Friday, August 31, 2007


I'm mad for babies in the abstract, not so much in reality. I love them when they go home with someone else, although that period before 10 months or so when they will sleep forever just over my heart is precious and not to be missed.

But there's something about the images here ~ click on "Recent Sessions," then "Baby Jack P's Slide Show" ~ that I find incredibly moving.

Take a look, even if you're not a big fan of children. Maybe it's the combination of the music and the images; whatever it is, it's a work of art (and this is not an advertisement) and irresistible. I've watched it three times now and it never fails to make me teary.

As an incentive, the baby's papa is . . . sweet too.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

maybe the spiders are doing what we can't

Laying a big old sticky varmint trap for George Bush.

Amazing spider web in Tex-ass.

Labels: , ,

what is this RSS thing?

I hear so much about it. What is it? Does it automatically send blog posts to email? What? What?


don't analyze me!

My college major advisor was a Ph.D. social worker, a rare thing in the '80s, less so now. She was also a hippie: not an old hippie, nor a reformed hippie, woman was flat out hippie all the way and she was committed.

She was committed to many things: living simply, justice for all, equal rights and opportunities for everyone. She had foster kids, the absolute worst of the teenaged mentally ill and criminal populations; the true throwaway kids for whom there were no other treatment or housing options. She lived her beliefs, her values. She took six months a year off from buying anything, lived in the country, grew her own food.

She also analyzed handwriting. After I graduated, Lynn moved on to do training for the State of Oklahoma. Folks would gather in some hotel in a distant corner of the state, all of the state's professional treatment teams, dressed for success and discomfort. Always a bit tardy, Lynn would sweep into the room, an explosion of color in her layered batik and tie-dyed garments. She arrived with confidence and absolute self possession, filling the room with her magnetic presence and the richly mixed aromas of patchouli and human, the human emanating from a body showered weekly, because to do otherwise was a waste of water and she lived her values every single day.

She had us at social work academy for a week and as was her wont, she delved into alternative methods of arriving at the truth about the people we would be working with in our frontline child welfare efforts. From the room full of 40 shiny new social workers, Lynn chose me and five others to write a paragraph on the chalkboard. Not knowing what would come next, I quickly completed the assigned paragraph in my less-than-elegant hand and returned to my seat.

The topic of the hour was handwriting analysis and she began to analyze the various contributors' paragraphs, going around the room, visiting the three boards, eliciting nods of agreement from the writers. Five nodders, expressing awe in the accuracy of her descriptions of their personalities, their attitudes toward life, their character. Character.

She did not analyze my handwriting, and I have wondered ever since what she saw there, in my scratching on the board. What caused her to look at my paragraph for a few moments, then turn to the class and resume teaching, this time on the subject of neurolinguistic programming.

That I've lived a wild life is no secret. I don't pretend to be anything other than a recovering alcoholic, addict, thief, cheat. As my advisor throughout college, Lynn was well aware of my past. On the inside now, as a result of AA and the steps and a persistent effort to live a spiritual life, I feel clean and wholesome and healthy. I am profane, it's true, and I can get pretty wrought up over political matters, but those were the years of George H.W. Bush. I was not a fan, but the father's failings are laughable compared to those of the son.

So what did she see? What was it in my handwriting that made her turn away? I watched her thereafter to see if her behavior with me changed. Did she seem a little more distant? Was eye contact reduced? My paranoia influenced my interpretation of her behavior and I was convinced that, in my scratchings on the board, Lynn saw something dreadful, something that even I, living in my own skin, could not see.

In some tiny dark corner of my soul, I have always feared that there is something wrong with my character, that deep down, I am not a good person, not the decent, kind, compassionate, loving woman I want to be. In the frightening world of psychiatric diagnosis, I have, at various times in my drinking/drug using years, met the criteria for diagnosis as an antisocial personality. That's the new term for what used to be called a sociopath.

The DSM-IV, the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Psychiatric Disorders, says this about antisocials:

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of regard for the moral or legal standards in the local culture. There is a marked inability to get along with others or abide by societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.

1. Since the age of fifteen there has been a disregard for and violation of the right's of others, those right's considered normal by the local culture, as indicated by at least three of the following:
A. Repeated acts that could lead to arrest.
B. Conning for pleasure or profit, repeated lying, or the use of aliases.
C. Failure to plan ahead or being impulsive.
D. Repeated assaults on others.
E. Reckless when it comes to their or others safety.
F. Poor work behavior or failure to honor financial obligations.
G. Rationalizing the pain they inflict on others.
2. At least eighteen years in age.
3. Evidence of a Conduct Disorder, with its onset before the age of fifteen.
4. Symptoms not due to another mental disorder.

The key word there is three. If the individual meets three of the criteria, A-F, along with 2-4, well, there you are: antisocial personality. The general thinking on antisocials is that they cannot be cured; that it's a personality disorder, not a mental illness.

The only out I see for my not having a character disorder is number 4, "symptoms not due to another mental disorder." My hope is that alcoholism counts. And then I wonder why I'm even questioning this with 24 years of sobriety, with a good 20+ years of living well, with more than 15 years of living happy. Is that even possible for someone with a true character disorder? And if it's not, what the hell did she see in my handwriting that caused her to turn away?

I sent a book to a friend the other day and included a note in the package. As I quickly scribbled on a series of stickies, I had an odd sense of being exposed. What if this person I admire is also a handwriting analysis expert? I don't think so, but who knows these days? I felt the irresistible urge to close my note by saying "don't analyze my handwriting!" I was joking ~ sort of ~ when I wrote it, thinking of Lynn's reaction to my scratchings on the board. The experience with Lynn left me feeling oddly exposed and vulnerable. It's a strange sensation to think that someone else knows more about me than I do and I don't like it.

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever wondered whether there's some unsavory thing within you that's in complete opposition to who you are or, at least, who you think you are? Have you always lived a wholesome, productive life, always in harmony with your personal values?

Labels: , ,

new orleans: we are not ok

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

we came, we saw, we cried, we left

My mother used to refer to really awful things as "a crying shame." What has happened in New Orleans since Katrina hit two years ago is the epitome of a crying shame. The ever brilliant Robert Greenwald provides this clip urging us to support Senator Dodd's Gulf Coast Recovery Bill which is in congress right now.

If Katrina affected you as it did me, the worst thing was watching the suffering of the people of New Orleans in complete helplessness while the most government of the most powerful nation on earth did nothing. Go to When the Saints Go Marching In to sign the petition supporting the bill. As Greenwald says, Psssst, do something!

Thanks to Dusty at Sirens for the kick in the pants.

Labels: , ,

she can hear!!

My little deaf dog can hear! Miss Betty woke up from a sound sleep, barking and looking around after I pinched Bill's neck in his collar. The resultant yip from Billy was of an unusually high pitch and it apparently got through to Betty. I have been thinking for some time now that she could hear some things. Just occasionally, she'll jump and start barking when there's a particularly loud and high-pitched noise. My sweet puppy is healed, though I can still stand behind her and holler and she's oblivious. I wish she could hear me when I whisper in her ear that she's my sweet girl, that I love her madly.

On another note, the darling Dusty of the blog It's My Right to be Left of Center invited me to participate in a blog called The Sirens Chronicles. So I put today's post over there, where I've written about the delicious reaction of the GOP to Senator Larry Craig's exposure as a liar and a hypocrite.

These last few days, I've been feeling like a little cherry wallowing around in a vat of milk chocolate. Delicious, divine, tasty. It's sweet to see a right wing asshat get his comeuppance. I recommend comeuppances for all Washington thugs, in both parties. It just seems like there are so very many to choose from among the party of family values.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

it's the hypocrisy, stupid!

A rethuglican acquaintance asked me why I take such delight in the ever-increasing parade of Rethugs exposed for being child molesting public sex havin' minor seducing bribe taking cocksucking hypocrites. And that's just it. The hypocrisy.

I can't decide if it's just complete arrogance, the kind which could make them think they're simply above the law, or if it's the furtive hope that they can indulge themselves and they won't get caught this time.

Considering recently ousted bathroom sex procuring Rethug Senator Larry Craig's behavior after he was nabbed trying to get some dick at the airport, I'm going with arrogance. The police report provided at Roll Call includes this gem (hat tip to Talking Points Memo:

At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states.

Oh! Oh! Let me tell you what I think about it, Senator Craig. Me! Me! Me! I think you're a two faced liar, a dissembler, a fraud. I think you blab about family values out of one side of your mouth, while slurping up dick with the other. I think you ought to be ashamed. Not for wanting to get a little on the side, but for being a liar and a pretender and a sham. For encouraging hatred of gays while engaging in hot sweaty mansex your own self.

So yeah, it's delicious. I delight in it. I get all quivery and shivery and excited each time another one of these fools is exposed. And the minute these asshats quit yammering about other people's sex lives, I won't give one rip what they're doing in theirs. Republican Senator Larry Craig, one more shining example of Rethug family values.

Labels: ,

i want vengeance

Vengeance isn't what I was brought up with. I was taught a turn-the-other-cheek ethic at First Lutheran Elementary School. But my heart is filled with a white hot hate I fear will not abate until Alberto Gonzalez is disbarred and arrested.

I want Karl Rove to get his comeuppance too, and a hard kick in the ass to go with it. The good citizen in me cannot accept that these thugs and criminals will escape unscathed. It is intolerable. Unbearable.

I am sickened by the sound of George Bush's voice chastising the American people and the Democratic congress, small and persistent voices demanding accountability from these thugs. These unprincipled men have chipped away at our Constitution and the Bill of Rights; they have turned this country into something unrecognizable.

I want vengeance, but it's not personal. This nation should avenge these misdeeds to send a message to the world that these people are not us. They are of a tyrant and dictator class arising out of, but separate from, the rest of us.

I don't recognize my country anymore and I want these bastards punished. We have become mean, petty and alienated, isolated from one another as we point fingers of accusation, Republican to Democrat and the other way around. While we fight among ourselves, these criminals destroy the fabric of our democracy. I hate them and I want revenge.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

why are we really in iraq?

Rolling Stone lays it out in gut wrenching detail.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

on the complete creepiness front

These things . . . ugh. Maybe I've seen too many actual dead babies. Do these "reborns" give anyone else the shudders?


Friday, August 24, 2007

happy stuff & my favorite book ever

My sister is fine. Thank you for your prayers and warm thoughts. She is going to stop smoking, come hell or high water. Hell will come, I know, but I believe she'll get it done.

On another happy front, my favorite book in the world is Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. Surprised? I was too. I am not a fan of westerns. At all. I laughed at all of the brouhaha surrounding the book in the late '80s. A western? Please.

And then I read it. Have you? If you've not, consider it. It is a glorious novel of love and honor and betrayal and the human condition. McMurtry won a Pulitzer with this book, but that's just further evidence of how grand a work it is.

The characters have incredible depth, the writing is superb. If you are alive, it will make you laugh and you'll cry. It is irresistible, so much so that I reread it every year and have since 1990.

Delicious, a classic work of art. Have you read it?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

first amendment?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

my sister

has a nodule in her lung, upper right lobe. She and I both tried smoking at age 13; she succeeded where I failed. It is a hideous addiction. Please pray for this to be nothing more than the kick she needs to fight this addiction (if you're a praying person). More x-rays being done today. Thank you.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

why homosexuals despise marriage

Bad marriage hating things, you. This idiocy, from Kevin McCullough, wingnut in chief of some right wing hate radio. (Why is it that virtually all talk radio is hate radio? Except for the delicious Rachel Maddow, I can't think of one who's not a total loopy nut.

Anyway, back to Kevin. He says gays want to get married because they're no longer satisfied with the "unspeakable perverse sexual pleasures that their hearts (ahem! hearts?) seek in private bedrooms." Yes indeedy. Kevin McCullough, ladies and gentlemen, by way of WorldNetDaily and Americablog.

But why? What's the real goal of the activists, the judges and the radicals who seek to subvert a moral worldview?

The answer is simple: No longer satisfied with practicing the unspeakable perverse sexual pleasures that their hearts seek in private bedrooms, they wish to be able to do so in public. They are also suffering from such immense guilt over their sexual behaviors, because they know inherently that the actions they perform are in fact unhealthy, that they will go to any means necessary to try and shut down the voices in their heads that tell them it is wrong.

For instance, a woman who engages in lesbianism will never know the joy of lovemaking that creates within her the product of that union -- an actual human life. She will never know the security of a true man protecting her from the dragons of the world and providing for her an environment where she can nurture and give love to that little life once it arrives, or the stamp of approval that God puts on such an experience. And because she and her partner know this, they must defy reason, biology and sexual function to create children and experiences that serve as faulty substitutes for that God-ordained picture.

Likewise, a man who seeks his perverse kicks by depositing the seed of life in, shall we say, non-life-giving cavities, may know orgasm, but never complete union, as he uses anatomy in ways for which the Creator did not create it.

I just have to say, when I was frolicking through my younger years, I don't remember it being my, um . . . heart that was much involved. And that "non-life-giving" cavity? Poor guy's never had a blowjob. I'll give him one. With your mouth.

Truly, when you think they just can't get any more insane . . .

Labels: ,

i got my dawg!

Such a wonderful story to compare to Atlanta Falcons scumbag Michael Vick. I got my dawg! Rejoice!

Labels: ,

Monday, August 20, 2007

i believe

in the God I found in AA, the one who saved my ass. Call it superstition, myth or self deception, it is real to me and that relationship transformed my life.

And yet, this kind of shit scares me to death.

Labels: ,

soldiers speak out

Since the Whitehouse will be whitewashing Petraeus's report in September, we'll need to look elsewhere for an honest assessment of what's happening in Iraq. And lookie! Fresh from the pages of the NYT, soldiers speak. And the consensus is, of course, get the hell out. Think the Bush cretin will listen?

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 19, 2007

do you wanna

funk? Lord, I miss the bars sometimes.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 17, 2007

devil wood

I grew up at Joe's Auction House on South Pine in a tiny little town, home of Continental Oil Company and the thickest collection of scientists and engineers and brilliant people west of the Mississippi. Joe's was Daddy's escape from the rigors of the lab. Every Wednesday night, he'd load up the three of us and and off we'd go. In my younger years, I'd often fall asleep by 8:00 or 9:00, dozing off on Daddy's lap while the ceiling fans turned overhead and the auctioneer's chant colored my dreams.

The auction house was full of old stuff, used stuff, ordinary household goods. But Daddy was after the antiques and there were plenty of them. It was 1962, the first year I went, and folks rolled their eyes and laughed at my dad as he bought Stickley sideboards for $10 and 1800s American bookcases for $15.

He was after clocks, but he couldn't resist the furniture ~ magnificent solid walnuts and exotic bird's eyes and rich mahoganies of every stripe ~ and so we hauled it home. Sideboards, dressers, beds, chaise longues, roll top desks and clocks and clocks and clocks. The stroke of midnight in the house on Elmwood loosed a cacophony of chimes as German, French, Belgian, American and Canadian tick-tock-ticks gave way to delicate ringing and deep bongs and rapid, quivering dinnnnngs.

I laugh when I tell my customers that I inherited this madness ~ this antiques obsession ~ from my papa, but I did. It is in my blood, this love of old wood, of all things previously owned by another. I can't polish up an antique bed without thinking of where it's been, what it's seen. I imagine these pieces holding fast during the bombing of two world wars, anchoring their families with the solid familiarity of home. I wish they could speak to me, and I sometimes whisper to them as I'm working to make them perfect. I stroke their smooth parts and carefully clean their carved accents. I love them and I let them know. It is a madness.

I am especially enchanted by European furniture, though the exotic American maples are divine and nothing beats a huge golden flake tiger oak. I adore French, but also the sleek and modern English furniture from the '30s and '40s. That style doesn't fit in my house, but pieces like this one still make my heart beat faster:

It is so striking, with that superb golden burled walnut exterior, and this one, this glorious thing, is constructed of almost 1" thick solid oak, with the doors delicately bending to give it that sexy, curvy appeal. It's the inside, though, that just kills me: I want to crawl right into it to live. It reminds me of the tiny little woman who lived in a tree ~ it's a house unto itself, this incredibly well fitted piece ~ and I imagine setting up a miniature home in that glass-fronted drawer.

I never mention to my customers anything that would give away who I really am, me in all of my wild-eyed radicalism and my frothing-at-the-mouth hatred of Rethugs and the Bush crime family. I don't chat about religion, though I thank the (many, many) who promise to pray for me. Who can't use a little prayer?

But I sometimes wonder whether I should say something about the demons that live in this old burled walnut. It makes sense, really. Burled walnut comes from a disease which afflicts the walnut tree, creating this crazy pattern of grain which becomes this most highly sought after of exotic woods. Disease, a bad thing. And as a result of the disease, there he is ~ Beelzebub himself, subtly trying to disguise himself in the doors of the armoire.

Do you see him there? There at the bottom of that door with his evil dark eyes, his quartet of horns? This one is subtle ~ a lesser demon, perhaps ~ less threatening than the darker burls. In the darker toned burled woods, his visage can be frightening, so much so that I hesitate to walk alone down armoire row in the warehouse at night. Devils. Devil wood.

Would you want this pointed out if you were buying a piece from me? I think it would be dreadful to be drifting off to sleep in the twilight, gazing about a well appointed bedroom only to realize that someone was watching, some thing, some creature, a being, alive and angry, glowering from the armoire door. Frightening.

I sell them anyway, always sending them off with a silent prayer that my customers have a little less imagination, are a bit less given to flights of fancy and fear. But I imagine how I would feel, stripping the exterior packaging of my dream armoire, only to find that an evil creature lurked within. I am conflicted. What would you do?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

dallas. fort worth. pit of hell.

Though I lived in Houston for five years, I had forgotten what it was like to drive through Dallas. The traffic is hideous. Atrocious. Worse than any other city I've ever been in, though I've never been to LA. People stop and traffic backs up for miles ~ no reason. They're dreadful drivers and thus there are wrecks every 5-10 miles, backing up traffic forever. Twelve lanes, eight lanes, I don't think we hit an expressway with any less than eight and they were packed, all the time. I. Hate. Traffic. Plus, it's one of those places where each road has 2-4 names and the one on your map may or may not be the one on the exit sign. Maybe I'm spoiled, since I walk to work every day and don't have to fight it, but if I had to live where the traffic was that bad, I'd shoot myself. Or somebody else.

But aside from the traffic, there was the heat which, due to the insane number of cars, was made worse by horrible air. I ~ with my very own spoiled hands ~ loaded furniture into my pickup and a U-Haul trailer between 11 am and 3:30 pm yesterday. It was 105 degrees. I drank eight 20 oz. bottles of water and for six hours only peed out my forehead and down my back. Crimifuckinitly it was hot. And hard work. By the time we were done we had one space left into which fit our suitcases. Couldn't have fit in another stick of furniture.

Having loaded that mess, I am going to give my delivery guy, the one who has kept me from having to load my own stuff now for over three years, a raise. If I ever bitch about paying him $300 to bring a truck full of furniture again, I will slap my own self.

So I was a hot, spoiled, peeing-through-my-skin, wet in my clothes, dehydrated headache-having woman yesterday. Did I say it was hot??? And did I bitch about the traffic? On a happier note, we stayed in a great hotel, the manager let us swim at midnight after the auction, I ate the best ribs I've ever had in my entire life, bar none, and I won't tell you where I got them. It was, overall, a fine trip.

We rolled back into town like two hillbillies, with armoires towering over the cab of the truck, shrink-wrap billowing behind us, ropes dangling, trailer rattling and creaking along. I was gripping the wheel like a crazy woman after the four double shots of espresso it took to get us back home safely. I was half mad from listening to southeast Oklahoma / north Texas country and western (there is nothing else on the radio but country, gospel and Spanish language stations).

By the time we hit Stringtown, Oklahoma, home of one of our finer prisons, I said "fuck the furniture," and drove hell for leather for home. Fortunately, all is well and the stuff's gorgeous and I'm never going back unless I fly in and rent a truck there. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

mental status exam

What an ordeal. Eight hours of testing, of picture stories, verbal stories, word pairs, numerical recall, shapes, what's missing, what shouldn't be here and on and on and on. My head hurt after the first four hours. Another four hours later I was wiped out.

My tester was an older woman, a retired school teacher who'd had to go back to work when her husband lost his job. She was very teacher-ish but also kind and charming. We had fun together and she enjoyed spending a day with me as a different experience from her usual assignments of profoundly mentally ill individuals.

Sample question for you. Joyce said "I am going to read you a string of numbers and letters. I want you to put them in order, A, B, C, and in numerical order, 1, 2, 3." I would nod my understanding and say okay, and then here comes the string:

9, W, 3, H, 5, C, 1, M, 4, T

I was supposed to say "1 3 4 5 9 C H M T W."

The initial questions were always easy enough to lend a false sense of security. And then would come the questions which simply made my head hurt. It was very odd, because the strings of unrelated words and digits always increased in number. I would do fine up to a certain point, say 8 or 9 digits, and then would come the extra and that would be the end. It wasn't even that I could not remember the last digit or letter or word, but that the addition of that last one made all of the others vanish as well. Kind of like my brain said "you've got to be kidding me" and shut down.

I expect that's normal, not a sign of looming dementedness, but it's interesting and wonderful to pay such direct attention to how my own brain works in my head in response to this kind of testing. It gave me an odd sense of my brain as a separate thing, efficiently working inside of my skull like a computer humming busily in the next room while I lounge on the sofa reading.

I don't know how I did. I do know I can no longer do long division with the little V-bar thingie like I learned in 3d grade. I can do it with up to two decimals, but dividing 67.364 by 33.72? Not a chance. My algebraic skills, too, have vanished, the little bit I had. If the square root of 7ax is 6, I know in some magical world, 7ax = 36, but I don't know what the hell "a" is and I never will.

The only spelling question I missed was boutonnierre (I stuck a u before the first n) and I could kick myself, because I know how to spell it. She did say I was her first person ever to spell mnemonic correctly. Yay! A star from my teacher. Hoping my brain will get an all clear and a star too. Off to Dallas. 'Bye.

Labels: ,

how to kill an army

while blowing hot air about supporting the troops: read and weep.

When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?'

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 11, 2007

i'm scared

of these people. These are Christians. This is one of the most disturbing videos I've come across. Advocating war with Iran? With heroes Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum and Joe Lieberman? It has the feel of a convention of UFO believers. Anyone know whether there's a way to find out if Pastor John Hagee gets a tax break for this political propaganda machine? Crimifuckinitly, this shit is insane.

And coming on the heels of this complete loony, Stu Bykofsky, writing for the Philadelphia Daily News, I am getting some serious crazy bad vibes. He says "America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater. What would sew us back together? Another 9/11 attack. The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda."

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 10, 2007

bush's new war czar says the D word

Draft. Surprised? It is inevitable if we're going to stay there. We have a poverty draft now, with the volunteer army and its seductive financial incentives directed toward those who can't afford college or can't find a job. I would actually love to see a draft. I think it would stop this disaster in its tracks. I may be naive, but I'll be pretty shocked if folks stand for a broad-based even-handed draft. I can think of five boys whose last names start with R and two young women whose last names start with B that ought to be first up.

Labels: , ,

and the good friday news is . . .

The ultra-conservative Economist diagnosing the Ship of Rethug as one full of holes. Excellent. I am rejoicing.

And also pondering the nature of Rudy Giuliani's potty training, as I can't imagine anything else which would cause him to make a statement such as this one, from a 1994 speech:

"Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Can we have a do-over on this boy's childhood? Where does this kind of garbage come from? Thank God there's this magnificent opus from the gays dead set on keeping Giuliani out office. This will be running almost nonstop in the south to alert any far right Christianists (as opposed to real Christians) who think Rudy's their guy that . . . well, maybe he's not.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 09, 2007

tick fever

This explains a lot. You know that stuff y'all are always saying about us? All of us down here below the Mason Dixon? Like we're inbred and crazy and just don't act right? Ticks. It's because of ticks. Getting tick bit will make you confuse your mama with your daughter. It will make you think your boy's your wife. It puts you on the front porch playing a banjo. We've all been tick bit and we're all crazy and so is George Bush. It's been apparent ~ oh so apparent ~ that he's crazy as a bed bug and way more dangerous. Now we know why.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

die, garden. die.

I can hardly stand to look at it, the dried husks evidence of the lush beauty of just a month ago. Our rare rainy summer has dried up and we are now experiencing the more typical summers of Oklahoma.

Hot. Dry. No rain in sight. Straight overhead sun. A horrid, hot, mouth-of-hell kind of wind blowing constantly. It's like being in a blast furnace and the plants show it. I'm too drained by the heat to care. I wish the garden would completely die so I can release the modicum of guilt I feel looking at the plants crying out for water.

I'm hunkered down for the duration of August, anxious for the psychological lift that comes with September 1. It doesn't generally change the temp, but it will bring a different slant to the sun, a little earlier sunset, a little hope that this inferno is not forever.

Enjoying your garden?

Labels: ,

dems discuss health care

One of the most moving questions from a participant in the Democratic debate, as discussed by the wet-lipped Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Is anyone else stunned by Chris Matthews' support of universal health care? Every time I hear him talk about it, I slap myself. Unbelievable. But good. And more, from DailyKos.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

freak. out.

Me. MRI. No way. Thought I could do it. Put my head in the basket, noise-blocking headphones, started the slide into the tube. Got a little freaked as they slid me in but I was okay as long as I could feel the edge of it. Tech said "just a little further," and at the point I could no longer feel the edge, I started crazy weepy boo-hooing and had to be pulled out. What the hell? Had this experience? Makes me shudder to even think about doing it again.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 06, 2007

run andrew run!!

It's hard to miss Oklahoma's two dangerously right wing senators, Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn. The first is an outspoken critic of the concept of climate change, owing no doubt to the fact that he's wedged so tightly up the asses of big oil he can't see the destruction of the earth all around him. The second is just a loose cannon garden variety Oklahoma lunatic, who once warned against marauding lesbian school girls in southeastern Oklahoma. Our senatorial field has been tightly held by these two fools for too long.

The great good news today is that Oklahoma State Senator Andrew Rice has announced he will run against Jim Inhofe in 2008. Hallelujah!! Here's a Rice bio; he'll be blogging live on DailyKos at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Drop by and say hello to Andrew and show him some love. He's a great guy and I plan to work my ass off to get this man elected. Can you even imagine Oklahoma with an intelligent Senator? It boggles the mind. I am so excited.

Labels: , , ,

sick dog

Small Bill was up all night with a horrible bloody diarrhea. Vet says it's hemorrhagic gastroenteritis again, don't know what's causing it. At least he's not throwing up this time but I'm worried. Anyone have experience with this nasty crap?

Labels: ,

little boys fall in love

How cute is this? Bloggernista has the whole story. So sweet.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 05, 2007

smiling faces

Doing the Grand Old Party proud. I just have to say though, Jack Abramoff in that headshot wearing the black trench and fedora? Scary bad boy hot.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 04, 2007


My Jamaican son's name is Bryon. He is 22. Mike and I fell in love with him over the course of a week. He is beautiful and smart and funny. He spent a week showing us the real Jamaica which is magnificent and heartbreaking and so rich in history and culture and so desperately, shockingly poor.

I am still recovering from being away. Work is crazy. Took my sweet daddy to the heart doc. Catching up, catching up. More to come about my new son.

But here's one more photo, the love of my life after we were nearly swept out into the deep. Sweet baby.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 03, 2007

little monkey

The baby lying in the crib in the darkened room can't be the child I'm here to see. This is a baby, not a 14 month old child. My referral says 14 month old child. This baby, this very, very thin baby is not who I'm looking for, but this baby looks like she's in trouble.

Mom picks her up and we take her to the light in the living room. She hands me the baby, only she's not a baby, she is a 14 month old child, wasted and shrunken, skin hanging in folds from her thighs, her backbone rigid through the thin urine-stained t-shirt she's wearing.

Her eyes are sunken and there's no spark there. Her gaze is dull and unfocused. I hold her and she does not move, she is limp in my arms. She does not make eye contact, I cannot engage her. My finger placed in her hand does not elicit the typical baby grasp. She is alive, but barely.

I am shaking as I hold her. I am terrified she's going to die in my arms. I ask mom about her feeding, when does she eat. "Not very often, she sleeps a lot and she's getting weaned." She's on formula only, about twice a day, 6-8 ounces, according to this mother creature sitting across from me.

I tell mom I'm taking the baby with me to the Justice Center. I get on the phone with the judge to make it happen. We go. She weighs 11 pounds and some ounces. She weighed 6.5 at birth. Babies triple their weight in the first year. This one is grossly underweight, on the verge of dying with dried out skin, wisps of hair, slow heart rate, low body temp.

I hold her at the Center, try to get her to drink formula from a bottle. She is too weak to suck and the milk dribbles from her mouth. She is in such bad shape she's admitted to the hospital, put on IV fluids. With hydration, she regains some ability to eat and begins taking bottles. The nurse tells me this by phone before I go to bed.

I'm at the hospital next day. The change is dramatic. She is still emaciated, with drooping skin, bones everywhere, still sick, still in danger. But she sees me. She makes eye contact, she's still in there. I pray she is not brain damaged from too little protein. I pick her up and she clings to me like a little monkey, her tiny wrinkled hands grasping my hair, her head wobbling on her scrawny neck. I breathe in her little baby scent and I kiss her cheek and she coos. It is the first sound she has made throughout this ordeal.

I think of what might have happened had I not found the family that day, if mom had not come to the door, a more typical behavior for families in trouble. I think this baby is supposed to live, was supposed to be rescued and I am grateful that this one is saved. I curse parents who harm their children, but I am enraged by parents who intentionally do not feed them, who starve them on purpose. I don't know how they can do it: the chronic crying of a starving child must surely get on their nerves. Ultimately there is silence, but it takes a while. Once the baby is too weak to cry, there is nothing but quiet and lots of sleep and then death. This one was saved. She does not haunt my dreams, but I can sometimes still feel her clinging to me, her little monkey hands, her small husk of a body, cool next to my own. This one was saved.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Hi. I love Jamaica. I adopted a son. The island is stunningly beautiful, the people marvelous, the food beyond description, the poverty heartbreaking. One on one, there's no anti-gay sentiment, though every man I talked to assured me there are no gay men in Jamaica. I laughed. They did too. They love lesbians, by the way. The thought of lesbians not being interested in men who might be watching was disconcerting to them. I got trapped in an underwater room of coral. Mike and I were almost swept out to sea while snorkeling in the deep. We were hijacked by a hustler in the market at 11 p.m. Marijuana smoke is everywhere ~ you catch the scent on the breeze like incense from a headshop. We took an 18 mile bicycle trip in the blue mountains, then refreshed ourselves in a pool beneath a waterfall. We saw a rock fight between two men. A voodoo house in the mountains was shiver-inducing divine. The coffee is magnificent and women pick it at $9 per 90 pound crate, a day's work. For retirement, people just "go to the bush" ~ go live in the mountains under a tree. School is not free for children. I didn't talk politics much at all, but met some Dutch people who told me everyone in Holland thinks George Bush planned 9/11. There is no real milk, all powdered. No cream. Butter is rare. We ate a dozen rock lobsters from a fisherman's beach while wasted Rastafarians snugged in the roots of a huge tree nodded and smiled at us. Ginger beer is addictive. Fried plantain dumplings are luscious. I love Jamaica. My son is precious. Sadly, I have to work now. Can't wait to catch up with all of you.

Labels: ,