Monday, May 22, 2006

Travel Tales

This will be the last post for 10 days or so.

Tomorrow I am doing a "trial" day at a nearby doctor's office for a position as a "front desk person." I'm not sure what a front desk person does, but I'll find out soon enough. It'll be nice, I think. I'll still have "patient contact" but it will be limited to the phone and behind a desk and it fully meets my wish list of "nots." In other words, I will NOT be in a position to get puked on. I will NOT get blood on my shoes. I will NOT be in a place where I will get hit, slapped, scratched, punched, bitten or otherwise mauled. And, since this doctor specializes in Rehab Medicine, I will NOT be routinely exposed to things like meningitis, chicken pox, SARS, Bird Flu or any other exotic disease of the week. Nothing will be on fire, nothing will be underground, no one will shoot at me, no one will pull a knife on me, there will be no cars about to fall on my face, nothing will be underwater, nothing will be 40 feet above ground, no one will die in my arms, no baby will try to come out to greet me feet first in someone's dirty bathroom, and (mundane, I know, but) best of all - nothing will drag me out of bed on the weekend, on a holiday or in the middle of the night!!!! As an added bonus, as if all those things were not enough, this doctor actually offers health insurance after 6 months, vacation time, bonus money, AND a pension plan to add to my already vested previous employment....AND (I love this) I only have to work 3 eight hour days and 2 three hour days in order to collect all this good stuff. What's not to love?

And then, on Wednesday morning, we are off to Oregon for a whole honking week!!! My middle son is getting married on Saturday. YAY!!! He and his soon-to-be-wife have been planning this wedding for over a year now. All by themselves, since both of their families live far far away. It's a big job for two young kids and I'm extremely proud of both of them. I can't wait to see them. I've not set eyes on them for over 2 years now and I can't tell you how much I miss them. Dan and I will get there late Wed. night and then my youngest son, his girlfriend, my oldest son and his wife will all arrive together late Thursday evening. I have not seen any of them in months, either, so it'll be a grand reunion as well as a grand wedding. My mother, unfortunately, is old and ill and cannot make it but I've promised lots of pictures and a full retelling of the events. My ex-husband has not been invited, but they've asked Dan to stand in as family and we are both extremely touched by the thought and the gesture. It's not always easy to blend families, especially when part of the "family" is not legally hitched. Some people are funny about things like that--fortunately my children do not seem to be judgmental. Maybe that's a fringe benefit I didn't plan on when I tried raising them to be openminded and accepting of people and their differences. It worked, and I benefited. YAY accidental parenting bonuses!!!

So that's my story....and I'm sticking to it.

You all have a great week and I'll post pictures when I return.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Poetry Thursday - 2 for 1

Wow!! I can't believe it's already time for


But it is....and so, here goes - with a twist. Two written by a male, and one written by a female. There has been so much talk lately about bias and gender and male vs female poetry that I'd like to experiment just a bit if I could. You tell me - which is which? How easy is it to tell the difference? (And, if you have the time - what tipped you towards your pick?)


Justine’s Sunset (#1)

Black and blue and blood-streaked sky,
pleasant-warm and moist
Desert hot at noon, and dry.
Is this your sunset choice?

Youth in Spring, when gentle gray
meant a calm, endearing rain
Gunmetal, thunderclaps in play —
No stigmatic foretold stain

Innocence is how you might
phrase that free and fertile time.
Yet your breeze is no less bright
for your red and welted clime

Heat, extremes, have driven you
to this madness, yet you love
Blood streaked sky, and black and blue
As below, so above.


Justine (#2)

And are you waiting for Justine to break and cry,
her voice - the uneven colors of a faded bruise -
Her wishful dreams reflected in your jaded eye?

If left to her own devices, Justine will choose
to lie alone and bleed a deeper shade of red -
her voice - the uneven colors of a faded bruise.

She sings so soft that every other word's unsaid,
yet still she sings, and still she wants, and still she waits
to lie entwined and bleed a deeper shade of red.

She's lost between the chasm and the chain. Her fate's
the cruelest master - one who taunts her with her fears.
Yet still she sings, and still she wants, and still she waits -

and while she waits she wrings her hand and hides her tears,
obsessively, possessively - afraid to need
the cruelest master - one who tempts her with her fears.

And now she's kneeling just for you - for you, she'll bleed.
Are you still waiting for Justine to break and cry -
possessively, obsessively - afraid to need
her wishful dreams reflected in your jaded eye?


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blogger Gone Missing

Oh where or where has Jeffery Bahr gone
Oh where or where can he be?
His sites disappeared and his address is wrong
Oh where or where can he be?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14, 2006

Oh, Hal, I don't think so.
Unless, of course, we do away with
Father's Day, too.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Now Spying on Americans

"After the New York Times disclosed the eavesdropping in December,
the White House dubbed it a "terrorist surveillance program" and said
it involved only international communications by people with "known links"
to al-Qaeda and its allies. The Washington Post reported in February
that about 5,000 Americans had been subject to eavesdropping under
the program and that nearly all of them had been cleared of suspicion."
May 12, 2006
Washington Post

Maybe back in February, the question we should have asked was
"Just how are you FINDING the international
communications without listening to the national communications first?"

If we had asked that question, we'd have had our answer this week....opps,
turns out they ARE listening. Well, they say they aren't, they're just
amassing our records for "data"....according to USA Today,
the telephone companies are removing the names and addresses of
their customers from the records they give the NSA. Just like Justice,
Data is supposedly blind.

How goddamn dumb do they think we are, anyhow? (I sound like Seth now,
don't I? Please tell me I sound like Seth.
I so much admire his rightous anger and his ability to speak it well)
Just because AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and
BellSouth Corp. say they are removing our names and
addresses from the TWO TRILLION call records they have forwarded
to NSA we are supposed to believe that they are? Are we
supposed to believe that NSA doesn't know who we are? That NSA really
doesn't have that information? That NSA can't get that information?
My ass NSA doesn't have or can't access that information. It took me
all of 5 minutes to find
, this and this for absolutely free
on The Internet. Like the government can't afford to do the same thing.

"Afford" brings me to another interesting point. Did you know that NSA
has no obligation to report it's budget to the people like us who
finance that same budget? That information, along with information
regarding it's size and workforce numbers is deemed confidential
under federal law.

Sweet, huh? Not only do we have no idea what the hell they're
doing to us, we also have no idea what it's costing us to let
them do it to us, even though we're the ones who are paying for it.
(and in more way than one, apparently.)

It's a good thing we're a rich country. It's a good thing we're a
rightous country. It's a good thing our government is concerned
enough about its citizens and our children that they are willing
and able to spend what probably amounts to billions on collecting
our domestic phone records in an attempt to locate International
Terrorists. It's a damn good that our tax dollars are being put to
such good use. Good, good, good, it's all just so damn GOOD, isn't it?

Oh wait -
United States ranks 2nd Highest in the Top 10 Industrial Nations in
Infant Mortality
is not such a good thing. According to the CDC's
statistics (
on infant mortality, in 2005 there were just over 26,000 infant deaths.
That's TWENTY SIX THOUSAND babies -and that's about how many babies
die in the good old safe United States of America each and
every year.

I'm not a mathematician but I think it's safe to say your odds are
better of surviving a terrorist attack than they are of being safely
born....even though we've only been seriously fighting terrorists
since 2001, and we've been birthing babies forever.

It's all in the way your tax dollars work.

Just don't call me on the phone to talk about it, ok?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today's "Poetry Thursday" Contribution

Damn....forgive me for saying this - but it's hard to just "pick a poem" and post it.

Anyhow - this is the one I've settled on. It's one of my favorites, although I can't tell you why. I think because it's rhymed, but not rhymed, metered but not metered, formal, but not formal. It's "not-quite-free-verse"!!! - It's free verse tightly reined and closely constrained - which is, when you think of it, perfect.

The Artist

You're painting me in chains - my aching arms
held high above my head, my hands restrained,
my legs spread open wide enough that worms
can crawl between the crevices and gain
control. Your dragonflies sew shut my eyes
while seven snakes sleep nestled in my hair.
Wild bees wax close my lips, my ears. My thighs
and hips are stilled by spider-webs. You prove
you're worthy to be hung in a museum while I -
I wear indignity as easily
as if it were a dress I could remove.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Poetry Thursday

Two bloggers, Liz and Lynn, have started a new blog, aptly titled,

The premise is simple enough, write them and they will link to you and you will, in turn, post a poem on Thursday. Doesn't even have to be your own, far as I can tell, although they request you honor copyright laws when using other people's poetry.

They are listing some guidelines for each week, but they are my kind of "guidelines" - the kind you aren't really required to pay any attention to.

Sounds like a worthwhile project to me - why not join them this week? Or, if you're not ready to join, read 'em this week and join 'em the next.

I'm gonna give it a try.....although, much to my dismay, I have to give it a try from someone else's computer - mine just up and died on me.....taking a whole bunch of un-backed-up poems with it when it went.

Ugh. I'm so damned depressed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

How Much Hair

Is in YOUR Sink This Morning?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Drinking & Driving & Rehab, Oh My!!

I'm sorry....but
just irritates the hell out of me. I know that drug addiction and alcoholism are classified as diseases, and as such, they demand my respect
and my empathy. However, the fact that I spent a good portion of my adulthood trying to clean up after an alcoholic pretty much emptied my pity-purse for

It's such an easy something wrong, sign yourself into a
hospital. You just might get better and even if you don't, well, you've
at least assured yourself several weeks of peace, quiet and relative safety.
Not so your family, of course, they're the ones left holding the bag,
so to speak. But you, you'll be protected from anything unpleasant
like reporters, police officers, angry constituents, demanding bill
collectors, displeased bosses, disappointed family members, etc etc etc.

I speak from experience, obviously. When I was barely a kid myself,
in my very young mid-20's, my then-husband got into trouble at work and
signed himself into a rehab center. I was left at home with a young son,
a baby son and another baby on the way. Oh, and did I mention that I
was also penniless and jobless at the time? I had no way to pay the
bills, we had no heat in our apartment and I was getting daily calls
from his ex-wife, his bill collectors, his boss and his family
demanding that something be done. (As well as the occasional call
from the concerned bar-maid down at his local bar & tap....and
believe me, she was really concerned.....for reasons I was too naive
to figure out at the time) Anyhow, his visitors were restricted to me,
myself and I....and only for an hour on Tues and Thurs and every other
Saturday. The rest of the time, while I was scrambling alone to keep a roof
over our heads and food in our mouths, he was busy talking to
sympathetic doctors, nurses and social workers, attending group therapy
meetings, putting together jigsaw puzzles and just generally doing whatever recovering alcoholics do. All I know is, my kids were hungry and the
food there looked a damn sight better than what I was
putting on my own table at home. His counselors warned me repeatedly not
to "upset him" during this vital and important time. In other words,
I could visit, but I couldn't complain. Hell, complain,
I couldn't even confide. When my damn apartment building
caught on fire due to the faulty furnace leaving us with no place to
live, I was not even ALLOWED to tell him. Instead, I was left with
two kids and a pregnancy out there in the cold, all by myself because
to bother him with such a disaster just might interfere with HIS recovery.

Well, goddamn!!!! Maybe that's what "I" should have done, huh???
Gotten rip-roaring drunk and then signed myself into a hospital and
let someone take care of ME for a change.

Ok....I'm done. :) But ya know what, it felt good to just SAY it...
just this once. I've been "through" rehab a total of 5 times with two ex-
husbands (hmmm, do ya think something about me encourages addiction?)
and nothing about it left a lasting impression other than it appears to
be a lot more coddling than any one person deserves....regardless of his
or her disease. I don't think there's another disease in the world that gets
catered to so kindly.

But I digress.....Patrick Kennedy has taken the position that he's ill
and he needs help and he's seeking it before anyone can
question him any further or before he has to prove he had honestly come
by his 'scripts for Ambien and Phenagren.

The only question I'd like to ask him is this - since he states he
has "no recollection of the events surrounding the crash into a
barricade on Capitol Hill early Thursday."
then just how can he
be so damn sure that he wasn't drinking?

Drinking and Driving in DC, Oh My!!

So much depends on who you are and not on what you did.

0.8 - that's the legal limit in Washington, DC. Lower than most states, but there it is. Used to be a big fat ZERO, less than 8 months ago, but they changed that last fall in The Anti-Drunk Driving Clarification Amendment Act of 2005

However, if there's evidence of impairment present at the scene, they can bust you with a 0.5.

Let's see - "Evidence of Impairment."

Would that include such things as:

"Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy crashed his car into a security barrier near the Capitol early yesterday, and officers at the scene suspected that he might have been intoxicated, a police union official said."

"Earlier yesterday, Cannon said officers at the scene thought Kennedy was staggering and might have been intoxicated. They called for supervisors over the radio, and the supervisors drove Kennedy home, he said.

Cannon said officers were upset that supervisors prevented them from conducting a more thorough investigation, which might have included sobriety tests. "The officers just want to be able to do their jobs," he said."

"Police sources said officers noticed Kennedy's Mustang shortly before the crash because he nearly drove head-on into a Capitol Police car. The Mustang's lights were off, the sources said. The officer turned his patrol car around to pursue Kennedy, whose car then crashed into the barrier, the sources said."

"When police approached, the sources said, Kennedy got out of his car and said he was late for a vote. The House had not been in session for hours."

(all quotes are from the Washington Post)

I'm not a judge or jury, but that certainly seems like enough "Evidence" to me - of course, we'll never know, will we? No "common man" breath or blood testing was administered because the officers on the scene were overridden by their (far-wiser) superiours.

Thank God, tho, for those of us who are curious, all is not lost - We have an explanation!!! Two explanations, in fact!! Ambien and the newly reported (but as yet, unproven) Sleep-Driving Syndrome!!!! It's happened before - it's happened to others!! Congressman Kennedy is not alone!!!

Oh wait - if you read the article all of the other people actually DID get arrested....and many of them also admitted drinking "some" alcohol (including the lady who said she "didn't remember" drinking half a bottle of wine) as well...despite warning labels to the contrary.

Be that as it may, none of them apparently remembered what happened....not immediately, not when they woke up in jail, and not while giving a second statement to the press 19 hours later, either.

Gotta hand it to those congressmen - their selective memory process is so much more finely honed than that of their constituents....I suppose that's why we elect them over and over again....either that, or we're all victims of "Sleep Voting" and it's dreaded consequences.


Late Entry

How the rich react when the going gets rough or why am I not surprised.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Men's Lifespan Is Catching Up with Woman's

This is the entire article: The Bell Tolls for the Future Merry Widow

This is the quote that sums it up:

"There is a lot of poverty among older single women, so if men live longer, that's good economically, for women and men," Ms. Hartmann said. "Men are generally happier when they're married. The women may not be happier, but at least they've got more money."