New York vs. The World

I’ve only known a handful of born ‘n bred New Yorkers….and all of them wore capes and chewed glass.  Now with Hurricane Irene bearing down on New York, the strongest of the strong are in front of the TV cameras…smiling and pointing out that they ain’t skeered.  Cabs are still driving around, people are still shopping.  Dare I say…..IDIOTS?!

In their defense, maybe they’re just ultimate optimists.  It seems the the majority of those who are staying in the zones that were ordered to be evacuated are quite certain this will be nothing more than a summer rain shower.  That all this talk of mayhem and destruction is nothing more than media hype.  I hope they’re right.  I especially hope that the dude who bought 20 cans of Chef Boyardee for his “Emergency Kit” and put his sofa up on old encyclopedias (leaving the TV down on sea level)….I hope that guy does okay.

I won’t lie.  I’m a lover of inclement weather…and there’s secretly a part of me that wishes I was in the eye of Irene with a microphone and rain gear.  But I have a husband and kid…so my days of irresponsible and risky activity are pretty much over.  In all seriousness, I hope that those in this hurricane’s Danger Zone make it through with minimal damage.

You can visit Ready.gov to get all the info you need to put together an Emergency Preparedness Kit.

Crisis Landing has tons of phone apps that give info on shelters, weather updates and tracking maps.

Red Cross has an extensive Hurricane Safety Checklist that outlines what to do, supplies you’ll need and what to do after the storm passes.

FEMA has tons of readiness info for all kinds of disasters.

Button up and keep safe!

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The Compassion of a Child

I try not to let my daughter sit around and watch CNN.  If she happens to be in the room when the evening local news comes on, she’ll walk away, saying “Too much dead and sad!”  But last week she happened to be in the room when CNN aired footage of the women and children starving over in Somalia…and I watched as a small piece of innocence fell away from my child’s heart.  I watched as confusion and worry began to furrow her brow.

In her pure and undiluted mind, babies without food was inconceivable.  I tried to explain it as best as I could.  That some very bad men were keeping the good people from bringing food to feed the mommies and babies.  “But all they are having is rotten rice!”  I could’ve given her the age-old speech:  You better clean your plate!  See…kids are starving in this world!  But I didn’t think it appropriate.  In five seconds, Cali had formulated a plan that made perfect sense and appeared to be a no-brainer.

“I’ll get a car with wheels that fly instead of roll…and I’ll fly really fast over to that world where those babies and mommies are starving and sick without their food.  Then I’ll hurry up and give them their food and leave very fast so the bad men can’t see me.”

Not once did she say “We should go kill those bad men!”  She just thought of a way to get around them.  This morning on the way to school, she was still talking about getting that flying car put together so she could get that food over there.  “I wish I could fly”, she said.

And I thought to myself…my child DOES fly.  She flies over the heads of cynical and bitter adults consumed with political ideals and mind-sets, religious dogma and self-righteous beliefs.  She doesn’t see all of the obstacles…she sees the way in…then through…then out.  That void left by lost innocence was quickly filled with pure compassion.

I totally see the Peace Corp in this kid’s future.

Casey Anthony: The White O.J.?

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard that Casey Anthony was found not-guilty today on all counts with the exception of lying to police officers.  To say I was shocked to hear this verdict would be a gross understatement.

I know that justice is SUPPOSED to prevail…but does it?  Really?  Or only now and then?  Does the crime have to be videotaped and narrated to be considered valid?  Or was this particular case a prime example of a crappy prosecution who couldn’t make their case?  A bottomless pit of reasonable doubt?

And why is it that the media always gets blamed for a negative judicial outcome?  Shouldn’t our legal leaders have the ability to block out such things and focus on what they SHOULD be focused on?  If a jury is grossly influenced by the media, then it’s an immoral travesty for them to remain on a jury panel.  The media has and always will grab hold of a sensational story and run with it.  That’s their job.  Sure, they go overboard….but they shouldn’t shoulder the blame of mishandled criminal trials.

On a personal note, I cannot accept this verdict.  Not when an innocent child’s life was completely dismissed due to the absence of muscle and tissue on her skeletal remains.  But karma?  That’s the one thing I do have perfect faith in.  Because no matter the verdict or opinion of twelve people “tried and true”….the ultimate verdict is flawless and perfectly just.

So here’s the soon-to-be-free Casey Anthony….the majority of these pictures taken AFTER her daughter went missing.  Sometimes actions speak far more than words or evidence.

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The Rapture: Are Your Underpants Clean?

So have you heard?  On May 21, 2011 we’ll allegedly be smitten by Jesus or smoted.  I know “smoted” isn’t a word….but I think you know what I’m trying to say.  Smote.  As in kick your butt in a celestial way.  Unless you’re perfect and sin-free.  In that case, you’ll jet propel into the skies with Rapture Man leading the charge…bound for glory and all things holy.

Blasphemy you say?  Please.  I had a fundamentalist upbringing.  I’m allowed to have this conversation.  The Rapture was our parent’s weapon of mass destruction.

“If you don’t brush your teeth tonight, you can bet your boogers that you’ll be left behind and have to fix your own breakfast….if there’s even food for you to eat.”

Or…..

“You sit in your room and think long and hard about what it’s going to feel like when they burn that mark of the beast into your forehead.”

Modern day parents have GPS tracking devices to keep track of their younguns.  Mine had, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

“Hey April!  Let’s go sit in the Kmart parking lot and drink wine coolers!”

“I can’t.  My sins will find me out.”

And most of the time they did.  At the time I thought my parents had special powers.  Now I see that they were just exceptionally good guessers.

At any rate, I had my Rapture plan all figured out by the age of 8.  I was fairly certain I’d be left behind.  And I was more than certain that I’d take the Beastie Mark…because a kid has to eat.  And when the demons came on horseback….I planned to run into the safe and open arms of Canada.  A pretty good plan, eh?

I don’t even KNOW how many Rapture dates came and went.  Enough to make alot of people look stupid.  Rapture Man is the latest prophet of doom.  He says the Rapture will go down on Saturday and the planet will blow up on October 21st.  I like how they scheduled the Rapture on the weekend.  God forbid someone miss a day of work.

I tried to check out one of the Rapture websites, but it said the service was temporary unavailable.  Thought maybe the Rapture came and I missed it.  Rapture Man (Harold Camping) doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to prophet stuff.  He hollered that the Rapture was coming back in September of 1994.  You can see how that worked out.

I don’t know about you, but on Sunday (that’d be the 22nd)…I plan on visiting Rapture Man’s family radio show website so I can hear the sweet sounds of back-pedaling.  If for some freakish reason Rapture Man speaks the truth….my childhood plan is still in effect.  I got people in Canada.

By the way….am I the only one who sees the striking resemblance between Rapture Man and Mr. Burns?

iPhone: Your Eye in the Sky

Okay.  Those of you who have been trying to shove modern technology down my throat for the past couple of years….you feeling stupid about right now?  Hm?  What’d I tell you?  I said those hand-held talk boxes were nothing more than homing devices that caused cancer and webbed feet.  Remember?  And what did YOU say?  You said I was paranoid and needed to bump up my meds and get a grip.

iPhone is so super secret that they’ve named their secret spy-ware with a secret name.  No longer a secret.  “consolidated.db”.  Apparently it’s able to track you sitting on a toilet in a Chevron station on the East side, then give you pop up ads for guns and weed based on your location.  Now, this would be great if you’d agreed to it…signed a contract or something.  But quite frankly, this is just a computer geek’s modern way of peeking over the top of the potty stall.  Or under.  Either way…they’re peeking.  And no one digs a peeker.

Peekers can’t be trusted.  Ever.  Once a peeker, always a peeker.  So iPhone got caught.  That’s the only reason we know about this spy-nation stuff!  Lord only knows what else is on there that we don’t know about.  Probably a camera.  Hidden under the ‘Power’ button.  Right this very second, there’s a clatch of pasty white Apple mutants hunched over a computer screen, snorting and laughing at you trying to erase all your incriminating texts before your significant other asks to “borrow” your phone.

I dunno…maybe this is all Bill O’Reilly’s whack scheme to become the Republican party’s latest IT man.  It’s hard to tell.  All I know is this:  before I get in my car today, I’m sending my kid up under there with a bomb-spotting mirror to look for any unauthorized tracking devices.

It’s not like I’ve got anything MAJOR to hide.  I just don’t want people to know that I hang out at the library on Friday nights and occasionally park in Baptist church parking lots to gorge on Krispy Kreme doughnuts and listen to rock ‘n roll music.

Government Shutdown + Crappy Economy = Armageddon

My husband is a political junkie and is fairly convinced that all this shutdown talk is a bunch of hooey.  Me?  I forsee a Tripoli-esque uprising with marches and victory gardens.  Husband sees the glass half full…..I don’t see a glass at all because I knocked it over already.

This morning I watched a military woman talking about, “Well, then I guess I’ll tell my three year old daughter that I’ll have to feed her retro-actively after I get paid.”

Okay, first of all….our military people and their families should NEVER be put in a position where their pay and livelihood gets screwed with by a bunch of self-centered political tools.  Truth be told, NO ONE should be put in that position.  Maybe all the people arguing over the budget should get docked while they fight it out.  No agreement, no paycheck.  I’ll bet bi-partisanship would solve all political problems in five minutes flat.

Now I’m hearing stuff about essential and non-essential government workers.  For some reason, I keep thinking about that scene in Schindler’s List…the one about the essential and non-essential Jewish workers.  Am I comparing this with the holocaust?  Not really.

I keep hearing all these pundits talking about “political theater” and how all this shutdown talk is a ruse and empty threat.  But by midnight tomorrow, 800,000 people may be without work and paychecks.  Okay, that’s a lot of people.  And out of those 800,000 people, the majority of them are at the middle to bottom of the paycheck food chain.  So one day of missed pay makes a serious dent in their lives.  Now, those making six figures tend to forget about these people.  The people who take out your trash and make sure you have a clean chair to sit your butt on everyday.  Or the ones who fix your food…the ones you never make eye-contact with because that would validate their existence.

Riddle me this?  Will welfare checks and food stamps still be issued?  What about those late tax refunds?  And did you know that the IRS will NOT be processing your return while their out twiddling their thumbs?  Well, now you know.  Of course, phones won’t be answered, customer service will be non-existent….not that it was stellar to begin with.  Then there’s the closing of our national parks….right about the time families are planning their frugal vacations that involve camping in lieu of hotels.

This is the time of year when things ease up on folks.  They’ve got a little spending money from their tax returns.  The weather is warmer, the sun is brighter.

In my mind, I see “Politics” as a grossly overweight man kicked back in a busted up La-Z-Boy, gnawing on a ham-bone, toes sticking out of worn and filthy socks, swollen belly hanging out of a dingy t-shirt.  Only now, the filthy slob is getting up out of his chair and coming in to our homes, picking through our fridges, taking our food, driving us out of our homes, stealing our debit cards and draining our bank accounts.

I can’t help but think what the rest of world thinks of us right about now.  I sense we’re being called a herd of jack-donkeys.  And I fear what this shutdown might do to the already-devastated people who have been walking against the wind for far too long already.

Could Americans pull off an uprising?

Harvey Updyke: Most Hated Man in Auburn, Alabama

Good ole Harvey was arrested for the lethal poisoning of the two infamous Oak trees that stand at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, Alabama…and as of right now, is being held on a $50K bond.  If you love and care about Harvey…don’t pay that bond.  He’s far safer behind bars.

Everyone knows that there’s no love lost between Auburn and Alabama.  The rivalry is infamous down here in the south.  Being a rival is one thing.  Being a sore-loser with a criminal and evil heart is something entirely different.

What makes this thing even MORE disgusting are the comments being made by Alabama fans.  Here are some common ones:

It’s what y’all deserved since you rolled those trees on the day Bear Bryant died.

You can plant new ones. By the time you win another national championship, they’ll be grown enough to roll, heh, heh, heh.

What’s the big deal? They’re trees. Do you know how many trees are killed every year to make paper?

Perhaps Alabama can’t understand the severity of this situation because they have no tradition.  Now, they THINK they do.  They’ll start rattling off stuff like:

*  We won 13 national championships! That’s not a tradition.  It’s a number.

But we got Bear Bryant! That’s not a tradition.  It’s a man.

Okay, but then we got Denny Chimes! That’s not a tradition. It’s a building.

Whatever.  We got Big Al, baby! That’s not a tradition.  It’s a mascot.  And I believe I heard that Alabama fans mocked Auburn when they introduced their mascot, Aubie…saying they didn’t need some stupid animal costume stomping around on their sidelines.  Ahem.

WALK OF CHAMPIONS!  WE HAVE THE WALK OF CHAMPIONS!

Yes.  Yes, you do.  But it’s surprisingly EXACTLY like Auburn’s Tiger Walk that was in existence long before your Walk of Champions.

Alabama fans love their numbers and statistics.  Auburn fans love Auburn.  They love the town, its history, its SPIRIT.  Football isn’t the beginning and end of Auburn.  it’s simply a PART of Auburn.

My husband is an Auburn graduate. Unless our daughter runs off to join some nudist hippy commune, she’ll no doubt be headed to Auburn as well.  There’s a family atmosphere that surrounds Auburn that confuses those who stand outside the city limits.

I have no doubt that Auburn and it’s fans will show their true spirit and pride by planting two more trees at Toomer’s Corner.  And when those saplings mature into strong Oaks…we’ll be able to tell our children about how one college town pulled together and showed the football world the meaning of team spirit.

Meanwhile…Harvey Updyke is quickly becoming the face of Alabama.  And while that certainly isn’t fair to those Alabama fans who condemn this man’s actions….there seems to be far more Alabama fans that congratulate and applaud Harvey Updyke’s show of support for Alabama football.

Personally, I don’t think it’s Auburn that Harvey should be scared of.  It’s those environmentalist folks…the hard-core tree huggers that should make him suck his thumb at night.

For more info about Auburn and the oaks, visit here.