Things you should care about

Mmm boy did I raise some hackles last night on FaceBook. I just snapped.

Normally, I mostly live and let live. If you’re effed up so be it. If I disagree with you about something non-religious or non-political I’ll let you know, but it’s usually about something trivial and I can joke my way out of most serious conflicts.

But believe it or not there are a lot of things I keep quiet about.

No really.

Especially with my family, which IN GENERAL, is a rather zealous conservative catholic lot. Plus they’re smart and they argue back and can cite footnotes and stuff.

Well, one of my cousins put up as her “profile picture” a “pro-life” image. I can’t explain it but it just set me OFF. Her view is totally expected, given her parentage and their seriously right-leaned catholicism, but all of a sudden I just thought “I cannot be silent any more.”

So I found an image of a hanger with the red bar “no” symbol through it and said, “You can’t stop women from having them so keep them legal and safe.”

And there it was: The Stand. Ooh the comments flew from the west coast contingent. Then my friends chimed in. It was the classic debate, only I didn’t want to debate. I just tried to say, “Look: this is how it IS. It’s not how you want it to be. You can’t stop it, so at least keep it safe.”

But people just kept wanting to take it to another level – the esoteric, theoretical, intellectual, scientific level.

Just couldn’t get people away from that, and back to the reality of real life, but it went the (in hindsight) predictable way. It was ugly.

To me* it came down to “Look: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t expect people who are on the bottom tier of Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs to give a crap about their ovulation schedule and use natural family planning, or tell people to not have sex or not use birth control, then not give them any leeway or support if /when they become unexpectedly pregnant. What do you do for the women after you go “save babies”? Do you give them emotional, financial, life-skills techniques?” No, probably not. Nobody said they did anyway.

They just vote on a single issue, expect people to live the way they deem right, and say “eff you” to the ‘post-saving’ practical support. It really pisses me off!

I’d just had it and felt like I had to speak out.

I feel my true “self” is muted enough from my family (I’m the raging liberal, pro-choice, agnostic, F word spouting feminist, although I’m really working on the F word part — not my most attractive quality), because a high premium has been placed on “being nice” and “not stirring things up.”

But I spoke out. No other family members really chimed in except in private mail. But I had good support from my friends.

Granted, it’s a heated topic that not everyone wants to discuss — usually I stay away from these debates myself, so I understand. We tend to avoid politics and religion anyway, right? and some would say this is BOTH.

But it’s kind of sad I got pushed to fury before I had the courage to say something. Still, I’m glad I did it. I felt (excuse the cliché) freed. In their minds I’m probably damned to hell (apparently they live on a different earth than I do), and I’m sure they pity and will pray for me. Well, cool on the prayer. I’ll take all the good wishes I can get.

Still, it’s disheartening that people are so stuck in their dogma that they can’t see past it to another way of looking at an issue. I was basically agreeing with them in the sense that there should be no abortion. But that’s where any possible commonality ended.

I gave a real example of how a guy who does work for me is so ignorant (in the truest sense of the word) that he didn’t know that once digital tv came in he didn’t have to lose all his tv channels. Not to mention that you could get a converter, etc. He had no idea, despite all the commercials and hype about it.

He lives in another world of surviving through the day, not thinking about or possibly knowing about, “natural family planning” or all that crap. It’s a world this contingent of the family doesn’t understand.

So disheartening…

*and this is my blog, so things will always come down to my opinion

Edit: forgot to acknowledge Karen for giving me the word/definition of ‘spoon’ in this context.


Every year for Xmas our (sibs and parents’) stockings contain a useful product that varies from year to year.

It’s become a joke of sorts (maybe you have to be there). Some past useful product stocking stuffers have been:

-paper clips

-masking tape

-scotch tape (This one lasted for at least 5 years.)

-super glue


For the past few years it’s been super glue. This year I got THREE tubes of it (to add to the 2 still left from last year).

Did you know super glue has a limited lifespan? I’d forgotten until I tried both of my super glues and re-remembered (from previous occasions) that they dry up pretty easily.

Both tubes I already had were solidly glued to themselves, even though one had never even been opened.

So tonight, as part of cleanup efforts, I tried to do some misc. tasks, including re-glueing my favorite spatula (wood and silicone).

I was going to give my extra tubes of glue to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store this year, but luckily (or so I thought), the Re-Store was closed the week I was going to drop off a bunch of stuff, so I still had the 3 tubes I got this year.

Go down to the basement and get them all (I don’t know why I got all of them either) and selected the tube that didn’t require me to go find a pin to open it. I chose the one with the pin built into the lid.

Except it turned out I didn’t need it. When I opened the tube a whole bunch of super glue oozed out on various parts of fingers (and the stereotypical between the fingers) and onto the table.

Oops. Someone inadvertently gave me an open one. Easy to happen considering whoever gave them to us this year must have had at least 15 tubes they gave away (assuming everyone else also got 3).

Well having my priorities in line, I quickly separated the fingers and glued the damn spatula.

I then assessed the damage: 4 finger tips, between 2 fingers, 1 knuckle, on the table, and the bonus napkin pieces stuck to 2x 3 of the 4 finger tips (I had grabbed the napkin in order to prevent the finger tips from getting goop on them – HA!).

After finding the minutely-written “Caution” box and reading the ‘how to remove’ instructions from underneath my brand new glasses that are but one of 4 pairs with the the OLD prescription in the lenses because they used the wrong script to fill and refill my lenses, I learned that I had to SOAK my “affected areas” (except around the eyes) in nail polish remover.

It’s just a particularly noxious chemical that I try to avoid using unless needed, but hey — desperate measures and all that.

I soaked everything (except the table) but guess what? I got only part of 1 of the napkins to come off, and only by gently peeling while praying to god I wouldn’t remove 4 layers of skin.

The polish remover didn’t work. The tube says water will remove it gradually over the next several days.

Know why the nail polish remover didn’t work? Because ‘keep it less toxic if possible’ Marie/y got the polish remover without acetone.


So I have this super glue on 4 finger tips (including in the cracks of the skin – not dry cracks, just cracks I’d never noticed before I got super glue in them), on a knuckle, and still between the fingers (not stuck together but on 2 fingers). Screw the table.

I also now have really dry hands and finger tips I probably don’t have to worry about being frost-bitten for the next ??? # of days.

But by golly my favorite spatula is re-glued.


–geek alert–

I podcast several broadcasts from NPR and PRI (and I’m a member of my local station and give to the “digitize Terry Gross Fresh Air” fund every year ( and “pay” with donations for what I podcast).

So in other words I actually paid for this information: I learned today, via one of the Fresh Air podcasts I burned to cd (cdcast?), that they make toupees (wigs??) for the crotch area. Did you know this?

They’re called merkins, and the dude she was interviewing got one because he had cancer. I did a quick search of the web and found an entry for it on Wikipedia too. They’re apparently also used in movies.

I love to learn…

That reminds me of something my sister also heard on NPR: if you eat asparagus and your urine smells afterwards it’s because you have a certain gene. Not everyone’s smells after they eat it.

Who knew? I was 45 before I found that out.

Of course, I guess if your urine doesn’t stink after you eat asparagus then you might not realize that it could even smell, not to mention that there’s a gene that could cause this.

Well, there is.  If you are special.

I love Formula One (open-wheel) racing. Now I would consider myself a casual fan, but I didn’t used to be so casual.

I’ve been to races in KC, Long Beach, Michigan, Florida (24 Hours of Daytona), not to mention all the ones I’ve watched on tv. So yeah, I love open-wheel racing. I even had my picture taken with Johnny Rutherford.

It used to be shown on regular (non-cable) TV, but since the onslaught of NASCAR Formula One has gone (presumably) to cable, which I don’t have. So I’ve gotten out of touch with it.

Just turned on the Indy 500 though, and there are not one, not two, but three, count them THREE women in the race.

And I probably don’t need to point this out but I will anyway: If you get to the big leagues (F-1) then you are not an amateur and you didn’t get there on your looks (although I love a man ‘s butt in a racing suit).

You got there because you are good,  you found an obnoxious number of well-heeled sponsors to back you, you have progressed from (probably) go karts to sprint cars, etc. to prove your ability and (the true test) you have qualified for whatever race(s) you are in.

So rock on, all you Indy women! You’ve made us proud.



Obviously, I would’ve preferred what you were thinking but unfortunately no.

My last day was supposed to be a week from tomorrow and honestly, I dreaded going back to “the ‘we’re combining’ to make the Everywhere Place into the Holy Crap It’s a Huge Mega Company.” Been there, done that, and it sucks.

So I guess it’s “better this way” despite not knowing a lot yet and I’m sure “it’ll all be for the best in the end” and blah blah blah. But as I’ve said before – many times – “it’s the middle part that sucks.”

So stay with me kids. When I get under-employed is when I get the funniest because I have to look for something to make me smile see things in a skewed way am already twisted it just comes out am delusional guess we’ll find out…

I won’t become a “victim of the economy anything”  but if I call you crying just bear with me. If I run out of food, feed me a meal.

If I tie my animals’ paws together and put them on the curb because they’re driving me nuts because I’ve been home with them all day untape them and tell them to run away. If I call and ask how to make cat food taste better, give me some spice ideas. If I call to see if you have extra furniture, give it to me so I can burn it for heat.

Most of all, if you want my resume to pass along to someone who works at a cool company I’d like to work at (preferably near a beach) then call me. <Sprout:  copy is coming.>

Other than that I promise I’ll try to keep the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross stages of grief off these pages.

Welcome along for the journey…


With impending under-employment, I started to rationalize away the “need” to buy a new TV, which I’ve since learned also means a new DVR if I want to watch TV while recording something else. Which happens more than you might think.

Regular readers know I love the Ellen de Generes show (and even if you’re irregular, you still might know). Aside from her, an occasional Opie (my “pet” name for Oprah, whom I was known to worship) and stuff on PBS (ooh – but that’s an important consideration) I figured I could watch everything else on my laptop ’til I saved up the moolah, pried open my wallet, or had a new job.

Then I remembered my new favorite daytime show that I also record now, The Bonnie Hunt Show. She’s a comedian who’s been in a lot of stuff over the years. I can’t think of anything right now except David Letterman, but check out They’ll tell you.

I love her show: She’s about 2 years than me, is a fellow Midwesterner (Chicago) and she’s a little ‘off.’  She grew up in a big family too (need I say more?!) Like me, she’s also single, without kids, although she is recently divorced (I knew better twice).

Take today’s show, which I’m watching now: She just had Tim Conway on. She’d never met him and she’d admired him so long she was practically crying. They got Bob Newhart to bring out a Bday cake for Conway and she called both of them “Mister.”

Seriously, can you see someone like Tyra Banks <subtext: young> calling either of them “Mister”?!

She just lets herself out and she’s hilarious. Also today, she had a hot French chef on.

(Actually I think a French man could look like a blister, but as soon as he talked to me – English or French – I’d melt). Raarr.

Anyway, she cracked me up too (and this is definitely a maybe – you – had – to – be – there moment) because she was practically retching at the thought of cutting into some seafood thing that (frankly) looked like (what I imagine) a whale’s pen@s must look like.

It was one of those things that wouldn’t have looked so gross if you didn’t know what it was.

The audience was laughing but she said something like “What?! Some people have ‘texture stuff.'”

(like my friend Ann, who can’t abide talking about – not to mention eating – jelly. I know, I don’t get it either).

Like I said, possibly a you – had – to – be – there moment, but all of these are making me re-think the whole tv thing now dammit, ’cause you can’t get any of this online (that I’ve figured out, anyway). sigh.

I realize these are terrible problems to have. Add the whole “gadget geek” part and it’s downright hell I tell you, but that’s ok. No pity is needed, although money (or gifts in kind) are welcome… Also please drop a note if you know how to get this online – ahem.

…Without the aid of pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs or alcohol I went to bed at 9:30 Fri. night and slept until 11:30 Saturday morning, with just a little time “in the conscious world” to feed, medicate, and let my dog and neighbor dog out. I was tie-tie.

…My fiber intake has decreased over last couple of weeks. Since I’ve previously discussed my increases (example here) I thought you should know the current state of affairs. Don’t worry, it hasn’t caused any – uh – problems yet and I promise I’m not going to provide daily poop updates.

…I’m breaking a big rule that you don’t talk about looking for a job, but “marie/y hungry” is not a pretty picture, and I’m getting a little frantic. You may know that I work (thru a contracting co.) at the Everywhere Company, which recently “combined with” the Many Other Places Company to become the Holy Crap It’s a Huge Mega Company.

Long story short, they’re in cost-cutting mode, and my job is one of the costs they’re cutting (performance, results, team builder, “plays well with others,” customer satisfaction all aside). I saw the writing on the wall this summer (here) and have been looking since July. Have gotten some great interviews and 2nd interviews but no offer yet.

I have a new so-far-so-good pimp staffing firm now (another drama I’ll skip), and want to stay with them as long as I’m in <The City I Don’t Hate But Don’t Love>. I’m loyal to a fault (and I mean literally to a fault, as this loyalty has bitten me several times) but I have 5 weeks before I go on unemployment for the 1st time in my 30 year working life.

I don’t want to hurt anyone, burn any bridges, hack anyone off or be rude, butcha know I gotta eat. I really want my new staffing co. to come through for me, but I’d be stupid to put my whole stomach in one party’s hands. (Can you tell I’m talking myself into this as much as explaining it to you?) Again: “marie/y hungry” is not pretty. Plus it’s such a great time of year to be looking for a job…

So: if you point me in the direction that leads me to a new job in the same field and it pays close to or more than what I earn now, besides knowing you’ll get big time karma points, the prize I can offer for this contest (Omar: this IS a contest. Let me know and I’ll send you my LinkedIn URL) is that whoever helps me get some more interviews will be eliminated from the “I will house Marie/y and her 3 animals if necessary” list.

Need I say that that is worth more than any superficial prize? Yes? Well okay if you live nearby or I’m coming to visit you I’ll take you to dinner at a nice restaurant too, okay?

…product I wish I’d thought of: the Stayball. It’s a ball (obvously) that you can (among other things) use as a chair. Get it? It STAYBALLizes you. It’s a bonus that the sand in it prevents it from rolling around when you’re not sitting on it. No more tripping over the “it’s coming after me” ball after I step away from it.


…”living the dream”: Here are photos from May (selecting just “the right” already-gnawed on bone)


and the other day when I decided to finally throw them out but then decided they’d make a good picture:


In the intervening time I’ve thrown away countless (really – countless) other bones and given a big bag of the long ones to my sister to stuff (for her dog) but I’ve also switched to the small bones (trying to save $$) and my dog has now lost 3 lbs!

People might think I’m weird but I prefer to think of myself as “different,” someone who “thinks outside the box” and isn’t constrained (too much) by societal norms. Okay, re-reading this I’ll just admit what the neighbors and my friends/fam already know: I am weird albeit in a fun, lovable way.

…Compliment of the week: My physical therapist said I have excellent body mechanics. That means I bend well and properly (although obviously not well enough or I wouldn’t be seeing her).

…Today’s Words of Wisdom: Don’t buy a bag of baked BBQ Baked Lays without just admitting right off that you will eat the whole thing in one sitting. You’re just kidding yourself otherwise.

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