Posts Categorized: ideas + opinions

Mi Teaghlach Mithear

Mi Teaghlach Mithear
o
Mi Familia Loca
Whether I say it in Irish Gaelic or Spanish or Californian, my mother’s family is crazy. No doubts about it. My great aunt Shirley truly was out to lunch and lived the second half of her life at the Norwalk State Mental Institution. She would send letters to my mother asking how little 5-year old Jenny was, even when I was 30. I rather liked great aunt Shirley, at least she came by her nuttiness due to natural brain chemicals or lack thereof.
Now the rest of them who are not locked up are still not so sane even with supposedly normal seritonin and dopamine levels. There is the overwhelming family obsession with always doing and competing and excercising. And then there is the family “bad picker”. Yep, with the exception of my cousin Brian, everyone of them has been married between 2-4 times.
And the family wonders why my brother, sister, and I are still single. We like stability, we like being laid back (even if a wee bit bouncy), we like no drama (ok as long as it is humorous and makes for a good story later), we like no divorces… it must be the Hanen and Hahn influence on the Mithear Kilroy blood.
Why this post? My mom is currently camping in Mammoth with her new beau… Kevin the local bum. Yep, the semi-homeless guy from the park. My sister has lost her composure, my brother is laughing, and I am shaking my head wondering when I should change my phone number.
I have been threatening to divorce the whole lot of my mother’s family for years. I may just do it this year. Or maybe I should write a movie screenplay on a large crazy Irish family from LA…

Pot Holders vs. Kitchen Towel

Tonight, when I got home from my annual early fall pilgrimmage to the Eastern High Sierra for hiking & leaf peeping, I boiled some potatoes for a late supper. After 20 mins. of cooking, I needed to lift the lid and check on the little Dutch Yellows, but the lid handle was too hot. I reached for the nearest kitchen towel, lifted the lid with the towel, checked the potatoes and determined that they needed more time in the pot. I put the lid back down, put the kitchen towel down, and returned to the section of the LA Times I was reading.
I smelled burning. I saw sparks. The kitchen towel was on fire and trying to set the wood chopping board on fire. I flung the flamming towel onto the floor and used the throw rug to stamp out the fire. Once everything was under control, I started to yell.
My roommate came into the kitchen, saw the half charred kitchen towel, the floor rug with char marks, and the singed chopping board. She remarked that I should have used the pot holders next to the stove, as they are 5 by 5 inch squares that would not get near the burner as I lifted the lid.
This may be true, but I usually only remember to use the potholders when I open the oven and need to get items in or out or move them around. When I am cooking on the stove, I don’t think of a pot holder, I use the nearest kitchen towel. I may need to rethink this strategy, as I have just lost my favorite towel.

Seasons in SoCal

Lots of people like to claim that there are no seasons in Southern California. These are usually people who grew up in places with four traditional seasons, and SoCal is a wee bit too subtle for them.
As a native of the place, I would like to assert that we here in SoCal have 3 to 6 seasons depending on how subtle you would like to get.
The Three Season Perspective:
Sun – This season happens frequently and can be cool and bright or warm and bright or hot and bright depending on the time of year.
Rain – This season usually happens November – April and is interspersed with Sun.
Inversion – This season usually happens in late spring/early summer and again in late summer/early fall. The Inversion season occurs when the Pacific Ocean is cold and the desert is hot, thus the middle region (first fifty miles between ocean and desert) is either foggy, smoggy, hazy or all three at once, as the competing air temps duke it out up against the mountains. This is the season that baffles visitors and non-natives the most.
The Six Season Perspective:
Winter: November through February – this season includes Rain and Sun. The temps can drop down in the 60s in the daytime, causing all sorts of folks in flip flops and tank tops to whine extensively about how FREEZING IT IS. Very funny time of year. Also one of the most beautiful times of the year when the mountains are draped in white and it is 72 degrees at the beach.
Spring: February through April – this season also includes Rain and Sun, with some Santa Ana winds. Warm, fertile, snow on mountains, everything blooming, and strawberries in season.
June Gloom: May through June (sometimes into July) – this season is the Inversion time – fog and low clouds roll in and either roll out at noon or stay all day. People get grumpy, esp. my mom.
Summer: July through August – this season is SUN. Can be nice and warm with a good ocean breeze or just plain hot.
Smog: September through October – this season is the late summer version of June Gloom combined with heat & humidity from Mexican hurricane season. This is the season that gets the most complaints out of me. Most likely time of year to have 105 degrees, 100056% humidity, and air that is nearly solid. Yuck!
Fall: October through early December – like fall in many other places just a bit more subtle and warmer. The leaves are more likely to turn brown-red or brown-yellow than a pure red or yellow. Usually sunny, can include inversion or rain and a good Santa Ana wind or two or three.

Wesley Clark for President – 2004

Clark enters presidential race
Wesley Clark Announces … Finally
A Citizen’s Appeal to a General in a Time of War (at Home):

September 12, 2003

Dear General Wesley Clark,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for some time. Two days after the Oscars, when I felt very alone and somewhat frightened by the level of hatred toward me for daring to suggest that we were being led into war for “fictitious reasons,” one person stuck his neck out and came to my defense on national television.

And that person was you.

Aaron Brown had just finished interviewing me by satellite on CNN, and I had made a crack about me being “the only non-general allowed on CNN all week.” He ended the interview and then turned to you, as you were sitting at the desk with him. He asked you what you thought of this crazy guy, Michael Moore. And, although we were still in Week One of the war, you boldly said that my dissent was necessary and welcome, and you pointed out that I was against Bush and his “policies,” not the kids in the service. I sat in Flint with the earpiece still in my ear and I was floored — a GENERAL standing up for me and, in effect, for all the millions who were opposed to the war but had been bullied into silence.

The Wesley Clark Weblog

John Kerry to run for President in 2004

Here is an exerpt from John Kerry’s Announcement speech:

But the threats today don’t just come from gun barrels; they also come from oil barrels. The dollars we spend at the pump can too easily fund the terrorists who seek to destroy us. America will only be stronger if we never have to send our sons and daughters into battle for oil half a world away.

We have to disarm that danger by making America independent of Mideast oil within the next ten years. I know that the auto industry has political muscle. But we’re in a time of war, and everyone should contribute to the cause. In World War II, Detroit was the arsenal of democracy. Today they need to raise their gas mileage and build the vehicles of the future that use clean, renewable energy like ethanol. I also know there are some in our own party who resist this because they fear it will cost jobs. But it’s right for America — and energy independence will create 500,000 new high-paying jobs right here in this country.

I am glad to hear someone running for President say these words. Mr. Bush and his Puppet Masters ought to have said something to this effect two years ago. Now hopefully a leader in our country will actually follow through with the above!
We Americans are Oil Junkies. We need to go to rehab and then change our ways. Or are we going to continue our crude in a syringe habit all the while we terrorize ourselves and others for our habit?

Christians for Biblical Equality

Thanks to a link in a post at Rebecca’s Pocket, I was lead to this article on the Christian Science Monitor’s website, All Equal Under God, But Submission For Women?:

Roles in the church should be based on the God-given gifts of individuals, which are without regard to gender, class, or race, they say, pointing to Gal. 3:28: “There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I am glad to see a ground swell of Christians who are standing up against the instituition of fundementalism in American protestantism, of which the Christians for Biblical Equalityis leading the charge.

Dick Cheney – the man for our times???

The Vice President of our nation seems to be a man of many talents and interests, talents that are well hidden and interests that are not necessarily in the best interests of the people but of his corporate friends. At what point do we the people demand accountability from our elected officials? Are we a nation of which sex and scandal much more interesting and impeachable than shady business deals from elected office and bad ethics are?
From the news column at Salon.com and the AP news wire:

Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq’s oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq’s oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled “Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”

The current administration has shown itself to be much more interested in helping their friends and former business colleagues in business than in democracy. Are we now a nation run by an oligarchy of businessocrats?
God forbid that the French and Russians could have gotten the Iraqi oil contracts and not US oil companies! Mr. Cheney is not only a shadowy figure, but one with very bloody hands. Blood for oil anyone?

I rant and rave, Mr. Derek P. says it all elegantly…

I have been ranting and raving to anyone who will listen, mostly my mom and best friend and the barflies.net message board, about the flimsy reasons that Shrubya took us to war, but Derek Powazek has said it much more elegantly:

So there we have it. Clinton lied about sex, Bush lied about bombs. The difference? In the Bush version, over 6,000 people died. In the Clinton version, there was only a petit mort. So you tell me: Which man is unfit to lead?

Bravo, Derek!