Monday, June 23

I'm Done

George Carlin Died.
I'm never getting out of bed again.

Saturday, June 14

Dont Feel Like Writing


I dont feel like writing today. I have a lot of crap to do before I meet Michael in Virginia for supper. I'll catch everyone up later.

Monday, June 9

I don’t even know where to start. I guess the bare facts will have to suffice:

My favorite author, ever, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

It was announced about 6 months ago but I somehow missed it. How could one of the most fantastic satirical minds of our times be afflicted this way? I understand that Alzheimer’s is devastating to anyone and everyone who is diagnosed with it, but this man uses his mind for his craft. Not only is he a writer, but he is a phenomenal writer.

His slightly skewed view of the world around him comes through in his writing. In Eric (a parody of Gothe’s Faust) through the lead character[1] he further explores the politics and hypocrites of religion as well as basic human nature. In this story even Satan is banished to administrative work through a coup by his contemporaries. In Jingo he explores basic human greed and stupidity through the appearance of a mythical city located exactly halfway between two very powerful countries. In Feet of Clay he explores cloning and the possible subsequent slavery of an ‘inferior’ race. And Thud is a glaringly obvious satirical look at the mindset of the Middle East.

His seemingly favorite character, Death, has evolved through the books and has even taken time off to go find himself. He has battled the Auditors over what is right rather than what is procedure in Thief of Time, and he did a stint as Santa Claus in Hogfather. His other characters are just as complex and nuanced as Death and the development of them through various plot turns is nothing less than genius. Vimes’ battle with the bottle and his hatred of administration perfectly highlights his determination and pragmatism. Magrat ‘s[2] insecurities and eventual discovery of her own strength can be applied to both men and women. And the inclusion of an Igor[3] into most of the books lends whimsy when the symbolism becomes almost too obvious.

I have looked forward to the annual release of the Pratchett Discworld[4] novels from the moment I discovered him. I have burned through his books upon discovery and have laughed until I cried at some point in each of them. Michael has now become very accustomed to me bursting out laughing in bed simply because I tend to read them there. I see his characters everywhere in real life.

I know it is incredibly selfish of me to feel this way but I feel I am losing part of my family. When the Discworld ends, so do some of the most charming, twisted characters I have ever had the pleasure of discovering.

[1] who is Rincewind the wizard rather than Eric
[2] yes, that is the proper spelling…there was a typo on her birth certificate and she was doomed to go through life
as Magrat instead of Margaret
[3] Igors are a specific race of …people…who have devoted their lives to the service of others. This tradition, as well
as most of the body parts, has been handed down through the generations.
[4] So named because that world is flat, like a disc…and yes, people fall off the rim of it.

Sunday, June 8

It Really Exists

Okay, so something interesting happened to me the other day. I was out running errands and when I came back home and walked in the door, I noticed that it smelled like butt in my house. Well, the litter boxes were clean (and that is a different smell anyway) and I had showered this month (that, too, is a different smell) so I couldn’t figure out what it was.

I put down all my stuff, petted the kitties and started to follow my nose to find out where the smell was. After some twists and turns down long hallways and dark tunnels, I found myself in a huge cavernous room. It was bright and sunny and it looked like the room had a purpose at one time. I took the time to wander around a bit, and the kitties had followed me so I kept an eye on them. I figured if anything dangerous was lurking then the kitties would notice it first.

Upon further inspection, I found a large upright box with a handle on it. I took a deep breath and pulled. I was immediately awash with cool air. There was a light there and I could see all kinds of brightly colored things living there. I must have startled them because they didn’t move as I stood watching them. I eventually closed the lower door and pulled the upper handle. Again, there was light and more of those brightly colored creatures but they were much colder. After observing no discernable movement I just closed the door and let them resume their lives. I then noticed the front of the structure was covered with random letters. What could this mean? Was it trying to communicate with me? I waited and watched: the only thing written there was which was there when I entered the area.

I stood and looked around for a few minutes…there was something familiar about this room. I could almost put my finger on it but not quite. I continued my observations: there were a lot of flat surfaces - like work spaces, there was a large amount of empty space that reflected the light from the many windows; there was even a water source on the floor that the kitties were drinking out of. Plus there was still the smell.

I again checked for any hidden dangers – this time behind the many doors below and above the empty work spaces. I was surprised to see that there were brightly colored creatures living here as well. I figured there must be at least three different species: the room temperature ones, the cold ones, and the very cold ones. These were timid also since they didn’t move the entire time I stared at them. I eventually closed the door and continued. That feeling of familiarity was still tugging at the back of my brain…I felt like I had been here before.

I found another box cleverly camouflaged with the flat workspaces. At first I thought it was just another work space, but a different color. Then I noticed that it was some kind of device since it had turn knobs on it. I turned one and immediately the surface of the work space went from grey to red and I could feel the heat radiating off of it. I could think of many uses for a contraption like this. I wondered if I could take it back with me when I left.

The smell was getting closer so I decided to try to locate it. I found the source of the smell a few feet away in a tub type area. Upon closer inspection I noticed there were plates and silverware in the tub. That feeling of knowing was becoming very strong now. I stared at the eating utensils in the basin…I then realized there was a water source there as well. I reached up and pulled the handle and cool refreshing water came out of the spigot. I was so close to knowing now I could almost reach out with my hand and grab it.

My breath caught in my throat and I spun around…the upright box, the doors, the heat making contraption…I had found the fabled KITCHEN. I just stood and stared with my mouth hanging open and my eyes wide. I had found it again! I was struck with wonder and I started touching all the surfaces. It was a good thing the water was still running because I burned my hand on the heat making box, but other than that warning bite the Kitchen was still docile. I wondered at the food items in the boxes and behind the doors. I have never seen food in its infant state of Containerism, I have only seen it in its mature state- on a plate next to a drink with an umbrella in it.

I think I stayed there, in the Kitchen, for an hour just exploring and reveling in its wonders. The water resistant floor, the Storm in a Box that some one had placed even more eating utensils, the odd growths on the workspaces that looked like a coffee maker (just smaller) and storage apparatuses. Finally the smell started to get to me and the kitties were leaving, one by one. I figured I had better follow them out or I may lose consciousness and never get back. The trip back to the house was uneventful and rather quick, I could see the front door after a few turns and knew I was on the right track.

Later that evening, I started to tell Michael what I had explored that day. I attempted to convey the wonder and majesty of the mythical Kitchen and my amazing adventure in it. He sat on the chair watching me closely, waiting for the incredible thing he knew I was going to tell him. I took a breath, looked deep in his blue eyes and started... “The dishes are starting to smell funky, they need to be washed.”

Saturday, June 7

Pissed off

I have been seeing advertisements for the show Army Wives on Lifetime. I had dismissed it as a glorification of the military and the soap opera-ization (if that is even a word) of what military wives go through. There is an Army Wives marathon on today so I thought this would be a good time to explore the series. I have watched one episode and I know everything about all of the characters. The writing is bad and predictable. Within the first fifteen minutes of the episode I knew how the episode would end because I have seen the same episode about twenty other times on ten different series.

But other than that, this is why the show is shit:

There is all this crap about the military wives code and how they have to protect each other. Bullshit, we all just live our lives.

After watching 3 episodes I am now afraid of any Army veteran. At least once an episode an army dude from Iraq comes home, goes nuts, and kills everyone in their general vicinity. I am thinking this isn’t really the norm anywhere except on this show. I understand that the veterans who come home have been overworked, over deployed, and probably have PTSD to some extent, but don’t make it look like our military is full of guys who could go nuts and take us all out if the commissary doesn’t have their brand of ice cream one day.

I understand that the show is on Lifetime, but sheesh! It is like watching Army Steel Magnolias. There is the one central wife who is strong, stoic, and all knowing. She is infallible and her hair always looks great. Then there are 4 supporting players who have the problems that she has to fix. Give me a freaking break.

This show doesn’t accurately portray military life. It is the Army Soap Opera and plays on all women’s fears and emotions, whether they are military or not: Will my kids grow up to be stoner skate rats, will my husband get in a car wreck on the way home and die (as mentioned above, his chances of being taken out in the commissary one day are much, much greater), does this watchband make me look fat…

But the worst part is that they have taken something very personal and private to some women and by televising it have succeeded in trivializing it. They made it look like when the dudes leave for their macho, testosterone filled existence in the hot sand, that the wives lives are still just as easy and the only problems they have are the dreaded watchband issue and who they are trying not to sleep with next. They don’t show the crippling sadness, the children who act out because they miss their parent and cant express their pain, the logistical difficulties like carpooling, work demands and trash removal that just work better with a 2 parent home. They don’t show how hard it is to just live when a military spouse gets left behind.

And yes, I know that when we marry our military spouses that we signed up for the leaving. We leave our friends, our home, our family, our comfort zones. But it is still okay because we leave as a couple. It is okay when we leave all of these things together. But after all of the leaving, it is still such a horrible, painful thing to be left. It doesn’t matter how strong, capable or well liked you are. When your spouse leaves your home to do a job, it hurts. A lot.

And to those people who don’t think the military wives are really ‘in the military’ I say, Fuck You. We serve too. We go to the shitty formal balls and eat lukewarm food with people we don’t like. We attend office functions and eat store bought cake with blue frosting that turns your lips the same frightening color. We sit on the bleachers in the heat and the mosquitoes to watch the office softball team lose…again. We cry when one of ours doesn’t come back and we secretly thank the Higher Power that it wasn’t the one we have given our heart to.

As a 20 year military wife veteran, don’t tell me I didn’t serve, and if you are going to put us in the spotlight, make it at least believable.

Dumbasses. Fuck you. Now I am all pissed.