Category Archives: Insanity

To Kick or Not to Kick

Kickstarter_logo_bigger

As many of you know, I’ve been writing a book, and it’s going quite well:

But it’s now at the point where it’s eating into my brain in a way that’s distracting when I’m trying to get everything else in place for the upcoming season of football and basketball. Such fun. Really.

I want to focus on the book, tho, and I need to pay my bills, so I’m hoping that people can help me out. I’m putting together a kickstarter for this, and I want to know if y’all think this is a good idea, a bad idea, don’t care, will help, won’t help, might help, can’t help, or whatever. I’m interested in your thoughts. So share, and let me know what you think.

A couple of things:

  • Yes, I will produce the book. It’s literally forcing its way out of my head, so it’s going to be written anyway, but it should be faster if I can get the support of y’all to do this.
  • I will be making some promo stuff as gifts for the giving levels, and have pretty much figured those out. I will definitely post more as I lock things in.
  • I want to make sure that everyone is involved in some fun ways, so I’ll be producing a “Readers List” of backers, above a certain level, who will get copies as I’m pumping them out. These won’t be edited copies, they will be the rough drafts that fly out of my fingers, but that doesn’t mean you have to edit them. You can if you want, and feedback is always appreciated, but it’s more for you to have proof it’s getting done and going well.
  • I’m not above selling the names in my book. You can buy one for a friend or for yourself. It’s cool. That’s definitely a backer level, although not a cheap one.
  • I intend to eventually sell this to a publisher as there are continuations to the story that will become other books. So, provided this one doesn’t liquify my brains out my ears, this will be the start of something cool. If my brains liquify and I don’t even return to writing, this will be a collectors item. Win-Win.

So, thoughts? Let me know.

Saintly, I Say

You might be interested to know that I’ve once again been working with the Carroll College Fighting Saints Athletics on the Saints Wrap-Up show, and on the state-wide broadcasts of their playoff games. I love it! I’ve never been athletic, nor do I always understand what is going on with every call, but it’s fun to watch and the students are all amazing. I get to watch the games from the sidelines and from the media boxes, and the sidelines, no matter how cold, rule. Here’s some of my favorite pics from the game this week:

Just fucking stop!

Oh, my head.

I’ve read this posting twice, and looked into it enough that I had to reread it another three times, thus reaching a fifth, but one that lacked liquor.

Fuck. Me. Sideways.

There is so much that’s wrong with the current level of disturbing language/signage/garbage surrounding our politics that I’m beyond flabbergasted. I’m appalled. I’m disgusted.

I see people, some of whom I’m related to quite closely, tossing about divisive, destructive, delusional arguments that, when examined, lose whatever microscopic patina of sensible disagreement completely, only to be exposed as the contemptible whining of sore losers. Then there’s the contemptible, vitriolic, asinine boot-licking that oozes out from the other side of the aisle in the hopes that someone will mistake it for caring, thoughtful, discerning governance.

I must pause, because I feel I need to point out that I’m not a lapdog to the liberal side of the aisle, nor am I somehow blinded by and enamored of the conservative side of the aisle. I love my parents very much. They are both very amazing people. My dad and I didn’t always get along. There were times, not so very long ago, when if we spoke to each other more than once every three years, we’d been in contact too often and needed some space. That’s not the case anymore, although we don’t agree on everything and still get into arguments about who is right and who is wrong. Dad tends to think the liberals are wrong, and being lead there by the unions. Can you guess what I tend to think?

Nope. You’re wrong. Thanks for playing.

I tend to think everyone is wrong.

I’m hoping that I’m center of the road, but currently that means I’m pragmatic and thoughtful and I do care, quite a bit, about the human race, I just don’t like much of it. I find the lack of movement on LGBT issues by the Obama administration to be a huge betrayal. Worse, I know it for a horrible mistake on his part, but he won’t listen to me. I find the bitching by the conservatives about the $1Trillion cost of reforming health care, after they just spend $3Trillion on two wars in the Middle East, and almost another $1Trillion on bailing out banks that were “too big to fail”, to be hypocritical at best, and insane and criminal are also possibilities.

Yes, it’s going to cost some money, but listen up fucker, it’s money spent directly on our citizens – that’d be you, your family, friends, neighbors and countrymen – directly. I think that taking out Saddam makes citizens of the US safer, but it’s an indirect benefit. Healthcare would be a direct benefit to all of us, although it won’t solve every fucking problem either.

The liberals want to “make it all better for everyone”, not realizing that the only way to make everything equal on all levels is to whittle everything down to the lowest common denominator. It doesn’t take much past a day in kindergarten to realize that won’t work, but their hearts won’t let them see reality, and their heads are wont to follow.

The conservatives want to make sure that any changes we do make are in the direction of biblical supremacy and theocracy, but they like to hide it under the guise of “the directives of the Founding Fathers” and that other bastardized bastion of the weak-minded, “Original Intent” which has come to mean “shit we like, so there, nyah”. They also want to make sure that if anyone is spending their money, it’s not the damn government.

Which brings me nicely to the article that prompted this post. Let me quote you the good parts:

“These individuals came all the way from Southeast Texas to protest the excessive spending and growing government intrusion by the 111th Congress and the new Obama administration,” Brady wrote. “These participants, whose tax dollars were used to create and maintain this public transit system, were frustrated and disappointed that our nation’s capital did not make a great effort to simply provide a basic level of transit for them.” — Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas

No, for real. Read that shit again. I’ll wait.

Done? All five times? Are your eyes trying to backflip in your head, or have they just succumbed to the stupidity and are now bleeding?

First off, if there is an investigation opened on this, it will be, by virtue of the fact that DC Metro is part of, well DC, which is Federal, so this would be a Federal Issue. A Federal Issue that will cost Federal Money. Federal Money that those very same protesters were trying to tell this idiot to stop spending like it’s going out of style.

Second, Metro is under attack from all fronts – political, obviously, but also from time and age, the metropolitan area’s growth, the ridership, etc. Metro doesn’t have the resources to up the trains for the event, and thus couldn’t even if they wanted to.

Third, they didn’t want to. Or, more precisely, there wasn’t a real need for more trains. If you’re going to any big event, like an NFL, NBA, or NHL game (ha! could happen), it’s just like going to the airport – go early, pack the night before, don’t bring a gun (even if you’re in Arizona and you can, don’t) and know that you will be delayed. Metro can handle anything, if people are patient and plan ahead a bit. I know, I was there for a hugely busy event called Gay Pride, and it was fine. Yes, I had to wait for the next train. Yes it was *gasp* nearly 15 minutes away. How. Did. I. Survive?

We may never know.

Regardless, as using a publicly-funded socialist/communist system such as the Metro-rail is counter to your argument – since it is paid for by all for the betterment of all and it is therefore a completely socialist system – your group should have worked together and pooled your money and gotten buses that could transport everyone just like they do in communist Portland, OR fucking walked. After all, it was a MARCH ON WASHINGTON.

Those that took cabs did what this 9.12 movement says it’s really all about – keeping their money and spending it their way on things that help them, as the government cannot be trusted to build something that works. Those of you who are going to try to be a smart ass with me (bad move, I’ve got that gig down), I will cut you off at the pass by pointing out that just because it doesn’t work the way someone expects doesn’t mean it’s broken. (Except for Windows.)

So, Rep. Brady, think about what you are going to do next. And then think again. Maybe three or four more times. And then just drop it. Don’t apologize, we know it won’t be sincere, and frankly, it isn’t needed. Just pretend you were never speaking.

It’s what I’m trying to do with the lot of you.

Family Feud isn’t a Game

My sister just got married. It was a lovely wedding – the bride radiant, the groom nervous. The groom’s parents beaming. The bride’s mother cried as her daughter pledged to love, honor, and cherish ’til death do them part. A year ago, I never would have imagined how things would play out.

This has been an extraordinary year for a friend. As 2008 dawned, she was waking in the middle of an alcoholic nightmare and suffering from a huge hangover. She’s also has bipolar disorder. Her parents had loaned her a car, and when they discovered that she had been driving under the influence (again!) with three children in the vehicle, they immediately took the keys and confiscated the car.

Despite having two highly marketable degrees, she was working for less than $10/hr at a dead-end job, not really able to support herself and her daughter. The combination of debilitating diseases had wrecked havoc on her life. In a little over four years she had been fired, dismissed, or quit under duress from more than twelve jobs. She had been hospitalized three times with a blood-alcohol level of .40 or thereabouts (you read that right – about 5 times the legal limit!), her daughter had been taken into custody by a state, and she had spent a month in a treatment program. Yet she refused to take the medications and continued heavy drinking.

Well, for a while. Lately, she has been incredibly successful in turning her life around. In March, she enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard. She is in the middle of her training to become a helicopter mechanic. I am surprised that she was accepted with her medical history, but the opportunity is terrific. The Guard is paying off her student loans and she will be a full-time employee when she completes her training. She should therefore always have the medication and counseling that her mental illness and addiction require – and it seems she’s taking them. The days of dead-end jobs are behind her. Before leaving for basic training, he boyfriend asked her to marry him. She is being given another chance at a bright future for herself and her daughter.

Me & Boo
Me & Boo

This is the story of my sister. I wasn’t at her wedding because I, like my mother, wasn’t invited. In her world, my mother is the ogre that tried to ruin her life. Her stories of her childhood now include a morass of abuse, neglect, torture and trauma – but none of it is real. She actually told me my mom is evil, and that everything in my life that’s wrong can be drawn back to mom. And it’s utter bullshit.

My sister is well loved by family, regardless of, and in fact, in spite of this horrible year. She gets into fights with my mom because she feels some odd combination of longing to be just like mom and abhorrence of that exact desire. My sister is her own worst critic, and instead of focusing her energies on making herself better, she’s just changed her reality to better reflect who she wishes she was – and it’s ironic that the one person she wants to be is the same person she has so effectively cut out of her life – our mom. When I said my mom cried the night my sister got married, I wasn’t lying. I’m pretty sure my dad cried, too. Neither of them were at the wedding, tho, as my sister has banished my mom so completely.

But it’s a new year, and I hope that she does well. I do love her, and I’m glad that she’s found love. I hope it can last the rather expansive reality check that’s headed her way, but like most love, I think it can. Her husband is a good guy, even if he can’t see the forest for the trees most days.

I life my life without regrets, always have, always will. I accept what I do for my choices, and that my life is what I have chosen it to be. My sister is forcing me to choose between her and my mom. I choose my mom, my dad, my other sister, my nephew, brother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles and the whole brood that expands and covers a good portion of the country. I will not let them go for the sake of pretending that what my sister has done is ok, it’s not.

I will gladly buy her all the Lincoln logs she needs to build a bridge and get over this, even if I have to take up a collection to get the necessary abundance. I want my family back, but I want it back in one piece, not divided by the imaginative machinations of a deluded little girl.

Honda does the Right Thing

It’s been a stressful week. It’s the 2nd anniversary of Richard’s death, and it’s the first time that I’ve been able to spend it with Janna basically attached to her hip. During the first year of grieving she couldn’t handle being around me too much as she would attempt to convince herself it was 2005 and my being there was normal because we had lived together in 2005 while Richard was in Iraq. When he returned at the end of 2005, a new chapter of their lives started, and I helped to smooth that transition for them both since the Army hasn’t figured out how.

And then, bam! Gone.

Now, Janna, The Cheerleader, has had to deal with this loss for two years. Day in and day out she’s worked to get her life back, get her sensibilities back, and to get as well as she can. Not easy, not fast, and certainly not painless. But still, moving forward in big ways. And hanging out with her 24/7 is a lot of fun even when she’s screaming. Sometimes, because she is.

That being said, the little extra stressors in her life are not much fun. They suck. Like, transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of several grand and lots of without car time. Not making her happy.

Consider as well that the car got it’s original transmission changed at approx. 78k miles in October 2005, the second swapped out after only 25k miles and 18 months, and now the third is being swapped out for the fourth after a mere 20k miles and 12 months. Not pretty.

Worse, the car is now out of the extended warranty, so the transmission isn’t covered in any way. And as we all know, they aren’t cheap either.

But we called Honda USA and went over the events, and asked. What could hurt if we asked for help, the worst thing they could do is say no, and then we were no worse off for asking. They said they would review the case and get back to us in few days. Usually, this is corporate speak for “Let me get a social normative graph because it’s something to refer to and will take time, tricking one to think we’re making the effort, when we’re just stalling” but not this time.

After considering all that Janna has had to deal with this, it’s been sucky. Just fucking sucky. Having the car issues to deal with all throughout the Anniversary day did some good in distracting from the insanity inherent in a 32 year old widow’s life. It seemed like a good thing to me, but Janna felt that she didn’t get anything accomplished on thursday, even tho she spent the day reconnecting with various parts of her family, both the family she was born into and the family that she was married into. None of it was easy.

Honda has decided to pay all but 10% of the bill to replace the transmission. It will therefore have a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty for the transmission itself. So the little people can play their game again. And we whole-heartedly thank them.

YAY!