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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gifts from a Pitbull

Marley is a rescued dog.  He was less than 24 hours a way from being shot in the head when I got him.  Small town, no animal shelter, Pit Bulls die.  No questions about it.  That isn't the story, but it might explain it.
People say I anthropomorphise my dogs too much, by attributing human qualities to them.  Believe me, I do the exact opposite to a lot of people, categorizing them by the worst dog traits they exhibit, so I think I am being fair here.
Marley brings me something in his mouth EVERY time I come home.  Sometimes it is something I mistakenly left on the counter, like a pepper mill, or something he scored from the recycling bin under the sink.  Other times it is just one of his toys, or even some kibble from his bowl.  He is very generous, and very giving.  Without fail he always meets me at the door with something.  I think he knows he was rescued, and every day he is reminding me of how glad he is to have come to live here.
I think I came home a little late, and I surprised him.  He didn't have anything and was quite distraught, so he ran back over to the couch without even greeting me, and grabbed the first thing he could find.  In this case, what he wanted to bring me wasn't terribly happy to be part of his routine.  It was Bella, Marley's companion Pit Bull.  She was resting on the couch, happily ignoring my entry, and Marley grabbed her by the collar and just pulled her onto the floor.  She was surprised to say the least.
He didn't actually get to bring her to me.  She protested a bit, then jumped back up on the couch.  I don't consider this trend to be broken though.  It sometimes isn't just the thought that counts, but the effort too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tig Notaro Live - Buy This - Trust Me

I could easily post this audio, I could upload and link to a place where you can download it for free.  I will not do that.  This is the best piece of comedy that I have ever heard.  I was actually sobbing and laughing through the whole thing.  You owe it to yourself to buy this download.  If you steal it, you are cheating her out of some money, but you are also cheating yourself.  Trust me, you want to buy it.
Click Here to Purchase
Here is what Louis CK has to say about this CD:

"About Tig Notaro

October 5, 2012
Greetings to the people and parts of people that are reading this. Hi. This is Louis. I'm a comedian and you bought a thing from me. Well, I'm writing to tell You that there is a new thing you can buy on my website It's an audio standup set by not me but another comedian named Tig Notaro. Why am I selling someone else's comedy on my website?
Well, Tig is a friend of mine and she is very funny. I love her voice on stage. One night I was performing at a club in LA called Largo. Tig was there. She was about to go on stage. I hadn't seen Tig in about a year and I said how are you? She replied "well I found out today that I have cancer in both breasts and that it has likely spread to my lymph nodes. My doctor says it looks real bad. ". She wasn't kidding. I said "uh. Jesus. Tig. Well. Do you... Have your family... Helping?". She said "well my mom was with me but a few weeks ago she fell down, hit her head and she died". She still wasn't kidding.
Now, I'm pretty stupid to begin with, and I sure didn't know what to say now. I opened my mouth and this came out. "jeez, Tig. I. Really value you. Highly.". She said "I value you highly too, Louie.". Then she held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said "I'm gonna talk about all of it on stage now. It's probably going to be a mess". I said "wow". And with that, she went on stage.
I stood in the wings behind a leg of curtain, about 8 feet from her, and watched her tell a stunned audience "hi. I have cancer. Just found out today. I'm going to die soon". What followed was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw. I can't really describe it but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life. Here was this small woman standing alone against death and simply reporting where her mind had been and what had happened and employing her gorgeously acute standup voice to her own death.
The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be. A way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them. Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there. Not by distracting us from the terror but by looking right at it and just turning to us and saying "wow. Right?". She proved that everything is funny. And has to be. And she could only do this by giving us her own death as an example. So generous.
After her set, I asked Mark Flanagan, the owner of Largo (great club, by the way) if he recorded the set. Largo is set up for excellent recordings. He said that he did.
A few days later, I wrote Tig and asked her if I could release this set on my site. I wanted people to hear what I saw. What we all saw that night. She agreed. The show is on sale for the same 5 dollars I charge for my stuff. I'm only keeping 1. She gets the other 4. Tig has decided to give some of that to cancer research.
Tig, by the way, has since undergone a double mastectomy. She is doing well. Her doctors say her chances of survival are excellent. So she went there and came back. Her report from the frontlines of life and death are here for you to... Enjoy.
Please go to my site and buy her show.  You can buy it HERE.
Thank you. Have a terrific afternoon.
Louis C.K."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paul Ryan's Clean Little Dirty Secret

I had just finished loading my dishwasher when I saw this story about Paul Ryan having his family pretend to wash dishes at a St. Vincent DePaul kitchen for homeless people.  The dishes were already clean, but they went ahead and donned spotless white aprons, wasted some water and pretended to wash them anyway.
Needless to say, I got a little nervous, so I cleaned my windows and changed the scent cubes in my Scentsy.  I was afraid that Paul Ryan and a gaggle of photographers would show up here right after my dishes finished rinsing in the dishwasher to push the START button again.  The place is a mess,  I just can't have him here until I have dusted my lamp shades and wound my clocks.  
I'll wait until I leave for work tomorrow to push that button.  If Paul Ryan is running around doing clean dishes, and I haven't even cracked open a bottle of Mop-N-Glo, the risk is just too great.
My yard looks awesome though.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Price of a Soul

Have you ever wondered just exactly what the price of a human being's soul is? 
 Ask Artur Davis whether he got what his was worth, 
or whether he got the Bain Treatment.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Turnaround On A Bully

If you don't follow Jonathan Capehart, or live in Wisconsin, you may not have seen this video.  I don't have much commentary.  This television news anchorwoman says it all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

In Memory Of Rose Scarpino - My 3rd Grade Teacher

Rest In Peace Mrs. Scarpino

Mrs. Scarpino was my 3rd grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary, 1978.  I don't remember much about 3rd grade, except on St. Patrick's day, using me to make some (now long forgotten) religious statement, my parents refused to let me wear green.

When she saw early in the day, all of the taunting and pinching I had in store, she pulled me into the coat room (those open floor plans didn't allow for much privacy or door closing) and tried to figure out what was going on.  She asked my why I didn't wear green, and I tried to explain it to her, but much like myself to this day, religious intolerance and extremism didn't seem to make sense to her.  "Charlee?  Can you keep a secret?"  she asked me ever so slyly.  I nodded that I could.  She told me to wait there, and she would be right back.
When she returned she brought 5 things in a little tote.  Green construction paper, stiff oak tag paper, scissors, glue and a safety pin.  She and I cut out a large rectangle of the green paper, glued to it a smaller rectangle of the oak tag, with my name written on it in green.  After the quick assembly of her makeshift pinch preventer, she pinned it to my shirt.  Standing back and perhaps admiring her solution, she sternly asked if I knew where Mrs. Straub's Kindergarten room was.  I assured her I did.  "Good," she said, "Mrs. Straub will need an assistant with her classes today, and I volunteered you.  Don't mess around."
Of the many kindness shown to me by teachers and school staff over the years when dealing with some often bizarre religious demands from my household, this was perhaps the kindest, because it taught me to think outside of the box, and create both my own solutions and to find and identify allies in my teachers.  She picked me up on a bad day that could have gotten a lot worse, and she showed some strength, courage and creativity, and instead of letting me feel like a victim, she sent me to a classroom where I could learn to be a leader.  I am eternally in the debt of this wise, wise woman.