Thursday, September 30, 2004

Cover this... (rant alert)

It just blows my mind of all the old songs that are being redone by today's bands. Doesn't anyone have anything original to say, instead of covering songs by other artists. Some of the covers aren't even that good, or they try too hard to sound like the original. For example:
  • Prince's "Darling Nikki" was covered by Foo Fighters (I didn't like this song when Prince did it)
  • Korn (????) covered Cameo's "Word Up" (It even tries to sound like the original, and they get away with a point. Wasn't Cameo a funk/r&b band?)
  • Shinedown covered Lynryd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" (This is the best cover I've heard so far)
  • Metallica covered Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" several years ago (it stunk, IMHO)
  • The Dixie Chicks covered Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" (ew. I'll take Stevie over Natalie anyday!)
(Know of any other covers? Email me here. These are the only ones I could think of at this time.)

Originality, people!!!! Are there so few good songwriters out there that bands have to cover older songs? The only bands who should be doing covers are "cover bands" where they play nothing but covers (and are advertised as such) or "tribute bands", who play the music of one particular artist. In Massachusetts, there's an Ozzy tribute band called Believer, and they play nothing but Ozzy/Black Sabbath numbers.

But, I guess the sincerest form of flattery is being copied (or covered).

And don't even get me started on the movie remakes...sheesh! Originalilty, people!!!!

/end rant


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

This concerns me...

I had seen a news report recently that reported that some students in schools use their cell phones to send text messages in order to cheat. That led me to create this survey on Twenty Questions:

Interesting, isn't it?

I wanted to know how common this was in the Twenty Questions community. The idea that it can be done without a teacher's knowledge totally floors me. I was glad to see that most of the responants wouldn't do it, but concerns me that kids really do this.

If you want to take this survey, just click on the link in the box above. If you're not a Twenty Questions user, you'll have to set up a free account.


I'm going to rant about politics

(you have been warned)

The election couldn't get here fast enough. All this crap I've been seeing on the news, on the net and in newspapers about who did (or didn't do) what 30 years ago, who did (or didn't do) what the last time they represented their state in the House of Representatives, and why we should or should not elect them as Senator, President, Dog Catcher, etc.

IMHO, nasty political ads only make the person running them (or authorize them to be run) look worse than the guy or gal they're trying to smear. Tell me what you're going to do once you're elected to whatever office you're running for, instead of bringing up shit that happened before I was old enough to care about the election process. What did Kerry do in Vietnam on that there Swift Boat? Did George Bush really serve in the National Guard and did he get preferential treatment because of who his father is? Who the hell cares!! What will Kerry or (God help us) Bush do once they've been elected. Isn't that what counts?

And those two neanderthals running for that Senate seat in Oklahoma-- What are you going to do for Oklahoma once seated in the Senate? As it is now, I'm quite tempted not to vote for either one of you on November 2nd. This is the kind of person I want representing a state I live in, one who badmouths his opponent with quotes taken out of context (Brad Carson), or one who hadn't run a dirty ad until recently, and that was only to badmouth his opponent's votes on important issues(Tom Coburn)? If anyone is a "craphead" (said by Carson about Coburn who supposedly called the people in OKC that, when in fact I believe it was about the state government, not the citizens of that city. Hello, guys, but OKC just happens to be the state capitol!), it's these two. Why would I want either one of these guys in the Senate?

C'mon, November 2nd! Let's get this done and over with.

My name is Tank's Grrl, and I approve this message. Tongue Out

/end rant


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

This is not what it seems...

Initial article from
Updated article from

An Edmond couple reported a "home invasion" at their Parklane Estates home Monday night.

Two "suspects" entered the home and duct-taped the female homeowner and put her in a bathroom. Her husband returns from walking their dogs and sees the "intruders" and grabs a 2 by 4 and whacks one while the other gets away. The one who got hit eventually gets away as well. Police came out and brought dogs to find the "suspects".

As Paul Harvey would say: And here's the rest of the story--

Today (9/28/04), Edmond police spokeswoman Glynda Chu (a non-asian woman with blazing red hair) stated that the "home invasion" was a hoax. The male homeowner, a teacher at Edmond North High School, allegedly recruited two students to pose as "intruders" so that he (the teacher) could come in, discover the "intruders" and "save" his "victimized" wife and be a hero. The couple's marriage apparently was in some sort of turmoil, and this guy thought that staging this would make him a hero in her eyes. He got ratted out by one of the students he had hired when the student told his parents of his involvement after hearing about the "break in". The student thought it was going to be a practical joke.

The words above are mine and this incident really did happen. It was reported on the local news today that the unnamed homeowner would be facing a ton of charges, the primary among them was filing a false police report, which is a misdemeanor. Additionally, he's in some big time trouble at North, too, over this incident. Was it worth possibly losing your job, pal?

Okay, this is the weird part:

  • Parklane Estates is way too close to home.
  • Two of my sons went to Edmond North High School
  • And, if it's who I think it is, the teacher involved took a group of students to Europe last summer ('03), including my son, Jeff.

There'll be more tomorrow, I'm sure. Stay tuned...
(Updated 11:58am CDT 9/29/04)



I'm hiding!

The little Yahoo! Mess-up-enger thingie up there that says whether I'm online or off, shows that I am offline. I'm actually here, but I don't want to talk to the weird man who IM'd me this morning from Florida. He's probably the only one in that entire state who has enough power to use his computer. Maybe I shouldn't say "weird", but he made me feel a might uncomfy.

I'm also hiding from my ex, because I don't want to listen to him ramble on about how hard it is to send text messages vs typing on a computer keyboard.

(PS-- if my Chatango also says I'm offline, I'm really offline. Or at the library. Wanna take a chance?)


On the rag...

(no not that! Ask me about that next week)

The Tank's Grrl Tabloid Headlines:

Kobe Accuser Pregnant: but who's the dad? --Okay, let's start this off by telling who the dad is not: Kobe. Unless he's got a huge supply of those $14 mil rings to give his long suffering spouse, I doubt very seriously Kobe's the dad. Remember, the alleged rape occured over a year ago. Normal pregnancies last 9 months. You do the math.

Britney Marriage Already in Trouble --They've been married 10 days, folks. If the marriage is indeed in trouble, then it was in trouble before that super secret wedding ceremony on September 18th. Maybe Britney's ordered her unemployed slacker hubby to find gainful employment, and that's the source of the trouble. No surprise there.

Chelsea Clinton's Wedding Ruined After Fight with Mother --We all know who Chelsea's mother is. Need I say more?

Who reads this trash? For the record, I don't, I just commented on the headlines. I don't give a rat's ass who has the best ass in Hollyweird, or who has cellulite (everyone gets it sooner or later), or who got fat and who got thin. Half the time the shit in these rags isn't even close to the truth. Bat Boy? Yeah, right. I've seen Bat Boy. He's a nice guy. I met him at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts 2 years ago. I think some of my carny pals may have done some weed with the guy.

And what about the picture of the newlyweds on the Titanic whose skeletal remains were found on a life raft? Real touching, huh? That is (and Jeff pointed this out to me, because I missed it), until you notice the life raft said "USS Titanic". Everyone should know that the Titanic was a British ship, and therefore the life raft should have said "RMS Titanic". Nice try, guys.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Audio Post: $4.84 from $5.04 equals the wrong answer

this is an audio post - click to play

"Waiter, call Homeland Security, I think there's a terrorist in my soup!"

I've been reading this book by comedian David Brenner called I Think There's a Terrorist in My Soup: How to Survive Personal and World Problems with Laughter--Seriously. This book is seriously hilarious! Not downplaying the seriousness of the current world situation, Brenner pokes fun at everything, and you can't help but laugh at his observations. My favorite bit so far is this:

About the color coded terror warning system-- it comes in five basic colors: green for low, blue for guarded, yellow for elevated, orange for high and red for severe. Green, blue and yellow are relatively minor, but--

"Orange Alert: Pray and/or throw up;
Red Alert: Get the hell out of your house and out of the country. Major terrorist shit is about to hit our fan!"

It's gotten to the point that we see one of these terror warnings and kind brush them off. Brenner believes there's got to be a better system. Unfortunately, our Homeland Security Department has yet to think of one.

So if you want to laugh as a way to get thru this trying time in our nation's history (because you know it will be history to my as yet unborn --i.e. not even a glimmer in their daddies eyes-- grandchildren), I highly recommend this book. You will laugh your ass off!


What's with this "Cannot Find Server" crap??

This has happened a lot lately and it's really starting to get on my last nerve! I can get to my blog on Firefox, and I can get to it on Netscape, but on Explorer, forget it. Sometimes it's just my blog(s), and sometimes it's everything related to Google (the search engine, Blogger, Gmail, etc.).

I probably need a new version of Explorer, so I'll look into that.

Or a new computer (well, duh! Stef.)...

Best bumper sticker I've seen lately: Somewhere in Texas, there's a village missing their idiot. Ah yes, the Texas/Oklahoma rivalry is alive and kickin', and not necessarily related to college football (Red River Shootout, anyone?).


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hmmm...we'll see

Stephanie's Daily Aquarius Forecast

Overview: A long-distance friend or lover will make a rather bold move -- and you'll love every single second of it. Before they get to the punch line, however, resolve to be just as bold.

Well, we'll see what happens. I've been disappointed before, so I won't expect anything.


Saturday, September 25, 2004

I'm bored...

but, I am watching a cute movie on the local PBS station called Mr Hulot's Holiday.

I didn't do much of anything today. Mostly I slept. I did go to the library, Hobby Lobby, and the store.

And my mother seems to think that our van runs on anything but gasoline. She always is telling my to "watch the gas", because she can't afford to fill up the tank everytime she turns around. I don't fill up the tank, usually. And I don't go driving around for the sake of driving around. I go to a specific location, usually the store, the library, or some other predetermined location.

Nothing from Jon since he screamed at me on the phone at 5 in the morning. I doubt very much he's as broke as he says he is. And if he is, then it's his own damned fault. He should have kept up the child support payments instead of trying to get out of them.

And, I doubt I will ever patronize the bar he works at again when I manage to get back to New England. His boss, the owner, helped him avoid this obligation by paying him under the table for three months.

I can live without hearing from Jon, just as long the child support checks keep coming. He helped bring these children into the world, he may as well pay his share of the support.


Friday, September 24, 2004

Finally, after many weeks of anticipation...

Jeff got his financial aid awards. They total a rather healthy sum, and most if not all of that money is earmarked for school expenses. And because Jeff lives off campus, his tutition was a lot less that I thought it would be. Next year, we're going to start this process as early in the year as possible so he'll have the funds when classes begin, instead of nearly two months into the term.

Jeff's thinking that if there is some money left over, he's going to buy a laptop computer (needed for the engineering classes he'll be taking in the spring), and a cell phone, so he won't have to call from pay phones collect like he does now.

That's one less thing I have to worry about. He's got the money he needs for school. Now he needs to talk to Dean about budgeting his money so it will last until the end of the school year.


I'm so pissed off I could spit nails!

Jon called me this 4:30am!!! He wanted me to call him because he had just gotten a text message from me that I sent via Yahoo! Mess-up-enger yesterday afternoon.

He wanted to tell me that he couldn't send the money he promised last week he'd send, because he didn't get as much in his check as he usually did. He told me last week that he'd send the money when he got paid, perhaps knowing that he wouldn't have the funds after paying his rent and other expenses. My response was to hang up on him. After all, it was the middle of the night, and I was too tired to hear another one of Jon's excuses.

He then called my cell phone, screaming his head off! I told him once that if he didn't calm down I would hang up. He was yelling about how he didn't have the funds after paying his rent, how he couldn't get me online, and why wasn't I online when he finally got the text message.

I told him that I was going back to bed, because I couldn't talk to him when he was like this. Jon has the frustration level of a five year old, and if he doesn't get his way when he wanted it, he literally would throw a tantrum. And this man is nearly 45 years old!

So, he was probably upset while he was at work, but it's his own damned fault. How did he think I'd react to the news that he wouldn't send the promised funds? I have no patience with him anymore, because his word is crap. Does he act this way just with me, or are others subject to his hissyfits?

I am so done with him and his empty promises. If I were mean, I'd post that webpage I built a few months ago outting him as a deadbeat. But, I have to consider my children's feelings, because Jon sure as hell doesn't. So I won't post it.

If he calls me at 4 in the morning again, I swear I will crawl thru the damned phone and wring his neck!


This post has no title, just words and a tune

Britney has managed to stay married almost a whole week, ladies and gentlemen!

Now there is some controversy (naturally) that Britney and gold digging hubby Kevin Federline faked their nuptials, and will actually wed in October as originally planned. Britney, of course, denies this.

So are they or aren't they?

Well, they got married in California (she did something right. Cali is a community property state), and a couple has either 60 or 90 days to file their license with the county recorders office of the county they were married in. Usually, that's done by the person officiating at the ceremony, not by the couple.

I was married in California 21 years ago (had my ex and I not divorced, that's how long we would have been married), and I don't recall that we had to send our license off to the Orange County Recorders Office. I think the preacher who married us did that. Maybe even Jon's mother did that, as she convienently worked in the County Recorders office at that time. I honestly don't remember that little detail.

Still, I give the marriage a year at best, or until Britney figures out that the only thing Kevin loves about her is her tax bracket. Now before you dedicated followers of Britney spam me with nasty comments, think about this: she gave him the money to buy her engagement ring, to the tune of some 40 grand! Explain that? And before you tell me that he doesn't have that kind of money, he couldn't buy his blushing bride to be a ring he could afford, and maybe trade up later?

I'll never understand these vain, I'm-better-than-everyone-so-worship-me-dammit celebrities. At least I have my dignity (as battered as it is) and don't go walking around with a rat-dog dressed in designer duds, a la Paris Hilton.

But that's another rant for another day.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Making my ex's life a living hell

Actually, Jon does that all by himself. He doesn't need any help from me to make his life miserable.

The only thing he doesn't seem to understand is that i am not interested in hearing about every aspect of his life. I pretty much know what his life is like, based on the fact that he and I know a lot of the same people. But when he asks me questions about long forgotten cats and sending text messages in Portugese (because he's got the hots for some gal working in one of the pizza shops at the beach who is from Portugal), it tends to get a bit annoying. I'd rather go thru an entire day of Scott talking non stop, than to hear his father blather on about nothing. Scott has an excuse to act like a kid, because he IS a kid. Jon, on the other hand, is 44 going on 12.

In other news: I sent back those papers that SSA sent me yesterday (see Look What the Cat Dragged In). It was a "pain survey". In essence, SSA wanted to know what I did all day, how that causes pain, and where the pain is. On top of all that, my hands were on fire yesterday, so the forms look like my grandmother came back from the dead and filled them out for me. In other words, my handwriting was messy. I hope whoever processes that paperwork can read it. I usually have very nice handwriting, but no position I held the pen yesterday seemed to matter, it just hurt to write.

I've been talking to Hannie via Mess-up-enger the last couple of nights, and she hasn't changed personality-wise one bit! She's still the firecracker I knew in Virginia. She absolutely cracks me up. And she still calls everyone (regardless of gender) "dude". The only bad news is that her husband is going to Iraq for six months.

Still nothing from Saon, though. I hope things are okay and his plans didn't fall through. I'm sure that when he's ready, he'll get in touch. He has the digits if he wants to call.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I don't believe this for a second!


"A government official said on Wednesday that (Cat) Stevens, who changed his name to Yusuf Islam, had recently been placed on the list after U.S. authorities received information indicating associations with potential terrorists, a government official said Wednesday.

The flight was diverted to Bangor, Maine, on Tuesday afternoon after U.S. officials who checked the passenger list learned the singer was aboard. Federal agents met United Airlines Flight 919 and interviewed Islam.

The government official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Islam was placed on a watch list after multiple intelligence sources in recent weeks indicated the peace activist may have associations with potential terrorists. "

Why does the official speak anonymously? Is he/she some bigwig in the Bush cabinet? I'm finding it very hard to fathom that Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, a peace activist, has any ties to possible terrorists. Unless, of course, just practicing the Islamic faith is considered a "tie".

The article goes on to state that Islam contributed to known terrorist groups, a charge that his brother and business manager David Gordon denies. Gordon said in a telephone interview that he could "guarantee that (his brother) does not associate with possible terrorists."

Islam was just in New York this past May, so between then and now we're to believe that he has "possible" terrorist ties? During his May visit, he was promoting a DVD set of performances during his MajiKat tour in 1976. He donated half the royalties to the victims and families of September 11th. Yeah, and Homeland Security wants us to believe he has terrorist ties...I don't think so.

He's condemned the September 11th terrorist attacks and the Beslan School hostage situation from earlier this month that left more than 300 dead, nearly half of them children.

"In a statement on his Web site, he wrote, 'Crimes against innocent bystanders taken hostage in any circumstance have no foundation whatsoever in the life of Islam and the model example of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.'"

Islam's now been deported back to Great Britian, and presumably barred from entering the US.

What's next? Barring Americans of Middle Eastern descent from flying because of their names, the way they look or what meal they order on the flight? Or the example I cited on the previous post regarding myself? While Homeland Security is looking for "possible terrorists", who is getting through undetected? I shudder to think that someone with criminal motives is getting on a plane with intentions of hijacking it into a tall building somewhere.

Note to the Department of Homeland Security: there are terrorists right here on our own shores...or have you quite forgotten about Tim McVeigh and the bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995? While you are looking at Middle Easterners, what's stopping some home grown terrorist from doing the same thing? I'll bet they aren't any watch list.

And, I don't think this will happen, but if someone from the Department of Homeland Security would email me and explain how the watch list works, I'd appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I don't believe Cat Stevens is a terrorist, okay?


Note: The above post is the author's opinion only.This article from is the basis for the quotations in this post, and their copyright applies. So, no nasty comments, all right? I reserve the right to edit or delete any comment posting that I deem offensive. There is no rule saying you have to agree with what I say in this post or any other on this blog. Thank you.

Let me see if I have this straight

The U.S. Government is trying to force the airlines to turn over passenger lists to weed out possible terrorists. On Tuesday, the government "asked airlines to turn over information they collected on passengers who traveled in June, the first step in a controversial plan to screen for terrorists.

"Known as Secure Flight, the program would require airlines to provide passenger names, flight information, addresses and telephone numbers. It can even require the disclosure of meal orders, which could indicate a person's ethnicity."

Hello? Wasn't this called "ethnic profiling" and that it was illegal? Okay, I understand why they are trying to keep suspected terrorists off planes, but if you get on the "watch list" by mistake and they tell you can't fly, you cannot find out why you were placed on the watch list to begin with. If it could happen to political scion Ted Kennedy, what's to say it won't happen to me?

Let me tell you why I am so concerned: a couple months ago, I was trying to find out the status of my son, Jeff's college financial aid forms. The representative on the other end of the phone asked me to spell Jeff's last name, give his date of birth, etc. Next thing I hear is that "according to the Department of Homeland Security" Jeff would have to prove he's a U.S. citizen before he could get financial aid. What??? I told her he was born here and even holds a U.S. passport. He went to Europe last summer for God's sake!

Turns out that the rep misspelled Jeff's last name, and that brought up a red flag in her computer. After correcting it, everything was fine.

Legally, I am still known by my ex's last name. What if an airline reservation agent were to misspell that name and not catch their error? I go to the gate and I cannot get on the plane because I was placed on the watch list based on the misspelling of my name. As of right now, I wouldn't be allowed to find out why. An advocate would handle those kind of complaints according to the TSA, but meanwhile, I've missed my flight. Would they pay for me to fly to my destination after the error was discovered? Somehow, I doubt it. I'd be shit outta luck. And plane tickets aren't cheap!

I'm glad that the government is doing something about this, but it seems that a lot of work has yet to be done to make such a system foolproof. At worse, it could become a royal pain in the ass to innocent people, and the bad guys could still get through.

I'll take my shoes off at the airport, I'll even let you rifle thru my purse, all in the name of Homeland Security. But if there's going to be any goofiness with who should and should not be allowed on the plane, I respectfully suggest that they get it right the first time. A minor mistake may mean I don't get to fly; a major mistake may mean that a plane could get blown up.


Hard Cold Reality

is that I cannot afford to:

  • have heart trouble
  • have diabetes
  • be depressed
  • go thru menopause

I saw this sign at the Wal*Mart pharmacy listing the prices for various drugs for the maladies listed above, which drew me to this conclusion. Nor can I afford to die.

Geez, my life sucks!


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"American Idiot"

(Geez! This is harsh! LOL)

Artist: Green Day
Album: American Idiot (2004)

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new media.
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mindfuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Convincing them to walk you.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along in the age of paranoia.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Convincing them to walk you.

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information nation of hysteria.
It's going out to idiot America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Convincing them to walk you.


Why do I have "American Idiot" running thru my head

I really have to look up all the lyrics to that song! All I can think about when I hear that phrase is George Bush.

Like, gee, George old sod, thanks for making us the laughingstock of the entire universe. Somewhere on Uranus, they're laughing at us (granted it'll be a thousand years from now, but they are laughing as sure as I sit here).

I finally fell asleep at something like three in the morning. I woke up the first time at 7am, with my mom asking if I'd go get her some cigs and coffee. It was very hard to wake up. But wake up I did (eventually).

After the 7-11 run (it's so nice that Jeff takes himself to school now!), I went back to bed and slept til 11. I even managed to sleep thru Mom's blabbermouth housekeeper and her daughter. Go me!

I then got up and went to the store to get stuff for lunch and Mom's meds, then I came home and played on the computer until I just couldn't stand any more of the court shows that Mom watches every flippin' day. The people who come on them are the dregs of the earth! The one I detest the most is "Divorce Court" (Judge Mabeline is the coolest judge in town. She takes no shit from nobody, yessir! But the people who get their divorces on her show are hopeless).

I really should check my email. I just don't want to. If I get one more email in Spanish I think I'll scream (I'm not hispanic, but I guess the hispanic spammers see my surname and think I am. I'm not. My surname is Italian, thank you very much!).


The question that begs to be asked...

Why in the hell am I still awake?

Oh, yeah. It's because I took a two hour nap right before dinner. That, and that queasy feeling in my stomach. Better go hunt up some Pepto...

Night all.


I think I may be sick...

My stomach is acting all crazy and stuff. Maybe I'll take some Pepto Bismol before I go to bed.

It could be all that stuff I ate and drank at the fair on Sunday. You'd think that after working as a carnie, I'd know better about the food on the midway. But, damn, that steak sandwich I had was good! So were the fries with seasoned salt.

I hope this is all out of my system by morning, though. The thought of dealing with Mom's housekeeper (she comes every two weeks) is more than I can bear. God, does that woman love to talk!! And, Lord forgive me, I cannot stand her. The only thing we have in common is that we both lived in Massachusetts at one time. Whoopee!


Did I mention the stupid reason Jon text messaged me over the weekend? He wanted to know the birth dates of two cats we haven't had in 5 years, whether the birth date was a week before or a week after Columbus arrived in March of 1999.

How in the flippin' hell am I supposed to remember that? I hadn't even thought about Spring and Blossom (those were their names, and I even forgot that!) since I gave them away shortly before I moved out of the Lucile Avenue apartment (this was July 1999).

I just told Jon that Columbus's birthday was March 25, 1999, and the only reason I remembered that is that March 25th is Elton John's birthday (and by coincidence, my ex landlord Paul's bday was the day before. He and Sir Elton were both born in 1947).

Some mnemonic device, eh? LOL

Is it me, or does Jon get dumber every year? He can't remember to tell his employer he has a child support obligation, but he wants to remember the birth dates of cats I haven't even thought about since 1999??? What the hell!

This is giving me a headache...


Monday, September 20, 2004

OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!!!

(to quote the person I'm about to talk about)

I got the biggest surprise in history this morning. A gal I used to work with in Virginia sent me an email. I hadn't heard from Hannie in five years, and she's been up to a lot in that time (I daresay haven't we all!)!

She had a new email address and a link to her site. I should have gone to her site before I responded to her email, because all the questions I asked her were answered there LOL. But I didn't. My bad.

The biggest news in her life isn't even in her email. When I last saw Hannie, she was a very large woman. She had trouble breathing even then, and her clothes were even too big for me, and I'm not a lightweight by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyway, in 2001, she had gastric bypass surgery, and she looks like a completely different person in the photos on her site! I was floored! In 1999, when I last had contact with her, I was worried for her health. She is five years younger than I am, and I feared she would die young. I'm glad she had the surgery, and that she appears to be happy.

And, it turns out, she's in Mississippi. Her husband is in the Navy, and maybe he's stationed there. The coincidences are not lost on me that I'm involved with Saon and he lives in Louisiana, and one of my best friends from my days in Virginia lives the next state over. It's weirdly wonderful in a wacky sort of way.

More on this later, I'm sure...

Color me surprised!


Color me "exhausted"

Even more so than usual because I went to the Oklahoma State Fair on Sunday.

We all had a good time and did lots of things I can't think of right now. I can tell you that Amalia held a 2 day old baby chick and Joey was cranky because he has more teeth coming in.

And this "exhaustion," on top of the exhaustion I feel on a daily basis, is making it very hard to fall asleep, because I cannot relax enough to drop off into the Land of Nod. Oh. Joy.

I did manage to make it all day at the fair, though. I was really tired there at the end, but I think that is mainly because it was so damned hot! I'm paying for it now, but it was worth it! I got to spend time with all the boys at once (even though Scott and his constantly running motormouth was starting to get on my nerves. One can only ask a thirteen year old boy to please stop talking long enough to breathe only so many times!) .

Throughout the entire day, I thought constantly about Saon. I hope everything is okay down there in the N.O.

I better get to bed now. Perchance to actually fall asleep and dream.


Friday, September 17, 2004

My "Dum-dum"

This is Columbus, and he don't give a damn! LOL

I feel like I wanna cry

everything's getting to me. I've had a killer headache all week long. Commercials nearly bring me to tears. I bought airtime for my phone today, and I feel guilty.

In short, I feel like shit.

And I don't know why.

I feel like pulling my hair out.

I just want to sit on the couch eating ice cream, staring at a blank television screen.

I have things to be happy about, but I just want to be sad.

Yeah, I'm depressed. Why I feel like this now, I have not a friggin idea.

(when I feel like giving a shit)

Looks like Bush is in some deep shit

Better put yer waders on Mr. President.

Check this out: A woman went to a rally where First Lady Laura Bush was speaking, wearing a shirt that said something like "Bush killed my son". The woman's son died in Iraq. She was arrested and charged with trespassing. My question is, doesn't she have the right to say what she believes? What happened to Free Speech? Is it suspended during Presidential campaigns?

Item Two: John Kerry accuses Bush at a meeting of National Guardsmen (the same group that Bush himself spoke at a couple of days prior) of using the National Guard as a "backdoor draft". Thing is here, Kerry may be right! Who seems to get killed more often over there in Iraq? National Guard personnel.

Item Three: The Associated Press reported that things in Iraq are much, much worse than Bush is letting on in campaign stump speeches. The best case is years of uncertainty, the worst case is all out civil war. Bush supposedly got this info from the CIA back in August, and it's appearing that he's ignoring it.

This might be good for John Kerry. Time will tell the tale.

Need help with them waders, Mr. President?


Thursday, September 16, 2004

My Daily Aquarius Forecast and Other Assorted Stuff

Quickie: The plot will take several surprising twists. Don't assume you know the ending.
(I can't assume anything any more. Now my life has become a "plot"??)

Overview: Someone with a delightful twinkle in their eye will be along shortly -- and they'll want a lot more from you than directions. Oh, and you can always offer to show them around personally.
(Hmmm, I can't imagine who they might mean in my cast, er "plot")


I'm trying out the Firefox browser, and it reminds me a lot of the Netscape Navigator, but it's better. I've used either IE or Netscape the whole time (seven years!) I've been online. It's nice to try something new.


My pictures are messed up, in case you've noticed today. I store my pictures on Photobucket, and their system's been down all day. It's rather annoying because the Photobucket folks failed to inform the people who use their service of an outage. I'd go to the site to see what's up, and it acts like I don't even have anything on their site. I'm thinking that they've deleted all the pics I have stored there, and they didn't have the courtesy to tell me why. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!


I get these emails that say "Stephanie, is this 25 grand yours?" Problem is, it's in my junk folder. Even if I had 25 grand coming to me, I sure hope as hell that they'd send it via check to the house and not inform me by junk email!

I get these kind of junk emails all the time, in all three of the email accounts I use regularly. It's a pain in the ass, f'sure!


I miss my cat, Columbus ^=.=^
(I'd post a pick of my "dum-dum", but I can't get to my albums on Photobucket!)


I have an announcement to make...

I feel like crud.

When they say "under the weather", well, right now, that's how I feel. It's raining here today, and I've felt pretty cruddy all week, so maybe the weather has something to do with my malaise.

Just think if I were in the Hurricane Zone right now...I might be in a coma LOL.

Looks like N.O. was spared. Haven't yet talked to Darlene today to find out what really happened. I expect Saon will stay in Tennessee thru the weekend. I don't expect to hear from him at any rate.

(when I feel a little more human after some sleep)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Ivan: one bad ass storm bearing down on the Big Easy has an article that says that Ivan is one bad mother and that people are being told to get the hell out!

"Roughly 2 million people had been urged or ordered to leave coastal areas, including more than 1.2 million in the New Orleans metropolitan area. "

Darlene, Saon's sister, lives a bit east of New Orleans, and that's the part the hurricane could hit first. She told me in an email this morning that she's sent her two youngest daughters to Texas, but she was staying put to ride it out. Now, she's going to do whatever is best for her, but if it were me, I'd be so gone!

I just got an IM from Darlene, and she tells me that Saon is in Tennessee to get away from the storm. He asked her if she wanted to go with him, but she declined, afraid that if she left, she wouldn't be able to get back to her house. Darlene said that there's a lot of wind and a little rain, and there might be some flooding. She hasn't been asked to evacuate, so she's staying.

The Times Picayune (aka has all kinds of stuff about hurricanes and their relation to New Orleans on their site.

The way I understand it, New Orleans is like a bowl: the levees are the sides of the bowl with the Mississippi River and Lake Ponchatrain on the outside, and the city itself is at the bottom of the bowl. Even I knew that New Orleans is below sea level, and that flooding there, even during a heavy rainstorm (much less a hurricane), is a possiblilty.

Ivan is still a Category 4 storm, a little weakened, but still a 4. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer that the storm doesn't do the damage it's capable of.

Lord, keep Saon safe --Amen.


Jami's been found! She's okay!

KFOR-TV is reporting that Jami Hicks has been found early this morning in a motel in Northeast Oklahoma City. Police were able to track James Hudachek, Jami, and an as yet unidentified woman to the motel. Hudachek shot himself in the head, and was mediflighted to a local hospital, condition unknown, but Jami and the woman were unharmed. Early reports state that Jami's mother is en route to Oklahoma City to reunite with her daughter (Jami's biological father lives in Oklahoma).

KFOR is reporting that James called his wife, Jami's mother, at midnight CDT and told her that she had three hours to get to Oklahoma City to pick up Jami. James further warned that if Angela called police, that he would shoot himself. Angela called 911, and police showed up at the Quality Inn in Oklahoma City. James did shoot himself, and is in the hospital. Angela is waiting to be reunited with Jami. Jami is being checked out by doctors at a local hospital.

The Mesquite, Texas, police will be holding a press conference later this morning.

Update: Both KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City and the Dallas Morning News are reporting that Jami is in the custody of Child Protective Services in Texas, and that James Hudachek died of his self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head shortly after 12 noon today.


UPDATED: 15 September 2004, 2:00pm CDT

I'm sure Mom likes this

There's a new tropical storm out there in the Atlantic. It's called "Jeanne".

Jean is my mother's name. When she was much younger (before my sister and I came along, so this was more than 40 years ago), she spelled her name "Jeanne" (pronounced like "Jeannie").

My sister and I have have names so far down in the alphabet, that there will probably never be hurricanes called "Stephanie" and "Victoria".


PS: Keep Jami in your thoughts. She's still missing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ivan's headed to the Gulf Coast...

Ivan, that bastard of a hurricane that has already decimated places in the Caribbean, is now in the Gulf of Mexico and headed right for land. Specifically, New Orleans eastward to the panhandle of Florida. It's expected to hit there sometime Thursday as a weak Category 4 or a strong Category 3.

I wish Saon would call just to tell me he's okay. He knew about the possibility that the storm would hit shortly after he arrived; he told me before he left Hutch last Friday.


PS: keep Jami Hicks in your prayers. She's still missing.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Jami Hicks Amber Alert Update

UPDATED: 13 September 2004, 8:45pm --The Amber Alert for Jami Hicks has been canceled even though Jami is still missing. On, her mother, Angela, has an audio message to everyone who has been reading about her daughter. Just because the Amber Alert has been canceled, doesn't mean Jami is out of danger. If anything, she is probably in more danger, because Hudachek may be aware of the efforts to find Jami.

Please pray for Jami's safe return.

Sometime this evening, I will have something up on the sidebar regarding the search for Jami. I want to see this young lady home safe, and her abductor behind bars.

UPDATED: 13 September 2004, 1:04pm CDT-- Jami's family has set up a website to help find the 12 year old Texas girl who was kidnapped by her stepfather on September 3rd. Please visit The family has received a letter from Jami that indicates that she is okay and that she believes she is "travelling the world". She has been to a number of amusement parks on the Atlantic coast and is believed to be headed to Hershey, PA to visit the Hershey Chocolate amsement park.

Jami is still believed to be in grave danger, as her stepfather, James Roy Hudachek, is considered armed and dangerous. He is also believed to be delusional and capable of harming Jami and/or himself.

See also this article published on the website.

If anyone has seen Jami or Hudachek, call 911, the number listed on the page, or see

Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Simple Man"

Performed by Shinedown
Originally recorded by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Well, Momma told me
When I was young
Said sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this, it'll help you some sunny day

Oh, take your time
Don't live too fast
Troubles will come
And they will pass
You'll find a woman
And you'll find love
And don't forget that there is someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can

Forget your lust
For rich man's gold
All that you need now
Is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can

Oh, don't you worry
You'll find yourself
Follow your heart
And nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son, is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can
So baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can

He should be there by now

His bus was scheduled to arrive early this morning. I hope the trip went well. I know how long and drawn out those bus rides are! He's probably sleeping (and snoring!) away.

Hopefully, I'll hear from him soon. But, I am prepared for a long wait.


Saturday, September 11, 2004

Never, ever forget-- 9.11.01

In memory of all who were lost that awful day three years ago: we will never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Well, he just ups and leaves...

He must have realized it was getting late, he didn't even say goodbye. Hopefully, he'll call me after he gets to where he's going.

Have a safe trip, baby. Talk to you soon. --me

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Amber Alert: Jami Hicks

I know I have the Ticker above that shows the latest Amber Alerts that are issued, but this girl is in real danger.

UPDATE (from On Saturday September 11 the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division issued the Amber Alert for Jami Hicks after a possible sighting. New vehicle information: They may be traveling in a Black 200 Ford Focus with TX tag G56ZSD and paper dealer tag 92504. There may also be a decal on the rear of the car with "J&J Auto Sales".

Jami was kidnapped by her stepfather. It was reported that the stepfather, James Roy Hudachek, had become obsessed with the girl and a "love note" was found at the girl's residence that gave the impression that Jami was in danger.

Jami's mother wasn't aware of her husband's obsession with the girl, apparently. James Roy Hudachek had bought a car without his wife's knowledge, took money from the couple's bank account and from the ministry where he preaches. Jami was last seen with her stepfather about 11pm on Friday 9/3/04.

Please click on the link for more information about this case. If you've seen her or her abductor, call the police number listed on the Amber Alert.

You just may save Jami's life.


I hope everything is okay

Didn't hear from Saon today. He had some things to take care of before he leaves for Louisiana tomorrow, I'm sure. I just hope he didn't do anything stupid to get himself into trouble. His bus leaves in the morning, and he's anxious to get away from Minnesota.

He should be in Louisiana by Sunday, he tells me. He has a place to stay. I only pray that he's safe. Watch over him Lord.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

...but Dean brought her home

I thought I was going to have to trek back out to Midwest City this afternoon to pick Pinky up at the vet's office. Instead, Dean brought her home. She had been sedated so she was a little out of it. She came over to me on the couch and I petted her. She'd had a bath and she felt clean. She also has three different medications and a special shampoo to help clear up what turned out to be a skin infection due to allergies. Tick and flea bites played a role, but basically she has allergies.

She has to have one medication three times a day, one twice a day and a heartworm med once a month, so her next one of those is due the 8th of next month.

Hopefully, no more scratching, biting and bleeding all over the place (from knocking the scabs off).


Took Pinky to the vet today...

and the vet's office is all the way out in Midwest City near Dean's office! Daniel had to show me how to get there. I have to go pick her up in a while, but I don't think I'm going to be able to find my way there alone, so Daniel's going with me again. I hope the vet is able to do something for her, she looked awful with all her scabs from tick bites (at least that's what we think is the problem).

Then, we had Joey over here for a couple of hours, and was that boy cranky! He actually took a nap, and was still sleeping when his mother came to get him. And, he was still cranky, poor kid!

Saon's counting the hours until he leaves for Louisiana, he's that anxious to get out of MN! He's got a place to stay and might be able to get his old job back. He's just a little (understatement alert!) PO'd that he got a bogus check from someone he did work for last week. There are no funds in the person's bank account to cover the relatively small amount, and Saon's tried to cash it a number of times already. I made some suggestions, but he says none of them will work because Hutch is a "small town that takes care of it's own". All the better that he's leaving then, the way I see it. He doesn't need all that stress and drama in his life. Just living life is hard enough!


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

It's a little more complicated than that

Mom had her bridge put back in today. She joked that she wondered if the dentist could just Super Glue it back in place. Turns out that's what the dentist had in mind, though not with Super Glue. Mom had to have two root canals because of an abssess in one of the roots, then the dentist placed the bridge back in place. It took about 2 1/2 hours to complete.

Tomorrow morning, I have to take our dog, Pinky, to the vet. She's got some kind of skin problem that causes her to scratch and bite and gnaw at her skin to the point of bleeding. She looks pretty rough, but hopefully the vet can fix her up.

After that, we're going to have Joey here for the afternoon. He went to a toddler class that is held at the local Catholic church, and Tori says he had fun (he even took a nap, something he never does when he's here!)

Talked to Saon a number of times today and tonight via Yahoo! Mess-up-enger. He's still at his ex's house, and maybe he can extend that stay until Friday when he leaves for Louisiana. He sounds hopeful that he can get his old job back, and he has a place to stay with a friend when he gets there.

Lord, I miss that man! It's been a year since I was in Gretna when I last saw him.

I've got to get to bed early, because Pinky needs to be at the vet at 8am! Night all...


Monday, September 06, 2004

Labor day...

Today was a weird day. It felt like a Saturday, mostly because Jeff went over to my sister's today to mow the lawn.

Mom and I went to Jimmy's Egg for breakfast, then to the store to do some major grocery shopping.

I missed Saon being online today. He left me an offline message around 4:30pm saying he'd be online for about another hour, then nothing more tonight. At about that time, I was taking a nap. Hopefully, I'll catch him tomorrow. If I don't, I'm not going to sweat it. I know he's leaving for Louisiana toward the end of the week, and getting that taken care of should be his main priority right now.

Man, I have a headache! Where's the Tylenol?


Sunday, September 05, 2004

Oh, is this why I am the way I am...

"While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats." ~Mark Twain

Borrowed from Green Eyes and Freckles.


"Bush has nothing to run on but fear of another Sept. 11"

From the Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune 9/5/04

By David Nyhan

So this publicity-hungry rich guy in New York with the swaggering "my way or the highway" attitude embraced the Sept. 11 terror episode for crass and personal reasons on Thursday?

In a manner that seeks to hijack the citizenry's very appropriate respect for the victims in the service of a very inappropriate goal? Is this the ultimate in cheese, or what?

Oh, you thought I'm talking about President Bush's milking of Sept. 11 in his desperate attempt to de-legitimize John Kerry and hold onto power by tactics just as scummy as his father employed against Mike Dukakis?

Nah. That's just politics, as practiced by the Texas Dirt Ballers. No surprise there; Karl Rove and his Sanctimonious Smearers hold the patent on vicious campaign tactics. I'm talking about Uncle Bluster, George Steinbrenner, that other baseball executive, not the one leaving no dirty trick behind in his frantic bid to avoid ejection from the White House.

The Yankees' Boss of Bosses, humiliated by a 22-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians, tried to rally his pinstriped millionaires with exhortations in the spirit of Sept. 11. "I wanted to show the fans that we have the same courage and the same attitudes all New Yorkers have had in fighting back from that terrible episode on 9-11," Steinbrenner explained. Oh; I get it; losing a baseball game is like losing 3,000 people.

Well, at least he said "all New Yorkers" shared in the credit for the rebound. At Madison Square Garden, where the attacks on Kerry were unrelenting even into Bush's speech, Sept.11 is a Republican holiday; no Democrats need apply. Ditto for the stolen-from-the-Olympics "USA" chant. The GOP gives new meaning to the old Boy Scout game "Capture the Flag."

New York Gov. George Pataki skidded nose first on the tarmac with his unctuous flop of an introductory speech. If this George wants to join Washington, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. as eponymous presidents, he needs more tryout time out of town. Who told him to thank Oregon for booking 1,000 hotel rooms after Sept.11? And Iowa for sending 1,500 quilts? When Pataki claimed that while he was at Yale, Kerry never debated him, he should consider himself lucky.

The ethically challenged three-term governor, whose cronies have been enriched lavishly during his reign, had some neat lines. His "Hype is on the way" twist of the Kerry-Edwards ticket's refrain that "Hope is on the way" was funny, like Arnold Schwarzenegger's jab at Kerry's "57 varieties" of whatever.

Pataki's "We're going to win this one for the Gipper" must have caused gas pains up in the balcony, where sat Bush I and his fearsome wife, the redoubtable Barbara, of whom it is said she really wears the pants in the family. Bush I and his Barbara are famously alienated from Nancy Reagan and the Gipper's intimates. But, hey, when there are 90 Bush Dynasty relatives in the hall, and the dynasty's future lies with Gov. Jeb of Florida, you grin and bear it whenever the sainted Reagan's name is tossed to the mob like a matador flicking a bull's ear into the cheap seats.

I particularly enjoyed Pataki's reverential ode to the Bush team's "honesty and integrity." No, I wasn't expecting a ringing defense of Vice President Cheney's Halliburton profits, nor any lament that good old Bush buddy Kenny Boy Lay, Enron's disgraced boss, was not around to deliver the same sort of speech he gave to the 2000 GOP delegates.

There were two surprises in the climactic event, the president's own speech. First, he spent the first half reassuring voters he hasn't forgotten about the economy, which has stalled and stuttered on his watch, tossing millions more Americans into poverty and out of work and off health insurance. And then he took the risky but probably necessary step of attacking Kerry directly and persistently -- no doubt a measure of the GOP ticket's desperation.

Like a slacker student assuring his teacher he hasn't forgotten all about last semester's lessons, Bush slapped together a laundry list of laudable domestic and economic riffs, even reaching back into his 2000 grab-bag for the privatizing Social Security gimmick. Then we got to Phase II: WAR! TERROR! SCARY!

"We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America!" If you believe that, despite four years' results to the contrary, then you are voting Republican, and good luck to you -- you're simply not persuadable, "and nothing will hold us back." Unless a Kerry victory intervenes. Bush has been president of Iraq, and Iraq only, for the past two years; now he's remembering the economy, and claims he'll renovate that mean old U.S. tax code, "a complicated mess filled with special-interest loopholes."

We got into Loopy Land when Bush denounced Hollywood. OK, so maybe he hadn't heard the "Win this one for the Gipper" line. But had he missed Schwarzenegger's speech as well? And senator-turned-actor Ben Thompson's treacly video tribute about Bush as Sept. 11's sainted hero? And what's the NRA's big gun, Charlton Heston? Chopped liver? They're not "Hollywood"? C'mon; Hollywood been very bery bery good to the GOP.

As he harrumphed about millions of Afghans registering to vote, his political henchmen in Florida are trying to de-register hundreds of thousands of blacks from the Florida voting rolls, just as the GOP did in 2000, delisting thousands of black voters and otherwise making it hard for their votes to count.

Bush's justification for invading Iraq, for the umpteenth time, failed to convince. No WMDs, no nukes, no solid intelligence, no adequate planning for the aftermath, no mention of the Halliburton war profiteering, skating right past the condemnations of intelligence failures and administration's tone-deaf ignoring of warnings percolating up through the bureaucracy -- none of that was alluded to.
Bush's most touching and sincere moments came at the end, when he extolled the military families who mourn fallen soldiers. So heartfelt seemed his comments, it is inexplicable why he has yet to attend the funeral of even one of the nearly 1,000 Americans to perish in Iraq on his orders. I guess Karl Rove won't let him be photographed beside a flag-draped coffin.

So that was the package. All terror, all the time; think of the next four years under Bush as 24/7 of Fox News, in your ear, all the time. Sept. 11 is all Bush has. If the economy's the issue, he's a goner. "Terror and likability" are what underpin his leadership ratings. All I know is I'm sick of Sept. 11 being hijacked for tawdry purposes. Bush led us into Iraq for phony reasons having nothing to do with Sept. 11. Bush Jr.'s Iraq war looks suspiciously more like some weird Freudian trip to avenge his father's political defeat after letting Saddam off the hook.
That's a lousy reason for 1,000 GIs to die, and for America's economic health to be kidnapped by a war we didn't need, waged in such fashion to leave us more exposed and vulnerable in the world, with all of America's post Sept. 11 goodwill squandered in the name of spurious patriotism, falsified intelligence and unsound diplomacy.

Four more years? Uh-uh.

Fill the Boot for MDA

When you're out driving this weekend and you see some of your friendly neighborhood firefighters and paramedics out in the street with a boot, call 'em over and put some money in it. It's for a very good cause.

More info here.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Back in the day, when it wasn't the hippest place on the globe

I was watching some game show on TV recently, and one of the contestants stated she was from "The O.C." I wanted to crawl thru the screen and wring her with-it little neck!

Then there's that TV show that so many people like called "The O.C." That's where all this got started, on some stupid show with vapid characters that don't resemble anyone you actually know. Pleeeeeease!

TV's been making shows about L.A. forever, now they've decided to move a little south and invade places I know like Newport Beach. Even I know that Newport Beach is cool, and this was back in the days when it was "locals only". The locals knew cool when they saw it.

"The O.C." they show on TV is worlds away from the place I grew up, Orange County, California. Not "The O.C." I wouldn't be caught dead telling people I was from "The O.C.", though that would give people some idea of where I was talking about, because of that show. That's like someone from San Francisco calling their city "Frisco" (which bugged the crap out of my dad, a San Francisco native), or New Orleanians calling their city "The Big Easy" (I read on some website that no one in New Orleans calls it that).

Now, granted, that I grew up in Orange County back in the 70's and 80's when it wasn't known the world over as the hippest address on the planet next to "90210". It was a "bedroom community" south of L.A. When people asked me where I was from (which after living on the East Coast for 15 years, I was asked that a lot because I didn't sound like I was from either Virginia or Massachusetts), I'd say Orange County, California. Usually, that was followed by "Where's that?" I'd say it's about 50 miles south of L.A., or where Disneyland is.

Orange County was a great place to grow up. My parents were "comfortable", not wealthy, and my sister and I lacked for nothing. Believe it or not, there are poor people in "The O.C." They lived in the county seat of Santa Ana (and still do to my knowledge) and were either mostly Hispanic or Vietnamese. I couldn't afford to live there now, even if I had a job, a house, a car that runs, and money in the bank. I don't want to live in California. I've been trying my whole adult life to escape from that place. It's nothing like it was when I lived there. I have my memories of what it was like, and I'd like to keep them without having them invalidated by some idiotic, unrealistic teen-angst drama.

In closing, I'd like to apologize to those of you who truly like the show. I don't. If you want to think that real life in "The O.C." is like that, that's your prerogative. I know it's not. I'm from Orange County, California. I'm proud of that. I'll always be a California girl. To paraphrase a well know saying, "You can take the girl out of California, but you can't take California out of the girl."


Memo to the Rev. Grant Storms from the City of New Orleans:

Go away! Far away!

Labor day weekend is here and in New Orleans that means two things-- Southern Decadence and the annoyance that is the Rev. Grant Storms.

The article is quite short, so I will reproduce it here in its entirety:

A group of merchants on New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street have won a
temporary restraining order against the Reverend Grant Storms and his posse of
Southern Decadence protesters.

Civil District Judge Michael Bagneris issued the order yesterday
barring Storms and his group from using megaphones during their protests and
directs them to abide by city noise ordinances.

Storms, a fundamentalist Christian, and others oppose the festival as
immoral. This week, Bishop Paul S. Morton of the Greater Saint Stephen Full
Gospel Baptist Church denounced the celebration of gay culture as -- quote -- an
abomination to God.

In arguing for the T-R-O, Earl Bernhardt, president of the Bourbon
Street Alliance, said the protesters use antics that drive away customers.
Bernhardt owns the Tropical Isle at the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse streets.
He says Storms' sidewalk sermons last year drowned out the performers in his
club and disrupted his business.

Storms says the restraining order will not effect his protest

I was in New Orleans last year when this was all going on, and I think that the merchants have a point. Southern Decadence is a gay event for the most part, and Rev. Storms is a fundamental Christian who disapproves of the gay lifestyle. He takes a bullhorn and a video camera and uses them to tell revellers that their lifestyle is a sin. And he gains access to some businesses and tapes the goings on therein to use to prove his "point".

Let the gays have their fun, the "Good Reverand" should take his protest elsewhere, and the merchants make money. Then everyone is happy.

This'll be interesting. Too bad I'm not there now to see it.


Friday, September 03, 2004

They want how much??

Jeff got a letter from the Bursar's Office at (from all places) the University of Oklahoma. Yup, the school Jeff decided not to attend this year. And, they're looking for money. For room and board. To the tune of $2900!

Jeff just had to check to make sure he really had cancelled his enrollment, so he went online to take care of that. He has no classes, no information that states he ever attended OU. Even for a second.

That didn't stop the Bursar's Office from sending this bill. Jeff's gonna have to call them next week and get this straightened out. He still has his tuition at UCO to take care of; we're just waiting on the Financial Aid office to give us the word about how much Jeff can expect.



If you don't have it, don't put out signs saying you do

There's this gas station and mini mart near my house that has signs that advertise that this establishment has an ATM from a local bank. It just happens to be the bank Mom has an account with. Since I'm usually the one who pays for everything using her ATM card, I thought that I would get some money out of the machine. I went inside and used the machine, but before I could finish, a message popped up saying that the account would be charged $1.50 for the transaction. The ATM wasn't affiliated with Mom's bank.

I mentioned this to the clerk, that if they're going to have signs saying that [Name of Bank here]'s ATM is inside their store, then maybe they should have [Name of Bank]'s ATM. This place did not. The clerk just looked at me and said that she didn't know anything about it and I could talk to the manager, who convienently was not onsite. "Then if you don't have it, don't put out signs saying you do," I told her, now more than a little PO'ed that all she was capable of doing was passing the buck.

I ended up using an ATM at one of the bank's branch locations.

Then I went to the 7-11 to get Mom her cigs, and as I walked in, I saw someone wearing the Eskimo Joe's "Party Party" tshirt that I wrote about a month ago(where I asked that if a reader ended up buying one from the Eskimo Joe's site, to send me a pic of you wearing it). I told the man who was wearing it that I had seen it on the net and finally saw someone wearing out in public. The man turned around, and he ended up being one of the news anchors from the local NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City . I recognized him immediately, and I said rather casually, "Oh, you're Lance West." Well, he was really cool about the whole thing, especially since he was dressed in not only the tshirt, but shorts too. Very cool. This kind of thing would have never, ever happened where I grew up in Orange County, CA.

Then I went home. Mom wanted lunch so I went over to McAlister's Deli to get some sandwiches. I would have usually called in the order, but I couldn't find the McAlister's menu, so I went and placed the order at the shop. While I was waiting for it to be ready, "Dorothy" from The Wizard of Oz came in with her mom and dad (okay, it was a three year old girl dressed in a similar dress and even wore "ruby slippers").

So, that's been my day so far...

Saon didn't get in touch with me today, so I hope all is going well, and he'll call me or IM me at some point before he goes to New Orleans next week. We had a good conversation last night. I miss him a lot.


This has been bugging me for a while now...

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

The Truth...according to WHOM?



He's got a least I hope it's a plan

Talked to Saon on the phone this evening. We had a lot to say, and we talked about getting together to see if a relationship is truly possible between us.

He asked me what my ideas were about us making this a permanent arrangement, and I told him that I want to see if things will work out before we up and get married. I didn't want to just jump into it, then find out a few months out that it was a mistake. Also, I pointed out that there were children (my two youngest) involved in the equation, and I had to take their feelings and reactions into account as well. I want them to get to know Saon before he and I made any wedding plans. Saon agreed. He told me that he knew I was a "package deal" and that didn't bother him, that he wanted the best for me and the boys. Taking it easy is the best for all concerned. That way, we can see how it works in real life, rather than in theory.

He's going to go to New Orleans next week and try to make a fresh start there. He has to deal with the issue of possibly selling his dog, Blue, something he doesn't want to do, but may have to do. I know that breaks his heart, because he really cares for that dog. It's just like when I learned that Jon gave away my cat, Sadie. It just broke my heart because I loved that cat, and he had already managed to lose Miss Flurry.

Meanwhile, Saon's in a motel by virtue of assistance from the state of Minnesota, at least thru tomorrow. He thinks that he could get his job back at the marina. My only concern is where he's going to end up staying once he gets there.

He wants to get out of MN before it snows, or else, he says, he'll be stuck there for the winter.

I pray that everything works itself out for him. Lord, continue to watch over him, and keep him safe. --Amen.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

Why am I not surprised?

This article from the Billings Gazette website about Swift Boat vets who did not give their permission for their names to be used in a letter denouncing John Kerry's Vietnam war service makes me mad! It seems that Bush is so desperate to make Kerry look bad that he'd stoop to something as low down as putting names of Swift Boat vets who did not wish to have their names associated with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the slanderous ads the group runs.

One man stated that he not only didn't want his name on the letter the group put out, but didn't agree with their agenda. Attempts to contact the group proved futile. Have they got something to hide? Looks like it from where I sit.

Read the article and decide for yourself.


I gotta get to bed, but first, this...

Over on Blogger's homepage, they have a list of notable blogs listed by date. Instead of listing them the way people in the US do it (mm/dd/yyyy, or 09/02/2004), they do it the European way (dd/mm/yyyy, or 02/09/2004), which is kind of confusing when you're dealing with the first nine months of the year and the first nine days of those nine months.

In my head, today's date looks like Feburary 9th. If I saw something dated 2/9/04, I would automatically think February 9th, especially if September 2nd hasn't occured yet.

Yes, I probably am one of those thick Americans who just doesn't get the ways things are done in the rest of the world. I probably pronounce all the names wrong, and generally look like an ass in the process (kinda like our -coff-coff- President). One thing that I can say in my defense is that I've never travelled outside the USA, so how would I know these things? I got close to Canada a couple of times (about 17 years apart), and Mexico, never. I don't have a passport, so I can't go anywhere else until I get one. I read a lot, and I watch movies and other programs that take place in other countries, but I've been in the Lower 48 my entire life (all four decades of it).

Am I deprived or what?

Maybe one day, I'll take that cruise to the Bahamas or someplace. I just fear I'll be too old to enjoy it (which is irrational, because I love travelling, even if it's something that won't happen for 25 more years).

I gotta get to bed! 6:55am comes awfully early when you go to bed at 1:30am.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I know so many people to whom this would apply, but now it's just the Ex

Just Like You
Three Days Grace

I could be mean
I could be angry
You know I could be just like you

I could be fake
I could be stupid
You know I could be just like you

You thought you were sitting beside me
Your were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you

You thought you were there to guide me
You were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you
You thought you were there to guide me
You were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you

I could be cold
I could be ruthless
You know I could be just like you

I could be weak
I could be senseless
You know I could be just like you

You thought you were sitting beside me
Your were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you

You thought you were there to guide me
You were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you
You thought you were there to guide me
You were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you

On my own, cause I can't take living with you
I'm alone, so I won't turn out like you
Want me to

You thought you were sitting beside me
Your were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you

You thought you were there to guide me
You were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you
You thought you were there to guide me
You were only in my way
You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you

I could be mean
I could be angry
You know I could be just like you


Just like Jon?? God Forbid! Perish the thought!

Slumming on NW 23rd Street and Other Tales

I finally found the time and the nerve to do this one thing I discovered some months ago. I ventured down to NW 23rd Street to a lab that collects plasma. The plan hit a snag, however; because the lab uses your Social Security number to track their donors, they needed to see mine, and I don't carry mine on me anymore (for obvious reasons). So I couldn't donate today, so I will have to get back down that way later in the week.

Across from the lab, there was this shop. It was called something like "Exotic" or "Tradewind" or words along those lines. It looked like one of those tourist trap places that line such exotic locales such as...NW 23rd Street. What got me was the picture on the shop's sign: an "Indian maiden". Not just any garden variety Indian maiden, but one dressed in a vest and a loincloth and very little underneath. She looked like what Playboy would think Native American women dressed to attract the Honorable Warrior to her teepee.

Out in the very small parking space in front of the shop, some man in a truck was yelling at someone (I never saw who) down the street in a rather loud and gruff voice, like he was talking to a dog who shit on the new carpet.

Also on NW 23rd Street, there are any number of body piercing studios (and probably tattoo parlors, too, if tattoo parlors were not illegal in Oklahoma. If you really want a tat, you gotta go to Texas. Sorry Tank), and check cashing places. And there were a couple of shops that looked like they came straight out of the 1970's Black Power movement. Down the street a bit, there's Shepherd Mall, where the Social Security office is. The mall has seen better days, as there were not many stores left. It's mostly government offices and a few die hard stores that seem to still have some clientele. Maybe students at nearby Oklahoma City University shop there. I don't know.

There was a Church's Fried Chicken, and I hear there's a Popeye's, too. But I didn't travel down that far today.


A couple weeks ago or so, I had a post titled, "Dance Like No One is Watching, Love Like You've Never Been Hurt" (I think that's the exact title. I'm relying on my memory here). Well, someone was looking for that line in a search that ended up on my referrers list. I followed the link and found out who wrote the line. The whole line is this:

Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching.
Time waits for no one.

I found it here, and the author's name is Crystal Boyd. She states in an email to the webmaster of the site I found this at that she wrote it in 1998, along with an entire essay that ends with those lines quoted above. However, Ms. Boyd's website hasn't been updated since late 2003, so whether she still works on the site or not, I have no idea.


Still thinking about Saon and his predicament. He said he'd call, but I don't think he will (calling cards cost money), but he's supposed to be online from the job center in Hutch about the same time as today, so we shall see what happens. I hope that all works out for him and he finds someone (preferably family) to stay with until he gets on his feet. I can imagine that his family is tired of his inability to have plans when he ends up back home, but if it were me (and it's not), I'd take him in, just because he's kin. But, I don't know about those folks down there in the N.O.... the rules are different, I suppose.



It's friggin September already! It's true that as you get older, time seems to fly by. I think I've said this before, so if this sounds familiar, that's probably why.

Saon IM'ed me yesterday. It was good to hear from him. He's in MN still, after making a side trip to New Orleans. Things aren't going so well for him at the moment. I guess the good news is that he told me that his divorce is final, all he has to do is pick up the papers when they come in in a week or so.

He did manage to get his dog, Blue, to his cousin's house in Mississippi, so at least the dog's okay. I asked Saon if going to where the dog is is an option, and he didn't really give me an answer. Right now, he has other, more important things to tend to.

He says he still wants to be with me. I still want to be with him, too, and I told him that. Now isn't the time for that, though, because our lives separately are kind of disorganized. I am glad that he is okay, even though things are not all that great.

He talked about coming here to Oklahoma. And, that would be nice, but I want to get out of here! I told Saon that and he asked me where I wanted to go when I left Oklahoma. I told him that I would like to go back to New England, either Massachusetts or New Hampshire. He said that would be cool because it's nice there.

So, I'll take a wait-n-see approach to this and see what developes. It might not become anything, at least not now. I'm looking at down the road; but, not too far, because things can change in the wink of an eye. Next week something significant could happen, or it might not happen for a few weeks. You never know.

Update: just as I was getting ready to save this, Saon IM'ed me again. Seems that he's headed back to Louisiana next week. His ex apparently is going to front him the $89 to catch the bus. He's still talking about coming here, then talking about me coming to Louisiana. I don't want him to do anything impulsively and regret it later, so I hope he thinks this through thouroughly before he gets on that damn bus! He's gotta have a plan, then stick to it.