Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lovely parting gifts...


$25,000 Pyramid parting gifts...

As you can see from the video above, on game shows, even the losers go home with "lovely parting gifts".  On this particular show, they were going home with denture cream and gift certificates for KFC, but still it's something, right?  Well, that's kind of how it is for a lot of young people.  They "win" just by showing up.  They're "special" just for being themselves.  They have to be included in everything, including wedding vows if they've been born before the nuptials.  Everyone's a "winner", right?

I guess the purpose of "parting gifts" is supposed to make the loser feel better.  Or, at least that's what the losers are supposed to think.  Personally, I think "parting gifts" are just another subtle form of advertisement for big businesses.  But hell, who couldn't use a year's supply of Turtle Wax or Denorex?  Aw, who are we kidding?  Lovely parting gifts are often nothing but worthless crap and the winners usually have to pay sales tax on them to boot!  


Parting gifts on Super Password...  Was Betty White on every game show ever made in the 80s?


But to get those parting gifts, you have to hear this if you're on The Price Is Right.

Bill and I were talking about parting gifts last night.  I think Bill and I got on this topic because we were talking about this trend of adults making very public statements of devotion to children.  A couple of days ago, I posted about NASCAR driver Brian Scott pledging his love and dedication to his wife Whitney's daughter, Brielle.  For some reason, that post has been very popular, not in terms of comments, but in terms of massive hits.  Seems like a lot of people are curious about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Scott's very public statement of devotion  for Brielle.  

Of course, in the video, Brielle seems rather detached from the whole spectacle.  In January 2014, she was still very tiny.  Because she was pretty much oblivious to what was being said to her, my guess is that Mr. Scott's declaration of love and devotion was more for himself and his wife than it was for the child.   Perhaps years from now, if Mr. Scott is still married to Brielle's mother, she can watch the video, see how everyone's weeping over her stepfather's speech, and maybe feel warm and fuzzy about him.  She may even view him as her dad.  

If Brielle's mother is not still married to Mr. Scott, it's likely that video will upset her-- unless, of course, he's still in her life.  I know that sometimes even after a divorce, stepparents can stay involved with former stepchildren.  I certainly have no way of looking into the future and knowing how Whitney and Brian will fare.  I truly hope their marriage succeeds.  But there are no guarantees for anyone, not even Bill and me.  If the marriage fails, I wonder what the lovely parting gifts will be for the children involved.

I got kind of curious about Sean Caisse.  I don't follow NASCAR at all, even though I once lived in car racing heaven.  I only found out a couple of things.  Apparently, his father died in 2012.  In the obituary, Brielle is listed as a survivor, which makes me think that at least in 2012, Sean Caisse was in his daughter's life.  Another curious tidbit I found is that Caisse appears to have been arrested in late 2014.  It looks like the charges were somewhat serious, too.  I have no way of knowing if this means he's not into being a father.  But then, if you're a parent who ends up in the slammer, that does make it hard to be there for your kids, whether you want to be or not.  

In any case, let me reiterate that I do think it's nice that Brielle was included in the wedding ceremony.  And if Brian Scott truly loves her as if she is his own child, then I certainly approve of that.  I just question whether or not it's wise to make very public pledges the way Brian Scott did at his wedding.  Sometimes that kind of thing can backfire.  A successful marriage is not the same thing as a very moving wedding ceremony.  Marriage is a long, hard road for most people.  Kids can definitely complicate matters.  Kids from other people can complicate matters even more.  I hope they're ready for the journey ahead and no one walks away with nothing but "lovely parting gifts".       

  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Yet another sign that many politicians are morons...

This morning I found this article posted on my Facebook.

It seems that at a recent House State Affairs Committee meeting in Boise, Idaho, Republican state Representative Vito Barbieri asked if a woman could swallow a tiny camera in order to allow a doctor to conduct a remote gynecological exam.  Mr. Barbieri asked his question after the committee had heard three hours of testimony on a bill that would prohibit doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication via telemedicine.

Fortunately, a competent physician was available to educate Barbieri on how female anatomy works.  Dr. Julie Madsen, who was testifying in opposition to the bill, explained to Barbieri that swallowed pills don't end up in vaginas.

Sadly, the crowd seemed to think this was hilarious.  According to the news article, people laughed when Barbieri said "Fascinating.  That certainly makes sense."  Bear in mind that Barbieri sits on a board of a crisis pregnancy center in northern Idaho.  Barbieri voted in favor of the legislation, which proponents say would help protect women from side effects of abortion-inducing drugs.  Those against the bill, including Dr. Madsen, say that the law would restrict abortions to women living in rural areas who are already very isolated.

Barbieri says his question was rhetorical and taken out of context.  He was actually trying to demonstrate how a chemical abortion was not the same as a colonoscopy, which the doctor had said was more dangerous than a chemical abortion.  His explanation follows.

“(The doctor) made the point that you could swallow a camera and from thousands of miles away, you could detect the state of that colonoscopy … My question was then, are you saying that you can swallow a camera and get the same results? Which is of course rhetorical,” Barbieri told Russell. “But she responded that of course you can’t swallow a pill and have it end up in your vagina. So my point was made. The point is that just because a colonoscopy is more dangerous and can be done from a distance, doesn’t mean that you can examine a woman at such distances, with a camera or anything else.”

Read more at: http://www.idahopress.com/news/local/rep-vito-barbieri-defends-female-exam-question/article_d5798112-bbe9-11e4-bbbe-ef669d5ddb56.html
Get all your breaking and local news from the Idaho Press-Tribune at www.idahopress.com

Here's a video of the proceedings...


Mr. Barbieri explains himself here...

Okay... so I get his point.  I still think it's ridiculous, though, because the point Dr. Madsen was making is that chemical abortions are very safe-- even safer than a colonoscopy done remotely is.  Could a woman end up in medical trouble after taking an abortifacient?  Yes, she could.  Is it likely?  No, it's probably not.  And there are rural areas in Idaho where telemedicine means the difference between a woman getting some timely medical care or not getting any at all. 

Mr. Barbieri, obviously caring so very much about the health and safety of women, thinks that medication that induces an abortion is potentially very unsafe and women need doctors nearby to take care of them when they expel the fetus because there could be "hemorrhaging".  I hemorrhage every month when I have a period.  Moreover, if a pregnant woman lives in a remote area where telemedicine is available because there aren't any doctors around, she's going to be at an elevated risk regardless.  She could get pregnant and still miscarry, which could also cause significant bleeding.  Is Barbieri saying that pregnant women should be forced to move to areas where they can easily be seen and monitored by a physician?  Because pregnancy can also be very dangerous for some women.  

The doctor's point is that technology has made it possible for people to work together in unprecedented and safe ways.  No, a colonoscopy is not the same procedure as a chemical abortion is, but that wasn't the main idea of what Dr. Madsen was suggesting.  

Fortunately, Mr. Barbieri will never be pregnant and thus will not ever face this dilemma himself.             

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Marrying" your stepchildren...


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This was on my Facebook feed today...

In January 2014, NASCAR driver Brian Scott married Whitney Kay, mother of an adorable little girl named Brielle.  During their wedding ceremony, Scott made "vows" to Brielle, promising to commit to her.  I won't rehash exactly what he said because you can watch the video for that.  I do think it's kind of sweet that he acknowledged the little girl in their wedding, even though if you've read this blog, you may already know how I feel about things like "daddy/daughter dates" and stepdads giving their stepdaughters expensive jewelry.  At the same time, I have to wonder where little Brielle's father is and if he's alright with another man pledging to be surrogate daddy to his daughter.  

Don't get me wrong; I do admire stepfathers who are loving, supportive, and ready to step up to the plate and pitch in as the term "step" implies... but I also have respect for bio fathers, who too often are pushed out of their children's lives through no choice of their own (even as I acknowledge that there are plenty of bio dads out there who willingly walk away from their kids).  

And then I think about what would happen if the situation were reversed and Whitney Kay Scott was the childless one marrying a man with kids.  What would happen if she made "vows" to her stepchildren, provided that they would even be allowed to attend the wedding ceremony?  Wouldn't those kinds of vows offend their biological mother?  Would the public be nearly as supportive of such a gesture if it came from a stepmom?

I know that for many people, dads are pretty disposable.  A lot of people don't even know their fathers because they took off... or maybe they were tossed out of their lives like my husband was tossed out of his kids' lives.  For the record, Bill took care of his ex stepson as if he was the boy's father.  When I first met him, he referred to his former stepson his son and the lad even used Bill's surname, which he promptly ditched once he couldn't use Bill for money anymore.  

It wasn't until we knew each other better that Bill accurately explained their legal relationship to me.  I know that if his kids had even been allowed to attend our wedding-- which they certainly were not-- their mother would have had a total conniption if I had dared to make such gushy commitments to them, especially in public.  Moreover, had we been a prominent couple whose wedding was featured on The Today Show, I doubt people would be oohing and ahhhing over me making "wedding vows" to some other woman's children.  Instead, they'd be clamoring about how I should show more respect to their mother, no matter what a hostile and toxic shrew she is.

I didn't comment on this "news item" because the comments were so overwhelmingly in favor of the "happy couple" and I didn't want to invite drama; though I did notice one stepmother was brave enough to say this:  

Nope. Marriage is between the man and woman. Kids do not belong in the marriage dynamic. They are kids and their parents are responsible for them not TO them.   I'm an 17-year stepmother. Have 2 great step kids but I didn't marry them. I married their father. I helped their parents raise them.

She got a lot of nasty sniping comments for her trouble.  Another guy asked what the story with the bio dad was and a bunch of people told him it was "none of his business".  Okay... well, if it's no one's business, why is it news?  Are we only allowed to make supportive comments about this?        

Anyway, I do hope that if Brielle's biological dad is in the picture, he wasn't too hurt by this very public display.  And if he's not in the picture, I truly hope Brian Scott lives up to all the promises he's made to that little girl.  I hope he and Whitney have a long and happy marriage and he doesn't walk out of their lives... or get kicked out like my husband was.  I also hope Brielle's dad wasn't kicked out of his daughter's life.  

Unfortunately, marriage statistics are not on this couple's side, but maybe they will be an exception.  Hell... maybe I'm making assumptions.  I don't even know if Whitney was married to her daughter's father or if she had her the old fashioned way or visited a sperm donor.   Nowadays, you can't assume women who have kids also have an ex husband or boyfriend out there.  ETA:  I see Whitney was once married to another NASCAR driver, Sean Caisse, and apparently he is the father of little Brielle.  

In any case, let the record show that, no... I don't like the idea of "marrying" stepchildren.  I don't think it's the stepparent's role unless there truly is no bio parent in the picture and the stepparent intends to formally adopt the child.  I don't think it's appropriate for stepparents to lay claim to their stepchildren unless they are actually without biological parents.  But I guess I'm old fashioned that way.

Yet another unexpected windfall...

I know I have done my fair share of bitching about USAA in the past year, but yesterday they were responsible for something rather cool.  Somehow, we ended up with $2800 extra in our bank account.   At first, it looked like maybe our car insurance was canceled.  Bill called up USAA in a panic.

It turns out that because we are overseas, we can no longer get the subscriber benefits check they send out every December.  The amount you get is based on the business you do with them and how well they're doing.  For us, it usually amounts to about $200 a year and is a fraction of the amount actually accrued.  Because we aren't in the States anymore, they sent Bill all the money that was in this account based on his 30 years banking there.  The first $1000 or so went to pay for car insurance, which means we have no more car insurance bills until August.  The rest went into the bank account.

Now... I know what I wrote above makes little sense to anyone who doesn't deal with USAA.  In fact, it makes little sense to me.  But the upshot is that we ended up with an extra $2800, which can be used to pay for the new tooth I need.  If I were a religious person, I might praise God for His providence.  Since I'm not particularly religious, I'll just say we're very grateful for the assistance.  Yet again, it's a sign that coming to Germany was the right thing to do.  If we were still in the States, this wouldn't have happened, plus Bill might be underemployed or even unemployed.

This dental thing is a real puzzle.  I have no pain and very little discomfort and yet I saw the x-ray the dentist took when he stuck a pin up the fistula.  I hate to have the tooth removed and live with a hole until it heals enough for the first part of my implant.  At the same time, I know it needs to be done before things get worse.

The weather here has drastically improved, which seems to be improving my mood.  We have had sun and warmer temperatures for the past couple of days.  Hopefully, winter is about over.

This is a boring post.  Will have to find something to bitch about.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

If all goes according to plan, Georgia will execute Kelly Gissendaner tonight...

Although I lived in Georgia for about a year and a half, I can't say I followed a lot of crime cases there.  Over the past couple of weeks, there have been news articles about Kelly Gissendaner, a 46 year old woman who got her boyfriend to kidnap and kill her husband, Doug Gissendaner.  According to what I've read, back in 1997, Kelly Gissendaner was unhappy in her marriage.  She was cheating on Doug with a man named Gregory Owen.  She wanted a fresh start, but apparently didn't feel that divorce would give her the complete freedom from her ex that she sought.  Kelly asked Owen to kidnap and murder her husband.

I will admit that I don't know anything about Kelly Gissendaner or her late husband, Doug.  I do know that she is the only woman on Georgia's death row and, if she is executed tonight, will be only the second woman to die in Georgia's death chamber.  That makes me think that despite her original assurances that she was totally innocent of her crime, what she did must have been egregiously terrible.  I mean, she is definitely not the only woman in Georgia who has committed murder, but she is, for some reason, only the second to face the ultimate penalty.

From what I've read, Kelly and Doug Gissendaner were married for seven years, which she claims were very rocky.  Yet somehow she was still able to have three kids with this man that she claims wouldn't leave her alone after a divorce.  That was how she justified having him offed by her lover-- no doubt because she alleges that he was "abusive".  In one article, I read that Kelly dropped Owen off at her house before going to a party.  Seems to me that if Doug Gissendaner was that fearsome, Kelly would not have been partying on the night of his murder, which she plotted and premeditated with her boyfriend.

Kelly supposedly hoped to benefit from two $10,000 life insurance policies her husband had and their $84,000 house.  Curiously enough, Gregory Owen, who actually carried out the kidnapping, beating, and stabbing of Doug Gissendaner, was able to confess to the crime and testify against Kelly in exchange for a life sentence.    

I have a hard time believing that Kelly Gissendaner, who claims to have "found God" and is described as a "model prisoner", had anything but selfish intentions when she asked Owen to murder her husband.  At the same time, I am not a fan of the death penalty and I don't think most murder cases warrant putting someone to death, especially since the executions usually happen many years after the crime has occurred.  Kelly Gissendaner has been on death row since 1998.  She's had 17 years to redeem herself.

I read that it's highly unusual for a person like Kelly Gissendaner to be executed.  For one thing, she's a woman.  For another, there was only one murder victim.  Apparently, the death penalty was on the table because prosecutors wanted to put her away with no chance at parole.  Somehow, she ended up being sentenced to death anyway.  This is pretty tragic for her children; as of tonight, one of them will have lost both parents to homicide.  Kelly's other two kids have different fathers.

Personally, I think that executions should only be carried out in situations where public safety is an issue and they should be carried out with as little fanfare as possible.  I think they should only be done when there is no doubt of someone's guilt; that way, time and money won't be wasted on endless court appeals.  There is no doubt that Kelly Gissendaner is guilty of what Georgia will execute her for tonight.  Meanwhile, she's been sitting on death row with increased security measures for the better part of two decades.  That extra security costs a lot of money.  

Another notable detail about this case...  Kelly Gissendaner has requested an enormous last meal.



Hope she's hungry.


ETA:  Looks like Kelly Gissendaner got a few days reprieve thanks to Old Man Winter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

McDonald's, broken legs, Vienna, and people who need to check Snopes....

Last night, I looked up a woman I haven't seen or heard of since fifth grade.  I was surprised by how easy it was to find her.  I just typed her maiden name and the name of the town where we grew up.  I was surprised to find her living in a town not far from our old hometown.  I also found out that she attended the same high school my former boyfriend did.  He may even know her because they probably graduated in the same class.

This woman's name was very common in the year of our birth.  Indeed, I share her first name, but here I'll just call her "Joni".  Like me, Joni was socially awkward and considered weird.  Actually, she made me look like a social genius because she was even louder and odder than I ever was.  Joni was outgoing and smart enough, but she was strangely dressed and kind of homely.  She had very crooked teeth that didn't appear to be very well cared for and an unfortunate habit of picking her nose in class and eating her boogers in front of everyone.  When we were kids, she was very skinny, had stringy blonde hair, and a face that could be best described as interesting.  

When we were in the fourth grade, I remember playing kickball with Joni.  Our teacher at the time, Mr. A , was big on taking us out for recess if time allowed.  These were the glorious days before the No Child Left Behind Act.  One day, we were playing kickball and Joni, being kind of gangly and uncoordinated, stepped up to the plate.  The ball rolled toward her.  She kicked at it, missed entirely, and fell to the ground with a solid thud.  On impact with the dirt, Joni's leg made a sickening cracking sound and she started howling in agony.  At the time back in 1981, there was a McDonald's commercial that used the voice talents of Frank Nelson, a guy who would say "Yeeeeeees...." all time time.  That's what Joni sounded like when she hit the ground and started screaming.



Frank Nelson does a 1981 McDonald's ad...  



At the very end of this ad, you can hear Nelson say "Yes" in the same manner Joni screamed that day when her leg broke.

Poor thing.  I actually remember people laughing and saying that Joni sounded like the McDonald's guy at the scene of her injury.  She was not well-regarded by our classmates.  I don't remember being especially unkind to her, though I also don't remember being her buddy.  People were mean to me too, though, and I think I might have had a smidge of empathy... though I probably also felt relief that someone other than me was being picked on.

Anyway, Mr. A got help for her and, after about a week, she came back to school with a canvas cast that covered her whole leg.  She used crutches for months and I remember her wearing what she called a "rocking shoe".  I even remember her spiritedly telling someone about the rocking shoe when he was teasing her about it.  She was a girl with a surprising amount of pluck and resilience, especially for her age.

I might have felt snarky toward Joni the way our classmates did, but I too suffered an accident while in Mr. A's class.  In my case, it just involved being knocked unconscious by a soccer ball kicked by Mr. A.  That was a very embarrassing incident, but at least I recovered from it quickly.

The following year, Joni was in my fifth grade class.  That year, I witnessed another classmate getting hurt, though this time, it wasn't Joni.  It was another person who, at the time, was a friend of mine.  We were in PE class and she was climbing the bleachers when her leg slipped between the seat and the foot board.  She tore a huge gash in her leg, right by her knee.  I remember all the blood and our gym teacher (not Mr. A, though he did become a gym teacher at that school that year) picking her up in his arms and rushing her to the office where someone called an ambulance.  This girl's bleacher accident also happened right in front of me and it reminded of me of when Joni broke her leg.  My other injured classmate screamed, but she didn't sound like Frank Nelson.  She, too, used crutches for weeks afterwards.

One of my last clear memories of Joni was at Christmas time.  We had a gift exchange and Joni drew my name.  On the day of the gift exchange, the teacher asked me to come speak with her out in the hall.  While we were out there, she handed me a present, which turned out to be a little Smurf pin.  I think it depicted Papa Smurf grinning and holding a flower.  She said she had bought it for me because Joni had drawn my name and she knew the present Joni was going to give me would suck.  She didn't phrase it that way, of course, but that was the basic gist of what she was saying.  I think I remember her telling me that Joni's family didn't have any money or something to that effect.  I believed it, having been in school with Joni for a couple of years.

Sure enough, when it came time for gift exchanges, I got Joni's gift wrapped in rumpled notebook paper.  It was a Christmas ornament that we'd all made in class and hers was painted several different non-complementary colors.  Since the teacher had prepared me, I managed to accept the gift gracefully.  And though I was never a fan of the Smurfs, it took many years before I could bring myself to get rid of that little Smurf pin that my teacher had bought for me.  To this day, I still have the same luck when it comes to secret gift exchanges.  I always get the person who buys me booze and then drinks it all before they present it to me (yes, this did actually happen to me once when I worked at a country club).

After fifth grade, Joni moved away.  I didn't know where she went and, in time, even forgot all about her.  But then someone on Facebook posted one of those class pictures and I saw her in it, again reminding me that she was part of my childhood.  I looked up Joni because I was curious about where she is and how she's doing.  It looks like she's doing fine.  I was a little dismayed to find out that she's already a grandmother.  Since we are the same age, I hate the idea that I'm old enough to have grandchildren... but hell, I guess I am.  I see that she's still awkward looking, but apparently has a lot of friends, a loving family, and a good sense of humor.

I even saw that she was brave enough to post photos from her early childhood.  I actually remembered some of the photos because they were of a scholastic nature and I was around for them.  She even had one that had the full on face shot with the heavenly profile side shot above it, ever popular in the early 80s.  She had on a very frumpy looking dress that looked like it might have belonged to her mother.  One friend asked if she was Amish and her reply was a light-hearted, matter-of-fact response that that was how her parents dressed her.  I was glad to see that she looks happy enough as an adult despite our miserable elementary school days.

In other news...    

Yet another person shared George Carlin's "Paradox of our Time" on my Facebook wall.  This time, it was my former English professor.  I started to write her a note to tell her that George didn't write "Paradox of our Time", but then I decided it wasn't worth my getting upset about it.  So I hid the post...  but then I was left sitting there thinking about all the English papers she had graded over the years.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed that she, of all people, didn't take a minute to check Snopes.  Then I was left marveling about how something like a misattributed essay can get my blood pressure to spiking.  I probably ought to get a life.

Bill and I had another champagne bucket drawing.  We will be taking our next trip to Vienna.  When we will do this, I don't know.  Maybe we will go in April.  We probably should save the money for my tooth, but I need regular trips to keep my spirits up.  Besides, I have been dying to see Vienna with Bill.  It's a really beautiful city.

And finally, Alexis, I discovered this Christian singer yesterday.  Her name is Candy Hemphill Christmas.  Christmas is her married name.  Can you imagine going by the name Candy Christmas when you're a gospel singer?  Will have to research more about her because I am certain a blog post will ensue.  For now, click here for info on how to book Candy Christmas for your next event. 


Check out the hair and dress!  That brings back memories.  She has a really pretty voice, though.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Melanie Griffith earns new respect from yours truly...



Just caught this interview on Yahoo!

I can't say I was ever a big fan of Melanie Griffith's.  I look at her face and think she's spent way too much time with a plastic surgeon.  Despite that, however, I have newfound respect for her after watching her interact with her daughter, Dakota Johnson, at the Oscars.  Johnson, as you probably know, stars in 50 Shades of Grey, a film based on the popular trilogy of books about BDSM.


In this interview, Melanie is very proud of Dakota, but states she won't be seeing her in her movie...

I will admit that I haven't read the books or seen the movie.  I find BDSM interesting, but I heard that the writing of 50 Shades of Grey was horrible; plus, it started out as fan fiction for the Twilight series, which truly does not interest me.  People I know and trust have advised me to avoid the books, too.  Even my dentist in Texas said it sucked, even though it's making scads of money.  

But even if the books and the movies were truly excellent and inspirational, I can't blame Melanie Griffith for not wanting to see her daughter on the silver screen, being portrayed in a BDSM relationship.  I think it would be very disturbing for a loving mom to watch that.  Maybe it wouldn't be disturbing to a mother who is herself into BDSM-- but even that seems like it would be really weird.  I can't imagine being someone's parent and seeing my child act out BDSM-- especially when many people seem to think the brand of BDSM that is being portrayed in that film is more like domestic abuse than a kinky relationship involving people exchanging power.


Here's Melanie being interviewed by Mario Lopez (aka AC Slater)...

I think Melanie Griffith's reaction to her daughter's film is perfectly natural and very respectable.  It sounds to me like she's proud of her girl, but doesn't want to see her girl in a role that makes her feel uncomfortable as a mother.  Melanie explains that it would be too "awkward" to see Dakota being tied up and spanked on the silver screen.  Good for her for keeping it real!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vagina yogurt...

Okay, this is really pretty gross; but since someone alerted me to it right before breakfast and, well, I have been known to write about things like guys with two dicks and women who knit from their vaginas, I figure I might as well comment on the woman who made yogurt from her vaginal secretions.  Yes, if you managed to follow that very long first sentence, you read that right.  

Cecilia Westbrook, a MD/PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, got the idea to make yogurt with her vaginal secretions while discussing with a friend the probiotic properties of a vagina.  Apparently-- though I was blissfully unaware of this before this morning-- there are a lot of recipes that call for semen and people have even written cookbooks.  Strangely enough, though you can find a recipe for a mojito that uses cum, the ladies found nothing on Google indicating that anyone had ever tried to use vaginal secretions in food.

Westbrook determined that if men can use cum to make mixed drinks or desserts, women should be able to use their secretions in the same way.  Westbrook even took pains to turn her culinary exploration of vaginal secretions into a scientifically sound experiment.  Noting that the vagina is full of lactobacillus and that is what is used to culture cheese, milk, and yogurt, Westbrook figured that at least theoretically, this experiment of hers would work.  She also surmised that the yogurt would even be good for her digestive health.

I'm not going to rehash all that was in the original article about this phenomenon, except to point out that besides lactobacillus, the vagina is also home to a lot of other organisms, some of which are harmful.  It's also dangerously close to the asshole, where all the nasty, stinky stuff comes out after the body is through with it.  I'm not really a big fan of yogurt to start with, though I recognize it has its merits.  In Armenia, it was touted as a cure for everything.  Of course, now that I've read about cooking with cum and vaginal secretions, I'm going to think of that whenever I see yogurt.  So much for enjoying my next Greek meal with t'zatziki!


Here's a Dannon yogurt ad from 1977 where very old people from the Republic of Georgia tout how good yogurt is for the body...

As for the cookbooks that call for semen, I haven't actually used or even read one yet.  In fact, I just learned of their existence today.  However, they get good ratings on Amazon.com and may be good to  look at if only for the hysterical reviews some people have written.  I might be tempted to order either of the two books below, but I'm definitely not brave enough to try any of the recipes.  I am pretty certain my weak stomach would prevent me from taste testing a "Macho Mojito", even though I happen to like mojitos as a general rule.



A video on how to make a "Macho Mojito" with semen...

Bon appetit!




Saturday, February 21, 2015

My niece is gone... and a trilogy of book reviews about sexual fantasies...

And I kind of miss her already.  She's a lot of fun to talk to and an excellent house guest.  The dogs loved meeting her, too.

We took her to the train station this afternoon and then went to Ludwigsburg, where I proceeded to get very "hangry".  If you're the slightest bit interested in that story, you can read it here.  Suffice to say that irritability caused by hunger is a very real thing for me.  Fortunately, Mr. Bill can tell when I need food and doesn't fuck around too much.

I could probably find something to vent about, but I'm not really in the mood right now.  Instead, I think I'll repost a trilogy of reviews of books by Nancy Friday.  Everybody likes a good sex book review, right?  Well, here are three.  Happy reading.

Nice girls think about sex too.

 Aug 20, 2003 (Updated Aug 20, 2003)
Review by    is a Top Reviewer on Epinions in Books
Rated a Very Helpful Review

    Pros:This book introduced me to the art of sexual fantasy.


    Cons:It was published in the 70s, the year after I was born.


    The Bottom Line:Step into the garden and pluck a few fragrant blossoms.

    I remember the first time I read Nancy Friday's 1973 book My Secret Garden. I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school, still quite virginal, and full of questions about sex. As the youngest daughter of two quite conservative (but tired) parents, I suppose I could have talked to one of my three sisters about sexuality. But they are a lot older than I am and none of them were living close by. Besides, it's not the kind of topic that comes up easily, no matter how brazen and brash a person you might be. How does one bring up sexual fantasies in a casual conversation anyway? It's the type of thing one talks about at a slumber party or in a game of truth or dare, maybe. I wasn't the kind of teenager who went to parties. So it was lucky that I happened upon My Secret Garden at Waldenbooks one day. Swallowing my embarrassment, I picked it up and took it to the counter, trying very hard not to look at the cashier as she rung up my purchase. Then I rushed out of the store and went home to read it. A few weeks later, I misplaced the book, but I was so engrossed by it, that I went out and bought another copy. I still own that copy and I've supplemented it with many of Friday's other books. I'd have to say that of the five I've read, I enjoy this one and Men in Love, Friday's book about men's sexual fantasies the most.

    The Foreword is written by someone who calls herself "J", who is the author of Sensuous Woman (whatever that is). The style is of her prose is matter-of-fact, complete with the "F-word", as she describes how sexually liberated women feel about the act of having sex in the 70s and their reaction to Friday's book about women's sexual fantasies. She writes:

    I suspect that women generally will be fascinated by the revelations in this book, but not surprised. Nor will these readers have trouble in acknowledging that they too fantasize. Those women, however, who consider sexual intercourse unpleasant and/or unsatisfying will be revolted by the explicit and enthusiastically carnal sexual daydreams of the women in this book and will reject and deny their own fantasies both to the world and to themselves. And how will the male react? The first man I gave My Secret Garden to was so turned on by the book that he went on a lovemaking marathon. (xiii).

    In my experience "J" was right. I was fascinated by this book, but I wasn't surprised by what I read. However, I found Friday's 1981 book Men in Love, which contains men's sexual fantasies, a huge turn on. I suppose we humans all like to know what makes the opposite gender tick sexually. Reading My Secret Garden was kind of like attending a big confessional full of horny women where everyone shared their deepest fantasies of what fanned their flames.

    Friday's writing style is like a documentary, but she only writes at the beginning of each chapter. The rest of the writing is done by the many, many women who sent her letters, detailing the gamut of their sexual fantasies. This book is divided into seven chapters. Within the seven chapters are subchapters that address certain themes.

    The afterword is entitled "In Defense of Nancy Friday", by Martin Shepard, M.D., Psychiatrist. Since this book obviously covers a controversial subject that is disturbing to some conservative people, not to mention sub-topics that will most definitely upset more liberal folks, Nancy Friday probably did need to be defended back in 1973. She might even need it now, thirty years later, for including a subchapter on young boys (even if it is just fantasy, including this section probably concerned a few people). Even though some of the topics were not my cup of tea, I did find it interesting to read about what turns other women on just from a purely psychological standpoint, which is the way Friday endeavors to tackle the subject. I have to admit, though, that some of the reading was pretty entertaining and quite sexy. Besides, if people were really disgusted by this book, it wouldn't still be around after thirty years.

    If you compared this book to say, Kink: The Shocking Hidden Sex Lives of Americans, by Susan Crain Bakos (see my review), a ridiculous read if I ever met one, you'd immediately notice that My Secret Gardenis a far superior book. You will also notice, however, that this book is quite dated. The slang used is 70s slang. If you're in your 30s or 40s or older, you'll recognize 70s pop cultural references sprinkled within the letters. Some might say that makes this book a classic, and some might say that makes this book dated. For her part, Friday has come out with 1992's Women on Top, another book about sexual fantasies and 1975's Forbidden Flowers, her sequel to My Secret Garden to partially address the dated quality of her books. I don't think either is as good as My Secret Garden. Read this book if you're curious about what makes women tick and you have an open mind. If you're easily offended, you might want to skip this book and keep wondering. 

    Come back to the garden

     May 26, 2005 (Updated May 26, 2005)
    Review by    is a Top Reviewer on Epinions in Books
    Rated a Very Helpful Review

      Pros:Friday offers interesting insights about women's sexual fantasies.


      Cons:Some of the material might be distasteful to certain readers.


      The Bottom Line:I'm glad I no longer come to the garden alone.

      The following review is likely to contain frank sexual content. If that sort of thing bothers you, please skip reading this review!

      The year was 1973. I was a baby, having just been born in June of 1972. Author Nancy Friday was making waves with her best selling book, My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies. All around the world, men and women alike were reading and identifying with the women who had bared their souls writing about their favorite sexual fantasies. All around the world, many of those same people were saying to themselves, "Thank God I'm not alone." My Secret Garden related the sexual fantasies of dozens of women and included an array of erotic subjects, from what might be considered an everyday rape fantasy to more exotic fantasies involving incest, young boys, and animals... just to name a few. One might think that with subject matter so explicit during the dark ages before the Internet, a lot of potential readers might be blushing too much to consider buying the book, let alone reading it. But My Secret Garden was a huge success, so much so that in 1975, Nancy Friday came out with a sequel: Forbidden Flowers: More Women's Sexual Fantasies.

      My first contact with both My Secret Garden and Forbidden Flowers was when I was a 17 year old senior in high school. It was 1990 and at the time, I was just starting to awaken to sex and being a woman. I have to confess that I practically devoured My Secret Garden and I was left hungry for more tales of women's sexual fantasies. I had already purchased My Secret Garden twice-- I lost the first copy, no doubt making some other teenager's day-- and somehow summoned up the courage to buy it a second time. And of course, when I later saw Forbidden Flowers on the shelf, I felt compelled to buy it. So I brought the book up to the cashier, trying to act naturally. I paid for it without incident. And now, almost sixteen years later, I still own my original copy of that book. The pages are yellowed, the cover is missing, and Forbidden Flowers is still a very intriguing book. But I have to admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed My Secret Garden.

      Forbidden Flowers is divided into two parts. The first part, which comes after an introduction written by Nancy Friday herself, is entitled Where Do Sexual Fantasies Come From?. The second part is entitled The Uses of Sexual Fantasy. Both parts are followed by several chapters with somewhat vague subjects. Friday includes the first names of each fantasy writer's name. Nancy Friday introduces each chapter before she presents the fantasies, writing in a candid, matter-of-fact style. She succinctly explains her point of view, liberally citing studies done by well-known psychiatrists and psychologists.

      Personally, I found Nancy Friday's analysis quite perceptive; thirty years ago, I'm sure that to some people Friday's thoughts might have even seemed revolutionary... or just merely repugnant. Consider this. On page 15, Friday briefly writes of a study done by Dr. Arnold Gesell, who was observing infant behavior. As paraphrased fron the book, Dr. Gesell placed a naked fifty-six week old boy in front of a mirror and found that the boy was excited by the sight of his own body. Dr. Gesell took a photograph of the naked boy, whose penis was erect. Friday concludes that since this little boy, who was barely a year old, could have an erotic experience, it's only natural that little girls, who are supposedly more precocious than little boys are, can also have sexual experiences. Friday writes,

      And yet the idead is still unacceptable to most people. Childhood is pictured as a time of ribbons, fairy tales, and lemonade. Adults notoriously forget that they were once children too; they close off their minds to early sexual memories-- those embarrassing or shameful events connected perhaps with anxieties about masturbation. I am not suggesting that the sugar and spice of little girls' childhoods are only a false facade. That aspect is real. But so is our sexuality (15-16).

      I think Friday is right about adults being uncomfortable with the prospect that children might think about sex. After all, our society loathes the idea that a child's innocence might be warped by a subject that as supposed to be as "adult" as sex is. Just reading that passage led me to think about the ugliness of pedophilia, even though what Friday wrote had nothing to do with child sexual abuse and everything to do with how natural the acts of sex and masturbation are-- or should be, anyway. Plain and simple, the message that I got from Nancy Friday is that thinking about sex is healthy and natural, even for kids. But I still couldn't help but be somewhat uncomfortable reading that passage.

      Friday further explains that after she wrote My Secret Garden, she received over 2000 letters from other women who had sent her their sexual fantasies. She explains that the women who had written to her came from all walks of life-- there were letters from educated and less educated women. As a result of reading the letters, Friday was left with the impression that sexual fantasies usually come from childhood memories.

      Part One includes four chapters of fantasies written by women whose stories related specifically to their childhoods. The fantasies are presented simply with the original authors' name and they are written in their original authors' voices, complete with "colorful" language. I will offer a warning to those who have delicate sensibilities that the fantasies appear to have been included unedited for anything beyond punctuation and grammar. Most of the fantasies are quite explicit and provocative. In My Secret Garden, Nancy Friday grouped the fantasies by subject matter, which made it easier for readers to skip sections that they might find objectionable. For example, if a reader didn't want to read about women who had fantasized about having sex with virgins the person could easily skip that section because Friday had clearly marked it. Friday did not group the fantasies the same way in Forbidden Flowers, so it might be harder for readers to pick and choose what they read in her book.

      When I was 17, I was more interested in reading the sexual fantasies. Now that I'm almost twice that age, I find Friday's analysis more interesting than the fantasies. Friday seems genuinely interested in presenting an intellectual commentary on why women have certain fantasies. I suspect that some folks who read Forbidden Flowers will be reading it just for sake of titillation. For those readers who want to dig deeper, I would urge that they read Nancy Friday's sections and consider what she has to say. Even if they don't agree with the author's point of view, the ideas that Friday presents are certainly food for thought.

      Forbidden Flowers is definitely not a book that will appeal to everyone. I think that those who are interested in psychology, particularly if they are interested in pop psychology will enjoy Forbidden Flowers. Of course, I believe that this book will also appeal to many men... especially those who want to understand women better. Women who need reassurance that having sexual fantasies are normal may be comforted by Forbidden Flowers. I would not recommend this book if the subject of sex is an uncomfortable one for you. Also, understand that some of the subject matter within this book is not about your garden variety sex. Friday presents sexual fantasies of every flavor, no matter how distasteful they might be to the average reader. Read at your own risk!

      Nancy Friday's website: http://www.nancyfriday.com


      Oh my.... (blush)

       Jul 23, 2004 (Updated May 26, 2005)
      Review by    is a Top Reviewer on Epinions in Books
      Rated a Very Helpful Review

        Pros:A fascinating and well written look at what turns men on.


        Cons:May be too frank and explicit for some readers.


        The Bottom Line:This book is not for delicate types... but if you can take the heat, Men in Love probably won't disappoint you.

        This review is of a book that contains frank, sexual content. If that is a turn off for you, you may want to skip reading this review.

        I first picked up Nancy Friday's book Men in Love (1980) about fourteen years ago, just after I read her breakthrough book about women's sexual fantasies My Secret Garden and its sequel, Forbidden Flowers. At the time, I was a freshman in college and very interested in sex, although I wasn't partaking of any at the time. Nancy Friday's books about women's sexual fantasies were eyeopeners for me, but Men in Love: Men's Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love Over Rage was particularly enlightening-- or at least it was at the time. Remember, back in 1990, we didn't have the internet so readily at our disposal!

        In Men in Love: Men's Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love Over Rage, I got to find out what turns men on in their own words. I should mention that I once had a pocket paperback version of this book, but somehow it disappeared. I ended up replacing it with a nicer version of the paperback- one that was published in 1998 with bigger print for my aging eyes.

        The first sentence of Chapter One reads "This is a book about men who love women." (1). Reading through some of these sexual fantasies may not leave the average woman with the belief that all of the men who contributed their fantasies to this book "love women". In fact, when I read one of the fantasies aloud to a friend of mine, she said "My God! That man is a misogynist! Look at how much hatred of women that fantasy reveals!" I will agree with her that some of the fantasies included in Men in Love are violent, disgusting, and even disturbing. However, it's important to remember when reading this book is that these are fantasies and as such, they don't generally have any basis in reality. As Friday writes,

        "a fantasy is a map of desire, mastery, escape, and obscuration; the navigational path we invent to steer ourselves between the reefs and shoals of anxiety, guilt, and inhibition. It is a work of consciousness, but in reaction to unconscious pressures" (1).

        And yes, some of the fantasies are pretty bizarre, but again, fantasies don't have to be garden variety or "normal". I daresay that if Friday had included a bunch of "normal" fantasies about missionary position sex, her book would not have sold very well at all. People don't want to read about run of the mill stuff-- they are attracted to the weird. Friday further writes,

        "While the sexual fantasies of many men were a pleasure and easily available to my emotions right from the start, others disgusted and frightened me. Many seemed outpourings from macho braggarts out to shock or trap me in filth. I was like the Victorian husband who encourages his wife to tell all. When she does, he leaves her." (3).

        Nancy Friday enlisted the aid of Dr. Robert Robertiello, a psychoanalyst, in reading the sexual fantasies. Robertiello apparently helped Friday interpret the entries, lent his professional opinions, and challenged her to question his own opinions. She also consulted Dr. Leah Schaefer and Dr. Sirgay Sanger, two other psychoanalysts. There's no doubt in my mind that their help was invaluable in this endeavor. There are fantasies about every imaginable thing. However, Friday reports that bar none, the most popular theme was that of a "weak" woman being intimidated and forced by a man into doing something naughty and delicious, being raped repeatedly, but then losing her guilt and taking pleasure in the acts that had once seemed so forbidden to her (6). Interestingly enough, Friday reports that "rape" was also the most popular theme among women, although she hastens to add "I've yet to meet a woman who wouldn't run a mile from a real rapist" (6). She adds that men's fantasies about women truly being overpowered are actually not so common. More often, if one reads carefully, he or she will find that the woman offered consent at some point.

        Anyway, I'm sure at least some of you who are reading this review are interested in the fantasies-- as in, what's included in this book. Men in Love consists of twenty-two chapters on different themes, the vast majority of which contain fantasies. Topics included in this book vary from relatively tame-- ie; masturbation and virgins to slightly wilder-- ie; oral sex, anal sex, homosexuals, bisexuals, semen, and sharing and living out fantasies, to wilder still-- ie; fetishism, women with women, groups, straight men, gay fantasies, women making men have sex, voyeurs and exhibitionists, sharing the woman with another man, to pretty far out and raunchy-- ie; water sports, animals, transvestites, breast and vagina envy, and the ever popular sadomasochism.

        Friday identifies each of the owners of the fantasies with a first name and then the fantasy is written out in first person voice, so that it's if the man himself is telling the story of what makes him hot. In each fantasy, the subject includes information about his educational and religious background as well as a few other personal details. Friday has included fantasies from men of all walks of life, including men in prison and very professional men. The personal details are helpful in allowing the reader to determine from where the fantasies originate in the subject's psyche. In each chapter and generally between some of the fantasies, Friday offers her own psychoanalysis and comments about the fantasy and what it means. Some of what she writes is interesting, although her comments are generally not terribly in-depth, and I give Friday credit for writing well and providing a fairly intelligent analysis of her subject matter. But of course, her commentary is really secondary to what's fascinating about this book.

        I have to be honest here; it seems that Friday almost had these men write her book for her. She's in somewhat of a secondary role, because I suspect that most people who read this book aren't so concerned with what Friday has to say-- they're interested in what turns these men on and, more than likely, what turns them on is also titillating to the readers. Friday's comments, then, might be considered filler by some people. It wouldn't surprise me if some readers of this book have a favorite section that they re-visit over and over again because they too are excited by the subject matter, and the other sections, after a first reading, go neglected because they aren't as personally thrilling.

        To some people, this book will be no more than whacking material. To others, it will be a valuable psychology textbook that provides fascinating insight into the act of sex. Those of you who are turned off by frank, graphically detailed sexual content, foul language (including nasty euphemisms for male and female genitalia), and content about sexual situations that are frankly, quite unorthodox, should probably steer clear of Men in Love. Those of you who can handle the explicit content and language and are genuinely interested in the subject matter will probably really enjoy this book and may learn something as well.

        I think that ultimately, women can learn a lot from this book about members of the opposite gender... and men can learn that they're not necessarily freaks for having sexual fantasies. Men in Love is a generous accounting of men's sexual fantasies. I appreciate the fact that Friday has covered a broad range of topics and she has included so many fantasies by so many different types of men. Personally, I've found this book to be fascinating reading, especially now that I'm more mature and can look beyond the obvious titillation factor. But again, this book is not for the easily offended or the squeamish. Some of the fantasies are literally filthy and may disgust even the most hardened reader. And no, there are no pictures included in this book. Everything is left up to your imagination. This may be a good or bad feature of this book, depending on your viewpoint.

        I almost forgot to add... Nancy Friday invites men and women to contribute to her research. She also welcomes comments about her books. An address and link to her website are included in the back of this book, along with a guarantee of anonymity.

        Nancy Friday's website: http://www.nancyfriday.com

        Friday, February 20, 2015

        Cheesy 80s era law and medical shows...

        I got bored yesterday and started reminiscing about the truly crappy TV that was on during the daytime back in the 80s.  There were a slew of court shows like Divorce Court, The Peoples' Court, Superior Court and a curious dramatized invention called The Judge.

        I actually found a video of The Judge on YouTube.  This was a very cheesy show that starred the late Bob Shields as Judge Robert J. Franklin, who prayed each day that God would give him the courage to always temper justice with mercy.



        This is too contrived for words, but it passed for entertainment when I was a teenager.

        "Judge Franklin" presided over dramatized actual court cases.  The acting was over the top and overly saccharine.  Sometimes the shows were interesting enough.  At least Judge Franklin was nicer than Judge Judy is.  The Judge was actually a local show in an Ohio market for many years before it turned into a successful syndicated program.


        The Peoples' Court starring the one and only Judge Wapner...  This was the mother of all court TV shows.

        The Peoples' Court was a very popular show back in the day, though most of the cases had to do with small claims.  I preferred court cases with a little more drama.  


        A promo for Superior Court, which was also a dramatized court show, though not as comfortingly cheesy as The Judge was.


        First part of an episode of Superior Court.  I love the dramatic theme music.

        In the 80s, there was also a very low budget show about medicine called Family Medical Center.  It starred three actors posing as family doctors.  A lot of the cases had to do with couples or kids and each case ended with the patient making a full recovery.  I remember one episode was about a 16 year old girl named Chelsea Greene (played by Julie Condra, who was later on The Wonder Years).  She was a dancer with anorexia nervosa.  She had an intense father, a weepy mother, and a difficult older sister who caused grief in the family.  My guess is that whomever wrote the script read Steven Levenkron's book, The Best Little Girl In The World.  That same book made a convenient basis for an old episode of Fame, also having to do with anorexia.


        Fame episode about anorexia nervosa.

        It doesn't seem like the 80s were that long ago, but shit-- that episode of Fame was originally broadcast about 30 years ago!  Putting that in perspective, in 1985, 30 years ago meant 1955!  1955 seemed like eons before 1985, but 1985 does not seem to be like eons ago in 2015.  But maybe it's because I'm now getting old.  Still, while I can imagine some of these lurid, tawdry 80s era shows on TV today, they never would have seen the light of day in 1955.

        There was another, even cheesier, show in the 80s called Group One Medical.  But it was so unmemorable that I've only found mere mentions of it online.  I remember it to be a drier version of Family Medical Center, which at least had a soap opera thing going for it.

        Nowadays, you get Dr. Phil and The Doctors on day TV.  And Judge Judy, of course, is still around.  I find her show pretty unbearable to watch because she's so rude to people.  On the other hand, sometimes people ask for her rudeness by being colossally stupid or self-centered.

        Divorce Court is still on TV, though it's not like it was in the 80s.  In the 80s, Divorce Court was dramatized.  Nowadays, it seems to be about real cases.


        Oh my GOD... this 80s version episode of Divorce Court is just cheesier than words!  


        This is a much more recent episode.  Note the differences!

        It's probably a good thing I don't have access to TV here.  I'd probably spend way too much time watching trash.  It's bad enough I can hit up YouTube for garbage from the 80s.  


           

        Thursday, February 19, 2015

        Taking a stand against overbearing parents...

        In the last couple of days, I've read a couple of stories about overbearing parents against whom adult children had to take a stand.  The first story was on RfM.  It was written by a woman whose in-laws are LDS and have taken intrusiveness to an art form.  Poster tiredofhiding wrote of her husband's parents, particularly her husband's mother, being nasty, passive-aggressive, and overly nosey on Facebook.  The poster wrote that she and her husband had decided they didn't want to identify as LDS anymore, so they changed their religion status on Facebook.  MIL was upset about that and sent an email, demanding to know why they were "ashamed" to be Mormon.

        Soon, the poster and her husband were having a very uncomfortable conversation with the in-laws.  Apparently, the first reaction to come was tears from MIL.  But then, things got more heated and ugly, with FIL leaving a voicemail demanding that his son call him "Sir" and telling his son to "get moving".  FIL ends his message with "I will not tolerate this any longer".  He demands this of his grown son who is a military veteran and is completely on his own with his own family.  But evidently, Dad thinks he has the right to order his grown son around and demand that he call him "Sir".  Talk about a complete lack of respect.  Of course, I look at that demand and think that FIL was desperately trying to maintain control of his son.  It wasn't working, so he tried to lay down the law, as it were.

        Sadly, it appears that because of his parents' bullheadedness and overbearing attitude, tiredofhiding and her husband have cut off all communication until further notice.  I can't blame them for that.  I don't think people should be forced to communicate with abusive people, even if they happen to be blood relatives.  At the same time, I think it's very sad that things had to come to this.  A little mutual respect and common courtesy on the part of the parents would have likely worked miracles in that relationship.  Maybe someday they can mend fences.

        Then this morning, I read about a woman in Australia who is estranged from her parents.  She was engaged to be married and her parents, who had evidently been the source of a lot of pain, were demanding that she invite them to her wedding.  The woman decided to send them an "uninvitation" instead.  She typed it up in beautiful calligraphy and printed it on expensive paper, then sent it via the post.  She also posted it on Facebook for the world to see and now it's news.

        I'm not sure how I feel about this situation.  On one hand, I kind of admire Alyssa's nerve and her sense of humor.  It can be very satisfying to publicly tell someone who's hurt you to fuck off.  At the same time, I have a soft spot for parents... and there's no way to know what her parents' side of the story is.  It also seems a bit tacky to air something like this on Facebook so it goes viral and becomes international "news".  But then, who am I to comment on propriety?

        Anyway, I hope Alex and Alyssa have a happy and long lasting marriage.  And I hope that they have peace, however they can find it.

        I think in most parent/child relationships, there comes a time when adult children have to take a stand.  I did with my dad when I was 34 years old.  He called me one day while Bill was in Iraq and started lecturing me about being jobless.  At the time, we were a couple of months away from moving to Germany the first time.  But my dad wanted to know why I wasn't looking for work.

        I ended up telling him it was none of his business.  He was shocked.  I was pretty angry about it, too. I really let him have it and reminded him that I was a grown, married woman and how I spend my time was not his affair.  To my dad's credit, he took that information pretty well.  Unfortunately, not long after that, he sunk into dementia.  I'm not sorry I took a stand, though.  It's a healthy step in any person's life, even if it can lead to ugly confrontations.

         






        Wednesday, February 18, 2015

        My niece is visiting...

        And I must admit, it's fun having her here.  She's a pretty cool chick.  I have mostly been hanging out with her today, so I don't have much to write today... other than it's fun to compare notes on people we know.

        The dogs are enjoying having someone new around.  Zane especially loves company.



        Tuesday, February 17, 2015

        One cool dad...

        I've been travel blogging up a storm today, so today I'm going to keep it short and sassy...



        Why didn't I think of this to play at my wedding?


        Monday, February 16, 2015

        Home again...

        I'm writing my trip report on my travel blog.  I will have to be careful about sharing it with people in Stuttgart (I say this sarcastically) because last week, some dim witted twit said "no one cares about my blog".  Actually, the post she was referring to is currently one of my most popular of all time on any of my blogs.  I probably have her to thank for it, too, because her stupid bullshit drove people to look at the blog just to see what all the bitching was about.

        I wasn't going to blog about Hello Fresh again, but some developments have come about that may entice me to update again.  For now, though, I am focusing on our trip to Regensburg, which just ended today.  We had a great time.  But then we came home and found the estimate for the new implant I may be getting in my mouth.  The whole damn thing was in German...  I got three letters with estimates of 1750 euros for the fake crown, 1650 euros for the abutment, and another 2000+ euros for the sinus lift surgery.  The dentist did say that the costs would not go over what the estimate is.  I hope he is being truthful, because he estimates this new tooth could cost us up to 5500 euros.

        Given that the dollar is now competing more favorably with the euro than it once was, this isn't so bad...  And we do have insurance and I have a compelling case for needing this work done.  I mean, I could get a bridge and ruin a perfectly good "virgin" tooth.  Or I could try to get the baby tooth root canaled, which is liable to fail in the long run.  Or I could just live with a big gap.  Not like anyone ever sees me anyway...

        But Bill, bless his heart, thinks I should go on and get the implant.  In the long run, it's probably worth doing.  I dread the process and the expense.  I would have liked to have done some fun traveling in the coming months.  I guess we can still do that, but we may have to relax and scale down a bit.  So maybe we'll see a lot of Germany, which isn't a bad thing.  We did have fun over the weekend and we enjoyed Hamburg last month.

        And hopefully, Bill's contract will continue...  I'm sure it will, but you can never be 100% sure.

        Guess SeaDream and Hebridean will have to wait til next year.