Friday, December 19, 2008

My message

This is the message I just sent to the Obama transition team, here: http://change.gov/page/content/contact/:


"I am writing to express my deep disappointment with the decision to invite Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Inauguration.

Throughout the presidential campaign, President-elect Obama inspired me more than any candidate ever has before. So much so that I donated to his campaign twice, something which I have never done for any other political candidate.

As a heterosexual woman in a "traditional" marriage, and as someone who holds strong and sincere beliefs that homosexuals are entitled to the same legal rights and relationships that I am entitled to, it breaks my heart that President-elect Obama has chosen such a closed-minded and bigoted individual to participate in something so important. Unfortunately, it sends a painfully clear message to non-heterosexual Americans that the next president of this country regards their rights and feelings as less important than symbolic "reaching across the aisle" political moves.

It is not too late to rescind this invitation, and I hope and pray that President-elect Obama and his team make the decision to do so before irreparable harm is done."


I doubt it will do much good, but I can't say *nothing*. Our officials are elected to represent us. They cannot do so if we don't make it clear how exactly we want to be represented.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vitriol

I know this maybe isn't the most sentimentally appropriate time of year for this topic, but unfortunately it is the specific time at which I was reminded of this insanity.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bitch who can Carry A Grudge. I can and do hold shit against people *forever*. That being said, it is a passive sort of enmity. The feelings linger on the edges of my psyche without taking on enough importance for me to have to act on them. It's more, "Oh, that person? I can't stand him/her and will never forgive x/y/z!" I don't have the will or ambition to seek out the people on the other end of my anger. Maybe it's a result of the fact that the person who is most deserving is already dead, and therefore all those guilty of lesser infractions aren't worth the time and effort? I don't know. Maybe it's just that I'm lazy.

I have recently ventured back into territories I had temporarily abandoned due to being busy elsewhere, and was deeply disheartenened and dismayed to find that the exact same poison is being spewed in posts and private messages (thanks for those, psycho internet haters!) as I first encountered four years ago. FOUR YEARS AGO. These few, pathetic people have not found it within themselves to let this random shit go by now. The hateful rhetoric is the same. The targets are the same. The venue is the same. And what's most pitiable is that their targets are undeserving. Believe me - I know derserving targets. These folks aren't it. I know a bit of what is behind some of the misunderstandings, and none of it is grudge-worthy. And again, I speak as one who can't help but to hold grudges.

But sadly, something about the internet culture, their fragile egos, and the amount of time they apparently have on their hands all converge to create this bizarre state/dimension in which they feel that the same people must be punished again and again for these minor transgressions. Infractions for which said people can (apparently) never be forgiven.

On second thought, maybe this time of year is particularly appropriate for this topic. Because the things I cannot forgive are those which I would only expect a higher being to be able to absolve. And I am far from a higher being. So shouldn't these very few people be able to be bigger than they have been?

Even if they can't get past the perceived transgressions, should they not at least try to lighten their own burdens and cease the active torment of those they feel did them wrong so long ago now? Wouldn't that be a wonderful gift to oneself, to decide to simply LET IT GO? I have done so for crimes far more heinous against my own soul and body than anything these supposed transgresors could have ever perpetrated. If I can let it go and be open to a happier, more peaceful life, shouldn't the self-proclaimed victims be willing and able to at least attempt to do the same?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why I love him

Two quotes from Jon Stewart's interview with Mike Huckabee last night, which perfectly stated deep-seated feelings I've had for a while (both from Jon, of course!):

"Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality."

"It's a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else."

A-freaking-men!!!

I also loved that he called Huckabee (and other similar people against gay marriage) out on the fact that by making their argument one of gay marriage "changing the definition of marriage, which has for *thousands* of years been a union between a man and a woman", they are resorting to semantics and ignoring the humanity. Too bad those people will likely never see it properly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gloves

I love the British show "How Clean Is Your House?" that airs on BBCA. Partly because of the insane gross-out factor. Partly because it makes me feel SO good about my housekeeping skills. Partly because it inspires me to clean up around here.

What I hate? That they do the preliminary inspection and paw through the filthy houses WITHOUT GLOVES!!! People literally don't clean their kitchens or bathrooms for years (sometimes decades), and they slide their unprotected fingers through the muck and then hold them up to the camera. They use their nails to scrape of hellacious detritus from dishes that, again, literally haven't been washed in years. They pull giant clumps of hair and rotting things from drains. The pick up dead bugs. All with no gloves.

I'm sure this is all meant to heighten the *squick* factor (note to the BBC: it works!), but I'm honestly shocked that these women haven't contracted some bizarre disease from doing this. I'm equally - if not more - surprised that the insurers underwriting the program/studio/whatever don't require gloves. Lord knows that the few times they've sent swabs off for analysis, there have been some pretty skeevy results! Skeevy as in "organisms I was taught are 'rare' back when I was in pharmacy school, yet here they are coating entire rooms of houses." I remember one house where the dad had a saltwater aquarium, and he fed his fish raw food (squid, etc.) then went about his business without washing his hands. His ENTIRE house was coated with toxic levels of salmonella. They were a bit freaked because there were NO other organisms - the salmonella was colonized at such high levels that it had actually killed off any other bacteria!

I know I'm odd in that I buy boxes of latex gloves for myself, for doing things like cutting up raw meat and stinky veggies like onions. That's mostly about the fact that the idea of that gunk under my nails or smelling up my hands bugs me. But would it be so hard for these gals to pop these on? Heck, it might further emphasize just how nasty these houses are!

Aggie? Kim? Put on some gloves!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

D-bag test strips

Are you really a d-bag?

"Studies have shown that up to 30% of coffeehouse and restaurant patrons are giant assholes who want to bitch about the supposed fraud regarding the caffeine content of the decaf coffee they made a huge fucking deal about ordering. The D-Bag™ Test strip is a unique new product that quickly and easily determines whether you are the type of jerk to jump up and wave a little piece of paper in your waiter/waitress/barista's face and shriek, 'I knew it! This isn't decaf! Here's the proof!!!' to the irritation of all around you and the embarrassment of anyone unfortunate enough to be accompanying you at the time.

Quick and simple to use, with lab accurate results - simply contact the test strip to the beverage sample and view results. If they corroborate your deep dark suspicions, leap about and shout like the jackass you are. If not, smile knowingly to any human who is unlucky enough to catch your glance, and smugly say, 'It actually is decaf! This time...'"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cleaning house

I feel guilty about weird things. One of my huge hangups is upsetting people. Well, hurting their feelings - I don't mind pissing folks off. I'm not sure what the difference is in my mind, but it's there.

Anyway, I have some links to blogs I just don't read anymore. And a bunch more to blogs where the person just isn't posting. So I'm deleting them. I still love all the people involved, and enjoyed the content, but my list is too big and kinda defunct. I doubt any of the people involved will even notice, much less care, but I'm apologizing anyway. If it upsets you that I deleted your link, I'm sorry.

I am so lame.

Visitor

A few pics of La Bamba, from her visit this past week:
"What? I'm adorable! Love me!"

Too cute to be a book...

On the Super 80's Blanket

Scary yawn

Helping Chris play WoW

In the ferrets' peanut dig box

Really getting into it!


Supervising my dishwasher-loading

"I can look precious anywhere, even sitting on a dishwasher door!"


Staring Dolly down (she is obsessed!)


Dolly, pissed at being closed in (for her safety!) and stared at


She's just too cute for words!!! R & K are lucky Bambina is so obsessed with my poor birdie (and just a general pain in the way only kittens can be), otherwise they might have a hard time getting her back!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goals

I have a number of small, unimportant things I want to accomplish in the not-too-distant future. I want to find a perfume that feels like a HG and inspires a modicum of enthusiasm in Chris (highly unlikely). I want to find the perfect Christmas gift for the friends and family members I'm shopping for. I want to sell (and get good prices on) a number of things on eBay that will be a bit of a hassle and aren't really selling well there, but are taking up space I can't spare at this time.

But one small goal WAS reached recently, thanks to the lovely Marina: I have TV fingernails!

Maybe you know what I mean, maybe you don't. Women/girls on TV with "neutral" nails (i.e. not noticeably painted) are universally wearing polish with a similar "feel": sheer or semi-sheer, pale, off-white and not quite pink. And I've been searching for *ages* for a polish that works like that for me.

My vastly mixed heritage doesn't help. Thanks to the blend of French, Scottish, English, Polish (we suspect, though it has never been admitted), Ukrainian, Russian, and (most largely represented) dark Irish and Greek, my coloring is confusing. People who don't know me tend to assume I'm Latina, Italian, or Native American, three groups I am not. I'm brown - dark brown hair, brown eyes, and olive skin. But something in my genetic makeup causes me to be almost paradoxically cool-toned. I look warm. Most color chart thingies say I *should* be warm. But I have the tell-tale blue veins that say otherwise, and the fact that I look terrible in most warm colors to support it. I am a "deep winter", though I don't think I look the part.

The other wrench in the gears of my search is also genetic. I am one of those rare females who is color-blind. In my case, it's more like "color weak". I am red-green deficient, and am what's known as an anomalous trichromat - more specifically, I "suffer" from deuteranomaly. Very dark greens appear black to me. Very dark purples appear green or black to me. Some very dark blues appear black to me. I have difficulty with lighter shades too, but it's more in terms of things "matching" than thinking lavender is lime. I don't see purples or pinks or greens quite how others see them.

Actually, "matching" is part of my color-blindness story. My dad is (obviously) color-blind. For years, he would consult me in the morning as to whether his ties matched his shirts, since he couldn't tell. I always thought his combos looked great! The year before 4th grade, when it became clear I needed glasses, my parents took me to the eye doctor. As part of the exam, he tested my color vision. Everyone (including the doc) was surprised to discover my issue! And apparently dad went to work and told people, at which point they came clean to him that his attire hadn't approached "matching" in quite some time. It's this knowledge, plus my personal inclinations, that has led me to wearing an almost entirely black wardrobe.

Wow. Major digression. The point is that I have found a few nail polishes I liked that, upon consultation with others, turned out to be entirely unflattering for me. It's hard enough to find reviews for polishes that apply to my odd-ish skin tone, but adding a deficient perception into the search makes it even more problematic.

But the search is over! I checked with Chris, and he said that the color is "subtle, but nice," which is exactly the goal! My nails look wonderful (to me) in all lighting scenarios so far, and look good to my independent observer. And it's a shade that, in the bottle, I would never have chosen for myself: Seche Chic. In the bottle, it looks far too warm and dark and pink for my tastes. But it is sheer, and I guess that and my own tones combine to make it work for me. It isn't quite YNBB, but it's a step better for me - *idealized* nails, like what I get with Essie's Jackie Oh My, but requiring fewer coats.

So once again, I owe the amazing Marina a debt of gratitude! I don't think I'll ever regret being selfish again :~D

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Aesthetician

I'm kitten-sitting this darling baby (her name is La Bamba) for a week:



I woke up today to her cleaning my *entire* face. I was nervous at first, because with hands/fingers she tends to be a "lick-lick-chomp" kinda kitty. But she just wanted to wash my face, and was very into it. It was quite an exfoliation! I had to turn my head a few times, when she tried to clean my eyelids, because it was borderline-painful. But aside from that, I received the full Kitten Peel™ treatment!

If there are any beneficial effects, I'll be sure to report them.

photo stolen from her daddy's facebook page

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Winter is coming...

to HBO!!!

http://grrm.livejournal.com/58155.html

Now we just need to cross our fingers for an announcement about "A Dance With Dragons"...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ask, and it shall be given!

Rachel Maddow on Colbert!!! My year is complete.

(Oh, and Rob: did you hear him compare her to Benedict Arnold?)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

THANK YOU!

To the citizens of the U.S., the planners and organizers, the universe...

Thank you for these fantastic election results! Thank you for hoping and working and VOTING!

We can only go up from here. The sky is the limit. Our country is on the verge of a massive re-invention and re-affirmation of all the things that make us great.

NO ONE LOST TONIGHT!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Broken promises?

Fuck you, McCain.

Obama's 30-minute ad/message/infomercial was paid for by ME. And people like me, who donated what they were willing and able to contribute. I only sent in $50 total, but it was $50 more than I have ever contributed to ANY political campaign. Because although I disagree with a number of Obama's positions, I believe in the majority of his platform. And I believe in HIM.

And I think my money was very well spent. I'd send way more, if we had it to spare.

Broken promises? My ass!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The book meme

I so love memes! Especially quick and easy ones! I was tagged for this one by Medicated Rabbit, Bi-polar Bunny.

Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

The book closest to me is Comic Book Tattoo, a compilation of short graphic stories (AKA cartoons/comics) based on Tori Amos songs. It's really cool and well-done, but the book is huge - it's on the end table right next to me because I can't think of where else to put it that it'll fit! Another unhelpful fact: the pages aren't numbered. So I counted 56 pages into the content, and (in part of the story based on "Little Earthquakes"), found this:

"I didn't even think about him. He lives in San Francisco. Sometimes he comes and visits for a weekend. Once he taught me how to make scones."


And I would like to tag:

Risa at No One Knows Why the Wolf Laughs

Bela at Slap of the Day

Tammy at What's in Tammy's Closet

Sali at Pink Manhattan

Jonna at Jonniker

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palpable Anger

This is the letter I sent out today (3 copies, one to each of the co-owners of the clinic I take our furbabies to), with identifying info redacted:

Xxxxxxx X. Xxxx
### Xxxxxxx Xxx
Xxxxxxxxxx, XX #####
October 9, 2008


Dr. D
Wxxxxxxxx Animal Hospital
#### Xxxxxxxxx Xxxx
Xxxxxxxxxx, XX #####


Dear Dr. D:

I am writing to you and to the other co-owners of Wxxxxxxxx Animal Hospital to express my deep anger and disappointment in the events following my most recent visit.

Last week, I brought a cat, Toaster, in to be examined. She is a stray that I took into my care after attempts to locate her original owners yielded no results. She had several wounds on her side, but apart from those she was happy, healthy, and friendly. She saw Dr. Cxxxxxx.

The visit went just fine, and I was advised that since her bites were of unknown origin, she will have to be quarantined for 6 months on suspicion of rabies exposure, and immunized at 5 months assuming no symptoms develop. I signed an agreement to this effect, and upon arriving home returned her to the guest bedroom where she had already been quarantined.

What I was not advised of was that Animal Control and the Department of Health and Social Services would be informed. I understand the necessity for this, and it makes perfect sense, but I think it would have been appropriate (and bare bones good customer/patient care) for someone to let me know this would be happening. I was also not informed of the very specific enclosure requirements DHSS mandates for home quarantining. I only discovered this when their letter arrived today, requiring compliance within 10 days. It has been a week since I visited your hospital. A week in which I could have been obtaining a cage that fits these requirements, or the materials to build said cage.

I have trusted the care of my animal companions to this facility and the staff there for years now, and I feel that this trust has been violated. I tried to do a good thing for an animal that had no home, no family, and no medical care. And I wasn't shown basic common courtesy or provided with vital information for the care of this animal.

The main reason I am writing is to bring this issue to your attention. This can not have been the first animal brought in with unknown bites. I feel that in the future, the people providing the care for these animals should be given all relevant information at the time of the visit by your staff.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Sincerely,

Me

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I had forgotten...

how desperately, disbelievingly, deliriously joyful a cat is, when taken in from the street. Of course, I mean a cat who has had a former home, not a feral kitty!

I just brought in a small, gray female kitty who had been hiding under my neighbors' shed the past few days, if not longer. I asked if she was theirs first, of course. I had seen her poke her head out a few times, and I saw her licking something out of a tupperware container (so I think/hope they had been providing her food or water of some sort), but she was shy. I spent most of an hour by the fence with some kibble, trying to get her to come to me. She had that face that said she wanted to, but was scared. She has a large scabbed-over area on her flank that makes me think other neighborhood animals - probably cats but possibly humans, unfortunately - got to her a little while ago.

Once she came over for the food, she went crazy wanting attention. Rubbing herself against my hands through the fence and meowing and purring. It was then I checked with the neighbors, and got permission to take her. She followed me nervously out from their yard. That fence and the shed were real shelter and safety. But she came with me, and let me pick her up and bring her inside. I immediately took her upstairs to avoid contact with my kitties.

I brought her a litter box, a can of food, and fresh, clean water. A kitty bed I scooted under the human bed so she could hide and be comfy. A blanket for the floor, so she could lay down in the open if she wanted. I came back downstairs and posted "found" ads online. I went back up a few times to be sure she was ok. The first couple times she was hiding under the bed under the far back corner. She came out after I called her and rubbed my fingers together for a minute or so.

The last time I went up, she was laying out on the blanket. She came right to me and wanted attention. As before, I lied down on the blanket so she could have the attention she wanted without being forced. She rubbed all over me as she had the previous times, but then she looked up at the bed, looked at me, then looked at the bed again. It was like she was saying, "Can we please go up there?"

Of course I got in bed immediately, and she jumped right up. She couldn't settle down for at least 10 minutes. She was going from one side to the other, getting me to pet her with both hands, lying down for a moment only to get right back up...

Finally, she was able to be still and lie down. She relaxed more and more. She curled up against my side. She slept. Really slept. She licked her wounds a bit. She scratched her ears. She stretched out and put her head completely down.

And I nearly wept. It's hard to put yourself in that place - having no one, not being physically safe for who knows how long, having no sure supply of food or water. Being with an animal who realizes that they are *finally* safe and ok is a beautiful thing.

And I realized again all the things I had forgotten since Boo showed up on our patio, more than 5 years ago now. I forgot that cats can have dirty feet. It's an easy thing to forget, when your kitties are inside and safe, and have the leisure time to keep themselves properly clean. I forgot how rare and special it is for a cat to truly zonk out around you. Mine do it all the time. They'll be dead to the world until I touch them and startle them awake. That's how safe and comfortable they are here, even with their petty differences amongst themselves.

And I forgot how astounding and touching it is for an animal you met just a few hours earlier to curl up next to you and fall fast asleep, that frantic purring turning to silence because at last that creature can truly rest and relax. It is humbling, to have an animal trust me that much. And it is a feeling I will do my best not to forget again, and to never take for granted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

perspective

If you aren't familiar with it, you really should be watching The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC (channel 356 on Directv, airing at 9 pm with repeats at 11 pm and 3 am that I know about, if not more).

Not only is she smart and quick and *funny*, but she also highlights a lot of things the mainstream media misses. And she is freaked out by a lot of things that people with foresight and rational minds are freaked out about.

I'm waiting anxiously for her to appear on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. A lot of us are. *hint hint Jon and Stephen*...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On ice

So, yeah. I sprained my fucking ankle last night. A very mild sprain, but it still hurts like a bitch if I try to walk on it "normally" or if I turn it the wrong way. Luckily the swelling is minimal, I can put some weight on it, and I am in the fortunate position of being able to sit around on my ass for days on end.

Thank goodness Acme delivers! I'll be fully stocked in sodas, convenience foods, and Ace bandages by 2:30 pm tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Disappointment

So I decided to DVR "Whatever, Martha!" (on the Fine Living Network, whatever the fuck that is). Early press hailed it as MST3K for the Martha Stewart show. I've been known to snark a bit myself (I know you're shocked - please contain yourself) and was looking forward to some fun. Martha is SO eminently snark-able! Instead, I'm faced with her daughter (Alexis Stewart) and a "friend" (Jennifer Koppelman Hutt) proving that they are capable of neither intelligent thought NOR true snark.

There are too many bad jokes/comments to list them ALL here without boring myself out of my mind, but I have to mention a few.

Ooh! Math! No one watching could possibly be capable of basic addition or subtraction! "Eunh??!" + a scrunchy face does NOT equal humorous commentary. And wow. A joke about having (plural) therapists. Steal from SNL much? Seriously - they commented her outfits to death. It's fucking Martha Stewart! Of course she wears ridiculous clothes! Are you telling me you grew up with her and that's all you can come up with? Please. And you dropped the f-bomb once and it got bleeped! You're totally speaking to the youth culture! *sigh* And heaven forfend we accept our bodies - nudity in the locker room?!? How dare females transitioning from a workout/shower to their street clothes (in a supposedly safe environment) DARE to allow their anatomy to go uncovered for a moment? Just because you, Jennifer, are uncomfortable with your body, doesn't mean the rest of us should be. Grow the fuck up! You mentioned you have children - are you seriously raising them with these neuroses? You have such a problem with people (male AND female) being comfortable in a naked but non-sexual environment? I pity you. I truly do.


Enough bitching. I will now mention the few highlights (the ones that actually made me laugh):


- a joke about Martha's comment that she uses a rubber mat to protect her knees when she kneels. And that fell flat because while the innuendo was clear, they did nothing with it. If you're going to joke about blow jobs (please do!) actually make the jokes. And have them be good!

- Commentary on the guy who is a "twine collector" - Jennifer: "He's sexually turned on by twine." Alexis: "There's a hole in it." This did actually crack me up.

- More on twine: "It looks like a coconut." I only mention this because I said it a millisecond before the chick on the show did (no, I couldn't tell which). It always makes me inexplicably happy when something I think/say is repeated on the tv show I'm commenting on.


Sadly missed? Jokes about "holding the tip" and "squeeze with this hand and hold with this hand" and doing "anything you like" in the cupcake icing segment. Seriously? This is cable! No cock humor?

I'm sure the show suffered a bit because Martha was actively involved. I'm glad she has at least a modicum of humor about herself and her image, but her involvement most likely inhibited what could have been a truly entertaining show. If only they had waited the 20+ years for copyrights to expire, and really applied the rapier!

I think the worst part is that my friends and I can do (and have done!) similar but better to Martha and a number of other shows. Why watch this, when I can record any old thing and then do a better job with people I actually give a shit about?


Alexis? Your mom kicks your ass. I will tune in for a few more shows, until the fall schedule really gets underway. Either it will improve by then, or I will have lost my patience. Current tv programming and Netflix leave no room for subpar shows. I wish this one hadn't registered so poorly so soon. I was really looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wine + CNN

= donations to the Obama/Biden campaign. I can't wait till my magnet gets here!

I'm so glad there are journalists (and blogs) picking apart political speeches now. The one time I did it (was it almost 3 years ago already?!?) it was a lot of work and infuriated me. I'd much rather hang out on Jezebel and snark with a bunch of likeminded folks who are as in-the-moment outraged as I!

Kiki, I hope you have an extra room or two available in case things go to shit in November!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fuck Fruit Sensations

I don't give a shit how long the flavor lasts. What I do give a shit about it the new "15 piece pack" gum packaging from Extra - it SUCKS!!!

I'm sure if one is a person who carries a teeny tiny purse, or if one is a dude who for some reason needs to carry 15 sticks of gum in his pocket, it's an improvement. But it's a bitch to get the gum out of the package now, and the package is a pain in the ass to close. Why even make a lid/closure on it? Every piece is glued in so tightly you have to give yourself cardboard cuts to remove one!

Saddest of all is that I will continue to suffer, because nothing makes me happier than sugar-free watermelon flavored gum. I waited years for it. So as much as principle has me wanting to boycott the punks, I just can't do it.

I am weak. WEAK!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More importantly

Holy shit! I just rated Chris on good old Doctor Crane's scale (don't know why I didn't do it earlier).

78.5! And that's being nitpicky with the points! The online check +/- version gave him a 110!

So that's it, my husband is "very superior". I knew that long ago, of course - it's part of why I snatched him up! - but it's still daunting. There are a few areas I wish that scale addressed for the modern age, but most are unprintable...

Still, gotta figure out an easy way to score some points! Anyone want my red nail polish?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WTF?

Why is it that I can hate (HATE!) Rush musically, but love them on the Colbert Report? I love the intro replacement already. How many more accessions can a gal be forced to make in the name of pop culture?

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's our anniversary!


Doesn't he just have the best taste in flowers?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Flip Side

Since I discovered what a piss-poor wife I am, I had to know if I might be a better husband. And since the tool was available, I implemented it. For the purposes of not confusing myself or weirding myself out, I'm replacing every instance of "wife" in the scale with "husband" and "her" with "him". And just a reminder: the "children" I'm answering questions about all have tails. Thankfully – for myself and for mankind – I am not responsible for any human children.

I do want to mention that there was a lot of overlap of questions from the "wife" scale, which I view as a good thing, since it means even back then spouses were holding each other to similar standards. Of course, there were no demerits on the "husband" scale for his nail polish color choices...


MARITAL RATING SCALE
Husband's Chart
George W. Crane, PhD, M.D.

"In computing the score, check the various items under DEMERITS which fit the wife, and add the total. Each item counts one point unless specifically weighted as in the parentheses. Then check the items under MERITS which apply; now subtract the DEMERIT score from the MERIT score. The result is the wife's raw score. Interpret it according to this table:"

Raw Scores - Interpretation
0 - 24 = Very Poor (failures)
25 - 41 = Poor
42 - 58 = Average
59 - 75 = Superior
76 and up = Very Superior


MERITS:

1. Gives husband ample allowance or turns paycheck over to him (5) – When I was working, my paycheck went into the pot. And I encourage him to spend our "extra" in ways that will make him happy. Seems equivalent to me – +5

2. Courteous to husband's friends – Always! Luckily, Chris isn't friends with assholes. Or, at least, if he is he doesn't make me spend time around them. – +1

3. Frequently compliments husband re: looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc. (5) – Absolutely! And it's always true – +5

4. Remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (5) – I forgot our wedding anniversary once (I think it was our 3rd or 4th), but to be fair he also forgot it that year. We were both home, I realized the date, and freaked. I ran downstairs and said, "Do you know what day it is?!?" and he looked at me for a moment, then said, "Shit! It's our anniversary! I forgot!" And I said, "Oh thank God, me too!" Never before or since – +4

5. Helps husband with dishes, caring for children, scrubbing – Um, yeah. It's my job. – +1

6. Polite and mannerly even when alone with husband – Well, sure! I don't rudely demand things or call him names or anything. I know how to say "please" and "thank you", and do so frequently. I'm no ogress! – +1

7. Consults husband's opinion re: business and social affairs – He's a smart guy! Why wouldn't I want his input? Why would I marry someone whose opinion I didn't respect or want? – +1

8. Has date with husband at least once per week (5 per date) – Sadly, we are very much homebodies. We go out, but with him traveling and family obligations intervening, it's most definitely less than once a week – 0

9. Reads newspaper, books, or magazines aloud to husband –I do, though I'm not sure he appreciates it – +1

10. A good conversationalist – As long as someone else initiates it! – +1

11. Steady worker and good provider (5) – How about "sporadic worker and not a provider"? – o

12. Leaves car for husband on days he may need itAhhhhh… the historical context kicks in. When we've been rendered a 1-car household by circumstances, I have always given him "dibs" on the vehicle – +1

13. Handy about house re fixing iron, vacuum, hanging pictures, etc. – I think I'm the opposite of handy. When I *try* to be handy, I make things worse. Much worse. Oh, except when it comes to the vacuum – something about that thing resonates and I've fixed a few issues with it – but my failures elsewhere far outweigh my successes with the vac – 0

14. Enjoys taking husband along with him wherever she goes – I do! Luckily for him, I don't go very many places – +1

15. Doesn't interfere with husband's correction of children – Hell no! I actively encourage it! They are evil and behave badly, and I am too much of a pushover to discipline them properly. I'm more of an "encourager" than a disciplinarian+1

16. Carries adequate insurance for family (5) – Sadly, no. People with my mental health history don't easily qualify for life insurance (which is what I'm assuming this question is referring to), and I'm too lazy and worried about what I'd have to go through to get it – 0

17. Doesn't quarrel with husband before children or the public – It's more bickering than quarreling, but I don't hold my tongue. Should I pretend all is well, and then ambush him when we're alone? That's somehow better? – 0

18. Makes guests feel welcome – an interesting entertainer+1

19. Often tells husband she loves him (5) – Probably to excess, but I'd rather say it too often than miss an opportunity and regret it later – +5

20. Usually comes home with a smile – Of course! Especially if he happens to be there when I arrive – +1

21. Shares her business and personal problems with him – Again, probably to excess – +1

22. Holds husband's coat and opens doors for him – I really do. Why not? It's all about making the other person's life easier! – +1

23. Good humored in the morning – This is tricky. If I get up when my body tells me to, I'm in a *lovely* mood. If I have to get up for an appointment or plans or something and I'm still sleepy, I'm a huge grouch for the first hour or so. I think partial credit is in order here – +0.5

24. Even-temperedHeh. – 0

25. Does not use tobacco+1

26. Interested in athletics – Well, I'm interested in the athletics of others, especially as it pertains to their physiques. But I'm reasonably certain that's not what was meant here! – 0

27. Writes often and lovingly when away from home – I'm counting emails and texting. I can hardly write letters when he's only gone 4 days out of the week! Oh, Dr. Crane, could you have predicted free nationwide long distance? Cell phones? – +1

28. Plays with children or helps them with lessons (5) – Sometimes I feel like all I *do* is play with our children! – +5

29. Willing to go shopping with husband – Mostly. It depends on what for, and what mood I'm in – +0.5

30. Waits up for husband or calls for him at his party – Uh, no. And in this day and age that would be a little creepy/stalker-y. Now, if his ass wasn't home when I woke up the next day that would be a whole new ballgame! – 0

31. Neat in appearance – shoes shined, hair cut, suit pressed – Sure, when I need to be! In the spirit of this point, if not literally – +1

32. Attends church or urges children to attend Sunday school (10) – I almost want to give myself points for this because if/when we have a *human* child, I will want to give him/her some sort of spiritual framework to build on. But I myself am not the churchgoing sort, and since we only have children of other species, I don't want to cheat – 0

33. Attends parent-teacher meeting and educational lectures – I educate myself continually about our critters, and the most recent info on what is best for them, so I'm taking this point – +1

34. Ambitious – works or studies to gain promotion –Nope – 0

35. Surprises husband occasionally with candy, flowers, gifts – Absolutely! Though usually it's funny t-shirts, steaks, and/or other random stuff – +1

36. A fast and efficient worker, not the puttering sort – If only! – 0

37. Willingly prepares own breakfast+1

38. Ardent lover – sees that husband has orgasm in marital congress (20) – Easiest 20 points I've ever earned! Though I must say that this is a bit unfair, balanced against the wifely equivalent of "reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress" which was only worth 10 points. If anything, it should be 10 points for this (really 5 or 1 – providing the wife with orgasms should be a given!) and 20 points for the wife, since her pleasure is likely to be at least marginally less regular so she must therefore *muster* a reaction, whereas the husband usually just involuntarily *has* a positive reaction. But whatever. I get points! – +20

39. Shows husband attention and affection in public (5)+5

40. Is a careful auto driver – Hell yeah! Especially since I have to be doubly careful thanks to all the assholes out there who can't drive for shit (I'm looking at *you*, punks who totaled our other two cars!) – +1

41. Kind, but firm and the head of her household – We're a team, TYVM! – 0

42. Well liked by women, courageous – not a sissy – On principle, I'm not so sure about that "well liked by women" thing – I'd rather women be indifferent to my hubby, personally. But I am so NOT a sissy! – +1

43. Is true to her husband (10)+10

44. Eats whatever is served without grumbling or criticism – I get points for this only because when he cooks, it's overwhelmingly awesome. If he made bad food, I would whine whine whine. – +1

45. Her children are pleased at her arrival home (5)+5

46. Tries to keep husband equipped with modern labor saving devices (5) – We had tivo before it was popular. And I consider our lawn service to be one of the best "labor saving devices" I have equipped Chris with – +5

47. Gives husband real movie kisses not dutiful "peck" on the cheek – This one amuses the heck out of me. – +1

48. If husband is ill, phones from work to inquire about him+1

49. Neatly hangs up clothes on hooks or hangers+1

50. Kisses husband when leaving for work or a trip+1

TOTAL MERITS: 96 (I rock!)



DEMERITS

1. Stares at or flirts with other men while out with husband (5) – Going by my "wife scale" answer for this one – -2

2. Reads newspaper at the table – For the modern equivalent: we eat most of our meals in the living room with me on the computer *and* watching tv, while he plays WOW. Thank goodness this is only one point! – -1

3. Fails to come to table promptly when meal is ready – Heck no! If the food is ready, I'm there! – 0

4. Brings guests home for meals without warning husband – I would never! I hardly ever have guests here period, and there's *always* a warning, usually of several days! – 0

5. Doesn't phone when late for dinner0

6. Compares husband unfavorably with her father or other husbands (5) – Nope! I know I've got a good thing! – 0

7. Publicly praises "single" days and regrets having marriedNevah. Evah. – 0

8. Criticizes husband in public (5) – I do, but not horrendously so. Just little things every once in a while – -1

9. Belches without apology or blows nose at table – Totally. Well, sometimes I remember to excuse myself, but definitely not enough to meet Dr. Crane's lofty standards! – -1

10. Leaves dresser drawers open – Nope. I bang into enough shit as it is – why would I add more corners and edges to wound myself on? – 0

11. Leaves shoes in living room – Are you kidding? With ferrets? I'm pretty sure Dr. Crane would disapprove of where we do leave them (the dining room), but that wasn't the question so I'm not taking the hit – 0

12. Snores – Unfortunately I've always been a snorer. I also talk in my sleep, usually nonsense. And I steal the covers. And take over the bed. I'm an extremely rude sleeper. – -1

13. Careless in bathroom – leaves razor out or ring around tub – No ring around the tub, but I leave everything else (razor included) lying around. Hey, at least I hang up my towels! – -1

14. Fails to bathe or change socks often enough – I change my socks and clothes all the time, but I definitely don't shower enough (not for Dr. Crane, anyway!). Water conservation, y'all! – -1

15. Fails to brush teeth regularly or keep nails clean – Oh, ew. These two things I'm religious about. I also wash my hands a LOT, and floss frequently. – 0

16. Dislikes to dress or shave on Sunday – Sunday and every other day! – -1

17. Hangs ties or clothes on doorknobs0

18. Picks teeth, nose, or sucks teeth in public – No, though it's tempting after eating popcorn! – 0

19. Objects to husband driving auto – Hell, no! I practically demand it! I don't really like driving, especially at night. Though his car is fun to drive! I prefer to be a passenger, though. – 0

20. Uses profanity or vulgarity – Scroll up, Dr. Crane. – -1

21. Blames husband for everything that goes wrong – Can I take a point back for this? Because I'm such a guilt queen that I blame myself for everything that goes wrong, even when I shouldn't. – 0

22. Complains of being too tired to go out at night with husband – Only when it's true, but I'll take it. – -1

23. Is suspicious and jealous – Sure am. It's my nature, and he tolerates it kindly. – -1

24. Uses alcohol. If ever drunk (5)-5

25. Tells lies, not dependable (5)0

26. Angry if newspaper is disarranged – Welcome to the digital age, Dr. Crane! I do get pissed when Vista rearranges all my little window buttons at the bottom of my screen while my laptop is in standby, so I think that counts unfortunately – -1

27. Stubborn – rarely admits that he is wrong. Seldom apologizes (5) – One of my positive traits is that I'm willing and able to admit when I'm in error or have messed something up. I don't comprehend people who are otherwise. How hard is it? What's the worst that can happen? Jeez! Oh, and I apologize well too. – 0

28. Talks of efficiency of her stenographer or other men – Would this translate to a secretary/personal assistant? The lawn guys? Regardless, I don't do it. – 0

29. Teases husband for fatness, slowness, etc. – Hell no! And I think a spouse who does that is a bit fucked up and wandering into the territory of emotional abuse. – 0

30. Tells embarrassing things about husband when out in public – Not that I can think of. Certainly not intentionally! – 0

31. Makes fun of husband's hats, clothes, cooking, housekeeping, etc. – No way! His clothes are great, and I wouldn't dream of doing anything that jeopardized his doing any cooking or housework! Now, I will rearrange the dishwasher into a more efficient layout if I need to, and I've been known to re-fold clothing, but that's my OCD and not mockery, and he knows it. – 0

32. Smokes in bed0

33. Calls "Where is... ?" without first hunting for the object – Well, of course! Why waste time searching for something if he might know where it is? This is just stupid. Whatever. -1

34. Monopolizes radio on Sunday as for the baseball broadcasts – More fun with anachronism! I do monopolize the tv, but if he has a game he wants to watch I surrender it. I figure I ought to, considering I'm using it 90% of the time! I'm not taking a point because I share when it counts, dammit. – 0

35. Dislikes children, or scolds them too harshly0

36. A chronic ailer or patent medicine addict0

37. Writes on tablecloth with pencil WTF is this?!? I don't know why anyone would do this, and I certainly can't think of a modern equivalent! – 0

38. A chronic braggart or boaster0

39. Argues with or curses other motorists – I do, but only in the confines of my car and with the windows up. I am so not confrontational. You never know who has a bat or a crowbar or a firearm. – 0

40. Will not help husband's relatives as much as her own – Sadly, this is true. I am very selfish with my time. Plus, I have more relatives close by who actually need help. – -1

41. Rolls in bed covers – pulls them off husband – See "Demerits #12" – -1

42. Eats onions, radishes, or garlic before dates or going to bed-1

43. Addicted to gambling0

44. Defers too much to father, a "daddy's girl" (5) – I'm a daddy's girl, sure, and a mama's girl. But not in a way that affects our marriage. – 0

45. Belittles husband's opinions, his judgement, or ability (5)0

46. Opens husband's mail – Of course! In addition to being nosy, dealing with the mail and filing the paperwork that comes in that route is one of my jobs around the house. Why should he have to worry his pretty lil' head about that sort of thing? And to reiterate my "wife scale" answer – why should it matter? He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing. – -1

47. Boasts about his former boyfriends or conquests (5) – Nah. I could, but that would just be tacky. – 0

48. Leaves lights burning all over the house – I'm getting better about it! It's something I'm genuinely working on. But I'm not there yet. – -1

49. Kisses husband just after his makeup has been applied – LOL! I can't really think of an equivalent action here. I've kissed him after my makeup was applied, but he doesn't seem to mind it much. – 0

50. Too much a book worm – doesn't talk to wife enough when home – I'm pretty sure I talk to him enough, but I'm a complete book worm. And tv worm. And computer worm. Or whatever you call someone who gets engrossed in any of those things. And I can be pissy about it if I'm caught up on something and he (or anyone, really) interrupts. – -1

TOTAL DEMERITS: 25


GRAND TOTAL: 71! Superior!


Conclusion: I am a much better husband than wife. Who knew?


And I'm sure there are sexist assholes out there thinking that this is just what's wrong with society these days: wimmin acting too much like the menfolk. I would like to send them a bottle of red nail polish, along with some instructions as to where they can insert it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Am I a Good Wife?

I know a lot of people have seen this – it's the "Marital Rating Scale" by George W. Crane, MD, from 1939. Most folks have passed around the first page of the "Wife's Chart" because it's the most commonly encountered example. I poked around and found the full version on flickr. I decided to take the *full* test, and am posting the text here (with my comments and results). I'm tempted to follow up with the Husband's Chart in the future!

MARITAL RATING SCALE
Wife's Chart
George W. Crane, PhD, M.D.

"In computing the score, check the various items under DEMERITS which fit the wife, and add the total. Each item counts one point unless specifically weighted as in the parentheses. Then check the items under MERITS which apply; now subtract the DEMERIT score from the MERIT score. The result is the wife's raw score. Interpret it according to this table:"

Raw Scores - Interpretation
0 - 24 = Very Poor (failures)
25 - 41 = Poor
42 - 58 = Average
59 - 75 = Superior
76 and up = Very Superior


MERITS:

1. A good hostess - even to unexpected guests – not that we ever have any: +1

2. Has meals on time – we do nothing "on time", so I make food when Chris is hungry. I think that counts! – +1

3. Can carry on an interesting conversation: +1 (as if it could be otherwise!)

4. Can play an instrument, as piano, violin, etc. – doesn't say well, so: +1

5. Dresses for breakfast – considering his (the good doctor, not my sweet baboo!) idea of "dresses", I have to be honest: 0

6. Neat housekeeper – tidy and clean – Epic fail: 0

7. Personally puts children to bed – since our children all have tails and he does a lot of the "putting to bed" when he's home, I'm going to give myself 0.5

8. Never goes to be angry, always makes up first (5) – "Never"? "Always"? I know I should adhere to the spirit of this and observe the language of absolutes he employs, but fuck it. I don't go to bed angry (who can fall asleep pissed off?), and make up first a lot, especially when I know I've contributed to the problem. I deserve some freaking points! – +2.5

9. Asks husband's opinions regarding important decisions and purchases – sure, I ask! – +1

10. Good sense of humor jolly and gay – two words that have left our vernacular, at least in this context. Whatever. I have a fabulous sense of humor! – +1

11. Religious - sends children to church or Sunday school and goes herself. (10) РI'm one of those clich̩ "spiritual but not religious" people: 0

12. Lets husband sleep late on Sunday and holidays – in the context of #11, this seems particularly asinine. So I should love God and Jesus and drag the kids to our place of worship, but let my darling hubby sleep in? Would a good wife really care so little about her husband's eternal soul?!? Whatever. We both sleep in. – +1

13. Encourages thrift – economical (5) – Fail. He works so hard and has to travel so much that I would rather do without for myself than tell him not to get something he wants. As long as we're doing ok, I think that's fine. – 0

14. Laughs at husband's jokes and his clowning – absolutely! But only because he's genuinely funny! I could never be one of those wives who "humors" her husband in this area. So part of me thinks (based on the tone of this scale) that I should get a "0" here. But I figure part of my wifely awesomeness lies in choosing a guy to marry who I could laugh with honestly. So really, I should get 2 points here! I'll take the 1, though: +1

15. Ambitious for her family - urges higher attainment – um… don't know what to do with this. I'm no Lady MacBeth. And I'm not dreaming of Chris becoming a CEO. I just want us to be happy and secure, and he wants that too. So to be literal, I would get "0" here, but since he and I are on the same page in terms of "ambition", I'm taking this one – +1

16. Belongs to parent-teacher club, or child study group – again, no skin kids. And since I belong to several yahoo groups specific to our non-human children, I'm taking this one too: +1

17. A good cook - serves balanced meals (5) – when I follow a recipe, I kick ass. And when I'm trying to be good and healthy for Chris, I make balanced meals. I'm taking a partial: + 3.5

18. Tries to become acquainted with husband's business or trade – sure, I try! You try acquainting yourself with warehouse management software and get back to me: +1

19. Greets husband at night with a smile: +1

20. Has a pleasant disposition in the morning not crabby – if I'm actually up in the a.m. (and it’s the "waking up" in the a.m. and not the late-night for me) I'm guaranteed to be crabby! – 0

21. Keeps snacks in the refrigerator for late eating+1 (oh, wait – for him? Whatever. He can eat what I have on hand if he's really hungry.)

22. Likes educational and cultural things – I'm totally counting tv and movies and blogs: +1

23. Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress (10) – this is based on my own life, in which he is doing things right. Again, I'm not good at "humoring" people, and consider my choice of a compatible spouse to be part of my "Good Wife-y-ness": +10

24. Faithful and true to husband (10) – uh, totally. Otherwise, what's the point? – +10

25. Has pleasant voice not strident – not at all. My tone of voice is a major issue because something about my mind/ears makes me unaware of how I come across. So sadly, Chris is apparently stuck with a harsh and strident wife. Sorry, babe! – 0

26. Has spunk – will defend her ideals and religion – to the death!!! Ok, maybe not death: +1

27. Praises husband in public+1

28. Writes often and lovingly when away from husband – do text messages count? How about dirty ones? Email links? – +1

29. Writes to husband's parents regularly – again, does email count? I'm going to operate under the assumption that this question is more about harmony with the in-laws, which I definitely try to maintain: +1

30. Willing to assist husband at office or shop – Willing? Yes. Able? Not even close. So in the spirit of adhering to reality: +1

31. Sympathetic - likes children and unfortunates (5) – of course I do! – +5

32. Keeps hair neatly combed or shampooed and waved – sadly, I am dirty and lazy. My hair is always neat, just not always especially clean or styled : +0.5

33. Often comments on husband's strength and masculinity – um, no. "Often"? To whom would I be doing this? I certainly extoll his awesomeness, but not usually in terms of heavy lifting or hairiness/"bedroom performance". I'm going to give myself partial credit here because I truly believe that I let Chris know how terrific I think he is. But I don't run around commenting (to him or others) on these specific things : +0.5

34. Good seamstress – can make her own clothes or the children's clothing – not hardly: 0

35. Gives husband shampoo or manicure – I do!!! He often gets manis when we're in the car for more than 30 minutes: +1

36. Keeps husband's clothes clean and pressed – clean? Totally. Pressed? Nah. I don't believe in irons. But he does, so I keep everything clean and he irons what he wants extra-smooth: +0.5

37. Bravely carries on during financial depression – Wow. Talk about some dramatic language! I'd have to say "yes" here: +1

38. Healthy or courageous and uncomplaining – Yeah, right! Anyone who knows me (or has read anything pertinent here) is aware that this doesn't even remotely apply: 0

39. Keeps self dainty, perfumed, and feminine – hrm. "Dainty" throws me because it seems size-specific, and I've always felt I was too tall/big to qualify. I'm definitely "perfumed" but that isn't really a "plus" as far as Chris is concerned. And "feminine"? What the fuck does that mean? I have a vagina, and his penis isn't unfamiliar with it. Aside from reproductive standards, is there a better definition? – +0.5

40. Is of same religion as her husband (5) – this again treads that shifty ground. We are both spiritual and non-religious, so we are (so far – *knock on wood*) free of "religious" conflicts. And we don't have the "family" religious issues. So in my book I get full points: +5

41. Has minor children to care for (5 points per child) – Jeez! Baby wars, anyone? I know how difficult and time-consuming human children are, so I'm not presuming to equate our non-human kids with them. I'd rather scoop 20 litter boxes than deal with a human child for 24 hours straight. So I'm acknowledging our posse without being unrealistic about their needs: +1

42. On friendly terms with neighbors – Sure, why not? I say "hi" when I see them. I don't call the cops on them. What more can one ask? – +1

43. Fair and just in settling children's quarrels with others – N/A so I'll take the zero: 0

44. Likes to vacation with husband – as opposed to all those other guys I love sailing away with… Puh-leeze! I know it may sound lame, but Chris is my best friend. Who better to vacation with? – +1

45. An active member of some women's organization – WOW, this is vague. And since it is, I'm going to count my subscription to Bitch magazine: +1

46. Often tells husband she loves him (5) – possibly *too* often, but how is one to judge? I say it when it strikes me, which is several times a day. I would rather shoot myself than regret not saying it: +5

47. Polite and mannerly even when alone with husband – Um, no. He would probably think I was possessed if I suddenly started acting thusly: 0

48. Willing to get a job to help support the home – must opine here – this is only worth ONE point?!? Really? My willingness to pull my own weight/support the household is worth less than telling Chris I love him, bearing a child, being (basically) charitable, cooking "balanced" meals, or not going to bed angry? For serious? I'll take the point, but I really think this one should be worth more. A LOT more: +1

49. Praises marriage before young women contemplating it – I love it, so why shouldn't they? – +1

50. Is unselfish and kind-hearted – doesn't specify "humans" so I think I'm home clear – +1

TOTAL MERITS: 71.5


DEMERITS:

1. Slow in coming to bed – delays till husband is almost asleep – totally bogus, but I'll take the hit: -1

2. Doesn't like children (5) – I like them! Especially if they belong to someone else! – 0

3. Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly – I'm willing and able but don't do so on a regular basis: -1

4. Wears soiled or ragged dresses and aprons around the house – I don't violate this literally but I do in spirit: -1

5. Wears red nail polish – WTF?!? I know there are some historic contextual incongruities in this "quiz", but how has red nail polish ever been an issue that could negate one's willingness to get a job??? And what would Dr. Crane think of my truly vampy shades? Whatever: -1

6. Often late for appointments (5) – Not even! In fact, I'm *taking* a point because Chris is so non-punctual and I have struggled against it for so long! – +1!

7. Seams in hose often crooked – n/a – 0

8. Goes to bed with curlers on her hair or much face cream – those were the days. – 0

9. Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them – guilty as charged. What can I say? He is deliciously warm and so readily available in the dead of winter! – -1

10. Is a back seat driver – NO! I have worked SO hard to correct this! I refuse to take a point: 0

11. Flirts with other men at parties or in restaurants (5) – I have to admit that I'm not qualified to answer this. I don't even know how to (deliberately) flirt "in real life". But apparently some of my online *joking* behavior has been interpreted as being flirty. So do I go by intent or result? I'm going to go by result, because I know my ignorant behavior has at least once upset Chris in the past: -2

12. Is suspicious and jealous (5) – totally, unrepentantly guilty of this. Back off, bitches, or I will cut you! – -5

13. Uses slang or profanity (5) – I fail to see the problem here, but whatever. FUCK you, Crane: -5 (and, again: this equates to a human child?!? Get a grip!!!)

14. Smokes, drinks, gambles, or uses dope (5) – thank goodness it isn't multiple vices! Wine is enough for me! – -5

15. Talks about former boyfriends or first husband – nope – 0

16. Squeezes toothpaste at the top – for real?!? THIS was a big marital issue back in the day? – 0

17. Reminds husband it is her money they are living on (5) – Hah! Not even! – 0

18. Tells family affairs to casual acquaintances, too talkative – *gives Chris hairy eyeball* – 0

19. A chronic borrower – doesn't keep stocked up – so NOT an issue for a hermit like me: 0

20. Slows up card game with chatter and gossip – seriously?!? They played cards/games for non-social reasons back then? Not in my demo – it's purely for fun here! – 0

21. Opens husband's personal mail – ALL the damn time. Why should it be a problem, exactly?!? He who has nothing to hide hides nothing, motherfuckers! – -1

22. Frequently exceeds her allowance or family budget (5) – all the time, but not in some dramatic/apocalyptic way: -4

23. Eats onions, radishes, or garlic before a date or going to bed – I refuse to take a point for this, because it doesn't interfere with sexy fun time: 0

24. Tells risque or vulgar stories (5) – Again, fuck you, Crane. This doesn't make me less of a wife. In fact, it makes me MORE of a wife! You really think I should keep those stories from my husband? You think he wants me to? You're a moron! I'm *taking* a point! – +1

25. Wears pajamas while cooking0

26. Talks during movie, play, or concert – I'll fess up. I do this. I know it's aggravating, but I can't seem to stop: -1

27. Is more than 15 pounds overweight – Woohoo!!! Not yet! – 0

28. Often whining and complaining – Um, yeah. Total whiner here: -1

29. Discourteous to sales clerks and hired help – never! If anything, I'm overly kind! – 0

30. Shoulder straps hang over arms or slip is uneven and shows – Heh. I rarely wear a bra, and almost *never* a slip, so I'm in the clear! – 0

31. Fails to was top of milk bottle before opening – Uhhhhh... I have no notion what a modern equivalent for this might be. But I refuse to take a hit! – 0

32. Corrects husband's speech or actions before others (5) – I don't think I do this, but I know I'm not perfect so I'm docking myself: -2

33. Saves punishment of children for father at night (5)0

34. Serves dinner but fails to sit down till meal is half over – then wants husband to wait for her – Gee, hold a grudge much dude? – 0

35. Wears pajamas instead of nightgown – I'm giving myself a point here because I eschew both and go naked. What husband prefers clothing to nudity? – +1

36. Fails to bathe or brush teeth often enough (5) – I'll dock myself here because although I'm super-keen on oral hygiene, I'm dirty with the body stuff: -2.5

37. Puts stocking to soak in wash basin – n/a – 0

38. Serves too much from tin cans or the delicatessen store – *I* don't think so… – 0

39. Visits mother too often – a spoiled child – judge-y much, Crane? – 0

40. Is snobbish or too much concerned in "keeping up with the Jonses." – Puh-leeze! They only *wish* they could keep up with us!!! LOL! – 0

41. Dislikes husband's hobbies as fishing, baseball, etc. – Meh. I don't "dislike" WoW, I just can't get into it… – 0

42. Tells lies - is not dependable (5) – never say it: 0

43. Doesn't want to get up to prepare breakfast – well, of course not! Why would I, when Chris prepares it so much better? – 0

44. Insists on driving the car when husband is along – how about the opposite? I avoid driving when Chris is available to do so! Especially when #14 (drinking) is a factor. Should I deprive him of the opportunity to be the designated driver? – 0

45. Smokes in bed or has cigarette stained fingers – No, nay, never! – 0

46. Cries, sulks, or pouts too much – this I totally do. Can't avoid it: 0

47. Makes engagements without consulting husband – not anymore! I was guilty of this for several years whn we first go together, but have since been cured! – 0

48. Talks too long on the phone – I only talk excessively with Katie, and that's almost exclusively limited to when Chris is away. I'm really not a phone person: 0

49. Is a gossip – sooo relative. And I don't think I qualify: 0

50. Walks around the house in stocking feet – why on earth is this a negative?!? And, again, why is it equivalent to my willingness to get a damn job?!? Whatever. I do it. ALL the TIME. Suck it, Crane! – -1

TOTAL DEMERITS: -31.5


GRAND TOTAL: 40

Judgement: I am a poor wife. But we already knew that.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ideas

Good idea: crockpots with removable inserts. You can stop heating the food immediately, and also clean the cooking surface (in the dishwasher!) without worrying about that pesky electrical cord.

Bad idea: cooking something and removing the aforementioned insert, and forgetting to turn the crockpot off. FOR TWO DAYS. With the air conditioning running.

Our house did not burn down. But not for lack of opportunity.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sweet stuff

I love honey. I grew up on locally produced clover honey that we got every few months in big mason jars from the beekeeper. It was some of the best stuff on earth, and I wish the guy was still around and producing (I remember him as being elderly, so he has most likely passed away).

Chris and I have been doing our best these past few years to buy organic. Basically, if something is available organic that's how we buy it. Yes, it costs more, but it always tastes sooooo much better, and since it's just the two of us we can afford to pay for it. We get all our meat online now from organic sellers, and there are a few other online stores we get things from, as well as a few things from local grocery stores. Amazon.com is a *great* source for organic non-perishables, especially in bulk!

I've been looking for organic clover honey for months now. Most places sell other types organically - usually tupelo (which I can't stand) or something similar. I've been getting highly frustrated because I want *clover* honey! Enter our lovely neighborhood Food Lion. They have their own "store brand" organic line, Nature's Place. Last time I was shopping, I saw that they had Nature's Place organic honey. It didn't specify what kind, but it was pretty darn cheap for organic, so I decided to give it a try. Success! Delicious clover (or clover-tasting) honey, organic, and at a great price! I'm thrilled!

Incidentally, our Food Lion also now carries Vegenaise! I've been wanting to try this for ages, but no one within 100 miles had it, and it costs a small fortune to ship it since it has to be refrigerated. I immediately bought a bottle, but haven't had occasion to use it yet (I just got it a couple days ago). But I wanted to strike while the iron was hot, and also to encourage Food Lion to keep going with their current trend in inventory.

So, in a classic Tornoe summary: I love Food Lion.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Late afternoon

We have two ferrets. Just saying/writing this feels bizarre to me, after having four - six for so long. But one of the sad realities of taking in a large number of critters (with a relatively short lifespan) in a small timeframe is that you will most likely lose most or all of them in a similar window.

Knowing this, intellectually, and living through it are two very painfully different things. And the reality is that Podo is, at the most optimistic estimate, 4 years old; and Harriet is 5 - 6. They are frisky and perky, and in as good health as can be guaranteed by current veterinary medicine. But the fact remains that they are entering the ages in which we could lose them at any time.

Chris and I decided a while back that after this bunch, we are going to take a break from ferrets for a while. The fact is that giving them the best care (in good conscience, I could never do otherwise) means spending an arm and a leg at the drop of a hat. And while we *can* do that, we also have a responsibility to the other animals in our care, as well as a fierce desire to get out of this house sometime in the next 5 - 10 years. Our furbabies are worth the thousands we spend on them, but we would like to be in a better position sometime soon to change our lives and possibly do better by our current bunch as well as a potential theoretical new bunch. And that means limiting our spending so we can pay off what we owe on the house etc. while maintaining some stability in this crazy economy.

After we lost Kaneda, I realized how precious the time left with the girls is. I was also worried about what would happen if/when we lose one, as ferrets are prone to mourning those they are bonded with and basically refusing to live without them. I looked around online and found no message boards that I liked, so I started looking at groups. I'm a yahoo group addict, and tend to join, lurk, and leave them without getting too attached or involved. But instead I found a group that captured my heart. Sure, not everyone is informed (we all gotta learn!) or as willing/able to spend like I am on critters. But the heart of this group is so strong and true and sincere. I actually volunteered to help moderate, and as a result have been having fun learning basic html and indulging my penchant for heavy editing.

Recently, the members of the group have suffered a staggering number of losses. In a heavily populated group of serious ferret lovers, it isn't unexpected - combine people who love the critters with the addictive quality of said critters (Chris and I are rank amateurs compared to these folks - a number of them have well over 20 fuzzies!) and the short lifespan of the species, and you are bound to encounter frequent heartbreak. But this past spring has seemed to everyone to be especially difficult.

The result for me is a profound gratitude for the time I have left with the ferrets we have left. This is not to minimize the time passed with the ferrets who went before. For people who don't truly know and understand ferrets, there is no explaining. For my life up to 1999 I was a hardcore cat person. And I will remain so until the day I die. But it's like every ferret life is doubly concentrated because of how short it is. They have as much soul and personality as - if not more than - any cat or dog, but it's confined to a life that is half as long. And of course, vastly different. I have known many animals in my life, but nothing approaches the spirit of a ferret. I'm not saying they are better than other animals (though I'm sure many feel that they are), just that they are unique.

I digress. There is no way to adequately express what each ferret soul has meant to me. But now that I am in a place of not taking in any more fuzzies, I think I am more able to truly cherish the experiences I have left right now. Because I know that for the next few years or so, they are all I will have. I still don't know how we are going to deal with the potential mourning issue. But I know that I will squeeze every precious drop of joy and happiness from the time I have left with my girls.

If you have a furry/feathery/scaly baby in your life who allows kisses and/or hugs, go do it now. We never know how many of them we have left.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Cure For What Ails You

After a recent post on Jezebel about the humorous implications in the name of the acid reflux drug Aciphex (say it out loud: Aciphex = "ass effects"), I got to thinking about the names companies give drugs. I never noticed the funny connotation in this name, in all the years I worked in a pharmacy. Probably because I knew they were probably going for a subliminal message of "acid fix". Which tends to be the way marketing operates for prescription drugs.

As far as I know, there aren't any laws governing how companies name their medications, aside from avoiding violation of the copyrights of others. Why not go back to the old-timey method of naming them? We could have things like "Eli Lilly's Little Water Pills", "Roche's Super Pain Pills", "Pfizer's Purple Sugar Pills". Heck, start using old-school looking fonts and labels! Retro is in!

The fact is, a good number of the people taking medications label their meds this way. They come into the pharmacy and ask the person at the counter for a refill of their "water/sugar/pain/anxiety/etc." pill. "You know, the green one!" They don't know the name, they know what it does and usually what it looks like. Most current branding efforts are in vain. Why not cash in on the natural tendency?

Drug companies could build brand loyalty and keep consumer confusion to a minimum. The patient can rest easy, knowing what each medication does and who makes it. And wouldn't the companies rather the customer know and trust the name of the manufacturer than that of one product in a wide array? Patients would know exactly which pill they were taking and why. And if someone (the doctor, the pharmacist, the insurance company) dared to blaspheme and substitute a generic, the patient could demand that no, he wants his BMS's White Sugar Pill! What's this beige one? "Metformin"? What'n the heck is that? The name doesn't even tell you what it is! Who makes it? How can he trust them when they won't even put their name on the product?

Pharmaceutical manufacturers: I take paypal.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Geeky time-out

Ok, I know this has been addressed elsewhere. But seriously - NO ONE notices Baltar's psychotic behavior? No one?!?

I'm in the middle of a BSG marathon, thanks to SciFi showing the whole series back-to-back a couple weeks ago *plus* my darling husband's installation of an external hard drive for our DVR, giving us hundreds of hours of recording time. So I'm watching it all again, from the beginning, and being reminded of just how fucking (don't get me started on their lame-ass cop-out "f-word") awesome it is.

But re-watching it just makes me more sensitive to how batshit crazy Baltar acted in the first season, often with other people in the room. I know most of them were experiencing some level of PTSD, and they had a LOT of other shit on their minds. But no one registered that the guy they were relying on to tell them who any and all Cylons were was out of his damn mind??? Come on, now.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

YES!!!

Color me lame, but I am SO excited!!!

My "judge shows" - Judge Judy, The People's Court, Judge Alex, etc. - now have a Daytime Emmy category of their own! I'll admit that Judge Alex is one of my MySpace friends, but my heart belongs to Judge Judy.

This is long past due. I know "the cases are real", but there is also an art to selecting cases and then directing/editing how they are mediated/adjudicated. I miss the hell out of Texas Justice, but I always admitted (complained) that they never reigned in the litigants sufficiently, which resulted in cases that were difficult/irritating to follow. And Judge Mathis may be a fair mediator, but the editing of his show makes it look (maybe realistically, maybe not - how is a viewer to know?) like he makes up his mind early on, and not always from a legal standpoint. I assume that the decisions are always legally sound. And with this assumption being a given, I therefore expect the shows to frame the entertainment in such a way as to make the ruling clear and understandable, while still showing the fun parts. And some shows do a far better job than others.

If the people of America want to air their petty complaints on tv, shouldn't they be judged for/on it? I say yes!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Night Owl

I am nocturnal. While the rest of the world is off at work, I'm snug in my bed. While the world sleeps. I'm up and about, doing my thing. I take a lot of crap for this, mostly good-natured, but it's what my body and brain want and I'm lucky enough to have the freedom to go with it. Even when I get on a day schedule, it doesn't last - I start falling asleep later and later, until I'm back on the night shift. It can be inconvenient for trying to get together with my diurnal friends and family, but I make it work.

I think 4 a.m. is my favorite time of day. It's almost magical. I can go outside, and the world feels fresh and new (even in the dank humidity of August). There is evidence of mankind all around, but it's like all of humanity has vanished and I'm the only person in the world. And yes, to me that is a good thing. Y'all know by now that I'm a hermit, don't you? And I know that there's this whole other side of the world who are awake while I am (the ones my then 3-year-old niece said are "stealing our sun" when I tried to explain the revolution of the planet and day vs. night). But they' aren't evident to my early-morning senses.

4 a.m. is lovely because I know the sun is coming soon, but it's pitch dark and still. And I'm not in that place of, "Oh my God, I'm up at 4 in the morning! I have a long/crappy/etc. day ahead of me!" Instead, I have the lovely feeling of my day winding down while everything is soft and peaceful.

At 5:30, I hear the train that goes through town. Every time, it makes me think of "City of New Orleans". But in a good way, because the song was kinda wrong. I'm usually in bed, reading, when the sun comes up. I read for a few hours before bed every day. I can glance over at the window every once in a while and see it gradually getting brighter outside.

Just like an afternoon nap, sleeping during the day feels luxurious and somehow sinful. And I get to experience this "unnatural" decadence every day. I get the same 8 or so hours as most people, I just choose to take them at off-peak hours.

That's all I have to say about that, I think. I sleep in the day. Deal with it.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Common Sense - Part 4 of ?

*Note/disclaimer: I may refer to people who have been abused, who suffer from eating disorders, and other related issues/circumstances in the third person throughout these posts, but that's mainly a device. I'm mostly talking about myself, other people I know, and the results of research I've done in the furtherance of my own understanding of what the hell is wrong with me. I am by no means attempting to make blanket statements that apply to all (or even a majority) of people who are or have been in any situation I have been. Also, sexist though it may be, I'll be using "she", "her", "the girl(s)" and other feminine pronouns/references for my writing, though anyone with any sort of understanding of EDs and abuse knows that males are also victims and sufferers. I'm simplifying things for my writing, that's all.

*** Warning – potential trigger(s) for abuse survivors and/or ED sufferers ***

File this post under "massively overdue". More than a year. Yes, I'm that much of a procrastinator. I meant to write about it back then, but then a bunch of bad shit happened, followed by more bad shit, and I didn't want to write about anything, let alone this subject. But since I'm back on it, I guess it's time.

I'm not big on interacting with people in the "real world" for the reasons detailed in my previous "Common Sense" posts, but I love talking online because I am exposed to so many different backgrounds and perspectives that I learn new things all the time, often from unexpected people/places. And this breakthrough/whatever is exactly why I feel this way. In this case, I was talking about my bulimia in a yahoo group that isn't eating disorder or abuse related, and it was mostly as an intellectual discussion about what does and does not constitute mental "health". One of the members there, out of the blue made a comparison I had never considered that makes an amazing amount of sense: purging is like smoking a cigarette.

It was like a freaking lightning bolt went off in my head! That's pretty much *exactly* it! And I should have seen it before - lord knows I've analyzed this thing from every angle I can think of, alone and with books and websites and other people. Pretty much any source available, I've used. It took a stranger with no real investment in the issue to see it from somewhere new and also true.

Once I started thinking about it, all kinds of parallels started jumping out at me. I started (as most girls do) b/p-ing around the same time that most people take up smoking. Some people can quit easily, others can't kick it no matter what. Some people can limit themselves (b/p-ing once a day : someone only having one or two cigarettes) while others get totally consumed (b/p-ing 10 - 20+ times a day : smoking 1 - 2+ packs per day). People who have quit still feel those urges, and often "fall off the wagon". And, like smoking, there is a definite physical/chemical dependence on the bulimia. From what I've heard/read, the feelings people get when they smoke (relief, release, calm, etc.) are very similar to what a purge does for me. God knows both things are addictive and compulsive. And they're both pretty darn bad for you! I could go on and on comparing these things. I feel like such an idiot for not seeing it before!

So now I kind of understand how it is people take up smoking as a habit/addiction, even though the first few cigarettes are awful. I've tried cigarettes twice in my life, both times when I was drunk and in a horrible mood (which in and of itself says something), and couldn't get past the pain in my lungs. But I have asthma and especially sensitive airways, and I'm pretty sure that I'm overly sensitive to smoke if not downright allergic. If I wasn't, though, I can now see how I might have become a smoker. Lord knows vomiting up your food isn't pleasant. But I kept doing it, didn't I? And people keep smoking.

I know this is a lot of gabbing, but this is/was such a lightbulb moment for me. I feel like I can finally discuss my ED in terms that a larger number of people might be able to wrap their minds around. And it makes it a lot simpler for me to think about, and I actually feel a lot less guilty about it this way. Less like a freak.

Not that I am trying to minimize or act like either behavior is acceptable. Neither is good, and neither should be undertaken by a rational, healthy individual. Period. And I know I'm going to sound like a hypocrite now, but I think smoking is a truly nasty habit. Not that bulimia is any better (it can certainly kill you quicker if you're not careful and is probably more destructive overall to the person doing it), but at least it isn't polluting the environment or endangering the health of those in close proximity. Or irritating me. Heh. So comparing something I have come to live with and accept to something I find truly abhorrent feels strange to me, but I understand (intellectually, at least) that most people feel the same way about the behaviors *I* engage in, while understanding smoking at least somewhat. And there are a number of people I know and love who are smokers - some casual, some serious - so this isn't a rejection or embrace of any one group of people. I'm hoping that this post - and idea - can bring people together in a greater understanding of these things that we do to ourselves.

Now if only they made some sort of *patch* to help me quit...

Questions? Comments?