Sunday, April 29

What was in that truck again?

We are so freaking vulnerable to ANY attack on the system it's unbelievable. Just a truck full of gas. No nitrate fertilizer, no rented U-haul. The Bay Area is going to be screwed up for months, and it's just a stupid mistake. Dude driving too fast around one of those corkscrew connections.

The honeybees are leaving and we are doomed. There is your Sunday Sunshine from Jen.

Little O starts T-ball soon--can't wait for the exorcist routine on the T-ball field.


But I have books to read...yum!

Friday, April 27

In honor of Kim finally posting...

Oh, wait, that's right, she's "Busy" with her "Real Life" (What-ev-aaar).
Okay, how many people just went to check her blog?


I'm kidding, and Kimmy knows that I could not be happier that she is too busy up there in the Emerald City(ish) to Return emails AND post. As long as she still writes back...

So ANYWAY, long overdue...

Does every college town have a bar called the Graduate? I loved the one in Chico. The Grad here is, well, I guess they are each appropriate to the towns they are in... sigh.

So this is the way the night went...

There was beer.


And it was good.

There were several iced teas of the long island variety.

And Baby, they were good.

There were funny stories and rude jokes about the folks who could not make it.

And they were fuckin' hilarious.

And then we cried.

And my final picture demonstrates why Designated Drivers are such a good idea, because most of my recollections of that night look like this in my head:


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It's Friday!


Wednesday, April 25

Thursday Thirteen -Giving Back

This was a Christmas post, originally, but I could not find thirteen Charities that had gotten to me as thoroughly as the ones listed below. So I put it off. Number Seven made me decide to post it anyway, because it was such a powerful reminder about the little things.

I honestly do not need more STUFF for Mother's day. If I got a day without fighting, where someone else did the dishes, my kids played all day, and (okay, get me some flowers) Cheerios in bed, I'll still be the luckiest girl in the world. So if your mom knows how much STUFF she has, consider some flowers and a donation in her name to one of these charities.
We are all, each and every one of us in the blogosphere, with our computers, our heat, our food, so lucky. I read an amazing post by my blogfriend Sayre, Which you can read here.
You know that brother-in-law who has everything? Bake him some cookies to unwrap, and buy him a cow, or a goat.
Is there a veteran on your list? Give them the privilege of buying a wounded soldier some needed toiletries as they recover in the hospital.
Does someone in your family love kids? Buy mosquito nets for a mother who loves her kids in Africa.

Here are thirteen ways you can beat the Christmas Machine that starts grinding us up in July (not as much of an exaggeration as it used to be!). I hope one of these will strike a chord as something eminently DO-able this Christmas season, without invoking Sally Struthers or that nice bearded man who creeps me out with the children's photos he pimps.

1. This is the story of a goat that changed a girl's life, probably all of her families' lives, and quite possibly her entire village. It was made possible by Heifer. (No, not that cow that cut you off in traffic, she was a heffa, this is

2. Send things to the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed. I copied this straight from an email my boss sent me.

Things they need:

WISH LIST FOLLOWS (Please, no used items or money.):
1. Prepackaged candy, cookies, and crackers (no homemade) (See NOTE Below)
2. Weight lifting gloves (for wheelchair patients - and there are many of them)
3. Pillows stuffed with polystyrene beads (very soft)
4. Postage Stamps
5. Pre-Paid Phone Cards (120 Minute and up)
6. Flannel Pajamas
7. Shoes (size 9-12)
8. Sweatshirts / Jackets (zipped & hooded)
9. Break-away trousers (snaps or zips along legs)
10. Coats & Jackets (cold weather)
11. Gloves (cold weather)
12. Scarves (cold weather)
13. Backpacks (all black with single strap across the chest)
14. Carry-on size luggage (with wheels if possible)
15. Electric Razors
16. Umbrellas
17. Credit Cards, Prepaid (Gas, Gift cards & Food for Giant & Safeway nearby)
18. Portable DVD Players
19. DVDs -Action to Comedy (use common sense as far as content and subject)
20. Portable CD Players and CD’s

The wounded, being treated at the hospital, include all branches of the Armed Forces (Army, Marines, Sailors, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard, both men and women). The Family Assistance Center provides assistance to the wounded during their stay at the hospital and the family member (normally spouse or mother of the wounded individual).
Because of the land mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), there are many amputees in wheelchairs that must be pushed from place-to-place within the hospital and grounds, and from their quarters to the various clinics. When wounds are from mines and IEDs, they include multiple wounds to all parts of the body involving all clinics from A to Z.
Because of the expedient method to get them from the battlefield to WRAMC, the wounded arrive with nothing. Their personal items are in Iraq or Afghanistan to be shipped to them later. Therefore, the wounded men and women need many critical items to sustain them. If you would like to contribute items, the address to mail the items to (or drop off items) is:


3. Nothing But Nets is an effort by Sports Illustrated Magazine, of all people. Mosquitoes still equal death in Africa, where children die of Malaria in astonishing numbers. This charity works with the World Heath Organization buying mosquito nets to protect the kids at night. I dunno, it was an editorial on the last page of the Honey's Sports Illustrated, and this piece, along with Sayre's blog, made me do this for my list this week. Even dumb jocks can save a life. With little to no effort, they can spare a mother's child from death. Not just sickness, DEATH. Incredible.
4. Any Soldier has so many opportunities to give back to our heroes. You can just have the kids write letters--Believe me, I know how tight a budget runs this time of year, but these men and women aren't home with their loved ones while we are home safe with ours. There are other opportunities listed here, and some very specific lists, but a letter? It costs virtually nothing but time and love.
5. The Salvation Army. You know those red kettles? They really DO do a lot of good. I went to school with a girl whose parents were in charge of the Salvation Army where I grew up. They helped people on a day to day basis, with a dedication that was truly admirable.
6. Um, could we all teach our kids the basic courtesies, and use them ourselves? Please and Thank you really could change the world, I think. Too many people have forgotten how and why to use them.
7. I read the best post at a blog that I lurk at every once in a while. So many people have addressed the Virginia Tech Tragedy, and done it well, but this post made me think of how we can salvage a lesson from such a horrific event, rather than point fingers.
If you do nothing else with this list, read this post.

8. Read the end of the Wednesday Hero post below, about the grandma raising her grandbaby. On top of being in the hospital, she has lost everything. Here's the story via the local CBS affiliate. I can't do the group trust exercise, I cannot imagine the guts and fear it took to fall straight out of that window.

Okay, Okay, I cheated. It's nowhere near thirteen. You can yell at me in comments. But go read #7.

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Sunny Kay

Col. Cyril Richard
Col. Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla
68 years old from New York City, New York
16th Air Assault Brigade, Parachute Regiment (England)
Platoon Leader of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) (U.S.)
September 11, 2001

Col. Rick Rescorla is a multiple time hero. In 1957 he enlisted in the British Army and began training as a paratrooper with The Parachute Regiment of the 16th Air Assault Brigade. He went on to serve with an intelligence unit in Cyprus, a paramilitary police inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police (now the Zambia Police Service). When his military career ended in England he joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London. But he found the paperwork too boring and quite at the behest of a friend who encouraged him to join the United State Army. Which he did.

In 1963, Rescorla enlisted, with his friend, in the United States Army. After he completed basic training he attended officer training school and was assigned as a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

He was shipped to Vietnam and participated in the Battle of la Drang. While in Vietnam, he was given the nickname "Hard Core" by his men for his bravery in battle.

In 1968, Resorla became a U.S. citizen and continued his service in the Army Reserves until 1990 when he retired. In 1985 he joined a financial services firm, located in the World Trade Center, as security director.

In 1993, when the WTC was bombed, Rescorla was instrumental in evacuating people from the building. Afterwards, he enacted a policy in which all employees of the firm practiced evacuation drills every three months.

September 11, 2001. Rick Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation getting ready for his daughters wedding. Instead he was at work covering a shift for one of his deputies so that he could go on vacation. When American Airlines Flight 11 hit Tower 1, Rescorla ignored officials advice to stay put and opted instead to put his evacuation drills to use. While evacuating the 3,800 employees of his firm in Towers 2 and 5 he kept reminding them "be proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow" and sang God Bless America over his bullhorn. When Flight 175 struck Tower 2, Rescorla had already evacuated most of the employees from his firm as well as many others from other floors. He then went back in, despite being told he needed to evacuate himself. The last known words anyone heard him say were, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out". Tower 2 collapsed with Rick Rescorla last seen heading to the 10th floor looking for more people to help.

As a result of his actions that day, all but six employees of his firm made it out alive. One of those being him and three others being his deputies who followed him into Tower 2, Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velazquez, and Godwin Forde.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

There are quiet heroes that slip through the cracks that we walk by every day. The person watching their loved one fade away from Alzheimer's, but holding on to them as long as they can? A quiet hero in my opinion. Moms working multiple jobs to make ends meet? Again. Yesterday on the news there was a grandmother raising her grandson, trapped in her apartment by a fire. She couldn't throw him out the window, he would not have survived the fall, and no one was around to catch him. You know that trust test you do where you fall straight back and trust that whoever is behind you will catch you? Grandma wrapped that baby in her arms and scuba-steved backwards right out of her window, assuming she would die, but hoping her grandson would live. She landed on the air conditioning unit, which broke her fall enough that she is going to live, too. Her grandson (maybe two?) announced on TV "My house black" because it's nothing but charcoal. He doesn't have a scratch. She was a quiet hero working to raise her grandchild until called to shout it out. I think that the Weds. hero this week didn't have it in him to be quiet. What an amazing story. A hero all his life, up to the very end.

Tuesday, April 24

Can I have some pizza with my olives?

This is Little O's customized pizza.

My child is back (temporarily).

Photos of our drunken-farewell-to-Kim-party will probably follow. Only two months after the fact. Video of Bre and Sonny Vogue-ing will not be shown, as I apparently laughed like a hyena through the whole performance. I think I'm probably a terrible drunk. I leave that to the Honey these days. I am "the driver" and actually pretty relieved to be. No unfortunate stories floating around the in-laws. Of course, I don't think I could ever top my first impression, New Year's Eve in a skirt up to THERE. Not a great way to meet your Honey's mom, let alone his six siblings and four hundred and forty-eight (I may be off on that count) nieces/nephews/cousins/old family friends. I had a room key in my purse, and had dressed accordingly. I thought we were having a private party, not meeting each of his relatives. Ack.
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I know why people believed in doppelgangers

Because my sweet, happy four year old has been switched with the spawn of Satan himself.
Think I'm kidding?
Little O has decided that she no longer wants to go to preschool.  It's too hard when they ask her to sit at the table and work on her letters.  It's not a matter of ability.  She can do it fine.  She doesn't want to.  She will start hysterics at any given time about not wanting to go to preschool.  Satuday, in the middle of a party? Crying over preschool.  Wednesday, home with daddy?  Crying over having to go back on Friday. 
Today I had to literally peel her off the gate, drag her screaming from the carseat, and catch her as she tried to run away while we waited at the door. 
Who switched my child?  My sweet sunny girl is gone.
There are no new teachers at preschool, no new routine.  I did consider the possibilities, ugly though they are.  I think it's just that she got anohter week home with me, and no work to do during that time, and has decided that she likes that way better.  We have NEVER had a problem dropping off at preschool. 
I am stunned, exhausted.
I'll see your Caligula/Nero tag team and raise you a screaming Demon child. 

Monday, April 23

If it couldn't be me....

I'm glad that ZigZagMan was declared the winner. CRSE is, I think, a force of nature. She is the Essence of Dork, in ways that others can only dream of. But anyone with a story that involves collapsing a tent AND showing big daddy and the twins to your hooting aunty is, in my book, a dork supreme.

Hats off to you sir...or would that be pants?

Saturday, April 21

Here's one for ya...

the scandal of the starving baby
Originally uploaded by Djuliet.

File this under super-dorkfession, agonizing admission of my own idiocy, or AW CRAP. (Okay that may have been funnier with the original typo of aw carp)

Several months ago the link on my blog to Locus Magazine, the alpha and omega of sci-fi book news, geek central, was advertising for an administrative assistant. You must understand that books used to be my life. My life's work. I quit school because working in the bookstore was so much fun. I was lured away from books by filthy lucre (and not much, at that), and I have pined for books ever since. To have even a slight chance to work at a magazine dealing with (presumably) articulate and thinking beings, and have a job that did not involve a panic button and a plexiglass spit shield was too much to pass up. I did not care that it involved a commute to the bay area and, by extension, less money than I make now (how is that possible without a paper hat and a nametag?). They asked for a cover letter describing your interest in sci-fi. I think I tasted honey.

I agonized over that cover letter. It couldn't just be a list of books, but how to narrow it down? Who did they want me to like? What if I mentioned the author they hated? Should I 'fess up that I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't geek out if Raymond Feist or George R. R. Martin called? I finally got my letter down to the basic loves of my sci fi reading. I confessed, not my fear of hyperventilation faced with certain authors, but rather my absolute disinterest in Manga or old-school hard sci-fi. I thought they should know. If they hired me, it would become evident that certain names made my eyes roll back in my head.

I fretted over e-mailing it to them, worrying that I'd screw it up somehow, and reveal my dorkiness. I bit the bullet and I pressed the send button, and gave them every one of my e-mails so they could choose where to reply. Can you see it coming?

I got brave and told my mother that I had taken this huge daring step (for me) in applying for a dream job. I know I tell you all how close my mom and I are, and how I adore my parents and we have this perfect relationship. Let me now reveal that she is still my mother, and we have a very real relationship. Her response was, and I quote,

"Jenny, that's just stupid. Why would you apply for a job in the bay area. It can't pay very much, and you think you could commute?" blah blah blah. Fill in with more of the same. Thanks, mama-san. sigh.

But I faithfully checked my email accounts, and listened to the crickets chirp. I used the canned air on my keyboard so I would be ready to reply. In my cover letter I acknowledged that I might be too far away to commute, but that I'd like to discuss the possibility--damn! I shot myself down! I would like to thank Bre for listening patiently while I agonized back and forth about what I might have done wrong. She's very patient anyway, but that stuff HAD to get old.

Then it happened. The ad was taken down. My dream was over.

Life goes on. At least until you remember a thing called the answering machine, something gathering dust in the corner because it's always full of mortgage re-fi pitches that chap my renter's hide. Every once in a while I clear out the messages to make room for more re-fi con men, but it's a pain in the ass because you have to listen to each message. There are also a ton from my ex, telling Big O to pick up. Annoying to listen to him in person, let alone in memorex. Oh, and a message from Locus Magazine asking me to give them a call.

They called. I never checked my machine, it never occurred to me that they would CALL, when everything had been via computer up to that point. They.Called.Me.
And they hired someone else, without ever knowing that I was the one they really wanted and needed.

There is my deep dark Saturday Dorkfession. I will be a little old lady rocking myself in a corner, slapping my forehead, saying "Check your messages." Maybe I'll get the golden trash can award for a life's work in garbage. Maybe I'll snap and threaten to dump MY garbage on THEIR porch if they don't shut the hell up and listen to me. Locus Magazine called me and I was too dorky to check my messages. LOCUS MAGAZINE. Worst part? I can't tell my mom they called, 'cause then I'd have to fess up the rest.

I'm off to beat the concept into my children that they WILL go to college, they WILL NOT quit for a shite paycheck in a fun retail job.

Friday, April 20

Little O

...Mama, do you like King Crab?

Um, sure, I guess, Baby.

When I am Seventeen, I will buy you King Crab for Christmas and I will wrap it up and you will love it.

Okay, Baby. I'm sure I will.

Daddy? WhenIamseventeenmamawill sitwhereyousitandyouwillsitwhere

mmm...okay, Baby.


Mama pretend that I am the pretend baby and you are the pretend mama and this is the pretend blanket, and the pretend baby wants the pretend mama to wrap her up in the pretend blanket. Pretend babies cry like this.....

There are days when my daughter has trouble rememebering to breathe because she talks so much. My mother laughs her muwahhahaha laugh and says that it is such sweet payback , and that I have several more years , right up until she turns into a sullen teenager and slams the door. I love listening to her and dread the day that the door slams.

But she is exhausting.

Wednesday, April 18

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Soldier Was Submitted By Anna

Chief Mast Sgt. John Gebhardt
Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt
Superintendent of the 22nd Wing Medical Group at McConnell Air Force Base

Have you heard of Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt? Maybe you have and maybe you haven't. CMSgt. Hebhardt gain some notoriety recently. Not for an action that he took on the battlefield, but rather for a picture(not shown because it is graphic) that was taken of him.

In 2006, CMSgt. John Gebhardt was photographed holding a little Iraqi girl that had been injured. Her family had been attacked by insurgents. Both of her parents were killed, along with many of her siblings, and she had been shot in the head and left for dead. But she was tougher than that. She was brought to Balad Air Base Hospital where she was operated on and ultimately saved. As you can imagine, it was an extremely hard time for this little girl. Her recovery was hellish. But when CMSgt. Gebhardt would hold her, she seemed to be comforted. He spent many nights sleeping in a chair with her in his arms. The picture wast taken by a fellow airman while CMSgt. Gebhardt and the little girl were napping. Said CMSgt. Gebhardt, "I'm sure that probably just gave her some inner peace that she could reach."

On a side note. This is why I started doing these Wednesday Hero posts. Because of people like Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt. It's soldiers like him that make me proud of our military.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

This man will (hopefully) never be on a memorial. But he's a Hero, and I think he truly represents what our troops are working for. These are living breathing caring adults, often with kids of their own, and they are trying to make a bad situation better. They deserve much more than our country will give them upon returning home. Show me the presidential canididate who's going to address THAT.

Tuesday, April 17

You are a Flippin' Idiot, Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown
Originally uploaded by Avid Maxfan.

Seriously, WHO waits until the last minute to file their taxes?
I bought the damned Turbo Tax program in JANUARY.
Now, oddly, the lines are jammed, and I cannot file electronically. I've never put it off this late (I am usually jonesin' for money, oh, about January third) since the advent of Turbo Tax.

They owe me money, so I guess they won't really mind waiting until 2 am when all the suckas have finished and the losers are still limping across the finish line.




Yay! eleven fifty-one, and the last one finally went through! Life as a procrastinator with craptastic dial up just keeps chugging along. Stay tuned for my fatfession, sponsored by Mert. I will lose this weight, and Mert is going to be my inspiration/partner. I think this means my beloved fried foods are gone...sob!


care bear van
Originally uploaded by kellyhafermann.


I just took a forty eight question quiz to get a photo to illustrate this post, and there was no picture. Cheap bastards. Is there a tightass Care Bear?

Let me tell you that this picture would be my worst nightmare. I'll bet they play care bear DVD's 24-7 inside that unholy minivan. Who ever thought these insipid moronic pansies were a good idea?

I just bought Little O a DVD because she had been begging, and I thought what the hell?

Hell is right. That DVD is not just getting lost, it's going to die a horrible death so we make sure it's never put into the DVD player again.'s horrible. I'll buy her a new Wiggles DVD (swore I wouldn't get any more of those) I'll buy her the whole Veggie Tales collection at Costco. (Actually? I love the Veggie Tales. Those silly songs crack me up. I don't know if I am Bob or Larry, but I so identify with those damned veggies)

I want to make anti-care bears.

Of course in a world with garbage pail kids, they've probably already been done.

I am normally pretty patient with everything kid related (except for Barbie books, because they always fall back on the ick stereotype) but these things must GO. Before midnight tonight.

Monday, April 16

This one has my name on it

Lightning strikes the Cairo
Originally uploaded by hudson.

In keeping with my previous post-

My new favorite T-shirt?

"In case of the Rapture, can I have all your stuff?"

hermna nerfa bloggna spagetti

I made spaghetti for dinner.

It rocked.

I owe it all to Paul Newman's Sockarooni.

That is all.

Sunday, April 15

sunday quizzfest

Your Drag Queen Name Is:

Lotta Estrogen

Where did blogthings get my picture?

Oh dear dog, I went to quizilla to find another quiz, but I had to leave. The misspellings and "text-speak" were awful. I AM too old for that shit. I blame Prince. Yes, I realize that 4-ever was written in yearbooks long before he came along, but I still blame him. His assless pants may also have been responsible for global warming. Because Dubya says it couldn't be Industry.

The honey loves to stir things up. His sibs were sitting around, debating Carlos Mencia and his shtick about posting the Virgin of Guadalupe with her hands out in a stop gesture (instead of folded in prayer) to stop illegal immigration. I thought one of the brothers-in-law was going to come after the honey. They see it as making fun of the Virgin, and we see it as making fun of the immigrants. It's definitely a touchy subject--mental note: Don't mess with the Virgin.
This is an important one for me, because I do loves me some sacreligious humor. Don't get me started about the immaculate conception.

Saturday, April 14

It's all an adventure...

Well, Frick.

I've been at this less than a year, and now I have two blogs, and I'm learning a little more each day. The Dorkteenth was a wild success, now it's voting week. There are some hilarious entries, and I encourage you all to go read em.

We had a problem with a full on (and I DO mean full-on) porn link, that didn't even have an entry. What's up with that?

I would like to play Dorkteenth any time there is a Friday the Thirteenth, but that may be too much pressure...whaddya think? I like the idea of not having a weekly or even monthly meme...

Anyway, go read the entries and vote for your favorite...even if--I can't say it--even if it's not me!

(Okay, it will not be me. There are some kick ass stories, and one hilarious photo.)

Wednesday, April 11

13 ways you might qualify for the Dorkteenth...

1. Have you ever worn your coat/sweater inside out?

2. Accidentally told your boss you loved him/her?

3. Made a situation worse by trying to explain what really happened?

4. Required the fire department to rescue you or put something out?

5. Been forced to admit that you may have been overstating it to say "we don't need no steeenking maps"

6. Locked yourself out of (or inside of) anything?

7. Had to post a comment on your own comment on someone else's blog?

8. Thought to yourself--I should pick up that penny--just as you sucked it into the vacuum, killing yet another home appliance for all time.

9. Hit the "reply all" button by mistake and emailed the joke to the entire company?

10. Lost your keys, permanently?

11. Looked down in horror at one black and one blue sock or shoe combo?

12. Thrown the mother of all hissy fits at a retail establishment, only to realize that you are, in fact, in the wrong?

13. Have you ever really INTENDED to enter a fun giggly contest, but forgot and missed the deadline?

Is Here!

Get your Dork On!

Thursday Thirteen participants can leave their linky in THIS box, but go register for the Dorkteenth, and put your link to your entry in THAT box! You'll make new friends, and they'll already know you're a dork!

Tuesday, April 10

Wednesday Hero

The next time you see one of those black and white POW MIA stickers, remember this man and his family. I know I will.

This Weeks Solider Was Submitted By Lt. Schneider

SSgt. Keith
SSgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin
24 years old from Batavia, Ohio
Army Reserves 724th Transportation Company
MIA Since April 9, 2004

Strength, perseverance and determination is how you would describe the family of SSgt. Keith Maupin. Because even though their son has been missing now for almost three years, his parents still haven't given up hope that he's still alive. Said his father, Keith Maupin, "I'm saying it ain't over till the fat lady sings and when she sings, I'm going to choke her. That's what I say. They're going to find Matt." His mother, Carolyn, was quoted as saying, "We're to keep our hope up. And praying until they can prove to us 100 percent either way. And that's what I'm going to do. And I realize we only have a 50/50 chance here, but I'm not going the low road. I'm going the high road"

SSGt. Maupin, who was PFC. Maupin when he was capture and has since received two promotions, was reported MIA when his fuel convoy came under attack near the Baghdad International Airport. Along with Maupin was Sgt. Elmer Krause and seven employees of U.S. contractor Kellogg, Brown & Root. All of whom were either rescued or escaped. Seven days later, on April 16, Al-Jazeera aired a video tape of Maupin in which he was forced to admit that he was sent to Iraq unwillingly. Then on June 28, 2004, Al-Jazerra reported that PFC. Maupin had been executed by a group calling themselves Persistent Power Against the Enemies of God and the Prophet. But no concrete proof has surfaced either way.

His parents have created a website called Yellow Ribbon Support Center if you would like to check it out. And while most in the media have forgotten Keith Maupin, Wednesday Hero hasn't.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

Honestly? I didn't think this was an issue anymore. I have no idea why I thought that. Missing in Action. Jesus, what a horror we have wrought.
My uncle did not speak about Vietnam. To anyone. It wasn't until Platoon came out that he spoke about it to my parents. Almost twenty years later. I just ache for these young men and women living a nightmare on our behalf.

He was captured three years ago Monday.

Saturday, April 7

My Own Dorkfession.

The time:

The place:
Church group camping jamboree-type thing, falling well short of Jesus Camp or whatever show XO was referring to.

The players:
Giddy Dorky middle schooler crushin’ on the junior high boys. Especially Mike, the buddy of my best friend’s older brother Rich. Unfortunately, those boys always ran in threes. The third, Kenny, was the classic loud jerk. When I say classic, I mean that I envision him as one of two things today… Best case scenario, he’s a power trippin cop that likes to demonstrate his chokeholds (and remember, I like the po-lice). Worst case scenario, far more likely in my opinion, he’s cooking meth in a trailer down a red dirt road in Igo. Part of this impression may stem from the early 80’s memory of his golden locks permed into the sweetest mullet you ever saw, complete with comb in his back pocket. Sigh. Sadly, I know the complete contents of his back pockets that day.

The Scene:
The church group structured itself loosely as a scout troop kind of gig. In the morning we would assemble to start our day, standing at attention. Being me, of course I was running late.
The boys were assembled in front of OUR tent. (WTF?) As I scrambled out of the stupid tent to assemble, I forgot the all important three inch lip at the bottom of the tent. I tripped, flailing my arms OUT for support, and somehow ended up momentarily suspended on the diagonal, with my nose buried in Kenny’s Butt--which he then screamed to our entire campsite, as well as the next three campsites.
He acted as if I had been yearning to root around in his ass like a pig looking for truffles.

There it is, one of my defining moments of dorkdom.

Won't you play along?



Friday, April 6

Read this blog while I am away....

I know I'm always the last one to know, but have you read Crystal over at Boobs, Injuries, and Dr. Pepper?

I've been stalking her for a few months now, and oh, my Dog, this woman is such a natural Dorkblogger. Laughing 'til I cry.

I'll be calling out to you, my bloggy friends, to see if you are going to play the Dorkteenth. But I'll probably not be blogging much, as my Parental Units will be not only in town, but en mi casa. Starting tomorrow! I think I've talked them into staying for at least part of the Brubeck Festival that starts on Weds, as they are big jazz fans.

Big O is going to be crying from all the golf he's about to play with my father. The Honey will be crying about all the golf he WON'T be playing. Damn The Man, and all his wack work-for-pay bullshit, man. There is golf to be played.

Little O and I would like to shop, but I suspect we'll find a housey project. Last time my mother was obsessed with painting my kitchen...
Maybe I can talk her into some curtains or something easy like that. Cinder Grandma also insists on doing the laundry. Which is not as much fun as it sounds. There's a lot of pressure to find MORE stuff for her to wash, when I've only just gotten it stuffed out of sight for their visit...

Thursday, April 5

Bwoooop! Bwooop! Bwooop!

It's almost here.

I'm giddy with anticipation.

It's One Week Away!

Are you going to play?

Bring out yer Dork!
(ding-ding, ding-ding)
Bring out yer Dork!

Shall we open the links early to allow the maximum number of participants? To assuage CRSE's link-related stress? To calm Ash's Friday the Thirteenth fears?

Wednesday, April 4

TT #32: I will be the Dork at the Prom. Even the virtual prom.

Mert has turned me on to something glorious.

It's the virtual prom, and it's for a great cause!

My Thursday Thirteen is in honor of the Virtual Prom.

1.This is the story of the Virtual Prom. There's actually a real prom going on, too, but we can buy tickets for the virtual prom and still give to a good cause.

2. Miz Mary Mert psoted about it on her blog and I was hooked.

3. But I was the socially inept classic gawky girl, and never went to a prom. I got brave and asked the nicest, safest boy I knew if he'd go with me to the junior prom, and he turned me down. The fact that he came out two months later made me feel much better.

4. In honor of David T., where ever he may be, here is a photo of my virtual Prom date:

Please note the sylish Manpri pants that my date is wearing. I realize that living with a traditional Mexican male may cloud my perspective here, but I'm thinking this guy has probably made an announcement verrrry similar to David T.'s. Just a hunch.

5. What to wear, what to wear. I am no spring chicken, but nor am I eating my supper at 4:30. Maybe not a traditional PROM dress...something modern...

Please note that this ensemble comes in plus sizes. A very important feature, as I am, in fact, a plus sized girl. The fact that certain parts of me are bigger plusses than others makes me think that maybe some support is in order. The girls are rather epic...Has anyone really thought about the timeless fashion debate--just because things CAN be made in Big girl sizes does not mean that they SHOULD?

6. Maybe a nice suit?

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Hmmm... those stripes on a big girl could turn into the flag of some obscure southern hemisphere nation.

7. Perhaps a single unifying color?

MMMmmm, the hat could be a problem. I need good peripheral vision to safely navigate the dance floor. Although I can dust the hell out of it with that dust ruffle at the bottom...

8. Maybe something with a simple cut, but a nice subdued pattern?

Again, how lovely that this company makes this stunner in plus sizes. Not sure I can properly express my gratitude.

9. Well, I still have time to look for a dress, I guess. I was thinking about how I'd like my makeup. I've been cruising the MAC counter, but I haven't spotted THIS look.

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The possessed-by-an-unholy-demon-that-is-about-to-consume-your-soul look--very nice. She also kind of looks like Christine Baranski (SP?). She was the Who that boffed the grinch in the live action film...

10. Let's not forget the all important undergarments.

11. Okay, seriously, it's a lovely cause and I encourage you all to go read the story and buy a ticket if you have extra money hanging around in PayPal.

12. Now on to serious things...Are you ready for the Dorkteenth?

13. Go to Dorkbloggers to see Mert's Prom Dress....

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, April 3

It's Wednesday Hero Time Again!

Pippa nominated me for the thinking blogger based upon my participation in the Wednesday Hero Blogroll.

I get those as canned emails that I then re-post, and I feel like a little bit of a fraud for accepting the award. Chris does all of the hard work. Go check it out, the link is at the end of the post.

I try to add my two cents at the end of each post (except for last week--lazy me, crazy week), but my bit really is worth two cents or less.

But I come from people who serve. My grandfather, both of my uncles and my aunt. My parents were not in the military, but they served their communities as nurses, and now my brother is a firefighter, HIS wife is a nurse. One of my uncles, the one I'll refer to as the Hippy, lied about his age so he could go to Vietnam at fifteen. Can you imagine that today? How could they not tell? How could his parents stand it? My other uncle was drafted. They both came back changed.

My nephew (Ex's Sister) enlisted out of high school. He went to Iraq and came home safe. His little brother is now in the Navy, but sucks at writing so much as an email, so I'm not sure where or how he is doing. But I am proud of him, too.

I think we as Americans ARE spoiled lazy and unappreciative of all that we have and are really handed on a silver platter. By virtue of being born American, we are given tremendous opportunities, and I hate the shallow "bling" culture that has replaced basic moral standards. I'm not talking abortion (Pro choice), or ancient outdated sodomy laws (guess you know where I stand on the whole gay thing now too). I am talking about basic decency, accountability, and consideration. I still think that the military can exemplify the things that are slowly slipping away.

I'm not saying that we should be in Iraq. I was green the FIRST time we elected Dubya, and almost stroked out upon realizing he had managed to get re-elected in both the popular and electoral votes. ugh. Nor am I saying that the military should be trusted without reservation. Our whole system is a checks and balances kind of deal.

But it is a volunteer Army. Men and women like my nephews offered to go and fight, and we owe them far more than they are probably ever going to get from this country. For every morally bankrupt adrenaline junkie that slips by, there are thousands of individuals serving honorably who believe in the same things that I do (overall). Reposting Wednesday Heroes is the very least, the absolute minimum I can do.

We should read the names at every public event. We should honor those who serve. We should not be allowed to forget. If you ever have the traveling Vietnam Wall come to your town, go see it. It's stunning. It's heartbreaking.

Thanks for reading, now here's your Wednesday Hero.

Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr.
Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr.
Royal Air Force's 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force

Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr. has done something no other U.S. service member has done since WWII. On March 21 of this year, Maj. Chesarek was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross, by Queen Elizabeth, for saving lives and in recognition for his bravery during combat operations in Iraq. Maj. Chesark was assigned as an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force's 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force in 2005 and was the pilot of the RAF’s Lynx Mk7 helicopter.

On the evening of June 10, 2006, Chesarek was providing radio communication relay for British ground troops conducting a company-sized search operation near Amarah, Iraq. Listening to radio transmissions, he overheard that a vehicle involved in the operation had became disabled and a crowd of insurgents was firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the company.

According to his award citation, "Chesarek elected to fly low over the area in an attempt to distract the crowd and if possible, to engage the insurgents." Because the crowd was so close to the ground troops, instead of engaging his machine gun, he "opted instead to provide bold, harassing, very low level flight over the area in an attempt to disperse the crowd."

You can read Maj. Chesarek's story in it's entirety here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

Monday, April 2

My Waking Nightmare--oh, and four more things

So I was just surfing my favorite blogs, and both Luckybuzz and
XO mentioned real life meetings with their blogging buddies.

CRSE tagged me for five heretofore unblogged things about myself.

How about this one:** I am socially retarded.

Oh, Jen, you have written that before.

Yes, but I don't think you grasp the depths of my social ineptitude. I would be, literally, stiff as a board, back against the wall, smiling and declining offers to dance or one more drink. Okay, maybe not the one more drink, but sweet lord tiny baby Jesus, I would be tense and unhappy in a fiesta type situation. I am severely, pathologically shy. Once you get enough lube alcohol in me I can loosen up enough to actually speak, but it would literally take weeks of conditioning to get me to be myself. I seriously don't think the Honey knew that I existed for the first few (12) months that we were hanging out in the same place. Because I was a ghost, baby. I think I baffle the Honey's friends. Possibly his family, too.

Shite, now that I have started this, I have to think of four more, don't I?

**I suck ass at all games involving physical aptitude--Pool, Darts, Anything involving a bat or racket. I always think I can kick the Honey's ass at trivia games and he always surprises me--freaking sports categories suck. This fact may have been inferred by my Dork status, but I am sure there are sports dorks out there, somewhere.

**Rather than the oh-so-common 1970's Jennifer, my parents had 2 other names in the running.
1. Rhonda, after the uncle in Vietnam (who was, in fact, seriously wounded, and my Mom did have a dream to that effect the same time he was wounded, but I arrived before she was notified, thank goodness).

2. My father campaigned hard for Escherichia. I come from a long proud line of Okie Dorks. Okie Dokey? Started out as Okie Dorky. Little known fact. For my non-medical friends, my dad wanted me named after the E in E. coli. Again, thank you Mom for stepping in.

**I was once solicited for prostitution at a magazine stand in Downtown Oakland. The guy kept mumbling and I kept smiling and asking him to repeat himself because I could not make out what he was saying. He was saying "Do you want to make some money?" I was twelve. My mom had us out of there in three seconds flat.

one more, one more...

**I once had a sheep named after me. Quite possibly the freakiest conversation I've ever had.

Um, tag? I'd like to tag Kim, just to get her to fucking post again.