Monday, March 31, 2008

File under "Inane Rambling"

Reading the news this morning, reports on the Olympic torch re-lighting ceremony that was held in Tiananmen Square...

"Concern about anti-government protests extended to the state television broadcast. Although the broadcast signal carried a banner saying it was "live," there appeared to be a delay of about 1 minute."

Wow. Janet Jackson flashes a nipple at the Super Bowl half time show a few years ago, and the FCC slaps a five minute lag on live broadcasts afterwards.

Just found it funny, I guess.

Could it be...really..Spring?

After being jolted awake from a panicky dream at 5 am, to which I laid in bed and dozed back off while trying to get my bearings (and being thrust right back into said dream) a half-hour later I was rudely prodded back awake by husband o'mine's alarm he forgot to turn off after being called in to work at 2 this morning.

To say it wasn't a good start to the beginning of the week well, it's an understatement.

Sitting in my chair, fumbling with a cup of coffee I can't remember making (have you got it yet I am no morning person?), the sky still hanging on to last night, I realize, gently poking it's way through the silence is...bird song. The first bird song I have heard that has beaten the sunrise since Winter.

I am suddenly less sleepy (let's not go so far as to say I'm awake), and it doesn't have anything to do with coffee. I half-expect to see, when the sun does rise, green grass, daffodils poking their heads from the ground, and little bluebirds flying around a deer's head.

Okay, we'll step back a few paces off that visual. For one, I didn't plant daffodils, and for two, that's a Disney movie.'s going to be a mud-sodden mess out there. March is definitely going out like a lion today with heavy rains and thunderstorms. Which means it must have came in like a lamb, but I don't recall.

But, hey, I'm not complaining. I think Spring has done sprung here in my neck of the woods. Finally.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Movies, movies, movies...

...which I would usually wait until they would come out on dvd. A seat full of nacho cheese permanently removed any overwhelming need to ever see a movie in a theatre again...anyway, I've been watching trailers of some upcoming movies that just might cause me to tempt fate and squishy cheese.

Ironman. Robert Downy Jr. I'm really glad seeing him back acting again. Perfect casting as Tony Stark. Flawed, addicted, anti-heroic. Hmmm, am I talking about the character, or the actor? Anyway, hopefully, this isn't another case of all the best parts of the movie was already seen in the trailer.

Hellboy II. I did like the first one, even though I never fully got into the comic book. The fact that the movie is also from the man who brought us "Pan's Labyrinth", it should be cinematic art, albeit eerie art. I know prosthetics play a big part, but I cannot imagine anyone but Ron Perlman playing Hellboy. The voice. The attitude. And the character is another anti-hero. I see a trend here...

...which I will totally bust with my next pick. Speed Racer. I think I can wait for the DVD on this one, just so I can marvel in private on just how whacked this movie is. From the trailers I've seen so far, I have to wonder if the Wachowski Brothers were eating mushrooms when putting this movie together. Eye-popping, migrane causing colors. Watch it in IMAX...there's an epileptic seizure just waiting to happen. But, the cartoon series was a part of my childhood...the part you never really admitted to. Like buying "Teen Beat" magazine. We all did it, we just never admitted we did.
So, if I actually went to the theatre for this one, I might have to find me a Guy Fawkes mask and go as "Anonymous".

But this is what I want to know...Susan Sarandon as "Mom Racer"? How did that one happen?

Going out like a cold, snow covered confused lamb.

Good-bye, March. My usual "Black Hole of Calcutta" time of the year is nearing its end. Living la vida unloca, the funk, the seasonal defective disorder (see, it's the season that is defective...not me). April is around the corner, and I am waiting for that day when I look outside and gasp, "Oh, wow, it's GREEN!!!"

Not that I ever know what to do with it all. I can barely cut grass straight, let alone compile a pleasing to the eye flower garden. I don't get butterflies to my butterfly bushes...I get moths. And the fact that I suck at gardenology will only get better with the new mower my husband went in debt for bought last week. A zero-turn riding lawn mower. It doesn't have a steering wheel. It has two levers on either side of the driver that you alternatively move back and forth to go right and left, fast and slow.

I see crop circles in my lawn's future.

Anywoo, the said mower was to be delivered yesterday. Dear husband prepared a place for it like you thought we had procured a horse, the way he was preparing room and board in the shed. Well, the wrong mower was delivered. No lawn mower to fawn over today. So, when I saw what looked like a huge beanbag chair barfing all over our yard later that afternoon, I turned to pouting husband and said in my best Obi Wan voice

"You don't neeeeeed the lawn mower...these aren't the Droids you are looking for..." I even did the Jedi hand wavy thingy as I said it.

He was not amused. Well, he was, slightly.

So, looking back, I can't recall if March came in like a lion or not. I do know husband o'mine will be back to his lamb-like sweetness once his new mower is finally delivered, and that I know I will never be allowed to mow the lawn more than twice, with all those alien aircraft on our lawn.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hot Potatoes

Barack Obama, as we all have heard, has a pastor who in my opinion, should stick with preaching God's word, and stay off the political pedestal. The inflammatory sound-bites of him decrying "God Damn America!!!" and that 9-11 was just our past coming home to roost have be played and replayed, while America waited to see what Obama's response would be.

He akined the pastor to an uncle whom you are close to, that sometimes says things that make one cringe. Obama even admitted that his mother had made somewhat close-minded comments about "black people".

But, he did not turn his back on his pastor, nor dropped him like a...well, you know.

Now, Hillary Clinton has been heard to say that if it were her, she would cut ties with said pastor. You don't pick your family members, she replied, alluding to Obama's uncle comparison, but you do choose what churches you attend.

Is she going to choose what countries to attend if she becomes President?

*I guess what I m getting at is, I'd rather see someone in office who can not always agree with a person, yet listen anyway, than one who just "cut ties". I mean, isn't that "diplomacy"? Yes, I understand that Obama's preacher makes some very inflamitory statements. But, not only is he Obama's preacher, he is also his friend. Would I stand by a freind who made the statements this pastor did? I don't know. But then, I'm not running for President.

*this is an edit. I went to bed last night realizing I left my blog entry unfinished.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For

I wonder if China still thinks it was a great idea to host this years' Olympic games? Did they honestly believe by bringing the World to their door, to shine the spotlight on their country, that the same spotlight wouldn't illuminate the issues of lack of human rights?

These cockroaches are too big to scuttle under the sink.

I used to look forward to the Olympics when I was little. I loved the opening ceremonies where the host country would showcase their culture in such breathtaking ways, it would give me goosebumps (with the exception of the Hollywood production that was the Summer Games in Los Angeles). I would well up during the closing ceremonies as the flame was solemnly extinguished, then when all the athletes from all the Nations would party hardy as one on the fields where previously they were competing against one another, I would feel an overwhelming joy. Oh, to be there in the midst of it all!

Maybe it's age, or the reality of the world today, but now I can't help but look at the Olympics as PR for countries who really need to clean their houses, not just shove the dirt in the closet before inviting guests. I know we all have those's just that some closed doors bulge more from the strain than others.

Right now, China's closet is like Fibber McGee and Molly's...

I also can't keep myself from comparing this to news reel films I saw once of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Hitler used the opportunity to flaunt the supremacy of the his "super race". Until an American, an African American named Jesse Owens blew Germany's uber track team out of the water, and went on to win seven gold medals. But, back to the point...I guess it's nothing new that countries use the Olympics as self-promotion. But in some cases, it's nothing but propaganda, smoke and mirrors.

Huge cockroaches. "Naw, those are just Palmetto Bugs..."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Ides of March have past...

...and once again, Anonymous has pulled off world-wide peaceful protests against the the hierarchy of the "church" of Scientology. I say the "hierarchy", because they are not protesting against "belief" (even though they still toss out Xenu as a laugh, or "for the lulz"). But for the most part, they have researched, done their homework, and are concentrating on the actions of the "church".

When "all this" started in January, the group Anonymous, pissed off at the fact that the "church" bullied web sites to take down the now infamous Tom Cruise "Go To Guns" video, decided that they would take action. Being the computer and Internet cagey folks that they are, started off with DDOS attacks, shutting down the Scientology website. Posting ominous videos on YouTube touting how Anonymous was going to dismantle the "church" of Scientology.

Until a long-time critic, Mark Bunker, posted his own video on YouTube, explaining to Anonymous that there was another way, a legal way, to take on the "church". To get on-line and really research who and what they were going after.

And they listened, learned, and adapted. And became what they are today.

What amazes me (not in a condescending way, but in a awe-inspiring way) was that a bridge was forged between generations...critics of decades-past, reaching out to the Chan-generation of strange memes and irreverent flavor. Showing them that they could be more.

Either side could have took a different course. The Old Guard could have just gave the younger set a toss, assuming the lot of them just saw this as a passing phase until the next sound-bite turned their heads. Anonymous could have told Mark, et al, to STFU and continue on their direction of lulzing at the green alien, and forgetting about the man behind the curtain.

But, no. Something extraordinary happened, and in the course of a month, the result was February 1oth. Oh, there still was looooooooooooong cats and Rick Rolling and other memes, but here was a nebulous group who stood at orgs and missions across the world and directed the worlds' attention to abuses, forced disconnections, child labor issues, a company in the guise of a "church" that hides behind tax exemptions so they don't need to be "up front" to where all the money goes. Or be up front with anything they do, becasue, they claim, they are a "church".

Who knows how many more months will go by where Anonymous makes its presence known. Even if the Ides of March was the last protest (which I highly doubt), something happened, and it was big.

A group of people stopped. And listened. And changed. Altered course. Now wouldn't it be wonderful if the people on the other side of the protest line could do the same?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Can this be added to the now "14 Deadly Sins"?

Gleaned from an article read on Fox News (no I am not in the habit of reading's just where the link lead me...)

Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body which oversees confessions and plenary indulgences (meaning all-encompassing indulgences...basically everything) had this to say in addition to announcing that there has been seven new deadly sins added to the already existing seven...

The Bishop stated that the mass media had "blown up" the issue of pedophilia to discredit the Church...It's comments like this that helps discredit the Church. These crimes were exposed as the crimes that they are. Hopefully, this helped to bring closure to hundreds of people living in shame with how a trusted Godly person robbed and raped them of their innocence, their sanity, their trust... Is reporting stories of teachers having sexual relations with students done to discredit the teaching profession? No, didn't think so.

To think that this media exposure was done to do harm to the Church is some sick, twisted form of hubris.

I think this behaivor should be labeled as the fifteenth deadly sin.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why do I blog?

All my life, I've been a journal writer, ever since my grandma gave me my first blank book in 1976. I have filled many of these books on and off over the years. Then when I got a computer, I would make password protected journals in MS Works, burn them onto cd, and tuck them away.

Looking through my journals, I noticed a terrible trend. I was using my journals as spleen vents. All the vitriol and anger and frustration I wanted to fling on everyone around me, I poured into my journals.

Not to mention that the ones wrote in the late 70's-early 80's were downright embarrassing. God, how many crushes could one girl have?

One day, I realized, that someday I would no longer be here. What if my kids came across them? My husband? Would they understand that I was just ranting? Or would they see that I was a really terrible person that was full of hate? And I wouldn't be around to explain that my words didn't mean anything, that I was sorry for what I wrote in a fit of...well, in a fit.

So, I quit journaling. But as I have said many times, "nature abhors a vacuum". I still had a lot to say, I felt, a lot of inane thoughts, odd observations, just the everyday flotsam and jetsam that flows through my head at any given moment. Where would I put them?

I started reading other peoples' blogs, and I really enjoyed the fact that there were many others out there who maybe felt the way I did. "I have all these ideas in my head and I have to do something with them."

So, I started this blog, not really caring if anyone read it or not...which is silly to think why would someone take the time to write on a public forum, not caring if anyone read what they wrote.

Then I finished reading Alan Alda's first book, an auto-biography titled, "Never Get Your Dog Stuffed" Near the end of his book, he wrote about a conversation he had with a interviewer when his first copy of his book came in the mail. "You'll want to see your words in print", she explained when Alda just set aside his book without looking at it. He had said he had seen all the words while he was writing.

But, that's it...seeing the words in print. In my case, on a computer screen. There is a thrill to it. And for me, I don't care if I'm the only one who sees my words in print. Well, for now it doesn't. That may change someday.

I will never write a novel, nor even a short story (although I do have snippets floating through my head for a few). Blogging will do just fine for me.

And, now years to come, if my children ever fall across these blogs, they will be filled with my feelings that are softened with ideas. There will be no caustic bile to read...well, except for the occasional blog posting talking about a prymid scheme in the guise of a religion....or some other social blight that I feel moved to rant about.

Journaling, for me, was like throwing up. Blogging doesn't feel that way. It's a thought process. One has to think as how to covey a thought. It's as if I'm crafting words to create a picture. Or maybe I just give myself too much credit.

Oh, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Alan Alda's book. He has always impressed me as an actor and as person. It also didn't hurt that he always reminded me of my dad. Which is a good thing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Not easy "sitting by the pool" reading, but then I don't have a pool...

I read. A lot. I went through a "bodice ripper" stage when I was younger, where I would read historical romance novels (Moi? Non!). The ones I would read would never have a cover depicting Fabio and some buxom blond with ripped bodice. I had higher tastes. No Harlequin Romances for me.

Then, I changed gears and dove into crime novels and psychological thrillers. Usually Catherine Coutier (who started off writing historical romance) and Jonothan Kellerman. But what they all had in common was typical good guys, bad guys, the hero saved the day, everyone who deserved to be happy in the end, was. Oh, and some damsel got her bodice ripped.

Other words, very predictable story lines.

My mom was an avid reader, too, and since her passing, I have been acquiring her stacks of books. So, I am faced with books that I would have not normally picked out for myself, siting in boxes. Okay, I could send them off to the SA, or Goodwill, but, I decided to read one that just happened to be sitting on top of the pile.

It was a book written in first person, a story of a young man forced into responsibility for his 3 yonuger sisters after the murder of his father at the hands of his mother. The father was abusive towards his children, in turn, the son now fights his own abusive thoughts towards women, and towards some of his sisters. The reader hear his fleeting thoughts of wanting to grab a girl he takes on on a date by the back of her head and slamming her face against a framed picture she had found of his parents on their wedding day. He doesn't act upon his impulses. But they are still there, and he reports them as matter of fact.

The main character of the story, who is telling his story is flawed compared to main characters I have read in the past. But the author has written his plight in a way where the reader could possibly feel sympathy for him, even as we are shocked by his behavior.

The ending doesn't get wrapped up in a nice, neat little package. In fact, the ending made me feel kind of empty, and I figured out why. I was so used to reading books that told me how to feel. The story wasn't predictable. The story wasn't passive for the reader, meaning, it made me question why I felt sympathy for someone who had thoughts of seriously injuring women. I had to come up with my own conclusion on the the main character. Was he evil with his thoughts of bashing someone up the head? Was it okay for him to feel this way becasue of what he witnessed as a child?

If anyone is interested, the book is Back Roads, written by Tawni O'Dell. And, yes, I would recommend it.