Little Miss Sunshine

This won't be a huge movie review, because I'm still recovering from the emotional catharsis I experienced during this movie. Yes, it was hilarious, but parts of the movie also had me sobbing. (I believe I've documented this before, but just in case I haven't: I'm a big sap who cries at everything.) Excellent performances all around; the stand-out for me was Paul Dano, who played Dwayne, the teenage son of Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear.

Anyway - you should go see it if you haven't already.


Sometimes I feel like this:

    Tonight is one of those nights. I'm cranky, frustrated, angry, and I don't know what to do with myself. I think I need to lock myself in a room somewhere until I'm ready to be with human beings again.



If someone in your household just got a necklace, and she accidentally dropped it down the drain in the bathroom sink, how does one use a monkey wrench to open the pipe underneath the sink? And why does my pipe have no problem going righty-tighty but it refuses to go lefty-loosey?

Shining up some apples

Tomorrow evening I go back to school again.

I love school. In high school, I used to make a show of complaining about, just like everyone else did, but my favorite day of the week during my senior year was Tuesday: I had literary magazine before school (7-7:45 a.m.), regular day of school (7:50-2:00), drama club after school (2:30-6pm), and then an hour break until Chamber singers at 7pm, which went until 9:30 p.m. On the hour break, all of the drama club members who were also in Chamber singers would go out to dinner together.

I didn't love every minute of the day - my second period was History, which was an easy A for me, so I slept during that class. My third period was Chemistry, which I only survived because I chose my lab partner wisely.

Now that I'm studying something I love with a passion, I love school even more. Yes, I have 2 more pesky math classes to get through, but after that, it's nothing but music.

I had a dream last night

I had a dream that I had a device that showed me where my favorite bloggers lived, and it turned out that konagod only lived a couple of houses away from me. In my dream, I could tell that I was aware that konagod lived so close by for months, but I couldn't work up the courage to go say hello.

So one sunny day, I had a bunch of paper, and I decided that it would make a nice gift for konagod, so I stopped by his house. It was sort of a farmhouse, but in a very suburban neighborhood, with a small front yard that was close to the road. I stepped down the walk, climbed a couple of stairs to the front porch, and the door opened as I got there.

The person opening the door was me, with a child holding my hand. I told myself that konagod was going to be nothing like I expected, and I headed out. I also climbed the stairs, and when I got to the landing, I looked up, and there was konagod. Except in my dream, konagod was nothing like his picture, he was more like Anderson Cooper, with silvery hair and a blue dress shirt and gray slacks.

"Maureen!" he said, "we've been expecting you!"

Even in my dream, I was disappointed that I wasn't able to surprise konagod.

"This is txrad," he said, and he pointed me towards a giant of a man, someone who appeared to be about 7 feet tall, with a sweet baby face.

Dream konagod led me back down the stairs, and instead of ending up at the front door, we ended up in this big party room, with shag carpeting and a bar, and a band was set up. And then konagod turned into The Minstrel Boy, although he still looked like Anderson Cooper, and he started to play some blues music.

And then my alarm went off.


Going back to New Orleans

My cousin is one of the people who left New Orleans before Katrina hit. They had the resources to get out, so they did. They settled in North Carolina, where my aunt (his mother) lives.

My cousin is a devout Catholic, and his new church in NC took good care of him and his family. They helped him find a job and a house; they helped him find a special school for his 14 year old son, who has autism, severe enough that he doesn't speak. But now they are going back. His wife is a native of NO, and she wants to go back to her home.

My cousin is not dealing with this well. He doesn't want to go back. He doesn't want to sacrifice the new life he's built in NC. He doesn't want to be in the path of another hurricane. He doesn't want to have to try to start over again.

I don't know how my cousin feels about the way the Bush administration (mis)handled Katrina - both with the lack of response prior to the hurricane hitting and to the response to the levees breaking. I know that the thought of going back, of being in the same position again has triggered some kind of trauma in cousin, who is in therapy to deal with his anger about going back to NO.


Added to blogroll

My friend Hazel's blog, Let's Fold Scarves. I love that movie. And she shares my love (some call it obsession, but it's much more pure than that) for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

unnecessary warnings

When the cover art of your CD looks like this:

I would argue that the Parental Advisory Notice is superfluous.



I adored this song when I was a teenager. It's hard to feel like anything other than a caterpillar when you are a fat, lonely, confused 14 year old girl.


Bad News

I went to the mall tonight. But that's not my bad news.

Sio wanted to do a little back to school shopping, and I wanted to inquire about wireless service (fully 78% of the stores and kiosks in the mall are wireless providers), so we went to the local mall.

My bad news is this: the 80s are back.

Not only was I having acid flashbacks* just from stepping through the threshold of H&M, but I also saw individual people walking around in unfortunate clothes ripped from my adolescence.

I saw pegged pants.

I saw striped tops (bold color and white, bold color and neutral.

I saw Flashdance sweatshirts.

I saw Gauchos, people. Gauchos. And I'm not talking about Argentine cowboys.

Why must we relive the fashion tragedies of the past?

*I never actually took acid. I attribute the flashback to the night I spent with my best friend, who did take a hit of acid, and then tried to put her hand through a plate glass window because it looked juicy. A vicarious acid trip, but a very real flashback.


Half My Life

I just realized today that it was 18 years ago, when I was 18 years old, that Loki and I moved in together. Maybe not this exact date, but right around now, the end of August, 1988. I've been with the same person half my life. More than half my life. Shoot, I was 17 years old when I fell in love with him at first sight. He didn't fall in love with me at first sight, but I made sure we spent enough time together that I would be there when he was ready to fall.

Some days, it is effortless and easy to be married. Other days, I feel like divorce is not nearly final enough, and death (his death, anyway) is the only way out. (I'm sure he could not make the same claim, as I am a source of constant joy.)

Maybe I'll make Oodles of Noodles for dinner, to remind him of the good old days.


Things I need

I need a digital camera or possibly a camera phone. I know that sounds more like a want, which would mean I should add it to the post below, but I'm convinced it is a necessity.

For example, if I had a digital camera, I could take a picture of this ginormous truck that arrives at work the same time I do everyday. It's some kind of 4x4, wide-hipped truck with extra tires on the back wheels. It's not a Hummer, but it has the same affect. And on the back window, there is a Terrorist Hunting Permit, so the driver can let everyone know what kind of badass he is.

And I want to take a picture of this monstrosity after the driver of the vehicle gets out. The driver is an attorney who is roughly my height, which might actually make him a little person. He's diminutive. He's tiny. He's wee. Other words that could be used to accurately describe him: dweeby, nebbish, geeky, nerdy.

I just laugh at the level of overcompensation the vehicle is making for the man. And I can't help but wonder if he's like one of those men who wears a toupee. Look in the mirror, man. Be who you really are. Embrace your nebbishy inner dweeb. Put a Starfleet Academy sticker on the back of your Honda Civic and let go of your fuel burning external penis substitute.

Things I Want

Everything on this page

A housecleaner

a storage bench on my back porch

For Loki to get rid of all his cars

I'd love this house, but I'd certainly settle for this apartment.

a cute little Vespa

That is all for now.

Another friend added

I have now added the divine Lisa Ash to my Friends and Family blogroll. I don't want to raise anyone's expectations for her blog, but Lisa Ash is possibly the funniest person I've ever met in my life.

Hyp-mu-tized; plus, my boring suburban life

I am incredibly suggestible when it comes to music. My family has begun to use this against me. This weekend, Loki got me to start singing "I Touch Myself" in public, just by humming a few bars of it earlier in the day. And now Monkey has started to sing little bits of songs that I hate, just so she can laugh at me when an hour or so later, I start humming the hated tune.

I blame my mother.


This weekend, Monkey and I went to the mall. I know, already it's so boring and suburban, and I haven't even mentioned the fact that I got a Prescriptives makeover (Prescriptives, the makeup that sounds like medicine!) and Monkey spent $20 hard earned bucks at a store I find personally offensive, Libby Lu. I pray she grows out of her fascination with the tweenage lifestyle marketed by Disney. Why, when I was a youngers, there was no such thing as tweens - you went from infant (0-2) to toddler (2-3.8) to kid (3.9-12) to teenager (13-18). At that point, most people go into their drunken college years, but I went straight to motherhood. I fully intend to go through my drunken college years in my 40s.

But now there is this whole industry preying on tweens (t'aint a kid, t'aint a teen, just somewhere in beTWEEN). I try very hard not to freak out about it - I survived the Valley Girl years and being a Durannie, this too shall pass.


In other boring suburban news, Sio and I are going to redo the kitchen. That means that Sio will be priming and painting, and I will be paying. We have a chair rail that runs along the wall, well north of where any chair would be, and everything above that will be green, everything below will be blue, and the trim is a vanilla cream color. In addition, my father is going to redo the laminate counters, to a color called "ubatuba granite". Except it won't be granite, it will be formica, because granite is fucking expensive.

I am quite possibly the laziest and most indecisive decorator ever, so if this actually happens, it will be amazing.


In other news, Sio got a job! She was offered another job at a vet's office, but she couldn't accommodate the hours they wanted her to be there, so instead she's working at our local market. She can walk there, and they aren't open crazy hours or holidays, so it should work out okay.



I've made some changes to the blogroll. If you feel I've been too forward in thinking of you as a friend, please let me know.

In addition, I added three blogs from my moms group: Casa In The Ghetto, This Little Blog of Mine, and Way To Busy. CitG is written by Terra, who I love and adore, even though I've never met her. I just recently met Liana, who writes Way To Busy, and she is delightful to talk to. Connie writes This Little Blog of Mine, which will likely be the only conservative blog on my roll for the forseeable future. She's an amazing person who I disagree with on a million different things, but I have a great deal of affection and admiration for her.

(Sidebar: Leslie, please send me your link again.)



While I was ambling through various blogs this evening, I came across Brendan Loy, a kid from Newington, CT, who used to be a Democrat, but has come to believe that Democrats don't take terrorism seriously because...I'm not exactly sure why, I think he believes that bombs and guns and eliminating the basic protections the Constitution guarantees us are the only ways to defeat terrorism. He's got plenty of right-wing snakes whispering in his ear in the comments of his blog, decrying the more left-wing commenters for their stupidity and immaturity and ignorance (at the same time, referring to those left-wing commenters as crazy moonbats, which is clearly the height of maturity and intelligent analysis.)

So I started thinking about terrorism. First of all, I do think the threat that terrorists pose needs to be taken seriously. If someone wants to attack my country, I am 150% behind stopping that person/s. But I think it needs to be done smartly, and it needs to be done in a way that doesn't give the terrorist groups a big win by making American people less free. It's a tough thing to balance, no doubt about it.

Terrorists can do a hell of a lot of damage, and we must take them seriously, but the first thing to do when you are in trouble, any kind of trouble, is to NOT PANIC. I think sacrificing the civil liberties of American citizens is panicking. I think indefinitely holding detainees is panicking. I sure as hell think letting the bombs fly is panicking. (Actually, my personal theory is that war is always a failure. Not that it's always unnecessary, although I long for a day when we find another way to settle our differences. Sometimes, war is necessary. But it's a failure. And how can one NOT be cynical about the Bush administration when one examines how eagerly they chomped at the bit to go to war. They wanted every diplomatic effort to fail so they could realize their fantasies of metamorphosing the Middle East into a democratic wonderland...if one is willing to believe that they even thought that was possible or desirable. Yes, I'm cynical about the Bush administration, as anyone who pays attention to the news should be.)

Right now, I think what's happening is we are killing some terrorists, while laying down fertilizer to grow new ones in the future. When an American bomb kills a bunch of Iraqi men, those dead men don't stop having loved ones, and those loved ones aren't going to forget who sent that bomb.

So how do we end terrorism? Well, we don't. No one can. It is inevitable that a group with limited reach and power who is taking on another group with vast reach and power is going to resort to terrorist means to inflict the most damage they can. But I'll be damned if I'm going to be a terrorist victim and submit to their desire to terrorize me. That doesn't mean I think we should strap on the weapons and start shooting down mosques. I really don't know the best possible solution. I suppose the same techniques that have worked in the past will continue to work.

(To those who would suggest that we can't just stamp out hornets nests as they crop up, but that we need to bring in an exterminator to kill them all, how does that argument lead to anything but genocide? Even terrorists have people who love them, and perhaps will find themselves radicalized when the terrorist they love is killed. So you'd have to do it the way they used to take down emperors. Kill the emperor, kill those loyal to him, kill his family, kill his friends, kill his heirs. Except it's not quite the same when it's an amorphous group of people, all of whom have people who are loyal to them, family, friends and heirs.)

In the meantime, I will continue to vote for and support candidates who will defend me against my domestic enemies, like those who want to control my uterus, those who want to teach unprovable and unscientific religious dogma in science classrooms, those who want to allow corporations to control my life in and out of work, those who think that I should pay more taxes than a multi-millionaire, those who want to let companies be free to destroy the environment, those who want to control what I can watch on TV and read in the library, those who want my brilliant daughters to settle for a limited menu of choices in life, etc., etc., etc.

And I would urge Brendan Loy to stop being the victim of terrorism. Wake up, son. If the Bush administration hasn't botched everything they've laid their hands on deliberately, then they are singularly incompetent, and the Republicans want more of the same. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and if we just lash out in fear, we aren't really solving anything.


I am cranky

I am on the verge of not allowing anyone else to drive my car. Call me crazy, but people still die in their cars, right? So if your car needs new tires, and it's raining, don't you think it's just common sense to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN?! and keep some space between you and the car in front of you?

Apparently, though, if you are sitting in the backseat, and you point this common sense information out, you are just a panicky control freak.

There are some days when I would just like to run away from home.


Another bullshit vote

Okay, this one isn't earth shattering, but Nina, Michael, Heidi, ugly tanned hide lady....how could you get rid of my sweet Allison Kelly? And let Crazy Vincent with his Mitch + Christopher Walken speaking style stay?

I'm very disappointed in these results.


You didn't hear it from me

But Sio has a blog. You should visit it and comment, but don't tell her I sent you.


Random Flickr Blogging: IMG_5929

This is an unusually ugly kitten. But not the ugliest kitten I've ever seen. The ugliest kitten I've ever seen came to live in our house about 4 years ago. She was not quite 3 weeks old, and we saved her from the husband of one of my co-workers who was going to run her over to "put her out of her misery." Sick bastard.

We brought home this almost 3 week old kitten, and I was not sure we had done the right thing. She had no hair on her face. She had worms. Sio was awake around the clock, getting baby formula into the ugly kitten's body. And then we realized she was sinking fast. We took her to the vet, and $400, she was all better.

Loki, notorious cheapskate that he is, called her $400 for a while. She grew into a tiny cat, and didn't grow any hair on her face for almost a year.

$400 was eventually named Madouc, after a character in a Jack Vance novel. Madouc was a changeling the fairies left with the evil king Casimir. She was mischievous and a bit of a troublemaker. The name fit the cat.

We all adore Madouc now. She is a little piglet, and if there is no food in her dish, we will sometimes see her tail poking out of the cat food container. She has a little rubber ball that she carries to the top of the stairs so she can drop it and chase after it. She is learning to be less skittish around us, and it's a delight when she pushes her head against yours, purring.

I don't have any pictures of Madouc, but she looks almost exactly like the calico cat in the foreground of this picture.


Stopped clock, and all

I have to give them credit: the Freepers were actually right about something when they made those "Sore Loserman" signs.

"The old politics of partisan polarization won today," Lieberman said. "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand."

"Tomorrow morning our campaign will file the necessary petitions … so that we can continue this campaign for a new politics of unity and purpose."

Apparently, Lieberman isn't familiar with the party who currently has control of all three branches of our federal government. The party that is partisan, and so polarizing, that they take possession of office even when they've lost. I wonder if that's where Joe got his idea from.

And, gosh, I don't remember him being so determined to win WHEN HE ACTUALLY WON THE FUCKING ELECTION IN 2000!! Nope, then Joe was all about showing his belly to the bullies.

You know, sometimes I wonder if Joe really believes that he's just a good and honest man, taking a stand against the vicious politics of our day. Maybe he just doesn't see that he's helping the party that is killing democracy.

Good call, Freepers. Joe Lieberman is one hell of a sore loser. But only when he's losing to a Democrat.


Close one, but a win for the good guys!

This turned out to be a real nailbiter (literally, in my case) of a primary, but Lamont has prevailed.

WTF is going on with Veteran's information?

Another computer containing information on the medical records of thousands of veterans has gone missing.

I don't even know where to begin with my questions. I can only say: WTF? Any ideas on why some one/agency/thing/entity might be so interested in the medical records of veterans?


I love to vote

Tomorrow morning, Monkey and I will head to our polling place and pull a couple of levers with names above them. At some point in the day, Loki will do the same. As will my mother, father, sisters, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, and co-workers (I work in the public sector, everyone in our office votes, and we only have two Republicans (one of whom had to switch his party affiliation to get appointed to a post he was uniquely qualified for...shades of Communism).

I want to go early because I want to be the first one in my office to say I voted for Lamont. I want to wear my "I Voted Today" sticker so I can remind other, less-obsessive Democrats that today is the day to decide the course our party is going to take; whether we will continue to dodge our well-armed domestic opponents with our own weapons sheathed, or whether we're righteously mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

For me, a vote for Lamont is not just about the war. On the petty side, I have a personal grudge against Lieberman because no one on his staff ever read a single letter I sent them. No matter what I sent them, I would get an e-mail (usually 6 or 8 weeks later) thanking me for my support of the Senator. He's taken me for granted, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

But I'll confirm the worst fears of the right-wingers: for this Democrat, my vote for Lamont is also a vote against Bush. I hate everything the Bush administration has done to my country. They are destroying everything that is good about this country, and Joe Lieberman still acts like they are just gentlemen having a gentlemen's disagreement. If Joe is so clueless that he can't see the Republican Party is trying to destroy their opposition - not just defeat the Democrats electorally, but to obliterate us - then Joe is not smart enough to represent Connecticut Democrats in Washington.

After all, Connecticut is the Constitution State. It was the Connecticut Constitution that Thomas Jefferson used as a template for the United States Constitution. The same Constitition that the Bush Administration has been assaulting ever since they cheated their way into the Oval Office. Connecticut deserves better. Let's make August 8, 2006 a volley against the domestic enemies of our Constitution. Vote for Ned Lamont.


Lieberman/Lamont gossip

A prominent CT Democrat, an elected official in state government, did not have his mind made up about who he was going to vote for as of Thursday evening. I can't help but think this is bad news for Lieberman.

(I heard this secondhand from a person I trust, who spoke with this prominent Democratic elected official Thursday evening.)



The Minstrel Boy tagged me, and I won't complain because I love being tagged - it makes me feel like people are thinking about me, and that makes me happy.

1. One book that has changed your life.
Tough one. While I am easily enthralled with new ideas, changing my life requires a great deal of effort, and I'm not sure any book has moved me thus. I guess I'll go with Cider House Rules by John Irving, if only because I was moderately pro-choice before reading it, but strongly pro-choice afterwards.

2. One book you have read more than once.
I read lots of books more than once, but for the purpose of illustration, I'll offer To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read it as a child and enjoyed the adventures of Scout and Jem and Dill. I read it again as an adult and discovered a whole other book, one about justice and character.

3. One book you would want on a Desert Island
The Riverside Shakespeare.

4. One book that made you laugh.
Good Omens by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. There are lots of others.

5. One book you wish you had written.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, because that would mean I made a great contribution to juvenile literature while also becoming fabulously wealthy.

6. One book you wish had never been written.
Dianetics. I am prejudiced against Scientologists.

7. One book that made you cry.
I cry at everything, but I cried the most at A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving.

8. One book you are currently reading.
I'm currently reading two: Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs and Stiff by Mary Roach.

9. One book you've been meaning to read.
The Life of Pi

10. One book you wish everybody would read.
I don't think I have a recommendation here.