Sadly, this story does not have a happy ending.
The Web is a wonderful tool to help people. Please reblog this and spread Nichole’s face around WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
She could be anybody’s sister, daughter, friend.
A couple of years ago, I was corresponding with a high school classmate of mine about a reunion. Hugh had left the east and was living in New Mexico.
“What I really miss is the green,” he said to me in an email. “I’m thirsty for it.”
Well, it was spring, and that evening I was walking my dog Cooper by the river. It was hazy, but very green and bluebells were blossoming. Thinking of my friend Hugh, I snapped a cell-phone picture and sent it off to him.
It was actually a nice picture, somewhere between a color and a black and white, because the light was diffused. I liked the picture, and made it my computer’s background photo. About two weeks later, while talking with a client, I realized that there was a bonus to this picture. There on the right, was Cooper. Pooping.
Today is Cooper’s 14th birthday. We didn’t think he would make it this long, as he has been in poor health for the last couple of years. He’s always made me laugh, usually at myself.
Happy Birthday, Coops! And many more.
Poor Lisa. Lisa Murkowski. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). She’s upset. She’s angry. She’s really sorry. Poor, Poor Lisa. It’s not her fault. Someone else made her do it. If it happened to you, wouldn’t it make YOU mad?
You see, Poor Lisa voted for the Blunt Amendment last Thursday, and now she’s upset. You remember the Blunt Amendment, don’t you? It’s the one that would allow any employer to refuse to include healthcare coverage for any condition he or she objects to on moral or religious grounds.
Poor Lisa needs some sympathy. Here, Lisa, will this help?
Poor Lisa wasn’t upset when she voted for the Blunt Amendment, though. It wasn’t until afterwards, when she met up with some of the voters (who had written her name in and elected her after her staff misspelled her name on the ballot). The voters weren’t very happy with her. In fact, they were a wee bit miffed. Poor Lisa, now she is very sorry indeed.
Here’s what Poor Lisa told the Anchorage Daily News:
“I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me,” she said.
Got a hanky?
Poor Lisa. She kept making excuses and told the nice newspaper folks all these important things. Things voters need to remember next time she is up for election:
She’s a moderate. [I can tell!] She supports abortion rights and contraception coverage [Of course she does – didn’t she prove that with her vote FOR the Blunt Amendment?]. She also doesn’t line up completely with the Catholic Church when it comes to birth control.
I’m so very glad that what she said when it was no longer important cleared up that confusing vote of hers! Aren’t you?
Because, you see, she’d meant to make a statement about religious freedom. But those silly voters read it as a vote against contraception coverage for women! Against women’s health! Against family planning! Oops!
Imagine that! Imagine a world where someone with a vagina and a vote might just think that this vote against women’s health was a really a vote against women’s rights?????? I tell ya, some voters just want everything.
You see, Poor Lisa just did exactly what the Republican Leadership told her to do, just as she has in every vote she’s cast since she got to the Senate. Republicans are really good at lock-step, every time there’s a vote. Republicans vote in lock-step even when it goes against their own beliefs — and that’s just what Poor Lisa did.
And that’s a huge part of the reason why nothing works in Congress. Republican intransigence.
It’s time. Time for this issue to become a rallying cry for thinking people – a make or break issue. And it’s not just a women’s issue, either.
And you know, the President isn’t going to be the only one on the ballot. And he isn’t the only one who might impact your life.
Photo from TalkingPointsMemo.com (photo credit given on the photo but my eyes can’t read it)
Sorry to anybody who clicked on here to read a new posting. I thought it would be fun to have one of these do-hickeys in my side-bar (which I do now) to know where my bloggin’ buddies are located. Imagine my surprise when I learned that unbeknownst to me, I had posted today! Because the flag counter posted itself. Really! Worse, it didn’t even start at the beginning of my blog, but only with late this afternoon. Curses! Foiled again. Or is it Flagged again?
It did give me a totally random opportunity to post this comment that I recently received. I am hoping that it was spam. At least, that’s how it was marked by Askimet. I may need some extra hugs, blog hits and comments to be sure that somewhere out there, someone isn’t really thinking the thoughts we all fear folks are thinking. Here’s what he/she said, sniff, sniff:
Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!
Perhaps next time I am short of ideas, something else will magically appear here at FiftyFourAndAHalf.com. Of course, if I didn’t write it, it will, naturally, be boring.
Everybody always tags the slow kid. So I’m not sure if this is an honor or if everybody is picking on me. These folks are either really good friends or should be banned from Word Press. I can’t quite decide.
But I’m IT, I was TAGGED. So here goes nothin.’ Here’s how you play.
Here are the culprits; they made me do this. Trust me, it wasn’t my idea. In fact, I thought I had already done this when I wrote What’s In A Meme.
Janice at Aurora Morealist (2/21)
Janice at Cafe23 (2/22)
TwinDaddy at Stuphblog (2/24)
I’m cheating here. I was tagged 3 times, I figure nobody wants to spend the next month reading about me. So I chose some questions from each of the bloggin’ buddies who picked on me. You can thank me later.
If you were given another chance at life, to come back as anything or anyone you want, who or what would you choose and why?
I want to come back as an American Coot, my favorite bird.
They are silly, duck-like birds (they don’t even get a category of their own – they are merely duck-like).
They must have a great sense of humor, because they are awful at everything else. In fact, they have trouble swimming (no webs on their feet)– they thrust their heads forward with each stroke, in the same way a race horse does, but without the grace. They also forget that they are birds and can fly. I’d be like that. You see, coots can’t take off easily from the water (where they spend 99.9 percent of their time); they always look like Keystone Cops trying to get away. They get eaten by eagles and hawks because they are slow and awkward. And stupid. The term “old coot” comes from these guys. But I love them anyway. They crack me up.
I always picture them with a speech bubble over their head that says “SHOOT” – a particularly dumb thing for a bird to be saying, if you ask me. But they can’t help it; they were taught not to swear when they were “Cooties.” (Yes, I had to say it.)
Apparently I must be pretty content in this lifetime to come back as prey, but still. They are great fun to watch.
What one thing do you wish you did when you had the chance?
See Door Number Two! Where my dreams of fame and fortune ended. I wonder what would have happened if I had chosen Door Number One. Or what was behind the curtain. Or, perhaps, what would have happened if I had never come out of the closet. [Thousands of people will now think I am gay. Perhaps I will attract new readers!]
If a stranger knocked on your door and asked for food or shelter, what would you do?
Open the door and let them in. They would be pleasant and grateful, and nice and fun. We would have a party. Then my husband would kill me for having let potential murderers in.
Are you glad or ticked off that I tagged you?
What is the most traumatic experience you’ve ever had?
Saturday, January 15, 2000 and Tuesday, August 11, 2009, the dates my sisters died. Judy at 47 went first, and then Beth at 61. Sucked. Still sucks. We were going to race our wheelchairs in the nursing home.
If you could choose one moment in your life that defined who you are today, what was that moment?
Many years ago, I had horrible secretarial job at an Ivy League university. I felt stupid every day –not because people made me feel that way (everyone was really very nice). Nope. I MADE MYSELF FEEL THAT WAY. Everyone I saw intimidated me.
One day, a brilliant professor needed help changing a light bulb. In a table lamp. It made me realize that in at least one way, I was smarter than this brilliant man. And I stopped feeling stupid. More importantly, I stopped doubting that I was smart enough to do whatever I chose to do. After all, I could change a light bulb.
Why, OH WHY, do you blog?
I started blogging after taking a humor writing class where I found I enjoyed writing short snarky pieces. What else do you do with short and snarky?
Do you have any tattoos? If yes, of what and where? If not, what tattoo would you get if you had to get one?
When I read “In Cold Blood” in high school, my very favorite teacher ever said “Never trust anyone with a tattoo.” At that time, it was only cold blooded killers and sailors who had them. Things have changed in 40 years.
Still I don’t get why anyone would want one. Times and styles change – just look at shirt collars, ties and hairstyles. What happens when tattoos go out of fashion?
I was in a store in Maine last summer when a young girl was proudly displaying the tattoo she’d gotten of a hummingbird for her 20th birthday. It was quite pretty, and it was right there at the top of her substantial left breast. By the time she is my age and her boobs sag, it will look like a turkey vulture.
* * *
Do you believe in God?
I don’t think it matters, really. I think how people act is what is important. I believe in the Golden Rule. I also believe in what I’ve gotten from the New Testament: Love. That’s what it’s all about. The Old Testament didn’t teach love. And for some reason that – the hate is what resonates with all too many folks these days.
What will get you angry?
Republican politicians get me angry whenever I think of them. Cause I just don’t feel the love. See my response to the question above.
Why did you name your blog the name you named it?
But the real reason is that I felt reaching the age of 54-1/2 was a personal victory. That was the average age of my two sisters when they died. I reached it with a combination of sadness and triumph. And that’s partly why I will always, at heart, be 54-1/2.
Now My Questions:
I’m not going to tag anyone; I’m way too slow. But feel free to answer if you’d like. Or not if you’d rather not (you’re welcome, Lorre). If you do answer, please post a link to your post in the comments.
Tomorrow at my office, I and other members of the “Senior Staff” must present some cost cutting measures for consideration by the President and CEO. I’ve been worrying about this for more than a month. Me, I’m more into spending than cost cutting, and I just didn’t have any really good ideas for how a small business like ours could, well, save money.
But then, to quote John Lennon, “I read the news today, oh boy.” And I know just exactly how we will be saving loads of money. Can you guess how?
We can save sh*tloads of cash on health insurance in the not too distant future. How?
Yup, you guessed it! I’m counting on the Republicans in Congress continuing to be so completely, bafflingly, inexplicably bizarre. I’m betting that the Amendment proposed by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to the Affordable Healthcare Act will become law. You read about it, didn’t you? It would allow any employer to “opt out” of offering insurance coverage to their employees if they object to coverage for religious or moral grounds.
When it becomes law, PRESTO! My company will save a fortune. I am a magician! I will save the company. I will be promoted! I will make big buckaroooooooooooossssss! I will be rewarded! At least I’ll keep my job.
Cue the evil laugh. Mooaahhhhhhhaaaahaaaaaaa.
Now there aren’t many of us at my little company. In fact I think we may all actually be “Senior Staff,” so I will need to present this carefully. Or mumble.
And, well, there aren’t too many health issues to speak of among our 22 employees. The usual flu, cold, allergies. Nothing particularly juicy. Nothing even remotely immoral. Nothing even borderline. Besides, what could we possibly object to on both moral and religious grounds that hasn’t already been taken care of by those busy beavers at the Virginia State Legislature?
Clearly, I had to dig deeper. I had to look to find what everyone has in common. And I figured it out!
We will deny health insurance coverage to anyone who poops.
We will do it on moral AND religious grounds.
Yup, poop. Nobody likes poop – that’s why we flush it away, why we bury it, why we hide behind doors to do it. I’ll save us a fortune in premiums.
As the self-proclaimed new insurance representative of my company, I hereby proclaim:
We oppose poop on moral grounds.
We oppose poop on religious grounds.
(Opposing poop on religious grounds would be easier if only I could remember which religion has the caste system – you know, where only the lowest caste deals with poop. Whatever religion that may be. I’m sure it’s mentioned in the Constitution. (It’s probably somewhere in the 2nd Amendment.)
Soon, my company won’t have to cover anybody; we’ll save a bloomin’ fortune.
But somehow, I will have to figure out how I can get insurance that covers me, because, you see, I have some healthcare issues, and I want to keep MY coverage.
I know!! My coverage can be special; because my poop don’t stink. Just like that of the folks proposing this Amendment. Right?
Sometimes, one blog is enough. Sometimes, one blog leads to another. Sometimes you just have to steal someone else’s topic.
And that’s where I am tonight. Stealing someone else’s theme. But, honestly, Bryonic Man, this was much too long to do in a comment. And you got your pingback. So that’ll give you an extra hit or two. No more, though. Sorry.
Bryonic Man wrote a great post about songs that drive him crazy, and opening the floor to those that drive his readers crazy. It’s here. I started to leave a comment, but well, it didn’t quite fit in with his theme of “songs that make you suicidal.” My story is kinda cute. Unless, of course, you’re me. Then you must live in shame for as long as the gods rule. Maybe longer if you blog it.
It’s not a song I hate, or one that makes me dive for the mute button. I like this song. It’s running through my head right now, and I don’t want to jump off the roof. I could listen to it repeatedly, and sing along happily each time. Until I pay attention to the lyrics, that is.
This song is one of my clearest, early memories. A “Sunday night with the family” memory. I remember Ed Sullivan. I remember the cute babies hanging from the ceiling of the set with their bows drawn and their arrows pointing. I remember the tune, although not who sang it. And YouTube is not helping.
Unfortunately, I remember the lyrics. Well, I remembered my lyrics.
You know those songs where you can’t quite come up with the right lyrics, they’re muffled, swallowed, unclear? This isn’t one of them. These lyrics are, in fact, pretty clear. Just about anyone listening can figure out what they are. Except me. Well, except little me. If I heard it for the first time today, well, I’m sure I’d get it.
But I happily sang these lyrics until a year or two ago, when I listened to myself singing. Suddenly, I knew that I had the lyrics wrong. And that I am, yes, an idiot. Because I should have figured this out, well, a while ago. And that’s why this song makes me feel, well, foolish.
I constructed these lyrics I one night while watching the Ed Sullivan Show. When I was little, long before I knew who Cupid was, and what Cupid did. And how Cupid had a bow. A bow with which he shot folks. Long before I knew much of anything in fact. And I sang these lyrics for nearly fifty years:
Cute Baby, Draw Back Your Bow
Your arrow go
My mother’s arm
I am so glad you don’t really know who I am.