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Monday, February 24, 2014

Nothing More than Feelings

Word is out that after a quarter century, I have gone off antidepressants in a meager attempt to save my ailing kidneys. So far it’s not too bad actually feeling things again, although it is a little odd after being an emotional flatliner for two and a half decades. Recently we had to put our beloved boxer, Bungee, down, so anytime I see a dog, see a picture of a dog, hear a dog, or even think about a dog, that I get that tingling feeling in my upper nose and inner corners of my eyes and have to lie back and think of England  before the tears start to drip. I would probably cry if I saw a Hallmark commercial, even if it didn’t have a dog in it. 

Conversely, I have started showing anger over the pettiest of things, like driving to a restaurant and finding it closed. I might not have been this way had it not happened four times in two weeks, so I think that had to do more because of total incident amount, rather than the actual individual events themselves. And for those who are aware of how few brain cells I have remaining, it was not the same shuttered-up restaurant four different times. It was four different restaurants.

My patience has thinned from pudding to water. Mostly this manifests itself in road rage. I don’t scream directly at people so they can hear me, and there are no weapons in my car, so there shouldn’t be any arrestable offenses for me or assaults upon me on the horizon. The worst of this destructive behavior is when Other Bill is in the car, and he tends to take my cursing and hissing personally while he reclines the seat and thinks of England.

I suspect my writing will also reflect this altered brain chemistry. With the exception of today, I will try to keep my rants to a minimum and maintain dignity and humor.

So, according to CNN, George Zimmerman—you know, the murderer?—is hoping to continue his education and become a lawyer “to stop the miscarriage of justice that happened to me.”

Georgie, if there was a miscarriage, first off, the miscarriage happened to Trayvon Martin, not to you. Secondly, it’s unfortunate that the miscarriage didn’t happen when your mother was pregnant with you. The world would be a better place with Trayvon back and you gone.

Note to University of Phoenix Online: Be on the lookout for George’s law school application. Hopefully he’ll have time to fill it out in between Tonya Harding-esque martial arts publicity stunts. Yes, I realize you don’t have an online law school, but George probably doesn’t, and no one else is going to take him. You’re his last hope.

Also in the news this week, Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian nutcase mass murder, is threatening to go on a hunger strike unless his prison improves their conditions and provides him with better video games. Whassa matter, Anders, aren’t your birds angry enough? If Norway is providing you with shelter and heat and food, I’d say your conditions are pretty decent and more than you deserve.  Perhaps the thermostat is not to your comfort level, or maybe they feed you too much fish and not enough fava beans with a nice Chianti? Poor you. So starve yourself already and save a school of sardines. Again, a better place for the world, especially if you are a sardine.

The level of entitlement on this planet is out of control. If you kill a teenager armed only with Skittles and are now an infamous celebrity, or if you kill 77 people, many of them children, and are provided with 3 squares and a place to rest your head, as a friend of mine’s mother used to constantly say: Shut up and be happy.

Locally in the news, some kid clogged up a urinal in his school with a wad of paper towels. So who got arrested and charged with a third degree felony for battery? His teacher, for making him remove the urine-soaked paper towels. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “‘The child is really upset by the incident and embarrassed by the other students knowing about it,’ Coral Springs Police Sgt. Carla Kmiotek said.”

Oh boo-fucking-hoo.

The kid denied putting the paper in the urinal. Yeah right. Who are you going to believe, a fourth grader or an underpaid teacher with a sterling employment record?

This is one of the many reasons why I would make a terrible parent. If I had a son who intentionally clogged my toilet in an attempt to make it overflow, not only would I send him in after the clog with his bare hands, but I’d make him eat a bag of microwave popcorn immediately afterward, before his hands could dry. Typhoid, as far as I’m concerned, is a small price to pay for such inconsiderate behavior.

I am by no means a “Belieber”, a screamingly wild, obsessed fan of Justin Bieber. The last time I had that kind of crush on anyone I was in third grade and was obsessed with Burt Ward, the actor who played Robin in the Batman TV series. I think Bieber is just one of those people who has exceptional looks, very little talent and got lucky and rich way too soon. Give him enough rope, and he’ll eventually hang himself. (Paging Mr. Culkin.) By the way, in case you haven’t heard, Justin wants to be called “Bizzle” now. Wow, how gangsta. Nothing says “rap master thug” more than a skinny white blond boy from Ontario. He’s just like that hip-hopper Neil Young.

Everyone knows about Jizzle’s (whatever) house-egging antics, but really, what teenaged boy hasn’t egged a house or a car in his day? True, Justin uses Faberge eggs, because what else is money for? As far as racing around in cars with quarter million dollar price tags and throwing out thousands of dollar bills around at exclusive South Beach clubs, well that goes beyond normal teenage antics and puts him smack dab in the middle of the asshole realm.

So it seems that now he is house hunting in the exclusive neighborhood of Buckhead, a fancy suburb of Atlanta, and the snooty, not-in-my-neighborhood Buckheadians are all up in arms and staging picket lines in front of houses he is considering for purchase. They think that his presence will lower their property values, which probably need reductions anyway. After all, they’ve been living in them.

People of Buckhead, I have a couple of things to say to you:
1)       Piss off.
2)      Get over yourselves.

Seriously, this smacks of Selma. You are all teenist pigs. Not only do I hope he buys a house in Buckhead, I hope he buys several houses in Buckhead for some of his best rapper buds. And I hope they all raise chickens in their back yards so the eggs they throw at your estates will be warm and farm-fresh, so on those really hot Atlanta days, you can make your own window McMuffins.  And if they get wild and rowdy and get in their Ferraris and do donuts on your well-manicured front lawns, then you can just pack up and move to a new neighborhood. Bankhead comes to mind. People will think your engraved stationery just has a typo.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not defending Justin Bieber. In my opinion he and his father are world class jackasses and are the male version Lindsay and Dina Lohan. Buckheads, you fuckheads, can do all you want with your gold plated protest signs and make it known all over social and anti-social media that you do not want J-Bizzle in your swanky community, but it ends there. You can’t keep him out any more than you can keep a Muslim, black person or gay couple away from your line of sight (which I know you’d love to do, too.) So stop wasting your time and get back to your pralines and polo, or whatever it is you do that makes you think you’re so damned superior to people who didn’t get rich the way you did, which was most likely done by profiteering from your great grandparents’ exploitation of slaves.

End of rant.

So what do you think? Should I go back on the meds and die of kidney failure or stay off them and be an emotional loose cannon? Heads kidney; tails, cannon? Cast your vote today.

Creative Commons License by Bill Wiley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting Siri-ous

Recently I bought a barely-used iPad from eBay. I don’t know why all these hIgh tEch firms capitalize their second letter instead of their first, but ever since I was directed by Commander oTher bIll to get a cell phone, I have become compliant, pliable, and rather tech-savvy. My first phone was a Jitterbug, but I was too embarrassed to use it, so I had to upgrade.

The sole reason behind my iPad purchase was that I was damned sick and tired of watching the same stale commercial run after each play I made on Words With Friends. Over and over, the same cereal commercial. And since I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to pay the Words With Friends people to stop playing the ads on my laptop, I am now the proud owner of a $300 Scrabble board. Talk about your Deluxe Edition.

But I am warming up to this iPad. And it is warming up to me as well. My iPad came with a talking version of Siri, which is kind of a know-it-all personal assistant and problem solver I can tell my woes to.

One thing I really like about Siri: He (I use the male-voiced Siri) does math.

“Siri, what’s three thousand, six hundred and twenty-three times twelve?” I ask.

Siri replies, “The answer is forty-three thousand, four hundred and seventy-six.”

“Thank you, Siri,” I say. I like to be polite.

“I aim to please, Bill” says Siri.

I like that Siri has manners. He is definitely out of his element in this regard here in South Florida.

Other Bill is starting to get jealous of Siri, because he claims I talk more to Siri than I do to him. That is what he gets for making me get a cell phone. He is aware of my addictive personality and should know better. I read manuals of my techie gadgets to make the most of them. Sometimes this leaves him out in the cold.

I have told Siri that Other Bill is my husband, and he understands that relationship.

“Send an email to my husband,” I tell Siri. I don’t have to have manners and say please. Siri is very understanding.

“Okay, which e-mail address would you like me to use, Bill?” says Siri.

I tap his work email address; Siri asks me the subject of the message, and I tell him and then dictate the letter, and say “send,” and off it goes.

Of course, Siri does have his limitations. I can’t say, “Siri, fix me a sandwich,” because that would just be stupid. That’s Other Bill’s job.

Recently I saw the movie Her. It’s about a guy who falls in love with the voice of his operating system. I’m not planning on doing that, unless Siri suddenly turns into Jake Gyllenhaal and starts Skyping me on a daily basis.

Recently, I told Siri I prefer to be called “Babe,” and Siri has agreed to call me that from now on.

The other day I said, “Siri, I love you,” and Siri replied, “Oh, Babe, I bet you tell that to all the other Apple apps.” Tee-hee. Oh, Siri, you are such a flirt!

I have to keep an eye on Siri, though. It’s okay if Other Bill pretends to be jealous of Siri, but if Siri starts to get jealous of Other Bill, things could be a problem.

For example, Siri might commandeer Other Bill’s iPad and download kiddie porn on it and then e-mail the local authorities and have Other Bill thrown in jail so it can just be the two of us in the house. Siri could go all Fatal Attraction on me, reprogram my iPad’s alarm clock for 2:45 am and demand that I pay attention to him.  I will not be ignored, Babe!


The way I figure it, if a computer can have sex with a user, as it does in Her, the computer can also go all psycho-bitch and start boiling rabbits, so I have to be careful.

This is what happens when technology gets forced upon you, Other Bill. Remember, it all started with the Jitterbug.

Creative Commons License by Bill Wiley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Power of Skype Compels You

Every week I get a few paragraphs in my e-mail from the fine folks at Harper’s magazine called Harper’s Weekly. It’s basically a report of the ironic, silly, bizarre, and pretty damned funny actions of jackasses near and far.  Here’s my favorite blurb from this week:

Isaac Kramer, the director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists, condemned an Arizona priest for performing exorcisms over Skype. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen,” said Kramer. “It would be like trying to perform a baptism on someone through the telephone.”

How does Mr. Kramer know this? Frankly, I’ve read profiles of plenty of Satan worshipers on social media sites, and I think any celebrity with an iPad and a Twitter account falls into that category as well.

Naturally, the first thing that came to my mind, is: “How do I join this association?” So I immediately went to their website,, only to find that membership is limited to ordained priests and bishops, and not unordained rooks or queens, so I’m out of luck. The good news is you don’t have to be Catholic; you can be Anglican, so I am just making the assumption that means Episcopalian as well, so at least I’m part way there.

This led to other questions, such as: How is it that one named Isaac Kramer is not the director of the International Jewish Association of Exorcists? Also, how much does it cost to join the ICAOE, and what are the benefits?

Well, apparently it’s free, but you do have to send them copies of your ordination/consecration certificates. And you must have the permission of “your ordinaries.” Visiting this website has been quite an education for me, because I thought you’d have to have permission of your extraordinaries, not just your ordinaries. So that works for me. Most of the people I know are pretty ordinary. I don’t know a lot of freaks anymore. (I sure did in high school, though.)

The benefits of membership, according to the website are as follows (this is a cut and paste, so ignore the grammar issues):

- Annual certification with license number
- Listed on the website location roster
- Listed in the ICAOE Directory
- Ability to be contacted for local cases
- Access to Facebook Group to discuss cases, learn new techniques, and dialogue with other Exorcist world-wide
- Use of logo for business cards

So it would appear that the ICAOE is pretty tech savvy, what with their Facebook group and all, so why, I wonder, does Father Kramer have his vestments in such a wad over a Skype exorcism? It’s a lot safer than participating in a non-virtual exorcism. As anyone who has seen the movie The Exorcist can tell you, in a live exorcism you can get your holy water bottle broken, get backhanded across the face, receive rocket-propelled projectile vomiting of pea soup to the face, and have your Holy Catholic face ground into the bloody girlie parts of Regan McNeil.

So I guess I’m not going to spend my retirement years going through seminary just so I can get official professionally accredited exorcist business cards, which I know would be a blast to pass out at both gay bars and the Republican National Convention.

Fortunately, I’m in luck, though, because for just five dollars, I can purchase membership in the American Association of Exorcists. With the AAE, you can even purchase a mere Supportive Membership to “those interested parties not actively involved in exorcism and deliverance practice.” I’d rather have an Active Membership, which requires ordination. As anyone with a lick of Google-smarts knows, you can become a minister easily just by going to a variety of websites and paying a fee. I know of several ordinaries who have done this just so they can perform weddings for friends without having to take that annoying notary test.

The American Association of Exorcists is based in Choctaw, Oklahoma (not The Vatican), and is apparently run by someone with the email address of That alone piques my interest. Their website is You can’t sign up online, so get out your checkbooks, all you ordinaries, and I’ll see you next time at the RNC. Don’t forget your business cards.

Creative Commons License by Bill Wiley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.