Friday, June 29, 2012

Sadness & Conspiracy & The Bar: A Health Care Retrospective

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the SCOTUS nine that day:
The score stood five to four, with some at yes and some at nay.
And then when Kennedy went right, and Roberts left, for shame,
A sickly silence fell upon us as the judgement came.

There is too much too much to talk about, so I'll start with the bar.

My local haunt just up the road from home was my first stop after a full day of "work." (Of course I say "work" because like Republican Congressman Mike Pence, I too likened the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act to 9/11: I was ineffective and nothing but a media consumption machine.) I needed to stop in because another regular to my spot is an outspoken Limbaugh/Hannity parrot (let's call him Dolton) and I was hoping he was angry and loud so I could just soak it up.

I broke with my swear-off of right wing radio just for one day and I was not disappointed on the ride over. Hannity was moderating a discussion and who-knows was shouting about how it was going to destroy America and everyone was audibly upset, like they'd just lost Reagan again but this time he killed himself after Obama whooped his ass with a tire iron. It was a jumbled cacophony of angry and fear and consolation and denial and atta-buddy and "We'll get 'em next time!" because Roberts is a brilliant Constitutional lawyer - he just got it wrong.

The way it unfolded couldn't have helped. Fox and CNN got it wrong and it was such a major issue, such a grand event that knowing how disappointed I was and how much higher I got when the big reveal came, I can only imagine the emotional depths to which the anti-Obamacare folks fell.

Here's my representative, Ohio's Jean Schmidt, freaking the hell out in a joyous explosion in public:

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If only that video had run for 20 minutes to catch the aftermath.

The pain and sorrow was palpable everywhere and the denial was painful to watch. This is what Drudge and Savage have been doing since yesterday:

matt drudge, michael savage call roberts inept due to medication

And if it wasn't that, it was because he was coerced because he was blackmailed because he is rainbow-farting GAY!

(But there was one interesting nugget provided by Gawker about how Roberts totally did this intentionally because he has a wider game stance and is plotting something really big.)

The freakouts from popular pundits and pols alike? Flippin' epic.

And some comeuppance is due as well. O'Reilly had said he'd apologize for being an idiot if the ACA was upheld by the Supremes:

Limbaugh said in 2010 that if this all went through, he'd move to Costa Rica. Unfortunately for him, Costa Rica has universal health care. D'oh. Speaking of idiots, Buzzfeed did a lovely collection of tweets from those railing against socialized medicine and who had had enough - so they were moving to Canada. Where there is socialized medicine.

Palin was in on the action, Rubio needed no cue to jump in front of a camera, and the overwhelming talking point is "OMG - it's a TAX on America's working class!" Unless you're Rep. Phillip Gingrey who simply said "I don't want to have a beer with Justice Roberts today."

Which brings me back to Dolton.

I walked into the bar, sat in my usual spot - far from him. I was expecting him and his cronies to be long drunk by 5pm and hootin' and a-hollerin' about how this was the end of America. Dolton looked drunker than usual, but he was alone, slumped somewhat over the bar, and staring at the non-stop coverage on the big-screen. On MSNBC.

He briefly glanced at me as I sat and ordered a vodka grapefruit and a shot of Rumple Minze, his mouth slightly open as though he might say something but could find no words. He went back to the TV, his Miller Lite, and his doubles of Jägermeister. Dolton was a broken man yesterday, as though part of his soul was leaking out in place of the tears he wouldn't let come in public. I really almost felt bad for him.


Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
Yes, "America" we call it - don't let the Repubs find that out.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Return of Van Mural (Insert Day)

They speak for themselves, though some of it might be unintelligible :) If you want to enjoy all the goodness of Van Mural days past, click that Van Mural tag at the bottom of the post and you can browse them all.


(van mural of van murals? *mind blown*)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Divorce Cometh, Man

(This is personal and not happy. You have been warned. Go away if you like. But come back. Van murals tomorrow.)

Ah, patient readers, you may recall this gem from two years ago - OMFG, it's been two years? - wherein I divulged that Mrs. Shambles and I had settled on divorce after growing apart and being at a dead standstill on either side of the fence about having a(nother) child.

Give it a look if you don't remember or haven't been around that long. Good read for a horribly depressing monstrosity of a life event.

And it gets even stranger-worse!

As we have not paid down our debt and have gone two years, we have lived in a relatively copacetic, visually emotionless void. For Little Shambles, of course. Big events that have happened since that post have been the passing of Mrs. Shambles's mother (only 60) and our ten year anniversary, both weathered with ---


Sorry, not even sure what the hell I'm trying to convey or vent here.

Brass tacks: last month we talked again, pinned down that we were still in those same places - although even more distant now - and now that Mrs. Shambles is back to work and my contracts are getting more lucrative, we may or may not be divorcing in the next year. Might wait until Little Shambles is done with HS in two years. Might not. For as much as Mrs. Shambles hit me up with being uncommunicative or too hard to engage during these past two years on the handful of times she did engage, when I pushed the issue, she had apparently not been sitting on a bunch of planning.

We did talk plainly, which was kind of nice. The impasse is far too wide and deep for a bridge. We are going to do our own thing (and have been for a while). And Bee-Tee-Dubs, what makes me happy?

It's no surprise to anyone that with my history of depression and this weirdness have left me completely perplexed at the answer to what should be a pretty down to Earth question. But ...I'm not sure. I have things I like, but in this situation I can sometimes only dwell on the fact that I LOVE making other people happy and how - when it came down to it - it was my selfishness that would not allow me to do that one thing for the person I loved most.

(Really, I only think about it in those terms on occasion. Totally in a healthy way. Right?)

So I continue to live in the void. The "I love yous" are ghosts if I hear them at all. Even texting I love yous quickly turned to KKKs (kisses, you racist), and then burned out like the cross on your lawn. Kisses on the lips? Nil. Sex? Can't remember when.

Communication, especially in the last couple months, has not just shriveled up but started pushing into disrespect. I'm a patient all-kindsa-zenny guy, but my lean is going from "let's just get through what we must" to "seriously, you live on your goddamned Blackberry but you can't even answer a text or two a day?" And it's not over "OMG work iz hard" but "Hey, I'm making dinner about six, is that good?" and not getting an answer until 7. Or 10.

And our daughter doesn't know. And her dad and my folks don't know. And it goes on. We haven't worn our wedding rings in over a year.

SO I guess my bullshit post here is more for venting than anything else. Not much progress, a little more frustration, and a lot more "What the Hell?" Sorry if that's disappointment.

I don't know. Maybe next week I'll tell you how it's all my fault because every major relationship in my life has ended this way: they just get longer. Or not. Because that would be defeatist. And I only think about it in those terms on occasion. Totally in a healthy way. Right?

I've got that emotional hangover feeling after posting this yesterday. I'm not going to make any changes besides this add, though, as it accurately reflected the breakfast burrito explosion that I sometimes experience in the midst of emotional turmoil, threshold, and a coating of insomnia from inheriting my mother's propensity to imagine the worst possible outcome.

Truth is, writing bubbled it to the surface again and Mrs. Shambles and I had another candid talk, which was good. In the coming weeks, we're going to get finances and budgets nailed down, we're going to come up with a plan to talk to Little Shambles, and take the rest as it comes. She'll be more communicative and I'll be more patient. With a house neither of us could afford on our own, we'll probably be sticking it out until LS goes to college in two years, perhaps opting for a legal separation before the official divorce - legal research is also on the docket.

Anyway, with over 1500 posts, there are only a handful of them that directly relate to me and only me - hell, even my gout posts were at least curiously informative. So, again, thanks for reading, and thank you for your patience.

Now how about some van murals?