27 December 2010

"Who's with me?" --Bluto, Animal House

So many bloggers take this time of year to sum up; to review. This year is no exception. I've seen a number of bloggers wax on about the year they've had--the ups, the downs, and what's made the most impact on them in 2010. I keep replaying the year and one word comes back to me, over and over again. One word haunts me like a Justin Bieber melody. One word, People:


How is it that this SyFy channel original didn't make any of the top 10 movie lists for the year? It's a shammockery! We must get that do-nothing congress and that fetching but lackadaisical supreme court to take action on this promptly. This will not stand!

Who's with me? Loud and proud now:

(to the tune of "At-ti-ca! At-ti-ca!...")

Sharktopus! Sharktopus!...

02 December 2010

"I'm sick but I'm pretty, Baby" --Alanis Morissette

Hi there. I'm writing you from bed. Because I'm waaaay sexy that way.

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm sick.

Why are you holding a bowl of mashed potatoes and a cat o' nine tails?

No, I don't mean sick. *perverted hand gesture* I mean sick. *pathetic face* *

I have a cold. I've had all the popular symptoms: the clogged ear, the scratchy throat, the muzzy eyes, the sneezing, the nose like a faucet, and now the congestion and low-grade fever. Niiiiice. Happy Chanukah to me.

Speaking of Chanukah, I'm not sure Walmart is clear on the concept...


I have to get rid of this cold toot sweet as we've booked a trip to St. Thomas for a friend's wedding and it is fast approaching. At least, thanks to Pardis Parker, I feel secure...

I've taken a few security classes through the years (both cyber and personal) and one of the key things they stress is the illusion of safety. The idea is that you can't plan for all possible threats but you can put in some safeguards and provide the appearance that you're paying attention.

Which brings us to the question du jour: Do you feel safer thanks to the TSA?

* Awwww, you're adorable when you pout. And you get extra points for keeping the potatoes warm.

15 November 2010

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" --Perry Como

For you: Truvia Christmas tree.

How many people would create a Christmas tree out of the dregs of Truvia in a glass and take a picture of it for you?



For you.

Because that's what life is. Unexpectedly beautiful. And residuey (residewy?). And often requires scrubbing.

06 November 2010

"All you ever give me is baby talk" --Richard Thompson

Are you my shweetie pie? My pookie-ookums? My gweat big bwog weaduh?*

My father used to laugh about a married couple he knew and imitate the wife calling her husband "Shnookles" in a whiny voice.... "But, Shnooooklessss..."

I'm not a fan of the baby talk. Not with sweethearts. Not even with babies.

I can remember a coworker bringing his toddler in to the office one day and talking to her in a ridiculously loud, repetitive, and silly voice of the "WHO'S DADDY'S GWEAT BIG GIRL? YOU ARE! YESH YOU ARE, WOOGUMS! YESH, YOU ARE!!" variety. Yeech. It's the kind of thing where you wish the child would haul off and bitch slap the father.

I can't imagine that this kind of patterning helps with the child's speech development. And I find that loud parents beget loud children. And, nobody wants that. But I imagine when you have a small child you have to find something to do to entertain yourself.

A lot of people drop into baby talk with their animals and, 'though still goofy, I find this slightly more tolerable. With babies and with animals, at least one can make the case that the change in voice might be getting the baby's or animal's attention.

But, enlighten me: Why do adults do this with each other? Do you do this? Do you know sweethearts that do this in front of you? Are speech impediments way sexy?

* Well, are you?

03 November 2010

"Take out the papers and the trash" --The Coasters

So, yeah, I voted. And the person I voted for won. I'm totally taking credit for that. *insert Rocky theme here* *dances around with fists raised*

Sadly, I could not vote in every state in the nation. Let's just say that, overall, and I hope I'm not being too analytical here, I found the broader election results "poopy." Yeah, "poopy" covers it.

Anyway, I got to thinking about a campaign commercial from years ago for a county councilman who was running for re-election. The commercial tells a story/endorsement in the voice of a citizen. The citizen talks about calling the councilman's office on a weekend to report that the trash people have left a mess and ask if something can be done. The citizen expresses his shock when, not only does someone promptly show up to pick up the trash strewn on his lawn, but it is none other than the councilman, himself, picking it up. This was the reason that the citizen was going to vote to re-elect the councilman.

First off, +5 points to the councilman for fixing the problem and doing it quickly.

Second, -2 points that the councilman had to do it himself. What kind of effective politician doesn't have staff to call on to solve problems?

Third, -25 points to the citizen for bothering the councilman because there was trash on his lawn. Why not call the trash collection people? Or write it off as the bummer it is and pick up the damn trash yourself?

All this got me thinking (anything to avoid work!)... I've signed petitions and sent emails to representatives to express my desire for them to take action on important causes. I've never contacted one to solve a problem that I'm having personally.

Which leads me to the question du jour: Would you call your elected representative (at any level) to solve a problem that affects you and nobody else?

02 November 2010

"Can't you feel the sunshine telling you to hold tight, things will be all right" --Rob Thomas

[A few of the thousands of signs, and me, with mine.]

Seven Things I learned at the Rally to Restore Sanity:

1. Cell phones only work when 200,000 people aren't trying to use them simultaneously in the same location. Note to self: Learn smoke signals for the apocalypse.

Although, we had made arrangements to meet friends at the rally via cell phone, our phones were not working at the rally. Maybe because everyone at the rally was trying to text/call/update their Facebook status simultaneously. My lovely droid was useless except as a camera/watch. We had to get about five blocks from the rally before we could start to use our phones and, then, it was still very spotty. So, I didn't get to see some friends I'd planned to see but I did run into another friend who I didn't even know was planning to go. So, yay, for that!

2. A rally crowd will sloooowly let you out but they will not let you back in.

At some point you have to go to the bathroom. Even if it's to a port-o-john. You will find the sea of humanity that just a few moments ago held a very small spot in reserve for you, is on that spot quicker than Charlie Sheen is on a hooker.

3. Using a port-o-john? Icky. Using a port-o-john when someone decides to climb on top of it? Scary.

Oh, yes, people! These port-o-johns, with their fancy extra doodads like toilet paper (huzzah!) and hand sanitizer, had white plastic tops that let some level of light in. They looked pretty flimsy to me and felt even flimsier as someone climbed up there. I reeeeeaally didn't want someone cannonballing into my lap.

4. Sometimes leaving a rally is more crowded than being at the rally.

As crowded as the rally was, it wasn't until we were trying to leave that we understood just how crowded it could get. It is a very strange feeling to see no space anywhere--just people in all directions, as far as the eye can see. Like being in a packed elevator but inching forward... for miles.

5. Standing in one spot for hours is much harder on the feet than moving for the same number of hours.

And it doesn't get any easier when the 9 inches of precious space you have in front of you is periodically invaded by the chick in front of you who insists on doing a reverse head butt every time she laughs.

Having a sign at a rally is great--for the first 30 minutes.

After that, it's just dead weight with dangerous points.

7. It was still totally worth it.

Stewart, Colbert, Mavis Staples, Yusaf Islam, Ozzie, The Roots, Father Guido Sarducci, John Legend, Cheryl Crow, and on and on. It was a great party!

Plus, one of my favorite moments of the day came before the rally, riding on the Metro. We got on at one end of a Metro line so the four of us had seats. By the third stop, the train was FULL but we kept going and we kept stopping at each station and people kept trying to get on. The Metro announcer was getting more and more agitated with each stop... "Do NOT overcrowd the train! DO NOT overcrowd the train! If you lean against the doors, the doors will malfunction! If you try to force the doors they will MALFUNCTION! Do NOT overcrowd the train!" and so on. After the fifth tirade like this, someone in our car pretended to be the announcer, in full parent mode, "I will TURN THIS TRAIN AROUND!"

28 October 2010

"I don't want to work, I just want to bang on the drum all day" --Todd Rundgren

Busybusybusy. The little squirrel in my brain is freaking out over the volume of work lately. She's shaking her furry fist at the world and downing a few too many acorn martinis. Worse, she can't seem to focus long enough to crank out a blog post.*

So, more flotsam:

  • Speaking of squirrels, the black squirrels are finally showing up in my neighborhood. Way cool, right?! So far? A very peaceful integration.
  • Really? Sara Rue losing 50 pounds isn't significant enough? They have to enlarge her 'before' picture cut-out such that she looks short next to her former self? Please.
  • Is it wrong to love an appliance? Ew, not like that, people. No! We got a new refrigerator and it's sooooo purty! And, unlike the old one, it doesn't make ominous noises like a Wes Craven movie. It just quietly cools. Mmmmm.
  • Speaking of annoying television (redundant much?) , have you seen this commercial?

Literally? Literally? That would be: no. I begin to think people have no effin' clue as to what that word means. And stuff like this? Not so helpful. As the Hubs says, it's kind of like a company that makes educational toys intentionally misspelling their name: PlaySkool. Not so helpful.

  • Bazillion dollar idea: Wine pairings with junk food. They already pair wine with chocolate. And dessert wines with...well... your fancy type desserts. But which Eiswein goes with Twinkies? Which Zinfandel stands up to your First Degree Burn Doritos Jalapeno Flavored chips? Which box of Chardonnay is going to truly bring out the flavor of your Sour Patch Kids? THIS is what America needs to know.

* Why are you looking at me? *points back to squirrel*

18 October 2010

"These are things that I don't understand" --Coldplay

[Men at work.]

Today, I was walking to my car in a parking lot. This is where, if this were a TV after-school special (do they still have those?) or a Lifetime movie (can I tell you how much I hate Lifetime movies? They should call Lifetime the Victim channel), the menacing music would kick in. But, no, it was a bright, sunny day. No ominous soundtrack.

As I walked, I noticed that there were a couple clusters of men on break from a construction project. They were sitting in two clumps, on the grass, in the shade, chatting. (Question du jour #1: Do men chat? Or is that strictly a female word? Like "gossip", "bitch", "fallopian"...*rolls eyes*)

All but two guys, that is. Two guys, that matched the group in work outfit and general demeanor, were sort of meandering through the parking lot, a few cars away from each other. They were checking doors and trunks on various cars, and finding them locked. I paused and watched them for a moment. They didn't seem to notice/care that I was watching.

Questions du jour #2 & 3: What would you assume these guys were doing? What would you do if you saw this behavior?

29 September 2010

Assorted Flotsam

  • Not long ago, we tried a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant near home. It had zero atmosphere, unless you count the Chinese TV channel that was blaring some teen dance contest or the woman shucking peas at one of the 10 simple tables. In the front window they had a poster asking people to vote for this restaurant as the top Chinese restaurant in the country. Seriously. Wonder why they stopped at country. Why not go for "top Chinese restaurant in the universe"? Well, I may not know my mu-shu from Uranus but I found the website and voted for them. I did! Not because I'm an authority on Chinese restaurants in the U.S. but because the meal they provided was surprisingly tasty and... they asked. There was something wonderful about simply asking to be voted #1. Like us? Vote for us! Beautiful. Takes me back to fifth grade elections when all you needed was a few poster-boards and a magic marker to be elected class president. This is how all elections should be run. Okay, maybe I'm being a little simplistic. They can use glitter and glue, too.
  • Things I've tried and thought I wouldn't ever do again: sift, iron, bake bread. Well, I still hold by the first two. I don't sift flour. I don't iron clothes. And I don't care if you think less of me for it. I no longer say that I don't bake bread thanks to the amazing:
combined with the glorious:
People, it's unreal. I make the most gorgeous, delicious, professional-looking, artisinal boules now! And it's a NO KNEAD recipe! Crazy, but true! We will never buy bread again! Bonus: I get to say boule!

Me: Allow me to present Robert.

Sister: Robert?

Me, unveiling bread: Robert Boule!
  • And still more things I thought I'd never do... You know how you drive down the road and see some idiot running in the pouring rain? And you mutter to yourself, smugly, "Idiot!"? Yeah, that was me, running in the rain last week. I was training for a 5K which I completed, by golly! I finished. Without the need of a stretcher. So, you know, that's something.
Never say "never", people.*

Question du jour: Ever do something you thought you'd never, ever do? Share.**

* Unless it's sifting or ironing.

**Especially the naughty bits.***

*** It's just between us. Scouts honor.****

**** I was never a scout. I heard they make you iron.

28 September 2010

"Baby, baby, don't get hooked on me" --Mac Davis

So, hypothetically, of course...

You're amongst people you know. In the room, there are, among others, a young couple and their few-month-old baby. The baby has a good disposition and is generally the star in the room. Lots of 'oo'-ing and 'aa'-ing and you do a bit of "aww, isn't that sweet" yourself. Eventually, the baby gets offered up for holding. People clamor to hold the baby. Eventually, Young Parent turns to you, expectantly, and says "Would you like to hold the baby?"

Thoughts that come to mind:


Not really.

This outfit isn't drool-resistant.

Why? I've been watching it for the last hour. It doesn't do much.

I'm fine without that responsibility, thanks.

and similarly (apparently) inappropriate things. It isn't that you have a problem with the baby, you just have no desire to hold it.

Question #1: Does this make you a mean or cold person?

Question #2: What do you say to Young Parent?

and, finally, Question #3: Is it rude to not hold the baby?

21 September 2010

"I just want your extra time and your..." --Prince

Last weekend, we canceled our plans with friends because Hubs suggested some time in bed would be much preferable. Sexy, no?

Well, not exactly. He came down with a cold.

My mother: Stay away from him!

She's very compassionate that way.

Luckily, Dish was featuring a free preview weekend for HBO. In between bringing him juice and tissues, I took advantage of his weakened state to check out a bunch of chick flicks: (500) Days of Summer, Crush, The Time Traveler's Wife, and Love Happens. And in at least one of these--who can remember which--someone wakes up someone else and kisses them. You see it all the time in movies. "Good morning!" followed by a big ol' smooch. And every time I see this, I think Bleah! Morning breath! In the morning, my mouth tastes like something crawled in there and died.* But it doesn't seem to phase them a bit. Not even squinky faces. Ah, Hollywood.

Which brings us to the question of the day: Kissing before brushing of the teeth--sexy or gross? Or both?

* TMI? You know you still want me.

16 September 2010

"There you are sitting in the garden, clutching my coffee, calling me sugar, you called me sugar" --Pink

A story:

At the end of a week-long singing workshop at Omega, we (about 35 of us) were sitting in a somewhat random clump on the hardwood floor and the workshop leader invited us to share whatever we wanted to share. We went around the clump and comments ranged dramatically.

There were people that simply said "It's been a great week. Thanks!" and others who told very personal stories and burst into tears in the telling. Honestly, I remember none of these people specifically.

The bit of sharing that stays with me through the years--and I can still see this woman's face in my mind--was this: A 20-something woman said that she was embarrassed to say she'd spent the week worrying about her legs. She hated her legs. They were too thin, she said. And it was hot and she wanted to wear shorts but she didn't wear shorts all week because she hated her legs and she didn't want people to see them. Then she unfolded her legs in front of her, pulled up her pants legs, and said, "Here. These are my legs. I can't believe I spent the week worrying about them."

They were perfectly ordinary looking legs.

We obsess. Over things that don't matter to anyone but us. Over things that shouldn't matter to us, even. Meanwhile, the world goes by. People wonder what our problem is and make faulty assumptions because they see our behavior and have no idea that we're acting strangely because we "don't want to show our legs."

It's crazy. And it happens all the time.

"We are not capable of understanding each other and that is the main source of human suffering." -Thick Nhat Hahn

07 September 2010

"I want to be high, so high" --Lionel Richie

I am a live-and-let-live kind of person when it comes to sexual proclivities. If it involves consenting adults, and the penguin enjoys it, I say, fine. However, there is one particular act that I can't wrap my head around. I can accept that other people do it but I just can't figure out why. I speak, of course, of the Mile High Club.

I understand the intense desire to be with someone right now! I get the idea of wanting to whisk that someone off to a private place. And I know you can only peruse the Sky Mall catalog so many times. But, really, is there any place less sexy than an airplane bathroom?

6 Reasons Why I Won't be Joining the Mile High Club:

  1. The line. There are always people waiting to use the bathroom and they're often standing in the aisle. Do you really want to be in there shagging while little Billy is just outside screaming that he HAS TO POO?
  2. The lack of turning radius. The space is hard enough to maneuver in if you are one average-sized person, much less two people trying to do the hokey pokey.
  3. Push handles. The push handles on the sink mean you're likely to have more than one unintended wet spot.
  4. Dinging lights. You know that every time you go into one of those bathrooms, the "return to seat" light flashes and dings because there's turbulence. Clarence may be getting his wings but do you really need these kinds of distractions when you've just, uh, made a tight connection?
  5. The smell. 'Nuff said.
  6. Talk about "sticking the dismount." Do you really want to exit the lavatory to thunderous applause?

Questions du jour: What am I missing here? Is the Mile High Club a sexy thing or not? And, are you a member or would you consider joining?

31 August 2010

"These are the good old days" --Carly Simon

[There was nothing in the dress code about ruffles.]

Went bowling last night with a bunch of bloggers, former bloggers, and blogger wannabes* at the hipster hangout, Lucky Strike. It was a lot of fun. I gave myself the designation of "team anchor" as my score was way lower than anybody else'. I bowl like Roseanne Barr sings.. or like Paris Hilton... what does Paris Hilton do? Anyway, still, gobs of fun. This was a group that wasn't consumed with performance anxiety and I like that.

Next to us was a woman who was bowling alone, in a long, clingy dress. Did I mention Lucky Strike has a dress code? Yes, a bowling alley with a dress code ...and a proper bar ... and real food choices... but I digress. The woman was friendly and a good bowler and even offered me some advice, which took me from a Captain Hook-level-scary-assed hook into the gutter to a much less cantankerous hook ...into the gutter. Not her fault. What she said made sense.

Anyway, it got me thinking... I don't think I'd go bowling on my own. She had no trouble with it and was garnering some attention from a number of gentlemen but it didn't slow her down one bit. She was there to bowl. Maybe she was practicing for a league she was in. Maybe she'd heard there'd be bloggers around and wanted to be near us.***

I'll eat a meal on my own, though pretty much only at a few casual places. But I don't think I'd go to a movie alone or bowl alone. I'd feel like people were staring at me. But, then, maybe they're staring because they sense I'm a blogger.****

So, thanks to all the wonderful peeps who made last night so fun! I am practicing my "knock those wobbly pins over" lane dance as we speak, because my dancing? Not quite up to par with my bowling.

And now for the questions du jour: Would you bowl alone? Eat at a fancy restaurant alone? Go to a movie alone? What public activities would you be willing to do alone?

And also? It's been around awhile but I still love it:

* In my mind, everyone secretly wants to be a blogger.**

** Of course, in my mind, there's dancing purple hippos. Pretty!

*** Careful... You don't really want to be known as an illusion shatterer, do you?

**** Say 'when.'

24 August 2010

"The Internet is for porn" --Avenue Q

So, porn.

(Catchy opening, no?)

Back in the 80s, I went to Munich on business trips several times. At one hotel we stayed at, I flipped the channels on the TV and found soft core porn. Just there; no payment required. But it was soft, soft stuff. It consisted of five minute vignettes of women starting to undress. That was it. You'd see a woman in a silk robe and she'd flirt with the camera and slide the robe over one shoulder and back up. Eventually she'd drop the robe and she'd be in a bustier. Maybe you'd get to see her unhook her stockings or twirl her necklace before it switched to a different vignette. Um, okay. If that's the kind of thing that does it for you, I've got an old Sears catalog you're going to love.

These days, with porn so readily available on the Interwebs, I worry for the mom and pop porn shops.

Okay, maybe not.

Tangential questions: Do porn shops get handed down, generation to generation? What does teacher say when Billy's mummy or daddy comes in for career day and talks about the porn shop they run?

It's amazing that porn shops still exist but they do. Every city has them. The sketchy newsstand shops with the "no one under 18" back room. The movie rental stores with the blacked in windows. The lingerie stores with the back rooms, the front rooms, the display cases, the outfits, the gear. (What? I hear things.) The stripper bars. If anything, this is a growth industry, pulsing with life.*

Which brings us to the question of the day... Since we've been hanging out together for a while, tell me: How comfortable are you walking into a porn-related establishment?

* "heaving with possibility"? "exploding with potential"? Fine. Be that way.