Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Yahoo Mail: There Are No Snakes In My Pants.

This isn't a real post...just a moment of amusement.

Today's winning Spam email (and by "winning" I mean most ridiculously humorous)?

"Replace your pant snake with a PYTHON" by Pharmacy Online.

Thank you, Pharmacy Online, but as I have no snakes in my pants and I have somewhat of a phobia of Snakes, Snakipeders, and other creatures...I TRULY don't want any pythons anywhere near me.I know some of my friends (and Husband) are big fans of snake-types, but not this girl.

Now, if you meant a trousersnake...while I AM a fan of men and man-parts, I myself do not have one, therefore your offer is still moot.

UPDATE: I responded to the email with this post and the comment "my pants have no room for snakes."

UPDATE 2: The response I sent failed. SO. I found the Pharmacy Online (by the website in the spam mail) on Twitter and sent them a link to this post. Because I have no snakes in my pants, and spam email is silly.

Happy Holidays, Pharmacy Online!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bored Sheep Farmers vs Ohio State Marching Band. Shepherds WIN.

Remember the super cool college football marching band that made itself into a T-Rex that ate a dude?

Wait. Read that sentence again.

My life is fucking weird.

Anyway, this?

Well. I do believe a group of really bored sheep farmers (aka shepherds) with some astounding choreography (and engineering) skills and really well trained sheepdogs have one-upped these kids. I mean...the title of this is "Extreme Sheep Herding" for crying out loud...

In other news, my life is weird and NOWHERE near as interesting as these. I think these dudes need to do the choreography for my next bellydance class.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

People, I Need a Brownie!

I've been working a while now on a book (well, to be fair, on a couple of books). I cut a snippet into a 500 word scene and submitted it to a flash fiction contest in the summer. I didn't win, but I DID get some really excellent feedback, which I used to re-write (and expand a bit) the scene. Since it's part of a larger work, I'm sticking it here instead of putting it in another contest. I welcome comments/critiques/whatever.

Originally, the title submitted for the short short story was "That's Fairy, Not Dessert." Let's just say my house needs one desperately. Also, I greatly enjoy imagining the chaos with two dogs...

“I’m going mad,” he said to the empty office. The office chose not to respond.
Could you go mad if you could still consider going mad? Or was convincing yourself of sanity the first sign of madness? He wasn’t sure, but those…things he’d seen lurking in the shadowy corners of his apartment weren’t his imagination. Absolutely, certainly not.
And now all his clothes were unpacked and his dirty laundry piled up in a basket by the bed. The bathroom and kitchen sparkled in the bright morning sun, even if he’d left dishes in the sink after dinner.
He didn’t remember doing any of it. He’d carefully talked himself into believing he’d learned to sleepclean, some weird holdover from his parents’ housekeeper traumatizing his childhood with clean dishes. Or something.  
This morning the mousetraps he’d set all over the house were stacked carefully in the middle of his kitchen floor, neat and scrupulously free of any peanut butter bait. He heard papers shuffling in his office and ran into the room only to find them settling themselves on his desk, as though someone had just been flipping through them and left in a hurry.
Ben considered himself a rational, scientific man with a solid base in reality. Sure, he watched the Ghost Hunter shows and liked a good exorcist movie now and again, but that was just for show. He didn’t believe in hauntings or the paranormal, so he just needed to find a rational explanation for all of this, right? What could possibly be wrong with sleepcleaning?  
He sat at his desk, prepared for some serious Googling. He was tapping his finger on the desk along to AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and thinking thank God there was ONE rock station in this town, when someone in the room cleared her throat. 
No one was there. He flicked off the radio.
The “ahem” noise, definitely female, came again from the corner of the room by the window.
No one was there.
“Dammit,” he slammed his laptop closed. “Now I’m hearing things? What the hell is WRONG with me?” Disgusted, he stood and dug his cell from the front pocket of his jeans.
“Aw laddie, there’s nothing at all wrong with ye.” The thickly-lilted voice chuckled merrily. Her motion finally caught his eye, and a tiny female creature waved at him from the top of the stack of boxes marked BOOKS. She was only a foot tall and brown from crown to heel; walnut hair smoothed back from her face in a thick braid, sable eyes clearly laughed at him from a nest of wrinkles. Her clothes were shades of a forest floor, bark and loam. Her body seemed younger and stronger than her lined face, which grinned at him as she waved one tanned hand, the other holding a dust cloth. He didn’t smile back.
“Are ye dull then?” she asked with a long-suffering sigh, and shook her head with regret.
He snatched the bat he’d laid behind the desk for “just in case” problems, and held it out between himself and the creature.
“What the hell!” he shouted. “Stay away! What the hell are you?”
“Humph. Dull AND rude.” Her smile vanished, sparks of anger flashing in those clear dark eyes. She jumped off the box and stomped toward the door, muttering something about brownies under her breath. He cautiously moved closer, making a shooing motion.
“Don’t shoo a Brownie, sir, if you know what’s good for you,” she hollered, waving her finger at his knees. “I’m a damn fool, thinking you could see so you would see.” She shook her head, disgusted. “Well, that’s that then.”
“What?” Ben carefully lowered the bat. “What are you talking about? Who are you? What the hell do brownies have to do with anything?”
“I AM a Brownie, you grand jackass! Fairy, not dessert!” She threw her hands in the air, flinging her dust cloth across the room. “Bah. Maybe I shouldn’ta surprised you so, but damn if I’ll keep talking to an armed idiot.” And with that, she stalked through the doorway and disappeared in a little poof of dust.
The bat thunked on the hardwood floor and Ben ran after the tiny brown woman. She was gone. Toast crumbs still covered the kitchen counter; clothes still lay on his bedroom floor. He sat at the table, pushed a moving box out of the way, and cradled his head in his hands.
“Oh God, I really am going crazy,” he said to the table, and sighed. Deep in his gut, he felt an apology coming on.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And Thus I Consider My Blog a Win.

Search term that produced my blog today:

"trampled by Xena"

Win. I'm proud.

I'll probably do a real post tomorrow. Today I'm basking in Xena-ness.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

UPDATED: Yahoo Seems To Think I'm a Lonely and Confused Dude (or in the midst of a spiritual and sexual identity crisis)

Oh Yahoo spam mail, you do make my week awesome:

  • Yesterday I got five separate invitations to join JDate. That would be the Jewish Dating service.
  • Today (so far) I've received three Christian Mingle offers. 
  • And four different penis-enhancement-emails (viagra/cialis drugs, enlargements)

Evidently I have a whole catalog of issues: small penis size, under-performing penis action (not surprising since I don't have one), spiritual confusion and desperate loneliness for people of my own faith (which seems to change daily). I suppose offering me enlargements and helpful drugs could be considered supportive if I were considering changing my sex (which, by the way, I 100% support for others but have never considered for myself...and I think it's cool as hell that people HAVE the option to do so now if they need it).

In other news, I'm sorely tempted to sign up with BOTH Christian Mingle and JDate, but listing my religion as confused for both. I wonder how many matches I'd get?

PS: AS I WROTE THIS POST: the 4th Christian Mingle offer came in. "Find Love Through Faith at Christian Mingle" but really, it doesn't define WHICH faith. Can I join as a married pagan??

You guys, I'm totally responding. I want to know if I can advertise my Taboo Essentials website: it's for couples!


I'm apparently having hair loss issues now, as well. However, said spam for hair growth WAS aimed toward women, so's a step up.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

SyFy's Next Sharknado: CARNICORN!

Because who the fuck wouldn't watch a bad Saturday night movie with a flesh-eating-attack-unicorn?? People, it's goddamned genius: the ultimate symbol of innocence and purity ravaging a city with impalement carnagey death.  Somebody who's not me and can actually write scripts: get on that shit.

I wonder if the Snakipeder Army could defend against Carnicorn...hmm.

Also, the fundamental difference in my dogs' personalities are most evident during the early morning's first pee rituals. This is a daily occurrence and does not deviate by season, time of morning, weather, or my location (sometimes if it's cold or rainy or I'm lazy I just stand in the doorway and put them on the extendo-leash instead of going outside. Stop judging me.)

Thor: sidle quietly up to my right side from behind me (so I have to turn away from the door to put the leash on) and nimbly trot out the door. Sniff all the things in the entire radius of the leash's available square footage. Pull the leash-holder as hard as possible to eke out an additional foot or two to the sniff radius. Eat poop if available and tasty (this depends on which dog's turn it is to be first to pee in the morning, as fairness requires taking turns). Make seven back-and-forth passes in a line to find the ideal pee spot. Pee while watching everything in the area as a silent but alert awkward statue. Take final sniffs of the air in all four directions, just in case. Watch silently if a car/person walks by. Bark only if another dog is within line-of-sight. Return to the house for breakfast. Wait patiently for Chewy to finish fucking around so the bowls are filled. Eat breakfast while growling and keeping one eye on Chewy for any theft attempts. Retreat to the couch. Nap.

Chewy: lie in front of the sliding door like a large fluffy rug, wait for the leash to be attached. Fall through the open space in a clumsy trip down the step to the patio. WA-WOO loudly upon exiting the home, to formally announce the presence of THE MAN in the yard. Proceed with tail up in flag-formation to all areas of the leash radius and WA-WOO in all directions, including toward the house. Watch a leaf blow by: wa-woo at it. Pee. Wrap self around the fire-pit in the yard and look confusedly at the back door for help from leash-holder. Unwrap self from fire-pit. WA-WOO toward the neighbors' yard to announce FREEDOM. Squat and poop. Take a 1/2 step forward. Poop again. Another step: poop. Leave a line of turds as a potential trail back to the house. Check for squirrels/rabbits/shrews/ravens in all trees/bushes/under the step on the patio. WA-WOO at any creature disturbed by investigation. Should any person, truck, dog, or debris pass line of sight, dance in place, growl and bark as ferociously as possible while stepping in the fresh poop pile you just left behind for Thor to eat. WA-WOO repeatedly while cantering back to the patio and pushing leash-holder aside to barrel into the living room. Chase Thor in the room before the leash is unsnapped. Wreak havoc. Eat breakfast. Return to the window and WA-WOO at any changes in the yard since coming in. Nap.

Monday, November 25, 2013

This Is Not A Post: NOW READ THIS

I have a post in-progress of a story I'm working on...but to be honest there was too much wine Doctor Who shenanigans last weekend and I didn't get it finished.

In the meantime, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday drooling over books reading at Barnes & Noble yesterday, and while Husband finished a very long graphic novel I read Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half book.

You guys, it's fucking AWESOME. If you have any interest in Allie's blog, you MUST pick this one up. It was totally worth the wait.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bravery Isn't Lack of Fear: It's Action Despite Fear

The Huffington Post had an article today titled The 8 Bravest Things I Ever Said. I'm intrigued.

I have to say I disagree with snarking at people parked in a handicapped zone unless you know 100% that said person isn't handicapped AND they don't have a placard. Plenty of nosy-nannies snark at people who have every right to park in handicapped parking just because they don't "look" handicapped (I presume that means in their pea-brain functioning that only someone in a wheelchair or with a cane requires close-to-the-door parking). There are other reasons (not always physically evident) for people to park there.

Regardless of my rant, I like the concept of this one. For me, the bravest things I've SAID have been the unequivocal "yes" and "no" depending on the situation.

Yes means allowing yourself to risk, to love, to give fully, to experience new things at the risk of great failure. I said yes to my husband. I said yes to my dogs, to traveling (alone in some cases) to all sorts of weird and cool places. I've recognized the potential of jobs (even as stepping stones) and taken chances on them: in a few cases I discovered they were horrible long-term decisions, but they still forced growth. I'm an introvert, so I have to consciously choose to say "yes" to a lot of things when my first reaction is to hide and say no. I like the idea of choosing a few things that scare the hell out of me to do in a year: it's how I got published, it's how I eventually screw up the courage to do the things I know will be good for me in the long run.

No means recognizing your limits. Enough, after all, is enough, and it takes a shit-ton of bravery to DO something about a situation when you know it isn't right. It takes bravery to follow your inner voice when it says "dude, that's a terrible idea" and you know that voice is right. Change is remarkably difficult: we are, after all, creatures of habit. It's so terribly easy to stay in a miserable relationship, job, life situation because you already know how to cope with it. Saying "no" to that situation and starting a new one is an unknown: it's a risk. And it's really fucking brave to say "that's enough, I won't be this way/be treated this way/be this miserable" and move on.

My top 3 bravest moments to date (those which have utterly changed my path):

1) Marrying my husband. Until I met him I never wanted to get married because I never wanted to share that much of myself with anyone. It's been an interesting up and down ride for the past decade that has changed me for the better in many ways.

2) Going to Ireland on my own. 100% life changing adventure that scared the shit out of me and proved a great many things to myself. Falling utterly in love with the country helped.

3) Submitting my writing for public consumption (via this blog, magazines, stories, and the ever-elusive novel I need to finish).

What are YOUR top 3?

Friday, November 08, 2013

I Have No Good Title For This

Since I'm lacking any full-post-worthy (sigh, I wrote that as "worty" at first...which is both gross AND makes me think of herbs...and beer) items I give you a bunch of random crap.

1) I saw Ender's Game. No, I'm not sorry about seeing a movie based on a book that deals with issues like blind hatred and genocide written by a man who purportedly hates homosexuals. I find the irony intriguing. Also, it's a movie. Shrug.

Chewy is unimpressed. In general. 

3) A co-worker just regaled me with the story of her attempt to buy her grandson shoes from The shoes that arrived from, in the box, were old filthy worn men's shoes. That stunk.'s response "I'm sorry that happened to you." REALLY?? Your employee took off his OWN SMELLY SHOES, put them in a box and shipped them instead of the new ones purchased and that's all you can say? Fail. 

4) In an established tradition, Groupon is advertising the oddest shit to me. In today's email: 
  • Custom Spray Tans (does Groupon know I'm pasty scandahoovian northerner?)
  • Princess Diana THE MUSICAL (I...seriously, what the fuck??)
  • Tandem Sky Dive Jumps (again, trying to kill me)
  • Boudoir Photo Shoot (maybe this goes with the custom spray tans)
5) I apologize for the random crappiness of this post. I'm fairly unamusing today, as it's Friday and my brain is utterly burnt out (through my eyeballs) after staring at a Cobal computer screen for the past few weeks at work. I'll have something entertaining tomorrow. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

And So, I Embrace Google's Opinion Me

Remember how everyone tells me their sex and relationship issues? Did you know my husband is moving to Texas for 11 months next year for school (I am not, for financial and practical reasons...meaning, I'd like to keep my job until I get to the point they'll let me work from home full time, I can't afford to commute between MN and TX weekly, and we'll likely move when he's done with school anyway)? Did you know back in the day (ie 2005 and earlier) I sold "Romance products" through one of those in-home party gigs?

This all goes together, I swear. 

I've decided to re-start my sex toy romance business. I need something to keep me occupied while he's in school...and you know, a way to help PAY for school. Plus, I have no shame and thoroughly encourage people to have healthy fun sex lives. I think it's important to well-being in a long-term relationship.

I won't advertise here after this post, although I may share entertaining stories here and there. After all, I have a reputation to uphold with Google Ads (because I'm lewd). But if you're interested, you can find the business on Facebook at
My Party Gals website (for products, booking online parties, and likely some immature giggles): or

And finally, to coincide with the toy business I decided to pair it with an advice column: I'd love some guest-posts there, my bloggy friends!

Are you sensing a theme? 

Back to NaNoWriMo. Because I'm clearly attempting to kill myself with all the THINGS to do.

PS: I sort of find my labeling scheme amusing today.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Groupon May Be Trying To Kill Me

First of all, I'm amused that the ad at the top of my Yahoo mail today is for makeup, when I rarely (if ever) WEAR makeup and can NEVER be called "haute" in any way.

Also, in MN the word "Haute" is rarely used at all. When it is (recently popping up in food magazines and such) it's used to refer to a high-falutin' HOTDISH* (casserole, for you non-mid-westerners) restaurant. That's right. "Haute Dish" is a place in Minneapolis that serves upscale tater-tot hotdish. I don't know what that means...I loathe tater-tot hotdish so I haven't been. My point is, whatever "Haute" means in real life doesn't apply to me.**

Anyway, Groupon, as you can see, is advertising quite possibly the WORST combination for my grace skillset: roller skating with wine! Granted, every time I fall, run into a wall, or knock over my companions I'd giggle and likely feel no pain, but I expect I'd be ticketed for assault with a deadly idiot. Or at the very least, SWI. I think not, Groupon, I think not.

*See? Even Blogger doesn't know what to do with the word "hotdish" because it's a purely Mid-westerner weird thing involving casserole fixings and (usually) cream of mushroom soup in a can. Ugh.

**In case you were wondering, "Haute" is the root word for "haughty" and means pretty much exactly that: elevated, high-class, fancy-pants (well, HELLO Mr. FANCY PANTS!)

***It's POSSIBLE "fancy-pants" isn't in the official definition... but 10 points to whomever gets the movie quote.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Too Lazy To Write Two Posts: Cross Posting "Dear UnSubtle Gym Rat: My Crotch Is Not For You

While I mostly keep my other blog just to track my progress in my personal self-torture adventures, tonight's fun at the gym made me chuckle when I re-read it.

If you don't find it amusing, that's cool: I'm likely high on muscle pain.

Or idiots.

Dear Unsubtle Gym Rat...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Driving Within The Lines

I'm feeling somewhat melancholy tonight (husband says I should stop that immediately, because melancholy is a silly word). Not depressed, just sad. I miss a few people intensely this time of year in particular: some because they're far away, some because they're no longer occupying the space in my life they used to.

The line between "missing" and "wallowing" is one of those fine dotted know, like the kind on the highway signaling it's ok to leave your normal space for a few seconds, if it's safe, to go around an obstacle? Yeah. Gotta pay attention and keep my people-missing in the "reflect upon where you've been, with whom you've connected, and who you've let go" phase that stays healthy.

Then again, I'm not terribly adept at staying within lines. Ok, that's not completely accurate: I CAN AND DO stay within driving lines...I just occasionally go too fast. Police, if you're reading this, I do not drive erratically, or drunk, or anything else...and I'm working on my lead foot, I swear.

I once wrote a short story during my bus ride home from school that included haunted houses, bears ripping people's arms off, and a plucky crew of friends who fought ALL THE EVIL. I was in 2nd grade...I believe that would've made me 7 at the time. I'm probably lucky my parents (or the teachers) didn't send me to therapy. See? not good at staying within the boundaries of this very blog post. Ha! Take that, 2nd grade teacher!

And so tonight I'm somewhat melancholy and thinking a lot about what I should hold on to in hope and what I should let go of to move on as gracefully as possible. This IS me we're talking about...graceful means getting out without black eyes or a broken toe, after all.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Townhome Twits: Episode Brothel. Yes, I saved this for last.

So I believe I told the Baba Yaga story about the old woman who sold her house for pennies a few years ago, yes?

This ties to the brothel thing, I swear.

Directly across from Baba Yaga's unit is a home that's flipped five or six times since we moved in. The last actual owner who lived there was a badass lady from Oklahoma, who told me once that her neighbor (Peeping Peeper) once tried to talk his way into her house to "check" something. She, being a take-no-shit-from-anyone woman, looked him in the eye and advise she's perfectly safe with her carry permit and .45. Then she shut the door in his face. I wish she still lived there. Unfortunately, she lost her job when the market tanked and had to leave her house to move back to Oklahoma. Various groups of renters have been in her place since then.

In the meantime, Baba Yaga's house was purchased by a very nice young family with three little girls. In five years I've seen the wife once: she advised (very nicely) that her kids couldn't play with our dogs because they couldn't let dogs lick the kid's faces (their religion says dogs are dirty). To each their own, I say, and we've been pretty decent neighbors overall (there's one house between us: the lovely and VERY forgiving Mexican family whose bird was murdered by my overzealous dog).

The same summer the no-dog family moved in, a group of college girls rented out Oklahoma's house. As typical college girls, they had parties. They had friends coming and going. The whirlwind bitch shared walls with them, and never complained at all so everyone assumed they weren't bothering anyone, and all was well.

Until I came home from work one day to be stopped by the Baba Yaga's new owner. He asked if I'm on the board (I was at the time) and "reported" that "those women" are running a brothel in that house, and something needs to be done. His exact words, which I will likely never forget: "I have small girls: I don't want them exposed to that filth."

What. The. Fuck.

Nope, I didn't laugh in his face. I asked what prompted this suspicion. He said "men come and go, stay overnight, and cars are always changing." Sigh.

I told him it's extremely unlikely the independent women in that house are running a whorehouse: if they were, likely their wall-sharing neighbors would say something. I reiterated that adult women are allowed to have whomever they like over to their home as long as they don't impede traffic or cause disturbances: they'd done neither. Then I asked how on earth a baby and two toddlers would have any idea they'd been "exposed" to "those women" unless HE said something to them. He couldn't really answer that.

To be fair, I was as professional as I could be in my response, no matter what I WANTED to say. I said if he saw actual laws being broken he'd need to call the police, but a house of female roommates with boyfriends is a LONG way from a brothel.

Since then the ladies have moved out (and we've had a few different groups living in that house...I suspect because they discover they're living next to a peeper and run like hell) and the family's girls are old enough to ride their bikes unsupervised around our driveway. Along with all the other lovely unsupervised spawn who taunt my dogs through my back windows, ride their bikes around blind corners with traffic and apparently create campfires on the hill in the backyard.

I love kids. I wish these had parents who paid some attention, because there's way worse things than being exposed to independent women in our neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cosmic Lost Socks Will Now Be Washed, Fluffed and Folded.

Remember the Soul Retriever?

Apparently she now provides "aura cleansing" as an additional service.

I'm unclear as to whether she cleans the pieces of the soul she retrieves for you, or if she just does an overall swiffering. Personally, I would think any retrieved piece of the soul would need cleansing, because you just don't know where that dirty bit has been. It could've been cavorting with nefarious souls, after all. Or at least, nefarious bits (which are not unlike naughty bits: probably just as much fun but in a non-sexual way).

Is it a deep clean, or a surface rinse that leaves aura-obscuring streaks ?

Does she get all the crannies? What about spider removal? GOOD GODS there could be spiders in my aura...there will be motherfucking nightmares, people.

What about stains (coffee, murder, dog pee, etc)? Does bleaching aural stains hurt, or is it the spiritual equivalent of tooth whitening?

Is this like Merry Maids or some other licensed and bonded cleaning service that randomly breaks dishes, moves shit around so you can't find it again, and leaves your house smelling of lemons?

What does a freshly washed aura smell like? 

DO I WANT TO KNOW THIS SHIT?? I have the urge to submit something from this whole thread of thinking as a short story to one of the 6 contests pending in October. Excellent.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Random Crap (or I'm too cranky and lazy to think up a clever title).

I'm having sort of a horrid week. Car accident (and a shop that seems...well, stupid. Is it SO HARD to call the number I gave you, the ONLY number I gave you? Apparenltly it is: they called an out-of-service number instead, because ridiculous), arguments, washing machine that leaks...I've about had it.

Therefore I give you random acts of silly, because I needed somewhat of a pick-me-up today.
Fest "Bench Art" because drunk people have too much time and not enough ideas after hours on a Saturday night.

I don't know who created this on FB (if you have a source, please share).

It's Han's first birthday this week. I appreciate his early propensity for witch books and zombie brain eating. I expect the cake-smoosh party to be most excellent.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fest Food AND The Weekly Stupid Wrap Up

I realize some of these should have pictures, but ultimately I'm too busy either laughing (or gagging) to do so.

  • I know most of my Fest posts are about people being dumb: to start this post I'd like to suggest the tastiest things I've found at the MN Renaissance Festival.
    • Deep Fried Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Olives. OH MY GODS YUM.
    • Calzones (I don't care that they aren't Renaissance food)
    • Alligator bites (again, don't care).
    • Cheese Curds (for you non-Midwesterners: cheese chunks battered and fried. STILL not Renaissance food, still don't care. Yum).  
    • Popovers with honey butter. Fucking FABULOUS.
    • Frozen, chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick.
    • Meat pies (which ARE pretty historically accurate): meat, cheese, veggies in puff pastry. Also, the breakfast varieties with sausage/bacon, egg, hashbrowns are awesome.
    • Crepes.
    • Shepherd's Pie. Yes, it's essentially beef stew over mashed potatoes out there, but it's hearty and warm and tasty as hell.
    • Mead.
    • Warm apple tarts with cinnamon ice cream. Good lord.
And now, on to the normal idiocy...
  • In an exercise of stupid, someone decided to invest money in shiny new "GARBAGE ONLY" magnetic signs and post them on every dumpster behind scenes. I'm unsure how anyone could get the purpose of a dumpster wrong: they truly do look like your average dumpster. They are not stealthy or in disguise. They aren't even covered in burlap (which as we all know, immediately makes something "period" (ie historically accurate) to the Renaissance. This begs the question: what exactly prompted said common-sense signs?
    • Midget/Hippie/Festie (festival worker) tossing?
    • Nuclear waste? 
    • Elephant poo? I submit that elephant poo is indeed "waste" and therefore is technically garbage. For the record, elephant poo is NOT tossed in the dumpsters. 
    • I realize the signs are intended to stop recyclables from being thrown in with trash, however (again, COMMON SENSE) wouldn't it be better to identify "RECYCLABLES ONLY" instead?  
  • Trash pickup around the Fest grounds is farmed out to various school teams (middle, high, and even community college). Saturday a slightly chubby 14 year old boy from Middleton school walked by me. The Middleton mascot? Beavers. Yes, I snickered.
  • I forgot to include this First Aid bit of entertainment from last weekend...there was a woman drunk enough to be puking AND peeing her pants at the same time. It BOGGLES THE MIND how she could possibly hold enough fluid in either tank to be able to piss every time she threw up. Also, she was apparently agitated (who wouldn't be, I suppose) and had to be held down so she stayed contained in First Aid on a single cot (thereby causing a 5' radius of filth instead of hosing down the entire office). I feel for you, people who had to hold her down and avoid any spray. And I'm pretty glad I wasn't there to witness.
  • A group of idiots thought they could sneak in through my gate without passes. They didn't have enough money to bribe me (kidding...I'm way to bitchy to even allow that). Judging by the FERRET in the leader's purse who stuck his nose out to check out the area, I'm guessing they were attempting to get in on the sly because ferrets aren't actually allowed through the Pet gate. She zipped her purse up (that poor ferret was unimpressed) and tried the front gate. What the hell possesses people to bring their pets out there anyway? It's filthy, the food on the ground is TERRIBLE for pets, the crowds are's not a healthy environment.
  • Parents, please stop calling in a panic about your "lost" teenager. Your teenager is NOT LOST. They aren't answering your texts because they don't want to be seen with you. SUCK IT UP. Also, Fest is a pretty enclosed space: there are only so many places said teens could be. I suggest all belly dance shows, pubs, and weaponry shops to start. I suppose I could suggest a couple of the other "adult" oriented shows, but I'm not a huge fan and so won't endorse them here. Indeed, I AM a bitch. 
  • And lastly, a word of Renaissance Festival/Music Festival/Anywhere-with-portable-bathrooms advice: Sex in Porta-Potties. DON'T DO IT. Fucking nasty...and if you get off with the stench of blue biff juice, sour hangover poop and puke wafting around you, please stay far, far away from me. Ishka.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No Ma'am, Bees Don't Have Teeth.

Another weekend sitting at the First Aid gate at Renaissance Festival.

Another weekend of things. Saturday a drunk (sigh) woman tried to impale her head on a fence post. She succeeded in splitting her lip from nostril down so thoroughly she likely needed multiple sets of stitches.

Someone thought First Aid should have an oxygen tank, for those people who come out on a 90+ degree dusty/poor air quality day who are dependent upon oxygen to get around. Why did this person think the Festival should provide oxygen? Because he LEFT HIS TANK IN THE CAR AND WAS TOO FUCKING LAZY TO GO GET IT. It's good I wasn't in the office when said person stopped by: some stupid just doesn't deserve a nice response.

Most of my Sunday was listening to this: "I was just bitten by a bee. Do you have something to fix it?"

First of all, bees don't have teeth. They cannot bite you. They don't carry rabies. Second, there is no cream/medicine/magic wand the EMTs in First Aid can wave to make it all better (other than making sure the stinger is out). They give you ice and send you on your way. The poor teenage girl who got stung on the butt was the only one who garnered sympathy from me Sunday, because she was already embarrassed about the damn bee flying up her shorts.

Geese, however... they're evil fuckers. A few years ago Husband was a roving security dude at the Renaissnce Festival and was stopped by a very worried (adult, as in "should know better") woman who'd been "bitten" by a goose.

Concerned woman: "A goose just bit my lip!! Do I need first aid?"
Husband: "How exactly did a goose bite your lip, ma'am?"
Concerned woman: "I was giving it a kiss, and it BIT me!" (note this should be read with the appropriate amount of ignorant indignation).
Husband (while attempting not to laugh in her face), "Stop kissing the geese, ma'am."
CrazyGooseKisser: "What if I get rabies?"
Husband: "Fowl don't carry rabies."

CrazyGooseKisser: "Oh, ok."

Indeed, that entire situation was logged in the Security logs for the year, and thus has been saved for posterity. Mwahahahaha.

I DO have two more Townhome character posts pending...I've just been occupied with Fest silliness.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Renaissance Festival and Alcohol: A Perfect Storm of Fools.

Last year at this time I found amusement in the various hospital oddities that I focused on while husband was in the ICU. It's really weird to think that today, one year ago, I was hanging out in a hospital room with a broken, unconscious spouse and no idea what the hell was going to happen next. But I had some faith that eventually things would work out. And ultimately, they have. And things in our life they are a-changin...hopefully for the better.

So, enough sappy digression. Let's move along to the dark humor portion of this post, because the worst things are SO DAMN FUNNY (see my previous post). One of the big steps he wanted to accomplish was to become security at the Renaissance Festival again, and he succeeded in that goal last weekend. I worked at the First Aid gate for most of the three days, and OH MY GODS the stupid shit people do at the Ren Fest is...well, it's just hilarious.

  • Drunk college dude's buddies came to First Aid hoping we had something to "help" their friend, who'd apparently decided sitting in a PRIVY (porta-potty) would be a fabulous place to rest. He'd been in there for over an hour, just hanging out (fully clothed with the seat down...just resting. He was not passed out or horking). That boy has some seriously kind friends, that's all I can really say. Also, of ALL the places to avoid in any outside faire, the smelly cesspools of poop boxes is NOT where'd I'd personally hang out to feel better. Ugh.
FYI: our advice was to feed the dude water and bring his drunk ass home. Banana bags (aka electrolyte IV bags seen on ER...if you're old enough to have seen ER) didn't exist in the Renaissance, people.
  • Middle aged man insisted, for five hours of moaning and crying on a cot, that the Festival had made him drunk. He'd apparently never been drunk before (yeah, sure), and repeatedly wailed "WhyEEEEEEE did you DO this to me? OH LORD WHYEEEEEEE?" He likely spent about $100 just for the big dinner ticket and entrance to the festival, only to spend 90% of his day crying and blaming everyone but himself for drinking himself into a vomitous stupor. Sigh.
  • It's utterly astounding how many women "forget" their tampons at home and have to come to First Aid looking for an emergency plug. Really? Are you SO out of touch with your own cycle that you don't just carry one with you just in case? What the HELL? These are not teenagers: grown women who've presumably had the joyous experience of monthly "I wish I was a dude" cramps and mess should know better.  
  • YET ANOTHER foolish male drunk patron (it's a theme, people. A recurring theme) decided it'd be a fantastic idea to untie the costume sword at his side and swing it around. He'd had more wine than prudence demands when flailing about with an edged weapon, even when said weapon is duller than a butter knife. He managed to thwack himself upside his head. Did you know head cuts, even the ones that don't need stitches, bleed A FUCKING LOT? They do. It's even better when the wife at his side has ALSO had far too little food and water to go with her allotment of wine (do not light a match around that woman. Seriously.) and is busy yelling at him for being upset...because our attempted-self-scalper was more concerned that he'd lost his wallet and belt than he was about the blood all over his head and shirt. His wife, understandably, was significantly more concerned about the blood.
I'm sure there are more shenanigans I could report, but what could possibly follow a self-scalper with an irate drunk wife?

Nothing...and so I'm ending this post in an awkward, inconclusive manner.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Google Dreams of Screaming, Apparently. Creepy.

Oh Google...never change.

I don't think it's lucky at ALL to have no mouth and have to scream, Google.

I know, it's not a real post. And technically, that's two in a row. I'm sure I'll have something more entertaining after a long weekend of Renaissance Festival, but for now this made me chuckle.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I...There is NOTHING Appropriate To Say About This (NOT Miley Cyrus Related)

I don't understand it, but I'm highly entertained.

What the hell IS "Jess hair" and...just...WHY??
I do not...know, but apparently multiple readers found my blog this way.

In case anyone is wondering, there was no 1600's Mini-Doughnut Truck on the Renaissance Festival site this season (but I DID see an oxygen tank and a power wheelchair wrapped in burlap...because we all know making something "Renaissance-y" just requires burlap. And mud.)

Also, in case anyone is wondering...I saw 2 members of the Snakipeder Army while working this weekend. Two fearless chipmunks (who boldly ran under my chair AND over my foot) will soon be recruited and armored thusly, and sent into my basement to kill all Snakipeder threats for fall:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Not You. And I'm Not Breaking Up. This is not a funny post. Feel free to ignore it.

I am a cyclical depression hermit. (Do not confuse that with a  Cycling hermit, because truly I loathe bikes, unicycles, pretty much all pedaling-type exercise with the fire of a thousand suns).

Yesterday in a discussion with Husband about the depression I've been fighting off and on for a while now, he said something that hit home.

"There are people who WANT to be your friend, who want to get to know the real you, who WANT to connect. YOU shut them out and push them away."

He's likely quite right: when I'm in a down cycle I avoid all the people. I don't trust easily. I don't call. I don't write. Hell I barely leave the house, which the dogs love but likely isn't good for me on multiple levels.

I've written about this before, but I suppose I haven't explicitly said that in the past year some really shitty things have happened both to me and around me that sucked up so much of our time and energy that I've been more prone to depressions simply from lack of any sort of reserves. Therefore, I've withdrawn from everyone.

It's not you. It's me. I know, that phrase sucks...but I'm not breaking up.

I debate and debate about how explicit I should be or want to be in this blog (and elsewhere), because 1) it's goddamn fucking HARD to expose things and 2) who the fuck wants to read this depressing shit? 

But in the interest of friends and potential friends not feeling ignored or slighted, here it is: 99% of the time I feel utterly worthless and completely unloveable. There are both internal and external factors that contribute to my personal form of emotional wreck-ness and this post IS NOT, I REPEAT: IS NOT any sort of plea for sympathy, empathy, or help. It really isn't. I'm working on things. I'm trying to get my act together. Sometimes I have a burst of energy and say "fuck off" to those lying bastard inner demons, and I can be who I want to be. That's happened less often the past few years, and you should know I'm working like mad on changing it.

This post is to reassure those of you who might be in the category Husband voiced, because I DO want to hang. I DO want relationships. I just don't have the wherewithal or oomph to do the work required, because I've been trying hard to get my own shit back in order.  While Husband insists certain peeps we know really want to have a better/deeper friendship with me if I give them a chance, I've also had some recent (ie past few years) spectacularly damaging betrayals by "friends." Most recently, one who made every effort to get to know those hidden psychological bits of me, only to cause damage when I proved to be...hmm...insufficiently "fixed," and the friendship ended. Too much work, that's me.

I have to consciously fight some pretty dark core beliefs about friendship and relationships and myself that have NOTHING to do with your efforts or the quality of our relationship. I am working on learning to open up again. I apparently have the progress of a goddamned sloth in this area, and for that I really do apologize. It sucks for me, too. Truly and sincerely, it's NOT YOU. And when I finally come out of this and act like the normal, semi-confident, funny smartass I used to be, hopefully some of you will still be there. If not, I get it dude, and I cast no blame: acquaintance status is ok with me too.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fit by 40: Navy Seal Style

So I just turned 36, and am now officially looking at 40. In all my 36 years I can't say I've ever been in any sort of decent physical shape. That's not me whining about my looks or fishing for compliments: that's me being honest. I've always carried at least 20 extra pounds and have tried every damn diet possible...for a day or two. More importantly, I'm a pretty lazy individual: I teach Belly Dance sometimes and sporadically walk, but I'm not in shape. Hell, I stopped kickboxing because I can't make it through a class yet (I'll be going back as soon as I can do 30 minutes of hard cardio, like running, without passing out...nearly there).

So, why not make myself a serious challenge with specific goals, instead of the ever-nebulous "I want to be healthier" attitude? I figure I have four years to hit my goal, which is:

To be able to pass the minimum physical fitness standards for entrance into the Navy Seals.

No, I don't want to be a Seal (also, I'm WAY too old...and, you know, not in the military). But I'd LOVE to be able to say I could pass the PT exam before I'm 40.

This is the last post I'll put on No Pithy Phrase about it, because NPP isn't a workout journal and I don't want it to turn into one. But to keep myself honest I will be trying to blog about it some (I find the stupid workout trackers on my phone/daily planners/etc don't work for shit to keep me going). Those posts will end up here: SassLoss. Feel free to read and comment at will.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Townhome Twits Episode V: The Baba Yaga

Two doors down from us there lived an old woman who strongly resembled the Baba Yaga (well, without the chicken feet or the iron teeth). Her wiry steel-grey hair was always neatly bound up in a bun on the top of her head. Her teeth were strong and yellow (no dentures there). The combination of long nails and somewhat arthritic hands gave her a fairly creepy clawed look, but truthfully she was a very kind woman with a fairy-tale-witch look about her.

Baba came to every annual homeowners' association meeting and sat in the front row so she could complain about the kids and dogs in the complex. In all fairness, she complained more about kids than dogs (and never once yelled at us when Thor was a puppy and ever-escaping the house unleashed).

When our buildings were originally constructed in '78 they were intended to be a quiet retirement community (in my six years on the board I was often reminded of that fact by Baba) with no children or pets allowed. That, of course, explains why our complex has a giant flat-topped hill in the center with absolutely no amenities whatsoever: rumor has it there's no pool, garden, or park up there because the hill was created as a construction garbage dump by the contractors building the place. Or, there's bodies in there. Who knows?

Baba Yaga was a stubborn and nice lady who wouldn't allow anyone else to shovel her sidewalk (it gave her exercise and the opportunity to see what's happening in the complex in the winter), do her shopping or any other assistance. She always struck me as a rather lonely soul: her kids had all moved out of state and she'd expected to retire in a nice quiet community that ended up somewhat crazy with all the noisemakers moving in and out.

She moved out three years ago after saying "I'm 90 and I'd rather just have my money and die at my son's house." She sold her house and moved to Philly, I think.

In the end, Baba Yaga got us all back for our noise and general shenanigans. I'll never know if it was intentional or not, but I suspect those iron teeth are grinning somewhere.

She sold her place for $35k. THIRTY FIVE GODDAMNED THOUSAND DOLLARS. Sigh. Those of us who stayed when the bottom fell out of the market in our underwater-mortgages cried a little when one of the NOT abandoned units sold for under $50k.

The new owners...well, they're an entirely different post.

PS: Clearly spellcheck doesn't know Russian fairy's insisting "Baba Yaga" is spelled incorrectly and wants to change it to "Abba Yoga". Ha!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Townhome Twits Episode IV: Bitch Wars

Read the first couple Townhome Twits here: Sneaky Peeping, here: Snow White, and here: Eyeore.

Our place has excessively limited parking. Everyone gets a one-car garage and two assigned spaces. Visitor parking isn't supposed to be used for resident cars, which means for people like Husband (who currently owns one winter car and two fun cars in addition to the truck and my mustang) we are always fanaggling parking with neighbors.

Directly in front of our house we have one spot. The spot next to ours is Eyeore's, who rents it out to the neighbor across the way and down two places. I'm beginning to think I need to draw a damn map, but my skill with MSPaint is laughable. 

This would be the lady who has been a pain in our collective asses since we moved in eight years ago. She and her three barky little ankle biting dogs (and they are, indeed, ankles can attest) run the complex. Anyway, said neighbor we've called the Bitch since we moved in. Why? Well, the first winter we lived here there was a LOT of snow. The snow removal dudes clear a two-foot wide path where they guess our sidewalk should be, and that winter the snowbanks on either side of the walking path were pretty high. The Bitch's daughter kept parking her car in such a way that she blocked half of our sidewalk. I put a note on the car (not knowing it was Bitch's daughter's car: thinking it was a visitor, since it wasn't Eyeore's) asking please park appropriately so the sidewalk isn't blocked, and PS there's visitor parking around the corner.

This woman knocked on our door about twenty minutes later, screamed at me incoherently while waving an old parking map, and walked away without giving me any chance to respond. I'm not kidding: to this day I think she was screamumbling something about being allowed to park there and how DARE I harass her daughter. But she could've been saying something about doughnuts or dogs: she seemed drunk. After that she became the Whirlwind Bitch: swooping in to snark and bitch about parking and running away before anyone can respond.

She did so again last winter while Husband was in the wheelchair and had home-health nurses and PT people coming to the house. Have I mentioned when the association repaved the parking lot they didn't bother to line and number the assigned parking? Yeah. They didn't (because they're cheap assholes), so there's NO WAY for a non-resident to know not to park in assigned parking.

This time, however, I yelled back at her as she tried to escape.: "I'm SO TERRIBLY FUCKING SORRY that my WHEELCHAIRBOUND HUSBAND'S health aids don't know where to park and you can fuck off since they're here for 1/2 hour a couple times a week when no-one else is home. Oh, and please can you tell your asshole cougarized boyfriend with the very large "my penis is huge, really" truck to park straight so I can get my husband's chair out of our car without scratching anything? Thanks."

She hasn't been back since.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Writing about Writing (WARNING! Han Pictures!)

Thank you, all of you who encouraged me to keep going. Honestly, my couple-week-hiatus wasn't a plea for attention or validation, nor was it to wonder whether the person in question was right: I KNOW he's wrong. That's not the point. HE'S not the point. Ultimately, that friendship was killed by an entirely different subject (after all, I may be pretty damn flexible and accepting, but there are a few topics on which I do not bend).

HE doesn't matter in terms of this blog, because ultimately it's my blog. If no one reads it at all, I'd still write it (which is the #1 reason the premise behind the comment was in error: I don't write to publish. I write for me. If I entertain or inspire argument/thought/reflection, well neat. But it's not my reason for writing).

I took a couple weeks to really think about where this blog started (with NO readers other than very occasionally my husband, who already knew all the stories) to where it is now, and what I want to do with it. I DO have a quick temper and at least enough bare minimum skills with words to cause harm if I'm not careful. I also have a responsibility to myself to balance editing (for the protection of subjects as well as for clear writing) and self-censorship.

Here's the deal, I originally intended this blog to be about my random silly life, and that's how it's going to remain.

That means some days, I'm feeling like this:
 (That's right, my nephew Han is FUCKING ADORABLE. SUCK IT, Prince George!)
And some days, maybe not so much.

DUDE! I'm not sure WTF just happened, but I am SORELY unimpressed. STOP LAUGHING!
(In case you're wondering, his mom gave him the squeeze tube of baby food. OF COURSE he squeezed it...and was slightly horrified at the result. Or, at all of us laughing at him...)

I suppose the best way to put my final decisions on manipulation is: I see a clear difference between attempting to manipulate someone versus entertaining and/or openly influencing someone. I won't lie to get someone to do what I want them to do. I won't arrange situations and people to try to change the outcome.

But I WILL report when situations are funny as hell (or, as is often the case with me, utterly fucked up). And I won't hide when depression hits, or when I'm particularly emotional about something.

So yeah, I'm back.

Now, I'm off to put the Cone of Shame on Chewy. Sigh. One more week of this hell and my house goes back to normal. Just in time for Renaissance Festival to start.

I could do a whole series on THOSE dramas...after the Townhome Twits are finished. Next one tomorrow! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

An Ethical Hiatus.

Ultimately, 99.9% of my written words are to entertain me...and to get them out of the racetrack in my head, and I started this blog to share those stories with friends who regularly wanted to hear them anyway.

Know what's just AWESOME? When one of those people, someone I thought really got my need to write, accuses me of manipulation (subconsciously or overtly) by making writing available for "public consumption" I have to at least stop and consider the possibility.

The exact words, verbatim:

"If you write for consumption of others, you're MANIPULATING them."
Had it come from nearly anyone else on this planet (barring a very select few) I would've blown it off as ridiculous, malicious, and downright stupid. But this came from someone whose opinion I value. At least, I did. That, along with my motivations for this blog, are currently under review.
verb (used with object), ma·nip·u·lat·ed, ma·nip·u·lat·ing.
1. to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings.

Even acknowledges the word has negative connotations, that manipulation (in an emotional sense...I didn't reference the physical manipulation of driving a car) is an attempt to influence the minds/emotions/actions of others.

I suppose technically that's true: if I share a ridiculous episode from my life on my blog hoping to make someone laugh because I thought it was funny, am I not attempting to influence my readers' mind/emotional state?

What if I share my opinions on gay marriage, abortion, parenting, current events, or Game of Thrones? Is making my view of the world available outside my own mind an attempt to change someone else's?

Every reason I posted on this blog, on Facebook, even personal view essays I've written for submission to magazines, short stories or even the goddamned novels...they're all under review in my head now. Maybe I shouldn't have written the post on the Texas abortion debate. Maybe I shouldn't have posted anything about depression. Is it ok to put things out there if I put out a disclaimer? Is expressing myself manipulation if I say up front these are just my own stupid thoughts, and I don't expect any sort of reaction or change? Hell, most of the time I'm shocked if someone reads it at all.

I have no interest in manipulating anyone for any reason. The word itself means, to me, attempting to deviously force someone to think, feel, or act the way the manipulator wants them to. (Yes, I know that's a grammatically incorrect sentence.) I'm interested in people: their motivations, their thoughts, their feelings...if I'm in any way underhandedly influencing my experience with another person (even through writing) is INAUTHENTIC. It's not my goddamned place to try to force anyone. Not to my point of view, not to learn what I may be able to teach, not to even understand where I'm coming from.

My writing is for ME: it's my therapy. It's my escape. It's my need. I thought by sharing it I may touch someone else once in a while: give them a moment of escape or commiseration or just a quick distraction from their day. Let them into my life and experience, if they wanted to hang out. At what point is expressing myself an attempt to influence someone else? At what point does it become propaganda, which IS a clear example of manipulation?

The bare possibility that I may be doing it means I need a break to figure out my shit.

Therefore, I'm taking a hiatus from my blog and social media. I don't know how long I'll be gone: I have to figure out what's ok to put out there in public and what I should keep to myself.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

And then this happened...

I'm on my second Starbucks today, so it's possible I'm slightly shaking as type this wired. But I think I'd be both disturbed and amused by this even if I was caffeine-sober.


 It's like TurDuckEn, only...not even a little.

I don't have a reference for's from Facebook (the source of all things random and strange, other than airports). If you know where this came from please comment...I'll gladly add the credit.

And thus I'm removing myself from the interwebz until after the 4th of July, because I've likely stirred up enough hornets AND CamLambEns for the week.

PS: unsurprisingly, "CamLambEn" isn't recognized by spellcheck.

Why Texas Matters, and Why I Support Wendy Davis (from MN)

I don't usually get all political-like on this blog. I do pay attention to politics, though, and I pay attention to the constant erosion of rights that's been happening in this country. It's pretty horrifying, really. And as a woman I've been following the Texas debates over the ridiculously restrictive abortion bill pretty closely, because it's not just about Texas. Let's ignore the dirty and underhanded skirting of the rules and laws in Texas regarding parliamentary procedures, and focus only on the bill itself, shall we?

In fact, it's not about abortion, although the Republicans would REALLY like you to ignore that fact, because screaming "KILLING BABIES" gets them blind support for a bill that effectively enslaves a large population in their state to women's bodies. No, I'm not being dramatic: let's review.

First of all, the 20 week ban is a straw-man intended to get the pure reactive response of pro-lifers. I'd wager $100 that said reactions are by people who only saw the Fox News headlines and didn't bother to read the actual bill. According to the most recent CDC statistics (2008), 91.4% of reported abortions occurred prior to 13 weeks. 91.4%. That means 91.4% of the Texas bill banning abortions after 20 weeks has NOTHING to do with the abortions themselves. If you've listened to any of the testimony at all (it's live-streamed, by the way), you'd hear that most of the less-than-10% of women who have an abortion after they've made it halfway through their pregnancy do so for a medically necessary reasons.

Oh Conservative Texas Legislators: Do you REALLY think a woman who's carried life inside her for 20 weeks would arbitrarily end it? Do you REALLY think a woman should be forced to carry a stillborn corpse to term (which is exactly what would've happened for many of the women providing testimony)? More importantly, who exactly give you the right to judge another woman or family for THEIR choices in this life, and decide for another adult what's best for them and their family?

Are there outliers, women who truly use abortion as birth control? I'm sure there are. There are outliers on both sides. Outliers are OUTLIERS...but this bill focuses on them to distract people from the real issue.
The real issue here is HEALTHCARE for women, and male legislators attempting to control the less-privileged people in their state. Oh, you think I'm avoiding the KILLING BABIES issue? Let's review.

The Texas abortion bill will, in effect, close many of the affordable health care clinics in Texas. Is that an issue for the well off and/or wealthy women in the state? Nope: they can likely afford to travel to the few remaining clinics if they need to. So in practice, this bill removes not only abortion but family planning and birth control from a population of women unable to take time off of work or travel a few hundred miles to see a doctor.

This is in the wake of two major blows to women owning their own bodies and reproductive cycles: Planned Parenthood getting effectively kicked out of Texas via defunding, and abstinence-only sex education. BOTH of these resources educate women on how their body works and what can be done to prevent pregnancy.

What was the Senate's response when birth control was brought up in yesterday's debate? "Use condoms."

Hmm. Aren't condoms a MALE BIRTH CONTROL? So...what Texas Conservatives are really saying is: you're a slut if you have sex before marriage and deserve what you get, because we don't believe you have the right to control your own health care: it's up to the MAN (via a condom) to choose whether you get pregnant or now.

Birth control freed women from the patriarchal control of their bodies through pregnancy...and Conservative legislators in this country have been trying desperately to get the "little woman" back under control. Don't believe me? How many women were on the US Congress panels regarding birth control when Rush Limbaugh called a college student a whore for wanting access to the pill? Hmm.

Oh education is abstinence even using condoms isn't taught as a birth control option.

Now, let's remove the feminist piece of this and focus on the men. What happens when lower-income families are denied good sex education, access to birth control, and affordable/accessible health care (yes, that includes abortions)?

They have babies. Lots of babies. Why? Because human beings are wired to have sex, particularly when they're in love and in stable relationships. Oh, you thought this didn't apply to married couples? It does. The sex isn't stopping: conservatives can try all they like to stop human nature, but it's going to happen.

Women aren't the only population impacted by this bill: the men who love them, their children, their potential children and families are ALL impacted. And when a low-income family has more babies than they can afford as a family, what happens? They're trapped financially. How exactly does a bill that will close the doors to health-care facilities serving this population in particular NOT enslave that very population economically, and how exactly is that better for the children in these families?

Let me say again: this bill does not ban abortion: abortions under 20 weeks will still be legal in the state (and as you can see if you click the CDC link, 91.4% of abortions are done FAR earlier than 20 weeks). This bill is an attempt to control women's bodies, reproductive rights, and economic status by denying health care and birth control via making access so limited and expensive it's impossible to access it. 

Why is this important to me, a Minnesotan far removed from Texas (or North Carolina or Wisconsin or Ohio)? Well, Mark Rubio has said he intends to introduce a nearly identical bill in the US Senate. So yeah, this is important to me. Women (and the men with them) of any social status, economic status, or race shouldn't be slaves to their reproductive cycles. Education and family planning resources have been eroded for over a decade, and now the remaining health-facilities which provide those resources could be closed.

This is absolutely a big deal, and it's important for women AND men to stand up and say clearly: WOMEN CAN CONTROL THEIR OWN LIVES, BODIES, and HEALTH CARE.

Conservative legislators in this country (mostly male, but some females as well) feel they have the right to get between a woman's medical decisions with her doctor. Why? Because their religious beliefs tell them it's wrong. Never mind that your beliefs may not be mine. Never mind that EVERY major religion in the world has some variation of judgement being left to God.

I wasn't aware so many Conservatives' glass houses are stone-proof.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Snippet of Paganism - Feel Free to Skip This Post

So, I read a LOT of Spirituality, Religion, and Mythology texts: Wiccan, Pagan, Christian (although the "begat" section of the Bible is irritating, and the King James version is just was heavily edited for "decency" and there are much better, more complete, versions out there), Hindu, Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Celtic...yeah. It's a long list people.

Anyway, I found the equivalent of the Wiccan Rede* or the 10 Commandments* when reading about Norse Paganism* (there are a few varieties) the other day. I thought it was I'm sharing. Like I said, if this bores the crap out of you or offends, feel free to ignore this post. Townhome Twits returns tomorrow.

Disclaimer: I'm in no way, shape, or form any sort of expert on Heathenism, Odinism, Astaru, or any other Norse based Paganism (or any religion, really). These are my current interpretations: if you ARE an expert, feel free to elaborate. I'm always interested.

And so: the "Nine Noble Virtues" (with my personal...severely boiled-down for space...definitions added):
  1. Courage: Everyone is scared. Many people allow fear to rule their actions, instead of pushing through the fear and fighting it back, and so they stay stuck. "Luck will often find a man, should his courage hold." Bulwyf, The 13th Warrior
  2. TruthI actually see Truth and Honor as hand-in-hand virtues: Honesty in words and intentions is important: a liar is untrustworthy.   
  3. Honor: If you give your word, keep it. Act with honorable intent and treat others respect. Even when it's really fucking difficult. Honor is in actions and results, the way Truth is measured in words and results.
  4. Fidelity: Loyalty to your family (and I mean the loosest and most important definition of family: the family you CHOOSE. That can include blood relations or not: the people deeply important to you are family).
  5. Discipline: Control of yourself (physical, emotional, rational) prevents others from controlling you, but it takes consistency and work.
  6. Hospitality: NEVER turn away someone in need. You don't know when you'll be on the one needing. Cautious generosity and kindness are often returned in kind, and you never know who that person is that needs it.
  7. Industriousness: Nothing in this world is free: that which seems free has a cost somewhere. Work. Work your ass off. CONTRIBUTE somehow to the tribe. Laziness gets nothing done and provides no value to yourself or your tribe (and I use "tribe" loosely here, as it could mean your family, your friends, your coworkers, your society, your country, your Earth).
  8. Self-Reliance: YOU are responsible for your survival and success. Period.
  9. Perseverance: You can give up, after you die. Pretty simple, really.
I actually think quite a lot about these 9 virtues. They make sense to me in many ways (although I do have some trouble with #5 and #7...laziness is a personal vice of mine...sigh), and combine well with the idea that the energy you expend is what you'll get back (spread kindness, you'll likely see it returned. Don't believe me? Smile at everyone you see tomorrow and say hello).

That led me to the Astaru Folk Assembly's variation of the Nine Virtues (also found on the Wiki link), with which I agree completely EXCEPT for #9.
  1. Strength is better than weakness
  2. Courage is better than cowardice
  3. Joy is better than guilt
  4. Honour is better than dishonour
  5. Freedom is better than slavery
  6. Kinship is better than alienation
  7. Realism is better than dogmatism
  8. Vigor is better than lifelessness
  9. Ancestry is better than universalism  Not for me. I think humans are the same everywhere: there are compassionate ones, nasty one, selfish ones, beautiful ones, ugly ones, generous ones, violent ones, peaceful ones, dramatic ones, practical ones...and every other description you can probably think of, everywhere in the world
This post isn't some big revelation, nor is it an attempt to convert anyone. I think the similarities between world religions are fascinating, and so I shared. Feel free to leave opinions in the comments.

*Yes. I used Wikipedia as my sources. Why? Because it is non-religious and as equally objective (and really, as fact-based as possible when looking at 3 completely different religions) as I could find. Feel free to research further if you choose: there about 10 quadrizillion websites and book on Wicca, Paganism, Norse Paganism, and Christianity out there. And that's probably a low estimate.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Montana in a minute or less...

My sister (Han's mom) got married last weekend in her fiance's dad's Helena, Montana.

There is one, count 'em ONE, direct flight from Minneapolis to Helena, which got us there at 11:30pm. No fancy mountain pictures to be had at that time of night, but Husband and I were greeted by this:
I SEE YOU looking for your bags...
Extra amusing if you knew I had a horrific nightmare two nights before in which I was EATEN BY A GODDAMNED MOUNTAIN LION.


It was a whirlwind visit with my parents and grandparents, sisters, and of course Han, who is both extremely mobile and very opinionated about his efforts (meaning, get in his way and he either growls or screeches at you, both of which are hilariously fun to provoke...not that I'd ever do that).

The Boneless Boy Wonder crawling under the coffee table.
Someone may or may not have taught Han to pull on Husband's beard over the weekend.

Of course I have NO IDEA who would do such a thing.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Eyeore and Woody. (and Oompa Loompa Flower Children, if we're counting ALL the weird today)

In today's edition of Townhome Twits, Eyeore.

But at lunch I (foolishly) drove over to the strip mall with Byerlys (grocery store) so I could feed my book addiction spend too much money eat at Barnes & Noble. And read. This is the same Byerlys where a random old lady accosted me with racist commentary about how the neighborhood USED to be (which is why I no longer eat in the Byerlys diner area unless it's nice enough to be outside).


I paused for pedestrians like a decent driver (who doesn't like blood on the mustang OR filling out police reports) for a couple of teenage girls leaving the grocery store. One looked like any other teenager (and thus, I have NO IDEA what she looked like at all). The other looked like an Oompa Loompa had unfortunate sex with a 60's flower child. She was glowing in that unhealthy, Chernobyl sort of way under her short-shorts, and her bright magenta dye job was held down by a headband that looked like she's pulled it all forward and didn't understand that headbands aren't crowns. Or tiaras. And she wasn't wearing enough flowery bits to be a true hippie. Apparently the combo of hair dye and skin dye made her cranky, because I was given her most severe hairy eyeball look (also known as the stink-eye, if you aren't familiar). As an approximately 17 year old, she did a pretty good snarky teenage girl look, but the effect was ruined by her orange. And I was utterly unable to not chuckle.

I SO WISH I'd gotten a picture.

And on that note, let's discuss Eeyore and Woody.

Eeyore lives across the driveway from my townhome, right next to the CIA Sneaky Peeper. I suspect that drives some of her woe-is-me attitude, because honestly, who WOULDN'T be woe-is-me sharing walls with that dude?

The unit on the other side of hers was abandoned for over a year (the former owner passed away and his widow went somewhat off the deep end into drugs and such). Therefore Eeyore was constantly convinced that 1) SOMEONE was cooking meth in the abandoned house and 2) that I, being on the HOA Board at the time, should do something about it. I said "call the cops" because let's be realistic here: I'm only intimidating to certain types of people, and I'm 99.99% certain methheads and drug dealers are not included.

I actually have quite a bit of sympathy for Eeyore. She lived alone for a very long time, and I never EVER see company at her house. I'd not assume that means anything, except she gives off the desperation odor whenever I see her. You know that look: a little too much hope in the eyes combined with the hunched over posture that screams "I need to tell you how much everything sucks." I listened to her in the beginning, because I thought I should and felt bad if she has no one to talk to (I discovered otherwise quite fast, and the Whirlwind Bitch, Eeyore's best friend, is another topic).

Also, she's nosy as hell, which is both a detriment and a boon to our complex. I mean, when the crazy methhead dude (unrelated to the meth house next door to her, which turned out NOT to be a meth house and now has a very nice couple and their dog renting it) ran through our complex the first year we lived there, I was happy she was home to call the cops. 

But when she suggested that the board should keep a list of all residents living in our community and the license numbers for every car, I firmly told her that's NOBODY'S business but the homeowners' and she needs to get a different hobby (other than wandering around the parking lot looking for out-of-date license tags or visitor parking violators).

GOOD GODS can you imagine the amount of work that would've been for the board? NO FRICKEN WAY lady. No fricken way.

Instead, she got a dog...and now she has an excuse to walk around and look in windows, backyards, and cars every day while she walks Woody. Woody, the long-haired mini-daschund, is ridiculously cute and quite charming. Unfortunately, Woody hasn't removed any of Eeyore's generally glum attitude or outlook on life, and so Husband and I quietly go the other way when she's outside, except to return a wave and "hello" from a distance.

I listen to a LOT of people who need, emotionally. Eeyore is one of those who would suck out every drop of helpful energy a person possesses and point out just how shitty YOUR life is, as well. Yeah. No time for that, even though I do pity that she sees her life as so miserable.

Side note: when I ran Spell Checker (which doesn't recognize important terms like "meth" and "Methhead") I discovered I spelled "Eeyore" in about 15 different combinations. All of which are now fixed. You're welcome.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Am Not a Dude, Yahoo. Stop Offering Me Women.

My yahoo email address isn't particularly masculine, so I'm mildly amused and somewhat disturbed that I received the following emails in my Spam folder this morning:

Sexy Brides! Hot Russian and Ukrainian Brides Looking For Love
Because a husband isn't enough: I NEED the drama of another wife in the house. Sister wife I am not, but thanks for trying. Sigh. I did wonder for a moment if I shouldn't turn this over to some organization that handles trafficking.

Canadian Pharmacy
To go with the new sexy Ukrainian bride I can pay X dollars to ship here (again, trafficking orgs need to get on this shit), I can get discounted Viagra and Cialis. Because clearly my erectile dysfunction is stopping me from enjoying my new mail order woman.

Hey YOU!
I love these: the same "person" in the from field about once a week who insists we know each other from way back on Yahoo IM and don't I want to look at her dirty pictures at this link? Um, no, Adriana, I do not.


You know, I started this post being amused at Spam's consistent assumption that I want hot, lonely housewives or a safe way to cheat on my wife, or a way to find a new one (when my cheated-on wife leaves me for someone who doesn't open spam emails) AND the drugs to get me going again.

Sigh. Now that I look over this post and realize just how much of my email is cheating/porn/otherwise objectifying women AND belittling men, it makes me sad. Can't we be better than this?

Therefore, I'm adding these links to my blog today:

The Polaris Project A World Without Slavery
LiveYourDream.Org Women helping women achieve dreams
WebMD Marriage Advice Because there are WAY too many relationship counselors out there.