Sunday, January 28, 2007


Off to swim with the manatees, kayak the rivers and the ocean, dig my toes in the sand.


I can't get over Ted Kennedy's righteous rant

I keep watching it over and over. It's a nice break from Donnie Davies. I really had not had that much exposure to Kennedy and I am impressed by his passion on the part of regular folks.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

"Pastor Donnie Davies" exposed

The "God Hates Fags" pastor Donnie Davies has been exposed as Dallas actor Joey Oglesby. His photo (definitely him) and more info at Joe.My.God. It will be interesting to find out what Oglesby's up to with all of this.

In a world where the Westboro Baptist Church keeps a website called God Hates Fags, his hateful video did not seem farfetched. Nice that it was a hoax. Maybe some light to moderate haters were disgusted enough to reconsider their views?

That repulsive photo from Simon at Before I Forget. Thank you, Simon!!

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The new BFF

Thirty days of Boot Camp officially ends tomorrow and it's been a success. I've gone to the gym every day with only a few exceptions. I am feeling much more like myself pre-hiatus and have found my motivation and desire to get after it on a daily basis. I'm delighted. A week on the beach is the reward for success, after which Nutritional Boot Camp commences.

I have a new BFF at the gym, the Stairmaster 1650 LE Crossrobics something. It's a monster, harder than hell to get on, but it makes for a kickass workout. It's kind of like a combination stairmaster with weights, a lunge/step kind of thing, but with no weight on the knees. Big clanky weights shooting up to the right of me, legs churning away at the end of me, hands gripping the holds, all in a reclining position, it's quite something, a big butch machine that will surely make a difference.


I love this man!

I fell in love when he started hollering in the midst of this video from C-SPAN-2. Amendments worth $200 billion to corporations, small business, education, but not $2.15 for the poorest working people?

"What is the price that you want from these working men and women? . . . Seventy more amendments to add to the minimum wage bill before voting. . . . Do you have such disdain for hard working Americans that you want to pile all your amendments on this? . . . What is it about this that drives you Republicans crazy. What is it?"

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Friday, January 26, 2007

But on a happier note

After writing out that ugliness below, I feel renewed, so here's something fun, though not work safe. Friend Leslie and I have been sending Monk-E-Mail to each other. They are hysterical, truly, and the monkeys will say anything you want and they know all the bad words. Like this one. And this one.

They're addictive, and they're here: Monk-E-Mail

UPDATE: This just in from Leslie. I am dying in a happy way.


I did it again: a rant

There's this thing that I do. I'm not sure of the precise mechanics of it, but I somehow turn normal friendly interactions into something unpleasant. Of course I have a case in point or I'd not have had such a restless night.

A little background: Freight trucks come to my warehouse to carry things away to customers. I am a friendly, sociable, outgoing person. I have befriended (or be-acquaintanced) a number of the drivers. They say "hello MissLynette" and I say "hello there honey!" Like that. I am nice, southern, happy. I can't keep it all inside.

The former driver for the company I use most called me his Sunshine and said it made his day to come by the shop. He would asked me about my church (isn't one) and then he'd shake my hand and give me a one-armed hug and tell me it always did his heart good to come to my place to see me. My guys teased me about him having a crush. That sweet old man retired and was replaced by Kendall. Kendall is a country boy from Little Dixie. He has a fine southern accent and he's friendly, sociable, outgoing, just like me.

The guys in my shop tease me about Kendall having a little crush. I like him. I started liking him more after the mid-term elections when I found out he was a lifelong Democrat. I was happily surprised, because country boys from around here, like Kendall, despite being mostly working men, tend to be Republican. They tend that way because of guns and immigration and because Glenn Beck and Rush tell them what to think and mislead them as to why their economic lives have become stagnant and things are harder now than they were before. Those multimillionaire entertainers tell these country boys that the problem is not corporate owned government, rather it's that guy swimming the Rio Grande at 3:00 a.m., it's the feminazi mayor, the welfare queens.

But back to it: I found out he was a Democrat post-midterms after someone ripped down and set fire to my "Yea Democrats!" signs on the sidewalk in front of the shop. They were copies of a photoshopped George Bush facing down a muscular and heroic looking donkey, with the words HEE HAW beneath. And yes, they did stay up a bit long and true, I've got a lot of windows and thus a lot of signs. Hee haw.

So my boy's a Democrat. He comes by a couple of times a week. He hangs out, calls me his "shade tree," meaning he likes to drop by and visit when he's got some time to kill. He tells me all about his Democratic views and we agree on so many things, and then he says that the one thing he doesn't agree with is "the races mixin, ah just don think it's raaat." (This after he came in to find me kissing my biracial grandson goodbye.) We discussed. He has his wrong view, I have mine. I am a hot-head and a reactionary but I can also accept different views. We're okay.

Somehow, somehow, how the hell does this happen? All of this somehow led him to believe that he could start telling me jokes. At first they were just typical dirty jokes which, being a reformed popular girl, I can laugh at with the best of the rednecks. I don't mind being one of the boys, hell I am one of the boys most days.

I guess that's where I went wrong, I giggled a little, more out of a wish to make him feel comfortable than an appreciation of the "humor" in his slightly, and then increasingly, off color jokes. In retrospect, I should have drawn myself up sharply and shown him the door, made him feel like an idiot. Should have.

He brought up Hillary yesterday and I said what I always say, that I think she'd be a kickass president and maybe she can convince the rest of the country in the next year or two, and it's probably time for a woman, and everything else I say when I know we're going to disagree.

His response had little to do with Hillary. Nope, he had to launch into his assessment of women in general. Women have their place, you know. That place is not in the church, or in the schools, except as teachers, that's okay. Ain't no place for a female cop or judge. They don't need to be doctorin' or teachin' at the universities, no sir, and there just ain't no way a woman can ever be president. A good woman has got her place, you know.

I asked what place that might be and he said "wayull, as a good waaaaf and a good mother, that's a woman's place." I said "what about women who aren't married, don't have kids?" I was interested because I only accidentally got married, was content shacking up, and never wanted, never had kids. "Wayull, that's what women are for. The Bible says so." This is the same shit I used to get from those Eagle Forum witches who would face us down at the ERA rallies. Find a man and get married. Fulfill your destiny.

But his discourse on the proper place for women in the world turned into this: "You know when God gave women that split down there, all their brains fell out." Followed by: "You know if women didn't have good pussy, there'd be a bounty on 'em. They ain't of no use but for that."

Somehow I allowed our relationship to get to this point. Some excess of friendliness, a little too much laughter, not enough attitude. In the shrink's office, this would be called a "boundary issue." But sometimes I think it's just the same old tired male-female crap that is, was, and ever shall be, and it makes me mad. My husband said "well honey, he's just a dumb old country boy, he doesn't know how to relate to a smart, educated woman with drive and ambition. He's probably never been around someone like you before." (Sweet Mike's just trying to make me feel better, not putting down my country sisters.)

But Mike confirmed what I know, because he's heard them all before among the contractors he used to work with, out at American Airlines, at Saber, at UTC. I know it in my gut and I just keep it put away, else it's intolerable to interact with them, these others, these men.

This is how men talk about women when they're together and comfortable with each other. It's just what they do. It's probably what they're doing, all of the old guys who gather in the barber shop next door. When they smile and wave at me through the window, they've probably just finished telling some horrible joke about the general worthlessness of women, but ain't a good piece of pussy worth keeping one around?

That is what has me sitting here crying at 6:30 in the morning. It makes me so angry and it hurts. I don't even want to look at them. How can he, how can they, tell these jokes and not feel a little sick inside? If a man can say that to anyone and not feel really, really bad about it, what is wrong with him?

I feel like I've lost my bearings and have once more been slapped with a reality that's so ugly. They're just jokes, I know that. I do have a sense of humor. But how can a man tell those jokes without there being just a little bit of him that agrees with what it's saying? I can tell dirty jokes, sexy jokes, if I can remember them long enough. Those aren't the same, though. There's no hate in them. I can't tell racist jokes or homophobic jokes or jokes that imply women are of no consequence except as a step up from jacking off.

I don't want to have to change myself in order to prevent this kind of crap. We have done that all our lives. We still do it. Don't let him, don't encourage him, don't wear that, say that, look that way. Don't invite it, don't allow it happen, make him stop. I want to be able to just be myself without this shit coming up. I want to be able to listen to a joke about Viagra without that leading to "jokes" about hate and anger and the diminishment of women.

More than anything I want to believe that this really isn't every man, that this ugliness isn't lurking beneath the surface of the men I love, of the ones I care for, of the friendly old guys at the barber shop, the ones who drop by to chat and who always call me sweetheart. I want to believe that but today I can't.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Really funny if it were not so sadly true

Not work safe . . .

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

So on a happier note

Boot Camp continues successfully. Eating better, drinking more water, getting ready for the beach next week. I picked up a copy of AARP magazine(!) at the gym and found some really great stuff. Can't wait until I'm old enough to subscribe in . . . oh, about another five months. Sigh.

There's an article in the Jan-Feb 2007 issue discussing a book by Daniel Goleman Ph.D., author of 1995's Emotional Intelligence. His new book, out soon, is called Social Intelligence.

Goleman suggests that our brains are interlooped and interconnected and that one brain will take its cues from another. He says "The brain itself is social ~ that's the most exciting finding. One person's inner state affects and drives the other person. We're forming brain-to-brain bridges, a two-way traffic system, all the time. We actually catch each other's emotions like a cold."

He continues by saying "If we're in toxic relationships with people who are constantly putting us down, this has actual physical consequences." By the same token, positive interactions prompt the body to secrete oxytocin, which boosts the immune system and decreases stress hormones generated by negative interactions.

I really like this, maybe because it confirms what I've long suspected (though not in those scientific terms). It is natural to take on a little of the feeling when someone we love is feeling blue. It's natural, too, to pick up on the excitement and joy of those closest to us.

It also explains to me that absolute joyous transcendant experience that sometimes occurs on a crowded dance floor at 3:00 a.m., and it explains how seeing someone crying and in pain can bring me down. Goleman says "It is critical that we stop treating people as objects or as functionaries who are there to give us something. This can range from barking at telephone operators to the sort of old-shoe treatment that long-term partners often use in relationg to each other (talking at, rather than to, each other). We need a richer human connection."

Goleman blames technology for a breakdown in this necessary rich communication, quoting T. S. Eliot on the television: [The television] permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.

Let's all turn off the TV, look at each other and smile. It's infectious, happiness, and despite the existence of folks like that miserable Donnie Davies, there's more good in this world than bad, and more love than hate. My brain's sending out love signals today. Hope yours is too.

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I have something cheery to say (that post up above), but since YouTube took down the absurd and hateful Donnie Davies video telling us all how "God hates fag," I wanted to provide another link to it for purposes of prayer. Or sending ugly thoughts, whichever. If you've the stomach for it, or if you just want to pray for this man who I suspect will be headed to the hot place, you can find the video below on the website of the alleged band, Evening Services.

This guy just can't have any brains. On his MySpace page, he writes this:

"Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Video on MySpace

Well friends, YouTube took down the video that Evening Service and I have worked so hard on. I don't know what hurts more; being censored because of my message or people making fun of my weight. Hopefully MySpace believes in freedom of expression more than Google does. Maybe China isn't the only country Google is censoring. ;-)

Spread the Word
Keep the Faith

Donnie D.

ps. If any of ya'll post the video anywhere else please tell us

Yes, I added the emphasis. It is sadly ironic that he's whining about his hurt feelings because of comments made about his weight, but he looks at the camera and says "if you're a fag, He hates you too." I figure he's got an IQ of about 65.

A link here is surely not what this sinner had in mind, but if you want to see the sniveling pudgy pink-shirted Donnie Davies tell you what God thinks, in direct contradiction to His insistence that we love one another, here you go. It's called The Bible Says on this website.

I had to email him. My office manager's out sick and I'm having to deal with email. I hate it and would much rather dick around, especially when I'm in a snit as I was yesterday. So I sent the cretin an email.

How can you make a video that says "if you're a fag, He hates you too?" How can you do that, to gays, to God? I am so ashamed to be a Christian and think that you imagine yourself one too.

lynette sxxxxxn

< > wrote:
I am so sorry your conviction as a Christian is so flimsy to every say "I am ashamed to be a christian". Please have more resolve. The message is clear, love thyself, Lynette.

Donnie D.

what? I couldn't just let it alone . . .

You don't understand. I am ashamed to be a Christian if YOU profess yourself to be a Christian and yet make a video saying "if you're a fag, He hates you too," and "God hates fags."

How can you do that? Especially in light of this?

Matthew 22:36-40

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.



No response thus far. Hmmmm, maybe because there is no response. I have to fight the angry bad girl in me who wants to really fuck with this man. Houston's not that far.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Giving God a bad name

Comes this cocksucker, a "reformed" homosexual, urging the jailing of homosexuals and confirming that God indeed does hate His gay children. This makes me ill and does no service to the Creator or Christians. Unbelievable.

This unhappy news courtesy of Joe.My.God who broke my heart when he posted this today.

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Monday, January 22, 2007


Ouch. I read a post this morning at Angry Fat Girlz that reminded me of the times I've gone out of my way to sabotage the weight loss efforts of another.

I think of Cheryl, who lived across the hall from me in 1980. She was a very heavy, socially isolated woman and not someone I'd have become friends with under normal circumstances. We became eating out and flea market buddies due to proximity and shared interest, or was it an ugly need to have someone around to bolster my own fragile self esteem? It's hard to think I could actually have had these thoughts, but I felt vastly superior to her in so many ways. I was relatively thin (for me), prettier, more hip, cool, slick, lots of boyfriends, lots of experience, worldly. I was a snotty little asshole and I was horrified at my own state of fatness ~ 160 pounds ~ and dieted constantly.

The only time I ever saw her start to exercise and control her eating, I went out of my way to ensure that she'd not continue. I offered to pay for lunches out, I baked cookies, I encouraged her to go shopping rather than stick with her exercise plan. What the hell was wrong with me? I hate that behavior now. Was I so miserable then that I needed the failure of another to make me feel better. How utterly pathetic.

I repeated the same kinds of behaviors a few years later with Sherri. I had another very competitive relationship with another Sherry earlier in life. As I'm writing this, I'm looking back and thinking this was a pattern of behavior until I got sober. But wait, after sobriety, there was LeeAnn. Yuck. This is ugly.

So it should be over, yes? And it is, because overt sabotage would never occur to me these days. I encourage everyone I meet to pursue their happy-making path, whatever that might be. And still, when I see someone who's lost a great deal of weight, the light in my soul blinks once, twice, and there's a flush of envy.

An ugly feeling, envy, and again, why? I've lost weight too. Why be envious of another's success? This is a crazy thing and something I'll be thinking through today. I don't like to see this in myself and I'm really unhappy thinking there's any part of me that would revert to sabotage or delight in the failure of another.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pounds, Camp, Stew, Fennel

Blah. It's gray. It's cold. I'm whining. Bitching. I'm sick of the screeching eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sound resonating in my brain from the poor pitiful chorus of me, so enough of that.

Boot camp continues and all is well. Lost another 1.5-2 pounds (not sure, changed scales) this week. Eating more than I probably should, working out every day.

A few years ago I found an old recipe for a stew that was divine. I lost the recipe, of course, and couldn't remember anything about it except that it had beef, rosemary, fennel, and was called "liquid gold."

The internet is a wonderful thang, because a recent search turned up the recipe and I whipped it up this afternoon. It is as luscious as I remember and not bad on calories. I could sniff fennel all day long. Yum.

Here ya go . . .

Rosemary Beef Stew

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 lb. beef round or chuck steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced diagonally
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 medium fennel bulbs, fronds removed, cut into thin wedges
2 1/2 to 3 cups beef broth
1 cup frozen small whole white onions

1. In shallow pan, mix together flour, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Toss in flour mixture to coat thoroughly; shake in strainer to remove excess flour.

2. Heat nonreactive Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cook beef in batches 4 to 6 minutes or until browned, adding additional oil as needed. Place beef in bowl.

3. Increase heat to high. Add wine; bring to a boil. Boil until reduced by half, stirring to scrape up browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven.

4. Stir in tomatoes, celery, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Stir in mushrooms, fennel and beef. Add enough broth to cover mixture.

5. Cover; simmer 45 minutes. Add onions; continue simmering 30 to 45 minutes or until beef is tender.

6. Stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary; simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Place stew in freezer container; cool. Cover and freeze. Twenty-four hours before serving place container in refrigerator to thaw. Reheat on stove top or in microwave until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

8 servings

PER SERVING: 235 calories, 7.5 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 27.5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 60 mg cholesterol, 760 mg sodium, 3.5 g fiber

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Boot Camp continues

We were at last able to chip away enough ice to get a vehicle out of the driveway. Boot Camp continues with the elliptical, upper body workout and crunches.

Tony at EvilGanome wrote a marvelous post about working out, body image, mid-life changes. It's exceptionally well written and it's here in a post called Working Out. I love hearing the male perspective on body image and fitness, and his take is inspiring, funny, poignant. It's a great piece.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Another frigid day in Boot Camp

First, I must extend an apology to those who were adversely affected by Saturday's post. I realize it was out of the ordinary and not for the squeamish and possibly should have included a warning to that effect. It will be a while before I write about the others, so we're back to Boot Camp today.

Or what passes for Boot Camp. We have been iced in since Friday afternoon. We ventured forth on foot to the warehouse on Sunday, again yesterday, but it is like a skating rink out there and showing no signs of melting. The gym has been closed and the cars are stuck. We don't do slick down here because it so rarely happens. No snow plows, only a little salt and sand which sinks into the ice and vanishes with the slight melt, freezing again to create a perfectly slick, smooth surface for the next day.

I couldn't skate down to the shop scale this week so I used the one at the house and it looks like two pounds are gone. That's a wonder because this kind of weather makes me feel like a bear preparing for hibernation. What can we fucking eat next???

Hoping to dig out and get to the gym today. It's supposed to be two degrees, which is an absurd temperature. Crankiness and restlessness prevail at our house. No sign of it changing. How all of you northerners (normally) handle this kind of weather, I'll never know. I completely understand why women on the prairie went wild and axed their families into little pieces in winter.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Do you see them?

I went to the hospital on an icy, wintry day as a courtesy to Cherokee County. Everyone wanted the justice center to respond to the ugliest cases, high profile, deaths, hideous sexual abuse. No one wants those cases, they stay with you, can change you permanently. This was an easy one, just documentation of having seen the injuries, then a report to the referring county. Meet the state standard of seeing the child.

I took a detective from child crisis with me as backup to help document what we were told was a shaken baby. No parents in evidence, just one very pale, fragile four month old child lying on the bed hooked to machines which breathed for her, plumped her with fluids, drained urine.

A tracery of blue veins outlined her swollen head and coalesced into immense bruises on her cheek, under her chin, left ear, the top of her tiny skull. Her eyes were surrounded with the darkest blue and red, contusions and blood pooling, a shock against that translucent skin. A bulge at the top of her head where her soft spot should have been spoke of a swollen brain and bad news for this infant.

I can't forget her skin, it was like silk, no pores, perfect, and exceedingly pale. Where it was not silk, it was scuffed and torn and reddened, but all of it softening in color even as we stayed with her, evidence of her slipping away, a tiny heart slowing, giving up. A huge purple bruise covered her belly and her right side, her belly button oddly white in the middle of that darkness, like the moon in a black night sky.

Her right leg was wrapped, all that could be done for the fracture there given her other injuries. Her arms, shoulders, back, belly, between her tiny thighs, all battered with bruises evident and still coming to the surface eight hours after she was found. Yellowing bruises and brown petechiae told us this massive trauma was not her first experience with pain and suffering.

I can't get the sight of her toes out of my brain, maybe never will. I see them right now as I'm writing this. The tips were like pearls, tiny and round; they were exquisite little toes with perfect pink nails and they were bitten nearly through.

It took us a few minutes to figure it out, lifting them one after the other, looking at the tops, at the undersides, then suddenly the line of imprints from an adult's teeth made sense and like an optical illusion, once in view could not be missed again, it was all we could see, all I ever see when I look at a child's feet. Tooth marks in a dying baby's skin.

I wonder if she felt any pain at that point. She never made a sound, never gave any indication of feeling our hands as we documented her injuries, putting black pen to white paper to make a word picture of the black bruises on that porcelain skin, such a futile effort and so hard because how can you write a scream?

How can you write "contusion 1.9 cm x 3 cm left knee" when the only conceivable response to this travesty is a moan of horror, a scream of grief, a murderous bellow of rage? There are no words for this beyond cliches. It's what cliches were made for, to put into words the unspeakable because the mind can't construct fresh sentences faced with something like this.

Mom said that she had always been able to revive the baby upon finding her unconscious at home after getting off work. Always had until tonight. A little cold water bath brought her around every time. She couldn't understand why this happened, her boyfriend was a good man.

Mom left this tiny and fragile infant in the care of her new boyfriend as punishment for his laziness. She was resentful at being the only one working, and figured he could babysit to help out. Each of the previous five times she had revived this child, she had exacted his promise never to hurt her again. She told no one, fearful her baby would be taken away, confident of his promises, having to work, feeling she had no other options but still, wanting to punish him for his failure.

As young men will, he got bored and restless. They were desperately poor and thus had no cable, no video games, he wasn't one to read. No money to go out, no real friends to come by with some beer. No car, nothing there besides a little meth and a little pot and a baby.

He was bored, frustrated, resentful. He amused himself with the baby. He threw her over his head and sometimes didn't catch her. He slammed her into the wall out of frustration. He held her under water to feel her struggle and fight. He choked her. He shook her in his rage, he violated her tiny vagina, he bit her labia and broke her leg, kicked her in the belly and ruptured her bowel, bruised her liver. He tickled her toes then nearly bit them off. He was bored, he said, a little angry being left with a child, but mainly bored.

I can only think that mom revived this baby five times, tried and failed this last time, but how many nights was this child left with a sadistic man and tortured in this way but not to the point of unconsciousness. She had been having "funny bruises" for about a month, mom said. Bruises in odd places, like her back, her thighs. "Kids bruise easy, everyone in my family does." Kids bruise easily on shins and elbows because they walk and run and play, but infants don't bruise unless someone hurts them.

He's locked up now, got eight years for murdering this infant. Mom did no time except what will stay forever in her head, doing time, seeing herself as a victim of a system that has no understanding for her complicity in the death of a child. Doing time somewhere in her heart and soul for allowing the murder of her baby. He's doing eight years. Eight years for murder. Eight.

And I am doing time in a way, living a good life now, free of the need to deal with shit like this. But I can't get them out of my head or my heart. These tortured children remain with me though I no longer wake with a start, wondering if this one or that one survived the night, if I did the right thing in sending her home, if it was necessary to remove that group of five siblings, was there another choice, could I have done more? Could any of us have saved this baby before that last fatal night with that monster?

It's too much to think about and so I don't most days. It's big drama and it feels selfish to revisit those small battered bodies, the agony of it all, the hopelessness, revisiting my pain, my memories, the visions in my head when the babies are long since buried. My my my my my. It wasn't about me, but they are dead now for years and I have the memories and the memories won't leave me.

I work in my warehouse, sell my antiques, live on the superficial and pleasant level of helping well off people find nice things for their homes. There is no drama, no life or death questions, just home furnishings and friendly encounters with people who just have to have a new desk or chair or table.

And then it snows and the pure white of the snow reminds me of a battered infant on a winter day, of the other children maimed and tortured and killed by those who are supposed to love them, and I think there's a stain on this world evident if we just look closely enough.

Look at the sad, worn out eyes of the children in the grocery store, at that angry mother with the pinpoint pupils, the little boy with bruises on his neck, the girl with stringy hair and dead eyes making herself small to keep anyone from seeing. Look, please. They are everywhere. Tell me I'm not going mad and that you see them too.

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Boot Camp, Ice Camp

Tiny little ice balls have been falling from the sky for 24 hours. Wet cold and gloomy skies make me want to eat stew, drink hot chocolate, peppered cornbread, cookies. There's something in me that wants to hibernate and shut down and pull the covers over my head when it gets this cold and we're trapped in the house.

Nevertheless, we slipped out to the gym and forged ahead with boot camp. Did an extra cardio workout to make up for the fact I'll probably not be able to get out again for the weekend. Have done something wretched to my knee, so did not do my lower body weights. Crunches. Ugh. Thirty of them.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Miserable bastards

I wish I could execute every miserable motherfucker who takes a dog and chains it up and leaves it. I love my dogs so and their needs for companionship and interaction and play are so obvious if you pay even the tiniest bit of attention. I can't steal every dog left this way and it and breaks my heart. I'm stealing a dog today, though. I know the chances are that this soulless bastard will just get another one, but I can't stand seeing this dog's misery any longer.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Boot Camp Day 13 almost got away

Just to keep momentum, here to report that all went well at the gym, eating healthy, not enough water. Fuck! I feel like I'm drowning, and still not enough. Headache won't quit, worked too much, off to bed. It was fabulous reading the responses from yesterday and I am happy to know I'm not alone as there are so many like me.

My inspiration for that post, David, dropped by to say this, which just confirms that he is charming and sweet and good: . . . Third, I think I agree with your assessment that people are born with a certain temperment. While yours can lead to addiction, it also leads to an adventurous spirit and an ability to stand up to authority. While traditional vices hold little sway for me, I must be coaxed to draw outside the lines, take risks or challenge the status quo. I probably would have come out a decade earlier if I had your spirit.

I guess it's a trade-off. The grass is always greener, so revel in the gorgeous wild grassland of yourself and I will try and enjoy the meticulously manicured lawn of my own.

So there you go. All y'all vice-riddled sisters and brothers of mine, revel in your gorgeous wild selves; and the rest of you so admirably disciplined souls, enjoy your meticulously manicured wonderful lives.

Nighty night, folks. Ice is headed our way and the last time it hit us, we were without power for several days. We're tucking into our featherbeds and hoping it misses us.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Boot Camp Day 12 wherein we consider vices

All is well in this world, went to the gym, did my thing. Very sore for some reason, probably because I really pushed it on the double sets to catch up with my cute little husband.

I've been thinking about something David wrote, at Someone in a Tree. David's a good man, talented, creative, disciplined, Jewish, gay. There is much to admire about him, including the fact that he successfully does yoga nude and I can barely do yoga clothed. Then he posted about his vices, or the lack thereof, and it's been on my mind ever since I read it.

Do you have vices? I am literally awash in vices, though most are held in abeyance one day at a time. If I take a look back at my early '20s, before I sobered up at 25, I was the vice queen. Drinking, a few pills now and then, men, so many men, gambling, cussing, bingeing, shopping and even more unsavory acts I'll not go into here. The only vices I've never adopted are smoking, and not for lack of trying, and porn.

So since I read David's post about vices , I've been thinking about the differences in folks and why they occur. David's a good Jewish boy. I'm a good Lutheran girl, or at least I was good until I wasn't anymore. He's very well educated, I am reasonably so. Smart, talented, creative, nice family ~ check on both sides.

I would say that it's something that happened in life to force me off the wholesome path, but there was no real trauma in my life until about 10 or 11. Yet I remember lying in bed in 3d grade, listening to my little green transistor radio playing Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth, dreaming of running away to Haight Ashbury. How crazy is that? I was practically an infant. From my earliest memory, though, I wanted to be bad. Not in a way harmful to others, but I wanted excitement and danger and the night. With reluctant sister and friends, I was sneaking out the bedroom window at 3:00 a.m. to dance in the moonlight even in 1st grade. The thrill of the unknown, the silent city, being free and afoot under the stars was addictive.

An AA speaker I heard years ago summed it up well. He told the story of his first drink, walking into a dimly lit bar, a rough place, full of smoke and packed with people drinking, many of them drunk. He grabbed a stool and a whiskey and with the first drink felt instantly at home, more so than he'd ever felt anywhere in his life. He'd found his place and his people.

That feeling of being at home on the wild side, of always feeling a little like this wholesome path I stay on these days is someone else's path, has never gone away despite 24 years of sobriety and almost that many of being a good citizen.

I'm thinking I was born with vices or with the potential for them. There always seemed to be something just not quite right, a little piece missing on the inside of me. That I am relatively vice-free these days is evidence of having met up with a higher power which filled that void.

And still some days I feel the echo of my old urge for the wrong side of the law, a little not so nice, a little less goodness, more hell for leather, bar the door living. I think it's how I'm made and I can live with it, but I am a little envious of those who have no such urges. Do you have vices?

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

On the 11th day of Boot Camp . . .

The Belle met the Gravitron again and the Gravitron almost won. I survived and whipped its ass, though, so all is well. Ran fast for 30 minutes on the elliptical, did an intense upper body workout and three sets of 25 crunches. Splitting up my weight routine has changed my life and my attitude about the gym.

On this second anniversary of my abandoning the real work world to become solely self employed, I am grateful to be able to just take off and go to the gym when I want without having to hurry or worry about a boss getting mad. Only thing I have to worry about is that the workers will dick around and they do. Oh well, can't have it all, but getting the gym done early feels pretty close.

I think I was a cactus in a previous life. I am having major trouble chugging water. Don't know if it's the cold or if I was a prickly thing in the 1800s, but today I will drink at least 64 ounces of real water in addition to my 32 ounces of coffee and two shakes.

This morning's moon was just about half of its former glory, distant, cool, but still beautiful.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Boot Camp Day 10

Having recovered from the Assault of the Testicles, it was a day of rest. I'd have gone to the total body class for a workout if I'd not screwed around instead of working. Have a truck full of furniture coming in today to unload, move into the warehouse. Back to the gym whether the treasures are sitting on the sidewalk or lying in the street. Me first, everything else next. Sounds so selfish, but it's so necessary.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Boot Camp Still

Another great day in Camp ~ all is well. Having had testicles bouncing in my face for nearly 80 miles on I-40, I am otherwise speechless except to say that I'm down 1.5 pounds this week. A little disappointing, but likely attributable to enormous exertion, water retention, etc. etc. etc. All is well. Hope so with you too. Truck nuts. Crimifuckinitly.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007


Don't get me wrong, I love my people. I love the south and 96% of everything about it. I adore the way we talk, our kindness, our sassiness, our collective sense of humor. I love southern food, southern ways, the southern sense of honor. I love our lush landscape, our architecture and lack thereof, our tortured writers of gothic tales and the fact that we stick our lunatics right out on the front porch for everyone to see. I detest the stereotypical southerner's bigotry and am thankful that, in reality, it's not nearly so common as yankees believe. Neither is our generally presumed stupidity as pervasive as the stereotypes would lead one to believe. And there is nothing on this earth as fine as a ripe tomato sandwich on white bread with Miracle Whip(yes, Miracle Whip).

I drive a Mini and a Dodge Ram Pickup and I love them both. Heading to auction yesterday evening in the Mini, I encountered one of my people, actually a whole gaggle of them, encased in an immense Dodge Ram Dually with extended cab and bed. It was a monster of a truck. Driving a truck myself, I do not, of course, judge truck people. I need mine for my business and assume that Joe Willie in his big green monster needed his for something.

What I judge is this:

And I can only ask why. Why would a man hang testicles off the back of his bigass truck? I wouldn't hang a rubber vagina off my little Mini Cooper. Do I need to see dangling testicles as I'm speeding down the road. All due respect, testicles aren't the most attractive of body parts. There's a reason God made men to wear pants and that's to minimize any chance exposure of these unattractive objets to the world at large. Cover them up. They can be great fun, but please don't hang them off your bumper. Don't. Just . . . don't. Please.

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Boot Camp Day 8

Another good day with the elliptical, upper body workout and crunches. I tried something new at the gym called the Gravitron. It's a pull-up chin-up dip something machine which was manufactured by Stairmaster until just recently. I have a new friend!

I've never been able to do pull-ups even though I can lift really heavy things ~ armoires, huntboards, pallets of furniture, giant foundation stone rocks for my garden. As a child, I'd just dangle straight down from the bar, arms trembling, unable to manage even the beginning of a pull-up and I was a relatively petite little thing. Couldn't climb that miserable giant gym rope, either, that big rough stickery horror dangling from the center of the gym so everyone could watch (or not) the progress of the climbers. I don't know what it is about dangling from my arms, but it is just not possible for me to dangle and move.

So when I did 60 pull-ups assisted by the magical Gravitron yesterday, it was quite thrilling and a kickass workout. Of course to accomplish this, the machine had to adjust my weight to 54 pounds but it takes what it takes, or so they say. We have to start somewhere and so I'm starting at about what, second grade? Here's my new buddy:


Friday, January 05, 2007

Boot Camp Day 7

Not as easy on the elliptical as yesterday, but I slacked off on water and that really makes a difference in how my muscles work. Ran through a fast lower body routine because my pumpkin's feet were suffering and the guys at the shop were just standing around. Nevertheless, got six separate routines with 3 sets of 15 on each and in each case worked to exhaustion. Crunches are getting harder at 20, we'll see how it goes today.

No moon to speak of, too misty. I love a single gray day or, perhaps, two. But in the cold wet wind I am thinking of the warmth of Mazatlan. The little deaf dog is sitting on my lap on a velvet blanket. My Mexican coffee is scenting the house. I have seven days back on track and I am happy.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Boot Camp Day 6

Another kickass day at the gym. So amazing. I love this body! Despite years and years of abuse it just keeps going. It's a good body and it loves me dearly, would just like it if I'd be a little nicer to it. Actually, I've been pretty nice to it last year and a half, and I think the shocking response I'm seeing at the gym is evidence of that.

So the shocking response is this: Friday was my first day back on the elliptical in months. I think I had a 3-4 day fit of exercise a month or so ago, but nothing sincere since late September/early October. At level four, my heart rate shot up to 145+ which at my age is over the top. Yesterday, I ran for 30 minutes at level eight and barely got above 125 there at the end. I had lightened weights on my upper body routine and yesterday had to add weight to get a good workout. My blood pressure was 130/70 Friday and the last two days it's been 110/60.

I am shocked and grateful and moved by the concept that this body I've so abused, that faithfully carries me about throughout the day, really wants to be fit and healthy and strong. Despite anorexia and bulimia and drugs as a teenager, drinking every day from 18-25, compulsive eating, bulimia, compulsive eating, massive weight gain, starvation, massive weight loss, weight gain, loss, gainlossgainlossgainloss, despite all of that, it just keeps going and responds so well to my efforts. What a miracle. What a blessing!

So the gym was great. I got home to find my husband's ex-wife in my house. Less than delightful, but there it is. "I thought y'all were dead! The door was standing open! oh my God I was so worried!!!" Sow.

Have a lovely day y'all. I caught the rising moon through my library window last night. In my effort to try to pay attention to the small pleasures of life, I find the moon to be magnetic.

(Not my moon photos, but pix that look like what I'm seeing.)


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Boot Camp Day 5

Great day, went to the gym in the morning. Good time on the elliptical, which means that it wasn't a drag and completely agonizing and I could leave the timer uncovered because I didn't feel tortured by it. Yippee! Did my lower body workout, crunches, drank water, stuck to a healthy eating plan. All is well and that moon was back this morning, though not in mid-summer fat golden splendor. It was a bit higher, a bit more distant, less gold, more white, definitely a winter moon, but still magical.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Boot Camp Day 4

Yesterday was my one day a week off. I had kind of hoped to make it an on day but the gym was closed. I've planned my off days for Sunday, and I'll probably begin taking in the 3:00 p.m. total body class because it's fun and a kickass workout.

Got up early to walk the puppy and ran into the most incredible fat yellow moon hanging about a foot above the neighbor's house. It was pitch black out and frost had crisped the grass. I wasn't expecting to see a mid-summer country moon just around my corner. Little blessings everywhere.

Coming back to the house, I turned around from making coffee to find my very sedate old cat kissing the little deaf dog. Sweet little nose-touch kisses all over Betty's face while she held absolutely still. She was frozen in mid-step, her head cocked and her eyes closed while she allowed Mo's gentle touch. Amazing, and a sweet reminder to take life's pleasures where we find them.

I don't get up early. Maybe I need to. So far, 2007 is full of unexpected delights.

Off to the gym at 10. Drinking water is the order of the day.