Fran seems to think I forgot that she gifted me with an excellence in blogging award, clearly after a round of stiff drinks, or perhaps my mom sent her a check in the mail.
Whatever the reason, I humbly accept her award and will now pass it on to some deserving recipients, and some undeserving ones. I will leave it to your discretion to decide which is which. (I haven't included some which have been excellent in the past, but which have since stopped or dramatically reduced production.)
Also, it appears that Miss Muffin may have been unfairly maligned in the previous post. When Dilf went into the laundry room yesterday, he noticed he had put the litter box lid on backwards so that the door faced the wall rather than out into the room. Kitty had no entrance into her litter box while we were gone, and did what she had to do, I guess.
Out of the Woodwork, Cowards! I Know You're There!
As Dilf and I strolled the beautiful beaches of Carmel this weekend, one song kept creeping unexpectedly into my thoughts:
Yes, the pain of adolescence never goes away. It keeps gnawing at you and gnawing at you until you die. For me, Huey Lewis is that pain that returns, unbidden and unwanted, time and time again.
In the 1980's, Huey music was everywhere. In the movies, on the radio, on television. There was no escape then, and there is none now for those of us scarred and indelibly marked by the horror that was Huey Lewis and the News. I wasn't a fan, I never bought an album, I tried desperately to change the station when they came onto the radio every 10 seconds... yet they are in my brain, never leaving, never showing mercy. Curse you, Huey Lewis and your evil cohorts, The News!
The thing that kills me is that no one now will own up to buying, liking or even listening to them. So how did it happen? How did the unctuous ugliness of that band seep into our nation's pores and erupt into pernicious pustules that continue to erupt even to this day, spewing poison into happy moments of spousal togetherness? Somebody was buying and listening. Vast numbers, even. Come out and show yourselves! I know you weren't listening to the Pixies back then! Liars! And don't even make me think about Phil Collins...
Encephalitic Tweety Bird I hate you With your contrived speech impediment And your whiny, baby voice I wish that cat would eat you Protein is good for kitties That's about all you're good for You annoying piece of shit
My ears are stuffed It is not good Air travel is not kind Oh, agony Thy name is pressure Cabin pressure
Dilf takes a shower He says he feels sticky Not good sticky Sitting in meetings all day sticky Poor Dilf
I watched a movie today On the television Many have seen this movie But I had not Until today The last sentence spoken was "A polar bear fell on me!" And then the credits rolled. Then, someone talked about polar bears at lunch Life is strange sometimes.
His Thirst for Blood Unabated for Years, He Yearns to Kill Again
That's Joe Birkett in the picture, both today and yesterday. No, not the lady. That lady is Judy Baar Topinka, Republican candidate for Illinois Governor in 2006. From the look on her face, she's thinking, "How did I get talked into running with this asshole again?"
Because in 2006, Birkett was running alongside her, for Lieutenant Governor.
But back to the present, then back to the past again...
Now, I don't know Mr. Birkett personally; I'm sure he has some fine qualities. I mean, I'm assuming. Everyone does, right? But all I get to see is his public persona as my county state's attorney, and from what I see there, he has murderous impulses.
Between 1984 and 1994, then DuPage County State's Attorney Jim Ryan attempted to put Rolando Cruz to death not once but three times for a crime he did not commit and we, the taxpayers of Illinois , quietly footed the bill.
I can only conclude that not only did Mr. Birkett not learn from his experience (and why would he, when he didn't have to fork over the 3.5 mil), but he's anxious to attempt to kill more death row inmates who may or may not actually be guilty. It doesn't seem to be much of a concern to him.
You may think this story in and of itself would be enough of a case against Mr. Birkett, but his misdeeds don't stop there.
Some people dismiss "Love Boat" as a frothy vehicle for washed-up celebrities who refused to acknowledge their careers had died.
Those people must be blind to the wisdom flowing from Aaron Spelling's genius gland. "Love Boat" teaches all a person needs to know to really live.
Take art, for example. Andy Warhol appeared on the show, using Tom Bosley as the humble vessel through which he dispensed important lessons about artistic expression and unconventional hairstyles:
And Warhol didn't choose to appear during the show's heyday; on the contrary, he picked 1985. Despite dynamic infusions of talent from a dancing troupe called the Mermaids (I couldn't find a picture of them; Teri Hatcher must have a killer legal team) and an updated version of the theme song sung by Dionne Warwick, the show sailed into the sunset soon after, in 1986.
And the world has been just a little sadder, a little colder, a little more loveless ever since.
Bad Music Thursday: Why Is This Song Still on the Airwaves?
As I was driving Younger home from preschool the other day, this song came on the radio. I guess they really will play anything.
It surprised me to hear that song still in rotation on the airwaves. No, not just because it's more than 20 years old and crappy to boot, but because of the ... unpleasant allegations against Mr. Jackson. Even without the previous accusations, it's a creepy song.
Classes were not in session Tuesday because our schools are used as polling places, and it was too risky to have children around with all those strangers walking in and out of the schools. The danger was not necessarily immediate, but someone could scope out future victims while in the school.
I'm not sure what my point is; I mean, it's not like someone is going to defend pedophilia, even as a joke.
When I was about six months pregnant with Younger, and Elder was two and working on becoming potty trained, Dilf went out of town for business sometime around Christmas. It was around 8 or 9 p.m. when Elder somehow clogged the toilet. It was not a pretty situation.
I remember I was wearing these very ugly yet very comfortable green terry cloth pajamas, to which the drawstring had long disappeared from the pants. They were on their second pregnancy, after all. I pulled up my sleeves, put on some rubber gloves, cleaned up the floor and began plunging. Elder was still wailing in the next room, convinced she had broken the whole house.
My gruesome task completed, I pulled off the gloves, scrubbed and disinfected myself, comforted my toddler, and put her back in her bed. I then returned to the living room, where the TV was showing a Lexus commercial. A glamorous couple decked out in evening clothes was going to some fancy, glittering extravaganza in their brand new luxury sedan. I had to laugh at the juxtaposition of circumstances.
When my friend White Boy Bob sent me the following video, that story entered my mind:
So I ask you, what do you want, and why do you want it? Is it real, or a Grand Illusion?
Frankly, I am somewhat exhausted from the heavy discussion on this blog yesterday. However, I have pledged to blog everyday, and Übermilf keeps her promises.
I am adamantly, 100 percent, unequivocally in favor of a stark separation of church and state. Some people associate this belief with atheism, but anyone who reads this blog knows I am far from an atheist. Also, just add "in my opinion" before everything I say here. Thanks.
Why do I feel so strongly? Because.
Government is made up of people. Unlike Old Testament times, when some prophet showed up with an oil can to anoint God's chosen one, God does not ordain our political leaders. We choose them, for better or for worse. If they base their beliefs or actions on some form of religious thought, that is an individual matter, not a governmental one. And it's no guarantee that he/she is getting it right.
Also, we have no claim on God. God loves every single person on this planet. He has everyone's picture up on his refrigerator, and a "Universe's Best Dad" coffee cup on his desk. He's not "for" the United States, he doesn't love us any more than someone in Bangladesh. That thought is simply disgusting to me.
Also, not everyone who lives here believes in God. Not everyone believes the same way even if they DO believe in God. I sure don't want someone telling ME what to believe and how to express those beliefs, do you?
Also, Jesus made it clear in a couple of Bible passages that His stuff and earth stuff is separate. I don't know the precise passages because I'm Catholic and they don't make us memorize that stuff. But there was the "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" part and the "Be not of THIS world" part.
Believers are called to be doing their best as individuals. That may or may not be reflected in whom they choose to vote into office; that's fine or not fine depending on your point of view, and you can vote accordingly. But the GOVERNMENT ITSELF is not some instrument of God, nor is God the instrument of Government. It's an individual prerogative and/or an individual responsibility.
It's just us humans trying to the best we can to do things as fairly and as well as possible. Quit trying to pin our failures on God or claim some sort of moral superiority that doesn't exist.
Painful Truth Number Two: You Gotta Compromise, No Matter How "Right" You Think You Are
Since I'm being brutally honest this week, the gay rights cause doesn't get me emotionally charged. Don't get me wrong -- my head recognizes the injustice, it's just that my heart and stomach don't get moved the way they do when kids are being abused, starved or mistreated. Now, gay teenagers getting bullied and/or committing suicide? Yeah, that gets me. So does violence against gays. But while the general fight for more acceptance is understood by me, but it doesn't evoke the passion that other causes do.
The thing is, while I don't think that issues like gay marriage are the gravest injustice on the planet, it's one of the easiest to rectify, and if we would rectify it, we could move on to some of those graver, more difficult to solve problems we face.
But the vast majority of straight people aren't interested, and it's not just homophobia. Some of that is "compassion fatigue," but I think it's also because we get skewed visions of gay people from the media. Once a year, we see a gay pride parade filled with exaggerated sexuality. It would be as if there were a "heterosexual pride parade" filled not with smiling families but with porn stars and swingers clubs. (I'm not saying there should be a heterosexual pride parade; after all, you can see that at any large shopping mall. I'm just making an example.) We hear about sleazy hook-ups in public bathrooms and cruising in our public parks, but not the stable, loving unions. Is Barney Frank in the news, or Larry Craig? I mean, breastfeeding women fight not to be shoved into a public bathroom, and we hear defenders of sex in there as part of the gay lifestyle? That doesn't stir up empathy for the cause.
In fact, I would become much more passionate if someone said they yearn for the days where they could escape all the secrecy and hiding and shame and walk hand in hand with their loved ones on a beach at sunset. If the George Michael and Larry Craig affairs had been met with a "See what we've been driven to?" cry instead of a "We have every right to do that -- it's part of our culture!" one, it would help the cause.
I know a lot of gay people might think, "Why should we change? You're the ones who are discriminating against us!" But sometimes you've got to give to get. You want into mainstream society? You've got to take the good with the bad.
I take issue with the argument presented in this article that straight people aren't prosecuted for public sex acts. They may not be arrested, but nor is it allowed. Ask any pair of teenage lovebirds caught steaming up the car windows.
Nobody asked me, but I would recommend playing up the love and stability found in gay unions and downplaying the public nudity and bacchanalia that the media loves so much.
Painful Truth Number One: I Just Don't Like You "That Way"
Elder went on a "date" last night.
Okay, "date" is a stretch. She's only seven, after all, and the father and grandfather of her fellow second grader came with them. They went to a Chicago Wolves hockey game. The boy's family had four tickets, and the dad said "Ralph" could invite a friend. He chose Elder.
I call him "Ralph" in reference to the Simpson's character Ralph Wiggum -- specifically, the episode titled "I Love Lisa."
I couldn't find any video of the actual show, but here's one someone cobbled together using the characters from another TV show called "Avatar: the Last Airbender.":
Yes, "Ralph" choo-choo-chooses Elder to be his Valentine. He has reportedly written her name on the board at school, encased in heart-shaped bubbles. Elder reports "someone" told her he has a crush on her. Undoubtedly, he has it bad.
Unfortunately, while Elder likes him, she doesn't "like" him. I hope she doesn't break his sensitive little heart. He's a nice little guy. But we all know, no matter how nicely done, and how genuinely meant the "I just want to be friends" statement, it still hurts like a sumabitch.
*Photo courtesy of Toronto Mike, who's top post ironically lists a Chicago Wolves hockey score.
I am not the typical American in that I would rather hear a nasty truth than a beautiful lie.
For instance, at the baby shower I recently attended, I would have preferred to hear someone tell me what they really think of me ("You're bossy, nosy and need to do a better job of tweezing) than the ridiculous "C - - - - is learning statistics in kindergarten" or "People told me I was just like Carol Burnett in school."
I love Carol Burnett. I take deep offense at that obviously false statement. Just because you walk around with a fake plastered grin on your face, does not mean you have a wonderful sense of humor.
These are pitifully small examples from my pitifully small life, however. This week, we will be discussing painful subjects in a painfully honest way with likely disastrous results.
Feel free to tell me I'm full of shit, stupid, ignorant or otherwise deficient. I much prefer that to false praise.