Wednesday, April 27, 2011

injaynesworld “The Sun Shines Down On Us All…”

This past week Dixie’s best friend, Roxy, came to stay with us while her parents were out of town.   A sweet, gentle lady of sizable girth, Roxy could crush Dixie with the swipe of a single paw, yet the two play together easily, content to just be in the other’s company with no need on either’s part to dominate.

In a world brimming with conflict, so focused on what divides us, it’s often hard to see that which we have in common.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

Prom season is in full swing…

And the pressure for today’s teen girls to keep up with those notorious Kardashian ladies is driving parents to the poor house.  No longer will just a lovely frock for the occasion do.  Today’s prom dresses have to be decidedly designer.  

Take this little number with its diamond-embellished bodice.  For a mere $13,997, it can make your little girl the belle of her ball, and that’s not counting the salary of the Brinks guard you’ll need to hire. 

I remember when $200 was considered a lot to spend and that included a trip to the beauty salon for a French twist.  These days toss in the spray tan, facial, hair extensions, nails, makeup, jewelry, bag, and shoes and it’d be cheaper to just marry her off. 


This week marked the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill…

Watching the horror unfold with photo after photo of wildlife devastation left me feeling depressed and helpless.   Not so little 11-year-old Olivia Bouler of Long Island.  

She turned her feelings into action with a letter to the Audubon Society telling them she was pretty good at drawing and thought she could help raise money to save the oil-soaked wildlife.  

Olivia decided she would do 500 drawings of birds and give one to anyone who donated to the effort.  They were all gone in three weeks and with the media spreading the word, Olivia managed to raise $150,000 for the organization.  She’s now written a book called “Olivia’s Birds” that she hopes will inspire other young people to pay more attention to her favorite species. 

Kids like Olivia renew this crusty old broad’s hope for humanity.


Incorporate your uterus…

In the past four months, Republicans at both the state and federal levels have written 916 bills intended to take away a woman’s right to choose.  Yes, the same party that screams if anyone should try to regulate a hair on any corporate ass. 

Very well then.   We can play that game, too.   Welcome to “Incorporate Your Uterus,” a website designed to give a woman’s uterus the same protection against government regulation as that given to the corporate robber barons who are bankrupting this country.

A project of the Florida ACLU in response to new efforts in that state to strip women of their freedoms, the website offers this reasoning:  “Businesses get special treatment.  If politicians see your uterus as a business, maybe they’ll get the government out of the uterus regulation business as they do for every other company.”  

Because for every Olivia Bouler there's a Dick Cheney.


And for those keeping track…

It's month four and still not a single jobs bill from Republicans in Congress.


And finally, I hope you had a Happy Easter, whatever your beliefs…

Thursday, April 21, 2011

injaynesworld we are "Living On Borrowed Time..."

Today is my birthday.   If you think I share this information in order to solicit obligatory birthday greetings you would be correct.  Cash is good, too.

I don’t often think of my own mortality.  I’ve been referring to myself as middle-aged for so long now that the thought I might not actually live to be 120 has only recently lodged itself into my waning gray matter.   And I’m not talking about my roots.

In March of last year I wrote this post about what I’d like my life to be like 10 years from now.  I was clearly far more optimistic about being around for another decade than I am today, but still it seems worthy of repeating on this, the anniversary of my first appearance in this world. 

Meanwhile, I will be off getting soused.

Since none of us is promised the next moment, much less the next year or ten, this isn’t something I think about often.  Also, I’m not going to lie.  These are tough times.   There are many nights when my last thought is “Score!  Made it through another one!”

Long, long ago and far, far away in a land known as my youth, I had big plans and lots of goals.   Looking ahead, all I could see was a vast expanse of time with no “check-out” line in sight.  

The scariest scene in the “Wizard of Oz” for me has always been when the wicked witch turned over the hour glass to show Dorothy how much longer she had to live.  

Not fond of “Like the sands of time, so are the Days of Our Lives” either.

And the freakin’ spinning globe from As the World Turns…?   Yeah.  I get it.  My days are numbered.  

I grew up in the 1950s and 60s, a time of great hope and prosperity in this country, much of that due to a Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who launched one of the largest, federally-funded public works programs in our nation’s history, the Interstate Highway System.  Today, he wouldn’t recognize his own party, but that’s another story.

Our house cost $17,000.  Moms stayed home because a family of four could live quite nicely on one income.  No one worried about health care.  If you got sick the doctor came to see you and hospitals were non-profit entities.  Candy bars were a nickel and twice the size. 

I could go on and on, but you’d think I was making this stuff up.  The truth is I was damn lucky to be born when I was, to grow up when I did, and if my luck holds I’ll get off the planet before it all goes to shit.

I don’t know if people having children today are incredibly optimistic,  courageous or just delusional.  Maybe each one believes theirs will be the golden child who manages to save all humanity from the brink.   It would scare the crap out of me to bring a kid into this world now. 

However, people are remarkably resilient.   We’ve come back from great depressions, wars, and natural disasters of all kinds.   Our rally cry of recent years has been “hope.” 

So on that note, here’s what I hope for my life 10 years from now:

I’ve been blessed with remarkably good health.   If you don’t count the time I broke my neck, I’ve manage to avoid hospitals entirely.  I’d like to see that continue.

It would be good to have enough money to meet my needs and perhaps some extra to spare and to share.

For some reason, I’ve always had the love of a network of amazing friends – and I’m not always so nice.  Go figure.   In 10 years, I hope they’re still hanging in there with me.

Dixie and Mason are still young and I'd like to have them with me for a long time to come.  

I hope to be able to launch my ancient (size 4) ass up onto the back of a horse once in a while. 

And it would be lovely to be able to look out my window as I’m doing right now and see a family of deer peacefully nibbling their way through the strawberry field in the morning sun.

Finally, I’d like to see an end to hatred, discrimination and war, and the return of strong and vibrant middle class.  That one may be a little optimistic.  

But hey – if I’m not still around, I’ve got no complaints.  It’s been a helluva ride. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap - Late Edition..."

Students may keep their boobies...

So says a Pennsylvania High Court, which ruled that school officials violated students’ free speech rights when they expelled two girls who had worn the I “heart” boobies bracelets to school on Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  

The Court deemed that the wearing of the bracelets, sold by the Keep A Breast Foundation to raise breast cancer awareness among young people, did not meet the definition of “lewd, vulgar or offensive,” nor did it cause a substantial disruption to the learning environment.  

Kudos to the often maligned ACLU who argued the case for the kids and a big thumbs down to school officials who say they will appeal the decision. 


Seeing red over pink…

A “J Crew” ad showing a mother and son playing with pink toenail polish has given the wingnuts over at Faux News something new to be outraged about. 

Apparently, fearful that this will cause the young lad to suddenly sprout a vagina, “health” columnist Dr. Keith Ablow declared this mother/son moment to be “a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.”

“Dramatic.”  Seriously?   The ultra-conservative Media Research Center went even further labeling the ad “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.

If only the right would get so charged up over their draconian budget cuts to food programs for needy mothers and children. 

Now that’s an outrage.


Sign seen outside a shuttered Borders bookstore…

Nice to see the newly unemployed retain their sense of humor.


Finally it’s almost time for the Royal Wedding.   Here’s how we’d like to see it…

And I bet William and Kate would prefer it, too.

Thanks T-Mobile.

Friday, April 15, 2011

injaynesworld lucky is the “Celebrity Tax Dodger…”

According to that bastion of celebrity gossip, E! News, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne owe the IRS nearly $2 million in back taxes and the feds have slapped a lien on one of their houses.

Wouldn’t you just love to have that problem?   Seriously.   Just think about how much money you’d have had to make to owe a tax bill of $2 mil.  Damn!   And to own multiple houses so the tax man has to decide which one to put a lien on?   Why that’s the goddamn American dream. 

I don’t begrudge the Osbournes their good fortune.  At least they didn’t rob any seniors of their retirement funds like our friends on Wall Street or use phony foreclosure papers to steal people’s homes like the bankers we bailed out.   Besides, $2 mil is just the family’s plastic surgery budget.  Hell, Sharon can sell off some of her Louboutins to cover that paltry sum.   

Back in the days when I was writing for television my income never came near rivaling that of the Osbournes, but it was nice enough that every year I wrote out a check to the government for several thousand bucks.   I grumbled, bitched and groaned about it, but I’d sure as hell like to be writing those checks now.  

I’m not one who's all that adverse to paying taxes.  I view it a bit of like being a member of an exclusive country club.   The type of place that has a waiting list of years to join.   Someone damn near has to die for a spot to open up.   

Riviera Club, Pacific Palisades, California

A place like that costs big bucks to join, yet members happily dole out hundreds of thousands of dollars for the privilege of carrying its highly-coveted card, a flash of which tells the whole world they’ve made it.

Now imagine the name of the club is America – land of opportunity from sea to shining sea (if you don’t notice all that oil washed up on shore) – a venerable cornucopia of abundance and excess to the rest of the world who waits outside our gates hoping to gain entry, willing to do anything, risk anything for membership in the land of the free.

Except nothing’s free.   It costs a bundle to keep our club running.   Transportation, infrastructure, water and power, education, wilderness, health care, security – all once the envy of the world – they cost money.    Who would fork over thousands of dollars to join a club where there were gofer holes on the golf course, algae in the pool and cracks on the tennis court?  

Just like it’s a privilege to belong to an exclusive club, politics aside, it’s a privilege to get to live in this country.   Honestly, I feel like I won the damn lotto of life.   While there are a lot of wonderful nations on this earth, any number of which I wouldn’t mind living in, I could have also been hatched in a rural village in Pakistan or the deserts of Sudan.   

Taking all that into consideration, I don’t mind paying the necessary fees to belong to one of the best country clubs on the globe and keep all it has to offer in tip-top shape.   From past experience, I can honestly say I was happiest when I was paying the highest taxes.  While I’ll do my best now, without complaint, to scrape together whatever amount I may owe on an income somewhere in the bowels of the tax code,  I just want everyone else to pay their fair share, too.  I’m looking at you, Ozzy and Sharon – and G.E.

This week the President outlined a budget that calls for higher taxes on the people in this country who can most afford it.   To those in that tax bracket who may be tempted to whine about that, I say there are much cheaper clubs you can go belong to, but if you want your card stamped at Club America, pay your damn membership fees, consider yourself lucky, and shut the hell up about it. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

Arkansas okays adoption by gay couples…

The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a 2008 law passed by the voters of the state which had banned adoption by gay couples, citing the law “… directly and substantially burdens the privacy rights of same-sex individuals who engage in private, consensual sexual conduct in the bedroom by foreclosing their eligibility to foster or adopt children, should they choose to cohabit with their sexual partner."  The opinion was published without dissent, which bodes well for it being upheld when the usual homophobic suspects fight the ruling. 

Score one for all the kids languishing in foster care in that state who now have a shot at a loving home. 


We don’t have a deficit problem.   We have a revenue problem…

And the Republicans are doing their best to see that it stays that way…

Recently, it became known that the IRS was starting to focus their audits on earners of income above $250,000.   Makes sense.  They’re the only ones with any money.   Not so coincidentally a barely noticed cut that made it into this week’s budget “compromise” were funds that had been allocated to hire more IRS agents.  

You can’t say that Republicans don’t take care of their own. 

Meanwhile, our older citizens took it up the yin-yang as the Tea Party-led GOP pushed for and got millions cut from federal housing and assistance programs that serve needy seniors.

And remember, they’re coming for Medicare next.


Beck gets the boot…

After a year of declining audience ratings in the 1,000,000 range -- it would seem that even Fox viewers have a limit on the amount of turd pie they can swallow -- and the mass exodus of all majors advertisers, leaving his show sponsored by little more than, Fox announced that Glenn Beck would be “transitioning out” of his nightly TV show on the network.    What a nice euphemism for getting your ass canned.   

No need to feel sorry for Beck though.   I hear Charlie Sheen’s looking for an opening act. 


Stuck for a gift idea for the guy who has everything?  

How about his own boob tube remote?   Yep.  It’s for real.   The bikini top lifts up for making channel surfing even more fun.   At only $14.99, it’s perfect for the single guy with a lot of time on his hands.  


Do kindergarteners need iPads?

A school district in Maine thinks so.  

Seriously?   What happened to good old-fashioned finger-painting? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

injaynesworld we repeat "Cruisin' With The Top Down..."

First posted in November of 2009 and reposted today because MikeWJ wanted to know more about my acid-dropping youth...

My first car was a 1967 powder blue Triumph Spitfire with a white convertible top.  It cost all of $2500 new.  I bought it when I graduated from high school.   I put $500 down and paid about $72 each month.   Gas was about a quarter a gallon and the thing ran on air.   It was fun, fast, sexy, definitely cool and I felt like major hot stuff zooming around town at the wheel.   

Especially after I’d spent my high school years driving this, a reasonable portrayal of my mom’s 1958 Rambler Ambassador station wagon.  

It was humiliating.  You could polish that puppy till it blinded you.   It was still the definition of “uncool.” 

So cruising the A & W drive-in in my spiffy, new, dude-magnet with the music blasting was definitely sah-weeeeet.   It was my first experience with a stick-shift and I took to it like a seasoned NASCAR superstar.  Oh, yeah.  Pop that clutch and I was gone.  Eat my dust  people… Fortunately, this was before the days when cops had radar. 

I’d just turned 18, the luggage birthday, and my life as an adult (legally anyway, I’ve never truly copped to it) was just beginning.  No longer could anyone not carrying a badge tell me what to do.  Not that my mom had ever done much of that.  Or that I ever listened when she tried.   In fact, if my mother taught me anything about respecting authority it was… yeah… can’t think of a damn thing.  

The time was the late 60’s-early 70s.  The place, San Francisco.  The birth control pill had just been invented and “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” were the order of the day.   I named my Spitfire “Spit.”  I was stoned a lot of the time back in those days and needed a name that was easy to remember, especially since I often misplaced the actual car. 

I lived in what was then the Starbucks-free village of Mill Valley in Marin County.  Saturdays, Spit would often take me and a friend up to the top of Mount Tamalpais where we’d park, then drop acid and hike all the way down the Dixie Canyon Trail to Bolinas beach.  Depending on how ripped we were, it would take between one and three hours.  Once there, we’d make our way to the one and only bar where we’d drink beer all afternoon, then hitchhike back up to the top of Mount Tam, pick up Spit and cruise on home to an evening of Sara Lee chocolate cake and the Moody Blues.   This was still an innocent time when you could do such things without fear of your body being found half-cannibalized years later in the basement of some loon.. 

Monday through Friday, Spit would speed me across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, a hub of junkies and hookers, where I worked in a non-descript building that housed a recording studio and mingled daily with musicians from the Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater, CSN&Y, and my personal favorite, Santana.   Nights were spent at hidden away little blues clubs in North Beach where Spit never once failed to find me a parking spot despite the heavy odds against us.   Weekends would find us at the Fillmore rockin’ to the likes of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, admission $3 plus you got a really cool poster.   Somehow, Spit always managed to get me safely home, although many times I had no personal recall of the journey.  I look back on those days now and marvel that I’m still alive. 

Spit carried me for the last time in 1972.  Her final months were a series of breakdowns and malfunctions that caused Triple A to banish us for all time.  I ended up selling her to my mechanic for $50.  He promised she would go live on a nice farm in the country and spend her remaining days roaming and playing with all the family dogs whose children had been assured of the same thing. 

To this day I still have dreams of Spit -- that magically there she is, all polished and new -- and together once again, we cruise the drive-ins of our youth, sucking back on a joint and listening to the tunes of The Grateful Dead.   Good times…

Sunday, April 3, 2011

injaynesworld it's the "Sunday Recap..."

To see pictures, post is best viewed with Google Chrome browser. 

I did a little experiment on Friday where I didn’t look at or read any news.  Here are some of the reasons why:

Radioactive water from one of the damaged nuclear plants in Japan is leaking into the Pacific Ocean.  Closer to home, radioactive milk has now been detected right here in California.    I know we’re famous for our “happy cows,” but apparently now they also have a glow about them.

At least the government has assured us that there's nothing to worry about and that's good enough for me.   I mean, they've never lied to us before, right?  


Looks like the pride of Minnesota is running for President…

Michelle Bachman has gone to Iowa to spread her message…

Anything to distract and divide, but nothing to deliver.


Over at Batcrap Crazy Central…

Donald Trump has been given a regular Monday morning spot on “Faux & Friends.”  Despite being eviscerated by Bill O’Reilly on the subject, the Donald appears to be tossing his hairpiece in the presidential ring running on the “Birther Ticket…”

Because that’s the issue most middle-class families faced with losing their homes, unemployment, and skyrocketing gas and food prices are really concerned about –  Obama’s birth certificate.  

Oh, Donald.   That is soooo 2009.


Behold the Indiana state flag.  Pretty, isn’t it?   The flaming torch stands for “liberty and enlightenment.” 

Throwing water on that flame this week would be Republican state congressman Eric Turner.   Turner led the legislature in voting to close the “loophole” that allows health insurance to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest.  

And “why?” any reasonable person might ask.   Thanks.  I’m glad you did.   

Because there might be some women eager to file a false police report, then stand up in a public courtroom and lie about such a thing all to get a freebie abortion out of their insurance company.    

And for that Republican Eric Turner, you and your GOP state colleagues are the worthy recipients of this week’s “Steaming Pile Of Shit Award.”    


The folks in this week’s update make Charlie Sheen look positively rational.   In fact, if I had a kid, I’d pick Sheen as a role model over any of the above. 

Okay.  So maybe it’s best that I never had kids. 

Still, this week Sheen announced that he’ll be donating one dollar from each ticket sold for his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option” Tour to the Red Cross Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund. 

And that’s more good than the entire GOP has done since taking office in January. 


Help me make this go viral...

Comic and all-around-good-person Elayne Boosler brings you “Facebook Is A Clocksucker…”

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Get the T-shirt here:   Proceeds go to help fund Elaine’s animal rescue, “Tails of Joy.”

Don’t be a drive-by.   Leave a comment.   We’re all friends here…

Friday, April 1, 2011

injaynesworld it's "A Good Day To Be Alive..."

We’re having our fake-out summer here in our little valley.  Every April it comes – a week or so with sunshine and temperatures in the 80s.   

Since we’ve had an abundance of rain, the hillsides are still an emerald green, while purple lupins and bright orange poppies are starting to peek out everywhere. 

Last night I was able to sit outside with friends and have dinner dressed in just a light T-shirt, cotton cargos and sandals.  Since we have few street lights in our rural valley, the night sky is magnificent.  It seemed like you could reach up and touch the Milky Way.

And the silence… A horse whinnying in the distance, the last cry of a hawk before it ends its hunting for the day -- If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the whole world was at peace. 

We always forget it won’t last.  That just as we’re rifling through our winter duds to get to the shorts and tanks tops, the wind will once again kick up, the fog will roll in and we’ll have to pack them away again until July.  

But still, the brief respite from the harsh winter will have been sweet and I’m reminded that amidst all the turmoil that I so often write about, some days you just have to step back and feel good about being alive.  

Thanks for visiting...

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