Somewhere between Bell's Palsy and death
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Disturbing development

Went shopping with Girlie today to get a new pair of jeans before the big bad snow comes to bury us all, and as I came out to model, the following conversation ensues:

Me: My ass doesn’t look big in these, does it?

Girlie: No, but you realize your ass is flat, right?

Me: (taking a moment to ponder) Yeah, but I was hoping that wasn’t true.


I’m not even 40—and I sure as hell am not a guy—but the Ass Fairy has already come? How is that even fair!??


Posted by Broad4:00 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Chips and salsa is a perfectly fine dinner

Especially if it’s real chips and salsa, not store-bought crap.

Tonight finds me crabby, introspective and not willing to share, so that’s about all I got for today. Oh, except wad? Just thought of something else you can pipe over to me on the FTP tip: “Spooky,” by Lush, since you WERE the one that ganked it from me lo those many years ago. Well, all of it except “For Love,” which I downloaded today and remembered, “Hey! wad stole my “Spooky” cassette lo those many years ago.” And don’t forget G-Town Tap Friday night—promise you won’t hate it.


Posted by Broad7:12 PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
You don’t say

Gotta say, I’m a little surprised the GCSC released it, unless of course the paper FOIA’ed the shit out of them. And you’d think that if she was in such a gorgeous locale, her food choices would be a little less bouzhie. Oh wait, I’ll bet she was trying to save the district money, because Ms. Ledbetter is nothing if not conscientious of what she spends:

School official’s Hawaii trip expenses detailed


By Sharlonda L. Waterhouse
Post-Tribune staff writer

GARY—The Visa bill for Gary School Board member Andrea Ledbetter’s recent trip to Hawaii was mailed to the district last week, with a total due of $2,501—$1,000 more than she said her trip cost.

It could be among the last credit card statements paid by the School Board, which is reconsidering its credit card policy.

First Financial Bank records turned over by the school district show Ledbetter spent $1,264 to stay at the Waikiki Beach Resort Hotel operated by Marriott, for the Jan. 5-8 Hawaii International Conference on Education.

While there, she dined at Lulu’s Surf Club Waikiki for $36.49, Cheesecake Honolulu for $61.81, a Honolulu Red Lobster for $41.65 and Jamba Juice Makai for $4.97.

She also made a purchase at ABC Stores in Honolulu for $19.65.

Her USA Airways plane ticket cost the district $600 plus $5 for online registration. Ledbetter also spent an additional $36.49 at O’Hare airport on the day of take-off, records show.

No paperwork or documents to support the business nature of the trip have been submitted to the accounting office, notations on district records show.

A history of trips

A look back at Ledbetter’s expenses over the past year show more than $5,000 to other trips in Las Vegas; San Francisco; and Orlando, Fla.

For example, the January 2007 bill for Ledbetter’s credit card included two $236 airline tickets—one for Ledbetter and one for a J. Woodson. Her husband is James Woodson.

The two charged $843 to stay at the Rosen Hotel & Resorts in Orlando in November 2006.

The district requested reimbursement for Woodson’s ticket but did not receive it.

In April 2007, records show Ledbetter spent $1,500 on restaurants, cabs and a hotel in San Francisco.

In November 2007, Ledbetter spent $1,373 on a trip to Las Vegas, which included a room and meals at the Bellagio, as well as $45 dinners at a steakhouse and a $74 dinner at Cheesecake Las Vegas.

No receipts or paperwork was turned in for that trip either.

‘It’s embarrassing’

Gary School Board president Nellie Moore and vice president Michael Scott refused district credit cards.

Moore said it’s a vow she made when she campaigned, and she has stuck to it.

School Board member Darren Washington, head of the policy committee, said the board must take steps to ensure that’s the routine for everyone. Washington is drafting a policy that would discontinue the use of individual credit cards by board members. Washington said when news of members spending thousands in luxury locations reach legislators across the state, it’s hard to make the case to the General Assembly that the district needs more money.

“It’s embarrassing,” Washington said. “It sends the message that we’re just going out and doing anything at taxpayers’ expense no matter how much it may cost. That’s a disrespect for other people’s money.”

Drop the cards

Washington uses a personal card and seeks reimbursement.

Moore said board members are elected on the assumption that they will do what’s good for students and the district and don’t need censoring by peers.

Moore said she did not feel it was necessary to require public announcements of board trips.

“I don’t see the benefit of that. I do think as a board we should look very carefully at conferences that benefit our district and have some order in which board members attend. Some conferences are very beneficial.”

Contact Sharlonda L. Waterhouse at 648-3085 or

--------------------

Hawaiian trip


Airfare $600
Conference $440
Honolulu beach hotel $1,260

Total $2,500



And Ms. Moore, no one has said that conferences aren’t beneficial nor that board members shouldn’t go anywhere. But is it really too much to ask to make sure the people elected are doing what they’re supposed to and not spending the public’s money so they can go on a vacation they can’t afford otherwise? Come on, now.


Posted by Broad7:02 AM
Friday, January 25, 2008
“They won’t take me! They won’t breeeeaaaaak meeeeeeee!”

I ask you: Is there anything better than Journey’s “Escape?” Ok, don’t answer that unless you could totally see yourself getting past the cheese factor and hitting Steve Perry’s upper range like I am this very second. Scott Malchus featured it on his “Mix 6” of songs with great drummers last week, and it’s like I’m right back in 6th grade, when I bought the same-named album for “Stone in Love.” ("Open Arms?” Pssssshhhht. That was for pussies. I was a hardass in middle school.) Good stuff.

I wish, though, that these guys wouldn’t mix their choices all together in one giant mp3; with just 857.1 megs left on my new iPod, I’m loathe to throw huge files on it. Does anyone know how to break up a giant mp3, perhaps?


Posted by Broad1:03 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
A note about comments

A couple of y’all are wondering about my comments and why they seem to disappear after a time. Much as I’d like to say that it’s because I have soooooo many people clamoring to egg me on in my insanityendeavors, it’s really because of the damn spammer dicks and how they’d go apeshit if I left them open any longer than 36 to 48 hours. For example, see how Tempe, Arizona keeps coming up in my Feedjit thingy? Upon further investigation, 10’ll get you 20 it’s a spammer dick looking for whatever virgin orifice I might not have protected. (Hahahahahahahahahaha! I’m funny sometimes).

Anyway, that’s the reason, so if you have something scintillating to say, say it quick. 


Posted by Broad5:03 AM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I’m just going to marry the damn cauliflower

Ever eat something that you dig SO MUCH, you start eating it for like days straight because you totally can’t get enough of it, only to never pick it up again (like when I worked at Olive Garden in ‘94 and went on a green-noodle-marinara kick for weeks)? I’m really hoping that’s not going to happen with my beloved cauliflower thingy, because this stuff is like crack. Seriously. I’m not sure if it’s the lemon and olive oil or the pepper and lemon together (always a favorite of mine) or the fresh parmesan over all of it, but you know when I’m standing in front of the sink at 10:30 at night chopping up a damn cauliflower, I’m in love. 


Posted by Broad9:09 AM
Monday, January 21, 2008
Hey! No peeking!

All you Neanderpundit people sneaking over here without saying anything. What’s up with the lurking? I mean, I KNOW y’all ain’t shy ...


Posted by Broad3:56 PM
Talk about taking your life into your own hands

Four or five years after the blogging boom, the paper is now allowing its more popular beat writers to have blogs. And who are writers asking for advice? That would be ME. 

gulp
whoo boy

I have my own ideas, of course, but what do y’all think makes a good blog?


Posted by Broad8:27 AM
Sunday, January 20, 2008
One more reason cold is of the de-vill

Jammies and underwear should NOT feel like I put them in the freezer for whatever reason when I take them out of the dryer.*


Posted by Broad10:15 PM
Car butt-warmer seats, nothin’

Has anyone invented butt warmers for the toilet (that don’t involve yarn, naturally)? Because it ain’t right that I should be freezing my ass off INSIDE MY CRIB. Good Christ. Glad my outdoor assignment was canceled today (for lack of snow instead of appendage-freezing-off weather, of all things); now, I can throw myself into such intellectual pursuits as laundry and oven-cleaning, and maybe some Crap TV at Girlie’s later if I can be persuaded to go outside.

Everything seems to be back in order after hell week—Mother’s settled in, and after sleeping most the day Friday, I don’t feel quite as beaten down anymore. Chatting with my pal Laura was also somewhat helpful: She lost her mom a little more than a year, I think, before Dad died, and her dad, God love him, isn’t much further along than Mother in the grieving process (though he IS much more responsible for his own health and can take care of his own doctors’ appointments). So anyway, Laura has three sisters and a brother, and her dad has started mentally noting what they call “grieving points,” wherein her dad reports to each of them who’s paid the most attention to their mom’s tomb for the week (i.e.: “Your sister left the most beautiful arrangement and stayed x amount of time"). The object, apparently, is that all the siblings are then supposed to top the others’ efforts. Fortunately, all five them have sick senses of humor, so they’re well aware of what their dad is doing and can laugh heartily about it. That right there is what I wish I had the most; I mean, I can tell people how ridiculous some of the shit is that goes on with Mother and me, but it feels like all I’m doing is being an ungrateful cunt, and that includes to those who either have met her or have known her as long as they’ve known me. With siblings—or even Dad himself—at least there’s someone who knows exACTly how it is, and you don’t feel like you have to defend yourself when you’re frustrated. And you know, I had no intention of turning this into another “Woe is me” diatribe, so pardon me while I go suck it up ...

There. That’s better.

So Friday night I covered my alma mater’s MLK Jr. celebration, which featured King’s youngest daughter, Bernice. And once again, it was an assignment that there was no way in hell it could be given the treatment it deserved in 8 to 10, which is what I’m typically writing these days. The reporter chick from the competition and I just looked at each other like, “Fuck. Where do you even start?” Just amazing, and timely to something my sister and I have been talking about the past few weeks, but I’ll talk about that later since I think it’s been two hours since I sprayed the crap out of the oven and therefore should probably clean it before I stick my cauliflower thingy in to cook.


Posted by Broad10:00 AM
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The results are in …

Mother’s first two tests: Completely and utterly devoid of ANY.THING. No cancer, no ulcers, no NOTHIN’. Now, the duodenum is still narrow, which COULD mean there’s something on the outside obstructing it, but the doctor was confident enough to allow us to reschedule the colonoscopy for Feb. 13th, plus when we were there a week ago, he pressed on her lower gut and it didn’t feel hard or like there was anything out of the ordinary (and with as skinny as she is—89.8 pounds as of this morning—you can’t tell me you wouldn’t be able to feel something if it were there).

More later. Right now, I’m going to work and then to pass out.


Posted by Broad12:01 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Why is there a fork in my ass?

Well, nothing like finding out the desk (or a certain person on it) is talking smack about me.

I’d explain the context if I didn’t think it would bust out the person who told me anything was said, but I will say this: I may eat, breathe and shit the paper as my full-time gig, but technically I don’t work for it anymore. Therefore, I don’t have any sort of power to decide to scratch any story at my capricious whims. As such, if I’ve covered something that I don’t think merits space, I call the person in charge and run it by them; if they agree, I don’t file, and if they don’t, I pull something out of my ass.

Jerk-off.

Anyway.

I had hoped a mid-afternoon shower and once-over with the loofah would be enough to restore my will to live, but alas, it wasn’t. My last two days have been spent hauling Mother around to her first two tests, the endoscopy and, because the doctor discovered her duodenum is narrow, an Upper GI series this morning. The running-around alone would be enough to make someone crazy, but add to it the following things:

-- Mother calling me at ass o’clock Tuesday morning, yelling that we have to leave RIGHT NOW because they can get her in earlier (and not really believing her because of past histrionics);

-- having to run her errandssit with her because she’d been sedated and might be woozy all day (she wasn’t); and

-- smushing myself into two chairs trying to sleep while waiting THREE FUCKING HOURS for this test today as a crazy Asian old guy yelled at his son and a bunch of snotty little kids ran around screaming and being snotty;

and you would be as useless as I was today when I got home. Seriously, I conducted an interview and then just sat in front of my computer in a fog all afternoon because I’m so worn out. About the only thing good in all this is that switching Mother’s meds last week has kept her relatively calm. If she’d have been on Defcon Mother, someone would’ve been dead by now.

I threw “narrow duodenum” into the Google monster, and everything that came up first had to do with duodenal ulcers (of which I had one, like, 13 years ago, and it sucked). Seeing that Upper GIs are used to find ulcers, we may have a diagnostic winner. We’ll find out tomorrow morning.


Posted by Broad8:36 PM
Saturday, January 12, 2008
What do you suppose happens

when I drink two large cups of Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate and coffee mixed together (a concoction I never would’ve imagined would be so darn delicious, so thanks to my pal Ray for convincing me)? Aside from plying me with enough caffeine to keep me awake for the next three days, I can tell you what it DOESN’T do: Prevent me from setting my notebook on the roof of my car and then driving off.

blank stare

Good thing I was paying extra-special attention today, or I’d have been screwed.

So, I got about four or five pounds of pork simmering in my new crock pot for dinner this evening, but I’m a little concerned that because the removable part is stoneware and not glass, we might not be eating until 9-ish or 10-ish. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to be heating up like it should, even though I have it on high. (Of course, starting it way earlier than 5 p.m. probably would’ve countered that, but there was a DANCE! COMPETITION! to cover—you remember DANCE! COMPETITION! right, Cat?—and much to my surprise and good fortune, the teams didn’t suck to high heaven.) Good thing Girlie and Soph had a late dinnerlunch (and I finally dared to remove and sterilize the containers of corn and peaches buried in the back of the fridge since, oh, summer? Shhhhhhhhh!), because I just might be sending food home with them instead of eating heavy that late at night.


Posted by Broad2:57 PM
Friday, January 11, 2008
“Showboating is not recommended.”

Think of trying weight-loss miracle drug Alli? You might need to read this first, although I wouldn’t recommend it because I just about shit myself from laughing—proving once again that I’m nothing if not an 11 year-old boy: Lookit [Edited to add: I think this would be an appropriate time to remind y’all of this gem, which still never fails to make me laugh when I have a ... well, you know: Lookit]

Thanks to Li’l Kate for this one.


Posted by Broad5:44 PM
People of Gary:

Could you please, please PLEASE not vote for candidates who spend your money like the thieves that they are and then flaunt in your faces? How much more does this woman and her family have to rip off from the Gary Community School Corp. before people become horrified that their tax dollars are going toward expensive vacations that have nothing to do with the students? And ESL as a second language, my ass. The native tongue of Creole, or Pidgin English, doesn’t necessitate ESL.

Taxpayers on hook for trip to Hawaii


January 11, 2008


By Sharlonda L. Waterhouse and Carole Carlson
Post-Tribune staff writers

Gary School Board member Andrea Ledbetter defended her trip to the Hawaii International Conference on Education earlier this week saying Hawaii shares many of the same urban ills as Gary. She termed the state a “tropical Gary.”

While Ledbetter declined to say if the cash-strapped school district paid for the trip, she said she planned to turn in expenses for reimbursement. Sources confirmed the school district would receive the bill that Ledbetter estimated at about $1,500.

Ledbetter flew to Hawaii and stayed at the Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, operated by Marriott. She was joined by her father, Andrew Ledbetter, who she said attended the conference also but paid his own way.

In 2005, Ledbetter took a $3,144 school-paid trip to Okinawa, Japan. She said the visit was for educational and professional enlightenment. The district ordered her to repay trip expenses she placed on her school district credit card.

Ledbetter said she submitted a proposal to participate in the Hawaii conference and she plans to share insight gleaned there with board members.

She said she gained “perspective on what the school district needs.”

Ledbetter criticized the newspaper for writing about her trip. “You always try to make something negative out of it,” she said.

The Ledbetters stayed past the Jan. 5 to 8 conference dates.

On Jan. 9, Ledbetter’s father, Andrew, answered a call to the family hotel room but hung up when asked about the trip.

Upon returning to Gary on Thursday, Ledbetter discussed the trip, but declined to say how she paid for it: “Ask public information,” she said.

The public information office is awaiting the receipt of official credit card statements.

School Board President Nellie Moore, who ran for office under the pledge of ensuring greater financial accountability for the district, did not return numerous calls or respond to a request for information on how the trip was paid for.

According to the official conference site, registration was $440. The room cost was $205 to $245 per night, for a minimum of three nights. Airfare was estimated at $1,500.

Ledbetter, however, said the trip was not that expensive—only $1,500 total. She said she bought discounted first-class tickets and walked most places.

Superintendent Mary Steele-Agee was scheduled to present at the conference, according to a brochure listing her as a chairwoman for a workshop titled: “Turning Around a Failing District: Setting a Course for High Achievement.”

That was scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 6. Steele-Agee did not attend, however.

“What I saw down there is that school districts from all over the country invite the youngest teachers, bringing new perspective. Hawaii suffers from a lot of issues that we have ... . English as second language classes was the biggest topic,” Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter is up for re-election this year and is expected to be challenged by educator and businessman Marion Williams.


Contact Sharlonda L. Waterhouse at 648-3085 or swaterhouse@post-trib.com




Posted by Broad11:36 AM
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It is the job of a good person to be honest. To be self-aware. To deliberately explore the fault lines of your character and try desperately to not inflict suffering in this strange, ghost-ridden world of worked and fabricated objects. Sometimes the jobs of writer and good person coincide. But more often they don’t. There are way more writers in the world than there are good people.

100 things
Info meme #1
Typelogic says I'm an INFP.
Check my weekly astrological groove here.

Give it to me, baby.

Pssst ... My birthday's Feb. 3, and I want this, and this, and this ...


The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:



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Broad said: Like I said, my feelings are complicated on the matter, so ... I’m interested, however, in Her Highness’ thoughts on… ...[go].

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