Monthly Archives: May 2012

Face chewing…

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Warning: for my regular readers, this gets graphic in description but there are no visuals to avoid.

Right, I rarely do this… But I just heard and saw the stills and footage of a man in Miami who ate the face off another man. Rudy Eugene was shot to death by police, four shots. I wouldn’t be talking about it at all if I hadn’t read a load of comments about this incident on a website. The reactions just astounded me.

From America: I like that cops kill people that are eating other people’s faces off. “Get over it” (the bit in quotes from several commenters).

From everywhere else: How terrible that the cop had to use lethal force and shoot the man four times to stop him. Surely something else could have been done, we don’t allow our police to have guns and you Americans are too trigger-happy. Tasers, pepper spray, baton bludgeoning, and shooting the assailant in the legs were all mentioned as possible methods.

Okay, you’re both wrong. “Get over it” is not a valid argument. Neither is stating that you are happy that you live in a place where the law can kill people just because they are allowed to. I’m the daughter of a retired cop, and almost became one myself. Cops are people, and they make mistakes just like people do: all the time, every day. Being glad that you live in a place where those mistakes can be legally lethal isn’t something to be ‘proud’ of. If you can’t come up with a logical reason for why you think this shooting was justified, please don’t talk. You are the reason other people don’t like Americans.

The system needs work; I believe that human error is a terrible thing when lives are in the balance. I am not anywhere near qualified or educated enough to offer up a solution.

Now, the non lethal suggestions. The victim and assailant were on the ground, prone, and by appearances they were both naked or barely clothed on a hot summer Southern Florida day. Tasering would have further injured the bleeding man, because their bodes were in contact via various bodily fluids and actual fucking TEETH. I’m pretty sure the attacker had to have at least one hand on his victim, because it’s hard to rip someone’s face off without holding said face still. So – no taser, an instant decision by the officer on scene, if he even had one: and correct.

Next, pepper spray. Now, would YOU spray pepper in the face of a man with no face? Because the eating was still in progress, you know. Bad man’s face right there with faceless man’s. No, you wouldn’t do that. Another instant decision.

Leg shooting? No help here, the guy isn’t running away! What would sudden, non-lethal injury do to him? Not much other than perhaps cause more damage to the victim.

Not suggested: going up and grabbing the guy’s leg to drag him away, after repeated commands to cease and desist were ignored. Um. You’d really have to have balls of steel to do this, and a lot of back up in case the assailant turned on you. A uniform and bulletproof vest isn’t going to help against someone willing and able to tear off another’s face with his own teeth. The idea would have crossed my mind, were I the officer on the scene -but I’m pretty sure that sort of risk is discouraged in training. It’s really, really risky and not guaranteed to help the victim at all, and actually might put not only the cop but any bystanders at risk if the assailant escapes.

Baton/nightstick blows? Again, no – you’d have to get too close, and the risk to yourself and the victim is too great. No guarantee it would work, either – and in the meantime, someone is being eaten alive right in front of your eyes.

Clearly the guy is nuts, NO ONE does that sort of thing. So, he’s nuts…not in his right mind and probably not deserving to die for it. No one else deserved to be hurt or killed either. I think his only recourse was shooting the assailant to death – I can’t say how far apart those four shots were, but if it were me behind the gun, I’d be dammed aware that the last one hadn’t quite done the job and another terrible, horrible, necessary, shot was needed. The other critique I read about the shooting is that the victim and perpetrator were, indeed, face to face – and there was a risk of hitting the victim as well. Maybe, maybe. I can’t recall the last time a cop shot a victim while aiming for the criminal, though I suppose it has happened. If it were me, I’d take the chance – not only as the fastest and most secure way to stop the attack. I’d also be thinking, in the back of my mind: poor fucker, I wouldn’t want to live like that, if I miss it will be doing him a favor.

Not saying that’s a justification. Just saying, ‘if it were me’. I sure as shit would rather die than live with what this man will have to live with – if he lives at all.

I’d love to hear what my father has to say about this – maybe he’ll allow me to post a comment on his behalf…

What do your cats mean to you?

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Cats n Co did a post a few days ago called ‘Why Do You Love Cats?’ that I’ve been saving so I could reply properly. I ended up gettng rather long-winded (no, me?) and so I’ve cheated a bit and saved my comment to repost here. But I’m going to get even longer-winded, if I have the time…

Oh where to start… there was a Siamese in the house before I was born, so I never had to live without a cat. My baby blanket was finally taken from me when she died and she was buried with it – my mother knew me so well even at the age of five/six. She knew I could never say no to giving my most precious possession to Samantha Jane. And how clever of her to think of such a thing when she was so upset herself!

I learned from all of the cats I’ve ever known – I even pick up physical habits from them. My cat Seymour used to nod his head upward from the chin several times when he was looking at something of interest in the distance, and I still do the same even though he’s been gone 20 years now. I catch myself trying to curl my tongue like a cat when I yawn. I can do an impression of an angry kitty that fools real cats, and have been attacked by a kitten for saying something truly offensive.

A Siamese we had named Bambi wasn’t very friendly to me as a kid – she liked my mom best – but Bambi would always come and comfort me when I was crying, which I did a lot. She would also be my companion on midnight raids of the kitchen for milk and cookies, and I’d share both with her. She liked to lick the middle out of a sandwich cookie, and it has never occurred to me that letting a cat drink out of my milk glass is unsanitary.

I’m never alone with a cat around. I always have someone to sit with, to talk to, to take care of, to play with, to cuddle.

I know what they are thinking – when they are bothering to do any thinking – and I know when they are just happy to exist in a sunbeam. That’s a lesson I’ve learned, and well! My hubby tells people that I follow the sun around the garden like a cat. I like that I can tell when Spot has an itchy ear and is about to have a scratch, and how I know Lokii wants to curl up just there.

They are never deliberately cruel, they are always ready to play, they look beautiful, their fur feels like the most luxurious material ever invented, and they even smell good! The smell thing came up for me a couple of times today, and I realised I’ve never mentioned that my cats smell great. Different from each other, too. Lokii smells like perfume, even though he has dandruff. Spot is less flowery but still smells…good. Clean, warm, cat-smell. My boys aren’t allowed outside, but I still remember from when I was a kid how the a cat smelled when she came in from outside, especially if she had been under a car – an interesting scent of hot cat and oil/gasoline.

Cats require work, and sacrifice, and dedication, and responsibility. None of these are bad things.

They give so much: beauty, tactile sensation, play, and the best naps ever. I always know that when I lie down with the intention of having a good nap, I’ll have both boys with me. They are the only reason I even can have a nap, I think…

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Spotty’s little feet on my neck as we nap on the couch. He always makes an effort and stretches out to put his feet on my face when he’s happy, warm, comfortable and sleepy. How I love him so.

Never will I choose a life that is cat-less. My life would be smaller, diminished, without cats.

I had to share…

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I’m burnt to a crisp, but unlike my Irish brethren it actually suits me… I know that tonight/tomorrow my country will be filled with lobster-red uncomfortable people. Hehehehehh. Me? I’m done to a turn nicely. Yet another good Irish term…

I had my MRI today! Man, I’ve been through a few but maybe I blocked the memory or sommat… In any case, I was fully aware that I could not sit up, move my arms , or even open my eyes because seeing the ceiling of my prison was too scary… I’m usually only claustrophobic in crowds, but daaaaam, that’s a tight fit.

But again – because it was and is a nice warm day (despite the wind) I dressed in next to nothing, for me… A way-too-tight/small sports bra, a tank top (known as a vest here for reasons unknown to me) and best of all, a spandex ‘skorts’ thingamajig that Socks sent to me years ago.

Yep, I’m 40, and chubby… But half the battle is being confident, right? I looked awesome for an old fat chick. And! I actually made an effort and shaved me legs, woot… AND! Painted my toenails. I promise you, this is 100% a shot of me feets, right now!

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Dogeen is NOT impressed! She wants the good stuff she smells cooking.

My Aday.org photos

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Did you do the Aday.org photo challenge? If not, and you have pictures from May 15 and you’d like to be part of an international project of photos taken on just May 15, you still have two more days to submit them. I’ve just uploaded my two, and while one is much better than the other, I still thought ‘what the hell’ and uploaded both.

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The ‘meh’ photo – but there’s something about it I still like. Hubby is watching the dog to make sure she is being good, and has no idea I’m upstairs taking a sneaky shot. Yes, my garden is tiny and full of crap and my dryer vent hose has fallen apart – and he’s in his “lounge pants!” Maybe that why I like it, this is really 100% ‘my view.’

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The better one – and the only one I was going to upload as I thought we only got to upload one pic (you can send 10).

This is the front of our house, which is a semi-detached (sorta like a condo in the US). Mostly the neighbor’s side of the house is in the pic, but I took it from inside the car in our driveway – hence the rain spotting. The neighbors had a chimney fire and had to have builders in to fix it, so we had this scaffolding up out front, half in our yard and half next door, for two days. May 15 was the first morning I woke up to looking at this ugly-ass thing and I took a lot of pics, but this was clearly the best.

The part of the story I didn’t include on the Aday site is that the builders offered to paint our chimneys because they had never been painted, ever. We left a bucket of our house colour paint with the neighbors (our house is light yellow, theirs is more of a peach). Chimney was meant to be colour-split up the middle, just like the houses are.

Well, when I came home the next day the scaffolding was gone and even with my three-years-out of date glasses, I could see the entire chimney stack was peach… With just the rim at the top half painted yellow. Yes, the part that should have been white like ALL the trim is on both houses. It looks stupid.

The neighbors were killed apologising. Apparently the contractors painted it, took down the scaffold, and then asked, ‘what do you think?’

Um, we think yer eejits….

Socks has a Honeydew Melon!

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Time for another Socks update! I’m probably four weeks behind now, but two of those are because what with house moves and baby showers, we didn’t have our OirishTirsday phone call for two weeks. The other two weeks’ delay is just me being my usual slacker self. I need to be more diligent, because I only have four weeks left of baby-cooking blogging left. That’s right, four short weeks – and that was as of last Thursday.

I won’t be continuing on talking about Socks and Button after Button makes her big debut. I will probably relate a funny story or two along the way forward, but that’s because Socks makes me laugh more than anyone else, and I just know she’s going to have me puking laughter as she learns how to be a mom.

Because she doesn’t have a clue. She’s not a baby person. She doesn’t go all gooey and giggly and want to hold them when she sees one. Remember way back when, she said she wasn’t having kids because they are oooky? Aha hahahah. So, not a lot of hands on experience. Her mom asked her if she had enough diapers – her response was an honest, “How the hell should I know? I don’t know how many I need. I don’t know how many a baby uses!” Mom asked for the count on hand and said it would do.

So, despite being a complete neophyte at taking care of a baby, she seems to have things well in hand and all sorted out. Socks is a planner, a reader, and a listener – and she’s especially skilled at listening to her own body. She’s met her paediatrician, and likes her, and will take a tour of the hospital this Thursday. She’s sorted the supplies, equipment, and fun stuff from her baby shower and has actually – finally – started buying things for Button! I’m not joking, she didn’t buy anything until now. Shopped, researched, planned – but no purchases. But even now that the crib is bought, the baby carrier is bought, and the diaper bag still being sought (hey, it’s a hard decision: it has got to be pretty cool, she’ll be carrying the damn thing everywhere for the next…forever…) she says it still doesn’t feel quite real.

It doesn’t really matter, though, not knowing how everything is going to be, because there is no way, ever, any new mom can know how it’s going to be. All the preparation in the world won’t make a difference, so why stress about it? Being parents isn’t going to feel real for a while, I suspect. At first, the incessant changes will come so hard and fast that there won’t be time to realise a routine is being created. And babies grow so fast, the changes never stop.

I think maybe, just maybe, that by the time Button is old enough to go to school it might feel real.

In the meantime, Button is nearly as physically mature as she can get inside there. Her lungs have a bit more developing to do, but she’s already practicing breathing. She probably will gain another pound in this last month – and Socks is wondering just where that’s going to fit as she is chock full o’ baby already. I have an example from last week, which is something that has probably only gotten worse… Socks can’t get off the couch by herself any more. It takes forever to get comfortable in a position where she can breathe because Button has her butt right up under Socks’ ribs, squashing her lungs and stomach. Once she’s down on the couch, there’s no way back up without a helping hand from Bear. I guess if he’s not home, she doesn’t nap on the couch…

Bear, of course, is even farther back on the ‘feel real’ scale. He’s hoping he can help with the birth via text.

Oh, and is it wrong of me to laugh my ass off at her description of what her swollen feet look like after wearing flip-flops? I’m picturing perfectly manicured toenails on the Pillsbury Dough-Girl’s feet.

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(yes, there was a Dough-Girl in the early 70′s. My sister had this very set, and I’m sorry I stole this photo from the net but if I had them still, I’d take my own photo, I promise. Maybe is sis still has them she’ll offer me a non-nicked shot).

Finally, I’d like to offer my prediction that Socks isn’t going to go all the way to her projected due date. That baby is huge and I think she’s at least a week further along: not only because Button is more like a bowling ball than a nice polite mother-of-pearl ornament, but because Socks had one scan early on that indicated she was farther than her obstetrician thought. For some reason, I really believed those people.

Then again, I’ve been known to be wrong. I ever so much wanted Button to be twins so I could really laugh my ass off.

I’m in a Good Mood… Should I be Worried?

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I finally have had the time and motivation to read posts from blogs I follow, and comment, and I’m also goofing around on a few FB feeds, and in general I have a big stupid smile on my face.

It feels a bit strange, I haven’t had one of these things on my mug for a while! But, of course, I wouldn’t be me unless I dissected why it is, exactly, that I am in a good mood…

Now, before you go thinking that I’ve turned all sappy and soft and that this is going to be a list of stuff that I’m grateful for – well, it might be. I’m cheerful! It’s rare! But HEY! I’m not soft and sappy so just shut that train of thought down, ok?

Right! Easy one: it’s Friday, and I don’t have to go anywhere until tomorrow night, and I don’t have to go to work for two whole days which means I don’t have to get depressed again until mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Tomorrow I get to go to a housewarming party which I am looking forward to immensely. People I like, a comfortable flat, a greyhound and a kitty to play with, and iDJ doing the tunes! Oh, and home-cooked fooooooood. All-around winner!

The happyish feeling of having caught up, a bit, with what is going on in everyone else’s blogworld. I went away, mentally, for a bit there. I didn’t want to comment or read anything, and I didn’t much feel like changing that situation. I think I’ve staved (stiven? No. But it should be a word) that off for now. I’m glad to be back and interacting again. Hopeful that this carries on.

I made a really, really, bad joke tonight that not even I laughed at. I didn’t laugh because I was amazed at my own brilliance at such short notice. I boggled at my own wit. Someone had to, other than my hubby who didn’t laugh either, but actually clapped. I’m not sure what that means, as he gets the brunt of my fast-thinking humour – unlike this writing kinda humour that requires me to think and spell at the same time.

He said I did a bad job of posting my hilarity on FB, so here’s the long version: he was nattering away about electronics needed for tomorrow night’s housewarming gig, and I was sort of listening but not really understanding much of what he was saying. He talks a lot, and I’m not a DJ. He just needs to say it out loud to get it clear in his head, and I don’t even smile and nod any more… Eventually he lost interest himself in what he was saying and noticed that Lokii was sitting next to my leg and licking himself.

Imagine, if you can, my Irish hubby speaking in a Beavis or Butthead voice: ‘Heh. Lokii’s licking his ass.’

I looked down. Lokii was not licking his ass.

“He’s licking his elbow.”

Small pause.

“Are you telling me you can’t tell his ass from his elbow?”

Drumroll, hi-hat crash, I rock. Thank you, I’ll be here all week!

With a big stupid smile on my face, hopefully.

Final Bit of the Mr Smith Story

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Okay I’ve been putting this off, as I’m tired of thinking about it now. But I feel I should wrap this up properly.

The next day, as usual, hubby came home for lunch. The doorbell rings shortly afterward – it’s Mr Smith.

Hat in hand. Apologising profusely.

Mr Smith got ‘fucked out if it’ (hubby’s expression) by both Mrs Smith and the parish priest after they heard hubby’s message on the priest’s answering machine. Apparently this sparked a long discussion and brought him to the realisation that he has been ‘not right’ for months. The only thing he could think of to explain why he’s been a cranky bastard is the medication he’s been taking for his back/arthritis.

So, he explained this to iDJ, and said he had an appointment that very day with the doctor to get his medication changed. He was killed apologising; another good Irish expression. He was horrified at what he said and did. He also didn’t remember most of it. When iDJ told him, Mr Smith cried.

Oh man.

Sooooo… As hubby put it, they are “friends again.” Mr Smith made a fuss over our cats, and it turns out he rescued two kittens from a bucket (?!?) in his back garden and kept them himself. They had a good old chat, apparently, and all is well between them.

So, why did I still feel upset when I wrote about this later, knowing all of the above?

Because there was some truth in how Mr Smith felt or it wouldn’t have come out. Obviously the anger and threats are not natural to him, but the underlying ideas weren’t created out of nowhere by medication. So, there’s that. I can’t hold it against him for thinking it, and now of course I can’t hold it against him for getting aggressive over it either. But I also can’t quite forget the ideas are there, and wonder who else might feel this way about us…

The other thing I found even stranger/sadder is that when my hubby said, “Of course I forgive you, you weren’t yourself,” it brought Smith to tears again and he said, “A lot of people wouldn’t, thank you.” It makes me wonder what kind of people Mr Smith hangs out with normally… but of course I know the answer to that question, don’t I. I can’t wrap my head around that part at all.

So there ya go, over and done with and now I can move on to other things :)

It’s that kinda night

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I don’t have time to do what I want to do, just what I need to do. But I did take a moment to capture my boys sleeping. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so nearly-perfectly in the same position. And, you can tell by their ears, they aren’t really asleep and are a split second away from looking up to see what I’m doing!

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A photography project for everyone – tomorrow!

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This is cool – I can’t get their easy to share PDF to open on my iPad, but I copied and pasted some of the relevant info below. Hit the link for the full story! I’m going to do it, how about you?

http://www.aday.org/

May 15th!
Just an ordinary day?
Bring your camera!

Photograph on May 15th!
You have one day to join thousands around the world in using the power of photography to create, share and compare perspectives on daily life! Don’t miss it! You can upload your images until May 22nd.

An event for everyone, everywhere
On May 15th we are looking for perspectives on daily life of everyone who enjoys and values photography! Professionals, amateurs, school children, farmers, social media fans, astronauts, office workers and you.

Picture today, inspire tomorrow
All images will be displayed online for you and everyone to explore. Some of them will be selected for a book, others for exhibitions. Every single one will be saved for future research and education. Let a part of your life inspire generations to come.

What to shoot?
Your life matters! Photograph what is close to you and upload your photos in one of our categories: Home, Work or Connections.

Invasion of the Flour Mites

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I had plans to post a few times tonight. But something icky happened and iDJ and I are dealing with it the best way we know how: by getting drunk.

The icky thing is that we (I) found out we have been invaded, infested, by tiny-ass flour mites. Getting rid of them is so very labour intensive that we cleared the counter under the infested cabinet, took out the food sources, and just… started drinking.

We intended to drink anyway. Well, of course – its us. But… it was meant to be special drinking. American craft beers rarely found here, bought with excitement and chilled with impatience. Then, choosing a glass… oh, they recommend a tulip glass? We only have one, my precious Corsendonk glass. So, big wine glasses will do. But, despite being in the cabinet they looked dirty, cloudy. I said I’d wash them first.

One washed, no problem. Next one, had a closer look to see just why it looked so filthy. “Oh no. No. No. No! Nonono. NO! The fucking bugs are back!”

See, we’ve been through this before. And it was hellish. And now, the little cunts are back. Sigh.

Drinking seems an easier solution, when faced with what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks…