So 80s, It Hurts.

Posted in WhatNot on April 8th, 2014 by Diva

Like, gag me with a spoon.

Totally.

The Content of Your Character.

Posted in WhatNot on April 8th, 2014 by Diva

If:

you have a sexual relationship with anyone for any length of time

and

it becomes clear one of you wants more from the other than just the physical

and

you break it off, believing the split is amicable, because you talked it out

and

the one who wanted more from the relationship starts rumors

and

said rumors become gossip

and

the gossip becomes truth to some, including those in authority who control aspects of your career

and

the one who wanted more from the relationship is obviously the one who started the rumors

and

their current spouse contacts you on their behalf to create a publishable retraction

and

you post the agreed-upon retraction to your social media with said spouse’s blessing

and

the rumor-monger denies agreeing to any retraction

and

instead starts a crowd-fund to “Give a Voice to Sexual Harassment Victims”

and

you happen to have evidence – hard evidence – of the lies used against you in the whole debacle …

… what do you do?

Why publish the evidence, of course.

If you don’t wish to browse through every item on that link, here’s a summation of the story which makes the situation pretty clear to me.

*****

Feminist is about supporting all women as they strive for equality in their everyday lives. It is NOT about blaming men for our own foibles and shortcomings, nor is it about dragging someone’s name through the mud when our personal needs are not met.

Skeptic means asking the tough questions while attempting to remain as objective as possible, which is especially difficult when we don’t like the answers we get. And asking for evidence is not “victim blaming,” it is the first step toward understanding a situation more clearly.

Atheist means accepting personal responsibility for all our actions, even especially when we’re wrong, because there is no Invisible Sky Daddy to forgive us.

Humanist is about helping our fellow humans as we strive to live on this rock for what brief time we have together. More so, it’s the admission we are all human and what are humans? Imperfect. We make mistakes. We stumble. We can be selfish, catty, back-stabbing, awful people. That said, the realization of imperfect humanity goes a long way toward giving us the ability to own up to our faults and forgive each other. On rare occasions, we can even forgive unconditionally. (Not forget, mind you. Two different concepts, forgiving and forgetting.)

Misandrist is a man-hater and misogynist is a woman-hater. Personally, I prefer to hang out with people who don’t judge on gender or any other human criteria, but on the content of a person’s character. You know, like Dr. King said.

Character is what gets assassinated when one person’s NEEDS trump another person’s RIGHTS.

*****

Disclaimer:

If, one day, I am presented with evidence which proves the opposite of that which I’ve supposed here, I will happily change my mind (skeptic), accept responsibility for my mistake (atheist), and ask forgiveness of my fellow humans (humanist). It’s just that easy, folks.

So step up or step off.

The Interview.

Posted in Romero Trial on April 8th, 2014 by Diva

It’s been just over a year since that murder case on which I was a juror and I’ve realized something very important:

I never finished the story. D’oh!

That is the ultimate in procrastination, ain’t it? Anyway, here, now, the next chapter. I think there’s probably at least one more section and then the thrilling (?) conclusion will follow soon.

If you wish to catch up/read from the beginning of the saga, just go to the right of the main screen on the home page and click on the topic “Romero Case,” but be forewarned: It is a graphic, awful, morbid, terrible subject.

Um … enjoy?

*****

If you’re on the right side of the law, it’s a pleasure to view how detectives work. I watch a lot of Discovery ID – it’s usually on in the background at my desk all day – and it tickles me to see murderers, rapists, and other criminals fall into semantic traps. The old adage “give ‘em enough rope to hang themselves” certainly applies in most of the cases.

A common technique I’ve noticed on those reality crime shows is tag-teaming, where a person is questioned, one at a time and one after another, by two or more detectives. What most suspects don’t seem to understand is each investigator is still tuned in and listening to the entire conversation while they’re outside the room. Oh, they don’t say things like, “But you just told Detective A something different;” they’re much smarter than that. They wait patiently for you to say something stupid, fall over your lies, or basically hoist yourself up on the scaffold with all the rope they’ve given you.

The detectives interviewing Tim downtown were no exception, but he still somehow managed to stick to his story and the timeline he’d built up in his head. He was visibly anxious and physically agitated when left alone in the interrogation room, though, and after the trial I figured he was he was worked up because he’d used his cell phone on a smoke break to call Frankie, who informed him about the other set of detectives searching his grandmother’s house across town.

At one point, a detective engaged Tim in a conversation about his t-shirt, which depicted a super hero character. I recognized this as another tactic regularly seen on those shows I watch, i.e. ingratiating oneself with a suspect to a) be seen as a friend and/or b) keep them a little off guard. It worked, because Tim immediately brightened up and spent a few minutes talking about a specific story arc in the set of comic books associated with the character. I only mention it here because the moment was later characterized by the prosecution as evidence of Tim’s arrested development. I’m paraphrasing here, but the sentiment was “What 30 year old knows that much about comic books?” In my head, I thought of at least three of my friends, all in their 30s, who could have kept up with that very conversation. (Note to those friends: If you do anything illegal, don’t do it in a super-geeky t-shirt. No respect from cops or attorneys just yet on that front. I give it another 10-15 years for fellow comic book fans to move up into positions of power in police departments.)

I should note this was the only misstep I encountered with the prosecution in the case. Their arguments, from beginning to end, were direct, to the point, and clear, quite unlike the defense … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

*****

The investigators at Tim’s grandmother’s house suspected something had gone down in the garage. It was too clean, neatly organized, and it reeked of bleach.

It didn’t take them long to find a large trash can in the corner. Inside was the parquet flooring that used to be under the stripper pole and a black trash bag with a knife in it, among other items. Everything had blood evidence on it, including the flooring tiles, but what convinced investigators to search the main house was when they separated two couches which had been stacked on top of each other against a wall.

On the end of one of them was a large blood stain which had soaked completely through the cushion into the base fabric.

At the other end of the same couch was a Hello Kitty purse.

Both the blood and the purse were later confirmed to be Alicia’s.

*****

Detectives at both locations were updating each other constantly, so downtown, one of them asked Tim why his garage was so clean. He responded his aunt had been hassling him to clean it up for months, so he and Frankie had finally done it.

No one was buying it anymore.

*****

Investigators removed Tim’s grandmother, Frankie, and the kids to a secure area on the property but outside the house while they continued their search inside. They focused on the basement, where Tim and Frankie lived, and eventually found the blue container, full of black trash bags.

Each bag contained a bit of what was left of Alicia.

*****

Downtown, a detective entered the room and informed Tim he was under arrest.

Tim whined, yelled, insisted he didn’t do anything, cried out, and eventually got so shrill it was hard to listen to the soundtrack of the video. I can’t imagine what it was like to be in the room with him at the time.

And Frankie? She had not said a word to incriminate herself or Tim.

Yet.

To be continued

Quantum Boredom.

Posted in WhatNot on April 4th, 2014 by Diva

These Tweets appeared in my feed in exactly this order with no other message between them:



Honestly, I can’t think of a better description for all of Twitter than that.

Maybe “time suck.”

A Father’s Child.

Posted in WhatNot on March 17th, 2014 by Diva

Word has it the founder and patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, is on his death bed.

I can’t honestly say I didn’t take a long, refreshing dip in Schadenfreude at this news. Like most humans, I enjoy hearing when someone as vile, evil, and hateful as that man reaches the end of the road. And I, like many others, revel in the final stage of his influence on his revolting, hate-filled family and followers of the church he started. In fact, Twitter is alight with “good riddance” messages; a trending hash tag as I write this post is #FredPhelpsLastWords. Some of them are quite funny and made me laugh out loud. I even joined in a bit.



But a funny thing happened when I got to the party: I read on Nate Phelps’s Twitter that those who left the church have been denied saying their goodbyes to their father.

Listen, I didn’t care for my Dad, nor did I really communicate with him until his deathbed, but an imminent end, as difficult as it is, makes a person honest. I was lucky I got the chance to look my old man in the eye and see who he really was. In those last days, I saw his weaknesses, his pride, and his humanity. I knew more of him in the last month of his life than I’d known in my 40+ years on this Earth.

Doesn’t mean I suddenly changed my mind and loved him beyond all reason; that kind of ending only happens in movies. I merely understood he was as imperfect as anyone else … including me. “He did the best he could.” Trite, yes, but the truth. We are given tools from our parents; we only do the best we can with what they gave us. It’s nearly always imperfect, and sometimes just plain wrong, but we do the best we can with what we are given because it’s ALL we have to work with.

One of life’s toughest lessons is “you don’t owe your parents anything.” They brought you into this world, but that is where their influence should stop. You are a grown-ass man or woman; you are allowed to make or break your own life as you see fit without answering to anyone.

But no matter how great your independence, divergent your life, strength of your ideas, or different your faith than what you were taught, they are still your parents and, no matter what you tell yourself or how abusive they were, you still love them.

When it comes to parents or children, emotion wins against your intellectual will every damned time. Get used to it.


Doesn’t matter the failings, demons, hate, or how disappointing or terrible the upbringing, that man is/was your father. And as much as you despise everything he stood for or all that he did, it still hurts to lose him.

And the Zen Arrows that mean the most are the ones that cut the deepest.

I owe him nothing … I owe him everything.

God dammit.

OUCH.

Ruin a Band.

Posted in WhatNot on March 11th, 2014 by Diva

Sometimes I get really good ideas for Tweets. Sometimes my love does and I share them, since he has no online social life.

Sometimes I can easily play along with Hashtag Wars, a game created by the folks on Comedy Central’s @midnight. Sometimes my love can as well, and I always Tweet his funniest responses.

Last night, all the stars were aligned for the hashtag, #RuinABand. Please for to be enjoying our entries, thankyouberrymuch.

Dismemberists
Great White Lion Snake*
U Boys 2 Men*
Goldfapp
Nom Nom Club
Manimal Collective
Bill Bev Devo*
Flock of George Segals
Flesh for Hulu
Marilyn Hanson
TV on the Raydio (featuring Ray Parker Jr.)
Shart of Noise
Gobsmack
The Crystal Meth
Rage Against Martin Sheen (an actual ABQ band from way back)
Renigma
The Generalissimo DeFranco Family
Run DMTs
De La School
Inane Clown Posse
Siouxsie and the Bee Gees**
The New Christy Menstruals
Christian Death Squad
ABBA Dabba Doo
Motley Jew
Arcane Fire
Mumford & Oates
REO Speed-dealer
Blue Oyster Cunt
Heebie Bee Gees**
The Artist Formerly Known as Relevant
Crosby, Stills, and Gnash
Led Poison
AC/Bee Gees**
Scoldplay

* Stolen from an ex – we used to play “combine band names” on road trips. The only other one I recall from those days was “Maddonavan,” but I didn’t use it because the combo – Madonna and Donovan – sounds better spoken aloud than it does in plain text. If you have to explain the joke, it’s not worth sharing.

** We don’t have anything against the Bee Gees; their name is just easy to pun.

We live together. We work together. We attend hockey games, concerts, and comedy shows together. But the couple who creates irreverent-to-politically incorrect puns together stays together.

Ehrmagherd! It’s lerve!

Uncle What Now?

Posted in Falling Apples, WhatNot on March 10th, 2014 by Diva

In the early 1970s, we drove from our military housing at Griffiss, AFB in upstate New York – a base which has been closed for years now – to Oneida County to visit one of Dad’s “friends” from his time in Vietnam.

He was called “Uncle Snuffy.” Anyone else’s name is lost to time and foggy memory, but that one I remember.

I recall a few details, too. The house was large, at least compared to our little two bedroom apartment on the base. It was situated in the woods, on a creek that ran near the property. I remember being outside with the adults, maybe on a back patio, but mostly what comes back is the attic bedroom with the (daughter? niece?) girl who was close to my age. She had a big dollhouse in that room, which was fascinating to me, as I’d never before seen a miniature house with scaled-down dolls and tiny furniture. There was even itty-bitty silverware and other accouterments.

There were many kids there and a bunch of (parents?) adults. My Mom and Dad, Uncle Snuffy, and his (wife? girlfriend?) gal pal kept diplomatically telling us kids to get lost, to remain in the upstairs bedrooms, to disappear and continue our play without bothering them. When we did venture downstairs, due to hunger or thirst or boredom, we were given what we wanted and then shuffled back upstairs.

I wasn’t put off by it; I enjoyed the place and the play. There’s was a lot of distraction in that house. But …

… but now I remember the strange, sweet smell that lingered in the air near the adults, indoors and outside. It was different, but not so much I thought to inquire. And at least once, when one I went downstairs alone, my Dad was there but my Mom was strangely missing. I was told she went to the store to get more beer, but on the way back up, I heard her voice behind a bedroom door.

I wrote it off. I was seven. Some kids question such things, but I didn’t.

Just a few years ago, it occurred to me Uncle Snuffy probably got his nickname for a reason. I assume it was due to a propensity for drugs, which is a reasonable assumption based on the history of a lot of Vietnam vets. And tonight, as I smoked a bit of pot myself – which I can admit publicly now, because recreational weed is recently legal here in Colorado – I suddenly realized what the sweet smell in that old memory was.

But more so, I know what my Mom was up to in that bedroom.

Rather than be disturbed, upset, or grossed out at the thought, though, I’m just sad I can’t verify it with her. Sure, I’d like to know if my recollection is true, but I’d also like to confirm my suspicions that this apple really hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

Scratch that. I know it hasn’t. I’m deluding myself to question it. My lifestyle is probably mostly genetic, but also a fair bit the way I was raised. Love can encompass many people from many different places, social strata, and cultures; the physical manifestation of that is nothing of which to be ashamed.

So what I really mean to say is I wish I could talk to her, if only for a little while. Maybe to confirm my memory or just to work out some of this irritating menopause shit that’s happening to me now.

Wishes aside, I wonder what happened to Uncle Snuffy, that house, and the other adults and kids who were there for those weekends in the woods. Where are they now? Are they alive? Are they happy? Are they anything like me? Is it even possible to be like me?

How many unicorns are out there?

I’m a rebel, Dottie. A loner.

An Embarassment of Comedy Riches.

Posted in WhatNot on February 27th, 2014 by Diva

I don’t know if I can make it to the TJ Miller / Nick Vatterott show tonight at the Gothic Theater. I’ve got much too much going on right now.

Tomorrow night, however, I wish I had a twin, because there are two shows I want to see. The first is the monthly Gr@wlix gathering with the usual local-and-hilarious suspects – Ben Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Andrew Orvedahl – and special guest Kyle Kinane at the Bug Theater; the second is the monthly Sexpot Comedy show with Nikki Glaser and Ben Kronberg at the Oriental Theater. I can’t do both, because the line for the Gr@wlix forms early – maybe even earlier than usual with Kyle Kinane on the bill.

This is not whining. I’m happy Denver can support both, I just despise that I have to choose between two amazingly funny shows because the newest one (Sexpot, started late last year) has decided to directly compete on the same night of the month as the established one (Gr@wlix, three years and counting). There are enough days in a week and dates in a month to allow comedy nerds like me to attend – and spend my cash at – both events. So why cram them into the same one, guys? It’s irritating.

I mentioned this dilemma on Twitter and got Nikki Glaser to say “double header” in her reply, though, which was kinda hot.

Dammit, Denver. Why you gotta make me choose?

Decisions, decisions.

The First Church of the Z-Pack.

Posted in WhatNot on February 22nd, 2014 by Diva

Azithromycin is my shepherd; I shall not cough.

It maketh me to lie down on black couches: it leadeth me to drink the still waters.

It restoreth my health: it leadeth me on the paths of science for my health’s sake.

Yea, though I walked through the valley of the shadow of strep, I will fear no illness:

For thou art with me; thy pill and thy chemistry comfort me.

Thou preventest a recurrence within me in the presence of mine immunity:

Thou anointest my insides with cure; my cup runneth over (literally – check the side effects).

Surely wellness and vitality shall follow me most the days of my life:

And I will dwell in the house of good health forever.

Amen.

Not Panicked.

Posted in SoForth on February 20th, 2014 by Diva

I spent some time in the emergency room last night.

Don’t panic. Turns out it’s nothing major. But when one experiences mild chest pains and faintness on an aerobic machine at the gym, one does not take chances. Especially if one is fully insured and has no excuse.

Since my love is out-of-town wheeling and dealing this week, I rested a bit, kept calm, and drove myself. No big whoop, except that our good old Colorado weather had gone from 60° in the afternoon to blowing snow and all I had on were my thinnish workout clothes and a leather jacket. Even with that, though, I managed to keep my psyche at bay; there was none of my usual “dyingiamdying” bullshit thinking.

I am very proud of me for that.

Anyway, EKG was clear. Blood tests were clear. The blood pressure, however … normal is supposed to be 120/80. When I arrived, after 10 minutes of rest after the workout and 20 minutes of driving, mine was 175/108. When I left two hours later, after doing nothing but relaxing and waiting for test results, it was 150/93. These are not good numbers, folks.

Then I discovered early this morning why my body may possibly be so out of whack: I’m still sick. Actually, the antibiotics I was on for the strep I wrote about a few posts ago turned out to be the wrong type. I know because just a few days after the regimen ended, I’m sicker than I was before, so now we get to play everybody’s favorite medicine game, “Let’s Try That Again a Different Way.” And antibiotics of all kinds come with inherent side effects, so today I bought several different types of over-the-counter meds to counteract that fun.

I have doctor appointment next week to go over all this – the sickness, the strep vaccine, and setting up a stress test to check my heart and blood pressure.

I am still not panicked. It is what it is. I’m taking care of it because I’m a grown-ass woman with insurance and the ability to make my co-pays. I’m still not on Obamacare, thanks to the six weeks it’s taken to get off the Medicaid rolls (they just confirmed my removal yesterday), so it’s costing me $367/month to be insured right now, but whatever. I’m lucky and I know it.

Oh, and a quick note: When an emergency room doctor asks if you’ve taken any stimulant like cocaine or meth and you answer, “Why, you holdin’?” he probably won’t laugh. Though the assistant in the room will probably snicker.

Worth it.