Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tune, vol 57 - September's Departed

Today's Tuesday Tunes are brought to you by another danged bloody knee.  As of today, I've managed to bloody each of my knees twice this summer, all while running.   First knee scrapage (left one) happened when I crashed on the Jupiter Peak Steeple Chase.  Second knee (right) occurred when I tripped on a speed bump in a parking lot.  Yes, I was going fast enough to crash on a speed bump.  (Just go with me on that one.  It was dark.)  Third knee (right again), happened when my very own dog tripped me.  I thought fer sure that I had cracked a patella on that one.  Finally, the fourth AND FINAL knee scrape came today.   I'll tell you what... HEADS SHALL ROLL OVER THIS ONE.  I was tripped by someone else's dog -- a dog out running with its owners WITHOUT A LEASH.

This is how I run with my dog:


My dog, the precious Pound Hound, is attached to a leash.  That leash is attached to a belt on my person.   Note that I've been tripped by this dog because he was attached to me and darted over my path of travel.  But it's better me than someone else, don't you think?  This is how you should run with your dog too.  If you don't run your dog with a leash, someone might trip over your dog and produce a gash similar to this one:


Today, I tripped over an unleashed dog, and scraped the above pictured left knee.  The owners whined an "are you okay?" and ran off.  Did they help me get up?  No.  Did they offer an apology?  Nope.  If I were the suing type, I'd hunt 'em down.  I have a marathon in three days and cannot afford a bruised knee.  I could sue for my travel costs, blood tests (maybe the dog had rabies), compensation for tears shed, as well as that pesky pain and suffering.  If I can't get all of that, then perhaps they can replace my bloody shoe and sock for a fee of $110.


See the bloody shoe?  And bloody sock?  Totally not cool.

It just occurred to me, however, that karma might be dishing out the circumstances here.  My Pound Hound left a turd on the side of a trail and I forgot to bring a baggie to clean it up.  I should go get that now, yes?


Oh, by the way, here's the Departed Playlist for September.  Thank Vera if given the opportunity.

It's Bad You Know - R.L. Burnside (heart attack)
Going Up The Country - Canned Heat (RIP Alan Wilson, overdose)
Why Do Fools Fall In Love - The Teenagers (RIP Joe Negroni, cancer)
Nessun Dorma - Luciano Pavarotti (cancer)
Behind Blue Eyes - The Who (RIP Keith Moon, overdose)
Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon (cancer)
The Ballad Of The Green Beret - Barry Sadler (shot in Guatemala)
Dollar Got The Blues - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (lung cancer)
Hurt - Johnny Cash (diabetes and respiratory failure)
Red House - Jimi Hendrix (choked on his own vomit)
You Don't Mess Around With Jim - Jim Croce (plane crash)
Sade - Gary Primich (heroin overdose)
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin (RIP John Bonham, asphyxiation)
Bad Case Of Loving You - Robert Palmer (heart attack)
My Funny Valentine - Miles Davis (stroke)


Monday, September 27, 2010

Group Therapy: Part V

* Hey this is it! This is the end of Group Therapy. If you missed the others, you can go here. Or not. Whatever.

This new fun 'n free chapter in my life brought many surprises. I discovered a generous and loving family -- a family full of support that tolerated the load of crap I had dumped on them during the previous years. I also discovered some work friends that cared a bunch. And by bunch, I mean bushels and bushels of bunch. We working friends became known as the Lunch Bunch for we lunched a bunch. While we lunched, we laughed, enjoyed each other's company, and helped each other out. (Mostly they were helping me out.) They brought me shakes after I had my wisdom teeth pulled, helped me remodel a few rooms in my house, and freed a bird from the fireplace (not without all of 'em screaming holy terror). These folks fixed any and everything I asked. It was like I had eightish handymen and exactly one handy woman.

I will forever and ever be grateful for the Group Therapy of that Lunch Bunch.

Spouse and I were married after about 20 months of nonconsecutive dating. We became “with Yahoo” almost right directly -- where almost is six months. The clock was ticking and neither of us would get any younger, so it was, you know, time to start calfing.

I quit my job after Yahoo #1 was born. Before we knew the flavor of said Yahoo, we called him Reggie. Reggie was chosen because it was somewhat unisex. Reggie was short for baby-boy Reginald and for baby-girl Regina, in the which we were warned-a-plenty to not name it either of those names. People are so nosy and stuff when it comes to baby names, aren't they? Come to think of it, people are just down-right nosy when it comes to babies in general. We found out Reggie was a boy, and Spouse suddenly decided that we should name him after a cheese. That never happened though.

(That paragraph had nothing to do with Group Therapy, I just remembered it for some reason.)

I found out after two days of baby-holler, that being a Stay-At-Home-Mom wasn't all that glamorous. Or relaxing. Or fun, actually. I became a tad lonely, and A LOT stir crazy. I tried gathering with other mommies only to discover that conversations would consist of two things: elaborately-boring birth-stories, or household chores. Sometimes we mommies would hit the jackpot and discuss the proper amount of times to use a towel before washing it (which is a borderline household chore topic, but humor me.)  Those were the exciting conversations. This was Mommy Group Therapy – and not exactly my cup of tea.

As opportunity would present itself, Vera was laid off from her job. Vera lived (still does) four houses up. We became acquainted before Spouse and I moved in and kept a casual friendship. Vera and I didn't know each other well -- but we knew that music was one thing we had a lot in common. Every day, around 3:00 or 4:00, I'd wander up to Vera's house. We'd lay Yahoo #1 beneath her flowering cherry tree, then porch it with some tunes and a beverage or popsicle. It was a great summer. That was the summer of Group Therapy with Vera. Sadly, Vera found a job and went back to work. I don't think I quit crying for three months.

On September 15, 2005*, Spouse introduced me to this blogger concept and suggested I pick it up. I thought, well that's rather strange, who the heck reads that? What's the point of revealing all your junk to no one?  (If I'm about to expose my junk, somebody should see it, right?) Over the years, this little spot has been the best of friends. This blog has helped me learn stuff, document what I want to remember, and discover parts of me I didn't know existed. It has helped me swim through tangled emotions, analyze frustrations, and celebrate. The blogger has also introduced me to some pretty fantastic friends -- friends I hope to have for a lifetime.

One post at a time, and five years later, I found a Group Therapy called Blogger Group Therapy.

The point of this exercise was to really have no point. Hehehe. Gotcha! Actually, the point of this Group Therapy series of nonsense was to show that I need Group Therapy. Perhaps we all need Group Therapy, but I'll let you decide that. I wouldn't be where I'm at now -- and where I'm at now is a happy little clam -- without the Group Therapies. All of 'em. This is me embracing it all and being happy for each crappy opportunity, ugly memory, and sunburst of joy. The good, the bad, and most definitely the ugly will create me. The trick is to decide if I plan to create a spectacular me or something out of horror-flick. And the trick to that is taking responsibility for the decisions. My decisions, not someone else's, landed me in that mess. I have no one to blame but myself. It also appears, that after 13 years, I'm finally getting over the pain, else there's no way in hell I'd tell all of you Group members about it.

I don't think I'll tell that story again. Bummer, eh? You can read it, but I'm not going to tell it.

Throughout the various Group Therapies, there was one constant. That constant was running. When the going gets tough, the tough go running. When the going gets sad, the sad go running. When the going gets anxious, the anxious go running. When the going gets stressed, the stressed go running. When the going gets angry, the angry go running. When the going gets joyful, the joyful go running. When the going needs silence, the silent go running. When the going gets depressed, the depressed go running. When the going just needs to run, the runners go running.

Run, Rabid, Run.

*Wanna hear something spooky?  You might not believe me, but what I'm about to tell you is the honest-to-garsh truth.  I started this Group Therapy business on September 15, 2010.  This is exactly five years after my very first post -- to the date -- something I found out just now when searching for the link to that post.  This is very spooky, because it was not planned, it just happened.   How serendipitous was that? My original plan was to talk about the running group therapy, then all the fluffy stuff in this post with a nice little wrap-up about the blogger being another essential form of my Group Therapy.  Something happened and it morphed into a giant-outpouring-of-my-loaded-closet.  And now my skeletons are out.  Just in time for Halloween.  Booo!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Group Therapy: Part IV

*This is Part IV of my run-in with Group Therapy.  If you missed the other parts, go here.  There's also another one coming after this one.  I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!

After Jimmy was escorted out by the big-guys-in-blue-carrying-guns, and I had returned home to an empty and somewhat cleared-out house, I sat on the couch so as to breath a sigh of "holy smokes it's over!"  Seriously that's what I did.  I sat down, said "aaaaaaaah," and grinned from ear-to-ear.  It was going to be a whole new world.  Complete with magic carpet and spastic purple genie.

The next day I went to work, giggling like a prom queen in a thousand dollar dress (not that I know what that's like because I've never had a thousand dollar dress or the luxury of calling myself prom queen.)  I recall having the most spectacular of days, like, ever.  I came home early for some reason, I don't recall why.  Prolly to celebrate or something.  As was customary in my home-from-work rituals, I hung the purse, stashed the keys, and listened to the phone messages.

The first phone message was a bit of a surprise.  "Hello, I am leaving this message for preRabid.  PreRabid, this is Betty from the Victim Advocate's Office.  We are worried about your safety.  Can you phone me as soon as possible?"

You see, the cops aren't stupid and Jimmy didn't fool anyone.  Even though no one was arrested or charged, their police report had declared me the "victim," not Jimmy.  I seriously hate that word victim.  Worse, I hate being the victim.  Anyway, as you might recall from Part III, Jimmy phoned the police because his wife (moi) was beating him up.  The cops can arrest anyone for a domestic disturbance if any property within the residence is damaged.  For example, that peach I threw?  If had thrown the peach and busted a window or any other item in the house, I would have been arrested.  I threw the peach and harmed nothing, therefore I wasn't arrested.  How lucky was I, then, that the peach was a ripe one?  Phew!

So I called Betty.  And I told her there's no need to worry, because we're over.  He moved out.  He's not coming back and my attorney started the paperwork that day.  We spoke at great length about whether Jimmy might be harmful in the future.  She stressed rather emphatically that he'd be back, that he'd be sweet, that he'd beg and plead.  He'd cry and confess, rescind and repent, pamper and promise that it won't happen again. "Be prepared for him," she said.

This was quite a loving character, this Betty.  Loving and firm.  After many minutes on the phone, Betty asked if I'd like to volunteer at the Victim Advocate's Office.  I said, "Most definitely" and made myself a date with her.

Here's the deal. Those Victim Advocate Office people are sneaky.  They reel you in with prospect of "volunteering," but when you get get there to "volunteer," they smile and announce firmly that you cannot "volunteer" until you have completed the "training."  I soaked it up, by golly.  I was free at last!  Gimme the training!  I had plans to save the world from oppressive shmucks by volunteering at the Victim Advocate's Office.

Part IV of Operation Group Therapy was spent at the Victim Advocate's Office.

Of all the therapies, of all the group hashing and slashings, Group Therapy with the Victim Advocate's Office -- or "training" wink-wink -- was by far the most serving and revealing.  By training me about other victims (there's that "v" word again), those advocate people were able to teach me about my inner-victim.  They explained the reasons victims become victims, why they are what they are, and why they can't get out.  And after they've painted that origination-of-the-inner-victim picture, they provide tools for getting rid of that inner-victim.  They firmly invite that victim to leave and warn gravely that it cannot come back.  It's a victim exorcism.  Or victimcism.

This victimcism is not a comfortable process.  Indeed it's painful.  The head spins, just like in the show, and some even project that awful green barf.

(Was that funny?  That was supposed to be funny.)

Basically, in order to learn about an individual's victimized possession, there are two main topics/questions that need understanding.  And by understanding, I mean the victim must fully understand their individual answers to these questions.  Each victim has their own reasons for being where they are.  There are some commonalities across the board, but generally speaking, each individual must figure it out on their own.  They are:

1)  Why does the victim stay in the abusive situation?
2)  How did they get in that abusive situation in the first place?

1)Why does a victim stay?  This one I can answer in two separate words:  Fear and Denial.  Let's start with fear -- and note that "they" can be substituted for "I."  Many women stay because they are afraid.  They are afraid for their own safety or the safety of their children.  Many have been brainwashed with, "don't tell anyone or else..." and "don't leave me or else..."  Usually these types of threats work, because the past has shown that the abuser's threats are anything but idle.  They know how to follow through.

Victim's are afraid because they've been manipulated and isolated.  They've been backed into a corner and held there for so long they don't know how to get out.  They've been told several times that "no one will ever love you as much as I do,"*  They've also been subject to a black hole of unending criticism. By isolating design, the abuser has pissed off everyone possible -- friends, family, coworkers, you name it.  Friends, family and coworkers won't come around any more because they cannot stand him.  Which, unfortunately, leaves the abused one all the more isolated.  They feel alone.  They feel as if they have no where to go.  Hours of constant nit-picking have squashed the victim emotionally and left them without self-worth.

The other reason for staying is denial.  They (I) live(d) in denial.  It's not really happening.  I'm not really being mistreated.  If I were to leave, I would have to look at myself squarely so as to admit, accept, and own my identity as a "victim."  A few minutes ago, in a paragraph way up there, I said that I hate that word "victim." I do.  Can't stand it.  Being as I hate that word victim, you can see why denial had a big part in my sticking around for so long.  If I leave, I become a victim.  If I stay, I'm not the victim, and I get to live in a la-la-land where nobody knows my deep, dark, been-smacked-around secret.  If I blow the whistle, everyone will know.

2) How did they get in that abusive situation in the first place?  Or as Elvie asked so acutely, "Are you going to tell us how one as awesome as yerself ends up married to douche-bag like Jimmy?"  The answer to this one is rather simple:  I was attracted to douche-bags like Jimmy.  Simple as that.  I would also dare say that most women in these situations are there because they too are attracted to that personality.  For whatever reason -- whether it be self-esteem or boredom -- women who end up in obloquious relationships are there because they are attracted to it.  They must figure out why they are attracted, and stop.

So that's what I did.  I figured out why and stopped.  It's really as simple as that  -- with the addition of a big fat IF.  It's that simple IF you automatically assume that you're attracted to dick-weeds.   My dating agenda went something like this: "Oh, that dude, that one that made the sparks fly, he's prolly a jerk.  Find out his name and get yourself some background info."  You'd be surprised how many questionable Joes came across my field of vision after Jimmy and I split.

For me, there was some self-confidence issues, but most of it had to do with boredom.  I became bored easily.  Gents who treated me with respect were just plain boring (or so I thought back then.)  Spouse and I had dated on two occasions, each for almost a year (I had some serious chips on my shoulder and some seriously cold feet.)  When it came time to wed or get-off-the-pot, I panicked.  I thought, "He's so nice.  He's so pleasant.  He's so responsible.  He's so athletic.  He's so funny.  He's so smart.  He's so handsome.  But will I be bored?"

I relayed those thoughts to someone once -- someone who didn't know my "history," -- and to be funny she said, "You know what my mom always said?  She said, 'I'd rather be beat than bored.'"

That's when I decided I'd rather be bored than beat.

*Speaking of that "No one will love you as much as I do" declaration, there's a little rock-group called Band of Horses that created a tune called No One's Gonna Love You.  Seriously too bad that I have to hate that song.  Band of Horses is a band that's spectacular at making people feel emotions through their melodies, but I CANNOT cope with that saying.  The "I love you the most" proclamation is the most self-absorbed, narcissistic, controlling statement anyone can ever make.  Does anyone know if Ben Bridwell is an addict? Seems like I read something along those lines in a Rolling Stone this summer. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Climate Crunch

I'm interrupting my current Costume Crisis to reveal a new extortionary element of my marathon menagerie. That new element, is, well, the elements.   Notice the forecast for St. George, Utah on Saturday October 2 (also notice that my battery will be dead soon, that I'm under the influence of wifi, and have 8 browser windows open):


It's going to be a hot one.  Too hot.  This elemental emergency makes my costume crisis all the more critical.  A Personal Record of any kind might be out of the question with that kind of heat.  Can I ask a favor of you all?  Can you please, please, please use the Secret to send a cold front to Utah, pronto?  And if you live up north, could you all just start-a-blowing?  Maybe you could blow some of that cold air down here.

Good grief.  I'm not prepared for 95 or even 66.  


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Costume Crisis

I have a marathon in eight days and have no idea what I'm going to wear.  I usually get something new 'n fresh to spice it up a bit.  I don't currently own anything spicy enough, and I cannot find anything spicy enough.  What I wear is usually the first of decisions made, and is by far the most paramount of prerace prearrangements. The only thing more important than the racing robes is the marathon selection itself.

First question is always, "What marathon am I going to run?"

Second question is always, "What am I going to wear?"

This is indeed a crisis. A costume crisis, an ensemble emergency, a dress disaster, a fashion fiasco, a crossroad for cothes, an apparel affliction, a disaster of the duds, a wardrobe washout, a clothing calamity, an ordeal of the outfit, and a wardrobe wallop.  I'm a gear whore who's got the gout. Not having the appropriate assortment of wearables might mishap my marathon into a running rig ruin

A crisis indeed.  I have real troubles, people.  Real troubles.

Now why would the marathon mufti be so important?  It's simple, really.  If the race goes raunchy, I'll have some tawdry threads to fall back on.  Racing in the proper regalia opines loudly that I might not be fast, but I sure am fly.

If only I had a sponsor.  If I had a sponsor, the uniform of utility would be a shoe-in  Vera suggested that I wear nothing but duct tape.  Not a bad idea, I must say.  Duct tape comes in all colors and textures now.   If I race all dolled up in duct tape, I might get myself in the newspaper.  Maybe even on the front page.  If I get myself on the front page wearing nothing but duct tape, then perhaps the duct tape people will sponsor me!  I could get free duct tape for any and all! 

Can you imagine a more useful sponsor than duct tape?  I can't.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Tune, vol 56 - 80s Love Songs

Today's Tuesday Tunes are a collection of 80s love songs within the new wave-ish genre.  I started this playlist with hopes of giving you ALL the love songs from ALL the 80s, but there are just so many love songs from the 80s. I had to pare it down. Perhaps next time, I'll provide 80s love songs of the hair-band genre.  Perhaps.  I'm not promising anything.

Speaking of love, and things that go with love (like dates), did you know that my favorite date with Spouse is a bike ride? It's true. Check it out:



Did you know that my favorite double date with Spouse is a bike ride? It's true. Check it out:


Did you know that this is what I look like when someone has a mechanical? It's true. Check it out:


I'm not much use on a bike ride. Heck I can't even keep up. What I can do, however, is provide dashing love songs, in the new wave-ish genre, from the 80s.  Check it out:

If You Were Here - Thompson Twins
Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go's
The Ghost In You - The Psychedelic Furs
Lips Like Sugar - Echo and The Bunnymen
It's All I Can Do - The Cars
A Question Of Lust - Depeche Mode
Save A Prayer - Duran Duran
Oh l'Amour - Erasure
The One Thing - INXS
Take My Breath Away - Berlin
Love Vigilantes - New Order
Pretty In Pink - The Psychedelic Furs
Only You - Yaz
TRUE - Spandau Ballet
Careless Whisper - George Michael
I Melt With You - Modern English
More Than This - Roxy Music
Friday I'm In Love - The Cure
With Or Without You - U2
Space Age Love Song - A Flock Of Seagulls
Crazy For You - Madonna


Monday, September 20, 2010

Group Therapy: Part III.5

This is Part 3.5 or III.5 of the Group Therapy action.  Part III.5 - can you do that?  Mix Romans with Normals?  It's against some rule, I'm sure.  Of course I can mix Romans with Normals because it's my blog and I can do what I want.  Oh the joys have having your own little heaven of bits.  If you don't have your own blog, I suggest you get one because it provides absolute power.  For example, you can use this absolute power to reveal your soul through embarrassing happenstance.

I decided that before I move on to Part IV, that Part III needed more attention.  That's why this is Part III and a half instead of Part IV.  If you missed the other parts of this Group Therapy, click here and scroll down.  Or not.  But whatever you do, try to keep up, kay?

Bad decisions make the best stories, don't they?  They sure do.  I've made some bad decisions in my lifetime, and as the magic of consequence would have it, those decisions have made some great stories.  Like Part III is a great story, but for all you know, I could be making it up.  Right?

I have a master plan for this Group Therapy chapter book.  I know right where it is going and I know how I plan to wrap it all up.  (Keep it wrapped!)  I didn't expect that I'd let you all know about the worst parts, however.  I didn't expect to do that.  But as I began to unfold my thoughts, it was pretty clear that documenting Jimmy was necessary for wrapping it all up nice 'n tight.  (Again!  Keep it wrapped!)

I've created a monster manifestation of this Jimmy guy.  I've established an offending party(pooper) and made our break-up seem very black and white.  I displayed several good 'n valid reasons to jet and indict the poor defenseless feller in the process.  You haven't heard his side of the story.  I could have been his version of hell-on-earth. I could have been maniacally moody.  I could have had a substance abuse problem too, for all you know.

Well I didn't, and don't currently have, a substance abuse problem.  ('Cept caffeine.  Does caffeine count? And running's not a substance, correct?)  That other part about my being a maniacally moody version of hell-on-earth? Well, that I can't rightly deny.   I can be a maniacally moody version of hell-on-earth.

I bring this up because divorces, relations, and friendships are all very messy.  There's always two sides -- and if kids are in the picture -- more than two sides.  In any break-up, in any altercation, I believe each party involved is at fault to one extent or another.  Always.  So when this Jimmy moved out, I had a challenge -- to accept my role in "our" failure, learn from it, and move on.  This acceptance I speak of is part of getting rid of those extra spicy chips resting about the shoulder.  Totally easier said than done for I had an entire Dorrito truck on one side.  To this day, I don't eat Dorritos.

So what happened to Jimmy?  Where did Jimmy go?  Where is he now?  Jimmy moved out of my house and into the girlfriend's.  I'll call Jimmy's girlfriend Tonya because she looked like a cute Tonya Harding.  Three-or-so days after that, I began receiving random phone calls from his siblings.  Evidently Jimmy had begun introducing Tonya and everyone was confused, some were even sad.  At the time of our split, Tonya had just left her husband and had custody of their little 9 month old boy.  When I had kids of my own, remembrances of sweet Tonya's infidelity totally blew my top.  Who on earth has time for an affair when they've got a baby?  Good grief.

Jimmy and Tonya married a few years later and Jimmy got Tonya hooked on pain meds.  Scratch that, Tonya allowed herself to get hooked on the pain meds.  They had a little girl together.  The rest of the following story is hearsay, of course, because it's the word on the street.  Evidently Jimmy and Tonya couldn't hold the family together, so Tonya's parents hired a nanny for them.  The nanny notices the elicit drug abuse and turns them in to whatever authorities.  Jimmy and Tonya lose the kids.  Tonya had an affair (surprise), and they divorce.  Jimmy, then 38ish, shacked up with a girl under 20.  That's the story, anyway.  I'm not sure of the current status of their individual custodies.

I'm obnoxiously snoopy.  Obnoxiously.  I'm thinking that if my software gigs ever start to fizzle, I could really do some damage as a private investigator.  It'd be rad.  I'd get me some tattoos like that Dragon Girl (awesome book, by the way.)  When I was dating, each and every gent I accompanied would receive a full public-record-investigation from yours truly.  I would know everything: speeding tickets, whether or not they really were divorced, if they beat up their wives, and any other illegal stuff they were into and busted for.

Spouse was clean.  He's so boring that way.  Didn't even have a speeding ticket.

Anyway, periodically, I do a quick run-down on Jimmy's public record.  He has a lot of public intoxication, drug paraphernalia, drug possession charges, all while carrying a weapon.  Nice, huh?  Doesn't that make you feel safe?  Does me.  Last year, about this time, I was doing an inmate search on the local county jail, when his name came up (again.)

Jimmy was charged with two counts of Assault with Domestic Violence and one count of Unlawful Detention.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Group Therapy: Part III

*This Part III of my Group Therapy melodrama.  You might want to check out Part I and Part II before reading this one.  

In the which Rabid (before she was Rabid) has Group Therapy with the police department.

Anadrol and Percocet are a lethal combination.  Anadrol is the among the strongest of androgenic steroids available.  It was approved by the FDA for purposes of treating osteoporosis, anaemia and muscle growth in the underdeveloped.  If a normal person (not undernourished) takes Anadrol, they will become "as big as a house."  Bodybuilders use this Anadrol (among others) in four-ish week cycles to become as big as houses.  They inject the drug for a few weeks to increase size, then diet down to a competition state.  As far as I know, most bodybuilders cannot compete while currently using a steroid because the steroid causes them to store too much fat.  Too much fat means the striations and whatnot cannot be seen.  Gotta see the striations.   Did you notice the convenience of this steroid cycle business?  Bodybuilders are "clean" when they compete and will therefore pass the drug test and proclaim themselves "natural."  Total freaks if you ask me, but whatever.

We all know what Percocet is, right?  It's a pain pill.  A strong one with highly addictive qualities.  Not as addictive as Morphine, mind you, but almost.

Jimmy (the EX) was using both.   Obviously it had a considerable impact on my life because I had invested hours at group therapy for depressed women and Al-Anon.  During one of my sack-lunch-Al-Anon huddles, I had a light bulb moment, one in which I seriously heard that "ding" that goes along with the light bulb flash (just like the cartoons.)

"I just realized," I said aloud, "that I'm not the one with the drug problem.  And I'm doing all the work!  That's messed up in so many ways."   The other Al-Anoners clapped their hands and hollered, "Yeah for pre-Rabid!  Yeah for pre-Rabid!" (It's "pre-Rabid" because it was before Rabid.)

Now this is when I had a heart-to-heart with Jimmy.  I gave him an ultimatum of sorts that expressed how difficult it was to live like we were living.  And that I would prolly leave if he kept up with the drugs.  He screamed and kicked and rationalized and all that other stuff before he said, "Okay, I'll give it a go."  I remember being scared to death for this conversation.  Come to think of it, I remember being scared to death for the entire three years that we were married.

At the time of this conversation, Jimmy was using upwards of 25 Percocet a day.  I don't know which dose, prolly any dose he could get his hands on, but 25 Percocet at any dose, is a serious amount Percocet.  He decided to quit cold turkey.  Which, as many of you know, is not a great idea.  I spent about four days cleaning up his puke, wiping the cold sweats, and doing my best to control the endless thrashings.

After it was all said 'n done, I ended up doing this detox crap a total of three times.  (And, yes, I earned the privilege of saying that I too did the detox.  You should try it some time!  All the cool-cats are doing it these days.  It's like Doing the Hustle only there's no Van McCoy. Or disco bulbs.  Or flashy platforms.)

Jimmy was clean from the Percocet for a few months.  He refused to give up the Anadrol cycles, because, like, he had a competition coming.  Oh and he was still doing the dope, which, you know, is just little kid stuff compared to the others.  Life was still a bit scary, but okay.

One weekend in the Spring, my dad (Mikey), asked me to accompany him to Jellystone.  Spring-time brings the baby animals in Jellystone and Mikey wanted to go watch 'em and take some pictures.  We had a great time, he and I.  We always have a great time.

I returned late on a Sunday evening.  When I walked in the door, Jimmy was slurring his words, rolling his eyeballs, and scratching his nose uncontrollably.  Jimmy was loaded.  Load.  Ed.  So much for three months on the wagon, eh?

I went bezerk.  We had a giant argument.  Jimmy ran off and returned with a gun (Glock 19, for those of you interested), threw a bullet in the chamber and shoved it into my gut.  "If I'm such an effer, why don't you just kill me now!"

How do you go more bezerk than bezerk?  What's the word that describes that, 'cause that's what I did.  I went bezerker.  Then I ran out of the house, screaming "Help!  Help!  Help!"  Jimmy ran after me, and in a Percocet-induced roid-rage, wrapped his meaty hooks around my neck and whispered, "You're going out."

I went out.  He dragged me in the house and kept me there, against my will for a day.

Now this is where you, dear reader, are prolly thinking along the lines of "Oh goody.  This is where we get to hear about Group Therapy with the police department!"  Oh not quite yet, that comes later.  I'm rather sad, and grossly ashamed, to admit that Group Therapy with the police department didn't come for a whole 'nother year.

The next day, Jimmy insisted I call in sick.  So I did.  You know, out of fear for my life and whatnot.  Jimmy left late that night to work or fetch substances and I called my friend from work.  Lou Who, my Guardian Angel for Life, retrieved me right directly, and kept me safe for a couple of weeks.

Jimmy and I spoke on the phone and I agreed to meet him in the presence of a third party.  He picked some mousy, fraidy-cat therapist and we met.   Long, boring story made short, I went back home, put my head down, and went to work.  And work I did.  Work, work, work.  I loved my job.  I loved the people I worked with.  It was a good family to have.  There were many times that I'd venture home, see Jimmy's car, say "ah crap," then return back to work.  Many times.  I think my boss liked me a lot that year.  I was kicking some serious ass at work.

Since I was working so much, Jimmy felt neglected, and began schlepping around with a girl he worked with.  They were both personal trainers and into their hot-tight bods, so they were a good, natural match.  Well.  OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THEY WERE BOTH MARRIED!  I found out about it on my birthday.

I told Jimmy that he and I were officially over.  He said, "no we aren't, sister" and refused to leave. At this point, I turned into the praying type.  I pled and pleaded for a whole week, that the Good Lord Above would deliver me from the bondage of that matrimony.  I was too scared, insecure, and fragile to do it on my own.  Please, please, please.  Get.  Me.  Out.

One Sunday, we were having another one of those you-need-to-move-out-no-I-don't arguments.  I flipped, which is perhaps three steps beneath going bezerk, tossed his muscle-head t-shirts around, and threw a soft mushy peach at the stove.  Jimmy called the cops.  Said, "My wife is abusive! I'm scared for my life!" Etcetera, etcetera.  (What I wouldn't give for a copy of that phone call...)

So the door bell rings, and with hysterical sobs, I answer the door.  Surprise!  It's the cops!  Jimmy comes around the corner wearing nothing but a pair of cut-offs, you know, so that the cops could see all those striations he works so hard for.  One nice police officer took Jimmy to one room.  The other nice police officer took me to the kitchen and asked for my story.

"I want a divorce," is what I said first.   Then I informed the nice policeman (he really was nice, by the way) that I was living with an abusive drug-addict who had a girlfriend -- one who refuses to move out.  I also whimpered on about how the house was mine; that it was mine before we were married.

The other nice police officer watched Jimmy pack his shit so as to say sianara while the other nice police officer escorted me to my daddy's house.  Daddy opened his arms and held the blubbering idiot that I had become.  I was blubbering, not because I was sad, but because the whole thing was so dang humiliating.  (So humiliating that I'm telling it to the few thousand individual IP addresses that visit each month. Hehehe.)

Daddy told me he'd get me an attorney.  Also told me everything would be okay.

Turns out he was right.


*I have two versions of this story.  Both versions are accurate, but I've left out some stuff of a spiritual nature -- stuff I want the kiddies to hear but don't want strangers making fun of.  If you're interested in hearing that version, let me know at therabidrunner (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Group Therapy: Part II

* This is Part II of my Group Therapy chapter book.  If you missed Part I, you can find it here.  Incidentally, these posts are getting a bit personal.  They're revealing some stuff.  If I get to the point where I've revealed waaaaay too much, just holler, kay?  My social TMI meter doesn't work because of all those Group Therapy sessions.

And then there was Al-Anon.

After my three-month run-in with Group Therapy, also known as "Group," I found Al-Anon.  Al-Anon is the Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotic Anonymous counterpart for family members of those currently infected with alcohol and/or drug addiction.  It's really just more Group Therapy in the which there's more talk and more one-uppery.  Al-Anon is where I spent a couple of lunch hours a week for a few months.  The local Al-Anon group was held at noon in the basement of this old Presbyterian church.  It was dark and dreary.

Oh Al-Anon, Al-Anon, how I miss you so!

Al-Anon managed to clearly illustrate the meaning of codependency.  Before Al-Anon, I thought I was too smart and too independent to become codependent.  Al-Anon showed the error of my codependent ways by hurling me into a room full of people just like me.

(I don't really miss Al-Anon, by the way.)

Codependent.  Not sure what codependent is?  Why, let me tell you!  Codependent is what they call people who are in a relationship with an addict, but are too scared or committed to that person to get out.  So there I was, once a week, in a room full of pathetic losers (myself included), trudging day-in and day-out through the feary muck and the firey mire that comes with living with an addict.  These people would tell their stories, and I'd be all, like, "Just get out.  Just move out.  Just kick 'em out.  Toss that squasher out!"

Yeah, right.  It's easier said than done.  Tossing the squashing out is like quitting.  I'm no quitter, no-sir-eee for I see things through.  And by golly, Rabid (before she was Rabid) never says "quit," just like Goonies never say "die."

Here's the interesting thing about these types of Jimmy people (Jimmy's the EX of 13 years):  Somehow, those little addict rats manage to convince you that the whole situation -- their drug problem -- is all your fault.  If only you loved me more.  If only you did the dishes at 6:00am sharp.  If only you supported my dreams.  If only you'd lose weight.  If only you weren't depressed.  If only the house was cleaner.  If only you'd let me have eight girlfriends. If only you'd put the precise amount of milk in my oatmeal.  If only you made more money.  If only you met my needs the way my mama meets my needs.  If only you came from a family that spoke Vietnamese.  The "if onlys" are miles -- and usually years -- long.

Trust me, after a couple of years of that "if only" crap, you honestly believe that the addict's situation is, without a doubt, all your fault.  The addict has successfully manipulated you into thinking that you actually created the addict.  And that you, not the addict, must take care of it.

So that's why I went to Al-Anon.  To fix Jimmy's drug problem.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Group Therapy: Part I

Have any of you been to Group Therapy?  No?  Yes?  Isn't a gas?!  I've been to Group Therapy a few times and it appears that once you've been a bunch, you become a seasoned Group Therapy veteran and can therefore refer to Group Therapy as just "Group."  I guess in some circles it's pretty cool.  Your friends will ask, "Hey, what do you have going tonight?" and you'll say, "I've got Group," then your friend will respond with an envious "Lucky!"

Those who go to Group are so lucky!

Do you wanna to hear about my Group experience?  It went something like this:  I was seriously depressed.  As in, depressed in a serious kind of way.  Jimmy, the EX, insisted that my depression was ruining our marriage, and demanded that I get some help via therapy.  Jimmy was very much the insisting and demanding type.  Going along with what he insisted and demanded was much easier than not, so I looked into it.  Group Therapy was cheaper than the one-on-one therapy, so I signed up for Group Therapy.

I made it three whole months.  I think Group was held once a week, but can't rightly remember.  I was thrown into a bunch that included (but wasn't limited to) a crack addict, a girl who couldn't quit gnawing on her own flesh, one who needed a blankey in public for security, and a tender soul who had been gang raped at age 17, by an actual gang.  She even had the tattooed tear drops to prove it.

The girls in that group had some serious issues.  Life threatening, can't get out of bed, hold a job type issues.  I, on the other hand, was together enough to make it to work every day.  Hell, work was a vacation.  And that's when it dawned on me.  After three months of listening to the horrific past of each of the group attendees, and getting more depressed in the process, it became crystal clear that I was depressed because I was married to a drug addict with a girlfriend.

Duh.  I'm not so quick.

So answer this for me... how beneficial is this group therapy thing anyway?  I mean, it seemed that the girls eventually got into the process of one-upping each other, to see who could appear the most cracker-brained.  Mostly, we'd just sit around and talk.  And talk.  And talk and talk and talk and talk.  It didn't seem like anyone was getting anywhere and I fer sure didn't see the facilitator-psychologist-lady dish out an coping skills.  So, at what point in this therapy process do you take your current issue and declare the ramblings as enough?  When do you decide to leave it behind, quit talking about it, and move on?  My opinion is that excessive talk about disturbances has a tendency to make things boil over and explode.

Sometimes I refer to my group runs as Group Therapy.  It's the best group therapy there is.  We run a few miles, release some endorphins, and talk about stuff.  More often than thrice, we've solved the world's biggest problems, unraveled disciplinary tactics for parenting, designed a prank or two, and brainstormed ways to help those in the group who are smack-dab in the middle of a crisis.  On these runs, we declare our brotherly love back 'n forth like a bunch of drunks.

It's great fun.  It's my new Group.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Tune, vol 55 - Strange Little Girl

Today's Tuesday Tune is all about a Strange Little Girl.  It's also one tune in Two versions, so it's a Tuesday Tune and a Twosday Tune, har har.  That Strange Little Girl is me, circa 1997.  Check her out:


Isn't that the saddest, strangest, little girl you've ever seen?  That strange, sad, little girl is yours truly trapped in a previous life -- a previous life so graciously provided by that overbearing foot on the left.  I look at this photo about once a year to, you know, help me see how magnificent my life currently is.  It is.  My life is truly magnificent.  I have it all.  I have new tires!  And I'm getting new brakes today!  What more could a girl ask for?  Nothin', that's what.

(Seriously though.  I'm pretty dang happy.)

I also have a song that goes with this photo.  It's called Strange Little Girl and was originally recorded by a punk band from the late 70s, early 80s called the Stranglers.  Tori Amos covered that tune in 2001 on her Strange Little Girls albums.  Each is magnificent in its presentation of that Strange Little Girl.  Here's a close up, in case you can't see the sad, strangeness:


Strange Little Girl - The Stranglers
Strange Little Girl - Tori Amos

Incidentally, the fact that a band called The Stranglers wrote a song about me as a Strange Little Girl is a bit eerie.  Maybe I'll tell that story some day...

one day you see a strange little girl look at you
one day you see a strange little girl feeling blue
she'd run to the town one day
leaving home and the country fair
just beware
when you're there
strange little girl
she didn't know how to live in a town that was rough
it didn't take long before she knew she had enough
walking home in her wrapped up world
she survived but she's feeling old
and she found all things cold
strange little girl
where are you going?
strange little girl
where are you going?
do you know where you could be going?
walking home in her wrapped up world
she survived but she's feeling old
cuz she found all things cold
strange little girl
where are you going?
do you know where you could be going?


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recycle That Unleashed Beast!

Last week, Jessica and Megan were carrying on about their supposed "messy desks."  On and on, they did carry.  One of them (or both?) posted a photo of their supposed "messy desk."  I barked a loud "arrrfff" at that one, because, like, you should have seen the marshland depths of my horrific quagmire of an office.  It was awful.  I was about to send them all a photo of the windowless basement abomination, that sometimes goes by "office," but decided to clean it instead.  Now look at it.  Ain't she a beaut?

'Cept I haven't vacuumed yet.

Cleaning the office, and showing it off to you all everybody, is not what this post is all about.  This post is about a certain book I found while cleaning out the bookcase.

Folks, it's September 2010.  And Spouse is hanging on to a programming companion for Windows 95.  Unleashed, nonetheless.  Unleashed.  Not caged up, as it should be, where it will be fed to the big green conveyor belt in the sky, and made into toilet paper.  This book should be Programming Windows 95, Recycled not Programming Windows 95, Unleashed. Incidentally, I know a lotta Mac people who would pay extra to wipe with the TP made from a Windows programming book.  This could very well be my ticket to millions.

Later, I broke some news to Spouse.  "Honey. This hasta go," said I, and handed him the book.
Total geek*, isn't he?  Even gots a vmware shirt on for the occasion.
*I heart geeks.

He cried and blubbered on about the awesomeness of programming with Windows 95.  How it would only compile when building, and then only if the syntax was correct.  If you have invalid syntax, the exe (rhymes with sexy) won't compile and the debugger might even tell you where your syntax errors are.  "Now Java," he cried on, "is a piece of crap.  It compiles upon execution, so you could ship stuff with syntax errors."  

I told him that Windows 95 made him a lazy programmer. Relying on some machine to tell him about his errors!  That's just plain lazy!  I told him that Windows 95 is old enough to bury in the software graveyard where Turbo Pascal and HP 9000 rest.  In pieces.  And then I told him that I'd be happy to notify him of his errors, all of 'em, since Javascript was failing to do so when necessary.  He declined that one for some reason.

Spouse spent the rest of our Friday night thumbing through that beastly book, and sighing in bithaven nostalgia.  That isn't all either.  During the night, I could have sworn that he woke, in a heated and amorous sweat, screaming "MORE!" and "IF!" and "THEN!" and "ELSE!"

I went to the kitchen for Nutella.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Hooray for Rabid!

Rabid got new tires today!


Hooray for Rabid!
Hooray for Rabid!
Hooray for Rabid!
Hooray for Rabid!
(Four hoorays because I got four tires.)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Own Your Words

I'm fixing to write a "shame on you" letter to a few organizations.  Before I write this letter, I'm going to use you all as guinea pigs, to organize some thoughts on this "shame on you" matter.  Any feedback (for or against) is appreciated.


One of my favorite lines or phrases from any movie is one from the movie Robots.  That phrase is, "See a need, fill a need."  To me that phrase, in it's eloquent simplicity, embodies the true spirit of capitalism.

Let's illustrate that See a need, fill a need scenario, shall we?  I have a problem, a problem that that needs fixin'.  You see a solution to that problem and invest your time and/or money inventing a solution.  I buy the solution from you at a fair price, one I feel correlates directly to my particular problem.  I receive a solution.  You receive compensation.  Both of us win.

Problem is, the ethics of this See a Need, Fill a Need scenario have gone awry.  This model of See a Need, Fill a Need is no longer the model for exchanging goods and services.  Somehow, See a Need, Fill a Need has been bastardized into more like,  "See a need, fill a need while exploiting the hell out of any and all."

In this new "and improved" exploitation model of See a Need, Fill a Need, there are a few winners, but lots of losers.  Friends and allies of the exploiter win.  Everyone else loses, while the winners make good 'n sure that events are manipulated so as to make it look like everybody won.  Both the person providing the service and the consumer have opportunity to exploit.  Both parties want more than their fair share.  Nowadays, fair is only fair if you somehow cheated the other party out of something.

As usual, you're prolly wondering what the heck I'm getting at.  You're prolly deep in furrowed brow and forehead scratching. Which is okay, 'cause, like, I'm used to that reaction.

A certain business practice has made me green with disgust on several occasions.  Most of the time, I see this particular business practice in action, then verbalize my disgust to whoever is closest.  This time, however, the business practice in question has hit a little too close to home.  Like four houses away, too close.

I am talking about internet media, and the business practice of allowing comments on articles.

Let me explain how it works.  Something tragic happens and the website for the newspaper/television/radio publishes an article on-line.  Part of publishing that article on-line involves the ability for random people to post an anonymous comment.

A few weeks ago, a cyclist was hit and killed by a car in Salt Lake City.  (This is not someone I know, or the close-to-home situation.) If you are to visit the on-line article meant to inform of this tragic event, you'll see 339 comments.  What's the need in having 339 comments on something so tragically final?  Are the comments from loved ones, who yearn this cyclist's passing?  Absolutely not.  The loved ones are sending warm words through cards, flowers and phone calls.  Loved ones are not leaving anonymous comments on an internet article.  It goes without saying -- but I'm gonna say it anyway -- that the majority of these comments are not nice.  Most of these comments are down-right evil in their self-righteous, superior, told-you-so dialect.

Let's perform the See a Need, Fill a Need test on that one.  What, pray tell, is the NEED for that?

The only NEED I see, is for the newspaper/television/radio joints to up the hitage on their web site.  More hits means more advertising cash.  Newspaper/television/radio publishes an article.  Many leave attacking comments to the deceased, others agree, and others retaliate.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Productive, yes?  Why, yes!  It's productive.  If you're looking for increased internet traffic.

See a need?  Yes.  Many people have lost a loved one.  Fill a need?  Sure!  By allowing complete strangers to attack the living with hurtful commentary.

We are all smart people.  We know that only halfwit-dingbats leave comments on those kinds of articles.  We know that.  But the real halfwit-dingbats are those who enable the comments.  The real halfwit-dingbats are the newspapers/television/radio web sites.  They exploit death and extreme tragedy in an effort to make money.

Notice that I didn't provide you with a link.  I refuse to add traffic to their operation.  Most of you know what I'm talking about and have seen it with your own eyes.  And all of you know, that should some unforeseen tragedy occur to a loved one, while they're out doing something more adventurous than riding in a car, you know better than to look at an on-line article.  All because of the comments.

KSL, a Salt Lake based radio and television station, is first on my list.  And being the ethical company that it is, has published some guidelines and rules for posting comments.  You can see the complete list here.  Rule number five deems a comment inappropriate if it "violates a third party's right to privacy."  I had a good laugh at that one.  Because in most cases, the article itself violates a third party's right to privacy.  The authors generally sleuth their way into solving the riddle and publishing the cause before the facts are made public.  In my opinion, making an alleged assumption, regarding an accident or crime or any other event, violates a third party's right to privacy.

There is, however, that whole free speech thing.  I'm an advocate of free speech.  I believe we all have a right to an opinion.  I believe that we should be able to voice that opinion, either vocally or in print.  So this is where the whole comment thing gets tricky.  I'm contradicting myself.  I believe we should be able to voice our opinions, but not as a comment on a newspaper article.

To me, Freedom of Speech involves ownership.  Freedom of Speech means that when you voice your words, you get to own those words.  Freedom of Speech also means that you are free to experience the consequences of whatever speech you freely spoke. Any words expressed are yours to own.  Attacking someone, as an anonymous coward, doesn't count as owning your words.

Yet again, I'm contradicting myself, because I run this here blog mostly anonymous.  Most of you don't know my real name.  You don't know the names of my Spouse and Yahoos.  I have chosen to do this for safety reasons.  Even though my real name is not public, my words and identity are.  I'm ownin' it.  All of it.

If people wish to express an opinion about cyclists being killed by cars, there are several places they can go to express their opinion.  Put it on a blog, print pamphlets, rent a billboard, submit an editorial, tweet it, or post in on facebook. I don't even have a problem with these opinions being expressed right-directly to the face of those being affected by the current tragedy.  Just march up to the door of this cyclist's widow and say, "we need to add to list of roads where cyclists simply are not allowed. Surely there was an alternate, safer route available for the cyclist. What a shame he did not elect to use it rather than riding on such a busy road."

Yo, commentator!  Would you say that to the widow?  Then why the hell did you type it?  And Newspaper/television/radio people, would you say that?  To the widow?  Then why did you allow it to be published?

Own your words folks.  Own your words.


Okay, so, now I gotta figure out how to turn all that into a letter.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tuesday Tune, vol 54 - Sick, Sick, Sick!

Sometimes it hurts to be me.  Sometimes.  I once worked with this guy named Alan (real name) who asked me that often.  He'd say, "Rabid, does it hurt to be you?"  I'd respond with an assuring giggle and a "Yes."

Now why would Alan observe my antics and ask such a thing?  Well.  It was because Alan was a rigid fun-hater who lacked all things wacky.  Alan had no sense of humor.  Alan was only concerned with being cool.  Which proves that even in his 5-years-my-senior, he needed some growing-up.  Adulthood has many bonuses.  You get to earn your own cash.  But more importantly, becoming an adult means that you no longer need concern yourself with being cool.

Am I right?  I'm right.  Who the hell cares if they're cool any more?

So Alan would ask "Does it hurt to be you?" whenever I got wacky.  And then I'd get his cooler-than-thou goat by getting even wackier.  We worked a lot of hours back then and a sense of humor was necessary.  He quit, I think.  Perhaps I'm the reason he quit?  I just put two 'n two together on that one...

Today, however, it does not hurt to be me.  Today is one of those days, in the which I have been able to sit back, look at my sitchyeeation, and declare myself pretty dang lucky.  And not hurt.

Yahoo #1 spent the weekend sick.  Yahoo #2 and I are home sick today.  Yahoo #2 is sick.  I'm home with a sick one, but not necessarily sick.  But being as Yahoo #2 is sick and needs to be home, that means I need to be home too, thus making me home sick too.  (I love throwing concision down the toilet sometimes.  Don't you?  Just did that, in fact.  I threw out the concision.)

The Yahoos, and everyone else at our house, spent the entire summer wallowing in supreme health.  We did.  To my recollection, not-a-one of us was sick all summer long.  But wouldn't you know, school's in session ten whole days, and someone gets sick.  Then another gets sick.  And then another...  Just shows to go ya, that schools are germ farms.

I had lots planned today.  I had some miles to run.  Miles that included 6x100m pickups.  I had plans to attend my favorite yoga class in a 90 degree room (not Bikram, not anything close to Bikram).  Then I had plans to test some software, and log some bugs, and write some docs.  I had lots planned.

That paragraph was wiped clean when Yahoo #2 declared himself too sick for school.  When the Yahoos stay home from school, they don't get the luxuries.  They must stay in bed until noonish.  And then, after the extra rest, they don't get any of the entertainment.  No games, no gadgets, no toys.  If they are running a fever, and/or clearly sick-as-can-be, then I let 'em watch TV.   That's it.  I informed Yahoo #2 that all the above would transpire if he were to stay home from school.  He said okay, and loaded himself up to bed, without eating his pork by-product of the day.  Pork by-products are favorite among the menfolk at our house, so you know something's up if they don't finish their pork by-product.

Come to think of it, he didn't even put his glasses on at first dawn.  That's some serious sickness.  That kid doesn't do anything without his specs.

At first glance, one might think that it hurt to be me today.  All of my plans were ixnayed so as I could stay home and take care of my poor sick little Yahoo.  I'll admit, saying "no" to my plans did hurt a bit.  But here's the part that is lucky and doesn't hurt:  I was able to cast my plans aside.  I was able to reprioritize my day -- just like that.  I didn't have to make any phone calls, or provide an explanation.  I can run tonight, or even tomorrow.  I can finish my work tonight, or even tomorrow.  Yoga can wait too.

Somehow, I've managed to land myself upon a life that's relatively flexible.  I'm pretty darned lucky for that.  If anyone sees Alan, tell him it doesn't hurt to be me.

Oh.  By the way, today's Tuesday Tunes are Sick Tunes.  I couldn't do flexible 'n lucky tunes because then we'd end up with that goofy 70s disco that accompanies the porn.  (Or so I'm told...)

Woozy - Faithless
I Burn - The Toadies
Nausea - Beck
Lamentation - Delerium
Black Tongue - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
That Smell - Lynyrd Skynyrd
No Doze - Calexico
I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better - The Byrds
Unfortunate Few - The Ditty Bops
Government Flu - Dead Kennedys
Spreading The Disease - Queensr├┐che
Pneumonia Hawk - Cancer Bats
Fever - A Fine Frenzy
Is It Medicine - The Knife
Suffragette City - David Bowie

At this point, I got tired of the copy and paste and quit -- except for Unintended 'cause that's one of my favorite songs in the whole library.  If you want links to the rest, holler...

Somebody Put Something In My Drink - The Ramones
Coughing Colors - Tilly And The Wall
Lithium - Nirvana
Open Heart Surgery - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Bad Day - R.E.M.
Mental - Eels
Pills - New York Dolls
I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
Remedy - The Black Crowes
Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? - Moby
Novocaine For The Soul - Eels
Pale Shelter - Tears for Fears
Wet My Bed - Stone Temple Pilots
Dimentia 66 - My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
No Sex - Limp Bizkit
Symptom Finger - The Faint
Bedbugs And Ballyhoo - Echo and The Bunnymen
I Bleed - Pixies
Sick Again - Led Zeppelin
Shake Me - Cinderella
The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn - The Pogues
No No No - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
All In My Mind - Love and Rockets
Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull
Unintended - Muse
Warning Sign - Coldplay
Horse Pills - The Dandy Warhols
Wasted - Brandi Carlile
Neurotica - Rush
Night Fever - Bee Gees

Sunday, September 05, 2010

PAC'n Heat

I had lunch with my dad the other day.  Those of you who do not know my dad are missing out -- for he is among the most interesting of humans.  Seriously.  Throughout my hood as a child, and even into my adulting years, that guy has managed to turn my world upside-down with fascination. That sweet dad o' mine has managed to make my world a more interesting place.

Case in point?  Lunch the other day.

My dad has a large brain.  A brain with repositories for interesting bits of information.  He's able to align facts and figures into nice, neat groupings so as to form conclusions that most of us would look right through, or past.  He reminds me of the Freakonomics people.

I'm going to call this dad o' mine Mikey ('cause "Mikey Likes It!")  Mikey goes to the same little hashery for lunch every day.  Each day he saddles up to the bar while the girlies come to his doting assistance.  They hug him,  dole-out compliments, and deliver a frothy serving of Cutthroat.  After they've finished the opening ceremonies of his lunchtime ritual, they kiss his ring, bow, and ask what he'd like to eat.  Mikey's like Norm on Cheers, only funner, and more handsome, and more athletic, and more smart, and definitely more loved.

After the girls spread their well-wishes, the dudes come out -- from nowhere, it seems.  They talk this, and they talk that.  They talk about sports and current happenings.  On the day I was there, one of the guys came over to exclaim, "Can you believe they did it Mikey?  You said they were going to do it, but I didn't believe you.  But they really did it!"

This guy was talking about the melodrama of Utah's college football.

Me, being everything BUT a football fan, had heard the water cooler talk on this subject, but didn't understand it.  I'd heard the agreers and the naysayers spew their 85 cents back and forth.  (This is football, you know.  Everything in football is BIG, so 2 cents is hardly sufficient for each to postulate.)  I didn't know enough on the subject to care either way.

"So what's the deal with this football conference fiasco anyways?"  I said in my most fervid of fervent tones.  He was buying me lunch, you know.  I had to play along.

"Well."  Mikey says.  "It all began in the early 70s."

Oh good hell, here we go.  I put my head in my hands so as to house the shaking to 'n fro.

Mikey then proceeds to explain, ablaze with animated detail, how The BYU has been the collective outcast of other teams in the Mountain West Conference.  People love to hate The BYU.  After he covers the conference partisan situation, he moved on to the topic of the University of Nebraska.  Evidently the Cornholio Huskers had the opportunity to switch conferences -- to a bigger and better conference.    That fell through somehow.  Mikey told me all about that, but my nogin couldn't hold it.  I believe it had something to do with some Texas schools and some Big Conferences named with a "10" and a "12."

"Now.  This left the PAC-10 with room for another football team."  He says.  "Since the PAC-10 had an opening, that conference offered the open spot to the University of Utah.  The U took the spot without hesitation"

"What the...? What does that have to with The BYU going independent?"  I said.

"I'm getting to that, hang on."

Well hurry.  'Cause, like, I got kids to pick up at 3:30.

Mikey then finishes the tale by explaining that since the U of Utah was now PAC-10, The BYU couldn't compete when recruiting.  If a new budding football player wants to go to school in Utah, and is offered positions at both the U and The BYU, then obviously this new football bud will take the U now.

"I don't get it." This is something I say a lot while conversing with the father.  "It's just a dumb conference.  What difference does it make which conference the school is in?"

This is where he shakes his finger, side-to-side, with a twinkle in his love-fer-football eye, "The Conference determines the TV contract.  The TV contract determines how much money the team gets.  The PAC-10 offered the University of Utah a $10 million contract.  BYU had no choice but to go independent so as to compete.  As an independent team, ESPN offered BYU a million a game.  The only caveat is that BYU will now have to contract their games individually, as opposed to having the conference control when they play and where."

So you mean to tell me that this whole schmaltzy faltzy is about TV time?!  And that the football team has the power to yank an entire school out of a conference, just for TV time and cash?!

Football is so dumb.

(But this below is funny.  Irreverent, of course.  But funny.)

P.S.  Don't hold me to all the facts.  I'm sure its was explained to me correctly.  Whether it made it from my poor little brain to this post accurately is another matter.  Also tune in next time where I tell you all about how Mikey explained the politics of religion and Utah's college football teams.  He used Oregon's Civil War (the University of Oregon and Oregon State game each year), and personal penalty stats to explain.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Tron?! Tron!!

It's almost here! I can't wait. Jeff Bridges is among my faves. And Jeff Bridges in Tron? It'll be "The Dude meets Darth Vader."  Or something like that...


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Priority Pink Slips

This post is more for me than it is for you.  As if that's a rarity, right?  As if I ever do anything for anyone else anyways.  But sometimes... every once in a while, I do stuff for other people.  Heck, even twice, I think I wrote up some stuff just for you all everybody out there.  It's true.  Just don't make me prove the which and when.

I intend for this post to be something of a referential reminder that I can revisit once the overwhelmingness of life kicks in.  I just thought of something, though.  I keep thinking that the overwelmingness of life will magically disperse and I can take many minutes of many days moseying about doing much of nothing.  Thing is, I believe I've been waiting for these mosey moments for a century.  Or at least a decade.  And life seems to get more overwhelming by the month.  So, in order to check back on this post, because the overwhelmingness of life has kicked in, the overwhelmingness must first kick off.  Or out.  Whatever.


I'm having trouble with priorities.  My biggest problem (aside from my haughty temper and daily need for megadoses of dopamine) is that I want to do it all.  ALL.  I want all the big stuff, like, to travel the world, obtain doctorate degrees (in the plural), speak six exotic languages, spend at least a year in India doing humanitarian stuff, write shrewd and spritely stories--maybe even a book, flex and bend the sinews like Megan, learn physics, corral billions of secret dollars--to throw at people who really need 'em, design roller coasters, own everything on itunes, and change the oil in my car all by myself.

I want all the medium stuff too.  Like run a sub three-hour marathon, climb Mount Everest, play the piano like Liszt, play the organ, play the guitar, play all the instruments, especially the zither, and design and create photos like Bryan Nivan (although Mr. Niven might be disappointed to hear that he's medium level stuff, not to mention that I aspire to change the oil in my car before creating masterpieces like his, so don't tell him.)   I want to genius-ize the Yahoos, ski like Bode Miller (but not as fast), bash bumps like Shannon Barkhe, make every day a "special themed" day--complete with a party, and learn to mountain bike with clipless pedals without tipping over all the time.

And then there's the little stuff.  I want a clean, organized house, finely manicured landscaping, and the energy to cook three gourmet meals a day.  I want Yahoos that excel at music and sport, scholastics and whit.  I want to make clever movies, slide-show presentations, and a complete cynical series of pickmeups that make fun of the Tony Robbinses.  I want to celebrate one of my friends in a big way--every day, do special kinky stuff with Spouse, like, always, know all there is to know about Photoshop--and then some--and I want to learn how to crochet, knit and sew cool stuff.  (Actually, I don't necessarily want to sew cool stuff.  I'll settle for mending a few this 'n thats, and the kinky stuff could be a couple of times a week. Hehehe.  I am a woman, you know.)

There's also the stuff that looks little, but is really big.  Like learning to be patient, tolerant, loving, kind, compassionate, and generous.  Are those things little for you?  Well. You just keep that little fact to yourself, 'cause they're a big deal to me in that they don't come to me at all, let alone naturally.


Obviously I cannot do, and have, all of that.  I cannot.  That's why I must pick some priorities and practice prudent pissing-on of those things that are not priority (figurative, of course.)  This is a coping mechanism, really.  I have a lot of priorities on my proverbial plate right now.  I must pick and choose.  I must also work hard at thwarting the frustration that looms as I toss aside each priority with a pink slip.

I should do that!  I should write up a bunch of pink slips and hand 'em to things that aren't priority.  Like when the fridge screams at me to clean it, I'll swear at it and slap it with a pink slip.  The garage?  Same thing.  Weed the flowerbeds?  Sorry, not a priority.  Mop the floor?  Pink slip.

Pink slip.  Pink slip. Pink slip.  I'll be just like one of those super-powered, top-notch cheeses at a software company.  Pink slip.  Pink slip.  Pink slip...