Suck It Up, Cupcake!

Listen sweetie, in the real world, there’s math. It pays the bills. If you flunk math and drop out of your math classes, you fail. Or, you sue the school.

You know, because they totally owe you that degree. You’re special because you’ve got a virtual cornucopia of disabilities.

Valdez’s disabilities include Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyscalculia, which is a mathematics learning disability, her attorney, Donald Harris, said Tuesday.

I’ve got a prescription for that. Take a big ol’ dose of BGP* followed by some GOY** and call me never.

Oh but she’s just misunderstood.  I mean the school isn’t even willing to work with her.

Barbara Vail, Rocky Mountain’s interim academic vice president, said the college values Valdez as a student, takes seriously its obligations to provide access for students with disabilities, and is doing everything it can to help her graduate.

She said the attorney representing the college, W. Anderson Forsythe, plans to file a request to delay the lawsuit while they work out a solution in which Valdez would be tutored by associate math professor Robyn Cummins, who is trained in teaching people with disabilities.

“We’re very serious that a degree from Rocky means something,” she said.

The school has offered Valdez extended time on exams, permission to record lectures, free tutoring and note taking, and to substitute the second of the two required math classes with a course on logic, Forsythe wrote in a court filing Monday.

I see, they just aren’t coddling hard enough. Methinks the logic course may be a tad challenging for this wayward scholar.

It’s just so very unfair. I mean, math is HARD. And completely useless to an artist!

Harris questioned the usefulness of the math courses for Valdez’s career plans of becoming a graphic artist.

“Nobody will say these general education classes are essential to a degree in art,” he said.

I bet your helicopter parents are so very proud.

Listen, I know you’ve been told all of your life that you’re a special snowflake, and I’m sure it’s all very true. You know what the guy that signs the checks doesn’t need? Special snowflakes.

Here’s a cold, hard truth about the world. Very few graphic artists make a living from their art. Very few artists of any kind can make money off of it. Art comes out of a passion and must be a thing you can’t not do whether it comes with a paycheck or not.

I majored in music***. You know what pays the bills? Math.

(HT to Instinct who seems to enjoy watching the smoke dance out my ears)

*Big Girl Panties

***Get Over Yourself

***That alone should qualify as a learning disability. 

 

Oh The Humanity!

My friend, Firehand, has directed us to David Thompson’s beautiful skewering of an oh-so-downtrodden drama princess. A woman with the misspelled name of a goddess.

I spelled it for her like a first-grader would recite her home phone number. “I-c-e-s-s. You know, like the goddess, but spelled like ice,” I explained. “What?” she asked again.

Methinks perhaps she should be upset with her ‘clever’ parents that saddled her with such a moniker.

Yes, a name is not only who we are but also what we represent or hope to represent. They’re more personal than blood types and as intimate as a kiss. In my case, the name Icess involved the 1978 eastern seaboard blizzard and two immigrant parents who thought they were clever. They were, though it took me nearly a lifetime to acknowledge it.

Such a poor, delicate thing. How hard life must be. If only your parents had been as dull as mine and given you a name that can be shortened to a ‘proper pronoun’.

In fairness to Starbucks, it’s not just baristas who are at fault but any restaurant or eatery requiring a name to add a personal touch to its service. Over the years I’ve been Jessica, Jenny, Alison and She-Ra, Princess of Power. Yes, there came a time, after a lifetime of having my name misspelled and mispronounced by teachers, servers and sometimes bosses, where becoming She-Ra was easier than being myself. Angela could get coffee at Starbucks with ease while Icess was still spelling her name out. Jessica was a staple at my local Chinese place even though Icess paid. And even Microsoft Word recognized Jenny as a proper pronoun, a proper person, over me; the red squiggle line was a constant reminder. [Emphasis mine. For the record, I spell it 'Jenni', which also earns the squiggly line. I prefer not to be a female ass.]

Of course, who am I to protest? I don’t have a name at all! I should write my own op-ed about what a burden it is to be so labeled. A name so common that I can’t even use it to reliably identify my own coffee. Why, there may be as many as four ‘Jennifer’s’ in a Starbucks on any given day!

But alas, I have not been educated by anyone so talented as Icess. Oh to be such an amazing writer as to craft a word picture of someone giving birth to piglets from her brow.

Silence and a farrowed eyebrow.

Hmm, what an interesting visual.

far·row 1  (fr)

n.

A litter of pigs.
v.far·rowedfar·row·ingfar·rows

v.tr.

To give birth to (a litter of pigs).

v.intr.

To produce a litter of pigs.
Far more creative than the usual, furrowed eyebrow.

fur·row  (fûr, fr)

n.

1. A long, narrow, shallow trench made in the ground by a plow.
2. A rut, groove, or narrow depression: snow drifting in furrows.
3. A deep wrinkle in the skin, as on the forehead.
v.fur·rowedfur·row·ingfur·rows

v.tr.

1. To make long, narrow, shallow trenches in; plow.
2. To form grooves or deep wrinkles in.

v.intr.

To become furrowed or wrinkled.
Way to use that Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing-Fiction*! (Hey Cap! Here’s a degree for you. Maybe someone should send her a book.)
My maiden name is one that when spelled out includes the words ‘no apostrophe’. That happens when your grandfather changed it upon immigrating from the Philippines. Especially funny when it meant that every teacher in elementary school was scanning for the little Irish girl when calling roll the first day of school only to find me. Oh the burdens and scars I bear!
Celebrate diversity by making sure everyone is the same! Rejoice in the unique by making it the norm!
*This woman has taught writing. I weep for her students.

132 cc’s of Bourbon, Stat

That might just start to improve my mood.

I got the results from my MRI. They came with a referral to a pain management doc.

F-ing fantastic.

Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not ticked that I now have yet another person in my life with alphabet soup after their name. I’m ticked at Dr. Skippy (not-his-real-name, if I remembered his real name, I’d spread it far and wide so that the masses could gaze on his incompetence.)

You see, years ago, I went to a GP that I loved.  He was an older gentleman with very little tact. He was blunt and always gave me the straight story.  He was also very, very good. He listened to me and wasn’t condescending.  He didn’t bother with lab tests and extraneous procedures where they weren’t warranted.  Seriously, if I come in and tell you I have strep, I have strep.  I know what it tastes and feels like please for the love of God don’t gag me with an over-sized q-tip to confirm with the lab. He knew his stuff and didn’t waste my time with crap.  Awesome.

And then he retired. And sold his practice, complete with patient portfolio, to Dr. Skippy.  Dr. Skippy had yet to take the training wheels off his shiny new medical degree when he took over. He had all kinds of sparkly new ideas on patient care too.

Bastard.

Oh! And he was a crusader against the eeeeeviiiiils of alcohol and tobacco.

Until recently, I’ve not really been one to avail myself of the services of the stethoscope stands on a regular basis.  So after a car accident in 2006, I headed over for my first visit (Michael had seen him previously and has his own story of this guy’s incompetence). But he had my x-rays from the ER, so I figured I’d give the new alphabet soup guy a shot.

Dr. Skippy: I see you haven’t been in recently.

Me: Nope. I’m generally pretty healthy. Haven’t really needed too visit.

Dr. Skippy: *eyebrow starting to twitch towards that look.  You know the one* Well since you’re here, I’d like to go ahead and update your file.

Me: k

<insert the usual med history questions here>

Dr. Skippy: Do you smoke?

Me: only if I’m on fire (yes, I make jokes with medical professionals. This is important in a minute)

Dr. Skippy: *notably not laughing or even smiling.  More eyebrow twitching* Uh huh.

Me: No.  I don’t smoke

Dr. Skippy: Beer, Wine, or Whiskeeeeeey? (this was said with all the hell-fire and brimstone of any good prohibitionist.  Seriously, I think there was spittle flying)

Me: Well not all in the same glass

Dr. Skippy: *horrified look*

Me: Yes, I’ve been known to enjoy all three. In moderation.

Dr. Skippy: *and here’s the dripping condescension* And what do you consider ‘moderation?’ (complete with air quotes)

Me: Abstemiously. (Yes, I’m messing with him now.)

Dr. Skippy: *blank look*

Me: *to myself* Oh crap! He’s stripped a gear in the vocabulary center of his brain

–conversation not verbatim, close, but not exact–

Dr. Skippy  proceeded to tell me all about the dangers of alcoholism and how it’s really better to just avoid it. blah blah blah

So we finally get around to talking about my x-rays. He gave me a copy of the findings report from the ER and pointed out how the spasms were causing my neck to be pulled straight rather than settled in the natural curve and gave me a prescription for ibuprofen.

I pointed out that right there in the ER doc’s notes, they saw signs of early degenerative disc disease in my neck. I asked if I should be concerned and what should be done.  He told me not to worry about it and that there really wasn’t anything that could be done until it got worse.

Ya know what? If we’d done something back then, I wouldn’t be having the problem I am today.  And yes, there were lots of things that could have been done. You see, that degenerative disc is now an extruded disc. Gee, thanks Dr. Skippy.

So now I have a pain management doc.  Just got off the phone with his office where I was scheduling a cortisone injection in my spine. Which is apparently quite the production.

And my tree is broken. And my garden is beat up. And I’m being re-organized at work.

And where is that bourbon I ordered!

Clint Eastwood Doesn’t Sugar Coat It

So Roberta has a quote up from one of my most favorite Hollywood figures

 let’s spend a little more time leaving everybody alone.

Amen to that! So I clicked through the links, and I found the context. And damn. Yeah.  What he said.

“These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage?” Eastwood opined. “I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.”

“They go on and on with all this bullshit about ‘sanctity’ — don’t give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”

You see, that’s the thing about fighting for liberty.  You want everybody to have the chance to have the life they want.  Not the one you want for them.  You don’t even get to offer a pre-approved list of lives they get to pick from.  And I’m not making any promises anyone will get the life they want.  I just want them to have the chance to build it for themselves.

This is my problem with the social conservatives.  They pretend to be on the side of liberty until someone wants to exercise their personal liberty in a way that offends their high moral character. <insert eyeroll>

You know what?  I’m Christian, straight, and married to a man.  I believe the homosexual lifestyle is sinful. You know what else? I believe you should have the rights to live in whatever kind of sin you choose just as long as it isn’t hurting me and I’m not paying for it.  And honestly, the only person’s sexuality I’m concerned with beyond my own, is the person I’m having sex with.  We can still be friends if you’re dancing a different horizontal mambo.

I’m sick of politicians wrapping themselves in some sanctimonious cloak of Judeo Christian values.  Jesus didn’t come to pass a law. He came to save the sinners. The lost.  The queers.  The fags.  And me.

Ode To The Office Perfumer

I’m sure your scent was lovely

When you smelled it at the store

With it, you felt quite comely

As you headed out the door

And I know that smoke was needed

For the dreaded morning commute

And so the call you heeded

To reapply, lest the scent dilute

So now the fragrance is wafting

Into my cube of real estate

Don’t mind the incessant coughing

While in your scent, you marinate

Oh how your heady aroma

Permeates the recirculated air!

Does it carry carcinoma?

(Working that into a poem is rare)

Persevere my smelly co-worker

For your scent is quite unmatched

Don’t mind this rhyming lurker

Nor the plans she may have hatched

 

 

Violent Rhetoric Warning

So we were hit with the OMG world is ending blizzard storm of Epic suckage. Just like everyone else. Ain’t global warming grand? Yep, I have pictures.

Here is the big snowdrift in the front yard.

The invisible street

You can see the others on Facebook.

It’s about 10 degrees with a wind chill of -10. Also, there is snow in my garage. The same garage that hasn’t been opened to the outside in years. It got in through the garage doors and the side door.

But Jen, why did you even go out in your uninsulated garage that is full of nothing but unfinished projects and jagged sharp things?

So I could unsuccessfully try to determine why the central heat is going RRRRR clunk RRRRR clunk and not blowing any warm air into the house.

Dear Murphy,
If I ever meet you, I’m going to beat you almost, but not quite to death. Then, I am going to light you on fire and place you in my living room so I can stay warm. I will delight in your screams.
*For those concerned, we really will be just fine. Just not exactly thrilled with the furnace situation

12 Years

Jennifer,

The last twelve years of marriage have been a wild ride. I’m having a lot of fun with you. Even on the occasions when times were not so much fun, I’m glad you were there with me. I love you so much more now than I did when we got married (even though it was a lot back then), and I’m looking forward to growing old with you. Thank you for coming with me on all of my crazy adventures! You make the best company of anybody I know. It’s wonderful to live with someone that gets my jokes and knows my quirks. You ought to know that I’m your biggest fan. I love your kind heart and your quick wit. I love that you envision structure and design the way I do. I like it when we are of one mind on a subject, and I’m thrilled when we differ on issues. On top of all that, you’re beautiful and sexy! I love that you want to hang around with me. I’m looking forward to whatever we’ve got in our future together. When the zombies attack, I want you and your shotgun at my back. Any swanky parties I’m invited to, I want you to be my date. That’s an open invitation on either of those scenarios, or any conceivable thing in between. So in less than a week, we will have been married for twelve years. Would you care to join me for the next twelve? I love you so incredibly much!

Michael

Open Letter

To You*,

I haven’t seen you in some time.  I hear you’ve been upset.  I understand why.  Your life sucks right now and has for some time.  You continually blame other people but the fault is your own.  You use people in an attempt to bandage your own wounds.  You think the world owes you something.  Maybe it does.  But that thing is a swift kick in the ass.

I have watched you destroy yourself for most of my life.  I have forgiven your resentment of me when all I’ve done is not be an utter failure.  You resent it that I’ve done something with my life.  You know what?  You had every opportunity to be respectable.  You failed.  I’ve been too kind to just tell you to buck up and deal with it.

No one made you drop out of high school.  Steal cars.  Drive drunk.  No one forced you to use drugs.  You and you alone made those decisions.  That’s your bed.  Lie in it.

And then I heard that you hit her.  I don’t care what your excuses might be.  You of all people should know better.  You are bigger and stronger.  No, she did not have it coming.  Any man that would hit someone weaker than themselves is not worthy to be called a man.  You are a schmuck.  A scoundrel.  You aren’t worthy to wipe the mud off my shoes.

She loves you even though I can’t figure out why anymore.  Sure she could leave.  She hasn’t.  She has other connections, and she thinks she needs you.  You are supposed to be the stability in her life.  Ha!  She’s stupid for continuing to believe that.  Probably even for getting involved with you in the first place.

You are of the lowest order of human beings.  You who I once classified as one of the kindest people I knew.  I’m done.  I’ll not spare another thought worrying about your well-being.  When you raised your hand against her, you proved that you are not worthy of an ounce of my concern.  Nor even my pity.

I know that it isn’t the first time either.  I should have written you off long ago.  But I didn’t.  And the truth of the matter is that I won’t ever, really.  Because I have far more loyalty and class than you will ever muster, and you and I will always be connected whether I like it or not.  And so I will pray for you.  And I will pray for her that she gets out and finds better than you.  Being alone would be a big step up for her.  And I will pray that no other woman is ever charmed by you.

You lost my respect a long time ago.  You want it back?  Earn it.  Somehow, I just don’t believe you have it in you.  Don’t come looking for my sympathy.  It has run out.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

*Yes, the You is referring to a very specific person that I do not wish to identify.  And the only way I could get him to read it would be to hand deliver the letter.  I’m not going to waste the energy and instead will share it on the internet.  Besides, unfortunately he isn’t the only one to whom the sentiment applies.