Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Anniversaries And Appliances

It's my wedding anniversary today. I've officially been married for eight years. According to the traditional anniversary gift table, the eighth anniversary is for bronze or pottery gifts. According to the modern anniversary gift table, the eighth anniversary is for linens or lace. Of coure, flowers are never a bad bet. Neither is chocolate, although it does help if you are aware whether or not your beloved is on a diet before you go out and blow the budget on Godiva. A card is always appropriate, or even just a few heartfelt words on a sheet of paper, expressing your undying devotion. So which of these options did my darling husband select?

None of the above.

We gave each other the gift of a new dishwasher for our anniversary.

I know.

So very romantic.

Our dishwasher died on Friday. Oscar ran it in the morning, and when I went to empty it, I noticed the dishes were still looking a little gross and there was standing water in the bottom of it. I thought perhaps Turtle had decided to open it while the cycle was running, as he has done in the past, so I threw some more soap in and ran it again. No such luck. The water still wasn't draining and my dishes still weren't getting clean. McPapa suggested we open it up and see if there was something blocking the drain. By "we" I assume he meant "Oscar" because I do not deal with anything that requires getting up close and personal with plumbing.

After fiddling around with it for a while, it was decided that as much fun as this "sticking our hands in dirty water" thing was, the dishwasher was old and we were planning on replacing it at some point anyway, so why not today? (Of course, I could come up with a dozen reasons why not, starting with "we just bought new windows and doors for a five-figure amount, and we should perhaps get used to making that payment before we throw more money at a new appliance" and ending with "I can think of better things to do with our time with your family, Oscar, than going to Sears to buy a dishwasher." But I didn't want to hand wash every dish in my house any more than I wanted to spend more money I don't have or waste McMama's and McPapa's time shopping for a large appliance on Black Friday.) So off to buy a new dishwasher we went.

So here's my thing...I love to shop. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, gift shopping. I love it all. You can get me to go just about anywhere if you tell me there is shopping involved. But there is one kind of shopping I hate. And that is shopping for a necessary item that I wasn't ready to spend the money on in the first place but which I must purchase anyway because there is no way around it. That kind of shopping...the kind that usually means buying something for the house that I was hoping not to have to worry about for at least a few more months...THAT shopping, I can't stand. It bores me and I resent it bitterly. So when McPapa indicated that he had done much shopping for dishwashers and Oscar mumbled something to me about not worrying about the money so much as getting the unit we wanted with all the features we wanted, I made a command decision: Oscar and McPapa were going to pick out a dishwasher. I was just there to sign the credit card slip.

That's pretty much the way it went, too. They argued about features and tried to get the sales staff (who didn't seem to know much of anything) to give them information on the various units. Occasionally, they tried to get me involved in the process, but I stood my ground. This was not the kind of shopping I wanted to do. So in the end, Oscar and McPapa picked out a dishwasher for me, and I had no input except for one tiny little detail: I insisted on letting them deliver and install it.

Oscar tried to convince me that we should take it home that night in the back of our truck if they had our model in stock but I looked at him like he was on crack until he backed down. For a man who hates dealing with plumbing issues (a lament I heard many times while he tried to figure out what was wrong with our old dishwasher) he seemed awfully determined to bring our new dishwasher home himself and try to install it. I understand what he was trying to do. He was trying to prevent anyone from having to hand wash our dishes while we waited for the new unit to be delivered. But if I have learned anything from being a home owner, it is this: no matter how simple the project seems, or how easy a professional makes it look to do, any home improvement project you undertake yourself will end up taking three times as long as you think it will and will eventually result in you having to learn new languages to curse in, having completely exhausted your vocabulary of epithets in your native language.

So our brand-spanking-new dishwasher is being delivered and installed tomorrow. Happy anniversary to us.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Things Which Make Me Grateful...

* Stuffing.

* When I dropped the ramekins of boiling hot pumpkin pie filling last night and several of them shattered, sending shards of glass and boiling hot pumpkin pie filling up into the air, I'm grateful that none of the shards of glass cut me and that the boiling hot pumpkin pie filling only burned my hand enough to blister it, not enough to require a trip to the emergency room at 11:30 at night.


* I'm grateful that McMama seems just fine with the idea of me peeing on her in an effort to mark my territory so that when Oscar's Step Brother and his wife and his newborn baby move back to New York early next year to open a business with McPapa, they all know that McMama is MINE! SHE LIKES ME BEST! SHE DOES, SHE DOES, SHE DOES!!!!


* Despite the fact that Turtle's schedule has been severely disrupted this week, I'm grateful that he's only been cranky enough to make me want to auction him off to the highest bidder, instead of smothering him in his sleep.


* When I finally make contact with Snark's Mistress today, I'll be grateful that we have the kind of relationship that will allow her to be understanding about the fact that I (unintentionally, of course) blew her off yesterday, and that she'll forgive me quickly instead of requiring me to do a significant amount of humiliating groveling.

* Stuffing.

* All of you who read this silly, and often random, blog. My family. My friends. And everyone else who has touched my life and enriched it. Thank you to all of you, and I wish you all the best for a wonderful (and fattening) Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

In Which I Ramble About Nothing In Particular

Guess what I did tonight? I saw a movie with the family. Guess what I snacked on at the movies? I snacked on Coke, popcorn and Milk Duds. Two movies in less than a week and did it occur to me that if the Coke, popcorn and Milk Duds were not a good idea the first time around, it would be folly to attempt them again? Of course not. This is where I take a moment and remember that I'm going on a strict diet after McMama, McPapa and Oscar's Sister the Youngest fly back to New York and that I'm gorging myself now so that I a) feel so gross and disgusting, I relish the idea of eating nothing but trail mix and filtered water, b) get all of my cravings satisfied in advance, and c) realistically understand that if I can find an excuse to stuff my face with turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, s-t-u-f-f-i-n-g, and wine this week, all bets are off anyway. Okay, I've had my moment. Let's not dwell.

In any event, tonight we saw "Happy Feet," which is that animated penguin movie. I was looking forward to seeing it because the trailers had me completely enchanted. This, despite the fact that Robin Williams is one of the voices, and I've been very hit or miss with Robin Williams lately (mostly miss.) However, seeing the movie itself, I was less than enchanted (although, to his credit, Robin Williams was not the reason for that.) Parts of it were very scary, which I wasn't expecting, given that I had thought it was supposed to be a kids' movie. And it really wasn't as funny as I had been expecting. do I put this?....then there was the penguin porn.



I know. But you did read that right. Penguin porn. I swear I'm not joking. At one point in the movie, these two penguins fly out of the water and end in a very suggestive position (think of the most common sexual position denoted by a numeral.) Then they jump up and land in another very suggestive position, then they jump up again and land in another very suggestive position and so on and so forth. It was kind of disturbing. I mean, I understand gearing your kids' movies so the adults who get dragged to see them have fun, as well. But when I walk out of the theatre and talk to McMama, who was at the opposite end of the aisle from me, and I say, "What was up with the penguin porn?" to which McMama replies, "I don't know, but they were doing it doggie-style"........I think maybe you took things a little too far. I should not be talking about animal sex with my mother-in-law when I'm walking out of the movie to which we took Turtle.

But at least Turtle was entertained by it. He sat, entranced, until they did a little fade-to-black to denote the change of scene, at which point he looked up and said "Watch again?" (Apparently, he was not put-off by the bow-chicka-wow-wow moment earlier in the movie.) And he did take some opportunities, particularly towards the end, to get up on his seat and start dancing. That was cute, and certainly made up for the fact that I decided against gouging my eyes out during one of the slower moments. Really, though, I can't say that I felt my $9.50 ticket price was adequately earned.

Speaking of my $9.50 ticket price, Holy Mother of God, going to the movies is expensive these days. I thought it was bad when Oscar and I went to the movies, just the two of us. But the six of us, with tickets and concessions, barely walked out of that theatre for less than $100. I almost felt like they should have a bank right outside the theatre doors, so they could handle the refinancing I have to do on my house to be able to afford to get inside. Of course, I didn't pay for that whole $100, because McMama decided to throw down when I purchased the tickets. Seriously. I thought she was going to hit me. I was kind of scared for a minute. Which is how she managed to elbow past me at the concessions stand and pay for our popcorn and candy. I would have tried harder to plead my case but I was afraid for my life. (But while we're on the subject, SERIOUSLY...she and McPapa hosted us for two weeks this summer and hosted me for a long weekend this fall and wouldn't let us pay for ANYTHING....I think allowing us to host them and not let them pay for anything is a reasonable trade, particularly when you consider that they don't visit us nearly as often as we visit them! But McMama pulls the whole "We're old and have more disposable income, but you're raising a CHILD!!!" argument, and then gives me that look that makes me think she won't love me anymore if I don't back down. The woman hits below the belt, I swear. Maybe I should take a poll in the comments. If you think I should get to play hostess, say "Aye." If you want to be a traitor and vote for McMama, leave a "Nay." I'll abide by your decision. If I agree with it, that is.)

But obviously, we're having a great time with McMama, McPapa, and Oscar's Sister the Youngest. Turtle, in particular, is enjoying their visit, as evidenced by the fact that he has no time for Mommy and Daddy. His first question upon waking? "Where's Papa and Mum?" We're going somewhere? "I go with Papa and Mum." Going to bed? "Want hug and kiss from Papa and Mum." I have a feeling the week after they fly home is going to be a difficult one for them. Mommy knows how you feel, kiddo. I know how you feel.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Lot About Nothing

It's the point in the day when I normally find myself either getting ready for bed or surfing the internet in an effort to pass the time before going to bed. And I know I should probably be heading back to the bedroom to disrobe and climb under the nice warm covers, being as though I need to get up early tomorrow and finish cleaning my house. But instead, I'm wasting time on my computer, trying to recover from the disgusting dinner of concession stand hot dog, popcorn and Milk Duds I had at the movie theatre this evening. (For those of you curious about how my diet is going, you just got your update. Let's not dwell.) Sadly, I've already run through my blogroll in a vain attempt to find new material. And I've visited all of my regular Hollywood gossip sites and apparently there hasn't been any celebrity news in the last hour. So I thought perhaps I might waste some time by writing a post.

Yeah...I got nothin'.

I considered writing about how I called around and found someone to clean Mama Jo's house yesterday and how she raced home when she discovered I had taken care of things, crying tears of relief the whole way, and how it really is remarkable how worked up we can get about things like getting our houses cleaned in preparation for having company. But I don't really want to go into it right now, particularly since I'm still living it. My bathrooms are (mostly) cleaned now, so I don't have to worry about the McMama lecture, but you can tell that a preschool-aged hurricane has hit the house and I still haven't figured out how to do damage control on that.

Then I considered writing about the movie I saw (Stranger Than Fiction, for those who are curious) but I'm still digesting it (along with a shitload of junk food, so it's a slow process) and I don't think I will have anything profound to say on the subject for another day or two. Although I will mention that I don't normally like Will Ferrell. He bothers me, and I don't really know why that is except to say that his schtick wears on me after a while. But in this movie? I ADORED him. Truly. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home with me. Except that I'd probably forget he was in there and then I wouldn't put those pants on for another few days and he'd end up smothered in my pants pocket, or worse, he'd go through the wash. So never mind about the pocket idea. I'd still take him home, but I'd have to find an alternate means of transport. Anyway.

Then I thought perhaps I should write about how utterly adorable Turtle has been lately, but it's not really that he's DONE anything, per's just that I fall more in love with him every day, for reasons that I can't translate into story format (although there was that time that we were in the car on the way home from dinner, and Oscar had muttered under his breath the phrase "fucking idiot" for reasons that are completely irrelevant to this story and Turtle picked it up with his bat hearing and started gleefully shouting "fu-ing i-ee-ut!" from the back seat.....the look on Oscar's face made it entirely worth the fact that I will now have to get Turtle to un-learn that phrase.)

So I thought perhaps I would write about how excited I am that McMama and McPapa and Oscar's Sister the Youngest arrive tomorrow. But anyone who follows this blog knows that already, and there isn't much more to say about it. The only thing I could add to that would be SOMETHING IN ALL CAPS AND WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS BECAUSE OMIGOD, THEY'RE TOTALLY GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can imagine how that really wouldn't interest you at all, and as much as I do this blog thing for me, I totally do it for you and I like to be cognizant of your needs.


I'm afraid I just don't have anything interesting to say tonight. Unfortunate thing, that. I so hate disappointing you by going too long without writing a post.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Monk, I Am Not

You know what I'm excited about? In another couple of days, McMama, McPapa and Oscar's Sister the Youngest will be flying in from New York to spend a week with us desert-dwellers, and specifically, to help Oscar celebrate (mourn?) the passing of his twenties. You know what I'm not so excited about? All of the prep work that is involved in having family visit from across the country. I know I shouldn't get too worked up about it, because honestly, it's family. And if you can't let your hair down with your family enough to let them see that you, too, live in squalor, well, you might need to work on your relationship with your family. But still...Mama Jo did ingrain in me a deep need to bust out the cleaning products when I know I will be having visitors, so I have a plan to get our home in tip top shape before McMama's plane lands on Saturday. And a fine plan it is. Or it would be, if I actually implemented it.

I'm having a hard time mustering up enough excitement about getting elbow-deep in scrubbing bubbles to actually DO anything about the zillion and one chores that must be done. I know you're shocked, being as I am SUCH a zealot about keeping my house clean. (If by "zealot" you mean "complete and total slacker.") I mean, I DO want to avoid the McMama lecture, which we did receive after her first visit to our house (although to be fair, we did warn her not to step foot in the master bathroom if she valued her life or her personal hygiene, so technically, it wasn't our fault that she had to spray Lysol all over herself after taking a shower in our bathroom) and I'm sure that at some point tomorrow, or Friday, or five minutes before their plane lands, I will be making an effort to at least de-fuzz the shower walls. I know it has to be done. I'm just not excited about doing it.

There are a couple of reasons for this: 1) No matter how clean the inside of my house is, the fact remains that the outside is a huge mess. I am mortified by the condition of our landscaping (or lack thereof, if you want to get technical about it.) I've been trying to make progress on getting it cleaned up, but we have a huge (HUGE) yard and I am one person. And while Oscar has been getting more motivated about doing home improvement type projects, what with the help he's been getting from the great god Lexapro, and all, he's still not particularly excited about working in the yard. So progress is slow, and any week that I end up with other priorities means a backward slide into "ghetto house" territory. So in some respects, I suppose I figure that even if I got the inside of the house so pristine as to survive white glove treatment, I'm going to have so many points deducted for the exterior issues that it really won't make that much of a difference.

2) Mama Jo is doing a lot of hosting this week. She's hosting Turtle's (belated) birthday party. She's hosting Thanksgiving dinner. And I'm sure that there will be other occasions that will find us over at her house during the week, because McPapa is no doubt going to be sharing some Thanksgiving cooking responsibilities with Mama Jo, and they will need to work out the details of how that will work. Now, Mama Jo is a true zealot about having a clean house, (if by "zealot" you mean "complete and total neurotic") particularly when company is coming over, and yet, Mama Jo is also completely overloaded with work and everything else. So when I spoke to Mama Jo tonight to nail down some particulars about Turtle's birthday party, she was in the middle of a panic attack/complete mental breakdown over everything that needed to be done to get HER house in order. And, you know, she's my mom, so I couldn't take the "Whatever, bitch, we all have problems" attitude that I might take if it were, say, anyone else having a panic attack/complete mental breakdown. Which is how I found myself offering to come over and help her clean her house in the event I can't secure her a licensed, bonded, insured and certified House Cleaner to take care of things instead. And let me be completely honest with you for just a moment: I only have it in me to get excited about cleaning one house per month (if by "month" you mean "year") so if I have to go over to Mama Jo's house to clean so that she can survive another holiday with (some of) her faculties intact, well....sacrifices must be made, and won't McMama be glad she and McPapa will have a hotel room if that happens?

3) Quite simply, sitting on my ass, surfing the internet and letting my kid's mind rot as he watches Playhouse Disney for hours on end is more personally satisfying than scrubbing calcium deposits off my fixtures. (That sounded kind of dirty, didn't it? I'll have to remember that one the next time I need a euphemism for some sort of kinky sex act.) I mean, sure, I could make all sorts of noise about the sense of pride I would feel when I looked around at my clean house and realized that all of that elbow grease was good for something, but you'd just call "bullshit" on me, and rightfully so. Because I'd feel just as pleased if I looked around after letting someone else clean my house and realized that the only finger I had to lift to get my house looking so nice was the one that dialed the number of the local maid service.

And last but not least, 4) I'm a realist. My kid may be potty trained, but that doesn't mean that when he sits his little butt on the toilet seat, Mr. Happy gets pointed down at all times. It's more like watching the skinniest fire fighter on the squad try to manage the water hose single-handed. Sometimes it gets away from him and the spray, it is deadly. And that's just the bathroom. He drops food on the floor. He gets syrup all over the table. His toys are everywhere. I live with a 3 year old boy with questionable personal hygiene and no respect for the fact that I JUST VACUUMED THAT FLOOR! So I don't much see the sense of cleaning everything now, only to have to clean it again on Saturday.

So while I will attempt to muster up some enthusiasm for neatening things up around here tomorrow, I'm not placing any bets that anything will actually get done. I will instead, probably, rationalize my busy schedule of watching the Food Network and eating bon-bons and staying in my pajamas until Oscar comes home from work by convincing myself that I do my best work under pressure. And I will delude myself into thinking that I can certainly clean my entire house in the 15 minutes it takes McMama and family to drive from the airport to my house. And when she gets here and everything is still a mess? I will remember the last time I visited McMama's house and rest secure in the knowledge that we take the same approach to preparing for visits from family and that she, of all people, won't (if by "won't" you mean "can't") judge me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is This Thing On?


Is anyone still here?


Okay, so here's what happened: After the whole voting thing, which consumed any and all free time I had, because HELLO! I must be an INFORMED voter, not just some schmuck who shows up to the polls and flips a coin on each and every issue, there was this other thing that kind of consumed my time. See, Hotass turned 30 a couple of weeks ago. And Oscar is turning 30 in another week and a half. And since Hotass and Oscar very nicely threw us the mother of all parties for my 30th birthday and Snark's Mistress's 30th birthday, we kind of felt we needed to do something special to commemorate the passing of their twenties.

But a party would not suffice, because that would be copying and copying is so not cool. So instead, we decided to plan a "Hey, you're not THAT old" trip. And after some debating about location and budget and the like, Snark's Mistress and I felt there could be only one option: Disneyland. Which meant that after voting consumed my time, doing laundry and packing and preparing the house so Snark's Mistress's mom could stay over and watch Turtle consumed my time. (Because she was doing me a favor, I didn't really want to subject her to the embarrassment of looking for Turtle's toothbrush and running across our sex toys instead.)

I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off right up until we left on Thursday night. And then? Disneyland and California Adventure at last....

We got home Sunday night and I still haven't completely recovered. And it still wasn't over. Because yesterday, I had to drive Snark's Mistress back to school in Flagstaff. And this week, I'm going to be crazily cleaning my house from top to bottom with all the bleach I can find in the state of Arizona, because McMama and McPapa and Oscar's Sister the Youngest arrive on Saturday, and I really don't need another lecture about how I'm old enough to know how to scrub a bathroom.

But I'm going to try to update more often this week, because I have all sorts of things to what a horrible parent I am for leaving town while Turtle was busy turning 3 years old. (What happened to my BAY-BEEEEEEEE?????? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!) And yet, how happy I was that he wasn't with us as we were wandering around Disneyland and seeing all of these parents pushing strollers and looking like they'd rather be guillotined than go on the "It's a Small World" ride one more time. So check back here....not today....maybe tomorrow....or if I'm really busy, the next day.....or you know, possibly in another week or so....depending on how much fun I'm having with know, maybe if you just came back in a month....I should definitely be back here in a month.....but I'll have lots of stories to tell you. Pinky swear.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rock The....Eh, F*@% It

Okay, so here's the thing....I want to say something profound about how everyone of legal voting age should get out tomorrow and vote. I want to stress how important it is that you make your voice heard, even if that voice disagrees with mine (although, I would have you know that you'd be wrong first.) I want to be able to move someone to take pride in their civic duty and become an informed voter. I want to do all of these things because this is a damn fine country we live in and a damn fine system of government (even with all of its flaws...and it has many, many, MANY flaws) and we should be taking more responsibility for it. But instead, I am going to whine about how annoying all of those political ads are and how glad I am that after tomorrow, I won't have to listen to them anymore.

SERIOUSLY! As someone who shirked her civic duty for several years (I have no excuse; I was just chickenshit; Don't judge me) I can assure you that calling me three or more times a day will, rather than encourage me to vote, send me screaming for the hills because ENOUGH ALREADY! This constant barrage of propaganda is not an inducement for me to vote, much less vote your way. It actually has the opposite effect. I want to see your candidate/proposition/bond issue crushed by a landslide of epic proportions because I feel like you are stalking me and stalking me will NEVER MAKE ME LOVE YOU!!!! Unfortunately, the barrage of propaganda comes from both sides, and since I can't just vote for "Door Number 3," I am generally stuck voting for one of the stalkers.

And I KNOW that this election is important and I KNOW that they just want to make sure as many people as possible get out there and cast their ballots. But I speak from experience when I say if people can look around at the political climate right now, and they are not moved to do something about it, no amount of telephone calls or door-to-door representatives from their party of choice is going to sway them. And for those of us who are motivated to petition for stand in line for the opportunity to participate in our electoral process? We don't need the phone calls, because we do our research. We aren't influenced by your mud-slinging or issue-evasion. We read your candidate statements and we watch the debates and we make decisions based on our own moral compasses and we don't need you calling us every five minutes in an attempt to muddy the waters.

So please, for the love of all things holy, stop calling me. Stop with the ads on my favorite tv shows. Just stop. I will be casting my ballot tomorrow, I swear. But if you interrupt my life just one more time, I won't be casting it for you. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Against My Better Judgment

When I started this blog, I wasn't really sure what direction it would take. I didn't want a blog in the first place. So it's not like anything about it was premeditated. Consider it the one thing in my life I never planned. Crazy, I know. It worked for me, though. After a couple of posts, the blog seemed to develop a theme, anyway, whether I liked it or not. That theme is one I lovingly call "A Freakshow's Guide To Finding The Absurd In Life." This has several advantages. First, I seem to make people laugh with my odd take on life, and if I can make people laugh, I figured that's a rare and special gift that's worth using. Second, I can pretty much talk about anything. That's helpful, because I tend to be pretty random, and the fact that nobody has any particular expectations that I will talk about one subject or another makes it easier for me to riff about anything that captures my attention. Third, I don't have to delve too deeply into the areas of my life that I prefer to keep private. I have my soft spots, and I prefer not to expose those to the world, thanks.

Of course, there are other people who are considerably more open about their lives than I am. This is something that I both admire and find terrifying. I think it's incredibly brave to show your vulnerabilities to the world and try to learn from the other people who see them and decide to offer advice or share their own stories. What concerns me, though, are the people out there whose motivations are less than altruistic. Some people, as we've discussed before, appear not to have learned any manners growing up, or at the very least, think they don't apply to a medium such as the internet.

These people - the ones we call "trolls" - seem to relish preying on the vulnerabilities of others. I hate that they are out there. They fill me with blinding rage. It's one thing to disagree with someone, but when you are targeting someone for the specific purpose of eviscerating them in a public forum? I just....I start sputtering. I don't understand if it's just a lack of morals, or a lack of intelligence, or a lack of common courtesy, or a lack of respect, or a lack of self-awareness, or a lack of compassion, or a lack of humanity, or just a lack in someone, in general, that makes him believe that hijacking someone else's blog or creating one's own blog for the sole purpose of spewing hate all over the place is appropriate behavior. But whatever it is, all I want to do is find that person and crush him, physically, mentally and emotionally, because there is no room in this world for the kind of vile bitterness he is peddling.

Of course, the best course of action in this case is to ignore the trolls, because you only feed their need to be "right" and lord it over you if you engage them. They are petty and small that way. Most of the time, I find that really easy to do, too. I have a preschooler. I am quite familiar with how they operate and have learned the fine art of ignoring bad behavior until it goes away. Unfortunately, the occasional troll will manage to time his attack to a moment when I am primed for getting riled up, and in those circumstances, I find the troll difficult to ignore. I know I should stick my fingers in my ears and say "la la la la la" until he goes away, but instead, I fortify my defenses and prepare for battle.

Sadly, it always ends the same way. I mean, let's be realistic: you can't grow someone else's brain, so if he starts out small-minded, nothing I say is going to change that fact. And while it's incredibly validating to have all the sane people around you send e-mails to say "way to go" and "thanks for the support," it's not like anything I've said is going to change the troll's modus operandi, which is what I would ideally like to accomplish. It's against my better judgment that I engage them and it's with regret that I finally give up the fight and reconcile myself with the knowledge that not all people are worth my instinctive faith in their inherent goodness.

So while I took up the sword today (or keyboard, as the case may be) in defense of a friend who shared his soft spots with the world and suffered for it, I will be putting it down tonight. The fight is not worth it. I'm sure his troll will continue to make comments, full of righteous indignation and self-important bluster, but I am immune now. As I've learned with Turtle, sometimes the best response to bad behavior is no response at all.