Friday, July 23, 2010


Does it make me crazy when I say I'm tired of women being the beneficiaries of what I see as sexual bias in the justice system? I live in Texas and since Andrea Yates made national headlines back in 2001, there have been a number women who have drowned, stoned, dismembered or garotted their children to death. An alarming number of them are walking the streets today after being found "not guilty by reason of insanity". A woman in Plano, TX was free in one year after murdering her two children. Depression or mental illness is nearly always the first justification for women who commit murder.

The latest case is the Irving mom accused of murdering her two children because one was autistic and the other had health problems and she wanted "normal children". Now I'm not saying this mother or any of the others isn't mentally ill and deserving of compassion, though I find compassion in short supply when anyone murders a child, any child. What I am saying is that there is a nasty bias afoot when the general immediate consensus is that when a woman commits murder she is mentally ill. Isn't a bedrock of equality being held equally responsible for your actions? So ask yourself next time, what would you think if a man committed the same crime? Would you be as willing to reflexively say to yourself mental illness or stress or isolation or post-partum depression is to blame?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I DON'T need medication....

or at least not the non-recreational kind! This rant is prompted by me being awoken two weekend mornings in a row by my sister-in-law, who lives in Europe. I've been to Europe, they have clocks and watches and most of the Europeans I've met are able to count and thus correctly calculate the time in another country. In our case, if we want to call there we count FORWARDS by eight; if they want to call here, they count BACKWARDS by eight. Sure, their counting is a wee bit tougher, being backwards and all, but they aren't fucktards. I know they can do this shit.

Nevertheless, SIL phones at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Also, let it be known that I suffer from massive insomnia and I am as protective of my sleep as a mother hyena is of her kill. I often medicate in attempts to: a)recreate, and b) sleep. I sleep recreationally, yeah. Anyway, my choicest sleeping often occurs in the early morning hours since I don't often fall unconscious before 2 a.m. So then we have the medicated, groggy, trans-Atlantic, cross linguistic conversation wherein I try to convey to her that her brother is not home, that he is busy working like a plantation slave to keep his job and thus, I have no clue when he will be home. I also delicately point out that it is 8-fucking a.m. here and that I was sleeping as is the custom in my country. I later inform husband that sister called...early.

Flash forward to Sunday, again, a customary day for sleeping in for non-churchgoing Americans. Again the phone rings promptly at 8 a.m. I knock over the water glass on the nightstand groping blindly for the phone knowing in my dark, malignant heart that it is again my SIL cursing me from abroad. I pick up the phone and sputter "hello" at least a dozen times but no one answers. I know someone is there because I can hear what sounds like interstate rest stop traffic in the background. I know what that sounds like because we just drove from Texas to Florida and we stopped at a lot of interstate rest stops. They're noisy among other things. So I hang up and try valiantly to go back to sleep. No good; it's over. I get up, mop up the nightstand, etc. and the phone rings again. I let the machine get it because I'm pissed and not interested in the trans-Atlantic, cross linguistic cluster fuck conversation. A few minutes later when I listen to the message, again, nothing but the traffic sounds. Then I start thinking that maybe husband has tired of working like a plantation slave and has pulled over on the highway to contemplate throwing himself in front of an 18-wheeler and that maybe he's trying to phone hoping I'll give him a reason to live. Poor sap. Pharmaceuticals and recreational sleep, that's all the advice I have.

So I call him at work; he's fine. I'm telling him about these calls and my dark suspicions that they originate from his family. He says no way because he spoke to his parents that morning and let them know he wouldn't be home; that he would be out working like a plantation slave so that his lazy American wife could sleep recreationally and late. While we're on the phone, the call waiting beeps. I switch over, again, nothing but traffic sounds but, now voices that sound......Greek. Maybe, could be someone being murdered in a rest stop bathroom, I don't know. But again, whoever is originating the call isn't talking. Switch back over to hubby - now I'm kind of freaking as my mom has been having heart trouble, my niece and nephew are teenagers, (i.e., walking hormonal time bombs) dealing with their parents' nasty divorce. I'm envisioning all sorts of doomsday scenarios involving interstate rest stops, dying mothers and runaway teenagers. The call waiting beeps again. Fuuuuuck, this is really starting to piss me off. It's not even 8-fucking-thirty!!!! I click over, hello, hello, hello, at least eight friggin' times and then suddenly, humanity! It's my fucking SIL, just as I suspected!!! All good natured bonhomie because she's 3000-fucking miles away where it's 4 in the afternoon and she's had 12 hours of sleep and is just now waking up and having her cigarettes and coffee - apparently in the middle of traffic, but hey, that's Greece! I'm not ashamed to say I verbally skinned her alive. She seemed to take it well; sometimes that trans-Atlantic, cross-linguistic bullshit works in my favor.

Anyway, my point is that it's normal to get pissed when people do stupid shit to piss you off an disrupt your sleep. When I related this story to my mother, she suggested I needed Zoloft so I wouldn't get "so upset". This from the woman who complains when her customers sit outside and expect waitress service. I stuffed her body in an interstate rest stop bathroom....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Post holiday let down...

Just got back from the vacay to Fla, visited the 'rents and got in some beach time, which was great. We all had a blast boogie boarding on some good sized waves and Christian really holds his own in the ocean, must be in the genes.

But then the return to real life and all the crap it offers. Hubby walked into a giant shitstorm at his work. First day back he got home at 11 p.m., second day back 8 p.m., maybe today will be more like normal but I ain't counting on it. I know I'm supposed to be glad he still has his job and I am, believe me, but I hate this lack of normality for want of a better word. I don't function well with uncertainty, probably no one does, but I don't know them, I only know me. Plus my hormones are all fucked up lately which only exacerbates my wierd mood issues.

On top on all that we had to euthanize Pookie the cat recently. She was 18, yes 18 years old! We got her way back in the spring of 1990 when we were newly married and had just moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Pookie was the epitome of a feline: aloof, remote, spiteful but loving if she wanted something from you; that's what I loved about her. She was a great cat but kind of gross in her elder years as old cats apparently can be. Her litter habits had been an issue for a while but the onset recently of hyperthyroidism only made them worse and we just had to bite the bullet and let her go. It was sad but somewhat of a relief as well. But it's like we have moved on to a new "era" or something. All our early marital pets are gone kind of closing a chapter in our lives in a wierd way. Boy, I can tell I am fucking PMSing. Next I'll be crying at some damn AT&T commercial. I can never decide if I prefer my hormonal madness in the form of anger and irritation or maudlin teariness. Geez, if I'm really lucky I get to suffer from both...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shameless brag w/ photo

A great recent photo of Christian with Lucky and Lola. Christian is 10 now and really coming into his own. He has a wicked sense of humor and is really quick to get a joke or play on words. He showed a friend a tennis ball he had found and the friend said, "oh, so you found one of your dog's balls", and of course, that immediately elicited raucous from Christian. I had been trying to stifle my giggles but just let loose. I know I shouldn't be proud that he already has a "Beevis and Butthead" sense of humor, but I am. Proud. Inordinately so.

Stormy Weather

Ok, so this post is about 2 weeks overdue, but, hey, I'm a slacker. Never pretended to be anything else. Anyway, I usually complain about how we don't get the "good" weather here. Being a weather geek, "good" to me equals "severe". I enjoy a good thunderstorm, there's something humbling about mother nature with a raging bout of PMS. Well, mama has really been on the rag around here lately. On April 10 a severe weather outbreak roared through our area around 4 a.m. It had been moving steadily our direction from the west since very early in the evening. We watched a supercell thunderstorm move from west of Abilene, TX (about 400 miles west of here) all the way to Oklahoma, throwing off tornadoes. However, when we went to bed, all was quiet around here.

Around 3:00 a.m. Lola, our fierce looking German Shepherd who is extremely afraid of thunderstorms, woke me up. Either her or my swiss cheese of a bladder, can't figure out which. Darling husband dutifully got up to go sleep on the couch with Lola while I went back to bed with Christian, who was in with us because thunderstorms were in the overnight forecast. I laid awake watching the lightning get closer and closer until it dawned on me that I was hearing this ringing sound. Thinking it was my ears, I didn't pay it much attention, but it kept on. So I got up and turned off the box fan that runs in my room as white noise year round. It was the city tornado siren! Christian was still asleep so I ran to the living room to ask Vangelis if it was really the siren - about this time the electricity starts blinking off and on rapidly and I'm starting to flash to "Twister" and wishing I had a cellar in the backyard. I quickly dressed in jeans and t-shirt - if I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die with my clothes ON! I'm a 44-year old mom; I will not suffer the indignity of being found dead in my underwear and a wife-beater tank top. I got Christian up and brought him into the living room. Like morons that I would make fun of if this were a tv show or movie, we're bouncing around trying to get the tv on to see what's going on. Word to the wise: the satellite dish doesn't work well when a) there are heavy thunderstorms, and b) the power is flashing off and on. The stupid HD box resets itself every time the power goes off and it takes about 45 seconds to cycle through and come back on. I'm running around trying to turn on my possessed computer, which takes about 10 minutes to cycle on depending on what sorts of things went wrong when it cycled off earlier in the day. While I'm waiting on the tv and/or computer, I'm walking around looking out the windows and hoping that whoooshing noise I hear is cars on the interstate. You know, folks getting a head start on the morning rush at 4 a.m. during a furious storm. Yeah, right.

The winds died down pretty quickly and the storm moved through. We went back to bed. Turned out we had an F1 tornado touch down here in our town with winds between 90-95 mph! In addition, we had straight lines winds close to 85-mph. There was a lot of minor damage: trees down, roof damage, trampolines pitched up on top of homes or into streets, fences torn down, but no serious injuries or devastation. But I can't believe we didn't take shelter in the bathtub and were just spinning around trying to figure out what was going on like idiots. The very next day I bought a weather radio so that I do not have to rely on the tv or computer for information. It got a good workout almost exactly a week later when another round of severe weather moved through. This came earlier in the evening, so we knew what was coming and the extent of it, but it was a good "dry run" for the weather radio.

By the way, our home suffered no damage. The neighbors behind and across from us both lost trees but we didn't so much as get a cheap metal lantern blown off our fence. The neighbors on the street behind us sit up a good 15-20 feet; our backyard at the rear has a 12-foot retaining wall and then the neighbor's 6-foot privacy fence on top of that. I think that provides us great protection from the winds. I'm always surprised that the trees in the creek area next to us aren't damaged. They are large and pretty old but usually only lose a few small branches. Nothing major.

Can't say the weather hasn't been good here lately!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Clearly Madonna is using a tranny for her personal appearances

I mean, c'mom, look at that arm! Total dude arm! Does Justin even know? He's got a thang for gals with burly upper bodies, though that Jessica Beil is totally hot, linebacker shoulders notwithstanding.

I believe the real Madonna is in some secret chamber in a state of suspended animation while the blood of virgin children and embryonic stem cells are transfused throughout her body to give her a more youthful (and less Vegas) appearance. Kinda like what Gary Oldman went through in his transatlantic journey in Bram Stoker's Dracula (rent it!). Just my theory...

Story from the inside...

You always hear everyone blame things on "The Media", and yeah, I know The Media doesn't get things 100% right, but naively I've mostly trusted that the gist, the guts of whatever story I'm reading are pretty true and accurate. Recent events involving my husband's employer,Southwest Airlines, really changed my mind about accuracy in the media. As reported by news organizations locally and eventually picked up by national news outlets, Southwest Airlines was "knowingly" operating "unsafe" planes and had flown some planes "30 months without required inspections". My husband is directly involved in this story; it is his department that is front and center of this issue. It is his career, our livelihood that is being written about and put at risk. In this case, the media got maybe 10% of the story right. Part of this is due to the complexity of the issue; airline maintenance isn't easily distilled into 30 second sound bites, 3-column inches, or pithy little editorials. As such, maybe they shouldn't be reported that way.

On blogs, in commentary to web articles and other places, Southwest has been accused of everything ranging from a lazy attitude towards safety to outright criminal activity deliberately putting the flying public in danger in order to save money. Hey, again, that's my husband you're talking about, not some faceless corporate drone. The bottom line is that some important paperwork issues were not in order but the planes were never "unsafe". They were "unairworthy". There's an important distinction. Unsafe means, well, not safe. "Unairworthy" can mean unsafe, but more often it simply means that the paperwork relating to a particular plane is not in order, i.e., "out of compliance", hence the aircraft is "unairworthy". It is similar to vehicle inspection stickers: they are required by law and if yours expires there's a hefty fine to be paid if you are caught operating the vehicle with the expired inspection sticker. However, to suggest that simply because your sticker is expired your car is now a danger to you, your passengers and other drivers on the road is simply absurd. Ditto with the airplanes in question.

And for the record, no airplane at Southwest or any other airline for that matter, goes 30 months without any inspections. Airlines have multiple, overlapping inspection programs and if an inspection mandated by this FAA document is overlooked, the same area of the plane is inspected under a different document or program belonging to the airline. So it's not as if the areas in question have not had hands, eyes, ears and tools of all stripes on them. Airplanes are in the hanger on average every SEVEN DAYS for various inspections.

But now Congressional hearings are scheduled for April 3 involving Southwest and the FAA. Nothing like grandstanding politicians in an election year trying to understand highly complex, technical material to keep you awake at night. The rest of you, the driving and flying public, know this: you are in far, far more serious danger in the car ride to the airport than you ever are once you are in the plane. And don't believe most of what you read. That's my big lesson for the month.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Graduate

So Lucky graduated from obedience school. Actually, this photo is several months old. The most recent event in Lucky's life was his neutering, which he came through with flying colores. I keep his testicles in a little jar, hanging from the rearview mirrow of my 300ZX like fuzzy dice. Right next to my husband's. Not really. But I thought about it. At 6.5 months, he is 60 pounds. I've had two vet techs tell me that they think he has mastiff in him, so maybe that's what gives him the big head, not pit bull. He does seem large for a pit bull and he has very loose skin which is not at all like a pit bull. However, his tenacity is very pit bull. Whatever. He and Lola get along great and we are lucky to have them both.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'm Not Lazy

I just need the right atmospheric conditions in which to be productive. This weekend brought temps in the 70s and low 80s, a welcome breath of spring. I accomplished many, many things this weekend. However, with the arrival of a cold front and temps falling back to more seasonal levels, I have resumed my regular winter habits of carb loading and frequent naps, awakening only to growl angrily, eat more carbs, crap and find a more comfortable sleeping postion.

See you in spring...