May 24, 2011

Trial watching - Casey Anthony.


I'm obsessed with this case...I have been since the outset and I have no shame in it.  I was obesessed with the OJ trial, but not so much the case itself.  For the record, I think he was guilty as hell, but had I been on the jury, I'd have been forced to find him not guilty, as well.  Next was the Jon-Benet Ramsey case.  One of my first real experiences on the internet was joining my aunt and cousins, along with my mom, on a mIRC chat called Cybersleuths, which was heavily devoted to the Jon-Benet Ramsey case. So, yeah, me and mysterious criminal cases?  Love 'em.  This case has the best of it all, plus it occurred relatively close to me, so even our local media is full of coverage.  That being the case, I'm hoping at least a few of you are also watching the trial and up for discussing it with me, sometimes maybe daily, other times, maybe not.  I'll try it for a day or so and see how it goes, see if anyone else wants to talk about it and exchange theories and thoughts.  That all said...

DID YOU SEE IT TODAY?   Damn.  I was expecting the pool story, the rumor has been floating around, pardon my pun, for awhile now and the rumor/hints of sexual abuse have, too.  But somehow, hearing it said out loud in a courtroom was surreal and shocking. As I've processed it all, I have to admit Jose Baez put on a good opening statement. I went into this with a fairly open mind, believing that Casey definitely was involved in Caylee's death, but that it could well have been an accident. Today, I still think this. I don't believe she committed first degree murder; I still believe it was a bad, bad negligent accident and she handled the aftermath beyond poorly.

Do I believe George molested Casey?  No, I really don't, although my mind is open to being proven wrong on that.  I do think Casey's brother, Lee, may back her story up...I think he loves his sister enough to sell George under the bus in order to try to protect Casey, particularly since it's not like George faces any criminal charges.  Let's see...the loss of Dad's dignity and reputation versus the loss of Sister's life?  Yeah, I think Lee is going to back the defense's story up and try to save his sister.  And actually, I'm not sure George and Cindy won't do the same, albeit in a more subtle manner.  Wouldn't many parents sacrifice their reputation for their child who they genuinely feel is innocent of anything but negligence and mishandling in their grandchild's death, but who is facing death by lethal injection unless something is done to save her?  I would, for Jake, if I truly believed him.

As for Roy Kronk, I think he's basically an asshole, but I think the defense looked plainly ridiculous in trying to incriminate him in anything much.  Roy's girlfriend was a jail employee who came into contact with inmates  when Casey was first jailed.  That's the only coincidence I have much faith in.  I suspect she heard Casey tell someone, possibly Baez, where Caylee's body was, then, knowing boyfriend Roy was a meter reader who walked that area and that he was in arrears in child support, rushed home saying, "Roy, guess what I heard?   I know how you might be able to get money!"  The shortest distance between two points is always a single line and in this situation, Roy's girlfriend seems to me to be the shortest line. I have any fellow watchers?  If so, please join in and let's discuss the crap out of it!

May 20, 2011

Goodbye, Gina Marie.

You were part of our family for nearly 19 years, but today, it was time for you to leave us.

I remember the first day we brought you and your sister home...I'd only wanted one kitten and insisted she be a calico.  I finally found your sister at the SPCA and she was so darn attached to you, that I couldn't split the two of you up.  They warned me you were sickly and might not live long...they didn't even charge for you.  You looked kind of rough, but you came home with us, too.

It took 2 weeks to get your eye cleared up and opened and another 6 weeks to get you over a bad intestinal infection. That was such fun for us all...only not. But your sister loved you and obviously, so did your new daddy.  This is how the 3 of you slept all night, that first night. I was glad your sister was happy.

As time passed, we realized you were going to live and that whole free cat thing?  Yeah, not so much, nearly $1000 in vet bills later. But it was were part of the family by then, and your sister loved you.

Although I was always your favorite person, you would worry when Jake was sick and stick right by him until he was better.  Then you'd resume your attempts to smother me in my sleep so I could be yours forever and ever. Even today, when I held you, you wanted to lay on my face and lick me.  Everyone called you Velcro Gina because of how you'd launch yourself onto me and were an annoying thing but I secretly liked it.

You and your sister helped to homeschool Jake when I had to work.  I never told you how much I appreciated the help, but I did.

You turned out to be my adventurous, fearless baby, much to my place was too high, too scary, too far for you to explore and make your own. You learned how to get up there when the others couldn't and you were the one who learned to push the screens out of the windows so you could go hang in the backyard with the dog.  You had no fear of a gigantic Rottweiler, but he?  Was your slave, mostly because you scared him with your braveness. 

And for all my bitching and moaning about you and your whiny, weird, velcro ways, I love you very much and I'll miss you.  You were part of my life for nearly half of it and Jake doesn't remember a time without you in his.  

But today, you were just so tired and your poor little stinky ears hurt so badly, we knew we had to stop putting it off and do the right thing for you.  So, goodbye, my sweet little Gina Lemon Verbena and thank you for being ours. *sighs* Your sister misses you tonight and is trying to find you. Take care of her, okay? 

Love always, Mama

May 16, 2011

How to cook like me...a baking edition.

So, back during my steak and kidney pie escapade, my sweet friend Trudy suggested I bake everyone something.  She had a good idea, so I went through my recipe book and then it dawned on me - I'll make y'all an old favorite around here.  Something I usually just make for holiday breakfasts and such.  I know you're wondering if I'm going to, parts...for this and I am!  I'm going to use the bacon part.

Mmmm, bacon.  Who doesn't love it?  Bacon even makes Jews and Muslims sinful, at least some of them.  *nods*  But now, what fun is bacon?  I mean, everyone makes bacon, right?  Sure.  But does everyone make bacon cookies?  I think not! You're going to, though, after reading me, you will!  They're good!  Are they the best cookies ever?  No, probably not, but they're very tasty and everyone loves the novelty of eating a bacon cookie so they'll probably be a hit in your house unless you're super-observant or something and really, bacon is worth risking Hell for.  So, get your pen and paper ready to write all this down.

First, fry your bacon.  The recipe makes roughly 30 cookies and calls for 1/2 pound, fried.  I use a heavy 1/2 3/4 of a pound...because hey, it's bacon and you can't get too much.  What you see above was fried last night and was fresh out of the fridge, which is why it might look a little stiff.  For the record, I fried 2 pounds because, you know, it's *bacon. Oh, and a tip - if you like chewier cookies, don't fry your bacon until it's crisp.  Make sure it's done but keep it limp. We're limp bacon lovers in this house but it's up to you. You want a crisp cookie?  Fry your bacon to death. It's not my business.

The ingredients are pretty simple...your bacon, 2 cups of raisin bran cereal (if you really like raisins, add maybe 1/4 cup more or pick extras out of the box), 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 egg, a stick of salted butter, 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup of white sugar.  Now, a few options:  If you have any on hand, about 1/4 teaspoon of maple extract is nice to add in if you love maple. Also, this is a sweet cookie and the bacon is subtle.  If you want to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt or Bacon Salt, you can and it'll enhance the bacon flavor more.  I don't since I try to watch my sodium.  *laughs*
Offer some bacon to the sweetest old lady cat who ever lived (19 this August!) and fuss at her for being on the counter, knowing full well she's deaf and has no clue and wouldn't give a shit if she did hear you.  When she rejects your bacon, eat it yourself, despite the fact her nose and mouth actually touched it.
Whaaaaaat?  It's not like I can add it to the dough now.

Tear your bacon up into roughly 1/2" bits.  Eat some. After all, the recipe does really call for 1/2 pound and that gives you permission.

Add your butter and sugar together and cream it.

Add the egg and cream that, too. By the way, if you get thirsty, these go well with bacon cookies.
Anyway, around this time you should preheat your oven to 350 and prepare your cookie sheets however you do them.  I use parchment paper because I like to live the dream that I'm rich and parchment paper is one of the ways in which I do so.  You do whatever you usually do with cookies.

Add your flour and baking soda.  Mix.  And seriously, if you're going to make these, those fancy Kitchen-Aid mixers will screw it all up.  You have to use a 10 year old Black & Decker hand mixer with most of the attachments missing. 

Now you dump the raisin bran and bacon in.  Mix it by hand until everything is well incorporated.

It'll look like this if you didn't fuck it all up.  I had to use a heavier cooking spoon to mix with, since it becomes a fairly stiff batter.  Oh, God, I heard 3 of you snicker when I said "stiff". Stop it.

Place teaspoons full about 2" apart.  It's important you use the ugliest cookie sheet you can find.
Okay, not really...all of mine are ugly.  Anyway, bake them for 15-18 minutes at 350.  15 keeps them chewier. 

Have y'all ever seen these?  They are such a great invention!  I think the company is "Neese" that makes them and they are just wonderful for bags of cereal, chips, crackers, etc.

See how they seal up my cereal with a zip-loc top?  And you get 20 for around $2.50. These are the large size and 10 mediums come in the box, too. 

15 minutes later and the cookies are out...they aren't the prettiest things ever, but that's okay. Neither am I.  Or you.  :-P

The recipe makes a plate full and see how good they look?  Sweet, gently bacon-y, chewy goodness.  Don't you want to make them now?  If you do, don't forget that since they do contain meat, you should refrigerate them. The cookies do warm up nicely in the microwave, though, and are excellent dunked in hot coffee.  Show of hands...who is intrigued and thinking of trying them?

May 9, 2011

A post-Mother's Day post.

So, yesterday was Mother's Day (still today in my mind since I've not been to bed)...

Some comments from Miss Arse:

Upon seeing I was wearing the gold hoop earrings she gave me when Jake was born, the same earrings I wear 90% of the time and have now for nearly 20 years since they were *that special to me:  "I see you're wearing the earrings I gave you...I'm shocked you've not lost one by now."

After taking Jake to Publix and Walgreens with her, him looking for all the world like Courtney Love after a rough night:  "People were staring at him, Lisa, but I just pretended I didn't care.  We all have our crosses to bear."

The other day, on a shopping adventure we had at Lowe's, she bought herself a new chainsaw.  I made her swear she'd not use it without at least calling me first, so I'd know to check on her later.  Like in 10 minutes, lol.  "Guess what I did this morning?  I chainsawed out all the arborvitae under your old bedroom window!"  Upon scolding her for not calling me first: "Oh, I just said I would to shut you up."

After looking over the good dinner I'd made us...BBQ ribs, fresh-scraped fried corn, french fries, salad..."This all looks so good, but you *are starting your diet back up tomorrow, aren't you? Not that I'm pushing you, because you know you need to lose weight without me pointing it out." 

Background on this one, but my first Mother's Day after Jake was born was awful.  His dad took my car and chose to spend the night before out with his brother at a strip club, got too drunk to drive and didn't make it home until the next afternoon. When he came home, he presented me with a card and a tacky necklace with Jake's birthstone in it, expecting me to be thrilled.  I accused him of picking it up on the way home as an afterthought.  He denied it to the point he made my life a living hell for about a week.  A few weeks later, I was cleaning my car out and found the receipt for the card and necklace shoved under the seat of my car...bought Mother's Day afternoon, on his way home.  My mom, reminiscing:  "Remember your first Mother's Day?  It was bad, wasn't it?"   Yes, it was, Mom...thanks for reminding me.

And her best one?  "Remember the year you sneaked and moved out on Mother's Day?"  Me, bursting into tears as I do every time this is even *thought of, since it's one of the things I feel most guilty for in life:  "Yesssss, and I'm soooo sorry.  *tears flowing*  I was just young and screwed up and stupid."  Miss Arse:  "Oh, Honey, I didn't mean to make you cry...I don't care anymore."  

So, if anyone wonders where my lack of tact came from and why I constantly work on fixing it and constantly fail miserably, now you know. I'm fighting against genetics and it's hard.  Or maybe...just maybe...I secretly like being this way.  ;-)

PS:  I had a really nice day with her and was good.  I hope yours was, too.  Tomorrow, she and I start our Casey Anthony trial obsessing.  Anyone else going to watch this with us?

May 5, 2011

500 blog hits later, I'll elaborate.

Yes, 500 blog hits on my Geronimo post...had I known, I'd have put ads up!  What tickles me to no end is that not a single person left a comment.  I had a very small handful of "your (sic) a traitor/ignorant/Muslim" emails and that was it. I must admit, this leaves me curious as to the lack of comments with so many hits and the random emails.  Those who emailed, why not say it here?  Ah, well, you must have your reasons.  *coughchickenshitcough*

So, since that last one was so all-fired popular and I'm wide awake at 5am, let's just go wild, shall we?

First off, I don't hate bin Laden.  Never did, never will.  In fact, I've got some admiration and respect for the man. Freaked out yet?  Well, that's on you. I admire and respect anyone who feels so damn strongly about their religion, their principles, *anything, that they are willing to devote their life to and even die to protect those values.  Now, remove bin Laden from this equation and read what I just said again.  Do you not agree?  Do you not find it admirable to devote your life to and even die for your beliefs?  Of course you do, even if others find you evil and want to kill you for it.  What if that's the case?  What if others find you evil, wrong, a threat?  Are they justified in killing you, if so?  What if your beliefs caused the deaths of others, even if you never actually killed them with your own hands, because they were so alien to the beliefs of those others?  Would your opponents, those others (random thought: who just had a "Lost" moment?) be justified in killing you? Now, let's think about bin Laden again....substitute him for you in what I've asked up there.  Is he still so evil?  Was killing him still so justified?  You don't have to tell me...all I ask is that you try to keep your mind open and answer yourself honestly there.  Now, let's try this:  Let's put Jesus in bin Laden's place in my questions up there.  After all, Jesus was a religious zealot and rebel in his time and many, many lives have been lost in the battles both for and against Christianity.  Now, am I equating bin Laden with Jesus?  Nope, I'm not...I admit, I am giving an extreme example to drive my point home in a lot of heads.  My point?  Sometimes evil, as with beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. There are no absolutes. Do I think Osama bin Laden was evil?  Not even remotely. Was he a rebel, an extremist?  Yep.  Would I have done as he did?  Nope, but then again, I'm not a fan of violence in any form, be it what he orchestrated  or what our own military is doing these days. Do I admire him for devoting his entire life to what he felt strongly about?  All day long.  You don't have to agree with someone's core values in order to admire them for their dedication to such.  That's a lesson we, as Americans, often aren't taught.  It's a shame, that, for without that lesson, this world will never have peace.

Now, going back to bin Laden and what I freely will admit is my defense of what he's done, I'll ask you to indulge me in another mental game, if your mind is open enough for it. Ready?  Let's go.  Say you and many of your family all live on the same street and have for what amounts to forever.  Sure, you have your bickerings and fights, but in the end, what matters is family.  You know, the whole "I can say shit about her because she's my sister but I'll be up your ass in a heartbeat  if *you say shit about her because she's my sister!" thing.  It's a good thing, love ruling and having one another's backs against others, isn't it?  So, let's say a family from two blocks away, newly moved in compared to your family, decides they don't like how your entire family, all homes, parent.  Or your religion.  Or the values your family feels strongly about.  Screw them, you think.  Right?  But what if they begin marching into your family's homes, one by one, using force, and demanding that your family do things their way? Now, let's take a moment here and look at that family and what they are saying...they genuinely believe their way is best for your family.  I mean, really, they do. They just think your family is too old-school, too antiquated in its values, to know better and they want to help you advance and see it their way, since they genuinely believe their way is so much better. And they are so damn sure of this, they feel it's perfectly fine to march in your front door without invitation, use force even with injuries, to have you do it their way and then do the same with all your family-neighbors on the street.  Yes, some kids may be killed in the process...some men may lose their wives and your sister?  She might lose her husband and your mom may lose your dad when he tries to protect his home.  Tell me the would you feel about that? In your own heart of hearts, as the saying goes, how would you feel? And what if weird Uncle Joe, the family black sheep, said "Enough.  Just enough. I'm going to try to stop these people from 2 blocks away and show them how it feels!"  And 9/11 happens, killing innocent people, yes, but fewer innocents than than the obnoxious neighbor two blocks away killed.  Of course, they call those innocents "casualties of the war" we caused by not living as they do.  I call them my brothers, sisters, uncles, Mom and Dad, my babies. Again, be honest with would you feel about weird Uncle Joe now,  for doing whatever he had to do to stop this?  Personally, I'd be my weird Uncle Joe's biggest fan. He had the guts to try to protect our family when no one else did...go Uncle Joe!  Defend us, make them stop it!  In fact, I'd be inspired to help Uncle Joe. What about you?

Now comes the hard part. We, the United States of America, *are that family two blocks away.  That's not up for debate...we just are. And let's replace the block full of your family and their homes with the Muslim countries.  Weird Uncle Joe?  Is Osama bin Laden.  Ask yourself now,  how do you feel about what Uncle Joe did?  I still maintain it was admirable and anyone who came into our family turf, so to speak, and killed Uncle Joe?  Yeah....they deserve what they get from here on out.

We went into someone else's home 2 blocks over and abandoned everything we are supposed to stand for - we shot an unarmed man whose only resistance was in failing to raise both hands when directed.  Then we flipped off his religion in how we disposed of his body and I'll be damned, our family not only is okay with this, but cheers in the streets about it.

Count me out of this.  I'm an American and I dearly love my country but I do not, not even a little bit, love what it has done and stands for right now.  I am so ashamed for the United States of America.  I'm not a bit ashamed to be American, though...I have hope for my country.  I have hope that we will, one day, be a peaceful and peace-making nation with a strong defense but with a true, dare even I say true *Christian, understanding of what "defense" means.  I have hope that one day, America will act as Jesus would have done.

Right now, we have no sense of that.

May 2, 2011

Code name: "Geronimo"

That's the code name our government used for bin Laden, have you heard?  My initial reaction was fury...yep, fury.  How *dare they?  Geronimo was a good and decent man who did nothing more than defend his people against those who invaded the land of his people, determined to take that land at a cost of whatever death and destruction it required since those people were, after all, savages...of course, he fought back and that?  Makes him the bad guy.  Anytime we try to go in and take by force, or instill by force, our own desires, well...only bad guys fight us on that, dontcha know? We go in to people's homelands and kill, maim, steal but it's all in the interest of making the savages' lives better so it's a good thing...let them fight *back and they're bad guys, or terrorists.

Wait a minute...wait a damn minute here...maybe "Geronimo" wasn't such a bad name for bin Laden at all, now that I give it some thought.  Maybe it was just exactly *right, in fact.