November 10, 2012


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
I've got some praise to get out there to the universe. Today I was in a car collision. It's not an accident, because, as we all learned from Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz, an accident implies there's no one at fault. (it sounds better with the English accent)
"An accident implies there's no one at fault." You read that in his voice, didn't you?
No one was hurt, which is what I keep coming back to, and all told it wasn't a very terrible collision, other than neither of our cars being moveable. And it wasn't my fault at allllll. And I had a child with me. She's also perfectly fine. I was WAYYY more freaked out than she was. I was yelling, "Are you Okay?!?!?!!!!" and she's all sitting there, perfectly calm, "Yes, I okay." Completely oblivious to the drama that just occurred or the severely high level of adrenaline coursing through MY veins. Have some empathy, kid, geez.
Photo from a New York DMV PSA.
Seriously, the po-po got there and I was sitting with the bebe on a log that the honda had run over and perched on because the Jeep was both unmoveable and blocking the road, so I grabbed Kid and sat in the field. It was a very lovely day today, climate-wise. 
First thing that happens is the officer comes up to me and bebe and asks if I'm okay. I held up my hand that was shaking like a leaf on the wind and just said "adrenaline, but everything seems to be working fine."
No one was hurt. The cars both looked like absolute hell, but no one was hurt. 
I made it 15 months without so much as a scratch on that Jeep, and now this. 
That little Honda tried really hard to eat Harry's bumper, I think I conquered. 
So, you can see that The front bumper was taken nearly clean off, luckily, her car was littler than Harry so even though she started it, much like a small dog with a size complex, the bigger dog wins. 
See, just like this. But only if that dog turns around and backhands that cat across the room. 
So, I avoided talking to the woman that callously slammed into my sweet Harriet. And I spent 50 minutes of my life on the phone with a lovely woman from Geico and a horribly bitchy woman from Allstate. Count it out on your fingers folks, yeah, that's 10 minutes shy of an hour. And all of that just to be told that the name and/or address and/or policy number that she gave to the police didn't match Allstate's records. Gee. Thanks. And I didn't do anything wrong except go to Kohl's today. But everyone was okay. No one was hurt.
Oh right, except for Harry... after the collision.
I was just thinking about the Allstate commercials where the littel girl, and the hippie guy, and all of the other characters start talking in President Palmer's (from 24) voice. Don't worry, everyone, she's got an Allstate plan; yeah well, 'lot of good that did me.

Redeeming part

The police officer that was talking to me was super awesome. Like, seriously. If you're ever in volved in police activity in Hatboro PA, p/o Graham is the guy you want on your side. Kid was more worried about the police than the collision. She was legit concerned the nanosecond she saw flashing lights she panicked like a suburban kid with a dime bag.
The thug life chose me!
Seriously, I was telling her that "Police officers are our friends" like the shark guy on Finding Nemo. She kept repeating my words like a mantra, "police, friend. They Nice? Uh-huh. Police, friend." all the while, staring down any officer that got too close. What happened in Kid's life that made her scurred of the police? I bet every time one of her parents drove past a cop car they said, "shit! cops!" I totally do that, I like to believe that everyone does that when they drive past a cop car. I hope. 
....aaand, I'm back
Any-whooo, Officer Graham was super nice. Actually, every cop was really friendly and helpful. I should have a cute kid with me every time I have police interaction. Well, not every time. I mean, drunken M*A*S*H night might not be the best environment for a child. However, she was pretty handy today. You know, when this happened.
Actual photo from the scene. You don't ask for change! 
I should have taken the "H" symbol that fell off the car and framed it. That's not shady at all, right?

November 7, 2012

The REAL winner of the election last night...

President Barack Obama won! 
I'd say the American people, seconded by the rest of the world population. However, that would be wrong. First, I know more than a few Americans (mom) that would be more on the world-is-coming-to-an-end side of the scale.
Republicans think this is going to happen now, probably on Inauguration Day 2013.
While I don't think anything like baby kittens puking double rainbows is about to happen, I think total world devastation is a bit far. (Sorry mom.) Yes, Barack Obama won the election by a smaller than we would have liked margin, but more than enough to rock the electoral college, and the Dems made (albeit) slight gains in both houses of Congress.
When Romney called to concede the election.
The people

Voter suppression that was institutionalized in many states thanks to voter ID acts and intimidation in many states. I'm not going to list examples, you all have Google. Examples of voter intimidation and the borderline fraudulent ways Pennsylvania tried to suppress the Democratic vote are not at all difficult to find with a simple Google search. Seriously, search it, I'll wait for you to open a new tab. (ctrl+t  people!)
DREAM and comprehensive immigration reform would be exactly nowhere on President Romney's schedule. We NEED comprehensive immigration reform. And why why do politicians think that the only immigrants into this country are from Mexico? I get it, the brown people are digging tunnels under the fence and taking your highly coveted manual field labor jobs and speaking their wacky different words and such. But seriously folks, there are other humans that came to this country as children, have been living in this country for years, going to school, working, paying taxes and making their lives here. Why are they not part of the equation?
No, there is an obsessive focus on Mexico. How about Europe? Asia? Africa? Canadialand? South America? Antartica?... oh, wait.
"Dude, I heard America is Awesome!!"
I love you women!
Yes, Ann Romney, you do love women, and so does the electorate. 
Literally, female candidates rocked that election. Todd Akin in Missouri, Joe Walsh in Illinois, and Steve King in Iowa all lost to women. The next Congress will include the largest number of women ever among its membership; 20 in the Senate, an increase of two, and at least 77 in the House, up by four, with two others vying in races that have not yet been called.
Oh, and New Hampshire has an entirely female congressional delegation. Way to go women!
Yay for Women!
Roe v. Wade is a big freaking deal here too. There is a very good chance that one of the three older Justices (Ginsburg, 79; Scalia, 76; and Breyer, 74) will retire in the next four years, and with one conservative that Romney would nominate, there is a very real chance that the landmark Roe v. Wade would get overturned. 

FIVE Absolutely horrific examples of humans that managed to get elected were ousted last night after making the most offensive comments about rape and abortion. 
Missouri Rep Todd Akin lost his challenge to incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill for her U.S. Senate seat after explaining that "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" during a "legitimate rape." 

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, lost to Democratic Rep Joe Donnelly for the U.S. Senate seat after saying, “even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." He and Donnely only differ on their abortion stances in the instances of rape, but it's still a step in the right direction. 
Illinois Rep Joe Walsh lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth after saying that thanks to “modern technology and science,” abortion is never necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother. 
Iowa Representative Steve King lost to former state First Lady Christie Vilsack after coming out against abortion in the case of statutory rape because he hadn't “heard of that being a circumstance” that’s been brought to him “in a personal way.” 
Freshman Wisconsin State Assembly member Roger Rivard lost to challenger Democrat and hardware store owner, Steve Smith after Rivard had told a local newspaper that his father taught him to be careful about premarital sex because “consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,” if she regrets it or is underage or gets pregnant and her parents are mad. And my personal favorite, “Some girls, they rape so easy.”

Ok, Women did come out WAAAAY on top in the 2012 election. (We did!) both literally and figuratively, but women didn't win the election. 

No seriously, who really won the election last night? 
The LGBT community won the election last night. 
I mean, honestly, they did. First, and probably the most glaring win, FOUR STATES PASSED COMPREHENSIVE MARRIAGE EQUALITY ACTS!! Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State all had Marriage equality ballot initiatives and they all passed. This is a HUGE step towards equality of civil liberties for all Americans, and today was a day in my life that I could say that I was absolutely Proud to be an American. Way to go, us. 
Also- The Employment non-discrimination Act, would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Good Sir Mitt Romney has stated that he opposes the ENDA on the federal level, the only level at which it has been proposed to affect.
ENDA Facepalm by Picard, because you can legally discriminate against George Takei.


10 October. Evening. 
I feel I need to share this event with you, dear reader. 
I was house/cat sitting for my Dad and stepmom for the week while they lounged on the beach in sunny Costa Rica. 

Actual picture my Stepmom took of a gorgeous sunset in Costa Rica.
What the 50° weather felt like here in PA.

I'm not bitter about it. Obviously.
I came home Wednesday night (the 10th) from bible study to Casey batting at a dead spider. A HUGE dead spider. I was convinced it would awake and kill her so I put a paper towel over it, put on a rubber dish washing glove, and disposed of it. No bigs, right? Eff you. 
At 1:20 this morning, now Thursday, I noticed Casey-cat batting at a dark spot on the carpet. When I saw it was a huge brown spider, I (well,
 I screamed a bunch, then and throughout) I put a tissue over it, dropped a ceramic bowl on top of it, and checked, it was still alive. So I did the same and jumped in the bowl. Still alive. I removed the bowl and hit it (still with a tissue over it) with a glass. Still THE FUCK ALIVE.
So I replaced the tissue and hit it repeatedly with the glass, screaming the whole time. It died. I think. I put I in the empty hot sauce glass and put some water in it (in case it was faking, that bitch'll drown) and put it outside. 
I think I'm taking it to a pest control place tomorrow to see what it is. I'm doing this because I'm still up at 1:45 and am nowhere near asleep after spending 20 mins searching for 'large brown spiders in PA' and hyperventilatingd/crying/freaking out as I try to read the web results to see if they can come back and kill me in my sleep. 
What the picture doesn't show is that person died moments after this picture was taken.
I also checked to make sure demonspider#1 was still in the trash. It was. So there are two. At least. I'm strongly, STRONGLY considering sleeping in my car. 

In Hindsight...
I know that they were Wolf spiders. Spiders that, obviously, bred with Wolves. That picture I "borrowed" from the internet because I sure as hell wasn't going to search around that site to see copyright info, so sue me*, is an actual picture of a wolf spider. It is EXACTLY what the spiders at my dad's looked like. 
That's right, Demonic.
Wolf Spiders in their natural form.
*Seriously, please don't sue me.

November 6, 2012

Election Alert!

Fellow PA voters! If you have or witnessed (such as unofficial signs) demanding that you show your ID to vote. PLEASE REPORT IT!!!! If its not the first time voting at that polling station it is illegal for them to refuse your right to vote or demand to see ID.

I was demanded of my ID to vote. Only after I reminded the lady working at the polls that what she is doing is illegal, was I allowed to vote.

Report incidents here. Please spread the word.

(American) Ninja Warrior!

So I was Minding my own business and watching American Ninja Warrior, as the title of this post would justly imply. I was very excited, you know, because it has "Ninja Warrior" in the title. It's right there! See! In the title! How could it be any less than sheer kick-ass awesome!? 
It's less than sheer kick-ass awesome. 

Well, it's complicated. See, when I think of Ninja Warrior, it brings me back to college. Back when I was living with the ever-awesome Beth Ennis of marrying-TKD fame we would watch this show all the time! It was one of the few shows that we both TRULY enjoyed. (That and 24, because BAUER.) Long story vaguely shorter, thanks to G4 Beth and I always had something to watch and bond over. Much like the Golden Girls had cheesecake. 

Like this, but with Ninjas.
And then when I started being friends with Jamie (whom I eventually lived with, along with others. More on the most epic year of my life later) we watched a lot of terrible horror movies (super cheesy bad, so bad they're good.... maybe) and a shit-ton of Ninja Warrior. Watching those men (and some women) brave the Sasuke and invariably* fall prey to the muddy waters under the jump hang, or the deadly log roll was oft the highlight of a dull evening. So they have a lot to live up to.
*By "invariably" I mean literally EVERYONE, hundreds of contestants over 20? Sasuke except for the AMAZING NW Allstars.

The Ninja Warrior Allstars
AKA 1 of the 3 reasons to watch television at all, consist of the few elite men who actually completed the challenge and owned Mount Midoriyama* like the little bitch she is. You know, if you have a ridiculously strong bod, iron-clad will, and just enough pride to try but humble enough to yield to the gods of the Mountain and recognise your own shortcomings. Oh, and it helps if you do nothing but TRAIN for the whole year.  
*I totally spelled that right on the first try. 
You too, can conquer this.
There's Akiyama, who was the first to defeat Mt. Midoriyama but then competed in 16 more Sasuke and only managed to get to stage 2 one time before yielding to the course.
The Japanese love of my life, Makoto Nagano, the lowly fisherman who rose to the challenge and defeated the Mount, and winning our hearts. Seriously, check out this video of his winning run: Makoto Nagano's Total Victory in Sasuke 17 Don't you just love him?
And the only man to achieve total victory twice, Urushihara. He's pretty badass. Especially when you consider he only competed in seven Sasuke. Ever. 
And there's always Yamada, or Mr. Ninja Warrior, once thought to be the most likely man to achieve total victory, has yet to do just that. Keep going, Yamada, I believe in you.
There are other Allstars, but the above are my favs.
This wasn't even a photo shoot, this was just a tuesday for Nagano.
Nowhere-near-potable Water
Do the Germans have a word for taking enjoyment in watching someone's life dreams come to a crashing halt into a large pool of -best case- muddy water, but still feel bad for them because you really really wanted them to make it? Because Schadenfreude doesn't quite cut it. Reason 2 is, you guessed it! feeling bad about others' failure. Hilarious, hilarious failure. 
It isn't even funny that one lost, or how bad they loose, or how hyped that particular competitor was that lost on the log roll or the quadruple step, it's how they flail themselves into the water. And then are immediately asked by a hot Japanese woman how they felt about their failure while two men narrate with subtitles that are either translated wrong or are that bat shit hilarious. Seriously, watch that video I linked to... or search for more. There are far funnier ones, they don't make fun of the all stars as much as the everyday competitors and the interviews/commentary when they lose is the funniest.
Whack! aaand... Splash!
This is from Nagano's run (check the link)
No, he's not. But Reason 3 why this show is absolutely the shit, he might actually make it!!! I mean, really, this one guy might totally make it! You watch the Sasuke and you genuinely want every competitor to make it to the end and hit that shiny red button. It's sad when they don't, mediated only by the hilariousness with which they are disqualified. But that's not really it either, unlike ANY and EVERY American show ever, the competitors are rooting for each other. Their faces are shown when a crowd favourite hits the water, and they're cringing. They want the other guys to make it too. I don't know what it is about American culture (cough, Teddy Roosevelt, cough) but we want to succeed at the expense of others; and I know it's not JUST America, but it sure feels like it, doesn't it? I mean, it's ok if I don't win, as long as that other guy doesn't win equally as hard. 

Ohmahgad! He's gonna make it!
Ninja Warrior is a break from that. These men go from training for 6 months to actually competing in the game that holds their destiny, to inevitable loss and then instead of whining about it, they actively root for the other guys. It's an aspect of a culture that is completely foreign to me, and I really like it.

Is why American Ninja Warrior blows. 
Honestly. We don't have Allstars, no hot fisherman turned kick-ass ninja turned adorable-dad. 
Seriously, how adorable?
They try to make the favourites out like allstars, like the guy who had to go to physical rehab, and then his PT, and her husband, the diabetic guy... whatev. You're not a gas station attendant just trying to make ends meet or a sushi chef in a sumo wrestler outfit who ALWAYS fails but keeps getting allowed back on, or the guy doing magic at the entrance and missing the go buzzer. American Ninja Warrior will always be lamer than Ninja Warrior. Sorry. 
The water the Americans fall into is clean, blue and probably heated and filtered. When they fall, there are no smiles, no, "I made it here and I tried." no bowing to the crowd in an acceptance of defeat or, "I must train harder, I was unprepared for the jump hang." (And let's face it, the jump hang will OWN your ass.) In the American version, they're all pissy about it. It's the game's fault. I need to train harder, I'll come back and defeat Mt. Midoriyama. ... yadda yadda yadda. 
No, you're not. 
I made it all the way to Vegas then lost! : (
Sorry, I'm not your mom here to coddle you from the mean world. It's too competitive, trial by fire. The structure of the show isn't the top 100, it's "let's narrow it down!" for ever. They go through each section of the country and accept a certain number of contestants from each section, regardless of whether they completed the first round or not. It's a time trial. 

How to fix it
If only they were required to actually defeat the first round to go on to the next level, it would seem less competitive somehow. Maybe it would make it more of a quest, one man against the course; not man competing over man to get the best time.
And, I admit, I was totally rooting for the masked guy. But seriously? I don't know. They played it up to much maybe, it started to irk me. it's not that you can train harder and get stronger to win; you need to yield to the forces that are stronger and admit your honest defeat of the course. 
So, I watched American Ninja Warrior, and I will continue to do so. Because it's still Ninja Warrior and if Nagano says it's ok, then it's ok. but even as I watch, I long for Ninja Warrior. And subtitles, and true camaraderie. And, I suppose, a time in my life that was. 
My favourite picture from when I lived with Beth. Also, Church.

November 5, 2012

Vision and scope.

Oops, I forgot about this.

I have been away for some time and I tried to come back and I failed really hard but I'm doing it. This Time, mark my words, loyal reader, I will not give up on this. I am refreshed. I am renewed. I am older and hopefully wiser. I am strong and I can do this. 

I'd say that is my mantra, but that really long. and hard to remember. So, whatevs. You get the point. 

And now, it's up to you, reader, to hold me to it. 

My New Vision

This will be focused on my Photography, always getting better. My oft skewed perspective on the world and faith. My brilliant sense of humor and my varios addictions. Mostly Castle and West Wing. to begin with the wit and the Wing: 

Donna: See, the thing about me, is that mine is a dry wit. And a dry wit, like a fine martini.... 
Larry (or Ed maybe): Uh-oh.
Donna: Yeah, nowhere to go there.