Taking Tampa by the Tale – Part I


It started with a massive panic attack, followed by syncope – you know, a fainting spell.  No, not me. 

I was going to Tampa to start my low-residency MFA in creative writing, and my friend and travel wife (we’ll call her “Sandra”)  was coming along to enjoy ten days of rest and relaxation.  But it wasn’t starting out as very restful or relaxed for her.

She began panicking when we got in the security line at the airport and she saw the new 9/11 craziness that now involves a full-body scan and the removal of shoes, belts, coats, and any other potentially scary things we carry, like cell phones, loose change, and car keys. 

Then we got separated at the ID check.  Four lanes open for paper checking, and my line went fast.  Hers went slow.  Too slow. 

I lost track of her, sat down to put my shoes back on, and chatted with the guy next to me who was also putting his shoes back on.  Then I spotted her, waiting to reclaim her stuff, and she seemed a bit off, so I wandered over to help her, and she told me what happened.

She did something – she’s still not sure what – and the security guard began telling her, “To make things easier next time…” and then she pitched forward into the person in front of her in a dead faint.

She woke back up, having wrenched her knee but managed to avoid hurting anyone she crashed into.  The security agent asked if she was okay, and began telling her, “To make things easier next time…”  But she still didn’t focus on what he was saying.

Then it was to the waiting place until we made it to Tampa….


Why I love Verizon

So we canceled our Verizon DSL a while ago and moved to Comcast (foolish, I know…)

And yesterday, I got an email “bill” from them, telling me that we owed them a negative $10.66.  The same negative $10.66 that we had called to request as a refund several months ago.  Whatever.  I ignored it.

Then in today’s mail, we received two different pieces of mail from Verizon.

First up: the bill!






Then, right next to it in the mailbox, the refund check!






I guess maybe accounts receivable and accounts payable don’t talk to each other?


Coming up next, leeches!

By Deepestbluesea at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AThree_early_medicine_bottles.jpg

Autism has suffered its share of slings and arrows.

It was caused by refrigerator mothers.  Vaccines.  Rainy days.  Or, the easier solution, according to some, was that it didn’t exist at all and was just misbehaving children. 

Then it was all about how to cure it.  Hyperbaric chambers.  Chelation.  GFCF diets.  Jenny McCarthy. 

None of them worked.  Some of them were dangerous.

Some can be considered child abuse or endangerment.

Then today I learned about something so scary that I had to research it and write an article for it for the Examiner

MMS – Miracle Mineral Solution.  Basically, it’s a bleach enema.  The signs that it’s working, according to its adherents, are the same signs of poisoning from the bleach and are potentially fatal. 

On one hand, I understand the urge to find the cure.  And in a hurry.  My son, who just turned 10, is still functioning at the level of a 3 or 4 year old, and when they test him, he comes up MR (Mentally Retarded) because he is unable to take the tests that are meant to measure his IQ. 

But I still can’t – and won’t – endorse anything that is straight out and out torture.  How many of these parents would endure these things themselves?  How many have medical training?  How many are doing it for their children, and not themselves? 

Are we going back to the dark ages where we use an ice pick to lobotomize those who are different

What about mercury to treat syphilis

Oh, I know, let’s go for some “corrective rapes” to fix lesbians

I know that I’ll probably get some hate mail (and comments) on this one, but let’s face medical and scientific facts.  Refrigerator mothers are no more the cause than vaccines, and Jenny McCarthy is as medically trained as a blind mole rat.

We can’t expect the government to us from ourselves – the FDA issues warnings all the time, but no one listens – but maybe we can try to save each other.  Follow the science and the medicine.  It’s not perfect, I know, but it’s a lot better than the rest of the ideas out there.


What the Hell are the “Glamour Women of the Year Awards”?

By H16794 U.S. Copyright Office. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By H16794 U.S. Copyright Office. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s kind of sad I have to ask, but I just do.

Here’s the thing: I read the news.  Lots of news.  And I saw a link on my local news for “Glamour Women of the Year Awards.”  And it’s just a slideshow.  Thirty-four photos.  And some of the “thumbnails” are of the women’s waists.  Others are just faces.  And there is nothing on the page anywhere about what these awards are for.  It’s just a bunch of pretty faces.  Nothing to identify what these awards are for.

Okay, that’s odd…normally people care about what awards are for, right?  If we were looking at “Men of the Year Awards,” wouldn’t we care about what they were for?  Wouldn’t there be a mention somewhere?  Somehow?

But going to Glamour’s website doesn’t help.  Instead, there are great headlines that tell me that I should own dresses, know sex tips, and will be judged by my body.  Thanks, Glamour, that’s exactly what I was looking for!

I went ahead and Googled it, thinking maybe eventually I would find the information.  I could find only a single page that wasn’t a bunch of photos.  Celebrity-Gossip.net actually listed the awards and the winners.

Hmmm.  Helpful, but not too helpful.  Then I found it – the best page that told me the true purpose of the “awards.”  The Huffington Post stood up and shouted it – “This Week in Beauty: Best & Worst From the ‘Glamour’ Women of the Year Awards 2012.”   And how awesome, you can judge the women and rank them!  Cause, you know, the awards were only about how they looked.  What else could they be?  And if you check out the comments, it’s clear that is the only point of the awards.  People –both male and female – insult the women in the photos, making fun of their eyebrows, eyeshadow, and roots.

Yes, this is another rant.  But it’s a worthwhile rant.  Why don’t we notice these things?  Why don’t we call them out?  Why don’t we argue and shout and tell these people that we mind what they do?  There are only two options: we don’t mind, or we do and we keep quiet about it.  So let’s not keep quiet.  Let’s talk about it and argue and shout.  Because if we don’t, who will?