Friday, December 17, 2010

You'd think after all these years of blogging, I'd have the font thing down a little better.  Sorry if you had to invest in reading glasses in order to read my last post (haha, because you would do that for me, right?  you would be dying to know what the words said, so you would leave your screen, go to your local drugstore, purchase some of those colorful, $5 glasses, then come back to see what gems I've graced the world with this day?  Yeah?  I know.)

Thanks to Joe and Gleds for the comments!!  I will be catching up (and I have already done, a little) on everybody's writing this weekend, and I can't wait!!  I always find that reading my favorite blogs is as good as reading a beloved book! 

Now, regarding those comments, Gledwood, do you not know of Martha Stewart that she is considered the Queen of all Homemaking?  It's not just cookin', mate!  If it comes to entertaining, folding sheets or blankets properly (i was recently stunned to learn from martha, on tv, that outside of the retail industry, where I had to learn to fold towels the company way, there is indeed a proper and preferred manner in which to fold and store one's linens).  anyway, here in the states, you usually fall into one of two camps:  the one that loves her and counts on her empire (magazines, something upwards of 57 books, tv show, holiday specials, etc) to teach you how to live a neat and organized and aesthetically pleasing life ...the other camp, of which i might be camp president, is the one wherein we respect the fact that this is a woman who has built a billion dollar empire (girl power, yay) but we think that should i say this?? we think that to spend one's afternoon endeavouring to fold one's fitted bed sheets just so is a waste of one's precious days on this planet.  but to each her own, right?  most of the, um, disciplines, that martha teaches also seem to my way of thinking to be exercises in Earning the Approval of One's Peers/Neighbors/In-Laws, etc.... and i never can condone expending much energy on that.  but wow!  who knew that i even gave martha so much thought?  not i.

ok, well, moving right along!  what holidays does everyone out there celebrate?  i would love to hear about all of your traditions or what you might PREFER to be doing if you are not able to do that because of your traditions or obligations.  i mean, let's keep it real on my blog!  not everyone adores the holiday times... in fact, i think that many or even most people DISlike this time of year.  i worked in retail for 9 years, and if that didn't give the impression that no one enjoys anything at all about hannukah / christmas /kwanzaa et al., well, nothing would.

as you know, i've been out of the workforce due to illness for about a year now.  and while my situation has its ups and downs -- oh wait, we are keeping it real, so there aren't many downs at all, i have to say!! --i have never hit my knees in such fervent thanksgiving as when i was freed from the indentured servitude of retail hell.  never was the light at the end of my tunnel less visible than when i was there.  never did a college degree feel like more of a sick joke.  and honestly now, seriously:  NEVER, EVER have i been treated on such a regular basis by other human beings (both supervisors at my places of employment and customers of course) in such an astonishingly inhuman manner.  i exaggerate not a bit.  it was truly humanity at some of its ugliest lowest behavior.  my boyfriend of five years during that experience had worked in retail security, and now he is a police officer.  i think only those in that line of work see humans at a lower point in their life and actions.  it doesn't get much worse.

if you haven't done a holiday stint in retail (or really any time of year, because the holidays just amp up the noise and crowds and confusion and RAGE of the people), let me share some details about my last christmas in the business.  i don't even know off the top of my head whether this was the worst.  it was definitely one for the memory books of course.  but who knows?  every year was just mayhem.  i'm sure that you've seen it on tv each year, at least a bit of it, yeah?  i remember that in recent years, employees and customers alike have been severely injured and even killed, during the "black friday" rushes for sales and in-demand toys.  INJURED and KILLED!!!  what's wrong with these people?, we'd ask each other rhetorically, everyday, all day.

so my last year of holiday employment was like this.  it was actually the last official day, because it was christmas eve.  everyone on staff with me was in a pretty good mood.  we were way OVER-staffed, which was rare, but on that ONE day, our company allowed for a high payroll, because 1)it was never possible to predict how many last-minute shoppers would be in from year-to-year; sometimes it was a mad rush, others it was vacant... and 2) yes, indeed, our boss showed a bit of mercy and wanted us to get out of the store when it closed at 6 p.m. rather than stay late cleaning up like we usually did at night.  it should be noted that at this particular store, they had the extra-merciLESS habit of scheduling people, including students and those with full-time "regular" jobs in addition to the one at the store, to close at night (an endeavour that often lasted past 12:30 a.m.) and then to open the next day at 7 a.m.  no sleep or driving time or anything was even considered, just stay late and be back bright and early!  at least when i worked at one of america's most beloved big-box stores (i shant say their name, for fear of their wrath, which is well known to me, but perhaps you will think of a bullseye as a hint), they had a company rule that mandated employees be given eight full hours between any two shifts.  it's just basic human treatment, you know?

but i digress, because if i wanted to write about all the violations these retail companies heap upon people on a daily basis, i'd write a book.  oh wait, i already DO have that in the works ;)

so it's christmas eve, and we are all having a grand old time.  we had some good catered food brought in for us by our managers, which was lovely of them indeed.  most people had plans for later, and of course for christmas day.  half the staff were seasonal help and those tend to be happy just to be making some cash, unlike the year-rounders who are generally surly and less enthused about all the long hours.  while we were having a good time showing people our last-minute deals, re-stocking shelves, and telling delighted callers that yes! we are open for business ... the clientele was less than civil to us.  i mean, they were just wrong.

i was working at a customer service desk that day.  at the desk, we would take returns/exchanges, we would order and replace online items for ya, and we'd help with any other issues at the back of the department store, which is where we were located.  the store i was working in also had a hair salon and one of those photo "studios" where people pay to get their kids' pictures taken, or their own or their pets', i'm sure you know the type... well, wouldn't you know it, since it was the eve of christmas, the photo studio was engaged in selling photo opportunities with santa!!!  how lovely!  now, i must tell you to have the kids leave the room for this story, because it ain't pretty...

okay, so i guess santa was doing his thing over there, smiling with what seemed (and SOUNDED) like tens of thousands of children all day long.  hey, i hope he didn't expect anything less when he took the job!  whatever his issues, santa finished his day around 4 p.m., so the rest of the store was still working, so he could still shop!  yes, santa needs to shop apparently, for a few last-minute items.  regretfully, i do not remember what he bought.   but he brought his items back to our registers (yes, even though we were under a luminous red sign that read:  "Customer Exchange / Return / Service," many dipshits customers would bring their regular stuff to buy up for us to take care of for them.  okay, fine if we weren't busy, but hello, if there is a line of people already pissed about some defective thing they have to exchange or return or whatever (as was the story of our life in that department), why are you doing this to us??????  we were not allowed to turn them away unless there was an extreme line of our own customers waiting, so i rang up santa's stuff...

santa handed me some money and two coupons.  as was my habit, i ran the two coupons through the register (mind you, before we go further, this was only like a $20 purchase, nothing extremely expensive); then, sadly, the registered beeped me a rejection sort of beep, you know the type.  one of santa's coupons was the type that could NOT be used with ANY OTHER DISCOUNT OR OFFER OR COUPON... you dig?  y'all know when you have a certain good discount coupon, and it says on there that you can't just pile up about five of 'em, so that basically the store has to pay YOU or something?  yeah, it was like that.  so i pleasantly and politely, as my training and 9 years of experience dictated, explained, "oh, i'm sorry, sir, this second one cannot be used in combination with another coupon," and began to hand it back to him... have i mentioned that he was still dressed head to toe in full santa regalia? (for your imagination's sake)... 

santa did not raise a hand to take the coupon back from me, the first and certain sign of Trouble at the customer service desk... i made sure to have my blandest, most serene-and-a-bit-stupid-as-in-too-stupid-to-understand-any-complaint-you-might-make, look upon my face, and santa just ERUPTED!  "WHADDYA MEAN?!" he bellowed in that ho-ho-ho booming tone we all know and love.

"I mean, that this coupon cannot be used with another, as it states at the bottom here," I kept my voice low and gentle...Santa ripped the coupon from my hand, quite literally, tearing its corner in the process.  he peered down through those sweet-old-grandpa bifocals at the writing on the coupon, and his face turned from confused rage to the rage of complete understanding.
"Oh!  THAT is GOOD!  You all SENT me this, and now you're telling me I can't use it!  Is that right, am I getting that right?"  he spat...
quite right, douche-claus, now you're catching on, except i didn't personally send you anything, except my list like 20 years ago, and i never DID find a speak-n-math under the tree, so fuck you.  "Well, no, you still can use it, but it can't be used at the same time on the same items as this other coupon," I explained in a voice that was practically sing-song with patience and the finest spark of disbelief that i never could shake, no matter how many times i had to patiently deal with maniacs.

Santa stared at my face like he wanted to say something more, like he was itchin to throw down as we'd say where i come from, but he was trapped by the legalese of that damn fine print.  to be honest with y'all, i would have suggested he split his items up into two neat $10 piles and i would ring 'em each up and put one coupon to both of 'em ... but see, when you treat the cashier like the shit from your reindeer's ass, she sometimes forgets to mention that these things can easily be done.  

that was about it for santa.  i rang up his items and sent him away growling under his breath a bit more about how i had sent him something and tricked him into coming to shop and then not letting him use it after all.  nevermind he had used one coupon already and saved like 20% on twenty bucks.  nevermind it was christmas eve and, ya know, only 17 bucks after all was said and done.  nevermind it was SANTA.  hell.

okay, so here's part two.  on that same afternoon, that same inauspicious christmas eve workday, i see a guy in line who i recognize as a businessman from the area.  my brother and i grew up knowing this guy, i mean, he's been around the chicago suburbs all of our lives, so... let's say at least 30 years.  i shall assume we are far from the only ones who know him.  he does not know me well enough to recognize me all-grown-up self.  my brother took lessons from this man at one of his places of business, ok?  i'll just leave it at that.  and to top it all off, if anyone was uncertain, he was wearing one of those stylin' satin jackets with his business name in huge airbrushed letters on the back of it ... so you see, if one were standing behind him in, say, a long line at a store on christmas eve ... well, one would know who he was and what business he represented.  hmm.  if it were me, i'd behave as befits a rep for the company, especially if it were.. MY COMPANY!  but that's just me!

let's call him The Fish, because, well, it's sort of like his name.  once again, we-- my fellow workers and i -- are all working quite efficiently i must say in all honestly, and getting through our long lines that had collected.  the afternoon was the type when there was no real busy hour, just lots of dead time interspersed with huge throngs of people all showing up at once.  it happened to be a time like the latter when we got our lines to the point that everyone had maybe two more people and a current customer.  my current customer was the fish.  the fish was making a purchase, just like santa had done, and i accepted it, fine whatever.  it was only one item, a set of gloves and mittens or something like that, definitely for a woman, mind you.  i think the fish mentioned it was for his wife, for her christmas gift... so imagine my inner snickering when he whips out a credit card with a woman's name on it but bearing his last name.  

(now, look y'all.  just in case you don't know, there are laws regarding usage of credit cards in america.  they are LAWS, not rules, not suggestions, not even like county ordinances from place to place.  no, they are federal laws in most cases, including the one at issue here.  i'm often told that cashiers fail to ask for i.d. even when someone has requested it on the back of their card.  or they fail to even notice that the name on the card does not match the name on the i.d. presented, or the gender of the person using it, etc.  people get irritated sometimes but they just complain and move on in most cases.  nevertheless, it is a VIOLATION of the federal LAW to use a credit card without proper authorization.  this does not change when you get married, have a child, or otherwise entangle yourself with another human.  the way to become authorized to use another person's card is to have that person INCLUDE YOU on the account... you see, you must be NAMED as an authorized user in order to buy stuff with the card of another person.  no matter how much they love you or sleep with you or share your dna.  otherwise?  it's breaking the law, mostly by YOU, but it ain't gonna be pretty for the person who let you do it.)

okay, so the fish hands me a card that says, let's say, loretta p. fish.  i ask him, does this card belong to you?  (hey, i mean, maybe... ya know, who knows?)  he says, "no.. yeah... well, it's my wife's."  he's buying his fucking wife's gift with her own credit card??? ok, well, that's their business, but well... shit.  i asked him politely, although i had some doubt about completing this transaction peacefully:  "ok, so are you an authorized user on the account?"
fish says, "i guess so, it's my wife's."  yeah, you said that already, dumbass.
fortunately, the credit card in question was a store card, the kind we were forced to try and force on YOU the customer everyday by asking "wanna save 10% and get a ___card?" with every breath we took.  believe me, this annoys no one more than it does US.  anyway, i had access to all of the accounts, so perhaps i could rectify this situation quite nicely after all.
me:  "okay, let me look you up so i can verfiy that you are on this account in addition to the cardholder named on this card."  i was trying hard to convey that it was simply protocol, not any air of suspicion toward the fish himself, which is how any question regarding one's credit card is always taken by customers.  
after more, "whaddya mean, it's my wife"ing, the fish shrugged like okay, i'll just have to play along with this ridiculous charade, it's the least i can do to get these mittens for my wife using her money.  he handed over his driver's license so that i could make the necessary computer inquiry, and there it was, loretta p. fish's store account and credit card number, naming loretta herself as the only authorized user of the card...shit...

returning with an air of calm authority, I handed the fish his d.l. and explained quietly, "i'm sorry, you aren't authorized to use this account."
OHHH, the wailing, lamentation, and gnashing of teeth!!!!!  my line of customers had now reached epic proportions, and as the fish's whining and threatening and accusing rose to another level and another, i stepped away from him and called for back-up to my register.  haha.  i just stepped away and i don't think he even noticed, both of us behaving as though he was a two-year-old in the midst of a tantrum and quite unable to control himself at the moment.
so, as amazed, angry, impatient, put-upon customers stared at the business name emblazoned on the fish's back, the fish himself raged at me accusing me of calling him a liar (i hadn't even gotten a word in to call him anything at all), saying his wife would be appalled that he hadn't been able to use her card, i (me personally, as usual) was causing him one inconvenience after another, all of which he enumerated verbally for all within range to hear...
i told him there was nothing that i could do about it, but that he could talk to my superior if he wished to question the issue further.  i glanced meaningfully at the long line behind me to suggest to him that getting out of my face one way or another, would be the best move at this point.
...well, SHOCKER!  the fish threw his $15 mitten set down on the counter and just stormed out, still cursing me and all and sundry issue of my womb for all generations forever.  but you'll notice he did not wish to see my manager.  huh... see, in my experience when someone wishes to make his case, because he believes he is in the right, and the conniving little cashier who has attempted to thwart him from purchasing the item of his desire, is in the wrong (why do they think we CARE enough to do so???  why do they think we are loyal to our company enough to prevent them from using a coupon if we can help it?  or to jack up prices and such?  i promise you, the cashiers are not loyal to the company store in this manner and would never be called on to do such things, nor would they do them if they were told)... they will see the manager in that situation.

so the fish abused and cursed and berated me, after santa had already done so, and in front of all these customers, and on christmas eve, and while sartorially advertising his own business to boot.  and come to find out, he KNEW all along he couldn't use that card!  for all i know, he's estranged from his "wife"!  maybe he is divorced from this woman!  maybe she hates him, has a restraining order against him.  how the eff would i know?  see, this is why you can't just come up in someone's face and go, of course i'll use this credit card even though it doesn't have my name on it, because that person is my wife.  i don't know you like that, fool, i don't know anything about y'all's relationship or who uses who's money and all that.  see?  shiiiiit.

and that was the end of retail christmases for me.  i know this is long, but well, i didn't go back to edit/cut it, i just left it the way it is, just like my rambling brain full of thoughts.  now you know what it's like to be me, haha

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm Still Here...

...and I'm NOT Joaquin Phoenix :)  Hey, I saw that movie recently though; has anyone else?  Does anyone even know what the hell I'm talking about?  I'd like to hear your opinion(s) if you've seen it.  I'll share mine as well.

I'm assuming that there are still people out there (perhaps cats? brought in by my Dorian's much more exciting and interesting blog?) reading this... yes, I've been away for an inexcusable amount of time.  But I've been in such an ugly mood, and I just couldn't for the life of me (quite literally, I felt on most days) come up with anything to write about that wouldn't drag you all right down in it with me... right down in IT, that is to say.

But fuck it, ya know?  After so much wallowing, I got busy decorating my new mansion (bigger than the last one, two-bedroom apartment, which I truly love, and which-- hallelujah!!-- is filled with sunshine, or at least in the wintertime here, some outside light shining in).  The past two days I've spent actually getting to use the Christmas decorations which have been stored away for years, ever since I had my first place.  When I lost that (long story, I'll share it next time), I had nowhere to use my little sparkly trees and lights and mangers ... but now, well, it's ON!  And yes, I am quite enjoying this decorating.  Nope, I'm most certainly NOT a holiday-loving-Martha-Stewart-crafty-nutjob like "that."  But there's a whole story/philosophy behind this too.

SO, I sat down to write tonight/this morning to let all y'all know that I live!  And that I plan to start writing regularly again.  And while many say that, I actually DO it, because I am a writer.  Even if no one reads it, even if it sucks or whatever.  I wish to keep this blog chugging along, so I'm back at it after my unplanned hiatus.  So if you're interested in hearing the aforementioned tales of woe, and other sordid miscellanea, then by all means, stop on by in the next day or two!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Lighter Fare This Week...

Oooh!  i hate it when i don't post for so long! and i really have lots to say; in fact, a few times in the past week i have begun a post, only to delete it, because i thought it just got too ... too ... well, too ramble-y, you know?  the way that my thoughts often are but that i try to organize and pare down to the essentials when i write for a (possible?  small?  somewhere, someday?) audience :)

anyway, the first thing on today's "lightness" menu is this link which was sent to me via one of my email subscriptions; the HuffingtonPost, which i do consider one of my favorite hodgepodge blogs, always has these montage-type posts that are filled with photos, advertisements, newspaper articles and the like ... all gathered with a theme of something outrageous and usually something that i, and apparently people of like mind with me, find hilarious.  but today, ohhhh today!  just go here and see for yourself, paying SPECIAL attention to PHOTO NUMBER SIX (please)...  go on, i'll wait... really, if you're in a rush, you can JUST look at number SIX! ... ...

back?  okay then.  here's the astonishing thing:  I took the exact same photograph like 8 years ago whilst on a road trip to the indiana state fair, accompanied by my best friend and my brother, to see the ill-fated boy band O-TOWN perform.  dammit!  but before we get to THAT little tidbit... how and why did i find myself at such a state of mind shrine to ridiculous racism, which apparently was SO hilariously inappropriate and ridiculous that the HuffPost AND i found it appealing -- nay, necessary -- to snap a photo?!   allow me to explain...

while driving for what was the first time for all of us in our neighboring state, we had only to cross the border before launching into a full-blown attack on their inferiority (i apologize now, okay? i was immature and pathetically trying to find an identity, if only one attached to my midwestern "prairie" state).  i successfully ran a crazed truck driver onto the shoulder so that i and others could pass him after he had been spotted for miles and miles aggressively nudging and forcing small cars and other 18-wheelers out of his lanes.  in the traffic jam that you will almost always find just over the bridge / state line between IL and IN, i was actually cheered and given fist pumps of approval for my aggressive off-roadin' while, well, ON the road.  that was fun.  it only served to encourage the raucous behavior and the mental state that one often acquires on a road trip with friends ... that in which everything is hilarious, and no one else ever noticed it before you and your witty, genius friends.  

well, the traffic broke open, and we drove through little town after little town, on and on through flat lands of grass and factory smoke and some corn (yes, it's the same here, and in our OTHER neighboring state, Iowa, except i would estimate that in IA, they have more corn, less factory smoke).  we were about 45 minutes or something from our destination, hungry and almost not finding everything funny anymore ... when we saw that sign (is that right?  perhaps i was delirious?  i cannot recall exactly where these towns are, and quite frankly, i've not been motivated to look 'em up on google earth, ok?)!  

"look!  look!" i screamed, slowing down, because hey, there wasn't any traffic to engage in  vehicular fisticuffs anyway ... there was a state highway sign informing us that these two towns were coming up in three quarters of a mile!  thank you, highway department of Indiana!  that sign gave me an idea that something was strange and that we needed photographic proof.  summoning my camera from phil, my friend and navigator at the time, we actually found this important enough to pull over onto the shoulder and get out of the car.  yes, we really did.   

"this state is hicksville central," i joked, "there are two SEPARATE, but i'm sure EQUAL, towns for 'whites' and 'browns,' and i think we all know what they mean by that."  always one to jump in when an inappropriate or uncouth statement is being made (you might call it a joke if you share our sense of humor), phil said, "so where do red and yellow stay?"   but THAT remained a mystery during our, so far, we have not seen any towns or cities in IN that indicate where any other races should go.

SO the picture was developed from my disposable road trip camera ... EIGHT years ago, or possibly more???  i'd have to pull my O-TOWN/Indy State Fair ticket out of its memorabilia box to be certain.  And now, somehow, someone else has seen fit to publish the same photo (taken under very similar circumstances, wouldn't you guess?) in this "ridiculous" compilation.  i think i'm offended that MINE wasn't used.  i think i'm also offended that the HuffPost is getting all the credit for my old, worn-out, COLLEGE jokes.  

also, tell me what you think, but ... i dunno, to me most of those pictures weren't very hilarious; they were kind of just ... offensive.  have i turned too serious or something?  i mean, racism isn't actually funny, after all.   

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Toni Keller

Okay, I have a lot of blogging built up inside that is just pushing and shoving its way, itching to get out.  And I will be working on posts that I've promised such as one on "Sister Wives" (oh the many words of horror to be written....), but...

Let's get this first thing out there, well, first.  As I've mentioned before, my undergraduate degree is from a state university in Illinois called northern illinois university.  it has a pretty good law school and a kick-ass business school (like top in the nation), but other than that, not a lot of folks know much about it.  a couple of years ago on valentine's day, it got some notorious mention because it was the site of a school shooting/massacre.  my fucking heart almost stopped that day; my brother was undergrad there at the time. fortunately for us (and not at all to make light of the lives that WERE lost that day), he was not injured.  however, the psychological stress and damage that occurred in the lives of the students who were in class or on campus that day lives on.  my brother was on his way to a building very near the shooter and found himself hiding in yet another building, running and confused in between, and generally part of the chaos that had ensued in the blink of an eye.  i am not doing the situation justice, but that is because that isn't what this particular post is about tonight.

no, tonight is about toni keller, a freshman at niu who went missing two weeks ago and is now presumed deceased, murdered actually.  we the public, we the alumni, the "we" who are her family and friends, and any other "we" you can name among us ... WE do not have any accurate information about what happened to her.  here is what i personally know from reading and researching and watching news shows.  if there is more, and certainly if there are inaccuracies, do comment or email:
**remains thought to be toni's but which remain unidentified at this time were found two days or less after she went missing by dekalb / niu police (i shall lump them together, because they seem to be working as one, and i don't know which body has provided which evidence, info, etc.) ; however, police did not make this information public until a few days AGO.

**police have now released the information that the unidentified remains were found among other evidence that was "consistent with materials" said to be on toni's person when she was last seen.

**for the week or so between the finding of remains and the providing of this information to the public, niu/dekalb police made no statement to indicate to students and others that homicide was a possibility or that their efforts (putting up fliers, etc) might be in vain... let alone the fact that they might need to take extra precautions in light of a possible right-next-to-campus murder.  

**in fact, during that time period, police encouraged students and other volunteers to continue their efforts at notifying the community of the missing student, doing what they could to find information on her whereabouts, and other activities that were in vain and could also be dangerous in light of what police knew. i could on about the facts like that, but it's really been a murky fuck-up.  it's like the keystone cops up there.  dekalb is a farm town, a small town for sure, with the college life being the main "culture" outside of the rural.  i am not in any way slamming the rural life; after all, i'm a midwesterner, born and bred, and I respect the back-breaking, financially perilous work that farmers do (although i'm pleased to report that i've known some IL farmers who have been quite wealthy and NOT from selling off to retail or whatever, but i digress...).

what i'm saying is that i'm sure what the police and niu are doing and have already done was for the sake of "public relations and image."  and when i make an accusation like saying they're "keystone cops," oh, yes, i realize it's an old stereotype of rural, small-town cops.  i said it, wrote it, because it's the truth.  they have made me so ashamed, so so so disgusted and angry and ASHAMED to be any part of them, alumni, resident of the state, whatever.  not to mention the fact that i come from a family THICK with police officers, police support staff such as 911 operators, and attorneys.  i know about "P.R." in cases like this, ok?  i understand that the police can't "tip their hand" to the murderer and all that shit.  and you know what?  they could have handled this 1,000% better and more appropriately and still done their jobs.  so i sure hope i don't hear them come out later, with any "hindsight is 20/20" bullshit, because that's horsecrap.  and hey, horse crap, they should know about out there.  ha.  dig.

seriously now.  tonight the news is that there is a "person of interest" which we all know means a person who will be a suspect once we are sure we have the evidence (or the right guy).  keeping consistent with prior form, the police have not said where, only that this p.o.i. is being held in another state (indiana?  florida?  hawaii?) where he committed some crimes.  extradition is said to be "pending."  ohhh lawd.  will the state in question even extradite this guy????  is anyone from dekalb/niu going out to speak to him or question him?  does anyone know what they're doing with a suspect (oops, person of interest) in these circumstances?  because, oh, by the way, they don't accept help from other police departments from what i'm told.

there's a lot more to say, the kind of information swirling in my head that i really should make an outline of, and then write it in an appropriate form, like a legal research paper or whatever, a legal opinion essay more realistically.  people don't think you know what you're talking about when you just spout off, i realize, but i know what i'm talking about, believe me.  or don't.  i could give a shit.  the main thing tonight is that i hope and pray someone somewhere (a police officer, ideally) is ON the person who did this horrible crime to this poor girl (IF it turns out the remains are hers and this is what happened to her, which is not certain but seems very likely, sadly).  also, my prayers and i know that prayers of students and alumni all over the community are with her family, who are the newest victims in all of this:  at least we can hope toni is at peace somewhere now...


Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Rambling (Stream o' Consciousness)

hooooo...ohhhkay.  as you might have guessed (or hell, maybe not), i've been wanting to write more frequently in this blog, and dammit, i'm going to do it, i AM doing it... also, i've been wanting to write a little bit differently, maybe with a different level of openness, different authenticity, whatever, MORE of all that.  this sounds silly when i say it (write it, whatever) to y'all, but what i'm about to try and describe is so true for me at this exact point in my life:

i don't know whether this is common throughout creative writing classes in the whole u.s. or the world over, but my writing education steeped me in the training of how to use what's commonly referred to as stream-of-consciousness writing.  i was taught to do this as a form of journaling, brainstorming, getting past writer's block and basically any other time that i needed to get my feelings or the "junk" that is blocking them onto paper.  it doesn't always work for me, but usually it does, pretty damn well.

another way that this might work -- and i say might only because it's a method i was reading about literally only 2 or 3 days ago and thus haven't tried it yet for myself -- is to write your feelings or thoughts or (this was the specific exercise suggested in the book i was reading) the answers to specific questions you ask yourself about your life, your future.  but the catch is you  write the answers down using your non-dominant hand!  so, yes, folks, to do it properly, it requires a good old-fashioned pen-and-paper i suppose.  but you could always transfer what you wrote onto the computer if you wish to journal it and keep it for future reference.  the author who was explaining this method had a fairly lengthy chapter about why and how this works and why it's worth it doing and practicing (he went so far as to suggest you might eventually even get in touch with your sixth sense, psychic abilities, etc.. but i'm not going to go there for now, not for this post.  ask me about the book if you are interested in knowing all about the specifics, k?).

so, i suppose i'm being extremely verbose just to tell my readers that i'm going to try and write in a more casual format for awhile now.  you know what it is?  probably my big fat ego! i'm an educated and sometimes-professional writer/editor, and probably what it comes down to is the fact that i can't bear to write a blog without punctuation and all that shite without EXPLAINING.  ahhh well.  at least i know myself.  somewhat.  and truly, i often feel that writing is one of the only "gifts" or talents or whatever that i have, one of the only shots i have at being in a career or successful or something like that (this is usually how i feel more when i'm being overly emotional rather than reasonable and planning my life logically).  so this is whence and why i get this way, act this way ... am i just so insufferable?  

well, here's part 2 of my whole "thing."  i've been working on a separate blog, also written in casual format like this.  i've been practicing and sort of exploring where i truly want it to take me, what kinds of things i truly want to write about and how they differ from what i write here.  now i'm going to try the same thing here, and maybe the two will become one.  if they don't, then i have a problem with this one, and it is that i don't feel comfortable being open here.  i can guess a number of reasons for that, but i'm not going to worry about it yet.  i'm going to push myself to create an open journalistic/memoir blog here, just like i set out to do in the beginning.  for the time being, i'll use my private one to try out ideas, to write rough drafts, etc.  

i've gotten flak over the years, in addition to openly-confused questions, from all sorts of people online, as well as those who know me in "real" life; they want to know why we bloggers (those who write blogs as personal expressions, as records or diaries of our lives anyway) feel compelled to share our struggles, our mistakes, even our illegal activities at times, with the world.  some people have become hostile toward me, expressed hateful opinions toward others who blog in this manner, because they don't understand, don't approve, whatever.  

it's not that i owe anyone a fucking explanation, because i know that i don't, please believe.  in fact, i am damn unapologetic about most of my life (except ignoring punctuation and such, teehee), even or especially when it flies in the face of supposed social mores.  but oh, i suppose now i'm getting into what should be my next post, or some subsequent one.  people have a problem with my blogging about real life, my personal life, my issues, concerns, feelings, anger, etc.  because you know, what if you are a person in my "real" life, and what if i'm mad at you?  what if i hate something you've done?  what if i'm just flat out annoyed with you right now?  what if i hate your fucking stupid taste in music?  what if you pissed me off with a "typical" comment this week and i didn't say anything and i want to brood about it right here on my blog before i address it with you?  ya know?

well, this is the type of thing i've been trying to settle in my mind, sort out, write out, divvy up with my left hand as guide, etc.  and for the record, those examples of petty arguments, anger, irritations, etc. were NOT specific events going on right now toward any specific people in my life right now, so don't even go there, people who know me!!!!!  what i'm saying is this, and i suppose that for some folks out there reading, it might be one of the most important parts of this post:

i have decided that i am not going to censor myself in writing endeavors; thus, reading or not reading this is all up to you, and perhaps whatever i write does not affect your life to the point of affecting any real change in your emotional status, etc.  and that's great.  because the bigger my audience, be they raging lunatics or adoring fans, the happier this writer blogger girl is.  

that is all for now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Okay, fine, I guess I might as well admit that this whole thing with my cat has me scared shitless.  What a nerd.  What a wimp.  I don't want to leave him, and I can't get interested in movies or books or anything, not even my writing very much, until I see that he is ... well, until he is himself.  I never had a cat before Dorian, and although I've had him now for over six years, those have been blessedly healthy, incident-free years for the most part.  Having his three teeth pulled, and all the anesthesia, anti-biotics, pain-killers, mushed-up food, etc., that entails, is waaaay beyond anything that he and I have previously experienced. It's also beyond what either of us -- and I'm fairly certain I can speak for both cat and myself here -- expected.  He once had dental work a couple of years ago, but it was only a cleaning ... and yes, the anesthesia confused him and made him totter around in a haze for a few days, but it wasn't like this.  He only hid out under the bed that time for a few hours, then woke up and heard my boyfriend and I downstairs talking and singing out to him of treats and fresh food ... and he came down to play and snuggle.  Soon all the trauma was forgotten...

This is more difficult, because if I offer a treat, it will have to be a soggy one, that I have softened with warm water like his other food (canned and "wet" food are available to him here, but he's always hated them); I'm hoping and yet doubtful that he will like this formulation.  Also, for the next 9 days, I will have to remain a dubious enemy of sorts, trying to create a routine wherein I am able to shoot a syringe full of amoxicillin down his throat twice a day.  I feel like this will make his forgetting my transgressions (car ride, entrapment in cat-carrier, abandonment at the vet, etc) much more difficult.  

The thing is, I've always been confident in the fact that if I'm doing what's right for him, and it's keeping him strong and healthy, then the rest will come, because clearly, I love the little dude to bits!  But I've never faced a situation where what I had to do made him seem so very UNhappy.  I mean, not for such a long time.  I'm sure those of you who have HUMAN children think I'm an idiot, going on about all of this shit, but the fact remains that I've never had to raise a child, never had to care for anyone who is very sick, and never had to nurse my beloved pet through much of a difficult recovery.  Just like I have not had a child grow into a teenager who tells me she "hates" me, I have never before had a cat who usually licks and purrs and cuddles with me, who heralds my homecoming on a daily basis with happy meows, behave like he FEARS and/or LOATHES me.  And if it isn't personal, then he's simply reacting badly to what he's been through, and he's depressed and lethargic.  Either way, it's bad.  And I've not had a cat before, and I'm never sure what's a "normal" reaction and what should constitute a call to the veterinary clinic.  My vet is very good, very understanding, and they have never made me feel like a pain or like I was being ridiculous about something ... they are just as devoted to animals as the most loving pet-owner, so that's all good.

I can only effing IMAGINE myself as a mom, now more than ever!  I mean, I keep saying oh, I've never before had a cat, so I don't want to be hysterical but also I don't want to miss the signs of anything that's wrong... If I had a child, for the love of God, I'd be doing this every damn day probably!  Oh the humanity.  And I know that in the grand scheme of everything, it's sort of small-minded and un-important and, well, dumb, to sit and be all upset about the cat not "liking" me right now or being "mad" or whatever.  But it's a perfect storm:  I've had a hard year, I've been alone at home with only Dorian for a companion a lot more than any other year, and we've been best mates in a way, you know.  When I've been sick with my migraines, he seems to "get" it, and he lies by my side in bed, patiently waiting, for HOURS sometimes before being fed or getting a clean litterbox, when I'm able to get up and do these things, or to have a friend come from work to help or whatever.  He's a smart little guy, and loyal in a very uncommon way for a cat, and well, I miss him and don't like it when he's avoiding me.  And when I say that, write it, even THINK it, I know I sound stupid, but oh well, it's true. 

Well, I just replenished his un-touched water and checked on him.  The latter consists of my pulling up the bedspread to look at his eyes and poke or prod him so that I can see how he's breathing, THAT he's breathing.  He usually glares at me, edges away to where I can't reach him (I've always found it fascinating the way that a cat can move to a point EXACTLY beyond your reach, no more and no less, so that you reach out to pet him and your fingertips just miss, haha), and then I go back to my couch where I'm watching TV and not doing anything productive, getting so excited when my friends/family call or come over to keep me company.  What a case I am, huh?   I have to say that it was a little bit funny in the night last night; I was sleeping (not in the room where he hides), but I woke up three different times because I heard him meowing... And there he was, in a place outside my door where I could see him, just staring at me and meowing.  But when I got up on my elbow and spoke to him, he darted back to his hidey-hole.  I pictured a cartoon cat soon to be standing up on hind legs over me with a human-size carrier, or a medicine syringe like the one I gave him, or something (a shiny blade?!), laughing maniacally, hovering over me as I slept.  

OH!  He walks!  He just came out a few times to peer at me with a very serious and stoic look!  He came as far as our living room to size everything up.  This is good progress!  And just in time, 'cuz I'm stirring up a batch of warm water with dry kibble for him, which should puff and soak satisfactorily in a few minutes! MMMM.  I'll keep you all posted.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Yes, I'm BACK!  This is a happy event (coming back to my main blog) for me, as I'm sure it is for my loyal readers reader.

However, I feel all out-of-sorts.  I can't decide whether to take a nap or to try to stay busy ... and I think the latter will lead to mania, with me just running around and starting various projects, which no doubt need to be done but none of which I will finish.  The whole thinking process about all of it just exhausts me, and then I guess I should just take that nap... But I have some new books, and maybe I could read, and I'm just out-of-sorts!

The problem?  My precious baby Dorian-Cat is at the Vet today.  For the whole day.  He's being put under anesthesia and getting his teeth cleaned.  At his recent appointment they found some pretty bad gum irritation and tooth decay starting, and he might have to have one tooth pulled.  I didn't know how prone he was to this problem, but I have resolved to work on teeth-brushing with him.  He will hate it, but it's better than this!!!!  

I had to take my Dori to the vet clinic by 8 a.m. and will not be able to pick him up until 5... I have done this once before, and everything was just fine.  I like my vet, and my cat was great, he did great, and he was sleepy but healthy, everything worked out... But I hate it so much!  It's really obvious to me today how much our lives at home are intertwined!  I got up off the couch and was gingerly putting my feet down, just in case he was lying there, like I always do, because he tends to get under foot.  But then of course, I realized, he's not here!  Then the guys who do lawn work at our apartment complex came by, and they had the loud leaf-blower out, and I jumped up to shut the door, because Dori hates that... but I realized that it won't bother him if he's all the way at the clinic.  I hate this!  It's the weirdest thing ever to be at home with my cat NOT at home.   It's like what?  Why would he be away somewhere?  He doesn't go on play dates or anything, like, without me.  

I do not care if I sound like a poorly-adjusted, co-dependent, over-attached cat mom.  I don't like him to be there, or anywhere, without me.  He only trusts me 100%.  He trusts a few other humans close to that, but believe me, they ain't at the veterinary clinic.  Oh, sadness... Oh, anxiety... I want my baby back!  I must pass the time now, so that soon they will call and the day will be done.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Hey everyone... I don't want those of you who are loyal readers (there are a few, yes) to keep visiting and finding that I haven't posted .... but I've been having a difficult time getting my words onto paper (so to speak) lately, just a hard time all around.  Also, I'm working on a little side project, another blog of sorts ... and once it's "ready" I will be inviting some of you who have been reading and commenting here to come be members there.  More info on that later...  Anyway, just wanted to post and let you know I'm taking a small hiatus from this one (maybe a week to two weeks), but I certainly WILL be back!  xo

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Peace Times Generation

I don't know how to write about today.  It's always interesting to me, especially as the years go by,  to hear where people were when they found out, when they "heard."  I don't remember another event like that, the kind where everybody can talk about how their world stopped and they never forgot that moment in time ... exactly where they were and what they were doing... since I was a child and the space shuttle Challenger crashed.  I was in third grade then, and there had been a plan for us to watch it take off on TV.  TV's in classrooms were not the norm in my school in that time, and when we did have them, it was mostly to watch a tape of something educational.  I don't know that the school even had a proper TV antenna.  I don't remember.  Maybe someone was going to bring the TV into the classroom (because they were always on rolling carts that teachers had to sign up to use and pass around) and show us a recording of the lift-off.  It must have been early in the morning, and I don't know whether we would have been at school.  I just remember that the teacher broke the news to us that there had been a horrible accident, and that the Challenger had not lifted off as planned, that it had exploded.  I believe we were to ask our parents to explain it further to us.  

I mention all of this, because I grew up in a generation that was extremely unique in at least one way.  The kids that I grew up with and I only ever knew peace times.  I mean, there were scuffles and military involvement in different events during my life, yes.  But not like what's going on now.  And not like Vietnam or any war that came before it.  

I should stop here and point out that I do realize a "generation" is defined differently by many different people, and depending on context.  For my purposes, I'm speaking of the kids who came of age, say grew up and became teenagers, with me... Let's say about 7 years time.  My brother is 7 years younger than I am, and his own classmates definitely have their own "generation" with its own music and culture and experiences ... some overlapping mine, but many new and all their own.

I was a Junior in High School when the United States entered into the Gulf War.  Even then,  I don't believe that my generation gained much understanding of what it means to be at war, to go to battle, to face a world wherein bloodshed is being caused by and happening to our own military on a large scale.  If you were someone who had a personal relationship to a soldier or other military member who fought in the Gulf War, that's different.  I understand that having personal involvement changes everything, especially for those who lost someone.  And what I write here is not intended to belittle the efforts of such people in any way; in fact, quite the opposite.   Because if you were like me and so many Americans growing up then, the Gulf War just looked like the United States triumph we were taught to expect.  Even the news was not all that serious (anyone remember the "scud stud," i.e. Arthur Kent?), full of quick justice being dealt by the U.S. before the mighty military came on home to celebrate and laugh at anyone who would challenge our super-power nation.  That is the attitude and confidence, however falsely founded, that I was taught.

I now know that it is a very blessed and unique thing, for which I am full of gratitude, to grow up in such a world, where my country seemed like a safe and mighty fortress in which to live.   My generation never knew fear, not the particular kind that enters into a land and sits with its people night after night, when a nation is at war.

As High School graduation approached for my class and those behind us, many kids announced their plans to enlist in a branch of our military.  Some kids had already entered into ROTC programs.    The woman that I am today is unspeakably  ashamed to tell this, but it's the truth nonetheless:  these kids were usually regarded as the ones who didn't have any other options.  I mean, the general thinking of the day was:  why wouldn't you go to college, or get a job making some money, go get married, etc., after High School?  The only good reason to join our military was because you needed money for college and couldn't get it any other way, or to learn a "trade," as the advertisements promised, because you weren't interested or capable of getting into college or getting a good job right out of school.  When recruiters came to our school and were allowed to set up a table in our cafeteria (but not to approach us ... they could only speak to interested parties who approached them), most kids just ignored them.  If you were seen getting information from the recruiters or talking to them, it was just like this weird stigma... like oh, look, there's a kid who has to go into the military, he/she has no other options.

I did not take notice of this ideology one way or another until years later.  I had my own plans and was very determined to stay on my own "right track" at that time.  No, I was not one of those who made fun of other kids for going to the military or any other reason.  I didn't judge people, as I don't now.  But looking back, I know that the kids were judged.  And I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why.

To learn about that war and so many other aspects of what our country has done, been like, etc., I've had to educate myself.  I did not learn most of the things I feel are very important about our nation's place in the world until after college, when I took it upon myself to ask questions of relatives and friends, to read all the books and other literature I could find, to know this place where I grew up safe and sheltered.

Today, largely because of what happened on September 11, 2001, I live in a different environment, a different world of ideas and ideals.  Now I have lived to see the boys who are of age voice their opinions on what they would do should another draft be put into effect.  Now I have known grown men (and a few women), my former classmates and my friends, who have enlisted.  Now I have communicated with guys from my neighborhood, my generation, all over the world, some who have been sent into battle and some who have not.  Now I'm living in the world that most people have always lived in, the one in which wars break out, the one in which war changes everything, the one in which people go away to serve those of us living here at home, and sometimes they don't come back.  I am sobered and humbled and matured by these experiences and this knowledge.  I have changed along with the world in which I live, along with my country.   I, like everyone else, changed on that September day, for always.

If you are among the many people from all over the world who lost someone on September 11, God bless you.  My prayers and thoughts are always with you, not lessened at all by the time that has passed.  I will not be one who forgets that day.

If you or your loved ones are fighting for us, or stationed and trained anywhere in the world prepared to do so, my heart and thoughts are with you.   I pray that God will bless you and keep you and bring you back home to peace times again.  And I thank you for serving this country that I love.

Friday, September 03, 2010

A Good Week!

This was a much-improved week.  Started out last Saturday (close enough to the "start" of the week for me!) with tickets to the Sox-Yankees game, which was here at home... Home being U.S. Cellular Field in south-side Chicago, for those who don't follow baseball.  It's so sad that, although I've been a major baseball fan since birth, I've only been to "the Cell" (as the Sox park is nicknamed) once since it was named and built.  It used to be Comiskey Park, waaaay back in the day, and I'd been there, but this park is a lot different.

I didn't bring my camera, and I can't believe it now!  I had no freaking idea or memory of the fact that the Cell has these amazing 360-degree views (obviously, depending on what gate you are standing by, the level you are on, etc) of the entire city skyline!  It was GORGEOUS!  The night couldn't have been more PERFECT for an evening baseball game, although the Yankees beat us.  But I mean, this view is breath-taking!  If you come to our city, I guarantee you won't get this view anywhere else except maybe the Willis/Sears Tower.   But of course there you can't take an outdoor picture (at least, not to my knowledge ... if they're letting people go outside up there nowadays, then, no one has informed me!).  

I really wish I'd brought my camera, but see, I was all befuddled by the security measures that allowed only small backpacks/purses/bags into the park.  I read that beforehand, and perhaps now would be the time to inform those who don't spend time with me personally that I always carry a huge bag or backpack with me.  I just can't seem to get away from it.   I have my various magazines, medicines (especially those), my e-reader, etc. etc. on and on!  And I just have to schlep everything and don't mind doing it.  But these days, you have to check on such matters, because many places won't let you bring your huge bag of migraine meds and magazines (haha) into their facility, depending on what it is.  Ok, so I digress as usual ...

So I had packed all my essential crap into a purse (yes, I do own a few, but rarely use 'em) and just didn't know or have the mind-set to deal with the camera.  Oh, and I don't have a camera on my phone, if you can even imagine, haha, because my phone is like 5 years old and doesn't even know what a photo IS.  It's not that I'm cheap or even that I can't trade my phone in by now for a newer model, but ... every time I go looking at them, I get too overwhelmed.  I mean, I really don't NEED all that shit.  I have a great camera, a good mp3 player, and quite frankly, I don't even want that crap on my telephone!!!  I do, however, wish to surf the internet and text all the time with it.  So I don't know, I'll get to that sooner or later... probably later.

Um, so yeah, that was my last-Saturday start to the week, and this week has been pretty darn good.  It was soooo good to get OUT with, like, humans!  I had a really cool person seated next to me at the game.  I mean, my friend Steph, sat on one side, yes.  But the one who was a stranger, well, you never know what you're gonna get, but I got a good one.  I'll tell you about him in an upcoming post, 'cuz he is a Vietnam Vet and actually deserves his own post.

Steph is a friend I worked with for years at my favorite job; yet we hadn't seen each other for like 5 years probably before going to the game together.  And you know what?  It was pretty much like no time had passed.  I mean, we had lots of catching up to do, but we laughed our asses off and just had the same kind of fun we always had.  So it was all good.

I tried to keep my momentum going by getting in touch with friends and family and getting out a little more this week ... yesterday we visited the Lincoln Park Zoo (also in Chicago...Lincoln Park is a neighborhood there).    Oh, I took some pictures THERE, you better believe it!  So I have lots more to write about.  Soon!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh I'm not sure where to start today.  I am actually in this strange and awful place wherein I feel the need to write ... and write and write, just to get it out, you know?  And at the same time, ick, I just don't even want to hear my own damn voice.  I know from writing in school and writing for professional assignments, that it really helps me to just write, almost a stream of consciousness or to utilize writing prompts (I have a book I'm currently using with a topic or prompt for each day of the year).  The purpose of this type of writing is just to get all the gunk outta my head so that the real stuff, the real point and purpose of what I want to say can shine through.  Maybe it sounds nutty to some, but this is what works for me as a writer.  

I guess I'm in a bit of a writer's ... not a block exactly, but some kind of funk.  I suspect that even when I try, even when I think that I'm doing it, I am no longer writing or blogging authentically.  And in my opinion, if I'm not going to come on with it, as I describe that hard-hitting genuine writing that's so compelling in any sort of first-person narrative ... well, then just hang it up, geez.  You might be familiar with one of my favorite bloggers, Anna.  Before you click, if you haven't done so in the past, I will tell you that she is an admitted drug addict and she writes a completely honest and therefore completely graphic blog about ... everything that goes on in her life.  And I adore her.  I mean it.  Nope, I don't know the girl.  Don't know whether we'd ever be friends or even have anything to talk about if we met.   But as a blogger, she is the absolute shit in my eyes.  Because it doesn't matter what mental state she's in, doesn't matter what emotion she's feeling, what she's going through ... it's not about the external material for her writing.  It's her narrative, her explicit descriptions and reporting on what she feels and sees and thinks and wonders about ... she conveys her humanity quite exquisitely.  

I've written like that in my life before.  I'm not sure whether I ever did it as consistently as Anna, but I sure as hell came a lot closer to it than I'm doing now.  It's not just my blog, it's anything I write.  I have a Hub-Page, I write a journal, I do some writing exercises ... it's everything.  I'm off my game.  

This is depressing to write about.  I think the reason I'm off my writing game is that ... surprise surprise ... I'm just "off" in life.  Maybe I'm not facing things that I need to face.  Maybe I'm not living authentically.  Maybe I'm scared of a lot of things right now, and I'm allowing fear to stop me from writing and from living.  I think that on some level, I know that at least some of this is true.  And ya know what's pathetic?  It only makes me loathe myself.  I hate myself for it.  Every word that isn't what I want it to be, every single time that I see myself as a diminished version of the woman that I was or was becoming earlier in life ... that woman who I could right now definitely and confidently describe to you ... every time I think about the discrepancy between the two, I feel disgusted with myself.  That's it.  I knew if I wrote about it, I'd get to the bottom of it.  I hate where I am right now, hate what I'm doing with my gifts and my talents and the blessings of my life.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Go There, Then Come Back Here

Okay!  Check out this website, because ... because ... you MUST.  It makes me laugh, especially when I'm in that sort of bitter-but-not-REALLY and melancholy moods, both of which fuel my cynical "gallows" type of humor.  It might also be described as "Office Space" humor.  

After you tire of that (as if!), check out my "A Few of My Favorite Things" blog roll to the left.  I've begun late-summer cleaning and purging, people!!  This list is meant to be a true representation of the blogs (and occasionally other sorts of site) that I do indeed consider "favorite."  Therefore, I have deleted a few blogs (perhaps the reasoning behind such decisions will be a forthcoming post itself) and added a few new favorites.  If you like my fellow bloggers' words, drop them a comment and say so.  After all, your comments are the way that I "met" most of you!  And if you hate them, well, hey, it's up to you what you wish to say or refrain from saying!  'Tis the life of us bloggers.

...Because in the meantime, while you're being sent to and fro by, well, me, I have a coupla new blog themes or possibly features and the like which will be posted in the not-too-distant future.  I'm taking a new direction with my writing -- and of course that includes TerminallyUniq... STAY TUNED!  :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Sheesh.  As if I weren't already grouchy, cranky, or whatever you want to call it.  Now I'm reading this book, and I just have to mention it.  It's called "Fierce," and it's a memoir by Barbara Robinette Moss.  I guess it's a sequel of sorts to an earlier memoir she wrote that focused more on her childhood; that one was called "Make Me Into Zeus' Daughter."  I didn't read that one, because this one appealed to me more with its focus being on her trying to make her way through adulthood.  She, like me, and like many of my readers, is an ACOA, an Adult Child of Alcoholic(s).  That shitty label can make itself known in many hideous ways, but we all have quite a few things in common; so I like to read memoirs like this.  Usually.

But damn, woman!  That's what I keep saying as I go through the book.  First of all, I got about 10 books in the last month, between loaners from friends, a couple e-book purchases, and the library.  And out of the EIGHT I've already peered into, this was one of only TWO that even seemed decent.  It was a real strike-out of a book haul this time.  I will try to read a little more of my other books, but they don't look too promising so far.  

Anyway, the whole time I'm reading this book, I just can't stop shaking my head.  I'm bewildered.  I mean, okay, I don't know Ms. Moss' exact age; I suppose I could cipher it if I took the time, but I haven't.  She must be the age of MY parents, roughly; her own father, the drunk in this scenario, was a WW2 vet.  And I know that the times were different when she was growing up, but man, was she naive, even into adulthood, even halfway through this book when she's been divorced twice, lived in 3 states, and had a child!  And she just keeps making all of these crap decisions that make me think, Damn, there's a difference between being effed up from an ACOA upbringing and just lacking common sense completely.  Wow.

I was drawn to the book, because the e-book store kept suggesting it to me, supposedly because it matched up to my other purchased books.  I made note of that, but then I also saw it reviewed on Amazon recently.  Oh, there were all these positive reviews about the author's candor and overcoming this and that!  It sounded like it would be right up my alley!  So I'm going to read it through.  I'll give her this:  she writes in such a way as to keep me turning the pages, if not feeling sympathetic toward or relating to her.  I'll let you all know what I think when I'm finished.

So I might as well mention the other book that I read, last week.  It's been on my ever-expanding book list forever, friends have been urging me to read it and saying how much they thought I would like it, on and on.  I guess I wasn't clear on the plot or whatever ... it's summary sure doesn't do it justice.  It's "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.  Well!  I could not believe I had waited so long, with this book just OUT THERE, waiting for me to pick it on up!  I simply adored it!  I had to think it over, reflect, absorb, all of these things that I do with a beloved book ... and yes, now that I've done that, I can honestly tell you it is one of my Top 15 favorite books of all time.  It might be Top 10; I have to sit down and think about my current list.  I mean, this is including my favorite so-called "great" literature, my favorite childhood classics, poetry, whatever, all in one collection ... and this book would make the top 10-15.  It is wonderful.  I loved it.  

So there you are!  As you know, I don't do any sort of regular book or movie reviews, but hey, if I like or love or hate or am confused by something, I like to discuss.  And this weekend I've had one movie and two books ... and it ain't over yet!