26 February 2009

Kitty Woes

Gone into domestic-chore assault mode this week, doing some early spring cleaning complete with the jettisoning of clutter. But chores are interrupted early today: Miss One-Eye, affectionately known as MOE, is having problems again. She was ill in November, got meds, got better. But it appears to be back - she peed on the bed last night. While we were sleeping in it. And I see by her food bowl she her appetite is down, which it wasn't last time. So now I'm sitting here, worrying, and waiting for the vet's office to open so I get her in. Thank goodness I got the car today! The vet's just a few blocks down the street, and she doesn't weigh very much, but we have an oversized carrier ('cause Otto is so big) and it's a bear to walk down the street with it. Especially in the rain.

*Sigh* Hoping she'll be okay, poor kitty.

Well, $250 later, MOE is resting quietly in the closet and has eaten a little. She got a shot, and I have a liquid antibiotic to give her. Waiting for the lab results; not sure yet if it is a urinary infection, she's anemic, and may have a problem with her kidneys. The vet also agrees with me - there is no way this cat is only 7 years old (shelter kitty, NFI). Poor kitty. But guess I can be glad I'm not the guy with the dog whose tests alone are running $600-$800!

17 February 2009

Embarrassed or afraid?

Vjack's latest post is entitled "Embarrassed For Humanity." He links to several recent stories in the media, and as noted, they make one wonder what century we're living in. For me, I think this may be an argument for spending more time offline so I can read the local paper (oh, god, no!). The majority of my goof-off time online is spent following like-minded friends at twitter and facebook, or at atheist-, sex- or soccer-related blogs. I spent 14 years working for public defenders, an extremely liberal environment, and now I work from home. Yeah, I've been a little insulated from the red-state mentality. So it's shocking to see the faith-based ignorance and bigotry that people are happy to display in other communities.

Rachel Maddow had Alexandra Pelosi as a guest last week (after the ads, at 1:50). Pelosi just did a documentary while following the McCain-Palin campaign. The impression I got from the interview is that Pelosi tries to humanize the conservatives, not just create more fear of them. I don't have HBO so haven't seen the film yet. I want to, because I think I need to understand these people. Then maybe I'll learn to understand and tolerate people like, oh, I don't know, maybe starting with my parents. My own damn parents! They aren't just embarrassed for humanity. They're very afraid for, and of, people like me. People who don't share their values, where values = devout, pro-life Catholic. People like me are condemning the world to suffering now, and our souls to hell later. And they don't even know (for sure) that I am an atheist - it's sort of the "issue which must not be directly addressed", by mutual, unspoken agreement (Mom, Dad & Sister Christian are the only family I have NOT directly discussed my atheism with, but that's a topic for another time).

My folks are afraid of what Obama's administration will do to America. But like Pelosi pointed out in the Maddow interview, they are where me and my friends were from November 7, 2000 to November 4, 2008. And even then the passage of Proposition 8 limited our sense of joy and liberation. My parents focus their energy on pro-life causes, and Obama is "pro-death" for innocent unborn babies (oh, and they actively supported Prop 8, too). When considering our country's engagement in war on two fronts, the global economic crisis, accusations of torture, the cost of health care which directly affects their retired selves and their eight existing grandchildren - really? Unborn babies? How irrational is that?

I should not, but I do continue to be surprised by them and by their like-minded friends all over America. Even though they were always like this. And they ain't gonna change, so I gotta get used to it. Embarrassed for humanity, afraid of Americans, 'cause I live with them, even though I don't see them.

Whew, now I really do need goof-off time, guess I'll look for porn.

13 February 2009

We don't need your education

I'm not a breeder; I'm the "cool aunt." Well, I think I'm cool - I still roughhouse with the nieces & nephews, I'm tattooed, and I'm the one who got first-born nephew, at age two, to say, "Piss off, mommy!" His mommy, referred to here as "Sister Christian" has four boys and one girl, ranging from 1 to 17 years. My other sis', "Sister Hippy" has a pre-teen daughter, Hippy Jr. This brief background to explain how I learned of "All Things Girl," a workbook series for "tweens" and their moms, written by some probably very nice Catholic ladies who are into fashion, media, and indoctrinating the next generation. They also have a companion book for boys, "All Things Guy." Sister Christian tho't Hippy Jr. would like "All Things Girl," and Sister Hippy forwarded the link to me.

There are so many things I could point to and laugh in the series, it would take me longer than I want to spend on this, plus I'm typing on the non-ergo keyboard, don't have the wrists or patience to do a complete examination. But I did take screen shots to aid in the "Girls" vs "Guys" comparison.

The titles in the "All Things Girls" series include "Friends, Boys and Getting Along", "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, What is Beauty After All?" "Girls Rock", "Mind Your Manners", and "Modern and Modest." The single boys' title they have so far is "All Things Guy, A Guide to Becoming a Man that Matters". Do you see where I might be going with this?

The good stuff is in the book descriptions. Each book in the girls' series has (from the website):
  • An Introduction to the Dignity of the Person
  • A Media Chapter by Catholic Author and Media Specialist, Teresa Tomeo
  • A Virtue Expanded and Explained with Practical tips on how to Live it
  • A Plan of Life to help Girls Incorporate Prayer into their Daily Lives
  • An Examination of Conscience unique to the Virtue in the book
  • A Saint Story called “A Girl Like Me”
  • Quizzes, Games, Recipes, Crafts
The "Girls" description:

Beauty, prayer, craft projects, virtue. That's what little girls are made of. Oh, and learning not to be mean to your friends.

And for boys:

This "talks to boys in their own language" about the body, prayer, and even "Boys in the Kitchen" - can't tell if that's encouraging them to cook or to clean up after the girls (recipes are featured in the girls' books). As the title says, theirs is a guide to becoming a "man that matters." But "Basic Combat Training" - where does that come into a pre-teen boys life, outside X-box games? How come the girls don't get that? Although I suspect that if they had included such a section for girls, it would have been called "self-defense for virtue maintenance."

So the girls are learning to be beautiful, virtuous, modest, mannerly and faithful... girls. The boys are learning to be MEN, men that MATTER. And possibly cook. AND they get to kick ass.

My parents raised five kids: three girls and two boys; I'm the oldest. As adults, we run the spectrum from atheist (me), to Catholic anarcho-pacifist/anti-nuke activist (middle brother/oldest boy) to S.C. the baby sister. Besides a devout Catholic upbringing, my parents did teach us to be thoughtful, to have and act on our convictions. That foundation led me to conclude their [all] religion was a bunch of crap, while S.C. became a fundamentalist Catholic. Go figure.

Wonder S.C.'s five kids are gonna turn out like. They are really good kids, so far. We'll see what happens when the oldest goes off to college next year. To a "faithful" Catholic school, of course - Notre Dame's not Catholic enough. She's given them the same religious structure we were brought up with, and then some - they're all getting home schooled, whereas we just attended parochial school up to high school.

I have an idea - at least I'm hoping - that S.C.'s only girl will not be all holy sugar-spice niceness. Born smack in the middle of four brothers, she's a toughie in a pink dress and stands up to the boys. She may be a sweet little Catholic girl who loves her girlie clothes and toys, but she can already KICK ASS.

Oh, and in case you're curious about Sister Hippy's reception of this crazy link, I'll quote her:
Think I should write back and say thanks, but no thanks since I just gave the kid a planned parenthood platinum card? ;-)

I love Sister Hippy - she funny, funny, girl.

07 February 2009

James Lipton's 10 Questions

Did this for Facebook and wanted to share here, too. Nothing profound, just fun to answer and to see others' responses. Especially the cuss words.

Lipton's 10 questions (via Wendy)

These are James Lipton's 10 questions (In the Actor's Studio).
Copy and paste to Notes, erase my answers, and have fun with it.

1. What is your favorite word?
Fuck - because of its "multipurpose-ness"

2. What is your least favorite word?

3.What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A rational argument, learning, good writing, blasphemous humor.

4.What turns you off?
Woo & fanatical believers.

5.What is your favorite curse word?
The most fun to say is "goddammit!"

6.What sound or noise do you love?
Purring from a contented cat.

7.What sound or noise do you hate?
People fighting or yelling at a child.

8.What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I wish I had the brains & balls to be an improv comedian.

9.What profession would you not like to do?

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
N/A (no"if" about it for me!)

06 February 2009

This is a proper Friday.

Huzzah, I found gainful employment outside the home - thanks Kelly Services! As of yesterday, I'm working 15-20 hours a week for a local civil attorney. It is really ideal - 20-minute walk from home, just up the street from the beach, near a park where I can enjoy a quiet lunch, and an office that can use my skills. My brain is so happy to be engaged again. I can also maintain my own business, which currently consists of intermittent inquiries to [a local gov't agency] to check up on my unpaid invoices, and NOT getting calls for more work 'cause of their budget cuts.

Monday, I'll be back at (new) work, so today is a proper Friday: it's cloudy and drizzly, got me some domestic chores to do, and a little studying. And I should have enough time to goof off online. So thought I'd share a couple goodies:
  • Courtesy of a Violet Blue tweet, presenting Яolcats - English translations of Russian LOLcats. I'm not certain the transliterations are authentic; if they are, they make an interesting comparison in cultural humor.
  • I've been enjoying Wil Wheaton's blog & tweets, and he led me to Pseudopod (feeding my new addiction to spoken-word podcasts & streams). I listened to a story he mentioned in his post, Scarecrow. Disturbing, well-told story, couldn't turn it off. Great contrast to the "fun" spooky tales I've been catching from the old Radio Mystery Theater.
My sweetie has a conference to attend on Saturday, so I suppose I'll be watching the football alone. Millwall's next game is Monday night, which is Monday noon here, and I have to work so I'll miss that. Which gives Sweetie the holiday on his own. Perhaps I'll tweet a bit on the weekend, too, and for sure I'll be poking friends at facebook.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.

p.s. have to add this joke I hadn't seen in a while - BAD TASTE WARNING, don't blame me, I didn't write it...

Johnny, a half blind, 5-year-old orphan has to ride 7 miles a day to school with only one leg on a bicycle with buckled wheels and no brakes.

Please give just a small donation of £2, and we will send you the video; it's f**king hilarious!

01 February 2009

February already?

Well, spent last week doing a whole lot of nothing. Not quite true; I've been applying for lots of "outside work" (read: temp jobs). Had a great interview with a really sharp, dynamic attorney, but she went with someone else, probably (hopefully) 'cause I'm weak on civil litigation. *Sigh* That's okay, I'm truly a crim law animal, baby. Speaking of which, the Advanced Paralegal program is chugging right along, already at mid-terms this week! I love learning about the law, and love my student Westlaw subscription.

Today is a big day in football, and not just what you're thinking. Liverpool v. Chelsea is in the 2nd half (I should be paying more attention to it, but I'm frustrated w/Liverpool's failure to score). Following Goal.com on twitter now, too - continuing football education, I'm a lifelong learner in every subject!

And then there's that other football game going on. As per tradition, we didn't start watching until playoff season, just to have some idea who to root for in the Superbowl. This year, I'm not emotionally invested in either team, not even an interested neutral. But as I feel compelled to choose a side, I choose to root against Pittsburgh. We'll be watching just to justify an afternoon of feasting on my Seven-Layer Dip!

Oh, Drogba's coming on; guess I really should pay attention to the match. C'mon, lads! LIVERPOOLLLLLLLL!