Monday, August 27, 2007


OK. Am I the only person disgusted by the incessant "chipotle" marketing campaign? What is with corporate America choosing the most exotic sounding spice or ingredient in ethnic cooking and exploiting it like some two-bit pimp turning out his latest crack whore for a stroll down the track in search of a trick. Every fast food chain and franchise restaurant has their own "chipotle" flavored meal. Chipotle marinated chicken, chipotle dressings and mayonnaises, chipotle wraps, chipotle this, chipotle that--enough!

Also I find it INCREDIBLY insulting that all of the lastest McDonald's commercials that showcase their Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap have "Latino" music (heavy on the drums and maracas,) brown skinned girls with tons of chica attitude, baggy clothes, big earrings, and of course this skeevy Rico Suave-esque voice over because, you know, ALL hispanics have an accent. UGH!

And it's not just chipotle! Miller has that new Miller Chill beer which is just a ripoff of chelada style drinks. (Chelada is a slang term for beer and a squirt of lime served on the rocks with a salted rim. It's a combination of chela, beer, and helada, iced or with ice. There's your linguistics/culture lesson for the day. Enjoy.) Oh, and guess what? The commercial for Miller Chill has--you guessed it--an accented voice over. Come on!

There's also this bizarre "mango salsa" trend. I don't know where the hell that started, but it's just weird. Look, I love salsa as much as the next person, but I'm so not into fruit salsas. Besides isn't mango salsa really just mango chutney? Methinks someone in the marketing department of some huge restaurant corporation was all, "Hmm. How can we pander to the Latino market? I mean, they are the biggest untapped market segment. I know! I'll just rename these basic menu items and tell the recipe department to throw in some mangoes here, a little lime there, and some kind of exotic spice, too!"

Here's the thing. As far as I'm aware, I've never in my life eaten chipotle, and Ama, my grandmother, cooked for the extended family all the time! So if chipotle is such an authentic "Latino" ingredient, why is it that NONE of my Latina friends have ever eaten it? Hmm?

I guess I'm just tired of having my culture exploited to sell really gross food and surprisingly bad beer. Seriously, folks, exploit someone else for a change. I think we've been exploited long enough.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Sometimes Slatternly, Always Naughty Housewife

So OK. I'm trying to adjust to the idea of being a hausfrau. Yes, I work from home, but for the most part, I am a housewife. Now, look, I'm a diehard feminist, but I don't see anything wrong with being a housewife. I mean, shouldn't I have the CHOICE to live however the hell I please? Isn't that the whole point of feminism? Giving women the privilege of CHOOSING their fates? So what is up with all of the housewife bashing?

Generally these are the responses I get:

"And you're happy staying at home all day? Don't feel like you're wasting your potential?"

"Oh." Yep. Just "Oh." Usually in a clippped, semi-conceited, almost always disgusted tone, regularly followed with, "Well, don't let yourself go!" or "Have fun watching your soaps!"

Um. OK. First of all, I rarely watch soaps--and even then it's because I'm trying to figure out what the hell makes them so addicting and/or appealing so I can mimic that in my erotica. Secondly, to imply that being a housewife somehow alters my intelligence is simply insulting. The very idea that alternating household chores with working on my latest chapter or synopis will reduce my IQ is just ridiculous. It's not even worth discussing.

But seriously, all you non armpit shaving, overbearing, manhating slags who feel the need to bombard me--and my fellow hausfraus--with negative comments for choosing to stay home and play house, well, you can all FUCK OFF!

Ah, I feel SO much better now! So moving on....

I decided that I needed to find some kind of community, preferably online, for young housewives. Being that I am obsessed with Google, I type "housewife" into the search box, press enter, and...Oh My God!

Besides the 2 relevant resuls, here's a sample of what else popped up--and yes, these are the LEAST filthy results that I feel comfortable typing here for public view:

Housewife Hunnies
Cheating Housewives
Housewife Bangers
Wives In Need
Extramarital Affairs (A Dating Service for Married Folks)
Wild Wives Club

Uh, OK. So those sites weren't really useful to my needs. Depressingly enough, the other two were a bust also. One was a "How-To" guide for being the "perfect" housewife and entailed hours of scrubbing, primping, mixing drinks, and all kinds of other 50s era subservient BS. Yeah, what the fuck ever. As for the second result, well, it was all geared toward women with kids...lots of them.

I tried searching "new housewife" or "young housewife" and after sorting through all the porn sites, I found sites for chicks who a) can't clean, b) can't cook, c) have absolutely no idea how to maintain a budget, or d) are generally disasters. OK. I maintain a detailed budget with a six month projection, share housekeeping duties with Dave-O, understand and regulary practice the basics of housekeeping. My house isn't spotless, but it's presentable. As for the cooking, well, I'll be a little conceited here and state that I am a hellaciously amazing cook. The only women I've ever met who are better cooks are: Mom, Ama, and Agnes G.

So yeah. I think I'm covered on all those fronts. Sigh. Maybe there's just nothing out there for me--or maybe I should start my own group.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fruit Salad

Today, I met a friend from my "glory days" at EHS for lunch at Doc Greens. Layna was one of my closest friends at EHS. She was someone that I truly enjoyed spending time with, and now that we're all growed up, it's nifty to go out on lunch dates and such. Recently Layna graduated from TAMU and has taken a position in a nearby alternative education program teaching high school science. I know. Tough gig, right?

Anyways. We made our lunch date via Myspace because, you know, cell phones are so blase. I left the house around 11 because traffic on Texas Ave is absolute mayhem with all of the lane closures and construction, but I make it to the restaurant with maybe 8 minutes to spare. I call Layna for an ETA, and she tells me that she can't find the restaurant. No biggie. I had a hard time finding it, too. It's sort of tucked away on the backside of a mini shopping center on a random street next to an HEB on Texas Avenue South.

Layna: I'm at Hastings. Have I gone too far?
Me: Yep. Cut through the HEB parking lot and you'll see it.
Layna: Is it close to that Starbucks.
Me: Hmmm.

This is when I realize that Layna has gone to the wrong HEB, lol! Now the reason this is an easy mistake is because the geniuses who designed B/CS and named the streets divided Texas Avenue (the main drag, if you will) in this way:

In College Station, the street is labeled Texas Avenue South
In Bryan, the street is labeled South Texas Avenue--even though it's actually NORTH.

Yes. Let that sink in for a second. Now. Does that make any freakin' sense?!?! Oh, and did I mention that both HEBs on Texas Ave are right next to a Hastings? WTF!

After a good laugh, Layna finds her way to Doc Greens. The food was great, but the ordering could have been a little more efficient. Also, the seating arrangement in their hallway of a dining room was totally ridiculous. At any rate, we made it work and had a delicious lunch and a great talk. We discussed everything from her new job, my decision to find a new agent, generational poverty, teaching standards, schools without A/C, etcetera.

On the drive home, I started thinking about salads which made me think about fruit salad which made me think about apples which made me think about PCOS. I know that's a totally random segue, but that's exactly how my mind works. See women with PCOS are usually shaped like apples, but the thing is, I wasn't always shaped like an apple. I started out a fuzzy little peach, then I stretched into an oddly proportioned banana, and then blissfully, I began to blossom into that oh-so coveted pear shape. Why oh why couldn't I stay a pear? Even a slighty lumpy, ripe pear would have been cool, but nope, I began to take the shape of an apple, not quite a red delicious, though. More like a Pink Lady.

So as I'm driving I start to think, crap, what's next? Grape? Cantaloupe? Watermelon? By the time I'm eighty, I'll have gone through all the stages of a fruit salad!

Oh well. It could be worse. I could look like a mushroom! Dave hates mushrooms...but he loves fruit salad, especially the apples.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


For the last month or so I've been contemplating where exactly my writing career is going. SANGRE was a well-written literary women's fiction novel, but it just wasn't right for the current market. No matter how many acquiring editors at the NYC houses loved the story, the characters, the strong writing, (insert positive comment here), the book just wasn't going to sell. And that's OK. Not every book that's written makes it to publication.

My agent and I decided that it was probably a good idea to shelve SANGRE for the time being and pursue a different manuscript...except the agent wasn't very keen on any of the manuscripts I sent her way. Yeah. That's a problem. My agent felt I should write another literary novel, but I just didn't feel the urge to write another literary novel. I wrote a dark urban fantasy novel, a Latino themed YA, a historical romance, and maybe 5 erotic romance novellas.

So while I sat there for a month trying to force another literary novel, I began contemplating an agent switch. It happens all the time. Some authors use different agents for every book while others make the switch when they want to go a different route with an author. And others, like Jennifer Crusie, get a pink slip from their agents--but in a good way. I spoke to Dave about the potential agent switch and the fact that it would mean yet another round of querying and nailbiting. He supported my decision, certain that a new agent would mean better opportunities.

I sat on my hands for a few days, wondering how best to end my relationship with my agent. A certified letter? A phone call? A nice email? I checked my contract again and again, rereading the termination clause word for word to make sure that I wouldn't be in breech of contract when I delivered my letter/phone call/email.

But then one afternoon last week I got an email from my agent. Something along the lines of: It's been fun, toots, but I think it's time we break up.

Can you say relieved?!?! I know. For the first time ever, I was GLAD to be dumped, lol. Now I'm not the bad guy. I'm the coward, sure, but not the bad guy!

So now I'm evaluating my options. I'm not sure which manuscript to use as my querying platform in a search for a new agent. At least this time I've got some publishing credentials under my belt...but that also means that I have to find an agent willing to handle my mainstream/genre fiction written under my real name and my erotic romances written/published under a pen name. Yeah. That makes it a little more difficult but not impossible. Off the top of my head, I can think of seven authors who write tawdry erotic novellas under pen names and serious fiction under another name.

Anywho. It's a little scary being on the unagented side of things, but that's okay. I've got books lined up for publication without an agent which buys me a little time to drag my feet and find a new one. Who knows? I might find the agent of my dreams this time around!

Back to writing....

Monday, August 20, 2007


So my Pawpaw (Mom's Dad) had a heart attack last week and had a quad bypass a few days ago. Mom and Joey took off for Ohio (where Pawpaw lives) the day of his surgery and will be staying up there until who knows when. There's a lot of uncertainty right now. Everyone's talking about survival percentages, recovery times, and quality of life. Someone mentioned that if he makes it through recovery the surgery should buy him at least 12 months.

12 months.

Man, when I was a kid a year was such a LONG time, but now, it's just not. Why is it that as we age each year seems to be shorter than the next? Perspective perhaps? Who the hell knows.

Part of me is really optimistic about the entire situation. Two years ago Pawpaw was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and given an iffy prognosis, but after a thorough course of treatment, he beat the cancer and kept on keeping on. Who knows? He might whip this heart problem, too, and live another 5-10 years.

It may sound odd, but I've never had a relative who passed with advanced warning. What I mean is that all of my relatives who have checked out of this realm went suddenly. In Apa's case, we visited him at the hospital the night prior to his death. He was laughing and telling jokes and seemed ready to be discharged--but then Dad got an early morning phone call. He took off immediately, but by the time Mom, Joey, Marcos, Tricia, and I got there, he was gone. Mawmaw went the same way. She made phone calls that afternoon, talked to everyone, and then--wham!--that evening she had a massive heart attack and passed.

Some people say that being able to prepare for an impending death is easier than suddenly losing someone and having to process all of those conflicting emotions at once. I don't know. I think maybe I prefer the sudden death bit. I did a little Hospice work that summer between graduating and beginning college, and I have to say that watching a loved one languish and waste away didn't seem to make the passing any less painful for the families involved.

Anywho. Moving away from the depressing subject now...

I've been getting tons of emails and messages from people asking when I was going to update the blog (for some reason I have a huge readership via Myspace, 791 hits last week/post.) Now you all know why. I've tried to write a post, but I just had this huge blank. It's coming back to me now, though.

That's all for today. Tomorrow I'll fill everyone in on a recent career move that I think help steer my writing in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ruff Days

Not much to report here. Lots of SSDD. Dave's had the last four days off, and yeah, I totally love him, but cripes! I have my own schedule of sleeping, eating, and working, and when Dave's here for more than two, three days at the most, well, we start to get gripey. Not about anything important, of course, just stupid little stuff. We've always been like this so it's become a running joke of sorts.

Anyways. We went to the DPS today, I changed my name and address. I didn't realize that I'd have to take another picture since I renewed my license less than ten months ago so Dave had quite a laugh when the lady said, "And step behind the green square, please." I was in blue jean gauchos, one of Dave's plain grey t-shirts, my lime green and hot pink 'ROOS, with my hair clipped up, curls all over the place. At least I had the foresight to put on some concealer and powder and my diamond studs before leaving the house--otherwise ICK! I would have won the Frumpy HouseFrau Award.

Bos has had a "ruff" couple of days. Get it, ruff? A ha ha ha...sigh. I'm so lame today.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Bos. He's been really snippy this last week, chewing and snapping at whatever is near him. I've noticed that when he's going through a growth spurt he's a real piss head and super manic. One minute he's my little snugglebumpkins and the next he's gnawing on my ankle like it's a knuckle bone straight from the butcher. Needless to say, we're working on that.

Yesterday while Dave and I were out buying groceries, Bos must have gotten bored and decided that Dave's latest Stephen King paperback looked like the tastiest of all chew toys. I was stunned when I opened the front door and found Bosley sitting in a pile of ripped pages, paper confetti still raining down on him. We're talking 700 plus pages of paper shredded all over the living room! What a freakin' nightmare!

After that he was on Dave's shit list. Oh, and did I mention that he decided to pinch off a few upstairs in the hallway. Yeah. Dave was steamed. Bosley seems to sense when Dave is angry because he does a lot of hiding behind my legs or under the nearest table. Weenie.

Then last night, Dave and I are snuggled on the couch watching The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Bosley, who's sleeping between the couch and the wall, shoots up, spins around, and starts making snapping noises at the baseboard. Curious, I lean over to see what he's up to--and I almost pee myself. It's a SCORPION!! A HUGE EFFING SCORPION IN MY LIVING ROOM CRAWLING ACROSS THE CARPET.

I'm shaking and screaming for Dave to kill it, but Bosley has decided to play the brave defender and is trying to bite the damn thing. I try to yank him away, but at almost 6 months and ripped like a body builder, he's impossible to out muscle. Needless to say, the scorpion bit him two or three times on his chin before Dave was able to get in between them and stomp the bastard to death.

When we finally settled down, Bosely didn't seem the least bit worried about the scorpion bites. He wanted to play and run and jump and throw his toys. Normally, I don't care, but it was, like, 1 o'clock in the morning. So we head up to bed and Bos follows us up and for like, five minutes, he was nice and calm, but then he picked up his rope toy and started galloping from the bedroom to the hallway, furiously swinging the toy side to side, hitting the wall, the door, the TV stand, and our bed. Again, if he was a small dog, I wouldn't care, but when 60 plus pounds of awkward, stumbling Great Dane is hurtling around your bedroom, it's impossible to sleep. Unless you're Dave and apparently you can sleep through anything.

I take Bos downstairs and put him outside to run and play. It's three o'clock. I'm bleary-eyed but suffering insomnia so I figure, "Eh, what the hell. I'll write." I grab a notebook and pen and start writing longhand. I get through half a chapter before Bosley decided he's ready to come in. I pet him, close the door, and give him one those fake bacon treats he loves so much. He gobbles it down, gulps down some water, and then starts pacing nervously. I watch him intently, certain that he's about to start barking. He heads into the living room, looks at the door, looks at me, looks at the door, looks at me, looks up the stairs, looks at me and then opens his mouth. I cringe, ready for an eardrum bustin bark, but instead, I hear SPLAT!

Oh, that's right. He puked everywhere. Jesus, Maria y Jose! Like gallons of the stuff. I mean, I'm no wimp when it comes to puke, but this stuff was sour and brown and bacony. Ugh.

*Icky story ahead. You might want to skip down to the next paragraph* Just a random story from my days as a medic: Once, I had to ride an emergency transfer from E-town to San Angelo (fifty plus miles) with a bazillion year old woman that had a fecal impaction, some kind of lower GI blockage, and a horrendous case of the egg burps. As we were loading her onto the gurney for the transfer, she started dry heaving and then vomiting and--well--let's just say that it looked like Wolf Brand Chili and smelled like a broken sewer main. It was horrendous. Imagine that for fifty plus miles, in the back of an ambulance, with like minimal air flow. The second we pulled into the ER Bay, I freakin' bailed, sucking air like a fish tossed onto a pier.

After his gastric episode, Bosley followed me upstairs and settled down. He slept straight through the night and most of the morning. Dave and I felt so bad for him--first the scorpion, then the pukes--that we stopped by our local PetCo dog bar to pick up a pound of tasty treats. You know, things like those dog cookies, the peanut butter bears, the veggie o's... Man, he loves those.

A'ight. This post is pretty boring, but bear with me. I'll have something better tomorrow. Hopefully.

Back to my writing...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Upwardly Mobile

After spending the last two days loading the final boxes into truck, scouring the apartment from top to bottom, and taking PLENTY of clear pictures as evidence, Dave and I have officially finished moved! And it could not have come a day sooner. We've been plagued with problems from the start and have made a pact that if we decide to sell this house and build/buy another one we WILL hire movers and Merry Maids to give the house a final cleaning before sale.

You know, Dave and I were laughing as we packed up the kitchen and reminisced about moving into our apartment in May of 2004. At the time, we lived in separate apartments at the same shat-tastic complex. When I had chosen that particular apartment complex, I was looking for a place close to campus, on the university bus route, and of course, cheap enough to fit into a budget based on my embarassingly low medic's salary. My parents subsidized part of the rent and utilities, but I was on my own for everything else. Not a bad deal, really. It totally taught me how to pinch a penny until Abe Lincoln shrieked for mercy.

Anywho. Where was I? Ah, yes. Shat-tastic apartment.

Dave could have afforded to live in a much nicer complex, but the poor schmuck was smitten and wanted live close to me. He ended up in an apartment three buildings away, maybe a three minute walk. We lived there for a year before deciding to consolidate households and get an apartment together. We were so excited to be moving into a nice complex, a place with great windows, a spacious floorplan, and an updated kitchen.

But then the apartment flooded on our move-in day. And two weeks later. And again four months later. And--well--you get the picture. It was a never-ending cycle of flooding, maintenance issues like a sputtering A/C, lights that flickered, a badly repaired kitchen, etc. So yesterday as we're scrubbing the stove, we realize that compared to the new house we were living in squalor.

OK. So not really squalor, but you know what I mean. When you've got a brand new four bedroom house with clean carpet and bright paint and no funky odors from the previous tenant who may or may not have kept a shrimp stand in the master closet, you really start to see the blatant discrepancy between the two.

We also had a pretty good laugh trying to figure out if one of us married up, down, or made a lateral move. Even though I pointed out that I benefited more financially from this whole ad hoc socio-political alliance by gaining a steady income and health insurance, Dave decided he was the one that married up. I'd like to think of it more as a lateral move, but whatever. I'm not going to argue. It's kind of nice to think that I'm the prize!

Either way, we decided that compared to a lot of people, we're doing OK. We have a steady, loving relationship, a beautiful home, a spoiled ass dog, supportive family, amazing friends, and low overall debt. Are there a ton of things that we want? Uh, yeah. New furniture, a second vehicle, a new lawnmower--all those things would be great, and sure, we could just charge away on our credit cards, but screw that! I like not struggling each month. I love going to bed at night knowing that we're completely solvent. So yeah. We make do with what we have and appreciate the hell out of it as we build up the savings to pre-wedding and house purchase status and put away a little here and there for our vacation fund.

Our game plan is pretty simple: Live Within Our Means. If we stick to that, there's no stopping us. We're upwardly mobile now and the sky's the limit.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I am Du'a Khalil

I’ve been wanting to blog about Du’a Khalil for some time but haven’t been sure if that’s really something that anyone would read. I try to keep my posts on track with the whole “random musing” angle, but this morning, I think I’ll veer off course a bit. Although, I suppose this could be considered a random musing since I was reminded of Du’a Khalil while reading through this AP wire about a 13 year old girl dying after a botched female circumcision.

For those of you not familiar with that rather barbaric custom, a female circumcision or female genital mutilation occurs in various disturbing forms, including the splitting of the clitoris or the complete removal of the clitoris and the labia minora. The third type—and this is really the worst—involves the removal of the clitoris, labia minora and majora. But, oh no, they don’t stop there. They then stitch up the gaping hole left behind and tie the girl’s knees together for weeks (sometimes as long as six.) When—or if—it finally heals, the girl is left with only a tiny little hole, think the size of a pencil eraser, through which menstrual blood and urine are allowed to pass. That’s it. She’s completely flat and closed from where the clitoris used to be to her anus.

Yeah. Let that sink in for a second. Oh, and keep in mind these disgusting procedures are normally carried out on toddlers and young girls by crazy ass old hags without anesthesia, sterile fields or even basic hygiene. Also, they aren’t making these cuts with scalpels. Nope. We’re talking glass shards and knives, people. And those stitches? They’re not always done with thread. Sometimes it’s just long thorns plucked from the nearest bush.

No, I am not making this up. You can not make up this kind of horror. There are dozens of UNICEF, WHO, and medical journal studies describing in terrifying detail these back alley mutilations. And guess what? It gets worse once you’re married. How can that be, you ask? What could possibly be worse than having your vajayjay mutilated and then sewn back together?

Having it cut open by your husband on your wedding night so that he can enjoy the supposed pleasure that only a girl preserved in this manner can provide. Yes, that’s right. The husbands create a new incision so that they may have intercourse with their wives. If the girl gets pregnant, they have to widen the incision to allow for a vaginal delivery—but get this—they then SEW it back up, let it heal, and then the husband gets to slice it open yet again. You can see what a vicious cycle this is…

I first learned about Female Genital Mutilation during my freshman year of high school. I was shocked. I didn’t quite know what to think. My own sexual curiosity was just beginning to bloom, and I couldn’t imagine having the very essence of my womanhood, the outward symbol of my femininity, hacked to pieces to prevent impurity.

And before anyone starts bellowing about Islam—just hold on a sec. FGM predates Islam and Christianity. People who study this sort of thing think it started in the Nile Valley during the time of pharaohs. Apparently there are lady mummies with mutilated genitalia. The practice spread and has persisted because of cultural beliefs on cleanliness, virginity, and stature. If you’re interested in a long, but surprisingly well-researched article, check out this link.

Anyways…I never thought I would ever hear of another crime against women that could rival FGM. But then one morning I was scanning some Arabic newspapers online (trying to pick out the words I understood) and I discovered a tiny story on Du’a Khalil. Using Google, I searched for her name and that’s when I uncovered the most barbaric, unbelievably sadistic and inhumane cell phone video that has ever been captured.

Du’a Khalil Aswad was a 17 year old Yazidi girl who lived in Northern Iraq. (The Yazidi are mostly Kurds who follow an ancient pre-Islam religion. I’ve read a few articles on them, but there’s no way I could sum it up in a few sentences. Suffice to say that they believe they’re descended from Adam but not Eve, absolutely forbid intermarrying with other Kurds or people of different religions, and they don’t accept converts.) It seems that Du’a fell in love with a Sunni boy and may have converted to Islam to marry him. That detail hasn’t been thoroughly vetted, but it has been widely reported. She also seems to have been seen walking with this boy and may have spent the night away from her home, presumably with said boy.

What happened next is murky at best. Du’a fled for her life, but was either persuaded by a family member to return, understanding that all was forgiven or she may have been granted asylum and protection by a local sheikh. When she returned to the city, she was either jumped in the street or made it home and was then dragged into the street to meet her death. A crowd of men numbering in the thousands tore away her clothing until she was wearing only her undergarments and began to stone her.

Yes, STONE her. The stoning lasted more than thirty minutes. If you watch the video, she tries to sit up, she begs for mercy, but no one lifts a fucking finger. They yell and spit and throw huge chunks of concrete at her. Even more infuriating are the ARMED FUCKING POLICEMEN standing throughout and around the crowd doing absolutely nothing to help this poor girl. Eventually some guy steps forward and whacks her on the face with a huge piece of rock, killing her. But these worthless pieces of shit don’t stop there. Nope. They drag her body to the edge of town, set it on fire, and then bury her with a dead dog.

All because she fell in love with the wrong kid. Uh, hello! She was a teenager! That’s what teenagers do!

Where the fuck is the honor in killing a young girl? Or, for that matter, mutilating a baby’s genitalia? More importantly, why the hell do women sit around and take this crap? Domestic abuse, sexual assault, honor killings, genital mutilation, misogyny in media and pop culture, lack of basic female health care. And we can’t act like Third World Countries are the only place this stuff happens. Every 2.5 minutes in the US, a person is sexually assaulted. 1 in 6 women or 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted. Childbirth is the NUMBER ONE KILLER of women worldwide. 1 in 2500 US women will die from pregnancy complications. Compare that to 1 in 30,000 in Sweden. Hmm, I wonder which country has universal health care, appropriate sexual education, and widely available contraception to prevent high-risk teenage pregnancies?

So now that we’re all depressed, let’s turn that helplessness or apathy into something productive.

Buy a Du’a Khalil t-shirt.
Join Equality Now or NOW.
Volunteer with your local Rape Crisis or Domestic Abuse Shelter.
Educate Yourself!!

*Jumping off my soap box and crawling into bed*

Friday, August 10, 2007

For My Next Trick, The UHAUL Backflip!

So I know I said my next post would be about the wonders of Myspace, but that's been postponed for a few days. Read on. You'll see why.

On Wednesday, Dave and I were supposed to do the final packing and moving of our apartment. I reserved one of those huge UHAUL trucks, you know, the 26' one that's like four feet off the ground. We go to the apartment, start throwing crap into boxes and moving out the last of the furniture. We get everything but maybe a quarter of the apartment packed and stowed in the UHAUL before Dave has had enough and calls it quits. We head over to the house, pull up in front, and start using the dolley to ferry boxes from the back of the truck to the garage for sorting.

OK. So there wasn't really any "we" to the moving. It was really Dave doing all the hard work. Come on. I'm a supervisor. We all know that....

So Dave and I are in the back of the truck, trying to figure out which boxes we'll take in the house tonight and which ones can wait. I'm holding a chair in my hands, walking backwards as I talk, completely oblivious to the impending danger. Of course, Dave had already warned me that I was going to hurt myself, but did I listen? Uh, no. And why not do you ask? Well, duh, because I, like, know everything. Dave, on the other hand, is fully aware of what a walking nightmare I am. Seriously, I live Murphy's Law every day. I fall out of showers, trip down steps, cut myself in the kitchen, burn myself while cooking, rip off nails doing laundry or random cleaning--hell, I cracked my toenail in half moving a love seat!

Anywho--I'm walking backwards, holding one of our dining room chairs. Dave is facing the front of the truck, trying to find the stack of kitchen boxes. He turns around to tell me something, and just as an expression of sheer terror registers on his face, I feel imbalanced. Like an idiot, I panic and stiffen, and that's all it takes for me to go tumbling over the edge, lime green and pink kangaROOS futilely scraping against metal, chair still clutched to my chest. I have enough sense not to put my hands down to break my fall because I need my fingers to make a living. My fat ass bears the brunt of the fall, but oddly enough, it's not as padded as one might assume. My head whips back and CRACK! I'm out.

It's all blurry from that point on... Ever the gallant knight, Dave rushes down the ramp. I'm writhing in blinding pain, but refusing an ambulance. (I used to work in one and have a slight aversion to all things EMS.) Driving to the Med, sitting, waiting, talking to nurses and doctors, tests, thirst, drowsiness, grumpiness. It was super late before we got the all clear to head home. I had a headache, bruised pride, and a sore ass.

'Course, the sore ass may have been from the BEND OVER & TAKE IT treatment our insurance company gave us. I mean, seriously, what a crock of shit. Last year, Dave's company trotted out this "amazing" High Deductible Health Saving's plan, highlighting alll of the great features but conveniently forgetting to provide any real information. They were all, "Oh, you're insurance will continue to be free, but you'll have to pay $60/month for your spouse. If you stay on your current plan, you'll have to pay for both. Oh, and look! We're even seeding your health savings account!"

Except that they don't really. They made it seem like they would give the full $1500 (or whatever the amount was--I can't remember. foggy memory and all) at the same time, but they only provided a portion with the remainder deposited in $62 increments. WTF? So you have to pay for all of your health care until you meet your deductible which is fair enough. Dave's deductible was 1500, but now that we're married, it jumped to 3000 or 3500. That wouldn't be so bad, but oh, wait! The prescription coverage on this new plan (which, by the way, is NOTHING like what Dave was quoted prior to switching) fucking sucks. And that's putting it mildly. It's no secret that Dave's on all kinds of meds to control his diabetes, and uh, yeah, that crap ain't cheap. And let's not even begin to discuss how our insurance doesn't even cover a portion of any of the meds I will need to address premature ovarian failure and PCOS.


Anyways... Dave had to miss his Thursday shift. I felt really bad about that. He's the type of guy who, like, NEVER calls in sick and when he does, he feels guilty. Me? I'm normal, you know, the type of person who seizes every chance to call in sick and enjoys every minute like the last day on earth.

I feel fine now, a little achey and sort of mentally scattered, but whatever. It'll correct itself eventually--I hope. I've sort of got two novellas and a full length literay YA to finish by, oh, September 1st.

Oh, yeah! And for all my fellow recent brides and/or brides-to-be, have you gotten that scamming phone call from Simplicty Brides??? I've gotten four calls from them since 1 pm and it's only 5 o'clock now! WTF, right? I finally answered this last time. It's basically this lady who's all, "You've won a free trip!" But then she starts the spiel, and immediately, you're hit by that that oh-so-familiar scam scent that only a whiff of Vieux Boulogne can replicate. Mid-spiel, I told her not to call again and hung up. A quick Google search and I realized what a good move I made. This company is super pushy and particularly vile.

It's a company called Carico/Royal Prestige/Integra Marketing Group/Simplicty Gourmet/Simplicty Bride/World Adventures Travel/Pro Health Ultra who market their pots and pans and such to newly engaged and married couples. They get our info from bridal shows, websites, and shops. How it works is this:

1) Phone call. Invite to a cooking show at local hotel.
2) Attend cooking show. Listen to "your pans are killing you" speech Pressure to buy $1600-3500 worth of pans. Sign contract and receive travel voucher to 2.5 start hotel--if you're lucky.
3) Panic. Decide to cancel pan contract--but, oh no! There is no contact number!! 3 days pass and you're certifiably Shit Outta Luck.

You should read some of these horror stories!! Consumer News, Brides.Com Forum, Rip Off Report.

Isn't it sick how they try to rip off people who are getting married or just married? You should see this list of Bridal Scams! Free cruises, honeymoons, tuxes, shopping sprees--whatever. I never buy into that crap. I'm super lucky Mom raised me to be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true stuff.

OK. Enough blogging. Time to give Bos a bath b/c PEE-EWWW! He has reached a whole new level of stank today from playing outside. By the way, while trying to write this post, I fought with and removed from Bosley's mouth: a DVD remote, two handfuls of comforter stuffing, an empty Dr. Pepper can that he stole from the table, and my tiny black Sony Ericsson cell.

Monday, August 06, 2007

If I Wanted My Toes Licked, I'd Dip Them In Mayonnaise

Yeah. I have no frickin' idea what the title means either. On Wednesday, Dave and I were trying to nap but Bos was having none of it. He does this really annoying thing where he sticks his nose under the covers and starts licking/gnawing on whatever he finds--and I do mean whatever he finds. What can I say? My pup's a pervo. He's also started bitch-slapping us. No joke. If you're ignoring him, he'll take his massive paw and smack you straight across the face or tummy or thigh or whatever he's closest to. Can you say ouch?!?!

Anywho, Dave, in a nutso, super groggy state, whips out that perplexing one liner. We were both silent for about two seconds before busting out laughing as we tried figure out what the hell he meant to say.

Not long after that, Dave's phone started ringing and it was his youngest brother, Todd. Todd has just been honorably discharged from the USMC and is on a road trip from Camp LeJeune to Califas with his lovely wife, Stephanie, his mother-in-law Agnes, and sister-in-law Melissa. They were giving us a few hours of heads-up as they prepared to leave New Orleans for the first leg of their "Crossing Texas Tour."

I have to admit I was a tad less than thrilled by the prospect of four houseguests for 3 nights/3 days--especially since I had never met Stephanie, her mother, or sister--but I could not have been more wrong! From the moment they stepped through the front door, I could tell it was going to be a great visit. Stephanie is the kind of girl I would naturally gravitate towards: razor sharp wit, funny as hell, and totally honest; Melissa reminds me of my own little sis in that quiet, introspective, I-know-way-more-than-I-let-on-one-day-I'm-gonna-shock-you-way; Agnes is seriously a Hungarian carbon-copy of my own spunky mama--and she cooks amazingly well!

So from Wednesday night through Saturday late afternoon, we ate, laughed, ate, laughed, told stories, commiserated, and yeah, ate some more. Did I mention that this bunch were the kind of houseguests who are totally self-sufficient? I'm working against a deadline so I didn't have a lot of time to show them around town so they would just ask, "How do we get here?" I would write down directions and off they would go. And all faithful readers know what a shat sleep schedule I keep but my early afternoon wake-up times didn't even faze them. Oh, and Bos went bonkers for Melissa and Agnes.

When they left on Saturday, I was kind of sad. It was suddenly really quiet in the house. Weird almost. I think I'm going to start opening the house to guests more often. Just not when I'm under a deadline.

Speaking of deadlines, I should stop procrastinating and start writing. Tomorrow I think I'll post on the wonders of Myspace and discovering old friends. Maybe.