Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Best. Grade Challenge. EVER.

"I need you to review my work and see if you can raise my grade."

"According to my grade book and notes, you stopped coming to class after midterms and turned in no work."

"But I had legitimate psychological reasons for not coming to class! You have to give me a better grade!"

"I need documentation. Your counselor needs to contact Student Affairs and the Counseling Center, and I need this to come through the proper University channels for me to consider a grade amendment."

"I can't! If I explain to them, my parents might find out, and I'll be dead!"

*sigh* "Without proper docs, I can't do anything for you."

"OK, here's the thing: I got really, really wasted -- just trashed on pot and beer -- and had a threesome with Teej and Garrett*. Like, I don't even know. I can barely remember shit. But when I came to class, they'd high five and call me "Eiffel Tower," and Teej's girlfriend would wait for me in the hall and threaten to kick my ass for sleazing her man, and I couldn't face that shit. That's why I stopped coming to class."

*blink, blink*

"While that is quite a set of issues, it's not really grounds for a grade change. May I recommend that you speak to one of the counselors, or your RA about this issue? It seems as if this would be more of a social, rather than academic, situation."

"Well, everyone kind of knows already, so..."

"I have no idea what to begin to tell you. Sorry."

*Teej and Garrett are room motes who are both in the same class -- and apparently share a great deal more than that.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A weary world rejoices...

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
 Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
"For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!"
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
(Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1 - 20)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just take off and nuke it from orbit.

Jesus H. Fuckbuckets. If there's anything that exemplifies "obnoxious hipster douchebag," it's paying an utterly ridiculous amount of money for a ripped. Army. T-shirt.

For the discerning hipster, go for the original Balmain, which will run around $1,137.50. On sale, even -- originally, it was $1,625.

For the more budget-conscious, you can pay $200 for an Urban Outfitters knockoff.

If you seriously buy one of these and wear it, you are legitimately a horrible person who ought to be bludgeoned. What kind of a statement does this make about you as a person? Take a $5 shirt, run it through a dryer a few times and go to town with a box cutter for the same effect, you motherfucking idiot.

Monday, December 20, 2010



Done done done done done!

Grades are in; I have a month to recharge!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Indignant entitlement.

One of the drawbacks of my irregular schedule is that I am most often the go-to person for babysitting during the day. 

I usually don't mind occasionally chipping in, but there are a lot of times that I am home, yet still working on something -- papers, schedules, advisement, committee crap.  However, I am not interested in becoming a regular care-giver with a set schedule. Need someone to watch your son while you get your oil changed? No problem. Want me to keep your daughter for a day because you have a migraine? Sure! Need someone to take your kids three mornings a week from nine to noon? Hell, no.

My only real rule deals with sick kids. NO SICK KIDS. Period. I won't watch 'em. Your kid is sick and you don't want to take the day off? Suck it up,buttercup, because I get grossed out by cleaning up my OWN kids' puke and shit.  Plus, Wee Ginge tends to get sick a lot, and I don't need to force-feed her germs.

So when I got a phone call this morning, I was peeved.

"Shay has strep.  Can you take her for the day, and run her to the pediatrician for a follow-up this afternoon?"

"Uh, no. I have to run OctoBoy and Ginge to the doctor for flu shits this afternoon, and I have several other errands that have to be done before class tonight. I really don't think I can help today."

"Well, what the Hell am I supposed to do with her? She's too sick to go to school; they won't take her if she has a fever!"

"Well, either you or your husband is going to have to stay home with her. Plus, if she has a fever, she's probably still contagious. No one in my house needs strep right now!"

"He's already left! I'm dressed for work! I really don't want to stay home with a sick kid today!"

"That makes two of us. I'm sorry, but no."

*click* (She hung up on me, for the record.)

Was that out of line?

When a problem comes along...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The point of no return,.

"Yo, can I still pass your class?"

"Who are you?"
*rifles through grade/attendance book*

"You last came to class on September 15. You've missed three papers, five quizzes and the midterm. No, you can't pass at this point."

"Can you sign my drop slip?"

"Add/drop period was over three weeks ago."

"Fuck, man. What am I supposed to do now?"

"Take the 'F,' and work harder when you repeat the class next semester?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ooorah! 1775 - 2010

If the Army and the Navy Ever gaze on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

Wishing "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children" a happy birthday. Carry on, men!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Have a screen saver.

Put your drink down before you click this. You may want to back up a few feet, as well.


Friday, November 5, 2010


Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot!
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Burn a few effigies,  set off some fireworks and eat a toffee apple or three.

In which my faith in the goodness of people is sorely tested. Again.

There are times when I am seriously disgusted by what are ostensibly human beings.

Late last week, a local man was found dead in a downtown hotel room. As the story evolved, it was discovered that he was beaten and strangled, and the (then unknown) perp had set fire to the hotel bed in an effort to cover up the crime. A few days later. it came out that the man was father to a couple of students at OctoBoy's school.  The school and Church community reallied; meals were made and sent over, arrangements were made, condolence visits and help for the family was organized...everyone drew together to support and shelter the family in their grief.

Yesterday it was announced that an arrest had been made -- a transgendered prostitute. Now, let me be clear: there is no proof -- other than circumstantial evidence -- that this man hired him/her. No surveillance video, no testimony -- even from the hooker him/herself. Just the appearance of a possible impropriety.

Suddenly, the school community was abuzz.  To the point that Sister Meatball had to issue a very stern letter, reminding people to behave in a Christian, compassionate manner and to remember that two young children had lost a father, and that gossip was the Devil's playground.

Bad enough to lose a parent at a very young age. Bad enough that the parent was lost to murder.

But what kind of rat-fuck, small-minded, pig-ignorant, cruel-hearted fucktard tortures children with mocking comments about such a tragedy? Simpering, smirking commentary and sidelong glances...knowing eye rolls, and all the various snippy, snarky, purse-lipped "Uhm hmmmmmms..."

Some people need a good dose of sunlight in to their souls. Preferably let in with something of a large caliber.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Trials of Ratty and Fatty

I've been looking after my in-laws' dogs while they are away. This entails stopping by three times a day to feed/water/let out/clean up after them, and socialize with them a bit. Oy. Ratty (or Ratbert) and Fatty (or Fatbert) are a neurotic hot mess under normal circumstances, but a week on their own, with limited contact, has elevated their internal warning systems to OMG WTF BBQ!!!

Ratty is a Toy Fox Terrier -- he's skinny and has a nervous, jerky disposition. He trembles a lot, and his little beef-jerky legs shake and twitch. He gets easily chilled, and burrows in to furniture to stay warm. He's a finicky eater, as well. Fatty is a Jack Russell Terrier who is equally high strung and has the disposition of a hippo with hemorrhoids. She's earned her nickname by being the most spherical dog I've ever clapped an eye to. She's so rotund, her nipples stick out sideways! They are the canine equivalent of Jack Sprat and his wife; Ratty will not eat if he's distressed in any way, and Fatty stuffs all of her emotional distress with food.

Thus, Ratty is pining. Not even "people food" (cheese or chicken) will tempt him. He's been lying on the sofa, sighing dramatically and mentally composing Goth poems. Fatty, on the other hand, has gotten crafty to avoid what she is certain the end-result of her abandonment will be: starvation.

This morning, I discovered that she had nosed/clawed her way in to the pantry, chewed open the dog food bin, and eaten herself in to a stupor, while Ratty looked on nervously and apparently had a guilt-based attack of the shits.

Does anyone need gator bait? I'll give you a good price per pound, but they're a package deal.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

People who need a kick in the cremaster muscle, part 3,724.

About three blocks down the street, we have a mailbox; squat and blue, it stands in the middle of a block. About ten yards behind it, there's a parking lot. Most (considerate) people pull in to the parking lot and walk back to the box to deposit their outgoing mail.

However, asshats abound.

A couple of mornings ago, I found myself stuck in the middle of a line of traffic, waiting for someone who had stopped dead in the middle of the street, turned on their flashers and was depositing their very large stack of mail -- one piece at a time.  He'd pick an individual envelope, scan the front and back carefully, put it on the mail chute/flap, close it and then re-open the chute to make sure that the piece had slipped down into the box. He did this with about twenty letters.

Meanwhile, traffic behind him was building up, and the cars in the opposing direction were too numerous to allow anyone to pull out and pass the offending idiot. Predictably, the honking began and was a deafening din in no time at all. This did not encourage the letter-mailer to move any faster. Eventually, he finished his stack, went back to his car and drove off...

Only to be replaced by another idiot three cars later, who did the exact same thing.

Go vote!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Manday Randomness

One pair of little boy's uniform pants + one handful of crayons in the pocket = $80 worth of replacement uniform crap for both of the older kids. THAT will teach me to forget to check pockets before I do laundry.


Letting your son pick a well-armed Saint Michael the Archangel for his class' Saints project/play combo may lead to some nervousness on the part of all involved. Letting a boisterous boy loose in a church with a sword and a spear may be one of the most foolish things I will ever attempt.


Mandatory, all-hands sexual harassment training this week. I am unclear as to whether we will be admonished that it's bad, or taught how to perform more effectively. Either way, I am going to have to refrain from singing the "Sexual Harassment Panda" song from "South Park."


Attended a hoity-toity parent's cocktail party Friday night, and realized that I was drinkin'  classy when I went to the bathroom, and halfway through peeing, realized that there was an honest-to-fucking-GOD Jackson Pollock on the wall. And "Pollack in the Pisser" would be a great punk band name.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Do want! EPIC want!

This....this is the apotheosis of nerdgeekery awesome.

It is a Discworld-themed cake.

(Here's how it was made, in case you were wondering.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Two bottles of chianti + me = musical obscenity.

I've been singing Monty Python's "Sit on My Face" all evening. My husband is suitably shocked at my indecency.

(Watch the original. Be jealous of the awesomeness.)

That's right -- it's "Pester the Husband" Friday!

A phone call.

"Good morning. This is Tyfanniegh's mom. She's going to miss her midterm today, so you need to give her a make-up exam."

"I'm sorry, but as per page two of the syllabus, make-up exams are not offered. She either takes the exam with her classmates, or she does not. That's her choice."

"But she has a very upset tummy. She woke up with a headache, and she can't eat -- she is obviously too sick to come in to school!"

"Unfortunately, the mid-term is scheduled today, and I will not re-schedule it to accommodate one student. I can not discuss her academic progress with you further. Good bye."

What I wanted to say:

"I'm sorry your daughter consumed enough alcohol to fill the forward ballast tanks of the Titanic, and woke up with a killer hangover, but if she doesn't get her ass to her exam, she's getting a midterm grade warning for the "F" she's currently percolating."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dear Discovery Channel: you blow goats.

Yesterday, "Discovery Kids" became "The Hub." In their re-branding, they lost their entire "Ready, Set, Learn!" line-up -- which was Wee Ginger Beastie's favorite.

No more "Peep and the Big Wide World" or "Paz the Penguin" for her! (The loss of "Peep" was particularly painful; she had requested a Peep cake for her birthday, and Quack was her favorite.)

The drama this morning was tempestuous, indeed. Finally defeated -- "I'm sorry, baby, but Peep and Chirp aren't on anymore" -- she wrapped herself in cubboo and snorfled inconsolably for a bit.


Friday, October 8, 2010

What am I doing?

I'm eating a dougnut (that I do not have to share).

I am enjoying a cup of coffee, uninterrupted.

I am watching a zombie movie. At 10 AM.


Fall fucking break, baybee!

All three kids are in school, and I have a day to myself!

Monday, October 4, 2010

You may think its funny...

...but it's snot.

Taking a page out of OctoBoy's Big Book of Ways To Annoy an Elder Sister, and yet lacking control over her noxious emissions (both south and north), Wee Ginger Beastie has resorted to the Booger Defense.

SnarkGirl will get up on her high horse and start bossing anyone shorter than her. This bossery usually involves a dog (who will flop bot on the floor and maybe spare her an ear twitch if there's food involved), three cats (who will generally give her the stink eye and a good view of the brown eye as they sashay away), a brother (who will burp at her, or tear ass up to her room to fart on her stuffed animals or her pillow.) Wee Ginge is usually amiable enough, but this morning she discovered SnarkGirl's kryptonite:


When the directions become too onerous, Ginge will go fishing for finger trout. Having hooked a big, juicy one (toddlers are always well-supplied with a rainbow of nasal mucous), she will admire her find briefly, and then proceed to chase her siblings around, finger extended, giggling maniacally. This is usually accompanied by screeches of, "Booger! Booger! Booger! I'mma wipe a booger on you!" 

I'm usually laughing too hard to intervene.

I wonder if that works at meetings?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Squash extravaganza!

I love fall, and "cold weather food." Thus, the crops of pumpkins and squash coming in mean I can play in the kitchen to my heart's content. My favorite so far is a pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust. These two recipes are good, as well.

Squash soup

  • 1 butternut squash and 1 buttercup squash
  • 2 big onions
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • paprika, kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 pint heavy cream

Quarter and roast the squash. While it's roasting, , caramelize the two big onions, sliced, in a 1/2c of butter. Season the onions with smoked paprika, kosher salt, and ground pepper. When the onions are a golden brown,  add the brown sugar, and let the onions finish cooking.

Add  1.5c of chicken broth and let it simmer a bit. As it cooks down, scoop out the roasted squash and add it to the pot. Add a pint of heavy cream, then hit the pot with a stick blender until it's velvet smooth.

Goes really well with a fresh, crusty bread.

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Dip
  • lb pumpkin
  • 1 lb sweet potato
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 tbs honey

Cut the pumpkin into four pieces and roast the pumpkin pieces and the sweet potato in a 350 degree oven for one hour.   After the pumpkin and potato are cooked and cooled puree them in a food processor. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and in a large bowl mix the puree, melted butter and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well and serve as a dip or a side dish to a meal if you really want to.

Goes really well with graham crackers or gingersnap
Publish Post

Monday, September 27, 2010

A shameful lack of pop culture knowledge displayed.

Going over SnarkGirl's vocabulary sentences last week, I came across her sample for the word "treacherous:"

(No, it's not a political sentence, though I thought of a half-dozen as I looked at her spelling list.)

"Stay close to the candles; the staircase....can be treacherous."

This, of course, made me giggle like a Japanese schoolgirl witnessing her first Kanamara Matsuri, because it's a quote from one of the best God damned movies of all fucking time. That's right --  we're talking "Young Frankenstein," bitches, and my kid loves the movie as much as my husband and I do. We've been known to lob quotes at one another randomly, and I love the fact that she can join in with abandon, and get most of the quotes right.

She giggled fiendishly as I went over her work, and when I honked out a laugh upon reaching the sentence, she did a little happy hop-and-clap, and we shared a high five. She could not wait to turn her work in, sure that her teacher would appreciate her cleverness.

Being a Mel Brooks aficionado, and frankly, being surrounded by people (in meat space and the virtual world) who have the staggeringly good taste to appreciate the movie for the genius that it is, it never even occurred to me that there would be people out there who just didn't. Fucking. Get it.

Like SnarkGirl's teacher.

She came home entirely crestfallen, and asked me how anyone could not have seen such a great movie. I admit, I am puzzled myself.

Doesn't everyone appreciate Mel by-God Brooks?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Tale of Panther.

Walking through our neighborhood is always an adventure. The route to OctoBoy's school, in particular, is fraught with interesting sights. Panther is among them.

Panther is a mutt; he appears to be a cross between a Black Lab and an AMC Gremlin. He is the neighborhood "mean dog." Walking by his house, you're taking your sanity and hearing in your hands, because his yard is roughly half a block long, and he will bark his balls off for every inch of that fence. It's not a very secure chain link fence, either, so it rings and sings as he hurls his body against it in an attempt to devour you. A trip past Panther's house is a good way to be sure your adrenalin gets pumping.

The only one Panther will not bark at is Bruce, because Panther is not stupid.

On the way home from school, Ginger Beastie and I girded our loins for a second trip past Panther's domain, and ran in to Bruce again. He was amiable enough, as Ginge was willing to share her fishies with him as we processed by.

At one point, the sidewalk narrows, and Beastie and I nipped in from of Bruce and his owner to get by; at this point, Panther went bat-shit. He jumped at the fence, slobber spraying, barking apocalyptic-ally.  Ginger Beastie began to wail.

Bruce barked. Once.

I've never heard Bruce bark before. Holy shit. It was a deep, meaty, from-the-chest bark that sounded like Ragnarok.

Panther did a snap-roll backwards and lit out for the far side of the yard, still barking. Ginger Beastie goggled at Bruce comically, then laughed and dropped another handful of fish. 

We may have to time our walks to coincide with Bruce's more often.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Somewhere, a .gov think-tank is wetting their pants in glee.

The fact that anyone in the UK came up with this idea, much less thought it was a good one, is proof that the mentally handi-capable have overcome the odds and finally taken over:

From the article itself, "The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer."

Yeah, you read that right.  If you live and work in the UK, and if such a plan were implemented, your boss would send Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (the Brit equivalent of the IRS) your paycheck, and they would take out the taxes they feel you should pay, and forward you the rest -- rather than the current system, where the employer withholds and sends in tax. 

Now, knowing government efficiency is pretty much the same all over the world -- practically nonexistent -- what are the odds that all will go smoothly? If there's a mistake, how long will it take to get a refund? Who determines what amount is reasonable? Is there appropriate security and transparency?

This is an utterly preposterous proposal. The fact that it even saw the light of day is disturbing. The person who came up with it ought to be publicly flogged.

Yet, somewhere in the backed-up plumbing of the IRS and the shit-impacted bowels of Congress, someone is thinking, "Holy shit I wish I'd thought of that!"

Form each, according to their ability...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire...

The corner down the block is the bus stop for several of the local schools, both public and private.  Each morning, children in uniforms ranging from green/khaki, white/gray, blue/white and red plaid/white, and children in plainclothes can be seen loitering around while moms observe the antics. Eight AM is a particularly busy time, as three buses come within five minutes of each other. Managing several children of school age, younger siblings (some confined to strollers and some not) can be an adventure.

For OctoBoy, waiting at the bus stop not only means he can catch up with his preschool girlfriend, Calla, every morning as they wait for their respective buses -- hers goes to the local public Charter School, and his goes to the Parish School. Notes are compared, wild rumors are started and quashed, and generally the commiserate on the nature of parents and teachers. It's cute.

This year, we have been joined by a new family, who has a daughter in the local cult academy. (No, really -- some stripe of extreme, primitive fundamentalism that advocates full-on speaking in tongues, serpent handling, praying away illnesses and attributing said illnesses to demonic possession, ahoy!)  Calla and OctoBoy were dubious, as the mom kept shooing her child away from "those Hellbounders."

The first two weeks were a wee bit awkward, but Calla's mom and I are fairly easy-going. Both of us were polite and non-committal to being witnessed to (Calla's mom is Lutheran, and I am Catholic), and tried to keep things to neutral subjects like the weather. Until this morning, when both of us were handed a fistful of Chick tracts apiece and given a condescending speech on the Rapture, and how we would be prayed for as we burned in the great lake of fire.

By a nine-year-old.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?  I'm being lectured on the state of my soul by someone who is four times younger than I, and four feet tall? I struggled to maintain a straight face and polite mien, while Calla's mom literally rolled on the ground howling like a hyena, quoting the good parts between gales of laughter.

I suppose it's wrong of me to hope that they decide on another mode of transport huh? I do not think I could handle a solid year of being evangelized to.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A good litmus test to keep in mind: **UPDATED

The "Jews in the Attic" test.

(Because I can't get the fucking comment to post, I'll post my reply to Dino here: "How about innocent travelers who just want to get to point B from Point A without being strip searched, body cavity searched or being asked to remove their prostheses?

Ever had a family emergency that necessitated flying right-a-God damned way -- no time to wait? Guess that isn't an option anymore. Maybe grandpa can schedule his stroke three days out next time...

Do I think this Admin is the modern equivalent of Hitler? No. However, I'll note that -- despite multiple campaign promises to the contrary -- they've managed to not only NOT repeal the TSA nonsense started under Bush, they've expanded that shit." )

Tha muthaship has descended...

...upon our house. SnarkGirl has decided to take up the string base, which means we gots the funk. The spirit of George Clinton has infused us, and we're forced to give it up at least five times a week, for thirty minutes at a pop.

Or rather, we will have the funk, once she gets the hang of it. Right now she plays enthusiastically, but not well. In fact, it's a great deal like listening to a cat being dry shaved with a straight razor when she plays with the bow, or someone bludgeoning a semi-'tarded giraffe when she plucks it.

She looks a wee bit like a rhesus monkey on the back of an elephant when she plays, as well, because her bass is enormous; it is both taller and wider than she is.

When Bitey sees her setting up, his eyes bug out, his tail bottle-brushes and he lights up for the outer reaches of the house. He'll burrow under quilts and pillows if he can find them. The dog will sit near her and "sing" along mournfully by howling.

All of this will culminate in two spring concerts: a jazz combo and an orchestral performance. She's already excited to perform, and she's diligently learning to "swing" the bass theatrically.

We just have to survive -- sanity intact -- until April!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blessed Yom Kippur

Wishing those of the Jewish faith an easy fast and a blessed, peaceful New Year.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pusilanimous, petulant peevishness is in no way Presidential.

Apparently a young man -- Luke Angel -- from the UK sent an e-mail to the White House, in which he referred to Our Dear Leader (cough) as "a prick."

In response, the Obama Administration has banned this young man from the United States of America for life.

As Alan and his commenters point out, this dude is going to be the most thin-skinned ex-President ever. This action makes him look like an over-sensitive Diva pitching the mother of all hissy fits. Political figures are supposed to be a bit above petty retaliations, are they not?

Seriously -- it may look like it's all vacations and photo ops, but Presidentin' is hard. It's not a job for pussies or lily-livers. One can expect that, whatever happens, roughly half the population is going to disagree with you at any given time. Throw in that whole First Amendment angle -- wherein everyone and anyone can offer up criticism, using whatever language they deem appropriate -- and you can expect to hear some not-so-nice things directed at you, your parentage, your spouse, your sexual proclivities and your relative intelligence.

I can say that I feel Barry O's ancestry is hirsute, colorful and bastardized -- which it is -- without fear of repercussion.Plus, I can say it without falling back on "I was drunk when I said it." I'll tell anyone who asks, straight-up, when I am stone-cold sober:

I think Barack Obama is a prick.

This is not a huge secret. A great many of my friends and relatives feel the same. God knows "prick" is one of the more tame aspersions I've cast on him.Those who don't feel similarly are free to feel as they do; we can agree to disagree. Hell, they can say I'm a prick, and I really give no fuck. I'll point out that worse -- much worse -- has been said about many previous Presidents.

In other words, critical and political commentary can be rough; wear your cup. 

You pathetic little prick.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The watches of the night.

Last night was one of those "NO SLEEP FOR YOU!" nights.

First, Ginger Beastie wet the bed, which necessitated a pajama change and bed stripping at 1 AM.  There's nothing like the screech of a cold, whiny toddler and the whiff of cold pee-sheets to wake you right up. It took me about half an hour to get everything straightened out, and by then, I was wide awake.

Three cats decided to play "Elephant Chase-ass," which involved gaining 100 pounds apiece, judging by how liud their treads were, and thundering up and down the stairs, over beds and under blankets.  They united long enough to torment the dog for twenty minutes or so.

I tossed and turned, for a bit, and was settling in as Bitey decided to engage in loud, slurpy personal hygiene at the foot of the bed. He seemed to spend at leas an hour on his personal regions before finding what must have been a particularly tasty and stubborn piece of toe jam; he chewed between his toes forever.

I booted him off the bed. He bounced right up.
I nudged him again. He dug his claws in.
The third push earned a "MMmmmrrrrrroooooOOOOORRRRRRWWWWWRRRRR!" of aggravation.

Consequently, this morning was rough.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


My eldest child was four months old.
I watched, transfixed and horrified, as events unfolded.

I have not forgotten the horror I felt that day, nor have I forgotten the rage I felt when it became clear that it was not a terrible accident, but a heinous, cowardly act.

I have not forgiven, either.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In which a transportation officer's head is bitten off and swallowed whole.

SnarkGirl starts school -- fourth grade! -- tomorrow, and OctoBoy reports to first grade on Thursday. Uniforms are clean and laid out, lunches are pre-packed and backpacks are at the ready.  Now all we have to do is deal with the buses.

OctoBoy never received a bus assignment, so I called the school district's bus coordinator this morning.

"He doesn't get a bus. He walks."

"When did this policy change? He had a bus last year."

"No, he didn't."

Uh...what? I pulled out the Big File of All Things School-related, and found last years' bus assignment card, and read off the various number groupings on the card.

"Well, we don;t have a bus for him. You'll have to deal."

"What about the 27 other kids on his bus? What about the four other kids that go to the same school and share the same bus stop?"

"They're screwed, too."

"Did you actually tell everyone this, or were we all supposed to wait at the damn stop for a bus that was never going to show? Is your office run by spineless troglodytes with the collective intelligence of slime mold?"

"Uh...we'll get it straightened out by the end of the month."

"School starts Thursday, for God's sake. I'm calling Sister Meatball and letting her know about all this. I'm sure she'll be fabulously pleased and have some input."

"Sister....Meatball? No, we can handle this. She doesn't have to know!"

Muahaha, motherfuckers. Sr. Meatball is the Big Gun, er Nun, and she's a formidable opponent. She may be a wee little thing, with white hair and a saintly smile, but she has a glare that could drop a rhino at 50 yards, and she Is Not To Be Fucked With when it comes to her little ones. She is a full napalm strike in a habit.

I called Sister. Sister harrumphed muttered some suspicious imprecations and told me it would be dealt with.

A half-hour later, OctoBoy and cohorts had their bus woes straightened out.

Friday, September 3, 2010


  • Adjustment of "personal regions" (boobs or junk) should be confined to the restrooms. I do not care how cute you think the soccer player one aisle over is; no one needs to see you wrangling your puppies into place in order to show him maximum cleavage.
  • If you're going to jam your index finger up your schnozz high enough to retrieve gray matter, for God's sweet sake, do not pop it into your mouth and slurp it with obvious relish. 
  • Having retrieved any noxious bodily secretion (such as earwax), feel free to wipe it on your person, not the desk top.
  • If it's really that itchy, see Campus Health.
  • I don't mind if you eat in class, but bringing a nutcracker and a bag of walnuts is excessive.
  • Do not give pedicures to yourself or others in lecture hall.
  • I'm sorry you're out of EZ-Wide. However, textbooks are for reading, not seeding and stemming. Yes, I saw you tear the flyleaf out of your book and roll a phat one. That's why security  was loitering in the hall after class.
  • When I see you with your lap top open and a cheesetastic, distant smirk on your face, and the three girls behind you are visibly disgusted, I will come close your porn-laden lap top. I don't care if it was "getting to the good part."
Great googly moogly.

The most useful chart ever.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Paper-wrapped, waxy goodness.

Have I ever told you how seriously I take crayons? Probably not. Here goes: I fucking love Binney-Smith and their glorious little sticks of waxy creativity. We're talking about Crayola God damned crayons.  We make pilgrimage to their giant-ass factory in Easton, PA at least twice a year, and it is worth every penny of admission. The original. Unequalled.

If you're an adult who does not wax (heh) nostalgic at the whiff of a freshly opened box of Crayolas, become inspired by the very names of the colors or get giddy and smile at the sight of that big honkin' green-and-yellow box (64 colors, with built-in sharpener!), then get the fuck off my sidebar, because you have no fucking soul.

Crayons retain their magic, no matter how old you are. Want to liven up a party? Throw out some butcher paper, a few coloring books and several boxes of crayons. Adults and children alike will gravitate, and eventually, you will see an 80-year-old Gramma drawing flowers next to a 4-year-old drawing robots across from the twins coloring in their "Scooby Doo" books. No one can resist the call of the crayon; it transcends age, race, and language. Crayons are an Objective Good; a universal uniter.

Want to creatively enhance a room? Do what Dino did: leave a basket of crayons on the toilet tank and let your guests know that they can gleefully deface and graffiti up your potty walls. You're providing a creative outlet AND reading material for your guests! It rocks! (My contributions are varied, but I like the ceiling piece the best.)

I'd be willing to bet that if you laid a shit-tonne of paper and crayons at a G-8 meeting, a UN Security Council meeting, or Congressional gathering, you would see more Shit Getting Done, because no one can be a crab-ass, contentious motherfucker with a fistful of crayons.

They need to be real Crayolas though. Don't cheap out and buy the weak-sauce, pale imitations like RoseArt or other generic crap. God, I hate cheap-ass, shitty crayons. They lack style and substance. Their labels are boring and their color names lack originality; they are too waxy and they leave a pale, pussified streak of color on the page. If you buy crap crayons, there's a seat reserved for you on Hell's Amtrak, and guess what? It's probably in the cigar car.

That's right, I said it: you'll smoke a turd in Hell for buying cut-rate crayons.

Go out and buy s box for yourself today. Grab some good paper, as well, and maybe a coloring book. Indulge yourself in the sheer potential that an unopened box of crayons and a fresh pad of paper contain.

Then go out and buy a couple of boxes of the good shit for Donors Choose, your local church or even your local food bank.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Christmas in August.

For the first week of Fall '10, my campus gave to me:

One scowling RA.
Two sobbing mothers..
Three jammed parking lots.
Four cases of alcohol poisoning.
Five ambo runs!.
Six thongs found on or around the quad.
Seven jocks a'hazing.
Eight passed-out sorority sisters.
Nine pissed-off maintenance dudes.
Ten confiscated handles of vodka.
Eleven referrals to alcohol counseling.
Twelve puking frosh.

Ah, college! Where the flower of higher education blooms eternal!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waxing poetic on a Wednesday

Dustbury calls my attention to this article, which bemoans the "sidelining" of poetry. One of Second Terrace's paragraphs called to me: 

          "This is distressing, because – I think – poetry is the threading of meaning, and thus a little bit of poetry is necessary to the work of belief. And if you think that there is no work to belief, then you will never be able to read a poem."

All of this gives me an excuse to post one of my favorite poems, by Marianne Moore. It pretty much sums up my feelings on poetry, which has been eulogized at least once per generation. I particularly like the line about "imaginary gardens with real toads in them," because poetry is the imaginary garden, and the toads are the critics and poets who take themselves entirely  too seriously.


I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
      all this fiddle.
   Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
      discovers in
   it after all, a place for the genuine.
      Hands that can grasp, eyes
      that can dilate, hair that can rise
         if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
      they are
   useful. When they become so derivative as to become
   the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
      do not admire what
      we cannot understand: the bat
         holding on upside down or in quest of something to 

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
      wolf under
   a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse
      that feels a flea, the base-
   ball fan, the statistician--
      nor is it valid
         to discriminate against "business documents and

school-books"; all these phenomena are important. One must make
      a distinction
   however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
      result is not poetry,
   nor till the poets among us can be
     "literalists of
      the imagination"--above
         insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them,"
      shall we have
   it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
   the raw material of poetry in
      all its rawness and
      that which is on the other hand
         genuine, you are interested in poetry.

"Do you expect me to talk, Goldfinger?"

There's always a lot of debate over who was the best Bond. This debate reignites every few years, as a long-in-the tooth actor bows out of the role and the search for a new man to embody suave, brutal sophistication begins. My list is as follows:
  1. Sean Connery
  2. George Lazenby
  3. Pierce Brosnan
  4. Daniel Craig
  5. Roger Moore
  6. Timothy Dalton

Who was the best Bond ever? is a no-brainer: Sean Connery, who turns 80 today.

(I would do naughty things to this man, were I unmarried. Yes, even now.)

Best Bond flick? It's a toss-up between "Thunderball," or "Diamonds are Forever." (Though I liked "Never Say Never Again...")

Give me your own fave Bonds in the comments!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Dustbury offers a post on the top two historical markers. I counter with this one:

More on Sir Jeffrey Hudson HERE.

Move-in day!

  • Housekeeping cleans the public areas of the school. They clean the hallways, common bathrooms and lounge rooms, classroom buildings and administrative offices**. They are not around to straighten your rooms or make your beds. (**They do not clean faculty offices, ever.) If you seriously imply that Queenie B., Head of Dorm Housekeeping, ought to do your laundry, she will flatten you ,and no one will see a thing.
  • No one really goes in to your dorm room except you and those you invite in. The exceptions to this are: your RA may do a Health & Safety inspection if they think you're up to something, maintenance may enter (after giving 24 hours' worth of notice) or if Security gets a hot tip on illicit material or activity. Yes, the Safety officers will make fun of your porn collection and give you the side-eye when you pass the entry booths.
  • You will never, ever see a Prof in the dorms unless he or she is on the Judicial committee, and playing witness as they move someone's crap out after they've been summarily ejected. This rarely happens. we do not want to see you in your natural environment, just as you do not want to see us uncaffeinated.
  • You will never, ever see an Administrator n the dorms, unless the Apocalypse is nigh.Any pictures you may have seen were publicity photos, taken during the high summer season, when no one was present in the dorms at all, and Housekeepers in Tyvek had been through to air out and disinfect the premises.
  • Yes, the dorms smell funny. It's a combination of age, body funk, weed smoke, alcohol fumes, old make-up, perfume, dirty jock straps, aerosolized hormones and desperation. You will get used to it. Open a window and buy a shitload of Glade plug-ins.
  • This is not Baby's First Apartment. Look at all the shit you brought. Now send half of it home. You will not spend nearly as much time in your room as you might think; you will not have to cook for yourself. You need clothes, personal grooming items and linens -- that's about it.
  • If you bring a Margaritaville Machine or a blender, you're asking for room inspections. Ditto for any paraphernalia that is taller than you or has a bowl that can comfortably seat a toddler.
Make friends, be responsible and for God's sake, go to class.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This man -- this eloquent, well-spoken man -- has composed a masterpiece.

Epic in sweep, Homeric in invective.

I have tears in my eyes.

Bravo, sir.

(It's NSFW at all.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It strikes me that "fun" is not quite the "fu-" word I associate with faculty meetings.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Start training them for productive college experiences early.

Have you seen this? CUPONK!

You get a deck of cards, several ping-pong balls and a cup. The object of the game is to bounce or ricochet the ping-pong ball into the cup. It's marketed to kids as a skill game.

It's basically non-alcoholic beer pong. (Though I admit that the zombie cup --with brain-eating groans! -- is cool.)

How you play depends on which league you adhere to, and which set of rules you espouse. the object remains universal: get upgefucked, schnell!

Start 'em early enough, and you'll create an Olympian-class pool of talent for Beerfest.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Limbo.

We've reached that awkward stage of summer. Several of of their friends have started back to school this week; the public schools start back next week. SnarkGirl and OctoBoy start back on the 8th and 9th of September, respectively. As for their friends -- those who have not started back are on last-minute vacations and trips -- or frantically completing summer camps, summer reading assignments or projects, thus play dates are few and far between. Everyone is trying to squeeze the last few precious moments of fun out of a rapidly dwindling summer.

As for our house, school supplies have been bought, uniforms have been tried on and we are sloooowly readjusting bedtimes and wake-up times to make the back-to-school transition a wee bit smoother.

Plus, the kids are bored as all fuck, and as a result have resorted to endless squabbling and whining. Pinching, thwacking, pranks and invasions of personal space -- along with other annoyances ranging from minor irritations to apocalyptic pranks --  are being perpetrated hither and yon.

For me, the semester starts next week. Ugh.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No, we're not discussing a mythological Greek hero.

(Otherwise titled: "Alas, Testicleese, you must repent! Your end is in sight!")

There comes a time in most mens' lives -- after sober, judicious contemplation and self-reflection -- that they start wearing baggy shorts-style bathing suits over the ball-hugging, obscenity-charge-walking Speedo.

I say most, because I have a family member who will not back away from the spandex. Despite cajoling, pointed commentary, ridicule and outright pleas for our sanity, he clings to his banana hammock. Worse, it's a grape-smuggler that is at least thirty years old -- thus it is worn to sheer material in places you don't want to think about. We're talking pineapple basket here!

I may have to gouge out my own eyes. The good news is it's working wonders for my diet, as I can't eat anything resembling a cucumber, pickle, summer squash or bratwurst. The idea of gherkins or apricots makes me retch. The sight of chicken or turkey skin makes my skin crawl.

You get the idea.

Seriously -- if the entire watching world can tell if you're a turtle-neck or a crew-neck kind of guy, it's time to wear Jams or board shorts.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's been a brief, endless journey.

We've come a long way from this:

to this.

Happy third birthday, Wee Ginger Beastie!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A most welcome romantic surprise.

Friday afternoon, I hopped a train into the city to meet the husband for what I thought was a quick dinner with friends. We were limited in our dinner choices because we had to catch the last train out to our town, which left by 10:45.I admit I was less than enthusiastic, as I had spent Thursday curled in to a ball, felled by a massive migraine.

I got of the train at Market east and met the Husband, who led me on a leisurely walk to Old City. We ended up stopping "for a breather" at the doorway of one Terme di Aroma spa...where it turns out that he had made arrangements for me to get a ninety-minute massage while he wandered off to grab a drink or three for himself. Oh, yes. It was heaven.

After being pummeled, rubbed and otherwise pampered for an hour and a half, Husband showed up and we walked again. "We have time before dinner. Let's get a drink!" I looked at him skeptically: "Dude. I am so relaxed right now that if you put a drink in me, I'd fall asleep." "Well, let's just stop in here."

It took me a minute to realize that we were, in fact, not in a bar, but in the Penn View Hotel. In fact, I was so relaxed and generally trusting that I didn't realize something was up until he hit the "UP" elevator button. "Huh? Is the bar upstairs...wait. This is a hotel! Did you get us a room?" He answered with a very broad grin.
There was champagne and a cheese plate waiting for us, and the room was fabulous. There was a marble jacuzzi tub the size of a wading pool!

After a snack and a nap, we wandered through the streets of Old City, looking at the galleries and boutiques that were open late for First Friday. Drinks at Sassafras and dinner and salsa dancing at Cuba Libre....

It was a fabulous night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Epic weekend.

So epic, it deserves two posts. I'll hit on Saturday first!

Saturday afternoon, OctoBoy, Snark Girl and I loaded up the Imperial Battle Cruiser with bathing suits and extra clothes and headed out to Casa de Gregarious Loner for an afternoon of tubing on the creek, eating tasty food, drinking beer and generally being sociable.

I brought along two Key Lime pies, and I have to tell you -- I felt my contributions were inadequate, as the Loner grills up a mean repast. Holy cow, the amount and variety of food was immense, and if he does not cough up the secret ingredient to his pasta salad, I may have to break in and steal it.

OctoBoy fell in love with the environs immediately -- between a huge stand of bamboo (fit for lurking in, hitting things with and creating weapons with) a creek with freshwater clams, slimy stuff galore and a good, sturdy current, OctoBoy was all for ditching his suit, donning a loincloth of leaves and going "Lord of the Flies" immediately. GL capped this off by taking him out into the bamboo, unsheathing a machete ("it means 'sharp knife little boys are not allowed to use' ") and procuring him a large spear to take home. (Bitey is doomed.)

SnarkGirl was more enamored of the cows which observed from the high bank of the creek (though they shocked her at first), and the tiger face paint and balloon animal that the Princess proffered. Plus, there was jewelry to gawk at. SnarkGirl loves her some silver-wrapped jewelry.

Their house was beautiful and obviously well-loved. It was nice to put faces to the names I'd been e-mailing, blogging and  facebooking with for nigh on two years. It was also nice to relax in the company of friends.

All in all, a fabulous time was had by all, and I certainly hope to do it again!

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 1945

At 8:15 AM (Hiroshima time), Tom Feerebee, in the plane "Enola Gay," dropped a gravity/fission bomb -- "Little Boy" -- over Hiroshima, Japan. Forty-five seconds after being released, it detonated 600 meters above the city. More than 98,000 people died; the city burned for six hours.

“Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”

-- Viktor Frankel

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Middle Eastern Chicken Stew

Shit you'll need:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut in to 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup each of craisins and dried apricots
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp each cumin, ginger and cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
How to put it together:
  1. Heat up oil in a skillet, brown the chicken and eggplant on all sides
  2. Place the chicken and eggplant on the bottom of a slow-cooker
  3. Layer onions, carrots and dried fruits over the top.
  4. Combine the rest and pour over the top.
  5. Slow-cook for 5 hours
  6. Serve over rice!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blood and brimstone raining from the heavens.

So, at the ripe old age of 16, Justin Bieber -- questionably coiffed and under-talented male(?) pop tart -- is writing  his autobiography. HarperCollins is publishing it; it's sure to be a gripping page-turner, full of high adventure, sex, drugs, auto-tuning and groupie-groping.

Wait. What the fuck? Dude is SIX-fucking-teen. Have his balls even dropped yet? The sheer narcissistic arrogance of such a whiny little spitfuck presuming that, at his tender age, he's had enough experience at ANYTHING to merit a formally published autobiography is mind-boggling.

The people at HarperCollins must think the book-buying public has lost its collective mind. Who is going to buy (let alone read) such a tome? Wait...I am sure that legions of brain-dead, immature fan girls and bois, brainwashed into thinking that Bieber is talented, interesting and otherwise worthy of being immortalized in print will line up on release day. If they can't buy it with their own money, I'm sure they will get mommy or daddy -- willing to cough up a few shekels for the illusion of peace in the house and a superficial relationship with their kids and/or reality --will throw money at it, hoping that it will create the illusion of giving a shit.

What kind of presumptuous, self-absorbed, self-impressed idiot would write his memoirs before he'd really accomplished anything?


Carry on, then.

Hamster hijinks

My SIL willingly let her three kids (2 girls and a boy) acquire rodents and bring them in to her house. Oh, the drama! Now my three kids are begging for rodents, uttering the usual promises that no one intends to keep:

"I'll take care of them!"
"You won't have to do anything!"
"You won't even notice they're in the house!"
"It will teach us responsibility!"

Yeah, right. No rodents in my house, no way! (Though SnarkGirl has been forced to come up with a novel argument: "A Guinea pig! It's not a rodent! It's a peeeg! They eat 'em in South America!" Her father remains unimpressed and unswayed.)

Now, the SIL was well-meaning; she did intend the hamsters to be a responsibility-building endeavor. To that end, she made them pay for the hamsters and all equipment themselves. Thus, they had to save and combine) their money between the three of them. (They were abetted by their Nana, who helped purchase hamter habitats on Craigslist.)

They ended up with three hamsters. The first made his desperate bid for freedom by going over the wall, only to become a hors de'oeuvre for their black lab. Kee-runch! Drama, shouting and tears ensued. Dog is now persona non grata, though he seems less than distressed by this, judging from the large doggy grin.

The second, clad in the holy armor of the plastic hamster exercise ball, made a headlong bid for freedom down 15 hardwood steps, only to crash in to the wall at the bottom of the stairs. He survived (though he was knocked cold for a good five minutes). While he survived his escape attempt, we suspect he is now 'tarded. The lab was enthusiastic about this, because he loves those crunchy-on-the-outside, savoury-and-chewy-in-the-middle treats.

The remaining hamster now cowers in his plastic-domed hideout, venturing out only for food and water. He's developed quite the twitch.

My offer to set up a Death Clock for the wee critter has been rebuffed, but I suspect his life will be forfeit sooner, rather than later.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blog recc!

LawDog's brother, Chris ex machina, has a blog! Frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!

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!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet the Corporate Fleet.

This week marks Vacation Bible Camp for my two eldest children. I am frantically trying to organize and pack for a weeks' family vacation, so VBS gives me a morning of respite to Get Shit Accomplished.

Mostly Cajun writes up a weekly post on the ridiculous names that some people curse their children with. In that vein, I tell you this...

I was distressed to meet the young ladies in SnarkGirl's class. A majority of them were named for luxury vehicles.  A Mercedes, a Beemer(!), a brace of girls named Lexus (what is the plural of "Lexus?" Lexii?), a Denali and a Tahoe.  ( actually asked the moms of Denali and Tahoe if they were named after geographic locations or SUVs. It was a 50/50 split.)

We also had a few children named after vacation resorts: a Hampton, a Seychelle and a Maldive.

What the fucking fuck? What screams "Materialistic Yuppie Assmunch" louder than naming your kids for status symbols?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Gregarious Loner tagged me with a "List Ten Things You're Grateful For" meme. Here goes:
  1. A husband that I adore, and who truly is my soulmate.
  2. Three wonderful, healthy children.
  3. A job that I truly love -- even the parts that I bitch about.
  4. My own good health.
  5. A home to call my own.
  6. A full tummy for me and mine, every night.
  7. A fabulous extended family -- even when they drive me fracking nuts, they are always there.
  8. Good friends to share the great stuff and the not-so-great-stuff with.
  9. Wild and weird pets, without whom the world would be boring.
  10. A country that allows me to speak my mind, vote for the person I wish and worship as I see fit.
Do your own list, and link back!

    Vice President Antoinette tells us what he really thinks of us proles.

    Not to belabor an already tired meme, but...if this had been the Bush/Cheney admin, people on the Left would have been screaming for the guillotine right about now.

    The worst part is: Biden calls the guys a "smart ass" in the man's own store, while Sheriff Joe's vacuous face is smeared with the free ice cream the man gave him.

    I feel bad for the shop owner. I'll just bet the media and the screaming hordes will be lining up to give him the same treatment that they graced "Joe the Plumber" with when he dared ask pointed tax-related questions of Dear Leader's Administration. I'll just bet the IRS will be happy to audit his books for him, as well.

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Linky goodness.

    MacBourne preaches it.

    I am getting down in the "Amen" corner.

    Worth a read, and more than a passing thought.

    Hell's Own Timetable.

    • 7 AM: Wake up when a toddler does a diving headbutt into my solar plexus from the headboard. Gasp for a few minutes; reflect on sacred duty of parenthood.
    • 7:15 AM: Toss a bucket of Cheerios to three feral children and leave the kitchen. Realize that I have to enter the kitchen to make coffee. Fuck.
    • 7:45 AM: Clothing rodeo! Chase three nekkid children around upper stories of house, catch them and stuff them in to appropriate undergarments. Repeat until everyone has shorts, shirts and shoes on. (repeat Xs 2 for toddler.)
    • 8:15 AM: Herd children outside. Deploy bubbles, chalk and sandbox toys. Admonish everyone to share; remind children that the Marquess of Queensberry rules will be observed at all times.
    • 8:20 AM: Retreat to picnic table with stack of 20 papers, three red pens, vat of coffee and "medicinal" flask. 
    • 8:30 AM: Look up from second paper when shrieking commences. Sort quarrel; threaten children with time-out.
    • 8:45 AM: Finish third paper; confiscate half-eaten chalk. Threaten children with grounding.
    • 9:05 AM: Discover children playing "Mud Monsters vs. Girly-girl."  Realize that only the whites of OctoBoy and Ginger Beastie's eyes are visible because they are caked in mud. Calm eldest daughter; hose off children and threaten them with beatings.
    • 9:30 AM: Finish fourth, fifth and sixth papers. Realize that it is too quiet; go looking for children. They are behind the shed, making "mud" with a bag of quick-set cement. Scrape off toddler; scrape up semi-hardened cement. Threaten children with forced passage to Nepal via air freight.
    • 10:00 AM: Give in to frustration and despair. Consider running off to Borneo.  
    • 10:05 AM: coffee refill; finish papers.
    • 12:15 PM: Lunch for ravenous hordes. Ham and mayo on white; peanut butter and nutella; roast beef, cheese, mustard and pickle. Chips, fruit and milk deployed. Squabbling commences.
    • 12:20 PM: First sandwich quarter thrown in the Great Lunch Debacle of June 2010. Chaos and shouting ensues. Monkey butts are routed with application of wooden spoon.
    • 12:30 PM: Cabinets scraped, children chastised further, dishwasher loaded.
    • 12:40: PM: Penitential snorking, recriminations. Pleas for mercy heard.
    • 12:45 PM: Strategic retreat to living room. Restorative "Muppet Show" viewings prescribed.
     Relative peace restored in household.

    For now.