidious. They masquerade as Christians. They quote Bible verses. They start holy wars. They claim to be doing God’s work even though their actions seem to profit them more than they do the church. They turn a blind eye to injustice. And they do it all right under the noses of, and often with the overt approval of people who genuinely want to please Christ. The False Prophet doesn’t want you to renounce your faith, he wants to pervert it! He will make you a tool of the Enemy. Under his care your chilled Christian heart will learn to judge others mercilessly. You’ll mindlessly drive lost souls away from Christ or else pervert them as well.
The everyday Christian hears the False Prophet shout, “Honk if you love Jesus!!” and he/she HONKS like a crack addicted goose. The False Prophet sends an email claiming that CBS canceled Touched By An Angel because it was glorifying God and some atheist (who has oddly enough been dead for 10+ years) had protested it. In his/her righteous indignation the everyday Christian madly spams everyone in their address book with this lie without bothering to spend like 10 seconds to type in “http://www.snopes.com/” to see if it’s true or not; completely forgetting that the show hasn’t been on in like three years and the 9th commandment clearly states “thou shalt not bear false witness”.
The False Prophet claims that Jesus is his co-pilot as he orders the deaths of innocent people who stand in the way of his profiteering while ignoring the slaughter of other innocents who have nothing to offer him. The False Prophet places a magnifying glass over the lives of gays in love in order to distract the everyday Christian from the fact that he is robbing the poor and the elderly and decimating God's good earth.
The Bible doesn’t warn us about the dangers of false idols in the Last Days. It warns us about the dangers of False Prophets. False idols may be an opportunity for proselytizing and missionary work but they are no big threat to our salvation. Do not fear those who can destroy the body, fear those who can destroy the soul. Those who would use our faith against us are counting on us to be lazy. Certainly we are to be as innocent at doves, but we have to be as cunning as serpents. We are to take nothing for granted. Sometimes I think we as Christians are just so damn happy to hear somebody, anybody say “Thank You Jesus!” that we just “pishaw!” the bad behavior that is muddying up our shoes by association. It’s gotten so bad that the everyday Christian is actually apologizing for and rationalizing the sins of False Prophets. It’s a doomed path, if everyday Christians keep down that road, they’ll burn with them too.
Lucifer was an ANGEL of LIGHT. Let’s remember that. If he showed up at your door sporting horns, a pointy tail and a pitchfork you’d say, “Get thee off my porch Satan!” Right? That’s so hopeless he’s not gonna try that. The Devil is S-M-A-R-T and not only that he’s a snappy dresser. When he knocks on a Christian door he’s gonna be wearing his Sunday Best, carrying his Bible, there’ll be a cross around his neck. And after he offers to paint the blood of the lamb on your door he’s gonna ask you to sign a petition to fire that Lesbian schoolteacher who’s teaching your dyslexic son to read when no one else could and in exchange he’ll give you four tickets to a screening of Narnia. That doesn’t mean we can’t trust each other. But it does mean that we need to be on guard. For the Devil and his False Prophets are big toothy roving lions (and I ain't talking about Aslan, folks) looking for a tasty Christian morsel to maul.
But we’ll know true Christians by their love. The love of Christ that accepts and forgives others who can’t/won’t/don’t live up Gods standards. The love that would never send valiant men and women to sacrifice themselves in order to line the coffers of the wealthy. The love that asks WWJD instead of deciding to torture a prisoner of war. The love that sacrifices of itself. The love that tenderly cares for the poor. The love that rescues children. The love that delivers justice with mercy. That’s what you look for and if you don’t see that then check the size of their teeth.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I’ve always assumed that the memory of someone we love begins to haunt us after they die. But maybe death is like walking around the corner while singing a song. They are out of sight but you can still hear the tune. And maybe the haunting begins with a sweet little ditty that they begin to sing when we can still see them, hold them and even harmonize a bit.
My Dad is alive. But the other night when Michael was opening a bottle of wine he told me that for the last 3 years he’s been unable to open a bottle of wine without thinking of my Dad. That’s because the first time my folks came out to meet Michael he was zipping around the kitchen preparing dinner. At one point he pulled a corkscrew out of the drawer and deftly uncorked a bottle of Cabernet. Viewing his future son-in-law’s grace my Dad said, “Man, you sure know your way around a kitchen!”
That one statement comes to Michael’s mind every single time he opens a bottle of wine. Michael told me all this the other night and I couldn’t help but note that something in his voice when he told the story made me realize that Michael was simultaneously deeply flattered and proud that he impressed my Dad. Michael really values my Dad’s opinion, I’ve always known that. But I think it meant everything to him to know that he had won my Dad’s approval even in a small way.
“Ever since then,” Michael told me, “I haven’t been able to open a bottle of wine without thinking of your Dad. It’s gonna be like that for the rest of my life. It’s like he’s cursed me or something.” We laughed about it. But I realized that when my Dad eventually passes away (hopefully many, many years from now) that will be the way he haunts my husband. But the thing is, he’s already started haunting him.
So it begins now. Here I am contemplating the possibility of creating life and I am simultaneously obsessed with the ending of it. My grandmother is alive. But she who gave me my first cup of java haunts me daily when I have my morning cup. Michael’s mother is alive. But she haunts me every time I see the Oakland Raiders emblem and remember her referring to them as “those jerky Raiders!” because she doesn’t like to curse. My mother is still alive. And she haunts my every move because she really was my very first Best Friend and in some ways will always be. But I always think of her when I see the old Godzilla movies, the original King Kong, The Day The Earth Stood Still or a dozen other classics that she still obsesses over.
I wonder how I will haunt people. I wonder if I am already haunting them. Maybe spirits are not bound by time or space. Maybe they can travel back in time to their own lifetimes like some ghost of Christmas past. Maybe everyone I have ever loved or will love is here. It would be wonderful to imagine my future children are even at this moment haunting me in the little toys and baby things that I see in the stores. Or in the faces of children around me. I hope that I am haunting them too. Because if I am then I know that there is a bond that cannot be broken and that death is merely a corner that we all turn while singing our own sweet songs.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I know you’ve heard me say this before. But I really, really want a baby. You know I have that personal deadline of “be a mom for the first time before I’m 40.” Well my 39th birthday is like 40 days away so you know I’m really cutting it close here. While I respect the fact that you are not obligated to perform on my schedule, I might remind you of a certain promise you made a while back which you've kept so far. I'm just saying my foot is now tapping with "are we there yet" impatience.
Now according my fertility calendar I’m due to ovulate on your son’s birthday (give or take). So Michael and I will be “exchanging gifts” so to speak from now until then (and maybe on through the New Year just for good measure). In other words we’re doing our part. Do it to death practically… thank you for making the process so much fun, by the way. But you know all that “miracle of life” stuff is still open for you to step and in and “put a bow on it” as it were.
What I’m saying is: Make me a mommy for Christmas. Please.
Thank you. Amen.
*Any of you prayerful folk who may be so inclined, please add an Amen. Think of it as a Pregnancy Petition To the Big "G" For GWAA.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Since I pretty much logged my embarrassing habits in this post and most of them are pretty weird, let’s just call this 5 MORE weird habits.
- I have conversations with my cats. I do both sides of the conversation and yet somehow they get all the best lines.
- I sing many of my conversations with Michael. He does it too, so it isn’t just me. We do it country, bluesy, opera-style… all different music genres. It’s fun. We try to make things rhyme when we do it. However, it usually ends up with us agreeing that if we raise our kids this way they are going to be picked on really badly at school.
- I read Dear Abbey every morning at work and imagine what I would do if someone in my family behaved the way people in those letters do.
- I imagine different horrible ways I could die. I do this pretty much daily. However, when I actually get up to the moment of my death, I think of some miraculous way I could be saved or I just change the subject. (Example, this morning I had a nose bleed and imagined that it was a sign of a brain tumor caused by cell phone use. Then I decided I needed to do my nails this weekend no matter what, so I never actually imagined my final tragic moments as I succumb to brain cancer.)
- I dance for no reason without even realizing I’m doing it. No music playing or anything; I just start moving to whatever I’m hearing in my head (which is sometimes nothing.) Last night I was having a conversation (spoken not sung) with Michael and I started doing The Robot as I was standing there. He just looked at me like I was nuts and then started laughing.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Here’s what I have so far but I need more. Give me your best suggestions. Not just songs but whoever does the best rendition of it in your opinion. Hopefully they’ll be available on Itunes.
– Baby it’s Cold Outside (either Ella Fitzgerald’s version or the Harry Connick Jr. one)
– This Christmas (the Harry Connick Jr. version is my top pick)
– Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt – is there really anyone that matches up?)
– I Can’t Wait for Christmas – Mindy Abair
Also does anyone know where I can download “I’ve got some presents for Santa” by Sarah Taylor & Bill Mumy?
Update: I'm adding these to my list
-- Frosty’s Rag (Frosty the Snowman) Anita Baker
-- Merry Christmas Baby – Christina Aguilera or Chuck Berry or Etta James
-- Merry, Merry Christmas Baby - (I think this is different from the one above, but not sure)
-- Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Temptations or Ray Charles
-- The Man With The Bag – Kay Star
-- The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
-- I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – (Not sure who does the best version)
Sunday, December 11, 2005
So I started praying on the way home. I got really emotional. I started sobbing. Laying out my soul to God. Just telling Him all the ways I'd been letting myself and Him down. Finally I just said, "I know You can help me but I don't know where to start!"
Suddenly my eyes focused in on the licence plate of the car ahead of me. It was just a normal CA plate. A number followed by three letters and then three more numbers. But the letters incredibly spelled out the word "ASK."
I actually did a doubletake. ASK! Oh right that would make sense. And so I did. I went back over each my complaints and woes and ASKED for God's help (crying pretty much the whole time). I'm pretty sure He started working on things immediately because I had the presence of mind to ASK Him to help me get home without killing myself considering the fact I was crying so much.
After a few minutes I felt a sense of calm. The car was still in front of me. Then I laughed, "so what's that? Your version of a personalized licence plate? That was clever, really clever."
Michael called a few minutes later and I told him what happened. "You see, that's what I've been saying you just have to ask Him for help everyday and have faith." Yeah but it helps to here from the Big Guy Himself every so often.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Cats: What the hell is it with them? Do they have to eat EVERY day? Greedy little poops. But they are cute. Unfortunately they think I live to serve them. Which is probably true.
Husband: He made me breakfast in bed yesterday. Fresh fruit, English muffin, steak and eggs. Complete with a tiny vase filled with tiny roses and a tea light candle on the tray. And the Sunday paper. Hmmm… make note: Keep Him!!
Work: Tell me why I need to come here again? Oh right!....
Money: Never enough of it to meet my needs… er, desires. I must learn not to spend it. But it’s made for spending. So if I just have it sitting a bank account it’s bound to go stale, no?
Christmas: I’m getting mildly annoyed with the “Happy Holidays” thing. I know not everybody’s a Christian. But I like saying "Merry Christmas." Get over it if you don’t like it. I think I will alternate. Maybe next year I will do "Happy Holidays." But right now I need a "Merry Christmas" year.
Blogs: I know you are out there. But I’m boring you all to tears with my lack of blogging. But that whole “havin’ a job” deal is slowin’ my flow. All I have time for is a random post like this. *sigh*
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
Alibi Loses Her Mind
I don’t like to fly. I get nervous. Mainly I get nervous when I’m packing and when I’m on my way to the airport. Once I’m at the airport and checked in, I can take deep breaths and relax and I’m fine. This is why I like to get to the airport the recommended 2 hours ahead of time. I need the chill time. My husband forgot this. He was taking his own sweet time. I was wigging out but trying not to show it. We live an hour away from the airport. Our flight was in an hour and forty minutes. You think “okay you got forty minutes to spare” but in my mind I’m thinking “we have to park, take the shuttle to the terminal, check our bags, go through security and I still need a ½ hour to chill out. WE’RE LATE!!!” My husband has gone to the bathroom yet again and I am sitting in the car waiting. So I started yelling at my car. Loudly. He’s still not coming. I’m holding the steering wheel in a death grip. Finally I start pounding the steering wheel and yell some more. I look over and Michael is standing outside the car looking frightened. I have now scared the crap out of my husband. I drive like 90 miles an hour and we get to the parking structure in ½ hour. As we wait for the shuttle I apologize and remind him of my flying needs. “Okay,” he says still a bit nervous and annoyed, “I understand and I’m sorry I took so long. But this is NOT a good way to start out our honeymoon.”
We Have Been Chosen!
Our honeymoon destination was the Gran Mayan resort in Nuevo Vallarta (outside Puerto Vallarta). My mom said it was nice. Really nice. She did say “really” so I should have heeded that. But I figured whatever, nice hotel, Mexico, on the beach. How good does it have to be? My parents had taken care of the accommodations so it was basically a free honeymoon. I wasn’t going to complain no matter what it was like. Well we told the cab driver we are at the Mayan Palace (wrong place) so he drove us there and we were like “damn, this place is pretty cool looking.” We start to pull our bags out the car and the bell man looks at our confirmation form and says, “oh no you are next door.” Great, we don’t get to stay at the cool place. Then he says “The Gran Mayan is the top, the best place.” Well why didn’t you say so!!! We get over to the Gran Mayan and damn skippy if that place wasn’t the nicest hotel I’ve ever seen. Better than the Four Seasons we stayed at for the 4th of July. You walk past the alabaster entry into a stone foyer and there are like eight 40 foot tall Mayan statues lining the entrance and a 40 foot fountain in front of you. Our jaws just fell open. Our room was really an apartment with a full kitchen, living room, bedroom, bath and a balcony with a spectacular ocean view. Oh and the balcony had its own private wading pool! Michael started jumping up and down like a little kid. We giddily called my parents to thank them and Michael jokingly said, “Hey, you think next time you spring for decent hotel for us? Jeez!”
The first night we went to one of the restaurants on the resort. Since the regular tourist season hadn’t quite started the resort was maybe only at 20% capacity. We had a fabulous dinner with an awesome waiter. We shared a bottle of wine. That is I had a glass and Michael drank the rest. The wine and the service went to his head a little because he began talking about how great our waiter was and why can’t other people in service industries be nicer. Why are they so rude? This extended into a long diatribe on rude people, people with no morals, ethically challenged people, judgmental people, judgmental religious people, corrupt government officials, George Bush, unjust wars, crime, racism, apathy, general God-less-ness and a whole host of other peeves that my normally quiet husband has apparently been holding inside for quite some time. The conversation/speech was so long that it continued all the way back to the hotel and up the elevator to our room. I opened the door and Michael followed me in ranting about presidential misconduct the whole time. Now because the amount of alcohol he’d consumed and the fact that he’s got something of a sharp wit he was being outrageously funny and downright profane in his ranting. But I was cracking up the whole time so I just let him rant. Once we were in the room, his volume increased and the sound echoed off the stone tile floors of our room. But the walls were pretty thick so I didn’t concern myself. I took off my clothes and requested a massage from Rant Man which he happily obliged without even breaking his verbal stride. By now he was annoying himself. “My god somebody shut me up!” he’d yell and then proceed to harangue some other topic with obnoxious splendor. We’d been back in the room about 45 minutes when he got up to go get a drink of water. As he walked in to the kitchen I hear him yell back “WONDERFUL!!! The door is WIDE OPEN!!” He’d forgotten to close it and had been yelling at the top of his voice the whole time. I started laughing hysterically.
The next day we did a test. I stood all the way down the hall by the elevator. He stood in our room with the door open and said in a normal conversational voice, “honey can you here me?” With the stone hallways carrying his voice to me I heard him crystal clear. So anyone and everyone on that floor had to hear every word. I don’t know how someone didn’t come down the hall and punch him out. I suppose there weren’t many Republicans on that floor or they might have killed us. I guess we were lucky the hotel wasn’t at full capacity.
Lower Life Forms
The Gran Mayan is a timeshare. My parents have been doing the timeshare thing for years. It makes sense for them. They’re retired and they like to travel. Michael and I rarely travel. So as will happen when the Timeshare Uninitiated venture into foreign lands we were duped into sitting through the Sales Pitch. Well, they promised us 10% off all our meals…. and a free lunch… and a 500 peso gift card!!!! We weren’t going to buy anything and we told them that. Now my strategy with these things has always been to listen politely and agree with how nice everything is and then when they ask if I want in I just say “NO” repeatedly without any explanation. Michael’s strategy is to convince them that even though “we have money and could buy one right now! Today!” that we don’t need a time share. Now in the shark pool of timeshare sales, which one of us is bleeding? I could not believe he actually told them we have money. That we could write a check right there and pay for the biggest place they had but we simply have other plans for our money. Now all that is true of course but damn it, I didn’t want them to know that. Once they know, they are like pit bulls they won’t let go until all the blood has drained from your body and you stop quivering. So of course they kept coming at us with deal after deal. I mean they started out with the $40K deal and ended up with something in the neighborhood of $500 for pretty much the same thing. We were like WTF?! How does THAT work?! And they kept saying that we had to make a decision right there that minute because they were bound by Mexican Law (supposedly enforced by some red-coated Mexican "officials" who appeared to be drinking and watching tv in a nearby lounge) to only offer such amazing deals once and only once. If turned them down our names would go into a master computer and if we ever wanted to buy in later we be blacklisted to pay top dollar -- presumably $80K+. All of this was a load of crap and Michael told them that to their faces-- it was pretty funny to watch their expressions as the denied it. We could have gotten up and left of course but we were still holding out for the 500 peso gift card so we stuck it out. No less than 7 different sales guys tag teamed us for the four hour session (that was billed as 90 minutes) during which they offered us about 25 different time share deals. By the time we did get up and walk, Michael was livid. "Those bastards! Why did I tell them I have money? I should have told them that we are broke and that I'm unemployed and living off you!" I just kind of nodded and let him rant. It took me 2 days to calm him down. Thank god we remembered to close the door that night.
Michael Loses His Mind
Honeymoon. Sounds sweet doesn’t it? Well it isn’t always. Couples do fight. Even couples in love. Michael is a homebody. Although he enjoys a good vacation he really prefers to be home. So as the week wore on he was getting a bit homesick. But I think it was subconscious because it manifested itself in the form crabbiness. He pretty much started bitching about everything. The service, the people, (he still lauded our waiter from the first night but everyone else sucked). This wasn’t the righteous humorous rant of the first night. This was nitpicky bitching about stuff that really didn’t matter. Since I was pretty much having a good time I didn’t want to let him bring me down so I … well I tuned him out. I just nodded and smiled and pretended to listen. He caught on to this during a romantic dinner cruise on the fourth night. On the way back on the boat he pretty much called me out on it and I tried to deny it. But he kept pushing. So finally I just told him that it was all his bitching that was making me tune him out. “So I should just let people walk all over me?! You’re like everyone else. You let it all slide. You don’t stand up for yourself.” Now this is not even remotely true and he knows it. In fact, I can be a real bitch in the trenches. But I pick my battles. If the phone company or a credit card company is trying to screw us with excess fees I will clamp on like an alligator on a fisherman’s arm until I get my way. But if a Mexican busboy who barely speaks English can’t tell me the vineyard of what is quite obviously some common red table wine from a jug because he doesn’t know it and can’t understand me anyway I’m not gonna get ruffled. (That had happened earlier and Michael started complaining that people don’t care about their jobs and when he was a waiter for that brief two weeks back in the 80’s he’d memorized a whole wine list plus the day’s specials with all the ingredients and…yada-yada...) After that little argument we didn’t speak to each other pretty much the rest of the night. I did apologize to him before we went to bed but he pretended to be asleep. The next morning I apologized again just for good measure and he guiltily said that it had been all his fault (true ‘nuff) and how could he expect me to listen when he’d been acting like a jackass (again, true.) I promised to listen to him and not pretend to hear something when I hadn’t actually heard him or even been listening. We topped it all off with make-up sex and we were back to the sweet part of the Honeymoon.
Ahhhh…. I love being married.
After the wedding everyone proceeded back to the hotel for the Reception. The Wedding Party actually went to the beach across the street where we took pictures. Even though this is Southern California it was still October so after about 10minutes of wind battering we decided that the hotel courtyard was a much more attractive spot. Of course when all your guests SEE you taking Wedding Party pictures you pretty much end up having all your guests IN the Wedding Party pictures. But I didn’t mind.
I was feeling pretty darn glorious and fabulously gracious so I proceeded to work the room like I’ve never worked a room before. I think I thanked Kerry (Carmen’s Boyfriend who video taped everything) like 10,000 times. I made sure to have a real conversation with every single soul and I didn’t even have to plaster a smile on my face once. The absence of alcohol in my system pretty much confirms for me that I was running on pure adrenaline.
My hubby was Mr. Cool Calm and Collected (at first) and just casually made the rounds. But his calm was merely a façade. At one point during the cocktail hour I stepped aside to discuss the showing of the wedding video. I had given him two versions of the dvd. One with a “special feature” and one without. I told him he could play the “non-special” one during dinner after everyone had gotten their food. But I wanted to wait until the end of dinner to play the “Special” part. He said “no problem. I can just put the Special feature dvd in and pause it before the big finale comes on.” I just looked at him. Obviously I had just told I didn’t want to risk it starting before I was ready. He looked at my expression and then said, “or we can just hold off on the special dvd until you’re ready.” Thank you.
Why was it so special? Well the video consists of four photo montages set to four songs. The first song shows pictures of Michael growing up. The second pictures of me growing up and the third pictures of us together. A friend of mine had done 3 photo collages/albums with the same idea so I thought I’d take it a step further. The fourth song was a tribute to Michael’s late father. Michael knew about the first 3 parts (it was impossible to spend that much time on the computer without him finding out) but he didn’t know about the fourth part.
Well the wedding planner started the “non-special” dvd a bit too early and people were still getting their plates. Michael saw the first part with photos from his childhood and got really emotional especially seeing pics of his grandparents and the one photo of his dad that I put in that part. He had to go to the bathroom to compose himself he was so emotional. I started thinking maybe the tribute would overwhelm him and he’d be mad at me. But I had to risk it. When he came back and everyone was seated they restarted the video. Everyone enjoyed the first three parts.
Then came the big finale…. (drum role) I was handed a microphone and I stood up.
“Honey,” I said, “I just want you to know that I love you with all the love in my heart. But I know that’s not enough. I want you to have all the love in heaven and all the love on earth. I want you to be surrounded by all the love of the people here and all the love of those who couldn’t be here. And so this is my wedding gift to you.”
Right on cue they started the tribute and in the words of Michael’s Scottish cousins, “there were ne’ a dry eye in the ‘ouse.” Michael was crying and so was everyone else. At one point he turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you did all this for me. No one’s ever done anything like this for me. Thank you.” That’s when I finally relaxed.
We danced. We ate cake. We laughed like fools. And everyone had a fabulous time. I don’t think I ate one bite of my dinner and neither did Michael. In fact when we got back to our house later that night I cooked us dinner. Ah well, I was too busy to eat at the reception anyway. Michael was still a bit emotional and overcome but he was happy too. And we were both ready to start the honeymoon.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Part 2: The Wedding
6:30a I wake up promptly. Shower, shave my legs and other girly parts. I throw on clothes from day before because I forgot to pack pajamas and a robe. Carmen comes over from next door. We discover the hotel has no breakfast room service so we head down to the Continental Breakfast (not free) and load up plates of fruit and Danish.
7:30a We are back in the room and Carmen starts my make-up. Anne arrives, having had a rough morning on the other side of the hotel with my darling nephew. She works on getting my dress and jewelry together. I have no idea where my mother is. Considering her room is right down the hall, I wonder what’s taking her so long.
8:00a The photographer arrives and starts taking pictures. Every 3 minutes Carmen yells, “EAT!” because I keep yapping and forgetting to eat my breakfast. At about 8:15 Carmen heads back to her room to get dressed. I’m a bit flummoxed now because I’m basically alone with the photographers. I thought the bride was supposed to be surrounded by admirers all morning. What’s up wit dat? I call my parents room “uh, where are you?” I say to my mom. She sounds flustered. “Be there in a sec.”
8:45a The limo driver calls. He’s downstairs. “We’ll be down in 15 minutes,” I say. But I do not have my dress, shoes or even jewelry on. My mom looks at me like I’m crazy. Miraculously in 15 minutes I am dressed and we are indeed on our way down in the elevator. People in the hotel lobby stare admiringly. I feel like Princess Di or maybe J. Lo or Oprah… well I felt special, let’s just leave it at that.
We have the World’s Best Limo Driver – (WBLD). (Mental note: write a commendation letter to limo company.) In spite of the fact that he takes an alternate route to the church, other than one that I specified in the invitation, I like him. This however, turns out to be prescient on his part.
We arrive at the church at 9:30. Michael is not there. Nor for that matter is anyone else. It turns out that the main route (the one in my directions) to the church is blocked because a key road is closed. Everyone is now lost. My dad’s cell phone rings constantly as people call trying to get alternate directions. My mom, who has driven separately, is completely wigged out. I try to give her directions but I just get more stressed. The WBLD takes the cell phone and saves the day.
10:00a The wedding is supposed to be starting. Only a few people have made it. Michael is still not there. His groomsmen (who’d been specifically instructed not to leave him alone) arrive without him. Finally he calls, apparently he too has been fielding calls from lost guests for the last hour. 20 minutes later I’m told that he’s arrived. Guests are peeking in the little window in the door to the sanctuary. Anne tries to cover up the window with a paper towel. WBLD comes to the rescue and affixes the paper towel.
10:25a We’re waiting to allow a few more guests time to arrive. With nothing to obsess over my stress level spikes. I begin pacing. My dad tries to divert me by making small talk about the weather or something. Anne and Carmen comment on how often their boobs are popping out of their bridesmaids dresses. That conversation makes my conservative dad look as if he’d like to disappear into the sofa he’s sitting on. I’m still nervous. I try hopping up and down and swinging my arms to release energy. It doesn’t work. Suddenly I begin to feel nauseous. Carmen and Anne grab a trash can and hold it under my chin. I try to breathe slowly but to no avail. I begin to dry heave violently. My poor dad is shock. The girls try to get me to relax. Just when I’m about ready to hurl Carmen says, “so is Mike big in Germany?” I crack up laughing and the nausea is completely gone.
10:40a The wedding begins. It’s perfect. Everything! I walk down the aisle. All my friends and family are there. It’s amazing. Michael looks awesome. We steal glances at each other through the sermon. The Priest gives the best wedding homily I’ve ever heard. (Even afterward people comment on how awesome the sermon was. When does THAT ever happen?) The priest forgets to give us our “kiss the bride” cue, so we just do it anyway.
Miraculously, even though we started the wedding 40 minutes late, we arrive at the reception and it begins on time.
Stay tuned for Part 3 – The Reception. (Which I’ll get to some time this century hopefully.)
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
You could force a bodyguard to murder his charge, cause someone to kill themselves by walking off a cliff, criminals could get their victims to stop fighting back or running away, gangsters could veer police off course and just think of all the bad sci-fi tv plots that are going to come out of this.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
*sigh* Although it may be the only way to keep me from my shop-a-holic ways.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Yes friends I have returned from my honeymoon. And because I have not been blogging I feel compelled to subject you to several gruelingly long posts. Here is the first. A chronicling of the last four days leading up to the wedding.
Tuesday: 4 days to the Wedding…
- I get the disk from the church with the ceremony program on it. But it’s on a 3.5 floppy (who uses these anymore?) I don’t have Microsoft publisher so I go to Kinkos to open it and email files to myself. My dad has Publisher on his laptop which he is bringing with him (to do work) when he flies in on Wednesday.
- I start burning the music CD’s which we will give out as Reception Favors.
- Since there will be a lot of small children at the reception I have my mom pick up bubbles and sticker books to keep the little ones occupied when they get bored.
- I’ve been working on a video project for the wedding for over two months and still not done. It consists of photos set to 3 songs. (1st song has pics of Michael growing up, 2nd has pics of me growing up. 3rd has pics of the two of us) Plus there is a 4th song that has pics of Michael and his late father who passed away when Michael was 12. Michael knows about the first 3 parts but has no idea of the 4th. It’s my wedding present to him.
- Carmen IM’s me. I tell her that in some of Michael’s younger pics he looks like David Hasselhof. I practically fall off my chair laughing when she responds: “Wow. So is he big in Germany?”
- I get to bed a little before 2am
Wednesday: 3 days before Wedding…
- I finally finish the project early Wednesday morning in iMovie on my Mac. But I still have to convert it to a DVD in iDVD so it will play at the Reception. iDVD is a pain in the ass.
- My mother and I meet with the Reception coordinator to finalize plans and handover checks. She makes us a great deal on the video projection equipment.
- My dad arrives and I pretty much abscond with his laptop for the next 3 days. I decide I do not like the font the church used so I change it to match the fonts I used for the invitation and the Reception Program. I merge the ceremony program and the reception program. I try to start printing but it takes so long to install the printer driver on my dad’s computer that I don’t even start it. I could print it at kinkos but to print in color will cost a fortune and I insist on using the same high quality paper I used for the invites. (I am Bridezilla Full Force at this point)
- I am simultaneously working on 3 computers: 1) My Mac laptop – doing the video, 2) My dad’s laptop redoing the church program and 3) Michael’s PC as I finish burning the music cd’s that are going to be our wedding favors and printing the cd labels and case inserts I had previously designed right down to the friggin’ photography.
- Michael finally confirms with his second groomsman that he will be in the wedding party and sets out to find a jacket for him. I refuse to panic.
- I finally get to bed at 2:30am
Thursday: 2 days before Wedding…
- I’m hard at work printing the programs but my printer is unimaginably slow and has a bad habit of jamming and screwing things up. It’s made worse by the fact that it’s a double-sided print job in MS Publisher. It will end up taking over 12 hours to print and assemble 80 programs.
- During an email correspondence with the church I learn from the church administrator that the Priest “doesn’t want the church program changed in ANY way.” Too Late. It’s already changed and it’s too late to change it back. What’s he gonna do? Refuse to marry us because I changed the font and added 4 pages?
- My mom arrives to help me but there isn’t much she can do except staple the programs as they come out of the printer. Fortunately I printed the CD labels and inserts so she is able to put labels on the CDs as we finish burning them on Michael’s PC.
- She puts them in the cases for me. I notice that she is not putting them in so the label is right side up when you open the case. I stifle the urge to make her redo them. Later after she leaves and my Maid of Honor Carmen arrives I have Carmen open every case and straighten out the CDs (I just couldn’t help it.)
- I get a much needed break when Carmen engages in the arduous task of plucking my overgrown eyebrows. She does and excellent job and I begin to look Bride-Worthy.
- I finally finish burning the DVDs. Carmen keeps a lookout for Michael while I do a final quality check of the DVD. It’s perfect.
- We bag up the programs, music CD’s and DVDs along with other items that I will have to turn over to the Wedding planner on Friday.
- Michael still hasn’t found the jackets for his best man and groomsman. I refuse to panic.
- I get to sleep at 2:30am
Friday: 1 day before Wedding…
- I finally feel like I can breathe. Carmen has stayed over night and together we load up her car with the goods to take over to the hotel. My Bridal Shower which has been totally planned by my Mother, Carmen and my Matron of Honor, Anne (Yeah I have a Matron of Honor and Maid of Honor).
- Carmen has prepared the coolest (and quite elaborate) shower favors I’ve ever seen. Anne has come up with some cool fun games with awesome prizes and my Mom organized the location and totally yummy menu.
- I couldn’t have asked for more. I got the best gifts, sexy lingerie that I can actually wear plus other really cool stuff.
- The wedding planner is unable to make it over to pick-up the programs etc. But it’s no big deal since he will be there at 7am the next morning.
- I am carefree. I feel like a star.
- Carmen realizes she made her reservation at the wrong hotel. She has minor panic attack but it turns out another guest needed a hotel room and so takes over her room that the other hotel so she and her boyfriend can afford to get a room right next door to mine a the hotel.
- Carmen and I go back to my house to pack my stuff up for the wedding. I say good-bye to Michael who is on his way to pick up the jackets for the guys which are being hand delivered to the Men’s Warehouse near us from another store 50 miles away -hopefully before they close. I refuse to panic.
- Carmen and I stop at TGI Fridays on the way back to the hotel for food because it’s late and nothing else is open. It takes forever to get food and I get cranky. She buys me a shot of Tequila. I am now cranky and buzzed.
- Back at the hotel we chow on gross food, Malibu Rum and juice as she glues on my fake nails.
- I finally get to sleep at 2 am.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
The wedding was fabulous! The Reception was stellar. The honeymoon was ... well fabulously sexed up.
I hardly know where to start. So I'm gonna think about it and then over next week or so I'll share a few stories. I'll hopefully have the pics back from the photographer next week so you'll get to see me in full Bridal regalia. Hope everyone is well.
Just call me... Mrs G.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
- Great Expectations
- “You know how I said ‘I’m sure they’re going to feed us the first night’? Well not only are they NOT feeding us but we are supposed to bring snacks to share.” These words were spoken by me a few hours before the retreat when I realized I was going to have to come up with dinner for us after all.
- “Don’t keep food in your rooms cause there’s a rat problem.” Spoken by, Paul, one of the facilitators the first evening. This caused Michael and I to look at each other in horror because we had left his dinner in his room.
- Upon realizing that he had grossly over packed for a weekend of non-stop discussions and meetings at a Catholic Mission, Michael laughed and said “I don’t know what I was expecting. I brought all these swimming trunks! Where’s the pool?”
Father Jerry – The Priest
- “I’m your spiritual toilet.” Said by Father Jerry as he was trying to explain the role of a priest in confession.
- “When she’s a bitch you’ll have to love her anyway,” advice from Father Jerry to all the grooms.
Learning New Skills
- At one point we had to look into our beloved’s eyes and apologize for a recent hurt and then ask for forgiveness. Since Michael and I haven’t really pissed each other off lately we both hesitated. Then he said softly, “I’m sorry about accidentally ripping your wedding dress.” As I choked for air he smiled and said, “kidding! kidding!” Miraculously, he still lives.
- During the weekend we were taught the 8 Rules of Arguing. They were pretty much standard things I’d heard before like “don’t go to bed angry,” and “don’t drag up past issues and arguments.” After we went through them Chris, one of the married facilitators, said, “Now there’s a Secret 9th Rule that is very effective. Write this down… Secret Rule #9 is Argue Naked!” I looked around and I’m quite certain every one us in the room had written THAT one down.
Learning to Appreciate What You Have – The Other Couples
- “I’ve had enough of this shit.” This was said by a guy to his fiancée while we were standing in line for lunch on the last day. “See honey, at least I’m not him,” whispered Michael (who was also getting antsy at this point) to me after overhearing this.
- “You scared the crap out of me this morning,” Michael’s roommate to Michael as he recounted discovering that Michael wasn’t under the mound of blankets on the second morning. (Michael had snuck back home to sleep in our bed because the Mission beds were torturing his back and his roommate was snoring like a bear with a buzz saw.)
Sharing Time – You Learn So Much, You Really Do
- One of the exercises involved responding yes or no to 16 statements. We each answered them without letting the other see our responses. Then they asked the questions again and if you said yes you were supposed to stand up. That way you could see where you and your sweetheart disagreed. Michael and I only disagreed on two. The first was “We will write the ‘Thank you’ notes together.” Since I know darn well I will be writing them I wrote: NO. Michael said, “what, I’m going to help!” “I know you’ll INTEND to help,” I said “but really you don’t like doing that sort of thing so I know I’ll be doing them.” “That’s true,” and then he smiled – so really we didn’t disagree on that one. The Second statement we had different answers on was: “I want to have a child of my own gender, even if it means having more children than we originally intended.” Again, I wrote: NO. Once again Michael was standing on his own. Of course pretty much every guy in the room was standing alone. All the women were looking at their men with “yeah, right buddy!” expressions on their faces. “Uh-huh that one usually ends up with all the men standing,” said Father Jerry. “Well, I have to continue my family name,” Michael said.
- During the weekend everyone was encouraged to put questions into a box. Later during the Question and Answer segment several anonymous questions were pulled from the box. One was: “What do you do if you know she’s going to be fertile on the honeymoon but you both aren’t ready to start a family yet?” Keeping in mind this a Catholic retreat and discussions of Natural Family Planning had been happening, this question was met with a few wimpy non-answers. Then Michael sang out… “TROJAN MAN!!” Everyone laughed. “That’s not Natural Family Planning, honey,” I whispered trying not to laugh. “Oh sorry you guys have so many rules.” Still more half-assed answers were offered. Finally I just spoke up, “C’mon people you have more than one body part to work with. You can achieve the same honeymoon goals with OTHER parts of the body, you know!” Everyone pretty much got the message. So clearly in fact, that Diane one of the elderly married facilitators said, “okay well I think we’re done with THAT question. Let’s move on to another.” Well jeez, sorry. But I tried to be tactful about it. I mean it’s not like I actually came right out and said, “blow job.”
Friday, September 23, 2005
But God does not want me to lie. So it is better that I be a dork than a liar. That's kind of what He wanted to talk to me about at lunch. Only it wasn't a talk so much as a feeling. I just found this overwhelming revulsion over the idea of picking up the phone to call in my lie. So I just said, "fuck it." And as soon as I let that go, I felt like God was happy about it. I'm not entirely happy about it but I'm pretty sure He is.
I thought about the mist yesterday. About what it meant. There I was driving through it but that takes faith because there could be a wreck in the road ahead that I couldn't see. I mean it may as well have been pitch black. That's what I need to be able to do spiritually. To just move forward even though I don't know what's in the road ahead. I have to trust God and stay on the path. That's soooo hard.
After the wedding we are pretty much going to start trying for a family right away. But the truth is I don't want to be a working mom. I can't possibly keep my job with its killer commute and be a good mom. I just can't imagine not taking care of my kid first. But I don't know if we can afford for me not to work. I'm afraid of Michael getting overstressed from the burden of supporting us alone. Plus I actually LIKE working. I like my job. So for me the best answer would be to work out of the home. But the last time I did freelance, I really struggled. So I have ideas of other stay at home work I can do.
But then the big question is ... CAN I do it ? Will people actually pay me to do the kind of work I want to do? Will my family suffer? I don't know the future but I haven't changed my mind. I want to be a mom. I just keep moving forward through the mist. I'm just trying to trust God. An honest dork bumbling through a fog on faith, that's me. It's nice and yet it sucks too. It's a rollarcoaster and I don't like rollarcoasters. But I refuse to get off.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I was driving home today and there was an uncharacteristic fog covering a stretch of freeway. It was mystical and I started thinking that God was there in the mist. And in my imagination I heard a voice say, "you think I'm here because of the mist? I'm here all the time. What makes the mist so special?"
But I immediately thought that this imaginary voice was not God but was only the voice of my faith talking. And no sooner did this cross my mind than a large Lays potato chip truck crossed in front of me. And the tagline blared out in giant letters...
LET'S DO LUNCH!
So tomorrow I'm going to have lunch with God. I don't know if I'll go to church or just go somewhere quiet to pray. But I have a lot to think about. And a lot that I need to talk over with Him.
I'll let you know if He shows up. To be continued...
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
One day I got a call from a secretary who was livid on behalf of her very important boss. It seemed that the phone bill on the line at his summer home was doubling every month and he felt we were ripping him off because there was no one in the house to use the phone. If we didn't do something about it immediately he'd report us to the FCC and bring down the wrath of the government on us.
So I pulled up his account and sure enough the balance was doubling every month in the empty house. Another rep had already checked for crossed lines (which can cause you to be billed for other people's calls) so I knew that wasn't the problem. Then I looked closer at the balance.
Apparently this very important personage had overpaid his last bill of the previous summer and had a $5 credit balance. Which he subsequently paid. Giving him a $10 credit balance. When he again paid! This continued on until he got an $80 bill and finally got fed up. I explained this to her and pointed out the notation on the bill that said "credit balance. do not pay." Then I issued a refund check.
So who was this very important man?
The late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Renquist.
I swear it's true.
Brilliant man but couldn't pay a phone bill.
Those will be some tough shoes to fill.
(Looking back I suspect the secretary's FCC threat was her own idea. I've worked for Hollywood producers and I know that "you'll never work in this town again" type ploy is a favorite of over-stressed assistants who are trying to impress their bosses with results.)
By the way, I didn't tell this story to speak ill of the dead. Just to show that these people we deify are in fact very human. I always smiled and remembered this incident when his name was mentioned in the news.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
We did our Engaged Encounter this weekend. It was really good. But emotionally and physically draining. I hadn't quite recovered from it yesterday at work. Work was non-stop busy. Today will be as well.
Last night there was wicked thunder and lightening storm. It sounded and felt like explosions all night long right outside the house. I hardly slept at all.
This morning I was such a zombie I left the house without my purse and had to drive home and get it. I'd have said "screw it" but I know I need to get gas in order to get home tonight. I finally got into work at 9am.
I'm supposed to meet the wedding planner at the church tonight to go over flowers and some other details that are slipping my mind.
The office at home is a mess and I have to clean it.
I want sleep.
I'll have to cook dinner.
I took some chicken out to thaw last night and the ants got to it this morning. Ants suck.
There's some good news. Michael made me coffee this morning so I didn't kill myself driving in by falling asleep at the wheel. Also I found out my Aunt Rita changed her mind and she is coming to the wedding. That makes me happy. Aunts don't suck.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
- Michael still hasn't asked his friends to be best man and groomsman-- and wedding is 3 WEEKS away.
- I have over 100 pictures to scan in to finish our reception video and the editing software is pissing me off.
- Still not finished with the damn broom cause I keep changing my mind on how I want to do it.
- Michael needs to have the suit I bought him altered and he seems to be in no big hurry.
- He informed me last night that he thinks he has developed a hernia. I've been begging him to take things easy for weeks cause he's been working on the house day and night. The only other person I know who had a hernia had to have surgery and it took weeks to recover. (Well, he's gonna have to suffer until after the honeymoon, that's all I can say!!!!)
(Kidding about letting him suffer of course. I just finished leaving him another message to get to the doctor's TODAY!!)
Friday, September 09, 2005
1. If he had not cut funding to the Levey project would it really have been done in time to prevent the Katrina catastrophe?
2. Considering how long it takes for government to complete any project (I heard one report that said the project had been underway for 30 years and was only 85% done) would it have been complete even if they had been working on it from day one of his administration?
3. I've heard that at least the last 3 administrations have also diverted funds that would have gone to the levey. Would it be more appropriate to blame them?
4. Do we even know if the plans for the levey project would have resulted in leveys that were strong enough to hold back the amount of water that Katrina moved? Isn't it possible that even a fully upgraded levey would have failed anyway?
I have no friggin' idea what the answer to these questions are (especially #4). But I'd like to know before I go placing the blame for the Leveys failing at ANY administration's feet; past or present.
It just seams to me that when you build a city close to water and you build it below sea level you are basically at the mercy of God and nature. There may well have been nothing we could do to hold back the flood. Perhaps antedeluvian New Orleans is a modern reverse Tower of Babal. Perhaps we (our forefathers I mean) were too vain in thinking we could put a city in a hole and by the sea and neither the forces of heaven nor earth could do anything about it.
Now as for responsibility in rescuing people. I want to see somebody in chains for that shit.
Jumping the broom is a tradition that had it's origins in Africa and then came to the US during the days of slavery. Slave unions were not legally recognized and so the usual ceremonies were a little different. For the African slaves the broom was a symbol of the household and a symbol of sweeping away the past. So to announce to the community that they intended to live as man and wife from that point on they would jump hand in hand over a broom placed on the ground.
The tradition slumped a bit after slavery. But it gained popularity again after Alex Haley's Roots mini-series brought it back into the spotlight. However some families like mine have been doing it for generations. Incidentally the same tradition was common in Europe at one time. However to my knowledge the only people of European descent who still do it are practicioners of wicca. I don't know much about the traditions or ceremonies there so I defer to anyone who knows more.
African Americans who jump the broom will typically buy a very ornately decorated broom or decorate one of their own. I'm well known in my family for decorating brooms. I've done six or seven for different relatives. So I have the added pressure of doing something spectacular for my own. Originally I was going to actually try to MAKE the broom but that prooved a little too much. So I opted for the standard craft broom and I'm just going to decorate it. When I'm done, I'll post a picture.
The Jumping ceremony is done differently for different families. Some families do it in the church after the bride and groom have been pronounced husband and wife or just outside the church as they leave. A friend of mine whose husband is Jewish combined the broom jumping and the glass breaking in one ceremony which was cool. (I'd like to somehow combine traditions like that. If Michael's cousin Charlie follows through with his idea we could be jumping the broom to Scottish bagpipes. Charlie is coming all the way from Scotland and he's promised to wear a kilt at the very least.)
In my family we jump the broom at the start of the reception when the newlyweds are announced upon their entrance. One of my uncles usually gives a short speech explaining everything I just wrote here for the benefit of those who may not be familiar. And then it's 1-2-3... and over we go!!!
By the way we have saying in our family: "the first one to hit the ground rules the house." So far it's proved true. I told Michael about that and he just laughed and said, "don't worry honey you can be the first one over. It's okay by me."
Now did I pick a good one, or what!
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I added a little something a few years ago to our family tradition. During the bridal shower I bring the broom and have all the women write a prayer or wish for the couple on tiny note cards that they tie to the broom. It looks amazing to have all those tiny whisps of white paper fluttering away on the broom. I did that for my friend a few years ago and the effect is really powerful.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
So my posts are going to become sporadic over the next month. I'll try to contribute to all the fun stuff (HNT, Haiku Thursday and Flash Fiction) as I can. But you'll have to forgive me for my inconsistency.
I'm losing my mind. Can you believe Michael has not even confirmed who's going to be his best man?!!!! ARRRGGGHHH!!!! It's okay I'm calm. Really.
I just have to get his suit altered. Finish the wedding CDs (including designing the art work). Edit my video gift for Michael (it's a surprise. It's nothing naked or anything but it's going to have a tribute to his Dad who passed away when Michael was 12.) Buy a mini DVD player (so I can show the video at the reception.) Decorate our jumping broom. Pickup my dress. Deliver the cake topper to the baker. Confirm the guest list. Help Michael finish clearing out the guest house. Get his ring. Pick up my ring that's being re-set. and... and.... Oh god... panicking... list is soooo long... so much more stuff than this... *whimper*
Just need to hold on... Martini Friday in less than 32 hours... good
Tequila shot Thursday in less than 8 hours... even better.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
On the one side I hear people saying something to the effect that this is some kind of psychological reaction. There was even a Pyschologist that tried to somehow justify the behavior based on oppression or some such nonsense. On the other side I hear people saying that the looters and shooters are upset that they won’t be getting welfare checks now. And that’s what it’s about.
What the hell? Stealing TVs and VCRs is not a reaction to poverty or a loss of welfare. It is a result of low character and there is no excuse. Is it more likely to happen if the person is poor? Maybe, maybe not. To the extent that poverty often brings with it an inadequate education, that could be true. If you think you can get money for a water-logged big screen TV your problem is more one of intelligence deficiency than finances. (Mayor Nagin suggests the looters were drug addicts. That maybe true in part but I doubt it’s true in all cases.) This is just a glimpse into the worst side of “HUMAN” nature not the nature of the poor or of any specific ethnic group.
But my main problem with both of these attitudes is that the looters/shooters are getting lumped together with the mass of survivors who are justifiably angry at not being rescued in a timely manner. They are citizens of the richest nation in the world. They deserve more.
You have one side saying that, “well they are mostly black so that is why no one cares.” There may a small amount of truth in that but not enough to convince me, because the outpouring of compassion and generosity from my fellow Americans is telling me different. The hold up was a ponderous bureaucracy being more ponderous than normal; magnified by indifference to the value of the human lives at stake. But the overwhelming desire to help among Americans was there. As soon as we started seeing the images of what was happening we reacted. I doubt the survivors anger is directed at their fellow citizens so much as it is at the government that behaves like it doesn’t give damn until it gets embarrassed in the press.
Then there is the other side saying that the survivors are angry because their handouts are now gone. WTF?! This isn’t about a late welfare check, people!!! This is about dying in your own home waiting for days for rescue that never comes. This is about not having food, water, shelter and medical attention while Air Force One dips over head for a peek. This is about the elderly dying in cesspools of sewage. It’s about children being separated from their parents. This is about being told that supplies can’t get through even as you are interviewed by a press that somehow managed to get hundreds of reporters and their equipment in from day one.
The survivors were and still are angry BECAUSE THEY WERE LEFT TO DIE FOR DAYS!!!!
There are still people who await rescue and already there are hints that the hand of hospitality that’s been extended to these refugees is destined to grow cold. The President’s own mother: "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." (emphasis mine.)
It’s “scary” that they might want have roof over their heads as opposed to going back to a pile of rubble? Living in a mass camp is “working for very well for them,” is it? No Mrs. Bush it’s scary that you don’t understand a damn thing about human beings and you raised the man who is leading this nation. And by the way, I’d bet that every last person in the Astrodome can’t wait until it’s safe to go back and try to salvage what they can and start rebuilding. These folks don’t think they are at sleep-away camp. If they can’t go back home they’re not going to start putting up pictures on the walls of the Astrodome and buying bedroom furniture; they’re going to try to get housing and jobs so they can start living again.
Believe it or not the poor do have pride. Maybe some of them were getting handouts before this happened. But so the fuck what!! What the hell does that have to with their basic needs for food, shelter and safety. And don't forget, a hell of lot of them had jobs too. Maybe not 6-figure jobs, hell maybe not even 5-figure jobs. But they had 'em and they worked for a living. And guess what! Jobs are all gone. In fact the folks on welfare are better off because they already in the system. The handout will not be cut off for them. The people who are truly cutoff from financial assistance are the ones whose jobs were drowned in rush of water.
Alot of these peopleowned small businesses. Some had homes that had been in their families for generations. They may not speak main stream American English but they have a sense of honor (looters & shooters not withstanding). They may not have been rich but they did have dignity. Now that they have lost every possession they’ve ever owned; is too much to ask that they be afforded the respect that every other honorable citizen in this country has come to expect? Is it too much to ask to have them retain at least a shred of that dignity without the mother of the President (among others) implying that they've just become a bunch freeloaders?
Okay. Rant over for now.
This was the statement made by Kayne West (whoever the hell that is)– in the manner of a schoolboy stiffly reciting his lines in a play– that has everybody talking. For the record I want to say that I don’t believe that. Sure it may seem that way on the surface especially in the black community. Heck, I’ve even said it a time or two myself. But there are a lot of poor whites suffering in Louisiana right now too.
So maybe it’s the poor he doesn’t care about. But you know I don’t think that’s it either. A large percentage of the poor are fighting his groovy little war for him so he’s got to care... at least a little. I was thinking about it a lot as I watched CNN this weekend. Then it finally crystallized for me… George doesn’t care about people who are not useful to him.
It has nothing directly to do with the color of their skin or their income level. It has to do with their usefulness to him. It’s a matter of profitability. We’re always hearing about low voter turn out among the poor so you know his party can’t rely on their votes. And even though there was slightly better turn out from the poor in the last presidential election it still wasn’t that high. Maybe it was because so many of them were turned away at the polls. But you know all that’s just anecdotal, right? Yeah sure it is. What do you expect? They all had the same names as criminals.
Also if you are below the poverty level you don’t pay taxes. If you are getting any kind of government aid you are just draining the system. If you were an employee in a company it’d be like you were getting a paycheck while … I dunno… blogging all day. You have to contribute to the bottom line. If not, you’re fired!
I think that’s why he didn’t crack the whip over FEMA’s head within the first 24 hours of Katrina. The value of the people the affected and of New Orleans in particular had not yet been established. But he underestimated the love of this country for New Orleans. Hell, the world loves New Orleans. His flyby on Monday was an insult to every human being who has ever donned Mardi Gras beads. He just figured, “well that’s what I got FEMA for, so I don’t have to deal with this mess.”
And in a way he’d be right. FEMA should have responded faster. At least that’s what it looks like right now. We’ll know more as more is revealed. But HE IS the President. He HAS to get his hands dirty no matter what FEMA is doing. And if they are moving too slowly, then he ought to step in and kick some ass.
But the people in Katrina’s wake didn’t manifest their value until he began to get criticism for his neglect of them. Then suddenly he knew exactly what their value was. They’ve got P.R. value – BIG TIME! This kind of thing can derail a legacy. Heck, it could derail a political party. And George knows what side his bread is buttered on. If wants to keep whatever retirement plan his oil buddies have set up for him, then he’d better leave a strong Republican Party behind in 2008.
So my response to Kayne is: You’re wrong, brother. It’s not that our President doesn’t ‘care about black people.’ It’s that he doesn’t care about anyone who’s not useful to him. Black, white, brown, rich, poor, middle class; if you’re not useful, you have no meaning to him. Now isn’t it comforting to know he’s not a bigot? Sure makes me feel all warm inside.
When we were kids we used to dismiss someone we didn’t care about with the words, “Forget You!”
Don’t support his war – “Forget You!”
Don’t support his agenda – “Forget You!”
Don’t believe in his version of Christianity – “Forget You!”
Think he lied about WMDs - “Forget You!”
Think he’s raping the environment for oil – “Forget You!”
Think he’s ignoring global warming to our peril – “Forget You!”
You don’t vote Republican – “Forget You!”
Think he’s botched the handling of this disaster - “Forget You!”
Hate his Social Insecurity proposals – “Forget You!”
Rich Democrat who wants him out of office – “Forget You!”
Poor Republican who wants him out of office – “Forget You!”
Grieving mother who wants answers on why he lied about Iraq.– “Forget You!”
Dying hurricane victim whose been waiting for rescue for a week on a rooftop. “Forget You!” … oh wait, is that a CNN camera beaming your desperate visage into the homes of people across the globe?…the response to this crisis is “Unacceptable!”
Friday, September 02, 2005
Does this ever happen to you? You get some kind of little fuzzy or a piece of dust in your eye and it floats across your pupil like a drive-by cataracts blurring your vision. By the time you get to a mirror and give yourself the evil gypsy eye by pulling your lower lid down the little floater has mysteriously disappeared.
This happened to me this morning. I got out of the shower and dried my face only to discover that something that felt like a spool of loose thread was trapped under my eyelid teasing my pupils every time I blinked. But before I could clear the condensation off the mirror my eyeball had swallowed the whole damn thing.
My eyeballs are ravenous. They eat everything that touches them. What concerns me is that I’m fairly certain that they don’t have a separate digestive tract that I know of. So where is it all going? I have this vision of the back of my eyes looking somewhat like the underside of a bachelor’s sofa cushions with crumbs, lint, buttons, condom wrappers, spare change and pizza crusts stuffed into the crevices. Thank god I can't roll my eyes that far back, cause I really don't think I want to know.
Occasionally a well placed application of eyedrops or a dousing of Collyrium in an eyecup can have an ipecac-like cleansing effect. But lately there’s been no guarantee that the offending particles will be regurgitated. My baby browns have gorged themselves on all manner of lint, thread, eye shadow particles and flakes of dried mascara.
And they are clearly not vegan either. Cat hair, my own eyelashes, even tiny gnats flying recklessly; all have met their demise behind my ocular orbs. I pity the person who gets into a street fight with me and tries to poke me in my Venus Fly Trap Peepers. That fool’s gonna loose an arm!
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Okay I bought these shoes at Ross on Tuesday. I don't need these shoes. But I like these shoes. I have too many shoes. But these shoes were only $20 and the heels aren't too high which I like. And they fit my feet which are very narrow and hard to find shoes for, but I DON'T NEED THEM. I bought another pair of shoes that I AM taking back, plus a 3rd pair that I'm definitely keeping. But these shoes are up in the air. They are sooooo cute, but I soooo don't NEED them.
This is your HNT poll:What do you think I should do?
Should they stay or should they go now?
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
- Work. I've actually been earning my pay check this week. Crazy, huh?
- I can't upload pics from work cause of the firewall.
- Had to sort through our bills last night -- such a buzz kill.
- Discovered an ant investation in my cat's litter box last night.
- Our new bed is too firm so I haven't been sleeping too good and being sleepy made me forget.
- Made homemade french fries last night. (After a giant plate of fries I just want to sleep.)
- Was feeling non-techy last night and didn't want to turn on the computer and download the camera.
- Cat's had late night fight and chased each other across my face! so I overslept and didn't have time this morning.
- I've only been fully naked when my camera was handy and it's not called FNT.
- I got confused and started working on a Half Nekkid Haiku.
Title: Half Nekkid Haiku Thursday
She gives excuses
A hint of skin unrevealed
Half Nekkid longing
I'll try to be Half Nekkid next week.
Monday, August 22, 2005
We were never really that close when I was growing up, and there's still an awkwardness between us. I’m much closer to my step-father, to me he's my "Dad." Because of that I think my father kind of feels like he doesn’t deserve me on some level. So whenever he calls me, he’s like a bundle of nervous energy and talking a mile a minute. He called me over the weekend to tell me he’d gotten the invitation I sent him to my wedding. The conversation went something like this.
“Ali? Hey it’s Dad!”
“Oh, hey how are you doing?”
“Good, good. Listen I don’t want to keep you but I was just calling to say I got the invitation. I was just so… so tickled to see it! I really want to come out there.”
“Well, good. I really hope you can make it. It’d be great to have you there.”
“Well, you know I’m between jobs right now. But I’m starting a new one next month so… well I don’t how the money’s gonna be but… I’ll find a way.”
“I hope so. That’d be nice.”
“Yeah, I was over at your Aunt’s and we were just tickled by your invite… She can’t come, you know.”
“Yeah, I know. I talked to her last week and she told me.”
“Oh she did? Yeah, cause they are going to be in Brazil. Oh hey do you sing?”
“Well we were listening to that song on your web site and we were thinking that was you singing and Michael playing.”
“Oh no, that wasn't me. That was my old writing partner from L.A. He hired somebody to sing the song we wrote.”
“Oh, (laughs) Well we had a whole little story in our heads. Anyway, I told your Aunt I was gonna try to get out there. And she said no matter what we would make it happen to get me out there.”
“Okay. Good. That’s great”
“So you know, by hook or by croo… Well, no, no, not by crook. But by hook anyway. I’ll get out there.”
Now am I a sick person that I found that to be hysterically funny? I promise you, I didn’t laugh until I hung up. He’s a sweet man. Really he is. I hope he can make it… by hook that is.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Where you can not be honest, you are not welcome.
Where you can not be yourself, you have no place.
Where you can not be true, you can not belong.
Thank you all for making this blog a place where I can belong.
[I invite you all to try this meme and offer the world your own "Famous Quote," the only condition is that it has to be your own and not some already dead famous person. Have Fun!]
Thursday, August 18, 2005
On this lovely Half Nekkid Thursday eve, my new digital camera documents for the blogosphere the wonderfulness of my new silicone bra stuffers...
It's long way from the sock-stuffers I used whenI was a budding young girl.
I loved Michael's reactions to them...
"Wow, I could get used to that."
and my favorite...
"Careful woman, don't make any promises you can't keep!"
And in Honor of Haiku Thursday
Title: Insert Breast Here
a woman's own curves
the pleasure of a man's eye
truth is a trifle
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
- I am 38 years old but I don’t look it.
- I am a college grad.
- I live in Vista, CA.
- I have two cats.
- My fiance’, Michael is really my husband as we were legally married last year.
- Only a few people know we are legally married.
- Our church wedding will be in October.
- I completely forgot our first legal anniversary on July 31st
- So did Michael.
- Two weddings (Legal & church) is common in my family, at least 3 other family members have done it before me.
- I need a manicure and pedicure
- I think I am too flat-chested but I wouldn’t ever want to go under the knife.
- I have Vitiligo. (What Michael Jackson claims to have as an excuse for altering his skin color)
- I hate that I have to refer to Vitiligo as "Michael Jackson disease" for people to get it.
- Sometimes they still don't get it. "I am not a pedophile I just have little white patches on my skin! Sheesh!"
- I am incredibly flat-footed.
- My chiropractor told me it's “amazing that your legs have adapted to allow you to walk straight with feet that flat.”
- I have a bad memory for song names and singers.
- I can quote practically every line in Flash Gordon.
- I think Vin Diesel is H-O-T!
- I love hummingbirds and dragons
- I think it is good luck to see a live hummingbird or a dragon.
- I have never seen a live dragon but I’m still looking.
- I’d love to be abducted by aliens just to have a conversation and ask them questions.
- I’d try to convince the aliens to give me super powers.
- I have two best friends Anne and Carmen.
- Anne and I once convinced a woman that we were not only sisters, but twins. (Anne is white.)
- I lost my virginity at age 19.
- I have 3 tattoos.
- I want to get another tattoo (of a dragon) but I want to wait until after I have kids.
- I just bought a new digital camera.
- I just bought some gel filled silicone bra inserts.
- I think I will somehow combine 31 & 32 for Half Nekkid Thursday.
- I might even do it this Thursday.
- I drive a green RAV4.
- I love to shop.
- I love to bargain hunt.
- I sometimes fear that I’m a shop-a-holic.
- I love television.
- I have TiVo.
- My least favorite chore is cleaning out the cat’s litter box.
- I’m a technology fiend.
- I almost bought a new video camera yesterday.
- I already have a video camera that’s less than a year old.
- I didn’t buy the camera.
- I would have had to lie to Michael about where I got the camera so he wouldn’t be mad about me buying a second one.
- I think lying to him would really make me a sucky wife so I couldn’t do it.
- I love sci-fi.
- I’m a Trekkie.
- I prefer “Trekkie” to “Trekker.” Sue me, fan boys!
- I love Battlestar Galactica (old and new.)
- The strands of my hair are thin and break easily.
- This annoys me.
- I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately.
- My eating habits suck.
- I’m going overboard with my wedding.
- I’m obsessing on wedding things even though I act like I’m not.
- I’m worried about Michael.
- I think he needs to take better care of himself.
- I think I need to take better care of myself.
- We both spend too much money.
- We both love shoes.
- In the last month I have bought him eight pairs of shoes.
- I can get discount shoes through work
- I also get discount clothes
- I just ordered some clothes yesterday for me.
- I’m probably going to max out my discounts for the year by September
- No I won’t order stuff for you.
- I had spaghetti for lunch today and for dinner last night
- Tonight is “date night”
- I think we are going for sushi.
- I hope we can go see a movie
- Hopefully there will be sex too. :D
- I love “date night”.
- I hope to get pregnant on our honeymoon
- Or shortly thereafter
- Or shortly there-before
- My priest hinted that we should temporarily hold off on sex until we have our “sacramental wedding.”
- Who’s he kidding?
- I want to have a daughter.
- If I have a daughter I will name her Kennedy Anne.
- This is not negotiable.
- If I have a son, Michael gets to name him.
- He wants to name his first son Paul Michael after his father.
- I think his name should be Paul Michael Travis. (after my favorite uncle)
- I’d be willing to insert a second middle name of his choice for our daughter if I can get the “Travis” in there for our son.
- I think this is a good compromise.
- I never actually met my Uncle Travis.
- I just loved him forever from his photos.
- I have another uncle, Travis Anthony.
- I’ve met him. He’s cool.
- I would let him think our son was named after him, because he would like that.
- I was named after my mother.
- I look like my mother.
- I like that I look like my mother but I wish I had a different name.
- My nickname as a child was Bibba-Gos. It has nothing to do with my name.
- I hated that nickname.
- My Aunt Patsy made it up.
- Sometimes she still calls me “Bib” when it slips out
- I will never name a child after my Aunt Patsy
Monday, August 15, 2005
Since they are longer than my regular posts (if you can imagine that) I decided to give them their own blog.
I hope you like it. I probably won't post that often, but I'll let you know when I do.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
“Yeah. Hell, I forgot… well sort of… I guess it was… still in the back of my mind,” I said awkwardly as I sat down on the couch across from him. The last time I’d seen him he was in a hospital bed and practically at death’s door. But here he was, looking strong as an ox and cancer-free.
“You look good, Roddy. Healthy.”
“I feel good,” he beamed at me, “My new place is cool. Just up the way from your dad.”
“He misses you. Talks about you all the time. You should talk to him.”
“I dunno. It’s been so long. I wouldn’t know what to say.”
“Just say hello, Neecee. Just tell him you’re thinking about him.”
It was funny to hear Roddy use my childhood nickname like that. Something about his voice wrapped around the name just took me back. We talked for a long time. I pulled out my old photo albums and we went through them remembering and laughing. We talked about Malcolm, my husband; and Simon, my son and the namesake of my father. Simon was back in rehab and I didn’t know if he would stay clean this time either. Malcolm’s knee was mending slowly but it would be a while before he was back to work fulltime. My lousy job was our main income. Roddy listened to me vent. He was always good at that.
At one point I heard Malcolm yell up from the basement, “Denise, honey, who you talking to?”
“I’m on the phone, babe!” I hollered back not even flinching in the lie. I mean what was I supposed to say? I couldn’t very well tell him that I was pouring my heart out to my childhood sweetheart. Should I have said that the handsome man who shared all my secrets since kindergarten and from whom I’d gotten my first real kiss was sitting in our living room with me even though he wasn’t supposed to be there? I just don’t think that would have gone over well.
We talked a little more and then a clumsy silence fell over us.
“I’d better be going,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said.
I walked him to the door.
“Neecee?” he turned to look at me one last time, “Don’t worry about things so much, okay? Everything’s going to be alright. I promise.”
“You promise?” I said smiling.
“Hey, I kept this one, didn’t I?” that mischievous grin I knew so well flashed back at me
“Yeah. Yeah, you did.”
And then he was gone.
I picked up the photo album and stared down at a photo of us taken over forty years ago. His arm around my shoulder and mine around his; two ten-year-olds just goofing around. It was taken by my father just days before the accident. I remember after my dad’s funeral, Roddy and I sat on the back steps of my house and he’d put his arm around me as I cried for my father.
“Don’t cry Neecee. You’ll be together again in heaven,” he’d said softly.
“What if there’s no heaven?” I’d sobbed, “What if he’s gone forever? I’ll never see him again.”
“Look I tell you what,” Roddy said, “If I die before you, I’ll go see your dad and then I’ll find a way to come back and see you. That way you’ll know we’re both okay.”
“You promise?” I squeaked, though I hadn’t really thought it was possible, I’d just needed to believe it.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Amazing job on your Blog! I'll definatly be coming back. If you're interested, check out my PS3 vs XBOX360 blog that shows unveils all th secrets there are to know between these two mecca systems.
Amazing job on your Blog! I'll definatly be coming back. If you're interested, check out my easy money online blog that gives all of the top resources for the easiest money online.
Clearly you are the same Anonymoron as you duplicate the same intro and spelling errors. It’s “definitely” by the way and there’s an “e” at the end of “the.” Now does your PS3/Xbox blog show or unveil? Which is it? You seem conflicted. Tell you what, don’t come back until you know for sure. Oh, and did you mean "mega" systems or are they special Islamic versions of the games?And just so you know a page full of links on how to make money by marketing products through spamming other bloggers with annoying comments is not the best thing to be linking to in your comments. In fact, it’s like house-of-mirrors confusing and just makes me hate you more.
(Although you gotta hand it to this spammenter for keeping his promise to come back – both of these spamments were on the same blog.)
Excellent blog! I give it an A+ with a Gold Star!! If you want, you can check out my corvette central blog that reveals many things that nobody knows about how the new Chevrolet Corvettes.
You are either a former kindergarten teacher or perhaps a current kindergarten student; since the grammar is severely challenged here I’m thinking the latter. “...reveals many things that nobody knows about how the new Chevrolet Corvettes…” How they what? How they look? How they drive? How they smell? How they can be used to reaffirm one’s sagging manhood? What?! What?!! And no, it doesn’t reveal a thing by the way. It just has a bunch of stupid links to Corvette sites that I could find on my own by googling... if I cared... which I don't.
I love your blog! You did an excellent job! My website is about xbox360 cheat codes if you would like to come and give me a review!
I could care less. Besides I don’t associate with cheaters. And no, I will not be reviewing it. Why don’t you just make up your own reviews? Shouldn’t be a big ethical leap for a cheating spammenter like yourself. You could just leave yourself a bunch of anonymous positive comments and no one would ever know or care. Mainly, because no one but other cheaters like you would go there. See, what do you need me for?
This blogging is great fun! Lots of interesting stuff here.chocolate cheesecake recipe
Yes, jolly good fun, it is indeed! Where did you come from? Who talks like that?
By the way when you click on this silly link you find a blog with (currently) 2 posts that are only links to sites that sell recipe books. And between them there are (currently) over 80 comments all from morons who actually believe this person was a genuine blogger and ONE sane comment from someone who “got it”:
People, GET A CLUE!!This is a SPAMMER!There is NO CONTENT to this blog, other than an order outlet for the cheesecake cookbook.This IDIOT didn't read your blogs.He said THE SAME THING to EVERYBODY
Hooray for TSHSMOM! Can’t put anything past a mom who’s home-schooling her kid.
10Shows Jeff Jarvis started a meme aksing bloggers to list their top 10 television shows and use the Technorati tag 10Shows .Wow! I like your blog! I be back and so will my friends. Looks like you've found your niche. I have a health and science site.
Come and take a look when you get time.
Am I supposed to know who Jeff Jarvis is? Am I supposed to care? And what the heck is a “Technorati tag 10Show” I’m glad to hear you “be back” but really, don’t. And please don’t bring friends especially if they’re advertising something. By the way just what do you mean by that niche comment? This who I am, it’s not a niche. I’m not some little web boutique selling myself to the blogosphere; unlike some people (i.e. YOU.) I have no time for someone who's so scattered he jumps from TV to niches to health and science without a decent or at least a humorous segue. I will never look at your site. You annoy me.
'Thought & Humor' said...
You have a riveting web log and undoubtedly
must have atypical & quiescent potential for
your intended readership. May I suggest that
you do everything in your power to honor
your Designer/Architect as well as your audience.
Please remember to never restrict anyone's
opportunities for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.
Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Thought & Humor
'Cyber-Humor & Cyber-Thought
Harvard Humor Club
Whoah there cowboy! Put down the dictionary and back away. Now WTF? You have irritated me in a Jehovah’s-Witness-at-my-door kind of way. So please stop. I can't tell whether you've just complimented me or chastised me for something. I know you're a Christian cause the links lead to some pretty fundamentalist reading but honestly this comment makes you sound like a spaced out new-agey freak or maybe somebody who's starting his own cult. I half expect to see a countdown to the next appearance of Hale-Bop on your site.
(Now to be fair, T&H isn’t selling anything… exactly. But he’s a spammenter because he’s constantly leaving the same damn comment on every friggin’ blog he visits, with little variation. But he’s a busy guy – no time to personalize each spamment. He apparently writes a free email newletter. So he is kinda selling that, only it’s free. And he does have a lot of cartoons and riddles on his blog that are somewhat entertaining. ‘Course woven into the mix is a lot of fundamentalist proselytizing. [See, I got a dictionary too.] But that’s cool. It’s his blog, he can say what he wants. I just wish he’d be a little more original about inviting us all there - I feel like I have to ignore him on principle now.)