Sunday, October 31, 2004

Just a Couple More Days.....

Alice Paul, wearing "suffragette white," toasts the 1920 passage of the Nineteenth Amendment
Photo modifications © Jone Johnson Lewis 2000 All Rights Reserved

We are praying, we are hoping, we are visualizing....and above all - WE ARE VOTING!!!!!

The woman you see here was beaten, tortured, imprisoned, then went on a hunger strike only to be force fed with a tube shoved down her throat into her stomach. Woodrow Wilson himself tried to have her committed for being insane. Why did he think she was insane? Because she wanted women to have the right to vote. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. We women folk just HAD to be insane if we thought we were going to tread into a Democracy that was for men only. Thank God for people like Alice Paul, and for all the people who suffered greatly so that we don't have to today. Unlike Alice, who stood in protest in front of the White House for months with a group of other determined women through rain and snow, today we can walk out our front door and saunter into our neighborhood polling place, give our name, and be given a ballot. We owe her, and all the suffragettes, a profound debt of gratitude that we can only repay by voting in EVERY election that comes our way. And remember your I.D.'s this year. They are not telling THIS woman that I don't have the right stuff to vote.

See you at the polls. Be well.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


That's right, boys and girls. Yours Truly got a 90% on her math exam this evening. Now to some of you out there who are whizzes at math, who may have actually taught the stuff at some point or are teaching it now, this might strike you as less than spiffy. A 90% is the bottom rung of the "A" ladder. Hardly something for a Grade Grubber like myself to be all swingy from the chandeliery. But I have never in my forty plus years of life gotten a 90% on anything in the mathematical universe. That includes grade school, junior high, high school and that weird class that I took at community college in 1981 that I don't remember because I was probably on something. It also includes Music Theory (also math), but that's another blog for another entry. This is about The Math.

I would like to share here what Manpants had to say about my 90% on my math exam. Keeping in mind Mr. Smarty-Manpants-NYU-Economics-Major is way good at the math and makes condescending (and dare I say chauvinistic) comments about my math skills on a regular basis.

Me: "I got a 90% on my math exam!"

Manpants: "You got a 90% on a Math exam?"

Me: That's right bucko.

Manpants: "Well, it makes sense. The Red Sox won the series, and You got a 90% on a math exam."

Me: "You're an asshole, and I want you to tell everyone you know that the woman you love just called you an asshole."

Manpants: "They already know I'm an asshole."

We're so in love.

On another note - regarding the whole diet thing that everyone was doing in my biology class? It looks like the Mayo Clinic Diet is the one that netted the most weight loss in the two week period. 7 pounds the first week, (water weight) and 6 the next. I'm not a huge fan of the rapid loss thing however, and am quite pleased with the 6 real pounds I lost on the whole foods thingy. Thing is I'd already lost 12 on Weight Watchers over a three month period - so whatever water weight lost was minimal. So I like to think I won. I think I got to eat better. Miss Mayo Clinic only got to eat eggs and spinach and grape fruit. Or something like that. Ew. And on NPR this week, I heard the ATKINS pushers are actually getting sued by someone adversely effected (and I have a friend who lost their gall bladder) from being on it more than a year, so bye bye ATKINS, never gonna use ya. I'm not sure of the exact amounts with the others ones like South Beach, but if yer interested I'll let you know!!!!

Have a great Halloween everyone. It might be the last partying we ever do. November 2 looms near and I'm getting more and more antsy and irritable by the second in anticipation and nervousness. This country cannot withstand 40 years of neo-con idiocy and figurative shredding of our nations constitution. And 40 years was not a typo. I'm thinking not only about another 4 years of a mad-with-power man allowed to turn our democracy into an oligarchy, but the potential Supreme Court to be - and the few in power are stupid and dangerous.

Things getting worse at work lately to the point that I'm losing self respect for remaining there. (Stay in school kids, or you'll end up with fewer options). I think I'll go to work tomorrow in costume as my inner cubicle rat psyche. That will require my wearing cut up fatigues and doing a little special effects make-up with the bruise wheel and the fake blood. I'm thinking two black eyes, a head wound, arm bruises and a split lip. If people ask me what I'm supposed to be, I'll say:

"Low Self Esteem."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Good God, it’s PINK

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m now officially LOSER BEHIND with my little noir/murder serial that I keep threatening to continue. And now, drum roll please...nay, not drum call followed by kazoo please....I think the problem that has plagued me my entire life, namely the inability to finish what I start, has reared its way-ugly head. My habit of non-completion effects many things. Piano lessons, Violin lessons, College (the first time around), sign language class, a half assed run at a first career, cleaning my pantry, writing the great American novel, or novella, cleaning behind my stove, reading the entire works of Herman Hesse...I think the only things it doesn’t effect are sex, cooking, eating and painting a room. Perhaps in that order, perhaps not. Which brings me to today’s lament……The Terra Cotta Blues.

I am known to respond to extreme stress by taking on a redecorating project. The number of homes, rooms, gardens that have been reconfigured, re-painted, re-accessorized, roto-tilled, weed whacked or just plain spruced up is rather extensive. I would not say that the aforementioned was my true calling due to the circumstances that surround these Extreme Projects (Incidentally, I am sickened to find out that all those poor bereft people helped by the team at Extreme Makeover-Home Edition have to pay taxes on the improvements as if they are game show winnings, and pay the increase in property tax as a result of the improvements. Sort of takes away that feel-good-for-humanity cry I used to get when I used to watch.) Anyway...the last week that was spent caring for maMAH and grandmaMAH (see previous blog) was done on high functional mode – that means be very pleasant, take care of what’s in front of you and never show fear. And never go off on grandmaMAH for watching Bill O’Reilly. So I think what happened when I arrived home on Saturday night was that after greeting Manpants and the dogs and sleeping in my own bed for one whole night, waking up to the reality of losing a week of work and a week of school, I found it necessary to paint two rooms and a hallway. Three different colors. On Sunday. I started about 11:30 a.m. and finished at 7:00 in time to get to the grocery store, do the shopping, get back home and cook the weekly casseroles. As an outside observer, looking down at myself from the place on the ceiling where I’ve been hanging from my fingernails, I find this somewhat manic behavior a tad...oh...a little outside the realm of...let me see, what’s the word I’m looking for...oh yes - SANITY. But what’s truly insane about this whole thing, what shouts a wakeup call to the heavens and back, or at least to Thalians Center at Cedar Sinai Hospital and back, is, I believe, the Terra Cotta shade I painted the kitchen.

The bathroom got repainted a lovely deep sage (I was thinking of painting SOMETHING with Martini Olive due to an implanted suggestion by Rhonda at Skinny Dipping With the President - but Tashman’s Hardware, the manly-man Hardware store in the heart of Boys Town where even Adam Carolla, formerly of the MAN SHOW has been spotted, didn’t have it.) So, deep sage in the bathroom with white trim, a lovely butter shade down the length of the hallway that warmed up what was previously rather drab, and TERRA COTTA in the kitchen. I think I wanted something Mediterranean. A vacation, perhaps. Anyway, I know I’m a fabulous woman, hear me roar, and that Pink is the new Gray, but I truly loathe pink after overdosing on it as a five-year-old. I hate it. I give money to Breast Cancer research but can’t even THINK about wearing the pink ribbon. Or that scarf that Nicole Kidman wore in that PSA ad in ALLURE or ELLE or GLAMOUR or whatever it was that I was reading while waiting for my highlights to process. I just can’t. So when I stood back to view my handiwork in the kitchen with its new TERRA COTTA HUE, imagine my stunned shock to realize that TERRA COTTA is actually PINK. Albeit a specific shade of PINK that looked decidedly less PINK in the manly-man hardware store, but PINK nonetheless. Manpants likes it. My neighbor liked it. I hate my curtains now and they need to be replaced immediately.

I wonder what would happen if I woke up one morning, decided to knock on a complete stranger’s door and then offer to paint their kitchen TERRA COTTA. Would they call the police or simply bludgeon me immediately...

Saturday, October 23, 2004


Hello there ladies and gentlemen. I feel like I have been absent forever. The fact of the matter is there was this little matter of my mother landing herself in the hospital. She is much better now, however she needs to completely alter her lifestyle or she will no longer have the same digestive system that she started out with in this world due to the doctors removing part of it if she continues to be naughty. And she was very naughty. In addition to maMAH being in the hospital, my grandmaMAH, the spry yet opinionated and demanding 104 year old (who watches Fox News and thinks Bill O'Reilly is just a nice Irish boy), lives with maMAH and needed help as well. I have never washed so many sheets and towels, nor prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday in....well, ever. Bit of an eye opener at what the older two generations are accustomed to, expect and of course need. PaPAH was there, but working most of the time and about to run out of the country for GOD knows what technological contribution.... so the time was mainly spent with the womens.

I also, and here was the cultural eye opener I was not quite prepared for...Apparently in Irish families it is completely appropriate for one to write the obituary for another family member prior to their demise so that said family member can approve it....Prior to said demise. Sooooo, I researched, asked questions, pulled out old newspaper articles, etc...and wrote grandmaMAH's obit. And yes, she approved it after telling me to include the part about her being recommended for the Peace Corp (!?!) I left the year of her demise blank, but teased her that it would be sometime around 2040 at the rate she's going. Her obit of course included the sinking of the Titanic, the Great Flu Epidemic, Lindbergh's first solo flight, the kidnapping of his infant son, the wars: WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam (family, siblings, husband, son, etc present in each), the Great Depression, inventions like the car, the plane, the TeeVee, the Computer...She's pretty much lived through it all, so it was actually quite fascinating that she's still so with it and able to discuss it all in detail. Also interesting to find out that she was a school teacher while she was raising her family, with a two year degree, and that during that career she went back to school to finish her four year degree - the whole while going to school, raising a family and teaching school simultaneously. Did my heart good to know a woman already did something akin to what I'm attempting to accomplish, and did it during a time that was a lot less friendly to a woman trying to have both a family and a career. I don't even have children, so what the foo do I have to complain about when I'm too busy to sleep?

All in all a very valuable week hanging with the women from generations spanning back to 1900, despite the circumstances, and a time I'll treasure for a long time.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


There’s nothing like the spiritual clarity one achieves by standing on one's head in a meditative state, calmly checking in with the mind, heart and muscles, aware of the increase in strength in the arms and abs, the blood rushing to the head, filling it with much needed oxygen for mental acuity, the sense of peace, serenity and calm overwhelming, while one’s youngest dog decides to unleash a mountain of foul oh-my-god-you’ve-got-dead-people-in-you diarrhea under the dining room table.

I realize that is a fairly common excuse used by slackers everywhere to explain why they haven’t done what they promised to do lately; in my case I have been sooooo very behind in terms of my continuing to tell you what transpired between the cops, the sissy, the little dog and myself in the promised new chapter of Courtesy Confidential. I will. But I had to clean up a mountain of soupy poop. Okay, actually I had to complain about a mountain of soupy poop. I am sure what I intended to say in my calm, rational and yoga serene voice was, “Manpants? I really need some help here and it would be great if you helped me clean up after our precious princess who is obviously sick from eating something on the ground.” Apparently, what really came out of my mouth after my head stopped spinning around was more like “COCK SUCKING SHIT FUCK SHIT MOTHER FUCK! CAN’T FUCKING ANYONE SEE I’M FUCKING TRYING TO BE FUCKING SERENE HERE!?!?!?!?” Manpants chose to save the day by cleaning it up. Which then clogged up the toilet, despite his removing the foul ick with flushable toilet paper in small flushable portions and flushing them. Which caused a whole ‘nuther problem. So dahlings, I’m just not FEELING it today. In the meantime there are biology exams to be taken, critical analysis papers on Hamlet to do…whole food to be cooked……and presidential campaigns to lose sleep over. (With respect to presidential campaigns, for a great analysis of where this country has gone in terms of Stupidity by Choice, check out Skinny Dipping With the President and read the “25 Watts” entry. She sums it up mighty well.)

As far as this lab-subject-in-my-biology–class-diet-thing is going, it’s interesting. One, the rapid weight loss is kinda cool – except that in my experience, rapid weight loss will come back on even more rapidly, producing nothing more than heartache and stretch marks. The detox factor is what’s really interesting, in that I have found myself at times experiencing a few slight mood fluctuations (referenced above). No sugar, flour, no additives, preservatives, nada, which is worth noting in terms of realizing just how many convenience commodities we’ve come to depend upon that are loaded with extra stuff we pay no attention to in the interest of saving whatever valuable time we were saving for something else. TeeVee, perhaps. I guess that’s bound to have an effect. I can go further to say that sudden removal of said commodities will probably have an effect as well. The only thing I’ve not given up is coffee – which I maintain is not processed food. It’s roasted beans. I grind them and pour hot water over them. That’s not processing – that’s survival of the species because if I didn’t have coffee there would be dire consequences to about 12 city blocks in any direction with me at the epicenter. I have removed every known addictive substance or action over time and am much better for it – but I WILL NOT GIVE UP CAFFEINE. Or shopping. A woman has to insist upon and maintain a certain balance or the world will end in a fiery blaze of chaos and destruction.

So sayeth Millicent.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Science Experiment, My shapely ASS!!!!!

I know I keep bringing up this Biology-advertised-as-being-for-Non-Biology-Majors-class. It is an all consuming Life Suck at this point. I am tested weekly on my grasp of things like respiration, photosynthesis, fermentation and adenosinetriphosphate and it’s role in the mitochondria (ATP for those of you in the know) – or is it the rough endoplasmic reticulum and not the mitochondria? I can never get those wacky organelles straight. I do know however that the mitochondria was the inspiration for the movie The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves. Serious…

Okay, so last night in class I watched a film on the human reproductive system (at my advanced age, I’m pretty darn familiar with it already, thank you very much) that, among other things showed a live birth and an infrared erection. Of course not in that order. That’d be silly. One just doesn’t see that every day. An infrared erection, I mean. Pretty colors are to be had from an infrared erection. Actually makes the penis look rather pretty as opposed to the “Aye, Lassie, how’d ya like ta take the wrinkles outta this?!” dangling appendage we’re used to. Face it guys. It’s just funny lookin’.

During the past week in class I found out that my Biology-advertised-as-being-for-Non-Biology-Majors-class is actually an important core curriculum requirement in the Biology Department for Biology Majors. There goes truth in course catalogue advertising. I, again the misfit, do not actually belong there. I sit pouring over my text, wondering what my purpose is for taking up a seat at the lab counter, when Fate actually steps in and makes everything A-Okay.

We have to do a science experiment. I chose a nice safe one that has to do with Botany that my friend Laura over at Am I There Yet? gave me for free. Thank you! It involves using Fava Beans. (Insert dated Chianti Joke here.) But as of last night I am also a SUBJECT in another experiment. That’s right. I’m a joiner! A regular Pinky. Or Brain. Whichever lab rat is your favorite. Perhaps a combo. A Binky. Anyway, there are 6 of us Binkys in said experiment. I’m not exactly sure what the hypothesis is, but the experiment involves each of us following a different diet for 2 weeks and comparing the results. We’ve got Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Beverly Hills, etc….. The youngsters will not be exercising during the process. The other “mature” woman in class and myself will exercise only 2 times per week, for one and a half hours at a go. I don’t know what the 2 guys will be doing. The diet I chose to live on is the “whole foods” diet, which basically means nothing processed, packaged, canned, no bread, cheese, cereal, cheese, ice cream, cheese, Weight Watchers delicious frozen desserts, cheese, tortillas, etc. I can’t have cheese either, which kinda blows. I can have: Vegetables, Fruit, Grains, Meat – all fresh as a daisy. Which brings me to my new discovery and I may just eat this at every freakin’ meal to come. Quinoa. (Pronounced Keen-Wah) – a super grain way higher in protein than any other grain, with an impressive amount of iron and B vitamins to boot. The Incans just swore by it apparently. It’s been around for about 5000 years, but of course we Americans are just finding out about it now, due to our advanced status globally in all things. It actually is mighty tasty and is not remotely boring like brown rice can be, is, ever shall be. Two of my classmates; one a stunning young woman from South America who is about a size 2 with perfect skin, and the other, a nice Jewish boy named Seth with a body like Michelangelo’s David (not that I was leering at a much younger man, but, okay I WAS. So WHAT? Manpants will forgive me. That's the burning hunk of love that I live with in case you're wondering who in hell Manpants is. Anyway, the classmates both claim to “just LIVE on Quinoa!” Okay. There’s a nifty endorsement. A tasty food recommended by two genetically superior humans. I’ll give it a go.

I'll post in the meantime - I'm way behind in my next hack noir chapter - but I’ll let you know the results in two weeks, and may the best diet win!!!!! (I’ll be rooting for ME, but if you have a preferred diet that you just adore, feel free to cheer for that one. I'll still win.....serious.....dunno about the cheese....)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Oedipus and Enzymes and Math, Oh My!

I wonder what would happen if parents actually subscribed to the practice of throwing toddlers into foreign language, great literature and higher math immediately. Their minds are like little sponges, ready to soak up all manner of knowledge thrown their way, which, depending on the family can run the gamut from learning Dad’s liberal use of the word “SHITE!” to shallow sister Sally’s teaching how to wear JUST the right sweater with their underroos, to the uber nerd family’s oldest sibling discussing quantum physics at the dining room table with his little uber nerd friends….the toddler is exposed to much information pre-pre-school. Can’t you just see the home schooling? “uuuuudja buuuudja buuudju boo – yeeeees, Oedipus killed his father, married his mother, had children by her that by family tree were also his brothers and sisters – we call that incest, and we’ll talk about that later in Play dough, Deviants and Society - then he gouged his eyes out, booooodja boooooodja boooodja, eat your cheerios sweetie oodja boo…”

Okay, I’ve officially lost it. Between leaving at 6:30 a.m. for an English Lit class with a bunch of kids raised by Play Station and MTV who are seriously impaired in the imagination department (no, I'm not ragging on the kids, it's their parents I have an issue with, because I consider the lack of imagination to be the result of apathetic parenting by depressed people who don't read), high tailing it for work then the nighttime experiments with bile, putting mice in jars and counting elodea bubbles in CO2, then sitting on other nights quietly doing bone head math for three hours at a go with a professor that has less personality than Tupperware, I’m going mad, mad, simply mad. Not from the school, but the lack of sleep. And I need my beauty sleep. I’m over 40. It’s important. We have far more products that we need to purchase if we don’t get our sleep. Plus any attempt at civility when tired left us years ago, so anyone within a 12 yard vicinity benefits by my sleeping.

I want to be a spongy toddler.

Friday, October 01, 2004


In all seriousness, Ladies and Gentleman, I'm venturing off the chuckles today because I'm mad and not just a tad frightened. I would very much like to know what children of high school and first year college students are learning in Civics class, American History and U.S. Government. Are prior presidents, are wars, is our Constitution discussed at all? Or are these things that the woefully underpaid teacher is blowing off since said teacher has been relegated by government cuts to being little more than a baby sitter who must pass the children in his/her classes regardless of their knowledge, or face a potential lawsuit by parents with entitlement issues. And precious little education. I'd really like to know who these kids' parents are, hunt them down, and spray a fire hose at them whilst screaming, "WAKE UP!!!!!" Especially the ones in the middle-class to lower middle-class, which is just about everyone here unless you happen to wander behind the gate of a gated community in Bel Air, Hancock Park or Pacific Palisades. The only thing I can compare it to in terms of the fright factor, is the NAZI Youth blindly following their leader into murdering millions of people and agreeing with the repeated claims that "racially pure blood" was something that actually existed (or remotely scientifically possible let alone desirable.) Reminds me of that Demon currently going by the name Dick Cheney who snarls and says that 9-11 happened because of Saddam Hussein, or snarls and says 9-11 will happen all over again if we vote for anyone else. People blindly believe.

I had a little time before my mind sucking math class last night, so went across the street to the pizza place for a slice and to watch the debates. They have a TeeVee. They also cheer and ring a bell if you put a tip in the tip jar, so it's a nice warm fuzzy to be there. I sat down amongst many other people with the same idea. The majority of the room was filled with the new adult, i.e. the fresh-faced (or pimple-ridden young adult who hasn't yet discovered Proactive) new voter. The Eighteen year old with nary a care in the world except concern over what kind of cell phone cover looks best with their outfit.

As I watched the debates, the disparity in possession of statesmanship qualities and educated articulation between the two gentlemen was clear. The statement of facts already determined by the 9-11 commission, military officials, Colin Powell etc.. was clear. These facts were given by Kerry, not Bush, who was rather defensive, stood like a featherweight boxer and smirked. Kerry presented a clear, confident and dare I say presidential personae. The differences between the two in terms of ability to state with educated confidence, what was happening with respect to foreign policy and conflict were clear. Yet all these children sat there shaking their heads and hissing when Kerry spoke, and nodded their heads vigorously up and down when Bush spoke. Almost in unison. It was the most frightening thing to watch. Keep in mind that this is California, so this phenomenon can only be multiplied in other states. This is the representation of youth in our country, hence its future. God Bless America.