Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Have A New Job!!!

Yes I know there are more important things to blog about; the election (which btw, I'm very happy about!), Proposition 8 (which I'm not), even my granddaughter's impending birthday (her first!), and my new Dykes To Watch Out For book arrived (hooray---and free, even). But I'm still giddy over the prospect of health insurance, paid bills, and (dare I dream?) a savings account. Plus, they have tuition reimbursement, so I could go back to school for my LPC. I start Dec. 1st; candles, prayers, and/or positive vibes will be accepted...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

my next nervous breakdown

It's been a rough time at Casa de Shadocat. The Car was resurrected from the dead, this due to a new/used engine put in to the tune of $3500 . S/O's vertigo is past, but the effect it had on our pocketbooks continues----she missed a lot of time from work, and sick leave didn't cover it all. I am working both jobs at full tilt just to get the bills paid---I miss blogging, but there's no time, just no time! I would say I'm sick of this whole election, but I'm so desperate for Obama to win, if this nail-biting process will make that possible, then I'm all for it.
Grandbaby's first B-day is coming up next month, and I'm actually thinking I might not be able to afford a present. And forget about Christmas; seriously, this year, could we really forget about it?
Oh and last week, guess who chipped off two of her FRONT TEETH and can't afford to have them fixed? C'est moi, tis I.
And yes, I blame this all on the Republicans. Why? Because if say, Al Gore had become the president, maybe we wouldn't be spending a gazillion $$$$$ on TWO WARS, and maybe the economy would've been better regulated, and wouldn't be going to hell in a hat box. AND MAYBE then, there'd be more jobs around, even for a fat-ass, middle-aged cripple, and I could have one good job, instead of two crappy ones.
Thank you to all who read this post, for letting me bitch and moan---I actually feel a little better now. Break over, back to work!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

yes, it's true

I borrowed this picture from Feminsting----I know it's hateful, but I thought it was kinda funny...
Has it been over a month since I was here last? I've been out of the saddle for awhile due to health reasons, but now I'm feelin' pretty good (knock wood). So maybe tomorrow, I'll write a real entry on something important....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Car is Dead

NO this isn't my car.But it might as well be. Yesterday , it broke down in the middle of traffic during rush hour. I panicked, because I'm a crip, and couldn't get out and push it! Amid all the people passing me by and flipping me off, some very nice men and one waitress from the bar and grill across the street helped push the old girl (I'm talking about the car here) into a nearby alley. The waitress even brought me a cup of ice water (it was wicked hot outside!).
I had the car towed to my mechanic and this morning he gave me the news: my little blue car has "passed". Apparently, my anti-freeze leaked into where my oil should be (?) and the engine locked up. I could get a new engine for $3500, but since that's probably more than she's worth, I'm probably better off getting another one. Which I can't afford. Any suggestions???
Oh, btw, she was a little Ford Focus. Electric blue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

my problem with John

I've had some time to think about it, and I've finally come to the conclusion on the exact problem I have with John's scandal; it's not the affair (although I'm very disappointed that he would risk hurting his wife and family in such a devastating way); it's not the baby (which I think is probably his---who goes to see someone else's kid at 2 o'clock in the freakin' morning?). No, none of that.
It's that I think he's still lying. That, and the money.
I contributed to the Edwards campaign. Not a lot, but I don't don't make a lot. But I do work hard for my money, and I don't want it spent to pay hush money to somebody's baby mama. The folks at Jezebel can give you a better take on the particulars than I can: http://jezebel.com/5034975/john-edwards-always-knew-he-would-disappoint-women
Does anyone out there believe that a supporter would pay these large sums of money to an unmarried pregnant woman simply to help out a former campaign worker? If that's true,my daughter, who worked on the Kerry campaign four years ago is due a very big payday.
There are those that are saying that this is a personal matter, that the media shouldn't be covering it. If that were all that were involved, I might tend to agree. But if he took my money, used it illegally, then LIED about it---THAT, I want to know about.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Give Up!

S/O is better. It took nearly a month, but she's up and running again. The loss of income has been pretty devastating, but we're muddlin' through best as we can. Ms Daisy was right; she has Meniere's disease, which means we may possibly go through this again at some time.

Now I'm the one with the double ear infection! What gives, ceiling cat? What does it take to get on your good side?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Three days ago, I received the scare of my life. I was checking my voicemail at work, when I got a message from S/O's office. They said she had had a seizure, and had been taken to the hospital. I hopped in the car, drove like a madwoman to the emergency room, and arrived just as she was being wheeled in. I called out her name, but it was clear she had absolutely no idea who I was.

You know what I was afraid of---a stroke. Turned out it was not that, but vertigo, which I always had though meant just being dizzy. Turns out it is soooooo much more. In her case, severe nausea and vomiting, extreme dizziness and balance problems, cramping and migraine. Two days later, much of that has passed, but the extreme dizziness and balance problems. She has been unable to work since then, mostly because she can't freakin' walk.
We still don't know what's causing it; it could be as simple as an inner ear infection, or as complicated as a brain tumor. We go to the doc tomorrow. It's probably the ear thing---right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Daze

Sorry for being away so long---sick again.
Forget your troubles, and look at the pretty baby.
More and better musings next week...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

he was my hero

When his brother was killed, I was only eight, too young to understand much about politics, world events, or the enormity of the tradgedy. But by the time he ran for the presidency, I was thirteen, starting to take interests in world events, and politics in particular. My father didn't like him---he didn't like his position on the war,or his views on Isreal. I did, and constantly argued with my dad about this.
I was sure he'd be the next president. I listened to his speeches and felt a surge of hope, hope that we could get out of the war, hope that we could come together as a people, that we could overcome the things that divide us. My cousin sent me a blue button with"Kennedy '68" on it; I broke the dress code on the last day of school, wearing it proudly pinned on a staw hat. Totally worth the trip to the principal's office.
I watched TV with my father that June night forty years ago, as Bobby spoke to his supporters, following his win of the California primary. Then I went to bed. Not long after, my dad came and brought me back out to the TV; "Senator Kennedy's been shot".
We watched the news and said the rosary (hey, we were Catholics---that's what we did when there was nothing else to do). He was still alive--maybe if I prayed enough, he'd recover.
The next day, there was another rosary at the church; I chose instead to go to the neighborhood pool, where I said my own rosary doing quiet laps in the nearly deserted water. With each lap, my fear increased----the hope that he would not leave us was beginning to slip away.
At bedtime, I made a final attempt, constructing my very own long, garbled prayer, filled with bargains with God. I slept fitfully, dreaming of coffins and symbols of death. When I woke up that morning, I already knew;
he didn't make it.
I went to the kitchen where I saw my mother, eyes red-rimmed. "He died last night", she told me. My father sat at the table, his head in his hands. "What's happening to us?" he said. "What the HELL IS HAPPENING TO US?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something to blackmail my grandchild with...

when she runs for president----partial nudity!
Seriously, isn't she the cutest thing you've ever seen?
(I'm not predjudiced, am I?)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why Didn't Speilberg Make A Movie Out Of This?

I just read this article on Yahoo news, and it blew me away---I can't do any better, so I'll just re-copy it here:

Polish Holocaust hero dies at age 98
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press Writer Mon May 12, 12:35 PM ET
WARSAW, Poland - Irena Sendler — credited with saving some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, some of them in baskets, died
Monday, her family said. She was 98.
Sendler, among the first to be honored by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as a Righteous Among Nations for her wartime heroism, died at a Warsaw hospital, daughter Janina Zgrzembska told The Associated Press.
President Lech Kaczynski expressed "great regret" over Sendler's death, calling her "extremely brave" and "an exceptional person." In recent years, Kaczynski had spearheaded a campaign to put Sendler's name forward as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sendler was a 29-year-old social worker with the city's welfare department when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II. Warsaw's Jews were forced into a walled-off ghetto.
Seeking to save the ghetto's children, Sendler masterminded risky rescue operations. Under the pretext of inspecting sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, she and her assistants ventured inside the ghetto — and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages.
Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labor outside the ghetto. They were placed in families, orphanages, hospitals or convents.
Records show that Sendler's team of about 20 people saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and its final liquidation in April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the residents or sending them to death camps.
"Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory," Sendler said in 2007 in a letter to the Polish Senate after lawmakers honored her efforts in 2007.
In hopes of one day uniting the children with their families — most of whom perished in the Nazis' death camps — Sendler wrote the children's real names on slips of paper that she kept at home.
When German police came to arrest her in 1943, an assistant managed to hide the slips, which Sendler later buried in a jar under an apple tree in an associate's yard. Some 2,500 names were recorded.
"It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child," Elzbieta Ficowska, who was saved by Sendler's team as a baby in 1942, recalled in an AP interview in 2007. "Mrs. Sendler saved not only us, but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come."
Anyone caught helping Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland risked being summarily shot, along with family members — a fate Sendler only barely escaped herself after the 1943 raid by the Gestapo.
The Nazis took her to the notorious Pawiak prison, which few people left alive. Gestapo agents tortured her repeatedly, leaving Sendler with scars on her body — but she refused to betray her team.
"I kept silent. I preferred to die than to reveal our activity," she was quoted as saying in Anna Mieszkowska's biography, "Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Story of Irena Sendler."
Zegota, an underground organization helping Jews, paid a bribe to German guards to free her from the prison. Under a different name, she continued her work.
After World War II, Sendler worked as a social welfare official and director of vocational schools, continuing to assist some of the children she rescued.
"A great person has died — a person with a great heart, with great organizational talents, a person who always stood on the side of the weak," Warsaw Ghetto survivor Marek Eldeman told TVN24 television.
In 1965, Sendler became one of the first so-called Righteous Gentiles honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem for wartime heroics. Poland's communist leaders at that time would not allow her to travel to Israel; she collected the award in 1983.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said Sender's "courageous activities rescuing Jews during the Holocaust serve as a beacon of light to the world, inspiring hope and restoring faith in the innate goodness of mankind."
Despite the Yad Vashem honor, Sendler was largely forgotten in her homeland until recent years. She came to the world's attention in 2000 when a group of schoolgirls from Uniontown, Kan., wrote a short play about her called "Life in a Jar."
It went on to garner international attention, and has been performed more than 200 times in the United States, Canada and Poland.
Sendler, born Irena Krzyzanowska, said she lived according to her physician father's teachings, arguing that "people can be only divided into good or bad; their race, religion, nationality don't matter."
She married Mieczyslaw Sendler but they divorced after the war's end. Sendler then married fellow underground activist Stefan Zgrzembski, and they had two sons and a daughter. One died a few days after birth. The second son, Adam, died of a heart failure in 1999.
Sendler is survived by her daughter and a granddaughter.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Into the WILD!

Maybe not this bad (this is a picture from "The Day After Tomorrow") but it sure felt like it!
Thursday evening I was holding down the fort at job #2 as tornadoes ravaged the city. Then, after I got home, we had a SECOND round of storms,even worse than the first , that hit about 2 am. These storms came with hurricane-strength winds, causing even MORE damage. I actually saw a large, uprooted maple tree get blown down the street before I went downstairs.
Luckily, no one in this area was killed or seriously injured, unlike the poor folks down in Arkansas.
Ah, springtime in the midwest....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Okay, not really, but...

...it sort of feels that way. I've spent the past week being sicker than I can remember in a long, long time. At first I thought it was a variation of S/O's "disease", but now I believe mine was some genetic mutation from the great beyond, or a really bad voodoo curse. I'm still not 100%, but I gettin' there...

I'm still on the hunt for the Plant Murderer, even though it was actually only attempted murder, as the plant is still somewhat alive. It still looks pretty bad though; all the leaves on top have fallen off---the poor thing looks like it had a bad comb-over.

Seriously, I did have a couple of really scary days while sick; one ENTIRE day of continuous coughing, so much so that I blacked out at one point. Yes folks, it's true; Robutussin does not cure everything. After another day of minimal breathing, I did get into the doctor, and was able to get sufficiently drugged up to carry on.

I am now ready for a week-end of what I hope to be peaceful healing. More bitchin' next week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Not My Best Day

Yesterday, S/O got really, really sick (and she's never sick, so I knew it was bad). I fussed over her as much as I could; made about a week's worth of Jewish Penicillin (chicken soup), whipped up numerous cocktails of grape juice, 7UP and crushed ice, etc. But due to my numerous handicaps, I felt I was unable to care for her the way I should. However, I told myself , the crip situation may end soon, as I was scheduled to have outpatient surgery on Wednesday.
So what should I get when leaving Job #1 ? A message from the surgery center stating they were cancelling my surgery, as I am more messed up than they realized, and my procedure would need to be done in a hospital.
I get to Job#2, and there is my beautiful, big philodendron, my plant baby, it's formerly big, beautiful green leaves turned a sickly yellow, and its' vines withered and drooping. Upon closer examination, it seems someone dumped what looks to be a nasty substance in its' pot. So now I have to track down a plant murderer!
Finally, I find out my 2 best work friends have given their notices, and will be leaving next week!
I just hope that that old saying about bad things happening in 3s is (for this day anyway) true.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Standin' on the corner; The 1968 Kansas City Riots, Part II

If you're ever "goin' to Kansas City", don't bother looking for the corner of 12th St. and Vine. This is all that is left of the famous area that was home to such clubs as "The Orchid Room" and "The Boulevard Club," where such entertainers as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker performed.
During the riots of 1968, much of this historic area was burned. No efforts were made by the community at large to restore it; some say that was to punish those residents of the East Side that those in power blamed for the riots. In the early 1970's, the remaining neighborhood was torn down. There is now a park and a lonely street sign where jazz greats once sang and played.
In the 1990's , Kansas City's first African-American Mayor, Emmanual Cleaver Jr. spearheaded redevelopment of the old Jazz District, this time centered around what was left of the district at 18th and Vine. Where there once were dozens of jazz clubs, the now is only one--The BlueRoom. The Jazz District is a tourist draw, but it's struggling. Municipal Stadium, where the Monarchs once reigned triumphant, was also torn down in the early 70's, replacing it with Royals Stadium (later Kaufmann) out in the safe suburbs. Think of all that history, created by racism, then lost to it.
For more information on the '68 Riots, go here:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Forty Years Ago

I was 13, and just beginning to be interested in politics, society, and the world outside my own. I was on the road with my family for a long week-end in Joplin, Mo., when I heard the news on the radio. My father pulled over at a truck stop, and he and my mother discussed whether we should continue. After a long conversation, it was decided we should go on---going home wouldn't change anything, and might even frighten the little ones.

We were accompanying my Dad on a business trip, and the whole point of the trip was a stay in a swanky hotel. But when we got there, the hotel was deserted; most of the guests staying there had left. There was also a rumour about, that claimed Dr. King's killer was headed to the Joplin area. (Joplin, the southeastern area of Kansas, and northwestern Oklahoma was an area that is infamous for harboring criminals---it was said to be a favorite of Bonnie and Clyde's.) It was a strange weekend, sometimes scary, and very sad, as we watched the faces of Dr. King's wife and children.

We were back in town by Monday. Dr. King's funeral was scheduled for Tuesday. The school district of Kansas City Kansas had called off classes for the day, so that students and staff could watch the services on televison. But the Kansas City Missouri school district decided to hold classes after all.

Emotions were running high. Students from Lincoln, Central and Manual High Schools (mostly black schools) staged a walk-out, and headed downtown to the Mayor's office and school district headquarters. Police in riot gear confronted the students at the intersection of Truman and Paseo, and after heated words were exchanged, a gas cannister was dropped, and the violence began.

More students marched from other schools, some threatening to attack the mostly white schools in other parts of the district (white enrollment in the Kansas City Mo. School District has dropped steadily every year since.) Police confronted those marchers as well, beating and arresting the young students.

By then the riot was full scale; a major part of the east side was burning, police and public were exchanging gunfire, people were dying. The National Guard was finally called in. I remember feeling the fear emanating from my mother as she drove all five of her children to pick up my dad at the bus station from yet another business trip, as National Guardsmen held their weapons at the ready, as they patrolled the city streets.

City leaders finally came together, and the rioting eventually ceased. The neighborhood I now live in looks much the same as it did 40 years ago , post riot. Most of the white population of the city has left for the suburbs. The only difference is a large mural of scenes of Dr. King's life looms over Troost Avenue, surrounded by empty buildings, vacant lots, and small businesses, struggling to survive.

For a really excellent snapshot of this time in history, read this piece posted on Maggie's Meta Watershed by my friend Maggie Jochild:


by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

......Or does it explode?.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yet Another Chapter Devoted To...

The World's Cutest Baby!
Sorry, I just can't help it---just got this one and had to share.I'm totally overwhelmed right now, as I am now working 2 jobs, and still unpacking, but yet, I'll drop everything to babysit little Molly.
There's something about happy babies; it's just all the more enjoyable because they haven't learned to fake it yet---that happiness is totally real.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Moving Subject

Jeez, has it really been over a month since I last posted? I know it's not like many people actually read this thing, but still, I hate to neglect it so. You see, two things happened; first, I was sick with pyelonephritis. And then S/O and I decided to move to the apartment downstairs.

On paper, the move made sense. I had to climb 2 flights of stairs to get to the old place. and since my mobility is limited, that was very hard for me to do. Plus the place was falling apart; peeling paint, peeling ceiling, ancient carpet throughout. The refrigerator only worked on one side, and one fateful morning, the light fixture fell out of the bathroom ceiling, nearly knocking out S/O.

Still, I was a bit reluctant...

You see, I'm a purger. And S/O, although I love her dearly, is a saver.

I'm firmly conviced that had we live 150 years ago, she would be the gal on the wagon train with the two-story covered wagon, the oak chiffarobes and the pipe organ. I would be the one riding a pony bareback, with my canteen, my bowie knife and my dog.

I suppose we're all savers on some level; I have all the requisite souveniers from my babies as well as my lost loves. There's even a pair of bell-bottom Levis I save, mostly to prove that yes, once upon a time, I had a tiny ass. But super-savers, such as S/O, are a mystery to me. They save the out of style, the broken, the useless. And the newspapers! WTF is it with the newspapers?

This is the SECOND WEEK of the big move, and even though I have thrown much out, and worked diligently, it is not quite over...Someday, I will bake and send those cookies I promised my friend Maggie over 2 months ago; Someday, I will set my computer back up and be able to work from home; Someday, I'll be able to make a home-cooked meal. And someday, I'll find a way to turn S/O from a saver to a purger...

(BTW, this is not a picture of my old apartment; THIS place has nicer carpet.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

I haven't been myself lately...

I've been the "Sick Woman of Squirrel Manor". As luck would have it the same day I found out about the new treatment for my autoimmune disorder was the same day I also found out I had pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis, besides making one's kidneys hurt like hell makes one very tired, and therefore, not much inclined to write anything.

Unable to sit at the computer to write, I filled my time actually reading, fininshing a book I started awhile back, "Schulz", by David Michaelis. I discovered I had a lot in common with Sparky Schulz; we're both Norwegian/German; both depressed; both have Halvorson relatives somewhere in Minnesota, so we may even be related...

I learned he incorporated a lot of his own life into the strip---somehow, that had never occured to me. I always thought of the "Peanuts" characters existing in their own little world. (Also learned the title was someone else's idea, and for a long time, he hated it.) He worked in his studio about 12-14 hours a day, which probably helped him to become a very good cartoonist, but cost him in his personal relationships.
His wife once suggested he see a psychiatrist; he claimed he never could because it would "cost him his talent." And poor Charlie Brown---Schulz always said he would never get to kick that football.
Which is why I was so caught up the the Super Bowl Coke commercial this past Sunday. Stewie (from "Family Guy") and Underdog giant balloons fighting over a Coca-Cola balloon, only to have Good Ole Charlie Brown emerge at the last minute to win the prize! And no Lucy in sight to yank it away at the last minute. I think Sparky would've approved.

Friday, January 11, 2008


(Powder Lomax, feline companion of my esteemed collegue, Elisabeth Lomax, looks down on my activies with disgust...)

I had my new kitty declawed this week.

I also had her spayed, but that isn't what's bothering me. I was always adamantly on the "say no to declawing" side. Everything I ever read about it sounded so cruel. "What's a few mangled sofas?," I'd think to myself.

Then I met my S/O, who had always declawed her cats, and wondered why I allowed mine to rip upholstery with such reckless abandon. The "discussion" could've gone on forever, but a couple of weeks ago some problematic issues dawned on us that seemed to have only one logical solution.

Our cats are fairly young, and are more than a little playful---they are extremely rambunctious. They chase each other at high rates of "cat-speed" throughout the house several times a day. A few weeks ago, during one high speed chase, kitty #1 attempted to land on the arm of the sofa. Coincidentally, my arm was also there. Kitty #1 grounded her landing by digging her claws in ...my arm. She ripped a 1x1 inch gash in my wrist, which is now turning into a lovely keloid scar. That one incidence was not so bad, but then we had a couple of close calls with baby Molly, and I'm afraid that sealed the cats' fate.

Kitty #3 (Sabrina) is back and seems okay, despite her inability to jump up on anything. I have been told that effect will be short lived. But I look at her little paws and think "What else could I do? Have happy cats, but a scarred up grandchild?"

Kitty #2 goes under the knife next week---must buy extra tuna to assuage the guilt....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Alice

She was born in Ecuador in 1926. Her father worked there briefly, for the U.S. government. He delivered her, as the doctor that showed up was too drunk to do so.

Some months later, the family returned to New York, where she contracted encephalitis, and was in a coma for 9 months. This caused a slight loss of use in her left arm and an even slighter speech affect that mellowed over time. When she recovered, she spent much of her time in private schools, or living with her grandparents while her parents travelled the world. In college, she and her sister lived with the mother's cousin's family, a fact that would not be very remarkable except that her mother's cousin was Eleanor Roosevelt, and they lived in the White House. She even dated Mickey Rooney.

At age 19, she rebelled and broke with them all, dropping out of school to marry a handsome sailor she met at a U.S.O. dance. The young couple moved in with his parents, and the next year she gave birth to a daughter, also named Alice. They moved to one of the first homes buit in Levittown, N.Y., where two little brothers and another sister were also born.

When she was 25, she dealt with the illnes and death of her oldest daughter , from a brain tumor. Once again, she became close to her parents and siblings, only to lose her youngest sister to a mental institution, and her mother to cancer. But she held her family together, through moves to California, to Missouri, to New York, and finally settling in Missouri for good. While in California, she had a "change of life " baby, another son.

Her husband died of a heart attack in 1978; her second son died in 2003 of the same thing, at almost the same age. She helped me to raise my children while I worked and went to college, trying to make a better life for them. She gave both my daughters a safe haven at different times while they were rebelling against their father and me. She's 81 years old, and still mows her own lawn, walks 4 miles a day, and avidly follows professional tennis and argues with me periodically about politics. She was once my mother-in-law, but is always my friend.

Happy Birthday, Alice.