Remember When?

Remember when the Web was small and not every square inch of it was considered a billboard for kitschy, tawdry marketing? Remember when you could type in a search word or phrase and if you misspelled it you didn’t end up at a triple-X site that hi-jacked your computer and planted 215 spies on your hard drive? Remember when people on the web were friendly and helpful and didn’t take their personal angst and nastiness out on you? Remember when Yahoo! and AOL were brand new and didn’t think they owned the world? Remember when surfing, a link actually led you to someone’s site, not to a directory of directories that led you to even more directories?

I wouldn’t mind paying a small fee to have that back again.

Just Ask Me #3

In response to Karma’s  three questions:

1) What is your favorite smell?
Freshly mown grass. It reminds me of when I was a very small child and my dad mowed the lawn. I think it’s the first smell I consciously remember.

2) Do you prefer stone, metal, wood or glass?
Stone, most definitely. I feel a very subtle energy running through stone; it vibrates against the palm of my hand. Most people think stone is dead, but it’s not. It’s living, being part of our living earth, which is an organism in and of itself. We have stone tile floors in our entry and bathrooms and I love their coolness under my bare feet.

3) Have you ever seen ghosts/spirits/fairies?
Yes to all three (and more). And none of them frighten me in the least.


Hey, Doc

Here’s a scenario for you. You’re sitting in an examination room of your doctor’s office, after a 45-minute ordeal in the waiting room, where you were exposed to every cold and flu that ever flurried around the runny-nosed head of every kid who’s been kept out of school with a fever and sneezing attacks (with no hand-over-mouth protection that should have been taught by the parents long ago). You’re feeling great! Never better! The doctor walks in and asks you what she or he can do for you.

“Well,” you begin, “I saw an ad on television last night that told me I should ask you about (insert name of new drug here).”
“Are you having any symptoms?” your doctor asks.
“Not that I know of. I feel wonderful.” you reply.
“(Insert name of new drug here) is for a collapsed rectum. Go home and quit wasting my time.”

Why do the pharmaceutical companies give us the lowdown on some new drug, all the benefits (10% of the commercial at a normal speaking speed), then all of the side effects (90% of the commercial at 78rpm), then never even tell us what the drug is for? I saw Dr. Andrew Weil on Larry King’s show last night. He’s predicting that the American health care system is quickly heading for a complete collapse and I agree, and the pharmaceutical companies are leading the way.

Most of us were raised to believe that when we need them, prescription drugs are useful, sometimes necessary aids in the healing of complaints and diseases. I’m not buying it anymore. Not when so-called “common” side effects include seizure, stroke, leukemia, and in the case of my own mother, thrombosis and death. Anymore, I resort to prescription drugs only in extreme situations. Our bodies build immunities to antibiotics. I’m walking proof of that. After having survived peritonitis twice (the first bout put me into a coma during which I had a near-death experience), I have to take massive doses of antibiotics just to whip a small cold. No thanks. I’d rather just ride the thing out with natural remedies. I’m not talking about major life-threatening conditions. I’m talking about the “inconveniences” we all experience from time-to-time.

I don’t like OTC cold remedies like Nyquil because I have a bad reaction to antihistamines. I figure, my runny nose, constant sneezing and coughing are just my body’s way of expelling the bug that’s lodged itself in my mucus membranes. If I dry everything up, he’s just going to stay there. Nope. When I get a cold I sleep it off, drink lots of orange juice and water, and get lots of electrolytes via chicken soup.


Blog Lite

Sorry I’ve been out of it a bit the past few days. I’m just so damned fatigued. I get up in the morning and everything I have to do — be the list long or short — looks like a mountain to me. Just the famous “Libra Lazies,” I guess. I still have the “All The Rest” archive page to rebuild. Meh. No one really cares, especially me, if it’s not done at this very moment.

I became a Live365 preferred member today. That means that for $26 every six months I have my pick of some great net radio with no visual or audio ads, and no interruptions. Plus, I now have access to hundreds more stations. I’m slowly building my play list and am enjoying that. I’ve been listening to Live365 for about a year, I think, my favorite station being an all-Mozart. That one, being a professional station, has no commercials anyway, but I also like a Baroque station. And since we’ve moved into the new bedroom and left the small stereo up in what is now the family room, we wanted to use my computer as our private music system, so that’s why we joined up. Now I need some better speakers.

It’s always something.
Sure hope I feel more lively tomorrow. I don’t like this sluggish crap. That didn’t sound right…


Random Brain Gas

~ We’re half moving stuff between the den and the master bedroom and half goofing off (hey, it’s Saturday, okay?), and I just woke up from an Ibuprofen-induced nap. We’ve gotten almost all of the little crap moved and all of the closets taken care of. It’s great having my own closet, one with room to grow. All of my Levis and black tee-shirts look kind of lonely in there.

Lynette introduced herself to the new neighbors across the street this morning. Seems they’re only here for three months whilst their house is being built. Too bad. She says they’re really nice. They sure have been spending a lot of time and energy decorating their front porch and yard for only a three-month stay. Guess I’d do the same thing.

I used to have really neat handwriting. Actually, I’ve always printed and had the hand of an architect or an engineer. Nowadays it’s just scribble. Damned internet.

What do you do with something you really like but has lost its usefulness? I have a beautiful forest green tassel that used to hang on the bedroom doorknob, but it lost the braided cord that I hung it up with. Now all it can do is lay on my desk, looking useless. Guess I could fix it. Wouldn’t be all that difficult.

There’s little scarier than looking down to see a huge sewing needle in the carpet, next to your foot.

I need another cup of coffee. Be right back.

I emptied the dishwasher while I was at it.

I didn’t even think of my Saturday crossword in the paper until this very moment. I must be coming down with something.


This & That

I have to shake my head in utter disbelief. Nathan came home from football practice last night and told us that there’s a play the team uses called, “Smear the Queer.” He doesn’t like it, so he doesn’t use it, but we’re wondering what we should do about it. If we make a fuss the guys on the team will make his life a living hell. It gets really difficult when you have to balance changing the world with protecting your kid. What the hell are they teaching at that school anyway? I’m increasingly growing discontented with this place. But on to other things…

The evil Wal-Mart wasn’t at all bad yesterday. The trick, you see, is to go in the morning before the college kids get out of bed. It was actually like shopping yesterday, not like braving the L.A. freeway system. As much as I hate dragging my insomniac ass out of bed to take Lynette to work (we have only one car and six people, three of them teenagers), it’s worth it if only to ensure an enjoyable shopping experience for myself, not to mention the freshly stocked shelves and associates who haven’t yet grown grumpy from the dumbasses who flock there. When is this town going to give us a selection of super markets? Sheesh! We have a population of over 40,000 (without the OUS student body, I believe and the populations of tiny bergs like Perkins, Hennessey and Pawnee). Who does one have to sleep with to get another store? We have an Albertson’s (too expensive), an IGA (too small, not enough selection a neighborhood grocer, actually) and the evil Wal-Mart. C’mon! There’s talk of another Wal-Mart going in here on the west side of town. While I’d rather have a Super Target, at least another Wal-Mart would cut the traffic in the ice cream aisle down by one half, and shopping for the week’s groceries wouldn’t take two full hours due to congestion at the checkout. I know what’ll happen though. By the time they start getting more selection in everything here (we have no really good places to go out to dinner either everything is fast food and sit-down fast food, being geared toward the student population), we’ll be leaving for Vienna.

Speaking of Vienna:
Lynette and I have been discussing what of our belongings we’re going to have crated to take with us. Turns out, not much! Some things we’re going to sell and some things we’re going to give either to our friends or to the kids once they’re in their own apartments. I thought this would be a sad process, but we’re so looking forward to getting a fresh start and leaving the things behind that came from our past marriages (the dining set and hutch are from her marriage and the coffee table, stereo, and miscellaneous tables are from mine. The one piece of furniture I’m taking is my wingback chair, and that we’re going to have reupholstered once we’re there. Meantime, I’m clipping pictures from magazines and catalogs and putting them in a binder so that when the time comes, we can go out and find the kind of things we want for our Vienna apartment.

On the computer:
I got rid of the InsomniaCam until I get all the archive pages restored. I can’t even begin to think of trying to figure that crap out.

A word to the wise:
Never drink milk when eating broccoli at dinner.


Happy Birthday, John

It’s nearly impossible to believe John Lennon would have turned sixty-five today. His influence on my life has been astounding, not for having been a Beatle, but for who he was as a human being. When I first put it together that he was a Libra and I was a Libra, I made the decision that if I was going to be a Libra, I was going to be a Libra like John Lennon. Having him as a role model throughout the years, I’ve seen how that decision has only helped me to be a better person. Not without his human foibles — and not ashamed to reveal those in ways that were sometimes painful to watch — John taught me to own my humanity, faults and all, and to look life squarely in the face with an attitude of, this is who I am. Sorry if you don’t like it. It has never let me down...


I Suck

At poker, that is. Ville and Beau invited us over to play Texas Hold ‘em last night. Beau just got some new professional grade chips and they’ve been trying to get “Poker Night” established for a while. After the day we had, it seemed only natural to carry on with the absurdity, so we accepted. On our way to their house we stopped by the Stillwater Airport to watch the away team leave in their Frontier A319 Airbus. That’s such a great jet. Our trip from the States to Amsterdam was in an A330 and we loved it. We got to the airport just as the jet was making its taxi out to take-off position. Perfect timing. And when it left the ground it was right in front of us. We then headed on over to Ville and Beau’s house. (Side note: The Buffs wiped the floor with our Cowboys. What a miserable loss.)

The hilarity began the minute we walked in the door. We pour drinks, then tucked into a great dinner of bratwurst, sauerkraut and baked beans (yeah, I know…). Nettl had never played before, so she sat out and observed a while. When she finally felt brave enough to be dealt in, she (pretend) pouted for a while, saying things like, “I’m going to lose. I don’t understand” and so forth. On her first hand she cleaned house with a straight flush. We weren’t buying that anymore and showed no mercy. She finally just wiped us out and we had to reclaim everyone’s chips and start over. As usual, I lost. I did score a straight, but mostly I sucked.


I Got Up Early For This?

It’s 8:00 on Saturday morning. A morning breaking too soon after a night of playing online poker with Ville, drinking too much boxed wine and eating too many Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Lynette is gently waking me, telling me my coffee is already made. She then gives me the bad news: “Don’t forget we’re going to the Plasma Center today with Ville, Liebchen.”

We’ve never donated plasma before, but with two short paychecks we need money if our family of six wants to eat this weekend. Plus, rent is due. My stomach aching, I stumble out of bed and take a shower. Then the Cheetos hit me.

Note to Self: Never, ever, under any circumstance, eat those again. Especially with boxed wine...