Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thank goodness she's too old to have children.

Or if she isn't too old, she's certainly too bitter to bear any fruit. Ann Coulter strikes again with this beautiful quote:

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?’”

Has anyone told Ann that she is, in fact, a woman? At least I think so. I haven't heard any independent sources suggesting otherwise. So would she be okay with us taking away her right to vote?

So it's going to be that kind of day.

One of my FRG-related duties today was to pick up baked goods and then drop them off at a bake sale site. When I stopped to pick up some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles (*drool*), the donater said, "These last two won't fit in the container. Do you want them? They're good!"

And the devil appeared on my right shoulder and screamed, "Hell, yes! Look at the size of my post-baby ass! Do you even need to ask me if I want these cupcakes? Do you even need to say they're good? Gimme, gimme, gimme NOW!"

But the angel appeared over left and reminded me, "You said you were going to stop stress eating this week. You've done so well the past two days. Do you really want to ruin your progress now?"

And so, somehow, someway, I found the strength to decline those two cupcakes and said instead, "Oh, they are just going to put out the baked goods anyway. I'll just take them on top of the container and they can put them out first."

On the way to the motor pool, a car pulled out in front of me and I had to break hard. And, of course, those two cupcakes fell -- one to the floor and the other on to my seat. Once I pulled up to the drop-off point, I threw them in the dumpster. And perhaps I shed a tear or two over the waste of it all. After all, is there anything sadder than cupcakes thrown in the garbage for no real good reason?

But then?

Well, I went to the library. I had a little time to kill before the bake sale started and wanted to see if they had a book someone recommended. And as I perused the shelves, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, I didn't know if I should say anything but you have something brown all over your jeans."

Wouldn't you know I had sat in icing that had smeared on my seat somewhere between when the cupcakes fell and when I tossed them in the trash. That brown, chocolaty goodness was now all over my left ass cheek, with daubs moving in the direction of my crotch. Nice. I had to go home and change.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Never decline offered cupcakes. Your ass will be punished just because the cupcakes exist.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Okay, so, like, I didn't quite get it.

Netflix finally got around to sending me The Fountain on DVD. I wanted to see this movie in the theater -- I really liked "Pi," and figure this would be in the same vein (plus, I don't share Dr. Cox's hatred of Hugh Jackman. I actually think he's kind of dreamy -- you know, mostly when he's wearing big claws).

The movie was visually stunning. Absolutely beautiful. But I don't know if I got it. Maybe I'm just too old, maybe just too tired or maybe I need to watch it again. But I'm just not sure. What's worse is that I can't quite figure out what it was about the movie that I'm not sure if I got. What is up with that?

But what I can tell you is that the music was incredibly moving. Absolutely breathtaking.

Our national pasttime.

"The Yankees rule."

"Oh, please. I was watching Sportscenter this morning and they had the top 10 moments from the season and the Yankees only had one. The Red Sox, now? They had two, maybe three."

"What were they?"

"I don't know. I saw it on the gym with the sound off. There were just lots of home runs and a heckuva lot of butt patting."

"And you didn't see butt patting with the Yankees clip?"

"No. It's not like they can legally cut to the Jeter and Rodriguez's private time in the locker room."

Just when I was beginning to feel bad about referring to them as "developmental nazis."

Apparently, Munchkin is an enigma. Since he lagged behind his peers speechwise, he's been incorrectly diagnosed as the following:
  • Motor and muscle-control impaired.
  • Autistic.
  • Brain-damaged.
  • Autistic again.
  • Hearing impaired.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • And, maybe the third time is the charm -- autistic!

And today, the itinerant consultant who can only visit my son once a month has decided instead that he suffers from sensory processing disorder. This, of course, after a first visit of only 20 minutes.

Only one problem -- I keep looking at this checklist and he doesn't have a cluster of any of these symptoms. She based this on his love of climbing. But he hates to be upside-down and gets dizzy when he spins while dancing. And frankly, looking at some of the other items on the "hyposensitivity to movement" list, I have to wonder if it isn't just a list of descriptions for toddler boys in general. I mean, have you seen the kind of physical feats a three-year-old can master when he thinks his Mom ain't looking? I've experienced it firsthand and let me tell you, it is not for the faint of heart.

I don't want to be the Mom whose kid's diagnosis has been staring her in the face all along but she refused to see it -- whether out of vanity or fear of the long-term consequences for her child. I really don't. But I see nothing that indicates that he is autistic or has attention problems. We've had the medical tests to rule out hearing impairment and brain damage. So that really just leaves the language delay. Why can't get I get a diagnosis for that? I mean, apraxia, articulation disorders, auditory processing disorder, dysfluency -- it isn't as if there aren't a whole host to choose from. I keep being told that early intervention is key. But how can I know the best way to intervene if I don't know the problem? What am I missing here?

(I could go on about how fucking difficult it is to actually find a qualified speech-language pathologist to evaluate him. The Army has commandeered all area SLPs to help soldiers with brain injuries. And while I certainly don't begrudge the soldiers all the help they can get, I find it hard to believe that one -- just one! -- can't schedule us in for an hour to help make some sense of all of this).

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The catch.

If the trailer makes me tear up, what are the odds that I'll get through the movie?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Best of Craigslist (Thanks, Kimba!)

The lovely Kimba posted a link to the Best of Craigslist on her blog, Kimbaland.. I was in full procrastination mode today -- might have had something to do with having to spend HOURS on hold with the stupid Tricare people, but whatever -- so I read my little heart out. Some of them are gut-achingly, pants-wetting hilarious.

My current favorite:

Open Letter From A Paramedic
Date: 2007-06-05, 7:31PM PDT

Dear citizens of (and visitors to) Multnomah County,

By and large, you're a good bunch. I enjoy providing you with the help you need when you call 911. You make my workdays (and nights) interesting. However, from time to time, I notice a few small issues -- perhaps we can call them gaps in your knowledge? -- that make my job a little bit more frustrating. Herein I offer a few simple pieces of advice to help make everyone's emergency experience more satisfying.

1. When I ask you questions, please strive to tell me the full and complete truth. There's no badge or gun on me. I'm not going to get you in trouble for being high on drugs, but I really would like to know what exactly you did. You're not fooling anyone. Likewise, I don't care who you were having sex with, where, with what exciting accessories, and what your respective spouses will think, but if it's contributed to your condition you should probably bring it up.

2. I regret to inform you life is not like TV. We do not run from the ambulance to the patient, we do not drive everyone to the hospital with lights and sirens, and most dead people stay dead despite our best efforts. On the other hand, we are not just a fancy taxi ride. I can start an IV (in your arm or leg or neck), put a breathing tube down your throat, do an EKG to see if you're having a heart attack, shock your heart if it's in a bad rhythm, and give about thirty different drugs for different medical conditions. I can do more in the short term than most nurses. I had to go to school for years. Respect me and I'll respect you.

3. In a related vein, if you could keep the drama to a bare minimum when your parent/sibling/spouse/friend/neighbor/coworker is hurt or sick, it will help everyone immensely. I understand that the situation is upsetting, and I respect your feelings, but the best thing you can do for the patient, me, and even yourself is try to remain as calm as possible. Shouting at me to do something or hurry up will not help. Yelling in general is not, in fact, helpful. Trying to keep out of our way, answering the questions we ask in a succinct and informative manner, and keeping your dramatic tendencies restrained are the absolute best thing you can do.

4. However, if it is your young child who is badly hurt or critically ill, you are allowed all the drama you want.

5. If I am trying to help you and this makes you upset for some reason, please do not try and hit me. I may not be as big and beefy as some of my coworkers. I make up for it in dirty tricks. If you do decide you'd like to tussle, I'd like to point out that you get ONE swing and it is never free. I have giant zip-ties, sedatives, and a radio that can call a whole lot of cops, who aren't nearly as nice as me.

6. If you are driving and happen to see my big vehicle with all the blinkies and woo-woos, please get the hell out of the way. Specifically, pull ALL THE WAY to the right of the street and STOP YOUR CAR. You don't know where I'm going and when I'll need to turn. Unless you're driving a Hummer I've probably got more weight than you, and if you do something stupid that I can't avoid and we stack it up, things won't come out well for you. Also I'll lose my job.

7. Finally, exercise a modicum of common sense about when to call 911.

Examples of when 911 is IS appropriate: Traffic accidents with injuries. Chest pain. Trouble breathing. Lack of breathing. Serious bleeding. Unconsciousness. Seizures. Strokes.

Examples of when 911 may NOT be appropriate: Blisters. Small cuts. Dissatisfaction with your fast food order. Needing a prescription refill. Colds. Minor problem (sore leg, stomachache) which has been going on for three days.

Bearing all that in mind, it's a pleasure to serve you, and hopefully I won't be showing up at your doorstep, street corner, or car door anytime soon.

One of Your Many Hardworking (If Underpaid) County Paramedics

FRG leaders, problem solvers extraordinaire.

"I'm having a serious problem with my neighbor. I'm afraid it might escalate so I wanted to let you know about it."

"Ummmm...okay. What's going on?"

"Well, it was her turn to mow the lawn. She did it last night and she got mown grass all over the front of my freshly detailed Durango. I saw it this morning and marched right up to tell her to clean it off before lunch."

"Well, I'm sure that she probably didn't mean to..."

"I was nice when I asked her, too. I mean, firm -- she had to know that it was her responsibility to clean up her own mess -- but nice. But even being nice, she didn't clean it up. Can you believe it?"

"Well, err, again, I'm sure she probably didn't mean..."

"Well, after waiting, I took the bag of grass clippings that she left by the dumpster and dumped them in front of her door."

"You did what?!"

"And you know what that bitch did? She took the trash -- the GARBAGE -- and emptied it in front of my door. Can you believe that shit? I mean, how trashy can you get? I have kids, you know. I should not have to be subjected to this kind of stuff."

One step away from greatness.

An old college buddy of mine, Jason Bareford, appeared on David Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks segment. He's the one kicking himself in the head. I couldn't be more proud if he solved some crazy-ass probability theorem.

(As a side note, did the last guy drinking the beer through his nose make you gag a little or was it just me?)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thank God I made it out alive.

I know that people love the Commissary Case Lot sales. But me? Well, let's just say I make a serious point to avoid them.

One, I just don't have the storage room for crates of hand soap and individually wrapped 100 calorie packages of Chex Mix that will never be eaten. But more importantly, I can't deal with the insanity. I don't know what it is about buying everyday items in bulk at a discount but it brings out the serious crazy in people. And I mean, insane in the frickin' membrane.

I happened upon my first case lot sale unawares. I was just doing my routine weekend shopping and saw people trying to drag two and three shopping carts to the back of the store. I asked someone what was going on and after looking at my like I had two heads (after all, who doesn't know about case lot sales?), she informed me that today was a case lot sale day and the Commissary had not only Huggies but Pampers! This apparently was a seriously big deal.

Pampers happened to be on my shopping list. I decided to head back and take a gander. Holy shit. What I saw that day has forever changed me.

Women and men violently pulling boxes of diapers from a tower in the middle of the floor. A Mom loudly complaining to another that she had 6 cases already and that the last case of size 3 Huggies sitting there was rightfully hers. A Dad telling his 10 year old to go steal a box of pull-ups from the cart of the lady distracted by her toddler. It was chaos. Later, I'd find out that an actual fistfight broke out over some Dora the Explorer pull-ups and the MPs had to be called.

It's true that I did get my case of Pampers that day and at a serious discount. But had my son been bigger and needed some pull-ups, I might have had to shed some blood to save a few dollars.

By the time the next case lot sale rolled around, I had reinforcements. Munchkin was a little older and CPT Dick thought it would be worth getting diapers half off. And so, I insisted that we go shopping as a family. This time, probably to avoid needless violence, the Commissary staff had created a forced path through the case lot sale. And that path was only wide enough for one cart at a time. Diapers were at the end. We crawled along at a snail's pace as other shoppers took their time examining paper towels and doing the math in their heads. When we got to the diapers, they didn't have Munchkin's size. I grabbed two cases of the next size up while CPT Dick ran interference and we got the hell out of there.

I have not yet returned to another sale. Too much stress.

But wouldn't you know, I stumbled upon another case lot yesterday at the biggest commissary in our area. I should have known the second I noticed there were no shopping carts waiting outside. And once again, I was forced along with the tide, slowing pacing through the aisles of the case lot sale just to get the makings for pasta with vodka cream sauce and a few cleaning supplies. To keep myself sane through the process, I threw cases of hand cream, dishwashing liquid and, yes, again the diapers, into my cart. For shopping that would have normally taken me 20 minutes, I spent nearly two and a half hours at the store, all-told. It was agonizing.

Later, as I recounted the day to a friend, she tried to cheer me up by reminding me of the money I saved by buying in bulk. Of course, I spent over $50, and a good chunk of my chi, to get those savings. But, really, who's counting?

On comforting German pragmatism.

"Yes, you are right. This is a maggot. They hatch from eggs of flying insect."

"I keep finding them one, two at a time crawling on the wall above the kitchen. I've been cleaning the kitchen with bleach and spraying the garbage can with Lysol regularly but they keep showing up. I have no idea where they are coming from."

"Ma'am, this building is very old. It is very old stone and how they glue the stones together has holes in it. You are going to have some insects. They lay their eggs outside and then they will smell the food and come in through the holes from the outside."

"Would it help to spray, maybe?"

"This is a problem. I think it's not good to spray in your kitchen. And since we don't know how they come in, it will not, I think, do much good."

"So how can I get rid of them?"

"Just how you are. When you see one, pick it off. You cannot, I think, get rid of all of them. But soon, it is winter. You will have less insects then."

"And what about in summer?"

"Oh, more in summer. But less in winter."