They have a link to an article where Lynne Cheney says that Dick and Barack Obama are cousins.  Eighth cousins, but yeah, cousins.

I’ve been meaning to put Pravda on my blogroll because they sometimes have some really hilarious stories, but I keep forgetting to.  Hopefully this will remind me.  Not right now ‘cuz I have to go in a minute, but maybe soon!


It’s been six years since 9/11/01.  My life has changed tremendously since then, but not as a result of the attacks.  My politics have changed as well, partly because of our response to the attacks.  But as we mark this date, many thoughts are going through my head, most of which center on all those people who died.  It’s just so senseless.  I don’t care how much you hate us for being who we are, having what we have, or for our stance on Israel or whatever other fucked up reason you might think you have, you don’t get to waltz in here, steal our planes, and use them as missiles.  Where does the action equal the reaction there?  It does not.  No argument about how evil America is makes what they did okay.  None.


Having said that, I have to point the same finger at us.  When we went into Afghanistan, I got it.  Yeah, that made sense.  It’s where Bin Laden was.  It’s where Al Qaeda was training.  So you go in, you get them, and that’s that.  The end of story.  Unfortunately, life is a bit more complicated than that.  We ended up in Iraq.  And at first, I got it.  The way things were being reported (especially by Fox News which I admit to watching sometimes), it seemed like Hussein was ready to give all sorts of our enemies tools with which to kill us.  But then that evidence got shaky.  Then that evidence became a “mistake”.  And that’s when I began to wonder what the hell we were doing there.  I’m not always so quick on the uptake.


My ex-husband, who is a staunch Republican, could argue a million different ways that what we were doing was right, could convince me for a little while that it was all okay, it made sense.  He repeated the party line, but more intelligently.  Maybe he should’ve been a lawyer.  I believed him for a while.  But then, with the whole reason for us being there falling apart, I couldn’t help but think he was wrong.  The longer we stayed, the more people who died or were gruesomely injured, the more I believed we had to get out.  Of course, by then, we had made such a mess of things over there that if we left without attempting to rebuild I think there’d be a special place in hell for us.  I’m sorry, but you can’t go into a country and destroy it for no reason and not at least try to fix it.  At this point though, what are we doing there?  Seriously, what are we doing on a day-to-day basis that justifies our presence?


Today I wonder if I would feel differently about any of this if I, like my parents, had known people who died that day.  Would I feel differently if I had been one of my ex-husband’s co-workers who were on the phone with brokers from Cantor Fitzgerald when the plane hit the building?  They were trapped, there was no escape, and they didn’t want to hang up the phone for two reasons.  One, they knew they’d never get another line out and the comfort of a voice, any voice, was better than none.  Two, they were getting information on what was going on from the guys my ex worked with.  As the building fell, the line went dead.  It was horrific.  (As an aside, my ex went to work for a branch of Cantor Fitzgerald after they moved the energy trading brokerage to Houston.  The employee manual had not been updated.  That was surreal as it had all these references to WTC and what to do in case of emergency, etc.  The shivers that went up my spine ….)


This is how I feel.  We need to get out of Iraq and back on task.  Bin Laden is still out there, raising mini-Osamas.  Would killing him help?  I don’t know.  He could be like the hydra, and when you cut his head off, a hundred uglier ones appear.  Is that how we should fight the so-called War on Terror?  Speaking of that, how do you argue with “The War on Terror”?  It sounds good.  We’re gonna stamp out terrorism by going after the terrorists and those who aid and harbor them.  Okay, fine by me.  But in the real world, does that work?  Is this the best way?  I don’t really think so.  I think the way we fight terrorism is 1) by improving our national image rather than invading countries in areas known to be hostile to us already, and 2) by using our intelligence to prevent attacks.  We had the intelligence ahead of 9/11.  What we lacked was the nasty murderous vision to put it together.  We now know that they’re not kidding.  They’re here to fuck us up by any means necessary.  Our job is to see to it that they don’t.  Maybe I’m being simplistic.  Okay, probably.  Lots of people, ex-husband included, would argue that the War on Terror is working because we haven’t been attacked since 9/11.  I disagree – I think we haven’t been attacked because our ability to prevent attacks has become much more sophisticated and we have become much less naïve.


All of that makes me wonder if I’d feel any differently if I were sitting in the Oval Office with all the information on my desk.  Or at the Pentagon, or the FBI, or the CIA.  But I’m not.  I’m sitting at home typing on my laptop with no information whatsoever except what the media feeds me.  So basically, I know nothing other than how I feel.  I’m saddened and sickened by what happened six years ago.  I just wish we had handled things some other way.     

People are really mean to Jessica Simpson.  Granted, she may not be the smartest cookie on the block, but hey, I doubt the writer of the article is either.  I guess when somebody of middling talent combined with actually looking like a Barbie doll becomes rich and famous, people feel the need to take unnecessary potshots.  Why?  Because people suck, they’re petty, and they’re jealous.  It would be such a better world if we would all be our best selves at all times.  I wish I could do it!

Magnus started puppy school yesterday.  It was really fun!  We’re going to the training school at Petsmart.  I chose them for two reasons.  One, they teach the owner what to do, and then you do it.  They don’t do it for you.  And two, they got my sister’s full grown crazy dogs under control.  If you can do that, I’m all over it.  Anyway, Magnus knew sit, come, down, and off already.  This week, we’re working on “watch me” so you know you have his full attention.  We’re also continuing to work on sit because he doesn’t do it well with distractions.  We’re doing clicker training, meaning that as soon as he does what I want him to, I click the clicker.  So as soon as his bottom hits the floor on a sit, I click.  Then he gets a treat.  What he learns from this is that his action is correct at the time of the clicker, and the treat is associated with the clicker rather than his action because by the time you get the treat to a puppy, they’re usually standing back up from their sit or looking away again from their watch me.  I hope that makes sense.  Anyway, he responded really well, and I’m very happy with our first lesson.  The really nice thing is that we’re the only ones signed up for the class, so he’s getting private lessons for the price of a group class.  Yay us!

This is my first weekend on my own since the break up.  I’ve had the munchkin the other weekends (I had him a few in a row because Ex-Husband had to go out of town, plus Mother’s Day weekend, etc.).  So I’m going to get the office set up this weekend.  Ex-Boyfriend left office furniture behind (a desk, bookshelf, and filing cabinet) so that’s what I’ll use.  Right now it’s in Munchkin’s room, but he doesn’t use it.  He does his homework sitting on the bed.  I did that too when I was a kid.  So he said I could move it.  We’re going to fill the empty area of his room with this bookshelf from Ikea.  The one we want isn’t shown right now, but it’s the beech effect rather than the birch effect – i.e., it’s lighter in color.  All of his Lego models will fit in addition to his books and other knick-knacks.  I feel like I may have talked about this before.  Clearly I’m excited about it then.

Ex-boyfriend also left behind his gas grill.  It’s very nice, but I have a bit of a phobia about gas grills.  I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever use it.  I’d like to, because Munchkin loves stuff off the grill.  I really like grilled tomatoes.  But what if I do it wrong and the whole grill explodes setting me, the boy, the dog and the house on fire?  Mmm, the “what-if-game”.  How fun.  It’s not like I’m being totally unrealistic here though.  This is Texas, and we do have a ton of spiders here.  Spiders can get into the gas lines and cause leaks.  So see, it could happen, and therefore, I’m scared to use the grill.

Well, the nefarious Bush administration plan to lower gas prices by having a war is not going so well.  I would say, however, that the more likely evil plot would have been to have a war and get gas prices up in order to make larger profits for his little gas buddies.  That is going fantastically.  But we wouldn’t give him credit for being that clever, would we?  All I know is that I have changed my driving habits in order to save gas money.  I’m much better about combining trips, and I’m not taking any classes at rinks that are farther from home than my normal rink.  If they don’t have it at my rink, forget it.  My car is not a guzzler, and it still takes less than $40 to fill it up, but I don’t want to fill up more than once a week if I can help it.  I can go about 300 miles on a tank of around 14 gallons.  That’s just over 21 miles per gallon.  Not great, but certainly not an SUV!

I wish it would stop raining for a few days so I could get into the garden.  It’s rained just about every day for the entire month.  We’ve had like two nice days, and you don’t dry out enough to tromp through the garden in one day.  I need to weed badly, and the roses need pruning.  The petunias and other annuals need deadheading.  Out of all the plants out there, I think the lavender and the hibiscus are doing the best.  The lavender surprises me – it’s a drought resistant plant, so I thought it would be unhappy in all the rain.  The roses are blooming nicely too.  Some of the annuals are clearly suffering with the excess rain.  Their leaves are turning that yellowy-brown of an overwatered plant.  The fact that I was a dumbass and didn’t really amend the soil which is clay didn’t help.  All I did was add a little Miracle Grow gardening soil to the holes I dug out of the clay.  I’ll do better when I plant the fall flowers.

My dentist appointment is today at 4:40.  Supposedly they’re only looking at the damage and then coming up with a plan for how to proceed.  Why do I feel like that’s a lie, and when I get there I’ll be strapped to a chair a la A Clockwork Orange and out will come my poor toothlette?  Mmm, dental nightmares, my favorite!  I don’t want to go, but I will.  I made the appointment, so now I have to show up.  Sure, I could cancel, but I won’t and only because of my vanity.  I don’t want to look at the bit of tooth that’s left because it’s just gnarly.  I don’t want anyone else to look at it because they’ll think I’m gross.  Can’t have that!  So see, here is a case where vanity is a good thing.  I am saving the world from seeing the horror that is my current mouth.  Nice of me, eh?  I do what I can.

Rich got the bookshelves up yesterday, yay!!!  I put the books on them because 90% of them are mine, and I have a specific way of putting them away.  It is NOT alphabetical.  I’d never find anything like that.  Instead, they are categorized by type of book – sci-fi/fantasy, general fiction that anyone would like, fiction for women (I refuse to say chick-lit because it’s not like that.  It’s more Margaret Atwood than Candace Bushnell – though both are represented), and my personal favorite, books my grandparents gave me that I haven’t read yet, but as I flipped through them yesterday I thought, wow, there is some really awesome stuff here.  For that category, I will have to be feeling intelligent.

And now some fodder for a new category on my blog: Politics.  I am so undecided right now.  I really like Barack Obama.  But I also really like Rudy Guiliani.  What is a girl to do?  Clearly I am not really worried about party affiliation at this point.  One thing I like about Guiliani is that I agree with him on both financial and social points which is something I can’t usually say about Republicans.  Obama, I just like him overall, even though I don’t know much about him.  All I know is that I don’t want Hillary Clinton or that dude from Arizona whose name escapes me at the moment.  Argh, that is frustrating.  A senior moment for me.  Great, and I’m not even 40.  Well, there’s lots of time to figure out this one.