Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Six days and counting...

Marxism of the Day:
Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped. - Groucho, "A Day at the Races"



Six more days and then we're off!

Three months ago I was asking people for advice on how to make the time go by quicker. Now, I'm wishing for more time. I've always been a procrastinator, and even though this time I was much better than usual, I still wish I had more time to do a few more things.

I wanted to take some pictures of the few things I've enjoyed about South Florida. I also wanted to take some pictures of the hotel and the surrounding beach at which Chris and I were married. I wanted to get a hair cut. I wanted to have both of our cars cleaned - although that's probably silly. We're about to take a very long road trip so that should probably wait until we're there anyway.

We did get one thing done early, something I had planned to do after we got to Maine, we got China her dog coat. She actually likes wearing it and modeled for some pictures for us. Visit her blog to check it out.

Chris' comic 'Gravedigger' came out last Wednesday and it's been getting some really good reviews and good word of mouth. If you can't find it in your local comic shop (it was independently published and can be hard to find) you can buy it here: Rorschach Entertainment Gravedigger Page

It's personally my favorite thing that Chris has written for comics (I'm not sure if I've even told him that - sometimes I'm not such a great wife) and I highly recomend it to fans of crime fiction of fans of bad-ass characters. It is intended for mature readers so don't buy a copy for the kiddies. It has very little bad language, graphic violence or the like but the themes are simply not meant for children.

Six days...oy! Send good vibes so that this will go as smooth as possible.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Marx Brothers

Marxism of the Day:
Three years ago I came to Florida without a nickel in my pocket. Now I've got a nickel in my pocket.
-Groucho Marx, The Cocoanuts (1929)

Anyone who's been keeping up with my blog (anyone? anyone? Bueller?) has probably noticed the new 'Marxism of the Day' feature. Maybe you have wondered why this sudden fascination with Marx Brothers quotes, or maybe you didn't really care. If the latter, too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.

I've always known who the Marx Brothers are, of course. I'm a classic film buff and if you're a classic film fan, you know who the Marx Brothers are. Hell, I even knew who Zeppo was! (I did not, however, know about Gummo until a few days ago).

However, I had never really seen a Marx Brothers movie all the way through until about 2 weeks ago - I had only seen excerpts from their films. A few weeks ago, my husband bought the first Marx Brothers DVD collection and we've watched a few movies from the set.

Those guys were freakin' hilarious - all of them. I was always under the impression that it was Groucho who made all the funnies and the other 2 (or 3, depending on which films you watch) were there for back-up. Heck no! Chico and Harpo are just as funny as Groucho and in very unique ways. And being a musician myself, it's hard not to be in awe of Harpo's versatile musical ability. Makes me wonder if he could sing.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Marxism of the day:
I can't understand why you don't get any mail from me. Perhaps it's because I haven't been writing.


We had a sad little adventure last night.

About a week ago, Chris was at home, not feeling well, and he heard a cat meowing outside. He looked out the window to see an orange cat just standing out there, meowing his poor little head off. Chris said he sounded scared and sad.

We didn't see anything of the cat again until last night. When we got home, we heard the cat again. Now, he had taken to following people around. Our apartment community has been very busy as of late - people are outside all the time. This orange cat was walking up to everyone, meowing his pathetic little cry. He was pretty much ignored by everyone.

After walking the dog, we found that he was still out there, so I went back out and called him. He came right to me and let me pick him up, meowing loudly the entire time. He didn't fight, but felt kind of tense so when I opened the door, I made sure to scruff him so that if he did freak out, he wouldn't scratch me up.

Both China (the dog) and Audrey (the cat) came running as I walked inside. The orange kitty didn't even flinch. He just kept meowing. China just wanted to sniff (she's never been violent toward any other living creature, just curious) but Audrey started howling.

I moved the orange kitty to the porch and got him a cup of food. He finally shut up, being so damn hungry. He ate the food in about five minutes flat, then stretched himself out on the little bench we made for Audrey like he owned the place.

He was an unneutered male, and had a large wound at the base of his tail. He didn't act like it hurt him (I had to lift his tail to see what sex he was - he didn't even flinch) and he was extremely friendly.

If Audrey didn't hate other cats so much, I think we would have kept him, wound and all. He was such a nice, layed back cat who obviously just needed someone to take care of him. I believe he was probably dumped and had no way to know how to fend for himself. He was so skinny that I was sure he hadn't had a decent meal in over a week.

But, Audrey does hate other cats. She's 13 years old and we didn't think it would be fair to introduce a new pet to our home this late in her life. She still hasn't really accepted China.

So, I called the local shelter and they told us to bring him to them. We drove out and left him in their night drop-off area - which was almost already full by 7:30 p.m. They close at 5:00 p.m. so I knew that meant they had to get a lot of drop offs every day.

(One of the cages had an Opossum in it. I can't even imagine how he was caught. Eek.)

As we left, Chris really wanted to turn around and get him back. That was kind of impossible, though, as they place was closed to the public, and the cage we left him in locked when it was shut (so people wouldn't come out to steal drop-offs for nefarious reasons).

I checked the shelter's website this morning and found that they had over 100 drop offs last night. While this depressed me, I still know that we did better by him than most people would have. Even if he does have to be euthanized, it's still a much better fate than slowly starving to death. Some cats are good at fending for themselves, but that little guy obviously just didn't know how to do the 'feral' thing.

I honestly hope he finds a home and really wish we could have kept him. I think I would have named him Rupert.

Good luck, little kitty. You deserve it.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Marxism of the Day:
Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy. - Groucho



Had a pretty uneventful weekend - packed up some boxes, watched some movies.

Move Recomendation: 'Saved'

We watched Saved this past Saturday night and enjoyed it thouroughly (did I spell that right?). I think I would have enjoyed it more if I didn't come from a religious background. The movie was quite realistic in depicting the attitudes, behaviour and mind-set of modern Christians. While all the characters were deeper than most characters in movies and none of them were despicable, some of the actions and ideas were. It's hard for me to look back at those 4 years I spent deeply entrenched in that lifestyle without becoming disgusted and covetous of those wasted years.

What do I mean by that? I'll try to be fair. My church was full of good people who were genuinely caring, loving and giving people. However, the church bureaucracy was the same as any bureaucracy - the more power the better. My church was always in the forefront of politics, making sure the county stayed dry (that means no liquor) among other things. Even then I was very much opposed to mixing religion and politics but there was a mindset that we had to save the world all at once, instead of taking it one person at a time - you know, making it a personal thing instead of a state-mandated thing.

Then there was the whole hatred of the homosexuals and their lifestyle. There was no way to even discuss the idea that maybe it wasn't a choice, that perhaps it was just the way they are. Nope. Bible says it's wrong, it's wrong. End of discussion. Doesn't matter that they ignored other 'laws' that the Bible spouts (it's okay to own slaves and sell your children, it's your duty to kill your neighbor for working on the Sabbath, etc. etc. etc.) but that one thing was still valid.

One of my favorite quotes from 'Saved' was after a scene that was included in the trailer. After an attempted exorcism, Hillary Faye (Mandy Moore) throws her Bible at Mary (Jena Malone) stating that she's FILLED with Christ's love. Mary holds up the Bible and says, "This is not a weapon, you idiot."

She's right, but so many people out there are using it as if it were a weapon - something to beat others down with, to subjugate them and control them.

On a brighter note, here's another picture of the Belgrade area:


Only two more weeks...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Different Preferences, that's all

Since announcing that the family and I are moving to Maine, I've had several people ask me why? It seems that everyone has this mindset that Florida is 'the' place to live, vacation or retire.

For many people, this is obviously true, but it is not for me. Take a look at these pictures:

The first is a picture of Boca Raton Lake down here in Florida:


Sure, it's a nice picture, but look at what's in it: Sky-scraping condos, boats, people, people and more people.

Now, look at this picture of a lake in the Belgrade Lakes area:


What's there? A pier, a (only one) boat and a (only one) person. No ugly buildings and a lot more trees.

I prefer picture number two. That's the way I'd like to live my life and I look forward to finally obtaining that life-style.

No, there will be no more regular 'eating out' nights, no more spur-of-the-moment movie buying sprees, but it's worth moving to a place where I can go outside and be by myself and (to sound corny) be one with nature.

Three weeks and counting...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Posterity...or...The Future Isn't Soon Enough

Marxism of the Day:
Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?


Searching for my Marxism of the day, I found the above quote, which reminded me of something that I read yesterday that put this whole gay marriage thing in an entirely different light for me.

First off, if you've read any of this blog, you have probably guessed that I am for equal freedoms for everyone, regardless of sex, color, sexual-orientation, etc. etc. etc. Bush winning the election was bad enough, but the thing that made me even sadder - and quite frankly, sick to my stomach - was the fact that so many states voted to BAN gays from marrying.

Can you believe it? People actually VOTED to take rights away from someone else. Thousands of men and women have died fighting to ensure that we have the right to vote, and what do these people use it for? To restrict others - to deny others what to most people is a basic right.

Anyway, I digress.

So, the article I was reading (I can't even remember where now, but it's not important) was written by a gay man who is obviously quite upset with the election results. His basic sentiment was that he was tired of hearing, 'Just wait. It's a matter of time. The gay community will eventually have all the rights that everyone else has.'

He said that some vague 'future' is not soon enough for him. He's a citizen of the United States of America, he's not a criminal and in all aspects he's a functioning, productive member of society. Why the hell should he have to wait for something that most people in this country take for granted?

Here's why:
A) Homophobic assholes feel 'icky' about the whole thing.
B) Zealous 'christian' assholes feel it's their duty to baby-sit and scold the entire country (hell, the world) based on their own belief system, and will use their vote to do so.
C) Ignorant assholes have allowed themselves to be brain-washed to believe that if gay marriage is allowed, the whole institution of marriage will come crumbling down and become rubble.

And to that, I'll add another Marxism: Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?

My answer: Who cares? If the institution exists, EVERYONE should be allowed in? The more insanity the merrier, eh?

So, what about this 'whole new light' thing that I mentioned? I've often made myself feel better by thinking that someday everyone will have equal rights. I can't let myself be soothed by that thought and, as a result, quit fighting. When you quit fighting, it takes all that much longer for the desired result to come to fruition.

So, my new motto: Freedom is For Everyone -- Not just white, straight, religious males.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Maybe Bush Has Watched Too Many Marx Brothers Movies?

Marxism of the Day: Lyrics from "Laws of Administration" in the film 'Duck Soup'

If any form of pleasure is exhibited.
Report to me and it will prohibited.
I’ll put my foot down,
So shall it be.
This is the land of the Free.

The last man nearly ruined this place,
He didn’t know what to do with it.
If you think this country’s bad enough now,
Just wait till I get through with it.

The country’s taxes must be fixed,
And I know what to do with it.
If you think you’re paying too much now,
Just wait till I get through with it.

I will not stand for anything
That’s crooked or unfair.
I’m strictly on the up and up,
So everyone beware.

If anyone’s caught taking graft
And I don’t get my share,
We stand ‘em up against the wall…
And pop goes the weasel!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Marxism of the Day: I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - Groucho Marx

I love the comic strip 'Get Fuzzy.' It's funny, it can be sweet, it can be poignant and sometimes it states a truism that I never thought of before. Today's strip is one of those:



Behold...the power of cheese.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Television is all but 'lost' on me

Marxism of the Day:
"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." - Groucho Marx


I know I'm far from the first to be bemoaning the current state of television, but the fact that I'm not the first to complain has never shut me up before.

My respect for the general public has been taking a nose-dive over the past few years. From who they elect into office to what they watch on TV, I believe this proves that the average IQ has to be about, oh...10?

Right now, the husband and I think there are two good, smart shows on television. One is ABC's surprise hit, "Lost." The other is Fox's (yes, FOX's) comedy, "Arrested Development." (There are a few other shows that we like but they are often hit-and-miss in terms of quality and are nothing we feel bad about skipping.)

So, it makes me moan in disgust when, after watching a deeply engrossing, intelligently scripted episode of "Lost," I see the previews for what's on next - 'The Bachelor.' A group of shallow, slutty women trying to get hooked up with a shallow, slutty man. I mean, crap like that on Fox is par for the course, but when tne major networks start running this garbage, you know the public has become shallow and just plain mean. They want to see people who are more pathetic than themselves. People who will sink to such depths that the viewing audience feels far superior and smarter.

Maybe since I was 'the nerd' in school I just don't understand the thrill of watching public humiliation. I know how excrutiatingly painful it is to be the one humiliated so I've never gotten off on watching others suffer, even those that deserve it.

Well...if President Bush ever gets what's truly coming to him, I might take a little pleasure in that, but that's one public humiliation that I doubt will ever be seen on any public television station.

So, once we move, no more cable. We can only hope reception is good enough on Wednesday nights so we can keep up with "Lost." If not, we'll see it when it comes out on DVD. I think our ever-growing DVD collection will keep us entertained.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Marxism of the Day

No, not KARL Marx.

"You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle." -- Groucho Marx, Duck Soup - 1933

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Maybe it's not as bad as I thought...

Over on MSNBC, Keith Olberman has been investigating some possible voter fraud issues.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/

Hmmm...maybe the majority of my fellow Americans aren't as blind as I had feared.

Trying to forget about politics, I've been working on getting us moved to Maine. It's less than a month away and I still haven't gotten a really good start on all the tasks to be done. I'm not worried, really. I'm good at getting things done, even at the last minute. (Not that I plan to wait until the last minute...)

The past few weeks have been odd at work. Normally, I'm cranky because I know that at least once, I'll have to talk to or correspond with a dolt that calls himself/herself a customer. The problem is, where I work, we only hear from the trouble-makers and thieves, so it's never pleasant when that phone rings.

However, the past two weeks, I have been basically on 'stand-by.' Someone else is doing customer support and I'm here to help out if something should go wrong or if the new CS person gets stuck. I've been given separate projects as well, but nothing major.

It's been really nice and I haven't been nearly as cranky. It will be nice if I never have to deal with problem customers again. They piss me off.

Monday, November 08, 2004

It's 1984, all over again...

This past week has been a rough one for me. I've been rather depressed and feeling that almost everything is pointless and/or hopeless. I'm trying to put that behind me, because nothing is hopeless but it's been rather difficult.

Why am I so depressed, you ask? Simple: Half of the people that make up the country I love voted for a man based on 'moral' issues.

Moral issues. Yeah, right.

2 gay men getting married is worse than over 1000 dead US citizens fighting a war under false pretenses?

All children getting left behind (unless you can afford high-priced private schools) is better than one stem-cell being used for research?

It sickens me that anyone could put their personal dogma above the personal freedoms of a fellow US citizen. You can't convert by force and making law based on religious views is a dangerous road to take. It can lead to terrible things and in the end, the ones left in power will be telling you how to conduct every facet of your life. And what if the ones in power do not adhere to your personal belief system? What if they want you to pray to Mary as well as Jesus, or decree that only immersion baptisms are valid?

The United States of America is a very diverse place containing many diverse cultures within it's borders. Diversity, although it can create conflict, is a healthy, productive thing. It causes us all to think, to consider different possiblities and to open our minds to new experiences.

I have yet to understand why this is so threatening to so many people. It doesn't devalue your own culture, your own belief system. It only shows you that there are people who can and do think differently than you. Is the 'moral majority' so thin-skinned, so shallow, so narrow-minded that they think learning and accepting new ideas will corrupt them and turn them to the dark side of the force?

I'm certain that many of my past 'church' friends think this of me - that I've been corrupted. I know that many have stopped corresponding with me after I asked them to stop sending me emails urging me to vote for a church-supported candidate or sign a petition making sure certain materials were banned from public view because they're 'offensive.' I'm sure they even think I've stopped believing in God. That's the furthest thing from the truth. I simply do not (and have never) believed that my COUNTRY should be telling me what God to believe in or what morals to adhere to or what materials are proper for me to view.

I've never wanted to live in a fascist country. Unfortunately, I now do.

Thank you so much, my 'moral majority' friends. You've taken us back to 1984, in more ways than one.

Monday, November 01, 2004

It's Now or Never

In an hour, it'll be November 2nd and in 8 hours, the last voting day will begin.

Like me, many have already voted, opting to use either an absentee ballot or the early voting system available in several states.

If you haven't, this is it. It's your last chance to make a difference. And yes, one vote CAN make a difference so don't 'not' do it because you don't think it's worth your while or because you're just plain lazy. If you're registered, get out there and do it!

It's been a nasty election year and I highly doubt it will be over tomorrow - or a week from tomorrow, for that matter. I sincerely hope that I'm wrong, but I fear that the worst is just starting.

I've been running a Michael J. Fox fan site for 5 years now (http://www.mjfdb.com) and I've received more mail through the site in this past month than I have in the past 5 years combined.

Unfortunately, I have only heard from the jerks, morons and assholes - and not because they disagree with Mr. Fox's views on stem-cell research - but because they can't behave like civil human beings. They can't just disagree and cast their votes to reflect that. No, they have to hurl insults, make nasty comments and behave like spoiled, bratty children who can't even entertain the fact that someone might just disagree with thier narrow world view.

In the past few years, it seems to me that the only people you hear from, on any topic, are these people. Decent, intelligent, civilized human beings are being drowned out by the radicals, the extremists and the ignorant zealots. Probably because the smart ones know that nothing will change the mind of the zealot. That's why they're called zealots.

It makes me sad and sometimes ashamed to be a human being.

A famous 'musician' (I use the term loosely) is using the slogan 'vote or die.' I think I'll sign off by saying, 'Shut up and vote.'

--Kerry in 2004, woot!