Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Do people always shout? I hate that..."

Vida Boheme: Oh! No one say anything frivolous for the next few moments. I am having a significant experience.
Noxeema Jackson: Whoopy.

Me: What is that noise?!
Rich: What?
Communicating across the house from the throne is such a mediaveal way to communicate, but until we install a laptop by the loo... Well...

Me: I said, "What is that noise!"
Rich: "Platypus boys?"
Me: (Sigh.) FORGET IT!
A two way radio, some walkie-talkies, perhaps? The tune continues, blaring from the television like an air-raid siren. Yes, I could pinch it off, but I'm in the middle of a great article!

Me: It sounds like a cartoon hippo walking down a cartoon street!
Rich: What about a zippo? NO SMOKING IN THE BATHROOM!
Rich: Oh, it's (something unintelligible here...)
Me: WHAT?!
Me: Oh...
Rich: WHAT?
Me: OH!
I try to continue reading, but it's quite impossible. Bo-dump bo-dump, bo-dump, bo-dump, wallah-wallah, bo-dump, bo-dump, bo-dump, bo-dump... How am I supposed to figure out how big the "Education crisis in America" is with that racket?

Me: Could you mute it?
Rich: Do what?
Me: (Sigh.)
My kingdom for a bullhorn. I rise from the throne, wipe, wash, and walk into the living room.

Rich: Thank god, this DVD music is driving me insane.
Me: Then why didn't you mute it?
Rich: I didn't think you'd be that long.
Me: Pardon moi.
I seat myself on the couch and prepare to hit PLAY on the remote.

Rich: Wait-wait-wait!
Me: What?
Rich: I have to go to the bathroom. Be right back.
(Sigh.) I place the remote down on the coffee table and head for the desk to check my email. Bo-dump bo-dump, bo-dump, bo-dump, wallah-wallah, bo-dump, bo-dump, bo-dump, bo-dump... I head back to the coffee table and hit MUTE, then walk into the kitchen and place some tater-tots in the oven. I then walk back into the living room.

Rich: What's the matter?
Me: Nothing.
Rich: Why's it so quiet out there?
Me: I hit mute on the television.
Rich: You puked on the television?
Me: Yes, yes, there's puke everywhere.
Rich: Are you okay?
Rich: Oh... You're going to clean that up, right?
Me: I... Shut up.
Rich: WHAT?
I get up from the desk and head back the hallway toward the bathroom. Casually I open the door.

Me: I hit mute on the television.
Rich: Oh... Okay...?
Me: Because the music was driving me insane, much like you are now.
Rich: Okay... Sorry?
Me: Don't be sorry, just... I'll see you in the living room... When you're done... In here...
Rich: Um... Okay...
Me: Okay.
Rich reentered the living room five minutes later, and we watch the extras for To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. As I eject the DVD and place it back in it's case...

Rich: So... You didn't puke?
Me: No.
Rich: Then what's that smell?
Me: Smell? Shit!
Burnt tater tots. Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Near the Beginning...:
#18: The Miracle of Life...

Near the Beginning: The Miracle of Life...
Click here for more of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to individual comics over in the right-hand outside column.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Bread Box Tradition...

Me: Does it fit into a bread box?
Rich: Come on, you ask that every year!
It's true. I stare at the box that holds a gift (or gifts) for me, and I ask. I should have learned my lesson the first Christmas, when he replied "Yes!" quite emphatically. What he neglected to say was that I would have to break, bend, and pulverize the wrought-iron chandelier to make it FIT into a bread box. Nevertheless, tradition won out:

Me: Is that a yes or a no?
Rich: It's a "sometimes."
Me: "Sometimes"?
Rich: Yes. "Sometimes."
Me: Do I have to put it together?
Rich: You need to put it with something, but it doesn't exactly require "putting together."
You know how the fine print works, right? "Some assembly required," or "Batteries not included," or "Penis sold separately." Obviously I would have to ask something a bit more in-depth if I were to get a working clue as to what the mysterious box covered in bright paper held...

Me: What room will I use this in?
Rich: Any room you want, really.
Me: Is that so?
Rich: Yep. (He casually goes back to surfing the Internet while I stare at the box...)
Me: Will it break if I pick it up and drop it?
Rich: It could break, but it's not a guarantee...
You see, he's not like me. He doesn't care to get hints, he doesn't want hints about his gifts. Apparently it's not what his family does. They accept the fact that they'll find out on Christmas morning, and that's that. Sometimes, like last year? He gets down-right annoyed. He wouldn't even answer the "bread box" question last year!

I, however, love the suspense. I love the give-and-take. I love the anticipation of what I think it will be just as much as I love seeing it when I open it, whether I was right or not! (And, I'm usually right, which does not work in my favor when fishing for hints the next year...)

Me: Would you mind if I picked it up and shook it around?
Rich: Yes. (Very emphatic.)
Me: Okay, okay... Um... Any room in the house?
Rich: Yep.
Me: Do I have to rearrange the house to use it, in, say, the kitchen?
Rich: Not really.
Me: The bathroom?
Rich: No.
Me: Out in the garage.
Rich: That might be a bit tricky, but I've seen you do it before.
Me: I've used this outside?
Rich: Well, not this, exactly.
He's getting into it now. Can you tell? Getting "chatty" about it, as it were.

Me: So I have something like this already?
Rich: Hmmm... Maybe...
Me: Did I ask for it?
Rich: Not exactly.
Me: Does it get plugged in?
Rich: No.
Me: Oh.
Rich: (evil grin) You can give up now, if you want.
Me: Why? Do you think I know what it is?
Rich: I know you have no clue this year!
Me: What room will I mainly use it in? Is "use" even a good way to describe this gift?
Rich: Not really, but you'll "use" it mostly in the living room, I think.
Me: You think?
Rich: All the time. Hehehe.
Me: But it fits into a bread box without it being broken into bits and ultimately destroyed, right?
Rich: Yep.
Me: But I didn't ask for it?
Rich: No.
Me: And I can use it anywhere?
Rich: Yep.
Me: I hate you.
Rich: Kisses to you too, babe.
Three more days of flying on the wings of anticipation.... And loving every minute of it...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Near the Beginning...:
#17: Do a Little Dance...

Near the Beginning: Do a Little Dance...
Click here for more of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to individual comics over in the right-hand outside column.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Heterosexuals Don't Expect to be Tolerated....

As I've said earlier:

...tolerance is only ever meant to be the smallest part of patience. And when the patience has been tried, tolerance goes out the window. Tolerate is what you do when your two-year-old tried again to drink from a cup instead of his sippy-cup, or you tolerate the sales person who called during dinner only as long as it takes to get them off the phone. You tolerate a visit from some member of the family you dislike for the sake of a holiday, or some-such other type scenario.
While our capitol city council recently voted (and approved) a bill to allow same-sex marriage (much to the Catholic church's chagrin...), it seems that the church is also trying to influence politics in Uganda. (For those of you who are geographically challenged, that's in Africa...)

You see, they're trying to put a law on the books (PDF here) that, among other things, will:

Section 2 of the Bill is titled, "The offence of homosexuality". It reads as follows: Clause "(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if --- (a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption; (b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate the sexual organ of a person of the same sex; (c) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality."

Clause "(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life".

Where does the death penalty enter this twisted world of sexual paranoia? Let me quote the applicable section and sub-section. Section 3 of the Bill is titled, "Aggravated homosexuality". It reads in part: "A person commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality where the offender is a person living with HIV". "A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death". And just in case there's any conjecture, we have this finale: "Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status".
I'm wondering how many "straight" politicians it takes to sit around the table to envision every conceivable type of "same sex" activity to make a law against it? I wonder if it was an "awkward" conversation as they drafted this "law" against their fellow human beings?

Even above and beyond the realm of 1984 is the fact that:

So now, not only are you guilty just by being gay; not only can you be put to death for having "gay" sex; you will be fined and go to jail if you don't report gay activity! (Strangely, on this last point, I'm reminded of the DADT policy... Wonder why, wonder why...)

A split is coming, fellow humans, and we watch it grow wider and wider every year, not only here in the United States, but the world over. We wonder why there can't be "bipartisanship"? The church is no longer content to be sidelined. As it did back in medieval times, it wants to rule again. It meddles in politics (while screaming about an individual right to worship freely and say any damn bloody thing that comes to mind no matter how idiotic...), lobbies to pass laws based on badly translated, sadly misinterpreted ancient texts, and it pits human against human to serve the "greater good" of "godly living." "Let's not simply punish them for the acts, let's also punish the other ones who don't tell!"

Let's face it--attempts at tolerance are out the door unless they think their freedoms are being somehow "infringed" because they can't have a mandatory recital of the Lord's prayer each morning in school. In fact, in North Carolina, a "Christian" would like an Asheville City Councilman removed simply because he's an atheist (because, in the fundamentalist mindset, you are free to believe whatever you want as long as it involves a bible, a god, a son crucified, and a steeple within a half-mile radius...)

"My father was a Baptist minister. I'm a Christian man. I have problems with people who don't believe in God," said Edgerton, a former local NAACP president and founder of Southern Heritage 411, an organization that promotes the interests of black southerners.

The head of a conservative weekly newspaper says city officials shirked their duty to uphold the state's laws by swearing in Bothwell. David Morgan, editor of the Asheville Tribune, said he's tired of seeing his state Constitution "trashed."
The grand tradition of making Jesus proud by ignoring laws and reason and common sense. Never mind that the U.S. Constitution states that "no religious test" shall be used for any office holder anywhere within our boundaries (which, of course, nullifies the religious test called for in North Carolina's state constitution): Edgerton has a problem all right, not the least of which is his ignorance and idiocy. He's probably cheering on Uganda's "fight" to protect "normal" people.

Is this what "conservative" Christianity has come to? Fascism? Making people "tattle" on one another, basing civic laws on beliefs that, most often, can't even be agreed on by the plethora of denominations within the church itself?!

Let's see: what other "offenses" can be traced back as an "attack" on Christianity and the "traditional family"? Eating out? Teenagers working part-time jobs? Women in the workplace? Television? Skipping church on Sunday? I know! Let's make it all illegal, and punish anyone who knows of people "engaging" in these activities, as well as the criminals themselves!

Dictating dogma through the government... What will the church think of next? Something else, I'm sure, that I don't expect to tolerate...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Army Made Me Skinny...

Life made me chubby...

Actually, it was part life, part genetics. We who are descended from farmer stock have a genetic handicap, you see. They bred 'em big and stocky--thus, in today's day and age, farmless in rural America, I continue on with my so-called "battle." The bulge, that is. I find it sincerely frustrating that, although I can now squeeze into a 36 (something I haven't been able to do since 1998), unfortunately guts don't shrink in relation to waists, and thus...

Too poor to join a gym... Too lazy to wake up early and jog... Too exhausted when I get home to put in the effort. Small consolation that the treadmill sold for a nice price at the yard sale--at least I don't have to go into the unused spare room and stare at it for ten minutes in guilt every evening--that alone must have been worth 150 calories, no? No? Yeah, no...

I keep telling myself that part of my new and fabulous life in Florida will include a personal trainer with the body of a god, the patience of a saint, and the monetary independence that will allow him to whip me into tip-top physical shape out of sheer goodwill, sort of like a charity project. He'll show up around 10 in the morning ready to go; I'll come in from off the lanai, finish my coffee and leave my paper on the kitchen counter, and we'll work out for about an hour or so; then he'll be off to his next charity case (Richard, perhaps? :D) while I finish reading the paper, drinking a protein-packed soy latte with the faint aroma of almonds and the taste of cinnamon and vanilla doughnuts...

Of course, I could just break down and pretend like I'm back in basic: get up at 3:00 am, run for a gazillion miles, then jumping jacks, down hill skiers, yadda yadda blah blah, have breakfast at 6:30 a.m. after cleaning the barracks and making the bed and waxing the floor and still have a full day of work ahead of me... But just the thought is exhausting, let alone any possible follow-through! Even the military couldn't break me of the inherent laziness--my first day out, I slept in until 10:00 and didn't even feel the urge to run, or do anything even remotely run-like...

But I was skinny...

The sole motivating factor in the military, sadly, was that if I didn't run the gazillion miles, my punishment would be to run a gazillion more. Motivation is a funny thing, isn't it? I only exercised to get out of doing more exercise...

This is why I am now on the smaller side of "chubby." If there is such a thing.

I wonder how much lipo costs these days...?

But then, I'd really like to meet that personal trainer...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Near the Beginning...:
#16: Flights of Fancy

Near the Beginning: Flights of Fancy
More of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to each comic in the right-hand outside column.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Near the Beginning...:
#15: Rethinking Abstinence

Near the Beginning: Rethinking Abstinence
More of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to each comic in the right-hand outside column.

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