25 December 2006

things that aunts do and do not forget to do

she spells 'em as she sees 'em, originally uploaded by McBeth.

1. the aunts do not place candles where little hands can reach them.

2. the aunts do put bowls of plastic ornaments out for the little hands to fiddle with.

3. the aunts do not remember to scan the bookshelf before the six year old arrives and writes the words she sees on various book bindings.

4. the aunt gives up the battle with nary a fight after the six year old insists 'Ma'am' only has one 'A', and NO hookie thing.

20 December 2006

another mindless quiz

You Are French Food

Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.

contraction of the monster's esophageal musculature

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”

Yeah, you think so? I don't.
Fuck off, Moliere.

“Great minds have purposes; little minds have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; great minds rise above them.”

C'mon, Washington Irving ... Throwing
reason into the mix? That's a fairly rough way to kick a gal when she's down, ya big meanie.

19 December 2006

making faces

monkeyface aud, originally uploaded by McBeth.

...last night Momma Bird was gearing up to send Baby Bird to her room. Baby Bird was very tired and was in the earliest stages of meltdown.


Baby Bird had been asked to pick up her toys. Momma Bird was helping, but, as Baby Bird growlingly informed her, "You broke my very fragilistic things".

18 December 2006


crone plaza, originally uploaded by McBeth.

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.

-- Kurt Vonnegut


fog fence, originally uploaded by McBeth.

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

--Mark Twain

15 December 2006

Blue, and green, and blue

Blue, originally uploaded by McBeth.

While babysitting my niece at my sister's home this week, I asked Audrey if she had any particularly favorite ornaments.

She was feeling the Blue love.

better get contrite, and quick.

better get contrite, and quick., originally uploaded by McBeth.

This postcard resides on the wall of my computer desk. I find it a cheery reminder that, while I may occasionally think I'm all that, a big guy with nice legs and be-robed in a sassy yellow number could snap at any moment, causing my otherwise peculiar life to either make a lot more sense, or get squashed flat.

(*I am not the creator of this postcard image, I have scanned it personally as a preview/recommendation of the cool stuff at www.gatheredimages.com. Patronize them already.)

13 December 2006

choppin' broccoli

broccoli droplets, originally uploaded by McBeth.

Am I the only person who still remembers that SNL sketch, albeit vaguely but well enough, to chirp out 'choppin' broccoli, chop chop choppppin' broccoliiiiiii' when someone either utters the word 'chopping' or 'broccoli'?

11 December 2006

ball(ed)-headed holiday hats

ballheaded holiday hats, originally uploaded by McBeth.

...If one is whimsical enough to paint one's home two shades of purple with gold detailing, it probably makes perfect sense that one would then fill the yard with behatted bowling balls.

new recruits

reindeer newbies in the making, originally uploaded by McBeth.

08 December 2006

random exchange

While shopping a local Walgreen's yesterday, I had an exchange with the photo department clerk that left me thinking about the nature of accidents.

I've been turning these ideas over, trying to wrap my head around how completely against the laws of nature it is that we collectively have billions of daily multiple random interactions with one another, and thinking about how the consequences of those exchanges can be equally random - except when they aren't and something profound occurs within us as a result.

The twenty-something photo department clerk was running her scanner's magical red light wand across the UPC codes on the items I was purchasing while, meanwhile, making polite 'did you find everything you were looking for?' chit chat. I remarked absentmindedly that yes I had but oh goodness, last night I hadn't and that was why I was back again today. She ceased her red light wanding. She looked into my eyes with some concern and asked what had happened last night.

I, having had no expectation that she'd be the least bit interested and in fact, fully expecting her to respond the way many do in such store/elevator/crossing walk exchanges with a 'yeah whatever lady, now move it along' coated chill, prepared the Cliff Notes version of the story and noticed my shoulders lowering slightly. I felt my own energy change in the space of milliseconds. I perceived (even before I recognized the perception!) someone genuinely asking me about what I otherwise would have crossed off as a vaguely disappointing experience that no one cares enough about to inquire about.

I recounted my failed attempt the previous night at 9:45 p.m. to get a photo printed from their insta-pic machine. That night's employees had apparently closed down the photo department early and were not prepared to fulfill a last minute print request. I certainly couldn't fault them for my own last minute emergency, but I was bummed that they weren't following their own set hours and I was disappointed at feeling as though the posted hours (posted policies, posted anythings) were not worth counting on if the employees were in the habit of randomly closing up shop that way. It wasn't a big deal, I'd live to see another day, my sense of self and safety weren't in danger ... it was just one of those pains.

The clerk seemed surprised to hear that her department (her department) had closed early. She apologized for the confusion and explained how, had they been following their regular schedule, she normally would have been there the previous evening but that she had missed severals days' work to take care of a personal matter. I said 'no problem' and expressed my hope that her personal matter turned out okay.

Suddenly the floodgates opened.

Her grandfather had been sick. Yes, he was elderly and they knew he wasn't expected to live much longer but when the doctors had recently diagnosed his cancer and they said he had a month to live and then he'd lived exactly one month, one week it somehow froze the family into a shock. The knowing was one thing, the realizing was another. Grandpa died. The entire family had traveling to be together and present for his funeral. A big family gathering combined with a funeral was one of those chaotic big things.

Then, during the funeral her grandfather's son - her father - had collapsed. He was taken to a hospital emergency room to be treated for an apparent heart attack. The grieving family had to regroup and redirect their energies to help oversee care for her father; they couldn't properly grieve for the loss of their elder patriarch because of the ensuing heart emergency. Another member of her family had become very ill within a couple of days too.

"So yanno", she said, "I'm relieved to be back here and I could certainly think of a lot more stuff I'd have rather been doing during my time off, but that's how it goes sometimes isn't it?"

That's exactly how it goes sometimes, I agreed. Yes, yes, yes.

There was nobody holding her hand to a fire or forcing her to ask me about my shopping experience; she just did it as a matter of course. I didn't have to wish her well; I just did it as a matter of course. For me, something larger and lovelier was exchanged in those few random minutes and I have been left wondering if maybe there exists a rule within the laws of nature that purposefully makes space for the inclusion of random profundity.

the babies grow up too quickly

I'm on the breathing end of a computer problem of Monumental Proportions(tm). I can't say enough about the good people in my life who tried hard to help from far away, and for the I/S smartiepants friend (hi Patti) who came to my home last night with all kinds of saving graces.

I don't have any of my MS Office products back yet so I feel as though I'm wandering directionless without the Outlook calendar that helps me keep my life in order, but Photoshop is nearly back up (I've made only three calls to their toll-free support # so far, and that's just not nearly enough yet), as are some of the other miscellaneous programs that I have grown to become dependent on.

J. informs me that he and Sunny are an exclusive item now. He tried to explain between guffaws and laugh-like noises how he broke his butt today trying to learn a few new break dancing moves and trying to show off maybe just a little. Yes, I'm here to tell you that is true: we did not bury the break dance carcass deep enough back in the eighties and it's come back to haunt the next generation.

He asked if we could take his picture (He. ASKED. ::gasp::) so he could give a copy to Sunny. So we did. The above image is one of the three senior picture possibilities thus far.

01 December 2006


For those who might stop by to peek in regularly, I'm here.
I am.

The day after Thanksgiving I was feeling wretched -- crabby, short-tempered, listless ... you know the drill. Friday night I sneezed a big batch of sneezes in a row and **poof** I was if I'm not already dying I think I'd rather be dead than this SICK.

I've had this funky cold/flu bug for a week now though, and between horking up my lungs and blowing alarming amounts of mucous from my head and the mad dashes to the toilet for more "hugs" and feeling too faint to walk to the kitchen for a nutritious meal I haven't felt particularly inspired to talk much, even in text.

Truth be told I'm also feeling unsettled about all sorts of stuff that has no bearing whatsoever on you, but for me that means I'm absolutely flatlining on the creative front. I haven't taken my camera out of the bag at all, not even once, this entire past week. Which may sound like no big whoop to you, but for me it's not the least bit right; I carry that thing with me EVERYWHERE, it is virtually ALWAYS on my person or within reach. Not using the camera means something. What, I'm not sure exactly, but something.

Oh, and... well, and the hard drive within my lovely little not-completely-reliable but still-dearly-loved old computer has taken another crap and is now stuck in an endless loop of BIOS testing. I'm handy with a computer but it's quite sensible, I think, to admit a certain amount of DIY defeat when one cannot even understand the questions posed by the BIOS screen when one is trying to get out of that endless testing loop.

I'm stealing time online by using my son's computer (oh, how delighted I now am to have purchased it for him a few years ago - I mean, all those leg wrestling matches and the hair pulling we used to have to do for 'online time' when there WAS only one wonky machine at Chez McBeth!). If I thought this single machine could ably sustain us I'd be less of a fretter, but uh, have you seen how much space Adobe Creative Suite takes up on a hard drive lately? Yeesh. And if you knew my son's downloading habits (which I cannot justifiably kvetch about since he has a job and he is paying for his own tunes now) - well, you'd understand how very little hard drive space remains on this, the working machine. Long story short... that ain't gonna work. No way, no how.

The debate within me now is probably not unlike the same tape loop conversations that we all have with ourselves:
- the cheapest way to go is fixing it myself
- I am unable to fix it myself when it's this broken
- I only want to reformat the hard drive to reinstall apps
- I don't know how to do it
- I can call the great fellas at GeekWorld to help me; I like them.
- They cost much more than fixing it myself (which is what I can afford to do at the moment)
- If the hard drive is not fixable or if there is some flaw inside the box it'd make better sense to buy a new hard drive
- I just installed THIS hard drive earlier this year, f*ck if I'm buying ANOTHER!
- I'm not well-versed enough to know if the current hard drive is hosed enough to turn it permanantly into a coaster for my beverages.

I spin around with those basic ideas/themes until I've convinced myself that for as much hassle as my computer has become in its golden years, maybe it'd be better in the bigger picture to just ditch it and get a new one --
-which I cannot afford

You probably get the idea by now.

Life isn't all bad though. My son has a date tomorrow night! He showed me a picture that the New Girl gave to him and she looks by all outward appearances as a pretty, somewhat shy, not-waiflike (for some reason I feel the need to feed waifish-figured people; now I can sit back and trust that she has some basic self-care skills), lovely high school senior who has long black hair and glasses and the slightest hint of a gentle smile.

They tried to schedule a date last weekend but between her scheduling conflicts (she was busy with Hmong New Year festivities) and his (I roped J. down to spend the entire Thanksgiving day with the 20 family members, some extendeds, who had travelled to be here with us) that first try didn't work so well.

He's very smitten with this girl and it's awfully sweet to see his planning at work, nearly heartbreaking to help him figure out the best movie to take her to (no chick flicks because, as his friend Lily told him, it's wayyy too early in their relationship for her to feel like an idiot for crying all over him; no blow-em-up/shoot-em-up movies either; that's just poor taste to assume she'd want to see action heroes until she expresses the interest).

I suggested a movie and absolutely anticipated being shot down for being a hokey old hippie weirdo. There was no shoot-down. I know, I can't believe it either! He and S. are going to see 'Happy Feet' tomorrow night. And he's asked to borrow my car so he has 'good reliable transportation'. And he's really trying to be cavalier about this thing -- even more precious to me because, well, he's SO NOT.

Appropos of nothing really, he informed me tonight that only white people eat fried rice (?) so he refused that option on tonight's take-out dinner menu. I reminded him that fried rice was the ONLY thing he used to choose before he became mah-toor, cultured and too cool for his own good. That kind of lighthearted exchange comprises many of our conversations these days, which delights me and seems to entertain him.

KD is staying over at our place tomorrow night because we -meaning she and I- have agreed that we will have so much post-date grilling to do when he arrives home that it only makes sense. Both of us will want to ask the 'did you kiss her??' question but we're still negotiating who it will sound less creepy coming from.

Between lung horking, sinus drainage, a broken computer and a kid on his first real date that's the news from here.

24 November 2006

with thankfulness

I spent a goodly share of yesterday's Thanksgiving holiday ruminating all the things and people in my life for which I am grateful.

Here's a biggie on my list:

My son. The goofball I still sometimes refer to as McSlimy. I cannot imagine life with me as the parent is always a delight and I appreciate his mellow go-with-the-flow style. And his sense of humor, sick as it is, buoys me when I'm struggling.

I'm having some trouble lately believing that I have worth, that I do anything of meaningful consequence, that I have better than mediocre talent. One look at that kid confirms that - if I never do anything right again - I've done a better than fair job in raising him, and that's enough to get me through today.

17 November 2006


My favorite bumpersticker from yesterday's driving, with a twin on the left bumper that read "normal is relative" ... you may want to click on the image to be able to read the text.

What's the bigger point here?

Any organization who will work tirelessly on behalf of my rights gets the big ol thumbs-up from me.

It's just that ... well. Um. Well. Any organization who will work tirelessly on behalf of my rights but somehow make me feel like a contestant for title of biggest losingest loser ever for trying to help them help me? It makes me wonder if those sweet idealistic workers could use a reality break. Or a reality check-in. Or a wake-up slap. But something, definitely something.

A Fair Wisconsin should not make a member of its population feel like a dopey schmuck for being the unemployed disabled economically challenged woman hidden inside the lesbian Holly Near concert-goer she fronts up as.

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Holly Near concert in Madison. I would not have been able to attend had I been responsible for paying for the tickets, I'll say that here and now. Oh crap. Okay, I'll stop here and just say this: I don't like talking about the reality of me often or much because that's just not very interesting to me. It's painful and it sucks ass a good portion of the time. But it also makes a difference when I'm sharing a story such as the one I'm about to convey so kick your shoes off and have a gander (no staring though please. or direct eye contact, no looking the wildlife directly in the eye)...

I'm a single mom, a condo owner for 10+ years who was able to buy my home through Habitat for Humanity, who is responsible for coming up with my mortgage payment and monthy condo dues. Because I am disabled I have not worked for over four years. I receive a monthly SSDI check and I am not currently working (though change is coming down the pike, but for now let's call it 'not officially working').

The ugly simplistic way to slap a lable on me and mine is to call me what I am: POOR.

I'm probably a microcosm of many better-financed households in that I have to really argue myself into or out of a "want" by a careful comparison of needs. The microcosm part is that my income doesn't substantiate a particularly long list of wants before I've caught myself laughing -at me, always at me. Mostly I laugh about how ridiculously now-and-wow I must fancy myself if I think I HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE to have Tivo or cable or an MP3 player (but wow, I'd sure love an iPod, who wouldn't?!).

In fact, I just had that argument with myself (I won!) about whether to pay the gas & electric bill or to make a donation to Tret Fure's fundraiser to help finish Wendy Schneider's documentary, CUT, which addresses teens and self-injury. I totally picked that one right. (I'm digressing again, aren't I?)

But luck and the fates do intervene, and hot dog! - my gal has two complimentary tickets to a Holly Near concert and we're so there!

I wish I wouldn't have felt the need to be so contrary, so assertive with my need to be NOTMYMOTHER during my earlier years. Of all the ironies, Holly Near was one of my mother's favorite musicians so I, of course, had to loathe her. I had to be dispassionate about Holly Near: "Yeah whatever. No, I don't really care about her activism or politics or whatever other magical stuff she can do because as long as my mother is going to listen to Holly CDs every Saturday morning for her "motivational music", I got no opinion about her and even less interest in learning more".

KD's first Holly Near experience was over 20 years ago, when she was just a shy baby lesbian coming out of her closet and she's reportedly attended many concerts in the years since, but the concert last night was my maiden voyage into the Holly Near experience. She's good. She's very very very good. I'm still hung up on that whole 'how can I like her if my weird mother likes her?' thing, but my my my she's good.

By that part of the concert referred to as intermission (or 'halftime', by my Packer-loving friends) I had been thinking for some time about what I have done to take a political stake in my own future and the future for the three generations who will exist beyond me and as honestly worn-down tired as I really truly do feel most of the time, I figured aw hell, I can try one more thing. Holly makes it sound like fun, dammit. I blame her. She made me feel encouraged, supported, activated!

So while she led us up one song about civil rights and down another no more war lane I decided a few things: I cannot give more of my time because so little of it exists to be given right now (another post for another time, perhaps. Just trust me for now, okay?) but I decided I could do one more very painless action to encourage my friends and neighbors who don't already have some common sense or a sense of what's going on around us and why their vote will be very important, who might need one little nudge to be swayed, I could do that one thing.

I decided I could put up a little yard sign.

At intermission I told KD I'd be right back, then I headed out in the slow churning of energized bunnies talking and laughing and sharing plans and sharing tactics on our collective way to the lobby.

I located the table that had Fair Wisconsin yard signs and waited my turn to speak with the young man seated to the side. I cannot recall the name of the organization who 'owned' the table, but that table also held some peace & justice yard signs and a whole bunch of other reading materials.

The person in front of me finishes her business and now it's my turn:

me: Hi there! I'd like to help and the way I could help is by putting up a yard sign - I mean, if that would help I'd be glad to do it for you.

he (pulling a clipboard around for me to see): Ah, well! We're really trying to get people to sign up for shifts so they can...

[I cut him off mid-sentence. I realize this is not polite in conversational terms, but I don't want the poor fella to waste his breath when I have very specifically stated my very specific offer]

me: No. Nope nope nope. I will not sign up for a shift. Let me try again. What I meant to say was: I'd like to help and the way I could help is by putting up a yard sign - I mean, if that would help I'd be glad to do it for you.

he (pulling around another information clipboard, different flavor): Oh, okay. Well, they're asking that people make a $5 donation for each sign.

me (now looking at him with the glint of You're Not Hearing Me in my eye): What. I. Meant. To. Say. Was This: I have no money to give you for a sign. But I'd like. to help. and the way. I could help. Is. By Putting UP. a Yard Sign. - I mean,. If THAT. WOULD. HELP. I'D. BE GLAD. TO DO IT. FOR YOU.

he (seemingly unsure of what to say): mmmm, go ahead and take one.

I can't express how disappointed I was, and still am, by the voters in all but two counties in the state of Wisconsin. FairWisconsin raised more funds and awareness than I think they ever expected, but it wasn't enough to knock the marriage amendment referendum outta the park.

I have been wavering on whether or not to post this entry, in part, because FairWisconsin did what seemed impossible a year ago and it's just not nice to knock them when they're down. There's a lot to be said for the great stuff that results from FW's efforts. I've decided to post the entry because the accidental smalling-down of one of the people meant to benefit from their campaign IS important, and that old Biblical lesson about caring for one of the flock makes a certain amount of sense, even in this non-Biblical setting.

I have not taken down my yard sign yet, nor do I intend to until after the snow falls steadily. Call it grieving, call it whatever you want -- I worked for that sign and it's not leaving until I'm good and ready to let it go.

15 November 2006

if wishes were horses

“My wish isn't to mean everything to everyone but something to someone.”

tickled pink

What a treat to snap the photo for the owner of one of my favorite stores in the Madison area.

Darin and his haa-chaa-chaa manager stock the place with so much cool kitsch that it took me nearly an hour after I had shot their pictures to eyeball everything I wanted to look at (and finger handle nearly as much).

12 November 2006


The same pain that can blemish our personality
can act as a creative force,
burnishing it into an object of delight.
--Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Alchemical Wisdom

At times our own light goes out and is
rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think
with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us.
--Albert Schweitzer

I have never met a person whose greatest need was
anything other than real, unconditional love. You
can find it in a simple act of kindness toward
somone who needs help. There is no mistaking
love. You feel it in your heart. It is the
common fiber of life, the flame that heals our
soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to
our lives. It is our connection to God and to
each other.
--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

On this day I recognize the beginning of my 40th year and I point my mind with gratitude toward my many blessings, including those that come cloaked in heavy veils of trouble, fear or sorrow and those that look nothing like the opportunity they may be.

So shall they continue to bless me, so shall I continue to give thanks.

04 November 2006

I've done 107 of these 144 fulfilling stupid strange and/or wonderful things

(a meme picked up from gsurosey)

Level 1
(x) tried a cigarette
(x) tried a cigar
(x) smoked weed
(x) kissed a member of the same sex (thank goodness)
(x) drank alcohol


Level 2
(x) are/been in love
(x) been dumped/rejected
(x) shoplifted
( ) been fired
(x) been in a fist fight (hi mom)


Level 3
(x) snuck out of a parent's house..
(x) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) been arrested
(x) made out with a stranger
(x) gone out on a blind date

SO FAR: 13

Level 4
(x) had a crush on an older person..
(x) skipped school
(x) slept with a co-worker
(x) seen someone/something die

SO FAR: 17

Level 5
(x) had/have a crush on or liked one of your blog/online friends. (yes, it's you)
( ) been to Africa
(x) been on a plane
(x) thrown up from drinking

SO FAR: 20

Level 6
(x) eaten Sushi
( ) been snowboarding
(x) met someone BECAUSE of your blog or online community
( ) been in a mosh pit

SO FAR: 22

Level 7
( ) been in an abusive relationship
(x) taken pain killers when you didnt need them
(x) like/love someone who you can't have
(x) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by
(x) made a snow angel

SO FAR: 26

Level 8
(x) had a tea party
(x) flown a kite
(x) built a sand castle
(x) gone puddle jumping
(x) played dress up

SO FAR: 31

Level 9
(x) jumped into a pile of leaves
(x) gone tobogganing
(x) cheated while playing a game.
(x) been lonely
(x) fallen asleep at work/school

SO FAR: 36

Level 10
( ) used a fake/someone else's ID
(x) watched the sun set
( ) felt an earthquake
( ) killed a snake

SO FAR: 37

Level 11
(x) been tickled
(x) been robbed/vandalized
( ) robbed someone
(x) been misunderstood
(x) pet a deer

SO FAR: 41

Level 12
(x) won a contest
( ) been suspended from school
( ) had detention
(x) been in a car/motorcycle/4-wheeler accident

SO FAR: 43

Level 13
( ) had/have/will have braces
(x) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(x) had deja vu
(x) danced in the moonlight

SO FAR: 46

Level 14
(x) hated the way you look
(x) witnessed a crime
( ) pole danced
(x) questioned your heart
(x) been obsessed with post-it notes

SO FAR: 50

Level 15
(x) squished barefoot through the mud
(x) been lost
(x) been to the opposite side of the world (precisely? no. nearly? yes.)
(/) swam in the ocean/gulf (half credit for wading. that counts.)
(x) felt like you were dying

SO FAR: 54.5

Level 16
(x) cried yourself to sleep
( ) played cops and robbers
(x) recently colored with crayons/colored pencils/markers
(x) sang karaoke
(x) paid for a meal with only coins

SO FAR: 58.5

Level 17
(x) done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) made prank phone calls
(x) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose (thank you for the regular practice, siblings)
(x) kissed in the rain

SO FAR: 62.5

Level 18
(x) written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) been kissed under a mistletoe
(x) watched the sun set with someone you care/cared about
(x) blown bubbles
( ) made a bonfire on the beach

SO FAR: 66.5

Level 19
(x) crashed a party
(x) have traveled more than 5 days with a car full of people
(x) gone rollerskating/blading/ice skating
(x) had a wish come true

SO FAR: 70.5

Level 20
(x) worn pearls
( ) jumped off a bridge
( ) screamed "penis/dick" in class/public
( ) swam/swum with dolphins

SO FAR: 71.5

Level 22
(x) got your tongue stuck to a pole/freezer/ice cube/popsicle
( ) kissed a fish
(x) worn the opposite sexes clothes
(x) sat on a roof top

SO FAR: 74.5

Level 23
(x) screamed at the top of your lungs
(x) done/attempted a one-handed cartwheel
(x) talked on the phone for more than 3 hours
(x) stayed up all night

SO FAR: 78.5

Level 24
(x) picked and ate an apple right off the tree
(x) climbed a tree
(x) had/been in a tree house (thanks, Dad. It was not particularly safe but it was so cool)

SO FAR: 81.5

Level 25
(x) believe in ghosts
(x) have/had more than 30 pairs of shoes throughout your life
(/) gone streaking (half credit for nude sunbathing. it counts.)
(x) gone/visited someone to/in jail(visited)

SO FAR: 85

Level 26

( ) played chicken
( ) been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on
(x) been told you're hot by a complete stranger
(x) been easily amused

SO FAR: 87

Level 27
(x) Caught a fish then ate it
(x) made a video
(x) caught a butterfly
(x) laughed so hard you cried (then peed)
(x) cried so hard you laughed (then ...)

SO FAR: 92

Level 28
(x) mooned/flashed someone
(x) had someone moon/flash you
(x) cheated on a test
(x) forgotten someone's name
(x) slept naked
(x) French braided someones hair
(x) gone skinny dippin
(x) been kicked out of your house

SO FAR: 100

Level 30
(x) Rode a roller coaster
( ) went scuba-diving/snorkeling
(x) had a cavity
( ) black-mailed someone
( ) been black mailed

SO FAR: 102

Level 31
(x) Been used
(x) fell going up the stairs
(x) licked a cat (c'mon, gotta try that at least once)
(x) bitten someone
(x) licked someone (wavewave Jo & Lee)

Total score: 107

Your turn!

See, that was the cut/paste version. Here's the thinking girl's version: what haven't you done that you'd LIKE to do still? What have you done before that you are keeping far far far away from, now and forevermore?

I'd like to visit Ireland.

I'll try kissing a fish too.

I'd like to be able to do a backward roll again. And an incidental sidenote to Mr. Selby, the scary evil gym teacher at Garfield Elementary School in Davenport IA in the early '70s: I was NOT lying when I said that something in my neck snapped when I did that backward roll like you ordered me to perform. I mean, it's not that it likely mattered much to you (just guessing, but I doubt it did since you didn't hesitate to berate me all those other times for not being able to climb that stupid rope) but it was the last backward roll I ever successfully pulled off. Yeah, I was a THIRD GRADER. Feel bigger, Mr. Grownup Muscle Man?

I do not want to rent property from and belonging to someone else.
Ownership rocks.

I do not hope to spend any more time as a psychatric inpatient. Ever.

I do hope one day to garden naked.

ooh. it just occurred to me that maybe I should double-check my math in adding up those totals. Even when I'm adding in small batches I sometimes make small batches of mistakes. POSTSCRIPT: Whoops, I did catch one. All fixed, all accounted for.

03 November 2006

a wrench in the works

This is what the '97 Volkswagen Jetta Trek power steering fluid reservoir looks like. On my front porch. With a not-exactly-teeny hole punched out of it. Absolutely by accident. With a wrench. While I was replacing my car's battery. After the horn and the alarm system went bezerk and the car would not start.

Whewdoggy, Thursday sure was a fun day.

01 November 2006

hold it in your head: the stand-off

It was only today that I began finding words I could thread together to make sense of the habit I've been attempting for months to adopt. I have a feeling that once I spell it out and once I reread this profound experience I'll find it looks (even to me) a whole lot less amazing and a whole lot more 'well, yeah duh'ish than the learning experience has felt from the inside-out.

Isn't that an awful feeling? Thinking that something earth-shattering has happened or that you've uncovered a deep inner truth that nobody else in the history of the universe was able to figure out before you arrived on the scene (though you're willing to give possible creedence to the contributions made by some lowly cattle maid in western Switzerland who, you're sure, knew a whole lot more than the idiots running the dairy knew, if only they would have asked her once in a while for her opinion) only to find out that the truth of the matter is that you're being self-aggrandizing; that everyone else had already worked out that whole time/space continuum issue along with the speed of light and sound, the life cycle of decomposition, celestial orbits and other such heady matters. Gee man, I hate when that happens.

And as I write this I'm aware that it's probably about to happen as soon as I click on the 'publish' button. Ce sa.

I have always insisted that I am an open-minded individual. I believed I was. Nice, friendly; generally agreeable. Because of this belief I'd prefer not to gaze too long at the lyrical language I used within the privacy of my vehicle when someone else was driving theirs (in my opinion) too whatever. Too quickly. Too slowly. Too blinker-inattentively. Too aggressively.

The thing is, I finally admitted that I can't play both sides to try to be that image in the sideview mirror that appears better/larger than I really am. The dirty secret I finally self-revealed, for better or worse, was that I'm an emotionally charged basket laden with attitudes about so. much. stuff.

Yes, I've realized, I have an opinion about how Madonna has manipulated the media to her own best interest in her (very profitable) past so no, I don't have much to say about how she doth protest now. Is it fair that she's being attacked for using her position to get something she wanted? Did she actually do what they say she's done? Dunno. But she's brilliantly used the media before and I've no doubt she'll work it to get what she wants again this time.

Yes, I think minivans and minitrucks and SUVs and any non-car-sized vehicle are a general waste.

Yes, I can barely contain my urge to take a 2x4 to the thighs of allllll thooooose republicans who are demanding that John Kerry make an apology to U.S. troops serving in Iraq for the comment he made in his address to CA college students. Sure it's a wily election year with much riding on the line so I can appreciate the desire to take an opportunity and run with it, but GET A FREAKIN' SENSE OF BLEAK HUMOR, DICKWITS. In case there was some honest confusion and just for clarification purposes: Kerry was talking about the king of the dickwits. Yeah, George W., him. Do you get it? Get the joke now? sheesh

It wasn't my own behavior that got me to paying closer attention to my thinking habits, no. Other people were bugging me. The way that other people continually positioned themselves as openmindedly good/right/best bugged me and it bugged me a lot. And finally, when I found my own supposedly open-minded self copping an attitude about someone who was essentially doing the same thing about another person, I decided I needed to clean up my own shack before I went blowing hurricane-force attitude into other people's hovels.

I began exercising.
Not my body (though I've recently taken that back up also), but my mind. I made up a game in which I would take an item into my mind with the goal of uncovering my hidden attitudes, stripping them away from the item, then holding the item in my mind without personal prejudice to see how I might see the thing differently, and how I might change as an additional result.

While I wish I could get to skill mastry with faster speed than my current snail's pace, I'm no master at this exercise just yet. Frankly, I've only very recently gotten to a comfortable space with the "uncover and recognize the hidden" part. It doesn't take much for me to unobtrusively freak out just a little. Like when, after uncovering what I hadn't previously realized I felt about bumperstickers on the back of aggressively passionate parents of honor students and pet owners, I stack up a list of post-its why I felt loathing and disgust about the persons who would advertise such a ridiculous piece of news, I'd much rather set fire to the little pile of post-its than to do something creative or (ugh) productive with them!

Bring an item into your mind.
My random though generator formulates: Cruise control.

Uncover hidden attitudes.

I don't have any.

Oh really?
Nope. NO! But I sure wish my beloved dentbucket of a car had an electrical system and a cruise control system that would work more often than the occasional four mile long stretch of even-speed travel and a horn that sometimes beeps when the doors lock but more often than not, doesn't.

I see. But no hidden attitudes, right?
Right-ii-o, you got it. I mean, if I had a car whose cruise control worked properly you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be USING IT, unlike the maniacal idiots who surround me.

Good thing those attitudes don't get in your way.
Thank you kindly.

THose are the awkward beginnings of how I began paying closer attention to the thoughts I didn't know that I have but I have them anyway. That's how I began thinking the words - like 'astroturf', 'plan', 'celery' (a difficult word to overcome for those of us who don't have much use for the leggy green vegetable), 'hair', yes and even 'cruise control' without wanting to either hit or cry. Had I known in advance what a difficult task I was setting myself up for I'd also have developed colorful ATTAGIRL! stickers with which I would have rewarded myself for overcoming my sometimes rusty mindset. If stickers work for the pottytraining three year old crowd, I'd like to think I could have benefit from cheerfully stickered warm fuzzies as well in spite of that slight chronological difference between a toilet training three year old and myself. Doesn't my emotional immaturity count for anything around here??

The practice continues to be good for me. I've noticed a change in myself, a pleasant detachment with some subjects that at one time held for me the potential for gutbusting fireworks. And though I hadn't anticipated overlap, I'm able to transfer the skills (and sometimes, the peacefulness) of just being with a word or a situation without feeling the need to do something about it. I'm learning to be, to just BE with something, until I can shake my attitude off the thing.

It seems to be at that point, at the point in time when I find myself pedaling the bike a little faster even though I know my hands are not on the handlebars because they're too busy waving around enjoying the air, that the real learning comes to me.

And so it goes. Ce sa.

30 October 2006


Pussycat and her Pussycat Liquor enjoy the annual festivities, bringing home the award for 'Naughtiest Costumes'. Woot Woot.

26 October 2006

small gestures

Among the things that made today worth getting up for...

A friend who gets her sustenance in a similar-to-me moment-grabbing way. Their dogs were fed and taken out by the g/f for a 'W' (sssshhh, in case the dogs are reading and I do believe they could if they mastered doubleclicking a mouse, that's the secret code for walk, which as we all know is done at the 'P'-fer-park).

When the dogs go out for walkies, up and out come the four cats for dog-free terror-free upstairs playtime/breakfast. J. poured out the soft food into dishes and set it down for some furry happy freerange grazers and then went along to do something else.

When she returned to collect the empty bowls from the floor she discovered that her kitties had left a few morsels of food in one of the bowls arranged in a happy face shape.

a couple pieces here, a couple pieces there, and a littl strip just like an upturned grin. I saw the image while seated on their kitchen floor today; I hope she posts the picture to her blog. If/when she does I'll be sure to link it up.

The part that really tickles me is that J. grabbed her camera and took a picture of the bowlface. She figured if the kitties could organize their random actions enough to say 'hey, thanks for the grub Mom, that was some tasty salmon and rice!', the least she could do was be grooved by it.

Save the land crab?

(assuming bent posture, hushed tone, and nervous right index finger-flicking habit)

Um, could someone tell me the story behind the curious and suddenly popular websearch for land crabs? I'm baffled.

And I thank you for your time.

25 October 2006

best-guess shopping

My name is McBeth and I have a kid.
hi mcbeth.

I happen to think that my kid is pretty great as far as 17 yr old boys go. I haven't met the number of 17 yr old boys necessary to base any of my opinions on statistical certainties, but I've met enough of the 'new breed' and I've lived through my own chaotic teen years, both which make me feel a reasonable amount of confidence when I make the following statement:

Boy teenagers are weird.

My kid is the one who knows what to say and what to do to drive me apeshit. Some of what he says and does is specifically targeted to get the maximum motherly reaction, I realize this. Like when he calls anyone who doesn't happen to be a stauch Republican a 'dirty hippie'? Yeah, he knows what he's doing. Yoink.

There are other things he says and does that I don't believe are meant to be targeted missiles aimed with military accuracy at my heart, they're simply his personal preferences: his clothing choices fall under this general heading.

My child has never been a flashy HEY LOOKIT ME!!! personality. He's sneaky (in the best ways) and oh-so-subtle (become his friend and I'll bet $4 that you'll adore this especially when you see it play out in his sense of humor). The outward manifestation of his under the radar style is that his wardrobe, particularly during his preteen and these current late teen years, is remarkably bland. Or maybe I should refer to it as unremarkably bland, since the whole purpose of bland is, by definition, to not be remarkable.

I have learned over lo these many years not to shop for my son unless his body is physically present in the store with me. His long tall lanky body makes clothes shopping slightly more complicated than if he had a shorter or wider or more typical body size and shape. But after repeated misses on my part ('oh, this is cute! I'm sure it'd fit him!') I've learned that, unless his body is RIGHT THERE, I'm almost never a good guesser and the return policies at many stores cannot make up for the disappointment and hassle of having goofed. So as a general rule I no longer shop for my kid by myself.

Until Monday.

I happened to be inside the megawalls of Burlington Coat Factory in search of a Pizzazz! to replace the one we've had and loved so much and for so long that a month or so ago, while baking what we didn't know would be its final sausage and mushroom pie, it popped its revolving peg and breathed its metaphorical last breath.

No Pizzazz!, but Burlington impressed me on two other fronts: their newly-revised return policy (woohoo! thank you for finally pulling your head out of your butt, Burlington! It only took you, what, ten years?) and their clothing selections for Big/Tall Men.

That nagging pest of an inner voice chirped 'don't do it, don't even look and for heavenssake don't buy, the lad is not with you and you KNOW how this turns out because it always always turns out the same way every time you've ever done it before' in my left frontal lobe as I browsed through the racks. I told the voice to shaddap, this is a great deal and hoo-miii-gawwwwd, lookit these prices, can't even the most embittered inner voice appreciate a good deal? My little voice said it would look forward to laughing its disembodied head off at me later and wished me luck. I didn't like the tone my little voice was taking with me so I compromised with sensibility by agreeing with me that I'd only look through the shirt racks - no pants. There, I sneered at my little voice, see? I'm agreeable. I'm flexible. And to be clear, little voice, I'm also not leaving this store until I have a few pieces of clothing to return to the cave with, to replace the holey thinning-fabric'ed shirts he's been getting by wearing for way too long.

And just to stick my tongue out at my little know-it-all companion, I called my child (speaking loudly enough on my cell phone for my little voice to overhear my end of the coversation) to tell him where I was and what I was doing there, and I asked a few questions to narrow down the selection process. Yes, he needed shirts with collars for work. No, he didn't care if they are long- or short-sleeved. Sure, he could use some t-shirts. Um, okay, sure that's wonderful that Burlington Coat Factory's return policy has changed. Yup, great news, mom.

I picked out a handful of nicely-priced tees and casual dress shirts and, with the exception of three items, I felt certain my child would be pleased with my selections.

Here are my successful picks, shirts whose colors fall safely within my son's comfy color palette:

The three shirts I wasn't so sure about? Here are the three that, according to the lad, should never have come home to live with us:

That was my ridiculous attempt at introducing a few more colors into his life. In retrospect and with consideration given to the fact that he only started wearing non-gray/non-black clothes this very year, I probably could have aimed for something slightly less GRAB THE MARACAS, I FEEL A CHA-CHA COMING ON. But, I figured, it was worth a try, especially now that Burlington Coat Factory will give me my money back for whatever items I return to them.

I'm probably working hard to justify the soon-to-be-returned purchases, but I'm not giving up hope that one day my child will adopt flexibility similar to that which I demonstrated when I told my little voice to piss off because I know my weird kid best.

20 October 2006

it only takes a meme to get a fire going

All hail to Sarah (who I had never before met but *wavewave*nicetameecha) in Seattle for braving the comments section at Snow's blog. It was because she did that I did a little happy chairdance for her to go along with a tune I entitled 'Gooooood on yaaaaaa Sar-ar-ar-ar-ahhhh', and then (of course) I had to click on her comment to find out more about her. That's part of the lateral magic of the internet for me. Long story short: this meme was happily snatched and passed with love from Sarah's blog.

1. First name? Legal or nick? mm, I'll go with Beth.

2. Were you named after anyone? The Biblical one as in mother of John the Baptist Elizabeth. But hold the 'z' and give me a dollop of 's' instead.

3. When did you last cry? Two days ago, while babysitting my sweet niece. She said something funny that unexpectedly touched me (and, upon seeing me wiping tears she asked if it was her fault that I was leaking water out my eyeballs).

4. Do you like your handwriting? I do. When I was learning to write as a child I hoped huge hopes that I would write just like my mother, who has beautiful penmanship. I write more in block capital letters than I do in cursive now, but I like them both.

5. What is your favorite lunch meat? spamspamspamspam (yes, I am serious, if it's heated up) and braunsweiger.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? It depends a great deal on what 'other person' I would be, don't you think? But for the sake of an answer: if I was a generally decent kind and loving person with a slightly off sense of humor I'd LOVE to be my friend.

7. Do you have a journal? DUH.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? All twelve of them, which I have a strict policy against loaning out.

10. What is your favorite cereal? Life. Ooh, and Golden Grahams, even if they scrape up the roof of my mouth. mmmmmmm.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Slip-ons? No. Be sensible! Shoes with laces? There's where it becomes more complicated: if I'm in a hurry to use the bathroom or after a very long day I'll shoehorn them off using the toe of one foot against the heel of the other shoe w/out touching the laces. But (!) if I'm trying to make an ooh-la-la good impression I will undo the laces manually because, as we all know, lacingness is next to godliness.

12. Do you think you are strong? Very. I'm fairly vulnerable as well, but that's probably a lesser-known fact to anyone who either does not reside inside my head or who is not allowed by me into the Inner Sanctum.

13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? It's wrong to hurt the feelings of potentially hundreds of flavors by claiming my ardor for Just One. Wrong! I'm not a big ice cream freak, but when I was pregnant 18 years ago I had THEE. WORST. CRAVINGS. for Ben&Jerry's Chunky Monkey. Hey, when that growing fetus needs a dairy fix who am I to stand in the way?

14. Shoe Size? A brand-dependent 8.5

15. Red or pink? Yes.

16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? When I make decisions based on my (real or imagined) fears.

17. Who do you miss the most? The list is long, there are no 'mosts'. All of them, yes. Very much.

18. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? Everyone in the entire universe, yes. Or maybe not. Okay, maybe a note to say 'hey that was fun and I'll play along too' -- that'd work fine.

19. What color pants, shirt, and shoes are you wearing?
Shoes = none. Pant = blue (jeans).
Shirt subsection (a). long-sleeved cotton scoopneck = fuscia.
Shirt subsection (b). zipped-up hoodie = orange.

20. Last thing you ate?
Real food: leftover baked ziti
Non-food item: a piece of tobacco when I smoked a cigarette earlier tonight.

21. What are you listening to right now? The water filter of the aquarium. Little bit like the sound of a tabletop fountain. I sure do appreciate the determination of that lone surviving fish in there but wow I'm not going to miss the every-other-week cleaning when it's gone.

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Puce.

23. Favorite smell? autumn in Wisconsin, currently. There's another one I will not spell out because my non-legal spousalish unit will faint and possibly suffer a brain injury during the falling process if I were to mention it (it implicates her person). I don't wish a brain injury for her, so let's just go with the 'autumn in Wisconsin' answer.

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Without implicating anyone, see the response to question #23.

25. What is the first thing you notice about people to whom you are attracted? It depends on what part of them is visable when we first meet. I tend to be attracted to men's forearms (don't laugh, one of my sisters likes eyebrows). I noticed scents. I notice gestures. Body language spoken here too.

26. Do you like the person you stole this from?I have no reason not to like no-longer-a-stranger Sarah. Sure!

27. Favorite drink? whiskey/water.

28. Favorite sport?Fun-poking. I paid a LOT for my equipment too, so I try to use it as often as possible.

29. Eye color? Whose - mine? Green.

30. Hat size? Here's a question about myself that I honestly don't know! Huge. Is there a hat size called 'from which side of the family did you inherit that enormous melon?', because that's what size I wear.

31. Do you wear contacts? No, just glasses for computer work/reading.

32. Favorite food? Name the starch, I'm there.

33. Scary movies or happy endings? Scary movies that end happily.

35. Summer or winter? Neither. Autumn.

36. Hugs or kisses? I'll take three helpings of both please. As the seasons change my lips become more and more chapped so I tend toward the hugs for sake of keeping my lips from falling off my head. But I can be persuaded to let one or two really good tingly ones sneak past with no nevermind.

37. Favorite dessert? Current cheap and easy dessert craving is Rice Krispie Treats - the version with butterscotch and chocolate mixed in. (insert Homeresque beer drool here)

38. Who is most likely to respond? Oh sweetheart, I won't even begin to guess.

39. Least likely to respond? Do I need to speak into your good ear?

40. What books are you reading? The new 'O' magazine that arrived this week (let's call that 'reading lite'). And The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers). And Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert). And for fun, The Order of Things: How Everything in the World Is Organized into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders (Barbara Ann Kipfer).

41. What's on your mouse pad? The image? It's a photosleeve containing a photo I took of my son at the midget car races on his birthday two years ago.

42. What did you watch last night on TV? The Thursday night Gray's Anatomy/ER doubleheader. Pardon me, but I was most certainly not sleeping! I was resting my eyes.

43. Favorite sound? Wistful answer: our voices together, on the rare occasions when my sibs and I have sung together. Day-to-day answer: my son's guffawing laughter.

44. Rolling Stone or Beatles? Rolling Beatles.

45. The furthest you've been from home? physically that'd be Melbourne, Australia.
I've gone far far away inside my own head during some pretty dark times, but I suppose that's more of a metaphysical kinda travel.

46. What's your special talent? My Stupid People Tricks are not limited to but include: tying a cherry stem using only my tongue, doing the 'Live Long and Prosper' thingie using my toes, whistling through my rolled-up tongue and (this one is my personal fave) flipping my eyelids inside-out. When I'm not making an absolute fool of myself doing those nifties, I have a rather highly-tuned bullshit detector and can (usually) call someone on their crap without making them feel horrible. After having experienced both sides I now know it takes talent to do that.

47. Where were you born? In Mississippi.

48. Who sent this to you? Nobody, baby, I reached out and grabbed that ring all by myself.


Yes, the sauce factor is running slightly on the aah-chaa-chaa side but for perfectly legitimate reasons.

[Is there ever a time when non-legitimate reasons for sauciness would be an issue? I think not, but that's not the point I'm trying to make here.]

I'm gathering the components for the very important upcoming Halloween costume, all of which have arrived (on time!) (with minimum fuss!) (and with the exception of one item, all for $.99 shipping).

I hadn't actually planned to buy an auburn bouffant wig for the costume itself, but now that I've tried on the half-mask that I DO purposefully have for costuming purposes I may need the extra wiggy height to help balance out a mask whose eyeholes don't match up with my sockets when the mask is on my head. I'm glad I bought it.

More on the costume in the coming days ...

Are there any Halloween fans reading this? Do you remember what your favorite childhood costume was and why it thrilled you so much? Do you have a particular favorite now that you're a little more grown up (and I'm leaving that term grown up entirely open to personal interpretation. On purpose).


Gabcast! Convergence of Intermittent Satellite Feeds #2 - aww, a baby audio post

my first successful audio post addition to the ol' Noncompliance blog.

And two lessons unexpectedly learned.

the subtle aroma of familiarity

from PostSecret

17 October 2006

pretty maids all in a row

shot during an LGBT Business Alliance event -- tonight's meet-up was held at the School of Madison Ballet where artistic director W.Earle Smith kindly permitted us to view his advanced class session.

Thhyeah, I can do that, I just don't WANT to. Yanno, because it's not nice to show off and stuff. (I think at least half of you all might actually believe me. Not bad, not bad.)

13 October 2006

looking at each other (by popular search demand, the entire poem)

Yes, we were looking at each other
Yes, we knew each other very well
Yes, we had made love with each other many times
Yes, we had heard music together
Yes, we had gone to the sea together
Yes, we had cooked and eaten together
Yes, we had laughed often day and night
Yes, we fought violence and knew violence
Yes, we hated the inner and outer oppression
Yes, that day we were looking at each other
Yes, we saw the sunlight pouring down
Yes, the corner of the table was between us
Yes, bread and flowers were on the table
Yes, our eyes saw each other's eyes
Yes, our mouths saw each other's mouth
Yes, our breasts saw each other's breasts
Yes, our bodies entire saw each other
Yes, it was beginning in each
Yes, it threw waves across our lives
Yes, the pulses were becoming very strong
Yes, the beating became very delicate
Yes the calling the arousal
Yes, the arriving the coming
Yes, there it was for both entire
Yes, we were looking at each other

(muriel ruckeyser,1978)


Just one of the many reasons I do so love this season called autumn.

10 October 2006

Please- Introduce yourself!

I'm always curious how the depth and breadth of the internet causes us to bump into one another.

How did you find my little goofy site here?

C'mon, you can tell me... I won't tell anyone. I promise.

05 October 2006

our what?

It's his fault. He got me all hopped up on rights and responsibilities. He got my synaptic gears moving, spinning out in wide circles around the clusterfuck known as HUMAN RIGHTS, so kindly direct your comments (appreciative or otherwise, using your carefully-selected words wisely) to him. Thank you.

In case your thinkbox has gone a little dusty on this particular matter (as had mine, don't worry, we're all friends here), according to that gang of dope smokin' hippies and their insane notion of a universal declaration of human rights [Adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948] we human-types should idealistically be able to count on a few, yanno, sorta basic givens.

Well get a load of this... Those krazy '40s era kids surmised that we as in everyone should have 30! Thirty is not a few. Thirty is 26 more than four; thirty is one more than 29. Thirty is quite a lot! If nothing else good happens in your life, they dreamily asserted while walking together buddy system style, we each can rest well knowing we each get full 9/10ths of the law possession of 30 you-can-count-on-its. That's the good news.

It goes slightly less well after this part.

Focus your looking balls on this: every now and again, and albeit usually in an admirably sneaky way, someone steals the cookie from the cookie jar. Sometimes the clever thief (and sometimes his cronies; good thieves need to have a solid support system, you know) tiptoes in and changes and rearranges the room so when it shows up on the pages of Highlights you initially won't be sure what's different between the first picture and the second one even if you have that niggling feeling that they're not the one single image, duplicated.

If you think civil liberties are merely words ~ fluff used as political nonactive ingredient filler for the Six O'clock Evening News when they can't find enough local tragedies to fill their 21 minute show well why don't you give a look-see? Check em out below. And don't think you aren't already missing the ones that have been erased with the bespittled corner of a napkin right off the whiteboard. It's just a little like that Highlights image: so close but not exactly the same.

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

04 October 2006

try the unusual thing

Standing in the laundry, naked as the autumn day is golden, pulling out clothes downy fresh and cuddling warm from their recently completed dryer cycle, pressing clean cotton against my goosebumpled belly and wondering while I shiver who else might be feeling this same sensation at this same moment.

secret sharing

share1[shair] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, shared, shar‧ing.
1.the full or proper portion or part allotted or belonging to or contributed or owed by an individual or group.

2.one of the equal fractional parts into which the capital stock of a joint-stock company or a corporation is divided.

–verb (used with object)
3.to divide and distribute in shares; apportion.

4.to use, participate in, enjoy, receive, etc., jointly: The two chemists shared the Nobel prize.

–verb (used without object)
5.to have a share or part; take part (often fol. by in).

6.to divide, apportion, or receive equally.

se‧cret[see-krit] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1.done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.

2.kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password.

3.faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; close-mouthed; reticent.

4.designed or working to escape notice, knowledge, or observation: a secret drawer; the secret police.

5.secluded, sheltered, or withdrawn: a secret hiding place.

6.beyond ordinary human understanding; esoteric.

7.(of information, a document, etc.)
a.bearing the classification secret.

b.limited to persons authorized to use information documents, etc., so classified.

8.something that is or is kept secret, hidden, or concealed.

9.a mystery: the secrets of nature.

10.a reason or explanation not immediately or generally apparent.

11.a method, formula, plan, etc., known only to the initiated or the few: the secret of happiness; a trade secret.

12.a classification assigned to information, a document, etc., considered less vital to security than top-secret but more vital than confidential, and limiting its use to persons who have been cleared, as by various government agencies, as trustworthy to handle such material. Compare classification (def. 5).

13.(initial capital letter) Liturgy. a variable prayer in the Roman and other Latin liturgies, said inaudibly by the celebrant after the offertory and immediately before the preface.

14.in secret, unknown to others; in private; secretly: A resistance movement was already being organized in secret.

[Origin: 1350–1400; ME secrette < OF secret < L sēcrētus hidden, orig. ptp. of sēcernere to secern]

ref1: sharing. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Retrieved October 04, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sharing.

ref2: secret. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Retrieved October 04, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/secret.

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