Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Like this result is any surprise at all.

You are 0% hippie.
Ok, you conservative soul.  Do you even believe in global warming?  Loosen that necktie a little, and try some organic food.  It actually does taste better.  And go to a farmer's market--they're fun.

Are you a hippie?
Take More Quizzes

Liberal (heh) applications of soap, Jack Daniels and gunpowder residue will cleanse the hippie from your person.

Soup with bite.

My lower kitchen cabinets are generally a mess, because I have a wee Ginger Beastie that loves to pull out pots, pans and Tupperware. Three zillion toys, books and crayons on the house, and she'd rather empty my cabinets.  Just recently, her favorite items are a restaurant-sized 20 gallon stock pot (with its lid) and a big wooden spoon. generally she'll toss blocks and miscellaneous crap into it, stir it until the din is unbearable and serve everyone in her vicinity (sometimes we're restaurant patrons, and sometimes we're attending her tea party)  "soup."

The other day, the pot was sitting, empty, on the living room floor. Naturally, Bitezilla decided to hop in and see if the pot suited his napping needs.

Biggest. Mistake. Of his life.

He's large enough that you can see eyes and ear tips when he's sitting up, but he is entirely invisible if he curls around himself at the bottom of the pot. Unless the dumb ass decides that his royal plumage (his tail, or "butt-tie," as Ginger Beastie calls it) must be displayed.

Spotting his tail hanging over the edge, she leaped into action, stuffed his tail in and clapped the lid on to the pot. His equanimity was not in the least disturbed...until she started banging and clanging on the pot -- lid and all sides -- with the wooden spoon. All the while shrieking happily, like the Swedish Chef.

Freaked right smooth, he thrashed and flailed until the pot tipped over. He scrambled out of the pot, wide-eyed and staggering.  He was last seen beating feet for the safety of the upstairs. I'm guessing she rang his bell a good one

Wee Ginger Beastie was quite put out that he didn't want to play anymore, and even further upset that there was no cat soup to serve to her tea party.

Like garlic to a vampire

The week was going fairly well until The Envelopes arrived.

Three of them. Two were addressed to SnarkGirl and OctoBoy and contained tuition bills, school calendars, uniform requirements and supply lists.

The third was for me, and contained an academic calendar for fall, the faculty meeting/committee schedules and book order forms.

GAH! It burns! All three of us engaged in some very cathartic running around in circles, screaming, hurling ourselves onto the floor, pounding the carpet, shaking our fists at the sky and bewailing our fate.

(School starts up again in five weeks. What the fuck? Where did summer go?)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A good choice.

Once upon  time, I saw a Newfoundland ("bear puppy") devour a SmartCar. It was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed. I never got to see the outcome; I pulled out of the parking lot before the owner got back. I always wondered what happened to the dog and the car.

(Note: I have not seen the car around town. There are only two SmartCars in our area, and I have not seen the blue one since the dog noshed on its innards.)

I am pleased to report, however, that I have seen the dog! His name is Bruce and he really IS the size of a small black bear.

I was walking the Wee Ginger Beastie to camp this morning, and saw a woman being dragged along by a dog the size of a Volkswagen. It was clear that the dog was walking the woman, and not the  other way around. She could have no more influenced the direction that dog was going than she could influence the tides.

"BEAR PUPPY!" was shrieked, along with the universal sign of toddler joy: arms thrown upward in victory and enthusiasm. Hearing the shriek, the dog angled towards us amiably to investigate, pulling his owner behind him. He lowered his truly enormous head to snuffle at the toddler, who showed an astonishing lack of fear at being investigated by a creature who has a head as large as her torso.

While Ginge and Bruce bonded over pretzels, I asked the dreaded question: "Did I see your dog gnaw the Hell out of your SmartCar a couple of months ago?"

"That was my ex's car. He's a pretentious hipster douche; after Bruce ate his car he told me it was the dog or him, so I told him to go fuck himself."

We exchanged vague, generic pleasantries, and as she lives a few blocks away, we're sure to run in to each other again. Perhaps a play date for Bruce and Wee Ginger Beastie -- she could probably saddle him and ride him like some sort of bizarre BattleBear.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On guilty pleasures.

(Though, technically, it's not a guilty pleasure if you're not ashamed of it.)

JayG throws up a list of his guilty pleasures. I counter with one. Single. Admission:

Professional wrestling.

That's right, bitches. I am a member of the Raw Fan Nation, the WWE universe, whatever the Hell you want to call it. Mock away.

Oiled up, muscular men in eensy britches, grappiling sweatily and grunting with abandon. Rippling abs, tight glutes and bulging biceps. It's a giant, 'roided up soap opera, and it's the closest thing to gladiatorial competition there is.

Yeah, I know it's scripted, and yet I give no fuck.

Look at this man. Just look at him. You could grate cheese on his abs! He could have the cognitive ability of a gerbil, and I would not care, because, TEH HOTNESS.

(I know Miss Kitty  and The Cranky Con and his wife watch, too, so bite me. We're all well-educated, and wrasslin' lets us release the doves...er, our inner redneck.)

Getting Medieval on our asses.

Corvee --  "Labor, often unpaid, that is required of people of lower social standing and imposed on them by their superiors (often an aristocrat or noble). It differs from chattel slavery in that the worker is not owned outright – being free in various respects other than in the dispensation of his or her labour – and the work is usually intermittent; typically only a certain number of days' or months' work is required each year. It is a form of unfree labour when the worker is not compensated. It is not a tax as there is no actual obligation to pay cash, nor is it technically a tribute as there is no actual obligation to pay a physical good such as wheat, but – particularly with a commutation option – it operates very much like a tax for all intents and purposes."

Keep this definition in mind as you read the latest bill submitted by good ol' Charlie Rangel (D-state of Delusion): HR 5741 -- ."To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes."

The economy is in the shitter, the unemployment rates are sky-high...let's create another Federally-funded program that recalls Medieval feudalism!

To be fair, Rangel has been flogging "let's reinstate the Draft!" for a very long time; he's too stupid to quit thumping on dead horseflesh. He proposed such a bill in 2003, and again in 2006. Hell, even the military has resisted the idea of a new draft; an all-volunteer military is preferable and more efficient. No one has ever accused Rangel of being a brain-trust.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Washington DC has become the new Augean Stables. When are we cleaning the shit out of the Halls of Power?

Because, seriously? Screw MapQuest.

EB Misfit bemoans MapQuest's lack of brevity and common sense.

I'll chime in to add: not only does MapQuest tell me exactly how to pull out of my parking area, down the alley and on to the main road in front of my house...

...they give the WRONG directions to do so.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bluetooth or batshit? Discerning technology from schizophrenia.

It's amazing to me how many people wander around obliviously, technology plugged in to all of their orifices, ignoring the meatspace all around them. Deliberately disregarding all forms of situational awareness seems to be all the rage.

For some, it's their God damned Bluetooth devices. My favorite game is, "Bluetooth or Batshit?" I try to figure out if the person randomly commenting to the air around them is actually crazy, or just babbling at top volume into their earpiece. Now, they are safer for driving, but it's disconcerting to be standing at the deli counter, waiting on a pound of provolone, and listen to the guy behind me try to describe the chancres on his junk, and exactly what it feels like when he pees. Likewise, sitting in traffic and listening to the woman in the car next to me talk about her new boyfriend, "Captain Bendy," and all the unique positions they can try out because "it's shaped like a banana!"

For others it's their iPod or Mp3 player earbuds.  I have no idea how people survived without a constant stream of input; I mean -- imagine life without an eternally-looping soundtrack! You'd have to pay attention to traffic around you (both on foot and in the car), or make sure you didn't run over the granny in Giant foods because you didn't see her stop (you were too busy grooving, eyes closed) or hear Wayne the Bag Boy holler a warning.

(I actually saw someone almost get mashed into a red paste in BJ's because they had their iPod on and didn't hear the BEEP BEEP BEEP of a reversing forklift. To be truthful, I was rooting for the forklift.)

With all the earpieces and ear buds being inserted constantly, you'd think their ear canals would end up with some form of rot or jock itch.

Actually, it's what I am wishing on them. "I'm sorry, sir, but you have some kind of syphilis of the ear canal. We'll have to rout it out with rusty barbed wire, and have this hobo, who has eaten a pound of  Bhut Jolokias, piss in your ear three times a day until it clears up."

Monday, July 19, 2010

I can live with that.

I write like
Daniel Defoe
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

( I analyzed this post. H/T to SnarkyBytes and Breda.)

Those pesky facts.

Via HillBuzz (a site I peruse daily) we get this picture:


Even God likes a good fart joke.

Meet the Bombardier Beetle. Cute little bugger, isn't he?

 Like your average frat boy, it is capable of combining volatile chemicals in its own body and then expelling those noxious chemicals out of its ass. In the beetles' case, those chemicals are Hydroquinone and Hydrogen Peroxide, It stores them in separate compartments in its lower abdomen. When threatened, it  triggers muscles that mix and expel the two chemicals; this usually results in a loud "POP!" 

(Want to see one in action? A beetle, not a frat boy. Here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pib9qT-pccI )

Why the interest? Because my toddler, Wee Ginge, is doing her very best to impersonate a Bombardier Beetle today.  No one can keep a straight face, as she keeps startling herself with large explosions.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hide the TP!

Cornholio is about to rage again!

("Beavis and Butt-head" are coming back! YAY!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Verrrry interesting....

Summer sessions are normally low-key and, dare I say it, boring. Not this week!

Firstly, going back to work after vacation sucks. Second, going back to work only to have to deal with fall semester procedural crap  (book orders, registration drama, departmental bullshit) sucks harder than an Electrolux. I girded my loins and headed to campus to handle paperwork.

I pulled on to campus only to see the Lib Arts classroom building tented. There was a triangular flap pinned back in  the general area of the faculty entrance. Inside there was a coat rack, festooned with surgical masks, and a sign on the wall: "All entrants must wear a mask to proceed."

Wrong building for any out-of-control chem or bio mishaps...no one had contracted yersina pestis (that I'd heard through the grapevine, at any rate) and there were no faculty trips to exotic, parasite-ridden locales on the calendar. As this is the building I do most of my teaching in, and that the faculty offices are attached to, my interest was piqued. I donned a mask and proceded in. Warily. (OK, I was pretending to be in a video game like "Left 4 Dead," "BioShock," or "Silent Hill. Sue me -- one of the Deans totally resembles Pyramid Head.)

I asked Old Crusty, the departmental secretary, what was up. She rolled her eyes. "They decided to remodel a bit and discovered that the floor tiles contained asbestos. Supposedly non-friable and not a risk, but...six weeks to remediate."

What, I asked, was I to do about the fact that I am teaching a summer session in one of the classrooms at the far end of one contaminated hall? No one had informed me of a classroom change...

"Yeah," Crusty replied. "Tell everyone to grad a mask, run down the hall -- tell 'em not to dawdle! -- and keep the classroom door shut and the windows open. 'S only a few weeks."

Are you shitting me? Seriously? A top-floor corner classroom that has floor-to-ceiling windows on two of four walls, with already-anemic A/C (it's routinely in the low 80's when the air con is actually working)...have myself and all the students sprint down a hall and up six flights of stairs, only to slam a classroom door shut and hope there's enough breeze to keep us from expiring of heat exhaustion?

I re-donned my mask to leave the building, and then wandered over to facilities and made a quick copy of the "Occupied/Unoccupied" schematic. Then I went to the Registrar's Cave, dodged a few stray bats and low-hanging stalactites, and filed a change-of-room request. There were only a dozen classrooms open...this should not be a problem, right?

Three phone calls and a memo storm later, I got my new classroom. With two hours to spare! I papered the outside of the tent with change-of-room notices, sent out a mass e-mail, and hoped that my students would actually pay attention to their environs long enough to come to the new classroom in a different building.

A minor miracle -- 3/4ths of them actually did! Though I got home to several e-mails ("Dude. Was class cancelled?" "Where was everyone?") Interestingly enough, not a single one of the absentees thought to ask about the giant tent...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Felines and sacraments do not mix.

Dinner is alsoways when the most interesting family discussions occur. Over supper this evening, SnarkGirl asked if pets could be baptized. This led to Wee Ginger Beastie asking if Bitey could be baptized.

"I catches him! We stuffs him in a pillowcase and takes him to Monsignor! He blesses him!" (To get the full effect, you have to imagine a toddler pantomiming grabbing a cat as large as she is, cramming it into a sack, and dragging it around. It helps of you realize that she is forever stuffing him into sacks, bags, baby clothes and boxes.)

Both were disappointed with the answer: you can take pets to church to be blessed on the Feast of St. Francis, but no baptism for cats.

Neither of my daughters was impressed with my expanded opinion: I think that if you tried to baptize a cat, it would probably burst into flame as soon as it touched the holy water font. Cats are pure, concentrated, fur-covered evil. Satan's oven mitts, one and all. I'd be surprised if they could pass the threshold of a church without spontaneously combusting.

The mental image of our grandfatherly, rather portly Monsignor fishing around in a wildly thrashing, yowling pillowcase, hauling out Bitezilla by the tail and dunking him, teabag-style, into a marble font...only to be left holding a black furry tail, as the rest of the cat had gone POOF!...

That's gonna stick with me.

Mai butt is sunburned and sore.

So, for our first real family vacation since the Husband started law school, we went away to Rodanthe. (Yes, the kids and I went last year, but Himself actually came with us this year.) we rented a cool, self-catered house right on the beach -- this one, as a matter if fact -- and spent a glorious six days and seven nights grilling, crabbing, boogie boarding and sunning like alligators on the sand.

It was fabulous. This particular stretch of beach is isolated enough that there is NO real outside entertainment. I don't care for beach crowds, and this avoid the Jersey Shore like the plague. Nor do I care for boardwalk bullshit. Basically, the whole beach is a part of the national Seashore, and thus there is very little commercialization once you get past Nag's Head. Peace and quiet!

We shared the house with my 'rents (The good Scots dad spent the week smoking his pipe and burring directions for the proper Loch Ness sand monster and trying to keep his kilt from blowing up) and a few other family members from my side of the family.

The family Trivial Pursuit belt was up for grabs, as was the fiercely cut-throat gin rummy title and several rounds of cut-throat/bodily harm guaranteed Monopoly. Everyone slept late, old jokes were revisited, family stories were related...

My only complaint was the bed situation. I was grateful that, as a married couple, Husband and I rated a room to ourselves with a queen bed. The headboard....well, you had to jam all the decorative pillows between the headboard and the wall, lest the whole house know what vacation shenanigans you were up to. Breakfast on Sunday morning was quite the spectacle. Also, the bed itself was a bit decrepit; the mattress was a lumpy horror. There was one particular spring that violated my backside repeatedly, without so much as a kiss beforehand.

The Ginger Beastie proved to be a genius at catching ghost crabs and sneaking them into people's beach bags "to take home for Bitey!"

SnarkGirl proved to be excellent at boogie boarding and body surfing.

OctoBoy loved surfing, but had the best time palling around with his grandfather, fishing.

A good time was had by all!

(It's nice to be home, though.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Home again, home again...

Holy cow, there is a lot of damn laundry to do.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Still on vacation!

If you treat the beach as your personal ash tray and leave cigarette butts buried all over in the sand, you are an asshole and ought to have each and every one of those butts jammed into your orifices and re-lit.

If you walk your dog on the beach and do not bag up and remove that which your dog puts out, I will bag it for you. Then I will take your picture the next time I see you standing there, ignoring your dog crapping on the beach where my kids play, and take another picture of you walking away from the steaming  pile.

A quick visit to the one-hour photo place, and I will be happy to present you with a gift-wrapped box of your own dog's shit, complete with a personalized picture card of the offense.

Ah, vacation always offers the most cathartic events...

Friday, July 2, 2010

As of four AM on Saturday...

I'm headed out for a weeks' worth of family togetherness and sand in unmentionable places.

I expect you all to comport yourselves as I would expect you to in my absence: snort, swear lavishly and with impunity and generally call out assmillinery.

Mine the bloglist for good reads!