Monday, November 30, 2009
I just got off the phone with a friend, who was telling me of her plans to bring her 2 year-old son to see Santa at the mall tomorrow, hoping that she’d be able to get in before the crush so her little guy isn’t too traumatized, and it reminded me of the time I brought my niece to see the Easter Bunny. In a mall. In Texas.
I was visiting Mark & Mare, and got to babysit Em while they were at work … and since Mare was very preggers at the time, Em must have been two or three. In any case, since we were particularly bored, we hopped in the car for a trip to the mall, where they had (gasp!) the EASTER BUNNY!!!! So I asked Em if she wanted to sit in his lap and get a picture and SHE WAS ALL FOR IT.
As an aside, how dingbatticus does it make me that when I looked in the guide for the metroplex and saw there were 14 TGIFridays I asked my brother where the hell was this mall, anyway? Seeing as it must have been the largest freaking mall on the entire freaking continent! To which he responded (gently) that no, the metroplex is not a mall, but rather the (rather) large area of Texas that comprises Dallas and Fort Worth. Makum sense, kemosabe? Der.
Back to the story; little did I know that almost every child on the face of the planet is all for it when it comes to talking about sitting on the Easter Bunny’s lap, and standing in line to get on said lap, and talking to all the other excited little kiddies chattering non-stop about bunnylapage.
Right up until it is actually their turn to sit on the Lap o’ Bunny.
Then. THEN, my friends, the abject terror sets in, and their little faces scream, “WTFisTHAT?!?!” in terrified baby talk, which sounds, to adults, much like, “Waaaah! NonononononoNONONONONOOOOOOOOO!! Wannagohooooome! MoooomMEEEEE!” Etc., etc., and so on and so forth in the absolute blue murder range.
Yeah; have I mentioned I’m an aunt? No kids of my own to learn this lesson from. Oh, no! Luckily for Em, my ears stopped ringing and my eyes stopped bleeding just in time for me to witness her transformation from sunny, well-mannered cherub to snarling, spitting, feral, wild cat-child thing.
Before my eyes she sprouted claws and teeth and basically turned into Baby Wolverine as she clawed her way to freedom up and over that (poor, poor) Easter Bunny’s shoulder. I, of course, stood horrified off to the side, completely unwilling to step in and save the now gibbering in horror (or pain … could have been pain) Easter Bunny … or the still screaming were-child. WTF indeed.
Who was this child? Not my sweet-natured little Emmy, apple of Aunty Lisa’s eye. No way. Who stole my niece?!? And switched her with this … this … demon child? Mare’s going to kill me. And to make it worse: the football moms. Arggh, the football moms. The (Don't Mess With) Texas Football Moms (sorry TXFM’s, but you know what you’re like). Anyplace else they’d be soccer moms, and I can handle soccer moms … but Texas Football Moms? OMGyouwin.
They were all shooting daggers at me with their eyes anyway, but as soon as I opened my North East accented mouth and started talking my Texas-twanging little niece down from her panic-high the gig was up; I was an unfit adult in this child’s life (I could have sworn I heard, “Get that baby away from that barbarian, girls!”) So I grabbed Emmy and fled.
So, what did I learn?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I’ve gotten all totally weirded out by the way the Big US Meat Industry, or BUSMI (for lack of a better … or, um, Lisa-known … term), handles the entire life-cycle of the meats I eat (ahem … mind out of the gutter, boys), and so now I’ve just become sort of, um, not interested in eating them. Anymore. Much.
Besides, I feel soooooo bad when I drive by the big giant cattle carrying semi’s on the freeway, and all those soft little (big?) bovine noses stick out the side cracks in a desperate attempt (okay, I may be anthropomorphizing just a bit) to get a breath of fresh air. It saddens me. I want to zip (safely) in front of said semi and force it (safely and calmly) off the road where I can free the wee (huge?) beasties from their intended fate.
And take some home as pets. To the (not) farm I live on. Damn. Think a calf could be happy growing up in a basement walk-out? Could happen; you don’t know!
And I truly do know exactly how soft a calf’s nose is because I’ve pet them before … often, having grown up down the road from a dairy farm; and you know how little girls can be … show them a baby calf and they are all up and OWNED by said calf (until the next star of their short-attention-span-theatre-life comes along, that is). Ooh, butterfly!
So Kansas City kind of went and threw a giant ick-poo covered monkey-wrench in my whole Angus Beef lovin’ diet. Then those pernicious vegans (don’t really know if it was the ‘vegans’ per se, but somebody must be held accountable) went and put out all that propaganda about the chickens! The chickens! My fall-back meat! Everything goes great with chicken! Don’t want beef stew? Substitute chicken (and have everyone at work’s pot-luck freakin’ love it because it is that good)!
But, no! I can’t enjoy my chicken anymore, because they eat their dead, too!
Yeah, I said “too”. I wasn’t going to go there with the beef, but you know it’s true. That dairy farm I grew up down the street from? Yeah, when a newborn calf didn’t make it, what do you think they did with the carcass? Well, I happen to know what they did (although it didn’t ‘click’ until many years later), and it is gross! And involves eating your dead (AKA bovine cannibalism). Blecht. Just … blecht.
But it’s not that I really am a vegetarian these days, it’s just that I haven’t had time to find a local butcher who raises his own little trenchers of meat and has a petting zoo open to the public to prove it. But I will find him. Mostly because I really (really!) need a juicy burger. Mmmm. With cheese. And bacon … erp! The pigs! Have I mentioned the pigs?
A couple years back I went to school with a beast (er, ‘woman’) who worked for BUSMI, and she was an a-hole of epic proportions.
Wow, that came out of nowhere. Guess I didn’t like her much. Anyway, the stories she told! Pork is no longer on the menu.
Of course, I could always just learn how to hunt and get my own … um, deer … squirrel … dove … bunny (as if!). Or better yet, pen a couple lambs and piglets in the backyard and raise them for slaughtering like in days of yore.
All that would really do is make me the proud owner of pet sheep and pigs (and dogs, and cats). Mutter. Grumble. Spit!
Okay, I can see what I have to do here; I’ve got two options: 1) vegetarianism (nooooooo!), or 2) find me a local butcher who can prove his stock comes from non-steroid-treated, non-antibiotic-filled, non-tormented, non-dead-relative-fed, etc. … um, gardens. Sigh.
Vegetarianism it is. Shit.
I’ve been trolling the internet, looking at the various poetry stylings of various sites, and what I’ve come away with, after reading endless Auden, Plath, and Dickinson homages (homagi?), is that people who publicly and incessantly obsess about suicide are either poseurs or need help. So, if you’re doing it (the incessant public obsessing part), and you’re not a poseur?
Because somebody out there loves you. And it may be me. And I will be pissed at you. For fucking ever. Because in reality? It’s all about me anyway.
There are all sorts of people who can help, either on-line here: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or over the phone here: 1-800-273 TALK (that’s 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline).
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I’ll be the very first to admit I don’t follow all the nuances of international whoop-de-do, but I’m pretty sure it also doesn’t take a brainiac to clue into the obvious. So why are we staying in Afghanistan? I have shamelessly stolen from Marcus his checklist for the POTUS, whomever he or she may be at any given time, to review and sign when sending more of our youngest and potentially brightest into these untenable situations. It goes something like this:
- This war is worth killing and maiming our best and brightest.
- This war is worth empty place-settings at holidays and pews in Sundays.
- This war is worth crushing families and ruining the lives of children and spouses.
- This war is worth the murder, mayhem, and horror that my Armed Forces will have to face and commit.
- I have exhausted all options, and this war is the only answer.
- No one in government will be able to profit from this war.
- I would gladly volunteer my own children to be sacrificed for our cause in this war.
- I have served in the Armed Forces to my fullest capacity and with honor.
- History will look back on this war as just and righteous.
- I want to kill the enemy, ruin their country, leave families broken and battered, and bring untold misery to millions of innocent citizens.
So what was it we learned from the Russians you ask? Go research Russia's track record in Afghanistan, then get back to me.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Okay, so it’s probably been no secret that things have been sort of blecht lately, on both a general and personal level; it’s a bit difficult to sit down and blog about shitty situations, so I just don’t blog at all under those circumstances.
These past couple months? Full of fear and splendor, with the splendor by far outweighing the fear, so “Yay, Splendor!” But prior to that the fear part sucked shit. A lot.
First I discovered my house (my home, people) needs some costly repairs, and that got me down for awhile … but, what the hell, right? Sometimes shit has to happen so we can appreciate the flowers we’ve been too busy to stop and smell. And it’s nobody's fault but my own that I’ve anthropomorphized my poor baby home and now feel as though she’s in pain (my crazy bad).
So anyway, once I was fully entrenched in feeling sorry for myself, Dad went and had a horrifically bad weekend involving a heart attack, cardiac cath, and quintuple CABG utilizing CPB (shudder). Wow. If that doesn’t take the wind out of anyone’s sails of self-pity I don’t know what can.
Well, Dad has been doing terrifically well since, with an early hospital release and exceeding of expectations on the recovery timeline, so “Yay, Mom & Dad!”, because if anyone thinks he’s done it alone that’s just plain crazy talk right there, is what it is. And I'm not saying anymore about it because it's just too frightening to contemplate the possible alternatives.
Anywho … everyone, and I mean everyone, is well aware of the economy (or lack thereof); we’re paying more for everything, and receiving less in exchange. And the big muckety-mucks who control the world (harkening back to my “Ten Rich White Dudes” theory) are trying their absolute bestest to get and retain more than their fair share (see both the credit card and the prescription drug industries). It’s depressing is what it is. With a huge clinging dollop of WTFedness thrown in for good measure.
Then there’s the plant, where we’ve contacted the Salvation Army to adopt a local family that we can maybe help out for Christmas. Yes, I said it, “Christmas” … not “holiday”, not “seasonal” … it’s Christmas, people. If you want to call it something else, be my guest. You’re welcome to your interpretation of the season. But for me? It’s Christmas. I’m not raining on your parade, keep your thunderclouds away from mine.
Our family of seven is local, and very young. Mom and Dad have five young’uns, and their list of needs and wants makes my soul weep. Needs are clothes, but wants, even from the children, are also what you and I, and I daresay most, would consider “needs”. Where are the requests for toys? What dreams do these children harbor? I’ll tell you what: they dream to be warm and fed this Winter, and that’s pretty much all they dream of. When I think of all the merry Christmas’s of my childhood, not a one includes even the shadow of a thought that if only I could have a warm coat I’d be happy.
So, we put up a tree in our lobby, and the ornaments have the age, sex, and a gift … anyone who wants to contribute can grab an ornament. By the end of that first day there were only three left. I hit up a few of our vendors, with whom we spend ridiculous amounts of money, for some of the necessities. They’re in (if only partially, but still). Then, one of our guys asked of it was okay to donate gift cards? Absolutely! These gift cards, by the way, were just passed out to the plant because we’ve recently accomplished a safety goal. Each is a $15 card for either WalMart or Price Chopper (a local grocery chain). Of 98 possible donations, 23 were dropped in immediately. Won’t have a final count until after all three shifts are polled, but that? Was most awesome in it’s awesomosity, people!
I have to explain; our guys aren’t exactly rolling in dough. Our operators hail straight from the community and are mostly non-caucasian. Some have their GED or an equivalent, but quite a few don’t. Many can hardly read as they were employed before that was a Condition of Hire. A few are on a work visa. For most this job is a dream come true with benefits and Union representation … but their hourly wage is nothing to write home about (although some do, as they send a portion back home each week), and I’m hard-pressed to understand how they can live off it, especially with families.
But they do, and they care enough about others to donate what little they have. How freaking awesome is that?!?! Totally freaking awesome, that’s how! And the guy who originally asked about donating the gift cards? Well he inadvertently initiated an even bigger donation, as our HR guy liked the idea so much that he sent a plant-wide e-mail to our distribution list, of which the company president in NJ is a member, so we all got a reply from him stating the company would match whatever our guys donated in gift cards.
WOO to the HOO, people!
We now have so much in donations that we contacted the Salvation Army on Friday afternoon to ask for another family. And she was so happy she had answered the phone, because she’d just come from a meeting where they were discussing the 35 new families that had signed up for help this year, and they don’t know how they’re going to be able to help all 35, but we’ve just taken one off their hands. I don’t have all the specifics yet, but I do know our second family has five people in it, and we’ll do our level best to rock their Christmas as well.
And the thing with my house? Still needs work, but my guys started brain-storming how to help me out of this one, even going so far as planning to come out next Spring to set my baby to rights. I love family, especially my most awesome one.
So how does this tale end? I want to believe it’ll go something like this:
“And so good times were had by all.”
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
a back and forth, a give and take,
crescendos of laughter -
nothing phony, nothing fake.
There's a melody to friend's voices,
tones of comfort and of care,
of sincerity and honesty,
and secrets meant to share.
There's a harmony in friendship,
a blend of attitudes and views,
an acceptance of each other,
and support we'll never lose.
There's music to our friendship,
a joyful song from year to year,
and the music of our friendship
is a treasure I hold dear.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The Soul Captains
The Guardian of the Gate looked down and watched them coming on,
A close-knit rank of new-born souls treading the star-lit dawn,
Shoulder to shoulder and step by step … sturdy as shades might be …
And the Guardian of the Gate, perplexed, wondered whom he should see.
“What souls are these?” he asked at last, “who hold their heads erect:
Who bend no knee, whose eyes look up … are they without respect?
The Captain lifted a steady hand, saluted and thus replied:
“We are the souls of the Men who Dared, - who loved with courage – and died!
“We asked not why; we cared not why; we gave of our best in the fight;
The bitter or sweet; the cruel or kind … each as he saw the light:
We did not wince when the whip-lash stung, but strove by the rules we knew,
If you would have us on bended knee, none of us will go through.”
The Guardian of the Gate, wide-eyed, nodded his haloed head.
“This is the talk of the living,” he said, “and not the speech of the dead.”
The Captain smiled. “We are dead, indeed … but habit is strong in the soul
And the God we seek cares not to have men crawling to reach the Goal.
“We lived and loved; we wrought and laughed; we did what was given to do.
Not for rewards, and not through fright, but each to his standard true:
That the Master within grants peace and joy to humans made good through fear
We won’t believe, and we can’t believe … else why are we summoned here?”
The Guardian opened the Gateway wide. “Enter!” was his command,
“The depth and breadth of the Master’s love at last ye may understand!”
The Light of the Endless Peace shone down as he opened the judgment roll
And found their names. They had earned their rest – Captains of heart and soul!
-Everard Jack Appleton
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Original episodes ran from when I was 11 through when I was 16, but I didn’t really pick up on the subversive humor until the later years, when friends and I would watch and scream with laughter at the seemingly adult material. How chuffed we were when we determined (gasp!) this isn’t a kids show! It’s for grownups! And we get it!!
Who could forget Kermit, and Rowlf? Sam, Beaker, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (Dr. Teeth on keyboards, Animal on the drums, Janice on guitar, Lips on the trumpet, Floyd on Bass, and Zoot on sax), the Swedish Chef “chickie en der baskie, two point!”, or Statler & Waldorf? Even Miss Piggy’s dog Foo-Foo (also the nickname of my Cocker Spaniel, Fritzi)? Or the continuing story of Veterinarian’s Hospital, and PIIIIGS IIIIN SPAAAACE!
It's time to play the music!
It's time to light the lights!
It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.
It's time to put on makeup!
It's time to dress up right!
It's time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight.
Why do we always come here?
I guess we'll never know.
It's like a kind of torture;
To have to watch the show!
And now let's get things started!
Why don't you get things started?
It's time to get things started!
On the most sensational!
This is what we caaaaall the Muppet Shoooow!
I am so totally nostalgic for it.
p.s. - 1990 was particularly the suckage, what with losing both Jim Henson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Dark Crystal, anyone?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Go hang yourself, you old M.D,!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
In not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.
By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!
Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Führer of the Streptococcracy.
Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.
A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!