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Outright Mental Defective
Friday, September 30, 2005
  Gratitude List
Thursday, September 29, 2005
  More on Christmas Card Letters
In response to my request for Christmas car letter ideas Suzanne wrote:

I get a letter every year from my cousin, who is NASA's launch commander for the Space Shuttle missions. It used to be that no one could top that. I mean, every year, he's getting ready to send a shuttle off into space, yadda yadda yadda..Of course, his job's gotten very sad lately. Still, it's the kind of job no one can really top. So, I sympathize anyway. By the way, he also cursorily mentions his son, who has been in both rehab AND in jail. So at least he's fair and balanced?

Okay, now my suggestion:How about changing all your names and "implying" you had to join the Witness Protection Program. Make up a whole new life. Send them in a big box, already stamped, to a friend and have them mailed from another state? I'll do it! Ohio postmark!
  hAAlf nAAKed ThursdAAy

Boring yes, but at least it is not a picture of my feet.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
  God and Money
"...if you want to know how God feels about money, just look at who she gives it to." Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, page 128
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
  Good News
We got some good news concerning our health insurance. Chuck quit his car sales job yesterday. When he quit, his immediate boss told him he should just go home. The owner however, is letting him stay through October 1st. Health insurance piece of good news number one, because he is staying through the October 1st we will be covered under their health insurance through the end of October. Yippee! Health insurance piece of good news number two, to cover all three of us under their COBRA policy will be only be $750 a month. Now that is a lot for us but, it is a damn sight better than the $1,150 to $1,275 price tag for COBRA from his last job. Yippee again!
  Christmas Letter 2004
Merry Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year from the Smiths!

Dear Friend and/or Family Member,

At this special time of year... which used to be called Christmas until it was renamed “Season” then “Holidays” and now back to Christmas our thoughts turn to friends and family.

We three had a thought. “Why not send Christmas cards this year?” Our immediate second thought was “Is this going to involve effort?” Our third thought, “Can we get out of this?” Our fourth and final thought was as long as we had to put in effort “Let’s make one of those well received Christmas letters, it will let everybody knows how bright, clever, successful as well as hip, slick and/or cool we are.

Not to show off, but first, let us tell you about our son Sam, who is the smartest boy in all of Connecticut? We won’t say the whole country, because although he probably is, saying it might come across as arrogant. In his spare time he slips into his alter-ego Kindergarten Spy Sam (a recent upgrade from Preschool Spy Sam) and sets about saving the world from a diverse collection of evil-doers. He does all this and still makes his 8:30 bedtime.

Our cat Sarah, who we like to call Kitty, has spent another year biting the hand that feeds her. Her hobbies include sleeping and showing distain for our existence. We like Kitty so much that last week we took in another cat from an animal rescue organization. So far that cat (who we plan to call Blackie, Spooky or Ink) has not come out from under the bookcase in the spare bedroom. But, we trudge ahead in our challenge to get a cat to like us.

Chuck is doing great; he’s still working at his high paying job at the Nameless Nonprofit and is practically running the place as usual because he is more intelligent and capable than the usual cast of knuckleheads. He fully expects that he will soon single-handedly secure funding for all needed research while still leaving the office in time to beat the rush-hour traffic.

This year, Trudge has mostly been on a sabbatical, which is the better way of saying unemployed. When she is not on sabbatical, she is forcefully thinking about working on her book that will, in the unlikely chance that it actually gets written, be a huge hit. The producers of seven major talk shows have called awaiting its publication.

In March we bought our new home in Anytown, Connecticut. Anytown was settled in 16?? by a group of disgruntled puritans. In the years that followed this same unhappy group set about executing more suspected “witches” and “warlocks” than were executed in all of Salem. Take that Massachusetts!

Speaking of burning witches, we have to tell you about the pork loin. Not just any pork loin you understand but the one that Chuck smoked for our housewarming party in early July. Like Sam it was the best smoked pork lion in all of Connecticut if not the country. You know given Trudge upbringing she does have a cultural understanding of meatpacking. We purchased it at Sam’s club a few days earlier. People raved, e-mails were sent, grown children and long lost friends were called just to be told about our pork loin. You just cannot say enough about a good pork loin.

Best wishes to you and yours,
Monday, September 26, 2005
  Christmas Letters
Every year my husband and I write a tongue in cheek letter to go out with our Christmas cards. You know the kind of letter I am talking about. Our son’s is at Harvard, our dog is at Yale now let me tell you about my appendectomy. The only difference between ours and most of those letters is that we are kidding.

Anyway, we need inspiration. So this year if you get one of those awful letters would you mind passing it on to me? I am running out of ideas.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Chuck got offered a new job on Friday.  I should be excited but, I am worried. Why should I be excited? First, the job seems to be much more of a fit for him than selling cars has been.  Second, he will no longer have to work nights or weekends.  He will be available for all that Cub Scouting male bonding stuff.  Third, the job pays about 25% more, in base salary alone than he is making now.  Then on top of that there are commissions and all that bonus type stuff.  

Why am I worried?  No health insurance for least 90 days.  I hate being without health insurance. I know that God will take care of us. He (for lack of a better term) always has.  I just hate the uncertainty of the whole thing. I am praying for faith.  
Saturday, September 24, 2005
  Got Gratitude?
For those of you who asked, yes I am still alive. Thank you for asking. I have just been in a bad mood and have not felt like posting. I have also been getting a lot of hours at work. Imagine me actually having to work for a living. Just like one among many as I learned in the rooms. Being one among many was definitely not what I had in mind for my life when I was in college.

My sponsee Ann suggested I need some gratitude. I have to laugh when sponsee give me back my own advice. She is absolutely right of course. I must admit however, I bristle a little at it coming from her. It’s like when Sam says something and I hear my or worse my mother’s words coming out of him
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  Attitude Toward Gratitude
"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude." Elie Wiesel
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
We own a duplex.  About a month ago Kathy our tenant, who never complains about anything, told me that her refrigerator was leaking. “It’s no big deal,” she said but I knew it must be bad for her to complain.  Immediately my mind went to the bright and shinny model on the Best Buy showroom with a $ 700 price tag. “Great,” I thought “more credit card debt.”  I sighed in resignation.  “It’s going to take us a month or so to get the money together,” I told her.  

A few weeks later I was talking to a neighbor and out of the blue she mentioned that she was trying to get rid of her old refrigerator. “There nothing wrong with it,” she said.  They however, no longer had room for it since her step daughter moved in.  Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  
Monday, September 19, 2005
  Grace Moved
If you don't all ready know, Grace moved. We should throw a party.
  I hate Goggle Rant
Let me start by saying I have a cold! I feel terrible. Everything is exaggerated right now. But, here goes!

Now why I hate Goggle Ad Sense. I had Goggle ads on Philanthropy Blog. I also had Goggle Ad Sense on my husband's Car Blogs under his name. In the span of six days Goggle disabled the Ads and said they were giving the revenue back to the advertisers because we had click violations. I make $4.22 an a month on both Blogs, how can I possibly have click violations. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. What the hell are click violations!

Nine months of work down the drain. Hours of learning how to write to trigger Goggle Ads down the f****** drain. We had just bought an actually web site to build on the Car Blogs. But, now we cannot put Goggle Ads on it. $99 down the drain.

Ok so here is where the rant comes in! I can't get a job in my field or a related field! I can't get the web thing to work! Right now I can't hear out of my left ear. Fricken powerless. Fricken unmanageable. I don't want to pray for God's will I want my will. Arrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh!
Sunday, September 18, 2005
  Cub Scouts

Sam was inducted into the Cub Scouts on Friday night. It was all very cute. The Scout Master put an American Indian headdress on his head and they picked his Cub Scout Den Harry Potter style. He was thrilled! This picture is him the next day wearing his new Tiger Scout cap.

As I sat there however, anxiety started to set in. First, I remember how much I disliked the Girl Scouts. Well it is not that I really disliked the Girl Scouts it is that I never felt a part of the Girl Scouts. I never quite got the Girl Scouts songs and the Girl Scout chants. All those bonding little rituals seemed to annoy and elude me at the same time. Scouting as a whole eluded me.

In addition, my parents never let me do a lot of the extra stuff like camp and camp outs. They always seemed to be afraid of letting me go. My mother was the mother who was always afraid of a tidal wave wiping out the Girl Scout Camp even though, we lived in Iowa.

You know now that I am putting this down on paper, I do not think I was feeling anxiety I think I was just feeling sad. I am feeling sad for myself not, Sam.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
  Séance Anyone

Sam dipping his toe in 19th century Spiritualism. Our Town Green is in the background.
  Living History Day

Was Mary Todd Lincoln one of us?
Friday, September 16, 2005
This is going to be a short post. As JJ once said, "people are actually expecting me to show up at work today." Then Sam has his first Cub Scout meeting tonight which, I do not want to miss. Saturday is Living History Day on the town green. I will take picture this time. Anyway, real life beckons, see you soon.
  Coffee Bitch
Hey folks, I know that this is a day late but, check out coffee bitch's nAAked picture.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
  nAAked Time

When I asked my six year old to take a picture of my knee he said,"oh, no not naked Thursday again!"
  Sandy and the Sound of Music
The first time I actually meet Sandy was at her house. We had been invited to a neighborhood fundraiser that her children, ages two to ten were having. The children were raising money for one of the Billy Graham charities, I think. When I meet Sandy that day, she and her three daughters were wearing matching dresses. Her husband and Nathan, the only boy were wearing matching shirts with ties made out of the same fabric as the dresses. The entire family sang and played a variety of musical instruments. I know I am a cynic but, all we needed was the Nazis and we would have had The Sound of Music.
  Gratitude List

This is my third night in a row with Insomnia.  I know that Sleep Deprivation can mimic Depression.  I also know that Depression and trigger Insomnia.  I went back on Antidepressants a week ago and I am still waiting for them to kick in.    

So while I am waiting for my Antidepressants to kick in. So, keep it simple.  Work steps 1, 2, 3 and 11. Get to meetings. I also need to talk about it.  So in lieu of waking up my sponsor, I am Blogging about it.  I will call her later this morning.    
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
  Colonial Muster

Colonial Muster
  Feeling Less Than
I really hadn’t intended to turn yesterday’s post into a referendum on Home Schooling. My own views on Home Schooling have mellowed in the past few years. I ran out of time but, what I was really trying to convey was my own tendency to feel less than.  Even though I often think they are nut cases, I have a tendency to feel less than Conservative or Fundamentalist Christians.  “Oh you Home School, you must love your children and the Lord more than I do.”  

I don’t think I am alone in this because in the last 30-40 years Liberal Christians have really let the Fundamentalist Christians define the playing field.  I heard someone recently define themselves as an “Evangelical born in the wrong century.”  I won’t go that far but, I can really relate that statement.  In the 19th century Evangelicals lead the fight against slavery and other evils.  Did you see anything very Christian about our government’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina?  Yet, George W. Bush won the presidency largely because he said he was a Christian.  I am not saying he is not a Christian, I am just saying actions speak louder than words.        

I have just touched the third rail of Alcoholics Anonymous, Politics and Religion.  Oh well, my higher power who I choose to call God will forgive me.    
Monday, September 12, 2005
  Heard it at a Meeting
"When I was Drinking I was simply paying the price for playing God"
Big Al, Alcoholics Anonymous member
  Sandy 2
Where was I? Oh yes, Sandy. The first thing I remember hearing about Sandy, after we moved into the neighborhood, was that she Home Schooled her four children. This of course made her immediately suspect. On one hand, I have a fair amount of disdain for Home Schooling and dismiss it as Christian Fundamentalist quackery. At the same time, I have often felt like a "Bad Mother" in the Presence of Home Schooling mothers. This little voice in the back of my head saying, if you really loved your son you would Home School him. If you really loved your son you would single handedly take on the mammoth responsibility educating your child from now until he leaves for college. Not only would you do all this, you would be cheerful about it.

Now I love my son but, the prospect of he and I alone at the dinning room table for the next 12 years makes me want to open a vein. You see where I am going with this ? My relationship with Sandy was emotionally charged before I ever met her.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Yesterday’s picnic was great.  My neighbor Sandy organized the whole thing.  I want to write about Sandy but, I do not know where to start.  Sandy is an enigma to me.  
Saturday, September 10, 2005
  Gratitude List
Friday, September 09, 2005
A.A. has no opinion on outside issues but, I do. If your interested read Eight Big Lies About Katrina and pass it on. The American people need to know this stuff.
  School Open House
Last night was open house at Sam’s School. First Grade has changed since I was in School. Who am I kidding; all the grades have changed since I was in School. The teacher was talking about some Math activity that they do in First Grade so that they can be ready for Geometry in Third Grade. I raised my hand for clarification and asked, “You mean kids start Geometry in Third Grade.” The teacher assured me that children now begin to learn, let me say it again, Geometry in Third Grade. Now I killed a lot of brain cells in my time but, I am fairly certain that I took Geometry in Tenth Grade. I am also fairly certain, that I did not understand it then and the intervening years has done nothing to increase my undrstanding. After the open house, I asked my husband when he took Geometry “I never took Geometry,” he answered. Sam is sure screwed for help with his homework.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
  hAAlf nAAKed ThursdAAy

I have not run out of body parts after all.
  Gratitude List
First, it going to take me a while to post my hAAlf NAAked picture today. For some reason, my husband likes to sleep at 4:12 a.m. and I have run out of body parts I can photograph myself.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
  Never Too Late
It is never too late to become what you might have been. George Elliot
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
  Hurricane Katrina
I could not resist posting this image of a Hurricane Katrina Survivor. What a powerful and strong image.
  A.A. and Hurricane Katrina
I live in central Connecticut.  Central Connecticut is a world away, or so I thought, from the chaos and pain of Hurricane Katrina.  I was surprised this morning when a Refugee from Hurricane Katrina showed up at the Big Book meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.  This A.A. is a Connecticut native now living in New Orleans.  She was in Connecticut for a wedding when Hurricane Katrina struck.  

She talked about how the A.A. meetings she attends in New Orleans are really mixed.  They are mixed socially, economically and racially. She talked of how she is sure that many of her A.A. friends are directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.  She went on to say that she assumes that some of them are probably lost. “But” she said, “I am powerless over Katrina and all I can do right now is pray.” What a lesson she was to all of us this morning.          
Monday, September 05, 2005
  Circus Circus
"The monkey is off my back but, the circus is still in town."
Tony G., Acoholics Anonymous member
Sunday, September 04, 2005
  Newish Blogs
I am always the last to know about new Blogs. So if you guys already know about these Blogs just smile politely and nod. Sam has a new Blog called The rAAnch it was easy to find him, he links to me. Sam also links to the Daily Piglet . So there you go what Biz Stone calls the "hyperconnected would of Bloggers," or something like that.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
  God's Thoughts
"I want to know God's thoughts... the rest are details." Albert Einstein
  Finding My Knees
One of the things I am grateful for today(see below) is that I got down on my knees and prayed this morning. A few weeks ago, I was fighting getting down on my knees. Not out and out rebellion, just little nagging thoughts. Thoughts like, "God hears me just as well when I sit" and "I am really too stiff in the morning to be doing this." Then in the span of a few days, two people shared at meetings how they no longer could get on their knees because of physical limitations. Here I was avoiding my knees because of a willingness limitation. Today I am not only grateful that I got on my knees but, that I was able and willing to get on my knees.
  Gratitude List

Friday, September 02, 2005
  Pray for Hurricane Katrina Survivors.
If you pray to your Higher Power, I am asking you to send one up for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. As a selfish, self absorbed and spoiled American I just never excepted people to be dying of Thirst, Hunger and Exposure in the streets of an American city. The irony of dying of Thirst while surrounded by water.

Pray, that is all most of us can really do. Pray and if you are able send money to the Diaster Relief agency of your choice.
About a year ago Bonnie asked me to be her sponsor. I had known Bonnie for awhile and she had just had a relapse. I told her what I had learned to tell potential sponsees over the years. I told her the only way I knew to sponsor women was to take them through the steps. "Read the first few pages of the Dr's Opinion and call me tomorrow," I said. She looked at me, smiled and said, "I just finished reading the Big Book." "Great," I answered, "lets start again with the Dr's Opinion." There was a long pause and then she said, "but I already finished it and I don't want to read the Big Book twice. A few more things said but, that was basically the begining and then the end of our sponsor/sponsee relationship.

Now I have to admitt that I just assumed that Bonnie would ralasp. Then a strange thing happened. Instead of coming to fewer and fewer meetings Bonnie started coming to more and more. She even started coming to night meetings. When I first knew her she told me that she couldn't come to night meeting because Dave her husband didn't like to be left alone with the kids at night. She also started using the phone and calling me and several other women. Last month Bonnie even celebrated a year sober.
Thursday, September 01, 2005

I have been so distracted by Hurricane Katrina that I almost forgot hAAlf nAAked ThursdAAY
  Bloggers for Hurricane Katrina Relief
Today I join over 400 Bloggers from at least 8 countries in Blogging for Hurricane Katrina Relief. The idea to Blog for Hurricane Katrina Relief seems to have been started by The Truth Laid Bear Blog. I have chosen the American Red Cross as my suggested charity. You can contact them at 1-800-HELP-NOW. I also have a lot of respect for The Salvation Army 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769). They dress funny but, they do excellent work. You can also click here to find other worthy Disaster Relief organizations.

Please designate your Donation for Hurricane Katrina Relief or Flood Aid.

Outright Mental Defective is an ongoing conversation about living sober one day at a time. http://soberrant.blogspot.com/

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Location: Connecticut, United States
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