Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!

I hope all who celebrate will have a glorious Easter Sunday.

I leave you today with this:

Giant Chocolate Easter Egg Unveiled

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Nutbags in the Wake of Terri Schiavo: Ignoring Patient's Rights

What the fuck?!?!?!?!?

Randall Terry Resurfaces: Christian right jumps into Terri Schiavo fray

Legislation currently before the Wisconsin Senate allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical personnel who morally disagree with the guidelines regarding feeding and hydration tubes to ignore living wills and advance directives. The legislation already has passed the Republican-controlled Assembly and is likely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

These people are pondscum. I can't imagine having my advance directive (which took me hours of painstaking soul-searching to fill out) ignored because some strange nurse decides it's against her religion-of-the-week. What do HER beliefs have to do with MY life, or MY death?

Is there no end to what the Radical Right will do to erode personal rights in this country? I used to think that the old Pharmacy Nutbag
(Zen Pretzel Trick: It's Good to Be Persecuted) was an odd man out...I am horrified to see that I was wrong.

I have avoided the Schiavo case on this blog, as it's everywhere already and other bloggers more passionate about the case than I have spoken and spoken well. But this...I just had to speak out.

These nutbags who are using this poor woman as a platform for their agenda make me sick. They keep screaming, "Life begins at conception and ends at natural death!" Well, I disagree with the first part of that...and as for the second, there is nothing natural about Terri's situation at all.

And I can't help but wonder what the woman---not her husband, not her brother, not her parents---would have thought about all that is being done in her name: courts eroding the sanctity of marriage (and by blowhards like Inbred Jeb Bush who will, out of the other side of his crooked mouth, insist that gay marriage must be illegal because IT would threaten the sanctity of marriage), outright public lying about her condition and care, laws being passed that affect millions of people and their right to die with dignity.

I think, with all the "Terri's Laws" and courtroom battles and the crap like the story I posted above, we've forgotten what it all boils down to: who has the right to make decisions for you if you're incapicitated? Your husband, or your parents? Can next-of-kin law be ignored if another relative can't let go? If my second cousin once removed wants me to stay on life support because of her beliefs, does that trump my husband's judgement? And who decides who decides?

Until I read that article, I have only had this to say about the case: I urged people to create, as I have, an advance directive. Make your wishes known in writing, and do it now...because you never know. But seems even that can be denied us. Even the right to choose how we would live and die is being taken away.

What has happened to the land of the free?


Nutbag Extraordinaire: Teacher's Aide Charged With 96 Student Sex Charges

I am appalled, disgusted and truly sick to the very bottom of my stomach by this:

Teacher's Aide Charged

SALISBURY -- A teacher's assistant at Wicomico Middle School has been charged with having sex with six male students between the ages of 12 and 16 over a period of more than eight months, according to Wicomico County law enforcement officials.

Lindsay Renee Allen of Hudson Drive in Salisbury faces 96 counts of sexual assault, child abuse and perversion, according to Wicomico Child Advocacy Center officials.

Allen, 22, was released Wednesday from the Wicomico County Detention Center after posting a $100,000 bond, according to Detective Sgt. Steve Mathews of the county Sheriff's Office, who is also the law enforcement supervisor at the county's child advocacy center.

Most of the sexual encounters allegedly occurred at Allen's home, where the special education aide resides with her 2-year-old daughter and a roommate, said Elizabeth Ireland, the Wicomico State's Attorney's prosecutor handling the case.

Not only is this poor excuse for a multicelled organism a child molestor...her victims were special-needs kids.

I wonder if there's a low enough ring in hell for a pervert like this.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Life in My Skin: The Aftermath of Red Lake

I just want to make a few statements today...and as they are coming out of emotion, I warn you not to expect them to be polished.

I am deeply, deeply saddened by the school shooting at Red Lake. I'm also afraid. Afraid that it will "kick up" a new batch of racism against Native Americans, used as fuel by those who hate anyone who is not the "right" color and had the gall to be here first and not take it lying down.

I was horrified by all the bitching I heard, from reporters and others, about how information was so hard to come by in the hours following the shooting. They complained about the lock-down (which is standard procedure) and about the remoteness of the reservation.

Of course, they didn't see the you think the Chippewa like being out in the middle of fucking nowhere, too? You think that was their first choice? Do you think they did it on purpose so you couldn't make your report to Cornfed America on time? Geez.

The media is also, in my opinion, focusing on all the wrong damned things about this. They keep bringing up the fact that Weise liked Marylin Manson. So fucking what? I didn't know bad taste was a precursor to horrific violence. They also keep mentioning his love of Hitler. While disturbing, I believe they only bring it up for shock value. They want to believe goth music and neo-Nazi sympathies caused this.

Why? Because they don't want to look at the poverty at Red Lake, the 40% unemployment, the poor security at the school. That doesn't sell papers.

It's nothing new, though. Historically, the media hasn't given a rat's hairy behind about Native American issues. It perpetuates this erroneous belief prevelant in American society today that all our problems ended 200 years ago. The myth that we're all fat off of casino wealth and degrees bought with free education won't die, even though it is patently untrue. They agree with the alcohol problem, but even then, inflate it. It's bad enough as it is, thanks. They don't see the poor education, the rampant poverty, the unemployment, the high suicide rates, the large numbers of relatively young people dying of diabetes and leaving families behind. No, focus on those mythical checks coming in from gambling and government alike.

In the aftermath of Columbine, changes were made. Everyone in the country wanted to see things made better, not only there, but in all high schools. And to some extent, changes were made. I have no optimism, however, that Red Lake will have the same result.

Every month, I read news on cases in Indian Country that, if they happened anywhere else in America, would be on CNN 24/7. But they happened to Indians, so who cares?

It took a kid shooting up a school for anyone to notice. And next week, even that notice will be gone.

And the reservation will be the same. Remote, poor...and now infamous.

My prayers are with the families of Red Lake.

Labels: ,

School Shooting: Grieving with the Chippewa

There isn't much I can say about this, except that I, like so many of you, Native American and non-NA alike...grieve with the reservation today.



Wednesday, March 16, 2005

~~The Best of Zen~~

If you're new to The Zen Pretzel Trick, or are a regular reader...welcome! Listed below are what I consider to be "The Best of Zen": the best posts I've written so far. You can get a sort of feel for my writing...or, at least, a chuckle or two.

Without further ado...

Measure 36, or Why in the Hell are We Still Trying To Curtail Civil Rights?
A post on a ballot measure in last year's election here in Oregon, to ban gay marriage.

A Note To Television Advertisers
Hate commercials? So do I.

It's Good To Be Persecuted
Or so thinks this nutbag pharmacist.

Bob Jones is Making Me Sick
But of course!

Whatever Happened to Sitcoms?
I stilld don't have the answer.

The Legend of the Nastiest Scratcher on Earth
You'll never look at chickens the same way again.

The Sad Ironies of Homophobic Parents

Thanks a Lot, Breakfast Bastards
A treastise on soapy eggs and missing hash browns.

Call It...Pointless!
A hallowing experience at the DMV.

Oh, the Horrors! Is Your Child a Goth?
The Catholic Church vs....just about everyone.

Nutbags of the Year 2004
Need I say more?


My Tattoos!

Well, I finally bought a digital I can show off my tattoos! The four entries below are said photos of my ink on my wrist, leg, ankle and knee. I have others in more, shall we say, private areas...sorry, y'all...they're not for show.

I've discussed my tattoos before, so if you're so inclined, here's the post:
Of Dragons, Turtles and Tattoos

Three of the four tattoos were done by my wonderful, regular artist, Mav Mess of Deluxe Tattoo in Portland, Oregon. He's absolutely wonderful, folks. I can't speak highly enough of his work.



Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My Tattoos: My Dragons

My Tattoos: My Dragons

This is an anklet, on my left ankle. I got the idea from a website with free animations for other websites. This is a "line." Mav Mess at Deluxe Tattoo changed it and made it 1000% better. I love the little yellow horns and the fillagree. There are four dragons total. I probably get more compliments on this one than on the others combined.


My Tattoos: My Turtle

My Tattoos: My Turtle

This is my largest tattoo. It's on my left calf. I got the idea when I saw a rock with a turtle and four Kokopellis painted upon it while searching for some bath towels for my Kokopelli-themed bathroom. I liked the basic idea, but wanted it changed. Mav Mess at Deluxe Tattoo designed it for me after seeing a photo of the rock and hearing my ideas. I love this tattoo. Posted by Hello


My Tattoos: My Cover-Up

My Tattoos: My Cover-up

I once had a very ugly heart tattooed here. It was poorly done, and I hated it. This was a very successful cover-up; you can't see any part of the original tattoo at all. It's an odd place for a tattoo; it's on my leg, on the outside of my right knee. I had it covered up by Grinch of Raven Ink Tattoos with this (my only flash) in 1998. Posted by Hello


My Tattoos: My Miracle Baby Tattoo

My Tattoos: My Miracle Baby Tattoo.

For three years, Jonathan and I tried to get pregnant with our third child, to no avail. Those years were full of heartache for us both. During that time, a good friend of mine from South Africa, Matt, send me a book of South African aboriginal tribal art. I saw many instances of women surrounded by this symbol. I thought it very lovely, almost like a starfish, in a way. So I decided to get it tattooed on my left wrist. Three weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with Eden! And a few months after that, I found out that my tattoo is actually an ancient fertility symbol. As a result, I always refer to it as "My Miracle Baby Tattoo." Posted by Hello


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Thanks a Lot, Breakfast Bastards

Yesterday, I recieved in the mail a letter which surprised me. It was from a local breakfast restaurant, one at which my family used to enjoy dining at on a fairly regular basis for the past six or so years. The food was great, service impeccable, cost reasonable. It reminded me a lot of my favorite restaurant outside of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, that I used to go to as a child.

Note that in the above paragraph, I say that we USED to enjoy eating there. That all ended back in November.

We arrived at the restaurant, which was practically empty. One of the first things we noticed was that none of the regular wait staff was on the premises...we're talking about ladies who have worked there for ten years or more. It seemed odd, but we thought little of it at the time.

After being seated, we were ignored for nearly 15 minutes. No water, no menus. The baby's getting cranky and we're wondering where the hell our waitress is and what she can possibly be doing, as there are two other waitresses there and only three tables total of people in the joint.

Finally the waitress arrives, without a word of apology or explanation. Whatever, we're hungry, we know what we want, let's order.

Another 10 or 15 minutes go by, and no drinks, no appetizers. No waitress in sight.

The drinks arrive, and the appetizers. Moments later, our food is also served. We're pretty hungry at this point, and dive in.

BIG mistake.

My son's hamburger is raw in the middle, my hash browns are missing and the eggs that both I and my girls ordered taste strongly of soap. Very, very strongly of soap. It was like french-kissing Mr. Clean. It's been months, and I still can't eat scrambled eggs.

We try to flag down our waitress, but once again, she's disappeared. We'd have more luck tracking down Jimmy Hoffa at this point. We decide to eat what is edible until we can find the moron.

At last, the prodigal server returns. She makes a snide, rude comment about the "mess" the baby has made (which consists of a pack of crackers opened and upended on the floor), and proceeds to ask us if everything's "ok." She begins to speed off again before we can answer. My husband says, in a very loud voice, hoping to gain a slight bit of her attention: "NO, everything is NOT ok." We point out the raw burger, the missing hash browns and the Lemon Joy-flavored nasty-ass eggs. She asks us if we want them re-cooked. Gee, genius, you think so? The idiot apologizes, and tells us that our drinks will be "on the house." She then takes the offending food and zips away. Go, speed server, go.

Another 15 minutes go by, and my son's burger returns. It is cooked...and he can finally eat. The rest of us are done, and the poor kid has been sitting there, starving, watching us eat. There are no eggs and no hash browns. We're also now running late for the movie we'd planned to see. Jonathan is now visibly irritated. And guess what? Our waitress is gone AGAIN. Kreskin couldn't predict this woman's movements.

Our son finishes his burger, and we're ready to go. Now all we need is a check...which, of course, requires the Amazing Disappearing Waitress. We wait, and wait...and wait. Finally, my husband gets up and actually hunts the woman down. We have now missed the movie and will have to see the next showing...if we can get out of the diner of the damned. This throws off our plans for the rest of the day...but who could predict that it would take nearly two hours to get some pancakes and burgers?

My husband comes back to the table, check in hand. As we're heading to the cash register, he notices that despite the waitress' assurances, we have indeed been charged for our drinks. We consider talking to the manager, but we can just make the movie if we hall ass NOW. So we leave. I spend the rest of the evening sick to my stomach from the soapy eggs.

The next day, I attempt to get ahold of management by phone, to no avail. All I get is a machine telling me where the restaurant is located...which would come in handy, if I ever wanted to eat there again. Fortunately, I don't hate my digestive system that much. Unable to reach a real live human being, I write them a letter and mail it out.

That was in November. I recieved their reply...yesterday.

Here is their answer to my two-page letter detailing our meal from hell:

Dear Angel,

Thank you for providing us with feedback on your dining experience. We take our customers concerns very seriously and will do our best to ensure that your next meal with us is enjoyable. Please accept this gift certificate as a small token of our appreciation.


Dipshit Manager

"Feedback"? It wasn't feedback, you mental midget. It was a COMPLAINT. And there will not be a "next meal." If I want to endure inedible food served by a rude woman who comments on my kids' behavior, I'll eat at my mother-in-law's house, thank you very much.

And the gift certificate? $10. It didn't even cover the drinks that were supposed to be covered in the first place.

Restaurant managers, take note, this is how to lose a customer: treat them like shit, feed them slops, then ignore their complaints for nearly five months before sending them what amounts to a coupon and a form letter.

I can see now why all the old staff is gone. I know we won't be back.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Needs no remarks from's perfect all on its own. Posted by Hello

Dayton Nutbags: Marriage Is Protected; Everyone Else Can Kiss Off

As many loyal ZPT fans know, I lived in Dayton, Ohio for many years. So this comes as no surprise to me. It saddens me, but doesn't surprise me:

Lawyers say law only for married pairs

By Rob Modic
Dayton Daily News

DAYTON Two assistant public defenders contend the state's domestic violence laws do not apply to unmarried couples in Ohio.

Montgomery County assistant public defenders Michael Pentecost and Scott M. Calaway, using an argument raised in nearly a dozen Cleveland-area cases, said the state's recently passed constitutional amendment defining marriage prevents the state from "recognizing any legal relationship between unmarried cohabitants."

In pre-trial motions, they seek dismissal of domestic violence charges against David McIntosh and Gary W. Brown, because they are not married to their alleged victims.

While no Ohio judge has ruled on this argument — a judge in Cleveland has said he will rule by Feb. 18 — the filings dismayed Patti Schwarztrauber, executive director of Dayton's Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence.

"I would think the ramifications would be astronomical," she said. "It would be terrible for cohabiting victims in this case."

The amendment was approved by voters in November.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck Jr. said the amendment "was solely intended to address the legal definition of marriage in Ohio. The voters never intended to disparage a victim's rights to be protected against violence due to the nature of their relationship with the abuser."

Public Defender Glen Dewar said his office planned to raise the same issue in every such case. Pentecost's motion carries the argument a step further, challenging a domestic violence protection order that is the basis for a second felony against his client, McIntosh. Violating a protection order, a third-degree felony, can lead to five years in prison.

Judge Dennis J. Langer is scheduled to rule on Brown's motion by March 11. Judge Mike Tucker will also rule on McIntosh's motion in March.

Ohio's 1979 domestic violence law has traditionally been used in situations involving married and unmarried couples. They provide additional protections for victims beyond simple assault laws, A first offense of domestic violence is a misdemeanor; a second offense is a third-degree felony.

The defenders point to the amendment to the Ohio Constitution: "This state and its
political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationship of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."

The amendment "prevents the state of Ohio from recognizing any legal relationship between unmarried cohabitants," Pentecost contended in a motion filed Wednesday.

Calaway filed a similar motion Feb. 1.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that, "in contrast to stranger violence, domestic violence arises out of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim."

In that case, the court said the relationship could occur when perpetrator and victim are "cohabiting."

Pentecost contends that ruling demonstrates the domestic violence law creates a legal relationship between unmarried individuals who are "cohabiting."

In the case Pentecost is moving for dismissal, the defendant, Tina R. Browning of Dayton, obtained a domestic violence civil protection order in May against

McIntosh, 39. The order shows their relationship to be "cohab."

Riverside police arrested McIntosh, of Fairborn, on Dec. 29 and he was indicted on single counts of domestic violence and violating the protection order, both third degree felonies that carry penalties of as much as five years in prison.

Schwarztrauber, of Artemis Center, said the McIntosh case was the first she had heard of in the area, although the issue has been raised in nearly a dozen cases in Cleveland courts and a prosecutor in New Philadelphia has refused to filed complaints that do not involve married couples.

"I don't think the amendment should supersede this law," Schwarztrauber said. "That the safeguard would not apply to persons because they are not legally married is ludicrous, in my opinion.

"The end result could be that cohabiting parties could feel the law applies less to them."

This just goes to show how shitty a) lawyers and b) the anti-gay-marriage nutbags will go in support of their agenda. Funny how they constantly claim there is this mystical "gay agenda," when the only agenda I see is the one perverting basic rights in this country to exclude one segment of society based on religious tenents only, which we aren't supposed to do in America the Beautiful, Land of the Free...unless you're homosexual.

That said, I repeat: I am not surprised by this. Dayton, in general, doesn't give a flying shit. There is very much a "boys will be boys" attitude prevelant in the police force. For a long time, the cops wouldn't even arrest a man unless they personally witnessed the abuse. Come on, how many abusers are gonna beat the shit out of their wives in front of a cop?!? They're assholes, but they're not that stupid.

A pox on the lawyers, for trying to take steps to allow abusers to beat the shit out of their significant others and get away with it. A pox on the abusers, for hiring lawyers to help them get away with it, and authorizing this shit. A pox on the voters of Ohio, for passing a law to discriminate against homosexuals that can now be used to further victimize not only gays but unmarried women who are already between a rock and a hard place. And a pox on the system....just because.

If you aren't outraged by this should read it again, with your brain in the "on" position.

That is all.


Oh, the Horrors! Is Your Child a Goth?

Sometimes, organized religious institutions anger me. Sometimes they disgust me. From time to time, they inspire me. Most of the time, we co-exist in near-harmony.

But in this's made me laugh out loud at their abject stupidity. At least, one church in particular: St. Mary's. This church apparently issued a "warning" to parents in their parish. Below is the unintentionally-funny edict; my comments are in red:

Is Your Child a Goth? A letter Presented by St. Mary's Church

Listed below are some warning signs to indicate if your child may have gone astray from the Lord. Gothic (or goth) is a very obscure (obscure? I've seen goths in nearly every city all over the country.) and often dangerous (dangerous? To whom?) culture that young teenagers are prone to participating in. The gothic culture leads young, susceptible minds into an imagined world of evil, darkness, and violence (unlike the Republican Party, which leads old, suseptible minds into an imagined world of evil, darkness and weapons of mass destruction). Please seek immediate attention through counselling, prayer, and parental guidance to rid your child of Satan's temptations (many goths are Christians, believe it or not) if five or more of the following are applicable to your child.

-Frequently wears black clothing. (Most of my wardrobe is black. It's SLIMMING. Oh, and I guess Coco Chanel was goth, too...she almost always wore black.)

-Wears band and/or rock t-shirts. (My husband is goth? Who knew those Metallica and Doors t-shirts would lead him that way?)

-Wears excessive black eye makeup,lipstick or nail polish. (Yep, I do that, too. So sue me.)

-Wears any odd silver jewelry or symbols. (Define "odd")

-Shows an interest in piercings or tattoos. (I do that as well. Doesn't make me goth, however, as most people in my culture have shown such interests in the past, oh I don't know, several centuries or so.)

-Listens to gothic or any other anti-social genres of music. (Marilyn Manson claims to be the anti-Christ, and publicly speaks against the Lord. Please discard any such albums IMMEDIATELY.) (Marilyn Manson is NOT goth. He's more like nu-metal. Goth is Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie, the Cure, Rasputina. All good music...and none of them claim to be the anti-Christ.)

-Associates with other people that dress, act or speak eccentrically. (Jesus did that, you know. Quite often.)

-Shows a declining interest in wholesome activities, such as: the Bible, prayer, church or sports. (I hate sports. Bores me to tears.)

-Shows an increasing interest in death, vampires, magic, the occult, witchcraft or anything else that involves Satan. (Wicca or witchcraft have absolutely nothing to do with Satan. They don't believe in Satan. Satan is a Christian concept.)

-Takes drugs. (Well, duh...if your kid is on drugs, be concerned...even if they are still interested in church and sports.)

-Drinks alcohol. (see above)

-Is suicidal and/or depressed. (Once again...)

-Cuts, burns or partakes in any other method of self-mutilation.(This is a Satanic ritual that uses pain to detract from the light of God and His love. Please seek immediate attention for this at your local mental health center.) (I can just see my friend Venasika foaming at the mouth over this one..."cutting," or self-mutilation, is NOT a Satanic ritual. It is NOT to be taken lightly, nor does one have to be goth to suffer from it. It is a serious condition that is more like an addiction than a "detraction." And many Christians suffer from it...they aren't detracting from "God's Love" when they cut, and to say they do is to downplay the seriousness of this very complex disorder. Morons. The only thing they got right here is that you should seek help for it.)

-Complains of boredom. (I've never met a teen who DIDN'T complain of boredom.)

-Sleeps too excessively or too little. (Once again...never met a teen who didn't do either from time to time. In fact, many studies now show that teens require more sleep than do either smaller children or young adults.)

-Is excessively awake during the night. (The author of this crap has clearly never parented a teenager...and I'm beginning to wonder if s/he spent his/her teen years in a coma.)

-Demands an unusual amount of privacy. (Oh, come on now. EVERY teen does this.)

-Spends large amounts of time alone.

-Requests time alone and quietness. (This is so that your chid may speak to evil sprits through meditation.) (OK, I am laughing so hard I can't see straight to type. "Speak to evil spirits"? Come on. They're most likely MASTURBATING. Which does require time alone. If memory serves.)

-Insists on spending time with friends while unaccompanied by an adult. (Once again, was the author ever a teenager?)

-Disregards authority figures; teachers, priests, nuns and elders are but a few examples of this. (Yep. Fuck 'em all.)

-Misbehaves at school.

-Misbehaves at home.

-Eats excessively or too little. (If it's a sign of eating disorder...yes, be concernced. Eating disorders are on the rise in this country. I must say, however, that I've never known an anorexic goth).

-Eats goth-related foods. Count Dracula cereal is an example of this. (My sides hurt.)

-Drinks blood or expresses an interest in drinking blood. (Vampires believe this is how to attain Satan. This act is very dangerous and should be stopped immediately.)

-Watches cable television or any other corrupted media sources. (Ask your local church for proper programs that your child may watch.) (Isn't TBS on cable? The unholy bastards!)

-Plays videos games that contains violence or role-playing nature.

-Uses the internet excessively and frequently makes time for the computer.

-Makes Satanic symbols and/or violently shakes head to music. (Headbanging is now goth?)

-Dances to music in a provocative or sexual manner. (Uh-oh! Britney Spears is a goth!)

-Expresses an interest in sex. (That sinches it...this person has never had a teenaged child.)

-Masturbates. (Or been a teenaged child.)

-Is homosexual and/or bisexual. (Give me a fucking break.)

-Pursues dangerous cult religions. Such include: Satanism,
Scientology, Philosophy, Paganism, Wicca, Hinduism and Buddhism. (BUDDHISM and HINDUISM are CULTS? I am convinced that the only way this author could raise their IQ is by standing on a chair.)

-Wears pins, stickers or anything else that contains these various phrases: "I'm so gothic, I'm dead", "woe is me", "I'm a goth". (You mean, proclaiming that you're goth might mean you're....I don't know...GOTH? You don't fucking say?)

-Claims to be a goth. (This may very well be the stupidest person on the face of the Earth.)

If five or more of these apply to your child, please intervene immediately. The gothic culture is dangerous and Satan thrives within it. If any of these problems persist, enlist your child into your local mental health center (yes, I'm sure that counselors are just dying to treat your kid for "gothism." Sorry, but it's NOT a mental disease, you idiot).

~St. Mary's Catholic Church

Well, according to this, I'm a goth and must, therefore, worship Satan and/or be chronically depressed. I'm sure they would be terribly surprised to find out that I'm a Christian punk with no mental illnesses of any kind, thank you very much. Not that they would listen. They would be too busy running from me, screaming for the holy water.

And by the way...I fucking hate Marilyn Manson.

Having a bad spike day myself... Posted by Hello

Assisted Suicide Failure, or 1 out of 200 Ain't Bad

This is a big issue in Oregon, and around the country, so I thought I'd say a few words about it.

Oregon is the only state (so far) where assisted suicide is legal. I voted for this law...twice. And would gladly do so again.

Although this law has no effect on anyone living outside of Oregon (and really, no effect on anyone INSIDE of Oregon except the families of the dying), Bush's regime has made it a top priority to destroy this law. And why not? It isn't like they don't have anything else better to do, like get our troops out of a foreign nation or fix the shambles of an economy...sure! Let's fuck with the will of the people of Oregon instead! All this, despite Bush's pre-Presidency policy of believing in states' rights.

Those anti-death-with-dignity folks are claiming a "victory" this month...although why a person's continued pain and suffering can be construed by ANYONE as a "victory" is beyond me.

David E. Prueitt, found to be of sound mind under the law, decided to take advantage of our assisted-suicide law. Instead of dying, however, he slipped into a coma and woke up three days later, asking, "Why am I not dead?" Mr. Prueitt was not physically nor mentally impaired as a result of his attempt or the coma. He died of cancer nearly two weeks later.

The opponents of our law are foaming over with joy. These people have predicted dire complications, and here is their proof!

Well, not really. Mr. Pruiett is the only failure of Oregon's assisted-suicide program. 200 others have successfully died with dignity. I'm not sure what kind of math or science the opponents took in school, but one out of 200 doesn't prove squat. It's an anomaly, and the last time I checked, no one said that ANY medical procedure is effective 100% of the time. Assisted suicide is no different.

I am truly sorry for Mr. Pruiett and his family, for the distress caused by this event. His family are in my prayers.

And as for the opponents of the law who have jumped all over Mr. Pruiett's case...shame on you. This man is not a number. He's not a case study, or a statistic. And he's not a pawn in your political game. He's a person, a person who is suffering unduly and in a manner few can truly understand.

He wanted dignity, and for the sake of your agenda, you gave him a circus. Was it worth it?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ha ha. I love it. Posted by Hello

Life's Ironies: Avalanche Awareness Class Caught In Deadly Slide

Proof that irony is alive and well in the world today:


PITKIN COUNTY, Colorado - One person died Sunday when an avalanche swept through a group of people taking an avalanche awareness class.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Department says six people were involved in the slide on the backside of the Aspen Highlands Ski Area in an area known as Five Fingers Bowl. It is outside the Aspen Highlands Ski Area.

One person was critically injured and later died after attempts to resuscitate him. The rest of the group had minor or no injuries.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

"Call it....Pointless!"

"I've been to hell. I spell it...
I spell it DMV
Anyone that's been there
knows precisely what I mean
Stood there and I've waited
and choked back the urge to scream..."

---Primus, "DMV"

On Friday, I decided that it was time to renew my state ID, and headed for the DMV. Now, as that was all I needed, I decided to hit the mall and try one of the "DMV Express" stations. In theory, this is supposed to make your DMV experience faster and more convienant.

Uh huh.

At first, all seemed well. The place was nearly deserted, with only three people in line ahead of me. All were there to renew IDs or licenses. The paperwork went quickly (thanks to the super-fast Paperwork Lady behind the counter), and I sat down to reapply some Deep Amythest lipstick in preperation for the dreaded ID photo.

In due course, my name was called. Although I know, from years of experience, that attempting to look good for the beforementioned dreaded photo is about as futile as putting Rush Limbaugh on the Atkins diet, I still take a moment to check my hair in the small, dirty mirror graciously provided by the government for my use. Convinced that my appearance was at least passable, I stood up against the silly blue curtain and smiled.

Nothing happened.

The man behind the counter (who I will refer to from this point on as "Doofus") looked stunned for a minute. He then states the glaringly obvious: "The flash didn't go off." Yes, I noticed that. It takes him another minute to decide to call in his supervisor (hereafter referred to as "Minute Man"). Minute Man rushes in, listens to Doofus' unnecessarily-long explanation of what happened (hey, Doofus: "The flash didn't go off" would work in that situation, too) before telling Doofus, predictably, to take another picture.

Picture #2: still no flash. Doofus and Minute Man look bewildered. They reminded me of the first time I cooked chili at my in-laws' home and asked them where they kept the chili powder. My in-laws never cook...and had never even HEARD of chili powder. Doofus and Minute Man had, apparently, never had this problem or even concieved of it before now.

They begin to whisper in hushed tones, while I am still standing there, back up against the silly, smelly blue curtain. I cleared my throat, but they ignored me. Finally I said, "Look, guys, I have MS. Do I have to stand here while you figure this out, or can I sit down for awhile?" Doofus defers to Minute Man. Minute Man nods, and then quickly goes into the back room, leaving Doofus to continue to stare helplessly at the flashless camera.

After a few more minutes, it becomes pretty clear that Minute Man isn't returning any time soon. Doofus makes a call. The person on the other end also, clearly, has never faced this problem or has no idea what to do about it. I'm voting for the latter.

Doofus then picks up a small screwdriver and begins POKING the camera with it. He never actually turns any of the screws...he just pokes the camera. I'm not sure what this is supposed to accomplish. Meanwhile, the Paperwork Lady is still taking applications. The line behind me for photos is now growing longer and longer. No one thinks to inform anyone that the camera isn't working.

Minute Man then makes another appearance. Like The Flash, he zooms in, pushes a few buttons on the computer, and zap! He's gone again, leaving an increasingly-overwhelmed Doofus in his wake. Doofus calls me up to the blue curtain again. I check my hair, blot my lipstick, and smile.

Photo #3: still no flash.

I am now finding amusement in the fact that although Doofus doesn't know what's wrong, how to fix it or how long it will take to remedy the problem, he does not stray from the accepted DMV script. After every photo he says, "Thank you, it will be a few minutes." It's like an SNL skit at this point.

Doofus now makes yet another phone call. This one, at least, appears to be productive, if for no other reason than the person on the other end tells Doofus to stop poking the camera with a screwdriver. Every few minutes, Minute Man rushes in, asks, "Is it fixed yet?" and zooms out. He's a great asset to the government, I'm sure.

Doofus, at the behest of the person he's called out of desperation, pushes more buttons on the computer and this time, on the camera itself. My name is called again. Hair, lipstick, smile...I'm ready.

Photo #4: Flash finally goes off. "It will be a few minutes." Sure, it will be!

I sit down amongst the growing crowd, as Paperwork Lady is STILL taking applications. There are now probably a dozen or so people behind me in line. This is a small DMV station, with only about five chairs and little room to stand. People are beginning to get irritated. They keep asking me, "How long have you been here?" Answer: over an hour already. I am now irriated, too.

Doofus calls my name. Elated, thinking "This is it!" I rush to the counter.

No such luck. The photo is "too light." I ask to see it. "Too light" is quite the understatement. The only thing on my face that is visible in the photo is the Deep Amythest lipstick. I am rethinking the shade.

I approach Paperwork Lady and ask her if I can just have my check back and I can return some other day. No can do..I'm already "processed," whatever that means. I gather I am now some form of DMV Velveeta. Not even Alcatraz was this inescapable, it seems. To make matters worse, there is someone sitting in my chair...ON MY COAT. I have to argue with the idiot to get him to move. I point out that my coat is under his ass (ewww) and that that particular seat is reserved for the disabled. This mental midget actually accuses me of not being disabled...despite the fact that I am limping along with a cane. The woman sitting next to him (who looked for all the world like comedienne Mo'nique) barked at him to "get out of the f-ing chair!" and the guy moved, glaring at me all the while. I thanked the lady. She went back to reading her Harlequin romance novel. I am beginning to wish that I had brought a book, too.

Who knows what Doofus (and possibly, Minute Man) have been doing while I was dealing with Paperwork Lady and my now unwearable coat...but they seem confident that the problem is at long last solved. My name is called. I check my hair, but choose not to put on anymore lipstick. Smile!

Photo #5: Flash goes off. "It will be a few minutes." Don't patronize me, pal.

As I sit back down, it comes to my attention that a few people in the ever-growing crowd think it is MY fault that there's a hold-up. I can see where they might believe this, as no one at the DMV has made any effort to inform the waiting throng as to the reason for the delay. A few snide comments are made my way. I ignore them. I just wanted a damn ID!

After another few minutes of Doofus' deer-in-the-headlights stare and Minute Man's marathon DMV name is called AGAIN. I no longer give a damn what I look like, and I'm not bothering to smile.

Photo #6: Flash goes off. "It will be a few minutes." Whatever you say, asshole.

The line for pictures is now out the door, and still, Paperwork Lady continues taking applications without letting anyone know what's going on. I am reminded of the "I Love Lucy" episode involving the candy factory. Bad I am reminded that I haven't eaten in hours. I've gone from zero to starving in 60 seconds. Great.

My name is called. I am shown the ID. Better, but still light. And my hair is over my eye. Damn. Should've looked in the mirror. Doofus instructs me to stand at the blue curtain again. I am beginning to hate this curtain. I wish I had a pair of scissors. I loop my hair behind my ears and glare at Doofus.

Photo #7: Flash goes off. "It will be a few minutes." Kiss my ass.

I am searching through my purse for a Tic Tac, hoping to ward off starvation for another "few minutes," when my name is called AGAIN.

Hallelujah! I've never been so happy to get a crappy state ID in my life. I don't even care that it looks like I have four chins and my glasses are crooked...well, it don't care very much. I grab the ID and run, lest Minute Man zoom in and deem it not good enough. I push my way through the crowd and I am free at last! Free at last!

I hate the DMV.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Begging & Pleading

OK, I had to scrap the old template. After chatting with a few other people with the same one and the same problems, I came to the conclusion that it just wasn't worth the trouble. So template.

Now I just want to know....why is my "About Me" box at the bottom? What have I done wrong THIS time? Anyone? PLEASE?????

:::banging head on mousepad:::

Weird eBay: Spirit Guide In Utero?

Now I really HAVE seen it all:

Ultrasound of American Indian Hero

Missed out on the tortilla shaped like the Virgin Mary? Never fear! For just $1, you can own this little piece of "authentic Native American" crappola.

From the description:

"When she finally learned who her Dad was, one of the things of interest she discovered was that he
was Micmac Indian, which of course makes my husband 25% Micmac. All his life he had heard how much he looked like an American Indian, but never knew just how accurate those
comments would turn out to be.

My husband was understandably curious about his heritage so started researching the Micmac. He especially liked reading about Glooscap, a figure in Micmac mythology. He is a hero to the Micmacs and legend has it he lived on the Blomidon Mountains in Newfoundland overlooking the Chignecto Bay.

Apparently he was briefly living in my tummy as well, because this ultrasound picture clearly shows him, along with our son Ryan. Talk about scaring the pants off me, when I saw this picture, I had no idea what I was looking at, and I was rather frightened. My husband recognized him immediately."

I don't know what to say, I really don't. Except maybe that there is a sucker---and a Pretindian---born every minute, it seems.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005


While shopping on Saturday, I overheard the following cell phone conversation:

"No, listen for a minute....I hear what you're saying. I'm just saying, you'd think there'd be more midgets in space...."

I don't even wanna know.

I Don't Get It

I re-loaded the template, and that SHOULD have fixed the problem. And it did...for a few hours. But now I sign on this morning, and the posts are on the bottom again.

What the hell am I doing wrong? Anyone have any ideas?

Chronic Pain in Verse

I ran across this a few days ago, and wanted to share:

Managing Pain
Georgianna and Joan

My heart is beating,
What joy it is to feel its pulse.
My lungs breathe air in, air out
My air, your air, our air.
I thank God for this miracle.

Uh oh,
Sharp pains intrude.
Familiar, unwelcome guests
To pester me,
To hold me back.

But I am stronger than the pain,
I breathe slowly and deeply
And the pain recedes a little bit. Enough.

Let the pain catch on to this game of mine
And I have an alternate plan.
I will count higher, I will breathe fuller,
I will remember that somewhere in the tornado of
The pain lies a soft pillow of peace.
It is mine.

When the pillow eludes me as it does sometimes
I will leave my body
Borrow a cloud and ride it to the sky
Float in peace and watch the waves kiss the shore.
I will sing the praises of my imagination
My gift from God.