Monday, October 31, 2011

The irony of Intervention...

I happened to catch an episode of Intervention this afternoon and it occurred to me that the way the addictions counselors treat addicts is kind of ironic.  At the start of every intervention, the leader reassures the drug addict/alcoholic/eating disordered individual that everyone in the room just "loves the hell out of them" and wants to fight for them to get better.  Then, after that speech, everyone reads letters aloud as to how the addict's behaviors have negatively affected them.  Then, after that, these people who supposedly love the hell out of the object of their ambush, threaten the addict with abandonment if they don't fall in line.

The threats usually work... at least temporarily.  The addict usually goes into treatment, even if the treatment fails or the addict relapses.  Every once in awhile, the addict resists and tells them to fuck off.  As much as I don't want to make light of how hard it is to live with an addict, I almost kind of root for the addicts who resist when they are confronted in this way.  The reason I root for them is because threatening to shun or abandon someone because they're doing something you don't like is, at its heart, a manipulative control tactic.

My husband's former wife was a big fan of this kind of shit.  When they were married, she convinced him that he was "sick" in the head and was a porn addict.  She threatened to abandon him and turn his family against him.  She said she was trying to force him to "rock bottom".  The reality was, she was the one who had "problems".   Her ploy to make my husband hit rock bottom backfired, because #1, he didn't have an addiction problem (she fabricated it based on her high school dropout education and whacked out religion) and #2, her attempts to "help" him were really a cruel, completely unnecessary control tactic.

If you live with someone who is an addict and is making your life hell, you have every right to do what it takes to protect yourself.  You have every right to say, "that's enough", and do whatever you can to move on from the situation.  But is it really right to guilt and manipulate someone into getting treatment?  Seems to me, that's not what the concept of rock bottom is all about.  The concept of rock bottom is about letting the addict account for his or her own poor choices.  That doesn't mean abandoning or shunning them while trying to manipulate them into submission.  That means not enabling them in their bad behaviors.

So, if you want to do "rock bottom" right, you don't purposely create a bad situation for someone who is an addict.  You simply stop covering for them.  You don't give them money for their bills.  You don't give them a place to sleep off their hangovers.  You don't give them a safe place to shoot heroin or hide their kiddie porn for them.  When you stop doing these things for the addict, they end up having to live with the unpleasant results of their poor decisions.  And that is what ultimately forces them to "rock bottom", not turning everyone against them or acting like they're dead.  Besides, I think it's pretty presumptuous for people to assume that the addict values their relationships with healthy people that much.  A true addict will choose the substance every time, until that choice becomes too risky or the consequences too unpleasant.  Every addict has a different threshold into recovery, just as every healthy person has a threshold into addiction.  Some people are willing to die for their addictions, while others draw the line much sooner.  

My husband and I have lived happily together for almost nine years.  If he were an actual addict, I would know it.  And I would suffer for it.  I have seen no evidence that my husband ever needed an "intervention" from his ex wife and their church.  Forcing my husband to "rock bottom" was probably the kindest thing the ex ever could have done, because she showed her true colors which jolted him back to reality and made him see her for the psycho she is.  Interventions are dramatic and may work for the short term, but in the long run, they are disrespectful, manipulative, and controlling.  If you want to distance yourself from someone who is engaging in bad behaviors, shit or get off the pot.  But don't try to control them.  Ultimately, it won't work.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An unpleasant intruder in the ladies room...

A couple of days ago, I took my mother-in-law out to lunch.  In retrospect, I should have chosen a different place for us.  The restaurant I picked has a nice ambiance, but the food is just so-so and the service is hit or miss.

Unfortunately, on the day of our visit, the service was sucking pretty hard.  Our waitress told mom-in-law that there was no soup, even though she saw the table next to us get a bowl.  The food was slow coming out and just tasted barely average.

And then I went to use the ladies room, which is just a one room affair that supposedly has a door that locks.  To my great surprise, there was a big black guy in there, casually taking a whiz.  He hadn't locked the door and appeared to be some local yokel who had just come in for a pit stop.  I have no idea why the guy was in the ladies room.  The restaurant wasn't crowded or anything.

I backed out of the john quickly and went back to our booth.  I told mom-in-law I would just wait to pee when we got home.  Unfortunately, it took forever to get the freakin' waitress to run my credit card so we could beat it.  I wasn't too happy with our lunch trip, but at least the weather was still nice enough for me to put the top down on my convertible.

The next night, my husband, his mom, and I went out to a great local soul food restaurant.  We had a delightful meal.  As we were leaving, we talked to our favorite waitress.  I commented that I was glad there weren't any men in the ladies room.  It was at that point that I noticed a tall black guy standing by.  He had been waiting tables at the other place and evidently also works at the soul food restaurant.  He was working there when I ran into the dude who couldn't read and was chuckling when I commented on my unpleasant run-in with the guy whizzing in the ladies room.

Our latest town is pretty quirky, I guess.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jillian Michaels and her ridiculous footwear...

So today, I happened to catch The Doctors.  One of the segments was about some kind of exercise that was based on Cirque de Soleil or whatever it's called.  They had these really lean women climbing up and down sashes.  It looked pretty cool, actually.  The women reminded me of spiders coasting up and down silk.

Anyway, out comes Jillian Michaels with the rest of the doctors, minus the plastic surgeon, Dr. Drew Ordon, and the psychologist. Dr. Wendy Walsh.  Dr. Travis Stork has an impressive turn on the sashes, easily climbing all the way to the top and coming down.  Then the pediatrician, Dr. Jim Sears, tries his hand at an easy exercise.

It's at this point that I notice Jillian Michaels standing next to Dr. Lisa Masterson.  Both women have on ridiculous high heels, but Jillian's shoes are particularly stupid.  Not only are they about six inches tall, but they are on thick platforms.  I know Jillian is short and maybe she wants to appear taller, but it seems really hypocritical for a health show to be showing these women in footwear that can't be good for their feet.  And Jillian, being a personal trainer, should be wearing athletic shoes anyway.  She's a role model, right?  So she should be modeling the right clothes and shoes to inspire people to exercise.  Ridiculous platform shoes with extremely high heels don't exactly do that.  No one can exercise in those.

Just had to get that off my chest.  In all fairness, of course, I find that show mostly annoying anyway, especially since Jillian joined the cast.  But Jillian doesn't irritate me as much as the sexpot psychologist, Wendy Walsh, does.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just saw this ad on TV...

This commercial totally cracks me up.

I don't know that I'll give the service a try, but I love the concept of this ad.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Asshole neighbors on Army posts...

I know I've mentioned this before, but I am technically an Army wife.  There was a time not so long ago that I lived on an Army post and the fact that I was married to the military was drilled into my head on a daily basis.  Every morning, I heard "Reveille" and every night, I heard "Taps".  Some mornings, I heard troops in formation, jogging by my house and calling cadence.  I spent four years on post and, for the most part, it was a relatively pleasant experience.  Except for the times I ran into asshole neighbor types.  I can think of five asshole neighbors off the top of my head.  Three of them were men.  Two were women.

Neighbor #1 was our next door neighbor to the right.  Prim and proper, she was a stay at home mom with two adorable daughters and a narcissistic husband who used to make a point of jogging around the neighborhood with no shirt on.  Not long after we met, I could tell she disapproved of my husband and me.  I'm not completely sure why.  I noticed she cooled off especially on the day her younger daughter asked if we had any kids.  I told her that my husband did, but I didn't.

Mom didn't like that answer and insinuated that it was too hard for her daughter to understand the concept of stepfamilies.  I'm not sure if she meant that I should have lied.  Maybe I should have just said we didn't have kids, but at that time, there was a chance my husband's kids might visit us.  How would we have explained them?  As it turned out, I really didn't need to tell the little girl the truth.  I should have told her we had no kids, even though it was kind of not the truth.  The kids never visited.  

But after that, Mom was noticeably cold and awkward.  Was it really something I said?  I was glad when she moved.

Neighbor #2 was our next door neighbor to the left.  When we first arrived on post, he had apparently abandoned his quarters.  It was obvious that someone lived in the house, but no one was ever home.  And oddly enough, no one ever told us what had happened.  One day, about six weeks after we moved into our quarters, Neighbor #2, a man I eventually came to refer to as "Shithead", showed up.  He introduced himself to me and explained that his wife had just died of cancer.  He and her kids from her first marriage had been in San Antonio, where his wife had undergone a failed bone marrow transplant.

Not long after he moved back in, I started to spot his asshole behaviors.  He erected a trampoline right outside our bedroom window.  He got a labrador puppy and left it outside all day to cry.  He was rude and disrespectful to me.  One time, he told me that he watched me through my office windows.  And he just acted like a pompous jerk, especially toward some of the sexier wives.  Not long after his wife died, he took up with some skank and moved off post with his wife's kids from another relationship (a factoid I learned from our post office carrier and local gossipmonger).  It was a happy day for me when Shithead packed up his shit and moved.  I loved the people who moved in after him.

Neighbor #3 was a lady who lived in a townhouse near ours.  One day, my husband was walking our dogs near her house.  One of the dogs pooped on the curb.  My husband cleaned up most of the mess, but apparently missed a turd.  She drove up in her ugly ass green van and parked it in the street.   Not in a parking space, of which there were an ample number of, not even in the service lane behind our house, but in the fucking street.  She marched up to our door and banged on it.

My husband went outside to talk to her and she immediately launched into a tirade about the stray turd on the curb near her house.  She bitched about all the dog owners who neglected to clean up after their dogs and told my husband she would like to shoot them.  Then she threatened to call the M.P.s about the violation he had broken by not fully cleaning up after our dogs.

To his credit, my husband calmly listened to this shrew go off on him in his front yard while she blocked traffic with her fucking green custom van.  Lucky for her, she didn't get me at the door.  I would have asked her which issue she thought the military police would care more about... a stray piece of dog shit near her house or a military dependent threatening violence toward a servicemember with a firearm on a military installation while blocking traffic with her ugly ass van?  And then I would have invited her to go fuck herself.  Years later, just thinking about that incident pisses me off.  I never claimed to be the most laid back bitch on the block, though.  I was reminded of that horrible woman today when I ran across an old hotel review I wrote a couple of years ago.  A poster with a similar attitude left me a condescending comment that warranted a vitriolic response from yours truly.

Neighbor #4 was a single dad who moved into the house three doors down from ours.  From the very beginning, this guy was a bit strange.  He had two sons-- one who was about eleven or twelve and the other a teenager.  One day, I was walking my dogs behind their house and their dog, a huge boxer, came running out and climbed over the chain link fence.  He immediately attacked my beagle.  I started yelling and after a minute, the teen came out and grabbed his dog.  He muttered "sorry" and put the dog inside.  My neighbors pressured me to complain to housing, which I did.  They were concerned about their own pets and children.  Single dad never did come over to apologize and we ended up with a $200 vet bill that we could ill afford at the time.  I suppose we should have sued, but we didn't.

Months later, we moved to a new house because our old one was slated to be renovated.  Single dad and his kids moved in a couple of doors down and across the street from us.  He and his sons usually left their garage door open about a foot.  I thought nothing of it until another neighbor mentioned that she smelled a strange odor coming from their house.  Without thinking, I blurted out "I bet that kid is over there huffing."  My neighbor said, "Oh my God... he totally fits the profile."  They moved not long after that.

Neighbor #5 was a husband and wife who, unfortunately, got military housing when they didn't want it.  The couple didn't have kids or pets and the military member was ranked lower than everyone else in the neighborhood.  For some reason, this guy hated dogs.  He took it upon himself to go door to door to tell his neighbors that he hated dogs and would be taking note of how long we left our animals outside in our backyards.

Not long after we had moved into the new house, my husband got deployed to Iraq.  I was left alone in our new house with our two beagles.  For some reason, #5's garage door opener opened our garage instead of his.  One early morning, my dogs needed to go outside.  I took them out and #5 was on his way to work.  The dogs barked at him because he was a stranger.  He leaned over the fence and screamed "Shut up!" at them loudly enough for the whole neighborhood to hear it (and yes, I did ask others).  I immediately started feeling uncomfortable since this guy's garage door opener gave him access to our house.

I sent an email to the housing office, requesting quick service to rectify the situation.  I told the housing director about my concerns and luckily, she was very receptive to my needs.  I think the neighbor got a good talking to, because he never bothered me again.  However, he did continue to annoy the other people in the neighborhood.  Last time I checked, my former neighbor was wishing he would move, to the point of contemplating buying bottles of Cristal for the day he moved his sorry ass off post and out of everyone's hair.  Everyone in the neighborhood called the guy "DH" for "dog hater".  Hmm... I can think of another name using those initials.

These days, I live way off post and have nothing to do with my husband's career.  He goes to work everyday and I live out in the country, where most of the time, no one bothers me.  We choose homes in rural areas for that very reason.  I don't like to feel uncomfortable in my own space and, despite appearances, I don't like to make other people uncomfortable.  I hope the next time we move, we find a suitable place off post.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's been a lazy day...

I woke up early this morning to answer the call of nature.  Afterwards, I couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and took my dogs out for their morning constitutionals.  Unfortunately, I got another call of nature before I had the chance to do the whole cycle, so one of my dogs later ended up relieving himself on a rug.

By noon, I was feeling really sleepy, so I went into my bedroom and started reading.  I eventually ended up taking a short nap.  I've spent today in bed, reading, and not enjoying the gorgeous fall weather.

My tooth is mostly fine.  It's dealing with my dental insurance that is turning out to be a pain in the ass.  Spouse and I moved here six months ago and I needed to get new x-rays when I went to the dentist.  Since I had x-rays done in January of this year, my insurance doesn't want to pay for new x-rays in October, even though it says in my policy I can get new ones if I move.  I gave the dentist office manager proof of our move and got yet another payment rejection.  So now we're going to have to call them and read them the riot act.  As it is, I'm going to have to pay for the pan x-ray because unbeknownst to me, full mouth X-rays or pans are only allowed once every three years.  I had full mouth x-rays done in January, too.

Although I spoke to the dental insurance people last week about the crown and was assured it would be covered because my old crown was five years old, I have a terrible feeling that they're going to give me shit about it, just because not paying for things is part of the insurance racket.

I am so ready for next month.  I can hardly wait for our vacation to the Caribbean.  I can't wait to get out of here for awhile and enjoy a change of scenery.  I need some fresh inspiration.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First half of the crown procedure is done...

I was really nervous when I went in to the dentist's office.  I had a chat with the dentist and she convinced me I needed to get the crown replaced because it had decay behind it.  Then, she and her very calm hygienist had a heck of a time getting the crown off my molar.

After a good hour of scraping, drilling, and cleaning, the dentist said the decay wasn't that bad and I wouldn't need a root canal.  They took more impressions and stuck a plastic temporary cap on my tooth.  I get the real crown on November 2.  Hopefully, it will fit perfectly and I'll be on my way to the Caribbean 8 days later with a nice clean restoration.

I was very depressed and upset yesterday.  I hate anticipating medical or dental procedures.  I hate thinking about all the things that can go wrong.  But at least this dentist seems very competent.  In fact, I think she's better than the dentist who did the original crown.

I'm just glad that ordeal is over.  Hope I won't be too sore tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

There must be "honey" in the water...

So now that I have a new dentist, there's yet another woman calling me "honey".  This time, it's the twit who runs the reception.  She called me "honey" when I asked for an appointment, "sweetie" when I made an appointment for my crown replacement, and "honey" this morning when she called to confirm.  I haven't said anything about it because it seems like such a minor thing... And yet, it drives me crazy.

I think it's unprofessional for business people to call their clients by pet names.  I suppose next time, I can respond to her in kind...  I really should.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Damn dental woes continued...

So... last night, I was wondering if the dentist was trying to gyp me, because my tooth wasn't really bothering me.  Then this morning, it was kind of dully achy.  I finally broke out some wine because wine has a lovely way of deadening dental pain.

I was thinking about how much this fucking crown replacement is going to cost, even if my dental insurance doesn't give me any trouble since this crown I have is barely five years old.  $533... after insurance, if insurance decides to pay...  It sucks.  And that's only if I don't end up needing a fucking root canal.

My tooth doesn't hurt that much.  It's more annoying than anything else.  A little wine covers up the discomfort quite nicely, which probably means it's a good thing I'm taking action now.  But of all the shitty times for a crown to go bad...  Hopefully, all will be better by November 10.  That's when we're outta here on vacation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Damn dental woes...

I went to the dentist today for a cleaning.  I have one crown that has caused me issues since I first got it back in 2006.  The cleaning went great, but then the doctor came in and told me that the crown needs to be replaced.  She also said she suspects one of my front teeth is dead.  She came to that conclusion because one tooth is a little yellower than the other one is.  It's been that way for years and is hardly noticeable.  Nevertheless, she thinks it's dead and may eventually get infected.  She told me to keep an eye on it.

So now I have to go back next week to have my crown removed, decay cleaned up, and a new crown put on.  Thank God I have dental insurance.  $533 is our co-pay.  I have the money saved (thanks Epinions), but I sure wasn't wanting to spend it on a five year old failed crown.  What a huge pain in the ass.

I can only hope this new dentist knows what she's doing and gets the new crown right.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Amanda Knox is going home...

Yesterday, I was one of many people who was happy to hear the news that Amanda Knox has been released from her Italian prison cell.  My husband and I were living in Germany back in November 2007, when Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, were arrested for murdering fellow British student, Meredith Kercher.  I remember thinking the details of this case were pretty sketchy and it was all over the news.

Time passed.  My husband and I left Europe in 2009 and Amanda Knox was still all over the news.  Somehow, I found it hard to believe that the lovely young lady really murdered her friend.  I couldn't understand what her motive would have been.  What's more, it just didn't seem like the evidence was there.  Yes, Amanda changed her story a couple of times.  Given her age and the fear she must have felt, I can't say I blame her for changing her story.  Honesty is the best policy, but when a person is staring down a life sentence and being interrogated, I can understand why facts might get muddled... especially when there's another language involved.

So yesterday, a jury decided that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend did not brutally murder Meredith Kercher.  Someone else is in prison for that deed, although he supposedly did not act alone.  A lot of people are upset that Amanda was released... My feeling is that it's wrong to imprison people who might be guilty.  The evidence does not support that Amanda Knox is a murderer.  I know people want someone to pay for Meredith Kercher's murder.  They should want the responsible person to pay.

I think, too often, when it comes to violent crime, people just want someone to pay.  If a person is convicted of a crime, too many people are ready to just close the book on the case.  But punishment should be reserved for guilty people.  It does no one any good if an innocent person pays for a crime.  This is the same reason I have issues with capital punishment.  Too often, there is a shadow of a doubt that a person might be innocent.  Instead of finding out the whole truth, we just want someone-- anyone-- to pay.  We feel better if someone rots in prison or gets strapped to a gurney after someone is murdered.  But, I guarantee that those who are so eager to see the execution of someone whose guilt isn't completely clear would not feel that way if they were someone who was falsely accused of a crime and rotting in prison.

I understand that people want vengeance when someone they love is harmed.  But we must make sure that the right person is punished.  It's wrong to make people pay for crimes they did not commit.  And I could be wrong, but I don't think Amanda Knox killed anyone.  I'm relieved for her that she's going home.  I hope she has a good life.

Something tells me Hank Williams, Jr. is fucked in the head...

Okay... so Obama is like Hitler?  And Obama and Biden are "the three stooges"?  WTF?

I'm not sure how I feel about Obama, but I do feel pretty certain that he has no similarities to Adolf Hitler, hater and murderer of millions of Jewish people, homosexuals, and gypsies.  And Obama doesn't even bear a passing resemblance to any of the three stooges.

I think ol' Hank ought to go back to the tear in his beer and let the grownups talk about politics.

I don't generally give a tinker's damn about politics, but I do take issue when people make comparisons that don't make any sense.  I guess all of Hank's friends will be going somewhere else for Monday night football from now on.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pet peeve of the day... servers who are overly familiar...

Today, my dear spouse and I decided to go to Lowe's and pick up some stain and water sealant for our  outdoor rocking chairs.  After we did our shopping, we decided we were hungry.  Off we went to Applebee's.

Our waitress approached, wearing a low cut t-shirt that showed off her ample cleavage.  She didn't look a day over 18 years old.  When I decided I wanted a burger, she asked "Do you want pink or no pink, Sweetie?"

I'm sure a look of annoyance flashed across my face.  I gave her my preference and she went away.

Our food arrived.  We hadn't had much chance to taste it before she asked me, "Does it taste okay, Darling?"  I cringed as I nodded.  She went away again.

When we were about halfway done, she called me Darling again as she asked me if I needed anything else.

I noticed she never once addressed my husband that way.

Now... I realize that I ought to be grateful this waitress didn't call me some other name, like Asshole or Bitch.  But it kind of chaps my ass when servers call me by pet names, especially when they are at least half my age.  I suppose I could have been mean and reprimanded her, but having once been a waitress myself, I have unusual empathy for them.  It still annoys me when strangers who are half my age are overly familiar.  Those little pet names are kind of disrespectful.  At least she didn't try to sit down at the table with us, though.  I've had that happen, too.

/rant over