Wednesday, September 30, 2009

There's still time . . .

. . . to celebrate Banned Books Week . I'll have to carve out a few hours this weekend to observe the occasion.

Looking at the American Library Association's list of 100 Banned & Challenged Classics, I see I've got some catching up to do. I'm kind of hesitant to admit that I've only read about 47 of the titles listed...even more hesitant to admit that I've read all the Faulkner titles listed (for a seminar course).

(And who the fark wanted to ban Winnie the Pooh for promoting juvenile delinquency? It's so obvious that the homoerotic-beastial attraction between Winnie and Christopher Robin is cause for yanking that from library shelves! )

So tell me, what's your favorite banned book?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Things look different now

Faithful readers will recall having a recent whiny rant imposed upon them, regarding my correspondence with a certain individual via By way of promoting meaningful discourse between opposing factions, said individual proclaimed his heartfelt belief that the world's religions could take on the burden of paying for adequate health care for all, if the religions would simply stop investing their assets in new stained glass, choir robes, etc., etc....
I contested that notion on multiple grounds (some belief systems do in fact endorse helping only those who subscribe to the same belief systems, etc, etc....) and challenged Mr. Conservative to outline how he would see the health care system be overhauled while awaiting the spiritual enlightenment of the masses and their ministers.
He needed time to think.
Then, this weekend, a response: A college buddy of Mr. Conservative's is terminally ill, and because of inadequate insurance coverage, he will leave his family in substantial debt. Now Mr. Conservative is scared. His friend, his friend's family do not deserve such inhumane treatment. What's even worse . . . Mr. Conservative knows that it could very well be him in the same situation. His faith in the for-profit health care system is on shaky ground. And it didn't sound like he has much faith that his church-going brethren would pick up the tab if he fell seriously ill, either.
It looks like meaningful discourse has run its course....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Random and Recently Read

"Modern means of communication span continents, bridge oceans, annihilate time and space. Servants of freedom of thought and action, they offer to all men the wisdom of the ages to free them from tyrannies and establish cooperation among the peoples of the earth." -- Inscription on the Communication Building at the 1939 World's Fair (photo)

"I cannot support any health care plan that would cover teabaggers." -- Michael Berubé

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday night fun

I'm doin' shots on the porch.

........What's your Friday night fun?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How my achievements mock me!*

(*Wm. Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida)

I appreciate the spirit of the "Kreativ Blogger Award" bestowed upon me by Banquet of Consequences blogger jadedj. But he should have known that the "kreativ" spelling on the award graphic would not sit well (do you not recall my rant about misused apostrophes, man?).

However, I know jaded's heart was in the right place (Nebraska), and do humbly accept the honor. (I must point out, however, that if you were really a socialist like you say, jj, you would give EVERYBODY an award.)

As a condition of acceptance, I am supposed to enumerate seven favorite things "that do not involve people." In checking everyone else's lists, however, I see that the interpretation of non-human complicity is pretty loose (it ain't giraffes playing those blues you like so well, jj . . . ) so I'll just play along:

1) What do you know? I like wine, too. The redder the better. And as far as I know, most of the wine I've enjoyed was human-made. I have occasionally imbibed without human companionship, however. But that doeshn't mak mee a luSh...*hic*

2) Books. Also written by humans. But I can't live without them. And don't even tout the wonders of Kindle to me. I crave the clutter of real books -- in fact, I think they are a fine substitute for other forms of interior decorating.

3) A hot bath -- preferably with 1) and 2).

4) Being naked from the ankle down. I prefer going barefoot whenever possible. Sorry guys, but there'll be none of that shoe porn stuff on this blog!

5) Polar bears. I know that they are vicious carnivores, eat baby seals, and all that . . . but they are fascinating and attractive creatures. It would be a damn shame if we let them become extinct. (I wouldn't get in a hot bath with one, though, even if it was the last polar bear on Earth.)

6) The great outdoors. My childhood home was in the middle of nowhere (almost), and the surrounding woodland was as much "home" as the house we lived in. It's criminal that so many kids today are being raised like domestic animals, cooped up indoors with their Wiis, Playstations, DVD-players, and suchlike. They should be out in the back yard beating each other with sticks. But I digress . . .

7) Cooking. Even though I've mentioned how much I liked baking with intellikid, I really enjoy cooking as a solitary pursuit. It's creative and therapeutic and usually delicious, too. So if I'm in the kitchen, you don't have to ask if there's anything you can do to help. Unless you want to do the dishes.

Now the pay it forward part: I am supposed to reward four other bloggers. I don't suppose I can say that jadedj stole my answers? There are blogs aplenty out there that are worthy, but here are a few of my own favorites:

Bethany Illustrated does justice to the words and photos that grace her blog. And she has the bestest job in the world!

Hughesy could almost be my Aussie doppelganger, I believe. Except that her writing has actually been published.

Pantsless Ponderings is everything you could possibly want in a blog. Even a few things you don't want.

And in the "what the hell, it's getting late and I don't have all night" category, I pass the award to Robert Reich . Doesn't he deserve a little fun, too?

I will say that I am sincerely humbled that there are so many of you who don't have anything better to do than stop by this page. Now go outside and beat each other with wine is getting warm and my bath is getting cold!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Skirting the issues

While some of you have seen your e-mail inboxes filled with generous offers from Nigerian businessmen, mine has been woefully empty. But I did get an interesting proposition this weekend.

I recently reactivated my account just to make sure that there were still no interesting (or interested) unattached males within a 100-mile radius of my domicile. Saturday I got my second e-mail (the sender of the first deleted or blocked his profile immediately after expressing interest in corresponding -- what's up with that? It's not like I got all polysyllabic in my reply. Much.) This writer - I haven't even looked up where his town is, although it is in an adjacent state - asked if I thought it was possible for an extreme conservative (him) to have a meaningful discourse with someone who is very liberal (me). Well, of course anything is possible.

Now, I am not interested in pursuing anything with this fellow. Not only are we ideologically polar opposites, but judging from his photo I would say he is understating his age by about 10 years (or else I look really, really good for my age), and he says his status is recently separated, which is my book means still married. But I am curious to know how long we might be able to exchange ideas before he comes out with something totally ludicrous.

Oh, wait - that already happened. In his next e-mail he put forth the proposition that if all religions really practiced what they preached, they could pay for everyone's healthcare and there'd be no need for any health insurance at all.

And I thought I tended to be hopelessly naive.

My ex-beau JimmyJames told me that this song always reminded him of me:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weed it and reap

If as we sow, so shall we reap, then I must remember to wear my glasses the next time I pick up a packet of seeds. I surely didn't think I was planting the mess of weeds cropping up this week.

One lesson that I have finally, finally learned is to not obsess about those things over which I have no control. Still, that is easier writ than done, especially when pertaining to things close to home. This week, the health issues of my dog and my mother have demanded my attention.

My sister has been the one driving Mom to her medical appointments -- most recently to a naturopath -- while I've been charged with ensuring that there are convenient and appropriate food choices available to help her stick with the anti-inflammatory food plan prescribed (I share a house with my mother, which is a whole 'nother circumstance best left to another post, or better still, a session with a trained mental health professional). Well, I did the unthinkable and bought shrimp home to prepare for dinner one evening. "I'm not allowed to have shellfish," said Mom before going out on the porch to smoke a cigarette. Uh . . . .

So, I am determined not to feel responsible for what my mother eats or doesn't eat. Other than the shrimp thing, I do what I am "supposed" to do, cleaning bunches of celery, chopping salads, cooking meals so Mom won't resort to her former diet of cheese, nuts, and English muffins slathered with butter and peanut butter (ick, ick, ick). Maybe if I found a recipe for "tobacco-infused shrimp primavera," she'd eat that . . . .

The dog, a geriatric dachshund, has had disc problems in the past, but we managed it with prednisone and restricted activity, and she seemed to recover fully. Thursday at suppertime, however, she was feeling so good that she leaped up and something gave out when she landed. For a few scary minutes one hind leg wasn't working -- but today, after more meds and less activity, she seems pain-free and is only limping slightly. The s-word (surgery) is something I can't/won't contemplate, not for a superannuated canine. But I dread that the day will soon come when I have to make a tough decision regarding this creature's comfort, and am letting that stress me out more than it should.

But there is a bright side: At least when the dog goes out on the porch with my Mom, the dog doesn't light up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm sure this comes as no surprise

You Are Made Of Devilry, Inspiration, and Class

3 parts Devilry

2 parts Inspiration

1 part Class

And a Splash of Rebellion

Sip slowly on the beach

Monday, September 7, 2009

Take the day off...if you can

Nothing like getting together with friends and family for some down-time on a holiday weekend. My sis & b-i-l had a party last night, where much fun was had, much wine was drunk, and much booty was shaken. Would've been nice if my niece had been able to attend, but being a college student, it was too hard for her to say "no" to time-and-a-half pay to work her retail job instead. (Needless to say, she isn't employed by The Evil Empire, whose sins against its employees are too numerous to list here. )

Those of us who still have jobs have reason to celebrate today, although having our benefits cut, our salaries frozen, and our retirement funds pilfered, there's not that much to feel jolly about.

Maybe a little more Lee Dorsey will help cheer us up:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Felines of Apprehension

On my way back from Boston last week, I fear I saw the Ghost of Intelliwench Future.

I stopped by the home of a former business contact, a woman who was suddenly widowed last summer. She and her husband had no children, so, alone now, she decided it made sense -- was even a moral obligation of sorts -- to fill her spacious Victorian house with as many homeless cats as she could.

I wisely declined her offer to spend the night. Much to her credit, though, one would never guess that she had 30 cats inside (her best estimate) -- I've been in single-cat households that were far more odiforous. But still . . . 3 hours a day spent changing litter pans. I didn't ask how many trips to the vet it takes to get them all their shots (again to her credit, she is not negligent in any aspect of caretaking). I gave a small donation to the local cat rescue society before heading home, and of course checked before leaving her driveway to make sure there were no stowaway Siamese in my car!

In spite of providing haven for a couple of canines during the past decade, I have always been more of a cat person -- but never was owned by more than two felines at one time. Still, I worry that I could become a crazy cat lady. (I'll think twice about installing a garbage disposal if we ever get around to remodeling the kitchen!) It does sort of run in the family -- my Great-Aunt Helen, a schizophrenic, told visitors that the smell in her house was from the cows up the hill, not her dozen or so cats (even though their home was in an entirely residential area) (oh, and she also thought that the BBQ grill was an eavesdropping device). My dad was the beneficiary of his irresponsible friends' cats' progeny -- although once his cat population reached a critical mass of 5 or 6, any extraneous cats were usually wise enough to run away in search of less crowded conditions (or at least a clean place to shit -- dad had no sense of smell and so cleaned his single litter box semi-annually, I think).

Now, I have no intention of carrying on this tradition. But I'm sure my friend didn't envision herself as landlady to a herd of cats, either. I will just have to trust that my own friends and family will intervene if there are signs of my ever becoming overly fond of felines.

At the very least, I hope they will ensure that I never have more cats than rooms, and that I maintain a strict two-cat per litter box ratio.

Funky Friday

Everything I do gohn be funky...from now on.