Y'all this might be old news for you. Sam is in the Middle East with family right now and he says the Atlanta gas situation is on the news there. Simply put: WE HAVE NO FREAKING GAS!!!!
Thank goodness I telecommute. I am one of those really lucky people who, if she doesn't go anywhere out of the ordinary, can get by on one fill up per month. IF I am careful and I consolidate my trips. I am lucky. I am fortunate. It almost make sup for the fact that I have not gotten a raise in 5 years of very hard work and personal sacrifice. I have just under half a tank right now and have started looking. But metro Atlanta has no gas. We do have some diesel but no unleaded. You drive by 10 or 12 gas stations and all the prices on their signs are blank. This is the major sign there is no gas. Although you can't be sure unless you drive in and see the bags over the nozzles. Because sometimes they get some gas in and don't have time to get the prices up before they are sold out again. You can really only be sure when you see a block and a half of cars lined up to get what they have. People are getting nasty. People are unable to get to work.
On the upside - my yard is knee high with grass and no I have not mowed and have no intention of doing so in the near future. Because I might have 1 mower tank worth in the mower and damned if I'm going to use it until the last possible moment. I might need it to put in my vehicle to get me to a station once the supply starts flowing again.
This has been a bad 2 weeks with the stock market and the bailout thing (I still don't know exactly how I feel about that and think there are good arguments for both sides but I think it's another instance of media manipulation. Whether we like it or not this country will slow to a standstill if we don't do it and yet it isn't right and it should not be up to the government and the taxpayers to fix the faults of a few. Also I think Barney Frank said it best.) I am really concerned about my 401(k) which is so small it is hardly worth mentioning but it is what I have and what I have accomplished. Thank goodness what goes down will eventually go up. I only wish I had a shitload of money sitting around to buy buy buy right now because this might be the lowest the stock market will go in my lifetime. At least I hope so.
The really funny thing to me is in the past 2 weeks I have had an increase in credit line on two of my credit cards!!! One is entirely paid off and one I should be able to pay off in 4 months. Yeah. Like I'm totally going to go buy new living room furniture right now. I am happy to have a lot of unused credit "just in case" and even happier when it sits unused as I pay off what I do carry because it increases my FICA score but I laugh at this blatant crap from the sharks.
Y'all, it took me 37 years to learn this. Credit is good. Lots of available credit is good. Using it is not good. Using it means having to use stupid math to figure out plans and all and that gets in the way of life. Using it is good if you can pay it off in a month. Or two. Without using more.
And if the US school system does not begin TEACHING this shit at age 10 with an emphasis on it in math classes through high school graduation we are all screwed. I read the classics in school. I studied the physics of light and sound. I studied nutrition for chrissakes. I can to this day break down a recipe to its individual components and give a basic synopsis of nutritional and caloric content. But until I hit financial bottom at age 36 I could not have told you how credit could negatively affect my future. This is so wrong. I would give Jane Eyre and Moby Dick and all of Margaret Atwood and Yeats and Donne to have known about credit when I graduated high school.
At age 44 I learned that if I had worked and saved $2000 per year beginning at age 14 I could do this for 5 years and retire without saving another fucking dollar the rest of my life. To put it in religious terms which is all I can come up with right now this is kind of like being a devout Christian all your life. You are an acolyte. You show up every week. You volunteer. You bring cans to the holiday drive. And then 44 years into it you find out you are fucked if you didn't dance naked in the backyard every equinox. HUH? WTF??
I am not a mother basically beacuse I married two very screwed up men but that's another story. If you are reading this and you are a parent you really need to educate about this because our schools will not because they think Moby fucking Dick is more "educational."
If it were up to me I would have all high schools teach nothing but finanace.
And this is from a girl who begged her way through passing most math classes she ever took.
Wish those buzz cut horn-rimmed glasses wearing teachers could see me now. They might have hope for me. I certainly see the value now of what they were trying to teach me then.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Y'all this might be old news for you. Sam is in the Middle East with family right now and he says the Atlanta gas situation is on the news there. Simply put: WE HAVE NO FREAKING GAS!!!!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Posted by gaga at 5:01 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008
Recently I have become addicted to Animal Planet. I think this is because all my HGTV shows seem to be repeats these days and I've gotten back into addictive knitting again and need something going on besides knit and purl. You can only watch so much Curb Appeal before you feel entirely unworthy of owning a little shitty home with no curb appeal whatsoever.
My internet and couch-surfing bud Harvey and his wife Chika have recently moved to the US and contacted me last week because they were adopting a cat from a shelter in Boston and wanted advice. I basically told them to get a few enpty boxes and some food and be prepared to enjoy. I think they will be very good parents because they keep asking me questions to be assured their little "Red" is not acting abnornmally. Cat virgins are so much fun.
When you "get" any animal it is a lifetime comittment. My oldest cat Sonny is now 18 - going on 19, and he is now deaf - I suspect 90-100%. This presents new challenges but when he was 2 I adopted him and in doing so gave him a home for the duration of his natural life. I have been through moves where it was difficult. I have lived in apartments where he was "invisible" due to unbelieveable pet deposits (due I am sure to irresponsible pet owners in the past). I have been through unemployment where I thought I might possibly have to find the cats another home so they would have regular and proper care at a time when I could barely afford to pay my electric bill and would not have been able to make it through this time without a loan from my parents. At age freaking 41. Somehow everything fell into place and my little feline family survived intact and with no ill effects but the point is that they are my primary concern. I have now built a savings that equals about 5 months of extremely cut back expenses and have one credit card that I keep open with no balance in case of loss of job and veterinary expense. Actually I have two zero balance cards but only one is earmarked for vet expenses in an emergency. The other is for job loss and groceries. I am sure I will never need this but I keep it all set just in case. I am also sure I will never need my other safety nets but I will keep building them until one day when I am 93 I finally realize I can quit my job and retire.
Anyway the point of this is these Animal Planet shows. I especially am intrigued by the SPCA shows where neglected, abused and abandoned animals are rescued and the motherfuckers who did the deed are charged criminally. I battle with myself all the time about my (so far two) extended absences for business. Both times I have returned home as often as possible and have paid a professional bonded certified person to come to my house in my absence to make sure all the needs are taken care of. It is not at all ideal but my cats are indeed well cared for by people who will get them to the vet if necessary. Their litter is clean. Their water is clean. They have food. But what I see on these shows are people who buy exotic snakes and then move out of the house and leave them behind to be found weeks later. Cats tied to trees on 2 foot ropes with no food or water. Horses emaciated. Who the hell DOES this???? Most of the time I sit here and think my real calling is to work as an SPCA officer or a foster Mom for these animals but then I realize I would KILL these people with my bare hands.
Please DO NOT take an animal into your home unless you realize you are responsible. EVERY DAY. FOR EVERY NEED. Dogs and cats live 10 - 15 years on average but up to 20 or 22 years. Large birds can live 30 - 50 years. Exotics should NOT be kept. If you have an animal that you need to rehome REQUIRE an adoption fee and have all veterninary records ready to turn over. And if you cannot do this contact the SPCA and do not abandon the poor helpless thing. The SPCA accepts any animal and if they are healthy they will do everything to make sure they are adopted to a good and loving and responsible home.
Sorry for this lecture but it is something I feel so strongly about. I have four cats, all of whom have distinct personalities.
Also good lord people - if you have a dog or cat that is not spayed or neutered what the FUCK? If you are concerned about the emasculation of your pet I think you probably have sexual identity issues yourself. I assure you your animal will not notice. Unless you have a freaking DOLPHIN. Dolphins and HUMANS are the only mammals that have sex for pleasure. The rest probably don't know why on earth they do it but it isn't for pleasure (although they might get pleasure from it). If this is due to cost (in which case maybe you should rethink your choice to have a pet) do an internet search for low cost clinics or places providing certificates for the full procedure at a $15 or $20 donation. I had 3 cats altered with certificates when I was a poor waitress/actress. I've had 3 more altered at full cost so other waitresses/actresses could take advantage of the certificates. Just find a way to do it so more puppies and kittens will not come into this world unwanted and abandoned. My 4 were all unwanted and abandoned - one wandering on the roadside (Sonny the 18 year old) and 3 others found by dumpsters in shopping centers. You could not imagine four more beautiful loving cats. Their lives really are worth so much. They give me so much love and amusement watching them play.
I promise to write soon about Mac (McLovin) who is a little grey boy I adopted about 3 weeks ago. He has now fully become a member of our house and plays with the others and is gentle and loving with Sonny. I think I have a capacity of 5 since 5 is the most I have ever homed. I think I am waiting for that next one who really needs us and seems to be a good match.
Posted by gaga at 10:21 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
The following was xeroxed from my hometown newspaper by my mother and sent via snail mail. I have typed it out word for word here. This letter was written by Mike Sharley, an attorney in my hometown. I contacted him when the letter arrived and asked for his permission to post it here and I told him I use the "f" bomb liberally and would understand if he did not want to be associated. This morning I woke up to his full permission and he also sent a couple of youtube links. Mike is disabled but not really since I consider him more abled than I will ever be. He was not my contemporary but both of my sisters knew him well as children and adolescents. Mike has never been personally held back by his disability and in fact has achieved more than I in my supposedly able body ever did and ever will. The school system wanted to tag him as "retarded" but Mike is and never has been retarded. Mike has a great mind and a great heart and soul and ranks on my list as one of the most intelligent people I have known. Mike is an Attorney in Morgantown WV and based on my google searches he works every day for the rights of the disabled and the rights of those otherwise invisible.
Community organizers big part of American history
Vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin gave an acceptance speech that was very effective to anyone who considers themselves a community organizer. She mocked Sen. Barack Obama for being a community organizer and not having real responsibilities. However, community organizers have been a very important piece in the history of the United States of America.
During the period of the American Revolution, community organizers such as Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine and Abigail Adams promoted and advocated the patriotic spirit which led to the independence of the United States. During the Civil War, community organizers such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman fought to free thousands of African Americans from the bonds of slavery. And community organizers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks fought against segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, a community organizer named Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa after being housed in prison for 27 years for his community organizing activities.
If it wasn’t for community organizers in American history, there may not have been an end to slavery or segregation. There may have not even been a patriotic movement that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Ironically Palin began her political career as a community organizer. She was a member of the PTA and fought for better schools in her community.
Palin seems to gloss over her community organizer past in order to mock the experience of Obama. If she really understood the history of America she would celebrate Obama’s and her own community organizing and not mock the patriots of the past for her own political benefit.
Mike's Totally Great Video about Medical Coverage for the Disabled
Mike on voting for Obama in a Red State
Posted by gaga at 6:27 PM
And in the interest of spreading truth and not lies (like SOME people we all know) I post here the official word from factcheck.org and vow in the future to check carefully before posting . . .
Not a Book Burner
One accusation claims then-Mayor Palin threatened to fire Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books from the town library. Some versions of the rumor come complete with a list of the books that Palin allegedly attempted to ban. Actually, Palin never asked that books be banned; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication. The librarian was fired, but was told only that Palin felt she didn’t support her. She was re-hired the next day. The librarian never claimed that Palin threatened outright to fire her for refusing to ban books.
It’s true that Palin did raise the issue with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla’s librarian, on at least two occasions, three in some versions. Emmons flatly stated her opposition each time. But, as the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla’s local paper) reported at the time, Palin asked general questions about what Emmons would say if Palin requested that a book be banned. According to Emmons, Palin "was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library." Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue, asking whether Emmons' position would change if residents were picketing the library. Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, who was at the meeting, corroborates Emmons' story, telling the Chicago Tribune that "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?' "
Palin characterized the exchange differently, initially volunteering the episode as an example of discussions with city employees about following her administration's agenda. Palin described her questions to Emmons as “rhetorical,” noting that her questions "were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city." Actually, true rhetorical questions have implied answers (e.g., “Who do you think you are?”), so Palin probably meant to describe her questions as hypothetical or theoretical. We can't read minds, so it is impossible for us to know whether or not Palin may actually have wanted to ban books from the library or whether she simply wanted to know how her new employees would respond to an instruction from their boss. It is worth noting that, in an update, the Frontiersman points out that no book was ever banned from the library’s shelves.
Palin initially requested Emmons’ resignation, along with those of Wasilla’s other department heads, in October 1996. Palin described the requests as a loyalty test and allowed all of them (except one, whose department she was eliminating) to retain their positions. But in January 1997, Palin fired Emmons, along with the police chief. According to the Chicago Tribune, Palin did not list censorship as a reason for Emmons’ firing, but said she didn’t feel she had Emmons’ support. The decision caused “a stir” in the small town, according to a newspaper account at the time. According to a widely circulated e-mail from Kilkenny, “city residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter.”
As we’ve noted, Palin did not attempt to ban any library books. We don’t know if Emmons’ resistance to Palin’s questions about possible censorship had anything to do with Emmons’ firing. And we have no idea if the protests had any impact on Palin at all. There simply isn’t any evidence that we can find either way. Palin did re-hire Emmons the following day, saying that she now felt she had the librarian’s backing. Emmons continued to serve as librarian until August 1999, when the Chicago Tribune reports that she resigned.
So what about that list of books targeted for banning, which according to one widely e-mailed version was taken “from the official minutes of the Wasilla Library Board”? If it was, the library board should take up fortune telling. The list includes the first four Harry Potter books, none of which had been published at the time of the Palin-Emmons conversations. The first wasn't published until 1998. In fact, the list is a simple cut-and-paste job, snatched (complete with typos and the occasional incorrect title) from the Florida Institute of Technology library Web page, which presents the list as “Books banned at one time or another in the United States.”
Posted by gaga at 8:51 AM
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I have recently read several really insightful commentaries on the McSame/Palin ticket and my next several posts will feature these because this election is not only historical for the fact that either a woman will end up vice president (and eventually president since McSame will not survive even half his first term - this is a prediction and I would welcome small cash bets on this) OR an african-american will be president - it is likely the most important election in history since we have never had 8 years of a more incompetent president and more things that need to be reversed.
I know I've said this before but back in July I was in Mexico City on business. Mexico City has some good sections but is basically a destitute crime-ridden, poverty-stricken area where the buildings are falling down and graffiti covers every surface and people make their complete livings selling crap at stop lights. Sam and I were in a taxi one day - not really talking much. Sam turned to me and said something about how dirty and crumbling and depressing Mexico City is and I told him it is exactly how I picture the US if we have another Republican term. And I am serious. $35,000 per year is the new $20,000 per year. And this will only get worse.
First from Gloria Steinem with many thanks to sister Susannah the new age nun for forwarding. This is one I had actually not yet read. I don't always agree with Gloria but I did read Revolution From Within about 12 years ago and it is one of the few books I will always keep as a personal bible.
Apologies for the lack of paragraphs - formatting did not copy and I am far too tired and hungry right now to correct it. The message is still very very clear.
Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton.
She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
By Gloria Steinem
September 4, 2008
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie. Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience. Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long tha the doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq;someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act. Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger. I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest. Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women. And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children. This could be huge.
Gloria Steinem is an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.
Posted by gaga at 5:47 PM
Friday, September 05, 2008
Yeah I've been watching. I watched almost all of the Dems and as much as I could take of the assh . . . errghhum . . . Pubes. For some reason I have had many requests to write about The Sarah and I will. I swear I will. But I'm not ready yet. Right now what I'm thinking is this: I love that McSame chose a woman. I hate that he is using her like a cheap whore. I love that she is strong and aggressive and a bitch (from time to time I am a bitch on the job and so far it has worked fairly well for me when I choose to let the flag fly). I hate that her entire platform is about being a hockey mom (and by the way her timing on the "lipstick" punchline sucked for air - she should have given it at least one and preferably two more beats). A VP is 24/7 which means her special needs child will not have the time he needs with her. I don't want a hockey mom for a VP. I want a VP who is on the job 24/7 and ignores family. And Bristol is pregnant. Which means she kinda needs to be around her family right now. Family fucking values my big fat white ass. And don't get me started on McSame the adulterer.
But I will do a post on Sarah and both conventions eventually. Right now I am still reeling from all of it. And my Obama sign has been proudly posted in my yard for the last 6 weeks.
Wednesday morning Miss Jessie called. Usually she does her monthly grocery shopping the first Wednesday of the month just after her SS check comes in (Wednesday for the senior citizen's discount at Kroger) but the Labor Day holiday messed up the mail and her check did not come in. I asked her if there was anything she needed to tide her over until next Wednesday and she gave me a list of a few items and I went out and got them at lunch and took them over. When I walked in I smelled something burning. She had put a pot of collards on the stove for lunch and then fell asleep in her chair. I took the pan off the stove and turned it off and helped her clean it. Last night (Thursday) she called to ask me what day it was. I told her "Thursday." We had a 20 minute conversation during which she asked me 4 times what day it was. She also asked me if she had told me she needed turkey sausage and margarine and I told her no but I was going out today and would pick them up for her. 10 minutes after we hung up the phone rang and it was Miss Jessie telling me she hated to be a worry to me but if I was going out tomorrow would I please pick up some turkey sausage and margarine for her? I just want to cry. I will call the social worker for the state of GA Monday and let her know the latest. It is obvious to me that this is a situation out of control.
Posted by gaga at 7:05 PM