Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Intentions (and Other Stuff)

I didn't follow through with my last two giveaways due to some mental and physical health problems. The first person who won hasn't sent their address in (please do so if you still want the giveaway prize!) and here is the second winner, albeit about two-to-three weeks late: Blicky Kitty. I don't know if cats wear pendants or not.
: )

I switched medication for depression a few months ago due to some bipolar-like symptoms getting worse. The side effects of the first medicine, Lamictal (lamotrigine), were bad so I had to stop taking it. I was buying things (although they were for resale purposes--which I suppose makes it somewhat less of a bad thing) even when I already had inventory to sell still. My closet is still jam packed with items. I sold a fair bit of things, at least a little over half of what I bought, maybe more. Still, I didn't really have the capital to be investing in all of these items.

It was like a high though. Lamictal has been proven to cause compulsive behavior in people. I also craved whiskey while on this medicine. I hadn't drank in quite a while and I didn't plan on it, seeing how alcohol and depressed people aren't a good mix. Throw in an antidepressant with an anti-convulsant/seizure med with an anxious, depressed person and alcohol seems like an even worse idea.

Now I am on Celexa (which I also took with Lamictal) and a very low dose (2.5 mg) of Abilify. In addition to making me not able to use the bathroom (sorry for the TMI passages, just reporting the facts), it is also making me gain weight fast. I have gained roughly 12.5 pounds in the past month. I have never gained weight like this (well, with the exception of being pregnant).

So in addition to my already low self esteem and dislike of my body, I am now gaining weight with wild abandon (all right, I'm being a bit melodramatic right now). To make matters worse, I went to the grocery store today and as I walked from my car to the store a guy yelled, "Have mercy!" I may be paranoid, but since no one else was around and I had just passed him I believe he was referring to my butt. Even when I weighed quite a bit less I still had a very noticeable backside. : (  I've had too many experiences with odd comments and outright stares at my big butt to chalk this episode up to self consciousness or paranoia. Hmm.

My back pain is mostly back to normal though, which is a good thing. I don't think I could live with chronic pain. About a week of that had me worn out. And pain pills made it bearable, but they are kind of evil; as soon as you start to feel comfy and the pain is gone they start to wear off. And in the mean time my nose itched so bad that I scratched it until it was almost raw. You can't win with medicine sometimes. : )

Anyway, I have vowed to start eating more healthfully, and I've started making sure I do my back exercises and some weightlifting several times a week. My stupid back pain will never stop if I don't become more proactive about exercising and stretching. I hope to get my gym membership back next month. After last November's car wreck I was unable to work out due to daily headaches, weekly migraines, dizziness, neck pain that radiated down my arms, and low back pain. I am more than ready to get back into figure competition shape. Or maybe I'll go for bikini competition shape. I liked being buff way more than being out of shape. I hate being all soft and wimpy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

Last week I ended up going to the ER due to back pain. I thought that maybe I had a kidney infection, which is why I went to the ER. Turns out that it was back pain due to my bulging disc and muscle pain.

I've never had a muscle spasm in my back quite like that before. It was like having a charlie horse along my thoracic and lumbar spine. Luckily steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory cleared up almost all of the pain. I can move again! : )

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Estate Auction Shenanigans

I really outdid myself this time, I did. Aside from overloading my car by about 200%, breaking several small glass items, and taking about four hours to haul my goodies, I also entertained the auction crew by walking face first smack into a sliding glass door. Luckily I didn't hurt myself. I did provide plenty of laughs to those who saw it and myself.

I don't know why, but I can't quit cracking up about it. Maybe because it was my turn to be the one doing embarrassing things.

All in all I got a pretty awesome haul for the price. Unfortunately my mom will only reaffirm her belief that I am a hoarder after seeing the mountain of stuff I brought home. All in a day's work, I suppose.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Giveaway Number 2!

Congrats again to Pilar Pitty for winning last week's giveaway!

For this week's giveaway, I am offering a Swarovski Crystal Elements pendant. It is a 18KGP cherry pendant. There are two red crystal element beads and two white crystal element beads for leaves. I think it is a very cute pendant. The retail value is approximately $30.

There are two ways to enter:


Become a follower to my blog (this blog and/or http://www.randomtangentlm.blogspot.com/)

Add me to your favorite sellers/stores on eBay (http://stores.ebay.com/Autism-Twins-Mom )

With that said, you can actually have a total of three entries per week if you become a follower to both of my blogs and add me to your favorites on eBay you will have one entry per action. Once you follow my blog and/or add me to your favorites on eBay send me a message to laura (at) lbmeditorial (dot) com or leave me a comment to this post letting me know your username/Blogger profile and that you'd like to be entered to win.

If you win one week, you will be ineligible the following week, but the next week you will be eligible again.

And the winner is...

This week's winner is Pilar Pitty! I will be posting the new giveaway item shortly.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Over 19 Years Now. I Can't Believe It's Been That Long!





I meant to post this yesterday, but I got side tracked by another Freddie Mercury project- woodburning and painting his likeness.

Anyway, it seems impossible that Freddie has  been gone 19 years (and a day!) now. I'm secretly surprised that the planets haven't gone out of orbit due to the loss of his awesome presence. I mean, he had to have some awesome gravitational pull, I would think. : ) I know he drew people to him with his awesome voice (likewise, his unabashedly open persona drew bigots from far and wide--gravity doesn't discriminate!).

Rest in peace, Freddie! Long live the Queen!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giveaways From Now Until Christmas

I am going to be having a drawing every week from now until Christmas. Each Friday a drawing will be held and the winner will receive that week's prize package.

There are two ways to enter:
With that said, you can actually have a total of three entries per week if you become a follower to both of my blogs and add me to your favorites on eBay you will have one entry per action. Once you follow my blog and/or add me to your favorites on eBay send me a message to laura (at) lbmeditorial (dot) com or leave me a comment to this post letting me know your username/Blogger profile and that you'd like to be entered to win.

If you win one week, you will be ineligible the following week, but the next week you will be eligible again.

This week the giveaway is for a large collection of new Jane cosmetics. Included are the following items:
  • 5 Sets of Eye Zing eyeshadow, one of each color: white, blue, purple, peach, and pink 
  • 1 Curling Mascara
  • 1 Color Stick eyeliner, shade number 04- Sitting Pretty
  • 1 Barely Lips Sheer Lipstick, shade number 9- Little Pinkie (very popular in Greece this time of year, or so it seems-lol)
  • 2 Megabites Flavored Lipsticks, shade numbers 12- Cinnamax and 25 Merry Berry
  • 1 Attitubes Lipgloss, shade number 02- Cheerful
  • 1 High Shine Gloss lipgloss
  • 2 Gliding Liner eye pencils, shade numbers 03- Pink Moon and 10- Buttercup
  • 1 Eye Brightener
  • 1 Lightweight Cream to Powder Foundation Compact w/Mirror, shade number 04- Buff
The retail value of this giveaway is approximately $80.

Your information is completely confidential, and I will not share it with anyone.

To be compliant with the FTC, I do not work for Jane cosmetics or any other company affiliated with this or future giveaways. I am merely offering the giveaways as a cross promotion of my blogs and eBay store, and because I wanted to do something fun for the holidays with my blog. : )

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Greek Lipstick

I'm sure it's just an odd coincindence, but I thought I'd share it.

I sell makeup and things on eBay for extra money (hmm, well, I've bought so much at this point that I'm not at a point of profit yet, but hopefully the holiday season will fix that!). Anyway, a few weeks ago I sold some Jane lipstick to someone in Greece. Within a week or so I got another buyer asking if I mail to Greece, regarding the same product. The very next day after that I had another buyer ask me about the very same lipstick and how much it would cost to ship to Greece.

I just thought it was a bit odd. By the way, I ship lipstick to anywhere, as long as the buyer is willing to pay a little extra for shipping costs. : )

Monday, November 15, 2010

United States of Eurasia-- I Knew It!

Every time I listened to United States of Eurasia, by Muse, I immediately thought of Queen. The intricate and layered guitar riffs, the melodic refrain of "There can be only one!", and the overall feel of the song just conjured up the feeling of a Queen song from the mid to late 1970s.

Then I was reading something about Muse the other day and ran across this from Spinner.com:

It's no secret the members of Muse are fans of fellow extravagant rock legends Queen. Though they've flirted with Queen-esque songs in the past, for the epic 'United States of Eurasia' off current album 'The Resistance,' Muse finally decided to take the homage and run with it into full-fledged pastiche.




But though the band doesn't deny tipping their musical hats to Freddie Mercury and his bandmates, drummer Dominic Howard tells Spinner that the whole thing "just sort of happened."



"I'm a big Queen fan and certainly in '...Eurasia' there's that one chord with the line, 'there could be only one,' that sounds Queen-influenced, but that wasn't overtly done," Howard recalls. "When you build up all those vocal layers it just happens that way."



In fact, while some critics have accused the band of lacking their heroes' sense of humour, according to Howard it was that absurd hilarity which gave the band the confidence to run with the song.



"We were working on the arrangements in the studio and when we got to that part, we all just fell on the floor laughing," the drummer admits with a chuckle. "It sounded very, very funny to us. It definitely sounded very, er, familiar in some kind of way, but we just laughed so much we just kind of went with it.""Our songs have lots of depth and feel very epic; it's not something that we're overtly trying to do, be over the top. I mean of course I like simplicity and minimalism as well, but something like 'Eurasia' makes you want to pump your first in the air and scream out the line.That's what we're going for, a lot of emotion."



This song was pretty awesome to see live as well.

I'm sure I'm months and months behind people who are on top of this sort of thing, but still, I thought it independently without hearing others say it, so it was neat to verify that it is true.

I love that the article says that they cracked up when they sang "there can be only one!". I pictured Duncan McCloud on a green expanse of rolling hills, sword in hand. : ) Then Freddie and Christopher Lambert dueling. lol



Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Pedophile's Guide Dropped by Amazon

I guess Amazon either got sick of people complaining or decided that this book didn't abide by their terms of service.
Here is an article about the removal of the title.

It is interesting to note how quickly Amazon responded. I don't think anti-censorship groups need to worry too much. I don't think this is likely to get classic literature like Lolita or other "objectionable" books taken off the shelves. It may make companies like Amazon more likely to vet new titles with questionable topics a little more closely. Especially self-published books, since they don't have a publishing house with a legal team behind them. Also, truly objectionable or legally ambiguous books generally won't get picked up by a publishing house, since the publisher weighs the risks and benefits of public backlash and legal ramifications more thoroughly than an individual does.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure

I found this on Jenna Glatzer's blog (which is awesome and you should read, by the way!): The Pedophile's Guide.

I guess this self published book on Amazon has the intent of (in the author's words): "This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught."


I am what many would consider a "bleeding heart liberal", but I certainly don't extend this compassion to pedophiles that try to say pedophilia is a sexual orientation like heterosexuality and homosexuality. In my opinion, if someone isn't old enough to understand the ramifications of sexual intercourse they aren't a willing partner in a sexual relationship. Especially not when they are preyed upon by adults who often use guilt and threats to keep the "relationship" secret.

It's akin to saying someone who's been slipped rohypnol is a willing partner while they are unconscious and being raped. It's just a "misunderstood sexual orientation".

That's not to say that I'm not compassionate to people who are pedophiles or have pedophilic thoughts who seek treatment. I think it is a mental illness or a grotesque behavior that manifested in individuals who were molested themselves. That doesn't mean that I condone their behavior. I just acknowledge that if they know they have a problem and seek help they should have access to help and a support network to keep them from acting on their thoughts.

Anyway, I thought the book and the fact that Amazon is keeping it available was worth passing on. I wonder if they'd keep a book called The Rapist's Guide to Love and Pleasure available?

Easing Back to Normality

It's amazing how much prescription medication can alter your thoughts and emotions. Since weaning off of Lamictal I am no longer having urges to buy things I can't afford; having randomly timed, but frequent cravings for Jack Daniels and Coke; super-jittery anxiety for hours on end; and an inability to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. This is undoubtedly a good thing. Now I'm actually able to get some things done with consistency.

I'm happy with being closer to my personal "normal" but I would like to get my thoughts and emotions under control.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Super Anxiety Extravaganza!

My doctor and I have been fiddling with my medication to try to get better results. However, the current state I'm in is not so good. I've had mild to moderate panic attacks, constant low to medium anxiety, and super-energetic, motor mouth spells for the past several days.

The past couple of weeks I had a constant, low level anxiety and jitteriness. I feel like something bad or nerve-wracking is going to happen, but I know that I'm not expecting anything like that to happen. It's a similar feeling to when I had to give speeches and I anxiously anticipated getting in front of the crowd to talk.

Except at least then I knew why I was nervous and it went away after the speech was underway.

I'm also annoyed by the number of well intentioned people who tell me I don't really need medication. I'd be fine without it, they assure me. I know they are only trying to help, but it's frustrating when people think that mental illnesses aren't real. Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental conditions are real. They shouldn't be relegated to hushed conversations and shameful, embarrassed discussions. If you are diabetic, are you ashamed to let people know? If you have a heart condition, do you try to avoid discussing it for fear of scorn or embarrassment? If you do, you shouldn't. However, most of the time physical ailments (probably with the exception of STDs and juvenile teasing about glasses, braces, etc.) aren't a source of ridicule and shame. As it should be.

However, mention mental illness and everybody gets uncomfortable. They either think/act like it isn't reall, get embarrassed, clam up, or some other non-productive action.

If I could just "not think like this" or "get over it" because it's all in my head, don't you think I would have by now? Contrary to what some think, I don't enjoy being depressed, anxious, irritable, and miserable. Unless there is a reason for these emotions (due to the regular stress and disappointments of life), I often don't have control over my emotions. They tend towards dark, depressing feelings. They happen out of the blue sometimes.

Imagine not knowing when or why the next time you are going to start sobbing uncontrollably would be like. Imagine having furious rages for no good reason, or becoming ridiculously irritable over every little thing.
That's what life without medication is like for me. And many other people as well.

I don't want pity or any stupid thing like that. I'd just appreciate not being treated like I'm a melodramatic crybaby because I refuse to "act normal" or "get over" things. See if a diabetic person can just get their insulin production under control and stop "whining" about all their diabetic pains and problems. Tell the person with clogged arteries that they did it to themselves, so they just need to deal with it and quit having chest pains. It makes just as much sense as a person with a mental illness to "act normal" or quit moping around.

You can believe it or not, but until you've been in a similar state of mind for months or years you won't truly know.

At least venting has eaten up a little bit of my anxiety and I am actually starting to feel sleepy. Hopefully slumber will arrive soon. Goodnight...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Pooping Ugly

I found a doodle Celest had drawn on the back of an envelope I'd left on the counter the other day. On one side was a guy and his dog putting gasoline and oil in a can. On the other were a few guys just kind of standing around and one odd looking guy.

The odd guy was craning his head around to look at his butt (which was nude- no clothes on his big ol' bubble butt). It seems he was looking at his butt because he was pooping. I asked her what he was and what he was doing. She said matter of factly that he was an "ugly" and he was peeing and pooping.

It is by far the most graphic poop picture I've ever seen her draw. Usually the pooping person or animal isn't naked (to be fair, he was wearing clothes; he just had his uncovered butt facing the viewer).

I thought it was pretty funny but decided not to add it to the collection of pics I'm keeping. Maybe I should though. It's pretty hilarious to look at...

Over a Decade of Mondays (and I still suck at crossword puzzles...)

Several months ago I paid about $16 for an iPhone app that gives a year of full access to The New York Times crossword puzzles. The app is pretty neat, as it allows you access to all current puzzles as soon as they are available, as well as over a decade of previous puzzles.

Since the puzzles are easiest on Mondays and they get progressively harder as the days go by, with Sunday being the hardest of all, I decided to get into crossword shape with the Mondays. I'm certainly better now than I was a few months ago. Still, in the world of crossword puzzle solvers I am still horrible at them.

I can solve Monday puzzles in about 7-8 minutes, but I usually have to submit it a couple of times before I get all of the errors weeded out. Twenty-four hours after a puzzle has been published you can unlock it and check for errors. For all of the older puzzles I did this to solve them. I think I was only able to solve two or three puzzles with absolutely no error-checking help.

I'm seriously considering buying a crossword dictionary. In the world of die hard crossword solvers I'm not sure if this is considered "cheating" or not. Still, I'm never going to be in that world, so I suppose it doesn't matter either way.

Here's a link to the app

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Yahoo Silliness

I saw a title on Yahoo that I was pretty sure had a typo. Sure enough it was; I only had to read the article to realize at least one spelling was wrong. Yakuza is the name of the Japanese mafia. Here was Yahoo's article title, "Christopher Kane: From British Royalty to Yukuza Ganster, a Masterful Mix". Yakuza is the correct spelling, which was used in the body of the article.

I think my eyes are drawn to Yahoo typos; I'm better at picking out theirs than my own anyway.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I didn't know Adam Lambert was a Young Black Woman...

Here's an article I copied from Yahoo earlier today, because I figured it would get fixed pretty quickly:




MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert is accused of simple battery on a photographer on Miami Beach.




A police report says 38-year-old Victor Eras was taking pictures of the singer Thursday when Lambert started running toward him "in an aggressive manner."



Eras claims Lambert grabbed his back pack and wrestled him to the ground. The photographer did not suffer any injuries. He declined to comment to The Associated Press on Friday.



No arrests were made. A police spokesman says there will not be an investigation. The state attorney's office will review the report and decide if any charges will be filed. TMZ first reported the alleged attack.



Lambert's publicist did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
 
Like me, you may have noticed that somehow a photo of Fantasia Barrino was substituted for Adam Lambert. Never mind that they are different genders, races, and from different seasons of American Idol. I guess one former contestant is as good as another. : )
 
Here is a pic of the incident the article is about:
 
 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Flo, Revisited

I was looking at my stats and I found out that my post on Flo and the bump-it is by far the most popular post. I started looking for a definitive answer to the question of whether or not she uses one, and I couldn't seem to find it. She certainly does something to get that height. Maybe not a bump-it brand but something similar?

I think Flo is cute. : ) While looking for info on her hair I found that she is a devisive character; people seem to love her or hate her. One guy wants to kill her and dump her body somewhere remote. Hmm, not sure that she's that annoying yet.

There is a bump-it sightings website with a couple of good pics of Flo that really highlight the abnormal height of her hair. Either there's some sort of bump-it like product, or she's a human-pterodactyl hybrid.

Pic from BumpitSightings.com
Pic from http://news.utternewsense.com/

Monday, September 6, 2010

Formative Childhood Experiences

I think that people are formed by both their genetics and environment, but I also think that experiences we have as children might have a bigger influence than those later in life. As children, we have less knowledge of life to draw on when we evaluate events. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just seems that way to me.

I don't, however, really have any clue as to how all of these events ultimately affect and form us. There is one memory from my childhood that really sticks out in my mind. I don't know how it affected me in the long run, but I do know that it provided me with a stark realization that some people can be heartless and cruel. Especially when they do things to spite other people.

My sister and I lured every stray cat and dog that passed by to make our house their home. We would sneak and feed them lunch meat and other snacks, so getting them to stay was never really a problem.

Anyway, there was a kitten, whose name I can't remember, on the other side of the road from our house. I believe it belonged to one of the strays we had at the time. I was in our front yard when I saw a car stop in the road, a few feet from where the kitten was. The kitten was still on the grassy bank of the creek, next to the road.

I was afraid the car would hit the cat, but since the car had stopped I thought they were waiting for the kitten to cross. I started calling, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!" The kitten didn't budge. I ran to the house and told my mom, who was sitting in the living room, that the cat wouldn't come and that there was a car in the road. She told me to call it by its name.

So I ran back to the yard and called the kitten's name. Immediately, the little kitty got up and started to cross the street. At this point the driver of the car revved his engine, did a small burnout, and then plowed right over my kitten.

I began sobbing frantically, just standing dumbstruck where I was. The kitten was now just a splattered mess on the road.

I don't remember if I went in the house or if my mom came out when she heard the car rev or me sobbing. I just remember feeling crushed and confused.

It turns out that the driver of the car was a relative (a cousin of mine, I believe) who was mad at my dad. So to "show" my dad, he decided to kill a kitten in front of his youngest child. That ought to learn 'im!

As an adult, I try to picture what sort of person would see a young girl, maybe six or seven years old, standing in her yard calling for her kitten, then think something like, "I'm going to run over that kitten while the little girl watches. That'll show her f**king dad to make me mad!"

And what sort of person could actually carry through with such an act? I wonder if he would have ran over me if I had crossed the street to get the kitten. He may have been on drugs, so I honestly wouldn't put it past him.

Looking back, I really feel sorry for the little girl and the kitten. I don't think of her as me. I see her as someone else's little girl. Maybe my little girl. Then I am filled with fury at the spiteful, callous, selfishness of the asshole that ran over the kitten. If he weren't a thoughtless coward he could've just had a conversation with my dad. Or simply resolve to get over whatever problem there was.

Instead he chose to hurt two innocent creatures to get at the person he was actually upset with. That speaks volumes about the person he is. I don't know what childhood experiences taught him that sort of behavior was okay, but somewhere along the line we have to be held accountable for our actions. No matter what bad things happened to form the person he became, he chose to perform that disgusting act.

Incidentally, a few of my other prominent childhood memories involve cats and unfortunate events. But for today, I think I've shared enough sad cat stories.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Freddie Mercury's 64th Birthday

Today would've been Freddie Mercury's 64th birthday. I wonder what sort of awesome songs he would've written given more time. I wish HIV drugs would've been more advanced when he was sick. I can only imagine what suffering through HIV and AIDS would be like. Somehow he kept making music and videos almost until he died despite how ill he was.

I remember I was super obsessed with Freddie Mercury from the time I was 12 until around the time I was 18. My obsession had to be put on a back burner when I had my daughters, but it was always lurking in my mind.

I had an AIDS awareness ribbon and the name Freddie put on my high school class ring. Unfortunately I don't know where that ring is now, since Celest sneaked into my closet, took my ring (among other things), and lost it.

One particular memory about my ring still sticks out in my mind. A girl from my grade in high school (that I'd known since first grade) decided to go around telling people that I shoved my ring in her face, showing it off I suppose. She went on to say something like, "Why would someone want a dead fag's name on their class ring?"

For starters, I'm not really one to brag about belongings. And I don't shove things in people's faces. As I recall she asked to see the ring and I showed it to her. Whatever comment she made at that time wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but I'm certain she didn't say anything to my face about fags.

It really pissed me off for several reasons. First, she lied about how she saw my ring and the fact that I was "shoving" it in people's faces. Second, that she called Freddie Mercury was a "dead fag". Third, that she later acted like she didn't say or do anything to me that would call for me being upset with her.

I know I grew up in a pretty close-minded and bigoted area, but thinking back on all of the stupid crap people did and said makes me both sad and sick. I'm not trying to pretend that I didn't say and do my fair share of ignorant, bigoted things. I did. But I've since changed, and I try to be a decent, open-minded person. I see that many people I went to school with haven't changed that much, by the stupid comments they've made and ignorant conversations I've had with them.

Anyway, back to Freddie Mercury. He was an awesome singer and human being. Happy birthday to him, wherever he is.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Super Duper vs. Mattel

An awesome special needs product company has been sued by Mattel for using the words "Say" and "and Say" on some of their materials. Mattel thinks they are ripping off the See 'n' Say toy.
Aside from the fact that the products with the words in question don't make sounds and don't have a pull handle, these materials are catalog and internet sales only.

You're not going to walk into a Toys'R'Us and find a speech pathology game (to use an example) called "See It!, Say It!" and think to yourself, "Hmm, my kids just loved that See'n'Say toy. This must be made by the same company. I'll buy it because my kids had so much fun with the other toys by this company!"

Mattel already won some money from Super Duper, but now they are trying to make them destroy all of the materials that currently have the words "say" or "and say" on them and produce all new copies of the materials with new titles. This, in addition to the money Mattel is suing for, would probably bankrupt the company, I'm guessing. They aren't a huge business.

I've ordered from them several times. They have items that are great for kids with autism, speech/language delays, and other special needs. I hope they win their appeal.

Here is an email I received from the company asking for help distributing this info, so I thought I'd share it:


This message is NOT an advertisement. It concerns the Super Duper-Mattel case.

We at Super Duper ask that you consider helping us in our fight with Mattel over the use of the words SAY and AND SAY in our product titles.

If you are a member of any state or national organizations, please encourage them to contact me, Thomas Webber, and join with other organizations in support of filing an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to hear Super Duper’s appeal. I will explain the rest.

My email is tomw@superduperinc.com and my cell phone is 864-884-1079.

Thank you for taking time to consider helping us.

Thomas Webber

This is a special message from Super Duper® Publications ©2010 dealing with the Mattel case.

I also copied this press release from Newswire.com:
 
Mattel wants Small Special Education Co Super Duper to Pay $5.46 million, and More...


Not satisfied with a $400,000 verdict against small special education company Super Duper Publications (based upon SD using the word SAY in some of its special needs product titles), Mattel has asked the trial court to make Super Duper pay $5.46 million dollars in attorneys fees and costs, plus stop Super Duper from selling these SAY products until it takes SAY out of the product names.

Apparently not satisfied with its recent $400,000 judgment against small special education company Super Duper Publications (based upon Super Duper using the word SAY in some of its speech and language product titles), Mattel Toy Company has now asked the trial court to make Super Duper pay $5.46 million dollars of Mattel’s attorneys’ fee and costs.

At trial, Mattel lost on two of the claims it brought against Super Duper (alleged unfair competition, and alleged fraud before the federal Trademark Office), and also lost on its trademark and infringement claims relating to eight (8) of Super Duper's fifteen (15) SAY titles.

Despite the mixed verdict, Mattel wants Super Duper to fully reimburse it for all of its fees and costs of the lawsuit.

In addition, Mattel has asked the trial court to permanently prohibit Super Duper from selling seven lines of its SAY products until Super Duper changes the names in the titles of these products to something that does not use the SAY word. If the court grants this request, Super Duper would have to destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars in special education product inventory, stop selling these products indefinitely, and spend hundreds of thousand of more dollars to replace these products with ones that have new titles.

Thomas Webber, co-owner of Super Duper, has previously indicated that Super Duper will appeal the $400,000 judgment to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals because Super Duper believes it has done nothing wrong in using the SAY word on product titles that are directed specifically to teachers and parents of autistic children and other children with speech and language delays or disabilities.

Mr. Webber also stated that should the trial court grant Mattel’s request for $5.46 in attorneys’ fees and costs, Super Duper will ask the Appeals Court to suspend collection of this sum until the appeal is heard. He further indicated that If the trial court orders that Super Duper stop selling the SAY titles involved in the judgment, he will ask the Appeals Court to allow Super Duper to continue to selling these products until the Court renders its decision on appeal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Too bad Laura Schlessinger won't shut the hell up!

http://www.csmonitor.com/From-the-news-wires/2010/0818/Dr.-Laura-Schlessinger-quitting-radio-show-at-end-of-year

She's quitting her radio show so she can "regain" her freedom of speech rights? Hmm. I'm just happy she's quitting the show. I can't stand the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, hateful garbage she spews.

Here is my particular favorite gem of wisdom from Dr. Laura, though it is several years old (copied from http://www.autism-pdd.net/DrLauraon.html):


Dr. L: Denise. Welcome to the program.

Denise: Hi, Dr. Laura. I am my kids' Mom. I have three children, 6, 8 and 10 and my middle son has autism. He's a non-verbal autistic child, and we've been going through about 10 weeks of some real severe behavior problems with him where he has just gone from doing so well to this complete regression.


Dr. Laura: Do they have any idea why? Any rhyme or reason to these things.

Denise: We're working on it, we have an appointment with doctors and all... And its just so difficult, I just can't describe it.

Dr. Laura: Is there much left of you for the 6 and 10 year old?

Denise: No. They're right now with my grandparents, my, my in-laws... (Talks about sending other children to the grandparents) ... and you know, my parents are worried about me. (Breaks down ... "so sorry.")

Dr. Laura: Right now, I'm worried about you, too.

Denise: My father's birthday is today and he's having a birthday party tomorrow, and he has invited all the family to a very nice restaurant where right now its just not feasible - and they know that, and they want ...

Dr. Laura: Denise, Denise, I'm going to say something now that you need to hear. You need to have a life aside from this torture. You need to have a life aside from this. Your family needs to have a life aside from this. I suspect you've done more than is humanly possible. There are responsible people who are specifically trained to deal with very difficult kids with very serious problems like your son has. Let them baby-sit so you can go out and have a life sometimes.

Denise: And that's okay.

Dr. Laura: No, no, it's not only okay. Your 6 year old and your 10 year old deserve it. They are losing out because they're okay. Your husband is losing out because he's okay. You're losing out because you're okay.

Denise: No, he didn't want to go. He felt if we couldn't go some where we all could go ...

Dr. Laura: There is nowhere you can bring this kid. There is no place. And that's not fair to the family. And this is what I call unreasonable guilt. There is reasonable guilt - you kicked me in the shins, you should say you're sorry. This is unreasonable guilt.

Denise: But I feel like we're leaving him out.

Dr. Laura: That's correct. You are. When its appropriate you leave him out. If your husband was a falling down drunk they might ask you to leave him home, too. And I would say, That's reasonable. Yes, You are reasonably leaving him out so all of you can have a decent life. Everyone is involved and invested. Everyone has spent an inordinate amount of time and an inordinate amount of money, an inordinate amount of stress. I bet you get every bug that goes around.

Denise: Yes.

Dr. Laura: Yes, I know. I can hear that. You have to give yourself permission to have a life apart from that. And you know, Denise, this may not be fixable.

Denise: What's that?

Dr. Laura: Your son may not be fixable. In which case you're going to have to think of some kind of placement. He might even become dangerous to himself or somebody else -- and that's not going to be unreasonable either because he would be in a more controlled environment where there are experts in dealing with him.

Denise: We just don't know what happened to him.

Dr. Laura: Well, you know it has nothing to do with Mommy. You understand that, don't you. Autism has nothing to do with whether you're a bitch or too sweet. It's an error. Something is wrong in the head. Some people with milder versions. Extraordinary things can be done, but some people have serious problems and it compounds, and it can't be fixed... So at some point you have to think about alternative situations so this family can have a life - and please - that's fair to everyone.

Denise: That's what my family has been saying.

Dr. Laura: And that's not abandonment. That's appropriate placement. There's a difference. One visits, One does stuff, one takes the kid home sometimes on holidays, you go on little expeditions, bring him little gifts, whatever he's capable of experiencing and enjoying and functioning in. But don't
beat yourself over the head. Buy yourself a nice dress, and have a nice time at dinner tomorrow night, maybe one of the few nice times you've had at dinner in 8 years. And that's fair.

Denise: Thank you, Dr. Laura.

Dr. Laura: I'm really sorry. I think you folks have gone above and beyond. Not everything can be fixed.

Denise: But we're going to try to help him as much as we possibly can.

Dr. Laura: That's right, and that may mean a different setting...

Denise: I don't want to go there yet.

Dr. Laura: Well, don't forget other kids suffer from lack of attention, and that's no less serious.

Denise: It's such a terrible balance.

Dr. Laura: Yes . But you understand that these are normal kids who need some semblance of a normal family life. They are going to go out into the world and do the important things in the world. And if they're not given their best opportunity, then we're losing three. And its not abandonment, it's just apportioning the time and effort.



Yeah, they put in a grueling 8 years taking care of one of their children, whom they love, and Dr. Laura thinks this is going above and beyond. It sounds like that family needed some respite or maybe some therapies for their son, not to put him in a home/facility at age 8. It sounds like in the future he will probably need to move to a group home or assisted living type of facility, but to suggest that the family has done all they can and that they deserve a life without this son is ignorant and callous.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yahoo! Commentaries

I tend to fritter away quite a bit of time each week reading articles on Yahoo. The articles themselves aren't really what I consider a waste of time--I read lots of news articles and occasionally find some funny typos and stories. However, the comments that people leave for the articles tend to be ridiculous. I feel my time is wasted by reading them because they are so inane.

Yet they hold some interest for me, because if I read just one comment I usually can't stop. I'll read all of the comments available on that page. I couldn't possibly read all the comments on all of the articles I read because I'd have no time to get anything done.

The one thing that always somehow gets mentioned in the comments is politics. No matter what the article is about someone will blame something on Obama, the "demotards", the "republitards", the right wing extremists, the leftist nutjobs, etc. (by the way, I'm not a big fan of turning any word into a slur by adding "tard" to the end of it)

Here is a sampling of today's gems (comments are posted below the article link, with usernames removed; I added quotes to mark the beginning/end for comments; anything in red italics was added by me):

Schwarzenegger calls for same-sex weddings

"its no longer freedom of speech to express against gay marriage, but Homophobic!!!! our rights to express our opinions are slowly being taken away!!!!!! WHAT WILL BECOME OF THIS COUNTRY, IF WE NO LONGER CAN EXPRESS OUR OPINIONS WITHOUT BEING CALLED HOMOPHOBIC?"

"Christians are so retarded that they can only communicate in insults." Hmm, I wonder if this user sees the hypocrisy of his/her comment?

"You would think gay marriage is torture by the way Republicans oppose it. No wait, if it were torture Republicans would be all for it (sic)."

"diccs are for chicks you stupid turd burglers.I hope you all catch a bad disease and you're oscar myer weiner falls off."

"Most Americans are trying to get the government out of our lives. The gays want more government in their lives. There must be a problem in the gene pool!"

Man charged in NYC subway plot pleads not guilty

"Was Obamas guest at the White House. NICE!"

"All you gays better wake up. If Ilsalm has it's way your done."

"Osama & Obama will jointly officiate at the opening of the mosque near Ground Zero. Osama will then be given a grand tour of the White House. Then.....presto.......Osama 'escapes' to Pakistan right under the eyes of the CIA."

"of coures he is not guilty, our goverment let him in the usa. how can our goverment be wrong about such things? i hear muslims are loveing law abiding people. and our goverment says that they are all screened,history check before they are allowed in. seems like our imagation offices anit doing
such a good job. but our presidant,,or dictator,,needs votes and he knows the common white working
man will not vote for him,,ya all get it? our pres. hates americans"

Haiti faces a question: Who is Wyclef Jean?

"What's the fuss, he can't screw the place up anymore than it is. Who the Hell knows, he may actually do the country some good. If he doesn't just add him to the list of other dirtbags that have ripped off their fellow countrymen and stole all the forgein aid."

"just who is homer simpson? lol"

"Maybe the next earthquake will swallow the whole place, we could use a trash pit."

"Why are people complain about him running a nation. Seriously a lot of racist bigots out there. Here is my questions, if you hate black people so much why do you care about a "black" country? Hell why even care about Sean Penn? seeing you tea-braggers and republicants hate him so much for being a "libtard". Are you mad that you some how did not make 18million a year? Are you mad that you are not Haitian?
And for those saying that "why is this news?" Here is a question, why did you click on the link? Why don't you click on the link with snookie on it." I do agree with the last section--I've read so many comments bashing articles for not being "news" and saying things like "who the f*** cares?". The title of the article usually gives you a pretty good clue as to what the piece is going to be about. Also, there is an insatiable demand for new article content on the web. Writers have to create all kinds of stories from important news to fluff to feel good personal vignettes. Not everything has to be serious or important.

"I've been selling over 10 innertubes a week on Ebay BuyitNow $14.99 to Haitians."

Anyway, you get the idea. I guess maybe this is one of my guilty pleasures. It's not actually a pleasure though. More accurately, I'd label reading these comments as one of my "guilty procrastination habits".

Sunday, August 1, 2010

For the low, low price of...

I was looking for a replacement keyboard for my laptop (yeah, I know it's old!) and I found this offer for a new Dell keyboard. Not for what the other guys are charging--$45.00?! No way! How about $69.00? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I bet this company would club a baby seal to make a deal! (for those of you who didn't catch my UHF reference, I love baby seals and I honestly don't condone seal clubbing of any kind)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl



Tracy Quan's debut novel, Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, follows an early-thirty-something who has been turning tricks since she was thirteen years old. However, this isn't a story about exploitation or sex slavery. It's about a girl, Nancy, who knew she wanted to be a call girl from a very young age. As she matures she realizes all of the naive assumptions and mistakes she made as an adolescent helped to shape the woman she is today.

Nancy's biggest hurdle in life is her engagement to a "straight" man-- someone who isn't involved in prostitution and doesn't know about her involvement in it. She cares for him and she likes her current profession.

Unfortunately her fiancĂ©’s sister is a district attorney, which increases her anxiety about whether or not to get married.

Between meetings with Johns Nancy has to make arrangements for her wedding, meet with her future in-laws, and visit with her therapist to try to sort out her mixed emotions.

I enjoyed the book, though it may be too graphic for some readers. It definitely isn't for children or teens, as it contains some graphic sexual situations.

The overall tone of the book is lightly comedic, with tension about Nancy's pre-marital drama weaved throughout. I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy strong female lead characters that you are able to connect with. Obviously her profession causes somewhat of a disconnect; for instance, I wouldn't see the dilemma in giving up a risky profession for a life as a well provided for wife. But since her entire adult life has been in the hooking culture of course it would be a huge lifestyle change for her.

There are lots of interesting scenes about the mechanics of being sexy and beautiful all day. Also, though there aren't many scenes where Johns are talked about in depth, it is fun to see the wide variety of men with their differing idiosyncratic sexual proclivities. It adds another interesting dimension to what may otherwise have been just straight sex scenes.

The book is 271 pages long, and the paperback version I have includes a 19 page preview of Tracy Quan's next novel, Diary of a Married Call Girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ever Forget Your Baby in a Car?

I was procrastinating while reading some Yahoo Shine articles earlier today when I read this title: Ever Forget Your Baby in a Car?

I'm a forgetful person and my short term memory leaves much to be desired. However, I'm not sure I've ever come anywhere close to forgetting a baby or child in a car. Hmm...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stress and Appreciation

This past week (almost exactly the past seven days down to the hour) has been so stressful and emotionally draining. I had a family emergency medical situation that totally stressed me out and freaked me out. I've never been so scared of a situation before.

Everything is fine now, but the whole experience just sort of wiped me out. Now that everything is settling down I have to try to make up for lost time. I've made very little money this week, which is only stressing me out further.

I'm posting now because I don't seem to be able to focus on my writing. I guess I am hoping some unstructured writing will free up my mind (or something--I don't really know).

When bad things happen, I get a huge sense of how I should appreciate life more. I feel awful that I'm a big complainer most of the time when I have lots of things to be grateful for. I've tried to change and become more optimistic, but it doesn't seem to work. My mind always veers back to the gloomy, unhappy things in life.

Anyway, I can't really concentrate on just writing whatever comes to mind either, it seems. Hopefully I'll get more focused soon (or I'm going to continue to be broke! and that certainly isn't good).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Piers Anthony

I was reading Piers Anthony's online newsletter yesterday, and it made me remember how much enjoyment his books have brought me over my life. I read the book Heaven Cent.
when I was eleven. I got it as one of the random sci-fi fantasy books chosen by a library worker. The Portsmouth Public Library had a service that would send you library books at no charge. They even sent you a pre-paid envelope to return the books to the library. You could list specific titles that you wanted or you could write "brown bag" and pick a genre. If you picked brown bag, someone at the library would choose some books in the genre you picked. I think they'd send around four to six books at a time.

Anyway, that's how I was introduced to both Piers Anthony and David Eddings. Both are awesome writers. Both have primarily published fantasy novels, but they've also published some other genres as well.

Back to Piers Anthony. He is very straightforward and doesn't mince words with his newsletter (or anyone else for that matter). He goes all out for what he thinks is right and he doesn't tolerate ignorance or greed.

One of my favorite things about him is that he spends lots of time on his fans, even though he complains that it takes away from his writing time. Which I'm sure it does since he answers some emails and letters personally and writes a monthly newsletter that is quite lengthy (several thousands of words each usually).

I first wrote him a letter when I was 14. I was very depressed as well as experiencing a religious fervor. I was trying to be Christian, but I think I was mainly becoming a super judgemental jerk (Is there a difference, you ask--yes, I think there can be). I wrote to him about how I really liked his books and how they were one of the few things I enjoyed in life. I also told him about my disturbing self-injury habits. And, the real kicker, I included some religious tracts.

I received a letter back pretty soon after I'd mailed mine. I still have the letter, but I don't remember his exact words. He gave me some positive things to think about and that I was young and life would most likely improve. He then went on to caution my about religion and people trying to brainwash me. Or something along those lines.

Around the same time I'd become penpals with another older man who'd told me about the same thing as far as religion is concerned. I met him by writing a letter to Rock'n'Roll Comics about how I liked the Queen comics they'd made. I don't remember what else I wrote, but he wrote me back and we started an ongoing dialogue.

Back to Piers. I also asked him to name a character after my other penpal's son, who had been murdered. Piers occasionally named characters for readers, but not usually. In this case he did, because my penpal's son had liked Piers' books and had met an untimely end. That character is in Faun & Games.


When I was 24 I wrote to him again. I told him I'd refrained from writing to him for ten years so I thought maybe it'd be okay to pester him again. I asked if he would mind naming a character after each of my daughters since they have autism (characters in Xanth have often crossed over from Mundania--often when they die--and they get to live on in their afterlife or without their disabilities). He was very kind and again agreed to name characters for me. The girls are in Stork Naked.

Besides his fiction, he's also written a few nonfiction. Two of those books are autobiographies. I really enjoyed those books, although they made me a little sad at times. He has collaborated with writers who were fans of his books, and he had to go through publishing bureaucratic hell to get the books published. Even though he had multiple bestsellers published, his publisher didn't want to take a risk on the joint project tanking. He eventually got them published, but I believe he had to switch publishing houses to do so.

Anyway, I think he is an awesome writer and person. He has published around 140 books to date. I wish I could finish writing just one! I seem to get paralyzed at a certain point in the process. I don't really know why. Writer's block? (don't get Piers started on that--he'll say it's more of my next guess) Laziness? Lack of talent? Lack of ambition? I don't know. I fell positive that I will eventually finish a book, but whether or not it gets published is another matter.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Philatelists and a Rock Star Psychic (Freddie Mercury visits her bathroom!)

I remembered an old segment on the Daily Show that cracked me up today, and luckily it is still on Comedy Central's website. I didn't realize it had been so long ago (1999), but it was at least as funny today as it was when I first watched it over ten years ago.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mercury Rising
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wire in the Blood

Like I said before, I've been going through lots of Hulu videos in my never-ending quest to vanquish quietness. Here is another series that I've watched/listened to all of the episodes for.

Wire in the Blood is based on the awesome books by Val McDermid. I'd listened to at least one audio book featuring the characters in this series and I loved it. When I was sifting through the large selection of videos on Hulu, for some reason I clicked on this one. When I saw the name Tony Hill, I knew it was familiar, but I couldn't quite remember where I knew it from. Then I read the words "clinical psychologist" and remembered. I thought, "Hell, this has to be based on that book I listened to or someone is a horrible plagiarizer!" Luckily, it was the former.

Anyway, I really enjoyed all six seasons of the show. I was really disappointed when I read that it had been cancelled. I guess it was judged to be too expensive to make; the production cost per episode was up to 750,000 pounds sometimes (around $1,121,484). I think that Two and a Half Men probably costs at least that much per episode and it has a much smaller cast, less travel, and, in my opinion, much less entertainment value.  To each his or her own.

I don't have the money for the DVD sets, but they look pretty awesome. (shameless Amazon ad plug alert!):
Wire in the Blood DVDs

Annoying Celebrities

I don't know why I occasionally waste my energy getting annoyed with celebrities (or non-celebrities for that matter), but I do. One person who has irked me for some time now is Miley Cyrus. Before her, her father annoyed me with that shitty "song" Achy Breaky Heart. I had to listen to that crappy thing so many times because my school bus driver put in a speaker system and would only play the country station; I had a roughly 40-45 minute ride to school in the morning then another 40-45 minutes home in the evening. Not fun times.

Anyway, child celebrities tend to annoy me anyway. Actually it's not so much the child as the machine that churns them out (Disney, Nickelodeon, parents hoping to cash in on their precious child's "talent", etc). The poor kids grow up to be some of the least well adjusted human beings on the planet. And little girls seem to be sexualized in a gross way. Sure, if you're around the actor's age it's okay to have a crush on them. You can talk about how great they are, how talented, how beautiful/cute/pretty/handsome/whatever they are. If you're a kid that's fine. It's when adults who produce the shows/music/entertainment add sex to the program that disturbs me.

Then, once the child star has become an adult with little clue how to handle themselves in the world, they are annoying in their own right.

Anyhow, I've gotten off topic. Originally I set out to write about Miley Cyrus. I get that many people get mad/annoyed with her is because she is a role model whether or not she says she is (and she does think she is one), and she seems to continuously do things that set a bad example for young girls. My reasons for being annoyed with her are: 1) she apologizes for the wrong things (she doesn't have to apologize at all-but when she does it isn't for a good reason 2) she says some really arrogant sounding, ignorant shit and 3) she, like most celebrities, has an annoying sense of inflated self-importance.

It's not that I think that I don't say stupid shit. I know I do. However, I don't pretend that I'm "above" other people. Besides, like the old adage, "It takes one to know one," I can spot stupid shit people say because I say plenty of stupid shit myself.

On to saying and doing stupid things. Here are some Miley gems.

Miley on Philosophy and Theology:

On her relationship with her boyfriend, model Liam Hemsworth- “I think we’re both deeper than normal people - what they think and how they feel. He’s very grateful for what he has, but he doesn’t let it go to his head. I’m like that too. He’s a really freaking good actor is what he is. And he’s cute - so he’s got that.”
(Because we all know that self-absorbed celebrity models and actor/singers are much deeper than your average person--especially when they're cute!)

On divine intervention and God's will for her- "[Faith is] the main thing. That’s kind of why I’m like here in Hollywood: to be like a light, a testimony to say God can take someone from Nashville and make me this, but it’s his will that made this happen.”
(We know God is at work when someone with marginal talent is paid ridiculous amounts of money.)

Not really sure what she's got here- family, and more than that, faith, so when her family (who is there for her) isn't there for her she has faith...- "“Some people don’t have a family to fall back on, like I have, and that’s when something greater than even that comes in and that’s faith and that’s what I have for me. That’s what keeps me strong.”

Miley on Family:

Is there something wrong with your family when Miley is what makes them happier than anything else? Hmm- “There are so many people that have come up to me during our shows and tell me: ‘The hour that we are watching your show is the hour that my kids are happiest and are smiling, they are laughing,’ and that is what I long to do.”

Because what it takes to make a good parent is immaturity- “I think my dad is a lot cooler than other dads. He still acts like he’s still 17.”

Miley on Fans and Being a Role Model:

Because being deeper than most other people really comes down to one thing-- what other people think about you- “It’s a long ride to the top, but it’s only a short ride down, so it makes me very nervous. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, am I doing enough? Do people still like my music?’ I get really stressed out over that.”

Because sometimes role models do really inappropriate things and make mistakes. As long as they own up to them it's all good-  "I feel so embarrassed. I hope my fans understand that along the way, I am going to make mistakes, and I am not perfect. I never intended for any of this to happen, and I am truly sorry if I have disappointed anyone.” (This is in response to her shoot for Vanity Fair by a world renowned photographer.)

However, Miley doesn't think these things are worth apologizing to disappointed fans and parents for. Frankly, we just need to give her some privacy and let her grow up doing these kinds of things. I mean, really, who hasn't done these things?!-

Underage Lap Dancing (hey, the guy is gay- that makes it okay, right?)

Dancing with a Stripper Pole (but she wasn't pole dancing! Just wearing daisy dukes and gyrating next to a stripperesque pole...)

To quote Miley, "It's two girls at a sleepover, and if all of a sudden that's bad, then what is the world coming to?"

Maybe when she said she and Liam are deeper than most people she meant only "skin deeper" than other people-“I do love meeting fans, but sometimes, when I look horrible and see people, I’m like, ‘Oh no, they’re going to be scarred for life. They’re never going to look at me the same way!’ But it’s still fun meeting new people.”


Before any Miley fans and defenders think I'm being too mean, lets just remember that I am simply repeating things she's said with snarky comments added. I don't dislike her as a person; I don't know her so I can't really. I dislike her public persona. Mainly I dislike how she's been exploited for money by Disney and others and how she has been sexualized to help capitalize on her monetary potential.

Why is it we don't see more child stars with little to no talent that are downright homely? Hmm... Notice that the funny kids are usually portrayed as fat or nerdy outsiders who are only acceptable for the self-depracating humor they provide.

I honestly hope she doesn't wind up on drugs or surrounded by people looking to use her for her money as and adult. Child stars usually don't always have happy transitions into adulthood though. (well, maybe they aren't that different than non-celebrities where that is concerned; they just have a different set of problems)

Edited to add: Miley quotes were from these sites (though I'd read some in magazines in the past, but I don't keep all of my old magazines and I'm too disorganized/lazy to actually go through and cite references for a personal blog post): http://www.arg.com/mileycyrus/quotes/ and http://www.dailystab.com/quote-of-the-day-168/

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dark Hater Answers My Philosophical Questions on Episode 36

Click here to see his blog and download episode 36.

Not only will you learn what sort of deep, troubling question keeps me awake at night, but you'll also get to hear some funny stuff and cool music.

"Has from liver transplant surgery..."

I'm glad that Gregg Allman is recovering from his surgery, but this particular headline is missing a critical word: "Gregg Allman has from liver transplant surgery". I'm thinking they meant "has recovered from liver transplant surgery". Or something along those lines. Just thought it was kind of funny.
Also, he spells his name the same way Old Gregg does.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More "Klassy" Parents

Judging from the acne, I'm guessing they're meth heads. I'm not up to speed (oh, a pun!) on my drugs though, so I could be wrong. Check out the story here.

Dead Like Me



I remember first reading about the series, Dead Like Me, a few years ago in a magazine. The writer was complaining that good TV shows, including Dead Like Me, are constantly getting axed early on while crappy shows seem to stay on the air much longer than necessary.
I've been trolling Hulu for programs to watch (actually, mainly to listen to while I work or go to sleep- I like sound while I'm falling asleep), and I found Dead Like Me.
In the past few days I've watched/listened to every episode and the movie. The movie was made a few years after the show was cancelled. It wasn't nearly as good as the series, in my opinion.
Anyway, George (nickname for Georgia) is an eighteen year old girl who is killed when the toilet seat from the Russian Mir space station blasts through the atmosphere and collides with her. It sounds ridiculous, but it is an apt mood setter for the series. It is filled with dark humor and drama.
Like the writer I mentioned before, I am surprised that the series wasn't picked up for a third season. Then again, I don't "get" a lot of mainstream, popular TV shows, so maybe I'm not a good judge of what's going to get good ratings. Still, it was a shame to watch the final episode knowing that there wasn't going to be another to watch after it. The movie was okay, but it didn't really offer an ending that felt like it resolved anything. George is still out there reaping souls, but nobody gets to watch her do it...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Parents" and "Caregivers"

Here is a collection of articles from news sites that I was looking at the other day. I used the terms parents and caregivers very loosely in the title of this post. These stories are just sad...

Selling Baby for Meth Money

Addict Mom Linked to Baby Trade

Toddler Ingests Cocaine at Home

Smoking Baby Causes Web Controversy

Kid Shares Cocaine at Daycare

Toddler Smokes Pot, Man Gets Busted

Child Fan Drinks Beer at Ballgame

I believe these people are what Dark Hater calls raggedy motherf'ers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

IHitThat.com

I thought "ihitthat.com" would be a funny website name; I checked and it exists. As of now there are only a couple of pics but they are pretty funny.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

...Ronald McDonald is dangerous, sending insidious messages to young people...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100520/ap_on_bi_ge/us_mcdonald_s_ronald_mcdonald

I understand the point they are trying to make, but that line cracked me up. It also reminded me of a time that a friend and I were at a McDonalds at a mall, and there was a life-size Ronald McDonald statue sitting on the bench by the restaurant. A little boy was sitting there all happy with his food, mumbling to himself. I wasn't particularly paying attention to him until I heard him sing this little gem, "Old McDonald said a nasty word." Even though this had to be 14 or 15 years ago, I remember it because I wrote it in a journal that I had bought at Walden books that day. I still have that journal, mostly blank still. Anyway, it was one of my many "random" journals that I wrote little snippets of things I thought were interesting.
I wrote what I thought "Old McDonald" might have said that was nasty too: Old McDonald said, "F*** you, kids!" Except I didn't use asterisks in my journal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Texas textbook war: 'Slavery' or 'Atlantic triangular trade'? - CSMonitor.com

Texas textbook war: 'Slavery' or 'Atlantic triangular trade'? - CSMonitor.com

This sounds like the work of a PR firm. Who else would think to call slavery "Atlantic triangular trade". Nice, non-threatening euphemisms for horrible things. Killing the natives for their land? It's just a little campaign we did called "imperialism...um, I mean 'expansionism', yeah that's what I meant, expansionism." Like Texas wasn't cranking out enough socially conservative ideologues...

Really?


So a guy that works with "SCAT" holds hard tar balls in his hand. Hmm, does anyone else find this funny, or I am just sick? : )

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Famous Lungs...

When I was fourteen I was diagnosed with asthma. While in the ER, several doctors, nurses, and respiratory techs came in to listen to me breath through a stethoscope. One of the people said something like, "Let me listen to those famous lungs." Which I presumed to mean they had been talking about how bad they sounded or something.
Backing up a bit: for about a full year prior to this ER trip I had been experiencing a dry, hacking cough that would often come in fits that only stopped when I started to gag from coughing so hard. My sister and mom thought that I was doing it on purpose to gross my sister out; seriously, I'm not that spiteful or ambitious, people.
Anyway, I was asked several times if I smoked. I know some people smoke at that age or even younger, but I thought it was ridiculous that they asked me at the time. They seemed to think that only smoking would make me sound that bad.
I also had bouts of heavy wheezing, usually after I would be hiking or being active. I hated the sensations that accompanied wheezing: a deep itching sensation in my lungs and throat; a hot or burning feeling sometimes, which also was deep in my lungs; and of course feeling short of breath.
Anyway, back to my famous lungs. I had some breathing treatments, a steroid shot, and was given an inhaler and sent on my way.
For the most part I didn't think my asthma was serious. I had a friend whose brother was hospitalized with asthma attacks, and he also took an albuterol and a steroid-containing inhaler. I've always had a penchant for comparing myself to others, whether or not an accurate parallel could be achieved. Thus, I thought, mine must not be that bad.
Really, over the years I've had huge amounts of time where I didn't have wheezing or "attacks", but looking back I probably did suffer from shortness of breath. I generally wrote that off as being out of shape or getting over a cold.
Today, I went to an allergist. I was given the dreaded spirometer test that I'd performed so poorly on sixteen years ago. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any better.
So I was given two puffs of Symbicort, waited twenty minutes for it to kick in, and then I was tested again. No change.
Next I was given a breathing treatment. Twenty more minutes went by and I was tested again. Still no improvement.
The doctor told me that since I've had asthma for so long that I could have "restructuring" of my bronchial pathways due to scar tissue. This damage wouldn't respond to a bronchial dialator, which my lungs didn't.
I saw him write "COPD" on one of my chart pages and he ordered several blood tests for immune system function. He didn't say that I had COPD, but from the tests he ordered, the way he described what he thought my lungs were doing, and the fact that he wanted to prescribe me Spiriva (my insurance doesn't cover it and I can't afford it out of pocket), which is a COPD drug, I'm guessing he thinks that I have it.
I hope not. I started reading about it after I got home, and it doesn't sound like fun at all. One source said it is rarely diagnosed in people under 40. All sources agreed that nearly 90% of people with COPD smoke cigarettes (I don't).
I'm hoping that my asthma is just similar enough to warrant the further testing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

It might just be delirium, but I just watched this video and laughed so hard I cried. I know it's stupid, but I couldn't stop laughing.


Hmm...

EDITORIAL: Discrimination is necessary - Washington Times

After you read that, try reading this:

I am a transsexual. (An open letter to the Washington Times)

Nicely written counterpoint.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Migraine from Hell

I feel for my fellow migraine sufferers. Up until this past week I had what I now think of as "baby" migraines. They were unpleasant, nauseating, head-pounding painful and dizzying, but they only lasted a few hours. Last Tuesday I had an MRI for my lower back pain and within an hour I had the start of a nasty migraine. It was a little different than the others I'd had before. It began at the base of my skull and radiating down my neck. Then it started in with hammering force behind my eye sockets and forehead. I became very nauseous and dizzy. I searched online and found many people with similar complaints. Pretty much all of the people reported being back to normal the next day.
Wednesday morning I woke up with the head pain gone, but I was still dizzy, nauseous and had an awful pain at the base of my skull and down my neck. Around 4:30 pm the migraine came back. After that all symptoms stayed until around 5 pm Friday when I was put on a four drug combo at the ER.
I was relieved to be rid of the pain, but a new problem arose: I was in and out of consciousness and having an anxiety attack because I couldn't move my limbs. When I finally could move them it was only my legs. My hands didn't work. My face was itching and I was freaking out because I couldn't move my hands to scratch at it.
For some reason the registration person came in to have me sign paperwork and get my insurance info after I was pretty well drugged. I think I managed okay, but I felt myself slurring words and repeating myself.
I dread seeing the bill that comes from this, but I couldn't take it any longer. I suppose I should have given up earlier and went to my doctor. I kept hoping that it would just go away, but it didn't.
I woke up today (Saturday) feeling really light-headed and weak. I felt like I had a mega-bad hangover. Then around 3 pm my neck/base of skull pain came back. : (
I'm hoping it doesn't turn back into a full migraine. I'm worried though because a menacing throbbing pain is already creeping back behind my eye sockets and forehead.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dark Hater and other stuff...

I've been listening to a funny podcast called the Dark Hater Show. (I don't care for his use of the word retard though...) Here's a link : http://darkhater.podomatic.com/

I've been taking another antidepressant, and it seems to make me yawn all day long. It's odd because I actually have a little difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep since I've been on this medicine. Odd.


One of my dogs, Brogan, tore his ACL. We're hoping that it'll heal on its own and not require surgery. So he's on strict rest, which he doesn't like. I think Midnight, our other dog, likes it even less than he does. She always wants to play fight with him. We think that might have been how it tore. They went out yesterday morning and were both fine. When they came back in he was limping. He limping all the way until this morning so we took him to the vet and got the news. If he does need surgery it'll cost $1200. Ow! The pet insurance will probably reimburse at least half of that, but that'll still be a $600 surgery. All of our dogs have been expensive...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Offensive Words

I recently tried to express why I found the words "short bus" and "retard" offensive when they were used as synonyms for stupid, dumbass, etc. This spawned a rather heated argument that then turned into threats. (all on Facebook-fun social networking!)
Anyway, this eventually led me to find the group, "I am Insulted by How Much of a Retard You Are". It's only for fun! If you don't have a sense of humor don't look at it!
This led me to wonder, if, you know, just for fun, I created a group called "I am Insulted by How Much of a N*gger You Are" or "I am Insulted by How Much of a F*ggot You Are", would Facebook allow it to remain on the site?
It is precisely the same thing. If I put pictures of stereotypically "gay" or "urban" looking people doing dumbass stuff and said, "Oh, it's just for fun! Don't be such a PC asshole!". All of these examples and the actual group have lots in common: they are all people who are used as fodder for low-brow comedy and jokes; they all are stereotyped as behaving/acting/dressing certain ways; none deserve the ridicule and harassment they receive; and on an on.
It's not okay to marginalize any group and treat them as inferior, second class citizens. It irks me that people seem to think hateful speech is okay when it is paraded as parody or comedy. I do think their are some writers and performers who can pull off great parodies including race, disability, sexuality, and other sensitive issues. Their work generally highlights the inequalities in a way that the bigots being prejudiced are the main objects of ridicule, though they don't seem to realize it.
I'm not a prude and I'm not overly politically correct. I merely wish that people with cognitive disabilities weren't viewed as stupid and dumb. I wish they weren't easy prey for morally bankrupt individuals. I wish they weren't the unknowing and unwitting butt of jokes for people who look for the easiest targets to lampoon. I guess I'm saying that I wish they were treated like feeling, thinking human beings.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Funny Yahoo News Typo



The typo is the second science video under the More... heading.
Not really sure how an animal "asses" someone...