Monday, March 31, 2003

I bleached out my hair tonight - I was considering going all retro and dying it grey but it only turned a strawberry blond despite leaving the bleach on for nearly ninety minutes. No problems - I have a deep red dye that will work perfectly over this.

Trouble is dogs don't know me. They are seriously freaked and won't stop jumping all over each other with a snarl that says, "I think I know you but I hope I don't know you because I would love to rip your throat out right now." Which means I'm trapped.

To distract myself I found myself on a site that translates web pages into drug slang. (Don't ask.) I've translated pickle juice and some of the tastier tidbits are thus (btw - pickle juice translates into pickle pcp):

  • Simon, I'm only linking to your image for a brief period until I get on my other machine and upload the button to my own crack dealer

  • you would think that injectable cocaine would hold no power over me, wouldn't you?

  • Talk about stupid - I have Zoe convinced that if I marijuana cocaine in the belly button that cocaine legs will arrested're lucky you have any cocaine at all, missy!

  • without the little pickle to let me know something's PCP I tend to neglect it.

  • (Where the heck is Artichoke Heart when you need cocaine?)

  • "Come on, amphetamines stand by your sister," says mom, while whacking the cocaine in the back with the camera

  • Aw, the cigarette made from cocaine paste and tobacco wants to get in the picture, too!

  • Then the cigarette made from cocaine paste and tobacco grabs the little cocaine through the cage and slams heroin into the bars.

  • Fear the cigarette made from cocaine paste and tobacco - even a Kia can't save you.

  • Zoe does not know this. "Hey!" cocaine screamed, "That's my brother's marijuana cigarette, give that back! That's my stroller. Stop it!"

  • "Hey, Zoo, I like your cocaine."

  • "Where's the crack and methamphetamine?" he tried to joke.

  • In all honesty I'd completely forgotten it but I really wanted to say, "Well, I thought that bringing a diaper container for drugs would make me look suspicious - you know, on account of the kids and all."


  • And another cocaine - our little fentanyl Fiona of commentary fame marijuana cocaine own blog now - cocaine didn't want to tell anyone but cocaine husband John kindly outed cocaine.

  • I don't know where Santa ended up but I'm sure he went to a better place than a puddle of heroin.

  • Steal someone else's drugs at The People's Republic of Seabrook

  • So, how many people, exactly, will I have to kill before becoming cocaine?

  • ...seriously, I started writing this around nine this morning and it's currently 1/4 ounce or $25 worth of drugs to noon.

  • Because nothing's selling crack for me today and I'm all discombobulated an' heroin, alright?

Sigh - maybe I should change my blog name to "puerile juice".

The dogs are still pulling a Cujo outside the door and I'm beginning to get worried. Twice now I've had to pee in Andy's plant (it was dead anyway) but now I've finished my bag of kettle chips and only have one cigarette left.

This is freaking nuts - you can't reason light hair/dark hair to a dog. And to think Andy and I used to laugh at how the dogs growled at me when I was dying my's not so funny when you're alone and the dogs are in a state of high alert.

Maybe I can find a page that translates my blog into bodily functions...



Sunday, March 30, 2003

I am really, really trying to get on top of everything that's currently required of me, but they're showing Dogma on Comedy Central today and I can't bring myself to move.

It's just as good as the last time I saw it...earlier this morning.



Saturday, March 29, 2003

The only thing worse than coming home to a ransacked house and thinking you've been robbed is realizing all the messes are yours.

And you have to clean them up yourself.

Sigh - why couldn't I have been robbed?

Pig sty-ingly,


This is a dangerous thing.

I saw a link from Laurence for this site - cool idea, it's been done a few times before but this is the first time it's been done for blogs (that I know of). All the geeks are posting about it, though, so it's sure to be huge.

Andy and I lost the better part of a year on something similiar to this except with "celebrities". It got so bad that I would meet up with people in the site's chatroom at three a.m. to manipulate the market to my advantage while everyone else was asleep - camps were formed, enemies and allegiances were declared and things got ugly.

I can't wait to do it all over again.

So I'm there, my blog is worth a small piece of nothing, but I'm watching my investments like a hawk. Thankfully, this operation is too large for a couple of people to manipulate on their own (I think - still checking on this) so it will remain in the "fun" vein.

There are some problems with the site, as it's not the best at tracking linkage but I'm sure everything will get ironed out for the launch of the "real" site. (They said this one is still a test version, so I don't know if my link here will even work.)

At any rate, say hello to my new favorite past time:

Listed on 
<br />BlogShares

Update: The new button there is via Big Simon, purveyor of fine buttons and creator of the Dilly Award gif. (Simon, I'm only linking to your image for a brief period until I can get on my other machine and upload the button to my own server - forgive the theft.)

Market speculation-ly,


So people do read me on Saturday - who'd a thunk it?

Trouble is, I have nothing to say, owing to the massive caffeine hangover I'm sporting. I very rarely drink soda but I drink a lot of tea - you would think that soda would hold no power over me, wouldn't you?

Well, it's thinking like that which has caused this headache. Or maybe it's because I didn't manage to sleep until three a.m. - I should have taken a Tylenol PM and let it battle with the caffeine but I've played that game before and lost.

So yeah, I've decided - I'm too old to drink soda. The old chassis can't handle it anymore, I'm damn near rocking the body off the frame over here.

It's only day two of my dear husband's absense and already I'm suffering. Zoe tried to feed a carrot to Nic yesterday and when I told her that Nic couldn't eat carrots because he has no teeth she declared, "I know why Nic has no teeth. It's because he's too stupid!" Talk about stupid - I have Zoe convinced that if I poke her in the belly button that her legs will fall're lucky you have any teeth at all, missy!

I may do something worthwhile on here later - I have to revisit the whole Hot Seat thing and get the form together along with other stuff in real life, but for the first weekend in I don't know long I don't have to fight with Andy over who gets to play on the Linux machine and I plan to work it.

Tea's done - I'm afraid to drink it, though. It'll either cure me or kill me.

Smart enough for teeth-ly,


I wish more people were pinging, I honestly do, because without the little pickle to let me know something's fresh I tend to neglect it. Roughly a third of the people I link to ping which means I miss out on some tasty pudding - and it's only on lonely Friday nights/Saturday mornings such as these that I'm able to reacquaint myself with them.

Now that the Dillies are concluded I'd like to go on record as saying that I think Girls Are Pretty is one of the most consistently funny sites I've ever come across. Everyday is a reason to celebrate and I bet you didn't even know why. Some of it relates to some pretty touchy stuff but the delivery is superb - and it's not just guffaws and chuckles; there are some wonderful turns of phrase...turn of phrases...turns of phrases? (Where the heck is Artichoke Heart when you need her?) Um...pretty girl writes some pretty stuff - let's just leave it at that.

A couple of my favorite "days":

  • Someone Doesn't Have An Arm Anymore Day!

  • Admit That You Cannot Get People To Fall In Love With You Simply By Asking Baby Jesus To Make Them Do It Day!

  • Call Someone You Know Is Dead Day!

  • I Think Malkovich Was Totally Faking Blindness Just To Get A Look At Sally Field's Sweet, Sweet Ass In "Places In The Heart" Day!

  • Don't Spit On Babies Day!

I'm laughing so hard that my dogs are giving each other, "See, I told you she's not right" kind of looks. This is my sense of humor, what can I say?

Yes, I know I totally ripped off someone else's content but that's okay because no one reads me on the weekends anyway. Those of you who do probably have a lot of free time on your hands so what could it hurt to throw another site at you?



Friday, March 28, 2003

And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a really messed up Kia commercial.

Have you seen this thing? Mom, son and daughter at the zoo. Mom has little sister posed in front of the monkey cage while big brother is tying his shoe. "Come on, go stand by your sister," says mom, while whacking the boy in the back with the camera (he was tying his shoe - apparently not quick enough for Mommy Dearest).

Brother and sister are posing in front of the monkey cage when one of the furry little creatures starts ambling toward the bars - aw, the monkey wants to get in the picture, too! How sweet.

Then the monkey grabs the little boy through the cage and slams him into the bars. Mother screams and rushes to help him (she didn't drop the camera but at least she didn't take a photo) and the picture fades to black and shifts to show a Kia (Spectrum? Sportage? Whatever.). The voice-over says something ominous like, "You keep them safe...when you can" Fear the monkey - even a Kia can't save you.

Chilling words, indeed.

Though it's my belief that the majority of monkey attacks are not only caused by parents but also encouraged.* It's a sick, sad world we live in these days.



* Note - that's not my kid. I only wish I were there to protect the little dear from the vicious monkey puppet.

Today would have been the perfect day to laze around in bed but alas, it was not to be.

You know how in horror movies the character thinks he has killed the monster and is facing the camera, panting, with the monster lying flat on his back just behind him? Suddenly the monster just springs up like nothing is wrong and is on his feet trudging after the guy, like, "Thanks for buring this axe in my neck - I really needed the rest." That's what Zoe did today. One second she's sound asleep, the next second she's crawling on me asking (in this really shrill whisper...yes, there is such a thing as a 'shrill whisper'), "Is your Nico-boy awake? Are Nico-boy's eyes open?" Sigh - they are now, thanks a lot.

I haven't exactly hit the ground running but it's a start. I can keep myself busy for hours just sitting here, thinking about everything I need to do - that's my new favorite hobby; drinking tea and thinking about everything that needs to be done that I'm not doing. I have an intense appreciation of my own laziness.

So yesterday we went to the airport - used to be I could just duck into any line to get a pass to accompany Samantha to her plane but now there are some half-dozen people all "directing" me to the appropriate line I need to be in - and, of course, once I'm in the "correct" line the woman behind the desk asks, "Why did they send you here?" I have a paranoia about missing the flight and having to hang out at the gate for an extra two hours waiting for the next one - I had to do that once and am still scarred (see post below).

Going through security was a treat - this gal had a face like she was chewing on a wasp and even though she weighed eighty pounds at most she was intimidating. She barked, she honestly barked like a drill sergeant - "Remove your shoes. Yes, the children too. Get that baby blanket on the belt to be x-rayed. Does this stroller fold down? It needs to go through the machine." I wanted to ask what, exactly, would she expect to find on the baby blanket and what, exactly, she hoped to accomplish by x-raying a metal stroller but I didn't - you can't joke about matters of security or even question the stupidity of shoving a stroller through an x-ray machine.

Zoe does not know this. "Hey!" she screamed, "That's my brother's blanket, give that back! That's my stroller. Stop it!" She was, thankfully, ignored so she tried a more direct approach. "What's your name?" she asked the woman, who barked back, "Sue." Zoe looked a little taken aback by Sue's clipped tone but decided she was going to make friends with this woman. "Hey, Zoo, I like your nose." I'd like to say that this made Sue smile but it didn't, not really - though her frown did briefly flatten into a straight line. I think that's as close to smiling as security is allowed.

I was stopped some half-dozen times on my way to the gate to have my ID and boarding pass checked...I know I'm not the first person in the world to put an unaccompanied child on a plane but in doing so I raise suspicion. Sam's gate was literally one of the furthest gates from the entrance - I think her plane was departing from gate BFE #3. For anyone who has flown out of Minneapolis before, you know that big Minnesota-shaped sign as you're coming into the airport? We were past that. I could see into the cars that were going around the little "return to terminal" ramp. (If you've never flown MSP before just trust me when I say that's pretty damn far.)

Sam departs and we walk back out to leave - I had two kids in the stroller so I was fairly booking it through the airport and as I approached the exit I see some activity over my shoulder - it was some security person motioning to the security guy in front of me to stop me. "Where's the fire?" he tried to joke. I apologized for rushing - what, they stop everyone who rushes in an airport? - but that wasn't enough. He grilled me on what I was doing at the airport, checked my papers and ID, ("I need to see your papers" he said, like he was frigging border patrol) asked me where I was parked, ("I don't know the aisle, but it's on the gold ramp, short-term parking." "You don't know your aisle? Most people make a note of where they park so they can find their vehicle." "Well, I don't have to do that seeing as how I'm driving a big-ass van." "Van, huh? What's the license plate number?"), and asked me why I didn't bring a diaper bag with me. In all honesty I'd completely forgotten it but I really wanted to say, "Well, I thought that bringing a diaper bag would make me look suspicious - you know, on account of the kids and all."

In the midst of my grilling a canned voice came over the intercom informing us that our nation was now on "high alert" (oh really? I hadn't noticed) and this guy gives me a nod as if to say, "See? This is why you shouldn't rush." Damn you, Tom Ridge - I had to pay four bucks for parking instead of three...which wouldn't bug me but I literally missed the three buck cut-off point by a matter of a few minutes.

I'm glad that security is so high, and it erases some of my unease over putting my child on a plane, but as I was standing there trying to remember the license plate number on my van I saw no less than ten single guys exit in just as much of a rush as I was. In an effort to avoid being accused of racial profiling it seems like security is bending over backward to make a big show of questioning those of us who are the exact diametric opposite of the hijackers. ("Well, you're wearing a habit and say you're a nun but how can I be sure? That rosary of yours could be used as a weapon; I'm sorry, I can't allow that on board with you.")

Thankfully I was cleared and allowed to leave the airport - I really wish that I were a middle-aged single man with a dark complexion, maybe wearing a turban, because they seem to be invisible to security.

But if you see a white woman with a couple of kids stop her immediately.

Security alert-ly,


Thursday, March 27, 2003

Mullets. As far as the eye can see: mullets. Permed mullets, spiked at the top and feathered at the sides. Beer bellies squeezed into form-fitting bib overalls. Patchy mustaches. Wallets on chains hooked to belt loops.

And those were just the women.

I'm talking about regional Midwestern flights, people. It's not pretty.

Sitting there at the gate, waiting for Sam's flight to board I scan the faces. The flight is going to Moline, which is a pretty small area, so the odds were good that there would be someone I knew waiting to board the flight. Every flight is divided into two camps - those going for a visit and those going home.

Samantha is usually one of only, maybe, two people "going for a visit" to Moline. The rest of the flight is comprised of people who had finished their visiting here (you can spot them by their huge "Discovery Channel Store" shopping bags from Mall of America) and are going home.

I didn't see anyone I recognized but I did hear quite a few of these: "Chuck, is that you? You old somubitch - you didn't tell me you and Erlene was coming to Meeneesoda!"

These people are from Illinois - why do they all sound like Dr. Phil?

There was one guy who stood apart from the throng - he was well-dressed and had a hundred-dollar haircut and a cell phone worth twice that. He spoke into his cell, loud enough so that everyone could hear, "I'm going to be back in OMAHA by ten tonight but I have to go via someplace in Illinois called 'Moline' that I'VE NEVER HEARD OF. No, I don't know anyone there." He might as well have been screaming, "I'm not one of you!"

Yep - he would rather be from Omaha than Moline. That's pretty telling right there.

I left here at one this afternoon and it's now nearly eight - I've done almost a whole day of work doing nothing more than taking a kid to the airport.

And I get to turn around and do it all again on Sunday. Bully. For. Me.

I'll tell you tomorrow about the security. It was worse than I thought, much worse. But for now I'm off to contemplate what it's like in Omaha.



Now I get to go do battle at the airport - I fully expect to be pulled from the queue and thoroughly searched. Because nothing says, "I'm a terrorist" quite like a stroller and three kids.

Though, truth be told, all three of them could qualify as "weapons of mass destruction" (if you've ever seen my living room you'll know what I'm talking about). And then there's the whole "biological and chemical weapons" factor...I am, of course, talking about diapers.

So maybe I deserve to be detained - nothing would make me happier than to hear, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Yates, but we'll have to keep your children for the weekend to inspect them further to determine their threat level." Man, that would be sweet.

Carol Brady-ingly,


You know what has never once crossed my mind with regards to this site? The color blind. Bet you've never thought of them, either, huh?

From Vischeck:

Roughly 1 in 10 men are fully or partly colour blind. This means that one of the three types of colour detectors in their eyes is either faulty or missing altogether.The condition is hereditary and sex-linked: fathers will pass the gene to their daughters (but not their sons) and mothers can pass it to all their children. However, because women can be unaffected carriers, men are at least 20 times more likely than women to develop colour blindness.

That means, probably, at some point, someone has read my or your blog behind these eyes. Are you using your colors and contrast responsibly?

At Vischeck you can plug in your url to see how a colorblind person would see your blog. Mine isn't too difficult to read if you suffer from a red/green deficiency - my greens, reds and oranges appears to be a deep sage green. With a blue/yellow deficiency, my green looks blue and my reds and oranges look pink. It's pretty interesting - you should check it out and see just how "readable" you would be to a color blind person.

I once worked with a guy who was colorblind - I was the manager at a country club and he was hired as a server but he couldn't read the touch-screens to enter the food orders - I think it was dark green on light green, maybe? I tried putting various colors of contact paper over the screen to try to get the right amount of contrast so that he could see but in the end it came down to either scrapping the whole system or going back to pen and paper ordering - so I ended up pulling the whole thing in favor of something with a black and white screen.

I couldn't imagine having to live my life not being able to see certain colors - or seeing them incorrectly or whatever. All of Ken's socks were black or white and most of his shirts were of the Hawaiian-variety...he said he wore them because no matter what color pants he wore he knew that it would somehow match. He was missing such a huge part of what we take for granted...sure, in the vast scheme of what can go wrong with a human body a little bit of color blindness rates pretty low, but still - it's out there and it's a lot more common than I thought.

So this is my public service announcement to all of you, and a thanks to a very kind reader who emailed me to tell me how much he likes my blog and complimented me on being color-blind friendly. I can assure you it was through sheer dumb luck but in the future I'll definitely pay attention.



Wednesday, March 26, 2003

After a long hard day of doing a whole bunch of nothing at all I like to relax and unwind by putting up an rss feed for my blog.

Look ma, no template!




We have winners, we have winners, we have lots and lots of!

While I haven't heard back from everyone yet I'll just go ahead and take the plunge and announce it here:

In the category of "Best Kept Secret" we have Pulp Friction and Sonata for Unfinished Yelling. Karen and Sean, take a bow.

In the category of "Thought Provoking" we have Waitress Dreams and Promo Guy. Mopsa and Promo, take a bow.

In the category of "Layout" we have Kids Korner and The Presurfer. Kid and Gerard, take a bow.

In the category of "Comedy" we have Scrappleface and Little Tiny Lies. Scott and Steve, take a bow.

In the "best linkage" category, we have Friday Fishwrap and The People's Republic of Seabrook. MJ and Jack, take a bow.

And best overall goes to Liloia and Amish Tech Support. Dave (and Ms. Tara) and Laurence, take a bow.

So that's that. Grab your button on the right and make sure you email me if you haven't already.

Congrats, folks.

So long and thanks for all the fish-ingly,


Okay, people listen up - I got me some newsworthy items to slap down so pay attention:

The Dillies are done - if you've won, you'll have an email from me waiting for you. If you don't have an email from me, well, thanks for playing - there's always next year.

I want to give a huge shout-out of thanks to Sgt. Stryker for the mention of Operation Civilian Support.

Coming soon will be items from Dave Barry himself available for auction - details to come soon. That Dave is one good egg, isn't he?

That's about it for the moment. Congrats, thanks, cheers, whatever - now I have to run, as Zoe is trying to kill our new fish by feeding them to death.



Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Allow me to reiterate - where the hell did all of you people come from?!?

I'm still counting the ballots for the Dillies, sigh. This makes my ass tired.



Monday, March 24, 2003

And the winners are....

Just teasing - voting for The Dillies doesn't conclude for almost an hour yet, so get your last minute votes in now.

Did you hear me, soldier? I said now!

After that, the winners will be notified via a real live email from yours truly so that I can secure their butt size and their willingness to participate. I'm not going to publish that, obviously, but if someone is willing to tell me their butt size to get my shorts then they will forever hold a place on my blogroll. Because butt size is kind of a big thing with me. Ahem.

Okay, so that whole thing is nearly over (and remind me next year to never again have a contest span two months, okay? That's just not right) and I'm onto my next thing. Drum roll, maestro!

What I am going to do is grill those butts of yours. Turn up the heat, cuz we're talking HOT SEAT baby, yeah.

The rules are simple - if you agree (be it through self-nomination or from someone else nominating you...nomination form to come soon but until then feel free to email me or comment here) you will be placed on the Hot Seat where I will ask you a series of five questions, either of my own making or suggested by your fellow bloggers. Your answers will be posted here, in response. But wait, that's not all!

For the course of one day (that's 24 hours to you and me) you will be asked questions from other bloggers which you will have to answer to the best of your ability. You can't be evasive, you can't decline to answser - everything is fair game. (Of course, if something is really out of line I hold full discretionary license...I'm not sure what that phrase means, I just know that I like saying it. Full discretionary license. Wow, I sound all smart an' stuff, huh?)

Hey, when they roasted Rob Reiner they called him "Meathead", right? You can put up with more than that, can't you? Don't tell me you're not as tough as Rob freaking Reiner.

So that's it in brief - either comment here, email me or telepathically communicate your nominations. Nominate yourself if you think you're strong enough - nominate that one blogger you wish you knew just a little more about, just participate. It'll be fun.

You may even get something good out of playing, as I've recently found a box of boxers that fell off the back of a truck...erm...I mean...pah, nevermind.

So you wanna play or what?



And by the way, two things I forgot to mention -

Caryn J. (no blog yet) is the Donor of the Day at OCS. Whoo hoo, show the gal some love!

And another thing - our little friend Fiona of commentary fame has her own blog now - she didn't want to tell anyone but her husband John kindly outed her. (Thanks John - it's about freaking time!)

That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Givin' me homies some props (yes, I did just say that) -ingly,


Santa Watch - Day 75

Our Santa Watch has finally come to a messy end. Seventy-five days after the twelfth day of Christmas, Santa was brought in so the neighbor could mow his lawn.

That's right - he moved Santa so he could mow. And this is Minnesota, folks - we only have two seasons here: winter, and July 15th.

I was getting so tired of seeing that thing, lying deflated and wet in the springtime mud. Andy and I made a pact - if Santa wasn't taken in by Sunday we were going to liberate him, like they did with the garden gnomes a few years back. I don't know where Santa ended up but I'm sure he went to a better place than a puddle of mud.

And now for something completely different...

I don't usually do this kind of thing, but I'm gonna today and you can't stop me. Here is some news in brief:

Irk left the 1,000th comment here...imagine a bunch of balloons falling from the ceiling and a banner reading, "You are our 1,000th comment!" unfurling. Now imagine it happened last Wednesday. And pretend Yaccs is a really reliable commenting host that doesn't routinely delete things. Ah, isn't that nice?

Jack at The People's Republic of Seabrook has upgraded me from a "brave defender of the realm" to an "heir to the throne", whoo-hoo! So, how many people, exactly, will I have to kill before becoming king?

Why do I mention this? Just cuz. I'd had a thought for a blog entry a long time ago but forgot exactly how I worked it all together, but my point is this: why is it that people read blogs but don't link to them? (Whoosh, I know - that was a change of topic on a cosmic scale but give me a break; I'm writing this in bits and pieces here....seriously, I started writing this around nine this morning and it's currently quarter to noon.)

The majority of my hits come from "self-referrer/bookmark" or similar, and I don't count my own IP address as a visit. Before today I didn't pay attention to whose blogroll I was on, but now you'll notice quite a few more links over there. I was briefly toying with chucking my blogroll altogether and just using the referrer script over there on the right (it's way down at the bottom under the picture of my tattoo) but I don't know. That's like, "I won't link to you unless you link to me" kind of thing, and that's not the kind of operation I'm running here. But at the same time, if someone's linking to me that has fallen through the cracks (namely, people who don't use blogrolling) it's nice to be able to glance down and see, "Oh hey, this other site I've never heard of is linking to me." Sheesh, I'm all over the place with this entry - deepest apologies.

It's now four p.m. and I'm still writing this thing - it's becoming rather painful so I'll just stop. I'm just trying to get an idea of other people's linking habits (well why didn't you just say so, Natalie?) Because nothing's working for me today and I'm all discombobulated an' stuff, alright?

Before you get snippy, just remember - I am an heir to the throne and you know what that means?

Beheadings all around!

Queen of Hearts-ly,


So tell me - what, exactly, was so offensive?

Michael Moore: Whoa. On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to — they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much.

It was the Dixie Chicks reference, wasn't it?

When he said, "Shame on you" did he do the whole scraping one finger against the other finger thing? I always thought that had something to do with peeling carrots, but what do I know.

Blixie Chicks-ingly,


Sunday, March 23, 2003

(Sing it like "There's A Bad Moon on the Rise...")

There's a Cathy in the Wright - she rocks, she's Minnesotan and she's the donor of the day over at OCS.

Thank you, Cathy - you're a star.

Update! My main squeeze, Mopsa is in on the action now, too. She knows she's my very favorite bestest blogging friend in the whole wide world so I don't need to say it, but I will anyway. Love ya, mops!



You know who I blame? The hippies.

I don't mean the "modern day" hippies; the "fashion statement" hippies. I mean the real hippies of the 60s.

Once upon a time there was an awful war that most people agreed we (the US) shouldn't have participated in - which was understandable. "What the hell is Vietnam?" the people would say, only they'd pronounce it, "vee-ut-NAM" No one could point Vietnam out on a map (does that sound familiar to all of you "Where is Iraq on a map" people?) but we knew that our best and brightest would soon be sent there to fight and die.

The United States government had sent over all of the folks that had signed up for the military and then said, "Shoot, they're all dead now, what do we do?" so they drafted. And the drafted folk either sucked it up to their responsibility or they fled to Canada or England or wherever. The protests continued.

"One, two, three, four - we don't want to go to war!" was the chant, and many a daisy was planted in the ends of rifles. Isn't this dreamy, the hippies thought, while hanging out at their college campuses (on student deferrment from the war) that we can stop this horrible war with peace? Isn't this lovely? We don't want our brethren over in some foreign country fighting a war; that's just not right.

And the boys that were sent over to Vietnam, who were falling into holes filled with sharpened sticks, died thinking, "This is just not right."

It all went on, back and forth, and at some point the boys that were sent to Vietnam came home. The boys who didn't want to go to Vietnam in the first place - these lucky ones - came home. So where were the hippies? Oh, right, they were throwing mud on the hate machines that these boys had become. These boys who were saying, "I killed people because I had to, lest I be killed - what would you have me do?"

The mistake they made was that they survived. There's no respect in survival, is there?

It makes no difference at this point what we feel about the war - we're doing it, we're in there, we've died and we've killed. It's not a weakness to be a person who, last month, was shouting at the top of her lungs that this war was awful but this month saying, "I support our troops." The people that don't support our troops can claim responsibility for every "Will work for food"-Vietnam vet that they see.

They may not be doing the right thing - and only history can tell us the truth with this, so there's no point in speculating - but they're out there risking their lives. Their lives.

We cannot know if this is right. And sometimes, yes, war is right. Don't even get me started on this one - the easy answer is WWII, which I feel a special kind of closeness/hatred know that until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor the US relegated the WWII news to page twelve? No one believed it - no, it's just too awful that Hitler is killing people in the showers. It's too awful to believe that Saddam is throwing people into human shredders.

It is pretty fucking awful, isn't it?

What are we going to do? What would you have us do?

I can't say if I'm right or if I'm wrong, but one thing I can say is that, no matter how much I love my country (and Andy can even tell you that I was a patriot before it was cool) I don't, scratch that, I know I couldn't do what our troops are doing now.

Just like they did in Vietnam.

Just like they did in the Civil War.

Just like they did in the Great Revolution.

Time will tell what battles are deemed "worth it". To dismiss any of these efforts out of hand is a disservice to our troops and their families.



Saturday, March 22, 2003

For once in my life I am speechless.

Thank you, MJ. That was a seriously large contribution - I just don't even know what to say.

Thank you - I've said it before and I'll say it again: You totally rock my socks off.

Update: Another hefty contribution came in from one Erica "Irk" of Stuff and Whatever.

You guys are fantastic - I'm in absolute awe of your goodwill. This reinforces my feelings that I'm on the right track.




Okay, guys - this is pretty exciting. After multiple hours of work (it's harder than you'd think!) I finally got my stuff together.

There's no political agenda behind it, other than to see that families are taken care of - and yes, it's a grass-roots effort, but hey, wasn't everything at some point?

My only regret is that, because of duties and import laws it's currently restricted to the US (but hey, you foreigners, feel free to do your thang in your own countries).

So now, without further ado, I proudly present to you Operation Civilian Support! (This is the part where you clap and stomp your feet...there you go...can I get a whoop-whoop? Come on, someone give me a whoop whoop...okay, I think I heard one, way in the back. But still, it's a start.)

So go on, donate - you know me, you know this is what I believe in, you know I'm not going to do anything untoward with the funds. We're talking charitable accountability, people! What more could you ask for? Oh. That. Well, I'm not ready to offer that - but what I will do is offer credit and publicity to anyone who donates, how about that? Picture it, your name in lights! Okay, so maybe not in lights, but you take the point.

How about this? How about, anyone who donates anything will get a huge drum up of support on this very blog? (Now you all go, "Ooooh...") But WAIT! That's not all. You will also get my personal thanks - in the form of an email - that you can feel free to publish on your own blog. Imagine, an email from me saying what a great person you are, everyone should love you, you don't dye your hair to cover your grey but rather you dye it to be cool...(Now you all go, "Aahhhhh!")

But really - just do it to make someone else's life a little easier. We're lucky, we're not facing the possible death of a family member to the war. Let's play Devil's Advocate, shall we? The people who enlisted did so knowing that they may have to give their lives. The people who married them either married a military person or allowed their spouse to become a military person. But the kids...(Now you all go, "Oh".) The kids didn't ask for this, nor should they suffer.

Just...just do something, okay? In this time of utter impotence it will feel nice to be able to say, "I did something to make a difference." However small it may be - your small combined with his small plus her small makes one hell of a big small, right?

We're counting on you.



Friday, March 21, 2003

Because the man has no interest in knowing me, I cannot call him. So here I will say:

Happy 64th birthday, Dad. I only hope that mom isn't so sickened with me that she'll not look here.

But happy birthday anyway. You told me once that out of all of us seven kids I was the most like you - and I don't think you'll ever know how much that statement meant to me.



I have a surprise for you - but you can't see it yet.

How do you keep a blogger in suspense? I'll tell ya tomorrow.



Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Deep breath.

I tend to avoid getting political on this site. You know, I've written four different paragraphs after that sentence that I've deleted because they all veered off in the wrong direction...I'll just cut the rhetoric and get to the point.

We're going to war, that much is evident. The time for support has begun - not support for Bush or Blair or our governments, necessarily, but support for our troops and their families.

There have been some fantastic efforts of support in the form of emails, messages, gifts and care packages to our troops deployed in anticipation of this war - forthcoming will be a list of sites you can visit for these campaigns - and I'm going to do my part as well.

I've decided to start "Operation Civilian Support" (note: we're having what can be referred to as "technical issues") which will focus on the civilian families left behind by our service people deployed in anticipation of the impending war. I haven't come across a site devoted to the families so my scope is pretty wide at the moment, but this is my game plan:

  • Accept donations to purchase "care package" items for the families - a lot of these people have lost their sole breadwinner and everything that is donated to them is one less thing they'll have to purchase.

  • Accept donations to purchase small gifts for the children of our troops - to try to perk them up in some small way.

  • Accept notes of encouragement and well-wishes for the family.

  • Connect family members with willing pen-pals - if you have a child perhaps s/he would like to keep in contact with the child of a service member? Or you could offer yourself as a sympathetic ear to the spouse the service member left behind?

You get the point.

When the site is launched there will be a calendar set up so you know exactly where and when the packages are sent and what they contain. I have the shipping addresses for various bases around the country (no direct addresses for security reasons) and every package that is sent will be distributed at random to occupants of that base who have a household member currently deployed abroad.

I've not yet filed to incorporate as a non-profit organization - I'll wait on this to see what kind of response this effort receives - so at the moment no donations will be tax-deductible. Of course that may change.

Additionally, there will be an option to donate "real" items rather than money if you're not comfortable with that. Currently I will accept items shipped to my home for inclusion, but again, depending on the response I receive I may change that to ship to a PO box.

Anyway, all of the details will be posted on the Operation Civilian Support website once it's launched.

That's it for now, I guess. I'll post here when I get the other website together (Andy, I may need your help on some of this). Any questions, comments, concerns? Email me or comment here.



Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I've had less than one cup of coffee this morning and do not want to make another pot - because then I will drink the other pot. I don't feel awake, and I'm certainly not awake enough for The Wiggles dvd that Bean insists on playing, oh, constantly.

Specifically, she's stuck on one song which implores us to "move like the emu do" or something. Usually I pride myself on getting lyrics right and it's uncommon for me to flub (except with Oasis songs because they sound like their noses are stuffed with cotton) but as far as I can tell, these are the words to "Move Like An Emu":

You got to move like an emu do (repeat, say, seventeen times)
Stroke with your fingers
Cheek on my beak
Check out my long legs
Feet go up, feet go down
Feet get sweaty underground
Grab your ass and shake it awhile
And move like an emu do

Didn't George Michael write this song originally? I think he did.

I don't know how an emu is supposed to move but they sound like some pretty fascinating creatures. Especially when I can hear that song as the soundtrack for a muted CNN.

How's that for surreality of the day, huh?



Surreality of the Day
(note: this was written yesterday but apparently I didn't click the "publish" button)

I'm waiting for my groceries to be delivered, and while I usually park the totes outside to avoid opening the door (and thus, fighting my 300 pounds worth of dogs) today I'm expecting a bottle of wine with my order. This means I have to show my ID and sign - so I've been expecting a knock.

The knock came and I opened the door to a scrawny kid in a baseball cap, gulping and looking everywhere but at me. In what seemed to be a single breath he explained to me that he suffers from a crippling fear of strangers and of speaking in public, and he's enrolled in a program to help him overcome this fear. In light of mopsa's recent declaration of her own fear of flying coupled with Andy's own "public speaking" issues this young man found a rather sympathetic audience in me.

I made some reassuring noises, told him I knew how he felt, wished him the best and turned to go back inside. But oh no - I wasn't getting off that easy. He asked me to listen to a speech he'd written, complete with a disclaimer that the speech was a writing exercise that didn't necessarily reflect his view (which I took to mean, "If you don't agree with what I'm saying please don't challenge me on it") of whatever he was saying. He then went into a speech about the Panama canal - at least, I think that's what it was about - gulping and stuttering the entire time. I swear tears were welling up in his eyes and I just wanted to hurry up and get this thing over with - it was a sight to behold.

He finished and I praised his efforts and again turned to go but the wild look in his eyes told me that we still weren't finished. In the most heart-breaking voice I've ever heard and with tears in his eyes he then asked me to choose a song for him to sing. He made it through the chorus of "You Are My Sunshine" just fine and to make him feel better I got a little chatty and told him that the chorus is only a small part of a much longer song (I'm a notorious "did you know"-er)...just to make small-talk, you know? He went even paler and said that he didn't know the rest of the words...I don't know the rest of the words...but if you wanna-pick-another-song...gulp...I would be hap-h-h-happy to-sing-it. Gosh, no way - I was just sayin' is all.

Next came a game of Simon Says. Touch your nose. Stand on one leg. Growl like a beaver. Do beavers growl? Okay, growl like a dog. He did all of this even though I hadn't said "Simon says" so technically he should have been out, but I let it slide.

When he'd finished he asked me to initial next to my address (was he going to inflict himself upon the entire neighborhood? By the looks of his form it seemed so) and he finally looked me in the eye to thank me. As he walked away he placed one hand on the garage to steady himself on his wobbly legs and I thought, "That exercise certainly didn't seem helpful to him - I wonder what he paid to be part of this program of ritual humiliation and does this work?"

I hope he wasn't suckered by some schyster hell-bent on making a buck by exploiting the weakness of others.

I'm so glad that I don't have any fears like that. And I'm glad that I'm not sadistic enough to jack with him. "Sing 'Don't Cry For Me, Argentina'! Simon says, assume the lotus position. Who says the construction of the Panama canal was a good thing? Defend your stance, you crybaby pansy. Now dance, monkey boy."

He'd have done it, too. All in the name of overcoming his fears. Sigh.



Monday, March 17, 2003

So this whole St. Patrick's Day thing's about a load of crap, innit?

Think about it: What does St. Patrick's Day mean to you? I mean, really, what's the first thing that pops into your head? I'd bet that it's one of these:

  • Green beer and/or Guinness
  • Shamrocks
  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • Leprechauns
  • The Chicago River being dyed green (if they can dye it green one day a year why can't they dye it blue all of the other days of the year?)
  • The parade

No one ever thinks about St. Patrick in these terms:

  • That he was kidnapped from his native England (of Celtic parents) and forced into slavery in Ireland
  • He escaped back to England before returning to Ireland to take them a little thing called "Christianity", perhaps you've heard of it? Before Patrick, the Irish hadn't.
  • That he was the first person to put pen to paper saying slavery was immoral
  • His written works were the first ever in Ireland and the only works from Ireland and England from the fifth century that exist today
  • He petitioned the cause for women to be treated as equals

He's the Patron Saint of the Exluded People and many consider his abduction and slavery to have been one of the most important events in history. Had he not been abducted what guarantee was there that he would go to Ireland to teach Christianity? Very little, considering that his main goal was to convert the people whom had held him captive in the first place. No abduction, no conversion, no Christianity in Ireland today, no Protestants, no IRA...wait, no, that's not where I'm going.

He didn't drive the snakes out of Ireland, by the way, that's a myth. Ireland doesn't have snakes - and indeed, very few reptiles at all - because they couldn't make it to the island from England after the last ice age. It's one thing to have driven snakes out of Ireland; it's another thing to have completely eliminated any evidence that snakes had ever been in Ireland to begin with. But hey, the Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs, right? So maybe St. Patrick really did that after all - since when has a pesky thing like science stood in the way of a good religious story, eh?

My mother's mother-in-law was from Ireland and, while I've never met her, I am in touch with my mother's cousin who lived with her for quite some time. She's told me how Marie used to laugh and laugh at the thought of celebrating St. Patrick's Day by eating corned beef and cabbage and said, "Maybe if we could have afforded to eat a meal like that I'd never have left Ireland in the first place."

The Irish are pretty lucky to have him, as it's been said that when the day of the Big Judgment comes it will be St. Patrick who is going to judge the Irish. Pretty good news for them, eh? I mean, the guy forgave the people who kept him in slavery - what chance do you have to shock him? He's going to be the Paula Adbul of the judgment panel.

So now you know. I'm not saying that St. Patrick should be celebrated because of his religion - but think about that guy who was held in slavery for years, only to return to the country of his capture to seek out those who had done him wrong and try to teach them the error of their ways. He was all, like, forgiving trespasses an' stuff.

Cuz leprechauns? That's just fucked up right there.



Sunday, March 16, 2003

Random quotes that had me in hysterics
(once again, format ripped right off from Artichoke Heart)

...On a particular teacher at school...

sam: He's just so anal.
me: Where did you hear that expression?
sam: That's what Mrs. B said about him, too - I overheard her.
me: Do you understand what that phrase means?
sam: It means he has his thumb up his butt.

...On Andy's academic accomplishments as a young man...
(side note: "pulling" is a slang thing for something akin to "hooking up")

me: So you were the math champ and the chess champ? Whoa, that just screams "Mr. Popularity". I bet you were really pulling with those credentials.
andy: Yeah, I was pulling all right - night and day. Unfortunately, I was pulling by myself...

...On being asked by Andy what she would like to eat...

zoe: How about you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, bitch?

Oh, it's all so very, very wrong.

In stiches-ly,


Saturday, March 15, 2003

(Note: Previous post deleted due to heavily crap content and stream of consciousness poetry - which should never, ever be inflicted upon another human being, ever. A wise man once said, "Just because you can type while drunk doesn't mean you should." We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.)

Get shorty, eh?

I'm thinking of one of the following as a caption:

  • Yo, G, whassup brah? I'm Dibbity - you best check it, cuz I got me some mad free-stylin' rhymes.
  • My name is Russell and I think it's your alternator that needs fixin'
  • Hello my name is Corky - I'm special and my mom writes my name on my clothes in case I forget who I am.

Even with the dinosaurs on his shirt he still looks pretty hard-core, doesn't he? I'm going with the first one.



Friday, March 14, 2003

No one's really saying anything about this so I will...

Am I the only one who gets a creepy vibe from Ed Smart? Yesterday I was watching his press release and just came away from it really disturbed, like something just didn't feel right. I actually jumped at one point...he was talking about how the kidnapper scum got into his house and said, "The screen was cut from the outside" - then he threw his arms wide open and screamed, "CUT FROM THE OUTSIDE!" It made me jump and made my heart race - I didn't know what I was looking at. I've seen parents on television who have had their missing or abducted children returned to them and this wasn't what I was seeing in Ed Smart. I know, I know - it's lazy and wrong to say, "Oh if that were me or my kid..." and that's not really what I'm saying. It's just this off feeling I have in my gut.

I had the same feeling when Elizabeth Smart first went missing but chalked it up to my inherent bias where I automatically suspect that a parent was involved (because that's so often the case) and didn't pay it much attention. But it came back in full force yesterday. And I have a really awful feeling that the story we're being told isn't the truth of what happened.

Maybe I'm just a naturally suspicious person, I don't know, but every time I see Ed Smart I become increasingly...unsettled, I guess is the word. Is this just me?



Thursday, March 13, 2003

You know what ticks me off? I invented a combination of this and this nearly five years ago.

Missed the boat-ingly,


links courtesy of GeekGrrl via Daisyhead.

A lot of people have been posting about the whole "freedom fries" fiasco - what's the point, isn't this stupid, blah blah blah, but no one's posting about the last time we did something like this. Yeah, we did this before, with some interesting results. Let me tell you a little story...

Once upon a time the hot dog (or frankfurter) was called a dachshund sausage. "Get your red-hot dachshund sausages!" the street vendors would cry. "Red hot dachshund sausages sold right here, folks! They're great with sauerkraut."

And we bought our dachshund sausages and topped them with sauerkraut and all was good in the world. "Thank you, Germans!" the children would shout, "Thank you for bringing such culinary delights of the Old Country! Yours is truly a blessed and generous people."

Then one day we woke up and realized the Germans were bad. "Boo you to, dachshund sausage vendor, and boo to your genocidal ways. We will no longer consume your proffered fascist dogs and you can't make us - we're not your puppets, you can't control us. Sure, your government can make a lot of people do a lot of things but your power stops at our borders. What have you to say to that, Herr Puppet Meister?" And the immigrant was confused. "I'm-a not-a sure-a whaddya you mean!" (I can't do a German accent so I'm making him sound like a caricature of an Italian immigrant - just run with it.) "Isa love-ah dis country, issa why I-a comma here from-a Deutschland. Why you no like-a Tony's dachshund sausages, eh?"

"We refuse to buy into anything German to show our displeasure with the killing hate machine that is the Nazi régime!" the children screamed back, shaking their little angry fists. One kid, I think he was called Jimmy, threw a rock - he was always a little punk but he had some anger-control issues so let's cut him some slack. His dad was hyper-critical of him, his mother was a daytime drinker - that old story. Poor kid. Anyway, the rock didn't hit Tony because Jimmy's aim was crap, which is why he'll never make it as a big-league pitcher, the rotten little brat - always disappointing the old man.

So Tony the German went home that day to his wife Maria. "Where's-a da money, Tony, the dachshund sausages money?" And Tony had none and Maria was displeased. "Land-a opportunity, he says, comma ta American we canna be rich, he says. Dachshund sausages sella like-a hotcakes, he says!" she screams. Tony was afraid, for he had seen the wrath of Maria and it was strong and long-lasting. But Tony was an enterprising young German and had an idea.

Next day, Tony takes his sausage cart into town and dons a disguise. "Getta your hotta dogs here!" was his new cry. "Hotta dogs for all!" And the children came, suspicious at first, and asked, "What's a hot dog?" Tony said, "A hotta dog...issa like a sausage but not like a dachshund sausage...issa American sausage for the good Americans!" The children bought them. Tony, always trying to make a little extra money, said, "For-a two more cents you canna get da sauerkra...uh, you canna get some liberty cabbage onna toppa that dog." How can you refuse liberty cabbage in a time of war? The children bought and Tony was pleased (until his wife died from a major aneurysm - "Her brain," he sobbed, "Issa just exploded!" The children were like, "Man, I'm not buying hot dogs from Tony anymore - how can I eat when he's constantly talking about exploding brains?" Tony died penniless and alone.).

So once again all was well in the world...well, apart from the European part of the world, but that's another story for another day.

The name "liberty cabbage" didn't catch on because it had the word "cabbage" in it...the goodness of "liberty" can only remove so much of the badness of "cabbage" so sauerkraut was once again called sauerkraut. But the name "hot dog" did catch on - and to be honest, a lot of people were looking for a different name because they couldn't pronounce "dachshund". (Heck, I'm not even sure I'm spelling it correctly.) That's why we call the dachshund hound a "weiner dog". (Note: The alternate name for a hot dog, which was in general use by a competitive vendor of the time, was "lips and assholes in intestines" which, of course, didn't catch on. Not because it sounded gross but because the people of the time didn't believe that pigs even had lips. There were some "truth in advertising" issues that just couldn't be reconciled.)

So now you know. Freedom fries don't seem so stupid now, do they?



Wednesday, March 12, 2003

We can't forget those other miracles who were found safe, bless their little socks.

And also remember those who will, sadly, never make it home again.

Then, of course, keep an eye out for these kids who are still missing - which includes this gal I used to babysit.

I've been sitting here bitching that I have to do my taxes without cigarettes (something that should never happen in a civilized country) but now I'm going to go hug my kids.

Elizabeth Smart has been found alive.

Sorry - This is the link to the CNN story.

When I was a little girl I was often mistaken for her:

This didn't bother me in the slightest, as Punky Brewster was popular at the time - I even took to wrapping bandanas around my knees to look more like her and wore my hair in pigtails every single day. There was some look-alike contest for some commercial and my parents sent in my picture and I actually got called - I have no real memory of that so let's just say that I decided I didn't want to be a commercial actor after all and left in a huff with the tv people begging me to stay. That memory really works for me.

As I got older people started telling me that I looked like her:

This was cool to me, as I really dig Janeane. She's witty, hip, least, she was back when I looked like her.

After a while, "You look like that chick from the Larry Sanders show" was replaced with, "You look like Janeane Garofalo...without makeup." Sigh, that era had passed.

I don't know who I might look like now, but I've seen my future, and it is she:

When "Will & Grace" first came out, I was declared to be by my gay friends, "such the Karen." I loved this, as she is the ultimate hag so being called "such the Karen" from a gay man was the ultimate compliment. But a few weeks ago Megan Mullally appeared on the Tonight Show as herself...which is to say, not as Karen. The next day my mother calls and says, "You know, in a few years I bet you're going to look a lot like that Megan Mullally...

...without makeup."

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, "What will I be?
Will I stay Punky, or be Janeane?
Here's what she said to me...
Que sera sera
You'll look like Meg Mullally
Unless you get plastic surgery
Que sera sera

Downward spiral-ingly,


Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Santa Watch: Day 64

Santa is still out, though he appears to be dead. Deflated, lying face-down in the snow. Poor old guy.

At what point am I legally entitled/obligated to liberate Santa from the staked-in-the-ground hell that's been inflicted upon him by my neighbor?

Who needs a wreath in March, anyway? If it were still green it could conceivably be considered a Saint Patrick's Day ornament but this thing is looking brown.

Poor Santa.

Ho ho oh no-ingly,


Monday, March 10, 2003

Just to let you know...everyone in my regular blogroll looks as great in Netscape as they do in IE. Just an FYI. (You remember Murphy Brown, right, FYI news? Thought you might.)

Quote o' the day, via former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole on "Larry King Live" tonight, "Saddam Hussein can save the day." True dat, and all sorts of other gangsta lingo that I'm not familiar with.

Ghetto Netscaping-ly,


One more quote because it's just too delicious to pass up (and because I can't stand Catherine Zeta-Jones)...

At the SAG awards last night, Ms. Zeta-Jones said of her husband, Michael Douglas, "He's my biggest supporter mechanism, and my best favorite actor in the world."

Forgive her for her ignorance - she knows not what she says.

Best favorite actor-ly,


And apropos of extremely nothing and absolutely everything at the same time - my new favorite quote (ripped right off from Life on Earth)

The difference between Utopia and Dystopia is the ability to spell.



Alright, I've decided to not do the "Top Ten Highly Annoying Commenting Habits" after all. Which is too bad, because I had some good ones.

See, the original post that inspired my post of yesterday turned out very differently than mine. Over there, wherever it was, the post inspired people to comment what they felt was annoying as well, and I think there was a survey thing, and it was fun. Yes, fun. What happens when I do it? People get all paranoid. I sure can ruin a good thing, can't I?

Maybe I didn't keep my themes universal enough? Witty enough? Clever enough? Whatever, enough.

In my email today I received multiple (yes, multiple) messages from people asking me to check out their blog and see if I could find anything wrong with it. I'd never even heard of most of these, as they were the sites of people who read here but never comment so I don't even know they're visiting. I am not the quality-control police and why do you really care if I think your blog is annoying or not?

Some people value my opinion, I guess. That is so weird.

Really, that is very weird.

I think I need to lie down now.



Sunday, March 09, 2003

Top Ten Habits of Highly Annoying Bloggers -
or, “How to Really Piss Me Off With Very Little Effort”

I read a post along these lines the other day that I’ve since forgotten (which means I’m breaking two of my own rules here and annoying myself) and thought I’d throw my own two-cents into the ring…what’s that saying, “Even if a mixed metaphor sings it should be derailed”? Something like that – but hey, I’m still tired so give me a break.

These aren’t absolutes, and I freely admit that I do some of these things as well, but it still annoys me.

On Blogs:

1. Wasting real estate. You have this nice, huge screen and yet you decide to cram your text into a column that only takes up about a quarter of your screen. I really, really hate this. Another spin on this theme is having a screen but boxing your entry into a frame-type thing with a scroll bar. People who do this tend to have some cool graphic on their background, which is fine, but you do know that you can keep your graphic static, don’t you? I mean, it doesn’t have to scroll off your screen as you’re reading the post. (Though this annoys me as well – it gives me a weird sense of vertigo, almost. You know how when you’re stopped at a light and the car next to you starts rolling forward slowly and you feel like you’re the one who’s moving so you slam on your brakes? It’s like that.)

2. When people link to things like this: “Here is a great article I read, and this is fun.” No! Do not do this - say what it’s about, okay? Say, “This is an excellent article on the human genome project” or “This is a fun game that translates your text into Bushisms.” You don’t say what it is? Guess what – I ain’t clickin’. I admit I’ve been guilty of doing so in the past because I felt that whatever I said would be too trite and diminish the greatness of whatever I was linking to, but do as I say, not as I do.

3. Taking every fricking personality test online and not only posting what you are but also including the graphic. You know what this says to me about your personality? That you’re the type of person who takes too many online quizzes. That’s all that says to me. Don’t keep the graphics of, “If you were any canned vegetable you would be CREAMED CORN” in your template, either. What are you expecting, someone to go, “Wow, he’s creamed corn, a vampire, a gin and tonic, Pikachu and the number pi? He sounds utterly fascinating.” Well, no one will say that. They’ll go, “Damn, that’s really lame.” Yep, lame. I’ll make you a button for your sidebar, okay?

4. Making a browser-specific layout. This is remarkably frustrating for me because most of the time I’m on Netscape, though Explorer is my preferred browser. A lot of you have blogs that look like mud in Netscape. Get a clue.

5. Not linking to the source of whatever you’re talking about. I’m guilty of this in this post myself, but again, do as I say, blah blah blah. I try, okay? Sometimes I forget where I see things, like the Wee Me. I did my little weeme, saved it, forgot about it for a few days, then went back to it and didn’t cite that I’d gotten the link from The Presurfer and didn’t even remember the website that had actually created the weeme for me. But I am stupid like that. Do not be stupid like that.

6. Taking a point from someone else’s blog and blogging about it on your own page. That’s exactly what I’m doing here, only because I can’t remember where I’d seen this talked about – and anyway, it was an older post so it’s not like I could have gotten in on the discussion. Why does this bother me? Okay, someone posts something and I feel like I have some strong opinions on the matter – what should I do? I should bloody well comment on the post on the other blog, not carry the conversation over to my own. That’s what comments are for. (Ooh, and something else that really gets my back up is when people will comment and say, “I’ve written my response on my own blog”…but that’s in another section so I won’t go into all of that right now.)

7. Forgetting/ignoring the fact that some of us are still on dial-up connections. Yes, I know it’s shocking, and I fall victim to this myself, but all of the little trinkety feature-lettes on the page need to l-l-l-o-o-o-o-a-a-a-a-d and it can be painful to bear when you’re on a dial-up. When I was at my mother’s house I felt this pain rather sharply, which is why I didn’t read a great many blogs when I was there – it just took too long. So remember those less fortunate than you who may be suffering slow connection speeds.

8. Generally being a whinge-bag. I came across a blog once with an entry that said something like, “I don’t know why I even blog, no one reads this and no one comments.” I felt so sad for the little monkey – I posted a comment along the lines of, “Hey, just do it for yourself, kiddo, that’s the important thing.” The next entry was like, “Yep. No one likes me.” I said, “Sure we do!” Next comment, “Don’t know why I even do this.” FINE! I’m outta here, stupid. If you’re looking to blog so that people will adore you and comment on your every post it’s not cute and clever to say, “No one likes me or ever comments.” Because guess what? I don’t and I won’t. Hey, it was you who gave me the idea.

9. Spelling and grammatical errors…grrrrrrr! If you’re a crap speller or have bad grammar then write your posts in Word first, okay? Don’t try to type straight into the entry box on blogger. I don’t have the best grammar in the world but at least I can form a coherent, cohesive sentence when the mood strikes. I don’t edit my own posts, I type as I’d speak…and I spend most of my days talking to a three-year-old so yeah, I’m going to be tough to read now and again. And I say, “like” too often. And I end sentences with a preposition. And I begin sentences with “and”. At least I know that this is wrong – if your grammar is bad and your spelling is bad I’m sure that somewhere along the way someone’s mentioned it to you. Think back – how long did it take you to get knocked out of the spelling bee? This is why I don’t feel sorry for those awful singers on American Idol when Simon rips them a new one – somewhere along the way I’m sure someone must have told them they weren’t good singers. They ignored that or didn’t believe it and set themselves up for judgment and ridicule. Good! They deserved it. I’m a bad singer, I know I am, so I restrict myself to singing in the shower and in the car – I only sing around my family as a punishment for them. Don’t punish us with your spelling errors – and if you’re not sure if you’re a bad speller or not, grab a post from your blog and paste it into Word or something. See all those green and red squiggles? I’m like the Terminator – I see those, too, when I’m reading your blog. Spell check is the single greatest invention since sliced porn. Use it.

10. Just general bad design. Loud colors. Crazy-ass fonts. Difficult navigation. And this comes from a gal who once had a black and purple template with yellow text. Wait, no, the title was yellow, I think the text was white. I did that to be funny, though, setting myself up as the antithesis of good taste. And oh boy, was it ever. But ya see, I was sporting that template as, like, all ironic an’ stuff – I never thought it looked good. Even the Goths would have said, “Whoa, Natalie, that’s a bit too dark.” Readability is key people. Duh.

So that’s my list o’ ten – it’s not exhaustive (though it could be considered exhausting) but it’s what was at the top of my mind at the moment. Tomorrow’s post will cover the top ten habits of highly annoying commenters…commentors…commentators…I should really be writing this in Word..



Friday, March 07, 2003

Where the hell did all of you people come from?!? I tell ya, if all y'all voted in a real election...sheesh, I know I have some real email somewhere in all of those ballots but I'll be damned if I can find them. This has been so much work that I'm going to have to get busy on the 2004 awards immediately after the 2003 awards are over. And here I was actually toying with the idea of doing this thing twice a year - pickle juice boxers are only step one in my plan for world domination, you see - but I don't know if I can handle this in another couple of months.

But it's so fun making nonsense sentences out of the votes, like "Parents Shit Puzzle Pieces" and "Dave Barry Eats Average Kids".

I'm kicking around the idea of including one of my custom designed candles as part of the prize, too, in order to get some free marketing out of the deal. I mean, it can't all be about you, now can it? We shall see. (This is one of the cool things about running your own contest - you can do whatever the hell you want and no one can really say anything about it.)

The other part I'm really enjoying is seeing the self-promotion that some people are doing on their know, MJ and Steve have both said that if they win they'll post pictures of themselves in the boxers? Rroowwwrrrr. Whatever floats your votes, I say. That would kind of rock if all the winners committed to doing the same thing, it could be another contest - take pictures from the waist down and try to guess whose butt belongs to which blog. Could be fun. Or disturbing. We'll see.

So enjoy your friday, don't forget to stuff the old ballot box - and please do check out the other blogs you're not familiar with that were nominated. Spread the love, spread the pickle.



Thursday, March 06, 2003

Okay, something I didn't think of default the top radio button in each category is checked. If you're not actually voting for that person in that category please put "no vote" or something to indicate this in the text box. I'm seeing a lot of people who are obviously only voting in one category but are leaving the top nominees as their selection. Follow what I'm saying? Hope so.

Don't want to pull a Florida-ly,


Running a contest is hard.



Deepest apologies to Dave and Tara...

Liola is like lee-OH-la.

Liloia is like lil-OY-a.

I think.

But what's in a name, really?

Liloia-ly (try saying that ten times fast),


Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Well, it took a small touch of forever but I finally got the voting page up for the Dilly Awards. I'm pretty sure I managed to include everyone that was nominated but I've had to jump around on two machines and three email accounts so it's quite possible that someone's been left off.

The categories have changed around a bit, mainly from lack of specific nominees, so now there are only six categories. If you want to help out by throwing some funds my way we can do, I don't know, first, second and third prizes? Maybe - pickle juice shorts for all!

Remember, if you're a winner you have to tell me your butt size and address, but all that will come at the end of this spectacular event.

So nominees, update your bookmarks and start recruiting people to vote for you.

(By the way, I made it home safely, thanks for asking, you big jerks. Except for you, mopsa - you cared. I should give you shorts, just because.)



Monday, March 03, 2003

Just a quick note to remind you that the Lysistrata Project is tonight. Wish I could be there but I'm there in spirit.

And for those of you who have been wondering, no I didn't win the Honorary Dykewrite Lesbian award - that honor went to Cinnamon, a very groovy little chickadee who not only knits but also listens to rap and is a really great writer. She totally deserved it - congrats, Cinnamon!

Now I get to go shopping again - or rather, I get to go watch my mom shop, which isn't very entertaining. The entertaining part comes later, when mom and dad fight over what she spent.



Sunday, March 02, 2003

Little bit o' science for you...

When water is microwaved alone, especially in a cylindrical container, it can be heated past the boiling point of 100 degrees C without appearing to be, well, that hot. The water remains perfectly still-looking rather than rapidly bubbling, like one would expect from water of that temperature. Those boiling bubbles are actually triggered into existence from the heat of the pan or kettle or whatever you're heating the water in - it's very dangerous to handle this "superheated" water, for as soon as you introduce a "trigger" into it (be it a spoon, instant coffee granules, a tea bag, anything) the energy in this water is suddenly released. It doesn't want to be that hot but it just can't help it. The poor water is crying out, "I need to bubble, I need to cool!!!" The result is that the water will fairly well explode all over everything.

I am a glass of water.

My mother's house is a big-ass microwave.

Set on high.

For many, many minutes past my boiling point.

And there's only one bathroom.



Saturday, March 01, 2003

Well, I'm in Illinois - I have no proof of this so you'll just have to trust me. I may actually still be in Minnesota, you just never know. So much of our relationship is built on trust, don't you think?

The drive was, thankfully, uneventful. Contrary to (cough) popular opinion, a "kick ass" music lineup was achieved despite the lack of (cough) Tori Amos. I had two Roy Harper and two Fiona Apple cds that were played in heavy rotation - a bit of a folk sandwich with a slice of healthy angst for balance.

But damn, that drive is tough. For a while I tried entertaining myself by trying to guess which way the road was going to curve - this is a particularly helpful game consider I have near night-blindness - but then thought, "I'm in frickin' Iowa - these roads are as curvy as Keith Moon is as intelligible" So that game quickly became boring.

It's tough sitting for eight hours without another human being to talk to. Sure, I had my kids, but they're still young enough to be considered property. They're sort of in the same category as my dogs except they don't think of their own poop as a tasty treat - though Zoe has used it as a decorating tool when the mood has struck.

Driving through Iowa, especially at night, can make a person fall into a trance of sorts. During the darkest hours, deep in the heart of Iowa, I found myself thinking things like, "I wonder if the word albino is politically incorrect...that Minnie Driver sure is a good actress...just exactly what are my SUV's off-road capabilities?...does that police officer mean me?"

But I made it to my mom's safely, thankfully. The Mississippi River provides a nice bookend feel for the trip, as I cross it just as I'm leaving home and cross it again just before reaching my mother's. Here's how to find my mom's house: cross into Illinois over the Mississippi River, turn right, and there she is. Come on over and see us sometime, I'm here through Tuesday.

I don't know what this weekend holds for us, but I'm pretty sure that we have an euchre game on the go at some point. I wish Andy were here to play with us but instead we get my mom's friend Kim as a stand-in. I don't really like playing with her as I really have to watch it around her - I can't say things like, "Suck my trump, mother effer!" like I can if it's just my dad and husband playing with me. Still, euchre is euchre - you take it where you can get it.

Apart from that I just don't know what we're going to do for these next few days. Dad's going to burn me a cd of Gordon Lightfoot and mom wants me to redecorate her living room so I'll probably spend a few hours teaching dad how to burn cds and telling mom why she shouldn't redecorate.

I know I'm on the brink of something. I just don't know what it is.

Homeward bound-ly,