Monday, May 9, 2011

What do Wal-Mart, poop and Joan Crawford have in common?

It's an age old question, really....the answer whispered upon the winds of time and scrawled in cryptic markings on cave walls and Egyptian pyramids.

Actually, its just three things that made me laugh recently.  Sorry to disappoint you.  There are no universal truths to be discovered here today.

But the whole laughing thing is significant to me because there hasn't been a whole helluva lot to laugh about lately it seems.

I mean this whole blog is just shit that is funny to me.  It may or may not be funny to you too, but I try not to worry too much about that.  However, it's hard to write about things that make you laugh when nothing's funny.

Sad, right?

I hate sad.  Life has just been WAY too serious lately.

Anyway, I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And this is partially attributable to an unsuspecting friend and, shockingly, the Ex-husband...two people who unintentionally made me laugh when I really really needed to laugh.

I'll start with the unsuspecting friend.  During the bin Laden drama that unfolded last week, he decided that it was the perfect time to watch "Mommy Dearest" and post quotes from the movie on Facebook.  I think probably because the Osama bin Laden thing was WAY too serious to deal with.  And because, really, bin Laden couldn't hold a candle to Joan Crawford.  Bin Laden did his nefarious deeds from thousands of miles away in the comfort of his own cave.  Joan Crawford attacked her children with hangers in her rose garden and got dirt on her dress in the process.  Joan wins.

So my friend's post sparks a, for instance, was Joan really at fault in the whole wire hanger thing?  Could she have been driven to it?  Anybody who has kids knows that it is more likely than not that Joan had told her children at least 500 times that they shouldn't have wire hangers in the closet.  And did they listen to her?  Of course not.  So she goes off the deep end.  But what if it hadn't been the wire hangers that put her over the edge?  What if had been, say, dirty tube socks left in the middle of the floor.  Would Joan be as infamous today if she had beat her kids over the head with dirty tube socks?  Would her daughter have been able to sell her book?

This was funny.  Or maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, it made me laugh.

The second oasis of laughter came at about the same time courtesy of the Ex-husband.  He drove down for the weekend to see the Princess's last softball game.  Since her birthday was coming up, we decided to get her a new TV and thought that we could go pick it out together in a rare instance of parental solidarity.  I voted to go to Best Buy.  He insisted on Wal-Mart.

I hate Wal-Mart.

I hate the way it smells.  I hate the way the customers smell.  I hate the way it's sticky.  I hate the way the customers are sticky.  I hate the blue vests.  I hate the long lines.  I hate the sad grey-ness of the place.  I hate their business practices.

But nooooooooo....he had to go to Wal-Mart.  "They have the best prices," he says.  "We'll be able to save some money," he says.

Now, let me remind you that I live on the San Francisco peninsula and the nearest Wal-Mart is, like, a gazillion miles away in Mountain View.  OK, at least 20 miles.  San Francisco hates Wal-Mart too.  Because we're all inherently snobs.

But we own it...our snobbiness.  And we're ok with it.  We look down our noses at Wal-Mart.  At least until Black Friday when they have ginormous plasma screen TVs for $19.99.

Anyway, for the sake of parental solidarity, I caved and we drove to Wal-Mart.

The whole way, I reminded him of how much I HATED Wal-Mart.  He knows I hate Wal-Mart.  He would laugh and say things like "I remember when you were a girl from Ohio who drank beer and shopped at Wal-Mart.  What happened to you?"


(And for the record, I love beer, but it makes me burp and nobody loves burpy girls.)

So we go to lunch and I have a glass of wine to steel my resolve.  And then we go to fucking Wal-Mart.

Of course, by the time we get there, I have to pee because I was drinking wine (as all good Northern Californians should) so I tell him that I have to stop in the restroom but to go ahead and start looking at TVs and I'll catch up.

And he looks at me and says, "Are you sure you want to do that?"

"Of course, " I say.  "How bad could it be?!  It's a Mountain View Wal-Mart for chrissake...the middle of fuckin' Silicon Valley!"

Famous last words.

I walked in to the women's restroom to this scene...

Large child of probably 2-3 years of age.  In the middle of the bathroom between the stalls and the sinks.  Pants around ankles.  Crying.  Bare ass hanging out.  Giant turd hanging from a large brown tail.  I didn't know kids could produce turds that big.  Seriously.

So I stifled a shriek, turned around and hightailed it out of the restroom.

I was on the verge of complete laughter-hysteria by the time I made it to the electronics section.  I grabbed the Ex's arm and tried to quietly explain what I had just witnessed.  He looked at me sadly and said, "Wal-Mart karma...serves ya right".

And I laughed until tears streamed down my face.

We bought a TV.  And it promptly broke 3 days after we set it up.  So now I have to take the piece-of-shit TV back to the only Wal-Mart on the peninsula 30 gazillion miles away.  Or 20...depending on my frame of mind.

But it may just be worth it because it made me laugh.

So thank you Joan and Wal-Mart for some much needed lightness in my life.

Sometimes you just never can tell where those bright moments are going to come from.  You just have to be thankful that they keep coming.

Update:  In case any of you were silently hating on me for finding hilarity in the lonely bathroom turd girl...please know that an adult-type figure was yelling reassuring utterances from a nearby stall.  Or at least I think she was a language I didn't understand.  Frankly, she could have been telling her to shut the hell up and I would not have known the difference.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is Jane...frozen in a stress-induced state of inactivity

I sat down on my couch tonight and couldn't move.  Do you know that point that you get to when you have so many things going on at one time that you can't think, can't move, can't function?

I'm so there.

So here I am wasting a few minutes blogging...something that has absolutely nothing to do with ANYTHING that I need to get done.  Go figure.

I decided that maybe if I started to put it into words, it wouldn't seem so overwhelming and I'd feel better. goes...

I'm moving a week from Sunday.

I have boxes piled everywhere.  I have a large number of boxes stacked around the doors to my balcony.  I can't use my balcony since it's been continuously under construction, so it seemed like a good place to stack boxes.  Today, I was just notified that the construction workers need to enter my apartment next week and I have to clear a two foot area around each door.  Are you kidding me?  I'm moving a WEEK FROM SUNDAY!  I'm seriously thinking about creating a wall around each door - with a two foot cleared area adjacent to the door, of course.

I have a paper due for school on Sunday....which I haven't started because I've been packing.  Come to think of it, I may have packed my school books.  Shit.

My daughter seems to have either a softball game or softball practice every day for the next two weeks.

I have to be out of town for 3 days next week to attend my grandfather's funeral.  Oh yah, did I forget to mention the death in the family?

Which means that I have to have everything packed up by next Wednesday.

And arrange the piano mover and the painter to return the apartment to "original condition" and change over the cable and electricity and all the other stuff that goes with moving.

And be kick-ass at work.

And deal with my mess of a personal life.  Things that should have been resolved long ago are still trying to figure out how to this perfect storm of shit.

No...this little exercise didn't make me feel any better.

So here I sit.  Frozen into inactivity.  Staring at American Idol.  Not really watching it.  Although I do kind of dig Steven Tyler's sparkly purple jacket.

I acknowledge that this isn't the least bit entertaining for you.  It's actually starting to stress me out a little more that I'm about to post something so fucking lame.  So I'm going to quit here.  Consider it your good deed for the day for listening to me vent for a minute or two.  It's good karma.

There is some consolation that the stress does not seem to be affecting the Princess.  She's sitting next to me on the couch, sipping sparkling cider out of our one unpacked coffee mug and laughing hysterically at Steven Tyler's sparkly purple suit.

It's good to be eleven.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toilets and Blog Awards (and is there really much difference?)

I've been sick.  Like laying-sprawled-out-on-the-bathroom-floor-with-a-bucket-and-a-crucifix sick.

It hit me like a piano on Wile. E. Coyote Monday afternoon.  One minute I was watching People's Court and cranking out work emails, and the next minute I...was...SICK.  (And - NO - snide commenters, it wasn't People's Court that made me sick.  I will hear no blasphemy against People's Court!)

I spent most of Monday night on the floor of my bathroom with, like, nine comforters, trying to keep warm and yet remain within hurling distance of the toilet.

And, man, I really need to clean behind the toilet.

I managed to crawl into bed sometime Tuesday morning, just in time for the construction workers to start drilling into the wall three feet from my bed.

Now I live in a newish building.  But for some reason the company that owns the building has decided that it was improperly constructed and is now rotting because of water damage and will probably fall in on itself during the next large wind storm so they need to demolish all of our balconies and rebuild them or something like that.

I don't understand it either.  I just know that every morning at 7:58, workers show up on the scaffold outside my bedroom and start pounding things and drilling things and yelling at each other in Spanish.

And I really wish that after four years of high school Spanish, I could understand more than "biblioteca" and "cerveza".  It could be so much more entertaining if I knew what they were yelling.  Or not.  Who knows?

It's hard to be pissed when you're sick, but I was pissed.  So I called the "resident liaison" for the apartment management company.

Me:  I am, really really sick.  And the workers are pounding on the walls and every time they pound on the walls I need to hurl again.  Can you please ask the workers if they can work on a different part of the building today?  Pleaaaaaaaaase.

Him:  Well, I'd like to be able to do that for you but we are on a very tight construction schedule.

Me:  Sir, I don't really give a shit about your construction schedule.  I only care that I'm sick and I want to be in my bed under exactly 19 blankets.  And I want it to be dark.  And I want it to be quiet.  Very very quiet.

Him:  I guess we could offer you one of our empty apartments in one of the other buildings.  It's furnished and it would be quiet there.

Me:  Um.  No, no.  I don't want to vomit in somebody else's toilet.  I want to vomit in MY toilet.

Him:  Oh.  Well, we're on a very tight construction schedule.

I hung up on him.  I buried my head under all 19 blankets, tried to ignore the chainsaw right outside my bedroom window, and dreamt of removing scaffolding screws.

I'm more or less back among the living, but because I had to pay my respects for many days to the porcelian goddess, I have not been able to properly respond to Suldog's "award".

Yes, Mr. "IHATEAWARDS" Suldog gave me a "Versatile Blogger" award or some shit.  I think he either ran out of things to write about or just really hates me.

Bad Award

Those of you who have been with me for awhile know that I'm not such a big fan of awards either.  I appreciate the sentiment, but, really, what's the point.  It's like proudly displaying your 4th place bowling trophy when there were only 4 teams.  

And I'm not versatile.  Versatile means to be able to do many things competently.  I can't even do one thing competently.

Well, except vomit.  I found out that I do that pretty well.

But because I find Suldog somewhat tolerable, I'll abide by some of his rules.  I think I had to link back to him (check), list some things about myself (see below), and pass the award to some other poor slobs (not gonna happen).

Random facts about Jane:

1.  I eat paste.
2.  When I was sick and delirious, I needed to call in my daughter's absence at school because she was in Portland with her dad and couldn't come home yet because I was too sick to go and get her at the airport and I so called and left a message on the absence line at her old elementary school instead of her current middle school and then acted all indignant when my ex called and asked why her school was calling him and saying that I didn't call.  I did call!  I just called the wrong school.  No fuckin' perfect attendance this year...thank gawd!
3.  A couple of weekends ago, I stretched out on the couch with a bag of take-out Tai food and watched five straight hours of "Pawn Stars".
4.  I know every word to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light".
5.  I think men will be totally attracted to me when they find out #4.

So, that's it.  

But I don't want to completely kill the award.  So I made a new one.  In honor of Sully's newish teeth.  

And I'm giving it back to Suldog.  Cuz I don't want this shit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jane punts...and scores a male counterpoint!

So about a week ago, my friend - we'll call him Tommy Traddles - emails me and says something like, "Hey, why no Jane lately?".  And I say, "Because I have school work to do and I can't write Jane until it's done."  And he says, "Screw school work.  Just subscribe to the 10-year grad school plan like I did."  And I say, "You're an idiot.  And if you want to read Jane so bad, why don't you effin' write it."  And he says, "Ok...I will".

And I thought, "Wow, that was easy.  Sucker!"

I also figure that, hey, even Johnny Carson let Joan Rivers fill in once in awhile.

So today Tommy is providing his male counterpoint to my Valentine's Day post.  I should tell you that Tommy and I have known each other since we were kids.  He has pictures of me in bat-winged shirts with rainbows plastered across the front and I have pictures of him sporting Jon Cryer hair.  He is also much more worldly than I, and can tell you all of the best places to go in Europe to drink and/or watch tranny prostitutes.  I keep him around as a friend for these reason specifically.

So, without further's Joan, er, I mean, Tommy...

After reading Jane's anti-Valentine's Day tirade, I realized that I could probably offer some advice that may help a few of you next year.  For the record, I've never been much of a fan of the holiday, nor have I ever been very good at relationships, although I think I may have stumbled on three key ideas that have helped me out during this tough season.

(1)  The first is the issue with settling.  We seem to be too picky when choosing someone to spend the day with.  Around mid-January, you should really lower your standards.  Issues that are typically show-stoppers, like a curable STD, chronic halitosis, chronic unemployment, or serious psychological issues should be overlooked at the start of the new year.  If the goal is to get some free candy, flowers, and not spend the evening with your cats on February 14th, start looking for next year's special person in new places.  Mr. Right may just be standing on the corner with the "Will Work for Food" sign you pass by every morning on the way to work.  On the 15th, stop returning calls and move.

(2)  The second issue is with communication.  I have always subscribed to the Homer Simpson theory that the problem with relationships is communication - too much communication.  I recently started dating someone who doesn't speak my language.  Adding to the magic is the fact that I don't speak hers'. Before you accuse me of being shallow and only concerned with her looks, let me explain that she does have an ass you can bounce quarters on.

Never mind, that was the shallow part.

The non-shallow part is that I am making an honest attempt to learn her language which really works out well because I do have to listen intently and nod my head every few minutes while I pretend to understand.  From a relationship perspective, she could have serious mental health issues, an irritating personality, or one of the other countless issues people have that cause relationships to end.  I just don't know about any of them, and it is wonderful.  As far as Valentine's Day is concerned, I would highly recommend attending English as a Second Language classes at the start of the New Year to help find that special someone.

(3)  The third issue is phoning it in.  There is really nothing wrong with half-assing something.  I have never been a big fan of the holiday.  Blah, blah, blah crass commercialization, etc., but in reality I am too lazy to actually but much effort into making any relationship work...however, I did learn at an early age that a minimum effort on the 14th typically results in some sexual reward.

I hope my three suggestions have helped some of you develop a game plan to make next year's Valentine's less painful.

I'll see you at the soup kitchen around January 2012.

Thanks TT.  I'm inherently lazy and I'm sure all four of my readers would love to hear more of your sage advice.

I'm thinking regular punt.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dear Valentine's Day, Suck it! Love & Kisses, Jane

Ahhh...Valentine's Day.

The holiday most likely to make you feel like an absolute, complete, total wretch.

Even if you are in a relationship, the expectation of the holiday is enough to drive anyone mad.  No matter what you do, it's never enough, is it?

And speaking as a female, it really is all about us.  Valentine's Day is a holiday where, you - the male - must bring us - the females - many presents.  You must make us feel beautiful and special and appreciated.  And face it, with only one day to work with and crazy expectations, only the power of magic Valentine fairies could make us feel beautiful and special and appreciated.

If you bring us chocolate, we won't eat it because it's fattening and will wish that you had given us flowers.  If you bring us flowers, we'll smile but then toss them in a day or two and wish that you had given us jewelry.  And if you bring us jewelry...well, maybe we actually will feel beautiful and special and appreciated...and you'll probably get laid.

And if you're single on Valentine's Day...oh holy hell.  You're faced with constant reminders on television, in the mall, in magazines, online and even in the grocery store of what a lonely loser you are.

Why has one day been set aside in the calendar year specifically to make everybody miserable?

I made the magnificent mistake the other day of watching the movie "Valentine's Day".  I wanted to stick my head in the oven halfway through.

Good thing I don't know how to turn on the oven.

But I'm coping.  I find that if I put on blinders and turn the cynicism up full blast, it makes it much easier.

Last week, I saw roses in the grocery store and felt sad.  Today, I saw roses in the grocery store and thought "what a crap gift...they'll be dead in a dumpster in two days".

Last week, I saw a happy commercial for some "real" couple who met on eHarmony and knew INSTANTLY that they were each other's sole mate and thought "awwww...that's sweet".  Today, I saw the same commercial and thought "I bet after they made that commercial they started having wicked fights about the fact that he only wants Kool-Aid instead of wine with dinner and won't move in with her because he would 'miss Mom'".

Last week, I saw a website that was featuring a stunning diamond necklace and thought "wow, that would be an amazing Valentine gift".  Today, I surfed by the same site and thought "wow, that would be an amazing Valentine gift".

Hey, everybody has a price.

I'm not completely alone in my cynicism.  The Princess has a crush on a 12-year old "older man", who apparently doesn't know that she is alive.  She saw the same flowers today in the grocery store and said "flowers are stupid".

We bumped fists.  Solidarity!

So on Valentine's Day, I'm going to grit my teeth, ignore the fuss and take the Princess out to dinner.

And maybe, just maybe, hope a little that there is love out there somewhere.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh, Marriott...say it ain't so...

Marriott International announced today that it plans to "phase out" adult pay-per-view movie options in its hotels worldwide.

And another one bites the dust.


If you haven't been following me for long, you probably are not aware that I believe that hotel room porn is a fundamental right.  Like free speech.  And shooting dolphins with assault rifles.

And NOT because I spend a significant amount of time watching hotel room porn.

I just like to read the titles.  Seriously.

Fine, don't believe me.

I first took up the cause back in March of last year when I accidentally (no, really) discovered that the Ritz-Carlton didn't offer pay-per-view porn options - and then face-planted into a glass door.  NOT related incidents, I assure you.

So I contacted the Ritz Carlton to voice my opinion on the injustice of it all.   I mean, the primary demographic for the Ritz Carlton is repressed rich people (and when I say "people", I really mean "men") who likely consider a night at the Ritz Carlton as an opportunity to escape their lives (and when I say "lives", I really mean "wives") and so they pack some lube and a toothbrush and settle in for an evening of pay-per-view fun and maybe a hooker or two.  Imagine their disappointment when they can only find MSNBC and the Disney Channel.

What a missed marketing opportunity.  Tragic.

The Ritz-Carlton people obviously didn't appreciate the genius of my logic.  Their loss.

But now Marriott is following suit (like the Ritz-Carlton wannabes that they always were).  But I LIKE Marriott.  I have all of my "frequent flier" points with Marriott.

My business travel usually involves a Marriott.

Oh NO!  All of those poor George Clooney/"Up In the Air"-esque business travelers!  What will they do?  There's a reason that half of these guys get into a business that requires ass-loads of they can get away from their families, order beer and steak topped with bacon and cream sauce, and watch porn in the privacy of their Marriott hotel room.

Now they'll have to...I can hardly say it...

...balance their computers on their laps and watch free porn on the computer!


Marriott says that the reason for the phase-out is due to a "transition to the next generation of in-room entertainment" that definitely does not include porn, and it is definitely not because they were getting lots and lots of pressure from "family values" groups (likely led by the high-strung, sexually repressed wives of the men who travel all of the time and stay at the Marriott to get away from them) and CERTAINLY NOT because Mitt Romney stepped down from the Marriott board after criticism that he didn't pressure Marriott enough on the whole porn thing and is about to announce his presidential aspirations - or at the very least to be Sarah Palin's butt, I mean, running mate.

Marriott also says that their revenues from adult pay-per-view content have been steadily decreasing... which is why they want to do away with the revenue COMPLETELY!

Makes total sense.

I guarantee that the people who are crying the loudest about the evils of porn are the ones who - when nobody is around - are holed up in their basements with a ball gag, a gallon of Crisco, a vibrator the size of a chainsaw and a subscription to  

I made that that last bit up.  The domain name still seems to be available if anybody's interested.


At least there's still the Westin.

Monday, January 17, 2011

So who's on your team?

Every year for the last few years, my friend, B, has invited me to go to Tahoe over MLK weekend for skiing, sushi, drinking, and general debauchery.  And every year, I have bowed out because (1) I don't get on things that slide, (2) I don't eat sushi, and (3) it seemed kinda lame to go just for the drinking and debauchery.

But I rethought my position this year, had no other obligations and decided to go.  What the hell.

Magnificent place, Tahoe.  Stunning views.  Snow-covered mountains.  Beautiful sunsets.

And the best people watching EVER!

How did I not know about this?

Saturday night, we went to one of the South Lake Tahoe casinos and B and the rest of the crew introduced me to my new favorite game..."Your team!".

The concept is this...

Step one:  Drink.

Step two:  Observe.  Watch for passers-by who are strange and/or grotesque and/or crazy and/or freaky and/or just plain slutty and awesome.

Step three:  Call out "Your team!" and point to the friend nearest you or the friend who has irritated you last - by, say, winning $50 at video poker.

Step four:  The freak is now assigned to your friend's "team" for all eternity.  The concept is that when you die, you won't be able to spend eternity with your family and friends (unless, of course, one of your friends is a freak and has been assigned to your team).  You must spend eternity with the fabulous specimens that your friends have kicked to your team.

There are bonus points for mullets.

Now, at first glance, this may seem a bit cruel and juvenile.   And I assure you that I considered this for about 5 seconds before I was rolling on the floor laughing because it was SO MUCH DAMN FUN!

Conscience cleared.

Now you may be wondering how we had time to gamble when there were so many obvious potential team members in a Tahoe casino.

The good news is that you can collect team members for your friends WHILE you gamble.

The mother-load find of the night, however, went to our friend, R.  She spotted "Tiger Man" first...

When Tiger Man strolled by our little corner of the bar, we shamefully erupted into uncontrollable laughter and a chorus of kitty growling noises.

I wish you could see the detail in the picture - it was really dark.  What you might NOT be able to see is the following:
  • the tiger stripped labels on the jacket;
  • the matching tiger tuxedo stripe down the side of each pant leg;
  • the tiger stripped jacket pockets;
  • the red skull cap and tortoise shell glasses;
  • the Puma tennis shoes - in keeping with the kitty theme; and
  • the Johnny Depp (circa Alice in Wonderland) wanna-be friend sporting the top hat with two feathers (because one feather wouldn't have made any sense) with him at the bar.
Tiger Man is now on B's team - probably because she had just won at video poker.

My buddy, E - he's so funny - he said he was going to go over to Tiger Man and invite him over to meet the cougar.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh wait, I'm the...

Shit.  Nevermind.

After the rest of us left to head back to the hotel, B stayed behind to consume about 15 more drinks and claims to have spotted a mullet - which of course would mean that she had trumped us all for the night.  She got a picture of the gentleman at a Blackjack table - but only from the front.  Frankly I'm not buying it.  If you're going to call mullet and document the business in the also have to document the party in the back.

I'm calling foul.

There were many many MANY other worthy nominees for our respective teams.  Too many really to showcase here.  Suffice it to say, we will all be having a grand freaky spandex-wrapped time in the afterlife.

But in the spirit of true self-reflection, two of the biggest freaks this weekend were actually me and B.

This is B and I in a local hardware store with our faux-fur critter hats.  In other words - totally team worthy.   So now B is on my team and I'm on hers.  And this makes me kinda happy because now I know that I'll be spending the afterlife with B in her roadkill cap (gopher maybe?).

Go team!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Patriots want Jane...and, no, not the New England Patriots

Sometimes things happen in the universe that really make me start to think that there is a God...things so ironic that they could not POSSIBLY have happened by accident.

Example - I have been added to the Patriot movement's email distribution list.

Not the fun football Patriots, but rather the gun-toting, Obama-hating, Bible-thumping, anti-tax, grammatically-challenged Patriots.  (Note: I'm really not calling people names here.  This is more or less a Patriot self-description made available on a t-shirt.  See below.)

Those Patriots.


I have a junk AOL email account that I use as a catch-all for general email coupons, make-up tips, Vegas deals, fur recommendations from Rachel Zoe.  I hardly ever look at it - I mean does anybody actually use AOL anymore?!  So imagine my surprise when, right after Christmas, I started receiving daily Patriot Update emails in said account.  My reactions went something like this...

Get the fuck outta town!
Hey, this shit is funny!
Ewww...this shit is disturbing.
Oh wait, there's a blog topic in here somewhere.

Patriot spam.  Really.  Each email was primarily a list of links to very important Patriot-related "news" items followed by a series of ads for very fun Patriot-related items.  Such as...

  • The 1599 Geneva Bible - back in print AFTER 400 YEARS!  The Bible that "Obama does NOT want you to read!"  I'm not sure why Obama doesn't want me to read this version of the Bible, but there wasn't an FAQ section to the ad, so I guess this will remain a mystery...unless I buy the Bible.  Awesome marketing idea.
  • The 2nd Amendment t-shirt -  "The 2nd Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security, Right to Bear Arms"
  • The D.A.D.D.D t-shirt - "Dads Against Daughters Dating Democrats".  Get it?  Like Mothers Against Drunk Driving?  I'm a little disappointed that I didn't come up with this one myself.
  • The "I'm a God Fearin', Bible Believin', Gun Packin', America Lovin' CONSERVATIVE" t-shirt.  Conservatives evidently hate g's.  Unless it's capital G in God.  I believe this purchase comes with a free bumper sticker: "I'll keep my guns, freedom, & money...You can keep the 'change!'". 
  • And my personal favorite...The 2011 Cruise for Liberty.  Only $599!  "Makes a great Christmas gift for that conservative who needs a break from Obama and the Democrats!"  I guess this is what conservatives do with the money that they kept - along with their guns and freedom.   Maybe they'll be able to shoot dolphins from the ship!
I didn't dig much deeper at the time that I first discovered my newest email resource because of all the other shit that was going on in my life.  But I made mental note, logged it under "possible blog topics" and moved on.

And then yesterday, I turned on the TV to watch football and came face-to-face with the horrifying coverage of the shooting in Tucson of U.S. Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords.

I wish I could say that I was surprised that this happened.  Given the hate spewing from both sides of the political spectrum...given the unbalanced fringe of audiences hanging on every could it not?

It was sad and frustrating and so completely senseless.

I remembered the Patriot email and was curious.  So I decided to have a peek at the site.

It's not for the faint of heart.

The articles are obviously written with a Tea Party slant but are, for better or worse, not completely offensive.  

But the comments - holy shit, the comments!

Here's a taste...Nancy Pelosi in a body bag, Barack Obama in a body bag, solve the country's problems by taking away White House Secret Service funding, Barack Hussein Obama, how all Muslims are generally evil and want to kill us, Obama is not really the president, the goal of healthcare reform is to control the people, Obama is a socialist, Obama is evil, "Barry Odumbo" is a power-hungry Muslim, Allah is a god but has to bow to God the Father, you can't take the "slum" out of Obama, and on and on and on.  A lot of it is incoherent, grammatically indecipherable rambling - a bit similar to what we've been seeing from the YouTube videos allegedly created by the Tucson gunman.

And I'm not sure who this Barry Odumbo is, but he sure sounds like a dick.

But the most chilling - for me, at least - was this comment, "In Arizona we saw a tragedy yesterday.  The assailant was 'pissed off' at his Rep. She backed the healthcare, and abortion. In November, We The People have spoken against this Tyrannical Government and their Socialism Run Regime...yesterdays result is from the after-affects of this healthcare, someone finally 'had enough'....I'm saddened for the little girl who passed, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But for the Rep., she represented Obama." (sic)

In other words, it's ok.  She had it comin'.

And this is only one comment that I chanced across on one site.  What the hell else is out there??

I'm going to step back here and say that I firmly believe that everybody deserves a voice.  If you have an opinion, you have the right to make it heard.  But...BUT...if somebody is already on the edge of crazy, and is prone to seek out fringe opinions such as the one stated above...that somebody might start to think that crazy is ok and, worse, actionable.

My goal here is not to preach.  God/Allah knows, I hate preachy.  And if you're a card-carrying Patriot or Tea Bagger, don't just fire off on me here because - you know what - I'm bringing awareness to your crazy and maybe somebody will seek out your site as a result of reading this blog and will be so taken by the strength and conviction of your crazy that they decide to become a Patriot/Tea Bagger too. 

Or not. 

And if you're a "main stream" Tea Bagger with legitimate issues and are interested in engaging in a conversation to find a productive solution to what ails us, doesn't it bother you that the crazy in your fringe have taken over the conversation?  That you are now lumped in with them?  

There are valid points to be made on all sides of every issue.  But - for the sake of all - let's take a step back, breathe deep and quiet the crazy.  

Or just put it on a t-shirt.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Observations from a way sucky holiday

I haven't been blogging for a few reasons.  First, the holidays have been brutal and it seems that brutal doesn't translate well into entertaining reading.

Second, I generally don't dive deep into my personal life here.  There are a few people who read this and who know me and my life.  The trouble with telling people that you write a blog is that sometimes you want to write about something but then you don't because you're afraid that somebody is going to read it and take it the wrong way or get their feelings hurt.  Every time that I have tried to write something lately, I've stopped because it feels too personal and I don't want anybody to feel bad.

I'm done with that now.  This is my blog.  If you don't want to see what I have to say - don't read it.

Alrighty then...moving on.

Breakups, in general, are hard.  Breakups during the holidays are worse than awful.  Breaking up and then talking about reconciliation only to get your heart stomped on again during the holidays is practically unbearable.  I don't recommend it.

But out of this unique experience has come a few minor, rather unentertaining observations.  I apologize in advance for the uninspired nature of this post.

Observation No. 1 - Being a quality, attentive parent is nearly impossible when you are trying to survive a broken heart.  It is assumed that to be a good parent, one has to shove all personal emotion aside.  Kids are not stupid and are likely to notice when your eyes are swollen, there are tissue pieces stuck to your nose and you haven't showered in three days.  Kids don't like that.  So you push your emotion aside and try to throw all of your attention to your child.  The result is a half-assed constantly on the verge of a break-down style of parenting.  Or in my case, staring blankly at iCarly while my daughter tries in vain to engage me by filling me in on the finer plot points and calling that quality time.  

She knows I'm a mess right now and I hate that.  It's not fair.

I'm learning that this is a constant single-parent threat.  A single non-parent person falls in love and then breaks up - only that person gets hurt.  A single parent falls in love and then breaks up - the parent and child get hurt.  No matter how careful you are.  No matter how much you protect your kid.  I'm learning that people without kids don't get that.  It's too easy for a non-parent to compartmentalize the parent that they are dating from the child.  The parent understands that it's an intractable package deal.  

Observation No. 2 - The holidays were intended for couples - not single people.  Every kiss may begin with Kay, but Kay can kiss my ass.

Observation No. 3 - Exercise really is the cure for what ails you.  I learned that time on the treadmill with a chick-lit book on the iPad is time spent not being sad.  I just have to learn how to time my workouts better.  I keep walking in to the workout room right after Smelly Guy has left.  Which sucks because then the next person that walks in thinks that I am the one who has generated this fabulous scent combination of sweat and ass.  Eau de Smelly Guy can be detected on the elevator on the way back to my apartment an hour later.  He's a gem.

Observation No. 4 - This whole instant movie Netflix thing on the Wii is AWESOME!  How long has this been available?

All right.  I realize that, like me, this is a big ol' mess so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.  I have better stuff ahead...better writing, better life, better attitude.  

Better year.

Happy New Year everyone!