Friday, May 29, 2009

There is always a home here

My brother is leaving next week to continue his great walk up the Pacidic Coast Trail. My daughter was terribly concerned about how he wouldn't know anyone where he is going.
My brother patted her on the head and told her, "Where you go ou can find an Irish community. We're everywhere."
And boy isn't that the truth. The Irish came from a race that prized traveling, and we have managed to lose pretty much every piece of land we have owned. And the joy of being part of a culture of travelers is that when you wander into a community you will always have a home there. Especially if you are lucky enough to wander into a community that has members of your family (family, in Irish terms, is very very extended. If you have the same last name you're related).
I haven't ever had to use this, but my brother has. Around this area and pretty much anywhere in New Jersey we actually are related to the Brady's. However that hospitality extends out west too, and we are warmly welcomed into a community as family. It's us against them, after all.
And of course it works the other way, if a random Brady shows up he'll get a warm meal for sure. If he can prove he is actual blood, or has an OK from another family member (as strange as that sounds, it has happened, sometimes in my family you get sent random people), he will stay the night.
Old Irish have a strong sense of community that hasn't been as diluted as one might think since we moved over here. My family is new in America, my Grandfather and great Grandmother were born in Ireland. We still hold tight to ideas that seem kind of dumb, but are very important. As I've traveled I've found we aren't the only family that encourages marriages to only Irish (or occassionaly Scot) families. We aren't the only people that hold to the old old ways (if you know someone who puts milk outside on full moons and the summer solstice you probably know someone who is Irish, they are getting a blessing from the Fae and it is very important to us).
That's why we can go anywhere at all and feel welcome, because someone else was there first, another wanderer who made a home. And he will welcome you into it.

Friday Randomness

I watched part of the National Spelling Bee last night. Those kids were so intense! I was a little afraid for them when they got eliminated. I mean, they did fantastic, and should be proud. I hope they are all proud of themselves, everyone did better than I ever could.

I'm about half way through the second season of The Tudors. Even knowing how this season ends (spoiler alert: badly for Queen Anne. Heh) I am captivated by the story. I have always loved Anne Boylen. While we will never know how much of her rise was due to her family's political ambitions and how much was because of her own ambition to rise above her station, hers is still a compelling story.

I'm really excited about Wil Wheaton's upcoming book. And reading his posts about writing it is just making me more excited about it.

Why on earth do people insist on calling new positions in government that were created to oversee and coordinate things "czar"? Do they not know what a czar is? Man that really bugs me.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Awww

I can has Aw?

Jesus Christ = Rush?

Erik Erikson over at Redstate has written an article that compares Rush Limbaugh to Jesus Christ, and the GOP to Peter.*
I could not even make this crap up. Do you believe the audacity? This, this is why the GOP is failing, because they are so out of it that a man that spouts racist propoganda is their rising sun.
Welcome to the new GOP.

*If you read the article I recommend you do so at home, so you can have a shower after. It's kind of scuzzy.

Updated because World o' Crap just grabbed this too, and his take on it is made of win.

I like grape jelly myself...

Apparently Jesus has seen fit to show up on the lid of a jar of Marmite. Yummy!
Seriously? Have these people never heard of matrixing? For goodness sake people! I believe strange things, however I can tell you right now I won't ever believe that my gods are showing up in jelly jars. That's just crazy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh please don't bring Pennsylvania into this...

Col. Peters went on one of the Fox News shows today and said...

Peters: Neil, I've gotta tell you where I'm coming from. I come from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, the anthracite coal fields. We don't screw around with terrorists.

He later goes on to solve the Gitmo problem but proposing that we kill everyone in it. Yay!

Look, I know that crazy people come from all over, but I really wish they wouldn't advertise coming from around where I live when they are talking about mass murder. That is so not cool. Just leave us out of it.
World, this man does not represent people who live in Eastern PA. He doesn't.

Dear GOP

I know that "book learning" isn't your strongest point, however, and I say this with love, empathy doesn't mean what you think it means.
Empathy isn't a liberal code word. It doesn't mean "kill whitey" or whatever else you seem to think.
It's actually a quality that we humans treasure. Shocking, I know, but there you go.
Please stop beating the English language into the gound. Just because it is changable doesn't mean you can abuse it like this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ummm, CNN? Is that news?

Why would I care if Ashton Kutcher stopped Twittering? Why are you reporting it?

My Grandmother

My Grandmother was the first feminist I ever knew.
I doubt she would ever classify herself as a feminist, and when I was growing up I certainly didn't know that other grandmom's weren't like her. I thought everyone had a grandmom like mine.
In the 60's, as the sexual revolution blossomed around her, my grandmother took her 5 kids and one trashbag full of their clothes, and walked out of her marriage. The man that she was married to, my maternal grandfather, was abusive and slowing going insane from diabetes. He was the perfect example of why you have to take care of herself if you have that particular disease.
My grandmother went to her mother's house, a very small place in Yardley. Her two sons would later request to go back to live with their father, and she would allow it, though I would love to ask her now what she felt when she did it. I doubt she was fine with it. She kept her daughters, and realized that she needed a career. She had dropped out of nursing school years before, she wasn't cut out for dealing with the patients. Now she decided to pursue the career she wanted.
She would go on to be the first woman engineer to work for the New Jersey Department of Transportation. She certainly wasn't welcomed with open arms, however that didn't stop her. She loved engineering, and she wasn't about to let some men tell her she couldn't do what she wanted. One of the jobs she liked was inspecting the roadbeds for highways under construction. She was known for making crews do work over and over again until the did it right. She was a bitch, but she was a bitch who worried about the safety of drivers.
She met her second husband there at the DOT. He was the polar opposite of her first husband, and before he asked her to marry him, he asked her children for permission to ask her. He wanted to make sure they would be ok with him as a step father.
They were.
By the time I was born she and her husband had retired from the DOT. They traveled the country in an RV, and went everywhere they wished. Her younger son had been killed, and no one was sure if it was a freak accident or murder. She always maintained it was an accident because she didn't like to think her son's murderer was free.
She was a constant in my life up until she died. She was my rock, a little strange at times, but solid and unyielding. She had done so much in her life, and she expected others to do the same. I believe she was always disappointed in my mother, she had fought so hard and made so many sacrifices when my mother was seriously ill as a child just so she could live. She made ugly choices, a mother's choices. And out of her children, my mother was the one who rebelled and did the least. There is another story there, but in this story you could always feel my grandmother's disappointment. Watching my mother make the same mistakes she did, over and over again.
I think she was a bit proud of my brother and I. After I left my ex, and found a job I loved and was good at, and then got pregnant with my daughter, she told me she was proud of me. It was one of the best moments of my life. She watched my brother do the traveling she loved to do. I think she understood why my brother and I spent years in a state of freefall, and thankfully she saw us both come out on the other side.
Sometimes, when I'm upset or scared I hear her. When I was diagnosed with fibro years ago I heard her in my head ask me, "Well, what will you do about it?" When I realized I had to take my ex to court I heard her ask the same thing. This year when he sued me in turn, again I heard her asking that. And it calms me knowing that my rock is there. Unyielding, but passionate and powerful. She helped shape when I was young into what I am now. She helped bring me back home when I was lost and hurt, even if she never knew it. She was the most astounding woman I ever met, and I miss her dearly.

Star Trek

If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and see Star Trek. I know I'm late to the party on this one, but it was awesome.
I have taken to calling it "Star Trek: Why Spock is Awesome". I believe this is totally appropriate.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank you Geds...

Accidental Historian provided a link to this fantastic article by Ed Yong regarding Ida, the little fossilized ape that was unveiled this week.
A wonderful Friday read.

You don't know Dick

Dick Chaney sure has been all over these past few weeks hasn't? Showing up here there and everywhere defending this policy decision and that stretching of our country's moral fabric.
Gosh, it's almost like he was the one running the country these past 8 years.
Isn't that funny?

Friday Randomness

They found the remains of a body near the home of Stacy Peterson. Of course Stacy is the missing wife of Drew Peterson, the man who has run through 4 wives to date, two missing, one dead of suspicious causes. He has been charges with the death of that one. There is a chance that this body is Stacy, and if it is I hope they charge him with her murder too. Man is freaky.

I'm going to finally get to see Star Trek this weekend. All I keep hearing is how awesome it is, and damn it I want to see it! While I don't like Star Trek the way other people do (I'm a Star Wars geek, thank you) I do find it entertaining and I like J.J. Abrams as a director.

Sarah Palin has picked a co-author for her upcoming book. Lynn Vincent has written a number of ultra-conservative books, so this ought to be an awesome book! I really hope that Palin has some kind of hand in writing this, because if she does it will be the bestest book evar!!11!!

A quick hello to all my lurkers! I have changed my comments to allow all posters, so if you want to comment on something, or point out where I screwed up, and don't want to sign into blogger, feel free. Comments will be moderated now, however. As long as you don't get out of hand I'll publish pretty much anything.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


A guy I used to be pretty decent friends with has just celebrated his first year of sobriety. No easy feat that, let me tell you, and frankly I'm suprised and really thrilled that he did it.
My brother and I both recently celebrated our respective anniverseries of sobriety. Him from hard drugs (heroin) and me from good old alcohol. I can't tell his story (well, I could, but realisticlly it's his story to tell, so I won't), but I can tell mine.
The funny thing is that we were raised by an abusive alcoholic. We knew better. But the fact is that we are broken in a fundamental way, and that was how we dealt with it until we could put ourselves together again.
I always had an issue with drinking, once I start I have a hard time stopping. If I'm in a public place I'll stop, because I'm so anxious about making a fool of myself. But in private, I'll drink myself into a stupor if I have enough alcohol around. I'm that woman that showed up hung over at work on Monday. Hell, I'm the woman who showed up still drunk on Monday (I actually did once.)
I stopped drinking when I got pregnant. If I hadn't gotten pregnant I probably wouldn't have stopped, I would have had no reason to. At that point I was so hurt by everything going on in my life that I couldn't deal with anything at all. I was lost, and getting pregnant was the thing that forced me to deal with all the things I knew were wrong.
I don't keep alcohol in the house, and the sad fact is that after a crap day at work, no matter how much I may want a drink, I can't have one.
I want a drink a lot. I try to tell myself that it would be just one. One glass, one bottle, hell one sip, just to take the edge off. I'm lying of course. I know it, but it doesn't stop that terrible little part of me from trying.
You don't ever really stop wanting a drink, or wanting that drug that did it for you. It's always there, that need, that feeling that you could control it this time. I've backslid, I admit, my road hasn't been perfect. Each time proves to me that I can't have that drink. I can't.
So kudos to him for his first year. I wish him many more. It's a different life without having that crutch to fall back on.

Space, I just don't know enough

My kid has always loved outer space. She's loves the idea of it, she loves aliens, and space ships, and everything that goes along with it.
She recently found out about the International Space Station, and is completely charmed by it. And keeps asking questions. How long to peoplelive there? What's it like? What do they do there? Etc.
You know what? I don't know enough about NASA to answer her questions. I keep thinking about getting her a membership to a kids space program or something, but I don't know how long this will last (long I hope, it's been going on for two years now, since she could talk).
It's kind of cool though, the kid is a girly-girl, so it's awesome seeing her excited about science too. I really hope she goes that route and not the cheerleader route.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Rant mode on:
So, Michael Vick was released from prison today. You know, that football player who ran the dog fighting ring. And he wants to rejoin the NFL.
Ordinarily I wouldn't give a crap about the NFL, or who wants to do what in it. However Vick happens to fall in my area of interest because of the prevention of animal cruelty, which is a cause I work for as much as I can. What Vick did to those dogs was astoundingly cruel, and if you aren't familiar with the case I recommend you take a quick look on the internet to see what I'm talking about here.
It's a long-standing belief that a person who abuses an animal will abuse a person. There is a progression there, you will find it again and again in abusive people that they started with animals. What Vick did to those animals, not just fighting them to death, but how they were treated in general, speaks to a very disturbed man. A man who needs more help than just being locked in prison.
I would also not expose him to a violent sport, such as football. It will feed into his problems and could cause him to backslide. And next time it might not be animals he will be abusing.
Also, should we really reward this guy with millions of dollars? Really? He's violent, and from what I've seen he really doesn't seem to give a crap about what happened, he's more upset that he got caught. Let's not let him back into the NFL, maybe we could have him work for the ASPCA for a while, helping rescue animals or something. You know, something actually rewarding and doing good, not running around grabbing guys asses after he beats the shit out of them.
Rant mode off

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"What about me?"

Ben asked that of Jacob (the god-like guy) in the season finale in Lost. Jacob, god-like, answers, "What about you?" And at the time I thought, Oh if I had a dime for every time I had that question and answer session.
One of the things that bugs me about Christian's view of their god is this assumtion that they have that God watches each and every one of them personally. Over the years I've dealt with a few different gods, and quite frankly even with the nice ones that never seems to be the case. They care, in a kind of distant fashion, because they want you to do things, but they don't care like people care.
The gods show up in your life for different reasons, sometimes they want you to do work for them, sometimes something going on in your life is big enough to grab their attention. However, they rarely show up out of some deep caring for you. And if they have a job for you to do, or want you to serve them in some way, then the question above will always be answered, "What about you?" Because you aren't the biggest thing in that picture.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Percy Jackson

I started reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympian's series this weekend. I am also deeply in love with it.
I have worked as a children's librarian in two different libraries, and have a kid, so I deeply love children's lit. I have some of my favorite series at home (Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and the Series of Unfortunate Events), along with some stand alones (Abarat, The Little Prince, Alice in Wonderland, and all of Neil Gahmain's kid's books), and this series will be joining them. It's written by a teacher, which usually means it will at least be a solid effort, and was written for his son, so it's already been approved by a kid.
The story is solid too, Greek gods are alive and live amoung us. Still as gods, of course, and they go around doing god things and siring kids all over, and out hero Percy is the son of one of them. You get to meet various villian from Green mythology (Medusa was my favorite so far), and you get to meet the Gods, and since it's written from teh perspective of a 12 year old with ADD, it's a hellof a lot of fun.
If you have kids from about 8-15, have them sit down and read them. Hell, you just sit down and read them and see what you think. They are pretty cool.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Randomness

Randomness time...

I may be a good Irish woman, but I really hate Danny Boy. With a passion. Though occassionally I'll give it a pass, if John Lithgow is singing it.

So, if on Lost, Jacob hasn't used the cabin in a long time, does that mean that Christian was actually Jacob's buddy? That makes a lot more sense. And is Eloise working for him, or simply working off her son's journal?

People, if it's foggy, turn on your damn headlights. And maintain a safe following distance. Come on now.

I really don't care if the John and Kate Gosselin are having affairs. And I don't understand why anyone else cares outside of John and Kate. Though, having watched the show, I have to say she seems awful.

That is all...

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Because I'm sometimes kind of ditzy about trends, I'm kind of new to Twitter. I don't post on it, mainly because I have a blog, but I love reading it. Did you guys know Glen Beck tweets? Yes, that Glen Beck. Next I'm going to see if my girl Sarah Palin is on twitter too. And I mean her, not her damn PAC. Probably not, if I'm ditzy she's going to be some kind of stump-dumb. No offense Sarah, but you said that reading some books would help you write a book. Really? What books with you be reading then? Oh dear, that's a hard question, isn't it?
Anyway, yes, Twitter. So, other than Glen Beck and Wil Weaton who should I be reading on it?

Lost blogging

Jesus Christ Lost! What the hell is wrong with you? Jesus. Why did you break my heart? Juliet, people, why Juliet?
OK, onward. You know, I really like Jacob. He seems pretty freaking cool. I wonder why he decided Richard shouldn't age. And who his buddy is.
Oh, and writers? I called Locke about two episodes ago. So thanks for giving me that. The whole thing seemed off.
And also thanks for giving me Miles, who helpfully said what I've been wondering, "What if your buddy Jack causes the incident that he's trying to prevent. I'm glad to see you thought this through." I have a feeling Miles is the voice of the geeks (and Hurley is the voice of the not-geeks, I suppose).
Oh Ben. Oh Ben.
I like getting more answers to little detail questions. The foot, what happened to Chang's arm (so I guess all that speculation was right, it was the incident), Sayid's wife dying, how did Locke survive his fall at all (so was Abaddon working for Jacob? Or for the other guy?), where were Bernard and Rose (how awesome was that?), etc.
However, Lost, I will never forgive you for Juliet, and you'd damn well better find a way to make her not have died. After setting off a bomb. Well, whatever, take it back.
And thank you for Sawyer beating the piss out of Jack. In fact, thank you for making this the beat the piss out of Jack episode in general.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

There is something wrong with Roger Simon

I'm not kidding. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this man, here is the link to the article I read today that has just blown my mind.
Not only does he call Ahmadinejad Teh Evil, but he compares himself to Daniel Pearl, and spells Pearl's name wrong. Yes, in this stunning peice of crap, Richard Simon states that the Iranians want to behead him. I'm not even kidding you. This guy is a craptacular washed up screen writer, and he actually thinks that what he says matters one wit to the president of another country.
Of course Simon also doesn't understand that Ahmadinejad is the figurehead for the theocracy that actually rules Iran. He apparently also doesn't understand that talking to the Iranians is the best way to go about things. You know, instead of bombing them into the stone age.
Now, is Ahmadinejad evil? Oh I don't know, do you think I've met the guy? He seems to be insane. I don't like to call people evil, it's way too strong a word. However the fact that Simon thinks he's Teh Evil has converted him to Christianity. Or something. I'm honestly not sure, because the guy is writing like he's still high on Ambien.
What's kind of freaky is that there are people out there who think this guy makes perfect sense.


Hahahahaha!! Oh dear God that's the best thing I've heard in a while. Guess what's on my summer reading list! Hahahahah!!!

Miss California

I think it would go without saying that I wouldn't be too terribly thrilled with Miss California and the "firestorm" around her (gee, thanks wingnuts for whipping that one up). However she did teach me one thing, watch what I say around the kiddo.
Last night they did a story about her on the news (Miss California, not the kiddo), and the kiddo told me that she though Miss California was beautiful. I replied without really thinking that being pretty didn't make her any less of a bigot. Which, of course, led to me trying to explain that this pretty woman said some mean and hateful things about people, and that some people thought that she was right, and some people thought that she was wrong, and this would be why we can't judge books by their covers.
I suppose it's good that the kiddo is learning these things, but she's four, and occassionally I'd really like her to be a kid. Sometimes she seems like a little adult, like when she told me that to aliens from other planets, we would be aliens. What four year old gets that concept? I don't know what to do with her sometimes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Can faith be a bad thing?

Two weeks ago my daughter got very sick, and ended up in the hospital.* She was so ill on the first night I honestly thought she was going to die (thank god for the nurses in the ER, who apparently deal with crying mothers all the time. Thank god I never went into hysterics, I just kind of steadily leaked. Heh.) I spent two nights with her, camped out in a pediatric unit that was nicer than some hotels I've stayed at.
It was scary. I certainly was scared. However I had a task, help my daughter get better. Sick kids don't give you a chance to think, you just do.
A few times I would sit at her bed and quickly send a prayer up to the powers that be, asking for her to get better. You know, as you do. Hell, you take what you can get sometimes.
However, there are people, and were probably people in the hospital with us, who take that little prayer a bit too far. While I will pray a quick prayer I will in no way assume that my god is going to fix my kid. Sure, there may be a god out there watching over her (the god of fools and small children perhaps) but that will not stop me from actually working to make her better. However it will stop other people from actually working to make things better.
There is a class of person who would rather "Let go and let God" which is a terrible idea to me. I would never just trust that Odin is going to make everything alright, and compared to Sky-Daddy, Odin is a freaking angel at times. I mean, these people are trusting that the god equivilant of a sociopath is going to make everything OK. How does that make sense? For goodness sake, don't just trust in gods! They are gods!! They don't care.
I think these people don't get that. We're worshiping the God. The god? Not so much caring about us on a deep personal level. Supportive? Yes. When you need it. Going to interceed for you on that job interview? Probably not. Going to heal your sick child? Yeah, no. Not unless by heal you mean "provided a specialist that will fix your kid up."
These people mystify me. There is nothing wrong with doubting, and there is nothing wrong with actually working to change something yourself. We have free will for a reason. And god helps those who help themselves, and all that jazz. Is any of this ringing a bell?

*This is what happened after the trip to the ER that inspired the letter to the hospital. That trip was on Wends, she was admitted on Friday.

Dangerous Places

We got a call from my step-sister last night. She is stationed in Iraq in the same location that the shooting happened yesterday (the soldier who opened fire in a couciling clinic killing five people). She was two doors down from where the shooting happened. Scary stuff, especially since that is where you are supposed to be safe. Hell, no weapons are allowed in that facility. Fat lot of good that did.
However, she is cautiously optimistic about that general being fired. She says that he really was a good general, if you're fighting WWII. No so good for insurgency though. She has also said that the troops in general love the fact that Obama keeps doing crazy things like listening to them. How about that?

Monday, May 11, 2009


If you look to the right you may find some updates to the Blog Roll and to my Reading and Watching lists. Please, feel free to browse, there are some damn good blogs over there on the roll.


Yesterday was Mother's Day, which means it was Mercer Fest here in Bucks County. And that means the Give and Take Jugglers! I love juggling, and the Give and Take Jugglers are a small troop here in SE PA that have been operating for decades now. My brother and I watched them when we were little, and obviously the line up has changed, but they are still great. Yesterday was a real treat, the original two performers (and founders) performed. They are older than dirt but still fantastic.
You know, people keep talking about how we need to make it illegal to text and drive. Dude, I can barely text while sitting on my couch (stupid small keys), much less driving. How do people even do that?
President Obama is pretty funny. Is there anything that guy can't do?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's a sad day

So soon after losing Bea Arthur we've now lost Dom Deluise. I have always totally loved him, especially in Blazing Saddles. I was amazed to learn he provided a voice in Oliver and Company, which the kiddo and I watched yesterday.
It's terrible that we keep losing the people who make us laugh.


I spent from Friday night to Monday morning not watching any TV and when I finally see the news we are still talking about the Swine Flu?
Really? Good to know the media isn't blowing this out of proportion then.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dear Grandview Hospital

Let me start out by saying, I don't make a habit of going to ER's at 6 AM. In fact, I try to avoid it. However, when you have a child that has been vomiting since 1AM, and her dr says to take her to the ER, then to the ER I shall go.
Which is why I did not appreciate being treated like a hysterical mother by the ER doc who saw us. A very kind nurse gave us something to make my daughter stop vomiting, and while we were waiting in one of the rooms, we got some rest, which was wonderful. Then the doctor came in and informed me that she did not have the swine flu (which I knew, I was exhausted, not stupid). I informed him the her regular doc told me to take her to the ER because of the chance of dehydration due to the extreme vomiting. He then dismissed that, and told me that there was no way she could get dehydrated (she had been vomiting every 15 minutes for roughly 5 hours, so there actually was a chance). Then he sent us home. In short, your ER doc was a jerk, and we were the first patients he saw that day.
And when we were leaving we passed him in a room with an old woman in O2 hectoring her about her shortness of breath, so apparently it was not just us.
Just an FYI, I don't care what hospital my kid's dr is associated with, next time I'm taking her to St. Luke's.

That said, when you have spent two days with a sick kid and are so tired that you can't open a can of cat food, you should not, and I mean NOT, be allowed to make decisions. Such as "gee, my cat stinks, I think we should give her a bath". And if you do make that decision, the person who lives with you should NOT go along with it. In short, while the cat smells very nice now (she was rant, she's too fat to bathe all of herself), my brother and I look like we were wrestling a thorn bush. Just an FYI.

** slightly less snarky version of this letter is actually being sent to the ER I took my daughter to on Wends morning because this did happen. One thing I do not tolerate is nasty doctors. I certainly do not have white coat syndrome.