Friday, April 28, 2006

Update: Saving a Life

Tonight, I found out that the injured cat I took to the veterinarian not only survived, but is doing fine and should have a normal life.

Even better than that, one of my coworkers is planning to adopt her.

It was the best news I've heard in a long time.

After work tonight, I went to the clinic to visit with her and I found a much different cat than the one I left there last night. She recognized me, meowing as I came over to her cage. They let me hold her and she purred as I petted and spoke to her.

I'm glad fate put me in a position to save her life.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Aiding a Cat

Last night, as I was leaving work, I saw a small cat in the road. It had been hit, but I could see that it was still alive. I parked my car and ran over to it, then carefully picked it up to carry it out of the road. If I'd left it there, another car would have soon come along and finished the job.

I laid the cat on the grass, where I could see that its body wasn't crushed, but there was a small amount of blood around the mouth. And it was obviously in distress making movements similar to when a cat has a hairball. However, the cat responded to me when I spoke to it and perked up a bit every time I petted it.

I called the police, hoping they'd be able to take it to the animal shelter where it could either be medically attended to or mercifully euthanized if the damage was too bad. Unfortunately, when the officer arrived he said there wasn't any way to access the animal shelter at this time of night. He didn't think the cat would live, but as he said that, the cat stood up for a moment, as if to mock him.

He did tell me there was an all night veterinary clinic in town, but that he'd not be able to take the cat. I said that I'd do it, as I couldn't just let the cat suffer.

When I got to the clinic, they promised me they'd save the cat if it was possible or peacefully put it to sleep if not.

I gave the cat one last pet, before I left it in the care of the clinic.

I hope the little guy makes it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Big Love

While browsing blogs this morning, I came upon a couple commenting on a new HBO TV show, "Big Love". This show, starring Bill Paxton, is about a Mormon man in a polygynous marriage with three wives.

After reading these blogs, I googled "Big Love" and read about it on the official show's site. All the blogs and the official site referred to this marriage as a "polygamous" one, which is technically true, but misleading.

"Polygamy" refers to multiple partner marriages where there are either one man, multiple wives OR one woman, multiple husbands. But when most people hear the word polygamy, they think only of the patriarchal, religious, exploitive kind with one man, multiple wives, which is more correctly termed, polyGYNY, which translates as "many women". There is also a specialized term for one women, multiple husbands, "polyandry", i.e., "many men".

Aside from the gender combinations, multiple partner marriages are not necessarily religious, patriarchal, or exploitive. Those that are egalitarian and involving fully consenting adult partners are more properly termed "polyamorous", which can be hetero, bi, or homosexual and involve all possible gender combinations.

Some of the blogs commented about the difficulty of living together in a polygynous marriage, which is quite possible, but monogamous marriages are also not without their problems. Another blog got a little shrill, comparing this to legalizing gay marriage, which she felt would naturally lead to legalizing polygyny. She wrote "polygamy", but this blogger is apparently unaware of other kinds of multiple partner committed relationships, and assumed that all such marriages must be of the patriarchal exploitive nature. Well, you know what they say what happens when you ASSUME.

My comment to her contained much of what I've written above, but I also added that
it's not the form of marriage that matters, it's how the people act within the relationship be it one man, one woman, two men, two women, or multiple numbers of the gender combinations. I also pointed out that polyamory has about as much in common with Mormon-style polygyny as an abusive monogamous marriage has in common with a happy, loving one.

To the other blogger who lamented the logistics of living with several women at once, I said that I preferred my free-wheeling promiscuity to their committed multiples.

If I had cable, I'd check out "Big Love", though I'd have preferred the show to have been about a modern, egalitarian polyamorous family, rather than a Mormon polygynous one, but I guess it wouldn't have been so funny that way.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Personal Scent

Not too long ago, I wrote about an unbathed homeless man who frequented the library I worked at in college. And I know I've made comments in passing about those who use unappealing colognes and perfumes. Today, I'll touch upon another type of odor, that of "personal scent".

Personal scent isn't the same thing as B.O.; it's a natural odor unique to that person that can be detectable even when the person is freshly bathed and perfectly clean. It is how a person smells when clean, but not using any type of scented product: colognes, lotions, deodorant, etc. And it's not always an unpleasant odor, though it can be. Nor can we detect the personal scents of everyone we meet -- some people are olfactorily "invisible" to us, where with others, their personal scents jump right out at us, either pleasantly or unpleasantly.

I remember as a kid that the members of my aunt's family all had a similar personal scent. It was obvious to me whenever I visited them, but it wasn't an unpleasant odor to me. It was just their "family smell".

A few years ago, I worked with this woman who had a personal scent that I found extremely repulsive. She wasn't dirty in any way, but her scent did not appeal to me at all. Her odor was quite strong, too, as I'd be able to smell it whenever I got within three feet of her. It was so that I avoided interacting with her as much as possible, even though she was a very nice person.

Quite a long time ago, Infamous J and I had discussed the personal scent phenomenon, as she also had noticed people's personal scents. She'd read something to the effect that when one encountered someone with an unpleasant scent, that it was a primal reaction that was triggered when we encountered someone whose DNA was too similar to our own; that it was a kind of primitive alarm against unsuitable mates. I've not read anything about it myself, but it's an interesting idea.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Planet Simpson: How A Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation

Planet Simpson: How A Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation

Chris Turner

Date: 12 October, 2004 — $16.38 — Book

product page


Review of Planet Simpson: How A Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation

I've been a devotee of the Simpsons for many years now, and when I saw this book at the library, I checked it out, thinking it would have some interesting tidbits about the show.

However, I never finished the book, as the writing style was boring and ponderous. The author took himself and his subject matter much too seriously. The book was a pathetic attempt to prove how urbane and sophisticated the author thought he was. It was as if he'd swallowed several encyclopedias about popular culture and philosophy, to name a few, and he frequently went off-topic waaaaay out into the tangents of left field.

There were a few interesting points, but they were buried so deep in verbose paragraphs with tortured sentence constructions and awkward neologisms, that I couldn't be bothered to hunt for more interesting parts that might have been there.

Don't bother with this one. It reads as if it were a collaboration between the Comic Book Guy and Sideshow Bob.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Friday Ramble

It's an overcast Friday, I'm feeling a little "off", as if I'm coming down with something, and I had odd sleeping patterns again last night. I went to sleep normally, but then snapped awake at 7 am. Fortunately, I was able to fall back asleep before too long, and slept until nearly one. But I'm still feeling sleepy, not rested, so this will be of necessity a post of rambling thoughts.

As I was riding home last night, I was listening to a talk show and a caller mentioned how her husband was having a hard time getting a job in the field he'd gone to school for because of his credit rating.

I don't get it. It would seem to me that someone who's having trouble paying their bills would especially need a job and be more motivated to be a good worker and keep that job in order to get the bad credit monkey off their back. What purpose does it serve for employers to punish such people and to keep them from paying their bills and improving their credit rating? It's not as if the person owes money to the company they want to work for. In my book, this is a private matter that shouldn't be a factor in the hiring process.

Last night before I went to bed, I thought of a topic to write about, but when I woke up a little while ago, I couldn't remember it for love nor money. I was going to write about how I needed to write down good ideas immediately to make sure I didn't lose them. However, I was browsing blogs as I usually do before writing my own post, and I found a comment on another blog about an unrelated topic that jogged my memory.

I've always wondered what other people visualize when they think of the concept of "heaven". Let's just assume that there is some sort of afterlife where our consciousness lives on in whatever fashion. As a kid, I had the picture of everyone wearing these ethereal looking robes and of being in the clouds. I used to have this recurring dream about being a soul living in heaven. There was a large building with a terrace all the way around it with a wall topped with a railing at the boudaries of the terrace, which was perpetually shrouded in fog. Robe-wearing residents of heaven would gather on the terrace and lean over the railing looking down through the clouds at their relatives on Earth. In these dreams, I was always a child, and I even remember there being a school there, with a similarly fog shrouded playground.

What were some of your concepts of heaven as a child?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

More Commercials I Love to Hate

There are two more commercials on my current "love to hate" list.

One is the Pizza Hut ad about getting five more pizzas after the first one for five bucks each, where the guy tells the customers, "Fivespot", "Fivarino", "Fivus Maximus", etc, ad nauseum. It is asinine to the point where I can't see how the actor kept a straight face saying all this nonsense.

The other is an ad for Hardee's, which shows two scruffy construction workers eating their lunches inside a pickup truck. Throughout the commercial, one hears loud smacking and slurping, which is enough to kill the appetite right there. Finally, one guy asks the other if he's going to eat his "cheese paper"; that is, the paper the burger came wrapped in, which now has bits of melted cheese stuck to it. I don't know about you, but this commercial is more of a diet aid to me, rather than an appetite enhancer.

In my last post about obnoxious advertisements, a few people mentioned that it's the local "homemade" commercials that annoy them most, particularly ads for car dealerships with yelling salesmen. That made me remember a series of ads from the 70s for a store selling men's suits: Krass Brothers. Anyone living in the Philadelphia area at that time will agree with me when I say that this store was aptly named, as the ads for it were just that, crass.

The signature ad for Krass Brothers was "If you didn't buy your suit from Krass Brothers, you were robbed!" But my "favorite" KB commercial had to be the one where a guy sitting in a coffin bellows, "I wouldn't be caught dead in anything but a Krass Brothers suit!"

I googled "Krass Brothers" and below is a photo of him in the coffin:

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Unrestful Sleep

Last night I had an overnighter, which is not an unusual thing for me on a Friday night. No more than fifteen minutes after we'd finished our fun and games and had settled down to go to sleep for the night than furious knocking came at my front door. I don't normally answer the door when I've got someone there in the bed with me, but as it was the middle of the night, I thought I'd better go see what the hell it was.

I was surprised and extremely pissed to find it was the moron who cuts my grass. What did he want in the middle of the night you might ask? He'd dragged along some of his stuff to sell to me for drug money. He's tried this shit before and I've always refused to help him, but apparently he's not getting the idea.

I ended up shutting the door in his face and returning to bed. I'm getting to the point that if he tries this shit again, I'm going to have to make my point with him more forcefully.

After that annoyance, it took me quite awhile to get to sleep, and when I did sleep, I was running all night in my dreams. In one dream, I'm at this place where they have several cats in a cage; too many for the cats to be comfortable. Though I hadn't planned on getting another cat, I ended up taking one home; one with similar markings to my tom, but with long hair and a somewhat different color distribution.

Just before I woke up, I was delivering pizzas in a neighborhood from hell. It was a motley collection of houses laid out in a haphazard fashion with tall sand dunes all around in random spots. There were dirt roads in between some dunes leading to more houses in back, hidden from the paved road. I was looking for a house number sixteen, but the numbering system on the street was all screwed up and I was having a hard time finding the house.

Finally, I located number fourteen, so I went to the next house in line, figuring it had to be sixteen, though the house had no numbers, nor did the corresponding mailbox. Of course, when I knocked on the door, it was the wrong house, with the people telling me that their house was fourteen, too.

I looked at the house directly across the street, which was numbered 202. Then I looked at the next house down on the same side of the street as the two number fourteens. I saw a number on it, 101962. I saw a dirt path leading between two dunes behind 101962 and starting walking back there through the ruts. A woman pops out of 101962 and says, "Here it is!", in a tone of voice that implied I was a total moron for not walking right up to it. I told her that the 101962 on her front door had thrown me off and she said that these were the numbers from her last two houses, 101 and 962. Of course! How silly of me not to know that 101962 is exactly the same thing as 16!

I guess it's not surprising that I woke up tired today.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bombs Away!

As I sat here in front of the computer this morning contemplating what to write on my blog, I spied a robin sitting on the maple tree in my front yard. An idea came to me immediately as I watched this bird.

I have two large maple trees, approximately twenty-five years old in my front yard. They were young trees when I moved into this house in 1985, and they've now grown to the point that they completely cover my front yard in shade when fully dressed out in summer leaves. Because of their size, they are both a natural place for birds to congregate.

I have a driveway on my property, where we can park, one car behind the other. But if my son and I both want to be able to leave at any time without disturbing the other, this necessitates one of us to park to the side of the driveway in the grass, under the tree, so as not to block the other car in.

In the last five years or so, having the trees so close to the driveway has created a nuisance every spring without fail. Because several branches of one tree overhang the driveway and the yard parking spot, our cars become splattered with bird shit from bumper to bumper every spring from birds perching in the branches above. It's not just a couple of splats, either -- it's like both our cars had targets that only birds could see painted on them. There are so many splotches of bird shit on both cars that it looks like the birds went on a dive bombing mission. People point and snicker at both of us when we pull up at intersections to wait for a red light.

There's no point in washing the cars any time in the spring, because the birds would have them recoated within hours. So, we just grit our teeth and deal with it until the trees are fully covered in mature summer leaves and the birds cease dive bombing our cars.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm No Saint : A Nasty Little Memoir of Love and Leaving

I'm No Saint : A Nasty Little Memoir of Love and Leaving

Elizabeth Hayt

Date: 03 October, 2005 — $15.72 — Book

product page


Review of I'm No Saint : A Nasty Little Memoir of Love and Leaving

I bought this book because it promised to be yet another memoir of a female libertine. However, this was a book I ended up having decidedly mixed feelings about.

Hayt isn't really a true libertine, but nor is she a traditional woman.
And I don't think she knows what she is, either. I found her to be a very confused, materialistic woman. Throughout the book, she came off as a high maintenance phony. I didn't like her much.

However, Hayt is an excellent writer. I laughed out loud at several points and I would read future books she writes if the subject matter interests me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Striking Out

Since I first became sexually active in the mid-1970s, I've had several hundred lovers altogether, though I cannot tell you the precise number. I've had a high percentage of success with women over the years, needless to say, for whatever reason.

But, like every other heterosexual man on the planet, I've had my share of rejections as well. One cannot please everyone, and there have been a few I've failed to seduce, let alone please. Everyone strikes out now and then, and I am no different in that respect.

Most of the times I've bombed out with women happened many years ago. Gaining experience over the years, I've learned to better read the signals that women send out as to their availability and receptivity to my overtures, I've learned to give the unlikely prospects a pass, thus increasing my chances of a successful seduction.

Early on in my sexual career, I wasn't quite so honest as I am today about my commitment to sexual freedom, and I gained a notoriety as a love 'em and leave 'em kind of a guy.
Thus, several young women who knew of my reputation wouldn't let me within ten miles of them. There were those, who initially seemed as if they'd be receptive to me, who turned cold as soon as their friends clued them in to my reputation. It was from the experience of some of these blown seductions in my youth that I learned I had to be honest with potential lovers about my libertinism.

And there were those attempted seductions that were doomed to failure from the very beginning. I remember as a college freshman, trying to seduce a pious fundamentalist girl who lived in my apartment complex. Though she was pretty enough in a saccharine, wholesome way, she really wasn't my type. I saw her simply as a challenge, another notch on the bedpost. The fact that one of my roommates had bet me that I couldn't seduce her only made me want to do it all the more. I approached her, even attending her Bible study a time or two, all with the goal of seducing her. She'd heard of my reputation, but the poor girl took it upon herself to convert me, to bring a lost lamb back into the fold.

Feel free to roll your eyes heavenward at this point.

I was a bit more patient with her than I might have been otherwise, intent on my goal, but I arrogantly thought that she would give in at the end, like most others did. It didn't occur to me at that age that she might actually believe in all that "wait until marriage" crap her church was telling her.

Unfortunately, she was quite sincere and committed in her beliefs. When it finally dawned on her that I had no interest in being "saved", but that my only interest was to get into her pants, she shook me off like dust off her shoes. I learned a valuable lesson with that botched seduction, not to mention the 20 bucks I'd bet.

Some of my regular readers might remember me referring to another failed seduction in a previous post. This was also in college when my roommate and I had an impromptu party in our apartment with several other people.

The night started off well, with the liquor flowing freely and the girls being seductive. Two girls who shared an apartment joined our party and both were having a good time. I successfully seduced one of them, having a quick one with her in my bedroom as the others continued to party in the living room. When we were done, we rejoined the party, with us both essentially going our own way.

About an hour later, I thought I'd get her roommate into bed as well, but when I tried to do that, she not only turned me down, she got pissed off, knowing I'd already been with her roommate. The girl I'd been with already got mad too, and they both left in a huff. By this time, I was thoroughly drunk and I followed them out, calling out rude things as they walked down the steps. I even hurled my beer bottle at the one who'd turned me down, but as drunk as I was, I fortunately missed her.

I could give more examples, but I think you get the idea. Nowadays, having learned a few hard lessons, I've learned to choose my prospective lovers with more care, which has increased my success rate as the years have gone by.


Saturday, April 8, 2006

Obnoxious Commercials

We all have commercials we love to hate. These are commercials that make you nearly break the buttons on the remote in your haste to change the channel every time they come on.

And have you ever noticed that the most obnoxious commercials are the ones they show most frequently. Many times, they'll show the same inane ad twice in a row.

I've had numerous commercials over the years that I've loved to hate, but my latest series of commercials I love to hate are those advertising the soda, Sierra Mist. In the last year they've had several moronic commercials: one with one guy in an office smelling everyone's breath to see who drank his Sierra Mist, and another with a guy who'd double parked who bribed a police officer with a bottle of the stuff to get out of getting a ticket. But the latest ad has to take the prize as the most asinine commercial in the series: a man is going through an airport security checkpoint and the female officer makes this "weep, weep" noise with her mouth every time she sweeps her metal detector wand over his Sierra Mist.

I can't even escape this idiotic ad campaign when I'm in the car listening to the radio. They've got an ad for Sierra Mist Free where a woman thinks the soda is free and the store clerk tells her it's a buck and they go round and round with the misunderstanding. It's almost enough to make me want to rip the radio out of my car and throw it out the window.

What are your "favorite" commercials you love to hate?