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Archive for the ‘Me! Me me me!!!’ Category

Personal stuff, with no overriding theme

Thank you!!!

Posted by Lissa on August 5, 2008

That’s the first time I’ve had over a thousand hits in one day — I’m blown away.

Thank you, everyone.  Thank you for linking, thank you for reading, thank you for your encouragement, thank you extra for your comments — I promise I read every single one.

In response to various comments . . . The journey is different for everyone.  Not everyone is an unthinking liberal the way that I was; my older sister was somewhat baffled at my feeling of betrayal, as she figured that no one with an IQ over 60 actually BELIEVED everything the media fed them.  I haven’t yet met a hardcore-conservative-turned-liberal; I think either they’re more rare or they just don’t post about it. 

My goal now is to avoid being an unthinking conservative.  I made the somewhat-predictable mistake of thinking that, because so much of my former liberal beliefs were wrong, that they must ALL be wrong and conservative beliefs must ALL be right.  Of course, that’s not true; I’m still a social liberal, I think I fit better as a libertarian/classic liberal than a Republican, and there are always going to be areas that cause disagreements amongst conservatives themselves. 

I’ve made a nice loop in my journey:

1) All liberal beliefs and values are right.  I know everything.

2) WTF???  Um, I know nothing.

3) All liberal beliefs and values are wrong.  I know everything.

4) Sigh.  At 21 I knew everything; at 24 I knew nothing; at 26 I knew everything.  Maybe by 30 I’ll have some ACTUAL knowledge?

Working diligently, folks.  I’ve forced myself to stop reading my favorite books (novels all) and try to branch out.  Yes, I *do* have PJ O’Rourke’s Eat the Rich and Parliament of Whores; I love them because they’re entertaining enough that the education gets slipped in, like pills in peanut butter.  John Stossel is another good choice for good writing that sneakily inserts really good data.  A Short History of Nearly Everything and Economic Facts and Fallacies are both on the Kindle; I’m making slow but steady progress. 

In closing . . . again, thank you.  I’m the hostess here, but you can’t have a good party without guests, so thank you for showing up to play!

UPDATE: BorePatch linked.  Thanks!

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

RIP Samsung

Posted by Lissa on August 4, 2008

I noticed a bit of a problem with cellphone reception this weekend.  I use AT&T and I usually have no problem getting “more bars in more places” or whatever it is they’re hawking nowadays.  Starting Saturday afternoon, however, I noticed a dramatic degradation in call quality.  Fret not, dear readers; I do believe I have isolated the problem.

Oh.  Yeah, that’ll do it.

There I was, diligently pinching my pennies and comparing the prices of toothbrushes at Wal-Mart, when the phone caroled its call alert.  I began rooting in my gigantic tote bag with my left hand as I feverishly completed calculations on whether I could justify the nicer Oral-B toothbrushes (to be kept solely for forgetful guests) or if I would reluctantly sentence them to Equate bristles.  I triumphantly extracted my phone at the same moment as I decided in favor of cheap guest toothbrushes, then snapped it open with a flourish.

Ah, the fatal flourish.  No doubt if I’d chosen in favor of Oral-B it would have been a quiet, gentle unfolding of my beloved phone.  As it was, the freakish thing LEAPED out of my hand and flipped downwards, death spiraling towards the floor as I wailed silent screams of horror and loss.  Better yet, it managed to ricochet off the bottom shelf before hitting the cold linoleum.  The result is what you see above.

Sigh.  Off to the mall that evening, where Mike and I browsed both AT&T booths to check any deals.  Happily, Mike’s phone is still up and running, so we were able to determine that each booth was overcharging the offerings on Amazon.com by $50-$100 each.  I miss my lil’ red Sync, but my new LG Shine is due to arrive tomorrow; until then, if you need me, use the house phone.

BTW, you might think my phone-death was karmic retribution for buying cheap toothbrushes for guests.  Logically, then, you’d think I switched ‘em for Oral-B before I left.  Hell no; I bought the Equate ones, figuring that I needed my spare cash for a new phone.  So if you come visit, I’d advise you to bring your own toothbrush.

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

“A mindset” continued

Posted by Lissa on August 1, 2008

(The first half is here.)

It’s not fun being on the right side of the political spectrum, folks.  At least not if you’re me. 

I miss a lot of things from my days on the left side.  I miss being able to make really passionate arguments and believe in them with my whole heart.  I miss the true confidence in my positions that I used to have, from a moral standpoint.

It’s especially difficult if, like me, you enjoy reading but don’t retain numbers well.  I might read a very logical, coherent, convincing article but be unable to use it in a discussion later because I can’t remember the details.  Trust me, there’s NEVER any danger of my losing the forest for paying too much attention to the trees.  It comes down to my reading an article or a blogpost, thinking “that makes so much SENSE!”, and *still* not being able to articulate my position on the discussed issue.

But once you flip, how do you go back?

Once you decide that most soldiers are upstanding, decent, intelligent people, and every soldier you’ve met nicely supports that assumption, how do you go back to thinking they are children who can’t think for themselves and are being exploited by the neocons?

Once you decide that the bigger government is, the more inefficient and greedy it becomes, how do you go back to thinking that all social problems would be fixed if we properly funded them?

Once you decide that the problem with education isn’t lack of funding — see the schools in DC — but a screwed-up union and an ossified system which disregards merit, how do you go back to “It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber”?

Once you decide that affirmative action is generally not a good idea because race preferences are generally not a good idea, no matter what the context, how do you go back to supporting ethnic preference in government contracts?  (Clarence Thomas is the uber-perfect example here; I railed at him for decrying affirmative action when the only reason he had gotten on the Supreme Court was to be The Black Justice.  It NEVER crossed my mind that perhaps he was QUALIFIED for the job.  Witness my soft bigotry.)

Once you decide that some people — NOT ALL PEOPLE, NOT MOST PEOPLE, but some very small percentage of people — are poor because they won’t work hard enough to get un-poor, how do you go back to believing that, because there are poor and hungry in our country, our nation has failed?

(Note: These aren’t strawmen.  The ideas to “go back to” are ones that I believed, truly.)

And more importantly . . . if you could go back, would you want to?

The answer in my case is . . . well, yes, sometimes, I do.

I still shiver when I think something like that — some people are poor because they won’t work hard enough to be un-poor.  I wonder if it’s a callous, shallow, evil thought.  I would never say it around my friends who lean liberal, because I’m afraid that I would genuinely horrify them, and maybe rightfully so.  I would never suggest to them that maybe we shouldn’t have more welfare, we should have more personal accountability.  Some of these liberal friends are spending their lives and careers working with the underprivileged, and I think I would sound unbearably self-righteous and uncaring.  With them, I fall back to the old-fashioned attitude that it’s not nice to discuss politics or religion with company.

Which begs the question . . . why am I doing it in this blog???

Because I’m tired of reading all sorts of things I agree with and then not being able to form my own, coherent opinion on it.  Because I need to be more honest, instead of relying on assumptions.  Because I need help figuring out what I believe in, and why, and then articulating it.  Because as things go right now, I assume that my friends and family wouldn’t agree with any of my viewpoints, so I keep them to myself — where they do not get developed OR challenged.  And that’s not useful.

Finally, because I need to grow a thicker skin.  When I said in my “About” page that I’m a professional middle child, I meant it.  I pride myself on my “schmoozing” skills, in that I can get along with and entertain just about anybody.  But, conversely, I quake when writing things that I *know* my nearest and dearest think are wrong, wrong, wrong.  I don’t like rocking the boat, and I’m pretty thin-skinned when it comes to their approval.

I’m hopeful that by blogging, not only will I be forced to better develop my thoughts and positions, but I’ll be better able to handle the political discussions at home.  Since my flip, it’s been hard for me — I don’t want to tell everyone they’re wrong, since 1) it’s just my opinion, like they have their opinions, and 2) when I came home as a Poli-Sci student in college I was UNBEARABLY insufferable.  (I once snottily informed my mother that red wine does NOT go in the fridge, and was properly, and vigorously, put in my place.)  But I’m a very talkative person by nature, and when they all get to chatting about how stupid Bush is, I don’t know what to do.  And on the other side, it’s hard for my family, because these people genuinely love me, and sometimes genuinely worry that I’m becoming a more shallow, uncaring person.

With all of this pouring out of me, you might wonder why I say my blog will not be a political blog.  The answer is that I’m not smart enough or dedicated enough for that.  The good political blogs do it for a living, and they’re both educated and diligent enough to do a good job.  Or, you have blogs like Bookworm’s, who is so articulate, intelligent and logical that it’s a pleasure to read.  I can’t do that and so I’m not going to try.  (BTW, Bookworm is very educated and very diligent; she just doesn’t do it for a living.)

I’m going to try and do what interests me.  That means that I’m going to take notes on my daily life in the interests of keeping a daily journal, so that I can look back at what I was thinking at the time.  (If I’d done that back in 2003 to 2005 I’d have a much better idea of what, precisely, caused my flip.  Right now my family kinda-sorta thinks it was dating my fiance, which just isn’t true.)  That means tracking my progress in domestication, as I try to go from being a single young woman to a responsible married one.  That means keeping track of my hobbies, the brand-spankin-new one being guns, shooting and Second Amendment Rights.  That means posting about my cat, ’cause he’s an incredible doofus and adds incredible joy, and cat fur, to my life.  And, occasionally, it will mean political coverage that entertains me for some reason or another.  In other words, my blog idol is Breda, though she keeps telling me “not Marvelous Breda, or OMG Breda, just Breda!”  I kind of beg to differ.

Finally, I’ll confess to y’all what made me go through these “mindset” posts.  I got a note from a family member who very, very nicely,  and very, very gently let me know that s/he probably wouldn’t be reading my blog anymore, ’cause s/he felt I was wandering into an “icky” direction.  S/he also very, very politely asked me to reconsider aiming barbs at my family.  (S/he also congratulated me on having fun with my blog and encouraged me to keep writing what I wanted, so think three times before dissing this person in the comments.)  Folks, I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating — I love my family, they are intelligent, they are smart, and they are caring.  I don’t agree with them (now) about a lot of things, and that should be okay.  When I criticize things they believe in, it’s because I USED TO BELIEVE IN EXACTLY THOSE SAME THINGS and don’t anymore.  It doesn’t make me smart and them stupid; in fact, I know for dam’ sure some of them are way smarter than me.

I’m pretty sure that the problem is mine — remember how one of my goals is to grow a thicker skin? – since I know they don’t WANT me to feel like a leper during political discussions.  I don’t hope to convert them to my point of view, as that’s not my place.  My goal is that we can have a discussion where we both hear both sides, they ask me about my reasons and try to poke holes in them, I ask about their reasons and try to poke holes in them, and then we end by laughing and agreeing how politicians are ridiculous creatures in general.  And I hope that this blog both siphons off any ranting that I might be tempted to do and forces me to more diligently challenge and support my own arguments.  Lord, let it be so!

WHEW!  Okay enough with all that!  Thanks for listening, thanks for letting me get this off my chest, and the next post will be light and fluffy.  I promise!

UPDATE: BorePatch linked.  Thanks!

UPDATE 2: Neo-Neocon herself linked!  Thanks!

UPDATE 3: Tam linked!  Thanks!

UPDATE 4: Wow, the hits keep coming; welcome, everyone!  If you liked my “mindset” posts, you might want to check this one; also, I give credit-where-credit-is-due to my family here

UPDATE 5: To everyone who linked — thank you, very much!  Edudito, Smallest Minority, Snowflakes in Hell, Conservative Grapevine, and Trying to Grok.  Other links can be found in Part I, but any more that roll in will be noted here.  Namely, Firearms & Freedom, Cold Fury, American Digest, BabyTrollBlog and Opinionated Technie.  Thanks!

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , | 49 Comments »

A mindset is a difficult thing to change — but not for the reasons you think

Posted by Lissa on July 31, 2008

Neo-neocon wrote an intensely interesting account of how her mindset changed from a staunch Democrat liberal to a, well, neo-neocon.  She writes at length of how difficult it was to question all her assumptions, her frame of reference, and how she changed political parties.

I wish I had that much detail, and insight, of how I came around to my present mode of thinking.  I don’t.  I wish I’d kept a blog back in those days so that I could pull actual details, articles and websites that changed my worldview.  I don’t.  However, I’m going to try and explain it anyway.

Like Neo, I really believed in the left side of the political sphere as I grew up.  I have a very vivid memory of ranting in my diary about how “god-damned George Bush wanted to go to war the whole time, the false jade LIED to get elected and then just did what he wanted!”  Um, that was the first George Bush; I was ten.  Curses learned from company around me and “false jade” from The Chronicles of Narnia.  Shut up.

I truly believed in affirmative action.  Like all my friends, I made fun of Clarence Thomas and railed at his utter hypocrisy at wanting to ban a system that he freely used to get his current position.  “Like he’d even be on the Supreme Court if he wasn’t black, and NOW he says it’s wrong!”

I truly believed that Democrats cared about the poor, which is why they tried to help them, and that Republicans (and all conservatives) didn’t care about the poor, which is why they resisted helping them.  Rich white men ruled the United States, you could tell just by examining the Presidential rollcall and the Fortune 500 CEOs, Q.E.D.

So.  How did I get from there to here?  Truthfully, I’m damned if I know.  I think, like Neo, it started around the time of our war in Afghanistan.  I started having contradictory impulses — on the one hand, I *did* think our country had been attacked, and I sympathized with the need and desire to protect ourselves.  Also, the Taliban were hardly an endearing bunch.  But, on the other hand, one part of me darkly looked forward to the pounding that America would take, invading land that didn’t belong to her, being stupid enough to follow the Soviet Union’s footsteps, and wondering only whether we’d escape with the level of casualties that the USSR sustained, or if it would be worse.

Unlike Neo, I didn’t start checking blogs and alternative sources of news at that point.  I simply logged the inevitable defeat in my mind as a foregone conclusion and went about my business.  I continued doing so as Operation Iraqi Freedom came about and, instead of spending a weekend in France, I spent it sitting on a couch in London watching tanks roll towards Baghdad.

Again, Saddam Hussein was hardly an endearing opponent, so I didn’t feel any particular guilt about the invasion.  Also, due to copious reading of Tom Clancy growing up, I was generally admiring of and sympathetic to American soldiers.  I suppose at that point I was fifty-fifty; I wanted our soldiers to succeed, but I completely understood those who protested another imperialistic meddling foray by America-Who-Thinks-It-Runs-The-World.

So, when did it change?  I think it was late 2003 and early 2004, when I started reading blogs on a regular basis.  My father introduced me to Michelle Malkinand it was FASCINATING to see news and opinion presented in that way.  I didn’t agree with a lot of what she said — it went against everything I’d grown up believing — but, then again, she was a minority female, so I couldn’t dismiss her opinion out of hand.  I couldn’t stomach Daily Kos, but I tried to find left-hand blogs that would “cancel out” Michelle’s work.  I read The Moderate Voice, Think Progress and Oliver Willis, as well as my usual New York Times.

It didn’t work.  Perhaps I’d just picked the wrong left-wing blogs, but the writing just wasn’t as INTERESTING.  It couldn’t hold my attention.  I’d read them every day, but I’d race through the articles as quickly as I could before racing over to Michelle’s.  The left-leaning blogs were the vegetables I made myself eat before relishing the meat and dessert.

At this point I was severely uncomfortable.  As I’ve mentioned before and can’t emphasize enough, my family is very left-leaning.  (As I’ve also mentioned before, they are also intelligent, loving and caring, so think twice if you’re planning on dissing them in the comments.)  What if, God forbid, I became a conservative?  That would be unconscionable.  I’d gotten into enough passionate arguments over whether the United States had the *right* to invade Iraq; I could only imagine the difficulty it would create if I started advocating gun rights and the like.

I sent out a cry for help.  I emailed my liberal, politics-following friends (good, intelligent people all) and asked for assistance.  I explained that I was starting to lean toward the conservative side and asked for blogs, articles, arguments — anything that would help keep me firmly in the liberal camp.  I received back a few variations of “Bush is an idiot” and “Bush is a horse’s ass.”  Despite the lack of liberal counterbalance, I did vote (unenthusiastically) for John Kerry.  Yes, as Mike likes to tease me, I did vote for John Kerry before I was against him.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Around this time, I started backchecking how that Afghan war was going.  I’d followed it casually — I still do — without really analyzing details (a mile wide and an inch deep, remember?).  I was really shocked to realize, and remember, what I’d THOUGHT was going to happen in the invasion, versus what had actually happened . . . and that NO MEDIA HAD REPORTED THAT THEY GOT IT WRONG. 

I couldn’t believe it.  All through college, I thought I’d been very diligent and responsible in following the news — I read the New York Times as well as the Economist, and occasionally the Wall Street Journal.  Now I discovered that the media had darkly — almost spitefully — predicted the worst in Afghanistan, had gotten it wrong, and had not acknowledged that they got it wrong.  This, to me, was the real problem.  It’s understandable to make an incorrect prediction; we all know that hindsight is 20/20.  But you have to acknowledge that you got it wrong, or you lose credibility.  That’s a very basic rule for human interaction; why didn’t it apply to the media?

So I started looking for news sources that either got it right, or were willing to admit and analyze where they’d been right and where they’d been wrong.  I started reading more blogs that were honest, and unapologetic, about their conservative leanings.  Once I did that, I realized how the mainstream media also was unapologetic about its liberal leanings . . . without being honest about it.

It sounds extremely trite, folks, I know . . . but I felt betrayed.  I’d been diligent, and conscientious, about keeping myself informed about the world . . . only to find that the media had been filtering the world to show me only one side.  And with that, I dove headlong into the opposition.

To be continued . . .

P.S.  I’ve got one, maybe two more posts on the subject, then that should be it.  This is not set up to be a super-serious blog, so fret not.  I just want to record my journey so that *I* remember it, and then I’m going back to cats, food and fun.

UPDATE: Linked by ShoothouseBarbie, thanks!

UPDATE 2: Linked by Bookworm (and second-hand by Flopping Aces), thanks!  Also, Neo linked Part II.

Posted in "Deep thoughts" or something, Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , | 23 Comments »

Bloggershoot, Part the Second: The Tools/Toys

Posted by Lissa on July 23, 2008

I *really* better write this soon, before I forget everything.  The way you can tell I’m a noob?  I remember everyone I met, I memorized everyone’s real names (not that I’ll tell you peasants — ha!) . . . and I can barely remember all the pretty weapons that folks let me borrow.  Note to self — next time, I’m bringing my AlphaSmart Neo (thanks Marko!) and taking notes as I go along!!  No, you may not use it for target practice, I like that little doohickey.

As I wrote earlier, I was too shy to say, “Oo pretty!  I can haz rifle?”  So I stood around enjoying the bangs and exploding water jugs until Mrs. Doubletrouble very kindly took me under her wing.  (TOTWTYTR generously offered me a pistol and use of his magazines/ammo, but the last time I went shooting was about two years ago.  I wasn’t sure I remembered everything about the safety, slide, etc. and I wasn’t going to try and “learn as I went along” with a borrowed pistol!  So thanks TOTWTYTR, may I take a rain check?)  Mrs. Doubletrouble had a pretty lil’ .22 that was marketed as a “boy’s first gun,” very smooth, very light, short stock, and very comfortable.  It was a great start to my day; I reminded myself to squeeze the trigger slowly and smoothly, to keep my sights nicely aligned, and to allow each shot to “surprise” me, rather than tense up in anticipation.

After that, it all merges together in an orgasmic discharge of powder and bullets.  I freely admit that I went here to try and match shooting experience to gun and to provider; please guys, pop up in the comments if you feel helpful!  So, in no particular order:

Thank you Weer’d Beard, who allowed me to shoot his .22 pistol.  It was little and cute and light and shot smoothly, and held enough rounds to make it look like a FREAK OF NATURE.  I swear the cylinder was like a clown car, y’all.  I liked this pistol because it was easily shot; I don’t know enough to say whether a .22 is a reliable carry gun or home defense gun.  My guess is that it would make an okay carry gun (if MA ever gave me a carry permit — SNORT), but that I’d want something with a little more oomph for home defense.  Like, say, a certain 12 gauge shotgun . . . more on that later!  Weer’d Beard also let me shoot a rifle, but damned if I know for sure, or what it was!  Hmmm . . . was it the one with strip ammo?  Help please!

Bruce was nice enough to lend me a cycle-action (?) lever-action .22 and untold handfuls of ammo.  (Oh, and everyone was nice enough to load the guns for me, at least the first time; thank you!)  Doubletrouble and his Mrs. thank you as well, because that was the gun that I wasn’t cycling properly, thus merrily ejecting live ammo all over the firing line.  Good times. 

I believe it was ArcticElf who loaned me the happy, happy AR-15 with the happy happy laser sight.  I [bleeped] that metal target UP, though I do say so myself.  This bad boy was heavy enough that I had to work at keeping it steady, but oh, the bad bad things I could do to home invaders with this sucker . . .

TOTWTYTR, your Enfield did NOT weigh as much as I did!  After all, I had to sample cookies as I baked them to make sure they were coming out correctly :)  However, I freely admit that it was too big for me to comfortably handle; the action was smooth and the kick wasn’t bad, but 1) I had to take it off my shoulder to cycle it, 2) TOTWTYTR actually had to cycle it FOR me the first few times, 3) my left hand started shaking badly enough that I gave it back without exhausting the magazine.  No point in shooting if your hand isn’t cooperating enough to give a good shot!

As far as home defense, according to my daddy what I really want is a shotgun.  (“Nothing stops a home intruder like the sounds of a shotgun being cocked, honey.”)  Luckily for me, Jay G brought his 12-gauge shotgun *and* was thoughtful enough to load it with birdshot; I think bigger stuff would have knocked me on my butt.  Gunnies, birdshot will still do to dispose of a goblin coming down the hallway, right?  I *really* liked the shotgun; the kick was minimal, and the BOOM was maximum.  (I’m the type that LOVES LOVES LOVES fireworks, for the sound and the WHAM! to your chest as much as the pretty lights.)  Jay also let me play with his pistol (which one, Jay? actually two pistols, damn shame I can’t remember which one I liked better!) and try both .357 and .38 special; the gun shot VERY smoothly.  I really got a good feeling from this one; I think it would make an excellent primary pistol.

And, of course, we have to finish off with my very first sub-machine gun.  True, I trimmed the trees more often than I hit the damn target, but O Joy of Joys!   As you can see from the video, I stagger away looking punch-drunk; that’s soooo much more fun than my average Sunday morning!  Mmm, worshipping at the Church of the Second Amendment . . . Thanks Paul!  (Daddy, if you ever drive by there on your way back to NH, it is your paternal duty to stop there and buy some ammo, at the LEAST.)

That’s all I’ve got for now . . . I reserve the rights to update as 1) I remember more specifics, 2) the nice folkses from the Meet tell me what they let me play with, in the comments.  Have at it, gentlemen!

P.S.  drmac, thank the Mrs. please for being willing to lend me her piece; maybe next time I’ll have time to shoot it :)

UPDATE: Thanks guys, some corrections to the entry.  ShootBarbie (I *like* that abbreviation!), I’ll put up pix in the next post, where I dish about all the fabulous people who came.  Jay, sometime when I have time, I will *definitely* take you up on that offer!  That way we can pick me out a primary pistol that *isn’t* a .22.  And we’ll take lots of pictures, and there will be much rejoicing.  (Breda . . . can’t I do both?  Piss off the goblins and THEN kill them?)

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , , , | 17 Comments »

These are your stats. These are your stats on gunnie hits.

Posted by Lissa on July 22, 2008

To borrow a page from SWeasel, “La la la la la la BOOM!!!!!”

 

Thanks everyone!

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Bang bang! YAY!!!!

Posted by Lissa on July 21, 2008

Sorry it’s taken me so long to post, y’all, but I spent last night in the ER getting emergency Botox injections to remove my shit-eating grin :)  (No, actually, Mike was feeling feverish when I came home, so last night was spent domestically.  More on that later.)

To the family and friends who make up my (usual) tiny audience, you probably won’t be interested in my blog for the next couple days.  Feel free to take a vacation and come back later when I have more cat stories, and I love you!  (And a special shout out to Wisconsin Jen and Jenny, my only regular commenters, thanks!)

A huge, big thank-you to Jay Gfor organizing that fiesta, to everyone who loaned me their guns, to everyone who showed me (again) exactly where the safety was, to the host and hostess, and to everyone who laughed at my inane jokes and laughed (in a friendly manner) at my “omgGUNS!!!1″ approach to the day.

Goodness, where do I begin?  (Cue the chorus:  “At the beginning, dumbass!”  Gee THANKS.)  I was the first to show up at the Sooper Seekrit Blogger Meet, which was a bit embarrassing; I budgeted an extra half-hour to get lost, but the Garmin held me straight and true throughout.  Doubletroubleand Mrs. Doubletrouble were incredibly hospitable and nice people; plus, Mrs. Doubletrouble let me feed the horses, so we have a “omgPONIESANDGUNS” start to the morning!  People trickled in over the next hour-plus (our Great Organizer JayG was late, but he DID remember the keys to his gun cases.  This time.  Ha, I wasn’t even there when he did that, and I still get to bust his apples!) and we kicked off the festivities with the Ceremonial Firing of the Cannon (I have a video too, but Bruce already posted his, so skip over there whydoncha).

I stood around, mouth gaping, as the guests started making holes in targets.  Apparently everyone starts out as a new gunner, so maybe the other folks will understand when I say: It’s a bit intimidating.  I was the only person who brought neither weapons nor ammo to the party and very clearly had The Four Rules mastered and nothing else.  I’ve gone shooting three times before in my life, over the last six years; that’s not exactly regular practice.  Tack on the fact that we had a pretty homogeneous demographic going (gun-loving men and two of their gun-toting wives) and I looked like either a) a teenybopper tagging along with Daddy, or b) Affirmative Action At The Range.  (Note to self: next time skip the purple shorts and pink top, and go for basic black.  Lara Croft suits the image a bit better than Rainbow Brite.  It’s amazing that people handed me guns instead of the TeleTubbie that got whacked.)

Luckily for me(!!!!), every single person at that meet was gracious, friendly, willing-and-eager to instruct, and kind enough to OFFER me their toys.  (I was too shy to say, “Oo pretty!  I can haz rifle?”  Seemed rude — guns are both valuable and, often, sentimental — and, besides, I’d probably pick something way out of my skill range and knock myself directly on my ass.  I’d have been okay with that for the entertainment aspect, but that’s not good range-safety.)  Time after time, someone would say, “Hey Lissa!  You ever shoot a [fill in the blank]?”  Me:  “No, but I’d love to try!!”  Then s/he would generously hand me the treasured weapon (often explaining the history of said weapon along the way), generously fill it up with ammunition, and let me bang away.

I’d like to send a special thanks to Mrs. Doubletrouble, who let me pet her horses, loaned me her favorite little .22 rifle, and kindly remedied the flaws in my technique that were causing me to eject live rounds instead of making bangs.  (Of course I’m not offended, Doubletrouble, just grateful that the Mrs. straightened me out.  Not only is it dangerous to eject live rounds everywhere, but it was making me wicked sad that I wasn’t hitting ANY of the targets!) 

Since this post has been pretty self-involved so far, I think this one will be All About Me; Part the Second will examine the shooting experience in general (weapon types, etc.), and Part the Third will be All About Everyone Else.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a new Blogroll to create :)

“Every time Sarah Brady cries, an angel gets its wings.”

UPDATE:  Linky-love ahoy!  Thank you to Breda and the Pretty Pistolera, as well as plenty of folks from yesterday (your blogroll is now up).  Coming soon, “Fresh eyes at a private range”

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , | 22 Comments »

Fee-ee-eeeeeelings

Posted by Lissa on July 15, 2008

Guess what woke me up this morning?  No, it wasn’t Mike bustling about getting ready for work.  No, it wasn’t the alarm going off repeatedly.  (That doesn’t REALLY wake me up, that just makes me roll over enough to poke the Snooze button before I dive back into REM sleep.  It’s that easy.)  Actually, what woke me up this morning was difficulty breathing, a feeling of compression in my chest and occasional impacts to my chin.  Reluctantly, I opened my eyes and beheld this:

Any way you slice it, ’twas a helluva improvement from how I went to sleep feeling, which was like this.*

I really, truly have no idea what caused my sudden malady, but five minutes after we got home I started feeling like my midsection wanted to be roughly two feet larger than my skin allowed.  For those of you fearing horrific medical details, fear not: 1) I promise I won’t ever write about really icky stuff, because, dude, my younger brothers and my future mother-in-law have this blog address, you really think I’d want them to read that?  No, no, those details will be shared only with my older sister via phone; 2) nothing actually happened.  I just felt wicked sick until I went to sleep.  Oh, and made a LOT of funny gurgling sounds.

Good thing I didn’t get in that fight with the teenager after all, or my mad ninja skillz would be reduced to whimpering, cringing, and perhaps puking on my opponent’s shoes.

*For anyone who doesn’t click the link (or if it changes to something weird), I want y’all to flash on a shot from Willy Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which Violet Beauregarde spontaneously turns into a balloon-blimp.  I stopped chewing gum many years ago once I realized that my mom was right (people DO look like cows chewing their cud!), but I really, really want to try that gum sometime.  Tomato soup, baked potato, steak and pie all in a tiny wrapper?  (Strikes Scarlett O’Hara pose)  “I’ll never  be hungry again!”  Although, what would happen if you accidentally squish it while it’s in your pocket?  Do your jeans suddenly start gushing like your pocket is bulimic?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

I got nothin’

Posted by Lissa on July 14, 2008

Sorry y’all, it has been an extraordinarily humdrum ho-hum “er”-”um” day.  You do not even want to know the amount of time I spent today refreshing my email in the feverish hopes that this time — THIS TIME — there would be an email telling me my Amazon.com order shipped.  You really do not want to know how much time I also spent checking the “My Order” status on Amazon.com, JUST IN CASE the notification email got spammed.  (Yes, it would still show up, but it would get sent to my Junk folder, and MAYBE I WOULDN’T SEE IT THERE.)  You don’t want to know these things because if you did, 1) you’d be jealous (or pitying, or contemptuous) of how little my job requires from me in the slow season, 2) you’d ask what I ordered, 3) when I told you it was a Kindle (A KINDLE!!!) you’d know exactly how big a dork I am.  Although, you know that anyway.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have something more interesting to write about.  With any luck, I’ll get into a fistfight with a little punk teenager on the subway home tonight, and you can read all about it in the morning.  And then you can send bail money.

P.S. Wisconsin Jen, I lucked out.  Pot roast was all tender and tasty when I came home, AND I had rice pilaf to stick in the rice cooker, so I didn’t have to run out for a loaf of Italian bread.  Score!

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“It comes with stuffing!”*

Posted by Lissa on July 11, 2008

Hmmmm.

Mike was out of town last night (picking up the Prizm, Jin, so I think you owe him a thank-you note, as well as his folks) and so I decided to have dinner waiting when he got home, to thank him.  And to be nice.  And to increase my contribution to the Kitty Den Domestic Duties (KDDD) from roughly 7% to . . . well, more than 7% anyway.

(In my defense, *I’ve* been going to work and he hasn’t.  Although he starts next week.  Which means I”ve got to start planning menus over the weekend or something, since there’s no way in hell I’m going to walk in the door at six pm, go to the grocery store and THEN start cooking.  Mike would have eaten the cat by six-thirty.  In his defense, kitty-ears are a known delicacy, and not just in China.  BTW, I’ve seen a news article about how restaurants around Beijing are being asked to stop serving dog during the Olympics, and they’re worried they’ll have disappointed South Korean customers on their hands.  I’m wondering about similar bans on cats, which I will summarily ignore because his ears are all warm and fuzzy.  End digression.)

Knowing full-well my continually rushed state in the mornings (due to my continually-sleepy insistance on whacking the snooze button JUST ONCE MORE), I was smart enough to prep the roast last night so that all I had to do this morning was grab the basin from the fridge, stick it into its Crock Pot dock and set the timer.  (Say Crock-Pot-dock five times fast.  I dare you.)  I even decided to be super-smart and use Mike’s crock pot, which is bigger and has fancy settings so that you can cook the meat for a certain number of hours and then just keep it warm (as opposed to mine, choices of which are limited to HIGH / LOW / KEEP WARM, no timer).  Finally, I was *so* smart that I made sure to turn it on about ten minutes before I left the apartment, so that I could make sure it was heating up and everything was going to plan.

 . . . .

What?  Oh, why did I leave out the part where I actually checked on it before flying out the door?  Well, c’mon guys, I said I was SMART, not COMPETENT.  Obviously, I was rushed enough that I totally forgot to check on it before running to catch the T.  I was sitting at my desk happily drinking iced coffee before it flitted delicately across my consciousness again.

Sigh.  There’s a decent possibility that I’m going to walk into the apartment tonight and find a room-temperature, 3.97 lb roast sitting in the Crock Pot mooing disconsolately at me.    In which case I’m telling Mike to eat the cat.

*The title is a reference to an America’s Funniest Home Video clip, in which Robin’s First Thanksgiving is enriched by Robin showing everyone the “stuffing” that came, gratis,  in the just-finished-roasting turkey.  Otherwise known as giblets.  Yes, I watched that show a lot.  Don’t all the cool kids?

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

 
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