Saturday, September 27, 2008


So who else watched the debate last night? I was pretty underwhelmed by the section on the current economic crisis. Obama had ample opportunity to go for McCain's throat for his lack of attention to regulations and enforcement that might have prevented this, but he wasn't aggressive enough in my opinion.
The second half of the debate on foreign policy was a little bit better but not much. I did think, though, that for the first time the country really got to see a good contrast between the two candidates, particularly on the issue of diplomacy with our "enemies". It was clear that McCain will continue a practice that even the Bush administration is backing away from- that of not even sending anyone to the table for diplomatic efforts unless these countries do exactly as we say in advance. That is just a continuation of the bullying tactics that Bush and crew have tried for the last 8 years and are now backing away from, however slightly. On the issue of Iraq and Afghanistan, again McCain was stuck in the status quo. Obama got it right when he said that Afghanistan is the front line in the war on terror and that as long as Bin Laden and the Taliban are still in existence our overriding focus on Iraq is misguided. Yes, finish our business in Iraq AND in Afghanistan. This isn't an OR.
Now, on a more shallow note, did anyone else notice that McCain holds his hands like a corpse or his weird little tongue darting in and out of his mouth thing? That was just plain creepy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, And One More Thing While I'm Already Pissed Off

To you social conservatives who elected this administration based solely on the issues of gay marriage and overturning Roe v. Wade, how about those issues now? Have they gotten the attention you felt they deserved? Or did you just get snowed again because you believed these rich white guys are just like you? They had no intention of pursuing these issues because all along they knew the states and the courts were well positioned to handle them and they were off the hook. And while you were ignoring the issues that really matter (economy, your personal income taxes, eroding U.S. reputation around the world, war and more war), how much did the gays getting married REALLY impact your precious family? Yeah, you may disagree with gays getting married or Roe v. Wade, but is it really enough on which to base your vote? I hope all you smug, selfish bastards are waking up and seeing that there are issues far more important than your social values when picking an administration that is supposed to lead the nation to peace and prosperity- all of us, not just you, not just a handful of ultra-rich white guys who, even after this economic disaster is over, will still be laughing all the way to the bank, if there is one left. Wake up! Wake up!

Not Surprising

Leave it to the Republican party to first get us into this financial meltdown by letting their cronies on Wall Street run wild for the last 10 years, but now they try to get John McCain out of his first debate by stalling the bailout package. I am no fan of this bailout. Not at all. No matter what cut you take at it, the average American taxpayer will be getting screwed for generations. John McCain is a chicken shit who has done NOTHING to promote sound business practices through regulation. No. He has stood by since getting elected in 1982 and watched all this happen. Some maverick. I guess Sarah Palin did say it best when asked 3 times by Katie Couric on Wednesday about what John McCain has done specifically to promote stronger regulation of big business. Her response, after much side-stepping- "I'll have to go look for some specifics and bring them back to you." As of this morning, she hadn't gotten back to Katie. What a surprise. Lies, lies and more lies. What puzzles me even more is that almost half of Americans will buy the lies, particularly if they come in a folksy package or if they are told in the context of "9-11!" or "U.S.A!" or "I'm a war hero!" GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not Just Like You

Okay, I can understand that it is normal and maybe even "mainstream America" to ask God for strength and perseverance and guidance and peace when you're running for political office, but I draw the line at asking for:

1. Campaign financing

2. Protection from witchcraft (???)

So, for all the folks who say they're voting for McCain because Sarah Palin is just like them, get a load of this. She is not just like you. This is not mainstream American religion. This is a perversion of religion into a self serving pile of crap. And, witchcraft (around 1:44)? Are you frickin' kidding me?

Monday, September 22, 2008

How Did She Know?

I recently ordered some funky crafting supplies from the groovy little online shop in Victoria, British Columbia called ArtChix Studio owned by a fabulous woman named Helga. So today, the package arrives, which Curt picks up at the door and reads aloud the address to me:

To the beautiful....
Michael G
Golden Valley, MN 55422

Let's see. Will I order from Helga again? Again, and again, and again. I heart Helga.

A Perfect Sunday

The weather here has been gorgeous the last week or so and yesterday was no exception. The day started at a cool 55 degrees, but perfect to go the farmer's market early. There I ran into my friends Donald & Mark who I just don't get to see enough. I found some late season rhubarb (YES!), some delicious bushel boy tomatoes and two bouquets that had the most amazing dahlias I've seen all season, all while sucking down one big cup of coffee and going back for a refill on my way out. Fabulous.

Around noon, MNMom and youngest offspring L showed up for an afternoon of fun. We started out at the Edina Grill for lunch, then headed over to the lakes for some fun. We ended up in the Lakewood Cemetery mausoleum after a failed attempt to see the memorial chapel there. The mausoleum was a little odd and we stumbled upon what appeared to be a wall of Margarets. Cool. This is the memorial chapel, by the way. The images are all done in 1/4" tiles. Astounding.

While driving around we also saw this fabulous bumper sticker. I'm mean, really, who else could Cheney choose as his running mate if he were to run? Really. A little later, MNMom, offspring L and I hopped into a canoe and paddled from Lake Calhoun to Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake and back. It was marvelously relaxing and despite what MNMom says, my squealing like a girl was just barely audible. Just barely. Here I must say what a delightful little thing young L has grown into. For being only 9 years old, she was the perfect companion for the day- conversational, funny and cute as a bugs ear, and she didn't wiggle around in the canoe much- which would have caused some mighty squealing.

After canoeing we set off for some Sebastian Joe's ice cream, followed by a trip to Trader Joe's, then back home where we sent the ladies on their way. The perfect day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Can't Say I Don't Have a Hot Ass

My beloved Pilates instructor Annie recently moved on to greener pastures. Not death- the ultimate green pasture I suppose if you play your cards right- no she moved on to a studio where she could actually make some money. Who can blame her? So, the gym hired this new guy to cover Tuesday & Thursday classes. My sense about this guy is that he is a personal trainer who attended a few weekend seminars to get certified then calls himself a Pilates instructor. I just don't get the sense he did Pilates before getting certified, because he can't articulate about alignment and which muscle groups should be engaged like someone who's been practicing for a while. Not to rip on him, but, you know, he's just not Annie, Pilates goddess.
Anyway, the guy teaches a version of Pilates called Peak Pilates. Its faster paced and more vigorous than the Pilates we were previously doing. This isn't bad, but it goes so fast that I'm not sure I'm engaging the right muscle groups before starting the movements and fear injury. Oh, and let's not forget the increased sweating. I used to sweat in class, but now I drip sweat. My legs get so sweaty that I can barely hold on to them in our "tree" exercise. My hands just slide right down my legs. Crazy sexy, I know.
So, last night at the end of class, the instructor had us all come to the wall for a final spine & hamstring stretch. The wall though happens to be a mirror. We were instructed to keep our tailbones on the mirror while rolling our spine down slowly until our hands hung over our feet, circle our arms in both directions then roll back up. Ah. It felt great. I was all calm and relaxed as I stepped away from the mirror to go clean up my reformer. Then, horror of horrors, I turn back to look at the mirror to find a GIANT, STEAMY, SWEATY ASS PRINT on the mirror. Not just the outline of the ass but CRACK and everything. I was mortified- as I'm sure were the other dainty flowers who take the class with me. I debated, do I see how quickly it will evaporate or do I rush to get a towel to wipe it off, which might smear the mirror? What to do? What to do? I chose option two and dove on a stack of towels and rushed to the mirror to wipe of the hideous imprint of my ass. Will the indignities ever cease?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Splain to Me Something

Why is it that the government is bailing out financial institutions, for reasons directly or indirectly related to the mortgage crisis, when these same institutions refuse to renegoatiate terms with borrowers who have the capacity to pay? Is it better to let the debts default? Can the lenders collect insurance on the bad debt?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

(Thanks Al for the title of this post.) I just find the lies that the McCain/Pailin ticket will tell amazing. What is even more amazing are the American's who will just buy their crap without even trying to find out the truth. Here's some truth about Sarah Palin fighting earmarks.

I'll Do My Part

Thanks to MNMom for turning me on to this. Here is a little longer clip of the Alaska women against Palin rally. MNMom is so right that this was not covered anywhere.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Resistant to Evolution

So, here a few little other drawings that I found in Decorah this weekend, proving that my sense of humor has always put me squarely in the category of "sick, disturbed, juvenile turd." Remarkably, I still find these funny. These were in a notebook for the Living In a Family Environment home economics class I took (for an easy A) my senior year in high school. My naughty friend Suzette's handwriting was mixed in with these doodles, but I'll leave out her doodled commentary because she has two impressionable teenagers. (Hi Suzette!) Anyway, these were in the middle of the sexually transmitted disease notes. Here's my idea for marketing the by-products of a nasty yeast infection:

Here is my interpretation of the herpes virus. Notice my never ending preoccupation with evil clowns?

And lastly, a deeply moving piece about a symptom of gonorrhea:

Trip Home

I went to Decorah this weekend to clear out some of the things that my siblings and I had divided up between each other. Part of this included clearing out boxes from my old bedroom that had been lingering since junior high and high school. Most of these should have been tossed a long time ago, but I'm glad that they were there for me to look through.
While I was going through these boxes of old notebooks and paper, I came across the little pencil sketch below of my mom's rocking chair that I did in an 8th grade art class. I teared up a little bit when I found it because the rocking chair was always my favorite piece of furniture in the house. It isn't an expensive piece of furniture or ornate in any way, but some of my earliest memories are about that chair. When I was little, I had recurring nightmares. I know I've described them to some of you before and my memory of them is still sharp today. Anyway, I would often wake up crying. My mom would come get me out of my bed and take me to the rocking chair until I was ready to go back to bed. Sometimes she would pour me a glass of milk and give me a cookie to help calm me down. These are very sweet memories for me.
I also remember once when I was about 4, I stayed up in bed drawing with a pencil and paper and stabbed myself in the leg with the pencil. I wasn't a quiet naughty boy and started crying. I remember being certain that my mom would be furious with me, but she came and got me from bed and rocked me in this chair until I stopped crying. She was a great mom and I miss her every day.
So, what happened to the old rocking chair? After my dad died this summer, my siblings and I started talking about things in the house that we wanted. I mentioned that I would like the rocking chair and told them some of my memories of the chair. Very kindly, they all agreed that I could have it.

So, here it is in its new home. I took off the old vinyl seat covering and replaced it with a pretty fabric. It has become a little retreat for me when I want to remember my folks, or need to just find a different mental place. It is a well loved chair and my hope one day is to pass it on to one of my nieces or nephews when I am gone to carry on the memory of my mom and dad.

Mom's Rocker

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We're Having A Heat Wave...

Today at work I sat in a meeting with my pal A, a woman in her early 60's, directly behind our co-worker B, a woman in her early 50's. Without much warning, B's sits up and takes off her blouse. Mind you she had on a sort of spaghetti string camisole or t-shirt thing, but her bra straps were hanging out over her shoulders and across her back. It wasn't a good look for anyone. Just as quickly as she removed her blouse, B was fanning herself quite vigorously. A then leans over to me with and announces "HOT FLASH!" with a big smirk on her face. B didn't hear her through all the red skin, sweat and fanning. All I could think to myself was thank god I don't have to deal with:
  1. Bleeding every month for 30-40 years
  2. Going through menopause which might cause me to disrobe in public (everyone is happy for me in this regard)
I know women don't have any choice in the matter, but damn, I don't think I could do it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Last night was Fall Fiesta! It was a marvelous time. We had just over 50 people over the course of the evening, and despite the rain that came about two hours in, everyone seemed to have a great time. The hard thing with a party that size is that you don't get to visit with everyone you want to for any good amount of time. So, that aspect is always a bit of a bummer for me, but the fact that I get to stuff our friends with good food and drink and see them having a good time is worth it.

Curt and I promised ourselves that we would take lots of pictures. Of course, like last year, I think we took about six. Not so many. Here are a few:

This is my workout pal Jennifer and her husband Rob attending their first Fall Fiesta. Ole!
This is my friend Deb who is a former co-worker from my years at the glue factory. I hear from her every day because she runs a trivia game via e-mail, but we only seem to manage to get together once a year or so. I adore her, so need to change that behavior.
These are Michael, Marina and Scott. They are dear friends that Curt has known for over 20 years and I've known since I met Curt. Hola, amigos!
These are two of my cycling buds, Randy and Jody. I've dragged my big ass across Wisconsin on a bicycle for the last three years with these two. Randy, who is uber-cyclist, climbs the big hills only to go back down and do them again. Each time up, he passes me. Humiliating.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Do Your Civic Duty

Please participate in the highly scientific polls at right.

You Must Go Watch This

My blog pal Kirelimel has a brilliant segment from John Stewart demonstrating the ease with which Republicans change their tunes for their own convenience. Sickening really.

Oooh, girls, don't you be getting all nasty with my Isis!

Week 1 of America's Next Top Model revealed a whole mess of misfit girls all wanting to be the prettiest of the pretty. Boring.. except for my Isis! As you recall, Isis is a male to female transgender person who is quite interesting and pretty. She, of all the contestants, is probably the kindest (so far) and clearly has a little life experience under her belt, which makes her interesting. This in contrast to Clarke, or Bitchfight Barbie, as I call her. Clarke is a 19 year old blond piece of work- nice to the other girls until they turn their back. She kept bitching about Isis that a "drag queen" (excuse me?) shouldn't be allowed to be in the contest. However, Bitchfight Barbie was humbled when Isis had the 2nd best picture of the week and Clarke had the 12th best picture out of 14. Hello? Who's pretty now, Beeyotch?? Other girls were a little nasty with Isis too. Shame on them.
OH! OH! And the best part is.... Isis is pre-op with full male equipment and everything. You would never know it though by the way she paraded around in front of the judges in a tiny bikini. Now that takes balls! (Pun intended.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

O Mighty Isis!

She's HOT! She's a TRANNY! And if she's anything like all the past contestants, she's a bit of a MESS! HOT! TRANNY! MESS! And she's coming to a television near you tonight on the fabulous 2 hour premier of America's Next Top Model! I'm so excited! I know I said I might never blog again about ANTM, but now that we have a HTM on ANTM I might just change my mind. Oh, and yes, her name is indeed Isis. Why don't trannies pick a nice name like Julie or Beatrice? It seems that many end up as Kitten-Marie or Krotchetta. So much for trying to blend. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And We're Back

We made our way back home today after 5 lovely days at Leech Lake. Yesterday, we spent the day again doing a whole lot of nothing- took a hike, swimming, reading. In the late afternoon, we went to the local casino where I won just over $300 on the Village People Party slot machine- hauntingly appropriate. In the evening, we had a nice camp fire followed by a deeply competitive game of chicken foot dominoes, then a quick game of up and down the river. I didn't win any of the games, but my wallet was fat with $20 bills from the casino, which I reminded the Motley Crue of at each opportunity.
Tomorrow it's back to work for a short week. Saturday is Fall Fiesta and we're expecting about 50 people, so I'm taking half a day Thursday and all day Friday to prepare. It's a lot of work to prepare, but the evening of friends and good food completely blots out any recall of sweat equity.
Off to bed I go. Hasta manana.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Imagine the Conversations... the room full of Republicans vetting the Alaska governor as running mate who knew that Sarah Palin's daughter was 5 months pregnant.

"I know premarital sex is bad, but couldn't we use her to show someone making the right choice? You know, getting married and having the baby."

"Yeah. Like the movie Juno, except different."

"Yeah. I think this is a positive thing in the long run."

"Yeah. Won't make us look so rigid."

"Now what do we do about that signed abstinence pledge her pastor is about to produce for the media?"

"I don't know. Those don't seem to be working so well, but we can't let anyone know."

"How much do you think the pastor needs to stay quiet?"

"Well, everyone has their price. But I bet we can get the pregnant youngster to sign an afidavit saying her signature was forged."

"Yeah. That'll keep that pastor quiet."

"Yeah. Yeah. Okay. What about that 4 month old with Down's Syndrome? We've got to milk that somehow."


Leech Lake Vacation: Day 3

Another fabulously relaxing day here at Leech Lake- a whole lot of doing very little. Perfection.
Andreas, Marina and I took a morning boat ride in his gorgeous 1957 wood boat to go loon spotting. Marina has lived in Minnesota for over 25 years but has never seen a loon. We succeeded in her first loon viewing. She is now fully self actualized and ready to move on to the next phase of her life.

While I finished reading two books that I had started a few weeks ago (Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin and When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris), the Motley Crue took a hike (literally) and ended by swimming. Here you see Curt and Andreas acting out the scene in an action film where they are blown clear of a massive explosion. I'll PhotoShop in some flames behind them a little later.

Say hello to our little friends. Left to right, they are Willy and Billy. These two found the resort owners on their own as tiny, sick puppies last year, were nursed back to health and are now the sweetest things. I think they know they've got a good thing going. They get free run of the resort when the owners are home, get to chase deer, run into the lake when ducks get too close and will sit and shake in exchange for a belly rub. Billy can also run at 27 miles per hour and has shown us this trick twice as we've driven away from the resort. Aren't they cute?

This is the view every evening from just outside our cabin door. Can't get much better than this, eh?