This river disappears into a cavern and flows underground.
A lady called in Monday who didn't speak English. I needed her to hold while I dialed an interpreter for the line. I said to the lady "uno momento, s'il vous plait." Uh. Domo arigato, arrive-dorky!
Um, if it's not about you, then why are you the one who has to git 'er done? If it's not about you, why do you have to have to be on the news or holding wank-fest press conferences on a nearly daily basis? If it's not about you, then why are you so dead-set that you are the one to get nationalized healthcare passed? Actually I think you want it to all be about you because it's your world. We're just living in it. You're so vain, I'll bet you think this blog is about you.
I arrived in Dallas midday Saturday and went to Nordstrom Rack with Mom and Niece and Nephew. There's been a staggering attrition rate on my (prescription, yet!) sunglasses lately, so I looked at the glasses at NR, but, alas, all the ones I liked were 80-ish dollars, marked down from 300-ish[Dior & Dolce&Gabbana], generally. If these will be chewed up, I vowed, I'd not spend so much. My prescription is very mild, so I don't really have to have them unless I want things to be very sharp when watching a movie or somesuch. I needed some clothes because most of my stuff is getting pretty baggy, lately. I found a gorgeous leopard print dress [rowr!] and decided to splurge. Then in line for the register, Mom said she wanted to buy my stuff for me, and the dress could be early birthday prezzie. Wow. Thanks, Mom! Serious prowling can not be long in coming...
Later I went to Ross and found a cute pair of $5.99 glasses. Just watch- the pups will leave those alone forever.
Also at Ross, I tried on an armful of clothes, and was faced with the freakish dilemma of everything fitting quite nicely and having to divvy the haul into will/won't buy piles. It was painful, truly. I put 5 garments back and bought 5, so split the diff, or whatevs. Anyway, I'm all set. 3 skirts for work and 2 pair of jeans.
Thinking my dear friend Lin would be supportive and happy for me, I called her up, gushing about my new jeans. (I know: thrills, right?) She said "you're the only woman I've ever heard so excited to get into her own pants."
Missouri truck dealer is giving away an AK-47 with every truck sold.
If you and/or your spouse is over 45, by 2011, your employer/insurance company/healthcare providers are all required to have your social security numbers on file, or face a fine of $1000 per non-compliant member/patient per day. If you are a person with no health insurance policy and always pay cash at your healthcare providers' offices, you still will be required to proffer your SSN.
Who must report: "an applicable plan." "…[T]he term 'applicable plan' means the[bold added by me]
following laws, plans, or other arrangements, including the fiduciary or administrator for such law, plan or arrangement: (i) Liability insurance (including self-insurance). (ii) No fault insurance. (iii) Workers' compensation laws or plans."
Seems to me that at its inception, the Social Security Number was meant to be used for no purpose other than as an identification and tax number, yeah? I thought it was supposed to be illegal to compel people to provide that number for any purpose other than identification and tax purposes.
I'd love to blame the current White House occupant for this, but responsibility falls on the shoulders of the asshats in the House and Senate, for this was made law in 2007. Why any of those buffoons are still in office is a marvel, indeed.
For inspiration, the Democrats borrowed heavily from Massachusetts' pioneering 2006 law, which did much the same thing: It mandated that everyone be covered, imposed fines on those who refused to buy insurance and offered subsidies for those who couldn't afford it.
Really? Really? Sheesh.
The article continues:
Health-care costs are so out of control in the Bay State that the governor just cut coverage for some 30,000 legal immigrants to close a growing deficit. That should save the state about $130 million. The state is also banking $63 million by no longer automatically enrolling low-income residents in health coverage if they fail to do so themselves. A hospital that serves thousands of poor residents sued the state last week, charging that the 2006 law forces the hospital to cover too much of the expense of caring for the poor. The hospital, Boston Medical Center, said it faced a $38 million deficit in this fiscal year and will lose more than $100 million next year because the state has lowered Medicaid reimbursement rates and changed other rules.
If a small, wealthy state like Massachusetts can't swing the universal healthcare thing, then how are we to believe anyone in D.C. can do even a passable job at healthcare coverage for the entire country? Shudder to think...
I used to post photos of Dallas over at Dallas Diorama quite regularly, even daily at some points. I'm clearing old Dallas photos from my cell phone. Here's one of the Morton H Meyerson Symphony hall. It's a brilliant place to hear music, and it's a spectacular place to perform. The structure was designed by I.M. Pei and the veneers on the walls are acoustically spectacular.
I must say that no luminary I saw perform there compares to the breathtaking scattering of diamonds I saw swagged across the sky out here on my walk late Monday night. As I think of the sights and sounds of Dallas, I can't think of a single one which excels what I experience on a regular basis out here.
Work is going quite well, and I find myself grateful to be where I am. I'm fortunate to work with an immediate group of people I respect and admire, so that's a great thing. I admit to hitting the snooze button more than I should, perhaps, but I don't hate getting up to go to work, so that's a nice thing, too.
Last weekend I was privileged to meet one John R. Shirley. John fairly crackles with electricity and-- like so many folks I've met through the shooty-blog circuit-- he's as witty and good-natured as the day is long, but I'd never want to piss him off. Hanging out with Holly, JPG, Matt G, LawDog and John was an absolute hoot*. I'm hopeful we can repeat the experience again soon and next time with shooty goodness.
*yes, envy me.
I have decided Monday will not be a crappy day. :) I hope your Monday is not crappy, either.
...to my dear, darling father.
You're the best dad, an exceptional human being and my personal hero.
I love you.
I'm still in training but I took the first real customer calls Wednesday. Training will continue for at least 3 more months, officially. It felt good to actually be working instead of being paid to train. I like talking to lots of different people each day, too, so it's getting easier to stay awake. I expected that it would take me months to start feeling comfortable talking to customers on the phone, but I already am finding the work quite gratifying. That's a nice contrast from the last job and dealing with the Jekyll-and-Hyde personality hovering and micromanaging.
Thursday our temps peaked around 98 degrees, I think, which is practically a cold front, being down 15 degrees from a couple days ago. Quick! Bust out the parkas! I heard it was going to rain, but I didn't expect the toad-strangler that poured rain down by the bucketfuls.
I went for a wa;l around 8. Normally, it would still be very bright and bloody boiling at that time of day, but I was surprised to see how quickly the sky had turned dark, brooding and gloriously bruised. Lightning was soon lashing down and shortened my walk considerably. The trees danced as the cold front hit the area, a violent wind barreling through to announce the lashing rain that would come.
Here's the photo of where I walk. On the left is the pasture where the fancy horsies play with the deer but probably no antelope. Off to the left, you can't see it, but there's a pumpjack which doesn't run 24 hours a day, thank goodness, because it squeaks terribly every time its flywheel makes a revolution. Ironic that an oil-pumping device should need oiling, yes? Anyway, my back yard is ahead on the right just beyond the white shed.
It's funny that despite the fact that there's less man-made stuff around, storms out here seem so much more comforting and wonderfully bracing than do the storms which happen in the city. Then again, cities are all about feeling vulnerable, aren't they? Isn't that ironic?
Anyway, have a great Friday.
While I'm doing my shrieking Cassandra routine, let me also mention the healthcare commandeering (it can't be called negotiation, can it?) which is being played out in D.C. The economy stinks on hot ice, thanks in large part to Obama's administration effectively hobbling industry with meddling and the woefully unstimulating "stimulus" package, which we are told we need another of-. Pah! With this tanking economy, Obama sees how imperitive it is for him to get healthcare reforms rammed through before the reps and senators recess in August. He says it's going to happen, no matter what. Obama will not acknowledge there is any other reasoned argument against nationalized healthcare and shuts down any possibility of dialogue by calling opponents to his power-grab "naysayers." Fine: Nay, says I. Then he says he's got new ideas and we learn he's trotting out the same, hackneyed crappy old ideas that didn't fix things like poverty in our country the first, second or third times.
Further, I'm wondering who the large corporations are who are buying up private physicians' practices throughout the nation. Who has the kind of money companies like Pediatrix have to buy up small professional practices and go national? This seems more in line with efforts to streamline these practices into a centralized organization. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is just some private company which saw a better way to run these offices, but I'm frankly creeped out by centralization. Health care used to be about healing. It used to be about trained physicians, nurses and medical assistants who were members of their communities and providing vital services, but now it's looking more and more cookie cutter and soulless in my opinion. Borg-like, even.
What I'm wondering is who is making the money off this centralization, and how are they connected, politically? I'm suspicious and have been for quite some time. Articles like this one do nothing to assuage my apprehension at what is happening to our healthcare system. The HIPAA forms we've all filled out notwithstanding, have you ever considered that YOU and not your doctor-- own the rights to the information contained in your medical records?
The sad fact is that despite laws which were marketed to us as protection of our privacy and our rights, our medical information will likely be used against us in a heavily rationed and limited healthcare system in which our government has unfettered access to our medical records. If the thought of that doesn't make you sick, something's wrong with you.
We now return you to our usual programming of puppies, shoes and pink fluffy clouds. There's no place like home. *click*click*click*
Blow Fuzzy von Saucy is on team Jacob. She says that Jacob should begin trying to steal D away from the Edward camp. I dunno. I haven't read those books and I'm already feeling out of my depth here.
BFvS is obsessed with the book series, in the meantime. She watched the movie obsessively, rinsed, lathered and repeated. Big, buff, ruggedly heterosexual Marine Brother-in-Law got a little steamed that BFvS was obsessing over a 20-ish year old actor. He said "I guess I'm not good enough for you now because I'm not a fagpire."
That was priceless. I hope she kissed him on principle, if nothing else. Thanks for adding that matchless term to my lexicon, BiL.
In other news:
Allons enfants de la patrie...
What? People used to storm the gates of tyrants?
Miss Praline has discovered that sometimes goodies are left on the bathroom sink, and apparently she hops up there the minute my back is turned, now. Since she'd torn up all my other toothbrushes, yesterday I opened the last remaining unmolested Firefly toothbrush. Don't get excited-- not Firefly the series, but a little toothbrush with an end you can squeeze to make it flash until the little kid has brushed their teeth long enough.
I went out to the car to get something right after brushing my teeth yesterday morning, and when I came back in a few minutes later, the unsprung pink toothbrush below (NEW, yes, new, of late) was bleeding out in the hallway. Oddly enough, it still flashes.
I've long said that to have pups, you need to love them more than anything else you have, because they are little destructors. Maybe we should get it over with and name them all Gozer?
Man plays with fire, gets burned.
Rattlesnake wrangler fanged.
Chainsaw juggler lops off limb.
Please, media-- next time try for more obvious, trite headlines, mkay? *yawn*
I got a few really good bites(other than the skeeters), but didn't catch anything. It just happened that the two best catches on the lake that day were fishing on either side of me.
Good times. Yes, I shall take this camera (my good one) along next time I'm fishing at the ferrety lake. If you click to embiggenate, you can see the lure in the air of the first photo, then the circles rippling where it landed (watered?) in the third photo.
Golly, I'm so glad it's Friday. Why does the week always seem so long after a holiday weekend?
The funny thing is that the ones promising to enlarge my manhood are still arriving as per usual. *harumph*
Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal titled Why It's Easy To Steal From Medicare. If Medicare is a fraction of the size of what it would take to run an entire nationalized healthcare system in this country, do you think they'd actually have more success at managing fraud, etc? I don't.
After weeks of what has monolithically appeared to be a circle-jerk of media types waxing orgasmic about what our Dear Leader has in mind for our healthcare, it's nice to see some doubts being raised in a calm and rational matter.
Thursday was her last day before a vacation, and Edward left her a nice chocolate bar along with a note quoting the first stanza of "She walks in beauty" by Lord Byron. Edward wished her a lovely and restorative holiday.
I returned to work Monday morning to find an email to a few dozen people in the company which read:
Thank you so much for the beautiful card and poem. Lord Byron's poem is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!!!!!!! If you are reading this and do not understand it, then this e-mail is not for you. Please ignore it. If you are Edward - THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY MONTH!!!!
Isn't that cool? She came into the training room the previous week and mentioned the Edward cards, and looked a couple people in the eye and asked them if they were Edward, but she didn't ask me. Else I would fain have been able to give myself away. Anyway, it's a lovely lark and I'm glad she's enjoyed it as much as I have. Maybe moreso. She returns next week, and Edward will no doubt have something lovely waiting for her.
I was pretty excited when I was fishing with my new rod and reel and cast across the little cove on the lake and saw a dark brown critter darting in and out of the rocks. I thought it was a ferret, but I didn't know if that was an indigenous critter here.
Anyway, turns out it WAS a weasel-like creature and it came around the cove all the way over to us, making its way by ducking in and out of the loosely tumbled boulders on the bank. It came to a rock by my foot, and was just about 2 feet away from me. It was amazingly cute. It seemed curious. Suddenly it scampered back around the cove and I regained my senses and took out my cell phone to snap a pic. Yeah, it's just a smudge on the pic, but I know I got a picture of the Yeti, and the Yeti knows...
It was a beautiful day, overcast, and cooler than yesterday's 107. Had a grand time and saw an unexpected critter. I'm loving my fab new rod and reel. More later...
from the makers of the Venture Brothers...
Fruit flies like a banana.
Was this really only 3 months ago? Here I was dropping off teh puppehs at the puppy camp the day I had a job interview in Elsewhere. They loved their kennel in Dall-Ass, but with this huge yard and outdoor funtimes with wild animals about, they are pegging the happy-o-meter.
Chuy's the urbane gentleman in the car, quickly settling down to watch me adoringly and probably catch a few winks. Praline's an anxious traveler and paces and frets until she suddenly collapses, boneless, to the floorboard to sleep hard and dream of one perfect orange ball.
Yes, my lips are as large as Praline's head.
Was poking around in old emails and came across this gem from 1999. Yes, I knew the original author. This family friend had just acquired his first puppy, a beagle named Jasper. About a year after this email, he and his wife brought Jasper over to my loft to play with Valentine, and Jasper trotted up to the sofa, hiked his leg and peed. Fortunately that day, Jasper did not have gastrointestinal trauma to couple with his voluntary incontinence. I was horrified-- I mean, you can't SAY the obvious: "um, your dog is intercoursing PEEING on my melon-farming sofa!!!" I just blanched and tried to get the dinner on the table. Ye tap-dancing dogs! Therefore, I deem it entirely appropriate to share this email with all and sundry as repayment for the cleaning bill on the sofa. Yeuch.
From: Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 14:48
Subject: Exploding Dog
Jasper exploded last night. I got up because he wanted out, but I thought he had just gotten out of bed. "Good Boy! You woke me up to do your thing!" To my dismay, a foul order was detected as I walked down the hall. "Damn!" I thought to myself as I fumbled in the dark for the light switch. As the pain of the light hit my still sleeping eyes the magnitude of the disaster brought me to a fully awakened state. There IT was! or should I say, There THEY were! After counting 20 individual piles of shit, I stopped. They ranged in shape and size from the "full enchilada" to the "puddle o' poop" to the "LaBrea Tar Pit" and everything in between. The one that caught my eye next, nearly dropped my jaw. There on the wall was the ultimate puzzle for my midnight mind. How the HELL did my dog SHIT ON THE WALL!!!! All I can envision is ass-end pointed to the wall and ...FIRE AWAY!! How and why he did it will forever remain a mystery, but the six-inch long stain that ran down the wall will forever be burned in my memory.
I've not been inclined to comment on the deaths of various of them, but the deaths in a few days of several cultural icons seemed oddly bookendish, to me. Ed McMahon will of course be forever associated with a golden period in which Johnny Carson held court over the television thrall. When people think of Johnny Carson, at least those who knew of him in living memory, they'll remember Ed saying "Heeeeeere's Johnny!"
Likewise, Farrah was the definitive swimsuit pinup of the 20th century. Although starlets had let their little lights shine previously (Carole Lombard, for one, and decades prior), the Farrah era marked the emergence of the nipple into polite society. Frankly, it's nice that a woman doesn't have to be uptight about such things. Someone I know *ahem* has the sort which would still show even if she wore a brassiere fabricated from composition shingles (or steel pro-panel), so it's kind of nice to not feel like that's something to be embarrassed about. I mean it must be nice. Um. For her.
Then there's Michael Jackson. What an odd duck. The question to me is are we all products of the age in which we live, or is the age a reflection of us? I knew of MJ all along, of course, but in his heyday I was lurking in import record stores and seeking out new music and new civilizations. MJ never really did it for me. I concede he was a masterful hoofer, and some of his music was quite catchy, but it never thrilled me much. Other than the 45 rpm recording of Ben my mom got me when I was a wee lass, I've never owned any of his stuff. I have largely held that cultural eruptions like Jackson mania and the like are a rather unfortunately shared cultural phenomenon, but not truly reflective of the mind of everyone. *shrug* That's not my culture and heritage. I do have one mortifying MJ-related story, though.
Two weeks before my Senior prom in 1984, my very first boyfriend broke up with me. Looking back, he was not the one for me for a host of reasons, but him breaking up with me before the big dance seemed a very nasty thing to do. He was not a local, though, so I knew he wouldn't be there with someone else, either. I knew prom wouldn't be a romantic experience for me. Other kids had family rent hotel suites so the kids could hang out and (one presumes) not get killed by drunk drivers or by driving drunk. I would not have been one of those in a million years. I would be home by midnight. Sober. Not having smoked, dipped or chewed. I did still want to go to the dance, though.
I worked with a guy at Winn-Dixie who seemed harmless but kind of cool. His father owned a tuxedo rental place, so I figured he could arrange for attire easily enough. I told him I was going punk to the prom and asked him if he'd go with me, and he said yes. I went to a fabric store and bought a leopard print t-shirt knit and made a simple dolman-sleeved dress with a V in back that plunged nearly to, uh, my crack.
*Gawd, I just said "my crack" on my blog. Heavens to Betsy*
So, yeah. I wore some zebra-print shoes and a double-wrap red leather belt with spikes and studs and I went punk to the prom in all my mulleted splendour.
Can you believe I'm revealing this without having had a drop to drink? I can't. I'll probably come to my senses and delete this post by lunchtime.
Anyhoo, I can't remember the kid's name, but that was the only time we went out. He showed up at my door-- I'm not making this up-- dressed as Michael Jackson. Black high-water pants exposing sparkly socks, red vinyl jacket with all the zips, and (chagrin!) I think he actually had one sequined glove.
I'm not kidding.
All the meringued beauties from my class in their taffeta and froufrou fairly bawled "SHE RUINED OUR PROM!"
I was so punk rock. I could feel the withering stare from the eyes of the frouffy set as I danced and danced. I had a great time. I had a better time than I would have had with that silly boyfriend.
I'll never forget the surreal moment when I realized "sweet shivering shiva, I'm dancing to JUMP by Van Halen with a guy dressed as and dancing like Michael Jackson." I was grinning hard. It was cornier than Beaulah the cow's shit, but I danced anyway. He was a good dancer, actually, and had the moves down. I was secretly horrified that he was pegging the cheese-meter, but in for a penny, in for a pound. I danced on, as fast as I could, or at least until the coach nearly turned into a pumpkin. Meanwhile those snotty asshats were dissolving in the acid of their own simpering venom from the sidelines.
That fall I was beyond caring about the distant past of high school and all that, but I did collect the yearbook I'd ordered the previous fall. The largest photo in the book said "[My Name] punks out at prom." I briefly considered the idea that this photo, me kicking up my heels, would be a thorn in the side of the killjoy clone-tarts from high school. Yeah, that year I didn't care, but this year, it makes me chuckle.
bEat it, bitches!
It was 5:00 in the morning. She'd been fading and I could no longer deny that keeping her here was keeping her trapped in a body which knew only discomfort. After a night of torment-- she could never get comfortable and rest-- I called the 24 hour vet. Oddly, all my friends and family were out of town. She and I were always a duo, so I suppose that it was fitting we'd be alone to the end. I drove her there through Dallas streets dark and quiet, for a change. I went in my pajamas. I took her to Whataburger for a breakfast sammy, which she ate, but gingerly and without the old gusto. The people at the clinic were kind. Losing a pet is such an awful thing, and choosing the moment seems such a cruel thing to have to deal with. I know it was right, but it still just wrecks me. All my blogfriends gathered round and said kind words. Dear friends called and took time to comfort me. I'll always treasure the abiding kindness of my friends here at a moment when I really needed a friendly word.
So much has happened and I have glorious new dogs in my life, but Valentine will always be my first little sweetheart, my Nuggles von Doglobyte, my Bunnydog. I miss you, doglet. As I pull my new pups close and hold them tight, I'll always remember you and hope you had the tiniest idea how very much I love you. Thanks for showing me that loving a little furball is more precious than any material possession any person could ever own. Thanks for being mine.
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA
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A chilly Thursday morning.
TheCornered Cat * A MUST read
Gallery of the Absurd - wickedly delicious
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