Thursday, December 29, 2005

and now for something completely different...

I'm pretty picky about poetry, but I came across this today in one of those rambling Google experiences...started out in the NY Times review of the Year in Art, went on to look for pictures of Damien Hirst's works, back to the art review where there was a mention of the NY Public Library's auction of Asher B. Durand's "Kindred Spirits". Didn't know what that was, so I Googled it. Found this page, where the history of the painting (turned out that's what it was) was explained. In the explanation was a quote from this poem by John Keats. I like it, so here it is for your enjoyment:

O SOLITUDE! If I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; - climb with me the steep,
Nature's Observatory - whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes - its rivers crystal swell,
May seem a span: let me thy vigils keep
'Mongst boughs pavilioned; where the Deer's swift leap
Startles the wild Bee from the Fox-glove bell.
Ah! fain would I frequent such scenes with thee;
But the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin'd,
Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.
-John Keats, 1795-1821

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Your 2005 Song Is

Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz

"Love forever love is free.
Let's turn forever you and me."

In 2005, you were loving life and feeling no pain.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Winter Solstice!

We finished decorating our tree last night, just in time. Even though we still call it a Christmas tree, I'm identifying more with it as a pagan symbol. Seeing as that's what it originally was and all... I've been trying to come up with some ways of recognizing the Winter Solstice as a primary holiday for us this season. Seems that most of the symbols and decorations commonly used by Christians to mark the Christmas season all have pagan origins (evergreens, mistletoe, holly, etc).

Anyway, in my little bit of research into Winter Solstice traditions, I came across this interesting tidbit I wanted to share with you:

In Greece, the Winter Solstice ritual was called Lenaea, the Festival of the Wild Women. In very ancient times, a man representing the harvest god Dionysus was torn to pieces and eaten by a gang of women on this day. Later in the ritual, Dionysus would be reborn as a baby - birth again being celebrated as well as ritually eating the deity. (See this page for more information.)

I think I'll stick to the mistletoe and tree decorating, and go without the ritual diety eating this year. I'll just bake some cookies instead.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Contrary to what you might think, porn is NOT better in 3-D. It just has a lot of apples, bananas, and disembodied penises flying at you.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

By nature, I am a rule follower. I like following instructions, and I participate in very few illegal activities. I am a model citizen in that, after receiving a $165 speeding fine, I now actually follow the speed limit (on that particular road, anyhow) more closely.

But I have recently found that when it comes to illegal Chinese designer knockoff handbags, all bets are off. I have bought knockoff handbags in The City before, the ones you get from street vendors or in any one of the millions of tiny identical shops on Canal Street. The ones that look like designer bags but lack the labels...the handbag equivalent of a dime bag that's really just oregano mixed with catnip.

Apparently, unbeknownst to my sometimes naive self, Canal Street is a lot like Amsterdam's Red Light District...except that the constant passing whispers aren't "treeps, treeps, cocaine...", but "Louis Vitton, Gucci, Prada...". I'm not sure if this is mandated or not, but all of the whispering young Asian women seem to wear the same coat--the long puffy North Face one that makes you look like you're wearing a big black sleeping bag. Respond to their beckoning, and they will lead you a block or 2 off Canal Street to one of many nondescript buildings where bountiful illegal merchanise awaits.

The first one we entered was filled with Chinese men playing ping-pong. I have been told that there was a sign on the door that read "Chinese Ping Pong Training Center," but I didn't see it myself. We were shuffled past the players into a makeshift room smaller than my kitchen. It was filled with handbags...Coach, Prada, Louis Vitton, you get the idea. At first, in my ignorance (and also because my brother-in-law said so), I believed that at least some of these bags were the Real Thing, but now I'm fairly certain that at most, they were just very good imitations. We didn't buy anything at the Chinese Ping Pong Training Center because our one seasoned buyer couldn't negotiate the kind of deal she wanted. I sadly put down the 3 bags I had in my hands and we left.

Later, we ended up in a warehouse type space that had been outfitted with 4 or 5 of the small rooms. They were each run by someone different. I ended up with a Prada, a Coach, and a Balenciaga bag, plus a small Coach wristlet, all for about $100. Of course they aren't real, though the Coach I got is an excellent reproduction, and even has a very real-looking price tag (MSRP: $280). The Balenciaga is a piece of's pretty much made of plastic but they certainly did a good job with the overall look of it. Note to self: next time, check the inside first to make sure the prong of the fake metal label isn't actually poking through the fabric. The Prada seems to be decent quality-wise, and might even be real leather, though the lining is not of the highest quality. My mom is getting it for Christmas. The Coach bags are for my sister. Being in the midwest, they don't have access to these things, so what may seem ubiquitous and cheap to us on the east coast is probably going to be pretty exciting for them as they stumble mindlessly through the cornfields, eating cheese and watching for tornados. I won't try to pass the bags off to them as the real thing. While I may be capable of such naughtiness as making off-Canal Street illegal purchases, I'm still a shitty liar.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I usually avoid writing about work, but I couldn't pass this one up.

This is from a transcript of a symposium on glaucoma surgery (from which I am expected to produce a coherent manuscript):

"Could nonpenetrating glaucoma procedures be the next step in that evolution, whether we are talking about using rooster comb to inflate to outflow channels, or using a pork rind to maintain filtration through the sacrectomy route."

Can you guess which parts are the transcriber's mistakes?? It may be harder than you think.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Oh, Canada!

I've never really had anything against Canada. In fact, my general experiences with our northern neighbor and the few Canadians I've had the pleasure of knowing have all been relatively pleasant. They have that neat bridge you cross over there by Niagara Falls where you can stand on the international boundary line, and you just have to love the way they say "aboot". Did I mention that I think moose are cute? And you just can't go wrong with maple syrup. I have a minor problem with the name of Toronto's hockey team but otherwise I consider my relationship with Canada to be fairly benign.

But as of this week, I have gained a newfound respect for our Canadian friends. Did you know that in the face their government being plagued by scandal and corruption, they just up and toppled the whole darn thing?! I mean, what do they think they've got going up there, a democracy or something? Who'd have thought they had it in them?*

*My favorite Canadian joke: "What does a Canadian say when you step on his foot? 'Sorry'."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

and so it begins (happy holidays)

Today I am amused and befuddled by this story, which has apparently made national headlines. Apparently some of our right-wing Christian friends are upset about the recent use of the term "Holiday Tree" on the City of Boston's website (as in "Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, 7 PM"). They complain yet again that Christmas has been stolen by the godless left. "'There's been a concerted effort to steal Christmas,' Jerry Falwell told Fox Television."

Guess what...the tree is a PAGAN SYMBOL, for chris'sake! Jeez, I thought everybody knew that, but perhaps people who routinely condemn the beliefs of others without bothering to actually come to any real understanding of those beliefs just haven't spent much time studying their history...

Anyway, just thought I'd share some interesting bits I found while looking up the origins of the "Christmas" tree:

Pagan traditions: Many Pagan cultures used to cut down evergreen trees in December, moved them into the home or temple and decorated them. Modern-day Pagans still do. This was to recognize the winter solstice -- the time of the year that had the shortest daylight hours, and longest night of the year. This occurs annually sometime between DEC-20 to 23. They noticed that the days were gradually getting shorter; many feared that the sun would eventually disappear forever, and everyone would freeze. But, even though deciduous trees, bushes, and crops died or hibernated for the winter, the evergreen trees remained green. They seemed to have magical powers that enabled them to withstand the rigors of winter. Not having evergreen trees, the ancient Egyptians considered the palm tree to symbolize resurrection. They decorated their homes with its branches during the winter solstice.

"The first decorating of an evergreen tree began with the heathen Greeks and their worship of their god Adonia, who allegedly was brought back to life by the serpent Aessulapius after having been slain."

The ancient Pagan Romans decorated their "trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus [a fertility god]. They also placed 12 candles on the tree in honor of their sun god" Their mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on DEC-17 and often lasted until a few days after the Solstice.

In Northern Europe, the ancient Druids tied fruit and attached candles to evergreen tree branches, in honor of their god Woden. Trees were viewed as symbolizing eternal life. This is the deity after which Wednesday was named. The trees joined holly, mistletoe, the wassail bowl and the Yule log as symbols of the season. All predated Christianity.

And I guess (contrary to what I'd thought), there are references to holiday trees in the B-I-B-L-E:

The Prophet Jeremiah condemned as Pagan the practice of cutting down trees, bringing them into the home and decorating them:
Jeremiah 10:2-4: "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (KJV).

Happy Holidays from your resident heathen,
Kat E

Friday, November 18, 2005

we're there when you need us (except when it all goes to hell)

A few notes about our new homeowners' insurance policy.

Our home and personal property are covered in case of loss by theft or fire, but not by flooding.

We are not covered should our loss be due to the discharge of a nuclear weapon (even if said discharge is accidental). Additionally, we are not covered for loss due to war.

We are, however, covered for losses caused by rioting.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

2005 Greater Milford Photo Scavenger Hunt: VICTORY IS OURS

Last weekend, J and I participated in the 2005 Greater Milford Photo Scavenger Hunt, along with a few friends. Together, we were "Team What's Happening?". I was Shirl, J was Re-Run, and of course Dee, Rodge, and Da-wayne were part of the mix.

We had 2 hours to run around Milford (& environs), collecting items and photos of ourselves with certain objects and people. I have to say it was absolutely the most fun I've had while completely sober in a long time, second only to my wedding day.

Some highlights included:

Team members trying on bras:
(Thanks to J's mom for supplying them without hesitation when we showed up at her door).

Team members with a mannequin. We found ours at the local adult store:

A team member renting a "naughty" video:

And, team members re-enacting a light saber fight. We found that tubes of lube fit the bill quite nicely. Had to get as much in as we could at each location!

After making it back to "headquarters" with only 30 seconds to spare before points were to be deducted, and after eating several cupcakes and fistfuls of popcorn and doritos while waiting for the scores to be tallied, the announcement was finally made. We had made it into the top 3, along with our bitter rivals, Team Danza. The rivalry was mainly due to the fact that Team Danza was the only other team we knew, but also had a lot to do with the fact that both of our teams had designed team t-shirts especially for the event. We had done a lot of gauntlet-throwing, posturing, and childish bullying beforehand, so when we then found out that it was down to *just our two teams*, the tension mounted.

Turns out that Team What's Happening was VICTORIOUS at last (and by a wide margin, too, I might add)...

Here's our team captain trying to beat the crap out of Team Danza's Captain with one of our trophies. Just TRY and take our title away next year, chumps!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bands I hate to love

C-mum and I have started a little challenge, and you are all welcome to join in: List the musical acts you are ashamed to admit you secretly enjoy!

Here are some of mine:
Christina Aguilera
Justin Timberlake/N'Sync
Britney Spears (pre-KFed)
That new "Golddigger" song (LOVE it, in fact)
pre-total-freak Michael Jackson*
80s hair bands (Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Cinderella, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Winger, GnR, White Lion. Damn, I really love Def Leppard.)*
Anne Murray
The Bee-Gees*
Disco in general (Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, especially)*

*I am really not ashamed to admit these. I just think most people would make fun of me for them.

Your turn!

ummm, OK...

Thanks to C-Mum for the link...

Take the quiz: "Which Random Irish Gaelic Phrase Are You? "

Teastaioinn cineal uaim
Teastaioinn cineal uaim - 'I want sex.'Horny little bugger, aren't you? You enjoy porn and being naked. Hell, you're probably naked right now. Both hands on the keyboard, you pervert!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

a little respect

Today, one of our company's accountants (who happens to be Chinese, just for the record) e-mailed me with a question about one of my timesheets. After we settled the original question, I received this e-mail from her, referring to the signature that appears at the bottom of all my e-mails:

"I just saw the PhD. I am sorry. I did and have not been addressing you properly."

I replied: "I hope you are kidding!"

To which she responded: "No, to be kidding would be disrespectful."

So, I thought for sure this had to be the work of a woman with a very dry sense of humor. But then again (WARNING: political incorrectness ahead), the fact that she is Asian made me wonder if she was actually *serious*! I have since heard that she went to a co-worker to say how embarrassed she was that she hadn't realized I had a PhD. I am incredulous that this woman was so concerned about how she addressed me. She is probably my mother's age, for god's sake! I *so* do not need my co-workers to call me "Doctor". If only our clients would have such inclinations...

Friday, November 04, 2005

an intimate secret

Ah, the joys of I was leaving for work yesterday, I noticed that an envelope had been placed in my purse. It was labeled "To My Darling Wife." How sweet, I thought. How utterly charming. I waited until I got to the office to open what was surely a hearfelt love note.

I tore open the envelope and caught a glimpse of the contents. It was a small newspaper clipping, and I caught the line at the top, "Love Is." You know it, the sickenly sweet cartoon featuring what seem to be 2 naked children, eternally finding ways to tell the world how pure and wondrous is their love.

I thought, "wow! this marriage thing isn't half bad, he's already clipping out the 'Love Is' cartoon and thinking of me!"

I present to you, gentle readers, the clipping my dear husband enclosed for me that fateful day, complete with the special addition he made just for me:

The sad thing is, it's true. Even sadder, it'd still be true if the picture showed the girl whispering into the boy's ear. Good thing we found each other.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Today's Science Tidbit: Mice Can Sing

Researchers have discovered that mice produce songs, presumably for attracting mates. After making audio recordings of the mouse sounds, scientists modified them to be audible to the human ear (they are normally too high-pitched to be detectable). To their surprise, the sounds were not just a collection of random noises--there was a pattern to them, much like birdsong. The really cool scientific implication of this finding is that mice--well-established as a genetic model for studying development and disease--might now be able to be put to use for studies of autism and other communication disorders. Birds are known to learn their songs, so researchers are very interested in finding out whether mouse songs are also learned, because very little is understood about how learning occurs in the brain, particularly when it comes to speech (communication). Previously, the only mammals known to learn new sounds were whales and porpoises, but these animals don't really make the best research subjects when it comes to studying molecular genetics.

You can listen to a recording of mouse song and read more here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wedding Nuggets

Seeing as approximately 90% of my readers actually attended my wedding, there is really no need to describe every detail that happened that day. So here are some nuggets of behind-the-scenes stuff you may or may not have known about.

First, highlights of our post-rehearsal-dinner karaoke festival:

--Jeremy's brothers singing the Hillary-and-Haylie-Duff version of "Our Lips are Sealed"
--My dad jerking violently during a song, in an apparent attempt to emulate Joe Cocker
--A duet by mine and J's father, though I can't remember the song
--Finding out that I'd sung "Baby Got Back" with my sister and friend S in front of all my conservative relatives. I have no recollection of this.

Next, interesting tidbits about the wedding day:

--On the way to the wedding, our limo (me and the bridesmaids) was stopped by a dog who decided to step out into the middle of the road and stare directly at the front of the car. After what seemed like minutes but was probably only 10 or 15 seconds, the dog stepped aside and let us pass. I found out a few days later that the dog had done the *exact same thing* to the limo when it brought my husband and his groomsman to the wedding, about an hour later. Hope he wasn't trying to stop us...!

--Since the girls and I got there early, and we had been told to wait in the farmhouse, which is apparently where the former owners of the farm live (the wedding venue is a christmas tree farm with a big reception hall. The owners ran the place until just recently, and Amanda, one of the former owners, still works there). Anyway, we walked up to the farmhouse, and there was a younger couple cooking breakfast and a very, very old woman sitting at the kitchen table. They looked at us like we had 18 heads until we explained who we were and tried to get confirmation that this was where we were supposed to be. I think they grunted at us or something, and we were then led to a sitting room in the back. The whole place was probably built in 1847, and hadn't really been updated a whole lot since then. The best part was that when I had to use the bathroom, my sister had to come in with me to help me navigate the handicapped apparatus that surrounded the toilet so that I wouldn't get my dress entangled in it.

--My dad and I arrived at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage. During the ride, my dad called the horse "Rusty", and asked the girls driving the carriage if they'd fed "Rusty" any beefaroni.

--As I approached the altar, J cocked his head, pointed at me, and mouthed my name questioningly. This was a very sweet, in-joke gesture, because it's exactly what he did the first time we laid eyes on each other. We met online and when we went to meet in person, I arrived first. When he walked into the bar, he did that to be sure he was walking up to the right girl. I always remembered it and teased him about it sometimes, but thought it was really cute. I loved that he did that at the wedding.

--The first thing I did when I got up to the altar was pull a hankie out of my cleavage to wipe my nose. J laughed in disbelief.

--During the ceremony I was both cold and a little nervous. One of my ass muscles starting shaking involuntarily (my whole leg and ass was twitching!), and I was wondering if people could tell.

--At some point before we were introduced into the reception, our head table caught fire (let's just say I learned my lesson about the quality of the candle holders at the Christmas Tree Shops). Some of the groomsmen put it out by throwing their glasses of water on it.

--No one wanted to catch the bouquet because they were scared of having to interact with the guy who caught the garter. I had to throw it twice before someone (ahem, Ergo!) would claim it, and then she hadn't even caught it--it had hit her in the chest and everyone said that was enough.

--My mother-in-law arranged for some special dances at the reception. I was made to stand alone on the dance floor, while the DJ explained that my mother-in-law was excited to have another girl around, since she'd had only sons. Then he played "It's Raining Men" while every male relative in the whole place surrounded me in gyrating dance moves. Of course no one could top my brother-in-law Mike, who came out first and has the best moves ever, including the one where he slides over to you on his knees. After my dance, she did the same thing to J, playing "Just a Gigolo" and having all the girls surround him. A few unruly older cousins actually started undressing him on the dance floor.

--They played "Copacabana," and a huge spontaneous conga line broke out. My mother even joined in.

--I have never danced like such a fool while sober in my entire life. I think I had maybe 2 glasses of champagne and one rum & coke the whole day. OK, I also had 2 glasses of champagne in the limo on the way to the wedding, but unlike the groom, I was not armed with a flask full of Buttershots.

--After the reception, we went to the casino in full wedding attire. Most people paid no attention, but I did get cornered in the bathroom by a drunken lady who went on for 10 minutes about how beautiful I was and how I should be on the cover of a magazine. That's probably the best interaction I'll ever have in terms of being cornered by a drunk.

--We made our foray into the high-limit slots area, where J put $50 into a machine and doubled his money on the first pull. A good sign for the marriage, we hope?!

--At the end of the night, we went to our room at the casino, which J's mom had booked for us. She'd checked us in and taken care of getting our bags there too. In addition to the champagne, chocolates, and fake rose petals on the bed (which was a nice gesture but a little creepy since it implies that your parents are well aware that you'll be gettin' it on later), they had asked for an upgrade, so we ended up in handicapped room. We decided not to read anything in to that.

--The next morning, a bunch of relatives and friends met for brunch at one of the casino's buffet restaurants. These places have an *unspeakable* amount of food. We were highly amused when, while we were in the middle of gorging ourselves on omelets, pastries, and soft-serve ice cream, a Karen Carpenter song came on.

I have absolutely no complaints about anything that day, except that it was over way too soon. Despite having the wedding during a record rainy period for this area, it stopped/slowed enough for us to have the wedding outside (in a covered pavilion which was not our original choice but which actually ended up being better), and to have our outdoor pictures. And of course it was more than wonderful to have all of our friends and family there...I am actually even looking forward to sending the thank-you notes :)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Return of the Mrs

Thanks to everyone for sending their anti-rain vibes...we had an amazing wedding :) Stay tuned for stories about our jungle honeymoon adventure. Still preparing for re-entry to the real world...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Rain gods

I woke to the sound of rain this morning, the same sound I fell asleep to last night. And supposedly it is set to continue, throughout today, tomorrow, and beyond. So I am sitting here with knots in my stomach because apparently it is going to rain on my wedding day (though I am well aware, unlike Alanis, that this does not fit the definition of irony. Rather, it just plain sucks.) I'm sure we will still have a fantastic party, but a lot of what we had planned revolved around having the ceremony outside. I know, it's a chance you take, but all week the weather reports indicated a break in the rain on Sunday, and that's what I was counting on.

So, please, if you are reading this, do a chant, kneel and pray, burn some sage, spin around in circles yelling like a lunatic...whatever your particular beliefs call for, and try to get those rain gods to let up for just a few hours on Sunday afternoon in Canterbury, Connecticut.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

time to cut the cord already!

I just did something I am not too happy about. It involved money, and a demand on the part of my father. He basically instructed me how much I am to pay the officiant (my uncle) for performing the wedding, and his instruction was vastly different (read: a lot MORE) than we had sort of worked out with the officiant on our own. He's got some kind of scheme going on, like he wants to see if my aunt and uncle will 1) keep the money 2) reject the money or 3) give us back some or all of the money in the form of a wedding gift. My father said he would reimburse me for whatever they didn't give back as a gift. So why doesn't he just pay the fee himself, you may ask? Damned good question.

I am now angry for a couple of reasons. First, in order to avoid conflict in the days before the wedding, I basically gave in to him with little argument. Mostly because I am hoping we really will recoup the money and it will be no big deal. But can I really be blamed for not wanting to get into it with my dad 4 days before our wedding? I am also mad at my father for giving me such an instruction, when *in fact*, this should be a decision J and I should make together. It is OUR money. So basically he could have just started a major fight between J and I in the days before our wedding. I'm sure he didn't even think about that though.

Just when you start to feel like an independent adult, you find yourself falling back into the same old patterns...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cingular can suck my left one

We just got smacked in the head with a very large (that would be almost $500 large) cell phone bill, due the day after we get back from our honeymoon. Unfortunately, it wasn't a mistake on their part, so all we are left to do is suck it up and hope we learned our lesson. But don't you think 40 cents/min is a bit excessive for overage charges?? That's what I get for paying *absolutely* no attention to the calls I made/received or what time they occurred ('cause you know that's the kicker). Sometimes I hate technology...

Our wedding thank-you notes will have to be amended to read: 'Thank you so much for your generous gift. We hope that Cingular Wireless will enjoy it as much as we would have. We did have to reduce our intended gift to Habitat for Humanity, but are hoping it paid for a new doorknob somewhere in Louisiana." Perhaps the CEO of SBC (Cingular's new owner) can put the money towards another zebra. Or maybe he'd like an emu?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

look out China!

"Super Typhoon Longwang" is headed your way. Hide your wives and daughters!

I'm getting sick of it too

I apologize for all the wedding talk. I am starting to bore myself, it's not just you. So let's chat for a minute about the best part of the whole wedding: the honeymoon.

Jeremy has never been out of the country (sorry, Canada and the Bahamas just do not count), and we decided we wanted to take a trip on which we could really make some memories, and have a little adventure. So we will be spending our honeymoon, all 10 glorious days of it, in the Central American country of Belize. There it is: just south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. Belize is about the size of Massachussetts, and is an English-speaking democracy. It is becoming a very popular ecotourism destination (and sadly, now that Leonardo deCaprio has bought himself one of it's cayes (aka island, pronounced "keys"), it is sure to become overcrowded with pretentious assholes. But not yet. Not before we get a chance to spend some time hiking in its jungles and snorkeling in its reefs.

We will spend the first half of our trip deep in the jungle, at a wonderful private retreat called Ek'Tun. There we will do some hiking, caving, swimming, and lots of eating of gourmet foods. We will also get to play with howler monkeys, an aspect of the trip that I, a bonafide monkey lover, am particularly looking forward to. We also plan to do a day trip to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal, in Guatemala (pictured).

Then, we will drive to Dangriga, on the southern coast, where we will head by boat 14 miles offshore to a 15-acre island called South Water Caye. The island sits right on top of Belize's barrier reef--the longest continuous reef in the Western hemisphere.
It was also just listed by Travelocity as among the top ten less-traveled beaches in the world. Again, I'm glad we're going now before too many other people catch on. There, we plan to do not much else but snorkel, lie in the hammock, and participate in other, ahem, honeymoon activities which I surely do not need to describe here. J has his SCUBA certification, but I have never dived. I'd like to try it--it seems silly to be in such a world-renowned diving location and not shell out the couple hundred bucks for an intro dive lesson.

So I guess what I'm saying is that perhaps you can look forward to some great jungle adventure stories (hopefully, none of which will include being robbed at gunpoint by a gang of shady's not impossible), and that just might make reading about place cards and seating charts and guests lists bearable for just another week or so...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

do pagans like disco?

So far, we have not met with any disapproval from the minister (my uncle) over the wedding ceremony we designed. Of course, *we* are quite thrilled with it, it is a celebration of love in the spirit of nature, and uses an eclectic mix of passages and traditions (including a short passage I ganked from a ceremony intended for "Pagans who must of necessity be wed in the presence of the uninitiated who are not pagan and are perhaps unaware that the bride and groom are pagan"). Seriously though, I'm not pagan...though if I were religious at all, paganism would probably be a top choice. I just don't go for any of the witchcraft/wicca/superstitious stuff, so I could never seriously get involved with that kind of thing. However, for Jeremy and I, the outdoors is our church, so we have incorporated a lot of nature themes into the ceremony. To US, it is a spiritual ceremony.

So tonight we are set to discuss the ceremony over the phone with the minister, and my biggest fear is that he will ask us if the complete absence of the word "God" in the entire thing was intentional (yeah, kind of). In case you are wondering why we are even bothering with a minister when we have a perfectly good JP standing by, the answer is that while I am not in agreement with the evangelical Christian beliefs of many of my family members, I do not feel that my wedding is the place to actually *snub* them. It's also kind of cool to have someone perform the ceremony that actually knows the bride and/or groom (the standby JP happens to be the mother of the groom*, and we'd actually like her to be able to enjoy herself and watch the ceremony). So...anyway...I hope my uncle is not offended by our lack of desire for a lot of rambling on about the Lord and the Holy Spirit on a day where all we want to do is celebrate our love for each other. (Not in the "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love For You"--courtesy of Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack--kind of way, however). Ours is a funky kind of love, best celebrated by disco music from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack and a few soulful ballads by the likes of Lou Rawls, Al Green, and Barry White.

*Speaking of the mother of the groom...CT just legalized civil unions, and she may just become the first JP in CT to marry a gay couple. (She was hoping to do this!) Way to go, L!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

18 days until my wedding and:

-My face is breaking out as if I were still 17 and slaving over oil vats as the assistant manager at my dad's ill-fated fried chicken franchise.

-I ate like a pig all weekend, surely plumping myself up just enough so that my dress will refuse to zip.

-My feet are not in the kind of optimal shape I would have preferred.

-Neither are my arms. A regimen of vigorous arm circles and tricep exercises must be put back into place immediately.

-We finally just figured out the ceremony, though we still have to wait and see if our neo-pagan-like choices will be OK'd by the minister (who happens to be my uncle). He did say "I want it to be what you want"...

-I still have placecards, CDs, hair accessories and some decorations to finish. I need to buy a guestbook.

-Our house is a disgusting pit that is even driving J crazy. You know it's bad when a mess can give the man of the house a panic attack.

-I have no idea what I will pack for our half-rainforest/half-island honeymoon (except for camera, swimsuit and snorkeling gear, those have already made the list).

-I am incredibly excited to see all of the family and friends who will be attending.

-I can't believe I am getting married!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dear Walgreens, Please hire more women cashiers.

Last night I was faced with the most unfortunate task of having to purchase an embarrassing feminine hygiene product (EFHP). For the record, it was neither tampons nor a pregnancy test, as I am too old to give a shit about buying the former, and I expect that when it comes time to buy the latter, I will be quite happy about it.

My initial plan of action was to purchase the EFHP at the grocery store, so that it might be safely camouflaged among the healthy, organic foods in my cart ("Look, she's such a healthy eater! This EFHP must be for someone else, as this woman could not possibly need it.") Unfortunately, the grocery store was out of the particular EFHP that I was looking for, and so I was forced to head to the local Walgreens, where I needed absolutely nothing but said EFHP.

In Walgreen's, I meandered first through the cosmetics department, picking up some body lotion so that I would not have to purchase the EFHP by itself. Perhaps the EFHP could just hide underneath the lotion, and no one would even have to know a thing! Yes, that's it. Lotion, in hand, I headed toward the EFHP aisle, which thankfully, was empty. Just as I began to reach towards the EFHP of my choice, I sensed a presence behind me. Surely it was someone just passing by, I thought, as the unspoken drugstore rule is to NEVER stand directly behind anyone selecting condoms, hemmorhoid cream, enemas, or EFHPs.

EFHP in hand, I turned around to find--to my horror--a couple in their early 20s standing literally a foot behind me. They had broken the unspoken drugstore rule! How dare they! To make matters worse, the mirrors along the ceilings allowed me to notice that the male of the couple was staring at me (disgustedly?) as I walked away from him. Cocksucker.

I was so ready to get out of there. So I headed upfront where, not entirely surprisingly, there were no cashiers working the regular registers--only 2 youngish guys checking people out at the photo counter. And I'm sorry, but there was no way I was going to purchase my EFHP at the photo counter! In the end, I flagged down a female cashier who'd been posted at the cosmetics counter but had strayed away to help some old lady pick out vitamins. I think she was trying not to laugh at me after I'd followed her all the way back to the cosmetics department only to plunk down a bottle of lotion and the EFHP. Bitch.

I called my friend S to share in my horror, and she had a suggestion I may follow next time: just buy 5 or 10 of the damned things so you won't have to deal with the humiliation again for a long, long time. And they were on sale last night too. Dammit.

Friday, September 16, 2005

reason #64 I like waking up next to my future husband

The first words I heard this morning from a very groggy J were:

"Oh, you still have your head."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I hate you, Martha. (PS, I love you)

Apparently the urge to become "the woman that does everything more beautifully than you" has overcome me. I am channeling Martha Stewart every night (though she has to beat the crap out of the spirits of Jenny McCarthy and Droopy in order to get in there). I've spent hours with my paper cutter, sticker maker, and spools of ribbon. I've been hunched over trays full of beads: threading them on wires, shaping those wires into flowers, sticking them to tacky tape so I can have votives that perfectly match my color scheme. I've photoshopped and cropped and printed invitations and printed CDs (with the special printer we bought justfor the occasion), and cut and threaded finicky threads into tiny holes. I've become a graphic designer, special event planner, and craftess extraordinaire.

All this for 6 hours of my life, 30 minutes of which will be spent making the transition from single gal to married woman. So I hope you enjoy the placecards and the votives (which you must take with you because I slaved over them) and the color scheme, and I hope the cake is beautiful and the food is tasty. I hope there are no wardrobe malfunctions and that everyone dances and has a swell time and is glad they came. Because in addition to becoming a graphic designer, special event planner, and craftess extraordinaire, somewhere in there I will also have become something that will still seem unbelievable until it happens: A WIFE.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

it's about time...

Big congrats to The New Dr. Ergo on defending her PhD thesis today! It's been a long time coming; we here in the blogosphere are very proud of you ;)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Place: Inside one of those new-fangled, non-stinky, composting pit toilets at the campground.

The Time: After dark.

The Conversation:

J [shining flashlight into the hole]: Is that corn?

Me: Let me see! Oh my god, is that corn? Or is it vomit?

J: Come on, let's go.

Me: Wait, shine it down there again!

J: This is disgusting.

Me: Is there really corn?! I think it might be vomit.

J: [shakes head and walks out]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I was at church this weekend

red dragonfly
Originally uploaded by polly~magoo.
Camping was just what we needed! I am convinced this red dragonfly is my new personal mascot. Maybe more like my "totem" (which will make sense to you only if you have read "Clan of the Cave Bear").
The first time I ever saw one was last month on my birthday, when one landed right on my hand as I was getting the mail. Then, this weekend, there seemed to be one at almost every turn on the trail. We were having lunch halfway through our 5 and a half mile hike (yes, sometimes we are athletic), when this one rested on a branch right behind us. It sat there long enough for both of us to get several pictures of it. J let me use his telephoto lens for the shot you see here.

I feel so connected with the forest. At night, when the tree frogs sang, I just got this overwhelming sense of being but one creature surrounded by countless other living beings. I felt as if everything around me was lush with life (and it was). Then, I got a glimpse of the stars. You can see so many, and it just makes you feel so small. But instead of a feeling of smallness in the sense that I don't matter, instead, I feel inspired to be a part of this larger being that I can't quite comprehend. Nature is my church, the universe is my god, and I am a part of it. What an incredible feeling.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

into the woods

I'm off for a weekend of camping with J. I can't wait to immerse myself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest. We are supposed to have great views of the Catskills (and Taconics?). We've reserved a waterfront campsite--those were usually not available back in the midwest where I did most of my camping growing up, so it's a special treat. See you when I get back from communing with nature...

Friday, September 02, 2005

I see your true colors, shining through.

So it's finally happened, despite my naivete in thinking it wouldn't: my humble blog has been dragged out from its dark burrow in the recesses of the Internet jungle and into the light of day. It has been discovered, a new species, quite a bit like one that had already been identified, but with subtle distinctive quirks and crass tendencies. One of J's relatives has glimpsed what I stupidly regarded as a semi-private reserve of thoughts.

My first reaction at finding that someone I never expected to enter this world had penetrated it was one of horror. I mean, these people liked me (I hope), and now they know that I use profanity, and laugh at drunk people, and stare at tennis players' asses, and have bachelorette parties with naked strippers, and that I'm lazy at work. What could they possibly think of me now?

But then I started thinking: this may very well be the root of my insecurities. Growing up, my friends' parents always liked me. I was a good student, a "good influence". The guilt I felt when I went out drinking with these friends, or smoked cigarettes with them, or stayed out too late with them, this is the same guilt I felt when I made the decision to move in with J--even though we were engaged, and even though it made no sense to do otherwise--because of my father's disapproval. This is the same guilt I feel when I am in a bad mood and worry that I might have come across as a bitch; my god, how will anyone ever like me again? This is the same guilt I feel when I have said or written something that was taken the wrong way and may have hurt someone, even though I never intended it as such. It is a deep ache that is difficult to resolve because at the heart of it is a fear to let people know who I really am, because if I do, they may not like me anymore.

The irony here is this: One of the things I love best about J's family is that I have always felt that I could be myself around them, and that they really liked me for who I am. I have never tried, or felt the need, to put on airs. In fact, I harbor guilt over this as well, because it is difficult when you realize that you feel more at ease with someone else's family that you do with your own. I am excited that I am becoming a part of their family. The thought that I may have done something to offend one of them is very painful.

So that leads me to this: I am not ashamed of anything I have written here. I am an adult. This is who I am. I swear. I can be pretty crass. I am not easily offended. I am more easily hurt than most people realize. The main purpose for this blog is to be entertaining (not sure if I'm entirely successful at it yet). I try to write things here that make people laugh, with the occasional rant thrown in for good measure. If you know me in person, I hope that I can be true enough to myself every day so that nothing you read here would change your opinion of me. And if it does, I will just have to accept that, because I can not go on feeling like I can only show my full self to some people and hide some parts from others. Because if I can't accept all of myself at once, how can I expect others to do the same?

Thanks to J, who knows me inside and out and loves me anyway.

And to P: I am changing my name because it means a lot to him, not because I have to. Also, it will allow me to fit my full name when I sign receipts and things; I always said I would only date men with short last names! ;)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I am so sick of Connecticut drivers. Yesterday, a guy in a town car tried to pass me on the right, so I sped up a little because passing on the right is a dick move. Mind you, I did not slam on the gas or anything, I just moved up to close the gap a little between me and the car in front of me. Well, Town Car apparently thought that my car was made of magical pixie dust, because he decided he was going to get in the left lane whether or not my car happened to be in his way. I am not kidding, the guy just started pulling over even though we overlapped by half a car length. I layed on my horn, giving a full continuous honk puncuated by a few small ones at the end, for good measure.

What do I get in return? Town Car gave me the air-handjob sign. Now, I expect those kind of responses from little pricks in souped-up Subarus, but this was a man probably at least my father's age. And he had a passenger with him! I have to wonder, did she cheer him on, or tell him to stop driving like a maniac? I'm guessing the former, because later on I spotted him actually straddling the two lanes at a very congested spot in the road, presumably so that he could quickly pick whichever one was moving faster ("8 mph or 10 mph? I must get those extra 2 mph so I won't be late for that seminar on beating my wife more effectively!!"). For all that effort, he never got more than a couple of cars ahead of me over the course of at least 10 miles. Let's just say it's a good thing I don't keep a pellet gun in the car.

Maybe this rant sounds like no big deal to you, but these are the people I deal with every fucking day on my commute. Add to that the fact that gas is now over $3/gallon, and I wonder why the hell I even bother going to work anymore. Especially those days when I sit in my office and am bothered by absolutely NO ONE, not a phone call, nothing. I could totally do my job from home. Thanks for letting me vent :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Milford, America 06460

My future brother-in-law Mike and his friend Liz are making a documentary about their hometown of Milford, Connecticut. Last night they came over to watch the raw footage they captured at the Milford Oyster Festival. Let's just say that if you enjoyed my story about Monsieur Pissypants, you would love the interviews these 2 got at the Oyster Fest. They managed to find every single freak at that festival, including a guy who had no problem admitting he lived in his car, a guy with a ZZ-Top style beard, and a drunk woman in a pink furry hat who swatted her kids away during the interview and whose nipples pointed through her tank top in very odd directions. One guy ended the interview by saying to Mike "see you at the liquor store!" (Mike works there. The other guy does not).

Anyway, I think their documentary is going to be fabulous. It does actually have a somewhat serious theme: the commercialization of American towns. Check out their website.

Friday, August 26, 2005

it's the little things

Today J and I accomplished another pre-wedding task: deciding on inscriptions for our wedding bands. After eliminating choices such as "Put me back on", and "My nubian princess" (don't ask, I have no answer), we settled on these coordinating inscriptions:

His: "Let your lovelight shine on me"

Mine: "Not fade away"

Both will also have our wedding date. Yeah, yeah, we're a couple of freakin' hippies.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

He let me touch his ball...

At first, I found his ponytail offputting. Then, as I acquired a new angle and a better view, I realized that with an ass like that, I could deal with the ponytail, and decided I'd cheer for him anyway. Ladies and gentleman, may I present my new favorite hunk of manflesh (after J, of course), Tommy Haas:

Last night, dear Tommy beat some Belgian guy in a 3-set match at the Pilot Pen tournament (thanks to J's folks for the box tickets with a prime view). God love my fiance for alerting me when Tommy changed his shirt between sets--what a good sport! I am not kidding when I tell you that sometimes I missed entire volleys because I was too busy staring at Tommy's ass.

However, the best part was when I got to put my hands on one of Tommy's own balls and even take it home with me!

Yes, you see, at the Pilot Pen, the winners hit a few balls into the crowd after their matches. Tommy autographed his last two, and the last one he hit came right for me. J was a darling, responding to my cries of "catch it! oh my god J catch it!" because, having played softball before, I know that a ball coming right for me is more likely to whack me in the eye than end up in my hands.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Family Fun at the Milford Oyster Festival

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon at the 31st annual Milford Oyster Festival. I don't like oysters (or most seafood other than the mainstream fishes, for that matter), but the Oyster Fest is more of a town fair type deal than an all-out day of oysters, with live music, food and beer, and vendors hawking homemade soap, cheap and not-so-cheap jewelry, and other assorted tschotskes. J's mom and aunt are on the organizing committee, so it was obligatory (sort of) that we make an appearance.

We arrived in time to catch a funk band we wanted to see, and then headed over to browse the craft/crap booths. Rode the ferris wheel (first time in AGES), ate some greasy food, and then started to head out the way we'd come in--through a short dirt path up a hill through some woods. As we approached the path in the woods, we noticed a man who'd just fallen on his face, right at the bottom of the hill. J was the first to notice that the man had clearly pissed himself. We chuckled and watched as a good samaritan helped Monsieur Pissypants to his feet and up the hill (attempts to lead him to the less steep path were unsuccessful). After much stumbling, he finally made it up the hill, which lead to a residential neighborhood.

The good samaritan and his family left Monsieur Pissypants to make his way home "roundddaaggghhcorrrnnnerr", and J and I decided to follow behind him as he meandered down the street, wobbling this way and that, to make sure that he did not intend to get into a car. He made it about a block before wandering into the corner of someone's front yard. There he stood, swaying precariously as J and I approached. J asked "you alright, man?" Monsieur Pissypants slurred "yaaaaaamarright" and then proceeded to plummet face-first directly into a large evergreen bush. He rolled onto his back, still crushing a large branch or two, exposing his unzipped, piss soaked jeans. J says he started to twitch, but at that point I was across the street trying to take a picture with my cameraphone (sorry, it sucks):

J tried to get his mom or aunt on the phone, to see if some cops might like to come assess the scene, but before he could reach anyone, the homeowner came out scowling, as if we knew the drunken log of flesh who'd taken up residence in her yew. We assured her we did not. We discussed the next step, and the last I heard out of Monsieur Pissypants was something like "aaagghnnndunncallgghhcops." Too late, buddy.

J's brother M, after hearing the story, suggested that the Milford Mirror run a picture of Monsieur Pissypants--in all his bush-crushing, pants-moistening glory--the following day, with the headline "Oyster Festival a Huge Success".

Friday, August 19, 2005

tonight's special: T & A

As related to me by my mother...

At a family breakfast outing (which included my Grandpa and his girlfriend Sally, Little Sis, my mom, and some aunts and cousins), the topic of spicy foods came up.

Sally: You know who has the best wings? Hooters! I just love going to get wings at Hooters!

Grandpa: Who cares about the wings? I go to Hooters for the tits and ass!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Disappearing Cock Trick: aka The Bachelorette Party Report

After braving the traffic on I-90, we (Little Sis and I) finally made it to S's apartment on Fullerton. S and Little Sis will be my maids of honor come October, and it's the night of my Official Bachelorette Party. I have requested not to be adorned in a "suck for a buck" T-shirt, but I have been given no guarantees. We meet up with a few family (cool aunts--one is my uncle's new wife and is also the same age as me) and friends for dinner at a kick ass mexican place. Fancy tableside guacamole, the whole works. Then, we head back to S's place to lubricate ourselves in preparation for the night's entertainment. And by lubricate I mean have a few drinks, you perverted fuckers. So anyway, I have a drink or two and a few shots. There are 6 of us. Then "Brad" shows up, found on by S. He has an assistant with him, as it turns out his function was to operate the boombox and prepare the blowjob shots and strawberries.

Brad arranges our seats to make room for the performance. Oh, did I mention he was wearing full fireman regalia?? We're talking a little simulated ash on the cheeks, and a big red hose here people. This guy paid attention to detail. Anyway, he asks "are you ready" and before we can blink he's in full So You Think You Can Dance mode. He had no qualms about grabbing our hands and placing them directly on his groin. Or ass. Or chest. You get the idea. He even took the liberty of copping a feel on a few of us. But hey, it's OK, it's my last official's all good. Before we know it Brad is in his red thong, lying on a towel on the floor, having us do blowjob shots and eat strawberries off of various parts of his body. I can't help but wonder what the assistant thinks of the whole deal, but it's hard to concentrate on that when a nearly naked man has your 19 year old sister on all fours and has a handful of her hair in his fist.

After much hose-thrusting, crotch grabbing, and gyrating, we thought the show was almost over. But apparently Brad had other ideas, for all the sudden, the thong was removed and there were Brad's dangly bits, right in our faces. I think my jaw is still recovering from its lighting-fast plummet to the floor. I'm no prude, but I certainly was not expecting this! To make matters even more, shall I say, interesting?...Brad was able to make his cock temporarily disappear! ...into S's mouth, that is. He swooped over to her, his groin level with her face, and put the towel he'd been using for lying on the floor and wiping his man-sweat off of various things over her head, presumably to be cheeky. Well, as S put it later "there was a cock in my face, what was I supposed to do? It was instinct!" The girl has some issues. [Let me clarify that the cock-disappearance trick lasted only a minute or so, and there was no wad-blowing involved. Thank god.]

So, since I really can't top that part of the story, I will quickly recap the rest of the night:
11 PM. Brad and his helper leave, Ed the limo driver comes to get us. we are all wearing feather boas and I have on a sequined headband with large pink feather sticking straight up.
11:30 PM. Ed drives us down Lake Shore Drive. We stop for pictures and end up talking to some nice bicycle cops. One frisks me against the limo for a photo op.
12 AM. We arrive at a dive karaoke bar. S pays the DJ $40 so we can get songs in within the hour. I sing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" while waving a penis-shaped squirt gun in the air. S, Little Sis and I sing "Baby Got Back" together. Someone buys me a shot of Jagermeister. I do it without puking.
2 AM. We leave the karaoke bar and head to the Liar's Club, an awesome hole-in-the-wall bar where they are playing great 80s dance music. Little Sis and I head straight for the back to dance. S finds Rick, the resident nudist, and asks him to disrobe for the occassion. He complies without hesitation, and for this I have the best photo of the evening: me, Little Sis, and S, standing with a buck-naked 40-ish year old man. It's a full length photo.
3 AM. Liar's Club closes, so we head outside. I give Little Sis's pink boa away to a chick who promises to wear it--and nothing else--for her husband. I thought it was a noble cause but Little Sis was none too happy. I owe her a pink boa. We walk back to S's place.
3:30 AM. Little Sis and I leave S in the bar below her apartment and head upstairs to crash.
9 AM. We are awakened by a strange man opening the bedroom door (Little Sis and I had shared S's bed). "Who the fuck are you?" I ask. "Who are YOU?" He replies. This goes back and forth, until we figure out it's S's friend from HS who she must've called after we passed out. Then I realize I've lost my cell phone, the only shitty part of the whole affair.
11 AM. Brunch. Then Little Sis and I drive back to the 'burbs, witnessing a Mexican guy falling asleep at the wheel right there on I-90. We manage to make it home alive.

the oh-so-enlightening book quiz

Thanks to BBFK for the Book Quiz link...

You're Lolita!

by Vladimir Nabokov

Considered by most to be depraved and immoral, you are obsessed with
sex. What really tantalizes you is that which deviates from societal standards in every
way, though you admit that this probably isn't the best and you're not sure what causes
this desire. Nonetheless, you've done some pretty nefarious things in your life, and
probably gotten caught for them. The names have been changed, but the problems are real.
Please stay away from children.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

note to self

While most organic/100% natural products are yummy and fresh, I have recently learned that this does NOT apply to the results obtained with organic deodorant, even if it did cost almost $6/tube. Now, to go buy a new (non-natural) one, or to just say the hell with it and break out the old patchouli oil again??

a contradiction?

Yesterday, I said to BBFK: "I think I am just really sensitive if I feel like someone is trying to be too controlling with me."

Yet I have some of the most controlling tendencies of anyone I know. Makes sense, of course, but I was amused when I thought about how it must've come across when I said it...

Monday, August 01, 2005


Yesterday, I was thrown a suprise shower by J's aunts. Not only do these people know how to throw a good party, they really know how to keep a secret. J lured me to his aunt's house (which is situated directly on Long Island Sound) with the promise of riding the Sea-Doos, which we had wanted to do the previous weekend but couldn't, so the story was fairly plausible. The downside was that my preparatory routine for sea-doo riding consisted of throwing on a tank top and shorts over my bathing suit and donning sunglasses over my splotchy, makeup-less face. Hardly what I would have done had I known I'd soon be confronted with 40 women who'd come to spend the day watching my every move.

After the intial shock wore off, I was able to not worry so much about my appearance. Until, that is, after the gifts had been opened and they seated me in a centrally located chair for the "silly games". That's when the cop walked in, and with a flourish of his nightstick, asked me if I was ready to be taken..."downtown". (Do I need to clarify that as he spoke the word "downtown", his hand made its way over his crotch in a suggestive manner??) Giovanni the "cop" put on quite a show. Let's just say he was very athletic and also very hairless. Used to performing in more private locations, the setting on the wide-open deck found him both a bit chilly and slightly embarrassed (not that you'd have known that!). After his primary act, he allowed me to choose the next victim. Thank god my future mother-in-law is a good sport!

Overall, a good time was had by all. And I get to do it all over again next weekend when I go home to Chicago for another shower and the "official" bachelorette party...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Computer Haiku

Inspired by a post from Crysanthemum, I offer these haiku, which I once received in an e-mail and dug up again for your pleasure:

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Aborted effort:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask way too much.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Printer not ready.
Could be a fatal error.
Have a pen handy?

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My novel" not found.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

And here's my personal favorite:

Windows NT crashed.
I am the blue screen of death.
No one hears your screams.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Damn you, Today Show!

OK, it's not even PMS time, and yet the Today Show, of all freakin' things, has made me cry two days in a row. They are doing a series they are calling "Christmas in July". You get it.

Yesterday it was a girl, a sophomore in high school, who had been born with spina bifida. It was her dream to go to the U of Oklahoma and become a doctor, to help children with spina bifida, of course. Her dad had run off when she was a baby when he saw how difficult it was going to be to care for her. Her mom and aunt raised her, and she'd had 50-something surgeries, including the amputation of one leg. Yet she was always hideously upbeat. So they brought her on the show, and the president of the U of Oklahoma awarded her a full ride there. She cried. Her mom and aunt cried. And yes, so did I.

Today, they featured a military family. Shortly after the husband had been deployed to Iraq, flooding hit the family's home, and it subsequently fell apart. The wife and two children had to live in their car, because the house was uninhabitable. Yet the wife kept her MP husband in the dark, because she didn't want him to put his life in more danger by being distracted with worry. She got help from a charity organization, but the contractors sent to fix the house did a shitty job and the roof was still half caved in. The Today show got Home Depot and JC Penney to donate a bunch of stuff--they fixed up the house, and even bought new school clothes for the kids. The family had gotten clothing from the Goodwill for their Today Show appearance. When their new house was revealed, the mother and daugher sobbed. The son was excited. They had the husband via satellite from Iraq--he thanked Anne Curry and kept calling her "Ma'am." Not only did I cry, I was actually near sobbing.

This has got to stop.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sunday, July 17, 2005


A confession: As a soon-to-be-bride, I have gift registries at several stores. I am unable to stop myself from looking at the registries, sometimes several times a day, to see what, if anything, has been purchased. I feel very guilty about this, and J says not to tell him anything because he wants it to be a surprise. I rationalize that there will still be some element of surprise--I don't know who bought which gifts. I am sorry for being a terrible person.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cop Hex

I think a police officer put some kind of curse (or hex? I like the word "hex") on me today. Pulling out of my office building's sidestreet onto the main road is usually challenging: a left turn is required, and there is usually a buildup of traffic in the lanes I am trying to get into. I have learned that one must be unusually aggressive and pull out into the road when no one is coming from the left, even if the traffic coming from the right is all jammed up at the light (meaning, I am pulling out, blocking traffic from the left, establishing my position and saying to the folks coming from the right "you see here, you must let me in, or we will all be fucked because my ass sticking out into these other lanes will cause a big accident and you'll be sorry.")

So anyway, I don't know if it's necessarily illegal to do this, but it has to be done if one is going to EVER get the hell away from the office. Traffic at the nearby intersection is a nightmare. Today at lunch I pulled the move in typical fashion. Mind you, I only do it when traffic from the left is stopped at a nearby light, so it's timed such that as soon as traffic starts moving, someone will let me in, and I will be out of the way by the time anyone might be close to slamming into the back end of my car. At lunch time and other rush hours, there is a traffic cop stationed at the intersection on the corner. Apparently he saw my move, for as I drove by the intersection, he extended his arm at me and pointed. Just pointed. And follwed my car with his pointy hand for as long as I looked at him, which felt like forever. Just long enough for a hex. I'll let you know of any ill effects.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm just saying.

The original version of Listen to Your Heart by Roxette is way better than that crappy attempt at a remake that I'm hearing everywhere I go. The remake just rides along slowly while, the whole time, you're waiting for it to just rock out. But it never does. It's wholly unsatisfying. Go Roxette.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

As of today, I am 100%, completely, totally convinced that men get PMS, too. And instead of the bloating, cramping, and weepiness, they just turn into total BITCHES.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Our zoo now has an amphibian exhibit

On Saturday my tadpoles arrived from Uncle Milton (as in Uncle Milton' Surf Frogs; yes, that's the same Uncle Milton of ant farm fame). If you click on that Uncle Milton link you will see what kind of gift J has figured out will bring me great joy (in this case, the Uncle Milton Surf Frog Habitat). Did you notice the "Surf Shop" where the frogs can hide out? And how about that monster wave, dude? I will say that the excessive use of the word "dude" and phrases such as "surf's up" in the instruction booklet are the only thing about this gift I found annoying. But I suppose the intended "Ages 6 and up" demographic gets off on that kind of thing.

So, anyway, the nonhuman animal-to-human animal ratio chez nous has just been raised from 3:1 to 4:1 (8 nonhuman animals, 2 human animals). I promise I will not become one of those animal hoarders; I may be neglectful in emptying the litterbox, but I refuse to sleep on a sheet in the corner because the animals shit all over the bed and the couch. (I saw a woman like this on a show called Life of Grime on Discovery Health Channel. She had about 45 cats in her apartment, and had had to throw away the mattress due to fecal overwhelmance. Her walls were streaked with god-knows-what kind of feline eminations. She realized she couldn't handle all the cats anymore so she ended up surrendering most of them. Kind of sad--she meant well.)

Friday, July 08, 2005


So I'm sitting there alone, in my smallish, dankish apartment, hugely pregnant. J is not home. Effortlessly, I give birth to two, adorable, female twins. They are perfect, except that one of them has two tails growing out of the back of her head. Also, they are both orange tabby kittens that bear a striking resemblance to my cat Monty. While slightly concerned about the extra and misplaced tails, I am not bothered by the cross-species birth. I cuddle my new daughters. There is no attempt to breastfeed. I reach for the phone to call my mother, but decide to call J instead. "Twins!" I proclaim. "Both girls!" I do not bother to mention the fur, claws, or anything kitten-related. I consider calling my mother again, but do not.

I pace around the apartment. A neighbor pops in the door and either drops of or removes a large bag of wood shavings from the entryway, I am not paying much attention. I sit on the brown tweed couch, which is located about 3 feet from the television. I am sure something like Montel or Jerry Springer is on, but I am concentrating more on the increasingly squirmy kittens trying to get out of my lap. By the time J returns home, I cannot contain them in my arms or lap entirely, and I think the two head-tails have disappeared. My babies are normal. No one seems to think otherwise.

Then I wake up.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her resignation from the Supreme Court. The only reason I have put up with the Democrats' weak spines over the past year or two (letting Bush get away with his creepy fanatic judicial nominees, Terry Schaivo, not holding anyone accountable for this mess in Iraq...) is because I have been holding out a weak line of hope that they were saving their ammo for this very fight. Especially now as I read a preliminary list of potential appointees. This shit is SCARY, people! Among the supposed contenders:

-Alberto Fucking Gonzales. I doubt it's necessary to say much about the torture memo guy! Another example of Democrats giving in.

-Judge Janice Rogers Brown. Right-wing nutjob who describes the New Deal as "the triumph of our own Socialist revolution." Senate wimps let her right on through to the Court of Appeals.

-Judge Samuel Alito Jr. Voted to uphold spousal-notification rights for abortion in PA in 1991 (later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court).

-Federal Judge Emilio Garza. In a 1997 opinion, he wrote that "ontological issues such as abortion are more properly decided in the political and legislative arenas.'' This does not sound like a good idea to me, but just to be sure I Googled the word "ontological". I found this:

Ontological arguments are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world — e.g., from reason alone. In other words, ontological arguments are arguments from nothing but analytic, a priori and necessary premises to the conclusion that God exists.
The first, and best-known, ontological argument was proposed by St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th. century A.D. In his Proslogion, St. Anselm claims to derive the existence of God from the concept of a being than which no greater can be conceived. St. Anselm reasoned that, if such a being fails to exist, then a greater being — namely, a being than which no greater can be conceived, and which exists — can be conceived. But this would be absurd: nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. So a being than which no greater can be conceived — i.e., God — exists.

My conclusion: politicians have a hard enough time with simple issues like flag burning and how much brain potential there might be in a vegetative woman, let's leave all this ontological gobbledeygook to be decided IN PRIVATE for god's sake.

-Judge Edith Hollan Jones. Would likely overturn Roe v. Wade.

-Judge J. Michael Luttig. Considered a moderate in comparison with the other nominees, though he has backed parental-notification abortion laws for minors and voted to strike down a law letting rape victims sue their assailants in federal court and to limit the scope of the Endangered Species Act.

- Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III. Also voted to uphold parental notification laws and the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy. Considered the most conservative of the potential nominees. Did I mention he has also voted to strike down a law authorizing suits by rape victims?

To my representatives in Congress: PLEASE, I beg of you, show some spine!!! We are counting on you.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

even educated fleas do it

Have you ever seen tortoises fucking? I did once, at the zoo, of course. I'm talking about those huge, 300-year-old tortoises the size of bathtubs. Their sex is pretty much exactly what you'd imagine: incredibly slow and fairly clumsy. The one surprise, for me anway, was that they grunt while they're doing it. The male climbs up onto the female's back--not all the way, of course, he just gets his front legs (flippers? feet?) about halfway up the back of his lover's shell. Every couple of minutes, he thrusts, the motion accompanied by a rumbling grunt. It's rather loud, especially when you didn't realize tortoises ever made any noise. The noise is sort of what you'd expect from a really old man getting up out of his armchair or shitting his pants unexpectedly. I think the best part about witnessing the tortoise fucking was the fact that the female seemed completely uninterested in what was going on. In fact, she had bits of slimy chewed lettuce stuck to her mouth, and a long, viscous stream of drool streaming slowly to the ground. That's hot.

Next time I'll tell you about the time I saw a zebra masturbating at the zoo...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

PMS rears its salty, dripping head

Yesterday, I cried:

1) while picking out Father's day cards

2-4) 3 separate times while watching Operation Homecoming on The Learning Channel

Thank god I didn't see any Purina commercials (you know, like the one where the boy gets the puppy and then the puppy becomes an old dog that can barely make it up the stairs but when it does the boy--now a handsome young man--lets the dog lick his face and he hugs the dog joyfully, and all that). I am getting choked up just thinking about it. This is pathetic. Damn you, hormones!

Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm a sucker for fur and claws

Another Monday, another start to another blah week at the office. The weekends always go by way too fast. Saturday morning I realized I have gained back about 15 pounds of the weight I've lost in the past year. Gee, I wonder if eating Dairy Queen 3 times a week had anything to do with it?? Three 30-minute walks per week apparently aren't enough to combat frequent consumption of Blizzards. So anyway, I have officially re-committed to the get-fit effort. Kind of sucks that I worked so hard only to re-plump just in time for bathing suit season. I have 4 months to take it off again, shouldn't be too terribly hard if I can stay away from the candy jar 3 cubes down and keep J from tempting me with late night ice-cream runs. I tried Cold Stone Creamery for the first time this weekend (a last hurrah before the recommittal??) so that should tide me over for a while, right? It better: a medium (sorry--"Love It"-- in Cold Stone parlance) size is *17* points (that's Weight Watcher speak if you didn't already know). I am only supposed to have like 24 points in an entire day, so needless to say I will be staying away from CSC as well.

This morning I dropped one of my guinea pigs, Hank, off at the vet. He is being briefly anesthetized to remove a weird cyst-like thing on his ear. This should set me back about $150. I am officially nuts. But I did adopt the little guy and promise to give him the best of care, so I suppose I am obligated not to allow the ear cyst to expand to kiwi-size and possibly rupture and cause a deadly infection, right? Combined with the thousands spent on the cats in the last couple of years, I've sent some vets on some nice vacations, I think.

But I could not live my life without animals around. Dogs are OK--good for taking camping and for a jog and to help you feel safe at night when your significant other is away and you hear a strange noise in the house. Cats are smarter and pickier about sharing their affection with you, which is why I think I appreciate cat affection way more than dog affection. Dogs have a basic need to slobber at your side at all times. Cats act as if they could do without you--and they probably could--so that when they do come up and cuddle, it's because they chose to, not because they have no other modus operandus, making the experience just a little more special. Yell at a dog, and they just beg to be forgiven so they can sit at your side again. Piss off a cat, and you'll be begging it to forgo the cold shoulder and forgive you for having mistreated it. I've cared for a variety of rodents in my day: hamsters, rats, and now, guinea pigs. I'll admit that I enjoy them more from a biologists' point of view--I really just ilke to observe their behavior. This has been especially true of the pigs--they are amazing social creatures that have a complex system of vocal communication that humans, as far as I can tell, have only figured out on the most basic level. Plus, they have cute little furry butts that they waggle back and forth as part of a dominance display.

I'm currently awaiting delivery of two tadpoles (part of an Uncle Milton--yes, of ant farm fame--kit I was given last Christmas by J), which will bring the animal-to-human ratio in our house to 4:1. If I ever have a farm, watch out...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I destroyed somebody's babies

Yesterday, while filling the feeder on the front porch with birdseed, we discovered the beginnings of some wasps' nests on the awning. One was hanging right above the feeder and was about the size of an egg. Because one does not necessarily care for a huge wasps' nest on one's front porch, I took a razor blade and sliced it gently off of the awning. I picked it up gently and observed it, amazed at the detail and fragility of its construction. It was made of a thin gray paper--I cannot even conceive of how the insects produce this stuff but I am sure it is known. I will have to consult my E.O. Wilson tome on insect societies. There was a thin, one-layer outer shell with a quarter-sized opening in the bottom. Peering in, I saw a small grid of combs. There were maybe 15 hexagonal openings. At first I thought the nest was empty, but when I tore away the outer layer to get a better look at the inner details, I saw that, indeed, each depression held a tiny life form, a small white grain that was probably only days old. Not quite egg, not quite larva.

As I was contemplating the tiny miracle of nature in my hand, the structure's architect (presumably) came flying onto the scene. J caused me to panic, urging me to destroy the thing, lest its owner discover it in my possession and decide to attack. Not quite thinking, or perhaps not wanting to think, I let it fall to the ground and crushed it quickly under my shoe. Apparently not yet aware of its flattened nursery lying on the pavement, the adult wasp frantically circled the wisps of nest still left on the awning, bewildered. How long had it taken this creature to so carefully build the structure which I had just carelessly destroyed in an instant? Would it take time to grieve for its lost offspring or just begin building again? The sight of that poor animal circling the remains of its labor of love almost brought me to tears.

There is another beginning of a nest in the other corner of the awning. We did not cut it down yesterday, as it was being carefully guarded by another adult. I know I cannot leave it where it is, it's just not practical. But I can't bring myself to be the destroyer again just yet.

Friday, June 03, 2005

because my brain wasn't mushy enough...

Reality TV I have watched this week:

"Beauty and the Geek". Not entirely sure what the setup of this show was, but I caught the "elimination round" in which two couples (each of which consisted of a vapid, cute girl, and a geeky guy) faced off: the guys answered pop culture questions while the girls got questions on politics and history. My favorite part was when one of the vapid girls was asked "Who was the president of the United States during the Civil War?" When told that it was not Hoover (her answer), but, in fact, Abraham Lincoln, she grimaced "Oh! D-day!". Yeah, I don't get it either.

"Britney & Kevin: Chaotic". Britney is a trashy whore. Kevin is a trashy gold-digging idiot. But you already knew that. So did I--maybe that's why I felt compelled to watch their show.

"Dancing with the Stars." Semi-washed-up celebrities, paired up with professional ballroom dancers, compete (perhaps for the title "Most Desperate for Publicity"?). Evander Holyfield hammed it up and was pretty smooth; Trista Rehn of "Bachelorette" fame was stiff and awkward. I have no idea why I watched this. I was probably hoping someone would really fuck up.

"Hit Me Baby One More Time". 80s artists perform current hits in this well, retarded, competition. I guess last night was the first episode. Loverboy did a horrendous rendition of Enrique Inglesias' "Hero", and Tiffany butchered Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway". I always hated Tiffany (she was popular as I was entering my rebellious metal phase), but last night proved that she is talentless as well as annoying. Arrested Development delivered the winning performance with their cover of the Los Lonely Boys song "Heaven". And they deserved it--they were the only band to actually infuse their own real style into their performance. They started out a little shaky but as they really got into it, they rocked the house. Oh my god, I think I got way too into this one...this is going to be a LONG summer of reality TV...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


This is the actual text of an e-mail I received from my mother this morning. She's talking about my 19-year-old sister, recently home for the summer after her first year of college. Let's call her "Jane":

Last night I walked into Jane's room. It was kind of late; she was talking online as usual and laughing out loud. When I walked in she turned around and said, "Oh, remember I told you that Kyle (gay Kyle) and I were out at a porn shop and he made me buy a vibrator?" oookkkaaay..."Well, he is always asking me if I used it yet"....THEN SHE SAYS, "WELL I USED IT TODAY AND I TOLD HIM AND NOW HE IS TELLING EVERYONE TO IM ME SAYING 'buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz". I put my hands over my ears at this point and walked out of her room.

Okay what is wrong with this girl. I am appalled. Geez.

Needless to say, I text-messaged her ASAP. "Buuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

reason #734 why I am marrying my man

I told him I thought Carmen Electra was hot. I'm also trying to work out more. Yesterday he suprised me with this. What a man.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

let the sun shine!

Just an update: Hair was awesome. Just amazing. I really did get a little choked up at the end, and it wasn't from the pot smoke. In the car on the way home, my fiance's cousin gave her assessment: "So, I'm not so sure what that was all about. There's the guy that wants to go to war, and then everybody gets stoned?" Let's just say she doesn't seem to be all that politically-minded.

And, since I know you're all dying to know, while members of the cast, including future brother-in-law, did indeed get naked, the way the stage was lit precluded any schlong measuring or nipple-gawking. Thank god because even though our seats were waaaay in the back, this was a smallish cabaret theater, so the waaay back really wasn't all that far back.

The other highlight of the weekend was attending the wedding of an ex-coworker of my fiance. It was a smallish, modest affair, though they did, to our great pleasure, spring for the all-night open bar. Unfortunately, they decided to cut corners on the DJ. I'm not sure if he was chosen randomly or was a friend of the family, but he was pretty much a reincarnation of that Chris Farley motivational speaker character from SNL. Seriously. He was overweight, disheveled, loud, boorish, and worst of all (or best of all, from an entertainment perspective) DRUNK. We're pretty sure he was drinking straight whiskey. And he'd yell into the microphone, causing very unpleasant reverberations. We were expecting him to follow "AND NOW, PLEASE WELCOME, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, THE NEW, MR. AND MRS., JOHN SMITH" with "WHO'LL BE LIVING IN A VAAAAN, DOWN BY THE RIVERrrraaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!" I am not exaggerating. Seriously. He also got out on the dance floor to strut his stuff to the horrible techno music he chose for the occassion (which was only slightly more tolerable than the Kenny G and Chuck Mangione numbers he played during dinner). But a good time was had by all, and also, I looked pretty hot in my new dress. Not that it was about me or anything...

Friday, May 20, 2005

I don't really want to see your junk

My future brother-in-law is an up-and-coming performer. Mostly musicals--he recently toured with Starlight Express, a very deep, emotionally-charged musical loosely based on The Little Engine That Could. On roller skates. And with costumes that were apparently designed by either the animators of "The Transformer" or the costume team from the movie Tron. He does a play here and there as well--I went to a reading of his (along with his parents, brothers, and an aunt) for a play in which he played a gay teenager in the 50's who gets involved with a local priest. The play kind of sucked, but the worst part was watching his father (my future father-in-law) watch *him* as he groped another man's package and kissed a priest onstage. Honestly I think his father would have been more comfortable with it were it not for the fact that his son is gay in real life. That said, I should mention that his parents are extremely supportive of him and his career and, while his dad probably would prefer that he wasn't gay, they accept him and have a very good relationship with him.

But tonight, we get to see him naked. Onstage. In Hair. Now, I'm really excited to see Hair. Normally I am not so fond of musicals, but this is a classic that appeals to my not-so-inner bohemian. I've seen the movie but never the live performance. I asked my fiance, "wouldn't it be funny if he got naked and all the sudden this huge Ron Jeremy-sized wang came flying out, hitting the stage with a massive 'thud'?" He replied "you wish," to which I said "yes, I wish your gay brother had a huge schlong..." Then I saw what he was getting at--the genetics and all--so I had to reassure him that his package is, indeed, more than satisfactory to meet my needs. (Men are ridiculous when it comes to this subject. As long as I can actually feel it when it's in, it's big enough, and the rest is up to you, honey).

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I was pleased to hear that our seats are in the back. Waaay in the back...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

thanks for parking like an asshole

I finally did it. I left a snarky note on someone's car in the office parking garage for parking like an asshole (namely, parking smack dab on the line, thus taking up two adjacent spaces). I should mention that it is a definite pain in the ass to park in our garage--big concrete poles every which way, one of which has left an ugly scratch on my front bumper. But you don't see me trying to take double the parking space I'm allotted, do you? No sir. I don't know what it was today, maybe I was a little pissy, and maybe it was just because I happened to have some extra paper in the car. But I pulled in and saw, of all things, a Ford Focus taking up two spots, and I knew it was time to do what I've always wanted. I left this note on the windshield of that damned car:

"Thanks so much for letting us all know how important you and your car are by taking up two parking spaces. What a considerate gesture."

I really felt like writing "thanks for parking like an asshole," but I decided on the sarcasm-laden "polite" version instead. It did make me feel good, I have to say.

Next plan of action: making magnetic bumper stickers that I can put on Hummers when their owners aren't looking. They will say "I bought this car to compensate for my tiny penis".

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Why is it OK for male nipples to be displayed wherever their owners please, but a crime to show female nipples in public? Um, don't they kind of look, identical, without the context of the surrounding bodies?

Imagine a shirt that covered everything BUT the nipples (meaning, the parts that are anatomically different between the genders). That'd be a sight.

(BTW, this nipple discussion was prompted by this article in the Chicago Tribune).

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The perfect gift for everyone in my family

I came across the Flat-D Innovations website a while back, and I have to admit, I can't say that I actually hate their product line, but it obviously lends itself to being intensely ridiculed. The Flat-D (as in flatulence deodorizer) website promises that it's products will "eliminate your flatulence odor problem as soon as you start using it." Now that's some guarantee! I'd actually like to run my own mini-clinical trial, as I'm pretty sure I know some of the world's biggest producers of malodorous gases.

In case you were too fucking lazy to look at the website for yourself, Flat-D Innovations sell a line of activated charcoal products designed to eliminate the scent of your farts. You can buy underwear, reusable pads to put in your underwear, chair pads, and even face masks. Now, the underwear pads make a lot of sense to me--they're discreet, presumably allowing you to let 'em rip on the subway without making anyone around you pass out. I don't think, however, that the Flat-D pads are strong enough to muffle the sound of a large post-bean burrito pooter, so you may want to avoid freely passing gas, say, in the Self Help section of your local Barnes & Noble. Perhaps they should develop a charcoal pad enveloped in soundproof insulating material--now THAT would be an innovation!

From what my mother tells me about my dad's daily habits, I think he might like to invest in a Flat-D chair pad for his computer chair. Supposedly his gaseous eliminations have all but disintegrated the stylish tweed covering, and there is enough odor build-up that even the cats are repelled immediately upon jumping up there.

Another idea I'd like to pitch to the folks at Flat-D: how about a charcoal liner for the bedsheets? I can't tell you how many times my wonderful life-mate has lifted the sheets just so, blasting me directly in the nostrils with a gas so noxious they might want to consider using it at the next incarnation of Abu Ghraib.

For now, we have the charcoal underwear. It's a start, but until my entire family is outfitted in charcoal-lined jumpsuits, the world remains in great peril.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

How lazy do you have to get?

I'll readily admit it: I am one lazy woman. I'd like to have children so that I can assign them household chores, but then I realize that I am too lazy to train them over the 4 or 5 years it would take to make them the perfect "Mommy's Little Helpers" (the pills are probably a better idea). I would rather let a container of leftovers solidify into a green, alien mass than to take the 5 seconds to empty it out and put it in the dishwasher. The last time I cleaned out the litterbox it was no longer scoopable (unless I'd had a scoop big enough to pick up the entire now-solid litter BLOCK).

However, there is one thing even I--a woman who once slept on the pullout couch because I was too lazy to put the clean sheets on the bed--am NOT too lazy to do, and that's BOIL PASTA. Which brings me to today's item I Love to Hate: Kraft Foods' "It's Pasta Anytime" line of pre-cooked pasta meals. According to the product website, the It's Pasta Anytime products are "never frozen" and thus can "be stored in your cabinet." Last time I checked, I was successfully able to store regular pasta in my cabinet without too much hassle. Even if that stuff spills out of the box, you can probably just scoop it up, remove the mouse droppings, throw it in some boiling water, and you're good to go!

Kraft also claims that the It's Pasta Anytime meals are "sealed at the peak of pasta perfection." I'll admit, I probably don't often end up with perfect al dente pasta with the regular boiling method, but as long as it doesn't perforate my gums or turn to slime on my tongue, it's edible.

As far as their claim "makes a perfect meal anytime", well, that's what I always thought about REGULAR pasta! The perfect "default" dinner for the lazy gal. But what about the sauce, you might ask? Surely a person as lazy as yourself can't be bothered with sauces?! Crazy as it sounds, and as lazy as I am, I've never found it troublesome to dump a jar of sauce into a pan. (We won't discuss the issues of putting-of-the-leftover-sauce-into-the-refrigerator or the cleaning-up-of-the-sauce-pan-within-a-reasonable-number-of-days...).

And just LOOK at these cooking directions:

1. Peel top film off and set aside.
2. Pour pasta evenly into tray.
3. Pour sauce evenly around the edge of the pasta.

Let's just stop right here. Pouring? This involves pouring things?! Evenly??!!
4. Lay film back on tray to control splatters. Last time I checked, controlling splatters was NOT on the lazy gal's agenda.
5. Heat on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes.CAUTION: Tray may be hot.
6. Stir sauce into pasta to combine; serve.

In addition to these highly complex instructions, the Kraft website includes a comprehensive table of microwave wattages and recommended cooking times. What, they think the people buying It's Pasta Anytime are too lazy to boil water, yet not lazy enough to forgo navigating a wattage directory?

I think the real reason I love to hate It's Pasta Anytime products are because they are an attempt to make something so easy, easier, and totally fuck it up in the process. If you're too lazy--or perhaps, STUPID, to make pasta, you should just starve to death.