plato caligula lucifersam apollo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

State of Being

And Dubya even gets to play a chimp again...

being john mccain


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I found the niftiest feature on Google Maps last night. On the left hand side, enter your origin by the green "A" circle, then your destination by the "B". Not only will it give you directions, it will also plot it out on a map. But the best part is, you can MOVE the A&B markers on the map manually. The blue map lines will snap to roads like they're magnetic. It's really fun to play with. I was easily able to figure out how long my bike trips have been (previously I had to drop screen prints of the maps into Photoshop and measure was a PITA, especially since CS3's measure tool doesn't work like PS7's. The only disadvantage is that it doesn't recognize our bike trails (which happen to be marked mostly by railroad routes, because that's what they previously were) as "roads". Since the bike trails are usually more direct, i.e. a cowpath, (sometimes they're actually longer) than roads which involve a lot of right angles, the results will be a little longer, so I have to cut off some tenths of miles, or in some cases, add some.

I realized I haven't written down my latest trips, so here we go:

Friday September 12, Afternoon, Badger State Trail: Henry Rd., Basco, down to County Rd. D, Belleville. Trip didn't start out that bad, but as it progressed, I kept getting insects all over me. I stopped to apply my natural bug repellent all over my body (used in jojoba oil in a roll-on, which was all I had at the time I'll concoct a witch hazel and water blend (with the active ingredients, of course) and put it in a spritzer instead) but I think it only made it worse. Although the active ingredient essential oils serve to repel insects by smell, when you're riding your bike through a swarm of insects, you can't help to bump into them regardless if they like the way you smell or not. The jojoba oil actually caused them to stick to me, so I had collected a whole bunch of insects on my body. It was especially gross when they made their way down my cleavage. It was gross. It was also exhausting. I wanted to turn around at Frenchtown Road, but I think it was Stan who suggested it wasn't very long of a ride, so we go further. Thing is, we didn't find any other cross roads to park on for when we start the next time. So we went longer than I wanted. On the way back, I felt like I was going to pass out. My head was hurting (headache) from the helmet, and I was swerving around because I was riding so slow. I was afraid I would end up in the ditch. Here's the weird part: when I checked my cellphone when I got back to the car, all it showed was that numbers had been depressed...and those numbers were? 911. Yes. 911. I thought maybe Stan had (without my knowing because I was "out of it" and oblivious) had grabbed my cellpone out of my fanny pack, pressed 911 just in case I had passed out on the trail it would be "predialed", and then put the phone back in my fanny pack. Why would he put it back in my pack when it would be better to keep it with him? I figured out that the numbers 911 were actually from the prompts I had to push to speak to a customer service rep on ebay a couple days before. Odd that it was 911. Afterwards we went to Culver's in Verona to get something to eat (I was dying...I needed something) but the drive-thru was filled with post-soccer game moms and kids so we went to Michael's Frozen Custard instead. No line, but we had to wait forever. We were destined to wait, regardless of where we went. I made Stan buy me a banana split. I didn't like it...I didn't like the pineapple...tasted fishy. I thought banana splits were bananas and chocolate and ice cream (or frozen custard). But what do I know? I never had a banana split before. Yes, you read right...I never had a banana split before. And I'm 47. I made him trade me the split for his muddy banana (chocolate and banana) which was better. I don't think I'll order a banana split least not there.
Miles one way by car: 3.9. Adjusted for bike ride: approx. 3.5. 7 miles total. Longest trip to date.

No riding that weekend. It rained.

Monday September 15, Afternoon: Trip to Post Office. Stan said it was easy to get to the post office on the bike! Bullshit! First, there's the bike path near our house, which is nice, but we have to get off at some road in the mid-century suburbs, then ride through confusing mid-century streets of boring homes, then go to another bike path in a park which is being torn up, so we have to walk our bikes through the park, then we have to go on a really busy street...I got to the really busy street (I'm not doing it...I'm just that paranoid of bad traffic and bikes...I'm just not doing it.) and I turned around and told Stan it was bullshit...go ahead, I'll meet him back in the park. He seemed a bit disappointed. But he had said earlier "if you don't want to go all the way, you don't have to". Typical guy, to tell a girl she doesn't have to go all the way and then be disappointed when she decides not to. Anyway, I waited for him in the park. And waited. And waited. I tried calling his cellphone several times. No answer. I was worried he forgot to bring it with him. What the hell was wrong, was he pissed because I didn't want to go all the way? Did he decide to go home without me? I tried one last time. He'd been detained by homeland security. See, he went into the post office with a bike helmet and a backpack, because, well, HE WAS RIDING A GODDAMN BIKE, FERFUCKSSAKE, AND HOW ELSE DOES ONE BRING MAIL ON A BIKE, MAGICALLY SPIN IT IN THE AIR ABOVE ONE'S NON-HELMETED HEAD? Asshole asks him what's in the backpack. WHATTHEFUCKDOYOUTHINKISINTHEBACKPACK? MAIL!!!!!! I hate George Bush and the whole fearmongering paranoid...!that guy's wearing a helmet with a backpack! SUV-driving crowd. Assholes. Anyway, if he wants to go to the post office on his bike without me and be detained by homeland security again, that's fine. But I'll pass. It's just too exhausting of a trip, and too dangerous for my liking. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE PUT A WORKABLE POST OFFICE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD?!? Stop'nGo's Little Post Office of Methheads and Crackwhorrors Contract Station hardly cuts it. You can't ship out of the country! They give non-official, illegible receipts. Lame, lame lame. Anyway, I rant and digress.
Total miles: who knows, who cares.

Tuesday, September 16, Afternoon, Badger State Trail: County Rd. D, Belleville to Fahey Rd., Belleville. Pathetic little ride through the lovely town of Belleville, which creeps both of us out for unknown reasons. Belleville is pretty on the west side, where there's a lake, but on the east side, where the bike path goes through, it has this creepy small town loud farm equipment noisy barn hillbilly SUV-driving quality. I was really tired that day, probably because of the stressful ride the day before. It was also really windy which made it hard. I could tell Stan was disappointed that we didn't go further, but I wasn't going to have a situation like last time where I felt like I was going to end up in the ditch from exhaustion. Afterward, we ate veggie sandwiches at Michael's for dinner. They I could eat one again, I guess, sort of like a grilled cheese with some big whoop. But there's only so many Culver's Norwegian Cod Filet Sandwiches one can eat. Will someone please add some vegetarian/fish items to a fast food menu? Give us some choices, will you?
Miles one way by car: 1.8. Adjusted for bike ride: 1.7. Not much difference. 3.4 miles total.

The next day I was suffering from exhaustion, Thursday out of town visitor, and Friday I had a doc appt. (yes, one of THOSE doc appts.) so I didn't want to sit on a bike seat after that. So no biking those days. BTW, after going off of all land animal meat and all my bike riding, my blood pressure was higher than last year. No surprise. I bloody hate genetics. I mean it wasn't BAD, but the top # was a little higher. Doctor wasn't worried though. Genetics suck.

Saturday, September 20, Noon, Military Ridge State Trail: Blue Mounds (Division Street) to just outside Blanchardville, County Rd. K. This was a really nice, long ride through the semi-creepy town of Blue Mounds (town looks like a western town with false-front stores). They were having a ya-hey fest in a park which was right by the bike path, so there were all these cars parked along the bike trail, which was rather annoying. So many SUVs, and why? Blue Mounds is the perfect place where they could bring the horse back. After Blue Mounds, the trail went past Blue Mounds State park, climbed a hill and went way out in the country. We got to the outskirts of Blanchardville. I don't know if it was because it was earlier in the day or what, but even though this was the longest ride to date, I wasn't as tired as other times. We both ordered Bananas Fosters from a Culver's in Cross Plains on the way home. I couldn't finish mine; ate all the bananas and the "Fosters sauce" (sort of carmelly...reminds me of tonka bean scent which I have as a sample--don't eat it--it's a killer blood thinner) and gave a lot of the vanilla custard to Stan.
Miles one way by car: 3.5 miles. Adjusted for bike ride: approx. 3.9. This is one instance where the auto roads are actually more direct because the bike trail did a really long circular route. 7.8 miles total. Longest trip to date.

Sunday: recovered from ride the day before.

Monday, September 22, Afternoon, Badger State Trail. Fahey Rd., south of Belleville, to Tunnel Road outside of Exeter. It was windy, although not as bad as the week prior. I think it's just a really windy part of the state. We came equipped with a flashlight for the tunnel, but didn't make it that far. We'll save that for the start of the next trip, whenever that will be. I think I'm a lot more exhausted for the afternoon rides than I am when we start out earlier on a weekend. We both ate another Culver's Norwegian Cod Filet Sandwich for dinner, except I could only eat half of mine and gave the rest to Stan. Need. Other. Vegetarian/Fish. Choices.
Miles one way by car: 2.5. No adjustment for bike looked really similar. 5 miles total.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Political Operating System 10.666



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

When I was a kid, almost every summer my mom and I would spend a few weeks at my grandmother's. This was a strange ritual in which my mom got her freedom away from my father which both of us enjoyed. We got to eat delicious steak and farmer's eggs and have real butter on wheat bread, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. We had wonderful vegetables grown by a local farmer, and I got to eat candy my mom would buy at a local grocery store. Food was delicious there, mostly because it was whole or partly financed by my grandmother. She was not rich, she was living on social security, but generous with whatever meager savings she had gotten from her deceased husband, my grandfather I don't remember. This was so unlike my father who had us eating the worst cheap frozen orange juice I simply couldn't drink, weiners and beans and ground beef, and margarine on cheap white bread because it was cheaper than butter. Not only did I get better food at my grandmother's, I got to live fairly stress-free and dad-free for two to three weeks.

My mom never learned to drive. She tried when she was young, then later when I was young, but she couldn't deal with it. Claimed it was her eyesight, her depth perception due to one extremely nearsighted eye and one farsighed one. Could be. I failed the depth perception question on my last driver's license test because my middle-aged sight is now doing the same very nearsighted eye and one eye getting increasingly farsighted. But they still renewed my license. And I wasn't always like that as she claimed to be. We didn't have "soccer moms" back when I was young, but whatever the equivalent was...moms to take us neighborhood kids on birthday party outings or whatever, I never had that. We'd always take public transit, or walk or I'd ride my bike. And being from east of the Mississippi makes a difference, as I found out when I moved to Wisconsin. There are more people here who learned how to drive as adults, not at 16 like I did as a teen in Colorado. Having grown up in southeastern Wisconsin with decent public transportation, my mom never felt not driving was an obstacle.

So because my mom didn't drive and because my dad didn't come with, when it came time to visit my grandmother, we took trains in the 1960s, and then in the 1970s we took planes. I don't remember the short trainride we took when I was still a little kid in Indiana. I do remember it was the Hiawatha Express that went from South Bend to Gary to Chicago and up to Kenosha and Racine. I have two odd memories of it, one was getting my pinky finger cut by inserting it in some air vent as a curious kid is apt to do. I also remember singing "Madamoiselle from Armentieres" (lyrics) or one of its many variations, outloud and loud, while my mom turned beet red and wanted to die of embarrassment, probably for teaching me the song in the first place. (The big question: Why would such prudish people such as my parents teach me a bawdy drinking song from WWI?) Another proud moment of punkish upsurpmanship from my younger days. I remember scratchy maroon velvet upholstery on the seats and maroon plastic on the walls...a maroon only slightly darker than the shade of red my embarrassed mom turned. The other trainride we only took once, and that was when we lived in Massachusetts. We had a sleeping car and our own private room. I slept on the top bunk and my mom on the bottom, but at night she let me come down to the bottom so I could look out the window and watch the night ride by. There was nothing more fun than riding a train across the country.

The plane rides were less memorable, probably because they were shorter and there were more of them, so they sort of ran together. I decided after my first one at 9 years old that I wanted to be a stewardess, (that is "flight attendant" in postmodernspeak) that and coupled with some swinging late 60s/early 70s TV show that featured stewardesses and their mod urban life that I watched, and the occasional stewardess girlfriend of one of the Odd Couple guys (A show that I only got to watch at my grandmothers for unknown reasons). Fortunately, we aren't held to our childhood ambitions. After we arrived in Racine, we made our way to my grandmother's house by bus. We'd start out at the airport and take a limo shuttle (filled with stubby, smelly, cigar-smoking businessmen) to the Milwaukee Bus Depot which contained an interesting collection of hippies, hare krishnas, sailors and pimps. The air was filled with unpleasant human odors and cheap food, and canned prerecorded sounds of "Wisconsin Coachlines Route Number blah blah blah is leaving for...Waukesha, Pewaukee, Oconomowoc..." The announcer pronounced these uniquely Wisconsin-sounding cities with a scratchy staccato enunciation..every single year the same recording, the same cities, the recording getting scratchier and less audible. I personally fixated on the word "Oconomowoc" and the way the announcer guy said it. I wondered what was in sounded odd, foreign. It was part of the unknown, mysterious Wisconsin, not the recognizable southeast corridor between Milwaukee and Racine. Oconomowoc was further west, out where it was hillier like that mystery place Madison, where my mom went to school, and the place that was my accidental future. Years later, Stan and I made an emergency pit stop at a Culver's in Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc was nothing special.

We'd take the Badger or Wisconsin Coachline to Racine, which was never as nice as the Greyhounds we'd sometimes take to the Denver Airport. It was scratchy, cramped and smelly and looked like it was from the 50s. As the bus eased out of the depot, the trip back in time began, as we drove past the derelict buildings in Milwaukee with winos lying on the street, yes, this was still the 70s, but as we drove through the countryside, and at that time there was still countryside between the two cities, time slipped backwards. By the time we hit Oak Creek, it was the early 60s suburbia, and then by the outskirts of Racine it was before I was born. Everything I was seeing then was from the view of someone else's eyes. It was no longer my world. I was someone else. I no longer had a father in another state living in a suburban area, for I no longer had a father. My mom was single, widowed, divorced, raising me on her own. We got off the bus at the corner by my grandmother's, a small, plain bungalow in a row of bungalows built aproximately in 1910. There was an old business across the street that might have sold shoes. People lived above it. A family. A poor urban family. I imagined I was one of the urban poor, fatherless and living with my mom and grandmother. I had no bedroom, I slept in the living room. I would find strange clothes in drawers and closets and put them on and pretend this was all I had. I would imagine years of this, sleeping in the living room until finally my mom and grandma decide to give me my own room and reconvert the dining room...except that would never happen. My mom would never actually leave my dad, although she would mention it in a hypothetical context "we could convert the dining room so you could have your own bedroom." But it would never happen, and I'd be shocked back into reality when we'd return to New York or Colorado. But for the time being, we had to get my grandmother's house liveable for us for the next couple of weeks, and that included cleaning, and going grocery shopping.

There were two main grocery stores (not counting a little market a few blocks across the street), Kohl's and Piggly Wiggly. Kohl's was south of grandma's house about half a mile. We used to have several Kohls in Madison, now we have none. Piggly Wiggly was a few blocks north. Although my mom liked going to Kohl's because she'd occasionally see a distant cousin working there, and their selection was bigger, Piggly Wiggly was the first place we'd go to because it was a closer walk, and after a day of flying, one can get pretty burned out. The only thing I didn't like about going shopping was having to bring my grandmother's shopping cart with us (the kind that folds out that hunched over old ladies in kerchiefs and stockings rolled down around their ankles grandmother was the model for that stereotype). But I liked the fact we could pick out food and my dad would have no say whatsoever that this or that was too expensive and he couldn't afford it. I was now an urban midwestern fatherless creature. I was not the person back home, back east or out west, punished and tortured and made to eat skeletal scrapings mixed with filler because they were inexpensive. We were buying steak. And popsicles. All the women working at Piggly Wiggly were older, older than my mom, even. And I'd even get to buy some candy, some carmel, walnut...I don't know what they were but I'd know them if I saw them.

Yesterday, Stan had to go to the dentist again, so while I took him out there, there being halfway to Cottage Grove, I ran some errands while he was being worked on. I went to the Cottage Grove post office, and to the Piggly Wiggly which is in a shopping center right next door to the post office. It's the only time I get to go to Piggly Wiggly as there is none in Madison. And I have to admit I feel an odd sort of nostalgia, considering my once yearly visits to the Racine Piggly. It makes me think of food unencumbered by my dad's strict financial policy. I thought I'd get myself some of those carmel, walnut...whatever they were...candies. Except I found none. So I pull up to a check out line that had its light on and and looked open. The young checkout clerk was cleaning off the glass scanner thing. She looked a bit inconvenienced that I was loading my groceries on the conveyor belt (well, she could've put up a "closed" sign) or told me she was closed if she wasn't ready). About 3/4 of the way through ringing up my items, she asked me if I had a Pig Card. That just sounded funny to me, and I told her I didn't. Then she really looked angry, angry because I didn't have a Pig Card. She hesitated a bit and then continued to ring my items up. I handed her my check, and she took it to someone else, who took it to someone else, who looked over at me and laughed and stared at my check and stared back at me, who took it to someone else. She came back and told me that they need to have a check approved if it's over $30 and the person doesn't have a Pig Card. I told her I don't shop there very often. Why would I have a Pig Card if I don't shop there very often, I wondered silently. Then we waited some more while someone else verified my check somehow and someone else asked me for my driver's license. There were about 3 grocery clerks there, all about half my age or younger, all nervously throwing darting glances my way at me as if I was a terrorist. All I wanted to do was buy some groceries, pay with my perfectly good check from a bank account I've had for a decade or more, and get back to Stan at the Dentist's. I asked her how can I get a Pig Card (notice they never volunteer any of the information...we always have to ask.) She explained, and so when I was finally able to be verified that my check and I were legitimate and I was not a terrorist or criminal, I stopped by the front desk and waited, and waited, and waited until finally the woman who had asked to see my driver's license earlier (who resembled a pig herself) appeared. It's like they were hiding, and didn't want to help me get the Damn Pig Card that they required I get! As I left, I felt all the clerks in the store were staring at me, a freak without a Pig Card! How DARE I buy groceries from them without a Pig Card!

Other grocery stores I go to in Madison have other ways of veryifying your don't have to be a card-carrying member of Pig Plastic in order to buy from them. I hate the card system...they're bulky in your wallet, they provide no discounts (although that's what they "supposedly" do) and all it does is gather your personal information and what you buy, so you can skew the demographics for direct marketers. They never required Pig Cards back in the day at the Racine Piggly Wiggly. I was going to that Piggly before they were born, hell, I'd venture to bet I was going to that Piggly before their parents were born.

Any half-hearted attempt to squeeze any remote sense of nostalgia out of a trip to Piggly Wiggly failed. You can't go home again, and you can't even go to your temporary summer home again. Go directly to customer service (Homeland Security) and pick up your temporary paper pig card. Do not pick up any candies you may have fond memories of. You can put new and improved lipstick on this pig, but it won't be the same pig. It's a whole other animal...a pack of cackling hyaenas perhaps?

I should be expecting my Pig Card in the mail in about 4 weeks, after which I should be a Happy Pig Camper.

In a Pig's Eye.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


No bike riding today...rainyish. Took some time to find frames for my new eyeglass prescription. I decided to bite the bullet: I'm getting progressive bifocals. Yup...this will be scary. I sure hope I can adjust. I also decided to get a new set of prescription sunglasses since my old ones are 3 years old and I don't think I can't see as well. Those aren't bifocals though as I won't be reading when I'm biking, passengering or driving. For the regular glasses I got some red wire/partially rimless frames with rhinestones on the side. I had a hard time deciding between the squarish purple plastic frames with a stripe of rhinestones on the front and the more upturned oval plastic ones with a tortiseshell pattern. I liked the color and rhinestones of the former and the shape and pattern of the latter. If only they made oval upturned purple tortiseshells with rhinestones. I decided to go for the purple rhinestone ones. They said I have 30 days to change my mind.


Why EBay Grabs my Goat

Well, not eBay the Entity...okay, scratch that, yes, eBay the Entity, eBay the Corporation *does* piss me off as a seller with their changing policies, higher fees, less exposure, yadda yadda, the usual storeowner gripes. But that's not what this is about.

I had a little problem the past couple days, not a big problem, just a little glitchy problem. Like most large Web 2.0 sites, ebay has a bunch of forums available to ask questions. I ask a question about it on one forum, no one is able to answer, so someone directs me to another forum. I ask there. One person replies and suggests I contact ebay directly by phone. I do that, turns out the problem is a permanent thing ebay has changed and there's no way to undo other words, it's not a glitch, it's a feature. OK, that sucks, but not as much as the fact that only two people replied to my post, and it was with "go ask somewhere else" sort of responses. Not one "yeah, that's happening to me too, wish they didn't remove that feature." Nothing.

Ebay's boards are filled with FORMER store owners and sellers who have since abandoned shop and gone elsewhere, yet they still hang out on the ebay boards to gripe about ebay--not that there aren't things to complain about, but I sure as hell wouldn't hang out somewhere I don't do business at anymore just to complain. It's like people who graduate but never "leave" high school. These boards also contain racist anti-Obama postings. WTF? Why can't people just use the forums to ask questions about ebay issues? Granted, no one is paid to answer questions, and whoever does answer a question does so out of generosity, not as part of a paid or volunteer position, since they're just ebay members like myself. But still. There's no community feeling...just antagonism.

I suspect a couple reasons nobody replied...1) I'm not a "boardie" regular (in other words, I have a life, and only go there when there's a problem with ebay to see if other people are experiencing the same thing) so there's no name-recognition with my handle. and 2) People are too caught up with their Ebay Bashing and Democrat Bashing (which is a really odd couple of bedfellows) that they don't even notice when one of their ebay tools isn't functioning like it used to.

You know, despite the fact I only have a cellphone with minimal daytime minutes, next time something is wonky, I'm calling eBay directly. I was pleasantly surprised that I got a phone response quickly and didn't stay on hold long at all. To hell with the illiterate hillbilly board people. They're like union members who vote equivalent of Stan's job. They can flag wave all they want and support right-wing agendas, but when a corporation changes their policies they get all up in arms. And who are you voting for again?

It's this silence. You post a question, intelligently written, explaining your problem as clearly as you can and it's met with silence. You picture them in your mind's eye, mouths gaping slack-jawed gum chewing daytime network tv watching, staring at their monitor and the question reads: "kei, sleis qwikdb s lsoe scnvk dkdirjcydkl ekto-zkscvd sl ?" They pop another WalMart brand bonbon in their mouth and move on to another question they can comprehend, something about their grandchildren, their mobile home, their SUV and ATVs and dirt bikes and how the Democrats are going to raise their taxes.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beginning the Badger

We began the Badger State Trail today, and did 2 1/2 mile (5 round trip) trip from Purcell Road in the country somewhere near Fitchburg/Verona/Oregon down to Basco (a small town with no stoplights and a scary tavern in an old lady's basement). It was a perfect day for riding, and even though it was uphill going back, I was much more tired Saturday, the "uphill both ways" ride on Glacial Drumlin between Helenville and Sullivan. This trail goes all the way down into Illinois (I guess it's not called the *Badger* state trail at that point) into the flatlands, so it will be downhill going and uphill coming for every trip. Next time we ride, we'll make it partway or to the outskirts of Belleville. South of Belleville is a tunnel that's about 1/4 mile long. They suggest walking your bike the entire way and bringing a flashlight. Today we crossed some very beautiful farmland. This wasn't just treeless prairie farmland, this was rolling hills with trees and green pastures and limestone outcroppings along the trail. I love this scenery. Some of the most beautiful countryside exists in the southwest part of this state.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

For Python Fans

*Michael* Palin for President

The (Alaskan) Lumberjack Song


DREAM with Weird Restaurant

I was supposed to meet Stan at some Mexican restaurant in a mall. It looked similar to this vacant spot that used to house some generic local TGIMcFunsters place that went under in one of the malls that I go to.* It had black glass surrounding the restaurant so one could only see inside a few inches. As I walked into it, it had a large waiting area that seemed like a living room with maroon velvet apholstery (sp?). I saw Stan sitting on a sofa with some anonymous people. Behind him was a bookcase that contained books or VHS-sized containers. He said we could pick out a movie and watch it while we eat dinner. I guess the concept of this odd restaurant was they rented movies, you take it to your own private dining room (like a Japanese restaurant tea room) and watch a movie while you eat dinner. Problem is, there wasn't a lot of selection of movies. Stan picked out a LOST episode, but I said we could watch that any time at home. Then he picked out something Disneyish. How odd and out of character.

*Yes, "malls that I go to" seems like an odd statement coming from someone mallphobic such as myself, however because there is a bead shop in this mall that offers a good discount on beads for tax exempt sales and is relatively free of craftee mommee gaudee swarovskee crystal hobbee types, and because sometimes you can't purchase everything you need online, business and artistry require I make trips to a...mall. Another mall that requires visits contains Madison's only Apple Store. It's not like I enjoy hanging out at the Apple Store to view all the latest non-essential gadgetry like iphones and ipods with a bunch of ipodpeople, but computers break, shit happen, and I have to go to the Apple Store, know what I mean?


Monday, September 08, 2008

The Goobernator


Odd Couples

Is anyone else as baffled as I am by the relationships of people like Mary Matalin and James Carville, and Maria Shriver and Ahhnold? Personally, it boggles the mind. See, it's not a case where neither party is uninterested and uninvolved in politics, and the husband votes Repub and the wife votes Demo once every four years, if that, as I'm sure it is in many politically mixed marriage households across the country. No, both couples are deeply entrenched in politics. It is the life they have chosen, and in the case of Maria, the life she was born into.

Are they constantly arguing with eachother? Are china plates, windows and mirrors continually being replaced? Have they ever filed divorce papers? I'm confused...why are either couple still together?

To me it is very important that my significant other and I see eye to eye on "the issues". Yes, we have some minor disagreements, but fundamentally we are in agreement on our view on the world, politically, socially, religiously (lack thereof). I don't understand how you could remain together if you weren't.

When I am in the company of a casual acquaintance or relative and I feel the conversation turning to an opposing political or world view, I get a very uneasy feeling, like I want to get out of there as soon as possible. I can't imagine being in that situation every single freakin' day.

I can see how a young naive couple unknowingly get together and as they grow older their views change. But in the case of the above-mentioned famous couples, they obviously knew very well what the others' views were when they got into the relationship.

This is not a happy "wow, how do they do it, they must be very strong" smiley face smiley face happy happy joy joy sort of post. On the contrary. I find it extremely odd and baffling, not to mention disturbing.


Uphill Both Ways

Friday we parked on Erbe Rd. outside of Mt. Horeb and took the Military Ridge Trail up to Blue Mounds (around Division Street?). About 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 miles round trip most likely. It was hard coming back because the final leg was uphill. That was in the late afternoon. Then Saturday noontime we went to Glacial Drumlin, starting at Pohlman Park, and rode until Pioneer Rd. outside of Sullivan. Both of us swear the approx. 5 -6 mile round trip was uphill both ways. I was riding so slow coming back...I wanted to drop dead. My knee was in pain...yes, that knee. The Whole Foods slippery floor knee. The Fort Collins "I don't give a damn about you, but I'll tell you I will call you back and check on you tomorrow to see how you're doing" Whole Food. Bastards. Every time I feel pain in that knee when cycling or post-cycling, I will think of that fall and how much I hate that Texas Crunchy Yuppie Corporation and be thankful that we now have a Trader Joe's in town to give us a choice.

Sunday we did not bike. I was recuperating. But we did find the start of a new trail, the Badger State Trail. Starts on Purcell Rd. outside of Basco. Something to take in the afternoons now that the other ones are getting further away.


Wake Up Crying DREAMS

I was in a basement...not a basement I recognized. It was fairly big with a fairly large bathroom that was centrally located, but the bathroom didn't have any solid walls. There were 2x4s from which hung cheesey fabric and curtains to give some privacy, but there were gaps. In the main part of the basement there were some people which I was trying to get away from. There was some small child/person with a triangular-shaped head, very bony, malnourished and looked like it was suffering from many congenital diseases which also affected him mentally....sort of like the kid from Deliverance...but not with those squinty eyes, and smaller, much more disabled. That's the closest I can describe, which is still pretty far from the mark. I needed to use the bathroom, but before I could, Stan comes into the area surrounding the bathroom, carrying the disabled kid, and bringing some other people with him. I told him I need to use the bathroom, but he didn't get that I couldn't just close the door and have privacy, that people could see through the curtains. I kept trying to escape him and the boy, but he kept showing up. I was getting very frustrated, and finally leave that part of the basement and find another area which was supposedly Stan's (adopted) mom's bedroom area. It was huge....the entire area was like the size of a furniture showroom. There were so many rooms within rooms. I kept going though doors and finding other rooms, trying to find her bathroom. Her bed was up on a platform with steps. I finally found a large door that swivelled....sort of like those hidden doors in silly movies that are disguised by the bookcase and the door swivels and you end up on the other side...except it wasn't silly mystery movie was like cool architecture sort of stuff. I forget whether I finally use the bathroom, but the dream takes a strange turn where I'm sitting in a chair and Stan is with me. There's a Buddhist Monk (like Caine) who has these rings that he is showing me. I remember a Rhodonite ring that has two set Rhodonite stones, and one stone that is dangling from it like a set drop pendant. It was a very cool design. I forget what the monk is saying, but it is sort of like a spiritual fortune telling. He is laying the rings on Stan's lap. Then Stan gets up and leaves, like he doesn't want to hear any more either of the Buddhist fortune tales (ha!) or of any jewelry sales pitch. The jewelry sort of sticks to his pant legs and falls to the ground. This makes me sad that he doesn't want to get the jewelry for me. The monk says to him something like "don't you want to buy the jewelry for the pretty lady?" or somesuch. This made me cry and I woke up crying.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I went back to sleep and dreamt I was still in graduate school and hadn't finished (oh horrors). I had feared I hadn't preregistered for the next semester correctly, so I called them at some office to verify my status and they said I was all set up and ready to go. So later I go to some registration window, give them my name, but they have no record of me. I told them what the person on the phone had said, so they looked into the matter and came back and told me that the person was new on the job and didn't know what she was talking about. Then instead of helping me solve the matter, they just let me be. I was railing against them and again, woke up crying.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Gustav and The Kitchen Sink

Last Sunday, due to hurricane Gustav, John McCain urges Republicans and Conventioneers to "take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats." does this mean that normally Republicans aren't Americans? Yes, yes, I believe that must be the case.

And they called Hillary "Shrill". Hillary has nothing on this nails-on-a-chalkboard squeaky mouse on steroids. Hillary's voice is like a smooth drink of warm velvet compared to this. Yes, I watched it...for the amusement value and to get my blood boiling (not that I really need that with high blood pressure and all). A "see how what the other half thinks" sort of thing.

OK, Gustav is HERE. Yes, here in the upper midwest up nort dere here. This really stinks for so many reasons, not that we don't need the calm steady rain or the cooler temperatures. Well, maybe it doesn't stink.. Maybe it's good. Maybe it's just for my own selfish reasons. Here's what happened:

Last Friday was the first time I could ride my bike since I was sick during the first part of that week. Things were looking was Labor Day weekend and we had a three-day weekend to ride bikes. Friday, due to mega errands we had to do beforehand, we rode on a path closer to town (through Fitchburg, to be precise) than our usual excursions into the country on the State Trails. It was a paved ride, but very up and down hilly. Maybe about 4 miles round trip, between Syene road and Glacier View (a suburban road about a block from Fish Hatchery Road). It was part of the Capital City Trail. Very exhausting, very hot, pretty winding. We went through a nature preserve that was next to a public hunting ground. Odd. Pretty though. Parts of it reminded me of reoccurring dreams I would have where we drive into a natural area with grass and tall trees and water and there's lots of people all heading the same way. I think the dream is about dying. But anyway...

Then on Saturday mid morning, we went out past Mount Horeb to a place where we could park near the bike path close to Blue Mounds, and rode back to 78 where we ended the last Military Ridge Trail ride more than a week before. It was a quick ride to, but hell coming back. The sun was getting close to noon and it was a scorcher of a day, plus we were going uphill coming back. That's all we could ride...about 4 miles round trip again. We were hoping it would cool off for the rest of the weekend, but it didn't, each day getting hotter and hotter, until Tuesday, the hottest of them all. And Wednesday (yesterday) I had an eye doctor's appointment, so naturally I couldn't ride after that because my eyes were all anesthetized from the pressure test and dilated and wonky and I couldn't see (thank goodness Stan came with me...I surely wouldn't be able to drive home). And of course, on that day, the weather was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. So we think, hey, it'll be even cooler today, Thursday, this will be a great day for a ride, even better weather. But no. This is when the remnants of Gustav decide to show up nort here. No bike rides for you. No, this isn't some west to east system passing through. Looking at a radar weather map online, this is a big swirling mass that's going to stick around all day. Not that I don't have lots of errands to do instead...But I feel like I've been cheated out of biking, either due to weather or doc appointments or being sick, or whatever. It's quite addicting. It's like the more you take these bike rides, the more you want to go. It will be very frustrating in the winter. I'm not one for riding in ice and snow. Never was.

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