Thursday, November 25, 2010


...sadness and disappointment now becoming relief and anger. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Two Rants

I am preparing my Thanksgiving message - be forewarned.  I get maudlin, verklempt, sappy, soppy and cloying.  I fairly REVEL in it;  chalk it up to my being OLD ENOUGH that I have a lot for which I am eye-wateringly grateful.

But first....

Rant #1: I am outraged and appalled at the whole TSA thing.    You get a choice of being seen (virtually) nekkid by someone who is "scanning" or being groped by someone else.  It' s been in the news a lot lately.  Now, I wouldn't even have a problem with the Nekkid Scan so much if it were simply that the images vanished instantly the minute you walked out.  I'd even go along with the ability to take a photo IF -- IF -- there was something clearly dangerous that warranted using the image.

But no, I understand there are nekkid scans of people (allegedly either laughable, ugly or "hot") that HAVE made their way out of the airports and onto the innerwebs.  Even if there's no way to actually identify the victim...erhm....subject, I draw the line there.  The story I read (and no, sadly, I don't have the documention which means this is "hearsay" or by legal definition, "bullshit") said that the TSA had no way to figure out who was stealing the images and posting them on the innerwebs.  Shucks.

HOWEVER - that being said, I hope no one tries pulling some kind of a scene during this Thanksgiving holiday travel scene.  I've read about the boycott or "opt-out" or what will you and the hippie-rebel-outraged-old-lady part of me shouts "RIGHT ON, BRUTHAH!!"  But the old-grandma part of me thinks of all the other old grandmas whose families might be so delayed by something like this that whole family holidays are uprooted, spoiled, cancelled.   What's the right thing to do? Damned if I know.  Looks like a lose-lose to me.  For my part?  I b'lieve I may just avoid flying anywhere any more.  Fortuately, I guess, my life is such that travel of any part is not urgent, and we sort of like seeing the sights when we go anywhere.  Furthermore, if god meant us to fly, she'd have given us wings and big mammary muscles.  Shaddup.

Rant #2:  Everyone knows that the use of tobacco carries with it the potential for certain health hazards.  That has been made abundantly clear - and in case somehow someone missed it, there are dire warnings on cigarette packs.  Non-smokers don't see them, probably don't care, and are thus unaffected.  SMOKERS do see them, probably care to a greater or lesser degree....and have either made up their mind, as a result, to:

a)  quit smoking, by sheer dint of athletic prowess or by emotional or chemical help;
b)  cut way back, which does reduce some of the hazards, while still being aware that the hazards are there and they're still potentially going to develop the health problems;
c)  know all that and continue to smoke, for whatever reason.

Now - I smoked for years, up to about a pack a day (in the days when I was collecting my Raleigh coupons).  Anyone know if there's any value to eleventy-bagillion Raleigh coupons?   I HAD to start smoking.  I played a character on stage who smoked.  And I was a theater person and we were cool and all sat around smoking.  I was also a writer, and a big glass ashtray was as necessary as the typewriter it sat next to.

I quit smoking - while I was pregnant, at least, and I never did smoke into my kids' faces (that I know of -- certainly not intentionally).  I knew the pleasure of a "cigarette after".  When I met Mr Dearling, he mentioned that he didn't care for smoking, that it made him quite ill.  I quit smoking in the house or car or anywhere he might be (realizing early on that if I let this one go I deserved to just be walled up and forgotten, even without the wine....five points for recognizing the allusion).  I still smoked occasionally, out with other folks or wossname.

Present status?  I feel pretty bad for people who are literally hooked on tobacco, people whose lives are interrupted by the need for a smoke, the people who can't take a four-hour flighte because they can't "step out for a cig" (whether or not they're seen nekkid first).  I feel sorry for people who lose relationships, alienate friends or risk children by the Great Need.  But by the same token, it IS A CHOICE.  Even the most hard-bitten, hard-core smokers CAN live through withdrawal;  you don't DIE without tobacco.  (And yes, you in the back muttering "they can die WITH it" under your breath, that's true - says so right on the pack).

But I still occasionally enjoy a smoke.  VERY occasionally, and since the damned things cost as much as a bottle of wine, they should be used the same way.  (That doesn't count Chocovine, which I feel inclined to enjoy a lot oftener than a cigarette...OR Absinthe, my new fave, which no one enjoys very often.)

SIDE NOTE:  I love Absinthe, it's legal again.  I love the taste (anise, which a lot of people don't like) and I love the frou-frou.  You have to put it in  a tiny glass, and then suspend a slotted silver spoon over it.  You then put a sugar cube on the spoon and VERY SLOWLY drip ice water over the sugar which dissolves down into the glass, giving the absinthe a shimmery greenish glow.  "The Green Faery".  It's dramatic, it's frou-frou, it was the talk of Paris among the intelligentsia and artistes and writers of the 19th century.  I'd probably drink it even if I didn't like it, for the drama.  Back to my rant.

OK - so smoking.  I saw a commercial for the Next Big Deterrent.  They're literally going to put pictures on the packs of dead people with their "Y"-shaped autopsy incisions crudely stitched back up (not done by anyone on CSI clearly).  Or pictures of a young man in his coffin.  Or a young woman with a nasal cannula and dismal eyes.  Or the lungs - you know the ones:  shrivelled, blackened, rotten-looking.

Now - with a reminder to those who know me (and information for those who don't):  I tend toward the irreverent.  So how did the information and illustrations of these new picture warnings affect me?

TRADING CARD PACKS!!  I hope they're on my brand, because I want them ALL!  I want a mint-condition collector set -- and I hope there's a website where they can be traded -- "I'll give you two Rotten Lungs for a mint-condition Dead Guy Inna Coffin!  I have three Autopsy Guys, anyone need an extra?  Or I'll trade all three for a Dying Girl.....

That's what they look like to me.  Just sayin'.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Count the Words....

All right, I'll accept all brickbats and tsk tsks and "man are you a crappy blogger".  Will it redeem me at all if I mention Best Intentions to Improve?  (Yes, you in the back, you probably have heard it before;  shaddup.) 

However.  Right about now I AM counting words - yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again.  I'm about to go off to a favorite writing spot and attempt to break 40k.  (Being a Professional Typist for all those years is paying off...a tip o' the hat to Mr. Johnson, who told me in 11th grade that I should learn typing "so that you'll have a saleable skill in case you never marry".)  Of course, I married three times, HA HA I showed HIM!  But my Chosen Profession of being a classical ballerina crashed when I learned that you had to be 5'4" for any professional company, hence the Secretarial Career.

So for the moment I'm pretty much going to be hunched over my netbook pounding.  But I have a new post begun here, and here's a teaser:  it's a Rant that will probably offend a whole bunch o' people (if they ever read it, which is unlikely, but I'll feel better).

I'm at that point in my NaNo novel where all of my characters have turned on me.  The lovely old priest seems to be some kind of wonky killer or something;  the main guy just may be worse than the priest, and next thing I know, the rabbi is going to drop a milchig fork in the drawer with the fleishig silverware.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remember --

November 10, 1975
35 years ago today

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a sudden squall on Lake Superior, around 17 miles from Whitefish Bay.  It sank quickly, no distress signals reported, carrying all 29 aboard to their frigid deaths.  When the wreck was found, it was discovered to be as above:  broken in two.

The song (everyone knows the song) says that Lake Superior "never gives up her dead" - the fact is, that's a fact.  The water is so cold that the usual bacteria who cause disintegration and the creation of gases which cause the corpse to float are absent.  Lake Superior keeps her dead.

I mark this date - as a lover of Lake Superior and as a woman whose family (or part of it) made its living on the lake and witnessed her beauty and her fury.

A fact which brings tears to my eyes:  every year the light at Split Rock (no longer in regular use)  is illuminated on November 10th, to remember and honor the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

One day I will be there to see it.