My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Evil Rat Things

I haven't put up a new post since Saturday because Sunday was one of the worst days I have ever had on the job...probably ever. What made it so bad, was that it wasn't an issue with patients, but with co-workers. People who can manage to bring out the absolute worst in you, and ratchet up the bullshit until it gets to a point of no return. It was so bad that I actually completely lost it at work for a couple of minutes. Then, of course, I was bitchy after I got home. Then, had a terrible time sleeping that night...yada, yada, yada. And even though I tried to calm down, and even though I knew it was over and I needed to let it go, and even though I tried not to bitch at the kids...I just couldn't dissipate that anger and frustration.

Monday morning I went to the gym and worked off all that shit with Ron's help. Thank god for physical exercise.

In the midst of all that angst on Sunday night, I had a brief epiphany. I suddenly realized, "Fuck all that shit. None of this crap matters. None of those people matter. Someday this whole phase of my life will be far in the past and won't even be an afterthought. Move on." And even though I was still pissed, it seemed to really clarify things for me. So, in the future I'm just going to care a lot less about a lot of things that happen. I don't like getting angry at my kids for residual shit that happens at work. They don't deserve it, and I don't either. Time is going by in my life, and I need to crystallize what's really important to me. I refuse to spend my energy on that kind of shit again. So I say, "Just say NO to Evil Rat Things." Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all and the horse's they rode in on.

It's time to stop being a Type A personality. It's time to just be a Slacker like everyone else.
I get paid the same, and I'll save the stress on my cardiac system. My kids will appreciate it too.

Because the bottom line doesn't really's all just stupid shit.

-Epiphanied Ham

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hammy's Public Service Message #1

I liked the public service blog post that Kimmy did a while back and had thought of doing one myself. So the public service message I'm choosing is on quitting smoking. I decided to forgo the pictures of Lung Cancer, Mouth Cancer, Throat Cancer and all the other pleasant photo's associated with this subject.

I also decided to forgo quoting from the divulged memo's of Big Tobacco directing their Marketing departments on how to hook women, minorities and teenagers. Or quoting statistics regarding the health links to cigarette use.

I'm just going to assume that most smokers know all that shit, and haven't quit because they don't know how. So, here's where I come in. Having had a variety of substantial past experience in many different things of an addictive nature (Disclaimer: although I never inhaled...and all my experience was...observatory) I think I have a pretty good idea what might help someone unentangle themselves from the snare of Big Tobacco.

First, take this simple quiz:

1. Do you have to have a cigarette first thing in the morning? Or if you get up in the middle of the night...say to pee or something? Or do you smoke right before going to bed?

2. Do you tend to smoke under the same circumstances, for example: when you first get in the car, when you are talking on the phone, when you have a drink of alcohol, when you have a cup of coffee, or after you finish eating dinner?

That's it. End of quiz. Here are the answers:

If you answered YES to the first question, then you, my friend are addicted to the nicotine.

If you answered YES to the second question, then you are a habit smoker, not a nicotine addict.

If you answered YES to both, then you have both a nicotine addiction and are a habit smoker (this is probably a really small percentage of people).

So, here's what you need to do:

Nicotine addicts - You need a patch, preferrably the highest dose which I believe is 21 mcg. Apply it before going to bed, sometime in the evening to see how it will affect you. Please don't smoke with the patch on it's really very dangerous. Make sure you increase your water intake, take a daily shower (or two) and try to eat a little ligher for the next week or so. Your going to be detoxing quite a bit and the increased water (flavor it with lemon or lime if you need to) and showers will help. Also if you can increase raw vegetables or salads, fiber or fruit it will speed elimination as well. Make sure you have some support (a good friend or someone who won't sabotage your efforts) and realize that you will be experiencing headaches (take Tylenol) irritability and maybe some insomnia (take Benadryl temporarily). Increase your exercise even just a little bit. Go for a walk around the block after dinner. If ya have a dog, take the dog. And you'll get through it...believe me. When you feel like freaking out, just take some nice deep slow breaths and remember the craving will only last you about 5 minutes. In a way, you have it easier. Once your past this you don't have those habit triggers to set you off. Your biggest hurdle will be in the short run. Keep that in mind, it may help. Know this also, your type of smoker is the type most likely to have a heart attack and more likely to end up with emphysema, so in the long run you really will benefit quite a bit. You might also want to consider Acupuncture or Hypnosis. That may help as well.

Habit Smokers - The patch won't work for you. You need the Nicotine Gum. Put the Gum where you keep your cigarettes, and when you get a trigger to smoke (You pick up the telephone, or get in your car) then reach for the Nicotine Gum instead. You have it easier in one way, you aren't addicted to the Nicotine, but the same things apply only in a lesser way.
Be warned though - Habits are strong associations. Years later you may find yerself tippin' a few too many and reach for OPC's (other people's cigarettes) If this happens, DO NOT I repeat DO NOT buy a pack of "your own". The next day you will be back to normal. Don't keep the association going. Beware of big ass triggers like BREAK-UPS, BAD DAYS AT WORK or Unusual STRESS (like the holidays, or visiting your family). Remember it's only a habit association. Find something healthy to fill the void, like Meditation, Yoga or Aromatherapy.
Consider an Aerobics class or a Spinning class. Something that will rev up your metabolism. You are definitely in danger of filling the void with food, so be careful.

Type Three - I'm not sure if you really have both of these things going on. You may just have an addictive personality, or tend to go overboard with chosen "crutches". If you have a "speedy" personality: Type A, always on the go, lots of coffee, etc. Then try the Nicotine Gum.
If this doesn't work, try a very low dose patch in combination with the Gum. I don't want to sound patronizing in any way, but you may want to consider counselling at some point. Sometimes people who have an "on the run" personality are "running from" something.
You would benefit mightily from yoga if you're open to it. Yoga tends to work the mind and spirit just as much as the body. Try to find a more kinetic type of yoga - something other than Hatha would probably work best for you. Maybe Kundalini or Phoenix Rising, or if you are lucky enough to have a Tai Chi studio around you, that would be very good.

Hope this helps. And remember this, in the BEST addiction counselling programs RELAPSE is a step in the process NOT A FAILURE. Don't beat yourself up, it's non-productive. Be nice to yourself, you're only human and you're trying your best. Make it a learning opportunity. Dissect it, figure out what happened and figure out how not to have it happen in the future.

Good Luck, and I'm pulling for Ya!


Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before starting a smoking cessation program, these statements have not been evaluated by the FDC, this post is not supported or funded by the Tobacco industry, this post is not designed to diagnose or treat. Yada, Yada, Yada.
Blah, blah, blah. Besides...I'm poor...ya can't sue me for anything...stand in line with everyone else...a pox on the house of all trial lawyers....a pox on your house, I say!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Life In The Box

Well, I went to the Harley-Davidson "Garage Party", and it was definitely geared toward chicks. There wasn't a male in sight...all the staff were ladies. There was lots of food, red and white wine and coffee and cheesecake for dessert. (Do these people know their market or what??) All that was missing was chocolate. We tried on helmets, jackets, boots. We sat on Dyna's and "fat boys" and Sportsters. We talked about men, kids, bikes, work and why we wanted to do this crazy thing that we were all there talking about. And we left with a "goodie bag" full of really cool stuff. I had way more fun than I've had in a while.

I'm not sure where this is all going to go. I feel like I'm watching it happen in a way. I do know three things, and beyond that, I can't think too much. So this is what I know for sure:

1. I'm getting my permit.
2. I'm taking a rider class.
3. I'm getting my license.

I've never been a person who has wanted a "planned life". Sometimes I think about that, and don't know if it was a good thing, or not. I grew up pretty smack in the middle class. I saw that my father worked in a job that he really didn't like all that much, and that my mother didn't work. So she worked on us. I was fortunate that my parents pushed education for all three of us, but it was always geared toward what they felt was a "good job". Not that there's anything wrong with a good job, but I was born during a time when I watched the fall of almost every major institution there was. I saw Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew shock the hell out of the American public with the realization that, "Yes Virginia, the government does lie to you." I saw the nightly news flashes of the growing body counts of the Vietnam War. I can still see the picture of the silhouette of a soldier with all the tiny soldiers inside, getting higher and higher as the body counts rose. One of my earliest memories (and this is really scary because I was not even 2 years old when this occurred) was of my mother running into the room sobbing and saying, "They just shot the President." She was referring to John Kennedy, of course, but I didn't realize that for a number of years. That memory is just burned in my brain, seeing my mother running into the room and sobbing like that. I saw the civil rights riots on TV, with film footage of blacks being hosed down with water cannons, and people being dragged and clubbed by cops in riot gear. I saw the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan and grew up with the anthem of Rock And Roll. I remember my father waking all of us up at some ungodly hour (it was still dark outside) to watch them "land on the Moon". I attended "religion classes" after school during the post Vatican II years when everything in "The Church" was changing; they stopped saying the Mass in Latin, and then all the Altar railing were removed. I remember seeing women on TV taking "The Pill" and burning their bra's, marching with Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. I remember cigarette commercials getting banned from television - and I still recall some of the jingles. I saw Hippies protesting war, promoting free love and smoking pot in the parks; the hero's: Timothy Leary, Allan Ginsburg, Ram Dass and Abbie Hoffman. The funny thing, I'm still watching institutions fall. And I'm still seeing barriers break down.

My early formative years just basically gave me one message - nothing that appears to be an institution, really is. Anything can change. I've never felt that anything was really permanent, only that it pretended to be. I didn't purchase a vacuum cleaner until my 3rd apartment (it was too big not to) and then I cried, because I felt like I had sold out in some way.

In 1989 I got married to a guy that was OK, but really just a boyfriend and not much more. I got married because I was sick of being bugged about not being married. In an Italian family once you're past 24 you're considered an old maid, and the Aunts are mobilized to "find you a husband". It got to the point where it was a depressing conversation on a grinding never-ending loop. "When are you gonna get marriedhavechildrenbuyahousesettledown???" So, I asked Mark if he wanted to get married, and he wasn't busy at the time, so...
I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine about three months before this "blessed event" was to take place. He said to me, "You don't really want to do this, do you?" and I said, "The invitations are sent, it doesn't really matter what I want to do, and Mark will make a great first husband."
It was truly an all out kick ass party. Italians and ridiculous amounts of food, German-Polish and ridiculous amounts of booze, Nukie's rockin' powder blue convertible (Delta 88??) to pose on and enough pictures to make even grandma happy. A good time was had by all. There was even the obligatory family Mafia members to round out the guest list. Three month later I was tossing his clothes off the porch of the 2nd story apartment. "Mission accomplished....can I live my life now??" I have to say, my family didn't bug me about getting married after that.

Part II of this tale

The best times I've ever had (ever) were travelling on the road, going to Grateful Dead shows. The guy I was going out with was a crazy old hippie "taper" and he would go on the road to "tape" all these different Grateful Dead shows. We would work our "day jobs" here at home, and then save up our "time off" and money for planned road trips to the East Coast shows. We'd take off about 2 or 3 weeks at a time and see 10 shows in 3 or 4 states. Come back home and plan the next set of shows. It was one of the freest times I had ever had up to that point in my whole life.
I felt like I had the freedom to be whatever I wanted - who ever I wanted...without all the voices around me, so willing to tell me who I was and who I wasn't.
When Jerry Garcia died, I felt like something inside of me died. I cried so goddamn hard. I cried for a week. I cried because I knew I would never feel that free again.

The routine starkness of the "real world" was too much for the "taper" hippie guy. We broke up and I started dating one of that circle of people. A guy who was fun, and different, wounded and thought provoking. He was a great, great boyfriend - but NOT someone to marry or have kids with. He had his limitations, and in his own context he was OK. He just wasn't OK outside of that - in fact, he basically didn't function. When I found out I was pregnant - I ignored it. I think I was hoping it would go away. I don't know that I had really thought about an abortion, I didn't really want an abortion, but I didn't want a baby either. So, I was ignoring it, hoping it would go away. When I was (I'm guessing here) about 3 months pregnant I had a dream. In the dream I was walking down the hallway of a castle, everything was stone; stone walls, stone floors, stone archways. I turned into a room with an arched stone window and a stone table with a basket on top. In the basket was a baby girl wrapped in a blanket. I knew it was "the baby" and I said to her, "Oh, you are so beautiful! But why are you coming to me? There are so many women who want to have babies and I'm not even trying. Why don't you go to one of them?" but the baby said, "No, I picked you for my mother." so then I said, "Well, I'm not ready yet, why don't you come back in a couple of years and then I'll be ready for you." but the baby said, "No, I'm hear NOW." and then the baby said, "You'll be fine." Well, I woke up like my head had been held under water. I woke up scared shitless. Needless to say...
Anyway, we tried to "play house" but he got mad and took his toys home. He got the Grateful Dead tapes, I got the cat...oh, yeah...and the kids. A robbery (oh, that's right it's technically a "Burglary") helped me and the kids out of that house and into a condo apartment so fucking far away that I felt I was in exile. Every time the alarm went off in the morning my first thought was, "Oh shit! I'm still alive!". It wasn't too good. In fact, it was really bad. I think I was a zombie for a couple of years. Going through the motions of what everyone expected: being a Good Mother, being a Good Employee, Being a Tax Paying Citizen, once in a while Go To Court. Up, wash, dress, eat, kids here, me there, pick up kids, eat, pay a bill, wash, cry, go to bed. Over and over...all the time just numb...really not feeling or caring about a whole hell of a lot.

Picking up the pieces was really slow. After I had the girls I felt like a snowglobe that someone picked up and shook the hell out of, and set it back down. I was so overwhelmed, and went into "survival mode". I lost everything that was "me", because there wasn't room (or so I thought) for "them" and "me". And they needed me, more than I needed me (or so I thought).

I'm not sure what really started things changing. When I think back, I have to say it was a conversation that I had with a really scary looking african-american (is that PC enough??) "psychic" that a friend of mine knew. I called her on the phone to make an appointment with her. She hadn't even met me yet, and as we were talking about when to meet she says out of the blue, "Why aren't you in school?" and I was just dumbfounded, because I HAD been thinking about going back to school but hadn't said anything to anyone. So I sputtered and stuttered, and she said, "Enroll yourself in school. You need to go back to school, and you know you've been wanting to do that." So I did. The day I signed up, it was like someone breathing new life into me.

That Fall, the little one boarded the bus, and I went back to college. And the ice started to crack a little.
The first semester was a near disaster, but I made it through, and made it through the next one, too. This past Fall, I thought, "I've always wanted to weight train." and when the kids boarded the September bus, I walked into the gym where I am now and started training three days a week. The depression weight started coming off, and I could see "Grandma's arms" disappearing. I grunted, sweated and gritted along. I wasn't just transforming muscle, I was transforming myself.

So a few months ago I started thinking, "Oh yeah! I've always wanted to ride a motorcycle."

Maybe Spring really does come after the long Winter? I don't know. All I know is, I'm getting too big for this box...

Out of the Box Hammy

P.S. Mark and I still laugh about what an all out kick ass party that wedding was.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Well, I have a couple of days away from the blog and all hell breaks loose. Now that Nukies temporary insanity/urge to hit the destroy button, has been sated I can get back to what I was originally going to post on Monday morning.

Last Friday was a great day!!

The day started with a session at the gym, where Ron and I were discussing bikes (mototcycles to be more precise). Ron is one of the Trainers at the gym, but prior to being a Trainer - he was a motorcycle mechanic. I told him I had been interested in riding one (in the front of the bike, that is) for quite a while, but didn't think I was strong enough to handle one. Ron joked that I also had to get the obligatory tattoo - maybe something like "I love my bike" on my butt cheek - and wear a pair of hot pants. I told him, if he could get me into hot pants I'd tattoo "I love my trainer" on the other cheek.

Our conversation had gotten me thinking, and I stopped at the Harley Davidson dealership. It's an imposing building without windows and one large dark door that gets locked with steel doors at night. I had never been in there and could only envision a lot of big burley tattooed guys hanging around staring at me and thinking aloud, "What the hell is she doing in here?"
Fortunately half the staff was female and the atmosphere was completely different from what I had imagined. I asked one of the gals what I needed to do to "get started" and she told me that Harley was sponsoring a Ladies Night on Wednesday for those women who want to know how to take riding classes and how to select a bike. Needless to say, that's on my agenda for tomorrow night. I also bought a really cute pair of boots. (see pic) And sat on a Sportster 883 that felt pretty comfortable and like something I could handle.

I was planning on going to a retirement party for one of the Town's Paramedics, this great old broad from Brooklyn named Betty. She was one of the first female Paramedics in the State and one of the First (for a long time) in the very small Town Police Department. She got a lot of shit when she started and it lasted a long time. She's been about 100 shades of blonde, always applied a fresh coat of lipstick before going out on a call and probably has slept with half the Fire department and the Police department over her career. I remember her when I was working in the same ER I'm in now, but as a nursing student. I had left the hospital after I graduated and when I returned there a dozen years later, I was delighted to see her still in the saddle (ahem...literally and figuratively). She was truly a force to be reckoned with and will be sorely missed for her uniqueness and personality. The "do" was being held at the Police Club, and I really didn't have anything I wanted to wear to it, since most of my wardrobe consists of scrubs, gym sweats or pyjamas. So I went shopping and to my surprise found I had dropped another size! (woo-hoo) I bought the perfect skirt and top that would go nicely with motorcycle boots (hey, they were all cops, paramedics and firefighters) and I have to say I looked pretty damn good.

The one funny thing I noticed was that we did three things that in this "Politically Correct" society I had forgotten about:

1. We said the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. We said an opening Prayer.
3. The speakers told dirty (and actually quite funny) jokes.

It was like the 50's all over again. It was strange in a way, and in another way very refreshing.

I'm going to pass on one of the Betty stories, because she is so funny and this story sums up her personality to a Tee. She was talking about "briefings" which apparently are the start of shift meetings where the department (Police and Paramedic) review cases and "perps" they are looking for. (Didja like that little bit of lingo there...) So this one cop is talking about this case where a man keeps parking in front of one of the all-girl schools, and sitting in his car without any pants on. The guy is taking pictures of his penis and throwing them out the window onto the sidewalk. The cop keeps looking at Betty and laughing as he's telling the report. So finally Betty (who is not about to be intimidated, embarrassed or outdone by this guy) says, "Alright, let me see one of the pictures, maybe I can recognize him." Like I said - one of a kind.

So...that's what I was going to post on Monday. It's already old news, but....I have nothing else. Actually, that's not true...I always have something to say. But I'll let you know how the Ladies Night goes...and's a secret for now! No sense in stirring up Edith and Archie...not just yet anyway.

The Ham-ster

Monday, February 20, 2006

Hear's the Deal...

Ok. After speaking with Mrs. Nukie I have confirmed that Miniscule Thoughts is no more.
We have determined the cause is one of Three probable reasons:

1. Nukie Is Having a Mid-life Crisis.
2. Nukie has Run Out of Ideas.
3. Nukie has gone insane.

For now, Your stuck with the Crazy Sister/Aunt/Sister-in-Law as the family representative.

Unfortunately, I now have to figure out how to add links of everyones blogs in order to read them from my own site, rather than piggy-backing around from Miniscule Thoughts and Puddle Jumping the rest from Kimmy. Sigh.

There is the possible chance that Nukie may resurface sometime in the future, disguised as a blogger named Al from Kalamazoo. The blog could be re-named "Al's Tale's". But that remains to be seen.
He also may post comments anonymously like a Phantom of The Blogger. That also remains to be seen.

Then again, he may just ride off into the sunset, leaving all of us to endlessly talk about his return; stuck in the mire of our own blogdom, like a living version of The Blogman Commeth.

Still again, we may just riddle him with guilt and plague him with doubt until he restores the site and concedes to the collective will of the Blogfather; calling out from behind his computer desk, "Just when I thought I was out, they suck me back in."

The insanity runs on Archies side of the family....(according to Edith).

Respectfully Submitted,

The Ham-ster

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

All I want for Christmas is...

Kimmy has this post up about pornography and it got me thinkin' about sex and sexuality.
Now, porn isn't my thing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I have PLENTY of appreciation for the male body (oh, yes indeedy I do) and women's bodies are beautiful and curvy, but what is it that people REALLY want when they look at porn?? Sexuality! If it were just raw parts we'd all be stocking our bookshelves with Anatomy books or subscribing to National Geographic. No, we want to be turned on! And what turns us on is sometimes very subtle and hard to define. So I started thinking about what sexuality is to me and I have to say what keeps coming back to my mind is Peter F**king Fonda. God, that guy turns me on. I swear, that's what started me on hippies in the first place. Peter F**king Fonda.

I grew up in a very, very, very small conservative middle-class suburb. We had the only double on our street. My parents and us kids lived in the downstairs flat, and my Mother's mother lived upstairs (except for this one brief stint where she had longed for the old days and moved back to the West side - only to find out, of course, that times had changed. When her flat, which my mom had rented out, became available again she moved back in - permanently. She didn't pine for the old days so much after that freaky deaky experience.)

Anyway, two doors down from us, in this big old Dutch Colonial, lived this crazy old lady named Frieda, and her family. Frieda was a clean freak. She would come outside dressed in a blue dress with a white apron, black crepe soled shoes, and a hairnet on her head; and she would wash the driveway with a scrub brush and a bucket. No shit. She was nuts, but her son! Her son was a hippie, and looked exactly (EXACTLY!!) like PETER FONDA!
He had a VW bug of all...a Motorcycle. The fact that he was probably in his early twenties and I was twelve did not matter to me at all, but alas...he had a girlfriend...and, didn't know I existed. But! He used to sunbathe in her back yard...wearing a black speedo. Oh, God help me!! Needless to say, spent a lot of time looking out my grandmother's bathroom window.

Holy Shit!! The sight of Peter Fonda stradling all that hard shiny chrome still sends my hormones skyrocketing all over the universe. And people think TIES are a phallic symbol! Man, oh man. And that leather...pant, pant,'s so primal and testosterone loaded. Oh, my God!! Who needs porn when you've got Peter F**King Fonda. Jesus, I'm sliding off my chair just thinkin' about it.

I swear that's why I've liked Hippies ever since...Mm-mm...and Motorcycles...Ooooh God...and the smell of a black leather jacket on a man...Oh, Lord have Mercy...can make me do some verrrry bad things. Whoooo! I have to stop writing now...

Easy Rider Hammy

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

E's Not Dead...He's Just Sleepin'

The Bushwhacked administration has often reminded me of something...and I just couldn't put my finger on it. This past week, between the Shell Game regarding the Katrina Debacle and Dick Cheney getting in a John Rambo kinda mood, it hit me like a Shot. (No puns intended)
Listening to anyone talking out of this White House is like listening to Monty Python's Dead Parrot skit. See for yourself, if it doesn't sound like familiar White House retoric.....

A customer enters a pet shop.

Mr. Praline: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The owner does not respond.)

Mr. Praline: 'Ello, Miss?

Owner: What do you mean "miss"?

Mr. Praline: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

Owner: We're closin' for lunch.

Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?

Mr. Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Owner: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Owner: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

Mr. Praline: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

Owner: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!

Mr. Praline: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you

(owner hits the cage)

Owner: There, he moved!

Mr. Praline: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!

Owner: I never!!

Mr. Praline: Yes, you did!

Owner: I never, never did anything...

Mr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!

(Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

Mr. Praline: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.

Owner: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!

Mr. Praline: STUNNED?!?

Owner: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.

Mr. Praline: look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour
ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

Owner: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.

Mr. Praline: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?

Owner: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!

Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the
first place was that it had been NAILED there.


Owner: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and
VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

Mr. Praline: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!

Owner: No no! 'E's pining!

Mr. Praline: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e
rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the
bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!


Owner: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh,
we're right out of parrots.

Mr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.

Owner: I got a slug.


Mr. Praline: Pray, does it talk?

Owner: Nnnnot really.


Owner: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)

Mr. Praline: Well.


Owner: (quietly) D'you.... d'you want to come back to my place?

Mr. Praline: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.

Yep...Pip Pip....Spammy

Thank God For Geeks and Nerds!

Well a Big Huuuuge thank you to Nukie for saving my laptop from imploding. Last night I made an emergency house call visit to the Nukie Household, as my poor laptop had been besieged by all those evil nasties that attach themselves to your poor helpless computer when you're trying to cruise the information highway. Being a decidedly right brain member of the family, my ability to deal with these things on my own is severely limited.

So after a quick call to Nuke, I asked Edith if she could watch the Ham Junior's while I went to Nukies house. Like a nice Grandma, she said yes. Two minutes later the telephone rings, and I didn't even have to look at the Caller ID to know it was Archie. I didn't have to answer the phone to know EXACTLY what he was going to say:

Me: "Hello"

Arch: "YEAH, You can't go driving's bad out."

Me: "It's not that bad out, and my laptop is about to implode, so I NEED to have Nukie fix this for me."

Arch: "Tell yer Mother to come back home, I'll go for Ya."

Me: "I don't want you to go for me, besides I need to be there." Waiting....for what I know is coming next....

Arch: "Well I'm coming over there then, I'll drive ya."

Me: (Sigh)

As we were driving over to Nukie's I thought to myself, "When exactly, will I be able to drive anywhere on my own?" I figure, once Archie is gone my kids will take over where he left off.

A Vision of The Future:

Me: "Hello"

A Junior Ham: "Yeah, what are you doing, Mom?"

Me: "Well, I'm about to go over your Uncled Nukie's house, I need my Crystal Telepathy Ball fixed"

Ham Junior: "You can't go flying around, there's too many atmospheric conditions tonight."

Me: "Well, I HAVE to go, my Crystal Ball is about to go dark, and I need to write a post about President George X. Bush the VII, on the blog."

Ham Junior: "Well I could go for you."

Me: "No, I need to be there, the Crystal Ball won't tune in without my Iris."

Junior Hammy: "Well, I'm coming over there, I'll fly you."

Me: (Sigh).

So, on that note Thank You to Nukie and All the Other Geeks, Nerds, Engineers and anyone else who Predominantly uses the Left Side of Their Brain. I am Eternally Grateful for Your Knowledge and Ability.

(My considerable talents happen to lie elsewhere. :-)

Non-Techie Ham

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Valentines Day

Valentine Box

This morning I realized
That I forgot about your Valentine Box.

It was supposed to be
Decorated, and ready to be delivered
To school
this morning.

I felt so bad telling you,
I didn’t want you to be disappointed,
Or have to arrive at school,
With nothing to show.
When the others would be there
With their boxes,
Decorated so lovingly, or sloppily,
in some cases

I said to you, “Tell your teacher
there will be a box tomorrow,
Tell her it was your Mother’s fault.”

You looked up at me, no trace of disappointment
In your lovely heart-shaped faced,
“Oh Mom,” you said, “That’s okay,
It’s nobody’s fault.”

Oh sweet child,
Gentle and malice free,
Grace beyond your six small years,
You’ll never know
How much of a Valentine
You have just given
To me.
Happy Valentines Day, all.
Cherish the loves you have and have had
No love given freely
is ever a mistake.....
Romantic and Sentimental Ham

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Fine Art of Finger Pointing

There can't possibly be anything more painful and aggravating than watching professional politicians talk.

FEMA scapegoat Michael Brown is being filleted again today in an attempt to make Bush and his home boys look blameless in the New Orleans Mess called Katrina.

Problem is, aside from all of the other nonsense being spouted, I find it hard to believe, despite the claims Republican Senator Norman Coleman keeps trying to make, that "President Bush had no idea that the Levee's broke on Monday because Michael Brown didn't (personally) tell him".

Considering there were...oh...about 6000 news crews with cameras and at least 10 channels devoted to the Katrina blow-by-blow news 24/ could he not know, when everyone else in the country knew.

Maybe Bush's cable package didn't include the Weather Channel, or CNN or FOX News...or ABC...or NBC....or CBS.

I see that not only isn't the ancient tradition of scapegoating dead yet, but it's being taken to brand new heights.

Pfft! Ridiculousness.


Thursday, February 09, 2006


Normally I'm not one to brag. It's just not a big part of my personality. I do like getting credit for an accomplishment, but I just prefer not to do too much tootin' of my own horn. So I have to admit I was a little taken by surprise with my reaction to the grade I received on Ditzy Dora's online exam yesterday.

I got 100%. Which actually shocked the hell out of me. Ya never quite know what you're in for with "the first exam" because you don't know an instructors style, for one thing. And even though the exam was online, it was timed and ya can't go back to the previous questions. (Which I hate!! Grrr!) Plus, ya only get one shot at it. If you screw up and can't finish the exam yer shitouttaluck. So I have to say I worked myself up quite a bit over it before I took it. I did ALL the required text readings....(which I almost never do) and I even read the "recommended" stuff (which I absolutely never do) and I studied all my notes...TWICE (that's twice) mind you.

The thing about online tests is that you get your grade immediately. But I have to say, when it gave me the grade of 100, I thought it was a mistake. Once I realized it was the actual grade I was so psyched! Especially in light of the fact the class average was posting out to be 73! Woo-Hoo Hammy!!

Since I was at home, and the girls get all excited over this kind of thing, I felt pretty comfortable doing a little victory dance in the kitchen. I contained myself somewhat, because I really wanted to run around the house singing "I got a hundred, I got a hundred, Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah." But, I made do with the victory dance.

So when I got to class tonight, one of the other gals was bitchin' about the exam...and her grade. I made a comment that I thought it was more difficult than I expected (which it was), but I didn't say what I got on it, and being that we are a "polite society" I figured she'd never ask me. Wrong. As we walked into the classroom, she turns to me and says, "So what ja get?" So, I briefly considered my options, (Lie, pretend I have to go to the bathroom, or tell her what I got) and then I say, "Well, I got 100 on it." to which she replies by staring at me for a few seconds and then saying "Witch!!"

She then spends the rest of the class (it's a three hour class mind ya) telling everyone what I got on the exam. So I start off by saying, in my usual downplaying way, that I read ALL of the text readings and the class notes over TWICE....but then these little horns popped out of my head....and this little pointy tail popped out of my ass.....and I said...."AND I'M SMART!!! Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!!!!"

So un-hammy-like.....hee-hee!

And it was just as sweet as a chocolate truffle.
Must be the influence of that upcoming "confident" Leo Moon....

One For The Gipper Ham

Just Piddles....

Since the current Moon is in Cancer I decided to nurture myself a little, before it heads into blazing Leo tomorrow night. A Cancer Moon is a great time to give yourself a little TLC, and Lord knows in this world we sure need it!

Since I took full advantage of the early-in-the-week Gemini phase of the Moon to get myself going on the 2 projects I had for Ditzy Dora's class, I decided to reward myself by baking a pan of brownies last night and cruising the internet for Harry Potter news. (DVD of GOF in stores March 7th, JK is writing book 7 and casting for OOP has already begun). I even let the girls lick the batter off the beaters...(normally reserved for me)...but I did get the bowl and the spatula.

Today I went to a Yoga class with my old instructor. She moved into a new space and it was cozy and warmer than the old room we used to be in. I took care of The Old Girl (my car) on the way home. She had a right rear blinker out, and I figured she needed a little nurturing too. It's not her fault she's a Gastrointestinal Motor's Car.

The last stop before home was at Moti Mahal for a major Indian Food lunchtime pig-out. Mm-mm-mmm! I got home, lit candles and incense, changed into some warm, cozy sweats and snuggled inside the "Magic Cape"....just me, some incense, a nice cup of tea and the last of the brownies.

(The "Magic Cape" is a large, bright red wooly cape that I use instead of a sweater, to wrap around myself when I'm in need of a little extra warmth. I used to wrap my arms around the kids, and tuck them inside it when they were little and not feeling well. I'd give them a little Tylenol and hold them near me. I told them it was a "Magic Cape" and would make them feel better. It always did...but that's what hugs and love and a little Tylenol will do...anyway, the name stuck...and now it's forever the "Magic Cape").

So, before the kids tumble off the bus, I'm going to finish my tea and take a cat nap....and take advantage of the last little bit of this Cancer Moon.

Bed-In Hammy

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

There's No Such Thing As A Free Speech

I have to say, I find it ironic that as long as Women, Priests, Jesus, Jews, Politicians, the Military, and Weird celebrities are being bashed no one in the media gives a hoot. But suddenly everyone is afraid to publish cartoons?? In case yer at all interested in what your NOT seeing published in our "free speech press" here in the land of the free and home of the brave click on this link. It's not all that exciting considering the hoopla being made over it.

Although it does beg the question what is really going on around here? Political Correctness? Cultural Sensitivity? Religious Sensitivity? Or just bald fear of crazy ass people? (Did I here someone say "Bingo", or was that just my imagination?)

If the result of the War on Terror is going to be the slow degradation and destruction of our own civil liberties and values - including our freedom of speech; then we should just raise the white flag right now. Is this what our military are (and always have) been fighting and dying for?? I don't appreciate a lot of things I read, see and hear in the name of "freedom of speech" but I tolerate it, because I value that right - not just for myself, but for all of us. That includes people I don't agree with, and people who don't agree with me.

I thought we already fought this battle? But maybe if the various media outlets were not divvied up and owned by a selected few media moguls, we would have a few more defenders of free speech printing what really amounts to nothing more than a great excuse for a small group of fanatical clerics rousing the fringes and the oppressed into a froth over a little more than a hill of beans. (Especially in light of the fact these cartoons were originally printed four months ago.) But, as always, it's just my Onion pi.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Business of Health

Every once in a while I have a day at work that really makes me wonder what's it all about, Alfie? Today was that kind of day. I don't know if it was the excitement of Superbowl Sunday, or the nasty weather, or the phase of the Moon, or just the weirdness of life, but we were so gosh darned busy that for a moment there I thought it was Thanksgiving Day again. The staffing was a volatile mix of a rather power-loving charge nurse, a spastic doc and me...with PMS. Not good. Add lots of ambulances...heartburn, and several drunks to that picture while yer at it. But the funny thing was the patients I happened to get were people whose lives I touched, or was meant to touch in some significant way. I mean, that happens a lot in this field, but it still throws me when it does. I had a young guy, dumped off by the police for intoxication. No one from his family would pick him up, so he had to stay until his ETOH level dropped to nearly normal. I say nearly, because he was an admitted alcoholic, and the last thing we wanted to do was to throw him into seizures from withdrawal. Still, he was there long enough that we got to talking a bit, in between all the chaos. Now usually ER people are too busy to get into all of the addiction counseling, or we just figure, "What's the use." But for some reason I was able to talk to him about his alcoholism and what it was really doing to his life and health. I don't profess to be an expert, but I was honest, and I really cared, and I was straight with him about where all this would eventually leave him. I don't know if it will make a difference, and it very well may not, but sometimes I just get the feeling I'm "meant to say something." I never really know why, or know exactly what I'm going to say beforehand. I suspect it might be a part of that "big picture" somehow. But when I get that sense, that feeling...well, I go with it because I think to myself, "there is a reason for this. I'm not sure what, and I'm not sure why, but I know there is a reason for this."

I had another guy, an older man. He popped his hip out of joint, for the second time in 2 months. Well, we popped it back in without a lot of difficulty - that wasn't really his problem. I mean, it was his "medical problem" but it wasn't what was really concerning him. Like most older men, they don't really let on about what's really wrong - because men aren't supposed to show those kind of emotions. But once we had a little narcotic action on board...he broke down and started to cry. He was crying about the bill he knew he was going to get for the ambulance, the ER visit and all the procedures. (He had been through this before, and he had a pretty good idea of what the total was going to be - and what wasn't going to be covered). Oh he had Medicare - but only Part A. He elected not to get Part B because his employer was providing other coverage. Then, once he was locked into that decision, his employer changed plans, cut benefits, reduced coverage, increased deductible and co-pays....etc. Most people don't realize Medicare Part A doesn't cover a whole hell of a lot. (Part B isn't too much better either.) I know I was shocked when I found out how bad the coverage is. Oh, it's better than "nothing". But if "better than nothing" is all the healthcare coverage we can offer the men and women who spent their lives and health making this country what it is today...well, that's just shit in my opinion. So here I am, with this poor crying PMS and blood just boiling at the injustice of it all...well, he almost made me start crying too. What a sight we were. I couldn't do too much for him. I just felt like I was handing him platitudes of some sort. But, again I felt like I was meant to be there, and discuss this with him - honestly. (I also gave him a little Hammy advice about how to handle those bill collectors...having had a little experience with that sort of thing back in the days when I was a skip tracer). We had a good cry and then a couple of good laughs. I don't know what that was all about. But sometimes...I don't know...sometimes I think I might just be working off some of that ol' bad karma some how. Who knows, maybe St. Pete will consider letting me in after all.

But I'll tell ya this. I've marched my little fanny on Washington for abortion rights, I've written Congressmen and Senators, and in some cases even the White House over issues I have felt strongly about. But nothing has been a lightning rod for me as much as this healthcare situation. I can't stand to see people crying in the ER over the future bill they are going to receive for trying to take care of their health. I can't stand to see people who work full-time and have no healthcare coverage at all. And it burns my ass that George Bush has put a universal healthcare plan in place in Iraq - paid for with our tax dollars - and yet we don't have one in our own country. The truth is that this system exists because the American Medical Association, and now the Pharmaceutical Companies, want it this way. If you ask most MD's about universal coverage they'll look at you like you've uttered a blasphemy and accuse you of wanting "Socialized Medicine". Somehow, in their mind, everyone having the ability to have BASIC health coverage is somehow equated with them having less money in their pocket, and they've been fighting it since the beginning. The list of people who are covered by state or federal programs grows piece-meal all the time: the very poor, pregnant women, the disabled, the handicapped, veterans, prisoners (those who are incarcerated), illegal immigrants (oh yes!), those over 65, children under 18, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, politicians (who have an excellent healthcare plan by the way) and those lucky enough to be covered by their employers. The only ones who aren't covered are the working poor, the temporarily unemployed and those in the middle class who can't afford to buy their own plan.

Healthcare coverage shouldn't be left to "luck". Not in this country.

It's an injustice and it's perpetuated by greed and indifference. I guess we didn't learn as much from Katrina as we should have. I don't exactly know what I'm going to do about it just yet. All I know is I have to do something about this situation. It's just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. An opportunity will come my way, and when it does I'll be ready. Well, I guess sometimes I touch their lives, and sometimes they touch mine.

Socialized Medicine!? What the hell is that supposed to mean??

Hmm-mm, Well then, just call me "Che" Hammy

Friday, February 03, 2006

Whatta Week!!!

Holy Shitski! I can't believe a whole week has gone by. It's been so jam packed I haven't even had time to cruise the blogs much less write one. (Sniff, sniff). So this is a recap of my week:

Saturday: Took the day off from work to attend the Church retreat for Ham Jr #1's upcoming First Communion. (Which apparently is not called that anymore, and barely resembles anything I ever did.) Had a good time, and learned some new things. For example: The Pelican is pictured in one of the stained glass windows because in the event of a lack of food the mother Pelican will peck at her breast and draw blood, in order to feed the babies and keep them from dying. (Gross, but interesting).

Sunday: Worked 12 hours in a completely crazed ER. Tons of people, staff crabby and worked with Dr. Short-N-Snippy whom I can't stand and thinks he's all that. (Unfortunately he traded shifts with Dr. Handsome-N-Interesting). Stopped for groceries (Never, never shop for groceries on the week-end! Ugh!) Went home, put kids to bed, took a hot bath, fell asleep in the tub. (Ooof!) Woke up with a stiff neck, went to bed.

Monday: Went to the kids school. Met with OT person regarding Ham Jr #2's sloppy handwriting. Gave Cafeteria Manager a check for cupcakes and juice for Ham Jr #1's birthday on Tuesday. Went to gym and worked out with Ron. Went to very, very, very long class/lab (5 hours) with Hetty the Horrible. 25% of the class is repeating due to failing the class in the prior semester. Came home, got kids ready for bed, dropped like a stone.

Tuesday: Went to a work seminar for job #2. Stopped at the store, picked up birthday cake for Ham Jr #1 and some stuff for a nice spread. Went home, put out fire #1 (Cafeteria Manager went to a meeting, forgot to deliver cupcakes and juice. Ham Jr #1 called from school all panicky. Principal saved the day. Found cupcakes in the refridgerator. Delivered them to classroom.) Started decorating the house and cutting up fruit/veggies/cheese when Niece #7 came for a visit. Sister-in-Law left Niece #7 with Auntie Ham while shopping at Mall. Niece squalled and bawled until Sister-in-Law returned. Continued making trays and putting up decorations all the while thanking God I have no more Newborns. Put out fire #2 (No Pizza Delivery at appointed time). Nukie and family arrived, Edith and Archie arrived, Other Brother and Family arrived. Party Time. Cleaned up, got kids ready for bed, Dropped like a stone.

Wednesday: Woke up to NPR recap of Dubya's State of the Union address. Got pissed off. (Addicted to oil?? What an asshole!!) Second day of work seminar at job #2. Stopped at home to get kids off bus. Deposited Ham Jr #2 at Grandma's, took Ham Jr #1 to ER with me for moral support, needed to have the glass in the bottom of my foot removed, that had been there for 9 days. Was insulted by co-workers giving me shit about not coming into ER sooner to have said glass removed from the bottom of my foot. Limped out of ER. Went to drugstore to get script filled for antibiotic. Went home to soak foot, got kids ready for bed. Dropped like a (sore, very sore) stone.

Thursday: Woken up by Ham Jr #2 at 2 AM puking. Happy she made it to the toilet. Again, woken up by Ham Jr #2 at 3 AM puking. Again, happy she made it to the toilet. Woke up at 6 AM in a panic, forgot to take garbage out. Hauled garbage to curb in pajamas. Brrr. Woke Ham Jr #1 at 7 AM to get ready for school. Ham Jr #2 decided (after bus leaves) she's all better. Spends the day running around the house like a monkey on amphetamines while I try to complete class assignment due in a couple of hours. Go to other class with Ditzy Dora. Stare at cute but dumb guy who looks (and acts) like Keeanu Reeves in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Find out I have an online test due and Dora changes the class schedule (again). Figure out I'm basically screwed. Go home, get kids ready for bed. Soak sore foot, take antibiotic. Cruise a few blogs. Create a post which disappears forever when server disconnects. Get disgusted, do a crossword puzzle, go to bed exhausted at 9 PM.

Friday: Kids off from school for Parent Teacher Conference Day (so they are up at the crack of dawn.) Empty dishwasher, throw in load of laundry. Go to kids school to discuss the Junior Hams. Go to gym to workout, bring Ron cookies. Go to UB to drop off assignment. Can't e-mail it, because that's too progressive. Stop in at 2nd job to pick up assignments. Go home to soak foot and take antibiotic. Eat a quick Lunch. Do a case study for Hetty the Horrible's class due on Monday. Answer e-mail. Cruise the internet. Yell at kids who are fighting like cats and dogs. Refrain from selling kids to nearest band of gypsies. Create blog post.

Pffew! So that was my week. Hope yer all good, and see ya later.

Frazzled Hammy