Saturday, June 30, 2007

Did You Have a Fight with an Engorged Tick?

Your bare ass is your canvas. Like a multimedia sculptor, you choose your favorite medium (or small or large) and bedeck yourself. You are a mobile objet d'art.

Let it be noted for the record that I am a fan of the outlandish get-up. Teetering masterworks created from hair amaze me. I study any garment made of feathers. Occasionally, I inquire about structural underpinnings or cleaning considerations, but mostly I merely observe the artistry.

Some art stays with you. It splashes you in the back of the eyeballs every now and then. You ponder the meaning, the intent of the artist.

So true in this particular case. This certain person swathed herself entirely in red. Red shoes, puckering red pants, red shirt. Tightly curled red hair, red lipstick. A variety of reds, similar in shade but so much the same.

It all made sense when I learned she was smarter than everyone else.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alex, the Dumb-Ass Cat

I have a black eye. Practically. It happened while I peacefully slept. Soundly. Tucked into my cozy little beezie dreaming of sugar plums.

All of a sudden, Alex, the Dumb-Ass Cat, lowered his tiny brain and headbutted me with great force right in the eye socket.


Fuzzy woodpecker freak.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Moral of the Story about the Dog in the Jungle

A series of unfortunate events added up to the "oh shit" moment when a dog finds himself lost in the middle of the jungle, where a bloodthirsty leopard eyeballs him for a tasty scooby snack.

Just then, the dog I-spies a pile of bones. He plops down for a chew and says, "Jesus that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"

The leopard stops in his tracks, spins around and tip-toes into the bushes. "Ratcrap that was a close one. That dog almost got me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey has taken in the whole scene. The monkey knows how to work the system, so he trots off after the leopard.

The monkey spills the beans and the leopard is pissed. The leopard says, "Monkey, hop on my back and check what's going to happen to that scheming dog."

The dog saw the monkey slink off so he's wise to the trouble afoot. He frets, knowing his two attackers are approaching from behind.

Just when they get close enough to hear, the dog says, "Where's that damn monkey? You just can't trust him. I sent him out half an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Best Party Favor Ever

We tipped a few back over Kerry's bar-b-que yesterday. Six-year-old Choo made party favors. Tom was perplexed by his:


In theory, it appeared to be an orange piece of paper in the form of a ring. Tom tried to resist, but failed. He floated the question.

"Pshht," answered Choo. Kind of disgusted.

"It's a small hole."


Of course.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rockstar Tom v The Globe


Tom left for Amsterdam on Tuesday. He was back on Thursday. He rocked a new carry-on.


"My carry-0n luggage fit in the overhead compartment. Everyone noticed. They were like, "Oh my God. The Travel-Pro."



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Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Mother's Shit List

The Energy Committee:
Liquify coal? This is not perplexing, people. This is economic and environmental disaster.
I ask you. Which brainless wonder got lobbied into such a crappy pancake of a brainstorm? It’s like a trip to idiot island. Every one of them, remarkably free from the ravages of intelligence.

Zaynesville Pottery:
$55 for a mixing bowl? I could not justify it. I bought a birdbath instead.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh right, I think I saw them waiting in the "don't tell my sister this" ward

This yarn goes back awhile. How is it possible that tonight is the first I've heard of it?

* * *

My brother had been staying with my ninety-year-old grammy. He wakes her up at 3 am insisting he is having a heart attack. She needs to get snappy because this is a 911.

Grammy is not amused. She kind of looks like she's about to punch him in the crotch.

My brother clutches his chest and makes gurgling noises while Grammy collects her pocketbook and finds the key to her 1980 Honda Wagovan. They speed off into the night, arriving at the hospital just before dawn.

Twenty minutes later, they sit side by side in the ER. No one else is in the waiting room. Grammy leans over and says, "Can we go home now?"

My brother nods. They exit into the twilight.


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Monday, June 18, 2007

Only Benedict Arnold Floors it and then Squeals on his Brakes in Five Seconds to Sit at a Red Light

Lately, I drive my car with a vengeance for fuel economy. Every time I step on the brakes, gasoline fritters away. So I coast up to stoplights and roll down hills and careen around corners. I can green-power it the whole way from the court house in Morristown to my driveway, only braking three times. Why do I keep the pedal way above the metal? Because I want to be a patriot.

I aim to squish my personal consumption of oil. Oil money, as we all know, leaks into the bank accounts of terrorists and I have a problem ponying up to keep terrorists in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

Turns out, other good citizens are down with my way of thinking. We call ourselves hypermilists and quite frankly, I'm not even in the club. Full on hypermilists squeeze 100+ miles out of a gallon of gas in a standard Honda Accord.

At first, I was sporadic. I'm busy, you know. Places to go, people to see. I have a speedy lifestyle. But then I read jackrabbit starts and hard brake stops reduce travel time by only about 4 percent, meaning like 75 seconds on a 30-minute trip.

75 seconds? Even as selfish and narcissistic as I am... I'll donate 75 seconds in the name of my country and our simmering globe.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dear Diary : Rhymes with Cheetos.

I found my childhood diaries in the basement.


April 10, 1983

Dear Diary,

My brother Seth does not know what a blow job is. I guess he wouldn't because he's only in fifth grade. I learned a new word: Fleeto.* It means blow job.


* I wonder how many times I dropped my new naughty vocab before someone tipped me off on the correct pronunciation of "Fellatio."

Dear Diary : Nerdy G-Rated Sexcapades

Get ready to turn on your heart light. After one particularly fruitful expedition into the uncharted shithole we like to call "our basement," I unearthed a box full of my childhood diaries. They are largely excruciating accounts of the demented science experiment I like to call "junior high."

-------
February 26, 1983
Dear Diary,

I just got back from the school dance. It started out kind of sucky, but then it got better. Here is a play-by-play account:
  • I walk up to the dance by myself (embarrassing.)
  • Fast dance with Agnes.
  • Jill, Suzie, Shiela (etc) snub me.
  • Fast dance with Emily, Cindy, Agnes.
  • No slow dances for a long time.
  • Emily buys me a soda.
  • Slow dance with ? . I think he's in 10th grade.
  • Fast dance.
  • Slow dance with Joe C.
  • F.D.
  • S.D. with Steve B, who is not popular but I felt sorry for him.
  • F.D.
  • S.D with Joe C.
  • S.D with Joe C.
  • Walk home with Jim P. who asks me out but I refuse and anyway my Dad was listening.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ted Nugent and Bat-Shit Crazy Old Ladies : Two Peas in a Pod


Ted Nugent has had a relatively inexplicable run of success. I personally cleared out of the Nuge camp in eighth grade. His sweaty with cat-scratch-fever self opened for Aerosmith at the Hershey Arena. Venue of Champions. He reminded me of Gilbert Godfrey, only more annoying and slightly louder.

"Word up, Captian Obvious." (This is you talking, just to clarify in case your brain missed the turn.) "Everybody knows the Motor City Madman is a hairy, lewd fashion victim. And everybody knows he legally adopted his seventeen year old girlfriend to have sex with her in the 70's. The dude is cocked, locked and ready to rock, doc. Old news, all of it."

So lemme just tell you this: The Nuge is also a sumbitch draft dodger.

Tony told me all about it at my uncle Ron's 60th birthday party a couple weeks ago. Tony survived two tours of duty in Vietnam. And understandably, he's got a little problem with Ted.

Here's the thing: The Nuge did not dodge the draft bravely holed up in a duck blind with manly firearms. He didn't even dodge the draft by escaping to Canada. Not so much. Ted went in for a more arts and crafts kind of strategy. His weapon of choice? Shit. Ted decided to keep his. In his pants. For a whole week right before his army physical. His clever fake mental-illness ploy kept him nestled safe in the motherland while someone braver took his place overseas.

Although seething inwardly, Tony kept a lid on it until The Nuge went on a nationwide speaking tour. Ted was all about chastising college kids to step up and serve their country in Iraq. Tony had enough. He hauled his friend Bruce down to Madison, Wisconsin just in time for one of Ted's lectures. Tony's moment came during the Q&A. He grasped the microphone.

Ted saluted when Tony said he was a Vietnam vet. Right before he had Tony hauled out by security while Tony enlightened the crowd about the Nuge's sordid hypocritical shit-caked ass.

Tru Dat.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm a clutch bedlamite

Despite a scratched cornea and all signs pointed to preemie grandbabies, Mom and Dad could not be deterred. They had tight up plans, yo. They squashed lots of gear in their surprisingly opulent new mini-van. They popped in on the optometrist on the way out of town. They were hellbent for Alaska.

When they left, Tom said, "They'll probably make it to Winnipeg and turn around and come home. Everybody knows those babies are coming early."

Tuesday, word came down the twin nuchies are poised for an entrance. Mom and Dad had been cavorting around in Winnipeg. They are turning around and coming home.

In the meantime, I'm at the ready. My brother locked in some ground rules about carrying around a phone at all times. Which I have been doing despite the peculiar bulk. I woke up last night full on sprinting down the hall in the pitch dark. I thought the phone rang. Turns out, no. But I'm considering getting a pole because sliding is speediest. I bet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Choose Your Weapon

Some girl clutching an electrical power strip stole my new t-shirt!

Four important things happened this week:
  1. Andrew & Tracie rummaged the sublunary world and ferreted out some ace birthday gifts.
I received a green t-shirt that even a 14th level Elven thief would eyeball for a snatch. Maybe even one with a six-prong power strip style cudgel.

I wore said t-shirt all day on Sunday and all day on Monday. My Anti- Antiperspirant Campaign prevented me from sporting my new garment again today because I had to put it in the wash.

Tracie also carried around a print by a Hong Kong artist all over Asia for me and the frame isn't even cracked. Proof-positive of exceptional packing talent.
  1. I think I chipped my tooth on an Atomic Fireball. This #2 incident sucks like the super sucker which is the Atomic Fireball.
  2. The Tinkerbell sticker Lea gave me for peeing in the potty is still stuck to the side of my sneaker. Good news except every time I inadvertently kick myself in the head (can you say Pilates?), my eyeballs register Tink and my bladder requests a little quality time. So inconvenient.
  3. The big finale one is that my little brother and Mary's unborn twins are probably going to shuttlecock to freedom any day now. Sethie said to tote my cell phone around at all times and further, to make sure it is turned on. He knows I am really good about not hyperventilating when confronted with bodily fluids or the solid potential for bodily fluids. It wasn't my fault I flunked Girl Scout First Aid. That only happened because I had to vanish into a safehouse when I cut up my great-grandmother's linen tablecloth to make a tourniquet and my mom went all eastside/westside on my ass. No, for reals, I wouldn't be anywhere else on the big birth day.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Table of Malcontents

I have a barrel full of unwritten posts. What is the solution to my delinquency? Probably Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat." Six minutes of turbocharged fruitfulness.

To keep you (and me) in the know, here's what's up and coming:
  • Tony v Ted Nugent, that Pussy Poser Fucktard
  • Sleeping Under the Car in Michigan
  • Tina Turner: Girl from Nutbush
  • Deadly Ladies in Undies

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Flower House

The second I spied the Flower House online, I heard a faint whispering. It was calling my name.

The voice said to immediately buck up for the purchase. It said I desperately needed a little Bedouin know-how rigged out in plastic. It said I could thwart ruthless deer gang rule and provide a safe haven for victimized plantlife.

Tom, I feared, might be overcome with gleeful pride over my exceptional problem-solving skills. So, I didn't tell him about the Flower House until it arrived in an enormous cardboard box. As predicted, he was beside himself. Especially when I told him about my plan to erect the Flower House in the front yard, which faces south. Word up.

So far, it's all going according to plan. Just like my pop, I employ a square-foot gardening approach. Meaning it's a jungle in there and old pantyhose are an important structural element. Our neighbor Subhash drifted over yesterday. He inspected the Flower House and said my tomatos were twice as tall as his. That's what I'm talking about.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Princeton Fete 10K Road Race

Tom gave the 10K course an old fashioned whooping. He shaved 2:49 off his PR to finish in 43:40. Battling sleep deprivation and depravity in general, Sethie cruised in at 44:18.

I posted a tidy 57:56, mostly due to the new green running skirt my mom picked up for my birthday. It is light-weight, frisky and has a good pocket.

Our results are more impressive when you factor in our deficiency. Seth, Tom and I are inept arborists. This became clear early on. When the race director informed the runners the start line was "by the Pin Oak," we peered down the tree-lined street in bulging dumbfoundment. Smartypants Princeton people. Pah.

Besides the cotton-topped senior citizen bloodthirsty pirates in the parking lot squeezing 10 bucks out of us, the fete peeps pulled off a bang up event. Lots of diligent (as well as cerebral) volunteers, well-marked turns, and spirited spectators.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth : Flick Review

Deep inside the Earth lies a fairy realm where no one knows pain and no one knows suffering. The walls are golden and the floors are red as blood.

But the king's daughter has dreamt of a sky as big as the night and it beckons her. She abandons the underworld to die in the sunlight amongst the mortal humans. The king is inconsolable. He proclaims his daughter will live again in the form of another girl. He awaits her return.

Set in Fascist Spain, Pan's Labyrinth is lush and evil. It is a poem your eyes drink from a mossy chalice. The film wraps inevitable doom inside a velvet fairytale.

SRanking: Highly recommended. And don't even think of whining about the subtitles. The Spanish language drips cabalistic eldrich like English never could.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Grammy-San and the Art of Gracious Conversation

"It is a poor sort of memory that only works backwards, the Queen remarked."
- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872

My Grammy is 92. She's got a 9th degree black belt in working a room. A warm trail of breezy calm spritzes out the backs of her shoes.

Let's just say you plan to have a party. You plan to invite some passive-aggressive masterminds and the evening promises a real shitshow of conflicting plot lines. You plan to invite estranged relatives and their ex's and their stepmothers. You plan to invite people who get mad when someone eats the cranberry Danish another one had his eye on.

This is when you need my Grammy. You call her up on her large analog telephone and implore her to hurry up and get somebody to drive her over before violence erupts.

I attempted to uncover my grammy's secrets in an exclusive interview granted only after some serious cajoling.

Although I'm not as fluent in Grammy as others (Tom exhibits innate talent), I have attempted to translate for those of you philistines who will miss the point.

What are your favorite conversation-starters?
First, I like to ask about the weather and how it was getting to the party. Then I listen a lot. I listen to what they're saying.
Translation: You can't listen if you're talking.

Any taboo topics?
Politics and religion. I learned that from a very wise woman.
Translation: Listen when your grandmother tells you something.

Why do some older people tell the same story over and over?
Maybe because they can't remember if they've told you before. I read this article about the presidents and their affairs. JFK... Jimmy Carter. The article only mentioned Jimmy Carter because he didn't have affairs. But FDR had a very famous affair with Eleanor's secretary. Lucy Mercy was her name. Why did they leave that affair out? I want to write and ask the author why.
Translation: Change the subject if the interviewer brings up a sour topic.

Maybe some older people are only interested in themselves. That's why they only talk about themselves.
It's easy to drift into the past. You want people to know what your life was like in the past. I wish I had asked my parents many things about their lives that I will now never know.

I'm interested in Whitney's new job. What she's doing at work. I don't tell her this, but she has so many more opportunities than I did. I mean a young woman in my day could have had opportunities, been a doctor or something, but only if she were really bold. I could have had more opportunities if I had been bolder.
Translation: If you expect people to learn about you, you need to learn about them. Be bold and don't make excuses.

Why do you think some people, older or young, wallow endlessly in their problems?
I'm much more interested in current events. You know all this Jamestown business. It's the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Lots of things previously published, turns out, are not true. Why did it take 400 years for someone to figure this out?
Translation: Drama Queens hellbent on bitching are boring and too cheap to pay a therapist. Analyzing these narcissistic whiners is a big pit of pointlessness.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fun Facts about Alimony

In New Jersey, the benchmark calculation for alimony is:
0.3 x (highest wage earner's salary less lower wage earner's salary/ possible salary).

I know a guy who's a divorce lawyer. He shows up at cocktail parties and always introduces himself by saying, "I hope you stay happily married but all your friends get divorced. Here's my card."

A heartwarming sentiment proving capitalism and compassion both start with the same letter.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Poison Dart Frogs

I am a dispicable couch potato. My efforts in Lying Around are fraught with missteps and feckless dysfunction. So on Memorial Day I had better things to do then phlegmatically picnic. I hauled my Mom to the National History Museum. I was all about the frogs.

© Joe McDonald, Clyde Peeling's Reptiland

Frogs have been around for 200 million years, meaning dinosaurs probably squashed a few unfortunate greenies. Today, the frogs are falling prey to a virus called Narcisstic Humans Who Will Continue to Eat Our Host Until She Dies and We're All Fucked.

At first, I thought the frogs in the glass cases were shockingly lifelike kodachromatic replica frogs. The rubber kind I used to get in my Easter Basket since the beginning of time because my father is vehement about the cursed toxicity of refined sugar.

They had about twenty kinds of frogs shacked up at the Museum. The blue Poison Dart Frogs intrigued me most. These little pippers are more poisonous than the most poisionous snakes. The Amazon people would just have to swab an arrow across one of their froggy backs to get deadly on some loincloth enemy ass.

Save A Frog

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Bright Eyes @ Town Hall in Midtown / May 29


The white suit changed him into a stiff-legged marmish. He kept patting his newly lengthy tresses.

Emergency! Conor Oberst has been sandwiched inside ill-fitting Wonderbread. But I still have a thing for my little pig in a blanket.

Scalping : Requires Practice

We are the Scalpers of Suck. We even suck in the hobbyist category. We should have just locked up some Karma points by giving away our extra ticket. This did not occur to us.

Opening Act Gillian Welsh feat. David Rawlings

Good. If you're into full-on folk music sung by a skinny chick in mid-calf cowboy boots and a prairie skirt. Shout out to her superlative olfactory receptors. She sniffed out someone chewing bubble gum in the front row. Totally scored herself a piece for the afterparty. David Rawlings had it going on.

Man-Purse Prevalence

Manpurses in the house!

For Fans ONLY

Bright Eyes kicked off the evening with tunes from Cassadanga. He played maybe one old fave from Fevers & Mirrors and then brought out his "friends" the Little Willies for We are Nowhere. The set finished up with a big fandango CSN "Helpless" cover featuring pretty much anyone still ambulatory from backstage.

Janet Weiss (formerly of Slater-Kinney) earned the MY FAVORITE award. She drummed up a massive fracas, made even bigger with the accent slams ala a second auxiliary drummer.

My Memorable Moment : The flower-festooned microphone fell over and instead of picking it up, Conor lay down on ground so he could sing into it. Never stopped playing the guitar either. That's talent.

The Underwear Dilemma

Blacklight dappled the bass player, who sported the tightest white pants I've ever seen. I wondered. If any, what kind of underwear did this cat suit up in? A discreet and excellent choice, let me state for the record.

You've Got A Lot of Friends. We Get It

Bright Eyes might have gotten a "Needs Improvement" in fourth grade for "Plays well with others" or something. He suffers from a contant cumpulsion to prove that when his friends are down and troubled and they need some loving care and nothing, nothing is going right...

He'll be there to brighten up even the darkest night.

If you just call out his name, and you know wherever he is he'll come running to see you again.

Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call. And he'll be there. Conor is a friend.

Despite his annoying neuroses, if I had a premonition I'd get stuck on a desert island, the Bright Eyes catalog might be some of the first tunes I'd load up on my iPod.


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