Sunday, November 28, 2010


Apart and oft remembered
Resides a woman, small and neat.
Alike in countenance and heritage,
Thus far unmoved and remote.

Blood of my blood,
Yet Stranger to me.

Silence and distance,
Heartfelt and imagined,
Tattered the connection
Of kith and kin.

Blood of my blood,
Yet Stranger to me.

Dreams of future past
And chances gone awry.
Faces in a mirror of the mind
Searching for a way back again.

Blood of my blood,
Yet Stranger to me.

Connections lost,
No new ones forged
The past too lost in mist
To light our way.

Blood of my blood,
Yet Stranger to me.

Sing a song of sixpence
Pocket full of rye
When we come accounting
Will it come up nigh?

Blood of my blood,
Yet Stranger indeed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hallelujah Chorus - Flash Mob Style

Thanks to Mad Priest.

And let me just say, having sung this piece, which is no picnic, these guys were great.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve- or how I learned to stop worrying and love the upcoming Rapture

So I had to work today. Well, to be specific, I was at work but I didn't do too much actual work. What did I do instead? Well, it all started with my blog reader.

 And this little headline from Unreasonable Faith:

Looking forward to the Rapture but worried about your pets?

Well, I had to look into that. I mean, who wouldn't? I discovered this enterprising set of Atheists at Eternal Earthbound Pets. For the low, low cost of $110 you can guarantee that an unlucky Atheist will come rescue your pet in the event of the Rapture. Seriously. 

My husband noted that there were no rescuers in Texas and that might be a business opportunity for us. After all, we're the wrong kind of Christian. The kind that most Rapture believing types would assume would get left behind. Like the pets.
Then he had to go and mention the idea of who would be Raptured and how we might tell if the Rapture had or had not happened. After all, it might have happened already if, and I quote,
a bunch of Born-again Christians disappear, could it be rapture? Who decides what constitutes rapture? You know all the Christianists left behind will deny that they didn’t qualify.
And that lead me to the idea to google this phrase: "how many will be taken in the rapture". Go google it. It nuts. So nuts in fact, that I found this lovely little website:

THE RAPTURE and START of WORLD WAR III – BY: December 21st 2010!

If you have a couple of hours, and don't mind killing a few brain cells along the way, go venture over there. Where you'll learn that the end of the tribulation will be on September 23, 2015. Also that by the end of Fall 2010 the following will happen:
  1. Damascus, Syria will be destroyed
  2. Catastrophic nuclear attack on New York City, Phoenix and other major US cities
  3. Two massive US earthquakes
  4. Russia AND China invade the US
  5. Complete global economic collapse
  6. Global food shortages
Wow, since none of that has happened, God better get busy. (Mental note: revisit on January 1)

After that, and numerous admonitions to watch a endless supply of videos, which I refrained from doing, I gave up.  Apparently, whoever made this website doesn't understand the concept of pages, cause this screed is one long and never-ending page. It goes on and on and on and on and on. The scroll bar on the side of the page hardly moves even though to get to the point above, I had actually scrolled through the equivalent of about a dozen or more pages.

My husband was not appreciative.
WHY DID YOU SEND ME THAT LINK! These wacko’s make my brain hurt with their pseudo-logic and LEAPING interpretations!

To which I replied, with this:

While I found the above animation (found by googling "Rapture animation", I shit you not), Hubs was unimpressed. He even whined and asked "What did I ever do to you . . ."

My reply was, I thought, suitable witty.
Well, if I wasn’t having to hold up the entire conversation with my mad internetz skills, I might stop. But since you think you should actually be working, I must continue. Here’s a lovely website. I particularly love that he appears to have all his bases covered what with natural disasters, alien invasion, nuclear war and so on. Oddly enough stuck in amid the How to Survive…” links is one to “Gambia’s cure for AIDS”.. Oh never mind, I just checked it out. Amazingly enough it ties in with the End Times. Fancy that. Enjoy.
I include a small portion of the site (mentioned above) for your amusement:

Suffice it to say that after I reminded him that he wanted to leave early to make it to the store before all the turkeys were gone and I would stop torturing him with stupid websites once we left, he finished what he was working on in record time.

And I just had to share. After all, it was a day well spent trolling the internetz.

Have a Happy Turkey Day. Try not to kill your relatives. Especially the Republican ones. Me, I avoid the problem by staying away.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Voter turnout and the Mid-Terms

More proof that you get what you vote for, or in this case, don't vote for.

Voter turnout among the eligible population was pretty piss poor. Especially in Texas. Texas tied for next to last place with Utah at 32.2% of the eligible population voting. (New York was the big loser at 32.1%) What does this mean? Well, for me in Texas, it means that just shy of 5 million people voted and determined who was going to lead, in this case straight to hell, our state.

Out of 15.4 million people who could've voted only 4.9 million did. Those other 10.5 million of my fellow Texans? They are the ones to blame for the fiasco that was the mid-term election this month.

Democrats in Texas, I have only one thing to say to you:

Get off your asses and vote!

You'll never know if you could've made a difference in this election because you stayed home. You made a difference in my district in 2008 but because you couldn't be bothered this go round our incumbent DEMOCRAT in the state legislature lost to someone whose only policy ads were about education (cause his wife teaches special ed) and whose attack ads claimed Maldanado was a no-show to most of her committee meetings. And for God's sake Williamson County, can you not get behind someone, anyone, to run against John Carter? I mean it's just a travesty that this ass hat runs unopposed. I want the freaking choice to vote against the walking pimple on the arsehole of humanity but you're not giving me the chance.

As for all those idiots who voted for Rick Perry, you've let the ideologues continue their rampage through our state. We may have managed to defeat the far-right Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar in the primaries for State Board of Education elections, but we left 5 members of their "coalition" on the board and kicked out Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas; Rick Agosto, D-San Antonio; and Rene Nuñez, D-El Paso, who voted in opposition to the coalition. Those who replace them are unknowns at this point but for at least one - Carlos Garza, who defeated Nuñez, the signs are not good. He's been quoted thusly:
“Creationism I believe is true. I believe there should be a good mix. I think what the board did was bring in a mix.”
So, those Dems who stayed home? You could've saved Nuñez, but you didn't. You could've ended the reign of Governor Big Hair, but you didn't. You could've saved Maldanado, but you didn't.

The one thing that the average American can do to affect this nation, over two thirds of my fellow Texans couldn't be bothered to do. Seriously, it's the only benefit of citizenship that allows you a voice, but you prefer to remain silent. Until after the election, when you can complain to pollsters, co-workers and you mom about how the country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Well, my friend, you helped put her there.

h/t to Joe.My.God who started this morning's journey into vitriol. Way to go, Joe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Twitter-vesy"du jour

Well, Google has well and truly done it now. Today's special Google logo for Veteran's Day is an abomination.

See that little red crescent under the American flag? Apparently, the evil-doers at Google have inserted an Islamic crescent under the American flag. Some say it looks like the crescent is being nuked. Others say it looks like the flag is burning. I say people are idiots.

Don't believe me? Go check out twitter. Or check out Gawker. Feel free to make fun of the idiots and their manufactured controversy.

Teh stoopid. It burns.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Those crazy Texas Conservatives

For some reason they think I actually give a shit.

This is the email sent to me by the Young Conservatives of Texas and attached was a copy of the letter they sent to "most Republican State Representatives" this morning:

November 10, 2010
Dear Members and Members-Elect,
I write to you on behalf of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT). YCT is the largest and most active conservative youth organization in the state of Texas. We are composed of hundreds of members at campuses across the state and thousands of alumni, all dedicated to advancing the conservative movement.
Recently, YCT signed-on to a letter released by dozens of grassroots conservative leaders calling for new conservative leadership in the Texas House of Representatives. Our new 99-seat Republican majority in the Texas House provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass a number of conservative reforms. However, the successful passage of a robust conservative agenda is put at risk by the leadership of Speaker Joe Straus.
To illustrate this point, I wanted to share with you the comparison of committee chairs that YCT included in our ratings of the 81st Texas Legislature, released in December of 2009. It contains a listing of committee chairs from the 80th and 81st Legislatures, with their ratings from the 80th and 81st Legislatures, respectively. The scores were drawn from YCT’s Legislative Ratings, which are measured on a 100-point scale and determined by a selection of approximately 30 up-or-down votes deemed to offer a clear conservative/liberal policy choice. As I wrote in the ratings, one of the most telling ways to evaluate a Speaker is to evaluate who he appointed as committee chairs because these people truly dominate the legislative process. And one of the most telling ways to evaluate a member is to evaluate their voting record.
The results of the comparison were disappointing. The average score of committee chairs appointed by Speaker Straus was a 42, a drop of 25 from the previous session. Straus’s appointments were drawn primarily from the coalition of 85 Democrats and liberal-to-moderate Republicans who elected him. Because of this, only two of Straus’s standing committee chairmen scored better than an 80 on YCT’s Legislative Ratings. By comparison, during the 80th Legislature, 11 committee chairs scored 80 points or more on our ratings.
As Chair of Calendars—the second most powerful official in the house with regards to legislation—Speaker Straus appointed Representative Brian McCall. McCall was the most liberal Republican during the 81st Texas Legislature, earning a score of 27 on YCT’s Legislative Ratings. As Chairman of Calendars, McCall delayed bills supported by the grassroots and blocked bills authored by certain conservative legislators completely from the floor. 
If reelected, will Speaker Straus again appoint the most liberal Republican to replace McCall in control of the House’s legislative agenda? If so, a vote for Straus amounts to a vote to block conservative legislators out of the legislative process.
Also astonishing was Straus’s appointment of Democrat Rene Oliveira, who earned a 15 during the 81st Legislature, to chair Ways and Means. As Chair of the committee, Oliveira controlled the success or failure of bills aimed at reforming Texas’s flawed property tax system. Oliveira exhibited highly partisan leadership, refusing to allow any bill to exit his committee that was not authored or co-authored by a Democrat. As one would assume, this policy was devastating to various conservative bills aimed at reforming our tax system and cutting taxes. 
If Speaker Straus is reelected, will Oliveria remain as Ways and Means Chairman? If so, a vote for Straus amounts to a vote against tax reform.
Please look at the attached chart and see the comparisons for yourself. These committee appointments are illustrative, but they are only one example of Speaker Straus’s liberal leadership. I urge you to listen to the grassroots who elected you, and who you have committed to represent. They know that if Straus remains as Speaker, the conservative agenda is put in serious danger. I urge you to listen to their concerns. I urge you to reject the flawed leadership of Joe Straus and elect a true conservative as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
Tony McDonald
Senior Vice Chairman, Young Conservatives of Texas
Now number one, I am profoundly touched that Tony thinks of me as a real-live journalist. He sent this email to 80+ people with email domains like and and so, I am finally using my degree in journalism. Booyah!

But really dude, have you read my blog? What makes you think I agree and/or care about what you think about Joe Straus or any of the committee chairs that you named?

I doubt Rep. Straus will retain his position since he appears to be what the Conservative whack-a-doodles call a RINO. God forbid that any Republican actually make an effort to work with a Democrat or have a moderate agenda. No, his days are numbered. I have no doubt that someone more in line with the YCT's rating system will get the job. I nominate Dan Flynn (R-Van) who has this lovely (partial) list of items he wants see made into Texas law:

• A bill allowing the open sale of raw milk at places such as fairs, farmer’s markets etc. Requested by constituents and supported by the Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance, it does not allow for sales at commercial establishments such as grocery stores, etc
• A bill protecting public school teachers who have chosen to have the Ten Commandments displayed in their classrooms. The display of the Ten Commandments is a patriotic exercise, and it is made no less so by the acknowledgement of Texas’s religious heritage via the inclusion of the phrase ‘under God.’ in the pledge.
• A bill limiting the use of public funds to print certain public documents in a language other than English. This reflects simple principles that if you want to live here, learn the language and do not burden the State of Texas with millions of dollars worth of alternative language costs. 

Let's get cracking on that sale of raw milk and displaying the Ten Commandments. I'm sure the $25 billion budget shortfall will take care of itself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Week in Crazy VI

The Rally to Restore Sanity was great. The Tuesday that followed was not. This week's edition of "This Week in Crazy" is really last week's edition and this one's combined cause I've been a bad blogger. It will be less of a list and more of a rant. Apologies in advance.

Somehow or another, my fellow Texans went off the deep end. Rick Perry was reelected and immediately went on a whirlwind book promotion tour. His solution to the state's $25 billion dollar budget deficit (some estimates put it at $32 billion)? Opt out of Social Security and Medicaid. Yes, you read that correctly. My Governor (excuse me while I throw up) thinks that states should be allowed to opt-out of Social Security and that Medicaid is just too large a drain on the state. I guess Perry doesn't think the  3.4 million Texans on medicaid need health care. Even though the Federal government picks up 60% percent of the tab, the Heritage Foundation, that bastion of reality-based fantasy-based research, "estimates Texas could save $60 billion from 2013 to 2019 by opting out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program" (CHIP).  The Freepers are all for this idea, mainly because they think that a huge percentage of the people using Medicaid are either 1) dead-beats, 2) illegals or 3) dead-beat illegals. (I dare you to go read those comments on the link above, but only if you have a cast-iron stomach).

Not only did Texas reelect Governor Big Hair, Republicans swept the ticket. All major positions went to the Republican candidate and Texas House now has a Republican supermajority. That's really more frightening than having Perry in office for another 4 years, unless he decides to run for President in 2012.  What were you people thinking? Seriously? Do you pay attention at all? Ugh.

Of course, things are not much better in DC. Republicans took the house and Eric Cantor (R-VA) thinks it's not enough.  The GOP has no idea what, exactly, it wants but it's still threatening to take the nation down in flames if they don't get it. Specifically, Cantor refuses to take off the table the idea of a governmental shut-down or refusing to authorize the new bonds and thus causing the United States to default on the national debt.  When I read that little tidbit I was shocked. Will the Republicans not be happy until they destroy this country? Of course, in their twisted thinking, it won't be their fault but Obama's. What. The. Fuck.

This week, Rush Limbaugh is promoting the idea that health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions is welfare. And of course, every good Republican knows that welfare is BAD, therefore this provision must be BAD, too. No matter that without this provision, the health care reform is gutless. Nuts. Pardon me while I bang my head against a brick wall. I doubt it will drive the idiocy away but at least if I pass out I won't have to be assaulted by this drivel.

This country is insane and Texas holds the keys to the lock-down ward of the mental hospital. Secede. Stop paying into Social Security or Medicaid. Teach our children that McCarthy had it right and people lived alongside dinosaurs. Tell ourselves that Texas is open for business while ignoring the enormous budget shortfall.

I've lived in Texas all my life. I've defended her against those who would think the US would be better off without her on blogs far and wide. No more.

If Democrats in Texas can't put on their man suit and drive, they get what they deserve. And the same really goes for the entire country. I've read about the enthusiasm gap and the bitterness of those who feel Obama has ignored their cause. Much has been said  about the idea of "teaching the Dems a lesson".

I say to those people, SCREW YOU.

You are every bit as much to blame for the shitstorm that is to come as any Tea Party or Republican voter. At least those people followed their convictions. What did you do? How have you punished the Democrats? What GOOD will come of this insanity?  It takes years to fix the problems caused by previous administrations but only a single vote to make things worse. How is staying home or voting for the Green party candidate or some such bullshit keeping the madness at bay?

It doesn't. God help us all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rally Pictures

Ok. I have a lot of these. So many that I couldn't get them all in a post. So, here's the link to my Picasa album. I think.
Rally to Restore Sanity

The Rally to Restore Sanity

Well, we're finally home and I'm caught up enough to sit down and write up my experiences.  The trip started out inauspicously. Before we even got on the plane, Youngest called to say she had gotten into a fender bender. Fortunately, our car seemed to be okay and we ran her through the drill. She was pissed more than anything.

The rest of the evening went well and we managed to stagger into Williamsburg just before midnight. The next morning came all too soon and we headed out about 5:45AM to try to get to DC by 9AM. I managed to get us to Springfield without falling asleep at the wheel and we joined the already growing hordes on the Franconia-Springfield Metro train. The Metro workers were great, providing the same bit of information over and over again without loosing their cool.

The train ride was relatively uneventful. When we got to the Smithsonian exit, we joined a huge number of people (which really wasn't huge. That number came later.)

We hurried over to our pre-arranged meeting place about 15 minutes late. I managed to get calls out to both of the bloggers I had arranged to meet but they were still on the road. Another blogger had emailed me from the road but I was never able to connect with her either. You all know who you are. I am so sorry that we weren't able to meet. I never expected that cell service would be virtually non-existent. I thought you all would be able to call me when you got to the mall and we'd meet up.

The number of people was truly amazing. Even at 9:30, two and a half hours before the rally started, there were a lot of people and more arriving every minute. My husband and I wandered around for awhile looking at signs and taking pictures. (Those are for another post). We finally made our way to a spot to the left of the stage and about 100 yards back. We had a good view of the jumbotron and preceded to wait. Since we had decided to leave the chairs at home thinking why pay $25 to check a $5 folding chair, we stood. Ouch.

 Aside from that, and the fact that cell service ran out, food and water ran out and merchandise ran out (no one really anticipated the number of people who showed up.), the rally was great. One of my favorite parts was the song with Yousef Islam (Cat Stevens), Ozzy Osborn and The O'Jays. It was funny and great music. In fact, all the musical entertainers were really good. Even Kid Rock, who I'm not a huge fan of, had a great song.

But of course, the best part was the last. Jon Stewart's speech at the end of the rally was poignant and spot on. He appeared really moved at the number of people who came and who were interested in joining in the great experiment that is our nation.

I hope you got the chance to watch the rally on Comedy Central. If not, here is Stewart's speech.

Washington, DC was great but by the time the rally was over we were exhausted. We wandered around a bit but finally decided that it was just too much and there were too many people and sightseeing would have to wait for another trip. Besides, we had to get back to Williamsburg and officially check in with the resort. Seems getting your key and talking to Security at midnight doesn't count as actually checking in and since they closed at 10:45, we headed out around 4:30. Which was a good thing because we had to wait almost 45 minutes for a train that was packed like sardines. Oi. 

Of course, when we finally made it back to the train station in Springfield, it seemed that no one had listened. Getting out of the garage and on the highway was a perfect example of first it's my turn, then it's your turn. Problem was everyone wanted to go first.

We spent Sunday in Colonial Willamsburg and then headed home. The trip back was uneventful until we got to Dallas. At which point, I left my phone on the plane. To whomever finds my Palm Pre, please recycle it. It's already been deactivated and replaced since American claims no one has turned it in. So, bad news was I lost my phone. Good news is I have a brand new Evo 4G. So, silver lining and all that. Thanks, Youngest, for sacrificing your upgrade for your dumb old Mom.

I am still tired and it may take a few days to catch up. I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet the folks I went to meet. That part well and truly sucked. But, I'm sure you all had a great time. I know I did.

If you haven't already, please vote tomorrow.