Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bad Baby Name #1: Was "Satan" Already Taken?

My dear bloggies, I enjoy baby names. When I learn that someone I know is pregnant, my first question is: "What are you naming the baby?" I'm just fascinated by what people choose to name their children. Personally, I prefer unusual (but not bizarre) names with personal meaning. I also love it when people name a baby for a beloved deceased family member...it's such a sweet way to honor that person in my opinion. I do love some traditional and Biblical names, and even a few of the trendy ones. But let's face it: there are some baby names that make you wonder "What the hell were those parents thinking?!?!?!?"

To that end, I offer a new column (so to speak) of my blog: Bad Baby Names. Feel free to comment; if you love the name, or agree with me that it's just awful. I hope you enjoy this column, either way.

Just a note: I am not, nor will I ever, attack a child. All babies are beautiful, all children deserving of love, respect and honor. All children are created equal....all baby names, however, aren't. Now, on to the show....




Today's Bad Baby Name:

Zhyan Demon

Now, I'm assuming the first name is pronounced like "Zion," I name I actually like. However, this cre8ive spelling is terrible. And the middle name? What on Earth were they thinking? Demon? Talk about giving a child a complex. I also found it funny that the father's nickname is "Pig." So we've got Pig and Demon here....now, I don't like to say that a name will gaurentee you teasing....but this one's a lock. It's also such a strange juxtaposition....Zhyan (Zion), being a place of Biblical triumph, and Demon being a creature of Biblical ire. It does, however, answer the age-old question: what would the child of Charlotte Church and Anton le Vey be named? Now we know.


I found this name here....I couldn't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Quiz #4: Which Kind of Freaky Mother Are You?

Another quiz from yours truly. This one was fun...as I consider myself a pretty "freaky" mom already, lol.

My results:

Goth Mama
You're a witchy woman! Chances are that you see
Morticia Addams as a role model, and your
wardrobe sports a fair amount of black. The
other mothers at school pick up may look
askance, but your kids already know that the
judgement of others isn't what counts.


What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


I can live with this. I always loved Morticia. I consider myself more punk than goth...although I do enjoy some of the fashion and music (I love Siouxsie, Rasputina and Sisters of Mercy, for example). But I can live with being called "goth mama" in this quiz. And besides....Morticia is fabulous. :)

Monday, September 27, 2004

GOP Candidate Says "Cherokee Not Real Indians" and Other Foul Nonsense

Just when you think you can't be any more disgusted by the GOP nutbags*, here comes this little piece of tripe: GOP Candidate Says Cherokees Aren't Real Indians. Let me break down the basics of this for you, my fellow bloggies:

There is currently a Senate race in Oklahoma between
Tom Coburn (a former Congressman and GOP nutbag* galore) and his opponent, Brad Carson(D), a member of the Western Cherokee Tribe (and, should he win this race, the only Native American in the Senate...Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell is retiring). Apparently, trying to win on the issues is beyond Mr. Coburn: he'd rather gain his seat on pure racism alone.

Mr. Coburn, at a town hall meeting in
Altus, Oklahoma on August 21, made several erroneous and racially-driven remarks which made me wonder if he feels cold without his white sheet. Some of Mr. Coburn's statements and why they are utter filth:

1) "The average Cherokee (blood) quantum in 1/512."
I don't know where Mr. Coburn is getting his facts...they aren't from the Tribe, the BIA or any reputable source. And besides that....what other ethnicity in America is expected to break down their ancestry into higher mathematics in order to "prove" their minority status? Why haven't we gotten past this antiquated and ridiculous BQ nonsense by now? It's a clear tactic on the nutbag's part to try to dishonor and illegitimize the Tribe.

2) "I mean, this is a joke. It's one thing for us to keep our obligations to recognize Native Americans, but it's a totally different thing for us to allow a primitive agreement with the Native Americans to undermine Oklahoma's future and that's what they're talking about and it's big money." Wow...legal contracts between the government and the Tribe are "primative jokes"? I think Mr. Coburn might be in standing for the Grand Nutbag of the Year award for that one. By the way, he's referring to an important issue for the Tribe: the right to assert environmental authority over THEIR OWN LANDS. Sometimes I just want to shake my head at it all....500 years later, and we're still fighting over our own damned land.

3) "Alright, listen, I know the Tribal issues. I was a Congressman where most of the Indians are in this state. The problem is, most of them aren't Indians." There's so much wrong with that statement, it's hard to know where to begin. One thing is crystal-clear, though: he's gone to the George W. Bush School of Nonsensical Statements....hell, he might have been Valedictorian!

4) "Good vs. Evil." This is how Coburn has described his race against Carson. How very 18th century of him.

Now why, dear bloggies, should you care about this? Besides the obvious (not wanting such a blatant racist in Congress), the outcome of this race will help determine the balance of power in the Senate. Do you really want THIS guy's vote to be a tie-breaker in ANY issue? Polls are showing these two guys are in a close race, but many an Oklahoman is undecided. Let's hope they are paying attention to Mr. Coburn and his racist, anti-Native agenda. Or that they have listened to the statments of Cherokee Principal Chief Chad Smith: "I'm a Republican, and it's hard to understand why Tom Coburn takes pride in....ridiculing people. If you disagree with him, you are evil. There's no discussion, no room for understanding." Or the words of former chief
Wilma Mankiller: "Tom Coburn's extremist views on the basic rights of women and outrageous views of Tribal citizens and their governments are shocking and simply too far out of the mainstream for him to serve as our United States Senator." I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Mankiller on two seperate occasions; I've not always agreed with her policies...but we're in complete agreement on the issue of Mr. Coburn.

Please, dear bloggies: read this story at
Indianz.com. And if you're a citizen of Oklahoma, be careful how you cast your vote on November 2nd. Don't send the message that your state is in favor of breaking treaties and racism. Don't send another nutbag to Washington.


*just a disclaimer...there are plenty of nutbags in both parties, and independant nutbags as well. I'm sure there will be plenty of both at my year-end Nutbag of the Year awards.

Can't Sleep, or Danell Lewis, Where Are You?

Yes, dear bloggies, I DO realize that this is my third post today (one was a quiz, though...so does it really count?). I'm having a hard time with my MS lately, and I can't sleep. When I do sleep, I'm plauged by nightmares, so when I wake up...I don't feel like I've slept at all. I HATE when I go through these phases of pain and insomnia. It's maddening. The new med I'm on, Tegretol, is at least keeping my jaw from locking shut from the trigeminal neuralgia. It was helping me sleep...until this latest attack of insomnia. Now, it's 3 in the morning...the baby will be up in four hours and I'm nowhere near unconsciousness. Did I mention I hate insomnia?

This bout has, like so many other bouts in the past, made me think of my former best friend, Danell Lewis. Danell and I went to junior high together at ol' Van Buren. We lost contact in May 1990. The last I heard was a rumor that she was moving to Jacksonville, Florida. I have no idea if that was true or not. I was in Jacksonville in January of 1994, and I searched for her in the phone books there. No luck. I've searched for her online for years---also, no luck. I even hired an agency at one point...they were unable to find her. She could be married now, with a new last name. She could have children (she always wanted them). Or she could be dead. I don't know. We went through a lot together---some of which I can't even share here, dear bloggies. My father even considered adopting her at one point (whether or not he was serious is another debate). I do know that I think of her often. I have only one photograph of her...from a slumber party in 1989. Does she still have those brunette locks? Or those freckles on her nose? Does she think about me at all? Does she even remember me?

Danell, if you ever read this...life turned out okay for me after all. I'm married to a wonderful man, and I have three great kids. I live in a beautiful city.

If you want to contact me...please do. I miss you. You were more like a sister to me than a friend...I know you know that. And my father divorced my stepmonster...so you have nothing to fear from that quarter. If you don't want to contact me...I understand. Some things, perhaps, are best left in the past.

I hope you have a great life. I hope you have all the happiness you deserve. And I thank you, for being there for me during the darkest time in my life. I will always think of you with kindness and with love.

"I will remember you, will you remember me?"---Sarah MacLachlan

Quiz #3: Which Witch?

First, I'd like to thank the blogger at Experiment in Anonymity: Phase One for turning me on to this quiz. Aren't the pictures lovely?

My results:




Fire Witch
You are a fiery witch. Your charisma and sensual
beauty draw many to you. You are creative and
full of vitality and inspiration. Never one to
blend in, you're appearance is bold, bright
and..er.. fiery :) You draw your power from
fire and may be a bit of a pyro.. for pretty
sented candles at least.


What kind of 'witch' are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Stealing John Kerry?

Today, I got an interesting e-mail from my neighborhood association. Apparently, there have been several reported thefts of "John Kerry for President" signs from various lawns in the vicinity. According to the e-mail, stealing political signs is a crime in Portland, and we should call the non-emergency line should we see such a crime in progress. Also according to the e-mail, police do not think this is a prank by bored teens.

My first question is....why our neighborhood? I guess if you were specifically targeting John Kerry signs, this would be the neighborhood to hit. Nearly every lawn has one...not a Bush supporter in sight around here. But surely we aren't the only neighborhood heavy on the Kerry/Edwards signs. This is Liberal Oregon, after all. We are a neighborhood that is probably 75% senior citizens, though, and that might make it attractive to the thieves.

My second question is....is stealing a political sign a seperate crime from other property thefts? I mean, say I were to steal someone's pink lawn flamingo. Am I in less trouble or more trouble than I would have been had I stolen their "No on 37" sign?

My final question....how do the police know it ISN'T bored teenagers, if no one's seen the thieves? What, they didn't find any Nike Air prints at the scene or something? And if it isn't a prank...who is it? Are we honestly supposed to believe that there are people in the Bush camp stealing the competition's signs? I'm no Shrub fan (and that's an understatement), but even I can't envision Oregon Republicans driving down our quiet streets, nudging each other and whispering, "There's one now!" as they jump out, steal the sign and burn rubber. What would be the point, really? Does anyone think that seeing a lawn sign is going to sway a vote? These aren't even busy streets...we get little traffic, save those who actually live here or the occassional person lost trying to find Walgreen's.

I can say that my sign hasn't been stolen....maybe my lawn is just too purdy for the thieves to trample (yeah, right). I can say this...I doubt I'd bother the police if someone DID steal my sign. Can you imagine? "Yes, police? Someone stole my John Kerry sign! Put out an APB!" I'm sure they'll get right on it...after all the kitty cats have been rescued from Portland's trees.

So my advice to the victims of this mini-crime spree: don't let them intimidate you. Go downtown and get another sign. Maybe put one of those nearly-invisible electric fences around it. That'll teach 'em! And my advice to the thieves: get a life already. And please...forget to vote.

Quiz #2: Which That 70's Show! Character Are You?

I love That 70's Show. So here is quiz #2:

Which That 70's Show! Character Are You?

Please, feel free to comment and leave your results! Unless you're a dumbass.....


My results:


You're Hyde!
You're Hyde!


Which That 70's Show Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, September 25, 2004

That 70's Show!: Love it, and Leave It

Now, as my profile says, I am a big fan of T7S. I've been watching for years. I am, however, glad that this will be the last season. It's running out of steam, folks, as all sitcoms eventually do. And I'm going to break it down:

1) Leo and Laurie I miss Leo (Hyde's hippie boss) and Laurie (that new Laurie just SUCKS). Now, I realize they had no choice but to write Tommy Chong out, but come on....bring back Lisa Robin Kelly for good this time. And isn't firing an actress for having "drug problems" from a show that features "the circle" at least once per episode just a tad hypocritical? And while we're discussing missing characters...what happened to Kitty's dog, Schotzie?

2) Jackie and Hyde I'm disappointed in the continuing---and unrealistic---romance between Hyde and Jackie. I just don't buy them as a couple. There is zero chemistry....it's almost as bad as a Richard Gere romance (see my post "The Curse of King Arthur on Film"). Twice now, they've brought forth other women for Hyde as potential girlfriends....one was during the "get Hyde a girlfriend party," when Hyde met a co-worker of Donna's and was instantly smitten. She was never mentioned again. The second was when Hyde went on a date after Jackie chose him over Michael. I liked her....she was rough, badass....more the kind of girl one would expect for Hyde's main squeeze. She, also, is never seen again. My favorite Hyde girl of all time was Krissy, the punk rock chick. A girl after my own heart. SHE'S a perfect example of a great girl for Hyde, as he put it, "rude, crude and dangerously paranoid." But Jackie? The same girl who loves unicorns, Donnie Osmond and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders? Ain't buyin' it. It's about as realistic---and weird---as a love affair between Hilary Duff and Marilyn Manson.

3) Eric and Donna Their romance is making ZERO SENSE. He leaves her at the alter, and she's ok with it? What woman in her right mind---in ANY decade---is going to go for that???? And now, he's got no career, no college plans and has the ambition of your average Jerry Springer guest...and that's just honky-dory with her? What, did Donna have a lobotomy and we weren't told about it? And with Red recovering from his heart attack, Kitty nursing him and Eric devoting himself full-time to the exciting career of professional bum...how the hell are the Foremans paying any bills? Is Steven supporting the whole damned family?

4) Kelso's baby Could this storyline be any more boring? I know Ashton needs time for his super-creepy May-December lovefest with Demi Moore....but THIS is the best they could come up with? I remember when Roz had her baby on "Frasier," and Kelsey Grammer was against it...."Babies aren't funny" was his reason. I think he was right. Kelso procreating isn't funny at all. At least he's trying to get a job...which is more than Eric's bothering to do. Who would have guessed that out of all of them....KELSO would be the one to continue his education? And where are Kelso's parents and siblings....did they say NOTHING about their teenage son impregnating some strange girl they've never met? When Donna ran into Casey, he said zippo about becoming an uncle. Do they even know? Way to go, Kelso.

5) Fez Fez is a great character. He's reminiscent of Latka from "Taxi." He's weird, he's socially awkward and no one has the slightest clue where the hell he's from. And in previous seasons, they've made great use of Fez. But lately....Fez has nothing to do. His relationship with Nina soured....for reasons unknown (I hate how this show ends relationships and never bothers to give an explanation....it's like when Judy went to change her clothes on "Family Matters" and was never seen or heard from again). His marriage to Laurie had such great potential...it could easily have become a Meathead/Archie relationship with Red and Fez. I was waiting for Fez to have to move into the Foreman's home (where is the obligatory INS visit?), or for Laurie to first hate, then grow to actually love, her sham husband. This might have been in the works for all we know, but was scrapped when they gave the ol' pink slip to Lisa Robin Kelly for the second time. Now, the marriage is hardly even mentioned. And Fez has suddenly become Kelso's side-kick. For shame, writers at T7S....for shame.

6) The Bob Love Triangle When the first episode of the new season aired, I was excited. The re-appearance of Donna's mother, Midge, and the resultant love triangle with Bob and his new gal Pam (played by Brooke Shields), was a great idea. I did wonder---for a moment---why Midge would jump on a plane in a heartbeat to be with her daughter after she'd been publically humiliated and left at the aisle---but couldn't be bothered to attend the actual wedding. No matter. I anticipated cat fights, a Bob torn between two women clearly way out of his league, and arguments between Red and Kitty and between Donna and Jackie. But no....in the very first episode....Pam leaves Bob so he can patch things up with Midge. Without a fight. Without batting even one fake eyelash. What gives?

7) Signs of the Times One of the things that first drew me to T7S was the nostalgia. I was a little kid in the 70's. I enjoyed seeing the Harvest Gold appliances, the fondue parties, the what-the-hell-were-they-thinking fashions. I liked the references to Three's Company, the Watergate scandal and the gas crisis. But as of late, the show acts as if it's forgotten it takes place in the 70's or has deemed the years of '78 and '79 too boring to delve into. Where's the election talk? The references to Alien, Mad Max and the first Star Trek movie? Come on, guys! Don't drop the ball now!

8) Star Wars Yes, I'd like them to make SOME mention of Star Trek...just to get Eric to SHUT THE HELL UP about Star Wars once in awhile. Enough is enough.

9) Blonde Donna Remember when Felicity cut off all her hair and no one watched anymore? Apparently, the people down at T7S forgot all about it.

10) Grow up When the kids were all in high school, working minimum-wage jobs, puffing away in the circle, obsessed with their intra-personal relationships and minor embarassments....it was amusing and understandable. But now...these kids are adults. They've graduated. Yet, none of them except Kelso has MOVED ON. And really, Kelso's barely moved on....sure, he's attending the police academy, but he has no job and no way to support his kid. As for the rest of them...they are still living at home (or in Hyde's case, in someone else's home). They still have minimum-wage jobs. They are still bitching endlessly over boyfriend/girlfriend petty crap. "College" isn't even in their vocabulary anymore....what happened to Donna and Eric's educational plans? Yeah, Red had a heart attack....but he's ok now. Why haven't they gone to school? Or Fez, for that matter? Why haven't any of them gotten their own place yet? And where on Earth is Fez living now, anyway? Surely, the ultra-conservative host family he was staying with isn't still putting him up now that he's graduated and married the town whore. It's becoming tedious...and annoying.

In closing, I must say that even with these problems, I still love the show. I'm glad Midge is back. I'm loving the addition of Tim Reid (Venus Flytrap himself!) as Hyde's biological father. Kurtwood Smith as Red is still in great form. I'll watch this final season, and I'll be sad when the show says adieu. But I think it's time to let Big Rhonda (aka the fat lady) sing...and say good-bye, once more, to the 70's.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Quiz #1: Strictly For Monty Python Fans....

Do you wave your private parts at your aunties? Are you searching for the Grail? I have just the quiz for you:

What Monty Python Character are You?

My results are below. Feel free to comment and tell me which one YOU are!


MY RESULTS:



Well, u-- um, can we come up and have a look?


What Monty Python Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


This is Kokopelli, the ancient Native American flutist. I've always been drawn to Kokopelli; I currently have a tattoo of him inside a turtle on my left calf. When I get around to buying a digital camera, I will share pictures of my tattoos. Until then....enjoy Kokopelli. Posted by Hello

The Curse of King Arthur on Film

I'm loving this blogging business (even if I can't figure out how to post pictures or links....grrr....), and tonight I decided to click on those lovely links in my profile and see who shares my interests. Tattoos? Four pages. Which surprised me, as I quite frankly expected a lot more, lol. Freaks like me and so forth. So I moved on to music. Mojo Nixon? A few people. But my main hobby and obsession....Arthuriana? None. Not one. So I re-worded my profile. Still zippo. Goose egg.

This surprised me a bit. After all, Arthurian books such as "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley have been best-sellers. "Le Morte d'Arthur" is considered a classic. There are tons of websites devoted to the study and enjoyment of Arthurian themes. So why hast not mine fellow bloggers joined suit?

I had hoped, when first I learned of the movie "King Arthur," that this film would inspire more people to be interested in all things Camelot. That hope was dashed by the simple fact that the movie was a steaming pile of hamster vomit. Some of the actors did a nice job, don't get me wrong....but you can only do so much with a shitpile script and a director who is hell-bent on battlescenes and none too interested in character development. That explanation does not, however, explain what I refer to as The Curse of King Arthur on Film.

The Arthurian legend is beloved by thousands of people in dozens of countries over hundreds of years. Books, plays, poems, operas, great works of art have all been inspired by the likes of Lancelot, Galahad and Merlin. But for some reason, you put them on film...and they suck. Royally.

Take the film "First Knight," for example. I had high hopes for this film, folks. After all, it was Sean Connery playing the King! How could it go wrong! Four words....Richard Gere as Lancelot. I cannot stand Richard Gere. He looks---and acts---exactly the same, regardless of the storyline. He always, without exception, looks like he just read the script yesterday. Richard Gere has simply got to be the most asexual screen actor since
Pee Wee Herman went looking for his stolen bicycle. Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely approaching chemistry between him and any actress. "Lukewarm" is probably the nicest word I can come up with to describe him. And lukewarm he was, in "First Knight." Good gravy, man...you're playing one of history's greatest romantics! Put a little feeling into it! He's supposed to be torn apart by love and loyalty, unable to decide between his desire for Guinevere and his devotion to Arthur...and instead, he looks like he can't decide if he wants turkey or pastrami for lunch. Like I said, lukewarm.

Next up we have the animated Disney film, "The Sword in the Stone." Now, this was based on a great book, "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White. But the movie makes me think that whoever 'adapted" the book didn't actually read it...they just skimmed the Cliff Notes for a few minutes. Tops. The songs were bad...whenever Disney has to come up with a song from the movie for a compilation (such as the ever-growing "Sing-Along Songs" videos), they always choose THATS WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND simply because it's less painful than the other, completely forgettable tunes in the film. The best element in the book---Merlin's travelling backwards in time---is barely approached; Arthur's life after he pulls the sword out from the anvil isn't mentioned at all. Kay, Bedivere, Ector and Ygern are pretty much non-characters, and the battle with Merlin changing into animals is just silly.

Television has had its share of stinky Arthurian movies, too. Take "Merlin," for example. The only redeemable aspects of this movie are the great talents of Miranda Richardson and Martin Short. The storyline is weak, Arthur seems to be a sidebar for Merlin instead of the focalpoint, and the potrayal of Nimue is just ridiculous. Some of the special-effects were interesting...but all in all, a rerun of ER is more amusing.

Speaking of ER...that brings me to another fetid made-for-tv piece of tripe, "Guinevere," starring Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) as a young, over-eager and immature Lancelot. This film starts with a good premise---that Lancelot and Guinevere knew and loved each other before her marriage to Arthur---but just ruins it entirely by making Guinevere this obnoxious, tantrum-throwing twit. Noah Wyle doesn't look anywhere near strong enough to be Lancelot (he's cute, yes...but a great warrior? Unless Lancelot was a confirmed metrosexual, I ain't buying it), and the depiction of the Lady of the Lake as this evil, conniving, blood-letting vengeful bitch didn't sit well with me. I don't think I ever finished watching this movie...and I doubt I'm missing much.

The best example of The Curse of King Arthur on Film is "The Mists of Avalon." Now, there were some very good things about this movie. Anjelica Huston as Vivienne was fantastic...but let's face it, Anjelica Huston is fantastic in just about ANY role. The sets and costumes were great, and the music was passable. The problem was, the movie bore little resemblance to the excellent book is was based on. One of the most compelling things about the book was its exploration of the clash of Christian and Celtic religions in that time period. That was hardly addressed in the movie. Mordred was wrong, and the death of Vivienne was completely different from the book (I don't think Balan and Balin were even mentioned in the film). Morgaine's inner conflicts and outer struggles just didn't shine through on film the way they did on print. That miniseries had a chance to be truly wonderful---great cast, exquisite material from which to work---and it just fell flat.

Now, there are some exceptions to the Curse. Two of which I am a personal fan; the first being "Excalibur." This is generally considered to be the best of all Arthurian movies. It's wonderfully directed, the cast is superb (including a pre-Star Trek Patrick Stewart as Leodegrance), and action scenes are breathtaking. It's a bit gorey, so be warned if you've never seen it before (and rush right out to the video store and get it. Now.) I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, seeing as it is so very focused on the Holy Grail aspect of the legend, while I tend to gravitate more towards the pre-Grail Camelot period. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this movie so intently.

The second film isn't dramatic. It's not romantic. And it's not worried about being accurate at all. It's "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Monty Python is a lot like gouda cheese....some people love it, and some can't stand the sight of it. I'm in the former group. Holy Grail is just plain hilarious...from the Frenchmen with their "outrageous accents!" to the "killer rabbit," this film magically and expertly pokes fun at one of history's favorite tales. Graham Chapman is in rare form as King Arthur, and the songs (such as CAMELOT and BALLAD OF SIR ROBIN) are side-splittingly funny. There's no Guinevere here, no Merlin, no sword in the stone. But believe me---you won't miss them one bit.

So there is hope, everyone....good Arthurian films can be made (even if it's rarely done). There are still great books to tackle...is there any director out there, anywhere, ready to step up to the challenge of Mary Stewart's "The Wicked Day," Catherine Christian's "The Pendragon" or T.A. Barron's "The Lost Years of Merlin"? Step forward...if you dare. Like any worthy Arthurian quest, it's full of knights who have gone before and failed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Note To Television Advertisers

To the obviously "talented" men, women and small rodentia who put together today's television commercials:

I, like most Americans, watch TV. I have favorite programs and shows I'll watch only when truly bored or too drunk to look for the remote. And I understand the concept of sponsored television....in order to raise revenus to put on the show, the stations sell time slots for advertisers. It's a pretty nifty idea, all in all. And there have been some really funny and entertaining commercials on television over the years. If you are responsible for some of those great ads, pat yourself on the back....you deserve it. Because obviously, you are in the minority: a special elite group of ad execs who understand that annoying the crap out of the consumer is probably NOT the best way to sell whitening toothpaste. For the rest of you, here are some clues you clearly didn't pick up on in grad school:

1) Dancing about diarrhea and vomitting isn't cute or clever....it's disturbing and disgusting. I once watched an episode of some deranged talk show, in which an unattractive moron went on and on about how much he loved having a woman vomit on him during the course of making love. Even this sad, pathetic, seriously-ill individual didn't dance. Take the hint.

2) When waking up from a long, peaceful slumber...most people do NOT want to find a creepy, moving plastic mannequin dressed up like King Friday from Mr. Roger's Land of Make-Believe on the next pillow. This does NOT make me want to eat a hamburger. It does, however, remind me to change my password on the Brinks Home Security system.

3) No one wants to steal nasty, gritty $1.99 chicken strips. NO ONE. The reason why the actors in these commercials are talking to themselves is because no one can stand to be around a person who thinks everyone is out to steal their nasty, gritty $1.99 chicken strips.

4) Is there anyone left in America, anyone, who DOESN'T know that Medicare might cover the cost of your diabetic testing supplies?

5) When on a romantic boat ride on a tranquil lake with the guy of your dreams and the boat springs a leak...Mr. Right is NOT going to be impressed by your quick-thinking and clever use of a tampon to stop up the hole. He's going to be grossed out...and he'll lose your number. And probably swim to shore.

6) We've all heard the joke about a bear shitting in the woods....it's not funny. Neither are cartoon bears dancing about shitting in the woods. See, it's that dancing thing again...if it belongs in the bathroom, it's not something to waltz about.

7) For cripe's sakes, somebody give the damned Trix bunny a bowl of cereal already.

8) No family really wants to spend Saturday at Sears.

9) Kelly Ripa, sitting next to Regis and regurgitating Mary Poppins-type platitudes all morning is annoying. Kelly Ripa, running her hands through her hair and telling us how fab-u-lous it feels after a good peroxiding is EXCRUTIATING.

10) Look, we women didn't spend the 60's and 70's begging men to spend a little extra (ok, a lot extra) time on the preliminaries to let a bunch of bimbos wreck it all by giving men the erroneous idea that the big O is so easy for us to obtain that even a good shampoo will get us there.

So in closing: take note, my dear advertising executives of America. Go through your storyboards and discard anything containing dancing, teasing small animals with breakfast foods and Wilford Brimley. Set fire to anything that even remotely tries to make defecation or menstration look "cute." And for the love of St. Pete, never again cast Kelly Ripa in ANYTHING. And maybe, just maybe....we'll buy your whitening toothpaste after all.

Signed,
Still Looking For The Remote.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

My baby's first birthday....it can't be!

As you may have read in my intro, I have three kids. My son Phoenix is 11, my daughter Wren is 8, and my baby Eden will be a year old on Friday.

That's just blowing me away. How can it already be a year? I remember that first year taking so much more time with my first two. Maybe it's because Eden is the last....I had a tubal a few weeks after she was born. Maybe it's because I'm older. I was almost 19 when Phoenix was born; almost 29 when Eden was born. I'm reminded of that 10,000 Maniacs song "How You've Grown," and the line, "At your age in a string of days, the year is gone. But in that space of time it takes so long."

Aging sucks in a lot ways. I don't think I was prepared to be 30. Maybe it's because I feel like a lost a year or two to MS. Those first two years...I remember so little of them, and that's probably for the best. But I think it's just the number, 30. The whole starting-a-new-decade thing. The realization that you're not exactly young anymore. And the even shittier realization that although you don't feel old, you are practically ancient to your children and their friends. My grandfather, who is 94, must seem like Methusaluh himself to them, lol.

It's funny, but my actual 30th birthday didn't affect me nearly as much as this first birthday of my youngest child. I look at her, and part of me is glad I got my tubes tied, lest I get overwhelmed by the clock ticking and all that. Another part of me is sad that I DID get it done, and I'll never have another baby. It was the right decision, don't get me wrong. My body's been through so much, and it's not right to intentionally put it through more. And I'll be honest...I loathed being pregnant. I know some women love it. I'm just not one of those women. And instead of each pregnancy and birth getting easier, as it does for most women, it got worse each time for me. I don't like those odds, lol. And at this rate, I'll probably end up with at least one of my sister's kids at some point. Heaven knows, she can't be bothered to raise them herself. But that's another rant for another day.....

So, as Jonathan (my husband) and I prepare for the last first birthday party, getting toys wrapped up and the Teletubby cake ordered (why oh why did two kids in a row have to love those dribbling morons?), it's a bittersweet experience for me. Of course, on Friday, all I'll care about is that smile, the smile of joy on the face of my baby girl. I'll cry in my Oreos after she's asleep. ;-)

Measure 36, or why in the hell are we still trying to curtail civil rights in the new millenium???

This particular entry is aimed directly at my fellow Oregonians. You know who you are.

Measure 36 is that particularly nasty piece of legislation that wants to define all marriages in Oregon as those between one man and one woman. It's homophobia, right there on your November ballot.

I am not gay. I am not bisexual. I am not transgendered. I am middle America, folks: married, three kids. And I am firmly AGAINST Measure 36. And here's why (nope...no chance I'll keep it to myself, my fellow bloggies).

The people pushing this sort of nonsense are, naturally, the fundamentalist Christians. They keep insisting that God Himself cares what legal rights America gives to some couples and not to others. Now, I'm not anti-Christian here, folks...I AM a Christian, was raised Christian, no desire to be any other religion, thank you very much. But unlike some fundies out there, I've no desire to legislate my beliefs. I think the seperation of church and state idea was a nifty one...and we should pay attention to it. I'm also uncomfortable stating what God thinks with 100% certainty...I think we can't know the mind of God, and it's pretty silly to pretend we do. I'm not a fundie, and never will be, folks. I know you're bowled over in shock.

Now, their first argument is that God wants only men and women to be married to each other. Well, that argument holds no water with me...we're supposed to keep God OUT of the laws here, people (that pesky seperation-of-church-and-state thingy again). This is America. You can believe that a hamster prophet named Fred the Fearless is going to someday rise up and save the world from the Evil Cat of Doom if you want to. It's what makes America great, folks. What you can't do is expect everyone else to live by YOUR beliefs. No matter how "right" you think you are....someone else has (or should have) just as much right to believe in their own version of "right" (did that make sense? Who knows....)

Now, one of the side arguments on that one is that "well, only a man and a woman can naturally procreate, so that's the way God obviously intended for it to be." That's a shortsighted and ignorant bit of reasoning there. If we go by that, then infertile people, the elderly and those who have had vasectomies/tubal ligations shouldn't be permitted to marry, not to mention those who wish to remain childless by choice. Marriage is about so much more than whether or not one of the spouses drops a tiny, screaming human being from their loins. Also, maybe that IS how God intended it...originally. Before we became this overpopulated world in which kids languish in foster care, waiting for someone, anyone to take them home and care about them. The procreation argument is without merit, and I won't waste anymore bandwidth on it.

The next big argument is But It's A Sin! To which I say, to whom? To God, they say. Well, that's legislating religion again...a big Constitutional no-no.

Which brings me to the next argument: it would demoralize traditional marriage. How, you may ask? Beats me. No fundie I've ever asked (and I ask a lot, as you can just imagine) has ever been able to tell me. I wonder who these people are, who have such fragile marriages that allowing two gay men to walk down the aisle would somehow fracture their union beyond repair. I pity them and suggest marriage counseling...right away, lest a couple of swingers move in next door and shatter not only the existing marriage but any hope of success for number two.

Speaking of which, divorce rates are sky-high folks. 50% of marriages end in divorce. I think the institution is pretty demoralized on its own with only us darned hetereosexuals in the muck. I sincerely doubt gay marriages are going to make the situation any worse than we've managed to make it. Two women getting married is horrible and would destroy family values...but Britney Spears marrying her beloved Cletus in "pimp"-adorned velour sweatsuits is preserving it? Uh-huh. I gotta say, anyone who can say that with a straight face (no pun intended) is either too drunk to drive or seriously nuckin' futs.

What I find really ironic (and you know, I just love ironies) is that the same arguments these right-wing nutbags use to justify refusing to allow gays to marry is nearly exactly the same as the ones said nutbags used in the 60's and 70's to try to keep interracial marriages illegal. I can almost see ol' Strom Thurmond screaming his feeble head off about the sins of race mixing (before he sampled a bit of it himself, of course--gotta love hypocrites). How soon we forget.

I believe it's just a matter of time before gay marriages are legal. And ten years after that happens, no one will remember what the fuss was all about. It would be nice if the beforementioned nutbags wouldn't fight compassionate progress every step of the way...but that's way too much to ask, methinks. They fought the vote for women, fought the civil rights ammendment, fought interracial marriage, fought reproductive rights...and they'll fight this, too. Of that, I have no doubt. They are, after all, nutbags.

My fellow Oregonians...join me in voting NO on Measure 36. Send a message to nutbags everywhere that we here in Beaver Land (pun intended this time) believe in the Constitution, believe in seperation of church and state, and believe that discrimination is wrong, wrong, wrong. And if we're the lone voice in the woods...I think we've learned to live with that. It's one of the things I love about Oregon.

Til next time,

Angel

An Intro to Little Ol' Me

Welcome to The Zen Pretzel Trick. My husband and friends are tired of hearing me bitch....so lucky you! You now get to read it all.

My name is Angel. I'm 30 years old, married, three kids. I spent most of my formative years in the wasteland known as Dayton, Ohio. I escaped that boil on the butt of humanity about eight years ago...and now live in Portland.

Me in a nutshell: I'm punk, tattooed and without much tact. Which should make this blogging business a bit of fun on my end. I also have MS, which provides me with two things: A) pain and misery to bitch about and B) pain medication to take away said pain and replace the misery with a good dose of the where-are-my-socks-oh-that's-right-I-put-them-in-the-freezer. I'm biracial and living in an interfaith marriage and have a gay best friend. Conservatives beware...I'm as liberal as you get and unapologetic for it. I'm a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) for now, but am also working on my book, which I call The Arthurian Novel That Will Never Ever Be Completed....Maybe. I love music (most anything except rap and country), reading (mostly Arthurian, sci-fi/fantasy or history-related) and the occassional Jack Daniels Whiskey Sour (did I mention I used to be a bartender?). I homeschool, vote independant (and am pushing for John Kerry...let's get the W out of Washington, folks) and have been published in THE OREGONIAN and PARENTING magazine.

I don't give much of a rat's ass about anyone's opinion...and yet, ironically enough, am writing this to share my opinions with you. Like I say above, the ironies of my life...and there are many. As you shall see.

I plan to use this blog for a number of reasons: to give people an inside look at a young woman struggling with MS and a horrible chronic-pain condition known as trigeminal neuralgia (I've had gall stones, kidney stones, natural child birth, root canals...NOTHING comes close to TN pain, folks); a young mother trying to raise kids with an appreciation of three cultures and two religions (I am half-Irish and half-Qualla Cherokee; I am a non-denominational Christian married to a Russian Jew); an "old-school" punk with opinions on nearly anything from music to politics to the redneck nieghbors across the street; a struggling author trying hard to finish her book; and an outright freak from a family that makes the Osbournes look almost normal. Note I said "almost"....even my father isn't as loopy as Ozzy is these days. And even I have better fashion sense than Kelly...but that's a different topic, isn't it?

I hope you enjoy this. Whether you love me, hate me, pity me or fear me....at least try to have a good laugh outta this every once in a while. I may even give the secret to the amazing Zen Pretzel Trick....you never know.

Yours, Angel

Oh, and I want to thank the girls at Go Fug Yourself for turning me on to blogging...and for the funniest damned blog on the 'net. I share your pain, girls...every time I look at Fugly Love!