"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Saturday, September 07, 2002


I feel pretty, and witty, and only slightly gay...like I said, 70/30.

I got my tank top from Bob in the mail today. It's an XL, and it fits perfectly, big and hangy, just the way I like it. Thankee, Bob-o-links. It smells like perfume, too! I do not suffer from your-favorite-temp-itis, so I can appreciate. A Salem Slim Light 100 in your honor. You know, putting this on makes me feel articulate and brave...hm...

Josh had a story time this morning at Borders. It was worth getting up a little early on a Saturday morning to see him run the kids through their paces and read to them. He is such a kid person. Having had the experience with men that I've had (i.e., most men don't like kids), it's wonderful to see one who does. Sigh. Be still my beating ovaries.

My dad. My dad, my dad my dad. He says, "Sit on your ire until the next election. Vote him out. That's all you can do." Dad, I can't wait that long! That's not all I can do. I can make a big stink. I can NOT keep my mouth shut. I can rant and rave out in public. I can make noise and get people to listen. DON'T TREAD ON ME! The snake has 50 segments now, baby...

My mom. My mom, my mom, my mom. She says, "When your dad was in the Navy during 'Nam, they told me if I spoke out against the war, they'd send him on a ship and send me back stateside. I loved him enough to keep my mouth shut, even in that situation. Think about Morgan. What's she going to do if you're sitting in jail without access to a lawyer because you ran your mouth and called yourself a terrorist?" Teary-eyed. Mom, please. Morgan's future is always in my mind. I do not live with the fear you do.

Josh mentioned, in response to my "I'm whitey white, come from a small town, etc.," that Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber were also whitey white and small town people. HOWEVER...I will not use bombs. I will not kill people. I am not exactly sure what I should do yet, but it will not be on the side of unnaturally shortening people's lives to prove a point. I am not going to use violent tactics. I need to spread my vehemence in a different medium. Harken back, if you will to Am. Lit...


"A very few—-as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and (wo)men—-serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it." - Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
italicized (wo) by me.

"Every actual state is corrupt; good men must not obey the laws too well." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Politics

We would all do well to be good men (and women); now, with the changes to the Constitution, should we fear being locked up and having the key thrown away? No. Continue to break the laws and spread sedition in your own little way. Maybe in your own big way. Maybe you will be locked up. Maybe your actions and subsequent imprisonment will be the call to action the timid need. Look again at the list of changes to our inalienable rights. Especially the search and seizure one, the free speech one. Doesn't that just stick in your craw? Doesn't that just nauseate you to the point of gagging? What can you do? This is not a rhetorical question. Answer yourself. What can you do about this? What can you do to ensure the preservation of YOUR personal liberty? Figure it out. Do it. Tell someone. Get them angry. Ask them the same question. And so on and so on. This is how it starts, people.

Also saith Emerson, "I do not call to mind a single human being who has steadily denied the authority of the laws on the simple ground of his own moral nature." There have been a few since his day. You and I know who they were. There needs to be more. Hell, I want to be one. I may end up being a nameless, faceless "this one woman..." but it won't matter because I will have done SOMETHING. Can you be one? Can you stand up, gather the like-minded and creative and passionate? Can you focus a beam of zapbangpow into the faces of the evil puppets? Can you be a fearless leader? Can you be a superhero? Can you be a champion of freedom? If so, then by all the powers vested in humanity by Nature, DO IT! I will give it my best go. I can do no less.

My moral nature is not quite as lasseiz-faire as I may have thought. This whole thing has made me rethink my stance. Dubyah and co. are fucking the Constitution of our nation up the ass, hard. They are gang-raping it, violating it. So who dares to speak out against evil done in the name of happiness and peace? I do. I dare. I dare because my daughter is an artist, and I do not want her creativity stifled by anything. I dare because I am a writer and writers have always been the ones to dare. I dare because I am young and in love and I have that power on my side.

I cherish my freedom, but I realize that I have taken it far too much for granted. I owe a debt of gratitude and action to those who went before. So yes again, I reaffirm, I have found my cause celebre'.

So on goes the plotting, planning, sabotage; this small venture to get my thoughts aired and presented while they are still fresh, unmitigated by media; letting the wheels turn, thinking, reading, taking Thoreau and Emerson to heart; engaging the deathmongers on MY terms, president, veep, various secretaries of various departments, all those in charge say GET DOWN! Your day is coming, sirs. My crosshairs are also trained on YOU.

You can run, but you can't hide. The most surrealist act (as defined previously) may well be coming to a house near you.

Hah! Listen to me. It sounds like I'm talking assassination doesn't it? Naaaah...I told you, I'm not into the violence thing. I'm more of a "light a fire under your ass" kind of person. More of a "spit in death's eye" kind of girl. More of a "dance in the light of my burning bridges" kind of girl. Not a "kill the president and all of his men" kind of girl, no, not by a long shot.

(NOTE: If this gets me in trouble, it will be proof that small blogs make a difference. You never know who might be reading these things.)

There will be more...I can't talk so big without follow-up. Intentions only make the wheels smooth...they don't set them in motion. Keep an eye and ear out for news coming from Mukwonago, Wisconsin.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/07/2002 03:43:00 PM

Friday, September 06, 2002


We have this. Go make some surrealist poetry. I personally love playing with things like this. Words are better than Legos, better than flour/sugar/butter/eggs/milk.

It's been a moody day. Kindergarten continues fine. Mo changed her mind and DOES want to learn to play soccer. I WILL NOT drive a minivan, not even a rented one.

Work continues. The divorce continues. Ah, c'est la fucking vie. I'll go sip some red, smoke some brown, and take a kiss of bitter winter white to bed with me.

The spiders are out in full force. I mean that, not being weird or anything. This morning, I passed by a field of tall grass, and it seemed like a field of spiderwebs, hundreds of them, all sizes and shapes, all highlit by drops of dew. Absolutely beautiful. The trees are blossoming spiderwebs, too. There are pregnant spiders crawling all over the outside of my building.

Here is an excerpt from a piece I wrote only just yesterday:

As I swing from side to side in your mind, I'm attaching little gossamer threads to build myself a house. Those threads may look delicate, but I assure you, they will house me and any little popped-bubble babies I may leave inside there very well. The designs you see when you close your eyes and drive the heels of your hands in for itchy rubbing? I live there. Don't let the pinks try to tear out my house and build condos, because the strength of that web is just not to be believed. It will destroy their puny mortal bulldozers and stumpshredders. My web is eternal, and YOU, you lucky thing, get to see it whenever you want. Just close your eyes and rub like you're getting a blessing from a Buddha. No, rub your EYES, meatball! Put happyfunthingwithnohat away and rub your eyes. There. See? See the checkerboards, the zigzags? You likey? Well, good. I think I'll stay.

I love spiders.
I am a freak.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/06/2002 09:27:00 PM

CAVEAT: Towards the end, this thing gets a little ranty/ravey. You may not agree. Go ahead and read now.

Here is the thing to which everyone is linking. Since I included the copyright in my cut-and-paste, I think it's okay.

HOWEVER...The content of this piece, for so many reasons, scares the crap out of me. Are we on that slippery slope of totalitarianism yet? Are Saturn and Pluto going to be in conjunction soon?


Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:

* FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
This is me in italics. Monitor, huh? I smell an older male sibling...you want to watch me worship nature? You want to watch me read subversive literature by the light of My Lady Luna? Oh, but I'm not a terrorist, that's right.

* FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
This goes without saying. If you don't give me the papers, you know what I'm gonna do to you?

* FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
See above. My mom and Josh, as librarians now and future, are in this thing, as am I, as a creator and editor of medical records. You know how many doctors could be terrorist suspects? How many patients?

* RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
Oh Dean...sorry, Ms. Mahoney...can we have a comment?

* FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
Hey, gimmee back my Koran-on-tape! And my crescent moon necklace? My henna? And that teddy bear!

* RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
Let me out of here. Get me out of this place NOW. I am a citizen of this place and I'm getting REALLY antsy...

* RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.
I mean it. This is a fundamental thing. Next will come 'Americans may be divested of their lives and subsequent ability to pursue happiness.' How long can we sit and take this jackass and his reworking of the foundations of the country he is so gung-ho to protect???

Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press except italics, which are from me

I am criticizing my government in a public way...can I still do this? Can I say I despise what our so-called representative democracy/republic/whateverthehell is becoming? Can I say I hate the president and his motivation? We need subversion of this puppet and we need it now. He is playing into the hands of the deathmongers...he is letting loose termites in our log cabin, folks.

No, but I have no need to worry, RIGHT? I'm whitey white, I'm in a small town, not of any sort of TERRORIST extraction (you know what I'm talking about).

I'm not a terrorist, really. Just because I too rather dislike the way we have treated the rest of the world and I think we might need to be taken down a peg or two...I'm not for mass slaughter. I'm not for groupthink and drones. HOWEVER, I am emphatically not for the convenient rewriting of civil liberties on a whim, as Bush II was wont to do, and did. This rampant paranoia...it's pathological. The nation needs 1.21 gigawatts of electric Thorazine and probably a month or more at Rogers or Bellvue.

The United States of America is suffering from what might be called a folie en masse, a shared psychotic disorder. The delusions come down from the top, and we (they) go for them like a pack of rats. Don't fall into the trap. If you are a subversive on the side of beauty, freedom, fun and wahoo, keep at it! They can't take that away.

I'm tempted to call myself a terrorist right here and right now to see exactly what sort of hammer drops down on my head. I'm a poetic terrorist! Come get me! I'll unleash a barrage of surrealism that'll drop your pants where you stand and a heffalump and woozle will watlzle right out of your smelly USDA Choice issue boxers. I'll flatten all the ugly gray concrete cereal boxes and wash the masses so they can stand up and shout FUCK YOU at the top of their lungs at the evil puppet at the head of this nuthouse. Come on! Wear the fez! Let your cats and dogs live together. Life IS a Metallica concert, Mr. Costanza! Let's hear it for people who run our paradigms through the grinder!

You know, this is what we get for being so pushy and yet so smug and complacent.

I think I found my cause.

Who's with me?

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/06/2002 02:06:00 PM

Wednesday, September 04, 2002


Holy time-in-a-bottle, Batman! There are a few things that happened since last I posted:

1. Morgan started kindergarten and rides the bus.
2. My job has gotten infintely more difficult and tedious.
3. Josh infected me with the Beat Spirit (note: I think I already had it, but he exacerbated it).
4. Morgan has created a superhero! EXHAUSTO!!!

Oh, my baby! She's growing up so fast. The first day of K-AM was "fine," the second day was "fine," and the third day promises also to be "fine." Mo waits at her bus stop with a second-grader who goes to the Catholic school near us, and what I can only assume were some sixth-graders who were beating each other up. One was a girl. She was bigger than the boys and held her own quite nicely.

Work. What can I say? They take away one computer that has integrated voice/text capabilities, shove me off the account I know best, and stick me back in Dinosaur DOS-land with a program that doesn't even support the use of a flarking MOUSE! I have this new wizzy-box that has a (disdainful look) 56K external modem because this system can't handle high-speed. This system was developed for transcriptionists who learned on specifically word-processing computers. You know, those things they had back in the late 70s and early 80s? Glorified typewriters? Gah. Give me iChart any day. The quality of transcriptionists they are sending out these days is abysmal. Is it them, or is it the education? Where I come from, you can get an Associate's degree in Medical Language with a very strong administrative, clinical, tech and even managerial curriculum. Did these women ever even crack a book? Sometimes I doubt it. Here's the thing: In order to be a competent MT, you need to know EVERYTHING the doctors know (except how to actually deal with patients) AND you have to know how to phrase and spell it properly, as well as type it out at 70+ words per minute. You have to know your medical specialities and subspecialities inside and out. You have to know lab panels and normal values. You have to know Greek and Latin and French and German. You have to be able to make sense of many, many, many accents, including some godsawful American ones. You have to know equipment - surgical, PT/OT and eponymic. You have to know jargon and be able to translate it. You have to have to HAVE TO HAVE TO know anatomy - cellular, structural and systemic; pathophysiology, pharmacology, botany, homeopathy, chiropractic, and the list goes on and on. In order to be a Quality Assurance provider (my job, basically an editor), you have to know all of this stuff PLUS more. You absolutely CANNOT DO THIS JOB WITHOUT BASIC REFERENCE SKILLS! You have to have an absolute grasp of grammar and punctuation, so much so that it'd make your high school English teachers green with envy. You have to know how to deal with computers beyond the keyboard and telecommunication equipment beyond the simple phone. You have to...well, you have to be the Uber-transcriptionist before they will even look at you for a QA job. So now, they take me out of my Uber position and put me back on the learning curve with a system made for typists and secretaries. (low rumbling grumble starting in the background...Julie's getting angry).

Had I been alive in the 1950s, it is very, very likely I would have followed the Beats' every move, word, sound and location. I already love poetry. I already have a wanderlust and a desire to break the chains of cliche (whoops, didn't manage to do it that time) and transcend prepackaged experience for my own, fresh out of the oven and hand-mixed with a peeled elm stick. I have read Kerouac and skimmed Ginsberg for sophomore English. I tried Burroughs, but at the age I tried him, he was like black coffee to a 5-year-old (blech!). I think I want to try Burroughs again. I am enamored of Gary Snyder's vision in particular. I am humbled and exhilarated by the fact that I BELONG with them; no one needs to tell me that. Just like I belong with the Surrealists and Josh belongs with the Dadaists. Thank you, Pooka, for squirting gasoline on another scattered coal and combusting what was merely smoldering away. I shall repay you in currency of lives well lived and not found to be empty at the bottom.

Now...Morgan has been playing superheroes an awful lot lately, mostly with her Strawberry Shortcake pets. You remember those, don't ya? She has created, of her own pure brain...EXHAUSTO and EXHASTBUG! Da-da-DAAAA!!! More to come. Hint: It involves 5-year-old humor to an extreme degree, i.e., scatological. More, I promise, later.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/04/2002 05:36:00 PM


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