Withdraw Sucks

For two weeks, I've spent my evening glues to the television taking in the spectacle that is the Winter Olympics. It is by far my favorite sporting event and these particular games were as good, if not better, than any that I can remember. Now, as I watch the closing ceremonies, I can't help but feel a real sense of sadness. It will take a few days of not watching bobsled, skeleton, skiing and curling to get used to life the way it was before these games. So, as we end this great event, congrats to the city of Vancouver and the nation of Canada for putting on a great show. For two weeks, the World came together as one and we are all the better for it. See you in Russia in 4 years.

Men Do It Better, Most of The Time

I've been watching the olympics every night and as usual, they have been simply fantastic. I have always been a big fan of the winter games, mostly because I like winter sports, but also because it doesn't have track and field. All that aside, I'm watching qualification for the men's freestyle aerial skiing. The women qualified yesterday and as impressive as they were, the men simply blow them off the snow. They get way higher on the takeoff, are able to complete many more turns, flips and rotations and generally just look better doing it.

Now I'm not trying to bash on my fellow ladies here, but I think that most people would agree that when competing at the top level, men will always outperform the women. Now obviously Serena Williams could beat most men at tennis but I would argue that she couldn't beat a single male who plays on the professional tour. The same could be said of any LPGA, WNBA or track and field athlete. Men are just made stronger, have larger bodies and sport more muscle.

So, my question is, is there a sport that anyone can think of where women perform as equals with men? Can you think of any sport in which the best women can not only compete with men but beat the best of the men? I can think of only one and it's a sport in which humans play only a small part. I'm speaking of course about horse racing. For the most part, racing segregates it's races along gender lines and lets the boys face the boys and the girls face the girls. But here's the thing, in most high level stakes races (Kentucky Derby, Breeders Cup Classic, etc.) the races are open to both genders and from time to time, a filly or mare comes along that leaves the colts literally eating her dust.

This past year, we saw that happen twice, with Rachel Alexander in the 3 year old classics (Preakness Stakes among others) and Zenyata, the wonder filly who beat the best in the world while winning the Breeders Cup Classic. This happens in no other sport that I can think of but I'm happy to be proven wrong. Anways, just something that crossed my mind as I watched these guys do some shit that I wish I could do.

Everybody Hurts

To some extent, all of us have days where things just don't go well, where we wonder if it's all worth it. For others, myself included, those days are much more frequent and that much more difficult. I have made no secret of my long history of depression, sometimes bordering on complete insanity. I've been seeing a psychiatrist for years now and with the help of my therapist and some pretty good medication, I'm for the most part able to function relatively well.

Alas, from time to time, the meds seem to stop working and I go into a tailspin where my world comes crashing down on me. That happened this week and if truth be told, is still wrecking havoc on my life. Lately, it seems that the only time I'm happy is when I'm at work. I'm fortunate in that I have a job that I adore and I'm thankful for the respite that it gives me. The rest of my time, well, it's sometimes very difficult to simply get through the day. So, what exactly is bothering me? A lot actually and if you happen to care (I swear I'm not looking for sympathy here), read on...

1. I have a lot to be proud of. I own my own home, I just paid off my car today, I have a job that I love and 3 of the best dogs one could ever ask for. Still, it always seems that something is missing. That something is someone to share my life with. Now I've made no secret of my disdain for marriage, I can't imagine what kind of hell it must be, but it would still be nice to have someone to be intimate with from time to time. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that I'll spend the rest of my life alone and sometimes that's very depressing.

2. Mom. I lost my Father in October and it was crushingly hard to fathom life without him. The fact that he lived so far away and I didn't see him all that often has made it easier but losing a parent is never easy. I think about him everyday and I hope he knows that I loved him dearly and miss him much. As for Mom, she lives just a couple miles from me and we talk on the phone several times a day and get together for dinner, lunch or no reason several times a week, much more in the summer. She is in excellent health and I expect to have her around for quite a long time. But, the thought of losing her is always on my mind. She is my crutch and I do wonder if I will even be able to survive once she is gone. She tells me that I'll be fine, that I'm stronger than I imagine, but I'm not convinced.

3. My babies are starting to get old. Both Sammy and River are 10 years old and showing major signs of old age. River has pretty bad arthritis and Sammy has problems with his thyroid as well a propensity for non-cancerous tumors. Both have gotten a bit more grumpy and aren't afraid to show it. Shadow, my lab-mix, is about 7 years old and aside from a major seizure disorder, currently under control with medication, is in pretty good health. I can see the day when it will just be me and Shadow and that just breaks my heart.

I've had Sammy since he was 10 months old and he and I have been through so much together. Throughout everything, Sammy has been my one constant, always there for me and always eager to let me know that he loves me. I love him dearly and they say that all dog lovers have one lifetime dog, a dog that is so special that they can't imagine life without them. Sammy is that dog and I can't imagine life without him.

River came to me when she was 2 years old and quickly became a part of the family. She is as rotten as they come but I love her to death. She is actually a very sweet dog and seeing her deal with this arthritis has been very hard on me. I've let her get a bit over weight and that hasn't helped things. I have her on medication to control the pain and a supplement for her joints and we have lots of playtime and walks. I'll miss my Plump and Juicy when she is gone.

As for Shadow, well, I'm not sure that I've ever had a dog love me as much as this one does. When I adopted him from the humane society, he had been living at the shelter for almost a year. Someone had been paying to keep him alive and when I took him home, you could tell that he just didn't think it would work and he would once again be disappointed. Well, it's been 4 years now and he's still here and he is never more than a foot or so away from me.

These 3 are very special and I know that the day will come when they are gone. That brings big tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart.

4. I have a small group of really good friends but overall, I am lacking in this category. I'm not sure why, but I just don't have many friends and I get lonely as a result. I spend most of my free time at home, just me and the dogs, envious of those who have something exciting to do. It does get lonely and all that time to think is not a good thing.

There are other things on my mind, but those are the biggies and each promises to be with me for the rest of my life.

Certified Mail, Last Payment and Those Damn Numbers From Lost

Some random thoughts...

1. When I opened my mailbox yesterday, the only thing in there was a note from the post office. Seems someone has sent me a certified letter and I wasn't there to receive it. No big deal, I can just stop by the post on my way home from work and pick it up. Well, I could if my identification still said Gregory instead of Kelly. You see, the letter was sent to my old name and so I'm going to have to get creative if I want to see what someone has sent me. If I'm reading it right, I can possibly request a second delivery where I authorize the carrier to just drop it in the box. It's all disconcerting to get something addressed to someone that doesn't exist anymore.

2. Speaking of mail, I received something rather nice today in the form of a maturity notice for my car payment. This is my very last payment on my Saturn Ion and marks another debt paid off. Now it's on to my surgery loan.

3. "Jacob had a thing for numbers"- Man In Black. If that's the only damn explanation I get for the meaning of the LOST numbers I'm going to put my foot through the television. The whole mystique of the numbers, 4-8-15-16-23-42, has been one of my favorite things about this amazing television show. I want answers and I want them now dammit. On a side note, I wonder how many people play those numbers each week in the lottery? My guess is quite a few.

4. With all of the snow on the ground and the days off from work, I've been pretty lazy about what I wear out. On more than a few occasions I've just gone out in a sweatshirt, jeans and hiking boots (no purse, earrings, makeup, etc.) only to be called "Miss" almost every time. When I went out fully as Kelly I got the "sir" almost every time.

I just can't seem to pull this off and I suspect I never will.

5. My dogs have had a really great week as they totally love the snow. I've thrown more balls than I care to remember but it's all been a lot of fun. When I sit back and think about it, it really is true that "It's a dogs life." I mean seriously, what's not to like? Sleep all day, play catch, go for walks and car rides, get tummy rubs, treats every time you come in the door, you can fart and no one thinks less of you. What a life.

6. Sarah Palin is still a fucking idiot.


Some people just can't drive in the snow...

Faster Than Even I Imagined

With the election of Barack Obama as President, I honestly did think that we would have a brief return to prosperity, one last orgy of opulence before it all came crashing down for good. Alas, it's looking more and more like the party really is over. As I like to say, we all have front row seats to see how it all ends. Exciting times these are.

The 6 Weirdest Things Women Do to Their Vaginas

Alternet has a great article up about the really weird things that (some) women do to their vaginias and it isn't pretty. I've never really understand why women want to mess with what is otherwise a pretty awesome piece of machinery. I'd give just about anything in the freaking world to have been born with one, flawed or not, so maybe I'm a bit biased here but seriously chicks, bleaching your vaginia? Seriously? Who does shit like that? For the life of me I can't figure it out but what do I know, I was born with all of the wrong plumbing. And why we are at it, will you all please stop with going bare down there. It's not sexy and it makes you look like your 13 or so.

1. Problem: Your Vagina Smells Bad. Solution: Vaginal Deodorant Most likely, it doesn't smell bad, it smells the way it is supposed to smell and trust me, guys love that smell.

2. Problem: Your Vagina is Dirty. Solution: Douching. The medical community says don't do it but women still do. Despite health concerns, manufacturers still churn out vaginal douches. Pick up a box of Summer's Eve Douche, and you'll find warnings that douching has been associated with PID (Pelvic Inflamatory Disease), ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

3. Problem: Your Vagina is Too Loose. Solution: Vaginal Rejuvenation. "Let's face it. Nature really screwed up when it made the vagina. Never mind that that it accommodates the birth of a child or that it's fundamentally better designed than male genitalia. (Who wants to carry their most sensitive reproductive organs on the outside?) While nature was busy dishing out things like multiple orgasms, it forgot to make vaginas vice-tight. Luckily, plastic surgeons have stepped in to put an end to womankind's collective suffering."

4. Problem: Your Vagina is Ugly. Solution: Labiaplasty. Ah, not it isn't. In my guy days, I saw a lot of vaginias and not a one of them was ugly. Sure, they all look a bit different but ugly, never.

5. Problem: Your Vagina Tastes Bad. Solution: Vagina Mints. Ah, no it doesn't and sticking sugar mints into your vagina is going to do one thing and one thing only, give you a yeast infection. I assure you, it tastes just fine the way it is.

6. Problem: Your Vagina is the Wrong Color. Solution: Vaginal Bleaching and Dying. Exactly what color is it supposed to be? Barbie pink? Only if you want to bleach it with products that are used in drain decloggers and septic tank cleansers. Stay away from anyone that says your vagina is the wrong color.