Still here, just taking a short break for a week or so.
Happy blogoversary to me! March 26th marks one year.
I'll be back in a few...
It is fascinating to me to see what has come of the Terri Schiavo case. I find the entire situation terribly sad, and am having a difficult time coming to a decision on where I stand on this issue.
I find it hard to believe that Terri's husband only wants her to die to get rid of her or get on with his life, as many have stated. It has been implied that he stands to gain financially once Terri is gone, however, after 15 years of medical care and 7 years of legal costs, how much money can there be? He's already been offered money to just walk away and he turned it down. I don't buy the idea that money is his motivation for allowing his wife to die. If he simply wanted to be single again, divorce is always an option. There is no way he would have remained married all this time if all he wanted was freedom.
On the other hand, Terri's parents obviously love her and are willing to care for her indefinately. What's wrong with that? I cant imagine the pain of seeing their daughter starve to death.
I have to believe that Michael Schiavo really believes that he is fighting for what Terri wanted. Doing this last thing for her is fulfilling her wishes and maintaining her dignity, or what little there is left.
It is interesting to see what the media has been stating lately. Media Matters for America has noted many, many errors in reporting and a general lack of fact checking all over the place:
In fact, Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), who purportedly recommended Dr. William Hammesfahr for the prize, is not qualified to make a valid nomination under the Nobel rules.
Cables aired interviews with Carla Sauer Iyer -- a former Schiavo nurse who submitted an affidavit in 2003 with inflammatory allegations against Michael Schiavo -- without noting that the trial judge in the case had dismissed her allegations as "incredible," and without noting that not even Terri Schiavo's parents had sought her testimony in the case.
In an interview with Senate Judiciary chair Arlen Specter (R-PA), about Congress' intervention to let a federal court review the Terri Schiavo case, CNN senior White House correspondent John King assured Specter that "Congress has the authority [to intervene]. I don't think anyone questions that."
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly repeatedly suggested that his guest, attorney Michael Gross, was incorrect when Gross claimed that witnesses other than Michael Schiavo had testified that Terri Schiavo would not want to be kept alive in a persistent vegetative state. In fact, Judge George W. Greer noted in a post-trial order from 2000 that in addition to Michael Schiavo, his brother and sister-in-law also testified that Terri Schiavo would not want to be kept alive.
I find it fascinating that this man was denied a Catholic funeral. John McCusker died of a heart attack recently and as a 1966 graduate of the University of San Diego, his family requested that his funeral be held there. The Catholic Diocese of San Diego said no, due to fact that he promoted gayness by owning clubs that gay people frequented. It's not about his being gay himself, mind you, but just that he didn't discriminate.
I'm sure that's exactly what Jesus would have done. Screw that whole "forgiveness" thing.
Lets also remember that the city of San Diego named August 27, 1999 "John McCusker Day" for all of his contributions to the city. He was an exemplary leader and business owner.
Now, in the aftermath, the Catholic Bishop of San Diego has apologized. Points for doing the right thing, finally.
This weekend my house has been taken hostage, or rather, my household and I have been taken hostage. My 13 year-old sister and 14 year-old brother have taken up residence for the weekend while my parents are off cavorting in the mountains. For the most part they're good kids, well behaved and pretty mellow, especially since The Brother has found a compatible ADD medication. However, yesterday when returning from the movie theater the following conversation took place while Frinklin was filling up the car with (the most expensive) gasoline (ever!):
Bro: Uh, what time is it?
Me: About four.
Bro: My medication wears off about now.
*Future parenting note: Do not allow ADD child to drink two Mountain Dews at lunch and during movies.
My very first girlfriend from 10 years ago, Jasmine, was in town from Colorado at the end of last week. On a whim she invited me out to go dancing, something I haven't done since I met Frinklin. I used to live in the gay-centric area of San Diego and spent plenty of time in various bars, tapping my feet to a neverending array of Cher remixes. About the same time that I moved to The Boonies most of my friends were moving away to various far-off locations; San Francisco, Los Angeles, Colorado, Washington DC, etc. While we've kept in contact, it makes it tough to get together with everyone so spread out.
It's odd how you can remove yourself from a social scene then re-enter years later and it's as though you never left. I ran into people I hadn't seen in years and we chatted with an old high school aquaintance of Jasmine's for half an hour. We bar hopped from place to place, and generally acted like wild things. I smoked almost a full pack of cigarettes and paid the price the next morning with a terrible nicotine headache. The drinks I had probably didn't help either.
Two Excedrin, a glass of water, and a bananna fixed me right up.
Earlier today a discussion about the 80s Volkswagon Vanogon (story for another blog entry) that my parents owned when I was younger spawed another fond memory of mine--the first time my dad tried to make s'mores.
My mother had given him strict instructions for our picnic dessert as we left the house, "Eat the graham cracker square, the chocolate, and the marshmallow together after it's toasted on the grill. They're fun to make and so good."
My dad valiantly tried to balance the graham cracker sqares on the grill, but they kept falling in, or blackening under the extreme heat. The chocolate and marshmallow didn't even have time to get warm before grahams were inedible. I tried one, but my mother had obviously lied about her fond s'more memories.
When we returned home, disappointed, my dad explained that he tried, but the graham crackers wouldn't cooperate. My mom stared at him before beginning to shake, until that shake turned into tears and whooping laughter.
I think this must have become a sore spot, as I don't remember having s'mores again until I was a Girl Scout counselor at age 17--10 years later.
FireCracker, friend of Violet, former college roommate, has started a blog. She's recently posted a list of 100 things to do in 1001 days. It's a good list. She's inspiring me to start my own "to do" lists again. I'm a a bit of a list whore.
I'm home this morning. Matchbox started having trouble eating this weekend, and since he only has 5 teeth, I think they need to be check out. He had distemper as a puppy and when all his baby teeth fell out only a few adult molars grew in their place. He's never had trouble downing his food before, in fact, he usually eats a lot faster than The Jeffery, who definately has a whole set of healthy fangs. The Jeffery, territorial as he is, could take your arm off with those teeth, but lifts food so gingerly from your hand you would think that it was burning him. Matchbox, on the other hand, uses his lack of teeth to suck down your entire arm up to the elbow when you hold out a treat to him.
Matchbox has an appointment at the vet at 3:40pm, at which time I will be chastized for not brushing my dog's teeth, which will likely lead to those sad little molars being pulled.
In other news, I went horseback riding for the first time in several months. I rode my trusty old old Arabian I've had since I was 15, my sister Katie rode her elephant Warmblood, and my 13 year old sister, Nikki, rode her Welsh Pony. In case you weren't aware, we had a giant downpour of rain for two weeks straight not long ago. 15" were I live within 13 days. We thought after a week of sun the trails would be dried out. Not so much. Nikki, scouting ahead on her nimble pony, said the ground was fine. Katie on the Elephant and I on my horse followed after, and became immediately mired in 3 feet of mud, acting much like quicksand. The Elephant, being so large, managed to pull himself free. My horse could not find purchase in the black, sucking stuff and fell on his right side, on top of my right leg. Adreneline was flowing freely at the moment and I felt no pain. We got the horses out of the mud and rode home.
This morning I have limited use of my right shoulder, which apparently took the brunt of my fall. Ow.
Update: My wallet is $200 lighter, and the dog is a vial of blood lighter. He has antibiotics and a date in May to have all five teeth cleaned (estimated $300 - $700). Shouldn't we get a discount for just five teeth?
Update 2: Shoulder still feeling as though it's being ripped from the socket each time I move it.
I left work early today to go to the doctor to discuss (what else?) my chest. I was diagnosed with a heart murmur about 7 years ago and had an ECG, at which time I was told that my heart thinks I'm a jogger and all looks good. A few years ago I began to have strange soreness and pain in my chest. I have a mutitude of random diagnosis (diagnosi? haha) that are meant to explain away any sort of chest pains:
1. Hyperventilation Syndrome (diagnosed while in the emergency room, unable to breathe)
2. Chest Muscle Strain (diagnosed at urgent care after a worker's comp injury)
3. Heart Murmur (diagnosed by paramedics after being assisted while suffering heat stroke).
4. Chest WALL Muscle Strain, which is apparently different than the regular ol' chest muscle strain (diagnosed at urgent care)
Add to this some giant boobs, and you've got a recipe for ouch.
Today the doctor decided that it is STILL that nagging chest wall muscle strain. What the hell?!? It's not that I wouldn't love to tell my job that I'm not allowed to lift anything, but it's really inconvenient and I feel rather dumb waiting for someone to help me move a 15 lb. box of books.
Any space left open for the use of desk activities shall be considered fair game for any cat to lie upon, fully extended, for hours at a time. Even if the space in question on the desktop is holding paper, pens, keyboard and/or a computer mouse. All of these things can and will be knocked to the floor so that the cat may have more space.
This weekend we have been largely computer-free as we were transforming our crappy office space into a workable desk and filing system. About a year ago we upgraded our computer and bought a fancy new LCD monitor (thank you, tax refund from 2003). Because it was such a fancy monitor it ate up the entire office revamp budget, and we lacked the resources to purchase anything new for the monitor to actually sit on. For one year, I worked at the following desk:
That desk has since been relocated to the garage, with our three unworkable/unuseable (yes, three) other desks, all waiting for the garage sale we keep planning but never actually seem to have.
This year, we decided to purchase some new office furniture to work at, as the old desk was really built for a 12 year old. Enter IKEA.
Frinklin moved the old furniture and worked on cleaning up the office space.
And freaked out the cat so that he hid in the cupboard.
My sister stayed for 6 hours, helping to put things together (while The Jeffery destroyed the old cardboard boxes).
The cat decided to check on our progress.
OK, it's mostly finished. The cords are horrible, but the "cord management" system that we purchased came with the wrong screws, so they're waiting to be reorganized. And the monitor extension cable is causing shadows on the facy monitor, so we may need to move the CPU and ditch the extension cable. I have reached total exhaustion. All that can wait until tomorrow.
I happened to catch The Killers' video for their new single, Mr. Brightside today. It appears to be a Moulin Rouge sort of story; the lead singer (Brandon Flowers, looking very pretty in hot, hot eyeliner) loves a prostitute who's professional obligations create problems in their relationship. Creepy Eric Roberts plays the pimp.
The video includes various scenes including Brandon and his pale, poufy-haired model/prositute. These are interspersed with shots of her leading older, unnattractive men toward apparent liasons. The video's climax occures when Mr. Flowers and Mr. Roberts sit down to decide her fate over a board game. Which board game, you ask?
Certainly not chess, as chess is considered a thinking man's game. None of that sort of depth here.
The battle royale of this story takes place over a checker board. Checkers! I love it.
A few shots of Frinklin's mother's San Clemente apartment on moving day. It poured rain until just before we left, clouds parting for a few good pictures.
Brina, contemplating leaving Southern California
The ocean view from the balcony (if you turn your head just right and lean way out)