Friday, August 30, 2013

The Fire is Coming . . .

I tangled with an old classmate yesterday.  A woman I remember as kind and sweet, at least outwardly, in high school.  She hung out with the "royalty," the high horse ego-junkie Wendys and rich-boy Rons, but was always more open, accessible, friendly.  I believe she still is all those things, but, sadly, she's not particularly smart.  Watching her argue a point is like watching a slow motion train wreck with the train hauling boxcar loads of bad grammar and logical fallacies.  

This time? She posted one of those crappy "If I have to take a drug test for my job, YOU have to take one for welfare--if you can afford drugs, you can afford groceries" buckets o' puke.  When cornered, it all came down to the "I don't want my tax dollars paying for . . ." spiel.  

Oh.  Oh, Brenda.  Oh, hon.  

A few things:

  • Your employer requires you to drug test because your job carries with it responsibility, and you could do harm to people if you were operating in the office while tweaked.  Not saying I agree that you should be drug-tested, but rather showing that there is a bit of a difference between drug testing for a job and for sustenance benefits.
  • Every state that has instituted drug testing has discovered one thing--precious few welfare recipients are on drugs.  So few, in fact, that the withheld benefits don't begin to pay for the drug testing program.  So if it's about your TAX dollars, drug testing costs you MORE.  Of course, it's not really about your tax dollars at all, whether you realize it or not.
  • Part of what gets lumped in with these drug tests is marijuana use.  I'm sorry, I'd rather have a pothead raise children than see those kids go without food or wind up in foster care.  Almost certainly, the potheads will do a better job than our creaking foster care system.
  • Most importantly?  Welfare feeds kids.  So it doesn't matter if the parents are junkies or not--the kids still need to EAT.  
What people like Brenda don't get?  They're being manipulated.  The amount of money we, as a nation, lose to rich tax evaders and off-shore account holders would pay for TANF and SNAP a half-dozen times over, easy.  But the right doesn't want you looking at THAT, because THAT might make you angry.  THAT might make you scratch your head and say, "Whoa, hang on--what do we call this, besides corporate welfare and political corruption?"  So they point you at the poor and whisper "lazy junkies" and repeat the lies about people who could survive on fast-food wages if they would just budget better or work more.

And more.

And so folks are bombarded with the "Welfare Queen" tales, they're spoon fed the stories of junkies who have baby after baby to rake in those big welfare bucks.  Are there the rare "welfare queens," the once-in-a-great-while junkies who trade their food stamps for drugs?  Sure, but they are RARE.  But it only takes one--one case to be blown up to spectacular, breathtaking proportions and then generalized across an entire population.  Because it's politically BRILLIANT for the rich and the influential to disseminate this mythology.  Brilliant and EASY, because it's human nature to despise folks who seem weaker.  We do that, we get to feel superior AND we don't have to worry that something like that might happen to US someday.

And the Brendas of our nation buy into it because it is SO much easier to demonize the poor than it is to admit that we labor under a ruling class that controls many of our representatives.  It hurts to admit that we'll never be rich, that the American Dream of working hard to earn riches is pure myth.  Perhaps it once wasn't, but with the astounding influence the rich few have on our government now?  We have no chance.  And admitting that is tough. So much easier to just point at the poor, the homeless, the helpless and tell them they're lazy.  Shiftless.


I actually had someone (not Brenda) once suggest that, if welfare feeds kids, and the parents are junkies, the welfare should be cut off and the kids tossed in orphanages.  ORPHANAGES!

"Please sir?  I want some more?"

Holy COW!

Where to start?  Humanitarian issues aside (I know, tough to push those aside), orphanages cost money.  Wowser money.  Not just in the warehousing and upkeep of the children, but in the years of counseling, remedial education, and prison costs arising from an orphanage upbringing.  In effect, you're saying, "The parents piss me off, so let's torture the kids, set them up to almost certainly fail in life."  It is markedly cheaper to just keep the kids at home and keep them fed, not to mention almost always better for them.  Do we want tweakers rearing kids?  No, but it doesn't take a random drug test to spot a tweaker--their behavior, their appearance, their very smell should clue in any case worker.  

Yes, I said smell.  Meth smells.  Like cat piss.  


Back to the "my tax dollars" thing, am I the only one sick to death of the "I don't want my tax dollars paying for X" crap?  Here's a list of things *I* don't want MY tax dollars paying for:

  1. Foreign wars based on hypocrisy, back-room deals, and profiteering.
  2. Big Business Lobbying that buys influence and power for companies looking to dodge or gut environmental and workplace safety policies
  3. Corporate Welfare and tax breaks for mega-corporations
  4. The support of apartheid states that occupy and/or oppress people based upon race or religion
  5. Schools that push a religious agenda in this nation that should be above such silliness
  6. Tax-exempt churches that operate like Political Action Committees.
  7. Routine infant circumcision and other elective, non-therapeutic surgeries covered by insurance or Medicaid, especially when inflicted upon infants who cannot consent
  8. WIC/food stamps for infant formula in the 90%+ cases where breastfeeding is possible (though, of course, I do NOT advocate letting babies starve if their mother will not nurse for whatever the reason!)
  9. Tanks and jets our military says it doesn't need but politicians insist upon procuring because they've made deals with manufacturers
  10. Wingnut representatives who refuse to do their jobs and instead blow our money with endless attempts to oppress women and overturn health care reform because they don't like the way our Presidential elections have turned out the last couple of times
There are more, but nine seems a good number.  And you know what?  I have almost no say in any of these things, but they all seem pretty sensible to me.  But to hear someone squeal "I DON'T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO FEED CHILDREN?"

That doesn't seem quite so sensible.  Maybe because people who say that (and saying "I don't want my tax dollars paying for food stamps IS saying that) can't give a reason why, other than "I got mine, screw all y'all!" or "It's not FAIR that I have to pay for your ______."


But when a forest fire rips through your community, a hurricane devastates your state, a bridge collapses in your town or a drought decimates your crops, you're perfectly okay with MY tax dollars covering YOUR ass.  

You know what?  So am I.  Seriously, I am PERFECTLY okay with my tax dollars rebuilding your homes, your roads, your bridges.  I am THRILLED that my tax dollars can put out YOUR fires, that my contribution keeps YOU fed and clothed in times of need.

It's not "socialism" or "communism" (or FASCISM--get your terms straight, you silly wingnuts). It's called being HUMAN.

Try it some time.


So, my son was on the computer the other night, chatting with a friend from camp, when an odd message popped up on the screen.  It was a secure URL that ended with the phrase "the water is gone, the fire is come."

Boy, that's dark, isn't it?  Almost as bad as when he cracked open his first-ever fortune cookie to find . . .


I know, insert ominous chord, right?  I admit, even being the atheists we are, there was that momentary gasp, that "oh, NO!"  Because superstition?

Is a tough one to shake off.


Oh, and this, because it made me laugh and laugh.  Discussion on a Facebook group, just a fun "let's reminisce about our little town" sort of group.  Someone was talking about coming across an older woman who had forgotten to put her car in gear when turning it off, and now couldn't figure out why her car wouldn't start.  Not an uncommon thing, happens to a lot of folks, especially if they're accustomed to driving a stick.  Some dippy creature stepped in and said, "Sounds like she was schizophrenic." Or that's what she TRIED to say.  I think.  What she ACTUALLY said?

"Spuds like she was schizophrenic."

Goodness.  Speak of the devil, huh?  The irony of spitting out something that disjointed when Facebook-diagnosing someone else with schizophrenia?


And for the record, no, it doesn't sound at all like she was schizophrenic.  It sounds like she spaced. Out here in the real world, we all do it, no psychosis required.


One last thing.  I typed up a whole hurt, sad blog entry on this one, but I'm going to condense it, boil it down to the gist, which is this:

If you love someone and see that something is going on with them that's potentially humiliating or socially mortifying, have their back.  Spare them that embarrassment.  You know, if their fly is open at the company picnic or they have holes in their pants flashing panty to everyone in the grocery store?  Don't giggle to yourself about it and then throw it at them afterwards, when it's too late for them to preserve their dignity.  Because that sucks in ways that defy description.

And that's all.  I have nothing else to say on the matter.

And finally, another "name."  This one's different--rather than being all new-fangled and modern, it's from back in the 1940s or so.  From Utah, of course.  The land of silly names.  This one?


I know!  It's like KNEEL, only with a G!  Like a gnat, a gnu, and a Gneel!

I'm pretty sure it's supposed to sound like "Janiel" or "Genile."  PRETTY sure.  I'm also pretty sure THAT'S NOT A NAME!

Here, have something ugly now:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Jack the Jerk Bounces Checks at the Class Reunion

So, the class reunion.  Did I post about Jack?  Former super-suave, ultra-cool funny-guy jock turned grown-up loser.  Think Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington from Welcome Back Kotter.  

Now imagine Freddie's degenerated into a drunken junkie who manipulates the folks who persist in caring about him with bogus suicide threats.  

Yeah, 30 years down the line, and life hasn't been kind to Jack.  To be brutally straightforward, he's earned what he has.  I've been watching him with a somewhat jaundiced eye since he threatened suicide and then disappeared from Facebook for over a year back in 2011, ignoring the desperate pleas from old friends to please get in touch.  

Despite my misgivings I, of course, sought contact information for him for the reunion.  And he was contacted, and said he planned to go.  And then, out of the blue, maybe two weeks before the reunion, Jack says he's off to kill himself.  Says he's checking out, he's done with this life, see y'all on the other side.  And then off he goes, POOF!  All his stupid little friends begging him to call, to check in, to please, please don't do this.  

I say "stupid" because I've been the person who just keeps letting some creepy creature manipulate me because he likes the attention and it gets him off the hook.  And I was stupid.  No other way to put it.

Jack shows back up a week later, with no mention of his suicide threat, just saying yeah, he's going to be at the reunion, gonna kick everyone's behind at golf, blah, blah, blah.  Sanitizes his Facebook wall to hide the BS, and shows up to ALL the reunion activities.

And bounces checks for every one.

What a lowlife.  What a scumbag!  The folks handling it are, I guess, trying to be delicate.  I wouldn't be.  I'd post it on the reunion group page and then wait for the inevitable suicide threat sure to follow.

You suck, Jack.  We'll remember this next reunion, lose your address.

And no, his name's no really "Jack."  But it seemed more believable than "Jerk," and both end with "Off."


Speaking of old schoolmates, I want to tell you about Kris B.  Really nice kid, he was a classmate in Mrs. Jordan's second grade class.  I didn't know him well, but he always seemed a good kid, I don't recall him ever being mean to me.  So many kids were, so that sticks out.  

Another thing that stuck out was how he spelled his name.  "Kris."  See, that stuck out, because I was "Kristy."  So many "Christophers" and "Christines" out there, but we were K-kids.  

One day, early in the school year, I . . . the dog ate my homework.  You know.  Out of the blue, I had this brilliant idea.  BRILLIANT!  I walked over to Mrs. Jordan's desk, pulled Kris B.'s homework out of her inbox, and added "ty" to the end of his name.  On every page, I did this, until all his homework was mine.

Understand, I didn't do this to be mean or to hurt him.  In fact, it never occurred to me that he might get in trouble!  Hey, I was seven!  I just knew that now my homework was handed in and I wouldn't get yelled at by my dad.  Of course, it proved to be such an easy thing that I took to doing it pretty frequently.  

I don't think Kris flunked second grade, but I don't know for certain.  I think about the grief this must have caused him and I feel really bad about it now.  Imagine this poor boy, insisting he's done his homework only to be told he clearly didn't.  


I did this for a couple of months. my two best friends, Allyson and Kelly, being fully aware.  Now, I should have known that I was the spare part in that three-way friendship.  Allyson and Kelly had been buds before they ever knew me, and they were the thin, pretty girls.  And I?


Anyway, one day, Allyson was standing before the class giving some book report/presentation. And she was rocking it because that's what Allyson did.  It's who she was, she was a performer, a brash, enthusiastic star who really did require attention.  That's not an insult, it served her well and she did good things with it until her untimely death in 2005.  But under all that brash, at least in second grade, was a whole lot of insecurity.  So when she sneezed and blasted this gigantic wad of snot out her nose, a wad that, attached by a stringy runner, snapped back like a bungee jumper and smacked her in the cheek, my sudden, raucous cry of laughter was unappreciated.

I wasn't being mean, I swear.  I was seven, a big booger smacked her in the face.  I laughed.  If I could take it back, I would.  If I could have taken it back that MOMENT, I would have, because, while I was clearly not the sharpest knife in the etiquette drawer, I was lethally quick when it came to catching emotional/mood cues from other people.  It was a survival thing.  I knew immediately I'd messed up, but there was no bailing it.  Allyson hated me from that moment on, and it was a deep, long-lasting hatred.  I don't think it ever really went away, in fact.  I never saw Allyson look at me without that curl of the lip, that heavy-lidded glare.  Last time I saw her was the end of 12th grade, and she clearly still despised me.

First thing Allyson did after I laughed was go to Mrs. Jordan and "narc" me out for stealing Kris's homework.  I wish I could say she didn't know what that would lead to, but Allyson knew.  The belting, the screaming, the crying, the devastation that was visited upon me when my father was called?

More than made up for the laugh.  

I don't blame her.  She was seven, too.  And poor Kris B.?  The most innocent of us all?

Well, a websearch tells me that Kris has done just fine.  Whatever damage I might have done him academically doesn't appear to have held him back in the least.  And that's good.  I have enough guilt in my life.


I came across a headstone in my search for old classmates who've died.  An incredibly embarrassing, ironic mistake in the headstone that made me shriek with horror when I saw it.  And then, yes, laugh.  Part of me hopes desperately that it was intentional, that it was a little inside joke between the dead folks and those who come later to see.  But I know that's not likely the case.  I turned to my husband and cried, "DON'T YOU DARE GO GRAMMAR-STUPID ON MY HEADSTONE!"

And he said?

"That'd be one way to find out for sure if there's an afterlife, huh?"

Here's the headstone:

Give yourself a minute.  No screaming.  Yes, I could crack some "alot" jokes or link you to hyperbole-and-a-half, but this actually makes me very sad.  How embarrassing.  How heartbreaking.  It's not like it can be Photoshopped all better or erased and rewritten.  It is, in fact, carved in stone.


While on the subject of bad grammar and dead folks, I came across a memorial the other day where someone shared that folks had gathered and  "recanted their many fine memories" of the deceased.

Well, that's sad.  Really sad, in fact.  


Speaking even further on the subject of bad grammar, there's a Utah thing (happens sometimes in the South, too).  It's the whole "buy, bought, boughten" thing.  You know, like "get, got, gotten."  It's never affected me, though sometimes, when I'm tired and trying to say "gotten" and "bought" it slips out.  But the other day?  I was talking to my husband about making smoothies and I said . . .


You know, like spend/spent and rend/rent?  Blend/blent.

Now I have a habit of intentionally making up words because it's fun and amuses me.  But this wasn't intentional--in fact, it took me a few seconds to figure out what was wrong with the sentence I'd just uttered.



I have a thing.  On my arm.  In my arm, really.  It started back before 2010.  I spoke to my dermatologist then, when it was really just a thickening, with the skin feeling harder and getting rough.  She looked, said it wasn't anything.  I asked her again before we moved, because it seemed bigger, sort of.  Less rough, but thicker.  Again, she said she didn't see anything she was concerned about.

Last year, I went to my primary care physician because, at that point, it had become sort of a dent with a bump.  She referred me for an ultrasound, which showed exactly nothing.  The Radiologist said that she saw no edges, no borders, no nothing--it was just a dent and a bump that didn't show at all.  She said any further action would be up to my PCP.  

My PCP didn't feel any further investigation was necessary.

I haven't really paid attention to it for months.  I don't, you know?  It doesn't hurt, it doesn't DO anything, so I go months without really even thinking about it.  But I looked at it the other day, and really got in and explored it, and I'm sure it's bigger.  I feel certain of this.  

And suddenly I'm very worried.  

Am I just winding myself up because things are tight and stressful and so I'm obsessing?

I hope so.  Because it's going to be November or December before we can afford to have this looked at by . . . whom?  To whom do I take a weird arm thickening?  An orthopedic doc?  A rheumatologist?  What do I need?  An MRI?  

The fun really never does stop.  

It's hard to get a shot of--it's not well defined, but it's where the arm rises up instead of being a straight line.  And I have no idea what it is or if it's related to the various arthritic/rosacea-ic, various other things I have going on.  Knowing my luck, it's something horrid.  Scleroderma or sarcoma or some such crap.  

Or maybe it's nothing at all.  Just a weird, totally benign, not-at-all-a-problem growing thing under my skin.  Because those exist, too.


And that's about it.  Except this:  if you ever find yourself tempted to name your baby "Quazarius" or "Tennzlee?"  Don't, because THOSE AREN'T NAMES!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not QUITE Elizabeth Taylor

I've been on a frenzy of obituary/memorial gathering and creating for our alumni group.  Hundreds and hundreds, it seems.  Feels like there are more of us dead than alive!  I came across a wonderful name today--actually RE-came across--I originally found her a couple of years back, but am just now getting things organized into birth year folders.  Her name was . . . well, it was LONG.  Five marriages, six different last names.  Divorced twice, widowed twice, leaves behind her last.  She grew African violets and, hopefully, did better with them than she did with the whole marriage thing.

I wish I'd known her.

Speaking of names, Messiah.  No, really.  Messiah.

Some woman and her boyfriend wound up in court down south, hashing out which last name their baby would labor under.  Imagine their surprise when the judge said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Last name, shmast name--that FIRST name's gotta GO!"  And BAM!  Little Messiah wasn't anymore.

So many issues here in this one little story.  On the one hand, yes, Messiah is a CRAP name, it's bordering on ABUSIVE, and those parents should be smacked daily.  Forever.  That said, the judge's reasoning ("There's only one Messiah and that's Jesus Christ") is garbage, and has NO place in a courtroom.  There's only ONE Messiah and that's Jesus?  Tell me, in SoCal, how many JESUSES are there?

A few thousand?

Get your religion out of my courtroom, thank you.

I really do think that Messiah is an atrocious name, and shame on the parents.  I hope he goes by "Si" rather than "Mess."  And I hope he keeps his full name a secret.  See, kids with stupid names?  Have a markedly higher rate of juvenile delinquency.  And kids who tangle with juvvie?  Are far more likely to grow up to be criminals.  So don't give your kids stupid names like "Messiah."

Or "Jermajesty."


Speaking of stupid names, I came across one last night that, quite literally, made me scream.

Hey, folks?  THAT'S NOT A NAME!  THAT'S A HOMOPHONE.  Stop it!


A quick revisit to our "Miracle Angel Priest."  Surprise, surprise--he's not.  A miracle, that is.  Or an angel, even.  He is a priest, though--that's one for three!

Here's the follow-up--while he is not longer an angel who "appeared out of nowhere," he is now being credited with inspiring Gosh to make the equipment suddenly and magically work.  You ever live in terror that people who believe in magic and miraculous interventions are in charge of saving lives?  Because it scares the daylights out of me.

Ack!  Danger!


New crown seems to feel good, chewing-wise.  Too bad the garbage-and-county-fair taste and smell from between that tooth and the next persists.  TWICE I've asked Dr.Mendes's staff/dentists about it during visits, and twice I've been told it's nothing.  Just a little food caught up, I should floss.  Well, hang on, let's start from the beginning.  I had the temp crown put in around July 11th.  I was told, in NO uncertain terms, NOT to floss anywhere near the temp crown.  And so I didn't.  And the taste and smell got worse and worse, until, at about one week out, I called and said, "Okay, it's like a cow shat in a garbage can up there--is this an infection?"  They had me come in, and the dentist who saw me (a different dentist) said it wasn't an infection, it was just food caught up there, and I should FLOSS.  I said, "I was told NOT to floss."  He said, "Well, you SHOULD floss, but do a pull-through instead of yanking it back out."  I did, and it didn't really help.  Didn't hurt, though.  I went back in for the permanent crown on July 25th.  They pulled out the temp and the smell was horrid.  Oh, wow.  Worst smell my mouth has ever put off, and I'm pretty sure I've had cats take dumps in  my mouth during the night.  The dentist (a return of the first one) wiped at the area with a bit of gauze, but didn't flush it at all.  No water hit that tooth or surrounding gum.  I know, it would have been agonizing.  It also might have CLEANED the area before he put the permanent crown on.  I asked then (again) if it was infected.  He said it wasn't.  I asked when the horrid taste and smell would go away.  He said it shouldn't be long.  I should floss.  Which I do--every time I eat.

Okay, it's August 13th now, and guess what?

Stinky, stinky, cow shat in a garbage can still going on.  If I give a good SUCK I get more of it, and if I run a finger over the space between that tooth and the one before it, I can smell it on my finger.  Whatever's caught up there, I can't seem to get it out, no matter how much flossing, brushing, or rinsing I do.  So I call Dr. Mendes's office today and I'm told that they can't tell me whether or not they'll charge me for the appointment.

TWICE I've been in there, complaining about this.  TWICE I've asked, "Are you sure this is normal, are you sure this isn't an infection or something bad that needs to be taken care of?"  And TWICE I've been told it's not a big deal.  And maybe it ISN'T a big deal, but they can't even tell me if they're going to charge me for their screw up?  And it most certainly is THEIR screw up, because they could have taken care of this the first time I came back.  Or the second.

We have NO money.  If we go in and they ask for cash, we have nothing.  I made an appointment, but I'm not sure what to do.  Besides find a new dentist if they try to charge me.  And let my insurance companies know how things went down.

And write a scathing piece online, of course.  Because that's what I do.


Oh, one fun little class reunion tidbit?  Shelly, the duck-lipped, immigrant-hating, Obama-slamming cleavage queen from the drill team?  Didn't come--apparently, she's been offending so many folks that even her old friends didn't want her there.  And a not so fun bit?  Debbie.  Debbie came all the way from Kansas, and she came to see me.  And I wasn't there.  Apparently she was very disappointed, and I feel terrible.  She was, without a doubt, the kindest, nicest, all-around "not mean" est person I've ever known.  When someone says, "Imagine the most rock-steady, loyal, caring, nice person," I see Debbie.  Boy, don't I feel like a heel?


And here's an ugly house.  Just 'cause.

This would be an "eh" house, were it not for the freaky blobs on the wall

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Atheists as Angels and Disappearing Priests

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invite to a private Facebook group.  A friend sent the invite, she and her husband (also my friend) invited my husband and me, though the group was set up by another friend of theirs, someone I only knew by name.  The point of the group?

We're discussing atheism, mostly.

"If you're atheist, why do you NEED a group?"

Why yes, that's exactly the sort of thing we're discussing.  That, and family members threatening to stealth-baptize our children, non-atheists trying to build artificial categories to describe "types" of atheists, parents who impose religion on the bodies of their unconsenting children (faith healers and circumcision leap to mind), and, of course, seeking out a suitable image for our group's cover photo.  I'm kinda partial to this one:

But I understand that may  not be the tone we're looking to strike.  But it pleases the daylights out of me.

Speaking of atheism and deep discussions, have you heard the one about the "angel priest" who "saved" the car crash victim and the miracle of new rescue equipment (which had already been ordered up by humans) showing up . . . as expected?

Oh, spare me!  

To quote myself:

I've BEEN that "angel." I have, quite literally, been called "a gift from god" and a "guardian angel" by grateful folks who can't seem to fathom that PEOPLE are capable of goodness, of kindness, of intervening without some super-hero ghostie in the sky. I stop at accidents--I've stopped at more than I can count; I have some medical training, it's only right that I stop to render aid. I don't give my name unless asked, and I POOF when my usefulness has passed. I have held the hands of frightened, badly injured people, I have nodded and smiled while they prayed and begged whatever deity for intervention. I have absolutely saved lives.  But when that girl stepped into traffic and was thrown 20 feet by the pick-up truck that smacked her? "God" didn't intervene.

I did. Paramedics did. Police officers did. Emergency room physicians, surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists did.

I wonder--of the "80 pictures taken," were any of them OF THE GIRL AND THE PRIEST PRAYING TOGETHER?  And if so, do any of those pictures show THE GIRL PRAYING ALONE AND A BIG EMPTY SPOT WHERE THE "ANGEL" PRIEST ALLEGEDLY WAS?  My money's on NOT--at least not without a little help from Photoshop.

Angel my backside. Goodness, the silliness never stops.

And you know what?  The silliness really does NEVER end.  Even though atheism is slowly gaining ground, even though religions are losing members, they make up for it with increased fervor, louder shouting, more egregious violations of basic human rights.  They see the ground being lost and seek to stem the flow by passing laws legislating their faith and punishing those who don't share it.

Oh, and in England, a wildly atheistic country, they hand control of thousands of secular public schools over to the church.  Here's another, in case that one wasn't agonizing enough.



Photos rolling in from the class reunion I helped set up but didn't attend.  Nice to see that Wendy was there--I have some very hard feelings there, yet I made sure to get her address down right and get that invite to her.

I hope someone let her know that was me.  That I went out of my way to make sure she and the silicone-chested, duck-lipped ex-drill team member with the stiffy against Hispanics and Black Presidents got their invitations.

Yes, I sound bitter.  No, it's not a leftover grudge from high school.  Instead, it's a recent blow up on Facebook, where Wendy treated me very poorly, dressing it up in "concern."  We managed to limp past that without too much blood, but then she posted something stupid and, I would have thought, beneath her.  Just some bit of misinformation that, even now, I find hard to believe she would have fallen for.  I gave her more credit on the intellect front than she deserved, apparently.  I corrected her in a very friendly, easy tone behind the scenes after doing the research and making sure of the facts.  She sent a snarky response, then posted to her wall that, after SHE had done exhaustive research, SHE had discovered that her earlier post had been wrong.

I don't require public acknowledgement.  I don't.  Had she offered up an oblique, "hey, it's come to my attention that . . ." that would have been plenty.  No mention of my name necessary.  It's when self-aggrandizing creatures take credit for my work that I get upset.

I should have let her smallness pass, I know.  And I admit, there was a hint of hurt when I posted, "You're welcome" with a smiley face.  But the bile-soaked garbage she threw back at me via private message?  Was astounding.  She accused me of being attention-seeking, credit-sucking, ego-driven, and even psychologically unwell --- she accused me of being her, in a nutshell. And then, true to cowardly troll form, she blocked me so I couldn't respond.

I should have seen it coming.  This is a woman whose entire life has been consumed by her quest to be the center of attention.  I still remember her high school brags that she had been cast as Fran in Stephen King's "The Stand."  That pursed-lipped, sneering, eye-rolling, hanging-with-all-the-right-people caricature she created in high school held tight. She's spent years hacking away at an acting career, and never has managed to rise above mediocre (and that's charitable) shorts and minor stage work.  And that last?

Isn't an insult or a slight, because she has TRIED, and I will never down her for that.  She even moved to LA and did her damnedest.  She worked HARD, and for that?  Kudos, and I mean that.

Too bad about the sick drive to be the star of every situation, though.  Too bad about the inability to give others credit when due, and the failure to empathise even a little with those around her in any sincere, meaningful way.

It really is all "the Wendy Show."

And I guess, when you can't be a star of the silver screen, being the star of your own small production is what there is.  I hope she was kinder to the folks at the reunion than she was to me. Because if she wasn't, that's on me, isn't it?  I'm the dullwit who made sure she got an invitation.


Speaking of high school, I've been working hard on gathering obits and memorials for old students from my alma mater.  I don't know how many I have so far, but it comes out to over 900 pages worth of Word document and counting.  They're not easy to find, and I'll never find all of them, I know.  Some groups are very nasty about sharing, like somehow their alumni group is more entitled to information about passed classmates than ours.  But I keep hacking away at it, because . . .

Because dead sucks, and dead and forgotten sucks even more.  And for the folks who come by?  I hope there's some comfort and warmth arising from seeing their loved ones remembered.  


One last thing--Epinions paid out early, and actually paid out a fair bit more than usual.  Not huge bucks, but it'll be nice to have that extra for groceries.  Thanks, Epinions!  

Epinions pays me based upon how many folks actually read my reviews, so if you're in the market for anything from a hand mixer to a juicer, some organic shampoo to effective tick repellant, give me a read!


And that's all, except for this--something really ugly: