Thursday, October 30, 2008

October Wordsmiths

The Red White and Blue Festival in Cedarton was on again. This was a highlight of every year, with banners and tents flapping in the brisk late-summer breeze, the smell of fried dough and the sounds of the town band and clean little children’s laughter carried on the same breeze.

There was always a breeze, it seemed.

So too, there was always one person in town who refused to come in the required color-coded dresswear. This year, it was Jason McWilliams in his bright orange tee shirt jangling the view down Main Street. Nobody was surprised. Last year Jason’s older brother wore green, the year before his cousin Abby wore purple (and tried to pass it off as ‘a mix of red and blue’). The McWilliams family were trouble, all right.

But the people of Cedarton knew how to deal with troublemakers. They left it to the Raches.

Annie and Grace Rache were in charge of Behavior at the fair, indeed, they were in charge of Behavior year round. As the most powerful pair in Cederton, it was their beholden duty to keep the town in line, and over the years had suceeeded in spectacular fashion. The folks of Cedarton knew what was expected of them, expecially the folks who’d been around a generation or two. They told stories of behind-the-barn beatings of people who shunned the Rache Plan, beatings adminstered by Annie herself when she was younger, and now by Amos, their handyman (and some would say Grace’s son). The Rache sisters were ever-present in town, seeing all, like small-town Gods in their omniscience. They knew everything, and heaven help you if you crossed their invisible line.

This year, as the aging Rache sisters toddled along Main Street in their crisp white and blue togs, Grace was very excited. This year Behavior lessons were to be taken from behind the barn and brought to the public. Therefore, Grace had been hooked into the Cedarton police radio by virtue of a small mic hidden between her mountainous breasts, a ‘gift’ from Officer Joe, who knew better than to say no. He also knew better than to say no when Grace asked for his ‘help’ at the fair.

And now, the game was on. Linking arms, the Sisters crossed the street (the first sign), Grace alerting Joe of the young malfactor’s whereabouts.

The unmarked SUV pulled out.

Annie flicked her cane, the second sign.

Grace whispered the code word.

The driver’s side window of the SUV rolled down. A slim dark cylinder slid out.

Grace nodded.

A shot rang out.

Jason crumpled to the ground, his jarring orange shirt sporting a growing red stain.

That’ll teach him, said Grace.

Yes, yes it will, said Annie.

And the people of Cedarton walked around Jason as he cried on the sidwalk, dabbing at the paintball smear and the blooming blue bruise on his chest.

Those McWilliamses are trouble, but in Cedarton, they know how to deal with troublemakers. Just call the Raches.


You can write on too! Go to Wordsmiths Unlimited to find out how to play along.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rich nougaty centers

It's pretty, no? The hat, the choker, the corset, the bouquet? So luscious.

Literally. It's made of chocolate.

Happy Hallowe'en kiddies! Mommy's costume is going to melt right off her when the hot dude from down the block brings the kids around for Trick-or-Treat. Woohoo!


One wonders how one gets a job designing chocolate clothing. In the same line of thinking, what would you say to someone at a cocktail party who asks you what you do for a living? "I design high-fashion edible clothing, specializing in undergarments and haberdashery"? REALLY?

And who are those people who sketch out the newest in edible underthings? Who are those folks who can proudly point to displays of candy panties at the local adult novelty store and say "I did that"?

Those are some of the people I'd love to have to a party.

How 'bout you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WTH IS this?

Any guesses?

A clue - OUCH


So. It's so damned busy at work that I find myself compelled to do things like "Stay On Top Of Stuff" and "Focus On The Job At Hand." Once again, this seriously cuts into my playtime on the internet.

Oh yes, I COULD do my playing at home, but seriously? I'm on the computer all DAY and by the time I get home there are more practical things to take care of, like The Drinking and The Lazing Around. Also The Cooking sometimes needs to be taken care of, and the Blah Blah as well. There's a lot to do, even in a Tiny House.

And I miss y'all. Just so you know.

Monday, October 27, 2008


He's got 'em.

Hope y'all have already had lunch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sometimes, what you really need to do is mop the floor

You know what’s great about working from home?

NOT working when you’re supposed to be. Those 15-minute chat breaks that people take at work can be supplanted with getting the dishes done, doing a load of laundry, and/or sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.

All of which I’ve done already today. Tiny bursts of domesticity interspersed with laser-like focus on projects for work equal one surprisingly productive day.

And it’s only 2 p.m.


Just go, and be glad it’s not you.


U.S. trying to teach Iraqis how to spend billion-dollar surplus

750 million for us, 250 million for you, Achmed.

Microsoft profit up 2 percent, but outlook soft

Lotus Notes hard.

Fla. man lives among the chads of 2000 election

Says "We all hang out like a big fraternity. Sure is easy to get their attention for dinner; all's I have to do is yell 'Chad' and they come a-runnin' all at once. It's awesome."

Hamas passes on letter to captive Israeli soldier

"No thanks" said Sheik Al Ahsazy. "We don't need that kind of trouble THAT would stir up."

US cuts off trade benefits to Bolivia over drugs

Condi Rice, in an interview yesterday, stated "Dudes, they won't give us any, so they can't have our stuff either. Eff that."

Australian food companies agree not to push junk on kids

Are still being allowed to pelt adults with rubbish, however.


I'm going to figure out how to (in no particular order) carve a half-gnawed punkin (thanks, dog), make a pirate shirt, finish working, clean the house, rip out the mums out front that died two weeks after being planted, finish decorating for the Tiffoween party, and maybe commence to drankin' soon (because, let's not forget, I'm at HOME!).

Have a wonderful weekend folks, whatever your plans are.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bubble bubble baby

So I tried on my Hallowe'en costume last night, and took a couple of pictures to show y'all.

Whaddaya think? Too much makeup?



Naw, that ain' it. That there is just a big ol' MEXICAN CLOWN! At (shudder) a clown convention.

Clown. Convention. Save us all.....

A convention of clowns. Where they share their darkest secrets in rooms that smell of greasepaint and desperation. Where they tell tales of pranks pulled on the unsuspecting good folk of this world who remain ignorant to their dastardly bastardly schemes. Where they plan out their continued efforts to instill in each of us non-clowns a fearful respect for their lifestyle and craft by innovating riffs of old themes like the 'squirting flower' (this time filled with chili oil) and the 'squeaker-only conversation' (where the horn honks a subliminal message of mayhem against all plain folk).

There are workshops on "12 Objects of Anarchy You Can Hide in Giant Shoes" and "Ways to Make Children Even More Uncomfortable (Featuring new Twists on Balloon Animals)" as well as plenary sessions on "Finding Their Inner Child: The Path to Fear Induction in Baby Boomers."

Oh yes, they LOOK innocent, but the clowns are not unwise. They gather to convene by the thousands, slipping rubber chickens into the punch bowls, making garish "O faces" at passers by, accosting innocent bystanders in elevators with oversized card tricks and silent mockery. Clowns want our attention, and by these overt actions activate our silent frightened repugnance, and our fear.

Laugh, little boy, or the clown will squirt you with his comically large plastic daisy. Giggle, little girl, or that balloon giraffe you'll be forced into carrying around will look like a giant penis, and nobody will have the bravery to accuse the clown of doing it on purpose. Smile, Moms and Dads, or the clown will follow you around, honking and mocking the way you walk.

Do their bidding, people, or they'll hold the next convention in YOUR town.


As to MY costume (for the first annual Tiffowe'en party at the TH, y'all come on by!) - let's just say I'm going to wear a bolt of cloth. And a belt. And not much else. No sewing required. Easiest damn costume EVER, and the bonus is that after Hwe'en? It's going to turn into PAJAMAS. Some sewing required.

Y'all dressing up? As what? Tell us all about it, and then have a great rest o' the day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dogs, pain, and testicles.

1 beef bone
1 pork femur
1 rope toy
1 squeaky toy
6 pumpkins.

Guess which of those things is the dog’s preferred item to GNAW ON?

And then PUKE UP?

Stupid frakking dog.


When booting (literally) the naughty miscreant out the back door this morning, my shin connected with the stubby bony end of her nearly hairless tail. I now am developing what will be one of the most spectacular bruises I’ve had in a long time.

For a moment I was hopeful that I’d burst a blood vessel or something dramatic, but it seems that I’m not to be treated to that bloom of hot pain. Damn. Now I must settle for POKING at it to feel the burn, as it were, and that’s not nearly enough reward.

I am someone who lives life on a very weird edge, or so it would appear. I don’t mind being in pain, as long as I know it’s temporary. There’s a very real sense of being alive when something hurts, and that? Is fucking odd to say. If I’d been born 30 years or so after I was, I’m sure I’d see the appeal in body mods and all that crazy-shit ‘cutting,’ because I’m sort of strange like that and would do something much more extreme if it was more accepted.

This acceptance of pain as a sign of being alive is, I’m sure, what drove me many years ago to spend hours and hours a day in the gym. I couldn’t get ENOUGH of weights, or building up muscle over muscle, of straining HARD against the machines, of making the more delicate flowers look askance at me as I grunted with the effort of taking on 5 or 10 more pounds for those crucial final 12 reps. It felt GOOD to work like that. It felt GREAT to finish with a grueling 30-minute ride on the exercise bike set 2 levels higher than it should have been. It was wonderful to push so hard that I’d often be weak-kneed and dizzy at the end of a workout, and it was glorious to see the results of that effort and pain on my body.

Even now, if I’m going to exercise (which is an embarrassingly low percentage of the time), I don’t just go out for a nice walk, I have to POWER walk. Can’t just do a few sit-ups, I have to do 50 of them on an excer-ball with only one foot on the ground. Push, push, push, wait for the burn, and then enjoy the pain the next day when lactic acid eats away at sore muscles.

That’s just weird, isn’t it?

And probably TMI, but whatever. My blog = my brain, and today? Pain is what you get.

You’re welcome.


Last night I watched Mike Rowe bite the testicles off a lamb.

It was enough to turn even MY stomach, and that is saying quite a bit right there.

Would it gross YOU out?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Head-scratchin', belly-fillin, question askin' Tuesday

Two boys.

1 trombone.

You’d think that at least ONE of them would have been able to keep track of it, but you’d be oh so very wrong. It has, to all appearances, vanished. how this is possible is beyond me.

For now, I'm blaming gnomes.


It must be fall. I’ve made two batches of soup in the past week. Bean n’ bacon soup over the weekend because fall is when my inner hippie kicks into high gear and starts thinking about things to do with dry beans, then chicken/rice soup this MORNING because why the hell NOT?

Because really, who in their right mind would let some perfectly nummy chicken skellies go to waste after they had, as their previous incarnation as chicken titties, been bathed in marinade and lovingly grilled over charcoal? THAT kind of flavor deserves to be boiled out into stock, to have some rice and spice added, to be spangled with cut carrots and kernels of corn, to be adorned with whatever meat was leffovah after the carnage of last night’s meal, and to be resurrected into a new life as healthy soul-satisfying SOUP.

I don’t kid myself that anyone but me is going to eat and/or actually enjoy this soup. I have lived far too long to think that something as nirvana-centric as gathering around a table with loved ones to a pot of hot soup and some good crusty bread would result in anything other than a chorus of “This is all that’s for dinner?” or “I don’t like beans.” Ah well, those kinds of responses have little to do with the love that infuses each molecule of the soup, and if it’s love only for me to eat, then so be it, for soup is awesome, and so am I, and thus I and the soup synergize the awesome to such great heights that no further mood-altering substances are needed.

Plus which? There’s now enough soup in the house for at least two weeks worth of lunch for me. Sweet simplicity, how I love you.


Thankfully, there was no frost on the car this morning. That little bout of late-fall weather in early autumn? Unnerving.

Howzit where y’all are?

Monday, October 20, 2008

My office is somewhere on Hoth, apparently

Dear Facilities Gurus at my Workplace,

Hi guys! It's Tiff with the weather report from my part of the building! Did you know that it's frakking FREEZING all up in here?

A smidge of heat would work wonders. No, really! Just a degree, or maybe two if you can spare them would be great.

If the deep freeze in which I and my fellow corner-of-the-building compatriots call our workspace isn’t corrected soon, we’re at risk of going all Phillip J. Fry on you and THEN where will you be? You’ll be without your stats guy, your senior programmer, and without 2 of the company's 3 medical writers, and I don’t think you want to be responsible for that. Not that you’d really CARE about what happened to the aformentioned folks, because you do not use our services, but suffice it to say that if WE 4 go, so goes the company.

(Not that I hold myself in such high regard, but when a company only HAS one stats guy and one lead programmer, then there’s cause to coddle those people with warm gusts of air and perhaps their own coffee maker/beer tap. Get to work on that, mmkay?)

So please, Facilities guys. Have some pity on us who reside at the farthest end of the HVAC conduits, and turn up the heat a touch. Otherwise? I’m coming down to YOUR offices to work, because I know you’re right next to the boiler room, which I know works, because other people in this building don’t have blue fingers and lips, and indeed do not need to be clutching a paper cup of rapidly cooling coffee in their hands at all times just to keep their fingers nimble enough to work the keyboard.

I see warm people, and I envy them. As we all know, Facilities guys, envy is a deadly sin, right up there with greed and sloth. You’re making me SIN, fellas, and by forcing me into sin you’re sinning yourself, you know that? God is watching you, he sees everything you do, he knows you’re hanging out in your toasty offices down by the boiler and silently laughing at us Elites who simply type all day long. Your silent mockery is sinful too, it belies a hard heart, one that is not open to giving like it should be. Look it up, Facilities Jerks – it’s in every sacred text ever written. Do unto others, you BTU-penurious douchnozzles! Let the heat flow!

It’s for your own safety that you do this. I am getting angry, but it's too cold for blood-boiling. Do you KNOW how frustrating that is?

Don’t make me come down there. Do it for the baby Jesus, and God, and your Mom, and the smell of fresh sheets. Do it for the little people, the ones you hold captive in the secure knowledge that you have the badges of power that allow you access to the holy Shrine of Expendable kCals. Do it for me, and all the others who have acclimated to the scorch of summer and who were ill-prepared for the sudden change of weather, the scrim of FROST on our cars this morning, those of us who don’t know where their coats are, who forgot where they put their gloves and hats and who are amazed even at their advanced age that sometimes their breath is visible. Have mercy on us, you rotten heat misers!

My tears, they freeze on my cheeks as I type this with fingers stiffened by the cold. The edges of my vision are graying out as ice forms over the whites of my eyes. Please, do something soon, or my life (and the lives of the stats man and the programmer dude and the other writer-wench) will be lost because you are sinners and mean and stupid poopy-heads.

With ire,

For stuff like this I got an award. NCP? You know not what you've done, but thanks!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pour vou, une amusemoh(n)

S'il vou plait, un petit article de la New Yorker:

That's my gal!

Alors!! Chacun rit comme le chevalier de maurice! Oh hoh hoh!

Vous les cochons élitistes, vous.


Then? There's this. Perhaps the world's most perfect time-waster. Click on the little gray squarein the upper left corner of the new screen to git you started.

Be sure to check out the galleries when you're done creating your own work(s) of art, and thereby be dazzled at just how much time other people have wasted doing the exact same thing.

You'd be in very good company, it would appear.


Today's the day the Things come home from their great trip out west. There's been snow on snow on snow out in the Yellowstone area. Will it be a a huge mind-freak for them to come back to temps in the 80's, or will they embrace the warm southern autumn with grateful hearts?

Time will tell.

Sure hope they don't mind that there ain't no bison, or elk, or otters, or bears, or geysers around these here parts. We got soybeans though. SOYBEANS! And tobacco! Also - Crazy drivers, traffic so congested it's practically consumptive, crazy-ass high gas prices, taxes out the hoo-ha, and rampant terraforming for new shopportunities.

Also? We have Barbecue. That plus the gorgeous weather makes up for a lot of those other things, I'm thinking.


What is it about where YOU live that makes you stay there, and if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I'm in NC for the work, and to be a little closer to my family than we were in Connecticut. The temperate climate would keep me here, as well as the terrific public higher education system, the welcoming nature of almost everyone around, the way people you don't know hold open doors for you, the way the amber autumn moon rises over the rolling terrain, the cicadas and the farm fields, the tree-lined streets of my town, the Southernness of it all.

If I had my druthers (and this is something I've said before), I'd probably move back to the Shenandoah Valley. Something about it is perfectly home.

But I'd keep an apartment in Manhattan for the odd weekend of big city life, and the really good Chinese food.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's all I got.

Do you know who is awesome? Tracy Lynn Kaply is awesome, that's who. Her past few posts are things of beauty in 2-minute sound bytes. I swear, if I could be like her when I grow up? 'Twould be a goal worth devoting my life to.


I want a candy bar so gotdam bad right now I'm hypersalivating just thinking about it. I'm in a quandry (yes! QUANDRY!) over here: Do I get one, and hate myself for it, or do I NOT get one and continue dwelling on that first lucious bite of deep rich chocolate wrapped around a crisp peanut buttery center (oh Butterfinger, my love) that I will never have?

Man, it's almost like PMS, but without the cramping. I don't miss cramps. Cramps are the suck. As is this lustful need for CHOCOLATE and PEANUT BUTTER, dancing in glucosifull harmony in my oral cavity.


Last night ,as I was about to fall asleep, a song popped into my head that I've never heard before. Music, lyrics, orchestration, arrangement, it was all there, and it was freaking GOOD. I would like to hear it again, but fear that once played it's now gone.

Obviously, I'm being haunted by a teenytiny brain-injured Mozart, to whom springs forth music fully gestated, and for whom once heard can not be reconstituted for others to enjoy.

Le sigh. The hauntings - so confusing.


Hey -check it:

(clicky the pic to go to the page of the blog that explains the platform of this burgeoning politcal movement.)

Popcorn Party. A newt as vice prez!

It could work.

See ya tomorrow, mayhap.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In space, no-one can hear you scream

By the way, my hair looks freaking GREAT today. Can’t recommend NOT shampooing enough. The hair-care regimen is simple! A quick wipe of soap on the grease-prone areas whilst showering, application of a thick coat of conditioner, a swift rinse, and all that’s left to do is comb it.

Fan-farking-tastic. Much love for the new soft shiny hair. Beats my former haystack look all to smithereens. See?

(Those frizzy ends? Pay no attention...that right there is a camera error....yeah. That's what it is. No wait! It's WORK that does that to my hair! I blame work air for the frizz! Stupid work....)


Heh – I just wrote a few paragraphs about fetishes, and deleted them. It was so stupid even I couldn’t rationalize posting it, and I’ve posted some really really stupid shit before.

And now I’ll bet you’re dying to know what I had to say, aren’t you? Well, tough darts, farmer, I’m not billing the speans for you or anybody. So there.


Cats don’t care for being put on a diet, but it’s funny to feed them when they’re really hungry. They get all beggy and stuff, which is against all rules of felinity, and therefore makes the begging even more amusing. Added hee-haw value comes when they ‘silent meow’ and stick their nose in the bowl before you start pouring in the kibble.

Or maybe I simply have a low humor threshold.


This is a weird post. Apologies. I have fall-brain, which is telling me to run and jump and skip and play outdoors in the beautiful warmth of anti-schpring before the cold descends and the weather goes to Hades in a pocketbook.

Fall brain says things like “leave work early for a ‘doctor’s appointment, then go to the lake and hang out!”

Fall brain is wicked and naughty like that, what with the teasing and the very nearly sensible suggestions for how to better spend my time and efforts in the days of waning sunlight. Also, fall brain waxes poetical and shizz, and becomes florid in its language, putting unnecessary ‘eths’ on verbs (I shall walketh to the store to purchaseth some bread) and using ‘ye’ and ‘thee’ in fits of B Shelley-ism even HE would be proud of. Ozymandias, my eye – when a modern chick can throw down the ‘ye’ in mental conversation with HERSELF you know that it’s a good ol' fall-brain kind of day.

Y'all rock it like Sammy Hagar. Tiff out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Huff those fumes! HUFF THEM!!!


Sleeping in a house filled with the outgassery of a new coat of uber-shiny polyurethane on the floor is a sure recipe for a whanger of a headache. Totally worth it though, because that floor is so totally READY for a basketball hoop and some squeaky sneakers. Forget about putting on makeup in the glare of bathroom lights and mirror, from now on I'm going to crouch over the floor in the living room and, in the twinkling umber glow of a freshly re-redone floor, apply the tints, hues, and unguents that allow me to go out in public without elderly women asking me about my health and well-being (you think I'm kidding? Sadly, no. Being pale and blue-eyed means MASCARA, all the time. Also eyebrow pencil. *Sigh*).

Doing that floor took 2 HOURS of intimate 1-on-1 contact with the 15 x 15 foot living room yesterday afternoon, carefully brushing on the last coat (God, I hope) of poly, meticulously picking out the stray dog hairs that somehow found their way back onto the floor after the sanding and the vacuuming and the tack cloth-ing (which involved abotu 3 hours of Saturday's time), 2 hours of dip-stroke-stroke-stroke, and it was finished. FINISHED!! Oh, how I inspected each inch of that floor as I was brushing on the super-shiny final coat of polyurethane, because there's no way on this blue earth I was going to have to re-re-redo that damned floor if I could help it.

It's soooo shiny. High gloss means exactly that, to my utter and complete satisfaction. The Tiny House has one tarty-ass living room floor. It almost looks oiled. The temptation to slide around on it in my stocking feet is almost too much to bear. Must. Resist. Temptation.

At least for another couple of days, after which time the poly will have hardened enough to walk on, if not to actually put furniture on. Then? Let the sliding COMMENCE!


Wordnerd, do NOT click on this link. Just don't, OK? It's for your own good. Trust me.

Everyone else? Go, click, play, and tell me if you can beat 15,635 as your final score! A prize to those who can. But I'm betting you can't. Because you are not me, and therefore it stands to reason that you are also NOT the queen of all matchy games! (Screenshots will be necessary as documentation of your victory, naturally)

It took me about 6 hours to GET a game that totalled that many points. That's a lot of time invested in one stupid game, but I can't help myself. It's gotten so bad that when I close my eyes? I see those little critters.

An intervention might be in order.


Y'all have a great day OK? Happy Columbussing, or whatever it is you do to get your "celebration of early explorers" groove on. I think perhaps I shall pretend to be Queen Isabella for the rest of the least until someone Section 8s me.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thought I'd lost it years ago

Weekends alone?

Not so bad, akshully.

Yeah, I spend a lot of time not talking and being very very quiet and puttering around with the brain set to "first gear," but that's not so bad. There's a lot of pondering to be done, you know? Weekends alone can help with the ponder.

Also - I haven't cooked anything since Wednesday. That in and of itself is a minor miracel, because I'm big on the cookery. Being faced with a fridge full of leftovers though does stike ath the heart of my laziness, nad so it's been a very oven- and skillet-free few days. Kinda nice, RLY.

Also -also? I slept until 11:30 this morning. That, dear friends, is amazing, and hasn't happened since I was 18.

Yeah, a few days completely alone has been nice, but I wouldn't like to do this much more than extremely occasionally. Because you know what? I'm kind of really really boring. I need those other people in my life to keep my brain from shutting down entirely, it would appear.

So, it's time to shuck off the PJs, get into my "re-refinishing the LR floor" duds, go purchase some painting pads (the brush thing? Not working. Bubbles are generally fun things, but are our sworn enemy where polyurethane is concerned), hit the grocery store, then come back and finish that daggone floor. Then maybe, because the fridge is now EMPTY, cook something.

Feel free to come on over to help out. I think I've forgotten how to TALK, and need the practice.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This? Rocket-ship awesome

I want one. Read the story please, then come back here...

Dudes: I used to live right near here, and so can see those towns in my mind's eye.... (cue camera dissolve)....

Sound of the Long Island Sound gently spanking the smooth white beaches of Noank, Groton, and points beyond.

A young man stares pensively out to sea, first noticing the lighthouse he's recently restored with the sweat of his own ferociously manly brow over to his right (which would be the Old Saybrook spire). He's proud of his work, and wonders what to do for fun before tackling the Ledge Light out there in the Sound, whose ghosts and haints have scared off many a mighty sailin' man...

And then he says - by Yobkins, it's been a while since my pizza biz has been the beaming recipient of my godlike minstrations! Perhaps I should look for ways to grow the land-based money-makers before setting about righting what's wrong with the problems at sea? It won't be easy, after all , to rid the square brick walls of the Ledge Light with nothing more than the brawn of my back and the the fervent prayers of my mother (and best-friend Lucio). So - ah HA! A fire truck is for sale! PERFECT! The ideas begin to flow like an 11-year old girl at her first dance, and so I shall turn that truck of salvation into one of pizzabeeralicious debauchery and water cannon. Huzzah for New England! Huzzah for money making! Huzzah for having balls of pure brass, and the chutazpah to believe in my dreams!"

Stage left he strides into the misty wrap of dawn that surrounds the Niantic Inlet, swirling through the grasp of the sea to his the now and forever Pizza Truck man.

With beer.

How utterly awesome.

God, I miss New England.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mad for the plaid

This is almost too much fun. Design your own tartan! Gobble up huge chunks of time messing about with colors and color order and thread counts!!

Shall I show you mine? Yes, yes I shall. I made about a million of them (slight exaggeration. Prolly only like 999,990), and then hit on the idea of doing one in my 'blog colors' of red, yellow, blue, and white. Fooled around with that for a while, and came up with two I like:

I'm thinking of making one or the other of these the background at NAY once I get over the solid-color fetish I got going on. But which one? Anyone have an opinion or would like to take the opportunity to influence the look of this dark and shabby little coroner of the webosphere? If so, speak up in the comments, wont you?

Once you've created your very own personal tartan of awesomeness (because I know you will), you can pretend you're striding over the great Lands of Scot decked out in it. Feel the pride in your loins as the great cloth of your imagination swirls about your legs, sending shivers of freedom up your spine as the cool damp air of the moors climbs your thighs and licks at your netherbits, which are of COURSE uncovered as is the tradition.

Mmmm, kilts.

Oh! Extra coolness is that you can not ONLY make your own tartan, but then, if you so choose, you can have a bunch of it MADE for you in the fabric of your choosing! How frigging cool is THAT? When does the average Jane or Joe get to design their own fabric? You could use it to actually MAKE a kilt (ladies, unless you're a highland dancer you're not really supposed to, being as how they're attire for war and such, but who am I to tell you what to do?). Beware, they're fussy things though, the kilt. All those pleats and folds and buckles and sporrans and such. Makes making one rather a production, even if it IS in a tartan of your design.

So maybe you could use the fabric of intense magnificence to cover your couch, or, better yet, create the most basic and historic of Highland wear, the great kilt. No sewing required! Just a belt to fasten the plaid (the 'plaid' in Scots meaning a blanket, and not a weaving pattern), make a couple of adjustments, and off you go! How easy!!

Wait - this looks even easier, and involves a bed. Whee! I like any clothing that must be put on using a bed. Except tight jeans, and really, they require a floor. And a friend. And possibly lube. Clothing that requires lube to put on is not coming near my wardrobe, but of course you already KNEW that.

Great kilts seem so....great. I wonder, though, would a great kilt fit in my all-ninja wardrobe? Let's see - it's loose, flowing, probably almost noiseless, so I'd say yes. Plus which, the cool factor is not to be denied.

Wheels are turning, y'all, and turning fast. If you happen to see a tall red-headed woman in a great swaddle of tartan striding down the street of Ye Olde Wake Foreste, you'll know who it is. I invite you to join this movement. Go, buy your self 4 yards of fabric and a belt, and get to kilting! Sweet freedom from bifurcation and chafing! So cool you'll FEEL it.

And have a wonderful day.


Hey Thing 1! Happy 13th birthday! I love you.

And this is why they won't let me near the sharp knives

A little brain-teasing for you today, courtesy of my buddy Puff, who is one of my oldest and dearest friends, even though she abandoned life in the US for the excitement of Europe long ago and vows to never come back. Something about the chocolate, I think.

Even though she revels in her ex-pat status (and why ever not? it sounds so cool!), she still deigns to communicate with the natives on this side of the pond. Thank goodness for e-mail! The latest salvos have contained some very interesting tests, two of which I will share with y'all today. Be prepared to be brain-teased, and quite possibly to learn something about yourself.

First, find the man in this picture. The text that came with this image states that :Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, the right half of your brain is better developed than most people. If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, the right half of the brain is developed normally. If you find the man between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowl y and you need to eat more protein. If you have not found the man after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger!!!

Let's just say that the ONLY way I found the man was when Puff sent back the image with him CIRCLED. She, bless her, found him in under three seconds. Showoff.

Then, clicky-click on this link and watch the pretty dancer spin. In what direction is she spinning? Clockwise? Counter-clockwise? For me, it's counter-clockwise all the way, no matter HOW hard I want her to go the other way. When I'm on the verge of maybe seeing her go clockwise, my brain overrides any contrary impulse and turns her back around. So. Very. Frustrating!

So,what does this mean? My completely unscientific (yet totally rational) interpretation is that it means the right half of my brain is, for all intents and purposes, dead. That's rather an unpleasant surprise, but one I suppose I'll have to live with. It would explain why my left eye is far weaker than my right one, I guess, but not why I have so many right-brained traits ('fantasy-based,' anyone?).

How'd YOU do?


Woke up at 4:30 this morning in order to be on time to take a friend to the airport. 4:30 a.m. is NO time to be awake, unless there's a baby in the house that needs tendin' to.

By 6 a.m. I was at work, and now at almost 7 I'm feeling the need for a nap. Too bad there are 8 hours between me and that possibility, huh?

Therefore, I'm off to get me a cupla shots of 'expresso' from the Flavia-maker-mabob to prop my eyes open. Here's hoping it works.

Y'all? Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cookin' and confessin'

OK – recipe time. I can’t NOT post it, that’s how good it was.

Chicken Casserole, Tiny House style:

3 boneless/skinless chicken boobies, cut in bite-sized chunks
1 onion, diced
3 cups of broccoli, diced
2 cans fat-free cream of ‘whatever’ soup (I used celery, but chicken or mushroom would work fine. Cater to your own phobias on this one, y’all).
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
½ cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup grated cheese
½ cup grated parmesan
Various herbs and spices (I used oregano, basil, salt, and pepper)
1 cup rice

1) Get rice to cookin'

2) Combine soup, milk, sour cream, and grated cheese (not the Parm). Set aside

3) Steam broccoli and drain.

4) Sautee onion until golden brown, add to broccoli.

5) Sautee chicken until almost cooked through, add spices and finish cooking. Add broccoli and onions back to pot to combine.

6) Grease bottom and sides of a large casserole with cooking spray. Layer in the rice, spreading evenly.

7) Layer chicken mixture on top of that, spread soup goo on top of THAT, and finish with a sprinkling of parm.

8) Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until things are nice and bubbly, then finish off with a quick turn under the broiler until the Parm is a lovely light brown.

9) Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.

Dudes – YUM. The original recipe called for half and half or light cream as the liquid, didn’t specify fat-free soup, and did not include the grated cheese in the soup mix. Whatever. This tasted awesome, and so I thought I’d share.


Someone should tell me to never try new online games that feature matching blocks/bubbles/jewels in groups of 3 or more, or to attempt any game that involves clicking on groups of similarly colored items to blast them into oblivion while new courses of items come dropping from above at greater and greater speeds.

Because those games? Are like crack to me.

What are YOU addicted to? Is it games? Twitter? Porn? Blogs? Contests? Trivia?

Come on, you KNOW you have an addiction. ‘Fess up about it, won’t you?

And have a great day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Book Banning? I can go eleven better'n that.

With the credit crunch going global, it's time for us to start thinking about ways we can save money and protect our economy at the grassroots level. In my quest for helpyness and overall dogoodernishism, I propose that from now on we ban these things:

  1. 1. All fashion shows (FTFY DB Grin), and the puchasing of anything that comes out of them should one or 12 shows make it through the ban filter. (Ladies, go look at that slide show and TELL ME if that's anything you'd ever wear. I rest my case)

  2. Scratch-off lottery tickets

  3. Post-political debate teevee punditing

  4. Professional football cheerleaders

  5. Payouts of more than a million bucks per movie for ANY actor.

  6. In-store video advertising (WalMart? I'm looking at YOU).

  7. Star fruit. Who eats those things anyhow?

  8. Cars that get less than 25 MPG. (FTFY Grant)

  9. Hair gel.

  10. Amy Winehouse.

  11. Gossip magazine and websites and tabloids and teevee shows (as much as I love them). Because really? Nobody NEEDS to know that shit.
Got any other ideas of 'stuff that could be wiped off the face of the earth so that we could pump the dough spent on them into the economy in order to shore it up against future poor behavior by the financial system'? Tell us about them, won't you?


Speaking of poor behavior, have you ever heard of 'credit default swaps'?

Me neither, until this weekend, when they were explained in great and frightening detail on "This American Life." If you have the time, go check out that broadcast, then then bask in the glow of the realization that the 700 billion dollar bailout plan won't even begin to touch the amount of money that could potentially be lost once the house of cards built on credit default swaps goes down.

Even though I now feel a little smarter becuase I listened to that show, I'm not at all comforted by my new knowledge. Not one bit.


Public radio is seen as a bastion of left-leaning liberalistas with nothing better to do that shake a rubber saber at the foundations of capitalism and bloated pork-basted governmental systems.

That's OK by me, if those left-leaning liberalistas keep providing shows like T.A.L. (my own acronym, because I'm all nicknamey like that) and "Wait Wait don't tell me" and "Car Talk" and "The Diane Rehm Show" and "Prairie Home Companion" and "The BBC News Hour." Public Radio is awesome! It provides smart content with occasional insight coupled with entertainment (depending on when you tune in and where you live).

When I worked in radio, it was at a public radio station that was geared to classical music by day and jazz in the wee hours, but spent time in the mornings and afternoons broadcasting "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." I grew to love the crisp sound of the shows, the depth of reporting, the small stories discussed in great detail and the great stories explored in depth. There were actual reporters at our station that covered local news, and when one of their stories went national it was heady business. My experience with the people of public radio was terrific, even down to the station manager who would call me up at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night to school me in the proper way to do breaks (never EVER more than a minute, no matter how fascinating the subject matter).

Public radio - you ought to check it out. Even if you're more elephantine than assinine (:>) in your politics, I'm sure you'll learn something, or at least be entertained.

Tell 'em Tiff sent you.


And that's my post. Have a good day folks!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Some letters I ought to write

Dear people in the neighborhood who keep a yappy beagle dog in their yard while they're away from their house, which is like, all day every day,

I have a large block of high-quality chocolate here, and it's not too hard to fling it over the fence into your yard.

Seriously, put the dog inside, or risk losing it forever. I'm thisclose to calling in a complaint. Do you KNOW how hard it is to relax with the high-pitched yelp of a needy frigging BEAGLE assaulting your ears ever three seconds for 8 HOURS?????? Get a grip on reality, be a good neighbor, and get that dog to STFU or I'm going have to come over there and do it for you.



Dear God,

Kudos to you and the folks at the Meteorology Head Office for the great work you did this weekend. You could NOT have done a better job with the weather. Cool mornings, warm sunny afternoons, just perfect.

A small random thought - is there a possibility of aiming a lighting bolt into the yard of a very yappy beagle-y dog that lives in my neighborhood? You know, like one of those Wizard of Id 'zots'? Just thought I'd ask.



Dear Fleas that Refuse to Die,

A pox on you. Your beggardly stubbornnes to simply give into the various poisons I throw at and on you in an attempt to rid the dog of your irritating presence is annoying, to say the least. The dog is suffering, you bastards, and because she's an OCD Aussie has now chewed the hair off her ass in attempt to get to you, which is both ugly and troubling.

Is it too much to ask for y'all to find someplace else to live? You WANT her to be miserable? You WANT to be an instrument of torture for an aging pet whose sole goal in life is to 'catch the ball'? Whay you want to BE like that, anyhow? Go infest some yappy beagle-y dog in this neightborhood who could USE something to bitch about.




Dear Wake Forest Animal Control,

Someone in my neighborhood has a very annoying beagle-y dog that barks all frigging day long. It's gotten to the point that I can't open my windows because the incessant barking is so disturbing. I would like to know what can be done about this situation. I don't know where the dog lives, but I'm sure it wouldn't take much to figure out where the all-day-long yapping is coming from. Seriously. It's all day long, starting at about 7 in the morning (hello, Sunday morning!) and going for hours and hours. Let's just say that I'm glad I have a job that gets me out of the house. It's mind-numbingly annoying, like a dripping faucet or a cranky baby.

Please, won't someone just drive around up here (in the vicinity of X and Y streets) to get something done about that poor sad dog who is barking the days away hoping someone will pay attention to it?



That last one?

I just sent it.

Friday, October 03, 2008


It's possible that I have used that post title before. Why do I feel compelled to give every daggone post a title? It's not as though it has any relationship whatsoever with what I'm writing in the post itself. Seems inappropriate to simply DIVE IN to the writing without some kind of salutation or warning as to what's upcoming. Anyone have an opinion on this?

Anyone watch the debate last night? I couldn't. Can't risk hearing someone mispronounce 'nuclear' ever again. EVER! Also, one of the candidates has a terrible awful no-good very bad voice, which is as irritating as poison ivy, and so that's another reason to not watch. I did read some of the Fark comments as the debate was ongoing, which I find to be almost as illuminating as the event itself, if perhaps a touch more crude and a smidge more biased. Crude and biased I can do; listening to someone who drops the 'g' off every 'ing' is not my idea of statesmanship, and would completely derail my ability to hear what was being said, if indeed there was anything of substance offered up in debate. So no. No to the debate. It would only irritate me, which is a state of being to be avoided if possible.

Hey, I'm sick of OJ Simpson too. He can go take along walk off a short pier as far as I'm concerned. He's as relevant as a powdered wig, you know? He's a washed-up has-been who lost all importance over a decade ago, who has tarnished his early gleam with a greasy rag of violence and lies. There's nothing interesting or compelling about him, and I dearly wish the media would stop covering his pathetic 'story' and move on to things that matter more than the daily airing of his tattered worn-out dirty laundry.

Anger. Grrr.

Steve Fossett's been found, in case you live under a series of rocks, or the heart or Mordor. OK, they didn't find Steve, but they did find his airplane, his ID papers, and some 'remains' up on a mountain near Mammoth Lakes out in California. So, that's good. Now, maybe Amelia Earhardt will show up next. That would be cool, and would free up a bunch of people who could then go looking for Elvis, or Jim Morrison.

Nobody looks for Jimi Hendrix. Why is that? Is it because he's black? Is that it? Hmm, nobody is looking for Janis Joplin either, as far as I can tell. No great conspiracy theories around her, are there? She's a woman, and who cares about dead white female singers? Also, there's been a right shortage of Mama Cass sightings lately, which is kind of sad, unless she got a sex change and is now that Manuel Uribe dude down in Mexico who's lost like 500 pounds and is still humongously fat and can't walk yet has a girlfriend and is getting married and OMG have you seen the pictures of him with some kind of bloated purplish sack of skin hanging out the bottom of the sheets with which he covers himself? If that's an enormous ballsack, I'm officially done using my eyes.

Anything else I have to be pissed off about today? Oh yeah. I have to go to work.

Y'all have a wonderful day, a super weekend, and a beer for me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hey Yogi!

So, how many people thought I'd lost my mind yesterday when I either

  • 1) posted a great whack of blank space in an uncharacteristically short post, referencing an aged film star in combination with an interesting vocabulary word
  • 2) posted a busted You Tube link in an otherwise completely nonsensical post that left you pondering on my overall mental health
  • 3) posted a link to a You Tube vid that's no longer available in a post that, if you'd been able to see it, would maybe have made you laugh?

If your choice was any of the above, rest easy, for I have not lost my mind. Instead, I am the victim of a nonfunctioning interwebz, which made the appearance and viewability of this video impossible for a number of you, and for that I apologize. Now, because quality control is important, I verified that as of this morning that compilation of clips from SNL is available, and while not truly kid-safe (because Sean is a grumpy ol' cuss (sans cussing) innit), it might make you giggle. Also? The vid might help you understand the whole frigging POST from yesterday.

Humor failure is not a pretty thing. I'm here to help fix it.


Does the advent of fall bring out the idiot drivers where you live?

Three times yesterday poor Tinkerbell was nearly sideswiped by some moran or another who thought that they needed to be out front of whatever line of cars might be ahead of them, and who achieved this goal by weaving in and out of long lines of cars on 2-lane roads, sometimes into the face of oncoming traffic, at which point they (the morans) would shift sideways in the lane no matter who was in it at the time.

Twice yesterday, those morans were people who have HANDIPCAPPED plates. Is it any wonder why?


Had a dream this morning that was shockingly real, and simultaneously so surreal that I'm not sure what to think of my brain. It involved the afterlife, a boy of about 14, mysterious circumstances of his demise, and a posse of murderous teachers.

By the end of it I wanted more, but I woke up just as one frightening red-lipsticked high-haired angry old biddy was using a Hoover to burn the neck of the main character, which was a partial explanation of how he got one of the curious wounds that led to his death.

There were also poisoned eggs, a band of hooligans who used the boy as bait for the teachers' ire, and a litle matter of bringing this kid to justice so he could go back to the living, which is where I, as a 'greeter' to the afterlife, stepped in.

Wish I knew how it was going to turn out. I suspect well, but I'll never know, now will I?


It's cold here, but not as cold as it is where the Things are right now. They're on a trip with their Dad 'out west' to Wyoming and Yellowstone Natn'l Park, where it's already getting down to the 20's and 30's at night, and where there are more bears than amenities.

They're out there for a couple of weeks in an RV, doing camping and exploring and such. If you're the praying kind, please include their safety in your prayers. I'd dearly love to see them come back all in one piece.


I'mma strap on some warm duds and take myself for a walk before (grudgingly) going to work.
Have yourselves a wonderful day.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I'd like to see Sean Connery twist THIS


'someone who doesn't understand the basics of something'



And have a nice day.