Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I, for one, can't wait for this decade to be over. It wasn't a great one, both personally and for all of us.

We survived George W. Bush but were left with the festering sore of right-wing extremism. With Obama's election, many of us hoped he would breathe fresh life into Washington and our political lives but instead we've ended up with even greater partisanship and a Senate Health Care bill that, if left unchanged, could bankrupt the country. We're still engaged in a two front war on terrorism that the hawks would love to see expanded to three. (Do they even know where Yemen is?) Hurricanes, heat waves, tsunamis and earthquakes killed almost 900,000 people in the last decade. Yet millions still deny the reality of climate change.

Personally, this decade pretty much sucked. 2001, in particular was truly awful. Hubby was laid off at December of 2000, Youngest was diagnosed with Lymphedema the day our insurance coverage ran out from that job, and my Dad and eldest sister died. We spent the next 5 years living hand-to-mouth while Hubby went back to college to get his degree. We're only now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after incurring a mountain of debt. Still living on that mountain but it no longer feels like it's going to fall down on top of us.

Still, the decade wasn't an entire loss. Progress has been made in marriage equality, Hate Crimes legislation has passed on the federal level and, it can't be said enough, George W Bush is no longer President.

Newsweek has a good review of the decade in the following video:

I will tempt fate and say that the next decade can't get any worse. I do believe that as far as equal rights is concerned, the arc of history is moving towards equal rights for homosexuals. It may the end of the next decade before we see marriage equality on a federal level, a repeal of DOMA, DADT and all the legal inequalities current in our system.

Here's hoping that the next decade is a good one.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mental Disorder v. Medical Condition

Pam's House Blend has noted a report by an HIV/AIDS group that called for Gender Identity Disorder to be reclassified as a medical condition and removed from the DSM as a mental disorder.  Doing so would remove the current stigma that Transgendered individuals must face when seeking treatment. Many insurance carriers, at least those few that cover SRS, require a diagnosis of GID before they cover treatment. This essentially means that a trans person must be declared mentally disturbed before they can receive treatment.  Reclassifying GID as a medical condition would allow it to be treated, and hopefully covered, by the medical community in a straightforward manner.

Until 1990, homosexuality was still listed in the DSM as a mental disorder. Removing that classification was a huge step forward in the recognition and understanding of homosexuals as normal people and NOT disturbed or deviant. We still have a long way to, of course, to convey this enlightened understanding throughout the populace but it was an important step. In the same way, recognizing that trans people are NOT mentally disturbed would be an equally important step in the understanding and accepatance of transgendered individuals.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RTT - Playing Catch Up

It's Tuesday! Time again for Random Tuesday Thoughts courtesy of Keely at the Unmom. Drop and by and grab the button and join the fray.

Missed a lot while we were stuck in the snow, apparently. Iran is on fire again, some nimwit tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day, Brittany Murphy and Pope tipping.

As always, Andrew Sullivan is doing a great job covering the current unrest in Iran. Also as usual, the MSM is not.  It's possible that current rioting and unrest may mean the end is coming for the current regime. At the very least, things are going to get worse before they get better.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tries to blow himself and a plane load of people up outside of Detroit. Security doesn't catch him when he boards his plane or transfers but gets taken down by passengers. The security lapses are reminiscent of 9/11 and show just how difficult it is to prevent a determined person from doing something horrible.  And to top it off, it looks like Yemen is next on deck for the ongoing war on terror even though it may be more likely that Abdulnutallab was radicalized in Britain. But since Great Britain is out ally and Yemen is a backward African nation guess who's the more likely target?

Brittany Murphy died of a heart attack last week. Drugs, anorexia or an underlying heart condition are all suspects.  An autopsy should tell us which one or ones is the cause. It's always said when someone young (Murphy was 32) dies. Now we'll get to see lots of speculation about her and her lifestyle until we get an answer from the test results. 

And last we have a nut who managed to jump a barricade and push down the Pope. One point for the crazy people. Zero points for the Vatican guards. Aren't they supposed to be all professional and Secret Service-like? Seems like they dropped the ball here. Doesn't look like she's going to be turned over to the Italians for criminal charges since she's crazy and all. 

On the local scene, no matter how well behaved the dogs were this trip, Aibhne is back to her old tricks. We left the dogs to run errands today and she managed to pull down a bag of goodies. She opened and ate the Oreos and Nutter Butter cups that were stocking stuffers. She also pulled down the half a loaf of bread and ate that. And the last of my Moose Munch from my Secret Santa.  She no doubt had help. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

Home again, home again

We made it back to Texas in one piece.  We saw snow all the way to Denton, though by that far south it was just patchy.  I haven't seen snow like this since we used to go to Colorado to ski in the 70s. Lord, I feel old.

The dogs are glad to be back home and so am I.   And guess what? We may have 'snow' tomorrow.  Typical Central Texas snow, that is. Sleet and general nastiness that may or may not stick and if it does it will be in the guaranteed worst way possible.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

On the Road Again

Well, we're headed south. So far the roads are okay. We've seen  quite a few cars that slid off the road at some point. Including a few upside down and one little yellow sportcar on it's side in the ditch. I-29 has some snow in the right lane in places but is otherwise clear. Hope evryone in those stranded vehicles got out okay.

We'll probably stop in St Joesph, MO for a late lunch and to visit Youngest's friend. The one she was Maid of Honor for this summer.

While the snow has been kind of fun, I'm ready to see the end of it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Great Midwest Bizzard of 2009

It's still snowing. Hubby and Youngest ventured forth to the store today to restock our supplies.  They made it there and back in one piece but we are still unable to visit with my Father-in-law or the rest of the family since the residential streets in their neighborhoods have yet to be plowed.

Thus, no dog-sitting. Which means no movies, no Christmas gift exchanges with the rest of the crew, nothing but trekking to the hotel lobby for breakfast and occasional walks of the dogs. We're all getting a little cabin fever. Plus, we have to leave tomorrow.

We have hopes that Hubby's brother will call and let us know that his street at least is clear. Then, I get to dog-sit and the rest get to go trade gifts. Hopefully, this occurs before we have to check out tomorrow. Oh, and Eldest left her phone at Hubby's Dad's house, so at some point someone has to be able to get off that street sooner rather than later.

So the trip has been one of fun, fun, FUN. Lots of snow, one hacking Hubby and two snow-bound 20-somethings. Rah. Still, as long as Oklahoma is open tomorrow and we get home in one piece, I'll count it as a success. Aibhne has discovered that snow is great stuff and she was hilarious to watch every single time we went outside. That was really the entire point of the trip for me. Though I expected that Myrddin would be the one who went wacko in the snow. Wrong dog, right outcome.

I hope that everyone affected by this blizzard is safe and sound and that those who need to travel (like us) can do so safely.  And here's hoping it stops snowing. Seriously.

Friday, December 25, 2009

OMG! This White Christmas Thing is Going Too Far

Well, we're stuck in the hotel room while we wait for the plows to clear a path. The official snowfall so far is 7 inches. We're under a blizzard watch. It's crazy.

Walking the dogs this morning was  hilarious. We had almost a foot of snow piled up against the hotel room door. The management hadn't been out yet and the stairs and walkways were covered in at least that much snow or more. We made it downstairs reasonably well. Missed a step cause it just plain was lost in the snow but not much else. Myrddin ended up off the walk in snow up to his chest. Where he proceeded to stop. I thought he was stuck but he was just making yellow snow.

Aibhne thinks the white stuff is great and runs around full tilt. Myrddin is okay and even Rowan is getting better. When faced with no choice but to get into the snow, he soldiers on.

This afternoon we ventured forth again and this time I brought my new video camera.  I give you the Christmas Day Blizzard":

Yes, that was Hubby being pulled by Aibhne, doing her sled dog imitation. And that was me yelling at Rowan to slow down. The drifts between our unit and the next one were over two feet tall in places and maneuvering through them was a challenge. I lacked his four paw drive.  Lacking an undercoat and any significant body fat makes him easily chilled, so the coat seemed a reasonable insult to his dignity. He doesn't seem to mind it.

Well, we're managing to scrounge by today with the eats we wisely bought on the 23rd while we finished our Christmas shopping. Though now that we're out of Diet Coke, we'll be forced to rave the drifts tomorrow. The blizzard warning is in effect until 6AM Saturday. So hopefully, we'll be able to leave on time Sunday. By that time Oklahoma should be open.

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Secret Santa Spin

This week's Spin Cycle is a bit of a challenge. Jen over at Sprite's Keeper runs the Spin Cycle and for this special spin, we had to send her 5 blogs we like and she'd pick one for us to spread the bloggy love about.  Jen decided she wanted to hear about Zen, Texas.

Zen, Texas is the blog of my pastor, Tim Tutt. Tim has an amazing way with words. He's entertaining, funny and makes you think all at the same time.  His blog is new. Tim's only been blogging since November, but I think it deserves some recognition.

Zen, Texas is a wide spot in Tim's imagination, complete with characters common to any small Texas town. There's Mayor Vox and the editor of the "Zen Zephyr" Ernst Schreibenfesten. Not all the posts are about stuff that happens in Zen. Some are just Tim's musings on goings on in the world. Regardless of what moves Tim to post, the results are always worth a visit.

It's hard to pick my favorite post of Tim's. Ernst Schreibenfesten on Words is great and speaks to every writer. I like Friendship, aged almost eight, too. Mostly because it reminds me of my Dad. Otherizing Richmond makes you think about how easily we all place those that make us uncomfortable in a box that keeps them safe from us and ours. The Blessed Are words are a modern take on the Beatitudes and how they still speak to our world, whether we listen or not.

So stop on by and sit a spell. You might just find that Zen, Texas is a welcoming spot that you'll want to visit often. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Traditions - Open Thread

Everyone has traditions their families follow for the Holidays. One of the things I've told my daughters to ask whomever they think they might want to marry includes a discussion on when to open gifts. I was raised a Christmas Eve opener with Santa reserved for Christmas Day. My husband's family does the whole shebang on Christmas morning. Encountering this dilemma on your first Christmas together is a sure way to engender hurt feelings all around if those traditions don't match up. (In case you're wondering, the other things to ask before you say I do are: Kids - yes or no and if yes, how many and Dog Person or Cat Person.)

Another tradition in our household is eating tamales and watching the Muppet Christmas Carol before we open gifts on Christmas Eve, followed by Christmas Eve services at church.  This year we've forsaken most of that in exchange for snow and Hubby's family. If the weather cooperates, we'll attend Christmas Eve services. Unless we can find a store to rent the Muppet Christmas Carol, we won't be watching it. And the tamales are highly unlikely.  Since we only get up here once a decade it seems, we're okay with it.

So, what are your Christmas traditions? Leave a comment and share what makes the holiday special for you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Well, we made it into town about 10:30. The suite wasn't ready so we went and visited my Father in Law. The pups got to run around in his back yard which was covered in snow except for the path he'd cleared to his shed.

Video will follow but suffice it to say that Aibhne thinks snow is way cool, Myrddin had to be convinced but reluctantly decided it was all right, on a provisional basis, and Rowan said "No how, No way." He will only go into the snow when lead into while on his leash.

They all survived the trip and behaved themselves relatively well.  We left home at 2:15 and drove straight through. Can't say it was comfortable but it was acceptable.  The weather was fine until we got to Missouri where we hit fog and dropping temps.

There will be more pictures to follow but I left my camera-to-computer cord at home. I do have the video-to-computer cord, so expect video of the dogs being idiots in the snow. It also means that the pictures of my Secret Santa gifts will have to wait until I get home.

For now, these will have to make up for it:

Unfortunately, a pic of the Santa will have to wait until I get home.  Thanks again to my Secret Santa. You're awesome!.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Secret Santa Soiree - WOW!

My Secret Santa gift arrived just as we were about to leave for Omaha. And can I just say...WOW! I am amazed and over whelmed.

Pictures have been taken and will uploaded tomorrow from Omaha. I'm actually composing this on my Pre as we're heading out of Round Rock.

Dark chocolate (which Youngest is already insisting I share), Stephen King and a Santa. You are 3 for 3, Secret Santa.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Secondhand Lions v The Christmas Story

Now this is a movie I could watch over and over again. Why doesn't TBS play this 24 hours instead of "The Christmas Story"?

I know I probably will win no friends and risk pissing some off, but I really, really hate "The Christmas Story". Lord knows there are many, many Christmas films far more deserving of being shown for 24 hours straight.

If Ted Turner owns the rights to old MGM movies why the heck can't he find something more worthy of adoration? Hell, he has the rights to the old RKO films. Do know what this means he could play 24 hours on his flagship station if he so chose?  "It's A Wonderful Life".

Who in their right mind would chose "The Christmas Story" over the true classic of Frank Capra and Jimmy Stuart? It boggles the mind.

Any way, back to "Secondhand Lions". This is a great film. First of all, you have three really great actors together -Sir Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment.  Plus a supporting cast that's great, too. Kyra Sedgwick plays a truly ditzy blonde serial dater/failed parent.  Plus, it was filmed like 20 miles from my house in a little wide spot in the road called Copeland, Texas. The house, which is almost a character in itself, was an actual Texas farmhouse that the production staff took over for filming. They "aged" it, added Walter's cupola/attic bedroom and then restored it all when they were done.   The art of Berkeley Breathed is used as the adult Walter's comic. I attended UT at the same time that Breathed was the resident cartoonist at the Daily Texan. If you don't know who Breathed is, and you might not cause he's semi-retired, just google "Bloom County".  Better yet, follow this link.

To top it off, "Secondhand Lions" has one of the best quotes in a coming of age film ever:

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."

Robert Duvall says this to Haley Joel Osment while standing in the moonlight in his nightshirt. He says it with gravity and emotion and it's a thing of beauty.

So, if you get the chance, watch "It's a Wonderful Life" on NBC Christmas Eve. Please avoid TBS on that day and save a few million brain cells from suiciding from the insipid idiocy of "The Christmas Story". Better yet, turn the boob tube off that day and play a game with your kids, visit the relatives, finish your last minute shopping.  Or rent "Secondhand Lions". You'll be glad you did.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Boxing Day or whatever. Oh, and Jen, I hope Hanukkah was a success for you and Sprite.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Health Care - To Vote or Note to Vote

There are two basic arguments about whether or not Democrats should vote for the current Senate bill as it stands after the Repubs have gutted it. One says that, it is better to have something to use as a basis for further reform than to vote no and risk giving Republicans the advantage in the 2010 elections. The other says that this bill lacks any substantive reform and voting for it would be a mistake of epic proportions. We should wait until we have a bill that actually makes changes in American health care.

The debate, if you care to see it performed, is best seen here.  Matt Taibii and Robert Kuttner go toe to toe on Bill Moyers' Journal. (And let me just say, it will be a sad day indeed when my fellow Texan, Bill Moyers, retires. Say it ain't so!)

If it was simply that the public option had been removed, I might say yes. I agree with Mr Kuttner. But that's not all that's been done to this bill. By mandating individual coverage, whether you want it, can afford it, or not, this bill amounts to subsidizing a multi-billion dollar industry. There are no caps on drug costs,  no streamlining of bureaucracy, no limits on what insurers can charge.

Kuttner's idea of passing this bill in the hopes that it can be used as the basis of further reform are naive. In essence, there is nothing in this bill that we can use as a starting point for reform. While it's true that voting no postpones reform and potentially serves as Republican win, voting yes does more harm than good.

Perhaps, as one poster on the Journal's blog suggested, we would be better served by taking a piece meal approach to health care reform. Work on expanding medicare to those age 55 and up, mandate electronic records, get rid of the screwed up and costly Medicare drug changes that Bush passed, force insurance companies to eliminate pre-existing condition limitations.  Do each of these reforms as separate pieces of legislation. Not as sexy but likely much more effective.

We cannot wait for the health care industry to reform itself. They cannot be trusted to truly care about their customers.  Likewise, we cannot expect sweeping reform to ever pass as long as the insurance and pharmaceutical companies are able to buy legislators. If this debacle has proven nothing else to us, it is that we MUST reign in contributions to political candidates and make it impossible for any political action committee, corporation or billionaire to effectively control our government.

This of course assumes that our corporate masters allow such change to happen. Perhaps it would be better if this bill was passed and when the greedy insurers bankrupt more citizens and then move on the government's coffers, we'll wake up and realize what we have allowed to happen.

The Tea Party nitwits call for revolution all the time, openly and not so openly. If the potential destructiveness of this bill is reached and the revolution happens, it will not be because of any tea-bagger's desire to end "Socialized Medicine". It will be because we finally grow outraged enough to realize what has been done to us in the name of Greed.

Still, I would rather not live through a second American Revolution. Vote no and work on reform in a step by step manner. Be clear that this is happening because Republicans and the Health Insurance companies that control too many votes derailed true reform.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

DC Mayor signs Same-Sex Marriage Law

Today, Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the city's marriage equality bill at the All Souls Unitarian Church. All Souls was one of many churches in the area that sponsored this legislation. The law has to withstand a 30 day review process, which it is expected to pass.

The signing of this bill is highly significant not just for the legalization of same-sex marriage in our nation's capitol but who signed and where he chose to do so. Mayor Fenty is African-American. The church is one of many open and affirming congregations around the country. Thus two facts taken as gospel are dispelled. One, not every African-American is against LGBT rights. Two, not all Christian churches demonize LGBTs.

It's all too easy to fall into the trap of stereotyping. It seems to be something that is hardwired in the human brain. We're much more comfortable with broad strokes and generalizations even when they're harmful or demonstrably false.

So, congratulations to those same-sex couples who will be able to marry come next year. And congratulations to Mayor Fenty and all the Washington DC council members who supported this important civil rights legislation. May you be an example to us all.

H/T to Joe.My.God.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Change Blindness

So I was using StumbleUpon looking for something to blog about cause I'm still sick and my brain isn't working so well and I found this:

First of all, I find this really interesting. Observational skills among the general populace are generally pretty poor. Which is why eye-witnesses to crimes are so often wrong. Even trained observers can be mistaken when the subject of the crime is personal or evokes an emotional response. Still, the courts and juries place a high value on eye-witnesses. Makes you wonder.

Second, if you have not discovered StumbleUpon, I recommend the service to you. It's an excellent way to kill a few hours and you never know what you might find.

I'm going to take more drugs and crawl into the couch and hope that I feel better by tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

RTT- It's time for cheesy gifts...

It's Tuesday and time again for that weekly saga. Head over to the Unmom for more randomness.

So I went today and got my hairs cut. Not as short as I would've liked but it's growing on me. There will be no pictures cause I don't get in front of the camera if I can help it. Sorry. Nothing to see anyway.

Only 10 days til Christmas and 6 until we head for Omaha. Still need to get the Hubs his gift and the girls some things. It will be up to me almost entirely since Hubby is desperately typing away at his report that he has to finish writing, format and publish by Friday. I hope to see him sometime Saturday.

I don't know about you all but I like to make gifts for Christmas. It started out cause I was too freaking broke to do anything else. Now I do it cause I like making jewelry and other goodies. Not everyone appreciates them so I try to keep them to a minimum. For instance, I've made some jewelry for the gals at work, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to actually give it to them. What do you think?

Eldest has to replace her fuel pump. $800 she has to scrounge to fix a car that's probably not even worth that much. But, as she says, she can't afford to buy anything better so she's stuck. Joy. I'd love to be able to help her out but we don't happen to have that kind of money laying around. Sigh. Life sucks.

Good news is that Omaha currently has 12 inches of snow and we might to get to have our first White Christmas in a decade or so. The dogs will probably go nuts.

Next Tuesday, I'll be on the road to Omaha. Hopefully, I'll be able to post somewhere along the way. See you then!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rant- Don't claim I didn't warn you

So, things are really going to hell in a handbasket. It's enough to drive a sane person around the bend. Catch a gander at these headlines in my reader:

Wingnuts Want Obama's Nobel
Repub-Generated Nuclear Terror
White House denies pressuring Reid to cut a deal with Lieberman.
Steele’s Economic Plan: Take Away Unemployment Benefits
'Faux General' Kristol: Obama’s Nobel Speech Lays Predicate For Legitimate Use of Force Against Iran
12 Gay Men Face Execution In Iran
Despite Market Plunge, DeMint Calls For Privatizing ‘Socialistic’ Social Security
Tea Partiers Plan Capitol "Die In"
President Lieberman was for the expansion of Medicare just three months ago!
Tuvalu representative: The fate of my country rests in the hands of the U.S. Senate.

And that's just the headlines that scream OMFG! Some of them are more subtle.
The Most Vulnerable
PhoboQuotable - Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
FLASHBACK: Lieberman proposes Medicare buy-in as public option alternative

Some days, I think this country is trying it's damnedest to destroy itself, but then I look at around the world and see that it's not just us. Maybe it's some kind of mass induced psychosis that is the planet's attempt to rid itself of the parasite known as homosapiens.

Despite the gleeful cries of the Right, "ClimateGate" is a bust. Yet still they don't believe. Countries like Tuvalu are trying to shut down the talks in Copenhagen until they get concessions from the worst polluting nations that they'll enact serious protections. It's a brave show of force for surely they have the most to lose if things continue. And continue they will. I don't know how to stop it. The experts can't even agree.

Uganda seems to be run by crazy people. And cheered on by those in the US that secretly wish they could do the same. Iran is already there. They've executed gay men before and are set to do so again. Meanwhile at home, the LGBT community can't decide if the T really belongs in the equation. Cue catty infighting.

Health care reform is doomed. I certainly have no traction in Congress since my Representative and Senators are complete and total idiots. They do not represent my interests and don't care. While we argue over which bill or solution is going to be the best option, nothing changes. Both sides nitpick their pet issues and what eventually get created will have no teeth, enact no significant changes and save no lives. Yet the very idiots that stand in the way the most are the ones Dems feel have to be appeased. Lieberman should just give up his pretense of Independent and exchange the -I for an -R.

Parties on both side rail against Obama. The Left thinks he's not moving fast enough or have abandoned them and their issues like Clinton. The Right thinks he's trying to destroy the country. In reality, it's the Congress that's doing both. We put so much hope into whom we elect as President when in reality he can't get shit done if the Congress won't back him. And those in Congress have, with only one or two exceptions from the combined Houses, no spine. Their only concern is to keep feeding at the teat of the taxpayer and lining their pockets with special interest money. For evidence I give you the fact that despite having a majority in the House and Senate, the Dems can't get one SINGLE PIECE OF MEANINGFUL LEGISLATION PASSED.

Oh sure, we got the Hate Crimes Act. Not to dismiss it's importance, but it was always going to be the easiest LGBT friendly legislation to pass. And now that it has, nothing further will come. No end to DOMA or DADT or enacting of ENDA. Nope. We've had our token legislation and we need to STFU.

And to add insult to injury, my hubs is AWOL while he desperately tries to finish his project at work before we leave for Christmas vacation. Just like he does every year. And Eldest may have killed her car.

When it rains it pours.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"The Seven"

The last of my Father's siblings was laid to rest today. Aunt Mildred was 97. Youngest and I attended her funeral in Rusk.

Rusk is deep in East Texas, some 225 miles northeast of Austin. To get there, we took a state highway that is mostly two lanes, often with no shoulder to speak of, and a speed limit of 70. Except when you drive through one of the numerous tiny towns along the way. Then you may drop down to 30. This morning's drive was through fog almost all the way. The drive home, with Youngest at the wheel, was into the setting sun and then in the dark. Dark like you only get when you are literally miles from civilization. Four hours one way. Fun. Fun.

My Dad was one of seven. The numerous children, grandchildren and great children just refer to them as "The Seven". My aunt was the last of "The Seven". The family is so large that at our last family reunion, we made name tags that had the person's name and which one of "The Seven" they were related to and, in the case of grandchildren, their parent's name. Next year, we're going to make a big wall-sized family tree and have everyone take a digital snapshot as they arrive, print it up and post on their name on the tree. When you see folks maybe once a year, it gets hard to place names with faces. Just to give you some idea, altogether there are 19 children among "The Seven". I am the youngest of those at age 45. The eldest has children who are about 10 years older than I am. I'm not even going to try to count the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren among "The Seven" except to say that Aunt Mildred had 5 children and 10 grandchildren (all but three of whom are older than I) and those 10 have over a dozen children among them. I lost count a long time ago on the great-grandchildren. I do good to remember the names of my first and second cousins.

Though we call them "The Seven", that's not entirely accurate. My grandmother had 10 children. Two died before their first birthday and one around age 5. All four of my grandparents were born before the turn of the twentieth century. My parents were the next to youngest of largish families (my Mother had 5 siblings). So while my immediate family is relatively average sized, I can claim somewhere around 50 first and second cousins.

Over the years, our annual family reunions have dwindled in size as one by one "The Seven" passed on and their children and grandchildren scattered across the state and the country. This next reunion will only be the second one without one of "The Seven" in attendance.

But I'll be there, genealogy chart in tow. After all, it was my idea.

So goodbye, Aunt Mildred. For me, you are the last member of that "greatest generation" that I personally knew. But you'll live on in the grandchildren and great-children that you left behind.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Go Houston!

Annise Parker has won her run-off election for mayor!

See, not all Texans are homophobic idiots!

White House condemns Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill

Finally someone in Washington grew a pair.

“The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history,” read the White House statement that came late Friday in response to an inquiry from The Advocate.

While I'm glad to see this, I do have to wonder why it took a request from the Advocate to get a statement. Still, better late than never, as they say.

This proposed law needs to be condemned by every government, both large and small. Uganda has to know that they will be ostracized from the world community if they pass this. It worked to change South Africa and it can work here.

Christmas Lights and Music

First, we start of with this video of South 7th Lights contest. The song is Christmas Eve in Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Another Trans-Siberian Orchestra favorite is "An Angel Came Down" (no. 13). If you don't already own "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" go get it now. It's a tradition at our house to play the entire album on Thanksgiving Day and it's on all our iPods Christmas lists.

Web music player

Thanks to the other Stacy for the post inspiration!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

Well, it's 11:25 here and Friday is fast running out of steam. Here I am trying to find something to write in the next 35 minutes so it will still be Friday when I post. Friday Fill-Ins to the rescue!


1. Good times: Friends and Family hanging out.
2. I hate not having enough money to properly fix my home.
3. Sleigh bells ring somewhere else than here. Seriously. It's Texas. Not a usual occurrence.
4.No one is ever going to call me little.
5. Once more for the win!
6. When will it all end? Not in 2012 ; )
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing this post, tomorrow my plans include the company Christmas party and Sunday, I want to not have to go to a funeral (but I do)!

Made it! Take that NaBloPoMo!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Case of Zikerria Bellamy

In July of this year Zikerria Bellamy applied for a job at an Orlando McDonald's. She was asked in for an interview a few days later. When her transgender status was revealed, she was denied employment.  To add insult to injury, the management left her a voicemail telling her she would never be interviewed, that they didn't hire "faggots" and that she lied on her application.

To enshrine the McDonald's management's stupidity, Zikeeria kept the voicemail and it's now being used in the case filed this week by the Transgender Legal Defense  and Education Network. They've made a YouTube video of it even.

When will people learn that recordings can and will be used against them in the court of public opinion? More importantly, when will people realize that it's happenings like this that make the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act a necessity?

Ms Bellamy is pursuing legal action.  While Florida does not specifically cover gender identity in it's non-discrimination policies, administrative agencies in the state have generally rules that transgenders are protected under the Florida Human Rights Act. Legislation has been introduced in Florida to expand the state's Human Rights Act to cover gender identity.

I'll be watching this case to see if Ms Bellamy gets justice. The statistics are sobering. Almost half of transgender people report having been fired or denied employment or promotion just for being themselves. It's time that they received protection under the law.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Want Wednesday

I want this country to develop an attention span that lasts longer than the latest celebrity scandal.

Seriously, folks. There are serious things going on in the world and spending our time wondering what kind of kinky things some little known Republican politician is doing, or who hit whom at the Woods household or if Michelle Duggar is going to try the birth her very own football team complete with defense, offense and special teams is a waste of time.

Yet we seem easily distracted from the real news and the real stories. Of course, when you try to listen to the news and all you get is sensationalism, hype and attack, it's not hard to understand why you want to change the channel. It's not just CNN or MSNBC or Fox, either. I haven't watched our local news stations in over a decade for that very reason.

So I would like for the American news media, from the weekly small town newspaper to cable news channels, to get back to the basics. Report the facts fairly and as objectively as possible. Don't put on an opposing viewpoint without first doing some basic fact checking to make sure they can stand the smell test. As in, if it smells like bullshit, it's probably bullshit.

And I want the American people to exercise their grey matter and listen with discernment. Don't agree with someone on TV or the Internet just because they have a R or a D behind their names. Really pay attention to what they're saying and check the facts. Don't assume because someone has Doctor attached to their name that they are unbiased experts. Check their facts.

Because until we insist on a return to real Journalism, we won't get it. Until we ourselves don't indulge in partisan politics, we will continue to have more of the same in Washington and our state and local governments.

Otherwise, we are all Nero fiddling as Rome burns.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

RTT- Tiger Woods, Adam Lambert and Sarah Palin

So it's Tuesday again and time for more adventures in Randomness. Go check out the Unmom for more.

So what do Tiger Woods, Adam Lambert and Sarah Palin have in common? They've both been in the news ad nasuem lately. For the record, I don't really care what Tiger Woods and Adam Lambert are doing, have done or may do in the future. Apparently, Tiger has fallen as only those we place on a pedestal can. Drugs, spousal abuse and sexcapades seem pretty par for the course for world-class athletes and celebrities. Why should Tiger be any different?

And as far the whole Adam Lambert risque/suggestive/homoerotic dance thing goes? I have to wonder if Britney Spears had done the same thing would it have made anyone blink. Get over yourselves people. If Britney and Madonna can play the tramp on stage, why not Adam? Can't say the still shot I saw was any worse than anything generally found on music videos or award shows for that matter. Just one more reason not to watch either.

As for Sarah Palin, this incessant media attention is all a plot. Secretly, lefties want to see her run for President in 2012. They think it makes Obama's reelection a done deal. I for one am tired of seeing, reading and hearing about the idiot from Wasilla. Plus, she, and by correlation all those she "represents", scare the bejeebus out of me.

I'd much rather be hearing some real news. Say, what's going on in Copenhagen. Or maybe Iran. Remember Iran? People are still protesting in Iran. The fat lady has not sung yet on that one. Or how about real substantive conversation about health care, climate change or new energy solutions?

Frankly, I don't know who to believe. I think climate change is happening. Sure, the planet goes through cycles but I think it's hard to deny that we're affecting that cycle in a negative way. What to do about it is something else entirely. Cap and Trade. Carbon Tax. Alternative Energy. "Clean" Coal. What's the answer? I don't know. Sure like to hear the full facts about all the options. Like who is really designing the plan for Cap and Trade. Is it really the same idiots that brought us the dot com bubble? Do we want to trust those geniuses? How sure are we that there's no way to pooch the kitty and manipulate cap and trade so badly that it ends up making things worse?

I don't know the answers and I don't feel like I can trust all the information that's out there. It's way too easy to manipulate data, falsify emails, and use scare tactics to cloud the issue.

Anyway, my point is that there's real shit going on in the world and it's a helluva lot more important than who Tiger Woods screwed and how risque Adam Lambert was on national TV. Sarah Palin is only news because of the terrifying prospect of her possible candidacy for the Presidency.

Real news with substantive analysis that strives be balanced not by showing all "sides" of the story with no comment but through thorough reporting and fact checking is what we need. It is sadly, something that seems to have been forgotten by all the major news outlets. Love em or hate em, the fourth estate plays an important role in our democracy. Only with knowledge can we make reasoned and reasonable judgments about who to elect and courses to take.

Hmm, this didn't turn out nearly so random as I thought.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Puppy Update!!

Otherwise known as I can't think of anything else to blog about...

So the Eldest's cat joined her for Thanksgiving. The dogs were ecstatic.  They picked up right where they left off this summer. Mishka was a mite bigger but still smaller than the dogs by a significant factor.  They best picture that got away was of Mishka standing underneath and between Rowan's legs and eating out of Rowan's bowl while he tried to eat his breakfast.  Every morning it was the same story.  The cat would get kicked out of Maddie's room cause he was crying. After I fed the dogs, he would precede to attempt to eat said dog food, usually while the dogs looked on in amusement until I managed to put food in his bowl and convince him that was what he was supposed to eat. After Mishka courted death between Rowan's knees, I decided it was time to forcibly convince him that it was a bad idea. This consisted of swatting him across the room. He countered by laying in front of Myrddin's bowl and glaring at me.

The dogs would gang up on him and chase him around the house. Mishka evidenced no displeasure at this and generally came back for more, often instigating the play sessions. Here he is nomming on Aibhne's tail.

Love the evil glare.

Speaking of Aibhne, anecdotal evidence implies that she weighs at least as much as Rowan and possibly more.  (Testing consists of picking up one and then the other and making a "comparison".) The funny part is that she's still the shortest of the three. Short. Solid. Dense. And apparently impervious to pain, training and chocolate. She has a serious sweet tooth. She's eaten more cookies and chocolates than we can count. She found a bag of brown sugar, opened it, turned it wrong side out and devoured most of the sugar. (Fear not. The bag was less than half full.) She's also eaten every single wooden spatula/kitchen tool we own. As in the last one had a handle left and nothing else. One splinter. No toothpick sized pieces. Nothing. She ate it all. To date, the most she's done is belch.

Myrddin, on the other hand, just got over a stomach ailment that had him unable to hold down anything. He probably helped with the brown sugar and like a normal dog had some ill effects. For about 12 hours he was a sick puppy. Then he wasn't. Go figure.

I've convinced my husband that the best way to handle the dogs and our trip to his family in Nebraska this Christmas is to take them with us. Yep. The four of us and three dogs in one Santa Fe from Austin to Omaha. We'll be driving straight through since all 4 of us are licensed drivers and stopping every 2 to 3 hours to let the dogs (and us) stretch, pee and otherwise escape the confines of the car.  I can't wait to see Myrddin in the snow. Though with my luck there will be none.

Before we leave for Omaha, the pups will visit the vet. Rowan needs to get chipped, they all need their claws trimmed and new heartworm/flea preventatives. Then we're hitting the dog wash.  Also known as Dirty Dog.  So they won't stink us out of the car during our 20+ hour car ride.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2012 - Or How the world isn't going to end

So the Hubs and I just got back from watching 2012. Now, before you go running screaming towards the next blog or pee your pants in hysterics, let me tell you that I didn't go in expecting to see good science. Heaven forbid that science enter into a Hollywood flick. No, I went to see things blow up.

And blow up they did.

In my opinion, you go to see a disaster flick for the special effects and the not-so-subtle reassurance of the nobility of Man. There's a formula, you see. The hero, in our case John Cusack,  knows that disaster is coming. He strives to save those closest to him through any means necessary. Even if it means dragging his ex's boyfriend along. At some point, someone in the hero's group of survivors will die because the hero can't save them. In this movie, that's Cusack failing to save Tom McCarthy, the aforementioned boyfriend. Later, the hero will risk his life to save not only his family but a larger group. The formula also includes a character who represents the moral compass of the film. In this case, a scientist that first alerted the government to the threat (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who speaks eloquently about what it means to be human and how saving those we would leave behind is the right thing to do. The moral compass generally has to contend with the amoral pragmatist who believes that sacrifices must be made for survival.  Add a lot of eruptions and tsunamis and falling buildings and an ass ton of other special effects and you have your classic American disaster film.

The point is not to present a story that makes scientific sense or has anything but a passing resemblance to reality. The point is to intersperse a lot of action with a few minutes of high psychological drama.  And looked at from this perspective, this film fulfills its genre requirements absolutely.

Now, do I believe that the world is going to end on 12-21-12?


But it makes for one helluva movie.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hank Gilbert Leaves the Governor's Race

Hank Gilbert, the candidate I was ready to endorse, vote for and volunteer for, has decided to leave the crowded Democratic field and return to his run for Agriculture Commissioner.

To say, I'm disappointed would be an understatement. I liked how this guy talked, how he acted and now he's bowed to the pressure of a crowded race and gone and endorsed Farouk Shami.

Farouk Shami has two hits against him in Texas. One is his name. He will never win the rural areas of Texas. Ever. Two is the fact that he's a multimillionaire who needs no help in raising money (he's said he'll use $10 million of his own) and is unlikely to draw Hank's supporters to his cause.

This endorsement is confusing. Gilbert states that Houston Mayor Bill White had twice promised him he was not running for governor and now that White has changed his mind, he's peeved. So he's endorsing Shami? Who's big claim to fame is that he immigrated from Palestine with $71 in his pocket and founded a multi-million dollar business? He sounds more Republican than Democrat.

It confusing and a bit petty from a candidate that, on paper at least, looked better than that.  Will I vote for him for AG Commissioner? Probably. That's a big position in Texas and it would be nice to have someone who seems to have a decent head on their shoulders, current actions notwithstanding,  in our state government. Will I continue to volunteer and possibly donate? Not likely. I was fired up about his statements on LGBT rights and that's not something he can really influence as Ag Commissioner.

Neither White or Shami have a word about LBGT issues on their websites. So, there goes that hope. Still, White is a candidate that many Democratic pundits in Texas have been wanting to see run for Governor. They think he stands the best chance at defeating Perry. And God knows just about anyone would  be better than Perry the Fruitcake.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hope you don't have Aetna for health insurance

Aetna has announced they plan to raise their premiums next year and expect to lose over 600,000 subscribers by doing so. They claim they need to do this to insure the profits they promised to their shareholders. Especially since the last few quarters have cut into their bottom line.

I have to ask you, if you were a shareholder in a company that had a net income of $403.7 million for the third quarter of this year, the one they claim was so bad, would you want to have them try to make more money? Even though they're claiming their profit margins are down, last year in the third quarter their net income was $292.6 million. So far this year, Aetna's net profit is $1,343,900,000. That's 1.3 billion dollars. And that's up from year on year from 1,229,000,000 in 2008. Go look for yourself. It's all right there in the public domain. They've pulled in 8.7 billion dollars in revenue this quarter alone but that's not enough.

What Aetna is saying here is let's raise the premiums and kick over half a million people off our rolls. Their health is less important that the bottom line. We must deliver on our promises for profits to continue to rise indefinitely even in the midst of a recession.

What they're really saying is they do not care if you live or die. They do not care if you go bankrupt when the difference between what they cover and what the actual cost of your care is exceeds your personal net worth. As long as they continue to make obscene profits, all is well.

But we don't need health care reform. No. We need to rely on companies like this to care about their customers. They can police themselves.

They've done a bang up job so far.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

NY Senate Fails to Pass Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

Once again the NY Senate drops the ball, with numerous "representatives" ignoring the preference of those they nominally represent to vote "No".

Sad day. But there is a ray of hope.

Openly gay NY state Senator Tom Duane: "The time is never right for civil rights. The economy, wars. The troubles we've had here in the senate. It's never ever the right time. But the paradox is, it's always the time to be on the right side of history." (H/T to Sully and Dan Savage)

There will never be a "right" time for justice. There will always be something that seems more important, more pressing, more urgent that will derail justice. The truth of the matter is just what Sen. Duane says, it is ALWAYS the right time.

If we but have the courage to stand for justice.

I was also impressed by one of the commentors on Savage's blog. Baconcat responded to Loveschild's suggestion that the only correct way to handle this debate is to set it to a vote. His response: "Mob rule such as you propose has killed many a wise man. Holy men, even."

He is of course correct. If LBJ had chosen to send the Civil Rights legislation to the "people" to vote on its worthiness, it would not have passed. We cannot submit to mob rule, for the mob is a stupid, angry, hateful beast that's only goal is to preserve its privilege at any cost.

Sooner or later, we will see equality for LGBTs. It will not be easy. It will not be swift. But it will happen. The arc of history is moving in our favor.

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Hiding presents, eggnog and Facebook

Got a new meme courtesy of Thursday Thunks. The things I'll do to be able to post every day. Here goes...

1. Sometimes when you are sitting around doing nothing, a thought randomly pops into your head. How many measuring cups do you own?  somewhere between 6 and 10

2. What is your favorite ice cream topping? chocolate

3. Egg nog - is it digestible? Eww.

4. Were you one of the insane humans who went to a store last Friday?  Ha! I was one of the smart people who went to the Ren Fair instead.

5. There are 12 months in a year, anywhere from 28 - 31 days in a month, depending on the year, of course. Each day holds a special meaning for someone, some days hold a special meaning for everybody. Do you have a 2010 calendar yet? Only if you count the ones on my phone and computers...

6. Kids are funny sometimes and say the darndest things, but it's ok because they are kids and they are so adorable. A two year old is cute when they say a swear word. Admit it, they are. What was your favorite nursery rhyme growing up? Hey - if you don't have a favorite, just work with me here and pick the first one that fell off the wall and broke like an egg or came out of the sky like a cow who just jumped over the moon.
I seriously cannot think of a single one.

7. Most of us have some type of machine that people like to call 'vehicles'. Some are blue, some are yellow, some are red. Some have trunks, some have beds and some even can't decide if they are a car or a truck. We put gas in them, check the oil and drive them all over the place and stop them in places called parking spots. Picture in your mind the machine you currently own and if you own more than one, picture the one you last drove - when was the last time you had a new tire on it?  Umm...February?

8. For those of us on Facebook, do you wish to share your Facebook identity with us? Nope. If you want to find me you already know me. Does that make sense?

9. Santa's coming! Where's the best place to hide presents? Any clever little tricks for keeping those nosey people from ruining the surprise?  I can't hide presents. Hidden presents enter a blackhole and never return. I've lost more presents by hiding them than I care to admit.

10. Have you heard that the world is going to end in 2012? Some people think that the world isn't actually going to go BOOM! and be no more, they think that the "end of the world" is actually going to be a worldwide takeover by a certain country and/or religion, which all has to do with the current president of the USA. Do you agree?  NO. And neither do the Mayans. End of a cycle is not the same thing as the end of the world people. And for all that is holy, Obama is not the effing anti-Christ. That's Bill Gates. 

 11. Butterly, butterfly fluttering through the air, please don't land on my freshly washed hair. What brand of shampoo did you use this morning? (and for those of you who still stink.. think of yesterday morning... and if that still doesn't apply to you - go get your stinky butt in the shower!) Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp.

So there it is. If you want to join in the fun, head on over to Thursday Thunks and add your take on the questions to Mr. Linky. Me? I need to do some actual work. Later.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Want...

The Amazon Kindle 2Image via Wikipedia
A Kindle.

There. I said it. I am a complete geek.  I admit it. I love to read. I love gadgets. The Kindle is like the perfect storm of technology and passion for me.

I love the idea of being able to carry a complete library and being able to search for a phrase or section of any book. I've read e-books on the computer and my Pre has an app that allows me to do so as well. While I like the free app (Shortcovers) it has some limitations. For one, when Palm updated the OS recently, the app was virtually unusable until the Shortcovers people updated. It still doesn't bookmark reliably. But I love the free book of the week (something that Amazon does as well) and the ease of picking up my phone and reading whenever or wherever.

I've been ready to embrace the idea of an e-book reader for several years and with the advent of the Kindle there's finally a device that is user friendly, easy on the eyes and now, the pocket book.  In fact, I'd go so far as to predict that within the next 20 years (probably much sooner) , publishing will move over entirely to e-books. There will always be a market for ink and paper books. They'll not disappear entirely. But for the consumer, they'll be replaced.

Welcome to the 21st century.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Awareness Day

 This year’s theme “Human Rights and Universal Access” addresses the critical need to protect human rights and ensure universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The day is also a call to countries to remove laws that discriminate against people living with HIV, women and marginalized groups. Laws like the one proposed in Uganda that would impose the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" and make it a crime punishable by prison to NOT out homosexuals to the government. 

Some facts and figures from the UN's AIDS Epidemic Update 2009:
The global AIDS epidemic
  • Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with
    HIV and 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes.
  • In 2008, some 33.4 million [31.1 million-35.8 million] people living with HIV, 2.7 million
    [2.4 million-3.0 million] new infections and 2 million [1.7 million-2.4 million] AIDS-related
  • In 2008, around 430 000 [240 000-610 000] children were born with HIV, bringing to 2.1
    million [1.2 million-2.9 million] the total number of children under 15 living with HIV.
  • Young people account for around 40% of all new adult (15+) HIV infections worldwide.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected and is home to 67% of all people living
    with HIV worldwide and 91% of all new infections among children 
  • In sub-Saharan Africa the epidemic has orphaned more than 14 million children.

To put this in a little perspective, the World Health Organization reports as of 22 November 2009, worldwide more than 207 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 7820 deaths.To hear the MSM tell it though, H1N1 is going to kill us all. Meanwhile 14 MILLION children in Africa have been orphaned because of the AIDS epidemic. That's more than the total population of Buenos Aires, the tenth largest urban center in the world. It's almost as many people as live in Shanghai and more than the population of New York City. You get the idea.

In 2008, only 42% of those who needed Antiretroviral therapy (ART) received it around the world. UNAIDS estimates that 25 Billion US dollars will needed to provide AIDS services in 2010. The US pledged a total of 5.4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from 2001 to 2008. And we've only paid 4.3 billion.

More must be done. Find out how you can help.

Donate directly to the Fund.

Google search for local AIDS resources and volunteer your time, participate in fundraisers and spread the news.

RTT - Hi there, I know it's been a while

So it's Tuesday and while I haven't been playing lately, others have. Go check out the Unmom for more randomness.

Father, bless me for I have sinned. It has been eleven days since my last real post. (Thanksgiving's post of "Alice's Restaurant" doesn't really count.) Give me a couple of Hail Bloggers to say and for my penance I will write a post a day for the month of December.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's play catch up. Eldest was in town for Thanksgiving. She brought the cat. Ugh. While superficially adorable, the little demon-child knocked over things, tried to eat the dog's food (mostly while they were trying to eat it) and nommed the pumpkin pie. He got dunked once in the sink for getting on the countertops (didn't stop him) and knocked across the kitchen for eating the dog food (ditto), so that's two lives he's down. On a positive note, the dogs found him endlessly amusing. Myrddin liked to grab him by the throat and drag him around the floor. Surprisingly enough, the cat did not seem to mind.

After the turkey, we spent Black Friday at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Much fun was had by all and too much money was spent. All is good. The drive home was the only downer. An accident on the only road out of the festival brought traffic to a standstill. We sat and waited for an hour and a half for the two lane farm-to-market road to be cleared.

Christmas this year is going to be in Omaha. Visiting the in-laws. Since we haven't been in more years that I can remember, this is a good thing. We're driving. And taking the dogs. All so Myrddin can see snow. (That and we're too cheap to board the puppies for a week.) For the occasion, Rowan has received a doggie coat. He has no undercoat and no fat to speak of and gets chilled when it drops into the 60s, so I figured that the possible freezing weather (and aforementioned snow) would necessitate extra insulation. He accepts the indignity with his usual aplomb. Meaning he didn't try to eat it when I put it on him but then, he hasn't had it on longer than it took to make sure it fits. And to model when we got home. Pictures are promised.

Looking to score some tickets to Fiddler on the Roof in January. Harvey Fierstein is playing Teyve. This, I must see. Seriously. I can't imagine Harvey singing. If Mulan is any indication, the man cannot carry a tune in a bucket.  Should be hilarious.

Speaking of things theatrical, we went a saw Men Who Stare at Goats. It's great. Ewan Macgregor and George Clooney, what's not to love?  And as an added bonus, the goats running about at the end of the movie reminded me of Aibhne. She's short and has a tendency to waddle/run really funny. Just like a goat. If she could bleat, she'd have a permanent Halloween costume. Pisses Youngest off no end when we compare her dog to a goat, so that's another bonus. What can I say? I'm evil. Though in my own defense, it was Eldest who came up with the comparison. I just ran with it.

Well, I should be working. So, I'll leave it here. Go visit the Unmom for more random jewels.