Airports and Aspartame

Better watch how you look the next time you're at the airport. You may just get pulled aside, questioned and searched. Transportation Security Officers trained in the SPOT program (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique) interestingly enough won't say whether their practice has disrupted any real terrorist plot, although the following pretty much answers that one. For the last two years, 70,000 people have been screened with "about 600-700" arrests. A one percent success rate--for citing people for such non-terroristic charges as weapons violations, drug possession and outstanding warrants.

Wow. A 1 percent success rate in finding the person with some minor criminal element yet intending to fly peacefully. A zero percent success rate in capturing terrorists.

Given those terrorists are hiding out anywhere and everywhere, waiting to hurt us, at least according to the MSM and our government, I would think these profilers would have caught at least one, don't you?

If that isn't enough make you sit up and take notice, this one will. Hopefully by now you are aware of the health risks of Aspartame. Well now, doctors have discovered Aspartame can turn the tissues to plastic.

Next time you reach for that artificial sweetener or low calorie product, please rethink what you're putting into your body. Unlike other things being put into our water and air, we have a choice whether or not to ingest this substance. I got Mr. Nina off of this crap a few years ago. Do yourself a favor and get yourself off of it, too.

Book Recommendation

Having become thoroughly disgusted after perusing the paper, I decided to finish a book I've been reading. Upon finishing it and after reading through the Epilogue, I knew I had to recommend this one.

The Girl From The Coast, by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, tells the story of a young teen girl from a poverty-stricken coastal fishing village. The people are peaceful, hard workers, who sell their fish to the rich folks in the city for half of what they are deserving of. The girl, oblivious to the ways of the noble class of the city, finds herself taken away and brought to the city to marry a rich and powerful man whom she has never met. She resists for some time, but through the encouraging and at times forceful words of her parents, who think they are doing what is best for their child by removing her from a life of poverty, she finally accepts her fate and settles in to her new life as a Bandaro's wife. She soon bonds with her servant, who teaches the girl how to be a proper wife.

In time, she learns the Bandaro has not been forthcoming in his purpose for taking her as his wife, and only afterwards learns she is pregnant with his child. What follows is a story that leads to betrayal and heartbreak. This is not a story that has a nice packaged ending. It does, though, have the elements of survival and in fighting for what you believe in intertwined throughout, leaving the reader sad, angry and cheering on those rare moments when personal truth comes to the surface. It touches on the class system, on the beliefs of this system: "The poor are a dirty, shameful lot." "The rich are a noble, worthy lot." Religion is thrown in throughout, to add both clarity and conflict.

What makes this all the more incredible and enjoyable is the fact that this story is (loosely) based on real life events of one of the author's family members. And interestingly and sadly enough, the author spent several years as a political prisoner, without trial, in Indonesia. The last few paragraphs of the epilogue (which was not included in the original novel) had me in absolute tears, although I must admit this book touched on most every emotion and political/social/religious belief I have.

While it may be a bit of a slow moving story for those used to the typical novel americana, it will hold your attention.

Sunday Paper

It was a cold, blustery morning as I set foot outside to pick up the local Sunday paper. Feeling the cold wind on my face, I quickly shut the door behind me and headed back to the comfort of a warm bed. Getting myself comfortable, two fluffy pillows supporting my neck, arranging the quilt and blankets just so, I picked up the front page. The headlines glared at me with insult:

"No Criminal Charges Against Cox"

A cold chill ran up and down my spine. Despite shivering, I threw back the covers and announced to no one in particular:

"What the FUCK?!"

In yet another example of a System of Justice washed down the drain bathed in corruption, The People have been told, yet again: "Ye Who Are The People Are Indeed Quite Powerless".

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) has determined there are "no grounds to file criminal charges against Cox".

I'm curious to know how the DOJ defined "criminal". Cox blatantly abused his police authority through false charges, arrests and intimidation. I don't know about you, but that cries out "criminal" to me.

Let's put out the welcome mat for young people wishing to make a career with the Corvallis Police Department. Or hell, any city police department for that matter. "The thought of wearing a uniform bring out that desire to intimidate? Want to carry a gun and a taser to boot? Want to know that no matter what your conduct, your fellow officers won't rat you out? Well then sign on up and join in with other fellow officers as we put the final touches on The Police State."

While I know (through personal experience and obvious common sense) that there are some amazing officers out there who uphold their duties with respect and integrity, the fact that Cox was able to abuse his authority for so long w/o a peep from The Department and now the results from the DOJ need serve as a wake-up call to the people. That is, assuming there are any left needing such a call.


Boey Byers. 5/20/1999-12/27/2007

Little girl from Corvallis loses her battle with cancer.

While earth has lost an angel, the Universe has inherited a little warrior. My thoughts go out to the family. A loss like this is simply beyond my comprehension. For Boey, fly high and free. You touched a lot of people in ways great and small, seen and unseen.

Some Thoughts for the "Wake Up!" Crowd

This whole "wake up" mantra has been bothering me for some time now. I used to follow it hook, line and sinker myself, until I began to look within and question the purpose of the whole thing. I was once "asleep", having fallen for the illusions of the world, what I was told to think/believe/see/do. I was especially sucked into the "that's how things are" mantra, implying change wasn't possible. I know I would not have appreciated it had someone implied I was a sheep or a cow or somehow stupid because of my way of life, my belief system, my mindset.
What was once "wake up" has now become an arena for casting such unnecessary and ugly insults. The latest piece I read on Prison Planet referred to the typical american as "bovine in nature". The subject was privacy.

Hmm. I wonder if this author has done anything to protect his privacy. Has he figured out a way to protect or encrypt his e-mails? Has he found a way to destroy the GPS indicator in his cell phone? What is he doing other than writing about the same shit time and time again? Is he organizing with others? Has he given thought to what kind of a world he wishes to see?

While I understand the frustration and sense of urgency in these folks, I have to question what their motivation really is. To enact change or to simply toss out insults, hoping someone else will change the course of action. Certainly these people know you don't win people over by insulting them, by screaming at them, by threatening them. Apparently none of them read a damn thing by Dale Carnegie.

Maybe they're more like myself. Online, they hold back nothing. In person, their better human qualities of listening, respect, etc. take over. However, even if that is the case, these writers are being published on websites that receive millions of viewers annually. As a result, they have a great ability to really influence people, much more so than some little blog like my own. At this point, I don't see them winning over anybody with their mantra of insults, with their "if you don't get this, you're really slow/stupid/uneducated etc. etc." It's easy to read into things. It's easy to take a bunch of information and come to some sort of a conclusion. Human perception. It isn't an exact science, afterall.

While none of us can say for sure what the real agenda is, what the motivation is, I'm sure most of us can agree things need to be different. Instead of focusing all of this energy on the going's on, we really need to be focusing on what we want and need and how we can best set out to achieve such a life, a community, a country, a world. Without insults. If we're not doing that, then we are only contributing to the problems by living life in fear, in anger. In isolation. (No judgment as I have fallen into that trap myself.)

Awakening is a very personal experience. Not everyone is going to hold the same opinions, the same beliefs. We need to accept that and work with this, holding respect for one another along the way. As long as we follow that golden rule, respect, do no (intentional) harm to others, we can achieve anything.


On another local blog, the blog owner asked what was on his reader's minds today. I was going to post my thoughts, but opted not to, considering there's a particular poster who loves to brag about his wealth and success and yet, criticizes anyone who hasn't achieved his status. I'm pretty sure if I posted my comments, he'd have something to say that would be anything but kind or helpful. So here is what is on my mind this morning.

I wish for an end to our financial struggles.

I wish for work that pays well and that I enjoy.

I wish for the money to go back to school so that I may study mediation and conflict resolution.

I wish for my spouse to find work that he enjoys completely and totally and that pays well.

I wish for the income/the money to buy our own home.

I wish for people to come into my life who will support me in my dreams, goals, purpose. It would be even more wonderful for people to come into my life who will want to be a part of them.

I just finished reading a book called The Prayer Chest. It's a short book, easy read, but a lot of feel-good meaning about love in action--generosity, faith, hope, help and support from others. Too damn bad that kind of reality doesn't find its way into every corner of the world. No reason why it cannot.

I wish for perfect health for myself and for my spouse.

I wish for the reuniting of certain family members.

I wish for love.

I wish for acceptance.

I wish for hope.

I wish for faith.

I wish for patience.

I wish for magic.

I wish to believe in all of the above again.


Support For Ron Paul on "Controversial" Sites: A Conspiracy?

I've had this growing feeling of discontent the past several months as I've watched the more controversial sites such as prison planet, rense and david icke publish article after article in support of Ron Paul. Why only Ron Paul? What about Dennis Kucinich, who has done far more in trying to end the war, pull us out of NAFTA and the WTO, abolish the patriot act, create national health care reform, and initiate impeachment proceedings than Paul can even touch. Kucinich has also spoken about aliens and Chemtrails (the subject which is greatly covered on these sites on a regular basis). Think Paul has even mentioned the "C" or "A" word?

These same sites have also published articles by folks who claim The Women's Movement/Feminism was created to destroy the family and that by our inherent nature, we women are created to tend to our children and spouses and home more than anything else and that, in and of itself, is what makes us happy--knowing our loved ones our happy. I can support the idea that it was funded in part by some elitists who wanted to see the destruction of the family, but the very idea that all those involved in its creation had that same agenda is ridiculous.

Feminism. The radical idea that women are people, too.

Yep. That's a bad thing for society for sure.

It's highly insulting for these men to be blaming the rise of female power for the problems our families are facing. It's ridiculous to also assume such problems didn't exist back in the days of the more traditional roles. They were there. They just weren't discussed. They were too busy being stuffed behind the smiles of Ward and June and that "everything is just fine" mentality. Back in the glory days of the 1950's, we had molestation, we had verbal abuse, emotional neglect. Through human evolution, we have become more comfortable in discussing these problems and bringing them to light.

I remember reading an article by Harry Makow (the guy who created Scrooples). He's all over the place with his ridiculous views on homosexuality and feminism. And it's too bad because his other ideas about the NWO are very interesting reads, very well thought out. This one article I read spoke about the awfuls and evils of feminism and how his wife, even though she works outside the home, is happiest when she's taking care of the house and his needs.

Ok, so maybe she thinks she is. But I'd say this is more due to CONDITIONING than any real truth that is hers and hers alone. Happiness is a strange thing indeed. However, women have needs as well and females are, overall, taught that our needs must come second to those of our family. Feminism set out, in part, to break that tradition and encourage women to really tune in and ask "what makes me happy?"

You gotta question the woman who, when asked "What do you need to be happy?" says "First and foremost, for my family to be happy." Why do you think when these women find their children have left the home and/or their spouses leave them for another woman, they don't know what to do with themselves? My mom went through this. She is finally, after reaching her senior years, learning to put herself first in her life. It's been a struggle, but I have always encouraged her to find what makes her happy and then do it.

I've written these sites on numerous occasions, expressing my concerns over this crazed attention for Ron Paul (while neglecting Kucinich) and his supposed support of freedom and liberty, claiming he wants the Federal Government to stay out of the abortion issue but then wants to have national legislation that states life begins at conception. I've expressed my concerns over this backlash against the women's movement and homosexuality and this frightening support for seeing women return to the home and hearth, tending to the needs of their families.

Not once have I received a response.

These male authors and male site owners are largely in their late 50's and 60's. Do they wish to see a return to the 1950's or something where women had no place out in the working world (except as a customer)? Do they really believe that women are so simplistic and one-dimensional that our primary goal for happiness should be to have children, a husband and take care of the lot?

Seems that way to me. And it bothers me greatly. Hence I've begun to doubt some of the information I read on these sites. We all have our own motivation and agenda when we blog. I just wish these guys would state theirs. I sense some darker agenda at work where they wish to put in place the principles of freedom but at the same time, see the more traditional roles put into place again: mom, dad, suzie and johnny. Evolution doesn't work like that. Our definition of family is changing and expanding. How can that be a bad thing?


Boise's City Council To Allot $2 Million To End Homelessness

While it isn't the gold star that is needed to truly put an end to this societal problem, it's a very good start. I'd like to see the Corvallis City Council enact something similar.

Homelessness isn't an issue whereby we separate a class of people and attempt to figure out how to "fix" them. We're all susceptible to finding ourselves without a permanent home in which to live. Illness. Job loss. Underemployment. Divorce. Natural or man-made disaster. Spousal abuse. Death of a spouse.

To solve this problem we must look at our culture. We must look at what we believe, what we think about ourselves and one another. Quite often, when we are quiet, when we tune into that heart space, we tend to find out that what we really believe and feel is contrary to what we are taught, such attitudes taught in order to preserve the status quo, such attitudes taught to ensure our own personal survival out there in the jungle.

Survival of the fittest/competition is still indeed very much in play in our minds as it is sadly needed in our modern way of life. Just look at something as basic and supposedly benign as the holiday shopping frenzy. Not finding a parking spot can suddenly kick in a survival instinct. ME FIRST!! ME FIRST!! Or take the job search. Trust me on this one when I say I can become a tiger when I think someone else is competing for a job I really want/need/desire. Suddenly I think of no one but my own basic survival needs. The other person becomes my enemy, or at the very least, someone whom I hope fucks up in some way so that my chances of landing employment increase. I find myself disliking someone whom I have never met. Or at least sending them some pretty ugly thoughts.

So so sad.

We have a system that ensures not everyone gets what he or she wants or needs.

And yet it doesn't have to be this way.

Fixing the homeless problem isn't just about providing homes for people in need. It is changing how we live our day to day lives. It's closely examining and changing how we think about one another and ourselves. It is realizing none of us make it out in the world alone. The System in and of itself is cold and heartless. Some are fortunate to be born into a loving family, surrounded by amazing support in all areas with loving extended friends and community members also joining in that support. History (and common sense) shows us that, overall, those born in such conditions have a much greater ability to make it out in the world.

We all need to be told (and embrace) how amazing we each are. We need to realize (and embrace) that how we live is just one example of an endless variety of ways. Please don't ever let anyone convince you that "the way it is" is somehow permanent or cemented in stone.

So yes, let's throw money at a problem, but let's stop thinking this alone will fix the issue. Healing the human mind/body/heart/spirit takes more than money. It takes love (for ourselves and one another) on an on-going basis to heal ourselves of our ills. Love In Action. There is no other way.

Oregon State University: Equal Opportunity Employer

Uh huh.


You betcha.

Depends on how you define the term "equal opportunity employer". Often, I'm not much of one for laws in that they really haven't done a thing to promote fairness or equality, plus they're often too black and white, which is ridiculous considering life is a myriad of shades. Laws remove us out of our heartspace and into that mindspace where judgments rule, where the world is black and white. Some guidelines and laws are necessary of course but only because too many people are completely void of or lacking in the principles of Love in Action. Understandable considering the System that is in place.

OSU makes it extremely difficult to land employment in any of the office trade fields by requiring the Banner financial software program for said applicants. Now, unless you've worked for some similar government institution, chances are you've never touched such a program let alone heard of it. Doesn't matter if you have experience with other financial software programs: unless it's Banner, forget about applying.

Apparently they aren't open to training an otherwise suitable applicant.

EOE, my ass.

Today's job market: it's a must to know the right people and have the right skills (ie: precise, exactly as we entail them, right down to the nth degree no exceptions) and have the right experience (see skills) to find anything that isn't in the (cess)pool of $8-$10/hour-no-benefits-we-will-work-you-whenever-we-want-therefore-you-must-be-even-more-flexible-than-a-rubber-tree-plant-and-even-at-that-we-can-raise-or-decrease-your-hours-or-pay-whenever-we-want-without-notice-and-we-can-also-throw-your-ass-to-the-curb-simply-because-we-don't-like-the-shirt-your-wore-yesterday-or-the-fact-that-you-got-sick-and-missed-several-days-of-work jobs.

As George Bailey said so truthfully, so right on, so beautifully to Mr. Potter (who of course as we all know is the epitomy of today's corporate CEO/government official) in It's A Wonderful Life, "These people that you're talking about (the "rabble" as Potter called them--the working class) are the ones doing most of the living, breathing and dying in this community and is it so much of them to ask for a decent place to live (and own)? Well anyway, my father didn't think so."

Amen, George. Amen.

Lakota Tribe Seceding from the US

This is a must read. (Here's another publication's coverage as well.) The ramifications are tremendous. It will most definitely be fascinating to follow along as it all plays out, although don't count on your local news or other MSM outlets to air the story. To keep informed, you'll have to read up about it in the blogosphere in order to find that rare market that chooses to report about it.


'Tis The Season For "Please Forward Your Generous Contribution To..."

It seems as though this time of year, my snail mailbox and e-mail box are overflowing with "please send us some of your cash for our cause". Those jolly folks in santa hats ringing the bells by the red buckets get on my nerves as it is some days. They hit you at every store entrance. That's enough for me. That being said, I don't need to be asked for cash when I'm in the privacy of my own home. But something happens when you decide to send a bit of cash to one well-known charity. The rest of the bigger charities receive word somehow that "this person gives money" and therefore, sends you their marketing literature with sad looking faces.

Not that I'm cold-hearted. Far from it. Their literature works in that I cannot look at it without feeling my heart cry out at the unnecessary and needless suffering of so many living creatures, both of the human and non-human kind. You know those Christian Children's Fund commercials? I don't think I've made it through one without weeping. I once sponsored a child for a couple of years. I then got side-tracked with the human society and save the whales folks.

Apparently what I need to do is find a cause I believe in the most and support that one and that one only.

I've never really been all that disciplined and therefore successful, though, at making up my mind.

However, all of this makes me realize how lucky I am. Or maybe luck has nothing to do with it. Perhaps grateful is a better word. My life could be so much worse. Abused animals in need of homes. Hungry children in need of food. Homeless parents wondering where they and their children will sleep tonight. People with AIDS in need of medication. Polar Bears in desperate need of protection. On and on and on. Today I was struck by this as I went to fill a prescription. Having had a root canal, I was not in the best of moods. I passed right by the bell ringer without making any eye contact. However, on the way out, I couldn't ignore for the second time her enthusiastic holiday greeting. So as I reached into my purse for some change, I glanced up at her and smiled. She smiled back, showing a row of teeth in need of repair, a couple of them missing.


If that isn't an example of someone in need of charity, I don't know what is. It seemed ironic to me that here this big company, The Salvation Army, has hired someone to seek funding for them and who, herself, is in obvious need of some sort of help.

As I sit here thinking about this, I wish I had written her a personal check. Even though my dental expenses are coming out of my (our) pocket, I'm just very thankful that right now, we have the ability to pay for it. If this had happened just 6 months ago, we wouldn't had the money.

Been there, done that. And I know that "that" is the way it is for billions, right now, this very day, this very moment. Maybe a new trend is needed. Spending for the holidays will come to a temporary end while those billions are instead spent on those in need, doing so until everyone and everything is safe and protected.

More Job Insanity

I saw a position for a receptionist this morning. The place wants a college degree. No big deal for me considering I have one of those paper degrees myself, however, for a receptionist position? Plus they want to pay you a whopping $9/hour. What college graduate is going to jump on board for that gig? Who goes to college just to answer phones upon graduation? I seriously tried to avoid that gig for the longest time, claiming "Hey, I took jobs just like this one just to put myself THROUGH college."


It's for an animal hospital. If I didn't have a cat allergy, ferret allergy, bunny allergy, etc. etc. I'd apply. Although back a few years ago when I was absolutely desperate, I applied at this place a couple of times for the same position and never heard back.

Saw another position for an advocate at a local non-profit agency that advertises the same positions over and over again throughout the year. I've already applied at this place a few times over the years and decided to give them the proverbial finger when a job coach I was working with at the time said they weren't interested in me because I didn't have non-profit experience nor was I bilingual.

Hey, I can say "kiss my lilly white ass" in spanish. I can also ask where the bathroom, pen and pencil are, although not necessarily in that order. Doesn't this count for something?

After watching the candidates attempt to sell themselves to us these past several months, I thought I'd make an excellent speech writer. I'd remove all of the traditional bullshit and cut to the chase.

"Good evening my fellow Americans. Hmm. Let me rephrase that. Good evening slaves. We would have to be on equal playing fields if I were to address you as my fellow American, right? I'm running for office because I want to rule this land. I want power. I thirst for it. I long for it. I NEEEEEED it. {insert shrill laughter and that bulging eyes look--think Chevy Chase} I want your vote and I will do whatever it takes to get to it. I'll lie, cheat, steal. I'll sell my children, my spouse, my lovers, my own soul. Hell, I'll sell my left kidney. Just please tell me what I have to do to get your vote. You see, in reality, that's all I really care about. Once I get elected, I'm gonna drop all of these fancy bullshit promises and do whatever I want anyway. {insert shit eating phony grin with those blaringly white perfectly straight teeth}...."

I could make another attempt at writing for the local paper, the always illuminating, ever-so-progressive Gazette Times. I made a pitch a couple of years ago, bothered the hell out of them most likely, trying to sell them on a bi-monthly column idea. I mean, come on... That Mona Charen chick has just got to go. She wrote a column recently about how Mitt Romney is just what this nation truly needs. After all, he shares our values as a Christian Society. Even Ellen Goodman isn't cutting it anymore as a more "progressive" columnist. This paper caters to the elite, conservative senior citizen in this community. Newsflash: We aren't all in our late 50's/60's and beyond. We aren't all rich. And we certainly aren't all Republican. They need a shot of youthful progressiveness desperately. If you agree, write and tell them so. Mention my blog if you wish. Maybe if their editorial offices are harassed, er, flooded with enough phone calls and e-mails promoting my superior writing skills and my amazing insights, they may be willing to open up a few cells in their listening ears.

Until that time, you're all stuck with reading my job search rants. And as you're probably aware of by now, consigo tan jodiendo cansado de escritura acerca de todo.


Headlines I'd Like To See

World Leaders Put An End To All Wars and Conflicts. Existing Peacefully Now Reigns.

World Poverty: No Longer An Issue As All Are Found To Be Living Comfortably

Everyone Has Enough Food To Eat

Everyone Has Plenty Of Clean Water To Drink

Everyone Has Shelter That Is Safe, Sound and Secure

The People Take Back Their Power: Government Corruption Becomes A Thing of the Past

A Living Wage Replaces The Minimum Wage

All People Are Given The Equal Opportunity To Pursue Their Passion And Receive A Living Wage In Doing So

Health Care: It's Now Free

Bartering Slowly Replacing Currency

The People Powering Their Lives Through The Sun, Wind and Ocean

Remembering The Days of Oil (insert hysterical laughter)

Remembering The Days of Capitalism Gone Astray (insert hysterical laughter)

Wealth: It's Now For Everyone

Sharing Replaces Greed and Hoarding

The Bush Legacy: Uh, um, er, hmmm... Come Again?

Remembering The Days of the Two-Party System (insert hysterical laughter)

Everyone Is A Land Owner as the Land Is Divided Up Equally Amongst The People

Remembering The Days of the SUV (insert hysterical laughter)

Remembering The Days When People Supported The Idea of Microchipping Humans

Children Playing Outside and In The Streets Once Again as Video Games and Computers Become Less Important

Community Potlucks and Neighborhood Gatherings Becoming The Norm

Remembering the 40 Hour Work Week (insert hysterical laughter)

Play and Passion Becomes The New American Work Ethic

Child Asks Parents: "Mommy and daddy, what's a corporate elitist?" Parents Just Laugh In Response, Thankful Their Child Will Never Have To Experience The Answer


Holiday Shoppers

Mr. Nina wanted to pick up a few things, take care of a couple of things today. Non-holiday things.

You do realize, I told him, that we will be competing with holiday shoppers.

Yes, yes, he said. It will just be a series of quick trips, he promised.

Uh huh, I thought.

So we first head off to Albany to his list of stores.

As I've blogged before, I am not a shopper, least of all I am a mall shopper. Never have been, never will be. Never have understood the fascination of my female counterparts to spend hours fighting crowds, noise and stuffy environments just to find a pair of 3" heels. (And ok, never have understood the fascination with heels either. They're uncomfortable as hell and they are next to impossible to walk in, I don't care who you are.) While I love OWNING clothes, shoes, make-up, lotions, potions and candles, it's the process of SHOPPING for them I could do without. I'd rather do my shopping through catalogs and online, although I do love to browse quiet gift shops and bookstores.

Shopping at the mall??? During the holidays??? NO THANK YOU.

Our first stop, Costco. Ugh. That was a quick trip to obtain membership. There was literally a sea of people. That's all you could see--people everywhere. After seeing the scene being played out in front of our eyes, Mr. Nina decided we'd return to spend after the holidays. I immediately agreed that was a good plan.

Our next stop, Target. Holy crap what a nightmare. Hell exists. I have proven it, I have seen it with my own eyes, I have felt it's energy gripping my chest, threatening to smother me with its bright lights and SPEND SPEND SPEND SHOP SHOP SHOP hysteria. Massive SUV's fighting for a parking spot creating traffic jams everywhere. After spending a good 10 minutes both looking for a spot and being trapped in one of the "jams", I said "that's it, let's do this another time."

Nope. We were here and that was that.

So we find a spot and meander around the traffic snarls, into the store, but not before checking to see if the woman in front of us, who had tripped and fallen, was ok (she was wearing 3" heels--I rest my case). Poor thing, she was so embarassed and thankfully, not hurt.

As we enter the store, we both stopped and stared. "Shit," I muttered under my breath. Did we dare enter the gates of hell with the people pushing massive red carts, children crying, mothers looking exhausted, fathers and men with their pained looks on their faces, store clerks and those damn employee radios they carry that they have turned all the way up, and every third person having a conversation on their cell phone which how in the hell could they even HEAR anything to being???

Did we???

We did. Grabbing my hand, Mr. Nina said "stay by my side" and taking a deep breath, we went in search of worm poop. Yes, worm poop. The website said our local Target carried it.

At first we tried finding it on our own, but were unsuccessful. So we finally found a clerk, a young girl more than half our age. Given the look she gave us, she had no clue what we were talking about so she asked a co-worker, a boy maybe a year or two older than she. He got a good giggle after hearing us tell him what we were looking for. "Like, no dude, like I've never heard of the stuff, dude," he said, but pointed us in the direction of the dog and cat food. Maybe we'd find it over there.

Wrong. Mr. Nina took one side while I took the other and we couldn't find it. We did however manage to temporarily lose one another, which set off a series of our names being called in the aisles until we finally found one another, each of us saying things like "where WERE you" and "why didn't you stay with me".

We decided to check with the folks at customer service. So...Squeezing through the crowds, we made it over there. Then we saw the line. The line leading into phase II of hell. NO WAY was I standing in that line, I said. I had already maxed out my crowd tolerance and was in need of fresh air and a shot of whiskey.

So we proceeded to find two other employees, one outside, who both gave us the dazed and confused look when we asked about the worm poop product. Mr. Nina finally said, "let's get the hell out of here." Best idea he'd had all day. So we left.

But not before waiting for a good 5 minutes in our car, waiting for the traffic jam in front of us to clear. We then drove around a couple of back ways trying to find a way out. Nope.

Cheezits Wipes, I thought, this is like a prison! What do these stores do? Only provide one way in and one way out? By this point I was telling Mr. N to just drive over the damn curb and grass.

Well, we obviously made it out unscathed as I'm home typing this entry. We did make one last stop though--a local nursery. We were greeted by a beautiful, sweet dog. And given we were only one of about 5 people in the entire setting, it was a very nice experience. Lots of pretty, soft lighting, the sounds of water ponds and wind chimes filled the air, the smell of pine and everygreen relaxing the senses. As I told Mr. Nina, for anyone who wishes to know something about me, just look at that scene at Target and know that is the direct opposite of what I am, then turn around and look at this place and know that this is a lot closer.

I did notice something. I realized why we choose to live here instead of in Albany. Even with the traffic today here in town, that was nothing compared to Albany. It was an energy, that energy that is created when mass amounts of people flood the concrete jungles of suburbia in search of the perfect gift, gadget or .

Maybe things would be more peaceful if instead of looking for the latest gadget or overpriced item made in China, they simply were in search of worm poop.


Give Us Your Pee, Your Blood, Your Credit History, Your Criminal Background and Then Maybe We'll Give You A Job For $10/hour

Sheot. Where does I sign up??

I really don't know how much more of this job search I can take. Granted, I'm only about 2 months into it, but inside I feel finished. My current "sorry your job is on hold we still have no more work for you for the time being" position took me about a year to find and land. I don't have it in me to do another year of this.

I could suck it up, do what it takes, and probably find something. I don't care to do that though. My eyes have been opened up for some time now about the reality of the work world. About the enslavement of the masses. About the abuse workers endure in order so that their corporate elitist employers can buy another lexus or vacation home. I'm already enslaved in other ways. Why add one more to the list?

Because money is needed to meet basic survival needs. And without some from me, we struggle. And I don't want to see that happen anymore than we already have.

I thought we were here to learn about and live in love instead of living such ignorance and fear. Using people isn't what America is supposed to be about. The heart shares. The self-centered survivalist part of us steals, uses and hoards. I know when it comes down to it, most people, even the corporate-types, would agree. And yet how many care enough to DO something?

Not enough.

It's a joke we have "In God We Trust" on our currency. An insult to the concept of God. Better to have the truth: In God We Worship on Sunday's for an hour and then we go home and put those lessons aside. In Money We Worship M-S.

Oregon Employers: Blood, pee and background checks will be granted to you if you provide the same for me in kind, for there is one thing I will not be sacrificing: and that is my belief that the employment relationship is a two-way street. I will take your using me to further pad your portfolio, I will take your insulting wages and your utter lack of benefits, but I will not be sharing parts of my body and personal life unless that goes two-ways as well.


Tantalizing Texting

New Zealand man follows text message prompting from precocious teen, shows up nude at wrong house.

Good to know that in spite of the chaos being played out daily throughout the globe, people are still looking for love, or at least a good time...


On Competition and Sharing

Received another "we've been overwhelmed with applicants if we are interested in you we will be in touch" letter.

Competition. It's great if you're considered one of "the best" in whatever field you're interested in. It sucks to no end when you're not.

I truly dislike competing with others when it comes to looking for work. I've been told to make it into a game. Why? Life is one giant game anyway, in the way the System has been set up. Survival of the fittest. And I hate it. I truly truly utterly completely hate it. I won't be sucking it up. I won't be going along with it quietly. Nope. I'll be making it clear every step of the way how much the System does not resonate with WHO I AM. And this woman is finished with being WHO I AM NOT.

I read some comments online yesterday about creating wealth. You can tell who has created it and who hasn't. Those who haven't were saying they just want a piece of the pie. They work hard, too. Those who have it were blaming those who don't by saying it's your own fault if you don't have it.

Generating wealth is about who you know and what you know and think. Who you know in terms of inheriting it, who you know in terms of being given capital to fund an idea, who you know in terms of being bailed out if your wealth generating idea fails. What you know in terms of both what you've been taught and your mental ability. What you think in terms of what you've been told about money.

We're all different. While we each have the worth and the right to create and obtain great wealth, not all of us have the ability to do so given the System that's in place. As I always point out to those who love to say "anyone can be rich" diatribe, "ok, so you really believe the system could support it if every one of us were bill gates and oprah winfrey?"

Uh huh. Tell me another one.

Not only that, there's the whole planetary/resource subject, which the biggest resource hungry elites grossly neglect to realize. These businesses and folks create the worst kind of crime every day, a crime that is, sadly, celebrated.

Freedom is a hard pill to swallow. It comes with great responsibility. It comes with the truth that there exists more than just me myself and I. We share this place. This is our home. We don't own it. We share it. Let's do so generously and kindly and respectfully. Afterall, wouldn't it feel better when, at the end of our lives, we can look back and see how much we shared with those who had less instead of seeing how much wealth and resources we amassed at the often great expense of others?

Live simply so that others may simply live. Good words to follow. Necessary if we are to survive as a species on this planet.


Why Blog?

I've been asking myself this question quite a bit lately. I originally started this blog hoping upon a star that some brilliant publisher or editor would discover my wisdom and wit and grant me a weekly column. Or a book deal.

Nope. I don't dream big, do I?

In time, I began to feel a purpose, a sense of responsibility to warn the world of those things that the MSM doesn't air. To paint another version of reality.

However, in today's blogosphere, millions are already doing that, which leads me back to my question: Why Blog? Why today?

I don't know. Some days I think about deleting the whole thing, mostly because I don't want to be on some damn watch list.

Fear's a nasty little demon, isn't it.

Sometimes I think about starting over again, this time under the disguise of an older man. Men still seem to have the upper hand when it comes to respect in our culture. They do, afterall, still rule the halls of the media outlets, corporations, court system and government and all of those strange "secret societies". I cannot tell you how often I've been at parties, gatherings over the years, engaged in political discussion, and overwhelmingly the males will not only dominate the conversation, their opinions will be given more merit, more attention than the females. I recall one conversation where I finally said "hey, I would like to contribute to this conversation, too." I was told by one of the men that he didn't think I would be interested in such things.

Oh but of course, you are correct. I'm MUCH more interested in how to pre-soak my delicates...

It's also more acceptable (for men and women) for a man to show his rage and anger than it is for women. I've been accused more than once on this blog of being too this or too that, usually referring to my emotional state. God knows I have heard it in my non-computer reality. I've read plenty of blogs from my male counterparts and certainly don't see this phenomena. I have, however, seen it on other women's blogs.

So, again, why blog?

Because I have something to say. Because of my desire to share. Because I need to unload every now and then so that my pillows aren't the only recipients of my distress. Because maybe some day, some of my words will be found in some archeological dig and will either be found as something humorous or as something archaic or perhaps even as something worth reading, leaving the founders to wonder, "why didn't more people listen to her back then".

You May Want To Think Twice Before Picking Up That Lost Wallet or Purse


What else is there to say on this one?


Friday Thoughts

Just read a headline, "Texting While Driving Is Causing More Accidents Than Ever". Ok people, you know who you are. If you're talking while driving, that's dangerous enough. But if you're texting, good lord...

Speaking of cell phones, we kinda wish we had one yesterday. Our phone line went on the fritz, so I set off last night in search of one of those things called a phone booth. I found one and stood out in the cold, on hold, waiting for a customer service repair technician to take my call, all the while watching people in their warm vehicles, some talking on their cell phones, thinking that perhaps it's time to get one for occasions such as this one.

The guy who created "Super Size Me" has a new documentary coming out in January called "Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?" He stole my title, the rat fink. I had that very same idea 3 years ago, only I wanted to do a parody on the "Where's Waldo" board game. Anyway, there's this buzz about some smoking gun, plus the nagging question, "well, did he find him?" Whatever, I say. On the news the other night, our well-meaning but nonetheless uninformed reporter once again linked Osama with 9/11. I thought of sending her the FBI's most wanted list site which doesn't link him with the events of that day. This same guy also has a documentary out called "What Would Jesus Buy?" My guess would be he'd buy a night shade, some ear plugs and find a secluded cabin away from it all. Maybe pick up an acoustic guitar. "You think I'm gonna try and SAVE you folks this time around??? HA! No more risking my life for you people. Huh uh. Not this time around. Get me the fuck outta here!"

I read yesterday that heaven is not supposed to exist on earth, that earth is like a school, we're here to experience pain and struggle and trials and thus, learn. And I thought I was negative! Can you get anymore negative than that?? These words came out of the mouth from someone who proclaims to know about heaven and mother/father god.

Frankly, if there is a god, it isn't my parent. That certainly isn't the kind of relationship I wish to have with such a being. Friendship is more like it. Equal. All connected in some strange and crazy and humorous way. And I'm certainly not here to please or worship such a being. As far as learning, learn what?? I'm here to learn and grow and evolve? That smacks in the face of so many things I believe in. But ok, if learning is part of the game, here's what I have "learned": The Church has it (love/our potential) wrong in so many ways. The System is set up to see us struggle and suffer unnecessarily. The words we receive about who we really are from the myriad of societal factors are utterly false, which means we all walk around telling ourselves lies about who we really are. Heaven, hell. It's a choice we each make in terms of thinking and doing.

Perhaps the truth, for me that is, is that I haven't learned a damn thing. I've just remembered, gradually, who I really am and how things could be. Heaven on earth not possible? As our friends the Brits say, "bullocks!"


Trying To Understand

Anyone see The Matrix? One of our favorite movies. We own all 3. The first is by far the best, imo. When I first saw it back in, when was that, 1999 (?), something about that movie stayed with me. It touched on something I knew to be true about reality, deep deep within that oft tucked away space. I couldn't shake the feeling.

After taking on my journey of searching not only within but with"out", I began to further understand the feeling. I most particularly relate to Neo's character, when he was shown the "real" reality. That experience you have when your brain struggles to wrap around something that seems completely unreal.

No, it can't be true. It simply cannot.

I also relate to another character in the movie, the one for whom "reality" becomes simply too difficult to manage, he opts for betrayal in order to return to his slumber, but only after being promised he won't remember any of his actions of betrayal.

Sometimes when I get some new insight into life, I trace it back to this movie. I had a real doozie over the weekend that felt like a punch in the stomach. I trembled as I shared it with Mr. Nina, only to break down in tears afterwards. Sometimes, even I'm surprised at what my intuition brings to the surface.

There are some things about certain behaviors I simply cannot grasp. I don't see how I ever will. I certainly try. I try and understand how some groups and individuals can "lead" in the way they do, create the policies they do. One of my driving desires of live is to understand why people do what they do. I want to know people's motivations, their intentions behind their behaviors. I want to know what their childhoods were like. I want to know the messages they received. I want to know what they were told about who they were, who they would be, who they should be.

Sometimes this helps me.

But sometimes, I cannot come up with anything that would lead certain individuals to do what they do. Especially time and time and time again. For some folks, something seems to be missing.

I'm struggling a lot right now with faith, with hope. After being so angry for so long, that has turned into pain. Seems all I want to do is cry. I know I'm having one hell of a time with this whole holiday season. Who am I kidding? I usually do. However, after a moment of inspiration earlier in the week, I set out to put up some holiday decorations. About halfway through, I stopped and thought about what I was doing. I did more than that. I asked myself, outloud, "what in the hell am I doing??"

I then stopped and left the area as it was. I later returned and finished it.


Who knows. Perhaps it's because of my desire to finish something once I start it (ok, my desire to finish things I CAN SEE that is). Perhaps it's because I like the softness of the lights. Good lord, I was even singing christmas carols for awhile.

Oh well. It's taken me a long time to come to grips on what I call the "real world/system", to accept how I view it all. I only deal with this holiday stuff for a few weeks out of the year.

Maybe by the time I'm 80 or so, sitting on my front porch god knows where sipping a nice cognac or smoking some wacky tobaccy will I have figured out this whole holiday thing and why I have such mixed thoughts each year.

Until then, I would like to pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep my way through this month.


Welcome To The People's Republic of ChinAmerica

It's coming to that, isn't it? Having bought some bedding items, including a headboard, I came to discover everything we bought was made in China. Everything.

Surely, I thought the headboard, bought locally, would be made in the states. I made it a point to ask when we bought it. I was told it's an American Company. The Sales Person was confident all products were made in the States.

I was duped.

Usually the "made in china" stamp is on a tag or sticker that can be cut off or removed. Not so on our headboard. The "made in china" is on a piece of cheap-looking brass which is thereby nailed into both the footboard and headboard. Probably done just so we won't ever forget its origin.

I asked the delivery guys if they could remove it.

They just laughed.

I said "I'm not joking."

Maybe a can of spraypaint will do the trick.

Of course we could return it and buy elsewhere, such as the furniture place that makes its own hand-crafted, wood furniture. If we could afford it, we most definitely would. If we could afford it, we would buy everything locally, everything made in the U S of A. Well, with the exception of electronics and cars out of Japan. And of course, certain types of fruits and nuts.

I recall Dennis Kucinich once talking about this "made in china" uh, um, infiltration. He said he was convinced the American People would be willing to pay more for products made in the U.S of A. I am sure most of us would agree with his sentiment. Unfortunately, he neglected to address the wage issue.

You cannot address one without the other.

When it comes to buying locally produced foods, I try and buy those things that are closest to our home, but often times I come to discover those that are the closest are the most expensive. I understand why. These are small companies and so they aren't making things in the quantities that their bigger competitors are. However, for all of this talk here locally about encouraging people to 'buy local, buy local,' these well-meaning folks simply cannot encourage this behavior without addressing the wage issue. When you're on a pretty fixed income, picking between spending $.99 or $1.89 on the same size container of sour cream, both produced here in the state, but one closer to home, well, it becomes a no-brainer. Those pennies, after all, do add up.

Ted Turner: A Walking Example of Gluttony

Well, it seems as though the elite just cannot get enough. Ted Turner has now aquired more than 2 million acres of land. If this isn't an example of greed gone wild, I don't know what is. I could support such efforts if a large part of his purpose was to feed the hungry and building affordable housing. Considering he has no intention to do anything of the sort, his actions are nothing more than dispicable.

Now before anyone begins to preach to me about land ownership rights, let me say this to you: This nation, this planet, is so desperately out of balance. Native species continue to die unnecessarily every second of every day because of people like Ted Turner. People are going without basic necessities, without adaquate food and shelter, because of the mind-set and power of people like Ted Turner. The truth is, THIS PLANET BELONGS TO US ALL and as such, WE ARE ALL REQUIRED TO SHARE THE RESOURCES RESPONSIBLY. Period. END OF STORY.

Imagine what this land could be used for. Some of it could be kept private and native, away from the hands of the government and greedy developers. Some could be used to build affordable housing for people. Some could be used to grow organic, GMO-free food for the hungry. Some could be used to build free medical clinics for the poor. Good god in heaven, that is exactly what I would be doing if I had that kind of wealth. But then again, I'm an idealist who holds the vision and belief that we're all in this human experience together, whereby value, worth and human dignity have no bearing on what job one has, what ones income is, what ones race or gender or age is, etc. etc. etc..

Hence the fact that I sometimes wonder why I came here to begin with...


Thinking of Using Chantix To Help You Quit Smoking? PLEASE THINK AGAIN.

Mr. Nina has decided to give up the habit and had just asked his doctor to phone in a prescription for this drug. He had said he read information about the drug--at the drug's website. Knowing this information would likely be biased, I decided to do my own research. I am so glad I did. The information I found out about this drug sent warning sirens sounding throughout my mind.
The FDA is sounding their own alarms on this drug as well. They are currently reviewing the drug for safety due to the number of suicidal thoughts users have reported.

The side effects are long and unpleasant. Nausea. Constipation. Drowsiness. Sleep disturbance. Anxiety. Irratic behavior. Joint and muscle pain. In all, there are over 100 side effects.

Welcome to America. Upon entering, you will be given a host of vaccines, put under surveillance and given a pill for every ailment you have. And oh yeah, you gotta pay for it all.

Once I informed Mr. Nina of this information, he immediately decided to do it the old fashioned way. Cold turkey. No pharmaceutical pills. Studies show this, provided with on-going support, which Mr. Nina will be receiving, is the best way to quit and stay quit. You really can't bypass the withdrawal symptoms. It's something you just gotta walk through.

I'm just grateful he's come to the place where he's ready to quit. And for the right reason-himself.

Iceland Ranks #1 At World's Most Livable Country. U.S. Falls From 8th to 12th.

Reading this site about Iceland, I can understand why. From its vast variety of progressive governmental parties to its universal government provided health care and education (including university education) to its very impressive low unemployment rate (2.5%), high average life expectancy (83 for females, 79 for men) and very low infant mortality rate, to its awesome human rights policies, Iceland provides a model we need to be emulating. And all in a free-market system, too.

As I have been blogging about for eons, you can indeed have a true socialist system, a rich free-market, and excellent quality of life. The best of all worlds.

It's a little something called "balance". And understanding that free-market does not mean you hoard the wealth or forgo basic human rights to achieve that wealth. Understanding that a successful government entity must represent the private citizen in all ways first and foremost, at all levels. And most importantly, understanding that a strong level of maturity and wisdom is indeed needed to make such a system work. Unfortunately, our System is still largely operated under the value system of John Wayne.


New Addition To The Home

Of the electronic kind. I picked out my piano today and brought it home. Had to return to the store twice. Once because I wasn't given the CD kit and had to go back for that. And the second time because after I got it home and set up, the sustain pedal didn't work. When I called about the sustain pedal, I was put off (they were very busy) and told to come back tomorrow.

And so I hung up and thought about that. Fuck that. I put out alot of money. I expect to be able to use it today. Not tomorrow.

So I returned again to exchange it. And they didn't have anymore. So the store had to order another one.

It isn't exactly what I wanted in terms of sound. When I did find that I wanted, I figured I'd have to spend another $2k or so. Certainly out of my affordability factor right now. So I settled for an decent sounding digital (that claims to sound like an acoustic grand but it really doesn't--it sounds pretty digital to my ears) with a variety of voices and most importantly, a built-in 6-track recorder/sequencer. Since my most immediate goal is to make some demos, I figure those will lead me to financial riches and then I'll be able to afford a top of the line Kawai or Roland digital. The two I played today--yummy. Felt and sounded as close to an acoustic grand as you can get for a digital. I got lost playing these babies. Oh god........just leave me here to live. Bring me food and clothing. Provide me with a shower. I'll do just fine.

The goddess of all pianos though--the acoustic grand. There is nothing in the world like an acoustic grand. Nothing. Nothing like the sound, the feel. Nothing like the experience of just sitting on the bench. Playing a top quality grand (the one I played retails for $28,000) gives you the sensation of floating on the clouds, of running your hands through room temperature butter.

I remember some guy, who was probably trying to impress me with his guitar playing abilities, once telling me years ago how the piano couldn't compare to the guitar in terms of playing it, sound, quality, etc. I remember giving him this "uh huh" look before asking "I take it you've never played an acoustic piano?"

Other than a few little melodies here and there, not so much. He hadn't played. Truly played. Hadn't poured out his entire heart and soul, eyes alternating between being open and gently shut, body swaying with each note. Hadn't experienced estatic joy, lustful passion, deep sadness, intense anger while playing. Hadn't experienced the pain when your hands say "enough" but the desires of the heart and soul over-ride the pain and say, longingly, "keep playing...keep playing". Hadn't played Beethoven while imaginging Young B pounding away on the keys with his ears to the floor in order to pick up the vibrations to help guide him in his compositions....hadn't played Hendrix or Stevie Ray while trying your best to get the feel for their music, singing and amazing guitar riffs and transpose it onto the piano keys, hoping you are doing their masterpieces justice...hadn't composed his own material while spending hours trying to come up with the right note or two, while knowing, while feeling what you have just isn't quite right.

The piano being uncomparable to the guitar.


It isn't so much the instrument but the connection the musician has with that instrument. Which is why my new piano is sitting alone right now. It feels like a stranger to me. But I know I'll fall in love with it just as I did with my little console acoustic. Even though the sound on my acoustic isn't top-of-the-line, that is when I stop and really think about it, I also know when I lose myself playing her, in my mind, to my ear, in my heart, at that very moment, there simply is no other sound on earth that comes close to that perfection.

Drowning Sensation

That's the feeling I am getting the longer I stay in this town. Drowning.

I gotta get out.

I need a place where there are decent jobs that pay living wages, where I don't have to compete with young girls in their 20's and their perky breasts and their "oh my GOOOOD"'s million mile an hour chatter into the cell phone that is glued to their damn ears, hell, I'd love to eliminate the entire student competition altogether. I need a place where housing is AFFORDABLE and where there is a sign on the town's entrance that says Emotions Welcome and No Flakes Allowed.

And perhaps a town that says "Rest Assured Nina, Your Ex Doesn't Live Here".

In short, I am in the wrong fucking town. I've felt it for years. Just haven't known where else to go. I've done the "God/Universe, show me the way" mantra for, well, years. Asked for guidance in my dreams. Asked for subtle hints. Even have asked for that fucking neon red blaring sign saying "THIS WAY". blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda

I'm to the point of picking up a damn dart and throwing it at a map, blindfolded. Wherever it lands, I shall follow.

I'm ready for a change. I'm ready for a new life. I'm ready to share my gifts and ideas with the world and BE PAID FOR THEM! Jesus fucking christ, I am SO fucking ready for this!! I asked for an opportunity. What If came along. Yeah...we know how that turned out.

Perhaps I need to be more specific. I ask for an opportunity that WILL LAST. Move me forward.

No more fucking dead ends. Been there, done that.


If you see it with my name on it, let me know. I'll come get it. Or else kick it in my direction. My concentration ain't so grand these days. Someone may first have to yell "HERE IT COMES GIRL".


I've had an issue with "tipping" for some time now for several reasons. One being it has come to be expected, regardless of the service. Two, the variety of situations for tipping has increased. And three, our income has grossly failed to keep up with the cost of living, which means many of these services are things we can barely afford. The tip? Forget it. And given most of these employees are making more per hour than I am, I have absolutely no guilt over saying "no" to tipping.

It's time to make a stand. Until I am paid a living wage, I will no longer be tipping. Period. And given restaurants have raised their prices approximately 20% just this year alone, well, sorry folks. If you're gonna pass along your expenses to the customer, don't expect your employees to receive a tip in today's slave wage society.

I heard a report this morning about tipping and the holidays. Tipping delivery drivers and store clerks. WTF? And get this, tipping the mail carrier. These folks make very decent money. They NEED to be tipped? "Oh, thank you mail carrier for delivering my mail. For doing your job." And considering the post office has agreements with marketing firms to deliver those unwanted pieces of junk mail, there's no way I'm about to tip any human being for delivering this unasked for garbage.

Think I have ever received a tip when I've turned in a piece of work for a needy student?? Think my spouse does as he waits on the public all day?? Hell no. We would each receive a lot of grief if either of us "expected" such a thing.

I mean come on, where does it end? Next thing you know we'll be expected to tip our doctors. "Thanks for taking 5 minutes of your time to give me that shot in the ass and the pharamaceutical pill. Here's $10."

When the reporter discussed tipping the housekeeper, I knew she was out of the loop, so I turned off the tv. Who are these idiots talking to? The top 10%? No one I know has a housekeeper, regardless of whether or not they can afford one.

You know, if this society were truly fair and just, we'd either have all workers making a living wage or we'd have a sliding scale fee on all goods and services.

Maybe then, I would feel better about tipping.


The Words In My Brain Go Round and Round

You gotta know the childhood bus song to understand and thus appreciate the title.. Either that or have watched Seinfeld and the 'master of my domain' episode...

I've been in the market for a full-size digital keyboard for awhile now and I have it narrowed down to one model that seems to have everything I'm looking for. Best part is, the local music store has the model. Most important to me is sound quality and recording capability. Being I've never recorded myself (on my own on a good quality system that is), I'm learning a lot of new words and their corresponding definitions. I've never been very good at that sort of thing. I'm the type of person who truly learns by doing, not by being told or by reading. I'm also not a technically-oriented person, so reading through the massive list of features on these digital keyboards is like reading a foreign language. I'm the type who plays primarily by ear (I can read music when I want--I just prefer to play by ear is all). You can tell me to play a certain song and if I don't know how to play it but know the melody, give me a few minutes and I'll start playing it. Give me time to master the song and I'll add my own style. However, plunk down a bunch of recording equipment in my lap and give me a manual and say "record yourself" and well, I'll give you a dazed and confused look.

But obviously I'm going to have to overcome my techno/read the manual phobia this time because I'm done with waiting to get myself recorded in the way I want. And deserve. And besides, this will suit my control needs. After my recent experience with What If, I decided enough is enough. I'm just gonna do this my way and record myself. No More Waiting.

Got investment on the mind. I hesitate to invest in gold. While it will likely continue to climb in the interim, how long will it sustain itself? Is it best to invest in coins? Stocks? From what I've read, the mines are starting to come up empty which will limit the supply. Demand is already on the increase and these two put together obviously only drives up the value. What do you do when you have gold coins sitting in a safety deposit box? If the dollar crashes as some are saying, how do you buy a $4 gallon of milk with an ounce of gold? And what will retailers do? What retailer is set up to receive gold and silver coins, or anything other than paper money, coins and credit/debit cards and checks? How will employers pay their employees? It just seems ridiculously outrageously silly to me to think the dollar will suddenly come tumbling down and have no value whatsoever and we're left with nothing. What then? I have yet to see anyone make any sort of analysis on this other than to "be prepared" (and as I have noticed, some of these sites advertise books on The End Times and Armageddon, so I take those things into consideration when reading their predictions. Such things annoy the crap out of me. Who would put such stock in a book? Who would hand over their choices and will to some plan that is set in place already? Doesn't that smack in the face of free will and choice? And frankly, I'm fed up with hearing about how we need to be grateful to "God" for giving us free will, as though there would be any other option. Grateful, my ass. If some entity has the ability to control me or behave in some overlord way, that is not something I wish to be a part of. At all. Love is equality and nothing less. Bowing down before anyone or any being is to submit yourself to a position of master and slave.) Ok, enough of the religious rant......There's talk of it (dollar) crashing, there's talk of this slow continual devaluation process (which is what I believe will happen instead of a sudden crash) and the switching over to a new currency (between Mexico and America--something Vicente Fox has mentioned), which makes more sense. And at that, what then? Do we swap our old greenback paper money with a new paper money? If that happens, will we receive dollar for dollar? Fifty cents on the dollar?? (Kinda like that shrew of a scrooge Mr. Potter in It's A Wonderful Life).

Lots of opinions, everyone thinking theirs is right. Who really knows? Is it all a farce to divert our attention, scare us? Shit. Of course I know the dollar has been declining for well over a decade and that trend shows no signs of slowing. Something will eventually give.

My hope is that if such a situation occurs, people will unite together where they are and participate in a barter system until the monetary system is worked out. If a crash is coming, whether it be slow or rather sudden, we will need to unite to survive, period. And that may not be such a bad thing after all.

(opinions and thoughs on investments are appreciated, btw!)


Some of my blog reader stats

Once in awhile I like to see who is reading my blog, where they come from and how they found my site. Here are a few examples of readers who have visited the past week...

A blogger out of Asia stumbled upon my blog after googling "what's in my chicken mcnuggets". Funny, huh? At least he/she is concerned about what they eat, or at the very least, curious.

Someone from here in town found me after googling "oregon slumlords".

Along those lines, a Hewlett Packard employee out of California found me after googling "Kip Schoning". (Is there any state where this guy isn't googled?)

Someone from New Zealand found me when they googled "memory foam mattress". I hope their search is less frustrating and time-consuming than ours was.

And last but not least, this rather disturbing/interesting/don't-quite-know-what-to-make-of-it blogger from an Air Force Base out of Ohio found me after googling "china and invasion and west coast". I blogged about the dream I had about such an event and how I had found two other persons, one here in the states and one in Germany, who had had the same dream. Does the military know something we don't??

You May Have Voted For Bill. You May Vote For Hillary. However, Would You Want To Be Friends With Either of Them?

Check out this list of former friends, acquaintances and employees of the Clinton's. I say 'former' because they are all dead.


1957 vs. 2007

As taken from our local craigslist, author did not identify him/herself.

Quite humorous despite the sad truths, although I am glad we, as a whole, no longer think it's ok to whip our kids with belts and paddle them at school, although there are some adults I wouldn't mind seeing subjected to such objects...

SCHOOL 1957 vs. 2007

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school .
1957 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2007 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

While 1/3 Of The Masses Are Participating In Black Friday...

This is what's going on around them.
Three trails full of toxic wonders, two of which you can see have spread out, shifting east. There is another one off to the west.
Too bad considering it is (was) an otherwise beautiful day with a spectacular clear-blue sky.


The "Real" Thanksgiving ?

I had to post something after watching the local news last night and all of their "everything is just swell in mayberry, usa, here in our little community" sugar coating. Aired was a clip of local school children portraying the first thanksgiving. It's one thing when children believe this not- quite-accurate portrayal of history. It's another when this makes the local news and is broadcast without any historical corrections.

I admit to being a bit uneducated over the years as to the real history of the time. Or perhaps the truth is I was educated in the public education system and have just failed to find out the truth for myself. I've since learned a bit here and there, although like all history, things are open to interpretation given it is afterall human perception. The only people who really know the truth of what happened are the natives and the puritans. And yet even at that, the absolute Truth is (largely) a blend of both accounts.

Anyway, I googled "the real thanksgiving" and came up with a bunch of links, some with conflicting accounts. I thought I'd post a few and let you either form or alter your own opinion. Or perhaps it will stay the same.



http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/thanksgiving_nelte.html (this offers up the most detailed and referenced account, imho)

That being said, Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Holiday. Or Happy Thursday/regular day. Even though I find it sadly deplorable how we have treated the natives throughout history, I rarely pass up the opportunity to eat good food with others in celebration, fun and love and to offer gratitude. Regardless of how I am feeling on that day, I always sense the energy of peace of the day as the masses put aside the daily grind and gather together to enjoy. As a child, and even today, I often asked/ask myself and others, "why don't we do this every day?"

And then again there's the sadness I feel from those who are alone without wanting to be. That's a story for another day....

PBS Says Low Wage Jobs Are Growing And Are Here To Stay

You know PBS has sold its soul to Corporate AmeriKa when it airs a piece about low wage jobs growing in numbers (more than any other sector) and not discuss why this goes against everything AmeriCa (is supposed to) stands for: justice, fairness, compassion, cooperation, freedom. Yep, even PBS has the opinion that this is just "business as usual." In a nutshell, PBS is saying "poverty is simply part of american culture."

Of course they try and sell us this crap with a pretty little package of smiling workers who are given the benefit of a flexible schedule. Apparently some of these low-wage job providing employers are now giving workers more flexibility in their work schedule. The smiling workers were the ones working from home, however. When they gave us a glimpse of a garment making factory, I didn't see one smile. I just saw a lot of slaves making minimum wage sewing dresses that will turn around and net several hundred if not thousands of dollars and end up in some elitists closet whilst making large corporate retailers even wealthier.

Sorry, PBS. You've finally lost me. For good this time.


Funny Moment

Seinfeld fans will appreciate this...

I recently bought a balm. Excellent balm, I might add. Mr. Nina decided to try it out, without my permission. The following is the conversation that took place:

"Oh, uh, I thought I'd try it out, honey," sayeth Mr. N.

Sayeth I, talking very quickly and accusingly: "Why did you use the balm?? Did I tell you to use the balm? I didn't tell you to use the balm."

This will be one of those conversations we revisit over and over again, laughing more each time...

U.S. Intelligence Official To The American People: You Need To Change Your Views on Privacy To Match The Government's

If privacy doesn't mean anonymity, what indeed does it then mean? Guess it's time to notify websters that we have a new definition.

What the fuck ever, I say... What the fuck ever... It's set to collapse anyway, our society. Like Rome. The day's coming. Who knows when. Even that is in all probability controlled. I don't really care all that much anymore either. I'm tired of being afraid. Tired of feeling weary. Cover your own ass and then be ready to help out those who weren't capable or willing to cover their own. That is what will indicate our survival as a species. That and a sense of adventure and a willingness to create something new that works for us all.

We had another power outage on our street yesterday. This time it came from one of the poles instead of the substation. Big explosion knocked out power to only a couple of homes. Ours was spared. That makes for about 7 non-weather-related outages in the past 3 years. Time to make a decision on a generator because we can't count on the power company or government to do the necessary repairs to keep these things going indefinitely.


Employees: Think You're Safe From Being Monitored In The Bathroom? Think Again.

Yes, in today's world of employer rule and employee slavery, The Boss can set up video cameras in office bathrooms (yes, even in the stalls) and locker rooms, all without telling you, and in most states, this sort of practive isn't legislated, meaning for now it's legal. Many employees know from the moment you walk into your little workplace station (i.e. prison) and go about performing all of your workplace (and at times personal) duties while on the premises, The Boss can videotape you, listen in on your phone conversations, read your e-mail, even monitor your keystroke usage and other often bullshit means of invading your privacy. Most insanely legal. However, how many employees know they may be being monitored in such places where one naturally assumes he/she is in a private place, concerning themselves with private business of the most literal kind?

Employees who set out to legally challenge some of these privacy, er, "situations", are usually unsuccessful. Hell, most employees really have no workplace rights anymore. The Boss is pretty much free to do as he/she pleases. As Mr. Nina was told by a local employment lawyer years ago, after he and another co-worker from a previous employment situation were verbally and mentally abused for months by The Boss, "Unless it's a big class action lawsuit, we don't go after employers. And even then, the employees usually lose."

Think about this article the next time you decide to take a pee. The Boss may be watching.

I think it's time for We The Employees to say "Enough is Enough." Don't you?


Judge To Parents: "Vaccinate Your Kid Or You Go To Jail"

Cheeze its fucking crisp. We saw this on the news last night and I could only watch in horror as I listened to a judge order a group of approximately 1600 parents to vaccinate their kids or else face jail time. The parents who opted to comply stood in line with their children as nurses waited with their needles, reading to poke the children with such vaccines as hepatitis b and chicken pox.

Read here for more.


Tasers Are Safe. Not Overused. Necessary. Safe. So Sayeth The Police...

The following links were lifted from my buddy piglipstick's blog.

Police taser woman in wheelchair. She dies after being zapped 10 times.

Police taser man while he's having a diabetic seizure. If that isn't bad enough, police claim they smelled alcohol on his breath. Test later reveals he had no trace of alcohol in his system. And if that isn't horrifically bad enough, instead of taking the man in for medical care, he was hauled off to jail.

Police taser 82 year old woman.

Police taser autistic boy. Note how the LA Times uses the word "subdue".

Police taser man sleeping on his couch, in his own home. Guy gets zapped while sleeping, then zapped again after he woke up.

Police taser each other during a volunteer taser demonstration. Officer seriously injured. Months later, still feeling the effects.

After reading these articles, I decided to google "police" and "taser" to see what else I could come up with. Such stories are, sadly and unfortunately, not lacking. Here are just a few of what I found.

Police taser 8 month pregnant woman.

Police taser man while tied to a hospital bed. This article has a large number of similar taser stories.

105 Americans Killed By Tasers in First Quarter of 2005.


Job Titles I'm Well-Suited For

I'm tired of reading the usual, run-of-the-mill job titles. I want to pick my own along with their corresponding job description. So, closing my eyes, gathering up all of the magic in the Universe around me, I wave my hands, open my eyes and suddenly see the following job descriptions in the paper:

1) Professional cheese eater. Must love cheese. Must be able to eat up to one pound of cheese per week without gaining weight or getting a tummy ache. Must love to sit on a comfy chair and sample bits of cheese. Must know how to write descriptive details of both the cheese and ones personal experience eating it. Pays $185/hour with full benefits. Flexible schedule. 27 hours a week.

2) Professional rant and raver. Must have a passion for those things that make us angry and those things that make us estatic. Must have a flair for and appreciation of drama. Excellent writing skills. Pays $200/hour with full benefits. Flexible schedule. 22 hours a week.

3) Sky Observer. Employee will spend up to 25 hours a week staring at the sky during the day and evening. A written follow-up description will follow. Pays $377/hour with full benefits, including alien abduction insurance. Employer not responsible for bird dropping stains on employees clothing.

4) Piano Player. Employee plays the piano, songs of his/her choosing, at select locations. Pays $1.5 million/month. No benefits, but we figure hey, at 1.5 million cool ones per month, the employee can provide that for her/himself.

5) Professional Blogger. Individual will write daily blogs about a variety of subjects. No subject is off limits. Blogger will use a code name to protect her/his privacy. Any name is fine except Nina. That one, we hear, is already taken. Pays $500/blog. Benefits include experiencing days of no hits, plus vision to deal with the computer bug-eye syndrome.

6) Certified Hugger. Employee will approach select individuals and offer them a hug. While the job doesn't pay, the rewards are priceless.

7) Practical Jokester. Individual will pull a variety of tricks on unsuspecting individuals. Pays $99/hour. A protective cup is provided for male employees.

8) Bullshit Detector. Employee will visit local private and public entities, schools, etc. and call people on their shit. Corporate CEO's and government offices are our speciality. Must have a strong stomach cause we gotta level with ya, you're gonna find a lot of shit as you travel down those rabbit holes. Payment is on a sliding scale, depending upon the bull, and varies between $185/hour on up to 200,000.

9) Professional Smiler. Individual stands on the street corner and smiles. That's it. Pays $100/hour. Must be willing to withstand a lot of inquisitive stares...

10) Puppy player. Employee plays with puppies, anywhere from 2-15 at a time. Payment depends upon the number of puppies and their size (and uh, sharpness of their teeth and claws too). $75-100/hour. Individual must have a lot of energy for this position and know how to speak dog.

Some Good News...And Some Good Eats

Well it seems all is not lost, in terms of my musical connection with What If Productions. I've been having numerous e-mail exchanges between the two partners and it turns out the audio director, the man who recorded me and has my material, bailed, leaving the cast and crew and co-owner/creative director of What If in a real bind. The Audio Director is refusing to honor our contract and has become, quite honestly, a flake in diapers. The Creative Director however is willing to help me in any way he can. He's doing what he can to get my material to me and he passed along the name of a mediator he knows to try and "encourage" the Audio Director to fulfill the contract by providing me with a song of my choice. I promptly called the mediator, who it turns out is actually a lobbyist. Egads. I said "so you're no more trained at mediation than I am" and he laughed and said "not really." However, he worked with the two guys during the dissolution of What If, and he offered to speak with the Audio Director. I took him up on his offer so we shall see...

In the interim, the Creative Director is still interested in collaborating with me, musically speaking, so all is not lost afterall.

In other news, I read in a publication out of the UK that we (the planet) are experiencing a "peak gold" situation. It seems as though the gold is running out. Miners are having to dig deeper to find the stash and are starting to come up empty-handed. Gold is now around $785 an ounce, down from around $825/oz last week. We may just invest in it afterall. For if indeed we are going to experience a peak gold situation, that will only drive up the price.

And now for some good eats. I'm one of those peanut butter, mac/cheese, beanie/weanie type of comfort-food eaters, not all together, mind you. I never outgrew those childhood favorites. I make a killer homemade mac and cheese. And I've found an awesome peanut butter at the local co-op store. I don't know the brand name, just the bulk bin item number: 3036. It comes in a huge plastic jug. It's the chunky variety and has no sugar or other crap to interfere with the peanut taste. Oh god, I love it!! In fact, as I type, it's sitting next to me. Today it's being slathered on apples, also purchased at the co-op.

In my search for mediation training, I came across a program, back in Vermont. Sounds like a very good program, the only drawback being the cost. $29,000. Yikes!! Don't know about that idea yet... I haven't found anyone here locally interested in studying mediation through an online course, work the program together. I'll keep trying...

Don't wanna talk about the job search. I should probably do some more when I sign off, but I'll probably go play video poker on our xbox. I did receive my first rejection letter today. Shit. Where's the kahlua...

On a side note, Mr. Nina saw Kip Schoning today, live and in person. He (Mr. S) visited Mr. Nina's place of employment. I became all animated, saying "wait, wait, don't tell me what he looks like. LET ME GUESS!" I love doing that--sometimes I'm right on. Other times, I'm way off. Today, I was as off as it comes. I have pictured Mr. Schoning as having very short hair, always wearing a white shirt, stiffened with a bunch of starch, dress slacks, tie, gold wrist watch, no rings other than perhaps a thin wedding band. Ha! The REAL Mr. S looks like, as Mr. Nina put it, a blast from the past grateful dead following hippie. He had long hair, held back in a ponytail, casual clothes, gold chains and gold rings (ring plural being the emphasis). Not suprising was his air of arrogance Mr. Nina said he had as well as the brand new 2008 Red BMW in which he drove. He was also really sweaty. Probably from having to haul around all of that cash...or run from angry tenants.

I wonder how many tenants he fucked over to pay for his car... Ya knows we's gots corruption right here in mayberry when the likes of a landlord such as him is allowed to continue doing business. Don't know why former tenants haven't pulled together and filed a class action suit. God knows I've had enough comments and e-mails from former tenants on my posts here and elsewhere about him. Mr. City Housing Authority guy summed it up when he said, about Mr. S, "The stories I could tell you..." Couldn't pump him for any further information.

Maybe next time I'll invite him over for mac and cheese and peanut butter on apples.


Singin' The UnEmployment Blues...

Ok, so I'm not really singing. More like spitting-mad, hand-wringing while thinking "what in the fuck am i gonna do?!" Available jobs in this area are really fucking slim-to-none. There are a lot of older folks, which means an abundance of CNA and Nurse positions. I'd love to work with these people in so long as I didn't have to see their body fluids. I quickly found out that this was a requirement for all positions, even those "residential aide" positions. I tried to convince some of these places to pay me just to sit with some of these folks, talk with them, take them to the dining room, etc. You know, provide company. Those positions, however, are unpaid. And until money stops being the tool used in transactions, I'm kind of forced to take a position that pays.

I've applied for a few positions at the University. Given I'm still technically an employee, I figured it may give me an edge, or at least put me ahead of non-employees.

Other than that, I can drive long-haul truck. Or weld. Or wash dishes, although nope, wait, I see where commercial dishwashing experience is required. Or I could always ring the santa bell for the next few weeks out in the cold.

Perhaps the time has come for the have-nots to start taking from the have's, because those of us in the have-not space are tired of the struggle of trying to get what is left of the pie known as the american dream. At least this person is.

Ooh, speaking of the Have's, anyone see the story about the gluttonous prick down in Atlanta, with that huge 12,000 square foot house, which he inhabits by himself I might add. Hear of the enormous amount of water he uses on a daily basis and how he is refusing to cut back, even though the entire City is just a few months away from running out of water. ?? This drought doesn't even come close to the last serious drought of the 1980's. The city is putting pressure on him, the residents are speaking out, but he's hiding in his mcmansion, refusing to cooperate, speaking only through his attorney.

If this isn't the epitomy of the sickening disease that is gluttony and greed in this culture, I don't know what is. This idea that "what I do doesn't effect you, and well, if it does, I don't care. This is MY home, MY land, MY life and I'll do as I please." Kind of like the opponents to our current Measure 49. Freedom is only freedom when what it is you are doing isn't interfering with the freedom of another (and of the environment). Freedom doesn't mean you get to do as you please without consequence. Well, unless you're a member of the government or corporate elite.

If our planet could sustain these lifestyles, sure, have at it. But obviously we are having serious resource depletion and shortage, right here in the states (something many people have been refusing to see for some time now) which means we ALL must conserve and scale down. Your money is only going to protect you for so long. When food and water are in short supply, survival instincts will kick in. When/if that time does come to pass, that wealth won't mean a damn thing. Hiding in your huge estate won't mean a thing either. Cooperation, compassion and respect will be what will save your ass.

Good advice for us all.