In an Effort to Balance My Karma

My last post was about all the stupid things that annoyed me last week, which is a negative karma to put out there.

In an effort to balance that negativity I will now post about all the great things in my life last week.

1. Little Dog. My son is incredible. I am truly blessed with him. He is kind, funny, moral, compassionate, intelligent and not bad looking. I enjoy being a part of his life. His friends are all great kids whom I also enjoy being around.

2. Furry. I love this impish little boy! He lifts my mood whenever he's around. He fascinates me as he learns about this world. His smile brightens the room and his tiny hand in mine makes me feel as if I am the luckiest person in the world.

3. My new computer. It rocks!

4. My hero,
Jen, whose husband I have adopted as a brother and whose children I have come to love. She inspires me and makes me want to be a better person.

5. Muller. (Holla Muller!) I could not have a better best friend if I designed one myself. She loves me and she also kicks my ass when it needs kicking. I know if I found myself stranded in a foreign place with no money she would laugh at me, lecture me, and ultimately help me to find my way home. She diagnoses my cat's ailments, keeps me from adopting a stray dog every month, sends me Eminem calendars and bagged fish products and has counseled me through every heartbreak I have ever endured. She has also almost been arrested with me, thrown a chicken at me, taken by best whiskey and used it to seduce a guy, stood by my hospital bed and told me I smelled (Ha!) and was one of the first persons to hold my newborn son. We also take (took) care of each other's moms and share a mutual self righteousness and desire to remain "cool."

6. I was able to help restore the sense of dignity to a couple of men who felt they had been mistreated. Client confidentiality does not allow for me to elaborate, but suffice it to say that if people would just spend 5 minutes explaining things to someone who doesn't understand than the world would be a would be a much better place.

Other random great things (in no particular order): Brenda's friendship, Angela's help at work, Johnnie's honest delight, John's face when he talks about his son, Noah's "we're in this together" solidarity, Jake's mom, Dr. Connie's reassurance, Beverly's sincere goodness,
Jason’s goofiness, Julie Chin perking up my mornings with her weather forecasts, John Stewart's humour, the nice EBay seller who let me off the hook, Eloise's desire to make people smile, Target, Jack Johnson’s music, LD's photography, Winnie's birthday, Corey's joyous aura, my 2 new Gap tops, my new wheel covers, Tim's free service, Baby Mama trailers that crack me up, a gift and flowers from my employer, new softball team shirts, the The 2008 NCheeseAA Tournament Bracket, my improving Sharepoint server and html coding skills, and on and on and on ...

I'm Cranky For Sure

I try really hard to say only what I mean. As an armchair (or at least academic) Linguist, I take language very seriously. Therefore I do not ever claim to "hate" something. In fact, I cannot think of anything worth expending the negative energy to hate. Even RB.

I also do not say, "I cannot stand" or "I will not tolerate" because time and experience has taught me I can stand quite a bit of adversity and I have tolerated some things that surprised even me.

I have, however, realised that I say "stupid" a lot when referring to something that has annoyed me. Not so much people, as while there are some ignorant people, I would rarely consider someone stupid.

Okay, so I abuse the term stupid. It was a really long week last week, and I am pretty stressed these days due to overwhelming work at the firm and my current finals. (Thesis? What thesis?) When things are this busy I do not have the time to properly meditate, and after a while it really shows.

In an effort to rid myself of some negative energy I am going to work out my current stupid baggage here for you all to share.

I give you Stupid Things That Annoyed Me Last Week:

1. The overwhelming sense of entitlement now prevalent in our society. Newsflash people: No one really owes you anything. make your choices and then live with them. Period. I recently encountered a woman who was angry because her (adult) son cannot get a job because of a "gun charge" on his record. She claims it is not fair. Um. Yeah, have you head about terrorism? The rate of crime in America? School shootings? Who wouldn't be hesitant to employ someone with a criminal record for illegal fire arms? Or how about the person who complained that they can only meet with their attorney at 9 am; cannot make an appointment in advance; and whose arrest was "unfair" because the police should be out there arresting "true criminals"? Guess what? if you were arrested for a crime that makes you a criminal. There really are no other requirements than that. And for the record: that trial lawyer you want to meet with at 9? he's IN COURT at 9. Argh! Oh, and lastly: If your rented home is being foreclosed on you should probably focus on finding another place to live; not finding an attorney to try and sue the person who is losing their property to LACK OF MONEY. Sure, it sucks to be you, but it sucks just as much to be your landlord. Sheesh!

2. Christians. Look, I have my religion and you have yours. I don't expect you to believe what I believe, so could you extend me the same courtesy? And don't ask me if I don't care if I am going to hell because I DON'T BELIEVE in hell. And I don't have concerns about satan either because: Ditto. The above request goes for my son too. Even I don't agree with all of his beliefs, I acknowledge that he is the one who has to live by them, not me. You can pray for us all you want, because positive prayer is never a bad thing. I pray for lots of people. But just because you go to church three times a week, teach Sunday school, and pray out loud in restaurants before eating does not make you a better person than me. You might actually be a better person than me, but it's not because of you memorized the script.

3. Telephones. Yes, they are wonderful inventions, but if I do not answer at 8:00 I will also probably not answer at 8:02, 8:13, 8:43 etc. Listen to the answering machine. Not only does it say we can't come to the phone, but it even explains why. And right before you leave your message shouting at me to pick up it says WE will call YOU back. It does not ask you to try repeatedly or promise any second chances. Oh, and if you are my sister: dinner is NOT an emergency.

4. Do not call me stupid or expect me to drop everything to try go an observe how right you are. I am pretty good at allowing for the fact that I may be wrong and really, usually I don't care.

5. Texting. If you are an employee who has been assigned to help me let me be clear: Texting your girlfriend does not help me. If we are dining together, or if you are visiting me at my home please understand that I really truly feel that if you would rather be in contact with someone else not only do I understand, but I am all for you just going ahead and leaving. I don't care what anyone texted to you and I really don't want to hold my thoughts until you have texted a sexy message to your lover. I am seriously thinking of instituting a "check your cell phone at the door" policy in my house.

6. MySpace. Ugh. Anyone who knows me should understand that I DON'T CARE. I really do not want to go into the whys of it. What? You want me to? Okay. I think it is bullshit. I am a HUGE proponent of face-to-face interactions - sort of Amish about it in fact. I use the Internet as much as anybody else, but my friends are all people I have formed relationships with in the actual physical world. I do not want a MySpace. I do to want to see yours. I do not want all the tracking cookies and temp files on my computer from when you check yours because you can't go one fucking hour without doing so. Yes, this includes LDs friends. Yes, this includes co-workers. Yes, this includes family members. If you are into it that is fine. I'm glad it gives you so much joy. But until you post a site with actual writing on it and not a million .jpgs I have no interest in visiting it.

7. EBay. Okay. I recently went through a belated EBay obsession. I got some really good deals. I also was too stupid to read the fine print on one and ended up purchasing an antiquated VHS video camera. I am grateful that the seller allowed me out of the deal with minimal cost. I also bought an iPod. Really fair price. Great condition. I even read all of the fine print, which included information from Apple. When the iPod arrived it took me a couple of hours to figure out it is a very realistic looking fake. I had to measure the fucking logo and compare it with an authentic to figure it out. Now, I am angry and must spend time I do not have engaging in dispute resolutions and very likely legal action. Oh, and I still need a new iPod.

8. Professors who don't take teaching seriously. I have been working on a mini thesis, which is an independent study very necessary for my degree. I have heard nada from the professor. Almost 50 pages of work; a draft of the final, and it is one week until the semester is over. Last week, after joining in as one of the numerous complainants and contacting the Dean, I received a short group e-mail from the professor. He stated our papers are graded and we will have them this weekend. Gee thanks asshole. Your guidance through this legal class has been invaluable - only in that it has no fucking value at all. I just paid hundreds of dollars to take a class in which I learned nothing new and was not even afforded the dignity of acknowledgement or a return e-mail. I'd better get an a for my troubles and at this point I really don't care if my work was deserving. I have a fucking 4 point and I'll be damned if I'll lose it over your disregard. I will also NOT spend next week revising a semesters worth of research and rewriting anything past my draft because the time to speak up (if the work was lacking) was a few weeks ago. I'm done.

9. Renaissance Art. I love Renaissance Art. My dream man is a Renaissance man. If I were independently wealthy I would quit my job and move to Italy and spend the rest of my life drinking in all the beauty. If I were merely rich I would quit my job and spend my days reading and researching the period. It fascinates me. But I am not rich and I do have three very serious academic papers to write on the subject; papers which must be completed lest I lose all my scholarship and financial aid, and I am absolutely overwhelmed and paralysed about them. It is the fall out of letting my confidence be destroyed and my time be wasted by a very selfish person I was involved with when I took the class. Please pray for me to complete them - even you Christians.

10. Grocery and Gas Prices. A minimum wage employee must now spend over an entire day's salary to fill up his/her car with gas. (I also think the current state of minimum wage laws is stupid!) Now they are rationing rice. RICE?! I don't even eat meat and I can still barely afford groceries. Death row inmates are eating better than the working poor. This is just wrong. Fucking oil companies.

11. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. SHUT UP. Can we fucking have a nominee that gives a shit about the party? Hillary, you are an intelligent and powerful woman, but you are fucking it up for all of us. If you truly care as much as you weepingly claim to start using your power for good rather than for victory. And Obama? Could you please remember that you are actually human and not some righteous demi-god. If I don't see some true emotion soon I will agree with the conspiracy theorists who think you are the freakin' antichrist. I read Left Behind and you are looking more and more like Nicholai.

And for an even dozen:

12. Thomas Beatie. Dude. Stop it. You have ovaries and a womb. You are a woman.


He's NOT a Pregnant Man!

I don't know why this story bugs me so much, as it doesn't affect my life in any way.

But it does bug. HARD.

The story goes this way: Tracy first felt she was trapped in the wrong gendered body during her twenties. She felt more comfortable being a male and wanted society to respect the way she felt inside. In order to facilitate this she began to wear men's clothing. She then had her breasts surgically removed and began taking testosterone in order to cultivate a more masculine appearance. She grew a beard.

Then she married her female partner.

How the hell could that happen?!

I am a huge proponent of same-sex marriage, so it is not any kind of sexual morality issue for me. But it is a legal issue. Thomas may look like a man and live like a man, but she is is NOT A MAN. Hello, she's PREGNANT! Men do not get pregnant and in case you need a reminder as to why, it's because they don't have uteri!

Artificial insemination? No problem. Gay marriage? No problem. Lesbianism? Transgendered? Again, no problem.

Manipulating your sexual identity in order to bypass the law and be legally married? HUGE problem!

Hell, we cannot even guarantee civil rights for homosexuals. We are certainly not ready to allow for unisexually gendered people. One does not get to pick and choose the attributes of his or her gender to serve their immediate purposes. Thomas wanted to be a man in order to get married, but he stated that he always knew he wanted to have children. Sorry dude, you can't have it both ways.

Nope. Thomas and his wife seem like genuinely nice people, and their relationship is certainly a committed and loving one. Their baby is obviously wanted and will be raised in a loving environment.

But Thomas is not only not a pregnant man, but she is not a man period. She is woman who lives as a man; a woman who had her breasts removed; a woman who took testosterone in order to grow a beard; and a woman who even managed via testosterone, to grown a penis which she uses to have intercourse with her wife.

I don't mind calling Thomas "him" but I do mind that somehow, some way he was able to manipulate the law and to legally become a man while maintaining his female integrity via ovaries, fallopian tubes, a uterus and a vagina.

If only all the pre and post operative transsexuals had it so easy! If only all the same sex couples could simply claim that one of them is the opposite gender and thus be legally married!

Thomas is not a pregnant man. He is a pregnant lesbian and his marriage is illegal. Is it wrong? No. But it is still illegal.

Oh, and it pisses me off!


It Pains Me to Admit This...

...but I am American Idol's bitch.

Yes, that's right, I am. And it is not because this season, rather than watching the show for its inherent snark value, I actually found myself caring about a particular contestant.

Okay, not caring so much as lusting after.

I quickly nipped that in the bud once I figured out that not only am I old enough to be his mother, but since he is old enough to be a father that makes me old enough to be his kids' grandmother.


That didn't stop me from downloading several of his performances from iTunes however. Even when he covered Iz's What a Wonderful World, one of my top favourite songs of all time, leading Little Dog to exclaim disdainfully, "Gah! He's doing that song you want played at your funeral!" my enjoyment of his music did not wane.

No, that is not why I am AI's Bitch. This is why:

I downloaded that stupid Mariah Carey song that she sang on the show.

Gaaaaah! I know! What is wrong with me?! I used to be cool - honest! Mariah Carey? There is a part of me that is so embarassed about this it refuses to go out in public with me. That part now stays home reading Bukowski and listening to vintage Cramps.

This new Mariah liking (note: not loving) part hops in the car, pops in a mix cd and sings along with Jason Castro from American Idol. Loudly.

This new me carpools the teens around and owns more than a few items of clothing with an elastic waist. This me recently let herself be talked into purchasing several items from the Clinique lady - the same type clinique lady I always tried so hard to avoid that I used to make RB go to buy the one product I used. This time I actually asked for her card, which I then placed in the filofax and put in my "mom" purse.

My name is Yellow Dog and I am officially middle aged.



What's a Buddhist to Do?

Little Dog recently told me about an exchange that took place during his second hour Science class.

For some reason the teacher asked, with the obvious expectation of receiving no "yes" answers, if anyone in the class was Buddhist.

Little Dog was the only person who raised his hand and with confidence stated that his mom was Buddhist. (Note that he didn't rock the boat by admitting that he, for the most part, is also.)

His admission led to a discussion of how "weird" it is that his mom is Buddhist - especially since we are not Asian.

Yeah. Racist in middle America High School much?

Anyway the reason for bringing it up in the first place was to discuss a recent article in our local paper that was about a deformed (two-faced) baby whom the "Buddhists" believe to be a "God."

To his credit Little Dog did assert that Buddhism is not a polytheistic religion, but he was outnumbered by those who, still shocked about my Buddhism, refused to hear any logic. Even when he (correctly) pointed out that it sounded like Hinduism to him.

When Little Dog first told me about this exchange I was irritated, not at the teacher, but at the stupid local newspaper for its lack of fact checking. A cursory review of the article, however, indicated that it clearly stated it is the Hindus who believe the deformed baby to be a god.

I didn't bother to read the rest of the article because I neither care what the Hindus believe, nor do I want to see a two faced baby. My irritation turned towards the teacher who allowed the original discussion to take place. Hell, it's reasons like this that I agree religion should not be taught in the heartland's public schools. It's not because I have anything against children learning theology, but rather that any theological beliefs outside of the dominant Christian paradigm that exists in this part of our country will be misrepresented. I considered contacting the teacher to let him know of my offense at the comments. Then I remembered that it is Little Dog, and not I, who has to deal with the drama that is high school in America. Since, according to him, classmates are already attempting to "save" or "convert" him from his mother's heresy, I decided it was in our best interests to let it go.

I did tell him to let the teacher know I was annoyed, which he did the following day. He reported that the teacher's response was to say, "Great. I'm gonna get a phone call about this aren't I?" after which he mischievously responded that he would "meditate" about it. Ha! While I can't tolerate prejudice or bigotry, I do have a great respect for snark.

So, it's all good again.

That is, unless the two-faced baby really is a god. Then we're all in trouble!