Friday, October 31, 2008

You knew it was gonna happen...

My oven isn't working. Light's on but no one's home. Literally. Brain dead.

No I've not gone mental on the workies, since they aren't here. The electrician told me. Since the oven is still under guarantee, I've called the shop and they've arranged an engineer to come out on Tuesday to fix it. Hopefully.

Not all that gleeful about the new kitchen now, but at least the hob works, so I can cook with the pans.

Just my kind of luck, really.

Chinese for dinner tonight, then. bah.

Almost There

End is near

A few little things to do (tiling and electrics) and the kitchen will be done. I'm getting really annoyed now with the kitchen displacement, as you folks know I love to cook and tinker about in my kitchen so not having it available to me has been awful. Eating take away dinners was fun for a couple nights but now it downright sucks. At least my washing machine is working and I can do some of the metric tonne of laundry that's accumulated over the past four days.

The offending panel
The panel over the stove will need replaced. It hides the extractor fan and to activate it you'd pull the handle (which is also missing) out and the fan and a light comes on. But when I pull the panel out it hits me in the forehead. so they're getting a shorter panel. they say they used to use a shorter panel, but customers complained that the fan was visible while the panel was open. I think that's dumb because who gives a shit if you can see it while it's on? It's while it's closed I don't want to now about it. Obviously preferred by those who don't cook.

Panel hits mePanel hits me

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Counter Subterfuge?

How does one deal with subterfuge? Counter Subterfuge!!

From a pro-McCain family member:

PBS has an online poll posted asking if Sarah Palin is qualified. Apparently the left wing knew about this in advance and are flooding the voting with NO votes.

The poll will be reported on PBS and picked up by mainstream media. It can influence undecided voters in swing states.

Please do two things -- takes 20 seconds.

Here's the link:

Then send this to every McCain-Palin supporter you know, and urge them to vote and pass it on.

The last thing we need is PBS saying their viewers don't think Sarah Palin is qualified. As to Palin, why would she be any less qualified than Obama? If anything she has more qualifications than a Civil Rights Attorney who has served half a term as a Senator. That is what I would be bringing up whenever she is challenged as to her credentials. GW Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter, which covered 7 of the last 8 Presidencies were all Governors prior to being elected President.

Don't they sound almost pissed the republicans didn't just nominate Palin for president instead?

Obama supporters - you know what to do! That kind of implies go and vote, but you don't have to. It's not really all that important. It's just some dumb poll on PBS that at one time allowed multiple votes and now doesn't so in all honesty your vote or mine won't make a bit of difference statistically. Why the McCain followers have their collective knickers in a twist over it is beyond me. Small victories in the big war? Hardly.

Read more about the issues around the poll if you are bored and so inclined to read such stuff.

TeeHeeee II

(found at


Senator McCain, austin powers, mike myers Dr. Evil
see famous look-a-like faces

John McCain, republican, Freaky Cat
see famous look-a-like faces

Ramona Rickettes, Amy Winehouse, wino, rehab
see famous look-a-like faces

Dr. Richard Dawkins, harry potter, Emma Watson
see famous look-a-like faces

nicole richie, simple life, sleestak
see famous look-a-like faces

Too much fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back with the president stuff...

This tickled my inner geek: Obama/McCain word frequencies and mind map type things.

This article about how Palin is the victim of double standards also made me snort, but when I took the poll, the results showed me I'm not the only one crying bullshit. (could have types "snorting bullshit" but didn't want to put that image in your heads)

Fed Up With Non-Stop American Politics

Try a British scandal for a change...

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross were annoyed because the pre-arranged telephone interview with Andrew Sachs failed because Sachs wasn't there and they kept getting his answering machine. Instead of filling the time with clever banter which they are both fully capable, they decided to crank call Sachs' voicemail and left rude messages about Brand having fucked Sachs' granddughter (which was true). I though Letterman was annoying with his three day tantrum over McCain, but at least he didn't crank call McCain's voicemail, or fuck his daughter.(That I know of. But keep Brand away from her, just in case.)

Russell Brand is the one with the shrieking hysterical voice, Jonathan Ross is the one with the speech impediment. Andrew Sachs is famous for playing Manuel in Fawlty Towers and is known for being an amazing, sweet man.

Here's the timeline of the scandal

So this morning the newspapers are all saying how Gordon Brown has asked for an inquiry into this matter and urged the BBC to take "Appropriate actions". That just blows my mind. Can you imagine if the President ever asked for the Howard Stern Show to be investigated because he didn't like what was said on the show? Regardless of whether 18,000 people complained or not. I know it's because it's the BBC and if this was done on an independent radio station it wouldn't be such a big deal, just embarrassing. But because the BBC is fully funded with taxpayer's money (we have to pay to have a TV liscence in our house which is £139.50 per year., no lisence, no TV) and that's probably why the government is making comments about it. This was even brought up in Parliment this week.

Although I can understand that the joke was done in extremely poor taste (not uncommon for Brand but I'm surprised by Ross as he's a father of young girls himself and should have empathised) and made in great offense not only to Mr. Sachs, but also to his granddaughter (So what if she's a burlesque dancer?), but I also don't think it's worth ending their careers over. Fine the fuckers for sure - which again is weird as they are paid with taxpayers money so they'd be paying fines with taxpayers monies which means we're ultimately paying for them being assholes.

I think it was the song that took it too far. Plus it was all on video (which you can see some of in the BBC link) showing how very un-sorry they were.

So that should entertain you away from American politics for a little bit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Kitchen, Day Two

After yesterday's drama with the workies nearly tossing my new oven into the dump, I've been a bit touchy today. Yet also don't want to become the customer from hell - I'll get over that immediately and stuff the insecurity of "I want everyone to like me" in my back pocket because it's totally irrelevant when I remind myself I'm paying these guys £4K of temporarily borrowed money that will be hard earned over the next few months by the poor bloke who can't even project manage this (That's Husband).

They showed up a minute early which was wonderful and yes I am that particular about time-keeping. I despise lateness. They got stuck right in, and there was much drilling, hammering and sawing to be heard. I had a panicked hour rushing the kids to school and collecting some lunch items from the grocery store before walking amazingly fast back home to make sure the house was still standing. It was. Although for all the noise coming out of the kitchen, I didn't see much progress. But I admit I don't know the ways and hows of setting up groundwork for new cabinetry so I'll give the benefit of doubt - they had to making all that noise for a reason.

The guys (and I must stop myself from typing "boys") are having a great time. The amount of silly noises coming from them shows me they enjoy, if not their work, then at least each other's company. They meow at each other, they laugh at their silly and very loud cell phone rings, they speak in falsetto girl's voices impersonating someone's bitching. I want to plant a mic in there to find exactly what they're saying because it sounds hysterical (and I want to be sure it's not me they're mimicking, but I've not said much to them at all, really).

I have phoned the office again to ask if they have a tiler set to come and do the kitchen, to which the answer was no. I said I understand why you wouldn't, because I'd said we would keep the tile if at all possible, but when I got back yesterday and heard them breaking the tile, I wasn't sure if was due to a problem or if they just didn't know. Removal of tile was not listed on the estimate's worksheet, and as I was more concerned with my oven yesterday, I forgot to mention it. So she's going to have the manager get in touch with me (He just got back from vacation today, poor sod) and arrange a tiler. I'll just have plain white ones in anyways, so it's not too much a problem, just added cost and annoyance. In fact, after the oven incident, I'm thinking they'll take care of the tiler themselves, don't you? Yes, makes the best sense really.

Other than that I'm sitting in the living room, being tortured by Winnie-the-pooh movies and stuffing myself with pretzels.

Temporary aside...Seriously what the fuck is up with a spell check that thinks stuffnig is a fucking real word?! It's not. I looked it up just to be sure and it's not a real word. So get your shit together spell check or you'll be fucking upgraded before you can reboot. I mean when I typed attache and left off the "d" I thought that was acceptable but stuffnig is inexcusable.

Ok, one last thing. I was reading on bloglines and found a post about wedding rings that had a poll in it. The question was: Is it important, for you, to have you & your spouse wear wedding rings? And I said no, because it's not important to me. It's not uncommon for me to forget to put my rings back on, as I take them off all the time. I hate to jog, weightlift, wash dishes, shower or apply lotion with my rings on as they get in the way. I've often gone weeks without my rings, and I don't think Husband cares a bit (I did message him to ask and he answered "Not really. I assume its a comfort thing, rather than you cruising."). He's never said anything. Husband never takes his ring off, but that's him. Me? Not such an issue. It doesn't mean that I'm going to suddenly run off and shag the first guy who waggles an eyebrow at me because I have no ring on - ring or no ring I'm still married. My Dad was a carpenter and never wore his ring for safety reasons (Well he would wear it for special occasions or nights out), but my mother never took hers off. In fact I think she still has it on because her arthritis caused her knuckle to swell and she can't get the ring off. Yet if you answer the poll, you'll see what a minority I'm in. I wonder if it's fashion, habit, claiming property or more to do with Cheaters that causes such a passionate response to wearing the rings. I think the vows are a million times more important than the bling, but as the hypocrite, I love my bling. (It's official, my spell check has shit the bed. But I'm smart so I fixed it.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Kitchen, Day one.

You can scan the Twitter on the right to see the blow by blow observations of the work in progress if you are so desperately bored and need such things to amuse and entertain you.

For those extremely bored souls, I have taken pictures. Some of you even asked for them.

Let me start with a angst dump: I hate the kitchen. I've hated it forever. It's the original cheap shit kitchen that came with the house when it was built in 1988. It's white "wood look" melamine covered particle board with a grey speckled countertop that traps every spill and stain. The bottom of the countertop has swelled with many years of sloppy dishwashing and now flakes bits of woodchip all over the place.

I took my aggressions out on the kitchen once, when I was about 7 months pregnant, hormones raging and I was well out of my head with rage and bashed the shit out of a plastic ice cream glass onto the door. Shorty's pregnancy was full of these kinds of rages, as were the months of post-natal depression where lack of sleep, Sassy tantrums, disgust at my fat, flabby body and everyday demands had me literally banging my head on the wall- it was the only way to stop the stress talk in my head. It's why I had bangs at that time, to hide the marks. I'm so glad I finally went to the stress counselor. So perhaps the fact that I hated the kitchen, I spent my rage into the kitchen, it's of course tainted with hate and rage and looks so fucking shabby It just has to go.

The new one, should bring new joy into the house. I'll have more cabinets to store stuff which means more counter space to prepare and cook. It'll be fab. And with my garden looking gorgeous I have a great view to look out over while I washing fucking dishes in the new sink because the space is still too small to get a dishwasher. Sigh. No anger though, not worth it. Just whip everyone who doesn't wash their own plate.

Can you tell I'm a bit antsy about this. There's an undercurrent of frustration. I mean yes, there are strange men - although very clean, spiked hair and product coiffed and top scented with remarkably clean overalls and WHITE - oh my God I'm blinded - shoes. It's the unknown of it all - will they fuck it all up and piss me off and turn this into an ordeal? I've had ordeals in the past, Terrible ones. Like the plumber who came to fit a new bathtub in our old flat and forgot to actually hook the plughole to the exit drain so we flooded the flat below us for about a week before we figured out what the funny smell in the bathroom was (musty wood and cement smell) and when we complained they snubbed us and blew us off - but we made sure the landlord for the downstairs flat (which was empty at the time) had their details so they could claim on the plumber's insurance. That was only the beginning of the remodel from hell. So I get twitchy about workies. These guys came highly recommended and I've seen some of their work, so I feel a bit better. They did take the tiles off the walls which I had asked them not to but I was on my way back from dropping off the kids at school and the smashing noises signaled that they didn't know the tiles were staying. We'll see how that works out.

Um...Where's my oven? The guys just went to the dump and...where's my new oven gone?

***The office manager was able to phone them in time and they did not toss my new oven into the dump. They were going to, because "No one told us what happening with the oven" Well, guys - Leave it the Fuck Alone if you don't know!

My creation

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This is the second day in a row that I've had a slightly sore swollen tongue. Right down the middle. I've not bitten it, or swallowed hot liquid. Too much salt maybe? I have eaten a lot of salted pumpkin seeds, but then this happened yesterday before I made the seeds. Keep feeling like I'm dehydrated, but I've had about a gallon of water today.

It's beginning to annoy me.

Tougher than I thought

I could survive for 1 minute, 9 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's done!

I've voted. The ballot is currently on its way back to Massachusetts. I also had to vote on local elections which was not fun looking up. Massachusetts wants to ban dog racing. I went to the greyhound races several times and had a great time. But the issue isn't about me it's about animal welfare. Yet they call for an all out ban as opposed to regulation and monitoring animal health. I just think if the dog tracks go, then the horse tracks are next. So I voted to keep things as they are. Other than that nothing else was very interesting.

Husband has put up a couple pictures taken recently at a new Chinese restaurant we visited over the weekend. While waiting to pay we noticed someone's very interesting creations: a Blue-tac restuarant. Isn't it cute! I asked him to take the pictures (My phone and camera was in the trunk of our car). I love how there's a gob of tac waiting to be moulded into shape.

Made more mini pies. Apple and blueberry this time. Very little sugar - in fact these had no sugar apart from the decoration on the top. I used agave syrup instead because it's supposed to be lower GI and stuff. Pie was lovely. No more pie this week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pick it up!

That's my most said phrase lately. "Pick it up!" "Pick that up!" "Pick up your clothes, shoes, toys, books, magazines, dishes, ass...UP!"

Kids are still on vacation. Week two just began, almost done. they go back next week. It'll be good. Then the house gets scoured because Mom is coming out for a visit in November and I'm very happy about that. I get the new kitchen in two weeks and I'm wild crazy excited about that!

I've changed workout routines, again and it's going brilliantly. So much better then I hoped. Supersets are awesome! I cannot believe how fast I've gained strength, but then I'm one of those gifted souls who can put on muscle very quickly. Downside is I can't burn fat very well and never have. Example being before I used to struggle with the leg lift machine and found three sets of fifteen on 25kg and it was just frustrating and I felt defeated if I couldn't get the last set. Today I did five sets on a 12-10-8-8-6 that went from 25-30-35-40-30 kgs. I was so damned proud of myself! I never would've dared to go above 30kgs before but I found today the weights were much easier and every time I put the notch up I was saying to myself "surely this will kill me." and I never missed a repetition; I was psyched. 40kgs!! That's 88lbs. That was almost half the weight stack.

I was talking to a friend who's a personal trainer (not my personal trainer but I'm considering a few sessions) about my diet issues and she agrees that Atkins is absolutely not the right way to go for the amount of activity I put out and she says that kind of diet is probably/most likely/oh hell it IS the reason I was feeling so run down and out of sorts. I told her I was changing to the six small meals and I was adding some fruit and oatmeal (Oh how I missed my beloved oatmeal!) and removing prok from my diet and she says it all sounded perfect. But when I told her that my calories were around 1500-1700 she got a bit crazy "That's not enough for you! You need closer to 2000 calories! No wonder you're not losing weight. You've got your calories cut back so far you're body will be tripping into starvation mode." I was a bit...what? and she explained that cutting calories back too much, even though 1500-1700 sounds good - and it would be for a person who doesn't exercise as much as I do - but it's probably cutting back over 1000 calories of what I actually need. When she asked me how many calories I tend to burn during my workouts (She knows I use a heart rate monitor) I told her anywhere from 800-1200: she hit me. She then told me to eat. Eat smart, eat clean and add in another 500 calories and even if I gain weight in the beginning I should see the weight start to fall again once my body figures out I'm not starving. Increase my cardio to five days a week, weights stay at three and I should see the numbers change within a month.

It's a lot to take in really. But why the hell not? So yesterday I was up at 8am and went for a jog (Don't tell my physiotherapist) and today was 20 minute run and weights for legs and abs.

Are you all completely bored now? I'm sorry. Other than this stuff life is a bit dull just now. I'll go out soon and pop into the grocery store because I want to make some stuff this afternoon. Mini apple pies and try some home made protein oat bars recipes. The house needs a big clean. The kids are growing out of their clothes again so it's time to purge their wardrobes for charity and put-aways.

I'm still reading Derren Brown, and a new bodybuilder's diet planner that I'm considering. I'm not the most adept and tracking every morsel, calorie burned, and weight pressed. Sigh. But I suppose if I want to improve, I'm going to have to. Will you endure? Maybe I should start a workout/diet blog...I may have too many blogs.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Phone it in post...

I'm something of a comment whore, but I know I'm a comment whore so I talk to myself about it and tell myself the only reason I have mediocre comment totals (Never mediocre comments as I attract high quality comments from high caliber people.) that I should feel ashamed of my attention seeking, competitiveness and whiny ass ways in the realm of comments. "You get back you put in" as the saying goes and as far as blogs go this one is a lot more vanilla since I stopped posting pictures of my cleavage - an attention plys I was getting fed up with getting annoying e-mails from uptight feminists who think getting attention from a boob shot beneath me. The real reason is I figured folks would get tired of them after a while "Oh look, Lyv's boobs again. Sigh. Where's the content? This used to be interesting but it's just boobs."

You have to also understand that half the time I'm talking in my blog, I'm really talking to myself - is it like that for you as well? Do you write posts with intent to inform the world of what's going on in your life, your frustrations etc, or are you, like me, just rambling to yourself in order to get the crazy out in big doses so the day rides a lot smoother? I literally do talk in my head like this. I even revert to third person narrative - that makes at least three personalities in my head, which when you tweak the competitive nipple within me makes me feel inferior to Sybil and to Trudi Chase who has a rabbit for an alternate personality.

So where was I going with this...I forget. Probably just to tell myself to stop feeling the unlove because no one commented yesterday but, Lyv, you didn't post anything for three fucking days so gain a little perspective, will you?

Now I see, this is the self-abuse post. I get those sometimes! Don't we all. Maybe you're clever enough to delete before posting, but I don't. What was I going to talk about...

The kids are on school vacation just now - I feel like I only just got rid of them from summer vacation and now I have them back for two weeks. Husband says it the traditional potato harvest time. I can pretty much assure you not one of the kids at the school has to work the fields of their parent's potato farm, so can we do away with this silly vacation? Two whole weeks. And there's no activity camp for them so you know what that means, don't you? I'm now the entertainment. I know I can easily amuse myself, but entertaining the short attention spans of my kids, for two weeks, is not within my power. OK, it is, but I'm lazy at heart and otherwise focussed on alternate things that have to do with me. Aren't I awful? I should be one of those Moms who enjoys every waking moment I can spend with my kids while they are small and still love me and think I'm great and I know I'll miss these days when they are gone in ten years time. I'll take them to the playground today - the nice big one on the other side of town. I plan to take them to Edinburgh in the week to meet with Great-Grandma Betty and Grandma, which will be nice as there's a train ride and a bus ride in that adventure. There's also a cool playground in Princes St. Gardens I'll let them run off the last of their energies...That's two days sorted.

I'm reading Derren Brown's Tricks of the Mind and I'm really enjoying it. Even the fact that I had to keep my dictionary to hand for most of part one because he has a gorgeous vocabulary (And yes, tumescent kind of does mean erection. At least being on one's way to getting an erection.) kept me interested although at the time of reading I didn't keep a notebook to write down all those words I found interesting - which my normal habit. What? Shut up, it's a habit I picked up from 9th grade English class when we got extra credit for finding new words in our extra-curricular reading. I managed a passing grade with my extra credit alone because lord knows I couldn't be bothered with the read of the curriculum - have I mentioned I was an awful student in high school? Terrible.

Derren Brown's book goes on to describe how to use mnemonics and even more elaborate mental tricks to expand the memory and amaze your friends. I'm very interested as my memory has turned to mush over the years - truly dreadful. Husband says he'd like to read it now so he can remember all his different passwords. Sure, now I could memorize a list of twenty items, but the only time I ever have a list of twenty items is grocery shopping. So my shopping trips may become more interesting. the thing that really works for me is it involves creating stories to link the items, and I love creating stories. Also, he's a bit naughty. I admit I always found him slightly attractive - it's the power thing, I'm attracted to power and confidence - His looks are average (Sometimes he looks a bit pale, like he's had a really bad cold or not slept in weeks) and he wears the wrong kind of coats for his physique because he has a short neck and those high collared coats he favours make it look like a neck brace holding up his content laden noggin. But he's charming and funny enough that it can be overlooked. Couldn't trust the bugger not to try his tricks during lunch though, so handle with extreme caution. But I admit I giggle when he uses his dirty little jokes, like when he assigns letters to numbers and when memorizing the order of a shuffled deck of cards, the 3 of clubs equals the word "cum" and he writes (you would) after it - which for an oversexed/underlaid married woman like myself makes me giggle, but if the reader was a straight male he may not find it as provocative. But it does follow a very old rule of using charm to make people like you - seduce everyone. As Mr. Bennett says of Wickham "He makes love to us all."

I've changed my routines at the gym and have started doing super sets with weights. Wow! Just such a difference from the standard 3 sets of 15. Now I'll do five sets. I seem to like, as I'm still experimenting, a 12,12,10,8,6 repetitions where sometimes the 10 and the 8 are reversed depending on how hard the highest weight is where the first three sets the weight is increased each time, and the last two are reduced back to the first weight used. So yesterday for dumb bell bench press I started with 5kg in each hand, then went to 7kg, then 10kg for six before I dropped them onto my face, 7, then five again where the last two sets have barely a break between them. I find it interesting how I can tackle the weights with gusto - I really love the challenge of the heavier weights, but i get all simpering and pouty when I have to do cardio. I think it's because the pain/strain of weights is over quickly enough - two minutes or so, but cardio is a long, extended, frustrating exhaustion. Whine whine whine. My cardio is different as well where I'm shortening my times, because I hate it, and doing more high intensity interval training (HIIT)which means I only have to do cardio for about a half an hour, but I have to make it the hardest half hour ever. compromises, compromises. I still have to walk everywhere so it's not too bad really.

Physio is working, my pelvis isn't having that awful, stabbing pain anymore when I roll over, but I now have a near constant lower back ache. I still can't use the recumbent bike or rowing machine. I have started doing the pelvis tilt and butt clench when I walk which is having amazing results, for all it hurt like hell for the first week I did it, remember I walk about 4-5 miles everyday, but the mental image I used, before being introduced to Derren Brown's book of mental images, was to imagine I have a penis with an erection that can poke me in the forehead. This reminds me to roll my pelvis under and up, but to also not lean too far forward. Hey, it works for me. I leave the Freudians to have fun with the mechanics of that. I tried the; imagine you have a quarter clenched in your butt-cheeks and you can't drop it, but that didn't get my pelvis rolled correctly. I also tried imagining I was a bee and I was tucking my stinger down so i wouldn't hurt anyone, but then I would slightly hunch and that aggravated the shoulder impingements. The cock to the forehead works the whole posture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Joe Six Pack

This is a bizarre term, Joe Six Pack. I admit we are very confused by it. Doesn't it feel like an insult? The average man being referred to an aged frat boy clinging to his beer? Whatever happened to John Q. Public? Did it not have enough of an alcoholic lean to appeal to the masses? Because I'm assuming they mean beer by six pack and not abs of steel. I wish. I'd be back home in a heartbeat if the cities were lush with fine examples of physical perfection. But considering the obesity rates, I'm thinking Joe Six Pack may need rehab. I had to search about to find the correct meaning of this phrase because it stuck out in my ear every time I heard it. Remember, I thought Palin was making a personal attack to Joe Biden about his drinking, which the internet is spinning out. So I googled it, as you do.

Urban Dictionary:

Average American moron, IQ 60, drinking beer, watching baseball and CNN, and believes everything his President says.
This is so simple, even a Joe Sixpack can understand.

Seriously? This is the person the average man wants to identify with? Sadly Urban Dictionary didn't have a correct entry for John Q. Public, reducing him to a public toilet. And what happened to the Average Joe? Apparently he's developed a drinking problem which really is annoying me, as you can see. Was being considered "average" too insulting for American men? Does this have more to do with penis size than beer cans? Six inch cock is average and not good enough, so he turns to his average six pack to drown his insecurities and watch a game? Doesn't Joe Six Pack sound like he's in a world of denial and self loathing? Why has the average man embraced beer? Why Beer? Don't tell me it's a six pack of cola either, although sure it very well could be but it's not the image that springs to mind.

What are women called...oh wait I was going to say Sally Cosmopolitain because you remember that was the only thing those women in Sex And The City drank, no the average woman is a Hockey Mom, now. For fuck sake. I know it's a Palinism, and Soccer Mom was bad enough which oddly enough was a term that became popular due to the '96 presidential campaign. This still holds enough negativism to annoy me. Mother's in constant service to their kids with a smile on their faces because that's where they want to be - what's so wrong with that? Go read a few Mom blogs and you'll know how very small a percentage that image really applies. Also the lean towards the macabre with the Stage Mom when a woman can become the Angry Soccer Mom, or Pistol Packin' Cheerleader Mom.

As it is this only proves to me that there is no such thing as an average citizen and the labels fall far from being accurate at all. So why are they being mentioned as buzzwords to a majority that aren't fitting into the tight constraints of the label applied. Why not just list out a whole bunch of labels and include more possible voters? What groups are being missed in this election?

You know what's really bugging me right this second is I heard there was a movie made a couple years ago that was downplayed by Fox Studios for being Anti-Corporation. I can't remember the name of it, but America was left to the idiots of the world because smart people were bred out of existence with the responsibilities they faced while the less intelligent bred like rabbits. The President was a professional wrestler, and it was pretty funny and bleak all at once. Can't remember what it was called. (two hours later) Husband to the rescue; it was Idiocracy. I've not seen it, but am intrigued. In many ways, Joe Six Pack makes me think of the men from Idiocracy. You can't be telling me that that is the Average Joe of America today. That can't be who Palin is talking to when she says Joe Six Pack, right?

Oh shit.

Final decent into my personal madness over one small phrase, Joe Six Pack; why beer? Is it the new proliferation of micro brews? I don't think so. Is it because Cindy McCain is a Beer Heiress? I wonder how much of that beer money is funding McCain's campaign*. Is it an attempt to get people inebriated so they'll be more open to suggestion and less likely to take action and ask questions? It's a fucking conspiracy!! How can they support and promote irresponsible alcohol consumption and say abstinence is the best form of birth control?! Is Palin trying to say in her whole marriage she's only had sex five times? I say Down With Joe Six Pack! It is not acceptable.

Ok! Ok. I'll switch to decaff for the rest of the day.

*(I don't know if the Democrats have also used the terms Joe Six Pack or Hockey Moms but at this time, I'm of the understanding it's a Republican bastardization.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Presidential Debate Number 2

Just finished watching it via CNN online. Initial impression: Obama won it and won it hard. That's not because I'm a fan, but because he knows his facts, he states his plans, He knows the figures and you can see when watching him he's got the presidency mapped out into finite points. McCain performed much better on this debate (Less hissing and reptilian tonguing - except when he mentioned China once, I caught that one) and even discussed some of his plans rather than simply saying "I have a plan" but he did revert to "I have a plan." "I know how to win the war." "I know how to fix the economy." without backing up his statement. Obama is far better at backing up what he says. He must have an amazingly organized mind.

I found Obama's coolheadedness served him well tonight as McCain was obviously out to make the pot shots and sniper remarks. He was openly insulting with his "You know who didn't vote for it? That one." remark. He kept rewording what Obama said to distract from the issues and force Obama to defend himself which is a debate trick to pull attention from the fact you don't have all the facts which in the end always causes you the most harm by giving your opponent extra talk time. That's why he went a bit defensive when Brokaw was going to allow Obama his moment to respond. McCain as hoping the time restrictions would allow him to get a dig in without any return.

Things that stuck out for me was when asked in what order each would prioritize health policy, entitlement reform and energy, McCain said he could get all three in one go and there was no need for to prioritize. He then said in regards to energy "Build nuclear power plants - a whole bunch of 'em!" which struck me dumb. Then he says we should reign in money we send to foreign countries that don't like us very much "Some of this 700billion ends up in the hands of terrorists." who in turn will be really excited to hear we're going to build a whole bunch of nuclear power plants as I'm sure if they're determined to find targets to attack, those will be easy to find.

Obama says we must prioritze and his order is Energy, health care and education. He never gets back to us on reform entitlement which considering who's losing out in the economy and after what just happened to Iceland's banks I thought that was an unfortunate omission. However, how very enticing is this plan of his to have the USA energy independent in 10 years at the cost of $15billion.

When the question about what sacrifices are expected on the average American, McCain says he'll go through programs that aren't working and cut them out. He mentions a plane contract the was controversial and he'd cut (or did cut?) but in any way, defense will be scrutinized. In fact he'll put an across the board freeze on all programs - except ones that help vets and defense...even though defense will still be scrutinized. This came across as very unprepared and backward. And what is this £3million overhead projector he keeps going on about?? I'll have to google that after I post.

I really ought to have bullet pointed this one again...what else stuck out? Health care as a commodity? I'm not sure either came out and said what I wanted to hear which is health care is a vital right to every American and should be available to every American. McCain said something about having health care records online which freaked me right out! With all the missing briefcases containing highly sensitive information (Ok that may be UK based fuck-up) but the thought of my medical records being viewed by some hacker is scary stuff. How could they regulate and enforce Data Protection? Too many issues surround that throw away comment and I'd like to know what he meant about it. Also, who the fuck wants to go crossing state lines to find the best health care? That's lunacy! I don't want to be traveling hundreds or thousands of miles away from my home and family for any major medical care. That's batshit crazy. I want to know I can get the same level of health care in my local hospital as any other hospital in the rest of the country.

The issues around Pakistan and whether they are concealing al-Qaeda cells and/or Bin Laden, again these two are very different and yet not so different. Both say go in with diplomacy but impress firmly about rooting out the terrorists. Obama says he would launch his own attack if Pakistan won't police the problem themselves. That is saying he'd attack over Pakistan's borders and he doesn't say whether it would be with/without Pakistan's permission but one can assume they would not be pleased about a war taking place over its own border without its own involvement. McCain quotes Roosevelt's "Speak softly and carry a big stick." which is the same as saying let's talk and hope you come around to our way of thinking or I'll smack you with my big stick. Thing is, Pakistan has a big stick too.

I wasn't as impressed with this debate as the first one as there wasn't too much new information or going over new ground. I think McCain came across as smarmy with the public, rancorous towards Obama. Obama seemed very informed and level but did show that he was fed up with McCain and that he was annoying him. I have to give him credit for not outwardly telling him to fuck off, which I'm sure really wanted to. But he held his own amiably enough.

I'm off to see how the rest of the world is thinking about this. Debate polls! What fun!

Monday, October 06, 2008

On the menu for the week...

Getting my ducks in a row, organising my ass and life and Fall Cleaning! Oh yes, it's that other time of year again, the "What Am I Doing With My Life For Fuck Sake?!" Mid Year Meldown, Yaaaay! Although I agree it is a bit late this year but it's finally arrived with all of it's glorious self-loathing and guilt. This means I'll be setting severely unachievable goals that will have me crying about my personal failures on January 2nd, the day after my birthday, when consequently the first "What Am I Doing With My Life For Fuck Sake?!" meltdown occurs.

So let's see, I will:
  • Get the grass perfect, and will call in the lawn pluggers. (Imagine a bunch of mafia guys shooting up the lawn, that's what I see when I hear "Lawn pluggers")
  • Purge the house of irrelevant rubbish and junk. Again. Got to be harsh, so more holding onto the blankie, it all goes.
  • Mop, scrub, and polish flooring.
  • De-dust the whole house. This will take a staged assault with my new vacuum cleaner. One room per day for a total of two weeks. That will be each room done once, the bedrooms and living room get done twice. Now that the heating is on, the dust has tripled.
  • Fall means big meals made and frozen away for quick defrost. This is expensive in the beginning and my grocery bill has been hysterically large the past two weeks. But I hope a lasagna here, a pot roast there, drumsticks tucked in the back will give me peace on those days I can't be bothered because I want to hibernate. Stew is my ever faithful go to meal for he next three-five months.
  • Diet. Atkins isn't working out for me. Three weeks and I've had enough. I'm going back to the body builder's diet. Besides, Atkins is partly responsible for the enormous grocery bill.
  • I will get the photographs in the photograph box put into albums. This will take three years to complete. Estimated.
  • Exercise five days a week. Three gym days, two days just fast walk two miles. Takes me half an hour and my health is worth it. I could say only on days it doesn't rain, but I live in Scotland and that would be a cop-out.
  • Declutter, purge, break hearts.
  • Get ready for NaNoWriMo (As JMC kindly reminded me this weekend is next month) and actually do it this year. No chest infections allowed this November.
  • Do math drills with Sassyface for her math advantage and my own - I'm math deficient in every way. (Yes, I've mentioned it many times but just in case your forgot I did fail algebra 1 four times and only passed it my first year in college. How did I graduate? Ask the teachers that let me)
  • Pre-school alphabet training with Shorty and getting her writing. She is very excited about this and will be a good time.
  • Blog three times a week. I cannot sit at the terminal and read blogs all day anymore.
  • Continue the not nailbiting. doing good at this. My nail beds are even beginning to regrow. Once all are an even length, I'll get a proper manicure.
  • Stick to a laundry routine. Once the clothes are done and folded; Put Them Away! It's a very bad habit to have the family pick their outfits from neatly folded piles in the living room.
  • Make love more often.
  • Write at least one page per day. Do not belittle myself for not doing more.
  • Play with the kids more.
  • (space left for future emergency)
That should be enough for now. I'm going to go hide under the duvet and mutter to myself to please make it all go away.

But first, I'll do a Quick SBD because I did finally sit down and read a book this weekend. I got to read The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne. That I was gifted by JMC. Everyone else has already read this, and I know I'm late on jumping on this bandwagon. So what.

I liked the book. I give it a B-. I like the way JB writes in a very intelligent and flowing way. I never got stumped on sentences or had to re-read. I didn't find one typo. That goes a long way with me because something like a typo pulls me right out of the story. This story has a lot of action as you'd expect from a French wartime spy novel. Running away from fellow spies, knife attacks, pistol fire, lust in the dirt. The first quarter certainly has a lot of build up to some promising excitement later on. I kept turning pages all day. Yearning for the book when I had to be away doing other things.

The Heroine, Annique, has been criticized for being stupid by other reviewers. I didn't get that. No until the last 20 or so pages, then I was thoroughly annoyed with her. "Non, I will not tell you my secrets er...ah because I have none to share. Nope. And you cannot tempt me any more with your nightly passionate embraces that my no longer virginal girl bits crave. In fact, I think I'll and go tell my secrets to someone who wants to kill me instead of love me. That makes the best solution for everyone." By that point I was really hoping she was going to get tortured, just a little bit. The other thing I found is that she's supposed to be one of the best French spies alive and she is written as extremely clever and resourceful, but get her with Robert, our dashing hero who is second in command at the British Service, and she's a bowl of gelatin. She bashes him over the head a couple times but sincerely she doesn't seem to be able to be a spy with him once she comes to like his strong manly arms around her. Robert really has all the power in this relationship and I think the relationship could have been sparkier if there had been a few more spy vs spy tete-a-tetes there. They fell in love far too easy. In fact, if I was Annique, I'd have gotten a crush on Hawker (another spy in the British spy gang) as he had the charm and charisma in spades. Robert was the man with the job...and a hard on. I don't know if Annique went for Robert purely due to Stockholm syndrome. One thing about Robert, he doesn't hide his feelings for her. I've rarely seen a hero who's so gushing with his affections - especially one who's a spy. Especially squared when he starts the story determined to torture her for something she did in Bruges that everyone else keeps saying she didn't do, but he knows better and he's going to make her pay.

The rest was stage set and acceptable but not exciting. The villain is a mould cut bad-guy who enjoys extreme violence and rape and killing children so we have to hate him for that and fear him in a way that sets the protagonists on a scary run. One can almost imagine him red with rage and spitting drool (and drooling spit) as he is thwarted time and again.

As it goes I enjoyed the book and don't feel my time was wasted. I wish the relationship aspect of the protagonists had had a bit more challenge to prove to me their affections are sincere but the writing was so excellent and the story well plotted, I can forgive. I'll be looking for the sequel My Lord And Spymaster after payday.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

We don't care about the VP

Apparently. I wasn't going to be up at 2AM to watch the VP ebate so after I'd dropped off the kids and gone to the gym (I have my priorities) I went to the newsagents to get a paper to get the highlights of the debate. Twelve papers and not one cover had the VP debate. Nothing. I was wondering if I'd gotten the dates wrong but no, no I was certain as everyone was talking about it being on last night. So isn't that weird? I thought it was weird. The Pres. debate got covers but the VPs? Who cares about them? Well I kinda did because of the...erm...comedy factor and issues and other stuff.
I was able to watch the full debate from the BBC news website but again the BBC wasn't going to repeat this debate like it did for the Presidential one, which was rebroadcast twice. So I got my pen and paper and took notes while watching, a few times enjoying the pause button to spill out my thoughts before moving on. Here's the first impressions as Biden and Palin spoke.

  • Is Palin in mourning? What's with the black dress - it's icky. Not as icky as Michelle's flowered nightmare.
  • Palin must stop winking. She's no Ann Robinson.
  • She is giving Maverick a bad name. Poor James Garner.
  • How is fur more years of the same old shit "New and exciting" stuff from a team of Mavericks. A team of Mavericks. We've now cloned James Garner?
  • Hockey Moms...fuck off.
  • How can she say we must not live out of our means and then say it's not the people's fault? She's removing the responsibility of those who thought themselves too grandiose to live in a smaller home victims instead of dipshits. The evil "predator lender", skulking around wanting to give us money and debt - only if we are dumb enough to sign the contracts.
  • She just said in debate "I may not answer your questions but I'm going to talk directly to the American people..." No really - answer the fucking questions. That's how you can talk me. this is a debate, not the Sarah Palin show. We want to hear how you're going to get folks out of the mess this mortgage collapse has caused. I don't give a fuck about your Alaskan governorship track record. Time and place, Mrs.
  • Gwen is confusing me with her waffled question.
  • Biden speaks tp the "Middle Class" and says 95% of tonight's viewers are middle class. As if to say the earners of $250K+ aren't all that bothered about this debate. I want to see the stats on that. (May explain why I found no newspapers)
  • $5000 dollar credit for health care coverage. I don't get this. What is the cost of giving birth these days and how far would $5K go? Sounds like a big number but it won't apply to much in reality.
  • Biden's comment of $5K as the real bridge to nowhere was funny.
  • Palin is an expert on energy? Show me how she's an expert on energy. Sitting on energy doesn't make one an expert. Will look up later.
  • Windfall tax sounds interesting. She's making a good point.
  • Biden completely overturns the windfall tx - wow! Had thought she was getting a point for taking on "big oil", but no.
  • "Corruption and Greed" are her new buzzwords for this segment of the debate. Snore.
  • Will she ever go with the flow of the debate? We're done with energy - no more go backs - talk about mortgages you issue dodging cow.
  • 27 minutes in she gets amazingly smug regarding climate change (still no answer on mortgages, what is Gwen doing there anyways? Shouldn't she be corralling this debate to the issue on the table?) Obvious memorized speech alert! "We rely on countries that do not care about the climate as much as we do." This is a joke. As someone who lives outside the USA and sees it as one of the most consumptive countries this is very arrogant unless she can name those worse countries for balance. Otherwise countries that outstrip USA on conservation and environmentalism are being very insulted as being lumped in. I know she's talking China, but she really has to get the backbone and say it - oh but she wont because they want to borrow trillions from China, right? Right! Assholes.
  • AH! Biden outs China. There's the backbone I was looking for.
  • Senator O'Biden? Are they a linked name now? Like Bennifer? Or is this some NLP trick because the comment earlier about "Joe six-pack" confused me and I wonder if Biden has a drinking problem or something. Will look up.
  • So that's two nos for same sex marriage, although Biden had hinted to a yes in his first reply and then corrected to a no. Same civil rights as a couple but not married. Palin got the religion point in. She sounded shaky on this question and uncomfortable. Both of them did really.
  • Iraq - troops in, troops out? timeline issue. Biden just repeats what Obama said.
  • "UM...White flag of surrender." Huh? She makes a very provocative comment with no force behind it. She could make a hard argument here but falters. Is she not confident on this point? I'm sure I've heard her blabber on about how they want to stay in Iraq until the bitter end but I think she was regretting the words even as she was saying them. I wonder if she was coached on this comment and she was wondering if it was placed correctly.
  • Iran/Pakistan Why would we believe the word of an al-Qaeda leader saying they are based in Iraq and not Afghanistan? Why is he trusted. "No, of course we're not in Afghanistan. We're in Iraq. Keep your troops there. Muahahaaa" Come on folks. Will look up McLeland she talks about. (Later discovered she didn't have this guy's name right at all. It's McKiernan)
  • Show me where Iran has said they want a second holocaust. Why can't debates have a bibliography?!
  • They're talking a lot about Israel. Are they trying to appeal to Florida like Silverman suggested?
  • She's such a condescending bitch when she speaks. Folksy will now mean patronizing in my dictionary.
  • Biden is Mr. "Let me say that again" and he sighs a lot into his mic when Palin speaks. I understand the need for a cleansing breath but try and not do it into the microphone please.
  • Bosniacs?? No Biden, they're Bosnians.
  • Palin's cutsie-poo "Aw gee I'm not as D.C. as you folks who do stuff different here than good 'ole country girl me." was lame! I hate her folksy charm. Folksy charm is now an insulting phrase. It burns my ears.
  • She must stop saying "Um." It's debate heresy.
  • McCain knows how to win a war? Well why is he keeping this a secret then - tell us all how to win a war Master Warmonger McCain!
  • Team of mavericks followed by rehearsed speech. She's very obvious about her practiced diatribes. Joe is smoother and has more facts.
  • More coaching on what a VP does has a game show feel to it "Why yes Chuck, The VP does this that and the other and...World Peace!" she did come across like this was a question in a beauty pageant.
  • Did Biden just say McCain was Palin's "principal"? NLP ahoy! He is the teacher, she is a student.
  • Palin goes long into a waffle of nonsense for nearly two minutes from 1:12-1:13.
  • Palin Achilles heel, she goes on about hre family again, keeping herself down home and personal. Doesn't mention any joy at being a soon-to-be Grandma, though.
  • UGH! She's a lip smacker. She keeps snapping her spit and winking. She reminds me of Flo the waitress on Alice. Except I liked Flo.
That was my impression of the debate. Still going with Obama. Even more so now.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Suck Monster

I'm living in a bubble just now. Locked myself away and let no one in. Not even myself to be honest. I'm either full on GRR! or Meh can't be fucking bothered. I'm rather bored, which is unusual for me as I'm not the sort to get bored because I'm good at entertaining myself. I would love to say i'm using this time in some reflective way where I re-evaluate my life but what's the point really - I'm not one to wallow in the past. I'm a forward mover. That may be why i'm bored; life has stagnated a bit. I'm doing the same stuff everyday and feel like: when are we going? When are going to start, you know, moving? *sigh*

So of course I'm not able to concentrate on getting things done, I can't read a book, I can't finish my chores, I can't get past the headlines on the newspaper because I seem to have a very passive ADD. I'm not OTB. I'm also not OTR, so it's not that. I'm just going with the flow and feeling annoyed about it, but not so annoyed that I'm getting worked up or crabby which would be some form of excitement. I seem stuck in this skimming of life just now. Taking in enough information to get by, but not really bothered. It's disgusting really; my curiosity is flaccid. If this continues I'll become as much fun as cirrhosis.

Yet I don't feel like this is depression, because the lack of anxiety, and the fact that on some level - the one I don't like to admit to - I think I'm doing well to not be depressed, makes confused: What is this?? I'm in a mild annoyance and yet still very cuddly. I'm sure if I was engaged in conversation, and that only happens with my Husband for any length of time which in turn could be the root of the problem as I'm very isolated and spend most of my time by myself, I would have sparks of dynamical wit that I sometimes get. I can ride a dynamical witticism for weeks. I'm that easy going. But without the practice...

I want to play cards. I want to find someone to play rummy 500 with me. I miss playing rummy 500. I used to play it for hours between classes when I was college. We'd get a table of four and two decks and just insult each other, and laugh and smoke and gossip: I really miss that. I've been missing it more keenly since doing some research on Dorothy Parker and I read about the Algonquin Round Table, which was her group of friends where they played cards, insulted each other, told jokes, smoked, drank and made merry.

Moms of of wee ones don't get the chance to make merry very often.

Instead I make trouble. I'm having a bit of glee winding everyone up. I annoy the kids which isn't much of a challenge. Last night while watching TV I'd pull out a chopstick from my sleeve, lean over and poke Husband gently on the head and then pretend like nothing happened. "Are you poking me?" "No. Why would I poke you?" hee hee hee.

I think it may be time to start writing again.