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  • Interrogation Room

    My friend, The Beav, offered up himself for information slaughter. In honor of his sacrifice, I have done the same. These are the questions he asked, and my responses:

    1. When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?


    I wasn't, but I wanted to be so very desperately. My parents hated each other and fought constantly, vicious battles that always ended in a visit from the police or my father storming away, leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere with no help from neighbors who kept themselves to themselves, even when my mother lay helpless and damaged.

    I wanted what was advertised on television: parents who were in love, who adored their children and lived to sing their praises, a happy family. It never truly happened, but we got close enough when my parents split, and finally we could breathe without fear. We were cold and hungry most winter nights, sometimes we went without power or water for a few days, but it was better than the fear and disappointment.

    I know this isn't what you meant. And so, to answer that question, I wanted to be an astronaut. I was very good in science and math, with a thirst for knowledge of the universe. Enter my parents, or more specifically, my father. "College?! Are you nuts? What the hell does a girl do with a college education anyway? You're just gonna get married..." My mother never contradicted him, and I was never praised in my math and science achievements until they began to not matter anymore. In the end, I only wanted to escape and be "something, anything, but married and pregnant."

    Irony is a bitch.

    2. What person whom you have never met has influenced your life the most?

    My father's father. He died in a car crash of his own making after having had a few beers at the bar with his workmates before setting off home. My grandmother always blamed one of her sons for denying her husband much-needed sleep by being an obnoxious little asshole--and he probably was; all of her sons were--but in truth he bought his death on his own. Unfortunately, he also bought the deaths of innocents.

    I will never drink and drive, and I will drive to the ends of the earth for anyone who calls me to their rescue. I also will never forget that I am part of a family, part of a team, and that there are many people who depend upon me; I am not an island, nor am I more important than anyone else.

    3. What is your biggest life-goal/dream?

    To never go hungry again, or to be cold and miserable, or dirty. And to also find myself at the natural end of my life without an arrest record. That would be spiffy, I think.

    4. Choose a moment in your life that you feel set you on your current course, and describe the moment and what it meant to you.

    The quiet afternoon hours of a Spring day in 1991, I saw my dreams of college wash away with the dawn and the receipt of a denial of financial assistance. A few days later, I lied to a police officer to protect a person dear to my heart from getting arrested for drunk driving. Hypocrisy, thou art an unkind mistress! I knew then I needed to escape my life, or I would never be more than my upbringing--a kept woman, dependent on the generosity of my partner, and forever pregnant.

    In a very low, morose state of mind, I scruffed on the sofa for the entire day. At one point during my wallowing, a commercial for the United States Air Force Reserves came on the television, slowly filtering into my foggy brain until it fully registered that here was my out: employment and a college education, in a land far, far away.

    The very next day, I went to the recruiting station, and before the week was out, I was delayed-enlisted into the Active Duty Air Force, awaiting that call to get me the hell out of Dodge. I told no one, afraid someone would guilt me out of my plans, as was the usual routine. Even the day I left, I still kept my secret. No one knew the truth until I was safely tucked away in Texas, a thousand miles (literally) from everything I knew and everyone who could influence me.

    I was free!

    5. If you could choose your name, what would you choose? Why?

    When I was in elementary school, I spelled my name every which way I could think of, because I hated it. I wanted to be called "Tracy." It just seemed so pretty and girly, and I was anything but. My name was old-sounding, old-fashioned, and it made everyone want to start singing one of several insipid songs. Plus I was chubby, and many people would point out the similarities between me and a certain snack cake that (sort-of) shared my name.

    However, as an adult, I prefer my name as it is, because it's old-fashioned and very rare among my generation. I am relatively unique, and old enough now that most people don't bother busting out in song because it would just make them look pretty stupid.

    I've come to terms with me, even Fat Me. I'm good, you know?


    And now, here's the deal: If you, Dearest Reader, would like me to interview you, just leave me a comment and I'll send you your very own five (5) questions. But you have to follow Da Rules (see below).

    Thank you for reading my blog.

    Da Rules:

    You have to link back to the original post (http://immoralmatriarch.com/questionsagain) and include the following in your post:

    Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
    1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
    2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
    3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
    4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
    5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

    Found a Peanut

    In the these great United States of America, we are in the midst of a conundrum. Most people agree that we have "too much government." Unfortunately, American businesses have shown that they will not check themselves against greed and stupidity. If certain businesses were not greedy and stupid, they would not have asked the American taxpayer to bail them out of the messes they created.

    Another example of stupidity is the Peanut Corporation of America, a factory in Georgia that makes peanut paste among other peanut butter products and which is in the midst of yet another massive salmonella outbreak which is linked to eight deaths and hundreds of poisonings across the US.

    Obviously, it's causing no end of hysteria among peanut butter consumers. However, PCA does not produce all the peanut butter used in our nation's peanut butter-based products. This fact has done little to allay the concerns of our nation's peanut farmers, who feel that this latest outbreak is going to cripple their industry.

    A father-and-son farming team in Burke County, Georgia, was interviewed by our local news channel, and expressed their concern about the overall price of their harvest. The rumor mill has reached them that the nationwide price of peanuts is going to drop nearly 30% per ton, all because of this one factory. The astute father had this to say about it: "Truth has nothing to do with perception."

    I thought that that one statement was probably the most profound thing I'd ever heard. Granted, that was at about 5:30 am this morning, after a rough night's sleep dreaming of geriatric vampires trying to gum me to death. Again. Still, I think that statement is accurate for nearly every situation.

    If it's all right with you, Mr Farmer, I'd like to borrow that phrase. It's one that needs repeating regularly.

    newslink credit the the Los Angeles Times

    ...or a flying pteradactyl

    There is a store at the mall called, "Hot Topic," which caters to the emo and goth crowds.



    It's just so... I dunno... Ironic.

    I'm "IT"

    I'm a self-taught computer fixer-builder who has, unfortunately, lost touch with her programmer roots thanks to a rather unhealthy reliance on Windows. It's like smoking--once you start, it's hard to quit. It can be done, but the withdrawals are a bitch.

    Mister's old laptop was taken over by the children, since I've been a lazy cow and not replaced the power supply to one of our desktops. The Boy is a dabbler who's afraid of nothing thanks to the fact that his mom is the household's I-T Guy. He's also known as Mister Impatient around here, because of his massively annoying super-clicks when our systems slow down.

    Not too long ago, he decided that Ye Olde Laptop was running very slowly because of all the games installed and the "extra files" Mister left on it. Obviously, he should start deleting stuff because he's so smart with computers for a 13-year-old, and then it would just go-go-go. The end result was no-no-no.

    In fact, the problem wasn't with the stuff his parents had installed, it was with the stuff he was installing without our permission. Even with pop-up blockers and anti-virus software, he managed to download a trojan which infected the system--thankfully it didn't escape across our network--and annoy the hell out of anyone who used that laptop.

    And so I spent a lovely Saturday saving individual files to CDRs (no, it's old enough it's not a dvd writer) so that I could wipe the hard drive and start fresh. My adventures began just after breakfast and carried me well into the night before I paused the operation in favor of a little sleep.

    Morning found me installing the second recovery disc, the one full of drivers and additional software. The rest of Sunday was devoted to installing security patches, technical updates and a new anti-virus program.

    Unfortunately, this is only System One of the Great I-T Confabulation of 2009. I have two other systems to repair before our network is running tip-top.

    And people wonder why I don't do this for a living.

    imagine all the people

    I was sitting at my little counter today just staring off into space and time, thinking about nothing in particular and feeling nothing in particular, when something caught my attention.

    A short distance from my office is an overpass, and I noticed a police car moving slowly with its lights on. There was a hearse following behind, and, for some reason only known to my subconscious, I started counting the cars between the hearse and the tailing police escort.

    It was a short count.

    There were five cars in the procession. There was no limousine, no fancy funeral home car, just the hearse and five vehicles belonging to friends and family.

    After fielding calls from people "absolutely desperate" to get their refund back, people willing to risk hefty fines and possible jail time because they insist on "borrowing" someone else's kids so they can get certain tax credits, that sad little procession reminded me that life is too short, too precious, too full of other pains for me to worry about "small stuff."

    So the Mom-mobile needs new tires up front? It'll be all right. The engine light keeps popping up on Mister's car. It's not overheating and the oil light is not on, so just keep smiling.

    It's a cruel thing, is life. One day at a time, that's all we should ever need. Nobody is more important than anyone else, but neither is anyone less important. If you have nothing else, then just smile and wave, because no one can take that away.

    In the can? Yeah, probably.

    And so I began my temporary employment. The actual location is not the most secure in town, and its clients are not the most upstanding. In fact, this is an area of town in which certain of its residents are not so modest they use euphemisms for having been sent to prison, and most lack the modesty to keep the reason to themselves.

    I am keenly observing The Great Human Experiment and my part in the grand scheme. My fear is that, by the end of my contract, I will have become jaded toward the indigent and cease to care for their plight. I have seen a cynicism that was, at first, rather shocking to me. Unfortunately, after just a few days, that cynicism is slowly beginning to make sense.

    How does one break one's heart day in and day out when one is a constant witness to willing failure yet remain whole?

    I am not religious; you all know that. I do not believe that one must trust to some higher power in order to find meaning or truth. We are our strength as well as our weakness. When we lose our ability to empathize, when we cease to be affected by the obscene misuse of public trust and funds at the expense of those who are easily and quickly pushed aside by those who misuse our trust, then we cease to be. To lose our connection with those who are left behind by society is to lose our connection with our inner goodness.

    And it's clear to me that humanity could use more goodness.

    At least she has a pretty face

    I've been enticed into joining the big, bad world of Facebook. Thanks a lot, friends.

    I've reconnected with one lost friend as well as with my nestlings. The love I feel is tremendous and reassuring. I miss my nest. I rarely let people in, and when I do, it's forever. Some nestlings will be lost to me forever; although it hurts, it's for the best. Sometimes you just can't go home again.

    I noticed that some of my nestlings are "fans" of other people. I quickly discovered how to become fans of my own favorite celebs. Here are some quick stats so that you may judge me at your will:

    First fansite joined: Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail
    First American fansite joined: Wil Wheaton (fan #444)
    Total Brits and Scots on my list: 14
    Most unusual search: "Weasley Twins," resulting in my becoming Fan #69 of James & Oliver Phelps' fansite

    Why was my search of "Weasley Twins" unusual? Well, go to facebook and use those two words in the upper right search box to see what you get. If your first option was the same as mine, I'm sure you'll wonder along with me why anyone would create a group called "I wouldn't mind if I was double-teamed by the Weasley twins," as well as wonder twice as hard over whether you've got the balls to find out what is on that site that might make someone want to unjoin the group.

    For the record, I don't, so I didn't.

    I'll be searching my photo files to upload a history of me, although anyone hoping for a fast response time will be sorely disappointed. I'm a bit lazy like that.