Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RTT- Banned books, sex ed and more

Hey! It's Tuesday. Grab the button and play along.

So, it's Banned Books Week. Mostly, these books that end up on the most challenged lists are worth reading. Grab the list and see how many you've read. And which ones you think should be banned. And then explain the whole idea to me. Cause I don't get it.

It's like the people who want certain television programming pulled. There's a simple solution to TV shows that you think are inappropriate for your kiddos - it's called being a parent and taking control of the remote. For Christ's sake, just turn the crap off. I mean, seriously folks. I think Survivor and all it's reality show spin offs are for crap. I'm in the minority, I know, but I'm not clamoring for their removal from the airwaves. I just don't watch.

Don't want your kids reading objectionable material? Pay attention to what they're reading. Ask for alternatives. But pushing to have a book removed from the library or not used in a reading list is infringing on my rights as a parent to let my kid read Fahrenheit 451 or And Tango Makes Three.

Moving on. A glimmer of good news in Texas. Apparently some school districts in Texas want to move away from abstinence-only sex ed. Seems they are a bit alarmed at the rise in STDs and pregnancies among teens. Take a gander at this graph:

click to embiggen

That's scary stuff. Texas has the third highest teen birth rate and leads the nation in teens with multiple children. Proving, once and for all, that abstinence-only education doesn't work.

Anyway, enough of the preaching. Youngest got her "new" Blackberry. She hates it. But for $60 we got a smartphone, a car charger, a wall charger, a USB cord and earbuds. Couldn't get a better deal. She already has plans to buy a new phone next semester with her grant money.

We got the Beast (also known as the puppy-from-hell) a new dog dish. Under the idea that one of the reasons she gets destructive in the late afternoon is because she's hungry, we purchased a plastic dish tub and added 6 cups of kibble plus the leftovers from breakfast. We'll see how well this works tonight. Maybe if she gets fat she won't be able to get to half the things she does now. On the plus side, she's going to force us to be neater. What we don't leave out she can't get to.

It's raining again here. We're still so far behind that water restrictions are still in force. Since we've been in the negative for a number of years now, I kind of think that it may become a permanent thing. I remember when studying Texas history learning about the "dry line"; a longitudinal line that demarcated where farming could be done in Texas with and without the need for irrigation. Everything to the west of the line required irrigation. To the east did not. That line used to sit just to the west of Austin and nearly split the state in half lengthwise. I firmly believe that it has shifted significantly to the east and Austin now lies on the other side. Climate change, anyone?

Well, my randomness has been a little on the serious side today and I apologize to those of you looking for something more light-hearted. Go check out the Unmom for more randomness. Someone's bound to be funnier than I today.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week Sept 26 - Oct 3

It's Banned Books Week. The annual attempt by the American Library Association to inform the public about challenged and banned books in the US. Every year across this country parents, administrators and others challenge books in school and public libraries. Mostly, their intentions are good. They want to save their children from material they deem inappropriate.

The top three reasons stated for challenging a book:
  1. Sexually explicit
  2. Language
  3. Unsuited to age
2008's top ten banned books
  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, sexism, and unsuited to Age Group
  2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier Reasons: offensive Language, sexually explicity, violence
  3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman Reason: religious viewpoint
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain Reason: racism
  6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou Reason: sexually explicit
  9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris Reasons: sex education and sexually explicit
  10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

Some of these come as no surprise. Huckleberry Finn has been on the banned books lists for decades. It's the number 5 most challenged book in the last decade alone. The Color Purple is 17th most banned book fro 1990-1999. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is number three on that list. Certain books just hit people's buttons. Those three certainly fit the description of button pushers.

Number 1 came as a bit of a surprise to me. And Tango Makes Three has been the number one most challenged book for the last three years. It's the story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap penguins allowed to hatch and raise an egg at the Central Park Zoo.

As the picture implies, this is a children's book. A picture book that is somehow sexually explicit. While it does talk about the true story of Roy and Silo, I doubt it goes into any sexually explicit detail. What it does do is talk about same-sex parenting. The scary homosexual agenda strikes again.

Same-sex parents and animal homosexuality aside, calling The Color Purple and It’s Perfectly Normal both sexually explicit evokes two completely different meanings to me. The Color Purple has several scenes, if I remember correctly, that can honestly be described as "sex scenes" inasmuch as intercourse is being described. It's Perfectly Normal is completely different. It's all about educating kids about their bodies. Sex education, yes. Sexually explicit, no. Though what's wrong with a little sex education is an entirely different story.

I remember as a college student in the 80s at the University of Texas at Austin that during Banned Books Week the University Co-Op would have a window display. It was always eye-opening to see the books piled high in the window that had run into the censor. Things like Catcher in The Rye and Clockwork Orange were expected. Charlotte's Web was not. It's the same with the current list. Calling And Tango Makes Three objectionable makes about as much sense as Charlotte's Web to me.

Banning books because we deem them upsetting, dangerous or distasteful is a slippery slope. One that leads to bonfires, master races and despotism. It insults the intelligence of our children and is the lazy way of dealing with difficult subjects. Whether or not Mark Twain meant The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to be a treatise on racism in America is moot. It describes the time and place of its setting accurately. Can it be used to initiate discussion? You bet. Should it be read by middle and high schoolers? Absolutely.

The same is true of any of these challenged books. Read them. Use them to get your kids to think.

It's not illegal. Yet.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, September 25, 2009

"You cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot"

I love Frank Schaeffer. Seriously. The man is amazing. He cuts through the bullshit like no one else I've heard lately. Watch this:

Go read Mark Morford, too. The best way to talk to an idiot is to ignore him. Sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the reign of destruction continues

We came home this evening to discover that the dog (hard call anything that weighs 55 pounds a puppy) has gotten into something else she wasn't supposed to.

Youngest bought a tie dye kit yesterday. Made the mistake of leaving it on the couch. We came home to discover Aibhne had gotten into it.

She. Opened. The. Box.

As in tore off the little tab thingie, opened the lid and pulled out the four squeeze bottles, the CD, the instructions and the bag of soda ash. Apparently the bad of soda ash was tasty. Or smelled good. It was torn open in two places and about a quarter of it dumped on the carpet behind the couch.

Plus she pooped.


Is it too late for puppy reform school? I'd call the Dog Whisperer or some such guru but they'd probably run screaming from the scene.

I'm about ready to declare open season on all Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback/whatever mixes. (She's so short. There has to be something else in there. )

Wednesday Weirdness

Some weeks it's hardly worth looking for weirdness, other weeks it's hard to pick from the plethora of stories. Guess which one this is.

We begin with an odd case of littering. Douglas Jones tossed 3,000 golf balls from his car into Joshua Tree National Monument. He claimed they were a tribute to honor deceased golfers. Oh, and to leave "his mark". His "mark" also consisted of tennis balls, park literature and fruits and vegetables left along the roadside. The food was apparently for stranded hikers. Though if they'd made to the road, surely they weren't stranded anymore. The clean-up cost the park $9,000.

Police in Mississippi used a taser to subdue a "suspect" Said suspect was an emu. What? Not funny enough?

Ever wonder what happens to those DVDs you send back to Blockbuster or Netflix? Well, if you're Springfield postal worker Myles Weathers, they go in your backpack.  The first time I had one go missing and couldn't remember if I'd sent it in or not I wondered about this. How easy would it be for someone to lift it out of my mailbox? Maybe easier than I thought. Weathers faces prison time and restitution of $38,000. That's a lot of late fees.

And on the home front, we're looking for the 16GB microSD card out Youngest's dead cell phone. It was taken out when the phone was disassembled in an attempt to dry it out after it took a swim in the toilet. Recovery efforts failed and now the SD card is AWOL.

I think the puppy ate it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RTT - It's raining. And it's cold. Did I get transported somewhere else overnight?

It's Tuesday so you know what that means. Grab the picture, head on over to the Unmom and join the fray.

So I survived the weekend in Denton. Youngest drove on the interstate. At night. And we made it in one piece. Eldest's kitten, he who was a she but is now an it, managed to only claw me once. All in all, a successful weekend.

And now it's raining. We haven't seen much of the wet stuff this year. We're in the midst of the worst drought in years and a couple of days of rain, while nice, won't do too much to relieve it. The water restrictions are so bad that restaurants can't serve you water unless you ask for it first. Had one waiter try to interpret that to mean he couldn't refill the glass despite being asked. Twit.

The weather bug says it's a balmy 70 degrees outside at 1 pm. Now, I know that's not cold to most people. But it's a considerable change from the 100+ days just last month. And downright chilly for those of us with crappy circulation. Especially since the thermometer at my desk just reached 69. After starting out at around 67.

I can personally attest to the fact that LG makes a great little cell phone. Especially since ours tend to take a dip at some point in their lives. All of our LG phones survived their immersion tests. Youngest's new Samsung did not. It's fried. She's going into to withdrawals as we speak. She's already hit 3500 texts this month and her current inability to be in constant contact is going to be tough. We bought her a refurbished BlackBerry online for 60 bucks. It should last her long enough to build up her upgrade points with Sprint. I hope. Maybe I should buy the insurance for it....

Note to self: do not carry the Pre in my pocket. Ever.

I bought this handy, dandy jewel while in Denton:

sorry it's so small : (

It's an Czech Army Surplus Medical Bag. Can't wait to fill it up with first aid gear and show it off. I am a such a geek.

Well, I really should be working. See ya'll next week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Heinlein was prescient

Certain things have been running around in my head lately and bumping to the furniture. They've never quite managed to coalesce into something approaching coherence on their own. If the following seems rambling and incoherent, blame it on this.

In the back ground is this summer's hotly debated topic of health care reform. So much has been said on both sides. Battle lines have been drawn and each side is entrenched. Contentious and sometimes ugly, this "debate" has been very revealing.

Against that background enters Stephen Colbert and his segment this week about corporations. Here's a clip from that episode:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Why is that a "comedian" can shed more light on this subject than all the reporters in the MSM? But I digress. My husband and I talked about the idea of corporations as people on the way to pick up the Youngest the next afternoon. We both agreed that calling a corporation a person was ridiculous. But we argued a bit about, in the face of this unfortunate legal reality, if it meant that a corporation could be considered a constituent to a member of Congress.  He argued they could. That they made campaign contributions made them de facto constituents. I argued that all it made them was campaign contributors. Since their area of interest was narrow and the area of law that could be reasonably said to pertain to them equally narrow, they didn't deserve that appellation.  A Senator can participate in enacting a wide variety of laws that can affect his actual living breathing constituents in a myriad of ways. A corporation is only interested in a few laws that directly affect them. At least that's my thinking.

Today, while perusing the post on Crooks and Liars about the case of Jamie Leigh Jones' rape case against Hallliburton; I came across this comment:

You can't put a corporation in jail.

Self-evident, isn't it? You can put the executives and employees of said corporation in jail but not the entity itself. In fact, there's a lot of things that a corporation can't do that a person can- it can't breathe, it can't die, it can't reproduce.   The scientific definition of life is broad and vague so that it can encompass the wide variety of living organisms we find on our planet.  It's something that isn't precise and may never be, but ultimately I don't think it can stretch far enough to accommodate corporations.

I don't think that corporations are persons that should be afforded the same rights as the flesh and blood people they so often  abuse. But there's the case that Colbert was discussing: Citizens United V Federal Election Commission.  The FEC stopped Citizens United from releasing their feature length film : HIllary the Movie' calling it a campaign contribution that violated federal rules. If the Supreme Court rules in their favor it's entirely possible that corporations will be able to give unlimited campaign contributions to the candidates of their choice.

Wouldn't that just be a pickle? Corporations buying candidates. Oh, wait. They kinda sorta already do. And that brings us back to health care. One of the reasons that I believe health care reform will ultimately fail this year, as it has for so many years, is that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies already own the Congress. They already exert undue influence through campaign contributions, political action committees and thinly veiled "citizens" groups feeding people misinformation.

Six large corporations own the majority of the media in this country: Time Warner, Disney, News Corp. (Murdoch), General Electric, Viacom and Bertelsmann.  6 major corporations provide the majority of health care in this country: United Health Group, WellPoint, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, and Health Net. (I've talked about most of these insurance companies before. There's a plethora of resources out there talking about the obscene tactics, huge revenues and outlandish personal incomes for CEOs.) The same can be said of just about ever major business arena - a few control the majority of the resources, earn the majority of income and affect the majority of the arena.

Many times it's difficult for the layman to follow the money trail and untangle the complex ties that bind corporations. Just who ultimately owns who is many times hard to say.

I would posit that corporations already run the government through this complex web and that a favorable ruling in Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission will only make it official. If corporations are persons and persons have the right to free speech and speech = money then corporations can give unlimited amounts to political campaigns. It sounds paranoid and verging on conspiracy theory nutland but sometimes the truth is pretty damn strange.

Aibhne should've been named Linnea

As in Linnea- Destroyer of Worlds.

She's been on a rampage lately. Youngest's classes are all late this semester and we do good to get home by 6:30 most days and even later on Tuesday and Thursday. Little miss just can't wait that long. She gets bored. And hungry. Bad combinations for a Lab.

Monday we came home to this:

That is her water dish and Myrddin's food bowl way in the back. There are three plastic tupperware-like containers. Two are only slightly squished. One is torn in half. It is, of course, the new one. There is also a ceramic bowl in two pieces and the lion's share of that mess came from a bag of plastic drink cups- bathroom dispenser sized. The bag was on the kitchen table. She retrieved the bag and shook it like a rat, scattering the cups to the four winds.
Oh, and she pooped.
The next day, we came home to this:

That is what is left of 5 rolls of toilet paper. Someone forgot to close the bathroom door and she dug out the paper from it's original container. You know, one of those jumbo multi-packs of Charmin. She pulled out an entire 4-pack, tore it open and made confetti. And then added another roll for good measure. 

This morning, we woke to this:

Scattered around her feet is the detritus of a sonic burger and tots meals that we forgot to throw away. After scrounging through the foil and tearing up the paper tots carton, she decided to see if anything was left in the bag. And promptly got it stuck on her head. We were awakened by a thumping noise. It was Aibhne bumping into things. My husband got me out of bed to laugh at her and take this picture before he saved her from herself.

This evening, she got into a box of canned goods we keep meaning to take to the food pantry. (She'd already pulled out the case of ramen from that box last month. She ate two packs but left the rest for us.) We found a can of soup and a bag of old eyeglasses scattered in the living room. In much the same place as everything else has been scattered.  Maybe if we weren't so careless about leaving things out, she'd do better.

Somehow I think she'd just get more creative in her scrounging.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Takei & Altman- Boldy going on the Newlywed Game!

George Takei, aka Lt. Sulu of Star Trek for those two of you that don't know, and his husband Brad Altman are going to appear on the new Newlywed Game as the show's first gay couple.

They may have an unfair advantage against the other newlyweds since they've been together for 22 years.

Way to go, guys!

Weird Wednesday

I'm back! Sorry I missed last week. I just ran out of Wednesday. Not a good excuse, but the best I have.

We begin, as always, with a funky story from Weird Asia news. What can I say? It's first on my list. In Japan, the economy is tough. Nothing new or weird there. But some are looking to a rather odd way of raising money. They're recycling bras. Yes, that's right. Bras. Apparently they can be made into solid fuel? Who knew.

Next we travel to South Korea where an elephant in a zoo took a disliking to a patron and beaned her on the head with a rock. She called the authorities and they reviewed the CCTV, which, surprisingly enough, didn't show a clear view of the enclosure. Perhaps because zoo security is slightly more concerned about what the people do and not the critters. Their short-sightedness into the sub-culture of elephant gangs and their initiation rituals has cost this woman a lump on the head. For shame.

Over to Taiwan to my worst nightmare come true. Hello Kitty has taken over the maternity ward at Yualin hospital. The staff wear Hello kitty themed scrubs, the decor is Hello Kitty, the blankets and who knows what else is Hello Kitty themed. It's enough cute to make a person puke. Don't believe me?

We travel south for a story about a dog, a man and car left running whilst the man nipped into the liquor store for a sixer. Wilco, the dog, decided to take the car for a spin. He jumped on the gear shift and into the drivers seat and coasted into a nearby cafe. It was a short trip. Both dog and owner were given a warning. The police said the owner and dog alike had their tails between their legs.

Back home we have two stories about robberies, but with very different outcomes. The first one just kinda makes you scratch your head in disbelief at not just the robbers but the victims, too. Two 44-year-olds in Wichita, KS wanted a moment alone. So they crawled into a dumpster for their tryst. Weird enough. But while they were disheveled they were robbed at pocket knife point but two senior citizens. It's pretty bad when the highlight of your day is a trash bin quickie but then to get robbed by two elderly would-be gangstas is just too much. I'd take it as a sign that the relationship was doomed.

Note to self: Must sharpen the sword that's stuffed into my bedroom closet. it might come in handy like one did for this fellow. A Johns Hopkins students thwarted a robber in his garage by attacking him with a sword. He nearly severed the intruders hand causing him to bleed out before EMTs could arrive. Never underestimate a geek.

And last is a story that can only happen in America. Apparently, domestic abuse is considered by some insurance companies as a preexisting condition. Go read the article linked from Huff Post. It's hard to fathom that an insurance company would do something as despicable as this to someone who has already been a victim once, but I shouldn't really be surprised. It's all about the money.

That's it for this week.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RTT-And now for something completely different

It's Tuesday! Grab the picture, copy the link and enter in the madness over at the Unmom. You'll be glad you did.

So, lots of random stuff going on but first I want to apologize for not posting Weird Wednesday last week. No excuses. Just ran outta Wednesday.

I checked my Feedjit map this weekend and discovered something interesting. My post of November 12, 2008 entitled "I Hate Chihuahuas" is still getting hits. Still. Apparently, I am not the only one to feel a little animosity towards the little critters. This amazes me. And makes me giggle.

I've started testing the limits of my insurance company by undergoing tests to determine what the heck is going on with my boobalage and breathing. Chest X-ray was fine. Blood work was normal. I had a Pulmonary Function test and a Electrocardiogram Friday. Won't know until the end of the week what those results will be. Me? I still think it's lymphedema. Especially since I'd lost 4.9 pounds according to the Wii after a week of less than stellar eating, alcohol imbibing this weekend and no exercise. What I did do was start wearing a body-shaper and added extra manual lymph drainage massage to the affected areas. So. That's really all I need to know.

Patrick Swayze died yesterday. Sad news. He fought a good long fight against a type of cancer that doesn't leave survivors. God speed to his family.

Don't you just hate people who act like the things you're asking them to do at work or whatever are completely new ideas that have no merit and are certainly things they've never heard discussed? I get to edit our company reports for formatting errors, make sure they're following the style guide and templates. So I come across this one report and the author has broken some basic rules. Actually, quite a few. Over and over. I wrote a long, detailed explanation of where he went wrong and got an email back that said "all these rules would have been nice to know ahead of time. Are these actually written down somewhere?"

Um, yeah. I sent out an email last month with the updated table templates, a sample report that highlighted common errors (like the ones he had) and the style guide was taken almost in its entirety from a version that was already on the company server. Whee!!

Dude, and just what was up with Kanye West? I didn't see the awards show, but I have heard that now infamous little clip played over and over again on our local country radio station morning show. Generally to hilarious effect. Apparently Mr West, Joe "You lie" Wilson and Serena Williams have clued the MSM to the fact that we've become increasingly rude as a nation.


It took you this long? Where were you for the crap fest that is Rush, Coulter, and Hannity, to name just a few. Or how about the crappy behavior at town hall meetings this summer? Maybe that should have gotten you all riled up? Hmm?

Now, we get pundits across the board decrying the lack of civility and poor behavior in these folks. Did they put their collective feet in their collective mouths? Yes. Yes, they did. Are they the first?

Uh, fuck no.

The more important question is will they be the last? The sad answer to that is: probably not.
Well, that's about all the randomness I can muster. Later.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Caster Semenya

First, I have to say that though I've been following this story, I haven't posted anything about it. I couldn't really come up with a good argument about why this was so absurd. And then I found this:

John Green is an author and vlogger. His discussion of sports and gender and ambiguity are spot on. While he doesn't use the words transgender in his discussion he does a fine job of talking about the erroneous idea that sex is an either/or proposition. More importantly, he focuses on Caster Semenya herself and how she has handled the outcry.

There are conflicting reports. Some same her testosterone levels are normal. Others says they're far too high. One rather disgusting report called Semenya a hermaphrodite. Let me just say that the term hermaphrodite is no longer used by the medical community and is generally deemed misleading, insensitive and confusing.

There are also reports that Semenya has retreated into hiding and is undergoing counseling to deal with the trauma associated with having her gender forcibly tested and argued about in the public. Even if the test results confirm what the South African sports ministry, government, her family and her hometown have said all along, it will most likely follow her forever.

Whatever the final outcome. Caster Semenya is a champion in the eyes of many.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, September 12, 2009

National Suicide Prevention Week

As this year's National Suicide Prevention Week draws to a close, let's remember two young men who chose to take their lives this year rather than face the continual torment of bullying.

Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera were eleven-years-old. Faced with endless anti-gay teasing, these two saw no way out. They chose to end their pain and their lives.

We need to remember these two youths whenever we see or hear anti-LGBT language, especially from our children. That there are those that cannot see the need for anti-harassment legislation in the face of the pain of the Walker-Hoover and Herrera families is madness.

Recent studies show that LGBT youth are up to four times as likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers. They face harassment, both physical and verbal, that can be devastating. Schools, the one place that we hope that our children feel safe, can be a torture chamber. The 2007 National School Climate Survey found that "found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experienced harassment at school in the past year, three-fifths (60.8%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and about a third (32.7%) skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe."

Those are shocking numbers. And not all LGBT youth face the same kind of risks. Transgender youth face even harsher conditions than their LBG peers. 82% of transgender youth surveyed by GSLEN reported feeling unsafe at school. "About nine in ten transgender students reported being verbally harassed at school because of their gender expression (87%) and their sexual orientation (89%), and
over half experienced this form of harassment often or frequently." 47% skipped one or more days of school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

Living in that kind of daily environment, often coupled with difficult family relationships and societal norms that they challenge whenever attempt to be true to themselves, creates enormous pressure on LGBT youth. It's not just higher suicide rates that result. When harassment is severe, LGBT students are less likely to pursue higher education and have lower grades.

What can you do? Talk to your children. Support GLAD, GSLEN and other LGBT organizations. Support the Trevor Project. Support the legislative efforts in your state, if they exist, to put anti-harassment laws on the books.

Remember Carl, Jaheem and the countless others who chose to end their lives rather than continue to suffer.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

RTT- I'm back, sorta

Hey, it's Tuesday, so go visit the Unmom for more randomness. Really. Go visit Keely. If you want to hang around here, be prepared for some egregious and most likely awkward randomness. It's probably the best I can come up with.

Someone of the canine persuasion in our household has developed an on-again/ off-again case of the squats. (I did try to warn you.)  Fairly certain it's not the puppy who seems to have an iron constitution. Could be Rowan. His farts can clear the room when he gets ahold of anything that doesn't come out of the Purina bag. Myrddin could be the culprit as well. Can't really say for sure which one. But it sure makes for some unpleasant homecomings.

Youngest bought herself her first car. I think I may have already made this announcement. But I can add this tidbit. She's already spent more than she paid for the car just to get the brakes fixed. Now for the tires and the bumper and the AC. You get the picture.  POS is too nice a term. It's a junker. Not even suitable for the demolition derby.

The girl cat that was really a boy cat is now officially an it. Eldest reports he has a penchant for climbing drapes. And crawling into the refrigerator. Water does not deter him. Harsh words and swats on the behind do not deter him. Eldest is going to try a shake can and see if she can put the fear of God into him. Whee. Glad it's her and not me. His new name is Mishka, by the way.

Myrddin has discovered that he can jump the fence. He only does it in the morning when he's out with just Aibhne. (Rowan has decided he's allergic to mornings and refuses to go out with them. Smart dog.) Whether he is jumping the fence to get away from the pup or chasing a bird or squirrel is yet to be determined. What we do know is that he kinda flips out when he does it and comes to the front door, scratching and whining to be let back inside. And that he doesn't do it when Rowan is out with them. As in, they were outside most of the day on Saturday and he stayed put.  Unless of course, he jumped back. Oi.

Labor Day weekend was it's usual long and drawn out affair. We usually head over to a friend's house who hosts an annual game weekend. Played lots of board games and card games and stayed up way too late. It's supposed to be relaxing and refreshing and not exhausting. Late nights are not on the menu for me though I can't seem to get that across to my husband or kids.

I want to thank those of you who commented on my last post. I'm trying to take this latest hiccup in stride. I have an appointment for a physical in October but will call and try to get in this week to discuss the changes in my condition and start the process towards getting an actual diagnosis. I'm feeling better since I purchased something to provide a little compression in the torso.

Not much randomness in me this week. This will have to do. See ya'll tomorrow for Weird Wednesday.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bear with me

I haven't been posting much of late mostly because of two things. One, a newfound obsession with the FarmVille app on Facebook. It's crazy addicting and a glorious time suck.

It was a welcome diversion from the other thing that's been slowing me down. I had a odd swelling in my left breast and was overdue for a mammogram so I used my year old appointment sheet and scheduled one. Flipped my OB out. I did things out of order. Oooh. Anyway, I was not overly surprised when the radiologist wanted to schedule an ultrasound of my left breast. The time in between the mammogram and the ultrasound wasn't terribly unpleasant. A little stressed but not too. Until my OB called me in for an exam and decided to refer me to a specialist. That was on a Friday. My appointment with the specialist was on Monday. Not a fun weekend.

The words Inflammatory Breast Cancer were tossed around. I didn't have a lump but the condition of the breast raised the possibility of this rare cancer. The idea of having cancer kept sneaking up on me all weekend. I didn't really think that it was likely but I wouldn't know for sure until further tests were done. Thank you, Pseudo for listening to my rambling concerns. You were a great help.

We did a biopsy on that Monday, though the specialist was fairly certain it wasn't cancerous. Indeed it was not.

What it turns out to be is still awaiting a definitive diagnosis but I am personally 99% certain I know what it is. I have Primary Lymphedema and I've talked about it before on this blog. What I believe to be happening is that my Lymphedema (LE) has progressed. It is no longer confined to my legs but has spread to my chest and specifically my left breast.

So what does this mean? Well, for starters it means I have to change some very basic things about my daily life. I can no longer wear a standard bra. I generally wear sports bras since I really detest underwires and most bras in general. They turn out to be possibly the worse thing I could have been using. I will have to buy special compression bras or garments. At this point, I have no idea if my insurance will cover it. I hope that once I get a diagnosis, they will. Blue Cross has been really great about the current garments my daughter and I have to wear for the LE in our legs.

That's one of things that has me down about this the most. My daughter is 19. She has had LE since she was about 12. It's already impacted her life choices. Now she has to face the very real possibility that at some point in her life, her LE may move into other areas, something I'm sure she never considered.

What's really depressing the most about this possible diagnosis is the impact it may have on my health. I am already having days when my breathing is affected. Today has been really unpleasant. My chest hurts. It's hurt all day. I've had a few moments were I've been short of breath. I know how devastating respiratory illness can be and how horribly it can impact a person's life. My parents both died of congestive heart failure brought on by chronic pulmonary disease. My Mom was a smoker. She had emphysema and Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease. She got to where she could hardly walk from one end of the house to the other without getting short of breath. It took her 10 long years to die. People talk about how horrible lung cancer is but from my point of view that's the way to go if you're a smoker. Make no mistake, smoking is going to kill you and as horrible a way to die as lung cancer is, it's at least quick. It's not a slow suffocation that gradually robs you of the will to live. And I have no desire to repeat their experience.


The entire possibility, the specter of that fate, is enough to drive me mad. I'm talking stark, raving bonkers.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Extra appendages...

The kitten has them.

As in she...

... is a he.


Funny every damn time.

Sorry I never got video of "Kiss the Kitty". I got no cooperation whatsoever from either the dog, the cat or the children. Surprise, surprise.

But this announcement makes it all better.

Weird Wednesday

I'm back! And boy did I find some good ones....

We start with the tale of the business man who didn't want to miss his flight. So he called in a bomb threat. Isn't it amazing how they can track down who makes a phone call to the airport like that? Isn't more amazing that there's someone in the world who apparently has no clue that technology exists to do just this?

From India we move to Australia, just a hop, skip and jump across the Pacific where we find that rumors abound about how protesters plan to disrupt the Repco World Rally Championship. Frozen koala seems to be on the menu. Which is odd considering they're protesting the environmental damage caused by the race. I don't know about you, but tossing a frozen koala at a race car seems counterproductive to my claims to be concerned about the environment.

I don't know whether to be concerned, amused or vaguely insulted. The government is enlisting Elmo to teach kids how to stave of the Swine Flu. Seriously. Elmo. The government says we shouldn't be concerned, but lets call out the muppets to remind the kiddos to wash their hands.

As always there's a long list of stupid criminals. A long, long list. They're not all here, of course, cause all it takes is a Google search of stupid and criminal and you'll get more than enough hits to entertain you on a rainy afternoon, but I digress. Let's start with one that made me giggle. A grocery store in Zachary, LA caught a woman on tape stealing a 24-can case of beer. Simple enough. Except for how she stole it. She lifted up her house dress, wedged the case between her thighs and waddled out. And apparently it took a while to figure out who she was and where she lived. The theft was Aug. 22. Police learned her identity last week and located her Monday. Top notch police work there guys. Oh, and she volunteered to demonstrate how she "hid" the 20 pound case. Police declined.

We move slightly further north to Knoxville, TN where police learned that it's not enough to handcuff your suspect and put him in the cruiser. You need to take your keys with you. Steven Seiber was detained on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine, handcuffed and placed in the cruiser while officers dealt with other individuals. Despite being told he would only be issued a misdemeanor citation and released, Seiber decided he wasn't going to be taken alive. He wiggled his hands under his bum and to the front, crawled through the opening in the security screen, got behind the wheel and took off. After a merry chase that ended in one crashed cruiser, he was arrested under considerably more serious charges.

In North Carolina, the police continue the "can't get a break" theme. Cumberland County Deputy Lyn Lavallis responded to a complaint about a dog. While talking to the woman, the dog in question entered the driveway. And proceed to gnaw on all 4 tires. Four flat tires later, the owner received a bill for $500 to replace the tires. The dog didn't attack a person, just ate the tires. Bet he likes to chase cars and thought he had finally caught one.

We finish our tales of stupid criminals and the police with the story of Kansas man who was arrested for impersonating an officer. Note to self: if I'm going to try to impress a girl by claiming I'm a cop, don't threaten to arrest her when she's reluctant to come home with me. It might tip her that things are not quite what they seem. Seriously, dude? Did you think that was really going to work? Doofus.

That's it for today. Wednesday Weirdness will resume it's regularly scheduled idiocy next week. Later.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]