Saturday, June 6, 2009


I was planning on calling FM after Ken left for work this afternoon, but she beat me to the punch. What a difference a couple of days makes!

She sounded great, and we even had a few laughs. She's been a busy bee. Got the locks changed, went to the bank and got some things taken care of there (he had removed only half of what was in their joint account, so it seems that he has some shred of decency remaining), made a couple of appointments, including with a lawyer. The most wonderful and gratifying thing was to hear how positive and upbeat she sounded. Maybe it was almost a kind of relief, I don't know. I'm sure that the things she needs to do right now are really occupying her time, and there will be rough moments ahead. However, it's obvious that she didn't turn into a little weepy ball o' goo, and is plenty strong enough to take care of business. That's my family and Elvis, baby...TCB! I'm just so proud of her. Yay!

Today was a really good day even before that phone call. I crashed pretty early (thank you, Miss Chardonnay), while Ken stayed up late. (He started his night shifts tonight, so I'll be hanging out here by my lonesome many of these evenings. I'm sure I'll find something to occupy myself, though!) I got a great night's sleep, then sat out on the deck today and read my book while Ken slept late. Before he had to get ready for work, we went out to the garden and got one of the beds ready for planting--put down a couple of bags of composted manure and incorporated that into the soil, and stapled a black plastic covering over the bed to keep the weeds at bay. I think I'll go get tomato and pepper plants tomorrow, because that's what I most want to plant this year. We'll be able to do another bed soon, and I should be able to get in some cukes and zucchini, the other two things I really want! We're a little late in planting due to circumstances, but we've still got plenty of time to get a good harvest.

Oh, and I discovered that the mosquitoes are already out and about. In the space of less than an hour, I got two bites. Ken got none. Why do they target me all the time? Bastards. Or beeyotches, actually, since it's the female that bites.

Paddy O'Furniture Picture time! Here is Paddy O'Furniture. Mary mentioned Patty, but I said that's Paddy's wife. I slay me! I didn't spend time with Paddy today, and chose to hang out with Mrs. Lounge Chair. I'm sure that Paddy will have plenty of company in the coming months.

Paddy O'Furniture2I also have a new series of tags for The Wildcat's Lair. I've mentioned (as has Ken) how much we both love that blog. It's truly one of the funniest things out there, and the most recent episode involved Wildcat and Frank sampling a chocolate/bacon bar. Yes, you read that right. Frank made a "blechh" face that for some reason just totally tickled me, and every time I look at it, I laugh! I emailed Bill (Wildcat's alter-ego) to ask if he'd send me that picture so I could make a new tag. Not only did he do that, he sent four, with different color backgrounds! Thanks Wildcat! Err...I mean, thanks Bill! All quotes are either directly from or related to Frank. If you've never visited the Lair, I hope you'll stop by. If you're already a reader, feel free to snag one of these and add it to your site with a link. I’m putting them all up individually rather than in an album, so that it will be easy to copy them.

Frank01a Living Large small

Frank01b2 Candy and violence small

Frank01c Tongue baths small

Frank01d2 Kitty porn small


Friday, June 5, 2009

A million thanks

You guys are just the best. Thank you all for your supportive comments and kind emails as we continue to deal with the breach in our homeland (familial) security. You probably have no idea how much it helps, but it really is amazing to have so many people rally around and provide moral support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I didn't sleep very well last night...shocking, I know! I think tonight will be an early night for me...I want to sleep the deep and carefree sleep of those who are...umm...deep and carefree. And sleepy.

Coming of Nutwood's newest family member: Paddy O'Furniture. He's a likable sort, content to hang out on the deck all night long.

A good day gone horribly wrong

Where to begin?

The beginning, I guess.

An enjoyable morning was followed by a trip to Lowe's. Three cartloads later, we were on our way home. Lumber for the garden beds, composted manure, concrete blocks for Ken's Mom, and a new patio table and chairs for us (the wooden one is rotting). We were relaxing at home for a few minutes before heading up to Ken's Mom's place, when the phone rang.

It was a family member, and she had a bombshell for me. "I need moral support," she said. She'd found out her husband is having an affair.

I was in shock. I got a few details, but that didn't lessen my shock at all. Another family member was coming over to see her, but not for a couple of hours, since she was working today. I didn't want her to be alone, so after I got off the phone, I headed out. Ken said, "Be careful. Set your cruise control." Good advice, and I managed to make it there without incident, although the massive adrenaline rush was bad enough.

Angry catI'll try to make a long story short. Surprising charges on the cell phone bill cause this family member to question the charges. When getting into the account, she found over 20 pages of texts and calls to a particular number. When she confronted her husband, he said it was platonic, he was trying to be a friend to this younger woman. He said he wanted their marriage to continue, and he promised to break it off. When my family member (heretofore known as FM) got back from a walk, he said the "friendship" was over. However, FM was able to check some of his emails later, and he'd sent another email to the broad saying that they'd have to lay low for a while, but this wasn't over, he wasn't giving her up.

[pause for me to unleash a mouthful of profanity—I probably looked like angry kitty above]

I got to read some of these emails, and it almost made me sick. I was shaking with anger. All I'll say is that someone has some major issues and needs to see a shrink.

Fast forward a couple of hours, and the bastard gets home from work. Surprise, surprise, looks who's there: ME. When confronted with the follow-up email (the one about laying low for a while), this exchange took place:

Bastard (to FM): Why don't we talk about the things you've said to ME lately?

Me: DUDE, don't EVEN go there.

Bastard (to me): As far as I'm concerned, you're not welcome in this house.

Me: I think my FM might have something to say about that.

Bastard (to me): Let's talk about MARK. [That would be my ex-husband...the one I divorced twenty fucking years ago. I've moved on, dumbass...maybe you should, too, and get some new material.]

Me (laughing): Sure! What do you want to know?

FM: She's not here to argue with you, she's here for moral support for ME.

Oh. My. God. His complete and utter arrogance as he sat there with no remorse whatsoever; his attacks on FM, and then on me for supporting her; his initial refusal to leave...he actually asked, "I own half of this house. Why should I be the one to leave?" I laughed at that point, because I could not believe he had the NERVE to ask that! FM stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park: "Because you're the one who betrayed the marriage under this roof." BOO-yah!

Angry soup I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to call the sheriff, but he eventually agreed to leave. FM and I discussed things some more, she called other FM's, and then the FM who was working came over after she got off work. A locksmith is coming over tomorrow to change the locks, Ken and I advised her to protect herself financially so she is going to the bank tomorrow, and from there...? I guess it will be one day at a time. It will be totally up to her if she wants to try to work things out and continue this marriage, and I told her that I would support her no matter what she decides. It's all very raw right now, but she rightfully feels that she can't trust him one bit. He said it was over, but then sent the broad an email saying that he would never give her up.

I can honestly say that I never want to see that bastard's face again, and I want nothing to do with him. Ken was almost angrier than I was, and it's probably a good thing that he wasn't there. That could have gotten ugly, because Ken wanted to tear him a new one after I told him what had transpired.

I am absolutely sick at heart, and I ache for my FM. Today is also the first time in a long time that I have seriously craved a cigarette. I didn't act on it, of course, but it was pretty intense for a few moments. It's a rare thing for me to want to do bodily harm upon anyone, but I honestly wish I had the ability to beat this guy to a quivering mass of bloody protoplasm. I'm exhausted, and I hope I can shut down my racing mind tonight. Tomorrow will be a day spent here at home, and I told Ken, “I need a Nutwood day.” I need to regain my equilibrium. I'm still horribly angry, although I've gone from being filled with rage to a numb disgust.

I'm also very thankful for Ken.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Who wants pie?

We'll be heading out soon (a trip to Lowe's...I love Lowe's!), but I found a really interesting entry written by David Knowles on Politics Daily and wanted to do a quick entry of my own about it.

The title of the entry was "Just How 'Socialist' is America Now?" (You can read the full text here.) I keep reading and hearing about how President Obama is turning America into a Socialist nation, and maybe this pie chart will put things into perspective.

Socialist America

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Buffin’ the poll

Hahaha! I couldn't resist. I'm in a foin foin mood after seeing what happened with the poll results from yesterday.

Onenewsnow poll What's even better is the disclaimer they put up after the poll was closed and the results were final:

Editor's Note: This poll question generated approximately eight times the normal number of responses, resulting in percentages that we believe do not reflect the opinions of our typical poll participants. This particular poll question was targeted by a blog site operated by a self-professed "godless liberal" who teaches biology at the University of Minnesota and seems to enjoy targeting our polls (this is not the first time). Blog entries offer a running account of efforts by that group to skew the final results of this poll -- which they were successful in doing.

So I guess I can't take full credit for skewing the poll results, although my cohorts (you know who you are!) and I certainly helped. Apparently a godless liberal biology professor--and a Golden Gopher to boot!--and his legion of minions were the real culprits. I even found the godless liberal's blog, Pharyngula, although I didn't see anything in his profile where he calls himself a godless liberal. Maybe he's mentioned it in an entry. Or maybe it's unspoken, and everyone who teaches at U of Minn is required to be a godless liberal. Hard to tell.

Seems like I've heard of Pharyngula, or seen an entry somewhere along the way. Looks like an interesting blog.

Anyhoo, the poll takers seem to have committed what I would think is a cardinal sin when it comes to poll-taking: assuming that you know how the results will turn out, especially because you've posed the choices in such a manner as to lead the participants in a certain direction. I've done that when I've put a poll up here, but I've never pretended that it was a serious one! The website in question didn't take into account that "others" might find their hateful little poll and take it upon themselves to show them that not everyone is as narrow-minded, discriminatory, and divisive as they are. Maybe, just maybe, the majority in the country think that all people should be treated equally and not discriminated against. But noooo, they believe that their foregone conclusions must be correct, and that their poll has been hijacked (by godless liberal Golden Gophers, no less), and that those who don't believe the way they do are dangerous and deluded. [cackling wildly] Hey, who said that only certain people could take that poll, anyway? I had every right to go in there and cast my vote, and I had every right to tell my friends about it, too.

That's what I find so laughable about such sites. Put up a poll, and then get all pissy when the results don't turn out the way you thought they would, or should. What, the poll results are valid only when they reflect the opinions of your "typical poll participants?" That's not how it works, people. Consider yourself schooled.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Calling all queers! And those who love them!

Homophobia Sorry about another post today, but I'm not sitting idly by on this one.

A religious website has posted a story about the President declaring that June is LGBT month. They include such lovely comments as this one, from some "pro-family" activist:

This proclamation talks about the entire radical homosexual agenda that Obama supports -- including homosexualizing the U.S. military [and] federal so-called 'rights' based on homosexuality, which will impinge on the religious freedoms and freedom of conscience of other Americans.

Ahh yes...the "radical homosexual agenda." Then there's "homosexualizing the U.S. military." (Since when was "homosexualizing" a word?) I'm sorry, but....

Hahahaha! Yes, the President's goal is to make sure that every person who enters the U.S. military is either gay, or will soon be recruited to being gay. (What is the incentive again? Isn't it a toaster oven?) Do such websites have any idea of how idiotic they sound? Maybe that can be a new threat: I'm a-gonna homosexualize you! Look out, here it comes...shazam!

Oh, and riddle me this, Batman: how does the right of gays to marry and the right to be free of persecution and discrimination infringe upon my rights, or anyone's rights, to religious freedom and "freedom of conscience?" It doesn't! That's right, you can believe whatever you want to believe! You can hate on whoever you want to hate on...but you have no right to harm them or discriminate against them because of their sexual orientation. Period. What part of that don't they get?

I have just about had it with this hateful rhetoric and ridiculous drivel that is being spouted about those who are guilty of...what? Loving someone?

I have a modest proposal. If you feel the same way I do, visit the website, and read the article if you want, but definitely vote on their poll. Tell everyone you know, and let's all do our best to make sure that we make our voices heard! C'mon everybody, let's go skew us a poll! Who's with me?! [running out of the room, screaming]

I got a present!

Do you guys remember when I did a Beth's Music Moment entry about Creem magazine? And how I was so excited to get a comment from the drummer for the MC5, Machine Gun Thompson? Well, a while back, I got an email from Kim, who collaborates with Dennis on his blog, as well as writing a couple of fun ones of her own, Retro:Kimmer and The Snarky View. (Think I can cram any more links in here? Yep, there’s a tiny one!) She said that her and Dennis wanted to thank me for my support of their blogs, and wanted to send me a little present. Would I like a T-shirt, or a set of drumsticks signed by Dennis? COOL! Can you guess what I chose?

DrumsticksThat's right, I've got tons of T-shirts, but I didn't have one single set of drumsticks. Shocking, I know! When we got home from Missouri, they were waiting for me. How utterly cool and thoughtful is that? Here's a closeup of his signature:

Drumsticks2I couldn't quite get the entire thing in the photo, but it says "KOTJ," which of course, is Kick Out The Jams. When I opened the package, I raised the sticks over my head and did the "One two three four!" count. Haha! They are now residing happily in one of the curio cabinets, a little piece of rock and roll memorabilia. Thanks again, Dennis, you're a peach!

If you're into music at all, especially the Detroit scene, I recommend Machine Gun's blog. Plenty of great info about music, but he also writes frankly about his and others' addictions to heroin and other drugs. He made it through, but plenty of others didn't. It's a great read, from someone who was a participant in one of the greatest--and most political--eras in rock music.

The motto at Nutwood Junction is "Boredom is not an option." I think some of the lyrics to "Kick Out The Jams" might be sort of my guiding philosophy, though. I am what I am, and part of that involves an opinion or two. [wink] I really don't see myself ever backing away from that. Considering that politics is something that interests me greatly, I would feel like I wasn't being true to who I am if I didn't write about it.

"Let me be who I am

And let me kick out the jams

Yeah, kick out the jams

I done kicked 'em out!"

Monday, June 1, 2009

A brief interruption and a diametric opposition

Rabbit rabbit rabbit! Evil spirits begone!

We had some fairly strong thunderstorms come through Nutwood today, and our cable broadband was out for several hours in the afternoon. I tried to catch up as best I could, but I wasn't able to comment on every entry. Things seem to be working well now. Despite the rain, I had a window of opportunity between storms, and was able to get a little deck and reading time in!

Fascism Something has puzzled me lately. In reading various writings on Teh Interwebs, I've found a strange phenomenon from those who dislike our President and our current administration. They vacillate between two labels: fascism and socialism. Sometimes in the same entry.

I had to think back to what I learned in World History, and what I've read about it over the years, but I've always understood that fascism and socialism were at completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Fascism is far right and reactionary, and socialism is left, on the pathway to communism. The definition of fascism that I found is "a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." For a fascinating article about the 14 characteristics of fascism, click on the link. I really don't think the far right needs to be bringing up fascism, because when I read those 14 points, it's not President Obama that springs to mind. I'm just sayin'!

Socialism is defined as "any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy." If anything, this makes more sense than the former charge; our government (and all of us) now owns a portion of several companies. I feel this is limited, though, and temporary. Of all the businesses, companies, and corporations in this country, the number of those receiving bailout money is not a huge percentage. The vast majority continue to operate independently and without government intervention.

While I'm at it, I'll muddy the waters a bit by speaking of National Socialism, or Nationalsozialismus, i.e., Nazism. Although that particular movement contained the word and an element of socialism, those fascists were far removed from Socialism and Communism, and indeed, executed many communists. They were a totalitarian regime, exerting complete control over every aspect of citizens' lives, using censorship, propaganda, and hatred of "others," whether it was because of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Again...the Obama administration is not the first one I think about!

Am I missing something here? I honestly don't see how it's possible to be both fascist and socialist at the same time. When I read something that calls President Obama a socialist in one breath and a fascist in the next, it just makes me think "That makes no sense." Perhaps a fully coalesced argument might be more convincing, rather than cherry-picking pejorative terms designed to excite the excitable. Heck, might as well thrown in "grinch-like" while you're at it!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Let me represent you

Whew, I feel like I'm about ready to pop. Our cookout food turned out great, with moist and tender burgers, moist and tender potatoes and onions, and crunchy and crispy cucumbers and onions. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky! Very pleasant for sitting outside on the deck, and we had a great visit with Ken's mom and stepdad. I'm feeling really sleepy, too, so it won't be a late night for either of us! Ken and I were just laughing about how pleased his stepdad (a retired police officer from Geneva, Illinois) was to find Old Style beer in the store up here! I hadn’t even thought about it, but we’re close enough to Chicago that Old Style is in our local stores.

Before I forget, has anyone else experienced problems leaving a comment here? My pal Laurel emailed me and said that she's had difficulties leaving a comment. It seems that we're all having problems of one sort or another here lately, and it would seem to be either AOL or Internet Explorer, or both. I've had no major problems since I switched to Chrome, but I still have problems when I'm in AOL checking mail. Does anyone have any comments or insight?

Most of you know about the Nielsen ratings, right? Have you ever wondered just who these "Nielsen families" are, and why they get to dictate what happens with TV shows and their ratings?

Well, wonder no longer.

Meet the NielsensThat's right, yours truly and her dear husband received a notification this past week, and a phone call this morning, and for one week in July, we will be a Nielsen family. We'll receive our booklets (one for each TV) soon, and we'll track our viewing habits. I've honestly always felt a little left out, and harbored a secret desire to be a Nielsen. It looks as if my wish has been granted, and for one brief, shining moment, Ken and I will represent TV viewers all across the country.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Bwah hah hah hahhhh! If I have anything to say about it, by this time next year, you'll all be watching "I Love Lucy" and "Star Trek" reruns, documentaries about ancient Egypt, Route 66, and infectious diseases, CNN, and an endless loop of Mafia movies. You’re welcome, and…enjoy!