Keep it real

6 09 2011

A relationship is rather mysterious and amazing entity in itself, and perhaps a deeper paradox than understanding an individual.  A person is real and can be affirmed at any moment, but a relationship is more difficult to apprehend or define.  In some cases, a relationship can prove far stronger than either individual involved.  Formed by the co-mingling of it’s partners energies (weaknesses, strengths, ideals…etc…) the relationship has it’s own personality.  Therefore, is it possible that what attracts us to someone is less who the other is and more what the relationship is? What we may be able to create together? Personally, as I grow … wiser … I feel that I have learned to focus more on this aspect.  Outside of the here and now, what can we become? I feel it is important to have a solid answer to this question or you could be doomed from the start.  Of course, no one can deny the sometimes dangerous chemistry we encounter when you ask yourself such questions that deserve solid answers, yet you can not justify your actions.

As everyone knows, not all relationships are easy.  There are many types of relationships you have throughout your life with people if only known briefly.  Your co-workers, fellow students, your boss, your clients, your hair dresser, and of course the people you love.  Relationships of any form are work.  Your relationship with your best friend is work, even if he/she is your best friend.  Maybe they make bad decisions you don’t agree with and it’s work sometimes to remain their friend when they make such decisions … but “keep it real”.  Tell them! “I don’t like your decision to sleep with your boss, but I still like you.  I’m not going to bombard you with advice because I know the real you so I will leave you to decide what is best.”  This is just one example and I made it up … so don’t go thinking I have a friend who’s doing their boss, okay!?!? Your relationship with your mother is work … well at least mine is.  It’s exhausting.  The most exhausting part of mine is “Keeping it real” because sometimes she doesn’t like the truth. But, I have learned not to lie to her because then I only get caught up in a web of lies and can’t keep up … and, well frankly she always knows the truth anyway and then I end up looking like a fool for not keeping it real.  But in romance, ahhh sweet romance, perhaps that is the hardest time to keep it real when it should be the easiest.

Naturally, the relationship that engages most interest is the much sought after romantic relationship.  Unfortunately, not all couples are suited to be in romantic relationships together.  Common love is based on illusion which is initially pleasurable but can ultimately end destructively.

I believe that love means different things to different people.  Just as different people have different tastes, styles, beliefs …etc…  Just as the way two different people may view a piece of art … seeing two different things perhaps even still different from what the artist intended.  Regardless of how one interperts love, all people are driven by the promise of love.

Most relationships are due to chance.  Whether you are related or working together or lovers, it was a twist of fate somewhere along the way that created your relationship.  To build a good relationship I believe you have to view it as if you are building and not working.  What you have to work with is what already exists, but building is a higher level of understanding.  What can we become? Can we build anything together? What is the value of what we can build? What steps will it take to build it? Ultimately, we all want to know if it will be worth the effort in the first place, but alas there are no guarantees.

Some things I have learned that are important blocks in the building process are: trust, respect, sharing, listening, understanding, and communication.  It is important to recognize when your partner is not helping you build, or when your partner is damaging what you have built.  Be aware of possessive behavior because it can be a negative foreshadowing or a disguise for guilt.  Not only do you want to give respect, but you should demand it for yourself as well … and know to act immediately when you are not receiving it.  Much can be learned from self observation.  If you find yourself in an argument, try to back down and observe your behavior.  Also, choose your fights carefully … Is this really necessary? What will we gain from this argument? Is this the right moment to argue this topic? Will we both feel differently tomorrow? And the ever important and often ignored need for space. People need space no matter how in love they are.  People need the freedom to do their own thing without being questioned.  Without this freedom, your construction will never be complete.

The truth will set you free even when you don’t like the truth.  I’m a firm advocate of “keeping it real” and I mean that in the best possible and most logical way.  I realize the term is slang, but the meaning behind it is still pure.  As a goodbye to a friend, “Keep it real”… it means don’t change.  Seriously, don’t change … don’t become someone you’re not.

More often than not, the precursor to a romantic relationship is based on a few falsities.  First of all, regardless of what you try to tell yourself (unless you are blind), you take interest in someone because of their appearance.  That is not a solid foundation, but it definitely is a necessity because if you are not attracted to someone than there is no long term hope.  Don’t get me wrong, though, there are those special few that attract you because of who they are in other ways and, while that is a better foundation, if you don’t eventually grow a physical attraction the relationship will be doomed in the long run.  However, there is always hope that you can grow a physical attraction to someone because of who they are rather than their looks.  I’ve been there, done that and it does work IF you are keeping it real!!! In fact, I have learned this type of physical attraction is far better than the norm.  You’ve heard that old joke where you look at someone hot and say “Somebody, somewhere is tired of putting up with his/her shit.”  Trust me, it’s true.  For the most part, the hotter they are – the more shit you have to put up with because, well … let’s face it … Hotties are high maintenance because they know someone else is just around the corner waiting to take your place in line for their attention.  Don’t blame me, I’m just keeping it real.

But the reason I’m writing this is to maybe help someone who is having a hard time in their relationship.  Bottom line is: you or your partner or both of you aren’t keeping it real.  As you grow older,  you will learn that is the main key.  But it’s not as easy as it sounds.  There’s a lot to keeping it real.

Say you’ve been together for 3 years or so, you know each other … you know the smell of his farts know each other … So when he takes a double glance at some young hottie in a tight dress across the room, you’re offended.  Don’t be! It’s human nature!!!! It’s that spark inside of him that keeps the fires burning and if you try to smother it you’re sure to lose him.  Let him look, and have a look yourself.  This WILL keep the passion burning in your personal relationship with him.  When I’m in this situation, I don’t get my feathers ruffled.  I watch him take his glance, then when he turns back to me I giggle about it.  This lets him know that I’m well aware of his wandering eye and I’m amused by it, not threatened.  Seriously, she may not want to get to know the smell of his farts the way that I have and if he’s willing to take that chance, well then we were not meant to be anyway … and probably he will end up smelling his farts alone.  Jealousy is deadly.  Don’t let it consume you.   If your partner is jealous, you should just get out now.  Why? Two reasons: First and foremost, it has been my experience that when someone is overly jealous it is usually spawned by the fact that they are actually doing something wrong and are paranoid and projecting their crime on you.  Oh how many times have I been accused of cheating by a cheater? I can’t even count.  But, after several accusations, I usually start studying harder to learn that Mr. Paranoid himself is cheating! Secondly, if your paranoid partner is not cheating then you’re just dealing with someone who is overly insecure which can lead to a whole bunch of baggage that you’ll be carrying around … for what? For nothing! Either way, get out of that shit because jealousy and paranoia lead to much bigger issues and I’m hoping you would rather just keep it real, right??

Now, let’s say your partner wants to know how many people you’ve slept with? Ouch! Don’t you hate that? But it always seems to pop up eventually and without any good reason.  Listen, I’m not telling you this … I’m not going to give you a false number or a real one because if we’re keeping it real, it really doesn’t matter.  The last thing I want to know about is my partner’s past.  It just opens up the door to too many insecurities that I don’t want to deal with.  He could very well be the one, but if I know too much about his past relationships I will always measure myself against them and never feel adequate and eventually I will personally destroy what could’ve been a good thing, so why bother?  Don’t ask questions that you wouldn’t want to answer honestly or that you wouldn’t want the honest answer to.  Seriously,  NO ONE answers this question honestly anyway … and NO ONE is ever happy with the answer anyway.  In this day and age most people start having sex in their teens, do you really want to know the truth? If you’re worried about disease, use protection instead of seeking out lies to make you feel safe.  If you’re worried about your worth, your question should be “How many times have you been in love?” Not all sex is love.  If it’s getting serious and you want to stop using protection, get tests instead of asking stupid questions and looking for your security in false answers.  KEEP IT REAL!!!

Don’t try to control everything.  If you’re in a relationship with a guy who loves sports and you hate it, don’t go with him to the sports bar to watch the big game only to find yourself miserable the whole time.  Let him go with his buddies while you do something you enjoy.  If you don’t trust him enough to go out without you, he’s not the one!!! If he’s trustworthy, he’s just watching the game, drinking some brew and will be eager to slip between the sheets with you after the party is over.  He’ll be even more eager than usual because you gave him space and trust.  Now, it IS a chance you have to take because there is always the possibility of cheating but if he does, then he wasn’t the one anyway and it’s best that you invested so little time rather than continued to invest time to learn this later.  By keeping it real, you find out the truth much earlier.  And, remember, the truth WILL set you free.  Chances are, f you are both mature adults, he will appreciate and desire you more if you give him the freedom to make his own decisions.  Now, if he starts deciding to be out more without you than with you  face it he’s just not that into you and you need to move on.  I’m using “him” as an example, but the same goes for the ladies.  A girl’s night out is just as important.  No one likes to have a ball and chain.  Most people who have a ball and chain are more apt to cheat because they just feel that urge to revolt even if they do love you.  Just like rebelling against controlling parents, something about the rebellion makes it all worthwhile even if it cost you something more valuable, like a relationship.  Being overbearing forces the rebellion, trust me!

And please, for the love of keeping it real, don’t talk in circles! You want something? Come out & say it! Don’t beat around the bush, candy coat it, hint around it or just assume your partner SHOULD know it and if he/she doesn’t than he/she doesn’t really love you.  Bullshit! If you want something, need something, have a problem with something, whatever the case may be … COME OUT AND SAY IT POINT BLANK.  Don’t give too much credit to the human race, we are not as smart as you’d like to think.  We need the full facts to handle the situation properly.  If you’re not getting what you want out of your relationship, you have no one to blame but yourself. Be straightforward and discuss openly what is on your mind.  You know what they say “Assume is spelled ASS U ME.  Assuming makes and ass out of you and me”.  So very true.  Keep it real.  Don’t assume.  If your partner doesn’t like what you have said, hear him/her out.  He/she may have a good reason, and you might just learn something.  If you don’t agree, like it or not, this relationship may not be the one for you.

Life is short, don’t waste time on being co-dependent or living a lie. The right person is out there for you as long as you keep it real!


“People misinterpret my passion for anger”

6 03 2011

Charlie Sheen was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He never had to worry about anything or want for anything.  He was given free reign at birth to do whatever he pleased.  Today, he blames his father (who basically gave him that silver spoon and freedom) for his wreck of a life.  Is that wrong? In some ways, not so much.  If you have lived your entire life doing as you please, no matter how bad it may be, and not suffered any real consequences then why not? Sure, this path of destruction began with the freedom of being a rich, spoiled, Hollywood son but in his adult life is his father really still to blame? Well, being so spoiled in his youth was the groundwork for not having to mature and deal with reality but how has he evaded reality in his adult life? He has done things many common men would still be sitting in a jail cell over, yet Charlie Sheen has never had to do so.  Our legal system has continued to polish the silver spoon forever planted in his mouth by continuing to allow him to avoid the consequences of his actions simply because he’s a rich celebrity who can afford to buy his way out of any situation he may find himself in.  His only real consequences have been that he is under the media microscope.  Is he crazy? Maybe not.  If I had such a silver spoon in my mouth and a microscope over my actions, perhaps I too would be beyond obnoxious.  It only seems logical.  Why are we so shocked? I’m not.  I love it.  I think he’s spitting in the faces of all the fools who enabled him.  He really is winning… at least for now.  Even though there are no legal consequences for his actions that we’ve really seen, I do believe there will be some health issues in his future.  There probably already are and we just don’t know it yet.  But, while we all sit back and enjoy the showing of Charlie’s melt down  there are bigger questions left unanswered.

For instance, why is this man’s moronic behavior headline news when so many other things are going on in this world that are far more worthy of our attention? Is this part of the media’s game as they work closely with our favorite Uncle Sam to distract us from real news?  Is Charlie Sheen’s decline really more important to our daily lives than the unraveling of the middle east, the raping of the middle class American or the push to continually feed racism? Is Charlie Sheen an optimal candidate for the destruction of his name because he was once on the front lines fighting against our government with his support of the 911 conspiracy?

Granted, the government didn’t drive him to the ultimate insanity that we are eating up daily but in all seriousness, he’s 1 in a million… a million egotistical addicts who think they are winning.  He’s really not that different than anyone else.  He got paid over a million per episode of “Two & ½ Men”.  Nearly 200 episodes have aired in 7 years.  That’s a butt load of cash.  Do you really think you’d be the same person you are today if you had that kind of cash? Seriously? Ok, well you can lie to me if you want but don’t lie to yourself.  Personally, I have a bit of a demanding nature and if I was worth over 200 million I think I’d be a raging bitch.  I probably wouldn’t do any of the hard drugs but I’d try like hell to keep up with my new friends in the Hollywood scene.  I guess I’d be drinking a lot of Starbucks Double Shots to stay up, maybe shooting up some B12 and such.  I’d be the healthy freak.  I can’t deny that if I got interviewed I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say some crazy shit like “I’m high on Susan Monti” because…well, frankly I would be.  I always like to joke and be sarcastic though, and having the world as my audience would probably fuel my fire beyond description.  Being obnoxious is fun, but us regular folks can’t get away with it the way a celebrity can.  Money really is a God.  With money comes freedom, power, immediate gratification, and so many things us regular folks can’t acquire.  I’m sure having millions upon millions of dollars is quite the high in itself and spending it any way you like is probably pretty addictive.

I’m only human.  I’m enjoying the Charlie Sheen show just as much as everyone else.  I’m in no position to judge anyone, especially if I’ve never been ‘in their shoes’.  I can say, in my current pair of shoes, what I’d do if I were worth millions and it would be sharing with everyone I love, traveling, raising awareness on the causes that matter most to me and donating to them, and more of that kind of stuff.  And, of course, having a good time all the time.  I can also honestly say, I’ve never wanted to be a celebrity.  Truly.  Now, of course I’d like to be rich but there’s only so much money you can spend in a lifetime and even though it can buy a lot of fabulous stuff, it can never buy true love.  I would be happy if I was in a financial position where I and those I love would never have to do without anything we needed.  My dream has always been to write a best seller and be known for that.  When that happens, then I will be winning.

Anyway, in all of my recent viewings of Charlie’s chattering I have to say my favorite quote is “People misinterpret my passion for anger”. Oh come on, who hasn’t felt that way?

Have a great Saturday night everyone & be as obnoxious as you can afford to be

Thinking outside the bun

11 10 2010

Tom cooked a feast of beef ribs, sautéed with veggies in a golden sauce over rice… with a side of southern style corn and asparagus salad.  Served with a refreshing coca-cola.  It was nice.  We don’t eat many dinners together because of our conflicting schedules.  Now, I can’t quite remember how it came about but I think I was referring to the dogs when I said “Flash always gets the ‘shit end of the stick’ when I throw them scraps of food” (because Jackie is just much faster). Anyway, this spawned a conversation about where the saying “Shit end of the stick” comes from.  I know where I got it from (and she’ll beat me if she reads this, but … ) it was something my mom always said and it stuck with me.   So, over our fine dining we tried to derive where the phrase originated.  We both agreed that it probably stems from olden days when there wasn’t really any sewerage or flushing of toilets as we are so spoiled by today and that probably you had to dispose of shit by somehow shoving it down a hole with a stick …  therefore, occasionally you’d goof up and grab the “shit end of the stick”.  Well, needless to say we were wrong, but it made for fun conversation over fine dining, don’t you think?
Well, much to our disappointment, The proper saying is “Short end of the stick” or “Wrong end of the stick”… even though my mom’s version is much more fun … but here’s what I learned:
This expression refers to a walking stick held upside down, which does not help a walker much. It originated in the 1400s as “worse end of the staff” and changed to the current wording only in the late 1800s. Also see “Short end of the stick”.  The inferior part, the worse side of an unequal deal. For example, ‘Helen got the short end of the stick when she was assigned another week of night duty.’ The precise analogy in this term, first recorded in the 1930s, has been lost. Some believe it comes from worse end of the staff, used since the early 1500s, which in the mid-1800s  became, in some instances, short end of the stick.
-From The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms_(1997) by Christine Ammer
And, of course, all this fun talk of food and poop reminded me of yet another time these 2 very different objects were intertwined in my life…
In the early 90’s I was struggling financially, but I loved my job and all of the people I worked with. We had been in business for at least four years together and all employees were there from the grand opening and throughout. We were a tight knit family who had grown to know each other very well over the years. The business was growing and we had to make room for new employees. We hired a new guy in the sales office and a couple of guys for the operations department. I chose the guys for operations and both were very good friends of mine, so they fit right in. The new guy in sales, John, was also new to the area. Though he was a stranger, our family extended a warm welcome and strived to have him fit in as well. John was very different, however. He always seemed kind of shady and we all struggled with accepting him, even though we all gave it an honest effort. He was a heavy set man and dressed rather frumpy. His jokes were bad and he was very weak with customer service. Anyway, as I said, this was a time of financial struggle in my life. One of my biggest struggles was the fact that I absolutely loved to fine dine and couldn’t afford to. I loved to feast for breakfast, lunch and dinner … but unfortunately, I couldn’t afford most of my expensive feasts. So, I trained myself to eat a small breakfast, but have a large lunch. Lunch meant more to me than any other meal. I always went all out for lunch. I would have steak lunches with baked potatoes, steamed veggies, bread and salad or something equally as extravagant daily. I decided I would force myself to eat half of my meal at lunch and then take the other half home for dinner. It was working out well, and I was saving money. I had been practicing this concept for a few months before our new associates had joined the team. I would simply place the other half of my meal, stored in to-go boxes, in the break room fridge to retrieve later before going home from a hard day’s work. Not long after we had the new associates join our staff, I started noticing that my to-go boxes were being ravished. It wasn’t a small ravishing either. I would open a box when I got home to find only the fat from the steak trimmed off and left behind with maybe one sprig of broccoli, 1 salad cruton and teeth marks left on my piece of bread and such. This was happening almost daily. I was infuriated by this. I complained several times around the office, making very clear that I did not appreciate someone consistently stealing my food and that I could not afford it as well as it was a very rude thing to do. I went to my boss about it several times and he said I was overreacting, maybe the thief needed the food more than me. I began leaving notes with my lunches that said things like “Please don’t eat this, I can’t afford to feed you and me”, but the culprit would simply move my note aside and eat my food. I suppose the straw that broke the camel’s back (another great saying) was the day I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and ordered quesadillas. This was one of my favorite things to eat. They come in the shape of a half circle and are stuffed with chicken, cheese, sour cream and all sorts of goodness. I remember my joy of having a full, beautiful and delicious quesadilla saved for my dinner. I thought about it all day long. I really struggled during lunch not to eat the 2nd quesadilla. It weighed heavy on my mind … oh, the melted cheese swirling in rich sour cream, with savory shreds of perfectly seasoned chicken breast … it called my name all afternoon, but I refrained. When 5 o’clock struck, I rushed to the kitchen to snatch up my to-go box. Then I froze, what if someone had eaten it again? What if I was about to get screwed out of my dream dinner? Slowly I opened the box … and there I found … the quesadilla, almost completely eaten. The bastard had eaten it from the straight edge all the way to the round outer edge, leaving me just about a half inch frame work of nothing but fajita dough with disgusting teeth marks all around it. All the cheesy, creamy and chickeny goodness was gone. After blasting a slew of obscenities and storming out of the kitchen with my useless to go box, I threw it on the passenger seat of my car and drove home on fire with a rage and desire for revenge.
I stewed for about one week. I continued to eat lunches for several days and have the remains stolen from me. But, I quit reacting and just took the pitiful boxes of raped left-overs home with me. The fact that I had quit reacting should’ve been a sure sign to take cover, but that gluttonous bastard didn’t catch a clue from it. The following Friday, instead of feasting on a delicious meal, I went to the drive-thru at Taco bell.  I ordered 2 burritos and 2 sides of pinto beans with cheese and sour cream.  I went home and ate one of each, then I took the two extras and began my project.  Carefully I unwrapped the second burrito and unfolded the flour tortilla, scooping out the center of beef and beany goodness and refilling it with several turds from my cat’s litter box … dotted nicely with pebbles of litter.  I re-folded the tortilla and placed the newly designed burrito in a Styrofoam box from my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I then put a small clump of cat pee infested litter beside it and gently scooped the pinto beans on top, keeping the sweet dallop of sour cream on top.  I placed a decorative piece of parsley between the two fancified items and closed the lid.  I returned to the office and put the surprise to-go box in the fridge.  As the day progressed I was overcome with excitement to check the box, but I refrained.  By 4:30, I could no longer resist.  I went to the box, and sure enough, he had eaten more than half of the burrito.  Without a word, I penned a note and stuck it on top of the box that read “I was really looking forward to eating that cat shit burrito, but once again you stole my food.  I hope you enjoyed eating my cat’s shit, asshole!”  He never ate my lunch again.  Ironically, a couple of months later he was caught stealing from the company.  I guess shit eating John couldn’t get enough of his cake and eating it too. (I know, I’m just full of catch phrases this evening!)
And now, just for fun.  If you’ve never tried this, it’s a must.  We made this cake for a friend of ours who is a real cat lover.  It’s kitty litter cake.  Here’s a picture of the cake we made below with the recipe.  Believe it or not, this cake tastes freakin’ awesome and it’s very easy to make.


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla sandwich cookies
  • 3 drops green food coloring
  • 1 (12 ounce) package tootsie rolls


  1. Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan).
  2. Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble.
  3. Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix.
  4. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won’t need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy.
  5. Line kitty litter box with the kitty litter liner. Put cake mixture into box.
  6. Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury tootsie rolls randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.
  7. Heat 3 or 4 of the tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with some of the green cookie crumbs. Heat the remaining tootsie rolls until pliable and shape as before. Spread all but one randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Hang the remaining tootsie roll over side of litter box and sprinkle with a few green cookie crumbs. Serve with the pooper scooper.

deja vous

31 05 2010

Today I offer you  a brief history lesson that will blow your mind.  All information shared here is from  Direct links are provided at the end of the blog.  Click them to read more about these events.
Ixtoc Oil Spill 1979
Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well being drilled by the semi-submersible platform that we know today as Transocean Ltd.  The location was in the Gulf of Mexico about 62 miles northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche in waters 160 feet deep.  On June 3, 1979, the well suffered a blowout.  A blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well after pressure control systems have failed. At the time of the accident Sedco 135F a.k.a. Transocen was drilling at a depth of about 11,800 ft below the seafloor.   The day before Ixtoc suffered the blowout and resulting fire that caused her to sink, the drill bit hit a region of soft strata soil.   Subsequently, the circulation of drilling mud was lost resulting in a loss of hydrostatic pressure. Rather than returning to the surface, the drilling mud was escaping into fractures that had formed in the rock at the bottom of the hole. PEMEX officials decided to remove the bit, run the drill pipe back into the hole and pump materials down this open-ended drill pipe in an effort to seal off the fractures that were causing the loss of circulation. During the removal of the pipe, the drilling mud suddenly began to flow up towards the surface; by removing the drill-string the well was ‘swabbed’ leading to a ‘kick’ . Normally, this flow can be stopped by activating shear rams contained in the blowout preventer (BOP). These rams are designed to sever and seal off the well on the ocean floor; however in this case drill collars had been brought in line with the BOP and the BOP rams were not able to sever the thick steel walls of the drill collars leading to a catastrophic blowout. The drilling mud was followed by a large quantity of oil and gas at an increasing flow rate. The oil and gas fumes exploded on contact with the operating pump motors, starting a fire which led to the collapse of the Sedco 135F a.k.a. Transocean drilling tower. The collapse caused damage to underlying well structures. The damage to the well structures led to the release of significant quantities of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
In the initial stages of the spill, an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil per day were flowing from the well. In July 1979, the pumping of mud into the well reduced the flow to 20,000 barrels per day, and early in August the pumping of nearly 100,000 steel, iron, and lead balls into the well reduced the flow to 10,000 barrels per day. PEMEX claimed that half of the released oil burned when it reached the surface, a third of it evaporated, and the rest was contained or dispersed. Mexican authorities also drilled two relief wells into the main well to lower the pressure of the blowout, however the oil continued to flow for three months following the completion of the first relief well. PEMEX contracted Conair Aviation to spray the chemical dispersant Corexit 9527 on the oil. A total of 493 aerial missions were flown, treating 1,100 square miles of oil slick. Dispersants were not used in the U.S. area of the spill because of the dispersant’s inability to treat weathered oil. Eventually the on-scene coordinator (OSC) requested that Mexico stop using dispersants north of 25°N. In Texas, an emphasis was placed on coastal countermeasures protecting the bays and lagoons formed by the Barrier Islands. Impacts of oil to the Barrier Island beaches were ranked as second in importance to protecting inlets to the bays and lagoons. This was done with the placement of skimmers and booms. Ultimately, 71,500 barrels of oil impacted 162 miles of U.S. beaches, and over 10,000 cubic yards of oiled material were removed.  Prevailing currents carried the oil towards the Texas coastline. The US government had two months to prepare booms to protect major inlets. Eventually, in the US, 162 miles of beaches and 1421 birds were affected by 3,000,000 barrels (480,000 m3) of oil. PEMEX spent $100 million to clean up the spill and avoided paying compensation by asserting sovereign immunity.  (Sovereign immunity is the doctrine that the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit.)

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill 2010
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a massive ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is now considered the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. The spill stems from a sea floor oil gusher that started with an oil well blowout on April 20, 2010. The blowout caused a catastrophic explosion on the Deepwater Horizons off shore drilling platform  that was situated about 40 miles southeast of the Louisiana  coast in the Manacondo Prospect oil field. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others; another 98 people survived without serious physical injury. (*Note, I could not easily find any information regarding the people involved in the Ixtoc rig explosion.)
The gusher originates from a deepwater oil well 5,000 feet below the ocean surface. Estimates of the amount of oil being discharged range from BP’s current estimate of over 5,000 barrels (210,000 US gallons; 790,000 litres) to as much as 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000,000 litres) of crude oil per day. The exact spill flow rate is uncertain – in part because BP has refused to allow independent scientists to perform accurate measurements – and is a matter of ongoing debate.  Originally, a video of the oil flow filmed underwater on site was leaked into the media generating a media storm of estimates much larger than what BP had been stating.  In addition, the proportion of natural gas in the mixture is not known. The resulting oil slick covers a surface area of at least 2,500 square miles and growing at a rapid pace with the exact size and location of the slick fluctuating from day to day depending on weather conditions. Scientists have also discovered immense underwater plumes of oil not visible from the surface.

The preliminary best estimate that was released on May 27 by the semi-official Flow Rate Technical Group put the volume of oil flowing from the blown-out well at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels (500,000 to 800,000 US gallons; 1,900,000 to 3,000,000 litres) per day, which had amounted to between 440,000 and 700,000 barrels (18,000,000 and 29,000,000 US gallons; 70,000,000 and 111,000,000 litres) as of that date. Experts fear that due to factors such as petroleum toxicity and oxygen depletion, the spill will result in an environmental disaster, damaging the Gulf of Mexico fishing industry,  the Gulf Coast tourism industry, and the habitat of hundreds of bird species. Crews are working to block off bays and estuaries, using anchored barriers, floating containment booms, , and sand-filled barricades along shorelines. There are a variety of ongoing efforts, both short and long term, to contain the leak and stop spilling additional oil into the Gulf.
BP(formerly British Petroleum) is the operator and principal developer of the Macondo Prospect, which was thought to hold as much as 50 million barrels (7.9×10^6 m3) of oil prior to the blowout (by BP’s own estimate). The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform had been leased by BP from its owner, Transocean Ltd. The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party in the incident, and officials have said the company will be held accountable for all cleanup costs resulting from the oil spill. BP has accepted responsibility for the oil spill and the cleanup costs, but indicated they were not at fault because the platform was run by Transocean personnel. The Deepwater Horizon blowout is the third serious incident at a BP-operated site in the United States in the last five years. These previous incidents, attributed to lapses in safety and maintenance, have contributed to the damage to BP’s reputation.

So, let’s look at some interesting facts here;
31 years later and we are faced with the same disaster and the same lack of plans.  It’s hard to fathom that no actions were taken in the last 31 years to create a safe back-up plan in the event this should happen again … ESPECIALLY when such deep water drilling was arguably very dangerous and not in the best interest of anyone or anything (except the oil companies, of course).
It’s also hard to realize that this has only just come to light recently.  I mean, I suppose any of us could’ve found this and brought it to light … obviously because someone did recently… but my point is, why wasn’t this talked about more? How did something so big get swept under the rug?
My friend Scott’s response to Maddow’s video (shared above): “That video on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill 31 years ago threw me for a loop.  They have done this before, and then successfully erased it from the mind of the public.  The companies change their names, and soon it is forgotten.  I cannot believe that they have not developed better emergency methods in 31 years.  They have been there before, and the statistics indicate that blowouts are somewhat part of the process from time to time.”
Does anyone find it interesting that, as one solution after another fails, everything just has to point to the most profitable solution for BP? Drilling those relief wells just happens to enable them to continue to retrieve that precious liquid gold, however the process is long and meanwhile the Gulf of Mexico continues to suffer the tragedy via an underwater oil volcano and a soup of toxic dispersants used to hide that oil from YOU.
Will you forget this tragedy too? Will you allow BP or Transocean or any other company involved to move on under a new name and continue to progress in this industry? Will you pressure your government to change things this time, since they’ve been failing for the last 31 years?? Will you ask your government why they aren’t doing more CURRENTLY?
we have to be realistic… don’t get me wrong, we can’t just stop drilling all together and pretend we could survive without oil, but we can begin to move in other directions and transition away from our need for oil.  If we all work together, it wouldn’t be impossible.
See also:
Ixtoc: A case study
Ixtoc: Economic Impact Documents 1980
Infographic breakdown of the current oil disaster
Macando Prospect

The video everyone’s been talking about… hard reporting on facts from 60 minutes.  A must see video that includes an interview with a surviving crew member from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, witnesses, and shocking reveals!  Go here:
“Understanding Fossil Fuel” explains the history of all fossil fuels and their extraction (including oil) as well as looking at energy alternatives

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil…

23 05 2010

You have just been offered at job earning TEN TIMES your current pay rate working for a major corporation that has been successful for over 50 years and continues to be successful.  You don’t have to relocate or change very many aspects of your life.  Would you accept?
Ok, your new job is working for Acme Cigarette Co.  You will be part of their marketing team.  In doing so, you have to start smoking.  That’s right, you HAVE TO.  Acme carries two types of cigarettes… Full Strength or Lights.  You are allowed to choose between the two, but you must start smoking one of the two in order to get paid.  While smoking is always dangerous, of course, the lighter cigarettes are slightly less dangerous.  The lights have 10% less chemical additives.  But, that’s really irrelevant.
So, you choose the lights.
You work for Acme for 10 years before you get laid off, but you get a nice severance package that buys you an additional 5 years to obtain a new career.
In the first two years, you find out you have lung cancer because of the chemical additives in those cigarettes.  It isn’t 10% lighter than the cancer you would’ve gotten from the full strength cigarettes because … well, chemical additives are chemical additives, right? So… smoking is smoking, cancer is cancer, toxins are toxins… But, you’re shocked because Acme never told you this could happen.  Any time you questioned your health, they would simply show you a mirror and ask you if you looked unhealthy? Well, due to the fact that lung cancer isn’t externally visible… this was easy to dismiss, right? Acme would reinforce it by telling you how healthy you look, and how great you look puffing on that light cigarette. But, when you would have respiratory issues … maybe a cough or trouble breathing, Acme was able to prove to you that there is no direct link to smoking and it cannot be proven that your respiratory problems are connected.  Period.
If you can’t see the problem, it isn’t there.
Lies are lies.
British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig was drilling in dangerous territory under dangerous circumstances.  Safety issues and red flags were ignored in order to meet the bottom line.  An irreversible, horrible incident occurred taking the lives of 11 rig employees and creating the largest (man made) ecological disaster in US history.  For over a month today, oil has been gushing from gaping holes in the Earth and filling the Gulf of Mexico.  But, many find this easy to over look because much of the oil is not visible.  Despite the fact that this disaster has already eclipsed 1989’s Exxon Valdez oil disaster times 8, BP has hidden many of the facts from the public regarding the damages that have already occurred and continue to occur, as well as the what the future holds.  The truth is, the future is really questionable even by scientists as to just how bad this could turn out to be for the Gulf Coast, the nation and the world ecologically and economically.  But, one thing for sure, BP has not only hidden the facts but the oil as well.  How do you hide a huge amount of oil that has gushed millions upon millions (upon more millions) of gallons into the waters? Chemical dispersants is the answer! Currently, the Gulf has been using those full strength dispersants and the cancer has only started to grow but now the EPA is questioning why full strength and not lights? Lights are so much better, right? So, they’re being forced to switch to a “safer” chemical dispersant to continue to break up the oil and push it to the ocean floor.
Years from now the hidden cancer that we couldn’t see will be revealed.  Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Just like, if you took that job and discovered you had cancer later on … it would be too little too late.  And, if you found out that cancer was terminal, all the money you could sue Acme for wouldn’t make a bit of difference, would it?



Don’t believe the hype

7 05 2010

There are a couple of important items I’d like for you to take into consideration here.  I’d first like to clarify that I am a citizen of the Gulf South who is and will continue to be directly affected in a negative way by the BP Oil Spill here in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must be living under a rock on another planet, but here’s a video that should enlighten you.  If you do know what I’m talking about, skip the video & move on…

Now, it’s easy to point the finger and blame the oil industry and bad mouth and fight to put an end to drilling systems like this one that failed, but let’s look at the big picture here…
Yes, there are options … One option is to shut down the drilling for oil in the USA and hug trees and be happy whilst paying $5.00 per gallon of gasoline to get to and from wherever it is you need to travel in this already economically crippled nation, which in turn will be more crippling when foreign fuel becomes our prominent source of fuel.  Another is to give up the use of vehicles all together  (which is an even more environmentally brilliant plan) and walk or bicycle or ride horseback everywhere you need to travel and save lots of money and hug lots of trees along your journeys.  You can leave home a few hours before your estimated arrival time and you should be able to handle it.  Or, we can all be realistic and face the fact that drilling for oil in the US is a necessity and while this recent incident is incredibly horrible and destructive in countless ways, it would only be worse on this entire country to end drilling for oil here.  Tree huggers will then ask me why? Why??? Especially as my homeland takes the brunt of this horrible ecologically damaging incident!?!? I’ll tell you why! Jobs for one.  Think of the millions of jobs lost in a country that already is at an all time unemployment high with zero jobs available.  Fuel cost is another reason, and I think I made that abundantly clear in the beginning of this paragraph.  I, personally drive 35 miles one way to work every day and (though I do have an extremely fuel efficient vehicle) I do not earn enough money to support an increase to an estimated $5 per gallon of gasoline.  I suspect not many people can.  I also suspect that people are already struggling to hold on to their jobs and already can barely afford to get to them in some cases.  I consider myself fortunate right now because I’m average.  I earn average pay (I used to earn above average pay before the economy and job markets went to shit here in the last few years).  So, let’s look at other options.  First of all, for many years other forms of fuel have existed that would be cheaper and better for the environment, however the government has purposefully ignored these options because the oil industry is big money.  Maybe now is the time to explore those options and consider making them available to the general public at a reasonable price.  Producing these other means of fuel enables jobs and a better economy, let alone it is better for the environment.  It just seems a little too logical, doesn’t it? Second of all, if we chose to ignore that option and continue to use fuel as is … should we really rely on foreign countries to supply it? I mean, that is nearly suicidal for America, don’t you think? Do I even have to explain why? If I do, then you have been doing more than hugging trees and perhaps you’ve eaten too many of the mushrooms growing below those trees!
Listen, the human race is very spoiled … well, maybe not in third world countries but there is a vast majority of human beings that are far too spoiled to give up conveniences such as driving OR electricity.  And that’s another item I’d like to discuss here.
Simply stated, when you lose electricity you lose light, heating or cooling, refridgeration, and other great spoils that come with that magical power that flows into your home spoiling you in ways your ancestors never dreamed of.  Currently, coal-burning plants provide over half of the electricity generated in the US.  Coal is abundant and cheap.  Wind and solar energy is neither.  By comparison, these alternate methods are costly and unreliable and also require less man power which equals less employment.  The US is home to huge reserves of coal and oil.  Renewable energy currently represents about 1% of all the energy produced nationwide.  If it weren’t for massive amounts of government cash there would be little or no renewable energy.  Tree huggers really hate these fuels we use to maintain our economy and our lifestyle, but in the privacy of their homes they are enjoying them … trust me.  So, all these ignorant people who preach the well being of the environment open the door for much larger issues that they are too blind to focus on, for instance the Cap & Trade Legislation.  Let’s look at purpose of this legislation for what it really is, a control issue (Similar to controlling our health care, our banking, our industry and so on).  The Cap & Trade Legislation will boost the cost of coal to unreasonable rates while claiming that it generates “greenhouse gas” bringing global warming even closer.  Please!!!! Hasn’t anyone caught on to the fact that global warming is a farce yet? And besides, the greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide … you know that stuff that’s vital to all plant life on Earth.  Now, those of us who this all of this my way (the right way) will be spat at and called naïve by tree huggers, the media, and government officials but let me be frank with you here; there is no such thing as “Natural Capitalism”.  There is just capitalism.  Period.  Capitalism operates on the basis of profit … need I say more? I certainly hope you aren’t someone who’s purchased “carbon credits” in the midst of all this nonsense.  If so, I’m sorry … not sure how you’ll be cashing those in or how they’re going to pay off for you, so maybe you should just hug a tree or something…
Listen, I’m really not trying to be ugly.  If you think I don’t care about the environment, you’re very wrong.  Ever since the great oil catastrophe struck right outside my back door basically, I’ve been somewhat hysterical.  I think it could’ve been prevented … not by avoiding oil drilling in the Gulf but by better safety measures that were studied, engineered and so fourth after the (similar) Exxon-Valdez incident 20 years ago.   Heck, they are still dealing with the aftermath … just as we will be here probably 20 years later.  All I can hope, as my area is completely destroyed economically and ecologically, is that this time they learn something from this and are more prepared.  But, I don’t hope this puts an end to oil drilling in the US.  We here in the Gulf South have a lot at stake.  We’ve already suffered a tremendous blow with Hurricane Katrina crippling us and setting us back nearly a decade for recovery.  Now, our two main sources of income; seafood and tourism are severely damaged and facing the possibility of complete destruction (depending on how quickly they can solve this horrible underwater oil spewing mess and the thousands upon thousands of gallons erupting from it on an hourly basis).  Not only that, but very special and unique wildlife is threatened by extinction all because of this.  BUT, realistically, having lost so much already … the people of this area cannot afford to also lose jobs by closing the oil industry here NOR can we afford for gasoline prices to spike up to outrageous heights in the midst of our already severely crippled economy!
Anyway, as I was saying … I don’t intend to be ugly or belittling to those who have so much faith in our government or the fight against global warming or anyone who wants to save the planet.  Hell! I want to save the planet.  I really do! But, there is little to no evidence that global warming even exists … or, “Climate Change” (the new, improved name for global warming since it was starting to become abundantly clear that the term “warming” wasn’t working).  It outrages me that my tax dollars are being spent on proving the existence of something that doesn’t exist (of course, my tax dollars are spent on a lot of shit that outrages me).  For years, scientists that were skeptical about global warming were scoffed at and labeled as evil, Earth-hating monsters.  Turns out they were right to be skeptical, and in fact should’ve been more skeptical.  Not only should they have been questioning global warming, but also the scientists who supported the concept.  The scientific community has been profiting from huge grants and political power growth by propagating fear of extinction and global warming.  The media loves the global warming lie and the media is the backbone that pushes our nation toward a (dare I say) “Natural Capitalism”.  I wonder what term will be used to candy coat the capitalism.  It will have to be comparable to other great terms like “politically correct” and “diversity”.  I can hardly wait.  I’d like to be the owner of the advertising agency to come up with the slogan for it.  I love big money too.  I mean, come on … don’t you?
For that matter, I’d like a high ranking position in the “carbon credit” biz.  I mean, whole industries (like the automobile manufacturing industry, the oil industry…etc…)were required to buy these magical credits to offset their use of “fossil fuels”.  I’d really like to know how that works.  I mean, how does money change the effects? Seriously!?!?! For the love of God, make me understand how credit will help the environment.  How does the fact that I buy credit from you so that I can continue to do an act that is damaging to the environment help the environment? How does this make sense? But, big money in forcing people to do so none the less … and from what I gather, you can spend more to gain the rights to do more to create more damage.  Of course, it’s not worded that way exactly, but that is what it boils down to.  Brilliant!!! Brilliant indeed!!!!!!  And here’s an interesting tid bit; There were 3 major corporations who battled the climate change fraud which included none other than BP … yes, BP the very corporation who’s rig just sank in the Gulf of Mexico creating this disasterous tragedy we speak of.  Coincidental, isn’t it? But, it is essential to understand that the Cap & Trade Legislation (passed by the house and pending a senate vote last I checked) is based on false reports and threats by the EPA to begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions that has no legitimate basis in science.  Global warming a.k.a. Climate Change has no real basis for any law or expenditure of public funding as it no longer exists really.  It’s far past the time media should continue to refer to it as anything other than fraud.
So, people I implore you, think for yourselves and don’t be mislead.  Hold on to your freedoms and don’t be fooled by candy coated name games for “natural capitalism” or just plain capitalism.  Yes, coal mining is dangerous business … but it doesn’t have to be.  Just like oil drilling is dangerous business but doesn’t have to be.  Foreign suppliers and big taxes take away from our economy in more ways than one.  How great do we want this depression to get? Seriously! Do your homework & think for yourselves!