Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monster Mash!

So Halloween is my most favorite holiday. I love October. It's my birthday month. Fall starts. Pumpkins and cinnamon and nutmeg and yummy squash are everywhere. I get to decorate the house and buy those nifty little candy bars and play Boris Pickett and The Crypt Kickers and make popcorn balls. How great is that?

I started my Halloween movie marathon a few days ago. I've got tons on my list to watch and I might have to go into next week to get them all done. It's a good excuse to avoid the TV campaign commercials! My list is loaded with classics, comedies, and B movies galore. I'm not a big gore fan.

A few years back, I made the mistake of watching Takashi Miike's AUDITION. I'd never seen or heard of the film so when I sat down to watch it I didn't know what to expect. Holy hell. I ended up puking my guts out for most of the night and didn't sleep for, like, four days. No really. It was a horrendously terrifying and disgusting film. I mean, like, super disturbing. Seriously, Rob Zombie did an interview about this film, and as he discussed it, he got this totally squeamish look on his face and shuddered. Rob effing Zombie folks.

*Spoilers ahead*

This dude decides he needs a new wife to replace his dead one so he holds this fake audition. This cute young woman shows up and he's like, omg, I love you. And she's like yay! But his friend is like, "Dude, she gives me the creeps." He doesn't listen because there's just something about her.

Cut to a scene with said creepy yet adorable young woman sitting in an unfurnished apartment. She's just staring at this phone, waiting for it to ring. There's a burlap sack on the floor near her. The phone rings. The burlap sack lurches and gurgles. She answers the phone and dating ensues. They finally decide to do the deed. She tells him all about her sexual abuse as a child and shows him these burns on her body. She urges him to love her, only her. He says he will.

In the morning, he wakes up and she's gone. He searches for her. He finds out all these really weird things about her by visiting the places on the resume she used during her audition. A lot of people she listed as references are, like, dead or missing. In one case a body was found with extra body parts. But he luuurrvves her so he just keeps on searching.

She, meanwhile, visits his house and finds a picture of his dead wife. She loses her shit and spikes his drink. She hides. He comes home, has a drink, and passes out. Then the audience is treated to a flashback where the crazy chick eats dinner and barfs it into a dog food dish. The burlap sack is opened and a naked dude missing a whole lot of important body parts slithers out of the bag and stuffs his face into the vomit--and laps it up because he's, like, starving.

So back to the present. The guy wakes up from the drugs and sees his dog all fucked up and dead. The chick comes in and injects him with some kind of paralytic drug that makes it impossible for him to move but unbelievably aware of what's going on with his body. She tortures him with needles in his eyes and belly. The whole time, she's rambling about how he loves too many people and things. She killed the dog because he loved it. She's going to kill his son because he loves him. I mean, she's really twisted. She then uses a garroting razor wire thing to hack off his foot. And she's got this totally orgasmic, blissful face as she's hacking this guy to bits.

The son unexpectedly arrives. She tries to knock him out with a spray bottle of paralyzing juice but the son evades the spritz and knocks her crazy ass down the stairs. She breaks her neck. Son calls the police. The end.

*End Spoilers*

So, yeah, after that horrid experience, I swore off gore. What am I watching this year then?

Prophecy 2
Prophecy 3
Bubba Hotep
Ernest Scared Stupid
From Hell
Sleepy Hollow
The Burbs
Hocus Pocus
The Devil's Rejects
Transylvania 6-5000
Mary Reilly
Little Shop of Horros
In the Blood
Shadow of the Vampire
The Insatiable
The Frighteners
The Witches of Eastwick
Rocky Horror Picture Show (watching right now)
Rosemary's Baby
The Lost Boys
30 Days of Night
Elvira: Werewolf of Washington
Kinky Killers
The Rats
Elvira: The Devil's Wedding Night
Elvira: Count Dracula's Great Love
Elvira: Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks
Young Frankenstein
Elvira: Legacy of the Blood
Elvira: Doomsday Machine

Monday, October 27, 2008

Early Birds

So Dave and I participated in early voting. We even have the nifty "I Voted!" stickers to prove it. I was a little miffed that the only polling places close to us were all churches but whatever. It's not that I have anything against churches. I just don't think churches and voting should go hand in hand. It makes me nervous. I don't see why tax funded buildings aren't solely used as polling places. No conflicts of interest, you know?

Anywho. So we drove around for, like, half an hour trying to find this one specific church. Finally, Dave spotted a "Vote Here!" sign about the size of a license plate on the side of a major thoroughfare. That really perplexed me. Historically, most early voters are, you know, older folks. Older folks. Bad eyesight. Tiny signs. If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was a ploy to disenfranchise elder Republicans or something.

I like early voting because there isn't much of a wait. Our normal polling place was a nightmare during the primaries. It was packed and rowdy and discouraged Dave and I from going back for the caucus. The church lobby was quiet and there were plenty of open machines. Woohoo!

We had one of those weird ballots. For some races there were three candidates, for some two from the major parties, and for some only a Republican or Libertarian. I couldn't help but wonder why Democrats didn't run in some races.

I wish I could have been one of those "straight ticket" people. They just walk up, hit a few buttons and walk out. I have to stand there, spinning that damn dial, and clicking buttons for every space on the ballot. I'm a registered Democrat for the purpose of voting in the primary since you have to choose one line or the other here in Tejas. But when I vote I'm an Independent. My ticket looked pretty bizarre when I was done. Sort of like a schizophrenic monkey had haphazardly spun the dial and clicked enter. What can I say? I like some Republicans. I like some Democrats. I even like a few Libertarians.

So get out there and vote! It takes, like, fifteen minutes at the most (at least during early voting) and you get a totally nifty sticker. Oh, and it's your civic duty. So earn those bitchin' rights and cast your ballot!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


So this Ashley Todd business is sort of a big deal here in town since she claimed to be a TAMU student. Turns out she wasn't. She's actually a Blinn student. Yet another lie in her layer cake of asshatery.

What gets me though is how quickly the media and various political blogs took to this story without, you know, vetting it properly. Look, I'm usually one to believe victims, but I have to say my bullshit meter goes bugnuts whenever someone claims that a big, scary black man attacked them. Puh-leez. How friggin' cliche!

Within, like, ten minutes of hearing about this breaking story, I was able to use my Google-fu to snuff out the facts. First, I found Ashley Todd's Myspace page. Her shout-out to a Panic at the Disco song lyric, "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths [sic] off but its [sic] better if you do," had me raising my eyebrows. First off, for her inability to spell "clothes" or to understand the difference between "its" and "it's." Secondly, um, well, read the quote.

Next, I found her Twitter page. Holy hell. Right before the alleged crime occurred, she Twittered the following. "Stubbornly searching for a Bank of America to avoid ATM fees," and "Pretty sure I'm on the wrong side of Pittsburgh." Uh-huh. Because when I'm driving around a strange city, alone, at night, I always have time to Twitter at red lights. This reads like a crappy setup in some badly written mystery novel. Give me a break!

Oh, and then there was her Youtube video I found of the "Mean Janitor" who just happened to be a big, black man. Right...

Throw all that together and it's really hard for me not to roll my eyes in disbelief. When the photo came out, I laughed. Backwards B. Black eye that looks like a mascara job. Oh, dear.

And then, suddenly, I felt really sad. This girl has no idea what kind of shitstorm she created by making up this unbelievable lie. She not only wasted community resources but she stirred up such ugly feelings. You should see some of the comments on blogs and online newspapers. I can't tell you how many comments I read that made me shake my head in disbelief that such hateful, ignorant people still exist.

Even if the story had been true, even if a big, scary black man had scratched the letter B in her face, it wouldn't have been a reflection on Obama's campaign any more than this girl's idiocy should be a reflection on the McCain campaign. Lord knows I don't care for John McCain or Sarah Palin but that doesn't mean I hold them personally responsible for this girl's asshatery. Could you argue that some of Palin's incendiary remarks might have spurred this girl's desperate actions? Maybe. Then again, some people are just sickos.

I do, however, think the Pennsylvania McCain camp representative who fed the story to the media should be fired. He not only made himself look foolish, but his candidates too. As for Ashley Todd, well, it's a good thing she was too much of a coward to do a believable number on her face. Otherwise, she'd be forever branded with a scarlet B. At least now she might be able get some help--which she seriously needs--and fade away into obscurity.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opossum? Oh, Crap.

So I was working way late last night and Bos decided to keep me company. A little after 3 this morning, he decided he needed to use the facilities. I let him outside and flicked on the porch light. A cold front had blown through so I stood behind the door, shielding myself from the cold. It was one of those dark, creepy, howling wind types of nights. I didn't like it.

Suddenly something skittered across the back of the lawn. Bosley pinched it off and made chase, barking so loud and wildly lights in all the neighboring houses began to flick on. I walked out onto the patio and called him back into the house. He was losing his effing mind. He barked viciously and growled at whatever the hell he'd cornered in the far right side of the yard.

With no other choice, I had to scurry (barefoot and half-dressed in my jammies) out into the darkness. As I got closer to Bosley, he became more aggressive toward whatever critter he'd cornered. I guess his protective instinct kicked in as I approached. I tried to coax him back inside but he just wouldn't listen. I tugged on his tail. He clawed the ground and refused to budge. I couldn't see the mysterious creature because of the darkness and shadows but I knew that if I didn't do something quick Bosley was probably going to get bitten or scratched.

Like a complete idiot, I stepped up between Bosley and the creature. Suddenly, I was face to face with a furious opossum, its claws bared, teeth gnashing, mouth smacking, and tail curled defensively. Visions of enduring weeks of rabies shot flashed through my mind. It reared up and hissed at me. Bosley leapt forward and viciously, violently snapped and snarled at the little beastie.

Me? I ran like a little girl. Seriously. I squealed and jumped and high-tailed it back to the house. As I made the mad dash to the door, I spotted Klaus, Bosley's squeaky fish, and snatched it from the ground. Running like crazy, I rapidly squeezed Klaus and Bosley, thinking this was some kind of new game, chased me back into the kitchen. I slammed the door shut and nearly collapsed with a mixture of fear and relief. Bosley grabbed Klaus from my hand and trotted into the living room, still grumbling with annoyance at the interloper marsupial.

And Dave? Yeah. He totally slept through this spectacle of spectacles. He didn't even stir. In fact, when he came down to head out for work two hours later, he was shocked and highly amused. That man....

So now I have to worry about nocturnal beasties terrorizing the dog during his nightly visits to the john. Oh, joy! And I'm seriously wondering how my vegetable garden will fare next year. I foresee scads of nibbled upon veggies and irritation out the wazoo. Such are the joys of living up against the woodsen...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So I've started venturing into new and interesting literary genres. First I tried Bizarro fiction and absolutely fell in love with it. I think I may have converted Rob/Todd to the genre as he devoured Angel Dust Apocalypse during his short visit. Seriously good and totally mind-bending book. You should check it out if you get chance.

I've also tried some scifi a la John Scalzi and some super cozy Victorian mysteries. I'm considering a thriller or two and some horror. Maybe. Anywho. So manga/graphic novels were next on my list. Dave and I visited the library yesterday afternoon and the Halloween collection caught my eye. I wandered over and picked up the first thing that looked interesting: Bizenghast Volumes 1 & 2.

These are two of the most engaging books I've ever picked up. The illustrations are crazy beautiful. The storyline is whimsical and frightening. Dinah, a young girl who can see ghosts and has some serious mental issues (schizophrenia, maybe) and her best friend Vincent discover a mausoleum in the woods. Dinah accidentally signs a contract binding her to the mausoleum and to the task of freeing tortured, trapped souls. Each volume of Bizenghast is a continuation of her quest to free the souls and void the contract.

The books are super interesting and super quick reads. Drop by your library or B&N or indie bookstore and try them out! You won't be sorry!


The other day Mom and I discussed health care costs. My dad is having a health scare which means Mom is having a budget scare. We discussed how absolutely disgusted we are by medical care and insurance coverage in this country. My parents shell out major cash for premiums but get nothing in return. Mom's needed to go in for some routine and not so routine testing for months now but she's been putting it off because of the up-front cost. My parents make a decent living and yet...

We had the biggest laugh over the McCain healthcare plan. Oh, sure, give me $5000 to buy insurance. Uh-huh. I'm sorry, folks, but that's impossible. If Dave and I lost his group plan, we'd never get insurance again. NEVER. Dave has fairly well controlled Type II Diabetes and is overweight by, oh, fifteen or twenty pounds. I have PCOS/POF, a mitral valve prolapse, a systolic murmur, and am still overweight (but really working on that.) To me, these things are really minor, but to insurance companies? Yeah. Not so much. The shitty state of my ovaries automatically plunks me into the "rare disorder" category. When you're trying to get health insurance, that's the kiss of death.

Just for shits and giggles, I looked for private health insurance quotes. I nearly fell out of my chair. If you want a reasonable deductible of $1000 per person, you'll pay $463 a month for two healthy people. I'm afraid to even answer the health questionnaire to see what it would cost for not so healthy folks. I do know women in my support group who pay $750-1000 per month just to keep their COBRA plans. Yeah. Digest that. I know one woman who couldn't find insurance for her husband because he weighed 270 some-odd pounds. If you tip the scales at 250 plus, you're pretty much shit-outta-luck.

Oh, and that $463 plan doesn't cover any maternity care. That's zero prenatal visits and no labor and delivery coverage. A few friends have just had babies, and I can tell you from the horror stories I'm hearing that the cost of L&D ain't cheap. I'm talking 10K for a vaginal delivery without drugs and 20K for C-sections. The lack of maternity coverage seems to be a common theme in "affordable" private plans. Because, you know, healthy moms aren't a priority. I mean, really, what the fuck?

Right now, Dave and I pay a few hundred dollars a month for a somewhat useful plan. We have to hit our $1500 per person deductible before we get any coverage. Dave's employer provides half of that in an HSA, and we kick over a percentage of every check--but it's still not enough. We have absolutely no fertility coverage which means all of the tests I need have to be coded very specifically by my doctor's office or else our insurer kicks them back. If I have to do a medicated cycle, I get absolutely no monitoring or med coverage. That's complete and utter bullshit. We've paid our premiums. I should get quality health care. End of story.

The prescription coverage is pretty bad too. Dave would like to try some different diabetes meds but the prices are outrageous. We're talking $1000-$1500 per month. Our insurance doesn't cover them so even though they'd probably keep Dave healthier for longer, they're just out of the question. And that's just fucked up. People shouldn't be priced out of prescriptions.

I just don't get this philosophy of "Oh, hey, it's all right! The market will fix everything." Um, yeah, no. We've had private insurance companies since, what, Nixon and Kaiser and all that, right? If the market hasn't fixed the issue of health care costs in all those years, I think we can safely say it isn't going to any time soon.

Look, I'm not a socialist. When it comes to money, I'm a straight-up fiscal conservative--but that doesn't mean that money should come before the basic human rights of American citizens to have equal access to quality health care. It's a fucking disgrace that people in this country have to file bankruptcy because of medical bills. Or that someone who has paid their premiums for years should be denied coverage because of the cost to the insurance company. Um, that's the whole point of insurance. I pay this money every month just in case something horrific happens to me.

I know this is ranty but I'm just sick to death with hospitals and insurance companies and politicians telling us the system is fine. You know what I say to that? FTP!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So I zoned out today and ran 2.92 miles. I'm so close to a 5K I can taste it. I have to be careful not to push myself too far at a time. I really don't need an injury. But, man, it felt so effing good to type my starting and ending into MapQuest and see my distance. I'll definitely achieve 5K distance by the end of October. Woo Hoo!!!!

I found a 5K run for bone marrow awareness here in town. It's a late November race, the 22nd, I think. I'll definitely be ready for it...but I'll be the last person across the line probably. That should matter to me, but oddly enough, it doesn't. I just want to finish and get that t-shirt. You know?

So I'm tentatively considering it. I've got a few weeks to make up my mind but I'm fairly certain I'll be running. It's something I need to do for myself. Sort of like the final proof. I did it. See? I've got the t-shirt to prove it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Poverty. It sucks. I hate that in the US we have a huge number of folks barely existing. I'm the most bothered by the working poor. What a slap in the face! To work every day and barely be able to feed one's family or a keep a roof over one's head. Minimum wage is a joke. Seriously.

But I think we all know that. We're all well aware of the problems. If we're not, we should be. So I've decided to focus on Microcredit as my contribution to Blog Action Day 2008. I really feel it's one of the best ways for people to claw themselves out of poverty and into sustainable entrepreneurship.

What's microcredit? Basically lenders like Grameen Bank, FINCA, AccionUSA, Compartamos, or Kiva make tiny loans of maybe 50 bucks to a few thousand to fledling business owners who couldn't otherwise obtain credit. You would be shocked to how people (women, especially) can take, say, $60 bucks and turn it into a vibrant business that allows them to not only feed their families, but provide employment opportunities within their communities. I'm particularly interested in the stories of women who have benefited from microloans. You read their stories and you see how much pride they have in their accomplishments. That pride filters through their children and into their spouses, friends, and community. It's really inspiring.

Most microcredit lenders are supported by people like you and me. Small donations add up quickly and allow these lenders to give women and men all over the world--even the US--help. For many this is a way to be intimately involved with directly affecting the life of another.

There's tons of info out there on microcredit. Use your Google-Fu. Learn. Act.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Green Thumb Envy

So my friend Layna has, like, the best luck with plants. Cute, little plants too. No, really. She gave me the cutest little midget carrots and some totally adorable green and red peppers. I've also got this odd onion/lily plant on the back porch.

I used to be an awesome gardener. At the apartment, I had loads of potted plants and herbs that would just grow and grow and grow. Ever since moving to the house, I've lost the magic touch. Nothing lives. Or they get dug up and eaten by scavenging armadillos and possums and the like. (Yes. We actually have this problem.) Annoying.

I'm hoping 2009 will be a much better year. We're planning to put in a moderate veggie and fruit garden in the back. I'd also like to try my hand at container gardening on the patio. Some lemons, berries, and tomatoes maybe. I think we'll start composting soon. We've got to replace the mulch in the front yard landscaping so that would be a good a time as any to get a small compost pile going.

Until then I'll just heave heavy sighs of green thumb envy. Hmm. Maybe I should ask Layna to come over and help with the planting. Hopefully a little of her magic touch will rub off on my dirt, lol.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's All in the Hips

So Dave, Layna, Sara, and I went out for dinner at Pei-Wei and a round of glow-in-the-dark mini-golf in a belated celebration of my birthday. I'm really bad at putt-putt but whatever. I had a really good time and that's all that matters. Dave, Sara, and Layna hit hole-in-ones. Sara twice! Me? Yeah, not so much. I was lucky to par on most of the holes.

They have a good sized bowling alley there too. Dave and I have never gone bowling so I think we'll find a late morning or early afternoon when it's not so busy and go embarass ourselves. I have visions of myself sliding down the lane, my fingers still stuck in the ball. Also I wonder if they'll have big enough shoes for Dave? Must look into this...

Speaking of hips (golf stance and all,) Bosley went to the vet today for his annual visit and 3 year boosters. We've had some suspicion that Bosley had bad hips but today we had it confirmed. My poor little snuggle-bumpkins has hip dysplasia. I first noticed he had something wrong with his legs when he was running in the backyard. He loves to run--but his back legs move in tandem. He bunny hops as he runs at, like, 60 miles an hour around the backyard. I guess since he's always had effed-up hips he just compensated. He can run up and down the stairs, tear up the backyard, and jump up and down and stuff.

But he's apparently in pain. All the time. I felt so fucking bad. I never knew. I should have known. He's my fur baby. I should have been more vigilant. The morning I noticed him bunny hopping I should have picked up the phone and made an appointment. I am such a crap mommy.

So now he's on NSAIDs, supplements, and physical therapy. If he hasn't improved in 6-8 weeks, he has to see an orthopedic specialist. Can you say expensive? But we'll do what we have to. Our vet seems to think NSAIDs, therapy, and supplements will cause a huge improvement. We'll keep at it.

See this issue is a reason puppy mills are so shitty. Is the hip dysplasia inherited? Is it because as a puppy he was chained to concrete, malnourished, and probably suffered malformation of his bones? Who the fuck knows? At least with a good breeder (people who love their dogs and breed only a few per year,) we'd have known if hip dysplasia ran in his bloodline. We have no idea what kind of parents he came from and that sucks.

Seriously, folks, don't buy dogs from puppy stores or from newspapers or online or from those jackasses sitting in Wal-Mart parking lots. They all come from those horrendous puppy mills. Visit a shelter or the pound first. If you have to have a purebreed then research and find a good, ethical breeder who adheres to rigid standards.

Gah! Puppy mill owners are asshats!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Butter Cream Gang

Oh. My. God. I don't know why but that old school straight to VHS movie, The Butter Cream Gang, popped into my head just a few minutes ago. If you attended elementary school between, oh, 1989-1999 or so, you were probably forced to watch this film. It's not Oscar worthy or anything but it's cute and fuzzy and all about morals and volunteerism and stuff. I'm almost tempted to buy it so I can torture my kids with it.

Or they might be like my little sister, Tricia, and totally love the movie. I swear, she probably watched that tape every day for, like, three years. She was like that as a kid. She had this rotation of tapes she'd watch over and over and over. Seriously. My dad can probably sing the entire film score or quote pages of dialogue from Pocahontas, Fern Gully, the Aristocats, Great Mouse Detective, Willy the Sparrow, and The Butter Cream Gang. Mom too. Or not. She's probable blocked out the traumatic memories.

You know, memories like that, of my poor parents suffering through years of repeated videos gives me second thoughts about this kid stuff. I mean. Really.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


So it's official. I've been alive for a quarter of a century. Shockingly, I feel no different than yesterday or the day before that or the week before that or--well, you get the idea. That's not totally true. These days I feel incredibly empowered. I've proven to myself I can do anything I put my mind to and that's an awesome feeling.

Birthday was super low-key and laid back. Yesterday, I cooked up a hellacious batch of carnitas and pico de gallo. We noshed on that last night while watching DVDs. Also had a killer brownie. Tricia and Mom called me at 12:01 last night. I immediately thought someone had croaked. (Honestly, the first thing that went through my head was George Lopez. "Levantate! Get up! My mom's dying!" You'll either get that--or you won't.)

I woke up to beautiful fresh flowers and a cute card from Dave-O. He then proceeded to make one of my fave breakfasts. Generally, Dave's a nightmare in the kitchen, but the man can cook a mean breakfast. Mean. We vegged the rest of the day and hit Freebirds for an easy dinner. Oh, and yummy cheesecake with caramel and pecans and a chocolate crust. Do I feel even the tiniest twinge of guilt for eating whatever the heck I wanted this weekend? Nope. Why? Because I'm running two plus miles a day.

I received a slew of texts and emails and a card wishing me well. Gift wise, I scored super good from Dave: a pair of bright new kicks, the 3rd season of Charmed, and $25 in iTunes gift card. Woo Hoo! New running and writing music!

Speaking of writing, I need to get back to work. I need to get some projects finished and subbed. A super happy week to everyone!!!

*And, yes, those are the shoes Dave-O got me. Cute, huh?*

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


First off, a belated L'shanah tovah to all who celebrated Rosh Hashanah! Hope 5769 is a fabulous year!!!!

September was another weird plateau month for me. I lost two pounds but slimmed down an entire pants size. Goodbye 20's! Hello 18's! I will never, ever, ever go back. Seriously. I'm selling/giving away all my old clothes. If anyone wants some of my 26/24/22 stuff from Lane Bryant (most of it with tags still on) give me a ring or send an email. I'll let you have first dibs before I throw it all up on Ebay.

This month I also added 3/4 of a mile to my distance. I'm now running 2.1 miles in 30 minutes which ain't great but considering I couldn't even run 60 seconds the first day I hit the road, um, yeah, I'm awesome! The goal for October is to increase my time from 30 minutes to 50 and the distance by another 1.5 miles (at least.) I'm set to log 50-55 miles of running in October. I know. That's just insane!

But I love it. I really do. I'm so stoked to run my first charity race on March 1, 2009. It's here in town so if any of my local ladies or gents want to join--lemme know! The race offers a 5K or a Half Marathon. I'll be doing 5K this time around.

The cool thing about plateau months is that the next month is always a huge loss. I have a good feeling about October but I'm setting my goal low and attainable: 7 pounds. I can do it!

Oh, and the big 2-5 birthday is just days away. Oy veh. I'm getting old, lol