Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Please, take my identity

Dear Auburn Student:

Please tell me you are a student and not an instructor or professor.

I know tuition costs are rising and student debt is waaaaayyyy out of hand. You need some dough. What better way to raise your much needed funds for education and date rape drugs than the old give me all of your personal information so I can worm my way into your bank account and whatnot scam?

Let me tell you, I've seen far better attempts at this. FAR BETTER.

You were wise to put Bank of American in the "from" section, but having vqgfds@auburn.edu right next to Bank of America made me just a teeeeeennnny bit wary. I'm not sure why.

But all in all it just looked a mite shady:

We recently have determined that different computers have logged onto your Online Banking account, and multiple password failures were present before the logons. We now need you to re-confirm your account information to us.

If this is not completed by August 31, 2011, we will be forced to suspend your account indefinitely, as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes. We thank you for your cooperation in this manner.

To confirm your Online Banking records click on the following link:


Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Bank of America Customer Service

Please do not reply to this e-mail as this is only a notification. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered.

2011 Bank of America All Rights Reserved.

I'm thinking that your college career is going to take a nose dive and this will probably have some effect on the rest of your life.

Of course, this could be showing that you have low moral fiber and great ambition and that you will go far in life. Far down the road, when you are at the top of your game and I am a dottering old woman, you will be able to scam me and my cats out of our last quarters and take the burial plot on top of that.

Hope you get everything that is coming your way, asshole.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Put it On Me

I'm not usually one to pay much attention to what big woohoos that go on in the entertainment world. Either I'm slow to catch on or I just don't give a damn. Sometimes both.

But this time, I'm really irritated and nauseous, so I have to share.

Unless you're me or live under a rock, you've heard about the most disgusting marriage of the decade. Yep, 51-year-old actor marries 16-year-old chick. Normally, I would just think to myself, "whatever" (done in the eye-rolling sarcastic manner of a 16-year-old). But, for the love of Pete, I'm apoplectic.

Wanna watch! Go on . . .

Hopefully you've finished retching.

I only heard about this two days ago. I'm lucky to have been spared so far. Generally, I'm thinking about Libya, poverty in Africa, our failing school system, Michelle Bachmann, etc. Nowthis damn thing has taken over. Several scalding showers and eye washes have not helped in the least.

At first, I laughed. I saw a couple of videos of this girl and I just busted out laughing. I thought her plastic self was just too funny. And she does these REALLY bizarre things with her lips. If you haven't watched the video yet, please, you have to.

AND she has a music video. Classic!

Yes, it seems she really is 16. There are some disbelievers. I know, she does look like a 30-year old smokin' and boozin' not-so-good-hearted hooker. But the birthers have spoken and a birth certificate has been shown.

After I had an evening of belly-shaking laughter, slowly the weight of her situation came down on me. She really is a kid. She does possess the social skills of a 16-year-old girl (albeit one that hangs out by the back door of the boys' locker room). She didn't acquire her attitude, mannerisms, personality, and ability to make really dirty-nasty faces on her own. These things she learned. And from whom? Her parents. Hell, they are the ones that married her off to this man. Excuse me, I have the dry heaves.

So, why? Why would this man wish to marry such a girl? Pardon me for stealing a bit from Seinfeld, but I'm wondering what team he really plays for. Is she a molded petroleum-by-product working as a beard? Just sayin'! There's a little blip on my gaydar every time I hear him speak. But, that's beside the point. Why would this girl's parents sign her over, push her onto, give her up to, let her go to, hook her up with this lizard? Hurl.

I can see only one reason. Need a clue? Green paper stamped with the faces of various presidents. Ah, yes, the "reality" show people have apparently come knocking. And they are frothing at the mouth while doing the math. Probably a bit easier for him to do the math, since she is not finishing her high school career. I'm sure he's wanting the money, and no doubt she's wanting the money, but I'm sure her parents are looking forward to an early retirement and all that comes with the sloth of easy money.

I'm thinking that I lived a pretty normal childhood. My parents were a little(?) sheltering. They encouraged logical thinking, empathy, responsibility, honesty and other apparently useless shit. This girl's parents were teaching her something else entirely. And when she was done with learning, they affixed her to this pimp. Or are the parents the pimps? Dang! Its the battle of the pimps and this poor misled girl is the one caught in the middle.

So, now I'm done laughing at her and I'm into the pity. She's apparently never known the security of being raised by responsible parents. She couldn't have been given the ability to create confidence in herself. Let's face it, she didn't come out of the womb this way. But here she is now, as far from being a normal 16-year-old girl as she can possibly be. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Stodden. You've created a plastic chick that will unfortunately become the poster child of "itness" for all young girls out there today.

No Courtney, I'm NOT going to put it on you. I'm going to put it on the man and woman that raised you.

What they have done, in my mind, borders on the criminal. They have given you no respect for who you truly are (were). And after watching these videos, I know that (except for the tweens out there who are having confidence issues) you will receive no respect from those around you. Your parents have taken that from you. You may become wealthy, but not from talent, skill, or an intelligent, well-developed mind. Those who come into contact with you will take advantage of you. They are laughing at you, and they will continue to laugh at you until your spurt of fame is over. Your parents have made you completely vulnerable to the leeches of the world.

What's next for you and the hubby? I'm praying (not something I am accustomed to doing) that one or both of you are sterile. PLEASE! NO OFFSPRING!

Girl, beware of the drinking, the drugs, the sicknesses that are out there waiting for what is left of you. I hear that the Amy Winehouse exit door is quite easy to push open.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Friend,

Gee, how long have we been friends now? Forty two years. That's a long damn time. We've had our childhood differences. I recall the time at the beach when we were in our early 20's and we actually had a fistfight. I can look back at that now and laugh. God, how tacky! But, I must say, I felt a little better afterward.

We can't do that anymore. Or we don't. I guess we could. I'm not sure who would win. Would it be a long fight? Might be. We disagree on soooooooooo many things.

I can't remember our first real disagreement. Not one of those childhood things about who was spit sisters with who first, or who's sister was the meanest. We put more energy into those debates than anything we've discussed since we were 16.

There were those eye-rolling discussions. That time when you were finished with your dinner and a fly landed on your plate. You managed to kill him and slide him around in your remaining sauce and got a free dinner. You did not share this discount with me. I paid full freight. I'm not sure you even tipped. I also recall times when luck came my way and you demanded that I share. I wanted to share, but I also wanted to punish you for that fly incident.

These days, there are so few things we can talk about. Our children are fair game. Although my kid might have an eating issue, or lice, or difficulty learning how to ride a bike, or a tantrum. And I know as soon as I tell you these things, you will not commiserate with me or ask me for more information. The first thing you will tell me is that your kids NEVER had that problem. Shit. Why did I even bring it up. Oh, yeah. Because I wanted to share.

Religion. Good heavens I would never bring that topic up. And I do thank you for never bringing it up with me. I'm surprised that you haven't. Really. I know that you fear that my child (and the rest of us) will go to hell. I should thank you for never bringing it up, but that would be bringing it up, so I'll say nothing.

Politics. I do like to discuss politics. That's just one of my many annoying features. When was the last time I brought it up? Was that the Bush/Gore election? I'm thinking so. I had the audacity to ask who you were thinking about voting for. You told me you would vote for whoever your brother-in-law suggested, seeing that your Daddy was dead and couldn't tell you anymore. I'm sure I had the What-the-fuck look on my face, but since we were talking on the phone you couldn't see it so we managed to stay friends.

I know I haven't been the best of friends myself. When your mother was dying, I was having the time of my life in college and I wasn't there enough for you. I truly feel awful for that.

Why is it that we can't get personal anymore? I do keep a great deal to myself. I don't have many friends (could that be because of the politics?) so the ones I do have, I like to share my feelings with. When I had the nerve to tell you I was depressed because my artist life sucked and my real life sucked and I hated where I lived and I was having a mid-life crisis and I felt I had no future and all of that and your response was a little grunt and the suggestion that I get a job, I really wanted to say screw you that I real friend would want to talk about it. I just shut up and we talked about your job or store coupons or some shit that had nothing to do with me like most of our conversations go.

I remember a couple of years ago, if we went more than a week without talking on the phone we were shocked. We used to take turns calling each other on Fridays. If someone had to do the calling more than twice in a row the other one was called out. If we did skip a week, then the next conversation was a long one. For the past few months, its been me calling. And you sound so put out when I'm on the other end. I know you're busy. We all are, don't you know? I do think you can spare 10 minutes every other week. That's enough time for you to tell me about your recent bargains.

Does it hurt your feelings that I don't ask you to come visit anymore? It shouldn't. You know you are welcome anytime. I just got tired of asking and hearing really crappy excuses. Its really easy for me to pack it all up and drive six hours each way and visit you and my family every couple of months. However, I do think your five year (or is it six?) absence is a little noticeable.

This last visit was a bit hard on me. I am glad you took a few minutes to come see me at my Dad's house. I know my recent trip was boring for you to hear about. That's why I only talked about it for two or three minutes before you changed the subject to your recent trip. But I'd already heard about that twice, so . . .

And when you asked me about me, I'm not sure what you wanted to hear. I gave you a sentence or two about what I had been doing. You grunted. I guess that meant you were listening. And then I got a repeat of everything your children had been doing. I've heard that three times. I don't think you got the message when I was able to recite their comings and goings. But when you asked about me and what's going on in my life, I thought you meant what I was working on. You've told me all of your work trials and tribulations. So when I ventured that sentence or two about my new artwork, I thought I might get a grunt. No, I really did not expect you to ask me to show you something that I've made. I'm not sure that has ever happened. Of course, I did not expect you to say, "Hey, I'll have a look at your website." Why, oh why, did I not expect that sound of crickets. And the blank face. And then the immediate change of subject.

After 42 years, can't you just be honest and say, "I don't give a shit?" I must say, I'm getting close.

Well, I'm assuming no one has read this whole post. But I sure do feel better now. It's out there. It's written down.

And if you have read this far, we should really get together and discuss religion and politics.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hey Independents

The hubby has started a new blog of his newspaper editorials.

Jeez, he's always so darn fair minded.
Let him know what you think. Really. It can't be any worse than what some of the spittle-flecked ranting locals think of his ideas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Name Envy

I spent much of my childhood (and adulthood?) envying the names of other girls.

Mine was Kim Hogan. Sounds a bit like pulling up phlegm. Not to disrespect the family name, but I was not reluctant to change my name when I married.

Some girls names sounded like waterfalls (Suzanna), or a soft rain (Marissa). Some were sturdy: Mary, Beth, Donna. Mine felt like a squeak. Kim. Or maybe that’s just the way shy, quiet me said it.

Some names seemed unique to me at the time: Shelby. I quite liked that one. Cydney. Cecilia. These names sounded swirly and happy. I wanted to sound swirly and happy. If I could not sound swirly and happy, then I wanted to sound tough and strong.

My favorite name among the high school girls was Lou Gott. I know now that Lou was short for Louise or Louisa, and, like my name, it sounded like the gathering and/or releasing of phlegm. But I envied that name. It sounded like the name of a girl that would kick the shit if the shit needed to be kicked. It sounded like the name of a girl who would do whatever she wanted. Say whatever she wanted. Screw the consequences. Somebody named Lou Gott could roll with the changes.

Me? I just sat quietly in the corner with my phlegmy name and squeaked it out when necessary.

I guess I could have used my full name, Kimberly. I tried it a couple of times. Sounded like too much. Too big of a name for such a little mouse. People would expect much more of me if I used that name. I was scared of it. I could only squeak out, “Kim.”

Suppose I had been named Ethyl or Sunshine? Gertie or Margot? How different would my life have been?

What about the names of today? Just like fashion, names follow trends. Several months ago, when visiting family in Texas, I went to my niece’s daycare center to pick her up. Along the wall, above the backpacks, each child’s name was perfectly printed. While I will not list any name here for fear of violent repercussion, I will mention that it read like the roster of an Iditarod dog sled team. What will the future hold for these children? Will they proudly hold their up their heads and fear nothing in life? These are names not intended to be squeaked out. These are names to say loudly.

Or will they, like I, wish for a name like Lou Gott?

Monday, August 8, 2011

If you can test drive a car . . .

then why can't you test drive a skirt?

My daughter and I did a little clothes shopping while we were vacationing in Portland, OR. We have to do our clothes shopping online or far from home, because to shop near our home requires that all of our clothing be blue and white and have "Penn State" silkscreened, stamped, or appliqued on each item.

We stop in a lovely, well-tended boutique. My daughter picks out a slightly-above-the-knee, floaty, jersey skirt and informs me that I must try it on. Apparently, with one eye shut and using my dyslexic eye, I confirm that the price is right. I take two other items and my daughter into the dressing room with me. The clerk brings us a bottle of sparkling water and is the epitome of the perfect fitting room attendant.

The skirt is awesome. Clingy. But not too clingy. Lightweight. A dream floating over my kneecaps. Ahhhhhhh. Somehow completely (in my mind) hiding the middle-age tummy that has become an owner-occupant. The perfect skirt. The skirt of my dreams. And at such a reasonable price. I feel so good purchasing from a local designer and something made in this country (hopefully not some sweatshop on a U.S. "owned" island). We quaff the Perrier and declare I shall purchase the skirt.

I open my good eye and read the price again. Shit! Feeling buoyed by the sparking water, the attentive clerk, and the memory of my happy thighs in the skirt, I decide to purchase it anyway. I mean, it IS perfect. I tried it on and sat in it and swirled in it and bent over in it and nothing bad happened.

Until the first day I wore it. After flying thousands of miles home.

It was a breezy day . . .

I felt confident that I looked AMAZING in my AWESOME skirt. My head was high. My stride was long and sturdy. I felt liberated.

Really liberated.

I thought that the passersby were admiring the new me in my glorious skirt.

It wasn't the skirt they were looking at. No. Every one and all were getting an eyeful of untanned thighs and ancient underwear.

I firmly clutched my skirt all the way back to the car.

The hubby says the skirt looks damn good on me. He makes small guttural animal noises when I wear it. I kind of like that. So now I stride confidently through the house in my skirt, head held high. Aint no wind in the house.

In the future, when I feel the need to purchase a new skirt, I'm going to take a small fan into the dressing room with me. If I'm asked if I would like a sparkling water, I'll decline. Instead I'll ask where the electrical outlet is.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Behind Every Great Man . . .

. . . is a huge ass pile of wires.

The hubby went and purchased himself another television-related gadget. This, of course, necessitated another cable. And here is what we have behind the television.

I do think he is a great guy, though. And I don't bitch when he wants to add another electronic device to his ever expanding showcase of whirring, blinking, manly nirvana.

As long as another remote is not required.

This does make me want to go out and buy a frilly little figurine to set atop the television set.