Apr 26, 2010

Me and Thomas Dolby.

I have so sorely neglected this poor blog, haven't I?  When I'm online, I seem to stay busy either on Daisy or playing Farmville and now, Treasure Isle.  I've also been making a lot of calls trying to drum up some help for our sweet queerple,  Chris.  He's on the level,  totally legitimate, if you can help him. See?  He's even had an article written about him. Caring for Chris is a family affair, cats included  If we weren't both gay, I'd have a crush on Chris.

Anyway, as I was saying, this place has been all but abandoned, hasn't it?  I keep taking pictures and then second-guess myself and begin to think no one would possibly care about that (whatever "that" was at the time).  But it's 3am, we've got bad weather rolling through and I can't sleep when we have tornado warnings because we all know I can single-handedly ward one off or something.   If I was (were?) smart, I'd go on to bed and just let it happen.  I am not smart.  I'm up, fully dressed and have appointed myself the weather alert of the neighborhood since we don't have sirens. You know what that means?  It means that in the event of a tornado, I will either have a massive fail of my self-appointed duties and just grab Jake and throw his mattress over our heads or I will take myself very seriously and try running door to door, screeching, as a tornado bears down upon us. Either way, it's destined to not be my finest moment and by God, I'll own that.

So, here I sit.  I started thinking about the rain and Jake's penchant for leaving his windows wide open at all times and I remembered he has work in the morning.  As in 4 hours from now.  Me?  Up then?  Doubtful.  I know he's going to be groggy and will not remember those damn windows.  His room is so bad, so hoarder-y, that I can't get to all his windows easily, so I started worrying about that and decided to leave him a note on the door he will go out, over the knob, so he can't possibly miss it.  Back-story here, we always leave one another odd notes.  Whatever crosses our minds, we write.  So, I wrote the note, taped it up and then realized this could give y'all some insight to the funny stuff that goes on in this house.  With no further ado...the note:

Below you can read it, complete with my own weird writing, offered up for posterity in green glitter gel pen ink.  Oh, and yes, I'm iffy about that shiny brown paint, too.  I don't want to discuss it. 
Enjoy the insight into our lives. :-)


Apr 11, 2010

The last part of my "political" postings for now.

So, we've had some interesting discussion here on political things, haven't we? I want to go off on a different tangent tonight, but will jump off something CK and, I believe, Corinne were saying about eduction being the key.  I have to disagree.  No amount of education is going to overcome peer pressure, parental influences and immediate societal influences, even over time.  At least in my opinion.  The DARE program proved this to us.  Kids aren't going to take to being taught better values, personal responsibility and ambition when they don't see it among those they love and respect the most - family and friends. Oh, sure, you'll get the occasional success story but overall?  It won't work.  What will work, I think, is being tough on people.  Fair, but tough.  I'm going to lay out a plan I spoke of years ago and I still believe it will work.  I'll enlarge on it now, based on today's circumstances. 

So, my plan for rebuilding our country? 

1.  Announce a 5 year plan to eliminate all welfare programs, barring exceptions such as the terminally ill, mentally retarded, severely physically handicapped, etc. "Welfare" means food stamps, TANF, WIC, EITC, Section 8, SSI, etc.  If you're on one of the plans already, you can continue on for your promised span but new children conceived after the start date get nothing.  No medical, no WIC, noth-ing.  Be responsible for what you do.  So, this being the case, you better be prepared to do it on your own or face child neglect charges if you have kids and don't care for them after the 5 years is up.  Those already on assistance have 5 years to figure out how to get off...go to college, go to tech school, whatever.  Five years is a long time.  It *can be done, even in this economy.

2.  Loosen up domestic adoption costs and requirements. Of all things, *this is a good one for the government to actually run and make free for qualified people.  Gays, "older" parents, single but well-established parents, parents who have an illness but are still able to parent?  Let them adopt and let them adopt children of races other than their own.  Kids will get good parents *and we'll make strides in diminishing still-existing color barriers.  Win-win.  You don't comply with #1?  #2 kicks in.

3.  Repeal the law that states you're a citizen simply by virtue of being born here but open up our borders to legal immigration via checkpoints like Ellis Island was.  If you can come here legally by the new standards and work, pay taxes, support yourself and prove you can be a contributing, law-abiding citizen, we'll be proud to give you that citizenship and have you join us.  In 5 years.  Prove it for 5 years and you're an American, we'll make your ass legal.  If you sneak in? We will assume you mean harm and seeing as how we're pretty easy under the new plan and we'll react accordingly.  Think of our country as your literal new home...if you ring our doorbell and politely ask to come in, as long as you aren't the dangerous sort, we'll welcome you as family.  We just ask that you cook and clean up after yourself and supply your own things...you're no guest, after all.  But if you sneak in the window knowing how lenient the doorbell policy is, we reserve the right to shoot you in self defense.

4.  Parents need to be held responsible for their kids until age 18.  Period.  No more of this "I can't control them....waaaah!"  When you know you won't be held responsible it's too easy to put your head in the sand and your kids?  Just laugh it off and know that as long as it's fairly small-time crime or misbehavior, not much will happen. That needs to change.  Your kid under 18 does damage, gets in trouble, steals?  You pay for it and out of your welfare, if necessary.  If you have to sell a car, sell your house, perform community service, whatever...you made them, you pay for what they do wrong.  If your kid doesn't care about the hurt this puts on your ass, you've screwed up somewhere in raising them and deserve it anyway.

5.  This one will shock a few here to their core but I say require 2 years of mandatory public service of some type (the military would qualify) for every 18 year old (if they don't graduate, in which case a GED is required) or graduating senior unless they opt for college. If they graduate from college, the public service can come afterward and be in their chosen field, so that it will also count as work experience.  Alternately, 4 years of half-time service would be acceptable since some will be immediately working in family businesses or whatnot.  This country gives us a lot - we need to give back and not just by way of taxes. 

6.  Medical care. Life is rough and often not fair.  Accept it.  Health care being a "right"? I'm iffy but I'll give you that for the sake of argument.  *Paid health care is a privilege, though.  This new health care plan is a joke and, as I've said, will bankrupt us.  Instead, let's put medical/nursing/pharmaceutical students who can't pay for their own education outright through school but require a year of service in their chosen field for every year this country covers for them in college.  What then?  So many towns have houses sitting empty, foreclosed upon.  Same with whole apartment complexes.  Even empty lots.  Use whatever is available for housing for these brand-new medical professionals (think dorm or student apartment type housing) and have these new graduates live there rent-free, paying them minimum wage for their personal expenses.  Build medical clinics close to said housing.  Free/cheap clinics, where people can come and get basic medical care and even specialized care, at no cost if they can show they need it...unemployment papers, bank statements, utility statements, etc....or they can pay very affordable rates if they cannot prove the need for free services. If you choose to live beyond your means and spend money on things that could be put to insurance, too bad.  You're out of luck and have to pay clinic rates for care.  Look at that - you still win.  Your kids, however, are not out of luck if you refuse and will be treated but it will be looked upon as child neglect by you since you chose the nicer home, newer cars, expensive cable package, etc.  Child neglect is punishable by law. This will serve many purposes - providing health care for our citizens, forcing parents to be responsible, allowing our new medical professionals to gain more experience, and preventing the default of many students loans.  It should also serve to help revitalize some run down areas as a side bonus.

7. Legalize drugs but enact far harsher penalties for crimes committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  There are many, many benefits to this idea.  For one, the price of street drugs will fall and crime will naturally fall with it.  Big score.  Let's relate it to health care, shall we?  If you're sick due to substance abuse problems, you chose it.  You pay for it.  We have low cost clinics under my plan, remember?  But employed or not, we aren't directly paying for your stupid decisions; you are an exception.  You die from drug abuse?  No great loss.  Sorry.  Self-inflicted illnesses?  On you.  Own yourself.

8.  You'll notice I've been mentioning legalizing drugs a lot...yep, we should and all of them.  Let those intent on using them do so...but have far stricter penalties than we do now if a crime results.  Driving under the influence of something?  We all know more people die from drugs than guns; therefore, attempted murder charges apply because you were intentionally "shooting" at people with your car,  an object far larger than a bullet.  Selling drugs?  Attempted murder.  Someone dies of an overdose and the supplier can be found?  First degree murder. Using drugs, though?  Simple possession?  Ehhh, slap a dumbass label on their forehead.  They'll either get over it or kill themselves off.  Treatment for addiction, though?  Out of pocket.  You made the choice, you pay for it.

9.  About the whole foreclosure situation?  Here's a thought - if Mary bought a home for $500.000 and it's now in foreclosure, look at what Mary *can afford for a house payment.  Can she afford a $250,000 home?  No?  How about a $100.000 home?  Yes?  Great.  Take that $100,000 home that Joe owns in Mary's general area (or any home she prefers in a pool of similarly priced foreclosures) and that he can't pay for and *require Mary to step into it (or a similar one) and take over those payments. Instead of having a mass of foreclosures bringing our economy down, require people to honor their commitments to the lending institution but help them out of a bad situation by allowing them to downsize into something affordable with no penalty. Again, win-win.

10.  Eliminate our federal income tax system and institute a percentage-based sales tax system instead.  Say an additional 2% tacked on to what states and counties already charge, but for everything...food, drugs, services, etc.  The income generated from this would be staggering yet fairly painless for everyone, even the poorest of people, and it would be the fairest system we could have.  You don't like paying?  Fine. Cut back on your spending.  You are in control here over what you pay in federal taxes for the most part and everyone will pay a fair share, commensurate with income, for the services they receive from our government.  The poor will naturally pay less than the wealthy, yet they will still contribute...as they should.

Trust me, I could go on and on but I'll stop here.  I just felt that it was important to balance out all my complaining with fair and viable solutions to problems we are facing as a nation. If you can't offer alternative solutions, you have nothing.  I'm curious what you think of mine...let me know.

And with this, I'll end my "political" posts.  For the moment, anyway.  Tomorrow (okay, today) will bring pictures and fun junk.  If my lazy ass gets in gear, we might even get that new cooking post or something.  It's after 4am and the hell with spell check or making sense.  I'm posting as is, so deal with it and goodnight.

Apr 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I thought about trying to do a religious post, especially considering I'm one of Jesus' biggest non-Christian fans but in the end, I've got to tell you that I'm not buying this whole resurrection thing.  Sorry.  So, then I decided to show you old Easter pictures of me and Jake, only that seemed sort of boring.  Then I got the bright idea to just upload and show you whatever is on my camera right now, no deletions.  As I sat here doing this, I realized something sort of funny and took pictures of that, too.  In the end, I decided to do it all and give you a photo-documentary of...something.  Enjoy!

First picture off the camera is Beatrice in my recliner.  She is, quite possibly, the funniest and quirkiest cat ever.  So much so that I forgive her my scars.

In doing my Spring cleaning and digging into some hidey-holes, I found my old wedding rings and decided I best take a picture for insurance purposes.  I've long wondered what I'd do with my engagement ring and have decided that if I ever have grandkids, I'll have that stone reset as a pendant for my first granddaughter who graduates from college.  If I never have grandkids, it'll probably wind up on the 2060 version of craigslist.  I'll be dead.  I won't care.  If nothing else they prove that this bit of utter sweetness below isn't a bastard.

That's my baby boy.  It was taken on Easter night after a full first Easter of bunnies, cake and colored eggs that turned his tongue blue when he sucked on them. He had a busy and wonderful first Easter, my sweet Jacob did. And back then, he was Jacob.  He only became Jake when he was about 12 and announced he preferred it.  This is one of my favorite pictures of him, taken in old-fashioned black and white film.  Ahhh, I look at that face and wish I could have some do-overs.  Who knew that face would become this face below?

God, I miss his eyebrows.  This is a picture I found on my camera, taken about 2 weeks ago.  He thought I was trying to figure out how to put batteries in it, so he wasn't all posed.  I do love that boy to distraction and his sweetness shows here. I'm so damn blessed to have him.

But when he poses, he's not so sweet.  This was on my camera and taken after he got home from a photo shoot.  He's been modeling for a local photographer and building a portfolio so he's used to striking a pose.  Those boots?  Christmas present from me.  I still hate them. 

Now for a total change of pace, here are the eggs in my fridge that will become deviled eggs tomorrow.  I took this for my cousin who was having trouble grasping what I do.  It's very simple, really.  Boil your eggs and then roll them with force, cracking the shell into very fine bits but still remaining on the egg.  Then soak them in dye (20 drops of food coloring, 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water here) for at least 24 hours.  The dye soaks in the cracks and when you peel them, you get a cool, colored cracked effect on the egg white itself.  It makes pretty deviled eggs.  While it's too late for Easter, do red and blue dyes for the 4th of July!

Now, I happened to notice the contents of my desk and got tickled at what I saw since it's *so me.  I took pictures.  I hope you find them as amusing as I do.

That's Gina.  She'll be 17 in August and I can't stand her.  She?  Loves me. Whatever.  I've got a prime spot picked out in the backyard for her.  But take a look around...see my cell phone?  My home phone?  My vitamin and mineral stash?  Nail implements?  The Ruger .357 Magnum?   Lol, what can I say?  I'm cautious and prepared.  I own it.  Want to see the rest of my desk?

There's rum and Coke in that Hyundai mug.  *nods*   Got my bottle of grapefruit scented cleaner, my Xenu lamp, my router, an apple cinnamon candle and back scratcher.  Seriously, who needs more than what I have here?  Now, do you wonder what that print is on the wall?  I would, if I were being all nosy and checking out someone's room like you are.

I love Paul Gauguin.  He's my favorite artist.  And there you have it...my random assortment of pictures.

Happy Easter to you all.  To those I know, thank you for choosing to be in my life.  I am truly honored and I don't say that lightly...you don't have to be here and I'm so glad you want to be.  To those who might read this but haven't formally introduced yourself, the same applies.  Thank you, and may the Easter Bunny be good to you all. 

I hope you all looked as cool as I did at 6.
Me?  Sunglasses?  Still a thing.  I grew out of the blonde weirdness but wish I still had those gloves.

Love, Lisa

Apr 3, 2010

I'm happy now.

Doesn't it look better around here?  More...me?  Yeah, I think so, too.  I played with making my own layout and got some stuff that was fine but not the feel I wanted.  Somehow, I was thinking I wanted deep pink and tropical but in strolling around some sites, I spotted this and that was all she wrote.  Now, it's not all settled in around here yet and you'll notice some tweaking going on for a bit.  The pictures all need resized or something since they're too big for these columns but I dunno, since they're still viewable and clickable to enlarge, I might say "screw it" on those.  I'm still trying to get my music playlist to show and still working on a button for oopsie daisy...i said that?.  But overall?   It reflects me and feels right again.  What do you think?

Now, since I'm going to experiment with picture sizing, I'll leave you with this mugshot from my local paper. I have to tell you, I think she's pretty fugly in Florida, too.

Apr 1, 2010

Part 3: Probably not the turn you expected me to take.

So, I know some who read that last post are thinking I've missed a huge set of numbers - the numbers this new plan is supposed to save us.  Supposedly, it's going to actually help trim our deficit but we are given no valid details as to *how.  All we have are some random numbers thrown out. Most people think it's going to help save the cost uninsured people bring upon hospitals, particularly by using the ER.  Make no mistake, that figure is enormous and very, very expensive.  Staggeringly so; however, I don't see how this plan is going to help.  In the first place, just because it requires people to buy health insurance, that doesn't mean they *will.  They may choose to pay the cheaper fine and continue using ERs as their main source of health care.  They may simply not pay the fine at all, out of choice or out of being broke.  Let's be real about a couple of things here...are we *really going to refuse someone medical care if they've not bought the insurance and failed to pay their fine?  No.  Are we really going to jail anyone for not paying their fine?  Possibly, in the beginning.  But we're going to need a hell of a lot more jails and people are going to get pretty pissed when the unemployed parents of 4 kids go to jail because they chose to give their folks $500 a month out of their unemployment so the family could live in Grandma's basement instead of buying health insurance with it.  In the end, there's not going to be any real repercussions from not buying the insurance or failing to pay the fine.  And that?  Means not much will really change by way of saving money to counteract the cost of this bill.  We'll still have the costs of Medicaid because in no way is this plan designed to eliminate Medicaid.  Bluntly, not much will change for those most apt to use the ER as a primary health care facility and not much will change anywhere else, either.  Status quo, but with trillions more taxpayer dollars going out.  Again, I challenge you - but in a totally not mean way, I swear - to prove me wrong on this.  Show me numbers, explain to me where I'm missing it.  I can guarantee I'll keep an open mind because I'd really love to be wrong about this.  All of this.

So, why would our President want such a plan if it seems doomed to failure?  "That doesn't make sense so it can't be right", you think. Well, it won't fail at a few things...it's going to cause some health insurance providers to shut their doors. It's going to cause far more to up their rates to the point only the quite-well-off can afford them.  It's going to cause some small businesses to go under, creating greater unemployment numbers.  Why in the world would our President want all of this to happen, you wonder?  There's an easy answer to that.  The greater financial chaos we have, the more people will be turning to the government for financial support for survival.  Medicaid, all welfare programs, educational grants, food stamps, assisted housing,  etc.   And why would our government want *this?  Because the greatest way to have real control over the masses is to make them financially dependent upon the government.  Economic slavery.  Look back to the 60's.  To civil rights fights. To desegregation.  And a government packed up the ass full of older, rich, white men who feared the idea of a black man with some power. Uppity niggers.  And how best to get those uppity niggers under control, the old, rich white men wondered?  Limit federal funding for improvements to areas in which they lived in higher numbers, causing the areas to deteriorate and then give them money to survive on.  Be their saviors to their faces and make them dependent upon the white man, the reality.  And tell the world how bad they are so there's fear of them.  Shocked to hear me say that?  Don't be.  See, it's all about numbers and control, once again my two favorite things to rail against.  And now, our government is simply looking at it on a broader scale with this new bill.  I've said before that I am a staunch Libertarian, yet I not only voted for Barack Obama, I actively campaigned for him.  Why?  Well, partly because I thought we needed a real change, cliche as that sounds.  The other part of why I voted for him?  He's black.  Hey, I'll say the politically incorrect thing right on out loud.  He scored bonus points with me for being biracial and identifying as black.  I thought he would be a good bet for being offended at what our government has done to our black citizens in the past and would work to undo that dependency since it really has a major effect on our entire nation.  I was wrong.  He's nothing but a younger, darker version of those old white men from the 60's, only he's looking to control the lot of us this time, not just black people.  Again, I'll say, and I ask you all to really give this some thought, that the greatest way to control people is to make them dependent.  And we, as Americans, started out as stronger stuff than this.  Back when we had that sense of independence, that sense of freedom and self-preservation, when we took care of ourselves and our own families, we did amazing things in this world, didn't we?  Staggering, awe-inspiring things.  It's what we were founded on, in fact.  We were independent, we declared it and we were good, despite some tough and ugly ups and downs.  You want to know why I hate this health care reform bill so much?  It's the start of slavery in this country again, only this time not based on race but rather, based on socio-economic status.

Something to think about anyway, no?

Now, I'm not done because I just thought of something else for the next one.  Lol...be glad you don't actually live with me.