Friday, February 28, 2003

Yesterday carried on being a bad day well into the wee hours of the morning. For some reason I felt it was desperately important to discuss politics with Andy until, oh, around one thirty? And not just this whole war thing - we hit on Bolivia, Rwanda, Turkey, Cambodia and even Switzerland (among many others). Andy kept saying, "I'm not having this conversation. I will not have this conversation" but I guess I knew how to hit just the right buttons to get him to respond. He called Argentina's government a very bad word that's not usually heard around this house and I paid him $31 to say it again. Just when he was getting really revved up and argumentative I decided I was tired and curled up in his lap - you don't know how much that can throw a guy off. He was in the middle of yelling at me for being myopic about some point or other, then faltered and shouted, "Quit being so damn cute!" Ah, there's nothing quite like a discussion of human rights violations in Cyprus to get you in the mood for love.

So yeah, we're both exhausted today and I'm facing an eight-plus hour drive to Illinois tonight - oh joy upon joy! - that I am really not up to making. Today is going to be spent frantically getting everything in order for the trip, finishing laundry, cleaning, and assembling a really kick-ass music lineup for the drive. At some point I'm going to try to throw together the voting pages for the Dillies but as my head seems to be stuffed full of gauze I don't know how effective that effort will be. But I'm trying.

The next time you hear from me will most likely be from my mother's house; that should be fun. I should sit at her computer and write the dialogue that's going on around me, just to give you some indication of what it's really like in her household and make you all feel really, really sorry for me.

I'm already homesick.

Pulling it all together-ly,


Thursday, February 27, 2003

I woke up in a bad mood. First thing I see is that Mister Rogers died. Felt bad about all of my "closet" and "Mr. McFeely" jokes I've been making since, oh, the time I could speak. Felt really bad. Not cute in the slightest. Read this post and felt worse. Felt bad because I nearly abandoned reading it because the scroll was too slow, then got to the end and thought, "I was upset over scrolling speed? What the hell is wrong with me?" Thought I'd pass the time doing some stupid personality type thing and got this as my main personality:

and this as my overall:

Felt even lower, if possible. Realize that too many people count on me for too much and I'm letting them all down. Felt worse still. Thought about how much time I waste. Worse and worse. Wondered why I blog like I do yet go out of my way to avoid people in real life. Just thinking and thinking and thinking and wishing I was still asleep.

Hating today,


Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Public Service Announcement

(This is for you, Laurence - I've done all I can, I can'ts do no more...)

You say you want more hits to your blog, eh? You're out there, posting your little heart out but no one's clicking your links - even though a lot of people are linking to you. It's not fair, damn it! Where's my traffic, huh?

You've got a lot of nerve to just throw yourself a pity party like that without even realizing that it's all your fault. Yes. Yes it is. And do you know why it's all your fault? Because you don't ping.

Pinging is simple and painless and will let everyone know when you've been updated. If there's not a pickle next to your blog name there I'm not likely (and others are less likely) to click your blog because you know what the absence of the pickle says to me? No new content.

"But that's not fair!" I hear you protest, "I update my blog all the time, why should I have to do this one little extra step in order for you to read me?" Boy, you're a bit of a whiner, aren't you? It's free self-promotion, so just do it.

"Not many people have a little pickle thing to let others know that a link has been updated, so what does it even matter?" No, not everyone is so generous with their pickles, as I am, but plenty of other people have groovy little things to indicate that a blog has been updated. Laurence changes your brackets from white to red (I don't know how he does that and I'm jealous) and plenty of other people put groovy little ASCII symbols next to your name. Some people just give you an asterisk, and others still have their blogroll change order so that the most recently updated is on the top. We're everywhere, man, and we're not paying attention to you if you don't ping.

Yes, I am a bona fide Soldier in the Army of Ping. Our idea of paradise is to see something like this:

Ooh, the joy! The choice! So much quality linkage, just ripe for the plucking, and all of them updated.

It's enough to make this grizzled old heart of mine go all a-pitter a-patter.

So do it, okay? Not just for the pickle. It's a quality of life issue now - yes, it's bigger than the pickle. And remember, Dave Barry never pings and he's only had 160,000 hits since January 24th...imagine how many more hits he'd get if he pinged.

Just think about that.



Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I have this notebook sitting in front of me, a notebook I've owned for years. I see scratty notes of html from my first webpage of the ever, ever, I see phone numbers with names I no longer recognize, I see travel itineraries from years past, I see hastily scribbled notes of things Samantha said when she was younger that I found amusing and wanted to remember, I see awful "stream of consciousness" poetry and I see lyrics. Many, many lyrics.

I've always done this, jotted lyrics down for their own brilliance, poignancy, relevance or just to get the tune out of my head. I envy songwriters for their ability to put pen to paper and produce the exact emotion I'm feeling at any given time - that's a talent I'll never possess. So I mimic.

This caused Andy a bit of emotional turmoil during our first trip away together. We were in Florida and he was off doing his thing and I was in the hotel trying to write (in this very notebook, as a matter of fact) and my mind wandered and I wrote the lyrics to a song, thinking nothing of it. After a while I got bored with my lack of writing ability so decided to head on down to the bar (I spent as little time as possible outside when I've gone to Florida). I left Andy a note saying, "I belong in the service of the King (of Beers)." It was a play on a Counting Crows song and thought it was my clever little way of saying, "Hey, come have a Budweiser with me." (That's testament to how long ago this was - that I actually considered Budweiser a beer. Shudder.)

I knew what time I should have reasonably expected him to be back, and when that time came and went I ventured back to the hotel room to see if he might have missed my note. I found him sitting on the bed, holding the lyrics I'd jotted down earlier and looking very upset. He thought the lyrics were a note - he didn't recognize the song - and was a bit worked up about it, telling me that if I was that unhappy with him that he'd take me back to the airport. That sweet dummy.

The song was "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, one of my favorite songs ever. I once had a gorgeous corn snake as a pet that I named Trent for the concert video of "Hurt". Since then I've been more careful about leaving lyrics lying around the house, lest Andy think I'm constantly on the verge of a heroin overdose or something.

I recalled this memory because Angela posted a link to the new Johnny Cash video for - you guessed it - Hurt. I like Johnny quite a bit but somehow this little nugget escaped my attention. I watched the video and was just...floored. His cover doesn't have the same angst as Reznor, obviously, but it's more - I don't know, it's more of a sad, regretful anthem coming from Johnny Cash. It makes me think of my dad in ways I don't want to think about. Like, regret. Sorrow. Emotions I'm sure my father possesses but damn if I've ever seen them.

That's not entirely true. One night last summer I was sitting with him on his back porch in Illinois and I mentioned my arthritis was acting up so I knew there would be rain soon. He said, "So much of my body hurts these days I don't know if it's rain I'm feeling in my bones or an earthquake." He told me about his latest class reunion he'd attended - what, it must be his 45th? 50th? Something like that. He said that this year there are more dead people than living in his graduating class. How he'd rather be any age than the age he is. Being so damn tired of going to funerals. Wishing he'd gone to Hawaii when he had the chance. How he's almost glad he won't be around when Samantha starts dating because he doesn't think he could handle that. I wished he'd just shut up with talk like that but I wanted to keep talking to him so, so badly. In the end he made the decision for me - "I need another god damn beer" - and he didn't return. I like to think that maybe he just forgot I was waiting for him - I hope he wasn't avoiding me. Thinking of him as senile is easier for me to swallow than thinking that I was the guy who made him think of pain and regret. I was pretty pissed off at myself then for being so selfish and needy.

I still am. But I'm getting over it.

This weekend will find me back at his house - maybe we'll talk of nothing of consequence apart from the deconstruction of the previous trick in euchre, maybe we'll hang out on the porch sucking down a few Buds, maybe he'll pull out his photo albums. My favorite picture is of him when he was younger in a dance marathon - everyone else in the background is holding up their half-asleep dance partners while my dad is busting a move right there in the front, oblivious to everyone, including his own exhausted partner.

Maybe I'll be able to view him as a complex person, and maybe this time, thanks to Andy and Johnny Cash, I won't be so afraid.



There I was, doing the Sloppy Joe thing when I noticed I had accidentally thrown in some enchiladas sauce into the mix. It was all downhill from there.

An hour later we were eating Sloppy Joes with some weird (but yummy) sauce mix based heavily on sun-dried tomatoes and tumeric with a lovely pickle and corn relish topped with grilled onions. I opted against the white bread since I didn't have any, and instead used grilled sourdough buns sprinkled with olive oil and crushed red pepper. The macaroni and cheese wasn't quite what I'd envisioned - I was all about the blue and orange box stuff - but rather this creamy, alfredo-esque thing tossed with olives and slivered almonds. No baked beans, alas, so I settled for a black bean and tomato dish I had left over from last night.

This was not the typical white trash fare I'd been craving. This was white trash fare with flair. I spent more time making this "it's supposed to take ten minutes tops" dinner than I usually spend on dinners most other nights.

I think I did it out of self-defense, as I know Andy's going to come home bragging about the great, fresh fish he had while away. I'll be jealous, but not so much now. Not like he's going to envy my Sloppy Joes, but hey, they were pretty damn tasty if I do say so myself.

By the way, tonight is the cut-off point for nominations for the Dilly Awards. Sometime this week I'll arrange it all so that voting can begin.

Damn, I think I need a nap now.



So tonight Andy's out of town I think that's it. You know what that means? Sloppy Joes and Pepsi for dinner, whoo hoo! And we're not even going to eat the Joes on proper buns, instead we'll use white bread (and we never, ever eat white bread). Ooh, ooh, and I'm going to make macaroni & cheese, too. And baked beans out of a can.

This is the only good part about him leaving - we get to eat all of the really crap stuff that he can't stand. I get to be all lazy with dinner because the kids not only don't mind, but get this: they prefer it. Well, not exactly - if Sam had her way she'd eat duck and lamb every night (the traitor has taken Andy's side with the duck and lamb - two things I absolutely cannot stand) but she likes a Sloppy Joe as much as the next kid. Usually when I'm making something that calls for ground beef I take a better cut of meat and grind it myself so that we don't have to eat hamburger, which Andy hates, but tonight I'm using the cheap and nasty "no less than 80% lean" crap. (We order a quarter of beef every, what, six months or so and end up with about sixty pounds of hamburger - it rarely gets used so my freezer is fairly drowning in the stuff.)

So on the one hand tonight will be fun but on the other hand it will suck because he's gone. And he's leaving under a cloud of "the morning after the night before" stench. For various reasons we've been very stressed out lately and everything aligned in that oh-so-imperfect way last night when we stumbled upon something we disagreed on and we used it as an excuse to vent a little steam. This was actually a good thing - the things that are stressing us have nothing to do with each other, they're more like outside forces conspiring against us. We turned on each other because that's what people do.

It was a stupid fight and at one point I actually did the, "Oh yeah? Well, this is you - blah blah blah" while making a stupid face thing. Not exactly a strong argument for my position, but there you go - ordinarily I'm a much better debater than that. It goes to the point that the argument was silly - I'm surprised I didn't pop out with the "I'm rubber and you're glue" stance.

Silly or not, though, I don't feel like we've had enough "kiss and make up" time before he leaves and I hate that. When he's away I get paranoid that something awful's going to happen to him - which is stupid, I know, as he's more likely to die in a car accident during his daily commute than in a plane crash, but proximity brings comfort. Just having him in the state makes me feel like I am protecting him, dumb as that sounds. And if something were to happen after the argument last night I'd never forgive myself.

So Andy - I'm sorry for saying that I would make a better terrorist than you. I think you'd make a great terrorist - you have the look going and everything. And I'm sorry that I flicked my ash in your wine when you were in the bathroom last night - you didn't know about that, but still, I'm sorry. (Just kidding, I didn't, really.) And I don't really consider you a Nazi - when I told you to goose-step to bed it was purely for effect. I was tired and stressed, just like you. Next time, let's take our frustrations out on the kids instead, like normal parents, okay?

Love you.



Monday, February 24, 2003

Grammys! Or would it be Grammies? Either way, I watched them for the first time in years and I'm so glad I did.

Apart from Fascist Andy and his "weasel watch" it was rather enjoyable. Notable events of my evening included:

  • Simon & Garfunkel, yeah! I love Paul Simon so much but have always been less-than-impressed with Art. It seems like he's fallen on hard times since they split up - I'm pretty sure he was wearing the same shirt that he wore way back when they did the concert in Central Park. Poor guy.
  • Yo-Yo Ma and James Taylor - I so love Yo-Yo Ma. The guy can make me cry.
  • No matter how hard I try to deny it, my ex-boyfriend could be Joey Fatone's body double and I hate that.
  • Norah Jones - love her. You know she's Ravi Shankar's daughter? Crazy.
  •, no. Please don't do that again.
  • Harvey Fierstein and Rod Stewart - Andy was out of the room when they came on and he asked Sam, "What did I miss?" She said, "That ugly lady with the bad voice is making fun of that other ugly lady with the bad hair." She was shocked to learned that both Harvey and Rod were men.
  • The Dixie Chicks are some shit-scary looking women right there.
  • Nelly's a guy. How about that.
  • Whoever introduced Kid Rock to Sheryl Crow should be shot immediately if not sooner.
  • I still love Eminem but I can't mention that or else Andy will fly off the handle and divorce me.
  • I hoped that with the end of the eighties that I would never again have to see Little Steve with his mouth next to Bruce Springsteen's sharing a mic. Little Stevie, you have your own mic - kiss Bruce on your own time.
  • What was up with that Spanish Crest commercial? They don't televise the awards given for Latino artists so what was up with that? Don't they even have a whole separate Latin Grammys? I was confused.
  • Was Gwen Stefani even wearing clothes? Andy said that she was dressed in camouflage...does he mean flesh-colored camoflauge? Cuz she looked pretty naked to me - which is a shame, really, since she has the body of a fourteen-year-old boy.
  • The guy from Coldplay is just as freaky-ass weird as the guy from Radiohead.
  • London Calling. Man. I mean, damn. That kicked some major ass and found me bouncing around the room, running back and forth down the hall to Andy..."Elvis Costello is doing London Calling!...oh hell, Bruce is there too...and Dave're missing it! Caw, caw caw! Caw, caw, caw! I never understood why they cawed like that."
  • Fred Durst used the word, "aggreance". That's a Bush-tastic word if ever there was one.

Andy's Weasel-Watching grew to epic proportions when he said, "Did that woman just say something about peace? She's a weasel!" I said, "You're such a fascist, I'm going to start calling you Benito. 'How do you like your eggs in the morning?' - 'Oppressed!' Fascist."

The biggest highlight of the night, however, only marginally involved the show. When Avril opened her coat I said, "I betcha she's flashing them little Canadian boobies" and Samantha just freaked out. She said, "I thought that's what she was doing, too, and was hoping you wouldn't say anything - you shouldn't know about stuff like that!" I said, "What, boobies? Yeah, Andy and I have never seen breasts before...what, people get naked? Why would they do such a thing, and why would anyone want to see that?" Poor Sam went seven shades of red right there and said, "It's just weird watching stuff like that with your parents." This is the same kid who said Andy and I can't kiss in the kitchen because "it's just gross to do that kind of stuff around food."

But no, Avril wasn't flashing - there was something written in her coat that I couldn't read...but then again I spent most of the time averting my eyes and trying to close my ears against, "Sk8r Boi" or however she cleverly spells it. I find that girl remarkably slappable - Andy said that she gives off a very Alanis vibe, which was rather astute because he didn't know Avril was Canadian before that.

So yeah, I think I've caught up on popular culture for the time being. Now I can go back to listening to MPR and watching Larry King.



Friday, February 21, 2003

And all the Wees down in Weeville can be seen partying together at MJ's blog. (Go look at the image on her site - all of us Wees are clickable little linkies.)

She so totally rocks my socks, she does.



My posts keep disappearing (thank you Blogger), the pickles next to the updated links won't show their wrinkled little faces (thank you Blogrolling), my stats are coming back as "unknown referrer" (thank you Sitemeter), I can't IM anyone (thank you Yahoo) and my left toes hurt (thank you dogs).

Screw this abusive technology (and dogs). I'm going to go make some interesting candles out of stuff that shouldn't ever be put anywhere near an open flame. Just for fun. Did you know you can make any color flame you want to just by including stuff in your mixture that is just hanging around your house? If you dip a pinecone in wax and coat it with salt it will burn bright yellow. Borax will get ya green, Mrs. Dash will get ya purple, epsom salt will get ya white, bleaching powder will get you orange, ten will get ya twenty, and a lack of cooperation by technology will get you in the mindset that makes you want to burn things.



ps - enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Wee Us

Moody Blogs is ring for those bloggers who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, chronic pain, or any other condition which affects their moods. Family members (including domestic partners) are also welcome. Not necessarily gloomy.

I was invited to join this ring and have done so - only I was surprised that Joel was able to read me like that...I always thought that I came across as remarkably stable and well-adjusted on my blog. But I'm nuts, so what do I know?

Last night I'd actually constructed a post about this that I thought would be funny but I've lost the plot completely. All I remember is that it had something to do with Andy's impression of Robert Smith of The Cure giving a tour of his house (imagine a really bad cockney accent): This is my bafroom. You'll notice it's black. It's got a picture of Edvard Munch's The Scream. This is where I cam when I'm feeling maudlin and where I write maudlin "Friday I'm In Lav".

Oh, it's absolutely hilarious, just trust me on that.

I sure wish I remembered how I tied it all together.



This is one of the funniest things I've read all day.

Then again, I haven't been awake very long.

Judge for yourself-ingly,


Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I'm busy being an angry little goat today but hey, my windows are open for the first time in months so it can't be all bad, right?

Okay - tons of nominees here, and some more coming later. Tick tock, tick tock and all that. So here's the rundown - I was sending emails to everyone who was nominated, letting them know of the whole Dilly dealie and touching base with them but I just don't have that kind of time right now. Yes, I've been a slacker. But the way I figure it, they'll eventually make it back here to see who's linking to them, right? Then they'll know the scoop and can email me with their questions. Good? Good.

Brief rundown here:

The "political" category is now any kind of current events, be it politics, entertainment news, what have you.

This is all I can manage at the moment cuz I've got some really important stuff going on, but it's a secret. Okay, I'll give you a hint: it involves a pressure cooker, half a horse hoof, a cup of clarified butter and a wooden match. I saw Martha Stewart do something like this but I don't have all of the materials she suggested so I'm improvising.



Here's a little bit of sumpthin' sumpthin' that's been preying on my mind.

I am not vacant.

I am not empty.

I am not as shallow as you may think.

I am valid.

I am not to be taken for granted, even if it seems like I allow myself to be taken for granted.

My being here is a gift.

I do not ask to be workshipped but that does not mean that I am comfortable with being a part of the scenery.

If you don't like me or what I do the for fuck's sake, say it and don't beat around the bush about it.

Maybe I don't like what you do.

Maybe I forgive your trespasses.

Maybe I'm trying as hard as I can.

If that's not good enough then perhaps the problem lies with you and not with me.

I give it my all.

Every day.

So fuck off if you don't appreciate it. Who needs you anyway.



Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Can someone tell me if this is real or a put-on? I got it as a nomination but I can't tell if this is really some Japanese person sincerely trying out her English or if it's totally fake. I don't want to laugh at someone who's not trying to be funny cuz that's just cruel.

What a cute-ly,


Okay, another weird thing of the day - so I'm sitting around on Geo Url surfing around blogs from my hometown to see if there's anyone I know that I can make fun of when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a link to Life Of A One-Man IT Dept (aka Mike McBride).

The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller. And as I sit here my ass just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Six degrees of separation-ly,


Okay, weird thing of the day. Al Roker's blog. Caution - it contains a little animated .gif of him flying in an airplane with sound. Scared the hell out of me (it's pretty quiet here at the moment) and really wound my dogs up.



At what point in the year does it become permissible for me to attack my neighbor's inflatable Santa and stab the hell out of it? Today's, what, the 18th of February? It must be getting close.

I'm thinking of dancing around in the snow late at night in my underwear, brandishing a long sword and thrusting it into Santa's bowlful of jelly belly. Not to slash too much; I'd like the holes to be small enough that the power from the air blower keeps the thing inflated. Just large enough to make my point. Then when the neighbor comes to investigate I'll grab his fire hazard, "too dry to even be potpourri" wreath and smash it down over his head, trapping his arms by his sides. Then I'd get all Steven Segal and rip Santa into ribbons while the neighbor watched, horrified, and powerless to stop me.

Santa would be reduced to ribbons and the blower would give them enough of a thrust to send them up into the air where they'd be caught on the breeze and whisked away to, I don't know, St. Paul. So if you find some kind of red and white streamer lying in your yard just go ahead and consider it a little present from me, and know that my good deed for the year is done.

And if, by chance, you still have a fifteen-foot tall Santa in your yard you may want to take that puppy in, because that just might be me glaring at you from my kitchen window.

Scary though, huh? That you might be my neighbor? Sheesh, if I had me for a neighbor I'd be freaked, too.

Ho, ho, ho boy, it's gonna be a long day-ingly,


Monday, February 17, 2003

Ain't that always the way? In the few days since posting my pickle juice faq I haven't received a single hit from anyone looking for the info I posted. The closest anyone's come is "my dog smells of pickle juice" and that's a new one on me so the reasons/remedies for such a prediciment won't be found here.

But what were people searching for that brought them here? Let me tell ya.

how does christina aguilera feel about homosexuality while she was doing this video?
"If it's profitable then I'll do it" probably. Now, I'm not saying she's a whore or anything...wait, no, that's exactly what I'm saying.

funny picture of monkey in tree smelling finger
Aren't monkeys inherently funny enough as it is without "smelling finger"? Apparently not.

sarah michelle geller in a thong
A pickle juice thong, perhaps? I wish! You can't buy publicity like that. Unless, of course, you're dealing with Christina Aguilera - there's always a right price when you're dealing with her. (See above.)

And my favorite...
fart poopy sounds

I could always direct that last searcher here for all of (presumably) his fart and poopy sounds needs. But I won't, because I cannot in good conscience endorse nor condone the proliferation of toilet humor on the internet.

Or something like that, anyway.



I was reminded yesterday that there are only a few days left for me to accept nominees for The Dilly Awards so if there's anyone you're really loving (or anyone you think needs new undies) then nominate them, for the love of God!

I find it interesting that only three of the people I link to have been nominated - one was for "best sex with a blogger" but I can't exactly make that a category because really, how could you fairly vote? I guess that means that no one else likes who I link to...sniffle. Ah well, there's no accounting for taste, really.

Anyway, here are a couple more nominees for your linking pleasure:

So there you go, five more. Get to know them, get to love them, let them buy your vote. I should point out that I'm just a touch offended that Sonata for Unfinished Yelling was nominated for "best-kept secret", as I've been linking to him since God was a little boy and everyone who reads me should be reading him, but there you go. I'm just the judge here, who am I to judge?

Now I'm off to spend money I don't have on things I don't need.



Sunday, February 16, 2003

Well it just figures. I post an appeal for celebrity bloggers and guess what I get? A nomination for none other than (choke) Moby.

I've been fairly clear on my opinion of Moby and his "eye-roll factor" increased by an order of magnitude when, just days after my post, he posted something about people on the internet being so darn mean to him all the time - but hey, we could be mean if we wanted to because we were driving more traffic to his site. Well good for you, Moby, that's what I say. Bully. For. You.

See, I think the main thing that put me off - as well as initially attracted me to - Moby was his song, "Run On". Now, not a lot of people know that this song was originally recorded by a gospel group known as The Blind Boys of Alabama, who really are blind and are really from Alabama. However, seeing as how they've been around since, oh, the 1940s they can no longer be called "Boys". But you take my point.

Now, the Boys have been out there, doing their thing, living the good life and praising God (if you know the lyrics to "Run On" you'll see that it's very spiritual) and they're just really, really cool guys. You probably know a lot of their songs already, as they're covered all the time (like the line from the Simpsons - you know when Ned starts falling for that Christian rock singer and she says that her band abandoned her, took all the songs and are singing them in a pop group, only they changed the word "God" to "baby" in the lyrics - that's what the Boys have been dealing with for around sixty years now) but the beef I have with Moby (and the Rolling Stones, for that matter) is that they could have thrown so much publicity at the Blind Boys. But they didn't. I think it's barely even mentioned in the liner notes - it's rather distressing.

I'm no God-freak or anything, but man, if you're going to be covering songs written by very religious men you're gonna want to be giving them their props, just in case. Know what I mean? Even the most hard-core thief won't steal from a church because it's just wrong.

But I'm nothing if not fair. Moby will be included in the celebrity blog category. But...if he wins, I'm sending his shorts to the Blind Boys.

Seems only fair, really.



Saturday, February 15, 2003

And hey - in the spirit of mindless awards, Joel Flange of Thrillpick has declared me an Honorary Thrillpick Grand Fusilier! This is good (I think) only I don't get any weapons an' stuff. But thanks, nonetheless.

I should put a warning that Thrillpick is utterly hilarious if you have my sense of humor. And if you do have my sense of humor you're most likely locked away somewhere so it doesn't matter anyway. Everyone else, proceed with caution.



Alrighty - it's been a while since I checked in with you about The Dilly Awards so I wanted to throw a bit more info at ya.

Currently there have been rougly fifty or so nominees, which is great considering this whole thang is totally brand-spanking new, but that's not as great as it could be. So go nominate someone, alright?

One point - please don't nominate Dave Barry as best comedy - the guy is a professional comedy writer, okay? He gets paid to be funny. Save the comedy award for some ordinary average guy or gal who makes you laugh. If we get enough nominees I could do a "Best Celebrity" category but at the moment it's only been Wil Wheaton and Dave who have been nominated. Anyone else you can think of? Let me know.

The whole deal with these awards is to give some recognition to the little guys (that's you and me, folks) not just in awards but also in attention. Every couple of days I'll post five new nominees along with their category (though note that categories can change - I'm just giving you a general idea of where these links fit in with the whole grand scheme). So if you plan on voting when this whole shebang hits the fan, so to speak, take a minute to actually get to know these guys. Would you just blindly punch random holes if you were voting for politicians? I think not. At least, I hope not - and that's when you're voting for something as piddly and silly as public office. This is much more serious - we're talking about underwear here, people. Underwear. How can I be more clear on the subject?

I just noticed that those little dancing stars are keeping perfect time to "The Idiot Kings" by Soul Coughing. That has nothing to do with anything, I just think they'd make good back-up dancers.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the links. These are in no particular order or anything, blah blah blah. You know the drill.

If you're nominated and you don't want to be a part of this, for whatever reason, email me and we'll remove you. I mean that in the "royal we" sense of the word, of course. This is just me having some fun, really, and spreading the linkage.



So I promised Joel that I'd bake him a birthday cake today for his 45th but alas, there is nary a speck of cake flour to be seen. Nor do I have a cake mix, sadly - my pantry is remarkably bereft at the moment. Personally, I blame the Bush administration. Cough.

But here's the next best thing - for you, Joel, in honor of the birthday you thought no one would remember...all together now...

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday Pax Nortona
Happy birthday to you

He hasn't posted about his birthday so if you want to leave him happy birthday wishes here that's fine - or you could go over and leave them in his comments on a different post, no matter. But come on guys, show the man a little love.



Friday, February 14, 2003

Okay, so how did this slip past my gaydar? I blame it on the fact that my main news source, MPR, is having their pledge week (or month, or millennium or whatever) so I've been avoiding it. Since I don't contribute they make me feel guilty and I have enough of that in my life, thank you very much.

Anyway, I heard word courtesy of PikaPikaChick, a fellow MN blogger, today of something called "HF 341", a bill introduced to the Minnesota House of Representatives. In a nutshell, this is the deal: (quotes taken from Outfront Minnesota's webpage on this alert)

"A bill (HF 341) was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to repeal the state human rights amendment which protects GLBT Minnesotans from discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations and other areas. In addition, it would remove sexual orientation as a protected class in the hate crimes laws. If approved, Minnesota would become the first state ever to extend, and then rescind, protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Our current Governor, Tim Pawlenty while majority leader of the House has said, “My vote in 1993 in favor of the gay rights amendment is one I would take back.” Politics in Minnesota, Nov. 29, 2001"

Man, is that guy a dick or what?

The deal is this - there's going to be a little rally at the Minnesota State Capitol Building on March 6th. Go to the Outfront webpage to get all of the details; I'm too mad right now to think clearly and I don't want to post misinformation - best to go to the source.

PikaPikaChick has some buttons you can use on your page here. (Pika - I'm only linking to the image for a few minutes - I need to hit the other computer to upload it to my own server).

And don't say, "Well, that's Minnesota, that won't happen in my state." When you go to the Outfront website you can see how your politicans voted on GLBT issues. If this passes here what's stopping it from coming to a House of Representatives near you? Think about these points, people:

* HF 341 would, for the first time in Minnesota or in any other state, repeal long-standing protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, encouraging people to fire, evict, or even refuse to serve GLBT Minnesotans.
* HF 341 would, for the first time anywhere in the country repeal previously enacted hate crimes provisions, and would send the message that victimizing GLBT people is acceptable.
* HF 341 would, for the first time in any civilized country, reverse a condemnation of Nazi persecution and implicitly endorse Nazi extermination of gay people across Europe in the twentieth century.
* HF 341 comes at a time when the average Minnesotan is far more concerned about how the State will balance its budget than about rescinding civil rights for anyone.

That ain't sensationalism, folks.

So I'll see you there? Mark your calendar, March 6th. Bring your kids, your folks, come in from out-of-state if you need to cuz this is a pretty big deal and you've been given plenty of notice. As Minnesota goes, so goes the country? I sure as hell hope not.

But it might.

HF 341 Threatens Human Rights in MN
Put this on your web page

Mad as hell-ly,


I've discovered a new scene this morning - well, it's new to me, maybe not so much to you.

For the non-Minnesotan folk out there, Rainbow Foods is a local grocery store that's, apparently, open 24 hours a day. As far as grocery stores go it's one of the lesser-offensive places to shop. Locally my favorites would probably go something like Byerly's, Lunds, Jerry's in Edina (I think it's called Edina Foods now or something?) then probably Rainbow. We usually get our groceries delivered but I think I feel subconsciously guilty about making those poor guys deal with the cold so I keep missing my ordering deadline on purpose.

Most people probably don't have occasion to shop for groceries before, say, eight in the morning so you've most likely missed out on this phenomenon. I, on the other hand, had to really, really hurry and get some cookies for a really, really important Valentine's Day party. So I tucked my nightgown into my pants and slugged on over to the store - I didn't even bother to wash my face or anything, thinking, "Hey, it's 7.30 in the morning, I bet most of the other shoppers are also tired moms on a last-minute errand." Boy was I wrong.

First were the homeless people. There were five or six of them hanging out in the produce section performing an elaborate clandestine operation which resulted in them surreptitiously eating loose grapes that had fallen from the bag while the produce manager pretended not to notice. The presence of the homeless people gave me pause, as I assume they'd been there all night but we have a shelter right here in town. Was it full? Or is this their scam to get free grapes? Well, I thought, at least they won't get rickets.

Second, people were cruising. I mean, it was like a real scene. At first I thought these people may have been out all night drinking and decided to, I don't know, stop for some yummy Rainbow turnovers on their way home, but no, they looked and smelled too fresh to be all-nighters. The women were wearing make-up more suited for night-time lighting and the guys were typically in black on black on black, with yellow sunglasses for that little splash of bling. Cell phones abounded, business cards exchanged, deli salads perused. It was surreal to say the least.

I was checking out the cookie section, on strict orders to purchase, "anything heart-shaped", when a manager I recognized bade me good-morning. "Hey," I said, though usually when I look this bad I don't engage anyone in conversation, "Is it always like this in here?" gesturing toward the throngs of people. "Yeah, most mornings it is. We get the homeless in pretty early since the bakery lets them eat the mistakes but the rest of them," he threw up his hands and laughed, "I don't know what they're thinking."

Neither do I. I mean, do they work? They can't be on their way to work, dressed like that, unless they work at a store similar to the store "Jeffrey's" on Saturday Night Live. I just don't know what the hell I witnessed this morning but I never, ever want to do it again.

Middle America can still surprise-ingly,


Thursday, February 13, 2003

Ode to a Potato

Tis true, I overlooked you
And your band of bagged brethren
But it was so blistering cold
And dark
In the garage as I unloaded my groceries
Your absense wasn't noted
As you were an impulse purchase
A great price on a fifteen pound sack of spuds
An offer too good to pass up
I hoped this brought you comfort
Last night I found you
Mistook you for a rock
Then remembered
I brought you into the house
Guilt isn't a foreign word to me
Placed you in the cabinet
To warm up
To thaw
To show my love for an overlooked spud
I did not put you there to leak
And stink
And wither past the point of usefulness
Filthy potato
You were garbage then and you're garbage now
I feel like I never knew you at all



I have a bad feeling (my grandma used to sit with me drinking fortified wine by the boxful) that there's a division growing in our household (and listening to this song). Andy's changing sides (and telling me about war) on the "Should we go to war?" question (two of her sons went to Korea). These certainly are scary, scary times (she opposed that effort, and Vietnam, but not WWII) and every day there's more news coming out of Washington - (she taught me that sometimes war is necessary but never to be taken lightly) "We've declassified the fact that North Korea could conceivably blow LA to smithereens" (and it's only history that will tell us if we were right or wrong) - "In the event of a biological attack make sure you put plastic over your windows" (she made me promise that when she died I'd take this tape out of her apartment) - "Have at least a three-day surplus of supplies in your home at all times in case something happens and you can't get out of your house" (because she didn't want her friends to know what a liberal she was) - "We're revising the old Cold War films and updating them to show them in schools." (she told me that a woman her age should know better) What's next, the old "duck and cover" advice? (but every soldier out there is someone's child) It's a shit-scary time to be alive but do we really want to be the guys who go in and start it all? (and that's what she thinks about when she thinks about war) Is the situation that far gone that it can't be diffused? (and with some countries you just never know what you're dealing with) Let a little bit of air out of the tires, maybe then they won't explode. (and you can never really know what a war looks like from the other side) There has to be a better way than going in with both barrels blazing, (it was the only time she let me say "damn") there just has to be.

Well, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Come on Wall Street, don't be slow,
Why man, this is war a-go-go
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of its trade,
But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Well, come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Now you can go out and get those reds
'Cause the only good commie is the one that's dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, and don't hesitate
To send your sons off before it's too late.
And you can be the first ones in your block
To have your boy come home in a box.

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Loss of human life can never be called "acceptable" -ly,


Because I don't understand how anything works I assumed that you had to be registered through Blogrolling in order to get your pickle next to your name as a "recently updated" - you know, I figured blogrolling just routinely pinged their registered members. But no. I was wrong. You have to ping for your pickle. You ping, Blogrolling sees it and goes, "Okay, that blog's been updated; I'll tell all of the blogrolls that link to that person." Et viola, pickle.

So ping, okay? Some people who shall remain nameless to protect their identity (okay, so I'm talking about Amish Tech Support) are on the brink of insanity trying to help this idea catch on. You can even cheat at pinging by following his instructions here.

So ping for your pickle, people. Proper preparation and planned pinging provides your pickle placement. I promise.



Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I don't know why I did it. I didn't mean to do it. I promised myself I wouldn't do it anymore because it's just wrong but I did it anyway.

I popdexed myself. And guess what? Another French website is listed in my citations and I still can't find the link.

I'm running around, shaking my hands and hyperventilating. This site is, like, a legitimate person who have some kind of government job and has links to government friends. Sure, it's the goverment of Canada, but still - I've long said that America underestimates Canada. It's like in those horror movies where the kids are running around trying to save the world from whatever demon they'd resurrected, but they're failing and they're trapped, when all of the sudden, boom, here comes Grandma to save the day. The kids all do a double-take and go, "Grandma?" Turns out granny had been paying attention all along, despite how oblivious she'd seemed earlier in the movie, and she knew the way to defeat the monsters if only the kids would have asked her.

That's what Canada means to me.

And French I just don't know how to handle myself around French Canadians. I wouldn't even know what to say - I'd be all, "So...that Celine Dion sure has a big head, huh?" And I bet they hear that all the time so I'd just look like an idiot.

The sneakiest thing about Canadians is that they look just like us and can easily blend in - you have to look really closely to see the little bit that's off about them. Jim Carrey. David Duchovney. Celine. See, when you lump them together like that you start to see a pattern that you can't quite put your finger on but it's there.

The worst part about it is that Canada could get to my house in around eight hours. Yep, all of Canada, right there on my doorstep, linking to me and not telling me why or where they're doing it. Oh shudder, I'm going to have a nightmare tonight, I just know it.

Andy knows French but he's not here right now - my first line of defense is Altavista Translator but that only takes you so far. Where's grandma when you need her?



You live in Maryland? Pay attention: Amber Alert (ripped off from Seabrook's page - I'd have one on here myself if I could make it fit).

- This is an Amber Alert - A'Shia Jenkins (click for picture)
- 2-month-old baby, abducted at 7:05 a.m. from Druid Hill
- and Moser Avenue in Baltimore, Md. She is African American,
- about 21" long, 8 pounds, black hair and brown eyes. She was
- wearing a purple snowsuit, hat, a pink t-shirt and yellow socks.
- Police are looking for an African American man in his late
- 20's or early 30's, wearing a black and white striped shirt
- black pants, and black shoes. He has black hair,
- driving a white, four-door Honda Accord with Maryland
- plates. The license number may include the letters JFK.
- Anyone with information is asked to call the Maryland State
- Police and Baltimore City PD (410) 396-2100
- to report a sighting.

Keep your eyes peeled-ingly,


Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I changed a tire. Not just any old tire, a really awful one. Off the rim nastiness. The spare was mounted on the back and didn't want to come off (thanks, Andy, for your stunning use of brute force and ignorance on that one) but I got it. And this isn't a tire for an ordinary vehicle, oh no - this is for a monstrous behemoth of a van. A conversion van. A huge fuck-off piece of machinery. This operation required cunning. It required derring-do. It required a hydraulic jack.

I've never owned a hydraulic jack before tonight. I feel like I've arrived.

I fought long and hard in the bitter cold but in the end I prevailed. Covered in filth, oil, muck, snow and sludge, I sit here, triumphant and chugging a Guinness. I said to Andy, "You have one hell of a wife." He replied, "You're not wrong about that."

All of this butchness and I still look great in a thong. So much good is bestowed upon me while other suffer. Doesn't seem fair, really.

But I don't care, cuz I made that tire my bitch.

Lug nutting-ly,


So the other day MJ posted about how her mere mention of a certain Super Bowl ad was bringing her in a ton of hits from people wanting to watch it so she's set up a direct link to the ad from her page. I thought, hey, that was pretty helpful, she's done her good deed for the day. Then I thought, wait a minute, I can rip off her idea.

See, I get a few hits each day for people looking for, oddly enough, pickle juice. Weird, huh? Especially considering that one of the major factors behind me naming my site "pickle juice" is because I thought that no one would stumble upon it by accident - come on, who goes to Google looking for pages about pickle juice?

On average? About thirty people a day. Which leads me to believe that there's some weird pickle counter-culture that I'm not (nor do I want to be) a part of.

But hey, I should do a good deed for the day as well - just racking up those Karma points, which I plan to cash in for a giant stuffed puppy dog - so I've whipped together a handy dandy little faq of the most popular search requests about pickle juice that lead people into the abyss known and my spewed psyche (aka - this blog).

What is pickle juice?
My god, are you stupid. Do you need assistance breathing? Do you notice when you wake up in the morning? What kind of stupid question is that? If you're coming here for the answer to that question I don't know that this faq is going to be much help to you, but I'll try. Cuz lord knows you need the help.

Pickle juice is vinegar, primarily. There are other flavors and preservatives added, but yep. Pretty much, it's vinegar. Duh.

What are the health benefits of drinking pickle juice?
Well, if you drink a cup of the stuff you've filled your daily sodium allowance in one sitting - that's pretty beneficial, isn't it? No, really, there is a health benefit to drinking pickle juice, in that it makes you want to drink more water, which you probably need. Most people go through life dehydrated, which can cause a lot of problems, like hangovers (yes, that's caused by dehydration) and premature labor. And many of us think we're hungry when in fact we're thirsty, but the thirst triggers have been ignored for so long that we don't recognize them. Next time you're reaching for the Doritos grab a glass of water instead. Let's call that the pickle juice diet, okay? I'll make a fortune. Rich broads will comment on it like, "What is so very interesting about the 'pickle juice diet' is that you don't actually drink the pickle juice at all." (twittery laughter, followed by pinkies-out sips of tea.) That's how I picture rich Jazzercise women. Anyway.

But do you really need to drink pickle juice just so you'll be physically thirsty enough to drink the recommended amount of water per day? Just drink more water, duh, and leave the juice in the jar.

But what about those athletes who drink pickle juice when they practice and say it's a performance enhancer?
Remember that one SNL sketch where the guys were in a Gatorade commercial, except instead of Gatorade they were drinking raw cookie dough? Man, I thought Wil Farrell was going to puke at the end - his eyes were watering and he had that dough sliding down the sides of his face. Just watching that set off my gag reflex - wasn't that nasty?

That's about the same thing as drinking pickle juice as a "performance enhancer". If an athlete (which you most certainly aren't) drinks a shot of pickle juice (you know how big a "shot" is, don't you? Thought you might.) it contains around 100 mg of sodium more than drinking a Gatorade. So one little shot of fluid versus a tummy full of sloshing liquid is probably beneficial to some people. Have you ever jogged next to someone whose stomach was full of water or whatever, and even three feet away you can hear it splashing? Isn't that disgusting? And then the person has to pee every five put it that way - is there a benefit to not having your guts filled with liquid? Sure. Does pickle juice help retain water so you don't dehydrate as quickly? Sure. Is pickle juice the new steroids for this millennium? I hope so - I could make a fortune, especially since there's little that an Olympic judge can do to you to detect pickle juice in the blood. Until you die from a massive coronary. Which leads nicely into...

What are some of the dangers of drinking pickle juice?
Just that pesky little sodium problem, pretty much. One liter (that's around a quart to you and me) of the stuff contains 10,000 milligrams of sodium. And guess how much sodium we're supposed to have each day? No, you're way off, guess again. You're getting closer, one more guess. What did you say? That's not even a number, stupid, that's a color. At any rate, you're wrong - it's 2,500 mg per day. That's it! Hell, you can consume that much sodium just by looking at pickle juice, let alone drinking it. You probably have high blood pressure anyway, so stay away from it. While you're at it you should probably stop using salt altogether and start using Mrs. Dash.

Okay, so I'm not supposed to drink it - so what do I do with it? It's too good to waste it.
Now, I never said you couldn't drink it - just drink responsibly. That said, there are thousands of uses for pickle juice. My personal favorite is this - once you eat all the pickles (and sometimes that's torture to actually eat the pickles...a lot of the time I end up throwing the pickles away because they've been sitting in less than an inch of brine and are all withered and gross) you cut celery into pieces that fit the jar. This is great even if you only have a little bit of juice left because the veins in the celery will draw the juice up through the stalk. Et viola, pickled celery. It's an interesting flavor. Use them as a garnish in Bloody Marys or fill them with cream cheese or chop them up and put them in a green salad or tuna salad. I'm pretty much tapped out on uses for celery here.

Use the juice in any recipe that calls for vinegar, like a marinade or a vinagrette. The stuff's green, liquid gold as far as I'm concerned, and it's highly undervalued to the point where if you make use of it people will find you utterly remarkable. I speak from experience here - people find me utterly remarkable. And you want to be like me, don't ya? Thought so.

Is there anywhere I can buy pickle juice without the pickles? I have an aversion to cucumbers. See, I was helping my dad in his garden when I was little and got all prickly from the vines and ever since then...
Ugh - shut up shut up shut up! I don't want to hear about your cucumber-aversion issues, alright? You think your stories are so damn interesting go start a blog. Sheesh, you're really getting on my nerves here. But since I decided to take your dumb ass under my wing and help you, yes, there's a place you can buy pickle juice sans pickles from Health Nut Online. They stock pickle juice manufactured by Goldin Pickle. They misspelled "golden" first, so don't blame me. I'm not endorsing their product or service, as I've never used them, but I'm just saying that it's out there. The Goldin Pickle people are freaks, you should see how hard-core they are about pickles. It's a bit disturbing, really. don't happen to have any pictures of...let's say...alternate uses for the pickle itself, do you?
Sigh, I was hoping that you weren't going to show up around here anymore. No, I don't have any pictures like that, nor do I have any pictures of men, women, dogs, grandmas or postal workers eating pickles. Or myself, for that matter. You know how I eat pickles, usually? First, I take some sliced beef, slather on some cream cheese, roll the pickle up and chop the hell out of it until it's cut into bite-sized pieces, then I skewer it with a toothpick and chomp with all my might. There, how's that for a sexy visual, huh?

Sometimes a pickle is just a pickle-ly,


And another link ripped right off from Artichoke Heart, Not In Our Name. I gave them five bucks, you should, too.



Monday, February 10, 2003

I'm pretty sure I can die a complete person after tonight. Not only did our local news anchor refer to Kim Jong Il as "Kim Jong the second" (those pesky teleprompters - they make the letters "I L" look like the Roman numeral for "two") but I also saw a man balance a Jack Russell terrier in his hand. The terrier was doing a hand-stand at the time.

Life is funny-ly,


So I believe in karma, and the whole "whatever you do to another comes back on yourself three-fold", be it good or bad, but...

When is it going to happen? Why does this idiot always seem to have it easy, when I'm the one who's losing sleep, losing hair, and dealing with my remaining hair turning grey? Why am I the one who constantly has to fight the battles on the ground while he's the guy back at the base chewing on a cigar? My cause is just while his is selfish - it always has been that way. He's been dancing the Underhanded Tango and getting away with it while I'm over here trying to do what's right by my daughter and barely keeping afloat.

When does the karma kick in, huh? When are we going to win? I'm sick of hanging on by my fingertips and being the only person who's looking out for the best interest of my daughter while he gets to see her for visitation so damn often that he doesn't even bother spending any time with her when she's there. He takes her for granted, pawns her off on other people and on the rare occasion he actually does spend some time with her it's usually to mock her for one thing or another.

All of her problems are blamed on the fact that I live in Minnesota. "You shouldn't have moved" is his war cry, "It's not my fault; I'm not the one who moved." Well, I moved because my daughter's life would be better here - that's documented over and over and over again. But I know that I'm going to have to end up back in court answering questions like, "Do you really think it's wise to live somewhere so cold?" and "Isn't it a fact that you moved your daughter away so that you didn't have to live near to your mother?" Between examinations his lawyer and the judge will chat and talk about what country club their sons are caddying at this summer and "How about our local boys, huh?"

In the meantime I'm going to be paying a lawyer a fortune to sit there and look like an idiot, never asking the real questions on cross of him, like, "Isn't it true that you spotted your daughter out in a room full of people and made fun of her for being Jewish? Isn't it true that your step-daughter has scabies because of the poor hygiene your family practices? Isn't it true that most days when you have visitation you don't feed your daughter? Isn't it true that during your visits with her you routinely have your girlfriend babysit so you can go out? Isn't it true that you insult your daughter when she does something that reminds you of her mother? Isn't it true that you've been totally fucking this child's mind to the point where she's reached critical mass and had an emotional breakdown at the age of nine?"

But that's not how it's going to go. I'm going to have to jump through hoops again, oftentimes having to plan a trip down to Illinois at a moment's notice, or being served with papers telling me to be in court the next day when I was just getting ready to leave. It's going to be a god damn circus and if it doesn't work out well this time I just don't know what I'm going to do. This transcends the whole, "I don't like my step-family" problems that young kids often face. This is like, "Mom, I've reached the breaking point and if something doesn't change then I will be broken inside."

She has no clue how hard I fight for her, and she never will. I don't ever, ever want her to feel a single bit of responsibility over these stresses - they're obviously issues that her father is projecting onto us but still, children will blame themselves. She'll not say, "Okay, things are bad because dad's irrational" - she'll say, "Mom is stressing out because of me, this is my fault."

Karma, where are you when I need you? I'm needing you pretty bad right about now - it'd be nice if a few things could go my way for a change. Karma, look at that little girl and see what she's going through - I can only remove so much of the burden, which isn't even fair because I'm not the one who's putting the burden on her in the first place. Karma, make him wake up and realize, stupid as he may be, that trying to manipulate a small child is the wrong thing to do. Oh, and Karma, one last thing - when you exact your justice onto him, would you mind signing my daughter's name to it? You know, just so he's absolutely positive about where it came from. Please, let her be the victor, and soon. She's only a child for a short amount of time but if this carries on I'm afraid she'll be damaged to the point where I can't get her back.



Sunday, February 09, 2003

Here's a little IQ test question for you:

If all western songs are country songs, and some western songs are honkey-tonk songs, you could reasonably infer that:

  • A.) All country songs are honkey-tonk songs.

  • B.) No honkey-tonk songs are country songs.

  • C.) Some country songs are western songs, or

  • D.) Natalie grew up in an uncultured household.

My dad did the honkey-tonk country-western stuff when I was growing up and I admit that every now and again I get a hankerin' for old Willie & Waylon, or a bit of Johnny Cash. In tribute to my fathers years as a guitar player and singer for numerous country bands I've written a song for Nic, called, "My Baby Smells Like Corn Chips and I Don't Know Why." It's to the tune of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" - feel free to sing along.

Oh, my baby smells like corn chips and I don't know why
Well yes, my baby smells like corn chips, and I don't know wh-h-h-y
Oh yes, my baby smells like corn chips, yes my baby...oh my god, I just figured out why - Andy come and see this neck cheese, man this is nasty. You rotten little baby, I just gave you a bath yesterday, how did you get so nasty so quickly?!? There's no way in the world I could have missed all of that funk when I was giving you a bath - damn, kids are so disgusting!

I'm expecting the Dixie Chicks to contact me any day know, asking to cover my song. Then whoo-hoo, watch the royalties roll in!



This little table-top cascading waterfall fountain thing may relax some people, but all it does for me is make me need to pee.

Ho hum. I'm gonna be a peach today, I can tell already.



Because my guts are twisted up in knots over an issue on the homefront I cannot sleep - I took a break from reading all of these awful law websites about our situation to check out the new post on Artichoke Heart's blog and found my second bed-wetting liberal link for your clicking pleasure: Poets Against The War.

The pen is mightier than the sword-ingly,


Okay, let's rewind and do a little bit of "the morning after the night before"...

So last night I saw Andy passed out...erm, I mean sleeping and thought, hey, why does he get to have all the fun? I wanna pass out, too! Ah, but the dilemma - out of wine. Then I remembered I had a bit of vodka left in the freezer and was able to enjoy a couple of very tasty (and not white-trashy in the slightest) kiwi-strawberry vodkas. I'm glad I even had that juice, or else I would have had to make the decision on which sounded less nasty - gatorade and vodka or green tea with vodka. Nice. I could have just gone the vodka tonic route but my tonic was flat. I briefly thought - tap water? - but no, thankfully, I had some juice left.

Now, in many ways Andy's the lucky one. When he's asleep he's not getting into any trouble. What do I do when I'm drinking? I go on the internet! I chat with people I barely know and say things I can barely type; I buy stuffed squirrels from eBay; I get into the terminal window on Andy's machine and type things like "make poopy" - and in conversation I say things like, "I'll tell you one thing about those Nazis - I bet they were great housekeepers!" Then I lose my mind completely and that's when I get into trouble.

This morning I took delivery of a small Korean boy from UPS with a COD charge for rush overnight delivery. I couldn't have ordered something useful, like a monkey to clean my bathroom; instead I get this kid who keeps asking which dog is for dinner. It's very disconcerting, but I'm sure he'll fit in quite nicely. Once he learns to clean the bathroom, that is - my heart was really set on a bathroom monkey, you see. Man, that would be sweet.

But I'm sitting here, afraid to get on my IM in case I really made a fool of myself to anyone last night and that there might be bad messages waiting for me. You know that quote that goes something like "you wouldn't worry so much about what people thought of you if you realized how little they did"? That's a load of crap, right there, and I'm not just saying that because I'm paranoid. Or maybe that's exactly the reason - who am I to judge my own mental health?

My paranoia is well-documented not only here, but in anecdotal evidence given by members of my own family. Even as a child I didn't like riding in the car with my father if we were going someplace new. I would think, "Okay, I know how to get home from here if he dumps me...but oh my god, what if he's taking me somewhere to kill me?" I would get myself so worked up that I would cry out, "Daddy, don't kill me!" Dad would level his gaze at me for a split second before saying, "I won't." I was sure that between my outburst and his reply that he was seriously thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't kill her after all" rather than, "What the hell is this kid's problem?"

Like most people, I keep a log of my stats. Unlike most people, I obssess about them. Andy pointed out this site I hadn't seen before, Popdex, which is remarkably similar to Blogdex only with some different citations. Some of these blogs that link to me are ones I've never heard of - okay, so the paranoid didn't kick in just yet, logically there will be people who read me that I don't know about (I'm not that far gone...yet). So like anyone, I clicked on the little linkeys to see what these pages were all about. This one's weird...hmmm, I can't seem to get to the url it's pointing to so I'll strip it down a directory or two and find my way back...paranoia's starting to creep in just a touch. This didn't work, going to have to strip the url a bit further...paranoia's growing stronger. Aha, I've reached the main page and - what's this?'s FRENCH. Bwoop, bwoop, bwoop, paranoia's in high gear now, serious code Fuschia (or whatever the French equivalent of "red" may be). I madly click around, trying to find the way to the directory where I'm linked...nothing. Man your battle stations, this is getting heavy now!...nothing here, nothing there, my god it's all in French and I can't even read any of it - come on, troops, pull back, pull back, it's an unacceptable risk, we're losing too many people here, I said fall back, damn it, and that's an order!

Whew. I made it out okay. And what have I learned from this? Two things - one, I shouldn't go searching for mentions of my own blog; and two, the French are talking about me. And I don't know what they're saying.

Damn, I need a drink.



Friday, February 07, 2003

Ethical dilemma - should I leave his drunk, "But I'm only resting my eyes" ass on the couch or do some kind of Green Beret-type commando-style lift and carry him to bed?

Ah, I dunno. But I've switched my empty wine glass for his full one, so no worries here.

Vino collapso-ingly,


But it was all so were there, and you were there, and so were you...but it couldn't have been a dream, it just all seemed too real. It wasn't a dream...was it?

That bad paraphrasing of Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" is my pathetic attempt to segue into my point. The other night I had the weirdest dream (I can hear the collective groan as I write this - like, "Great, a dream post on a blog, yeah, we've never seen that before" - but stick with me, there's a real point to this.) and in this dream everyone I link to played a role. It was one of those dreams where even the dream-you comments on how weird it is - at one point I turned to Andy and said, "Isn't it strange that we've met everyone I link to? Small world." At least, that's the vibe I was getting - I don't believe dreams actually have words, just perceived vibes. Telepathic communication, I think, is the way of the dream.

At one point in my dream I went into this god-awful bathroom in a gym or something - every bathroom in every dream of mine is set up like it's in a gym with exits at each side - and this bathroom was foul. I had Nic with me and wasn't sure if I could go to the bathroom while holding him, so I asked the bathroom attendant, melly, to hold him for me. She was like, "What, you need both hands to wipe your ass? Hold your own kid." I went into the stall and it was totally covered in filth and I gagged. Melly told me to grow up or hold it and get out. I got out.

We went into an antique store run by MJ where Artichoke Heart was shopping with her twelve little children who all had hair like Michael Jackson and were running around breaking things. I cut my arm on something and these little mitochondria-looking bugs started to swarm in to burrow down into the cut. I freaked out until Irish Girl showed me how to singe my arm hair off with a lighter - I don't know why they stayed away after that but they did.

When we left the shop, Simon was outside at a caramel apple stand. I went up to buy one of the multitude of caramel apples he was carrying and he told me that they weren't for sale, that they were all for him. This part is particularly strange because yesterday he outed himself as being fat - maybe I somehow knew that, or maybe I inferred it from the name "Big Simon", or maybe it was just part of that whole wacky subconscious thing. (My favorite line of that post, by the way, is "[I'm] really big, not just American-fat." It's a really honest post, you should check it out.)

Anyway, what are dreams if not our subconscious trying to tell us something, huh? HUH?!? Nothing, that's what. And what have I learned from this? I need more links.

Since announcing the Dilly Awards I've been sent quite a few links to some really great blogs, many of which I've begun reading regularly, but I didn't want to link to them from here because I didn't want even a whiff of impropriety about the contest. But forget that - it's getting to be too much of a hassle to keep popping around surreptitiously reading blogs and keeping them from the rest of you. It's just not fair, damn it.

So in the next few hours - or days, whatever - expect some freshly plucked linkage for your enjoyment. One in particular is one that Andy and I have been reading for a long time, Time For Your Meds, but I've resisted putting a link to her because she's too popular and I didn't want anyone to think I was kissing up to the popular kid, but screw that. And screw you for thinking that, ya rat bastard! Who are you to judge, huh?

And because I am a bed-wetting liberal I heartily endorse The Lysistrata Project. Though I have, on occasion, muttered the phrase, "Just nuke the bastards and be done with it" I really am not serious about that sentiment. Or maybe I am, I don't know. No, probably not. Okay, maybe a little. But only on Tuesdays in February - after all, isn't February really the Tuesday of the year? Thought so. What the hell does that even mean? No clue.



Thursday, February 06, 2003

I wish the manic side of manic depression lasted longer than it did - I have a lot of things I should have done when I had that energy boost. This is me today, so I'll just go away and hide.



I been drifting along in the same stale shoes
Loose ends tying the noose in the back of my mind
If you thought that you were making your way
To where the puzzles and pagans lay
I'll put it together: It's a strange invitation
When I wake up someone will sweep up my lazy bones
And we will rise in the cool of the evening
I remember the way that you smiled
When the gravity shackles were wild
And something is vacant when I think it's all beginning
(<-- one of the best lines ever)
I been drifting along in the same stale shoes
Loose ends tying the noose in the back of my mind
If you thought that you were making your way
To where the puzzles and pagans lay
I'll put it together: It's a strange invitation

Wednesday, February 05, 2003


mom: You tricked us. Your father and I were both on the phone, ready to sing to you and you didn't answer.
me: That wasn't a trick, I was asleep - dad was going to sing?
mom: Yes. He dialed your number himself.
me: Wow, good for him. Put him on the phone
dad: Schedule D.
me: What?
dad: You sold those shares, right? For your taxes. You need schedule D. You can pick one up at your local public library or the post office. It's best to pick up a few of them in case you make a mistake on one, then you'll have a replacement.
me: Uh, okay, I'll get into my horse drawn carriage and go to my local post office. Then I'll send something via pony express and come home and play a record on my gramophone - geesus, do you even know what year this is? I use software to do my taxes, but thanks for the tip.
dad: Software? Does it have schedule D for reporting? Because you have to report that gain. It's a capital gain and that means it's income, even if you don't have a job.
me: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it has schedule D for reporting.
dad: You take a look at the weather channel today? Weather on the 7's, that's what I watch.
me: Nope - I looked outside, saw snow, went back to bed.
dad: If you don't watch the weather channel you won't know when the snow's coming. You won't know what the weather is like down here.
me: That's a risk I'm willing to take.
dad: I'll give you back to your mother now. Schedule D, now don't forget.
mom: (yelling at my dad) You could have told the girl happy birthday, you know! Sorry about him, he's an idiot; I don't think he even notices when he wakes up. Bitter morning, sparrows singing, birds without necks.
me: Uh...okay.
mom: It's Zen. I bought a Zen-a-day calendar and that's your Zen for the day.
me: That's my Zen, great. What does it mean?
mom: You're supposed to think about the sparrows without necks. They hunch their heads down when it's cold outside. I bought this calendar the other day because the calendars are all on sale and I like Zen. I was Zen before I knew what Zen was. The more you talk about something the less power it has over you - that was yesterday's Zen. They teach you that in AA. If you talk about getting drunk and blowing your own finger off with a gun it helps you heal faster.
me: What, your finger?
mom: No, your addiction.
me: Who blew off their own finger?
mom: Some guy I was in AA with; aren't you listening?
me: J's mom ripped her own toe off when she was little. She got it caught on a hook in a barn and tripped. She stood up and saw it sticking from the hook and she fainted and fell off a hayloft. She was in a coma for a while. That's why she limps and buys things from the Home Shopping Network.
mom: What does that have to do with anything?
me: It's Zen - think about it.
mom: Oh. Oh, yeah, I get it.
me: Thought you might.
mom: Did Andy give you your lingerie?
me: Yes, so you don't have to worry that you've just ruined the surprise.
mom: I wasn't thinking, but you opened it already so that's okay. What are you doing for your birthday dinner?
me: Going out somewhere. I think I'm going to have lobster, just because.
mom: Hmmm.
me: What? You have something against me eating lobster? You don't keep kosher, either.
mom: No, it's not that, it's just...nothing. Nevermind, it's your day to enjoy yourself.
me: No, go ahead and say what you were going to say.
mom: I was just thinking that someone who's so far in debt might not want to be buying lobster, but I'm not going to mention it. It's your day, enjoy yourself, worry about your debts later.
me: Thank you, I will.
mom: Your sister called to wish you a happy birthday but you didn't answer the phone so now she's mad at you.
me: Yeah, that was another one of my tricks. She's just jealous because I'm stylish and she can't handle it.
mom: (silence)
me: That's some more Zen for you.
mom: I get the feeling you're making fun of me. Hippy tried making fun of me for the Zen but she's decided to become Wiccan now so she has no room to talk.
me: Oh christly christ, a Wiccan?
mom: Yes, but don't tell her I told you; she asked me to not mention it to you. You know, she did her taxes and got back nearly $5,000? She got back more than she paid in.
me: Wow, that's a neat trick. Poor people living in the ghetto get all the lucky breaks. What's she going to do with the money? Maybe move out of the projects and into a real apartment?
mom: No, she's getting her yin yang tattoo redone. The pink is fading and the blue has bled out a bit. I think after that she's buying a couch and some artwork. If there's anything left she might get her brakes fixed.
me: Glad she has her priorities in order. I forgot about her tattoo; she got that when she was a Buddhist, I remember. Is she going to get some Wiccan tattoo now, too?
mom: She wants to but she doesn't know what all the symbols mean yet. She's only been Wiccan for a couple of days.
me: Mmm, fresh Wiccan. Tasty.
mom: You'd better not tease her about it! You'll hurt her feelings.
me: She's 34; it'd be a crime to not make fun of her about it. I read a great quote, something like it's good to be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brain falls out. Her brains have fallen out.
mom: I want you to think about what you've just said when you get your card from her. She gave you $30 for your birthday and she doesn't have money to throw around like that, you should appreciate her.
me: You just said she has five grand.
mom: That's not the point. You be nice and don't make fun of her on your journal.
me: I won't. Hey, you know that I was nominated to be an honorary Dykewrite lesbian?
mom: Is that a good thing?
me: Yes. Yes it is.
mom: Oh. Then I'm proud of you. But I'm not going to tell your father. Or any of my friends.
me: I said honorary. I don't have to be a lesbian.
mom: I know that, I just don't want to have to tell anyone.
me: Then don't. But that's not a very Zen-like attitude to have. You've disappointed Zen and I don't think he wants to talk to you anymore.
mom: Now you are making fun of me.
me: Just a little.
mom: I didn't want to bring it up but since you haven't said "thank you" yet I have to - did you get your card?
me: Yes, as a matter of fact, it came yesterday. On time for my birthday...there, beat you to it.
mom: Beat me to what?
me: I mentioned that you sent the card early enough so it got here in time for my birthday before you could do it and criticize me for being late with your card.
mom: The thought never even crossed my mind!
me: Yeah, it didn't.
mom: Your card was free from the March of Dimes. They sent us some free greeting cards and asked for a donation but they'll just have to wait until December like every other charity. Who does that? Who contributes to charity this early in the year?
me: Crazy people.
mom: Yes! Crazy people. Are you typing?
me: Uh...yeah, I'm on yahoo with Andy. He says hello.
mom: Oh. Hello. I'm going to have to get going, I have a doctors appointment and we're going over to Boob Job's house tonight. She's throwing a sex toys party.
me: She just went to a sex toys party last month! Damn, that girl has a serious problem.
mom: If she throws a party she gets a discount. All she buys are tassles - you know, she makes some pretty good money when she takes her boobs out.
me: She's a stripper now?
mom: No she's not a stripper - she just dances around topless at parties and people pay her money.
me: Oh, is that all? Good, for a second there I thought you were telling me she's a stripper now, but what she does is nothing at all like stripping. I was just a little confused.
(dad picks up the other line)
dad: Do you need me to go to the post office or what?
mom: I'm on the god damn phone here, you lazy cuss! You couldn't walk the ten feet down the hall and ask me in person? You don't know what we were talking about, maybe we were talking about a gift for you and you ruined it, did you ever think of that?
dad: Well I'm going to the post office and I'm not taking anything you wanted me to take. And I won't be back for a long time because I'm getting the tire fixed!
mom: Watch this, Natalie: Honey, how old is Natalie?
dad: (silent)
mom: Well?
dad: I don't have time for all of this.
me: You don't know my age?
dad: Well I have a lot of kids! I can't keep track of all of you.
me: Thanks for that, mom, I feel really good now.
mom: Are you still on the phone? Talk to your daughter while I take out the trash. (click)
dad: I don't have time, I'm going to the post office. (click)



Too ... hung ... over ... to ... think ... of ... anything ... clever ... to ... say...

Nah, I'm not really that bad. A bit thick in the head, sure, but then what else is new? Dinner was fantastic, though I was too distracted by the surprise arrival of a friend to eat any of it, and the kids were excellent. Real live grownups doing real grownup stuff and drinking two bottles of grownup wine. It's a good thing.

We thought the place we were going to was supposed to be posh - that's the worst part of being a transplant to a new area, you don't really know what you're getting yourself into when you eat at a non-chain restaurant - but it wasn't, though I was actually glad for that because they really knew how to handle kids there. I'd rate the evening a four out of four - or ten out of ten, or whatever arbitrary rating you choose, I'm not picky. Best birthday ever, so much so that I'm having another birthday today. I wasn't born until after nine at night so I figure my birthday only started after I got home from the restaurant and will continue on until this evening. Which means more presents for me, cuz damn it, I'm special.

The day already has the makings of a pretty good day - the highlight came when Andy told me this morning, "You smell gorgeous, what's that fragrance?" and I huskily replied, "Downy wrinkle-releaser - I sprayed it on my shirt last night." Yeah, that's sexy.

But lordy is my head giving me grief this morning. At some point last night I remember demonstrating to Andy how my new undies would fit as an eyepatch and I'm pretty sure I grabbed a walnut and used the underwear as a slingshot - it's all a part of the seduction, you see. But yeah, I got drunk, and now I'm off to nuke some lobster for breakfast.



Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Thanks, everyone, for the happy birthday wishes...but how did you know it was my birthday? I've been pretty quiet about it, I thought.

It's been a good birthday so far - I got sexy lingerie, doo dah, doo dah, I've got cleavage up to here, oh dee doo dah day. Seriously, there's only one word for it: padow. Or a plain, old, "damn" works but you gotta say it like, "daaaahhhhhmmm". Seriously deep, "I don't need to take my purse, I can keep everything here between my breasts" kinda thing. Picture J-Lo's butt, then put it on my chest. Allow me to reiterate: padow.

I would post a picture but I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to bribe the judges at Dykewrite. In case you missed it, I've been nominated by the lovely Artichoke Heart for the coveted title of honorary dykewrite lesbian for March. If I win I'd join the ranks of Michelle, Joel, Kitty, Suzie, and Roni. What a great birthday present that is to just be nominated - course, it would rock to win, but I'm trying to be all adult an' stuff. Cuz I'm 26 now, you see. Yeah, adult.

I'm pleased to be considered for this award. There are some people in society who believe that dykes should go back to their own country and complain that dykes are taking all of the good jobs, like stand-up comediennes, folk singers and angry poets. And they keep more than their fair share of cats. But not I. I say, let the lesbians stay - after all, who among us can say that they don't have any lesbian ancestors? We can all live in peace and harmony in this country, there's no need to send dykes back to their native homeland of...hey, where do lesbians come from, anyway? I can't tell by their accents. Ah well, I'm awful at geography anyway, I probably wouldn't know where the country is even if knew what it was called.

So thank you - the nomination was just the icing on a pretty good day as it was.

I have to start getting the kids ready for my birthday dinner. Andy said he wanted to do something nice for me and I thought, "Kick ass - we're getting some gyros and doing it twice!" but no, we're going to a restaurant. A real-live eating establishment that doesn't have a designated play area. It's a bit of a novelty...oh who am I kidding? Novelty, hell, it's unheard of! Of course, the kids will be in attendance but I plan on getting really drunk and ignoring them - Andy can deal with them. Betty Friedan and I share a birthday so I'm gonna do her proud tonight.

I'm still counting on us doing it twice, though. I'll have to post tomorrow to let you know how that whole thing turned out. Andy, watch out, cuz momma ain't sleeping on the couch tonight.