As usual, I went media silent over the weekend and missed the birth of the Jolie-Pitt baby. If only I cared.
I am firmly in Camp Aniston as I can't bring myself to align myself with cheaters, homewreckers, or their bastard children (yeah, yeah, I'm sure she's a perfectly beautiful baby--as long as she doesn't look like her mom). So sue me, I'm in a cranky mood.
The baby is asleep for the moment and I have about 15 minutes before I have to start supper.
My weekend was short and dull.
It took me an hour to get home from work on Friday. This means, I should tell you, that even though the markets closed early and I should have gotten to leave early, I got trapped at work (totally the fault of someone who has to get their work done so that I can edit it). I usually get home at 4:30, but on Friday I didn't get home until 5:30. So, I was pissed off right away. The interstate was a parking lot, filled with the residents of the state of Illinois making their weekend trek to the lovely vistas of Wisconsin. Don't ask me why there is a mass exodus of Illinoians to Wisconsin every weekend, but there is. It makes driving hell. There was no way to get anywhere at that hour on Friday. Now, if I had been able to leave at 2 pm with everybody else....
Saturday featured a 2.5 hour car ride to North Andover, a more boring place I've never been, followed by a birthday party in a bar for an 88-year-old woman, which was not as exciting as one might think, followed by another 2.5 hour ride home. The big event of the birthday party? 45 minutes of posed picture extravaganza -- which I absolutely despise -- because these people do it every month at some event or another. The evening ended with a bowl of Mac-n-cheese.
Sunday, I went grocery shopping with my husband and child. Then I went to see The DaVinci Code with my little sister. It was much better than the critics would have you believe. Tom Hanks wasn't "wooden," nor did Bettany steal the show. It was good cinema. For once, it was worth the exoribitant cost of admission. The story did vary slightly from the book at the end. I don't know why. It wouldn't have cost them anything to be true to the story in that spot. They were certainly more than diligently faithful in the rest of the film. Perhaps I should reread the end of the book, but I'm pretty sure they made a critical change with the brother.
Anyway, it was good.
Sunday evening my husband smoked and grilled ribs and we had a feast. As usual, his skill was superb and the food was fabulous.
Monday, it was imperative that I finish a few household projects and do some cleaning. I didn't get everything done, but I don't feel terribly guilty. Once in a while you have to take some time off, ya know?
Anyway, I'm back at the keyboard again, busier than ever.
Your elected officials in Congress have been huffing and puffing enough to blow the house down over the fact that the FBI executed a search warrant on Jefferson Clinton (Democrat - Louisiana), the US Representative under investigation for taking bribes.
Mr. Clinton, you see, failed to respond to a federal subpoena, so the Justice Department played one of the bigger cards in its hand. They searched Mr. Clinton's office and home with a legal warrant issued by a judge. (And, they found cold hard cash stashed in his freezer that traces back to a bribe.)
Ah, but you see, the Wicked Witch of the East, Nancy Pelosi, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert took umbrage at this display of FBI power as it is "unconstitutional" - except it really isn't. It may be contrary to custom, but it is not unconstitutional, yet another example of how our elected officials are unfamiliar with the document that guides this country.
But, here is why I am upset.
It makes clear, now, that there are special classes of people here in the USA that are above the law. The first group: illegal aliens. Clearly, the Senate feels that these people are not subject to existing immigration laws, identity theft measures, or fraud laws. The second group: US Senators and Representatives, who are apparently above subpoenas and warrants.
No man is above the law in this country. Or, at least they aren't supposed to be. The days of droit du seigneur are supposed to be over, but this American Citizen still feels like she is getting screwed.
Mr. Clinton failed to heed a federal subpoena. Do you have any idea what would happen to you or me if we did that? Should we not, as American Citizens, be able to expect that our own elected officials will follow the law and comply with federal investigations that suggest that some entity has been exerting unfair and illegal pressure on our legislature? Do we not have a right to make sure that our representation in Congress is, if nothing else, free from the taint of bribery? I certainly think so.
This country was founded on the ideals of equality under the law. No exceptions. If you are here, you are subject to the law. And the law says, no bribe-taking, or making. Moreover, it is incumbent on the American Citizen to have an active hand in our government. That is what "We the People" is all about. It is our government.
Our Representatives and Senators serve at our pleasure.
That means you and me. We have a right to expect that our views will weigh more heavily with our elected officials than somebody with a deep pocket.
This is the way it is supposed to be.
And I get a very red ass over elected officials whimpering, whining, and braying that Executive Power is out of control. You want out of control? Try a guy selling votes on for size. You don't get to ignore legal warrants and subpoenas in this land, I don't care who you are. Get over yourselves. Not only are we your boss, but we also own the office that was searched. You can't expect any special protection in this space. Not from the American Citizen.
So, it appears that our elected Legislature has abdicated their responsibility for the law. Ironic, doncha think?
The Divas and Gents are covering a new topic today. After all, it is Thursday again.
This week, the question is: What do you think are your best and worst attributes and what are the best and worst attributes of the opposite sex.
My flaws? I have none. I am perfection personified. And, I'm humble to boot.
Just kidding. In all honesty, I have a great many flaws. I am too opinionated, for one. This makes people crazy, I know, but to be fair, I was raised to have an opinion. When I was growing up, my father demanded that I have an opinion and be able to support it. This drives my mother crazy. I think it was one of the things (being opinionated) that she found less than attractive in my father.
On the big transgressions, I do not forgive easily, if at all. Call me close-minded, judgemental, whatever. I'm not going to forgive someone for thinking that it is okay to do drugs in my home or on my property. This is where I raise my children. If you want to engage in behavior that is not just risky but has serious legal ramifications, don't expect me to make you an important person in my life. I won't. I can't. My child is my universe and I will not put her in danger. If you don't like it, well...expose your own children to it then. Do not cheat on me or break your word. Then, we'll get along just fine.
I am abrasive. I tend to say things without thinking first how they are going to sound and end up giving people the wrong impression. I don't mean to, certainly. I want to be nice and polite to everyone, but the fact of the matter is, you can't cross the street anymore without offending someone. I don't want to be constantly watching my toes, either though, so I try to strike a balance. For the past three years I have been taking Diplomacy lessons and living by the ol' standard, "if you don't have anything nice to say...."
Except for here at the blog, because that is what this space is for.
My best attributes? I have a genuine love of learning, am reasonably well-read (if it interests me), and better-informed than most. More importantly, I am an excellent friend and will do just about anything for anybody. You will not find a more loyal confidant, nor a stronger supporter. I desire to make people happy and want things to be beautiful and tasty. I want people to be in love, for children to have miraculous and engaging childhoods. I want people to learn from me whatever they can, but not in some oddious officious way. If I can help, I want to do so.
Now, to the opposite sex.
The thing that makes me want to beat my head against the wall about men is the way that they can't stick to a schedule, timeline, or plan, or act like they still need their mamas to take care of them. Don't get me wrong, not all men fall into these behaviors. Some can stick to a schedule and a plan, but still can't pick up their dry cleaning. Do you know what I mean?
Men are more live-and-let-live than I can stand, ordinarily. Bills due? I'll deal with them next week. Can't move my leg? Maybe I'll see a doctor in a few days. We're supposed to be there at what time? Whatever.
I want to rattle their little brains and say, "Get it in gear, bozo! I'm not your mother, but I will chase you with the lawnmower if you push me!"
I love men, I honestly do. But I don't understand the dicotomy. If something is important to him, he can get things done in an expedient and efficient manner. If it isn't important to him, but is important to someone else, well, we are going to be late, or have another issue.
My husband, of course, only does this about the crown molding, though.
Man's best attribute? Their strength and character. If the worst happens, they will save the day. He will stand up and protect his family with his life, if need be. Oh, and the hugs and kisses.
Well, Alias took its final bow last night. I will miss it.
Just for the record, though, it was JJ Abrams and the network that killed this show.
First, the network moved this much beloved sleeper hit from the original Sunday night time slot, banishing it to Wednesdays, of all things. Then, JJ Abrams just couldn't let the Milo Rambaldi plot lines alone. As thought the CIA is solely concerned with "prophets" from the 1400s. Oh, yeah, and the accumulation of his artifacts.
It was always a stretch of the imagination and the show suffered for it. You could sometimes see Ron Rifkin, Victor Garber, and Jennifer Garner suppressing guffaws as they delivered yet another line about some ominous new artifact hidden in some extremely unlikely location (like a cave in Mongolia) that will deliver some dreaded end of the world cataclysmic event.
Nah. The Rambaldi story line and the eternal life stuff was bullshit a bit deep for hip-waders.
Nevertheless, the cast was fabulous.
Victor Garber was divine. He was stoic. He bristled with electric energy. He was fabulous, snarky, sarcastic, and wounded. I loved that he had fallen for a KGB agent, that he loved her still, even if he knew he couldn't trust her. I loved that, having learned the lesson of a duplicitous wife, he instructed Vaughn to put his own bitch down. Victor Garber is the sort of amazing actor that doesn't get enough credit today, simply because nobody has given him the spotlight. But, when Victor Garber raises an eyebrow, he speaks eloquently and clearly. I love SpyDaddy.
Ron Rifkin is Arvin Sloane. I have despised him from the first moment. I wanted to tear him limb from limb a million times. He was slimy and rarely liked to do his own wet work. But, he was at his best when he did. Like the time he shot the guy with the robotic eye that recorded his own murder. But, my absolute favorite moment has to be when Sloane was being tortured and they had to cut off his thumb to deactivate the bombs. Such nobility from the slimeball, it was a high. Ron Rifkin was sublime. I will miss hating him. He was the quintessential villain. He cared for no one, would lie to you all the while swearing his sincerity. Snake.
Lena Olin was masterful as Irina Derevko. She was an enigma. Clearly she could be vicious, but she also had her tender side. Of course, this tenderness was frequently masking some hidden agenda, but she always livened up the plot. The interplay between her and Victor Garber was nothing short of brilliant. And I shall never forget her tender words when Sydney was in labor, "I came to realize that I could either be a good mother or a good agent, but not both. I chose to be an agent." How is that for maternal rejection?
Michael Vartan played the boy scout Michael Vaughn. We could count on him. We could trust him. That is, until we weren't so sure anymore. He was always nice to look at too.
Carl Lumbly played the intrepid Dixon. He had his ghosts, but he was a genuine good guy. How many times did they put him in that Jamaican get-up, anyway? Hey, mon.
Eric Weiss, lovable puppy dog and sidekick to Vaughn, was played cleverly by Greg Grunberg. He deserved more airtime and more plotlines.
Kevin Weisman showed serious comedic chops as the technogeek Marshall Flinkman. His uncertain stuttering and clearly genius intellect often created hysterical moments in briefings. Some of my favorite episodes, though, are the ones in which Marshall goes into the field. "My name is Marshall Flinkman and I am here to save you." Heh. Indeed. Fabulous.
David Anders and Melissa George were the perfect evil duo as Julian Sark and Lauren Reed. Can I just say, David Anders - yummm. He lit up the screen and played the survivalist. He had no loyalties but to himself. He constantly talked when captured, almost as if to say, "anything! just don't mess up my beautiful face." I loved the slimy little devil. Lauren was cold, methodical, and a lot like a preying mantis. And, she did a great cat fight.
I never warmed up to Nadia, Renee, or Thomas, but I did like Rachel. She was sort of the "Sydney Revisited" and it was interesting to watch the teacher and pupil thing they had going. And then there was Will and Francie, who made the first couple of seasons fun, if only because they were so stupid not to see the truth about Sydney's life. (This is why my theory about SpySistah isn't so far fetched. Who goes to Switzerland for the weekend? Only a spy!)
Which brings me to Jennifer Garner and Sydney Bristow. I feel like we are old friends. I so love to watch her kick ass. How many times have I instructed her, through the screen of course, to plug Sloane right between the eyes? Too many to count. She played the stuck in the middle, personal turmoil of the double-agent perfectly. I loved every Alias, every wig, every vampy outfit. "What's your name?" she was asked. "Ima. Ima gonna kick your ass!" Perfection. She was brilliant with the tumultuous relationship with her father and the tortured relationship with her mother. She was the every girl when she got drunk and kissed Weiss after realizing Vaughn had moved on and married after her "death". She got punched, skydived, fell from great heights, got shot by her mother, and a million other things, but cheated death every time. Well, sort of. Nearly everyone on this show has been "dead" at least once.
I will miss it. I will miss Syd, SpyDaddy, and even the ridiculousness that was Arvin Clone.
Damn them for canceling this show. Damn them!
And just for the record, if Mark Harmon leaves NCIS, I may stop watching television for good.
NASHVILLLE, Tenn., May 22 (UPI) -- It appears the war U.S. country radio stations mounted against the politically outspoken Dixie Chicks has not abated in the least.
The band is promoting "Taking the Long Way," its first album since Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 she was ashamed to be from the same state as U.S. President George Bush. The comment sparked a radio boycott of the group's music.
Although the album hits stores Tuesday, the first two singles from the album are not getting widespread airplay, Billboard.com reported Monday.
The first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," only peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the second single, "Everybody Knows," is moving downward after its peak at No. 48.
WKIS FM in Miami reported it pulled "Not Ready to Make Nice" due to listener complaints after only one week.
The program director at KUBL/KKAT in Salt Lake City told Billboard he was angered by its "self-indulgent and selfish lyrics."
Neither the Chicks or their label, Columbia Records, would speak to Billboard for its article.
Heh. Seems I'm not the only one who still refuses to line their silk pockets anymore. This is the kind of story that makes me feel all warm inside, like there is hope, Virginia.
I went to East Dubuque (of all places) over the weekend.
We went for a celebratory supper with Prince Charming's family. Supper happened to be at this pretty nice restaurant (for the area) and as it was also prom somewhere, quite a few young ladies were there in gowns.
Me? I didn't give a hoot. It barely registered on my radar, to be honest. However, at table I was seated across from three older ladies and they couldn't stop talking about it. What about this bodice, look at that sequined skirt, isn't that an unusual color, she doesn't really have the hips for that...a running commentary the likes of which only Joan Rivers could approve.
It was both funny and a bit nauseating. It reminded me of that number in The Music Man:
Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more
Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little
Bunny Boop has started eating vegetables. Daddy tried to commence this with the Green Bean, but Bunny was having none of that. So, Mommy offered up some Sweet Potato instead.
Bunny's reaction: Hmmm (accompanied by much smacking of lips). I guess that's okay, then.
As a side note, it turns out that Sweet Potato Puree is the equivalent of grape juice on white carpet. That crap stains everything. And, there's no getting it out. Beware!
In other news, she continues to sleep through the night and gets more personality everyday. She loves to be tickled, she loves to play "ride a little horsey down to town", and is quick with a smile for no reason.
Did I mention that she has a single dimple? It is under her left eye and only visible when she smiles big. I honestly don't know where this came from, as nobody on either side of our families has one, but there you go. The site of it makes me laugh out loud. Like a loon.
The wrangling over illegal immigration continues. Currently at issue is whether they should be able to collect Social Security on wages paid in before they were legal citizens, when the documents that got them the job may be forged or stolen.
The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment -- even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents
Lovely. The idiots in the Senate have chocolate pudding for brains.
They've decided to ignore one illegal act and offer these folks the equivalent of amnesty for sneaking into the country illegally. But now, they are basically granting amnesty again, this time for the real felonies of Identity Theft and Forgery.
What's more, they fail to bear in mind that multiple illegal aliens oftentimes appropriate the same stolen Social Security number. So now, my generation has absolutely no chance in hell of ever collecting a red cent from all of our legal contributions, because the system is going to be wide open to fraud and end up paying out to multiple parties for the same contributions. That "lockbox" is going to empty faster than a keg at a Packers' tailgate party.
How are they going to prove whether it was Juan, Jose, Maria, or Miguel who worked at that factory back in 2002? I am willing to bet dollars against dogturds that none of the illegals will be able to prove their own employment by way of check stubs.
So, in typical government red-tape stupidity, all claims will be paid. Why don't we just surrender now and become the United States of Insolvency?
The Senate doesn't have the collective brain that God gave a goat.
Another Thursday? Already? Then it must be Diva Time!
Today's topic for the Demystifying Divas and The Men's Club is:
How do you rekindle the fire in a relationship?
Likening a relationship to a fire is quite apt, in my opinion. Let me explain why by extending the metaphor to answer today's query.
The best way to rekindle the fire in a relationship is to not let it go out in the first place. Consider...how would you keep a fire lit? You would give it fuel and oxygen and keep it safe from gusts. Right?
In the same way, a relationship must be fed (with love and caring and intimacy), give it oxygen (don't let either party become smothered by the relationship but be free to be a person in their own right, separate from the relationship) and keep it safe from harm (by respecting the other party, the limits of the relationship, and following general relationship rules - no cheating).
More specifically, you have to keep things fresh. If the relationship has any longevity at all, you will eventually get past the initial honeymoon phase and things will become routine. Fight the routine, give the fire some balsa wood and cherry once in a while, and leave the hackneyed pine in the box. Play games. Chase each other around the house. Surprise each other. Buy simple little gifts. Practice random acts of kindness on your lover. Do something special for him or her for no reason at all.
But, let him be himself. If he is brooding, let him go to his cave. Do not pester him with questions as to what is bothering him. Do not plague him with your honey-do list. If football is his passion, bring him a six-pack and some homemade nachos to enjoy for that first game, then quickly depart so that he isn't interrupted.
Put his desires above your own. Lick. Tickle. Stroke. Satisfy.
It seems to me that we have reached an all-new level of hypocrisy in this world and it involves shock value.
You see, we have become so accustomed to the over-the-top that it no longer even registers. On the other hand, if someone says something or references something, the media and the moonbats are quick to "shock" and "outrage".
For example, if I told you that Michael Jackson was investing in a chain of daycare centers, would you be shocked? No.
If you heard that Oprah was involved in a legal dispute involving pez dispensers, would you be shocked? No.
If I told you that Britney Spears was never and still isn't legally married to K-Fed because she failed to complete the documents giving her a quickie divorce after her quickie marriage, would you be shocked? No.
If I told you that a certain Senator from Massachusetts got drunk and mowed down a couple of joggers with his Town Car in the early morning, would you be shocked? Of course not.
But if Tony Snow mentions something about a particular topic being a "tar baby" and he's not going to go there, and the loony leftists scream "racist" and act all "shocked" by the language.
Whatever happened to reason?
Whatever happened to measured responses?
If an international group of terrorists declares war on the US, you want to apologize for them and urge better understanding and blame the long-standing US Foreign Policy. But, if somebody uses a reference from literature as a metaphor to make a point, by all means, let's kill that racist motherf***er.
That's insanity. You are all topsy-turvy and back-assward.
Yesterday, on my way home from work, I stopped at the local grocery store, fondly known in our household as The Wobbly Hog or The Shaky Sow. I literally only needed 3 cans from the canned goods aisle. Naturally, I had my eye on the Express Lane.
Ah, but the Express Lane, she was not open. So, I scoped out the other lanes and determined that my best option was lane 3, where I would be next in line behind a woman whose order lacked only three more items to scan. Lane 4 had 5 people in it, each with 4 or 5 items each. I thought, surely, I would get out of there before all of them.
Alas, it was not to be.
You see, the person in line in front of me was an Inconsiderate Idiot. Harsh words? You be the judge.
Once the last of the items had been rung up, the cashier told her the amount due. That's when she discovered that she had forgotten two items. What did she do? She sent each of her kids scampering off to retrieve the items. It seemed like an eternity, but they finally arrived. (I managed to not look at my watch to time them, thinking that would be rude.) So, they each put their items on the conveyor belt and the cashier adds the items to the order. She delivers the new total. At which point, the Inconsiderate Idiot pulls out her checkbook. Why she couldn't have been filling out her check while the kids were doing the scavenger hunt is beyond me, particulary considering how long it took her. We wasted another eternity while she figured out how to complete the check.
Finally, she hands the check over to the cashier and puts the checkbook away in her purse. Then, the cashier asks for her driver's license. This, naturally prompts a new scavenger hunt, this time through the purse. Did you see this coming? Of course you did: the title of this post is Grocery Hell, after all.
Finally the driver's license is located and the transfer of information has taken place.
That's when we hit another snag. You see, the Inconsiderate Idiot had written the check, but not for the entire amount. She had left off the cents on the total. Yes. And she hadn't rounded up, I assure you.
This, of course, prompted yet another scavenger hunt, this time for change. Once again the Inconsiderate Idiot showed how stupid she really is by giving the cashier too much change, by quite a lot. It left me wondering, honestly, if this person wasn't functionally illiterate and innumerate. For the love of God!
Then, the cashier was so flustered that she had to call a manager up to find out how to enter part of the payment by check and the other by cash.
I was completely out of patience. By this point, they had opened up the express lane, but the 5 people who had gotten in line behind me had already clogged that lane. Moreover, the people from lane 4 were all gone too and that cashier had gone on break.
I couldn't contain my cool much longer. I'm afraid I did look at my watch at this point and shake my head a bit.
And I walked out of there 20 minutes later thoroughly pissed off.
As such, I have a few suggestions for the Inconsiderate Idiot, those like her, and the cashiers of this world.
1. If you discover when you are already at the checkout that you have forgotten an item (or two or six), either get out of line or proceed with payment and then go back to shopping and pay again. This is particularly true if you are shopping at 5 p.m. on a week day when people are rushing home and doing last minute shopping. The five people in line behind you will thank you. And I won't be tempted to bash you in the head with your own canned goods.
2. If you can't fill out a check in a speedy manner (or even in a steady manner) do everybody a favor and begin filling out the check at home, leaving only the signature and amounts blank. The whole world will thank you, and again, my canned goods won't get dented.
3. If you can't understand about change, or how to count change, do yourself a favor and get into a remedial adult-learning program. How else are you going to know if you are getting screwed at the grocery store? And how will you count how many times I bash you with my canned goods?
4. If you are a cashier at a grocery and this sort of thing begins in your lane, please request another lane opening and make sure that the person who has been waiting politely the longest gets helped first.
I am not kidding. By the end of 20 minutes I wanted to bash them all in the head with tomato paste.
It is no wonder that I have issues with stress. The world is full of Inconsiderate Idiots!
My Mother's Day was a bit stressful. It was lovely getting a card from my 5-month-old daughter. Somebody gave her a pen and she made a squiggle. But the best part was the tracing of her little hand. Very cute.
The rest of the day I spent sewing invisible zippers into pillows I am making for our new living room furniture. It was torture I tell you!
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to sew in an invisible zipper?
The thing keeps disappearing on me!
Okay, just kidding. About the disappearing bit, but not about the frustration. I managed to sew in a zipper upside down. That means, once the item is turned right-side out again, you can't work the zipper 'cause it is on the inside.
Not to worry, though. I only have five of the things to put in!
Oh - did I mention that ripping seams out of silk is a delicate matter?
The Hatemonger's Quarterly has posted the winners of the Third Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Contest.
I tied for 4th Runner-up. Which, to be fair, is better than I expected. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to even place considering my entry fell apart at the end. Nevertheless, I still feel that I am not entirely in-tune with my inner liberal college-student. This may be directly related to the fact that I was never a liberal college student. Oh well. There is always next year.
It has been a while since I've been this angry. I can't hold it back any longer.
This morning, I left 10 minutes early for my 25-minute commute to work. And yet, I got to work 15 minutes late. That's right. My 23 mile commute took 50 minutes this morning.
Was it snowing? No. Raining cats and dogs? No. Wind blowing crazy ladies on bikes? No.
For the third time in three weeks, some company north of Madison has been transporting large oversized loads of steel beams at 7 a.m. on a weekday. Seven. Freakin'. AM.
Do you have any idea what this means?
It means two gigantic tractor-trailers with at least 15 feet of steel beam exceeding the length of the vehicle and hanging out into traffic. It means four pace cars with flashing lights. It means four state police cars with flashing lights. It means, traffic backed up from here to the North Woods.
I do not deny that they should have equal access to the nation's highways and byways. What I take exception to is the self-centered act of trying to maneuver these oversize, overweight, dangerous, traffic-vexing loads onto the interstate during rush hour traffic on a workday. Wouldn't it be safer and more considerate, I ask the world at large, to wait until traffic from the morning commute to wind down before hitting the road? Or, if it must be 7 am, perhaps we could leave on a Saturday or Sunday morning?
But my rant does not end there. Oh no!
Clearly this endeavor requires some planning if you have to involve pace cars and state troopers. As such, would it be too much to ask, if the 7 am on Thursday appointment is non-negotiable, for the state troopers or the Wisconsin DOT to post one of those flashy-flashy mobile signs, warning commuters at least 2 days in advance of the tie-up of on ramps to the interstate and urging them to take alternate routes?
Celebrity Perfumes: If Truth in Advertising Were Mandatory
This post, by the Sexy Secret Agent Sadie, tickled my funny bone. Sadie mentions the fact that Britney Spears' new celebrity fragrance, titled 'In Control', has been released to the glee of trailer trash everywhere. Sadie tells us what 'In Control' is supposed to smell like, and it made me think of what celebrity fragrances should be named and what they, by rights and my imagination, ought to smell like.
Ryan Seacrest - "Pleather" - featuring the delightful scents of fresh naugahyde, pina colada car scent in a can, and petroleum jelly.
Starr Jones - "Abundance" - featuring the glamourous mingling of day-old Dunkin' Donuts, hairspray scum, and spandex under pressure.
Kevin Federline - "Slyme" - a playful melange of Snoop Dogg pocket lint, cheese doodle, ho-ho cream, and cannibis smoke.
Lindsay Lohan - "Skank" - a clever array of earthy scents: puke, hotel sex, and 3-day-old wet mildewing towels.
Paris Hilton - "Hott" - a vexing and noisome blend of gin, bourbon, vodka, semen, and hairspray. To be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.
Oprah - "Caveat Emptor" - a saucy mingling of fresh plastic, clean paper, and hot receipt whang gently with the smell of suburban driveway tar.
Tom Cruise - "Thetan" - oddly compelling and strangely ambiguous blend of placenta, rubber tires, and toothpaste, with a hint of airplane canned air.
Katie "Kate" Holmes - "Captive" - desperate, cloying mixture of musk of bodyguard, parfume du handler, and whimsical poison ivy, with a fading whiff of farm-girl freshness.
This week, the Divas and Gents are covering the very important topic of Tips and Tricks You've Discovered for Keeping Your Man/Woman Happy. From the moment I saw this topic, I knew what I would post.
You see, Prince Charming is like an army: he marches on his stomach. As such, it is important that I keep his tummy happy. Now, if given a choice, Prince Charming is happiest with a Steak or Ribs and some accompanying form of potato. However, seeing as how he usually does the grilling and this is about me pleasing him, so...I have recipes to share.
But first, a few notes about Prince Charming. First, he doesn't eat a lot of things. Chief among these are anything green and the vast majority of soft cheeses. As such, my recipe for lasagna (see below) features neither spinach, ricotta, nor even cottage cheese.
If I want to make my man happy, I make him my lasagna and my lemon cheesecake. He can live all week on the leftovers -- happily.
Easy & Fast Lasagna
1 lb. Ground beef ½ lb. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ tsp. Garlic salt ¼ Cup onion, minced 1 Jar Barilla Pasta Baking Sauce or Prego Spaghetti Sauce flavored with meat salt to taste pepper to taste 1 ½ tsp. oregano 1 pkg. Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles (flat – without ruffles)
Preheat oven to 375°. Brown hamburger and onion with garlic salt in olive oil until meat is well done. Stir in Baking Sauce, salt, pepper, and oregano. (If using the Prego, put in half a jar of additional water.) Simmer 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to marry. Place alternate layers of noodles, cheese, and sauce/meat mixture in a greased 3-quart casserole dish. End layers with the sauce/meat mixture and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you prefer a meatier lasagna, use 2 pounds of ground beef and more sauce. It is very important that you use the Barilla no-boil noodles. That is what makes this recipe so fast and easy. You'll thank me later.
Lemon Cheese Cake: The Key to Prince Charming's Heart
2 Packages Cream Cheese (8 oz. size), softened ½ Cup Sugar 1 TB. Lemon Juice squeezed from a Lemon ½ tsp. Lemon Peel grated from a Lemon ½ tsp. Vanilla 2 Eggs 1 Graham Cracker Crust (store-bought is great)
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla on medium until well-blended. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Pour mixture into crust. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Refrigerate for three hours. One note: If you need to serve more people, you can buy the larger Kiebler crust and simply make 1 ½ recipes of the cream cheese mixture. Works wonderfully! Or, if you prefer to use a springform pan and make your own graham cracker crust, double the recipe for a taller cheesecake. This recipe's secrets: do not attempt to work with cream cheese that is too cold or it won't turn out as creamy. Do not attempt to use lemon juice from a plastic or glass container - your cheesecake will have a whang to it. Splurge the 50 cents and buy a lemon. You don't have to add the lemon zest, but it adds a lot of flavor from the essential oils in the peel.
Now, there are other ways to please my man, in other more intimate arenas, but I'm not about to let that information out for public consumption. If I did, well...let's just say that for my job security's sake, that info is classified. And, you don't need to know.
You see, some are all upset that this means that a military man will be in charge of domestic spying. Ooooo. Scary. Whatever. This is freakin' stupid. The fact is, he has a background in intelligence. And, being a military man, has some notion of discipline - something sadly lacking in the CIA for some time.
Hayden is also reviled on the Hill for his association (and staunch support) of the surveillance program that listened to foreign-based Al Qaeda-suspected phone and email transmissions into the USA. A program which, despite a bunch of blathering politicians, seems to be perfectly legal given Congress' blanket "Do whatever it takes" orders to the President after September 11. But, you know, it is an election year, so we have to invent problems so that we can paint some of the players bad for political gain. This year's villains? The folks who would dare listen to Al Qaeda's conversations with its agent's on the ground here in the US. Fuck me, but this is stupid. I don't know of a single person who doesn't think that this is important work, and a valuable program that was essentially destroyed by some asshole traitorous reporter looking to win an award.
So, naturally they are going to rake Hayden over the coals. He was the one who developed that surveillance program and then had the audacity - AUDACITY - to support it vocally.
I hate politicians.
I don't know the first thing about Mike Hayden. But, if all the Senate wants to attack him on is this program, he seems like the right guy for the job to me.
Zacharias Moussaoui has been playing the equivalent of tag with our legal system for over a year. After much pushme/pullyou, he finally decides to plead guilty. Of his own. free. will.
Then he is stunned. STUNNED, I tell you, when the jury gives him a life sentence in the most unfriendly and inhospitable of venues after he brazenly and smugly (even gleefully) admits to planning to fly a fifth plane on 9/11. But now? Now he feels unjustly treated and wants to withdraw his guilty plea. Imagine what his next move would have been had the jury given him the needle.
Stupid SOB deserves to rot in hell for eternity.
After proclaiming all sorts of stupid things - like shouting that he had won with the jury handed down his sentence - he now has this to say:
“I had thought I would be sentenced to death based on the emotions and anger toward me for the deaths on Sept. 11, but after reviewing the jury verdict and reading how the jurors set aside their emotions and disgust for me and focused on the law and the evidence ... I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors.”
Yeah, well it turns out that Americans in general are more forgiving and reasonable that your average jihadist. Go freakin' figure.
Do you know what I find reprehensible? Completely and absolutely loathsome?
The people who somehow make otherwise noble causes trendy.
As though by coming to the attention of George Clooney, all of a sudden the situation in Darfur is more worthy of notice. It disgusts me. Before it was cool to be outraged by Darfur, it was cool to be outraged by the incarceration and death sentence of Tookie Williams.
There are plenty of good causes out there, to be sure, but does Hollywood have to treat everything like pink legwarmers -- a fashion statement that they will soon rethink?
I wish all weekends were three days long. I'm totally beat.
We spent Saturday planting flowers. Finished up yesterday. Then I started working on a sewing project.
I need a vacation from my life.
Which reminds me of that song...
I need a vacation from my life Me and my husband we need a wife Somebody who's sole ambition is laundry I wanna fall asleep on my patio swing While somebody else does the dishes and cleans Mariachi's could stroll through the yard and play softly Wouldn't even have to leave 2523 General George Patton Drive
The good news? I can cross gardening off of my list.
Christina has drafted a bunch of us for another fiction project. This time, we are group-writing a novella. A new chapter of the story will appear each Friday and finally wrap up in the fifth chapter. This is a really cool project, because the authors do not discuss where the story is going, but maintain their autonomy. It makes for some really great stories. Anyway, I was granted the honor of the first chapter. My 1,000 words (counting the title) are as follows. I hope you enjoy it.
The Reluctant Assassin
Emily pressed the button firmly and walked away in her black thigh-high stiletto boots, drumming a steady but delicate staccato back to the Jeep. Her leather mini-skirt hugged her hips like vinyl seats clung to sweaty thighs in the height of summer. Fortunately for her and the time she had just spent navigating the ventilation system in the 6-story building behind her, it was finally autumn and a distinct crispness floated on the air.
“Three, two, one…,” she thought to herself. She pulled out of the campus parking lot just as the building behind her burst into flames, shooting explosive ash and fire thousands of feet into the air in every direction. Nobody witnessed her departure.
She could check another item off her list and inform Accounts Receivable. Chemistry students scheduled for lab the next day wouldn’t know that their reprieve was thanks to Emily Procter and her C-4; they’d be thanking God. Ten years of murder had convinced Emily that there was no God, but she pushed those dark thoughts out of her mind.
She found herself musing once again at how she had reached this point in life. How does a French Lit Major become a Corporate Assassin? Perhaps she should write a book and get Oprah to endorse it. Then she could finally hang up her det cord and settle down.
Emily was pragmatic. Every single girl needs a way to pay the rent. As it turned out, a BA in French Lit hadn't garnered much respect on the open market in terms of cash. She had tried stripping, but that had only lasted one night because she’d had a fit of the giggles and her performance had been panned. The Giggling Stripper. Good name for a band, she thought to herself.
She had refused to become a hooker and had no patience for customer service or phone solicitation. And then she had met Gravy. Gravy had been a local thug, rumored to be connected to the local familia. All she knew was that he had made her an offer she couldn’t refuse one night.
She hadn’t even had the money for supper and had gone to Smokey’s to eat the free popcorn and pretzels. Gravy had sat his large Latin rear on the barstool next to hers, forcing the air out of the cushion in an audible and embarrassing whimper.
“Whatchu doin’ tonite?’ he asked in that way that he had of making everything sound dirty.
“Trying to think of a new lie to tell the landlord about why the rent is late. You?”
“Hiring for party. You wants to make some rent?”
“What? Serving drinks or something?”
“Serving something, si.”
“What does it pay?”
“Ees muy bueno. Why don’ we go to my booth?”
Her stomach had roiled at the notion of being alone with Gravy and his sweat and flying spittle, but a hungry girl has to do what a hungry girl has to do. She had followed him to the smoky bowel of the bar, den of the less savory of Smokey’s clientele, and Gravy had offered her $10,000 for one hour of work.
He had assured her that it would be easy, that the guy was a baddie who had killed many people and would be no loss. And, as it turned out, blonde and sexy was just this guy’s type.
“You breeng drink, sit on lap, go home.”
The baddie, she had learned the next day, had been a Columbian drug runner, and she had been the one to slip him his poison. The cops hadn’t been too bothered to solve the murder, and certainly hadn’t come looking for an out-of-work size-four ex-gymnast with a passion for French poetry. That had been her first hit. From there, she had done a few more jobs with Gravy until finally getting hired by Acme.
Now she was a hitman with benefits: 401K, medical, dental, expense account, and 7-figure salary. She certainly had no trouble making the rent. She had literally moved up in the world, taking her lonely house plant from a run-down tenement to a fully furnished penthouse suite with doorman. And now, she could afford all of the shoes she could possibly want.
Even so, not everything was rosy for Emily. She had no family and few friends. Loneliness and guilt were her companions. She had embraced detachment as a coping mechanism for killing, but the guilt had begun to creep over the wall. It was no wonder she was still single, her detachment pushed everyone away. All she had was the disembodied voice that gave her the assignments and the doorman. Lately she had been pining for the things that many 30-something women want: love, kids, house. She suspected that the easy-out she took in her twenties had sold the soul of her thirties. You can’t be a soccer mom and an assassin, juggling toxins with tutus.
The discontent had settled into a deadened sadness that not even the potholes jarring the Jeep could penetrate. She shrugged off the malaise and pointed the Jeep toward the airport and the car rental place. She wanted to get back home and crawl into bed.
Her cell phone was vibrating in the inside pocket of her vest, so she reached inside, slipped it out, and flipped it open to answer.
“Emily, you have a problem.” It was Jennifer, the disembodied voice at the corporate office that gave her assignments.
“Problem? What problem? I just completed the job here in Texas.”
“You hit the wrong target.”
“How could you possibly know that?”
“There was a typo.”
“Are you kidding?” Emily’s gut was clenching and she could taste acid in her mouth. “You aren’t serious? Please tell me I didn’t demo a University building and kill the wrong person.”
“I’m sorry, but you did. You only have 12 hours to hit the real target or you are in breach of contract. You know what that means.”
1. Were you named after anyone? Yes. I was named for a women's corp commander that my Dad knew in ROTC.
2. Do you wish on stars? I used to when I was a moody youth.
3. Do you like your hand writing? Yes.
4. What is your favorite meat? Beef. I'm a farm girl, remember?
5. What is the most embarrassing CD on your shelf? I actually have a CD of Marilyn Monroe singing.
6. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Maybe. Thinking about it is giving me a headache.
7. Are you a daredevil? The opposite actually.
8. When was the last time you cried? A few weeks ago. I was standing at the sink doing dishes and got weepy -- feeling overwhelmed, I guess.
9. Did you ever tell a secret you weren't supposed to? I'm sure that I have, but only for good reasons.
10. How do you release anger? I used to shred napkins, but that was in high school. Now I just take a deep breath, gnash my teeth, then suggest an orifice for receiving the subject's head.
11. Where is your second home? My Jeep. I am very comfortable in it.
12. Do you trust others easily? No. But that's because most people don't inspire trust.
13. What class in college do you think is totally useless? Animal Science 100. What a dumb class. I have nothing good to say about it. What did I learn? How to get a sow "in the mood" and ready to get AI'ed. I learned that chicken shit is by far the worst shit of all animal excrement categories. I refused to stick my hand in a cow's stomach. What, pray tell, was that going to teach me? Bah! Dumbass class!
14. Have you ever been in a mosh pit? Are you insane? You can get hurt doing that sort of thing.
15. What do you look for in a guy? I look for my husband. He's just the way I like them.
16. Would you do a bungee jump? Ha! Not even if you paid me.
17. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Of all time? Gold Medal Ribbon.
18. What is your least favorite thing? Cockroaches. I hate cockroaches. Even the word disturbs me.
19. How many people do you have a crush on right now? Who wrote these questions, a 12-year-old girl? What do you want to know next, my bra size? Who is my BFF?
20. What do you miss most right now? Having my sister around to shop with.
21. What are you listening to right now? The sound of traffic going by from my open office window and rustling new leaves on trees.
22. What is the weather like right now? Sunshiny but a cool 65 degrees.
23. Last person you talked to on the phone? I can't tell you that.
24. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Smile and smell.
25.Favorite drink non-alcoholic? Coca-cola.
26.Favorite alcoholic drink? Captain and Coke.
27. Haircolor? Brown with sexy carmel highlights.
28. Eyecolor? Carmel brown.
29. Wear contacts? No, but I've been considering getting them.
30. Last movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
31. Favorite day of the year? Valentine's Day
32. How many people have a crush on you right now? What is this, the 7th grade?
33. Scary movies or happy endings? I have to have a happy ending. I don't see any reason to pay to be scared or saddened.
34. Summer or winter? Now see, that's way too hard to answer. If we are talking Wisconsin, I prefer the Summer. Winter is hell here. But at home I prefer the Fall and early Winter.
35. What book/magazine are you reading at the moment? The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club by Susan McBride.
36. What's on your mouse pad? My mouse.
37. What did you watch on TV last night? ALIAS!
37.Favorite Smell? My husband, fresh out of the shower.
38. Do you regret ever breaking up with someone? No.
This week the Divas and Gents are tackling a topic sure to have people nattering on at the water coolers. 'Cause you know, we are all about being au courant, or something.
So...Off Limits: Which members of the opposite sex do you consider forever off limits and why?
This question is all about maintaining non-romantic relationships by respecting boundaries.
The following is a short list of fruit better left unsampled...
1. Any of Mom's past or present paramours. It doesn't matter if she went beefcake shopping and found herself someone your age or younger, you can't shag mommy's leftovers. It can't end well. For one thing, could you get past the idea of sharing a man with your mom? I couldn't. And even if you could, she couldn't. You'll never hear the end of it, she'll make your lives hell. Don't do it.
2. Any of your sister's past or present paramours. This may be ever frat boy's fantasy (having sisters), but it will invariably lead to comparisons. "Your sister used to..." in a wheedling, pleading voice is not what you want to hear, I'm sure. You will not feel good about this relationship and it could conceivably prevent you from getting what you need in the way or bone marrow in the future from the person most like you on a DNA level - your sibling.
3. Any of your own ex-paramours siblings. Don't go dating your ex's little brother. Are you insane? Instead of getting crap from one group, you'll get it on every front. You'll hear about it from your dentist, for cripe's sake. This is a mistake. Don't do it.
4. Your cousins. I don't care where you are from, this is nasty.
5. Your past or present step-siblings. While technically not incest, you should still avoid this. It doesn't make for interesting dinner conversation and might give the little old lady up the block a heart attack when she catches you in the back seat of the caddie "playing" with your brother. She may not realize that he isn't your real brother, and she'll end up telling everyone she knows and you'll get all sorts of looks around town.
6. Your Dad and/or Grandpa's buddies. I know, I know, it is unfair. Men only get more sexy as they age and I'm putting the kibosh on your Sean Connery fantasies. So sue me. Can you imagine the fall out when your grandfather accidentally discovers that the hot young piece of ass keeping his buddy "fit" is the little girl he built a playhouse for? You will be killing him. And if you start messing around with Dad's college or army buddy, he will kill you and the buddy. Don't do it.
7. Your ex-fiance's best-friend or best man. If you are engaged and then the engagement is broken, whether by you or your would-be groom, your man's best-friend/best man is forever off limits. If the broken engagement was your idea, he will need this guy to help him pick up the pieces by getting him stinking drunk at the local titty bar. If your fiance broke off the engagement, well, you don't want to be with the scumbag's friends now, do you? And don't go screwing the best man and causing the wedding to be called off, either.
8. Your friend's ex or current beau. If you start seeing this guy, neither you nor your friend will be comfortable in each other's company again. She'll be jealous or hurt that you are "taking his side." She'll see it as abandonment or worse. You'll end up getting stuck in their relationship garbage and spend 2 years digging out. Don't do it.
9. Anyone who doesn't treat you like a Princess. If he doesn't treat you supremely well, walk away. You are worth more than that, and there is no point settling for a troll. For more forbidden fruit, see what Silk, Theresa, Arielle, Mark, Jamesyboy, and Jim have to say.
So, the big Day Without Immigrants thingy was a bust. Even Newsweek is reporting that the mass protests had "Zero Impact."
I can't help by note that the vast majority of politicians are pretty far out of step with the majority feelings on the issue. I run in a pretty liberal crowd, centered as I am here in the Madison, Wisconsin area (sort of a mid-western Berkeley, CA with more milk cows), and I haven't heard a single person talk to me about the plight of the poor illegal alien.
In fact, even my little sister (the one who bought into the ridiculous cyber-rumors of the draft being re-instated) believes that illegal immigration is wrong and we ought to do more to stop it.
I don't think the silent majority is done with this issue yet. I think a lot of folks are merely waiting to see what Congress will do, and then vote out the jokers who were a little too PC.
I'm in a blog funk. My blog world has tilted on end. First, Kathy pulled up stakes so that she could concentrate on the Great American Novel. Then, The Wizard assumed permanent lurker status and went on an extended fishing expedition. Phin is changing jobs and this may mean real change for the Phish Bowl.
I swear, if anything happens to The Maximum Leader, Silk, Sadie, or Christina, I may go postal. I'm serious! I miss them. They used to brighten my day so. All I have left is The Maximum Leader and the girls.
So, if my blogging sucks, we have Kathy, Phin, and The Wizard to blame. My heart is sick.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, writing the decision, ruled in favor of Anna Nicole.
Somedays the news is funny. And, for the record, I'm not talking about the merits of the case, which I'm sure were justifiably and reasonably decided if the decision was unanimous. Rather, I'm chuckling over the mental picture in my head of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Anna Nicole together. I can't explain it.
So far I have seen no disruption in the availability of services or in business in general. Perhaps the illegal immigrants and protestors don't get up as early as I do. I don't know. I will report back if I notice any issues.
This is a group of bloggers who support the GWOT. I have added the 101st's blogroll too, so you can clicky-clicky.
My avatar wears a slinky black peignor and entertains in her boudoir since Dan Rather claimed bloggers sat around in their pajamas all day. I'll have to see if I can get her some combat boots to match!
I am so glad that they did this. Kudos to Frank J., Capt. Ed, and Derek Brigham.