Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

  

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Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks
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 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Tuesday
Mar312009

Caw Occasion, Part Two

Has anyone wondered why this post is entitled Caucasian -- er, I mean, Caw Occasion? Other than the obvious reference to crows, that is? Anyone?

Hang tight and I'll tell you.

On the same day I was obliged to run thieving crows off the place, I learned that one of our daughters has been passing for white.

As you might imagine, it was a shocking revelation. Not quite Imitation of Life shocking, but close.

She had worn her medium-length, chestnut-brown hair straight instead of loosely curled that day.

Our middle girl, Erica, is employed by a massive government-subsidized insurance conglomerate. In her pod of 18 workers, 14 -- including the supervisor -- are black.

For the most part, relations among all parties are cordial. It got a little dicey around late October, early November of 2008 -- necessitating circulation of a stern memo from upper management stating that whomever brought up the subject of politics while on the job risked being severely reprimanded or even fired -- but the culprits straightened up and a crisis was averted.

Besides, Erica likes her coworkers and they seem to like her. Being a sweet young lady and part Irish, she gets along well with most everybody. She just smiles when her black colleagues make fun of her Josh Groban wall calendar while allowing that even they listen to "W People" music now and then.

But when Erica came home and shared this bit of blarney: "I found out today I'm not white," she rendered her father and me all but speechless.

(Yes, there are rare moments when I cannot think of a thing to say ... but I usually recover very quickly. I will thank you not to snicker.)

Turns out Erica had worn her medium-length, chestnut-brown hair straight instead of loosely curled that day, and several of the ladies at work had commented on it. She replied, teasingly: "Just trying to look young and hip."

(She gets that expression from me, and I got it from Charla Krupp. In Charla's wonderful book How Not To Look Old, she teaches you how to look Y&H -- Young and Hip -- instead of OL -- Old Lady. In my opinion that's VUI -- Very Useful Information.)

Immediately the women of color reacted to Erica's choice of words. "No, you don't say hip; you say in," they lectured, turning their elbows out and pointing fingers sort of towards the floor for emphasis.

Erica, puzzled but also a tad irked, shot back: "Why ... because I'm white?"

That's when they said it.

"You ain't white," someone asserted. A few others agreed.

The way we are, the way we have always been, is simply too odious to contemplate any longer.

To prove their point, the women pressed Erica to reveal the nationalities of her parents' ancestors.

"My mother's were mostly Irish and my father's were German," Erica responded.

"See, that's not white," she was told. "When you fill out a form and you get to the box for 'Race,' you got to check 'Other.'"

Oh.

So now, apparently, my daughter (and by natural extension, the rest of our family) can't even belong to a specific race? We cannot refer to ourselves as Caucasian or White but should be labeled Other?

The United States Census Bureau says differently. I looked it up. Not that I needed to.

It's mystifying that the nice black folks alongside whom my daughter works don't want her to be white. What stake could they possibly have in that? Perhaps even more astounding is these people's apparent belief that simply by saying she's not white, they can change the fact that she actually is white.

After all, human beings have no say-so regarding the race into which they are born. Nor have they power to alter it.  It's not as though Erica was given a choice of races, picked white, and (until now) has been getting away with something.

Part of the solution to this conundrum lies in recognizing the copious amounts of White Guilt being heaped upon the average White American's head every day, as if to imply that the way we are, the way we have always been, is simply too odious to contemplate any longer.

We are being made to choke on the generations-old guilt that clings to us no matter how many amends -- whether substantive or symbolic -- we desire to make, attempt to make, or are forced to make. No number of taxpayer-funded government programs, entitlement policies, welfare dollars, affirmative actions, or mortgage giveaways can stanch the flow of deserved White Guilt.

Any demographic in America that includes being white, being to any degree educated or prosperous, being socially and fiscally conservative, and/or espousing adherence to any standard of conduct that might smack of faith-based morality, is the new clubs-baby-seals-just-for-fun type of sick, disgusting, undesirable sort of person.

And if we who are painted with that brush don't like the characterization, or openly disagree with those who promote it, one catch-all term sums us up neatly: Racist. Or, better yet: Homophobic Puritanical Racist Wasteful Polar-Bear-Killing Selfish Profiling Warmongering Earth-Plunderer.

Are you able to recall the last time you saw an ad that addressed the problem of syringes and other drug paraphernalia languishing in landfills?

It seems that the White American has become the new iconic Ugly American, while the Ugly Capitalist is becoming the new iconic White American.

It's as though we should now be willing to relinquish our precious hard-won freedoms while feeling appropriately contrite that we've enjoyed them for so long.

But it ain't only White Guilt in those big liberal backhoes, y'all. There's so much more to feel guilty about!

Being predominantly Irish, I was chagrined to learn that even the name "St. Patrick's Day" is no longer considered PC ... sure and begorrah, some have suggested we now need to be callin' March 17th "Potato Day."

(That would be a white potato; right?)

(Actually, I'd agree to it if St. Patrick would come back and run the snakes -- black, white, red, blue, green, rainbow-hued -- out of Washington, like he did in Ireland.)

An ad on television depicts a person snoring in their bed, a plastic bottle of water on the nightstand. Beneath this peaceful scene appear the words: "A moment on the lips, forever in a landfill." And then: "Drink Responsibly."

Are you able to recall the last time you saw an ad that addressed the problem of the millions of beer cans -- or for that matter, syringes and other drug paraphernalia -- languishing in landfills? You never have and you never will ... and yet you must feel guilty if you drink water from a plastic bottle.

And yes, I know that aluminum cans are recyclable ... but so are plastic bottles. If they're not, why do I throw my Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi empties -- along with a myriad of other plastic containers -- into a recycling bin?

I was opening a food item in my kitchen recently. Printed right on the label was the claim that the packaging itself was "responsible." People, I'm sorry, but packaging cannot be responsible; only people can be responsible.

Speaking of responsible people, last Saturday was "Earth Day" -- which meant that, for an hour in the evening, we were all supposed to turn off every light in the house. Being disinclined to acquiesce to that request, we left ours blazing.

Rather than wallow in guilt for his tactile proclivities, one kid had his friends duct-tape his arms to his sides.

(By the way, Al Gore didn't find it convenient to participate in the symbolic global blackout either. Someone sat outside his place to make sure.)

(Maybe his Nobel Prize is afraid of the dark.)

And speaking of lights, you're dispatched on a year-long guilt trip with nothing but a toothbrush and one change of underwear, a hissing cockroach your sole companion, if you still use incandescent lightbulbs in your house. You'll have to pry mine from my cold, dead hands.

And speaking of cold, as part of a "cool cars" initiative, certain powers-that-be in California have suggested outlawing black cars in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions! The plan has been tabled for now, but imagine being forced to either buy a new car, paint your existing one, or walk everywhere, just because your car is black! Think about it ... dark-colored cars bad, light-colored cars good. Something tells me that won't go over well.

And for the environmental masochist who just can't get enough guilt, there's always the special gizmo designed by a Swiss lady. You wear this "techno-garter" on your leg, and if you use more than your allotment of electricity or fail to talk nice to your "carbon-fixing" house plants, it drives stainless-steel spikes into your flesh!

On second thought, I'll take one of those ... with a side of Johnny Depp.

Just this week, kids in a Massachusetts school were forbidden to continue hosting a monthly ice-cream social fund raiser (the proceeds from which have benefitted a local soup kitchen) because ice cream isn't "healthy" and besides, their selling it constitutes "competition" for the school cafeteria (which also sells unhealthy ice cream).

Kids in a Connecticut school can no longer touch, even to do a "high five" or hug one another when something good happens, like their team scoring a point, or acing a test. Rather than wallow in guilt for his tactile proclivities, one kid had his friends duct-tape his arms to his sides (did someone have to touch him to do that?) in protest of the new rule.

This nonsense emanates from schools where the nurse hands out oral contraceptives and condoms -- completely guilt-free! -- like lollipops, without informing parents.

(I wonder why students need those if they're not supposed to touch one another?)

I have a feeling upper management would get involved in that one, supported by the human resources department.

I find it ironic that if young people want to eat ice cream and goof around and enjoy being kids, they're made to feel guilty about that. But if they want to be sexually intimate and behave like adults, the school gives its tacit imprimatur, conveniently conceals their behavior from their parents, and even provides props.

And all of the above takes place in schools where, if you feel like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or saying a prayer, you have to skulk from the room and go to a dark, lonely place where you won't offend anyone.

Another television ad -- this one for retailer Stein Mart -- features a female shopper enthusing over the stylish bargains to be found at the chain's stores. At the end of the pitch she hazards a supposition that even Michelle Obama would enjoy shopping at Stein Mart. Then she goes all shy and hesitant and asks, as though worried she's been guilty of crossing some sort of line: "Can I say that?"

Yeah. Yeah, honey, if Stein Mart will pay you to say it, you can say it. No worries. With all due respect, the Obamas aren't royalty. Yet.

What will we be required to feel guilty about next? Baseball? Apple Pie? Mom? Breathing? Smiling? Singing? Working? Wishing? Worshiping? Loving? Hoping? Existing?

But I digress.

Imagine with me, if you will, the hue and cry that would arise in the general atmosphere if my oh-yes-she-is-white daughter told one of her black coworkers that they belonged to no race, but should always check "Other."

Or worse yet, if she referred to them to their faces as "B People."

I have a feeling upper management would get involved in that one, supported by the human resources department, a grievance committee, a few trial lawyers, Al Sharpton, the NAACP, the ACLU, and for all I know, the FBI and PeTA.

As for said "Other" daughter -- she of dubious ancestry -- I hope she figures out a way to make her podmates eat a bite or two of crow ... albeit in a nice, kind, politically correct, "W People" sort of way.

 

Thursday
Mar262009

Caw Occasion, Part One

NOTE: My darling readers, let us reserve comments until you have read Caw Occasion, Part Two ... which I will post early next week! Have a wonderful weekend.

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A few days ago as I sat shackled to my desk, deadlines looming, I had the opportunity to witness God's nature and God's creatures behaving in ways altogether pleasant, comical, intriguing, and cautionary.

The reason being, TG and I share an office that is actually a sunroom with windows for walls, which windows afford a view of our deck and pool area along with some of what might be loosely referred to as landscaping.

We don't put too fine a point on that landscaping part. We do the best we can. Let's move on.

When he reached the first platform-type step leading to the house, he hopped up.

As the weather was very fine, Javier -- pronounced hah-vee-air or the diminutive hah-vee ... a/k/a Columbia's Finest Chihuahua -- was spending the day outdoors.

It was in fact the latest in a string of fine days ... temps hovering around 72 Fahrenheit with relatively low humidity, deciduous trees tenderly leafing out, dogwoods blooming, an abundance of breezes as balmy as they were fragrant, birds trilling excitedly, squirrels scampering madly along the privacy fence and amongst the branches.

Springtime! You get the picture.

In an effort to ensure Javier's complete comfort and enjoyment of the day, I had placed on the deck his cushy doggy bed, a supply of fresh water, and -- because he sometimes prefers to dine al fresco -- a dish of Purina Little Bites, his canine cuisine of choice.

(Or, our choice. Javier eats what we provide. To quote the tuneful, philosophizing mice of Babe fame: "It's the way things are.")

Periodically, to break the monotony of transcribing tedious testimony, I glanced up from my computer screen to watch Javier basking himself in the sun (it's so funny the way he squints), noshing on his kibble, or wandering around the entire area, checking his messages and sniffing at the wind.

Every now and then a flurry of furious barking would ensue as he decided to inform the birds and squirrels, as well as the 75-pound dog on the other side of the fence -- and for all I know the universe at large -- that of this bailiwick at least, he is master and commander.

Late in the day, as the shadows lengthened, I became aware of a commotion  -- a roiling ruckus, as it were -- outside, skyward. I needed to stretch anyway so I vacated my chair, went to the window-door, and looked up.

Crows. At least a dozen -- big, carbon-black, and all het up about something -- circled, whirling, in the airspace above our house and yard. A dozen more dominated the branches of our huge oak and the surrounding tall conifers.

Their aggressive and insistent language -- Caw! Caw! Caw! -- filled the atmosphere.  A cacophonous chorus of corvidae!

I watched for a few minutes, then went back to my desk, beginning to think about dinner.

Apparently I wasn't the only one. Almost immediately one of the crows touched down about two feet from pool's edge, on the concrete. Impossibly dark and shiny, oversized and intimidating, full of himself, he surveyed the area briefly before strutting towards the decking. When he reached the first platform-type step leading to the house, he hopped up.

I pray they receive the treatment the gate-crashing crow got from me.

It was then I knew what the crow was about. Without further ado, he commenced chowing down on an impromptu meal of Purina Little Bites. Casually, with no sign of fear or guilt (possibly because, when feeding, crows post sentinels), he consumed food that he had neither worked for nor been invited to share, and which in fact had been intended as sustenance for another party. Food that had been paid for by TG and me, with earnings secured by honest hard work.

Let's cut to the chase. Without benefit of a by-your-leave, the crow was eating my money!

I concluded that he is a Democrat. The fact that he is black is entirely incidental and not at all germane to the discussion. Do not call me a racist because that hound won't hunt.

Oddly however, throughout the episode our brave Javier (a staunch Republican) was nowhere to be seen.

Reminds me of Republican members of the 111th Congress! Where are they these days? As our liberties, livelihood, and last nickel are being madly consumed by a faaaaaaaar-left Democrat president and his quasi-criminal communistic cabinet, why are those who supposedly represent the rightful owners of this bounty -- i.e., product of the proverbial American Dream -- deathly silent?

Has all the Kool-Aid been consumed, or have they saved some for the next session? Have conservative congressmen and women been bound, gagged, and consigned to the grievous gaol of Compromise Anything But Whatever You Do, Get Reelected?

I believe they have. With few exceptions, those elected representatives who should be standing and fighting for the right against an unprecedented tidal wave of social and economic liberalism have been made prisoners of their own insatiable greed for power, position, and pelf.

And I hope they have a surprise coming next election ... as in, I pray they, together with their Botoxed and bedizened socialite spouses, receive the treatment the gate-crashing crow got from me.

I stormed outside and hollered at him to get out of Dodge, and he did, a single dot of kibble in his beak. He -- or one just like him; we didn't bother with introductions -- came back a few times to steal more, but I was ready for him. Eventually all the crows flew away, obviously having decided that the pickings weren't rich enough for the hassle they were getting.

Mah peeps, methinks there may be a lesson in there somewhere.

To be continued ...

 

Saturday
Mar212009

The Special Olympics Of Presidencies

On March 19th, while a guest on Jay Leno's late-night talk show, President Obama joked that his prowess in the White House bowling alley was on a par with "the Special Olympics or something."

Wow. Take Barky's TelePrompTer away and things get marginally interesting ... it's a little bit like White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's inane and repeated reference to the "tick tock" when he gets a press corps query he doesn't want to answer.

(Oh, how I miss the delicate beauty and genteel deference of the coolly professional Dana Perino. And she represented a real, actual president!)

Two days before the special olympigaffe, President Obama, with a straight face, graciously welcomed his own self to the White House. He was reading the Irish Prime Minister's speech from the electronic binky.

Loose lips -- even historic ones -- still sink ships.

As if credulity were not adequately strained that the President of the United States couldn't tell the difference between his speech and the guest's speech the first time around, when Prime Minister Cowen caught on (must be the luck o' the Irish), Mr. Obama returned to the screen of the crime and repeated the mistake!

That's got to warm the cockles of your heart.

Seriously, though ... when a sitting president's TelePrompTer starts its own blog, don't you think it's time for change the rest of us can believe in?

TG and I have a granddaughter who is a special needs child. We were not offended by President Obama's tasteless remark, because it is pointless to take offense.

The thing to do is take action ... and we will. The next election cycle starts in ... oh, I give it ten minutes ... and we'll be involved at the grassroots level in the GOP effort to reclaim the White House and what's left of America.

Meanwhile, allow me to opine that President Obama's remark comparing the abilities of those who compete in the Special Olympics with his own skill at the White House lanes, was not a slip of the tongue as some have suggested.

I believe he went on The Tonight Show fully intending to say what he said. He said it because he meant it. And why should that surprise anyone? You didn't think Obama was going to take a swipe at black folks, did you? Or tax cheats or terrorist sympathizers or crooked politicians or social elitists or baby killers or illegal aliens or communists or transvestites or tree-huggers or Hollyweird types or people who think they've been reincarnated as long-dead presidents?

Naw, y'all! He chose to compare his bumbling performance at the bowling alley with folks who struggle to get out of bed, get dressed, and feed themselves in the morning ... and then lay it all on the line to compete in challenging games of athleticism, devoid of that deadly sense of entitlement, refusing to coddle themselves or to blame anyone for their lot in life, or to waste time attempting to rewrite history.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama have been blessed by God with two beautiful, apparently normal daughters. Sasha and Malia attend Sidwell Friends, avoiding inconvenient contact with the public school hoi polloi. They are getting an exotic Portuguese water dog and already have a $10,000 swing set. Maybe they're given a bite or two of that $100-per-pound steak at the weekly parties, while they rub shoulders with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Brad Pitt. Life is good at 1600.

I am happy for the Obamas that their children are whole. I am acquainted with the kind of wonderful bubble that the reality of healthy children allows you to live in, because TG and I were blessed with four such children.

Until Melanie was born with a cleft palate in December of 2004, the sum total of my knowledge of special needs children was anecdotal.

Not only is Melanie unable to do many of the things four-year-olds can do physically, but she has yet to talk. She's bright and obedient, funny and joyous, active and inquisitive ... but her developmental delays are heartbreaking.

And nothing is real until it's personal.

His politically expedient (read: obligatory) morning-after "apology" notwithstanding, clearly it does not strike President Obama as unseemly to poke fun at the physical limitations of special needs kids, even under the guise of public self-deprecation which I'm sure was designed to further endear him to his sycophantic personality cult followers.

But then, he was having a good time being cool, talking about how neat it is to fly on Air Force One, and basking in the fanatically fawning reaction of the live audience to his "historic" appearance on Jay Leno.

Everything President Obama does is historic! When a cell divides in his body, it is deemed historic.

But loose lips -- even historic ones -- still sink ships. The "historic" president who was described by Sean Penn (now there's a face only a mother could love) in his Oscar acceptance speech as "elegant" (do we have to redefine that word now too?) could learn a thing or ten from recent history.

Gaffes aside, the peril in which Mr. Obama has placed our beloved country is certainly historic. Never have so many American citizens been in danger of losing so much, so quickly, under the "leadership" of one so inept, so blatantly unqualified to lead. The magnitude and gravity of our current situation -- and I do not refer to the economy -- is truly and undeniably historic.

We are experiencing the Special Olympics of presidencies. Rack up the pins and somebody tell the TelePrompTer.

 

Thursday
Mar192009

I Forgot The Title

So, yours truly was standing in the greeting card aisle at Dollar General earlier today, wearing a hastily-donned uber-casual outfit accessorized with naught but dark glasses and a scowl, fiercely perusing the $1 birthday cards (those are the expensive ones).

Significantly, I was wearing zero-zilch-nada makeup ... hence the dark glasses. See, as a rule (and not one that was meant for breaking), I never ... let me repeat, never ... appear in public sans cosmetic editing. The only exception is when I walk in my neighborhood for exercise, and that's always after dark.

(Just doing me civic duty, sir. The rationale for this policy is, if you're unable to technically beautify the landscape, at least don't add to the existing eyesores.)

Apparently forgetfulness, like insanity, runs in families.

Also, I aspire to glamour. I will thank you not to snicker.

At any rate, there I stood, dark glasses for anonymity, scowl for the fact that I had neglected to buy my daughter a birthday card when I was out and about on Tuesday.

But that's not all I forgot.

We attend church every Wednesday evening, and occasionally we'll run an errand or two on the way home. Last night I needed to drop off some case-related copying at my agency's downtown office, and stop at the drugstore for the birthday card, which needed to be mailed today in order to reach our daughter on time.

And I forgot both.

The file-dropping-off part I remembered just as we were leaving church ... but of course I'd left the file at home. TG chivalrously deposited me at the domicile, retrieved the materials, and ran the errand for me.

Remind me to thank him again.

The card-buying part I only remembered this morning as I was preparing for a day of transcribing. I had not planned to leave the house today. The mailman comes in the afternoon. Aaaarrrrrrrgh!

So ... the greeting card aisle at Dollar General, this morning. I was dithering over the selections when I saw a pretty card that put me in mind of Erica (not the daughter having a birthday in a few days; that would be Audrey, her sister). Erica adores butterflies as a motif, and this card swarmed with the little suckers.

And, oh, look! It's a birthday card for a special sister!

Suddenly on an impromptu altruistic kill-two-birds-with-one-stone type of mission, I whipped out my cell phone. Still wearing my dark glasses, I looked furtively around while scrolling down to "Erica Desk."

Or so I thought.

Voice, oddly familiar but somehow wrong: "Hello."

Me, sotto voce: "Hey. Have you bought a birthday card for Audrey yet?"

Pause.

Voice, puzzled: "This is Audrey."

Pause.

Me: "Oh."

Voice, mirthless: "Heh heh heh."

Me: "Well, at least you know we're thinking of you."

Of course, she also knows we forgot to buy her a birthday card until the last minute.

And that her mother is picking out her birthday card from her sister, who, as it turns out, forgot too. Apparently forgetfulness, like insanity, runs in families.

At least we remembered which family member was having a birthday!

But I also forgot that we did not have any stamps at home. (TG used them all.)

I hope the postman liked those five dimes enclosed in the ersatz pouch fashioned from tape and a purple index card!

See, I forgot the exact price of one first-class stamp.

I did remember to write "Thank you!" next to the smiley face before I paper-clipped the purple pouch to the stamp-less card.

What's the name of that medicine for the early stages of Alzheimer's?

And why on earth am I telling you all of this?

I honestly forgot.

Sunday
Mar152009

Sweet Suzanne

I am burdened today for my precious next-door neighbor, Suzanne, who toppled from two short steps in her garage last Wednesday, breaking both her right leg and right arm. She is still in the hospital but she's going to be fine with the help and support of her husband Jim, their children, many friends, and of course her doctors.

Suzanne will be entering a rehab center tomorrow, to spend approximately three weeks learning how to navigate with her broken arm and leg. Jim told TG and me earlier today that it will be at least six weeks before Suzanne can do much of anything unassisted.

I guess she'll be needing a loaf of my banana nut bread, and believe me, she'll get one. I already bought her a beautiful bar of fancy soap and a get-well card.

Don't mean to be maudlin!

You see, ever since we've known them, Suzanne and Jim have been so thoughtful of our family. If you could put together the perfect neighbors from a kit, you'd end up with something pretty close to Jim and Suzanne.

With any luck, when I take that banana bread and the soap over to her, Suzanne will let me make her a cup of tea and we'll have time for a visit. It's always a pleasure to talk with her, and although we don't see one another all that often, I miss knowing she's next door all safe and sound.

Meantime, listen to another sweet Suzanne ... the dulcet-voiced Suzanne Cox of Cotton Valley, Louisiana, and her family's incredibly lush bluegrass sound. The song is a little bit sad, but that's just because it's the one I liked the best of the YouTubes that were available. Don't mean to be maudlin! All's well.

Happy Sunday, everyone!