Thursday, August 30, 2007

Eyes Wide Open – The Human Cost of This Iraq War

The Friends in Action had set up in the The Bahii Unity garden near the post office. A place of serenity and peace, suddenly became filled with silence that was broken only by my sniffles and the sound of 3371 pieces of satin being whipped by the wind.

Day two of the exhibit found only two men standing in silent protest across the street with their American flags and signs asking “Do you remember 9 – 11?” Monday, at least six men had stood on the corner, while only the volunteers quiet discussions and the wind whipping through square of satin broke the silence. I with stood silent with others, the tears stinging at my eyes, as I read each name. Gazed on each picture. And caught a glimpse into what was once the life, of each Oregon soldier lost.

Walking into the garden I immediately came to the first pair of boots sitting as a silent sentinel to the memory of SPC Joseph Blickenstaff of Corvallis who breathed his last breath at the age of 23. I feel fairly certain his wife had wanted so much more from their life together. That his parents we’re looking forward to grandchildren from him that will never come. That he never wanted that day in the 23rd year of his life to be the last.

100 pairs of Army boots stand in remembrance of one hundred Oregon soldiers who fell in this Iraq war. Their pictures, letters, and photos reminding those who might forget that these were beloved sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. Gone from our lives, wiped out in a senseless action.

One hundred pairs of civilian shoes represent the Iraqi civilians who have died. Grandparents, babies, mothers, sons, fathers, daughters; every shoes represents three thousand Iraqi civilian deaths.

And the 297 civilian contractors who have perished are represented by silent blue hard hats.

As of August 26th the Institute's Iraq Index list American Soldiers killed in the Iraqi War at 3,377. 51 percent were under the age of 25. 70 percent were Army, 12 percent were National Guard. 27,506 seriously wounded. 20 percent of the wounded suffer sever spinal or brain injuries. 30 percent of returning soldiers will develop serious health problems within four months of returning home. It doesn’t count how many are not being helped by our government.

112 journalist (mixed nationalities) have been killed in the conflict, 14 by US forces, 74 were murdered.

The financial cost of war, according to the Brookings Institute?

Daily US spending in Iraq $200 million
Monthly US spending in Iraq $12 billion

Cost of the War in Iraq
Cost of the War in Iraq
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3377 is it worth it to you?

Watch for yourself Wide Open the movie

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ten Jobs I Do Not Want

10 Jobs I Do Not Want!

I was surprised at how seriously I took this tag, thank you Natalie. I had wholly intended to do a totally tongue in cheek blog, but instead, whoa, intense…beginning with those dreaded…

1) Snakes – I do not want to be a snake handler, snake hunter, snake milker, snake charmer. Anyone who knows me totally understands this. When I was growing up on Tanfield Drive, Mr. Turner had these massive tortoises in his back yard. What did this have to do with snakes? He was, yes was, a snake hunter. He hunted rattlers for their venom. When I was a kid I remember hearing he’d been bitten three times. I know that is how he left this earth too. This also saves me from federal and state politicians, door-to-door salesmen, and lawyers.

2) President of the United States. I just don’t think I can dumb down for this job as it seems Americans want.

3) Prayer listening Angel. There are what? 7 billion human beings on earth, potentially half of them pray to “a” god. I believe there is only one God, who goes by many names. So anyway, can you imagine listening to the Shrub’s prayers? Those of BB8’s Amber or Jameka? To Osama Bin Laden’s? I’ll pass.

4) Athletic shoemaker. No, I’m not talking about Phil Knight, the Bazillionaire who employees said shoemakers, I’m talking about the little guy, girl, grandmother, baby in some Micronesia sweatshop who makes .50 cents a day working 10 to 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week, so snot nosed American brats can beg mommy and daddy to spend top dollar for the latest fad.

5) Ad representative who sold their soul to sell those blood money sneakers.

6) Saint Peter. I’m not sure I could turn enough cheeks (and I’ve got a lot of cheek) to let in a repentant Michael Vick, Adolph Hitler, Jim Jones, Wayne Gacey, or George Custer into Heaven. And turning a cheek is just what the job requires to let in the “repentant.” And no I don’t think I’m good enough for Heaven. But it sounds awesome.

7) Money counter at a casino. Enough said.

8) Gynecologist or Proctologist – would you?

9) Phlebotomist – Needles are the snakes of all inanimate objects.

10) Refund agent for anyone – especially post Christmas.

Hmmm, who to tag???? CV Rick, Pomp, Jazzy, Karin, and Jake.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

CV Rick's Saturday MeMe

CV Rick’s Saturday MeMe was provoking to say the least. It inspired Wry to artistically run amok with a great post over at So here is the scoop…

♦ Go to Google images
♦ Type in your name (or in the case of Wry spend all Saturday evening being obsessive for our benefit)
♦ Post interesting image (with link) discovered during this search I love stuff like this, but the sad thing with my name is that I always come up with two things (or plurals of the same two things.)

Then I came up with books by my friends and those I have worked on

My station’s FM Logo

The Administration on Aging just loves me

Then I decide to Google my online name - Celebrindal

I came up with my online name because my wise daughter told me I should chose a name that is meaningful to me. I love Tolkien. Love Tolkien. I'm not rabid, not OCD (well at least about Tolkien.) I poured through my books and finally from the Simarrillion chose Celebrindal, which over time has been shortened to Cele.

And my girl friend’s Dog Zeus…or is this Venus is happy dancing, not for me, but because River Park went to the Dogs.

Usually when I google my name I get listings for naked celebrity photos. Happy dancing dogs are soooo much better. Happy Sunday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Keyboard Dining

I eat at my keyboards, yes at both work and home. A Lot. So while it was frustrating to have dropped a good size lump of steamed rice and garlic from my dry sautéed green beans this afternoon, I wasn’t surprised. Better the keyboard than my white crepe blazer.

I know, I know you’re thinking, “WTF, is she doing eating anything Chinese, Italian, or Tex Mex in a white crepe blazer?” It boggles the logical mind. I on the other hand, and if you polled my boss too, find nothing unusual in that for me. Because to remove the blazer would require two things on my part; first, forethought, secondly…I forgot what the second part was, besides dropping food on my keyboard is a daily process for me.

I eat breakfast ninety-five percent of the time at my keyboard. What does this say? I need to vacation more often, vacations were designed for eating breakfast out. I eat ninety two percent of my lunches at my keyboard. I work through lunch most days. Friday nights generally find a goodly dose of ice cream drips falling along the right hand number keys towards the end of the bowl on my keyboard during chat. Happy note, Otterpops don’t tend to drip on my keyboard.

Back to the dry sautéed green beans and my dilemma as to how I might possibly get the rice out from between the keys. Of course I could shake them out, but then – wow – I lose all that rice. Can we say gluttony? And the keys will still need cleaning. And no, I’m not going to try to suck the rice off of the keyboard, because DUDE! Have you ever tried turning the keyboard upside down and shaking it out? Nasty crap Dude, highly nasty. So I took my fork and picked up as much as I possibly could using the tines, then cursed loudly at the four grains that are now stuck amid a sea of soy sauce between F5%, F6, my 7, 8 and U keys. Tiny corners of post it notes, business cards (I’ll get through that box yet), even my letter opener. Nada, they are now in bits and falling further into the plastic face.

Inserting my faithful letter opener between 7 & 8 I pop it off. And OHMIGAWD! That’s where lint is born and apparently where an ant has died, a while back. Offending rice bits removed, key wiped clean, and popped back into place. Have you ever tried to remove an F key? F4 was not a problem, except no rice had gone down there. F5 & F6 – It ain’t happin’ honey. So I ever so gently try a small corner of paper toweling in between the keys with an upward motion to get what I can. We all know that when you’re working down, and upward sweep begins with a downward poke. So pray to the rice gods for good harvest.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Am Soooo Confused!

I was reading one of my daily blogs, Murder She Writes, and today Allison Brennan is talking about internet time wasters. And what a sweetie, she offered links to each one on Blog Things.

Am I a waster or what? I took each one. So don’t you hate when you take a quiz and the answers provided does not include the answer you need? I hate that, because I know these are highly scientific quizzes, and I want my results to reflect the true me. So here we go.

The Super Hero Quiz – I am Superman – this pissed me off, I really wanted to be Wonder Woman. But shit you have to score an 18 to get Wonder Woman, what idiot came up with that?

What Color Crayon Are You Quiz – I am blue. Go figure. I thought I was pretty happy and wanted to be green. Who in the hell thinks bouffant is a fun word to say? I think licorice is a fun word to say, or Ayatolla Ruholla Kohmiene. Hey you roll that off your tongue for fun, and then follow it up with Francios Miterran. I love saying those names.

What personality disorder are you? WTF, I’m dependent, where the hell did that come from?

What is your thinking style quiz? - I am visioning. I wanted to be visionary, but I’m dependent.

And finally, the Are you left brained or right brained Quiz - I’m just pasting the results in down below

You Are 55% Left Brained, 45% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

I didn’t take the… are you fat quiz, because I know the answer already.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

The seductive power of Six

I have been seduced. I love a good MeMe, the best are analytical and this is among the best. But I am going to take it a step further, I’d like to say better, but that would be a point of view that might not be shared by others. Six words about myself, and then I’m going to write six words about six of my favorite bloggers which is going to be difficult, because I have more than six favorite bloggers.

Wordy – I always give people more information than they asked for. I think this is because I want people to understand, I want to share, I want to be liked. I want give and take. Damn, I want a lot.

Loner (homebody) – I use to be a joiner. In my work a day world my best friend is my husband. On the internet, (where I live more and more) I had a bestest friend, but well that didn’t work out, and after seven years she said Buh-bye. C’est La Vie, it still rankles me. Now I have a BFF and she is awesome, talented, loving, and giving, but I guess I still wait until the moment she decides I’m not her cup of tea. Having friends is hard.

Listener – Everyone has a story to tell; their own, the one they want as theirs, and someone else’s. I will listen. What you find out by listening is what is deep down in the teller. It gives you insights into the human condition, into them. I have a good memory. Good listeners are never judgmental. They just listen and give of themselves.

Fixer – If it is broken I will try to fix it. This works best with situations, because I’m not overly mechanical. Note mechanical is not on my list of six. Fixer is. Being a fixer can backfire in your face. So you must be prepared to lose your friends, to be unpopular, to be stuck in the outer darkness.

Mediator – I love my friends, I hate when they are unhappy and worse when they are unhappy at each other, I try to fix them. Sometimes this doesn’t work out well (see above.)

The power of Six in order of compulsion and length of time read

Natalie Trapped Behind the Zion Curtain
♦Compelling – her personal blog Trapped Behind the Zion Curtain always makes me think
♦Talented – an incredible writer, with four books being released in 2007 alone (or is it five?)
♦Harried – she is always working behind two or three deadlines. Sheesh she has three publishing houses. At least four blogs she owns, co-owns, or contributes to. Does several websites. Is on several writing list. And is always driving somewhere for dance camp, dance competition, or a radio interview.
♦Sane – this is hard to be in the competitive world of Dance Moms and publishing.
♦Mom – she is incredibly supportive of her children and their activities and accomplishments
♦Loyal – she is need I say more?

Sideon - Sideon’s Sanctuary (I’ve only been reading this one for just over a year but it’s one of my favs)
♦Compelling – (you will see this a lot because the best bloggers are compelling)
♦Generous – Sid is open and giving
♦Friendly – I’m not sure I have ever, and I mean ever, had someone offer me friendship so darn fast. Sid is delightful, a confidant,
♦Popular – Men stand in envy of his bevy of female admirers
♦Sexy – Why is it gay men are so sexy? I don’t know, but Sid definitely is.
♦Talented – Sid thinks he isn’t, but oh mi GAWD! Read his writing he is marvelous; his poetry is captivating and compelling; his Seasons of Truth, riveting; his blog delightful and insightful.

Joshily Jackson Faster Than Kudzu
♦Insane – this woman’s blog is as crazy as her writing, but it all connects. I can’t go a day without reading Faster Than Kudzu
♦Facinating – Joss’ mind doesn’t work on the same linear path.
♦Open – what you see is what you get
♦Beloved – The only person I know who gets more comments on her blog is Mir
♦Honored – Her books – gods In Alabama & Between, Georgia keeping winning awards
♦Witty – Very, you have to be there to understand

MirWoulda, Shoulda, Coulda
♦Open – No sugar coating with this woman, just an extra healthy dose of Bacon Salt
♦Humerous – a fabulous sense of humor shades her view of her world as she shares her daily life with her readers
♦Witty – fabulously witty
♦Self-deprecating – She cuts her self no slack and she does it with wit and wisdom
♦Thrifty – If it can be had for cheaper, she’s the woman to find it for you
♦Married – Mir took her readers along for the journey of her single parenthood, into the confusion and sadness of Flee-Harmony dot com, through the worry of rediscovering the love of her life, and her recent marriage.

Sister Mary Lisa - Thoughts By Sister Mary Lisa
♦Humorous – If you’ve read her you understand
♦Talented – This woman has no idea how well she writes
♦Friendly – You can see it in her blog, she opens herself up to her readers and invites them in.
♦Traveled – Who in blogdom hasn’t she traveled to meet? Oh, me, but that is coming.
♦Popular – 90 percent of the people I know read her blog, have met her, or are going to meet her.
♦Parent – their family nights sound awesome

CV Rick - Ninja Writer
♦Talented – I’m not sure he even realizes how well he writes – did you read Alma or his Bank Robber series. Enough said.
♦Compelling – The best blogs always are, they make you want to comment, to think outside the box – late into the day
♦Scientific – he says it’s just the way he thinks
♦Insightful – he gives you a different view to chew on and makes you reconsider
♦Friendly – try his blog you will see for yourself.
♦Father – he can tell he is a proud papa

I hope I didn’t embarrass anyone. And for those who find something new to them here, I hope you enjoy these blogs, because I believe they are well worth your reading time. Did I mention I am wordy?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Regrets of the age challenged or things I will never do again

Yesterday Duck and I had a two hour drive to and from Sweet Home, Oregon for the annual Oregon Jamboree. Three days of country music in the Cascades. Ducky is a little bit country and I’m a lot a bit head banging rock n’ roll. I gave Ducky tickets to Saturday’s music because he’s a big Lori Morgan fan. Because she had canceled twice before on the Oregon Jamboree she was stuck in the two o’clock time slot just after Hal Ketchum and right before (this will show you how pissed they were at her) Bucky Covington of American Idol fame. Bucky and his brother Rocky sucked. We left before Aaron Tippen and Trisha Yearwood. But I am way off track.

During our long drives we tend to have those deep conversations that couples tend to have when there is nothing better to do. It’s either that or talk sex. Which we did. But that came later. So our discussion turned to midlife crisis, which led to things we will – okay I will – never do again. Both topic appropriate at our ages, Ducky is the speed limit, and I’m 51. I don’t think either one of us has really faced a mid life crisis (I always tell him I am his midlife crisis) but I have begun having those thoughts.

Okay, I’ve had them for a while, but the thoughts have become deeper and more prolific in recent memory. I don’t regret getting older, as I am wont to say, “I’ve worked hard for every one of those years.” But I’ve begun to realize of late some of the things I loved to do in the past that I will never do again.

I will never surf again. I will never experience the thrill of trying to shoot a curl and survive up right, heart racing in joy, the power of a wave gliding and thrusting me and my board up and forward. Nor feel the wind drying my body, right before I am slam-dunked back into the ocean. I will never wear a bikini again (the world is thankful for that last part – shoot if I keep growing I’ll never wear a bathing suit again.)

I will never again experience Girl Scout camp. For nine years my parents sent me, for two weeks, to Skyland Ranch in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. Heaven. I loved Girl Scout Camp – hated the snakes – loved the camp. The girls, the singing, the hiking, swimming, and the oatmeal (it’s the only place I’ve liked oatmeal that didn’t come out of a bag with dried apple bits mixed in.) It is where I got my name – Tanglefoot (I use this moniker when I blog at Jenny T Partridge.)

I will never again knock out my opponent with a well timed hipcheck, the flip side to that is I will never have to feel the wind knocked out of me when I’ve been sent into the rail – cry when my finger has been run over (and yes it fucking hurts), or feel the power build as I skate the oval. Damn I had great thighs when I was younger.

I will never own a horse again. I’m pretty certain of this one. The last time I rode a horse (two years ago) I had to have a boost to get on the poor thing. My thighs just aren’t what they use to be, of course they are hefting a 100 pounds more than they use to. Now if I went back to the gym I’d be able to squat two hundred within two months. But get my fat butt back on a horse, hmmm. Poor horsey. Of course ex number one says I am invited to ride anytime I want – he’s been teaching our grandson to ride this summer, I am envious.

I will never ride a dirt bike again. My first, true boyfriend Ronnie, (of the black lashes and bluest eyes) use to take me riding all the time. When we first started dating I don’t think he realized I rode. We had a Suzuki 125 (small, but just right for me) Ronnie and I went to this great dirt park, somewhere between La Mirada and La Habra, that had fabulous hills, dips, and jumps. Other times we’d go with his step dad and brothers to Imperial Lake bed and ride. I loved splashing through the arroyos and speeding a long the hardpan.

I will never get to walk the pier eating donut holes with my grandfather again. God, I miss him. As a child and into my teens, I would spend the occasional weekend with my grandparents. They were extremely special moments for me. My grandparents lived in Balboa, so it was the beach during the day, dinner at Dilman’s at night, and these incredible morning walks with my grandfather, Chappy. He was awesome, my best friend, my hero. When I got older it was the memories he gave me that made me want to be the best grandparent I could possibly be, to want to give Ben these incredible memories that will last him his lifetime. While I may not get to walk with my grandfather, eating donut holes, on the Balboa pier, I do get to build those memories and moments with Ben. When ever I smell a warm, rich pipe tobacco I know my grandfather is with me, and I talk to him frequently.

I will never feel a baby kick inside of me again. Shit, for as uninterested as my girls seem, I will never hold another grandchild n my arms again. Psam gave me Ben, you would think Miseray and Grace would give me one each. I’m a thinking it ain’t gonna happen.

Never will I regret getting old. Who wants to go back and relive sixteen, eighteen, (shit twenty four was a good year) again? Not I. But there are things that my muscles still remember, experiences that will never happen again, first that have long since past. I look forward to the future, I don’t live in my glory days. But just sometimes, on those long drives during deep conversations, my mind remembers joys of younger days when my muscles memories twitch at what was back then…and then ache.

Ducky on the other hand thinks about people he will never do again.