Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Little Noise

Last night, my husband and I heard an odd little noise coming from our basement. He went down to investigate, but found nothing. A short while later, I went back into the basement and pinpointed where the small, almost electric noise was coming from: the rafters. Worried that it was an electrical problem (and quickly formulating a plan to take the kids over to my parents' house, as the last thing I needed was for the wiring to go goofy and start a fire), I brought my husband downstairs to take a look, flashlight in hand.

That's when he realized what it was: a bat. Somehow, this little thing had gotten wedged up into the boards on the ceiling and was squealing away at us. I was a bit torn. I couldn't bring myself to order my husband to kill it (nor would I think that he would have). I've always thought that bats are cute. They're also beneficial to the environment, and, most importantly, they are living, breathing mammals that do nothing wrong other than exist. All this Dracula crap has given them a bad rap. That being said, bats are known to carry rabies, and with two small children and a cat in the house, I couldn't in good conscience do nothing. Under normal conditions, I would have said, "Oh, how sweet, we have a bat living with us!" and let our guest stay the winter, as I hate kicking things out in the cold, but if there was the chance of a disease, I couldn't risk exposing my kids to it. My husband didn't want to play liberator because he didn't want to chance being bitten and having to go to the hospital for a series of rabies shots -- can't say that I blame him. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place (aka my rafter).

So, we approached it the mature way: we moved the cat's litter box upstairs, left the lights on (to give the little guy or girl the idea that this was NOT where he or she wanted to be), and then closed the basement door, blocking it with a blanket and opting to call the manager of our complex to come to the townhouse to have someone remove it without killing it. I was worried that we were torturing the poor thing with the light, but my husband assured me that we were doing the right thing, as it would have been far more cruel to not give him or her incentive to leave (especially if stuck). We then worried that the bat was stuck, and would possibly starve to death. Then my husband let me in on a little tid bit: this is the season that bats nest. This changed the game for me considerably. It's one thing to have a singular animal die; it's something different to have a pregnant mother die. It somehow seems worse. I went to sleep with a heavy heart, hoping that things would be better in the morning.

Jeremy checked in our guest that morning. The bat wasn't moving. He banged on the boards and put the flashlight on it. Nothing. The outlook didn't look good. I held out hope that it was just sleeping. Jeremy stayed home while our nanny watched the kids so that he could wrangle everything. The exterminator gave us a double dose of good news: not only was the bat alive, but he couldn't kill it (apparently, humane societies like bats to be saved because they're so good for the environment). In fact, our bat was actually two bats -- we had a mating pair staying with us, building their nest for the arrival of babies in the spring. According to the exterminator, we had two good things going for us: 1.) we had caught this in time, as we would have had a slew of problems if we had discovered this in a few months (such as insect infestation and multiple bats flying in and out of the house, and taking them out would have resulted in a crew having to rip out the entire rafter section of our basement), and 2.) it was just the two, not an entire roost. We simply had a happy couple that decided that our townhouse basement would be a great place to start a family. It sounds cheesy, but it's a parallel for how our friends have defined our home: warm and caring. It's nice to see that the animal kingdom thinks so as well.

In the end, the exterminator quickly removed the two bats (who apparently squealed like crazy when disturbed) and took them away. I feel much better knowing that they're going someplace safe and warm to wait out the winter and build their nest. It's nice to know that they won't be taken away to be killed, but that they and their babies will get to thrive. No, we didn't kill them. And I'm damn proud of that. So ends the Saga of the Bat.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Men are like light bulbs: you just keep screwing until one of them works." -- Swingtown

(Couldn't resist -- I laughed my ass off when I heard that.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Chipmunk's Christmas

My husband and I are horrible, horrible people.

We decided to show the girls Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipmunks' Christmas today. Let me preface this with some back story: I ADORE this movie. I have watched it since childhood. It came out in 1981; as I was born in 1980, I have quite literally grown up with this movie. My dad had the soundtrack to it on cassette, and he used to play it to my brother and I during the Christmas season (this was a bargaining chip -- if we didn't do our chores or if we were fighting in the backseat, we didn't get to listen to it; smart parenting on my dad's behalf). We broke this tape from continual play. However, it fell by the wayside as I entered into my teenage years, and it has now resurfaced with the advent of my own two children thus far.

And now, Alvin and his cohorts have fallen prey to the inevitable: the vicious, merciless commentary of my husband and I. It started off innocently enough: my husband and I noticed a plot hole. How could little Tommy be so sick, and yet a simple harmonica completely cures him? This is what it sounded like:

Jeremy: I didn't realize that a harmonica could cure T.B.
Me: Maybe his mom had Munchhausen By Proxy.
Jeremy: Harmonicas don't cure cancer. *mimics Tommy's sister* What do you mean, Tommy won't make what through Christmas? Christmas cookies? Dyalysis? *mimics loving, sad mother* Because we can't afford Tommy's chemo. *back to his normal voice* I think Tommy's faking it to get a harmonica.
Me: Ever notice that the 80s seemed to have this vendetta against parental authority? Seriously, they blow off Dave and then it's up to the kids to save the day. It's saying that adults know nothing. That was a running theme throughout that decade!
Jeremy: You know, Dave is kind of a jerk.
Me: He's a stage dad. He's supposed to be a doofus.
Jeremy: What's with all the rampant consumerism? And they're always working -- aren't there child labor laws?
Me: It doesn't apply to chipmunks. Just don't tell PETA.
Jeremy: *snerk, mimics Tommy's voice* Mawmmy, now that I have a harmanicaw, we can get my lisssssp fissed for Chwismas!

All the while, Sophia has watched it patiently with tunnel vision. Molly's been relatively indifferent, but then again, she's only 10 months old. We are evil, terrible people, ripping apart a children's show like that. But then again, it brought it on itself.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I first heard about what happened while I was at work this afternoon. Watching, my one coworker and I shook our heads and stared, wondering what happened and why. I first saw that the death toll was at 60, and that an unnumbered amount were injured. And then it just kept getting worse. The death toll keeps going up. It's unconfirmed, but there were children killed. Buildings are on fire, people are dead, and many more are injured. This is insanity at its worst.

The company that I work for has operations in Mumbai, and our entire floor interacts with the folks in India on a daily basis. As the night has worn on, one of the guys working late tonight has gotten in touch with the building that we all interact with, and he's been good enough to post updates on his Facebook profile so that we can see how our Indian counterparts are doing. The good news: they are removed from the carnage and safe in their building. The bad news: in order to remain safe, they have been instructed to stay in the building until further notice. Many of them just want to go home and get to their families. I can't imagine what they're going through, being in the same city and in such close proximity to something so violent and evil. This has to be absolutely terrifying for them. Were it me, I would want to go home and just hug my family like there's no tomorrow, wishing the whole mess away. As it was, I came home and hugged my children tightly, telling them that I love them. I'll freely admit that this has had me in tears. I don't like the idea of people dying violently, feeling isolated and afraid. I want this to end for them.

I'm not going to sit here from the comfort of my middle-class home and start proselytizing as to why this has happened. What matters right now is that this is happening, and good people are dying for shit reasons. Whatever the perpetrators' problems are, this should not extend to innocent people. Likewise, anyone who wants to start spouting, "It's only India" bullshit needs to keep his mouth shut. That's tasteless, and it dehumanizes people who have suffered through something traumatic.

Despite what's happened, I still vow that I am going to get to go visit that country someday. I want to wade into the Ganges and see the mountains. I will not let fear hold me back, no matter how grounded in reality it is. It's no way to live.

It's Thanksgiving, Dammit!

I like Christmas lights. Really, I do. But I have one general rule:


I quote Lewis Black: "I remember when Thanksgiving was Thanksgiving, and Santa wasn't poking his ass into it." On the way home from work, I have seen lights out now for the past four weeks. That's right: since before Halloween. Let the hot cider at least get cold, people!

Now, as I live in an area where we can get three feet of snow dumped onto us on or around Halloween, I can understand the logic of wanting to put your lights up before the big squalls. Rochester is dodgy like that. Ask anyone -- it can last from October until May (hence why we have so few April weddings up here). However, I am a woman of principle: just wait to put the damned lights up. One holiday at a time. As Christmas keeps evolving more so into a shopping contest, I'd rather not be reminded of the worst in people coming out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shock and Awe

Another election has come and gone, this one as hotly contested and explosive as the last two. The dust has settled and a winner has been chosen. I have to admit that while I have been a staunch supporter of Obama (and I am in absolute giddy, ecstatic, joyful shock at his win and the resolve of the American people to set aside race and focus on the issues), my respect for McCain grew after reading the transcript of his concession speech. He could have cursed the ground Obama walks on and belittled his fellow candidate while instructing his followers to rise up in disrespect, but instead, he choose the high road and reiterated the message that really matters: the people of the United States absolutely need to stick together.

We need to do two things in order to stick together, and both of them involve recognition. The Democrats need to recognize that the Republicans are smarting right now, and in their wounded pride and fallen hopes, they are going to need some time to come around; the Republicans, on the other hand, need to recognize this defeat graciously and accept that change is coming. No more name-calling and whining on either side; it's time to be grown-ups and fix the sandbox, or else the coming generations will have nothing. Remember when you were a kid and your teacher made you work with a classmate you couldn't stand? You still didn't care for that person after the project was over, but the job was completed because you put aside your differences, worked together and focused on what had to be done. This is the same thing. We can have our own values and personal likes and dislikes, but we need to work together or else everything will fall apart.

What do we need to fix? The economy. Our schools. The alarmingly high numbers of children being abused and then placed into a highly and dangerously flawed foster care system. Our healthcare system. The crime rate. Energy alternatives. Religious tolerance. Civil rights, including the rights of minorities, gays and women. Immigration. Personal freedom, including the right to privacy on all levels, bodily and externally. Middle Eastern wars. The sheer amount of lying that our officials get away with. This list is general for a reason. We need to list out what's wrong, find the cause, then fix the cause; no more of this mud-slinging, tunnel-visioned focus on what's wrong. Treating the symptom is not working; we need to go after the root cause itself. We have to accept that this might cost us in the short term. Frankly, wouldn't you rather have one expensive bill than multiple smaller ones that wind up costing you more money in the long run? It's the same principle of fixing a car... except that this is an entire nation. Given, it's a much larger scale, but the principle is the same. Either way, we have cut out all of the partisan crap and start viewing each other as equal human beings, or else we will never get out of the mess we're in.

These things are easy for me to say because the candidate I supported won. The previous election, I was upset and shocked that Bush won another turn. It would be incredibly easy for me right now to jump up and yell, "SUCK IT, REPUBLICANS -- YOU HAD YOUR EIGHT YEARS, NOW IT'S OUR TURN!" However, I'm not -- nothing can be gained by that except for further divide in a time when we need unity. There is so much beauty in this election: we had record turnout for voters; we have the first black president-elect; this is the first president in a long time that has come from extremely humble roots -- a single mother, a biracial family, a lack of old money -- that has used his drive and determination to advance. This is the American Dream. People need that. We need a representative that can speak eloquently, that knows the issues and listens to his supporters and opponents alike. We've already met half of a very tall order -- we got people to care this time around. People came out and voted because they wanted to be heard, and they got involved very passionately. Things can only go up from here on out.

Some folks are disappointed that Palin missed her chance to become the first female vice president, and possibly the first female president; some were upset that Hilary was passed over. I understand the plight of women under the glass ceiling. Years from now, we ARE going to get a female president, and when she's elected, she's going to get to serve in the White House because she is the best damn candidate out there. It's not about getting any woman in office; it's getting the right one in office. We will get her, I promise. When she takes oath, she won't be viewed merely as the historical first female president.

I can only hope that some can view Barack Obama the way that I do: he is the best man for the job. If you don't like him strictly because he's black or because he's a democrat, that is something you're going to have to come to terms with. However, if that's not your issue with him, please take a moment to focus on the positives. We've got him for at least four years, and unless if he does something incredibly heinous to get himself thrown out of office (although, I don't see that happening -- exhibit A, George W. Bush), he's not going anywhere. Listen to what he has to say -- give him your input. Let's usher in a period of American history where the people communicate with the leaders to get their needs fulfilled. Try seeing the world from someone else's point of view. Focus on the positive; foster hope. I have hope in abundance; you can have some of mine. And in the words of Walt Disney, keep moving forward.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I've remained quiet thus far about the election, but I had to post this. Too many people are going to pass up the chance to vote today because they don't feel like it, and that just makes me sad.

Reasons why I'm voting:
1.) My rights
I like that I'm able to have a say in the way that my country is governed. Do our elected officials suck more often than not? Yes -- but at least we get to choose them. We don't live in a military state that's run by a dictator, and I'd like to keep it that way. I don't like someone telling me what I can and can't do, and if I just sit on my ass and let someone else run the show, I'm being lazy and proving to everyone that I need someone else to tell me how to live my life. I refuse to be a worker ant. Besides, I'm from Rochester, and my girl Susan B. would be pissed as all hell that I'm taking a dump on something she worked so hard for. To be treated equally and allowed to vote is a beautiful thing. Women haven't been fighting for ages for me to sit back and say that I don't care. This is my moment of cultural pride to be able to do this, especially as women have only been voting since 1920. For roughly the first 150 years that our country, someone like me had no say in the way that things were run. That's scary.

2.) 2000-2008
Consider this: for the past eight years, we've lived in an administration that has: eroded our sense of personal freedom as well as outsourced terrorism (hello, Guantanamo Bay); done more damage for race relations by discriminating against religions; forced a sense of puriticanical morality by seeking to stunt the civil rights of gays; wasted tax money by invading a country to take care of your daddy's axe that still needed grinding (as well as killed and scarred -- both physically and mentally -- scores of brave men and women); taken the country from the largest surplus to the greatest deficit in history; widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor while eradicating the middle class; placed female autonomy in question by threatening to overturn a judicial ruling granting women the right to decide what happens to their bodies in a symbiotic relationship.There's a LOT that I'm leaving out. I don't want a repeat or for things to get worse.

3.) My kids
The rules that are being made today are going to impact my two daughters, both under the age of three. Some people have the luxury of only thinking of themselves while voting. Some say that they flat out don't care about the educational system or healthcare reform because it's not in their backyard yet. I want to find a way to improve the quality of life for both them and their friends; children don't deserve to walk into a mess of a system, or do without because times are tough. That means placing the country in good hands. I'm vocal about everything that goes on in their lives; why not this?

4.) A sense of action
Do I like some of the candidates this year? No. I think that there's a lot better out there, and that our system needs to change. However, I will not be complacent and wait for change to happen without acting myself. That's like using the Jedi Mind Trick to regulate government -- fat fucking chance that's going to work. You have your right to free speech and tell me that you can make a decision and not vote, but that's not going to put your candidate in the White House. That's like rooting for one picture to win at the Oscars and then getting upset when it doesn't -- you had no choice and no say. Your opinion didn't matter. It shouldn't be that way for government. If you just sit around and wait for the right candidate to magically get elected, you are entitled to do so, but I am equally as entitled to call you a fucking douche bag. It's lazy and apathetic, two things for which I have no use. You're just wasting resources at that point. If you're not going to participate in one aspect of government, you shouldn't reap the benefits. It's called freeloading, Kato.

5.) My friends and family
I have gay friends, Muslim friends, Jewish friends, male and female friends, friends who are single, friends who are in debt, friends who are struggling parents. Some of this is a reflection of what I face, but some of it isn't. The issues this election impact my friends tremendously. Does the issue of gay marriage directly effect me? No -- I'm not a gay woman seeking to get married and obtain the same rights and equal treatment of my heterosexual counterparts. However, I know and love people that are, and so I'm passionate about that. When I was a kid, it didn't matter what a person was in terms of sexuality or religion -- it mattered if that person was nice and treated me well, because I was a lonely child with a lot of love to give. For all intents and purposes, these people are as much my family as the people with whom I share DNA. As I've aged, I've continued to feel the need to fight for the people that love me unconditionally. That means that it MATTERS to me if someone who thinks that homosexuality is a sin and Muslims are evil gets into power. I will fight for these people because I love them. That means making sure that someone who wants to demean them isn't chosen to be our fearless leader.

There are many reasons to vote, but please, just do it. Don't be lazy or apathetic. You ruin it for the rest of us that actually give a shit.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008


A friend of mine passed this on her myspace blog today, and I feel compelled to speak about it:


I know that there are some nutjobs out there who happen to be Muslim, but let's be fair -- there are just as many nutjobs out there who happen to be Christian. It's just as bad to bomb a women's clinic that happens to perform abortions that has innocent patients in it as it is to bomb a marketplace packed with civilians. Either all of it is bad or none of it is bad -- you can't pick and choose when it comes to demeaning human life.

The fact that the Ohio police think that this is not a hate crime just baffles me. A group of Muslims are just as much of targets as a group of women, a group of gays, or a group of Jews. If this had been a group of Christian children, the media would have been screaming about this, and religious groups throughout the country would condemn this act as atrocious and hateful. Do Muslim children not deserve the same treatment? Don't they smile and laugh and want to play too? At the end of the day, aren't they just kids?

An act of aggression like this against children is unconscionable. It's downright evil. I wish that I had the words to articulate the extreme disgust that I feel at this moment, but every language that I speak fails me. Adults fighting is one thing (and even then, it's not right); attacking children is just LOW.

Moments like these spark serious fear within me. I am reminded of atrocities throughout history and in the present, and I fear the truth: the human race has learned nothing. It simply does not get the message when it comes to playing nicely with others. Christians have been fed to lions; pagans raped and conquered; Jews rounded up and slaughtered; Bosnians ethnically cleansed; Darfur... *shudder*. It keeps getting worse, as though genocide is in a game of one-upmanship with itself. No one makes an attempt at understanding someone who is different. All religions are guilty of it.

Someone asked me once if I was an atheist. My answer is the same: no. I have no use for religion because it corrupts. I think that whatever higher power there is has turned its back on this race in shame and weeps; we will never know anything higher than ourselves because we can not treat each other as equals worthy of respect. Every holy book has the same core message: love one another. Yet human beings need to have someone to blame and degrade; someone to get rid of for fear of polluting the atmosphere. There's always one group of people that isn't getting into heaven because of who they are, not what they've done. Nothing has changed over the course of human history. We are the scientific concept of inertia.

Are we going to start rounding up Muslims into interment camps ala the Japanese in World War II? Will we be smashing babies against a brick wall until there is nothing left of their heads like the Nazis did in the Holocaust? Will be be feeding people to lions as entertainment because they pray to a different god? All of these acts are extreme, but if we don't stop this shit right now and start learning how to live with each other, the list is only going to get longer. And years from now, when our grandchildren read about these acts, how will we be able to answer them when they ask, "How could you let this happen?" Would you say, "It wasn't me"? Or would you say, "I tried to fight it"?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't be angry when these things happen in our own backyards. Just make damn sure that you're going after the right people. Find the real terrorists; don't harm children. Don't become one yourself in the name of acting as god's warrior. I leave with the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Egads, no!

Walking out of Wegman's the other day, I spotted a pregnant woman, and it hit me: I miss being pregnant. There, I said it. I miss the swollen belly, the great hair days and the baby wiggling inside of me. Considering that I gave birth only eight months ago and had the pregnancy from hell (not to mention a colicky newborn), I'm a bit horrified with myself.

Thank the good lord for Mirena.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened At Work Today...

Today at work, one coworker remarked to another that she has a massive collection of post-its, which he called "posties." Another coworker asked, "Did you just say 'pasties'?" To which he replied no... then asked what pasties were. I was elected to explain that one. I had to explain to someone NINE YEARS OLDER than myself what pasties are.

The sad part: this isn't the first time that I've been the bearer of this kind of enlightenment.

This reminds me of two incidents with another friend of mine. A classmate and I were discussing Henry Rollins and his theory that this generation is going to be more hardcore than both our parents and our children; my friend asked, "What do you mean, hardcore? What does that mean?" At that point, he was my still my teacher, and explaining "hardcore" to your teacher -- even if you're not repressed and have a friendly rapport with this person -- is admittedly awkward because of the first thing that jumps into your head: porn. Let's be honest, we're all thinking it. Having that in your head while trying to explain the meaning of a new word is a bit daunting, as you want to simultaneously giggle and be serious. And yes, I did hold back on saying, "It's kind of like porn..."

The next incident was even funnier. My hetero life partner Theresa (T for short), my friend (the hardcore one) and I went out for dessert one afternoon. On the menu at this event: T and I had debated for a solid week if we should tell our friend about a Freudian slip that he made a good five months prior. This slip was probably the funniest one I've ever heard: he meant to say, "Did he mean that literally or rhetorically?" What actually came out was, "Did he mean that cliterally or clitorically?" To compound matters, he said this --- you guessed it -- while teaching a group of grad students. Three people, myself and T included, were the only ones to pick up on this (let me tell you, that is certainly one way to snap a bored girl to attention -- "Wait a sec, he said what?"). Being the only ones that heard it, we debated whether or not we should tell him. It was amusing, but we didn't want history to repeat itself. T decided to be the one to break the news. After five minutes of, "You said, um... well, um... you know, um... it's just... um..." I broke down and told him, "Oh, Jesus, you said 'cliterally.'" To which he replied, "No, I didn't... Oh, I did. Oh, great, don't tell me that -- now I'm going to say it again!"

Once again, Erin spreads joy, knowledge and innuendo to her friends and neighbors.

All of this makes me ponder as to why I'm the chosen one that wind up explaining this stuff. Should I have been a sex ed teacher? Really, I'm starting to wonder. Let's review: I've explained the terms "hardcore" and "pasty", and I've also told someone that he made the Freudian slip that pretty much sent Freud tumbling down the stairs to break his ankle. I'm beginning to wonder....

What's In a Name?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Doing My Duty

So I'm being called in for jury duty as of next week. This should be entertaining, as the last time that I went, I knew the defendant (cop who was busted for feeling up women during traffic stops -- doesn't shock me, as the asshole told my ex while I was standing right next to him that he had managed to land a great piece of ass. SWELL guy -- totally respected women.). I was supposed to go last year, but as I was heavily pregnant, I was able to get out of it.

On one hand, I'd like to serve. Now that I have a job that will pay me for being out (as opposed to last year, when I was heavily pregnant and working as a contractor), this could be exciting. We always talk about wanting to put the bad guys away, and yet no one wants to actually do the work. Likewise, everyone should get a fair trial -- we're not all there to blindly convict.

Then again, this could just be a product of me watching entirely too much Law and Order...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Huzzah for Science!

I would fucking laugh if this provided a mathematical equation that disproved the existence of god ala Smart Homer in The Simpsons:

In all seriousness, though, this is incredibly exciting. Scientists are creating the same conditions as the Big Bang Theory to see what will happen, and to gain knowledge as to how the universe was formed -- that is FANTASTIC! Given, there's always the threat that something could go wrong and a black hole could be opened up that would turn our planet inside out (I can see it now: Jesus standing there going, "That... was... AWESOME!" and God rolling his eyes behind him, shaking his head), but hey, no guts, no glory. The possibilities are mind-blowing. We could be looking at different dimensions, unraveling equations that we couldn't solve before, creating life on a whole new level. This is an amazing time right now.

Damn, I need to go punch the air.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Today, my 87-year-old grandmother looked at my back and neck and noticed that I have four visible tattoos. She commented, "Oh, wow, I never knew that you had all those tattoos!"

There's just one problem: she's known about all of them from the time I got each one.

It's sad to think that grandma's getting older, but nothing lasts forever.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Night at the Movies

My husband and I hit the Dryden Theatre last night to watch Grindhouse. Anyone who knows me knows that I love horror, especially the campy variety. There's something fantastic about the over-the-top gore and dialog that speaks to me.

One of the great things about seeing something at the Dryden: the previews. Last night, they showed some previews from bad B-movies of the 70s. My personal favorite was one for a film called The Uncanny. Plot in a nutshell: evil cats try to kill everyone. I laughed hysterically at this trailer. It was craptacular -- cats whining and hissing, and poor actors trying to look afraid (judging by some of these people, they looked as though they had barely mustered a "C" in their drama courses). Worse yet, it looked as though the cats attacking in the film were the product of a prop master throwing the creature at something. I can hear the director right now: "Okay, Susie, so you're scared, yeah, and this cat comes flying at you all whiskers and claws. Dave's going to throw him at you. Try your best to act surprised."

Some of the other highlights from the previews:
Devil Times Five -- five evil children are out to destroy your neighborhood, one pretty college coed and pruny-looking old woman at a time.
Blood Beach -- the sand is going to eat you!
The Pack -- they used to be your pets until you couldn't take care of them anymore and abandoned them in the woods; now they want to gnaw your face off. Go figure.
Jennifer -- a cheap imitation of Carrie, complete with a Robert Reed look-alike (the seventies years of The Brady Bunch, with the bad afro-perm) and horrific dialog ("The rich are always right!")

Then there was the movie itself. I have to admit that Grindhouse is one of my favorites from the past few years, if only because it's not the same drivel that studios try to push down everyone's throats. The film's tongue is firmly in its cheek. Besides, how can you not like the two films and the fake trailers? (On a side note, I would be the first person in line to go see Machete if someone made it.) Let's break it down:

Planet Terror -- Rose McGowan as a one-legged go-go dancer named Cherry Darling fighting zombies -- genius! The fact that the film jumps from the big love scene to a missing reel, and then suddenly the bar that everyone's gathered at is on fire! Naveen Andrews collecting testicles! Josh Brolin covered in goo! And then, the best yet, Freddy Rodriguez playing an infamous character whose back story is explained only on the missing reel. I fucking love it.
Death Proof -- Zoe Bell is the bomb. I take that back: Zoe Bell is the bomb diggity. Ditto to Kurt Russell. The car crashes/chases are fantastic. We need more movies like this. My only complaint: Sydney Poitier needed to put some shoes on. I had seen the movie before, but I still managed to get completely skeeved out by the fact that she was walking around a bar shoeless. Ever heard of warts, sweetie?

Overall, it was a wonderful experience, with the exception of one thing: the people behind me. Not noisy, but smelly. I'm all for being a bohemian, but dammit, soap can be made by hand -- I don't need to smell your funk all night. So if you're reading this, please, take heart: WASH UP!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Judging by the reaction that I got the first time that this one went around, I've decided to repost and expand an entry from a previous blog.

Tinkering around one fine day in June, I found a good piece on the net while working -- a very good study about how men are unlikely to marry for fear of an unhappy marriage. Unfortunately, Yahoo took the article down, so I can't reference it here. DAMN YOU, YAHOO NEWS!
This gave me a chance to review some of my own feelings on the subject. Marriage is an odd issue with me. I don't think that everyone needs to run out and get married. If my husband had said to me, "I don't want to get married," would I have been upset? Probably -- I'm the kind of girl that wanted to get married, but if he was that opposed to it, I wouldn't be willing to throw out the love of my life over a piece of paper. I probably would have wanted some sort of ring because I like the symbolism behind it -- an unbroken circle, given in trust and love. The band is more important than the rock. It's the assurance that he's not going anywhere, which is far more than what some women get, even in mere words. I would have been much more upset if my husband had nixed the idea of kids. That's a deal-breaker for me, as that was something I wasn't ready or willing to give up. I've made that call before -- not easy, but necessary. We would have been unhappy in the long run, and I wasn't about to force someone else to change to meet my dream. That's not love or partnership otherwise; it's manipulation, and you can't claim to build a life with someone if you're willing to deceive him along the way.
Okay, so, back to the point. This article raised some good points for me. In the age of divorce -- often nasty, manipulative, and frequent divorce -- I can see where a man would rather be single than have someone wreck his world for years on end. While I wouldn't do it, some women don't think twice about using kids to get back at their ex-husbands; it's slimy, but it happens. The women that use their kids as pawns wreck it for the rest of us trying to do the best we can, whether we be married, single, divorced or widowed. Likewise, there's the financial aspect of it: divorces can cost a lot of money, and some people would rather stay together than face financial ruin. With the cost of living continually rising, two paychecks are often needed, and if you don't have a roommate in sight, living on your own could be impossible. This creates another set of complications, which I feel can be far worse: staying with someone who makes you miserable. It's a rational fear, and with some aftershocks of the generations who refused to divorce their way out of bitter unhappiness, it's with absolute pity that I nod quietly and give these men a free pass.

That being said, there are other factors that are debatable. Some men don't get married because they don't want kids. While I love my children, kids are definitely not right for everyone. It's a matter of choice and knowing your limits. You like playing with them and handing them back, but you don't want to be up at 4:30 in the morning? Great -- thanks for being upfront! Believe it or not, you can like children and not want your own if you recognize that you're not ready to shoulder the responsibility of being a grown-up all the time to someone who is totally dependent. If you're confident enough to say no, I can respect that and admire you for your candor and honesty. I don't think that the childless-by-choice are evil. However, it's also not a valid reason to rule out marriage. Not every woman wants kids; a piece of paper won't magically change that. A woman's ticking biological clock has nothing to do with a wedding band, though the two tend to be associated together heavily due to societal expectations. Marriage may have been started as a way to ensure legitimacy of property succession, but it's not its sole purpose anymore. People marry for love now, and people also have babies out of wedlock all the time. You don't need to have a baby unless if you want to. This is why you talk about this long before marriage, and if it comes up again, you keep talking about it. If you don't talk, things go horribly wrong. Your marriage won't suddenly turn to shit in a matter of two weeks -- it's a gradual process that involves two people.
Likewise, women don't get to be petty, controlling and nagging overnight -- on some level, whether you want to admit it or not, you know this about her long before you marry her. Whether or not you choose to accept this is your responsibility. Does my husband annoy me to pieces sometimes? Yes, but I don't believe for a second that I don't drive him up the wall. You take the person as a whole, not with the idea of "he/she will change due to my love and hard work." That's self-delusional bullshit. People change because they want to, not because someone wills it. Yet there is still the hope for some that their man (or woman) will have a breakthrough and realize how much they need to improve themselves to be "good enough" for their spouse. That's dangerous, though.

How is that dangerous? Setting the bar high can only lead to further failure. This leads to depression, which leads to regression. There's striving to better yourself, and then there's trying to outdo a martyr. Once again, that's not love. Those that do this want a person that doesn't exist, or at the very least, someone very different from whom they married. You shouldn't fall in love with someone's potential -- fall in love with smiles, gestures, good times, bad times, the promise of growing old together. Will this person drive you nuts? YES, but this person loves you the same way: wholly and willing to grow. Don't set an impossible goal and expect the person you pick to conform to it. That's not fair.
There is one issue that I feel I'm still on the fence: those who don't get married for political reasons. I'm all for societal rebellion: I married a Deist who hates authority; my kids aren't baptized (nor will they be as children); I'd dye chunks of my hair blue if I could get away with it at work. Society does need to get the stick out of its ass (at the very least, switch to a fun sex toy). Some elements need to go, like this dedicated hatred of gay marriage and oppression towards women. In this respect, I can commend the mentality, but at the same time, it seems to undermine your cause. If you don't want to oppress women, then give your wife the right to choose whether or not she can govern her reproductive organs, and don't force her into a life she doesn't want, whether it be working or staying at home. Likewise, not getting married if the gay couple next door can't seems to place a stamp on marriage that says it's not necessary, but if it's not necessary, what are you fighting for? You have just proven that you don't need a license to be happy and have the same benefits, but those are the two important rights that these couples want. It's not about the piece of paper, it's about being given the choice to decide whether or not someone could legally be tied to you, benefits and all. It's being treated like an equal human being. Me, I choose to be married and use that as my platform: I can do this, why can't Mike and Tom over there do it as well? Why exclude them when I am no different? If I choose to have a baby and be a wife, can't I be happy to have a choice? I can see why someone would protest that way, but it strikes me as not being fully thought through. Let's face it, if you're doing something to be a nonconformist, you're just conforming to something else. It's not original. And no one wants to be a poser.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


So, here it is -- the beginnings of my blog. Spurred on by some of the positive feedback I've gotten thus far from my Myspace brain-spewage, I've started up here. Some postings will be serious, some will be not-so-serious. Good-bye, cloistered postings -- hello, wide-open spaces.