Monday, December 31, 2007

Another bad parenting story...

RedQueen sent me this story about the mother of a six year old girl who had her daughter write a false essay about the daughter's father dying in Iraq just so she could get tickets to see Hannah Montana in concert. According to the story from MyFox Dallas, the essay read:

"My daddy died this year in Iraq. I am going to give my mommy the Angel pendant that daddy put on mommy when she was having me. I had in in my jewelry box since that day. I love my mommy."

The DoD has confirmed that nobody by the alleged father's name ever died in Iraq. The girl's grandmother told the press that the girl's father lives in another town. And now the girl's mother, Priscilla Ceballos, admits the essay is untrue. In fact she stated that they never said it was supposed to be true. She says about her daughter:

"She's aware of what she wrote, and she knows that that wasn't true."

Sure the daughter knows it's not true because her daddy is alive and well but the daughter was writing what her mother told her to write. The six-year old doesn't understand the consequences of this action. She was just doing what mommy told her to do.

And in regards to the essay not meant to be true, I just don't get it. If we didn't know the truth behind this thing, who of us in reading the line from the essay posted above would think it was anything but true? Exactly! If the mother had included something that stated it was not true, they never would have won. The contest officials awarded her the grand prize because they felt sorry for her because her daddy died.

The mother knew what she was doing, she was using her daughter to tug at heartstrings to get the grand prize. Plain and simply put--she lied. And she used her daughter to facilitate the lie. The child surely couldn't realize the consequences of her actions but like a good little girl, she was doing what her mother told her to do. A child isn't going to write about a parent being dead if they know the parent isn't dead. No, the mother told her what to write, the mother was irresponsible and sets a terrible example for her daughter.

Isn't it bad enough when kids make up this stuff on their own? But now it seems the parents are lying and cheating for them. It's just disgraceful. Another example of a woman who never should have been allowed to have children.

I'd recommend to the folks in Garland, Texas that they keep their children away from Ms. Ceballos until she learns how to be a responsible parent.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My goals in the New Year...

I can't believe we'll be going back to work Wednesday. I can't believe we'll be stating school again on the 7th. I can't believe that this vacation has passed by so quickly. What did I do with all this time? Well I can't brood on what I did or didn't do (sorry dad that I didn't make it over there as much as I wanted to, to help you clean out the workshop!!), but it seems that every day here something had to be done. I had a lot of reading I wanted to do, some cleaning up and organizing, working inside and out of the house and before I realized it---the time is coming to an end.

I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish this year. I don't do resolutions because well--I find that when I make one, I rarely stick to it. All I am going to do is try to stay on track with my goals--long term and short term. As long as I continue to make progress towards achieving them, that's good enough for me. My short-term goals include doing the best I can in my classes this next year, learning to relax and take more time for me. My long-term goals include getting more involved in a few chosen charitable ventures, graduating from college, going to graduate school, and working towards a career I will enjoy. One goal that is both short and long term is continuing my progress towards a healthy and happy lifestyle--eating right, exercising, getting plenty of fresh air and relaxation, and maintaining a relationship with family and friends. That one long/short term goal is a quest which never ends, nor should it. We should all seek to be happy, and when we reach happiness, we should enjoy it.

Anyway, funny how I went from a miserable grinch on Christmas Day to this eh? Hey everyone who knows me knows me to be happy go lucky, but even I am entitled to be a bitch when I need to be, right?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finished another book...

It took me two days to finish "The Jungle" and I must say that it was quite a read. Of course it's no secret that author Upton Sinclair was a socialist but I didn't come away from the book declaring my new allegiance to the socialist movement.

What I did feel was educated, enlightened and even a little disgraced at the treatment of immigrants by immigrants in those days. The book was written in 1906 and was a catalyst for change within the meatpacking industry. We owe a debt of gratitude to the late Mr. Sinclair for that. Whether or not we believe in socialism, his muckracking piece forced the government to take on the corrupted industry and reform it. If not for the reform, millions would likely have become seriously ill and even died as a direct result of the disgusting practices of the slaughterhouses and meatpacking industry.

I often wonder why many of these classics are not must-reads for junior high and high school students and why so many college students never read them either. I learned about "The Jungle" from my grandmother who read it in high school--back in the 1930's. Ha! You won't find that today.

While I was reading the book, I was appalled and disgraced at the way the illiterate, uneducated, poverty-stricken immigrants were treated by the wealthy, rich, and corrupted of society. Immigrants were treated like dogs if they were poor and ethnic groups hated each other. It was terrible. Of course you throw a large number of poor, uneducated, desperate people from entirely different cultures together and what can you expect? They were doing this to each other.

Anyway, it was good reading. Sure, it was littered with socialist speeches and ideas but I got out of it what I wanted to get out of it, and that's a better understanding of conditions in the early 20th century, which is when a majority of my immigrant ancestors came over from Italy, Sicily, and Romania to find a new and better life. Their hard work and sacrifices made it possible for all of us to enjoy the life we live today.

So I guess you could say I enjoyed it :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

The more things change...

the more they stay the same. Funny but true.

Last night DH and I were listening to one of my over 5,000 old time radio shows, the latest being the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre series. The show was hosted by E.G. Marshall and premiered January 6, 1974, which was in fact the show we listened to last night. One of the great things about these radio shows is that I get to hear old news broadcasts and commercials. Last night's show from the 6th of January contained some great commercials for the VA Hospital (working for vets!) the Better Business Bureau (working for Americans) and Budweiser Beer.

Now when's the last time you heard a beer commercial on radio? Heck that'd be about the time I remember liquor commercials on television!

As we listened to the news broadcast, I shook my head and turned to DH and said "gee, nothing changes does it?"

So...what was in the news on January 6, 1974?

-Nixon refusing to turn over subpoenaed materials to Watergate committee
-OPEC oil embargo
-Nixon signs 55 mph speed into law to save on oil
-Energy crisis prompts daylight savings time to commence four months early
-Gas stations have long lines and fun out of fuel
-Promotion of solar power and windmills
-Massive flooding as a result of rainstorms in California's Topanga Valley
-Unrest in the middle east
-Earthquake in Lima Peru kills
-Tex Ritter is buried

Let's see--government corruption, energy crisis, natural disasters, turmoil in the middle east, and dead celebrities.

Things really don't change all that much do they?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I don't pay any mind to movie critics...

Why?

Because some critics panned National Treasure Book of Secrets and I Am Legend and we really enjoyed both of them. I'm no critic but I highly recommend both. The only movie critic I ever liked was Joel Siegel. I wonder what he would have said about these films? I bet you he would have liked both.

We did see the preview for the new Rambo movie---same old thing, it's cool to see a nearly 60 year old guy out there kicking some serious ass though. Also saw a preview for a movie with Martin Lawrence where he takes his girlfriend back home to meet his family. OMG that movie looks HILARIOUS!! James Earl Jones plays his father, now have you ever seen a movie with James Earl Jones that wasn't good?

DH and I were laughing so hard during the preview, we forgot it wasn't the movie we were there to see!

Anyway, we don't do movies very often but decided since we're on vacation, "what the heck" and since the matinees were only $5 how could we resist? Of course, while we paid a total of $10 each for both movies, we paid $28 for one small coke, one bottled water, two large cokes, two packs of M&M's and one popcorn. And oh yeah, we have to POUR our own soda and POUR the butter on the popcorn ourselves.

WTF are we paying them all that money for? For that kind of dough, I want someone to do the work for me!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Senseless killing of Tatiana, the Siberian tiger...

I can't wrap my mind around this story about the killing of Tatiana the Siberian Tiger at the San Francisco zoo.














Tatiana killed a teenage boy and attacked two other individuals, and police chased it and yelled "stop!" before it turned to attack them.

By the way, WHo yells STOP! to a Siberian tiger?

Why couldn't they shoot the tiger with a tranquilizer gun? Was it necessary to kill her?

Police are investigating the idea that visitors might have been taunting the tiger and possibly helped it get out by putting a board in the moat.

Animals don't have the ability to rationalize as people do. The idea of killing an animal which kills a person doesn't make sense to me. I've read that it's a myth that once a wild animal gets a taste for human flesh, it never goes back. Animals attack for a reason---for food, to protect themselves, their young, their territory. When an animal feels threatened it will attack. Humans do the same thing but the difference is we can rationalize danger, they can't.

Worse case, they could tranquilize these animals and release them in the wild in the habitat of their native country. It seems so senseless to murder them for protecting themselves.

It's no secreat---I'm not a zoo person, in fact I loathe zoos. I know that many zoos do a wonderful job of protecting and caring for the animals, and trying to create as natural a habitat for them. I know that many zoos protect countless wild animals from extinction and work hard to educate the public in order to create more awareness.

Given that, I just don't believe in caging a wild animal, I just don't think it's right. And I don't believe in killing a wild animal (that isn't sick) because it's attacked a human being. I mean we humans have taken these animals out of their natural habitats and forced them to live in cages. We have forced them to adapt to a habitat that is not their own, not naturally, anyway.

Really now, what do we expect?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bah Humbug...

This would be the first in 38 years I haven't the Christmas spirit. I know what ST would say.....

Oh well, enjoy yours...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Finally finished one book!

I finally finished Charles Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities" and I must say it's one of the best books I've ever read. What an incredible ending! I just kept thinking about that story for hours after finishing it...

Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" is supposed to be next but I may put that one off for now. I'm just not in the mood for it yet. Between reading and relaxing I'm working on some math to get ready for next term so I can really only get one more in right now before school begins. I've a feeling I may wind up with more Sherlock Holmes...just can't get enough of Holmes LOL. My goal is to try and get a book done per month. I enjoy reading, I really do, and I so enjoy the classics.

I'm going to make up my reading list right now!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A tale of two roofers...

Several months ago DH and I noticed the ceiling in the guest bathroom was discolored along the edge in the shower. The wall of the shower was warped too, because water had gotten in there. Of course we put a ladder on the porch and looked at the edge of the roof above the bathroom and felt the soft spot and saw a small hole. We immediately contacted LL who promptly came up one day and fixed it. Problem was it was still leaking. Finally, knowing that we can't have mold growing and that the problem would only get much worse, we contacted LL again and told him we needed to get professional help.

I contacted two local roofing companies. First I called Company #1, who is a very well known and reputable roofing company with trucks all over the place (in fact I once knew the brother of the guy who owns it). I gave the answering service a very detailed message and included our home phone number and even my work number complete with my office extension.

Then I contacted roofer #2, another family business which has been around for nearly 47 years, I'd picked them out of the yellow pages. I like a family run business and I like it when they've been around awhile, that says something about their reputation. I also liked the fact that roof leaks were their specialty. The owner picked up his phone (on a Sunday mind you!) and told me he would be glad to give me a call Monday evening after he and we were home from work. Not only did #2 call us when he said he would, but he came out that same evening to survey the damage. He checked that area and then the entire roof for other possible problems. Finding nothing more than what was above the bathroom, he wrote us an estimate, it was $590 and stated any structural work would coast more. That was good for us, LL had already told us to go forth, and even if we hadn't heard from him yet we would have still gone forth and done it. We told #2 it was a go. He said he'd order the materials.

That was a week ago.

This morning he was here at 7 am, knocking on the door, waking me up LOL (DH was already gone) and by 10:30 a.m. he had departed smiling--with check in hand, roof repaired and mess cleaned up. It cost us--$590.00 He had not only done what he had written on the estimate, but he had also replaced a few pieces of lumber up there just to reinforce the structure, without charging extra.

Now that is the way you do business.

I can't tell you whether #1 actually received my message but I'm tempted to call them and ask them if they did. If they didn't, I'll tell them they should fire their answering service. If they did, I'll tell them that they suck--in a nice way of course. Even if they had just been too busy to fit our roof into their schedule, they should have at the very least returned my call, conveyed their situation and referred us to a competitor. That's just good business practice.

But whatever happened, they never contacted us and it's their loss, but a big gain #2 who is polite, prompt, and professional. Ok so the job was a small one in comparison to others he's done and it was only $590, but he's gained customers, not just with us, but every person we refer to him in the future.

DH and I believe in supporting local businesses, in fact #2 and I were discussing that the importance of it before he departed this morning. It's so hard to find dependable, honest people you can count on to do work for you whether it be a plumber, roofer or any other type of contractor or even a mechanic, doctor, or lawyer. It's so hard to trust people anymore, it's so difficult to get a callback, an appointment, or get anyone to just do their job right the first time and stand behind it should there ever be a problem. We're not the only ones who feel this way. We try to trust our judgment and when we feel good about someone, when they initially show us they can be trusted, and that they're reliable, we go with that. But like you, like many others, we've been burned before. And it makes you hate calling anyone for help. But the fact remains that most of us can't do it all and that's why we rely on trained professionals to do it for us.

Anyway, that's my tale of two roofers---that one who got our business and the one who didn't.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It sucks to be sick...

Since I can't sleep because the Nyquil hasn't kicked in I thought I'd rant a little here. Ranting can be so much fun especially when you feel like shit.

Being sick really sucks anytime it happens, but it sucks worse when it's before a holiday in which you have nearly two weeks off and it sucks worse when you have a lot to do at work to get ready for a break. Fortunately for me, my work preparing for the break is pretty much done save admitting a few students who have turned their credentials in late, but worse case scenario I can do that on January 3rd when I return.

Rewind to this past Monday, it was the coldest day we've had so far this year and in this part of Florida, that's cold. I'd say it was about 36 when DH and I got to work but the forecaster said the wind chill made it feel like it was in the 20's and it indeed felt like it. I love the cold but the only thing about it I don't like is when I have to sit in a cold draft all day long because the windows in my office are so poorly insulated. I have three very large windows that take up the entire north wall of my office. They are six feet high and about ten feet long altogether. The windows open to a beautiful green courtyard, with trees and students milling about, it's very nice. All of us on the north side enjoy our view of the courtyard. And when the sun comes in it warms the office and when there are thunderstorms it's nice and cozy with the dark gray couds and the pouring rain. Having windows adds morale, I highly advocate it for productivity purposes.

Well when I walked in Monday morning, it was so cold in our wing (as it usually is), everyone had their space heaters on high, yes the space heaters we're not supposed to have but we'd all be frozen in our offices without them. Well Sherry was nice enough to bring me her space heater because her office was rather warm. It was one of those small square fan heaters, and I put it on my desk and put it directly on me. It took more than half a day for my office to resemble anything near warm. I had a cold cold draft on my face from my windows all day long. I tried closing my blinds halfway but they are those cheap hanging blinds, you know the ones with vertical slats that just swa back and forth when you open and close them. Well mine began losing slats years ago, with budget cuts there's no sense asking for new ones. I didn't want to close the blinds completely because I'd lose the beautiful natural light flowing into the office. And well, with budget cuts and the administration's push to conserve energy, it is a shame not to take advantage of all the natural light we can. Years ago I had most of the bulbs in my lights turned off save two which are all I need. Between those two fluorescent bulbs and the natural light, it's not too bright, yet not too dark and I believe I'm doing my part to conserve.

Well that cold draft that comes through the windows and underneath them in this strip of metal that holds cables and such in the wall, really worked me. That draft was on me all day long and no matter how well Sherry's heater warmed me, I still had that draft. If I was on my computer it was in my face (I have my computer setup so that I face the windows when I'm working on it, for obvious reasons. It's either face the windows or the office door, which would you choose? LOL) and if I was working on the other side of my desk, the draft was on my back and neck. Anyway I turned it was hopeless, I was cold and sniffling. I blew my nose all day, I tried not to sniffle but it was no use. By the time I got home, I was blowing my nose and sneezing. The next morning I had cold. My throat turned sore, I began coughing intermittently, and in general I felt like shit.

Now some will argue whether or not I picked up the cold from a person or from that draft. I believe it could have been either one. All I know is that every time it's really cold, that draft comes in and settles on me the entire day. And I'm not the only one it happens to. Now aside from the sick factor, what other things do you suppose come out of that?

Well, considering the administration is pushing the energy conservation thing, you'd think they'd do a campus-wide survey of staff and faculty asking for our recommendations and feedback. They did one a while back but it was more about recycling. I addressed that as straightforward as I could but nobody's addressed the issue of badly insulated buildings. Perhaps it would cost millions to renovate the buildings, probably so, but at least they need to begin a dialogue with those of us who can best give them feedback.

The first thing I would recommend is tinting the windows facing the sun to cut down on the heat coming into the buildings in the summer, whch would in turn cut the amount of energy needed to keep the offices and classrooms cool. What could it possibly cost to tint? The physical plant guys could do it. They already get paid for labor right? Just buy the materials. The second thing I would recommend is doing some insulating to keep out the cold winter air by filling cracks in walls and using weather stripping around windows.

Look I know that it costs to do all this and there are many buildings on campus which likely need work. Even if they can't get to it now, how about a dialogue with those who live in those buildings for so much of the workday. At least ASKING us what can be done is better than not asking us at all.

In the meantime, I am trying to get over this crud. I don't want it moving to my chest because I've had bronchitis before and it wiped me out for two straight weeks. That happened in 1994 when I worked in another building on campus, and I think then there was something in the air vents, I had never gotten sick like that until I worked in that building. Since that bout of bronchitis I've never bene the same. For nearly fourteen years I've complained about the mold and mildew in the ducts and vents but nobody listens. And so I gave up.

I had a teacher once who became sick from it in her building at another college in town and she became permanently disabled because of it. When she complained too much they moved her office out into the hall and eventually forced her out. Now the local news reports recently a serious issue in that building.

Hmm....

Anyway, DH and I agreed that a good diet and moderate exercise will help keep us healthy and we've already begun eating more fruits and veggies. In the meantime, there's nothing we can do about the building issues. Until someone of importance complains about it, it's a non-issue.

Off to bed now, the Nyquil is kicking in...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A difficult battle...

I'm just bitching here because I got sick yesterday when I came home from work and I'm just feeling well----bitchy.

I was doing great on the weight watchers (online) but several months ago something happened and I started slacking. RQ and I would weigh ourselves at work on a simple bathroom scale then I bought a weight watchers scale and it had me 20 pounds more so I had to go with that since they are very reliable. That was tough! I'm still weighing every Tuesday morning at home (lost three pounds since last week, but I'd gained a few pounds back in previous months) and DH wants to lose too and we're trying to eat right but I haven't been exercising. I was doing so good and really feeling great--which came straight from that feeling of accomplishment! Now I get depressed again about it for not reaching my goal yet and for not sticking to the change in lifestyle plan.

I've got to get back into it. I told DH no trigger foods like chocolate, pasta or desserts. Of course we don't eat that stuff normally but I don't want it in the house period, not right now. Stress makes me eat, not a lot, but something like chocolate or pasta that I wouldn't normally eat except once a month or so. Also several nights in the past few months we got home from work late because of errands and we'd stop at fast food. I hate fast food, so why do we do it?

I told DH we have to plan our trips better and be sure NOT to stop at those places. It's one of the reasons I hate running errands after work, I just want to get home and get into the evening routine.

I've got to get back into this. I can't let school or anything else get in the way. Look folks, I'm 38 years old, I'm not doing this to look like I did when I was much younger, I'm doing it for my health, to be the healthiest I can be, live a healthy lifestyle and not have the health problems many people get when they get older because they made the wrong choices when they were younger. I don't want to look back and have regrets because I could have changed something and didn't.

I can do this!!!

Now I'm tired--maybe I can sleep this off, off to bed I go!

Monday, December 17, 2007

More proof that zero tolerance in schools is asinine...

According to this outrageous story, a fifth grade girl was arrested by police after school officials caught her using a steaknife to cut the piece of steak her parents packed for her lunch. The ten year old girl was arrested and suspended ten days and may possibly be charged with a felony weapons charge.

All this for cutting her steak with a steaknife. They treat real criminals better than this! In fact we have rapists and murderers running around on the streets raping and murdering innocent people every day. And the best we can do is arrest children for doing nothing wrong?

It's another case of zero tolerance gone way too far. Thanks to zero tolerance, school officials no longer have to do the jobs they're paid to do. They no longer are required to think or use good judgment. Zero tolerance paved the way to treating every child the same for every offense. And these folks are the ones who are teaching your children how to think and make solid judgment. The way it works now is they simply lump everyone together in the same category. All students are exactly alike, all offenses are punishable in the same manner, no exceptions, everything is the same for everybody.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? It's the group over the individual. Instead of weighing a situation on its individual merit and instead of making a decision based on a wide variety of factors, all situations are handled the same, regardless of the who, what, when, where, why or how. The problem is life just doesn't work that way. So ask yourself what message this sends to children?

The wrong message.

Children are getting the message that all people are alike, all circumstances are the same, there is black and white and no gray. The thing is that life is quite a bit of gray. Eventually once we much through the gray, we get to the black and white, which in my opinion is our own moral stance on things. The gray is not a bad thing--it's the area in which a person ponders "ok, what do I do now?"

What they've learned in life, what the adults in their life have taught them, will help them go down either one road or the other, hopefully the right road, but not always so. But still, pondering, questioning and seeking knowledge are good things.

Those of us in the majority who actually care want today's children to grow up understanding right from wrong. We want them to understand the concept of "let the punishment fit the crime". We want them to be able to use good judgment and use the brains God gave them to be able to weigh decisions carefully (in all areas of their lives) and make the best choices they can make in life. Sometimes they'll be wrong, sometimes they'll be right. But to get there we want them to think logically, rationally and carefully. The way it stands, we could wind up with a generation of children who will lack the ability to make rational choices and solid judgments. They won't know how to ponder, ask questions, and seek to understand. And sadly, they will not have the simple capability to understand the inherent differences between people and situations.

The school officials at Sunrise Elementary in Ocala, Florida are more than jackasses, they are assholes. And the teachers who seized the awful weapon and called deputies should NOT be teaching children! It sucks that Sunrise Elementary has created an environment where good children are punished for what one bad child might do. It stinks that they stood by and allowed a ten year old girl to be arrested when no crime was committed. Not only was no crime actually committed, no crime was even planned or in the works. There was no malicious intent on the part of this child and yet you had her arrested.

Can you imagine how frightened that little girl must have been? How she must be now? To a child, being arrested, being taken from your family, and wondering WHY because you have done nothing wrong has to be a terrible nightmare. To arrest a child and treat her like a common criminal when there has been NO crime, NO harm, NO intent to harm, and NO malice on her part whatsoever---is so despicable.

I can't believe that we have people working in the school system, teaching, guiding and counseling children, who are so damned stupid as to think that zero tolerance is the answer. Any adult who thinks a ten year old child should be arrested for doing nothing wrong is an IDIOT!!! And that person should NOT be in the school system where they can do irreparable harm to children!

These morons need to overturn zero tolerance and go back to using their heads and their good judgment, or what's left of it.

Let the punishment fit the crime. In this case, no crime, no punishment.

And this definitely needs to serve as a wakeup call not just to parents of kids in public schools but to all of us to fight back with everything we've got and then some.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today I was lazy...

But I did have enough energy to go over and visit with ma and pa and grams on the homestead. Since they tore down that old porch the place looks a whole lot better. They've purchased some $15,000 worth of materials and are about to start remodeling a 27 year old doublewide manufactured home. When they're done, it'll be awesome. At one time when pa would ask "where do we start?" but now he's got a plan. Wait till you see the place when it's finished, you won't recognize it.

Saw my aunt and uncle today. It was just my luck they were there when I pulled up. I drove straight to grams house hoping I'd miss them but when I walked over to ma and pa's they were still there. I talked to pa and ignored my uncle. I really didn't know what to say to him.

Back in July I told you the story about the email my uncle sent me asking me not to use the word "friggin" in my emails because it was a curse word. I replied that it wasn't a curse word and he actually took the time to go to several online dictionaries and copy and paste the definition of the word "friggin". I replied to he and my aunt that I was tired of him acting like he knew everything. He hasn't spoken to me since. I don't dislike him, it's just that I'm tired of him always being right and the rest of us being wrong (kinda like DH is at times). I don't feel like I can be myself around him because if I have a differing opinion I'm likely to be hammered with his opinion which of course is always right. My aunt thinks my going over there might have something to do with DH not liking them but actually he's got nothing against them, it's just that until uncle gets off his moral high horse, I just can't go over there.

I wish family could be simple but it isn't. If it were simple, the world would be a boring place, at least my world. For some reason, while I loathe conflict, sometimes I thrive on it. My goodness that's so awful isn't it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm too nice..

I like being a nice person. I think being a nice gal is the real me. I rather enjoy joking and laughing and smiling. All my life I've been a pretty happy go lucky person. Oh I've had my moments but the real me is not a bitch. Oh of course every now and then I have to be a bitch, which is ok, cause it's so rare. But it's not the real me.

Now let me just say I don't start arguments at home. (But I always seem to wind up in one, usually defending myself!) Oh sure I've swept the kitchen floors five to six times in one day because DH would track dirt into the house and prior to the sixth time I said "did you wipe your feet?" and he says yes and I wind up sweeping one last time. But even then I don't yell. I get pissed off and sigh a little but I don't raise my voice. I have been known to slam a few doors and such but nothing major.

But I am so sick of arguing. And today I found myself actually screaming at the top of my lungs "SHUT THE F*CK UP!"

Rewind to this afternoon. DH and I were on the way home from work. We were traveling down the always-bumper-to-bumper Newberry Road when DH suggested we take a shortcut down 51st street. I said "ok" and proceeded to do that till I realized I turned down the wrong street. Well he hits the roof, I mean he was livid, and all the time I'm saying "it's no big deal, I'll turn around" and seriously, it took me a few seconds to turn around and get back where I needed to be. Moments later we were headed north on 51st street towards Buchholz High School.

No big deal.

Right?

Wrong. DH couldn't let it go that I made a wrong turn.

And I'm thinking "big f'in deal".

And so all the way down 51st street I had to listen to him bitching and hollering. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and screamed at him to shut up. And of course he wouldn't. Then finally neither of us was talking and we're on the way home. He put his hand on my leg like he was sorry and I said "why don't you just apologize?" and he said "for what?" and that's when I just looked at him and said "you don't even know?" and he said "no" and I said "for yelling at me" and he said "I didn't do anything wrong".

Then he said "Sorry"

and I looked at him and said "do you know what you're apologizing for?" and he says "no" and I said "forget it, there's no sense apologizing for something if you have no idea what it's for".

So he thinks he did nothing wrong screaming at me.

WTF?

You know I'm not perfect, never claimed to be and I know I have my faults! But still---for crying out loud, HELLO?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's NOT the University's job to educate me on the effects of alcohol...

According to the UF Dean of Students website:

Alcohol misuse represents a serious health issue for colleges and universities around the country. Surveys indicate the majority of college students drink regardless of their age and that approximately two out of every five college students engage in high risk drinking. High-risk drinking is associated with unintentional injury (e.g., motor vehicle crashes, falls, and drownings), sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, sexual assault, violence, and poor academic performance. In 2005 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimated over 1,700 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 696,000 assaults annually associated with excessive drinking. Further, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, high-risk drinking epitomizes the greatest single problem that America's universities must address.


Good GRIEF!

UF now requires new students to participate in an alcohol education and awareness program prior to registration. A hold will be placed on a student's record and they cannot register, if they have not done this online program. A person has to score 80% or higher to pass.

Of course it doesn't state what happens if someone fails it!

I feel like I'm living in a nanny society. I'm 38 years old and I don't need an education on alcohol awareness and if I did, it's not the University's job to do it. This has got to be another one of those CYA (cover your ass) programs where UF won't feel so guilty if some idiot student goes out and gets himself or someone else killed due to an alcohol related incident.

I'm sure UF administration doesn't want anyone to die from something as preventable as an alcohol related incident. But do you really think that this online tutorial and quiz is really going to change anything? No. The only students who will benefit from the alcohol awareness program are the students who already have enough sense not to abuse it in the first place. Which is why I think this is just another one of those "feel good" programs hastily put together by administration after a number of dumb students wound up dead because they lacked good judgment.

If you're going to enforce this on students how about faculty too? I mean isn't there some responsibility in faculty members who engage in ridiculous alcohol-related antics with their students? I mean faculty members who supply their students with alcohol, who encourage and frequently attend student outings at local bars, who participate in upside-down margaritas and keg stands, who drive drunk themselves from time to time? Surely their actions have as many if not more negative consequences on the University community and the students!

While we're at it, I could suggest a number of other so-called CYA awareness programs (forthcoming) the administration could put together, because after all, it is the University's job to make sure that Johnny goes through college unscathed physically or mentally. We've got to make sure he is adequately protected from the ills of society, at all costs!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Politicians who have nothing better to do...

Florida state Senator Gary Siplin is again introducing legislation which would ban low-hanging baggy pants in the public school system. The bill calls for suspension and/or expulsion if a student breaks the rule.

Why do we need politicians introducing legislation to ban low-hanging baggy pants from public schools? Isn't there such thing as a school dress code? And doesn't each school district have such a thing? Yes, and the teachers, parents, and students within individual districts should be the ones discussing these decisions, and it's up to school administrators to enforce them.

You might be asking what harm it would cause if the state legislature did pass such a bill.

The harm comes in yet one more piece of idiotic legislation on the books. Don't we already have enough ridiculous government intervention in our lives? Don't these yahoos have more pressing issues to tend to?

When will they get it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is it a gender thing? Or is it just me?

DH and I get up at 5 am during the week.

From 5-5:15 I get our lunches ready, from 5:15-5:30 I clean the kitty litter box, feed and water Peeps and Pebs, then I make the bed and straighten up. From 5:30-5:45 I prepare breakfast which normally includes soy milk, raisin bran and orange juice. From 5:45-6:15 I get ready for work. While I'm doing that DH unplugs the coffee pot, makes sure the girls have plenty of water (we keep an extra bowl in the office), and he puts the dishes in the dishwasher. We try to be out the door no later than 6:20 so we can get to work by 6:55.

Three mornings in a row we leave closer to 6:30. This morning I had to iron a shirt because I didn't finish my ironing Sunday night. I squeezed in opening the ironing board and turning on the iron between making the bed and eating breakfast. Then I ironed after showering so I could let my hair dry in the towel.

In the meantime, 6:20 was approaching and I was a few minutes from being ready. DH starts bitching and that's when I chime in "well if you see me running late you could help out" to which he replies "every time I ask you for help, you say you don't need it".

Sometimes I don't need it. But if it's obvious that I'm running behind schedule shouldn't it be friggin obvious that I need help? I guess I just figure if things were reversed and I saw it was happening to him I'd jump in and just do it.

So is it a gender thing or just me?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Florida's attempt at new state songs bites...

Florida's picking a new state song because apparently Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home" is too racist. Gee, I've seen the lyrics, sang "Way upon the Suwannee River" when I was a kid, never sounded racist to me. Oh sure, it's written in Uncle Remus but the language reflected the times in which it was written.

Click here to listen to the three choices up for Florida's new state song which is designed to reflect our "diversity"

My opinion:

"Where the sawgrass meets the sky"

Sucks.


"My Florida Home'

Sucks. But not as bad as the sawgrass meets the sky one--ewww!


"Florida, My Home"

Sucks. But not as bad as My Florida Home and definitely not as bad as the sawgrass one.

All the talent we have in this state and we can't come up with something better? Florida needs something "folksy" and something to reflect it's "southern" heritage. So far what they've chosen as the finalists really bites. We can only hope that they'll dump these three and keep searching.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Annoying!

Here's something new.

UF students can't register unless they first provide UF with emergency contact information. That's thanks to the incident at Virginia Tech. Yes it's simple to do, just go into your online portal and add it but frankly I think it should be optional! A few weeks ago I tried updating my directory information I couldn't do shit to it until I entered emergency contact information.

This is basically a CYA move by the institution to protect them from lawsuits. In case some angry asshole opens fire somewhere on campus, they can call the cell phone I don't have and send the email to my account which I don't check but twice a day.

Hmm ok...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

For me the semester is O-V-E-R!

Well I finished the three final exams and my official grades this term are two A's and a B+. Ok ok so I'm spoiled by having earned nothing but A's and one B these last three years, but considering that the Meteorology class was really difficult, I think that B+ is fine with me! My GPA is now 3.63.

Woo hooo!!!

I need a break. Funny thing is that I feel like celebrating and yet all I want to do is NOTHING! No classes, no homework, no studying, NOTHING until January 3rd. My friend and former professor Diana suggested I either take the time to relax and catch up on reading and doing fun things I enjoy OR spend the time catching up on other stuff. I vote for the fun stuff. For me that includes finishing "A Tale of Two Cities" and then jumping into Sinclair's "The Jungle" followed by none other than Sherlock Holmes volume II.

Yeah I know it sounds terribly exciting eh? But a little egg nog and butterscotch schnapps, some warm candles, a toasty house, and a kitty kat sprawled across my lap in my lazy boy chair works for me.

Now I gotta check up on Kelly to see how she's doing in school this term.

Friday, December 07, 2007

No such thing as "the right to own a home"

Extremely high on my list of annoying shit is people who get themselves into loans they can't get out of and then want the government to bail them out. So it's no surprise that I wanted to HURL when I heard President Bush talk about how we have to come together and help poor folks who are victims of sub-prime loans. Ok he didn't use the word victim but somebody is bound to sooner or later.

Here's my take. If you qualify for nothing better than a sub-prime loan, then you really should not even be getting a loan. Rent an apartment, there's no shame in that.

We can thank our government for pushing companies to make home loans to people who under normal circumstances can't afford a home. Our leaders would have us believe that there is some kind of "right" to home ownership, that every American is entitled to own a home.

Well, every American is not entitled. It's something you EARN, it is not GIVEN to you.

Buying a home is a long, costly venture and should only be done by those who can afford the payments and the upkeep. The truth of the matter is that many people simply can't afford it. Does that make them any less of a person? No. It simply means they have more work to do to prepare for the responsibilities of ownership. There's payments, taxes, insurance and maintenance and these things cost in dollars as well as time. A "home" is what you make of it and you can live in a rental apartment or house and make it a "home". If a person really wants to stop renting and live in a home, where with every payment, it becomes more and more their own, which is an investment for them, something they can do with as they please, then they should take the proper steps to get to that point. But we have to toss out the idea that home ownership is a right and that it's for everyone. It's not.

Many of us knew when the government started pushing the idea of loans to people who didn't normally qualify, that something was bound to happen. And we were right. And now we'll have to pay for it.

Blame it on whitey...

Looks like the police in Baltimore found no evidence the woman beat up on the bus did anything to provoke the little bastards so now they're looking into her assault as a hate crime.

The mother of one of the little juvenile bastards said that the woman had spit in the face of one of the girls which caused the TEENAGE middle schoolers (yeah you heard that--teenagers in middle school!!) to jump on her, beat the shit out of her, break down the back door of the bus and drag her out into the street.

Authorities have released the little bastards into their parents custody and are charging them as juveniles. I think they should be in JAIL and charged as ADULTS. It was only a few weeks ago that another group of juvenile perps in Edgewood Maryland assaulted a man with a baseball bat so bad that it paralyzed him. It's time to crack down and show these little bastards they're not going to get away with this just because they're under the age of 18.

I don't have to tell you what the outrage would be if this had been 9 pasty white kids beating up on a black woman, do I? Jesse, Al and the gang would already be there raising a fuss. Of course it's ok for these kids to beat up a white woman because they've been persecuted and treated unjustly for so long, the fear and anger is bound to unleash itself.

Same old story. Blame it on whitey.

Hmm...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's BALTIMORE! Of course race was an issue!

This story is horrifying! A woman is beaten severely by nine 14 and 15 year olds on a Baltimore City bus. The spokesperson for the MTA said she didn't know whether the attack had anything to do with the victim’s race.

Oh yeah I guess I forgot to mention the victim was white, the little bastards were "perps of color".

They have to wonder if race was an issue here? It's BALTMORE for crying out loud. Of course race was an issue!!! I wonder how many of those little bastards have daddies at home. I wonder if have any kind of parental guidance period.

You know of course what would have happened if the victim had been in possession of a firearm and shot the little bastards (which I wish had been the case). She would have been charged of course with shooting poor little innocent children. There would right now be race riots in the streets of Baltimore. I won't be surprised if their piece of shit attorneys, whoever they might be, try to turn this around by stating that the poor little children were just lashing out because they were victims of a cruel and unjust racist society.

It's sickening. I could suggest punishment for them but then some jackass might get offended by my remarks and call the police who will then show up at my door and question me, arrest me and charge me with hate crimes, disorderly conduct or some other made up crap!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

RIP Doolittle...

If I could talk to the animals, just imagine it,
Chattin' with a chimp in chimpanzee,
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting with a cheetah,
What a neat achievement it would be!

If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages,
Maybe get an animal degree,
I'd study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle,
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea!

I would converse in polar bear and python,
And I would curse in fluent kangaroo,
If people ask me "can you speak rhinoceros?"
I'd say "of courserous! Can't you?"

If I conferred with our furry friends, man to animal,
Think of the amazing repartee
If I could walk with the animals, talk with the animals,
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,
And they could talk to me!

If I consulted with quadrupeds
Think what fun we’d have asking over crocodiles for tea!
Or maybe lunch with two or three lions, walruses and sea lions
What a lovely place the world would be!

If I spoke slang to orangutans
The advantages why any fool on earth could plainly see!
Discussing Eastern art and dramas
With intellectual llamas
That’s a big step forward you’ll agree!

I’d learn to speak in antelope and turtle
And my Pekinese would be extremely good
If I were asked to sing in hippopotamus
I’d say “whynotamous?” and I would!

If I could parlay with pachyderms
It’s a fairy tale worthy of Hans Anderson and Grimm
A man who walks with the animals and talks with the animals
Grunts and squeaks and squawks with the animals and they could talk to him!

Let me hear ‘em talk

I’d study every creature’s language
So I could speak to all of them on site
If friends said “can he talk in crab or maybe pelican?”
You’d say “I canny can” and you’d be right!

And if you just stop and think of it
Ain’t no doubt of it
I’m gonna win a place in history
If I could walk with the animals
Talk with the animals
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals
And they could squeak and squawk and speak and talk to me!

In memory of
Rachael
March 7, 1964 - December 4, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

An "unfortunate, unintentional, innocent misunderstanding" my ass...

The good news today is that British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons will be released unharmed from a Sudanese jail! Read the CNN breaking story.

Nazir Ahmed, a Muslim member of the British House of Lords was instrumental in encouraging the Sudanese government to release Ms. Gibbons. However, this remark from Ahmed seemed odd...

"This was an unfortunate, unintentional, innocent misunderstanding."

On whose part? Ms. Gibbons or the Muslim extremist Sudanese government?

What this was--was yet another example of radical fanatics hiding using religion to push their own sick and twisted political ideology.

By the way, it was Ms. Gibbons young students who voted to name the Teddy Bear Mohammad.