I guess you can say its been a long time since you’ve blogged if you can’t remember your username and password. Oops.
I’ve been very busy with traveling, Nate, writing, and life in general.
Nate and I went to the October Sky Festival in Coalwood. It was a beautiful day, just gorgeous. I’ve struck up a friendship with one of the other Rocket Boys. He works across the mountain from where I live. He’s cool.
I have not seen Adonis since that day after work.
I’m still dealing with this whole thing with Jeff.
I’ve been writing and reading a whole bunch. I met author Josh Weil at the WV Book Festival. His new book, “The New Valley” is out. It’s a collection of novellas, which is very exciting for me, since I love to write them. It was very good. I suggest it. Plus, he’s really cute and wrote something sweet in my book.
I’ve read, “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Reader,” “The Road,” (MUST READ – AMAZING), and about 10 of the 49 short stories of Ernest Hemingway. My favorite so far is, “The Short Happy Life of Francis MacComber.” I think that’s how it’s spelled. I have several others on my list by Alice Hoffman, Jim Harrison, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m also reading, “When Miners March,” by William C. Blizzard. It’s about the Redneck Army that marched to Logan in 1921 to attempt to unionize the coalfields. When I talk to my guests at the restaurant I tell them what I’m reading and most have a book they like to suggest.
And Nate, don’t get me started on that gangly 13-year-old of mine. Having to kick his ass over school, but he’s picked up the ball and I’m already seeing big improvements in his grades, or rather, just not as many zeros. He had the croup and was out for four days. His 8th grade class has about 160 students and about 100 were out the same week he was with either flu or croup and it just keeps going around.
T-Bird’s eldest had swine flu and both Nate and I were exposed but dodged it for the time being. Amazingly, so did everyone else in the family so far. T-Bird is in the hospital right now. She had surgery on her hernia again. It was really, really bad. The doctor had to work about 3 hours to get her put back together the way she should be, then he put her ass in the hospital. She’ s been there since Monday and boy is she pissed!
Her sister is getting ready to take back custody of her nephews, after 2 1/2 years, and of course she’s up in arms about that. I told her that what is going to happen is going to happen, to move on and take care of HERSELF. That means, among other things, to lose weight. I know, easy for me to say. No, not always easy for me to say. Since her ongoing medical problems are a direct result of her weight and how she carries it and she did lose 40 pounds but then gained it all back and then some and wants to blame everyone for her problems but herself, I have an issue with that.
If she just said, “I should have stuck to not drinking soda and getting up and moving around a bit more,” then okay. But, blaming your doctor because you didn’t follow her instructions? Unacceptable. Here’s the thing, if she drinks 4-6 Mountain Dewdrops a day and every time I see her she’s sitting on her butt… well. I’m past the point of being able to garner sympathy when she blames someone else for her problems.
I’ve offered to walk with her after I get off work, since I’m either at her house picking Nate up or driving by her house every day. I know its easier to exercise, especially when you don’t like it, with someone else. I got off my routine when Nate was sick so I have to make myself make time to do extra exercise to prepare for the marathon in April. I drop Nate at school, then go to work an hour early, and since I work on a hill, I walk down the hill and back up The Sunrise Carriage Trail, which is an access road that William MacCorkle used to bring building supplies up the mountain to build his mansion, Sunrise or The MacCorkle Mansion, now on the register of historic places. Its awesome. I’ll take some pictures.
Anyway, T-Bird’s response to me was, “Uh, *snort* NO!” So.
That’s about it from this end. Sorry I haven’t been around to visit. I try to follow everyone I can on Facebook and I do drop into Blogland and root around a bit, just been busy takin’ care of business and such.
I talked to Jeff this morning. He asked if I was working today and I said, “No,” to which he replied, “That’s a good thing because I’m not sure I’ll be sober later.” Seems he and Jim have been kicking back all weekend. I’m really shocked. *yawn* He said he was going to try and sober up today. I told him he had better because I’m working long shifts the rest of the week and he’d better let me know if I have to make other arrangements for Nate, or hey, GET SOBER!
Jace was here quite a bit this weekend. Odd, very odd. I’m a Scorpio, this is my lair, not just anyone walks in and seats themselves on my couch. I like having him around though, which is also odd. By this time, most guys have pissed me off. Plus, I just don’t have men around Nate. Not that I’ve dated that much but if I do, well, its away from Nate for a period of time. Nate’s taking this about halfway good and halfway bad. I think he likes Jace but doesn’t like the fact that I like Jace or that Jace likes me. Fairly typical, I believe, for a child who has had me exclusively to himself for most of his life.
Jace is a really laid back, positive guy who works hard, has made mistakes, and has had a lot of tragedy in his life, but, he keeps going and doesn’t let it get him down. Oh, and he’s bald, because you know, I either date guys who are bald or who have hair down to their asses. He’s a smart ass to a degree, which means, he actually does fit in great around here. And he’s very affectionate without smothering. BONUS! Plus, he’s a Pisces, has the same birthday as my Dad. Pisces are my favorite water sign. Thank you, Jeebus.
So, I’m cautiously optimistic. We’re both going to see how it plays itself out and just take it easy and enjoy each other.
Nate’s at school, Jace is at work, Jeff is … who knows, and I’m home alone with my kitties. It’s crisp and cold outside. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and going hunting. I’m looking forward to the Yuletide season. It will be a slim Yule for Nate but he’ll have some nice stuff under the tree, just not much of it. He was running around in his underwear last night (brrrrrrr!) and I said, “Dude, where did you get those underwear? Aren’t those your old ones?” Since they were four inches below his bellybutton and practically up to the crack of his ass. I looked at the tag and nope! They are 14-16!!!!
Any of you who have ever met Nate, or even just seen his picture, know he’s this tall, skinny kid with no ass. Well, he has more ass than me or his father, which he gets from my dad. I have more of an ass now because I do squats all the time, but really, we’re the buttless wonders. My bro and SIL called this weekend wanting to know what to get Nate for Christmas. I said, CLOTHES and a little Lego thing if you can throw it in there. When I told them what size he wears my SIL said, “A 16 SLIM???? OMG!”
So, Nate will be getting some new underwear today. I may look online and see what I can find for Christmas. Have a happy Monday.
I watched the debate last night with my friend Jimmy. Part of the problem with watching with Jimmy is we start discussing what the candidates are discussing and we had to catch up on what the candidates were saying. There were only two times that I yelled at the television. One was over energy and drilling and the other was over the negative campaigning.
I belatedly yelled after an interjection by Nate during the high point of the abortion debate. I rabidly dislike being called Pro-Abortion because I’m Pro-Choice. I don’t really have time to get into that.
I wanted to talk about Nate’s friend and the discussion we had the other day but again, don’t have time. Hope you all watched the debate and found out more about the policies of each candidate. Its important, even if you reject a candidate, to know where this country is headed after the elections.
Have a good one.
Tango came home! Yay!!! $437 and change later, yeah, he had some kind of infection/virus thing, as yet unnamed because they couldn’t really tell me what was wrong with him. $437 I don’t really have, not at all. So… Nate aptly named Tango’s ailment as “Feveritis.” Yep. That totally blew my budget, totally. Oh, wait, what budget? Yeah. Fuck.
Saw the Branchflower Report and it was as I suspected. If you read the comments of my last Sunday post, I talked about the difference of having an ethics violation versus actually breaking the law regarding the dismissal of an official. Although an ethics violation is a breaking of the law also, the only one facing censure is the Governor. Since the report found that there were other reasons to fire Monegan, the State of Alaska hasn’t been opened to a potential wrongful discharge civil claim by Monegan.
There’s the argument that this investigation was politically motivated. Well, when the Governor uses her political power for personal or financial gain, that’s an ethics violation. And frankly, when you run on a ticket of busting corruption and accountability… what the fuck do you expect? She said, “Hold me accountable.” That’s a direct quote from The Anchorage News. Besides, barely anyone outside of Alaska even knew who Sarah Palin was until McCain tapped her for the Vice-Presidency, which was after this investigation started.
All in all, it was really a wash. I don’t think it rises to the level of impeachment, censure yes, impeachment no. And it really doesn’t matter to me in the course of the election because I’m not voting for her anyway. It just gives a broader view of the candidate and people can make their own decisions about whether they believe it is noteworthy that she abused her power as Governor. Many will see it as “justified.” Every media source and campaign will spin it. Meh.
That’s all actually. I’m taking Nate and Cam and Nate’s sister and her mom to the Black Walnut Festival today. Should be… interesting.
I didn’t get to watch all of the debate because I was working. What I did get to watch I had to catch up on because I hadn’t watched the whole thing. Plus, Jeff and I were talking about other issues when I went to pick Nate up, which also interrupted the whole thing.
Speaking of Jeff, he and I had a long talk yesterday, well, he did most of the talking. He let me know some things that had been on his mind, which had nothing to do with either Nate or myself, but explained a lot as far as his drinking and his general attitude sometimes.
Even though Jeff and I have our problems, and we will always have these problems, I understand better now than I did before what it is like to be him. I think the most important thing he told me was that when his problems with PTSD became so severe that he had to leave the department, he lost his identity. He lost the thing that he had worked for his entire life, and that was being a police officer. Jeff had told me stories about when his dad was Chief of Police and Jeff would ride with him, whether in the cruiser or in their personal vehicle. From the time Jeff was a child, he dreamed of being a Man in Blue.
And I’ve said it before, Jeff was an excellent police officer. I rode with many of the policemen on his department and there was such a difference with Jeff. Its not something you learn, its something you’re born with. He was born with the Blue 6th Sense. Jeff’s incredibly empathic but he had no idea so he absorbed all of the darkness that he saw. At one point, he looked at me and said, “They will never make a pill, never manufacture a medication that will take the smell of burned flesh from my nostrils.”
I don’t believe I have ever felt more helplessin my life. Perhaps when my house burned, but at that point, I was allowed to scream and cry. And inside of Jeff, I know there is a scream that cannot be silenced until he stops telling me and starts telling his psychiatrist. I have had my own problems with PTSD, but I have not a clue in how to counsel him other than to listen and cry with him.
We have a very complex relationship. We love each other, but we don’t. We are friends, but we aren’t. Sometimes, we just love to hate each other. We drive each other crazy, but have an odd symbiotic relationship, as though one cannot live without the other, even though we desperately want to. We give new meaning to the phrase, “I wish I could just quit you.”
None of that changes how I have to do what I have to do when it comes to Nate and myself. Just because I understand the reason for something doesn’t mean I have to take the fallout for it, especially when I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t control it. Which leads me to feel very sad but also hopeful that Jeff will someday get the help that he so desperately needs. Maybe then I won’t think of the phrase, “So tell me Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?”
I was over at Mahala’s and she had a meme posted, which looked sorta fun, so thought I would try it out.
4 things I did today:
* Drank coffee.
* Wondered if our sous chef has a crush on me like my manager thinks he does. The jury is out.
* Turned down the position of full-time office girl at the restaurant to stay on the floor. I just like serving, folks.
* Wished by 11:00 a.m. I could have a beer before the doors opened.
4 things on my to do list:
* Make some jewelry!
* Clean the house. Oh joy, always at the bottom, but always on the list.
* Get laid by someone I actually like. Body hair optional, facial hair would be nice, and, uh, nice teeth, decent physique, likes to cook me breakfast after morning sex, and then wants to have more sex. What’s the question again?
* See a freakin’ concert already!
4 of my guiltiest pleasures:
* Sex, when I can get it. Wait, I don’t feel guilty about that. Ummmm… taking a spoon to the mixing bowls for our desserts at work. I don’t feel guilty about that either. Okay, maybe I do feel a bit guilty about imagining sex with a few of our guests.
* Sitting on the porch reading the newspaper in the sunshine while I should be cleaning house.
* Doing anything other than cleaning house.
* Taking long drives when the gas prices are insane.
4 random facts about me:
* Tequila is my favorite liquor.
* Eichbaum is my favorite beer.
* German Reisling is my favorite wine.
* I can hold my liquor, my beer, and my wine, and I’m a lot of fun when I do!
Normally you’re supposed to tag people, but like Mahala, I’m just not into that. Do it if you want.
I had the day off today so I packed up my beading supplies and headed off to Nate’s middle school to give a talk on beadwork. His art teacher is new a sent out a letter asking parents or other relatives to offer to give talks and demonstrations on various forms of art. I was the guinea pig.
I spoke to all of her art classes, not just Nate’s. Girls are naturally drawn to my work because of the jewelry aspect of it. I drew the boys in by talking about how I came to start beading, which included the story of shooting my buck, and how I wanted to decorate the antlers. One young man’s hand shot up in the air and I answered, “It was a five point.” He didn’t even get the question out of his mouth.
Even those young men and women who acted disinterested were out of their seats just as fast as those that asked questions and were attentive to touch and examine my beadwork and the components I had laid out. They especially liked the antique beads and how miniscule they were in comparison to the other beads I had there. I had also taken the 100 year old French steel cut beaded purse that I’ve been trying to work on restoring.
A young man was sitting in a front seat, looking very dispassionately at me the entire time as I explained the significance of the beaded purse. I walked over and asked that he hold his hands out, which he did with some reluctance, but as I placed the heavy piece over his hands, his eyes lit up and he smiled, definitely in spite of himself.
I have to say, they were all very respectful and even the boys were inquistive, especially when they were allowed to touch and handle the pieces. Nate even rubbed his head on my shoulder a little to show his pride.
I’ll be going back in a few weeks, before the end of the nine weeks, to help them make their own polymer clay pendants. A lot of the kids are really going to miss the teacher and taking art, as they are only allowed to take it for nine weeks, which I believe is an atrocity. Some of those kids, and you can tell which ones, despite their flippant attitudes, truly enjoy art, if not just the acceptance of the art teacher for their individual gifts and abilities. It may be the only class where they’re graded on how far outside the box they can travel.
Never doubt that teachers work very hard on very small budgets, so if you have a child, volunteer to help your child’s teacher in anyway you can. Its very rewarding.
I was over visiting Jeanette and in her comments was Naomi (OldOldyLady of the Hills) who directed Jeanette to a post written by a lady named Dianne who had written eloquently about 9/11. (I didn’t link Jeanette because she’s linked on my sidebar and she’s password protected.)
Dianne’s post made me cry. I can’t even begin to wax eloquently about her post, so just go see for yourself.
However, I also read her most current post and felt compelled to address an issue that she brought up in regard to Sarah Palin. It is no secret that I’m not a Sarah Palin fan, however, I am a hunter, like Sarah. Dianne made the reference that Sarah “loves to kill innocent creatures.” (She also called Sarah “a dangerous, medieval nut case,” which I applaud, even more so given that I had trouble getting the spelling of medieval correct.) I digress.
I started hunting when I was young, but didn’t kill anything because I was scared of the kick of the gun. It wasn’t until later in my life, at age 31, that I actually picked it back up after years of thinking about it. My dad was an ATF certified gun dealer, so having guns around was a normal part of my upbringing. I live in West Virginia and hunting season is as big as NASCAR and WVU football, if not more so.
From the hunting perspective, I don’t actually enjoy killing another creature. The thrill of the hunt, for me, and I know for many others, is not the killing, but the hunt itself. Its about pitting yourself against the terrain, the elements, and the intelligence of other mammals. Its also about how full my freezer will be in the coming summer months when work dips off and I’m struggling, like now, to pay my bills, and having a little extra deer meat to feed myself with can be a really good thing. I don’t shoot squirrels because I won’t eat them.
Aside from a food source, there is another reason that I hunt, and that is herd control. A good example is the shopping center that was built about 8 miles from me. I guess no one took into account how much wildlife they would be displacing with the Hell*Mart, Targay, and the other stores and restaurants. A big problem with that is also that this land abutts incorporated cities that have no hunting allowed. Now, the townships complain about deer damaging their yards (and their vehicles) and the influx of raccoons is astounding.
And while said wildlife could travel a few miles south to the unincorporated area so they could be controlled through hunting, they aren’t stupid. Why give up the succulent gardens and tasty trashcans of humanity to return to a life of foraging for food in the deep forest? Of course, one must also blame the humans in this matter for thinking raccoons are cute and feeding them. Raccoons are NOT CUTE! They are mean little creatures who carry rabies. Intelligent, yes, cute, NO. Feed a ‘possum! They’re a hold over from the Ice Age because they don’t contract rabies nearly as easy as raccoons do! Its a rare sight for a ‘possum to carry rabies!
Now, we have a coyote problem. Coyotes breed like rabbits, are sly, shy, wily, and will eat your cat before you can say “meow.” Yet, someone thought it would be a good idea to reintroduce the coyote to West Virginia. Guess they never thought about how to control the population of said coyote in the incorporated areas and the protected State Forest they introduced it into, which, by the way, abutts the Capitol City. My boss, who lives in said Capitol City, can hear the coyotes howling at night.
Coyote hunting is not as simple as sitting in a tree stand waiting for Bambi to wander by. It involves calls and howlers and sometimes dogs, much like coon hunting or bear hunting. I don’t know anyone who knows how to hunt coyotes. While calls and such are used for turkey hunting and deer hunting, your success is not completely dependent upon it, like it is with coyotes. So, we have all of these coyotes with only a select few who actually know how to kill them to keep their population in check, and even if we do learn, the worst of the problem is in the big city where you can’t hunt them! Ugh! What a disaster!
And so now we can wander into 2nd Amendment territory. As some of you know, I lived in Germany for a year as an exchange student and went back in 2000 to visit with my family and friends. Germany has very, very strict gun control laws. Your regular police officer on the street does not carry a weapon, at least they didn’t when I was there, and as of 2000, they still didn’t. The interesting thing is that my ex-boyfriend is a detective with the German police and he outlined all of the testing (psychological, practical, etc.) that he had to undergo in order to carry a firearm.
The gun control laws came under scrutiny following a school shooting in Germany. You do have to have a license in order to own a weapon, following a three day course and test, and hunters have to take a year long course on gun safety with an exhaustive test before obtaining the right to hunt. While the laws are strict, it is still possible to own a weapon in Germany and many do enjoy that right.
And while it may be noteworthy that Germany has lower homicide rates than the US of A, so does Switzerland, and they have liberal gun laws, a very high weapons rate per capita, and yet one of the lowest gun releated crime rates in the world. One individual in the comments of one crime rate website I looked at stated something to the regard that America is violent because the immigrants are violent and raise our crime rates. In regards to that statement, I can say I believe it to be an oversimplified explanation of crime rates and violence in America.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have merit. Its also difficult given that I live in the insular mountains of West Virginia, which ranks around 39 or 40 of the 50 states for violent crime, and while we have a variety of immigrants here, the vast majority are hard-working, tax-paying families. Although I have travelled to over half of the states of the United States, my experiences with immigrant populations in those cities including NYC, L.A., New Orleans, and Houston, have been limited at best. Most of the violent crime in West Virginia exists due to the drug trade and the family feudal system of domestic violence.
There were 75 murders in WV in 2006. Our population hovers around 1.8 million. I’d say those numbers are pretty good for a bunch who are well known for our love of hunting and firearms. Unfortunately, I don’t have any data that shows if those 75 murders were committed with firearms or in another fashion.
This post doesn’t have any great insights into the American culture, nor gun control, or hunting. I support hunting for the control of animal populations and to put food on your table. Sometimes those things don’t coincide, because while I would kill a coyote, I doubt I would eat it. Same thing for a raccoon. I’m not sure whether stricter gun control laws would reduce violence in America. I can’t say I agree with folks toting around automatic or semi-automatic weapons for the hell of it or shooting big game from helicopters, but, there’s always a grey area.
In every big social issue in America, there’s always a big grey area full of caveats and a hope for common sense. You have the scare tactics of those who believe a ban on certain automatic weapons and add-ons and modifications will lead to an outright ban of firearms in general. They hear the word “gun control” and freeze up without bothering to read the fine print, to educate themselves about proposed gun control laws before hiding their weapons in the attic or under the floor boards or simply position themselves on their front porch with their shotgun, ready to mow down anyone who disagrees with their right to bear arms.
I think a more important question is, why are we killing each other? This doesn’t have anything to do with guns or lack thereof, it has to do with a societal mindset. Why does the US have a higher rate of homicide and violent crime than other industrialized (and armed) nations? Is it legal/illegal immigrants? Is it poverty? Drugs? Education or lack thereof? A “take no shit” attitude that has prevailed since the Minutemen were called to duty in the Revolutionary War?
This hasn’t been the most thoroughly researched post I’ve ever published, but I do hope it has helped you think about some of the issues facing American families, which may or may not come up in the political race, and those things that influence our perceptions of others, for better or worse.
I was really tired tonight and went to bed with the wedding of Mikey and Randi on my mind. Right now, their friends and family are gathering to celebrate their marriage and all I wanted was sweet dreams. Sometime within 15-20 minutes after I fell asleep, it sounded and felt as though the Jolly Green Giant fell off of my roof with a half ton of bowling balls strapped to him.
The house shook, the windows rattled, scaring Nate clear out of his little skin. I awoke with a start, bewildered and wondering if someone was messing with my house. Nate and I went from window to window looking for someone and finding no one. I heard my neighbors jabbering outside and went on out. They pointed to a big cloud of smoke in the sky. Nate and I walked up the street but couldn’t see anything. We got in the car and heard on the radio that a transformer blew.
My ass. No transformer could light up the night sky like that. No transformer could send a plume of smoke into the air like that. And no fucking transformer could create a boom equal to that of the sonic magnitude, that we have now found was felt in a neighboring county.
Nope, that could only have been caused by one of the chemical plants blowing. And that’s what happened. Right now, the Bayer CropScience plant across and down the river from me is shooting flames 50 feet in the air. High enough that you can clearly see the plant around it. Its bad. Its real bad. The plant is about a mile and a half down river from me. The four lane that runs in front of my house was clogged with cars, police cars, and fire trucks being called out from all corners of the county.
The nearest bridge across the river is through my town. The next nearest is below the plant in the town where Nate’s dad lives. The Interstate is shut down, as is the two lane that runs in front of the plant. An official shelter-in-place has not been issued for our town yet and the urge to flee is immense. I know some of the chemical plants around here make the same chemical that killed all of those people in Bhopal, India. I have heard that the building the explosion and fire is occuring in makes pesticides.
Memories of Oklahoma City just flitted through my mind. We’ve always known we’re on the Radical Muslim Hit List, but our population is not sufficient enough to make us a major target. But, its a thought.
They keep saying they aren’t sure if there were any workers there at the time. Bullshit. Its a 24 hour plant. All of the plants are 24 hour.
We are under a shelter-in-place now. I have heard conflicting stories about the area that Blonde Goddess lives in. I’ve heard they are sheltering in place and I’ve heard they are being evacuated. The shelter-in-place sirens are going off right now. Its an eerie sound that I’ve only ever heard on the last Wednesday of the month at noon.
I’ll update as soon as I know more.
Just waking up this morning to find the roads open and the shelter-in-place lifted. One worker was killed by the blast and another has been flown to the Burn Center in Pittsburgh. Six other workers in that area were in a “safe area” and were not harmed. They were held in the hand of the Higher Power. No doubt about it. With an explosion that sent a fireball 300 feet in the area and shook homes for miles… its like walking away from Ground Zero.
As you can see, this is how I handle emergencies – the same way I handle thunderstorms – I sleep.
All is well, at least with us.