Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm pissed off, bummed out, and scared shitless--and I'm not gonna take this anymore!!!

desperate reworked
Originally uploaded by eir@si.
I'm having a bit of blogger's block. I've been struggling over my latest post, and I think it's time I put it aside for awhile and just rambled a bit about a few random things that are making me mad, sad, or just plain terrified.

I want to start some sort of mass movement protesting the abysmal state of cable in the world today. Even if you have the "gold package"--the one with every station known to man, including every movie channel in North America--there's still nothing on! How many times can you watch Dirty Dancing before you throw up?

On the rare occasions when there is a decent movie on, it's either:

a. Airing sometime between 3 and 5 am
b. Competing with several other good movies or shows at the same time.

So I say, let's band together and stop this travesty of a sham of a mockery.

There's quite a brouhaha this year over the political incorrectness of wishing someone Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. In addition to all the play in the mainstream media, two juicy, heated examples of both sides of the debate can be found at Suzie'sand Mr. G'sblogs.

As a Jew/half Jew, I tend to think that at the very least, superstores such as Target and Walmart would do well to greet their customers with the generic Happy Holidays. Doing otherwise just seems like bad business to me. And I have been heavily leaning toward the position that although we are primarily a Christian country, we should not assume that everyone wants to celebrate Christmas or be bombarded with Christmas carols non stop. I don't think there's a left-wing conspiracy to abolish Christmas, and I do believe that the separation of church and state is very important.

However, it did occur to me today that it would be a sad state of affairs if Christmas was not celebrated in such a big way. We're not a Communist nation in which all religion is banned. And in many ways, Christmas is very secular and mainstream anyway. I'm fairly certain that many people celebrate all the bling of Christmas without necessarily setting foot in a church. Plus which, Santa has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Speaking of which, stringing up Santa Claus on your lawn in protest of Christmas is just so wrong!

So now I'm all torn and confused. That's all I have to say.

I'm sure many of you have torn your hair out over blogger glitches and outages, but this post sent chills up my spine. It seems that Blogger has been deleting accounts without warning or explanation. As far as I can tell, the rationale seems to have something to do with link abuse and mistakenly deeming legitimate blogs as splogs (spam blogs). For a good scare--and I do mean a good one--read this post.

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At 9:45 AM, Blogger jessie said...

yeah i found that blog info out over the weekend when i tried to access a friends blog and it said it was deleted. i called her and she had no idea of it! that's gotta suck but luckily for me i copied my entire template to notepad and saved it so if it ever happened i had all that i have spent so much time on.
yes this holiday crap is bugging me too. all the horrible things going on in the world today and people are exhausting themselves arguing over this. CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!!!!

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Squid Vicious said...

In America we have "THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION" not "THE FREEDOM FROM RELIGION". The whole debate is over a preposition...

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Washington Cube said...


Cable--I agree. I marvel that we pay for all of these stations, and we get crap on toast. I swear they run every version of Back to the Future EVERY month. There are others that crop up every single month, the stations vary, but the entire history of film, this is what we get over and over?

Holidays--I'm enjoying them so far with relatively little stress. I just posted a piece on Chanukah House on Friday, so even Jewish people can get crazed this time of year, at least in Baltimore, where the house is.

Blogs--I've been hearing about these deletions as well. So far, all I do is save a hard copy of my work, but I am (I don't know how) somehow going to have to carve out some time and make copies onto another system for safety.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Elvira you are cracking me up w/your cable analysis. Perhaps you have been watching too much Dirty Dancing! (smiling) change that channel before you make yourself sicker and get the latest on breaking news and/or debates. Some of that though will also make you nauseous, depending on what side you listen to, nevertheless, you’re right, it aggravates the crap out of me with every channel known to man and nothing is on. I end up watching cable news the majority of the time b/c of this.

Where do you hang out to be bombarded with Christmas carols non-stop? (LOL) Thanks for the link, appreciate it. Mr. G (my dear friend) and I have been going back and forth including Rae Ann-I’m a Hoe - that wrote about this in reference to the constitution back last Friday…it started before this linked-post. Myself, I do not wish to offend anyone but I SAY call it what it is “Christmas”. If I know someone is of another faith I politely say Happy Holidays but overall it is Merry Christmas. To me, Christmas is nothing about hatred or offending people actually just the opposite. It would be a sad world if Seculars (ACLU and a few minorities) continue with this attack to eliminate our federally declared holiday. I rarely go to church, but that does not make me secular.

As you said people celebrate anyway like they have been for ages, why do we need to change things now? I feel there is more to it than just Christmas, it is to take GOD out of everything possible in the public square - from schools to our government. The ACLU is doing it as we speak and have been for a long time, they are just gaining ground and rallying troops for their cause.

I did not know this about - the blogger situation, will have to go now and read that link. Thanks for the heads up! Again thanks for the link to my blog. Since I know your faith…Happy Holidays to you and your family!! (smiling)

At 11:33 AM, Blogger !ce said...

Cable does suck. I would suggest that you get a satellite, but living in an urban area, that wouldn't help much. For anyone who was maybe unaware, the law is that if you are living in an area where major networks (the big four) are available from a cable company, you have to get it from them, and a satellite company is not allowed to supply them independently. Of course, this means more $$$ out of the consumers' pockets.

I hate Christmas, and I'll tell you why. I am an athiest. I hear enough about God the rest of the year, thanks to the media and hicks. I detest that what is allegedly a religious holiday is nothing but an excuse for unbridled consumerism. I hate being bombarded with tacky decorations and songs. I don't give a goddamn about Frosty the snowman or Rudoplph the red-nosed reindeer, and I couldn't care less about how many versions of "Jingle Bells" ignorant, uneducated children can create. Finally, the white Christian males get all of the credit and attention. I propose that next year we all celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Not only will you get an extremely long celebration that way, but the ubiquitous tackiness could be kept to a dull roar. Also, let's simply consider December 25 the birthday of Alannah Myles.

Speaking of religion and occasions, I would like to say something else. I hate that there are religious cards for every occasion. I don't want my friends to tell me that a nonexistent nonsense word is thinking of me on my birthday, I want them to say that they are.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Nick said...

I got so sick of Blogger that I migrated to Wordpress, and I've never looked back.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

hmmm, makes me happy I don't have multiple blogs! I don't see that becoming a major issue though. If they started doing that (deleting blogs), all bloggers would move to somewhere else and I don't think Google is that stupid. Google seems pretty damn smart actually. I trust them. At least for now.

oh, and regarding cable, that's why I get the cheapest package. Because no matter WHAT package you have, nothing is on, so I figured we'd cut our losses. lol

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Neil said...

And that's not true about Dirty Dancing. Last night Dirty Dancing: Havana was on instead.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Amber said...

Yup, Cable sucks all right. Big fans of DirecTV here; can't say enough good things about it. The digital quality, the TIVO, everything. Love it! Highly recommend it. It's well worth it.

And I'm not a Christian but I celebrate Christmas. I even like singing the spiritual carols! Part of my childhood and I guess that's why. :-)

And wow, that is too scary about the blogger thing! I remember when they first put that "flag" thing up on blogs. There was a lot of speculation back then that this very thing might happen.

Thanks for the tip; we'll do a backup today and keep it up from now on.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Timothy said...

I only need about 10 minutes of Dirt Dancing before I puke. Cable sucks but so does dish. Cable has always sucked. I thought that once there was some competition with satellite dishes that cable would straighten-up, but NOOO! Remember when HBO was new? Thye ran 4 or 5 movies for an entire month. You could some of the movies 3 or 4 time in one day. I been having lots of trouble lately with Bloger. It runs very slow and freezes up on me all the time.
Writers block? I seem to have too much to write about and not enough time.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger artdetective said...

Dirty Dancing II: Havana Nights has been on cable a lot. It's a horrible movie, but Diego Luna (the star) is my boyfriend. I wish that frigid blond bitch would get her hands off him! He's mine!

It's therapeutic to rant sometimes, like of like vomiting -- get it out and you'll feel much better.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Walker said...

Shit happens. I have lost half my blog because that much of the template was missing but I keep 2 copys of my template and make new ones when I add to the blog.
Then all you have to do is paste it all back on your blog again or new template.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Mr. 12 Step said...

Yes, blogger has been pissing me off lately. Seems like it's down for a bit every single day. I'm not sure if it is the custom template I'm using or what, but if it goes down for more than an hour I have to damn near completely re-format my site.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Nikky Egland said...

They better not delete my blog, or I will hunt them down and kill der asses, dem an all der kin! HEE HEE
As far as the whole Christmas thing goes, I don't think anyone should be offended by it, after all, no one forces anyone to celebrate Christmas. The holidays bug me anyway cuz everyone is so DAMN chipper, but nothing about anyone's religion offends me, that's one of the few reasons this country is still great - freedom of religion. EVERYTHING offends EVERYONE these days, people just need to get over it, mind their own, and try to love one another, yeah.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger !ce said...

I was just sharing my viewpoints. To say that everything offends everyone is to take on a right-wing persona. Not that this is unpopular by any means, and is one of the reasons I will someday be living in a different country.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Thanks everyone for all the interesting comments. I will respond asap!

At 11:21 AM, Blogger The Blind-Winger Jones said...

People can wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Dead Good Diwali , Dangerous Darwin Day or a splendid Thursday and I'll say thanks very much !

More important stuff to worry about - just do your own thing and be happy.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger dan said...

You are right, christmas is so about money and commericalism that it has become secularized.

Heck, I can go into a TJ Max store and see menoras. Am I offended. Nope.

Other than by the other shoppers.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Walker said...

Well the holiday greeting should be what ever you choose.
Political correctness is kilkling a traditional celebration.
We can beef up the argument by just telling people that Christmas is actually on Jan 7th like most Orthodox religiouns celebrate it and then that might fix that.
I have lost postsssssssss
I now do it in word and past and copy or just sent it through the blogger tool bar in word.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Walker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


OMG! Did your friend have multiple blogs or anything like that? Is there any reason you can think of they might have done this, or was it just a random thing?

At 12:04 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Squid Vicious:

Hmmm....interesting way of putting it! As I said, I certainly wouldn't want to see our country become an arid religion-less void.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Washington Cube:

Back to the Future--how apt, somehow!

I saw all the cool pix on your Chanukkah post--have to go back and read the whole thing! Looks tres cool.

I'm gonna have to copy my text my files into Word, and quickly.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Would you believe it if I told you I have NEVER seen Dirty Dancing from beginning to end? Usually I catch it somewhere in the middle, and it was only very recently that I realized that Baby actually did the nasty with Patrick Swayzie. And to think her dad relented and thought he was such a nice goy--um, I mean boy.

And yes--I've given up on the movie channels and stick to CNN, sometimes Fox, and my murder shows for the most part. Up til recently BG refused to watch CNN because he didn't want to hear about the state of the world, but for some reason even he's coming around.

To tell you the truth, the reason I get bombarded with Christmas carols is because BG likes to put on those all-music stations. Sometimes he puts on smooth jazz, sometimes the carols, and sometimes even the easy listening. I can't stand any of them--it's torture!

I think it's awesome that you can have a very lively debate with Mr. G et al and still remain friends. It's so rare, I think, that people can separate political/philosophical differences from personal attacks. I actually was too chicken to leave a comment on your Christmas post til I saw that other people were--lol!

Merry Christmas to you, sweetie!

At 12:18 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


I keep telling you not to be so timid--speak your mind (lol). But didn't you say something about doing your Christmas shopping? Maybe I was mistaken.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yeah, I should seriously think about this too. I guess a lot of people start out with Blogger. Some people who are really into design look down at Blogger for this reason alone--others actually won't even look at a Blogger site at all, thinking it's too bush league. On the other hand, I've also heard the argument that the Blogger network is so pervasive that it's best to stick with it because so many other people are connected to it.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


As far as Google, this link might interest you for starters. I can understand why they might give in, but it's still sucky. Yahoo did something even more questionable, which I may post about.

I think the basic cable package is probably the way to go. Only thing is, I'll bet if you get it they take out some of the cool non-movie channels to punish you. Plus the taxes they tack on are so slimy and sneaky.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


LOL! Touche...

At 12:30 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Hmmm...Direct TV, huh? I think I've head that they go out when the weather gets bad, but I dunno. Might be worth looking into.

I went to a St. Francis Day blessing of the animals at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. They had speakers like Carl Sagan and dancers and singers, as well as a traditional mass. I can honestly say I had a spritual epiphany, so I know what you mean.

Yeah, the "flag" thing is another possible concern. I think I even heard something about rival bloggers trying to run off their competition this way, but I could be wrong. In any case, it sounds like a potential witch hunt scenario. But if some blogs are really splogs, I say show them no mercy.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


I can sort of understand HBO et al running the same movie multiple times for the month it premieres so everyone can get a chance to see it. But now it seems that every station only shows old movies that everyone on planet Earth has seen already many many times. Others are so bad that having to sit through them is exquisite torture.

Blogger defiinitely has bugs that can be scary the first time you encounter them. I'm not as freaked as I used to be by their glitches, but yeah, I hear you.

I usually have plenty to blab about too, but I guess this scare clammed me up momentarily.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Diego is your man? Don't let any bitches get their claws into him!

Ranting is so cathartic...I feel better already.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yep, shit does, indeed, happen.

I don't know from template issues, but I think backing up my text files would be a very wise idea indeed.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Mr. 12 Step:

I have a feeling using a custom template makes the nightmare even worse. And just try getting in contact with them! It's great if you like corresponding with robotic auto-e-mail.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


People do get their backs up about their own personal "causes," but in this case both sides of the debate are very heated. I hate it, for example, when Christians stand on line to protest "Last Temptation of Chist" and Jews protest "The Passion of the Christ" all without ever seeing the film. I understand the concerns, and people have a perfect right to protest, but sometimes it seems like if another group has a similar issue they turn a deaf ear. I hate censorship either way.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


What country did you have in mind? There is no utopia that I know of.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Dangerous Darwin Day--lol. Well, I'll just say happy holidays to you!

At 12:53 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Ooh, they have menorahs at TJ Maxx? Awesome!

I've been avoiding the shopping scene altogether. I think a lot of people just shop online wherever possible, but another thing I'm paranoid about is putting my credit card info online--though my credit card company can actually give you a temporary one-day account number--so I may give it a whirl.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


I've always wondered how Greek and Russian Orthodox feel about celebrating the holiday after everyone else has taken down their trees. But yeah, that's one way to look at it. Do people actually believe Dec 25th was actually Jesus' real birthday? (Uh oh, I don't want to start a war here--lol).

I know you sometimes say you've been working on posts and lost them. That sucks, totally.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Blackie,

It's been a long time since I've thrown words on your post. Good to know I have the luxury of being connected with brilliance like yourself.

Here's my very small reply about Christmas, or as I like to spell as X-mas. (X for Christ as learned back in my early catechism). I'm for getting that feeling I get when I watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", or listen to certain Christmas songs.

I like to grab the special "thing" that makes me feel as if there is some hope in the world, for me as well as others. That "thing" has little to do with me trying to force it on others.

I'm not one to push my own path on
others to what may help me get
"right" with my Maker. I only know I need all the crutches of X-mas I can get to help me deal with all that's wrong with mankind and the world. Once a year, I feel I can get closer to that "thing" at X-Mas time.

As I get older, I realize I need to grab emotional and spiritual hugs in any shape or fashion I can find. X-Mas gives me an excuse to reach into a place that may help me find some value that is much bigger (and better) than me.

My wish (and prayer) is that those seeking a greater expectation of life beyond themselves can find it through X-Mas, or through their own attempts of spiritual growth, to find it in the most obscure and passionate way they can.

I just know that X-Mas gives me a chance to look deep inside myself and know there is something that has the power to change me, and give me great hope for tomorrow. I would wish that this thought may find its way to anyone seeking an answer to this time of year.


At 7:57 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


OOOH! It's so good to hear from you here again.

I think what you said is beautiful. It reminds me of that song "We Need a Little Christmas." I do think that aside from all the crazy consumerism, there is still a sense of wonder and magic about Christmas, especially for children.

My dad was Christian, but I don't really know how to categorize him. I guess he was in some sense a fundamentalist, but not a church goer. I remember when I was little I always got presents for Christmas and believed that Santa brought them. Only later did I find out that my father thought Christmas was a "pagan holiday," but he didn't spoil it for me, and for that I am grateful.

Thank you for that great comment. To me, it kind of sums it all up. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger !ce said...

I thought I said holiday shopping, but if I said Christmas, I must have meant it in a generic sense, or been influenced by my mother. Also, please notice that I said "next year" for alternative celebrations. I may do that this year, though. Too soon to say.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger jessie said...

totally random. there wasn't anything on it at all, just a boring ol blog. doesn't make sense at all.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Oh, ok--maybe you said holiday. I'm confused myself at this point.

Jessie: The blog was not delete worthy, huh? That's what scares me.


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