Believe in the Flowers.

Carol of the Zombie Jesus!

Recently, the talented and insightful Heather Armstrong (AKA Dooce) wrote on her blog that she firmly believes any woman (or, really, any voter) who intends to vote for John McCain in November should reconsider their options (read the post in question here). She was relatively polite about the whole thing, if you take into account that it's her own damn blog, and she should have the right to talk about whatever she pleases as often as she pleases without suffering from the flack that is often thrown at bloggers who have gotten the opportunity to head to the mainstream with their own website and advertisement (of course, as we all now know, it is practically impossible for that poor woman to enjoy a moment of freedom on her own blog).

Anyway, I digress. The point is that Heather has the right to say or do whatever she wants on her blog. Many long-time readers have apparently gone out of their way to not only threaten to stop reading her blog, but to call her names and even threaten her personal well being. To call this "disturbing" is simply not descriptive enough, and too many of her readers have replied perfectly: individuals expecting only posts that are funny and never anything else are already grossly misled. Her sole purpose in life is not to entertain a specific group of people, but to have a place to share her views and experiences in parenthood - information that many of us have found not only useful but crucial - whatever they may be. It's a pity that she's being tortured like this, excommunicated from some of her fans because they refuse to read about politics on a personal blog. Well, tough; as Heather has said, politics matter to her right now, so she's going to blog about them. She's going to yell her opinions just as loudly as anyone else who isn't afraid to do so. She has proven that she welcomes other viewpoints and disagreement, but how is it fair to threaten her? So stop reading her blog. A few - maybe even a hundred - angry people who can't stand to see a woman empowered enough to make her views publically known aren't really going to change her livelihood. So why they've decided to threaten her openly is a point of contention to me - no doubt they're just trying to be malicious. Nobody's forcing them to read her blog or the political posts. I have absolutely no doubts in my mind that Heather is going to continue to make political statements because it's an important topic to her at the moment. This is true of a lot people, and I don't doubt that many blogs have been inundated with the attempts of many authors to explain their political standpoints.

TL;DR version:
People are treating Heather like crap for no reason. It's disturbing to think that people like them are allowed to intermingle with the more sane among us without some kind of locator device to ensure that the rest of us are safe while the lunatics are out threatening everybody else. I highly admire and respect the people who can state their opinion and disagree without being rude, crass, or threatening.

I went to pick Colin up from work in Mom's car; once we were back at Mom's, she drove us back here to our house. On the way to Mom's from Best Buy, Bobb called almost immediately and he and Colin made plans for Colin to go to Aaron's game. When we got here, to our place, Steve pulled in - maybe ten seconds later - and after Colin helped me get everything inside, he left again with a very half-assed hug. I have no idea when he'll be home and have no intention of making contact with him unless he starts it; I say that for a couple of reasons. First, because he confuses the hell out of me and I assume that he needs his time out to not think about everything that's going on, and secondly because I'm honestly really jealous that he gets to go do things and go out to have time away from Gabe with his friends and I don't. I want that same freedom, that same ability, but if I go anywhere or do anything I have to take Gabe with me. One might argue that it works out because I go to work during the day and Colin keeps the kid, but on the other hand, I keep him at night. I'm not sure where I would take an argument like this from there, except to go on about how I just want to figure out what to do, want things to be all right again as much as he does, want a chance to be an individual as much as he does but when do I get that opportunity? Exactly .. I don't.

Also, I am very tired of a screaming baby and a constantly deflating mattress.

The dreams I have anymore are odd, to say the least. I dream that I'm sitting at home in the dark, watching TV and playing with Gabe, when a truck pulls up in the driveway and repossesses the car - again. I run out crying - "We just got it back and we didn't do anything wrong!" I scream, even though in real life it's still just as gone today as it was yesterday - and beg with the man who is chaining the car up to please not take it, just give us one more day. It's some big black guy, burly and rough and dressed in mobster's clothing, and he pulls out a gun and tells me that the financier just found out that we were children, that we weren't really adults at all, and that children can't buy or own cars. So they have to take ours away. Again. It always seems, throughout the dream, that this same thing had happened the previous night in the dream-world, that it was always a different person who had some to pick the car up before, because in my dream I'm surprised to see this huge killing machine. "Back off," he tells me as he chains up the car. And then he starts to regale me with unrelated war stories, telling me about how in the Korean War his grandfather fought for his right to be an adult and own a car, and those damn people, didn't they know better? Than to fight a real man, an adult, about whether or not he could own something? He points, he laughs, and suddenly my stomach starts twisting and knotting into itself, like some horrible creature has infested me and is tearing through my intestines to try to escape. Finally, it does, and as I'm laying there bleeding to death, the mobster is laughing and waving his gun and I'm watching our car, our beautiful blue Cobalt, crawl out of my stomach and roll back into its parking space as though nothing had ever happened.

We turned the head on the other day, after deciding that, even though we haven't taken out the air conditioners, it's just too damn cold to keep the heat off. The nights are dipping down into the 30s and the days aren't getting above 65 or so. If it were March, I'd be rejoicing for this temperature change, but instead it's October and I'm dreading it. When I was in grade school, the first day the temperature passed 65, I would always beg Mom to let me wear shorts to school. I never liked shorts, never particularly thought that they looked good on me or felt good to wear - you can only burn the backs of your thighs on a sun-heated slide so many times before it gets old - but to me, wearing shorts signified that the days of wearing coats and snowboots to school were finally ending and summer break would be coming up around the corner. I miss summer break, mostly because it was something to look forward. Now that I'm not in school anymore, summer holds no more significance than winter did, except perhaps that spring and summer mean more violent storms and the potential of tornadoes.

To explain the events of the last couple of days, I'll say that yes, we have Mom's car right now. Calling this an inconvenience is an understatement, but at the moment we know there isn't anything we can do to fix it. I had been dreading this occurrence for a while and knew in the back of my head that it was going to happen; having the cell phones turned off at exactly the wrong time hardly made the whole ordeal easier. I looked out of the window by my computer, at one point, and noticed a large vehicle - somewhat like a flatbed tow truck - back into our parking lot. I think it was a combination of premonition and common sense that led me to know that it was going to happen on Thursday night, and after I took Colin to work, leaving me at home with the car, I had that sensation that I really should have gone to Mom's (looking back, I know that they had stopped by the night before and would have continued coming by, likely charging us for each trip to do so, until the police had to be brought into it). I used the man's phone to call Colin at work, and one of our mutual friends and one of Colin's co-workers, Anthony, brought him home. Now we are sans a car and have been informed that there's nothing we can do about it until Monday, because after a car is repossessed there is a 24 hour period in which the paperwork is filed, etc. From what I can tell, we will have approximately 21 days after the date of repossession (so, Thursday) to try to get our car back - this may or may not include having to pay several thousand dollars worth of fees and back payments to catch us up. I can only hope that with any luck we can manage to work this out and get our car back before that 21 days is up...

Boy, do we ever.

The TL;DR version: Our car was repossessed last night. I cried a lot, Colin came home early, now Anthony is being incredibly helpful. We owe a lot of money and are going to do what we can to get it back. Apparently the bill hadn't been paid for three months and we're not placing blame right now, just agreeing that yes, it sucks, and we're gonna try to do our best. God knows we've learned from our mistakes. It's gonna be a long, difficult way to go but we'll manage.

The long version will come later.

Milky Way
For the duration of the spell, hindering terrain directly in front of the target does not affect the target for the purposes of hindrance or taking damage.

For the duration of the spell, target is affected by Tasha's Hideous Laughter.

Three Musketeers
For the duration of the spell, target receives a +1 competance bonus to all swords that deal piercing damage.

For the duration of the spell, target receives a +4 alchemical bonus to Intelligence.

Shock Tarts
For the duration of the spell, target can shoot a lightning bolt from their fingertips once every round.

For the duration of the spell, target gains +2 to Intimidate and +1 to Strength and Constitution.

Jaw Breakers
For the duration of the spell, target is muted.

For the duration of the spell, target receives +2 to Intelligence and -2 to Wisdom and Charisma. Also gains an additional +6 to all Knowledge skills.

For the duration of the spell, target cannot use their mouth for any purpose, including breathing. Their mouth cannot open.

Mike & Ike
For the duration of the spell, target suffers from multiple personalities that happen to not like one another. Names are obvious.

Heath Bar
For the duration of the spell, target suffers from a fatal drug overdose and dies. Cannot be revived. Will probably win a postmortum Oscar.

For the duration of the spell, target is considered dizzied. Is also nauseated.

Hershey's Bar
For the duration of the spell, target becomes female. If target is already female, they suffer a -4 disorientation penalty to all ability scores, saves, and rolls.

For the duration of the spell, target cannot hold any object (inanimate or live) in their hands for any length of time. Objects cannot be picked up, and objects that are being held at the spell's inception will be immediately dropped.

For the duration of the spell, target suffers a -2 to Wisdom and Intelligence but a +4 to Charisma.

Fun Dip
For the duration of the spell, target is available in three fun flavors with an irritating "candy" stick that tastes awful.

Jolly Rancher
For the duration of the spell, target is transformed into a rotund, happy cowboy, regardless of prior gender. If the target is not already male, they also suffer a -4 disorientation penalty to all ability scores, saves, and rolls.

For the duration of the spell, target suffers 4d6 fire damage to their mouth after ingesting the components. However, nothing happens when they are simply held. ("They melt your mouth, not your hands.")

For the duration of the spell, target can spit rainbows up to 10' (the rainbows have no positive or negative effects on the target or anyone else, for that matter, although they might be fun to ride on). They also have the ability to roll a large ball around and pick up inanimate and animate objects, but only while listening to addictive background music.

For the duration of the spell, objects stick only to the target's skin, but any objects (live or inanimate) will stick. "Butterfinger" will end spell immediately.

For the duration of the spell, target cannot remember any proper nouns (you know, the thingymabobber).

Take 5
Target is allowed to step out of combat (or any situation) for five minutes and recover the same amount of hit points, spell points, and ability damage that they would after having gotten eight continuous hours of rest (can only be used once per day).

Reece's Pieces
For the duration of the spell, target is entirely superfluous, but sure does taste good.

Reece's Peanut Butter Cup
A large, invisible animal takes a bite out of the target (cannot call shots). It cannot be summoned again for 24 hours. Damage is 2d6+spellcaster's level.

For the duration of the spell, target appears to be nearly 100 years old physically. However, they are also chocolate coated, so that's good.

For the duration of the spell, target gains a +10 bonus to Bluff checks.

SourPatch Kids
For the duration of the spell, target becomes Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" (AKA small and sour, but sweet deep inside. Very deep inside).

Gummy Bears
For the duration of the spell, target gains the ability to bounce off of any inanimate object that is larger in volume than the target. Also gains +10 to all Jump checks. Negates all falling damage.