Monday, February 28, 2005

Reflections on the Day After My Birthday


I'm not sure if this is going to be one of those lists, but here are some random comments on the day after my birthday.

FIAS, I love you for sending your friends over to my place yesterday! You hang with a really cool bunch of people, and I really enjoyed visiting their digs.

I loved my cyber gifts and all the well-wishes!!! I had a chance to visit some of you and thank you in person. The rest I will get to this evening. My access at work (not that I EVER blog at work) is very slow, so if I WERE going to blog at work (not that I would) I would really only have enough patience to post an entry (not like this one, of course, that was written before work, and just time stamped to LOOK like I was goofing off before my lunch break.) For those of you I haven't been able to visit (yet), THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was 35 LAST birthday. Yesterday was actually my 36th birthday.

I obviously didn't learn a thing last year. I engaged myself in a flame fest for no other reason than to be a smartass to someone who was being a smartass to one of my favorite bloggers, and for my reward, I have been threatened by said ass.

If you're wondering why anyone with the handle "dubyaluvsya" would comment on MY blog of all places, see above comment, and then go visit
Seriously... I never ever learn.

Why would my mom and my best friend forget that yesterday was my birthday? Scott, you gave me a great gift yesterday without even knowing it was my birthday, so you are forgiven. Mom? Seriously dudette... you squeezed me from your loins... how could you forget the exact day and time?

So all my co-workers know I don't eat processed sugar. My cubicle mates (those who have hamster cages in the same room) all collectively decided to bring a small token of friendship rather than the typical birthday cake. The co-workers and bosses in the other room (where the lion cages are) said and did nothing... which I was totally cool with, because I don't um, LIKE THEM (the other co-workers, not birthdays.) But someone thought it wasn't very nice for my boss and his crew to forget my birthday, so they ratted the date out and now I am being "surprised" in 45 minutes with cake... processed sugar that I will have to eat in front of them while feigning surprise and gratitude. Fuckers. I don't know who I'm more angry with... them for thinking I'm that desperate and stupid and needy and gullible, or the person who ratted me out in the first place. It better be someone who got me a nice present. That's all I have to say.

So I got to go to dinner for my birthday last night! Lovebug let me pick, and all the little bugs were silently compliant. Guess what? 3 out of 5 Bugs ended up with severe intestinal distress - that's 1 more toilet than we actually have in our house. I was in the 2/5ths catagory, as was Cuddlebug, the 12yr old son...which left me with all the clean up. Next year maybe I'll pick something other than Mexican.

Karma is a bitch... but only when it's happening to me. When Karma kicks someone else's ass, I fucking love it!

Yeah. Okay. That's it. Love you guys!!!!!

Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Random Rainy Sunday Thoughts

(1) Why does rain make me happy and lazy at the same time?
(2) At what point will my kids realize that a clean room is a happy room?
(3) Live for your dreams, or dream while you live?
(4) If I have love but not works, am I just being lazy?
(5) A broken heart, or a broken toe? Neither heal particularly well.
(6) If I have five empty beer bottles next to my computer, am I an alcohol, or a blog addict?
(7) I've never sold a song or a photograph. Does that mean I'm a bad artist, or a lazy promoter?
(8) Is caffeine really bad for me, or is it nature's way of saying, "Cheer up!"?
(9) Socially aware, or blissfully ignorant?
(10) If they don't print your GPA on your diploma, what good is a 4.0?
Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Life is a Song

The One and Only

Last night was magical. I am in love.

For my birthday, Lovebug got tickets to see Tony Bennett over in Clearwater. I rushed home from work and had exactly 1hr to beautify myself. No denim for Tony... he gets only the best of Bug. I broke out my black cocktail gown, my sexy black strappy shoes, and my pearls, folks. I planted myself in front of the mirror and carefully applied my make-up...subtle eyeshadow so as not to distract from my Hollywood Siren Red lipstick... I did the first "updo" I've ever attempted on my own... all for Tony...

I went 30 minutes past our departure time, and we got stuck in Tampa traffic. Dinner ended up being a 1/2 sandwich at Panera... there I was, dressed to the 9s in Panera Bread... it was hysterical.

As we arrived at Ruth Eckard Hall it began to rain. OH NO! My hair, perfectly coiffed was about to smell like Lithuanian cheese... I positioned my wrap over my head like a canopy and we walked to the concert hall. Tickets presented...ushers direct...stop for a Merlot...five minute chime...chug Merlot...note that I'm the youngest person there...grin that I'm finally the youngest person in the room...find seat...lights down...and ohmygodtonybennetjustwalkedonstage...

He was fabulous... his black suit, white shirt, white tie... and for 90 minutes he sang, shuffled, showcases his players...sang, romanced me...I know Lovebug was sitting beside me, but it felt like it was just me and my Tony. When he had them turn off his mic and proceeded to sing a truly unplugged Fly Me to the Moon... well, I flew to the moon.

Oh don't worry...Lovebug and I hit a great Italian joint after the concert and had a wonderful meal afterall...

But this morning I'm hungover with absolute love for Tony Bennett. I have no political or social commentary today... Today it's just a lovely day...I've wrapped my troubles in a dream, and that dream is Anthony Dominick Benedetto.Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

Decisions Decisions

Fine Man, Hot Car, What's the Problem?

I don't really remember deciding that I hated okra. I remember that my dad insisted that we eat it just the way he taught my mother to fix it - boiled, slimey, disgusting. I still don't like okra. Oh sure, if you fry it up, I'll probably find something about it that appeals to me. If I'm at a dinner party and everyone is eating okra, and the hostess really wants me to eat her okra...I can stomach it. It's just not my first choice.

I don't really remember deciding to be smart. I remember that my earliest elementary school years were quite interesting for my teachers. Being an army brat living on an army base, there was just one school, and it was filled with army brats of varying degrees of intelligence. The reading corner had a large bookshelf, and each shelf indicated a higher level of reading ability. I remember my second grade teacher asking me to quietly color during reading...there were no more levels beyond grade 12... there was nothing left for me to read.

I don't really remember choosing to be a fat kid. I remember crying during dinner because my dad wouldn't let me put extra butter on my mashed potatoes. I remember NOT being popular, and I remember struggling pretty much every day of my life to trim down. I'm 36 on Monday and I keep telling myself that THIS is the year for permanant change. I remember that I say that every year.

I don't really remember choosing to like boys. I remember slapping one across the face in second grade because I'd seen it on a soap opera the day before. I remember the first and last name of the very first boy who gave me butterflies (in sixth grade) and broke my heart all in the same week (Michael Anderson.) I remember my first sexual experience vividly. I remember my first satisfying sexual experience even MORE vividly.

But according to the religious right, I must have decided all these things...decided to hate okra, be smart, stay fat, fall in love with boys and have sex with men. After all, gay people make the choice to live that "lifestyle," so it just makes sense.

I would like to now choose to be independantly wealthy. I also choose to never die of cancer, and I would like to choose a different breast size. Further more, I hereby choose to not lose bone mass the way women tend to do, and I choose for my facial hair to cease appearing from this day forth.

I'm so thankful for the compassionate christians! Who knew it was as easy as "choice"?

Oh... does anyone have Antonio Banderas' phone number? I have decided he will divorce Melanie Griffith because that unholy union makes me ill.Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Funky Gotta Rant

Do We Look Like We're Hurting Anyone???

Last night was MOVIE NIGHT in my Ethics class. A few weeks ago we watched "John Q" and I cried so much it wore me out. I told LoveBug about my experience and he said, "Well, at least you didn't have to watch Philadelphia."

Last night was MOVIE NIGHT in my Ethics class. And.We.Watched.Philadelphia.

So I'm ready for the cryin' to start... but I wasn't so much ready for the anger to spew forth. Let me get straight to the point:

There is a scene in Philadelphia where Denzel's character takes out his cell phone. IT TOOK UP HALF HIS HEAD! I had a bagphone that was smaller than this cell phone. Great giggles arose from the classroom.

There is a scene in Philadelphia where Tom Hank's character is working on two desktop that appears to be DOS based, and a laptop that is thicker than your standard briefcase. Again...snickers arose from the room.

Then...oh here I get mad...then there is a scene where Hank's character is in the ER, and his partner (played by the oh-so-much-sexier-when-gay Antonio Banderas) is being threatened by the attending physician. "'re not immediate family...I can have you escorted from the premises..." Looks like only SOME things have changed...only a few advancements have been made...

(My bois know why I'm getting ready to get mad...for the rest of you poor, unsuspecting readers, I apologize for my all-caps recap...)


Honestly... look at, Scotty, and Joel... who are they hurting?Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

No Turns

This is my favorite form of photography...ironic, true, life. However, this guy probably makes more than most of my co-workers. Last week a very hard-working collegue of mine came to me in tears. Her husband is an insulin-dependant diabetic and cannot work because he is still adjusting to the medication. His joints are so swollen he has to have them drained regularly. He's been denied benefits twice, and they are currently awaiting their third hearing. Meanwhile, she is trying to support a family of four on $1400.00/mo. That's right folks... her boss brings in more than $80k/year... additional fundage presented in the form of contract assignments for which he gets paid leave. Guess who does his job for him while he's gone (and while he's there, quite frankly?) Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

My co-worker's electricity was suddenly (and without warning) shut off. Her husband's insulin was rotting in the fridge. She asked why the electric company hadn't notified her... she freely admitted she robs Peter to pay Paul, and if she knew they were the next Paul on the list, she wouldn't have paid her mortgage. They told her she knew she was a month behind, and per contract, they had every right to do what they did. Sorry ma'am, but until you pay the $300.00 you owe, plus $125.00 in re-connection fees, there will be no insulin for you. Go to a cash advance store in a strip, we don't care that you already did that last week to buy groceries. Click.

This...this in the land of the free and the brave, huh? Tonight I watched American Idol. Do you know how much money Simon makes to insult people? Paula Abdul to fight with Simon? Randy to say "dog" about 12 times per 60 minute episode? Do you know how much your kids' teachers make? Where...GOD WHERE are our priorities? I don't expect to make the same salary as a doctor, but why are our values so screwed up? How many "no turn" signs will people have to face, just to pay their bills and care for their families?

Or is this what you want, Dubya? Do you want to keep the poor so desperate that you can fill your oil fields with their blood? Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 20, 2005

What a Difference A Day Makes

I have had my head buried in science books for almost a week now. Yes, I confess... you have been subjected to my back-up files... I thought I was being a good girl... sticking to the plan... plugging away for my midterm...but you know what they say... all work and no play makes Funky quite the bore.

Today my husband, Lovebug, asked me if I had lots of homework... having only one cup of coffee in my system, I snorted. He understood. After my second cup of coffee the meaning behind his inquiry caught up with me. It's Sunday. We had plans to shoot... but he backed away because I snorted.

So I caught up with Lovebug and told him that when he got back from the gym I would be ready to go... regardless of my well-thought-out study plan. Sometimes you have to set those "have to do" things aside... and what a difference today made.

Last week I shot inanimate objects with dollar signs in my eyes. And they sucked. No, really... they sucked. I made some very amateurish shooting at bronze in broad daylight without a filter, and without fill flash. No one wants to buy a photo of an old women with an orb over her boob. The end result (and the reason why I didn't want to shoot today) is that I decided that I suck as a photographer.

Today I took out three cameras... my Nikon F80, my Mavica digital, and my Holga. The Nikon never left the bag. Instead, I loaded up my toy camera and shot... for fun... yes, FOR FUN...the way I used to shoot before someone convinced me that I should be making money off my hobby. As I was shooting away with my little toy Holga I noticed a pair of swans that were VERY busy picking up sticks. Yes folks, it's the LUV season for swans. I put my Holga away (loaded with 3200 black and white which is great for playing, but shitty for swans) and pulled out my junk digital... and I just started tracking and shooting those swans as they prepared their nest... for fun, mind you... for fun.

Imagine my surprise when I uploaded my images. I'm not ready to break into the big time, but at least tonight I'm fairly convinced that I truly don't suck. Oh sure... I got excited and did my copyright date wrong (hello, 2005 anyone?) but the photo makes me oh so happy.
Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Dear Rude-y - Volume II

Dear Prudence,
I'm hopeful you can help me. My grandmother gave me a beautiful, large diamond ring. I had it appraised for insurance purposes, so I do know the current value of it, which is substantial. I wear it everyday for sentimental reasons, as my grandmother and I are extremely close. Because it is larger than the normal diamond you see daily, it's an attention-grabber. I am constantly being told how beautiful it is, and I am always thankful for those comments. I do not, however, know how to reply when someone comes right out and asks me what it is worth. I feel this is none of their business. I try to say, "It's priceless," as it really is to me, but they'll come back with, "No, really, what's it worth?" Is it just me thinking questions surrounding the value of my ring are wrong? I've flat-out refused to disclose the amount, only to get shocked looks like I am the nervy one when it should be the other way around. Prudie, what do I say to questions like this without upsetting people?

—Diamond Girl

Dear Diamond Girl,
Cue the attention-whore photo. Your grandmummy gives you the Hope Diamond, which yeilds numerous comments daily, yet you still feel the need to write a public advice column in order to brag about it some more? You want my advice? Donate the ring to charity and tuck a photo in your underwear. Bonus - when strangers ask you why your panties are in a bunch, you can tell them all about the grandmother who lives near your vagina.
Rude-y, Covetingly

Friday, February 18, 2005

I Can't Sit Back Any Longer

Polk County Florida. Say it. Aloud. I'm serious. It doesn't sound too bad, does it? Now I want you to say, "Bartow." Say it three times into your bathroom mirror. Have you conjured demons yet? I ask because I'm the not-so-proud resident in this axis of evil... conservative central, U.S.A.

Oh sure, I get a great blog entry out of some of the ridiculous letters to the editor... but we're getting national media attention. Remember that Baptist church that scaled a fence in the middle of the night and erected a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn over Christmas? Yep. That was my town. Now this: Some mommy with too much time on her hands has met with the school board and insisted they review a Newberry award winner's books and promptly remove them from the bookshelves of her child's elementary school. Why you ask? One book actually contains the word, "damn" and others deal with such topics as bra stuffing and bra strap snapping (Judy Blume, anyone?) Wait. It gets better. The newspaper ran the story and quoted the mother's dad... yes, you guessed it... a PREACHER. He said, "Christians have rights too."

Well damned straight we Christians have rights. Guess what? I have to right to disagree vehemently with this mother of the year. And I'm not going to sit around and bitch about it anymore.

Help me. Please. How do I stand up to this? Petitions? I'm not going to fire off another smart-assed letter to the editor. This calls for ACTION. I work for the school board, and I'm majoring in education. I could lose my job... ruin my chances as landing a job in this state even... but right now I do NOT care. I want to stand up to this. It's small, I know... but I need to. I don't know how to explain WHY I need to... but everything in me says it's time to stop a part of stopping this from happening. She doesn't have to read the fucking book... she can tell her daughter not to read the fucking book... but I'll be DAMNED if I sit by and let this crazy bitch remove them from all the bookshelves in my county.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Discovering Bob Ross

"There are no such things as mistakes...just happy accidents." Posted by Hello

On day two of the Great American Sick-out, my 13yr old daughter discovered Bob Ross.

Cadybug: Oh my God, it's a tree! Oh my God, it's a house! Oh my God, it's a, it's a happy little mountain...oh my God...

The joys of Bob Ross... for the first time in two days of being sick, my daughter stopped whimpering and sat still... quiet... stoned on Bob Ross.

Forget Tylenol...forget Benadryl...forget Dayquil and Nyquil...I'm ordering the CD series and keeping it in my medicine cabinet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

What's Love Got to Do, Got to Do with It?

Copyright 2005

Valentine's Day is officially over. The flowers have that second-day wilt, and the cards are oh... somewhere. Little brown wrappers with chocolate bits lay scattered throughout the corners of the house, only to be discovered at a later date... gentle reminders of the holiday, or burden of parenthood. What I will remember most about yesterday... not the sly kisses from my husband or the cheek-kisses from my babies... but rather, I will most likely linger on this conversation...

Cuddlebug(my son): I've been thinking... I don't know if I'll ever fall in love.

Funky: Sweetie, you're 12. You will fall into crush a hundred times between now and adulthood. One day you will fall in love. Today, just be a kid.

Cuddlebug: I've also been do you know if you're in love, or if it's just a crush?

Funky: That's not an uncommon question. Everyone wonders that. All I can tell you is that love feels very different. It's like a crush on crack. When it hits you, you'll know it.

Cuddlebug: Another thing I've been thinking... Is love real, or is it just something we invented so we don't have to be alone?

Funky: *after a silent moment of contemplating the depth of my 12yr old son's mind* That's a very deep thought, Ty. I don't know what to say to that!

Cuddlebug: I've also been wondering...what if the world were ruled by ducks? Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I Live in the COOLEST Town Eh-vah!

Copyright 2005

Okay... I know I spend an inordinate amount of time bitching about Polk County, Florida... but I live in Lakeland and it surely must be the coolest town eh-vah. Mr. Bug and I went downtown today in search of dirt, dirt, and more dirt. Sorry Garrison, but I had to put the dirt on hold. A big money-maker was staring me right in the face, and I couldn't resist the opportunity before me.
I don't know who had the bright idea to do outdoor sculptures, but thank you baby Jeebus, they'll sell like hotcakes. Our lovely little Lake Mirror is home to several dozen of these life-like sculptures...put three or four of them together in a matte and I'm raking in the dough. These outdoor exhibits are awesome... and I thouroughly enjoyed viewing each and every one of them. I'm glad I live in a town (inside a county that sucks) that appreciates the artist and showcases their work.
In other news...Mr. Bug and I had V-day dinner a day early... and I've far too much wine to function (let alone type or create a coherant thought) so I'm going to leave it at that.

Bug out.Posted by Hello

Excuse Me, You Have a Spot of Dirt on Your Face...Hold Still

Copyright 2003

Today Mr. Bug and I are off to shoot. He will be trying out his new view camera, and I will be looking for dirt. Garrison - thanks for the assignment. I'll post my results soon.Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Thank you Mia!!!

Mia from Ciao My Bella gave me a face lift! Is this gorgeous, or what?

Thank you, Mia! You have made this bug buzz with joy!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Adventures in Breast Feeding - A Recollection

Thanks Mom.

Day One: This is so awesome!
Day Two: This is the most spiritual thing I've ever experienced. I've never felt more love for or from anything in my life.
Day Three: This fekkin' hurts.
Day Four: Doctor, she won't quit crying! What? She's hungry? "Formula" you say? Gotcha.

That was the sum total of my college try at breast feeding Child Number One. Child Number Two...

Second One: No nurse, I will not be breast feeding.
Second Four: No, I'm not kidding.
Second Seven: Yes, I'm sure.
Second Ten: Get that fekkin pamphlet out of my face and give that kid a bottle...he's screaming for Christ's sake! What kind of a nurse are you, letting that kid starve? Hey, do you have any Tylenol PM?
Posted by Hello

This is My Husband...This is His Wife Missing Him

Yeah I miss him...wouldn't you? He's my #1 fan and my very best friend. How lucky can a girl be?

So baby, I know... I should go to night-night now. It's just so empty in that big ol' bed without you. Hurry home!
Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

O.C.= "Oh Christ."

Daughter: Last five minutes of OC! LAST FIVE MINUTES OF OC!!! CAN'T MISS...CAN'T MISS!!!!!

Me: Oh right. Girls kissing. News flash: girls kiss each other every day.

Daughter: Yeah, but not on TV!

Son: (breathless from running into the room) Oh yeah...OH YEAH!

Me: Guys - it's shameless media manipulation. You know...ratings?!?!

Son: They should have two guys kiss on tv. Their ratings would go waaaaay down.


All is Quiet

North Carolina Triple Falls
Copyright 2003 Posted by Hello

All is quiet on the homefront. It's almost eerie. The silence. I'm hoping it's more like a much-deserved respite, and not the calm before the storm.

Thanks for checking out my photos the other day. I was really surprised at the pictures that seemed to draw the most comments. These are shots I personally adore, but had no idea would have any kind of appeal to anyone but me. It was encouraging - moreso than you know - and I'm appreciative!

Oh yes... I have a small statement to make to "Anonymous" who once again graced my blog with his/her presence. *clears throat, stands on soapbox*

I have absolutely no idea why, "Anonymous," you would click on a link called "101 Things You Need to Know" and then call me a joker for writing a long entry. Can you count to 101? Do you have any numerical giftings whatsoever? I ask because a post I call "101 Things..." will most likely contain, oh I don't know...about 101 things. Sorry for assuming that anyone would want to "fuck[ing]... read all that." I'm going to take a page from my blogosphriend Garrison Steele and leave your ever-so-insightful comments right where they are for precisely 24hrs so that everyone can see what a ridiculous ass you are.

Bug out.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fat Tuesday!

99 Bottles in New York City
Image copyright 2003

Today is Fat Tuesday. I am not in New Orleans. I am not sporting beads (thought I have earned them) and I will not be tying one on to celebrate the climax (pun intended) of Mardi Gras. In short, today sucks.

In other news... there is no other news. That's a good thing. My family seems to have bought the "I was drunk" excuse and that drama has temporarily subsided. Having some free time (not spent on Miller-drama) I went through some older photographs to start preparing for my show in March. If you're interested in seeing a sample, you can go to. I'll be updating over the next few weeks as time allows. I'd be interested in your opinions - not compliments, but opinions. Which ones, in your opinion are marketable? If you were interested in buying prints, which ones (if any) would you be able to find a place in your home for? Often times what my eye finds interesting, others find strange and macabre. Yes, the images are my property, and yes...for my blogosphriends only, you can borrow them (just give me credit for them, pretty please.) Later, when I'm "big time" I'll jack up the images with one of those right-click stoppers... but for now, I'm just happy if you like them ("they like me...they really like me!")

So that's today's blog. Have a great day and remember, Fat Tuesday does NOT mean you can go off your diet...unless you're Catholic and you're REALLY into Lent.
Posted by Hello

Dubya.Dr Phil.Jesus.

I could NOT have written a better parody if I'd tried. Sadly...I think this woman is serious. Go it. I dare you to hold your lower jaw in place.

Dubya, Dr. Phil, and Jesus

Monday, February 07, 2005

Misc. Updates from the Day Before

My Blog-o-sphriends!
I love my blog-o-sphriends! You just don't care if I'm having a bad day or a great day. You're just always there with your comment lovin'... I don't have to be funny, or poignant, or intelligent, or wacky... I can just be me and y'all still manage to find time to come around for coffee. Thanks guys!

(Not her)Home Alone
My step-daughter's babysitting gig: I couldn't agree with you all more... and the more you say exactly what I feel, the more certain I am that we must put a stop to this. We may not be able to stop it on the weekends she's with the mother, but we do have a say when she is with us. Hell, I've got the messiest house on the planet right now... surely she can find enough to do around my house to earn some good jack! Of course it is ultimately NOT my call. She belongs to her daddy... but he is the BEST daddy in the world, so I'm sure he'll do the right thing.

Family - the OTHER F-word
This little thing has turned into a family feud. This is normal for the Miller side of the gene-pool I am infected with. Every so-many years, someone pisses someone off, and then they set about ignoring them until they either (1) forget why they were mad or (2) need something from the other one. I've actually never been in the middle of one of these things, so in a way, I'm sort of's like I've been inducted into the disfunctional hall of fame. I thought about playing along, but ultimately decided to do this: "Hey guys... whatever it was that I said - forget about it. I was drunk. Love ya!" Seriously - what can you say to that? Oh sure, they can talk about me being a lush, but as long as they talk quietly behind my back where I CAN'T HEAR THEM!

Published AGAIN!
Oh yes... one more thing. Who was it that commented (I'm thinking it was my friend panthergirl) that they DARED my local paper to post my little response to the whole abortion/social security issue? Well, THEY DID! BWAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAHAAA!

Y'all be good now, you hear? I'll get back to something cool and witty, or poignant and introspective tomorrow. Right now I'm going to install my new scanner and work on uploading some photographs. They won't be here though... you'll have to head on over to my website if you wanna see them.

Bug Out.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

If You're Looking for Funny, We're All Sold Out

For the last few days you have been subjected to entries from my emergency back-up file. You see, when I'm on a roll, I type up several blog entries and store them as drafts. That way I always have something to post, whether I feel like writing or not. Usually I post them on days when I'm extremely busy and haven't got time to write. Sometimes I post them on days when I have nothing interesting to say. Every so often I post them during Funky's funks... the later is the reason for the smart-assed, out-dated entries of late.

I'm not going to be funny today. I'm slightly stressed by several factors and if I don't get them out in writing, I'll be completely unproductive for the rest of the weekend.

First and foremost is this blog entry by my friend Scotty over at The Once Exciting Now Boring Life of Me. I've been around the block a few times, and I consider myself to be well-informed on all the issues pertaining to our government's meddling. I am shocked and outraged by this sheep in wolves clothing. Please read, comment if you can, and help me find a way to make more people aware of this situation. If you would kindly add a link to this entry on your webpage over the next few days, make sure you let me know in the comment area. In return, I'll feature YOUR blog here at mine, and shower you with gratis.

On a more personal note, I'm dealing with two separate issues. First, my stepdaughter and her manipulative mother. My SD is only 13 years old - keep that in mind. My wonderful husband is an equally wonderful father who is often called upon to play the role of two parents. When my SD has lessons, dances, auditions, etc... it is always my husband who rearranges his work schedule so he can transport her from point A to point B and back. In return, we are graciously allowed two full weekends with her each month. For the last two of those weekends, my SD has landed a babysitting gig. Last night was the second of the two. My angst is over the details of said gig. The client is the mother's party buddy. Since the mother just recently filed for divorce #2 she has been partying hardy in search of husband #3. Mother and party buddy like to close down the bars, but party buddy has kids. SOOOO they brilliantly concocted a scheme whereby my SD spends the night at the buddy's house every Saturday night, and in return, they throw her a couple $20s for her time. My SD loves the money - my husband and I loathe the situation. No 13 yr old girl should be spending the night alone in the house with small children so the mothers can tie one on and not have to drive her home at 3am. My husband and I are struggling with a decision that must be made; do we allow her to continue babysitting so she can have some income (mother gets amost a grand/mo from us for CS, but doesn't give the kid a dime for allowance) or do we put our foot down and do what's right for the kiddo... meaning no more babysitting all night long? (Let me add that SD is in therapy right now b/c mother put her through of this issues brought up were the two additional offspring mother had with husband #2....and mother made SD "babysitt" them for $10/wk while #2 sat on his ass with a hangover all day. Therapist says, "No more babysitting... let her be a kid.")

Second, and even more personal is my family... my mother and sister to be precise. I moved to FL about four years ago. My mother visited me about a year and a half ago to look for a place down here. We found her a fantastic little home in a great retirement community five minutes from my house. She put in an offer and flew back the next day. Then she threatened to kill herself and my sister and I had to have her committed for 72hrs. She said she absolutely could not move because her life (read, "my sister") was in Indiana. Okay, so FINE!!!! Then about a year ago my sister moved down here. Yesterday I find out that my mother is putting her home on the market to buy a house on my sister's street. Yes, I'm pissed. Why? Well, it's not something that settles well, the fact that your mother would rather kill herself than live around the corner from you, but thinks nothing of leaving her home to be near your sister. My sister dropped the news while I was in the middle of studying and I suppose I was rather blunt and to the point in that I didn't really want to hear it, it pissed me off, etc... My sister was fairly pissed about my mother's decision because (1) the original move was done to get my mother OUT of my sister's hair (2) my sister moved here to get away from my mother because she was driving her crazy. So the next thing I know, I have an e-mail from my mother (sidenote: I bought my mom a computer for Christmas a couple of years ago so that she could keep in touch with me... she only uses it to play cards and talk to my sister) and she lays this major guilt-trip on me. My sister told her I was "upset" that she was moving here. My mother says, "I never dreamed you wouldn't want me to move to Florida...maybe I should just stay here." ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! I promptly responded my feelings as described here, then shot off a forward of Mom's e-mail to my sister with the message, "I totally do NOT appreciate this...if you threw this back on me because you don't have the balls to tell Mom you don't want her near you, I'm very disappointed in you." I have not heard from either of them since.

So yeah, I'm in a mood. My best friend is being taken advantage of, my stepdaughter is being taken advantage of... and me? I'm just stuck dealing with a couple crazy blood-relatives hell bent on blaming everyone else for their problems.

So if you were looking for funny today, I'm sorry but we're fresh out of funny. Try back tomorrow.

Friday, February 04, 2005

An Open Letter to My Songwriting Students

Don't tell me that you want to write songs unless you mean that you want to learn to write songs. The song you have just presented to me is not "God ordained." I think you and I can both agree that God finished His writing gig with the book of Revelation. That being the case, He is no longer in the jot and tittle business. He did not write, "You watcheth over me with the eye of a strong, bold hawk." I don't care if you wrote this down on the plane ride here, it is not the word of the Lord. He is not that stupid. If I worshipped the God that supposedly wrote that line, I would throw myself off a cliff.

Do not tell me that you cannot re-write your song. God will not strike you dead if you change your lines to match your melody. It's called prosidy, and God likes prosidy. God does not like it when you make him take credit for a ballad containing hard consonants in the chorus.

Do not pray over your song. Sweat over it. Disect it to discern what works and throw the rest away. I'm glad you were healed of your cancer, but any song that contains medical terminology makes the baby Jesus cry. Nothing rhymes with tumor.

Why do you think you paid $700 for this week of instruction? It's because your staff is highly qualified to instruct you in the craft. That being said, if you tell me that I don't have enough faith to "feel" your song, I will throw YOU off a cliff. I will not refund your money.

The meek may very well inherit the earth. That does not mean I will grant you a recording contract at the end of this week. Do not call me at home when school is over. Do not send me unsolicited songs and ask me to rewrite them for you unless you (1) have a solid deal with a major recording artist, and (2) acknowledge me as co-writer. I don't work for free, and I don't give away my talent. I am your instructor, not your friend. If you wish to continue this business arrangement, I take cash or Visa.

Your Instructor.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Dear Rude-y

I've decided that I want to write an advice column.
Problem #1: I am a terrific smart-ass
Problem #2: Because of problem #1, no one (sane) asks me for advice.

So I've taken charge of Prudie's column (Dear Prudence, daughter of Ann Landers.)

Here's my first response:

For the last three months my husband and I have been attending a church we both like. Recently we requested (via a "guest form") to receive information about possibly becoming members. Since then, we have had several church members visit our home to talk with us and answer our questions. All of this has been wonderful, but there has been a problem. One member has taken the role of "meet and greet" to another level. He comes to our house, unannounced, quite frequently, even if we have other visitors. He admitted to us he rides by our home to see if there are any vehicles in our driveway (he thought this was funny for some reason), and on Sundays, he waits for us at the sanctuary doors to see if we attend so he can sit with us during service. He lets us know when he has "not seen us for a week" and is constantly asking us when we will join the church. My husband and I both feel he is doing this all on his own and it is not something the church advises its members to do. This is a wonderful church. It will be a wonderful foundation of faith for our son and will enrich our own faith. This overzealous member is about 30 years our senior (we are both in our early 30s) and has been a member of this church for many years. I've been taught to respect elders, so how do I politely but firmly tell him we don't appreciate being "checked up on" and to back off? His behavior is driving us away, not making us feel welcome.

--Feeling Hassled

Dear Hassled,

What, are you fucking kidding me? I'm not sure which shocks me more, the fact that you think you've found the perfect church, or that you're surprised some senior citizen is hassling you whilts gleefully counting the potential souls he'll bring into the Lord's fold. Listen, I can tell you don't want to be talked out of this whole church-membership thing, so let me cut to the chase. You aren't asking Rude-y how to handle this fuddy-duddy... you are asking Rude-y if it's okay to tell his minister. You want permission to start stirring up trouble in your new church. You know the old saying, "If the church is perfect, it's because you aren't there?" Well, it applies to you, dear reader. So with my blessing, go ahead and rat on the old fart.

Rude-y, Bluntly

So, do you think I have a shot at getting a gig here?

Where Does He Get This?

God I love my son.

An Open Letter to My Classmates

You know who you are...
...the little pixie-cut in the backrow with the perfect teeth and non-stop giggle...
...the size "0" bleach-blonde with tight white pants and a propensity for cleavage revealing attire...
...the guy who probably beats his girlfriend...
...the septagenarian who thinks every answer begins with, "The Lord says..."

I know you dislike me for myriad reasons, but I think you should know I'm not a teacher's pet, nor am I a suck-up. I'm a non-traditional student getting a second shot at an education. That being said...

...I will continue to arrive 15 minutes early for class because it takes me that long to wiggle my ass into those goddamn desks built for middle-schoolers

...I will continue to sit front and center because my eye sight sucks and my hearing ain't too good these days.

...I will continue to have all the answers - yes, you little fucks, it took me almost twenty years to return to school and I'm not going to screw it up again.

...I will continue writing papers so good that the professor chooses them to read aloud each week. I'm not going to dumb it down to give you your fifteen minutes.

...I don't "blow the curve"... I fucking study my ass off. Try it sometime.

...I don't do, " know..." "What-EVRRRRRRRRRRR" or "Get with me!"

...No, I will not be in your study group, or partner with you on this assignment. If I'm going to do all the work, I'm going to take all the credit...and you and I both know that I'll end up doing all the work because I am a control freak and you are pulling a C minus average, which is why you asked me to pair up with you in the first place.

...The commons area is not Romper-Fucking-Room. It's like the library, but for smokers. So could you please shut the fuck up about "Like, oh my god... blah blah blah" now?

...No you may not borrow a (pencil, quarter, dollar, sheet of paper, notes from the classes you missed, cigarette, two-dollars, my textbook, etc...) It's called a "budget." Try it. Don't parade your Louis if you can't put anything in it.

In short - I'm not stupid, and I'm sorry you think community college would be easier if it weren't for annoying, studious people like me. I'll be gone in ten months and you can have your curve back. In the meantime, shut your mouth, open your book, and try learning something. You all annoy the hell out of me.

The 36yr old "non-traditional" student with a big brain and a big axe to grind.

Funky Wants an 'A'!

Since I'm still sick ( or at the very least, still trying to milk it for all its worth ) I may or may not post anything interesting today. Never fear! Head on over to Funky Gets an A and give me your two-cents on a much more interesting topic than last week.... CHEATING!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Not THAT kind of Bug, Dammit!!!

Quick and simple - I'm fucking sick. Here are a few things I've learned today about being sick:

1: I can go to bed feeling just fine, and wake up in the morning quite certain that my intestines are being ripped out by a small demon with calloused hands.

2: When #1 happens, my entire house panics.

3: My husband will call MY work and let them know that I'm too sick to call in sick, let alone come in to work. Then he will cancel my lunch dates.

4: Said husband will cancel all his appointments to sit in the ER with me, on the chance that I am suffering from ebola-related melt-down.

5: My daughter does a GREAT job of grocery shopping on her own, as long as she has ample cash and my little Prada bag.

6: Said daughter will also (a) cook dinner (b) feed animals (c) bring me juice

7: My son will sit beside me and risk getting sick, because he doesn't know what else to do and doesn't want to be left out.

8: When I'm sick - everyone goes to bed on time and no one throws a fit about riding the bus in the morning.

9: Before bed they do their homework.

10: When I'm sick, no one says "shut up" unless it's "shut up, mom is sick."

11: No one fights

Really, this isn't the kind of bug I was talking about... but I've learned some nice things about my family today,

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Tsunami Mommy - Part II

I can't believe it... he didn't win.

What to do? I decided it was best for him to accept that sometimes the best of intentions are all that matter... but his disappointment is hard for me, as a mom, to take. He hung his little head and said, "I didn't win. I never win anything." I hugged him. He wants to believe that the world is just and good and that good things happen when you put your heart out there... he found out that it's not always so.

It's a good lesson to learn - but Tsunami Mommy wanted him to be win... and Robin wanted his view of the world to linger just a little while longer... for both of us.