This is Tonight

Milla, desiring to become the next FooPet idol, sings bland, corporate lyrics over and over while washing dishes. I am grateful she is washing the dishes; I am not grateful for her musical choice while doing so.

Isabel slumbers, stirring quietly as she dreams.  She likes to stand on boxes.  Tonight the box she chose was minuscule and unsteady, which caused her to topple over on her back, banging her head and making her cry.  Only Mama and milky could soothe.

My body does not want me to eat pancakes. It lets me know in no uncertain terms that eating pancakes is not an activity it will allow, and that if I do, I will suffer.

Why won’t Safari give me the option of saving my passwords?  The box that offers such a convenience is checked.  I don’t like typing them each time.

 

Pointless Rambling

Do you ever have a day where it feels like there is a burr in your ass?  I didn’t start out the day feeling that way, but ever since I woke from a midday nap I have felt increasingly cranky.  I’m sure a lot of it is that I did not get enough sleep last night, and the other part is that I’ve got a damn cold again, and my voice is nearly gone, and by the end of the day I’m frankly sick to death of squeaking rather than speaking.  I finally decided it would not even be a good idea to work on my book because my attitude would more than likely worm its way into the text and I don’t need that.

All this said, I have the cutest, sweetest, most adorable baby on the planet sleeping next to me and just seeing her fills my heart with love and joy.  She is perfection.  Tonight in the car, she picked up her chubby, sandaled foot and held it to her head like a phone.  “Lo?” she said into her heel, her toes to her ear.  What could be cuter than that?  Sweet adorableness.  I’m in baby love.  Older daughter was actually kind today too.  She had me come in and cover her with blankies before going to sleep, then I cuddled her and accidentally poked her in the eye.  This required kisses and loves.  At least she didn’t snarl at me.  I’m not in love with this snarly, surly age. I hope we get through it intact.  I foolishly believed I would be immune from adolescent angst in my child.  Oh how wrong I was…

It Continues Unabated

I have believed my entire life that good will prevail, that the greed of imperialism and corporatism would fail, that eventually in the battle against those who seek power for its own sake, who destroy this lovely planet for their own narrow gains in the moment, would all lose in the end and we would embrace one another and our home as sacred.  I have believed that the selfishness of the individual who isn’t at the top of the corporate or power ladder would somehow dissipate and there would be more balance between feminine and masculine energies.  Even though imperialism has spread from one place to another and destroyed entire populations on every continent, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake, I thought ultimately, those who seek harmony with our earth and one another would ultimately prevail.

Yet I realize that it continues to get worse, as it always has–Europe stole Africa, North America, South America, the South Pacific, India, and Australia. Europe’s North American protege steals from Asia and the middle east. Imperialism has taken the entire planet.  My country is killing people all over the world.  My country takes what it wants and cares not for the consequences to the people from whom it takes or the planet from whom it takes.  My country steals from this planet, all in the name of greed and power, regardless of the long term result.  My country does all this while waving its flag claiming its superiority over everyone and everything.  What a mockery of true superiority.  What a mockery of all that is decent and good.

The reality is that imperialism and greed have won, are winning, will continue to win until there is nothing left.  Our race learns nothing from the mistakes of the past, because we as individuals did not experience them.  The last victims of the Holocaust are dying off even as new versions of it have continued, nearly unabated.  In spite of all evidence to the contrary, America and its citizens continue to ignore global climate change, pretending it isn’t man-made so they can continue to live as they want unabated because making any changes beyond clicking a button on a mouse or sorting out some recycling is the limit of what they are willing to do.  We take from the Mexicans through imperialism and corporatism, leaving nothing for them in their home place, then beat their citizens in whatever way possible to keep them from trying to escape. We take from China and southeast Asia through imperialism and corporatism, allowing anything that makes us more money, while ignoring flagrant human rights violations.  We take from our oceans. We take from our land.  We take and take, and on, and on.

I look around at the world and, while I recognize that giving up hope of stopping what we are doing to one another and to the planet would be akin to joining the dark forces, I simultaneously realize that those who wish for something different are fighting a losing battle.  I suppose there is some miniscule percentile of a possibility that we can stop them, but reality is grim.  I fear it is going to take a global Holocaust, not just of people, but of the planet, to force people to realize that the pursuit of wealth and greed will destroy us.

How to Tell if a Cantaloupe is Ripe

Standing in the grocery store aisle, I overheard another customer ask one of the customer service people in produce how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe.  I don’t know, said the clerk.  I think you tap on it and if it sounds hollow it is ripe. He was not correct.  Well, not completely incorrect, but the method he was offering is definitely not the best method for checking the ripeness of a cantaloupe. This is not the first time I have heard this question asked, and I rarely hear the correct answer.

I grew up on a small farm.  Although it wasn’t huge, we grew  many things.  One of these many things was cantaloupe.  In late summer early fall when the sun was still hot, I would run up my parent’s driveway after school, grab a couple of melons, take them into the house, and eat them warm, straight off the vine.  There was nothing more sweet and delicious, the sunny orange flesh nearly melting in my mouth.  My mother had learned to grow cantaloupes (also known as muskmelons) from another small time grower, who probably learned the same way.  Via anecdote, the growth and ripening of the plants traveled to the side of our hill, south facing and perfect for cantaloupes.

The best way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is to smell the small circle at the base of the melon where the stem used to be.  If it smells sweet and delicious, the melon is ripe and ready to go.  The thing about cantaloupes is that once they are taken from the vine, they are only ripe a very short time before they break down and decompose. This means that a lot of time in the stores, none of the melons will have this smell.  This is because none of them are ripe. They can’t pick them ripe because they would never make the journey to the store in time. If you find a melon with this sweet smell, eat it within a couple or three days, or it will be moldy before you know it.  Although, as is often the case with fruits and vegetables, you can lengthen the time until they are too ripe by putting them into the refrigerator.

The other way to tell a cantaloupe is on its way to ripe is the color.  Cantaloupes are covered with funny beige lines that look like sea coral.  Underneath, if the melon isn’t ripe, it is a sagey, greenish color.  Once it ripens, the entire melon turns beige to match the funny lines.  A melon without the sweet smell but colored all over that cantaloupe beige color will be ripe very soon.  These ones are your best bet if you aren’t planning to eat your melon right away.

What it is it about thumping that so many people find useful?  When melons aren’t ripe, their flesh is denser.  With honeydews and watermelons, whose rinds contain lots of water, it is easier to tell when thumping on them whether they are dense or not.  Not so with cantaloupes. Their rinds are like burlap and not watery at all.  Someone who has handled large numbers of them might be able to tell, but the method is not foolproof and often people end up with cantaloupes that need another few weeks to ripen.  Use the smell test–it works every time.

That’s the scoop on cantaloupes. Enjoy!

Oh for Cryin’ Out Loud

I’m a bankruptcy attorney so I am often in contact with collection agencies and whatnot.  I have been doing it long enough that I have also seen a bunch of financial institutions come and go.  It is amazing how many bottom-feeder, rotten-ass lenders turn around and change their name because they are such scum, even people with the worst credit ratings won’t touch them.

One of these is GMAC.  They are now Ally!  They announce it with an exclamation point on their envelopes and return addresses.  Guess what?  We changed our name so now you can pretend we aren’t the same law-breaking, loan sharks we have always been!  Sorry GMAC, or Ally, or whatever.  You still suck.

Another is American General Finance.  Total loan sharks.  Total bottom-feeder scumbags.  Now they are Springleaf!  Ah, how fresh!  How springlike!  How green and new!  No.  The only thing green about them is their diarrhea color. When I saw that they had become Springleaf, I actually exclaimed, “Oh, for cryin’ out loud!”  Hence the name of this post.

People out there in America, if you happen to read this, don’t borrow money.  If you do borrow money, only do it for a home loan.  If you do that, don’t borrow it from a bottom-feeder loan shark. If you are borrowing from a bottom-feeder loan shark, you can’t afford what you are getting the loan for.   Leave them all alone.  They’re horrible and they don’t deserve your business.

Ouch

I had a dental implant put in yesterday.  It was fine as long as I was doped up on ibuprofen.  Apparently though, that was keeping the pain at bay because it woke me up in the middle of the night hurting.  I left the prescription ibuprofen in the car.  Milla left the non-prescription ibuprofen somewhere besides where it goes. This meant I had to get up and go down to the garage and open the car in the middle of the night and get the ibuprofen.  Just the act of rising and transporting myself to the car, retrieving the ibuprofen, and returning was enough to increase the throb to the point where I knew sleep would be futile.  Now it is the middle of the night and I’m awake and this hurts.

I hope it stops soon.

The Gap is so Dumb

The Gap is so dumb.  Okay, I know my even saying that is dumb, but seriously, it is.  I don’t love the Gap.  I don’t like their business practices very much, plus some of their stuff is really expensive for what it is (although I realize their model is to price really high then get people to buy on sales).

Anyway, even though I don’t love them, I will go in there for t-shirts and things because they are one of the few places left that sell t-shirts that are not so thin you can see through them. I hate that trend.  I think the stores want us to think we are supposed to layer them or something, but that’s a load of baloney.  First of all, once a person is past 24, layering a bunch of t-shirts looks ridiculous, like you’re trying to be 19 again or something.  Secondly, if you are more than 98 pounds, layering a bunch of t-shirts just makes you look bigger and if you’re already bigger than you want to be, why would you want to look bigger still?  Finally, I think their pretending like that is what we are supposed to be doing is a load of crap.  Retailers just want to charge the same price for a crappy thin t-shirt as we pay for one that is woven more densely, that way they make more money for less product.  That’s the ultimate point, I think, to get us all used to thin, junky t-shirts so we think the thick ones are a luxury and they can charge more.

Again, anyway.  The point of my saying the Gap is so dumb is that I bought this shirt at the Gap recently on clearance (their model, get you to buy on clearance because that is all their junk is worth), and it had this tag on it that read THIS FABRIC IS PURE SPRING, LIGHT AND AIRY WITH A SOFT SEXY DRAPE.  Wow.  Seriously?  Having worked for my very feminine, gay uncle in his fashion designing business, I have to ask, “What drag queen came up with that bullshit, anyway?”  Pure spring — seriously?  Soft, sexy drape?  Um, no.

Another reason the Gap is stupid is that lately they have been trying out this “sexy drape” thing on many clothing items by sewing in horrible folds and creases in places where there should be none.  It’s like they want to permanently place an ugly wrinkle after wearing something to sleep in.  For instance, they have these tank tops with straps that are bent, then sewn, then bent.  Basically, it makes the strap not lie flat.  I don’t want straps that don’t lie flat because they don’t lie in a straight line either, which means half the time my bra strap is hanging out.  Now, there are tops I will wear with my bra straps showing because that is the look, but this tank top is not one of them.  It looks like a dressy tank top only it has this ugly, weird twisty strap thing going on, and you can’t iron it out.  Unfortunately, when I bought the shirt, I thought the strap was just messed up and needed to be ironed, so I bought the shirt.  Unfortunately again, I bought it with some things I bought for Milla, she carried the bag, and she put the receipt inside the bag.  This means that when we got home and she dumped her things out and I forgot about my shirt for a few days, by the time I remembered it and realized the strap was a big mess, the receipt was lost.  This did, however, provide me with an opportunity to explain to Milla that she should place the receipt in my wallet from now on, so all was not lost in the cause, although I don’t think the lesson was worth $18.99.

In any case, I have this weird label here from another shirt I bought there on clearance.  This shirt was only like $4.99, down from $78 — seriously, Gap?  Seriously?  Are you smoking crack? Do you think ANYONE in their right mind is going to buy this junk for that?  — But I digress.  The shirt in question is made from some kind of drapey fabric.  It is made to wear under a suit jacket or something, which is what I bought it for.  But it too has a weird flap sewn in that makes zero sense.  When I bought it, I noticed the flap and examined it carefully to see whether I could sew or iron it into something normal.  I could, and the price was right, so I bought it.  I had also tried on many others with weird twists or drapes or whatever the hell that I did not buy because they were such big messes, there was no way ironing or sewing would work things out, but this one was okay.  I also tried on some pants where they sewed in messed up, wrinkly cuffs.  I don’t like messed up, wrinkly cuffs.  I like my cuffed pants to have the cuffs lying flat and even all around.  Ewww.  Did not buy those even though they were only $7.99 or something on clearance. The ridiculous cuffs were probably why they were so cheap on clearance.

So I bring home this shirt and hang it in the closet, then take it out to iron the weird wrinkle thing and see this tag and have to wonder about the drag queen who wrote it. Actually, it was probably a committee of drag queens because corporations love committees to come up with stupid things to try and get people to buy.  The drag queens are probably the kind who can’t get a job at Calvin Klein or Prada or whatever, so they are working at the Gap trying to break into the business.  I don’t know.  In any case, they come up with these stupid sewn in wrinkles and flaps then add a tag that says PURE SPRING, LIGHT AND AIRY WITH A SOFT SEXY DRAPE.  Another aside, Gap, if you are going to use the one comma, why not go all the way and use them in other places too, like after the word sexy?  But again a digression.  I had to laugh.  You think you can sew in weird flaps and the clothing item is now going to have a soft, sexy drape?  No.  It doesn’t work that way, especially on mass-produced, sweatshop from China crap from the Gap.

I’m just saying.