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Friday, May 01, 2015

Human Rites of Passage

I admit, I don't get many of the rituals around human life.  I get celebrating new life. To a degree I almost get weddings, but funerals?  Those things completely mystify me.  So let me break it down, so perhaps someone will be able to 'splain it to me in a way I can understand.


Now, before you scratch your head and think I don't see the need for marriage, I totally understand marriage. I do not, however, understand weddings.  After my youngest daughter married I made all of her siblings swear to me they would elope or head to the JP for State Sanctioned approbation.

My daughter was married on the coldest, iciest day in December of 2013.  It was a small affair with family and friends who could brave the roads.  The venue of wedding and reception had changed just days before the wedding causing me to go absolutely insane.  Exactly six months later my niece was married on a very hot day in a small church and had a very loud reception that even she did not enjoy.  Why?  Because her mother in law was having her wedding at my niece's expense.

Why on earth do we put ourselves through the hell of grand weddings since most marriages last about 5 minutes before they're in divorce court fighting over the salad spinner neither one wants?  Neither my daughter nor my niece are divorced, but you know what I mean.  In our society forever is about two years.

We feed into the myth of weddings when our daughters are little.  She'll get to be the princess and it's all about her.  How is this mentally healthy?  The wedding is not a big deal.  I've been married twice and both times I was married by a judge.  Why?  Because people are stupid about weddings.  Marriage is difficult enough without bringing in the sheer madness that is the fairy tale wedding.  Weddings are a MYTH.  You want to be a princess?  Marry a prince.  Ask Kate Middleton how that's going.

My husband and I got married by a District Court judge in our local courthouse who stepped up when the JP "forgot" he'd agreed to marry us.  This is typical of our relationship.  We'd been engaged for a year, took a trip to Nawlins and on the way home he decides we just HAVE to get married RIGHT NOW! So we went and bought the license at lunch on Monday, I made the arrangements to have the state put their seal of approval on the thing and Friday afternoon, took off at lunch and we eventually got married in Judge Johnson's office with his clerk Carla and my ex-husband as our witnesses. Then we went to eat and home for video game playing.  I can say without a doubt that we've had huge problems, but we got through because we're dedicated to each other and making this thing work.

We've been through bad times, having to work on getting our credit score up, the death of a child, and buying a new home and moving, kids growing up, going off to war, moving away, marriage and now grand-kids.  But we meet each challenge head on, united, as a team because our relationship is important to us.  Just us, no one else.  No one else cares.  So why invite everyone, accept presents we don't really need, spend money we don't have on a wedding?  I honestly believe it's all in the pursuit of presents.

Who doesn't love presents?  Everyone loves getting presents and a wedding is the perfect opportunity to get tons of them.  Who cares if you don't need 3 toaster ovens?  You got to open a present!  And since most couples have set up house BEFORE marriage these days, it's not like you need anything more.  At that point it's sheer avarice.  Thank you, but no.

So here is my advice to couples.  Get your license, get to a judge, JP or minister and just get the sanction on it and then live your lives, together.  Harness all the energy you would put into a momentary thing and put that energy into your marriage.  If you just NEED a freakin' party, have some friends over, drink some wine, make some food.  But if you make it all about the wedding, you have nothing left over for the marriage.  That is my observation.


I don't understand funerals, I never have.  It seems to me to be more for other people than for the person who is... DEAD! If it's all about closure then have a wake.  Why should the death of someone be so sad and somber?  If a funeral is anything close to being about the dead person, celebrate their damned life.  This is exactly why I refuse to have a funeral.  I want people laughing, happy, and telling good stories about my life (there are a few), not standing around moping and crying.  My life wasn't about that, don't make my death about it.

Now, first off, I don't get burial.  Burn, cremate, whatever, but stop using perfectly good land to store your bones.  It's no longer your body.  YOU'RE DEAD!

I am donating my body to UTMB-Galveston school of medicine so that future medical professionals can learn human anatomy and then my remains will be cremated and the ashes spread in the Grand Tetons.  It's not like I will ever be back in that body, and frankly, after all of the decomp over the ages, who wants to go back to that?  Jesus Christ, people, help me out here and stop being so freakin' stupid!


Put aside the stupid myths and superstition we have about death.  You will never, ever use that body again. No one in history ever has, with the exception of two people in the Bible, Lazarus and Jesus.  Unless you're them, and you're not, you don't need that body, and frankly, the living can use the land for something productive.

Just like weddings, why the f$ck do you need a grand party... WHEN YOU'RE DEAD?  It's not like you can attend.  You don't get to participate, so why is some expensive, great funeral even among the thoughts you have about the end of your life?  If your family insist on something like that, then you know it's all about them and has less than nothing to do with you.  You're dead, it's not like you'll care.  You people act like you're actually going to be there to direct and enjoy things.  YOU'RE DEAD!

I've yet to meet one single person who likes funerals. So why go?  If you didn't show the person respect and reverence while they were alive, why do you think it will make a difference when they're dead?  Are you serious?  I know what you were thinking just now and yes, you just made it all about you and what you need.

I loved my grandparents.  I loved my paternal grandparents greatly.  I never expressed this love while they were alive.  I didn't even attempt it after they died.  There was no way I could.  Because they were dead and it was too late.  It taught me to show people what I feel now, this minute, because I may never get another chance.  You don't get "one last chance" after the person is dead.  They are dead.  They can't hear you, can't see you, and really no longer give a shit. Unless you can prove otherwise, shut up now. And as proof I will need more than some ghost story or how you feel Great Nana's presence when you sit in her old rocking chair.  That's your emotion, not logic speaking.

I also tend to forget birthdays, anniversaries, stuff like that.  Oh look, I'm another year old.  Yay.  I cannot ever remember the year I got married, even though it was in 2000.  I have to seriously think about it and then I second guess myself so I have to drag out the wedding license to make sure.  The first year we were together, my husband bought me mums in October for my birthday.  My birthday is in June and I despise mums the way most kids despise spinach.  However, I get birthday presents a couple of times a year from a man who doesn't get the whole birthday thing either.  I'm not complaining.  The only reason we remember his is because he was born on the very first Hippie Day in 1970.

I guess you could say I don't really get most human rites concerning rites of passage.  I didn't have a Sweet 16 party, and my daughters didn't either.  For my oldest, we had a party at a local park and BBQed hamburgers and hot dogs for hers.  Because she's the type of person for whom these rites mean something.  My other kids are more like me.  My youngest daughter, after her wedding, begins to see the light as she prepares for her daughter's first birthday party.  My granddaughter is 4 months old.  My oldest daughter has agreed to elope and inform us after that she's married and we can do a small dinner after as a reception.  Because, she admits, it's about presents.

I don't get much except for Baby Showers.  Those I completely get.  Babies need so many things and shouldn't your friends and family really share that pain while you're busy paying off the obstetrician and hospital?  I give diapers and wipes.  Always.  Because that's what they really need.  They don't need cute clothes the kid grows out of in five minutes.  I keep giving diapers, wipes and formula.  Something the parents need, not some stupid toy you find out is dangerous the moment your kid grabs it.

So consider these things, wedding, funerals, birthdays.  Most of them are a waste of money and time when all is said and done.  I understand a need to celebrate.  Hell, I drink a beer when The Netherlands is in the finals of the World Cup, I put on an Orange shirt and  cheer like a maniac.  That's all about me.  I love it when the Astros win.  I get excited when The Texans look like they may get into the play-offs.  That's time for a celebration.  But weddings, anniversaries, and funerals?  Who needs a party? When you understand the answer to those questions are the guilty and the greedy, then perhaps you'll understand me a little better.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Battle of the Lamp

Ralphie as Adult: [narrating, as Mother switches off the leg lamp] My mother was about to make another brilliant maneuver in the legendary battle of the lamp. The epic struggle which follows lives in the folklore of Cleveland Street to this very day.

The title of this one comes from the movie, "A Christmas Story" wherein Ralph Parker desperately wants a BB Gun for Christmas and his imagined machinations are hilarious.  A sub-plot in this movie is when Mr. Parker wins a lurid lamp in a newspaper contest and displays it proudly in the front window of their house.  Mrs. Parker "accidentally" breaks the lamp.

 My husband has a desk.  He's had this desk for over 20 years and it has been in his parents' home, and two of our houses in that 20 years.  It is also made of press board.  It is huge, ugly and needs to be sent to the garbage dump with honors.  He is, however, determined to find a way to keep it and fit it into his little cave he's made in the back room off the laundry room.  He says it's so that he may watch porn in peace, but we all know he's watching anime and My Little Pony. (Don't ask if you don't know what a Brony is).

Most people seeing this desk would recommend it be either burned or thrown out.  Not my husband.  EVEN THOUGH HE JUST BOUGHT A NEW DAMNED DESK.

So perhaps you see where I am coming from.  Now he's trying to say I can have his new desk and he can put that old desk in the room after all (yeah, after he scratches my washer and dryer to hell and back)!

This is the problem, I don't want that desk.  I've finally decided I want a standing or high top desk with a tall, stool-type chair.  And I don't intend to get one until I find the exact one I want and try out every chair as I've finally found a chair I like, but alas, it is a regular office chair.  I'm very picky about office chairs.  This means I cannot order the chair online because I will have to try it out.

And thus the broken lamp comes into a more clear view.  My husband's desk must now have some sort of tragic, fatal accident from which it cannot be brought back.  My neighbor and I had though that wrecking one of the drawers would be enough, but no, he thinks he can fix it because, and I quote, "That part does nothing".

Do you see the delusion with which I am dealing?  Crazy.

So today, while he is at work, I will make sure that desk cannot remain in my house.  Heavy trash pick up is in less than two weeks, it can sit in my garage with all of the other crap my husband cannot part with, up to and including empty boxes and broken lawn implements.  I know that my neighbor would love for her husband to begin taking things to the heavy trash days.  I now have a porch swing, treadmill, couch, love seat and various chainsaws, trimmers and other crap my husband left out in the yard to spoil over the winter that must now be picked up and thrown away because he finds it impossible to put things back from where he got them.

I found a pick-axe in the grass, no lie.

Way must be made for my new piano, and I see the desk as an acceptable sacrifice.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Objectivist View

Many people call me a Libertarian, but I am not.  I am not Republican or Conservative.  I firmly believe that if you know what's best for your life and it harms no other being on this planet, then live your life as you please.  Just leave me alone to live mine in the same manner.

You see, I don't care if you do drugs.  However, I think that as you are a young person, usually, when you start doing drugs, that we should have an anti-drug program in the public schools that cheap and lazy parents insist we have.  However, there is a small change I'd like to propose in this anti-drug program.  When we're teaching children the horrors of drug addiction, teach them the cost. Then teach them the math.  The math of lost wages, lost jobs and unemployment.  Teach them that the State no longer pays for rehab when you're in jail or prison for drug crimes, because we've decriminalized drugs.  You can buy and use drugs, however, you have to have proof of at least two stays in Capitalized drug rehab in a trust account before you are allowed to buy even a leaf of marijuana. Yes, to show us how dedicated you are to drug use, you have to FIRST save up for your own rehab when your family inevitably has had enough of you, and makes you go in to rehab.  The second paid stay is for when you finally want to get off drugs on your own and this time, because it's your choice, it may stick.  Doubtful. The entire drug rehab caper is built upon recidivism.

How many kids do you think will go out, get jobs to pay for their own drug rehab?  How many will do it if you go to prison for life if you get busted and it's shown you don't have it?  What if there is a death penalty to anyone shown to be high while committing a crime and they have no drug rehab paid for and we don't tax people to do it in prison anymore?  I do believe in imprisonment for bad decisions where you decide that you are going to harm someone's life and/or property because you want to be lazy AND stupid.  I mean it's not like I didn't give you an alternative, right?  You made a choice, society made theirs.

Don't show kids pictures and movies of strung out heroine addicts.  Have rehab counselors come in and tell them how much their sessions cost, and how often they see the same people in over and over again.  Have them have some cured addicts come in and tell them exactly how much it cost them to get sober again.  I don't want to hear whining about how hard it is to be a drug addict.  If it was so damned hard so many stupid and lazy people wouldn't be doing it.

I'm fine with drug use and alcohol use right up until you harm someone or their property when you do it.  If you can't afford to fix it, then you're obviously a drain on society and should therefore be removed from it.  Prison, wilderness banishment, I don't care. Get your leech ass away from productive mankind.

You want to smoke?  Fine.  But, since we're all aware of the problems it causes, be sure that you carry your own health insurance. And you don't get to sue cigarette manufacturers because you chose to smoke or expect the American taxpayers to pay for your bad decisions.

Think about it for a moment.  How much are we, as taxpayers, on the hook for people too stupid and too lazy to make good decisions.  Should they really be allowed to vote or make decisions any harder than which part of the floor of an abandoned warehouse to sleep?  Did you know that we pay for drug rehab for prisoners who have been convicted of drug crimes as a condition of their conviction?  Yeah, if they complete rehab (which we all know works SO well with the unwilling) they get out of jail free with an adjudicated sentence.  So you know how many of them are repeat offenders and frequent fliers?

Are you still willing to smoke if you have to show proof of health insurance with every pack you buy?  This is one regulation I am willing to own.  I don't care if you smoke, you can even smoke in restaurants, etc., since that study by the EPA was shown to be about as reliable as those on Global Warming.  I just refuse to pay for you to quit or have lung cancer and/or COPD and emphysema. GET IT?

I don't care if you make retarded decisions, but I refuse to pay for them instead of you.  For the past 45 or so years we've been making society pay for the bad decision making of a whole host of people who really shouldn't be in charge of walking a dog, much less whether or not to use drugs.  If you had to show proof of rehab payment or health insurance to buy your drug of choice, how many kids would even start?  Don't know. I care even less.  Just as long as I'm not on the hook for their bad decisions.  I have enough to deal with making my own decisions, I should not be responsible for yours.

This is all of a piece of not taking personal responsibility for yourself.  It's society's fault, mommy's fault, daddy's fault.  The fault of everyone but the person using and abusing.  And we wonder why we have such a huge drug culture.

For those of you who say that the government should sell the drugs and tax the hell out of it, yeah, that works so well because government is so efficient and tracks things so well.  I mean, look at healthcare, right?

If you want to sell drugs, that's great!  But you have to go through classes on how to spot fake ID, just like folks who sell beer.  I think it's fair.  I also think that you lose your license and go to prison for life if you're caught selling to underage folks or not checking for proof of rehab trust or health insurance.  The Black Market will always exist.  I think Radar O'Reilly showed us that all too well.  It's going to exist, but no more tickets, no more fines.  Straight to prison you go with no possibility of parole.  You've already shown yourself unfit for society.  Also, my views on prisoners working for their food and shelter is well known.  You don't get to be a leech in my world.  Ever.

It's very simple.  I know what's best for me, not for you.  However, when it's proven you cannot make good choices, good decisions, then it's not up to society to make you better, it's up to YOU to make yourself a useful, productive part of society, and it will, by God, not be on MY dime.

Frankly, I think China got it right.

Monday, March 16, 2015

On Writing

About six weeks ago I fell while working with my dogs and managed to break two ribs and crack two more, with various and sundry other bumps and bruises.  I denied I'd broken anything and I'd wake up tomorrow perfectly healed.  After exactly one week, even I had to accept the fact that I was broken and needed mending, so I headed to the doctor who confirmed all of that.  The doctor's office was great calling in cough medicine and antibiotics when I started coughing to stave off pneumonia (I need to buy that office a coffee machine, I really do).  So I have a few days until I go back in to recheck the ribs.  I'm pretty sure I'm mostly fine, but there are a couple of ribs still not taking the piss.  We'll sort them out.

I've had 6 weeks of sitting about, watching Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries and Midsomer Murders (all 17 seasons), and reading anything I could get on my Kindle.  To be honest, there was a week or so there where the wireless was not working on it.  I nearly missed Patricia Briggs Dead Heat!  I love me some Charles and Anna.

So I've been reading.  I've been reading a lot.  And I came to notice something as I re-read books (because I can easily read 4 books in a day with nothing else to do).  I realized that some of my favorite writers committed some serious prose errors.  What ho?!  I refuse to name names because some of them were perpetrated upon an adoring public by authors who should know better.  So let me begin with an open letter to lady novel writers.

Dear Lady Novel Writers,

I love your stories, your characters, your imagination. I appreciate you taking me to worlds far and near.  I love that you make me laugh, make me cry, and sometimes make me wonder.  However, with that said, dear, gentle Novel Writer, if you freakin' use the word whilst one more time that is NOT in a historical bodice ripper, I will personally come to you home and bludgeon you with your own keyboard.  Do I make myself clear.  If you don't have an editor to keep you safe from yourself, GET ONE!

And further, dear, gentle Novel Writer, the correct usage of the phrase is COULD NOT CARE LESS. If you can care less, then you care something, just a little.  The phrase "could not care less" and "could not possibly care less" indicate the abject pit of apathy the speaker of the phrase feels.  The next time I read the incorrect usage in one of your books I shall write a scathing review post the number of times you misused the phrase in that one novel alone.  (For some writers this should stand out as the phrase was incorrectly used far too many times.)

Could of?  Should of?  Would of?  WTF??? Are you a fifth grader learning English as a second language? Could have, should have, would have!  Learn to conjugate your damned English verbs.  If I can learn it, so can you.

This is for foreign writers who have someone translate their books for them.  If you're writing an American character, say and FBI agent, FFS use an American to translate that dialog.  American don't say bloody, arse, or pub.  And so the dialogue looks weird and I have to put the book down in disgust.  Luckily, the two books I read where this occurred improved on the author's second book. Proving the adage that even a blind squirrel finds a nut.  Also, non-Americans should not try to write Americans talking it tough.  It just doesn't work.  Unless you bleed greasy hamburgers and can eat a huge piece of pizza folded over you just can't talk tough... Unless you have a London accent, then it almost works, but only in a weird way where you use all the Cockney slang and facial expressions.  Because, let's face it, could any American pull off Bricktop's Pig Farmer or Nemesis monologues?  The correct answer to that is a full throated "NO!".

Moving back to the American type of fantasy writers.  Please, for the love of Science research physics better than you have.  Even if you are abducted from Earth, it would be pretty simple for an advanced race of people to find our star system based on the number of planets, magnitude of our star and having one planet that can sustain life that is the third rock from said star.  So, ladies, if you're hoping for an alien abduction, get to learning about our star system and exactly which kind of star gives us life.  It's a Yellow Dwarf, FYI.


For lady (and male) novel writer who write about shifters, I can tell that none of you have taken an anatomy class, much less a comparative anatomy class.  Most quadrupedal animals actually walk on their fingers and toes.  They have the exact same knees we do, no joints would need to pop or break due to a "shift" in shape.  None whatsoever.  Learn your anatomy then write about the changes during a shift so I don't have to skip pages where your erroneously describe said shift in exactly WRONG detail.  As with the folks misusing English phrasing, I have and will continue to write bad reviews until you learn what you're writing about.  Seriously, just look at your dog or cat.  Also, domesticated cats are the only cats that purr.  Why?  Because they CAN.  Big can't do not have the ability.  Don't overuse artistic license.  Please, dear GOD, just don't.

Yours in Writing


Now, I love the writers who have taken the time and pain to think of new universes for me to lose myself in.  Some are so freakingly awesome that I want to go there physically and experience it. In this section I can happily name names. SE Smith, Eve Langlais, Laurann Dohner, Faith Hunter, Kat Richardson and MK Eidem come to mind immediately.  These ladies have built worlds so rich and full of detail that I feel like I've actually been to those worlds they built and know the people they write about.  They immerse me in that universe and afterwards I don't want to leave.  I recently wept when Kat Richardson ended her Greywalker series and when Ilona Andrews ended the Kate Daniels series.  But it was inevitable.  No one goes on forever and even writers of wildly successful series have to go in other directions. I will miss Harper Blaine and Kate and Curran, painfully, tearfully, but there are other parts of the universe in these authors brains I am dying to explore as well.

The important thing about writing is to write what you know.  In some of the drivel I've read in the past few weeks it's pretty obvious that self-publishing is not for everyone.  Especially people who don't bother to read what they write or they would be painfully embarrassed by what they've put out there for the rest of us to ridicule.  If you don't know it, research it, learn a little something new.  Your writing can only improve upon learning it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Officially Heard It All

Oxford University Press announced yesterday that people should not use words like pork, sausage or bacon so as not to offend Muslims.  They didn't just recommend those words not be used, they actually banned it within their published works.

Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said:

"That’s absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute."

What kind of world are we living in when the Muslims are making more sense than the vaunted, elite Oxford University Press.  But it begs the question.

What kind of craven coward do you have to be to even fear naming a barnyard animal thinking that you'll be attacked for it?

Does this mean we can't use the word cow or militant Hindus will attack us?  Oh wait... Hindus and Buddhists tend not to be militant or anything like that.

All I'm saying is that on a playground of 7 year olds, the leaders of the Oxford University Press would be readily recognized as easy pickings and be regularly pummeled and the teachers wouldn't care because social Darwinism does work.

At this point my idea of a typical ProgLib is someone who is in their mother's basement, and is constantly trying to tell everyone how to live their lives while they live off their parents despite their degree in Italian Couplets of the 15th Century, and spend most of their time telling everyone to also be afraid of everything.  They don't care who they offend with their blatant stupidity, but we're supposed to given women's studies majors who falsely accuse an entire fraternity of young mean of gang rape.

Well OUP, you've offended me, a thinking, rational person.  Think I may pay you a visit and show you what happens when I'm offended.  I think you'd be surprised at the reaction of a rational person to bullshit.

Thursday, January 08, 2015


Yesterday was a very weird day.  As I sat watching the news from France with a sangfroid that would shock most people, I wondered at the future.  I'm one of those people who tends to looks back and then ahead when something such as this happens.

You see, when something like 9/11 happens to Americans, the rest of the world sneers and says, "They deserve it, those Americans" and turn away, then prove how wonderful and morally superior they are by welcoming the ones who did something so atrocious.  Even some within this country, Ward Churchill & Jeremiah Wright, were saying it before they'd even cleared any rubble from the WTC.  And, because we're raised, as a nation, to be the better person, we turn the other cheek and ignore it and keep going on. We allow them to bludgeon us with our own virtue.

The next few years in Europe are going to be enlightening to those of us who have shaken our heads and wondered why so many here want us to be just like them.  Because we see the truth.  Barry and his puppeteer, Valerie Jarret will not find Americans so willing to castigate themselves to Islam now.  Because the horrific events in a Paris magazine office proved to us that we were right in not trusting Muslims an inch. Every act, past and future will be magnified under the lens of horrified scrutiny now by a race of people who have spent the past 100 years ashamed of living.  Islam will now have no safe haven within soft targets, and frankly, is there anyone softer than the Europeans?  Have you ever seen any people wo ready to be subjugated, any horror they will not endure to keep from thinking or being responsible for their own lives?

The blow back to Islam will make the crusades look like a garden party.  We have fracking now.  WTF do we need to be nice to the Arabs for?  Why the hell should we be thanking them for the concept of the null set when we explore space? The Saudis quiet support of Wahabism will burn that section of the world down.  Unfortunately, it will take a great part of the South China Sea with it, as they have turned to Islam in their ignorance and poverty. There will be no safe havens.  There will be no peace.  The rest of the world is fed up and they will be intractable and unforgiving.  Doubt me if you will, but in the next couple of years a lot of fed up people will no longer see a need to be silently outraged at having Islam shoved down their throats.  They will start remembering World History classes and find that the Spanish ousted the Moors and that whatever the ineffectual Spaniards could do, we can do better. In fact, I will go further.  I predict that in 50 years Islam will be outlawed in most civilized countries and will find no adherents here in the States.  Not because we change our Constitution, but because we make it very uncomfortable to practice such a hateful "religion" here.

See, when you finally attack the "civilized" folks of France, the liberal world gets upset because they frankly (get it?) consider France the center of all culture in the world.  And when you hit folks in the cultural center, well, they are bound to get a little bent out of shape.  Yes, you can bomb trains in England and Spain and kill artists in Holland, but you brazenly murdered 12 people and a gendarme in broad daylight, while shouting Islamic skreed, so yeah, people are going to get their knickers in a knot.  Even the weak kneed Libs will almost stand up and say in a clear, ringing voice, "Rubbish!  That's not nice!"  And you may even get the brave Elizabeth Warren to shake her fist at you while screaming that you didn't do that.

Frankly, I don't know the retards you whipped into a frenzy to go take out the staff of this magazine, but I've seen their work. Did you idiots finally run out of babies in Lebanon to strap bombs to?  Surely you've got some cowed women in burkas in Paris that you could have strapped C4 to and blown up in the building?  But, you did it with guns.  Did you know that libtarded asshats hates guns more than they hate themselves?  It's why, when they finally can't hide from themselves anymore they shoot themselves.  Yeah, you really should have stuck with C4, it's cheap and easy to make and it's not a gun.  Even though it does more damage than a gun, Libs hate guns more.  You fucked up there.

Hey, I'm just giving you knuckle dragging anachronisms an honest critique here.  Hey, while we're critiquing, how about this picture?
Yeah, love is greater than hate.

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Love of a Grandparent

Very early this morning my former father-in-law passed away.  He had non-alchoholic cirrhosis of the liver and multiple organ failure due to it and had been on life support for the past week while the doctors determined what, if anything, they could do.  My children have been on an emotional roller coaster, and I hurt for them because they loved him and he loved them.  He loved them as only a grandparent can.  Which means they didn't appreciate that love until they knew it would be gone, and they held on to it tightly, because they loved him just as much right back.

I was lucky enough to have all of my grandparents as I was growing up. I spent my formative years around my maternal grandparents who were not the touchy feely type, but taught me valuable lessons.  My maternal grandfather is actually still alive, in his 90s and living in a senility care center somewhere in Idaho.  My maternal grandmother died in the 90s and she taught me so many things about home making.  She patiently sat and taught me to embroider when I was a girl.  She was the one who inspired my love of making things by hand.  It was unfortunate that sewing machines hate me.  I learned to knit and she was thrilled and but she was not into yarn thing. I used to embroider and cross-stitch all the time when my children were little.  It was a cheap way to decorate my home.

My paternal grandparents, they taught me love.  They lived in the San Francisco area and I would visit them several times a year until I was about 15 or so, then it just stopped.  Not because of them, because of my mother.  I didn't realize until after my grandmother died in the early 90s that she had loved me to such a degree that the realization that the person who loved me like that was gone was devastating.  She had a stroke, and was on life support while they waited for my father to finish up a deal in Paris to come home and put the final nail in the plug being pulled.  His feeling was very much, "Well, she's gone already, what's 24 hours?"  Twenty-four hours of watching a loved one linger is a special kind of hell he will never experience because he loves no one but himself.

I could not go to San Francisco because I was pregnant and just diagnosed with what they thought was gestational diabetes.  I was torn up because I couldn't travel.  My youngest daughter is 3 short weeks from her due date and her doctor told her she shouldn't travel to Houston at this juncture.  It's torn her up.  However, her memories of her grandfather will never be tainted by remembering him attached to tubes and hoses keeping him alive.  She will remember him differently than her siblings who spent so much time at the hospital to be with him, so he wouldn't be alone.  I know exactly what she's feeling.  I can tell her that it changes after some time, the guilt that you weren't there at the end.  I don't see my grandmother, in my memories, in a hospital being kept alive with machines.  I always see her, sitting in her chair, clearing her throat as I played the piano for her.

My memories of my paternal grandparents are filled with love and laughter.  I don't think that either of my grandparents were happy in their marriage, but I know they loved me.  The reason I know is that they didn't have a lot of money, lived in California, and yet they made every single visit I made there special.  They didn't lavish me with gifts, they lavished me with love, and I soaked it in like a sponge, holding it dearly until the day I would need to pull it out and keep going on when I was sure I couldn't.  I still pull out that love when I need it.

Both of my grandmothers attempted to make me a lady, when it was obvious to everyone around me that I was just a little too rough around the edges to really do the job properly.  I remember my last trip to San Francisco and my aunt and grandmother taking me to a record shop I wanted to check out.  The clerk there made fun of my Southern accent and assumed I was retarded, so I began cursing him out in perfect French.  French my aunt was sure she hadn't taught me.  My grandmother chided me once we were out of the shop, telling me that ladies don't use that kind of language.  I told her if I ever ran into a lady using that kind of language I'd be sure to tell her that.  I got "the look".  The look that said, "Why do I try?  You just don't want to be a lady!"

Both of my grandmothers were determined that I would be a lady.  It's why I still set the table properly and know which fork to use and exactly where the water glass goes. It why I know the best fabric for place mats and appreciate cotton on a level that only most older, seamstresses can appreciate.  Because of them I love hats.  I can't wear them but I could watch them for days.  Because of them I always feel bad when I eat at my desk or in the living room watching TV. They taught me the art of conversation by encouraging it around the dinner table.  They gave me my mad love for schedules and routine and organization.  Unfortunately, Thank You notes, birthday and holiday cards were a given a miss by my agile mind.  I am looking now for family addresses so I can send out cards.  I also send out cards to my besties from school.

My children chafed at my attempts to civilize them.  They only had two grandparents who cared that they had good manners.  However, I am hoping that my incipient granddaughter will benefit from my being her grandmother in ways she won't appreciate until I am gone.  I know a grandparent's love and I intend that she will, too.  I can love her as I never loved her mother, because I don't have to "raise" her.  I can spoil her as my grandparents spoiled me.  Spoil her with love and showing her things that are still important in this world.  I intend to be Oma who will always bring a smile to her face when she thinks of me, even when she's a teen and would rather die than be around a grandparent.

The love of a grandparent gets us through many situations in life where the love of a parent isn't wanted or appreciated.  Because it's a different kind of love.  It's the love that I pray my children hold close to them now that it's not immediately there, but the memory is really just as good. It will take time before they can remember that love and joy without the sadness of the loss.  I'm here for them, whenever they need it.  They won't appreciate or understand that love until they have children of their own.

I'm patient.  Because my grandfather always took me fishing when I visited and we would go up to the cabin in McCall and spend days on the lake.  I learned it from him.  And it's a happy memory, and I pull it out when I need it.  It will always be there for me.  He made sure of that without ever realizing he was doing it. And THAT is what is so special about a grandparent's love.  They teach us things and we don't realize we're learning.