Sunday, October 31, 2004

Quiz #21: Which Tattoo Should You Get?

Well, this should be mildly amusing. I should use this link on my Tattoo Nation! message board the next time some idiot comes in asking a group of people on the Internet who've never seen him before what type of permanent artwork he should have.....


Take the quiz: "What tattoo should you have?"
Ah, I loved the movie too. You should get a tattoo of a crow. If I could guess your personality I would say that love centers your life but that doesn't make it good or bad. Aren't people who contradict themselves a pain?

Well, I certainly don't want a crow tattooed on me....those fucking things sit on my roof every spring, screeching at 4-9 in the morning, ensuring neither Jonathan nor I will EVER get a nice mid-morning let's try this again....

Ah the Victorian beauty.Congratulations you got a rose. I would say put it on either your ankle, or breast, but I am not here to tell you what to do!

Well, I already DO have a rose tattoo....I have a dying rose with an ankh (life & death) on my lower abdomen. No ink (yet) on my breasts, but my right ankle is taken by my dragon anklet. I haven't decided what to do on the left ankle yet. I have an awful tattoo to cover up on my upper left foot...I've been searching for years for something to cover it up, and some unfortunate light scars I have there as well. The search will go on....

And just my two cents...although this quiz was midly amusing, anyone who chooses a tattoo based on a stupid Internet quiz should be the first against the wall when the Revolution comes....

Quiz #20: Which American City Are You?


Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"

Your dark exterior masks a caffeine driven activism. You'll take up a cause and you'll get ugly to advance it.

Well, I live in Portland (which I love), so I guess that's close enough....

Congrats, Lynn & Brian!

Congrats to my friends, Lynn and Brian, on the arrival of their third child, Donovan Riley!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Happy Halloween 2004!

I love Halloween. Always have. Of course, I'm a lot like the Ministry song, "Everyday is Halloween." The only really bittersweet moment on this holiday, for me, comes as I remember that my mother's second, ill-fated marriage took place on Halloween. My mother had a great sense of humor. She used to call me "Daughter of Darkness"; I called her "Mommie Dearest."

Anywoo, I thought that 'tis the season, I would share a ghost story with you.

July of 1998 was a very, very hard time for me. My mother had died, and while I was in Ohio at her deathbed, the apartment complex we were living in was sold and our lease terminated. My husband literally had just days to find a new place for us to live, and with me in Ohio and him working many hours and caring for two wasn't easy.

When I got back from Ohio and saw the new apartment...I instantly hated it. Loathed it. Despised it. And as soon as I walked in the door...the hair on the back of my neck stood up. This was not a good feeling, and this was not a good place. Looking back, I can't believe we lived there for four years.

We heard the ghost sometime during that first month we were there. We heard what sounded like a baby crying in the hallway. At first, I thought it was our daughter, Serenity, who was two years old at the time. I went to check on her...and she was fast asleep. I assumed one of our neighbors had a colicky or teething baby...on reflection, the crying did sound like it came from an infant, not a toddler like Serenity.

We heard this crying several times a week, usually at night. It was very loud and very distinct. We began to worry that one of our neighbors was neglecting or abusing their child. We asked around...but none of our neighbors had a baby. None of them babysat a baby. And none of them had heard the crying.

We thought maybe it was all in our heads...until we went to Ohio to visit my in-laws, and the housesitter reported hearing a baby crying loudly in the apartment. Later, when my sister came to stay with us for a short while (what a nightmare that was, in and of itself), she also heard the crying. Most of our friends heard the Baby Ghost at some point or another, crying in the hall. Most of our neighbors moved over the years...we rarely had the same neighbors for longer than a few months. And yet, the Baby Ghost remained...clearly, not a child belonging to any of the other occupants of the complex.

We weren't afraid of the ghost, and we never actually SAW anything. Mostly, I felt pity for this child. And I wondered, who had left this baby to cry like that? Had the baby died of neglect or abuse? It was all so sad.

One year into our tennancy there, Jonathan and I decided to have another baby. We had never had trouble concieving before (we got pregnant with Serenity within a month of my going off birth control), and there was no history of infertility in either family, so we didn't anticipate any problems. But try as we might...we could not get pregnant. The doctors could find no reason for my inability to concieve. It seems to me, looking back, that after we decided to try for another baby, we were visited more and more often by the ghost.

I got pregnant with Eden only months after we moved out of the apartment. Coincidence? Who knows. Perhaps it was. Or perhaps the Baby Ghost did not want any more babies to live---or die---in that apartment.....

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!

I leave you now with the lyrics to Ministry's "Everyday is Halloween":

well I live with snakes and lizards
and other things that go bump in the night
cos to me everyday is halloween
I have given up hiding and started to fight
I have started to fight
well any time, any place, anywhere that I go
all the people seem to stop and stare
they say 'why are you dressed like it's halloween?
you look so absurd, you look so obscene'
o, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
it's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
well I let their teeny minds think
that they're dealing with someone who is over the brink
and I dress this way just to keep them at bay
cos halloween is everyday
it's everyday
o, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
it's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
o, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
i'm not the one that's so absurd
why hide it?
why fight it?
hurt feelings
best to stop feeling hurt
from denials, reprisals
it's the same it's the same in the whole wide world

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bad Baby Names 4: Your Majesty!

Yes, I know this is coming close on the heels of BAD BABY NAMES #3, but there were just so many bad names this month....I'm even booked for #5! Anyway, without further ado.....



Chanel Mari
And her brother, Versace Johnni.
Perhaps even more annoying then the for-no-apparent-reason apostrophe trend is the for-no-apparent-reason capitalization one.

Daphanie Faye
What was this? They couldn't decide between Daphne and Stephanie, so they combined the two???

This sounds like the villian in a Dungeons & Dragons game....."Watch out, Sir Druid! Terranasia has hit you with 30 attack points!"

"I, Exabien the Half-Elf wizard-mage, attack Terranasia with my Sword of Truth! You now have only 10 life points left! I rock!" not only is this child named after an ancient Egyptian goddess...the name is horribly, horribly misspelled. Have I mentioned how much I hate cre8ive spellings?

A'Laysya La'Shay
Not only has this name committed the atrocious crime of having the for-no-apparent-reason apostrophes in BOTH the first and middle has also committed the equally atrocious crime of cre8ive spelling! Yikes!

Allure Christian
"Why did you become a Christian?" "I could not resist the Allure...."

Oh, for crying out loud.....

Dhrti Laxmi
I get the impression that this is an ethnic name, which I usually like. Ethnic names can connect a child to their heritage. But Dhrti? I can just hear the playground taunts now: "Crusty, nasty, Dhrti Laxmi!"

Genesis Kanawai Josiah
Either these parents just love the first book of the Bible, or they just love Phil Collins but didn't think his name was cool enough. One or the other.

Michaelangelo Rudy
OK, let's examine this one for a moment.....this kid is now, effectively, named after an Italian painter and a Notre Dame football player. That is one hell of a juxtaposition.
"Well, we liked Jacob, but it's just so....common. So one night, over shish kabobs, it came to us....."

Martha-Mae Yako Balassa
Another one for the Bad Baby Names Redneck Hall of Shame...Martha-Mae!

Yazemean Nantashia
This has GOT to be one of the WORST cre8ive spellings ever. It's truly, truly unfortunate.
Mariayma is hard at work on her Novella.....

Brick Austen
"Austen's a! He's mighty mighty...."

Destiney Rae-Lynne
I take it back...Martha-Mae is not so bad after all....

A'Magine Aveion
A'Magine there's no cre8ive names, I wonder if you can, no Aveions to ponder or legal name-changes to plan.....
Now, I am Cherokee. I am proud of Sequoyah. But I am puzzled by this cre8ive the "j" silent? Or is it seh-coy-jah?

Nah'zae Ellae
Not only is this name cursed with the unnecessary apostrophe that is blighting the baby nurseries like a swarm of badly-placed and grammatically-incorrect locusts, but this is a name that will forever be Nazi. Not a good thing to saddle a child with.


If anyone has the foggiest clue how this is supposed to be pronounced....speak now, or forever hold your z's.


Symphony Evanessance
Let me and dad are going through a goth phase, right?



Where to start, where to start....Well, first of all....every parent thinks their darling baby girl is their little princess. Very few actually go so far as to NAME them "Princess." And there's a good reason for's an extremely silly name. If Michael Jackson is doing it...and in this case, "doing it" means giving your children first names that are actually royal titles...that should automatically mean it's too weird for you. WAY too weird for you. And what's with "Ty Awna"? Isn't Ty generally a boy's name? Did they really want Tyawana, or TyAwna, or Ty'Awna, or something equally hideous, and decided to break with the trendy styles and simply put a space between the syllables? Well, at least she has Louise to fall back on...that name is simply outdated, not ridiculous. It could have been could've been spelled Lew'Eaze.

Feel free to comment.....

But the noise....THAT'LL hurt the baby!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Snopes's a collection of urban legends. Some are true, some aren't...and some can't be proven one way or the other. Heard the one about the twins named Lemonjello and Orangejello, and want to know if it's true? What about the rumor that little Mikey from the Life cereal commercials died eating pop rocks and Pepsi? And was there really a guy who earned millions of frequent-flyer miles by buying thousands of individual Healthy Choice puddings? If these questions plague you...the Snopes site is for you (for the record: no on the first two and yes on the last).

While bored stiff the other day and surfing Snopes, I found this photo.

Some people are so stupid, it's a pity they breed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


I believe this is a very, very important election. Don't get me wrong. And I appreciate that there are hard-working, dedicated Americans trying to get out the word and encourage people to vote. I think that's great.


About two months ago, I got a flyer on my door from an organization called America Comes Together (ACT). This flyer encouraged me to vote for Kerry. No problem...that was my intention anyway.

A few days later, one of their volunteers came to my door. They asked who I was voting for, and I told them. They then asked if I was willing to help them go door-to-door to spread the word. I explained that I am disabled, and at this time going through a bad patch, so I wasn't able to canvass the nieghborhood. The gentleman was very insistant, but I made it clear that I was in no condition to join their cause, thanks anyway.

Then the phone calls started.

At first, it was actual human beings. They gave me the exact same (scripted) speech the volunteer did. Once again, I answered thier questions, let them know I couldn't and wouldn't volunteer, and was thanked for my time. I was polite about it....the first three or four times. Then I stopped answering the phone when I saw a number on my caller ID that I didn't recognize. I have no desire to keep re-hashing the same conversation over and over. I finally answered and asked them not to call me anymore.

This did not deter them. They switched to recorded calls, left on my voice mail, sometimes up to three times a day. All of these calls were lengthy and annoying.

They also continued to come to my house. If I wasn't home, they'd leave a large, obnoxious "Vote Early" flyer on my door. If I WAS home, I'd end up once again going through the same damned conversation with them. I was beginning to get pretty freaking annoyed.

They stepped up the ante once the ballots were mailed. The calls increased, and instead of a visit once a week, it became every two or three days! I considered turning off my voice mail, but I get too many doctor-related calls for that...and I have a sick dad and an elderly grandfather (he's 94). I'm not comfortable being without voice mail.

A week ago, the volunteer showed up at noon. I have three kids....I had lunch cooking on the stove and a baby screaming to be nursed and put down for a nap. I was not in a mood to be polite. I listened to the speech...AGAIN...and told the woman nicely to take me off their list and not visit me anymore.

This was ignored.

A few days later, ANOTHER volunteer showed up and (you guessed it) began with the speech again...this time, in the middle of dinner (when I told him this, he said, "Oh, but this won't take a minute!" @@). I was fuming. When he got to the part in the speech about "canvassing the nieghborhood," I looked him straight in the eye and said, "No." "Why not?" he asked. "Because my nieghbors don't like to be bothered at home any more than I do." I answered. I shut the door. I figured that would be the end of it.

I was wrong.

The calls kept coming. Now, they've enlisted pseudo-celebrities to the cause. Today, I woke up from a short, much-needed nap to three messages from from a volunteer, one from Malcolm Jamal-Warner (who moved the rock?) and one from Edward Norton (who annoys me anyway). The Norton one REALLY pissed me off....he said, in no uncertain terms, that "these annoying calls" will stop ONLY when the county tells ACT my ballot has been sent in!

What the fuck???

First of all, haven't I asked you people a half-dozen times now to LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE? Secondly, I HAVE already voted! And finally, what business it is of thiers when or even if I vote?

And more importantly...what the hell is the county doing informing these assholes of when or if I vote?

So as you can see, I was already pissed off,when ONCE AGAIN my dinner is interupted guessed it...a volunteer from ACT.

This time, I didn't let the guy get passed, "Hi, I'm Daniel with America Comes Together..."

I decided that since he interrupted my dinner, I'll interrupt his stupid speech.

"You people have called me nearly EVERY DAY for weeks and this is the SIX OR SEVENTH TIME you've been to my house. I've already voted. I've asked you people nicely several times to stop bothering me. LEAVE ME ALONE!" I then slammed the door in his face.

My dinner ruined, I signed on and fired off the following email to the ACT website:

To Whom It May Concern:

I live in Portland, Oregon. For the past two months, volunteers from your organization have called me nearly every single day...sometimes more than once a day, and often with a recorded message. Not a day goes by anymore that I do not have at least one lengthy message from your organization on my voice mail. Your volunteers have also been to my home at least six times. Your volunteers have repeatedly attempted to enlist me in their door-to-door home invasion....despite the fact that I have told your volunteers several times that as a disabled woman, I am not capable of doing so.

A few days ago, I politely asked your volunteer to not visit me again. I mailed in my ballot, and I don't wish to be bothered anymore. Today, yet ANOTHER volunteer interupted my dinner. This time I made it very clear: DO NOT BOTHER ME AGAIN.

One of your insistant, annoying voice mail messages today (from Edward Norton, of all people) informed me that these calls will continue until the county tells your organization that I have voted. This offends me DEEPLY. For one, I HAVE already voted. For another, I have now asked your organization REPEATEDLY not to contact me, and your bullying tactics today have made it clear that you have no intention of stopping. Finally, I do not feel that it is ANY of your business when or even if I vote.

I find it ironic that your website claims to want to rid this country of Bush's tyranny, and yet you persist in harassing a disabled woman!

It is a good thing I already voted....or your inexcusable behavior today might have caused me to rip my ballot in half. Or even worse...driven me to vote for Bush.

I voted, I voted for Kerry.....NOW LEAVE ME ALONE.

Sincerely, as I mean every word of it,

Angel S.
Portland, Oregon

(in my best Danny DeVito in "Ruthless People" voice....)

Now THAT oughta do it.

Quiz #19: Who's Your Inner Rock Chick?

What can I say? I'm up and I'm bored.....


You Are Pink!

Tough. Sexy. Tough. Soulful. Tough.
Guys are both attracted and scared of you.
"I've been the girl with her skirt pulled high
Been the outcast never running with mascara eyes"

Who's Your Inner Rock Chick? Take This Quiz :-)

PINK? I don't freaking think so. Let's try this again....

You Are Ani Difranco!

Honest, real, and well liked.
You're not limited by any boundaries.
"And you can call me crazy
But I think you're as lazy as white paint on the wall"

Who's Your Inner Rock Chick? Take This Quiz :-)

OK, that I can live with. Although, to my mind, my inner rock chick is Joan Jett!

Quiz #18: What Movie is Your Love Life Like?



Your Love Life Is Most Like My Big Fat Greek Wedding

You're on your way to happily ever after...
Just don't let your friends or family get in the way.

What Movie Is Your Love Life Like? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

The funny thing is...I bought this movie on video a few weeks ago and still haven't watched it yet! Guess maybe I should.....

Well, You Weren't Using It!: Stranger Moves In, Redecorates while Owner's Away

Sometimes, the news is just TOO weird. And that's the way I like it.

Take this tidbit of odd information...."Stranger Moves In, Redecorates While Woman's On Vacation."

In short: a woman in Georgia named Beverly Mitchell came home from a 2-week vacation in Greece (must be nice) to find a complete stranger had not only moved in, but had redecorated and was even wearing some of Ms. Mitchell's clothes!

Ms. Mitchell arrived home to find the lights on and a strange car in the driveway. She called police (smart gal), and when they arrived they found 54-year-old Beverly Valentine had taken over the house.

She'd ripped up carpet, repainted a room, replaced Ms. Mitchell's pictures with her own and had even moved in her washer and dryer as well as her dog. She'd gone so far as to switch utilities into her name! She was even wearing some of Ms. Mitchell's clothes. THAT takes gall.

Ms. Valentine at first tried to tell police she was "renting" the house, but then admitted to breaking down the door with a shovel. The police also found a gun and over $20,000 worth of Ms. Mitchell's jewlery in her car.

I think Chief Sheriff's Deputy Stan Copeland said it best, "...I've never seen something this strange."

Monday, October 25, 2004

The 2004 Election

Yesterday, I took part in the democratic process: I voted.

One of the things I love about Oregon: vote by mail. No more running to the polls! And it gives you the opportunity to vote while on the toilet....which, although crass, is somehow appropriate.

And here, in short, is how I voted and why:

Tom Potter

This would amend the Oregon consitution (something I'm loathe to do for most circumstances) to postpone elections if one of the nominees dies. I might vote for a bill like this that DOESN'T amend the constitution...but the way this bill is written, my vote had to be "no."

This law will overturn a silly, outdated, ridiculous law that I can't believe is still on the books. Basically, the current law considers mobile homes to be VEHICLES, and taxes people accordingly. Oregonians who live in trailors are even expected to get license plates for their mobile homes and put them in the windows. This is just silly....which is why, I assume, there is no opposition to this bill. Most people who live in trailors are either senior citizens or poor....neither group should be forced to pay property taxes on their home and, on top of that, vehicle taxes because the state thinks they routinely take their home on the road.

Please see my blog entry, PASS THE BOWL AND PASS ON THIS BILL, for why it is crucial we in Oregon vote NO on 33.

This is one of the measures I was torn on. Both sides put out ads insisting that they alone will protect us from forest fire and bad drinking water. Both insisted that an opposing vote would insure lost jobs and tax revenues. But after reading the bill, I've come to agree with the "yes" side. All this bill will do is to firmly and permanently define what "permanent value use" of the Tillamook and Clatsop Forests means. Up until now, the Board of Forestry could decide what it meant under the law, and change their minds at will. I prefer to have it defined...with no loopholes.

This bill will replace the noneconomic damages caps Oregon used to have on medical malpractice suits. Such suits have cost the consumers and healthcare industry a shitload of money. Many doctors, particularly specialists such as OB/GYNs, have been forced out of the field by ever-rising insurance costs (which reminds me, once again, of the absolute stupidity of the government holding a monopoly on malpractice insurance, and why it is that monopoly that is REALLY at the heart of all these problems; but I digress....). The only thing I dislike about this bill is that it doesn't set aside a clause for malicious malpractice, which is a whole different ball of wax from accidental or even negligent malpractice. Here's a good example: many years ago, in Dayton, Ohio, there was a gynocologist referred to in the media as "the love doctor." This sick bastard used to perform surgery against a patient's will for his own experimental "curiosity." I knew a woman who was his victim; because of his complete lack of ethics and human decency, she can never have enjoyable sex again. He completely re-arranged her external and internal genitalia. Sick nutbags like that should not get off easy under a noneconomic cap in my opinion. I urge the opponents of Measure 35 to consider a bill for next year addressing this issue.



This is an arbitrary and confusing law, poorly written and with possible unforeseen consequences to farmers and landowners. It would cost the taxpayers millions, and hurt individual landowners.

I am no fan of monopolies, and SAIF is as unethical a monopoly as you can get. Measure 38 would open the market to other insurance carriers and lower costs for the consumer. It would allow people to open small businesses who might not have been able to do so under SAIF. SAIF has screwed over the Oregon people long enough; it's time to bid it adeiu.


We voted on this once already, people. Oregon cannot afford to repeal the county income tax. Our schools and social services are hurting enough under Bush's tender care and our failing economy; don't do any more damage. Please, vote NO.

And so that, in a nutshell, is how I voted. Whether you agree with me or not, I urge you to cast your vote and make your voice heard.


And on that subject, here are the lyrics to Deee-Lite's "Vote Baby Vote":

Vote, baby, vote
vote, baby, vote
vote, baby, vote
are you registered, baby?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Quiz #17: Which Weight Watchers Recipe Card Are You?

This is, quite probably, the most disturbing quiz I've ever seen.....


You are Fluffy Mackerel Pudding!! You somehow
manage to combine seafood and dessert into your
wonderfully fluffy world. We should all be as
tolerant of New Taste Sensations. And of
big-yolked eggs.

What Weight Watchers recipe card from 1974 are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

People actually used to eat this stuff? Yikes! I was born in 1974...and glad I was too young to have this sort of food forced upon my delicate palate.

If you liked this sort of thing, you should really check out this site, The Gallery of Regrettable Food. Both horrifying and hilarious.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Quiz #16: Which 80's Band Are You?

This looked like fun. I love 80's music, particularly 80's modern rock/alternative. So, let's have at it.....


You're so depressed... but why? Some people might
call you whiny and annoying, and you are, to
them. You still have people that are willing
to listen to you... right after they've been

What band from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I love the Cure, so I can live with this. I'm not too fond of their post-1992-era stuff (Robert Smith's just too damned happy these days), but I have to agree with one of those little cartoon bastards on South Park (Kyle or Stan, I can't remember which) who said, "Disintigration is the best album EVER!" Off to listen to "Untitled".......

Bad Baby Names 3: Oy Vey!

I'm trying a new format for the BAD BABY NAMES; let me know if you like it. Without further ado...



Little Detroy was welcomed home, no doubt, by big brother Chicagoy and big sister Philadelphioy.

Do I look French to you??? It's GERMAN, baby!

Because Suchocolate and Sucookie just sounded....silly.

Someday, I am going to create a Bad Baby Names Redneck Hall of Fame. LindieAnne Marie is a shoo-in.

And will there be an au pair for Au Qoyonna? And will the au pair take her sandwich with au jus while caring for Au Qoyonna? Also, doesn't "u" generally follow the letter "q'?
This sounds like an adverb, not a name....

I thought the recent influx of Xzavier was bad....but not even that comes close to the horrors of Q'Zavier! What were they thinking? Were they at a sci-fi convention and thought to themselves, "What if Q from Star Trek and Professor X from X-Men had a baby? Q'ZAVIER!"

Absolut? No, too masculine. Stolichanya? Too Russian. I've got it....SKYY!

Shay'rae Sharon sells sea shells by the sea shore.....

Anyone else remember 80's one-hit wonder Rockwell? My guess is, little Merit's parents do.

Maverick is the name of my tattoo artist....although I am assuming it's a NICKNAME. It's also, really, way too masculine to be used on a girl. And way too corny to be used on a human.
And her brother, Deja-Vu....

I don't get the apostrophe thing. I really don't. What does it add to a name, really? No offense to those who love it, but I think it looks ridiculous. And I'Mon is no exception. Now, I like the model Iman (and any woman who can land David Bowie deserves applause), but I don't particularly care for the name. And Essence? Isn't that a magazine? Was the mother of this child naming a baby, or a perfume?

I have no idea how this name is supposed to be pronounced. Is it "teen"? Or is it like Tyne Daly? Or is it "tee-ann"? It's anyone's guess.

I'm wondering if this is a cre8ive spelling of that monstrosity of girl baby names, Nevaeh. If so....well, I was obviously wrong when I said the name couldn't get any worse.....

Shyann was such a wallflower...she just couldn't get up the nerve to talk to anyone, poor thing.....

I keep hearing those old Ricardo Montalban commercials, "Feel the fine Corinthian leather...."

I kept hoping this was a typo.....

Although I wouldn't use it, I've always thought the name Keira/Kiera was quite pretty. But spelled like this? keAyra? Oh my goodness. First of all, proper names should be capitalized...with the FIRST letter in the name. Talk about just ruining a very pretty name by trying to be cre8ive!

I'm not a fan of the name Kennedy. It always reminds me of the ultra-annoying MTV VJ (yes, I'm showing my age). But not only is the name horribly, horribly misspelled here...but when you put the first and last names together, it sounds like a travel agent's itinerary, not a little girl. I just hope their last name isn't Heathrow.....


Mackenzie is also another name I just plain don't like. I'm not a fan of any of the very trendy "Mac/Mc" names. But for the love of Pete, if you're going to use it, spell it right. The way this is spelled makes it look as if it's pronounced "maken zee" instead of "mak en zee." But it's the first name that makes this whopper our second runner-up. Come on....NO ONE likes Buicks that much....and certainly, no one liked the Skylark that much. It makes me wonder what they'd have named her had she been a boy. Pinto? Yugo? Dart?


I don't even know where to begin with this name. I'm just beside myself. I think I need to lie down.



I've heard a lot of bad baby names....a LOT of them. But this one takes the cake. SCHLOK? Oy vey. If the mother's name isn't ought to be.

Thus concludes October's BAD BABY NAMES. Feel free to leave comments....and thank your mom for not naming you after a vodka or a bad car.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Quiz #15: Who Should You Vote For?

Found this quiz while surfing......


You preferred Kerry's statements 78% of the time
You preferred Bush's statements 22% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Kerry

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

No surprises here......

Vote for Your Favorite Zoo!

ZooTycoon is running a contest on America's Favorite Zoo. To vote, click here.

I was pleased that our local Oregon Zoo, which I love, is in the running. I am, however, surprised that San Diego is not menioned, neither is the Bronx Zoo or Central Park. What gives?

In any event, please stop by and vote. If your favorite isn't on the list, vote for the
Oregon Zoo!

Just a note: I've edit the can now leave comments without being registered with Blogspot (that means YOU, Fizz.....)

Music to My Ears.....

Well, dear bloggies, it's been a great few days (despite the broken foot).

On Wed., my friend Ruth came over. We hung out for a while, and I helped her with her English paper. Then I talked on the phone with Fizz. I am so glad he's happy here in Portland. Things are finally starting to look up for him: great job, nice boyfriend. No one deserves it more.

On Thursday, we all went thrift shopping, which I love. I hit the jackpot at Deseret: TONS of clothes for me and the kids, including a to-die-for Oscar de la Renta pegnoir set for me and a cute Gap coat for Wren with leopard-print fur on the collar. She looks like quite the little diva in it.

We also put a new computer in layaway; I'll finally be able to relegate this one to the dungpile in which it belongs. Then we catapulted into the modern era and ordered Direct TV. Finally, we too shall have more than six channels. Phoenix is already excited about getting to watch "Forensic Files" on a regular basis. Then we all went out to eat as a family.

The highlight of the day happened because, of all things, a tire went flat on our car on the way back from the restaurant. We barely made it into a Les Schwab, and while the tires were being changed, we walked next door into Tigard Music. I've never been there before, and quite probably won't go back. It was a small shop devoted mostly to guitars and amps. They had two drum sets, a few older sheet music books and about a dozen or so violins and violas. There was also a double-bass, which looked quite nice but sounded hollow and weak. The violins were all second-rate Eastern European kindling. There may not have been much for me there, but Jonathan had a blast jamming out on the guitars. He had quite a crowd gathered to watch him play. Sometimes, I forget how talented this man is....

After the car was fixed, and as there were no instruments for me at the first shop, we headed downtown to a strings shop Jonathan had noticed on his way into work a few weeks ago. This place was everything the first shop was not (I'll add the name when I find the card). It was big and lovely inside; filled to the rafters with beautiful, hand-made stringed instruments. The owner was both knowledgeable and friendly (my kids had a wonderful time playing with his Jack Russell terrier, Gracie).

I went into the shop to find a violin and ended up...finding the perfect cello. I haven't played cello in nearly 14 years...but it all came back to me as I played this gorgeous instrument. Never has a cello spoken to me as this one has. It was not the most expensive nor the most attractive of the cellos available; but as the owner and I both agreed: each player is looking for different things. And this cello felt like it was made just for me.

We put some money down on it, and will be paying it off. I rushed right home and listened to some Rasputina. Music to my ears...

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Clumsy Me

One of the things I really, really hate about MS is that it turns you into a giant clutz. Yesterday, I stepped on one of those wooden toy blocks, and broke a bone in my foot. OUCH. So now, on top of having my neuralgia act up, I've got a broken foot....a week before Halloween. And I couldn't be busier this week...the kids have photos on Thursday (and so help me, if Ms. Tummy Time is there and gives me any crap, I'm going to shove this cast up her tailpipe), and then there's the Halloween party....not to mention the fact that we haven't bought the kids' costumes yet. Why do I never do these things when I have nothing to do? Sigh. And while I'm bitching...what is wrong with my blog NOW? Under the title, all I'm getting is html gibberish. What happened to my snappy little intro? When it rains, it pours.....

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Quiz # 14: Which Irish Gaelic Phrase Are You?

Yes, I know...two quizzes in one day. What can I say...I'm bored.


Take the quiz: "Which Random Irish Gaelic Phrase Are You? "

Ta me air meisce
Ta me air meisce - 'I am drunk.'You enjoy a drink - or five - now and then. You can usually be found in a pub - it doesn't matter which one, because they all look the same after a few drinks - or hugging the porcelain.

I can live with that.

Quiz #13: Which "Big Lebowski" Character are You?

I've never seen this movie, so I'm not sure what this will mean to me.....


According to the "Which Big Lebowski character are you?" quiz:

Why don't you check it out? Or we cut of your Johnson!

A nihilist, huh? How punk rock of me, lol. Maybe I should see this movie after all.....

Friends of the Library Book Sale

Today was a GREAT day for me and mine. We went to the Multnomah County Library Friends of the Library Book Sale. They do this every year, but this was the first year we went. It will not be the last.

It was held in an old car dealership building...and the place was packed floor to rafters with books, CDs, CDROMs, sheet music and DVDs. It was the last day of the sale, so everything was 75% off. We arrived just as they were opening their doors, and the line was quite literally around the block. It was a book lover's paradise.

Among the gems we picked up today:

8 CDROMs for homeschooling
the movie "The Couch Trip"
A "Sniglets" 3-pack (anyone else remember those? Ah, the 80's...)
Alison Weir's "The Princes in the Tower"
Reader's Digest's "Facts & Fallacies: Stories of the Strange and Unusual" (no, dear bloggies, I am not in it....) and "Natural Wonders of the World"
Dave Berry's "Book of Bad Songs"
several Star Trek books (including "Spock's World" in hardcover)
"The Rants" by Dennis Miller
5 advanced math and chemistry textbooks
two oversized coffee-table books on the city of London
4 children's music cassettes
3 cookbooks (including one Native American)
"The Jewish Holiday Book" by Wendy Lazar (we have another of her books, and I've been looking for this one for years)
"The Wine Lover's Quiz Book" by Peter Adams
the complete "Wildlife Explorer" set
2 "Peanuts" books (Jonathan is a big Snoopy fan)
a book on the history of crime and criminals (for my son, the budding forensics scientist)
"Celebrating Christmas" by Pamela Westland (a big and GORGEOUS book)
a vinyl copy of the musical "Stop the World I Want to Get Off"
"The Macmillian Dictionary for Children" and "The Encyclopedia of Nature"
World Explorer's "The Ancient World"
2 David Letterman Top Ten Lists books
the video of Judy Garland's performance with the London Philharmonic (as a gift to my mother-in-law, who is a big Garland fan)
A CD of music from the old "Dinosaurs" TV show (which my kids still love)
A small booklet of Christmas Carols
"The History of Earth" by Hartman & Miller

and 4 Arthurian books:

"The Prince and the Pilgrim" by Mary Stewart
"Black Camelot" by Duncan Kyle
"Merlin's Gift" by Ian McDowell
and "Pendragon" by Stephen R. Lawhead.

Most of the books are in hardcover. The kids also got a nice selection of books for themselves: Wren got a book on kittens and one on hamsters, Phoenix got several nice Star Wars, Animorphs and X-Files books. Even the baby got a cardboard book on faces.

It was two very large boxes full of books....for which we paid $40. I was thrilled. Does anyone else get this excited over books? :)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Of Dragons, Turtles and Tattoos

I will, I promise, be getting that digital camera soon! I'm hoping Christmas.

Until then, I found the link I based my ankle tattoo on, it's this design. It's a little different, however: instead of the lines being blue, they're black. The dragon heads are still blue, with some yellow shading on the horns and black on the eyes.

My tattoo artist, Maverick Mess of Deluxe Tattoo, did a great job on it. I can give this guy any picture...and he'll make it 100% better than I dreamed it could be. If you're in Portland, or have a chance to visit, check him out. He's talented, scrupulously clean and won't charge you and arm and a leg for a great piece of permanent art. And unlike some artists, he doesn't act like a stuck-up, superior high-school debutante while he's inking you. He treats you with respect, and there's a lot to be said for that. He's done three on me and four on my husband thus far...with a few more in the works. Hey, when you find a great keep 'em!

I can't wait to be able to show y'all my turtle he did just a few months's my largest tattoo; a Southwestern-style turtle with a Kokopelli in the center. I based it on this design. There are some changes I made: there is more of a Southwestern feel to it (probably strange from a Northeast Native, lol), with much more color. And there's only one Kokopelli in the center, with a swirly-type design behind him. And no trees.

I love the Internet...I've found my last three designs on various sites. The strange thing is, I never find them on tattoo sites! The dragon one I found on a site for free animations for webpages. The turtle, on a site for knick-knacks and such. The Kokopelli? On a site that sells rubber stamps.

I'm forever telling people who ask me where to find a good picture for a tattoo: just use Google Images. You'd be surprised what turns up.

For example, while searching in vain for the image that gave me my Kokopelli (mine is a bit different from the ones I've found online today), I did find two other designs that would equally make great tattoos: this tattoo design which is neat, and this one, which isn't a tattoo design but in my opinion would make a gorgeous bit of inkwork.

Speaking of tattoos....if you are (as you should be!) a regular reader of THE ZEN PRETZEL TRICK, you'll know regular commenter Rich of Everyday Absurd. He recently posted one of the most original tattoos I've ever seen! If you haven't seen his blog...shame on you. Rush right over. You'll thank me in the morning. Another blog entry to check out is Incognito's insights on stupid tattoo-related queries on her blog, The Lunatic Fringe.

I'll leave you with this disturbing, yet kind of cool picture I found using Google Images. Like I said, you never know what you'll find.

My how I love the freaking computer age.....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

It's Good To Be Persecuted: Pharmacist Refuses to Give Student Birth Control

Just when you think you've heard it all....comes this article.

Apparently, a former K-Mart pharmacist by the name of Neil Noesen in Madison, Wisconsin refused to fill a birth-control pill prescription for a University of Wisconsin-Stout student, Amanda Phiede, on the basis that it would be a "sin" for him, as a devout Roman Catholic, to do so. He also refused to transfer the prescription.

On October 11, he had to testify in front of a judge at a disciplinary hearing, which is hearing the accusation of "unprofessional conduct" from the Department of Regulation and Licensing. The judge will make a recommendation to the exam board as to what punishment, if any, should be given to this nutbag extraordinaire.

A few points:

1) The pharmacist said: "I could have trouble sleeping at night, I could be suffering from the worst kind of pain. Spiritual pain." Of course, that's THE worst pain....I mean, nothing compared to the pain of CHILDBIRTH the student was trying to avoid. And that baby would certainly have kept HER up from sleeping at night! And why on Earth should his percieved "spiritual pain" prevent HER from getting a legally-obtained prescription? Talk about imposing your religious views on someone else!

2) Didn't this nutbag go to school? Didn't he have to learn about various medications and their uses? Did he not realize that A) he'd have to fill birth control pills and B) the Pill can be used for other purposes than birth control? What, did he skip class that day? Would learning about the Pill cause him "spiritual pain," so he slept in instead?

3) The nutbag's attorney, fellow nutbag Krystal Williams-Orby, said Noesen should not be punished as "any punishment would violate his constitutional right to religious expression." What a crock of shit. Your rights end where someone else's begin; he had NO right to impose HIS religious expression on a complete stranger.

4) The nutbag also claims that he is being "harassed" by Department lawyer John Zwieg. I am so motherfucking sick and tired of every last person on Earth who undergoes even the smallest amount of annoyance---especially when they themselves caused the fucking problem in the first place---claiming they are being "harassed" simply because people aren't rushing to bend over and take their bullshit up the tailpipe.

5) Noessen also said at the hearing: "It's good for a person to be persecuted. Really, it helps you grow in your faith." It's GOOD to be persecuted? First of all, Mr. Nutbag, you are NOT being persecuted. You're being investigated and hopefully punished under the guidelines of your profession for failing to do your job. That is NOT persecution. Secondly, what do you call what you did to Miss Phiede? You discriminated against her for not sharing your religious beliefs. You PERSECUTED her! Moron. I can't imagine how this idiot would respond to REAL persecution and harassment. His head would probably spin around and fall off.

6) Having taken the Pill before I had my tubal ligation, I know a thing or two about how they work. This was a renewal prescription, which means Miss Pheide had been taking them at least a month before. Let's say it was just one month before. Now, you have to wait 30 days before the Pill is truly effective. That means if she waited to refill until she needed to take the next Pill, or the day before she needed it (a pharmacy manager at K-Mart filled her prescription the day after Nutbag's meltdown), she might have missed a day, meaning she'd have to double-up and wait another 30 days before it was truly effective. I'd be pretty pissed off about that, quite frankly. Now, what if she was sensitive to hormones? Missing a day could cause unpleasant side-effects. And what if she wasn't taking them for birth control at all, but for other hormonal problems? I myself started taking the Pill five years before I had sex, because I had irregular, painful periods. If that was the case with Miss Phiede, she was being denied the Pill she desperately needed to control those symptoms by a man who has ZERO idea what it's like to have them, and who was judging her to be "immoral" and sexually active when it may not have been the case. Not to mention that my next point...

7) Who the fuck told this nutbag is was ANY of his business why this woman was taking the Pill? He is not a doctor. It's not his job to decide who gets medication and who doesn't. According to the article, Noesen asked Miss Phiede if the Pill was for contraception, and then denied it to her when she said it was. I would have SCREAMED for a manager right then and there. It is NONE of ANY pharmacist's business why I take any damned medication (and believe me, I take quite a few). It's also not his place to deny her medication. Who the fuck did he think he was? He's not entitled to her gynocological or sexual history. His job is to fill bottles with little pills...and in the case of birth control pills, he doesn't even have to do THAT. All he has to do is check the damned container to make sure it's the right medication, charge her and MOVE ON to the next customer. I think he may have skipped more than one day in pharm school if he thought he had ANY right to deny ANYONE medication for ANY reason, least of all because he doesn't personally approve. What would be next? A Scientologist cashier refusing to sell a child's Tylenol because he doesn't believe in medicating children? A Jehovah's Witness refusing to give blood thinners to a transfusion patient? A Jew refusing to give cholesterol meds to a man who eats three BLT's a day? This is why we draw the line, folks. It's why pharmacists are NOT doctors, and why we DON'T impose our religious views on anyone else in this country.

8) John Zweig said: "The additional risk of pregnancy should not have been imposed on her by someone else." Absolutely. Not to mention the embarassment of being denied pills (I'm sure she wasn't the only person at K-Mart that day) for being sexually active and not being of the same religious beliefs as the nutbag, the denial of a prescription transferral (which was basically Mr. Nutbag's way of making sure that she couldn't get the Pill from him or anyone else), and the just overall inappropriateness of the entire situation.

Noesen was fired from K-Mart for his behavior, and rightly so. Let's hope the judge recommends SERIOUS punishment for Mr. Noesen. His license should be revoked, and he should never be allowed to play doctor---or God---to anyone ever again.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Quiz #12: Which Mystical Creature Are You?

Yes, yet another quiz. Aren't you lucky?


ex dragon
You're like a dragon. Dragons where the terrible
creatures that lived in large caves and often
swooped down out of the sky and stole sheep,
cows, and even people from the countryside to
eat. They were gigantic with spikes along the
back and tail. Some had wings, legs, and the
ability to breathe fire. Even in the Bible, the
Levithian resembled something like a dragon so
they may have actually existed. Dragons were
loyal protectors that were more powerful that
any other animal that ever lived. Some where
peaceful and others just wanted to destroy. The
pest control for dragons were Knights who were
appointed the task of killing a dragon. Some
stories tell us that eating the dragon heart
let you claim victory in any battle or eating
the tongue would allow you to win any debate.
(If you cannot see the picture, go to my
userpage and look near the bottom. There should
be the picture and description for all the

What Mystical Creature Are You? (Pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

Dragon? I can live with that. I love dragons...even have a dragon tattoo (yes, I WILL get a damned digital camera soon so I can share my tattoos).

RIP, Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve died of heart failure today. He was 52.

Thank you, Mr. Reeve, for giving the disabled people in this country a hero to look up to.

Thank you for showing that a wheelchair and dignity are not mutually exclusive.

Thank you for the hope, the courage and the strength.

Rest in peace, Superman.

Because of you...the world is a better place. You saved it after all.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Quiz #11: Which Celebrity Would You Hook Up With If You Were Drunk?

This should be amusing.......



Which Celebrity would you hook up with if you were drunk?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well, let's set aside the fact that I'm a man....there's one glaring problem: I have no idea who this "celebrity" IS. Who the fuck is Cara? Man, am I out of it. I'm going to try again:


Which Celebrity would you hook up with if you were drunk?
brought to you by Quizilla

Screech? The annoying guy from "Saved By The Bell"? Is he even considered a "celebrity" anymore? Isn't he more of the Danny Bonaduce, trying-out-for-"The-Surreal-Life" kind of guy? In any's sort of accurate. I like guys with big noses, and I like guys who can make me laugh. But Screech wouldn't make it past "hand me my beer!" with me.

What a strange quiz.....

Remembrance, Part 1

Yes, it's me again...up all night, in pain and unable to sleep. I wish this attack would be over already. I wish fall would start, so I could have some respite from the heat. I wish I could sleep already.

It's strange how, when I have these prolonged attacks, my mind wanders to the past. Never the bad things, of which there is plenty to remember. Only the good. Maybe it's natural for the mind to take some solace in a time when there was no pain or illness. A time when I was young, pretty, able and ready to take on the world. It's odd how I can hardly remember what I did last week, but when I'm sick like this....I'll remember every detail of a day long ago. Peculiar, isn't it?

Today, I'm remembering a day when I was 17. It was after my father had thrown me out of the house for attending a family member's wedding. Yes, I know that sounds was. My father, then, was a drunk. And drunks are rarely rational. It's part of the disease.

I didn't really understand that back then, all I knew was that I was 17 with no money and no home. No driver's license. No ability to get a job....back then, in Ohio, you had to get a permit to have a job as a minor. My father would not allow me to have one. And I, in youthful pride, was not about to beg for it. I had some rough times, as you can imagine. But the day I'm recalling today was not one of them.

I was doing well, as well as I could under the circumstances. I had a place to live, with some friends, who charged me only $50 a month so long as I did most of the housework. I had a job, watching my stepbrother's children during the day while he and his wife worked, and some nights when they went out. I made $150 a week. That seemed like an awful lot of money back then. I ate most of my meals at my stepbrother's, so I had a lot of extra cash....probably the first time in my life I did. I bought myself clothes, make-up, extraneous crap I'd never really been able to buy before. I was at odds with my parents, working long hours with little social life....but I was happy.

On this day, I was with my best friend Fizz. I'd brought him over to the house to meet my roommates, and to show him where I was living. He'd been so worried about me since I'd been kicked out. In fact, it was Fizz who, a few months ago, reminded me of this day...I had forgotten.

It was summer, and we were off to lunch. It was a bit of a walk to the bus stop. It was hot out, and I remember just soaking in the sun, thrilled by it. I used to love summer. I loved the heat. It saddens me a bit to realize that I'll never have that experience MS is very heat-reactive. And many of my medications prohibit direct sunlight. So I'll never just bask in the sunlight again like I did that day. I'm glad I did it then, so I have the memory. How awful it would have been, had I been some anti-social hermit who never left the house. Which is not too different, come to think of it, from the way I am now. Sigh.

Getting back to the story...I was wearing a flowing white blouse I'd bought from a thrift store just a few days before. It was very much like the sort of shirt Prince and his band wore in the 80's. I loved it. It was my first time wearing it. I didn't normally wear white....but I couldn't resist this blouse. I was wearing a pair of tight black pants and calf-high boots with it. Fizz told me just a few months ago that it was the most beautiful he'd ever seen me. I had no idea at the time, of course. I was very down on myself in my youth. I thought I was very ugly, very fat. I look back now and wonder, what the hell was the matter with me? Why was I so down on myself? Surely, I wasn't the conventional idea of beauty---nor would I want to be. I was, and am, very punk. But neither was I this unattractive ogre I thought myself to be. And I sure as hell wasn't fat. What kind of world is it, really, that a 17-year-old girl, five feet eight in height and 140 pounds, thinks she's obese? I suppose, compared to some of the stick-thin girls I knew, and of course the Hollywood images that I was bombarded with, I was. Horseshit, of of it. I wish I'd known that then. I wish I'd known, also, that it didn't matter.

What a day that was, though. Fizz and I, walking along the street I lived on at the time, stopping by the UDF for a Coke and cigarettes. Going downtown, having a blast. I think we went to the Oregon District that day, to the apartment of our friend Chuck. He liked the blouse, me, he was a big Prince fan. We did some window-shopping....I bought Fizz some shirt he liked at the Goodwill. He, as usual, was broke....but for once, I wasn't.

I loved buying my friends things. I remember once someone accused me of "buying friendship." What a load of shit that was! I never bought anyone's friendship...indeed, I don't think it's possible. Anyone who could be bought in that way, isn't really a friend and is certainly not someone I wanted to be associated with. And besides, my friends had no problem returning the favor. That's what we did, back then. So many of us were poor or homeless. When one of us had a windfall, we helped the others, knowing full well that they would do the same when their time came. Those who didn't, were called "mooches" and treated with disdain. It was a symbiotic relationship most of us had with one another, the Street Punks of early 90's Dayton. If someone found a good squat, he'd tell the others. We shared fortunes, because fortune was rare and best savored with friends. Greed was looked down upon as destructive, selfish and shitty. You couldn't survive out there that way. You couldn't make it on your own. Survival--and safety---depended on numbers. Anyone who compromised that was avoided.

There wasn't always harmony; there were often fights and disagreements. But we did the best we could, all in all. For me, it was enough. I hope it was for the others, as well. It's been years since I've seen or spoken to any of them. I wonder how many are still on the streets. I wonder how many---like myself---made it to a nice life. I wonder how many are dead.

Sometimes, that life seems like centuries away. It sometimes feels like it happened to someone else, and not to me. So much have I changed.

Only a few months later, I wound up in the hospital with food poisoning, and was told I was pregnant with Phoenix. That one day changed my entire life. It led me down the road to where I am today: married to a wonderful man, with three terrific kids, living in a beautiful city. If I could go back and tell the girl I was that such a life was in my future...she probably would have laughed at me. I would have laughed right back. Life is funny that way.

Thinking back, I think the White Blouse Day was one of the last carefree days of my youth, if not the last day. I'm glad it is a good memory. I'm glad I have days like that to think upon, when I am sick and feeling horrible, as I do now. I am equally glad that such days are in my past, left behind me, only there for me to contemplate at my leisure. That is not my life anymore. I am not that girl anymore. I would not go back to it for all the world...but every now and again, it's nice to remember the good things.

That probably seems strange to some of you, dear bloggies, that I am thinking back upon teenage homelessness with a smile. But if there is one thing I've learned, is that you can dance in the rain. But that lesson, that is a memory for another time.....

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Quiz #10: Which Happy Bunny Are You?

I don't know much about the Happy Bunnies...I'm so out of touch. But it looked like a fun quiz.


I know how you feel; I just don't're a
selfish little bitch half the time, so try to
lighten and care about other people besides's not that hard

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, October 08, 2004

I'm Searchin'

I had a roommate, years ago, who got angry at me for dating my now-husband (she was a fundie, and thought my dating a Jew was 'just wrong,'). She kicked me out, and threw away most of my belongings. Later, a fire destroyed even more. As a result, I have little to nothing from my pre-aged-22 days.

But fear not! There is always eBay.

Yes, I am an eBay junkie. I use it for a number of reasons: to find things for my Arthurian collection, to add to my mushroom-themed kitchen, to buy the courting jewelry I collect, and to replace some of those long-lost items. After three years, though, there are still quite a few things even eBay hasn't been able to find for me:


1) "Sister Safety Pin" by Lorrie Sprecher. This is a good book...I've found sites on the Internet that will claim to have it in stock, but I try to order it and it's a no-go. Apparently, the library's copy was stolen, which means I can't even borrow the damned book. It's a neat novel about a punk-rock lesbian in the late 1970's.

2) "Circle of Love," author unknown. This book seems next-to-impossible for me to find. It's a lovely book about a young German girl who escaped the Nazis and eventually comes to America. I've always thought this book would make a great movie...

3) "Tristant" by Eilhardt von Oberge. For my Arthurian collection.

4) "Death: The High Cost of Living" by Neil Gaiman. This is a graphic novel with a forward by Tori Amos. I have the three comic books...but I'd rather have the novel.

5) "Carol's Story," author unknown. I read this book as a teenager, and cried and cried. It's a true story about a young girl who is physically and sexually abused by her father. My Internet searches haven't turned up a thing on this book thus far.

6) "Roxanne," author unknown. Probably the only romance novel I ever really liked, mostly because it very vividly portrays what life was like for women in the Klondike during the Gold Rush.

7) "Beautiful Girl," author unknown. This was a teen fiction about a physically-attractive girl who doesn't have it as easy as most of the world assumes she does. I want this for my daughter; it's a good book about misconceptions, bullying and never judging a book by its cover.

8) "On Your Toes, Susie!" by Lee Wyndham. Another book I want for my daughter: it's the story of a young ballet student who struggles with jealousy when a rival from France joins her class. In the book, the girls get the mother bought me this book when I was very young and had---you guessed it---the mumps. Wren is a ballet nut, and I know she'd love this book. I've found a few copies on the Internet, but they all had torn covers or pages.

9) "The Pendragon" by Catherine Christian. My favorite Arthurian book; I've long since worn out my copy. It's out-of-print, and I know it goes by another title as well but I can't remember what that title is.


1) Ethel and the Shameless Hussies (title of album unknown). This is sort of a country parody band. I loved it, particularly the song "I Thought He Was Mr. Right But He Left." Trivia question: anyone know from which famous novelty song this band took its name? Leave a comment if you think you know the answer!

2) Ethyl Meatplow, "Happy Days Sweetheart." I have it on cassette, but am trying to find it on CD.

3) The Balancing Act, "Curtains" and "Understanding Furniture" (?). This is a sort of They-Might-Be-Giants type of band. Very funny, especially the songs "She Doesn't Work Here Anymore" and "Lost in the Mail."

4) Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper, "Bo-Day-Shus!" I love the anti-80's-era-MTV song "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin." Mojo rocks.

5) The Blake Babies, "Sunburn." Reminds me of days spent in my friend Chris' basement....

6) Corky and the Juice Pigs (title unknown). I want the album with the song "Eskimo." Anyone see these guys on their many MAD-TV appearances? Hilarious!

7) Bill Cosby, "Bill's Best Friend." I loaned this cassette to my stepbrother Larry...who quickly proceeded to lose it. It's an early Cosby album, with an absolutely hilarious skit on drugs. I've been looking for it for years with no luck.

8) Liquid Drano (title unknown, might be spelled "Draino" or "Drain-o"). This was a local Dayton band in the early 90's, headlined by a set of male twins. I casually knew the twins, but my copy of their album is long gone. It has the song "The Day Jim Henson Died" on it.

9) Giles Reeves, "Wunjo." Viking rune music. Better than it sounds.

10) Monty Python (title unknown). All I remember is a very funny skit involving a musician who says, "I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn." I love that quote...but it's not on either "The Final Rip-Off" or "Instant Record Collection."


1) "I Survived the Miamisburg Train Derailment" T-Shirt. In 1986, a train carrying white phospherous derailed in Miamisburg, Ohio...where I happened to be living at the time (part-time, at parents were divorced and had an early version of joint custody). I remember being evacuated, and then ending up in the hospital when my eyes, nose, throat and lungs began to burn. It was not a pleasant experience....but I survived it, and to date those of us who did are the only people (who didn't work with the substance) poisoned by white phospherous. I wore my shirt proudly....but it burned in the fire.

2) My perfume bottle necklace. This was a necklace I had and loved for years. I bought it at a store in the Dayton Mall in either '90 or ' had a long, gold-colored chain and the pendant was a clear perfume flask, with gold chain criss-crossed over it and a citrine-colored jewel on the bottom. The top screwed off and had a stick applicator. I used to put my favorite perfume in there, and had a lock of my friend Phil's green hair in there for months. Ah, memories....I've not been able to find anything even close to that necklace.

That's all I can think of for now. I've found many items I was searching Beavis and Butt-head "Punks" T-shirt, my copy of "Stories From Japan" that I had loved as a child, many items for my kitchen that my mother once owned (she also had a mushroom theme). So I continue to search.....such is life.

Quiz #9: Which Elemental Dragon Are You?

I love dragons. Something about them....I don't know, I've always been drawn to them. When I was younger, I used to love to sit in my room and read the "Pern" series by Anne MacCaffrey over and over. Who am I kidding...I STILL read those books! I cried when the Masterharper died. I'm such a sap. Anyway, on to the quiz....


Tis an ice dragon breathes...when the first snowflake doesnt melt....
Your an ice dragon! Congrats! Out of all the
dragons, you are most powerful but do not like
to show it. A rare and special creture, you
have artistic style and are great at expressing
yourself. You think friends and Familly are the
most important, and are a hopeless romantic.
But of course, as ice goes, you can be a little
cold or harsh at times. But not to worry, you
always apoligize later!

What elemental dragon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Measure 33: Pass the Bowl and Pass on this Bill

To my fellow Oregonians (you know who you are):

I want to start by saying that I am a proponent of medical marijuana. I supported the measure which made it legal for people with certain medical conditions to grow their own marijuana for medical purposes. I don't believe that suffering people should be kept from medicine that could make their lives even a tiny bit more bearable.

I don't use medical marijuana currently, for a few reasons. For one, I'm still breastfeeding Eden. For another, I quit smoking cigarettes 12 years ago. And I'm afraid that smoking marijuana would make it that much easier for me to pick up a pack of Camel Wides.

I don't rule it out as a possibility, however. I know medical marijuana has helped many people, including people who, like myself, are fighting MS every day. I know it helped my mother, when she was so sick from chemotherapy that she couldn't keep anything down, including much-needed medications. And that's why I supported Measure 67, because I know it can help people who so desperately need it. And I want that option, even if I end up never using it. I want it there for me if I should desperately need it.

That said, I am voting NO on Measure 33.

I have a few things to say about the measure, and about the current commercial running in support of it.

First, about the commercial: those of you in Oregon have probably seen it, but for the benefit of my non-Oregonian readers, I will describe it for you. It shows a man, in the hospital, paralyzed and barely able to speak. He tells people that:

1) He needs his medical marijuna.
2) He can't tend a garden himself.
3) That he, "like all card holders in Oregon, frequently" runs out of his medicine, and
4) He should be able to buy it from a legal pharamacy or dispensary.

Let's deal with #1 first: let me make it absolutely clear that I have no doubts whatsoever that this man needs his medical marijuana, that it helps him, and that he should have it. It bothers me that the proponents of the bill are trying so very hard to pull at the heart-strings of people to get them to vote for this bill, without really giving the facts. It makes it seem as if those who don't support this measure are cruel to suffering patients.
#2: It is clear this man cannot tend a garden himself. However, under the current law, he is able to appoint someone to do it for him. The commerical makes it sounds as if those who cannot tend the plants on their own are shit out of luck, and that's just not the way it is.
#3: I know many people who use medical marijuana, both in real life and on on-line support groups. Only a few have ever complained of "running out," and that was usually in the early, trial-and-error stage of learning how to cultivate the marijuana. The assertation that every single card holder in Oregon frequently runs out of marijuana is unsubstantiated and ridiculous.
#4: This is the claim that gets to the heart of what is wrong with this measure, why I am absolutely voting against it. Changing our program from one of patient-based and patient-provided to one of dispensaries selling to patients is the wrong move to make...wrong for patients, wrong for Oregon.

I think the best voice for voting against Measure 33 was also the best voice for voting for Measure 67: Stormy Ray. Stormy, like myself, has multiple sclerosis. She wrote a wonderful letter to The Oregonian, outlining the glaring problems with Measure 33, which you can read here. I will paraphrase some of that letter, and add my own comments (nope, no chance I'll keep 'em to myself, dear bloggies):

1) "The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act is the best medical marijuna program in the United States." I agree with this. Other states have had difficulty with their programs, and while ours is certainly not perfect, it is workable for all parties involved: the patients, the doctors, the local law enforcement. It WORKS, and shouldn't be replaced by a law that would compromise the patients, doctors and law enforcement officials.

2) "I know there are many obstacles a patient must face when growing medical marijuana....but I don't think turning our program over to the black market will help them." I agree with this wholeheartedly. The law, as it stands, is not perfect. Improvements can and should be made. But NOT with this measure. What this measure proposes to do is not improve and enhance our medical marijuna program, but to obliterate it. It would undoubtably introduce a criminal element into what has been a benign, helpful program. It would cause the Oregon police no end of trouble; and so far, our medical marijuana program hasn't cost the police force one dime or one life. This measure could change all that, by introducing black-market exploitation. The implications are far-reaching and incredibly disturbing.

3) "...expanding our program with Measure 33....would almost certainly bring federal intervention. We could even lose our medical marijuna program altogether." This is certainly a cause for alarm. We in Oregon are a rarity: not only do we have a workable medical marijuana program, we're the only state with such a program who has not seen even one patient or doctor prosecuted by the federal government. John Ashcroft, that hater of medical marijuana extraordinaire, has overlooked us...and we'd like him to keep doing so. I came across a great article on a website called Change the Climate, Inc. on this very issue, and it does a great job of explaining why Measure 33 would have Ashcroft and his nutbag cronies on Oregon's marijuana patients faster than you can say, "Cover up the titties on that statue already!" And once the feds step in and eliminate our program, the chance that we will ever win it back is slim to none. In the end, patients will suffer; they are the ones who will ultimately lose under Measure 33. And medical marijuana is supposed to be about the patient....let's keep it that way, people. The only thing that's kept the nutbags at bay thus far is that, under our current program, it is illegal to buy or sell the marijuana. Measure 33 would make it legal...and the federal government isn't going to stand idly by and let that happen. White House drug czar John Walters said that in the event Measure 33 passes, it would turn our state into a "safe haven for drug trafficking." He has even gone so far as to call the supporters of Measure 33 "suckers," which you can read about here. The drug czar's against this measure, the Oregon District Attorneys Association is against this measure, the Oregon Medical Association is against this measure.....if it passes, you'll have feds moving in, DAs ready to prosecute on the state and local level and doctors refusing to write any more medical marijuana prescriptions. Our program as we know it will end.

4) "Measure 33 will change our patient-based program to allow anyone 18 or over to grow, own and sell marijuana....regardless of criminal history...(it) places no limits on the number of plants or the amount of marijuana (dispensaries) can produce. It is not reasonable to think the state could prevent criminals from abusing this market growers will find it easier to legally exploit patients." If for no other reason, THIS should be enough to vote no on Measure 33! Would you want to get your medicine from criminals? I thought the whole point of Measure 67 and the creation of our Medical Marijuana Program was to eliminate the criminal element involved in medical marijuana. The program, as it stands, allows for patients and/or thier caretakers to grow marijuana for personal medical use. There is a reasonable limit on how many plants per patient can be grown. It eliminates the fear that a patient could be prosecuted for seeking relief from terrible symptoms. It eliminates the need (paid for by tax dollars) for police officials to investigae and arrest sick people, and the DAs from having to go through the expensive trial process. Our program, as-is, not only allows for patients to get the medicine they need, but SAVES taxpayers money! Measure 33 will destroy all that. It is also unreasonable to believe that growers, allowed to cultivate as many plants as they want, will NOT sell it for recreational use to non-cardholders, particularly criminals using the system Measure 33 proposes. Especially as this law states that poor and indigent patients would qualify for free marijuana. I worry that it would be next to impossible to enforce that; poor patients would end up paying anyway. And patients just above the poverty line would then be faced with rising costs to "cover" those who get the medicine for "free." I also do not see anything in the law that would prohibit dispensaries and growers from operating near schools. That disturbs me greatly....criminals who before faced serious charges for growing marijuana near schools and our children can now simply show 25 names of card-holders and grow the plant with impunity.

5) "Measure 33 attempts to replace our marijuna program with a bad law." And that's the bottom line, folks....this is a bad law. We already have a workable medical marijuana program in Oregon....don't destroy it with this poorly-written measure!

While I'm on the subject...shame on the Willamette Week, for printing such a biased and slanted article on Stormy's position. I've been a fan of the WW ever since I first came to Portland eight years ago; but this article was inflammatory, incorrect in all its essentials, horrendeously biased and downright shitty. It portrayes Stormy as a turncoat, who is fighting against "her friends and allies," and is "easily manipulated." Her position is never covered in this article; the only things WW mentions is that she is "fired up" about the "commerce" angle....which makes me wonder if WW bothered to read Stormy's site or interview her at all before writing this one-sided character assassination. Journalism at its worst, and I expected better of them. For shame, WW, for shame.

My fellow Oregonians, don't turn our medical marijuana program, the best in the nation, into a hotbed of criminal activity and federal focus. Don't destroy the one hope so many sick, suffering people have available to them. It is the last thing Oregon's patients medical marijuana patients need.

Vote NO on Measure 33.