Friday, April 30, 2010

Talk Thursday: Imaginary Spring

If April showers bring May flowers, then I'm going to have a bushel of spring posies. This month we've had two days with over 2 inches of rain. The other night, about 1am it rained so hard it woke me up. Granted I'm a light sleeper, but boy that is ridiculous. Tulips don't have a long life here, one season and they are gone. I will get some reds or yellows that will comeback year after year, but not the hybrids. And Tulips are one of Ducky's favorite flowers so I try to plant a lot of them. So while my lilies seem to be disappearing and the rain played havoc on the blooms, I did get some good shots to close out the month.

Here's to May flowers and the April ones too.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Girls Night In Hell

Let me start off with the disclaimer that I adore my mother. Tonight’s dinner was at a small Mexican restaurant around the corner from my house. I arrived about three minutes before my mom and grandmother, just enough time to realize how tired I am.

We talked about what grandma would have for dinner and then set into enjoying the toasted chips and fresh salsa. And then began discussing things, yeah we talk about things like that. Last night Ducky and I’d been watching First Edition, Inside Edition, crap I don’t know the name of it, but he’s hooked. I had to laugh, stop the presses, big headlines from Inside Edition: “Sandra Bullock Drops Two Bombshells!” So I have to ask, “Except for Jessie James, who didn’t see Sandra filing for divorce coming?”

My mother needs to move out of the fifties, “Why is it that Madonna, Jolie, and Sandra Bullock have to adopted black babies, couldn’t they find white? It’s just so sad they’re putting those poor little babies into a bad position. Who’s going to teach them about being black?”

“Mom, maybe Sandra just wanted to adopt a baby that needed love? If she was trying to make a statement she wouldn’t have kept it a secret for three months. That woman needs to open up a school for keeping secrets.”

“But how do they explain their mommy is white?”

“Mom, who cares that Louie’s mommy is white?”

Suddenly the mouth of my grandmother opens (her mind is apparently stuck in the forties) “Children can be so mean, that poor little boy is going to have kids saying, ‘Look at the little nigger.”

And with that in the middle of a cute little Mexican Restaurant around the corner from my house, I was Gobsmacked by the blind rudeness of maturity.

Fuck, I need a drink.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Please Stand Against The Performance Tax

When I turned eight my parents gave me an AM / FM Radio. There hadn’t been much music in our house before, except for Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. Well that isn’t totally true, I can remember being about five or so and having a worn out 45 stack turntable and two singles: The Lion Sleeps Tonight by the Tokens, and Andy’s Williams’ Moon River. The needle was missing so you had to put your ear close to the turntable and listen. It was worth the effort.

Several of my friends had their own record players, their parents had “Hi-Fi’s”, and I had the car radio or my dad singing, King of the Road. I love music and the gift of the radio was a turning point in my life. I listened to music every moment I could. A devotee to KHJ I grew up listening to Charlie Tuna, Robert W. Morgan, and the Real Don Steele. I knew the words to every song, a fact driven home to me in 1970 when the Beatles broke up. Every pop station on the dial played 24 hour Beatles marathons or worse “Non-stop Beatles Weekends.” I hated the Beatles. Really, fifty-eight charting songs in the US and I probably liked three of them.

Suddenly it was all Beatles all the time. ARGH! What’s a Folkie / daytripper to do? It’s not like I could turn it off, I’m a radio addict. And then the worst of it hit me, I friggin’ knew every word to every song. If someone tells you that learning by listening in your sleep doesn’t work, send them my way. That three songs Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, and Golden Slumbers realistically swelled to ten songs with the inclusion of In My Life, Here There and Everywhere, Norwegian Wood, Yesterday, Something, Rocky Raccoon, and Lady Madonna. I think it could get worse, I mean I am a child of the sixties, and if my politics and yard are any clue, I’m a Flower Child of the sixities.

Suddenly the Beatles were a begrudged inclusion into my repertoire of appreciated music. But the whole point is if it’d not been for radio I’d have not fallen in love with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Cat Stevens; the Moody Blues; Climax Blues Band; the Doors, Marvin Gaye; the Supremes, Sonny and Cher; the Temptations; the Miracles; Bob Dylan; Peter, Paul, and Mary; the Rolling Stones; the Beach Boys; The Animals and all the other groups whose albums and 45s are stored in my guest bedroom closet. I was allowed to use half of my allowance and babysitting money on the buys of my choice. My choice was the music I heard on the radio. I bought concert tickets to the groups that I loved from radio.

When I was young I tried to figure out how they got all the bands in the radio, then I grew up. Now I work in the radio industry and have a better insight into what it takes to air your favorites and the new up and coming acts over the free airwaves. When Isay “free” I mean you listen to commercials that pay for us to be on the air with a product your want to hear on your radio. True a lot of people today buy Satellite Radio, but rumors abound that even satellite is going to begin selling commercial load. Time will tell.

Now, under pressure from the recording industry, bills are in both the House - H.R. 848 and in the Senate - S 379. Both bills have passed through committee and are potentially headed for the floor.

The Free Radio Alliance cites a series of facts on their website - that everyday 173 million Americans reply on free radio daily for music, news, and information updates. They state a bevy of figures that radio provides to the economy, to public service, to everyday life. We buy the music we play (well for the most part, country music gives us the music free.) As a small radio station on the Oregon Coast (actually two stations – four airwaves) we pay large monthly fees to ASCAP, BMI and / or SESAC to air the music you hear over the airwaves. Twice a year we report what we play so they can pay out royalties from our fees to the composers and lyricists who make that music possible. Do you know why all stations don’t stream on the internet? The cost is too prohibitive. Soon small broadcasters will be forced to pay double or more the royalty rates paid today, those increases will create a chain reaction that will see the end of small and hometown broadcasters.

If any part of my story and / or arguments touch a place inside of you. If you listened to the events and coverage 9/11 all day long at work on the radio, if you tune into the local high school football, basketball, and baseball games, your favorite college games, heard the OJ Simpson verdict, if you tuned into X-minus One, Burns and Allen, or the Cinnomon Bear, if you can look in your spare bedroom and see a hundred CDs, LPs, 45s, cassettes, or even 8-tracks bought because you heard a song on the radio please lend your support to No Performance Tax dot Org by signing your name.

Thank you,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Talk Thursday: Things That Must Go

It seems my time to blog has sadly diminished over the past few months. As I note the passage of the year, crap it’s almost May, I note the sad lack of topics and blogs I’ve written. Part of this is solely blamed on TV and my glaring inability to multi-task at all times. Thank God I don’t have TIVO. Why you might ask? Women know what commercial breaks all about – doing chores, that’s what! TIVO = no commercials; messy house; no blog. So tonight I am blogging whilst Dancing With The Stars. Okay, okay it’s hours before DWTS, but why put off until tomorrow what won’t get done?

Things That Must Go!

God this is more difficult than I thought. It’s the third time I’ve started this, to underscore the point, we are 45 minutes into DWTS. I keep getting off task and blundering.

Blundering must go

Now at this point I have to say go read Psam’s list… it’s mine except that she wrote it and put it on her blog, not mine. But hey, it could have been mine if she posted it here instead.

Note minor rant at the end..

Hatred must go. Enough said.

Companies who hire illegal aliens. Thereby screwing over the people whose Social Security numbers have been hijacked and will someday (possibly soon) need those numbers and the services that demand said numbers: like Social Security benefits, Workman’s Comp, and Unemployment to name just a few.

Companies that take their factories off shore and the people who still buy their products. I.e. Nike, Levis (yes, this includes Ducky – he will only wear 501s,) Indian Call Centers, and give me time and I’ll find a list.

Cheap unregulated Chinese products. We make our companies meet specific standards and regulations and yet bring in whatever made by whomever wherever. WTF?

Pompous vegetarians who make a fuss over the treatment of animals (said reason for being a Vegetarian.) And yet while spouting the doctrine of Peta they wear leather boots, suede jackets, and have two leather couches for their dog.

Oversized breast implants – Heidi Montag, Pamela Anderson, and the late Anna Nicole Smiths of this world you know who you are. In fact Pamela must go from DWTS, too.

Male enhancement commercials. What you don’t realize is that it’s his smile that is bigger. His wife is now much happier because he and his lack luster attention to detail is leaving her alone.

The mind numbing dumbing down of America … oh what a list
1) Stupid TV - The Simpsons, Two and A Half Men, and hate filled programming.
2) Not requiring people to speak English. I’m talking people whose first language is English (Sadly I’ve failed at learning a second language, well unless Pig Latin counts.)
3) Students, parents, teachers, and school systems that do not exact a winning performance from students (or themselves) and pass them for either a quota, frustration, and to just get rid of the student. I believe this problem often starts at home.
4) Candidates, politicians, and leaders who can’t talk, don’t think, and spew their hatred and ignorance to be sucked up whole hog by the public who refuses to check their facts before believing. Can we say – Drink the Fucking Kool-Aid because it would be an improvement over your (being their) current mental exercise.
5) People who pull the race/gender/religion (or lack there of) / persuasion card – in totally inappropriate times. Sometimes pulling said card is totally legit, but how many times have you seen 1) Jessie Jackson pulling the “card?” It’s been over pulled. 2) I can’t I’m a girl “card.” Too stupid too live. 3) Glambert pulling the “card” when he’d been totally inappropriate in a primetime performance. 4) Anti: Prayer groups in schools, In God We Trust, The Pledge of Allegiance. Come on show up 10 minutes late and get over it, this allows both sides to remain true to themselves. In the words of Rodney King (paraphrased I’m sure,) “Can’t we just get along?”

Stores that gladly give you ten (no that isn’t exaggerating) plastic bags, but gets pissed and charges me 6 cents for the doubled 86 paper bags, that will hold all inside of and the ten plastic bags, when I forget my reusable ecobags. Again plastic bags aren’t biodegradable and trees are a renewable resource. Really I know you’ve been taught they’re not, but really I can show you acres and acres, and whole states of replanted trees.

Freeloaders. Example: Single parents or families who have child after child while milking the system of your’s and my hard worked tax dollars. I don’t mind paying my share, I friggin’ mind paying theirs. I’m not talking about hard working, responsible people who are down on their luck at the moment, crap no, they pay into the system. I’m talking the person who for years on end hasn’t had a job. My next door neighbor (yeah the rose killing bastard) has a son who’s well into to his thirties (maybe forties I am bad at ages) and has sponged off his father for the two years prior to the bloody rosebush massacre. While the man killed my rosebush and took away my privacy in the act, he has attempted to keep his front yard up in the past year and a half. Then he became gravely ill, his kidneys failed, and he now endures dialysis a few times a week. His son made a comment Saturday about how is father wants so badly to clean up his yard. Do you think his son, or grandson who live off him have offered? The weeds choking his new plantings tell me no.

Oh, and ungrateful whiney people who don’t own up because it’s always somebody else’s fault. Always.

And I’m going to second Psam’s final three (except I don’t know anything about the Canadian band Tea Party) and the whole pajamas in public thing, what’s that all about beyond lazy?

I wish I could go on, sadly, I’m blocked.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Reality of TV

Since China Beach, rarely do I stick with a television show for long. Okay, I take that back, there was Babylon V, Farscape, Joan of Arcadia, and West Wing. But in truth if I like it on network TV it usually gets canceled. Underscoring my argument… Sports Night (with William Macy and Felicity Huffman), Moonlight (with that hot guy in the new J-lo movie),

I’m in shock that Big Bang Theory has lasted two and a half seasons, it’s a great TV gem. But now that…

* * * * Spoiler Alert* * * * * *

Will Wheaten and the premature “L” word has broken up Penny and Leonard the show is doomed. Remember Moonlighting. Okay, you understand.

A week or two ago I saw a comment in the paper that there are few family friendly programs on television. To their dismay they could only name three: the Simpsons, some show I forgot, and Two and A Half Men. OHMYFUCKINGSTARS! The Simpsons is the footpath that leads to the dumbing down of America. And Two and A-Half Men family friendly? You’ve got to be kidding me. Two and A Half Idiots is disrespectful, rude, condescending, ignorant, did I mention rude? Oh and that’s only half of it – really I should have written a list.

When reality TV hit the airwaves I was fairly resistant. I’m not sure why. Then I went to England during the second season of Big Brother (a show miles different from the American version) I was hooked (this was during the Jade Goody season.) I came home and watched the second season of BB US style. Four seasons later the ignorance and the hatful personalities finally did me in. Wow, four seasons. I think that might be a milestone.

BB lead to Survivor, lead to American Idol. Then I found Ghost Hunters, which lead to Ice Road Truckers, which lead to DEADLIEST CATCH. I could watch this show forever. I have come to realize I adore characters.

Sadly I have degenerated into the deep bowels of the Reality TV abyss. Now I’m hooked on Cash Cab, Mythbusters, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and all those trashy Housewives. Well not the Atlanta ones, but hey I have to watch baseball and football sometimes. Don’t tell my mom she’d be appalled. Psam on the other hand has sadly been forced to sit through a Housewives marathon.

So now I have to come out and say,

“Hello, my name is Cele and I’m a character addict.”


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Talk Thursday: Aftermath

I believe when I originally named this topic I was thinking of "post Easter sugar coma." But then I thought about the aftermath of the West Virginia coalmine disaster. My father was from West Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, a small little burg named Valley Head, 150 east of Montcoal. I have lived the majority of my life thankful my father was neither an alcoholic or a miner. What more can I add? It’s heartbreaking, things won’t change, and people will continue to give their all to a job that could care less. ‘Nuff said. Smog, electricity, life, black-lung and sorrow the aftermath of coalmining.

Then I read Psam’s blog. I miss my daughter when she is offline, it’s our connection to each other. This is something my husband (and a world of other people) do not understand. I hate talking on the phone. I am a talk one on one face to face type person. I am hideous at small talk. Put me in the middle of 100 partying people, I am the wallflower – I suck at small talk. It’s not that I don’t want to hear from you, I really do, but I’m not good at it. Psam knows this. My mother (who is much better at phone than I) knows this.

My husband, doesn’t know this. He’s forever pushing me to call. Check on Psam. Find out how her job situation is going. I know that if I call Psam and I ask her about her job situation, did she get a second interview, did she get her call back? Has she heard any rumblings from her work cronies? My call and questions will only drive home her sorrow. Placing more pressure on her shoulders is not what I want to do. I know when something happens she will call me. It’s the way we work. Ducky does not compute this.

Now in my sixth decade I know life is a progression of education, challenges, learning opportunities missed or utilized, and metamorphose. We are born a blank slate. We become a mirror of our parents, peers, religion and society’s mores and norms. I was blessed with a mother who told me to go out and learn. To question (I hope I passed that on to more than just my daughter.) My viewpoints are ever changing, usually the basis stays the same with the fine points refined. And then other times everything is sent topsy-turvy and I end up re-evaluating, reconsidering, redefining because someone gave me a discussion point that struck home and really made me see something vital from a different point. Growth, the aftermath of discussion.

I may get mad by something I hear, and unless I see resultant red I will take it in, digest the finer points and adapt. Difference makes the world go round. Or as Ex-One was oft want to say, “Variety is the spice of life and that’s what the judge is going to tell my wife.” He had the sentiment right the rest of the things in his life he screws up on a regular basis. Sadly little of the world respects and embraces variety of life, opinion, religion, favorite colors, and pets. That is the aftermath of rigid humanity.

So I guess in the spirit of Green Earth Month it is rethink, reuse, and recycle. It all works.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Talk Thursday: On Further Review

During last Thursday’s girl’s night out my mom revisited the old “If you make a mistake and you learn from it, the mistake was worth making.” I live by this motto (one of several,) I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life. A Lot! But when she saw the look on my face she automatically jumped to my first marriage and ensuing divorce.

“You got Psam out of that marriage” (relationships are broken down into marriages and situations to my mom).

That wasn’t where my thoughts had been. I believe what my mother’s words actually had been were, we gain things from each experience, each relationship. While I didn’t have to marry One-X to get an awesome daughter (I was unknowingly preggers when I said, “I do”) I did learn other things post my marriage to One-X – I learned I am strong, capable, and as damageable as everyone else. An innocent person I adored depended on me to be at my best. I grew during my first marriage and subsequent divorce.

No, the look on my face, mirroring the thoughts I’d caught myself on in shock, were the realization that I had gained absolutely nothing from my marriage with Two-X. WTF? Yes, I wound up with the house, but excuse me I’d paid for half of it – he walked away, I didn’t push him out. This is a topic you’ve heard me whine over many times. I lost my personality, my identity. And lately have come to realize that I lost more than a decade of my life to nada.

It’s quite a shock to find out that you wasted more than a decade with nothing to show for it. Almost like being an alcoholic or drug addict that wakes up one morning and can’t remember the last ten years and has nothing to show for it. I threw away over a fifth of my life on a worthless man. I have done several things in my life that I despise, but you know what? Upon further review, this may top them.