Friday, October 30, 2009

Matsui and Needles

So, the Phillies lost game 2 of the World Series tonight.

It sucked. And I may (or may not) have thrown something at the television.

After all of that, I have one question.

How the fuck did Matsui hit that?! I mean, Jesus. It was so far out of the normal swing of things. Telekinesis, I say. Tele-fucking-kinesis.

Ugh. Ok. Now that I've got that out of my system....

I got my test results back from the lab today.

Positive for H1N1. Thank you test lab - it's so helpful for me to know a week and a half after contracting said disease that I have it.

Thank God my doctor isn't a nincompoop. She put me on the Tamiflu as soon as I complained, and it took care of me pretty damned well. I'm all better now! (mostly. If you ignore the hacking) So really, the test results do me no good at this point in time.

Well, that's not true. At least now I know I don't have to get the damned vaccine.

I have a *small* fear of needles. That is to say...I hate them. With an undying passion. You see, when I was a small lass (and by small I mean twelve) I had to get allergy shots.

I actually was ok with them...for a bit. And then the dumbass doctor kept on increasing the dosages - because they had to desensitize me. Ok, that's fine, I can get down with that.

And then he switched nurses. The new nurse (who, I'm pretty sure, was related to Hitler) never warmed up the fluid - she just injected it into me straight from the freezer.

Uh...OW? Bitch didn't give me a sticker either.

But ok, I can deal with that. It burned, but I kept telling myself that it was all for the greater, allergy-free, good.

They upped the dosages too high. On more than one occasion I broke out in hives as a result of the injections. And then they would decrease the dosage...and then start raising it back up. And then the hives would start again. Big, angry welts that were huge. That, coupled with the frozenness of it all....Well. It was all for the greater good, right?

Who cares if I left the office in tears because my arms WERE FUCKING BURNING LIKE HELL as the ice-cold liquid traveled through my veins. It was ok, because we were doing something, people! And for those of you who are thinking that it's just my 12 year old brain blowing things out of proportion, I promise you, it's not.

My mother (you don't mess with Mama-bear) interrogated questioned the nurses on more than one occasion about the welts on my arms. She also didn't understand why a child who was as hardheaded resilient as me would cry over something so trivial as an injection. I had never cried before for any other injections, after all.

They waved off her concerns and told her it was all for the eventual betterment of my "condition." ('s an allergy. It's actually a *lot* of allergies. I'd list them, but I don't want to put you to sleep. Just trust me on this)

It was like that once a week (one injection per arm) for two years. And then the dumbass allergist came up to me, and pronounced that the shots really weren't doing any good, and we should stop.

Uh. WHAT? Two years I endured that, and he couldn't have informed me of this sooner?

Oh, I was ticked. The experience has left me a bit...bitter.

So now I don't like needles. At all.

We're talking heeby-jeebies. I'm not as bad as some people (for instance, I don't scream and cry and moan about how aweful getting a needle is every time I see one), but if there's a way for me to avoid it, then you're damn sure I'll be exploring that option.

And before all ya'll start thinking that I purposefully contracted H1N1, think again. Even I'm not that crazy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Obsession

I have a problem.

I'm trying to come to grips with it. And I've done a pretty good job of resisting up until now.

I lost interest for a while, and didn't want much to do with it. I would go whole days without thinking about it. I guess life just kind of got between us.

But now it's back, and I can't stop thinking about it.

Daily, I think about it. I think about dragging it out of storage and running my fingers along the sleek shiny plastic, listening to the shudder click and seeing the image pop up on the tiny LCD screen on the back. I miss messing around with different aperature settings and white balance options, playing with the shudder speed and f-stops, seeing which ISO setting works until I get that *one* picture out of the hundreds I might take that makes the entire trip worth it.

That's right world. I'm a picture whore. I'll do anything to get my shot - including hanging upside down from a tree limb (true story). I used to take photos for our college paper, and I wasn't half bad (if I do say so myself).

So why'd I stop?

Well, work puts a damper on the available times I have to take my photos. And weather is most definately a factor - if it's pouring rain, odds are I'm not going to be shooting in it (I'm clumsy enough as it is, with my luck my camera would fall in a puddle or something). That and, honestly, other things have kind of taken precedence up until now.

Well. Enough of that. I think I might drag out my D70 and my lenses, and see what happens when I get better.

What kills me the most is that I was good. I was damn good. My specialties are kids and landscapes. I love taking pictures of kids (and yes, I realize how creepy that can sound...). There's just something wonderful in the innocence that a kid can portray on camera. Pure, unadultrated emotions shine through - they're not trying to hide their real selves behind a thin veneer of sophistication.

Nope. They're living life. The good, the bad, the ugly, the wonderful - the camera catches it all. I would show ya'll some of my work with kids, but I don't like plastering pictures of other people's kids all over the internet without their permission.

Note to self: draw up some release forms for potential subject's guardians. Try not to freak them out too much.

So I think I'm going to start taking more photos, like I used to. Those who know me are probably rolling their eyes right now and moaning about how I take too many photos now. Well, I do, but the majority of them are candids. I need to get back to my roots.

I'm even creating a Flickr account :)

So, if ya'll were interested in my photo-stream, you can find me under my s/n there - Nyxy1331

I'll still be doing Photo Monday, but the Flickr thing is just a place where I can dump all my photos and go through them and have some fun.

Have a good night ya'll!

Most my photos will be from my college years. This one only seemed appropriate to put up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ramblings of a Swine Flu patient

Tonight's post is kind of just a mish-mash of stuff that's going around in my head at the moment. It's not really anything important, or especially hilarious. But I feel like writing, and my co-worker Pumpkin has been harassing me to update because her fiancee Twinkles needed story-time. He's probably wondering why I'm calling him Twinkles. It's because he's just so the opposite of everything the name Twinkles implies. So here I am, updating ya'll on what's going on with me at the moment.

So, I totally stole this from Cape Cod Gal's blog, Diamond in the Rough. It was so amusing to me, I just *had* to share. You're welcome.

Cock Shot from Invisible Engine on Vimeo.

Oh yes. The Cock Shot. Personally, I enjoy using my knee or foot, but think of the implications of this?

Got arthritis? No worries! Cock Shot has your back.

So, Beth over at The Confused Homemaker gave me my first ever award! Ok, she really gave it to me weeks a few days ago, and I'm just getting around to putting it up in its place of honor now, but ehhh....things happen. THANKYOU BETH! Rest assured, my inner media-whore is doing absolute somersaults.

So part of getting the award is having the fun of giving it to someone else. So, for the (untitled and unscripted but still freaking fantastic) award shown above, I'm going to give it to...(drum roll, anyone?)....

Aunt Becky from over at Mommy Wants Vodka. Because honestly, she makes me roll on the ground and clutch my sides in a desperate effort not to crack a rib from laughter whenever I read her blog.

Ah. Anyways. As some of you may know by now, I'm sick. Swine-flu sick, to be precise. I don't have a positive test yet (it apparently takes forever and a day to get the test results back), but this is not the case of a hypochondriac pretending to be sick to get out of work (no matter what you say Pumpkin).

Oh no. I wish it were the case. As it stands now I've probably managed to deforest an entire continent of trees with my tissue usage. I have a smoker's cough. I don't smoke. I'm vomiting and praying to the porcelain god toilet, and breathing has become a *bit* of an issue. I'm also being snappy with everyone because of the headache I've had for the last...four days. And did I mention the fever/chills? It's one hell of a good time kiddies! First, y'see, you get your temperature up to 103. Then, within an hour, it'll drop to 96. Doesn't that sound fun!? I feel shaken, not stirred.

I hardly ever get sick. Oh well...go big or go home, right? Heh. I'm chugging orange juice by the gallons, and sleeping far more than I should be (I'm giving the cat and my arthritic dog a run for their money).

Hopefully this thing will end soon and I'll be able to go back to hating my job plotting world domination delightfully assisting those in need of customer service. And I know Pookie will be relieved that I'm going to eventually stop bitching to him. Because, when I'm sick?

Yea. I make everyone around me miserable. I don't intentionally do it. It just kind of happens. Mostly. Sort of. Ok, fine, I know damn well what I'm doing. I have no remorse over it though, because when I'm sick I turn into a raging bitch. I'll probably feel bad later. Y'know, when I'm back to normal. normal as I get.

Tuck (my one bird...see here for the full story) has figured out that if he sticks his little birdie head under the door that's above his food cups he can open the cage.

Great. Ash (the other budgie) knows how to open the big door (I tie that one shut). Guess I'll be fastening all the doors of the cage...*sigh* silly me for thinking that they wouldn't figure out the other ones.

It's ok. If he keeps doing it I'll just feed him to Rusty.

Picture Monday!

So here's another round of Picture Monday. This week's round of photos are some more from Oak Island, North Carolina. Enjoy!

I don't know these people. I just thought that it was a touching scene.

This picture almost made the drive through Hurricane Charlie worth it. Almost.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


So I was sitting here, reading the news, until I came across this little tidbit:

Man stuffs mouth with 16 cockroaches in record bid
Sun Oct 25, 12:37 pm ET

LANSING, Mich. – A Michigan pet store employee got himself a mouthful of cockroaches — on purpose. The Lansing State Journal reported Sean Murphy on Friday stuffed 16 Madagascar hissing cockroaches into his mouth. He was trying to set a new Guinness World Records mark and said the old record was 11.

Murphy initially got 12 squirming cockroaches into his mouth, but then kept adding them until he got to 16. He says it was a "big surprise" since he's never fit that many in his mouth before "in one try."

The employee of Preuss Pets in Lansing says each cockroach was at least 2 1/2 inches long. Murphy says he might try for 20 next year. A video of the feat was posted on the newspaper's Web site.

Murphy's effort would need to be certified by Guinness for it to be official.


Information from: Lansing State Journal,

Thank you AP news, for that disgusting informative tidbit of news. War? Pft. Hunger and starvation? Ha! Who cares about that; there's a pet-store employee who can shove sixteen whole cockroaches in his mouth! Why do they even have this record in the first place....?

I hope the big boys over at the (mega million dollar chain) pet store I work at don't hear about this. I could see them whoring us out for a little free publicity. I had a rough enough time when I opened that box the other day from the janitor's closet....

You see, one of co-workers had asked me to go into the janitor's closet and grab her another box of bags. So I decided to be productive for once in my life, and help her out a little. I got the box, brought it up to the counters, opened it.

And tried to stifle the horrifying scream that wrenched its way up from the bowels of my heart.

Ok, it wasn't really a scream. More like a very small shriek.

That others happened to hear.

At least ten cockroaches crawled out from that box. TEN OF THEM. They crawled out and just kind of hung around. I swear the one winked at me as he cheekily twitched his antenna.

Fucking bugs.

I ran to go grab the nearest manager (Mario) and I forced him to inspect the box. Then I forced him to inspect the janitor's closet. I refuse to step foot in there alone ever again.

I can deal with the big cockroaches. Y'know. The giganto ones that everyone seems to be terrified of.

But the little ones? OH HELL NO. I felt like I had them crawling all over me for hours after opening the damned box.

Next time I go into that claustraphobic's nightmare of a closet, I'm making sure I give the little buggers plenty of time to scamper - away from me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gen Y

"It is always the students that make change happen."

These words were spoken by one of my professors in college. He was a visiting professor from South Korea who was equal parts brilliance and kindness. Ironically, as we sat in that sterile classroom waiting for him to impart some world-saving knowledge into our young and impressionable minds, I had been coming to the conclusion that Generation Y was a lost cause.

All around me there were people who were concerned with the world's problems - and then there were the disillusioned teenagers and young adults who were more interested as to when they were next getting laid.

It just didn't seem right. There we were - in college, in the prime of our lives. We had been granted a magnificent opportunity to further our education and knowledge of the world around us. We should have been ready to take on the world. We should have been able to voice our opinions and fight for equality for all, fight for environmental good, fight for the end to poverty, to war, to oppression.

So why didn't we?

Why don't we?

Throughout the years I've tried to find an answer to this. And I think I've found one.

We're so busy trying to fix our own shit we can't fix anyone else's.

Sad, but true.

Maybe in a few years we may be able to become fully fledged contributors to societal good. But for now, we're busy.

It's an egocentric viewpoint, I know. And I don't speak for everyone out there - I'm sure there's a few Gen Y'ers that are saving the world.

That said, there are a few things that we could do to make things a bit better out there. We may not be able to put in the volunteer hours that are required of a superhero, but we can do something.

We can stand up for ourselves, for one.

The voice of Gen Y seems to be rather muted and quieted these days. Why? Oh sure, we'll talk to our friends about it, but protest?! Pft. I once protested with a group of my college professors, and you know how many students showed up? Guess.

Three. Including me.

I don't understand why we're so apathetic to the world's ills. We sit and we bitch about how bad everything is, and yet we don't do anything about it.

Don't get me wrong - I've seen Gen Y'ers in action, and some of them are the most compassionate and productive people I know. But as a group, as a whole, we leave much to be desired.

Which begs the question....

What type of precedence are we setting for Generation Z?

Smarmy Saturday

So my Freaky Friday feature seems to keep on getting pushed back to Saturdays. So Freaky Friday has now changed into Smarmy Saturday. Woohoo.

I feel horrible. The doctor wasn't sure whether or not I have swine flu. Her response to my questioning? "Well, it could be swine flu. Or it might be something else."

Thankyou Doctor. Like I couldn't figure that out by myself.

Regardless, I now have a nice shiny new package of Tamiflu on the counter top downstairs. My body can't seem to make up its mind as to whether or not it wants to be hot or cold - I went from a 102 degree fever all the way down to 96.4 degrees.

That can't be good, can it?

So for Smarmy Saturday this week I decided to comment on some things that annoy the piss out of me. I'm usually critical as hell when I'm sick, so it fits my current mood.

1.) Miley Cyrus - When she stops stuffing her bra I may take her a little more seriously as an "artist." Or not. There was that whole pole-dancing fiasco a few weeks back....

2.) Swine Flu - Really, I don't see why everyone's panicking. It's a version of the flu. Get over it. Sure, people have died from it. But most of those people had compromised immune systems. That and I'm so freaking sick of hearing about it on the news.

3.) Small Unruly Children - Ok, listen mothers of the world. I understand that you've got a billion and one things going on in your lives. But I swear, if you don't get off your damn cell phone and stop your kid from pounding on the glass of our cages at work and terrifying my animals, I'm going to have to do your job for you. I don't think you want it to come to that.

4.) Banana flavored pudding - Yuck. Just...yuck.

5.) Homophobes - you may have seen my last post concerning gay marraige. Without going into too much detail, let's just say that the opposition kind of pisses me off. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but when it harms people emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically then there's a big problem with it.

6.) Our new General Manager - yes, we have a new GM at the store. He's a lazy bastard. Thinks he's above actually "working." Pft...I give him about 3 months, maybe less, before he starts crying like a baby and decides to leave.

7.) Slow drivers - We won't go there. Let's just say that they sufficiently piss me off.

8.) Politicians - Stop being so shady and maybe the public would like you better.

9.) The Cold - Urk. I hate being cold, it's pretty intolerable for me. I get all shaky and shivery and my teeth clack. And then whoever I'm around at the time decides to be a genius and point out that my teeth are clacking. I'd move to someplace warm, but I still haven't won the lottery.

10.) Daytime television - I think this one speaks for itself.

So there ya have it...10 things that are presently annoying me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A few thoughts on gay marraige

Gay. Lesbian. Bi. Transsexual. Transgendered.

What do those words mean to you? I'm sad to say that before I met a girl a few years ago, I never really gave those words very much thought. Oh, I knew that "they" were out there - and I had met a few. I went to a Catholic high-school. If you were gay or lesbian you most certainly didn't talk about it, for fear of ostracism. Eventually my one friend from high school came out of her closet - however, by that point in time, I was distancing from her for other reasons. And so my first-hand experience with such things was minimal, at best.

I used to ride the public bus system to school every day back when I first started college. I would carefully select my seat in a location that would ensure that I wouldn't be bothered by any of the other passengers. Occasionally I'd have to share a bench with someone else when the bus got full, or I'd give my seat up for someone who was disabled or older. But usually I could just zone out and read a book, or work on an essay.

It was on that bus that I met Sarah. Bright red hair and pale features made her stand out as she would read her book. Everyday she took the same bus that I did, and everyday I would ignore her.

And then things changed.

She said hi.

I distinctly recall thinking that she must be insane.

So I said hi back and went back to reading. Somehow that initial encounter became a friendship.

We talked about many things on the bus system. Sometimes we chatted about the other passengers. Sometimes we talked about what we liked, and what we didn't. Sometimes we talked about the crazy ass bus drivers.

I remember that I asked her whether or not she had a boyfriend. She told me yes. I almost didn't hear her next sentence as she softly muttered it.

"Well, he's not exactly a guy. Merry's a girl, physically speaking." I looked at her, hard. I automatically came to the assumption that she was gay. I was ok with that - she was my friend. The girl who had come up to me on the bus and said hi and talked about silly inane things and important big things. We continued our friendship, and I met Merry - her girlfriend.

It wasn't until some time later that I understood the full implications of that conversation. Sarah and Merry opened me up to the possibilities. I didn't realize it then, but I understand now.

Sarah is not gay, nor is Merry.

Merry has since changed her name to Sean. Sean believes that he is a male that is stuck in a female body, and I (for one) believe him. I believe the term is transgendered. I think that he's looking into surgery options at the present moment.

Stranger things have happened.

Sarah was open enough to accept him and love him for who and what he is. I had the great honor of attending their wedding this past summer - after six and a half years of dating, they finally tied the knot. They have their ups and their downs, just like any couple. But they make it work, and their love is as real as any other that I've witnessed. I sometimes feel as if their relationship may be stronger than many heterosexual couples I know, since they've had to endure much ridicule and pain at the hands of the ignorant. They've been told that it must have been a "phase" that they were going through. That it wasn't real. They've had their relationship overlooked and dismissed (not just from strangers, but by family as well), just because they are (physically) two women.

However, the friends and family of many heterosexual couples I know act completely differently. Within a year of dating, usually hints concerning marriage will enter into conversation. Even if the relationship is not wanted, it is (at the very least) validated. None of my heterosexual friends have been told that their heterosexuality was "just a phase." Why would we make that assumption about others that do not quite fit our bill of normalcy? I don't know the answer to that question.

Of course, Sarah and Sean's marriage is not considered legal. For all of our talk about equality for all, we still engage in discriminatory and prejudiced practices.

Oh, right. We have civil unions. Let me tell you something about civil unions. It's not the same. The "separate but equal" stance didn't work for those who were "colored," and it won't work in this situation either.

Just face it. We're a prejudiced society.

Scream about it all you want. Tell me how it is considered as unholy. Tell me about how marriage was created for a man and a woman, and that's the way it is. Tell me how they're all going to hell, and how I'm going to be joining them. Tell me about how it's unnatural. Go ahead. Tell me. I've heard it all.

I don't care. The government has no business dictating who may and may not be married based off of religious views concerning marriage. Marriage is something best left to the churches, not the State. Only the most cowardly of hypocrites hide behind these reasons. It's not holy? Who are you to decide what is and isn't holy? Marriage was created for a man and a woman? Not that long ago, marriage was forbidden between whites and blacks. The rule was created with archaic viewpoints of society in mind. Besides that, what is the definition of gender? Is it physical or mental? Or both? We're all going to hell? Well...that's really not for you to decide anyways.

But that's just my view of it. I now have many other gay, lesbian, bi, and transsexual friends. Sean remains my only friend that is transgendered - however, I feel that this is only because to be transgendered is a very rare thing indeed.

So that's my viewpoint on it. Marriage (to me) is a sacred covenant between two people, witnessed by all and God. It's a promise to love, honor, and cherish. It's like you're telling the other person that even if they drive you nuts sometimes, you'll still love them. Even if you have to work at it - because marriage is work - you'll do it. It's also a sacrifice. You're giving up everyone else to be with this one person. And it's more - so much more. However, I cannot possibly try to sum up what marriage is into a few sentences. I am not, nor will I ever be, that good of a writer.

It's a promise that Sarah and Sean have made to each other, as well as countless other gay, lesbian, transsexual and transgendered people. And just because others out there may not see it as such, doesn't make it any less.

So that's what I think about that.

And thank you Sarah, for saying hi to me on that bus.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Picture Monday!

Picture Monday has arrived!!! Tonight's pictures will focus on my dogs. I know, I know. It's the stereotypical "aw look at my babies aren't they just the most precious things you have ever seen" post.

It's my blog. Deal with it. Unfortunately, we had to put Lili down recently - read more about that here. A part of my world cracked that day, and a good portion of that crack still remains, gaping and open and somewhat raw. My other dog, Rusty, also has cancer. I live with the knowledge that any day now we may have to make the decision to have to put him down - he's living on borrowed time as it is. That said, they have to die sometime. I recognize this - but it somehow doesn't make it any easier. They're more than just my pets - they're my best friends. My confidents. I realize that I may be sounding a bit melodramatic here, but that's the way it is with me and my animals.

They're family.

This is Rusty. He's such a good boy.

And this is Lili. She was very skeptical of the human species.

Rusty loves to roll around in the grass - he still enjoys this (he's 11 now). Of course, when he stands up, there's a nice big spot of crushed grass left behind, that inevitably winds up dying. So then we have a big bald patch that usually winds up being covered by clover. At least it's green...right?

This picture was taken a few autumns ago. She really was a good girl - just a little rough around the edges.

He's actually not that dumb, despite his appearances.

Lili trying to force dominate persuade Rusty to play with her.

The squirrel lasted approximately 30.5 seconds before being torn in two.

So there it is!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Freaky Belated Friday

Yes, another week's gone by and I've missed the Friday deadline for this.

Le sigh.

Sorry folks. It's not that I'm forgetting about the blog - I promise I'm not! But I work nights, and we (again) got busy tonight. It was not a happy night for Nyx. I had to deal with yet another crazy cat lady (this one is one of my most hated customers, I've already spoken about her here).

So anyways, before I turn this into yet another drama filled post about work, I'll get on with this week's Freaky Friday.

This week features one of my favorite websites of all time - People of Walmart. It's a marvelous site.

Ok...So he looks like he belongs in a Right Said Fred video for the elderly. I'm...too sexy for my...teeth.

I will have nightmares about this tonight.

There should be a law against this. Indecent exposure or something. Anything.

So that's it for this week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Climate Change post

The following is a blog post about Climate Change for Blog Action Day '09. It is a day where bloggers unite and write about a common subject. Due to a computer malfunction (in other words, the computer decided to rebel and shut itself down a couple dozen times while I was trying to write this), my entry is a bit late to the game. Whoopsies.

It's cold out. It's really freaking cold out. Colder than a witch's tit. So cold that when I walked out to my car tonight from work, I could see my breath and feel my fingers start to go numb.

Yep. It was that cold. I think I'm going to have to break out the mittens soon.

We've gone straight from summer to winter, with maybe about three or four days for fall.

Dear Mother Nature: bring fall back. I miss it.

So, what does my yearning for fall have to do with climate change? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But, it did get me thinking about the climate (that and I signed up for Blog Action Day '09).

There are so many variables that can cause climate change. Solar flare-ups, orbital variations, ocean variability, the human influence, continental drift...there are almost as many culprits as there are cockroaches in an abandoned Twinkie factory. Pick whichever you want, I'm sure they all are responsible for the changing weather in some way.

From what I understand of it, the Earth goes through various periods of rest and regrowth.

Every 10,000 years or so the Earth goes through what is commonly referred to as an "Ice Age."

Guess what? We're overdue. At least, that's what the geological evidence suggests.

So I'm sure that that is contributing to the PMSing state that the weather seems to be in lately. Do I think that the world is going to freeze over tomorrow? No. The evidence seems to suggest that it will be a gradual change occurring over a long period of time. Scientists can't seem to agree as to what quantity that 'long period of time' is. Of course, the "evidence" is only as valid as the people presenting it. Ironically, Science is oftentimes subjective.

What's my take on it?

I think that the reason that the weather has been acting so insane lately is a combination of human and natural causes.

Do I think that we've totally managed to fuck up Earth beyond repair? No. Do I think that we can? Yes. Call me egotistical, but I think that humanity, if it continues on its present course of action (or rather, inaction) can and will destroy our planet.

Does this mean that I think you should rule your life by the so-called "green" movement? No. But I do think that there are a few things that we can do that would help reduce our negative impact. Simple things. Like recycling. Conserving water. Planting a freaking plant every once in a while. Looking into alternative energy sources. All of these little measures add up when everyone does it. It's like whenever I run register during a donation run at the store.

Instead of asking for a full dollar contribution towards (insert favorite animal charity here), I usually ask people to please round up their change.

I once managed to raise well over 1,400 dollars this way. In two week's time. Believe me, it adds up. The same way that changing just the lightbulbs in your house to energy saving ones can. The same way that shutting off that faucet while your brushing your teeth can. The same way that choosing to recycle cans and plastic bottles can.

Edward Everett Hale once wrote something that best sums up my take on how humanity can help Earth.

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

-Edward E. Hale

So ok. Write it all off as a bunch of hippie bullshit if you want. But facts speak for themselves. With so many other factors affecting Earth, do you really want to contribute to its demise? The weather will change, there's no doubt about that. And it will change no matter what we do - it's a natural process. But I think it's best if we don't fuck with it too much. Because, really, I'd like the Earth to be around for a while. Even if it's not going to affect me, it'll affect my great to the umpteeth number grandkids. There's already so many factors stacked against us - why would we want to contribute to that list?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Picture Monday

So I am still sick. I apologize for the lack of photos in this week's Picture Monday, but I'm too lazy sick to go out and take some. So, I'm going to show you a few I took a couple of years ago on Oak Island down in NC. They aren't the best, but like I said, I'm not exactly feeling chipper at the moment, and editing photos is the last thing I want to do right now.

I believe there is a little man behind my eyeballs. And he's dancing and playing with knives. He's feeling rather stabby today.

Sadistic bastard.

This one was obviously taken at an aquarium. I WANT IT.

We went out deep-sea fishing, and a few friends swam alongside the boat.

So there you have it. Next week I'll put up some better photos, I promise. For now...sleep.

Apples and Counting

I am sick.

No, not Ted Bundy type of sick. Nor Gacy. In fact, I'm not sick in the head at all (although I am often accused of such).

Nope. I've got that sore-throat, miserably stuffy, nasal congestion type of sick. And I swear, if any of ya'll accuse me of having Swine Flu, I will personally find you and Kick. Your. Ass.

I did everything I could to avoid it - including chugging a few gallons of orange juice and religiously taking vitamin C pills. I know, I know - the human body is supposed to just piss out extra vitamin C. I don't give a shit - my immune system is like a well-oiled machine (I rarely get sick), and I attribute that to my habit of overdosing on orange juice.

However, despite my OJ chugging, I have somehow become sick.

Go figure. Do I let this slow me down? Oh hells no. Like the viral cesspool that I am at the moment, I decided to go out and share with Pookie. He knew what he was getting into. I did warn him.

So now we can be sick together. We went apple picking today at the orchards. I may have ingested a few of their fucking amazing scrumptious apple cider donuts. Here's a couple of pictures! Of the orchards, that is...not of the donuts.

Somehow, the fact that the guy driving the tractor was wearing plaid and a beat up baseball cap made it all the more "authentic."

That's Pookie. I said something dumb witty, and he ran away screaming sauntered down the rows of red delicious apples, marveling at my humor.

So I had a lovely day of apple picking. You, dear reader, may have noticed that up til this point, this post has been lame devoid of any type of mentioning about that hellhole my chosen place of employment. Guess why?

Come'll get a cookie if you do!

If you guessed day off, you're wrong. Today was inventory day - so I didn't have to go in until six PM. My shift hours? Six PM to two AM. Yuck.

I was fortunate enough to miss last year's inventory day - a result of a horrifyingly scary car accident (we'll save that story for another day) that prevented me from driving at night for a year. I sure as hell heard the stories about last year's inventory though...oh boy, the stories.

We use a third-party counting company, and then we go back and re-check everything that they counted. It's boring work that a chimpanzee could probably accomplish.

Apparently last year's counters didn't have the intelligence of a chimpanzee.

It was, as my coworkers described it, fucking hell. So I geared up for tonight, fully expecting hell.

I was so ON TOP of everything, World! You would have been so proud of me. I got my dinner all together (cheap sub from Pathmark - because they're only $2.99), and I grabbed some of the apples and the fucking amazing apple cider donuts, and offered to share them with everyone. I even showed up early! Granted, it was only seven minutes early, but hey, that's better than my usual seven minutes late. I figured that I'd go in, and fix whatever the dumbass counters had forgotten, or missed, or just plain decided not to count.

My first sheet was not promising. I had to count the amount of flea and tick prevention - y'know, the really expensive stuff that actually works. Sometimes.

She missed 7 of our 6 month feline Frontline packs. That works out to approximately seven hundred dollars worth of stuff that was missed (and there's not even that much other stuff to count in the area). I figured I would be in for a long night, and me and Pumpkin (one of my most favorite co-workers ever) sighed in misery.

She said she reads my blog. Hi Pumpkin! (I have to admit, my inner media-whore did cartwheels at her declaration...the only other person that I know in real life that reads this is Pookie, and I think he just does it to humor me).

However, Pumpkin had work to do, so she waltzed off to go do her job.

I feel the need to interject something about the counters here. Whenever they can't figure out what an item is, they yell out "SKU check!" Ordinarily, this wouldn't be so bad. I can forgive one or two of these.

It was more than one or two, World. One particularly enterprising old bat young lady screamed it out at the top of her lungs, and I went over to help her. Apparently they get pissy if you don't show up promptly (wonder why...). She pointed to the item; I pointed to the corresponding label that was right beneath it. I think there was some comprehension in there somewhere, because she scanned it, grunted, and went back to work.


I got back down to business. With the exception of having to unlock a case for a woman (and hear all about how her mother has four dogs and how her husband was going to call the SPCA on her neighbor because her neighbor had his dog rigged up to an electronic fence but it was too damn dumb to move away from the boundary line, so it kept getting shocked, and blahblahblah...I guess it gets lonely counting for a living), I didn't have to do much but count.

Eventually I got to go on break, and I got to eat one of my perfect apples. I had what might be considered a Snow White experience. Except I didn't fall asleep, and there was no handsome prince (unless a toilet could be considered princely).

IT happened. That's right World - I'm about to talk about my gastro-intestinal issues.

I think I may have forgotten to wash some of that pesticide off, because about twenty minutes after I clocked back in from break I got an URGE.

I think you know what urge I'm talking about World. Uh-huh. It was bad. Note to self: SCRUB APPLES LIKE HELL NEXT TIME. Pumpkin asked me if I was ok - she said my eyes were watering. I'm not surprised with the way my stomach and intestines were suddenly clawing their way up my throat. Eventually, I did a quick little run to the bathroom (which I'm sure amused everyone in the immediate vicinity), and managed to avoid the disaster zone that my pants would have become had I not heeded the call.

I went back to counting.

And then realized something.

I was counting, fully expecting the counters to be wrong. Every time I would "ah-ha!" at the countsheet, and then double-check myself, I would be the one that counted wrong. Apparently counting skills passed by me in kindergarten, along with manners.

The counters this year did have the intelligence of a chimpanzee! And more! They freaking rocked it. We were out of there around 11:30PM, which if you compare that to our original 2AM deadline is pretty damned spectacular.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you counter people, for making my night drama-free and short. Thank you for not assaulting my ear-drums with whining about how much you hate your job. Thank you for not getting fired.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an apple to eat. Hopefully I'll have better results this time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Viagra, porno, booze...and food stamps?

Man, sometimes, you just can't make this shit up.
Feds: Food stamps swapped for booze, Viagra
Staff at Detroit liquor store face charges after allegedly netting $130,000

DETROIT - Viagra and pornography are not staples on the government's food stamp list. But authorities say a Detroit liquor store supplied them during a series of illegal deals.

Federal prosecutors filed fraud charges this week against three people who worked at Jefferson's Liquor Palace.

The alleged scheme worked this way: Food stamp recipients would get cash from the store in exchange for swiping larger amounts off their electronic cards. The store would then be reimbursed by the U.S. Agriculture Department.

And in some transactions, the government says the store provided informants Viagra, liquor and porn in exchange for swiping about $2,000 off food stamp cards.

The government says fraud at the store topped $130,000 over 2 1/2 years. The store is closed.

Thankyou, AP news, for putting this smile on my face today.

You mean that Viagra and booze aren't mandatory to survival? I dunno about that...if the government had to deal with some of the asshats that I have to deal with on a daily basis, they might reconsider.

And you know what kills me? That this happened for TWO AND A HALF years. WTF. Food stamps being used at a liquor store didn't send up any red alerts?! I mean...hellooooo. Even I could have seen this one coming.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Freaky Belated Friday

So, I realize that this week's freaky Friday is a tad late. Thanks for pointing it out. I was a bit busy. It happens.

This week's freaky Friday is a list of some of the odder websites that I've encountered.

1.) YogaKitty - ok, I'm pretty sure this is a farce. 99% sure.'s a bad one. Sorry folks...the idea of a cat doing yoga? I don't find it funny. Maybe I missed the memo or forgot to drink the KoolAid or something....

2.) Die Screaming With Sharp Things In Your Head - A few points on this little gem. One: shorten the webpage title. Oh yes, it definately catches attention, but it's a bit of a mouthful. Two: whoever made this page must have had a seriously fucked up experience with Snow White and her band of merry dwarves.

3.) Aquariass - A toilet...and a fishbowl. Huh. So your fish can watch you take a shit. And you can watch them watch you take a shit. I can't think of a better place to put a fishtank (that, World, was sarcasm - in case you didn't get it).

So there you have it. This week's three weird-ass things that made me go "huh?" I'm sure there's more. Oh, I'm sure there's much, much more. But this is what I came across. :-p Happy readings!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Caution: Long Post Ahead

So yesterday was kind of a surprise.

I've been enlisted to help with a youth group.

Some backstory may be needed at this point to clue you in.

When I was the tender age of eighteen, I met a boy. And I liked him. And it turns out that he liked me. And so we dated. His mother worked in a church. So one day we had to stop by there because he had to drop something off to her. No big deal, right?

Oh World, I had no idea what was about to hit me upside the head. Somehow, dropping a piece of paper off to his mother turned into a three hour session with *gasp* teenagers.

That's right. The "T" word. Those rotten kids that have no sense of decency. Those kids who play their music too loudly, and wear their pants too low (I mean, really, we don't want to see your underwear), and dress in itty-bitty shirts and blow their money on things that are completely unnecessary.

And the attitude! My God, don't get me started on the 'tude these kids had to offer up.

So there I was, surrounded by 20-something hormonally overloaded punks.

I. Was. Scared.

So I just sat there, in the corner, hoping like hell that if I didn't make eye contact with them that they wouldn't notice me.

Guess what World? THEY NOTICED ME. But, it was for the better. I didn't know that it was for the better at the time (I was too busy shitting myself), but it was definately for the better.

And so I came back, after a good bit of those 20-something teenagers made me promise to. Because hey, I don't break my promises.

And so I went back. And then I went back again. And again. And this continued for four years. My kids grew and got older. They didn't necesssarily get wiser, but they definately got older. And they brought their friends to the group. And their friends brought their friends. And so on and so forth it went.

We accomplished a lot within those four years. Many of the kids needed emotional help - we were there for them. Many of them needed counseling - we hooked them up. Many of them were just looking for a place to fit in - and so we provided that.

But, the untold story of many youth groups is what changes happen to the adults. I can't speak for anyone else, but I am a different person now than I was before I entered into that group of hormonally-overloaded teens. Somehow, they brought me to religion. Most people aren't aware that I'm religious - I majored in evolution, I support gay marraige, I even *gasp* have a tattoo!

Yes, I know, this is where all you readers recoil in shock and dismay - "oh, she's one of *those* people." Yes World, I am one of "those" people - deal with it. I have my beliefs, you have yours.

They did more than bring me back to the Catholic faith (I am an admittably bad Catholic, but I am Catholic nonetheless), they helped me find myself. Through those kids, I was able to figure out who I was.

See, now, this is the part of the story where it all goes sour. Our CYM (Catholic Youth Minister...the person in charge of anything youth related) had resigned. And so we hired a new CYM. And all was good for a little while - until we noticed that she wasn't really doing very much with the kids. Suddenly, our classes had changed from thought-provoking debates and discussions about the issues that teenagers face in today's society to religious videos and games and snack-time.

That wasn't the only blow. Most of the original kids that had forced persuaded me into joining the youth group were now turning 18. That year the Diocese had decided to kick out anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 from youth groups - to prevent any 'relationships' from forming.

Just for clarification's sake, I'll put it to you another way - they were scared that some minor was going to get preggers from someone who wasn't a minor. Resulting in a probable lawsuit. I'm ok with their decision - I even completely understand it. It's just too much of a risk.

However, I do have some problems with it. Is a 21 year old (the age where they would be allowed back into the youth group, as an "adult leader") really all that much more mature than an 18 year old? Furthermore, where were these kids supposed to go? There was no young adult ministry. There was nothing for them. When I questioned the Diocese, the response I had gotten was "Oh, well, we're thinking of a few things that might work out in December." December! That was more than six months away at the time.

Naturally, this angered many of our kids. They didn't understand that it didn't matter that we had never had such a problem in our group - that it was just too much of a liability. That in combination with the changeover of CYMs...well....

We went from having 40-something kids to 8 in two weeks' time.

I bitterly left the group and the church, convinced that I would never return. I kind of entered a no-man's land of 'am I Catholic or am I not?'

I decided that I was Catholic - just a really, REALLY bad one. I believe in the spirit of the teachings. Anyways, more on my belief system later - I'm getting a bit off-topic.

So imagine my surprise when one of my fellow embittered cohorts contacted me for dinner about a month ago. We used to go out all the time back when we were in the group together, but life had kind of taken over, and we hadn't seen each other in some time. It had been nice to see her again.

She brought up a service project that our original CYM was going to start. I vaguely made sounds of approval, and I may have said that I would be interested in being involved.

Well, she called me yesterday. They were going to have an organizational meeting concerning this new service group. I wanted in, so I went, unsure as to what my reception would be - I had, after all, left on bitter terms. I dragged Pookie along with me for backup...I figured that if they tried to kill me, I could just throw him at them and run like hell.

I was pleasantly surprised. We have many different service projects planned for the upcoming months (we only plan on meeting with the kids once or twice a month) - the first one that's scheduled is to clean up an elderly parishoner's yard (if you knew her, you'd realize that it requires many many helpers to clean her yard up - it's always in shambles).

I plan on creating a blog for the kids to write in about their experiences. When I brought the idea up to the other people working on this, they were enthused - but clueless. Most of them didn't even know what a blog is. Oy.... I'm not sure how I'm going to create this - their posts would need to be examined before they were allowed to be made public. Is this possible? One thing's for certain - I'll be doing a lot of researching this weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Picture Monday

So for today's Picture Monday, I'm going to load up some pictures from Longwood Gardens. Enjoy!

Yes, I do realize that I am INSANELY lucky to live near here. If any of ya'll are in the upper Delaware/Kennett Square region...GO. Go see the wonderfulness.

Longwood Gardens

On Blogging

So here I was, staring at the screen, watching the cursor blink. That's right World, I was suffering from writer's block - that aweful, God-forsaken brick wall that allows no one entry to the vast riches of inspiration.

Sitting here, I decided to try to mine the confines of my brain for something to write about. A memory. An observation.


I know I'm supposed to only write when I have a topic to discuss. I didn't care - I wanted to write. I just didn't know what I wanted to write about.

So I started reading other people's posts. Some write about the everyday happenings of their lives. Some write about consequences. Some write about sports, about politics, about babies, about video games, about memories.

And so it got me thinking.

Part of me wonders why I do this. Am I simply looking for someone to validate my existance? Am I looking for a way to organize my confused and often chaotic thoughts? Or am I looking to simply unload some of the stuff that spirals through my mind on a daily basis? Maybe I'm trying to discover something about myself?

I don't know. I do know that the whole concept of blogging kind of blows my mind a bit. The idea that there are thousands (millions?) of people out there on this Earth, connected by a common interest. Not just connected by a common interest, but also talking about their experiences - their lives, their consequences, their sports, politics, babies, video games and memories. Millions of people, doing the same exact thing that I am. One big gigantic network, formed without even having had to meet any of them.

I have never met any of the bloggers I follow (with the exception of Pookie), and yet I know about them. I know that Aunt Becky bought her kid a pumpkin-shaped binkie. I know that Badass Geek finally figured out his allergy situation. I know that Uppity has a facination with cats. I know that the Confused Homemaker likes to bake. Dara's getting knee surgury, Cailyn is going to be a zombie for Halloween, and Emma watches the UK's version of Dancing with the Stars.

All of this I know, and more. I boggle over it every night, like a ten year old would over a particularly large arachnid.

Absolutely mind-blowing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Freaky Friday

So, this is my second edition of Freaky Friday. Oh slay me.

Today's theme is based off of Craigslist's personals, more specifically the "strictly platonic" section.

1.) Stressed, & Need a Full Body Massage - Yea. That screams "platonic." I feel like I should go scrub myself clean after reading this...excuse me, "kleen."

I am a nice looking, lean, kleen single black male who is low on funds, stressed, & need a full body massage. Will you please be so kind to give me a free massage with a happy ending now? All I ask is that you please be pretty, slim, confidential, clean, & host this in & out session.

Thanks in Advance

No Bots or Dating Sites Responses...Serious Replies Only

Right. Only serious replies. That always cracks me up - people put up ads like this, and expect to get only serious replies. Maybe I'm a bit of a jackass, but I would so totally fuck with their minds.

2.) i want a bestie - hm. We'll let the ad speak for itself.

I am 22. I just moved to the area about a year ago. I am looking for a down to earth girl to be friends with. I work at a bank with nobody my age. I love photography, movies, shopping, going out to eat. I am seeking a bestie who is non judgemental. I am bi, but i will not hit on you, unless you like it lol. I am dating the love of my life. We are getting married in 2011. I need to get in shape before then. A work out buddy would be awesome. I hate super skinny girls that think they are better then me. I am the biggest girly girl and love love shoes. I am a reality tv junkie. Please respond with the word strawberry in the subject. To many weirdos on here. Hope to talk soon.

Because there are too many weirdos on there, she wants the replier to respond with the word "strawberry" as a subject. Uh...huh...girlfriend, you need to do some other activities rather than look for an easy friend and watching Flavor Flav.

3.) DO you ride? - ....

Married, 56 but look about 50 looking for someone to ride with once in awhile. If u want to play or something more then i am curious but it must be discreet

Apparently marraige means nothing these days. Neither does grammer.

So there's my top three "WTF" moments from craigslist's "strictly platonic" section. Granted, they may not be the weirdest of the weird, but they seem to be slightly abnormal to me.