January 30, 2005
After that, I spent some years not really thinking about faith or believing in God. This last year, however, I’ve been experimenting with Wiccanism. I love the idea of communing with nature as a way of worship. I love the tactility of candles and incense and water and wine, and kneeling in the dark while someone mutters an incantation. Ironically, all of these are important both in Wiccan rituals and Catholic ones.
My quiz results showed me to be 100% liberal Protestant—I guess I haven’t gotten as far away from the beliefs I was raised on as I thought. I’m also 98% Unitarian Universalist—I’ve always been drawn to UU, but there’s never been a church in my town. I’m only 17% Roman Catholic, which surprised me; I figured that would still rank pretty high on my list. I was a little disappointed to only be 73% Neo-Pagan. I guess that’s because all the non-nature stuff lots of Wiccans use, like crystals and Tarot cards, just make me want to laugh. I admit, I’m not a very good Wiccan. Much as I want to worship nature, I’m actually not a very nature-y person. I hate camping. I’m not fond of bugs or dirt, and I love room service.
I turned out 34% Jainist, whatever that is. Apparently Jainists believe that after you reach enlightenment, you become a god. Cool.
You would think that my mother’s Alzheimer’s would have pushed me back toward some kind of religion, so that I could believe in some afterlife where we will get to be together again someday, but it hasn’t. I wonder about that sometimes—maybe it means I really am an atheist, although I hope not. I want to believe in God, I just can’t seem to. And the rules of every religion I’ve tried just make me laugh—I always want to ask, “Do you really think God’s that petty?” I want to want to be a part of a nice, cozy congregation, but I just can’t. I guess I’ll go light a candle and try to meditate on the snow.
January 29, 2005
January 27, 2005
I'm not feeling particularly merciful today because my sister rode that very train for many years, and only stopped a few months ago when she changed jobs. She could easily have been killed. Perhaps instead of putting this guy out of his misery, we could keep him restrained so he can't hurt himself for the rest of his life, and let him live with untreated depression and whatever other psychoses he may have. I realize that in real life, that's more or less what will happen, given the slowness of the judicial system, but maybe a friendly judge could make it official at the trial.
January 26, 2005
Comcast representative: Hold on.
[Fifteen minutes pass]
Me: Um, are you still there?
Rep: Yeah. Hold on.
[Ten minutes pass]
Me: Hello? Anyone?
Rep: Yeah. Is your modem plugged in?
Rep [typing]: I'm running a scan of your system. Is the standby light blinking?
Me: There is no standby light.
Rep: Huh? What do you mean, no standby light?
Me: No. Standby. Light.
Rep: Um, well, push the button on the modem.
Me: The modem doesn't have any buttons.
Rep: No buttons? Um, hold on. [type type type] I'm showing that everything is fine with your system.
Me: Well, it was just running slow, but now I seem to have no Internet access whatsoever. Good job on that. [Bitter rage begins to swell within my heaving breast.]
Rep: Yeah, we'll have to send out a tech. I have an appointment available next Tuesday. But really, as far as I can tell, everything is fine.
[My shrieks of impotent rage fill the atmosphere.]
Me: Tuesday will be fine.
January 22, 2005
All right, all right, stop laughing. Last night I had the news on while making dinner, and the announcement of a story about a new infertility treatment caught my ear, so I sat down to watch it. It was a report about a new drug, Leptin, which apparently helps start ovulation. Yay, right? Yay! Now, that really is a good thing, and I'm not knocking it by any means. However, the news story really irked me. The reporter had managed to find a woman to interview who needed Leptin--a model who was tall and gorgeous, and who didn't ovulate because she worked out constantly and was so skinny that she hadn't menstruated in fifteen years. Are you fucking kidding me? Now, I know there are high-metabolism folks out there who are naturally underweight, and I'm sure it's a serious problem, but couldn't they find an interview subject whose anovulation couldn't have been solved by simply EATING?? And maybe not spending six hours a day at the gym? How about someone who is at the correct weight and is perfectly healthy but didn't have a period for a year for no fucking reason whatsoever? How about her?
January 20, 2005
January 19, 2005
Why fifteen days, you ask? Well, let's just say that 10 hours sitting at a dusty airport in Afganistan, then 5 hours in a UN cargo plane, then another 14 hours in a regular plane, then some more hours in an airport somewhere in Europe, then 9 hours in a plane on the way to the U.S., then an hour waiting at Dulles for your bags, and finally a 45-minute taxi ride home does not a sexy husband make. It makes a smelly, bad-breathed, exhausted, but ever-so-lovely husband who needs a long shower and a good night's sleep before he's ready to do the deed. Trust me, it's not that he can't or that he's lacking anything in the virility department, it's just that, at that point, who would want to?
January 17, 2005
The Administration hasn't denied Hersh's report, although they said it was full of inaccurate information. However, they do not say that the report itself is untrue. To paraphrase:
"Hersh said Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld view Bush's re-election as 'a mandate to continue the war on terrorism,' despite problems with the war in Iraq. 'The planning for Iran is going ahead even though Iraq is a mess.'"
I feel like I can't breathe. The King has been in the military for 16 years. He's currently on his third combat mission. We only have to get through a few more months here before we move to Pearl Harbor and start our real life together, the one where he gets to come home every night, and in four years, he'll be retiring from the military.
The past week or so, as his homecoming gets closer, I've finally begun to breathe easier. I've finally started to think, "Maybe we'll really get through this okay, and then we'll get to spend the rest of our lives together, and the King can become one of those veterans who spends his time talking about the good old days." He went to Afganistan twice, and there isn't time for him to go to Iraq before we move. I was really starting to think that maybe I'd be able to stop having nightmares about men in suits knocking on my door with telegrams.
But now the president thinks that he should get to start another war. Mr. President, will you please come to my house and breathe for me? Because I think I've forgotten how.
January 15, 2005
Brad Pitt chose to costume himself for the role with a set of cheap blond highlights and a leather miniskirt, thus becoming the first man in dramatic history to play Achilles as a three-dollar whore. Good call, Brad.
January 14, 2005
This is about the time that I really start getting ready for him to come home. Yesterday I soaked and scrubbed the range burner things. (What are those things? The silver bowls that electric range burners sit in? Anyone?) One of them is so incredibly blackened that I think it warrants just throwing away. Which means I get to go to the kitchen store at the mall, which means I get to buy fancy pasta sauce and some gadget that I absolutely must have which will then take up space on the counter for two years until I throw it away. I am a connoisseur of all things useless-kitchen-gadgety.
Today's cleaning project will probably be the refrigerator, because I really just can't bring myself to do the oven. It has a self-cleaning feature, which fills the entire house with the smell of charred flesh, I don't know why. And when I clean it myself, I am never convinced that I've gotten all the cleanser rinsed out, and I'm afraid that molecules from it are going to get in my food and kill someone. Seriously, I worry. And also, that black crap that collects in the bottom of the oven is pretty gross.
January 13, 2005
To answer that question, I went to Blockbuster last night and took advantage of their new no-late-fees (sort of) plan and rented a slew of movies. Then, this morning, the King called:
"Well, why don't you clean the house? I know the refrigerator and oven need cleaning, because you always do that before I come home from a trip. And why don't you take the dog for a walk? And why don't you reattach the siding that blew off the house last month?"
Why do all his suggestions involve work? My plan was to lie on the couch for sixteen or seventeen hours, order a pizza, lie on the couch some more, and then go to bed. What's wrong with that?
It was really good to hear from him. He's doing well, and has been really busy getting ready to leave Afganistan and come home in three weeks. Next week he has to take this very important, very long test, because he's up for a promotion to Navy Chief this year. For you non-Navy types, that's a really, really big deal, and very few people make it that high. In fact, it has always been the pinnacle of his career goals. He was eligible last year but didn't make it, although he was close. The fact that he hasn't been to Iraq is a negative, but going to Afganistan twice may help make up for that this year. [fingers crossed] It'll be months and months before we find out if he made it, but this big test is the first step.
All right, I really am supposed to be working, even if I am in my pajamas. I think I'll go masturbate and then get back to it. (I take a great and perverse joy in looking at Internet porn when I'm supposed to be working.)
(God, I hope no one I work with reads this blog. There goes my good job reference.)
January 11, 2005
However, there's a new bill to worry about. (Were there always this many? Is it purely an outgrowth of Bush's reelection? How did I now know about Maura's blog before?) The new bill, HB 1807, makes it:
a Class 6 felony to provide a minor with a contraceptive if the person knows or has reason to believe that the minor is engaging in sexual relations with a person three or more years older than the minor.
When I was seventeen, I slept with a twenty-two-year-old man. In fact, that affair lasted six years and was one of the most important relationships of my life.
So, what Del. Marshall is saying is that anyone who I tried to buy condoms from during the first year of that relationship, such as say, the fourteen-year-old girl working the register at Safeway, should have tried to convince me to break up with my boyfriends, and if I wouldn't, to refuse to sell me the condoms. Does Del. Marshall like teen pregnancy? Does he think it's fun? You can reach him at Del_Marshall@house.state.va.us to ask him yourself. I definitely will.
Updated to include:
Amnesia--Hmm, I'm not sure why it didn't work. I e-mailed him at that address this morning and it didn't bounce back. Maybe we've actually managed to crash his account? I got the address by clicking on Maura's link to him at http://www.democracyforvirginia.com/. Sorry, other than that, I don't know.
January 10, 2005
Also over the weekend, my dog ate a styrofoam cup. Does that seem odd to anyone else?
...I forgot Showgirls! Thanks for reminding me, Chris (and I love you too! Barefoot and rocks.). My personal favorite was also in that infamous pool, but the part where she tips what is presumably a several-hundred-dollar bottle of champagne up...and lets it pour over her into the pool. I always expect the guy's hardon to disappear and for him to shriek, "What the hell are you doing?! That cost me four hundred bucks, you crazy bitch!"
January 08, 2005
You read that right--I bought my husband an electric guitar for Christmas. That's what he wanted, and since he bought me a $13,000 engagement ring,* I feel obligated to get him pretty much whatever he wants. (Hence, our 57-inch, high-definition tv.) And what he wanted this year was an electric guitar.
You're probably thinking, hmm, isn't it usually thirteen-year-old boys who go crazy and decide they're going to be rock stars and that they would look super-hot for all the chicks if they had a guitar? Yes, it is. Usually. In my case, however, it's a thirty-six-year-old boy who seems to be going through some sort of delayed adolescence/early midlife crisis, and he has decided he wants to play guitar. I am trying to remind myself that he could have wanted a Porsche.
Does he know how to play guitar? No. Does he read music? No. Has he any musical experience whatsoever? Well, if you count AC/DC concerts, then yes.
Did I buy him a high-powered amp to go with his snazzy new guitar? Yes I did.
Am I now going to the music store to pick up the set of headphones I have just realized he will need if our marriage is to survive? Yes I am.
* Note: First, the ring only actually cost $5,000, because he bought it directly from the diamond mines in South Africa when he was there on business. Second, yes, I know they are blood diamonds dug with the hands of near-slaves who make less in a year than I make in a day. I would never have paid either $13,000 or $5,000 for an engagement ring--in fact, I had my grandmother's engagement ring which I would have loved to have worn and told the King that, but he wanted me to have a brand-new one. An expensive brand-new one. What can I say? He was drunk with love. And that's why I had to buy him an electric guitar for Christmas.
"However, after discussing the bill again with our legislative services lawyers, I have decided to include language that will define the bill to apply only to those babies that are claimed to have been stillborn and that are abandoned."
The law may still not be perfect, as some of Maura' s commenters pointed out, but this is a huge improvement, and it is because of all of us. I thank Maura, who I had never heard of until yesterday, for bringing this to all of our attention. We really did make a difference
January 07, 2005
Also, another huge CONGRATULATIONS!! to Julie and Paul, for finally, finally being able to take Charlie home. It's been a long, hard road for them--even the drive home was actually long and hard. I hope they have a wonderful, glorious first night at home with their son.
Dear Delegate Cosgrove,
I am writing to protest your introduction of HB1677, "Report of Fetal Death by Mother." This bill is a horrific intrusion into one of the most painful, private experiences a woman can have. I read your response to a commenter on DailyKos: "This bill...is an attempt to reduce the number of "trashcan" babies that are born and then abandoned." However, Virginia already has standard safe haven laws, and your bill refers to babies at any stage of development and even requires that the mother notify the police of the fetus's weight and sex. Is a man supposed to scoop the blood clots remaining from his 7-week-old fetus out of the toilet while his wife is struggling with her pain and put them on a kitchen scale so he can tell the police about them? Must the parents have DNA testing done on the clots to establish the sex of these "products of conception"? Baby abandonment is a terrible thing, and I understand your desire to prevent it from happening, but this bill is not the right way to go about it. Making nonreporting to police a Class 1 misdemeanor makes it equable with arson, making bomb threats, and stalking. Having a miscarriage is not a crime--it is an agonizing, terrible experience. Please allow parents to come to grips with their grief and loss in private. Thank you.
Austin Aitken is suing NBC for $2.5 million, contending that he threw up because of a "Fear Factor" episode in which contestants ate rats mixed in a blender.
I read this thinking Mr. Aitken was a participant on Fear Factor, and I thought, "Well, you went on the show, what the hell were you expecting?" But no, it's better than that. This dunce was watches the show regularly, but this time, he was so grossed out by it, he puked. And now he's suing.
What an ass. According to him, he had no problem with when the participants ate worms and insects, but eating rats went "too far." Um, right. So, the size of the thing and its biological complexity are the important thing? I get it, plants okay, insects okay, small mammals not. So I'm assuming eating chickens and cows causes him to have a fucking aneurysm.
January 06, 2005
So, I know I haven't written a real post in a couple of days. I've been distracted. I work at home on Fridays because my commute is 90 minutes each way. Two days ago, my boss told me a division of our company that works in another building is moving in with us in March, and we're going to all be sharing offices, which should be a lovely nightmare. To that end, she asked if I would be interested in working at home two days a week. Would I! I accepted and asked if I could start immediately, instead of waiting until March. She thinks I want to save the $10 a day it costs me to commute and spend more time with my dog, both of which will be nice benefits, but really it's because, well, I'm quitting in March, so it won't be of much use to me then.
But really, the thing is that I've been writing other stuff. See, I'm really an editor, but I write too (what editor doesn't, right?). Although being a writer isn't actually my dream or anything, it would be cool, and several years ago, I wrote a book. Then, some time later, I managed to get an agent to represent me. Which was pretty awesome, and if it never goes further than that, I'll still be happy. She e-mailed me yesterday to say that yet another publishing company had rejected it, which is fine, because it's really pretty sucky. I made the mistake of saying that I've got another book in the works and that I hope moving to Hawaii will give me more time to work on it. She was ecstatic.
So the thing is, now I actually have to write the stupid thing. And I told her it was better than the first, sucky book, so I actually have to concentrate on it. Which is a pain in the ass. So, I did 200 words yesterday to get warmed up, and tonight went really well--I did 812 words. At this rate, I'll have it done in three months. Of course, that won't actually happen--the last book I did went great for 95 pages and then completely petered out. Anyone interested in purchasing the rights to a half-finished book? There's a pretty girl in it. And an ugly girl. And a hooker!
So, that's why I've been distracted. I promise to do better. I have to--for some reason, my blog traffic has jumped a lot the past few days. It's the armpit searches, isn't it? Everybody loves the armpit. Everybody but me.
January 05, 2005
Um, is it just me, or is that an oxymoron?
January 04, 2005
January 03, 2005
Caution: Do not read without a wheel of Brie and some pesto nearby, because, seriously, you will be starving by the end.
In other news, now that the new year is upon us, and because I am neurotic, I am starting to think about taxes, which are due in three months and two weeks. It's almost time! I usually complete my taxes so early that I get some missing form from a company I worked for after I've already sent them in, and then I have to file an amended form, which always terrifies me, because I feel like it attracts the IRS's attention.
While thinking about taxes, I was contemplating our home, which we will be selling in three months (!!!) when we move to Hawaii. Therefore, I need any lovely blog readers out there who know anything at all about finances to give me some free advice. (Yes, I know, that's a bit arrogant, but really, none of you know me in real life, so who cares?) When we move, we'll be living in Navy housing, so we will not need the profits from our home for two to three years, at which point we'll use them to buy another home. During those two or so years, what should we do with the money? We expect to profit about $100,000, maybe $120,000. What's the best way to invest it?
The other option, other than selling and investing, is to keep our house and rent it out, which is what the King wants to do. I am terrified of that, because I have horrible nightmares about renters trashing the place, disappearing without paying, etc. Any opinions on that? We've been discussing it for months, and could use a tie-breaking vote.