Strange as it may seem, this life is based on a true story." - Ashleigh Brilliant


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name: shanna
age: 28
sign: scorpio
live: louisiana
feeling:
The current mood of shanna at www.imood.com

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Pin-up girl by Rion Vernon; used with permission. Header design by the totally awesome Rose. The rest by moi.


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Thursday, September 30, 2004

I want to thank you Ganeden Biotech - makers of Digestive Advantage LI. No, I take that back - I want to throw my arms around you and shower you with utter adoration and smother you in a million kisses! Aside from the distasteful-sounding name, you have created a product that is more priceless than the purest gold - more remarkable than the first steps taken on the moon. My first born henceforth belongs to you.

Since the age of 14 I have suffered from a particularly acute case of Lactose Intolerance. To make a medical-break-down much simpler, I cannot digest dairy products. Most LI people simply cannot have a glass of milk, or maybe even a slice of cheese - it might give them some uncomfortable gas or even the runs. I, however, being the extremist that I am cannot even eat bread because of the nominal milk sugar (Lactose) that is present in the form of whey. Eating even a slice of bread or a seemingly harmless Pop-Tart without first imbibing my Lactaid pills would, within three hours time, have me in the bathroom feeling as if I'm dying from food poisoning. Even whey will give me cramps-worst-than-childbirth and diarrhea that only half a bottle of Kaopectate and a complete hour of not-moving-my-body-even-the-slightest-inch-lest-it-should-start-again can cure. No one has known diarrhea like me. You're talking to a person that used to keep a bottle of Pepto Bismol (for smaller bouts) and one of Kaopectate in her car - and also a set in the bathroom and another set in her purse. From 1991-1993, I alone was responsible for every bit of Kaopectate's revenue.

So my history with Lactose Intolerance has been a bumpy one. At this late date, 13 years into the game, taking Lactaid pills before just about everything that goes into my mouth has become part of every day life. I no longer think about it - grabbing a pack of pills before eating is second nature now. That doesn't mean it isn't still a pain in the ass.

Having such a bad case, I have always had to take the maximum number of pills - that's 6 pills of regular strength Lactaid and 2 pills of Ultra Lactaid. I now only take Ultra, but who wants to take 2 pills when they just want to try a bite of someone's snack, or have one or two cookies? Many times I've refrained from snacking or sampling foods simply because it wasn't worth the hassle to hunt down a glass of water and down two pills for a small amount of food. 2 or 6 pills for one cookie or a piece of cake? I don't think so.

Which brings us to now and the company known as LI. A few weeks ago I was at the local Walgreen's, looking for the generic Lactaid-brand (regular Lactaid is very expensive - I'm an Equate-if-I-can kinda gal). A box sitting among the various Lactaids caught my eye - something called "Digestive Advantage LI". I honestly couldn't believe my eyes when I read:


Digestive Advantage LI is a one caplet per day treatment for lactose intolerance. It provides relief for the full range of lactose intolerance symptoms. You can eat as much dairy as you want as often as you want.
Your do not have to worry about taking a pill every time you eat. One tablet in the morning and you are protected all day...


Whatthefuckdidyousay??! One pill a day to eat whatever all day long??!

You can imagine my reaction. If this was true - and if this product worked for me, it would be like a miracle!

There was a money-back guarantee, but the box was only around $5 so I bought it. It was a few weeks before I got to try it out as I wanted to make sure I was at home with no plans the day I ate my first bite of dairy food with no pill prior - just in case it didn't work.

I started off small - with the whey-stuff. A sandwich was my first risky eat - I was so nervous. It was like going to work naked not taking a pill before eating that thing! A few hours later I had a messed up stomach and bad gas. Thankfully, this magic stuff could be taken at the first sign of symptoms and they would go away. It worked! The box had said that extremely lactose intolerant people (i.e. me) might have to take two pills a day, so I decided I'd try that next.

I am happy to report that I am now taking 2 Digestive Advantage LI pills every morning and am able to eat whey foods without pill popping first! This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it's changed everything for me. Snacking on a few cookies or enjoying a candy bar without hunting down Lactaid pills or searching for a drink of something to swallow them with is such a joy.

I'm still so very leery about trying it out with actual milk products and I'm so terrified of milk itself I will probably never drink it again; to me it's akin to poison. I still take Lactaid pills for the "heavy stuff" but I really don't mind. Just having the burden of not being able to snack or enjoy some sweets or have cake at the office during parties has made me so happy. Also, I'm saving money not having to buy Lactaid (even the generic off-brands) anymore! A box of generic Lactaid Ultra that I normally got was about $8/pop. I went through so much having to take it with nearly everything I ate I was buying two of those a week. That may not seem like much, but it adds up when you're on a limited income.

So, to make a long explanation and adoration short, thank you thank you thank you Ganeden Biotech. Not only for the amazing product you've made that has made eating normal again for so many people, but for everything you stand for. Really, check out this company's website - they're doing this to help people, not for profit.

For those of you with irritable bowel syndrome, there is also a Digestive Advantage IBS. It may just help you like this one has helped me!

So there's my testimony and my praise and my thanks!


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:40 AM
|




Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The More You Know... More Than You Wanted to Know...

Remember those little commercials that would come on between Saturday morning cartoons that taught a nugget of totally useless knowledge? Inspired by a recent Family Guy re-run I saw, I thought I'd start a periodical (read: whenever I feel like it and likely pretty rarely) segment on this blog based on that. More Than You Wanted to Know will be me expounding on some rare and totally extraneous fact that some of you probably would've rathered not knowing; others may find the random, worthless information helpful and/or even entertaining.

I thought I'd start our first-ever piece off with a few facts on the phenomenon known simply as wolfbagging. Here is a detailed look inside this bizarre practice...

More Than You Wanted to Know - Wolfbagging

Wolfbagging is not, as some people have alleged, having sex with a wolf inside of a large bag. While that makes a bit more sense than the actual definition of the word it is still a false interpretation.

Wolfbagging is a more of a kink than an actual fetish. If you've spent some time mucking around the Internet, you're likely already familiar with the term. For those that aren't, "wolfbagging" is the colorful term for a particularly remarkable method of triggering anal contraction.

The procedure consists of the target person swallowing a piece of bacon on a string. No, you read that correctly; the person swallows a piece of bacon...on a string, yes. I'm sure other substances and foods could be substituted, but fundamental wolfbagging calls for bacon-on-a-string. Once the bacon is securely lodged in the throat and the string is, presumably, hanging from their mouth at an appropriate length, the partner begins sodomizing the target person in the regular fashion. At the apex of orgasm, the partner alerts his mate, who promptly yanks on the string - bringing up the bacon and anything else that might happen to be floating around inside the stomach. While this obviously has scant pleasurable effects for the puker, the tightening of the anal muscles during the heaving process creates quite a grip on the now orgasming partner/puke-inducer.

And that, folks, is a more detailed description of wolfbagging than you ever wanted to read. While not something I'd ever have a desire to try out myself ("Can't I just cough really hard, baby?"), I am still enthralled by the inventiveness of my fellow man. Someone actually thought this up - and a few other someones all found it so helpful that it became a known word and practice on the World Wide Web. People do this - enough people do this that it has a name. Wolfbagging. Wow.

And now you know.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 6:59 AM
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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

It was one of those super-duper and also shitty days.

Super-Duper:
I finally got a mini-fridge for my office!! Can you hear the multitudes in heaven rejoicing? No? Maybe it's just me, then.

I've wanted one of these for so long - well, as long as I've had my own office anyway. I can keep fresh food near me and not need to worry about hobbling all the way down to the company icebox (which is too small anyway). It'll save me money and fat content - I can eat healthier and cheaper if I bring food rather than going to fast food joints every day. Oh joy or joys - less steps for the crip, fresh food and less money spent on fast food bilge!

This fridge actually used to belong to a beloved family friend-who-was-more-like-family who passed away this past year. The fridge, along with a few other things, was bequeathed to my grandfather who in turn passed it down to me. Since it used to be in a nursing home, it has an interesting feature - a padlock on the door. When I asked why, I was told that this was because the old people in the home would raid each others' little fridges and nab food. I had a sudden mental image of an old woman in her dressing gown, crouching down in front of someone's mini-fridge in the middle of the night stealing a can of Diet Sprite and giggling manically to herself. Again - just me, right?

That was the super part of the day.

Shitty:
I had phone duty - which is always shitty in one form or another. Everyone every month has their turn at answering the phones for lunch and today was my day. Oh lucky me. Inevitably you are going to have to deal with one complete-bitch or total-asshole caller; it happens every time.

Today was no different.

Me: "This is agency-I-work-for, how can I help you?"

Complete Bitch: "Yes, I need to speak to name-of-supervisor."

Me: "I'm sorry, ma'am, everyone is out to lunch right now, and you'll have to call back after 12:30."

Complete Bitch (begins catching the attitude): "You mean there's no one there in the section I can talk to?"

Me (thinking, what part of "everyone" didn't you understand?): "No, ma'am, everyone is out to lunch."

Complete Bitch: "You mean they all go to lunch at the same time?"

Me: (wondering if I've accidentally started speaking Greek): "That's correct."

Complete Bitch: {exaggerated sigh} "Well, can I leave him a message?"

Me: "Well, you might just want to call back after 12:30." (Honestly, we're not supposed to take messages but have them call back).

Complete Bitch: "I want to leave a message."

Me: "Alright, hold on."

She then lets out this completely-pissed-off sigh, as if irritated that I had to ask her to hold on to grab a pen and pencil. This isn't my desk - I don't know where anything is.

Me: "Okay - what's your number?"

Complete Bitch (who at this point has taken on the pissiest-tone-of-voice you can imagine - apparently miffed that the person she needs to talk to has the audacity to be out eating lunch): "It's 555-"

Me (interrupting her): "I need the area code, ma'am."

Complete Bitch: {a sigh where you can just SEE the eyes rolling} It's in Baton Rouge! 225!"

Like I'm supposed to magically know where in the hell she's calling from. We get calls from all over the freakin' state all day long.

She continues with the number, I tell her to have a nice day while secretly wishing she has exactly the opposite. Then I ball up the piece of paper and throw it in the trash. Fuck with me, bitch.

She can call back. I mean, for fuck's sake, she's in Baton Rouge!


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:53 PM
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Monday, September 27, 2004

Two posts in one day - woohoo. Must be a cold one in hell, but I had to share this phone convo that happened at work:

This is the kind of phone call that makes you want to stab pencils through your eye sockets.

Him: "I can't get into the web-based-program. It says you need Internet Explorer Version 5.5 or higher."

Me: "Alright, what version are you running?"

Him: "Um. I don't know - how do I find that out?"

Me: "Open up Internet Explorer and go to 'Help' and then 'About Internet Explorer'.

Now I can hear him talking to someone else in the room for about 2 minutes: "I see 'File', 'Edit'...uh.. There's a 'Favorites' and I see a 'View'...er..I don't see no 'About'."

Me, yelling to be heard since he has the phone away from his ear: "No, you need to go to 'Help' and then 'About'."

Him: "'Help', then 'About'. Okay. I see it. It says I have Version 5.0."

Me: "Okay, you need to upgrade your version of Internet Explorer. I need you to go mircosoft.com/downloads." (I spell it out Microsoft-dot-com-slash-downloads).

Him: "Uh..where do I do that at?"

Me: "Type it into the address bar."

Him: "Okay...microsoft-slash-com..."

Me: "No, microsoft-dot-com-slash-downloads."

Him: "Microsoft-dot-com-slash...what?"

Me: "Microsoft-dot-com-slash-downloads."

Him: "Alright, I typed that. It says Page Not Found."

Me: "What did you type?"

Him: "Microsoft-dot-com-slash-download."

Me: "No, downloads, plural, with an 's'."

Him: "Ok..microsoft-slash.."

Me, interrupting him: "No, no don't type the whole thing in again - just add the 's'."

Him: "Too late. Okay, it's Microsoft-slash-com-dot-downloads?"

Me: "No. Mircrosoft-dot-com-slash-downloads."

Him: "Gotcha. Okay I typed that - it's not coming up."

Me: "Look, I'm just going to email you the link, okay? Just click on it from the email I send you."

Him: "Okay, that'll work."


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 1:11 PM
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I'm such an idea-whore lately - and Rose is my pimp. First I borrowed her boob-name post, and now I can't resist nabbing this super cool meme. I promise, original content coming soon!

In the meantime, the bolded items are things I've actually done in this lifetime:

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg

20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby's diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse (even if it was only $1)
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse

41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign (the Mile 420 marker in Texas on our way to Cali)
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice

61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it

81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice

101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship

121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did (Founded Beauvais, France)
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just be with the one you love
134. ...more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication

141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone's heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet

161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad

181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read,
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

And yes, I am better - no more illness here. Thanks to ALL of you who sent well-wishes.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:46 AM
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Thursday, September 23, 2004

I feel like dog poop. I feel like I have a river of pus just resting on my lungs, my head is throbbing right between the eyes, I'm very nauseated, and my entire body just feels ick. That's right, it's time for my twice-a-year I'd-rather-staple-my-pinky-to-the-wall-than-go-through-this-again sinus infection.

I get this damn thing the beginning of every spring and the beginning of every fall now. When I was younger I never had sinus problems, but as my adult years go by it gets a little worse with each. Could be this lovely Louisiana pollution we breathe in everyday (do you have any idea what the cancer rate in this state is?). I don't think anyone who lives here has anything close to perfect sinuses.

So I'm utterly miserable right now. I've been feeling bad all week and knew it was my sinuses, but I woke up today feel absolutely wretched. I called in to take the day off and plan on calling my doc at 8am sharp. Hopefully, seeing it's the same-old-thing I always go in for, he'll just call me in some 'scrips (antibiotics & decongestant) and I won't have to go in.

It doesn't help that I was up from 2:30-4:00am with an upset stomach and suffering a panic attack - yeah didn't see that one comin'. It was one of the worst ones I've ever had, but I always get them if I wake up with a stomachache. So saying I didn't get the proper rest last night that was needed in my growing-sicker-by-the-day-state is an understatement.

So I'm going back to bed 'til 8 and we'll see where we go from there. Hope the rest of you are faring much better.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:01 AM
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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Thanks to Rose for the link/idea:

Your Boobies' Names Are: Bambi and Thumper




At first I wasn't going to post it; was just curious to see what my tits might be named but those particular monikers brought back a story I thought I'd share.

My parents brought to my first movie, Bambi, when I was but a toddler. Apparently I enjoyed it a little too much because they say as soon as it ended and everyone began piling out of the theater I took up an unholy howl, "It's OVER!!!" The ending of something good was just too much for me it would seem. Everyone walking past smiled at me and my parents almost apologetically. My Dad was pissing himself with laughter but my Mom, who is inherently shy, was mortified.

So I thought Bambi & Thumper were appropriate titles for my breasts.

Before I go I have two new IT-funnies to share with you:

1. I'd just issued a laptop to a new employee and provided him with all of his passwords. He called me up the next day to ask me:

"Hey, this password you gave me for my email account. Do I have to type the whole thing in?"

I was tempted to just say "Nah. We just give you all those superflous characters to throw you off."

2. This same guy called a few hours later complaining that his dial-up connection wasn't working. After seeing that he was doing everything right I asked him what he had plugged into the laptop to dial-up with.

"Oh," he said, "My cable modem."

Which might be why the phone connection profile going through the phone modem wasn't working. I tried to explain to him why this wouldn't work but he just kept saying, "I know that - but I want to use my cable modem; it's faster."


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:24 AM
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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

People let me tell you something: 40 hours of gameplay in one weekend is not a smart idea. In fact, I highly recommend you do not do this.

I still have a headache today!

I'm still trying to get my mind straight with the whole ban on gay marriages and everything gay-marriage-related in this state. I cried when I read the results and it hurts me in so many ways. I'm furious, disappointed, saddened, and despondent. When will this end? I'm in the process of creating this huge essay that compares this discrimination to women & blacks not being able to vote and blacks being kept as slaves. By today's standards these things seem barbaric - the way these people were treated and the rights that were denied them. But it wasn't that long ago and when you think about it, what's different about how homosexuals are being treated now? What? You think it's all discrimination and no violence? Need I remind you of a young man named Matthew Sheppard? We've got a long way to go in accepting our gay brothers & sisters, even with all of the advances we've made in the past few years. But it will happen - if we all keep fighting - it will happen.

Injustice, in any form, is something I'm very passionate about.

On a lighter note, I've been meaning to share with all of you The Mystery of the Yellow Tea Rose. Two weeks ago some mysterious person left a yellow tea rose on my desk at work! We still don't know officially who did it, but we've got a pretty good idea. And it's not the kind of person you want leaving roses on your desk - or leaving you roses period. Lucky me, right?

Today is my Mom's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!!

I leave you with this thought that has been in my mind lately - if a copy machine is called a copier, why isn't a fax machine called a faxer?

Inquiring minds want to know.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:34 AM
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Monday, September 20, 2004

Louisiana Voters Decide on Same-Sex Marriage Amendment

I'm not surprised, but disappointed. I was expecting it, but it still hurts.

I'm hoping for the results to be scrapped - to have another vote. A lot of New Orleans' voting spots didn't have voting machines due to delivery being screwed up by Ivan. The majority of Louisiana's gay population is in New Orleans, so how can that be fair? If a huge chunk of one side didn't get to vote because of the weather (some who left the area decided to stay away the entire weekend to avoid the coming-back traffic), how is that a fair vote?

Louisiana already has a law acknowledging only male & female marriages, but this new amendment goes even further. Louisiana now, also, will not acknowledge out of state gay marriages nor will it accept or allow civil unions. For a state with a heavy gay population, this is devastating. How can we discriminate like this? How can those who believe in this ban sleep at night - is securing "a place in heaven" justice enough to promulgate such prejudice?

Perhaps it's naive of me to think it should be any other way. We live in a world filled with bigotry, discrimination, ignorance, & hate. It's okay to hate gay people because they're different. It's okay to discriminate against gay people because they're different. It's okay to go against Love & Equality because people think god prefers it that way. Human beings have an aversion to things they don't understand - to things that are "different". What was I expecting exactly? That this would suddenly change?

Forgive my bitterness - being reminded what a hateful world we sometimes live in bruises my very soul.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:23 AM
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Sunday, September 19, 2004

So how many hours have I spent playing The Sims 2 this weekend?

I'll just say this - it was here when I got home from work Friday evening at 5pm. I began playing and went to bed at 5am Saturday morning. I woke up at 7am and resumed playing - and didn't stop until going to bed last night at 9pm (only because my brain just wouldn't go anymore without a full night's rest and a few-hours-break from staring at the screen). After blogging this, I'm going to start playing again.

So what's it like? Remember when Nintendo came out, and the games - like The Legend of Zelda & Mario Bros. - seemed like the-coolest-thing-in-the-world? Then a few years later Playstation came out and the graphics on the games made original Nintendo games look like cave art? That's about a comparable difference with The Sims & The Sims 2 graphics. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe it.

I tried starting out with one of the "starter" families that is already in the game with an on-going life so I could learn my way around this new game. Don Lothario, however, was an unlucky guy in my game time. I had him make a toaster pastry in his toaster oven just before work - yet his carpool arrived before it was done so he left. Of course the toaster oven burst into flame and, of course, he had no smoke detector. So everything in his kitchen and the next room burned to the ground. Even better, the maid stopped by for her daily visit, walked right into the flames and died. Don was pretty upset about this since I found out from his past memories he'd been woo hooing the maid ('woo hoo' is Simlish for 'sex'). His maid is now buried in his backyard and I cannot get a female maid to come to any of the other houses.

For all you The Sims fans out there - Kat this means you! - do whatever you have to do to buy it. It's so much fun - extremely challenging - and I don't think I can ever enjoy playing the original The Sims again unless it's for nostaliga's sake.

Crack ain't got nothing on computer games...


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:14 AM
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Friday, September 17, 2004

THE SIMS 2 COMES OUT TODAY!! Today! I have more to say & I'll post again later, but for now please share in my JOY! My copy should be waiting for me when I arrive home, courtesy of my friendly UPS delivery guy.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:58 AM
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Thursday, September 16, 2004

It hasn't even rained.

Ivan decided it didn't feel like making a stop in Louisiana and veered on over to wreck havoc on the rest of the Gulf. Hope all of my towards-the-eastern-gulf-side friends are doing okay.

I'm still trying to figure out if we should go in to work today. We haven't heard anything. As of yesterday, we had today off. Can they just, after 8am, say "Come on back in now"?

Now that the threat of Ivan has passed though, I'm back to focusing on something that's very important to me: the upcoming vote on making gay marriage uconstitutional in the state of Louisiana this Saturday.

Imagine my horror when I clicked on a local news station + local newspaper's combined website and saw the headline Same-sex ban backers say 70% for amendment.

I really don't know what I was expecting. Other than New Orleans, Louisiana is a decidedly conservative state.

There are a lot of gay people in Louisiana, but will they turn out and vote? That's what I'm concerned about. I believe there are enough here to make a strong voice - but will they stand and make that voice heard?

Some parts of the article that bothered me:

"In Lafayette, Michot said passage of the amendment would further protect marriage and the family unit, which he said have been undermined."

Undermined by who? The heterosexuals. Letting gay people marry isn't going to destroy something that's already been destroyed by the same people trying to "protect" it and keep it "pure".

"He said the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman belongs in the state constitution."

Wrong. Remember separation of church and state - one of the fundamentals of our nation's constitution? It's there for a reason. The only document that people are using as reference for "only between a man and a woman" is the Bible. Just because it's in the Bible does not mean it should be part of any constitutional amendment. People's religious views should not even factor into an amendment - and that's all this is about. I can't abide by that.

Bishop Jarvis Harmon Sr., regional director for True Vine Ministries, took a stronger stance, calling same-sex marriage "an abomination before the Lord."

Maybe the Bishop believes that it is - it doesn't mean that state law should uphold his or anyone else's religious beliefs.

Please - please - if you can vote in this state, and you believe in equality for all, the very thing America is supposed to stand for, make your voice heard.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:55 AM
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I've never seen anything like it. I-10 westbound was choked up as early as 8am yesterday morning that I know of. People were sitting in traffic for hours and only moving a few miles.

From the second-story window of my apartment, I have a clear view of the Interstate and all last night it was crawing bumper-to-bumper. So imagine my surprise to wake up this morning and still see bumper-to-bumper traffic inching along! All of New Orleans and the surrounding areas are under a mandatory evacuation and everyone is trying to get out. They said it would take a full 72 hours to completely evacuate New Orleans alone - I don't see the Interstate clearing up anytime soon.

I think I would die if I was caught in that kind of traffic for that many hours in a standard. All night long we could hear the 18-wheelers downshifting as they inched their way slowly forward with the rest of the vehicles.

Work's still on and it seems we won't be seeing rain until about 3pm today - still winds will be around 10-20 mph and that will be nice. I don't know what exactly we're going to do at work as half of the office won't be there and most of the public is preparing for the storm and not likely to be contacting us for anything. At least it will be a quiet day. I've got to cancel an appointment with my orthopedic doc since our other i.t. person lives in the evacuated areas and won't be coming in - can't leave the office i.t.-less, it tends to freak them out.

So far, it's absolutely quiet here. Other than the insane traffic there's little to no indication that a storm is headed this way. We'll see.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:11 AM
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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Concerns for New Orleans in the Wake of Hurricane Ivan

All day, since about 8am this morning, westbound traffic on I-10 has been bumper-to-bumper. Both east & westbound lanes of the interstate coming out of New Orleans were turned into a huge surge westward to try and alleviate the problem and get the people out.

Though it doesn't appear we'll take a direct hit at this time, until it actually hits landfall no can say for sure. Hurricanes, in reality, are not predictable.

Though I have to go into work tomorrow, those living far out (evacuated areas in and around New Orleans) and even those out west in Lafayette won't be coming in. I've a feeling if winds and rain become too dangerous for driving, we'll be sent home around midday. I don't know why they didn't just close everything up, but this is the state and that would've actually made sense; and anyone who's ever worked in state government knows that it goes against protocol for anything to make a lick of sense.

To give you an idea of the traffic situation, they just now interviewed a guy on TV who said he'd been sitting in traffice for 4 and a half hours and has moved 20 miles.

So keep us in your thoughts - late tomorrow & early Thursday. I'll keep posting as I hear more.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:51 PM
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Although my previous entry makes it seems as if I could give a toss about the Category 5 hurricane headed our way, I am taking the proper precautions.

I decided last night that we should go supply shopping. Even though Baton Rouge is a (somewhat) major city and lights & water would likely be cut back on here before they would be "out in the country", I remember people telling me that they were without here for 3 days after Hurricane Andrew. That's really nothing compared to the weeks we country-folk went without those things, but even 3 days would not be fun.

I felt it would be best to get things early - rather than wait until the "official" announcement that Ivan was headed this way and have to fight the throngs of people that would then be flocking to every supermarket and Super Wal-Mart in the area. We made that mistake two years ago with the last big hurricane scare - not a battery, flashlight or bottle of water was to be found in the city. There weren't many people last night shopping, but you could tell pre-hurricane preparations were already being made. A few new displays had been set up right inside the door of Albertson's with batteries, flashlights, oil lamps and oil.

Not surprisingly, the water aisle was nearly empty as well. We weren't the only ones shopping early. Canned food - fruits & vegetables especially - were also in short supply. The shelves on some of these aisles were already almost bare. That was all understandable - what confused me were the huge gaps in the spaghetti sauce aisles. Is there some huge cook-hurricane-spaghetti tradition that I don't know about? Is spaghetti sauce something people eat when they are stuck inside with no utilities? If so, it's news to me, but there were maybe 2 cans left of spaghetti sauce on the shelves.

So we're all stocked up on lots of junk food, water, lamps & lamp oil, candles and batteries. Bring it baby, we're ready.

You couldn't pay me money to try & get out to the stores tonight. No way.

This morning the Weather Channel said tropical storm force winds are extending 200 miles outside of Ivan, so that, even though landfall won't be until Thursday morning, we'll start feeling the effects as early as tomorrow.

Out of all of it, I'm most worried about my New Orleans. You know it's below sea-level, but for those of you that have never been there you can't really grasp the concept fully. Let me put it to you this way, in Algiers (right outside of NOLA), standing in front of the levee, you are looking up at the ships on the Gulf. Yes, they are above you. It's a creepy and strange feeling - if New Orleans doesn't flood forever, I'll get pictures for you one day. But because of this, I am extremely concerned about the fate of my beloved city. They've always said she couldn't stand against a very strong hurricane - and that's just what Ivan is.

I'm going get ready for work now - quite possibly the last day I'll work this week (they're predicting everything will begin shutting down tomorrow) - and I'll keep you updated as long as we have electricity.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:08 AM
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Monday, September 13, 2004

It would figure that The Sims 2 would be coming out the same week as a hurricane is likely headed this way.

I can be pretty single-minded when I'm excited about something.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 11:10 AM
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Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Day We Should Never Forget

Every year as the anniversary of 9/11 gets closer, our office begins preparing a memorial service and every year I think "when will we move on - when will we do this no more" - and every single year, without fail, my entire attitude changes during and after that service.

I, too, am one of the Americans who "forgets", when we swore we never would. Even I could not keep a dry eye as the co-worker, and friend, who gave the service's voice cracked as he remembered his trip to New York less than a year ago to retrieve a piece of the World Trade Center for a memorial park our agency is creating. He stayed a night in a fire station who'd lost everyone on shift that fateful morning. He'd visited with a retired firefighter who'd lost his son, also a firefighter, that day. He was allowed to visit a small and special building at Ground Zero that was resevered only for family of the lost. It was when he was describing the photos and notes left for those that are gone that he faltered.

In this memorial, he mentioned the fact that a lot of people bemoan the memorial services with the very same questions I posed above. He countered this by saying that if we were to remember a different person who died every single day it would take seven years to go through the entire list of names. It's only been three years, and we wouldn't even be halfway done.

I'm ashamed that I forgot - and I vow to keep the memory alive once more.

In closing, I'd like to share this poem that was posted in a local newspaper, the Riverside Reader:

One

As the soot & dirt & ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting & hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heros
We became one people.

We are
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are the Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

- Cheryl Sawyer

Today - remember. Every other day - never forget.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:46 AM
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Friday, September 10, 2004

I originally wrote this piece in late June 2003, but with the upcoming Louisiana vote on the constitutional ban on marriage, I thought it would be fitting to post it again.

That's right fellow-Louisianians - September 18! Go & VOTE! Remember what this country stands for - equality for ALL; and that LOVE has to win out in the end. Cast your vote and make your voice heard.

And now...

Sodomy or Bust!

Frist Endorses Idea of Gay Marriage Ban
By WILLIAM C. MANN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Senate majority leader said Sunday he supported a proposed constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriage in the United States.


My first question here, among all the other obvious ones, is why in the fuck we're wasting money and time on worrying about gay marriages when there are so many other important issues out there the government needs to be concerned with. Protecting us from terrorist attacks is high priority for government, whether a man and a man want to be legally united is not.

At least, it shouldn't be. The problem with lawmakers getting their panties in a wad over gay marriage is that it's completely personal. They're not pushing a ban because they think it will help their country or even win them votes. They're doing it because they're ignorant, bible-beating assholes who think they have a right to interfere in people's personal lives if they believe said personal life disagrees with their views on their god.

Sen. Bill Frist "said the Supreme Court's decision last week on gay sex threatens to make the American home a place where criminality is condoned." I didn't know the Supreme Court made any decisions about "gay sex". They made a decision about "anal and oral sex", but I didn't hear anything about gay sex. Yes, the law is generally viewed as a law against acts that homosexuals commit - but if that were truly true, wouldn't cunnilingus be listed, also? Are lesbians more legal than gay men? And besides, are we saying here that straight people don't practice oral or anal sex? I didn't think so.

Yet, the more blaring part of Sen. Frist's ignorance is that the decision "threatens" to make the American home a place where criminality is condoned. I'm not sure where Frist is gathering his data, but no one's going to run out in the streets and start having lewd, public acts of anal sex just because a ban has been lifted. The number of people getting it up the ass (straight and gay) is not going to rise just because the Supreme Court has now made it legal. You have people that say "if marijuana became legal, I would smoke it" – no one ever said "if anal sex becomes legal, I'm going to do it." Because people have always done it - and they will continue to do so, quietly and in the privacy of their own homes. The Supreme Court's decision was a banner for the gay community because the law was used against them (even though it was not supposed to specifically target them), and it opens the door for them to have the same rights as everyone else. That's all.

Now, if Frist is saying (as I believe he is) that this big step for gays is going to start an unprecedented wave of violence in America - or corrupt the "family values" that people still stupidly cling to in this world of broken homes and murdering mothers - it only proves the ignorance I've applied to him throughout this essay.

"I have this fear that this zone of privacy that we all want protected in our own homes is gradually - or I'm concerned about the potential for it gradually being encroached upon, where criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned," Frist told ABC's "This Week."

Who lets morons like this run our country? What the fuck is he talking about anyway? What criminal activity in the home? So, Mom and Dad can now legally suck, lick and stick it in nefarious places? That's already going on, Sen. Frist. Are you married? My condolences to your wife.

In one of the largest in-depth studies of American attitudes, a national survey of 5,700 adults found that almost 30% of divorced adults cited physical abuse as the reason for their divorce. 89% of children witness abuse at home. In some states, 63% of the children in jail for murder are there for the killing of an abusive parent. Something tells me that most violence in the home has little to do with whether Frank and Eric, the gay couple living next door, are packin' the fudge every Tuesday night. Ridding America of the sodomy law isn't going to "condone" violence in the homes. Sodomy has nothing to do with violence in homes. But there I go again stating the obvious.

Frist also said "absolutely" that he was all for banning gay marriages. Of course - if we let them fuck and it magically makes violence grow, can you imagine what would happen if we let them marry?! For chrissakes, it'd be the end of the world as we know it. Armageddon.

Their big bitch is that we'd be ruining "family values" (those still exist?); the traditional man-woman marriage is the only way to keep this country pure and good. I didn't know we were. What's this big deal about keeping marriage sacred anyway when, in 1997, the likelihood of new marriages ending in divorce was at 43%. And the number keeps growing. Marriage isn't sacred anymore - more than half the time, it doesn't even last. Why all this hype about keeping marriage for only the straight people? They've fucked it up all to hell. 'World magazine culture critic Gene Edward Veith notes that the homosexual drive to gain marital benefits is destroying the institution of marriage itself as people abandon commitment and embrace the "gay" notion of serial monogamy with "sex partners."' First, the statement seems to assume that gay people can't fall in love, that their reasons for wanting to get married are somehow "wrong" or "impure" as opposed to the reasons straight people get married. Can we reflect for a moment on some of the reasons straight people do get married; getting knocked up, money, a need to not be alone, 'it's just what you do', etc, etc. Enough said. And as for "destroying the institution of marriage" - get over it people. Get over it people. The "institution of marriage" is dead - and has been for quite some time. No one's going to be able to destroy something that's already been abused, shattered and soiled - by the very people that are crying to protect its sanctity.

The above listed web page is yet another group of people hiding behind the gripe that letting gays be gay is corrupting America, when, in fact, it simply offends their sensitive religious ideals. This is from their site, too: "When marriage is undermined, entire communities suffer. Fagan notes that broken households increase the risk for children of:

health problems;
retarded cognitive, especially verbal, development;
low educational attainment;
behavior problems;
low impulse control;
warped social development;
physical and sexual abuse;
crime in the local community.

The breakdown in marriage even leads to shorter lives. A study in the American Journal of Sociology found that "for both sexes, the hazard of dying falls significantly with marital duration, suggesting a cumulation of the benefits of marriage over time."

Now, while every statistic listed above is undoubtedly true (or half-way believable, at best), those statistics have nothing to do with gay marriages. They are statistics written about marriage as it stands today - in heterosexual households. Letting gay people get married does not undermine marriage - they sure as hell can't fuck up the tradition as badly as we have. Having a gay couple in the neighborhood, isn't going to make your household or your marriage suffer. Try minding your own damn business - it works wonders.

As a conclusion, the "concerned women" (i.e. uptight, unsatisfied housewives with way too much time on their hands), state, "The stakes are very high: Absent a marriage-based culture, can America continue to function as a self-governing republic? History indicates that the chances are slim."

First of all, we're not self-governing. If you believe that your freedom is really free, you need to wake up. If we were really free, people in government wouldn't have the right to tell you who you can and cannot love, have sex with, and be joined with. Besides, we aren't even a marriage-based culture anymore, we're a divorce-based culture, and adultery-based culture, an abuse-based culture - we're attacking the simple fact that gay people want to have sex and be married by saying that it will increase the violence in our homes and communities, that it will ruin our morals and corrupt our children when in fact, the main problem with violence and immorality in our lives is because we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions. Stop worrying what all the gay people are doing, and pay attention to your own life - your own failing marriage and your own bad kids. Stopping violence and re-establishing family values is as simple as putting as much work into your home life as you do trying to ban others from having one. Live and let live - and mind your own fucking business.

(Written: 30 Jun 03)


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:58 AM
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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Look, I'm not even going to say "I've been busy" anymore. Just assume it because it's always infallibly true. I'm always busy - too busy to do anything I'd like to do and too busy to do about the half the shit I should be doing. So - I've been-that-thing-that-now-goes-without-saying.

I saw my therapist today - yes, I'm seeing one. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I like my therapist, I think she's great and she is a Pisces, and who's more understanding than a Fish? But it's weird - I mean, usually when I go there, I'm fine. I'm not freaking out or about to cut or on the edge of a panic attack - so what do you talk about? The times you were - in the past? I'm still getting used to it. And yes, I'm going to try the happy pill route for a bit. We'll see how it works out.

I'm bringing this up only because my therapist seems to think there is something deeper to my utter distaste for the marriage thing. She asked if it was because I feared commitment; hardly - all of my relationships have been years-long. I don't even date because I know right away if the person in front of me is someone I could have something long-term with; and I don't dick around with dates. She asked why I think other people get married and I told her that I have no earthly idea what would prompt them to do something so insane. She keeps digging with this - I suppose thinking its the key to some much deeper issue, but I really don't think so. Not everyone jives with the marriage thing - and I'm against it more than most. I don't understand it, don't know why people do it and can't figure out why they'd even want to. The whole concept is beyond me. Look all I know is that more (much more) than half of them don't work - and, hey, I'm not a gambling kinda gal.

Which brings me to another subject in the same vein. Someone recently asked me how I could be so against the whole idea of marriage yet be so passionate about allowing gays the right to do so. This is what I told him:

No, I don't believe in marriage. But that doesn't mean I don't believe that people who do believe in it shouldn't have the right to do it if they so choose. As Voltaire said, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." That's the principle here. I believe firmly in William Allen White's quote: "Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others." How can I expect freedom and equality if I don't support it for others?

And that's just that.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:21 PM
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Monday, September 06, 2004

Usually when this time of year rolls around, I think back to the nightmare of September 7's of the past; the fateful Labor Day that changed my life forever. Normally I am putting all of my strength into getting past my "bad day" (the 7th) and the week before it - having usually fallen into the deepest pit of black depression. Even last year, the first year as you'll see that it didn't drag me down, I was still remembering what had caused it be so hellish for me.

Not this year. This year, coming up on the 6 year mark of my grandmother's death, I want to remember the woman that was the rock and the glue of two small families. I want to remember the person that I was nicknamed "Little Dot" for taking after her so much.

Not that it was always a compliment. Like me, my grandmother, Dorothy Beauvais Prestenback, was a passionate woman - a person of extremes. She could be downright nasty and wicked, and turn right around and be the most loving, warm and generous person you ever stumbled across. Being a passionate, stubborn and strong-willed woman wasn't the easiest thing for a woman born in her time and I know a lot of her life was spent in constant conflict with these very demons; damaging qualities as much as they were also the beauty that made her her.

We shared a dark and hateful side that always threatens to surface - we shared similar addictive struggles; she with her drinking and I with my cutting. Though we never discussed these things, there was a shared and unspoken understanding between us both. There were times, when we'd talk alone, we'd tell each other "I know you're the only one who'll understand this." What we meant was "you're the only person that understands me." Perhaps it's that Beauvais blood that produces such complicated women.

Whatever her downfalls, my grandmother was an amazing woman. One could not know her and not be in awe of her in some way. She let nothing stand in her way, and not a soul or a thing would've survived her protective wrath if it involved her children or grandchildren. She loved to buy us things - she loved to just spend time with us - she loved to see us happy.

I remember the twinkle of devilment in her eye when she was cracking a joke, the sharp bite of her tongue when she scolded us, the all-embracing warmth of one of her hugs. I miss those hugs. I remember her dynamic personality, how much her friends loved her, how much we all relied on her. I remember the smell of her Giorgio Red perfume and her penchant for red hair dye. I remember thinking, as a child, that in her younger pictures she looked like a beautiful 40's movie star. Though there are actual days that go by now where I don't think of her, she's never but a second's skip from my heart. I still talk to her, I still ask her for advice and complain to her when life is just too much. I know she hears me - I know she's out there somewhere, still understanding complicated-little-me. But I still miss her.

I've posted her life story, that I wrote, in case you'd like to get to know this fabulous woman that you'll never have a chance to meet.

That's all I wanted to say.

For you
July 7, 1932 - September 7,1998







- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:02 AM
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Sunday, September 05, 2004

Sometimes I almost understand why the rest of the world hates Americans.

The headline about the Russian-hostage-school-tragedy was #2 on the-most-pressing-headlines-of-the-day. #1 was about people in Florida having no electricity because of the hurricane. Plainly that's much worse.

Had something like that happened here in America - had 380 + people, more than half of them children, been taken hostage and killed by terrorists it would be the-most-horrible-thing-in-the-world. People would be mortified, appalled and devastated - how could it happen here and to us? How do we survive this terrible, awful tragedy?

When it happens to someone else, it almost barely makes the headlines. We hear about it, read about it once or twice, think "oh my god how awful" and turn the page to the crossword puzzle or click off to find a recipe for dinner this evening. If it had happened here it would be all people could talk about - since it didn't it may come up in conversation a few times and then moved over. Unless it's happening to our country directly we seem to forget that whatever happens to any fellow human being is happening to each of us.

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
- John Donne, 1624


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 6:32 AM
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Saturday, September 04, 2004

I know this is a bit premature, and I really should wait until everything is done and in place - but I'm too excited! I finally have my own little space on the web! That's right, last night I became the proud owner of skatoolaki.com (and also skatoulaki.com b/c I couldn't decide on which spelling I wanted and, really, the beer made me do it). I'm in the process of moving my many sites & things over - so things are a bit messy over there if you happen by to check it out. I'll let you know when it's done, but I just couldn't keep it to myself for that long!

Why 'skatoolaki', or even 'skatoulaki' for that matter? Well years ago I found the name "Skatoulaki" in one of my two "writer's bibles" (these being Roget's Super Theasuarus and Phoenix McFarland's The Complete Book of Magical Names - no writer should be without these). According to McFarland, "skatoulaki" is Greek for, seriously, "little shithead". "Shithead" is, to me, a term of endearment - sort of in the vein of "you loveable, goofy oaf". It's someone who's inherently good but also naughty in a sly & sneaky sort of way. Don't ask me how 'shithead' came to mean this to me exactly, but it did. So ever since I saw that name, one of the online moniker's I've used is "skatoulaki", because it's kind of cool. If ever I couldn't use it b/c it was already taken, I'd change the spelling to "skatoolaki". In fact, if you do a Google search for 'skatoolaki', everything that comes up is my stuff. So both names/words were kind of mine - hence they both became the "address" of my webspace. I am the "little shithead" of the Internet. Er, I suppose that's something to be proud of... *scratches head*

I'm sure all of you found that extremely stimulating.

It's been a weird day - I spent most of it with my dearest friend & soulmate, tried to reconcile some things with someone I am obviously no longer friends with who all of a sudden got really creepy on me, and am about to spend the rest of the evening with my bestest friend since Kindergarten. All when all I wanted to do was be left alone to work on uploading everything to my new webspace. Well, that's become the story of my life lately - no me-time.

Still, it will be a nice evening. Baret's about to run out and fetch somy yummy Hooters' wings and curley fries for us to munch on, and no matter what else is going on in life I have the ultimate and ever-so-rewarding satisfaction of knowing that today is the first LSU game, and it does not affect me in any way whatsoever. (In case you don't remember, I used to live, essentially, right next door to LSU and game days equaled hell on earth - see last year's post on the first game of the season for reference).

Company's here. 'Til later...this 'little shithead' is signing out..


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:49 PM
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Thursday, September 02, 2004

I haven't said much about it lately, but it's only because I needed a break from it - my recovery was the focal point of my life and I needed to get away from it. Not that I haven't still been working at it or anything, but I haven't been posting about my progress. I was taking a break from that focused will I'd had to conjure.

Saturday I started using a cane. For the first time in two years and two months I can walk without the aid of a crutch. It's an amazing feeling - inside. On the outside, it hurts like fucking hell.

The first few days were fine, but once my muscles realized this was the way it was going to be from here on out - that it was time to come back to life and really work again, they began to rebel against me. I have a lot of difficulty walking because my heel, which hasn't touched the ground in all these years, is killing me. Every step I take I have stabbing pains that shoot up from the sole of my foot at the heel and up through my leg. My ankle is a roiling mass of achey pain and my calf muscles are in about the same state. My thighs are screaming at me in shorts bursts of sharp pains that run the length of my legs. An old arthritic man hobbling on a cane has nothing on me.

If I didn't have the pain pills to help ease it, I don't know that I wouldn't jump right back on the crutch for half the week. Okay, I probably wouldn't anyway - but thank the good gods for hydrocodone, that's all I have to say!

This is a huge step - Saturday evening, after my first few hours on the cane I broke down in a torrent of tears and heaving sobs. For the first time that pinprick of light I've been seeing at the end of the tunnel shone forth as one bright beam - a beam that I can follow and that will lead me back OUT. I cried with relief and the release of years of fear and pain and frustration, and I cried with fear for what is to come and of failing this far into the game.

So that's where I'm at - and I know a lot of my strength has come from the many people sending prayers, light and healing energy. Just you're coming here to check every day to see how I'm doing sends those vibes to me. Thank you - thank you all for your support, and your belief in me that I could do this.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:36 AM
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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I've been really, really, really drunk before, but I've never been THIS drunk.

How do you not know that your passenger has been decapitated? I mean, oh my god.


- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:15 AM
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