Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm Thinking I Need A Shotgun

Utah is one of those groovy states where anyone can carry a gun. And you can get a great bargain at a pawnshop. Isn't that nice? I've had a little ladylike Browning automatic. It was a sweet little gun. I only used it once to get rid of an unwanted suitor. I didn't even have to shoot him. I just pointed it at his face and told him to get lost. He damn near crapped his pants. And I loved the fact that he was the guy who talked me into buying it, because he thought I needed protection. Yeah, protection from him.

I've fired almost every kind of gun that was around when I was growing up. I used to hunt rats at the dump when I was a little girl. The gun I learned to handle was a Luger. My father brought it back for my mother when he came home from soldiering in WWII. He was also the kind of man a woman needed protection from. When we ran, she took her gun. So when I was eight my new daddy took me to the dump in Willimina, Oregon to shoot rats. He thought a well rounded child should be able to handle a gun. I was a good shot. No fancy two handed bullshit for this little gunslinger. I stood square shouldered, left arm lose and relaxed, right arm extended, head turned to sight down the outstretched right arm and bam. Dead rat. I should have swung it that quarter arc and killed the rat leaning against the station wagon, puffing on his Camel and holding his beer bottle in his right hand. But I missed that opportunity.

I hunted all through my childhood and into my teens with my dad and grandfather. We hunted doves, and pheasant. We went to the gun club and shot skeet. We hunted porcupines at night at my grandfather's cabin, finding the game with a flashlight and then shooting them out of trees or as they waddled across a trail. It was another opportunity I missed to kill those two bastards.

I never bragged about my experience with guns. But when I started dating, guys always wanted to impress me with their macho shooting skill. I might pretend they needed to show me how to hold a rifle. I might miss the first couple of cans or bottles, and they would show me how good they were, how easy it was. Then I would take the rifle and wait while the young man so intent on teaching me his game, would set up the targets again, and when he got back out of range and almost to my side, I would take out every target before he could turn around and look. It was a jaw dropping experience for the young man who seldom asked me to go shooting with him again. I hunted rabbits alone. I was a right little savage.

Once I started taking acid and smoking pot I lost my taste for guns. I mellowed out. I was a fashion model and traveled where ever I wanted, staying long enough in one fashion capital or another to get an agent and make some money and then I was off again. It was an easy life. A young beauty is welcome anywhere. And oddly men always wanted to protect me. That is until I started marrying them. Strange how quickly a man who professes to love you can turn into an abusive prick once he thinks he owns you. I finally gave up on men who claimed to love me, and decided I preferred the occasional friend and a solitary life.

Today my old friend came over to bring me his home made corn bread. I peeled a chilled cantaloupe and sliced it and we shared a lovely lunch. We talked about politics like we always do, and the subject of the Supreme Court came up. We both hate that prick Antonin Gregory Scolia, the gangster of the current court. I also loathe Clarence Thomas, but he is merely an angry, vengeful man--not very smart and not terribly dangerous. But Scolia is a Cheney type gansta. It got us talking about the new ruling concerning gun laws, and got me to thinking I've always wanted a shotgun. It's the only gun I'd really want these days. I think there is nothing more chilling than the sound of a pump on a shotgun. That sound of someone getting ready to do some real damage. And I would imagine a woman with a shotgun could scare the crap out of any intruder. It's everyone's right to own and carry a gun in Utah. And I'm nothing if not a good citizen. And who knows when some asshole might decide to ignore the beware of dog signs and intrude on my privacy.

I'm Sorry

I'm not sleeping well and woke up inexplicably at 3 AM and decided to read a blog or two looking for inspiration. I read Liberality's post from yesterday and was amazed and delighted. I started scrolling backwards reading what she's been up to and was further amazed. Other people have real lives. Fancy that. I know Dcup has a huge real life and I've never been able to figure out how she does it. Not only do you guys have spouses, and kids, and jobs (and in Libs case, school) and write, you actually vacuum. Then you go visiting and say funny, smart things, like the perfect party guest. I've almost always been the wallflower at the party. So I'm in awe. The only party I've been throwing lately has been the most disgusting of all parties--the pity party. Well, I'm finally disgusted enough with myself to give it up. I'm calling my shrink today and telling her this latest drug change isn't working. I'd rather be fat than dull. Hell, I rather be dead than dull.

I owe my administrator a huge apology. No one has done more to help me master a few of the fundamentals of computing. His patience is astounding. He has been generous and for the most part very kind. Besides all of that I really like him. He's given me the world, and I've acted like a petulant child at a tiny bit of criticism. Yes, I am ashamed of myself. He has asked me to leave him out of my card game. And I will, once I state publicly what an ass I've been. I'm thin skinned beyond belief. I hate whiners and I'm a huge whiner. This leads to self-loathing. Duh. Circular and stupid. I'm climbing out of the hamster wheel and will attempt to peer out the window now and then.

Yesterday I got a lot of very good advise from the women who know when someone needs an intervention.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've Lost My Mojo

Things are getting me down. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's depressing. It's probably a combination of things, but prior to my antidepressant change I was, despite all the other problems, enthusiastic and energetic. The final nail in my creative coffin was the email from my administrator, and I thought friend, who said, in essence, that I'm a bad writer. This is not an incentive to write. I spent my adult life either married to men or living with men who defined me as a bitch, and never lived with a man who took me seriously in any way except as a sexual object.

I grew up in a family that defined me as the problem, and all my family's ill treatment of me was deserved. I was the scapegoat in my family, and it took forty years of therapy to begin to turn the corner on that. I was told over and over to take responsibility for myself, even when I was a child. I was told that the terrible things done to me were my problem. So part of the reason I accept another's assessment of me as bad or childish or without talent is part of that legacy. My only value when I was younger was as an object to be used--either a good accessory or a piece of crap. So the bipolar roller coaster and the recent change of meds, the bad teeth, the bad ticker, the neurotic dog, are getting me down. I don't need anybody to feel sorry for me. I don't need pity or sympathy. But a gut kick isn't particularly helpful either. At my best I might be a bit of a drama queen. At my worst, I'm a limp rag, unable to think, or bathe, or feed myself. I nowhere my worst yet, but I could get there.

But I don't want to give this up. I want to get better at it. Bear with me. It may take awhile. And when I have the energy to write, I'll be trying to finish my last damn edit on the novel.

To Randal, Dcup, Diva, Liberality, DK Read, Enigma, Anita, and Unconventional Conventionist, and the rest of you, I'll be around, lurking and sulky for awhile. But once things settle down health wise, I'll be back wisecracking, and acting like a citizen who gives a shit again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dcup Understands Me

Well, this about sums up everything I love about jazz and a great torch singer. It doesn't hurt that the lyrics suite me perfectly. I'm a lucky woman to have a friend like you. And just for the record how did you find this perfect piece?

From My Administrator

I thought that this was a bit harsh. But the bad writing bit cuts very deep. Sends me back to the drawing board. Makes me deeply ashamed of myself. And I know I deserve the exhortation to write well. Bad writing should offend us all. My administrator sent this to me after reading, or trying to read a bit of the novel, and then asking me to fix something in the first chapter. My lack of editorial skill is shameful. But, it is my belief that a writer needs an editor--someone not so close to the story. Yes, this is a poor justification for sloppy writing. Yes, I'm often childish--I'd say I'm about twelve. A pissed off twelve year old.

From my Administrator to me in response to a couple of childish emails I sent to him.

"Peggy, darling, you know this is a piss poor message. It insults me, makes me think that you think I'm interested in, motivated by, childishness. I'm not. Maybe other people in your life are, or have been. Maybe it works on them. Do you respect them? Swearing doesn't make you tough. You can't continue to pretend that only prudishness would find this offensive. It's bad writing, simple as that. Bad writing offends me.

It's not a special case. It's a clear one. Anger, frustration ... oooh golly, the swear words make it so. Are you kidding me?

It's childish dumb and weak. It's not an "over use of the expletive."

And you can quote me on that.

I went to the Giants game tonight."

On Jul 26, 2008, at 7:50 PM, U.Savage wrote:

I could probably do some damage trying to fix this fucking problem. I want only Jabber available as an Ichat option. What is the Aim bullshit I can't get rid of.

Monday, July 28, 2008

For Non, Je Ne Regrettes Riene

Ne Me Quitte Pas, by Nina Simone

Stolen from Unconventional Conventionist

All it takes is one brave Republican.

Thanks Unconventional Conventionist

Churlish in the Dog Days

I'm tired and pissed off and sad. And My Administrator is fed up with me. I have been experiencing these cardiac events, as my E Cardio heart monitor techs call them when I have to unload the days happenings into the phone. I don't notice the events, I just feel churlish, tired, and incapable of doing the simplest things--as if I left the house that is my brain, and some moron has inhabited it in my absence. And the weather isn't helping.

Over the past few days it's been 105 in the shade of the gazebo. And then out of nowhere a single cloud forms and then one crack of lightening and my house gets a surge that knocks out everything. Yes my friends, I did not own a surge protector. No, I just "forgot" to put it on my shopping list. No I'm not a complete moron, just a moron in some areas. Those parts of my brain not engaged in foraging for food and the fistfull of pills I take each day and finding a place that isn't out of my smokes, is about the limit of what I feel I can do at this particular point in my rush toward the grim reaper. I'm wired up like frankenstein, with a monitor hanging from my neck that's like wearing an especially ugly neckless that weighs too much--the wires dangle, and it's too hot to wear anything that would make this unsightly mess less visible, so I go around with wires hanging, and my monitor swinging jauntily from my tired neck. I'm fed up and very tired and really cranky.

After the second or third surge, my Administrator told me to "GET A GOOD SURGE PROTECTOR OR YOU WILL KILL YOUR COMPUTER, and in his tone was the last bit, but not exactly said, YOU MORON. I am grateful to my Administrator, and I'm obedient like a five year old to his shouted orders. So I got the most expensive surge protector I could find. I unplugged the tangle of cords, and reinstalled the important ones, and then BAM, another surge. Well, thank god, I was "protected." None of this makes me less cranky or surly or irritable. Part of this irritably is the result of the antidepressant change, and the heat isn't helping, and the heart going haywire several times a day for no fucking reason, and the extreme fatigue of it all. Could this be the big ennui that is old age and the approach of the sweetly smiling grim reaper creeping up on me? It's probably all of the above. But then, in response to a too desperate email and a couple of whiny emails I sent my Administrator followed by a day of silence from him, I got a very pissed off email back. I don't doubt that I deserved his scorn and impatience, but it hurt my feelings. And since I feel like one ragged exposed and overused nerve, I shut down my computer and took to bed.

And a damn good thing it was. A storm blew in and knocked the power out in the whole neighborhood. So, no fan, no swamp cooler, no TV, no lights, one candle, and fortunately one flashlight that worked. So after a night of too much time to think, and a restless sweaty sleep-- I'm in no better mood, but I will not yet give up the blogging, and I will continue to swear like a drunken sailor, and I will, eventually, slowly edit my fiction again.

PS . So to console myself, I made a luscious fresh peach cobbler because it's peach season, and I'm finally tired of cornbread.

Oh, and I almost forgot--the three molars on the lower right side of my jaw have become abscessed, and need to be pulled, cut out, whatever. But because of the heart thing and the big dose of blood thinners, I can't have this little painful problem dealt with. I can't afford it anyway. So I stay on antibiotics to keep the pain to a low simmer. Did I say I can't afford it? Medicare does not cover dental emergencies. But even if they did, I still couldn't get this last indignity taken care of.

The Look of Love

More of the luscious voice of Diana Krall

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Peel Me A Grape

I said I was a fan of jazz since I was very young. I love the late greats and the newcomers, but this is my favorite female vocalist, pianist, and songwriter. Her name is Diana Krall and she is married to the very lucky Elvis Costello, or was last time I heard.

These great photos of Ms. Krall are a little eye candy for us all. So Randal, feast your eyes and please your ears. And yes, we want a lot, don't we?

So, peel me a grape. And I just might give you my cornbread recipe.

My Early Rock and Roll Pantheon of Greats

I went looking for each of these old rockers one by one and much to my delight found them all together on this gem--sounds like it was performed in Italy from the intro and early commentary as the stars take the stage. Let this old puppy load and the sit back and enjoy the early history of Rock and Roll--too bad Buddy Holly isn't in the mix, but alas, he was gone for good. Check out the mics that don't work, the cast of "minor" players and the crowd of white folks having a very good time. Here you have: BB King, Ray Charles, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ike and Tina Turner and the Ikettes

This is the first Rock performance up close and personal I ever saw. I was walking through the Union building at the University of Utah. I was a student and cutting through the hall behind the ballroom (which is a pretty overblown name for the small space--probably seating for a couple of hundred people and this is what I heard and saw. I know this performance isn't the one I saw, but it comes damn close. I stopped dead in my tracks and listened for a moment and then moved in closer. I saw Tina singing and Tina dancing that was a jaw dropping, spellbinding experience. They were doing Proud Mary and it looked like this only more vivid and sweat flying and those amazing legs of hers pumping, strutting across the stage with the lovely Ikettes behind her.

Glade, This One's For You

In taking Randal's challenge to chronicle my tastes in Rock Music, which was not ever really my taste in music, and to wish well a secret friend of mine, I give you Queen--who my rocker friend says is the most talented group of musicians in all of Rock History. Well, Glade, I have to admit, the guy can sing, and the rest of the band's not bad either. But I still love Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and BB King better than I do the virtuoso white boys. Remember the saying, America, once you go black, you never go back.

A Challenge From Randal

A challenge from Randal Graves. Well, I'm willin', but I'm old and creaky and don't have your linky skills so this will take some time. However you do know my fondness for Little Feat and here they give you "Willin'"

And wait, wait, for Don't Bogart That Joint at the end. Nothing to do but listen. No video, so crank it up and go about your business. Unless you're at work, of course. Like you Randal. Me, I'll be vaporized and watching "news."

Barack in Berlin

The audacity of hope is alive and well in Berlin. A crowd of over 200,000, waving america flags and cheering, stands in stark contrast to the angry demonstrations on Bush's last visits to EU Capitols. Merkel looked so happy to shake the hand and speak to the possible next President of the United States, and know he won't molest her as Bush did in his last visit.

(I had to increase that number of cheering Germans from 100,000 to 200,000)

The About to Be Homeless

"The Stock Market got drunk, and now it has a hangover" George W. Bush said at a fundraiser in Texas.

And thousands wait for relief from Congress to forstal forclosures on their homes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008; Page A01

The homeowners started lining up at 4 a.m. yesterday, some, like Patricia Ephraim, coming for a second or third day.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Please Sign This

It's time to Impeach George W Bush and Dick Cheney.

Might Makes Right

I am linking to the post from The team at Unconventional Conventionist for obvious reasons.
BushCo is the worst administration in American History. As John Oliver 'reported' last night on the Daily Show, "They are the biggest bunch of douche bags and assholes in recorded history!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thanks Freida Bee

From Freida Bee to me, and back attcha.

Oh how well you know me. I bow before you for this lovely tribute. And for nailing my taste to a tee.

T Boone Pickens--Oilman

Every time I see T Boone Pickens say "This is one problem we can't drill our way out of," in his ad, I grow ever more convinced even old oilmen know the Bush years and the prospect of McCain years have disastrous consequences for the planet our economy and our country. He promises more ads to come. Shit, anyone with half a brain knows four more years of this crap and we should start looking for a revolution or a run for the border.

Please Sign This Petition

The Latest From

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Contessa

This is an excerpt from a short story I'm working on, published in Savage Stories

Junior saw her the first day of the seminar and made sure to get a seat directly across from her. It was a seminar on the plays of Harold Pinter. Junior was the English Department's only Woodrow Wilson Scholar. He also had a special grant from the Creative Writing Department, so he didn't really need to work. He could be a TA, but why? It cut into his free time. He had a William Morris agent--had since he was eighteen. First story he wrote got published in a collection of the Best Short Fiction, 1966. He's been writing and trying to find a better place to sleep. He doesn't worry about the deadline for a collection of stories, he writes fast. But he does need a place to flop. He also needs some blow.

Junior doesn't have to say a word in this seminar. The famous playwright is teaching. They drink beer together in the afternoon. They laugh together at the foolish things these Mormon kids say in class. They dish babes. The famous playwright has a new lover every semester. He's been married to the same woman almost thirty years. Imagine that. He has a son he doesn't talk about much. The famous playwright likes to gamble.

Junior starts to think of the beauty across from him two nights a week for three hours a night as The Contessa. He starts referring to her as The Contessa. Pretty soon other men are calling her The Contessa. She is the most vocal and confident of the students. She is prepared and perfectly willing to take on the Mormon grad students full frontal. The Contessa makes it easy on the famous Playwright. He only has to get her started and she runs the seminar smoothly. Soon there is a regular Tuesday night beer drinking group that takes the seminar into the late night. She is often there, sitting beside the famous playwright. Her name is Judith, but he finds himself still talking about her when she isn't there, as The Contessa. Judith doesn't seem to see him. He wonders if she's this semester's lover. He also finds out that Judith is married.

One early afternoon Junior pops his head into the famous professor's office on his way out for an afternoon of shooting smack. But his famous friend invites him to go have lunch with him, "My treat," he says. Junior is disappointed that his high will have to be postponed, but smiles and says, "Sure, thanks."

Strangely the famous playwright takes them downtown to a nice little hole in the wall restaurant called, "The Beanery." It's packed. They stand outside and chain smoke, waiting for a table to open up. It takes almost twenty minutes. But once seated, he sees The Contessa walking toward them smiling, with menus in hand. Her hair is twisted into a loose chignon at the nape of her gorgeous neck. She is tall, willowy, graceful, olive skin, dark hair. She's wearing a long skirt and sandals with straps that wrap around her ankles. She has beautiful feet. Is she wearing a bra or not? He's not sure, and so makes a study of watching her across the room. She is flawless and usually a bit aloof, yet now, oddly warm. When she approaches a table she's smiling, she seems patient, bends over a menu to point things out. She makes notes, smiles, turns away, and the smile is gone. What remains is a fierce, strong, beautiful woman in motion. Focus is what you see when she's not smiling. She comes back to take their order and calls them by name, "Junior, Henry, who let you boys out?" The famous playwright beams and says, "It's like a visit to Greece, and then having Melina Mercouri waits on you at a small cafe." She smiles and says, "I think more Anna Magnani, but then, who am I?" Junior blurts out, "You're The Contessa." She looks at him then and says, "Junior have you decided what you want?" He leers at her and says, "I'll have a Rose Tattoo." She turns and says over the shoulder, "Play amongst yourselves, and when you're ready to order food, let me know." The smile is gone.


I have many habits--some good, some other''s call addictions, and some just plain bad. And if you don't like one of my habits, you call it an addiction. If you share my habit, you call it fun. If you share one of my bad habits, you empathize and understand, and probably share my addictions as well. I'm not saying, so stop holding your breath. My shrink reads my blog on occasion. Just often enough to scare me a little every three months or so.

I have a "fondness" for LawnOrder. Yes, I know, you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about. It's what those, with a vaguely embarrassing fondness, like LawnOrder, call it--a fondness. I don't give a damn about my lawn. But old, oft watched episodes of Law and Order are soothing to me, especially the Major Case episodes with Vincent D'Onofrio, and I never remember how they end when I start watching an old episode. Sometimes I don't even the remember how they end even when they end. Melea makes fun of my addiction to LawnOrder. She makes fun of the acting of guest characters, and she doesn't understand my thing for Detective Goren, who is my type even when he's fat and looks like he smells bad. He's my type and that's enough. I like the actor I will always know as Big from Sex and the City, but I prefer D'Onofrio. I also like the Special Victims unit cast. Mariska Hargitay is, well, sexy, let's face it, even to me, but the barely controlled and scarily cool actor who plays her partner, was once a star of one of my favorite shows from HBO. about a prison--can't remember the name of it, but it was great and Meloni played a very scary guy down in the hole.

If Deadwood was in syndication anywhere I'd be watching it like a real addict. Who were the morons who decided to cancel that? I thought it was the best written show ever. And I loves me some good writing. Great casting, too. Award winning acting as well. Stupid fucking programming executives. I think I'll write a story about a woman driven to murdering an HBO programming executive because he was the stupid little prick who decided to cancel Deadwood. I'll call it Dead Wood.

Deadly Women

No, I''m not talking about the collection of short stories we are gathering. I'm talking about my heart monitor. The damn thing keeps going off. The first day I had it--no episodes. The first night I wore it, it went off three times. It makes a beep when it picks up an "event." Did this wake me up? Hell no. I slept through all three events. It will only hold four events, so in the morning I called it in, which loads the events on my record and then I start fresh. Yesterday during the day, I had three events, so before I went to sleep late last night (really early this morning) I called it in to clear it for the nights events. When I woke up this morning, I noticed that the connecter thingy had come loose and so it could not record my night time events. This morning I'm up to three events, and when I call the monitoring folks in Texas, I have to find out how to sleep with the thing without disconnecting it in my thrashing about in the night.

I have a friend (yes, you bastards, I do have friends) who says she'd rather have a heart attack than wear such a device. Well if we're talking a huge, life ending heart attack, so would I. Unfortunately, it's only the men in my family who get off that easy. The women all have the tiny strokes that eventually turn them into babies who shit their pants and can't speak, but are big enough to break you neck when you try to change their diapers. That is a fate worse than death to me, and short of quitting smoking, I'd do damn near anything to avoid this fate, including taking my own life. So this woman could turn deadly, if she discovers she's having those little tiny bleeds into the brain.

And on that cheery note, I'm going to start another story, where I knock off one more bastard from my past who so richly deserves it.

Lady Macbeth

Something to think about when it comes to Murder Most Foul:

Gail Gilmore
Guiseppi Verdi

Thank you Unconventional Conventionist

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dangerous Women Write

Well Randal, we now have twelve--as of now, a mere eight hours after I said twelve, we have fifteen stories in the collection. Ha! Take that you lazy writers! It was a little over a month ago Dcup and I decided to get this little project going. Well it's going great guns and other weapons. Are you scared yet you XY types? Well you should be. Once you read these stories, you will be looking at you wives in a whole new way. Thanks Ghost for the right song at the right time.

Dead Sound
I hear the sound of falling love
As I wonder where you are
Hits the ground with a dead sound
know you aint got far
You're too stupid and sissy like
To say that you want out
You make the eyes of a million girls
And you think you'll make them shout

Dead Sound

A Nation of Whiners?

The latest from MoveOn:

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Moment's Clarity

It's working. I think it's working. Life and energy, and clarity of vision.... Oh god, is this place dirty! As my focus returns, I swear there is actual fuzz. On the objet d'art, there appears to be light brown chick fuzz. No, no I'm not hallucinating, there is fuzz. And every lovely oak surface is dusty. I say this charitably. And it appears I have been eating in bed, as there is a brown stain on the edge of my top sheet that can only be chocolate ice cream. The surface of the kitchen table has smears of butter and a scattering of crumbs and is covered with a neat pile of mail--Melea brings it out and stacks it for me--She is the daughter who seems to love me best. Though it is, perhaps, the fact that she hasn't really seen me at my worst. Oh, she thinks she has, but no, no. She has not seen me at my worst.

I have friends at Face Book, or My Space or however you young people say it, type it. Whatever. Anyway, I have friends. So there Randal. Oh, by the way Randal, do you have an Agent I could borrow? We have a book that needs publishing. Na na, na na, na, na. Anybody have an Agent? We have several stories that I believe have great cinematic potential. And we have a diversity of cultures, ages, and voices. It's a really interesting book, and it's speeding to it's chilling conclusion. Among our writers we have four really great editors and that's a godsend for a good collaboration. Each writer knows what she intends to say. These are damn strong women, overworked and raising families, moving to France in one case. I am the least able editor, and the only writer who spends half her day stretched out in bed, watching any old crap on MSNBC or CNN. This is a shameless admission. Oh well.

So, aside from writing this rather manic gloat, I have changed my bed, washed my laundry, and begun the dusting. I washed two dog bed covers, my towels. Fascinating isn't it. I also got a heart monitor to wear for the next month. Just like a tiny EKG. Then I cleaned my fridge, and went to the grocery store. I thought for a few minutes yesterday, that I might have lost my apatite and would lose some weight, but sadly that's not likely. For dinner, I had three thick lamb chops and fresh, cut from the cob, Texas style, creamed corn--one of my long departed grandmother's delicacies. All in all it's been a good day. And if when you read this, it's complete gibberish, we'll know I'm not tuned up quite right yet.

Something For We The People

Send Karl Rove to Jail

I received this in my morning email alerts. Please pass it on. Let's see Karl face a little justice from the Justice Department he has worked so hard to politicize. Executive privilege my ass.

In My Travels

Yesterday when I was visiting sites I've missed napping as I adjusting to my bipolar drug change, while looking in on Franiam I found her post dedicated to this site and this post. It really resonates for me because I could so easily be homeless. Had I not taken care of my mother in her descent into dementia, and inherited her house, I very well might be homeless. Thanks to what began with the Reagan "revolution," we now have no facilities to care for those who cannot care for themselves. It will get worse. The mortgage meltdown, bank failures, a falling dollar, rising costs and gas prices rising almost daily, we are in deep dodo. I know this isn't news to any of you, but I am old enough to know that prior to Reagan we did not have a "homeless problem." I've talked about this before and not that long ago, but thanks to Franiam, we now have this site to educate us, and make it real in a way nothing else does, short of being homeless yourself. Please read this: Under the Overpass

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scrambled Brains For Breakfast, Anyone?

This is one of them many things about bipolar disorder that I really, really hate. You're going along thinking you're doing just fine, and then, like a good little patient, you keep your scheduled appointment with your shrink. Not all bipolar patients are as compliant as I, but than most bipolar patients don't live this long. So, there I am bringing her up to date on my situation, and it turns out that the old school anti-depressant I've been doing so very well on is implicated in "cardiac events." It's also implicated in fat, but aren't most of them? Anyway, now I'm doing the Alice in Wonderland bit, where she takes a bite of this, and it makes her really fat, and she take a bite of that, and it makes her disappear. Did you even notice that I disappeared yesterday? Thanks Randal and Beach, at least now I know who my real friends are.

So now my brains are so scrambled I can't read, write, or stay awake long enough to do much of anything. Just as I was going down for the count today, shortly after waking up, I had the foresight to call the one friend I thought might call, and tell her I was taking a "nap," so if she had anything to say to me, say it quick, and then don't wake me up with a phone call, please. I thought of calling my other friend--yeah, I am that popular--but got too sleepy to pull it off. And who doesn't like a good nap, anyway. Well, three or six hours into mine, the phone goes off like a bomb, right next to my head. I come out of my sleep and croak, softly, so as not to hurt myself, "Hello???" When what I really wanted to do was scream, "Who the fuck is this!!!" Well, of course it was my other friend, the one I didn't call to tell I was taking a nap. "She says, "You sound strange, are you alright?" To which I answer, "I'm taking a nap, you woke me up." The second half of that was perfectly obvious, but somehow needed to be said. Then she said, "Well, I'm worried about you, you don't sound like yourself." I just should have said, "I'm not myself. You have the wrong number," but she'd have never fallen for that one. So I said, "I'm not exactly myself, I'm seesawing between two competing drugs, and my brains are scrambled." To which she replied, "Well, you missed Olbermann." The TV was on and sure enough, there was Dan Abrams talking to that annoying twit, Contessa Brewer. Then my friend said, something that sounded like bla, bla, bla. It was all very well intentioned and for my own good I'm sure, but god, how I wanted to sleep on and on into the night. Fortunately, Olbermann gets a second hour following Dan, so the day wasn't wasted after all, but my nap sure was.

If you're thinking I sound like I'm slipping into depression, this is what it feels like, but it probably won't last very long. In the early days of real antidepressant therapy, they just slammed you on a full dose and that was that. Now they treat us like the delicate flowers that we must be, and ease us off one drug as they ease us on another. Me, I prefer the old way. Get it over with quick. But I'm a good little patient, and I follow my doctors instructions.

In the meantime, you will not know who you're going to get, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. Good luck, it's bound to be a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I got Nothing, But I have a Friend Who Does Have Plenty To Say To All Of Us Today

The blogger with the French name and who has just immigrated to France, has posted on an online magazine with a great piece about Verdun and WWI. So, without her permission, I give it to you here. Kim is the woman known to us as Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

Please go to her site today, and read this piece. It is far better than any of the crap I might give you today. I'm still nursing my many piddling problems. And really, there are days when you just don't have the goods to give. This is one of those days for me. But her post is worth reading for so many reasons. Trust me, have I ever given you bad advise? Well, maybe once. But not this time.

In the meantime, I will be thinking. And mostly about war. War and the crushing poverty and destruction it leaves in it's wake. Honor really should never be a word associated with war. There is so little that could be called honor when killing and blowing shit up is the mission.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Tooth Fairy

I need a tooth fairy. For me that would be someone with really good painkillers that don't make me puke and don't cost much. Or a sugar daddy who'd pay for my dental implants. I've been trying to keep my two bottom molars for the last three or four years, and its a serious battle that I can honestly say started in my childhood with tin-can braces and living in a small town miles from any orthodontist. Then the when tin cans come off, every tooth is decayed underneath. Then I get a mouth full of silver fillings, then a tooth dies here, and the lovely one gets a gold crown. Then finally porcelain crowns. And now momma needs implants.

I've been trying for all this time to keep one good chewing surface, and it's a nasty battle. They start to ache and the pain goes down my jaw and into my neck. They feel higher (and not in a good way) so that when my back teeth touch top to bottom it sends a shiver of pain radiating out into my jaw and down my neck. It gives me a headache nothing will cure. And I hear, this kind of thing could end up killing you. Sadly, I'm one of those people that can't take narcotics without a really good anti-nausea drug on board to prevent the unfortunate puking, as I run for the toilet. Oh, I know it's early to be talking about such things, but there you have it. I'm not feeling good.

My handsome dentist, bless his sweet, pretty, blue eyed self, always keeps up with the latest gadgetry in dental marvels. He has a laser drill, that if I had a cavity, would zap it quietly and painlessly--alas, this is not my problem. This dental saga might have ended differently, if I were rolling in dough, or had started life with a different set of parents. All this might have been avoided. But a lifetime of grinding my porcelain crowns, when I sleep, into cracked and splintered nubs, has left me phobic of the next expensive dental horror I face. I'm told I could solve this whole mess with a mouthful of perfectly lovely dental implants for around $30,000. And that's a whole other kind of nightmare. It'll be that, or some ghastly form of dentures. Oh god, old age is a nightmare.

And then, yesterday, when I went to my doctor for my ten day check of the clotting factor, my blood pressure was 180/104, and my blood was like sludge. It oozed from the finger prick and would not drop. So now I have to take it easy, increase my warfarin (sounds just like me--that warfarin woman) take an antibiotic which rips my gut up, something for the nausea, something for the pain, and go back to bed.

These are the vicissitudes of having lived an exciting and adventurous life. Eventually the piper must be paid. Now, I think I'll take the mornings dose of drugs and go back to bed. Have a lovely day darlings.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Moving Day

Just when I'm getting comfortable with my cozy little place here in the intertubes, my Administrator tells me I need to go public. WTF? I thought this was public.. But no. Not public enough for my Administrator. He has faith in me. Why, you might ask? I'm not really sure, because he hasn't read my "fiction," doesn't read "poetry," and isn't terribly interested in politics--my bread and butter, or cornbread and cantaloupe, to be more accurate. When we were first getting to know each other, in the way one gets to know someone you've never actually seen, I decided to share with him one of my "Aging Barbie" pieces--he hated it. I mean really hated it. He thought I was so full of shit. We argued about it for days.

Another thing he hated about my writing was my "over use of the expletive." He said something like, "You're a better writer than that; you don't need that." Well, honestly, I can barely write a sentence without the swear words. I thought it would be like writing wearing a straightjacket. I should have said, "You hate what I write, how can you say I'd be a better writer?" Well, it turns out, he doesn't really hate how I write, so much as he hates what I write about. "There's a difference?" Yes, Dorothy, there is a difference.

Here's another thing about my relationship with my Administrator--in his world, I'm so dumb, most of the time I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. ULR? This means something? Some of your sites require registering, and still I don't know how to type my ULR thingy into the required field. I think at Unconventional Conventionist, it still says in my ULR field, "what the fuck's a ULR?" Maybe at Jonestown, too. So, have I come a long way, baby? Not really. Seven months into this adventure and I still don't know what any of the serious smart blogger things are, or how to do them. I can write my daily post, but unlike the rest of you blogging artists, I can't illustrate it, or drop in the perfect clip, or link it, to back up what I say with source material, or photoshopped images, or music clips. I'm an amateur when it comes to the tricks of the trade, and many of you have tried to help me. I thank you all for your generosity and kindness, but I'm the sort of woman who hasn't read instructions since I stopped taking tests in college. So, to translate words in an email into performing a trick like the strike-through, is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat--beats me how it's done. But I do appreciate the magic of it all.

The loveliest thing about my Administrator is his generosity and patience. He has come to understand the way my brain works and doesn't work. Certain things, I'll probably never quite understand. But the beauty of having someone like my Administrator, is that when I'm stuck, and my brain is bipolarly scrambled, he just comes over to my side of the screen and does it for me. Sometimes we Ichat. Sometime we chat voice to voice, and sometimes he just comes right over to my side and takes over the controls and does it for me, while I sit back and watch. Magic! It's nothing short of Magic to me. My dog, Cyrus, thinks my computer is a person, since I spend some time talking to it everyday, and it talks back to me. Roscoe, who I babysit most days, thinks we have been invaded by the invisible man, and barks ferociously when Phillip comes in to talk with me, and has to be put outside for the duration.

All this to simply say, I am now at netvibes. This is an "rssfeed," whatever that means. Nice thing about the new sites, is that they all lead back home, where I'm just getting cozy. But now I'm building a real identity at Face Book, using my real name and all--scary stuff. He insists I should have a My Space page--I thought My Space was for teenagers, but no, Martin Scorsese is there. Who knew? So netvibes it is. Look out world, here I come! Thank god no one can see me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Spiderman, Who Knew?




The Flash


Wonder Woman


Green Lantern

Iron Man


You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Saturday, July 12, 2008

While We're On The Subject, Let's Talk Crazy

I know it gets old, but that's easy for you to say, you don't have to live in my head. Try that for a month or so, and then you'll want to talk about it. You know what some people say: Crazy's like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're gonna get till you bite into it, and sometimes, it's not what you had in mind. Hell, if I could choose not to be crazy, would I? Maybe, maybe not. Am I the kind of woman who bites into a chocolate that's a little more exotic than I bargained for and then spits it out? Hell no, I eat that fucker. And sometimes I enjoy it. If I weren't crazy would I still be able to write? Would I still love with such ferocity? These are questions of no small importance to me. But I will tell you this: there are certain drugs for my kind of craziness that I will not take. No matter what. Because they kill the creative impulse in some, and that's enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

I won't say what the drugs are that I will never, ever take, because they save the lives of millions. But for me, if I couldn't write, I rather die, and that's the honest to god's truth. Writing is like breathing for me. I can't live without it.

When I lived with husband number three, he was the writer, and I was his life support. I typed his rough drafts and edited them for him. I read aloud to him every book he was required to read for his PhD in English Lit/Creative Writing. The morning he went to take his Orals, I sat bolt upright out of a sound sleep and said, "Good luck. And remember, the fork ran away with the spoon."

I used to suggest story ideas to him, and he'd always reject them. Well, Junior, these stories are mine, now. Good luck. And as a writer, how are you liking the job as Chairman of the English Department? And the student you got pregnant and had to marry? Has she left you yet? Hope you get to see the kids now and then.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Acting Crazy

Many of you will be too young (or claim you are) to have heard of Little Feat, But back in the day, before most of you kids were born, no not you, you're nearly as old as I. Don't look around, pretending I'm not talking to you--but you kids, the ones of you in your forties, probably don't remember Little Feat. First incarnation began in 1969, and the live recording that Old Folks Boogie comes from is called, Waiting for Columbus, and was performed in 1977 at the Rainbow Theatre in London. They're categorized as Blues/Rock/Country. Most of you will probably hear this as country and hate it. But I listen to your music, and pretend to like it. Oh hell, I did tell you the truth about that, didn't I? Damn. If you aren't going to listen, then I'm going to make you read some of the lyrics, because they speak to me of the situation I find myself in these days.

"Off our rockers, acting crazy, and with the right medication we won't be lazy"

(Now you're starting to understand what I'm talking about?)

"Old folks boogie, boogie they will
Cut you up, 'cause it's as good as a thrill"

The point I'm trying to make, is that whether you're bipolar or just old and crazy, sometimes you just can't help being impatient and cruel. You don't even know your doing it. I'm not talking about you fairlane. You just seem to get off on it. Me, I can't help myself. I've got an excuse.

And, as always, just when I'm wanting it, here comes ghost with this: Willin'

For Stella, and K, And Mary Ellen

Stella at Swiftspeech
K at the iKoniclast
Mary Ellen at the Divine Democrat

I apologize to you all for not really listening, for insulting you and for being a really bad hostess. I can only claim craziness. I have talked about this before, but I am bipolar. Yesterday I had my regularly scheduled visit with my Psychiatrist. I'm now on a new antidepressant. Maybe I'll get nicer, more patient, and better at listening. I hope you will not hold a grudge. I didn't mean to be rude, but I was rude. I didn't mean to be insulting, but I was insulting. I didn't mean to not hear you, but I didn't hear you. And as an old crazy, woman who has locked herself up with a new computer and few visitors, I didn't mean to be a bad hostess, but I was--I never have much opportunity to be a hostess in the real world, and so my hostess chops are rusty and need to be upgraded. I'll work on that.

To k, I wish to apologize for not recognizing the courage of your honesty about your own very personal comment, and why you are justifiably angry with me, and with Senator Obama's position on late-term abortions. Your honesty was breathtaking. It takes real courage to talk about the personal in a public forum. I salute you, especially you. And I am sorry for not recognizing what was happening in my own comments thread.

But mostly I want to say, I'm sorry. I hope you can forgive me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thank You Ghost Dansing

From ghost dansing, who can always be counted on to supply the song you need, when you really need to be reminded about something important-- like why we need a Democrat in the White House. Thank you ghost. And now we give you one very good reason to vote for Barack Obama.

Please watch as you listen to this song. I think this is the first time I have ever been able to perform this trick. Thank you, you sweet computer savvy people who have sent me email to try to help me learn the ropes. Every little bit of advise and instruction is appreciated. As I've said before, this is new territory for me. But it's really my patient, busy Administrator, who has stayed with me, as I try it over and over, like you would with a child. Thank you Phillip. (I know you won't like the clip, but you did teach me how to do it.)

Randy Newman and George W Bush. Please watch as you listen to this song. Nothing says it like this: Mr. President, Have Pity On The Working Man

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hillary's Debt is not Barack's to Pay

I'm one of the many small donors to Barack Obama. Yeah, even though I live well below the poverty level, if I had $10 at the end of the month, off it went to Yes that was me. I'm one of the millions of little donors who believed that the way to finance a campaign was through a grass roots organization. And boy, did it work! And now the party's over. Barack is our nominee, and Hillary lost. I didn't give her money for so many reasons, but one of them was that I didn't like the way she ran her campaign. I didn't like the people at the top of her campaign. I didn't want to pay their salaries. And I still don't. My feeling is that if she isn't going to pay my debt, why the hell should I pay hers? If she had not played brinksmanship at the end of her campaign, when we all knew she had no chance of getting the number of delegates to win, then the money she loaned herself is hers to pay. Mark Penn's salary is her debt. Any bloated lobbyist who was advising her, and is standing around waiting for me and all the rest of Obama's small donors to pony up and pay them, should take a look in the mirror. Mr. Penn, Mr Wolfson, Terry McAullif and all the rest of the morons advising her to say in it to the end, because she could still keep raising money, were giving her bad advise. They should be payed what their advise was worth--nothing.

To me, the negotiations to "retire" Hillary's debt is nothing more than a mugging. Yes, Senator Obama, I'll support you enthusiastically, if you pay my debt??? WTF! Not so fast. If you have millions to loan yourself to finance your failing candidacy, then you have no business asking anyone to pay you to campaign for them. Either you want a Democrat in the White House or you don't. If you don't, then stay home or vote for John McCain. Or is she saying, if you retire my debt, I'll be your Vice President? Not so fast on that one either. I don't want her in the White House again. I don't want Bill there either. That's one small reason I didn't donate money to her campaign in the first place. Yes, I do want to see a female President. I just didn't want our first female president to be the wife of Bill Clinton.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It's going to get a lot worse, and may stay that way for a long time. Homelessness is bad now, but watch what a falling dollar and rising prices does to the rise in homelessness. The Mortgage Crises, job loses, no health insurance or dental care--this oncoming train is going to hurt a lot of people, and they aren't all strangers. Even the middle-class will start feeling as if they are a month away from disaster. The elderly who have no families are especially at risk. And almost anyone with mental health issues, and no inheritance or big family to keep them afloat, are already on the street.

I have the ability to block out commercials on TV or reading the news online. Some of you advertise on your sites--I don't see it. We all do this to some extent, but if you were born in the late '70s or early '80s, you will probably think we have always had a homeless "problem." And it's easy for you to ignore them--they have always been with you, in your peripheral vision. But, no, they haven't always been with us, especially in these numbers--we have Ronald Reagan to thank for emptying the State and Federally supported Mental Health Facilities all across the country. Wards of the State came pouring out with no safety-net, and often no family willing to care for them. I remember it well. And I've alway wondered why anyone ever called Ronald Reagan one of our greatest Presidents. Was not!

I had a friend who was an Air Traffic Controller when Reagan came to power. I remember his complaints about the extreme stress of that job. There were too few Controllers, and too many aircraft, in too tight a space, in most major airports across the country. Air Traffic Controllers were Union workers. They were being asked to give up benefits, work longer shifts with fewer breaks. They went on strike, and Reagan busted the Union. (That was just for starters). And many of the Air Traffic Controllers who were replaced by inexperienced, non-union workers, were unable to find work. Pretty soon their unemployment benefits ran out and there were no jobs, that fit their lifetime experience as an Air Traffic Controller. Once your unemployment benefits run out you are no longer counted among the unemployed. At this point, without a family safety-net, you can so easily fall through the cracks and end up homeless.

The subject of the mess that Ragean made is more than I meant to suggest here, but it got me thinking.

Monday, July 7, 2008

In Case You Doubted...

In case you doubted it, a daily serving or two of Jiffy Corn Bread for breakfast, and a nightly, bedtime treat of a chocolate ice-cream cone, can make you really fat, it's true. Fat. I look preggers to me. We're (my friends and I) are calling this baby Corn Pone. I even walk like I 'm preggers--waddle waddle, hefting my gut around. I think it's time to change my diet. Melea, my friend who is still in her twenties, but not by much, suggested that I start wearing Muumuus. Snotty little bitch. This new baby better be nicer than that.

Well I've baked brownies for a friend, (you know who you are) and now I have to go find some fat clothes at the second hand store. I have an appointment with my Shrink on Thursday. I want to look my best for her, since my fucking fate lies in her hands. I'm thinking it might be time to switch one of my mood stabilizing drugs. Because there's one thing I know; I want to stay out of the looney bin. Sorry folks if calling it that is offensive, but if you spent any time in one, you know what I mean. Let's not pussy foot around here. I'm fat and a little crazy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Best Friends

Yesterday I got a phone call from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon, near Canyon Lands in Southern Utah. They were calling to see how Cyrus and I were doing together. I was so grateful to get the call, and have the chance to tell them of his distress. I told the young man that Cyrus was in distress over the fireworks and was now on anti-anxiety drugs and these new drugs along with his twice daily dose of Rimadyl and Thyroxinel and his new dose of Clomicalm brought his Vet bill up to $140 a month. I will tighten my belt another notch to keep this dear dog, but it's getting to close to breaking the bank point, not to mention the distress this fear is causing both of us. He asked me a couple of questions, asked me to give them my email address so he could have their trainer email me with suggestions for helping this very gentle, sweet old giant of a dog.

When I hung up the phone, I was leaking tears, so touched that they were calling on Sunday after a long holiday weekend. And sure enough, within a half an hour, I got an email from the trainer there asking a few questions about Cyrus' behavior during this stressful holiday season. I wrote back giving all the details of his reactions to loud noises that might be gunshot-like. I told her how this started small and got serious enough to put Cyrus on Clomicalm. And in minutes back comes a email with this article. Maybe it willbe useful to some of you with sensitive pets. Now I'm off to the grocery store to by some melatonin.


Melatonin has been found to be helpful when used with dogs who have "thunder-phobia," other noise-related reactions and other stressful situations. Melatonin has been used effectively to reduce seizures in dogs that seize between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Quite a few members of our Canine Epilepsy community have also discovered that it seems to lessen the frequency and/or severity of seizures at other times of the day.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring substance produced by the pineal gland located in the brains of mammals. It is, by definition, a hormone and has been found to be involved in circadian rhythms - those inner cycles that tell all mammals when to sleep and when to wake. In recent years, synthetic melatonin has been marketed for people as a "natural" aid to sleeping.

In the May 2000 issue (Volume 3, Number 5) of The Whole Dog Journal is an article on melatonin and the positive results with noise and thunder-phobic dogs. The article begins on page 3 and is titled "Bring in Da Noise." The article has comments by Dr. Dodman and Dr. Linda Aronson. It does not discuss melatonin and canine epilepsy, but does discuss some of the concerns people might have with use of melatonin and their feelings on it.

Another article with references to the use of melatonin in dogs can be found in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 215, No. 1, July 1999. "Vet Med Today: Animal Behavior Case of the Month" was written by Linda Aronson, DVM, MA; from the Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA.

The following is an excerpt from an email sent by Dr. Aronson to one of our Guardian Angels, Rich Brady: "To treat thunderstorm phobia, I use a dose of 3mg for a 35-100 lb dog. Smaller dogs get 1.5 mg, and larger dogs may get 6mg. The dose is given either at first evidence of thunderstorm - dog becomes agitated, distant rumbling of thunder, etc. or prophylactically before the owner leaves the house when thunderstorms are predicted. Dose may be repeated up to 3 times daily. The latter may be used as a dose for animals with more generalized stress related disorders."

Rich has written the following about his use of melatonin with his "pack" of Golden Retrievers: "I have posted a great deal in the past about my successes with melatonin as an adjunct therapy with Jake who had severe cluster seizures every 3 to 4 weeks which we were not able to gain control of until melatonin was added. We have been using melatonin since early 1997. We started with Jake and had good success and give 3mg nightly to our dogs, both the epis and non-epis. We have 6 dogs, currently ranging in weight from 35 lbs to about 90lbs, and 5 of the 6 get 3mg melatonin nightly. Dusty, who we adopted in July 1999, as a special needs Golden Retriever with epilepsy, did get melatonin for a number of months, but it did not seem to be helping him, so I stopped with him. He is a tough case to get control of, but we are slowly making headway. Zay on the other hand who we adopted January 1999, as a special needs Golden with epilepsy is doing great and has not had a seizure since we brought him home over 2 1/2 years ago. Zay was given his first melatonin on the way home in the car 1/99 and has been given 3mg nightly since. We give the melatonin anytime late evening. It seems to take about 30 minutes to start to take effect and help them get to sleep."

Rich recently (May 2002) contacted Dr. Aronson to ask if she had done any further studies with melatonin and/or published any other papers. As Rich says, "It does not benefit all dogs, but it has provided positive results for many, and as always, certainly everyone needs to make their own decisions with what they are comfortable with and what works."

Dr. Aronson's response to Rich follows:
"No, I continue to gather data and continue to find new uses for melatonin, but without research financing, publishing is low on my list of priorities. More and more owners and vets are using melatonin and it is gratifying to know that so many dogs have been helped. No one has done any research to show whether melatonin is safe in pregnant humans, hence the statement on the label, and I have therefore cautioned against its use in pregnant bitches, except in one case where the bitch was absolutely terrified by fireworks being released at the pub next door. Sadly she only had one (very healthy) puppy and he had to be delivered by C-section. However, the owner contacted me after having already gone through a wretched night with a terrified bitch, she feels the fear caused problems with the pregnancy not the melatonin she gave the bitch the next night.

With regard to the other cautions on the melatonin bottle, I have used it, carefully, in dogs with autoimmune disease and also those on MAOIs; none had a problem. To date out of 1000s of dogs taking melatonin (some taking it daily for months and even years) this is the sum of reported side effects: 3 dogs were reported to be hyper. However, two of these belonged to the same owner, who said melatonin had the same effect on her. One dog seemed to become disoriented. He drank copiously and peed in the house (something he'd not done in nine years). The description sounded as if the dog might be mildly Cushingoid, and I recommended this be explored. The owner really just wanted to go ahead and use melatonin but maybe at half the dose, as he was very thunderstorm phobic and on melatonin totally unreactive. All signs of disorientation, and increased drinking and peeing had resolved within 4 hours. One owner reported that her dominant aggressive, dog-aggressive cocker spaniel lay down between obedience exercises, she thought this indicated sleepiness, I think it just meant he was a lot less reactive around the other dogs.

I have had search and rescue dogs successfully given melatonin to combat their fears of flying in turbo prop planes. It was the only treatment that allowed most of them to relax and yet let them perform their duties at the end of the flight.

Success is still running about 80%. Most useful for noise phobias, including thunderstorms, fireworks, gun shot, planes, helicopters, hot air balloons, show site noises, bird song, truck and other road noises. It also seems to help some cases of lick granuloma and separation anxiety.

Please feel free to cross post this information. It seems that melatonin is one of the safest products. Some of the failures I believe result from phobia induced seizure behavior. Others I'm not sure of the reason. Some dogs need to be dosed before the fear is established, others respond even if they are already reacting fearfully to the noise." -- Linda Aronson, DVM

Guardian Angels Nancy and Tahoe (Australian Shepherd): have also found that melatonin seems to have some positive effects on Tahoe's seizure activity. Nancy writes: "The brand I buy is by "Natrol"; it comes in 1 mg and 3 mg strengths. You want to use the natural made, vegetarian and not time-released. Generally a dose of 3mg for a 35-100 lb dog. Smaller dogs get 1.5mg and larger dogs may get 6mg. You can give it to your dog about 20 mins before bedtime. Tahoe would also seizure soon after falling asleep. I have seen a big improvement with him and nighttime seizures. I know others who use it for thunderstorm phobia and stressed out pooches."

Joy & Lacey - 56 lb Border Collie/Shepherd cross: It was suggested by this website to use Melatonin at night if your dog seizes during the middle of the night. That fit Lacey to a T. That was one of the really awful things we had to deal with from the beginning of our journey learning all about canine epilepsy. Lacey always seized in the middle of the night.

Melatonin has been a lifesaver for us. We are older adults and waking up in the middle of the night was brutal. We went through a very rough period where we were afraid to go to sleep. It may seem silly but we were so worried we wouldn't hear Lacey and wanted to make sure she didn't hurt herself. After using the Melatonin we started to see this pattern change immediately. I give her 3 mg of Melatonin an hour before we go to bed and Lacey started sleeping straight through the night. I will even give her 6 mgs at night if I feel she is twitchy or more than usual restlessness.

Yesterday was a typical example. We had a really bad weather system pass through Edmonton and the lightening and thunder was severe. A couple of Tornados were sited west of our house and generally Lacey doesn't really react to the storms but the lightening was lighting up the inside of the house and she got scared and started twitching. We gave her some rescue remedy with ice cream and she still was restless and pacing so it was around dinner time so I told my husband to give her a Melatonin. That did the trick. We are very much sold on this product.

Beth and Bailey (Siberian Husky 58 lbs.): Bailey hasn't had any seizures at night since I started giving him 3 mg of Melatonin an hour before bedtime. Over the week-end I noticed Bailey had been very anxious. I was worried about going to work on Monday, so I set up the video camera. I was gone for about 5 hours and all he did was pace and howl. I gave him a Melatonin when I got home which seemed to help. On Tuesday I set the camera up again, but this time I gave him the 3 mg of Melatonin before I left for work. He slept like a baby all morning. Thank goodness for Melatonin.


For more information on melatonin, please click here: Melatonin

Melatonin can be purchased in most drug stores over the counter in the vitamin/supplement section. It comes in 1/10mg, 1mg, and 3mg tablets and in liquid form.

General information on what melatonin is, although not canine specific, can be found at:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Three Straight Days Of Blowing Shit Up

Did the word go out, and I didn't get my notice, that this year, to commemorate the end of the reign of George W Bush, we will blow shit up every night, just to drive dogs, and children who go to bed early, and sensible old women NUTS????

And here in Utah where, in fact, it is still savage, we will do it twice a night, just because it's so damn fun!! And god knows, we're rolling in dough. Bring on The Rocket's Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting IN AIR!!! Will it go on all damn month? Will it go on until that MORON is gone, finally, at last? Or are they desensitizing us for the coup d'etat to come? Is King George getting us ready for the big finale? Keep the windows rattling night after night, and then do it for real, and nobody will notice. Just another night of KABOOM!!!

Two Down And One To Go

We survived two nights of fireworks. Two nights of Cyrus trembling and trying to crawl under my bed. Too bad for Cyrus, he just won't fit. Maybe before next July I can raise the bed a little. Roscoe was with us last night, and he did spend most of the time under my bed. I think it helped Cyrus to have the doggy company.

I am doing well enough today, considering. A bit of rapid cycling bipolar disorder kind of scrambles the brain. This makes clear thinking impossible. Not that I'm usually all that clear thinking, but this is worse than usual. For those who have never experienced the brain storms of rapid cycling, it doesn't compute, doesn't make sense, seems like an excuse not to go to work. I'd love to work on fiction, but don't quite trust myself enough to even tinker with a story in progress--I could screw it up with one delete, and then never be able to remember what I lost, perhaps the only thing that made it work. For all I know this is complete gibberish.

I once asked my first love/last love why he stayed with me. His answer was, "Well, it was a challenge." I asked, "Was it worth it?" His answer was, "It was never dull." It seems damn dull to me.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cyrus is Hiding, Too

Sadly, Cyrus has what might be the canine version of a mood disorder. You may think I'm projecting, but Cyrus' Veterinarian is treating him with anti-anxiety drugs. It's the same way mental health professionals treat bipolar disorder--try this drug for awhile, if it doesn't help or makes things worse, we'll try another drug and see what happens. This approach to treating mental health problems is often very distressing for the patient. Sometimes the drug creates it's own new set of problems, since every drug comes with it's own set of side-effects. This often leads to non-compliance with treatment in humans. My dog Cyrus takes his peanut-butter covered pills without complaint, but this pill taking has not produced less fear of noises that go BOOM! Instead of making him more willing to go outside to pee, he seems less willing to budge from his bed next to mine.

Cyrus also has arthritis in his hips which requires 100mgs. of Rimadiyl twice a day. He has a funky thyroid that requires two doses of Thyroxinel, and now a big dose of an anti-anxiety drug called Clomicalm. His monthly vet bill just for drugs is $140. That's more than my ten or twelve drugs cost me, but there is, sadly, no medicare for dogs.

Last night was the first big test of the July madness of aerial orgasms lasting at least a half an hour. I was pissed all day that MSNBC was not give me my daily news fix, then last night (the 3rd of July) we had the unexpected bombardment that sounded like bombs falling all around the houses. Shock and Awe! Turns out it was the end of a soccer game. It shook the windows and we could feel it through out feet. The ground moved. This morning it took me and my neighbor and her dog Roscoe to lure Cyrus out to pee. Tonight we will go through it all again.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bipolar Disorder, Bad News and Bookcase

I am apoplectic about the programing snafu at MSNBC. No David Gregory--instead we get Morning fucking Joe, who talks over his guests, who gives us lovely, smart Rachel Maddow (who's probably been shoved down his throat) and then proceeds to try to humiliate and dismiss her throughout the program. Off goes my email to MSNBC. I hate that fucker, Morning Joe. Thank god I don't get up early enough to watch that prick. Now no Chris Matthews, whom I hate, and yet still watch while screaming at my TV. But the ultimate atrocity is no Olbermann. And if Olbermann is having a little time off, then we usually get an hour--I repeat--one hour, with Rachel Maddow doing a fine job of hosting for Olbermann. Instead, tonight we get two hours of an old report on Warren Jeffs and the mormons who make up the FLDS. Off goes my second email to MSNBC--how I hate their programming idiots. This is the 3rd of July and is not a holiday. This is Thursday and now a day to skip the news. WTF! I'm so mad, I'm going to have to take a sleeping pill and sleep it off. And I'm hiding behind bigger bookcases.

It's becoming obvious to me, that I'm having what is known, in the psychiatric community, as "rapid cycling." It's a bipolar bad time. Worse than just a bad day--it's more like having a bad brain. We are all aware of the mind/body connection, and it doesn't take much wrong with one or the other to muck up the works. I have no real idea what has caused this bipolar melt down, but it doesn't take much.

For awhile when I was in group therapy and doing fairly well, a new patient would be introduced into the group who was "rapid cycling," and they annoyed the crap out of me. It's like getting whip-lash, trying to follow their conversational mood. And on top of that, they don't know they're doing it. Another feature of the phase of this bipolar cycle is the complete insensitivity to those around you. You don't notice that only you are talking. There is no time. It stands still, it means nothing. You have your need to express yourself, no matter how silly or full of shit you are, so you yammer on and on. I have raised my hand in group therapy, and asked the group leader if So and So, the person in the rapid cycling, is really ready for group, since they can't quite grasp the notion of sharing the time, that one short hour. They act like narcissists, though usually this isn't part of their mental health pathology. It's only a phase of the cycle, but it's damned annoying. And the answer to that question, is no, they are not yet ready for group therapy.

Well, folks, I believe I am in a rapid cycling phase. I'm sorry to have subjected you to it. And now I will give myself a time-out to pull myself together.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hiding Behind My Books

I have screwed up again, and better lay low for a day. There might be a blogger with an angel in drag looking suspiciously like Barbie on a Half Shell pissed at me for suggesting she would ever consider me anything but a fucktard.! But Rebel Grrrl!? Hell no, I don't remember giving you any awards. Can a senile old woman please keep her Rebel Grrrl award. I'll keep my Rebel Grrrl Award and trade you two Barbies on Half Shell. Bye for now, I'll be hiding.

Thanks to SoairseDaily2

My cup runneth over. I'm embarrassed to say I have more awards than I could possibly deserve. I'm just not that nice, nor that consistently brilliant (notice I didn't deny my brilliance entirely), and I don't get out and about enough to deserve this one, but am I giving it back? Are you kidding me? Hell no. I ran home and posted it on my site and tried to catch up with thanking and acknowledge everyone who made it possible... But I didn't get around to thanking you, SoairseDaily2

This is an award for commenting, and since half the time I say, "What Randal said" or "What Ghost said," and a new favorite comment is "What okjumm said,"--God that man can comment. Often, if I do comment, I go off on a rant that's longer than the post. Who knew I could possibly deserve this award, but I'm not about to give it back, so I best say, Thank you, SoairseDaily2, and get to commenting.

Arte Y Pico

A shout out to Divajood
who was kind enough to give me this award and like the Diva, I need that gown.

I am one lucky blogger. I have been (twice) given the Arte Y Pico award. I know it's greedy of me to accept it twice, but what can I say? I know I'm not worthy of this double honor, but it does give me the opportunity to pass it forward five more times, and acknowledge some of the wonderful bloggers who have encouraged me, in my six months of learning this blog thing we do. So here come the prizes you wonderful five. Drum roll please:
1) Unconventional Conventionist
3)Ghost Dansing
4)Dada's Daily
5)Texas Oasis

Why this five you ask? Well let me tell you:

1) Unconventional Conventionist is a heart throb for me. Makes me shiver with pleasure when he gives me a read and leaves one of his smart, funny, encouraging, kind comments. Just yesterday, when I was reading fairlane's hilarious post, it was UC's comments that made me sputter and double over with laughter. And in times like these, doesn't everyone need a good laugh at least once a day. His site is as charming as he, obviously reflecting his wit and wisdom. He writes of many things--politics, hard times, good times, and if you're really lucky you might find him seated at his piano playing a bit of Chopin. My Unconventional friend is one very talented and generous blogger, and to my knowledge, the only man to actually read my novel, Maggy. I know he actually did it because he he left the perfect musical accompaniment for the chapter Body Warmth. For a man who knows The Whippenpoof Song, and can play it for you like it was a love song. Thank you Unconventional Conventionist.

2)SuziRiot made me feel like I'd finally made it. I'd only been blogging a few months when out of no where there she was, reading me and leaving comments. Then, bam, she gives me a REBEL GRRL Award. I put that in all caps, because when I think about SuziRiot who also gives the Fucktard of the Week Award, she both thrills me and scares me a little, but I think in really great moments of feeling alive, I have SuziRiot's spirit firing my fingers and making stacatto tapping noises with my fingers on the keys--just the way I believe SuziRiot really types. Fast and musical--a verbal onslaught so consise and strong, it must be accompanied by the sound of ten fingers hitting the keys with force.

3)Ghost dansing scared me the first time he came calling. He leaves music in his wake, and sometimes one-liners that get you where you live. His avatar scared me a bit too--is death paying me a visit with musical accompaniment or a teenager terrorizing me just to mess with my head? After a couple of visits, I followed him home (yes girls, just like the tramp that I am) and what did I find but some very good writing, and some very scary information about the thugs and liars who rule us now. And scarier yet, I still can't figure out whether I'm crazy about a 60 year old man who works for the CI A or a nineteen year old who does very good research. Very mysterious. Just like a blogger called Ghost dansing should be.

4)Dada's Dally sometimes writes about politics in a voice as clear and crisp as a cool spring in a hot climate. Refreshing and unexpected. Comforting and unnerving all at once. He has a Mrs. Dada, like a woman on the line with him talking in the background. I can hear her voice speaking through him now and then, and I envy them both a little for the obvious love they share. Hope I'm not embarrassing you Dada, but your damn lucky to have her. Sometimes he travels to escape the babbling bastards on the MSM (my words not yours Dada), and takes us along to the nearest charming cantina. We get to go inside and partake of a cold brew, visit friends. I swear, the first few times I visited Dada's place, he called it Dada's Daily, but once, just once, when I nagged him about his occasionally vanishing from the daily grind of putting out the paper, next time I show up it's now Dada's Dally. Well it is summer--what better time to dally?

5)Texas Oasis and I are cousins twice removed. Or so I pretend. In my mind she is my only remaining relative who stayed in Texas, yet somehow managed to escape the ignorance and racism that was my cracker past. She is smart without ever been a smart-ass. A trait I have never managed to pick up. Sadly, she is the only one in the family to get this graceful way of saying fuck you, without ever actually uttering a cuss word. She is a feminist, she is an animal lover and has the Texas contingent of Dcup's Pussies for Peace. Say howdy, honey!

Now, for the rules, you have some awesome rights and responsibilities--don't you hate it when gifts come with rules? Here goes:

These here be the rules:
1)Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here: Arte y Pico.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Arte Y Pico

Thank you Scarlet Blue, The Invisible Woman A woman I greatly admire. Embarrassingly so, sometimes, I'm sure, since I almost started a knife fight once with another blogger I thought was being disrespectful of the WRITER! And that, she is. She has become a wickedly wonderful writer of fiction. I know something you might not, and I'm keeping it to myself. I'll bet you wished I had, Scarlet, when I posted my first love letter to you. Remember? I still mean every word. Just say the word darling, and off we go.

So, now, I am happy to pass it forward. These bloggers are my five choices to receive the Arte Y Pico Award:
1)A Poetic Justice.
2Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
5l'ennui melodieux

These are some of my favorite bloggers, for so many reasons. Their sites are not only beautifully designed, but they all have a unique voice, and they all have something important to say to the blogging community, and to a larger audience as well. I'm hoping for many future awards to come for all of you.

A Poetic Justice is one of the most gorgeous sites I've ever seen. And has many delights to share with you. I, so far, am fixated on the poetry, but there are vast delights within. Sometimes the poetry makes me cry, but isn't that part of the purpose of poetry; to allow us to see our world in a new and sometimes challenging way, move us to action or tears, and hopefully both? And Poetry Man is a most generous and kind reader of others attempts to master the art or merely to get it out of one's system. Thank you Poetry Man.

No Je Ne Regrette Rien is soon moving to live in France. Wouldn't you know it, just when you fall in love with someone, they up and leave you, tell you they have to live abroad. But she has promised to keep in touch. I've heard that line before, but we shall see. This is a woman with great writing chops. She is both a journalist of the art of living one day at a time while liveing three lives at once, and often on the brink, like a high wire performer and a loving mother all at once. And she is a talented writer of fiction. You will also occasionally get the great political rant with a bit of the French Revolution, just to keep it all in perspective.

Swiftspeech has been a mentor for me in the internets. She was my first reader. The first person ever to tell me I wrote like Dorothy Parker. I, who had never read Dorothy Parker. Imagine that. Then after reading Dorothy, I was inspired to write a new short story that made me want to gather together a group of women writers and write some murder mysteries. Talk about a mentor. But it is her site, as well as her kindness and encouragement, that make me want to give her this award. She writes daily on all the politics that's fit to print, and some that isn't and needs to be known.

Starspangaledhaggis is a woman letting us into her daily life in the most remarkably intimate way possible. She has gone through hell and back and lives to tell the tale. She talks about mothering a young daughter, Bambina, with such charm and without the slightest bit of self-consciousness or too much sugar. She talks about what it's like to adopt a child from another country, and tells us how easy their government made it, and how difficult ours does, as well. Interesting reading every moment, that often makes me mad at our government for whole new reasons--it's a learning experience. She talks about the day to day, and makes it literary with out even trying.

L'ennui melodieux, because everywhere I go, Randal got there first, and said it best in fewer words than anybody else. So that, wherever I go, I find myself saying "What Randal said." One day, Randal, I'm going to get there first. One of my ambitions as a blogger is to have Randal say, "What US said." I suspect I will have to blog a very long time to reach that exalted level of commenting skill. Randal writes excellent poetry, romantic, rather dark and brooding--I love that in a man. He writes a bit too much about sports for my taste, but does it so well, I read it anyway, and often love it enough to say so. He also claims to have a job and a wife and kids, but who can say for sure... Anyone as prolific as Randal can't really be living a real life, can he?

So my darlings, according to Scarlet Blue who gave me this award, and in her own words, I give you the rules:

These here be the rules:
1)Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here: Arte y Pico.

Gosh, Me?

I'd like to thank all of you who made it possible. All the people who suffered through living with me. All my friends in real life (yes, Dorothy, there is such a place) who still speak to me. It is to you, my faithful fans, I dedicate this award. I call it Barbie on a Half Shell. I need that gown.

Dr. Ziaus was telling me, just the other day, that for a woman who talks about writing, I never seem to get around to saying anything. Well, Fuck You, Too. I do too write. I'm a slave to it. It has it's way with me all the damn time. It's like telling me, after I pledge to commit to 100 days of sex, that I actually was expected to follow through with the threat. I can hear husbands and other men I've Known (if you know what I mean), sighing and saying, "She's so full of shit." And I ask you, is that nice?

But I digress. And don't I though! Often. I even come to your place and digressed plenty. I don't bother to listen, or watch, and sometimes I skip the post and get right to the seduction or rant, what ever you wish to call them. Kind of like Scarlet did to me, when she offered to ship it. I thought she was serious. WTF! Not only do I have to go get it, I have to learn how to link it back to it's charming originator, AND HER, but I get to pass it forward into the bloggy goodness. But I have to LINK it forward as well. Well, fuck me! I'm all for the passing it forward, but what the hell do I know of this thing you young people are so fond of, this word, "link" I know it when I see it. I know how to push it like a little button and up pops something else. Well aren't you all smart. Why can't I learn to do this link thing???? It seems like a dream I once had and I can remember the characters, but other than that it's a complete mystery.

Oh, and one other thing I'd like is the ability to strike through, as if I were using a pencil and said one thing, then decided against it, and drew a wavy line through it. Randal? Are you in the audience?