Saturday, November 26, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

I HATE the Target Two-Day Sale Woman


I am always getting emails explaining all sorts of reasons I need to boycott Target, but the biggest reason I might avoid Target this holiday season is the "Target Two-Day Sale Woman". This woman is the living embodiment of everything I hate about the holiday season. When I Googled the bitch to get the skinny on how other people feel about her, much to my surprise, there are people who LOVE this bitch.

Seriously?

The first thing I hate about the Target Two-Day Sale Woman is her fashion sense. High heels with a jogging suit? Seriously bad -- and are those pantie lines I spy? The Wilma Flintstone pearls don't help the outfit either. The a-line double knit red 60's airline stewardess and little scarf isn't much better.

Next thing I hate about the Target Two-Day Sale Woman is I believe she has a substance abuse problem. No way her adrenaline fueled behaviour is the merely the combination of too much coffee and holiday sugar. That's right: I suspect her of harboring an amphetamine habit the size of Santa's belt. I look forward to seeing this bitch locked up in Dr. Drew's "Celetrity Rehab" sometime early next year.

The thing she does with the frosting gun is kind of nasty. Has no one noticed this but me? Creepy as hell and they show this crap during prime time. Never mind the potty-mouth baby dolls, parents need to keep an eye on this dame.

Most of what I hate about the Target Two-Day Sale Woman is that she represents everything I HATE about the holidays. She IS the stores opening at ungodly hours in the morning luring mostly women, who have spent the day prior to Black Friday cooking, baking, entertaining, etc., from their warm well-earned slumber, into cold, crowded parking lots so they can compete with other exhausted consumers in a seasonal assault in the name of scoring the biggest bargains before they are gone. The whole thing makes me want to hide under the bed until the holidays are OVER.

Merry Christmas indeed.

Airstream Henge


Texas may have the "Cadillac Ranch" but in Florida, we have "Airstream Henge".

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Barbie



Miss Phyllis and I were zooming through the back roads of Georgia on our way to another house during yet another move. At first I wasn't sure of what I had seen. What it looked like was two teams of Barbie dolls dressed in football uniforms squaring-off for the Superbowl on the somewhat busy intersection of a country highway. Miss Phyllis, also a purveyor of all things extraordinary turned to me in astonished glee. Indeed, we had both witnessed the same thing.

"I love the South." Miss Phyllis said.

This is just the sort of thing I live for. At first I thought maybe it was just some sort of Southern football thing, but the display changed though out the years. The display was somewhat legendary in that area of Georgia. Ask just about anyone about the Barbie display and they'd seen it. I appreciated it as just another piece of Southern eccentricity and imagined it a gazillion years from now as future archaeologists tried to determine just what it was and what it meant. Until I learned the full story behind the peculiar monument.

A week before the Bulldog and I had to move again I learned the truth behind the legendary Barbie display from my hairdresser.

"Oh!" she said when I told her about this crazy display. "That lady is famous. Do you know the story behind it?"

It seems the woman (we'll call her "Miss Belle" for purposes of this story) who lived in the house on that corner had cultivated some lovely and expensive bushes on the corner where the Barbie display now lived. One day the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) determined that the bushes created a safety hazard. Without warning, GDOT removed the offending shrubbery without so much as a: "Ma'am, your bushes are blocking the view." Astonished at this gross violation of her personal rights, not to mention the downright bad manners of failing to inform her they would be removing her carefully cultivated greenery, Miss Belle hatched a plan. From that day forward, in protest against the almighty GDOT, Miss Belle orchestrated one crazy-assed Barbie display after the next. She has kept this up display for YEARS, changing it whenever she is so inspired. Neighbors have complained that display is tacky, but Miss Belle has stood her ground. The display stays.

As the Bulldog and I drove out of Georgia one last time during yet another move, I couldn't help but look for Miss Belle's display. I was not disappointed. There it was in all its plastic glory: The Barbie Beach and Bar-B Rodeo.

I love Miss Belle, whoever she is.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cruel Cruel Summer



The other night I looked over at my husband (the Bulldog) and said: "This has been the longest month of my life."

The Bulldog responded with: "That's because it has been two months."

"Oh" said I. "That explains a lot."

Here is the problem: I am so freakin' tired I don't think I can do Halloween this year. The thought of fishing out boxes, unpacking my Halloween crap and saving Halloween once again this year is about as appealing as the photo on my new driver's license. I don't think I can do it. I was going to go as the ghost of Marie Antoinette and pass out "Little Debbie" mini-cupcakes to the kids but I am just too damn tired. Although I managed to score a bitchin' wig on clearance that had me singing "Rock me Amadeus" I don't think I can do it.

So I am taking a pass on Halloween this year. You'll have to save it yourselves. I'm sorry -- but I know you can do it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Toddlers and Tiaras: Has Mommy Lost Her Freakin' Mind?

Relocating "Kelleywood" this summer has been a daunting task. In fact, it has left me feeling somewhat crankier than usual. Just when I was about to slide down that slippery slope into the throws of a full-blown depression, what was there to pull me out but those dazzling kinder-whores on "Toddlers and Tiaras".

Last week I was so blue, so sad that the padded boobs and behind of a Dolly Parton costume formerly worn by a pint-size beauty queen's mommy dearest barely raised and exhausted sigh. Other than the revelation that this sort of lunacy might well be hereditary, I was fairly non-plussed. Seriously, haven't we seen it all before -- the mouthful of Chicklets "flipper", the spray tanning of four year-olds, the pious pleading to almighty Jesus that so-and-so's little contestant win that crown. Amen.


Then little Paisley's mommy had the incredible and highly questionable inspiration to dress her little darlin' as Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman". Before my brain was able to process the thought: "Wasn't Julia Roberts a hooker in that movie?", little Paisley was parading about in a pair of thigh high boots and a blonde hooker wig. Oh dear.

The creep factor of kiddie pageants has always been sort of high. I was astonished that there was not a major outcry when last year's little Mia donned a miniature Madonna cone-bra and strutted her stuff. Paisley's mom, in an effort to up the ante on outrageous and over-the-top, tarted-up her toddler in Julia Robert's hooker dress from "Pretty Woman". The one she wears when Richard Gere pays for a B.J. Paisley's mother claims not to have "understood" "Pretty Woman", but had her daughter change into the brown polka-dot dress having been "reformed". If Paisley's mom didn't get that "Pretty Woman" was about a hooker, just WHAT did she thing Julia Roberts was reforming from? Little Paisley's routine won her a "Grand Supreme" title, so I anticipate a Marilyn Chambers get-up on our next winner.

Now there is the predictable media outrage and Paisley's mom has put her little darling's dress up for auction to benefit a right-to-life group -- as if to say: "Everyone knows those pro-choice people are the REAL whores." So predictable.

The pageant mom's are the first to cry: "You can't judge us", but that is exactly what they are asking people to do to their children. I doubt little Paisley had a clue as to what she was doing dressed in her little prosti-tot outfit-of-choice, prancing about the stage in thigh-high boots, but mom knew. That is the really big problem with these pageants because very little of it is about the children. It is all about the moms and their willingness to exploit their children in the name of fame.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why the Divorce Rate is High in the Army

My husband was recently deployed for a year to Afghanistan. He came back with a Bronze Star and a couple other awards. It seemed to be a job well-done.

The fact we had to move upon the heel of a year long combat tour pretty much sucked, but it has not been the first time. While Congress sits on its fat ass dickering over the budget, we used some of my husband's precious leave to prepare for this move.

For SIX MONTHS I researched the market in Florida to where we were moving. We got a real estate agent, did everything we were supposed to do, paid for the house to be inspected, went through a mortgage broker we'd used before familiar with military moves. The price on the house's square footage was the SAME as all other homes that had sold in that area, but the appraiser with the VA Loan people decided the home was worth considerably less than ALL the other homes that had sold in the area. No one can tell us why.

EVERY move we have ever had with the military has been hell. The movers that are hired are the "lowest bidder" and behave as if the people they are moving are the enemy. They move military people by the weight of their stuff. Whatever rank you are is the amount of poundage you get to move. Just off the top of your head, right now, I want you to estimate how much all of YOUR crap weighs. The military will tell you that they are supposed to pack and unload everything, but because the mover has low-balled their bid to get the contract, they realize that cuts into their profit margin. One way they get around this situation and attempt to make more money is to use this ridiculous heavy paper to try to add weight to whatever you are moving. Let me tell you, military contracted movers LOVE this paper. They will individually wrap every teaspoon you own to try to get you over the allotted weight. Why? Because then the military member who is moving has to pay for the amount of overage -- which is frequently some heavy-assed paper.

The people moving your stuff may or may not be the same people picked up and hired from the local methadone clinic that very same morning.  Licensed and bonded -- who knows -- you should just be happy you have someone to move your stuff.  We have moved five times in ten years and we are ALWAYS told it is going to be different, but it never, ever is.  NOT ONCE have we EVER had military movers unpack all of our goods.  The last time they decided to move all the stuff they couldn't unpack into our garage.  They gently placed a roll of butcher paper in the corner of the garage.  This stuff is like crack to termites and several months later, when my husband was deployed again, we were told we had termites.  I had to bribe someone to move the boxes for me because I have had open heart surgery and cannot do heavy lifting.  Fortunately we had termite insurance so the whole debacle only cost us the $200 bucks it took to bribe somebody to move the infestation out of the garage.

Determined to get crap under control for this move, we decided to head down to Florida to find a house.  House hunting was a nightmare.  The neighborhoods were mostly over-priced slums.  Finally we found a house.  Our credit rating was golden, it passed inspection, we placed it in escrow, we got the insurance.ther homes in the area had sold for more, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Fat lot of good that did us.  The fucking VA appraiser came in and decided the house wasn't worth what we wanted the loan for.  So much for that so-called "benefit".  I will tell you who all of these governmental agencies that are supposed to be working for soldiers benefit and that is themselves.  We have arranged movers, lawyers, real estate agents and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and one governmental fucktard screws up the whole works.  So, we have a move scheduled for two week out and no house, unless we want to forego the VA and get a conventional loan -- which is probably what we will have to do because two weeks from now the moving van will be showing up and God help us if we try to change that around. I would like to challenge the VA to finding us a home in the same area at that same price because we really do need to move there if it is available. They don't have to do anything to help us. They just say "no" and we are left holding the bag as usual.

I know the real estate market tanked. The Bulldog and I TRY to live within our means. THIS is the thanks we get for it. We have NEVER defaulted on anything, paid our bills and kept our noses clean. NO ONE has EVER bailed us out for making some sorry-assed financial decision. Yet these governmental agencies that are supposed to support soldiers ALWAYS seem to be find some way to deny them their benefits.

The divorce rate in the military is high among officer. No shit. Instead of all the dumbass handholding and LIP-SERVICE to "...giving military famlies support", try actually supporting us.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Panhandling in Paradise: Part 2

This is part 2 of a series started yesterday. If you missed part 1 (Shame on you!)you may want to check-out yesterday's blog. Try to keep up.

Alarmed that I might be turning into a Republican, I checked my hair in the car mirror to make sure I wasn't developing a suspicious Sarah Palin poof and wearing a red power suit. Assured that it was still me in the mirror and not a former vice-presidential candidate, I had to find-out what had occurred in Tampa to spawn this out-of-control proliferation of panhandling on virtually every street corner. I went back to the hotel and Googled.

From what I could tell from various sources such as "The Tampa Tribune" and "St. Petersburg Times", here is how it went down: The city leadership in Tampa could not pass an ordinance making panhandling illegal because then the people who stand on the median to sell newspapers on Sunday would be in violation of this ordinance.

Exercise: Find any school-age child under the age of ten. Show him/her the following pictures of 1. A newspaper seller; and 2. A panhandler. Ask him/her if he/she can tell the difference. City leaders in Tampa cannot. Apparently the only way they could tell the difference was the reflective vests that the newspaper vendors wore. Once the panhandlers donned the magic reflective vests, nobody in Tampa city government was capable of distinguishing the difference between the two.

1. Newspaper seller

2.Panhandler

It seems some 60% of people polled in Tampa supported a ban on panhandling. I am not that familiar with statistics, but it is hard to get 60% of people in a democratic society to agree on much of anything. Sixty-percent constitutes a whopping majority. Yet the problem persists in Tampa.

Panhandlers complain that if they are banned, they will have no other way to earn a living. By allowing rampant panhandling in Tampa, they have created a whole group of individuals now dependent upon panhandling as a means to earn a living. Take away panhandling and panhandlers claim they will have no other recourse, but to resort to crime. So I guess panhandling is just a form of extortion: "Give me money, or I will rob your home."

Lets face it: The economy sucks. A lot of people are experiencing hard times, but is passing out money to individuals on street corners REALLY the best way to deal with the problem?

Back to the reason we were in Tampa: My husband and I were searching for an affordable, safe place to live. I would give a "guesstimate" that housing costs in Tampa were roughly $75,000 to a $100,000 higher (In iffy neighborhoods with parking problems) than in the outlying, panhandling-free areas surrounding the city. Guess where we decided to move?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Panhandling in Paradise: Part 1

Tampa

Over two-hundred panhandlers are estimated to work the Hyde Park area of Tampa. Hyde Park, for those of you unfamiliar with the area, is one of the higher rent districts in Tampa, Florida. My husband and I recently went to Tampa to try to find a moderate home to house our moderate, middle-class lifestyle. We purchased our current moderate, middle-class home smack-dab on top of the so-called "housing bubble" which burst about six months after our purchase.  Not to fear, we were assured that in the current market housing bargains were plentiful.  Certainly, there would be no problem recouping what we stood to lose on our current "investment".

After spending months researching the market on sites like "Trulia", I felt I had an educated grasp on what the housing market held in store. Since we would probably take a beating when we went sell our current abode, we were looking for a deal. Too bad the wait on these "deals" -- short sales and foreclosures -- was at least six months and frequently included the terms:  "Cash Only".   I don't know who has that kind of money laying around in this economy (besides investors) but it pretty much excludes your average home buyer who requires some sort of financing. It didn't take long for me to figure-out that all those super-low prices advertised on the Internet are a bunch of crap. Still, the housing market has been hit hard so certainly we should be able to find a house that was enough of a deal for us to break even. Hasn't everyone been hit in this downward market spiral?

So we started looking at the classic vintage homes we found in a "revitalized" area of Tampa. This revitalization included exactly four homes in the middle of what can only be described as an absolute ghetto. To make matter worse, I couldn't help but notice that on EVERY street corner on EVERY main thoroughfare in the city of Tampa was occupied by panhandler after panhandler begging for money. I used to think "There but for the grace of God go I...", but not this time. This time all I could think about was trying to run this gauntlet of seedy humanity every time I went to the store after dark to pick-up a quart of milk or a loaf of bread. Who wants to live this way? 

I am not insensitive to the plight of poverty, but panhandling in Tampa has reached an entirely different level. These panhandlers came prepared for the Florida heat with ice chests full of water. They weren't people who were just having a hard time, they were people for whom panhandling had apparently become enough of a lifestyle that they had the wherewithal to take some of that spare change and invest in reflective vests.  The really creepy part is that they were ALL wearing the same style reflective vest.  Merely pondering the legal issues involved in allowing people to routinely stand on the median and beg for money in the middle of rush hour traffic made my inner-attorney's head spin.  Holy crap!  What were the chances of hitting one of these people?  Suddenly I was feeling eerily middle-aged and somewhat Republican. (To be continued...)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baggage Claim

When I googled Delta airlines to find what the fallout was from overcharging our soldiers for excess baggage, I was sort of surprised by the amount of people defending Delta.  Delta does have a lot of employees and by now I imagine they have been given the corporate spin on this debacle.  Delta has changed their policy on this and apologized, but what bothers me is that we have been a nation at war for almost ten years.  I would have thought at this point Delta employees would have had a clue as to what the rules were regarding the baggage soldiers HAVE to carry.  Our soldiers are not carrying back superfluous souvenirs to pass out to the kids when they get home.  They are carrying equipment that they have to have to perform their jobs in combat zones.  The government PAYS Delta for allowing our soldiers to carry four bags -- three and one extra.  You would think Delta would have educated their employees on that fact a long time ago.  Yes, some of our soldiers have government credit cards and a reimbursed for this, however they are required to account for the charges on that credit card.  I really wonder how much money Delta has made by charging our soldiers -- and therefore our government -- twice for the same bag?  I think Delta may have some explaining and accounting to do.  If this problem isn't just with Delta, then maybe the entire airline industry needs to be investigated.  Why did it have to take an incident like this for Delta to finally take action?

Our soldiers are not asking for special treatment from the airlines.  They are asking to receive what the American taxpayer has already paid for  four bags.  Our soldiers have to do their jobs, maybe Delta should do theirs.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Delta is Ready...to Take YOUR Money

Delta Air Lines - N188DN - 767-332/ER

Recently several soldiers posted videos to "YouTube" because they were charged extra money to bring their baggage on board. In case you were wondering if this was true or not, I am here to tell you is is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. This has been going on for a LONG time. Our soldiers who have given so much are paying to check their extra baggage -- which is usually equipment they are REQUIRED to carry and for which they are financially responsible. Our returning military personnel do not have an option as to what airline they use to travel home. That privilege goes to the lowest bidder and that low bid may not include their extra luggage. Of course that bid is supposed to include their luggage, as long as that luggage is the equivalent of what civilian travelers carry. That's right: Those ultra-patriots at Delta expect a soldier deploying for a year to have the same amount of luggage as someone vacationing for two weeks.

I have had to ship my husband extra stuff at our own expense because he could not take it aboard an airline. When he returns, he will be leaving stuff behind because it is either to expensive, or too much of a hassle to try to take it home on an airline. His nickname is the Bulldog and he is not shy about arguing with an airline, it is just that big of a hassle. I don't know if Delta is the only airline that does this, but I assure you this incident is not isolated. Usually it is a just a couple of soldiers, a couple bags and a lot less money, but that money adds up. Soldier after soldier is paying out of his or her own pocket to transport equipment they have to carry. Soldiers pay because they think they have to, or they are tired of conflict and just want to get home without further hassle.

So, if you are on your way out of Afghanistan: Thank-you for killing Bin Laden, but make sure you stop by the ATM on your way out. "Delta is ready..." to take your money.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day

A Soldier's Grave



Every Memorial Day it is the same thing. A soldier writes a touching tribute to a fallen comrade to remind us what this day is about, and someone takes Memorial Day as an opportunity to discuss their anti-war sentiments. War is a horrible thing. No one knows that better than a soldier. To blab your opinions and try to make them front and center on a day that is about honoring the fallen is without a doubt spectacularly selfish. Please feel free to run your mouth all other 364 days of the year, but on this day could you at least try to think of someone besides yourself?

Most of the people who fight in wars are not the people who make the decision to fight. Many of them are just kids -- poor kids who joined the military looking for a way out to make life better for themselves. Certainly, they feel a sense of honor, duty and pride in serving their country, but for the most part, they are not "the haves". These are the people we honor this day. The people who sacrificed and died so that we may live in a nation where less then one percent of the population serves in the military.

Monday, May 2, 2011

HOOAH!



THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bring Back the Hat!

Royal wedding: guests

As an American it is in my nature to never pay too much attention to royalty. Expecially British royalty. We fought a war to get away from them, after all. I was not awake at 0-dark-thirty Eastern time to watch the blessed nuptials. I rarely miss an opportunity to wear a tiara, but since I currently live in Georgia, I spent the greater part of Wednesday night and Thursday morning huddled in a centralized bathroom with three of four bored cats (one is an doofus and cannot be bought with treats) hoping Kelleywood would not be swept off the face of the earth by a rash of violent storms that swept through the South. In short, I was too damn tired to get up to watch a wedding that I knew would be played again, and again, and again all freakin' weekend long.

I had planned on playing it cool, but then my genetic heritage reared it's brightly plummed head. You see, I have a fourth great-grandfather (or perhaps fourth great-uncle. Haven't quite sorted all of that out yet.) who while fighting for the American Colonists found himself captured by Indians, who were league with the Crown, turned him over to the British. Grandpa (or Uncle Who's It) was transported to Canada as a British prisoner. Grandpa, I believe disliking the cold as much as his current kin, is RUMORED to have possibly, maybe, might have also fought for the British in order to secure his release. That combined with the genetic legacy of my German grandmother's pre-WWII hat delivery job in Berlin (which she liked very much, thank you) can explain my viseral reaction to the parade of hats going into that church where those people were getting married. (Note: If you want facts, Google. I was told my blog needed more pictures, less writing. Since people want pictures, why should I trouble myself with the damn facts? Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you know what wedding I am talking about.) OMG! I had forgotten all about THE HATS!

Royal Wedding Guests

Good hats!

Princess Beatrice's hat

Bad hats!


HRH the Queen and pageboys

Yellow Hats!

BRITAIN-ROYALS-MARRIAGE

Camilla Hats!

C71H8164

Pink Hats!

princess-beatrice-435

Sister Hats!



Beige Hats! Violet Hats!

David and Samantha Cameron

No Hats!
(Worse than Bad Hats!)

C71H7663

And Blue Hats!

There were SO many fabulous hats! I hope this signals the return of hats to fashionistas across the globe!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What a Girl Wants (What We Really, Really Want)

Sex and the City
Ever since Adam and Eve took a bite out of the apple, men and women have spent an inordinate time trying to determine what it is that the opposite sex really wants. I can only speak for my half of the gender equation but part of the problem is that sometimes as women we don't even know what it is we really want. We are bombarded daily with a barrage of images, ideas, advertisements and experts telling us what our heart's desire is, or what should be, to the point of where the truth has been buried under a piled of last year's fashion. No wonder men are confused. We're confused, too. According to the media should want to be thinner, smarter, taller, shorter, smoother, blonder, darker, lighter, curlier, richer, more successful, younger and the list goes on and on and on until we don't know what the hell it is we really want ourselves. Until now -- because I have the answer. (You can thank me at the end of this article.)
Sex And The City

Before I divulge this life-altering truth, I must back-track a little while you prepare yourself for a revaluation that is going to rock your world. A couple years ago when the first "Sex And The City" movie was playing, I was visiting my parents in a small town in Illinois. Mom and I indulged in some feminine bonding, and decided to see "Sex and the City." We had to drive to another small town, several cornfields over, to the theatre showing "Sex And The City". What the theatre lacked in modern conveniences in size, it more than made-up for in price and atmosphere. When is the last time you loaded up on popcorn, drinks and tickets FOR TWO under $20? (Not to mention getting a look see at the fine collection of soda pop memorabilia in the lobby.) The seating was maybe one step above folding chairs, but the theatre was filled with women on an estrogen high anxiously awaiting the start of the ultimate chick-flick.

Sex And The City

Special note: For guys who have not seen this movie, I want you to go out and get the DVD NOW and pay close attention. This movie tackles the very important question of what it is exactly women want. Amid the breathtaking couture, the glamour of the big city, the hair, the jewelry, the SHOES, lies the answer to the question of what it is women really want. Although the disparity between the big city movie we were watching and the tiny town we were watching it in was abundant, we were soon to discover a universal truth. A collective gasp spontaneously erupted from the crowd, the likes of which I have never heard in a movie theatre big or small. It came when Big showed Carrie the special closet he built for her. Men may try an whole list of romantic gestures, but there is was: THE ULTIMATE way to her heart. Love and sex have their place, but what women really want is: A BIG-ASS CLOSET. There you go. One of life's secrets. (Aren't you happy you stopped by my blog today?).

Sex and the City Closet

Before we purchased the house we are currently in, the Army had us do one of those jump-through-your-ass moves that conveniently took place over the holidays. The whole house hunt was a blur of stairs, carpets, wood vs. vinyl, stainless steal, marble, granite and to be truthful, very little stands out about the houses we didn't purchase. There IS one thing I do recall though: The mother of all BIG-ASS CLOSETS. The house was all wrong, but I still envy that woman's closet. It was a thing of beauty. It's what we really, really want.

nah04

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Want to Be a Weeki Wachee Mermaid!!!!!

Weeki Wachee mermaid
The world has been an awful mess this past month. It wasn't doing really well before, but this month has been a doozy. As I impatiently await the Bulldog's return from the hell-hole he has currently been assigned my thoughts drift to my future move to Florida. There is the real Florida, and then there is the Florida-In-My-Mind (FIMM) which exists somewhere North of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and South of the Okefenokee Swamp, on the Gulf coast of Florida nowhere near last year's horrific oil spill, or the excesses of coastal over-development. FIMM is a happy place where the lifeguards don't care if you toss back an alcoholic beverage on the beach as long as you share.

Sarasota Beach Florida


It's a Florida I first turned my sophisticated twenty-something nose up at many long years ago. I was too deep, too artistic to appreciate the tiki-tacky charm of my soon to be native state. No mermaids for me, no waters-ski pyramids, no rides on glass-bottom boats either. Like so many twenty-somethings, I was a pretentious idiot.

Glass-Bottomed Boat, Silver Springs, Florida, c. 1960



There must be some myth that is a metaphorical match to my current state of affairs: Some soul doomed to troll EBay for all eternity in search of the ultimate Florida souvenir, having snubbed the ski-pyramid in her misguided youth.

Stars of Florida Water Ski Show

Then it occurs to me : I WANT TO BE A WEEKI WACHEE MERMAID!!!


Department of Homeland Security funds for the Weeki Wachee Mermaids?


I would be SO good!!! I could share my lunch with a fish and dazzle tourists from across the land.

Feeding Time - Weeki Wachee, Florida

Oh, the glamour of it all. Mermaids have even explored the MOON!!!

'Weeki

Who wouldn't want to be a Weeki Wachee Mermaid?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sister Wives: Are We Having Fun Yet?

sister-wives-600

Things I am grateful for today (besides not having myself or any of my loved ones swept away by a tsunami): I am grateful that I have never had the occasion to start a sentence with the following phrase: "The other sister wives and I...". Have you seen this show? I have tried watching it several times, but usually have to stop about mid-way through because I keep wanting at least one of those wives to develop a shred of self-esteem and tell that that surfer-dude Corey the-husband-guy to take a flying friggin' leap. Instead, they cry. EVERY time I watch this show these wives are crying and "dealing with their jealousy issues" Here is how you deal with jealousy issues: Don't let your husband marry other women.

Angela Ellsworth - Sister Wives-7

Back in the good-old-days, 2009ish, it was easy to identify a sister wife by that inbred, outer space look, predisposition to pastels, freaky hairdos and over-all bad fashion sense. As disturbing as I found this look, at least you could pick these broads out of crowd. I like to know with whom I am dealing. Enter Corey Brown and the "Sister Wives". Corey Brown looks pretty much like every slightly sunburned beach bartender I ever knew in Florida, minus a few broken capillaries around the nose. I suspect the dude of using "Sun-In" on his hair, although like everything else I say in this article, I could never prove it.

Sister Wives

This "normalcy" makes this show uber-creepy. The Browns like to talk about how people are already "prejudiced" against them. As if their pluralistic state of matrimony was thrust upon them unwillingly. Corey is also prone to getting a little defensive when people inquire into their sex lives. Dude, you are married to FOUR different women and you have chosen to TELEVISE your lifestyle -- what do you think people are going to ask you about? Boxers or briefs?

One thing I know about myself for certain is that deep down inside I am very, very selfish. No way in hell could I EVER even remotely consider sharing my husband with some other woman. (The Army gets in the way enough as it is.) I am the center of my husband's universe. In one episode Corey marries wife number 4, and that selfish bastard goes on a honeymoon JUST with her. The other wives, who have been dealing with this tool year-after-year-after-year get left at home. They deal with "their jealousy issues" by going on a picnic where there is more crying. These women cry a lot. I don't cry this much about my husband and he has been in a combat zone for almost a year.

The weird thing is, that the Browns really don't seem horribly religious. Oh, at least once during EVERY show, the Browns huddle together in prayer, as if to to remind us that this is a religious choice, but I get the feeling that they are really just playing to the camera.


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Wife number-one Meri, alternates between being seriously pissed-off and crying. One gets the feeling the other wives have kicked her in the metaphorical uterus because Meri has only been able to produce one child. Talk about an underachiever. Meri keeps a lid on her pent-up rage, but every so often she lets a little snippet fly. I think she may just be the one to let loose on Corey one of these days.

Here is my fantasy scenario for the end of Season Two: One night at a prayer meeting Meri announces that she is a Lesbian and is love with one of the other sister-wives. The two remaining sister wives announce that they have been having a clandestine affair and have secretly married in some state where that is legal. Corey is kicked out into the cold and left to contemplate his blonde hightlights. Alone.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Westboro and Other Asses

God Hates You

Since our media has determined that the 24 hour-a-day news coverage of Charlie Sheen's embarrassingly public mental meltdown prevents the coverage of any REAL news, you may have missed that our Supreme Court just made a really dumb ass decision. Long story short, they upheld the rights of those raving lunatics from the Westboro Baptist Church to protest at military funerals. To do otherwise would be to deny these people their First Amendment rights.

It just goes to show you: If you want to say whatever the hell you want to, whenever the hell you want to, just start a religion. How freaking stupid and superstitious is it to believe God is killing soldiers because the United States supports gay rights. WTF???? People who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of this nation can be subjected to the absurd, archaic, backward, ridiculous so-called-religious protests because to do otherwise would violate the Westboro Baptist Church's First Amendment rights? I am disgusted. Beam me up, Scotty. Common sense should have been written into the Constitution. I would like to propose a new amendment to the Constitution that requires our nation's leaders to exercise common sense. I don't care how you feel about war, having a loved one killed in combat is a horrible, terrible thing. It is NOT the place for ANY sort of protest. It isn't appropriate. When did religious tolerance become religious accommodation?

I have a sign on my door that says "No Religious Solicitation". First, I think it is beyond rude for someone to show-up on my porch and presume I am in league with Satan and require "saving". Secondly, this solicitation of converts is not a part of religion and I would prefer not to have MY religious freedom violated by some asshole on my property. Take your self-righteous bullshit somewhere else and DO SOMETHING an actual Christian might do. I have to tolerate your stupid religion. I don't have to agree with it and I shouldn't have to accommodate it at a military funeral. Nor should anyone else.

These people have ALWAYS HAD THE RIGHT to practice their religion. No one has interfered with their right to practice their faith. However, EVERY single time these idiots show-up at a military funeral THEY interfere with the rights of grief-stricken people practicing their own spiritual rituals. The decision made by the Supreme Court is the sort of stupid political correctness our forefathers who framed the Constitution NEVER intended. Furthermore, what Westboro Baptist Church engages in is NOT religious; it is political. I fail to see how preventing Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at military funerals interferes with their right to practice their religion. Our courts intervene if child's welfare is threatened because of a parent's religious belief. Polygamy is illegal in this nation, although that certainly offends the religious beliefs of certain sects. Why then is the court unable to protect the rights of it's citizens from these religious zealots at military funerals?

I am fond of the saying: "The law is not an ass." What this means too me is that although the law can be manipulated to make less than reasonable decisions by obeying the letter of the law and not the spirit, our jurisprudence system usually does not. Except for today. Today the Supreme Court was an ass.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Real Estate Land is Better than Disney!!!!

'Bank

I've been a little off of the radar lately. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, it's just that the Bulldog informed me that we will be moving. Again. This is something like the fifth time in ten years. This will be number three on how many houses we have bought in six years. If we didn't have to sell one we purchased when the market was sky-high, I'd be a little more excited about the prospects. The Bulldog and I are fairly practical people and we bought our current house because we had to have somewhere to live. Up until that point buying a house had always seemed to be a responsible investment to make in our future. Hell, I was raised on that proposition.

I've become somewhat addicted to searching for real estate online. It's sort of surprising how many people are still trying to scratch out an existence as real estate agents. They must be some serious optimists. Maybe they really do believe what they write in those online real estate ads. A whopping fifty percent of the homes listed in the area we are searching in Florida are either short sales or foreclosures, but Realtors are keeping their heads held high. Realtors are selling a dream:

"Nestled in a lovely cul-de-sac at the end of a peaceful tree-lined street is where you will find the home that you have been searching for. With a private pond view, an abundance of birds, squirrels and egrets, you will never believe that you are only walking distance away from all the conveniences .... [T]op this all off with a sparkling, in ground, screened pool and what more could you ask for? This home really has it all - 4 generous size bedrooms, 2 full baths, gorgeous wood floors, tile and newer carpet."

I WANT THAT HOUSE!!!! I love Real Estate Land, because in Real Estate Land that egret is never taking a dump in your driveway. Those squirrels aren't chewing holes through your screened-in pool, which not only jacked-up your homeowners insurance, but sent your water bill sky-rocketing. (Who knew a pool would cost so much to run?) No one in Real Estate Land will tell you that a "private pond" in Florida (probably a man-made retention pool) will at the very least be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, not to mention the occasional snakes and alligators.

Homes in Real Estate Land are never dinky and small, they are "cute and cozy". No home is ever a dump, instead it is "a fixer upper", "investment property", "has potential" or (when they get really desperate "...is in a desirable school district". (You do love your children, don't you????) Realtors truly believe in that old adage that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Never mind that the pictures of that "fixer-upper" showed what looked to be major flood damage as well as black mold; the "investment property" was a boarded-up crack house; and "has potential" would require razing the current construction and evicting the next door neighbors. In Real Estate Land, ALL property is valuable. It's like one of those kiddie contests where ALL the kids get a trophy.

Now I don't even want to look at a house that is "...gem in the rough", because in the picture that house has its windows boarded-up. It's not a "...gem in the rough", that's a dump. Ditto any "fixer-uppers", "AS-IS" (They always put that in big capital letters too, what's up with that?)or "...handyman's dream". I am not interested in any houses' future, I am strictly interested in the here and now. If the people who actually own the property aren't interested in fixing it, why should I be interested in fixing it?

One of my favorites:

This gorgeous home is truly one of a kind. This special home was built by a builder for his own personal use. The bedrooms in the main house are massive, easily the size of two normal bedrooms in a house of this age and large enough (and already designed) to be divided into two with separate entrances to the bedroom already in place. The home has a traditional bungalow style layout except for the fact that the rooms are huge in comparison. Also featured in this fantastic home is a stand up attic with stairs going up. This historic residence has patterned red oak hardwood floors which have just been refinished, loads of original built in… cabinets in almost every room and closet, many of the original elements of the kitchen including the original sink. The kitchen is also very large. The home has just received a makeover including paint and all the new landscaping, sod and well sprinkler system. Don't just drive by this home; you have to see the level of original detail in the interior that is still intact to truly appreciate this architectural gem.

It may be an "architectural gem" in Real Estate Land, but if you click on the Google satellite map for a street view to get a good look at the used car lot right next to this "historic residence". What? No "sparkling pool"???

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is Humor On the "Out" List?

Ricky Gervais

I only watched the reports from the red carpet part of the "Golden Globes" this year. It's true, all I truly give a shit about are the clothes. I go that deep in my shallowness. As far as that goes, here is my take: Helena Bonham Carter: I love you for channeling your inner '80's Lauper and wearing two different color shoes.

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Perhaps it is the advent of scripted reality shows that has made me truly bored with every freakin' overblown Hollywood scandal that makes its way down the pike. Every week they invent a new one and MOST of them are decidedly lacking in creativity. My problem is that most of these glambots on awards shows take themselves so freakin' seriously. Then some wannabe glambot in charge of production hires some "edgy" comedian to host the damn show. Then the glambots get all pissed off because the comedian makes fun of them at the expense of their over-inflated egos. Next thing you know, Tom Cruise is off suing somebody and Angelina Jolie is off adopting another kid and/or saving the world. Yawn. Yawn. So bored. Next.

Stupid controversy in a nutshell: Ricky Gervais told a joke at the Globes which for my money was actually funny and so obviously true. In case you missed it--like I did-- here it goes:

"Two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay – which is the exact opposite of some famous Scientologists ... probably." Gervais added, "My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke." (Courtesy of TMZ and the television).

I think this was about "Phillip Morris" or "Broke-Back Mountain" or some other Hollywood tome that went for straight actors instead of gay actors, because as everyone knows: There is a HUGE shortage of homosexuals in Tinsel Town. Glambots have actually taken to hiring straight females (eg. Rachel Zoe) to do their shopping for them!!! This crisis situation has only been exacerbated by the deportation of what the locals in La-La Land refer to as "the help". To wit (because I just don't get to say that enough since I stopped working for attorneys):

Robert DeNiro (Or was it Al Pacino? I always get them confused.):

"I'm sorry more members of the foreign press aren't with us tonight, but many were deported right before the show along with most of the waiters. And Javier Bardem." (again courtesy of TMZ and the television.)

Get a freakin' grip. As a six-foot blonde woman it is a little difficult to pass myself off as Asian. People DO notice. The only people I can count on to be completely color-blind is airport security who express such equanimity towards my person that they are inclined to pat me down at every given opportunity. It's a wasted effort, but thank-goodness they aren't bigots!!! Like most of us: I HATE bigots. Especially at the airport, and isn't that what flying is all about?

In short, I am reminded of why I don't watch the stupid self-congratulatory award shows. Watching a bunch of over-indulged, over-paid, privileged people enjoying their privileges is just depressing. I only care about the shoes.