Cutter exhaled a long-held breath. “Thank God. It isn’t Natasha.”
“Yes. But who is it? And where is Natasha?” This mystery wasn’t unraveling fast enough for Sam.
“I’ve never seen that person before.”
Cutter and Sam looked at Edwin expectantly. “What are you looking at me for? I like redheads!” They all laughed.
“Okay.” Sam scanned the scene quickly making note of the gawkers. “I have to get a new passport from Carstairs and catch a plane to Geneva. I don’t know if this person has anything to do with this, but can you guys do the homework here and forward me anything I need to know?” The men nodded, then began the task of investigating the body as Sam slid behind the wheel of the Vanquish S and headed off toward headquarters.
The concierge leered suggestively at the display of cleavage that the blonde ski-bunny was parading. He loved wealthy women: too much time on their hands, absent husbands, and plenty of plastic – both in their bras and their wallets.
“Howdy!” Sam addressed the concierge, adopting a Texas drawl. “I’d like to check in, please.”
“Your name?” The concierge was all unctuous business now.
“Juliette Lawson-Nash. Of Dallas. Has my husband checked in or left any messages for me?” She tossed her long blonde hair over her shoulder for good measure.
“I will check.” He peered into the mailboxes behind him and brought out a piece of folded cream-colored cardstock. “Your messages, Madame.”
“Why, thank you. I don’t suppose you have a boy that can attend to my bags, do you?”
He smiled. “Of course.” He rang the bell and a young man appeared. The concierge handed him a large ornate metal key with a scarlet tassel attached. “The Elizabet Suite, Michel.”
The young man started to lead Sam away, but she turned back in time to see the Concierge had been checking out her backside. “Ya’ll have wifi, right?”
“Yes, Madam. Michel will show you.”
Cozily ensconced in her room, the bell boy well-tipped and on his way, Sam pulled her pressed powder out of her Louis Vuitton handbag. She opened the compact and walked around the room, gazing at her reflection and applying fresh powder to the non-existent shiny spots on her face. The green light appeared behind the mirror and she knew that the room was “clean.”
She went into the living room and pulled up the cushions on the settee. From there, she was able to slide her hand into the opening in the couch back cushion and retrieve her G36 and the two extra magazines. She replaced the cushions and picked up her phone, calling “Granny” as the note had instructed.
After a few clicks, the call connected.
Sam was dripping with sweat. She had just spent an hour gyrating on the floor of the hotel’s disco. Very retro. But, she had achieved her purpose. Fayad had noticed her. She could tell.
She strolled over to the bar and ordered a drink, threw her hair over her shoulder and looked back casually at Fayad’s table. His eyes were locked on her. She bent down and smoothed the silk stocking on her leg, shifting as she did so that Fayad would get a peek at her garter. The bartender placed a shot of whiskey before her next to a glass of water. With flair, she threw her head back and downed the whiskey. Then she sat down and sipped at her water.
She could tell from the way the bartender’s eyes shifted that Fayad was approaching.
“You are a beautiful woman,” he said by way of introduction.
“Why, thank you, Mr…?”
“Everyone calls me Fayad.”
“Mr. Fayad, do you dance?”
“I’m afraid not. However, I would like to buy you a drink. Shall we have some champagne?”
They sat there for quite a while, making polite conversation about Gstaad and European travel, continually drinking. Slowly, Samantha feigned increasing inebriation.
“I think I need some air,” she said rising.
“Let me carry your drink. We can continue talking as we walk.”
“That is so gentlemanly of you, Mr. Fayad.” Samantha turned toward the exit and saw herself in the mirrored wall. She also saw Mr. Fayad drop something into her glass.
Sam “awakened” slowly, aware that she was tied arms-over-her-head to the shower head. Her clothing had been removed and she wore only her underthings, stockings, and garter.
“Samantha. So good of you to rejoin us.” Fayad was sitting in the middle of the bath suite on a leather wing chair.
“Mr. Fayad. I didn’t know you had a kinky streak! I had heard that you only liked little boys. In fact, Michel the bell boy told me…”
Fayad interrupted, “Shut up! We are done with social hour. Now you will tell me how you choose to die.”
“Hmm. That’s a tough one. Okay, I got it! I choose old age.”
“I’m afraid that is not an option.” He raised his gun and pointed it at her chest.
“Don’t you dare, Fayad!” Natasha came stalking into the bathroom. “You promised me I could kill her.”
“Then do so.”
Samantha was not surprised to see Natasha. She had suspected that the young woman hadn’t been honest with them.
“Are you going to fill me in, Natasha? Why did you kill that woman on the street?”
“She got in my way. What do you care? She was no one.”
“You are such a lovely person, you know that. Just so I don’t die of curiosity, are you going to tell me why you are killing me?”
“You Bitch! You killed my husband in Vienna last year!” Natasha was flying into a rage.
“It’s possible. Was he a terrorist? I kill a lot of terrorists.”
“Not any more you don’t!” Natasha’s face was blistering red and her hand was shaking. She aimed the gun at Samantha’s heart. “Go to hell, you…”
Natasha never spoke the final word. She fell over, the gun skittering across the marble floor.
“You waited long enough.” Sam grinned at Mark who held her Glock trained on the seated Fayad.
“She really needed to let out her emotions. It isn’t good to keep that kind of rage bottled up. It will constipate you. Anyway, shall we deal with Mr. Fayad and his little training program for terrorists?”
“Absolutely. Then let’s go for sushi. How was Vegas, by the way?”
Yesterday I had a piece of cherry pie. I am a big fan of cherry pie, and this pie was from a place here in Wisconsin that has garnered quite a bit of acclaim for its pie.
So naturally as the domestic diva that I am, I was intrigued.
What made this pie so special?
Could it be superior pie crust? Amazingly fresh and high quality fruit? Could it be that the pie has some mysterious ingredient that puts it over the top in terms of flavor?
No. No. And no.
I'll tell you what makes these pies famous: size.
These are not standard-sized pies. This pie was easily 16 inches in diameter. This is, in and of itself, a rather shallow point of merit. Yeah, some people are impressed with size. These are the same people who are going to get excited over a 6 foot cookie or a 20 foot banana split. Whoopee. Me? I've baked enough pie to be more interested in flavor, texture of crust, and the pie's servability.
This pie, for all of its fame, was just plain mediocre, if not weird. Yes. They used Door County Cherries. And, this was a good choice. But then, if you are in Wisconsin and baking a cherry pie and not using Door County cherries, you are something of a nut. Unless those cherries came off of your own tree, you are making a mistake. Those artificially colored cans of cherry pie filling do not make the best pie. I'm terribly sorry to be the one that has to tell you.
The pie crust was not particularly flavorful. It was not particularly decorative. It hadn't even been basted in milk and sprinkled with sugar. It was akin to a damn Sara Lee frozen pie crust - a travesty of an impression if you are famous for your pies.
But the pie filling itself was where the pie took a turn toward the bizarre. The pie had a not-quite-right flavor warring on the tastebuds with the expected tart and sweet. There was something familiar but misplaced. Something...odd. It was not a spice. And, when you looked at the pie filling that had escaped the confines of the pie, something else was odd.
There were little tiny red specs in the filling. Little tiny red detritus was suspended in the gel. When you moved the filling with your fork, it didn't move as you might expect. There was a clinging clumpiness that is not usually associated with cherry pie.
I know. I'm a cherry pie fan. I have investigated it thoroughly.
Do you kow what was going on in this pie? Let me pull the mask off of this Scooby-Doo Mystery.
Somebody got the clever idea to put a box of flavored jello in the filling. Those little red specs were unincorporated jello. You see, those little specs dissolve in boiling water, but adding the box of jello to cold or lukewarm filling merely suspends them. The odd texture is also explained by the addition of jello. The filling behaved just like warm jello - separating in odd ways.
I want you to know that as a Baker and a fan of Cherry Pie I was horrified.
And to think these people are famous for their pie. It is a travesty. And a shame. And an insult to bakers everywhere.
I know why they did it. They were looking for a way to stabilize the filling for the extra-large pie size they are so found of. I get that. So why didn't they use unflavored gelatin? Or, if that is so damned inconvenient, you could just go to a reasonable size pie pan and forget the nod to "the bigger the better" crowd.
In protest, The Crack Young Staff is going off its feed. They can't seem to get any linky-love from The Instapundit, so they are going on a hunger strike. And not the kind that Cindy Sheehan goes on, either, where you actually gain weight from all of the shakes and smoothies.
I'd like to throw my support behind the Crack Young Staff, but they've never linked to me...and I don't want this thing to get out of control.
As always, each chapter and title is limited to 1,000 words. I humbly offer you chapter 4:
Blood & Cristal
Samantha sat at the table tapping her foot to “Pink” by Aerosmith. The music was blaring from the speakers at the afterparty. The assembled crowd was a veritable Who’s Who of British Society. Several Lords and more than a few Ladies littered the swanky room, some of them acting decidedly un-ladylike. Samantha amused herself imagining the Queen’s reaction to this hedonistic scene. She suspected that the old lady was unaware that her grandson William was in attendance or that he currently had a certain young Russian vamp on his lap, her hand searching for the royal family jewels. Samantha had to admit it, Natasha could play the role to the hilt.
The Henley Regatta had been very informative. That afternoon, they had played the proper family for the appropriate audience. John had escorted her as her fabulously wealthy British husband. She was the American stepmother to Natasha’s bratty and indulgent daughter. Natasha had done well, belittling her stepmother for all who would listen and comparing her negatively to Natasha’s Russian actress mother. Natasha had even acted out, “punishing” her father through her antics by being a tramp on the dance floor with her “boyfriend,” Edwin.
It had been a miracle that Edwin had been the one chosen for this mission. As a school friend of the Prince, Edwin Frasier’s presence assured them entrée to the most exclusive party.
As they had watched the excitement that afternoon, chatter had been flagged by MI5 that a possible terrorist attack targeting Henley was scheduled for that evening. Cutter had been alerted and the team instructed to hold their position. And so, Samantha sat in her dress and heels while Natasha slutted it up with the Prince.
Cutter returned to her and bent down, ostensibly to kiss her cheek, but informed her, “Nothing new.”
Just then, a rambunctious group of young men entered the ballroom and became the center of attention. They were all dressed well, but one of their party triggered Sam’s radar. He seemed awfully sober and intent on the room and didn’t fit in with the rest of his party.
It was then that Natasha kicked off her shoes and signaled an emergency. Samantha rose and brushed the creases out of her skirt, stalking to the table where Prince William sat sharing a bottle of Cristal with Natasha.
In her best bossy attitude, learned by years of watching her sister, Sam intoned shrilly, “Angelica, that is quite enough. Please peel yourself off of His Royal Highness and come with me.” Sam’s face brooked no argument on the matter.
Natasha rolled Angelica’s eyes for the Prince’s benefit, then petulantly followed Sam to the ladies room. Once behind the safety of the closed door, Sam asked, “What is it?”
“I recognized one of zee boys who came in zat group. I’m afraid he will blow my coveer.”
“Where do you know him from?”
“He used to meet with Constantine late at night after we…”
“Enough said.” Samantha then reached up to the two carat diamond earring in her right ear and twisted it. “Edwin, did you hear that? You need to get the Prince out of there.”
She heard Edwin mutter, “too late.”
Samantha scrambled back to the ballroom, instructing Natasha to get to the car. Cutter was leaning lazily against a pillar near the table where Edwin and William sat chatting with the brooding and sober dark-haired boy of the party of newly arrived rowdies.
“Your Highness.” Ahmed nodded his head to the Prince and his party. “My friends and I would like to invite you to party with us. We have several bottles of Cristal…I see that your’s is empty. May I refill your glass?”
Ahmed lifted the bottle hanging at his side by the neck, his thumb over the opening and made as if to pour it. Edwin leapt to his feet and pulled the Sig Sauer from his shoulder holster and shot the man between the eyes.
Screams erupted when the shot rang out. Ahmed began to fall, but Cutter caught him before he let go of the bottle, moving his own thumb over the trigger mechanism in the neck of the bottle to keep the bomb from detonating.
People raced for the exits, but agents prevented anyone from leaving. Sam had her Walther out and trained on the remaining members of Ahmed’s party.
Once an agent approached her, Samantha explained the young men’s relationship to the suspect and the need to question them. With these additional suspects safely in custody, Sam went over to where Edwin and Cutter were examining the body.
“Good shot, Edwin! But, how did you know he was a suicide bomber?”
Edwin grinned boyishly. “Sam, you know I spent some time with Mossad. I picked up a few things.”
“The Prince is safe?”
“For now. He may start keeping a lower profile, though. He didn’t like the idea of being a terrorist’s target.”
“Well, I’m glad we stopped the attack. Can you imagine a splashier al Qaeda move than assassinating the heir to the throne?” Sam’s perfectly-groomed eyebrow raised.
Cutter wasn’t convinced. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense, though. The boy won’t have any real power. Why target him?”
Edwin spoke up. “He’s a symbol and his death would terrorize Britain. You remember what Diana’s death did to people. Can you imagine if her son was assassinated?”
“Hmm.” Samantha wasn’t convinced it was that simple. “Is there anything other than C-4 in his pockets?”
“Just this” Cutter handed her a matchbook. “Does it mean anything to you?”
“Absolutely! I’m going on vacation. This is a matchbook from the bar in the Palace Hotel in Gstaad. Call Mark and tell him to leave the golf spikes and pack the ski stuff. I’m going after Fayad.”
It was at that moment that an MI5 agent approached them with news. “We’ve found another body.”
“Who is it?” Cutter asked.
“A blonde woman in a dress. On the sidewalk. Three shots to the chest.”
Newsweek is reporting that many entering freshmen in the nation's college fail on civics and history lessons. And, interestingly, there is some suggestion that college actually makes you dumber as in many cases the entering freshmen out-performed the graduating seniors.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
I took the quiz and I am elated to be able to tell you that I only got one question wrong, putting me in the 88% correct category. I didn't find the quiz particularly difficult, though I was careful about reading the questions.
Sadly, the average freshman scored a 51.7%. That is tragic! How are they getting out of high school?
It beats me.
The article makes some suggestion about "negative learning" and seems to claim that seniors have forgotten their high school civics by the time they get to that point. Me? I'm a bit unimpressed with their conclusions.
I personally feel that not enough emphasis is placed on this in high school. Furthermore, I think that most Liberal Arts programs work to "de-program" high school students of their lessons learned.
Too many college professors teach their own twisted world views (coughWardChurchillcough), placing the USA in the crosshairs as the root of all evil, and this eventually takes a toll on the brains of impressionable college students.
I'm not saying that they can't think for themselves. I suspect many of them can. I simply think that for survival they have to adapt. If the guy determining your grade is an aging hippie who believes the entire world has been run by the boards of directors of major multinational corporations since JFK was shot, you have to espouse those same views to excel in school. To graduate, you have to drink the koolaid and spew it back out on command. You don't win points with many for taking a more conservative approach. You don't get kudos for finding fact. You get an "A" if you blame some shady secret government cabal and link it to the professor's pet conspiracy theory.
I know. I've been there.
It doesn't surprise me in the least that some of the students become converts.
The blogosphere is all a-twitter at former President Clinton's recent temper tantrum in an interview with Chris Wallace. Apparently the former President is used to people sucking his...you know instead of probing him...on pertinent matters of the day.
Mr. Wallace asked Clinton what a great many people want to know: why he didn't do more to stop bin Laden after the first World Trade Center bombing or the USS Cole incident. It is a damn good question in terms of learning from past mistakes. As everybody knows, if you don't learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them. In that vein, then, the question is important.
Clinton's cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs routine, while humorous if you despise the don't-make-a-decision-without-floating-a-poll president who prefers blowjobs and snowjobs to just about anything resembling honesty, real work, or integrity, is not all that surprising.
More to the point, however, is the real issue in the importance of the question.
It isn't really important who failed. You can't go back and change history, afterall, so placing blame is a fool's exercise. Could Clinton have done more? Of course. Could the Bush Administration have done more prior to 9/11? Yes. So could have the FBI, CIA, FAA, and any number of individuals.
But I am of the opinion that playing "gotcha" achieves nothing. It is counterproductive. If we want to fix the problem so that it doesn't happen again, we have to stop trying to place the blame.
Personally, I blame Osama bin Laden and his lunatic followers who subscribe to a global caliphate-desiring view of Islam. And if I could get my hands on those motherfuckers I'd feed them a bunch of highly poisonous dates and dance to some highly suggestive and immoral Western music while they writhed on the floors of their caves in goat feces in horrendous pain. Those are the SOBs that deserve blame.
Clinton could have and perhaps should have done more. Of course, he is a Democrat and you have to expect him to deal with terrorism the way he did because of that. Democrats like to believe that you can fix all problems with law and order solutions, but you can't. I mean, they've been losing the battle on violent crime for some time now despite their very concerted efforts to legislate guns out of existence. It should be no surprise to anyone, then, that the Clinton administration acted (or failed to act) as it did.
Moreover, to a certain extent, Clinton was hampered by the Lewinsky Affair (heh heh, aren't I clever?) and the impeachment proceedings. Was he preoccupied? Hell yes, he lacks the personal fortitude to do the hard work and make the tough decisions required of a real leader, so yes, these things likely made him less likely to respond to bin Laden.
For that matter, the same argument can be made about George Bush. Democrats were still claiming that the 2000 election had been "stolen" on September 10th, and the Bush Administration was still trying to find its sea legs. The fact of the matter is up to September 10th, our biggest concerns were domestic issues, not global ones.
I can't blame either Clinton or Bush for not knowing what would happen on September 11th. No, instead we need to focus on the future: learning from our mistakes and preventing a similar occurence.
Clinton and Bush. They need to work together and root out the causes. Did the CIA and FBI fail to connect the dots in time? Did they fail to share information? Is there too much competition and animosity between the agencies? Is there a lack of HUMINT?
Personally, I think both Presidents need to be leaders and not blamers or blame assigners. I don't give a damn about either one's excuses. No excuse is going to bring the 2,996 people back that died that day.
As leaders of the free world, past and present, they have a responsibility. They should be able to look the camera straight in the eye and say "I failed." There is no shame in that, although as politicians they may disagree. I find it easier to respect someone who can admit an error than someone who refuses to take responsibility and attempts to deflect the blame to someone else.
Bill Clinton was the President of the United States. The buck literally stopped on his desk. His administration failed and so did he. The very same statement is true of George W. Bush.
The difference between the two men lies in what they have done since. And, in my opinion, this is where we separate the wheat from the chaff. Bill Clinton (and his intel-stealing-pants-stuffing minions) continue to deny any responsibility and are desperate to deflect any blame from landing on his wet member. George Bush...he became a leader that day.
I was lukewarm on GWB prior to 9/11/01. Don't get me wrong. I voted for him, but you could also say I voted against Al Gore, if you know what I mean. But it is the way George Bush became a leader in the days immediately following September 11th that earned my undying admiration. He doesn't float a poll before acting to make sure people like him. In fact, he makes the tough choices and has the temerity to stand by them in the face of incredible opposition.
He has the internal integrity to stand by his beliefs. He knows in his gut that he has a duty and a responsibility. He knows that his popularity isn't going to be important if the terrorists win this war and he becomes the last President of the United States. He knows that doing what is right isn't always easy, yet he has the guts to stick with it. I admire that. Not only that, I expect it from a President of the United States.
So, while I would urge everyone to stop playing the blame game, I would also urge them to get really fucking serious about this nation's security. We all have a responsibility. You need to keep your eyes and ears open and report anything that strikes you as suspicious. Congress needs to get their act together and work to close the vulnerabilities. The MSM needs to stop enabling the terrorists and realize that they are being played and have become a tool of the enemy. The former President needs to be more supportive of the current war on and our nation's leader. The President needs to stop the leaks and continue to execute the war on terror in an aggressive manner so that the murderous thugs die in a faster manner.
After many, many, many years of very careful diligence, I have been reduced to idiot once again by my own actions.
My husband does it all the time and I always come to his rescue, so I'm hoping he can do the same for me.
I locked the keys in the car.
Please excuse me while I gnash my teeth and beat myself over the head.
Update: Rest easy. I am back in possession of my car keys. It took the guy all of 36 seconds to open the door and another 6 minutes to do the paperwork. And by my simple math, this guy charges $450 per hour (or $7.50/minute). Not bad, huh?
Anyway, the self-imposed and self-inflicted boxing of the ears will continue.
Cookie Season is fast approaching and I find myself in a bit of a pickle. Every year the list of cookie recipients grows and every year I have to start earlier to get all of my cookies delivered by Pearl Harbor Day. I have the essential tools: air bake cookie sheets, premium spices, Mexican vanilla, and a Kitchenaid mixer.
The mixer was a gift from my father several years ago. And, it has worked very well over the years. I remember when my father ordered it for me, he urged me to get the biggest one they had. Unfortunately, I didn't heed his advice.
Instead, I opted for the standard-size model and figured it would be more than I'd ever need.
I couldn't have been more wrong. Last year I baked somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 batches of cookies and expect to increase that again this year. That old mixer isn't going to get it done, I'm afraid.
I need more power. I need more capacity. I need a bigger mixer!
Fortunately, my father wants to buy me a bigger one. Hurray for me!
The problem is, now I'm concerned that I won't choose a big enough model to give me room to grow.
As it is, I'm already going to have issues with a new mixer. For one thing, it isn't going to fit under my cabinets, dropped as they were to accomodate my lack of height. I'm going to have to adapt, as well, to the bowl-lift feature instead of the tilt-head that I'm used to. But those are minor issues.
I'm more concerned with whether I should go for the 12-cup flour power rated Professional 5 Plus Series or the 14-cup flour power rated Professional 600 series. There is a one-quart difference in bowl size, but a seemingly big difference in power. The 5 Plus series runs on a 450-watt motor while the 600 Series runs a 575-watt motor.
It has been a while since I've reported on Bunny Boop's progress, so I thought I'd catch everybody up.
She is 9-months old as of yesterday, and quite the little minx.
She is crawling along in perfect form and has even pulled herself up in a standing position to get into things and play with her toys. She isn't walking yet, but she acts as though she's ready to do so just as soon as she figures out the balance aspects.
And, I want you appreciate how quick she is. She learned to clap in one day. ONE. Now she claps at everything. Diaper changed? Let's clap. There's the toy. Let's clap. No reason presents itself? Let's clap anyway. She's very big on the clapping.
She waves too. She has an all-purpose wave that means hello and goodbye. For this, please imagine a drunken princess wave, because that's what it looks like to me. She also has a hand motion that seems to mean "come here", "look at this", and "can I play with that?" She brings her fingers into her right hand and opens and closes a couple of times. It is very cute.
She is still as happy and smiling as ever, though she's been cranky at times now that she's teething. That's a process that seems to never actually achieve anything. All this drool and fussiness and nothing to show for it.
She is a little chatter box and has a full set of nonsense that she speaks. This is cute too. Her father still hopes that her first word will be "Touchdown!" I expect it to be "Daddy." The dimple is still around and shows no sign of departing. It is very difficult to not melt when you see that thing. I fear reprimands in the future are going to be extremely difficult.
She is finally riding in a big-girl carseat, having almost outgrown the smaller one. She also takes her baths in the big tub now and loves to play with her three rubber duckies. As much fun as the duckies are, however, they are still nothing compared to the fun of the water coming out of the faucet. Now that is big fun.
I'll post some pictures of her in her glamorous wardrobe in the next day or so.
In so many ways, I have the perfect husband. He pretty much lets mine be the deciding vote on things that are important to me, I let him do the same for his stuff, and we generally agree on things that are mutually important.
When we were building the house, we mutually agreed on carpet, house design, wood flooring, paint, shingles, and siding. We agreed on fixtures and lighting with ease. The kitchen took a bit of discussion, but eventually we were both satisfied. Okay, I'll be honest. This room was the only room that we even had to discuss. It took a while for me to explain all the reasons I had for my special requirements.
You see, I'm short. And I'm in the kitchen quite a bit because I love to bake. In that vein, I wanted the island dropped lower than regular counter-top height so that I could knead bread comfortably. If you've ever kneaded bread, you'll understand my problem. A short person can't get the right motion and thrust on a standard counter-top height surface. You Amazonians may be able to, but us shorties cannot. In addition, my shortness causes problems with upper cabinets. Frankly, standard cabinet height means that I can't reach the top shelf at all, nor the back of the middle shelf. I have to get a chair. I wanted the cabinets on one side of the kitchen dropped to accomodate the fact that I was unlikely to grow another 4 inches in my thirties. He didn't want to do it, but I showed him what I meant. Did he want to spend the rest of his life coming to fetch something out of a cupboard for me? No, he did not. He thought dropping the cabinets would look funny, but I assured him that nobody would even notice.
And you know what? I was right. More than that, our kitchen was a big selling point when we thought we were going to move. All the realtors we interviewed loved the customizaton done in the room. The island is perfect for kneading dough or working with kids to bake cookies. You can't tell that the cabinets are low on one side, either, and I can reach the front of the top shelf.
All in all, it is perfection.
But, that isn't what this post is about. This post is about the poor suffering bastard act that my husband puts on when people come over. He complains that when he married me he had to get rid of all of his stuff. This is patently untrue.
He did not have to get rid of anything. It just so happens that he chose to do so. I didn't make him give up his ratty old couch that survived the flood of '93. I didn't make him get rid of the waterbed and the circa 1982 sheets where the flat sheet was sewn to the bottom of the fitted sheet in an annoying fashion. He complains that I have too much stuff.
My stuff, which I refer to as our stuff, and he refers to as mine. I had two couches, two chairs, and an ottoman, plus a slew of tables for a large living room. I have a cherry Queen Anne 4-poster canopy queen-sized bed and two doubles. I have antiques. I have several old steamer-type chests that I love. I can't help it! My parents give me stuff and I've inherited other things. He ought to think of it in terms of household items, but he doesn't.
Instead, he likes to remind me that we don't even have possession of all of my stuff. I have a grandfather clock coming from my mother and a couch and antique bedroom set coming from my grandmother. I also have stuff still at my Dad's house.
No, we don't need it all right now, but it is going to come in mighty handy when we finish the basement.
But, he doesn't like to hear that. The way that Prince Charming tells it, the basement is his space. The rest of the house is mine, he claims, so the basement is his.
Except...the rest of the house isn't mine. He didn't decorate it, that much is true. But I would put forth that he isn't likely to decorate anything. Yes, I choose the furnishings, but I choose them for his comfort.
Even so, he has claimed the basement as his. And I'm okay with that. We haven't finished the space yet because we are waiting for him to come up with a plan. Does he want a bar? A home theater? A scale re-creation of Camp Randall stadium? He can't decide. He does know, however, that he wants a urinal.
I keep refusing, but he says it is his space and his decision. Whereupon I keep asking if he is going to clean the thing or if he expects me to. Insert deafening silence. "If I can't have a urinal, I'll put in some gutters along the wall and route it that way.
You can imagine, I hope, what I had to say to that.
So now that the Princess is with us the basement plan has changed again. Maybe we need a family room or a playroom.
If he'd just leave it to me I could get it done. I envision a wet bar with a spare small oven, a tasteful half-bath, a cozy theater room, and a spare bedroom. But, as he likes to remind me, it isn't up to me. That's his space.
If only he could decide what to do with it! Perhaps it is more fun for him to think about it than actually do it. It is his cave. He cleans his guns down there, surrounded by baby gear we've outgrown and holiday decorations. It is a bizarre cave, but it is his personal space.
My littlest sister, as many know, is now a college freshman. It boggles the mind, but it is true.
I swear to you, it is unfathomable to me that she has reached this age. I was changing her diapers when I was dating in high school. One of us has gotten way too old for my comfort. Anyway, she sent me an email the other day while she was doing laundry.
That's right. They have wifi in the laundry room. What the hell?!? They are making our college students way too soft. Everybody knows it builds character to have to sit in some dusty, dirty, muggy and creepy basement fending off dust bunnies and boredom by inventing olympic sports involving found socks and laundry detergent boxes. Talk about stifling creativity! What the heck is going to happen to the Gen-Xers when they can surf the 'net while doing their laundry? It is just so wrong. I mean, now they don't even have to worry that someone is going to steal their panties (this used to happen all the time) right from the dryer. They can sit there surfing and protect their panties like a prison warden.
But that's not all!
Would you believe that those coin-op washers and dryers you and I used to beat into submission for stealing our change and getting stuck now take credit cards?
Do I have to remind you that this is going to cut into this generation's math skills? Now, instead of handing over odd amounts during cash transactions so that the teller is forced to give you a quarter back, they'll just swipe the plastic and go back to surfing.
I'm offended. They have life too easy. What's next, huh? No need to go to class, you can watch the lecture on utube? No more walking to class, you can just beam in and out?
College sure ain't as hellish as it used to be. But you'll be happy to know that the weirdness that is the Freshman roommate still exists.
Fictional-memoir writer James Frey, of Oprah's Book Club Infamy, has finally placed the blame where it belongs for that whole brouhaha (at least in his mind):
It’s the war in Iraq. “People feel frustrated by a lot of distortions by politicians, by members of the media, by movie stars, by tabloid journalists, and it was like a sorta confluence of events that I happened to be in the middle of,” Frey told the London Guardian. “There are a lot of issues related to truth that are at the forefront of our culture right now because of what happened [in Iraq].”
But, I think he's being an idiot. People were outraged BECAUSE HE LIED. HE FABRICATED HIS SO-CALLED MEMOIR! Linking it to the Iraq War is so disgustingly disingenuous, it is unbearable.
The next thing you know, he'll be claiming that Bushitler McHalliburton & Co made him lie. For the oil, doncha know.
What else do you call it when criticism of the followers of Islam's violent methods bring about...you guessed it...violence?
But, let me get this straight:
Islam is a "religion of peace" because when it criticizes the US, Israel, or the Western World, it means that they can torch embassies, restaurants, or blow people up in ice cream parlors. If we criticize their violent methods through cartoons, written or spoken words, they counter with violent rallies, fires, and the calls for beheading of the people who dared to say the obvious.
You aren't a follower of a fucking "religion of peace" if the first thing you do when you encounter criticism is call for somebody's head. The math doesn't work. If you want to be known as a religion of peace, you need to adopt more peaceful strategies. Like the Quakers.
Now there's a religion of peace.
In the meantime, it is becoming disgusting how limp-wristed the world has become. You can't call a fascist a fascist, because it hurts their feelings. You can't call them violent, or they'll firebomb you. You can't do a damn thing anymore without bringing down the wrath of Allah on your infidel ass.
It all makes me quite sick. In fact, I get closer everyday to endorsing Prince Charming's solution: several well-placed nukes that will turn the entire fucking region into one big glass-covered parking lot.
Sonsabitches. They didn't like what the Pope said so they killed a nun. This is the Fucking Religion of Peace?!? Bullshit!
They are just a bunch of blood-thirsty egomaniacal fascists bent on world domination and infidel submission.
You may want to submit, but I'm drawing the line.
Words don't kill people. Ideas don't kill people. But the carbombs, IEDs, suicide bombers, and bullets intended for nuns fired by guns of the followers of the Religion of Peace do.
Weekends are not long enough. I do hereby propose that Americans move to a 4-day work week. Four 10-hour days followed by 3 luxurious days of leisure. That would do the trick.
Things have finally slowed down a bit for us at home, or at least, they seem to have do so. I'm not sure. Prince Charming is still working an awful lot, but I'm not quite as stressed-out. This is likely due in large part to the regular pattern in which our childcare has fallen into. The woman watching Bunny Boop is reliable and regular, and that's something I can get used to!
We were also able to finally cajole the premier babysitter in the neighborhood to our house. You know what I'm talking about. Invariably in every neighborhood there is one babysitter prized above the rest. For some reason or other, she has special qualities that make her services preferred. I know. I used to be the premier babysitter in my neighborhood when I was growing up.
Anyway, this young girl made a real impression on me. She was organized! This is a novelty for me, considering her age, but it is something that was likely to garner my respect above most things. I really like it when someone keeps a tight ship, personally speaking, and doesn't miss appointments.
She showed up early and was eager to meet her charge. She understood the instructions and asked questions where she needed clarification. I also appreciate this. Many teenagers are too embarrassed to ask a question, or assume that they know the answer.
Prince Charming and I had discussed this before hand. We wanted to bribe her. We overpaid her...obscenely...to make an impression. To her credit, and so graciously, she tried to refuse being paid so much. Prince Charming wouldn't let her refuse, though. He told her straight up that it was a bribe and that we wanted her to come back.
The funny thing is, it was probably unnecessary. She told me a number of times as I drove her home that she had had a great time and enjoyed playing with Bunny. Bunny was no trouble for her and went right to sleep after her bottle.
So, all is good and I can go back to having parties and going out again, so long as the Babysitter isn't booked.
Prince Charming and I went out to eat with this new-found freedom. We drove up to the Wisconsin Dells (tourist trap that it is) and had supper at the new restaurant at The Chula Vista Resort - The Kaminski Bros. Chop House.
I have to tell you, the name doesn't do the place justice.
You never really know what you are going to get when you go to someplace new, but this was dining elegance.
I dressed up, but I still felt that I should have done more to dress for the occassion. Of course, as it is at the resort, I was also one of the better dressed people in attendance. (most people had just come from the golf course or water park).
Let's see, how to describe the experience...
The menu could use some work, but the fare was amazing. They brought us the "meat cart" and discussed with us each cut of beef (also fish and lobster). We got an education on what to expect in terms of flavor and portion sizes. They cautioned us that the portions were large.
They came and made our salad at our table - a lovely experience followed by a delicious salad! The wine list was longer than the menu, but we didn't partake. We aren't big wine drinkers. My prince had his favorite beverage and I opted for the Macintosh Apple Martini - which was wonderful.
I ordered the petite filet and Prince Charming ordered the small prime rib and we opted, at the waitresses's suggestion, to share an order of hashbrowns (we had the KBC).
Let's put it this way...Prince Charming's prime rib filled the plate and this man who I have personally witnessed eat a stead and a rack of ribs and still be hungry, barely made a dent in his prime rib. It was that big.
I was able to finish half of my filet, which was so tender it melted like butter in my mouth. It was delicious! The hashbrowns could have fed 12 people! We took practically all of them home.
So, while I would recommend the place, I would urge you to not only come hungry, but bring a crowd with you!
Last night, I dreamed that I was producing and directing my own show. Namely, the musical Camelot.
Specifically, I was casting last night. The teenager who lives across the street won the spunky part of Guinevere on sheer spunk. I easily found my Merlin in some gangly boy with a flair for waving his arms. Arthur and Lancelot were giving me trouble.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with apparent ease (and lots of petroleum jelly) Senator Russ Feingold (D - WI) has managed to get his head so far up the ass of the uptight politically correct mindless drones, that he has arrived in Botswana!
The latest idiotic escapade of our fearless leader has him harranguing the President over the term "Islamic Fascist" to describe Mr. Feingold's terrorist friends.
Mr. Feingold believes that this term is offensive to Muslims and has nothing to do with the terrorists.
In fact, Mr. Feingold feels "We must avoid using misleading and offensive terms that link Islam with those who subvert this great religion or who distort its teachings to justify terrorist activities."
Let's just set aside the fact that the President doesn't use this term very often, shall we. Instead, let's make headlines pretending to be affronted and offended that someone actually dare call a spade a "spade." For example, calling a particular Senator "a Dumbass." Sure, it may be offensive, but it is also the truth. This sort of political correctness does nothing whatsoever to actually help us fight the terrorist threat that we face on a daily basis and everything to weaken us in the eyes of the enemy. I assure you, they do not mince words when they describe us. "American Scum", "American Filth", "Zionist", "Dead", "Infidel", they've got it covered.
James Zogby, President of the American Arab Institute, echoed Feingold's sentiments saying that the term "scares Americans and inflames passions."
Well no shit, Sherlock. Don't you think that is reasonable? Americans should be scared! We are fighting a war here, Dumbass #2! The enemy doesn't wear a uniform, but hides amongst the innocent civilians. He happily blows them to smithereens every chance he gets. The terrorist is scary. I know that you'd rather we called them "insurgents" or "misunderstood Asian youths", but the fact is that they are terrorists! They use terror to attempt to get to their desired goals. They are, in fact, fascists who are also followers of the Islamic Faith. What else should we call them...Turnip Farmers?
1 : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
Political philosophy? Well, they do want to turn the entire world into a caliphate, so Check! It definitely puts the goals of the spread of their particular brand of Islam and the global caliphate before the individual, as evidenced by their thirst to send out suicide bombers in the name of those goals. A dictatorial leader? Well, yes. I have a feeling that bin Laden would like us all to put him first on the human plane, defering only to Allah and Mohammed. Severe economic and social regimentation? Check and check. I have yet to hear of a terrorist whoever got rich and they are experts at social regimentation. Who to pray to, how to pray, how long to grow your beard, ...all covered. Forcible suppression of opposition? Um...please tell me I don't have to remind you of people being forced to convert at gunpoint or the fact that they commit terrorist acts to get us to do what they want.
1 : a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
They've definitely got that suppression of opposition and criticism thing down. They'll blow up any Muslim who speaks against them without compunction.
The American Heritage Dictionary:
A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
This is the first definition that specifically mentions terror, and it is hard to argue this point. It is also difficult to argue the racism charges considering their absolute certainty that Jews are the root of all evil and need to be exterminated.
Fascism is a radical political ideology that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism,anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.
Moreover, Wikipedia says...
Fascism exalts the nation, state, or race as superior to the individuals, institutions, or groups composing it. Fascism uses explicit populist rhetoric; calls for a heroic mass effort to restore past greatness; and demands loyalty to a single leader, leading to a cult of personality and unquestioned obedience to orders.
Check, Check, Check, Check.
Rober O. Paxton, a Columbia University Professor defines Fascism as... (courtesy of Wikipedia)
"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."
He further defines fascism as:
1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign `contamination."
Perhaps it is this last definition that fits best. Al Qaeda clings to its victimhood, portraying Israel, the United States, and the Western World at large as its abusers. They portray the struggle as a fight for their lives, as evidenced by their own words that they "love death more than [we] desire life". They wrap themselves in Allah and the Koran to justify their acts, proclaiming that Allah wills it. They care nothing for law or the Geneva Conventions and do not feel themselves bound to these in the slightest. They seek the eradication of Jews, have no problem slaughter anyone who isn't like them (aka The Infidel), and this includes Muslims who don't think as they do.
Tell me, Senator Feingold, which part of this doesn't fit?
Surely you aren't going to dispute that they are all Muslims, are you?
While it is true that these vile thugs have hijacked Islam and corrupted it to its most extreme, the fact of the matter is that they are still Muslims. Let me ask this: if the tables were turned and the persons in question were Jewish, would you mince words and demand that we not use the term Jewish Fascism? Somehow, I think not. The fact of the matter is, non-Muslims are not permitted in the ranks of Al Qaeda. It is a requirement of membership. Kinda hard to get around that fact, huh? You are a hypocrite sir, and one who seeks the cheap applause. Your continued bullshit is so tiring. You ought to try leading, for a change. It is ever more attractive than whining.
I think we should stop using the word "terrorist" altogether and use Islamic Fascist all the time. That old adage about one man's terrorist being another man's freedom fighter has never felt comfortable. Al Qaeda, you see, does not fight for freedom. They fight for your submission.
I want to apologize right now for the language that may be used in this post. When I get angry, I tend to express myself in ways that are less than ladylike. I'm sure you've heard worse, and when I need to rant, I need to rant. I don't need or want to be held back by censors, self-imposed or otherwise.
That being said, I am well and truly pissed off!
I watched lots of September 11 coverage. I watched it on purpose. I wanted to tend to the fire in my belly and stir it back into a roaring inferno instead of the steady campfire it had become. Watching those planes hit, watching those people jump, watching the towers fall...it makes me so angry. I am not done fighting. I am not done! I will not stop until these people are annihilated!
Oh, I'm sure that some Liberal hand-wringing Cindy-Sheehan-loving holier-than-thou troll will insist I'm being unreasonable. FUCK 'EM!
You say that we Arrogant Americans need to be more tolerant, sensitive, and understanding? I say Bullshit! I couldn't be more tolerant. I don't care what god you worship, or if you do at all. I don't care what you wear or what you say or what language you say it in. You are free to do as you wish. I simply don't care what you do. Explain to me what part of that is "intolerant".
You say you want sensitivity? I love my neighbor and his children. I want them to grow up in a safe world with loving parents and be happy. Understanding? I understand that you love your children as I do mine, that you worry about their futures and educations. I understand that you want them to be who they are. And I respect all of it. I think you should raise your children as you see fit, teaching them the lessons you think are important. Your religion is your business. Your culture is your business. I will not compel you to do or think anything, nor will I enforce some sort of morality on you. All of these things will I do, so long as you live within the laws of this land, hurt no one, and compel no one to do anything they don't want to do.
Now, to all you sonsabitches that think you know better: Go Piss up a Rope!
Tolerance and Sensitivity are not going to make you safe. Political correctness is not going to keep your children safe at school. Perhaps you are not aware, so I'm going to make it clear for you.
Islamic extremists don't want your understanding. They aren't interested in your tolerance. They couldn't give a shit how sensitive you are. In fact, they consider your desire to use these tools to fight them as more signs of your weakness. I assure you, they aren't going to be understanding, tolerant, and sensitive to you before they compel you to convert to Islam before they behead you.
A group hug was not going to stop the murderers at Beslan. A group therapy session was not going to stop the hijackers of Flt. 11. No amount of love was going to stop the terrorists who tried to annihilate London's commuters. Do you honestly think a Valentine and a box of chocolates is going to stop suicide bombers? No. A million times, NO. These motherfuckers are determined to kill themselves and take you with them. They are fucked in the head. They are psychofucks who just want to kill.
They are happiest when they are fantasizing about your children burning. Think about that. They want us dead. You need proof?
This isn't about religion. This isn't about differences between cultures. This isn't about US foreign policy. This is about one group of mass-murdering tyrants bent on world domination and world capitulation. They don't want you to be a Muslim. Hell, they kill plenty of Muslims, so that's not it. They want your submission. Submission.
They want you bowing and scraping to their exalted selves. They want to control the world, disposing of the undesirables and "tolerating" the ones who pay them enough. There will be no room for Jews in the caliphate. No room for freedom of thought or expression. No room for anything but the party line. Absolutely no room for anyone who dares defy the exalted ones or insult their vision of Islam.
Women will be chattel, essentially slaves, to the men who provide our keeping. If your man wants to beat you, that is his right. If your man wants to cheat on you, that is also his right. In fact, your man will have the right to do just about anything to you, including take your life. Moreover, if you dishonor him, you will be killed. You have no rights. You are a thing. You will not have a job and your children will not be yours, but his. You will live and die at his whim.
I hope you find a gracious and generous Master to bow and scrape to. I hope you adapt to the abuse.
You think I'm making this up? I'm not. The Taliban targets girl's schools in Afghanistan. You don't want those girls to grow up with a brain. By Allah, they might start thinking! That can't be good for a man who wants to keep you enslaved. Little mindless vaginas, chained to the bed of their masters, that's what they want.
Bin Laden has made it clear that he seeks our decimation. He seeks the global caliphate and an end to the excess of the Western World. He doesn't want you to worship Allah, but himself. Islamic Extremism is much more dangerous than Communism and Naziism ever thought about being. Do you know why?
Because too many people are apologizing and making excuses for it, thus denying the real threat. It is like the lobster who slowly boils to death because the water started out cold. Deny it and you die.
Tell me, are you ladies so eager to be enslaved? 'Cause I'm not. I'm not ready to be killed to preserve the honor of the men in my life after I am raped. I kinda think the rapist ought to be killed instead. Silly me!
But, even if your were somehow able to lose the war on terror and not submit to being a slave, you have still become a slave. There will be no freedom for you or any of us.
Their vision of Islam is about submission. You will submit. There will be no freedom of speech or religion. There will be no Miranda rights, though you likely will get a speedy trial in a Sharia court. Guilty verdicts are dispatched immediately at the end of a blade.
This apologistic pabulum that says we deserved 9/11 is complete and utter bullshit. Strange, isn't it, how people who preach tolerance and sensitivity are so eager to pass judgement on a nation and the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians? How hypocritical of them not to be more sensitive to the 2,996 people who didn't want to die that day. It is so intolerant of them to assume that these people didn't have other plans for their lives.
Don't tell me the US deserved 9/11. NOBODY FUCKING DESERVES THAT SORT OF THING.
Don't tell me that the US planned and executed 9/11. If you insist on doing so, I'm going to tell you that Princess Di and Elvis were drinking RC Cola and reading Archie Comics in the drugstore yesterday, chatting with an Area 51 alien on vacation in the Dairy State.
Those planes, civilian airliners hijacked by arrogant stupid fucking Muslim Extremist cowards, hit the towers and the Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania. The resulting jet fuel-fed fires weakened the steel skeleton of the towers and brought them down. You are welcome to your theories, of course, because so long as we keep the Muslim Extremists at bay you are free to do so, but I saw it happen.
You are never going to convice me that I didn't witness that day. It is burned in my memory with the fires and screams of people burning alive. The memory is crystal clear. No detail is foggy.
If you want to deny and make excuses for the terrorists, by all means, do so. I do, however, expect you to be the first ones to welcome them when they land on our shores. You can meet their swords with love and understanding and tolerate them to death. See how far that gets you. I'm sure that your intellectual superiority will keep you safe. The terrorists are just going to love you. You can give them a hug and a gift basket, I recommend some bath salts and potpourri. You can ask if they'd like to join the carpool and the Saturday Night poker game. Oops! No gambling for the enslaved! Try again! You can kiss them hem of bin Laden's robe and lick the boots of Zawahri. You can allow them to violate you six ways from Sunday and keep telling yourself that you need to try harder to understand that your husband was too intolerant and that's why he's rotting in a mass grave.
For my part, I'm going to make sure that I don't give up my weapons and have plenty of ammo on hand, just in case. I hope I never need it, but I'm all about personal responsibility. My last line of defense is me. And before some Muslim Extremist kills my husband and makes me his concubine, I'm going to do my damnedest to send him to his harem of virgins in the sky. Better them than me, I figure.
This is Francis J. Skidmore. I honestly wish that I had known him. In researching this memorial, I cried many times, and I didn't even know the man.
From everything that I have learned about Frank, I feel certain that I would have enjoyed his company. Nobody speaks of him with anything but admiration.
He knew the real meaning of charity. He was a Eucharistic Minister and brought Communion to a homebound parishioner for 20 years. 20 years. That takes real dedication. Some people claim to be charitable, but Frank was the definition of charity. He gave of himself and his time. He worked tirelessly to raise money for his church's school and to bring comfort and aid to underprivileged families in Central Appalachia. He was such a giving soul, in fact, that his work was recognized by his local Rotary Club.
What we had in Francis J. Skidmore was a man dedicated to his fellow man. But there is more to his nature than that.
Frank played Santa many times, bringing joy to the lives of children. It isn't hard to imagine him bringing that character to life, right down to the twinkle in the eye. I imagine that his jovial good nature would have made him a wonderful grandfather. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was an amazing father. A "teddy bear", and I'm sure a great "Daddy."
He must have had a terrific sense of humor, too. He urged his pastor to give break-dancing a try. What a guy! He had a joyful spirit and a charitable nature. He was a loving husband to his wife, Katie, and a devoted father to his three children, F.J., Patrick, and Melissa. He treasured time with his family and didn't miss the moments in his children's lives. He grew from doting and guiding parent to friend as his children matured into adulthood. No doubt, for him, this was the best reward for a job well-done. There was real love there, you can tell from the faces.
Frank seems to be a man who lived his life to the fullest. A life of good times and family vacations at the beach. A man who defined charity and gladly did the work of God.
I can imagine the pain his family felt at the loss of such a wonderful man. No doubt they struggle to live up to his legacy when, in fact, all he would probably wish for them is a lifetime of happiness free of want and hurt. A man so loving, so generous, would want the rest of us to live on.
Francis J. Skidmore was a victim of the September 11th attacks. He died on the 85th floor of Two World Trade Center when terrorists piloted United Airlines Flight 175 into the building between floors 78 and 84.
These men may have thought they were on a mission from God.
Francis J. Skidmore really was.
I remember Francis J. Skidmore.
If you remember him too, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
It is Thursday, so it must be time for another deep post from the keyboard of this Demystifying Diva.
Today's topic comes from yet another conversation with the increasingly famous Andrew. Andrew's quandry surrounded The Reverse Doghouse or The Doghouse Turnaround. Andrew really wanted me to rat-out all women everywhere for what he saw as this evil and unfair relationship manuever. Andrew surely wasn't surprised when I refused to go turncoat, but he may have been surprised when I denied any knowledge of this strategy.
The Doghouse Turnaround, as I understand it, is the ability of women to turn the gotcha around when confronted by their mate. Men, it seems, spend quite a bit of time in the casa de perro and are eager to put the ladies in there every once in a while.
Therefore, when the opportunity presents itself, the man seizes the moment and gives her a good chastisement.
However, Andrew complains that all too often his attempts to turn the tables are rebuffed. In effect, she counters his chastising with more of her own and he lands back in the land of fleas and ticks.
I was so amazed that anyone would be this wily. I wouldn't even know how to do it, or so I thought. In fact, I told Andrew that I had no idea what he was talking about. I am a nice girl and I would never do something so mean.
But, as it turned out, a few days later I was talking to Prince Charming and asked him if he had ever witnessed this phenomenon. I asked him, "Have I ever done this?" and he got that look.
You know the one. This is the look that says I'm laying a trap and he knows it, yet he is unable to avoid it. He says...that I have.
I would have sworn on a stack of bibles that the man has never been sent to the doghouse by me, but apparently I have. I have performed the Doghouse Turnaround, much to my personal shame.
And, it is my original lack of knowledge of the tactic that leads me to my defense of it, and that is that it must be innate.
We ladies, fierce protectors of the nest that we are, must subconciously counter every attack with one of our own. As everybody knows, the best defense is a strong offense. So, I can only say that if I felt cornered, I must have fought my way back out and turned the tide. I assure you in the strongest possible terms that it was not intentional.
Women have better memories than men, and this gives us a steadier supply of ammunition. We may not bark at you everytime you litter the house with your dirty socks, because we don't want to nag, but that doesn't mean that we don't notice it. If you choose to come out, guns blazing, because we didn't close the garage door, we may be forced to revisit the sock issue as a way of seeking middle ground. Or, you know, firing back.
To be perfectly honest, I abhor the entire existence of such a tactic. It implies, by its very existence, a sort of competition between the parties of a relationship that makes me unhappy. I am an optimist and would like to believe in the good nature of people in love. I'd like to think that people who care about each other wouldn't seek opportunities to play gotcha. What kind of a relationship is it if you are constantly scouting out snipers in bell towers and camouflaged tanks on the horizon?
That isn't healthy! That isn't the kind of behavior that prolongs a relationship, if you know what I mean. Nobody wants to live in an environment where they are constantly in peril.
Throw off these silly and counter-productive strategies. Don't seek to put your mate in the doghouse, it is eversomuch better if they are in bed beside you.
In that vein, I have to thank Andrew for making me aware of this phenomenon. Certainly in future I will endeavor to take my lumps from Prince Charming rather than make him feel beleaguered by the surly nag to whom he's married.
I am, as always, your humble (if feathered-boa wearers can be humble) servant (if by servant we really imply something much less menial),
Here is the story of a regular Muslim who was so angered by the events of September 11 that he vowed to help bring the villains to justice.
He became a double agent, spying on al Qaeda for the US.
In fact, he is the reason that Khalid Sheik Mohammed is in custody. This man, after his heroics, was whisked to safety, paid well for his service, and thanked personally by George Tenet. But what was the man concerned with in his conversation with Tenet? I give you the end of the article and the answer to that question:
The man had just bought his first suit with the help of CIA officers for his meeting with the CIA director. According to the former U.S. officials, Tenet asked him the obvious question: Why did you do this? Why did you risk your life?
The officials recounted their conversation like this:
“My religion doesn’t support this killing,” the man told Tenet, adding that he wanted these people “brought to justice.”
He asked Tenet, "Do you think the president [Bush] knows what I did?" Tenet smiled and responded: "He knows because I told him."
I'm going to share with you something that really irks me. Are you ready?
What the heck is this crap? No civilized person of any taste would actually drink the stuff! It is junk. It is floor-sweepings mixed with water. When you think about it, that makes it the equivalent of runny mud.
Now, I do beg your pardon if you like the stuff, but in my opinion it isn't worth the paper cup that they pour it into.
Would you drink instant coffee? Not in this day and age where a cup of coffee has more options than a minivan and costs more than a magazine, you wouldn't. It just confounds me.
Tea is meant to be steeped. It is meant to develop while you patiently wait and reflect on the moment. It is supposed to be a savored, treasured thing. A moment unto itself. Iced Tea is all of that put on ice to sufficiently chill you and quench your thirst. It sure as hell isn't supposed to be the scrapings off the bottom of the jug dug up and re-suspended.
Everytime I go out I have to ask if the iced tea is brewed or instant. Trust me. There is no comparison. If you forget to ask and get instant by mistake, you'll know it. It tastes like old newspaper freshened with some miracle chemical - like those that they put in Glade Plug-ins - mixed with water.
And wrong. So very, very wrong.
Whether you like sweetened or unsweetened tea (unsweetened is really best), brewed is the only way to go. And those commies who keep trying to pass off the instant ought to be keelhauled.
My husband is from Grant County, Wisconsin. It is a very small community where just about everybody is related to everybody else. You know the kind of place I mean. Three quarters of the kids in any given class are cousins (once or twice removed).
Anyway, Prince Charming came home from work the other day and informed me that his cousin's sister-in-law had been killed in a motorcycle accident. He mentioned that one this girl's brothers had also died in a car accident some years before. It was a sad tale and we felt very bad for the family.
Now fast-forward to last night when I'm watching the news and learn of further wounds to the family, wounds that are now getting national attention (Drudge is linking the story).
It seems that 3 men decided to dig up the fresh grave so that one of them could have sex with the body. Oh, but get this: they did stop at Wal-Mart and pick up condoms on the way to the gravesite.
You know, you can't be too careful.
What sickos. What assholes! I can't believe this. I can't believe that the family has to live through this additional horror.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the chapter that was scheduled for last Friday has been moved to this Friday.
And, I have two more small programming notes. First, the chapter on Friday will be written by the fabulous and wonderful Christina (who is an excellent friend in addition to her many other fine qualities) and instead of 6 chapters, there will only be 5 in this Spyvella.
No doubt you are wondering where the link is to the Friday Fiction. Your desire to read the next episode in the engaging tale that is SpySistah's life is understandable. However, Jess has had some unexpected conflicts arise and will be posting as soon as she can.
I will keep you posted and get the link up at the earliest opportunity.
You should also know that there has been a slight change in the lineup, as well. Amelie has decided to hang up her keyboard, at least for a while, so I will be pinch-hitting in the third chapter. That is, unless of course, someone else indicates a driving passion to be included.