Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Old Boyfriend Stories: Part I

Just to give you some background on my ex (whom I shall call the Notorious D.I.C.), we were together for about two and a half years, two years of which was a long distance relationship. Once the long-distance part was over, our relationship rapidly deteriorated. The following is an example.

At the age of 19, I hadn't had my license for too long. Even though he and I came from a large city with lots of freeways, most of my driving experience at that time was limited to driving around the small university town I was living in. And by small, I mean there was only one large highway, which I only got on to drive back home to visit family. The feeder roads to this highway were two-way roads instead of the normal one-way that you find in big cities. Even in the town itself, I didn't do much driving, since I lived on-campus. I mostly just went to church, the laundromat, and Wal-Mart.

So D.I.C. comes home from his two-year absense. We decide one day to drive out to Mars Music Store, an incredible place to go for a musician (which he was, and I was learning to be). It's all the way out in West Houston, and we had to take I-10 to get there (a freeway). Since I was the one with a car, I drove. D.I.C. had a biting comment for every little thing I did wrong, and that was just from his house to the entrance ramp. Once we got on the freeway, and I had to merge and bob and weave and get from Loop 610 to I-10, we hit some of the worst traffic I have ever seen in my life. I don't know if there was an accident ahead of us, or construction, or a herd of screaming monkeys, but the cars were all just jam packed. The freeway was practically a parking lot. I took an exit and decided to just stay on the feeder, which seemed to have a bit more flow.

D.I.C. had no mercy for me. I was the worst driver he'd ever seen in all his 22 years, I had no idea what I was doing, blah blah blah. He called me names, said I was stupid, every critical thing he could think of, he said. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in the driver's seat, both hands on the steering wheel, already nervous from all the traffic I was wasn't used to, and growing more frightened and discouraged with each remark. I don't know how I managed not to cry. He didn't seem to think he was doing anything wrong, probably because he felt his tone of voice was not hostile. And while it is true that he was not yelling, he sure didn't sound friendly to me.

When at last we finally got to the music store, and I found a parking spot, I made a point to turn off the air conditioner before I turned off the car. (I later learned that this was supposed to prevent problems with the air compressor.) D.I.C. asked me why I did this. I told him that my father told me to always turn off the A/C, that it was good for the car for some reason. D.I.C. proceeds to rail on me for doing what my father asked me to do for my own good. If memory serves, he said something about being stupid for following advice without knowing exactly what it was for. "What if I told you to do (such-and-such) for no good reason?"

At this point, I'd had it. I felt I'd taken enough abuse for one car trip. I could have said (and should have said) a lot of things, but all I said was, "What if I slap the shit out of you right now?"

When I look back on it, I think of all the things I could have done. I could have said (while on the road), "You know what, I'm not used to driving in this kind of traffic, and you? Aren't helping. You're making it worse." Or "Would you like to drive instead of me, since you're such an automotive prodigy?" Or perhaps I could have pulled over at a gas station and said, "Here's $20 and a quarter. If you can't stand my terrible driving, call a cab. Or better yet, call your mother, so she can deal with all this traffic just to take you where you want to go." Or maybe I should have just said, "D.I.C.? Shut. The f***. Up."

My secondmost personal favorite what-I-should-have-said diatribe is "Why do you always have to be such an ass? Why don't you ever have anything positive to say? You're not paying for my car, or my insurance, or even the gas for this little drive-from-hell. You're not my father or my driving instructor, so I don't see why you think you have the right to tell me a damn thing about how I drive. So from now on, do like they taught you in kindergarten: if you don't have something nice to say, shut the hell up."

My absolute favorite response that I fantisize about using: pull over on the side of the freeway and say "Get out. Now." Then leave.

After I made my remark about slapping him, he got quiet for a minute, then stopped and faced me. He apologized for yelling at me. "You didn't yell at me," I said, sounding tired. "Well, I'm sorry for being ugly to you."

I don't remember my response to this. I only remember that when we finally entered the doors of the music store, I didn't want to be near him. I went towards the acoustic guitar room and played a sad song. He went...somewhere. I didn't care. I don't even remember which of us drove my car home. I just remember how much I wish I'd told him off, told him to go to hell, told him to stop treating me like dirt on the ground.

He probably doesn't remember this event. It was many years ago. But I remember. I still feel the emotional scar. I still get nervous when I drive.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I wanted to post something deep and meaningful...

...but once again, I have blogger's block. So instead you get pictures.

Yes, I know I've posted this pic before. I don't care. I love this picture.

I think I'd like one of these. My 18-month-old has been talking about puppies non-stop since Monday, when we borrowed a puppy from my grandmother to keep the girls occupied while Bizarro Dad used his power tools outside. Now every two hours, I hear "Buppy! Buppy!" And that's if she doesn't see a dog. If she happens to see one out the window or glance at the dogs next door, then it's "Buppy!" for 30 minutes straight. And this word applies to dogs of all sizes, whether they be her grandmother's chihuahua or her aunt's French Mastiffs. If only we could get her grandfather to tolerate an indoor dog. Alas, he will have no such thing, and so we must wait until he moves out of this house, whenever that may be.

From the first page of Genesis. I don't know why, but Hebrew sounds have always struck a chord in me whenever I hear them. Genetic memory, maybe?

This is on my wish list over at amazon.com. I wish the image here were a little nicer. Anyhoo, I don't normally ask for jewelry, but I saw this and could not resist. I must be nuts. But at least it's not expensive!

Have a good weekend, all.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A nice, easy recipe

Broccoli-Cheese Rice
4 cups long grain rice
amount of water directed on bag (8 cups or 12 cups, depending on your brand of rice)
2 bags frozen broccoli
2/3 of a large block of Velveeta cheese, cubed
Set rice and water in pot, adding in desired amount of salt to taste. DO NOT STIR. Throw in the broccoli on top. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until rice soaks up most of the water. Uncover and let remaining water burn off. Stir in a few big globs of butter, the cheese, and some milk (less than a cup). Cover and leave on low heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is completely melted. Serve. Makes 8 to 12 cups of rice.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. And Nilo, take courage! At least it's not Christmas yet!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I saw Harry Potter!

I've gotta make this short because I have to start my baking for tomorrow. (Yeah, that's right, I'm having Thanksgiving tomorrow. AND Thursday. So many in-laws, so little time.) So if you haven't seen the movie yet and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading right now.


The movie felt rushed. The transition shots did not adequately show the passage of time. Show a season changing, or Halloween, or at least someone dressed in clothes that didn't include a jacket and scarf. Is it always winter there?! Too much was cut for time, but it seemed to be done at the expense of flow. I would have preferred a three-hour movie with better flow and maybe some footage of the actual Quidditch game at the World Cup. We just went from Viktor's grand entrance to the Weasley's after party. I felt kind of ripped off by that.

But I REALLY felt ripped off by the credits. I was promised there would be funny credits. Where were the funny credits!?! But no, all I got was "No Dragons Were Harmed in the Making of This Movie."

What I want to know is, when they introduced Beautiful Hermione, why did they have to make Harry look so captivated by her? We've all ready the sixth book. We know he ends up with Ginny. We know he never develops any romantic feelings for Hermione. So why make it look like he might? *sigh* I guess the director or someone wanted to throw the Harry/Hermione shippers a bone. Whatever.

Awesome stuff:

  • The dragons
  • The Yule Ball
  • The underwater sequence
  • The graveyard scenes
  • The ferret scene
  • Mad-Eye's transformation to that Crouch chump

Also: IMAX is overrated.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

In Remembrance of You

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone
These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me
These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

My Immortal by Evanescence

You know the scars you left on my soul, or you should, if you're even half the sensitive person you were when we first met. But then, if you were still that person, we'd have never parted ways.

I did love you. With all my being, I loved you. And you me. But it wasn't enough. Love by itself is never enough.

That's why we went on to marry different people, I guess. I found something more than love. I hope you found it, too.

Why do I only think about you at night, or when I'm alone in the car? Why are you so much better in my memory that you were in real life (to which my journal can attest)?

When will I be free of you? When will I finally be able to release all the pent up anger and sadness? When will the words I always meant to scream at you finally come out?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Attention All Mommy Bloggers! (and Nilo)

It seems that chasing your kids around all day long is not, repeat NOT a form of exercise!

I went to the doctor today for chest and back pains (which are stress-related, apparently), and one of the things my doc suggested was getting more exercise. He told me that chasing the kids does not count. This is extremely puzzling to me. How can it not count as exercise when it tires me out so? Doc nearly cracked me up, telling me to walk around the subdivision. "Subdivision?" I wanted to say. "Dude, I live in da HOOD. No, not even da hood, I live in the barrio. Little 9th grade thugs used to tag up the sign on the little Pentecostal church two blocks away from me. Stray dogs roam free, snapping their jaws at passing strollers and bicyles. You want me to go for a WALK!"

One of the other things my doc suggested was Valium (only a 2 mg dosage). Which I have taken this evening. Thus far, it seems to have no effect on my desire to snap my husband's computer game in two. More on that in a minute. But my doc (I should say, my NEW doc, as I've just started seeing him this month) prescribed a bunch of pills for me, none of which seem to be working. I say it's because I bought generic stuff. The pain pill isn't easing the pain, the anti-inflammatory isn't anti-inflammating, and the Valium for my nerves isn't making me stoned or beatific or anything. Although I didn't yell at Bizarro Dad for his excessive game-play; I just made fun of him. It was quite pleasant, actually.

See, he plays this online fantasy RPG. I don't know what it's called, and in fact don't care. All I care about is that he gets on that stupid game the minute he gets home from work and does not get off until he's ready to go to bed. Now, to set up the rest of the story, watch this video. Go ahead. I'll wait...

So he's played this game all day, even after he's taken off work to "help me with the girls." He even kind of ignored my mother when she came over to help me with something. I just smiled and put up with it. Occasionally I teased him by saying "Are you wearing Boots of Escaping?" when his character is running away, or "Don't roll an 18!" But after a good 8 hours of him playing this game, I finally decided that enough was enough. "Honey, if you don't cast a Spell of Getting Off the Game in the next hour, I will put on my Boots of Kicking Your Butt." He glared at me and kept playing.

But when the hour was up, the computer froze on him. "See!" I said. "I cast a Spell of Computer Freezing!" But then I left him alone, because he had That Look on his face. So I just went and sat back down with my mother and quietly laughed at him.Hmm. Maybe that generic Valium stuff really is working.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

There are so many things I should be doing right now...

...but instead, I'm blogging. Don't you readers feel special? All three of you?

Yesterday's newspaper said something about the weather I found odd. "The cold front coming in should provide us with a week of crisp, autumn weather, maybe even two." After which we will return to our regularly scheduled summer, I suppose. It was 78 degrees in the house on Monday, forcing me to turn on the a/c. Yesterday we were in sweats and parking it in front of a space heater as the temp got down to 57 degrees (and that's during the daytime!). Next week we may be back in shorts.

This is the thing about living here: you can never "put away summer clothes and bring out winter clothes," at the end of autumn and into winter. You just kind of have to make more room in the closet and dresser for the extra sweaters and overcoats that you may need, should the weather decide to get down to freezing. It does do that, you know. People have to wrap their water pipes and light the pilot light on the gas heaters and go shopping for gloves. But we really only get about three weeks or so of actual winter, in which there's frost on the ground and the sky is grey and you can see your breath in front of you. It comes in spurts, between stretches of warm weather (or the elusive "cool" weather).

Which is why the Wal-Mart closest to me actually sells sleeveless children's Christmas dresses. Without little skin-tight shirts to go under them.

Nilo said something about people not wanting to admit that they'd been taken in by fads. And he's so right. Nilo, you've inspired me to make a confession:

When I was in the fifth and sixth grade, I was in love with the New Kids on the Block. Yes, it's true. I loved them and had most of their CDs, back when CDs took up a mere three sections of shelf space at the music store. Yes, even the Christmas album (a real piece of crap, that one). I knew all the words, even to the songs that I thought were not so good. I had posters of them all over my walls. I would even kiss these posters. And my greatest treasure was an autograph by Danny Wood, acquired by my mother's boyfriend at the time, who met the guy at a local gym when the band was here on tour. (He wasn't too impressed by Danny Wood, and even asked him if he could make out a different one, as the first was completely illegible.) Yes, it is a sad thing, when I reflect on it now. In fact, it was a sad thing when I reflected on it in seventh grade, which is why I denied ever having loved them or even owned a single CD.

But now I can admit this. Yes, I did love the New Kids on the Block. When I was twelve and too dumb to know better. Don't judge me! In another ten or fifteen years, you'll see bloggers shamefacedly admitting that they loved N Sync and Backstreet Boys when they were in middle school. Of course, by the time those two rolled around, boy bands were made up of guys old enough to have goatees, not 12-year-olds who still hadn't hit puberty yet so they could hit the high notes (Joe McIntyre).

And as long as I'm admitting things, I might as well tell you that I had the cassette of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Just reading the insert was good for a laugh. One of the songs actually had a vocal credit called, "Fly Puerto Rican girl on the sex tip." For making...noises. And actually gave her name. Whoever that girl is, I'll bet she's not happy about having her name on that album now. Of course, by now she's 35, and hopefully living a happy life that is Wahlberg-free.

Happy Thursday everyone. One week to Thanksgiving! Make sure to visit Butterball's website for all your turkey-cooking questions, including thawing safety!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Top Five Things I Love About Living In Houston, TX, Again

5. Finally, after five long years, I get to eat Ultimate Cheeseburgers from Jack in the Box again! (They don't have this place in Florida or North Carolina.)
4. I'm not living directly in the path of a helicopter base anymore. (What? What's that? I can't hear you!)
3. My kids don't have to grow up with that crazy Carolina accent. Instead, they can develop their Houston Northside accents. (Northside in the HOUUUSE!)
2. All the free babysitters, I mean, relatives.

And the number one thing I love about being back in Houston is....
All the kicka$$ restaurants!
*Insert Paul Schaffer music here.*

Monday, November 14, 2005

Seriously, Dad, this has got to stop

My father, when he wants something done around the house, has no hesitation in telling me about it. I appreciate his direct approach. I just wish he'd direct his requests at someone other than me once in a while. Seriously, it's like I'm the only one he can ask to take out the garbage. I know he doesn't want to be the only one doing it, and I want to do my part, too. But there are days when I don't even see daylight because the girls are keeping me so busy inside. There are two other grown men in the house besides him. He can't say "Son, please empty the garbage before you leave," or "Hey, son-in-law, can you take the trash out to the curb before you leave for work in the morning?" No, it's "Sleepless Mama, why am I the only one who takes out the trash? Why doesn't your brother ever do it? He sees it's full. Why doesn't he just do it? Why am I the only one to do it?" He sounds like a woman. He sounds like me, when I used to complain to my best friend about how Bizarro Dad never did any chores without being asked first.

When my father gets like this, my response is usually something like, "I'm sorry, Dad. I should have emptied it last night. I'll take care of it."

Sometimes he says, "Your brother was just in the kitchen five minutes ago. He could have taken it out, too." Then he fumes about how my brother never helps around the house.

Well hell, Dad, why not just ask him to take it out? It's not like he's ever had a wife to nag him about that kind of thing. Neither you nor Mom ever taught him, "When you see the trash is full, empty it," when we were growing up. He's simply not one to think of these things. But no, you don't tell him to help around the house, or even ask him to do a single thing. You just mitch and boan about how he never does anything.

In fact, my brother took it out just the other day when I said, "Please, do me a favor and take the trash out before you leave this morning." That's all I had to say! I asked, he did it, I thanked him, end of story! Stop making a federal case out of it, Dad! Stop nagging me about what my brother doesn't do!

And while your at it, Dad, if you want my husband to do something, you need to ask him yourself, or write him a note, or at least tell me, "Sleepless Mama, please ask Bizarro Dad to do such and such." Don't just tell me "See that this gets done" with the assumption that I know to relay the message to my husband. Usually I feel like you're just putting it on me. I have enough to do, thank you. And if my husband is sitting right there, just look him in the eye and ask him yourself. I'm not your message board!


Friday, November 11, 2005

Just to clarify the Pixar thing...

That thing I mentioned finding in The Incredibles? NOT a male body part. Go to the scene in which Edna starts climbing the stairs. The camera cuts to Bob. Behind him is a tree. It is shaped like something. But I leave it to you to interpret what it is.

Some fun things for you today:
A pair of stars are born
The Military Applications of Silly String

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pixar facts

  • The Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story and Toy Story 2 has two separate eye holes, eyebrows attatched to those eyes, and a black bowler hat. Real Mr. Potato Heads have one eye hole, since each eye pair is made of one solid piece of plastic, no eyebrows (except the thing that doubles as a moustache), and a green baseball cap. Even the deluxe Potato Heads don't come with a bowler hat.
  • Finding Nemo is, thus far, the only full-length feature film by Pixar not to include the words shut up, idiot, stupid, dope, or moron.
  • The water filter system used in the salt-water aquarium scenes of Finding Nemo is actually a fresh-water system. A real salt-water filtration system requires a second tank (usually a standard 10 gallon tank). Also, the filter system in the movie was missing the actual filter part.
  • The fish kept in Dr. Sherman's tank are natural enemies. Most of the smaller fish would be eaten by the puffer.
  • In Toy Story 2, Woody loses the use of his arm when the seam is ripped. But during the finale, as he is climbing down the landing gear, he uses his arm (which once again has a ripped seam).
  • In Monster's, Inc., laughter is supposed to be ten times more powerful than scream, or so says Sully at the end of the movie. However, the evidence suggests that it's power is exponentially greater. Examples: In Mike and Sully's apartment, Boo's scream lights up all the lights in the living room (possibly the whole apartment). When she laughs, she lights up every light in six buildings on the block. In the door warehouse, Boo's scream lights up a single door. Her laugh, however, lights up every single door in a building tall enough to hold three Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other. Could it be that the echo magnified the power?
  • Check out The Incredibles, most notably the scene with Bob and Edna at her house. Keep your eyes on the tall trees. One of them is sculpted to resemble something particular, but I won't tell you what it is.

Why did I do that the way I did it?

Today, while driving some back streets to get myself back to the feeder road, I saw such a disgusting thing.

I saw a man walk across the street, go up to a woman (presumably his girlfriend), and slap her. Then, he turned around, saw me and the angry look on my face, and went back across the street.

Keep in mind, this happened in the middle of the day. In broad daylight. With other people around, some of them on that very sidewalk.

I don't know if the guy took off because he saw me (I very much doubt it). I pulled over to ask the lady if she needed help. She shook her head and sobbed "No," and kept on walking.

This woman, she didn't hit the man back or scream something like "How dare you!?" or even use the phone in her hand to call the police. She just cried, and walked away.

Now, I know, I know, that when a couple gets into a physical altercation, it is not for me to jump in and start smacking the dude upside the head with my MagLight. For one thing, he'd probably just turn around and mess me up, too, since I'm such a short little woman. But I have another reason. My grandfather once witnessed a man beating on his wife. Grandpa (who was young then, I'm sure) jumped out of his car and pulled the man off the woman. And you know what she said? "Get the hell offa him!" And she started hitting my grandpa!

So when I see something like this going on, I know that my job is to call 911 and let the cops deal with it, rather than try to insert myself into the situation.

So why didn't I call them today?

For one thing, the man, as I said, hit her once, and took off. He did not continue beating her. If he'd kept on hitting her, I would have dialed 911 without further hesitation, and possibly revved my engine menacingly so as to make the man think I was about to run him over (believe me, the thought crossed my mind). But he didn't, so I didn't. He just looked at me and left (still visibly angry). And the woman took off, too. By the time the cops arrived, both of them would have been long gone.

Still, I couldn't just leave her. Which is why I stopped to ask her if she wanted help. I could have taken her to the doctor (right around the corner), or called the cops for her, or even given her a ride home. But she didn't want my help. I also noticed that she was carrying her own cell phone in her hand. Apparently she didn't want the cops' immediate assistance, either, or she'd have called them right then and there.

So instead, I drove away slowly, thinking these thoughts:
  • Should I have called 911? Should I have just immediately picked up my cell phone and started dialing
  • What the heck kind of neighborhood is this? If this is the kind of thing that happens at 11:00 in the morning, what must this place be like at 10:00 at night?
  • I am so never moving out here. (I should add, the neighborhood seemed made up of umpteen different apartment complexes.)
  • In my own neighborhood, that kind of thing probably does happen, but the men have sense enough not to do that crap in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day.
  • Then again, how would I know that, since I stay inside all day?
  • My husband would so never do that to me. He's not that kind of man, which is why I married him. Plus, he knows that my dad would totally kick his a$$.
  • I wonder if that lady said something that made that man mad?
  • Did he stop and leave because he saw me looking at him? If I hadn't accidentally come down this road and witnessed this incident, would he have done worse?
  • She probably had battered woman's syndrome, or low self-esteem, or both.
  • Then again, her not hitting him back may have been the best thing to do, lest she incite him to do more damage.
  • Her lip sure did look swollen, but not on the side of her face where his hand actually hit.
  • That's it, there's no way I'm doing any shopping out here in Greenspoint (a.k.a. Gangspoint). I'm taking myself and my money out to Deerbrook, where it's nice and calm, and I don't care if I have to get back on the freeway to get there.

When I got home and told my family what happened, my father told me I did the right thing not getting in the middle. He didn't tell me whether I should have called 911, though. I think I'll ask him in the morning.

What would you have done, and why?

I sure hope that lady called the cops when she got home. I hope she takes out a restraining order. I hope she doesn't get back with him.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Mama said there'd be days like this...

but she never said they'd require a tetanus shot!

That's right, loyal reader(s?). I stepped on Bizarro Dad's tie pin--a really thick one--and got that thing rammed straight into the heel of my right foot. Lucky for me it's not rusted or anything like that, but I still do need to get a tetanus shot by Monday. I shudder to think what would have happened if one of the girls had stepped on it. What the heck was it doing on the floor anyway? And why was the little clasp thingy lying next to it instead of covering it?

When I called Bizarro Dad to ask what I should do (he's an EMT), he told me that I should wrap the wound in bacon (presumably raw), tie it with a string, wrap my whole foot in plastic, and go to sleep like that. I desperately hoped he was kidding, but no. He was quite serious. Bacon, he told me, would draw out any shards of metal that were left in my foot. Upon examination of the foul little pin of pain and my poor little foot, however, he felt that the bacon treatment would be unnecessary. In the meantime, I need to keep an eye out for redness, swelling, or a hard little knot that would indicate an infection.

Too bad about that bacon thing, though. It would be quite the conversation piece at church on Sunday.

Me: How was your weekend, Isabel?
Isa: Oh, not bad. Went to the movies, took my son to the skating rink, went to the beauty shop and got my nails done. You?
Me: I spent Friday night sleeping on the recliner with bacon on my foot.
Isa: Oh, that's nice...wait, what?!

Thanks folks, I'll be here all week!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Political mini-rant

George, I must tell you, I really do feel betrayed. I know it was important that Saddam Hussein be taken out of power, because he was a rapist and murderer and basically a Hitler in his own land. And I know that it was important that Iraq be made to comply with the UN mandated searches. And I know that the UN was basically not doing a damn thing to stop Saddam from having all those women raped, all those people tortured and killed. And I know it was important to give the people of Iraq a chance to have their own democracy, their own constitution, their own freedom.

But I must say, clearly, we are no longer wanted there. The people of Iraq have voted on a new constitution, and we here in America, who are sending men and women over there to die at the hands of suicide bombers, are not even being told what the outcome of that vote was, or how much longer it will be until our troops can come home. We are not wanted any longer. We have our own problems here. This war is NOT boosting our economy, as wars normally have in the past. You are not even arming our troops adequately. Not the ones in Afghanistan, nor the ones in Iraq. If you are going to send them to war, give them what they need. If you cannot do that, then you need to bring them home.

I do believe in doing one's duty. My husband did his duty to his country, serving in the Marine Corps. He and I serve our community now. We do what we can.

But you?

You serve yourself. Your cronyism is astounding. You nominated your lawyer as a potential Supreme Court Justice for no apparent reason, except perhaps to keep one more of your cronies in a position of power. Your self-proclaimed FEMA "fashion god" is completely out of touch. Do you realize that hundreds of people here in Houston who escaped from New Orleans with their lives are about to be evicted from their new homes simply because FEMA won't cough up the money they've already promised to pay? Do you realize that the minimum wage hasn't been raised in about 8 years or so? Do you know how hard it is to keep a roof over your head on $5.15 an hour? Heck, do you know how hard it is to do that at $10 an hour? You want to spend $7.1 billion prepping for the bird flu, which is good, but where were you back when people were dying left and right from the regular flu? Were you not thinking about it? And how is it that you can just keep increasing government spending while simultaneously decreasing positive cash flow? Why do you think it is a good idea to lower taxes while fighting an expensive (yet underfunded) war and approve every single spending bill that Congress has to offer? You keep promising everyone money, but you're not bringing any money in. You just keep borrowing and borrowing. What happens when that money has to get paid back?

No, of course you don't realize any of this. It doesn't directly affect you, except perhaps for your approval ratings. But since this is your last term, you don't care about those, either. Because every president knows that once you make it to a second term, you can pretty much do as you please, since you're not trying to curry favor with voters anymore. Bill Clinton even said it out loud. And you took it to heart. Do you not see what you are doing anymore?

I voted for you because I thought you were a moral man of good character. But you're not. You're a self-serving dog. You got our nation into so much debt that we may never recover, but you don't care, because it's not money that you have to pay back out of your own pocket.

John Kerry, come back in 2008, and this time I'll vote for you!