Sunday, March 13, 2011

Since I am up...

Well since I am up, and writing (or not writing the things I should be, as the case may have it), I thought I would do a wee blog and update my two readers (being generous, as I think there are no actual readers of this blog, rather I am just blathering into the ether).

As some who follow me on Facebook are likely aware, I have been having these obscene sleep needs the last couple of weekends. Last weekend, I slept well over 20 hours in the course of Saturday and Sunday. This weekend, I managed between Friday and Saturday to sleep 20 plus hours. And Tuesday of last week I realized there might be a problem. A real problem, considering I was watching the Michigan Senate take action on a controversial Emergency Financial Manager package. Surely, this was as riveting as the Michigan Senate has been in years, and yet I passed out. I awoke four hours later with a fever of 106.

So I called my general practice doctor, who directed me to go get an x-ray. I was not five minutes out of the x-ray office when she called me to inform me I had double pneumonia (meaning the fluid from such an infection was present in both lungs). I was directed to the local pharmacy where I picked up a script for Cipro.

For anyone who knows me, they know that I am not one who does well with slowing down -- even when I am sick. In fact, such limits serve to frustrate me. At the end of 2009 I was hospitalized for what turned out to be shingles on the optic nerve, but manifested as a severe headache which lasted nearly 6 weeks. While in the hospital, I actually did work on the computer, to the frustration of the doctors, nurses and my editorial staff. But, such is life for the Heywood. I hate slowing down. There is far too much to be done in this world, and I only have a finite time on the planet to accomplish it.

So, true to form I tried to work through the week on my usual schedule of 10 plus hours a day. I failed. On Thursday I actually slept to 1 pm, much to my frustration. I called my editor and apologized, and he chastised me, reminding me I had nothing to apologize for, afterall I was sick.

So anyway, that is why I have been unable/unwilling to update the blog. I used what energy I had to work. Damn paycheck and stuff. hahahaa.

So now I am gearing up for a week of protests at the capitol. Folks here are furious with Gov. Rick Snyder -- the self proclaimed "tough nerd" -- and his budget plan. Under the proposal, Snyder and his GOP allies in the legislature have to eliminate an estimated $1.4 billion from the budget. Not a pretty thing, when we have had consistent cuts to the budget for a decade. There is not much left but bone. That has not stopped Gov. Nerd from hacking the bone anyway, while giving business a nice big kiss.

With tongue.

He has proposed eliminating the state's Michigan Business Tax and associated surcharge of 22 percent. Yes that law is onerous at best, but eliminating the tax actually takes another $1.8 billion in revenue from the budget, shoving the state budget some $3.2 billion into deficit. Instead of continuing the tax as it stands now, the Gov has proposed a 6 percent flat tax on businesses, taxing retirement pensions (which currently are not taxed) extending the current higher income tax, eliminating the state's Earned Income Tax Credit and cutting all business related credits -- you know things like Brownfield credits which result in the redevelopment and repurposing of obsolete properties in the state.

The Tough Nerd has also proposed cutting K-12 funding, higher education funding, local revenue sharing and more. In short, the Nerd's budget really makes only one Michigan entity happy -- business. Everyone else, from schools to local government to the poor, well they are pretty much getting the pooch screwing.

Add on top of that the move by Republicans who control both chambers of the legislature to push a massive Emergency Financial Manager bill which will give pretty much unrestrained powers to one person, appointed by the governor, in managing the operations of local governments deemed to be in a financial crisis. The EFM can dissolve the elected body, dismiss collectively bargained contracts, eliminate any local law the EFM wants to, and if the EFM decides to, can dissolve the political entity altogether, forcing it to be absorbed by neighboring governments. Exciting, right?

All this adds up to a pissed of electorate, which in turn means protests. Now the question is, will the state actually deal with this in a way that voters can be heard (think Wisconsin protests times 4 or 5 to make that even be a consideration), or will the GOP continue as they see fit, the voters be damned? I guess we will see over the coming days and weeks...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Because damn it Gobbo is adorable!

Wouldn't you know it? As soon as I had posted the blog about Gobbo, he went and did something totally adorable.

It's true. He is sleeping. Legs in the air. He is more and more like Daddy every day. :)

I've been missing in action

Apologies for anyone who has been following this blog. It has been an extremely busy month! Work has been very busy and on top of that my back has been quite out of control with pain. Additionally, I came down with the flu about three weeks ago and I still have not been able to kick it.

On a positive note, a couple of cool things have happened as well. I was given a promotion at the American Independent News Network (AINN). I am now Senior Reporter for Michigan Messenger. It's a rocking cool deal.

In addition, a week ago I had an addition to my beloved family. As anyone who knows me is aware I have two amazing rat terriers, Gypsianna Rose (Gypsy) and Virgil Joshua (Virgil). A week ago, they got a new brother.

Meet Lancelot Gobbo (Gobbo). He is an American Hairless Terrier, and is now 10 weeks of age. He is incredibly intelligent, curious and super playful. While Gypsy was ostensibly OK with a puppy (I asked her if we could get a baby puppy and she was very excited about such an idea), she was not particularly keen to young Gobbo when he arrived home Sunday night.

In fact, Gypsy took three days to deign to acknowledge Gobbo's existence in the house. And she was so upset with me that for those three days, she refused to get on the sofa with me to cuddle. Generally, Virgil sleeps under the covers at my feet while she sleeps cuddled beside me under the covers. But not so with the introduction of young Gobbo. She was not happy.

However, on the third day she decided to check him out, and in doing so attempted to suckle him. Gobbo was not keen to that idea, but took it as an invitation to play. The two are now regular wrestling buddies.

On the other handle, Virgil was quick to accept Gobbo, but he is regularly irritated by the little boy's desire to play. When Gobbo is ready to sleep, and Virgil is under the covers, Gobbo will climb on his back and curl up to sleep. Virgil tolerates this. And while Virgil will wrestle with Gobbo on occasion, he prefers to watch Gypsy and Gobbo wrestle. He even goes so far is to get upset, thus unleashing a torrent of high pitched barking -- as if he is demanding the two cease and desist. This, of course, leads to Gypsy and Gobbo playing more.

So right after I picked Young Gobbo up in Battle Creek (thanks to Emily Dievendorf for accompanying me as my navigator), we took him to Preuss Pets. There we looked at various dog clothing. I have to admit I was a bit weirded out by the idea of having a dog that needed doggy clothing. However, with the help of Debbie and Kirbay Preuss, we found Gobbo the perfect jacket, a faux sheep skin jacket. I call this his "Brokeback Terrier" look after the Academy Award Winning "Brokeback Mountain." And I admit, I just can't quit him!

So where did his name come from? Lancelot Gobbo is the young clown in William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." He is a character with a fantastic monologue about the internal monologue we all have running in our heads between good and bad ideas. I used this monologue to audition for both Central Michigan University and BoarsHead Theater. Both locations accepted me -- with CMU providing me with a scholarship and BoarsHead hiring me in their intern program. I accepted the internship over more schooling. Regardless, I have alway enjoyed the character immensely as there is a common sense wisdom to his words that Shakespeare is fantastic at harnessing in many of his "fool" characters.