Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's all about me

Wednesday. I would vote for Bill Clinton again. I really would. My daughter said, after his speech, "He'd make a great Secretary of State." I said, "I think that will go to Bill Richardson." I still love Joe Biden. Doggie got into Beanie's dinner when Beanie had to run to the potty. I had to answer the door, and Doggie snuck into the kitchen and finished Beanie's turkey and crackers. Not good, as Doggie is very allergic to food and has to eat a specific kind of food. This means she'll have the trots by Friday.

Thursday, still getting up to speed with the new company. Lots to re-learn. Must really work on building my business again - so much lost from working at SlavesRUs. Dinner at friends to watch Obama's speech. He rocked the house, no kidding. My friends who were at the convention have been stoked all week.

Friday, got another email from Napoleon. Seems he tried to hack into my checking account to stop payment on my check August 15. He didn't pay me my last two weeks August 30 - and he claims I owe him time. Yes, you read that correctly. He tried to hack into my checking account - without success - and sent me a threatening email "You knew you were leaving, waited until your paycheck cleared then changed or closed your checking account" was the gist of the email. Um, excuse me? I have contacted an attorney.

Saturday, we drove out to about two miles west of where Jesus lost his sandals to visit my brother. Then we came home, and I babysat while my daughter went out. I was completely exhausted, as Doggy woke up about 1 AM, and paced and paced until 4 AM, keeping me up all night. She's not feeling too well since she ate Beanie's food Wednesday night - she's got diahrea from food allergies. I gave the lead at my AA meeting, and everyone made me laugh - I was a little punchy from lack of sleep. I read the draft letter from my attorney, have to think if it needs changing.

Sunday, we took Doggy to the Chicago Emergency Vet Clinic/Hospital on Clybourn. Her bloody diahrea resembled a pint of blood. The good news: she's developed a treatable infection from her food allergy, nearly dehydrated and they've kept her at least until Monday to rehydrate and give IV anti-biotics. Daughter went to the Cubs Game, Beanie and I went to a picnic, and now I want to sleep for a week.

And now you know why I have not been visiting anyone. Oh, that, and the fact that if I sit down to the computer, my daughter insults me. And she just tossed me out of the bathroom while Beanie was taking her bath. Two weeks here is long enough and I'm here for one more. Yikes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick update from Mary Ellen

I just had an email from Mary Ellen. She said her sister-in-law has slipped into a deep coma, and they don't expect her to last the night. Please keep her in your thoughts, prayers, and send as much good energy her way as you can. It has been a tough go.

I've not been around to visit anyone's blogs while I'm in Chicago this trip, and I apologize. When I am home, and not chasing a 3-year-old, I will catch up. In the meantime, if I have not lost all my readers and you are reading this post, please get the word out to circle the wagons around Nunly while her family grieves this loss. She's really hurting, and can use the love.

8/27/08 Further update: Mary Ellen emailed and said her sister-in-law passed away at 10:10 PM last night. She thanks one and all for their support.

The Lion in Winter

photo by Nancy Lane

“For me this is season of hope, of new hope . . . This is the cause of my life, that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American will have decent health care, not as a privilege but as a right.

“We can meet these challenges with Barack Obama. Yes, we can and finally yes we will. This November, the torch with be passed again to a new generation of Americans.”

My daughter and I watched first Senator Ted Kennedy's inspiring speech, and then Michelle Obama's equally inspiring speech. I wept openly as I listened to Kennedy speak from the heart, focusing on those things I grew up believing in: from his late brother's Inaugural Address, when newly-elected John Fitzgerald Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," I have believed that we have a patriotic duty to heal the rifts brought on by fear.

Kennedy spoke to that fear, and to that call to action.

And then Michelle Obama got up there and talked about walking away from her great job in a big Chicago law firm to do just that - to work out in the community to heal the rifts brought on by fear. She talked openly about how we are all connected - something I believe as well. We are all connected, no matter our race, no matter our choice of faith or not, we are connected be we straight, gay, or bi-; we are connected whether we live in the United States, or in Iraq, or in Korea. And my daughter, a single mom with a 3-year-old, wept openly while Michelle Obama spoke from the heart.

She spoke to that fear, and to that call to action as well.

You may not love Obama. But if you line up the issues, and call yourself a Liberal, or a Progressive, or a Democrat, you cannot support John McCain. John McCain will not support a health care program for all Americans. John McCain will not find a way to end this mistake of a war in Iraq. John McCain will not help people get to work, nor will he search for alternative energy resources. John McCain will continue the politics of fear that the current administration has played for the last eight years. So, if you are a Liberal, a Progressive, a Democrat, and you may not love Obama, please dig deep before you cast your vote in November. It is a choice between the politics of fear, or the politics of hope, and while the candidate may not be perfect, he is a far cry better than what the Republicans offer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spartacus came to the Party

So, you may have noticed I haven't been doing too much visiting your blogs the last week - I've been setting up at the new company, and busy with the Secretary of Strawberries and Cream and her mommy, but yesterday we had a barbque so I invited Spartacus to come on down. He's in Chicago for a class, arrived yesterday, it was perfect. So he checked into his hotel, dropped his bags, and came to the party.

I will mention that Spartacus has a WORLD CLASS New York accent - this is a city boy through and through - it's great, I don't care that he lives out on the Island, he's classic New York and he's got all the things I love about that city wrapped up in his voice. Living in Los Angeles makes me long for a real city, and real city people know what I mean. Chicago is a real city, too.

So we sat out in my daughter's back yard, about 20 - 25 people with kids, eating great barbque, enjoying perfect weather, and I have to tell you that Spartz was a hit with my daughter's friends - and he's got himself some tour guides which I think is fantastic.

He got the seal of approval from The Secretary of Strawberries and Cream as well. But in the heated game of baggo, my daughter and her friend Mindy beat Spartacus and me by one point. One lousy point, and I swear my daughter cheated by making me laugh. It was a great day.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 27

This is week 27 of Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. If you want to go to the begining to see how it works, go here. If you intend to participate, use the words for this week's challenge on your blog, and go over to Raven's and click on Mr. Linky to add your name. It's fun! Give it a try.

This week's ten-word challenge uses: tiramisu, transfixed, evacuation, Queen of the Nile, pillowcase, grammatical, voice inflection, pacified, microclimate, swami

Swami Ruptagupta sat cross-legged on a wooden crate at the head of the table. His face was the definition of serenity. The Swami was the guest of honor for the Pacified Nation Yoga Group who were having their annual dinner at the Queen of the Nile Restaurant in Not-Quite-Adjacent-To Beverly Hills. Actually, the restaurant was in Hawthorne which is quite far from Beverly Hills, but the group likes to think of itself as up-and-coming. But still, he sat on the crate which was there at his request. He stared, transfixed, at his tiramisu. What would he tell them that their inner souls did not know? He poked his desert with his finger for a moment and began.

Swami Ruptagupta's speech patterns were a grammatical nightmare. He split infinitives, he made up words, but he was a peaceful man and it was never more clear than when he achieved the voice inflection of almost song. He looked up at his group, his disciples, and said "Your souls in a microclimate are which makes them grow like grapes for a fine wine. They don't get too muches cold, they don't get to muches rain, but only if you tend your soul careful love which makes you sound." The group nodded as one. Souls in a microclimate, of course! Away from the hustle and bustle of the world.

Sarah, the owner of the Yoga studio they all went to, looked at Swami with reverence. He wore little more than a pillowcase, but he could command more respect with a flick of his beard than a Wall-Street Broker in a 3-piece suit. She sighed slightly. Just then, the entire restaurant began to shake, and roll, like a ship at sea. She screamed "Earthquake! We have to evacuate!" and shoved the Swami out of her way as she ran to the door. She'll get serene some other day.

And for the Mini Challenge: maggots, thermal pocket, industrial, bovine, feminized

Sally loved her behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo. This was more interesting than she had imagined. As they walked into the industrial-sized kitchens, the guide told her "Some of this food is still living," and pointed to a squirming plate of maggots. "Please don't touch things, as we don't want to introduce disease by accident," the guide continued. "Over here, we keep the bovine food - it's amazing how much Yaks and Water Buffalo eat!" Sally asked a question about the water tanks, and he said "We have to be careful of how we supply water - there is so much estrogen dumped into the natural water supply that we worry about the males getting feminized."

Sally was just delighted! She scrubbed her hands at the sink while the guide said "We're going into a special area, it's the nocturnal house. You'll feel like you've walked into a thermal pocket, you will notice a temperature change. You'll adjust quickly, though," and he waved Sally ahead.

Vice Presidential Candidates

I met Joe Biden in 1974 when I was on campaign staff for Congressman Abner J. Mikva. Biden was a Freshman Senator, and in Des Plaines to help campaign for my candidate. He came into our office for a function, a small motivational thing and told one of the funniest, self-effacing stories - this was back in the days before airport security, when a person could get a plane held - he told us he had been running late, needed to get the plane - his staff called ahead to hold the flight for the Senator. When he got to the gate, the flight attendent looked at him and said "Senator, don't try that again until you're an adult." Biden was so young at the time. Now, at 65, perhaps he carries some of the gravitas that people think Obama lacks.

On to more serious matters. I had a text message from Nunly yesterday - the family arrived safely, her sister-in-law was still alert but in terrible pain. Keep Nunly in your thoughts, it's a tough time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Message from the Secretary of Strawberries

So but this is me with my best friend he's my boyfriend too. An we play an go to skoo-wel together an our mommies are friends too. My gramma is here visiting and working. I copoperate really good an then we get extra kisses, I even copoperate in the bath but I cant wanna get my hair washed but I don cry I copoperate. An I eat my vegtales like brokly I like brokly. When gramma is Prezilnut we will eat brokly in the Whitehouse. An strawberries. My gramma sometimes makes me up when I seeping, like if I am napping in the car because we go to UnkaRogers House with his doggies and Ant Miss Suden, if gramma laffs it makes me up. I tell her stop making noise gramma, I seeping. Okay I hafta play now. Vote for Gramma Diva Jood and Nunly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Job Change

Friday, August 15

Dear Napoleon
As much as I have enjoyed my time with SlavesRUs Travel, I feel it is time for me to pursue other avenues. I realize that allowing me to work from home is not part of your business plan; I understand your reasons, and your thinking. However, it is an essential part of my own personal business plan and to that end I must resign from SlavesRUs. Thank you for the opportunity to work with such an interesting company.

I am perfectly happy to provide you with two weeks, however, those two weeks must be remotely because I am going to remain in Chicago for the next month.

Love and Kisses,
Diva Jood

Friday, August 15

Dear Diva Jood,
You might want to wait for a week because we are having a discussion in your office location that might be of interest to you. Are you moving back to Chicago? I have to know what you are doing, and when you are doing it? Have you been away from your desk (in the bathroom? Eating snacks?) for any length of time? What are you wearing today? If you are wearing jeans, they better be pressed. I know it's casual day but there are limits to what I will permit.

Cracking the Whip

Friday, August 15

Dear Napoleon,
I have to leave for the airport now.


Friday, August 15

What? I thought you were in Chicago already?


Friday, August 15

No, I went to the Aussie Specialist thing first, leave for Chicago today.


Friday, August 15



At this point, Diva Jood finds herself cut off from SlavesRUs email, and client data base access. Officially fired. Napoleon starts having people call her, to "see how she is". He is upset because she will not call him. He knows that he has to tell her he is planning on closing the location she worked in and allowing them to work from home - he has to tell her, or she will be able to file for unemployment. But she won't call him, so she will be able to get her unemployment. Oops. Sorry, Nap, you seem to have screwed yourself.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Have Met The Enemy, and He is Us

Bastion of morality, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, told NATO that they better punish them Ruskies or she and George W. Bush will kick sand in everyone's face. Seriously, in an emergency session of NATO Foreign Ministers, the USA is demanding that NATO punish Russia for its operations in Georgia. Rice said:
"We have to deny Russian strategic objectives, which are clearly to undermine Georgia's democracy, to use its military capability to damage ... and to weaken the Georgian state."
I feel like I've fallen through the looking glass. Has any nation had the balls to tell NATO or any other body of officials We have to deny United States strategic objectives, which are clearly to undermine Middle East democracy, to use its military capability to damage ... and to weaken the ENITRE Middle East. Has anyone had the balls to tell the current administration in the USA that they are hypocritical, dangerous megolomaniacs and need to be stopped? I'm embarrassed to be an American, truly. I am embarrassed by the arrogance of the US Government. And I am deeply, deeply terrified at what this administration is capable of doing. Bush is the terrorist. Cheney is the terrorist. To quote Pogo, We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chicago, Chicago

My cousin got married yesterday in a nueveau frum ceremony. It was a small schul, not to far from North Avenue where the 50th Chicago Air & Water Show was going on in full force. So, we'd get a little bit of davening, and a little bit of The Blue Angels. My cousin married a Canadian fellow, and all his friends came in for the wedding. The young rabbi who acted as cantor during the ceremony strapped on a pair of roller blades during the reception/dinner; several of the young men put on wedding dresses and marched onto the men's side of the dance floor (men and women are separated by a Mechitza, a partition. These kids were so funny - it was a major study in old and new blending into something wild. The band sang everything in Hebrew - including a classic Men At Work song, Land Down Under

The band was actually quite terrible.

The Secretary of Strawberries has discovered the word, "Why" and likes to ask it about everything. To all Chicago bloggers: Thank you for this gorgeous weather, I think it will be a lovely 3 weeks in town.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Award, from FranIAm

Kick Ass Blogger Award

Since I'm running for Prez, it's great to have awards. Another of my favorite bloggers has given me this fantastic ass-kicking award. I am in awe of FranIAm, who is about as thoughtful as you can get. So but anyway, blahblahblah Rules. Here they are:

1) Choose five other bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers” (This one is tough, because most of the bloggers I love have already gotten this award.)
2) Let them know that they have received an award.
3) Link back to both the person who awarded you and also to MammaDawg.
4) Visit the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky and leave a comment.

To wit:
1) Utah Savage has the most colorful way of expression - part Southern Belle, part take-no-prisoners madwoman, part crazy-like-a-fox, always compelling. I never know what she's going to say, but I really like reading it.

2) I offered to double the Unconventional Conventionist's salary to join my campaign. I think I have to stoop honor him instead with bribes an award.

3) Fran from Ramblings is a real kick-ass blogger. Plus, we're in the same industry. Plus, she's a great read.

4) Dusty (It's my right to be left of center is my goddess. She knows why. She fixes my links at The Sirens Chronicles She is a strong, powerful voice, she is fearless.

5)Naj and I don't always see eye-to-eye. But she is a voice for peace, and I applaud her courage.

I could actually award this to everyone on my blogroll, to tell the truth. Some great writers out there. I love you all!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


It seems that while I was at a conference, the wonderful Okjimm bestowed me with this gorgeous award:

Kick Ass Blogger Award

As always, there are rules. I'm running for Prezilnet, so I have to follow some semblance of rules. Here they are:

1) Choose five other bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers” (This one is tough, because most of the bloggers I love have already gotten this award.)
2) Let them know that they have received an award.
3) Link back to both the person who awarded you and also to MammaDawg.
4) Visit the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky and leave a comment.

So, who to pick, who to pick:

1) Mathman, of When Will I Use This? is indeed a teacher, and deserving of this award. His blog is eclectic, and he is a real, true teacher.

2) DK Raed, Redheaded Wisdom is a beautiful mix of humor, politics, and personal. I consider her a friend, though we've never met.

3) Enigma4Ever, of Watergate Summer really is a hope-mongerer - her blog is gentle, and she's a loving soul.

4) I really love Spartacus, of My Saturday Evening Post. He's another mix of personal and political, but the way he talks about his kids is what does it for me. He is a real father.

5) Dianne, of Forks Off The Moment is all about the creative life. Her images are amazing. She's got it going on.

There you have it. I would have given out tons more, but I am trying to spread the love.

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 26

This is week 26 of Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. If you want to go to the begining to see how it works, go here. If you intend to participate, use the words for this week's challenge on your blog, and go over to Raven's and click on Mr. Linky to add your name. It's fun! Give it a try.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge include: exponentially, Nightshade, braces, impossibility, the beginning of time, barracuda, playful banter, delve, automatic, bewildered

Steven had a knee-jerk reaction to any form of playful banter. His life was completely compartmentalized, and always would be. Just look in his closet: he has 30 identical navy-blue suits. All his dress shirts are identical, pale blue, crisp cotton. It was a complete impossibility to think he might enjoy the sort of romantic exchange that Julia was attempting. Steven's sarcasm grew exponentially the longer she flirted.

Julia was completely bewildered by his rudeness. He'd been completely different on the phone. On the phone, he was kind, he was thoughtful, he was even funny. But now, face-to-face, she finds that she braces for each nasty remark. She thinks "It's like he's been set on automatic pilot: be mean, even if it's easier to be nice." Steven is explaining how he treats his patients - he's a psychiatrist - and says "I never show them compassion. It invites them to indulge in repeating their bad behavior." His voice droned, making her drowsy. She suddenly felt like she was being poisoned by Deadly Nightshade and ticked off the symptoms: she felt like she was losing her voice, and she kept clenching and unclenching her fists under the table. She made a mental note to delve into the oddity of her reaction later.

She jerked her head up suddenly, realizing he's moved on to scuba diving. He was talking about an encounter with barracuda, and then telling her that she had to learn to dive if they were going to have any sort of relationship. Julia sighed. This was a dance that has been around since the beginning of time, and she didn't want to participate. She smiled sweetly at Steven before she extended her hand. "Steven, you are an absolute jackass. I know how to scuba dive already, which you'd know if you'd bothered to ask. Relationship? There's only room for one person in a relationship with you, and you're it. G'night." She stood up from the table and flounced out of the restaurant, quite pleased with herself.

And for the Mini Challenge: fragment, hemoglobin, insipid, flourish, juxtapose

Dr. Ferguson walked into his classrom with a flourish of his rain poncho. His students loved him, called him Fergie, which made him giggle. He was a big man, so listening to him giggle made everyone around him laugh as well. Fergie had an easy smile, and an Oklahoma Cowboy swagger. But he was a brilliant scientist, who taught doctors how to be doctors. His lextures were never insipid, and he would always juxtapose conflicting ideas; sometimes a mere fragment of a thought would get his students to explore new directions. Yes, they loved him, and he loved teaching. Fergie was just a big bear of a man, with a big heart, and a really big brain.

He began his lecture: "Today, we're going to investigate hemoglobin variants which lead to hereditary diseases. Mebbe one of you will find the cure for sickle cell anemia after I get done with y'all."

Yes, Fergie loved his job.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Off To A Conference

I am off to my Aussie Specialist Corroboree, with limited time to blog or visit my friends in the world of blogging. So for a topic: what is wrong with the Romanian Women's Gymnastic Team and how does this affect Bob Costa's Hair?


Monday, August 11, 2008

Vingnette Vignette

She sees the dog first. He’s tiny, maybe 8 pounds soaking wet. Looks like a miniature Doberman or a Chihuahua. The dog wears a little leather hat, and sunglasses. He is walking on the concrete barrier between the esplanade and the sand like the barrier is a tightrope. The dog has been visiting a group of people, and turns on the barrier, carefully picking his way to a man who is leaning against it, half seated, half standing. The dog snuggles up to the man, and rests his head on the man’s shoulder. They belong to each other, that much is clear.

She looks at the man's clothing: hat matching the dog’s; sunglasses matching the dog’s. The man wears baggy Bermuda shorts, and a wife-beater shirt. He’s overweight. Even from the distance, behind the window screening of the restaurant, she can almost smell the man. He looks filthy. But god, he loves that dog. The dog is so well-behaved, she decides that this is probably a really nice man who is down on his luck. Clearly he would never hurt a thing.

So she finishes her coffee, pays her bill, and strolls over to meet the dog. “What’s his name?” she asks. The man points to the dog. The word “Killer” is burnt into the leather, front and back. She smiles up at the man, and notices the tracheotomy, the tubing, the hole. He puts a device to his mouth and croaks “his name is Killer.” A crowd is gathering, and Killer is smiling. The man says “He is a service dog for me.”

She bends down to scratch Killer’s chin. Killer loves to have his chin scratched and tilts his head back for more. The man continues, “He is three and I love him. He wakes me every two hours to make sure I am breathing. He knows how to dial 911 if something happens to me. He is very sweet.”

Killer flops down on the pavement, and several of the people who have gathered around crouch down to pet him. The man loves an audience as much as Killer, it seems. He talks about how he got Killer, and how much it cost to train him. But that training for the dog was subsidized. And that he has diabetes – the man, not the dog. And how he had to bottle-feed the dog when he was a baby. And how Killer will follow his hand commands without question. The man confirms that Killer is a miniature Dobe/ Chihuahua mix. Both are normally high-strung breeds, but Killer is as calm as a soft summer breeze. And Killer loves his person.

She is mesmerized by the dog’s smile, his sweet, sweet demeanor, and his very stylish sunglasses. She is mesmerized by the man's mechanical voice. She is mesmerized by resilience.

She gets up to go, and thanks the man for his time. She walks along the esplanade feeling quite happy for the experience, that out of adversity comes love. The summer sounds of the ocean waves, the beach volleyball games, the skaters, the bicycles, kids playing in the sand, her encounter with Killer have all conspired to lift her from a dark mood that was punctuated by a headache. She decides that hers are high-class problems but she’s deep in fear and has to walk her way through it. But she doesn’t want to. She wants to fling herself onto the ground, kicking and screaming, like her three-year-old granddaughter in full tantrum mode.

But it’s a gorgeous summer Sunday. There’s not a cloud in the sky and enough breeze by the ocean to keep the heat tolerable. This is why she moved to Los Angeles after all. She realizes strangers are saying hello to her – she must be smiling. She starts to say hello back to them. It is a gorgeous summer Sunday.

So she stuffs her fears into a corner in her brain. She knows this will come back to bite her later, when she goes to bed. She can’t think about her over-drawn checking account, her huge debt, the harassing phone calls from creditors. She really can’t do that on a Sunday afternoon. She can’t do that any more than she can think about getting her prescriptions refilled, or making her appointment for the cancer-screenings she needs, or paying for her insurance. She can’t think, and it has nothing to do with the day being gorgeous. It has everything to do with her Scarlet O’Hara syndrome, “Oh, well, tomorrow is another day.” Who will rescue her, if not herself? Who will be her Killer, her service dog, if not herself? She’s almost 60 and she’s about to re-invent herself again, only with no financial safety-net. She’s terrified.

But she is almost 60, and she cannot tolerate toxic environments any longer. She can’t be micro-managed by someone who plows through the office like Napoleon. Her boss crowned himself emperor of a small marketing world with dreams of becoming a Consultant. He can’t spell; he has the manners of a low-class thug; he bullies his employees; he has no friends. She can’t get up the energy to drive into that office one more day. She can’t. The result: she is willing to trade a steady paycheck to regain her life, willing to lose all material possessions in order to be independent and creative. She is bored. She is annoyed. She feels her life being sucked out of her quite slowly. She is leaving this company for total independence and she’s terrified.

So. What comes out of terror? Emotional paralysis? The entire nation has been paralyzed with fear for the last 7 years. Isn't that why the economy is a mess? Oh, god, she's doing it, she's thinking about the global situation instead of what's immediately in her path. She wants to fix the world when she can barely fix herself. She can't fix herself. She can only do the next indicated thing, and decides that today, that next indicated thing is to stick her head in the sand. She giggles and turns to look at the waves. Then she thinks, "damn, I should have worn my swim suit." This stretch of beach has really gentle waves, much easier than where she usually goes. She makes a mental note.

So what's ahead for the day? Michael Phelps will swim. And there's gymnastics, always exciting to watch. And laundry. And laundry. Oh, yes, there's always laundry on Sunday. She walks back to her car to re-enter her life. No ticket, she's lucky. She takes the scenic route home.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 25

Raven's Ten Word Challenge is a weekly challenge to test your creative writing chops. It's just a fun little exercise designed to shake the cobwebs from your brain. Take the words, write little stories using them on your blog. Don't forget to go to Raven's blog and let her know you're participating - Mr. Linky is there.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge uses these dandy words: middle finger, text message. the letter “Q,” Shangri-La, melodramatic, compensate, elixir, band of brothers, quadruped, explicit

Dr. Hughes studied the text message from his collegue before he deleted it from his Blackberry. He raised his middle finger in salute. "Arrogant asshole," he thought. "Just because you are not even close to figuring out the solution does not give you the right to act like a melodramatic, pedantic twit."

He sighed deeply and returned to the elixer of life in his glass. The ice was melting, so he splashed a little more single malt into the glass. He knew he would have to call Dr. Stendahl and give him explicit instructions on how to proceed. He dialed. Stendahl answered, "John Stendahl". Dr. Hughes thought again "asshole," and said, "John, I got your text. You've forgotten to compensate for the quotidian factor."

Stendahl said, "The what? What factor?"

Hughes said "Quotidian. Begins with the letter "Q", as in quadruped, as in walking on all fours, which clearly you still do." Single malt whiskey did bring out the nastier side of Hughes's personality. "The more mundane aspects, you twit. The filtration process is mundane, boring, and you've screwed it up."

Stendahl said, "Oh, so you want me to slow it down?"

Hughes, pissed, snapped "Yes, idiot." and slammed the phone into the cradle.

Hughes longed for a trip to some kind of Shangri-La, some utopian ideal where he would be a god among his band of brothers, like-minded scientists who could appreciate his abilities. Instead, he was stuck with this donkey, Stendhal. He poured himself another glass of single malt - he decided he'd drink himself there.

And for the Mini Challenge: deposition, monosyllabic, better off dead, dubious, posh

Marion was the old-fashioned kind of court stenographer. When she took a deposition, she was diligent and careful. She never had opinions about what she typed, and prefered monosyllabic tales over anything more complex. Today, though, she was listening to a divorce proceeding from a posh socialite of dubious lineage. Marion listened to the woman whine, and the thought crossed her mind that "this broad would be better off dead rather than cross-examined by her husband's lawyer." But, forever diligent, Marion let her opinion disappear with the next comma.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Message from the Secretary of Strawberries and Cream

Doggie jumponmy bed. Mya choclut milk peas? Doggie jumponmy bed, she's not asposd to but she jumponmy bed. An we went to the fair me and mommy and there was a improviser group and they wanted a volumater someone to come up on stage and so I raised my hand and I got to go up and play in their play which was someone telling me a story. I like stories. So but they blew pretend sand on me so I caught it in my hand and they said doggie would come lick all the sand offa me so I told them doggie jumponmy bed and everbody laughed especially mommy laughed. And they took my picture for the paper. Mya strawberries with my chocolate milk peas?

And you should all vote Diva/Nunly and not for that girl with the first name of a city and not for the Simian Doctor and not for anyone else but Diva/Nunly that's what I think

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ode to Okjimm, Secretary of Beer, Donuts and Refreshments

Nobody works harder than my Secretary of Beer, Donuts and Refreshments, Okjimm! He manages to cover a variety of important food-related issues, including free beer, root beer, donuts and cheese for everyone.

But more important, he was able to sneak into the Sturgis Rally for McCain, and he heard all kinds of important shit sound-bytes. McCain said to the crowd of a few thousand Harley riders: "I was looking at the Sturgis schedule and noticed that you have a beauty pageant and so I encouraged Cindy to compete. I told her, with a little luck, she could be the only woman ever to serve as both the First Bitch and Miss Buffalo Chip."

Meanwhile, my Secretary for UFOS, that Texas Oasis, Blueberry, has been looking into the place where all of John McCain's speeches come from. McCain likes to season his speeches with buffalo chips, after all.

Wish List

I want this machine. I really, really want this machine. I've begun another blog which will be devoted to my artwork; so far, no images on it, just my CV and statement. I have slides of all my work, and this device handily converts those slides to .jpeg right onto my computer.

So everything will get converted (as soon as I buy the thingie), I will list all my work post by post by post, with dimensions, materials, title, whatever needed - what's sold, what's available. But to do this, I need that machine. And I am NOT a patient woman.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Three Words

On Friday, August 1st, 31 retired military leaders sent letters to both the DNC and RNC. These Generals and Admirals are
calling on the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees to include platform planks unequivocally rejecting the use of torture and other official cruelty in the treatment of prisoners.
Rejecting and ending torture should not be a partisan issue, and so the group has appealed to both parties to actually do the right thing. So far, only the DNC has moved forward. Over the weekend, the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee met and included the following three words in the draft of the Democratic Platform: We Reject Torture.

Three little words. They almost sound like "I love you."

Diva Jood is the Law And Order Candidate

(If you click on the picture, it will enlarge so you can see it.)

Turd Blossom is in contempt of Congress for failing to appear on a subpoena. But a Judge ruled that even the Bush Administration is supposed to follow the law, which surprised all of them. Nevertheless, if you see Karl Rove, tackle him and arrest him. I wonder if he'll get to play with Scooter Libby?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Postville Legacy: Do You Want Lies With That Hot Dog?

My dear blog friend Border Explorer has been diligent and passionate in her series about the Postville Raid. Called "the biggest immigration raid in American history," this raid has also opened the largest meat packing scandal since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, about the corruption in the meat packing industry in the early part of the 20th Century.

And here we have history repeating itself. Sinclair wrote about horrific working conditions, the exploitation of children and women, about workers falling into rendering tanks and being ground along with animal parts into beef lard. Sinclair wrote about a system that was supposed to bring progress to our nation; instead, the increased industrialization bred chaos, amorality, greed and a kind of individuality that has no regard for human dignity - forget about animal rights.

Agriprocessers, in Postville, hired illegal immigrants, mostly from Guatamala. The employees were coerced, threatened, beaten, kept in what they describe as a "slave-like" environment. The raid was conducted not as an immigration raid, but instead as a criminal raid with the main thrust being about "identity theft." Workers had been given "cooked" social security numbers. The immigrants, mostly unable to speak or read English, had no idea what they were being given. Opps. Their bad.

Much has been made over the fact that Agriprocessers is also the largest Kosher Meat and Poultry producer in the USA. Believe me, this has nothing to do with Orthodox Jewry. Nothing. This is about the over-industiralization of our economy.

The Meatrix is a small website I found after watching Fast Food Nation. This film shows the dark side of the fast food industry, from the ground up. The exploitation of illegal immigrants is a huge part of this chain of greed. Franchise America builds itself on cheap labor (subtext: illegal immigrants), sloppy production, and lies. Hey, Neocons? You want to stop illegal immigration? Shut down McDonalds.

At the Eat Well website, I put in my zip code: I am within 20 miles of 22 farmers markets, 2 restaurants, and 13 stores. There are actually more organic restaurants that they don't have on the list - but the telling piece is the 22 farmers markets. I go, weekly. They are local California farmers, with either Certified Organic or one step below Certified produce. I save money, I eat better, and I support the local economy. Give this a try.

Another site, Sustainable Table, gives all kinds of tips for building community, healthy eating, and defying the conglomerates. It is a way to connect us to our land, our food, and with each other.

The tactics used in the Postville Raid bespeak a totalitarian society. We know what we've become over the last eight years of the Bush Administration. But I contend this has been going on for far longer than Bush has even walked this earth. Greed is not new, nor is the exploitation of the poor and disenfranchised. But we can speak out, we can do more. We really can.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Randal cuts to the heart of the campaign.

Randal Graves, Campaign Manager extraordinare, lead this brilliant conversation earlier today.

He's brilliant.


Afternoon update: I have been attempting to make the rounds from my soon-to-be-ex-desk, and I keep getting blocked out. The message, on a black screen, with angry red type, reads: THIS SITE HAS BEEN BLOCKED BY SONIC FIREWALL. (subtext - take that, you slacker.)

So, I will come by your site for graft and kickbacks your campaign contributions later. From my home computer. Which never blocks me. One of my friends (who never posts) tends to read my blog over her morning coffee - I hate to dissappoint.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Baseball been berry good to me

Chicago 67 45 .598 -
Milwaukee 62 50 .554 5.0
St. Louis 62 51 .549 5.5
Houston 53 57 .482 13.0
Pittsburgh 51 60 .459 15.5
Cincinnati 51 61 .455 16.0

The Chicago Cubs are right now 22 games above .500, it's August 3rd, I'm just saying.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 24

Raven's Ten Word Challenge is a weekly challenge to test your creative writing chops. It's just a fun little exercise designed to make you be inventive. Take the words, write little stories using them on your blog. Don't forget to go to Raven's blog and let her know you're participating - Mr. Linky is there.

This week's ten-words are lovely: ghastly, excrement, bill of sale, vague, thicket, precarious, life long ambition, gunnery sergeant, posthumous, bellowed

Gunnery Sargeant John Doe was red in the face from screaming at his charges. "You ghastly pile of excrement. How many times have I told you that blowing up the enemy is not some vague romp in the park?" He threw his helmut on the ground and pulled at the thicket of hair on his head, and bellowed again. "You are all idiots. I can just see you pinned down, in a precarious position, inviting that bill of sale from your enemies in the form of a hand grenade tossed into your fox hole. I do not want to bring your mamas some kind of posthumous medal that belies your bravery. You WILL shape up."

Sargeant Doe turned away from his men, walked to where his helmut landed and picked it up. He was normally a quiet man, not prone to these kinds of outbursts, but he'd just gotten fed up. Besides, he'd had his life long ambition squelched that very morning, when he received the rejection notice from the New York Metropolitan Opera Company. He thought about the letter: thank you for taking the time to audition with us, however, you sound more like a cat in heat than a tenor, and therefore we must decline to include you in our company. No wonder he took it out on the men.

And for the Mini Challenge: lap of luxury, yellow-bellied sapsucker, quinine, generalization, abnormality

Hans was an exceptional guide. His birding trips were highly sought-after, allowing him to live in the lap of luxury. He was not going to let a little abnormality like a second head on his shoulder prevent him from finding the elusive yellow-bellied sapsucker. He stared at the room of potential travelers - it was not a gross generalization to say his trips attacted the most well-heeled birders and he could pick and choose who would travel with him. Two heads or not, he was considered to be something of a god. He sipped at his gin and tonic, savoring the tart taste of the quinine-rich tonic. He thought "another day without malaria," before addressing his audience.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Statement from the Secretary of Strawberries and Cream

Mya strawberries peease?

Do you like to play with Elmo? I play with Elmo and I make his voice too. And tomorrow I might go to the beach and play inna sand. And my doggy has agerlies and scraches herself. And bites her paws coz they ich her feet.

Do you wanna eat strawberries? Every peoples gets free strawberries when Gramma is Prezilnet. Not just two peoples, but every peoples. Only two peoples in the bafroom though at skool.

Mya more strawberries, peeeease?