Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Allie's Journey

For the next several months this will be dedicated to information pertinent to Allene M. Maddock. Her care has been assumed by Hospice as of 06Apr12.

Please feel free to call or write her. If you call be patient and take time to explain who you are. Currently she remembers, but you have to help her focus so she truly knows who she is talking to at the moment. We have to do this too, and I frequently say something like, "Yes this is Scott, your oldest."

Her phone is area code two-zero-six, and the number is 216 3816.

Her Address:
Allie Maddock
c/o Queen Ann Manor
100 Crockett Street
Seattle, Washington
    98109

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's Twue, It's Twue

I view this as an opportunity to secure the peace for a long time coming. I view this as a struggle of tyranny versus freedom, of evil versus good. And there's no in between, as far as I'm concerned. Either you're with us, or you're against us. Either you stand for a peaceful world for our children and our grandchildren, either you're willing to defend freedom to its core, or you're going to be against the mighty United States of America.
      President George W. Bush, February 5, 2002
      Masonic Temple
      University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Emphasis mine.

I was curious. I thought I remembered hearing our war criminal in chief saying this, but wanted to verify my memory. About this same time I was working on a play where a young nazi woman in the BDM says this to her father, so I was concerned I was projecting onto a man who has earned my antipathy.

As I alluded to above this tenet has often been repeated by less than admirable people, most notably in recent history by Joseph Goebbels and for the same effect. The Bush machine is so proud that despite their apparent willingness to alter, change, or hide evidence to protect or extol themselves this is still proudly listed on the white house web site. It's wrapped with key words like "peace", "freedom", "our children", and "our grandchildren." Open up the wrapper and read the naked threat our leader makes to his constituents, "...you're going to be against the mighty United States of America."

Never forget this. Not for a moment. Of all the things which this administration has chosen to cover up, this remains a proud and integral part of their core values. Fear. Hate. Intimidation.

To Lay Down On The Job

I auditioned for Wooden O last night, one of the Shakespeare in the Park companies. I hope to audition for the other established company next week, if they have slots left which don't conflict with my rehearsals.

How did I do you ask? Or did you? I stank up the place, but I'm in a good mood just the same. The suckage factor was much lower than the last round of auditions. I did an ** Iago monologue which raised the stakes for me. One of the most well loved villains, one of my favorite monologues, and considered to be an overdone monologue by some. I did it anyway as a treat. It would have been a terribly bad choice for me had I used it forty pounds ago, and I'm not so appropriate for Friar Lawrence roles any longer.

Next week I may use Iago again, but a later not so well known monologue, which starts out, "That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it..." Last night there was only one auditor. I'd expected more, and while it didn't throw me too badly, the fewer people the tougher for me. I caught myself being not being present and sounding too oratorial, and dove in for the characters and my actions on them, as well as some of the physical scoring/shape I'd worked out. So while it was god awful, I grew the piece instead of simply gritting my way through. It ended up mediocre. I'm pleased, but not satisfied. I finally feel like I'm moving forward on my audition skills and experience. Enough that I have a focal point for my prep work for next week. Text analysis is not the big issue at the moment, particularly for the contrasting monologues I plan to use, which are old friends. I need to spend more time with imagery, Meisner type character work. That is what will pull me into the world and create characters with more life.

Damn those auditions! Everything goes right out the window. The work to get me into the world will address my most serious lack. I had figured out where I was coming from, my intent, etc. Yet, when I stood in front of the auditor I just started the monologue, cheating myself out of all the richness that work can provide. The imagery needs to be more solid and specific. The technical side of me wants to just keep running the lines. Or is that habit or emotional laziness? Lying down and working your imagination is really hard work. Especially when you're going to uncomfortable places. It makes worlds of difference in the work. If I walked out and could really picture Roderigo, Othello, and Cassio or Stephano, Trinculo, Prospero, and Miranda before I even started I would improve my audition immeasurably. Instead of trying to warm up to the monologue and capture the auditors I could be engaged from the start. I have to lay down and work real hard to get that.

Yeow! I had coffee this morning. "Bing, bing, bing, Ricochet Rabbit!" I should have guessed, the same thing happened yesterday afternoon when I had a large soy chai and felt like running in circles around the room and squealing like a delighted three year old instead of sitting still for a meeting, but I figured it was the sugar. I think tomorrow I'll go with a normal unsweetened cup of tea.

I've been a little spotty on breakfast lately, and reheated a couple chicken sausages which I cooked last night before they got too old. Actually it wasn't quite two, I had a couple bites last night to be sure they were thoroughly cooked. I thought it a small breakfast, but I wish I'd only had one. I felt a little overfilled on the way to work. I'm still trying to get accustomed to my altered metabolism. The up side, is when eating healthier food, if you go on a binge for a couple weeks you don't put on nearly the weight. The cold and such had me going for a lot of comfort foods and eating, and though it was less than in the past I was surprised to find I only put on a couple pounds the last month, and those seem to have nearly gone away after two days of normal eating. A year ago, I would have had five or ten pounds to take off. Partly because even a binge involves a lot less food than the past, and more so I'd guess as a result of giving your body healthier materials to work with.
** This is an interesting version of the monologue not quite like the first folio, but the punctuation is close -- don't listen to the audio, it is good for enunciation, but not the feel of the piece.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Deadly Irony
-or-
Deadly Ignorance

If a religion is worth killing for, or even worth hurting another person, it is not worth respect.

Sprung

I was considering archiving my last post. Worried people would take it personally, rather than see the internal dialog I was putting to e-paper. Chill. That's all I'm trying to do as I write now. Chill myself. Things are a bit tense for me at the moment. Not too bad really, but knowing how things could change...

I know there is only a small handful of people who read this, which I still find flattering. I've never put a counter on this because as I have said before, this is a selfish pursuit. I'm writing for myself, exploring my world and issues along with my ranting and raving. I don't want to start competing with myself to see how many readers I have a day or per post -- maybe another blog for that someday, though my writing projects fill that desire. There is also the down side of counters, feeling bad if your numbers drop. I wonder if that or losing interest is the biggest factor in the ebbing of blogs I read regularly.

It's Spring and that adds to my general feeling of being adrift. You know what's great about being nearly fifty? There's a much wider age range which makes me lust. The lower age range goes up slightly. I remember when I was thirty-five and I told my brother when I saw a pretty teenage daughter and mother pair in the grocery store I was only interested in the mom, not the callow eighteen year old. He was twenty-seven at the time and looked and talked to me like I was from another planet. The upper age range does go along with me. So, the ladies who can make me feel all funny or smile inside still goes to my age plus about a decade. Most people can see the beauty in older people, but don't feel attraction until they approach that age themselves, and some not even then. I guess I'm in the category with most people. Makes me look forward to my seventies and beyond. Imagine being attracted to an age range which covers more than half a century! No wonder people tend to get happier as they age.

Even though I went to a small birthday dinner with my friend Beth whose birthday is the first day of Spring, somehow it didn't feel like Spring. I still didn't realize it was Spring when noticing it seemed I was feeling like a randy buck all the time. Driving to the office just before Noon yesterday did the trick. I may have mentioned last year the cherry trees, tulip trees, and other flowering fruit and ornamental trees along my commute route (nearly the entire arterial length of 140th Avenue NE/SE going through Redmond-Bellevue). All those white and pink blossoms cheered the gray drizzly day and recharged my batteries on my way to work on Saturday.

I was reminded again as I walked to Tully's today. I've several espresso shops within walking distance, and I go for the one with a real machine, instead of the push button pieces of crap most big places like Starbuck's (or McStarbuck's as I now think of them). My favorite is a quad half caff espresso with a long pull. Not too much caffeine if I'm not caffeinated, but enough if I am. I often have to explain what a long pull is, but there is no such option with the McStarbuck's push button machines, and I expect those automated pieces of crap will supplant the more useful machines in Tully's before long, but until then...

I'm going to decaffeinate again. I like coffee, but I just get tired of it every so often. I don't usually drink enough any more to get the withdrawal headache, which makes it easier. I don't get a rush from caffeine, never have, though I can get edgy if I overindulge, which I rarely do. As much as I like coffee, after a while it starts to taste bitter and I just stop drinking it for a week to several months.

For quite a while I've been walking to get my morning espresso on Sundays, and occasionally Saturdays too. If I'm low on grounds, I get some. I'm out of grounds and I didn't even think about more. My body's hint I've had enough caffeine for a while. We are an addictive culture. I watched Super Size Me the last few days. Nothing surprising, though the pandering of our government to the food industry is more egregious in reality than I realized. After quitting nicotine in 1999 (20+ years on Copenhagen), the hardest and most positive change I've made in my health was changing my diet, and being very picky about and aware of what I swallow. Since then every other habit has seemed easy to deal with.

Getting nicotine and the toxins in processed food out of my system pushed me over a tipping point. I can hear my body. Whether it is a very uncomfortable morning because I had a little wheat flour or too much sugar (brownie pieces in soy ice cream), increased sensitivity to caffeine, or a desire for veggies, fruit, or protein. The desire for other things has declined. When we did the intervention I lost my taste for liquor. I don't miss it a whit which surprised me, and while I'm not planning to quit forever, I don't have any plans or desire for a drink right now. If anything I feel a slight aversion. Same as when I think of most wheat or dairy things.

I had a corner, a half bite size of a homemade chocolate chip cookie last week. I could taste the caramelized stuff which I still like, but I distinctly tasted the butter and wheat flour, both of which were slightly yucky to me. This from a guy who stopped baking cookies unless I was taking them to a party or potluck so I wouldn't be able to gobble down as many at a time. I'm still planning on restarting the elimination diet, though I may start with chicken and rice instead of lamb and rice for the first two weeks. While I like lamb, I suspect like soy, it is something I need to eat in moderation. Chicken and most other meats don't seem to be an issue.

It's all guess work though. Even with the two week detox there was a lifetime of toxins to deal with. I did set a new base line, and my metabolism has changed quite a lot. So, I feel a second round will be nearly as beneficial now that my body's communications aren't masked by a proponderence of unnatural substances. I wasn't able to do more than remove most processed foods from my diet, which helped but didn't eliminate the digestive discomfort.

It occured to me as I was enjoying the lovely blossoms on my walk, that it was appropriate. I had Super Size Me in my pocket and was walking to return it -- having resumed more walking since I lost so much weight. My goal now is to finish the perishables I have, and restart the detox around the first of April. My local friends, I'll again be a bigger than usual pain to go to dinner with during April if I live up to my claim. I remember when I started this last August, and the hassle of trying to find things I could eat in restaurants. Sadly, I've found many ethnic restaurants are hard to deal with because often the waiters simply don't (or won't) understand one's need to know what is in the food, especially with regards to wheat, dairy, and egg products. So, most of my favorite Thai and Indian will lose my business until I have enough variety in my diet again. I've found there is a tolerance to small amounts of things my body dislikes in larger amounts. A half a bite of a cookie or a brownie is no big deal, but the whole brownie or cookie is no fun. However, when my diet doesn't have enough variety it loses it's tolerance.

I want to be able to enjoy salads and veggies when my organic veggie co-op starts providing me with treats in May. Anyone else in the area who wants to share a membership? I split a half share two ways with a friend, and would like to split a full share three or four ways. Last year I ate most of the goodies, especially after detox'ing and would like to do the three way split again. (Our third friend lives near Toronto now so that doesn't work.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

From Here To There
Circling the Circles

We had an offsite meeting on Thursday. It was a meeting with the VP we report to, exploring how we can improve systems proactively. The nice thing I noticed before the meeting was over is I now feel I can approach him. I did not have that feeling before, not since our executive re-org. A very positive outcome in my mind.

There was another surprising positive personal outcome. I'm on good terms with all my manager's peers and consider all of them casual friends or friendly acquaintances as I do my peers. One of them, my officemate's manager was in chatting the next morning and complimented me on several of my ideas and suggestions. That was very nice, as was the response to the topics when I brought them up, which generated discussions of how to implement and build on the ideas, and a number of action items.

Later my manager gave me the same feedback. They both said how it was nice how I thought outside the box (I didn't know that term was still in vogue). My manager had been asked by her boss why she asked me to come as I don't have the breadth of experience of the more senior developers asked to come, and she told him it was because I tend to come up with innovative ideas like that. I'm glad I lived up to her assertion. She's retiring, and of all my great managers at Expedia she has been the best for helping me advance. She also told me my contributions were noticed and appreciated. It is great to have someone who gives you opportunities and positive feedback.

Anyway, I'm sitting here for release night, and happily it is dead quiet. A very smooth evolution. I signed up for an on-call status but came into the office anyway. Some script transcription for my current acting project and db work I wanted to do. Instead I ended up talking with my officemate who came in for his shift tool. For four and a half hours. Wonderful. We talked of and around spiritual, political, cultural, and miscellaneous topics. I'll miss him when we have our next office move, and I'm not sure having my own office will be worth the price. He described an Indian movie I need to remember to ask the name of. About an underworld man who finds himself reading all about Gandhi, then seeing and talking to him as he makes decisions. That was brought up by my explaining a bit about Harvey which I am thinking of incorporating into one of my script projects.

Friends are where you find them.

I've been thinking, always a risky endeavor, about my friendships. I've a lot of close friendships, but lately due to a number of circumstances my existing (or old?) family and social relationships seem to be dissolving. I'm not worried about being a reclusive person again, but it is a bit scary. I know life moves forward, it is something I also love. Ah, my beloved paradoxes.

In most of my friendships I'm usually the one who calls or invites. I was thinking maybe I should stop for a while, and wait to hear from them. The old low self esteem model, which contains a little petulance at some level, you know, kind of testing your friend's fealty. Then, there is the flip side. Don't want to be a needy nudge. I believe I'm well past that. Still the perception bothers me because of very old behaviors. It ends up being a bit of a gradual thing, I still fall out of touch with people depending on responses (or lack thereof) and how hard it is to connect.

As I'm back to seriously considering moving in the next few years I realize I may be establishing another social circle before long. Family doesn't hold me here any longer. There are sadnesses and joys related to that. I'm still close to my sister, but we've not been geographically close since we both lived at home in the 70's. Whether I am a few hours or a day's travel wouldn't make much difference. My brother's kids are great, but I am not an integral part of their lives. I make a point of inviting them on outings I think they'd enjoy, but they're teenagers, and I most certainly am not. The get all excited sounding whenever I invite them, and except for very rare occasions, cancel or don't show. I find it troubling but only because it exactly mimics their father's behavior. I know they like their Uncle Scott, but they have healthy friendships and support systems. You can believe me or not, but I find that heartening. My mom, when people ask me if she is living I answer, "I think so." Not much holding me there. My Dad and stepmom, two of my best friends are not in the area very much, so that is not really much of a consideration. I expect I'll still have phone service.

Theatre holds me. But that is available in many, and probably most if not all places I'd like to go or return to. My social circle holds me, but about half of them are in theatre and like me tend towards transience. I have a large and satisfying social circle through work too. Everything from close friends going back to my first contracts at Microsoft in the 90's, to current acquaintances at work. That circle and the fun I'm having at Expedia hold me. Still, many of the long term relationships started at work are now long distance and just as close.

It's not quite a wash. I've slightly more desire to stay in this area. When I think of my family I want to leave. If that was my only consideration, I'd rent a dumpster on Monday, use all my vacation time, and spend the four or five weeks cleaning out my house and getting it on the market. Then I'd get a teeny apartment, and work to find a position in Expedia needing my skills anywhere in the world but here. It's ironic. I moved back to this area because of my family. Now, I want to run away again.

Here I am back to the office, where I've been writing this. I wonder if my wryly contrary nature has me enjoying things a lot more right now as I again contemplate striking out for new territory.

Love to all my friends. Present, past, future, nearby and electronic. I treasure and laugh with and at all of you, and hope you occasionally laugh at me too. Otherwise, what the Hell am I good for?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wheels Away

Here's a picture and a nice informational site for my old Suzuki. Well, close I think this may be a picture of a '79 and not a '78 and the pin striping on mine was blue and green rather red and gold.



I just officially sold it to my friend Don, a classmate from Meisner and ETI, and an all around great fellow. I'd loaned it to him early in the ETI school year last year, and we finally exchanged money and paperwork at the Thai Ginger restaurant today.

I sold my truck on Saturday. So, in a mere two days I sold my oldest vehicles. Not by calendar age, but by how long I've had them. The Moto Guzzi better start feeling nervous, it's now my oldest vehicle on the ownership calendar. My oldest vehicle with regards to dates of assembly remains the Vanagon. Funny how I upgraded from my pickup to a low end vw that is three years older. Tells you everything you need to know about american cars. Even with pretty much all manufacturers being globalized, american ownership is all that is needed to enthusiastically provide crappy quality. Of course all our MBA programs focus on cost benefit analyses and bottom lines, generally looking no more than 90 days into the future. Explains how the "Made In U.S.A." label has come to mean the opposite of the quality it guaranteed a few short generations ago.

The MBA model of lazy academicians has changed us from the land of quality goods, to the land of "It's almost good enough." The short-sighted animals who rebuilt a nation in their mediocre image have taken the lack of quality and long term goals all the way to the white house, the residence of the most powerful and archetypal MBA in the world.

God, I can't even sell my old vehicles without being reminded of the travesty our country has become. One of the definitions of travesty is "any grotesque or debased likeness or imitation." It is absolutely appropriate to my view of what we are at this moment in time, versus what we once were and strove to be.

All mourning for our once admirable nation aside, I'll miss my old p/u and the Suzuki. They both served me incredibly well, and are both in the hands of people happy to have them. The bike to a good friend who has ridden as regularly as I, and the GMC to a mechanic looking on it as a project vehicle.

Now I'm down to the Vanagon. There is an Astro mini-van I'm storing, and if the owner living in London and the seller in Minneapolis can ever conclude their ages old title transfer either that car or the Vanagon may be gifted to my nephew. I do want to stay at one four wheeled vehicle at a time for a while. I am thinking of getting a small (bio)diesel p/u, but it will be a replacement, not a new bit of lawn art.

I also got up on my extension ladder this weekend. I was thinking of getting on the roof, but despite the beautiful weather yesterday, I didn't want to get up on those soggy fir needles. My fear driven excuse for yesterday. But like getting rid of a couple vehicles it was a step in the right direction. I reached with the push broom and cleaned a nice sized bit of roof, and before you know it I'll actually be on the roof. By the end of the month I hope to have the whole thing swept, and my personal goal is to have the big windfall on the peak line off by then.

I hate ladders. It's a brand new ladder, which has been sitting in my garage for over two years. I bought it just before I broke my leg, and this was my first time using it. I keep forgetting I have the damn thing. Being afraid of heights makes it easier to forget too. Don't laugh, lots of Naval Aviators (and navel contemplators) are scared of hieghts. I guess there's more than one flavor. For me and my fellow aviators it's being on the edge of a building or precipice. Airplane, helicopter, or parachute, no problem. I think the hard part about parachuting for me would be looking out the door, which would be even harder than stepping out the damn thing. I know from para-sailing that being in the chute would be no problem, just the getting out of the perfectly good airplane part.

Will Scott actually sweep the roof and remove the monster branch this month? Only through these riveting vignettes will you ever know. Of course, having yourself riveted to a rough surface may sound appealing if you spend too much time reading this.

Friday, March 16, 2007

BalancE

Last night was a passive meeting for me, though not intentionally. Several people with long stories and a shortened meeting to accommodate the business meeting. Anything I'd have said was more of an observation, so probably not much use to others. The people who monopolized the meeting had things they needed to get out, and that seems a big part of Al-Anon.

The topic was the tension between controlling and trust. I had a lot of thoughts about this. I was groomed for the stereotypical peacemaker/caretaker role when I was growing up. One of the scripts I'm working on explores how this came about. For me it was a bizarre and powerless role, in which you are actually given a lot of control. Of course it has a lot of restrictions, and part of the co-dependency rules are rigorous, continuous and fierce suppression any manifestation of your own ego. From the time I was 6 until I was 42 years old I did not have a sense of self except for constant free-floating guilt and unhappiness. Never understanding why I felt like shit, what I was guilty or bummed about, just looking with envy at people experiencing joy.

The peacemaker/caretaker controls the situation and it is to be impartial and rational, unlike all the other players. The first thing you have to control are your own feelings and wants. Mr. Spock was my model as a child and an adult. Detaching from your emotions was my first priority for those 35 years. I did a damn good job, scapegoating very few people. My Dad when I was young, my ex-wife later, and finally my mom. Emotions cropped up now and then, but I was mostly numb as I was able to suppress all of them except despair in an instant.

This was fun to write, as I realize my relationship with Mr. Spock has changed. I'll always think him a cool as Hell character, but role model? What a silly idea.

I'm good at management, but I don't crave it. I was once good at manipulating people, and like to think I wouldn't be any longer hoping that that is one skill that is not like riding a bike. I still tend to over-control myself, but it is something I believe I'm not doing very much. So while I was expected to be a controller of sorts, I never enjoyed or wanted to do so.

I've always been too trusting. And you know what, that is something I prefer not to change. I have five figures in debts owed me which I'll never see. The cool thing, is I have to make an effort to recall those details. I chose to trust, was let down, not my problem, so I moved on. It goes along with the social accounting I've mentioned in the past, that extra-dysfunctional bit of manipulating where Uncle Jeff reminds you he bought you two beers during the American Revolution, so you owe him with appropriate interest for forgetting. Holding on to that crap doesn't impress the person who let you down, but letting go of it sure is a nice gift to yourself. It is perhaps what I find most startling in my journey of the last few years, letting go of the vindictive tendency. It is better to be let down once in a while than to be trusting, as the boons from trust far outweigh the risks.

As I contemplated these things I remember the latest intervention. I wasn't being the rational detached observer that much. I let people see what made me sad, what made me angry, what Scott the person thought. I definitely got some push back on that. Felt kind of like a fired attorney, getting some heat for not going along with the program. I'm not prepared to enable the other parties to stop enabling the addict any longer. I've done that enough times. People who have been in my life for a long time haven't adjusted to the fact that obeisance to everyone else is not my only personality trait any longer. To actually assert my ideas, opinions, and feelings earn me a lot of resentment. I am aware of it when it happens. Sometimes I mention it, other times I do not. To borrow one of those lame shop talk phrases, I do a cost benefit analysis. No sense bringing out something that will piss off or hurt others if it is not important to me. Unless, I feel an ethical obligation.

Appropriate control and trust are a balance. You have to have a certain degree of control and trust, but they have to be balanced with others legitimate need for control and a realistic understanding and acceptance of the risk for trusting. I can't take or cede control all the time, neither can I trust unconditionally all the time.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blood Clouding The Water

Information overload. We've seen it before. We had all the information necessary to prevent 9/11, but lacked the technical and organizational capability to analyze or act on the data. The daily introduction of new, unprecedented, and far reaching scandals originating from the White House is having the same affect. W has certainly earned his place in history. Not only as creating the most corrupt administration in our history, but also the most incompetent. He is a nothing. A typical penny ante felon, too stupid and arrogant to realize there are smarter people who can catch them. Your typical career convict believes he is smarter than all his victims and law enforcement, and is only caught because of an unfair burden of bad luck. W is no different except for scope and being born to privilege. I'm sure he's livid at his bad luck, but he and his cohorts/handlers have ravaged our nation for hundreds of billions of dollars for their buddies and themselves, something we won't recover from in a mere generation or four.

Getting off my tangent and back to information overload. Like 9/11 we have all the information out there to see the intentional abuse of power driven by the "Above The Law" attitude of the White House. The problem is there are too many incidents, too much incontrovertible evidence of criminal acts to assimilate at one time. We are getting buried under an avalanche of incompetence and evidence of premeditated and egregious crimes against American citizens and those of the rest of the world.

Are we going to let Bush and his accomplices get away with all their crimes? Sadly I believe we will. The cockroaches supporting Bush will scurry to shut off all the lights they can. The average American will likely be so sick of hearing about the all the areas of corruption they'll be happy to let the perpetrators go free. Even the long-time critics of Bush will feel burned out. Sure there may be symbolic wrist slaps to sycophants like Libby and Delay to appease those asking for justice, but for all practical purposes the tradition of pardoning hardened serial felons in public office which started with Milhouse getting away with murder will be continued. Gerald, I hope the flames of Hell are singeing your toes about now.

In a just world Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, Ashcroft... should all be rotting in cells four years from now. In the real world they won't be griping about lack of yard time, they'll be making billions from the investments they made with our tax dollars in Halliburton (and other mercenaries) and Exxon-Mobile (and other oil compaies) and millions from the lecture circuits.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chillin' With The Chillun'

Thank you loyal readers. I've been working out some personal things here. Earlier I was thinking to myself, "What about the poor bastards reading your thoughts as you work them out?" And, "This artificial obtuseness is kind of silly in my mind. Do they see the glaring inconsistency?" I hold that secrecy is the most pernicious and the most willingly accepted enabling behavior of all. I'm not even directly referring to my relationship with the "at-risk-now-person." There lies the obvious inconsistency. The question is answered in part, by another question.

When does privacy become secrecy? You don't use last names in Al-Anon, Alateen, AA, etc. This is a reasonable degree of privacy. Not directly describing "at-risk-now-person" or even confirming my relationship in this blog, is in my mind not so reasonable. That doesn't mean it is totally lacking reason, is unjustifiable, or I'm suddenly going to sing like a cornered republican. I don't go under a pseudonym here, though I try to respect the anonymity for people I know personally who do. I may not have that desire, but it would be arrogant for me to name other people who wish to be anonymous. Especially when I am preparing to create a new anonymous blog, with changed names, so I can be as candid as I want.

All that said, I'll stay with my "at-risk-now-person", even if it does sound like "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Frankly I don't see much difference in the two prohibitions, except this is one I would choose to honor because of my respect and care for most of the people involved. I will likely make this whole episode part of a written or performance piece, and I of course hope by then there will be a happier resolution and I can get permission to be frank. If things go utterly to Hell, I won't need permission. Even with my pessimism, I do expect a positive outcome in the long run, though I acknowledge the other possibilities.

In between social dysfunction in my personal life, I've ranted about our national dysfunction. I'm still in shock that our country were sheep willingly led by coyotes, and only now that the damage to our national psyche, reputation, and strength is both irreparable and so blatantly obvious that even faux news reports on it. It is only recently that more than half the country disapproves of our new war crime friendly, privacy unfriendly, corporate owned, citizen unfriendly, tyrannical , and integrity unfriendly government. As I said recently, too little, too late. And that is the understatement of the century. We are just beginning to see the cost of our nation's mob cowardice run amok.

Still, I'm a happy guy. My country appears hellbent on following the USSR's path of the early 90's, and so does my at-risk-now-person.

I saw a kid's show yesterday, a bunraku puppet show. Momotaro (Peach boy), as produced by Thistle Theatre. This was the company where I first appeared on stage, and put me firmly on my current path. Jean, the artistic director is wonderful lady and I consider her a good friend. I only see her a time or two a year, but she was so instrumental to my path, and is so unhesitatingly supportive I don't know how it could be otherwise.

Brian who I worked with was one of the puppeteer/actors I worked with and it was great seeing him again. He's moved on to other projects, and is not with Thistle Theatre full time anymore so I was especially lucky to see him. I made a nice donation, which was double what I'd initially planned as I remembered I have a nice IRS refund coming from my tuition for ETI last year. I like watching the shows, as they are fun and the children's reactions are so delightful. I had an added treat this time.

My grandfather had a tapestry of the Momotaro story above his desk. I think his gardener gave it to him. I don't recall his name, but his kids were my age and we played together a lot on Saturdays when I was at my grandpaarent's house. I believe they were friends, and that grandpa was his very last customer when he retired. As his children got older they started working with him, but they all went to college and became professionals, one was a lawyer and one a doctor the last I heard of them.

My grandfather's desk was a small affair in the corner of the tv room in the basement. He'd write his family letter there on a manual(?) typewriter, using onion skin paper with five or six carbons. We still treasure those letters. I used to sleep on the couch next to the desk as the younger kids got the beds and were afraid to sleep alone in the basement. I enjoyed it, as I got to stay up watching the creature features, and could go to the next room and look at all the tools. Grandpa was an accomplished carpenter. I spent a lot of time looking at the tapestry in the evenenings as I went to sleep and in the mornings as I woke up, remembering the story which Grandma had read to me a few times.

I thought of the story during the show, as I'd forgotten most of it. But as the puppets told the story I remembered the tapestry, and the pictures on it. I experienced the show through my happy memories of the tapestry and the delighted giggles and howls of young children. I smile even now thinking about it. And I wonder if that tapestry in any way informed Grandpa as he wrote his weekly family bulletin.

What a wonderful show for me. I was both in the present with the story, and back to some of my favorite childhood memories. In between I've experienced numerous addiction related tragedies and traumas, the growth of what has become by far the most corrupt government in the history of North America. That was not even in my consciousness. Sitting with happy children and yourself as a happy child -- what could be better? What else could you want?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Moving Forward

Well, that last post got me writing. I added a bit to the current project. Not filler, but it needs to be changed. Better to actually write something you need to fix, than think about writing something you can fix. If you want to take a gander: http://scottamatic.blogspot.com/2007/03/prodigy-mom-scene-1-second-draft.html

BD and Kipley both talked about watching V for Vendetta this week. And, over the weekend I'd picked up a copy. If I can get my new (used) DVD player home in one piece I think I'll watch that tonight myself, or at least the start. I'm starting to fade so probably won't watch the entire thing tonight. On a technical and personal note, I really liked the mask work the star (Hugo Weaving) did. It's something I'd like to do more. You are somehow protected and more naked when you're on stage in a mask.

Early Exits

Not sure what I think about Al-Anon yet. It was interesting, seeing people all over the map. New people still very actively enabling, old timers still dealing with the loss of their innocence or relationships. I felt like I was in the middle. Also I'm not dealing with a spouse or child, which makes me want to say I don't have a serious problem to deal with.

Then again. When I was in sixth grade one of my paternal uncles killed himself as a result of addiction to alcohol and amphetamines, which I thought was my fault (there is dark humor in that story which I'll bring up some time). This was a man who learned to play (classical?) guitar in one day. He earned his MD and PhD concurrently, getting both awarded on the same day. A few years later I was a passenger in a truck when one of my maternal uncles sideswiped the on-ramp jersey barrier spilling his tall Bud all over the place, and a few months later forgot to set the parking brake at the boat ramp, nearly losing the truck. The truck rides were fun for a 12-14 year old, even if it meant standing in cold water and pushing the truck so the tires could get enough traction to pull it out of the water before submerging the carburetor. In college I lived with another drunken maternal uncle for a year, and learned to hide my car keys so he wouldn't drive my car when he was too drunk to drive his Ranchero. Like my paternal uncle, my maternal uncles were off the IQ charts. Didn't seem to help them with their lives.

My maternal grandfather died of liver cirrhosis when I was in high school. I'd never met him, and upon hearing the news didn't think it was excuse enough to avoid mowing the lawn.

My oldest maternal uncle, he of pickup truck fame, and was the only nice one of the siblings died when I was in my early thirties of ARDS, a nice way of saying he got extremely bad pneumonia then suffocated as a result of chronic aspiration of his own vomit. He and everyone who knew him saw this passive suicide make it's inexorable march to completion.

Two of my cousins, one on each side of the family committed suicide in their 20's or early 30's, thanks mostly to their parent's issues with addiction. One by insulin shock, and the other I don't think I ever heard though it was more direct -- likely a gun or slit wrist.

My mother attempted suicide nearly five years ago, and ultimately I kept my promise to cut off contact in response to her manipulative suicide threats over the years, unless she went into therapy. I think it was an Attempt with a capital A, though closer than she'd planned on would be my guess.

My other two maternal uncles became so abusive to everyone, I stopped seeing them over twenty years ago, in 1984. Like my mother, I do not miss them a whit and am finally getting to a point where I can remember the positive impacts they had on my life. What a wicked combination for them, alcoholic father, extremely abusive mother, and IQ's starting at over 145. People with high IQ's are often at a social disadvantage, and the other circumstances in their lives certainly exacerbated any dysfunctional tendencies they may have had.

I don't care if my at-risk-now-person lives or dies, except for how it will affect their children. They've sent out the vague suicide hints, I've told the others involved in the failed invention I believe suicide to be a real risk. Even that is more than I wanted to do. The driving urge which got me to Al-Anon was realizing I don't care about this person any more. Whether this is really true, or just a delusional coping mechanism is a topic to discuss, but for me right now, I don't think it matters, as that apparent lack of feeling is the issue for me, not whether it is truly sincere. It was sincere, as well as an appropriate and successful manner of dealing with mom and her siblings, but that history shouldn't condemn my at-risk-now-person. Then again this person has let me down and intentionally hurt me deeply so many times the last five or ten years maybe it is appropriate. I'm too close to the situation to know.

So I've brought up my concern with those more closely involved, and been passively shut down. Do they disagree, or are they less willing to face the suicide issue than I? Maybe they are pissed I didn't keep mum, maybe they're relieved I aired my concern. I don't know. I wish I cared more. The overwhelming silence on the topic certainly makes me feel like I don't have a support system in the family. I suppose playing the family caretaker and mediator since I was six or seven didn't prepare anyone to listen or act on concerns or thoughts which originated from me, which I'd suppressed for 40 years.

This is sad for me to face. I've grown exponentially in the last few years. I've had to. I inherited some of the genius and the social dysfunction. Now, neglect can soften the edges of intelligence, but not an empty social life. I don't think I could reclaim the genius I had, not even if I had the slightest desire to do so, but that is not true for social intercourse. Along with becoming a social person I've learned personal honesty, and those seem so much more important than any intellectual gifts. And, the nice bonuses and raises I've gotten over the last year are a result of being able to effectively and positively work with other people, not because I can write solid maintainable code quickly.

My sister seems to have the best appreciation for who I am now. Like myself she has worked very hard to discover herself. Right now I don't like the term "reinventing oneself." It's inane and implies a much simpler process. "Oh look, I invented the light bulb, now it won't be dark any more." A quick, one time occurrence and everything is changed. How about, "This light bulb isn't working properly, so I'll go to the store to get a new one for now, and rewire the house so the new bulb has a chance." Of course people can continually improve and strengthen themselves, whereas the best light bulb still burns out. People can do that of course, but I'd say 99% of the time human burnouts happen by choice.

Rewiring the house can clean things up, reduce the chance of a catastrophic fire, and greatly reduce the burn out rate. The power lines coming into my house were shorting in the trees, and making the power pretty dirty. After they fixed the problem my light bulbs starting lasting about ten times as long, and DVD players last about 8-12 months instead of 8-12 weeks.

So my sister is running with cleaner current now, and so am I. We're certainly not on the edge of burnout nearly as often. We're not close though. We talk every few months, generally for a long time, so we're not distant. We keep each other laughing. When she told me they had to put down their Golden Retriever, I told her I was very sorry, and went off on a tangent about how I expect her to survive me so she can tell outrageous lies in very bad taste about me at my memorial service. We have a certain wryness in common, and I intended for the dark humor of the note to let her laugh and cry, which it did. Today is Sammy's last trip to the veterinarian. I have Terrie, and the rest of her family in my thoughts. He's a sweet dog, and even though I only see him once a year or so, I'll miss him a Hell of a lot too.

It is my hope that is the biggest loss those of us in the recent intervention will experience for a while. I'm not hopeful. Even after talking it through a bit here and very briefly at the meeting last night, I don't see good stuff hiding just around the corner. Is it because of the perfectly woeful record for addictions I've been directly affected by? Is it to protect myself? Is it my desire for the problem to just go away so I can move on more easily? I know I'm utterly powerless in this situation. That doesn't make it any easier for me to follow the serenity prayer, "Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed..." I can't stop my at-risk-now-person from a determined suicide attempt. I can't make others deal with the possibility proactively. All I can hope at this point is my at-risk-now-person breaks becomes the first addict in my life to actually recover. I do have some hope for this. I think they have ways to go before they hit bottom though, because people aren't able to let go of enabling behavior. My at-risk-now-person certainly isn't ready to let go of their own enabling behavior.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Drunkicans

Well I'm still feeling a lot of rage, and yesterday's thought of darth vp going hunting when he's blasted again, only blasting himself himself instead of a nearly eighty year old lawyer this time wasn't enough to make me cheerful. Dinner with BD last night did indeed make me cheerful, so it's not like I'm wandering around under a black cloud. Overall I'm still happier than sad, but there is a big issue or two I'm dealing with.

Deep in my heart I truly believe our whitehouse houses the most despicable humans ever in it's 200 year history, and I also believe these hardened criminals will never be prosecuted in international or national courts, which is about the only thing which would restore enough trust and respect for our country to survive a few more generations. Yes, Bush and his accomplices, or co-conspirators if you prefer, have not only destroyed our long term strength, economy, and leadership, they have irreparably destroyed our reputation. More and more countries are asking, "Why should we trust the US with nukes more than Iran?" I never in my wildest dreams expected that to be a reasonable question, and now I'm asking the same thing.

I think having a social and family history rife with chemical dependency has a lot to do my rage at the moment. I'm planning on an Al-Anon meeting tonight to help deal with the latest substance victim in my life. With one exception all my relatives and friends that have had profound dependency issues were strident conservatives. The one exception (mom) has the same characteristics I'm thinking of though. For example she talks in exactly the same irrational manner as Bush when defending herself or condemning others. There is something about the baseless self-righteousness of the whacked out end of the conservative spectrum that is indistinguishable from personalities deeply damaged by addiction.

The fact I'm having to deal with the addiction of someone close once again has me pretty pissed off. For the moment I've lost nearly all patience with other people exhibiting the same predictable behavior as addicts. That covers most if not all the loudmouths who call themselves republicans, and a particularly deluded and/or amoral people who are republi-cons in everything but name. (Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman, ...)

Here's my problem. I have no desire to ever forgive the war criminals in our government. I have every desire, or think I should, to find forgiveness for my friends and relatives with substance abuse problems. The problem is I haven't found that forgiveness or an honest desire to forgive them. Do I have to wait for them to get clean? Should I wait? Just a few of the questions I hope to explore through Al-Anon. Not only do I not feel forgiveness, I have no concern for, or desire to ever see these people again. That is in part due to my uncles and mother. They got so mean, petty, and vicious in their behavior that I completely let go, and after many years I'm finally able to recall the positive impacts they had on my life when I was a child. I feel like I'm doing that prematurely for other(s) right now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Maybe Later?

Got done with rehearsal last night, and couldn't find my keys for a long time. By the time I got home I was too tired to bbq the steak. I should have anyway, it would have sat better than the corn chips. At least that answered a question for me. I can eat corn chips, but in moderate amounts. I suspect the oils they are cooked with are more bothersome than the corn itself.

My stomach is also churning a bit over the whole Libby thing. That anyone can possibly believe our president, vice president, secretary of state, etc. should be out walking the streets without having a competent probation officer assigned to them is part of the problem. If they God they profess to believe in exists, they are in for a Hell of a time. Still, their likely sentences to an eternity screeching while being forever doused with boiling oil should not get them a get out of jail free card in the mortal realm.

I'd love to punch old dickey boy, that proponent of torture and other war crimes when he is going on about how we need to win the war by pouring more money down the Halliburton/Bechtel black hole. We MUST be patriotic sheep he says, not talk about the scandal leading up to their counter-productive but highly profitable quagmire. Wouldn't it be fun to put up a bunch of mirrors made from bullet-proof glass in the stocked hunting preserves he likes to frequent. I'd leave lots of premium beers at the shooting stations, to help keep him from recognizing the jerk in the mirrors. (He's got the balls to shoot pen-raised tame birds after a bunch of beer, but those withered raisins have better things to do than go to a real war.) This time he wouldn't be able to wait 16 hours after shooting someone before getting tested for alcohol, as he'd be sure to hospitalize himself with the ricohets. My only question is what he'd do when those first pellets hit him. Start crying and run for cover? Start pumping more birdshot at the mirror to stop it from shooting him, like a demented kitten fighting itself? Maybe he'd order the Secret Service guys to shoot his assailant.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Comfort Food

There's some really good chicken sausage out there. I like pork, but I'm starting to prefer the chicken, and it is much less fatty making it nicer to cook and more health. I like making a little gravy from the drippings. Yum, nice for cold damp days when you have the blues.

I decided to try making some clam chowder on Saturday. Without dairy or wheat or course. Surprisingly it came out really good. In fact, I like it better. Pretty good on the first attempt. I used my rice flour approach for thickening, and plain soy milk for most of the liquid. Pretty basic chowder otherwise, but the seafood taste was nicer and enhanced somewhat more. I've not made chowder for ages, but this was so good I'm starting to think of enhancements for the not too distant future. Like different kinds of seafood in there, for kind of a cajun chowder. And it reheats much better than a dairy/wheat based chowder.

Tonight, if I've time and appetite when I get home there's a steak waiting. At least I'm treating myself well on the culinary front. Things are kind of a pain otherwise, but warm food and the opera work wonders. I decided not to go to Canada this week. I really want to escape, but I also want to spend some time with my nephew and nieces and that is more important to me at the moment.

I saw Julius Caesar with my friend Beth yesterday. Terrific. I met the parents of Cleopatra going into McCaw Hall, and they were walking on air. I think she was the best performer of the show. There weren't any real weak performers, just some that weren't as strong. Some interesting casting, as Handel wrote that with several castratos in mind. Julius was played by a woman, as well as Sesto. The villain, Tolomeo was played by a counter-tenor and Nireno was a male sorprano. You don't see many men who have trained head voices (falsetto), so this was a particularly interesting show because of the casting challenges. I think Cleopatra's parents must have been even more proud after the show.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Silver Lining

So, in the midst of family upheaval my periodic wanderlust spoke up, "You got no family ties to this area, no reason other than comfort for hanging around." I thought about how fun it would be to live in Key West, Savannah, or even Pensacola again. Or go try out New York, L.A., Toronto, Chicago, or even London for a while.

"But wait," the self-styled sensible voice interjects, "You have more friends than ever before, and a terrific career going, even if you do like calling it your 'day job'." Well, I'm not talking about packing up in the the next 12 months. "But you're thinking of doing so in 24 months." Oh lots could change say I, and 24 months is a long time.

I came back to the Seattle area, partly to be around my family, and mostly out of serendipity. I enjoyed computer science, and was pretty good at it, and got my second Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude -- woo hoo -- brag where you can!) With Microsoft here and the University of Washington my high tech aspirations led me back home. Even when UW's (ultra conservative) computer science department told me twice they looked on military experience and references with disfavor didn't dampen my enthusiasm. I got work, but being nearly forty I got nudged into the contracting world. It was only later that I figured out I could get interviews for full time positions at conservative places like Microsoft by removing my military experience from my resume.

Still within a few years I was making decent money, my Mom had moved so she was fifteen minutes instead of 4 hours away, I was just getting into theatre and blossoming in ways I'd put off since my teens. My brother's family was also within fifteen minutes, my Dad about an hour away in the town I grew up in, and my sister's family a three hour drive away. I got along well with my step siblings, my stepmother's kids.

My stepmother died of cancer. My mother continued to deteriorate thanks to the endless circle of prescriptions treating the side affects of the other prescriptions. I stumbled into acting, and changed from recluse to social butterfly. It became increasingly difficult to get together with my brother and sister and their families.

My Dad married a terrific lady, and he and my new stepmother spend over half the year out of the area. My mother's deterioration culminated in a suicide attempt, and I stopped seeing her, as I'd promised I would when she tried to manipulate people with suicide threats. I'm more or less estranged from my brother by his choice, and I don't foresee a big change coming there. So I once felt surrounded by family. Or maybe the fact I wasn't as emotionally healthy back then allowed me a happy delusion.

"You got no family ties to this area, no reason other than comfort for hanging around." It was a tremendously freeing realization. The silver lining to my personal storm cloud. I'm not tied down. Yeah, I don't have a significant other, but I sure do have a lot of attractive female friends, so I don't figure the celibacy will survive that much longer.

I remember leaving the attorney's office on Guam, right after we'd filed for the interlocutory decree of divorce. It felt somehow mean, but I was walking on clouds, in the best mood I'd been in for ages. This feeling of being footloose wasn't so intense, and I didn't come crashing down like I did after the initial elation for the divorce. I didn't have a downswing at all, and I still feel cheered by the fact that my world has expanded again as a result of the sundering of my family.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Damn Those Malingering Victims

The fellow who used to be in charge of Walter Reed blamed the problem on the Washington Post. Typical right wing cowardice. It should not be news to anyone that we haven't been supporting the military folks, especially returning veterans, and mare particularly those with the most need. For anyone to say this is a surprise is hard evidence of their premeditated ignorance, or cover-up if they are involved even peripherally.

Of course, the blaming of the Washington Post for finally finding a specific issue which got media attention on the long-standing policy of neglect and abuse of our wounded veterans instituted by Bush is #2 in the neo-con playbook. #1 of course, is to blame the victim, and we're already hearing the disgusting undercurrent of that tactic. It's kind of a gasping sucking sound, as american decency is once again removed from the debate by moneyed vultures.

Bush and his corporate sponsors, have diverted every possible cent to mercenaries for their failed oil acquisition adventure. Who pays? The real soldiers. Pretty typical. As I've harped on numerous times the only discrimination and abuse I've experienced as a combat veteran comes from those same self-righteous conservatives.

Who was the administration lap dog anbd former commander of Walter Reed who blamed the Washington Post for all the problems at Walter Reed? You probably know, it is none other than General Kevin C. Kiley, the new Surgeon General. He is so compromised, corrupted by the republican leadership he toadies to that I expect the Surgeon General's warning on cigarettes to be replaced with "The Surgeon General has determined that cigarettes are extremely healthy in large doses for the amoral corporations pushing their use on children."

Meanwhile how will the profoundly cowardly mob which supports misusing our troops to kill those brown heathens hoarding our oil going to react to the troops they pretend to support? Read the wackos like rush, coulter, and o'reilly to find out the proper conservative justification for abusing our wounded veterans. I sure don't feel like reading the scum-mongers right now.

Running Away

I think I'm going to dash up to Canada for a bit next week. I was looking at my schedule when asked by my manager about vacation plans, and I haven't set any aside yet, and won't have a chance until Summer, when I hope to be pretty busy with flying and theatre.

I just rescheduled my opera tickets for next Wednesday, to this Sunday. If anyone local wants to go let me know soon, I'm going to ask around my social lists in a couple hours.

I'm looking forward to the short break. It has been a stressful month, and while I expect things to get better, it will be nice to set things right with a break.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

More Ups and Downs

Sadly what I referred to as a mostly failed intervention a while back, was an overly optimistic description. I didn't expect the home treatment attempt to work, but didn't say so until it actually failed, as I didn't want to jinx things because I wasn't hopeful. We had a conference call Tuesday evening, right before my class started. I was a little late for class, but they know what is going on (more than y'all do). It was a great class, and we did a lot of challenging work. I was sad and angry as a result of the intervention mess, and quite tired from the class work.

Then I got home and saw I had an E-mail from Kalon, one of my friends in Duncan, BC. I consider the whole family my friends, and enjoy my time on Vancouver Island visiting them and my other friends an hour or two north on Denman Island. The E-mail was actually from Kali, who is eleven this year. My friend Doug and I have been idolized by Kali, since she was three or four. It was a very sweet letter, talking about her writing and a conference where professional authors will read some of her stories and provide feedback, and maybe even get into a magazine. Then a very long "I love you and I miss you very much. xoxoxox... ..." There is nothing that can change your perspective more postively than young friends like that. It is why my favorite day of the week is Monday, when I get to read to the fourth graders in the morning.

Last night I called my friend Beth and we met at a fantastic Thai restaurant I'd never been to before. I think it is one of my favorite two on the east side now, and there are some damn good ones. Then we went and saw Ghost Rider. It was pure fun and escapism, and I loved it. Nothing amazing, but Nicholas Cage does bring something to it. And I couldn't help but wonder how many hours of wardrobe malfunction outtakes there must be for Eva Mendes. A striking woman, and I couldn't see what was keeping her inside her shirt. It was fun to speculate, and wonder if they had to use a lot of cgi. Like Night At The Museum, it was not an earth shaking movie, but a good solid movie of it's genre, which meets realistic expectations, and is fun as Hell to watch.

And, I did get cast in Arsenic and Old Lace. A small role, Officer Klein, who shows up for a bit in the last few pages. I wanted Jonathon the psychotic brother, but given my time restrictions this is the perfect role at the moment. And it has special meaning for me, as it was the first play I ever saw.

Gap Of Pertinence

Here's one of the blurbs from google news, which I use as a home page. There was a slew of stories very briefly about the large energy requirements for Al Gore's house being his Inconvenient Truth. Big deal is my response, and judging by how quickly it fell off the radar, most people felt the same. My favorite listing I assumed to be a reactionary corporate kiss up, but that is my own stereotyping of a Tennessee radio tv station. Local Research Group Calls Al Gore Hipocrit - WKRN. Typical level of conservative education. Two misspellings in a single word, for a headline. Heck, we all misspell on occasion, generally from forgetting to do a spell check, and rereading. Actually, most of my misspellings are typos which result in correct spellings of the wrong word.

Speaking of hypocrites. How about Justice Kennedy's response to the challenge to Bush's Faith Based Initiative.
"We would be supervising the White House and what it could say, who it could talk to," Justice Anthony Kennedy said. He said that type of oversight would be "quite intrusive."
Not only is it a ridiculous statement, which shows utter contempt for the American population, which given the conservative sway in this country may well be justifiable. Come on Justice Kennedy, you don't actually believe challenging an attempt to abrogate the traditional and precedent ridden notion of separation of church and state would be intrusive, you just want to crown the bush baby King Of The Universe. If ever there was an administration that needed intrusive oversight, it would be the vile creatures currently running the US into the ground. And this certainly is not as intrusive as the white house's oversight as practiced on our own citizens. If anything, public servants must be subject to more stringent and intrusive oversight than the average citizen. Otherwise the average citizen becomes a subject to the ruling class.

Here's another gem I found at Badger Blues. It seems a republican running a smear campaign for mayor is whining because of the dirty attack campaigning of his opponent. It seems the democrat actually called him a republican in public.