Thursday, February 28, 2013

Well, well, well... America's biggest hypocritical twatbag is at it again!

Last night, my husband and I were having breakfast for dinner.  Eggs, bacon, biscuits, and grits... and even some coffee.  As we were sitting there eating, my husband brings up something he found out about his ex-wife.  If you've been reading this blog, you know that my husband's former wife is a Mormon convert.  If you know anything about Mormonism, you know that it's a conservative religion with so-called "standards".  Mormons are also, on the whole, opposed to homosexual behavior.  They supported California's Proposition 8 which was a proposal to eliminate same sex marriage by way of a state constitutional amendment.  Mormons were actually encouraged by church leaders to give their time, money, and talents to supporting this proposal, even those who did not live in California.

My husband's ex wife has also made some comments that are decidedly anti-gay.  My husband's much younger adopted half sister (got that?) is a lesbian.  As she was growing up, it became clear that she wasn't interested sexually in males.  My husband's ex-wife made some rather nasty comments about it and implied that my husband's sister offends God with her sexual preferences.  She has also said that the reason she kept my husband's kids from their father is because he left the church and is married to someone who doesn't subscribe to her "high" LDS standards.

So imagine my surprise last night when my husband tells me that he had Googled his ex-wife and found a comment she had posted in support of Bridegroom, a new film being produced by Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the famously liberal writer and producer who was (is?) good friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton.  According to imdb.com...

Shane Bitney Crone's plans to marry Tom Bridegroom in California after the same-sex marriage law is passed takes a tragic turn when his partner of six years is killed and his family refuses him from attending the funeral.

Now, I have nothing against supporting LGBT issues. In fact, if my husband's ex-wife is sincere of her support of this film --and she apparently even gave money in support of this movie-- then good for her. But I must say, her public support of Bridegroom, complete with comments about how we're all "humans" and deserve the same rights, really seems to go against her proclaimed LDS standards. And it's just more proof that she will say or do ANYTHING to get in with the "right" crowd. She lives in New Hampshire now, which is presumably more liberal than Arizona ever was. There is evidence that she has aspirations of being a "public figure"... again, something my husband found because I make a point of not searching for "dirt" on her. The woman is a flaming narcissist, only interested in kissing whosever ass she needs to kiss in order to get ahead. Once she accomplishes that goal or finds her pursuit unfruitful, she moves on to the next person or cause.

If the ex is going more liberal, then it makes even more sense that she'd send my husband's super TBM younger daughter to Utah to go to college and then on a mission. It gets her out of her hair so she can be a hypocrite without harassment from the monster she created.

I should really laugh about this, I guess. It doesn't affect me personally and if I didn't hate my husband's ex-wife so much, I might even enjoy watching her make an ass of herself. It's just so ludicrous and hypocritical and frankly, outrageous... I did ask my husband not to tell me specifically what she wrote in support of Bridegroom. Despite evidence to the contrary, I try not to find out anything about my husband's ex or kids. Everything I know is what he tells me and every time he tells me about something, it sends me into orbit for a couple of days.

I actually had a dream about the ex this morning. I dreamt that she and her current victim were at my house. I had a job waiting tables at a dive and was on my way to work and they were there, spreading their particular brand of bullshit. I ended up ripping her a new asshole, though. As I woke up, I was telling her off like a pissed off terrier. I was a little shaken as I opened my eyes, but ultimately it was very satisfying. Maybe that's a sign that I'm healing.

Anyway, for more on why I dislike Mormonism, check out this link... It's a post that explains why my disdain for Mormonism is about much more than my husband's looney ex-wife.



  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Things I do for money...

When you're a bored, overeducated housewife, you find yourself doing all sorts of things.  The Internet has been a real blessing for me, since I suffer from terminal guilt over not having a "real job".  I always expected to have one and prepared for one... and yet, here I sit.

Over the years, I have found myself earning money on the Internet.  I've never made a lot of money-- or enough to actually live on, but it has added up to a respectable pile over the years.  Twenty years ago, I never would have guessed I'd be able to earn anything from the comfort of my home office.

One day in March 2003, I was really pissed off about my cellphone provider.  Always having loved writing and having had a penchant for venting, I went looking for an online forum where I could "go off" on SunCom, which is now mercifully defunct.  I found Epinions.com.  At that time, I was still looking for a "real job" and sending out resumes.  I wasn't looking to make any money online, though we dearly needed it back then.

I typed out a long, ranting "review" and promptly forgot about it.  A few months later, I came back to the site and realized my review had earned 19 cents.  I didn't even know Epinions paid anything.  I quickly got hooked, though, and kept writing.  It was a great way to stay busy and I ended up meeting some good people, even though earnings were very slim back then.  Almost ten years later, my reviews have earned me over $10,000.  Granted, I have over 1700 of them and some of those earnings have come from promotions and contests.  Still, it's nothing to sneeze at.  The money has come in handy for paying bills, funding trips, feathering my nest, and creating a savings account.

Nowadays, Epinions has kind of gone downhill.  They recently revamped their payment system and pissed off a lot of people.  Their search engine stinks.  I still write there, though, because I still enjoy it.  The money is nice, but I really like writing and offering opinions of the products I use.  My specialties are music, books, and travel reviews, but I am game to try any category and have often reaped the rewards for doing so.  I just wish I had invested the money I earned on Epinions every month.  It would be great to still have that $10,000 in a bank or investment account somewhere.

Later, I discovered Associated Content, which is now Yahoo! Voices.  I don't write so often there anymore, since the site changed.  It seems like Yahoo! is mostly interested in articles about finance or celebrities and having seen some of the idiots who comment on Yahoo!, I'm almost afraid my articles might end up featured and attract those people.  I also don't like the fact that it takes forever to get things published there now.  Still, since I wrote over 200 articles there that still earn royalties, I get paid about $30-$40 a month without writing anything.  To date, I've earned a couple thousand dollars there.

I also discovered Helium and wrote articles there.  I quit in late 2011 because they had completely overhauled their standards.  I was also never wild about their rating system.  I still rate articles there and every once in awhile, have enough money to cash out.  That site has netted me a few hundred bucks.

I've done freelance writing for NGOs and government contractors.  I don't actively seek those positions, but sometimes they fall into my lap.  My husband floated my name to someone once and I ended up with a $9000 contract to write a guide for people in the military being mobilized.  That money came at a time when we really needed it.  I used part of the paycheck to purchase a much needed couch and loveseat, which my dogs proceeded to use as their personal thrones.  I also bought our kitchen table and chairs with that paycheck.

Someone hired me to help them with a short writing and editing project.  I got $200 for that.  It was a pretty boring assignment, though.

I use MyPoints.com when I buy stuff online and earn points for my purchases (which I usually review on Epinions).  The points are later traded in for cash or gift cards.

I also use MySurvey.com, where I earn points for taking surveys or participating in studies, some of which are quite interesting and others of which are pretty tedious.  I've made a few hundred bucks there over the years and scored some free stuff.

I have Google Ads and Amazon Ads on my blogs... but to be honest, I think I've only scored one Amazon.com payment and that was a long time ago.  It's easiest to make money when you actually do something like write or take a survey.

Finally, I have served as a secret shopper.  My banking institution was offering a gig a few years ago in which I called them for specific purposes and rated their customer service agents.  I participated in focus groups, too... and ended up earning several hundred bucks for my efforts.

I could be making a decent salary in a paid position somewhere, but then I'd be in the rat race, working in a cubicle, and probably annoying people with my strong opinions and annoying cackle of a laugh.  My husband and I like having someone home to take care of the dogs, do the house and yard work, deal with deliveries and repair people, and handle other stuff.  Also, when we want to take a trip, it's easy because there's only one work schedule to work around.

Frankly, I think Americans work too much-- not too hard, mind you, but too much.  They spend too much time on the job and not enough time enjoying life and each other. They don't spend enough time seeing the world because they are too interested in achieving the so-called American Dream.  I also tend to get bored easily.  Being a writer allows me to learn new things and move on to new projects when I get bored.  I'm good at finishing things, but I like to move on

I'm a big fan of telecommuting, too.  I know it's not for everyone or every job, but it does make life easier for some people and takes some of the stress out of morning and evening rush hour.  There are fewer cars on the roads and less gas is being wasted when people stay home to work.  It also makes life easier for parents.

My parents owned their own business, which they started when I was eight years old.  Both of them were always at home when I was growing up.  They had the freedom to do whatever they wanted to.  It was stressful at times, because sometimes the business didn't do well.  But my dad was in the Air Force and had retirement pay, plus my mom was a church organist.  They made it work.  They used my dad's benefits to the fullest and got to travel a lot when I was growing up.  I never really wanted for anything, either.  I spent my childhood showing horses, which is not a cheap activity.

When my husband retires, one or both of us could go back to school on the government's dime.  I find that very ironic, since I already have three degrees that I have had to pay for (and my husband is paying for now).  Between us, we have three master's degrees.  You'd think we should be done with school.  But the government offers us a very generous benefit that we'd be stupid not to use.  We could have given it to my husband's long lost daughters, but they may not legally be his kids anymore and they refuse to have anything to do with us.  Besides, they've acted like complete assholes to my husband and really don't deserve his help.  I know they were misled into acting the way they have, but the end result is still the same.  They shouldn't be rewarded for being shitty to their real father, who did support them and tried to stay involved with them.  Yeah... I still have a lot of issues about this.  I'm getting better everyday, though.  It's their life.  I just think it's a shame that they've grown up so damn dumb.  It's a tragedy.

Anyway, that's enough from me today.  The sun is out and the dogs need a spin around the yard.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

7th Heaven on Amazon Prime...

For Christmas, my husband got me a Roku player.  I've been rediscovering TV shows from the 1990s, which only reminds me of how old I am and how fast time has flown by.  I went through a phase of being obsessed with the old WB show, 7th Heaven.  I don't know why I liked it...  I think it's one of those shows that is so annoying, it's good.  It's like watching a train wreck.

Anyway, the other day I was watching the re-runs and suddenly remembered a scathing review I wrote on Epinions back in 2004.  I am reposting it here for your enjoyment...  I have a feeling I will write again later because it's dark and rainy today and I'm always inspired to write more when the weather sucks.

This was written years before 7th Heaven's incredibly lame ending... which involved the Camden clan getting into an RV and traveling the country in celebration of RevCam's miraculous recovery.  I guess God thought he was "speshul" and still had a lot of "work" to do...  in a fucking RV.  That show jumped the shark so spectacularly...  When they tried a finale in 2006, they had the three oldest kids having twins.  Then when it didn't get cancelled, Lucy lost her twins... and the world breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Anyway, I'm glad there have been no reunion movies yet, a la The Brady Bunch and Eight Is Enough.  It's bad enough that the Duggars haven't been cancelled yet.


All is not celestial on 7th Heaven

 Written: Jul 13 '04 (Updated Nov 06 '11)
    Pros:Sometimes the show is unexpectedly funny or relevant... Cons:Stephen Collins drives me nuts!The Bottom Line:Yet again more proof that I need a hobby.
    Those of you who have already read, rated, and commented on this review, please accept my apologies. I had originally put it in Writer's Corner and have now moved it to its proper spot.

    I admit it... I'm an addict. I religiously watch the WB's drama/comedy 7th Heaven-- have done so since it started, or at least since I got home from being overseas as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I don't know why I watch this show. Viewing this piece of garbage is kind of like watching a trainwreck over and over again, and yet for some reason I just can't turn away. I scream at the TV, especially at Stephen Collins, who plays Eric Camden- patriarch of seven kids, husband of his daffy wife, Annie, played by Catherine Hicks, and "wise" counsel and foster dad to whatever stray kid wanders through his front door. I sometimes find myself screaming at the other characters, too-- but Stephen Collins by far gets more of my bellows than any of the other characters.

    I have to rant about this subject because it bugs the living hell out of me. The family on this show was originally billed as very "functional". Eric is a minister, a much revered member of the clergy at the Glenoak Community Church. Everybody knows this guy and he knows everybody. When someone's in trouble, Eric Camden's there on the double and he's got friends all over the place-- friends running treatment programs for alcoholics, drug addicts and cutters, friends who know how to get people out of gangs, friends in the police department, friends who are doctors, psychologists, lawyers... and they all love Eric Camden because he's such a helpful guy. But he's also an irritating and self-righteous jerk who thinks nothing of guilting people into attending his church, especially if they're recovering alcoholics in danger of losing their kids (ie; you'd better come to church or social services will make a project out of you-- a totally unfair and offensive tradeoff in my opinion).

    When 7th Heaven first came on the air back in 1996, Eric (I get the feeling he was named after his idol, Eric Clapton--as if he could dream of being as cool), his wife, and his five well scrubbed kids were above reproach. The storylines on the show were kind of cute, although the show also dealt with some serious issues too. I suppose the show was watchable back then, if not a little bit boring. But then suddenly, Stephen Collins seemed to attend the William Shatner school of acting. Every line had after it a badly executed dramatic pause. And then Catherine Hicks started to do it, too. But then, now that I think about it, both of them did star in Star Trek movies. Maybe that's where they picked up the habit. Unfortunately, like a highly contagious disease, the habit has spread to most of the other regular characters too, making the show even more irksome to watch.

    Here's an example of what I mean...

    "Are you... thinking about drinking tonight? Because if you are... I'd hope... you'd remember... that you aren't... twenty-one years old and you're not... old enough to drink. And you should just... stay at that party or... call me to come get you... and don't... even think about driving home tonight. I know you'll do the right thing."

    So the five kids start to grow up and dad has to be portrayed as nervous about them dating, especially when it comes to his girls. What does he do? He STALKS them-- hardly normal or rational behavior that one might expect from a minister, especially one who is supposed to be a counselor. He tells Annie, "I'm going out to the Promenade to get some ice cream (or out to take a walk, or out to Pete's Pizza, or out to the pool hall, or wherever)." In that way, he's able to spy on Mary and Lucy, the two older girls, and catch them sucking face with the various studmuffins they date on the show. It's supposed to be cute when he grills them or their dates on the show. If I'd had a father like that, I think I might have run away from home!

    The topic of stalking in the name of being a protective father leads me to a related subject. Why, oh why, are Annie and Eric so damn pre-occupied with their children's love lives? Doesn't Eric have enough to do with his flock? What about his marriage to his wife? Does his entire life revolve around his children and their respective love lives? And why must he always resort to trickery and deception to get what he wants? Why do Eric and Annie have to consult every time an alleged crisis comes up and act like it's of extreme importance that they figure out what their kids are up to at ALL times? In short, why are Eric Camden and his wife Annie such tools?

    Eric's oldest boy, Matt, who used to be portrayed as somewhat a "Rebel Without a Clue" back when 7th Heaven first started in 1996, also starts acting like a miniature Eric. It's truly nauseating. But he not only does it with his sisters, he also does it with his girlfriends and heck, he does it with casual acquaintances, too. YUCK! This morning I caught an episode in which Matt has a casual female friend in a study group who has bruises all over her arms. She has a jerk for a boyfriend, so he naturally assumes that her boyfriend is abusing her, even though she's already explained that the bruises came from the gym. And this is supposed to be ADMIRABLE! When Matt is proven wrong, he's actually praised for jumping to the incorrect conclusion and sticking his nose in someone else's business! In the episode, Matt confronts the young lady in question and she is offended and vehemently denies that her boyfriend hits her. But Matt, being the do gooder buttinsky that he is, can't take no for an answer. He enlists his girlfriend, herself the victim of domestic violence, to go and talk to the woman and dig up more dirt. And when Matt's girlfriend tells him he was wrong, she says that he was right to interfere. Okay, I agree it's good to be concerned, but when someone says they don't want or need your help man, back off!

    Another episode involved the Reverend Eric's sister, Julie, a recovering alcoholic. Matt spies her walking across the street and calls to her. She snubs him, so he stalks her too. First, he shows up at her apartment uninvited. She greets him warmly, then asks him to leave her alone for awhile-- even explains why. But then Julie starts seeing Matt wherever she goes. He's parked outside buildings, waiting for her after her dates. He offers her a ride one day and she orders him to leave her alone. So Matt pulls out the big gun-- Daddy Eric, the KING of stalkers. Matt even (gasp) cuts class to show up at daddy's office because he has a good reason. He thinks Aunt Julie's drinking again, even though he has no real evidence of this. They show up at her apartment and confront her. Eric sees a half empty bottle of booze and immediately assumes the worst. He tries to get her back into alcoholism treatment. But it turns out they were wrong, too. The booze was just a present from a sponsor who had died-- he'd had it for thirty years. It's supposed to serve as a reminder to Julie that she can stop drinking. And this insulting, self-righteous, condescending behavior from Matt and Eric is allowed under the guise that they are being caring guys. I wonder if we're supposed to emulate it or admire it or heaven forbid, if we have sons, are we supposed to teach them to act this way? It's pretty sick. And yet I still watch this crap.

    Beyond that, we're treated to scenes that depict women as crazy, weak, or stupid-- especially when they're pregnant or menopausal (we're all under the influence of those wacky hormones, you know). I write this, but I have to add an exception. The one character who is never made out to be stupid is Ruthie, the youngest daughter. Ever since she was a wee child, she has been depicted as "off the charts" bright. Except that like the rest of the cast, Mackenzie Rosman, the actress who portrays her, is saddled with affected dialogue. Examples... and the whole lot of the 7th Heaven folk has said stuff like this...

    "If you were a man, a real man, you wouldn't need to do this."

    "I have a reason, a good reason, for cutting class."

    "We needed a big brother, a real big brother, to set a good example for us and you let us down."

    "If you meant that, really meant that, you wouldn't have said it that way."

    Go ahead, watch the show. You'll hear a line delivered in that way and before too long, it might make you cringe too-- especially since everybody who has a line written that way tends to rush it without using the proper expression, so it sounds like they're just reading it off the page for the first time.

    And oh yes... the producers of the show MUST take every opportunity to make every enjoyable activity look bad. Last week, there was a re-run on that depicted the evils of drinking alcohol. Never mind that when this show first started, Eric and Annie were actually shown toasting with wine in the opening credits! In this episode, viewers were repeatedly struck over the head with the theme that ALL DRINKING UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES is bad, bad, bad! What was really infuriating was when a grown man who was about to adopt a kid (don't know how old he's supposed to be) actually allowed the kid to dictate to him what he could and couldn't have in his own house. This kid ordered his prospective adoptive father to dump half a bottle of chardonnay AND a full bottle of very expensive Marie Antoinette cognac left to him by his dead father down the drain because the kid didn't want any alcohol in the house. Why? Because the kid's mother was an addict and had made bad choices while she was on drugs. A more reasonable thing to do, in my opinion, would be for the man to talk with the kid about what had happened with his mother. But the kid is also going to have to realize that the world is full of people who enjoy alcoholic beverages without ill effect. He doesn't get to dictate what grown people do in their own homes when he doesn't pay the rent or the mortgage. He's going to have to learn how to deal with his hangups and join us in reality. I didn't mind so much about the chardonnay... but the cognac had been a present left to him by the kid's prospective adoptive father's late father and it was very expensive. Why should he have to throw that out just because the kid was uncomfortable having it around? Sorry kid, it's not all about you, nor should it be.

    And why is it that the word of the day on EVERY SINGLE SHOW is relationship? Everybody on the show, save for the twins, must have one. And the kids, even when they are twelve years old or younger, talk about relationships like they're thirty years old and married! It's ridiculous and completely unrealistic. One of these days, I'm going to watch 7th Heaven and actually count the number of times I hear the word "relationship" just for laughs. Or better yet, maybe I'll turn it into a drinking game-- one sip for every time I hear that word. If I actually used booze, I might even be three sheets to the wind by the end of the show's hour! If I didn't use booze, I'd just be running to the bathroom a lot. Of course, if I turned watching 7th Heaven into a drinking game, I would be missing the point of all of their anti alcohol/drinking episodes-- especially since the last one was even aimed at adults-- and that would be a travesty.

    I think what bugs me most about this show is that it seems to be aimed toward "moral people", aka conservative Christians. And yet we see characters doing very strange things that are not necessarily normal or healthy or even what the so-called conservatives might consider the right things to do. Pregnancy seems to be a revered state of being on this show. The eldest son is in medical school, while the two older daughters are not really the role models they once were. Mary, the one-time athlete and scholar "went bad" after going bonkers and trashing the high school gym and Lucy can't seem to finish college. Matt married a woman he barely knew and converted to Judaism for her. All three oldest kids got married very young and the two older daughters got pregnant young. There's nothing wrong with getting married young if you're ready, but none of the characters seems ready for marriage. And neither Mary nor Lucy seems to have her head screwed on worth a damn, although Mary at least told her parents to stay away while she had her baby (of course they ignored that order and intruded on the birth anyway, the stalkers!). Simon, the middle son, was once a good kid, but he went and killed some kid last fall by running over him with his car. Ruthie, the youngest girl is a "genius", but she's so obnoxious and rude that watching her and listening to her is unbearable. And the twin boys are barely coherent, even though they're five years old.

    So why do I watch this crap? God knows... It raises my blood pressure to watch it. And I may well catch hell from the people who love this show and its message. Maybe I love the show too in my own weird way. But jeesh, if I were in a family like this one, I might not be typing this Epinion right now. Know why? Because I might have been driven to do something drastic and wound up in prison! 

    Monday, February 25, 2013

    Blow out your colon with Colonix?

    Last night, I was trying to drift off to sleep and for some reason, started surfing on my iPad.  Suddenly, I remembered a messageboard I used to frequent for second wives and stepmothers.  Several of the women on that site had started using Colonix.  They referred to themselves as "the poop group".  They were taking this product in attempt to rid themselves of nasty, toxic, disease ridden waste that is supposedly backed up in their intestines.

    In case you don't know, Colonix is supposed to help people "detox" their systems.  Apparently, a lot of people are walking around with lots of shit backed up in their colons.  This product is supposed to clear it out.  In fact, if you go on the Web site and look around, you'll see some truly disgusting pictures of things that people have crapped out after using Colonix.  I'm not sure if these things are really what the makers of Colonix claim they are... or if there's some ingredient in it that causes peoples' bodies to make this stuff and poop it out.

    I have to admit having sort of a morbid fascination with this.  My husband occasionally has problems with constipation and suffers from irritable bowel syndrome.  One time a few years ago, he made the mistake of taking Immodium when he thought he had diarrhea.  He was actually really full of poop and the Immodium effectively shut down his bowels.  He ended up in a military hospital emergency room at the Pentagon, where they ran a nasogastric tube up his nose.  He spent the weekend drinking GoLytely, which made him shit profusely.  Now he regularly drinks water with psyllium husks mixed in.

    There was a time when I had trouble with being backed up.  These days, I'm pretty regular.  I'm not sure I want to try Colonix, even though I find the photos of the nasty crap that comes out fascinating.  I tried to take psyllium husks, though, and ended up vomiting.  So I'm going to continue to let nature take its course.

    Sorry for the shitty post this morning.  I just think these things are interesting.  My reading about Colonix led me to read about one woman's experience getting a colonic for the first time...  I imagine if you're really carrying a lot of crap around, this might be an exciting experience.  It would definitely be a load off.  On the other hand, I find hot coffee has a pretty good effect of clearing me out and doesn't involve disrobing and having a tube shoved up my ass.

    I don't know if colon cleansing has any value or if it's pure quackery.  On the other hand, I can barely be bothered to go to regular doctors, so I don't see myself heading in to my nearest colonic center anytime soon.

    The Doctors think it's bullshit, anyway...






    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    I want one of these in the worst way...


    It's a Margaret Thatcher nutcracker.  I saw it at a house we toured when we were in Scotland.  I saw a couple of them being sold on eBay around Christmas time, but someone outbid me.  :-(

    This is the product description... phrased with typical British wit.

    If you remember the Iron Lady when she was in power, or even if you have only heard of her legacy, it is common knowledge that she was a tough nut to crack. She knew how to head an argument, and certainly wasn't for turning!

    Considering the subject, it only makes sense that this commemorative statuette is suitably poetic in it's humour. The ideal party political accessory, the Maggie Thatcher Nutcracker does exactly what her name suggests and helps you crack open those tough nuts!

    All you have to do is place your nuts between Maggie's legs and get her to squeeze nice and hard! You are then free to nibble on your nuts without the fear of having to gnaw through the shell first!

    I don't even need a nutcracker, really. I just enjoy this kind of humor very much, much to my mother's chagrin. I've taken to letting my husband pick out cards for my parents because he always finds nice ones that they like. Mom can usually tell when I've picked one out because the cards I choose are usually obnoxious and off color.

    My dog, Arran, is just about to finish off our Michael Vick chew toy.


    I propose that we make a dog toy with Drew Peterson's image... We can dress him in a bright red prison uniform while he makes this face...



    Associated Press/M. Spencer Green, File - FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife Kathleen Savio. On Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, Will County Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison for Savio's murder.

    And we can also make a Scott Peterson dog toy. And also a Josh Powell toy...


    I might be on to something.



    A quick plug...

    for my third blog...

    It needs some hits!

    http://travelingovereducatedhousewife.blogspot.com

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    Free to be... You and me!

    Back in the early 1970s, actress Marlo Thomas worked with the Ms. Foundation for Women to create Free to Be... You and Me!.  It started out as a book and a record, but then in the mid 70s, it became an Afterschool Special.  The special included songs, poetry, and sketches.  Marlo Thomas had help from other stars, like Alan Alda, Roberta Flack, and Michael Jackson.  The overall message was that boys and girls can do or be anything they want to be...

    Yesterday, I was messing around on YouTube and found a few of the videos...


    This was Alan Alda's contribution...

      
    Here, Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack are charming as they sing about liking who they are... and Rosey Grier sings "It's Alright To Cry"...


    This is a video from the TV series Fame... It kind of fits with the "I can do anything" theme...


    And this is a video clip that came from a program about helping emotionally disturbed kids.  This poor boy got caught masturbating by his mother, who admirably tells him it's normal.



    This is the whole film... Holy smokes.

    The 70s and 80s were a great time to grow up.  We had all kinds of enlightened television shows and programs designed to discouraged sexism and racism.  Nowadays, TV is mostly full of crap.

    My husband says, "I'm having my period right now... That's why I'm so bitchy!  But I can't say that, because it's not in the script..."


    Here's a very weird instructional film about a little girl learning what a period is.  I can't imagine my dad sticking around for a conversation about that, let alone trying to explain what periods are!  My dad once asked me if periods hurt, though.  

    YouTube is full of craziness.  Obviously, I'm too lazy to write today and am relying on videos.     

    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Setting my iPod to shuffle...

    It's been a very musical day.  I needed to do some writing on music, so a few hours ago, I put my iPod on shuffle and just let it play while I got my stuff done.  I'm amazed by the huge range of music I have in my collection.  I could never be pigeonholed into a niche when it comes to music.  I have everything from classical music to hairbands.  There are over 10,000 songs on my iPod.  It's not full yet and I haven't put my whole library on it yet.  I probably missed my calling by trying to be respectable and getting a "normal" education for a "normal" job.  I think my real calling was in music.  I missed the boat.  But at least I get to write about it.

    The weather today sucks.  It's cold and rainy and I don't want to stay outside with Arran enough to get him to poop.  He's turning out to be a wonderful dog, even if he does still have occasional accidents with #2.  He's very sweet, doesn't snore, and doesn't wake me up when he comes to bed.  Everyone should be like that.

    It's hard to believe another Friday is upon us and February is already half over.  Yesterday, it was hitting me that I'll have to start mowing the grass again soon.  That's never my idea of a good time.  I think I'm going to try to find a smaller yard when we move again.  All the leaves are still on the ground because I never bothered to rake.  First time I mow, the leaves will come up... It'll take awhile and probably frustrate me.

    In other news... I'm glad to see Drew Peterson is going to prison, where he belongs.  I had a good chuckle when I saw his photo this morning.  He was mid primal scream.

    Today is also National Margarita Day... Cheers!


    Have an excellent weekend!

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Interesting traffic reports...

    I monitor the traffic that hits this blog.  I do it, in part, to keep an eye out for certain undesirables reading my blog.  I also do it because I think it's interesting to see what people are interested in reading. Lately, a whole shitload of people have hit my blog looking for information about the legalities of opening someone's mailbox and/or self delivering mail.

    Why is that?  I would think of all the important things people would want to read about, the daily mail would be low on the totem pole.  After all, so many people use e-mail these days that the post office is sort of becoming obsolete.  That's why the post office will likely quit Saturday delivery this year and are raising their rates yet again.

    I also continue to get a lot of hits from people wanting to know about Michael Leland, the Hoveround "singer".  Mr. Leland actually found my blog and left me a few comments, which I thought was pretty cool, even though I called him "creepy".  Sorry Michael, you did leave a link to some of your other work that I thought was impressive.  That Hoveround ad is just annoying.  You should know, though, that lots of people are looking for information about you and your career.  I hope you have a blog of your own set up so your fans can pay you a visit.

    And, for some weird reason, people come to this blog wanting to read about Jessica McCord and Alan Bates.  That post is by far the most popular to date.  I don't know why Jessica McCord's case is so much more interesting than all the other true crime cases out there, but it is... Unfortunately, that post also attracts shitty comments from people because I happened to comment that I see a lot of similarities between Jessica McCord and my husband's ex wife.  I dared to express that and some people seem to think I'm responsible for the fact that my husband didn't take his kids from his ex wife.  It wasn't my decision... and in the grand scheme of things, it's probably better that he didn't try to take them.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though.  People on the Internet can be surprisingly narrow minded and dumb about some things.  And I include myself in that statement...  why the hell not?

    Every once in awhile, I get pervy people looking for posts about kinky sex.  I wrote a couple of posts that attract those people.  One post was about Christian Domestic Discipline...  I probably ought to write about that again, because I do think it's an intriguing topic.  The other was about the local sex shop here in my town.  I think it's not getting any business.  There's a "for sale" sign by the front door.

    Sometimes my ranting posts about irritating commercials get traffic, too...  The search strings for those posts are often hilarious and provide me with several moments of entertainment.  And I know at least one or two other people in the world agree with me that Judge Judy can be a cunt and Phil McGraw can be a wanker.

    What really kills me are some of the comments I get from people... especially when they lecture me about my rants and how they make me look stupid and it occurs to me that they're usually pots calling kettles black because by lecturing/ranting at me, they are guilty of the same thing.  Or the comments I get from people who obviously haven't read very carefully or at all...  Or comments that are just plain incoherent and either appear to be an attempt to sell something or resolve some psychic hurt visited on them by someone they know in their real lives...

    In any case, this blog is interesting.  I've had it for almost three years and get all kinds of traffic from all over the world.  As I try to come up with new things to write about, I imagine the traffic reports will continue to be interesting.

        

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Teen avoids forced abortion...

    Yesterday was a busy day.  I had a lot of writing to do, plus I got plenty of household chores done.  But I still had time to read the news and one article I ran across was about a pregnant teenaged girl in Texas whose parents tried to force her to have an abortion.  She sued her parents, who were supposedly trying to make her miserable by taking her car, cell phone, forcing her out of school, and making her get two jobs as "punishment" for failure to get the abortion.

    I must say, I'm glad to know that the young lady is not going to be forced to have an abortion.  While I absolutely support a woman's right to have a safe, legal abortion if that's what she wants to do, I do not support forcing someone to get one, even if it's a minor's parents doing the forcing.  When I was still practicing social work, I had a client whose mother made her have an abortion.  When she turned 18, she immediately and purposely got pregnant.  I was under the impression that my client was very traumatized by the abortion experience.  I would think it would be traumatizing even if it was chosen by the woman; being forced to have one would likely be akin to assault.

    That being said, I am a little uncomfortable with some of the things that are going to be required of the girl's parents.  They are going to be compelled to pay half her hospital bill unless the girl marries the baby's father.  I'm assuming the baby's 16 year old father or his family will have to pay the rest.  They have to give the girl access to her car and phone again.  I think that's okay if the girl owns the car and pays for the cell phone... and obviously, if she's pregnant, she needs transportation to doctor's appointments and such.  However, having access to a car and a cell phone is not a right and there are plenty of pregnant women who don't have either luxury.  I'm not sure I agree with making the parents provide these things.  I also think that given the fact that the girl and her boyfriend made the adult decision to have unprotected sex, they should be treated more as adults... with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with that status.

    While I don't support the girl's father's apparently heavy handed approach to getting his daughter to "take care" of her pregnancy with a forced abortion, I do feel empathy for them.  They probably thought they'd already raised their kid(s).  They may resent being asked to help their daughter with this, given that she's two years from being a legal adult.  I hope that he and the girl's mother will eventually be able to give their daughter some support.  I hope they will not punish the innocent baby when it's born.  

    On the other hand, if the young lady had any other medical problem, the parents would be expected to pay for it and take care of her.   Although pregnancy is not really the same as a medical problem, per se, it is a condition that can lead to medical issues.  As the parents of a minor, they should expect to take care of their child.  Maybe the forced abortion was the parents' way of "taking care" of their daughter.  But I think had they made her have an abortion, they would have made the situation much worse.  Abortions tend to be emotionally charged procedures for many women.  It's possible that even if they had made her abort, she would have just gotten pregnant again... or she may have suffered some serious psychological issues.

    As I sit here pondering all of this... once again, I'm glad I don't have kids and this kind of problem will not ever affect me.  But if I did have a daughter, I would hope I could be supportive even if she turned up pregnant before 18.  I would likely be disappointed for her, but in the grand scheme of things, having a baby very young is not the worst thing that could happen to a person.  As for the baby's father, I truly do hope he's serious in wanting to help raise the baby.  I hope his family is supportive.  I don't know how likely it is that they will stay together, but it's not unheard of.

    Hopefully this will work out...    



    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Nurse decides to sue over racism in Flint, MI hospital...

    Last night, I came across an interesting article about Tonya Battle, a black nurse in Flint, Michigan who is suing her employer, Hurley Medical Center.  Battle alleges that administrators at the hospital had honored a racist request made by the father of one of the babies she was caring for.  The man had asked that no black nurses take care of his daughter.  Battle and other nurses of color were then reassigned to other patients.

    Battle claims that the man's racist request is illegal and the hospital should not have honored it.  Therefore, she has decided to sue.  I certainly don't condone the father's racist attitude.  However, I can't help but think that this type of discrimination is nothing new.  Nurses and other caregivers are quite often subjected to scrutiny and discrimination by their patients.  Sometimes they are "fired" because they have done a poor job or have a bad attitude.  And sometimes they get fired because they're the wrong gender or religion.

    How many times have female Muslim patients refused care from a male provider?  How many times has a male nurse been "fired" in favor of a female nurse?  How many Jewish, Mormon, or atheist physicians have been canned due to a clash of religious beliefs or lack thereof?  It does seem very backwards to refuse care from a black nurse since a person's skin color should have no bearing on how well they do their job.  But at the same time, we would expect male nurses and Jewish doctors to be professional, regardless of their religious beliefs or genders, wouldn't we?  If it's acceptable for some patients to discriminate on those grounds, why shouldn't they be able to fire a health care professional for any reason?

    Okay, so maybe a lot of people don't think it's okay to discriminate based on gender or religion... at least if they are looking at it as a general policy.  But what if you were a woman who had been brutally sexually assaulted by a man?  What if you were a woman who was a strict Muslim or you came from some other belief system that required extreme modesty and did not allow male caregivers?

    A few years ago, I read a very interesting book written by Geri-Ann Galanti.  Galanti's book, Caring For Patients From Other Cultures is all about respecting patients' religious and cultural beliefs as well as preserving their patients' dignity.  This is not to say that Tonya Battle's case is necessarily about preserving dignity.  From what I've read in the media, her patient's father was possibly a skinhead who just plain hates black people.  Personally, I think it's wrong.  But I'm not the one whose child was submitted for medical care.  I would think if I were a parent, I would want to have a choice over who provided medical care to my child.  I would want to be able to seek a different caregiver if that person made me uncomfortable for any reason.

    I would think the ultimate goal in this case would be for the infant to get the best medical care and the most cooperation from her parents.  Battle presumably was not fired from her job.  Indeed, at the time of the incident, she had been employed by Hurley Medical Center for about twenty-five years.  Her employer did not actually discriminate against her; a patient's father did.  That patient's father could have just as easily gotten Battle kicked off the case by claiming some sort of misconduct or malpractice, which could have led to her getting fired.  At least he was upfront about his bias rather than hiding it and getting Battle removed in a way that might jeopardize her career somehow.

    It's disgusting that in the year 2013, there are still such racist people among us.  And maybe it would have been best if administrators at Hurley Medical Center had told the baby's father that they could not honor his request to have his baby cared for by white people only.  However, if they had taken that course of action, what would have been the ultimate end result?  Would the father then try to sue because he was forced to accept medical care on his daughter's behalf by someone he did not want administering the medical care?  Would he have tried to have his daughter discharged, then possibly forcing the administrators to take legal action to stop him or causing the baby's condition to deteriorate?  Would he have tried to harm the black nurses who worked with his daughter?  I'm guessing that the end result would have been negative and it's highly unlikely that by forcing the father to accept the black nurses, his racist attitude toward them would have changed.  Indeed, his daughter's medical care might have even been compromised if the black nurses were required to deliver care to an infant whose father is an admitted racist and had tried to get them kicked off the case.  It's easy to demand that professionals turn off their personal feelings when they are on the job and I would hope that most of the time they are able to do just that.  But there will always be people out there who can't and won't separate their personal feelings from their professional identities.  It seems to me the safest route for the infant's care was to do what the hospital administrators ultimately did, even though it seems very unfair and morally repugnant to the nurse.

    Moreover, while I don't condone racial discrimination, I do think that patients should have the right to choose the health care providers they are most comfortable with, even if their reasons seem ridiculous or repugnant to other people.  If you've been reading this blog, you may recall that I myself had some issues with a health care provider a few months ago.  I was discriminating against her because she seemed too young and immature, and had posted photos of herself on the Internet partying with her friends.  I like to party with my friends, too, but seeing those photos made me uncomfortable about the prospect of her checking out my private parts.  Seeing a health care provider is difficult enough without that kind of prejudice in the air.  I will even admit that it's my problem.  That physician's assistant I wrote of might be the best provider in the world.  My discomfort with her makes her a less than optimal provider for me, though; and I think I should have the right to choose someone else.

    I think health care should be more about the patient's comfort and well-being whenever possible and what should be most important in a healthcare setting is that the patient gets the optimal care that he or she is paying for.  While I would hope that most people are more enlightened than the father of that baby is, I would also hope that health care providers would accommodate their patients in the interest of seeing that they ultimately get decent medical care.  If that means that a racist person who prefers white health care providers is accommodated, so be it.

    Indeed, competent mental health therapists make referrals all the time when it turns out they are not compatible with a client for whatever reason.  A therapist who has personal issues with homosexuality, for instance, would do well to refer a gay or lesbian client to a therapist who doesn't have those issues.  And while some people would say a homophobic therapist should not be practicing, I would submit that there are some areas in mental health care where a therapist who is against homosexuality would be welcomed.  For instance, any religious institution that is against homosexuality and offers health care would probably embrace health care professionals who are likewise against homosexual behavior and think it can and should be "treated".  Do I agree with that standpoint?  No.  But I do think there is room in the market for it.  Unfortunately, some people still think homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.  I don't agree with them, but I can't force them to accept my viewpoint nor would I want them to try to force me to accept theirs.  As long as this country has many people who observe religions that are against homosexuality, there will always be people out there who would prefer a "homophobic" therapist.

    It will be interesting to see if Tonya Battle's lawsuit gets far and what the ultimate outcome will be.  Most of the comments I've read on this story are all about public opinion and political correctness.  Most people want the dad's head on a platter because he's a racist creep.  Some are even saying his daughter shouldn't be raised by him because he's an obvious racist who might be abusive.  I don't want to go that far because it seems too much like the thought police run amok.  Ultimately, I hope his baby is doing better and will grow up to be more enlightened than her father is.



    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Crazy making...

    I hope readers will indulge me as I post one last time about the Facebook drama involving the lonely humorless lady.  I feel the need to write this down because I think it's important for anyone who has dealings with verbally abusive people or people with character disorders.  When you're online and can read things that people write, you can spot the patterns of crazy making behavior that so often befuddle people offline.  Maybe you've run into a few crazy makers yourself.  These are people who get you so flustered, confused, and rattled that you start to doubt every original thought you have.

    This morning, over Belgian waffles and whipped cream, my husband and I were talking about the whole ridiculous debacle that went on on Facebook and RfM over the weekend.  I did some checking and found evidence that the lonely humorless lady has long had a habit of calling out people over innocuous comments that could be twisted to sound offensive.  The person she called out would typically act guilty, sheepish, or embarrassed and would usually apologize or be confused.  Then the lonely humorless lady would continue to aggressively shame her target or belabor her point.  The target would then either cower or fire back.  Firing back invited even more aggressive shaming until she realized there would be no pay off.  At that point, she'd move on to someone else.  Acquiescing seemed to make her think her target was a chump.  The whole thing is a big mind game, intended to gain control over someone.  I found multiple examples of this type of behavior from her on RfM and Facebook.

    It was the same kind of behavior my husband observed in his ex wife.  She would indignantly attack him over some innocuous thing he said or did.  He would usually immediately feel shame and embarrassment.  Then, because he is the kind of person he is, he would take total responsibility for whatever she was upset about, not holding her accountable for her part.  She seemed to have no respect for him and thought of him as a loser.  But if he dared to stand up for himself, then she'd start calling him abusive and "mean".  It was a situation in which there was no way to win or make anyone happy.
      
    I think RfM sometimes attracts crazy makers.  The place is rife with people who were raised Mormon, a religion that makes people feel especially guilty about sin.  Even if you leave the culture and dismiss the religious beliefs, you are likely to still have a lot of tendency to feel guilt easily.  It's been programmed.  If you are a member of a faith that constantly pressures you to confess your sins and tells you how sinful you are, you have a tendency to feel guilty... unless, of course, you have a character disorder which allows you to rationalize your so-called sins.

    The lonely humorless lady describes herself as a rabid feminist.  Looking back at her comments on RfM, I can see that she has an agenda that she likes to push.  And the exmormon community is full of people who were raised in a patriarchal belief system which is hard to shake, even after leaving the faith.  So she has an abundant field of people to harass and provoke whenever the mood strikes.  It's like a gold mine for crazy making!

    I can also see why people engage the lonely humorless lady.  She's charming, intelligent, and somewhat witty.  Looking at her picture, you can see that she's also kind of cute.  I can see why people are attracted to her, as they tend to be to people with character disorders.  These folks are charismatic, even if they don't happen to be physically attractive.  They know what to say or do to hook the vulnerable... those who are insecure about themselves and want to please others.  There are an awful lot of people out there who are "people pleasers" that want very desperately to be liked.  Abusive people understand this drive on a reptilian level and exploit it very skillfully.  People who don't mind being disliked are like kryptonite to abusers, but if you're a decent person, you're still someone vulnerable.  Because most decent people want to be liked and don't go out of their way to offend.

    Our culture trains people to be "nice" and likable.  I think a culture like Mormonism especially trains people to be that way, since very nice people who don't want to offend are typically much easier to manipulate.  So abusive people can run havoc in these types of communities and stir up all kinds of shit... because the people are conditioned to accept it instead of telling the abuser to go away.

    Of course, Mormonism isn't the only belief system that encourages crazy making and crazy makers...  Any very controlling community or belief system encourages abuse.  Right now, I'm reading Jenna Miscavige Hill's book about growing up in Scientology.  Talk about mind fuckery!  




    Sunday, February 17, 2013

    An update on the humorless lonely lady...

    The other day, I posted about a woman who was until a few minutes ago a Facebook friend.  She wasn't someone I know personally, but she's a nevermo who hangs out on exmormon.org.  I did a Facebook shoutout one day and that's how we ended up "friended".  Anyway, the other day she got all uppity about a Will Ferrell meme I posted.  She said it was mean and I was "shaming" all the lonely people in the world who don't feel love.

    That whole exchange was unnerving to me and I decided not to engage her, but I didn't unfriend her.  Today, she gleefully posted on a private group for exmos on Facebook that she had just started a thread that she felt would get heated.  I took notice, because she seemed very much like an instigator.  Sure enough, the thread got heated and when it finally closed, she brought the argument back to the private Facebook group, where it got even more heated.

    Basically, this lady was commenting on a news story that ran in the Salt Lake Tribune about twin Mormon doctoral students who have created sticky notes that they put over suggestive photos on magazines like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.  The notes had little sayings on them about how women shouldn't be "eye candy".  These twins and their followers have been putting the sticky notes on magazines in bookstores, causing store managers a lot of angst.

    Anyway, my former Facebook friend claims that Sports Illustrated was misogynistic because it ignores female athletes and women, except to put them on display in their swimsuit issue.  While other posters agreed somewhat with her, most of them didn't go to the extreme that she did, claiming the magazine promoted hatred toward women by photographing them in swimsuits.  When they didn't agree whole-heartedly with her, she got very agitated to the point at which she decided to "take her ball and go home".  She left the group and unfriended a bunch of us.

    I have to admit, I wasn't upset to see her dump me.  I think she's an asshole who enjoys getting people riled up and then sitting back and watching the show.

    In any case, when I saw the exchange on Facebook, I messaged a friend who seriously got caught in the crossfire and pointed out what this chick had done to me the other day.  She had basically picked a ridiculous fight with me over an Internet meme and attempted to make me feel bad about myself.  When it didn't work, she got pissed and walked away.

    I say good riddance... and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    We've had snow today.  I figure it'll be melted by morning, but it was fun to watch it and be lazy all day.  I really need to get some exercise, though.


    Friday, February 15, 2013

    Carlin, Carnival Triumph.... and Casey Anthony's lawyer

    Remember the other day when I vented about all the people sharing that essay falsely attributed to George Carlin?  This morning, that essay popped up again.  I had to say something and I did...  And this was the response I got...

    I appreciate your position but disagree a bit. I think the whole point of it is. Whoever wrote it doesn't care about getting credit for it. Its just theact of getting it out there. I think people get so caught up in the who did or wrote something than just appreciating something beautiful for what it is


    Seriously? This person went to high school with me and was usually seated behind me because our names were alphabetically close. We were friendly back then... and I still like him, but this statement obviously comes from someone who is not creative.  Every penny I have made since I got out of graduate school has come from my writing.  Granted, I haven't made a whole lot of cash, but I have made enough to consider myself professional in a sense.  And I definitely don't just write things to "get it out there".  I can't imagine that most people do.

    Shit, even if you're in school writing a term paper, you want credit for your work, don't you?  And you don't want to be faulted for something you didn't do if it turns out it sucks.  I can't follow the logic of what my high school friend says...  He now works as a nurse and I bet if he saved someone's life and another nurse got all the credit for it, or if another nurse did something wrong and he got blamed for it, it would greatly upset him.

    Anyway...  moving on.  I've been watching the whole Carnival Triumph debacle with interest.  Carnival has had a very rough couple of years.  Their ship, Splendor, had an engine fire back in 2010 that left it drifting in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.  Then in 2012, Costa Concordia, which is owned by Carnival Corporation, ran aground and 32 people died.  A couple of months after that, Costa Allegra was disabled off of Seychelles.  

    My husband and I like to cruise.  Carnival Corporation owns about twelve cruise lines which vary in quality.  We generally stick to small lines that only have a couple of ships.  Something like this could happen to any cruise line, I guess.  But I like the smaller ships because the idea of being stuck on a huge behemoth of a ship with thousands of starving, angry people does not sound like my idea of a good time.  

    It's been especially interesting to hang out on the Carnival Cruise Line messageboard this week because so many people cruise on the Carnival line.  There has been all kinds of speculation about the aftermath of Triumph and what people will do once they get back to their lives.  Responses have run the gamut, with a lot of folks saying that anyone who complains about being on that ship should "get perspective" and realize how many people in the world live that way every day.  There have been a lot of people saying "shit happens" (and in the case of Triumph, it literally happened) and I must say, that mindset amazes me.  I mean, in my mind, the folks on Triumph certainly have reason to be upset about what they've been through.  These people paid for a short cruise and had reasonable expectations that they'd be able to use the cabins they paid for and have enough food to eat.  Say what you will about cruising, but at the very least, you should be able to expect to have enough food.  And you should be able to expect to be able to use the bathroom at will and under sanitary conditions.  I understand why these things didn't happen on Triumph and I'm sure that most of the passengers do, too.  That doesn't change the fact that they didn't happen and these folks were trapped on a disgusting sewage pit for days.  They missed work and even if they had trip insurance, it's unlikely that they will get any extra compensation for the miserable time they had.



    Just as an aside... this ad is terribly ironic!

    Yes, Carnival is trying to "make things right" by putting these folks up in hotels, refunding their money, giving them $500, and flying them home, free of charge.  But Carnival has also made it difficult for people to seek legal remedies for their cruising disaster.  Should these folks consider suing?  I don't know.  If there was negligence on their part, they probably should be held legally responsible.  But I think it will be difficult for most people to sue and most folks will just want to get on with their lives.  I still wouldn't blame them if they wanted to sue, though.  It's natural and I don't think they should be shamed for it.

    This whole situation and talk of litigation reminds me again of Hot Coffee, the documentary I saw the other day and blogged about.  I wrote a review of the film on Epinions... and I really think it's worth seeing if you have the chance.    

    Finally, I happened to catch Dr. Phil this morning and Casey Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez.  I will admit, I wasn't paying especially close attention to the show because my husband is home today.  But I will say that just based on that interview, I was kind of impressed by Baez.  He doesn't seem like a sleazeball at all... and I'm sure that defending Casey was probably the most challenging and difficult thing he's ever done in his career.  Anyway, someone had to defend her... despite the fact that she comes off like a total sociopath.  He obviously did his job.  If I were in trouble, I might consider hiring him, despite his so-called "checkered past".

    That's it for now.  Phew.... I had a lot to say and it's not even noon yet-- but will be in three minutes. 

    Roses...

    My sweet husband gave me roses today and it made me think of this...



    I have a sick mind.

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Starfire Cigs... for those who are bound and determined to smoke...



    I just saw this ad for the first time.  It's for a product called Starfire Cig and it's supposed to replicate and replace real cigarettes.  Instead of smoke, you blow water vapors.  They're legal to smoke indoors and supposedly money saving.

    I will admit that I don't know anything about these types of "cigarettes".  I have never been a smoker and have no idea what it feels like to be addicted to them.  I have heard that electronic cigarettes are a good alternative to regular cigarettes.  The folks on the ad claim that these cigarettes are a lot cheaper than regular cigarettes.



    Here they say the cigarettes are like cigarettes without the nasty smell.  And yet they supposedly taste like cigarettes, too.  

    I wonder if these things would be allowed on an airplane...  I remember back in the days when people could smoke on airplanes.  I imagine if someone took one out, people would be all up in arms.  Besides, on an airplane, you're all crammed together.  And I imagine you couldn't light up, because I'm sure no one carries lighters on planes anymore...  I've never tried to, anyway.

    I do have to laugh when these folks talk about saving money by smoking these cigarettes.  If they really are like cigarettes, smoking them will probably lead to health problems.  And we all know that at least in America, healthcare does not come cheaply.  But maybe they do cost less than regular cigarettes...

    I dunno.  These ads seem kind of misleading to me.  I think smoking is a nasty habit anyway, though.  If these are cleaner, maybe they're worthwhile.  Interesting that regular cigarettes can't be advertised on TV, but these can.





    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    I offend...

    Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  For most of my life, I didn't like Valentine's Day because I was terminally dateless.  I remember in high school, at the end of the day, there was a list of names read for people who had gotten flowers.  My name was never on that list.  I was dating someone senior year, but he went to a different high school.  Later, it turned out he was gay.  We're good friends today, but seriously, the one year he gave me a half dozen roses was the only year I celebrated Valentine's Day until 2001, when I was dating my husband.

    I understand why some people hate Valentine's Day, but I also think some people make way too much of it.  Basically, it's a Hallmark holiday.  So when someone posted this on Facebook, I shared it...


    I'll admit... it's kind of mean and snarky.  But it was meant to be funny and several people did find it funny.  One person was offended and resorted to shaming me.  Apparently, she is single and, I suppose, must be lonely.  I apologized for offending her and explained that it was not my intention to hurt her feelings.  Like I said, I've been there.  On the other hand, there are 438 people on my friends list and I can't know who will or won't enjoy the things I post.

    She came back and basically shamed me for upsetting all the people in the world who are alone right now.  I thought that was a bit over the top.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how very much I like to be publicly shamed by self-righteous types.  I asked her if she was telling me what I should or shouldn't post on Facebook.  Because I don't appreciate that, nor do I think it's cool to publicly shame another person.  She came back and said that the above photo shames everyone who is lonely this Valentine's Day.  That may be true, but it's an indirect kind of shame.  After all, I didn't wake up this morning and say to myself, "I think I'll find some offensive pictures on Facebook and post them, just to piss off so and so."  Publicly berating someone on Facebook, though, is definitely a more personal and deliberate kind of shaming.

    In fact, the person who claims the above post was hurtful was actually hurtful to me by snottily and publicly calling me out on Facebook.  Seems to me the more "sensitive" thing to do would be to send a private message.  I probably would have reacted by taking the offending post down and sincerely apologizing.

    I may not always seem like it, but I'm actually a pretty sensitive person, although I often disguise my softer side by hiding behind jokes and profanity.  In all truthfulness, I do know how it feels to be the guy in the above photo.  I've spent many Valentine's Days and weekend nights alone.  Sometimes, it really sucked.  However, in almost 41 years of life, I've also come to realize that sometimes people will find you offensive, whether you mean to be or not.  In fact, my occasionally offensive personality is probably why I spent so much time alone.

    Unfortunately, some people expect you to read their minds and be responsible for how they feel.  There's no way I can know the relationship statuses of 438 people, nor can I know what specifically rubs certain people the wrong way and what doesn't.  Maybe it would have been better not to post the snarky photo in the interest of being "kind" to Facebookers.  On the other hand, who appointed me to be the shining example that everyone else should follow?  And who appointed the offended person to police my Facebook posts?

    While I don't think people should go out of their way to be callous and rude to other people, I also think that we can't expect people to have automatic empathy all the time.  We can't expect other people to be responsible for our feelings or our reactions to the things they say or do.  We can hope that they will be kind and sensitive most of the time, and apologetic when we tell them we're hurt, but almost no one can be that way all the time.      



    Sometimes people post shit on Facebook that is offensive.  It is what it is.  I don't generally think it's a good idea to tell people what they should or should not find funny.  I also think that if you are truly offended by something someone posts, it's probably best not to self-righteously call them out in public... unless your objective is to offend them back.  And if that's the case, then you're no better than they are.  You should also prepared to be even more offended when they fire back.  If someone is insensitive enough to post a snarky photo with a mean-spirited caption on Facebook, they may also be insensitive enough to aim a particularly nasty and personal public barb your way.  

    Hot Coffee and Jimmy Osmond...

    I know... hot coffee and Jimmy Osmond are incongruent, given the fact that Jimmy is a devout Mormon.  But both are on my mind this morning, hence the strange title of this post.

    Last night, I was on Cruise Critic reading comments on the Carnival forum about Triumph, the ship that has been disabled and adrift over the past few days.  Someone had started a thread asking posters if they would sue Carnival if they had been on the ship.  I understand conditions are pretty miserable.  Anyway, someone brought up frivolous lawsuits and anytime someone does that, it's inevitable that the hot coffee case involving Stella Liebeck and McDonald's gets mentioned.  A lot of people think Stella Liebeck was wrong to sue McDonald's over the hot coffee that she spilled all over her lap.  McDonald's wants you to feel that way, of course.

    I always get very annoyed when people talk about that case as if it were frivolous.  The main reason it annoys me is because 99% of the people who feel that way have never read about the case and don't know the facts.  They only know what the media and PR machines have spun.  The fact is, Stella Liebeck was a 79 year old woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car that was parked when she attempted to remove the lid from a scorching cup of McDonald's coffee so she could add cream and sugar.  The coffee was anywhere from 180-190 degrees-- about 20 degrees hotter than the industry standard.  It spilled all over Mrs. Liebeck, giving her third degree burns all over her nether regions in just three seconds.  She had to spend eight days in the hospital and endured multiple skin grafts.

    She asked McDonald's to help her pay her medical bills.  They offered her a paltry $800, which would barely make a dent in what was initially about $10,000 worth of bills and was later closer to $20,000.  She gave them multiple opportunities to settle, but McDonald's refused.  It later came out that McDonald's had had over 700 complaints about hot coffee and had settled over $500,000 in claims to people who had been hurt trying to drink their coffee.  So Liebeck sued them and was eventually awarded millions in damages.  Of course there were appeals and she eventually ended up with about $160,000.  She also became a laughingstock, as comedians, anchors, and the general public turned her very serious injuries into a big joke.

    I started a thread on Facebook.  I was glad when several people agreed that McDonald's was wrong.  But one person stubbornly insisted that Stella Liebeck had filed a frivolous lawsuit because she bought a product that was hot and should have expected that it would be hot.  Then another friend alerted me to a film called Hot Coffee, an excellent documentary about that case and tort reform.  I downloaded it off Amazon, though you can rent it on Netflix if you subscribe to their DVD service (which I don't anymore-- I only stream).  Anyway, in that film, they showed Mrs. Liebeck's grievous injuries.  I defy anyone claiming that her case was frivolous to look at those photos and still claim she was after easy money.  That poor woman's lap, legs, buttocks, and genitals were seriously burned.  I wonder how the naysayers would feel if they were burned that way... or their parent or child or friend had suffered these injuries.

    Yes, there are people out there who are greedy and try to take advantage of the legal system.  I am not big on lawsuits in general.  But in this case, I absolutely agree that Stella Liebeck, who passed away in 2004 at age 91 having never regained her former strength and vitality, was completely in the right to sue McDonald's for not helping her with her medical bills.  I do think that there should be a legal remedy for people who have been legitimately harmed by an individual or a corporation.  I highly recommend the film.  It will teach you something.


    Moving on...  This morning on Fame, Jimmy Osmond was guest starring.  On that episode, he plays a kid who suffers from mental retardation or is "differently abled".  He has emotional and educational problems, but he can sing like an angel.  When all the kids come up to congratulate him, he freaks out.  Then, when the School of the Arts gives him a part without an audition, he pisses off Coco.  But then she makes up with him and sings at the final assembly...


    For some reason, he reminds me of Spongebob Squarepants in this clip.  Maybe it's because of all the orange everyone is wearing...


    I'd rather see him on Fame than in church, though...  Look at the way he strokes that poor redheaded kid.  I'm sure that was done to keep the boy from acting up.  Poor thing.  

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Watching old Melrose Place episodes...

    It's funny to watch 90s era Melrose Place episodes.  When this show debuted, I was 20 years old and I was hooked on it from day one.  I was a regular viewer for as long as I could watch the show, which generally meant during the summer.  I didn't really have TV at college.  Then in 1995, I left the country for two years.

    When I got back to the USA, I started watching re-runs.  It was interesting to see how the show went from being kind of a lightweight soap about about 20 somethings trying to launch (which I was at the time) to a show about people repeatedly screwing each other over or going crazy.  It was so over-the-top ridiculous that I really got into it.  I like bad TV probably as much as I like cheesy music.

    I think what I enjoyed most about Melrose Place are the snarky characters that were on when the show was at its peak, probably seasons 3, 4, and 5.


    It's completely brain dead entertainment.  I kind of miss stupid shows like this one.

    In other news, the Heart Attack Grill has lost its second spokesperson in as many years to what else?  A heart attack...  Honestly, that place gives me the willies.  The whole experience sounds disgusting and creepy and it's not like Americans really need a gimmick to be enticed to eat crappy food.


    I really need to move back to Europe and eat mussels or something...