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.


An Exercise In Frustration...And In Knowledge

Mr. Nina and I are the market for a new bed. I began the search a few weeks ago and to date, have probably logged close to 40 hours of online research and phone calls. The last 3 days, I've probably put in 1/3 of that time. My neck is really hurting me and I NEED A MASSAGE! Or at the very least, a truly comfortable bed.

We're on our third bed in 7 years, are desperately ready for a keeper, and are equally hesitant to make another purchase. Call it bed-buying-phobia disorder.

I've already posted about my experience with The Sleep Center here in Corvallis. Nightmare experience with them (two mattress sets), so we most definitely ruled out shopping with them right away. We ruled out the usual coil-spring mattresses. Never had a good experience with any of them. Not a real fan of air beds. I've had two waterbeds in my life (one bladder, one tube) and they're not supportive enough. This has left us with latex or foam/memory foam bed sets. I soon learned Latex is too expensive for our budget. I kind of stumbled onto an online site (by "accident") that sells a bed that has memory foam on top and latex foam for support. Or to be precise, 4" of 5.3 lb. density of visco elastic foam, 4" of high quality latex foam from Belgium plus 2.5" of orthopaedic foam, all enclosed in a bamboo pillow top. As of today, that is our choice. We will be testing out a tempur-pedic or sealy (or one of those "s" brands, I get them confused) memory foam mattress tomorrow to determine whether memory foam will be to our liking.

Research, research, research... Tempur-pedic is very expensive. After much research, I found out (obviously) there are comparable companies out there, selling top-of-the-line memory foam mattress sets. The company we finally narrowed it down to, Bragada, only sells direct to the customer, which means we will not find their products in any of the local retail stores. I'm ok with that, but it also means buying sight-unseen.

One thing I learned, opinions are like tongues. Everyone has one. I've spoken with people in the foam industry and have received a variety of opinions, many of them conflicting. I've read countless opinions and reviews. With memory foam, people seem to either love it or hate it. There is very little middle ground, which is frustrating for a shopper.

I've learned about things such as density, the types of foam, IDL, or Indentation Load Deflection and it's corresponding 10-16 rating, the higher the number the higher the foam density, the types of latex, and how memory foam was developed. (Yes, NASA engineers were the first to design this product, however, unlike what Tempur-Pedic wants you to believe, NASA does not endorse any memory foam product. And Tempur-Pedic doesn't have the patent on 5.3 lb. visco elastic memory foam either. I found out the reason why their products are more expensive is because they import their foam from Sweden and they pay a ton in advertising/marketing. And hey, let's face it, many people will pay more for a recognizable label, too.) And it's important to make sure you stay away from ANY company that imports foam from China. This isn't meant to be taken as a joke meaning, no, there is no lead in their foam. But their foams often have very noxious chemicals that are banned in the states.

I've also learned a lot about warranties. There is a lot of "lifetime" warranties out there, all of them pro-rated. One company won't honor the warranty if there isn't proper support for the mattress. What's proper? Who defines that?

Let me tell you, when I contacted Bragada customer service, I had a ton of questions. The young man I spoke with was very patient, very informative. It was actually he who advised us to go lie on a tempur-pedic or similar memory foam bed for at least 15 minutes and see how we liked it before ordering. How is that for honesty? I appreciated that, given the fact that there's a chance we may just love the bed we lay on and buy it.

So as of this moment, my head is spinning and I must say, put a fork in me. I am (oh so hopefully) done shopping for a mattress. I'm putting faith into the idea that we'll both enjoy the experience of lying on a memory foam mattress and will thus rush home (or stay at the store), place the order, and await delivery.


MSM: Ron Paul MUST Be A Terrorist Supporter Nina: Maybe Not A Terrorist, But One Of Those Scary Pro-Life Types

Oh what funny spins the MSM puts on things. All of that spinning makes me dizzy. Let me the fuck off of this rollercoaster...

Ron Paul has been gaining in both campaign contributions, online hits and support. But being he's a (supposed) threat to the "how things are" supporters, well, the MSM has to come up with something quickly. Afterall, those Big Wig types don't want someone like Paul in office. Supposedly... Afterall, they may just have to, shock, pay more in taxes and, shock, support the ideals of freedom, liberty and justice, and shock, let the PEOPLE choose for themselves. Supposedly...

Ok, all of that being said, I cannot give my support to Ron Paul. Assuming I will vote that is... Overall, I like what he stands for, on paper that is. However, it is his Pro-Life stand that, well, I cannot stand. Ok, it isn't his belief system that bothers me. It is his desire and intention to create a Pro-Life America, whereby he wants to create legislation that states Life Begins At Conception. He also has helped create legislation that means an end to Roe V. Wade. An end of Federal Government's interference with the will of the States on this issue. States will be free to choose what is best for them. It's all right there on his website. This black-and-white thinking of his is frightening. He believes that a nation of liberty must value all life, including the life of the unborn. Must be Pr0-Life.

Need I mention how many ways the term Pro-Life can be construed?? And need I ask just exactly how he wishes to see this life-begins-at conception manifest?? And need I remind him we have way too many red necks in this nation who would use that, er, manifesto, to invoke violence?? Anyone else but me see the big danger red flags all over this one??

States being free to choose what is best for them. How dangerous is that? Sorry pro-life folks, until our culture evolves into a place where life is truly valued on the OUTSIDE of the womb, we need federal protection for women wishing to end their pregnancies. And besides that, no one has the right to tell or force a woman to carry a pregnancy to its end. None of us will EVER have that right. We can opine on this all we wish, but no one has the right to use such force against another human being, male or female. (And let's be honest here, if men could get pregnant today, abortion wouldn't be an issue. It would be safe and legal.)

Maybe the best thing is to leave government, state and federal, and the law out of it and leave it up to the doctors and patients. Could we have this as a nation? Not if Ron Paul were president and were to create and pass his desired pieces of legislation.

Funny it is to me, how he values freedom and privacy and choice and getting the government out of our personal lives, and yet he has plans to create LEGISLATION that could essentially see an elimination to safe, legal abortion (which he implies he wishes to see when he says in all of his years of practicing medicine, he NEVER once saw the need to medically terminate a pregnancy. Well good for him. There are indeed situations where medical abortions are necessary. And what about instances of rape or molestation?)

WTF?? Oh sure, we will just let the states decide as the Feds have no right to make this choice. Nice on paper, something perhaps I could be open to at least looking into, in so long as he leaves out the "Life Begins At Conception" federal piece of legislation, and all that could be implied from that. Makes no sense.

The precedent that something like this can set is dangerous. And I cannot begin to express the outrage I have towards folks such as him who will never know what it is like to be pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy. To be alone without support in such a situation. Or as worse or even worse, to be raped or molested and faced with the same situation. It is indeed a very dangerous, ugly and violent thing to do to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term. Dangerous for the woman and for the growing life inside her. He wishes to see an end to abortion and yet offers up NOTHING to deal with those very real issues surrounding an unwanted pregnancy as I have described. His answer--make it more difficult to have an abortion. Remove the federal government and let the states decide. But meanwhile we'll have, as a nation, this banner that says "Life Begins At Conception". Sorry, but I see deception written all over this one...

And on a practical side, what does he plan on doing with those unwanted babies? Leave that up to the States as well? There aren't enough families to house them. Certainly, the State wouldn't have the funds. We already have a national problem of homeless youth and children in need of homes. What in the hell is he thinking? And Mr. Paul must know that the vast majority of these staunch pro-life folks only feign to care for the life inside, but once it's a full-fledged human being with real needs, that support goes out the window and focuses back onto the next pregnant woman and her "condition".

I listened to him on PBS one evening as he described his pro-life view. He's an OB/GYN and after delivering thousands of babies, he knew he could never, under any circumstance, support abortion.

Never? Not even if the woman was raped? Not even if it was a young teenage girl who had been molested? Not even if the pregnancy was threatening the woman's life?

Fine. If he ever returns to medicine, he doesn't have to perform abortions. That is his choice. Leave it as such. Leave the Feds out of it if he so desires. But then LEAVE IT AT THAT. Don't create legislation that supports his OPINION. The States could easily say "Federal Legislation states America is a Pro-Life nation and that Life Begins At Conception and we construe that to mean murder is murder. Taking of a life is murder. Abortion is therefore murder."

This nation would have a hay-day with something like this. A hay-day that would turn into violence and chaos.

In an ideal world, yes, birth control would be 100% effective. In an ideal world, yes, communities and families would always rally around a woman who finds herself pregnant and alone or otherwise feeling unsupported and frightened. In an ideal world, yes, there would be no rape, no molestation. And need I mention the fact that cultures have always practiced their own forms of abortion using medicinal herbs? Abortion is simply part of the human existance.

To help reduce the number of abortions, which I believe certainly can be achieved....until that ideal world has been realized, Mr. Paul and others like him need to keep their noses out of the personal lives and wombs of the American Female and instead, use that energy to help create an environment where life outside the womb is valued. For if life outside the womb were valued, we would indeed see the need for abortion drop dramatically.

As Mr. Nina and I were discussing, it wouldn't surprise us if Ron Paul is simply another front man for the PTB. Given how controlled things are, the one who is the most ignored is likely to be the one who is the biggest threat to the establishment. Kucinich fits that mold rather nicely now, doesn't he?


It's The Economy, Stupid

We all remember that phrase. It's easy to blame the economy, a rather elusive concept, instead of focusing on the real criminals: the government and the elitists who tell the government what to do, who dictate the policies that create and control the economy.

There is a lot of hysteria going around these days about the economy. The sub-prime mortgage crisis, bankruptcy, debt. All very real issues indeed. And yet, how many of us stop and wonder how controlled our economy really is and, most importantly, whose needs is it serving?

Clue: It isn't the typical, work-for-a-living American. We've been taught (brainwashed) into believing and thinking the economy is serving our needs. If this were the case, living-wage jobs that actually stay in the states, affordable housing and health care and all of our other basic needs would be provided. We all know these basic needs are diminishing for us as a whole. And lest we not forget a big part of our economy--our nations infrastructure, which as I posted a few months ago, was given a "D" grade across the board by the nations top Civil Engineer Organization. Can't really have much of an economy when our roads, highways, bridges, water supply and energy sources are in dire and I mean dire need of repairs and upgrading. And yet, interestingly enough, Congress routinely fails to create and pass the necessary legislation (meaning MONEY) to take care of said repairs.

The economy works for the people, belongs to the people... Uh huh...

It may just be one of the biggest lies told to a populace.



I can't recall where I read this thing on expectations. One of the local blogs. The blogger was commenting on their state of depression and distress over world events and personal life issues. Maybe, they pondered, they were expecting too much.

My gut reaction was "no, no no no nooooooo", as in "no, don't go there. Don't do that to yourself! Don't deny what you want and need!"

All too often, since I was a young girl, I have been told or it has been implied that I expect too much. I've come to the conclusion that when people say that, it's because they simply do not wish to hear ones truth. They are happy living in their own world of denial (or maybe they're just really fatigued) and do not wish to be disturbed out of their current state of mind. Those who are in denial though are easy to spot--they NEVER want to hear what you have to say.

Those who have high expectations are typically the idealists. They can see the injustices around them. They can smell the corruption, the abuse, the lies. They know to the core of who they are that how things are is not ok. And yet even if how things are is being presented as ok, they know it's bullshit.

Those who have high expectations are usually highly sensitive. They are sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. It's as though they cannot be still or feel ok for any length of time until they feel change is in the midst, until they know fairness has won out over injustice, love has won out over fear.

So to whomever's blog I read about your concern that perhaps you expect too much, I say to you to embrace your expectations. Behind them are your personal truths. The voice of your Soul. Wear them proudly. Shout them to the world. Whisper them in your prayers. And when someone implies that maybe your expectations are "too much" or "too high", don't let that silence you. Don't let that stir up doubt. Let the individual know you disagree or quietly walk away. And remember that without expectation, things usually stay the same. Change happens when someone sees something needs to be different. It is out of this need that expectation arises. I say embrace it!

Friday Thoughts

First of all, a warning to anyone anticipating going on Unemployment. Big Government, in it's wisdom to share their bedroom space with Corporate America, has decided to join forces with U.S. Bank and Visa and create the Reliacard (with the Visa logo). When you are approved for unemployment, you are automatically signed up. That's right, there is no choice. All of your personal information, including Social Security Number, is passed along to U.S. Bank. Instead of your unemployment checks being deposited into your checking account, instead of the standard issuance of a check-by-mail, your funds are deposited into your Reliacard account.

Now call me strange, call me over-reactive if you wish, but according to my ideas of privacy, if I want a Financial Institution knowing my private information, if I wish to do business with said Financial Institution, I get to choose whether or not this relationship takes place.

And oh yes, did I mention there are fees issued by U.S. Bank after you complete more than 2 cash transactions per month? $3.00 fee to be exact. So let me get this straight. I receive 4 checks per month. And U.S. Bank gets some of that state-issued unemployment money if you engage in more than 2 cash transactions per month.

Now call me a conspiracy nut, but doesn't this smell really fucking fishy? Profiting off of people's UNEMPLOYMENT FUNDS? Do these people have no soul, no conscience? Oh that's right, that answer would be no...

Of course, you can always do what I did--sign up for automatic deposit, whereby your funds cease being deposited into the Reliacard, the card thereby, supposedly, becoming invalid to use. Closed account? That's a different story. A fuzzy story. According to U.S. Bank Customer Service, they can only open up the card. They are not authorized to close it. The State Employment Office must do that. However, when I called my local Employment Dept. Offices, I was told to call the 800 number on the back of the card to close it. When I informed the woman that U.S. Bank says they cannot close the account, only the employment dept. can do that, I was told (paraphrased):

"Well, the card will become inactive now that you've signed up for automatic deposit into your checking account."

"Well yes, but an inactive account is not the same thing as a closed account," so sayeth I.

"No transactions will be taking place, ma'am. The account will be as good as closed," sayeth government worker.

'As good as' closed. Yes, that is about what I would expect from The System.


Speaking of the system, along the lines of a soul and a conscience, I've been doing some thinking. Or perhaps the real phrase is, I've been doing some listening. Listening to my inner voice. And it's been telling me some things that are hard to grasp, hard for my idealistic heart to wrap around. For a long while now I have been trying to come to terms with "how things are" and how to make a change. I want to believe Love in Action is what will do the trick, and yet there's a real darkness to this picture. Those who dictate, run, control the system don't understand the concepts of Love. Not that I'm a master at Love, but I know what's kind and respectful and fair. My conscience speaks to me. And I listen to it, even if it takes me some time. These people? They have no conscience. Some talk about these people being Reptilian, some alien species crossed with human DNA. That has sounded so far-out to me, but I'm starting to see the truth in their thinking. While they may not be Reptilian, they certainly exhibit the traits of the type of species that behaves without any feeling of remorse, without feeling love and all that love entails.

If that's the case, how in the world do you respond and work with these folks?

I don't think you can. I don't believe they will respond to anything of the soul and human heart. They are either lacking in these traits or they are so "far gone" in their beliefs and actions, away from anything resembling love and fair and kindness and respect, they are simply unreachable, at least while they reside on this planet.

I was thinking this morning that I am an abnormal person living in a normal world. And I rethought that. Perhaps I am more "normal" than I think and I'm simply fully awake. Add to that a high sensitivity level, and there you go. I feel abnormal given the System in which I reside. Maybe it's simply easier for many to live out amongst the masses and feel normal. I am not one of them. I never have been. And yet, some part of me feels if people would truly listen to their inner voices, truly truly listen, they would start to feel abnormal as well. Something would feel "off". They would know "things don't have to be this way..." In time, they would think "no, things are definitely fucked up. Love is what matters more than anything."

And yet here we have today a world where money rules, and in certain ways, can indeed buy you love. Or at least provide a necessary bridge. How so? Say you require regular massage or other forms of self-healing. Money is needed for such transactions. Say you don't have the funds to do this in the way you need. Say your insurance company doesn't pay for the services you truly need.

You're screwed, backed into a corner. You know what you need. Out of love for yourself, you wish to give yourself such things, but because of a lack of money, you are unable to. Or say, out of love for someone you care about who also lacks the necessary funds to do those things for him or herself, again out of self-love. Out of this love you have for this person, you wish to help but you yourself also lack the necessary funds.

Bottom line, if the money were there, these services, this love-in-action, could be provided.

The Beatles, it turns out, didn't exactly think this through. But how could they? When they wrote that song, they were swimming in wealth. And when you're in that position, when you're in ANY position where overall, you are able to afford basic expenses plus those little extras, you cannot understand what it is like to live differently. I saw this two times this week. The first time when I had my hair cut and my stylist and I were talking about money and work. Her jaw about dropped when I told her what my spouse makes and what I make, or made I should say. She really had no clue as to what today's wages are for so many of us. Just because you don't work in fast food does not mean you aren't making a poverty wage. The second occasion happened at the doctor's office. She was telling us all these things to do, to buy, to improve our health, assuming we had the luxury of an income along the lines as she did. When I told her what we could not afford, she looked confused. When I then cleared up her confusion by telling her what our income is, the confusion turned to a look of extreme discomfort. Almost embarassment.

Good. It's time for those who "have" to get a clue and stop assuming this is the 1950's.

Living is just painful. Really painful. And beautiful at the same time, but the pain, it's always there behind the smiles I give. For many reasons. And yet, I still (naively) believe Love Can Save The Day.


Deep Thoughts

Any of you remember that spoof Al Franken used to do on Saturday Night Live, Deep Thoughts? That's the subject line that came to me as I thought about what to title this blog. Title's are difficult at times for me. They tend to interfere with the ramblings running through my mind. Maybe I just need to put in a capital X.

Anyway, the subject was sparked as I posted on tim's blog, about an experience I had last night. Instead of writing about the experience, I want to pass along some of the lyrics to the music I was listening to. Then you can post what they mean to you. Deep thoughts. Let's get those juices going and talk about something else other than poverty and corruption and war and economic demise.

Lenny Kravitz. I love his music. I especially love his lyrics. Psychadelic funk and rock infused with love. Here are some of the lyrics I have an affinity for. Tell me what comes to mind for you on one or two or all....

"I am you, and you are me. Why is that such a mystery."

"Cause being free's a state of mind. One day leave this all behind."

"I was born, long ago. I am the chosen I am the one."

"We must engage and rearrange, and turn this planet back to one."


Need A Contract Attorney

I'm looking for a contract attorney. I know I could look one up in the yellow pages myself, but I figured I'd come here first and see if anyone knows of such a person in Corvallis. Being I created a contract with the What If folks and being that contract has not been fulfilled (on their end) and being not one word has been said to me about it thus far and being I have lost my faith and trust in them, I've decided I should probably seek some legal council for my own protection.

Other news, got my hair cut. I have a kabillion pounds of hair on my head and this woman does an amazing job of thinning it out. When she was done sweeping up, I commented how the hair in the dust pan could supply another person with a head full of hair (yes, I have donated my hair in the past to organizations that help people with hair loss due to chemotherapy). I feel about 10 pounds lighter. Maybe it will allow me more freedom to calm my mind. I also applied for a couple of positions. Blah. Maybe if I close my eyes and think hard enough, I will open my eyes and rejoin the planet and will be able to pick up the paper and find a variety of "Composer Wanted" or "Creative Writer Wanted" ads. I swear on chocolate I have on-going moments where I believe I was born on either the wrong planet or the wrong time period.

I could sure use (another) vacation...


Dollar Continues To Spiral South

Gold is at $806/ounce, up $66 in two weeks. Meanwhile, the dollar continues on its slow, painful nosedive. Some advice I recently heard in terms of where to invest: "Read Cheney's portfolio." I wonder if that would be considered "public record."

I'm still kicking myself for not investing in Microsoft when they first went public...

How To Create A Mini Refrig.

Doing some research as of late on basic survival stuff, I came across this interesting site that details how to make a small refrigerator-like container. Called the Pot-in-Pot refrigerator, you simply need a couple of clay pots (one large, one small), sand, water, some cloth, a thermometer and something to plug the hole of the pot (if there is one). I'm curious to know what temperature was achieved.

Tennessee Town Has Run Out Of Water

The small town of Orme, TN has run out of water. For only 3 hours a day, residents are allowed to bathe, wash clothes and dishes and perform other activities dependent upon water consumption. The town has received a $377,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Utility crews are laying down a 2.5 mile pipe that will connect Orme to the Bridgeport, Alabama water supply. That's good news for Orme residents. However, as one Orme resident stated:

"I feel for the folks in Atlanta," he says, his gravelly voice barely rising above the sound of rushing water from the town's tank. "We can survive. We're 145 people. You've got 4.5 million people down there. What are they going to do? It's a scary thought."

Given the extreme drought that has hit this part of the Southeast, it is indeed a scary thought.


Employment Terms: The Real Definitions

Now that I'm back in the job market (something every ounce of my being is resisting, btw), I'm reading those lame-ass employment ads. When I think about it, they're really sales ads. Employers are trying to sell these job positions to potential applicants. Don't apply over there, apply with us! In the end, these positions are nothing more than lousy paying, boring positions, many of them so tedious and uninspiring, you can train a monkey to perform them. But nonetheless, these employers still do their best to sell themselves with an endless list of terms. Below is some of the terms they use and what they really mean.

1) Applicant must be energetic.
Truth: Must be under 30. Or live off of caffeine and no-doze.

2) Competitive wages.
Truth: $10/hour and under.

3) Professional office.
Truth: Uptight, always smiling folks who, well, all look and act alike but deep inside are yearning to rip off the pantyhose and white starchy shirts and ties and dive into yoga pants and birkenstocks and, well, see the following...

4) Drug and Alcohol testing.
Truth: It sucks so much to work here, most of our applicants need to be high or drunk much of the time, either here at work or after hours.

5) Benefits and Wages: Open to discussion.
Truth: If you want benefits, you will pay for most if not all of them. Willing to discuss wages up to $10-$12/hour. After that, forget it.

6) Must have Excellent Customer Service skills.
Truth: Must be willing to kiss ass and put up with a lot of demanding idiots for crappy pay.

7) Must be willing to work any and all shifts.
Truth: Must be willing to work any and all shifts. (No stretching of the truth with this one.)

8) Must know how to multi-task.
Truth: We know no one can multi-task on an on-going basis with great efficiency. But we still expect our workers to do that and we will ride your ass if you fail to perform like a robot.

9) Must be a team-player.
Truth: Gotta know when to suck it up and shut up, ignore your own truth, sell your soul perhaps, and go with whatever is expected from The Boss.

and lastly, my favorite...

10) Must have excellent communication skills.
Truth: Ok, this one is pretty silly since every one of us communicates in our own way and who can really determine what is excellent. It's all perception. We just include this, because, well, everyone else does. Not sure who started it. We're still looking into that... hint: If you can write and speak with understandable words at the fifth grade level, that's all that is really necessary to work here.