Monday, September 25, 2006

Satire at its best

When I first read How to Suppress Discussions of Racism, my initial reaction was, "Huh, I wonder if this is satire" especially given it was majikthise who posted it on AlterNet's blog. Then I read comments and decided it was indeed satire and very good at blowing holes in just about every argument for not talking about racism or even addressing the issue. It's a good read so here it is.

Especially designed for your online needs!

Maybe you've tried a guide before and found it spoke only about face-to-face arguments. Or maybe you're new to the online world and baffled by this chaotic new medium. This guide is just for you! Whether you're a baby troll or an experienced flame warrior, we can teach the best way to make your online environment a safe, friendly, colorblind place. Soon the World Wide Web will be your home away from home — and like your home, it will be full of only the people you want to see.

It's easy!

Just follow the steps below in order.


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And we go searching....

Everyone once in a while I check how people found me and, well, sometimes I'm just flat out amazed at the various search terms used that somehow lead people my way.

Take this one for instance: physical sexual abstinence pictures and videos. Um, what? How can there be videos and pictures of something you are abstaining from?

The other day there was condoms in a nut and say welcome all language.

I think my favorite of the week has to be the question, Did Shakespeare have pierced ears? Well, did he?

I love seeing people find me through the various pictures of my finished knitted projects I rave about and, of course, through searches on how to take care of their cats and/or dogs. All you who need it, just send me an email and I'll try my best to help (with dogs and cats that is. I can't guarantee I'll be any help on the knitting aspect of things.)


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Saturday, September 23, 2006


This is just too sad and horrid for words. The woman should not be allowed out of jail for the rest of her life, being buried in the floor of the prison to serve out several consecutive terms by proxy.


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Peanut defends himself

The new school Peanut attends is in a different economic bracket than the one previously. The strange thing is, there isn't that much difference except this school has kids who live in the projects attending.

As many of us may or may not know, kids in lower economic status, regardless of color, tend to have more behavior issues mainly because the parents (most often the 1 parent, which is mom) are working their ass off to provide for what little they have. They're scraping to get their kids new clothes every year, a coat to wear by winter and shoes that don't have holes in them.

However, this also means parents have the propensity to respond to their kids in one of 2 extreme: they are either too tired to deal with behavioral issues on their own, so ignore them altogether until someone forces them to do something (usually school) or they beat the shit out of them because their patience has worn out and tolerance is no longer available.

Today was the 4th day for Peanut in his new school and already I can tell his teacher does more breaking up verbal and physical confrontations than teaching. There is one boy in the class who seems to have no remorse whatsoever, who constantly teases and berates the other kids and who also becomes the teachers shadow daily. Today that kid decided to tease Peanut, calling him 'white.' (For those of you who haven't seen Peanut for yourself, check out my flickr link on the sidebar. He is actually biracial, Filipino being his other half, but he looks mostly like his father.)

What was his response to the kid calling him white? Peanut punched him. I'm not sure where, I just know he did.

I asked Peanut to look at me and then asked what he saw. His very simple reply wasn't surprising, "You're my mom."

(Kids tend to see their parents as immortal and encompassing all identities whether it actually applies or not.)

I said, "Yes, but what color am I?"

Sort of getting the point, he said, "White."

"Exactly. You are me and your dad, not just one or the other. Why did it anger you to be called white when that's exactly what half of you is?"

"I don't know, it just did."

"Well, next time anyone says that to you, you remind them you are both white and Filipino and both are equally good."


You see, Peanut hardly looks white but the kids know I am because they've seen me. 2nd graders are at an age when socialization is key and they have most certainly figured out how to push an individual’s buttons. I told one of the girls in line this afternoon that if she pretends whatever the aggressor is doing doesn't bother you, they stop. She looked at me like I was nuts. I reassured her it would work, and then promised her it would. (Just for the record, she still looked at me like I was nuts and kept stealing side glances as we walked down the hall.)

3 weeks into the school year and already the kids have picked up on how to piss their classmates off by getting at the parents who, in most cases if not all, are the kids pride and joy, regardless of what the reality is.

In the end I told Peanut that it wasn't the fact he defended himself that angered me, it was how he choose to do so that did. And he agreed.

He still won't be able to play video games on Saturday while at his dad's house despite the easy admittance he was wrong.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I have moved!

So last week it was official and Saturday I started moving in to my first ever 2 bedroom, 1 bath 2nd floor apartment where none of the fucking windows open except the only vinyl window in the kitchen. (I called the landlord Monday and he's supposedly going to fix them but we'll see. When I told him that windows not being able to open at all are a fire hazard, he looked at me quizzically and asked, "How so?" Not a good sign.)

Other than that, I'm very happy with the place as I have a stackable washer/dryer, a decent refrigerator, gas stove and plenty of space to add counters, a storage cabinet that will be my pantry (it has to have doors so dog mouths can't easily steal the food within when I'm not looking) and soon a microwave cart. Ms. Kitty was delivered to me Sunday evening; she hid for about the 1st hour and when I showed her the litter box, she stayed in there for about 20-30min, partly because she recognized it and partly because it's covered so it provides her with a sense of security I guess.

Did you know that one never fully realizes how many books they own until they have to pack them up and haul them to another location entirely? I think I ended up with 17 boxes of books and those were just mine. I have filled 1 rather large bookcase, a 2nd that is about half the size of the 1st and still another bookcase is needed as I have 3 boxes of books left to shelve. Damn how I love books! (And yarn.)

I did find out that ants seem to love urban city living and tried to devour my trashcan yesterday. Thanks to Nascar Nut who now lives minutes away, I obtained ant spray and killed those suckers. Okay, so I doused them, that's how bad I don't want them in my kitchen.

Peanut started a new school which is only 1 block away and we walk to it each morning. It has been great waking up at 7:30am and leaving our house at 8:30 instead of getting up at 6:30am to leave the house no later than 7:45 in order to get to Peanut's school by 8:35. I can get Peanut up at 8am now and he's been a much happier kid.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wisdom! Thine name is!

Hello there! This is Charlie. The Nut has graciously allowed me to post this here, since my old blog has been collecting dust for the past few months.

My sister passed along this advice column from If you follow that link -- and how could you possibly resist? -- please pay special attention to the third and final reader's comments, and's response.

A reader writes:

Furthermore, if the children do not take the mother's name, then a woman's family name ends with them anyway, thus refuting the idea that women should keep their names to honor their family. Therefore, why would women keep their name except as a means of emasculation and a continuation of this unending hypocrisy, in which there is no compromise...?

To really get the full effect of this reader's sound prose and uncompromising logic, you simply must read it in its entirety. With such thought provoking content, it is hard to single out just one thing, but I will choose to focus on one sentence that can be found near the end of's reply. I think you'll agree that it is a diamond in the rough:
But as usual, it's men who will have to effect social change, because women have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are.

Yes! Since time immortal, women have had a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. It's always been men fighting for social change, like the right to vote and serve in the military. Who could ever forget the time in our not so distant past when men were considered their woman's property? For decades men have grown up in a society that attaches gender to respected professions, like "businesswoman," "firewoman," "policewoman," and "actress". Men are still underrepresented in the upper echelons of the corporate world, and numerous studies have shown that women command a higher salary than men performing the same job. Those who have bothered to study the etymology of the word "man" know that is simply a modified form of the word "woman."

Yes, indeed, with such a vested interest in the status quo, it naturally falls to us men to fight for social change. I applaud the editorial staff of for their tireless advocacy of oppressed men everywhere. Women have been keeping their last name for years, and frankly, it is an outrage. How much longer can we men endure such a callous slap in the face? It is time to rise up and stand with as one voice against our female oppressors, and demand change! I, being the radical that I am, will not rest until every woman in America is taking her husband's last name in marriage.


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Why I would never be able to buy this sign

Anyone else notice the horrible use of grammar that, everytime I hung my keys, would send me into fits of longing for a matching Sharpie?


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Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001: Then and Now

I was sitting in my office, chatting and starting to get work done when a guy came in from the floor, poked his head in and told me, Tammy, Larry, Ron and Tina that someone had flown a plane into one of the 2 Twin Towers.

Our response was one of general disbelief of course since not in a million years did we ever conceive of such an idea. Jesus Christ were we wrong.

It was cemented when my mom called approximately 5 to 10 minutes later to tell me the same thing. We weren't allowed to have a radio on during work hours so none of us were getting the news, which she was aware of.

After my mom called to tell me of the 2nd plane, I said to hell with the rules and streamed (or tried to anyway) CNN. I think I ended up with some off the wall radio station because everything was clogged: the internet, cell phones, landlines, etc. Everyone all around the world was calling someone to tell them about what was happening: America was being attacked. Again.

Then we heard of the plane going down at the Pentagon and a little while after that, the 4th plane that was taken over by its passengers once they had realized what was happening. That 4th plane crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania because the passengers were not going to let happen again what had already occurred with 3 other planes. Of course, no one knew this at the time and it took a few hours to justify its connection to the other 3 planes.

After that day, someone brought a tv into the lunchroom at work where it stayed on 9/11 coverage 24/7. Flags went up everywhere, littering overpasses on highways, strung up on mailboxes; they had become ubiquitous when just 1 day prior you would have been hard pressed to find an American flag flown anywhere other than government buildings and McDonald's.

I remember feeling despair. How could I not when it was thrown into my face how invincible the United States wasn't? I am being completely honest when I admit something inside me knew it was going to happen sooner rather than later because the United States had been getting too egoist and, quite simply, too big for its britches. Someone was bound to send us a big fuck you eventually.

Reports came in of people jumping from the 83rd floor to their death. Sometimes they jumped from the roof, over 100 stories high. A co-worker came into the room and asked me if I thought it was a sin for someone to kill themselves in that type of situation. I told him that, in fires, people die of smoke inhalation, not the flames and that by jumping out of windows to their death, people were choosing how they wanted to die instead of being at the mercy of a dozen hijackers. I asked him if he wouldn't want to die his way instead of someone else's who felt their divine plan was more important. He agreed.

Then the towers collapsed. Knowing people had still been inside, I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. I felt sick knowing several hundred fire fighters, police officers, civilians, etc., had run into the chaos trying to help anyone they could and had inevitably been too far up to get out alive. I immediately became nauseated whenever I thought of the extreme fear the passengers must have experienced as they watched their plane fly into the buildings, knowing it would explode upon impact.

All work stopped that day but ears and hearts opened to a new understanding and a new kind of pain.

I wanted to leave work right then to pick up Peanut, who had just turned 2, and wrap him in my love. I didn't want to let him out of my sight. It was all I could do to stay at work and attempt at concentration. I gave up and just listened to the radio.

About 1 month after 9/11, we took a trip to Northern Virginia, very near the Pentagon. All along the way the number of flags draped along the interstate grew until we got within 5 miles of the Pentagon and there was empty space - flags had been hung everywhere.

Now we're back to bullying the same countries that tried to destroy us. The Taliban and Afghanistan are forgotten. Our administration started a new war that has destroyed the stability in that country and is one we can't finish.

We're back to being complacent assholes, thinking no one can hurt us. We still have the highest crime rate of any country and Halliburton still has not been held responsible for stealing millions of dollars from the US that was earmarked for reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We are still holding "prisoners" at Guantanamo Bay without due process or any definite charges. Not long ago it was found that the CIA had a secret prison.

For a first world country, we have the highest poverty rate.

Sure the United States is a better country than most to live in, but that doesn't mean I have to like what it's doing to everyone else, including its own citizens.

(This website has a bunch of pictures from 9/11. I didn't include any in this post because I wanted it to be your choice to view the photo's, not mine, since everyone can handle a different amount of re-traumatization.)


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Sunday, September 10, 2006

How a 7-year old learns about condoms

Earlier today, we stopped at a convenience store off I-64 (we were on our way home from Virginia Beach) since Peanut was looking sleepy, I didn't want him to sleep since it was 5pm and he had been asking for a snack after eating a large slice of ChiCho's pizza.

Once inside, I decided I needed to use the necessary room first, then we'd search for drinks and a snack. Peanut comes into bathrooms with me in strange places because I flat out don't trust strangers, not him, and he knows this so is used to accompanying me more often than not.

Behind me was a condom dispenser which he simply looked at and said, "What's that?"

Some history that may be needed for this story: Approximately 2 years ago when Peanut had just turned 5 I think, he came with me to a friends house where we stuffed Ziploc bags with condoms and candy - our slogan for Valentine's Day and promotion of safe-sex. The condoms looked like lollipops complete with sticks and a bow (see picture).

At some point, Peanut picked one up and asked if he could have one of the lollipops and the whole room just stopped and looked at him. I laughed, buying myself some time to think of an answer and came up with this, "Those aren't lollipops honey," fully expecting more questions. So he, with a quizzical look, asked, “Then what are they?” and I said very simply, “They were called condoms.” Peanut then asked what condoms were, to which I replied, "They go on an adult man's penis."

Completely grossed out by this answer, he said, "EW!" and threw the condom down as if it had caught fire.

But he remembered that whole scenario when, this afternoon in the necessary room at the convenience store where he wondered what the dispenser behind me was for, I said, "Condoms."

I reminded him of the ones he thought were lollipops a few years back and said, "Oh yeah, those are things that go on my penis?" I said, "They go on an adult man's penis. When men and women have sex, it helps the woman not get pregnant."

Then I told him I was explaining this now so when the time comes, he'll know they exist and that he'd better use 1, maybe even 3, because becoming a dad at 15 is not going to be an enjoyable experience and it sure as hell won't be for the SO involved.

And we walked about of the necessary room and were done with the conversation, until next time at least.


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Friday, September 08, 2006

Can I get a woo-woo!

I put in an application for a cute 2 bedroom apartment yesterday and was informed just a couple of hours ago that it's mine! Yahooey! The reason I am excited is it’s a mere 11 blocks from where I currently work and only 2 blocks from the elementary school Peanut will most likely be attending. My driving will thus be cut to a bare minimum which saves me lots of money with regards to the current state of gas prices. Maybe I'll take pictures of it next week before everything is officially moved in so everyone can share in my excitement.

The apartment is in an area of Richmond that is referred to as Church Hill, which is steeped in history. Of course, like almost every historic urban area, people fled to the suburbs and it got shitty for a long while. Now there are campaigns to fix it up in order to make it appealing to residents again and so far it has been working.

This will be the first apartment I have ever had that belongs strictly to me. For the past 6.5 years, I have been living with my parents, working my way through a bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies/English and on getting my act together. Before that, I moved out of their house and into that of my future husband's (who has now been my ex-husband for the last 6.5 years).

Moving out on my own with a wee one to support is a little unnerving but I know millions of women (and men) do it all the time and are no worse for the wear. So I plan to keep reminding myself of that fact and hope/pray that everything works out in the end (as it usually does).

(This new adventure, however, will have severe affects on my ability to purchase yarn so any money/yarn you would like to send my way would be greatly appreciated.)


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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dragon Scale Scarf/Stole

I found the pattern on the internet one night and knew I had to make it for myself. Well, that was my original intention anyway. But, after knitting up my 6th hank, I realized it would make a perfect stole for a priest friend of mine and so that is what I let it turn out to be. Isn't it beautiful? I just have to weave in the loose ends and block it (I think) then I'm done!

The yarn is Berroco "Cotton Twist Variegated" in Tie Dye and about 75 yards a hank. (You should see me when the yardage is listedin meters; often I can be found telling the yarn the U.S. is just about the only country who doesn't use the metric system so please convert the meters to yards for me. It doesn't often listen.)

Anyway, this was a fun pattern to knit as the ssk, yo's and k2tog keep it interesting. The ssk created a really neat stitch similar to a twisted stitch and gives the effect of the scales. I like the pattern (and yarn) so much, I bought more Cotton Twist in Lilac Mix and will hopefully be able to start making my own scarf this weekend.


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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More yummy yarn

I ordered the Cotton Twist with my $50 in birthday money. Well, okay, I really spent $50 of my own money on the yarn and the $50 from my parents (and $22 from me) was spent on 9 hanks of silky wool that I plan to make a triangular pattern scarf out of (see below).

Because Peanut is such a cool kid, he wanted to buy more yarn for my birthday since he sees how much his mom loves knitting (not to mention how much I spend on yarn and in yarn shops, too!). The yarn he bought was in addition to the 4 skeins I already had in my possession but needed more of to make a wrap for myself. It's 290 yards of 75% cotton, 25% wool and made right here in Virginia.

Hopefully before the weekend arrives I'll have finished the stole I'm making for a friend. When I say stole in this sense, I do mean what priests wear around their neck during a service (Episcopalian please), not just what women wear to keep themselves warm.

I'm also attempting to knit my first pair of socks, but haven't even finished the first of the set yet. I need to have those done by November but I'm hoping to have at least 1 more pair also done for my friend's birthday, which is somewhere near Thanksgiving. I know she'll really appreciate the handknit aspect of it so I can't wait to give them to her.


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Monday, September 04, 2006

Quotes R Us

I just found a file on my hard drive titled, "Quotes." What was in it? A single Word doc with a whopping 4 quotes on it, 2 of them most excellent and fitting if I do say so myself.

"I will choose what enters me, what becomes flesh of my flesh. Without choice, no politics, no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield, not your uranium mine, not your calf for fattening, not your cow for milking. You may not use me as your factory. Priests and legislators do not hold shares in my womb or my mind. If I give it to you, I want it back. My life is a non-negotiable demand." -- Marge Piercy

"I would have said yes to abortion if only it was right. I mean, yeah it's right. Well no it's not right that's why I said no to it."-- Future president George W. Bush, February 14, 2000

The Bush quote, notice, is from 2000. He was stupid then and is still stupid now, as has been proven over and over again. (Am I allowed to call the President stupid?)

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R.I.P. Steve Irwin

He died when he was pierced in the heart by a stingray's poisonous barb while filming underwater at the Great Barrier Reef.

Steve leaves behind his wife, Terri, 2 children and a flourishing zoo in Australia (thanks to his many documentaries which began with "The Crocodile Hunter). He was an avid environmentalist who had great enthusiasm for conserving nature. You know, I can't think of many animals he didn't like and/or respect.

It's a sad scope of fate that would have him killed by one of the less dangerous animals on the planet and I'm going to miss him.


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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me....

I am 31 today, woohoo! I must say it does feel strange to reach this age when I can remember thinking how old it sounded when I turned 21. Just last year I had a friend who was lamenting over how old being 25 sounded and wow, she didn't ever think she'd get there. I told her when she turns 30, get back to me on that.

For presents I got yarn, yay! More pictures of projects will be coming soon, though I forgot to take a picture of my last 2 wraps/shawls. Oh well. From Nascar, I'm getting some money to get a new tat, which will bring me up to 5. People keep telling me I'm not going to like having them when I get old and wrinkled and I keep telling them they are in places (so far) that don't sag.

So now I'm completely, totally and officially in my 30's (not to mention adverb friendly - see, there I go again) and there's no going back now.

I say bring it on sucka's!


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Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Random Ten: "It's a rainy windy day and the dogs won't go outside" edition

I had to walk them out in order for them to pee, isn't that odd? Or rather, isn't that rather spoiled kids of them? I love them anyway though.

1) Delicate by Damien Rice (great folk album)
2) I'm a Believer by Smashmouth (from Shrek 2)
3) When a Man Loves a Woman by Bette Midler
4) The Prayer by Josh Groban with Charlotte Church
5) I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me (I really love this group regardless of their religious affiliations)
6) Unwanted by Avril Lavigne
7) Sea Image by The Chieftains
8) Wide Open Space by the Dixie Chicks
9) Can't Take It by The All American Rejects
10) Run to You by Bryan Adams


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Tropical Storm Errrrnesto

He's here and so far, it's not that bad but we're also further north than say, Richmond or SC for instance. We've got tree debris all over our yard and I had to go down and rescue my mom from an impassable section of our driveway as a termite infested tree had fallen onto another one, thus splitting it into 3 sections; 2 of them had fallen directly across our driveway. Had it been a completely healthy tree, it wouldn't have broken and my mom and I wouldn't have been able to lift it. What's really funny is my mom called it a tree branch so when I got there, I started laughing and said, "Hey lady, this isn't a branch, it's the actual tree!"

Needless to say, Shia and Echo were very happy to get out of the house and exercise their legs a little with Shia going bonkers when she saw my mom. Echo was a little weary of the person in a hooded raincoat and waited until I got closer to say hi, too. She's a funny dog she is.

The good thing is we're on a definite hill so there is no chance of our house flooding.

As for work, everything was closed for today. Don't you just love those unexpected paid days off?


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Friday Dog and Cat Blogging: "They're pretending not to look" edition

Isn't it nice to get back into the swing of things again? I had to take time off from the news and social awareness in general for a while because, well, it's not healthy to stay mad at the world forever. I can only hit but so many balls before people start wondering what my deal is.

I am excited about something: the other night, while at Target, I got 90 24-count boxes of RoseArt crayons for $.07 each. That's a total of $6.37 spent on crayons people. Cool huh?

Anyway, here are the animals. Shia is still my shadow and Ms. Kitty, we recently found out after spending $153 and some change, has hyper-thyroid and low potassium level problems. She is now on med's for the rest of her life and so far, she's not too happy about that.

Btw, that is me taking the picture and my sister sitting across from me. We were getting a kick out of Shia's reluctance to look at herself in the mirror. Come to think of it, there might be something to it since she barks menacingly at the tv and attacks it if any animals dare show up. So she might be trying to avoid an embarassing situation by only taking inconspicuous side glances at herself in the mirror.

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