30 July 2006

Sunday morning, 30th July 2006, 0644 hours Eastern Time-USA

Boris and I bid our friends and readers adieu for now. I am just going to finish this post, and then I am going to unplug for a while.







29 July 2006


Today is moving day. Last night I brought home the boxes and bubble wrap my co-workers graciously accumulated for me and stashed in the supply area.

As the sun rises this morning I have gone to the blogs I've found along the way, and left messages for my blogger friends; I've made final lists in my head of IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO RE: THE MOVE; I've tried with a small measure of success to convince myself that this move will not be a bad thing all around and that coyotes will not eat me and the dog as we explore the new environs...

July 2003-I see the Internet for the first time (VERY briefly) as a friend I am visiting checks her email. I find it interesting...

January 2004-My employer sends a stripped, semi-crashed computer running W95 to my office, and tells me I can have it as long as I use it to connect to the Internet during business hours and check the new company web page for messages. Naturally, I am expected to pay for the connection...Four days later I am starting my first online college course.

Hey, if I'm paying for the connection, I should get something out of it, right? And it was not at all long (within weeks, really) that I outgrew the old computer, and had gone into hock for brand new state of the art computer, promptly named Boris at the suggestion of a dear friend and WHO fan. (Oh, come on, surely you know "Boris The Spider." Can you think of a better name for a computer??)

I highly recommend going to college online, especially as a crash course in Internet, Outlook Express, message boarding, Microsoft Office Suite, and directed research.

Frankly, I also recommend AOL as the first place to start as a 'net neo. They kept me safe, and along the way taught me a lot about keeping myself and my computer safe.

Finally, I launched my little anachronistic self into cyberspace alone-just me, Boris, and IE.


FF-Oct 2005-I BLOG THEREFORE I AM. After an rather unkind cut by a rather pompous little pinhead, I need to know I am.

At first, it was a self-affirmation, a vent.

It evolved.

Along the way I ventured to explore the Blogosphere, meeting some really great bloggers and making some surprisingly old fashioned connections through the venturing. I came to care deeply for them, their concerns, and their loved ones.

I've been blessed. I've been comforted; I've been encouraged (not always a good thing:); I've been instructed; strengthened, and granted the oportunity to share in the wisdom of ages.

And now I go offline for a bit; getting back to basics as I re-establish my independent living self. My routine will change, and I will have the chance to reflect on the things I have learned as I go about creating a new routine required by the art of living alone.

I need to do this, really, although I am a bit unhappy about being offline-I have Internet connections at work however I think it highly unethical to abuse the privilege.

I will miss the intoxicating wealth of knowledge and simultaneous lunacy abounding online.

I will miss being able to read Reuters and AP 'raw feeds' and I will miss reading behind the lines at CNN;

I will miss, though, most of all:

Curious Servant (Jobstale.blogspot.com)

Eric (acompletepiece.blogspot.com)

Ilan (little-israel.blogspot.com)

Spork (sporkinthedrawer.blogspot.com)


Barbaro and his fans (vet.upenn.edu.barbaro/messageboard)

The group candles (GRATEFULNESS.org) I often go here to light candles for us.

Everyone at A Dress A Day-I think it's a woman thing, guys-(dressaday.com)

The kids at myspace (MATT, PLEASE CALL HOME!! Chris has my new address and phone number)

And although this is going to sound silly, I am really going to miss seeing the shape of that biggest Little Rascal-Bart Simpson, as it/he appears on my Favorites navigation menu to the left of the main window.

No, really, the number and placement of keyed characters on each listing (I make files for each group of listings, for example "Sewing Online" and "Interesting People"; each file holds a trove of bookmarks.) creates the shape of Bart Simpson's profile.


"We'll meet again/don't know where, don't know when/but I know we'll meet again/one fine day."
Until then:

28 July 2006

Last night I turned on the ten o'clock news.

I'd forgot the date because we were driving through Atlanta on the way home to Ozark and didn't hear the news until the next day-just as we were passing through the city, a bomb exploded at one of the Olympics sites, and a woman was dead.

Someone's daughter, sister, wife, mother, neighbour. And she was dead in a senseless, random act of hatred; stolen from her family.

I cried. I hurt for the family, knowing the horrible grief they would suffer for years. My soon to be ex-husband chided me for my response-"You didn't know them"

Later, after the divorce, I would meet the husband, he would become one of my tenants at the storage facility.

Crusty told me I was being stupid-"She was probably a real bitch; maybe the family is better off."

What made the biggest impression on me after meeting and getting to know Mr. Hawthorne was how very free of bitter anger he was; when his daughter forgave Eric Rudolph on the day of his sentencing, I was floored-truly humbled by her spirit. Mrs. Hawthorne had left a tremendous legacy of love, one that continued to be spread after her murder.

My former husband, the man I came to believe was more captor than partner, is a man who will leave nothing of value behind. His legacy of hate, bitterness, and utter negativity, is a vampiric drain on the world that will leave most who know him with relief at the passing of such a view of the world and it's citizens.

Crusty believes-has to believe-that everyone in the world is a fraud, a liar, and a cheat; he believes the world is out to get him, and that he has no responsibility to hope in his fellow man.

When Princess Diana was killed in Paris less than a year before Crusty and I separated, of course I wept at the thought of this brilliant light being extinguished and I was heartbroken for her sons. Naturally Crusty made fun of me, asking why I was so upset since as a non-English Brit I should have been glad that the English were stricken with the loss of HRH.

I looked at him standing in the doorway of our bedroom. I told him that while yes, I was not particularly fond of the English, Princess Diana had transcended that; the English, I told him, are our cousins. We may not like them especially, but as family, when they hurt, we hurt. Especially when the Nazis declared war on the civilized world, and when a mother was torn from her family.

He didn't get it.

So, last night I thought about the Hawthorne and Windsor families, families in general, and Crusty, as I fell into sleep. I don't know if I dreamt-I was REALLY wiped out after a long, long business day and a personal evening that included last minute planning for the move tomorrow.

But I know that as I woke this morning, I was glad that Mrs. Hawthorne and HRH had been such inspirations of hope. I was grateful to God that he had sent these two lovely women into the world to act as counterweights to people like Crusty.

I refuse to believe the world is an evil, rotton place, filled with monsters in Man clothes. I understand there live here men and women that need it to be ugly so as to cover their willingness to wallow in such negativity, and that butterflies must take care to keep such as them from ripping off wings mid-flight. But I refuse to walk around 24/7 believing the negativity will prevail.

You lose, Crusty, and I'm sorry for that, and for you. I wish you'd chosen life...

God gives us life. Even better, He gives us our freedom and with that freedom we are abled to choose the pattern of our hearts; we are free to choose what sort of ripple we will cast upon the waters of life.

If, when ladies like Mrs. Hawthorne and HRH pass from out of this world leaving behind the miracle of hope, we know they have lived righteous lives, and though our hearts break at the loss of them, we choose to hold fast to the miracle-we then honour their lives for the heroic acts of love that those lives are.

Thank-you Father, for women like that. They truly are the glue that holds the world together, despite people like Crusty. They are the love that makes us willing to hope for people like Crusty. They lived the lives that inspire us to care about all peoples, and to pray when we hear of the violence against those You sent to be daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, and neighbours, escalating in Guatemala and Peru and Somalia.

I know in my heart that you wish Crusty and his kind had chosen to open their hearts to that miracle. I believe as they draw breath Your hope for them goes on.

Lord, make of me a blessing to someone today...

27 July 2006

Once I danced/I woke to music in my head;
Not alone
but with you, invisible you.

But when I realized I would be dancing alone/I stopped-
after time the music stopped...

I won't dance alone, I said,
no, I won't dance alone/just with you,
invisible you

The music stopped/the dancing stopped
but life goes on, life goes on.

Then I realized I would be dancing alone
eternity is forever now, instead of just a day.

But life goes on/life goes on.

I won't dance alone, without you
invisible you.

This is the cruelest reality check/knowing you moved on
without me
invisible me.

Eternity is forever now, instead of just a day...

26 July 2006

I'm not too excited about moving out to the trailer park, but then again, after I get used to the peace and quiet, I think I will be glad it happened. At least the kitchen will be clean, and when I go to bed, I won't be listening with half an ear for whatever antics my roommate is getting up to next...A couple of nights ago he decided, at around midnight, to fix the deadbolt on the front door. His weapons of choice included a mallet and wedge.

Last night at 2200 my soon to be ex-roommate arrived in from work with three of his friends. They set up camp just outside my window, and got roaring drunk.

I knew something was up when I got in from work-the kitchen was somewhat clean. This only happens when he is going to have a visit from his mother or his friends.

At least out there in Deliveranceville things will be simple-annoy me and I will shoot you, or at least offer to.

And no-one will think anything of it. The manager told me so.

I think back to the apartment I looked at back in April, at a most reasonable price, in a clean and fairly safe complex less than ten miles from my job, the one I still loved at the time, and had hopes of staying at for a few years.

Roommie was fired from his new job the same day I was going to sign the lease and I stayed here, although I should have moved out then.


My eyes are so scratchy from fitful sleep that it hurt at first to try to open them this morning; I am reeling somewhat, too, and I am recognizing the fact that I've not got enough sleep on a day when I have to go into my once loved job and face a hostile workplace populated by angry young black kids who see me and the only other white woman on the double digit team as the enemy.

I've knocked myself out to hang in there with and for these kids, hoping I could open their eyes, but they are flatly determined to hate.

I do my job, quite well, thank-you; I especially follow all of the rules that are surely going to get tougher as the new, hands-on parent company continues to exert authority in the takeover. This work ethic of mine and my fellow hag have not endeared us to these little pukes, who are openly proud of the willingess to play the race card should management lose their patience and terminate the little buggers.

This smug surety has been encouraged by the fact that they screw up all of the time and are not fired; they refuse to secure client material as requested before leaving their desks and are not fired; they play sexist, racist, obscenely defiant against authority Internet radio-permitting the volume to creep up so that by the end of the day the hate is ricocheting of the common walls and can be heard in the corridor; they surf the Internet ALL day long downloading racist material and are not fired; they are only less slovenly than my soon-to-be-ex-roommate and are not fired; they waste company resources deliberately, and again, are not fired.

These angry children will have to start following the rules they scorn, or they will lose their jobs-the company we now work for is all for diversity but not defiance. Their awareness of the coming ax is shown in myriad ways, the most telling is the pressure they are exerting in hopes that the white hags will quit and the company left stuck with them.

It doesn't work that way in our industry, and they only have to look at the third floor population to understand that. We work for a colour-blind company in a colour-blind industry; work hard and you will be rewarded by promotions until you reach the level of your incompetence.

It's about the bottom line, stupid.

Our new bosses are rather clear-"We will provide you with all of the resources to succeed beyond your wildest dreams-BUT YOU MUST AVAIL YOURSELVES OF THE OPPORTUNITY OR WE WILL OFFER IT ELSEWHERE.

The old paradigm doesn't work here.

Unfortunately, they will not heed their own observations or even good advice-my fellow white hag and I both have tried to encourage these brats to take advantage of the fantastic opportunity they've been presented; what an exercise in futility that has been.

For the last six months I've watched my co-workers, many with tremendous potential, cut their own throats with their gleeful displays of their version of corporate politics; for the last six months the new bosses have been taking notes.

The phrase that springs frequently to mind is "...enough rope to hang themselves." I confess to hoping the knot tightens today. I sit there sometimes trying to work amid the kindergarten antics mentally screaming-"DAMMIT, is anyone watching this??"

(At least I think they have been taking notes. Lately I'm wondering-why are some of these wretches still here?? I'm also wondering if I should bother trying to hang on to a job in a company where such blatant rule flouting goes unanswered with a hearty Heave-Ho!)

My childish co-workers have managed to make our workplace a very unpleasant place to be Monday through Friday nine to five-thirty and I cannot escape the certainty that they have deliberately done so.

People make all sorts of excuses for why they do things, myself included. The steer droppings I've endured since October at the hands of these pinheads (if I hear one more diatribe against 'Europeans' I'm going to be overly tempted to demonstrate why 'Europeans' were rightly termed ruthless-damn DAMMIT-I am losing my patience!!) have pushed me to a new level of unwillingness to tolerate stupidity.

One last thing-this is NOT a racist rant. This is an AGEIST rant-I cannot stand toddlers with driving licenses!
I know how Sousa feels-I got left off a list today, too, and since it is a professional list, I feel deepest empathy for the ball player, I really do!

Our department head, after promoting our supervisor and subsequently being inundated with our resumes-we all wanted her job it seemed-sent out a team wide email calling the team to a meeting with him tomorrow at 10 Eastern. Everyone on the team received the email just before the end of the business day.

Except me.


A big one, actually, because I work hard, do my job well, and put forth extra effort on behalf on the team. Routinely.

Which drives a 'co-worker' crazy. She hates me. Things have deteriorated so far that she will only speak to me if there is someone around that she is trying to impress-honest.

I understand what motivates her-I work hard, do my job well, and go the extra mile for the team effort.

She, on the other hand, bullies the rest of the team unmercilessly; she is not at all above making threats, and frankly, I strongly suspect her of sabotaging my work-the only time I make mistakes is A-when I've 'shown her up' and thus incurred her wrath; and B-when she has access to my work. Only then. The only time she puts out any effort is if I have done it first, or if someone she wants to impress is around.

She is also not at all above using the race card, the gender card, and the attitude card.

I can't stand her. However, I try very hard to get along.

Truth is, the only reason I put in my application to be supervisor is because I am a bit alarmed at the thought of this bitch having any authority over me-I overheard her saying that WHEN she gets the job, the first thing she is going to do is run off me and the other white woman on the team. She called us "old white hags."

I want to keep her from having access to my: locker, my desk, and my computer-I DO NOT TRUST HER.

Did I mention that she is a Devry graduate of the computer science program-but I know more about computers than she does?

What makes it so damn sad is that she is actually quite talented, and has potential. Too bad she wastes it on hate.

She reminds me of Harriet Tubman-Ms Tubman was the most pissed off woman I have ever met in any lifetime! She scared me, and I was a grown, adult woman working with my husband to aid those traveling the Underground railroad. She came through our place one time, and I think I made her even more angry at whites-I asked her what she wanted more-equality or revenge.

I was tending the wounds of a child she'd dragged through briars, but Ms Tubman snatched the cloth out of my hand and told the little one to get over it. I paraphrase, of course; she made it clear to the child (Do you know, I can't recall now if the child was boy or girl, all I saw was a snuffling child trying to pick the burrs out, and I got to work.) that white people could not be trusted, not even those of us who were appeared to be sympathetic and her emphasis on the word "appeared" made me to know she thought we all had hidden agendas.

It was a shame then, and it is now, this perpetuation of hatred, it makes me sick!

She looked at me in such a way that I can still feel the chill from the glare she sent me; I knew she wanted to see me in chains, and would not be disappointed to see the worst of humiliations heaped on my lily white head.

I probably would have gone on to try to talk some sense into her-that she was not the first to want to see me suffer, that her race was not the first to be enslaved; I more than likely was winding up to tell her about being the wrong kind of Greek, Egyptian, Roman, British woman, and I would have ended it by telling her with no uncertain fury that Africans had no bloody damn monopoly on slavery or suffering...

But my dear Edward, a wondrous man, restrained me.

(Ah, Edward. He brought me a wharf rat from London when he went to fetch back our wedding gifts-his byblow from a tavern wench. That was our joke, that the little one was a wharf rat that he'd been unable to resist making a pet of; as the boy grew older, I knew him for his father's son. But I was glad, really, and the boy was a son to me-the son I could not have.)

My friend, my dear friend, with whom I had shared a few lives, my dear friend, who didn't need to worry I'd be burned out as a witch (for having past life memories) on top of his worry I'd be caught teaching the Africans to read.

Anyway, it made my 'co-worker' rather pleased that I am so invisible to our department head that he left me off of the email. My other co-workers were embarassed, and not a lttle uneasy as they half-heartedly (and quietly-making sure the gloat was out of earshot) reassured me...

It hurts. Terribly. That I am invisible to the boss, and that my co-worker got a lot of pleasure out of the message being sent, if a message was being sent at all.

Oh, I was careful to make it a joke, and I know I pulled it off, but it really hurts.

Most of all that I have no-one to tell who will be at special pains to make me feel less hurt. That hurts most of all.

23 July 2006

I went online to the newspaper of the area I am hoping to move into and found a 3 bedroom one bathroom mobile home "In a Shady Spot" for $550. So I called.

After speaking for a few minutes, the woman who manages the "mobile home community" told me she would let me pay the security deposit in three monthly payments if Gator didn't try to bite her, and gave me directions to the place.

I threw the dog in the tub, shined him up, and and we jumped in the car.

I drive, and drive, and drive, and drive, and when I finally got there I wanted to turn around and floor it.

The trailer is at least 35 years old-probably more, sits perched on a mountainside overlooking several more precariously perched trailers from the late sixties, and has been clumsily 'remodeled' by the White Trash Decorator of the Year.

The kid who would like to mow the 'grass' (a few desperate clumps struggling in heavy clay soil) is straight out of Deliverance Part II and the manager explained that he is a victim of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The neighbours across the street are illegals if ever I saw-a father, mother, and several small children, with maize-NOT CORN-growing in straggling tall clumps right up to the house; the neighbours to either side stayed in their houses but their yards looked ok.

The girl living in the 'unit' behind the trailer I looked at is a student, so that might be ok and she apparently feels safe enough to leave her ten sped sitting on the porch, but I didn't have time to see if it was chained because the 'community' dog pack decided to check Gator out, and I had to hustle him into the car...The dogs arrived, and one of them has a skin infection.

Right, then the 'community' manager and I get in our respective vehicles and I follow her to the office-a drive through, up, and over some more torturous winding mountain lanes that have me wondering what it's like here in the winter...

We pull into the main complex, and I realize that I may be renting a trailer in the 'DEE-LUXE' area of the 'community' as the main complex is straight out of trailer park hell.

All the voices in my head are screaming-RUN!

We go into the office and as I stand at the desk I look through the window; I can see two skinheads lolling on the stoop of a trailer that makes the one I looked at seem rather nice. I didn't have time to see if they had gang tats because the manager handed me the application forms, and nervously told me how glad such a quality person as myself was interested; she told me horror story on horror story of people who'd looked at the place-I was the first person she would consider renting to, and all she wanted was proof of employment-she isn't even going to run a credit check or call down to Dothan to see if I left the apartment at the storage facility I worked and lived at before moving to Georgia in tatters.

The longer I am with her, the more nervous her laughter becomes. I begin to feel sick at the thought that our desperation matches up perfectly; I ask her if the trailer has been broken into, is the area safe? She looks me right in the eye and tells me yes; surprisingly, I believe her as everyone I've seen looks tough enough to shoot a would be assailant right off the face of the earth-and quietly willing to do so. I begin to think that if I end up having to move here, I won't buy a microwave first thing, I'll buy a shotgun.

22 July 2006

I am running out of time. I MUST find an apartment this weekend.

The overpriced one I thought I had didn't happen-the manager needed an entire month rent as a security deposit plus the first month rent-all at one time; I had to let it go.

Just as well, high voltage (and plenty of them) towers were the turn into landmark. I am consoling myself by telling myself that God didn't really want me there.

Plus, after number crunching, I really need something a lot less expensive, at least one hundred less a month in rent, preferably $150.00, or else I won't be able to start saving for my (hehe) retirement.

LOL, "retirement" was A-never in my plan book anyway; and B-the "retirement" I must now start saving for includes the realization that I will more than likely spend the rest of my life completely alone.

Bleak. I did not come back to be alone. Grim. Life for a woman alone AND penniless is never, ever a pleasant one. Any joys found are snatched quickly away by people like my former boss; people who believe they are dispensing "Christian Charity" when they give you a job, and then expect 24/7/365 slavish and servile toadying as recompense.

These sort usually particularly enjoy finding pleasure in heaping extra work on you while you are trying to get out the door to church/a meal/companionship/the doctor-my old boss used to say that "Poor people can't afford: dignity, Jesus, holidays, health care..."

A real jerk, that one, and I am truly blessed to be shut of him, his family, and his so-called charity. Knowing that he will answer to a much higher authority brings no comfort, though, only grief, as usual, that he chose to fall from grace.

Crusty would love this, I'm sure. He was literally Hell-bent to 'teach' me the all important lesson that people are evil, mean, and rotten to the core. He hated that I hoped for Man; he counted on being able to call out, with his dying breath, "Jesus, I believe in you!" as his get out of jail free card.

No, really, he did.

We lived in the Deep South for most of the 'marriage' and those who live in the American South know that for years the habit of the Christian Fundamentalists was to place signboards near the curbs of their home with Bible quotes. This was an effort to save souls from the fires of Hell, and their primary Christian duty-when they weren't lording it over their neighbours or the latest 'needy' person they'd dispensed their version of Christian charity to.

As we passed one that read something to the effect that 'believing on Jesus name is the only thing that will save you from the fires of Hell" Crusty would point and smugly inform me that he believed in Jesus, so he was "Saved" and all he had to do was call that out with his last breath...

After a few years, I kept my opinion of his lunacy to myself in an effort to spare myself the overwhelming sense of banging my head against a wall. Wifely duties or not, you really cannot save anyone determined to drown in stupidity.

Truly, these are the days of the Winnowing that Jesu warned us about.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the wars are ramping up.

Obviously, from my last post, I am sadly convinced that Israel is doing as it must; Israel is doing just what Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran/Syria manipulated Israel into having to do.

I am NOT a Dubbyah fan, frankly; on his 'good days' the guy reminds me of no-one more than Curious George, the sock monkey (who, BTW, is a fictional character, as I am beginning to suspect Dubbyah may be, too) to whom our current president bears an unfortunate resemblance to.

On his bad days he sort of reminds me of Mussolini, without the mistress'

And I really do believe he A-stole the election in 2000; and B-lied through his Texas teeth about Iraq to get our troops in there.

BUT. I don't believe he is the Anti-Christ, or even a wannabe.

So, that said, I have to say I find myself feeling sorry for G. W. Bush.

Sort of.

'Cause as Dubbyah's idiocy leads us farther and deeper down the primrose path to destruction; and as the Biblical prophecies keep happening no matter that most 'normal' people want to deny it, life as we now know it struggles to go on.

The power is off in many NYC homes-Con Ed can't figure out why; at least in St Louis officials can blame the storms. Any road, folks in the affected areas are struggling to survive the heat-not a cliche, 'struggling to survive', a reality. But people aren't in a full scale panic; life goes on.

In Las Vegas, it is now illegal to give food to the homeless-there goes your Faith-Based Initiative, Georgie. (Not to mention that by this time next week I may be homeless, and thus in need of a free sandwich or orange...) Life goes on.

Or does it?

21 July 2006

I have been reading the blog Little-Israel.blogspot.com. Today the blogger, Ilan, posted a 'button' he made, and welcomed readers to use it. I've tried to get it in here, but am technological incapable, at least as far as that goes! (Now, watch, as soon as I hit 'Publish' it will appear-hope so!)

I've tried to figure out how I feel about this latest "Middle East Unrest" and I'm trying to make sense of a headline-"IDF-Hezbollah Clash" I saw on CNN online a few minutes ago.

I'm sorry, "...Clash"?

Is this like the Vietnam "Conflict"? I remember that one.

Anyway, the button I keep trying to paste in here says "NO WAR" and I agree. I am also trying to find the wisdom and possibilities in the philosophy espoused by a commenter at Little-Israel-which is essentially: NO WAR-NOT EVER-FOR ANY REASON.

During Vietnam a popular poster cried out-"WAR IS NOT HEALTHY FOR CHILDREN AND OTHER LIVING THINGS" and featured a child's drawing of a potted plant. Long before I was Fox's Mom, and 'Bas's grammie, I agreed.

War is a horrible, horrible thing.


If the British had not answered Europe's call in September of 1939, would any:
"Mental/Physical Defective*Homosexual*Gypsy*Jehovah's Witness*Non-Aryian*Resistance Fighter*Jew be alive today?



"What if they gave a war and no-one came?" Hope floats.

All that comes back to me as I think about this nightmare, these nightmare days, is this:

Hamas got what they'd been screaming-crying-whining-KILLING-TERRORIZING for:

Sharon issued withdrawal orders, and lo, the settlements were emptied-some by IDF force (imagine having to evict your own people from their own land to give to the people who had been trying to kill your people for many, many years).

His own people were outraged; when life caught up to Ariel Sharon and he became a comatose stroke victim, who/what was blamed for his condition-not for the years of 'hard living', oh hell no!

An unfortunate lot of people, all over the world claimed God was punishing Sharon for giving into the Hama-nice, no?

Hamas responds-by killing two IDF soldiers and kidnapping a third-who is still "Whereabouts Unknown" and his parents are quietly going insane with the worry...

Hezbollah, seeing the relative impunity enjoyed by Hamas for the kidnapping, goes Hamas one better.

Hezbollah kills a soldier, and KIDNAPS TWO.

Both say they want prisoner exchanges.

Israel says "ENOUGH" and responds with missles, air strikes, and a few select ground forces.

After days of waiting for the Lebanese government to decry the acts of Hezbollah (which more than likely would have led to an Israeli cease-fire), the Lebanese government says:

"Thank-You Iran, our dear friends..."

The front pages are filled with photos of: war-torn Lebanese people-particularly grieving widows and injured children; traumatized foreign tourists and their children being evacuated by their respective governments...

Sound bites clamor for precedence-"Where is my government, they really should have planned better for getting us out of foreign countries if a war should break out!"

In British, French, Swiss, American voices-all strident through the utter fear that being on the ground when the bombs begin to drop, and the missles start flying, and the bullets whiz past YOUR ear...

But you know, where are the front page pictures of what the Israelis have gone through?





But sometimes...sometimes...'cause if you don't, the world becomes one big concentration camp.

18 July 2006

Father, these are grim times.

I know that you are with all souls, and I thank-you.

Magnify Your presence especially for those men and women making decisions in the Middle East, Father, on both sides, that they open their hearts to Your guidance, and find a way to end this.

And I ask that the missles launched by those whose hearts are filled with darkness fail at launch, or fall short into a empty place that no harm comes to man or beast; then shall they know that Your heart is grieved at this strife between those You are pleased to call Yours, and perhaps turn back before they are forever lost.

I pray that Your love and comfort surrounds the little ones in the cities where the bombs of both sides are falling, that they are strengthened beyond their fear and are abled to make the courageous decision to grow up and become active members of the peace.

Lead us, Father of all creation, that we step on the path that brings us to understanding and actions chosen to bring about an end to the ceaseless clamorings of those who hate peace.


"Peace! How I long for it! But when I speak of it, they are for war!"

17 July 2006

Heavenly and Holy Father of all Creation, I add my voice this morning to the prayers of all those going up this morning for the safe return to the Earth of the Space ShuttleDiscovery.

Guide the hands, hearts, and minds of the engineers and pilots this morning, Lord, who are entrusted with the lives of the astronauts, and the hopes of a free world; magnify Your presence for them, Father, that they are confident against the whispers of the enemy that seeks to spread fear and doubt against all souls who stand in courage against the onslaught.

I believe with my whole self that You have no intentions that this space going vessle should fail in it's return to the Earth; I believe that bad things sometimes simply happen to all of us, but You are there to comfort, strengthen, and light the way, as I believe You were with the souls on the Columbia that awful morning.

Thus I know that You, with whom all things are possible, are with the Discovery Crew even now, and I thank-You for Your presence with them.

I ask You, Lord, if it is at within Your gracious will and holy Covenant with mankind, to intervene and grant a miracle of rescue should something go amiss as the shuttle returns with her crew.

Lord, I ask this on behalf of Ilan, KC, Dave, Laurel, Rick, Will, and Mike; I ask this in the memory of the crew of the USCGC Cayahoga; I ask this for Titov; and I ask this for all of the families of all the voyagers who have ever flung themselves into the unknown that it become known and perhaps thereby enlarge the souls of Your people.

Amen, Father, Amen
I'm having one of those "fading fast" days-I'm not feeling very hopeful of anything right now and I'm scared to count what blessings I have left because it seems lately that whenever I do count them, they are smashed.

Tomorrow I will go to work and wait to hear that I am not going to have enough money for the apartment I found that is about $150 more than I wanted to spend, but is clean and safe.

Then I will have to go looking into the less clean and safe places out there, and hope I can get in with my dog.

When I came up to Atlanta, my son was going to take the dog, and my new roommate was going to let me stay for a couple of months without charging me rent so that I could get on my feet and after staying a few more months, move to my own place.

I got here with the dog-Fox refused to even help me move out of the storage facility and he didn't want to hear about the dog.

And Roomie wanted MONEY-NOW or I had to get out; he likes to use the phrase "I can't afford you-get out" in notes shoved under my door when I ask for a break so that I can pay a bill!

I had no-where to go, and no-one who cared about me to turn to; I gave Roomie every penny, even the ones from the piggy bank I'd started for my grandson in hopes that one day I would see him again.

I didn't have that many bills, and the amounts are small, but thanks to the roommate scaring the hell out of me, the bills got behind. I'd catch them up, he insist I owed him more, the bills would fall behind again. Then he would humiliate me in front of his guests (by telling them how much money I owed him and how tired he was of all the bill collectors calling for me) as I was coming in or going out. I got to where I stayed in the room I was paying $400.00-750.00 a month for, coming out to use the bathroom, walk the dog, or go to work.

The dog is 12 years old, and has been with us since he was eight weeks old when we rescued him out of a Guatemala City, Guatemala pet store.

Of course, he is really Crusty and Fox's dog-I always end up cleaning up their messes.

So, since 1998, when Crusty decamped with all the money, the car, the furniture, and held me back at gun point when I begged for some food and money as he was cleaning out the freezer, and Fox started 'acting out' his hurt and anger, I was stuck with two dogs amoung other things-Crusty and Fox's messes.

One dog was mine, and he died in 2000 on Valentine's Day of old age/canine dementia-doggy alzheimer. He didn't recognize me, and was suffering terribly; the vet put him down and I cried for days at the way the dog's last days had been so awful.

Gator is in full control of his faculties at the ripe age of 12, but is living this horrid life-my room is about 10x10, faces the car park with a sliding glass door that invites the freezing cold and now the burning heat in-the room is always uncomfortable.

He is not allowed out of the room except to run quickly through the apartment to go down the steep flight of stairs where he is urged to quietly and quickly relieve himself and then struggle back up the stairs so no-one from the office sees him. The management knows we are here, but not officially, so we have to keep a low profile. The dog can't sit in the sunshine, go for walks, or even look out the window. He can't beg at the dinner table or the kitchen sink, because he is not allowed out there-and if he could, I'm not sure I'd let him anyway.

The kitchen is so unsanitary that after any food I stupidly bought several times was consumed by anyone but me, I decided it was a blessing in disguise because the kitchen is always nasty. I love my dog, I don't want him exposed to the filth or Roomie's yelling.

I tried to get the local Boxer Rescue society to take him-they never called back or returned my emails. I kept trying to get Fox to take him. I tried to find him a home in several dozen places and ways.

Now, I've found a nice, clean, safe place where both of us are welcome-for a price. A rather steep price.

And I'm a week late on my car payment.

And Roomie is (a speed freak-ephedrine-I've discovered, no wonder he foams at the month, forgets what he says ten minutes prior, and is generally all around scary as hell) going to try to force me into a homeless shelter in eleven days if I don't find a place and get out.

Gee, what do I have to be worried about?

It is hard to find my optimism; I am completely alone, life has not been all that hopefilled the past eight years, and the aloneness is finally just too damn much.

I used to talk to myself-positive self talk from cognitive behavioural therapy I've read about. But the neighbours looked at me as though I was the neighbourhood loon and encouraged their kids to lurk under the window and listen to me. That happened to me in Dothan, and the scars are still there.

I need to hear good things, positive things, I need to hear human voices telling me they are my friend by helping me to brainstorm my way out of this nightmare!


16 July 2006

OK, 'nuff whining! God's got my back.

I know this because after posting that last bit, I went out on the balcony and looked up in desperation, and mentally heard the echoes of myself saying to Crusty-"God will take care of us, He always has, even when we thought we didn't want him to..." I used to say that to him and Fox when things got a little tough, back before Crusty went completely crazy instead of just a little crazy, and I was trying to make the best of everything for Fox's sake.

For a quick second I felt sorry for myself-I've no-one to remind me of that, I told myself, thinking it most unfair.

OK, but only for a really, really quick second, because no sooner had those thoughts flitted across my mind, I thought, "Wait a sec...God will take care of me. He always has..."

So, it's getting late, and I need to get some sleep, but I just had to share something I found when I got back in the house and visited a website looking for something else, and found something really neat-check out the sidebar...

Right, it's not placed as well as it could be, that animated blue ribbon asking you, me, everyone, to support 'net freedom of speech.

Hey, it's my first time, OK?

Now, for the neat thing...

Did you know that if you click the "edit me" link it takes you straight to the Helpful Blogger Info page?

I took the long way there while trying to figure out how to get the .giff in here.

But now that I know, I'll take the short cut next time I want to add a link.

Oh, and it would be great if you would click the link and add this or the non-animated one to your web site.

And if you are inclined to do this, I'd like to take this op to ask that you also consider helping the almost homeless IN YOUR COMMUNITY by keeping your ears open to who needs help getting into their own place. If one of you offers help and also enlists your well-heeled friends, you can make a real difference.

I went to a few websites for the homeless, and as I suspected, the help isn't for people like me, at least not until a series of preventable catastrophies brings us to absolute rock bottom, at which point the 'system' gets involved, and wastes quite a lot of those charitable dollars you've donated-usually a gajillion miles from your neighbourhood, for people who are no doubt equally deserving, but this is the 21st century-the LOCAL mean streets are getting even meaner and hey-IT COULD BE YOUR MOTHER OUT THERE!

Think it can not happen to you? Um, I wish.

So, cut the middleman/woman, and help your neighbour.

If you pay the electric deposit, and your brother-in-law who just won at Keno/Bingo/Texas whatever they call it/lotto pays the security deposit...if you all band together and pay the scurity deposit...if you tell the manager of places you've vetted (and therefore know is a safe and clean place for someone who has been through it and is alone and just needs a safe, clean, PRIVATE place of their own to heal and pull themselves together) that you and a group of your friends believe it takes a village...

'Cause, trust me, I'm out here totally alone except for you readers, and I promise you-it is mean, getting meaner, and really scary, and I am someone's mother.
I went over to the overpriced apartment complex this morning and gave them a deposit to hold the apartment while they check my credit to see how much of a security deposit I will have to give them. The amount could be as much as three times the rent.

I have the pro-rated rent till the first. That will leave me just enough to buy some more peanut butter until the next paycheck, at which time rent will be due.

That doesn't cover the security deposit, the electric deposit, the dog deposit.

I am quite serious, if I ever manage to pull myself out of this increasingly deep hole, I WILL HELP OTHERS in getting the money together for the deposits to get their own place. I did nothing to deserve this, I have no one to turn to for help-I make too much money for assistance.

I guess 'they' think I should blow off the past due bills for food and to save money for a slew of deposits; I guess they think if this happened to me, I must either be guilty of something, or too stupid to be permitted to live.

Well, I'm neither stupid, or guilty of anything wrong. And I know there are an unfortunate lot of women out there just like me, whose husbands/friends/family/ community turned on them like hyenas when it all came down. And I don't want anyone to go through this, what I'm going through. It's awful-and I didn't do anything wrong!

Once upon a time I lived in my own home-nothing fancy, but we owned it, and it was the beginning of the nightmare when Crusty started saying he hated our house and he wanted me to find something down in Dothan.

Permit me to back up. When my dad died in 1985 and Crusty took the job at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, the money was pretty good and we were renting a house in Ozark while we looked for a piece of land to build a house on.

But I'd inherited a little bit from my dad, and since my brother and sister-in-law managed to get Crusty to sign a document stating he wouldn't try to touch my money, I felt a little hope, and I used a visit to my brother and his wife to hide that I was buying a place in Virginia where I could escape.

Then my brother and his wife went to jail for importing marijuana. The police let her go, they extradited my brother back to Florida.

I sold everything I owned to help my brother pay for lawyers because he swore to me he was innocent-which I, not being stupid, knew was not the truth, but hey, the guy was my brother-and gave my sister-in-law the money to pay the lawyer she'd hired.

Which they (sister-in-law and lawyer) promptly converted to small unmarked bills and hopped a plane to the Caymens.


I'd visit Harry in the prison work camp while he was incarcerated (sometimes bringing little Fox as I thought he might learn crime doesn't pay from an up close view) and he ask me if I'd heard from the sister-in-law. Then he heard from her-she divorced him.

After he got out of prison she called him and told him I'd not given her the money.

My brother doesn't speak to me anymore.

Of course, there is a little more to the story, but this is it in a nut-shell.

Ain't life swell?

Anyway, Crusty found out about the farm I'd bought in Virginia, and blew a fuse. This happened just before Harry was arrested. Crusty tried to get me to sell the place before Harry got into trouble, but I was determined to hang on to it...

Then, just after Harry went to jail to await trial, Crusty heard lay-off rumours. We got out of the lease on the three bedroom/2 bath home with a family room and huge fenced yard, and bought a 1962 Douglass of Georgia 10'x48' (including the trailer tongue) mobile home. We gutted it and rebuilt it from the studs up.

Because it was so small, we were, after Crusty wasn't laid off after all, to put some pretty nice material into it.

It survived Hurricane Opal nicely.

But in March of 1998 Crusty became even more frightening than he'd been in all of the previous years. (Which were pretty scary, really, and had just included a stint in Central America ('94-'96), where I began to understand just how crazy things were getting...)

And then we moved down to Dothan. We sold the little trailer.

I didn't know it, but I'd just become essentially homeless.

And so alone.

I filled out the application, and couldn't tell the woman in the office why I didn't know my son's telephone number when she insisted she needed a number of someone to call in case of emergency or she couldn't run the application. So I gave her Roomie's number.

Driving back to where I have been eking out an existence at Roomie's, I almost fell apart.

I have NEVER EVER been so close to giving up in my life.

If I go to a homeless shelter, they will kill my dog.

I HAVE TRIED TO FIND HIM A NEW HOME!!! I've also gone without food since October on a regular basis so that I could catch up the bills (see previous blogs wherein I go on about Roomie holding back my mail, and deleting phone messages) and still pay Roomie what ever the rent was that day (it flucuated, sometimes he would scare nearly a thousand dollars a month out of me) AND still buy dog kibble.

Monday, at work, where I have no friends (no friends at home, no family, life alone, not fun), and lots of co-workers who either don't know I'm alive, or hate me because I do my job and they don't, the manager will call to let me know how much I have to pay to get into that apartment.

If it is more than $350, I'll be homeless.

Roomie has made it very clear. If I am not out by the 28th, he will put me in a homeless shelter.

And Crusty will get his wish-to see me homeless, a bag lady, and begging.

14 July 2006

God, I promise, if I ever have money again

(and You know me, Father, The Benz never impressed me, and if I could still afford to be driving it, I'd be driving the KIA anyway because I'd see the extra money as something to use for Your purpose-BTW, thank-you again for the divorce from Crusty so that I actually can use money toward Your purpose; to me "having money" means an 'extra' hundred dollars, not hundred million:)

I will start an assistance fund to help people like me get the money together for deposits and first month rents; car tags and insurance; a tank of gasoline to get to work before the paycheck hits so that people don't try floating a check, or worse, a debit that for sure will hit the bank before the direct deposit, and cost NSF fees that will start the domino effect...

I took the dog downstairs to use the garden and it hit me.

"Money is like manure, you have to spread it around to see things grow..." Dolly Levi, Hello Dolly!

Man, she knew!

So, I think the way to spread money around is to look at what really makes a difference on a small, near, personal scale.

I CAN NOT be the only person on the planet with a job who has hit a really rough patch but can make it without becoming "a burden on society" if only some kind of REAL assistance existed to provide a short term loan to help people get into an apartment that understood this really was not my fault-can you say "durable power of attorney" the way my ex did to strip 17 years of sweat equity right out from under me?

Yeah, some kind of intelligently administered fund that lends people the money to get their dignity back-without stripping people of it during the 'process.'

Roomie is threatening to 'place' me in a homeless shelter on the 28th if I don't show him a signed lease.

YES!! Some kind of grass roots run thing that leaves a person with the feeling that the lender has been there, too, and knows what you need-and don't need, like the attitude that nearly all charities cop when they 'help' you.

We could offer financial planning, too, and related helps that can teach people about checking accounts, and squeezing that dollar so tight that ol' George's eyes bug out!

And we could take trades for repayment of loans-skills shared teaching others, beat-up truck pressed into moving service, oil change knowledge exchanged for use of aforementioned truck help, and stuff like that!

Those who could should repay the fund with cash so that the money doesn't run out so fast, and I would not be ashamed to accept donations from other people like me who had this need once upon a time...


To make a suggestion, leave a comment.

But not if you are Crusty.

It wouldn't be a nice comment, or very helpful suggestion, would it, Ebbie?

"Are there no workhouse? No orphanages...?"

09 July 2006

Wise folks say that you can tell it's really happening because while your particular dramas are ensuing you still have to pay the rent. I paraphrase, but you get the drift, right?

I highly recommend, should you be apartment hunting, using the site apartmentratings.com. A very handy little site, let me tell you.

Nothing speaks so clearly as the postings of current and former tenants.


I've been looking since before Christmas; more seriously looking since May, and am now facing a deadline-1st August-I'm REALLY SERIOUSLY searching!

So, I stumble onto rent.com back in May, engage my own personal search engine by keying parameters, and viola! A gajillion 'suitable' properties appear, and I am invited to join the cyber-hunt for new digs.

A couple of truly nice tools make the hunt a bit easier-'save as favorite' and 'remove'-at rent.com, but a feature that incorporates the ability to make notes with each saved favorite would be a help. My eyeballs feel twisted from all the online searching; my brain is fogged over from f2f viewings.

You should know that when I left the house this morning I had over ten properties saved as a potential. Within 20 minutes of returning this afternoon, I'd clicked 'remove' over nine times.

It is a great help to test my impressions against the comments found at apartmentratings.com-one property in particular made the A list inspite of my initial misgivings during a ride through back in early May because the manager seemed so great and she was willing to give me a really fabulous deal on a one bedroom. But then Roomie suffered a temporary setback, and my move was postponed.

Might be a 'just as well' because whoa, the comments on the rating site rang true and were truly scary.

This morning I looked at three properties, two potential A listers and one I went to 'cause I felt I should give the place a chance, and because I was hoping in their desperation for a fantastically desirable tenant like myself they would give me a fabulous deal, a move-in special, CRIKEYS, a break on the dog deposit-SOMETHING!

By the time I got half-way through the second viewing I couldn't recall the details the rental agent had just finished spewing because the property was so gobsmackingly decayed I was paying more attention to the potential for a wall collapse.

Safety first, kids...

On leaving the office to view a model we were assaulted by sirens, careening golf carts driven by maniac maintenance men, and (hey, I'm sorry, but this is the truth) several tenants fleeing INS, the police, or both, and several other tenants who made bizarre hand motions at me when they thought the agent wasn't looking-finger down throat followed by a sweeping hand wave to indicate they are gagged by the property and or staff-type stuff.

All of which didn't surprise me because I'd arrived while the agent was showing an apartment; while I waited for her return on the bench in front of the office a tenant came by and we got to talking-her mostly-about how wretched (her words) and ghetto the complex is. She strongly recommended I research the complex at apartmentratings.com. (Which I'd been planning on anyhow, but it was nice to hear my thoughts are still spot-on:)

She and several other passing tenants strongly recommended I get my innocent, sweet little grandmotherly type self back in the Kia and run while I could-they were trapped but maybe they could save their souls by warning me off.

Someone who thought I couldn't possibly speak Spanish said to his compadre that this was no place for a lady, and that I was "crazy or desperate to even think about moving here!"

The first place I looked at today is way overpriced for square footage nearly half what the same amount would get me in the 'loco zone' and will double my commute. No pools, tennis court or even a club house, either.

The third place I looked is the place I'd been stupid (or was I? Stay with me here...) enough to let a fabulous price slip by back in May.

Second and third places have comments at apartmentratings.com with headers like "RUN!" "HELL NO!" "NEVER AGAIN IN THIS OR ANY LIFETIME!!!!" "Roaches and Rats and Snakes-OH MY!" "Horrible Utilities Bills here!!!!!" "Hell on Earth-Management and Maintenance Suck Big Time!!!!!!!!!"

The posters favor lots of exclamation points and all caps.

'Member the above where I mention that at the second apartment complex I'd been more focused on the potential wall collapse than I was on the agent's spiel?

According to the comments on apartmentratings.com, I am a smart cookie. Not only have the walls collapsed there, entire roofs have, too.

Naturally the apartment I technically can afford (if I stand on a street corner and beg passersby for the truly stupendous deposits-dog, electric, water/sewer/trash, and first month's rent-too) but in reality need a real-live miracle to get into (aforementioned deposits-OUCH-do I ever get to eat? Rot in Hell Crusty!) has great ratings from former and current tenants. And the place doesn't even have a pool, tennis court, or furnish washers and dryers as do the other two marginally acceptable (until seen and heard about) properties.

I'll know something by Friday as to what I am going to do.

Damn, dammit, I knew I should have insisted on an RV in the divorce!

07 July 2006


Eight years are gone by.

6th July 1998, let's see, that is eight years ago, right?

Yes, eight years. Right about now, to the minute-2115 hours CT.

A voice in my head said "Open your eyes." And when I did, I had the long sought after keys to Fox's and my freedom.

The past eight years have been grievious, yet I would not turn back time a minute unless I could turn them all the way back to 27th July 1981, and I don't think that's going to happen. I'd insist on going back with full awareness of what could/would happen, so that I could change it all, and Fox's and mine, and probably almost everyone's lives would be different. Better. Fuller. Damn sure safer.

I know that is what God had in mind for all of us.

But not Crusty.

Over the years, especially after I realized what happened, I'd try to make some sort of excuse for what Crusty did, or at least the consequences of what he did-I tried to mitigate them somehow.

Especially the past eight years, I'd catch myself saying, "Oh, well, no-one is that evil, right? It all just sort of snowballed, didn't it?"

But then something would come between the fog and me, and I would have to face the truth of just how really evil what Crusty did-on purpose-was and is.

For example, I actually had to drop this screen to access the desktop calculator to make sure I'd figured the number of years since Crusty earned his nickname. How very pathetic is that? And how telling. The mental confusion, the avoidance, the denial, the...

The years still tick by, but differently. The years ticked by during the 'marriage' and I never lost count, but then I was in a desperate struggle for my son's and my life, and for sanity.

("He didn't really just say/do/ that, did he?" Are you are survivor? Then you get it, don't you?)

He had this smirk on his face, as if to say "Go ahead, no-one will believe you." And he was right, wasn't he?

Last night I spent hours on the 'Net researching (again) the company he works for; how very far they all have sunk in the quest for money and Crusty scrambled after not wanting to be left off the gravey train.

In March or April of 1994 I had a dream that shook me; I never dreamt about Crusty, not even nightmares. So this dream was quite something to experience, and to remember all these years since.

I dreamt I was in a strange city, dressed in a lovely linen suit, and I was going to meet Crusty (of course, in 1994, his name was still Michael, but I can't bring myself to say his name all that often-in fact for years I simply refused to say the name at all unless I was talking about the archangel. Seriously. I'd meet someone named Michael or Mike, and would do everything I could to avoid saying the name).

I found myself walking into what looked like a very run down warehouse area of an industrial section, where I met Crusty. We walked for a bit through this dirty and dismal city, then suddenly he was on an old fashioned train that for some reason I couldn't get on, looking at me through the windows, and so angry! Somehow I knew that he was furious with me, and that he felt it my fault he was on this train.

Then it came to me that he was on the train to Hell-seriously-and the people sitting dispiritedly in the same car with him looked at me. I saw men, and women, not the sort you would expect to see on a train to hell, they were rather ordinary people, but something about them...one woman had on a red suit and hat in the style popular after the war, a very cutting edge and sophisticated style, but something in her manner and the way the clothes sat on her made me think "If that is sophistication, I'll pass."

There was nothing provocative about any of these people, but something world weary about their manner...they were the sort of people you sit next to in church and think nothing about; but I knew they were the sort who would attend church and then stop for a cocktail on the way home thinking nothing of it and if someone frowned at the paradox (who needs a drink after attending a worship service?), would have been slightly amused at the naive frowner.

Each of them sat alone on the train; not one spoke, looked, or in any way interacted with their fellow travellers, and Crusty, as the train started up and moved out of the station, walked back through the car to it's end, the fury in his eyes blazing through the each window he passed.

At me.

Something inside of me broke.

Because in 1944 I'd put my heart, my soul, my everything on a train back to barracks, where a few hours later he was mustered with his men to board a wallowing LST.

He promised to come back. I stood on the platform, he hung from the step rail. I didn't move a muscle that day, afraid if I did my instinctive action would be to bury my face in my hands, or wipe the tears away-he would see me wiping away the tears that gained speed even as the train did, and I didn't want him to see me fall apart...

No matter the distance, I could feel his hurt that I didn't wave, but I was afraid to move, so I stood there stupidly as the train left the station, and Johnny left my life, forever.

Somehow I knew it was forever.

So in my dream, I ran along side the train, reaching up to Crusty with my hands, saying, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Then I slipped in an oil slicked puddle-when I looked up, the train was disappearing out of the station.

How was I to understand the true depth of the evil Crusty had already committed by that spring of 1994?


05 July 2006

Two launches yesterday, the USA Space Shuttle Discovery and a North Korean long range WMD.

More contradictions in an age of them.

I had been sort of holding my breath all day. Human nature being human nature, I wondered if "The Terrorists" would launch their own warped version of some 4th of July fireworks; the North Korean missile launch while actually unexpected to most of us despite all the obvious signs to the contrary, probably was what the collective unconscious awaited.

A blog I visit, Job's Tale, is written by a guy my age (WOOHOO, God willing, the last week of August I will turn the big 5-0; I like that idea, although I wish the world was more hopefilled and that I was not in all likelihood going to 'celebrate' the big day alone again, as usual).

A few entries ago he addressed our coming of age in the "Duck and Cover" age.

What a strange trip that was, the journey to adulthood in a time filled with the multiple contradictions of all ages:

"MAKE LOVE NOT WAR!" This one gave us permission to have sex with anyone, at anytime, and mocked with utter confidence the elders who instinctively caught there was something inherently dangerous morally AND physically with unthinking promiscuity.

And we paid, with STD's that as mutations occurred became more and more drug resistant; we paid with soaring teen pregnancies and the ensuing social ills; those of us who managed to survive the '60's and 70's with intact consciences paid with deep regrets when we finally met 'The One' and realized pre-marital sex is a very serious form of adultery and that 'saving one's self for marriage' meant giving that 'One' a truly unique demonstration of our love and commitment not only to him or her, but to the human race and eternity.

"IF IT FEELS GOOD-DO IT!" This nasty little slogan led us straight down the primrose path to granting permission to paedophiles, in a horrific tweaking of the above. Groups like Man/Boy Love were able to become the sophist masters of "justified" in their own eyes

"GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!" But then a slogan like this one gave us hope that along with the bad, this could be turned to God's purpose, and we could live finally in true peace, harmony, without consideration to race, nationality or religious expression.

"EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!" So did this slogan; and the contradictions were increasing.

"QUESTION AUTHORITY!" Which is a good thing that leads to good changes, right? Until midless anarchy is born and chaos reigns.

Yesterday I read an OP-ED that because our American Revolution was so unlike the French one, our's was a failure. HUHHHHHHHHH? The French, who BTW, were such masters of savagery that they are the ones who taught the Native Americans to SCALP, idealized as true revolutionaries who are the real engineers of societal reforms through rapine, pillaging, and vicious betrayals???!!!

This a good thing? Merci, Merci "boocoo" that during the Horrors I was safe in Britain!

"HEY, HEY, LBJ, HOW MANY KIDS WILL YOU KILL TODAY?" "HO, HO, HO CHI MINH..." I was one of those chanters; I was also wearing an MIA/POW bracelet, and greeting returning soldiers with flowers. Most of the guys I knew who went to 'Nam came home although at least one came home minus his legs.

'Nuff said, it hurts, still, and I never went 'in-country', I was Stateside doing instructor work to free up a guy for service there-what, you buy that lie that 'Coasties weren't there, and the 'conflict' ended in '73? Gimme a break. No, give a real soldier a break-learn the truth.

"FREEDOM OF CHOICE!" And here was the real contradiction-freedom of choice to those chanters meant the freedom to have an abortion and all of a sudden we were all confronting an ethical nightmare-when is it OK to essentially murder someone; when did real life begin? And was it OK to have an abortion if the victim had been raped, especially if the rape was at the hands: of a blood relative/full grown adult while the victim was a child/a monster who grabbed her off the street or broke into the house? was it ok if the birth control method diligently applied failed; if the mother was ...?

The 21st Century, THE AGE OF CYNICISM.

Happy Birthday, America.

04 July 2006


From the Los Angeles Times online edition, 4th July 2006

Message Received
In the exceptional life and excruciating loss of Pat Tillman, the freedom can be in the details
Bill Dwyre July 4, 2006SAN JOSE —
It is a day of barbecues and water-skiing, a day when our Fourth of July independence is medium rare and glassy smooth.
That's why Pat Tillman went to Afghanistan. His life was nicely marinated and mostly free of ripples. His freedom was a given, his future and that of his family unthreatened — until two planes flew into the World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon.
The rest of us gasped and fretted. Tillman acted. The story is not new. Nor is it any less amazing. He was an honor student and star football player from San Jose who went to Arizona State and became an honor student and star football player. He went on to become a star defensive back with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL.
Then he left it all, including a multimillion-dollar contract, saying that members of his family had traditionally served in the military, that his grandfather had been at Pearl Harbor, "and I really haven't done a damn thing."
We liked him before that. The long hair that flowed from under his helmet set him apart, but not any more than his disdain for showy, material things or for shallow questions from sportswriters. Those questions were greeted by a raised eyebrow and a slight frown that meant he thought they lacked substance, something he never did.
It has been two years, two months and 12 days since he died in Afghanistan.
We grill our meat, ride our skis, sit on our beaches and assume that there will always be another Pat Tillman, another shield. The military, as embattled and besieged as it is today, is full of heroes to be celebrated on this day of patriotism. We have civilian heroes in every phase of life, putting out fires and standing in crosswalks so 6-year-olds can pass safely.
But there was only one Pat Tillman, and the world of sports, which generates more swaggering pretend heroes per capita than perhaps any other phase of American life, may never see another like him.
Tillman didn't swagger and would have hated being called a hero.
Alex Garwood is Tillman's brother-in-law. His wife, Christine, is the sister of Tillman's widow, Marie. Garwood is also the executive director of the Pat Tillman Foundation, which exists, according to the foundation's website, "to carry forward Pat's legacy by inspiring and supporting young people striving to promote positive change in themselves and the world around them." Garwood says the foundation programs are going well because of "the power of Pat." To the foundation, and Tillman's friends and family, that is a given, not a motto."He had it, whatever it was," Garwood says. "He was the kind of man who walked into a room and everybody noticed. People wanted to be close to it, to rub up against it and hope some rubbed off."
Garwood says he never thinks of Tillman in uniform, either football or military." I think of him as my friend, sitting with me, having iced tea and talking. He was the best listener I knew."And the least full of himself." When Pat was with the Cardinals," Garwood says, "people he'd run into would ask him what he did? He would tell them he worked in Arizona."
Garwood and Tillman were hiking alongside a river near Sedona, Ariz., five or six years ago when Tillman suggested they walk the middle of the shallow river, rock to rock, without getting their shoes wet." We ended up going a mile, maybe more," Garwood recalls. "I was soaked. He never got a drop on his shoes. The amazing thing wasn't just his athleticism, but watching his mind work as he figured out each next step and how best to do it." When they finished, Tillman climbed a cliff about two stories high and, to get back down, leaped from the top of the cliff to a tree, 10 feet away, and calmly climbed down." The rest of us have trepidation," Garwood says.
It is possible that, on that April 22, 2004, in Afghanistan, even Pat Tillman had trepidation. He died a horrible death, at the hands of his fellow Army Rangers, who apparently were confused and frightened and fired at what they thought was the enemy, rather than somebody they had idolized, somebody they'd watched hand out $5 bills to youngsters in the dusty poor towns of Afghanistan, somebody who'd bought and brewed special coffee blends for them so they could have the best.
Tillman's platoon was split, one part ending up firing on the other, Tillman's group in the hills. Not far from the group doing the firing was Tillman's brother, Kevin, who didn't learn that his brother had died until nearly an hour later.
It took a month before the Tillman family was told the truth, although they're still not sure they have it all. Their son had not died from enemy fire, but friendly fire. The military calls that "fratricide."
It has taken several years for journalists, especially those from the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, CNN and The Times' David Zucchino, to unearth and report the stunning details of what happened and how the truth was stonewalled and turned into a mockery by the U.S. military.
On Dec. 6, 2004, Zucchino wrote: "Pat Tillman died in the dark, between two black boulders, halfway up a canyon wall, just below the mud farmhouse of Zamir Jan. To Jan, Tillman was just another American stranger. But to millions of people a world away, who watched Tillman give up a lucrative professional football contract to fight for his country, his death was an American tragedy."
Last May 29, CNN.com reported the testimony of the unnamed soldier who had been standing next to Tillman when the shooting began."Tillman and I were yelling, 'Stop! Stop! Friendlies! Friendlies! Cease Fire!' But they couldn't hear us." (Tillman threw a smoke grenade to signal that they were Rangers, and for a few moments, it appeared to work.) "We thought the battle was over, so we were relieved, getting up and stretching out and talking with one another, when I heard some 5.56 rounds coming from the vehicle. They started firing again. That's when I hit the deck and started praying."
(But Tillman didn't get down in time. He was hit, reportedly taking shrapnel in the wrist and body armor.) "I know this because I could hear the pain in his voice as he called out: 'Cease fire! Friendlies! I am Pat … Tillman, damn it.' He said this over and over again until he stopped."
(Moments later, a sound caught the attention of the soldier next to Tillman.) "I heard what sounded like water pouring down. I then looked over at my side to see a river of blood coming down from where he was. I had blood all over my shoulder from him and when I looked at him, I saw his head was gone."
For a while, Garwood's garage here in San Jose was packed with memorial gifts from people all over the country. There is at least one item from each of the 50 states. There are military medals, even others' Purple Hearts. There are flags, some from Camp Tillman in Afghanistan, named after he died. There are teddy bears, photos of babies named after him, trophies from youth football teams that dedicated their season to him and sent along the symbols of their success, combat boots, even a football signed by a group of prison inmates who vowed, in the name of Pat Tillman, to be better people.
Garwood has it all in storage now, respecting each item but, more than two years later, not quite certain what to do with it. He remains, it appears, with the rest of the Tillman family, in a limbo of anger, grief, resolve and numbness.
For the rest of us, we have the terrible details, which bring us disgust. We also have a clear picture of the man, which brings us undying admiration, and perhaps some closure.
Some of us also have the independence to write about this in whatever way we wish. For which we thank, among so many heroes, Pat Tillman.

*Bill Dwyre can be reached atbill.dwyre@latimes.com.

To read previous columns by Dwyre, go to latimes.com/dwyre.

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Blogger's note: Not only did Mr. Tillman go, but his brother Kevin, as mentioned above-who'd also just signed a lucrative baseball contract.

Pat Tillman did not just leave his football career, he left behind a brand new wife; the decision to join-up was made in consultation with her on their honeymoon.

We are blessed in this country to have a few good men like Pat Tillman.

Let's say thank-you by standing up as a united land, and fighting the real enemy-cynicism. No other attitude is more responsible for the evils in the world than cynicism.

03 July 2006

Half the battle is won when one learns to recognize good advice-and act on it:) Thank-you, Warrior!

So, it's the early hours of 3rd July, and for today at least, I'm still online. Hope it lasts, Roomie and I had a 'discussion' yesterday; since his name is the one on the lease and he's made it increasingly clear that I'm here on sufferance, I may not be here tomorrow. At the very least, I'll be out by 1st August.

Which is a good thing, for both of us, really. He needs his space, I'm cramping his and his friends style.

I have similar needs.

He is twenty years younger and unencumbered with the sorts of responsibilities that most fellows his age (when I was his age) have. Instead he has a beautiful, tempestuous, emotionally high-maintenance Fiancee, and an equally beautiful, tempestuous, emotionally high-maintenance mum.

Both of whom are not too thrilled that I accepted Roomie's offer of help to relocate. I came up here under a misunderstanding-several, really-one being that his ladies understood I was no-one more than a roommate and would be essentially a non-participant in their lives save the friendly nod/wave as I passed through the living room to the Cave.

Imagine my dismay when, upon arrival, I discovered neither had a clue I was coming.

So, I'm on the hunt for a fairly reasonably priced, safe, and clean new Cave. Not an easy task, given the economy, my state of financial disrepair, and the sheer numbers of like-minded hunters.

God-willing, the dog and I will find a clean and decent someplace soon, where the landlord is compassionate and the neighbours friendly while not being TOO friendly, and is close enough to work that I won't be spending too many hours on the commute and gasoline.

"Once more into the breech, dear friends, once more..."