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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hap-pee Birth-Day!!

"I just want to say, "Happy Birthday, Kimmy!" from Me and Laura!"
"We all just love ya, an' read the blog everyday."

Oh, Waiter!

Did ya ever just wake up one day and say to yourself, “This isn’t the life I had planned!”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just return it, like a mistaken plate of food?

Me: “Oh, Waiter! This wasn’t the life I ordered. I asked for The Life-O-Ease special sprinkled with good fortune, just a hint of fame and a side dish of Cabana Boys to Spare.”
Waiter: “I’m so sorry madam, but we are all out of that dish. We do have the Way to Marital Misery Wrap with huge chunks of Attorney Fee’s, smeared with large dollops of aged Regret and Dysfunction. It comes with a side dish of Sorrows and tall glass of your choice of Alcoholic Beverage to drown them in. We also have the ever popular Hell in a Handbasket, piled high with crisp chunks of Deep-fried Fast-Lane foods, an all-you-can-eat Illicit Substances Salad Bar and a bottomless bowl of Therapy and Rehab on the side.

May I suggest the Dis-Ease of the month dessert to go along with that?”

Me: “No thank you - I’ve had that dish before. I guess I’ll just keep the Long and Rocky Road roast with the side of Occasional Mild Mishap and Muddles noodles with Cheese, and the Little Bit-O-This and That Salad with the House Full of Kids and Italian family dressing on the side.”

Waiter: “Very Good, Madam.

Me: “And for dessert, I think I’ll have the Spicy Affair Sizzle for two.”

Waiter: “I’m so sorry Madam; we are all out of that as well.”

Me: “Then I guess I’ll have the Bland as Rice Pudding…for one, please.”

Or maybe, we could take a life out for a celestial test drive before we agree to buy it.

Me: “I’m in the market for a new life. Do you have anything you could show me?”

St. Peter: “Oh, we have some great models to choose from; over here for example. This little number is a bit racy, a European model, so you have to be careful once you get past third gear. Needs frequent clutch replacement and brake pads but its one fast ride. If you don’t watch the tank you’ll run out of gas before thirty. You may need to change the transmission by forty, that’s one of the biggest complaints we get. But it’s nothing a good plastic surgeon can’t fix. Oh yeah, one more thing – the male version of this life is not a good match - comes in red or light blue.”

Me: “Do you have anything a little slower?”

St. Pete: “Well, we do have this plain little two door sedan. We don’t get a lot of call for it though. Generally goes about an easy 100,000 but you’ve got to keep it under 80 and have the tires rotated regularly with the oil changes. Steady as they come though – very reliable. Only color it comes in is Black.”

Me: “Well, don’t you have something in the middle? You know - something that will get a lot of mileage but has a little pizzazz to it!”

St. Pete: “Oh, those are our most popular versions. We always have a backlog on those models. Right now estimated time of delivery is at least six months to a year. And if you want pin stripes you’ll have to add three weeks on to that time. Comes with leather interior though, and a really flashy hood ornament. You can get it in any color you want.”

Me: (Sigh) “Well, I really need something right now! Don’t you have anything else??”

St. Pete: “Well, let me have a look around. We did have one of those VW buses hanging around. It’s a not a luxury vehicle but it does get some decent mileage, and it has a tendency to take you to some far out places. Lots of room to grow in it, and its accommodating to frequent changes without too much repair work. I’ve been told by former owners that its one long strange trip. They’re not for everyone, but I guarantee you, you won’t be bored, and we do have a couple in stock now. Only color it comes in is a mixture called “Vivid”, seems to be viewed differently by everyone who sees it.”

Me: (Sigh) “OK. I’ll take it.”

St. Pete: “I’ll get you the keys.”

Me: “Oh Pete!”

St. Pete: “Yeah?”

Me: “Just remind me about all this when I come to turn it in.”

Pete: “Sure thing.”

- Ham Bone

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Justa Sittin' Ana Thinkin'

OK. I just wanted an excuse to use this photo...but I really am just sitting here thinking...

So, it's a fine Tuesday morning. George Bush is still an asshole. Is it just me, or does it seem like the Republicans are putting Bill Frist out in front and even up against George? I think the 2008 elections are going to be between him and Billary....unless the Democrats pull another candidate out of their ass....if that's the case the White House will be home to another set of Republicans - because Hillary will never win. (Unless we have another rigged election.)

Anyway, enough of that shit...let's talk about me!
I just came off a 32 hour weekend in the ER....Ugh! Holy Shit was it nasty. I don't recommend it....but we had two sick calls...and I needed the dough....
I am determined to pay off that fucking credit card by the end of this year. I completely forgot to mail in the frigging bill and ended up mailing the gaddam payment in 2 days late and got whacked with a late fee and the rotten fuckers hiked up the percentage rate. Now I'm pissed.
As Bugs Bunny would say, "Of course you know, this means War."

I come home to find the kids running wild at Grandma' homework baths...up late. Shit. Why wasn't she like this when she was my mother?? I felt like saying, "Who are you and what did you do with my mother?" So, I decided to teach the kids a lessson and sent them to school with their homework not finished and a note from Ms. Ham. Sometimes ya just gotta back the words up with a little action....(Sigh.)

On the up side, I loved reading everyones blogs. WDKY has a nice English accent....nice poem choice. Rumi is one of my favorites....Kimmy is funny and all cute at the same time as usual.....I liked Nukie's satire of my ever long but rather entertaining New York story....FS5 didn't have any porn, but a nice scathing political commentary nonetheless....LLF very entertaining in her dictorial way as usual also enjoyed her comment on the Ghost story! A real haunted house!.....Runningman had some...ahem...interesting military tales....Bad beans finally left a real dialog comment on the...oops...should I say it......(whisper) abortion post.....and it was nice to get a real and relatively non-sarcastic opinion on that subject. The longest comments I have ever gotten - or made for that matter....Who am I forgetting?? Oh, Jeff! No new post, but I sure liked his ghost story....very "String Theory" if I do say so myself..spooky.
Chuckster must have been out eating ice cream....or riding the bike.

At work, the big buzz was over 9/11. It seems there are a few closet conspiracy theorists in that bunch. Who da thunk it? I'll try to post the link for the video thingy that was being shown at work...but you know how technically impaired I am.... The upshot is they are saying the Pentagon was missled by....?......and it was not hit by a plane. Interesting video. Although it doesn't change anything. We're still in Iraq holding on to our asses with both hands.

........Besides...everyone knows the CIA did it.....

try this:

I'm feeling the pressure this semester. These classes are tough. I'm hanging in there though.
But that's the reason why I haven't been around much. Unlike WDKY who hasn't been around for other "fun" reasons....

Well...I have to do a little I'll check on yer blogs later tonight.
I missed ya'll.

Hamburger Helpered Hammy

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Got Ghosts?

I was cruising the TV last night, trying to chill out a little, when I came across a program called Ghost Hunters. It was actually pretty good. The premise of the show is that a team of people go into a reportedly haunted place and try to de-bunk it by using high tech equipment to see what they come across, if anything. Most of the time they don't find anything of consequence. Sometimes events are explained naturally, but every once in a while something really weird gets caught on tape or by Electronic Voice recorder.

I remember one time, I was about 12 years old, and was reading a book in the living room at our old house. I finished the book and when I closed the cover and looked up I saw something run and hide behind the chair. I was sure it was Nukie, because that was the kind of stuff we used to do to each other, so I went behind the chair to sneak up on him. When I did, the figure ran behind the couch - Nukie was skinny enough to do this back then- so I followed, too. When I did that, the figure ran out the room, so I followed too. I saw the figure run into my bedroom, so I was sure I had Nukie trapped, and figured when I caught him I would clobber him!

I swung around the doorframe - and standing in my room was a man dressed in knickers and a stripped black and white shirt, with a red scarf, like a bandana around his neck and a blue flat cap with brim on his head. I froze. The man smiled at me and put his hand up and waved and then disappeared. I ran like hell out of the house.

So anyone got any ghost stories??

Spooky Ham

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kvetching Up

Warning: It's PMS week. And in Hammy's book PMS stands for "Play Mine Straight"

Jee-sus it's been a busy week. I can't believe my last post was a week ago. Well, it looks like the Capital Hill Numb-nuts are still going strong. We've now reached a spending total of $400 Billion in Iraq and $100 Billion for Katrina with very little to show for either one. How ironic that Oprah managed to do more for New Orleans with $10 million dollars than the Feds have done with thousand of times more money. Maybe Oprah should be the new head of FEMA.

We've also hit a record high in the Trade Deficit department and are now borrowing $2 Billion dollars daily from foreign countries to pay for it all. Thanks George.
Hm-mm, Come to think of it, maybe Oprah should run for President, too.

And South Dakota has decided to turn back the clock 30 years and make abortion illegal, in spite of a little thing called Roe v Wade.

Christ Almighty, maybe we need a major hurricane to run itself through the District of Columbia.

On the home front the Hams and I are trying to dodge bullet # 2 in the form of pinworms. (We successfully dodged the Head Lice bullet a few months ago). I just got the lovely call yesterday, "Oh, by the way, just wanted to let you know..." So I'm trying to avoid having to stick a piece of Scotch Tape on their anuses in the middle of the night by endlessly asking, "Your rear end isn't itching is it?? You'll let me know if it does right??" Until my eldest said this morning, "Mom, I'm going to lose my breakfast!" Poor kid, that's what she gets for having a mother with a cast iron stomach while possessing a weak stomach of her own....

In a surprise move yesterday Hettie the Horrible (my Physical Assessment Professor) told me she was happy to hear I was planning on enrolling in the Master's Program. She said (and I quote) "You have a good brain. You should put it to use." Um, ...thanks...I think? Invariably that left me wondering....ah, ....aren't I doing that already???

On the work front, we had another knock-down drag out in the nurses station. I shoulda known! My horoscope said that the Sun would be clashing with Pluto and the Moon was in Scorpio so (again I quote) "Avoid the temptation to lash out at others." I even said a little prayer to St. Anthony on my way in to work on Sunday. "Oh St. Anthony please let me keep my big mouth shut today and a lid on my temptuous temper." Alas. I was triggered. I decided to put the "episode" in another post. I did this for two reasons; one, it's an issue that is contentious as all hell and two, it's an issue that's important enough to deserve it's own space. (See the post below...if you dare!)

In other news, Ham Jr. #1 and I went shopping for her First Communion dress and regalia. $300 smackers later I was getting sweaty visions of her future wedding expenses. We still haven't bought the shoes yet. And of course, she wants a party afterward. I'm still trying to figure out how to weigh out the expense of a party outside the home vs. having my ex-hubbie inside my home for several hours. Shit these modern moral dilemmas!!

Well, hope ya'll had a good week. I need ta Ketchup on yer blogs....


Straight without a Chaser

Warning: This post is about abortion. Contrary to popular believe this is not a “woman’s issue” is a humanity issue. You might not find this post cute, funny or pleasant reading, but it’s not meant to be.

Before I start I just want to present a few facts.

  1. The “morning after pill” is NOT an abortion pill. If you are already pregnant you cannot take the pill. The “morning after pill” is just a double dose of birth control pills that are followed by another double dose of birth control pills 12 hours later. It doesn’t abort anything and needs to be taken within 24 – 72 hours after having unprotected or failed-birth-control sexual intercourse.

  1. Prior to Roe v Wade in 1973, approximately 5000 women in the US per year died from illegal abortions. (figures are from the World Health Organization)

  1. Approximately 219 women globally die from illegal abortions every single day, and illegal abortions are a leading cause of maternal death in poverty stricken South American women. (figures are from the World Health Organization)

This is the situation; about 1/2 of the ER staff (doctors as well as nurses) are divided over the issue of dispensing the "morning after pill". About 1/2 won't give it, that is, won't write the order, won't dispense it and won't administer the pills or the prescription. In essence, about ½ of the staff refuses to care for a woman or young lady who comes in for emergency contraception (this includes doctors as well as nurses). OK. I understand that and respect their views; however, I marched on Washington with a very large contingency of women and men, including Susan Sarandon, Cybil Shepard and Whoopi Goldberg, among many others that day, to preserve this right; and I'm not about to see it slip away in spite of that bastard George Bush and his ultra conservative cronies on the Supreme Court.

This is not the first time we have had this little "discussion" at work, but this time maybe it was the combination of people on that day, but it erupted big-time at the nurse’s station (which thank God is enclosed and relatively sound muffling). This time it was over a young girl who came in post St. Patrick's Day, which should pretty much explain it all. She was a beautiful girl; in fact she reminded me a lot of Nukie's middle child, just so pretty and gentle. My heart just ached for her. She was embarrassed and frightened and crying. It didn’t help that half the staff was treating her like a pariah. One of the nurses stood up and said she wasn't going to take care of her. And the PA refused to prescribe or dispense the pills. One of the doctors stood up and said, "Well I'll do it." and I stood up and said, "Give me that chart. I'll take care of her." The next thing I knew there were nurses speechifying, and some "looking up the policy" and others yelling and it just became a huge contentious battle.
I went at it pretty good with one of the nurses. The events were so "interesting" that the Pharmacy guy who was refilling our meds was moving mighty slow during the whole thing, and suddenly everyone in the ER seemed to have some business in the Nurses Station.

I hate seeing women pay the price for something both parties are doing. Hormones happen and that's just a fact. Sometimes things just get out of control. Christ Almighty. Yes, abortion sucks, and it would be a terrific and wonderful thing if it didn't exist, but nobody should be forced to bear a child - nobody. Asking for emergency contraception is somebody’s way of trying to prevent just that very thing.
And when people tell me things like, "Well, I want to be able to look my Maker in the eye..." I find myself saying things like, "Listen Sister! If God has "a few questions for me" let me tell ya, I sure as shit have a few for Him, too. And I'll be happy to look that bad boy in the eye, because I'm down here sloggin' away in the trenches, trying to do the best that I can under the circumstances, and if He doesn't like it then why doesn't He come down and give me a little fuckin' help once in a while!" (Slam!!)


And let me tell ya, I have "two dogs in the fight" as the saying goes. I have two daughters (not to mention five beautiful nieces) that I don't ever want to hear died from a desperate back alley abortion. Hormones happen, and they don't just happen to 1/2 the population. It's stupid, unreasonable and duplicitous to act like sex doesn't feel good. Jesus. How the hell did we all get here?? If this country didn't have such dichotomy when it came to sex our young people wouldn't be so fucked up. "Just say, No." and “Abstinence!” are the motto's they are given, and in the meantime they are bombarded day and night with sexy Abercrombie images, "wardrobe malfunctions", half naked rap videos and Calvin Klein underwear billboards. Not to mention the contributions of Teen Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Playboy and others. Poor fucking kids. No wonder they're so confused when they do get an "urge" and feel dirty and ashamed because of it. Then they are totally unprepared when the "urge to merge" gets too strong and they can't call it off. I will fight to my dying day to preserve this right. Not for me. For all the daughters, nieces and granddaughters who died by the desperate means of a coat hanger, while their wealthy cohorts were whisked off for "extended vacations out of the country". Shame on you South Dakota. Shame on you Capitol Hill.
Another Black Day in the United States for poor and middle class American women.

What really burns my ever lovin' ass is that the "lives" these anti-choice people consider worth saving are only the ones that aren't born yet. After they are born, no one gives two shits if they are born into a household that loves, wants and can afford them or not. Especially if they are African-American. Then they can wallow in poverty and abuse until they are thrown in prison or the grave - which ever comes first. Hypocrites. And let’s not even talk about the mothers, and medical staff at the clinics who can be used for bomb practice or target practice. Those "lives" don't seem to matter either.

In remembrance of "abortion doctor" Dr. Bernard Slepian, who was shot in the head by long range rifle, while he stood at his kitchen sink getting a glass of water. Leaving behind his wife and children of his own (who I guess don't matter either).


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New York City Story

Disclaimer: The following story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

This is the story of the first time I ever went to New York City, and the last time I ever wore a tube top.

Prologue: My previous post had started me thinking about the time I lived on the West Side, a section of the city that had once been home to the areas wealthiest people. As time went by and suburbia happened the wealthy people moved out, and the immigrants moved in, and then out, in waves; first the German, Polish and Irish, then the Italians and finally the Hispanics and Asians. All that remained of the wealthy were the assortment of mansions they had left behind. Some stripped of their fabulous architecture more than others, some cut up into odd sized apartments and some just waiting to be put out of their misery with a wrecking ball. I happened to land in a particularly bohemian area known as "Harristown". A mixture of the newly urbanized (artsy students, young single professionals and trendy gay couples) who were enamored with the one-of-a-kind dwellings and hip little shops and restaurants; living side by side with the natives - a motley crew of prostitutes, old drug addicts and drunks, and the just plain poor folk. The answer to the urban renovators woes was to "block bust", or buy up every house that came on the market (and some that didn't, in the form of foreclosures) remodel them, and sell them to the next wave of sparkling urban professionals. So there it would be; a newly restored mansion smack next door to a crumbling structure with blown out windows, a door hanging off it's hinge and a Rottweiller affixed to the rotted porch railing - the lady or man of the house flopped on the couch on the porch; its stuffing escaping from the arms or cushions. All in all an interesting place to be in the disco era of the 1980's. I was living out my bohemian dreams in a house that held a mix of moderately talented artists, extremely talented con men, and me.

I had just finished my first year of college, and had basically garnered one or two useable grades, so I decided to take some time off to figure out just what the hell it was I really wanted to do with my life. In the meantime, I had run across someone I had known in a previous life. (Actually he had gone to Junior High school with me prior to taking off to Europe one year. We used to be in the same Spanish class, and since he already spoke fluent Spanish - and I didn't give a shit if I did; we sat in the back of the room and played poker.) I was surprised to see him back in the States and one thing led to another and we started dating. For the purposes of this story, let's call him...Eduardo. Well Eduardo was a moderately talented artist and sculptor, but he was a far more talented con man. He had a body guard (for reasons which I will decline to elaborate upon) a guy with way more loyalty and brawn than brains. Let’s call him....Joey Bag O'Donuts.
Anyway, one day Joey's girlfriend came into town to visit. She was a cross between Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Julie Andrews. Why or how she ever hooked up with Joey is one of the great mysteries in life. We'll call her.....Penelope. So anyway, Miss Penelope was not from around these parts and she had "always wanted to see Niagara Falls", a locale which we were not all that far away from. So Joey asked Eduardo if he could borrow his prime piece of real estate - his El Camino. Needless to say Eduardo was less than thrilled to lend one of his favorite toys to Joey Bag O'Donuts - even if he did sleep right outside his bedroom door not entirely unlike a Doberman Pincer. So, unwilling to look less than generous, Eduardo gets the bright idea to take Joey and Penelope to Niagara Falls himself, and of course, the arm candy came with him. (I told you I once was hired as a Playboy Bunny.) Anyway, if you are not familiar with an El Camino, let me just say this - it's a two-seater car. Now I always wore dark sunglasses for two reasons...well, OK...three reasons: one, they looked damn good on me and two, I wore contact lenses and was a bit light sensitive. So anyway, (What? Oh, the third reason? Um...well....let's just say it was the eighties and leave it at that.) So, as I was sunglasses...Eduardo never remembered to bring his, and as we were driving he says to me, "Hey, baby, gimme yer sunglasses I forgot mine." to which I replied, "Dammit Eduardo! You always do this to me! Why don't you ever remember your sunglasses." to which he replied, "Dat's what you're for. Jus gimme da son glazzes." At one point we stopped at a gas station to fill up, and I wandered in the shop area and noticed a nice pair of black sunglasses behind the counter. I made Eduardo cough up the money and bought a pair to replace the ones he had...borrowed. Once inside the car, Joey says, "Geez, I oughta buy wonna dem for me too" and he goes inside the store. Five minutes later he comes out with a pair for his girl and a pair for himself. Now we all have matching dark black sunglasses, and we are four adults in a two-seater car. We start to go over the bridge to Niagara Falls, Canada (because that's where the better view is) and we stop at the customs checkpoint as required. "Citizens of?" "U.S., U.S., U.S., U.S." we all called out. "Headed to?" "Ni-a-gara Fallz." Eduardo says. The customs official handed Eduardo a card and tells him to go in the lane to the left. Eduardo hands me the card and I look at it. On one side is written "K and 9". So, I'm looking at it and saying "Kay....nine.....Kay...nine....Kay...Oh, Holy shit it says K-9! Canine! As in...dogs!!!" And Eduardo looks at me in that condescending way that he always had, and says, "Don' worry, deres nuttin' in da car, sweet-hart." So we get out, and the dogs get in. Well, they didn't need dogs in that car. They could have used gerbils or boa constrictors because everywhere that customs guy looked - there was something. He started by flipping open the ash tray, where he found a roach (no...not a cockroach) and a pack of rolling papers. The customs guy looked at me. I looked at Eduardo, and Eduardo just shrugged. Next, the customs guy flipped down the visor and a straw fell out. Needless to say, it went downhill from there. (Oh yeah, it got worse believe me, it got a lot worse.) We were summarily marched inside and split into two groups: males and females. We were then marched into an empty, windowless room with a bare light bulb in a cage and a serious looking female customs official named "Bruin Hilda". No sooner had the door closed when we were told to "strip". Penelope hadn't stopped crying since the dogs were let into the car, and I was standing there wearing a tube top (remember those?) an extremely short pair of shorts and high-heeled sandals. Not a lot of places to hide things. I was always a fast talker, so I started talking to Hilda, "Look, can we just skip this part and just say we did? I mean...look at me....I'm practically naked. Where am I going to hide anything? Besides, did ya see all that shit in the car? I mean, what else could we possibly have on us?? And this one - (pointing to Penelope who was still crying her eyes out) - she has nothing to do with any of this, she's practically off the farm. So wadda ya say? Can we just forget about this strip search thing and say we did it - we'll back ya up if they ask, honest!" To which Penelope was vigorously nodding as she bawled her eyes out. Bruin Hilda let us go. But Eduardo and Joey Bags got the full treatment. ( A memory that still makes me smile, even today.) Anyway, when the final count was done, the offending items included a machete under the front seat (Eduardo tried to claim it was an "antique" he had purchased just prior to coming over the border) two .38 caliber bullets and a few other assorted items which I would rather not specify at this time.

During the guys strip search Joey Bags lost a set of brass knuckles and a custom switch blade he had named "Monica".

The customs guys had looked us over (some more thoroughly than others) and decided we weren't worth the paperwork of prosecuting. So they came out of the back room and said, "How much money do you have?" We all pulled our cash out of our pockets and coincidentally, the "fine" was exactly what we had on us to the penny. After we put the car back together, we were sent packing - back to the US. Penelope was still wailing her head off, only now she reminded Joey Bags that she couldn't purchase her train ticket back home because she was broke. Eduardo magnanimously decided he would drive her back home right there and then. The only problem was she lived just outside NYC and we were a good 10 hours away from there. I suggested to Eduardo that we just swing by the house, get the money to buy her ticket, and be thankful we all weren't in the hands of the Mounted Police. But, you couldn't tell Eduardo what to do, so off we went to NYC.

Needless to say, it was pretty damn late when we dropped Penelope off at her house. Joey Bags decided to stay with her, figuring Eduardo was far enough away from anyone who normally might wish to do him some bodily harm. Besides, he had some making up to do. Eduardo decided the two of us would continue on into Manhattan and stay with a friend of his, and swing by later in the week to pick up Joey. The only problem was that Eduardo wasn't much of a mechanic, and by the time we got onto the George Washington Bridge, the car had overheated. We stalled out right there in the lane, and decided to just crash right in the car because we were exhausted. We were woken up in the morning by a cop banging his baton against the window and yelling at us to, "Move it outta here buddy, ya can't stay on da bridge!" We were surrounded by 100,000 cars and it was a hell of a way to wake up. The car had the time to cool down, and we were able to get off the bridge and into a gas station in Manhattan. Now we just had to get to his friends apartment. Let’s call him...Louie. It turned out that Louie was out of town, but gave the OK to crash there. Eduardo's many talents included lock picking and in no time at all we were in like flint. We managed to stay in Manhattan for an entire week with no money - but somehow Eduardo and I managed to eat out everyday and night. (No, I didn't ask.) When we went to pick the car up, the mechanic said it needed a new radiator. He said we could go pick one up at the "shop" of a friend of his in the Bronx, and save ourselves some money. We took the subway to the Bronx - a frightening place if there ever was one. I managed to borrow a white dinner shirt from Louie’s closet to use as a jacket of sorts because I was still dressed like Malibu Barbie. In any case, as grateful as I was to not be in the hands of the Mounted Police, I was just as glad to get out of the Bronx alive with that outfit on, considering I was feeling like a Ham sandwitch on a plate in front of a pack of starving wolves. We dropped off the radiator and in a few hours we were on the road again, headed toward home.

Epilogue: Joey Bag O'Donuts had decided the life of being Eduardo's body guard was not as pleasant as guarding the body of the fair Penelope and he declined to return with us. The radiator purchased at "Midnight Auto Parts" had blown by the time we got to Watertown, and Eduardo had to hustle us a ride home from a friend of his named Tommy "Two Guns" (You don't want to know.) who sent a humongous non-verbal black guy named "Hatchet Head" in a Cadillac El Dorado pimp mobile, to pick us up. Louie came home to find his stash of money and everything else well dipped into by Eduardo, and the last I heard of him was a loud wheezy voice coming through the phone yelling, "You owe me eight hunnert dollerz - an I aim ta collect!" The towed-home El Camino apparently lost it's luster, and Eduardo sold it off shortly thereafter. He claimed the seats never worked right after being ripped out by customs. Me? Well, I decided that fending off any future Bruin Hildas and garnering a potential rap sheet wasn't really the life for me and ended up moving out not long after. I also decided I had better be more careful what I wore when leaving the house, as you never can tell just where you'll end up at the end of the day. And Eduardo? Well, he had a body guard for a reason. Last I heard Eduardo had gone back to Europe to....let's say....avoid certain parties who were intent upon sending him on a permanent vacation with a nice view of the river.

And that, as they say, was that....

Ham-N-Cheese Omelette (wink, wink)

Hammy Fact #2

I'm a little pressed for time these days so here is a Hammy Fact.

I once won Honorable Mention in a Cooking Contest for Better Homes and Gardens.
My winning entry was for a concoction called "Beans and Rice". I submitted it as a side dish, but it really made a great main dish, too.

I was living on the West Side at the time, with a large Hispanic population and really dug the food. I just Gringo-ed it up a little. The "secret ingredient" was the authentic Hispanic spices. (It wasn't the same without them.) I managed to Italianize it by beginninging the preparation of the dish with the sauteeing of garlic and onions in the oil. (Every Italian dish starts off with garlic and onion sauteed in oil). It was pretty goddarn good if I do say so myself.

Alas, the written recipe was lost years ago, and I don't have a copy of the it's all just a memory now.

-Cookin' Hammy

Monday, March 13, 2006

Just Say, "Hit Me!"

I wuz jes a-sitting here wonderin' what to write about, when Rockdog sent me an e-mail that just HAD to become a blog post!

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An Alaska high school violated a student's free speech rights by suspending him after he unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" across the street from the school, a federal court ruled on Friday. Joseph Frederick, a student at Juneau-Douglas High School in Alaska, displayed the banner -- which refers to smoking marijuana -- in January 2002 to try to get on television as the Olympic torch relay was passing the school. Principal Deborah Morse seized the banner and suspended the 18-year-old for 10 days, saying he had undermined the school's educational mission and anti-drug stance. Friday's ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a decision by a federal court in Alaska that backed Frederick's suspension and said his rights were not violated. The appeals court said the banner was protected speech because it did not disrupt school activity and was displayed off school grounds during a non-curricular activity. "Public schools are instrumentalities of government, and government is not entitled to suppress speech that undermines whatever missions it defines for itself." Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote in the court's opinion. The court also cleared the way for Frederick to seek damages, saying Morse was aware of relevant case law and should have known her actions violated his rights. The appeals court said the banner was protected speech because it did not disrupt school activity and was displayed off school grounds during a non-curricular activity. The court also cleared the way for to seek damages, saying Morse was aware of relevant case law and should have known her actions violated his rights.

Where were these people when I was in High School?
And why didn't our church have Bong Hits 4 Jesus??

Happy Monday!!


Friday, March 10, 2006

Sit Down, Tex...You've Created Enough Trouble

What the hell is it with this guy? It's not enough that we're spread on toast in both Afghanistan and Iraq, but now he's making eyes at Iran. When is this stupid ass out of office?
Can't be too soon for me.

And what's with all the moaning and groaning over the failed Ports deal with UAE?? Did he really think that no one would object to handing over US Port Security to the Arabs?!? Jesus, even the Republicans think it's a stupid idea. In light of the fact that the United States isn't exactly bosom buddies with most Muslims around the world what makes him think the Arabs actually like us? Personally, I think they're fakin' it.

And then there's Condi in the background. You can almost hear her thinking, "Oh yes! Yes, George. Your so manly! I just love it when you talk terror."


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Dead

This has been a really hard post to write. I think I started writing this Monday night. I had to keep stopping because I had to have a good cry every hour or so that I tried to search for pictures and upload them. This was one of the happiest times of my entire life. If I could, I would go back there in a minute, and take the little Hams with me. I was never so happy and free as when I had the Grateful Dead in my life, and I will never be that happy or free ever again. It wasn't just the music, or the road trips, it was the people. It was being in a group that felt like and thought like you did. It was seeing that there is a whole bunch of people all over the land that love the planet, hate the greed, decry the injustice, and embrace the possibilities of what we all can be. It was experiencing more love, more openness, more acceptance and more forgiveness than I ever had experienced in my life. It was shedding all the burdens around my shoulders, that everyone has seemed to place on me from the moment I was born. It was freedom like no other, because I was free to be me...all the time, every day that I was on the road. And that was a priceless gift. One that I'll never forget, and I'm so glad that I had the ability to finally "get it".

The "Further" bus

The Grateful Dead started off as the House Band for Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and the Merry Prankster's Acid Test house parties in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco. They were originally called The Warlocks, but had to change the name, because somebody else had it first. The apocryphal story is that the name was picked out of the Dictionary by Jerry Garcia.

-Uncle Jerry-
(I miss you more than words can tell.)

"Standing on the moon
Where talk is cheap and vision true
standing on the moon
but I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco
On a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven
at this crescent in the sky,
in the sky
Standing on the moon
With nothing left to do
A lovely view of Heaven
But I'd rather be with you,
Be with you..."

The original members. Left to Right: Jerry Garcia, "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards), Bobby Weir, Bill Kreutzman (drummer) and Phil Lesh

Pigpen (fat guy in the middle) died of cirrhosis of the liver (at 27), and started the band on a trail of keyboard players that continued to meet their demise. (Kind of like the ill fated Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position in Harry Potter...)

Mickey Hart was added later as a second drummer/percussionist. His father was the band's manager for a while...until he stole all their money and took off. Mickey left the band for a few years and when he returned....the song "He's Gone" and the image of Steal Your Face was born....

The Lyrics were about Mickey's father:

"Rat in a drain ditch, caught on a limb,
you know better but I know him.
Like I told you, Like I said,
steal the face right off your head.
Like a steam locomotive rolling down the track,
he's gone, gone, gone
and nothin's gonna bring him back,
he's gone.."

Brent Mydland was keyboardist #3...and my favorite...
he lasted 11 years before dying of cancer.

Keith Godchaux was keyboard player #2.
He died in a car accident.

Donna Godchaux; Keith's wife.
It was the only time the Dead had a female in the band.

Vince Welnick, keyboard player #4.
This time it was Jerry who died.

The Grateful Dead was more than a band, it was a philosophy one espoused.
It was the way you viewed life, it was the way you thought about things,
and about how you felt.

The Music was only a small part of it. It was the people and the "camp" that formed around each venue played. You could buy anything (and I mean anything) clothes, jewelry, bongs, stickers, great food....everything but tapes of the show....that just wasn't done. The Dead were the first band to allow taping at their shows, and it was just understood, you didn't make a profit off a friend...

When you were on the road, as you came closer to the venue, you would see the license plates: GR8FUL, SAMSON, TRUCKIN, SUGAREE, BLT2LST (for Built to Last),
ST STPHN (for St. Stephen), SOTM (for Standing on the Moon), RIPPLE and on and on...

Those wonderful, awful VW Buses.....

I first heard of the Grateful Dead when they came to town to perform a concert at the old Auditorium. I went with a rather uptight friend and had a terrible time. The band didn't perform like any band I had ever seen before and I just didn't "get it".
Years later, they came around again. This time it was in the summer, the 4th of July to be exact, and we didn't have tickets. I went with a different friend. We managed to get inside because we turned on the charm with the security guard...ahem...and once inside it was like a huge circus. There were people with their faces painted, there were jugglers and "Spinners" (people spinning around....don't ask's just what they did) there were people half naked and all naked, there were sights I had never seen before. And drugs? Holy Shit... It was wild. I still didn't "get it" but I sure did have a good time.

Years later I met a guy who was a "Dead Head". He wasn't a taper, but had enough friends who were, so he managed to have a pretty nice collection. He played them in his car, and after a while I found the music was pretty good, and the lyrics were deeper than most.
I remember when I finally "got it". I was listening to a studio recorded version of High Time:

"You told me good-bye,
How was I to know,
You didn't mean good-bye,
you meant please
don't let me go.
I was having a high time,
living the good life,
Well, I know

The wheels are muddy
Got a ton of hay
Now listen here baby,
'cause I mean what I say,
I'm having a hard time
living the good life
Well, I know

I was losing time
I had nothing to do
No one to fight
I came to you
Wheels broke down
The leader won't draw
The line is busted
the last one I saw

Tomomorrow come trouble
Tomorrow come pain
Now don't think too hard baby
'cause you know what I'm saying
I could show you a high time
living the good life
Don't be that way

Nothing's for certain
It could always go wrong
Come in when it's raining
Go on out when it's gone
We could have us a high time
living the good life
Well, I know

I can't explain it other than to say, it seemed to me to be the most spiritual song I had ever heard. In some way it tapped into everything I had been trying to be or do up to that point in my life - and why it was all failing. In a strange way, it was like talking to God. Jerry had a way of doing that, saying just what you needed to hear. When my old boyfriend found me sitting there with tears streaming down my face, all he said was "You just got it, didn't you?"
And I did.
I did.

Thank you Jerry, Thank you for everything.
"Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell."

From the bottom of my heart
Love, Hammy

Monday, March 06, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Comedians

This was sent to me by Rockdog, who always sends me cool things. (Thanks) And has yet to comment directly on the blog even though I made accommodations for annonymous comments (Lazy Californian!) But I love him, so I'll forgive him. This is worth reading...a few times over.

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and
smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more
problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too
little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too
much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to
life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but
have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer
space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom,
but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but
accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more
computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but
we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small
character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of
two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are
days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night
stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to
quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and
nothing in the stockroom."

-George Carlin

Right the Fuck on Brother George!



Well, the "Just Say No to Evil Rat Things" campaign seems to be working rather well.
I have to admit it is VERY hard to change a Type A personality. But after that disasterous last week-end at work, some changes needed to be made. In order to "remind me" of my new committment to bliss myself out I have pasted an image of the crossed out Evil Rat Thing on my locker at work, and on the dashboard of my car, and at my "CEO desk" at home. Ham Jr #1 likes the image, she thinks it's pretty funny. Ham Jr #2 does not like the image, she thinks it's weird.
But, it must be working because one of the Big King Slackers (and my new mentor) at work made a remark to me over the week-end that "this isn't the Hammy, I know" and later said, he was "very impressed" with the new Hammy. The shit was hitting the fan all week-end long. I think the bus must have pulled out in front and let them all off at our ER. But I was determined not to let it get to me. I just took a "fuckitall" attitude. If people got ticked at the wait, I apologized for their pain and directed them to the Doctor. If people wanted "narcotics" or "more narcotics" I made suitably sympathetic noises and just directed them to the Doctor, if the Doctors started getting cranky I just told them to "write it down, I'll get to it", I took my lunch, I took a break and I even pee'd when I needed to pee. I just wasn't going to get into overload mode no matter what happened. I wasn't going to make their problems, my problem. Let the Doctor handle the shit for a change. Let the Doctor decide they've had enough of the nutball and write the script for Lortab just to get them the hell out of the ER. Why should I keep running point? Fuck that. Let the Doctor deal with the know-it-all daughter-in-law or the irate and offended son. Fuckit. I just took a deep breath or two and mentally said, "Fuckit, Fuckitall".

I decided I'm not cleaning up the mess, I'm not going to take ownership of the problems and I'm not going to take the failures of the system personally. Fuck That Shit. Let someone else eat the stress. I'm full up.

Needless to say, Saturday felt a little alien. I realized how hard it was to ignore all the shit around me, and not jump to do something about it. Not want to get up and fix it all. Not to get pissed off and erupt at the big huge never-ending pile of shit. Or to put it another way, how hard it is NOT TO BE ITALIAN. But, I had a pretty good day in spite of the chaos all around me, and the fact that I had to fight to not react to it - and consequently, Sunday was a lot easier. I realize this is going to take some time to ingrain this into my personality, but I'm thinking, why not apply this to other areas of my life? In fact, why not apply this to all the areas of my life?

Now, I don't know how much is "nature" and how much is "nurture", but the Dali Lama says it's possible to change the chemical pathways of your brain by your thoughts. And I'm a big fan of the Dali Lama. He always looks happy. I want to be happy too. I just don't want to wear those saffron robes or get my hair cut in any funky ways. But other than that - count me in.
My cardiovascular system is lovin' it already, and Sunday night I went home happy, calm and in a better frame of mind than I have been in for a long time.

Blissful Ham

Friday, March 03, 2006

Strange, but True...

I was driving behind a big-ass SUV today, and thanks to my annoying tendancy to tailgate people, I noticed the writing on the two magnetic car ribbons the man had plastered onto the ass of his obnoxiously large vehicle.

One of the ribbons was dark green, and in yellow letters it said: CHILDRENS MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS.

However, the other equally large magnetic car ribbon slapped on the other cheek of his obnoxiously large vehicle said: SUPPORT LAP DANCING.

No shit. Now, wadda ya make of that?

Anyway, I found the magnetic car ribbon that's perfect for me....and my new "Just Say No to Evil Rat Things" mentality...see illustrated picture above. Perfect isn't it?

That one's really hard to top but it did start me thinking about a few ribbon messages that may be appealing: "Just Say Everything." or maybe one that says: "Just Increase the Dose" or maybe one that says:"He's Almost Out of Office."

Magnetic Ribbon Hammy

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

College Life

Today I sat with my undergrad advisor for the last time.
Next year is my final set of classes for my BSN.
Since I need to maintain a certain number of credits per semester, I'm in the interesting position of having to add an extra class on for the upcoming Fall semester. It can be anything I want to take. Totally my choice. which is really cool.

I've been looking at classes in all of the different departments. It's like getting a free credit card and being let loose in the Mall. You can buy anything you want, but you can only buy one item.
I started off in the Athletics department. There's a Hatha Yoga class that meets twice a week that will fit in my schedule nicely. There's also an Intro to Hebrew class offered; which strangely enough is something I have wanted to learn for a couple of years now. There's a lot of offerings in the English Department; I could take a Writing class, or a class on British Literature, Poetry or Shakespeare. I could take a few different History classes - which I always find interesting. The Art Department has some appealing classes - an Intro drawing class, or Basic Painting. There's also an Intro to Architecture that would fit in as well. (That one has a lot of appeal too.)

My college record looks like a topographal map....lots of peaks and valleys. My first big splash into college life after graduating from High School kinda looked like my illustration above. I think my entire freshman year in college garnered one or two usable grades. I do recall getting a report card with:

a W (withdrawl)
an X (I'm not even sure what the hell that was supposed to be)
an F (for the 8 AM class that I slept through every single time)
a B
and an A (oddly enough)

The following semester was a complete wash. At some point I just withdrew completely. I think it was on the first day of was definitely within the first week. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that ALL of my classes were scheduled BEFORE 10 AM, and that was usually when I woke up....ahem...anyway, things did improve once I regained my balance from all that heady freedom....and transferred to a school that didn't have an on-campus Pub.

However, once I did "get serious" about college, I only took the courses necessary for my Business degree. I didn't want to waste time at that point, and was pretty single minded in my focus. Which was fine for that point in my life. Even years later when I decided to go back to school for Nursing, it was a quick 2 year degree program, and I didn't choose electives there either.

Now that I have this great opportunity and am at one of the largest Universities in this area, I feel like I have a small chance to recapture a little of what I took for granted so long ago. I want to take an elective - and just purely for the fun of it. Just to learn something new.
There are a lot of things that are difficult about going back to school as a "non-traditional student" but there are a lot of great things about it as well. For one, you have a completely different perspective, and another is that you have a foundation of real experience to work off of, and third - you appreciate it a lot more. Additional education becomes an asset rather than a liability.

In 1990, when I first looked at going back to school to become a Nurse, I thought, "Oh my god, it will take nearly 3 years and that's so long...blah, blah, blah...whine, whine, whine..." and my Mother said, "The time will go by anyway, and 3 years from now you're going to say Oh, I could have had that degree by now, so just do it - the time is going to pass either way." You know, that was the best advice she ever gave me. (That, and telling me to make sure I always had a credit card in my own name.)

So 3 years ago, when I thought about going to Grad school for Nursing - and found I had to get the undergrad degree in Nursing first - I really felt like it was going to be a never-ending thing, but...she was right, that advice she gave me so long ago still is true. The time has gone by and now it's almost time to apply for the Master's program. So, if yer thinking about going back to school - I say "Do it!". The time will go by anyway. Just chip away at it, and before long you'll be done.

So now I just have to figure out what I'm going to add on this Fall. So many choices.
I'm just really glad that it seems like, if you live long enough, you do get some opportunities coming around to ya again.

Mortar Board Hammy