Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No photos

Not because I went to a copyright seminar last night, no, but because I don't have any new ones that say what I want to say visually.

No fun for you, no fun for me.

Sunny, well-fed (for me), sort-of rested (for me), solvent (for me), fine.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh, there's a great idea:

Chewing tobacco for the Marines that has "energy drink" elements and caffeine added.

I guess the next time I just can't wait to puke, I'll go get me some of that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Early morning

Just a thought, based on my age and experience: how awesome can the financial bailout package be (and how do I know my Congresspeople have read it), when they were up all Saturday night?

Tomorrow morning, I shall share how well my own work came out after a similar work timeframe.

I calculated it will take 8.5 hours of Sunday to accomplish my overdue goals.

I'm not including all the hours I've already spent collecting and verifying information.

And two major writing projects are still ahead. Only 1,000 and 1,000 words really, but being concise is more difficult than verbosity. So no one knows how many hours remain. And I'll have to eat at some point. And then I'll get tired. And clear thought will cease. But I won't know it until later when I re-read.

I've put in 2.5 hours so far. No, blogging doesn't count. But I had to take a shower and everything, so it's already almost 1 in the afternoon. Six more to go!

Friday, September 26, 2008

More Balefulness

The credit card company that my dad hates the most crumbled under its bad mortgage portfolios.

This would be Providian, which became Washington Mutual, or WaMu, which is now owned by big-ass JPMorgan Chase & Co. (thanks to a step-in by FDIC yesterday). Just a couple of billion dollars between friends…

I wonder if they will erase my debt? Ha ha.

Dad scorns them for being the company notorious for jacking up interest rates randomly on customers (such as him, not me).

Which was legal, you know.

Which says something.

Didn't Mr. Morgan also enjoy rampant speculation and such?

Robber barons, anyone? They still have that in the history textbooks?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It was three-thirty, two and a half hours ago. I don't know why I woke up. I don't know why I couldn't sleep again.

Then, suddenly, it was already five.

Cue helicopters.

T'is the season. Every morning at five. Over and over.

Then some trains. Hooooorn. Deep bass wheels carrying carrying carrying.

Now, of course, it's raining. Some people find that a restful sound.

Thunder, though, has always kept me up.

Besides, I have a ton of work to do.

Thanks to my foresight, I did not turn off the Air Port last night after my silliness (bad day, was it?), and so my battery here is only at 26%, which does not leave much time. (Is that a too-compounded sentence?) We'll likely have intermittent Internet access, too. Can't plug in during thunderstorms.

Hmm, I wonder if there is some kind of bailout available?

I can't tell if rain is a good or bad backdrop for an appraisal. Bad lighting is not good for interiors. However, it can mask exterior flaws, right? Someone look up how long it is going to rain. I don't think 5.5, do you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The last post made me look all socialist-anarchist and poor and angry and such.


Oh, and perhaps like an alcoholic, or at least someone who has rigid expectations about certain planned recreational moments.  I can't stand when little things are thwarted.

It's the kind of disposition that gets very lost upon learning, always at the last moment — don't think that I look up and then iCal-schedule the television programming guide in advance; who has time for that? — to discover that The Simpsons is delayed by football or that Futurama is cancelled.

(The latter I learned beforehand from a researching friend. I heard from another that King of the Hill is next. It's like my camping / float trip "curse;" it always rains.  Baseball games, too, though only almost always. And the last family reunion in 18 years or something.  But every show I really like doesn't last.  Greg the Bunny.  North Shore.  Arrested Development.  Note to you:  don't market to my demographic because its buying power is way weak and we can't keep anything that's not on cable afloat.  I kind-of wonder why Boston Legal is still on.  Of course, try to track the showing times of that program, and you will find they're random and require an RSS or Twitter feed to alert fans who care.  I know about the program downloads.  I can't watch TV on a computer and off the expected time.  Therein lies my loyalty.  It all makes sense now.)

Still, I like things, certain, inconsequential and utterly benign and non-addictive things to remain predictable.

"Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold?"

I think after 88 years and my many moments with it that there is no copyright on The Second Coming by Mr. Yeats anymore. No matter he was being specific, about a place and time, much like certain evangelists had to work with; the point is that it's still relevant, is "timeless" and has the power to move (plus it's in our own language, always an advantage when reading poetry):

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

addicted-to-AP and contemp. rules must say that oh, i would have to edit it to "toward." english, you are tedious.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pawning to the populace

Do you think the $700 billion bailout (implying a leaky, sinking ship) will trickle down to help me any?

All I need is $700 to pay my school bill; slow, distracted, somewhat sinking I did not conceive of using buckets this semester until recently; I learned finally that it is too late to de-roll. Their interest rate is low, at least. But now I have to pay them, and I have to continue (o.k., how about resume) going to class.

They really do not give one much time to decide anything — four days, in fact, after classes begin; after that, one has a few more days to go from the 100% to 60% refund mark. I didn't even have my textbooks until two weeks ago. The bookstore blamed a teacher; the other teacher blamed the publishers. Both cases seemed correct and had the same outcome: lack of study materials, wrecked syllabi, and a demotivated student.

Momentum is important!

I wish I could be happy that We the People own some huge financial companies, just as we own those great oil fields, sequoia trees, Grand Canyon, mines, timber. Some, of course, actually belong to other countries, Native American nations.

Speaking of them, here's some endorsement interest from the Santa Fe New Mexican paper:

The All Indian Pueblo Council, the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the leader of the Navajo Nation have thrown their support behind Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Obama's campaign says the endorsements represent a majority of New Mexico's Indian leadership. The council represents 19 pueblos, and the Navajo Nation spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. says Indian Country has lived with federal policies for the last eight years that have eroded tribal culture and language. He says it's time for the federal government to honor its obligations to its native people. Obama, in a statement issued Friday, said tribes face a special set of challenges, and he looks forward to working will all tribal leaders.

I spent 90 minutes pulling out about 125 cubic feet of random grass, evil fake trees, the four-foot walnut tree (third time in a year; it is very tenacious), and the plant I refer to as Satan's marigold. The back yard looks improved to me. I don't know what it looks like to anyone else.

I uncovered the basil, still doing fairly well for being neglected amid wildflowers and a sprawling hollyhock. Ergo, pesto, and the spinach pesto lasagna, eventually. Finally finished.

That meant driving to the store. Shopping at the store. Curse the weak dollar for making Irish whiskey $25. Ergo, no chance of St. Monday tomorrow. (ie: did not buy; still spent $50 or so, of course)

Car insurance's $800 is due in a couple of weeks. Doh!

I also need a dose of Hang on, Voltaire's knack for chopping up tasks into accomplishable pieces. I am stymied by the concurrence of equally-important and weighty and time-consuming items to produce. Let's use ergo again: yes, so the result is that barely anything has happened. Summing up three: a paragraph out of 14; a pasted-in chunk of text; a half-hearted disappointed editing of 2,400 words that need to be far fewer.

Many, many hours have already been invested. I need a bailout!

The fact that I can't anticipate how long certain things take — it's mostly contingent on the availability of information, a fishing game that is as difficult to predict as tossing baited lines into a lake — adds to panic, freezing action.

Then certain things happen like sunset or the weekend and I can't see stapling my mind to something less rewarding than enjoyment.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I like

— how giant companies can get so giant that their survival becomes essential to everyone else's, as if AIG is the water of the financial world. Indeed, who ever thought that the charging Merrill bull would grow feeble and go out to pasture?

— how anyone can hack a Yahoo account.

— how Japanese people all want to wear Sarah Palin glasses. Trend on, Nihon-jin.

— how I'm the only person at the office.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Cold.  Laundry.  Books.  Work. 

Infection abating.

Roof still problematic.

Weather and economy discouraging.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Too much to do

This does not include your laundry, grocery shopping, letters / calls to parents, childcare, reading, bath-time, or any other human fun.  It doesn't even include the opera, ballet, theatre, or other intellectual stimuli. Still, I know which places have free beer, free wine, and free food.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prescription Bactroban cream discovered in cabinet

Federal law violation in progress.

Tar putty declared successful

Porch slated for moisture-damage recovery despite steady rains.


That's me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Squirrel tail

Thank you, neighborhood cat, for leaving a fuzzy spine-end with fly-enticements still attached on the sidewalk in the back yard.  Charmed, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

oven bunny

idioms are odd and change with time.

(image: detail from work by Matthias Potter, currently on display at.)

Monday, September 08, 2008

11 years ago

This was what was (punctuation amended):

Let a piece of peace
Fall on me, please,
I need something like quiet.

In my life of loud and go
I need quiet.

I left my soul on the banks of a
River I was dreaming of —
It's a false notion that we
Carry our souls around in our bodies.

I don't know about you, but mine's
Waiting on me.
Somewhere else.
Where she can be thinking.
I hope she's thinking of me.

Maybe she'll have it all worked out
By the time I get back.
But I think she'd rather have me there in the meantime
Where it's quiet.

We can sit on the grass and
Talk about all our pasts and
How this life seems to be going.
We can drink when we're thirsty,
Sleep when we get weary.
There'll be no airplanes scraping overhead,
No cars cutting up the air,
And no concrete full of tedious reverberation.

I'll stroke her hair; she'll maybe massage my feet.
We'll be merely being,
But, oh, how full of life we'll be.

Let a piece of peace
Fall on me, please.
I need something like quiet.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Weekend ha ha

It's funny to hear a friend say with correct righteousness that I should be able to stick around a while on a Sunday afternoon, after we've been camping together (with 10 others) since Saturday afternoon (Saturday morning, if you count the driving that started at 7:30), to simply enjoy being.

Yes, well, tell that to my work e-mail account and its 20 new messages.

Count in Friday's 5 to 10 p.m. (of which I can say, I guess, that 70 percent was non-personal time), and you have me, the spacey disaster who had admitted trouble stringing sentences together until this morning.

I slept for almost eight real hours last night, a kind of miracle, but by this point, 8.5 hours later, I'm about ready to keel over.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

First Friday

In Kansas City, Missouri's Crossroads art district on September 5, there is too much to do and see. However, my recommendation is to hit the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore St., around 7 p.m. and see work not-so-Crossroady.

For a pretty-darn-complete list of what else is opening, check Review's calendar.

Better not cut that pie

Ah, the random quoting of what is on the iTunes.

Courtesy of Ani DiFranco, whom I'm not going to be able to see when she swings through town (actually, she hates KC, she always hits the college towns of Lawrence, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri — as if all her "real fans" weren't her own damn age and out of college!) but not because of geographic resentment, though, yes, I hate driving home in the middle of the night after a show, but because I can't spare the $30 for something I said I'd never go to again. I think I just need to go by myself, but then I'd be the weird married woman all alone and suspect of all the younger lesbians. Just kidding. Just spewing. Just too busy and too fried and too tired and too overwhelmed.

Science chases money and money chases its tail, and the best minds of my generation can't make bail …

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Who's Cuter

Me (in 10 years) or Sarah?


Samuel A. Maverick, d. 1870: American pioneer who did not brand his calves.

Maybe they do cling to religion there

Ooh, it's Mr. NYC

"Hi, I was in on it."

Just kidding; not a real quote.

(Cindy's wearing the pearls again. If those are real, wow.)

"A proud soldier in the Reagan" something something.

What's wrong with an Ivy leaguer who was a community organizer? A military guy is better somehow.

Chicago machine politics. Obama as mafia. Hmm. Sounds like Truman. Darn those Democrats.

Yes, I think he has problems with the non-voting. What is up with that?

Voting "present" is a kind of protest, Mr. 9-11 baseball hat. Yes, making decisions is important. But so is saying, like my Republican brother, "this is crap, and I'm not voting for either of them."

Oooh, "the kind of thing that can only happen in the United States."

Never had to run a business, military leader, etc.

Doesn't that describe our current man? Failed at how many business posts. Didn't go to any war. Skipped the heck out. Screwed up at the Ivy league school! If we can elect someone with a proven track record of failure, what's wrong with electing one that is sweet, young, appears to be honest, and is cute — what's wrong with you, fellow women voters?

Oh, wait, Rudy, you didn't just use the flip-flop card. McCain has changed his silly mind about tax cuts, drilling, etc. Bleh!

"Anything that terrorists do to us … this man is tested … our children … our country will be safe in the hands of John McCain …"

I feel better already, don't you?

I am afraid of "hope as a strategy." Of course I am. But I'm more afraid of a hawkish guy who has the same leadership experience as the other guy. Remember when they said that senators never get elected? I am waiting for the wild card.

"… and YES, off-shore oil drilling."

He's making a joke about "drill, baby, drill." That's what they're chanting now.


"Americans don't want more government, they want less." No, I want a smarter one, and I'm not afraid of "European ideas."

Jesus, Elvis, and FDR are his heroes, per his Hope, Arkansas, hometown's.

Who are mine, you ask? Oh, you know.

"I don't want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me." Neither do I. I want the government to have policy based on intelligence, is all. We all just disagree about intelligence.

He's tired of hearing about Palin's lack of experience. (Isn't that the issue with "all" the candidates?)

His citation of the teacher's strategy seems on point. Would that all teachers acted such. One should earn things. I can't wait for the punch line … here it comes: oh, the veterans. Yes, kids should respect that. Mr. Mike should see how many of the low-income school kids cling to the JROTC and even aspire to join the military, even the illegitimate non-citizens. (This is first-person writer speaking again; seven years talking to kids at a certain school.) Sigh.

Drill now — drill, baby, drill!

Tell me I didn't just hear a man say that on TV. I'm not watching comedy, right?

Who is this "I'm an African American, too, and we don't need someone who clamors for applause, but who puts our country first?" You can look it up as well as I can. (He's head of GOPAC.)

I will say that the RNC crowd's periodic repeated chanting of the country's initials is more "socialist"-seeming than the nice, genuine-ish enthusiasm I observed at the DNC.

Watch out, they're energized.

I am pissed that liberal media is showing its stripes. Wasn't the DNC on all the major networks? I can only see the RNC on PBS — why?

Here's Mitt Romney calling us to watch for sunrise in the west (Arizona, Alaska). I love it when they get all scientific.

He's telling me that our Supreme Court is liberal because it gave "Guantanamo terrorists Constitutional rights." Are those the ones who were citizens of my country already? You tell me.

And government spending has doubled since 1980. Umm, well, yes, we bought a war, right?

O.k. I won't go on. I had plenty of snarky comments against DNC speakers, too, you just didn't get to see them.

Wait, "It's time for the party of big ideas, not Big Brother." (Which party is that, again?)

Oh, yes, he just pulled the Ronald Reagan card. Good move.

"Immediate" drilling for more oil off our shores (again). (It's not gonna be immediate, no matter who approves what when; the immediate part is that fuel-chain investors will see a rise. Even Sarah Palin admitted that.)

"Republicans believe there is good and evil in the world." (I do, too.) He then invokes McCain: "Radical violent Islam is evil and he will defeat it." (Now who's the Messiah?)

Chant with me and them USA USA USA USA USA USA …

"Never been a day when I was not proud to be an American."

Sorry, buddy, send me to the beach and throw away the key, because I ain't no absolutist. How can you not be ashamed of anything at all?

"… providence of the Almighty …"

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Class action

One feels so very proletarian when one finds unexpected settlement letters in the mail. One thing electronic communication hasn't been able to replace are personal legal notices. Yes, certain ones can be published in a "daily record" sort of thing, and even those have been proposed (perhaps won and done) to be moved to Web sites; it's cheaper for the counties, a missed market for the "dead tree media."

"You're being served" just isn't the same if it's an Evite.

Settlements from class action lawsuits are not entirely unexpected. There is always a preliminary letter from the attorneys. Clishé: they seem to be the real winners, the ones who actually receive non-negligible chunks of the millions — we pay them a lot to prove a point / to record that a company admits wrongdoing. The letter gives you the option to sign away your rights to the suit. I do not know the expediency of doing that.

The first such suit I happened to be classed with was the case brought against the University of Missouri. Someone proved that the way the state law or the school's charter was written, tuition could not be charged. Yes, now they simply charge "educational fees," or perhaps they have changed the law. I can't recall, and I'm not going to look it up — this is first-hand testimony from a slightly respected (and never intentionally misleading / almost always accurate / always admitting known mistakes) writer.

I never was able to realize those benefits, as the settlement only paid out in $500 increments to students from a certain era (we were there in the '90s) and who were enrolling in the public Missouri universities again. One could extend the benefit to family, but one also had to apply for the money as for any other scholarship.

Apparently, they have already run through the $50 million or whatever. I checked when I got back into grad school last semester. It didn't take long, did it? It was gone long before the statue of limitations.

Presently, I'm now "due" $3.50 for every month I was self-insured through a particular organization, between 1997 and April 8, 2008. I don't know what the suit is about. It's unclear, but I have a good 42 months in.

Wow, the meaning of life, the universe and everything is my health insurance.

Yes, that same company is telling me again at annual-renewal-point-October: "We periodically review the trends in escalating health-care costs, the increasing use of medical services, and other factors. In doing so, we have determined that we will need to adjust your health insurance premium rate."

So meaningful!

Never mind that I haven't cost them a dime in years. The woman is rarely ill. She has fine cholesterol and LDL levels, fine BP, and likely will die of cancer or heart disease, according to family history. But whatever … just one, very old "pre-existing condition," whose origin is unknown and untraceable and whose outcome is "gone for nearly a decade," so take a hike, premium-metrics — it's not the kind of thing that comes back or will ever cost anything in any way!

[You know how they ask you when you sign up whether you smoke — and it's a big deal? What if you start later and never mention it or go to the doc? I'm not self-reporting! I do not smoke or use other tobacco products. I eat broccoli, so bug off.]

Anyway, the 147 bucks that is my "settlement" is pretty much my new monthly rate, up from $123 only six months ago (it seems. She's too lazy to retrieve checking records right now. Even so, if it's every year and all I've done personally is age, well, do some percentage-of-increase math and tell me how things will be when I'm menopausal in __ years.)

But wait, there's more! The maximum settlement is just $21!

Great, let me go buy a bottle of whiskey and call it good.

My current deductible is $2,500 individual, but "co-insurance" is 80% of 10 grand. Max annual out-of-pocket (like there's anything IN the pocket) is $4,500. Yup, that's more than I could bear right now. Shiny, happy, Visa card …

Forgot to mention: I have no co-pay: I pay the WHOLE doctor visit bill (which they run through the game system and adjust depending on what insurance one has).

OH, and the best part is that, should I wish to reduce my premium, my only "options" now are to take on something that has a $5,000 annual deductible across the board, with an annual max payout of $7,000.

(May I curse now?)

All I want is new contacts. Vision is not covered in this plan. I bet I could guess what my prescription should be. Would that one could just order online and be done with it. Yes, yes, doctors are important, and I'm not looking to put anyone out of business, but my issue is merely computers, no diagnosis required. Only this and nothing more.

And Lenore is quite weary of hearing of Annabel Lee.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Note to self: don't go out.
Note to other self: don't stay in.
Note to self: you are bad with boundaries.
Note to other self: avoiding everything outright is not a solution.
Note to self: just say no.
Note to other self: you never say yes.

Note to body: please stay asleep longer.
Note to body: nice suntan lines to end the summer.
Note to body: you are 34.

Note to universe: send advice.

Deuteronomy 5:17-21

From the Writing on the Wall series,

Faced with the obvious damn thing that you're determined not to do?

Well, thank God and no one else that thinking about it is not as bad as doing it.

Because the underlying truth is that it inevitably will cross your mind. We're not held as accountable for that spontaneous feral experience of odd-placed joy as for our following through with the unexpected (somewhat expected) impulse. Newland Archer understood the folly of justifying one's own situation as the exception to the rule.

Stepping outside and viewing in, it is evident there is only one path.

I am good. I keep my promises. I don't break commandments except 1 through 3. Yes, hell-bound but not for having transgressed against my neighbor. If I stretch it, I can say the reason for my respecting fellow humans is my respect for commandments 1 through 3. Just not in the way He meant it.

________________, however, so I'm apparently lying about quashing fellow humans with whom I have no standing commitments.

That involved yet another man. And the other one altogether, who played the accompanying friend, was half in love with me but like all my best loves respected that I was not free.

How is it possible that there is any arguing whether "thou shall not murder" includes such a grotesque and oft-necessary procedure? Another case of the obvious. Grim, heartbreaking, and dumped into the internal pile of equivalent regrets — all the past loves, which are always Current Love Singular — because I choose to think of all time concurrently.

Yes, it's all choices.
We do a lot of stupid things all the time.
We just have more hope than sense.

I haven't made the same mistake twice.