Friday, April 28, 2006

A smattering of offerings

Firstly, please go here and be amazed at how one man's voice distills into a very few words emotions so true that all parents can relate to the feeling, no matter the condition of their children or their ages.

Are you sufficiently recovered from that yet?

No? Well, I'll give you another minute or so to get composed again. It took me a while.
Secondly, please join me in my befuddlement at this story.

I must say that I've tried and tried and tried to figure out in what way this makes sense, and tried to apply this kind of apparent money-raking scheme to other industries, and am coming up a total and complete blank. Would this kind of thing be appropriate for, um, pharmaceutical companies or restaurants or grocery store chains or any OTHER provider of goods or services? What other commercial sector has us by such short hairs? Where are our options? In which direction can I vent my indignation?

Or is my indignation misplaced? Is there are good REASON why this is happening?

Anyone? Hello?

The other night, while surfing around the teevee for something good to watch (or, at the very least, something not completely inane or intelligence-insulting or so fluffy it floats), we landed on an episode of "The Man from UNCLE."

Yes, you read that right.......we were that hard-up for entertanment. And yet, I enjoyed it. Is that so wrong??

In the episode we watched Shari Lewis guest starred as a wannabe showgirl and David McCallum does this number called "A Man is a Drum" while dressed as an Asian Indian, complete with very well done accent.

The supposedly main idea is that THRUSH is trying to break into UNCLE's main computer (which is under a theater where a third-rate show is being staged (therefore the acting and soforth)), which is so large it takes up an entire underground cavern and spits out information on long thin strips of paper and has an impressively large bank of flashing lights to indicate that it's functioning.

And while the idea of those old clunker computers is almost laughable, I had to stop and think that "hey, this show was done 40 YEARS ago! Have computers, as a viable entity, been around that long?", which was followed by "Shari Lewis was HOT back then!" which was followed by "I think I would maybe like to kiss Illya Kuryakin a little bit."

'Cause he was pretty hot too.
Nextly - it's time to play "Finish the headline!"

Katrina Report Rips the White House Anew

Because, sometimes they just write themselves, y'all.
Lastly (and you know there had to be a "Lastly," right?) - is there anything better on Friday mornings than knowing that a coworker is bringing in doughnuts, because that's what happens every Friday?
Yes, yes indeed there is - it's when a coworker brings in doughnuts to the office you're in which is not in the same building as everyone else is in because you're working on some super-secret thing that nobody else is supposed to know about, and the coworker lets you pick which one you want from a selection of pliant sugar-coated fat bombs so calorie-laden and unhealthy you can hear your future grandchildren beseeching you not to eat that thing so they can get to meet you one day.
CarolinaPurl - you rock. Totally.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Oops, more tangents

OK - indulge me while bitch for a sec about my job, yet again.

Waaaaahhhhh! It's driving me crazy!!!! Waaaaaaahhhhh!

(wait, that was whining. Let me try again. Memememeeeeee!!!!! lalalalalalalaaaaaa!!!! All right, I'm warmed goes)

God bless it! Why can't people just stop sending me stuff to work on when they say they've sent me the last thing I need to work with and they've "helped" me by putting in all their comments so I shouldn't have anything to do except check the document over to be sure it's right and gee, wasn't that all helpful of them,,,,,,,

EXCEPT - they persist in sending me stuff after they said they were done sending me stuff and they didn't REALLY accept all their changes correctly, and did NOT transcribe the changes into the accessory document correctly and so now I have to go and proof both the 80-page source and the 21-page summary all OVER again and we have a meeting in an HOUR to talk about all these changes and they're going to want to see "clean" versions of these things and oh look here's ANOTHER change coming through on e-mail and WHY WONT THEY JUST CUT IT THE FUCK OUT ALREADY AND LET ME DO MY JOB????????

(Yes, I said fuck. And it felt good. I'm going to do it again...... Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck............ wheeee!)

Dag-GONE y'all! This endless changing of the changes and the tracking of the changing changes is tedious and tiring and aggravating, and I was supposed to have something else out to another client yesterday and don't have time to work on THAT because I'm doing this OTHER thing that is like a burr under my saddle, if I were a riding horse instead of the WORKHORSE I'VE BECOME!

Neigh THIS, beeyotches.



Anybody know what this season's fashion colors are? Is it something other than black and tan and black?

If so, I need to go shopping. Even though I've recently branched out into pink and blue (quite the departure, I know), I don't want to go the wrong direction if, for once in my life, I'm to keep up with the trends.

Of course, the overriding factor here is that if the trends can't be found on the clearance rack at WalMart, I'm fresh out of fashion luck.


Oh God, there's another e-mail. Make it stop.


Oh yes, the rain. Yes, it still is raining, thank for asking. Yes, it's nice that we're not going to be in a drought situation, and it's nice that it's raining right before the well in the new house is to be checked, and it's nice that the crops can grow and the farmers can thrive and the butterflies can moisturize their wee little mouthparts, but I'm starting to feel right damp-ish and I can't drive with my windows down because my cars drips on me if I do, and my hair is doing this crazy weird "look at me, I've got BODY and CURL and a real WILD HAIR" thing that makes me wonder about my genetic heritage just a little, and the airplanes that cruise right over my HEAD on their way to RDU come in just a touch LOWER because of the clouds and all, which makes them sound very much as though they're going to crash through the roof in a screaming ball of hot metal and destruction.

But hey, think of the butterflies, right?



And there's yet another e-mail. I gotta go.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How tangential of me!

I didn't intend for the blog to change appearance, really I didn't. I was working on the assumption that until I clicked the "OK button" Blogger would NOT apply my playtime to the face this blog presents to the world every day.


What really chaps my glutes is that the change WIPED OUT all the linky goodness that was going on, and the list of my favorite hard-to-pronounce words, and whatever else personalized I had on there like my "barking moneys" and such. If you look closely,you'll see that when you leave a message here you're an angry alien now, and you "chirpily burble" your comments.

You're welcome for that.


I had to fool around with the color and font and background width and such, of course, and so if I have to accept this change into my life, well then at least the change will bow to my iron will and do as I, its mistress, wish it to!

Feel free to leave your impressions of the new look in the comments, you little angry alien.


I took the kiddies to McD's this morning for breakfast on our way to school and work, and I don't think it's possible to have had a worse experience at the drive-through.

(Pull up to speaker, wait for accidentally broadcasted conversation in a foreign language to finish)

"Ola, welcome to McDonalz, kin I teek yoor order?"

"Yes, thanks, I'll have a number 11 with an orange juice, and number 12 with a milk, and a sausage and egg biscuit, please"

"OK, thass a nummer 11, a nummer 12 and what?"

"I want a number 11 with an OJ, a number 12 with a milk and a sausage and egg biscuit."

"Oh, OK sorry about that."


"You want a McMuffin?"

"No, a sausage and egg biscuit."

"Oh, sorry."

(Screen busily changes from thing one to thing two and some other things gets added on)

"What do you want to dreenk with dat?"

"I TOLD you, a milk and an orange juice."

"Oh, sorry. That weel be garble garble garble, please garble garble"

(pull up to first weendo---- I mean, window, hand the girl money after she's done taking the next order and arranging her hair. She regards my 20 plus the correct change with a look that can only be described as "confused," and starts punching numbers into the register while breathing deep sigh. I get my change and pull up to the next weendo---- uh, window. The bag o' food is delivered, along with proper drinks, and I drive off)

Boy 2 unpacks the bag in the backseat, handing his brother the sandwich he wanted, then giving me my biscuit (NOT McMuffin), and then announcing -

"Mom, I didn't order a sausage McMuffin, I wanted a bacon McGriddle!"

Which, of course, was "the number 11 with OJ" I had ordered 3 times.

I don't think the girl with the nametag that said "Laura" (quotes were hers, BTW), is real counter-girl material.

Lastly, I have come to the harsh realization that stress and me don't mix well. I'm much more the bovine than the vulpine type. I'd rather have my field of grass then an exciting hunt, any day of the week.

Do you think there might be a job that makes people like me happy? There must be..... something like professional garden weeder or baby rocker or floor sweeper sound pretty good, as does paid laundry folder or paper stacker or dishwasher. I could work in a tie-dye shirt shop or make macrame plant holders or something like that; something that seems productive with out too much thought involved so that I can daydream my way through day after day after day.....


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Java, baby

Doom doom doom dadda doom doom

Undah presshah!

Doom doom doom dadda doom doom

Gimme coffee!


A few requests for your help, dear gentle and very knowledgable readers......


If someone can tell me how to TELL THE BIRDS THEY SHOULDN'T BE FLIPPING CHIRPING AT 3 IN THE MORNING, I'd be very grateful.



I have gotten the world's crappiest 2 nights of sleep ever, and am feeling a wee tad crabby this morning. Is it obvious?

Woke up with a Texas-sized headache this morning, which was not even due to having done anything fun or illicit last night, and which I can only blame on the abovementioned irritations. I do not like headaches. I do not like having my sleep interrupted.

I feel much the same way as I did when the boys were babies, all muddled and befuddled and not NEARLY caffeinated enough. You know, when you're just sleep-deprived enough to THINK you're functioning well but in reality might not be? Like, when you drive to work and think "How did I get here?"

This is NOT my beautiful life, I can tell you that much.

Just as an FYI - My beautiful life involves lots and lots of quality sleep, a nice quiet place in which to wake up, a gentle breeze wafting in through the slightly open window that allows in the hushed sounds of a slowly-awakening world - maybe a few birds drowsily "eeping" for their friends, perhaps the sounds of a few curious squirrels gingerly exploring for acorns or something in nice soft grass. My beautiful life has white linen curtains at the windows and smells of fresh laundy. My beautiful world is decorated in blue and yellow and white and has a den painted deep red with books along 2 walls and a long leather sofa on which I can fling myself on hot summer afternoons. My beautiful life has enough plates for 2 meals and no dog hair tumbleweeds, and comfortable clothing, and 200-page-long magazines full of things I like to read and which are printed on thick matte-finish paper. My beautiful world has nice warm muffins in the morning and long afternoon shadows on the family-room walls.

My beautiful world, as you might therefore suspect, most certainly does NOT include insomniac cats, nervous dogs, pre-dawn thunderous dumpster bashing from the loyal and early-rising sanitation workers, or hyperactive suburban birds who think a streetlight is as good a reason as any to start seranading the cute chickadee across the street with raucous boasting song at o-dark-thirty.


Of course, in addition to the above, in my beautiful world I'm filthy rich, have minions, live in a commune, am wise beyond my years, can do magic, have Ziggy Stardust as a best friend, am effortlessly thin, forever young, possess finely turned ankles, and can fly.

How 'bout you?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Gross One

Because, y'all, this here post is the dozen-dozenth post I've done, which is a "gross," so that shall be what this post is all about. Gross, and grosses, and the psycho-social implications of the gross.

NAW!!!!!!!!!!! Psych!!

Actually, I'm writing this because I think my intestines are trying to tell me something.

My gastrointestinal tract, which is normally so well-behaved, I swear just said "I hurt" in a tone reminiscent of Gollum's precioussssss voice being shunted through the Peter Frampton vo-coder, and now, quite frankly, I'm worried about what they might say next.

Why should I be worried, you ask? WHY? Quite simply, it's because there are secrets, people, that I'd rather nobody but me and my GI tract know about.... and because the GI tract, she is not a liar. She knows that truth about me, the good and the bad, and, yes, the ugly.....

- She knows that when I eat an Applebee's Santa Fe chicken salad, what comes out one end is greener than what went in the other.

- She knows that a whole family-sized bag of popcorn will cause agonies of colossal proportion as the shards of hulls scrape their way down her soft yet muscular tract.

- She knows that a double-cheesburger from McDonald's is as good as an ExLax any old day.

Yessir, my digestrive tract, from beginning to end, knows THINGS, things that people do not know about me, and I'm afraid she's going to start TALKING and I won't be able to SHUT HER UP!

For instance:

-Say I'm in a meeting with a new client, and all of a sudden the transverse colon speaks up in a gargle-y drawl to say "Y'all! Watch out! She had that pinto bean salad for lunch and we're a-brewin' up some mighty mighty gaseous conniptions RIGHT HERE, if we don't call a bio-break soon she's gonna BLOOOOOW!"


- Say I'm at church (twice a year!), and while I'm shaking hands with the minister and trying to look sincere my esophagus decides to pipe up about the time I ate a whole row of double-stuffed oreos in one sitting and then hid the bag, which makes me not only slothful and a glutton but a big ol' LIAR as well and I'm going to hell sure as the pope wears a funny hat.


- Say I'm laid out on the gynecologists table and my rectum (God bless her) starts in on how I used to mope at home on Friday nights as a lonely young teenaged girl while munching on nacho-cheese Doritos and watching Fantasy Island and pretending to kiss Ricardo Montalban and feeling very sorry for myself because Donny said that if I lost 20 pounds I'd be a stone-cold fox but as it is he didn't think I was very attractive?


- Say I'm walking down the street in New York City, and am about to be spotted by an ad agent who thinks I've got just the right "look" for a new line of wrap sandwiches for ladies of a certain age who need to pamper their delicate systems, and the duodenum decides that THAT moment is the right one to announce that "DUUUUDE, she eats lunch out of the vending machines every day and can't be bothered to heave her ASS out of the office chair to DRIVE a half-mile to Taco Bell for a cheap salad, so what makes you think she's going to go ANYPLACE AT ALL for your nasty low-fat cardboard-tasting saliva-sucking dry wrap of an excuse for lunch anyhow, huh?"

(Because my GI tract knows me, and knows that I would not. )


- Say that I'm at a cocktail party with the upper-level management of my company (it could happen!) and I'm at the bar with the president of the company, and he coincidentally is ordering a bourbon on the rocks like I am just about to do (because me and the bourbon are in love with one another and need to see each other on an almost daily basis or life just isn't the same), and my appendix chooses that moment of star-crossed attention-getting to shout "DAG, y'all! Don't you know that that shit'll ruin BOTH y'alls livers and give you the trots in the morning? Haven't you done enough damage ALREADY without heaping insult on injury? Can't you freaking leave well enough ALONE for one night and give us all a BREAK down here?" At which point I will order a Diet Coke instead, and I'm sure my descending colon, in a voice so low that only my kidneys can hear it, the voice that sounds remarkably like an oily fart on the boil, will hiss out a sarcastic "Oh, shee-yeah, like anybody believes THAT!" and starts laughing through her teeth.

So, yeah, I'm worried that my innards are learning to talk.

Because I'm not at ALL sure I want to hear what they have to say.


Hey! In a krayzee karmic koinkydink - this gross post was indeed kinda gross! I got Nuthin' but net!

Friday, April 21, 2006

"And you're not!"

'Cause, like, I shouldn't even BE here, dudes! Totally crazy days here at TIFF teevee, but the show MUST go on and therefore I offer you...

The headlines, as seen through a very scratched and greasy filter.

Gabbro extracted from deep within Earth

Wait a gosh-darned minute! didn't she say she "chust vanted to be alooone" a long time ago? Why can't we respect that???

But, hey, if they found HER, then maybe they should nose around a little for Jimmy Hoffa while they're there.

Contractors profit from 'No Child' education law

Because, duh, it dosesn't take ANY money to educate "no child"!

Shiites to meet on PM

PM says "that's gonna leave a mark" in response.

Phony doctor gives free breast exams

I wonder, what woman in her right mind WOULDN'T let this man into their homes to grope their happy pillows? He looks so, so, trustworthy and not Gacy-esque at ALL!!

Class-Action Status Sought in Teflon Suit

Who wants to bet those charges won't stick?

Apple Questioned in Trade Secrets Case

"See hear, Jonathon, if you don't tell us what we want to hear we'll get Mott over here to do his thing on your Granny Smith!"

Emotional Wiring Different in Men and Women

Which explains why the computerized light show Bobby and Daniele made as a science fair project wouldn't work after their first big fight......

Britons Cheer Elizabeth on 80th Birthday

"I'm 80 bloody years old!" she thought upon arising, but after the nice peasants shouted a hearty "Huzzah!" as she sped past them in her gold-plated motorcoach she felt ever so much better, and thought perhaps she COULD have one of those truffle-dipped pate biscuits and a spot of Dom after all.

Nepalese King Speaks, but Impact Unclear

Hindram, playfully nicknamed "the silent king of Tibet" by the British media, broke his 20-year period of voluntary muteness this morning by requesting a "biggie size fries and a junior double with bacon." His countrymen didn't know what to make of this odd turn of phrase, and sorely wished they'd listened to those english lessons Brad Pitt was giving out when he was doing that movie a few years back. Updates as events warrant.


So much for that. Have a lovely weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Softly, softly creeps the night

Do you sometimes doubt your own brain, or is it just me?

Do things pop into your head at random moments, and you wonder why your brain picked just that particular moment to present you with a vision of Paris Hilton with two noses or Betty White as a nursing-home resident in an old-folks production of "Mame" that coincidentally has Harvey Feirstein in the lead?

Or again, is that just me?

I ask, becasue going to sleep for me is a nightly adventure, a time in which my brain, generally so well-behaved by day, pulls out all the stops and really puts on a show. Last night's offering was the aforementioned Broadway production, but I didn't get just a glimpse, oh no, that would be far too mundane! I got so very much more!

As such:

The hall in which the show was was to be performed was actually the dining hall at the retirment home, and still smelled of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and Lysol. The carpet was a muted red, the walls had an ornate chair rail, above which was a brocade-like pink wallcovering and below which was painted a creamy white. There was a grand piano in the corner that was covered with a rug and stuffed dog. Large windows on the southen wall allowed in a diffused afternoon light through the sheers and heavy curtains. Large potted palms flanked each window, and were slightly dusty.

The costumes were a pale purple flapper style for the chorus AND stars, with beadwork on the hem and sleeves that swayed when the "girls" did their modest dance number (not so much with the high kicking, apparently). The necklines were ladylike scoops, the hair ornaments were beaded caps that sat on the back of their white heads, like wee disco yarmulkes, the shoes were typical dancer-style pumps dyed to match the dresses.

The director wore a red cravat and had wild gray hair. He used to "be somebody" on the great white way, and all the girls loved him. He wore a monocle and spats and had slightly sour breath and long yellow teeth.

Harvey F sang in a fetching ladylike tone and wore a gray foofy wig that did nothing to detract from the 6-o'clock shadow he had going on. He had lost a considerable amount of weight in this dreamworld, and wore a size 12 dress. I know this becuase he asked me to zip it up as he was rushing to take his mark. His speaking voice was what you'd expect. I marvelled at his ability to change it for the songs. He smelled like cigar smoke and whiskey.

The scene was suffused with a sense of excitement as Betty White appeared on the scene in her white tee shirt and blue pull-on pants. Apparently my brain thinks Betty is rather tall and very slender. My brain also believes that Betty has worn falsies for all these years, because she pulled them out of her bowling bag along with the blond wig she was going to use to cover her abundant snow-white locks and throatily burbled - "which way to the ladies, ladies?"

At which point the singing began, and the orchestra appeared, and the beaded hems swayed in unison, and Harvey spun Betty around as they belted out "who ya gonna call?" from Ghostbusters until they collapsed on the floor, weeping with laughter and the director yelled "CUT!" and I woke up.

Looking at Paris Hilton and her two noses.


Somebody care to take on a dissection of THAT dream? I totally dare ya.


Softly, softly creeps the night
A rambling mind takes evening flight
To lands of golden bright delight
Or hells of wicked burning fright

But dewey hazy morning light
Breaks the gaze of my mind's sight
I try to keep the visions bright
To understand the dreaming sleight

And sometimes,
Am successful.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The one that explains it all....

Or not.

The NOT part being how even though I might not have one single smidgen of a hairless clue about certain things, I will talk as though I do with a vague but knowing air, and most people listen to me because I seem to know what I'm talking about and I do so with such sincerity that they don't know until the very end (and maybe not even then) that my words were nothing more than a raft of crap that won't hold water.

(ewwww! Mixing metaphors is dangerous work kids! Know what you're doing before you attempt this at home, or you could have similarly disastrous results!).

I look at this as skill.

Not the metaphor mixing. The raft-making.

I would have been a tremendous used-car salesperson, if only I could have convinced myself that forsaking all my morals and lying to innocent people on a continuous basis were things for which the word "aspiration" was coined.

I'm not THAT good salesperson, and couldn't even convince myself of this...

To appease my fuzzy sense of unease at my shimmed-up and rickety attempts at a knowing and sophisticated facade, I have convinced myself that a lot of people forge through this world in a similar "make-piece" fashion, hoping that what they're pretending to be is what they're supposed to know and how they're supposed to act and that the scrim of believability they've erected in front of the real them really really looks like what they want themselves to resemble.

For example, I would like people to see me as a competent professional person with a firm understanding of many things literal and political, who also dabbles with some degree of success in writing and music, who enjoys witty banter with collegial folk of all backgrounds, and who finds beauty in even the most mundane happenstances of life.

Behind the scrim-shield of this fantasy-desire is that, in reality, I am a befuddled middle-aged woman who feels like a sham in her job, doesn't get Sartre or Marx and can't be bothered to learn to like them, gave up the ax and pen for "practicality" (and fears the rust will never shake loose once allowed its foothold), frequently sticks a clammy calloused foot in her gaping maw of stupidity and self-involvement, and often is too busy to notice what's going on around her.

And so, I throw up the screen, thinking that maybe if I ACT the way I want to BE, then the acting will take over and the being will become. I will evolve. I will emerge. I will, perhaps, grow up.


Yeah, right. As if THAT'S ever going to happen.


If you could go back to a certain age in your life, what would it be?

I'd choose 6, 19, 25, and 33 for starters.

Maybe one day I'll tell you why.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Time for nothing


This has got to stop!

I'm on a first-name basis with the IT man. OK - he IS nice, and he's got very cool dreadlocks and a charming manner, but I shouldn't really be on a first-name basis with him, should I?



Also, we bought a house today. I think. At least the sellers took our offer.

Now there's the little thing of the finances and inspections to get through.

But whoa, Nelly! If we get it we can say goodbye to the high-schoolers and their noisy cars and curse-word conversations and migrating garbage! We can say goodbye to the streetlights that turn a dark night an abnormal amber hue. We can say goodbye to renting, and linoleum floors that don't QUITE make it all the way under the baseboards and toilets that can't handle the output of a couple of growing boys (do.not.ask) and worn carpets and no place for the dogs to run.

We CAN say "hello" to the front porch and back deck and 7.6 acres and country and trees and new appliances and a jacuzzi tub and a 2-car garage! Say hello to peace and quiet and dark nights and a place to stretch out and start dreaming all over again of the future. Say hello to each child getting his own room for the first time ever, and to having room left over for an office. Say hello to a garden and pond (once we put it in) and gettin' a little dirty pickin' weeds and veggies and flowers and teachin' the kids to tell one from the other.

They say it's hard to say goodbye, but I'm thinking this won't be so very tough. I'm already decorating the bedrooms in my head.


Is it me, or is this headline a little confusing? "Why would he pick HER?" was my first thought.

Clearly, I need to keep a little closer watch on the current events.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ow, again, and the Easter Bunny

So, still with the brain hurting thing. I'm simply NOT used to this whole "work like a crazy woman while the sharks are circling" deal.

I am so swamped that I really should NOT be taking the time to write this entry.......



I feel it's incumbent upon me to tell you that we have a 10-year-old boy in our house that still believes in the Easter Bunny. Matter or fact, his 8-("almost 9!")-year-old brother does too.

I credit thier continued faith in the fanciful to 1) a mastery of sleight-of-hand, 2) distraction, and 3) level-headed teamwork on the part of Mom and Dad.

For example - It pays to have a husband who will tell the kids "go back to bed, it's too early to be looking for treats yet," who then wakes me up so I can pack the baskets (or, as they were this year, butterfly nets) with the goodies and wrap 'em' up in cellophane and put them behind the futon so they seemed to have magically appeared even though that area had already been LOOKED at once that morning......

A further example - It also pays to have grandparents around for distraction, so that the very obvious checking of the status of the eggs in the fridge one minute (yup, still there) and an equally obvious discovery of their disappearance the next (where did they GO? They were just HERE!) creates a mystery of tantalizing proportion, and during the intervening time gap nobody noticed Mommy outside throwing eggs into the ivy, and canoe, and on top of the lawnmower, and amongst tree roots, etc.

For at least one more year, we got them fooled. I don't know how long we can keep this up, but I'm determined to keep trying. I'm convinced that the spark of wonder and the thrill of a brush with the unexplainable keep them young and preserve a bit of their innocence.

We won't lie to them if they ask about the corporeal reality of Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, but until they ask, we're not telling.


An aside -

When I was growing up, we had Easter egg hunts well into our teens, and it was always a big competition to see who could get the most. It's not like we WON anything, we just ran like crazy to get them eggs. That's just how things were done.

This year, the boys were ripping around all over the yard (after looking all over the inside of the house hoping to find eggs), and when one found and egg he'd say "OK, the next one's yours" until all the eggs were found.

No competitive spirit at all.



Friday, April 14, 2006

Too good not to have its own entry

Oh, beauties, I've been waiting for a story like this one to come along for a very long time...

Emerging volcano has its own moat of death.

The "moat of death," people! I envision boiling sulfurous sea water, like a giant fondue pot, awaiting any creature rash enough to dare breach its boundaries!

Imagine, the ubiquitous french-accented voice that accompanied the undersea adventure films of the '70's (yes, THAT voice!) describing the following scene of pathos:

"Ze newly hatched shreemp, unfortunate preezoners of ze ocean tides, are carried dahnzherously close to ze growing undersea volcano and eets moat of death. Ze tiny crustaceans' chemoreceptors alert zem to ze eencreased submantle parteeculates in ze water, and ze rapidly increasing heat sends alarms to zeir preemiteeve neural system to flee before ze dahnzher eez upon zem. Een vain, ze transluscent newborn arthropods try to escape, but ze onrush of ze deep ocean current rushes zem up ze sides of ze black submerzhed mountain, to ze hot and odeeferous dess-pot zat awaits..."

Mmmm, moaty underwater carnage, and shrimp. That's enough to make my day, right there.


Can you tell I have the day off?


Hey ya'll, have an enjoyable weekend - I'll be back on Monday after stuffing myself with hardboiled eggs and chocolate.

That reminds me - I need to get TP at the grocery store. Can't be too careful, you know.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My brain hurts

By the time today is over, I will have taken part in 17 hour-long team meetings or training or computer troubleshooting sessions.

That's over HALF my "work" time spent in meetings.

What's worse, in a good chunk of those meetings I was expected to have something useful to say, some nugget of evidence of my productivity to offer up to the project managers. In some of those, I was the ringleader, guiding the other participants toward a common goal of progress.

In the other meetings I was busily doing work for other projects and keeping only half an ear on the phone for any mention of my name or group name, so as to at least respond with a "what was that?" when I unmuted the phone.

I ask, you, with a schedule like that, when am I supposed to be getting any internet surfing done? How am I to perfect my Chuzzle-playing skillz if I don't devote time every day to sharpening my hand-eye coordination?

This crazy workathalon must stop soon, or I might become a true office drone and begin to think that working every single minute I'm in my office is the way things are supposed to be.

That thought makes my brain hurt.

How do women put their hair up in those Gibson-girl-type poofy buns?

I saw a woman the other day who had just this kind of "do," and I couldn't figure out how she did it. The bun was perfectly round and cute as a little button on the crown of her head; the hair was a smooth corona surronding the bun that stuck out at least 3 inches from her scalp all the way around, and it looked like the whole thing wouldn't move if she was facing into a gale-force wind while being whipped with icy sea-spray, even through there was no visible means of support.

I suspect this is a talent she developed in Southern Girl school, and something that, because of my immigrant status to this region, I will never be taught.

Again, that thought makes my brain hurt.


Also, even though today is Thursday I'm wearing Friday clothes to work because we have been given tomorrow off in obervation of Good Friday. An odd misnomer, some might think, for such a grave (no pun intended) day.

I was reminded last week, while visiting my brother's church, that Pontious Pilate didn't really WANT to sent Jesus to Golgotha. The Roman senator was pushed into it by a crowd of locals who had been whipped into a self-righteous frenzy by the religious leaders of that region, and Pilate didn't want to stir up trouble in an already troubled region, so he caved when they shouted to let Barrabus free and to crucify the peasant preacher. This is the same crowd that, no doubt, laid palms and fine cloaks in his path as he entered the city on the back of a young donkey just a few days before.

And even though I'm not terribly religious and don't subscribe to any particular theology, this also makes my brain hurt.

Or maybe that's my heart.


I'm enetered into the "Carnival of the Mundane" this week, as a tipoff from mariemm3. I bit the bullet and sent in a link to a recent post. Can't wait to see what DaisyMae does with it. The results will be posted tomorrow.

It tickles me to be able to join in the fun. And it was easy - they didn't ask for security clearance or a sample of my writing or a drop of blood or pound of flesh or a pinky promise or 20 silver ducats or anything. Free! Whee!!

This, thankfully, does NOT make my brain hurt.

Though it might tomorrow, when the mocking begins.....


And with that, I must go get ready for meeting number 16.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Musical Interlude

Watched this last night, or at least most of it.

And am ready to watch it again.

I'm a little too young to have been intimately familiar with The Band during my youth, and now, because of this film, I'm sorry for that and therefore can feel a full-on obsession starting up. I want to know MORE, and right now, thankssomuchforasking.

Because, hello? These guys rocked! Yes, I know, they were hooked up with Mr. Bob Dylan for a period of time, for which I must forgive them, but golly day, y'all, the SONGS! "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," "I Shall Be Released," "The Shape I'm In," etc etc etc. The songs, and the singers, and their guests, make this a fine, fine film....

In all honesty, I could have done without many of the other artists and performers who took part (I'm looking at you, Mr. Neil Diamond), except that, well, Neil Young did a pretty fine job with his tune and Joni Mitchell was there running along like she does and Dr. John looked sweet in his pink bowtie and Muddy Waters was in full-on yowl and smoke form and Eric Clapton's nose in profile is something to behold. Almost all of it was delicious to hear AND see.

It's a crying shame that they just don't make music like that anymore.

Or do they?

I subscribe to a magazine called Americana Rhythm, a "local" paper that focuses on American music in the Shenadoah Valley and surrounding areas, and I think they're onto something. The mag is filled to bursting with all kinds of musicians and interviews and show dates and festival announcements, and I'm sure that in there somewhere there must be a band like The Band, who are waiting for their moment to arrive. Amidst all the bluegrass and folk, there must be some group of people who are bursting at the seams with music that defies description, who can toss out melodies with gravelly voices and change up singers at a moment's notice to suit the song and who can switch from drums to mandolin or from fretless bass to standup bass if they need to and pour out earnest passion into the mic and crowd.

And, watch out, because when I find them, they're mine. I will learn all the words to their songs and pretend to sing backup with them while I'm driving to work and buy their CDs and tickets to their shows and take my kids to see them. I will immerse myself, like I did when I first heard Little Feat and Nancy Griffiths and Joni Mitchell.

It will be wonderful to discover something new.


I'm not terribly picky about music, but prefer and gravitate to Southern Rock and jazz when I want a lift. Even classical music, which once was my LIFE, is a little irritating unless I can find time to listen to a whole piece. But hey, put on some David Bromberg or Lynrd Skynyrd or Wynton Marsalis or David Grisman or Charlie Parker or Grateful Dead and I'm pretty darned happy about life.

You can forget hip-hop - I tried it and it didn't resonate with me. You can forget top 40, because I'm not 14 anymore. You can forget heavy metal, unless it's been a really frustrating day. You can forget emo, because I have enough angst in my life. Industrial = small doses are OK. Punk = fine for when I'm high-energy. Disco = not anymore. 80's = when I'm nostalgic, and only for three songs.

I'll listen to almost anything for a little while, but only a few things for a lotta while.

Which prompts me to ask - what kind of music really gets YOU going, and why?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Madly flinging epithets

Has anybody noticed that I don't cuss a whole lot on this hyar blog?

What's THAT about?

Face it, most of you wouldn't know me if I passed you in the street wearing a neon bra and leather underwear while marching with the flame-thrower afficinados of America club in the Beltane parade, so why should I worry if you happened to find out that, in the meat world, I curse like a drunken sailor getting a scrotum tattoo?

Have I developed "sensitivity" at long last?

It seems as though a liberal application of dirty words would be the cool thing to do, because I've seen some blogs by younger people and manohmanohMAN are there curse words! The "B" word is an endearment, the "F" work is a multipupose space-filler, and the "S" word is used to describe a state of mind or digestive byproduct or possessions. They spit them out like a mouthful of watermelon seeds on the fourth of July (like that one? Huh?) and don't seem to remark on any bitter aftertaste. Cussing = cool to people under 25, or so I'm led to believe.

Which makes me fee so uncool NOT using 4-letter words, but can't bring myself to type them, even if they're what I really mean and would say if I was talking to you in person and would add a little peppah to the writing.

In some ways this makes me feel like that maiden Aunt who calls a couch a davenport or the bathroom a "necessary." I'm one step away from tatting doiles for kitty condos and smelling of mothballs and dentures!

Dagnabbit all to heck.


I don't even like the word "piss."


One of my brothers can't stand the word "packet."

Personally, I do not like the four-letter slang for the girlie area that rhymes with "punt." I would go so far as to say I HATE this word. Like "whore," it seems to me one of the worst things you can call a woman.

Got any words you just don't care for? Something that makes you feel squicky inside when you say them or hear someone else say them? Feel free to allude to them in the comments, or go ahead and type them right out for the rest of us to ponder over.


This has to be short today - I'm already behind and have to leave early to go to a meeting at the bank (with a banker and everything! Because we sold our house and have M-O-N-E-Y and need to NOT spend it on frivolities like neon bras and flame throwers!) and have to get something to someone that I told them they have today and I'm nowhere NEAR getting that done, PLUS I have a meeting in 15 minutes that I'm not ready for.

So, 'bye!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Prepare to be amazed

Because this is my blog, and, you know, just because I can, it's POETRY CORNER TIME!



Fruitless Romance
Five o’clock,
Parking lot
My white car
Is not.
Chartreuse fuzz
Adorns the hood
The roof
The trunk
The neighborhood.
It’s in my nose
It makes me wheeze
It’s in my lungs
And so I sneeze.
Arboreal tensions
Are relieved.
Frustrated pollen
Lie impotent
With redbud blooms
On the cement.
The virgin lover
And blowsy dame
Are vivid players
In Spring’s sex game.

My eyes well up
A combination
Of nature's beauty
And sinus conflagration.
Oh happy spring
When new life surges
I just wish those trees
Would suppress their urges.


I had a better one written in my head while ("whilst" for all y'all British-speak lovers out there) driving back from a weekend at my sibling's house yesterday, but, as so many things do, it fled from my brain and left me with this vague notion of what I wanted to do and only a few tools in the box with which to re-build the thing.

The weird thing is, I don't suffer from allergies, as one might infer from the above doggerel, but can find it in myself to sympathize with those who do. There is enough misguided pollen around these parts to sweep it into piles, and, to add to the sense of foreboding all atopic and allergic folks must feel, there is the promise of more to come now that the dogwood and redbud and wisteria and tulips are all blooming.

It's beautiful yes, but can also be dangerous.

Like Princess Leia, or Niagra Falls.

Or Catwoman, or pitcher plants, or the ocean.

Or some species of poisonous snakes.

Yup, just like that.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sweet relief

Oh, ho, ho!!!! Sound the klaxons and ring the bells!!!! They're baaaaack!

We welcome the return of the REAL headline writers who must have been on vacation the last couple of weeks and in their absence allowed the too-literate and nervous interns to sub-in for them.

Only this theory could explain the mighty deluge of incomprehensible or easily misunderstood headlines flooding the Yahoo news page today! I can feel my dried-up snarky little sense of humor fairly blossoming under the life-giving rain of confusion.

Like so:

Iraqi women argue, but agree on their special role

and American women argue and don't agree, French women don't argue but agree to disagree, and Germen women don't argue and also agree. What then, do they do in Irelend?

New York horror swamps September 11 death penalty trial

Warning: Leona Helmsley has broken free from her "retirement community" and was reported to have been last seen swimming across the Hudson toward Manhattan. One of her assistants said she had lately been ranting about "getting that hat off that Moussaoui guy" and had been extremely agitated. Citizens are urged to stay indoors until this situation is rectified.

These next two were posted 13 minutes apart:
Stocks Edge Higher on Upbeat Jobs Data
Stocks fall as rate worries overtake data gains

I admit a certain degree of confusion.

TSX declines; loonie jumps after Canada's jobless rate falls to 32-year low

Because, if one were SANE, one would realize that decreasing jobless rates are a GOOD thing indeed. Silly, silly loonie.

Tame Playboy sparks excitement in Muslim Indonesia

The sight of Anna Nicole on a leash would do that just about anywhere, don't you think?

Mexicans Protest Slow Hurricane Rebuilding

They want that hurricane NOW, dagnabbit.

Greeenpeace and Nestle clash over GM coffee

I had no idea General Motors even MADE coffe, or that Greenpeace was getting in on the java biz. Imagine the carnage this clash could create - inflatable Zodiacs carrying earthy protesters beathing against the current of the chocolate river hidden deep in the bowels of Nestle plant, where it's rumored little men with a keen sense of rhythm are in deep negotiations with Lee Iacocca to grow the mysterious GM coffee.....

Horrifying in it's implications, really.

New ring around Uranus is blue, scientists find

Does that mean there's too much copper in your water?


Heh - I cracked myself up with that last one.


And the last:

"Monster rabbit" targets vegetable patch

It had great pointy teeth and could fly, or
so I've heard. See below for a picture one bold soul maanged to take with his cell phone while two very brave knights attempted to capture the magnificent beast:
Thrilling, isn't it?


Have a lovely weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Happy Birthday to Youuuuuu!

Hi! I know it's been a long time since we talked, so I thought I'd give you a quick shout-out (dig the new lingo here) to say Happy Birthday! Surprise! I didn't forget this year!

Actually, I never forget, but sometimes just don't talk with you on your "special day" because I'm lazy like that. It doesn't mean that you're not important or that I don't love you, it just means that sometimes I can't get out of my own way to do something that is really very simple. Like that time you were supposed to call an insurance agent and forgot and forgot and forgot until it actually because a source of strain in your marriage because your wife kept asking you about whether or not you'd called, and for like a week you didn't take the 5 minutes to call because there were better things to do? Yep, just like that.

For some reason, this year I feel like I need to say a special happy birthday to you; as a reminder to you of how great I think you are. So, here goes:

I really like that you like Monty Python and Benny Hill. You're really silly, and love to laugh at silly stuff. I think that's charming and refreshing.

I really like that you like to sleep in on weekends, because I like to do that too.

I really like when you make up stupid verses to songs or talk in a fake British accent. Cracks me up.

I really like that you give spectacularly good hugs. Some people don't, you know.

I really like that you're interested in your family's comings and goings and support all the stuff your kids do. It's wonderful that you drive 2 hours just to see one of your kids play a concert at college, then drive right back home again. Such dedication is marvelous.

I really like your blue eyes, and the way they crinkle when you smile.

I really like your big laugh.

I really like your interest in the stars and your sense of wonder at the universe.

I really like that you have a ton of friends.

I really like that you make your kids' lunches in the morning so your wife can sleep in a little longer.

I really like the way you look in your officer's whites.

I really like your generous spirit.

I really like so many things about you!

I guess, what I'm saying is, I really really like YOU.

And if I could have one wish today, it would be to be able to say all this to you in person......

But you've been gone a long time now, so this is the best I can do.

Happy 74th birthday, Dad, wherever you are. I love you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

How big is it?

Ponder this what as I found on Fark today:

Victoria Lundy, 41, in custody in Chillicothe, Ohio, in January for a barroom shooting, apparently smuggled her gun into the jail at the time of her arrest by putting it inside her vagina. A shot was fired in a holding cell, and according to a fellow prisoner interviewed by the Chillicothe Gazette, the gun had gone off when Lundy sat down on a bench in the cell. (No one was hit.)

Isn't the vagina an amazing thing? It's nice and warm and self-cleaning, and all KINDS of things can fit in there! A short list of things I've seen or heard about or experienced might include:

Bananas, cucumbers, carrots, candles, adult toys, boy parts, fingers, toes, ping-pong balls, babies' heads, flashlights, speculae, cotton swabs, tampons, smallish zucchini, and "there are many many many more things I'm not mentioning but you get the idea and can fill in your own personal favorites to complete this here list."

But.......really.......a gun? Don't you think that would be a teeny bit, uh, uncomfortable?

The chafe factor alone would be more than a little off-putting, even for a discreet purse-sized ladies handweapon.

If it were me thinking about putting that LOADED GUN in my happy place I'd be a smidge concerned about the rust factor, but maybe this was a plastic gun (do they have those?) because possibly Ms Lundy is a thinker-aheader like that.

I might also be a tiny bit concerned about the "ammo-in-the-cootchie" aspect of this personal protection caper, but apparently plopping down on a prison bench with a few live rounds in your cooter doesn't hurt anyone (because, as the article says, no one was hit), if, presumably, your love muffin is BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD A GUN!

Also, I thought guns wouldn't fire if they got wet...

You know - I do learn somethin' new every daggone day.


Hey - in case you're wondering - I have indeed been treating my face with Efudex for the last almost 2 weeks, and damned if I don't look like a third-stage syphilitic! Kissably scabby, that's me! Lovely flaky chunks of pre-diseased flesh are peeling off of my nasolabial lines as we speak; there's a veritable shower of Cover Girl "ultra pale" foundation-tinted senescent epithelium in the forecast.

If I yawn widely enough I can feel the the scaly bits pulling, stretching, yearning to break free, to fly away in the breeze if lucky enough or perhaps to merely fall onto my pants legs as I sit here and type.

Just One More Day and I'm done.

The healing can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In which I talk of boating and nonsense verse and get all riled up

When I was a wee little tow-headed child I had two particularly favorite books that I made my parents read to me as often as possible.

The first is Winken, Blinken, and Nod, by Eugene Field. The first part of the first of 4 stanzas goes like this:

"Winken, Blinken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe --
Sailed off on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew."

Full text of this nursery rhyme can be found here.

The second was "The Owl and the Pussycat,"by Edward Lear, which starts like this:

"The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note."

Full text (and pictures! and a short bio of the author! and an explanation of what a runcible spoon is!) can be found here.

Which gets me thinking - why were my 2 favorite books about boating, and posed in the form of nonsense verse?

The books were very tall and skinny and had hardbound covers and colorful pictures. The rhythym of the language comforted me, and the clever strangeness of the words interested me, I suppose. Let's face it, one was written in the 1800's, and the other was written in the, uh, 1800's, when people knew a lot of big and strange words that they sprinkled generously into not only their own adult conversation, but ladled liberally over works for children as well.

That era was one of excesses in language, decorating, fashion, and place settings. It was the age of bustles and petticoats and potted plants and runcible spoons, of large moustaches and long beards and elaborate hairdos and piano shawls and high-button boots and fish tongs and pickle forks, none of which are in vogue in this supposedly pared down and purposeful world.

Because, really,

Who has time to tell the difference between a red wine glass and a white wine glass or a champagne flute or a brandy snifter, when one has e-mails to attend to and answer in order that our self-esteeem issues and sense of self-importance remain well-fed?

Who is going to take the time to diagram a sentence or have Bible verse or poetry reciting contests when one needs to find out who's on Oprah and when TomKat's baby is going to be born or what the this season's latest "black" is, in order to have bits and pieces of "news" for superficial conversations at the virtual water cooler?

Why bother swathing your home in comfort and frippery by adorning dark corners with fanciful lamps in the shape of naiads and dwarves or bedecking your bookshelves with frilly paper edging, when someone is calling on the cell phone and it just might very well be the most important thing that's going to happen to you all day?

Sigh. Someone should do these things...

Someone should, before we loose the ability to focus on one thing or one enjoyment or one pursuit for more than thirty seconds.

Someone should, before we forget how to spend time doing nothing but enjoying what's around us.

Someone should, before we are subsumed entirely into a whirling vortex of electrical impulses that affix our brains into a permanently Pavlovian signal and response mode, forsaking careful thought for rapid reaction and considered wit for superficial productivity.

Which leads me to think that it seems that it's time for me to be the "someone" and take another boat ride, in which I do nothing but let the time go by and sense the waves as they rock my wee vessel from side to side and wait for the sun to set and think of nothing at all except Winken, Blinken, and Nod and an oddly matched pair of anthropomorphized lovers.

And leave the cell phone on shore.