Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Holy Holidays Batman…!

I recently read one of my favorite blogger updates and was truly mystified. The school system in our community has reduced the number of parties to “maximize instruction time.” And to top that off they will have only two parties per year, one during the winter break and Valentines Day. By winter break party they mean Christmas!!! Not the holiday season, not the birthday of our Lord, not buy until you cry, but winter break. This has vexed me to no end.

You would think in a state where you cannot go ten miles with out passing a church; someone would have spoken up about this. I mean come on. I understand that you must first be tolerant of one another’s beliefs, before you can be truly tolerant of one another. But where do you draw the line? Do you sacrifice your beliefs for the sake of others? I understand people exist who equate Halloween with all things demonic…so what. And some people think Halloween is a supremely indulgent holiday…so what. A majority of those people don’t remember what fun is and what it is like to be a kid. You will never hear a group of kids’ say, “Hey lets cancel Halloween because our souls are at stake.” Or “Christmas has too many religious overtones, how about happy multicultural enjoyment period instead?” Only disgruntled adults say that.

There is joy in watching a child hunt for an Easter egg that the Easter Bunny left. There is joy in watching a child rip open presents after “Santa Claus” worked overtime, went to the Wal-Mart at the “North Pole”, spent all night putting gifts together, wrapping them with Dollar store wrapping paper and barely keeping his or her eyes during 4:00am wake up call to see the presents they left. And there is joy in baking cupcakes, telling ghost stories, bobbing for apples and watching the precious years of a child fly by in delight. These events create a life time of memories . If you don’t like it…tough, let the kids have fun now because there is plenty of time for them to frown later. Oh yeah, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


Saturday, October 28, 2006


Living and working in the south I come across all walks of life. There are things that just tickle the death out of me and there are things that just get my goat. For instance the two clichés that you just read were uniquely southern. As a southern born man I use them in my daily life, but as a writer those clichés creep in like kudzu on speed. I constantly find my self having to edit and re-edit so I don’t confuse my readers. But somehow I don’t edit enough, but that is another story.

Having traveled the world I have found that once you are raised in one of the southern territories you belong to a haloed club of sorts. Let me explain. You are driving down at night and see yellow pair of eyes on the side of the road; would you know what they were? When you are in a restaurant do you ask for “Sweet Tea” or “Iced Tea”? What do you eat with purple hulled peas? How many horns are on a cow? Auburn or Alabama? Are you getting my point? I don’t care where I have gone on this planet a simple, “WARRRRRRR EAGLEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!” has found me friends even if they were lowly Alabama fans[ I couldn’t resist].

I laugh out loud at anyone who complains about grits and the fact that they are gritty. It automatically tells me they are not from the south. I take a personal offence if someone insults a biscuit or turns their noses up at milk gravy. These two items have fed many a poor southerner for years. They don’t have to eat them, but they sure as heck ought to respect them. After all Southerners never joke about a Yankee Pot Roast or a slice of pizza, honestly who just buys one slice of pizza. I frown when people complain about the heat or the mosquitoes and it just bites my butt when they talk about the humidity. And last but not least, we might not know the name of our roads but if you know your left from your right we can get you there. Ya’ll take care…ya hear!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

November 7th

Midterm elections are [as of this entry] thirteen days away and political analysis all over the United States will be eagerly watching closely contested Senate and House races. As usual there will be much fanfare and delight as cameras switch from camp to camp trying to catch the essence of this wondrous election. When the results are in and there is clearly a winner, there will be enough backslapping to make me want to throw up all over my television and DVD player.

In the winning camp there will be: falling balloons, confetti, music, expensive catering and lots and lots of glad handing. In the loosing camp there will be: balloons, confetti, music, expensive catering and lots and lots of glad handing. Each respective candidate will rinse the mud out of his or her hair and throw only accolades to the winner or loser. I have seen this show before.

On November 8th however there will be improvised explosive devices and insurgent sniper teams on the road to Baghdad, the threat of a second if not third nuclear test by Kim Jong-il [that’s the dictator with the weapons of mass destruction], gas attendants that will climb that ladder once again to change the price of gas and hung over winners and losers from both sides of the midterm election.

This election is supposed to change the color of the House from red to blue and quite possibility even the Senate. But nothing actually changes, it only changes hands. That means Democrats will quite possibly be in charge and will now take the blame for things going on in our country. I can see it now. There will be a whole new set of scandals [I can’t wait]; the quagmire called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” will still be…a quagmire. There will be squabbling and in fighting as each new Representative and Senator tries to make a name for him or herself, and gas will still be as high as a giraffe’s rectum. Oh joy.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Investing Too Much

I honestly hate pugnacious pundits. Self styled experts who scream and grimace as if their gesticulations alone, will hammer home their educated opinions as fact. Blessing us with enlightenment because they think we are trapped in varied states of non compos mentis. These “Super Gurus” cajole or congratulate the current Bush administration on its successes or failures, laughing haughtily at the inane possibility that Bush could be wrong or even right. It really depends on who is being interviewed at the time. These cantankerous critics sparkle on camera. They are clean shaven, well dressed, make-up laden, finished off with blindingly white smiles. Their faces are animated and they look particularly unstressed. Not really the kind of people I want the truth from.

The most accurate opinion given without experiencing hardship is from talking to the people “living the condition.” If you want to know the state of affairs in New Orleans, don’t listen to Mayor Nagin or the self promotional professor who has written a single book on the failed levees of the Big Easy. Pick up the phone and call one of the shelters and talk to someone there. But not to be bias, drive down(because some places still don’t have phone service a year later) and find some one who is fighting alligators, water moccasins, nervous rabbits hiding from alligators and West Nile tainted mosquitoes, trying to repair their home after a year with zero assistance (remembering assistance isn’t always monetary!)

If you truly want to know about the condition of things in Iraq or Afghanistan, ask a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen or Marine. Or even join the armed forces (I have a friend who did just that at 32!) I once stood in line at a grocery store and watched a combat veteran disassemble a patriotic wannabe in 30 seconds flat without blinking an eye. Part of the conversation went like this,
“So how were things over there?”
“Hot and dangerous” the veteran’s words were sharp and quick. “Well, if I was there," The fat wannabe held up his arms to simulate firing a rifle. "I’d have my mini-14 with my Bushnell scope taking out rag heads like POW!”
The veteran smiled and asked, “What color are their uniforms?” This drew a confused stare from the wannabe, “I don’t know…” he replied.
“So you would be shooting at everyone…right?” At that moment the veteran was physically standing in the grocery store but mentally on the street in the Anbar Province. The wannabe left hurriedly.

Then again there are people that know the truth but can’t tell you: the President, all the President’s cabinet members, and people in the middle of all current events. They really know “The skinny,” but they just can’t tell the general public because some of you… and you know who you are CAN’T TAKE IT! I honestly keep waiting for that Presidential press conference where the Commander-in-Chief steps out from behind the podium, unloosens his tie, takes a deep breath and starts his sentence like this, “Ok you bitches here’s the truth…” You can see it on his face, he wants to say something to every critic, blogger and self styled expert who has had their share of finger pointing. But he can’t. He mutters the phrase, “Stay the course” quietly thinking assuredly “Because we have no choice.”


Thursday, October 19, 2006

The World Has Gone Crazy

I am a self confirmed news junkie. And have been since September 11th 2001. I wake and sleep to CNN, FOX or MSNBC and when I am in an adventurous mood Link TV (because I can only be insulted in six different languages every now and then). As my idiot box flickers I realize the world has gone crazy. There have been at least two entire families slaughtered over the course of a month, 10 Amish girls wounded and murdered in a wooden one room school, a boyfriend in Louisiana dismembered his girlfriend and hid her parts around the apartment…then jumped to his own death, 71 of our citizen soldiers who were children, wives, husbands and friends have been killed in battle so far in the month of October and Kim Jong-il tested a nuclear weapon right in our faces… and we haven’t stomped him flat.

On top of that the GOP is now the Grumpy Odd Party with fall outs from the Foley scandal, the Ashcroft scandal, the Hastert not telling on Foley scandal, the Karl Rove I-had-nothing-to-do-with-it scandal, the “Your-wife-is-a-CIA-operative” scandal, the Tom Delay-I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I scandal, and my favorite scandal the-we-were-right-in-removing-Saddam-scandal and we still can’t find those pesky weapons of mass destruction (Because they are in NORTH KOREA!).

Lastly there are freakish weather anomalies that range from the east coast pummeled by heavy wet weather (in places), deep snow in October in Buffalo, and ice caps the size of Texas that have broken off because of GLOBAL WARMING. There were earthquakes in the Gulf of Mexico, around Hawaii, under Pakistan. There have been droughts, pestilence, disease, famine and war. And all I could think is grab a helmet. Because the terror alert is stuck on Chicken Little yellow and the sky is really falling. But no one is really listening.