These are old archived entries from my journal, Ornamental Illness. I have eliminated all graphics (except those in context of an entry) to save on my bandwidth usage.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

My own Terror

They interviewed some entitled American traveller on the news. She said in regard to the terror warnings: "Of course I'm going to travel, what are you supposed to do, stay home?"

Well, yes. Hon, I stay home all the time on the holidays. (I can't believe I used the word "Hon", but it does make a very good condescending form of addressing).

I'm under a terror warning all the time. It's called Economic Terror. If the economy goes down any further, I'm screwed. I don't lose money in the stock market...I don't have money in the stock market. I watch as all the rich people get tax breaks. We get nothing. Not a thing. Our taxes increase, not decrease. My business shrinks, not expands. I wonder what items of mine I will have to pawn. I cannot paint anymore...I can't afford the supplies. My nearly 3 year old hard drive--the only thing that I have that allows me any income--is being repaired. I will have to charge it, and I will not be able to pay off the credit card. I've lived under the state of Economic Terror since this president was elected, each year it gets worse. Sometimes it gets a little better temporarily, but only temporarily. The best times were in the last term of the Clinton era. Those were good years. Not that we could afford to travel for the holidays or anything...not that we could ever afford to do that. But I've lived with that all my life. But this adminstration has got me scared. And the prospect of spending another 4 years under Economic Terror has me on High Alert.

It's the sense of entitlement that so many Americans have that must be what rubs those in other countries wrong.

No, Hon, no one expects YOU to stay home. YOU're entitled to get out there and travel. It's owed to're an American. And I don't like the fact that you're on TV speaking for me.

Posted by Ann on 12/23/03@04:58 PM CST ..::Link::..Whisper or Scream?

I don't understand what happened.

Why are we on Orange, or High, Alert? I thought after we captured Saddam Hussein, America was a safer place. Shouldn't it have stayed in the Yellow zone if that were the case? And if we really were *safer* wouldn't it have actually gone down to the Blue zone?

And that's a point of contention I have with that silly terror warning scale. Why do they have the blue color between the yellow and the green? Any artist would tell you that is so wrong! It doesn't make sense at all. Blue should be the lowest form of terror alert, not green. Of course those radar graphics for weather don't make a lot of sense if you look at them through an artist's eye either.

I guess capturing Hussein didn't really make it that safe after all, did it? It was just smoke and mirrors.

Posted by Ann on 12/23/03@04:22 PM CST ..::Link::..Whisper or Scream?

Monday, December 22, 2003

John Hinckley Jr. and President Reagan

I have been hesitating about writing about President Reagan and John Hinckley Jr., because I want to say something more meaningful then "isn't it ironic".

President Reagan ended an institutional paradigm of mental health in this nation, and the press reported stories on many mentally ill people who suddenly had no where else to sleep, but in the streets. Anyone remember the 80's? The talk at the time was whether it was more moral to keep so many mentally ill people in institutions where they lived lives of heavy chemical sedation, or more humane to turn these people out on the streets - because there was no meaner existence then being held in the "evil institutions".

The era of Reagan's presidency surely marks a turning point in how we treat the mentally is in this country, and what Reagan has done certainly marks a turning point in mental health care history.

If a mentally ill person is capable of doing anything independently; like walking the streets of Washington D.C. in search of donut shops or just for exercise, they shall be allowed - by law - to have that sort of freedom, as opposed to being locked up for "politically correct" reasons. President Reagan did, for better or worse, help make this kind of treatment for the mentally ill possible, and I'm glad we live in a nation that doesn't just "lock the door and throw away the key" anymore.

John Hinckley Jr. , where ever you are I give you my best and hope things are going to work out well for you.

Posted by Stan on 12/22/03@06:52 PM CST ..::Link::..2 Screamers.


Did another cactus rescue this weekend. Went to Home Depot and got some little guys (their cactuses are dwindling). Kevin the checkout dork (don't know if that's his name, but he was very Kevin ala Kevin from RepoMan) wouldn't bag them. He just left them in our cart. It was below freezing outside! I'm so used to the conscientious clerks at Johannsen's or Bruce Company or Jung...even when it's about 50 degrees outside, they always wrap your live purchase just to be safe. But Kevin wouldn't budge.

'Do you have something to wrap them in?' Stan or I asked.

'Um...nooo.....' said Mr. Mush for brains.

'A Box? A Bag?'

'No, we don't have any bags...'

'You don't have any bags?!' I asked incredulously. It was so obvious this peabrain just didn't want to wift a wittle finger because the big mean cactuses could give him an owie. What a wuss. I tell you, no teenage guy his age from MY generation would be afraid of a cactus, that's for sure! What a pudding butt...what a soft sweaty-palmed potato boy.

There were bags. There were plenty of bags. And there were probably boxes too, although I couldn't see behind his counter, I saw behind other counters, and there were boxes galore. Stan and I started grabbing plastic bags that were RIGHT THERE IN PLAIN SIGHT and we started wrapping our own cactuses. We made another customer wait while we stood in line wrapping our cactuses. Heh.

Yes, folks, Home Depot is a U-Bag-It store! Betcha didn't know that.

Stan says it worked out for the best as we wrapped our own and he wouldn't trust wimpy Kevin to do it properly anyway. There's something really funny about watching a cactusphobic wrapping our cactuses. They do it ever so timidly. On Sunday we bought one cactus at a garden center in a nearby town, as well as ten clay pots. The checkout girl, who was probably confused by our purchase as it wasn't some ornament or red velvet-bowed poinsetta, asked us what we're using the pots for. Stan said we have cactus that need to be potted in clay pots.

'You have that many?' she asked.

'Yes,' we answered. We have that many. At least. I was laughing inside to think that ten cactuses could be considered 'that many.'

Posted by Ann on 12/22/03@09:12 AM CST ..::Link::..Whisper or Scream?
By Ann @ 04:58 PM CST:12:23:03 ..::Link::..Whisper or Scream?