Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time Off

It's been a bit strange the last couple of weeks--I've had quite a bit of time off, which is very nice. I've been doing some cleaning and some painting. The amount of crap in this house is astounding. There's stuff I'm not sure what to do with which is taking up space. I was able to get rid of some stuff, and hopefully I'l get some money for it. I took pictures of an old sewing machine I got off the curb, and took pictures of it. An antiques dealer estimated it would be worth around $75. So I guess I'll post it on eBay and see what happens.

I've been sleeping a lot and spending time relaxing. I've also spent time promoting one of my books, and I've gotten some good feedback on it, which is encouraging.

I wish I had a bit more money--I'd probably go to a few movies if I did, or take a day trip to Chicago. It's been over six years since I've been there.

So yeah, time off. I've been getting stuff done and getting rid of stuff. But it's also been strange. Lots of time for introspection. Lots of time to think about the past. I'm really kind of sick of looking back at the past and thinking the future is not going to get any better. I'd give anything to have my mom back, because when she died, my life got so much worse. All the problems in the world came to me when my mom left. It's been eight years, but it's time for things to get better. Past time, I think.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I don't like narcissists--and they don't like me

At one of my jobs, a co-worker mentioned an incident about another co-worker. The store is selling a collection of nine picture frames in one box. A co-worker was trying to sell them, and told another employee that he should buy them. Immediately, he replied "but I don't have nine pictures of myself to put in frames to hang up in my house." We all kind of chuckled, because it was a typical comment from this person, but the fact that it was the first thing he said, without even thinking about it, was funny.

Don't get me wrong. I think self-esteem is important, but I'm getting tired of ordinary people going on and on about how fabulous they are. I've worked with this particular co-worker before, and in the four years I've worked there, I don't think this guy has said a hundred words to me. He doesn't like me. I am not sure why, but I'm tired of wasting time on people, men especially, who don't like me. I was minding my own business in class, and got hit over the head with an English workbook by some classmate. As a child, I was just around the corner from my house when a bully was upset about the way I looked. (He said I looked Chinese.) I was afraid and ran off, and he nailed me in the heel with a rock. It broke a bone. We couldn't track down the bully. I remember that my friend had wanted me to come to her house, but also wanted me to take some of my toys with me. I really didn't want to do that, and I'm so glad I refused. I'm sure those toys would have disappeared forever. The doll she wanted me to take is still in my room, in a chair. Safe.

So when it comes to people, men especially, I'm not thrilled to be around them. And I dispensed with an acquaintance who is an over the top, extreme, full-blown narcissist. I didn't kill her, but she had pushed me way too far. Every time all of us got together, she would always, ALWAYS have some sort of nasty, condescending remark for me. She was too chicken to ever confront me privately, with her, she always needed an audience. So, when she posted something nasty on my Facebook page, I got back at her. I posted something on HER Facebook page, plus I called her up, and told her I was sick of her shit. Of course, she unfriended me, and some of her friends unfriended me. As a result, I don't see the people in that group anymore. One died before I ever saw him again.

I tried asking people close to this person what was going on with her. I never really got any answers. I guess I should have just asked why on earth this woman was such a narcissistic bitch. But it was obvious. She weighs over 300 pounds, and after watching a close friend die a slow death from complications of obesity, she's now saving up for bariatric surgery. She thought she was going to get it, and on the advice of her doctors, indulged in all the food she can't have once she's had the surgery. Of course, she's gained even more weight. If she does have this surgery, she will be insufferable. But even if she does have the surgery, I think she will continue eating garbage and complications will ensue. Either way, she's fucked. She's huge now, and after the surgery, she'll continue to eat the way she's eating now. That kind of surgery can help, but people think it's a cure all. Pop a pill, have surgery, it's so much easier than exercising and eating properly.

This woman thinks she's unbelievably attractive, and it's so funny and pathetic. While I was still Facebook friends with her (we were NEVER friends in the real sense) I checked out her photos, and there was picture after picture after picture of her face. And it seemed like it was the same post time after time. I don't think she's attractive--she looks like George Lopez if he weighed 325 pounds. I don't know how or why she thinks she's such hot shit, but both her and my co-worker are practically two of a kind. Neither one of them like me, and I know why. I see through their bullshit. I don't worship them, and it drives them NUTS. They have nothing kind to say to me. They sneer at me. I know that THEY know they are nothing special, yet they present this "I'm ever so fabulous" attitude and it's really kind of sad. It's sad, because there are people out there who have so much to offer, and they are genuinely nice, yet they have low self-esteem, and yet these pieces of shit, who have not done much with their lives, use everyone else as a stepping stone or doormat.

I can only take so much. But when you push me, and push me, and push me, look the fuck out. I will blow up and when I do, there's no going back, usually. No apologies. I told this bitch off, and eventually the co-worker will push me beyond my limit. In the four years I've worked there, the only thing I've done to this co-worker is not be a gorgeous 20 year old with a size two body. That's it. That's ALL I've done. And I'm sick to death of my very presence pissing men off. You know what guys? Your presence pisses ME off. Your stupidity, your machoness, your insecurity, your lack of ambition. Your bodies, and your faces. Stuck in Nowheresville, I sometimes go for months without seeing a man that looks interesting to me. So if I'm a disappointment to you, you are a disappointment to me. The difference is, I try to be courteous to people, but if you are going to treat me like I'm something you've scraped off the bottom of your shoe, don't expect me to blow you. I won't talk to you, because I don't waste time, breath, or spittle on people who don't like me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Men Are Pussies

While watching a YouTube video, I made a comment. It basically said that men are delusional, and mistakenly think if a woman smiles at them, the woman immediately wants to have sex with them.

Whoo! Just that comment had four people (probably men) calling me an asshole, saying no one wants me either (like I care) and someone with poor grammar who couldn't even spell my name right saying I look like I smell like shit, or something.

Men. Such fragile creatures. I also said something on Facebook a few months ago, and one of my "friends" had a total freak out about it. Of course, this was someone I'd never met. A "friend" of a "friend." Oh yes. I made a comment about a co-worker who had broken up with her boyfriend, and I told her she "deserved better." The guy on Facebook went all PMS on me, asking why it's okay for women to say that to women, but if the guy says he "deserves better," he's seen as a jerk.

Such touchy men out there. But I guess it's justified. Men are losing their places in America. I mean, I listen to men at my weekend job who go on and on about their video games, and how "intense" a certain game is and how "awesome" it all is until I think I've stumbled into the super nerd table at Northrop High School during lunch. I guess, since men have given up, the only thing you have left is video games, and your video game playing buddies, and lots of Doritos and Mountain Dew. While your ass is getting fatter and you grow paler, women are out there going to school, getting more degrees than you have, making more money, and generally having lives and accomplishing things. Why should we hook up with guys who can't talk about anything but Worlds of Warcraft and Call of Duty all fucking day long? And why should I settle for someone who talks like a 14 year old boy?

And I'm smart enough to know that if a man is courteous to me, that does NOT mean he wants to have sex with me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Prefer Cash

I was given a Target gift card today. Just in time, too, because it's one of those lean weeks where I will probably have to dip into my emergency fund for some bullshit amount like $35 or so.

So, since I needed gas, I used it at a gas station. I just bought $5.01 worth of gas, because I wanted a snack at McDonald's. I figured I'd have $19.99 left for snacks, pet food and whatever else I thought I needed.

I order, then hand over the card. Declined. Since I want my snack, I go to the bank and check my balances. I head to another McDonalds's and give them the gift card. Declined. So I give my credit union card and get my food.

Since the card worked at the gas station, I decide I might just as well put the rest of the gift card into my car. Declined again. WTF?

So I get online and find out that the gas station is going to hold the entire amount of the card (a preauthorization fee) for anywhere from three to seven days until the transaction of $5.01 goes through. Nice.

I predict that gift cards will become the currency of the future. I would not be surprised if companies paid everyone in gift cards.

Which is why cash is king. Cash does not crash, it's never declined, and people in foreign countries will eagerly accept it. Yes, the American dollar has seen better days, but pretty much no one questions a cash transaction, unless it's for a huge amount, like several thousand dollars.

So now I have to wait a few days until I can use the card. I guess in a way this will curb my spending, but it's a little depressing to think that a $5.01 transaction is a full $25, until a few days from now.

I am a guinea pig for a local research outfit. They used to pay me with checks. Someone connected with the research group split and started their own group. This new research group pays people in gift cards. Part of it is a tax thing, one of the staffers explained to me. At least I can choose which gift cards I can be paid in, but if they switch exclusively to Wal-mart gift cards, I will have to make a decision. Continue to be a guinea pig, and accept cards I can only use at Wal-mart, or donate them to a charity. Because I hate Wal-mart.

But don't think it can't happen. We are turning into a gift card nation. And I wouldn't be surprised if we are paid in plastic one of these days. And they can "preauthorize" purchases, so just realize that the $5.01 you put in your tank is going to be noted as a purchase on the ENTIRE balance of the card, until the transaction goes through.

Happy future to you too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On This Thanksgiving Eve

So my plans for the three days I have off at Thanksgiving were to clean a little and just sit around the house and have a nice dinner and watch movies. I should have gone to the library, because a trip to Delmar was disappointing, then a trip to Super Mega Replay was even more disappointing. There was really not much I wanted to rent or buy. I did find some stuff to buy, but I really, REALLY wanted "Inside Deep Throat" "Exit Through the Gift Shop" and "Secretariat." I could have rented "Exit" last night, I guess, but I didn't. Anyway, I liked Super Mega Replay (used to be Disc Replay) better when it was smaller. Now, it seems like it's chock full of crappy movies. Or maybe I'm just in a shitty mood, but it really did seem like if it's totally mainstream, they have TONS of it. Which is why I should have just gone to the downtown library and picked up some mind-bending shit.

But yeah, I'm just about broke this Thanksgiving Eve, feel like I have no family, but whatev. I have plenty of good food, if I can just keep from throwing it up. Discipline--I'm a food addict, love the Coca-Cola, love the Pepsi, but they love me no more, particularly late at night.

It's time to get serious--radical diet change. All health food. Maybe go vegetarian. Tired of being fat, so I need to do something about it. I want a great looking body.

But here's what I'm thankful for. A warm house, plenty of food, a comfy bed, a dog and a cat. I'm employed, for now. I can't possibly ask for more, at this time in the world. I would wish for the 1990s back, but those days are gone, and I need to make the future great.

And I need to get through "Factory Girl." The other movie I rented was "Basic Instinct," which I've seen before and I enjoyed. But FG is a little disjointed. And it's sort of hard to feel sorry for wealthy girls with fucked up families who end up getting hooked on drugs. Isn't everyone's family fucked up in some way? I guess in a way our families prepare us for the world. If we can't survive our families, we won't survive in the world.

Or will we?

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Death of Twinkies and the Dangers of Food Addiction

Americans are crying right now--Hostess is bankrupt, no more Twinkies, Ho Hos and so forth. I really doubt that these snack cakes are going anywhere. Hostess may be no more, but do you really think Twinkies are going to go away? They may no longer be HOSTESS Twinkies, but I am willing to bet that brand will be snapped up by someone.

Remember Bun bars? You probably don't, if you are not a Fort Wayne native. But I was completely hooked on these things, and I can remember buying a snack size bag before Halloween, and eating them in my bed. These candy bars came in a variety of flavors. My favorite was vanilla. The vanilla center was then covered with chocolate and peanuts. I loved them. If you've ever eaten a Reggie bar (named after Reggie Jackson) back in the 70s, they were about the same as the Bun bar.

Then, they stopped making the Bun bar. Or rather, Clark bought the bar, which had been made by Wayne Bun Candy Company, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Clark then sold to Pearson's, and it was a pleasant surprise when I actually came across the Bun bar after I thought it was lost forever. It was a nice bit of nostalgia, and I was glad to know they were around, but when they first disappeared, my life did not end. My life did NOT end.

Sure, I was disappointed, but there's so much food out there, so much candy, that I just DEALT with it. It was the same thing when Chen's went out of business. That restaurant played a huge part in my childhood. We ate there for family dinners, we got take out from there, and we had our cast party from "Anything Goes" there. When they closed, yes, it was the end of an era, but there are other Chinese restaurants in town, and in time, my mother discovered one that serves actual food and is not one of the numerous buffets in town.

I used to go to Hardee's to get their ham and swiss sandwich combo. God, it was fabulous! I'd order that with large fries and a large Coke. God knows how many pounds that added to my already heavy frame. But they went of business too. At least here in Fort Wayne. I am not sure where the nearest Hardee's is.

And if they somehow stopped making Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola, I am not sure if I would be upset about that. Because I am a food addict, and I know for damn sure I am a colaholic. I've gone weeks, even months, without drinking soda, but then I will have just one and I'll be back on the wagon. However, I can't drink soda like I used to. The other night, I stopped to have McDonald's (what I really wanted, which was Pizza Hut, was closed) and I topped that off with more Coca-Cola, plus a bag of Kroger brand cheddar cheese popcorn. That snack was recommended to me by a Facebook friend as a good substitute for Oke-Doke brand popcorn, which I can't find around here. I either have to order a whole case of it, or drive to a major city to find it. Occasionally, I CAN find it here in town, but it's sporadic.

But I'm finding that food doesn't taste as good anymore, and I can't eat as much. Earlier this summer, my appetite nearly shut down to nothing. Nothing really tasted good, and if I did eat, it was an astonishingly small amount. I chalked it up to depression. But I made an important discovery. I noticed that this summer I felt anxious for some reason. I couldn't figure out what it was. I vowed to eat better. I cut back on the junk food and started exercising more. And gradually, the anxious feeling that I would have when I first got up started to go away. There were days when I actually felt good and excited about the day. I finally, finally made the connection. Trash eating was affecting my mood. Also, I had developed a sensitivity to acidic food. I'd woken up nauseated for the past year or so, and would throw up. I never made the connection until recently, when I had breakfast for lunch one day. I had some orange juice, and the next day I woke up nauseated, and I threw up. Aha, I thought. So I had brunch with a friend on a Sunday, had orange juice again, and I threw up the next morning. Since I was eating tomatoes in the summer, that explained why I'd been throwing up then, and hadn't thrown up in weeks, because I was no longer eating tomatoes.

I remember when I was 12 or so, I would eat 6 or 7 tacos from Taco Bell every Saturday. Now, three tacos fill me up. I don't eat nearly as much as I did when I was a kid, but now I'm overweight. Even obese. I'm right on the borderline. It scares me, because heart problems, diabetes and cancer run in my family. I'm trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, on average. I'm cutting back on the junk food. I need to cut it out entirely, because I want to sculpt my body into something I am proud of. I could be a walking time bomb, for all I know. That tumor that was growing in my uterus could have been the result of so much junk food over time. I am pretty sure now that junk food was probably a huge factor in my being depressed when I was younger. There were probably other factors, as well, but food was probably the main factor. And no doctor asked me about my diet. They just prescribed me pills and later ointment, for that rash that never seemed to go away, until I cut back on sugary foods and started taking some supplements. I got that out of a magazine. The doctor said of my rash, that it could be one of several hundred things causing it. He never once asked me what I ate. And when I found out what was causing it, I was astonished that it could be so easy.

While I was writing this, I got up to get myself a slice of cake. I cut the piece, and put it on a plate. As I was getting ready to put the rest of the cake away, it slid off the plastic tray it was on and landed on the floor, icing side down. I'd only taken two slices out of the cake, and the rest of it was now ruined. I sort of think that's appropriate, somehow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Forgotten Women

It's Election Night, 2012, and yes, I've voted. I was thinking about this election, and the insanity surrounding it, and realizing that I'm now part of a demographic that is ignored. I am a single, never been married, childless, middle-aged, college educated woman. No one cares about us. And certain men HATE us.

The reason for the hate is because we've bucked the trend. Instead of getting married and having kids we couldn't afford to raise (after our husbands/boyfriends left us) we got college degrees and remained single and childless.

I never had kids for a number of reasons. First off, I really didn't want any. Secondly, I never seemed to meet a guy who would make a good father. I figured the cut-off year for having kids was about age 35 or so, as fertility rates go down, and the probability of birth defects goes up. I guess I didn't work hard enough at finding a guy, but considering the shitty treatment I've had from men in my life (my brother was the first and probably worst offender) I wondered why I wanted one so badly. I don't want one anymore.

I am certain I made the right choice. I've battled depression for several years, and passing on the possibility of gloom and doom, as well as heart problems, diabetes and cancer to a future child wasn't something I was interested in doing. And after I what I went through in 2008, I am glad I didn't have a child to watch me cry and scream and freak out and wonder what the hell I was going to do. However, I am resentful of the fact that if I did have a child, I probably would have received help. A single woman? Who cares? A single woman with a child or two? Poor dear, here, have these WIC vouchers and food stamps. I know the kids didn't have any choice to be brought into this world, and I don't like the idea of hungry, homeless kids, but it makes me mad that in this society, I am seemingly worth nothing because I don't have a husband (not even a bad, abusive one) or kids.

I'm also mad at one of my co-workers who broke up with her jackass boyfriend (I used to work with him; and he was a chauvinist asshole if there ever was one). I told her that she deserved better. That was a few months ago, she got back with him and now she's pregnant again with her second child (both of them are fathered by the jackass). This makes at least three illegitimate kids (it might even be four, I'm not sure) that this guy has. Of course, he won't marry her, and of course, his name is the only one on the house. So if they break up again, she will have to either go back home to her mom, or find another place to live. Why do I care? Why is this my business? Because (and I realize this might be interpreted as an anti-feminist thought) I think women bring poverty upon themselves by getting involved with losers. This woman was in school, studying to become a nurse. Now, she has a toddler and another baby on the way, and a job as a part-time cashier. Her pig of a boyfriend jokingly asked me where his refrigerator was when he stopped into the store a few weeks ago. (We used to work in the delivery department together.) He asked me in a condescending way, and I did not respond. If I see him again and he makes a smart remark, I think I'll ask him just exactly how many illegitimate kids he now has, and how I thought conservatives believed in family values, and it was the liberals who are having kids out of wedlock like it's no big deal. This is one aspect that I am very conservative on, because as a society we've really gotten away from the family unit. If you have enough responsible people around you to help you raise your child, fine. Have your kids. But if you are hooked up with a scurvy, lazy idiot who looks out for his own skin but who doesn't care about you if you break up, and you're dumb enough to have kids with him, why should my tax dollars support you and your stupid, self-defeating decisions? You look at me like I'm some sort of freak, but my college degree, my intelligence and use of birth control have given me an edge. I may be poor, but I'm poor by myself. I'm not subjecting kids to an endless parade of new boyfriends, new places to live, and not enough food, and not enough family time due to a crazy work schedule.

So yes, your lifestyle may just influence mine, especially if you rely on tax dollars for your survival. I never got any help from the government when I was scraping by in 2008. I look at that with a source of pride, but also with a bit of wonder. Thanks to a few people I knew, I was able to get through that horrible time and get back on my feet, but the help I received didn't come from the government or any blood relatives.

Go ahead, call me a freak. Call me a freak because I don't have kids or a husband. I'm a freak because I gave parenthood some thought, and realized I couldn't do it the way my parents did it. And I never met a guy who was man enough to respect me as a human being. I refuse to put on an air of phoniness to catch a guy. I am who I am, and if being myself frightens men, then tough shit. If you grow a pair of balls, put down the video game controller, the Mountain Dew and grow the fuck up and achieve something with your life, I just might be interested in you. But this is Fort Wayne, and the menfolk around here are scared of women like me. But considering the lame ass males that pass for men in this town, why would I want any of them to father my children? I'd end up with depressed, video-game obsessed lumps who don't drink anything but Mountain Dew and energy drinks and who won't achieve anything in their lives, unless you consider having illegitimate kids an "achievement.". And she'll HAVE to work, because you know, those Call of Duty marathons are just so awesome, and having a job would like, totally interfere with that.

So suck on that, you woman-hating assholes. You may have forgotten me, but I don't forget.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Football is Gay. Admit it.

For some reason, I'm in a peeved mood. I already wrote a column about this, but consider this the balls-to-the-wall version of the column.

Actually, the column touches on motivation and what works and what doesn't. What I would like to talk about here is the homoerotic lure of football.

Football is one of those sports that straight men can get really involved in, and go over the top in terms of training, humiliation, training, crawling on the ground with a guy on your back and another one yelling at you, more training and humiliation. And afterward, you hand out in the locker room and jack off together.

I was forced to watch a so-called motivational clip from a movie several weeks ago at a work meeting. The person making us watch this either doesn't realize that half of the workforce sitting and watching was female, and that none of them had ever had the experience of crawling across a football field with a guy on her back. Apparently, it's called the "death crawl." One player crawls on his hands and feet, the other player lays on his back on the crawling player. In this particular clip, the coach yells at the crawling player the whole way. It gets kind of annoying. Finally, the player makes it, and the coach tells him he never gave up, and carried a 140 pound player the whole way. The player who got carried speaks up and says he weighs 160. It got a laugh from my other co-workers, but I didn't really get it. I'm used to seeing football players who weigh  more than 200 pounds. Personally, I'd LOVE to get down to 160 pounds. I'd still be considered fat, but whatever.

My point in the column was that this clip didn't motivate me at all. Turns out this clip is from "Facing the Giants", which apparently is a movie about God and football and faith. I don't know what it is about football, particularly on the high school level, that ties that sport in with God. They're practically inseparable. The coach has problems; he has a losing record, people are trying to get him fired, and things aren't looking good. But he decides to turn everything over to God and work his ass off.

Things start to turn around, but I resent that people into football assume God cares about football only. Football players think that God belongs only to them, and that God cares about the game.

Another thing that bothers me is when guys who are gay, or who seem gay, deny it. I realize that it's tough to come out, but dishonesty really gets on my nerves. Also, all the ass patting, Gatorade dumping, sado-masochistic exercises and insults and locker room pranks teeter on the edge of, how should I put it, "putting it in the endzone." Add in some shirtless guys in the stands, and the homoerotic overtones practically shout from the field.

I've known a few gay guys in my life. My first guy friend was gay. I was only devastated because I thought we had a future together. Turns out our friendship was doomed, partly because he was reluctant to admit he was gay. I like gay guys. They are funny, smart, witty, they dress fairly nicely, they aren't slobs and they smell good. Straight guys, on the other hand...well, they are yelling at television screens and probably having fantasies about nailing the quarterback in the locker room. Only they are straight. Really.

So I can't really listen to guys talk about football without snickering. Add in God, and you have the Catholic Church fumbling around on a football field. Tight pants and Gatorade dumped on people (I'm thinking wet t-shirt contest here) and pats on the butt and humiliating training exercises. Yee hah! It's not JUST gay, but gay s and m! Admit it guys. I'd be okay with it if you would admit that football is an excuse to dress up in tight pants, hang out with buff men, and crawl like a subbie to the end zone. It's too Catholic Church/Boy Scouts of America for words.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Want My Socialism, but You Can't Have Yours

I was in the break room at work just long enough the other day to hear some Social Security receiving, Medicare-using sixty-something say if Obama is reelected, the country will go into socialism. I wisely got out of there, but it does make my blood boil. I just might burst a blood vessel if I hear some older person rail about the "evils of socialism" while benefiting from it. Gee whiz, if socialism is so bad, every single person getting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, TANF, unemployment and any other safety net needs to "man up, "woman up" or "child up" and JUST SAY NO. Give it back. But it won't happen.

Will people realize that the "entitlements" they're getting ARE social programs? Do they realize if they are getting a check that says U.S. Treasury on it, they are being supported by the government? "But I paid into the system!" you say. Ida May Fuller paid a mere $24.75 into Social Security before retiring at 65. She ended up with nearly $29,000 in benefits, because she lived to be 100. You cannot tell me that she "paid" into the system and got what she paid into it. She got a HELL of a lot more than she paid into it.

But to hear old folks, and those on disability tremble at the scourge of socialism, and socialized medicine, I would like them first to rely on that part time cashiering job for survival, instead of SS. If it's all one big Ponzi scheme, and I'm paying for the old and disabled, I'll have to hope someone in a couple generations behind me is going to pay MY way. But I am pretty sure I won't see the money I've paid into the system. But it makes me wonder what the hell people are thinking. Take away the safety net, and watch the fun begin. It will turn out to be the survival of the fittest. On one hand, we'd save a hell of a lot of money. On the other hand, it's sad when grandma is bankrupt because she can't pay her medical bills. My parents relied on Medicare to pay for a triple bypass ($26,000) and bladder removal and full hysterectomy ($13,000). If not for Medicare, my parents would have been bankrupt. But you don't care, do you?

But having medical care for EVERYONE smacks of socialism, and it's horrible. The horror! THE HORROR! People are just too pussy to admit they like their entitlements. They are quick to claim them, but they don't want you to claim yours. It always warms my heart when a conservative who weighs 400 pounds gets government assistance to have surgery to fix his knees. Sorry, but if you are relying on the government for ANYTHING, you are partaking in the safety net. I've yet to see anyone getting SS turning it down. If you truly want to claim you are independent, retire on just your 401K and IRA and investments, and refuse your SS. But no one will do it. However, if you are totally dependent on a check from the U.S. Treasury, you are being supported by the government, you pinko hypocrite.

To make it totally fair, we have coverage for everyone, or coverage for no one. That's right: Aunt Sadie isn't covered, Uncle Donald isn't covered, your parents aren't covered, your kid is not covered and YOU are not covered. Pretty scary, huh? But to pick and choose and say the old and the poor and little kids get covered, because they are "at risk" pretty much flips the bird to the 45 million or so Americans who don't have insurance. These are the people who are busting their asses to make a living (and they are paying taxes too) and they don't have coverage, so when something goes wrong, they hit the ER. Yes, they get care, but the ER isn't cheap. So they have to pay it off in installments of $5 a month (if the hospital will allow payments; some won't) for the next ten years or so.

So if an old person is freaked out about socialism ruining our nation, take his or her SS check and tell them since they hate socialism, to give it up already. It will be hard, forcing an 80-year-old woman to get a job, but she'll toughen up. Weakness is for pussy commie motherfuckers.

Which is why every last one of us needs to exercise and eat better. Because judging by my own generation and the one behind it, we'll all need Hoverounds just to get through the grocery store. But that's okay. Medicare will pay for it. Right?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thursday 10-4-12

A most satisfying day, for the most part. I spoke with a colleague about my books, and she was impressed at how nice they looked. Prior to that, I stopped at Dollar General and was alarmed to find out that I had no money in my checking account. Nothing really new there.

Then, I killed time before having dinner with a friend. I looked around Designer Shoe Warehouse, and I was a bit pissed off. The last part of summer, I was looking for flats. Just plain flats, preferably leather, or vinyl. Four stores, and I couldn't find anything. Then, I finally went to that cheap accessory store in the mall, and found a pair of brown flats and a pair of purple flats, for $9.99 each. Then, a few days later, I found some black flats at Payless.

So then I was at DSW and was kind of pissed off. What did I see but flats. Lots of flats. Tasteful, leather flats by known designers. I've always thought I was ahead of my time when it came to fashion. Not that you'd know it to look at me, but I remember wanting stuff way before it came available. I bought a raincoat that is black, fuchsia, and yellow. It was only $4 and change, and I've not been so excited about a raincoat since my Winnie the Pooh raincoat when I was six. This coat, which I picked up at St. Vinnie's on Calhoun, is vinyl and so colorful, it practically shouts, "even though it's rainy and gloomy, I'm going to brighten up your day!" So I've become a bit obsessed by vinyl now. I'm looking for a bag to wear with it even though I need another purse like I need a hole in my head. I saw some interesting bags at DSW, a couple made out of day glo, see-through vinyl. I also saw some other bags that were ugly. They seemed like they were made out of leather-looking rubber.

I may actually buy something there. But I thought it was frustrating that I couldn't find what I wanted earlier in the summer, and scarfed up some cheaper shoes when I did find what I wanted, after a search of probably six stores.

So then I went browsing at Joann Fabrics. I wanted to find colored vinyl to see if I could whip up a tote bag. I found lots of clear vinyl, but I'll either have to order vinyl online or settle for using pleather. But for some reason, I really would like to find vinyl--beach ball, flexible, crinkly, colored vinyl to whip up a bag or two.

Then, I had dinner at Koto with a friend. The food was fabulous. I'd recommend the Black Diamond roll. I'm definitely going back there.

And now you know about my Thursday, October 4 experience.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Keeping Busy ...

I realized it's been a while since I've posted. I've been working on getting my books into print. I don't think I would have done it, except someone who reads my column wanted to see my ebook into print. She also said she'd pay for it. So I went the print on demand route, and I have to say I'm happy with it. I got a shipment of the books the other day, and it looks really nice. So I'll be participating in the Author's Fair at the Allen County Public Library Nov. 3 from noon to 4 p.m. That's on a Saturday. I will have copies of my books for sale at a bit of a discount (I swallowed the shipping and handling costs, and will NOT be passing them on to you) and I'll even autograph them for you.

So that's what I've been doing besides posting stuff on the blog. I suppose I should post more often, but it seems like my head is swirling with possibilities for publishing. I'm actually looking forward to the future, and that's something that hasn't happened in a long time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's All in How You Look at It

Had an interesting conversation with someone today. He hates both Democrats and Republicans, but it's obvious which one he hates more. He noted that welfare recipients and minorities are Democrats. And don't get him started on environmentalists. It's sort of strange listening to him. He's angry about jobs being sent to China, but I didn't feel like asking him (and playing Devil's advocate) about the freedoms of business owners and whether or not they have the right to seek out the cheapest possible labor. I made the mistake of asking him shouldn't we reduce the amount of pollution we produce. He sort of agreed, but brushed me off. According to him, global warming is all a scam to make us pay more taxes and exert more control over us. If that's true, okay, but does that mean we can still act like pigs and litter all over the place?

I kinda got the feeling that once he gets enough money, he'll join the Republicans anyway, even though he hates them.  With him, it seems to be all about money. People on welfare or unemployment would probably disgust him, but get this--he applies for any scholarship that's out there. If it's a scholarship for African-Americans, he applies for it. If it's a scholarship for gays, he'll apply for it. Incidentally, this guy identifies as being straight and white. So, is it okay to lie in order to get scholarship money even though you are using it to pay bills and buy stuff unrelated to your education? I kid you not, when this man told me how much he got in financial aid, he bragged about "working the system." It's okay when HE does it, but if someone else did the same thing, and spent the money on drugs, would he be as okay with it?

He's against gay marriage (he's divorced, of course) and I didn't want to be around him more than I had to, but part of me wanted to ask if a lesbian atheist was bound by God's law, or God's word, if she didn't believe such a being existed.

This person gets free software too, and distributes, er, um, "donates" it. Not to everyone, just certain people. Since this isn't shareware, doesn't this sort of count as stealing? I mean, okay, Microsoft has tons of money, but that doesn't make it different. If people got in trouble for uploading music onto Napster so others could download it for free, how is this different?

So I don't know. It's all in how you look at it. Is doing something illegal to make money worse than going on welfare? If I applied for scholarship money and used it to start my own business, am I stealing money from a student who could use it? If I claim that I'm a Mexican-American lesbian atheist and get scholarship money and use it to pay bills and buy things unrelated to school, am I being dishonest, or am I merely "working the system to my advantage?"

I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Because Smart People Suck

There is a divide in this country between the educated and the not educated. And I don't necessarily mean people with college degrees vs. people who don't have college degrees. That is just part of it, but I am always concerned when I talk to people, and they've never heard of the term "white hot" or the artist Jackson Pollock. A few years ago, I worked with a guy about 24 years old, and we were discussing the person living at the house we just delivered an appliance to. I couldn't place the accent, but passing through their garage, I saw a map of the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia. That solved that mystery, but out in the truck, my co-worker said he couldn't place the customer's accent. I said the woman was from Georgia. My co-worker's response: "oh no, she couldn't possibly be from the states." I then explained that the Soviet Union had collapsed, and once upon a time there was a republic that was called Georgia, just like the state. I asked him if they had covered that in high school. Apparently not. Yes, he was very young when the Soviet Union had broken up, but you'd think he would have run into that reference at least once when growing up, but I guess he didn't.

I always feel a bit awkward when I'm talking about something at work, and I have to explain who or what I am referring to. I had to explain who Jackson Pollock is. I never majored in art, but I know who he is. I find myself gravitating toward people who are educated. They seem to have a certain awareness of the world.

And then there was my mother--a high school drop out, but a voracious reader. She told me to learn all I could about computers because they were going to run our lives some day. She also suggested I become a teacher, and I'm doing that, on a part-time basis, and I'm loving it. She chose to be aware of what was going on in the world, and I'm astonished that people seem to stop learning as soon as they leave the classroom.

That being said, education is taking a hit, notably from the conservatives, because if you are smart enough to figure out what's going on, you are going to be harder to control. I'm stunned when I listen to self-declared conservatives, and their comments on education. I have a co-worker who sometimes pronounces education, "edumacation," and I want to flinch. It's obvious what her views are on it. It irritates me, because I was trying to educate a customer on one of our products, and the co-worker told me it wasn't necessary to explain to the customer the differences in paint bases. I try to always pass on information to people if I think it will benefit them. And nothing is more annoying than a customer bringing up an ultra white base and wanting it to be tinted black. If I can educate one customer to let us get the paint off the shelf, I feel like I've done something.

For a while, I was the only full-timer in the department who knew how to cut blinds and special order blinds. No one else in the department knew how to do it. And when window treatment training came around, one of my co-workers claimed illness and instead chose to unload freight, because this co-worker didn't want to sit in a room full of people all day. Now, if I'm sick, I'd rather just sit around (and get paid for it) than sling merchandise around. A few minutes after choosing to unload freight, this person decided to go home. Despite having a degree and having a number of skills (I have a Class A commercial driver's license, I can mix and custom match paint, install refrigerator water lines, washers, dryers and electric ranges, and cut shelving) my retail job dropped my pay level. This was based on not having the correct paperwork submitted so that I could drive. That has since been resolved, but I am at a lower pay rate than when I first started. I was told I would get a review, but that has not materialized and I doubt if it ever will. I've only had one review since working at my retail job, and I've been there for four years. I thought in the real world, the more you knew and the more skills you acquired, the higher you were paid. Right?

When paint training came around, four of us had to go to another store for training. Of the four of us, three took notes. One of us sat back, and crossed ankles. Care to guess who it was?

And when that shooter shot up that theater in Aurora, the co-worker said James Holmes was in medical school. Wrong. He was a doctoral candidate in neuroscience. Little bit of a difference there, but I didn't bother to point it out.

I used to wonder why I had bothered to go to college. For the last 20 years or so, it seemed that my degree was worth nothing. Then a funny thing happened. I got a part time teaching gig--something I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't had a bachelor's degree. And here's another funny thing--the teaching gig pays more and is far more pleasurable than any regular job I've had. Yes, there are frustrations, but no student of mine has ever hit me. Contrast that with the two customers who whacked me in the shoulder in a matter of six months. I put up with more shit and less respect in the job that I didn't need an education for, and get more money and more respect (and job satisfaction) with the one that I DO need a degree for. I'm actually thinking of going to grad school. I had one of my students write me a glowing email about his experience in my class. It was really, really nice to read it and made me feel like I do make a difference. I've never, ever, gotten anything like that from any of my other jobs. And this student urged me to get my master's degree.

Funny, all the rich, powerful conservatives have had at least some college--even eternal windbag Rush Limbaugh got in, but dropped out. It seems like it's another case of, "college for me, but not for you."

But I feel sorry for some of these anti-education conservatives. They are working retail, and pretty much will be working retail until they retire. They have nowhere else to go, and they consider themselves too old to go back to school. Yet, corner them and you'll find they don't like working retail. They won't do anything to change their situation, and they will sneer at the college students who spend a few years working retail, then when they graduate, move on to bigger and better things. More than ever, in the United States, you have to stone cold hustle just to make a modest living. A college degree doesn't guarantee you'll be rich, but it's an important investment that may change your life somewhere down the line. My college degree and a willingness to try teaching means I don't have to be a full time retail slave, and that means my mental health has improved.

If having a college degree means I am a piece of liberal scum, so be it. If being liberal means I'm not going to freak out about your alternative lifestyle, so be it. I love to learn. That makes me a bad person, in some people's eyes. I want to educate people. And THAT, in some people's eyes, is threatening. Keep them dumb and in the dark. No thanks. I WANT people to know that light-colored paint goes in low-numbered bases, and dark paint goes in higher-numbered bases. It may seem like a small thing. But I guess if my co-worker likes having customers give her ultra white bases they want made into dark blue, she can keep them ignorant all she wants.

And I've noticed the customers she likes are the ones that annoy the hell out of me. Birds of a feather ...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Computer Woes and examining a life that doesn't seem worth living, sometimes

If you've been wondering why I haven't posted more Tee Arr Eff fashion photos, it's because my computer was massively screwed up. It had more than 1,000 viruses, and I didn't know I didn't have any anti-virus on it. Financially, I'm screwed, so having a subscription to anything, including computer software, is just not going to happen right now. And to be honest, this laptop has been a bit of a mystery. I have no idea what it's capable of, how many gigs of RAM it has, etc. I only know it had Vista on it, and had I known how bad it was, I never would have purchased this computer.

So I had to have my computer fixed, and I also had to back up everything. Since my external drive got knocked on the floor by my cat, I went out and bought a jump drive and put everything I wanted to save on there. I've not reloaded my stuff, because it's kind of nice to turn on my computer, and actually see the screen saver instead of literally dozens of icons.

And I have also been occupied with my book. I am in the process of converting it to a print version, and plan to have copies of it for sale at the ACPL Author's Day, which is going to be in November. I made a pocket paperback of the book, and it looks nice, but I screwed up a few things. The page numbers are off, and the cover has the title of the book on it twice. It was still nice to see my writing in print though. I am working on formatting the final story in the book, and it should be done soon. I try to do about five pages a night, so it should be done before the end of the month. I plan to make a print copy; hopefully this time I will do it right.

I've also been trying to be positive about the future. I've been thinking about my life, and my mistakes, and wanting to have the kind of life that isn't so frustrating. Part of it is being broke all the time. There is a reason for that, and hopefully I am in the final months of poverty, but I worry that something else will hit me shortly thereafter, and perpetuate the process of being broke all the time. Money isn't everything, but what seems like constant poverty is depressing. I feel like I've finally found my career calling, and to do more with it, I need to get a master's degree. I'm scared of going back to school, how I'm going to pay for it, and possibly running into bad luck--I finally get my degree, but can't get a job with it. That's what I'm most scared of, and why I am reluctant to take out student loans to finance this future educational endeavor.

I'm also thinking I need to go back to school to give me a better chance of leaving Fort Wayne. I would like to save enough money, and eventually move to the Toronto area. I'd feel better about that if I owned the house, instead of half of it, and if I had a job offer in Toronto or somewhere nearby. Why Toronto? The city basically gave me a reason to live after my mother died. When she died, I really wanted to die too, because I felt I had no purpose in life. But Canada gave me a reason to live. It's clean, there are fewer people, and they are a lot nicer. I know there is no such thing as utopia, but more and more I feel like I don't belong in Fort Wayne, or the United States. My family basically died when my mom did, and it's not like I have tons of friends in town either. I tried to reconnect with a friend almost a year ago, but his excuse of losing his ability to write (and therefore taking months to respond to emails) is just another way of saying, "I really don't want to spend time with you anymore." It's never worked when I pursue men, and if I never have a relationship again, I can take that. But I want to be a little more financially secure, and be able to live in a place where I am proud to be there, and happy to participate in the community. Fort Wayne seems incredibly dull and unexciting, and will never be a cool city, because it spends tons of money on stuff that doesn't bring people or jobs to the city. I've never attended a game at Parkview Field. I've delivered stuff there, but the thing that draws me downtown is the library.

So I am in kind of an interesting state of mind. I self-published two books and I'm in the process of getting both into print. There's that, and also my financial memoir, which I'm going to try and interest some publishers in. They will probably turn me down. If so, I'll self-publish, and hopefully by then I will have some money to really promote it. Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman--look out. My financial experience and advice is going to make your writing look really boring.

I'm kind of lonely, but since people seem to continually let me down, perhaps I'm better off just keeping to myself. I no longer have a family. They live, but sadly, I have nothing much to say to them. I am a fat ass failure to them. So be it. They've disappointed me as well. So we are even.

I'm scared. I want out, but the only thing that kept me from being homeless in 2008 was owning half of this house. Will I ever earn enough money to pay $800 a month in rent (plus utilities) and not be sweating bullets about it? Toronto is an expensive city. If I have to work three jobs to afford to live there, would it be worth it? Or would I be so exhausted, I'd just come home, sleep a few hours and start another day of working just to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach? These are some questions I will have to answer. But it's terrifying how fast time goes. To other people, I've done a lot, and I have some important skills, but on the other hand, I see myself as a failure, a doormat, and completely scared. I'm also very angry. Perhaps I will make my peace with things. Hopefully I will find some success I feel I can be proud of, and form the kind of life I want to have.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More Tee Arr Eff Fashion Parade!

It looks like pink leopard print, or kisses on black fabric. Either way, she stands out in the urban jungle.

I'm all for father/daughter unity, but doesn't he realize that her Cubs jersey is going to set her up for a lifetime of sports disappointment?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Tee Arr Eff Fashion Parade!

These are more photos from the last night of Three Rivers Festival. I had so much fun doing these, I'm going to do them again next year.

What's the horn for? For surprise shots?

Now that it's cooled down to a chilly 85 degrees, he decided to bust the wool hat out.

That's how he rolls.

He would run, Forrest, run, but he's looking for Jenny.

Monday, July 23, 2012

More Tee Arr Eff Fashion Parade!

The economy is so bad, she couldn't afford the other half of her jeans.

Who wore it better? Tie?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Still More Fashion Parade!

Dude, I know that's all the pocket change you have, but that still won't buy you a lap dance in Fort Wayne.

This guy ruined a perfectly fine teenage boy outfit by wearing a tacky, air-brushed trucker hat with the word "Florida" on it. (Sorry about the blurry picture.)

More Fashion Parade to come!

More Fashion Parade

Like, we couldn't leave the house until ALL of our hair was totally, like coordinated!

The chick on the left is blissfully unaware of the homeless guy who is taking a nap right next to her. Oh, that's your dad? Never mind.

First Ever Tee Arr Eff Fashion Parade!

I need to get a subscription to Vice magazine. I really enjoy it, and even though I may be too old for their demographic, I get a kick out of it. They do a feature called "Do's and Don'ts" where they take pictures of people and make comments about the outfits they are wearing. I decided to rip off this feature and give it a local spin. So here is the first ever Tee Arr Eff Fashion Parade. Hopefully next year, I can do this every night of the Three Rivers Festival, but I only came up with this idea Saturday afternoon. If you love people watching, you'll get a kick out of this. And you will probably enjoy Street Boners, a book filled with pictures of people in interesting (or awful) outfits and commentary from people about fashion.

Coordinated Couples are Cute!

Coolest fedora on the Midway.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I'm supposed to shut up

I’ve been sounding off quite a bit on the whole health care issue on Facebook recently, and not surprisingly, a couple of people disagree with me. Then I got an email from a friend who said I might want to tone down my hypothetical question, “what happens if a loved one gets cancer? What are you going to do?” The reason? Because one of HIS friends has a spouse who has cancer. Oopsie.

I guess I could be a real bitch and post on this person’s Facebook account that “no one lives forever; guess your spouse should get the affairs in order and enjoy the time you both have left” but I’m not going to do that. In a discussion about health care with a former co-worker, he actually said to me, when I posed my hypothetical question, “we all have to die sometime.” I swear to you he said this. I wish he could thank me for my Medicare deductions that will probably save his life when he winds up with cancer, but this sponge-nosed asshole retired and hopefully I’ll never have to see his insensitive face again.

I think part of the reason people don’t want to think the unthinkable is because they are afraid. They know they are fucked, and don’t ever want to think that it could happen. Sick is for other people. Cancer is for other people. It just is. Until it comes home to smack them in the face. Clueless types boldly proclaim that if they get cancer, they will work until they just can’t work anymore. Oh yeah? Then what? Exactly who is going to pay your rent for the months it will take you to die? No, it’s too horrible to comprehend, so they don’t think about it. Sick is for other people. Cancer is for other people.

Another reason why people don’t want to think about it is the way we treat sick people in this country. We hate them, and at the very least, we resent them. We won’t ever admit it, but we do. And when they come back to work with their foot in a cast, or when we have to make accommodations for them, we resent it. Oh yes, we do.

I’ve been uninsured, and I’ve been insured. I’ve been uninsured for longer than I’ve been insured, but when I did get insurance in late 2008, I set about taking care of a problem I’d had for probably the last 10 years. I hadn’t worked at my job for a year before I had surgery for my fibroid tumor, a huge mass the size of a cantaloupe that was growing in a tumor in my uterus. It was growing slowly, and I had a choice: I could wait until menopause, where the tumor would shrink because my body would no longer be producing estrogen, or I could have surgery. Since I had no idea when I’d hit menopause, I opted for surgery. The first one didn’t work like it should have, so I had a hysterectomy a few months later. And by that time, I was in so much pain, I wanted to die. It shouldn’t have gotten to that point, but it did. Before the surgery, I passed a chunk of tumor that was so big, my ob/gyn said it was the largest tumor she’d ever seen self-delivered. I had my hysterectomy shortly after that, and the six weeks I had off were bliss. I slept late and read and regained the appetite I’d lost after battling an infection that went undetected for several weeks. (I lost 17 pounds because I was working three jobs, putting in 12 hour days and just didn’t feel like eating. Unfortunately, I’ve gained them back.) Of course, you don’t care about this. I understand. The only person who really, really cared died in 2004. It’s okay.

On the flip side though, I am completely disgusted with not only myself (I used to be really skinny; my lowest weight as an adult was probably 110 pounds at the age of 21) but really disgusted with the 300, 400, and 500 pound people waddling around town. I swear, 80 percent of people living in Indiana are morbidly obese. Ten percent are obese (including myself, according to a BMI test taken last year) 5 percent are merely overweight, 1 percent are underweight, and four percent are at their ideal weight. At least, it sure fucking seems that way. It bothers me because it’s not like I sit around eating bon bons all day. I eat a lot less crap than I did 10 years ago. Part of that is because greasy foods are making me sick in the morning. Sometimes I’ll wake up and feel okay, but the second I sit on the toilet, I feel nauseated, and shortly after that sometimes I’ll throw up. Only it will be clear, because my food digested several hours ago and I’m throwing up on an empty stomach. I know I’ve got to start eating better. I’ve been exercising, but I can’t seem to combine exercising consistently with eating an extremely healthy diet. But I’m trying to change that. I’m sick of being fat, and I don’t like vomiting first thing in the morning.

So I can understand people who are totally against health care. When I see 400 pounders (male and female) walking around in ugly clothes with even uglier tattoos, sometimes I really do want to vomit. Why should we spend money on people who don’t bother eating right and exercising? It’s really kind of odd; we demonize actresses for being size 2 or size 0, yet we envy them at the same time. Things really have changed; chances are if a person is slender, they will have a solidly middle class job or be upper middle class. All the poor people seem to be fat because they are working shit jobs for low pay with crazy schedules that wreak havoc on their metabolisms--YOU try eating dinner at 11:30 p.m. when you have to be at work at 6:30 a.m. the next fucking day. More often than not, I’ve eaten a brownie, or a handful of chocolate-covered raisins or some M&Ms, because I wanted to get to bed right away in order to get SOME sleep before starting another frustrating day at work. And forget about exercising on those nights. I get in my car, come home, let my dog out, stuff some crap in my mouth, take sleeping pills (another joyful aspect of getting older is trouble falling asleep) brush my teeth, then read for a while to wind down, and to let the sleeping pills do their job. So I understand the problems of eating right when you have a horrible schedule. I realized my full time job was making me miserable so I cut down to part time. I was lucky enough to do this because I had other part time jobs that I could rely on. I realize not everyone has this option, but I’m glad I had it, because not only was my physical health precarious, but my mental health wasn’t so great either.

And we have a screwy attitude about fitness in this country. We admire athletes; these overpaid assholes who would be thugs in real life if they couldn’t catch or throw balls, or hit pucks, or sink three-pointers. Yet we bitch and moan about the president’s wife encouraging us to eat better and exercise. You have strongly heterosexual men, with huge stomachs scorning vegetables and making fun of vegetarians, yet would any of those hypocrites enjoy looking at a 500-pound woman? Hell, no! Yet these jerks dismiss fitness and eating right as things only intellectual faggots do. It’s no wonder I don’t look at men. Everyone is huge!

People were convinced Medicare and Social Security would ruin this country. I’ll tell you what ruined this country: a president who stole the election in 2000, a bunch of idiots who “reelected” him in 2004, huge portions of fattening food, cheap crap, video games, Facebook, NASCAR, greed, and a stunning lack of compassion for mankind. We are so off-kilter from the rest of the world, it’s no wonder we are hated. The rest of the industrialized world has universal health care, and while it isn’t perfect, I’ve not talked to one person from Canada or the United Kingdom on Facebook who is eager to trade their system for ours. Think of it: your health insurance is based on whether or not your employer wants to offer it. It is possible to work full time in the United States and not have a shred of health care coverage. So when I finally got a job that DID offer insurance, I took care of that tumor as fast as I could. That’s what happens when you go for years without insurance and then finally get it: by that time, stuff adds up and it looks like you are going on an orgy of pampering. Never mind that you might have gone five years or longer without getting anything looked at.

So it makes me sick, my co-workers who would deny someone coverage, who bitch and moan that things are going to be worse than ever, that it’s communism. I long for the day I can tell a health care naysayer, “I told you so” when they end up with cancer or need some sort of operation. But maybe I don’t long for that day. I’m not a bitch. I am NOT a typical American, and I take pride in that fact.

I think single payer would be the better way to go, but it would be interesting if people were insured on how much they were willing to get their asses in gear. For instance, if you are overweight, you wouldn’t be covered for any illnesses related to that condition. So, you wouldn’t be covered for diabetes, or heart conditions, or any orthopedic-related things. If you smoke, you wouldn’t be covered for cancer, and so forth. If you were super-healthy, you’d get a break on your premiums, because you’d be low risk. Of course, there are some people who are born with certain conditions; they basically lost the genetic lottery. They wouldn’t be punished, but for conditions people CAN control (smoking, drinking, and being overweight) it might be interesting to see what happened if people were given the incentive to have coverage if they just took care of themselves.

But that probably wouldn’t work either. Americans don’t like to be told how to live their lives, yet if they were socked with cancer or heart problems, they’d probably cry like a little girl. “Why did this happen to me? I don’t want to die!” We all do have to die, but it would be nice if that were much later, not sooner. The health care naysayers don’t give a shit about you, nor do they give a shit about themselves. Sick is for other people Cancer is for other people. Until it hits someone you love. Then what do you do? Then WHAT DO YOU DO?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Rivertown Swimsuit Edition!

By the way, I was the inspiration for Lyn Juarez.

Plugging for Rivertown Robert Enders does a funny comic called "Rivertown." You can also see it in the Fort Wayne Reader. Here's a few panels.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More Wayback Machine Stuff

This was posted on shortly after one of my trips to Canada. Enjoy! Ways Canada is like the U.S. Ways Canada is NOT Like the U.S. Lots of fat Caucasians Has health coverage for all citizens Immigrants Lots of Tim Horton outlets Lots of square footage People friendly and polite Lots of restaurants If you bump into someone, THEY Has Wal-mart will say, "excuse me." Lots of discount stores/dollar stores Has "The Beer Store" SUVs Calls the restroom the "washroom" Speaks English (for the most Has French as official language too part) Queen Elizabeth on almost every damn unit of currency Canadians drive over the speed Low murder rate limit Has a lottery Headlines I didn't see in Canada: Canadian Soccer Riot Kills Thousands Martin: We Should Have followed U.S. Into Iraq 'Screw the NHL!' Say Canadian Citizens; Nation Embraces Water Polo Thousands Flock To Toronto In Search of Cheap Real Estate Fed Up With 'Polite' Image, Canadians Refraining From Saying "I'm Sorry" When Bumped Into Tim Hortons Files For Bankruptcy Universal Health Care 'Just Not Worth It' Say Majority of Citizens Treasury Ponders Introducing $3, $4 and $5 Coins Into Circulation; Canadians Rejoice At Prospect of "Threenies, Fournies and Fivenies" Kevin Hearn Busted For Cocaine

Sorry I Haven't Written More ...

I realize I don't post as often as I should. I guess I figured no one was reading this. I looked at my stats and was amazed I had over 120 page views last month. Google can break down the views per post, and I'm like, "hmmmm...." So I'll try to write more. One thing that happened at work today was incredibly annoying. Corporate America is one of the most wasteful entities that's out there. They will throw stuff away at the drop of a hat. Most likely, the vendor will issue a credit. Today was a little different. Someone brought in a paint can. The customer wanted more paint and brought in the can so we could see exactly what we needed to make the same color. We made the paint, and gave the customer her old can back. She asked if we could throw it away for her. I opened it up to see that there was a inch of paint left in the can. I asked both managers if I could have it. No. I offered to buy it. No. One manager tried to explain to me that since the customer hadn't returned it, it didn't belong to the store. It still belonged to the customer, even though she told me to throw it away. The manager said since it wasn't his to sell, he couldn't sell it to me, and he couldn't give it to me. So perfectly good paint went to waste because of a corporate decision. I can't begin to tell you what gets thrown away. I saw a two-sink vanity pitched, because there was a small flaw in the wood. If you painted over it, you wouldn't know it was there. All those magazines you see? When they are old, the magazine vendor collects them and throws them away. They won't even donate them, because trashing a magazine is worse than giving it to a nursing home or hospital, because God forbid someone cancel their subscription because they can get Martha Stewart Living for free at Shady Pines Nursing Home the last week of the month. It's no wonder we had a 12-year-old kid looking around in our dumpster at the urging of his dad. You could make some good cash reselling the stuff you find. I had three people as my witnesses as I pointed out the pastel pink can of paint I dropped into the trash can. Wouldn't want to make anyone suspicious...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

50 Shades of Gloria

Months before anyone heard of "50 Shades of Grey" I epublished some erotic fiction. Would anyone like to check it out? Unlike E.L. James, it is NOT Twilight-based fan fiction. I've posted excerpts on and it has about 20,000 views, plus a really nice compliment from a satisfied reader. Let me know, okay?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Yet Another Healthcare Rant

As someone who has been without healthcare more than she has had healthcare, I feel strongly about the subject. I took one of my current jobs, even though I knew I wouldn't really enjoy it, JUST to get the healthcare I needed to take care of a cantaloupe sized tumor in my uterus. No, it wasn't malignant, because if it HAD been, I wouldn't be here right now. Because the tumor was growing in a muscle, taking it out wasn't really an option. I could either wait until I went through menopause ( and I didn't know when that would happen) which would cause the tumor to shrink, or I could have a uterine artery embolization (cutting the blood supply off to the tumor, causing it to die) or have a hysterectomy. I took the less intrusive route. It worked, but yet it didn't. I ended up with an infection, causing me to lose 17 pounds in six weeks. I had no appetite, I was in pain, had a period for an entire month, and was throwing up, yet both doctors said, "that's not unusual." I popped Advil and Midol until one day, I was in so much pain I wanted to die. I called up my obgyn and told her, "do something about this pain or kill me." That got their attention (the two phone calls I'd made to them over the course of a few weeks obviously didn't matter to them) so they got me in right away. Prior to that emergency appointment, I'd had a CAT scan at a local hospital, because I was convinced I had cancer. I mean I had some bad things going on: vomiting, loss of appetite, excruciating pain. Obviously SOMETHING was going on, and I was worried. The scan didn't show anything unusual, according to the person I asked. But my obgyn looked at the films, and had the surgeon look at the films, and said, "she's got an infection." So why did the tech or whoever I talked to say nothing was showing up, yet the surgeon said, "she's got an infection"? Bear in mind these are U.S. doctors. I had my surgery in the U.S. covered under my employer's health insurance. Long story short, I had to have an "emergency" hysterectomy. I should have had that done in the first place, but I've always made the wrong choice. Luckily, I was still employed, and still had health care coverage, so I went through a second surgery in four months. I had everything taken out, plunging me into menopause. I didn't want to risk holding on to my one remaining ovary, and worrying about ovarian cancer. Shortly after my hysterectomy, I became achy. What would have happened if I didn't have insurance? Would the tumor have grown so big it would have burst my colon or my bladder? MRI films show the tumor so big, it was actually starting to curl around my spine, like a giant jelly bean. My uterus was the size of a woman who was four months pregnant. I had to pee almost all the time. Before I had my hysterectomy, little chunks of tumor were falling out of my body. I would take pictures of them as they floated in the toilet. However, a couple days after my call to my obgyn begging them to put my out of my misery, I passed the mother of all tumors after a huge shrimp dinner. I was on the toilet, feeling like something was in my vagina. I hadn't used tampons in months, so I knew it couldn't be that. I stood up and wiggled, thinking whatever was in there would fall out. It didn't. I reached between my legs and pulled out a piece of tumor the size of a chicken breast. I wish I had a camera to see the expression on my face. I knew this was a part of the tumor. I took pictures of it, placing it beside a shampoo bottle so you could see how big it was. it was four inches long, six and a half inches around, and about six ounces. I brought it in to my obgyn so she could see it and said it was the biggest tumor she's ever seen self-delivered. The surgery did its job, causing the tumor to die off, but I still had bad, bad pain and a lot of blood loss. So I had the hysterectomy. I don't regret it, but I always think, "what if I hadn't had insurance? What if I'd been fired right after the first surgery?" I think about these things, because I am absolutely disgusted and horrified that I live in a country that is so wealthy, yet if you go to local businesses, you see flyers for hog roast benefits to help pay for someone's medical expenses. Does anyone reading this think this is absolutely disgusting and shameful? Does anyone else think it's pathetic to see cans on counters begging for spare change because someone's child has cancer and they don't have insurance? Or are we so heartless in this country that we adapt the attitude (as one of my co-workers has) that "we all have to die sometime"? People criticize socialized medicine because they think the quality of care will go down. Based on my experience, can it really get much worse? My sister-in-law was misdiagnosed. She was having high fevers, but they kept telling her it was the flu. Drenched in sweat, she crawled to the room my brother was sleeping in (he didn't want to be drenched in sweat) and told him she had to go to the ER, this wasn't the flu. Turned out to be a heart infection. Whoops. So she is taking medicine intraveneously for six weeks. Best health care in the world, my ass! Yet you will find people with health problems, or courting health problems who don't think we should have a nationalized health plan. I can't understand why people think health is evil, or wanting people to have coverage is evil. Could they look into their children's faces ( assuming they don't have health insurance) and deny their children's illnesses? Would anyone have the balls to tell their kid, "everyone has to die sometime?" But at the same time, I look around me, and I wonder if Americans deserve health care at all. People want to do whatever they want, and not worry about the consequences. One of my co-workers is totally aginst socialzed medicine, but smokes. What are the odds if she winds up with lung cancer that she will want every life-saving measure out there to be available to her? And does that make her a hypocrite if she gets chemo, but continues to smoke, like another co-worker does? I'm sorry, but if you smoke, and you get lung cancer, and you're getting chemo, but STILL continue to smoke, you are a hypocrite, and you are wasting money. If I were in charge of an insurance company, I would deny any cancer treatment if you have a history of smoking. The last time I checked, smoking was not a part of the four food groups. And yet my own mother smoked, and Medicare paid for her bladder removal surgery (she had cancer of the bladder, which really surprised her) and her hysterectomy. It bought her six more years of life, but she had to glue a plastic bag on her abdomen so she could get rid of her urine. She joked that now she could pee standing up. But if she hadn't smoked for 50 years, would she still be alive now? Where would I have ended up? I would not have been a truck driver had she stayed alive. She was terrified of big trucks, and I know I would not have tried truck driving if she'd been alive. Would I still have my tumor? Or would I have found other work with insurance that would have taken care of it? The problem is, Americans don't want to take responsibility for their actions. Even conservatives against social programs are the first in line to demand disability because they are 400 or 500 pounds and they either can't find work, or they are developing physical problems so they can't work at all. Yes, they "paid" into the system, so they are entitled to benefits, but you can't convince me that working 15 or 20 years and paying into the system is enough to give them $1200 a month living expenses, plus pay for all the medical services they will need. I had a friend who died last September, and he was 43 years old. I don't know how many years he was on disability, but I wonder how much he paid into the system, versus how much money was used to support him. Then, there's Ida May Fuller, who paid into Social Security when she was 63, and retired two years later, at 65. She paid something like $24.75 total, over a period of two years, and when she retired, she lived another 35 years. Over that period of time, she received nearly $29,000 in Social Security, which is a 1000 percent return on investment. That's pretty damn good. This is an extreme case, but it's something to think about. Yes, you may have "paid" into the system, but in my opinion, if the only income you have is a check that says "U.S. Treasury" on it, you are being supported by the government. Which means there are people out there who are getting SS taxes deduced from their checks to support YOU. It's a great big Ponzi system. It may have been a good idea, and I would like to see it continue, but if we don't have enough people working to deduct taxes from, then what? I have an IRA and 401 K, but there's hardly anything in both of them. Part of it is my own fault, jumping from crap job to crap job, but I think I am on the right track now, and hope to further my education so I have a job I enjoy which pays well. If I have to work until I'm 75, I damn well want to be doing something I don't hate. One of my biggest fears is to be stuck at age 65, working retail, and depressed that I won't be able to get hired anywhere else. Maybe Americans DON'T deserve health care. I despair over my weight, and I've got to do something, instead of saying I'm going to do something. Stop eating out, eat more fruits and vegetables, do more intense workouts. I had to go to RediMed for a bout with poison ivy, and I'm the heaviest I've ever been, plus my blood pressure is higher than normal. It could be because I'm drinking caffeinated pop again, it could be the weight gain, even though sometimes I eat maybe once or twice a day. It's not like I devour a cake a day, or an entire bag of chips at one setting. But I've got to do something. Because I'm scared. I'm tired of looking at my fat self in the mirror, and wondering how much time I have left before my knees start going, or I develop heart problems or diabetes. Or maybe I can just say "fuck it" and gain another 150 or 200 pounds and try and get disability. It's disheartening to realize the obesity problem, but depressing to see people not care that they look like human bowling balls. I'm really tired of seeing people who are really, really fat. What the hell happened? Are the additives in food so bad it's contributing to the obesity problem? I really wouldn't be surprised if there were. Or do we just plain eat too much? I cut back on my work schedule because it was stressing me out. I realized that having more time was important to me, and I think I made the right decision. I'm exercising more, and while I haven't lost weight, I feel stronger and feel like I have more stamina. Since I hate to cook, it would make sense for me to stock up on fruits and veggies that I didn't have to cook (cooking takes the nutrients out of veggies anyway) and just eat those, maybe making a meat dish twice a week. I'm saving for a juicer, because I saw a movie called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." It was a documentary about an Australian, a wealthy businessman, who went on a two-month juice fast, talking to people in New York City for a month, then traveling across the United States demonstrating the juice he was living on. He was able to reduce his meds big time, as well as lose about 80 pounds in the process and feel much better. I dread having to be on medicine anyway, and try to avoid it. And I also have a problem with doctors. I had a rash on my had for literally decades. It would come and go, but it would go away when I used a steroid based ointment on my hands. Once the ointment was gone, the rash would come back. The doctor who prescribed it said the rash could be caused by one of several hundred things. He didn't ask me about my diet, or anything I might be touching. One day, I was looking at a magazine cover, and it asked the question, "are you bloated and trying to lose weight?" I was, and bought the magazine. It listed a condition called candida, where yeast grows like crazy in the intestines, once one ingests a little bit of sugar. I happened to be eating a LOT of sugar at the time, so I did what the article said. I cut back on my sugar, started taking L-Glutamine ($17 a bottle) and started eating foods that would combat the candida. And in a week, my hand rash I'd had for decades was GONE. For less than $30, I'd cured myself. And I'm not even a fucking doctor! Which makes me think that most doctors just don't care. They will prescribe the medicine, without taking a good look at what ails you. Or hell, who knows? Maybe the doctor assumed that if he told me to cut back on the sugar and take a supplement, I would have said, "fuck that, give me the ointment." At $95 a tube (and me uninsured) I would have opted for the supplement and not as much sugar. So yes, socialized medicine isn't perfect, but neither is what supposedly qualifies as "health care" in this so-called great land of ours. I think the answer lies in better nutrition. But you don't make much money off healthy people. You make money off the sick. And in showering us with ever bigger proportions (you want the most you can get for your food dollar after all) we are getting bigger and bigger. And more diabetic. And more obese. And getting heart problems, and bone problems, and so on, and so forth. In a lot of cases, the choice is up to Americans. Stop eating crap and start exercising. What's that? You don't like people telling you what to do? Okay, fine. Keep smoking, keep subsiding on your Little Debbie snack cake and pita chip diet. Only, realize that you need to face the consequences. If' I'd known what caused my tumor, I might have been able to do something about it. I asked both my doctors, and they said they don't know what causes fibroid tumors. I suspect decades of drinking cola might have something to do with it. Maybe I'll never know. But I'm convinced that perhaps 50-70 percent of health problems could be avoided by eating properly. I know this, yet I find it hard to resist the lure of Coca-Cola and chips, or fries at McDonald's. It's hard. It really is. But I don't want to end up in a nursing home because of bad health. Maybe I'm doomed anyway. But no matter what, I want to be able to live life, and ski and walk and jog and ride horses and do those things for as long as I can. Because I found it very depressing that the only person interested in going skiing with me was a co-worker in his early 60s. Don't get me wrong; we had a great time and I'd like to go skiing with him again, but when friends your own age are too fat/scared/lazy to ski with you, and your skiing companion is not only 20 years older than you, but in better shape than you or any of your friends, it's sort of mind-boggling.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time to Work on Getting Poison Ivy

Whoa! I haven't been here in a while, so I've noticed there have been some changes. These will take getting used to. Obviously, I haven't done much by way of blogging. I've had more time to write, but unfortunately, I've spent more time on Facebook and generally checking sales on and my YouTube account. I'm down to three jobs now, all of them part time. I have more time to do stuff, and that stuff is house-related. I worked on the front lawn, and trimmed that up a bit, with the help of my neighbor. So Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, I decided to tackle the back lawn, despite the heat. I filled up two lawn waste bags, and set them out in the driveway. Then, the next day, the itching started. And the swelling. Yes, there's poison ivy in the back yard, and I guess I was too dumb to realize it. Yesterday, I broke down and went to RediMed. I've gained weight, and my blood pressure is up, despite exercising more. Since I was self-pay (my new insurance will not send out cards unless I call them, how fucked up is that?) the physician's assistant said she could give me a shot, or give me steroids. At $7.17 per prescription (thanks to the discount card RediMed handed me) I opted for the steroids. I don't know if it's the poison ivy, or what, but I've felt blah. The sudden extreme heat didn't help, but I feel as if I need another vacation, even though I had eight days off (not in a row) a couple weeks ago where I did get some things accomplished. And what's more, I seem to have turned into a couch potato, and I don't really care that the house is a complete mess, and there's plenty I can do. I don't seem to feel so scared about dying anymore, though. The last couple of months, I've had that fear for some reason, that time seems to be moving faster and faster and faster, and there's not a damn thing I can do about that. Perhaps I've reached a climax, and have just said, "fuck it," at least for now. The steroids have not triggered any extremes of energy or appetite. I kinda looked forward to being on Prednisone, because the last time I was on it, I was the happiest I'd ever been in my adult life. Full of energy and ambition, I can understand why people take illegal steroids. It's great to feel great, and when you are negative and on the depressing side, to feel such euphoria is quite novel. Kind of like a homeless person stepping into Madonna's life for a few weeks. There's other stuff going on two, which I won't go into here. but I was surprised that I've been getting page views. Not a huge number, but I wonder if anyone does read these things. Of course, it WOULD help if I posted more than twice a year...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 The Fort Wayne Reader was kind enough to do a story on my short story collection. Check it out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

'Hunger' Satisfies

I apologize for not writing in the blog for a while. I published my collection of short stories, and now I’m in the process of promotion. Plus, I’m now working four jobs. So I’m busy.
But I took time out to see “The Hunger Games.” I’d not read the book, but I was excited about the movie. I haven’t been this excited about a film in decades. I flew out of work the Sunday of opening weekend like a bat out of hell and made it to the theater in a matter of minutes. I called a friend of mine, and she said she’d make it for the 4:30 p.m. showing. I’d never seen a movie theater that had seven screens devoted to just ONE film.
Was it worth the hype? Yeah, I think so. There were parallels between the movie and modern society: reality shows captivate the nation, we are obsessed with food, and we welcome a distraction from politicians fucking everything up, and chipping away at our rights year after year. Poor people have been dying in battles instigated by the rich since time began. I can totally see a scenario like “The Hunger Games” happening in the not so distant future.
In case you’ve been living in a cave, here’s a synopsis: in Panem, formerly North America, there is a yearly reaping, where children aged 12-18 are chosen to participate in The Hunger Games. Think of it as a draft with no opportunity to dodge it. A boy and a girl are chosen from each of the twelve districts. Twenty four competitors who fight to the death. Only one can win.
Except in these particular games, the evil game masters change the rules midway through. This enables Katniss Everdeen, a compassionate girl who cares deeply for her mother and younger sister, to form an alliance with Peeta, a baker’s son who reveals his crush on Katniss during a talk show which introduces each of the tributes to the nation. At the very last minute, when the two of them are left, the rules change again, and the masters expect one victor. However, despite the unleashing of mutant creatures into the area, and the elimination of the third-to-last competitor, Katniss figures a way out for both of them. Bear in mind this is a trilogy, so I won’t reveal what happens at the end, but it is satisfying, romantic, and ironic.
Women are getting a bad rap these days, but Katniss could be the poster girl for the feminist movement. She is sympathetic, compassionate, and cares deeply about her mother and sister. She forms a temporary alliance with a young competitor, whom she probably sees as someone like her sister. When the young competitor is killed, she places flowers in her hands. Katniss would rather not kill, but if she has to do it, she will. She has mad survival skills, yet defies the Capitol and ends up winning support from the nation by just being herself. She tips a salute to a hidden camera after the District 11 tribute dies, and as a result, some of the citizens there revolt. Katniss risks her life to get medicinal ointment to heal Peeta’s wounds. He begged her not to, but she does so, and returns. Thankfully, they don’t put Katniss in skimpy outfits.
Stanley Tucci plays a flamboyant Games host, and he’s in his element. Woody Harrelson plays a sort of coach/mentor who drinks a lot. Whatever Harrelson is doing, he looked, as a friend of mine said, “beautiful.” I don’t really go for blonds, but Woody looked yummy, as did Wes Bentley, who was in charge of the games. I’ve been fascinated by him ever since he played the creepy, calm, but sympathetic next-door-neighbor in “American Beauty.” He’s what I would describe as psychotically beautiful.
The costuming and makeup were way out there--think 1980s clothing and wacky eye shadow on steroids AND cocaine. Incidentally, only the wealthy people who live in the Capitol have the over-the-top clothes and accessories.
For all the technology in the movie, the tributes in District 12 are chosen by pulling names out of a fishbowl. I thought this was a little odd, but whatever. About the only real complaint I have about the movie was all the hand-held camera work. It made the movie literally difficult to watch. I suppose it gave the movie a “you are here” kind of feel, but it was distracting.
I didn’t read the book before seeing the movie. I easily could have, but I wanted to avoid a possible “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” fiasco. I read the book before seeing that movie, and it left me wondering just what book they based that movie on. There were so many changes, it ruined the movie. Had I not read the book ahead of time, I might have thought it was a cute movie, but changing Jude and Vile Richard’s wedding for a renewal of Bridget’s parents’ wedding vows was just WRONG. Also, instead of playing up the relationship between Mark Darcy and Rebecca, Rebecca just ends up having a crush on Bridget. But it’s a safe bet to say I will be buying a copy of “The Hunger Games” soon, if not also buying the other media tie-ins as well.
The movie also didn’t descend into sappy romance or make Katniss appear helpless. I wasn’t into “Twilight” or “Harry Potter,” but I’m excited and happy that at last, there is a movie series that I can enjoy and talk about. Post apocalyptic young adult fiction gets me going. Katniss is scared, but she fights the good fight. “The Hunger Games” could be a metaphor for life itself: no one gets out alive, but there are certain ways of playing the game, certain behaviors and skills to help you keep alive as long as possible. Aside from the deeper issues the movie brings up, it’s a hell of a ride. If nothing else, I expect a huge spike in the number of people interested in archery. Katniss’ image seems to be everywhere; the string of her bow a shadow across her cheek. It’s both romantic and noble, and despite the cruelty of this movie and the unsettling scenes, fighting the good fight and not descending to the level of animals, even though the people in charge would love nothing more for you to do just that, is the overriding theme of this movie. This is a lesson that all of us, not just teenagers, can learn from.