Thursday, January 31, 2008

Altered States for Blaidd

My corgi puppy is spending an over-nighter at the vets. Up until now, visits to the vets involved scritches beind the ears, rounds of "Awwwwww, how cute!!!" and treats. Blaidd liked going to the vets. It was like visiting friends.

I'm sure it was really the treats.

After this, I doubt I will ever be able to utter the "V" word without him running for cover. Yep, he was de-masculated yesterday. A gonad-ectomy. Neutered. Altered. And he also recieved the mark of the beast, ie, we had him micro-chipped. So, not only did I have his berries removed, I also denied him his right to privacy.

I can hear Blaidd now when we goes to do that overwhelming need to lick his balls, as all dogs do...he'll be all, "What the deuce?" For some reason, in my head Blaidd "sounds" like Stewie Griffin from Family Guy. And then his next thoughts will be, "WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME, YOU VILE WOMAN?!?"

Llewellyn will be happy, though. Poor Lew. Kind of hard to be the alpha-corgi when being humped by a 7 month old pup.

Before the humpage began when Blaidd was still innocent, and when Llewellyn still had his dignity.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Now, that's comforting...

I'm talking about this article I read on MSNBC this morning.

Oh, long story short, article is about, um, a spy satellite in a decaying orbit could hit North America in the next month or so. Oh, but no one involved is too concerned about sensitive secret technology falling into enemy's hands, so everything is okie-dokie.

I would be more concerned whether or not parts of it is going to fall on my house. Secret technology or no. It think that would be the least of my worries with a gaping hole in my roof and a small crater in my living room.

And about the person speaking with anonymity...what's the secret? That it was a spy satellite? That it's falling to Earth? You mean you really weren't going to tell us until someone popped up complaining that their Volvo got crushed by some steaming piece of space junk? Or was it going to be an "Oh, by the way..." explanation?

And then I'm reminded of the movie, The Andromeda Strain.

Just call me "Worse Case Senario Girl".

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Taking advantage at the dentist's, or trying to.

I was in today for my quad-ly (yes, I know it isn't a word, bah) cleaning, slipping under the effects of nitrous (yes, I am a dental wuss), and these are the thoughts running through my mind as the hygienist was going at me with sharp know, the things you are never supposed to put in your mouth? Anyway...

"I wonder if the hygienist believed me when I told her I floss every day?" No, she knows you lie about flossing, just like everyone else does.

"I wish the hygienist would stop trying to have a conversation with me so I can let my mind wander." I find that I come up with some very interesting ideas while under the gas. Only problem is, by the time I walk out of the office, I have forgotten my train of thought. Kind of like that last dream of the night you try to hang on to, but the more awake you get, the more wispy it becomes until it finally poofs away.

"Hmmm...I sure could go for a Leinie right now" I have a theory that nitrous oxide affects the same part of the brain as alcohol does...well, at least with me it does. But, by the time I get home, all I want to do is go to bed and nurse my post-nitrous headache.

But, I have nice white teeth now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I hab a Code...

Okay, that's a pretty lame intro for today's inane blabbering. I'm talking about The DaVinci Code. Anyway, as the Green Bay Packers were trying to hold their own against whoever the hell they were playing last night, trying to ignore the fact that my eldest daughter was wearing a wedge of cheese on her head, I was watching the TDC (as will be known as forthwith) on DVD on my laptop.

I read the book a year ago. It was a good read, typical Dan Brown, in which to say isn't a bad thing...he writes a good story, albeit a bit, um, I don't know, I guess he writes more of a screenplay than a novel. Kind of what I felt about the last Harry Potter novel. I felt as Rowling was writing, she was seeing the words playing out on her mental movie screen, especially the place in the story when Ron and Hermione finally... Well, at least I was. Anyway, back to TDC...

I think if I hadn't read the book first, I would have had a hard time following the movie. Maybe it was the way the movie started, right into an action scene, more or less. And I remember when I first read the casting for the movie...Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon? Wha??? All I could think was, "Run, Forrest, run!!!" as I imagined Langdon running though the Louvre.

Then, the more I thought about it, it made sense to cast someone who could pass off as an academic dropped into a dangerous quest for answers without coming off as Indiana Jones. When I went back and read Angels and Demons, the first Robert Langdon novel, I could "see" Tom Hanks in my head, and it fit pretty good.

Sir Ian MacKellan as Teabring...not the look I envisioned as I read the book, but, I won't complain too much. It's Sir Ian MacKellan. Duh. He could be cast as Mr. Whipple, and I would end up buying stock in Charmin.

I've read a lot of complaints about the casting of Sophie, but after watching the extra DVD where Ron Howard explained that he wanted to cast actors of the same nationality as the character, I could see where an American audience would have difficulty feeling a connection with a foreign actor, because the acting styles are different. I find that foreign acting styles, especially the French (I could be totally wrong about all that) are more sublime than American acting, which for the most part can be over the top so the movie goer gets that feeling of escape. If they wanted a real depiction of human interaction or behavior, just go to the store or a bus station, or some other public place. You know, reality.

I did enjoy the movie, all in all. I did like the book better, as I usually do. I do know that the story created by adjusting facts to be able to write a compelling story around them, but, it's a work of fiction, not a documentary.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Way Too Cuteness

To counter-act the seriousness of my last post. Bask in the Cuteness that is Blaidd Braith, the Corgi.
Probably secretly planning World Domination.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Come to terms

When I was much younger and much more into organized religion, I literally believed that when a person died, they went straight to Heaven. Soul and body. I remembered the first time "someone passed", it was the neighborhood grandma who lived next door. I would usually show up at her kitchen door, exclaiming, "I smell cookies!!!" whether I did or not, because I knew Nana always had fresh baked cookies. And she always had them for me, she'd exclaim. She knew how to make a five year old feel special.

One day, my mom had told me when I asked if I could to go next door to see Nana, Mom quietly said that I couldn't anymore. I wondered if I had become a pest and Nana didn't want to give me cookies anymore, because, after all, at five years old, I was a pest. Mom explained that Nana had died the night before and I would never see her again. But she was in Heaven, my mom told me.

"How did she get there?", I asked.

"The angels came down and took her up to Heaven", Mom replied.

Heaven must be very far away, I thought, if I wasn't going to see her again. I then equated death with "going away forever", like someone packing up and leaving, never to return. I had visions of Nana, suitcases in hand, surrounded by winged angels, flying away. I thought that Nana was physically in Heaven.

That's probably where my separation anxiety started. The concept that a person can be "here" one moment and "gone" the next, forever to a place I couldn't even see was hard to fathom. I asked my mom if she was going to go away. Would she die, like Nana?

"I hope not anytime soon!", she said, trying to smile. I know she was trying to make me feel better, but it didn't. I then realized nothing was forever. People left and never came back, no matter how much they loved me.

A few months later, my sister and I were in the kitchen and my mom was making us some toast. When she pushed down the lever on the toaster, something caused the electric cord to short out, and sparks flew from the outlet. My mom turned to tell us to get out of the kitchen, and as we ran out, I turned in time to see my mom reach for the cord. A few seconds later my sister and I ran back into the kitchen to find it empty.

I started crying, "Mom's dead and she's in Heaven!" I had thought she had electrocuted herself when she touched the cord, was killed, and at that moment the angels came down and took her to Heaven, just like they had with Nana. No, my mom had merely gone down to the basement to pull the fuse from the fuse box to cut the power to the kitchen. Mom came back upstairs to find us crying because we thought she had died and the angels came down and took her to Heaven.

After many hugs and kisses, my mom explained that just our souls went to Heaven, not our bodies.

Woo, boy, that started up a whole other round of questions running through my head...which were finally answered when I attended my first wake when I was ten. I sat and stared at my grandpa's casket in a detached way. There laid his body. I knew his soul was in Heaven. That's what I was told. What a strange gathering this all was, I thought. If his soul was already in Heaven, why was everyone here looking at his body? Nothing was going to happen. But I sat and stared at my grandpa, just in case.

I also thought and the ripe age of ten, just how there was no permanence in the world. No guarantees. For years after, I avoided wakes. They only reminded me that nothing was solid. Death didn't make me appreciate life, it only made me fear life more.

And I felt that open-casket wakes were not dignified. Death on display. It was something I never understood. As I got older, I only went to the wakes I felt I couldn't get out of, and I went as if it were an out-of-body experience.

A month ago, my mom passed away from a insidious and puzzling form of cancer that all started with a simple broken arm. Three months later, I was at her bedside as she was dying. I didn't know she was going to die on that particular day, the family had been told it could be as long as a week before the end. But something told me not to go home, not to leave my Dad. Just stay.

So, I stayed. I stayed for my Mom and my Dad, and I stayed because I had to face my fear. I had to come to terms with lack of permanence, no guarantees. Life without promises of forever. Life is a process, and leaving it was part of that process.

But, of course, in retrospect I realized that.

At the wake, I sat with my family. My Dad wanted an open casket wake, which I was not comfortable with, but it wasn't my call. Dad just wanted to be able to see her one last time, he cried.

And as I walked toward the casket, I saw. And I understood. Because I remembered what my Mom looked like in death.

And now I saw what she looked like at rest. And as I stood there, crying, I felt that maybe, finally my coming to terms with life and death was beginning.

After all, ironically, death is life's only guarantee.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Got Caught Preachin'

I am sure anyone who reads the Internet has seen the leaked video of that actor (can't think of his name right now, you know, the one who is the subject of a tell-all book) who is "preaching to the choir" about his belief system, one that I will not call a "religion". When Avon, or Amway, or the Fuller Brush Man comes to my door wearing a clerical collar, then, maybe. Until then, I'll leave it at "belief system".

Anyway, for a few years now, I have been reading about this "belief system". Both sides. I actually read one of the belief system's founder's books know the one with the exploding volcano on the cover. I got parts of it, and even nodded my head at a few ideas. But those were concepts that I had read before from other sources. It wasn't groundbreaking, just rehashed.

The book finally got tossed across the room when I realized that this guy had way too many pre-birth issues. The way he went on about all these botched abortions made me wonder how anyone got past the zygote stage. The more I read, the more "WTF?" I thought. Then I got on the Internet, and the WTF-ness grew to massive proportions.

And, thanks to the Internet, you too can google your way to information...both sides of it.

But, back to the choir-preaching guy...he had already lost me at "Matt, you're glib" back from the infamous Today Show interview a year or so ago. He could have believed in space cooties and I could have cared less. That's not the issue. It was the issue of someone telling a large population of people that what they struggle with every day does not exist. There is no proof of "mental illness". And, for whatever does ail ya, a big dose of vitamins will do the trick.

Tell that to a mother who desperately wants to love her baby, but the feelings, the maternal instinct is not there because the feelings can't break through the crushing post-partum depression. Tell that to someone who for all purposes believes that they are going to die in the next few minutes, and nothing anyone says on the contrary is going to prove otherwise (that's what my panic attacks feel like, folks).

So, here is a guy who claims in this video that more or less he is an expert on everything, because of his belief system. He knows what to do because he's the only one who can do whatever he does.

Oh. I know what he does. He shills. He's the Poster Boy. But, he's in so deep, he honestly believes in what he says. Conviction or delusion? You be the judge.

I have a feeling we'll be seeing a new Poster Boy though in a few years, if not sooner. I remember when there was another Poster Boy, but he's older now, he's losing his hair, hasn't had a movie worth mention is a few years now...wait a minute...the present Poster Boy hasn't, either. But he still has nice teeth and a good head of hair, so it's not quite time to put him out to pasture.

So, go out there and start googling (or alta-vista-ing, yahooing, whatever) and do some reading about this belief system. Try and over-look the wacky parts, because, after all, it could be argued that most, if not all, belief systems are based on wacky stories.

Many people just know the tip of the iceberg. But, guess what? The iceberg is tipping over.

Thanks, Tom.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Clever, cute comedy

In my local paper, sometimes the writers tend to get cute with lead in to a story. Reciently, there was this headline:

" Father, son on trial in copper caper case."

Yes, great alliteration. And it reminded me of a comedy skit I saw years ago on the Johnny Carson Show (actually, in a retrospect, I'm not that terribly old).

My local paper also has a "comments" section. Sometimes it's a scary place, but it's a good read when there is nothing else to do. Occasionally, I'll make an inane comment on a story, like on the above mentioned by-line.

"What. No clapper?"

No one got it. No one remembered the Johnny Carson/Jack Webb "Copper Clapper Caper Case" skit.

Now, THAT was comedy. YouTube it. It's out there, somewhere I am sure. Oh, whatever, here's a link...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Explaining the Bunnies

You may have noticed a spoof on one of those "motivational posters" on the right hand side of things here (my photo, ran though a program called "Poster Forge")

WTF is with the bunnies? Okay, family inside joke...

I have two daughters. One diagnosed with AD/HD in kindergarten. The other, 5th grade, but that diagnosis is questionable. Anyway, growing up, many conversations were interrupted by "Oh, look...BUNNIES!". I called it "The Bunny Concept". As I got older, I found myself falling under the bunny's lure and realized that honestly, I was like that all my life. "Does Not Apply One's Self" was the AD/HD of my generation. DNAOS. But, the /HD didn't apply to me, I was too fat and lazy to be hyperactive. Anyway, I derail myself on a daily basis, bunnies or not. My derailing statement also seems to be, "Oooooh, SHINY!!!", which is funny becasue I do not buy nor wear jewelery as a habit.

I mean, where does one apply a brooch onto a sweatshirt?

If I were ever to see a metallic robot bunny, heaven help us all...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Party Hard-ly

I usually do one party a year, which is usually the holiday party put on by the company my husband works for. This year offered good food, a decent live band, and the reminder why at 45, I consider my party days long gone.

I was such a dork. Thanks to a heavy-handed bartender, I was an even bigger dork. Sheesh, trying to party like I was 18, how stupid *roll eyes*. Ouch, that hurt. Note to self. Don't roll eyes while hungover.

Actually, being a dork is a natural state for me. I drink to mask my dork-ness in social situations. It doesn't work. I usually wake up the next morning asking myself, "Why?" Like I said, I'm such a dork.

And, then, at company parties, there is always the inevitable question, "And, what to you do for a living?" My reply of "Stay At Home Mom" must have some kind of hypnotic quality to it, the way the phrase glazes over most women's eyes. You'd thought I'd just started speaking in elvish, or something.

Oh, and the, "And what college does your kids go to?" Assumptive, much?

So, this morning as I type this, I am so glad that I am not a bar-hopper, or a party girl, or even a social butterfly (ha, as if I ever was) anymore. Trouble always followed when I rallied against my dork-ness, when I never accepted myself for the Holly GoLightly that I am not. No, I mean Auntie Mame. Give me wallflower status any day of the week. Yeah, yeah, I know, "the world is a banquet" and all that...I'm on a diet, thakyouverymuch.

So, I will spend the day in quiet solitude. Daughter #1 is off to play football, daughter #2 is sitting at her computer, my other half is off taking advantage of the warmish weather and flying his r/c planes, I'm surrounded by corgis, and last night is a dimming memory.

Now if I could only get rid of this fraking headache...yes, I said "fraking". I told you I was a dork.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Na na..Hey hey...Not.

'Nuff said. I don't even care what the score will be in the end. Told you I was a fair-weathered fan. And I could have been watching the latest Harry Potter movie...

My biggest complaint? Remember long ago and far away, when the networks actually showed what went on during half-time? Like the marching bands? When the only wardrobe malfunctions was a plume flying off a band member's hat?

And, here we had the USC Marching Trojans. How cool would have it been to have Fleetwood Mac show up and play "Tusk"? Missed opportunity, folks. I mean it.

But, no, we had instead three talking heads who looked like they got together before hand and planned, "Let's all wear pinstripe suits! Wouldn't that be like, cool?"

Makes me hanker for NASCAR. No, not really.

Rose Bowl, Parade and stuff.

Okay, I'm a fair-weathered football fan. I'll be the first to admit it. If the Bears are having a good year, or if they are on Monday Night Football, I'm there. Well, not there, there in front of the telly. I watched the Missouri Bearcats (the college my sister professes at...okay, not the correct wording, sue me) when they were vying for whatever championship they were vying for. And today, I'll be watching the Rose Bowl game because U of I (Illinois) made it this year. I am so out of the College football loop, I didn't even know they were anywhere near contention (is that even the right word) until a month ago. To which my eldest daughter exclaimed, "Duh, ma!" Far more sports-minded than me, obviously.

Sports-minded daughter.

Not like I have any affiliation with the Uni. I'm not an alumnus (or is that "alumni"), unless sporting hangovers from dorm parties count. Prior mentioned sister spent many a year at U 0f I. I loved the atmosphere of the place, but I really doubt I could have survived even a year of intense academia.

Right now, I am watching the Rose Bowl Parade. I noticed that some of the floats this year have integrated minor pyrotectnics to thier displays. Fireworks. Rolling structures covered in dried flowers and grains. Does something seem just not right with this picture? Hmmmm...I smell popcorn...

Oh, and by the way...It's the New Year. I'll let you decide whether or not you want it to be happy. It's still too early for me to decide one way or the other.