Meaningless Blabbing

So I’m in California at this conference thingy and I’m all jumpy and wired.  I was sitting in the hottub at the hotel and finished the book I was reading and had this desperate need to write.  Then I realized that unless I wanted to write in longhand, I wasn’t going to be able to write anything.  That made me even more stir crazy.  It was like knowing I couldn’t do it was enough to make me jump out a window.  Then of course I realized it is 2008 so it is likely the hotel has a computer for use, it is almost 11, and no one would be on it if there were such a computer available for guest use.  I was right so here I am.

Problem is I have this urge to spill but a lot of what I want to spill is stuff I don’t really want to write about in a public forum.  Maybe it’s because I can’t get to my private journal at home I’m all antsy?  Maybe, maybe not.  I’ve been this way all day.  Up and down.  I’m lucky because I found a book at the airport by an author I adore.  It isn’t serious writing, just a good story that keeps me entertained and makes me laugh.  It kept me occupied most of the day, kept me from letting the brain take over as it is wont to do on occasion.  I’m not like this so much since a lot of stress has alleviated in my life, but I have my moments and I’m having one today.  Maybe I’ll settle in tomorrow.

Anyway, they have a fifteen minute limit here and I still need to check email and my other blog so I’m off to it.  At least I could pour out these few meaningless words.

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Rebate Rant and Personal Update

I hate to break it to the government, but sending people their tax refunds for next year early does not constitute a “rebate.”  Rather it is a loan on money taxpayers would receive back next year.  It makes next year’s tax refund smaller.  Excusing the stock rebate or bill of exchange definitions, a rebate is a refund on something already paid for; it is not money you get on something before you’ve even paid for it, like taxes.  I’m sure there are those who love getting their money now, nothing like immediate gratification.  And actually I think it is best for people to calculate their withholding in a manner that helps them to break even at tax time because overpaid taxes are interest-free loans to the government.  But I just can’t stand it that this early refund tax money is called a “rebate” when that is not what it is.  Have fun next year when you fill out your forms and discover your refund has been reduced by whatever amount you receive now.  It’s also annoying to think a bunch of people spending this money is going to stimulate the economy.  The economy needs more than consumer spending to pull it out of the toilet.  Get used to it, the economy is shit for lots of deep-seated and difficult to fix reasons.  A bunch of Americans going shopping or buying gas isn’t going to stimulate anything.

Enough of that soapbox.  I spent the day preparing for my trip to San Diego.  I am soooo excited to be heading down there.  I need the break.  I need the sun.  I’m looking forward to the conference I’m going to, as well as the people I’ll meet.  I can’t wait!  However, the trip necessitated several activities on the home front to prepare for a) Milla going to her dad’s, b) Milla’s birthday, c) leaving a house that is for sale for four days, and d) digging out clothes from the far-reaches of the closet that will be comfortable in warmer weather.  Plus I needed to pay bills and balance the checkbook and do all that regular-living stuff that bugs the crap out of me.  Overall, it’s been a very busy day.

I don’t leave until Wednesday, but because tomorrow I don’t get to spend much time at home at all, I had to finish most of the preparatory stuff today.  I also have a job interview tomorrow!  Woo hoo!  I’m excited.  It seems like a really good opportunity.  It’s part-time, but would bring in enough income to keep me comfortable until the house sells.  Also it is working with an attorney who seems to be pretty down to earth and practical.  I like that.

After the job interview, I’m getting my hair done.  I love having my hair done.  I love the girl time at the hairdresser’s.  I love the conversations with the women in the salon.  I love the way my hair looks.  I love the way my hairdresser is also a masseuse so she rubs my head and shoulders.  I love the jazz they play on the salon station.  Basically, I love going to get my hair done!  I don’t love paying for it, but that’s okay.  It’s a nice trade-off.  And if I were earning money, paying for it would not bug me in the least.

So I had busy day today and I will have busy day tomorrow, then I fly off on a plane at 10 am on Wednesday to sun and fun.  Yummy!  I will not have access to a computer so I’m not going to be able to write.  Well, that’s not true.  I’ll be able to write in longhand and I do that when I can’t write on the computer.  It probably looks to anyone who reads this blog like I haven’t been writing anyway, but that is not the case.  I have another blog I have been writing on.  I also have two articles I’m writing and I worked on those as well.  So even though it looks like I’m not writing because I’m not keeping up here, that is not the case.

I’m going to bed soon.  I am vibrating.  I’ve been keeping late hours and it’s starting to make me a little groggy, especially when I have to get up.  It’s one thing to keep late hours when you can sleep in.  It is quite another when you have to get up and pretend to be a functioning member of society.  So off I go to pretend to be a functioning member of society.  I know it’s all an illusion, but I can pretend, can’t I?

Please Advise this Would-Be Diplomat

So I think maybe I get why Congress can’t pull its head out of its ass about the Iraq war and do something different that moves us towards stabilization in the region and ultimately allows our soldiers to come home. The reason I’m able to understand this is that I’m kind of like Congress right now in this war between my chihuahua and the man I’ve been dating.  Destabilization between my chihuahua and the man has increased rapidly since our three hour car trip on Sunday when the man kept bugging the chihuahua and finally the chihuahua bit him on the thumb. He has been telling anyone who will listen about the bite, pointing out the scab that has formed, and I’m sure making it sound like it was a completely unwarranted attack on the part of the chihuahua, but it wasn’t and he knows it. In the meantime the chihuahua has become an even worse parasite on his mama, following me into the bathroom and wherever I go just in case there might be a man lurking somewhere around a corner.

Things have devolved now to the point where if the man looks at my dog, my dog makes a very angry alligator face and growls at him, then hides under the bed, then the man attempts to chase the dog out from under the bed to get him to make the face, the face is made, and it all continues. It is very bad. I am occasionally able to step in and separate them, and in that regard I’m more effective than Congress, but I am only one person you know, so it is easier for me to step between a rather large hunky man and a tiny chihuahua, but I’m not sure how to broker peace in the region. I’m really not. I work the diplomatic angle with ITMHMBBINS. Hey, can you please chill on the chihuahua? Then the man gives me the innocent face, I didn’t do anything. He’s just growling at me. Then he makes a face at the chihuahua, the chihuahua growls and makes his own face, and we’re back in battle.

I’m really at a loss. I’m fully cognizant of the fact that this situation has occurred because the man thinks it is fun to do things to the chihuahua like spin him around on slippery floors and slide him down slides. I get that. It can be kind of fun. But I know when to stop because chihuahua has had enough and the man has no clue when enough is enough and pushes chihuahua to the breaking point.

Did I mention this is not his first bite? As far as war wounds go, you wouldn’t think it, but the score now is chihuahua three, the man zero. The man was bitten on the nose one night after a particularly long and bloodless fight. Shots were fired on both sides. Both had retreated. It was dark. We were all battening down the hatches for a good night’s sleep when the man went in for one last growly face at the chihuahua. The chihuahua bit him on the nose. No blood was drawn, but in one swift nip, war was declared. Not many days later, chihuahua bit the man for real, on the hand this time. Acting first as intermediary and secondly as infirmary, I bandaged the man’s hand with a bucking horse bandaid and admonished him to leave the chihuahua alone.

He did not heed my advice. The war has escalated. The two are able to function only with me between them. Sometimes if it is dark, the chihuahua will curl next to the man, blissfully unaware he is sleeping near the enemy. The man allows this knowing it is likely I will bonk him on the head if he interferes with the chihuahua during sleep. It’s just not soldierly honorable, you know? But I’m at the end of my diplomatic abilities. I simply do not know what to do. I know there are those who would tell me to tell the man to take a hike for torturing my chihuahua. I know there are others who would tell me to put chihuahua in the basement when the man is around. But the first group does not realize how amazing the man is with other animals and the second group does not realize that separating the chihuahua from my body amounts to a surgical procedure and to lock him up when I am home would honestly amount to canine murder because he would have a stroke. So I’m really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. If anyone has any ideas how to broker peace in the region, even some contributions for a treaty or something, I’d be really thankful. Such offerings would be most welcome. Then maybe if I’m successful I can hand off the plans to Congress to work on the Iraq war.

Doesn’t matter how you slice it

You can argue for or against the death penalty all you want, but the issue still comes down to acceptable forms of murder. If we murder someone for murdering someone else, we as a society are sanctioning the murder of the murderer. Alternatively, if we kill someone for doing something other than murder, we are sanctioning this form of murder as well. In either case, we are saying that it is okay to kill someone under those circumstances.

Go ahead.  Claim it is “the state” doing the murdering, like the state is some giant amorphous blob.  It’s not.  There is a human on the other end of the button or the needle or the trigger or whatever form of weapon is used to end the person’s life.  Sometimes there is a group of people, just like a corporation.  The state is comparable to the court system, in some regard.  Doesn’t matter.  Still comes down to an acceptable form of murder.

I’m not arguing for or against here.  I’m just pointing out that if you are for the death penalty, you sanction murder.  It is as simple as that.

lara’s pessimistic attitude

I did some research on home inspectors. In Oregon, they have to take 6 hours of classes and pass a 200 question test to become licensed. Then they have to take a class once a year. That’s it.

I have concluded that home sale inspections have been created as a way for home buyers to feel like they are doing their due diligence in home purchasing and to provide an easy way out of a sale if buyers get cold feet. In reality, I doubt they do much beyond that. I’m sure there are times they catch something important and it’s checked, but most of the time I bet they provide a lot of misinformation on what they think is there and miss a lot more that should be noticed. Otherwise why would construction defect law be the biggest area of law in Oregon? It sucks when an inspector does like mine did and said something was wrong when it wasn’t, but imagine if the electrical were on the verge of exploding or the sewer so backed up it barely functioned, but the inspector didn’t notice. Four months later the new homeowners are buried in exploded shit? THAT would be a travesty.

My counselor is retiring. I had my last appointment with her today. I will miss her. I liked having someone I could go and complain to for an hour a week. Maybe that’s why I’m so negative today. And yesterday. Nah. That’s not it. It’s my squirrelly life, that’s what it is.

It’s 3:24 in the afternoon. I think instead of doing something productive like working on this article I’ve been working on I’m going to go hide under my bed covers instead. That way when things go bad later I can blame fate and take no responsibility. Sounds fun.  I must not forget that I am the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People.  There is always that.

Just Gotta Love It

It is unbelievable the content of questions on ABC’s debate between Obama and Clinton. It was an hour into the debate before the moderator asked any questions of substance on issues that affect anyone. Until that point, the content was pure nonsense, sound-bite, reality television, tabloid fodder ridiculousness. Of course the entire thing was lampooned on Jon Stewart, as it should have been. After seeing the Jon Stewart piece I found and watched the actual debate, but had to turn it off after ten minutes because it was too painful to view. Utterly remarkable.

As it is, those of us with brains will lament this state of affairs through emails and the sending of this video to others who share our views. Obama sent out a bulletin on myspace complaining. I’m sure liberal bloggers everywhere are writing all about it. Editorialists will provide their opinions. And you know what? Nothing will change. None of it. We’ve gotten so overloaded with information and crap and constant noise in the background and tabloid television and reality everything and commercials in the grocery stores and never silence anywhere that this too will pass. Tomorrow something equally shameful will occur, we’ll all cry a river, and in the noise and constancy it will continue. It’s depressing. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is an expert. Everyone is talking. No one is listening. The only thing that is changing is that it is all getting a bit worse every day. I know this is a bit of a pessimistic response to the reality of today’s world, at least in these United States, but it’s an honest response. I think anything else would be foolishness.

In my personal life, I continue to live and learn or live and not learn. It is what it is I guess. I don’t know. Lately I’ve been thinking maybe I should just chuck this brain and its efforts at enlightenment and go live on a beach somewhere with my daughter and my dogs and ignore the rest of the planet. It is very easy to want to bury my head in the sand. I know, I know. I’ve heard it before. You’re intelligent and educated. Use that to help change things. But I don’t think I can do anything outside the scope of my little world. Hell, I can’t change things inside the scope of my little world, why would I ever have the audacity to think I can do more than what I already do?

Yeah, I’m pessimistic tonight. I am what I am. I have this negative streak that runs through me. I can’t escape it. C’est la vie.

Land of the Stupid People

I am the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People! I love being a QUEEN! It is so much fun. Do you want to know why I am the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People? Because I am, that’s why. Because I have had trouble after trouble after trouble after trouble with my cussword computer and my internet connection. I finally ascertained that it is something to do with my wireless so I went on down to the handy dandy computer store and purchased myself fifty feet of ethernet cable with which to connect via wire. I plugged it all in and viola, it still didn’t work that great. It did at first, but then it went back to the same old crap. I troubleshooted. I rebooted. I thissed. I thatted. I still had problems.

So tonight I was sitting here trying to do God knows what on the internet and my computer kept up it’s usual blather, quitting, running slow, running quickly for a minute to get me all excited, then slowing to a crawl or stopping altogether and on and on. I decided since it is near eleven, I would call Qwest yet again. There wouldn’t be a wait at eleven at night. I know this. I know the timing for getting a human rather quickly because I am an experienced Qwest technical support caller. I have called them MANY times. I know their number by heart. I know the words to say to the automated system in order to get to a person in the fastest possible manner. Something to note, saying Fuck You to the computer automated voice makes the voice say, I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. It’s funny. Something else to note. Qwest hates me. I have called them and gone through every troubleshoot possible. I’ve had the wire replaced to my house since the wire came from 1945. I had the wire in front of my house replaced since it was frazzled and needed replacing. I have been through four modems and three computers. Over the last several years, I’ve had many technicians in my home. Sometimes they fix things, sometimes they don’t. It’s hit or miss. I have not called them in some time since I decided that the latest issues are my computer’s and related to this wireless issue.

Anyway, I called the little techie tonight. I went through the rigmarole of proving I’m me, verifying my address, verifying my phone number, giving my permission to access my account, all of this even though I am the one who called in and asked for help. Tell me, why would I call in and ask for help then tell them No, You don’t have permission to access my account? Who would do that? Actually, I might call in and try it just for the hell of it. Give some techie some fun. Just wondered what you would do if I said no.

The techie had me check some things. Actually, I was already where he wanted to send me. I went to the network connections place and saw that I was connected by wireless and not by wire. This even though the wire is strung across the middle of my house. The techie had me troubleshoot several things. No matter. The light for ethernet cable would not light up on the modem. Then he suggested I reverse the wire. This means taking the end from the computer and plugging it into the modem and the end from the modem and plugging it into the computer. Okay, sure. If you really want me to crawl under the desk and behind the computer and do this, hell, I’m willing to try it. I even keep a flashlight under there for rooting around in the back of my computer.

Guess what I discovered upon my visit to the back of my computer? Guess? You know. The ethernet cable was NOT plugged into the back of the computer. How long it has been this way, I could not tell you. How it became unplugged, I could not tell you. I plugged it in and waited a few more minutes to pretend to the tech that I was indeed switching the ends. Then I got on the line and said, It worked! What a miracle! Imagine that, switching the ends made the internet work.

For Christ’s sake, sometimes I have to wonder about myself. How many nights have I cursed this thing since getting that damn ethernet line and it’s all been because I’m the QUEEN of the Land of the Stupid People? Amazing. It is amazing I graduated law school and passed the bar. It is amazing I got an undergraduate degree with honors. Hell, it’s amazing I was able to complete KINDERGARTEN because a FIVE YEAR OLD could figure out that if you don’t plug in the cable, the line isn’t going to work. It’s as simple as that.

I’m going to go make a crown now and wear it with pride. That’s about all I can do.