Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Less than two weeks until Christmas. This probably wouldn't have been much of a revelation if it weren't for the fact that somewhere along the way, I fell out of sync with my Christmas preparations. I never did put my tree up. I have two reasons for this... The first one being, my cat will inevitably knock it over and destroy it. By this reasoning, I'll wait until next year until she's less kitten-like and perhaps just a tad more mellow. Odds are, it won't matter, she'll molest the thing anyway, but the idea of coming home and picking up the tree every day just isn't that appealing. And/or ending up with a fried cat, ala National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Note to self: MUST upgrade from VHS. You no longer have a VCR.) The second being, well, nobody's going to see it anyway. I mean, I will. There's something cozy about having a Christmas tree up. Still, apart from the approximate day and a half that I spend with my family on the actual holiday, I pretty much spend the holiday season alone. It's just a tad bit depressing. There is very little that can be done to mitigate the fact that I am, in fact, alone for the vast majority of the holiday season. This tends to bring out Sroogeyness in my otherwise sparkling demeanor (ha). Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas, I love the whole season, I love best of all seeing all of the Christmas lights around town, but it's hard to be cheery when you are at home and awake for approximately three hours each day. I'll be festive elsewhere (ie: where I am actually around people).

This is not to say my apartment is completely devoid of seasonal decor:



(What, like I could actually GO without a Christmas tree? Impossible.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it"

So, there's this big-to do in the world of comic books about a guy from Iowa (go figure) who got arrested for owning a version of manga that some undoubtedly small-minded postal worker thought was obscene. Now, I'm not a huge comic book fan, or really at all a comic book fan, but I was reading the blog of an artist that I follow, and she went off on it, and at some point I was directed to the blog of author Neil Gaiman (who is amazing, if you've never read his stuff), over the same issue. It's a big deal, not just for comic book artists but artists in general. Once they start mandating what you can and can't do - or worse, what you can and can't OWN - there goes the entirety of our freedom of speech. Now, I personally loathe manga and anime and the like, and so I don't read them enough to know what their content is, but apparently there is some sort of sub-genre that tends to be somewhat sexually explicit. The way this particular comic was drawn, it appeared to Mr. Postman that it was underage individuals engaging in - GASP - sex. So this poor guy got issued a warrant for his arrest, just for owning the damn thing, and there's this big brouhaha over whether or not this is legally considered "obscene" and pornographic, rather than art. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) is apparently an organization that spends its time protecting the free speech rights of, well, people in the comic book arena. Thank God somebody is taking these narrow-minded idiots to task.

Anyway... I'm not going to repost the whole thing, but I thought Gaiman's response to a reader about why it is important to defend this sort of thing. One of my biggest beliefs is the right to free speech, and I think he makes some very good points. Of which I have singled out as being a more broad generalization to the issue at hand, rather than the specific response to the person he was aiming this at.

Full post can be read here

from WHY DEFEND FREEDOM OF ICKY SPEECH?
- Neil Gaiman, 12/01/08

Let me see if I can push you off the fence, a little. I'm afraid it's going to a long, and probably a bit rambly answer -- a credo, and how I arrived at that.

If you accept -- and I do -- that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said.

The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don't. This is how the Law is made.

People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble.

...

I loved coming to the US in 1992, mostly because I loved the idea that freedom of speech was paramount. I still do. With all its faults, the US has Freedom of Speech. You can't be arrested for saying things the government doesn't like. You can say what you like, write what you like, and know that the remedy to someone saying or writing or showing something that offends you is not to read it, or to speak out against it. I loved that I could read and make my own mind up about something.

(It's worth noting that the UK, for example, has no such law, and that even the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that interference with free speech was "necessary in a democratic society" in order to guarantee the rights of others "to protection from gratuitous insults to their religious feelings.")

...

You ask, What makes it worth defending? and the only answer I can give is this: Freedom to write, freedom to read, freedom to own material that you believe is worth defending means you're going to have to stand up for stuff you don't believe is worth defending, even stuff you find actively distasteful, because laws are big blunt instruments that do not differentiate between what you like and what you don't, because prosecutors are humans and bear grudges and fight for re-election, because one person's obscenity is another person's art.

Because if you don't stand up for the stuff you don't like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you've already lost.

The CBLDF will defend your First Amendment right as an adult to make lines on paper, to draw, to write, to sell, to publish, and now, to own comics. And that's what makes the kind of work you don't like, or don't read, or work that you do not feel has artistic worth or redeeming features worth defending. It's because the same laws cover the stuff you like and the stuff you find icky, wherever your icky line happens to be: the law is a big blunt instrument that makes no fine distinctions, and because you only realise how wonderful absolute freedom of speech is the day you lose it.


Something to think about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Pretties, Let Me Show You Them

So, to the complete horror of my bank account, I rediscovered Etsy one day while I was procrastinating and surfing Teh Internets. This is only a problem if I find things I want to buy, right? Right. Well I found this darling little pair of earrings that were unfortunately sold out - but lo! She was willing to relist them for me! So naturally I had to buy them - it would have been rude not to.

They arrived in a cute little package in my mailbox last night, and upon opening them, I decided that her packaging and branding was absolutely adorable. I also of course had to wear the earrings today - they are so fun! They also make a delightful little tinkling noise whenever I move my head. Love it!

Note to self: Stop taking pictures with your cell phone camera. It sucks.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nerdery Alert

In the absence of anything better to do, I decided to crawl out of bed super late (noon! yeah!) and do absolutely, positively nothing all day. This was further encouraged by my looking out the window and seeing a big ol' pile of snow.

The "nothingness" I decided upon was to curl up on my couch with my cat and watch movies. I ended up watching Sleeping Beauty since I'd snagged it for relatively cheap on a Black Friday sale, and it'd been years since I'd seen it. Also, probably what I was more interested in, was watching the bonus features. I love watching the making-of documentaries of the old, classic Disney movies. They just positively fascinate me. That level of craftsmanship is just plain extraordinary. The drawing and redrawing and inking and painting of each individual cell.. nobody would do that now. We have computers. The time and dedication that went into these, it blows me away. We don't pay attention to it. We watch them, we get maybe a bit nostalgic... but, really, we've grown up with these, we've seen them a million times... it's hard to see them with new eyes.

There is a definite cutoff in the quality of Disney animation. I highly doubt we will ever, ever see a return to the original glory that they used to be. Those days are over. The closest things to quality now are the Pixar computer-animation incarnations - which, don't get me wrong, are wonderful in their own right. But pen on paper? No, that's done. It's been interesting to watch the making-of for the more modern movies (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, etc - the Little Mermaid, especially, that was the resuscitation of classic Disney, they were hellbent to bring it back and they did. There was a lot more focus on music, too - Alan Menken, Howard Ashman - these men were genius. Alan Menken did resurface to do some work on Enchanted, but, well, I'll be honest - I thought those songs were ridiculous, nowhere near the genius of, say, "Under the Sea" or the like) in comparison with the classics (101 Dalmatians, The Aristocats, Sleeping Beauty), when you were literally looking at archive footage and people reminiscing. They would use the same actors/actresses over various films (Maleficent and the Stepmother in Cinderella are the same; Flora from Sleeping Beauty, The Fairy Godmother from Cinderella, and an elephant somwehre in Dumbo,the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, all the same; Lady from Lady & The Tramp and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty, the same. Nothing obvious, but if you listen, you can hear it) - not going after "Names". (I'm sorry, as much as I love the movie, having Eddie Murphy in Mulan was just, well, odd to me.) Sleeping Beauty, the focus was on on the art. The backgrounds, the painting, the whole visual shebang. The background artist actually overruled the animators on a few occasions. 101 Dalmatians - they were doing a new style, where they allowed some of the sketch marks to be shown, where the animator's original drawings actually made it to the screen, unlike the others where they go through so many hands and variations. Still, again, my favorite thing is the color - the hand painted cells. Even when I was little, I could notice the difference. For example, in Aladdin the colors and lines were beautiful; in the sequel(s), it was just black lines colored in. It looked cheap. I wanted nothing to do with the sequels. Even as a kid I could tell the difference.

Speaking of which... Walt Disney must be rolling over in his grave, if he knew about all these shitty sequels and prequels and midquels that were pervading the market. In his day, his vision was to create new and unique and original works of art - each movie took years and unfathomable amounts of hard work. Now, they're spitting out half-ass imitations to make a buck. It is so beyond what Disney was supposed to stand for... But, like I said.. those old days are dead. It makes me a little bit sad, because I was around when it was new and interesting. The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin - even as far forward as the Lion King - this was the end of Disney's Renaissance. Everything after became crap. There are still a large handful of 'classics' that I've never seen - Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan- I don't consider them classics. At all. There are some that I have seen (Emporer's New Groove) which, while well-received, I personally don't care for. Perhaps I'm an idealist. Perhaps I'm just being ridiculously nostalgic. I miss the era when an animated feature film was truly a work of art. Now, well, they're shit. (Again, I am not lumping in the Pixar movies - these are a different creation and so far I have loved every one that I have seen. Still, they are a different beast than what I am talking about).

Anyway. I find myself snatching up the classics when I can - I'm still down Beauty & The Beast and The Lion King due to the ridiculous Vault conspiracy, I may have missed Cinderella but that one recently just stashed away and I could probably find on the cheap if I wanted to. Still, I'm afraid that we are the last generation that will ever truly appreciate the masterpieces that these were - and maybe even at that, I'm part of the minority. I know my friends and I will all still confess our deep down love of the classic Disney movies (we have no shame), but I think the movies are actually falling into a place where they are more in favor with the adults than with kids. Kids these days... (excuse me while I shake my fist and command them to get off my lawn)... they just don't appreciate the same things. I feel I am fortunate to be in the generation that I am in - kind of caught between the old and the new, and fully able to embrace both - but eventually I'm just going to be an old crazy woman bemoaning the good old days.


EDIT: I stand corrected.... According to Wikipedia (the Source of All Knowledge), Disney's going to give it another go. Supposedly they announced that "Home on the Range" was going to be the last 2D animated Disney movie, ever (I barely even remember this movie coming out??)... but, WAIT! They are creating "The Princess and the Frog" to be released next year. It's being written by the genius behind The Little Mermaid and Aladdin (yay!). Alan Menken was almost attached to it (would have been yay) but since he was doing Enchanted, they went with Randy Newman (all I remember is he did Toy Story and a satirical appearance on Family Guy... so, um, less yay.) Still - this might actually Not Suck. This will remain to be seen... Also what is nice is that apparently the main character is 19ish... which if you ask me is a much more reasonable age to be considering marriage and the like, rather than the traditional age of 16 in Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, etc etc (I mean, seriously. WHY?) Also, Rapunzel. This one is going to be GCI (boo) but made to look done in traditional hand-drawn (um, ok) or something like "hand drawn 3D" (um, what?). So, the bastard child of pencils and computers. Interesting. We'll see how these go...

Also, Beauty & The Beast is re-emerging in October 2010. Screw you, Amazon & Ebay. I can wait. I don't need to pay $30+. so HA.

/end soapbox rant.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, or, OMG 2 POSTS IN ONE DAY WTFBBQ!!!

I did not go shopping. I may have flipped through the ads yesterday, briefly drooled over a cheap GPS system, but, no. For starters, I didn't have any money. More importantly, I would much rather be asleep at 5 am than waiting in line outside a store with a pack of ravenous wolves shoppers. There was a Wal-Mart worker in Long Island who DIED - he got TRAMPLED. People are insensitive morons. The shoppers were pushing past as the medics were trying to REVIVE him. How depraved is that???

Also, I had to work. Not a big deal. It was super quiet and laid back all day, hardly anyone was around, and I had enough to do to keep me busy, but since nothing was really going to happen until Monday anyway, I cleaned my desk, organized my files, etc. I even broke the dress code and wore my canvas flats (shh). At some point, it became apparent that I was in Stage 1 of a cold. Bummer. I'll just have to chow down on Vitamin C and go to bed early. Which sounds fabulous anyway. I just shot up with some Zicam which may or not be effective, but dear LORD does it make my sinuses burn. Apparently I suffer from a form of amnesia when it comes to such things. It is not a pleasant experience, ever. Yet I keep doing it... Hmm.

This is not to say that I stayed OUT of the stores all day. It just wouldn't be Black Friday if I wasn't inside a Target. I swung by on my lunch break to see what was there, got a couple cheap movies (slowly but surely chipping away at my Christmas shopping). Stopped by the post office to pick up a package, which turned out to be my new book that my work is in (woohoo! 3 for 3! Too bad I don't really have anything to enter this year...). Plus, today was about 50 degrees and sunny and it was beyond wonderful to be outside. All in all, it was a good day. Minus the whole getting a cold part.

I actually stopped back at the Madness before I came home, and bought part of a gift for my anonymous 8-year-old girl for a charity through work. Warm fuzzies abound. I may not have much money, but I have enough and I am not going to be deprived come Christmas, but this poor little girl, whoever she is, might not getting anything else except for what I give her. It makes me so sad, and if I have to skip going out for lunch for a week to make it happen, so what?

And, speaking of money... I almost had a small coronary when I opened my cell phone bill. Apparently I went wayyyyy over on my text messaging last month. That sure added up in a hurry. Yikes. I can't wait to upgrade my plan to something that includes, oh, UNLIMITED texting. My bill next month is going to be a bit shitty too since I was roaming up in Minneapolis all weekend, and used my phone more than I would have liked. Not sure if there are any built-in "freebie" roaming minutes, but even if there were, I probably used them all up and then some. Stupid non-national cell phone plan, anyway.


Anyway. I will leave this with two open-ended questions and be on my way...

1. If I respond to a comment, does it notify you somehow? I know my old blog did, which made me feel less like I was just commenting back to people who would never see it again.

2. Is there a way to keep a cat from eating/molesting a Christmas tree? I'm a little hesitant to put mine up. It's a fake one, but I'm sure that's not any better for her digestion. And I know how she likes to get into everything...

Minnesooota

So, I wrote this blog post on, oh, must have been Tuesday, and totally didn't even post it. So, here it is. Enjoy.

Ahhhh yes. My glorious mini-vacay is now over and we are back to reality again. (And, by reality, I mean a short week because Thursday is an officially sanctioned stuff-your-face holiday). It was fun and relaxing and I caved and checked my work email twice yesterday. (One of my clients emailed me back and was like, "aren't you off today?" haha. I don't do vacation very well. But, I am making progress - I didn't step inside the office at all today. So, baby steps.) I got to see some of my wonderful friends that have deserted me to go live in the burbs of the big city up north. It was great catching up with everyone and just hanging out - didn't really DO much of anything, but that was more than fine. Tried a bunch of new restaurants, which was amazing. My new favorite is Buca di Beppo , an eclectic Italian semi-chain restaurant - SO GOOD! Also, so very NOT in Iowa. Sadness. I guess it will just be something to look forward to when I make the trek to go visit. Their website does not quite do it justice - the ambiance is just very cool, but I think you actually have to be there. Has a lot of snazzy design too. I snagged a brochure of some form on my way out. I think it was a menu, I didn't examine it closely. It had nuns on it, though.

Also, IKEA FTW! I had forgotten there was one up there, and it happened to be gloriously close to the apartment of the friend with whom I was staying. (Also right across the way from the over-cliched Mall of America, which I have not been to in over fifteen years, and did not go to this weekend either). OMG LOVE. If only I had more space, or money... Probably just the latter. I could MAKE space. I managed to escape in under $20, but only because the 'expensive' item I bought was this gorgeous lamp creation that, upon leaving, was cracked, to my extreme sadness. After waiting an hour (!) to return it, I decided I really didn't need it and would rather not trek back through the store to find another one. Maybe next time. Still... it was a glorious experience. It makes me want to redecorate my apartment. Which currently looks like sheet. Ack. I need to clean.

Anyway. Rather than bore you with the details, it was a great weekend, I didn't quite see everyone that I had wanted to, but 4 of 6 isn't bad. Honestly, the drive isn't that bad either - I clocked it at a little over 3 hours, which was much shorter than I had estimated. (Nevermind the DEATH BLIZZARD that nailed Ames before I left. Good lord. You'd think it was a full-scale snow hurricane the way people were scattered in the ditches along I-35.) I walked outside to put some crap in my car and WHITE EVERYWHERE. It was the pretty, silent snow, the kind that would normally make me curl up on my couch all day, but a couple phone calls revealed that it was doing nothing northwards of where I was. Still, getting out of town sucked. Ames does not apparently believe in plowing the roads, so I had to drive ON snow to get to the highway, which wasn't pleasant but only lasted about a block or so... and the highway was a bit wet, nothing too bad if you take it easy... The Interstate was better, like I suspected it would be, mostly just wet with patches of slushy here and there... but there were SO MANY cars in the ditch and in wrecks and it was just bizarre. I mean - I have this irrational fear of driving in snow and I don't like it any better than the next person, but it Wasn't That Bad. If it were, I would not be making a trek to Minnesota. I swear, people are so stupid. Just slow the fuck down and you'll be fine. And, amazingly, the further north I went, the more perfect the roads were. Go figure.

I won't lie though - it's not an excruciatingly LONG drive, but it is an excruciatingly NOT INTERESTING drive. I had burned a couple mix cds for the journey but I was bored of them by the time I got there. I entertained myself on the way home by resetting my trip meter at the Iowa-Minnesota border and making note of my progress. Mason City is 29 miles from the border. At 53 miles, I was in the approximate middle of nowhere. My total trip, Iowa-side, was 110.8 miles. In case anyone was wondering, which, until today, I never had been.

At any rate. So, that was my little vacation. I left my apartment this weekend and that tends to be somewhat monumental sometimes. Also, snow. To which I dislike greatly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pens, Glorious Pens!

This is, by far, the coolest thing I have ever gotten in the mail. This is especially cool since one of my pen vendors just randomly sent it to me. Unasked for. From Switzerland.





That's right, behold the glory of these fabulous Swiss pens. I'm not even kidding you, these pens are the best. They write better than any other pen I've ever had. I am delirious with joy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

iWrite

Man, I am ALL UP in the DMMC homepage right now. My snazzy little blurbs that no one reads... *tear* I'm so proud. For your source of information on the Greater Des Moines/central Iowa music scene, go check it out. www.desmoinesmc.com



Friday, November 21, 2008

"We need to talk about your flair..."

So sleepy. At least I've gotten things done today. And, by getting things done, I mean I've been pulling music files off my external hard drive into my iTunes. When I'm done, I'll dump my new, updated, complete library on my drive. Beautiful. What's more, I'm finding a lot of music that I thought I had lost or sold. So that's pretty awesome.

Also, what's not awesome is having my fire alarm go off when it's fucking cold outside. I'm pretty sure it was just some drunk dumbass - we all got notices yesterday that there's been some vandalization lately, so if we know anything, let them know, etc. Gee, I wonder what/who caused this? I hate assholes. I think I'm done living around college kids now, kthnxbye.

Anyway. In lieu of actually writing anything of significance, I'm going to show you my FLAIR BOARD. Basically, they're little snippets of things that make me smile right now. If they were real buttons, I would totally wear them.

Maybe I'll post an updated flair board every couple months. Maybe I won't. Oooh the intrigue.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's Letter is E, and...

Today's word is Exhaustion. Dear sweet muffins, I am so tired. I was so unbelievably burnt out this morning and feeling so blah that I tapped a couple PTO hours and stayed home and slept an extra hour or two. It was fabulous. I probably could have slept all day... but I told myself to stop being a pussy and get my ass to work. It's just been a loooong and stressful week. I had a sort-of slow week last week, which was almost nice, almost boring, even, but sure enough that vanished rather remarkably quickly this week. I'm going to tear my hair out. But, it's all good. I seem to be keeping my good humor, so I'll probably get through it. You gotta laugh, or you'll go crazy.

It's almost the weekend, anyway. Tomorrow's Friday. Fridays are exceptionally non-exciting in my life, they have become my second day of plasma donation for the week, which works out pretty well, because by six o'clock the place is usually quiet and I can get in and out in about an hour, so that's nice. A couple weeks ago I was half-flirting with one of the cute phlebotamists, who, in addition to having an adorable smile, is awesome at his job - he managed to shove that needle into my vein without me feeling a thing. So it was kind of a double-win when I landed in that section. Ah, well. I will take the small joys in life, I guess.

I'm supposed to go up to Minneapolis this weekend to visit some long-lost (ok, ok, short-lost) friends, since my attempt last weekend resulted in FAIL, so we'll give it another go before I run into the holidays and/or snow. However in order to make it up to those friends, I'll actually have to blow off/postpone some friends around here, which sucks, but, well, I do get to see them more often, and I'm sure they'll forgive me (right guys? Guys? ...Anyone?). Then my friend from Omaha messaged me with the preface of "so as you know, I'm coming up this weekend..." WTF, no, of course I didn't know that, or I wouldn't have decided to bail the state for the weekend. So... we'll play it by ear, I guess, and see who wins. Although, really, it would be nice to get away for a weekend... and, shit, gas prices continue to drop, so now's as good a time as any. (I filled my gas tank from on the E all the way up for $23. Cheap gas FTW!) I have no idea. I wish I weren't so indecisive.

I feel like I'm not getting anything done - I've got lots of little things that I don't remember to do until right as I'm about to pass out for the night, and by that point my motivation is clearly gone. It's just stupid stuff that really doesn't matter, but that I kick myself for not doing. I was all ambitious to clean my apartment earlier this week and I'm just too tired/lazy to do it. I've got little projects to work on. A design here, a write-up there. An old project that I need to photograph if I have any inclination to enter it into a design competition, which, really, I've had a great run in the last three years, so I may as well give it a shot. After that I really won't have any work that I can enter, seeing as how I'm not doing anything anymore. I also would prefer to do it sooner rather than later so I'm not paying late fees. I have until sometime in early December, but, still. It'll be here before you know it...

... kinda like Christmas. Holy hell, is it just me, or did this holiday just kersplode over EVERYTHING overnight? I mean, I know retail has been sneaking it out earlier than usual this year, like they like to do, but, all of a sudden, it's Christmas season. I've already found a 24-hour-Christmas-Music radio station, lights are going up around town, we're planning our department holiday party, and OMG CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. I've actually got a good chunk done (Thank you, Amazon & Ebay). Last year I was pretty scroogey about the whole thing, but for some reason or another, I'm excited like a little kid again, lost in the magic of the lights and intoxicated by the smells (something like cinnamon and cookies). My resolve on the No-Christmas-Music-Until-After-Thanksgiving mandate is crumbling... I maybe, possibly, if questioned, might admit that I listened to it on the way home tonight. There's something in the air. I don't know. I can't help it. I'm weak.

Update: I am loading my Christmas music onto my computer. Selectively. I acquired "Now That's What I Call Christmas" Vol 1-3 last year, because while I loathe the NOW! Series with an indescribable and probably irrational hatred, the Christmas CDs are nice because Disc 1 has a lot of the old, classic songs that I grew up listening to. Disc 2, usually has the crap on it of some fleeting pop icon doing their rendition of something that just doesn't have quite the same flair as the greats used to. [Heh, and now that I think about it... I bought #3 regular price, because I wanted it and I knew it wasn't going to clearance off, but, as the music department guru, I knew in advance that 1 & 2 were on the rack that was, in fact, going to clearance down with the rest of the leftover holiday junk. So, I may or may not have stashed away a copy of each of them towards the end of the season into my drawer o' junk (there were always cds in there, for whatever reason or another - usually ones that I intended to buy, or else occasionally things that needed legitimate attending-to, and nobody but me really knew the difference anyway... although, who am I kidding, we all did it, a lot) and ended up paying under $5 each for them. LOVE the Christmas clearance. LOVE.]. Ah, memories. Sometimes I miss Target.

Anyway. I'm super sleepy and I clearly had nothing profound or interesting to say, so I'm just blogging for the sake of blogging, and maybe one of these days I'll write about something meaningful. (Maybe, but I doubt it.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Offspring Onspring

Those of you that know me fairly well have probably heard the ongoing saga about the drama that is my mother's life. Now, I'd love to fill you in if you DON'T know, but unfortunately, I don't have the time or probably the bandwidth to accomodate this. Seriously. I could write a novel and nobody would be able to tell if it was real or fiction. It's just that bizarre and "oh no she didn't!" and just very much the type of thing that should have me neck deep in therapy bills. I love my mother dearly, of course, but there is just a certain exhausting defeat that comes along with dealing with her. So much, so much. I really wish I could explain it all. It's really hard to make people understand it, though, beyond the surface-level acknowledgment of "uh, that's crazy" - it's more like seriously - honest - to - God - what - the - fuck - how - are - you - functioning - in - society Crazy. (Fortunately most of it happened after I was sixteen or so, so I was pretty much past the impressionable, damagable stage. Still, it takes a toll...) That, and the constant barrage of "woe is me" text messages, and the fact that she brought every single problem on herself, and, well, the fact that her logical reasoning skills have gotten warped somewhere along the way and I don't even begin to know how to understand how her rationale works, other than it seems to twist things around to how she sees it. I sometimes wonder what her interactions with other people are like - I wonder how they see her. Like the hypothetical situation of California breaking off into the Pacific Ocean and drifting away. I feel like that's kind of what's happening with my mother and the real world. It is my biggest fear in life that somewhere along the way I will become equally as delusional and irrational, and isolate myself from reality in a similar fashion. Like mother, like daughter. The mystery of genetics.

Anyway. The point of this particular entry is not to be obnoxiously vague but I just need to stomp my e-foot and declare my dislike of being put in the middle of things. My mother does not speak to her parents anymore so she made me be the one to tell them that she had gotten fired from her job the day after her divorce was finalized and is now working a shitty job in the foodservice industry and blah blah blah and I hate hate hate the tone in my grandpa's voice when the subject of the crumble and decay of my mother's once put-together life comes up. It's this odd mix of disappointment and irritation and resign and maybe a hint of anger and quiet, and I can't even describe what. But it's miles away from his usual laid-back and cheerful disposition and I don't like that I have to be the one to hear it. I know it's not aimed at me but its there. And the latent anger that seems to be there - it's disconcerting - I've never known him to be angry at anything. Not genuinely upset and angry. I mean, I've obviously heard him raise his voice - but this is just a quiet anger. Not at my mother, perhaps at her (ex-husband? live-in boyfriend? I don't even know), perhaps merely at the situation that his only offspring has gotten herself into again and again. At least my outspoken grandma has no problems going off on her adamant tirades (despite that it is usually some variance of the same thing, every time - I could probably write a script.) It's much less unsettling.

I've told her time and again, I no longer want to be sucked into toxic situation, I do not want to be dragged in because it's so hard to get out. But what else do you do? My sister has put up with a lot, too, but I don't think she fully understands. And why would she? She hasn't gotten the fucked up crazy genes. That leaves me. And for some unknown reason I am supposed to understand. It's hard. Somebody just needs to apologize and drop the fucking issue once and for all and move on - but that will never happen. Everyone is so goddamn stubborn and she will NOT let things drop, because dammit, she's been wronged, all her life, she's been the victim. I can't quite identify what caused this rift, I'm pretty sure it had something to do with her current, um, significant other, somewhere down the line, in the moving and the slow leak of money that she poured on him and the ups and downs and back and forths... How DARE they express a disapproval? She's just... so angry. She's angry and blames them for so many things that I've heard both sides of the story on so, so many times, that I feel she is overreacting, but maybe she just needs a place to assign the blame? An outlet for the injustices and all the mistakes - I wonder why I've never thought of this before? It sort of makes sense - she'll blame them so she doesn't have to blame herself. At least that would be a rational, logical explanation for it (although logic has nothing to do with this family, I will be the first to tell you). Hmm.

So much for not writing an excessive amount without even mentioning what the actual laundry list of issues was, is, and shall continue to be. I don't even know if I would know where to start... or if I could even remember all the details anymore.

In lieu of alcohol, I am going to bed. My head can't think anymore.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hallefreakinglujah

Maintenance report: "There was a crack between two concrete slabs under your carpet by the patio door. We sealed it up so that should take care of the worms. If it does not or if you have any other questions, please contact the office. Thank you and have a nice day."

Siyonara, wormies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oooh, something shiny!

Random Thoughts of the Day...

1. I love getting a new hair cut. I also love the crushing defeat that follows the next morning when you find you are unable to replicate the style you left with.

2. My yogurt consumption goes up considerably in October & November - gotta save those pink lids! Although the sixty cents worth of donation on my counter is probably much less beneficial to a cure for breast cancer than it would be to actually donate the cost of the yogurt TO the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It's the principle of the matter, though...

3. You know, the more I think about it... Fundraisers really don't make sense at all. It would be much more effective to just donate the money outright than to spend money on something you didn't need anyway, with only a small percentage of the proceeds going towards the actual cause. Instead of 10% they could be making 100%... wouldn't that solve [insert need of funding here] faster??

4. So, I had this problem this summer of finding earthworm corpses in my apartment the day or two after a heavy rain. I never did find out how they were getting in, and even though it creeped me out, I did nothing to remedy the situation. Until last night when I found my cat trying to eat one. A live one. Big and fat and slimy and squirmy. Beyond gross. I snatched it up with a kleenex and flushed it away (with visions of kitty vomit dancing in my head) and called my property manager first thing this morning. We draw the line here.

5. I totally wore a zip up sweater all day today with the tag still on it. I did not notice until the end of the day. Fortunately, no one else did either...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Conundrum.

So, it will cost exactly the same to print my own Christmas cards through the company I work for as it would for me to print off generic photo cards at Walmart.

The deciding factor now, is, of course, how ambitious I really am...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Emo Purge

Sigh.

It occurs to me that I should be wrapping up my weekend right about now, and it's hard to believe it's almost time to start the week all over again. I didn't really do much this weekend. I did manage to unpack two boxes and a bin of stuff from my "office" (it's getting closer...), so that was something. I got a freelance check in the mail from way back earlier in the year, which was positively the high point of the week. I'd been running low on funds and bouncing money around between my accounts in order to not overdraw my account. But, alas, I am ok now, and I might be able to splurge on a haircut this week (finally), and then payday is on Friday, so the bills can get all paid up (even if they are a few days late, oops). So, that's good. I finished a draft of a brochure I was working on, I had a moment of brilliance for my Christmas cards, and I'm slowly slowly feeling my creativity seep back in. I think once I have my office/studio up and going then it will help - I will have all my tools and books in one place and even if I don't have any real projects to work on, I can just make shit up, just so I can be designing again. I'm going through some sort of weird, prolonged withdrawal. If that makes sense.

At any rate, I am on a chocolate ice-cream fueled introspective streak at the moment (I'm sure it will wear off soon), importing a plethora of CDs to my iTunes library that I would be embarrassed to admit that I actually own but apparently feel compelled to have available at my fingertips if the desire to listen to them should arise, and letting my mind wander. First off, I feel like I have much more 'good' music than this. I hope that a majority of it is on my external drive (I really need to go and clean it up one of these days and make some room) or are scattered around on various burnt discs that I have yet to uncover. I'm almost through two full CD towers and I feel incomplete. Sigh. I'm only at 13gb right now... I KNOW I had more than that. I filled my ghettoPod a long, long time ago, and that had 15 gigs on it. Oh well. I've still got a ways to go.

And please tell me I am not the only person THIS anal about my album artwork on iTunes being correct. My album art fetcher widget is starting to disappoint me. (Must I do ALL the work???).

Second off, I am purely appalled at the number of people on my facebook friend list whose names I don't recognize. My philosophy being that I do not friend people that I am not actually acquainted with, this means one thing and one thing only - a hell of a lot of people have gotten married lately. At some point I'm going to have to go through and figure out who these people are (or who I knew them as, a maiden name, a face, something!), but that's much too ambitious for right now, so I'll just absentmindedly think of it every time I am somehow presented with a list of people. I also see a growing list of names of people that I realize I haven't talked to in a long time, and all the mental notes to drop that person a line tend to fail me in practice. I am a horrible friend these days, it feels like. I have no reason to be, really, other than a pure selfishness of wanting to curl up and be left alone. I think today has been the longest stretch of consciousness my apartment has seen me for. I just get home and I'm exhausted and in no mood to be social. Still, at some point I will probably have to start focusing on things past my own existence and reach out to people or I really will end up as a hermit-slash-crazy cat lady.

Still. Facing the outside world makes me face certain other realities. Like the friendships that have already started to shrivel up and die, through no real fault of my own, but merely that of time. You ever just kind of miss someone that you didn't realize had that significant of a chunk in your life? I know it happens everyday that friendships change and fade and people drift away and come back over and over again... Still, it's kind of disheartening to just wake up one day and realize that one of the friendships that meant a lot to you just kind of fizzled out somewhere, and all of a sudden there's a hole. A friend you used to talk to regularly, a comforting voice on the other end of the line. Random long phone calls while driving down a godawful long boring highway. I hate talking on the phone. There is only a small handful of people that I can willingly sustain conversation with. To lose one of them is quite sad indeed. It was nothing intentional or nothing I can even pinpoint. But now if I were to pick up the phone and dial, it would be awkward silences and forced niceties. It's even worse when you know that that person could be an important person in your life, if only the circumstances were a wee bit different, and time and distance hadn't wormed their way in. But, well, I guess that is life and whining about it to the Internet is going to do nothing to change it. Still, I wish I was better at detaching myself from things. (My apartment would be a hell of a lot cleaner, too.)

WHILE I am on the topic of sad and depressing things... (Man, I am just a ball of cheer today!). I have a list of blogs that I rotate through daily (if you're reading this, you are very likely one of them) and while this does generally make me feel inadequate as a person to read everyone else's snapshots of brilliance, it's still very interesting to get to know people on a closer level than you do in normal day-to-day life. But, out of this blog roaming, is emerging a sad and weary envy. One of our design interns from this summer is currently off in Rome with the College of Design study-abroad program... the very one that I opted to not participate in. I had a long list of excuses: I didn't want to be gone for six months, I wanted to be president of IRHA, I wanted to focus a little more on my studios so I'd have some semblance of hope of finding a job, and, well, it was kind of expensive. And I'm not one to believe in regrets. I made a choice, it worked for me. Yet, looking at her pictures and reading her blog... I really do feel like I missed out on what could have been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I guess it's true what they say - you regret the things you don't do, more than the ones you did. Even at the time, when the majority of my classmates were over there, posting amazing pictures and stories on facebook and other such bloglike places, I was jealous, but at the same time, it was nice to be able to live vicariously through their experiences, and while I wished I were there, I never truly regretted not going. But now... Now I'm starting to realize that I passed up a chance that will likely not come around in my life again, and I gave up possible experiences that I will never get to have. Sure, I could always go visit Rome and Venice and Florence and Paris and the rest of Italy and France and Spain and Switzerland and Ireland and wherever the hell else everyone went while they were there (seriously! more places than I can ever hope to go in my lifetime!)... but it would not be the same. If I ever scrape up the money to go, I won't be young and carefree and it won't be the same, at all, as what it could have been. If only I hadn't dismissed it so quickly. How much different would my life be? How much differently would I see the world? How much more would there be to my measly little existence? There is no answer and there is no point in thinking about it. Still, not going, is probably going to haunt me as being one of the regrets in my life. And this bothers me. Because I don't want to live with any regrets. Not big ones, anyway. Wee little ones, like regretting not going to bed early when Monday morning comes... yeah, that kind of regret is ok. And very, very probable. ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Back to My Normal Drivel...

All right, all right. I am for serious done posting politics for now, positive, negative, f-bomb filled, or otherwise. It's been quite the streak that I try to keep suppressed because otherwise it runs away with me and I get overly worked up (me? worked up? NEVER!). I sent my sister an anti-Palin email or website or something a while back, and she responded with, "I thought you didn't like politics?" No, dear sister, it's not that I don't like politics, but because I know how very well my kin sways conservative, even if they're maybe not registered that way. It's all I can do to fit in during family get togethers anyway, without spewing off my crazy liberal propaganda and having things whispered behind my back about... well, I don't know. How crazy I've gotten? (News!) Apparently my SUPER LIBERAL education in Farmland USA has brainwashed me. Heh. At any rate. It's not that I dislike politics... I merely dislike being agitated by idiots. (There is a marginal difference).

At any rate. Let's talk about something new. How are you? How's the family? Can you believe this weather we're having? It was so beautiful at the beginning of this week (in NOVEMBER!) - I hadn't had to wear a coat since early October! And, naturally, yesterday it started snowing and being cold. Boo fucking hiss. Not only is it cold and gray all the time but I'm afraid it's going to kick my seasonal affective disorder back in already. I'd never had much stock in that particular 'disorder' but last winter was definitely hard on me, and it was more than just my regular textbook clinical depression. Goody. Granted, now I am back up around my friends and I have a good job, so maybe I can kind of combat a little. Still, my desire to stay in bed and sleep all day was not indicative of a positive trend.

So anyway. My internet connection at home is pretty much the worst I've had. Generally speaking, typing into my browser is like pulling teeth. It takes forever, gets caught up, causes me to make errors because I can't see what I've typed until about twenty seconds after I've typed it, and it's just slow slow slow and locks up my screen and brings forth the dreaded spinny rainbow wheel of death. Needless to say, it annoys me a little. Well, today, this morning, I packed up my mini studio and journeyed over to a local coffee shop near where I work, and the wireless connection was glorious and I got things accomplished (not as much as I would have liked, but the only table I could snag was near the door, and it was cold with people going in and out, and after three hours, I had to pee, and I didn't want to just leave all my stuff sitting there, easily snatchable, plus I was getting tired, so I packed up and called it a day). The good news is, I don't know what kind of an effect that triggered, but my machine is running much more smoothly now. I can actually type IN my browser window instead of in my Stickies application then copying + pasting. Woohoo!

In other, mildly disturbing news... I have reached the age bracket where I am finding myself checking out attractive looking males only to catch a glimpse of a freaking wedding band. Woe, woe is me. I'm in a bracket where I can't find guys because they are MARRIED. (Not that I had overwhelming success before, but that is neither here nor there). My point is, the pool of available men in my demographic is shrinking. This is so not fair! I know I'm not all about jumping on the matrimonial bandwagon, but, well... there's got to be SOMETHING left, right? Oh well. I'll always have my cat(s)....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

The world feels different today. Changed. I think it is merely knowing that there is a more hopeful future ahead, that we are in new hands, and that things are going to get better. That's right, we crazy liberals are in charge now. It feels weird to have MY views and MY beliefs and MY opinions be the same as our new President and our new Congress. After eight years of "Dark Ages", the world will finally be a place where I am contented to live in. Where I fit. It's an indescribably amazing feeling, and one that I wasn't aware that I had been missing. The time for change has, indeed, arrived.

And, um... Proposition 8 passed?!?! What the FUCK?! California, you assholes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Seeing Blue

Today.... today was a historic event. I, Kelly, have watched more tv in a single evening than I have in over a year. I also found MSNBC on my tv. Who knew?

Just kidding. IN CASE you've been living under a rock... Election Day was today. I'm not going to rehash everything that has been said or done, but I am incredibly excited (and incredibly relieved) at the way things turned out. Sure, I had a sheer mortal terror of the idea of Sarah Palin being in charge of anything of significance, but I truly do believe that Barack Obama is a positive step for change. "Hope" is a large understatement. It's not about race (well, ok, it's kind of about race. I happen to be extremely Caucasian but this is an extremely awesome step forward for civil rights. Watching some of the people speaking on the various news stations, people that lived through lynchings and through the sixties - people that never thought this day would ever ever happen. This is a Big Step.), it's about a shift. Maybe it's a generational shift. Obama is young, he speaks to our generation. McCain is old and out of touch, sure. Obama "gets" us. He's young and new enough to the scene that he's still idealistic and he believes, he truly believes, that we can fix things. The status quo will no longer hold.

I flipped back and forth between MSNBC and Comedy Central (uh, like I would even consider missing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's live election special!) and the news is so much better when it's facts and numbers and not accusations and rhetoric. I got my official announcement from none other than Mr. Jon Stewart, and even though Obama was closing in on a sizable lead, just hearing it, officially, almost sent a chill down my spine. I'm seriously so excited I think I could possibly cry. Happy tears. This is just an awesome, awesome moment in our country and in our history.

The Republicans can suck it. They had their turn. They had the last eight years. They took that time and fucked us over in every single way possible, and drove this country into the ground. The current administration will very likely go down in history as one of the worst we've had, however well-intentioned, just a giant epic failure. I'm so proud of this country for stepping up and saying no, we've had enough. We're taking this country back, and we're going to fix it. We're going to be the America we used to be, and, better yet, the America we CAN be. Tonight, the world changes. It will get better.

Ok, I'm going to stop, I'm getting ridiculously sappy. AND I'm up past my bedtime.


PS - Sweet Jesus, the tallies are still coming in. Obama STOMPED on that shit. Fuck yeah!!

PPS - McCain is giving his concession speech. He is being very gracious, and I maintain that I personally would have had no problems with him (it's that crazy Palin bitch I was worried about)... I would like to punch his supporters in the face, though. Seriously? You're going to boo? Get over it. It's over. How about you make an attempt to come together, eh? It's called unity. You may have heard of it, if you were listening. There's no point in you being pissy anymore. The only thing we can do is band together and move forward.

PPS - For real, I'm going to bed... as soon as I hear Obama's acceptance speech, of course...

EDIT: Holy Hell, that was an awesome speech. I'm a stone cold emotionless bitch but shit, I cried. I'll admit it. More than once. If you missed it, go find it. YouTube it, check the news station websites, do what you have to do. It was beautiful and inspiring and brilliant and strong. I am excited for the future of this country, which is not something I've been able to say in years. For real, for real, though. Time for bed. I could blather for hours. I'll spare you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rant, Redux

In honor of Election Day being tomorrow, I thought I would repost a previous verbal shitfit that I had back in September. It was a glorious rant, as far as rants go, and being over on my obscure site that nobody visits, I thought I would revive it, since I'm making my new blog home here. I'm not going to edit it, I'm well aware that it's outdated, and my anti-Sarah Palin rant could probably take up an entire post of its own at this point, but, whatever. I'm going to preserve the purity of my original spiel and let it be.

So... enjoy. Or don't enjoy. Doesn't bother me any...

(PS - Please note that the functionality of the links might not have carried over. If they don't work, I'll fix them when I get home from work. I don't have oodles of time to do it now)


Thu Sep 4, 2008, 9:20 PM

I'm going to do something I don't normally do.

I'm going to go on a political rant. Brace yourselves.

I don't give a shit whether you agree with me or not. You are free to voice your opinion, because, dammit, that's what the First Amendment is for. However, this is MY space, so if you want to get all up in my face then I'll have no choice to bitch slap you with whatever means I can. Just as you are entitled to your opinions, I am entitled to mine.

I apologize in advance for any excessive obscenities that may or may not be spewn. It's just what I do.

I'm not going to start screaming about party lines and how I'm right and they're wrong (although I usually am right, it's just how I roll) - I have a lot of friends who are conservatives and while I love them dearly I do occasionally want to strangle them because they won't even LISTEN to any other points of view. This is also largely why I'm shoving my thoughts into the abyss of the internet. I can't say a word without being accused of being a heartless crazy liberal babykiller. If you'd let me speak my peace, you would know that that just isn't true. But, since I'm not One Of You, I'm not allowed to. PS, The First Amendment is just as important if not more so as your fucking Second Amendment. Now shut up and let me talk.

Now, I'm not a huge political activist. I have my beliefs and I hold them very strongly. They're based on a pretty simple principle - if you hold any stock in all that shit that the Founding Fathers scribbled some 200+ years ago, which I happen to do, it's that all men (and, by proxy, women) are created equal. I'm anti-hate, anti-discrimination, anti-narrowmindedness, pro-love, pro-tolerance and all around am on board with everything being happy and groovy. I think there are some things the government has no right to dictate or interfere with... Most specifically, and these are what generally makes me fall squarely into the left, Gay Marriage and Abortion.

Oh, I said it. The GM and A words. Get your pitchforks ready.

I personally don't feel comfortable with a bunch of old white guys telling me what is or is not ok to do with my body. I'm not saying that I'm pro-abortion and that everyone should just run out and get one. I can see both sides and I'm not a rabid baby-killer... however, some women don't have a choice. Ironically, it's many of the same people who are anti-choice that are also opposed to welfare. When you take away the choice for a scared, desperate pregnant woman - well, you don't know what's best for her. (And, really, if one were inclined to have an abortion, they'd do it anyway. Might as well be in a sterilized clinic with a professional than with a rusty coathanger by a guy named Vinnie). We could go round and round. I'm neither for or against - but I do believe in the right to choose. If you think abortion is wrong and evil, well, guess what - you have the CHOICE not to have one.

The flip side of this issue - the one that most gets my panties in a bunch - is women's health and reproductive rights in general. Birth control is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR the same realm as abortion - I got so irate that my head almost exploded when people try to lump them together and then pull the religion card. Well, fuck you. I've fallen into the realm of the sexually inactive, so I'm clearly not using the pills as contraceptives. Even if I were, they kill nothing. If anything, they're sparing your eggs for when you might actually want them. (For those of you unfamiliar with the biology of it all, the Pill essentially fakes your body into thinking it's ovulating, when instead it prevents an egg from being released each month). I like to know precisely when my period is going to start and stop and be able to plan accordingly. I don't like having excessive cramps. And, shit, it's even supposed to help your skin. And you know what? You have NO RIGHT to deny a prescription if I want it and my doctor ok'd it. NONE. You wouldn't deny painkillers to someone who just had surgery, or antiobiotics for a sick kid, or any other array of medications to anyone. You took a fucking oath and you are bound to uphold it. Religion, my ass. We'll save that for later, you fucking hypocrite. Guess what? It's your JOB. It's what you are paid to do. If people don't do their jobs they get fired. You're no different, so stop your fucking whining. Nobody's paying you to inflict your views on others, they are paying you to dispense medications. I, personally, am morally opposed to 5 year olds getting brand new iPods. But guess what? When someone wants to buy a spare for their daughter so she can have one for outside as well as inside, I have to smile, unlock the case, and ask them what color they want. Looky, I just contributed to the further decay of our youth by rampant commercialism. I'll sleep just fine tonight.

Also - abstinence only sex education? Are you fucking serious? You DO realize these kids are going to have sex anyway, right? And by not providing them resources and knowledge, we're just going to cycle back to the whole unwanted pregnancy issue. All you old men, well, this is an issue that you will NEVER be faced with, so STFU already.

Gay marriage - I don't even want to talk about it. It's so goddamn unconstitutional to deny a right to anyone based on the fact that they are different than you. What the fuck do you care? They're also, by the way, NOT cheapening the institution of marriage. The skyrocketing divorce rate and commonplace adultery are doing that just fine. Whoops, I'm sorry, did I just imply that you're just as much of a sinner? Yep, looks like I did.

Side insert to my religion rant. Guess what, I'm a born and raised Christian, I'm a big fan of Jesus, only unlike you, I LISTENED. If you were paying attention, a sin is a sin is a sin. Which means you're just as depraved as those you are condemning. Oh, perhaps I should also mention that the mere fact that you ARE judging others is a whopper of a sin. Jesus Himself even said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7, bitches, look it up. I dare you.) Basically, if you were paying attention, which I bet you weren't, Jesus pretty much said to leave the Judging up to Him (how dare you presume to play God, you pretentious asshole) and to Love Thy Neighbor. Not ostracize them for being different. LOVE. LOVE was the message. Not hateful intolerance. That's the worst hypocrisy of all and this is why I have stayed away from organized religion for years. Call me a heathen if you will, but I'm going to go ahead and stick with what I believe. (Don't forget, I have that right - the same right that you keep shoving in everyone's faces, you poor, poor, repressed white Christians). PS, Jesus was all for the outcasts - so he'd be hanging out with the very people you are trying to condemn. (I suggest you go read the book of Luke you hypocritical asshole. If you're smart, which I doubt, you'll start to see a theme.)

Back to where I was.

Right. Basic human rights. Equality. All that good shit. I cannot fathom how anyone can look down on anyone else for merely being different. Gay, straight, man, woman, white, black, we could go round and round with the yins to their yangs - who the FUCK cares? We're all people. Let me repeat that. WE ARE ALL PEOPLE. And we are all fortunate enough to live in a country where that is supposed to be enough. We're so, so far away from where we could be. It makes me sad. We could be greater than this. We're broken, and nothing any politician can promise will make it better just like that.

Oh, speaking of politicians. Allow me to bang my head against my desk until I am no longer conscious. Wake me up in November, when someone gets elected and this whole mess is over. This is fucking ridiculous.

Now, I'm obviously not impartial, so allow me to continue.. (No? Too bad. My rant, my rules. You are still required to shut up and listen, or get the hell out of here. I don't particularly care which.)

I like Barack Obama. And, I'll be honest, I liked Hillary. Say what you will, lose respect for me if you must. She's a strong woman and I think she could metaphorically knee a lot of people in the groin (or physically, that would be fun too) and maybe make some changes. At any rate, she has the cajones to be President, I don't care what you say. It's a moot point at this current juncture, so we won't dwell. I like Obama just fine, I think he's a standup guy and he might just be un-jaded enough in Washington to make a fucking difference.

What I do NOT like is this shameless propaganda parade from the John McCain camp. Let me be more specific. I do not like Sarah Palin.

I'll be honest - my kneejerk reaction to her nomination was intrigue. A woman nominee? That's ballsy. I may have flinched a little bit in my decision, but I've since scrambled back on the fence hardcore the other way.

I think it's hilarious that the Republicans have been bashing Obama right and left for his lack of experience. Who the fuck is Sarah Palin? Last week, nobody could have told you. Oh wait, she's the governor of one of the least populated states in the country. Not even two years under her belt. Before that, she was the mayor of some piss-ass little town somewhere up in Alaska. "But she has executive experience!" Shit, so do I. I was the president of the residence halls at a fairly major state university. That must make me qualified, too.

We'll set aside the fact that she's a crazy conservative bitch. I don't like crazy conservative bitches (see: Ann Coulter). I want to beat them over the head with a blunt object. Does feminism mean NOTHING to you people? You're pissing away all the rights that it took us this long to get. But, like I said, we're setting it aside.

The woman has publicly stated that she doesn't even know what the Vice President does. Well, shit, sign me up. That's a vote of confidence for you. I don't know a whole lot about Joe Biden, but his response to Palin's turbo-bashing is actually pretty classy - as in, he didn't stoop to her level. I hope he has the balls to take his gloves off at the VP debates though. There is speculation that he won't/can't - cause you KNOW they're going to twist it as some sort of sexist asshole move. Also, unrelated, I love the irony that her underage daughter is knocked up. That abstinence-only education sure worked, huh?

I know the fact that McCain is old and mildly decrepit is supposed to be off-limits. But there's a very real possibility the man could die in office. Then what are we left with? The crazy bitch who has NO idea what the fuck is going on. The thought of Sarah Palin in charge of this country terrifies the living bejeezus out of me.

In the essence of time and nonplagiarism, I'm going to plug in this super fancy link here: [link] It plows through a lot of things that I won't get into but are interesting. Like some actual factual evidence that disputes a lot of the bullshit we're being fed. I'm also going to link you here [link] and here [link] because Ursula Vernon is fucking brilliant and she generally is pretty levelheaded and anti-politics but when she speaks, it's genius. One more link for good measure, [link] from the cleverly titled Sarah Palin Hates Polar Bears dot Org. I'm not going to go back and find all the links for everything I've read that make me cringe, but, well, I'm sure you could do it if you wanted. Shit, at this point, even if I hated Obama, I'd still be inclined to support him just to steer the fuck away from Palin.

One parting thought before I grumpily stomp off to bed. McCain, do you think we are FUCKING STUPID? Oh, goody, a woman! I am bound by the laws of feminism to support her! Nevermind that she's against everything I stand for! Because us women are stupid and we'll see someone ELSE with a vagina and blindly follow suit. Fuck you. Fuck all of you. You've disturbed my general sense of peace with the world and made me write a really long, disgruntled, not so gracefully eloquent as I'd hoped, ANGER BLOG. I hope you're fucking happy. Even more, I hope in November you get fucking DESTROYED and I never have to hear about you ever again.

/end rant.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Addendum

Creeping around Facebook has reminded me that there has been some spectacular oversight on my Top Halloween Costume List. So, I now present to you...

Kelly's Official Top Five Halloween Costumes for 2008 in Ames, Iowa:

1. Whore
2. The Joker
3. Sarah Palin/Election Characters
4. Mario/Luigi
5. Other (including subcategories of: Obligatory Animal Ears + Not Much Else, Michael Phelps, and, my favorite, "WTF?!?!")

That is all. Thank you.

EDIT:

It has been brought to my attention that I have falsely promised photos that never materialized. This is completely unacceptable and I will not be able to sleep tonight until I have rectified the situation. JUST kidding. But, since I did promise them, here are a couple for you!


Me and my buddy Tyler the Valkyrie. You can get a sense of the glorious fake breasts, but, alas, the skirt, fishnets, and heels are not visible in this shot.


This is actually Night 2, with my friend Shana as a country bumpkin, me again, and my friend Maria and her boyfriend Marty as Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth. These pictures really do not do their costumes justice. They were pretty spectacular.

License to Whore, Part 2

All righty. So, to elaborate further on yesterday's post, this is my Official Post-Halloween Wrap Up Post.

There are clearly pros and cons to hitting the college sector of bars on Halloween. The obvious con being that you are, in fact, in the college demographic for the evening. The friends I went out with on Friday were all, in fact, still in school, so it only made sense. Sometimes it makes me feel old, sometimes it doesn't. Fortunately that night it was the latter. The pros being that you are exposed to a colorful array of costumage that provides adequate fuel for mockery. To quote "Mean Girls", Halloween is the one night a year that a girl can dress like a total whore and nobody can say anything about it. True to form, everyone seemed to be following this rule. Lots of cleavage, but, surprisingly, even more thigh. The lengths of skirts or shorts this year was almost impressive. I guess if my legs were that nice, I'd be tempted too. Wait, no, I wouldn't. There's just something about feeling semi-naked in public that turns me off.

Anyway... some costumes, obviously more clever than others. By that token, some costumes obviously more popular than others. Mario & Luigi were a surprising hit this year - I saw several, several pairs of them throughout the evening, some better done than others. The prize goes to the full group of Nintendo characters at the last bar we were at, though. They not only had the two plumbers done up well, they had a Princess Peach in a full on prom dress, a Bowser with a full home-made shell, a Toad somewhere, a Wario, and, best of all, a kid in a garbage can as the plants that come out of the pipe. It was all very well done and they were hands down the best in a field of many, many others. Other popular costume choices were Michael Phelps (we saw at least three), Sarah Palin (lost count) + other Election 08 Characters (these were usually done well... people like the pregnant daughter, Joe the Plumber, a frazzled taxpayer, etc etc). I know a couple of my friends that were planning on going as Sarah Palin and from what I could tell of their sneak preview photos, I'd say theirs were the best I've seen. Then there were some costumes that just make you go "what the fuck...??" My best example was this kid in a diaper and some sort of midriff top with his beer gut hanging over. My retinas are forever scarred by this sight. Then of course your more traditional zombies and witches and such... everything else was kind of all over the board. My friend Tyler went as a Valkyrie, and went all out on his costume, which was pretty much amazing. He even shaved his legs so the fishnets would fit more properly, and even managed to find a pair of heels in his size. The best part, of course, were the rock-hard styrofoam boobs that he managed to procure from our local seasonal Halloween shop. They definitely got the once-over from 90% of the straight boys we passed on the street. (As promised, pictures are below).

As for my costume, I kept the 20s gangster idea but changed it a little. I used the dress from my sister's wedding, put on my trusty hooker boots (note to self: go get some Dr. Scholl's for those babies. My poor feets...), wrapped a long string of fake pearls around my neck, put on the oversized pinstripe jacket from Target as well as the crummy fedora that came with it (made of foam... my efforts to locate an actual black fedora on Friday were fruitless, but I guess this one worked... I just had to carry it while we were outside so it didn't blow off my head), curled my hair and ended up as some sort of gangster bitch or something. (this theme, also, fairly common, to my dismay, but oh well. Not many were in my actual incantation. It was either the full pinstripe suit (on both males and females), or else the female sidekick was in the flapper dress with the boa. To my observations, I was the only one that tried to combine the two genders...) Not the best costume I've had, not the worst. Maybe that will teach me to plan ahead next year. BUT, as I would like to reiterate, I managed to wear my bridesmaid dress again! Small victory in and of itself.

The night was fun, kind of long towards the end (I place partial blame on my feet and the fact that I'm perhaps inching into "too old" territory for this particular scene), but it's so fun to see everyone out and dressed up.

Now, for Night 2....

I had originally had plans for some sort of Halloween shindig with a couple of my fellow graphic design gradumates for Saturday, but, as so many things in life, stuff came up, so it was down to two of us, so we had planned to just dress up and head out. She and her boyfriend were dressed up as Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth, and, dear lord, they went all out and it was fantastic. However, it being the day *after* Halloween, we weren't sure how many other people we would see decked out in costume, as well. We met up with one of her coworkers at one of the main street bars first, where we stuck out like sore thumbs. Then after a while we decided to relocate, and, hell, why not hit the campus bars again... Sure enough, we hit a nice smattering of people dressed up (not as many as the night before, but enough to make us look less conspicuous). So we parked it at one of those bars and hung out for a while. The later the night got, the more people in costumes filtered through, which was a nice vindication for feeling less awkward, but, hey, you're in a group, it's all ok. More of the sluttiness of the previous night on display, although a little bit less subdued than before. There was some girl dressed up like Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's (at least, that was my interpretation) which I totally want to do next year. Someone remind me.

All in all... it was a fun weekend. And, alas, the time is now set back, which means I will be forced to track down every single watch I own and make sure it is on the correct time (which I failed at back in April... I was finding watches months later that were on the wrong time). Sigh. THIS is why it is bad to have a mild watch fetish. Grr. Oh well. This is my favorite time switch because I get an extra hour of sleep. Which does me little good since I am still awake and my dad is coming down early to bring some shelves from my old room. Oh well. I managed to straighten up my entryway at least so my apartment doesn't look like a total disaster. I think that shall be my goal for tomorrow... clean the damn apartment once and for all. That and get some pictures up on Facebook. Priorities, priorities...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

License to Whore, Part 1

Day 1 of Halloween funness was a success, I managed to modify my costume into something workable - AND was able to reuse one of my bridesmaid dresses, so that was a double bonus. Tonight will probably be similar, going out with a different posse of friends. Halloween is always a special time, I mean, I saw more upper female thigh last night than probably in my entire life combined (including my own). Short "skirts" were the theme of the year.

So, without further ado, I am presenting you with my (Unofficial) Top Three list of Halloween Costumes for 2008 in Ames, Iowa:

1. Whore
2. Mario/Luigi
3. Other (including subcategories of: Obligatory Animal Ears + Not Much Else, Sarah Palin/Election Chracters, Michael Phelps, and, my favorite, "WTF?!?!")

More extensive post to follow, including pictures. I know, I know... you're on the edge of your seat. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 31, 2008

H - A - Double L - O, W - Double E - N, Spells Halloween!

(Did anyone else learn to spell Halloween from that song in elementary school? Just me? Ok..)

Ah, Halloween. How fortunate of you to have landed on a Friday this year. This means we get not one but two days to get the most mileage out of our costumes. Which is good, because Halloween is getting friggin' expensive. This leaves no money left to spend on booze once you actually get to the bars. Oh, well. It's fun.

Until last night, I had no definitive costume. My friend and I were going to as Pantone swatches, which was all sorts of brilliant, but she defected on us at the last minute. Not that many people are going to "get" it anyway, but it seems to me that it just makes sense to have more than one. My next option was a black tshirt that simply says "costume" on it, that my mother, sister, and I have passed back and forth over the past several years. That + a feather boa = sure, why not. I could go as a "copout".

But, alas. It was not meant to be! I was randomly in Target last night, on a quest for cat litter and maybe a kitty costume (yes, I know, dressing animals is so inherently wrong, and yet, I couldn't help myself...) when I ran into one of my bff's, who was completing his costume and needed assistance picking out a skirt. I quickly abandoned my random perusal of the book section and we wandered the store for costume bits. Then I decided that it was imperative that I have a "real" costume. Target was already clearancing their costumes, and needless to say, being the day before Halloween, things were pretty picked over. I did find a ladybug costume for a small dog that I thought would be quite delightful to force my kitty cat to wear. We then went to Walmart next door to find more pieces for Tyler's costume, and I was still trying to wrap my head around a quick and cheap (very important) costume for myself. There was a random bathrobe shoved on a rack and the option of being a "hockey mom" came up. (Can you picture it? A bathrobe, slippers, curlers in my hair, a badly drawn and grammatically incorrect "Hockey Moms for Palin" sign? Genius! In retrospect, I'm a little bummed that this option was passed up... Granted, everyone in the world is doing election-related costumes, but still.) We ended up going back to Target and picking up the 20's-era gangster costume. Pinstripe suit, a bit o' cleavage, a fedora, and ideally a fake machine gun, which was not to be found, BUT, somewhere in my possession I have a plastic cigarette holder from two years ago that would work just as well (tricky to find, because I've moved twice since that Halloween, but it has to be somewhere. It was too awesome to get rid of!). The costume they had left (clearance, remember!) was a men's costume, so the coat is a little gigantic (thank GOD - if it had fit, I was going to spiral into a bout of depression) but I think this can be remedied with scissors and safety pins. It was only $20 which is pretty reasonable for Halloween. I don't know. It'll be a simple and not overly original costume, I'm really kind of swaying back towards the hockey mom idea, but then I'd have to go try to track down that godawful white and pink flowered robe from Walmart and spend MORE money that I don't have... I guess I could save the mobster/gangster costume for next year... the hockey mom version is really only relevant this year... oh, the conundrum. I have mere hours to decide.

Anyway. I will keep my chronic indecision to myself, and present you with... Halloween kitteh!




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ahh, Nostalgia

There are some things in life that never cease to be amazing. I admit that I am a pack rat, but when I was up at my dad's, wading through the piles of junk in my old bedroom, and stumbled across an old newspaper from my sophomore year at ISU... Please note that this was the fall after our "riot" the previous spring. Campus PD was on high alert. Central Iowa was rife with crime, a hotbed of dangerous activity just waiting to erupt.

This picture on the front page of our student newspaper was pretty much priceless. This provided endless ridicule from the student body for quite a while.

I present to you Exhibit A, shown below, courtesy of the Iowa State Daily, October 1st, 2004.



(Yes, that is a photo of two officers facing off against a Gatorade bottle. Just so we're clear.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life Observation #475

Apparently Facebook's "highly targeted ad system" is judging me. All I ever get are singles/dating websites.

(And Barack Obama ads. Perhaps it's telling me to date Barack Obama?)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smorgasblog

Because I am lazy, I've been storing up things to blog about until I actually had the energy to type. (Because it's hard, you know.) Now that I've gotten to it, I've pretty much forgotten everything I was going to say originally. Still, I thought I would issue a disclaimer that this post is going to be rather erratic* about subject matter. Ah, well, the randomness is why everyone loves me, right? Wait, no one loves me? DAMMIT. Oh well. Moving on...

*Please note I said erratic, not erotic. I would hate for there to be disappointment.

1. I reiterate the "I am lazy" of my opening sentence. I feel like such a bum. Not that I've ever been super active, at least not since high school, but my negative feelings over the weight I've gained in the last five years is circling back and making me so down that I am unmotivated to do anything. This is going to merely result in me getting even fatter and lazier (and reaching for the solace of Ben and Jerry). It's a perpetuating cycle. I need to break out of it... Blah. One of my best friends ran a marathon this past weekend. A freaking marathon.* I couldn't run a mile if I wanted to. I am going to turn into a blob with eyes and stubby appendages.

*PS - Congrats, Calee - you are officially more awesome than I can aspire to be.... ;)

2. Work, while still exhausting, feels less like it's trying to kill me. If you subtract yesterday and today. It was, well, challenging, to say the least. Frustrating and hectic are two other adequate adjectives. Granted, I won't lie, I secretly thrive on that sort of shit, so I was entirely in my element, I guess. I just don't know if I have the stamina for it in my old age. *wink* The day sapped my energy so I was rather pleasantly surprised to find I could wrap things up and leave at 5:25. I can't remember the last time I've even thought about leaving before 6. Which is fine... it's not like I have much waiting for me at home, so I don't really mind. I just rather prefer to do it when I'm not up against an insane deadline trying to keep all the pieces of a job moving that are sort of beyond my control. And we all know how I like to be in control of things. Which is one of the reasons I am happy I found this job - it was like it was meant to be. I love it. Still, though. I need to try to not overdo myself. Even my AE noticed I was looking a little bit weary this afternoon. But, well, tomorrow will be calmer, and dammit, I need to stop rambling because I have no life and so my job is my life and I could probably talk about my job for hours and hours and no one would care (or understand, for that matter. It's very complicated trying to explain exactly what it is I do.)

3. I need quarters. I am out of laundry. By laundry, I mean jeans. Which isn't a huge crisis, it just means I have to dress up every day until I remedy the situation. No biggie. I wish I had more nice dressy shirts though. Ones that don't make me look lumpy and frumpy, to be specific. (Circle back to Point 1. MUST.... START... EXERCISING....)

I want my own washer and dryer. I do not want to move. This is quite the conundrum. We'll see which desire ends up being stronger...

4. Speaking of things I want, I am wavering... I so completely very much want an iPhone. Fortunately for me, Apple is still on their contract with AT&T, which happens to suck beyond comprehension in this area, so I am less in danger of breaking down and buying one, for the very fact that it would be rendered essentially useless. Still... someday....

5. I am going to have to put away my hermit hat for a while. I swear, all of my friends that have migrated away from Iowa are now all coming back for a visit... THIS WEEK. Not that this is a bad thing, it's just.... social sensory overload. I'm double booked for Thursday but fortunately I think the timing works out - I can still grab dinner with one posse before I have to drive to Des Moines to pick up my friend from the airport. Still... along with all these people comes extra going out and about and while October is fortunate enough to contain a random third paycheck that, bugetarily is not claimed by rent or bills, still managed to dwindle rather alarmingly fast. I've got enough, and my plasma donation helps, but ack, I forgot how much money it cost to be social. Back to my dungeon....

6. Speaking of friends from out of state, I was kind of bummed that I had to postpone my previously-planned trip to Minneapolis last weekend. By previously-planned, I mean that I had expressed an intention to do so, and had had plans and friends to visit lined up, but nothing definitive. Which is just as well... after the events at the office a couple weeks ago, it is really NOT a good time to be taking time off... It's already a mess and I'm going to wait a couple weeks until things calm down and routines get reworked, and then maybe I'll go. No biggie. (Again, that third paycheck was conveniently timed, but it's ok. I'll just have to... save some... while simultaneously saving for Christmas... the last few months of the year are friggin expensive. No me gusta.) What really bums me out the most is not missing a much-needed vacation/getaway, but that I didn't get to catch up with my friends that are up there. All of them people that I am very sad about being so far away from. And, really, it isn't far... Just far enough to make it hard to get there. It's even more sad because I used to talk to them all of the time, and now it's just a casual exchange on facebook. If that much. It's not the same and it breaks my heart that all of these friendships (and not just these - a whole giant lot of them, lifewide) are dissolving into such superficiality. I'm really glad that a lot of my close friends are still in the area... but for how long? It's such a horrible feeling to be alone without someone to call when you are feeling bored or lonely - which was the sum of my ten months in Des Moines. They were all so very close and so far away at the same time... what happens when they permanently bail on the area? Christmas cards and wall posts. Not the same, at all.

Now I'm getting depressed (and even more incoherent). Blah. I guess it's time to go eat my Ramen that I finally got off my ass to make. Yum, yum. Sigh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rat Race Fender-Bender & Near-Oops Experiences

I seriously, seriously should not be awake right now. I've been working long hours just to keep my head above water (perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to be so zealous about volunteering for new accounts? Oh, but how paranoid I am about becoming expendable in this era of downsizing!) and while I don't feel exhausted, per se, my focus is pretty much kaput. I've almost been in two car accidents in the last two days, both of which would have been entirely my fault. My brain has streamlined itself into focusing on the main task at hand, shutting out all peripheral activity... which is not so great when you're encased in a huge chunk of metal. I'm not the world's greatest driver, but I can handle my bad-ass driving skillz pretty well.... except this week. I'm barely making it through in one piece. Fortunately Someone must be looking out for me, cause otherwise I (or, more probably, my means of transportation) would be toast. It's actually getting kind of scary how spaced out I've been once I get out of the office. I think I just need to slow the fuck down, relax, recharge, and have another go next week. I fully realize that I push myself too hard and knowing when to back off is not my strong suit. Never has been. I don't anticipate this miraculously changing overnight. Still, I'm not sure it's entirely healthy to be killing myself to be running in place. I'm not really getting anywhere, and yet, staying in place has never been so very important. Still... I'm gonna hit the fucking wall if I'm not careful. Just need to make it through one more day and then we hit the reset button and I sleep. A good sleep cures all ills....

And, as karma would so dictate, I'm putting a moratorium on bitching about all the bad drivers in this town until we're back to them nearly hitting me instead of the other way around. You know, back to normal. *wink*

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Black Thursday

I know that our professors always warned us that when the economy went bad, the creative field was the first to get hit and the last to recover. Well, we are taking it up the ass right now. It was a fucking bloodbath at work today. I, thank GOD, am still employed... but so many of my coworkers are not. They had to lay off a lot of people. It seriously felt like a good chunk of our family died. I guess that's what you get when you foster such a tight-knit working environment. They pulled us all together to tell us and you could tell (and I know we were all guilty) that everyone was looking around the room to see who wasn't there.

Now, of course, the rest of us are super paranoid about our job security, although chances are that if they didn't axe us with the mass slaughter, they probably aren't going to... but still. Out of the fucking blue. The afternoon was gloomy and depressing and we're all still reeling from it. They were very respectful of the employees they had to let go, but even so, it sucks so beyond hardcore that I'm not even sure there's an appropriate metaphor. My best work friend was one of them to go... and I know she'd been maybe kind of poking around for something else, but it's one thing to leave by choice and it's another to leave because they can't afford to keep you. It's going to be lonely and sad and I know I have no room to whine or complain because I was in the lucky group (and I think it can go without saying how beyond fucked I would have been if I hadn't been), but... it doesn't seem fair. And some of the people they let go are beyond our comprehension... not to say that not everyone is important, because everyone is a piece of the puzzle, but some people were, well, not people you would have expected to be dismissed.

At least it's almost the weekend. I don't think people are going to be functioning very well tomorrow.

Also, a big fuck you to the parking nazis who decided to start ticketing vehicles at 5pm. Seriously??? Fortunately I was on the side they hadn't gotten to yet, went fuck it, I'm going home, but still. It was like salt in our collective wound.