Saturday, April 16, 2005

Wendy's Returns The Favor - Gives Back "Finger!"

Wendy's has upped the reward to $100,000 for information concerning the origins of the finger alleged to have been in their chili. Essentially, they are making the accusor, Anna Ayala, sweat. Good for them!

Ayala has dropped her lawsuit. Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together can see this is because too many people are asking too many questions. Questions Ayala does not appear to be comfortable answering.

Her story was hinky from the beginning, but if true, potentially quite rewarding. What jury wouldn't award big for this? What juror wouldn't feel revulsion at the thought biting into a severed digit?

We know the jury would reward big, because we ARE the jury. We know what we'd do and how we'd feel. And that's the problem - Wendy's has lost business over this unsupported claim. It isn't as simple as Ayala saying, "Never Mind!"

Wendy's is absolutely right in wanting to get to the bottom of this, and aggressively pursuing the answers. Dave Thomas - by all reports - was a really decent guy, but even he would think that (just this once) it would be okay to give this woman The Finger in return.

And all of this makes me glad that I don't eat chili con carne. (Although when I did, I liked it with onions and cheese, hold the Lee Press on Nails.)

Can You See How Fast She Runs? Run, Pony, Run!

Tough Life

This is Rhiannon. When she raced her name was apparently Velvet Crush. We tend to just call her Pony - she's quite flatulent. She eats like a horse and sleeps an unprecedented 23 hours a day, yet remains thin and muscular. Sucks, huh?

These are not the best pictures in the world and the cats and guinea pig feel underappreciated. I'll do better soon - I promise!

Riley The Flammable (and Wonderful.)

Riley The Head Dog.

Riley will be 11 in May. He's a Gemini. He's perfect. He can do whatever he wants. Ask my husband who's the first one (Riley or husband) I'll save if the house catches on fire! Oh, sure, that sounds horrible at first, but you can clearly see Riley is highly flammable.

Birthday Girl


This is Cinderella - we call her Cindy. Miss Cindy will be 16 in just two days. We've had her since she was 6 and 1/2 and she is a cancer survivor! Cindy likes to curl her lip when she is around strangers, but she's all lip (no actual bite.)

In the background you can see her (adopted) sister, Zelda. Ms. Zelda is of indeterminate age and quite insane. We call her "Squirrelly." She has 2 teeth and likes to bite my husband in the ass, which is impressive since she is damned tiny, and he is 6'2".

This has been Ancient Dog Chat. (I don't think Leesa has anything to fear in the photography department.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Good Crop.

I had a Miss Levy. Only she was a Mrs. Carmen. Other teachers – and my family – had commented on my reading skills, but she was the first one to make me believe that I could string my own words together. The very last thing she ever said to me was to keep writing. And then she gave me a hug that was so tight it was almost painful.

I hugged her back and then walked out of Greenfield Union Elementary School forever. And I vowed to keep my promise to keep writing – and then didn’t. Teachers tell you a lot of things, but they don’t tell you what to do with a blank sheet of paper. (Oh, my diary was easy - as a pre-teen I was brimming with angsty thoughts.)

Then there was my handwriting. It was bad. My mother hated it and would make me practice in a notebook and compare my sloppy letters to her “pretty” letters. She told me I had the handwriting of a “retard.” I felt shame. Everybody knew, even then, that handwriting was unique and said a lot about the person. Apparently I was deficient.

I didn’t want to write anything and could take no joy in looking at my own words. (To this day, when having to send her a card, I have a mini-panic attack when spelling my name.) Homework became tough. All my language skills were directed towards arguments and discussions. Thank God she’d never made fun of my voice or I would probably be completely mute.

As much as I complain about computers, I would not even consider writing if I had to write longhand. There was something wondrous about seeing a locked door opening; I could compose words and argue with whole new groups of people. Oh, and maybe I could write a few stories. Well, whaddaya know?

But Mrs. Carmen was the first person who made me take pride in my words: even if that pride got derailed for a while. She wasn’t as cool as Mrs. Zack, who would wear short skirts and too much perfume, and let us sing disco songs for a half-an-hour each day. She wasn’t as scary as the gym teacher who looked like Kojak. She didn’t wear bright clothes like the art teacher, or use moisturizer on her hands to excess like the music teacher. She certainly wasn’t mean like Mrs. Romanski - the math teacher from hell- with her red hair in a tight knot and her pinched mouth. What Mrs. Carmen was, what all teachers should be, is a planter of good seeds.

You can plant in a child’s mind flowers or you can plant weeds. You can give them the materials to plant a garden or leave them with only a wasteland. Teachers and parents should always plant good seeds, and spread just enough manure for something extraordinary to grow...

Just ‘cause I said so, and it’s my blog.

You're a Damned Liar, and The Truth Aint In You!

Computers are not easy. Oh, they are easy if everything goes to plan, but that rarely happens. For no apparent reason they do strange things that you can explain to nobody. It makes sure there are no witnesses.

Adding new programs to the computer is not seamless. Nope, stuff happens. There are errors. Every time you turn on the computer programs pop up that you don't want (at that second) and the task bar overfloweth.

HTML is confusing. Even to people who say it's not. Nobody can tell me why my profile is appearing in weird places. I've given up. I have the code for my blogroll and it doesn't show up.

And passwords? Ha! All those passwords that I was sure I would remember. Nope! All I can do is try to remember what I was into at the time I set up the account. And then request the damned thing just be emailed to me.

The other day Microsoft Word was convinced I was an Asian woman. All because I DLed a language pack to view a blog. It would only accept English as a second language. I had to do a system restore to stop weird squiggles from appearing.

Just yesterday, I was minding my own business when my PAGE UP key popped off. And it won't pop back on. And the last time this happened (then it was the "D") the computer guy accused me of having fiddled with it.

And the more of a computer geek someone is, the less likely they are to acknowledge that computers do strange things for pretty much no reason. They all become Spock. (Keys don't pop off for no reason - it's not logical.)

And when you find a program you like, the geek is there to tell you how it's bad and how you need ______. Only _____ is completely counter-intuitive. Only to geeks counter-intuitive seems to be a badge of honor.

I have many good qualities (like humility) but no where on the list is computer wiz. I need intuitive and simple. And sometimes I need geek assistance minus the smugness. I know, as a geek, this is their moment to shine. I know the sudden power tastes like vindication. (While you were getting laid, I was learning Linux!!)I just want answers and in the words of Denzel,"explain it to me like I'm 5."

Anyhow, before you get a computer everyone tells you they are easy and the best thing EVER. And they ARE cool, but a lot of blatant lies are told to drag people into the cult. (Many times computer ownership is like a scene from Fargo: Blood has been spilt, Jerry.)

And that's the truth!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rock The Vote!

Earlier I mentioned that Leesa is really a talented photographer. She sent in some pictures for Jones Soda labels. If you like what she does: please vote. My favorite - the flower with the colored raindrops - is currently in the lead (for all her photos)!

If the link Leesa listed does not work, try this one:


I like this. It's fun to speculate about the mysterious ring. I think part of my enjoyment also has to do with the layout of the blog. It has a nice 40s or 50s motif, giving the story a feel of a Barbara Stanwyck movie.

Um, Okay, Never Going to Mock Someone Again (for the next 5 minutes.)

See last entry.

Went to coffee shop and the same group of kids were in. The cops just arrested one of them. For shooting someone and hiding the gun behind the grocery store. Now another one of the kids is worried the cops will find out he was on probation. (And there is possibly a warrant out for his arrest.)

Talk on, Kids. Talk on. I'll just turn up the music. It'll be fine. Really...::Ingratiating smile.::

(Update: the rest of the kids got booted for bringing in pizza. If they bought coffee and muffins they could have stayed. Note to self: hide contraband Luna bar.)

A Padded Cell. (I phoned in this one.)

Who doesn't love a good cell phone rant? And the above, my friends, is a good cell phone rant.

I go to the coffee shop to write. I take my cell, but asked my hubby to send me an IM instead of calling. Why? Because I know that the very sound of a ringing phone puts me on edge - and I don't want to inflict it on others when I can have the same conversation with my hubby more privately. I like my privacy. This is pronounced the way that Brits and Madonna would say it - priv (rhymes with "give") a-see)

I like quiet when I'm working. I cannot believe how many people allow their kids to run through the coffee shop. And the loud teens. (Look at me!! I have hormones!! I've hit puberty!! SEE ME!! LOOK!!! I am teenager, hear me roar!!) They are walking embodiments of that song by that old fart, Prince. Yes, Babies - you're all stars. Now shut the hell up!

And I rarely complain because I'm under the delusional that I'm not a cranky 30something. The other day there was a table full of "stars" though. One jokingly told another one to use their "inside voice." Several minutes later I felt compelled to ask what had happened to the whole Inside Voice thing.

"But... but ... you have headphones on!"

"Yes, I do! Headphones which usually block out sounds quite well."

"Oh? What are you listening to?"

"You, mostly. And this is my point."

As the books they handed out to us youngun's back in the seventies read, "Be Cool, Stay in School!" The kid on the cover had a big 'fro. A big Michael Jackson pre-sex change 'fro.

When I was in kindergarten we got a different book every week with the big glittery letter of the week on the front cover. And after we worked in the book we had milk and cookies. It was glorious! Wait ... what was I saying?

Right. Peace, Quiet. Less Cellphones. More quiet IMs and sign language. Possibly telepathy if you don't think too loud.

And the little children running around are just platforms for their parents' star trips. They get to talk loud and let you know what brilliant names they've inflicted on their kids. Usually the girls have pornstar names. And the boys have Rich Prick names. My belief is the coffee shop patrons should only know the names of their companions and the possibly the baristas if they aren't too cool for nametags.

Damn, now I want milk and cookies!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

100 Proof Paula

Okay, so those of you that watch Idol, how long do you think it will be before they have an intervention for Paula or she goes into rehab? We are on week 3 (at least) of bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and rambling comments. I call it a cry for help... or Visine.

A local reporter just described (in a teaser)a restaurant as smelling like someone had "let one loose." I wouldn't call that professional. Unless your profession is safety boy (Um girl? Person? ) at your elementary school. I'm not even getting into media bias, merely saying that credibility slips when a report contains fart jokes. Then again, I am waiting for the story to find out why the restaurant smelled like that. Never mind.

Major issues here...

My blog is doing all sorts of weird things! Can anyone who knows code tell me why my profile is not at the bottom of the page? (At this second, by the time I post it could be back in place.)

In Chester Cheetah We Trust

Skin Deep

I enjoy being a girl. I like perfume and make-up. I am sure heaven has bubble baths. I swear that, not only have I never had penis envy, I don't understand the concept.

One of my best memories ever was being on the way to a friend's surprise party and stopping for gas. I had on this short, tight dress, black hose, and sexy high heels. My make-up was perfect and my hair was loosely pinned up. I went in to pay for the gas and the cashier looks up. His jaw dropped and awe - Yes, Awe - crossed his features. I knew in that one moment what it must feel like to be a supermodel. I liked it.

So trust me when I tell you I didn't get Andrea Dworkin. I didn't understand why she hated pornography so much and missed what so many women know - that being female has its own power. Perhaps it was because she was not attractive.

But you know what? Ugly aint a crime. So why is it treated like one? Why when someone disagrees with an unattractive woman do many stop arguing the real issues and start arguing the surface issues? Namely why are looks treated like they are testamants to the morality, character, and intelligence of the speaker?

Not only is it oppressive when girls are sent the message that they had better their looks in order before taking care of silly little things like grades, it's also dangerous. When you tell our children that good looks equal a good soul you set them up for a lot of heartache. I imagine Lacey Peterson knew that in the end.

If the worst thing you can say about Andrea Dworkin, or Linda Tripp, or Janet Reno, or even Rosanne Barr is that they are ugly, I suggest you turn up the volume on your tv. I suggest you read their actual words and view their actions.

Martin Luther King spoke of judging someone by the content of their soul, rather than the color of their skin. So why is it okay to judge someone for having too little breasts or too big of an ass?

I believe Dworkin was someone in great pain. I think some of it -- and this is just a guess -- had to do with knowing she would never make the grade physically. (The expression about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear comes to mind.) I think the problem with porn had a lot to do with not being like the women she called oppressed. As much as she hated men, she probably hated women more.

Why she felt the way she did, why she antagonized the people she did is only conjecture. What we do know, and what we should judge, are her words and actions. These are the things we should discuss when we discuss Andrea Dworkin.

Too bad we can't get beyond the whole big, fat, ugly bitch thing!

Apologies, if needed.

The trackback feature keeps disappearing and reappearing. When it does decide to join us, all comments under the previous system disappear. My apologies for the (possibly) MIA comments!

Writes of Passage.

A visitor here recently asked me what I write. He told me not to answer back, "Words." I hate when people steal the perfect quip from my fingertips.

Right now I'm working on short stories which is perfect for my short attention span. I have a story submitted for a Lesbian Valentine's Day anthology. (Yes, I am married to a man - why do you ask?) I think it's a fairly good story. If it doesn't work out there, I'll try my level best to find it a home elsewhere.

I also have a few other projects rattling around, including a vampire tale. I cannot say more - I've just read a book which tells me emphatically that talking about works in progress jinxes them.

And I write the blog which makes the whole world ping! I had another blog and I've abandoned it. I must return to the nice people and direct them here. My other blog's template was a horrendous shade of yellow, pink, and blue - like icing on a child's cake. I feel guilty to abandon it when it's all dress up in such a Spring-y outfit.

Quite possibly the main reason I never pursued writing before was a fear of failing at something that mattered to me so much. What an absolutely embarrassing, cowardly thing to say. True though. Then I recalled that I am almost psychotically stubborn; the whole of the publishing world cannot hold out as long as I can hold on.

The only things I've really wanted to do professionally was work with animals and do something with words. I've done the animal thing and now it's time to put my ever-so-slightly argumentative (and verbose) nature to good use.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This Lady has Talent!
The pictures here are really stunning. I particularly like the Daisy picture called Imagination.

Speaking of Spay/Neuter - You and Me and Cletus Makes Three.

Here Kitty, Kitty! Should "Housecats" Be Hunted?

Wisconsin is allowing legislation to allow hunting of what are essentially feral cats. These are cats that look like Fluffy and Miss Boots but are meaner than -- okay, let's just say it -- cat shit. They are cats that belong to no one in any real sense. The neighbors might feed them out of a sense of compassion, but they are not being allowed in and are un-handleable.

While I cannot condone the hunting of these cats, I fully agree that something needs to be done. These cats ARE the descendents of house cats (common domestics) that were allowed to roam and procreate until the situation became out of hand. They pose a danger to humans and other animals and cause real problems for the community.

Anybody who's worked with ferals will tell you that they are dangerous. Even feral kittens can do great harm if they perceive a threat. There are many people who would rather go up against a vicious dog over a truly feral cat. These felines fight like the wild animals that they've needed to become in order to survive.

In my many years working with animals I've come to admire the fighting spirit of these animals. The fact that they exist is proof that humans continue to fail to be responsible for domesticated animals; they allow them to run loose and procreate at staggering numbers.

While I agree that they behave like wild animals, I cannot condone hunting an animal descended from our pets, which has become a fighter out of a survival mechanism that we all have. On the other hand I know how dangerous these animals can be, and something must be done to curb the unchecked population growth.

It's my belief that the surplus cats should be trapped and evaluated by rescue groups. The unhealthy and most dangerous should be humanely euthanized. The friendliest should be allowed to have a chance to become companion animals or be allowed to remain outside, although sterilized.

Instead of shooting these animals -- and you cannot convince me that all these "hunters" are acting out of a sense of compassion -- we should do the humane thing for the cats that only exist because of human failings.

Some of the people opposed to the hunter position are worried that pets might be inadvertently killed. As much as I don't want the hunting, I'm having trouble with this argument. Study after study has shown that cats allowed to roam, in general, don't live as long. They have to face all the outdoor dangers. You can't ignore the myriad of risks that your cat faces roaming loose and then only become concerned when the hunting issue is raised. And if your animal roams unspayed and unneutered...

(I'm not debating the indoor/outdoor issue - merely saying unless an owner that let's their cats roam wants to take on drivers, and the Rottie down the street, and malicious children, I don't think they can complain about the possibility of hunters.)

If you are claiming ownership of a cat and allowing it out, it needs a tag. Probably a microchip. If you are not willing to tag the cat than you cannot scream bloody murder that someone hurt your pet -you never claimed ownership in the clearest way possible. (If the cat isn't yours when it comes time for shots and sterilization and basic care - do not call it yours when it's dead in the street.)

What this comes down to is responsibility and compassion. Take care of your own pets and do the humane thing for these cats who are descended from these pets. Most of us wouldn't shoot our own pets, let's not shoot these descendents. But at the same time - let's not sit on our asses and do nothing! Humane euthanasia, rescuers willing to rehab some, and trap, neuter, and release for some.

The reason why neuter and release is advisable for the community is because a stabilized community is a lot more cost-effective than repeated attempts to kill them. The sterilized cats will not breed, much of the negative behavior will be eliminated, and there will be less room for more un-sterilized animals to move into the community. When you merely "hunt" the current cats you are just hanging our "vacancy" signs.

This is a call for those who love animals to act compassionately, and for those who do not love them to behave responsibly. Even if the cats seem like another form of vermin, they are there because of a marked lack of responsibility on the part of humans and aiming a shotgun at them doesn't change that fact.

Lies Your Blogger Told You.

The most daunting thing about starting a blog is deciding who you want to be. I'm a Gemini and I suffer from PMS: there are many personalities at work here, and only one of them is quiet.

Most importantly what do you share and what lies do you tell by omission? 'Cause if you think I'm showing all my warts, you can forget it! There's no way I'm letting people know about the odd shape of my toes or the fact that I have a weird fixation on... No Flippin' Way!

But for the record:

1. My name is not actually Nicolette. It's another French name though so, hey, same thing!

2. I'm 36 and nobody is more surprised than I am. I think I have slightly arrested developement. I mean, I've retained my youthful zeal and look at the world with curiousity and excitement. I can comport myself like an adult when I need to do so. I just try to avoid those situations.

Someday I will get plastic surgery. I aint proud. I resent shows that show how painful these procedures are, because that just isn't very comforting.

3. I love pets and have lost all resistance to sad animal stories. If you ever send me a sad story about an old dog dying I will instantly google a site on voodoo curses and come looking for you. This is because I worked at an animal shelter for years and have done my tour of duty.

I also don't want to hear what PETA is doing, unless it's so I can write about what horrible misguided, sure-to-backfire, thing they are up to now. Not all animal people are fanatics.

4. I am currently battling a horrible addiction to Red Bull. It's almost like crack 'cept more expensive.

5. I'm second guessing every word I type and thinking: No, no, no! I wanted to come across as charming and sophisticated and -- most of all -- capable of producing words of great power! To think, I almost revealed my fascination with...

6. I want to be able to discuss issues with people. I hope if someone disagrees with me they over one issue they won't write off all the things we've agreed on in the past. I wouldn't normally write someone else off if the situation were the other way around. (Unless they were torturing Shelties in their spare time.)

7. My mind is sarcastic, yet I hate hurting someone's feelings unnecessarily. Someone usually has to irritate me for quite some time before I'll really become unpleasant - then it becomes a little too ugly.

8. I'm too honest. I can't always tell when someone wants the truth and when they want polite lies.

9. I'm quite soft-hearted. I might seem sarcastic and acerbic, but I'm actually a sucker. Oh, I'll mop up the floor with you if you start with me, but I'll feel bad about it the next time I'm drunk. Although, since I barely drink, it won't be that often.

10. I would be a famous singer today if it weren't for that whole tone deaf thing.

My True Nature
My Maiden Post and My Maidenly Ankle. Made in America.
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