Hey You, with the Sniffles: Mind Saving the TamiFlu for Someone Who Needs It?

I've had The Flu before. Once, when I was 21 years old. I will never mistake a cold, no matter how severe, for The Flu again. I know The Flu is serious business, and having had it, I can totally see how it could possibly kill the more frail or weakened citizens among us. I am not in any way downplaying The Flu.

But here's what DOES bother me about the public response to this current outbreak. I received a letter from the school district in both children's folders yesterday, plus received one of those district-wide automated phone calls, about the Swine Flu yesterday. It warned about the life-threatening implications of sniffles, and advised us to send "anti-bacterial wipes" to school, so the kids could "wipe down their desks."

The Flu is a virus. Wiping down desks with anti-bacterial wipes is about as effective as hiding under your desk would be during a nuclear attack, another tactic recommended by the public school system.

Also, I currently have the sniffles. Yesterday, I even had a sore throat. It's gone today. I had a couple of mild body aches, too -- yesterday. I have a touch of a cold, that lasted exactly one day. If I hadn't had The Flu before, and merely had this "expert advice" to go by, I might've gone into full panic mode yesterday.

I know it's a fine line, and you have people who send their kids to school with 103 degree fevers and stuff. I also know this flu is kinda freaking the medical community out, because flu season should be over by now and this strain is pretty funky.

But when I had The Flu in 1992, I had a nasty backache for about a week before the rest of the symptoms hit me full bore. Also, I was contagious during that time period, and worked in a two-person office in the guy's basement. Neither he nor his family caught The Flu from me.

Not all flus operate like this. I'm not saying to ignore anything or throw caution to the wind.

I'm just advising caution, not panic. And a realization that colds and sore throats and ear infections manifest every year around this time, so sniffles does NOT equal a death sentence.

That being said: Dilf, when you come home tonight, we're scrubbing you down.
I'm Just in the Mood! or, "When a woman has a bee in her bonnet, we'd better behave"

I've been a bit down, worried, overwhelmed and all sorts of other "weak as water" emotions the last few days.

But I'm better know.

And when I get up, you better not be what knocked me down. If you are, you better hope you're faster than me.

At one point in the movie Parenthood, Steve Martin's character mutters, "My whole life is 'has to'."

On the one hand I can sympathize/empathize with such a statement. On the other, I say, "Yeah... so?" Because throughout human history it's been that way for everyone. Wait, I take that back: you can be an amoral scumbag. That's your choice -- take care of the people in your life, or abandon them/neglect them. That's about it.

Did people have time to sit around moaning about what they "had to" do when they "had to" store up enough animal feed and firewood for the winter? Or when they "had to" die from diseases? They might have resented it. They probably REALLY resented it when some fat jerk king told them they "had to" go fight in a war.

But thinking about different options wasn't ... an option. We are a bunch of lucky sonsabitches these days. I forget that sometimes. Okay, at least once a day I forget that.

On another parenthood note, I would like to voice my complaint about a different neighbor today. No, this one does not involve drunkenness or nudity or drunken nudity, for a change.

Dear Single Dad across the street:

Dilf gives you slack for being a single parent, bless his empathetic little heart.

But I don't think it's too crazy for me to expect you to give your kid a fucking umbrella when it's fucking raining outside. Because when you don't, my softhearted daughter gives her umbrella to your underdressed kid, because I've actually put a jacket with a hood on her, which your daughter is NOT wearing even though it's like 50 degrees and raining outside.

So now my kid is walking in the rain without an umbrella, and I blame you. I could advise her to just tell your daughter "Sucks to be you! Why should I share my umbrella? Get your own!" but I'm afraid she'll grow up to be a republican.

Hey, now that you mention it, aren't YOU a republican? Interesting.
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...
Dean Wormer gave me something, and it wasn't even a disease!
It's about time I acknowledged my award, which was given to me by one Dean Wormer, and which is this one:

Well, except it's not so much an award, because I have to do stuff in return. So, thanks a fucking lot, Dean Wormer! Here's what I have to do:

1.You must brag about the award Hooray! I won! And I didn't even remember entering the contest! And you know who DIDN'T win? Dr. Zaius! In your face, you damn dirty ape!
2.You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger Already did that
3.You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design maybe later
4.Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.I SAID LATER, dammit!
5.List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.Then pass it on with the instructions!I'll do this part now.

1. I don't like tarragon or rosemary. Or feta. Or blue cheese. Or most goat cheeses. Or lamb.

2. My favorite sound in the world is birds chirping.

3. I hate Jimmy Buffet music. And the Grateful Dead.

4. I don't understand artificial grape flavoring, because I've never eaten a grape that actually tasted like that. This goes for blueberry, too.

5. I am irritated that major network TV shows use words like "bitch" and sexual innuendo and in general have characters who insult and degrade each other during prime time. Also, graphic depictions or descriptions of violence/death and disease. I regret that I can't watch TV after dinner with my kids like I used to with my parents.

6. I think competition is waaaay overrated in this country.

7. I think somewhere in the late 1970's or early 1980's, intelligence became downgraded as an attribute in this country, and it's been a struggle to get it valued again.

8. I really, really, really like my feet rubbed.

9. Despite the bad rap white bread gets from nutritionists and the scorn with which it is held by foodies, I still believe it makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

10. I am horrible with correspondence, whether it be personal or business or paying bills or whatever. Yet I enjoy writing, and do it every day.

There's my 10 things. I don't know if they meet the threshold of "brutally honest," but they're what sprang to mind this Sunday afternoon.
Speaking of Horrifying Visions...

For today's post, I will simply re-post my Facebook status, so you will all know how my day started:

"Dear Next Door Neighbor: wearing your wife's shortie robe outside is bad enough, but bending over to pick up your newspaper while wearing said item is beyond the pale. Even my dog growled at the sight."

I sincerely hope your day started better than mine did.
I've Had a Therapeutic Breakthrough Without Going to Therapy
I have another reason to hate the Baby Boomers.

See, they thought ahead. They realized my generation would one day close in on their flanks, competing for jobs and housing and for seats on the rescue spaceship that is coming for us as soon as we destroy what's left of this planet and such, so they decided to ruin us before we had a chance to reach adulthood.

That's why, when booking talent for children's programming in the 1970's and 80's, they saw the words "experimental Swiss mime troupe" and said "Sign them up for "The Muppet Show! Let's see those upstart rugrats recover from THAT and have a normal adulthood!"

This also explains the ubiquitousness of Shields and Yarnell during the same time period:

Well played, Baby Boomers, well played. We're all largely mentally impaired in one way or another thanks to the neurological time bomb you set in our childhoods. And you continue to assault our delicate sensibilities with your ceaseless advertising for erectile disfunction medication. No one wants to see you in a bathtub and mentally picture your flaccid penis and saggy, baggy scrotum, old man! Let alone what you plan on doing with it once the drugs kick in!

Where was I? Oh, yes.

I have been driven insane by Baby Boomers. Please send help.
Now THAT'S Marketing
As many of you know, Dilf, the girls and I will be temporarily relocating to Austin, TX. Right now, we are looking for rental housing.

Here is a picture of a potential property emailed to Dilf:

While all photos featured the apartment in various stages of disarray, this one stood out due to the bong in the background. I also enjoyed the University of Texas gnome on the counter.

They are asking as much to rent this place as a four bedroom house.

Dear Conservative "Christians:"
So I was in church yesterday, and one of the readings was Acts 4:32-35. I know it was read from a dirty Papist Bible, but tell me if your "correct" version says something like this:

"The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common...there was no needy person among them, for whose who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need."

So, for all of you who want America to "remain Christian," it's go time, people. Get rid of personal wealth and redistribute it according to need.

What? You prefer your adherence to Christianity to remain symbolic, in the form of Easter egg hunts and Nativity scenes? You prefer the Gospel according to Fox News to the Gospel of Jesus?

By all means, then, carry on with your tea parties and wait for the "Rapture."
Who is Twelve Pack, and What Does He Do Every Night?
At the risk of sounding like Mrs. Kravitz, I must admit I am intrigued by a man who rides his bicycle past my house every day.

I spy him through my window on (ostensibly) his way to work at approximately 6:30 a.m. every morning. He rides his bicycle through the park en route to Main Street. Where he goes from there, I do not know.

I DO know he returns on his bicycle every day at 6-ish, with a twelve pack of Miller Genuine Draft strapped to the back. I didn't know this, but there is a bicycle attachment specifically designed for this purchase called a Twelve Pack Carrier. It looks like this:

I'm sure you can use it for books or something as well. But Twelve Pack uses it for one purpose and one purpose only, as God intended.

Every day. He is undaunted. During a blizzard last year, and I am not making this up for dramatic purposes, I saw a red blinking light outside my window. Worried that Rudolph had crash-landed into the sidewalk, I strained to see what it was. It was Twelve Pack! Out in dangerous weather! Bicycling home with his twelve pack!

I know that Miller has recently changed advertisers; perhaps there is a new ad campaign possibility in this story? The man is very brand loyal.

The neighbors and I have begun speculating (well, most of us speculate; one guy wanted to roll him and steal his beer) as to whether or not there is a Mrs. Twelve Pack with whom he shares his daily beer bounty. Or does he drink a twelve pack by himself? I want to find out where he lives and walk past his house on garbage night to see if my theory is correct: I believe he has exactly two recycling bins, one filled with MGD cans and the other with DiGiorno pizza boxes.

It might be bad for his health, mitigated by his bicycle riding, but the man does have a small carbon footprint.

It may sound as if I am somehow judging or thinking ill of Mr. Twelve Pack, but I assure you, none of neighbors nor I (except for the potential violent beer thief) were jeering at or hating on the man. He is just a local curiosity. I am a snoop, but I'm not a mean snoop.

In other news, someone named Cornelius Rambottom is following me on Twitter. The remarkable thing is, that is his real name.
Why do people like this think so highly of themselves, but I feel like crap?

Seriously, this guy thinks he is da shit and I think I am shit.

What gives?

I try to be of service to my community. I make mistakes by overextending myself. I am socked with penalties (above and beyond my library fines.) I feel like I'm drowning and I know it's all my fault. I resolve to do better, despite feeling humiliated and overwhelmed.

But this guy prances around in his underwear and feels like he's doing the earth a favor for it. How does that work? How does someone come to feel like he/she's the best thing in the world?

I don't need to feel like I'm the best. I just want to feel like there's a point.
Problems? What problems? I live in the 1950's now, and it's swimsuit season!

This one has "dunk me" written all over it!
With Apologies to Randal. Maybe. Unless He Disagrees with Me. Then, Screw Him, Too.

I became incensed at my library today. I was coming in to pay a fine. I had returned the materials a few months ago, but had never paid the fine for their lateness. I will let the letter I sent via email to the library administrator describe what happened:

Dear [Library Guy],

I am not sure who is responsible for collecting fines and enforcing their accompanying policies, but I know you are, and that you will pass my message on to the appropriate person.

Recently I amassed fines close to $200. I returned the materials, save one book, but apparently not before they were considered irretrievable. So, despite the fact the materials are in the library's possession, I must pay the full cost of replacing them -- plus fines in excess of $120.

I paid $100 today, which is not enough to reinstate my lending policies, according to "the manager." I do not know who this person is, although since the desk clerk referenced a "she," I assume the position is filled by a woman.

She may erroneously think she is doing the library a favor by taking such a hard line on policy, but perhaps she needs a broader vision -- one that includes the knowledge of exactly who funds her paycheck.

I already pay for the library through my taxes. In the past, I wouldn't have hesitated to support a referendum asking for an increase in tax funding for the library. Now, I no longer view the library as a social asset, thanks to the draconian and unbending, and may I add cowardly, woman who decided not to negotiate any sort of deal with me. I may be one person, but I doubt I am the only one who has been punished and humiliated by this "library policy."

I don't know the legalities involved in charging me for materials which remain in the library's possession, nor do I remember if the fee structure was explained to me fully upon the issuance of my library card. I may be interested in learning these things. I'm sure I can find that information, like so much information formerly found only in libraries, on the internet.

I sincerely hope you take measures against the erosion of goodwill toward the library. $200 is an awful lot of money to expect someone to pay for returning materials late to a publicly-funded institution.

Very truly yours,

Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich Are Anti-Family
I'm not naive or nostalgic enough to think political disagreements between family members didn't exist until the 1990's. I've seen "All in the Family."

But I'm also old enough to remember a time when people could disagree with, or knew that the disagreed with, a family member or acquaintance without it destroying their relationship or causing a painful family/neighborhood/work/friend get-together. Maybe the topics of discord were avoided, or maybe they were joked about, or maybe they were toned down to keep harmony. I'm not saying it was a perfect system, but it at least kept a veneer of civility to social interactions.

I believe that Rush Limbaugh and his right-wing blowhards ruined that with their "talent on loan from God" bullshit and utter contempt and squashing and dehumanization of anyone who disagreed with them. And the right-wing politicians of the 1990's picked up that ball and ran with it, refusing to compromise or work out solutions with their co-workers across the hall.

And those left-of-center reacted by either becoming defensive, giving up, or roaring back in a similar fashion.

Now, from more than one person, I've heard about painful social gatherings because people now feel they can, and should, lash out against people who think or feel differently because those other people are "wrong." Nay, they are evil incarnate! Forget conversion, they must be destroyed!

Since when is it okay to go to someone's wake or funeral and say, "Too bad he/she is going to hell, because he/she wasn't 'born again'?" Or to declare that anyone who believes in God is stupid and anti-science or a book burner?

How could anyone possibly believe it is socially acceptable to attack someone for being a dirty commie/hippie/abortionist in the buffet line? Didn't you read a book or see a movie or enjoy a sporting event you could talk about instead?

I'm not saying that conversations should be limited to small talk. Okay, maybe I am. If you are incapable of listening and considering what another person has to say, if you are so self-righteous that you can't manage to engage in a polite exchange of ideas rather than a hateful diatribe, then yes. Keep your face stuffed with potato salad or green bean casserole or whatever the host and hostess have put on the table in the attempt to make a lovely party.

Don't ruin it with your ugliness.

(Luckily for me, the divides in my family run down sporting team lines instead of political ones.)
Ode to Jeanne Martini

Let this be a lesson to you.
Thing's That Make You Go "Hmmmm..."

Now that you have the fear of God in you...

I am a pretty liberal gal, and it is popular these days for liberal people to eschew faith as a relic of a superstitious past. I, however, retain my belief in God, Jesus, and, as imperfect as it can be because people are running it, the Church. Why?

There are many arguments against faith that I find compelling and upon which I contemplate deeply, most notably, that people invented Zeus and Jupiter and all those Sumerian and ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, so why should my "God" be real while those were fake? People needed an explanation for why things happened, they didn't have the benefits of the scientific research that we do today, so they made up what appeared to be plausible explanations for what they didn't understand. Is my God an extension of this?

There are also arguments against faith that I don't find compelling at all. For instance, people have used religion to persecute or alienate others or start wars or whatever other nasty purpose they could find for it, so God must not exist. That neither disproves nor proves the existence of God, that just proves the existence of assholes.

So why, being someone who also believes in science, do I still believe in God?

Aside from some personal experiences I don't feel like going into at this time, The Tridium, Easter, and the early lives of the apostles come closest to bringing logic rather than just a gut feeling into the equation.

Despite some ax-grinders' attempts to disprove Jesus existed at all, there was a dude names Jesus who was crucified. He had some followers and pissed off a lot of powerful people.

It became life-threatening to be or to have been his friend. You'd be killed in a pretty gruesome way if you agreed with the stuff he taught or claimed he was the real deal.

So why do it? I mean, NOW you can bilk people out of millions of dollars and start a mega-church and get a private jet out of the deal. But back then, if you were one of those original people like Peter or Andrew or Mary Magdalene, why stick to your story? Why not go on the Judeo-Roman version of the talk show circuit and tell the story of "How you got duped by that fraud, Jesus?" You'd have nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by sticking to your story rather than renouncing it.

That's why I have a hard time not dismissing such a story that seems so ridiculous on its face.

That being said, I'm not a fundamentalist/literalist when it comes to the Bible. Metaphor as a teaching device, people!
Where Have I Been? In My Basement. Are You Happy Now?
I wish I could tell you I was doing something exciting, but I was working on the school yearbook.

There was more to it, including me getting more pissed off at an actual human being than I've been at anyone in a long time (politicians and celebrities and such aren't "real" to me, as I've never met them or looked them in the eye. They're like ground beef; sure, I'm vaguely aware they are animals, but they've been packaged in such a way it doesn't feel like I've actually killed anything.)

I'm trying to figure out exactly why this woman got under my skin so badly. I've got some mental processing to do. But it's why I fear returning to the workplace. I know the working world is rife with people JUST LIKE HER. Me, in the workforce:

Hint: I'm not the blonde.

Of course, I also got very angry at onion skins lately. I have onions on top of my fridge, because my hanging basket fell down, and some of the onion skins fell in my ice maker, and they also fall on my head. And they stick to my hands when I'm trying to cut them, while my eyes are stinging and I can't see, and they fall all over the kitchen floor. And then when you try to sweep them up with the broom, they're so light they float away in the air away from the broom.

In short, I hate onion skins.

And that woman who volunteered to "help" me with the yearbook, when what she really wanted to do is tell me how the yearbook used to be so much better before I started doing it, so how's about me doing it exactly like it used to be done, m'kay? And what she misses about the newsletter, too, since I've been doing it...

If she had a point, I wouldn't be pissed. But I went to the school library and looked at these paragons of school yearbookitutde (let alone knew far too well how crappy the newsletter used to be) and she's off her stupid bossy rocker. And, she didn't even do the shit she volunteered to do.

I just wish she didn't have my email and phone number.

In other news, the family and I are moving to Austin, TX at the end of the school year. For the summer, at least. Maybe longer.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

So you want more huh?
Click here!

Perverts, scram. There's nothing for you here.

Now, who wants cupcakes?

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