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So, every Sunday morning, I read three things - Cake Wrecks (dear god!), Post Secrets (awww) and Go Fug Yourself (Oh My DEAR GOD!).  Dear true friends who read this lj, I need you all to promise me something:

If I am ever rich and famous and wearing amazingly gorgeous clothes, you must SWEAR to me - on a stack of whatever you would like to swear on (Chuthulu's Tales, Bible, your personal diary/trapperkeeper with "I <3 Michael Shanks" written all over it) - that you, as a dear and trusted friend, will never let me end up a Fug!  Please, for the love of all, bitchslap me into next week if you see me wearing something out in public that I shouldn't.  Like a bra with no shirt.  Or hole-y (not holy) tights as a fashion accessory.  Or something that Paris Hilton might wear.  Or, you know, a pantsuit!

No, seriously, swear - swear now.  To bitchslap me.  With love.  The dear love of friends who say, "Sweetie, you're 40 and fabulously famous and wealthy.  You had Mark Harmon AND Paul Gross AND Gillian Anderson tell you you are a MILF.  Seriously, you've hit a good spot in your life.  Let's not ruin that with faux - and hideous - ideas on fashion, m'kay?  You can buy tights that don't have holes and you are too fucking short to wear a pantsuit.  And yes, those are adorable breasts you have but why not let the world wonder how cute they are, okay?  Instead of proving that breasfeeding - if not followed-up on by a boob job - makes them sag.  No, they don't sag much!  Never.  Just a tiny bit.  It's fine."

I don't know that I'd ever be a "Well Played, LeighBC!" but just help me never be a fug!  (and the no "well-played" would likely be because I'm pretty traditional in clothing, not that it's "bad clothing.")

Thank you.

(who is going to end up famous due to D'Con and Weekend Justice podcasts, right?  Right?  I mean, that's why I'm doing this...isn't it?  Oh fuck, it's not?  Dammit!)
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Many of you know me in real life and you know that, for years, I dabbled in politics. I thought about it as a career (working behind the scenes, not running) until I had one to many "Sweetie, go get the boys some coffee" and "Well, yes, pro-choice is important but we need to be realistic" comments to make me comfortable.

Basically, I was in a frothing rage and there is only so much of that I could take.  Plus, the thick skin you have to have to work in politics, even behind the scenes, is huge. I didn't have it.  I still don't.

That being said, the Palin resignation yesterday really makes me go "Hmmm."  There are many reasons for my confusion - she's not even a full-term, one-term Governor, there was nothing explicitly being done right now (a'la Sanford) that made resignation a reasonable avenue - but I keep coming back to some questions/ruminations I had during the McCain/Palin run that make me wonder more.

The rest of this is complete speculation.  I've been reading things obsessively since the resignation announcement and those news stories/blogs have made me ponder more.  These are MY speculations.

<b>1.  It's going to come out that Trig is not her biological child.</b>

I don't know where this first came out.  I remember seeing pictures of her at what would have been ~7 months pregnant thinking, "Um, she's not really showing."  I have a sister and friends who have had more than one child - wives' tale or not, women show "quicker" in second and subsequent pregnancies.  Trig would have been her 4th child (correct?) and that would mean showing pretty darn quickly.

As a Southerner, I know of instances where grandparents raised a grandchild as "their own."  Sometimes the mother was known, sometimes not (in reality, it was usually known and not spoken of out loud - that's how Southern rules work, dear children).  Less and less is it not known who the mother is - mostly because it's just harder to keep a secret like that.  Girls don't get an illness for six months (*cough mono cough*) and aren't seen in public.  Mothers of multiple children don't just show up two weeks to a month before the end of the pregnancy with a small squishy bump (*cough bad clothing/pillow cough*)

See where I'm going with this? 

Again, let's put it on the line here - no matter what, Trig IS here and this family IS taking care of him.  I worked with special needs families in my previous work life and know how difficult that can be.  I hate to say they are to be "commended" for this because, well, that sounds really patronizing.  All families are to be commended for raising children, special needs or not. 

But this story being confirmed (and do remember, she never released her medical records during the campaign) would seriously damage her - both as an 'image' and in the fact of the depth and breadth of the lie.

<b>2.  There's more to the "Todd is a secessionist" story.</b>

The Palins can try to spin this all they want but the facts remain.  Todd was a member of the Alaskan political party that worked towards secession, he was a member for over five years (I think it's closer to seven), The Palins gave money to the party and she spoke at a party rally.

Those are facts.  They can try the "he didn't mean to check that box," "we gave money to lots of different political groups," et al spin that they want but the above are the facts.

I think it's also a fact, from a law around Abraham Lincoln's time that no state may secede from the Union.  You try, you'll be in a civil war.  But, hey, what do I know - I was just a History minor, not a major, in college.

There have continued to be questions on how close Todd is to this group now and has been in the recent past.  No one seems to really know.  What I do know is that usually the people you hunt with on a regular basis for years are the people you continue to associate with even when hunting season is over.  

Well, unless you hit them in the face during quail hunting...or sometimes even then.

<b>3.  There is a political scandal about to break.  It's big and it's going to be messy.</b>

There are certain scandals one can live with and get through.  A married governor who pushes "family values" and "traditional marriage salvation" can be caught in an affair and not resign.   A political figure can have numerous ethical complaints, pay back any money that should have not been spent and go forward.  Right, wrong, irritating or not, this is what happens in politics.

You can even push the "This is a private matter and we will handle it ourselves" line and go forward.

To resign - barely half-way through a first-term - is unheard of, especially when there's nothing but innuendo and rumours of investigations occurring.   To resign over something like that, well, you have to know whatever is coming is going to be disastrous.  Titanic-level disastrous.  To a point that you will go to jail and may lose money for your family.  The only time you take this type of political road is to head off an impeachment and/or indictment. 

But what could be that bad?   I'm racking my brains here and...yeah, no clue.  Kick-backs?  Impeachment would be embarrassing.  More ethical complaints re: travel, etc?  Likely not even impeachable but would have to pay back the money.  Would hurt second term chances so to not run for a second term but resignation is a bit of a drastic step. 

No, I can't think of anything that would be an iceberg here.  I may not be thinking big enough  - perhaps the kick-backs were part of the oil $ that went to each state citizen for some type of "turn your head and don't look at the environmental damage" thing?  I don't know.  I'm waiting to see what it could be though.

<b>4.  She realized that she just does not have the intelligence, stick-to-it-ness, resolution, personality (pick one or many) to be in politics.</b>

This could be it.  She was hit, many times, for her...glossed-over, only high-level understanding (see, I can be nice!) of major political issues.  A spunky haircut and style coupled with a wink were not enough to get her enough votes.  And, as I said above, the thick-hide you have to have -- and your family has to have, to an extent -- to be in politics, especially national politics, is considerable. 

Maybe this is just it.  She doesn't have it, even though she thought she did.  I'm not sure I believe this, reading information on how she got to be mayor and then Governor (lots of knives in lots of backs - and those people talk!) but the national stage is different.  Maybe the Letterman joke was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I don't know.  All of the above is speculation but there's something else here.  It will come out -- but this is a holiday weekend, so I'll be expecting something on Monday.  How about you?
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On Sunday, I went with friends A and K to the Korean Sauna/Spa near my house.  It was amazing!  I am hoping to be able to go once a month. 

An Asian (I think this is a Korean-style sauna) sauna/spa is very different than an American one.  I want to share the experience with you because it was HEAVENLY!

First, when you go, you pay $25 to get in.  This gives you unlimited access to all the areas and is for up to 24 hours.  When we got there, we were quickly grabbed by an attendant who could, I believe, see the "newbies" flashing above our head.  She showed us the areas and gave us some tips and hints.

The first tip is, if you go to one, take your shoes off before you even go into the locker room.  You get a code and two keys for lockers so it's not hard or difficult to do so.  It does take you a second to remember where your shoes are when you are leaving but it's okay. :)  You have to walk past the shoe lockers as you leave.

The locker rooms are single sex.  There are public areas that are co-ed.  They are very separate.

And that's a good thing because when you are in the locker room and the "wet rooms" you are completely nude.  Au naturale.  Buck.  Naked. 

Now, it might bother you to be nude in front of people you don't know.  We knew it was coming so we weren't surprised.  I think a few other people were.  But it was really very comfortable.  After a while, you really don't even notice it.

The locker rooms lead to a "wet room;" there are three whirlpools here - hot!, warm-hot and cold.  And by cold, I'm talking ice cold.  There are minerals in the two hot/warm whirlpools and the cold water is supposed to tighten pores.  All I can say is that it was really really really freaking cold.  The steam sauna is heavenly, just like I like them - lots of steam and very very hot.  I could feel my face loving it and the aromatherapy from the herbs in the room (there as a bowl of herbs in the room) was lovely.  There is a dry sauna as well and it was great - very very hot (like a dry sauna should be) but not uncomfortable.  I couldn't stay in there as long as the steam room but it was great.

There is also a small infra-red sitting area.  We had no clue what it did but it felt nice and warm.

One thing about the wet areas, other than the nudity, is the attention to cleanliness.  We read reviews prior so we knew but the expectation is to shower before doing anything.  There are showers there (open), standing and sitting ones, and you are expected to wash yourself down.  If you go from sauna/steam room to whirlpool you are expected to wash down.  We weren't sure on the etiquette re: moving from the different whirlpools but we did do quick rinse-offs between them most of the time (I think between the cold and warm one we didn't - mostly because it was freezing and we were desperate to warm up :) ).

After you are done in the wet area, then you go into the public areas.  When you check-in they give you a shorts/t-shirt "uniform" for the public areas.  You wear them - everyone does.  They are NOT flattering but who cares?  Unlike many other spas or fitness areas (there is a workout room there), this isn't about being seen.  It's about the experience.

The public area has different saunas - individual rooms with different themes/building materials.  Regardless of your thinking on aromatherapy, new age crystals, et al, you have a choice of a Jade, Charcoal, Rock Salt, Jewel (same jewels are in the steam room), Gold/Silver, Ice and ??? (I'm forgetting one - dagnabit!) Saunas.  Each one is made of different materials (bet you can figure that out, eh?) and they all are at different temps.  Hottest room was the Rock Salt and the Ice Room is very cool.  We went into each room and they all felt different.  My favs were the Rock Salt and Charcoal because I really like the heat.  A really liked the Ice Room and K, I think, liked both the charcoal and the Ice.  Next time, I plan to spend more time in the Rock Salt and Charcoal room and, perhaps, take a nap in the Jade Room.

What was interesting about the public areas was that people were sleeping when we arrived.  They have pillows and blankets for your use and that's kinda nice (pillows can be taken in the saunas as well).   It's an interesting phenomena to see. 

They also have a Korean restaurant in the public area and a public pool (around room temp).  We didn't take advantage of those but I'm planning to soon! :)

The highlight of the experience, however, was the body scrub.  They give massage services throughout the spa - some in the wet areas and some in the public areas.  There is foot massage, accupressure and regular massage you can sign up for in the public areas.  In the wet areas you have full body massages (and remember, you're nude).  We all decided to do a body scrub and OMG!  It was AWESOME!  I thought my skin was soft; I thought I exfoliated myself pretty well with my exfoliating scrubs and whatnot.  I was wrong!  My skin feels awesome and it's two days later.  Every bit of my body (except face but they did scrub behind my ears) was scrubbed.  There is also a hair/head scrub included.  It felt just wonderful.  It was firm and scratchy-exfoliating but not harsh.  And when I say every bit but my face?  I MEAN every bit.  As I said to K and A, there are bits that doctors haven't touched at they scrubbed.

Note to self:  Remember to take your own body lotion.  I had dry patches (me - the queen of oily skin!) after the body scrub.

Understand that this is a different culture and a different type of massage.  And no, any guys reading, I'm not talking about a rub-and-tug here.  The three of us talked about it - it was matter-of-fact ("this is what you do to get clean/massaged") without being clinical.  You are moved in different positions so every part of you -- EVERY PART -- gets scrubbed but it's not in a bad, demeaning or offensive way.  

All of the services do cost extra but, from an Atlanta perspective?  It's a great deal.  The foot massage is 30 minutes for $20 and that's a deal around here.  The wet massages range from $40-150 and the massage part is, supposedly, at least an hour long.  Prices are different based on the type of massage, type of materials used (green tea, gold-infused lotions, etc) and additional services included (facial, etc).

Other things of note:

- Floors are all yellow jade.  While beautiful, they are also amazingly practical.  The ones in the public areas are heated and feel heavenly on your feet.
- You do NOT tip anyone giving you a massage right after.  You do that when you settle up at the end; they give you a little envelope.
- You don't have to buy water; they have purified water there.
- Do buy an small exfoliating washcloth (it was $2) when you check in.  It's good and you get to take it home.
- In the showers, they have shampoo, soap, conditioner and toothpaste (you're expected to brush your teeth - it's a custom-thing).  You're given a toothbrush at check-in (new, in pack - you throw it away after you use it).
- The locker room has a hairdryer, gell, mousse, even hair brushes!  (I brought my own brush)  No, unless you are pretty low-maintenance (yeah, not me) you couldn't go from there to work but you could go from there to weekend errands and/or a restaurant without worry.

At the end, all three of us decided we wanted to go again.  I'm already planning to go as a "de-stresser" after D'Con. :)  It was awesome and I could spend hours there.  Hell, I'm even thinking of a yearly membership if I can convince Hub.

One other thing on the nudity, it was very liberating and not at all noticable.  In fact, it was more noticeable that there were three women (non-asian) as we were leaving who seemed a bit nervous and kept their towels around them.  I could even see going to something like this if it was all uni-sex.  Really, if I were prepared for it, I don't think it would bother me too much. 

Well, unless "you" go.  Or you.  Or, my friend, you. ;)
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You should be reading about AmazonFail. While I don't care if you do a petition or not, I would suggest you also write Amazon directly. I just did and a copy of my letter is below.

<lj-cut text="Letter I Wrote to Amazon (through their e-mail)">

LetterCollapse )
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It is POINTEDVIEW'S birthday.  I have known her since I was 7 years old.

Happy birthday, darling! *SMOOCHES*
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...I do have to ask this...

Do I look like someone to you?

Now, that reads as  very narcissistic but I'm not trying to be.  Over the past two weeks I have been *STARED* at by complete strangers.  SLB44 can attest that this happened a few times when we were in the airport together.  I went to a concert on Saturday and it happened twice - and then once on the subway train on the way home.  I was in a freakin' TARGET the other day and someone stopped their cart and looked at me for a full minute.

Dudes, seriously, wtf?

Sometimes it's small, quick glances.  Other times it's full-on, freaky ass staring.  I'm a pretty visual person (I remember faces SO much better than names) so I often think that I've seen someone before -- and if it really bothers me, I put on my best "Southern belle" and go up and ask the person.

Note:  If you ever want to see this when we are out somewhere, ask.  I'm told that it's not only very humourous (my "belle" persona) but also rather interesting to watch. I can go up to total strangers like we are best friends.  THAT'S one damn fine superpower, friends and neighbors.

I don't know what's going on.  At the concert, I was just sitting there.  In the airport (slb44 can verify) I was either just on the escalator, sitting at the gate or using my computer.  At no time was I putting on my full "gonna shine, divalicious" mode. Hell, most of the time, I was just being quiet and not doing anything!  I swear.

I would TOTALLY understand staring if I started doing a pirouette or my "Not wearing underwear today" dance.  But I wasn't!  So...again, wtf?

Guys, you'd tell me if I had a booger hanging out of my nose, right?  RIGHT?!?  
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It's a weird thing about me.  I like endings that are happy.  The whole movie/show/book/etc does not have to be happy but the ending...well, someone has to end up happy.

The movie, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?"  At the end of it, I turned to my husband and huffed, "TWO hours and no one ends up happy!  NO!"  I really hate wasting two hours of my life when NO ONE ends up happy!

So, I am not very optimistic about the new Joss Whedon show, "Dollhouse."  I have issues with the basic premise (if you have millions of dollars, you can buy a pre-programmed human sexbot.  Awesome! /sarcasm) but I think Hub said it best, "You're going to have to get past the idea that anyone will end up happy."  

That bothers me.  I think it's the issue I have with Sarah Conner Chronicles and Clone Wars as well.  Not to spoil anyone (but, dudes, if you don't know - where you been for 15 years?), if Sarah Conner is still fighting Terminators, means that SkyNet and Judgement Day still came and, in Clone Wars, the Emperor will still be Emperor and, at some point, Osoka will die, whether at Anakin's hands or not.  So...not a happy ending.

I want a happy ending.  I am glad that Eliza Bennett and Mr. Darcy end up together.  I was thrilled that Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles and most of the Buffy people lived (interesting that the demons died in Buffy and the demons lived at the end of Angel but that's another post).  Fiona and Shrek should have babies and be in the swamp, Stu and Frannie are riding around with their babies in the RV and Fraser and RayK are up in the Yukon, after riding off into the sunrise together.  Walsh might have died but Zoe went on and she is kicking ass out in the territories, while Kaylee and Simon are boffing like  happy bunnies and even River is finding her way. Hell, I even believe that in four episodes, while not all the questions will be answered and there will be some very sad endings, there WILL be some happy endings in Battlestar Galactica.

Doesn't have to all be happy but, overall, I want some happy.  Happy endings are important.  I need them.  

And Dollhouse and Sarah Conner don't give me that hope.  I don't.  I want to...but...I don't.  Am I wrong?  Give me some hope, people.
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OK, so we all know about the woman giving birth to 8 babies this past week.  I start this post with two statements:
  1. I hope that the mother and the babies are healthy and doing well.  I wish no ill health on anyone and do hope that all the children have no medical complications.
  2. The rest of this post will not be supportive of this, will not be in any way, shape or form politically correct or sensitive or even nice.
You've been warned.  Stop reading now, if you want.  Hell, I'm not making you read this but if I don't get it off my chest I'm gonna EXPLODE!  I am not an expert on anything other than being able to rant (although personal history is a part of this rant).

Women are not dogs or cats.  Our bodies are not MEANT to hold multiple births.  There is only so much space that expands to hold children and, as someone who has HAD a child in her body, I do feel I am allowed to discuss this.  

This mother can talk about her "privacy" all she wants but the point is that someone, somewhere, made this a news story and now she needs to talk.  Screw your privacy, screw your ideas on what is "your private time" and get in front of people. 

However, I firmly believe there is a reason she doesn't want to - because this was a PISS-POOR decision.  And there is NO way she can justify it!

There are considerations here that are beyond ethics and fall into the realm of common sense.
  • WHY is a woman with six children already (and a single woman, at that), having fertility treatments?  I have to believe that she did not tell the fertility doctor of her previous childbearing.  Because if she did?  And the doctor went forward with it?  I cannot comprehend what the doctor was thinking nor can I comprehend how the justification for going forward with fertility was completed.
  • This woman's age has not been given but it has been said that she is younger than 40.  Again, why is someone (taking out the 6 previous kids) younger than 40 getting fertility treatments?  It was my understanding that you needed to prove a NEED for fertility treatments before starting them - isn't that part of the fertility treatment doctor's standard line of questioning.  And yeah, I do know what I'm talking about because I asked (because I was heavy and because I was already 28 when deciding to start trying) what would happen if I couldn't get pregnant when trying.  I was told by two doctors that until I hit years of effort (no pill, etc) and was at least 35 years old, most OBs and fertility docs would say to just keep trying - after performing test that I had eggs, no tubal blockage, etc.  
  • Where's the dad?  No, seriously - WHERE IS THE FATHER?  I have issues with this.  Many actually.  But there are two that really jump out:
    1. Did this guy know the woman was trying to get pregnant?  I believe that you shouldn't go swimming without proper gear on (and in case that was too subtle  - this means wear a condom, unless you are in a committed relationship and want children!) but, per the previous two issues (fertility treatments when already having six children, her age), I am wondering if she ever told a partner.
    2. How many dads are there?  Is it only one?  Are there more than one?  She has eight babies - that doesn't mean one father, per how I can remember biology - sociology major here.  Heck, with cats, that's the reason you have kittens that look so different:  different daddies = unique kittens.  So, is it the same for people?  Could we be talking about someone who had 1, 2, 3, hell 8 different partners in a short period?  We already know this woman isn't making good decisions so please, it's not out of the realm of possibility (if it's biologically possible - and I think I remember reading of twins from two daddies before (and not an urban myth) ).  And trust me, if you want to do a "Oh my god, she wouldn't have slept with that many different men in so short a time!" then you have never worked at a Social Service or Public Health office and asked someone "Who's the baby daddy?" and they give you ten potential names.
    3. This is actually 2a but the auto-numbering isn't allowing that:  Also, where's the dad(dies) of the other six children?  I've heard the g.parents talking about how they are helping with the kids while mom and new 8 babies are in the hospital but not one word of the other children's father(s) being involved.  Seriously, again, this makes me go GRRR over this woman's decision making process.
  • This woman is, right now, living with her parents.  She and her six children are living with her parents.  Now, I worked for Social Services and I will tell you right now:  six children = Medicaid.  Unless you have other funds or somehow are working and have AMAZING medical insurance, six children = Medicaid.  Which means that 14 children = MORE Medicaid.  And let's talk about the medical needs of these babies.  They are preemies who will need extensive medical care for the next 1-3 months.  After that, their basic medical needs will be anywhere from 2-5x that of non-preemie children and, with them being multiples which increases some of the medical issues, the costs trend to the "5x" range of the spectrum.
  • The ethics of fertility treatments have always made me go "Hmmm."  Now, partly, I have to give my own child-bearing history here:  Hub and I were married for 7 years before we decided to have children.  I got off the pill (bc choice for over 10 years at that point) and, 3 months later, I was pregnant.  So I admit that my "getting pregnant" wasn't a difficult road for us.  And yet...Hub and I did talk about what would happen if I couldn't get pregnant.  We had a friend who had just gone through fertility treatments (after trying 5+ years) and we just weren't sure about it.  Maybe because I was in social services, maybe because of how we were raised, I don't know but we didn't think about going that route.  We had decided that if I couldn't get pregnant, that we'd look at fostering with the next steps of adoption.  
    • So, what was this woman thinking?  She already had six children and she needed more?  What doctor supports that decision?  Isn't the rule "first do no harm?"  Perhaps there isn't "harm" here but there sure as hell isn't any "good" in this decision, supported by medical professionals.
    • Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something -- one of the lines of which I really agree with Michael Crichton.  Just because someone can PAY for fertility treatments doesn't mean they SHOULD have fertility treatments, does it?  Just because someone WANTS fertility treatments doesn't mean they should GET fertility treatments, does it?  Again, personal history:  when I had my gastric bypass I had to go to a psychiatrist to make sure that I was making the right decision, that I was SANE enough to understand the decision and the resultant actions.  Do they not do that for fertility treatments?  If so, why the hell not!?!  Having a child is a great deal more life-altering that losing weight!  There's a hell of a lot more psychological issues in that - especially with the potential to birth a freaking hockey team with rotating players!
    • Also...and this is sensitive so I'm going to try to be sensitive...I just don't get the decision that you have to have biological children.  I didn't feel "more" of a woman because I had a biological child.  I didn't feel that my "reason" for life was to do that.  I am a woman because I have a uterus, ovaries, vagina and breasts.  I didn't become a "woman" because I USED said items during child creation, childbirth and child raising.  I understand, empathetically, that some women feel a need to have biological children.  I am saying, perhaps, that we should think about that as a society - because there are deep hurts that occur to people (women and men) when they cannot have biological children.  Being a parent has very little to do with "birth" and much more to do with love, caring and nurturing than anything else.
  • I keep seeing people talk about how we shouldn't say anything because it's her "right" to have as many children as she wants, that all babies are precious and that this is a "gift from God."  Um...no.  You might have the "right" to do something but that doesn't mean you should.  I have the "right" to spank my child; I've made a conscious decision not to do so because I don't think it's in the best interest of the child or my family.   Also, as for a "gift from God?"  She had six "gifts" already - I'm thinking this is more being greedy from God.

You might, right now, be saying that I am AMAZINGLY judgmental in this and I'm being very privileged and not understanding or supportive of this woman.  You're right.  I AM being judgmental; I am not supportive.  And perhaps I am a bit of a privilege person in this - but that privilege is not from being middle-class:  it's from seeing the social and governmental financial strain bad reproductive decisions create in society and social service agencies.

Now, if this woman is sitting on billions of dollars, is not spending any taxpayer money, and is able to completely and utterly care for these children (medically, financially, socially and psychologically) with only herself and her family?  Then I apologize for this rant and will remove it.  But before that happens:  prove all of the above.  Because, baby, unless I see it, I won't believe it:  All hospital medical bills paid by family/private insurers, childrens' father(s) being in the picture and providing support (yes, daddy(ies) for all 14), and some ethical and common sense justification for all of this.  When I see that?  I'll retract my statements.

Thing is?  I think I'll be waiting a long damned time.

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So, I've been following trelvix on Twitter (and I really don't know why, except that he followed me first and he's a friend of a friend and...well, that's often how life goes, isn't it?) and he did something about 7 things you don't know about him.  I like that and I'm going to do it.  No one asked me to but I want to.  So there. :p

1.  Sometimes it is very hard for me to look someone in the eye.  I worry that this is mild sort of Aspergers but it's very sporadic.
This is very unusual because I am, for the most part, an extrovert.  I like talking to people.  In fact, it's the best part of my day - interacting with people, asking questions, being asked questions, finding out things.  I was raised that when you talk to people you look them in the eye.
And it's odd because I give presentations in front of groups - five people or five thousand matters not to me.  I will try to make eye contact with someone in the room, often several someones.  I find it actually helps me stay involved in the presentation and keeps me motivated.
Aside:  Extrovert actually doesn't mean energetic or outgoing; it actually means that a person gets their energy from others.  Sometimes I think this means that I'm an energy vampire.  I kinda like that thought.
But it occurs, sporadically and with no discernible pattern, that I cannot look anyone in the eye.  It is physically impossible.  In fact, it is physically painful.  My eyes squint and water and I get sharp pains behind them.  I will look at the shell of someone's ear, their hair line, slightly over their shoulder.  And
I'm self-aware enough to know when this happens and have tried to analyze what is occurring.  It's not during a "personal" discussion.  It's not during an uncomfortable discussion.  Doesn't matter how well or how non-well I know you.  Subject content does not seem to impact this - I can talk about sex and rimming and my dog and why I like the shoes I'm wearing one day without any problems but the next I can't even look at you as we talk about the best sales in the area or how bad traffic was.
Is there a sporadic Asperbergers?
2.  I was a virgin until I was 18.
Yeah, I know you don't believe me.  But it is true.  I did not engage in full-on sexual intercourse until I was 18 years old.  Easy reason:  I was terrified of:
a) getting pregnant
b) getting a STD
c) getting AIDS
My high school years were from 1984-1988.  I was terrified of all three of the above and there was lots of media out there.  And the idea of telling either of my parents that I was in any of the camps from a to c made my stomach cramp.  There was no way I could have done it.
Correlary part:  Even when I finally did have sex?  I used at least 2, if not 3, methods of birth control/STD prevention:  pill, condom and sponge.  Come here, let me show you my OCD.
3.  I am neither a skeptic or a believer.  But I do want to believe.
I know people who swear they have been visited by spirits.  I don't think they are lying or insane (or, at least, not ALL of them are lying or insane).  I know people who think that unless you can see it, touch it, eat it, smell it, hear it or physically experience it, it didn't happen.  Don't think they are wrong either.
I do believe that my grandfather visited me once after he died and he was pissed off.  I do believe that my father visited my sister and my step-mother after his death -- and I wonder why he hasn't visited me.  I believe this because...well, because.  And believing is not proving, not even to myself.
However, I'm not so sure that anything alien happened in Roswell, NM, doubtful that there is a "Nessie" or a "Sasquatch" and I think the Amazing Randy is full of shite. 
I want to believe that there is something else out there - both in a religious, mythical sense and in a "we are not alone in the universe" sense.  I am open to the possibility...but I still don't know how you're going to prove it to me.
4.  I love my son to a point that cannot be explained.  However, I would have been happy not being a parent.
I love my son.  He and my husband are the cornerstones, touchstones and center-forces in my life.  He makes me smile at things that never made me smile before.  He's the reason I - a bug-phobic person - have held baby praying mantises (mantici?) and tried to catch lizards.
But being a parent didn't "fulfill" a need in me.  It didn't "finalize" my marriage.  It didn't make me a "natural woman" (thanks ALOT, Murphy Brown!).  I could have been - and was - happy and content with just my husband. 
Doesn't mean I don't love my son and doesn't mean I don't want him around. 
5.  I am not pretty.
No, this is not a bid for many "you are pretty!" comments or anything.  It's a statement of fact.  I am not pretty.  I will not break a mirror, but I am not pretty, or beautiful or cute or yadda yadda yadda.  Best that can be said is that I'm not ugly.  I know this.  I've accepted this.  I think the best thing about me is my personality and if you were trying to set me up with someone that would be what you said -- and that the person who is getting set up is somewhat right in thinking, "Oh god, hopefully she's not Quasimodo's twin sister."
I'm not that bad...but I am what I am.  I'm okay with this.
Correlary of this:  I find something stunning on everyone I've ever met and even more so on my friends.  It might be your eyes, your hair, your hair colour, your laugh, your hands, whatever.  And I will argue with you that what I'm seeing as stunning on you IS that way.  But when you try to do that to me?  I think you're nuts. :)  Yeah, there's family history here, I know.  Let it go.  I'm just "not going to break a mirror" person and I can live with that.
6.  I am so bad with names it's not funny.
I have two friends who I adore and yet, to this day, after almost 5 years (?), I STILL have to think before I say their respective names.  My brain does not like names.  I have tried the tricks to remember; I've worked on my memory.  It doesn't work.  I have to know you well to have your name stay in my head.  It takes a good year for me to really remember a name and then, to make sure it sticks, years after.  There are people I grew up with in my small, hometown church that I cannot remember their names.  Don't even go into high school or college.
Yeah, I know I'm going to hell for that!
I'll know your face.  I never forget a face!  I'll hug you hello and kiss you goodbye like a good Southern Lady should.  And if I'm calling you hon or baby or "Oh my god, it was so good to see you - e-mail me and we'll get together soon!" but never once use your name?  It's cause my brain just don't work.  *shrug*  It's not you and it's not because I don't think you are an important person.  My brain just does not work right.  It's a bit upsetting at almost 40 years old. 
7.  I am so curious about one friend's sexuality...but I can't ask.
I have a dear friend for over 10 years and I have NO CLUE as to his sexuality.  When I met him?  Was convinced he was gay.  Gaydar binging like a mofo.  And it was great because he is a wonderful friend and even when people were saying weird things about him and me ("Oh, going to lunch again, eh?  Hmmm ...interesting!"), I was able to shrug it off because, dude, he's GAY!  I was all, you don't know but I do and it's just friends!

But the problem is that about a year into the friendship...I realized that I wasn't sure.  He still pinged my gaydar but he didn't hard ping it, if you get my drift.  So I tried to figure it out.  And I couldn't.  He still used the same "Well, I used to date and then stopped," and the normal non-pronoun convos.  But then he threw in a few female pronouns.  But then some other non-specific pronouns.  So...head went, "Perhaps he's bi.  Okey-dokey."

And I went on like that for five years.  Until something Hub said which was, to the extent, your gaydar is broken - I don't think "His Name" is bi or gay.  And then I looked and watched and now I'm totally confused.

I just want to know!  Yeah, it doesn't matter but I just want to know.  And, after ten years?  I can't ask now!  And I know it's just because I'm nosy but...I just want to know. : /  Plus, if I knew?  I'd try to set him up. :)

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So...yeah, I'm updating.  Please, do not have a fit over this rare and random occurence. :)  I am going to try to do better...but do note the word "try" (yes, Yoda, I am ashamed) and that there is no word "resolution" in there. :D
Seriously - I am a woman in touch with my own limitations. 
Heads up on something:  If you want the real, crass, totally-true-to-self, unedited me, you should follow my Twitter.  I put crap on there that I read later and go, "Snap!  What the hell was I thinking THEN!?" 
Recommendation:  Total Drama Island!  This is AWESOMECAKES!  Cartoon survivor show.  AWE.  SOME.  CAKES.  I cannot explain my love for this show in any sane, normal way.  Just that I a-freakin-dore it. 
I bought new Manolos a bit ago.  Brown pumps in a pennyloafer style.  Pretty damned great.  Plus some pink sparkly Judith Leiber limited edition pumps.  Those are seriously cooooool.  And they're pink!  Pink, pink, pink.  And sparkly.
I have a new fandom love - NCIS.  How I missed the fact that this show was on makes me go "d'oh!"  It's got mysteries.  It's got dead bodies and autopsies and stuff.  It's got someone with a UK accent.  And it has a "grampy" as a lead.  It's Scooby Doo for Grown-Ups (I need to patent that, btw) - and I ADORED Scooby Doo as a kid.  How did I miss this show for 6 years?
No, seriously, say it with me - D'OH!
(In my defense I have an answer...but not right now.  That's a rant day blog, I think.)
However, there are some good points in coming into a fandom-love late.  I already know how much of it is playing out.  I already know that there's a reason to certain madness.  I know there is a story-line and continuity (not good continuity but continuity nonetheless) and things will be answered.  I may still have my heart broken, because this show is not "dead" as I write this (top ten in the ratings - I may even be able to watch for a few years to come - amazing!) but so far?  I'm okay.
Now, I am a hideously terrible parent - again! - because The Prince is also hooked and I am letting him watch some of the episodes.  I have a weird criteria for what he can watch.  Dead bodies - okay.  Mild sexual situations/innuendo which goes over his head - okay (and he snorkles at DiNozzo, folks; hys-freakin-sterical).  Episodes with really strange abnormalities (eg - parents pulling out children's teeth with an overtone of incest) - again, okay.  Episodes with massive amounts of sex, violence or even grotesque blood:  Yeah, not so much.  Therefore I watch eps before him or read about 3-4 commentaries on an ep before he can watch it.  It irritates him because he can watch any ep of Angel (or Buffy, when we finally get the set) but I'm limiting his NCIS viewing. 
Son has a boy-crush on DiNozzo and McGee (first place in crush depends on the episode) and thinks that Gibbs - much like his own mother (aka - me) - needs to limit the caffeine intake. 
Hub has a crush on Kate;  first time it's a tv non-blonde crush.  I'm rubbing THAT one in.
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