Archive for March, 2007

SuperFun

My SuperFun fantastic 3-day weekend starts in a few short hours!  I have a multitude of SuperFun things planned already, in case you were wondering to yourself, “Gee I wonder how many SuperFun, fantastic activities Karen has planned for her 72-hours of fun, fun, fun???”

Here’s just a small sampling of the types of activities I will be participating in, listed in  order  from Least SuperFun to Most SuperFun:

  • Yearly doctor’s appointment
  • Lunch with my mother
  • Helping my son fill out his FAFSA
  • Napping
  • Going to see the new Will Ferell movie, Blades of Glory (Ken needs a humor pick-me-up and nothing says SuperFun like a Will Ferrell movie)

 You’ll notice that lunch w/my mother is pretty low on the fun scale.  I love her, I really do, but hanging out with her is not SuperFun, therefore she gets a low ranking on the SuperFun scale.   Napping, however, is outasight on the SuperFun scale.  Who can argue with that? 

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Go on, admit it. It looks like SuperFun doesn’t it?

good things

It’s a beautiful day and there’s absolutely nothing going on in my mind to gripe about or comment on.  

  • Work is wonderfully busy again and my workmates are behaving nicely and playing well together.  
  • I heard Townes Van Zandt’s Pancho & Lefty this morning – always a 10 in my book. 
  • I watched geeky science shows last evening (super-massive black holes and parallel universes), which I love (almost as much as true crime). 
  • I’m almost done with the Stephen King book (Cell), which has been surprisingly fun to read, plus I get to go back to the library today for more books. Yeah!
  • My son has been in a good mood lately.
  • Ken is always in a good mood.
  • The Senate passed the “bring the troops home” bill yesterday

 Life is good today.   I’ll take it while I can get it.

rant

Today’s rant:

I’ve been following the recent news regarding the rising rate in home foreclosures.  Although certain sub-prime lenders are certainly guilty of making too many home loans to people with bad credit (can you spell greed?), it appears to me that not enough reporting has been done about the people who are now defaulting.  If you were told that you could get an ARM with an intro rate of 3%, you were also told that the rate would certainly rise when the prime rate increased – meaning a higher house payment.  If you could barely afford your mortgage at 3% interest, why would you expect to be able to make it at 6 or 7%?  Did these people actually believe that the Fed Reserve would continue lowering the interest rate indefinitely? 

I certainly have great sympathy for people who have fallen on hard times due to a medical or job crisis, or something else they have no control over.  I’m just sick and tired of hearing news reports that blame credit card and loan companies for the poor financial management skills of the rest of the American public.  Where is the personal responsiblity?  If you’re living on the edge financially and you have the means to change it – why wouldn’t you?  Why would you continue to gamble your financial well-being in the hopes that the status quo will never change?  

The really sad thing is that now many of these people can’t even sell their homes for what they paid for them.  The housing bubble was destined to burst.  In fact, it was predicted well in advance of the actual event.  So if you’re going to make the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, wouldn’t you evaluate the options carefully before you scribble your signature on the dozens of documents that will tie up the bulk of your spending pie for the next several years? 

Maybe this is just another example of how people are abdicating most of their personal responsibilities:  Parenting is now the school district’s responsibility.  Your lung cancer is the tobacco company’s responsibility.  McDonald’s is responsible for the nation’s weight gain.

So here’s my own list of things I’m personally abdicating any responsibility for:

  • I blame my gene pool for being short, stocky and prematurely gray, which has prevented me from a lucrative career as an underwear model for Victoria’s Secret.
  • I jointly blame the Tostitos company and Edy’s Ice cream for the size of my thighs.
  • I blame my 1st grade teacher for teaching me to read, which has led to my life of solitude with my face buried in a book.  This has kept me from being an extroverted, nationally-renowned  motivational speaker.
  • I blame a girl I went to Junior High with for teaching me how to smoke cigarettes.  I still smoke and it’s all your fault.

Whew, that’s a relief. 

get off the shed

Ken and I went to see Mark Wahlberg’s new movie, Shooter, this weekend. It’s a typical guy movie with lots of shooting and explosions. The main characters are Mark Wahlberg and Mark Wahlberg’s rifle. Upon returning home from our afternoon bloodfest, we yelled hellos to our neighbor, R____, who was outside barbecuing, and told him we’d just been to see Shooter.“Dudes! No shit? I heard his gun was fuckin’ awesome!”

We agreed that is was, indeed, an awesome gun and went into the house.

A little background about my neighbor is in order here. Will Farrell used to do a character on SNL called the “Get of the shed” guy. He would play an average guy, having a family barbecue in the backyard with some friends. They would be drinking beer and talking about sports or something, then this guy would suddenly yell out to his kids “HEY KIDS, GET OFF THE DAMN SHED!” in a loud, obnoxious voice. He’d go back to his conversation, then start yelling at the kids again, getting progressively more upset until eventually he’d be threatening to beat the crap out of his kids in front of everyone. It was cringe-funny because I think everyone’s been in an uncomfortable situation like that at least once in their lives where a parent just starts going off on his kids in front of other people.

Last summer, Ken and I re-did the hardwood floors on the main floor of the house. It was an amazingly dirty and hot job, but the results were fantastic. After they were sanded, R came over to see how we were doing.

“These floors look fuckin’ great!” he exclaimed in his bigger-than-life voice. “Did you rent a machine or…” R looked out of our open side window and saw his kids climbing on the canoe in his side yard. “HEY BOYS! GET OFF THE CANOE!” “I SAID GET OFF THE CANOE NOW! DON’T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE” Slight pause – “So, did you rent a machine or what?”

Thus was born the Get off the Canoe guy.

Fast forward back to Saturday evening. Two minutes after we got in the house, a hyperactive thudding on the front door told us immediately that R had come a-callin’. And indeed he had; he had come to show us HIS new rifle.

“Dudes! Check it out!” He opens his large, rectangular black case and pulls out a very scary-looking black rifle. Ken and I made the appropriate oohing and ahhing sounds, and R insisted we both sight through the scope so he could show us all the cool things you could do with the little adjuster thingie on the top.

Ken and I are not anti-gun people. We just don’t happen to own any, except for an old shotgun that we keep unloaded in the closet. My brother owns guns and he is very generous about letting us shoot them out at our folks’ house in the country. I appreciate the fact that our country allows its citizens own guns if they so choose, but personally, I don’t feel the need to have that kind of protection in my home.

I could really tell that Ken was anxious to get R out of the house so he could watch the rest of the KU game on TV, so I suggested to R that we go out on the front porch to smoke cigarettes and have a chat. In addition to being a gun nut, R is also an anti-government survivalist junkie. I’ll bet you’re really surprised by that. All conversations with R eventually lead to his latest theories about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket, all with the help of our government. Not being the current administration’s biggest fan myself, I find these conversations mildly amusing.

“Hey guess what” he says to me after lighting up our smokes. “I just got a whole bunch of seeds from this local grower? And they’re guaranteed not to have their DNA modified? So we’re going down south to where we have some land and we’re gonna grow our own food. How fuckin’ awesome is that? I’ll tell you how awesome it is; did you hear that the federal government has a new program where they’re growing corn with human DNA implanted in it? That’s fucked up, ain’t it?.”

During this mini-tirade, I can hear R’s wife calling his name to come eat dinner – which R ignores for awhile. The next subject is civilian concentration camps: “Did you know that our government is building concentration camps for civilians? I’m tellin’ ya, it’s gonna happen. You need to get… – R leans over the porch railing, directing his upper body towards his house and yells “HEY! I’M COMING, OK? I’LL BE THERE IN A SEC!” He turns back to me and says “I guess I’d better go. You think about getting you a gun before they start trying to put us all in camps. I’m serious.” I promise to think about it. Over the years I’ve found that agreeing with R is the most direct route to getting him off the porch. I suppose I could yell “GET OFF THE PORCH!” but somehow I don’t think he would fully appreciate just how funny that would be.

Back in the house, Ken is laughing. “You just had to get him going, didn’t you?” he says.

“I figured it would be better to get him outside so you could watch the game. Besides, I was hoping to get a story for my blog.”

So there you have it.

not your typical sports fan

It’s NCAA night at the homestead and Ken’s got BB on 3 out of 4 television sets in our house.  The hometown fave, KU is playing S. Illinois.   I think this is big news – something about Sweet 16, which sounds suspiciously like an MTV show that I was unfortunate to have viewed.  Once.  With my mouth hanging open and muttering “no fucking way this is real” the whole time.  

I’m not much of a sports fan.  If there had been a way to unsubscribe to all sports channels and substitute them for True Crime channels back when I was single, I would have.   But Ken really really likes sports, so there you go.  Now I stay up late on the weekends watching all the true crime shows I TiVoed the previous week – after Ken has gone to bed and is no longer watching sports.

Now Ken’s got me signed up in some internet NASCAR fantasy racing league.  Why?  I’m not really sure.  But nonetheless, he got me signed up on his league – I’m Ladyluck (the name Ken signed me up with), and <em>I’m ahead of all eight of the men on the team</em>.  I am the freaking points leader – Booya!   

Do I know what I’m doing when Ken signs me on every week to pick drivers?  No, I do not.  I do know that know Kasey Kahne is really really cute.  And Jimmy Johnson is also really really cute.  And their names are alliterative.  I like that a lot in a name.   I like to watch the last 5 laps of a race, because really, who cares what happens in the first 45,645 laps anyway?  It’s all about the checkered flag, baby. 

And how many points I end up with in the end.

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Kasey & Jimmy – Rock stars of NASCAR

blogging on blogging

I’m an obsessive blog-stat checker. I’m always wondering how many people per day are reading me and what they’re interested in. The blogs I think are really really good generally don’t generate any comments whatsoever. Blogs that I write off the cuff seem to spark an interest. I don’t know why this is, but it can be a little frustrating especially when I think I’ve scored a great post.

Today my cousin emailed me an article from the Kansas City Star today profiling local bloggers. Granted I’ve spent my life in relative anonimity and purposely don’t get out there in the general public very often. When I do, I’m one of those people that others seem to look through or over or under. It’s totally my fault, I know – I’m kind of quiet unless intoxicated. But gosh darn it, I’ve been blogging for nigh on 2 years now. OK, so I’ve tended to hop from blog host to blog host, but come on – keep up people!

I guess I shouldn’t hold it against the KC Star people for overlooking me this year, but honestly, I’ve got to blame someone, right?

On a somewhat related topic: I’m probably feeling kind of sorry for myself this week because an essay I recently wrote for submission was rejected. Rejected as in “Wer’re going to pass this time.” Rejected as in not good enough – for an internet ‘zine. Yikes, how low can you get when you’re rejected by a publication that can’t even afford to pay for the submissions they publish? I’m going to try submitting it somewhere else though, because that essay was totally worthy, my friends. Totally worthy.

Anyway, I’ll be visiting my dentist today for my permanent crown and am looking forward to entering nitrous-world where I plan to envision myself as a celebrated, regionally famous blogger who gets an average of 46 comments per post. Oh, and gets published. Even if it’s by me, on my own blog.

teeny tiny terrorist

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Miniturized Bin Laden found in Cheney’s leg

A report rleased by George Washington University Hospital reveals that the “blood clot” discovered in Vice President’s lower left leg two weeks ago is actually a miniaturized Osama Bin Laden. It is unknown how or when the teeny tiny Bin Laden was able to infiltrate Cheney’s circulatory system, but doctors speculate that it could have occurred during his latest visit to Afghanistan when he narrowly missed assassination during a suicide bomber attack. There had reportedly been mass confusion immediately after the attack, which may have been the window of opportunity needed to quickly inject the miniaturized Bin Laden into Cheney’s lower leg without detection.

The ultrasound apparently first showed a sleeping Bin Laden, who apparently woke up when he became aware that he had been detected. He then began to indicate that he wanted to communicate with the medical team. When the teeny tiny microphones were placed on the area, Bin Laden was heard cackling like a wild man, stating that he was planning an attack inside the Vice President, “more catastrophic than 9/11.”

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What Bin Laden says he will do to the Vice President

A surgical team has been rapidly assembled to assess the Vice President’s health status but it is not clear just how much internal damage a 5-mm terrorist could actually do. Cheney’s circulatory status is already so vastly compromised by his previous heart problems, that the team has decided to take a “wait and see” approach to the situation. Now nicknamed Min Laden, the tiny terrorist seems to only want to wage a war of words at this time and has been heard making referring to his host as “an insane little dwarf”, and that Cheney “will burn in the fiery pits of hell for giving birth to a man-girl” – an apparent reference to his lesbian daughter, Mary.

In the meantine, Cheney has been moved to a safe underground bunker where he is under constant surveillence behind explosion-proof glass. During an address to the medical team yesterday, General Michael Hayden, Director of the CIA, stated “It sounds like another suicide bombing, but on a much smaller scale. We’ve finally cornered Number One (referring to the FBI’s Most Wanted List) in the vicinity of Cheney’s left ankle. If we lose him now guys, we’ll never hear the end of it.”

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The Vice President had recently been overhead yelling “Bring it on!” to his lower left leg in an apparent attempt to antagonize Min Laden. He is currently under heavy sedation.

President Bush immediately ordered Condoleeza Rice to “find out how to get one of them there shrinking machines,” and alluded that he’d be interested in shrinking “the whole gol’darn” 3rd Cavalry Division if it meant finally getting Bin Laden for good.  An emergency session of Congress is scheduled to meet later today to draft a proposal to prevent any attempt by President Bush to wage war on the Vice President’s lower leg.  “This president has been given a blank check to do whatever he wants to fulfill his blood lust long enough.  We think an all-out attack on the Vice President’s leg would be ill-advised and further cast a pall on this administration and this country.” stated Joseph Biden, (D-Deleware).

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President Bush shows reporters the approximate size of Min Laden.