Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Respecting Authors

Want-to-be Author on YouTube
As you know, I am sort of addicted to YouTube. The other day, I saw a video by crossmack. I think he is a fairly popular YouTube vlogger. But the other day, he said he wanted to "publish a book". And he was looking for someone to go through his videos and write down his thoughts and put them in a book. I wonder if he is really looking for a ghost writer for his thoughts.

I do not subscribe to the guy, but he is sort of funny. Not funny in a good way, though. I saw another one of his videos where he said that text was 1% of communication, and if he really believes this, why want to publish a book. I am so confused.

What pisses me off, I guess, is that crossmack does not respect authorship. Respect people who write. I like listening to the videos on YouTube, but I would never want to produce a video. I have had to put some stuff together for work once, and it was a pain in the butt for two minutes of music and video. And you know, it sort of looked crappy as well. But writing; I love reading, and most readers want to write as well. Some do, I guess. I should not say most.

Lunch with an author or two
I have met a few authors. One was a one-time author, and I read her book. She did a great start of the book, but about one-third of the way through it, it was as if she lost some steam. Her words were not as crisp; her language not as descriptive. That would be me.

And I have met one famous author. He was so incredibly smart. Incredibly smart, and gracious. I had lunch with him, and it was such a treat (friend of a friend knew him before he was famous).

Come to think of it; I had lunch with both authors. I wonder if published authors "do lunch" a lot. If that is the case, perhaps I don't want to be a published author. I don't like eating with people I don't know well because I have to mind my manners and I eat far less than I normally want to eat with strangers. I guess with that, I could do lots of lunches, because I would always be hungry.

Want-to-be Author Leesa
Every couple of months, I wonder if I will start my first book. I have done a little bit of research, and most novels are at least 80,000 words. Let's say one of my entries is about 500 words (just a guess). I do about 200 posts per year, and if I carry the – whatever – it comes to about 100,000 words. Well, all of these are estimates, but if this is the case, it would take me about one year to write a book. Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in about 45 days (but lets face it, he is brilliant), and most authors seem to take two to four months to go from start to finish on a product. Holy crap, that's how fast I would like to write a novel. But you know, my attention-span is like 2 minutes, and I have read my tripe, and anything more than 2 minutes and I can't sustain it.

As I am writing this, I am listening to a vlogger, and he makes the same point I just made. Now that tells me that I am not very original. And who wants to buy a book that contains thoughts that any ol' vlogger can think of? Surely not me!

Book Bins
Sometimes I go to bookstores and look through the bargain book bins. And I don't do it to save money; that is an added bonus. I do it because I like to think about these authors. Their works did not, for the most part, find a wide audience, and I wonder what they are doing. How they are feeling. Is this book that is marked down to 99 cents (and I hate when it looks like 0.99¢ because technically, that is less than one penny) the result of years of work, tiring editing, blood-sweat-tears. Will these books be ground up, forgotten in the annals of time? Often, for that dollar or so, I will purchase the book, place it on my shelf, and in the deep hours of the night, read the book. Many times, the books should be in the bargain bins. The plot sucks, or the editing does not reflect said blood-sweat-tears. I don't want to be the author of such a book, and part of me knows that if I write something without forethought, that's the type of book I will write. That scares me.

Crap, I have revealed too much. Back to work, you guys. Nothing to see here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Employment Opportunity

I found the following in my email yesterday:

We hire all over the USA except Alaska and Hawaii.

We are looking for honest and bright people for this position.

  • Resident of United States or UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany
  • Fluent English (for applicants from all countries);
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel;
  • Home Computer with e-mail account and ability to check your e-mail box at least twice a day;
  • Adults only accepted (we cannot hire underage people);
  • 1-3 hours free during the week (mainly in the evening / non-business hours) for communication and 2-3 hours a week more for package processing;
  • Bank or Paypal ( account (if possible) to receive funds from our company for the activity;

If you are interested please apply (and it gives a URL, which I have deleted).

Okay, I am currently employed. But let's look at this employment opportunity more closely. They want a current resident of the US, Canada, France, Italy or Germany. I am a current resident of the US. They are looking for someone who is fluent in English. Golly, gee, I know English. They are looking for someone with a basic understanding of MS Excel and MS Word. Me, I know those two programs as well. I have a home computer and can check my email at least twice per day, and I have a bank account.

This seems easier to qualify for than the trusted person to help the guy from Nigeria. Remember in the Bible where someone was looking for an honest person in the city with the lamp? Okay, so it was the Greek philosopher Diogenes, but wouldn't it make a great parable in the Bible? If I get all Joseph Smith and all and write my own Bible, I am going to put Diogenes in my version.

Going back to the job opportunity – I wonder why they sent this to me. I mean, I am sure many others have similar gifts, but of all the people in the world, they sent this amazing offer to me.

You know, getting paid by paypal may have its advantages. I mean, I wonder if I have to fill out an I-9, showing that I am a citizen of the US. Do they take out taxes, and well, should I send my SSN? Will they care that my Social Security Number is 555-55-5555. I promise it is real. I really like this job. I mean, it doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with the offer. Not that they used my name in the email. Or that they sent it to an user account where I get a few emails from my blogging buddies and that's all. I can't even get spam porn. None at all.

So if I write less over the next few days, I may be working on a new job. Yeah, a new job where I am an expert on MS Word and/or MS Excel. An expert with, what did they want, "a basic knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel." Doesn't sound fishy at all.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Allocated Sexual Benefit Tax

Dateline Athens, Georgia. We are outside the Kappa Alpha1 fraternity house. Federal agents from the Internal Revenue Service stormed the frat house early this morning, and have started exiting the building with what we assume to be fraternity members in handcuffs. Their crime: not reporting allocated sexual benefits.

Late last year, a Federal judge ruled that the IRS interpreted tax rules correctly by allocating benefits associated with sexual relations. For years, certain employers must allocate tips if the percentage of tips reported by employees falls below a required minimum percentage of gross sales. It is called Allocated Tips, and the IRS ensures that employees should report this income on their tax returns.

In a bold move, the IRS began to assert that unmarried people who engage in sexual relations derive a quantifiable benefit from the other person (and to the IRS, a quantifiable benefit seems like a taxable event). National Organization for Women (NOW) Executive Vice President Olga Vives successfully argued successfully that women do not derive any benefit from heterosexual sex, a believe that NOW has asserted for years. 2 To that end, women have been exempted from the new Allocated Sexual Benefit tax, though the IRS has appealed this ruling.

The IRS issued statements that it would target certain groups, believed to derive more benefit than other groups. College aged students, University professors, and Hugh Hefner seemed to be part of the initial targeted audits.

The IRS also is investigating the possibility of assigning Sexual Favor income to women who have sexual relations with dates before the sixth date. And if sexual favors are not reported on SF Form 110, then as a penalty, the price of the meal cannot be deducted from said income. Many women argue that inane chatter should be taken into consideration, akin to assigning hazardous duty pay, a form of non-taxable income. A final determination on this point is forthcoming.

The IRS was unavailable for comment. They were putting together a plan to put the squeeze on lemonade stands and car washes. Cha-ching.

1 I really don't know if there is such a fraternity. I was just using KA because it means "kick ass." I suspect with all of the fraternity/sorority alphabet soup, there may be a KA. My guess is that the fraternity is full of nice wholesome guys who would wait to have sex until they were married.

2 I do not share NOW's view on women deriving no sexual benefit from sex, but if it means paying more money on taxes, I will go along with their arguments.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Randomness - Must be Friday

Having random Friday three Fridays in a row makes this a trend, not a random occurrence. I love random occurrences. But the first and second time had randomness as well. I am so confused.

Public Services Announcement
I was using sitemeter the other day, seeing which of my non-front-page views are most common. And one page looked fairly weird, Well, I went on to see what In Blogs, the root directory, was all about. Apparently it is a way to view blogs from work sites that block Blogger. So for those of you who just read me on the weekends, because boss man is cruel, this may be a way to circumvent boss man for a time.

Airport craigslist
Last Friday, Larry responded to my blog entry with the following comment: I also have a proposal for those people that live in caves and dont know you cant take switchblades on an aircraft. At the security checkout, when you have to drop off your knife, machete, stun gun whatever is the object du-jour, they give you a coupon stating that you dropped off a (INSERT ITEM NAME). Then when you get to the airport your traveling to, you get to rummage through that airlines confiscation box for a similar, or lesser item in return. Sort of like a free craigslist without the internet.

craigslist in General
Okay, I will admit I never heard of craigslist until reading Larry's response. So then I googled it and found search craigslist in Savannah. They have craigslist in lots of cities.

Under the personals, I saw something called chance encounters. Something like that. So I looked at Female to Male and Male to Female. Anyway, I was not sure exactly what chance encounters were, but I originally looked at Female to Male, me being female. Well, I should be looking in Male to Female, because if some guy saw me and our eyes locked, etc., but he was too shy to say something, I could find out about it there. I was not looking for someone who was looking for me per se (I would stay the heck away from such a person/stalker), but I did find one response a bit interesting:

You were a pretty brunette standing in front of Barnes & Noble on your cell phone. I was a walking towards the store when we saw each other. I saw you smile. I looked down. Some guy turned on loud rock music in his car behind me. I looked at him then looked at you. You laughed then I laughed with you as I walked by. I thought you were very pretty but I didnt stop to say Hi and I wish I had. It was one of those random encounters that you think about for days wondering "What If?" If you read this and find yourself thinking about it too then please reply.

Chance Decisions
Have you ever wondered if some seemingly inconsequential decision turns your life up-side-down? The Abba song, "The Day Before We Met." Well, that is probably not the title, but it is in the chorus. And come to think of it, it deals not with chance decisions but wondering what one was doing the day before someone entered their lives.

You have all heard the stories about missing a train to find the person you married. Or getting arrested at the same protest. Or on a lark, taking a cooking course because you were bored. Okay, the third example sounds better than having a lonesome, desperate man take a cooking course because he was the only man in the class.

I wonder if anyone ever meets from craigslist chance encounters. Maybe not in Savannah.

Restroom Confessions
There are two types of public restrooms: ones that you lock when entering (you have the toilet and the sink all to yourself) and the ones where you enter a stall. When I enter the restrooms where you can lock the door (you are the only one in the restroom), if it stinks like poop in the restroom, I don't enter. I don't do it because the poop smells and it is unpleasant. Well, it is unpleasant. But I don't enter the restroom, because I don't want to be exiting the restroom and have someone come in behind me and think I stunk up the place. I don't want to be blamed for foul odors my own colon did not make.

Am I weird that way?

How come the food always tastes better at restaurants where they serve peanuts in shells and don't mind if you throw the shells on the floor. For that matter, how come peanuts taste better when you have to shell them?

Error Messages
I am getting alot of Blogger error messages. Something like this:
We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.
Please copy in the following error code when contacting Blogger Support or posting in the Blogger Help Group.

This code will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.

I sort of want to write back and just say Bite Me. But would they care?

You know, when I read about astronomy and such, I don't really understand the magnitude of it all. The weight of our Earth - can't carry it - and the weight of the Sun - again, can't carry it. I know the styrofoam balls are different sizes, but I have not a clue about relative terms. Hard to comprehend.

One light year verses a drive from Savannah to Boston. I know my ass would be sore with both trips, and that's about it. I am pretty sure the light year means more potty breaks. I tried posting this response on Quasar's blog, but I couldn't. Some darned problem. And I was going to be witty.

Name that Pecker
Leesa has a contest for naming one of the birds that frequents her yard. Here is how I wanted to respond, but since Blogger is acting up, I am not sure I can respond: Well, this is a Pileated Woodpecker, considered by most to be the largest woodpecker in the US (the Ivory-Billed would trump it, but it has only been seen reliably in Cuba). So this is one big 'pecker.

I would consider "Simon," after the American Idol judge, because he fancies himself a big 'pecker as well.

Can I mention that I hate server problems?

Monday Idea
Oh, and I thought of a good post for Monday - but if I don't write it down here, I will forget about it. Think IRS. If I remember to write it, it is going to be very entertaining to me.

Friday YouTube Gem #4: jenluv37 and geriatric1927

Again, I am not sure how this YouTube thing is going, but I will continue. I think I will talk about a YouTube "Star" and a YouTube relative unknown. Personally, I like the unknown people better.

YouTube "Non Star": jenluv37
I can't embed this next video, but it is quickly becoming one of my favorite VLOGgers. Her name is jenluv37. Jenluv37 is a teacher, and you know, if you watch her, you can see that "teacher" mentality. She is extremely active, and I probably would not have mentioned her at all, but she started making more personal, introspective vlogs.

Don't get me wrong, I like her cooking videos (though, I can't believe she does not like mushrooms). She looks like she enjoys mushrooms. Ah, well. And she is funny, but seeing her introspective videos will, I predict, be a real treat. Plus, she is using a black and white effect for her different type of videos. Extremely clever. And I love clever people.

YouTube Star: renetto

I don't subscribe to renetto, but I know he is extremely popular. I think he looks cool; love his glasses. And he seems real. He calls himself a YouTube leader, and, you know, he sort of is. He has a boat-load of subscribers and he is in tune with whatever is going on in the community. But he is a prick.

Can I call him a prick? I think that is the first/second time I have ever used this work on this site. Now, that's saying something. Oh, and he has a new video, and he is less prick-y in it. Crap, not a good reviewer, am I?

YouTube Star: geriatric1927

Since renetto is a prick, I want to recommend a user worth watching – geriatric1927. The guy is from England, and his voice is so soothing. He is really an interesting chap (and you have to call him a chap, him being British and all). And he is wildly popular. I think he is popular because he is almost like a grandfather to many young people on here (YouTube, not Blogger). He even was the focus of a hoax concerning his own death.

Geriatric1927 has an interesting perspective. He is more than 40 years older than me (I guess, if his 1927 is the year of his birth), so he has the experience on me. By the way, I would have complained if he put stinky socks on the radiator. Well, Geriatric1927, or Peter (his real first name), seems to be extremely active on YouTube. You have got to love this guy!

He even has an ET doll, with fresh new batteries. Man, he is a really cool guy.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

GW Hater

Addendum: I do not mean for this blog entry to be political, in the sense of Republicans verses Democrats. Actually, if the media had said that Clinton or GW Bush ordered to kill someone to "kill a story," it would not shock me. Reread this, and consider it. It would not shock me for the President of the US to order a hit on a man. I would have never thought that of George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, or, well, I better stop there.

George W. Bush, when asked about his best moment in office, interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, said on May 7, 2006: "I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake."

Is this a WTF moment for the American people. At least Clinton could have recalled staining a blue dress (actually, he couldn't; "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"). And Bush remembers a big fish. My follow-up question regarding his answer about the fish would have probably been "Did anyone see you catch the fish?" Did you mount the fish and put it in the same place as you put the evidence of weapons of mass destruction (remember, the information you shared with that British guy)?

I am not a political person. Not really. But I am not really happy with George W Bush (he is really George Bush Junior, a description he hates, hence his insistence on using his middle initial W to distinguish him from his father.

I don't like what I have seen from George W Bush personally. Here are some recent examples in the news (and pardon me for not getting all the facts straight; I don't want to google everything):

Remarks to Senator James Webb
President Bush, during a recent party he gave to welcome the incoming (freshman) senators and congressmen, approached Senator Webb, and asked him how his son Jimmy was doing. Senator Webb's son, Jimmy, is serving in Iraq as a Marine infantryman and Bush was briefed before the party about a recent event in Iraq about how this young marine nearly died.

What some were thinking (myself included) is that Bush was letting the senator know that Bush is in control of the young Marine's fate. And as the Chief Executive of the land, he is.

Joseph Wilson and a Blown Cover
Okay, the court case now raging, is less-than-interesting, but you may remember senior officials deliberately blew Valerie Plame's cover to punish her husband, ex-diplomat Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the White House's rationale for war in Iraq.

Before the war in Iraq, the White House dispatched former Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger, in February of 2002, to find proof that the country had shipped yellowcake uranium to Iraq (read, "weapons of mass destruction"). Wilson continues to say publicly that the Administration then went on another search for evidence - the kind that could be used to discredit Wilson - this eventually led to the unlawful exposure of Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent.

"People do not lie for the heck of it. If people lie, it's because they have done something wrong. Scooter Libby did not do anything wrong, he had nothing to cover up,'' Mr Wells, former top White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby's attorney, said. The question I have for Mr. Libby's attorney is, "why would someone in the administration lie?" Would it be to go after the opposition?

Okay, I have little real proof, but I have a feeling that George W. Bush is a very vindictive man.
Who's Your Father?
I don't know what people really mean by, "who's your father now?", but I thought it was a catchy title for this paragraph. I heard on one radio station a few weeks ago a discussion of the relationship Bush has with his father. They gave lots of examples of how the younger Bush never gives his father credit for much. They also mentioned that Jeb Bush has a much better relationship with President Dad.

This was not really a recent item, though it was for me.

I am not a Republican, nor am I a Democrat. I have voted for both in my day, and you know, frequently I vote for the person that sucks less. The job of President is a good job. The pay sucks, but the benefits are enormous. There has to be a decent person who would take the job, but I want our president to be more than just a decent person. She should be great. No, not Hillary. But why not a woman?

Afterthought: Some Bush-isms
I am ending this with some Bush-isms. They are in no particular order, but as I was reading them, I noticed a certain amount of conceit. The last one, for example, he compares a scratched he received from a cedar tree with patients in an amputee care center.

Some Bush-isms (Top 10 can be found here):

The best way to defeat the totalitarian of hate is with an ideology of hope -- an ideology of hate -- excuse me --with an ideology of hope." --George W. Bush, Fort Benning, Ga., Jan. 11, 2007

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006 (Watch video clip)

"It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?" --George W. Bush, after being asked by a reporter whether he's in denial about Iraq, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

"And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody. To show you how important this one is, I read it, and our guest read it." --George W. Bush, on the Baker-Hamilton Report, appearing with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

"This business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all." --George W. Bush, on speculation that U.S. troops could be withdrawn from Iraq, Amman, Jordan, Nov. 30, 2006

"The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done." --George W. Bush, Greeley, Colo., Nov. 4, 2006 (Watch video clip)

"Anybody who is in a position to serve this country ought to understand the consequences of words." --George W. Bush, interview with Rush Limbaugh, Nov. 1, 2006

"You know, when I campaigned here in 2000, I said, I want to be a war President. No President wants to be a war President, but I am one." --George W. Bush, Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2006

Maria Bartiromo: "I'm curious, have you ever googled anybody? Do you use Google?"
President Bush: "Occasionally. One of the things I've used on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see -- I've forgot the name of the program -- but you get the satellite, and you can -- like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes." --interview with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo, Oct. 24, 2006 (Watch video clip)

"We're never been stay the course, George." --George W. Bush, attempting to distance himself from what has been his core strategy in Iraq for the last three years, interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Oct. 22, 2006

"This morning my administration released the budget numbers for fiscal 2006. These budget numbers are not just estimates; these are the actual results for the fiscal year that ended February the 30th." --George W. Bush, on the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2006 (Watch video clip)

"One has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards." --George W. Bush, on holding six-party talks with North Korea, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2006

"I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me." --George W. Bush, talking to key Republicans about Iraq, as quoted by Bob Woodward

"I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is -- my point is, there's a strong will for democracy." --George W. Bush, interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Sept. 24, 2006 (Watch video clip)

"You're one of the outstanding leaders in a very important part of the world. I want to thank you for strategizing our discussions." --George W. Bush, meeting with the prime minister of Malaysia, New York, N.Y., Sept. 18, 2006

"The Patriot Act has increased the flow of information within our government and it has helped break up terrorist cells in the United States of America. And the United States Congress was right to renew the terrorist act -- the Patriot Act." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. , Sept. 7, 2006

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --George W. Bush, interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

"I said I was looking for a book to read, Laura said you ought to try Camus. I also read three Shakespeares. ... I've got a eck-a-lec-tic reading list." --George W. Bush, interview with NBC's Brian Williams, New Orleans, La., Aug. 29, 2006 (Watch video clip)

"And I suspect that what you'll see, Toby, is there will be a momentum, momentum will be gathered. Houses will begat jobs, jobs will begat houses." --George W. Bush, talking to reporters along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Miss., Aug. 28, 2006

"I would guess, I would surmise that some of the more spectacular bombings are done by al Qaeda suiciders." --George W. Bush, on violence in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Aug. 21, 2006

"The United States of America is engaged in a war against an extremist group of folks." --George W. Bush, McLean, Va., Aug. 15, 2006
Bush: "I'm interested in the shade look, seriously."
Wallsten: "All right, I'll keep it, then."
Bush: "For the viewers, there's no sun."
Wallsten: "I guess it depends on your perspective."
Bush: "Touche.
--an exchange with legally blind reporter Peter Wallsten, to whom Bush later apologized, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006

"I tell people, let's don't fear the future, let's shape it." --George W. Bush, Omaha, Neb., June 7, 2006

"Trying to stop suiciders -- which we're doing a pretty good job of on occasion -- is difficult to do. And what the Iraqis are going to have to eventually do is convince those who are conducting suiciders who are not inspired by Al Qaeda, for example, to realize there's a peaceful tomorrow." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 24, 2006

"You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you're gone." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

"The point now is how do we work together to achieve important goals. And one such goal is a democracy in Germany." --George W. Bush, D.C., May 5, 2006

"That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three -- three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?" --George W. Bush, while showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

"Finally, the desk, where we'll have our picture taken in front of -- is nine other Presidents used it. This was given to us by Queen Victoria in the 1870s, I think it was. President Roosevelt put the door in so people would not know he was in a wheelchair. John Kennedy put his head out the door." --George W. Bush, showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

"That's called, A Charge To Keep, based upon a religious hymn. The hymn talks about serving God. The president's job is never to promote a religion." --George W. Bush, showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

"I was not pleased that Hamas has refused to announce its desire to destroy Israel." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 4, 2006

"I can look you in the eye and tell you I feel I've tried to solve the problem diplomatically to the max, and would have committed troops both in Afghanistan and Iraq knowing what I know today." --George W. Bush, Irvine, Calif., April 24, 2006

"I aim to be a competitive nation." --George W. Bush, San Jose, Calif., April 21, 2006

"I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. April 18, 2006 (Listen to audio clip; Watch video clip)

"I strongly believe what we're doing is the right thing. If I didn't believe it -- I'm going to repeat what I said before -- I'd pull the troops out, nor if I believed we could win, I would pull the troops out." --George W. Bush, Charlotte, N.C., April 6, 2006

"If the Iranians were to have a nuclear weapon they could proliferate." --George W. Bush, Washington D.C., March 21, 2006

"After the bombing, most Iraqis saw what the perpetuators of this attack were trying to do." --George W. Bush, on the bombing of the Golden Mosque of Samarra in Iraq, March 13, 2006, Washington, D.C.

"And so I'm for medical liability at the federal level." --George W. Bush, on medical liability reform, Washington, D.C., March 10, 2006

"I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India, and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world." --George W. Bush, mistakenly identifying Pakistan as an Arab country, Islamabad, Pakistan, March 3, 2006

"People don't need to worry about security. This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America." --George W. Bush, on the deal to hand over U.S. port security to a company operated by the United Arab Emirates, Washington, D.C., Feb. 23, 2006

"And I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company." --George W. Bush, defending a plan to allow a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates to manage ports in the United States, aboard Air Force One, Feb. 21, 2006

"I think it's really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to--the beauty of playing baseball." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006

"I like my buddies from west Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them then I was middle-age, I liked them before I was president, and I like them during president, and I like them after president." --George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006

"He was a state sponsor of terror. In other words, the government had declared, you are a state sponsor of terror." --George W. Bush, on Saddam Hussein, Manhattan, Kan., Jan. 23, 2006

"I'll be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie. I've heard about it. I hope you go -- you know -- I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I'm about to say." --George W. Bush, after being asked whether he's seen Brokeback Mountain, Manhattan, Kan., Jan. 23, 2006

"It's a heck of a place to bring your family." --George W. Bush, on New Orleans, New Orleans, La., Jan. 12, 2006

"You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas and under fire." --George W. Bush, addressing war veterans, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2006

"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in . I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel." --George W. Bush, after visiting with wounded veterans from the Amputee Care Center of Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1, 2006

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What Not To Say When Someone Dies

The other day Peanut Queen discussed someone dying, and here was my answer:

You know, I used to question why this person dies and another doesn't, but knowing the answer would not make the grief any easier.

Sometimes we want to tap God on the shoulder and say, "Kill that bitch that cut me off in traffic, not that friend who brought joy in our lives with his smile and stories." I am not sure God takes our advice, for if he did, surely my lottery ticket would have won a few years ago (325 million, baby).

I feel for you, babe!

I want to correct one thing from my statement to the PQ: I think the lottery topped 350 million, before taxes, amortization schedules, deadbeat relatives and everything else. I know that 25 million is not a big deal to most of my readers, but it would be to me.

But that is not the point. Not saying the wrong thing to someone who has lost a loved one is the point.

Now, you may not know this about me (I hide it well), but I am a bit of a smarty-pants. And so when someone dies, I generally, make a joke at the expense of the bereaved. Now you may be asking yourself how to hire such a person for your next wake, but after doing this for some years, I would not recommend the tactic because even if you say something funny, well, the bereaved rarely crack a smile. Bitter SOBs.

Mostly true stories (aided by my selective memory):

Death of a "Friend"
I knew a woman who had a "friend", and by friend, I mean a friend with benefits. Well, her friend was a good ten years older than her, and he died unexpectedly. He had a heart attack.

Now how do you give your condolences when the person was a friend like that? I have no clue. What I do know is that you should not ask if the bereaved caused the heart attack (that happened, not by me, but by someone else). But I thought it. And the woman was sort of crushed for a while, sort of because she really did not feel close to him, and apparently he did not have too many close friends. Turns out she meant more to him than he to she, and that weighed on her consciousness.

And if you are a guy, volunteering your "services" is inappropriate in this setting, no matter how tempting it may be. Saying, "Need a new feck buddy" normally doesn't get you anywhere.

He is in a Better Place
I have heard many people say, "He is in a better place." And you know, the people grieving don't really care about this, from what I have noticed. He actually is in a new hole in the ground, and he doesn't even have a headstone yet (it is on back order). For the perfectionist atheist among us, that is not a better place.

And at someone's death, we do get a bit selfish. We think of our relationship to the person, how we will miss them. We don't really, or should I say, I don't really think about their spirit and that they may be in a better place. I just remember joking with them, talking with them, crying with them, and now, they are not there. I can't share, even when I see something that the person would absolutely love. "Goodness, he would have liked to see that squirrel fall from the tree. It made my side ache." Okay, I am strange.

College Roommate
When I was in college, a girl I knew died. Car accident. Suddenly.

She was the roommate of a close friend. And this is all I really remembered about her now – we used to tickle her because when she laughed, she farted. We would tickle her and make her fart.

I have known no one else with this particular skill, and this is all I really remember of her. Over the years, I wonder if we were mean to her, or if she did not like it. We only ticked her when we were all drunk. Okay, we tickled her one-hell-of-a-lot.

She had the prettiest long, brunette hair, and she farted when she laughed. Not on her headstone, but that's the stuff I remember about her. I met her parents, and although they probably knew she farted when tickled, none of us told them of that particular experience with their daughter.

I know how you are feeling . . .
The worse phrase to use would be, "I know how you are feeling." Well, the worse phrase may be, "Sorry your husband is dead; I fucked him often and he seemed dead in bed, too." I just made that one up (never used it), but you know, that is a way bad way to comfort the grieving (I am not a professional, but I think I am right on this one). But I mean, a phrase that we hear all of the time is "I know how you feel." I have had friends lose babies, and people who have been through a similar experience may say this (there are more people who have this experience than I would have ever guessed), and you know, it is not appreciated. It seems to never be appreciated.

We are all unique, and our feelings are similarly unique. People who have lost someone don't want to hear, "Been there, done that." And this phrase sometimes gets heard that way.

I apologized to my Queen because I can be irreverent at times. I love my Church, but I joke about it. I love my president (okay, I don't know him, but I am pretty sure I would be tempted to cut out his eyes with a butter knife, and with all of the secret service, I would not be able to do so) but I joke about it.

You know, my point was to talk about what to say, and I gave examples about what not to say. Basically, when I go to funerals (the free food is often not worth the grief) I keep my mouth shut. And I cry like somebody died. Oh, yeah, someone did die.

Is it too late to erase this post?

Random Blogging Awards
The Really Fecking Blogging Awards are back. So if you want to check out the categories and email the woman responsible for this, you can nominate one of your fellow bloggers. I won (Best "free" blog- free of children that is) once, according to the award page, but I thought I won twice. Oh, well, they are stupid awards anyway. If you nominate me, I will campaign, and if you don't, I will find you in your sleep, and er, I mean, no biggie.

Where did I put my feckin' pills? And now that I have a crap post, I am looking for a nomination. That's like Chevy Chase doing "Spies Like Us" and wanting to be nominated. Or was that a good movie? Ishtar, that's the movie. It is like Chevy Chase doing Istar. Thankfully, Istar never made it to DVD (I just checked).

I wanted to adopt the phrase, "Why isn't (insert name of great movie) on DVD yet; Istar is on DVD." But I can't.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Football Church

Okay, this is going to be a religious post, and if you are non-religious and blame religion on the ills of the world, this post will not be for you. And, if you are deeply religious and have no sense of humor (sadly, these two traits coincide rather regularly, almost predictably), this post is not for you. Do me and yourselves a service and go to the next blog. Really.

Okay, I was at church Sunday, and something annoyed me. Okay, I am Catholic, and unlike some of my protestant brethren, we move around a lot during Mass. I secretly think that in the early days of the church, they promoted physical exercise as well as spiritual exercise because, well, there was no Splenda® back then. Anyway, we go to the alter to get communion – and that means we leave our seat, march up, and then attempt to return to our seat. "Attempt" is the key word here, and this actually leads to my annoyance. You see, our pews (for heathens who know nothing about church furniture, a pew is a large, uncomfortable bench used to keep churchgoers awake during the boring parts of Mass/church) are not labeled. That is, all of our pews look about the same, and so returning to our seat is always a challenge, because of this design issue.

Anyway, Sunday morning, I was thinking that church pews would be improved if they are labeled so we can get back to the right seat. And, by the way, for you degenerates please don't go through ladies purses while they are receiving communion. I am pretty sure that is a straight way to hell for the twelve dollars and tic-tacs you scored. And if I am wrong, oh, well, you will have to purchase your own tic-tacs, but if I am right, you avoid spending an eternity in purgatory (side note: I don't actually believe this, but you know, so many do that I figure I would just throw this in here).

During the homily (serman for non-Catholics), I was thinking about other ways to improve the Church. We had a light crowd this morning (which is good for me, easy to park and I did not have to hold my coat in my lap), and it occurred to me that it might have been because it was "Championship Sunday." When the heck did they start labeling all of the various playoff Sundays?

Oh, well, back to my train of thought. If church was more like attending a football game, perhaps people would actually look forward to church (pssssssssss, God, I love going to church each Sunday. Or should I be speaking to Saint Peter? Is he the one that maintains your naughty and nice list? Oh, that is Santa. I mean your heaven or hell list?). But some people don't like going to church. This would bring in some of those on the fringe back into the fold. Since I am on the fringe with football, I think I can speak to this in an intelligent manner.

Football games have concessions. And for some of us, concessions are great. Can you imagine sitting in your pew, and being able to flag down a peanut guy? Hell, er, I mean heck (psssssssssss, God, saying hell is okay, right? I wasn't implying that I was doing advertising for the devil, God, honest.), wouldn't it be sort of cool to see peanuts flying in the air. And for an obnoxious kid, I would buy him some peanuts to shut him up.

And for hubbie, he would be able to buy beer on tap. That would be his treat for listening to a sermon on temperance. Well, not really (we are Catholic), but you get the idea. Perhaps one of the sermons on poking your eyes out when you lust after women. Do I have to poke my eyes out, too? I often wondered that. Well, not often.

And I am not sure that the church ought to have cheerleaders, but if they said uplifting cheers, perhaps it would help. "Give me a G, give me an O, give me a D. What does that spell? What does that spell? God!"

"God, push him back, push him back, push Satan way back!"

Cheerleading can be an asset to church. And if the old men start lusting after the cheerleaders in their outfits? Guess they can go to confession. Too bad there is no longer any indulgences or this cheerleading thing could be a cash flow opportunity for the church.

The church could install scoreboards, and I know what you are thinking, we could post the weekly collections on the scoreboard. Or we could post to the number of souls saved. What would be funny as hell, er, heck (sorry, God), is posting the number of churchgoers who leave early. For Catholics, it is right after Communion, but I guess, for other denominations, you have the same problem.

In that respect, I guess football and church is about the same. You have people leaving early to beat the traffic. No matter what entertainment they are seeing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

25th of July and Involvement

Okay, I have been blogging since September 2004, and initially I just wanted to place some stories on the Internet. Then I figured I could just write and improve my writing skills. And that is my main reason for being here. If no one ever wrote a comment, that would be okay with me. Okay, part of me would not be that motivated, but my main reason is to hone my writing.

I have started highlighting VLOGgers on a separate Friday post. Part of this is for me to involve you in my interest in YouTube. Well, that is all of it. And I know that people may not be interested in this at all. That's fine.

But I wanted to mention something I heard in a VLOG, the 25th of July. Anyway, he started out his VLOG talking about participation. He has this show that you can call in, and not many people do. But you know, what is nice about blogging or vlogging is that you and the people you interact with don't have to be online at the same time to interact.

The entire VLOG can be "viewed" below. It is pretty much all audio, and it is very long, more than 91 minutes. I listen to it while working or blogging.

Anyway, he wonders why people don't get more involved. We have 168 hours per day (it was cute that he and his co-host were trying to multiply 8 times 7 (for the amount people sleep), and both came up with the wrong answer – she (Sally) said 54 and he (John) said sixty-something. But most people, as John said, "value their time" but sometimes spend most of it watching TV or whatever.

Now, John will probably never read this, but what I was thinking is that instead of people calling up, in a YouTube community, he could get video responses to his "videos." He is still one of the most viewed video bloggers, but he doesn't get thousands of comments. Most of us just listen to his stuff, and he thinks, we just go back to watching television or whatever.

Some of the things that he says seem unlikely, but it is interesting to get his viewpoint. There are lots of things that our government is doing that I wonder about. I want to write a piece about Bush. And about the imminent domain issue last year. That issue scares the heck out of me.

Back to John, I think that he may be going about this the wrong way. If he really wants to foster a community, he should use avenues that YouTubers already are familiar with – like the video response.

I guess what John does not see is that his VLOG touch others, that we think about what he is saying, and that, on occasion, it may change what we do. Now, the next time I see a dead bird in Austin (something Sally was talking about), I will not kick it to see the feathers fly. Well, okay, I would not get near a dead bird. My OCD acting up, of course, but you get the idea.

I actually try and discuss politics at work. I tell my boss, "That was a bonehead mistake. You must be a Republican." Or "That was a bonehead mistake. You must be a Democrat." And when my boss says something insightful (a rare occurrence, but you have to be ready for it), I might say: "How insightful. You must have gotten that from a Libertarian."

Well, I think about discussing politics at work.

Part of my problem is that if, let's say I disagree with how President Bush is doing his job, what the feck can I do? I mean, I don't have a direct line to his office, and from what I have learned, you can't become an intern, give the guy BJs and then discuss politics. He likes his interns fairly silent, just humming a few things during the BJs. A joke!

But really, how can you affect change? You can't just call your local politician unless you have pictures of him being really friendly with farm animals – and that only works until he places a contract on your head. Or so I have heard. Politicians use petitions for toilet paper, so that is really not all that helpful.

I don't know how to really affect change on a more global level. I do know that this VLOGger does have a large audience, and if he would do the following things, he may be more successful:

1. Encourage VLOG responses. This makes it more of a community.
2. Edit your VLOG and cut it up. Instead of having 90 minutes of a continuous VLOG, cut it up to have several smaller installments. There are issues that are covered.
3. Do that fuzzy black and white visual. It is cool, it does not add anything to the content, but it is cool. Did I mention it is cool.
4. Get pictures of Senators and Congressmen with farm animals. Blackmail them. It works for a while.
5. Place the tags: lonelygirl15 and topless in your tags. No, don't do that. Really.

Me, I am going to hide under my bed. I fear the government and do not have a shoulder launched missile at home. I need one of those puppies and the manual to use it. You know, there is nothing about not carrying one of those on a plane, but four ounces of toothpaste? Dangerous.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Randomness Friday Redux

Not sure if I will be random every Friday but this seems to be the second Friday in a row. Not yet a trend.

Bra Sizes
The other day, g mentioned boobs as a way to drive traffic. I mean, I don't know why breasts are so interesting; more than half of the planet's population is women – so every other person has boobies. Anyway, she did have a cute test (Celebrity Boob Twin), and you may want to check it out. I was surprised that a celeb had a breast size of 32-AA ( Diora Baird), but I have never heard of her. Interestingly, many celebrities have listed bra sizes. No wonder Britney Spears wears short skirts when getting out of limos. It suits her needs. Me, I don't have to talk about nipples or areoles to get page views. There, I said it.

New England Patriots
This morning, on the way to work, I heard people talking about the New England Patriot fans. The crux of the discussion was that after several years, these fans have finally embraced their team, though they still like the Red Socks more.

The New England Patriots have won three Super Bowls in four freakin' years. Or something like that. Most other cities would love just going to the Super Bowl once every ten years. Heck, the Atlanta fans would love to go to the Super Bowl this year. I guess when Michael Vick was in the airport the other day, it was not because he was going to a playoff game.

Cool Gadgets
So where do you find water bottles with hidden compartments in them? I have seen books that can be used to hide stuff, but water bottles? Who would have known? And airport security, those sharp group of guys, caught an NFL quarterback when the NFL couldn't.

I have two ideas for a blog entry – one talking about President Bush and characterizing him in a less-than-glowing light. The other is something totally different. But I may upset some people, because it is about a touchy subject. Still bumping around in my brain.

Two Entries on Friday
At first, I really did not think I could keep writing about two things on Friday. But I think I will try. I still have to do my other blog entry. Crap. But I will place it after this one – because it is on VLOGs, and if you are reading this, you probably only have a passing interest in VLOGs. Or else you would be on youtube or livewire or whatever more.

Let It Snow
Lots of people got snow this week. When I was a kid, I prayed for snow every year. Now that I am an adult, I still pray for snow. I just wish snow would be warmer. Maybe I really don't want snow.

You know, for ever, airlines have really provided poor service. Most airlines. When you see a good "on time" percentage that is in the 80%, something is wrong. Can you imagine McDonalds messing up your order once every five visits? We would never use them. But an airline that loses luggage, is late often, and takes your toothpaste: we complain but fork over hundreds of dollars.

And the toothpaste – yeah I know it is because we are defeating terrorists.

I want to get paid to read books at work. I can't figure out how to do this, but I am working on it. I will keep you posted.

Friday YouTube Gem #3: Digital Soul

One of the most popular VLOGgers (YouTubers?) is digital soul. He gets a lot of press, and since I am trying to review VLOGgers, I thought I should mention him.

When I first saw his videos, I genuinely liked him. I thought some of his views were simplistic, but it seemed as if he has a good heart. And this is not a knock on him – I value good people more than smart people. And he is probably really smart. If you take any one of my blogs, you can find simplistic ones. Not every one of them is Shakespeare (and I am not talking about the plagiarism; plagiarism is the wrong word but I don't know the right word). Think Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere (Earl of Oxford), William Stanley (Earl of Derby), Roger Manners (Earl of Rutland), Christopher Marlowe. All have been credited with writing some of Shakespeare's works at one time or other. But I am not here to write about Shakespeare or to burry Caesar. Er, moving on to Digital Soul.

Anyway, he seems to really care about the YouTube community. Sort of how I feel about the Blogger community.

I guess I should critique the guy. He seems to know and report about many things that some of us would just have gone over our heads. But since I am not a YouTuber, not really, it doesn't affect me all that much. Google floating a trial balloon about paying for hosting videos. Or what YouTube wants to do what "the Fizz" is doing by putting VLOGgers on cable.

Perhaps it would be better to just let you listen to Digital Soul. He is going to do a Dirk Slade (or whatever the name of the guy is) set of skits. Dirk Slade: Security Guard. I am anticipating this. It may be really funny. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Little Sugar

The first person I added to my blogroll is Ddot. At the time, my blogroll was not really a blogroll. I replaced his site with the Google site that was hard coded on my original blog. So he was my first on blogroll, and I was the first person who blogrolled him. I know, destiny. What was the chance of those two things happening?

Ddot did some very smart things as a blogger. He had a small blogroll consisting of The Dynasty (7 bloggers) and The Commission (11 bloggers). That's it, and the groups were more exclusive earlier in his blogging career. If you made his list, either you were really talented or, like me, I was the first person to link to his blog. The rumor that I had naked pics of him are completely false. Honest.

Anyway, Ddot posted the following message on January 5th:

Blog Title: State of Emergency...

Blog Entry: What do you want me to do?! I'm Sorry!!! I'm Back!!!!

That is all he wrote. Previous entry was some time in November.

Well, I was thinking about Ddot. You know, when I was a little girl, I ate sugar. But not every day. I would eat sugar, a spoonful, only once in a while. And I loved my spoonful of sugar. I really loved it.

If I ate sugar every day, I am not sure I would have loved it so much. It would have become ordinary. Ddot is not ordinary. Leesa, on the other hand, posts every freekin' work day. Ordinary.

One side note: if I ate sugar by the spoonful every day, I am sure I would have jittered all day or they would have had to roll me around like Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Grandpa Joe: She's swelling up!
Charlie Bucket: Like a Blueberry!
[Violet continues to grow]
Willy Wonka: [to Mrs. Beauregarde] I've tried it on like twenty Oompa-Loompas and each one ended up as a Blueberry. It's just weird!
Mrs. Beauregarde: But I can't have a Blueberry as a daughter. How is she supposed to compete?
Veruca Salt: You can put her in a county fair!
[Mrs. Beauregarde looks at Veruca viciously]
[Willy laughs]

Okay, the point is not that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not one of the best movies ever (Ddot would agree with me on this point); the point is that we should not really have too much of a good thing.

I mean, when I read Harry Potter books, I am hooked. I read the last one nearly completely through, from beginning to end, stopping to eat, sleep (not much), pee, and go to work. Okay, I did not go to work until I finished the book, but you get the idea. But I don't read the books all that often.

And I don't eat sugar by the spoonful.

And I don't have sex all that often. Okay, I don't eat sugar by the spoonful.

The Rise of The Politics of Fear

This is simply a post that shows the following BBC three-part series: The Power of Nightmares - The Rise of The Politics of Fear.

PART I: Baby it's Cold Outside
This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today. From the introduction to Part 1:

"Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today's nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful. " The Power of Nightmares, Baby It's Cold Outside.

Producer: Adam Curtis
Production Company: BBC

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dreams, Tapes and Absároke

Sorry. Got into work really late today. And I am not sure exactly what I will write about today.

I had a dream last night concerning a blogger. How creepy is that? I keep telling myself that this whole blogging experience is just so I can force myself to write every day, and that it means nothing. And then I have a dream about a blogger.

Okay, the dream. I actually dreamt of Prata and his significant other. You see, she need help buying him a present, and she elicited my help. I love to shop, not to buy but to shop, so this was right up my alley. But then, the reason for the shopping – to purchase a weapon. And I wanted to remember the name of the gun that I recommended for Prata. I really did. But ten minutes after I woke up, the dream started to fade. I hate that.

If I could invent anything, I would invent a recorder for dreams. Wouldn't that be so cool? Plug your head up to some machine that looks like a cross between a VCR and a 1950s hairdryer, and then you can save your dreams to tape.

That way, I could just fast-forward to where I was helping purchase the weapon. I remember it was two shades of blue, and I had the impression that there was no metal in the gun (is that what a Glock is? Short for glockenspiel, I am pretty sure; joke). You know, when you have to go through metal detectors with your piece.

Anyway, for your information, Prata's significant other got Prata a very nice, stylish gun in my dream. And she is a very nice girl.

Dream Recorder Thing
But wouldn't that dream recorder thing be so cool? I mean, you could have a whole bunch of videos for your personal enjoyment. For me, I would have a bunch of videos labeled "weird stuff." Think Leesa on LSD (I assume). I mean, some of my dreams are pretty weird, where stuff melts into other stuff. Not sure I would want to save those videos, or if I did save them, I wouldn't want anyone to see them.

Then I would have my videos where I would predict the future. I guess I could send Kerry one of the videos – not the one of him winning the election, but the one of him being sworn in as president. I guess he dreamed of that as well.

Then I would have my porn videos. I wouldn't want anyone to see them as well. But my porn videos would be rather boring. I mean, nice for me, but not nice to watch. In the moment. I just lost my own train of thought.

Then there are my falling videos. Crap-ola. Not sure I would want to watch those videos. I don't even like watching movies where you "feel" like you are on the rollercoaster. Or whatever. Or the I-Max videos where you are zooming over the countryside. Okay, those I-Max videos are pretty cool, but not falling to my death. Not a good thing.
I am going to stop talking about dreams. I forget they are a door to our souls. And quite frankly, I want to be a little mysterious.

Learning Something New
I did not know that Absároke and Crow were the same. I learn something new every day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Big Boy Stereos

This morning, on the way to work, I was thinking about what the heck I was going to write about today. I wanted to write about romance, and well, I just did not want to write about it.

And as I was listening to the radio, I had a fleeting thought. All of my thoughts tend to be fleeting in the morning. And in the afternoon. And at night. The good part about this is that when I get old(er) and lose my senses, I won't have far to travel.

Okay, my idea. You know, when I was in college, I remember stereos. Real stereos. Component stereos.

Okay, the stereo in my dorm room belonged to my roommate. It was technically a component stereo, but all of the components matched, and, well, the stereo was not too large. No women in the dorm had what I will label as a "man's stereo." Well, maybe a "big boy stereo."

Big Boy Stereos, or BBSs (I am a lazy typist), are component systems that are normally made of components that don't match. Big boys, I was explained to (intentional word choice) once, purchase components based on their sound quality, and not necessarily their esthetic value. The basic colors of the components were grey, black and silver, and I think most guys prided themselves on having at least two colors in their rack (the place where they put their stereo, not a woman's breasts).

Now, I can barely remember the names of the popular manufacturers, so I will not try to fake my way through this, but I grew to like component systems.

I remember being invited into dorm rooms at the end of the date, and the guy and I would normally have different objectives. I wanted the opportunity for a second date (if the first one went well, or if it did not go well but I saw potential for good dates), and the guy wanted to separate me from my clothing.

Anyway, I can remember drinking cheap wine and watching the needles on the tape players dance to the beat of the music. Mesmerizing, the instrumentation was. The music was forgettable (we are talking 1980s), but the atmosphere wasn't. And when not listening to tapes, some of the guys would put on a record.

There are advantages and disadvantages to records. A tape would last about 40 minutes and a record, about half the time. So if we were kissing, sometimes the record would end before I wanted the kissing to end. But turntables were really sexy. Well, not turntables themselves, but many turntables have a small white light (I think it is so you can see where the needle hits the record), and the white light dancing on the ceiling of a darkened room. Extremely sexy. Extremely.

Every once in a while, two roommates would both have good stereos, and I wonder how the roommates would decide which stereo to listen to. Random, I know, but I wonder about that.

Today I would think that college "stereos" would be much different. I can see roommates having their computers hooked up to a receiver or just an iPod or MP3 player with speakers. But what about the sexy stereos. I wonder if sharing a pair of ear buds while listening to an iPod would be the same. Sharing earwax germs. Never. I guess my OCD is acting up again.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Aunt Edna

I want to tell you about my Aunt Edna. First thing, she is not really my aunt. I think she is my great aunt, but really, I am not quite sure. I know everyone calls her aunt. My Dad calls her aunt, I call her aunt, and all of my other relatives refer to her as aunt. She can't be everybody's aunt.

Oh, and her name is not really Edna. But get this, in my family, we all call her Aunt Edna. How screwy is that? You see, when I was a little girl, we used to stay up after bed time and listen to our parents talking in the living room. We, that is, my sister and I, would sneak out of our room (there was no padlock on the room, something that my parents never thought about), and we would sit very still and listen to our parents talking.

Our parents did not talk that much in front of us, and occasionally, we wanted to know what they felt and thought. And this was the only way for us to do this.

Well, my Dad every once and a while, talked about Aunt Edna. We deduced that this was her aunt, and she was a character. Apparently, she enjoyed stealing silverware (well, it was probably flatware, but you know, my Dad never knew the difference between the two types of utensils) from restaurants. Apparently, she felt that anything on the table was fair game – but she particularly enjoyed taking flatware.

She did not limit herself to flatware, though. She took salt and pepper shakers, flowers, vases and other assorted items. That was Aunt Edna. Funny thing is that when I was a little girl, I don't remember ever meeting Aunt Edna. I figure she was locked up "in the pen," and that's probably what I told my friends.

"Oh, your Daddy is moving out because he played house with his secretary. That's nothing. I am related to a hardened criminal." Talk about one-upmanship.

Well, years later, we learned more about Aunt Edna. I was talking with Dad, and I asked about her. At first, he said we did not have an Aunt Edna in the family (how's that for adding intrigue? Now I know she spent time in the "pen"). And after confessing that I heard he and Mom talk about her, he smiled. And he told me the whole story.

Aunt Edna was really a different one of his aunts. But since he was always told not to speak ill of his relations (remember the commandment about honoring your mother and father, well, I think it comes from there), Aunt Edna was a code name for another aunt (which I knew, a really old aunt who always smelled of lavender). Interesting what you remember about your relatives. This person smelled of lavender, that person got locked in a restroom for several hours. Really bizarre stuff that may not encapsulate the person, but it is how you remember them, nonetheless.

Aunt Edna died about ten years ago, and apparently the people that had to clean out her house had a really big job. I think she may have been a kleptomaniac, because rumor has it that there were thousands of pieces of flatware (some of which were entire sets) at her house. Plus she seems to have collections of books (some of which were library books, which were returned without late charges), magazines (I suspect these came from doctor's offices, but I have no proof), and crayons (not a clue).

I only met Aunt Edna a few times, very brief meetings at family gatherings. Mostly it was my parents introducing us and telling Aunt Edna about our accomplishments since we last met. Okay, I really don't like people talking about me when I am right there on display. But with your parents, what can you do?

Point of the whole story is that stories sometimes don't have over-arching themes that tie things together nicely. I am just glad that Aunt Edna didn't collect anything too creepy, like flatworms or doilies. Okay, she may have had a collection of doilies if they had them on tables of the restaurants she frequented.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

When Are You Coming Home

I found the cutest video, and it has been seen more than one hundred thousand times (so others have seen this). I know 21,500 more American soldiers will be going to Iraq. What some don't realize, love or hate the politics, is that this affects lots of families. Yeah, they signed up for this, but that does not make it any easier when they are away.

Yeah, I want to place flowers in guns about now. But today, I just want to think about those families. God bless them.

This is what Bye2luv said about the touching song:

This song is not meant to make a political statement of any kind. It's simply about a family that is missing a brother. The young man who joined the army did so of his own free will. He was 20 years old and his parents played no part in his decision to serve his country. They are proud to have such a brave son.

I am only the best friend (for 34 years) of the mother, Cindy. It is my honor to post this video on YouTube. All of the wonderful messages that I have received are being forwarded to Heather and her mother.

Heather loves to sing. Since she was small she has always tried to get to the microphone first at church so she could sing. She always loved karaoke and would beg for the mic. She still loves singing more than just about anything. Heather loves her brother and misses him. She has many memories of him. He comes home every chance he gets and will probably get to come home for a short time in February or March.

Before I turned on the camera Heather was really acting silly and laughing. What many of you have said looks like crying at the first is just Heather rubbing her eyes like any 6 year old might do.

6 year old Heather Martin sings a song that her mother wrote for her Brother Shaun who is serving in Iraq. The song is written from Heather's point of view.

When Are You Coming Home Lyrics by Heather Martin (C) 2006

You were almost sixteen when I came into the world.
Mom and Dad had you first then 3 more boys I'm the baby girl.
I sure have a lot to look up to in you, you're really smart and funny with a big heart too.
After one year of college you knew what you had to do.
It's just like you wanting to help with the war.
So you joined the army when I was only 4.
This time of year we talk of big plans but you're over seas in some distant land.
You can't be here for Christmas, I don't understand.
When are you coming home, Shaun?
When are you coming home?!
We lit up the house like we always do but it doesn't seem bright 'cause we can't have you.
In my prayers I ask God to keep you safe.
And I'm trying to be really brave.
Tell me that the fighting's through.
Come home!
I really miss you.

It's hard to enjoy the holidays without you.
But we're so proud of you and all the red white and blue.
Remember that Jesus is your best friend,
And someday our families will be together again.
Wow! You know we'll have a great big party then.


I want to show you how tall I've grown and introduce you to my new friends at school.
Maybe we could go and get some ice cream together but I really don't care what we do.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Randomness Friday

What a Load of Crap

Okay, people, repeat after me, "What a load of crap." I think people need to get comfortable with that saying. Again, "What a load of crap."

I really wish people would say that phrase more often. Case in point:

The other day, I was on YouTube, and there was this boyfriend-girlfriend LVOG. And the guy was so annoying. He was saying things like, "I am not annoying you. You are choosing to be annoyed."

Okay, girlfriend, repeat after me, "What a load of crap." And if you want to vary the saying up a bit, you can try, "What a load of psycho-bullcrap."

I remember when I was seven years old, traveling with my family across several states. My sister would invade "my side of the car" and place her arm on my arm. She did this to piss me off, and well, it pissed me off. Mission-freaking-accomplished. And in today's age, a psychologist would say, "Leesa, you are allowing your sister to upset you." And all I can think, and could have thought at the time is that my sister is a pain in my ass. And when I was seven, I had a very tiny ass – and like the princess and the pea, even a little annoyance was felt by my little ass.

Now, I don't hate my sister. Well, not for what she did when she was five, but the point is that when people are saying, "I am not annoying. You are choosing your reaction to my stimulus." Please. Sometimes you are just annoying. And when someone is just excusing their own actions, not taking any credit for them, and blaming the person who is the target of said annoyance. Psycho-babble.

When I was in school, we talked about words that sounded alike that are spelled differently. Remember, (1) to, (2) too, and (3) two? I remember learning about the differences for years. Years! But there are two words that are one letter different: fiancé and fiancée. And I think the words sound alike as well, but the words are critically different. One of these words includes a penis that seems to always be on the go, and I have a clever way of telling the two words apart. The word that includes the penis is a tad longer. And we all notice penises that are a tad longer. Maybe that's why we never learned this in school. The memory technique is dirty.
Additional Note:I had actually checked out some site to make sure I was right, and I read the definitions wrong. I googled fiancée, and it said, "The first is male, the second female." I thought it meant that fiancée was male and fiancé was female (sort of the opposite of what I thought, but I was not sure). Since I googled it, I assumed the first was the term I googled and it wasn't. So this argument holds no water. I am keeping it simply because it deals with penises.

Okay, I am usually the last person in Georgia to hear about anything new, but do you know about Pandora? It is this music site where you basically create your own radio station by telling the website what songs/artists you like.

Okay, it is too much work for me to really spend time on, but I wonder why would you buy music after some sites are giving music out for free. My guess is that you hear it on here, and you buy it. But why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?

Then there is this Yahoo Video, where you can watch free videos. By the way, I like Stacie Orrico, and I do not know who the heck she really is. Okay, I just figured out that Yahoo is charging $6.00/month. Even before this, I am moving from Yahoo to Google. Did I say that out loud? But I was able to see Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" video. I love that song. Shakira is smart, I love the way she sings, she is pretty. A girl crush. Damn. Well, this is the "extra post" for Friday. For those of you who don't care for YouTube.

Please notice the other post below (two for Friday this time).

Friday YouTube Gem #2: TheHill88

Okay, after the first week of doing a Friday YouTube that was not much of a success, I thought I would stick it out for Friday number two. Is that just my way of saying "FU" to my readership? Not intentional, I assure you.

I embedded a video of TheHill88 before, and some did not like her at all. She is young and sometimes immature; that comes out easy on film, probably less so on a blog (such as this) where I can edit and edit. Well, I don't edit my tripe, but you get the idea. I also have 20 years on the girl.

The video file I am embedding is actually from another user, but it has a small clip that was seen on 60 Minutes. I watched 60 Minutes as a child – my grandfather loved that show. I really did not understand the allure of the show. To me, the show was boring, and the tick-tock-tick-tock between segments was enough to put me to sleep. Clocks in general make me want to nap. Writing about clocks make me want to nap. [yawn]

But seriously, I don't watch 60 minutes now – more to do with me not watching television than anything else. But I am wondering how this has anything to do with TheHill88.

I love Harry Potter – love the books, really love the idea and all. And so does TheHill88. She is not the best VLOGger, but she is one of the most popular. I guess it is like "Survivor" used to be. It seems that everyone watched Survivor when it started out, not because they necessarily enjoyed the show but because they were able to talk about it at work the next day. Or that they were in a Survivor pool and needed to watch the show so they could bet better. So if you are getting into the YouTube experience, you have probably tripped onto TheHill88. And that's not a bad thing.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

In a world full of Eeyores

The other day, I read a blogger who wrote, "It's like living in a world full of Eeyores." Okay, I will not mention – psst Monica, love you babe – because I want this blogger all to myself. I let those words bounce around in my brain, "in a world full of Eeyores." In a word full of Eeyores. Isn't that a wonderful phrase?Eeyore with Bow

I have had "mild depression" for a while. This is clinical mild depression. And I don't know if you have ever been clinically depressed; heck, even if you know how it feels. Not saying "nah nah nah, I am a headcase and you are not." Really, that is not the point. But people who are depressed are a little like Eeyore. And I don't mean that they have a nail in their butt holding their tail on, or they are several shades of purple. Again, not the point. Here, some guys are wondering if there is a sexual innuendo here – nailing an animal in the butt. Wow, I never thought of that before. Bad thought. Bad thought.

Not that I am an expert as far as psychology goes, but I do remember seeing an article in the "letter to the editors" part of a psychology journal (I don't read the journals, but I found this on the web a few years ago). In it, psychologists analyzed the AA Milne characters and gave them psychological work-ups. Really funny. And, no, I could not find it when writing this – and I tried, good readers. Again, off point.

But today, folks, I am talking about depression, a not-so-funny subject. I guess that's why they don't call it something more up-beat, like "Pollyanna syndrome".

I actually was treated for depression with drugs (Fluoxetine) at first. My Mom once asked if I was on Prozac, and I said, "No, but I am taking Fluoxetine, whatever the heck that is." You see, Prozac is a brand name, and I was on a generic version of it. One thing I can be thankful to my HMO for; giving me an out with my Mom!

But you know, I don't want drugs to help me with my moods, so I stopped using Fluoxetine and started drinking tequila. Tequila is not a drug, and it is natural (I guess tequila is good for everyone but the unfortunate worm). Tequila is natural, I think. Part of my homeopathic outlook on life.

Before someone starts bitching about me making fun of those using psychotropic drugs, Fluoxetine was not for me. I think I explained it once this way: when I was on the drug, nothing seemed to bother me. I could have some hack off my left arm, and there I am bleeding all over the place, probably my best blouse getting cut, and I just wonder how I am going to mop up the blood with one hand. Not worried about mopping it up, but wondering about it, as if it is an interesting notion. I was so flat, and I wanted to stop taking it. And tapering off the drug was so hard – oh, I blew up at people for no damn reason. Sort of like PMS-extra. And I was on a really low dose.

And now that I have started writing this, I am starting to wonder what the point of the post may be. Think-think-think. How do I save this freakin' post? Picture me, sitting on the ground, my index finger pounding my forehead, saying "Think. Think. Think."

Anyway, afterwards, after the tequila and the shopping sprees, I was not doing any better. I was eating better and exercising. By the way, I think "the runner's high" is crap. Sorry, VX, but I did not really get how running gives you a high. You have to buy really expensive bras, you nearly get killed by cars driven by people eating McDonalds food at the wheel, and your shoes wear out too darned fast. Personally, I would rather be on a treadmill, watching CNN, or that guy pumping iron and flexing for the rest of us (you know the guy; every gym has him).

Anyway, for whatever reason, my depression seems to have lifted. I think the exercise has something to do with it. And the iPod vibrator (a joke). It is like the clouds have parted and let the sun inside of my life again. Lisa mentioned her depression recently; the loss of a loved one may have had something to do with hers. Now I am not saying she is on Prozac or tequila, but she has been "blue." As apposed to Eeyore purple. Lots of bloggers have been feeling that way.

I have just decided not to be an Eeyore, strange as that sounds. I did not decide to become depressed, and even after several people said something about it, I just figured they were idiots. Well, they may be idiots, but I was depressed too (not mutually exhaustive events, or is that mutually exclusive events?). I am such an idiot. Now I could not will myself out of depression, but now that things seem better, I have decided to eat right, exercise and have lots of hot, sweaty sex.

Let me leave you with the opening lines of Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne:
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.

For many of us with mild depression, we don't really know how we got to where we are, and now that we are here, these feelings seem just a part of living our lives. The feeling of hopelessness is part of who we are, and if we could stop for a moment, perhaps we could think of life the way we were before the depression. But we don't, and if there is not an intervention, until the sky parts in our lives, we don't realize how wonderful the world really is.

Look at Lisa; she masturbated in a car wash the other day. Oh, what a wonderful world this is.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brunette with a Bad 'Tude

Okay, unless you want me to unload on you, visit another blog today. I am in a bitchy mood, and I can't control my darned typing fingers. Not that I have fingers for non-typing duties.

Crap, this is as close as I get to wanting to flip off someone.

Google BS
I got the following error when trying to log onto Blogger:

We're sorry...
... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

Like I am some kind of malicious virus or something. Bite me, Google. I don't even really know what "bite me" means. It is not like I want someone to snack on my ass. I am pretty sure that is sex, and I need to save sex for my hubbie, even if he is less-than-deserving today. Let's just say if he says the wrong thing today, I will fantasize about doing some serious harm to that man.

Pregnancy Test
I saw a Pregnancy Test online. I love what ~deb said about these quizzes not really being reliable. Not the pregnancy quizzes but quizzes in general. Personally, I would have a random generator assign results after putting the user through a painful data entry obstacle course. But I am a bitch. Anyway, I answered all of the answers correctly except the last one (have you had a positive pregnancy test recently), and my answer was "You are probably not pregnant."

Two comments:

1. Who goes online and answers a bunch of questions to see if they are pregnant, anyway?

2. What irresponsible person actually makes an online pregnancy test quiz?

School Starting
Condoms and Lube – Sounds Like a Party School has started again, and you know, this sort of pisses me off as well. For some reason, when school is out, traffic is so much better. Now I don't drive in the middle of the day, but I imagine those times probably suck a bit. Well, since school has started, traffic is again not-so-good. Not the "not-so-good" in Atlanta; their traffic is really bad. But the not-so-good for small town Savannah.

Sorry this is such a crappy post. I wrote it yesterday, and the picture to the right actually made my day.

The image I used today is Mark's. Mark has lots of photos on Flickr (more than 2,500), and he even has a show in February. I really like his B&W pictures. Thanks for the image, Mark!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Canadian Money Pisses Me Off

Okay, I hate Canadians. I really don't, but I can't stand their money. Let me explain.

Last week, I purchased something at my corner convenience store. Well, the convenience store near work, at least. I go there lots – not every day but for lots of days. When I spend cash, I mostly spend it at this store (I love my credit and debit cards). Anyway, I go to purchase my soda and heroine. Well, my soda, at least. Damn word processor, always adding words for me.

So I purchase my soda and the person at the counter says, "Ma'am, one of these quarters is a Canadian quarter. I can't accept this."

I would like to say two things – or more.

1. American and Canadian quarters are the same size, and because American quarters now have states which have all sorts of crap on them (trees, astronauts, airplanes, and I half-expect Marilyn Monroe on the next one) so I rarely notice the absence of Washington's bust or an eagle as strange.

2. I am in Georgia, a heck of a long way from Canada. And these quarters are in the money supply. This sucks.

3. I know that I can't spend foreign money in America.

And I don't look at my quarters.

Okay, so you are saying that it ends with losing twenty-five cents? Not quite.

I, for whatever reason, did not toss the quarter. I should have.

Several days later, I placed four quarters in a vending machine. The third quarter was that Canadian quarter. Again, I did not know that I was using a Canadian quarter, but because they are different weights, the Canadian quarter fell to the change return immediately.

Since I only had five quarters, four of which were legal tender in the US, I was stuck. So I hit the coin return and got absolutely nothing. Not a single quarter. So that one convenience store clerk who originally gave me the Canadian quarter cost me seventy-five cents. The original quarter and two that the vending machine happily ate.

Heck, at least I got a blog entry for my money. Have a wonderful Tuesday. Darned Elizabeth II and Moose-head money. Why can't Canadian mints be creative and make octagonal money or coins with holes through the center? I am so American-centric.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I need my coffee

Oil Change
Right before Christmas, I got my oil changed. I pull up to this Jiffy Lube type place and give the attendant my keys. Or is he a mechanic? Anyway, after asking me how many miles I have on my car (can't he just look at the odometer; I am out of my car at the time?), he asks nicely, "So what type of oil would you like us to use?"

My first reaction was to think to myself, "How the hell do I know. If I knew what type of oil to use, I would probably be able to change my own darned oil." I was just about to say "motor oil" (it is a kind of oil), when I thought I would ask, "What kind would you recommend?"

And he started out by saying, "Little Lady, I would suggest . . . ." And I did not hear his suggestion because I was pissed at being called a little lady. It just seems demeaning. And I know, some people talk that way, but I don't have to like it.

Before I got really upset, I imagined two attractive women kissing, and the anger just subsided into the two pair of lips gently touching.

Where was I?

A fecking cold officeHard Nipples because it is freezing in here!
Okay, I am the first one in the office today, and of course, the person who has the knowledge and expertise with the thermostat controls is out this week. Who the hell takes the week after Christmas off, anyways?

So I am freezing!

I work with a bunch of men with bellies, and I swear their bellies keep them warmer and they can't tell it is freekin' cold in here. Luckily after complaining about the cold for months, I finally remembered to bring in a sweater. Actually, I should have said "re-bring in" the sweater. I have had it in and out of the office for years. I just take it home to clean it every once in a while. And the sweater helps.

It is actually the ugliest sweater I own. Not that it is ugly, but it is a simple white sweater. I call it my "Mr. Roger's" sweater.

Out of a Funk
I am not sure if you noticed or not, but I have been reflective recently. Translation: my blog has really sucked lately. By lately, I mean over the last six months or so. But for some odd reason, I am feeling better. Maybe it is because I am exercising more, or that the days are finally getting longer, or I am in the middle of a really good book. Actually, I would be in a better mood if I got laid last night. But it is not like it was seventeen months between events.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday YouTube Gem #1: floatinglightbulb

I am not sure how frequently I will do this (I plan on every Friday, but well, you can't really count on me for doing anything that frequently), but I thought I would review a YouTube director every Friday until I get bored.

And boredom is already setting in, so we will see how long this lasts.

For the first Friday YouTube Gem, I found floatinglightbulb.

The embedded clip reminds me of Stacey, the Peanut Queen. She did a similar post a long time ago. Anyway, Stacey's post was so good that I swore my undying love for her writing and linked to her site.

I sort of stopped reading Stacey when she stopped posting for a while due to some technical issues. You see, her work blocked her out. I guess they wanted her to actually work. I mean, I emailed her, begging her to continue to blog. Begging her to post more pictures for her Braless Tuesday antics. Oh, that is Lisa. Perhaps that's why she started ignoring my requests. I take back all of the mean things I was thinking about her. But seriously, Stacey is a fav of mine that I lost touch with over the last couple of months. I guess I should have resolved to start reading more blogs again.

Where was I? Oh, I am supposed to be reviewing a VLOG. This VLOG is really professionally done, and it is funny as crap. Although crap is not often funny. The reason that the VLOG is professionally done is that Josh Shayne is studying film as New York University, and he has recently, I think, completed his first 30-minute romantic comedy, Tempting Charles Warner. I love the music in the trailer; reminds me of sirens (the creatures that doom sailers).

Personally, I enjoyed the "Cooking with Caveman" video. It reminds me of the guest spots on talk shows that they did years ago (before cooking became in vogue). Think guest spot for Donahue.

I imagine most of these shorts were done for school projects. They are funny, they are clever, and they are entertaining. You are not going to see cheerleaders wrestling over pom-poms, but you may be entertained for a few minutes. Not better than sex, but you can do this at work. Well, maybe some of you can have sex at work. Just don't have sex with an intern. And if you are the intern, tape the episode. You can't share it on YouTube, but you will be able to coast at work, possibly for the rest of your career.