My Yorkie

I am sad because my Yorkie, Penfold, is dead. For the first time in 20+ years, there is no Yorkie in my home. This is a serious bummer.

Moreover, my Sweet Babou is sad because he and the wee Yorkie were particularly attached. They bonded over Penfold’s puppy antics. For example, Penfold’s main goal in life was to poop on rocks. Not gravel, mind you. He wanted to poop on BIG rocks. To crap on a boulder would have brought him joys untold. As it was, during walks Penfold would hold his poo until he could find the biggest available rock, and then hoist his butt up (sometimes over his head) in order to poop on said rock.

Penfold trying to poop on a rock

This brought my husband deep and profound mirth.

Penfold also like to run fast in the snow. He was a lazy little guy, often demanding that we carry him home from walkies. Yet when there was some fresh powder on the ground he turned into a canine Usain Bolt. His ears would stream out behind him like banners and he would zoom through the snow. Occasionally he would miscalculate and get himself stuck in a drift, necessitating a rescue. Then he would hare off again, apparently riding an invisible sled (Rosebud?) we couldn’t see.

The dog also HATED rain. He could not abide to have water fall on him from the sky. Whenever he had to do his business on a rainy day, he would make what we called the “sad llama” to denote his abhorrence of the whole thing. Seriously, he looked like this:

sad llama

Then he would come in and dry his face on the carpet. He didn’t mind the rest of him being wet, but damp facial fur was heinous in his opinion.

He also thought the TV set was a window. Due to our taste for nature programs, he thought meerkats and mongoose families lived outside. He studied them so intensely that he learned to stand up on his back legs just like they did. He would growl at the snakes during mongoose battles. He would whimper when baby meerkats were shown, because he wanted to sniff them so very badly.

Penfold was also yellow as a buttercup. He would bark at squirrels, but if one didn’t run he was terrified. I also saw him get served by a wren that hopped at him. He fled in terror from a wren. He was also afraid of his food dish.

We miss our little dog.

Posted in life as I know it | 4 Comments

Déjà vu?

The girls are on  fall break this week and I am not getting any writing done. Yeah, shocking I know. This week has not been great for all my thoughts going in neat rows, either. So the writing thing would have been moot anyway. However, I am getting a fair amount of closet cleaning/purging/organizing done because I can stop that on a dime and supervise small humans while doing it.

What has been weird is the bizarre obsession I have had about reincarnation lately.

Reincarnation, the transmigration and pre-existence of (at least some) souls, is one of the only post-life experiences we have any kind of scientific evidence for. The kind of scientific evidence that makes atheist scientists who are professional skeptics think, “Maybe this happens?”

When I was a lass, I resisted any concept of reincarnation at the time, to because my Baptist upbringing had assured me it was a big-ass sin to even THINK about reincarnation. Pure devil-magic, that. Later, when my Christian beliefs took a left turn into the Episcopal Church, I no longer assumed reincarnation theology was anti-Christian or “evil”. Eventually I learned that reincarnation was a big part of early Christian theology.

Thus, when I first had the “Dream”, which has occurred more than once and is surreal in its lucidity and is indelibly imprinted in my brain like no other dream before or since, I tried to dismiss it as just a dream. Later I came to wonder if it was a past-life memory. I still wonder. The Dream is short and is as follows:

I am afraid, but almost resigned. I am trying to run up a sand dune on a beach. I hear booms and fireworks but they seem ‘distant’ because my heartbeat & breathing is so loud in my ears. I am holding something but don’t look down to see what. I am wearing heavy footwear so running in sand is really hard. I feel almost disoriented, if that makes any sense. I don’t really know what I am doing, as if it doesn’t feel real but *I* know it is real. Then I feel a very light “punch” on my chest and I feel like something ‘peels away’; like I just dropped an extremely heavy backpack. I am light and not afraid anymore, and I turn to see what I dropped. There is a body in the sand behind me. It is a young black man, very dark complexioned, wearing a WWII army uniform. His eyes are open. I ‘realize’ he was/is me.

Sometimes, in the dream I’ll “know” other things. I know I hate red clay dirt and HATE having work in it when the sun is high. I know I feel different and slightly alienated from the rest of my family. I know I look at movie posters but don’t get to see the movies. I know I like to read but don’t get to much and people think I am weird for it. I know I feel envy of pretty white girls who don’t have to work. Not bitter envy; more of a longing for that kind of life. I know my grandmother is raising me. My father is alive but works far away. My mother isn’t dead but I haven’t seen or heard from her since I was a baby and I don’t really care that much. I know I feel bad about the fact I don’t feel bad about my mother.

Weird, huh?

Does anyone else have a weird dream or feeling about someone that ‘might’ have been? 

Posted in I've been thinking too much | 4 Comments

Look at this Baby Elephant!!!

Motherhood. There seems to be a certain, shall we say, commonality to it across species.

When this baby elephant falls on his but, his mother and “aunt” rush to his aid and then start, for lack of a better way of describing it, kissing the boo-boo and making it better. Moreover, the trumpeting calls sound exactly like they are saying, “Oh Sweetie! Do ‘oo fall down? Did it hurt its widdle bottom?” Then they lead the baby to an easier path and give him cuddles and he gets some milk for extra comfort.

This is precisely what happened whenever one of my toddlers tripped. Same reactions, same noises, same worried trunk curls.

Moreover, motherhood and nurturing doesn’t fiddle-faddle about with whether or not a baby “might” be hers; a baby’s cry will attract mothers that aren’t of the same species. I have several friends who have no, and I mean NO, plans to become parents. Nonetheless, let their cat mew or their dog whimper and they do the same kind of run-over-to-comfort stuff I do with my human babies. That drive to protect helpless little things runs deep, y’all

Not that daddies don’t have the imperative to save babies, too. A seriously pissed off elephant, a “tusker” (large bull elephant) that had killed three adults over the previous year, saved a baby girl’s life when he heard her crying. The bull elephant was attacking the house but stopped when he heard the baby. “The child’s father, Dipak Mahato, said they were having dinner around 8pm when they suddenly heard a “cracking sound” and then a huge crash from the bedroom. “We ran over and were shocked to see the wall in pieces and a tusker standing over our baby. She was crying and there were huge chunks of the wall lying all around and on the cot,” he said. “The tusker started moving away but when our child started crying again, it returned and used its trunk to remove the debris.”

This is far from the first time an animal has saved a human baby. Frankly, I love animal-saves-baby stories. Here are some that will warm the cockles of your heart:

A 2-year-old male pit bull named Ace woke his deaf teenage owner and saved him from a house fire.

Speaking of pit bulls, a pit bull named Ruger (perfect name) saves his owner and her toddler from a violent home invasion.

Not to mention a German Shepherd named Jade was praised for saving a newborn’s life after the infant was abandoned in a park in Birmingham, England.

A black Lab named Jet saved a baby from a speeding car.

Yet another black Lab named Bear saved a baby from drowning.

Thank God, an abandoned newborn was rescued by a Thai Bangkaew named Pui.

It isn’t just dogs, either.  A parrot squawked his brains out summoning help for a choking toddler.

Dolphins have been recorded helping humans before, and one named Flippo saved a boy drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

A grizzly bear wanted to snack on a horse and it’s 8 year old human rider, but Tonk the big-ass horse leading the trail ride made the grizzly reconsider its options.

Cats are just as capable as defending their human young as dogs, as Tara the cat proved after saving a four-year-old from a dog attack.

Then, of course, we circle back to elephants when a pachyderm used her own body to shield and save an 8 yr old girl from the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.

I am seriously considering becoming a vegetarian again.

Posted in I like this, dammit. | 4 Comments

Don’t Panic But Do Donate

Ebola is in the USA now, yes. I , like everyone else on the planet, do not want myself or anyone I love or anyone I even know or even complete strangers to get the Ebola virus because the symptoms of Ebola sucks all the universal donkey balls and there is a scary chance you might die if you aren’t initially healthy and in a good hospital. I’ve had food poisoning and exploding form both ends at the same time is no fun. My heart hurts when I think about the suffering people go through if they contract the virus.

In fact, I am feeling psychosomatically queasy right now just thinking about the Ebola virus.

No one is arguing that Ebola is anything less than a terrible virus from the bowls of hell. The man who ‘discovered’ it in 1976 will wax eloquent on how horrible it is.

There is, however, good news and a solid reason to not panic; the Ebola virus is not airborne. This means that the R0 factor (“the number of secondary cases which one case would produce in a completely susceptible population”) for Ebola is around 1.5 or 2, rather than an R0 of 18 like measles.

As NPR so adroitly explains:

“But in Ebola’s case, the mode of transmission probably helps keep its R0 low. Ebola isn’t spread through the air, like the measles or flu. It requires close contact with some bodily fluid, such as blood or vomit, containing the virus. Now at this point, you’re probably thinking, “OK. But an R0 of two is nothing to brush off.” You’re right. R0 of two means one person infects two people, who then infect four people, then eight, 16, 32 — the numbers go up fast. But that isn’t likely to happen in a place with a good public health system, like the U.S. Why? Because people with Ebola aren’t contagious until they show symptoms. So to stop the chain of transmission, all health workers in Texas have to do is get the people possibly infected by the sick man into isolation before these people show signs of Ebola. Then R0 drops to zero. And Texas is free of Ebola.”

You can picture it like this:

A comparison of reproduction numbers, or R0s, for several viruses. R0 is one measure of contagiousness.

Nevertheless, even with an R0 of 2 the Ebola virus can still cause world-wide havoc because of the lack of available health care. The Influenza pandemic of 1918 only had an R0 of 2 and it killed 20-40 million people due to the relatively primitive medical care available at the time.  Just because people in the developed world are unlikely to die in droves, doesn’t make Ebola any less than a potential massacre in underdeveloped areas. A coalition of nations needs to act and act fast to keep this thing from slaughtering millions of Africans.

Oh, and if anyone tells you a virus is ‘nature’s way of taking care of surplus population’, slap them twice. Once because they see other human’s loved ones as just numbers that are not valuable and again because they are an ignorant twatwaffle. Epidemics are NOT nature’s way of depopulating areas like some sort of self-regulatory escape hatch. That is bullshit. Here’s a sum-up of why:

“It is too simplistic to believe that populations rely on viruses to thin down numbers in populations that have exceeded carrying capacity. It would be like a plant evolving to rely on tornados for seed dispersal. Tornados are so rare and random in where they appear, it would hardly be a reliable mechanism. What’s more, given that limiting factors to natural populations have become such a complete non-factor to human population growth, it seems even less likely to become so as human advancement moves forward.”

The best way to stop Ebola in an underdeveloped area is a vaccine. I am currently praying that a good/workable vaccine pops up in a lab somewhere soon, since I don’t trust the developed world to do much to help the suffering of the masses. I am also donating to these charities that are aggressively working to help the treatment and curtailing of the Ebola virus in Africa, like The Samaritan’s Purse, Doctors Without Boarders, Unicef, or any other charity listed at ONE.

PLEASE feel free to join me in donating.

Posted in health, shit I think y'all should know | Leave a comment

TaintFace May Be Preggo

My mom called me this morning to let me know my sister-in-law, TaintFace, is probably up the pole. My Mom is, like me, very conflicted. Yes, she will love the grandbaby and I will love my niece or nephew, but Christ Jesus watching TaintFace raise another child after the shit she has pulled with Gozer & Gamer makes us both want to pull our hair out.

Not to mention the fact that she and BabyBro can afford another kid about like they could afford the Hope Diamond.

My mom is already exhausted thinking about her days and nights as free child-care provider. The woman is 65; she is not sure she can raise another baby. Especially one that will get so little consistent and rational discipline from its parents.

Basically, if TaintFace is pregnant, our best hope is that it is a little boy. TaintFace is kinder and more attentive to Gamer than she is Gozer, so she will probably dote on another son.

Please God, let the child be neurotypical.

Jesus wept.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, Asperger's and Autism Spectrum, life as I know it | 2 Comments

Paula Muran Is Her Own Worse Enemy

I am starting to think Paula Muran is more than a mere asshat. I am starting to believe Paula Muran may be a full-blow nutcase as well.  Paula Muran has been sending threatening emails to people claiming she will sue them because – get this – they re-tweeted unfavorable comments about her!

Yeah, we all know how strong those anti-re-tweet laws are.

I was further mystified why Paula Muran was hassling complete strangers about my blog whilst avoiding communication with the one person who has control over the content of my blog, namely ME. Finally, she contacted me. Not via email as I supposed she would. Nope. She commented publically on my blog, to wit:

“You published false statements about me. Because of your allegations published in April 2014 and again September 21-22, 23rd, 2014 I have been severely defamed by your words and actions and suffered severe financial damages including my reputation damaged.

Pursuant to Arizona law §12-653.02 I demand you retract any and all statements about me and publish an apology to Sedona Yoga Festival for falsely accusing me of supporting rapists, domestic violence, bully and mocking women and woman hatter. I’m fully prepared to pursue legal action against you and your followers if all statements about Paula Muran aren’t retracted by October 3, 2014.”

First, and I want to make this perfectly clear, I have never accused her of being a woman hatter. I have never suggested that she was a milliner of any kind. I have not even suggested she has done haberdashery. I called her an asshat, which is another way of saying her metaphorical head was up her metaphorical ass. There were no actual hats involved.

Secondly, there are not enough words in the English language to describe the level of non-applicable that Arizona law §12-653.02 is to this particular situation. I am beginning to think she isn’t up to date on her defamation laws, y’all.

Finally, Paula Muran needs to grasp that her reputation was not damaged by my opinions of her comment to a rape victim. No sirree Bob. Her reputation was damaged because of the horrible rape shaming comment she made to a rape victim. People looked at this tweet:

Paula Muran is an asshat

and were disgusted by her comment. After shuddering in revulsion, they decided of their own free will that rape shaming and enlightenment were not compatible and perhaps Paula Muran was a horrible charlatan. They didn’t need my opinion to convince them. Her words and her words alone were enough to ‘damage her reputation’.

Paula Muran also eradicated any hope she had of convincing people that she had just badly phrased a sincere attempt to help Panayiota Bertzikis when she insisted that Panayiots Bertzikis was “proud” of being raped.

Paula Muran claims pride

Even if she could find a lawyer who would take her case, she would not win because I have made no false statements. Moreover, I would countersue and make her responsible for my legal fees. There would also be the delightful Streisand Effect wherein “an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet”.

In fact, if she had either 1) apologized for the initial tweet in a public forum or 2) at least had the sense not to engage in a debate about it then she wouldn’t have helped these posts spread so far and wide.

Paula Muran needs to learn that she is her own worst enemy.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, Feminism, irony set on "stun", life as I know it, rape culture, slut shaming, victim blaming | 5 Comments

Should I Sue Paula Muran for Defamation?

Some of my Twitter followers & friends have brought it to my attention that Paula Muran is tweeting about defamation lawsuits.

image

I am assuming the oh-so-subtle hints are aimed in my direction. If so, Paula Muran needs to know that to claim defamation of any kind certain conditions must be met. To wit:

“to prove it you usually have to show there’s been a statement that is all of the following:

  • published
  • false
  • injurious
  • unprivileged

Let’s look at each of these elements in detail.

1. First, the “statement” can be spoken, written, pictured, or even gestured. Because written statements last longer than spoken statements, most courts, juries, and insurance companies consider libel more harmful than slander.

2. “Published” means that a third party heard or saw the statement — that is, someone other than the person who made the statement or the person the statement was about. “Published” doesn’t necessarily mean that the statement was printed in a book — it just needs to have been made public through television, radio, speeches, gossip, or even loud conversation. Of course, it could also have been written in magazines, books, newspapers, leaflets, or on picket signs.

3. A defamatory statement must be false — otherwise it’s not considered damaging. Even terribly mean or disparaging things are not defamatory if the shoe fits. Most opinions don’t count as defamation because they can’t be proved to be objectively false. For instance, when a reviewer says, “That was the worst book I’ve read all year,” she’s not defaming the author, because the statement can’t be proven to be false.

4. The statement must be “injurious.” Since the whole point of defamation law is to take care of injuries to reputation, those suing for defamation must show how their reputations were hurt by the false statement — for example, the person lost work; was shunned by neighbors, friends, or family members; or was harassed by the press. Someone who already had a terrible reputation most likely won’t collect much in a defamation suit.

5. Finally, to qualify as a defamatory statement, the offending statement must be “unprivileged.” Under some circumstances, you cannot sue someone for defamation even if they make a statement that can be proved false. For example, witnesses who testify falsely in court or at a deposition can’t be sued. (Although witnesses who testify to something they know is false could theoretically be prosecuted for perjury.) Lawmakers have decided that in these and other situations, which are considered “privileged,” free speech is so important that the speakers should not be constrained by worries that they will be sued for defamation. Lawmakers themsleves also enjoy this privilege: They aren’t liable for statements made in the legislative chamber or in official materials, even if they say or write things that would otherwise be defamatory.”

Oh, and suing me for my opinion of her actions is not going to fly very well either.

However, Paula Muran has written in a public forum that I have lied about her and slandered her. It is demonstrably provable that 1) I didn’t lie and 2) because I didn’t lie it was not slander/libel. Thus, Paula Muran has made false and spurious allegations, resulting in the possible defamation of my character. I am talking to a lawyer. I’ll keep you posted.

PS – it is still my opinion that Paula Muran is a disgusting rape shamer and twatwaffle.

Posted in Feminism, I've been thinking too much, rape culture, shit I think y'all should know, slut shaming, victim blaming | Leave a comment