Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quiz Mania

Blame Robyn, Dive, and every other quiz-crazed maniac out there in the blogosphere.

You Are 34% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over.
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
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What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

You Are A Weeping Willow Tree

You are a dreamer, and you're into almost any kind of escapism.
Restless and capricious, you love to travel to exotic places.
You are easily influenced by others, as long as they don't pressure you.
You tend to suffer in love until you find that one loyal, steadfast partner.
An empathetic friend, you love to make others smile and laugh.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

From the Departments of Well, Duh, and Oopsie!

Poor George. This is not his week. First off, as millions of Americans slurped down their Monday morning coffee, Matt Lauer of NBC’s the Today Show announced that NBC is calling the war in a Iraq a “civil war.” This concession to the obvious has been likened to Walter Cronkite’s 1968 declaration on CBS that the US was losing the Vietnam War—a statement that helped turn Middle America against that war.

A major news network’s use of the term “civil war” might cause present-day Middle America to view the war in Iraq not as the US helping a budding democracy fight off an evil insurgency or as a battle against terrorism (the WMD thing seems to be forgotten), but instead as the quagmire it really is. Middle America may never question the fabricated evidence that was used to justify this illegal war of aggression, but the withdrawal of their support for it will necessitate a change in policy by Bush & Co. The election results three weeks ago signified that public opinion has already shifted, and NBC’s use of “civil war” will likely increase the negative tide.

At press briefings in preparation for his planned two-day summit with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and Jordan’s King Abdullah, Bush has been adamant that only victory will do in Iraq and that the US will not leave a moment before. Bush and his lackeys have been on the offensive that Iraq is not in a state of civil war and that it’s all al Qaeda’s fault that things are such a mess there (well, gee, guys, how did al Qaeda get into a secular country, anyway?).

Media outlets were repeating all of this, but then, OOPSIE! This little national security memo to Bush by national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley revealed that the US government does not have a heck of a lot of confidence in Prime Minister Maliki. The memo broke this morning in the New York Times (the text of the memo is available in the link). Seems like Maliki just might be abetting the civil war by trying to strengthen the Shiite position in Iraq. Although the memo says that while Maliki says the right things to the US, something isn’t adding up.

“…The reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action,” the memo reads in its most damning section.

Hmm… Something isn’t adding up with the Bush & Co. line on Iraq, either. The White House denies that the leaked memo caused this, but King Abdullah cancelled today's scheduled meeting with Bush and Maliki “at the last minute,” according to this story on the New York Times’s web site.

Like I said, this just isn’t George’s week. I’m afraid that I only hope it gets worse for him.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Crafty Sundry

She's crafty - she's gets around
She's crafty - she's always down
She's crafty - she's got a gripe
She's crafty - and she's just my type
She's crafty
—Beastie Boys
Oh, I just love it when Ad-Rock whines “she’s crafty”! He’s just so cute. OK, so this isn’t about that kind of crafty, but I thought it fit. After all, I have gripes.

Blame Dive for this posting of my crafty wares. Well, come to think of it, you can also blame Creative Carissa, as she convinced me to join Punk Rock Knitters, a knitting blog. And you can also blame Robyn for posting such pretty watercolors and getting Dive going on his Photoshop wonders. I’d say blame Knudsen too, but he’d probably kill me.

In my very first bloggy post I wrote about a number of things that I had caved on in my life (I had vowed never to get involved in blogging, hence the theme). Crafts was a big one. I come from a crafty family. Mom’s a former artist and current craftswoman extraordinaire (you name it, she’s tried it, and she’s amazing). Dad’s an amateur woodworker, and my sister is an artist. For a long time I figured that I’d be the unique one in my family and make absolutely nothing with my hands (I also had some what I thought to be feminist principles about not pursuing any kind of domestic arts). Thing is, it’s in the blood. It was only a matter of time before I’d turn to crafts. I’m glad I did. I like them.

I took up pottery when I was living in New Hampshire. I never got terribly good at it, but I loved it very much. My Monday night class was with a bunch of salty women of varying ages and was taught by this perfectly normal guy, the most straight-laced potter I’ve ever met. We probably traumatized him, but he loved us. He screened people for our classes because he didn't want to mess up the vibe. I miss the class (almost like therapy) and haven’t found anything around these here parts to replace it.




Knitting was something I swore I’d never do. Ever. But then I wanted this funky scarf that I could see in my mind, and I decided that I had to learn. Here’s a photo of the McDreamy hat and scarf set that I’m giving my mother for Christmas. She loves bubblegum pink, and I was in the middle of my endless Grey’s marathon, so I decided to name it after McDreamy (the hat pattern is from the Stitch ‘N Bitch book, and the scarf is free style). Read my first blog post for a picture of the cell phone cozies I made (they are cute). If you are really interested in the details, click here for my Punk Rock Knitters post (I finally did it, Carissa).

McDreamy Scarf

Monday, November 27, 2006

We Interrupt the Snarky Vitriol to Bring You a Nice Day

The third day of alone time was the charm. I awoke this morning prepared to deal with other human beings and with no desire to watch endless reruns of Grey’s Anatomy.

Although I’m sure today’s high of 60-plus degrees bodes ill for our environment, it was balm to my New England soul. New England winters are hard. They aren’t Montana hard, with endless snow and roads that never get plowed. Nor are they Alaska hard, where I heard it was -31 this morning. No, New England winters don’t usually pit one against the elements like they do out West. Instead, they wear you down in an endless succession of cold, snowy days—until May. So when it is 60-plus degrees out at the end of November, we New Englanders rejoice. Those of us who had the day off (like me) go outside.

First I took a lovely walk on the beach. I smiled at strangers and petted dogs. Here are a few pictures from my stroll.

Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, MA



Driftwood and seaweed

Then I went to my favorite junk shop and wandered around.


last supper lamp

Laser Moon


And then I went and had coffee at a café and did some knitting (results will be posted shortly). Sitting across from me at the café was an aspiring novelist (she was not writing for National Novel Writing Month, either). I thought of Robyn. I ended my travels with a vist to this little gourmet take-out place my sister works at. There I got some delicious potato leek soup for a late lunch.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. Never you fret, though. I go back to work tomorrow. The snarky vitriol will return shortly.

Fun with Craigslist Personals

Sometimes when I need a laugh, I head on over to the Craigslist personals section. No, not the nasty “Casual Encounters” section (that place is just frightening), but the regular personals pages. Unlike regular online dating sites, where people tend to put their best dating foot forward, posters to Craigslist personals tend to reveal just what kind of bad shit was going down in their lives.

I suppose it’s sad, but since most of the funny men-seeking-women ads are from unemployed, ugly men who are looking for a woman so perfect that she only exists in the toy isle in a Barbie Doll box, it doesn’t feel wrong to make fun of them. Here’s an interesting one from today. In New England (the NORTH), some guy is complaining that there aren’t any hot women who like country music. Here’s his post, sans his reply-to address, with commentary:

convinced there are no hot women who like country music – 39
You are in New England, you idiot. We women may be hot, but we are not from Dixie, so you’ll just have to settle. I think the best you can hope for is a woman who won’t leave you after she finds you that you like country music.

are you out there?
No. I’m not out there.

Just like Tim McGraw...
Tim McGraw is out there. I’m glad you understand that.

Get it?
Not really. Would you mind explaining?

looking for real women who like country...
Nothing to see here, move along. And learn how to capitalize your sentences, please.

send pic. I aint no weirdo looking for pics.
Phew. At least he “aint no weirdo looking for pics.” He just wants a pic, singular. I’m sure I have one around here someplace.

Me? I am easy on the eyes...and you?
His picture was of a cheesy sunset. I guess that’s what he meant by being easy on the eyes.

There was another one from a business guy who wants to be a rock star and perform interesting acts, but it was really just gross.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Home Sweet Home


Home at last. From schmoozing to family Thanksgiving and back. I’m exhausted—even my soul is exhausted. It’s a beautiful day outside, and all I’m capable of doing is watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns on DVD and trolling blogs. I am so tired I can’t even knit while watching TV.

The schmoozing thing in DC was interesting (when I can stop drooling, I’ll post the Fluff pictures). Over the course of the weekend, I realized that I never, ever want to do that kind of thing again. Sure, I’m insanely good at it. People love Little Sassy Schmoozer—and they even told my boss so. But what’s the point of doing something I’m good at if it makes me hate myself? I’m also really good at getting drunk and picking up guys in bars, and that didn't exactly add much to my self-esteem, either. So I have some thinking to do about life and what I’m doing with it.

Thanksgiving at my parents’ was surprisingly normal and free of freaks. I was a misanthropic bitch after the weekend in DC, but I was a self-aware misanthropic bitch, and I kept apologizing and doing nice little things when my fangs retracted. I channeled all of my bitchiness into kicking everyone’s ass at cards Thanksgiving night. That helped.

I tried not to keep thinking about Ex-Boyfriend and how much I wished that things had turned out differently and that he wasn’t a spineless asshole, but last night that finally came out too. Mothers have an uncanny way of knowing when to ask certain questions. But it was good. My parents were supportive and didn’t patronize me. I woke up this morning feeling better.

Now I’m here, and I’m beyond tired, half-watching Grey’s Anatomy. At some point I need to start thinking about what to do with my life but not now. Now it’s McDreamy time.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Today is the big day in the US---Black Friday. A day that retail executives relish. A day that is sheer hell for retail employees. Malls are packed, Wal-Marts overflow with slack-jawed, glazed-eyed Americans scooping up bargains in a mindless consumerism daze. It's a sick and disturbing sight.

Years ago I worked one Black Friday for my mall job (I was in graduate school, completely broke, and in desperate need of a job that I could call out from on a moment's notice). I was horrified as I watched hordes of people shoving each other, grasping at cheap crap made by the world's poor, and growling at their fellow humans---all in the name of holiday cheer.

Exhausted and deeply saddened after my shift, I went home and called my parents. I told them that I wouldn't be buying them anything for Christmas. I would make something for each of them (we do come from a talented family crafts-wise), but I wasn't going to participate in this consumer frenzy any more. I expected a fight. We do Christmas in my family. To my surprise, I didn't get it. They thought it was a great idea. I called my sister and told her about it, and we agreed that we would each make gifts for the other members of the family. That Christmas was one of the best ones we have ever had (we've never had a tradition of inviting freaks over for Christmas dinner), and we've kept up the tradition ever since. Sometimes we buy fun things for each other (I tend to try to find a tacky gift for everyone for laughs) and stocking stuffers, but the big gift remains the homemade present.

Adbusters has been sponsoring Buy Nothing Day as an alternative to Black Friday for quite some time now. I have a different take on it. Today I will go to local businesses and get supplies to make gifts this year. It's a tradition I recommend trying out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving with the Dead (and a Chihuahua)

Bless her heart, my mother is a kind woman. And around the holidays, she is even kinder. She takes it upon herself to invite people to Thanksgiving dinner who have no place else to go for the holiday. Everyone is welcome at her table.She opens her home to couples whose children are a way’s away, or to the old man whose wife died a few years back. Many of these people are sweet and enjoyable guests.

My mother also, however, has a blind spot where certain people are concerned. She doesn't seem to get that sometimes there's a very good reason why some people have no place to go for the holidays. The reason is that they are unpleasant freaks.

We’ve had a parade of freaks for Thanksgiving dinner over the years, and for some reason that is entirely unclear to me, they usually wind up getting upset with me. When I was in high school, my mom invited the old guy who yelled at me for being ungrateful because I didn't want a scoop of turnips. Then in college a couple took turns scolding me because I dared to say something nice about Bill Clinton (this was pre-Monica Lewinsky even) in the middle of their Reagan praising. Oh, and they had also brought their son along because they wanted to set me up with him. Their Republican son who said he hated books but really loved football and his snowmobile. We were a match made in heaven.

We also had the freak couple from my parents’ church over a couple of years in a row. The first year, Ernestine brought sweet potatoes made with chunks of canned pineapple and told me all about dancing at her church, as she’d heard that I was taking belly dancing lessons. Wouldn’t I like to join in? The following year her husband Dick tried to get me to watch a missionary video with him about growing vegetables in Central America with prayer (I happened to work for a nonprofit at the time that worked with farmers in Central America to help them grow vegetables with SEEDS). I politely declined to watch the video with him, but no matter. He told me all about it over dinner and seemed gravely concerned that I didn’t want to watch this video with him. He and his wife were also bickering because he’d gone hunting that morning, and he wasn’t wearing clean clothes.

After the miracle vegetable Thanksgiving I told my mom that I’d had enough. Either she was going to stop inviting freaks over for dinner or I wasn’t coming home for Thanksgiving anymore. My dad hadn’t enjoyed the day much either, so he said that he thought that it was a good idea. Begrudgingly my mother relented. “OK,” she sighed. “I won’t invite anyone to dinner next year. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about friends and family, but I guess we will just be on our own next year.”

Phew. Relief all around.

The following Thanksgiving I drove up to New Hampshire after a four-day conference for my job. It was the first one I’d been to, and I had been non-stop nice to hundreds of people, shaking hands, hosting a cocktail party, making connections, smiling, smiling, always smiling for days on end. By the time I’d gotten in the car to go to Thanksgiving, I hated the human race. I comforted myself with the thought that this year, there would be no freaks at our house.

I arrived home, and my mom and sister were in the kitchen making pies. I gave them both big hugs, and my dad and brother-in-law joined us in the kitchen. We started catching up. I told them about the conference, and I thanked my mom again for not inviting anyone strange to dinner. “I’m so happy that it is just going to be us. After that conference, I don’t think that I could be trusted to hold my tongue with the likes of Ernestine and Dick.”

My mother looked down at the apples she was slicing. Off to the other room went my sister and brother-in-law. My dad looked pained. “You didn’t tell her,” he said.

I sucked in my breath. “Didn’t tell me what?”

“Well, honey, I did invite someone. A couple. The Brunts. They have no place to go; I guess Donna’s daughter doesn’t want to have them over for Thanksgiving, and they were telling me just how much they missed Thanksgiving with other people. What was I supposed to do?”

“Oh, I don’t know, change the subject?” I said. “Come on, Mom. For the past ten years, we’ve had nothing but a steady stream of freaks. None of us ever enjoys the dinner, and someone almost always yells at me. Or tries to set me up with their freak son. Or tells me how to grow vegetables with prayer.”

“You liked Mrs. Emerson and Ed.”

“Yes, I did like Mrs. Emerson. I’m sorry she died. Ed is a hoot. Why didn’t you invite Ed? Who are these people?”

“Well, they are nice. She’s a little strange. She wears a head covering. They have a Chihuahua who will be coming with them.”

“They are bringing a yippy dog to Thanksgiving?”

“Well, yes, I said they could. The dog’s name is Nugget, and Donna has a little playpen for him. You’ll like them. They are nice. He seems normal enough. They run a camp in the summer.”

There really wasn’t much I could do at that point. She couldn’t really call them up and tell them not to come. I was pissed off, but I gave my saintly mother a hug and promised that I’d be good. She kissed my head and said that I always was.

Thanksgiving Day came, and we were busy getting everything ready. I had just put The Stuff (spinach and artichoke dip) in the oven and was setting the table when the doorbell rang. Wiping her hands on her apron, my mother headed for the door. She opened it and…

WHOOSH! In rushed this stout woman in her late fifties, wearing an Amish head covering and carrying a Chihuahua in a red jacket. Right behind her was a man in his early seventies. He was carrying a playpen and a quilted photo album. The woman didn’t stop to say hello, nice to meet you, the usual. She yelled, “I have to set up Nugget’s playpen that I got for $25 at the Goodwill!”

She yanked the playpen out of her husband’s grasp. Slap, slap, slap, up went the playpen. Off with the rodent’s little red jacket, and plop, the Nugget was in the playpen. “Yip! Yip! Yip!” went Nugget. I could hear Daisy, my parents’ dog, whining and scratching at the family room door. This made me hate Nugget. Why should our dog be in jail when this rodent got to be the star of the show?

Donna then grabbed the photo album out of her husband’s hands and motioned me over. “Here’s Nugget dressed like a princess. Here he is dressed as an angel. Isn’t he just precious?”

She continued to flip through the photo album. My, my, you are a strange bird, aren't you? I thought but didn't say. Instead I said, “Cute. I think I have to go check on something in the kitchen.”

Thank the good Lord for The Stuff. I got it out of the oven. My mother was working on the mashed potatoes, and she looked at me. I rolled my eyes at her and brought The Stuff out to the living room. I was alone with the Brunts. My sister was doing some cooking thing, and my father and brother-in-law were outside getting ready to fry the turkey.

Yet one more reason why I’m happy to be a vegetarian. My brother-in-law’s sister lives in the South, and one time she raved about fried turkey. So excited was my brother-in-law about fried turkey that my mother agreed to try it—ick

“Can I get you something to drink?” I said to the Brunts. Unfortunately there’s no booze in the house, my parents having converted to teetotaling Christianity in my youth. I certainly needed a drink right about then. “We have some punch, or I could get you some eggnog.”

They wanted punch, so I served it up. How in hell did I get stuck being the entertainment committee? Meanwhile the woman kept talking a blue streak, mostly about the dog. “Nugget has a healing ministry with the elderly.” A what???? The husband seemed to be fine with this talk, so I just said, “Oh?” and she went on to describe how Nugget was nice to old people. Nugget, meanwhile, was yapping away in his playpen, and I couldn’t see how he could minister to anyone but his rodent self. “Yes, he goes to them, and he sits with them, and plays with them, and the old people are so blessed.” She went on and on about how wonderful the dog was, and she got him out of his playpen so that I could get up close and personal with the rat. I smiled wanly and petted Nugget.

My mother and sister finally came out of the kitchen, and my dad and brother-in-law came in too. Donna regaled the rest of the family with the Nugget photo album and stories of his miraculous healing powers. Meanwhile the man said not a word. I don’t even think he said hello. He just sat on the couch and drank his punch and ate The Stuff. He was, however, kind of glaring at me. Perhaps he sensed my disbelief in the healing powers of Nugget. I wasn’t the only one, though. Dad and Brother-in-Law looked shell shocked by Donna’s chatter, and my sister was trying very hard not to laugh.

A bell dinged and my mother got up to go back into the kitchen. Donna followed, so I stayed in the living room. Daisy, our dog, somehow got out of the family room and ran into the living room to see what had taken over her turf. It was then that we learned that Nugget was not neutered.

Now Daisy is a small dog, a Jack Russell terrier. Normally she is out-sized by just about every dog on the planet. Not Nugget, but he didn’t let that stop him. He tried to mount Daisy, and Daisy then tried to kill Nugget. She turned on him and growled. Nugget tried again. I grabbed Daisy just before she went for the dog’s jugular (damn!) and put her back in the family room. I stayed with her a long time.

This is Daisy. She's cuter than Nugget

I could hear Donna babbling on in the kitchen, so I got my coat and went out to the back yard to join Dad and Brother-in-Law. “Holy crap,” I said. “Who are these people?” The oil was nearly hot enough to start on the bird.

“Perhaps we could deep fry Nugget,” my father suggested. We laughed nervously. How were we going to get through this dinner? Was she ever going to shut up?

I went back inside and helped bring things out to the table. When everything was ready, we sat down and my father said grace. Donna’s husband finally spoke. He told us the long, sad story of how his first wife died of diabetes some twenty years before. He was officiating someone else’s funeral when she died, and so he wasn’t with her. “I still feel bad about that,” he kept saying. My family expressed some condolences, and he continued with further details about her death over the mashed potatoes. “Yip yip yip” went Nugget, in an attempt to heal the situation.

I hadn’t said anything and was focusing on my dinner, but my Thanksgiving luck was still holding. This guy had it in for me. “Light cannot fellowship with darkness,” he decreed at the end of his story, staring pointedly at me. He was preparing a sermon; I could see it in his eyes. Here we go again. Why me? Is it so wrong to not have faith in dog healing?

So not only was this the most depressing Thanksgiving dinner ever, but I was also about to be yelled at again. The thing is, most people really like me. I’m warm, friendly, and I’m really good at masking what I really think. So I really cannot understand why every Thanksgiving guest we’d ever had wound up lecturing me or yelling at me. Is it because I’m a vegetarian? I thought, desperate for a theory. So I don’t eat turkey! I don’t make a big deal out of it—I’ve never once gone on about American meat-consumption habits or the treatment of animals. No one likes self-righteousness, and I really don’t care what other people eat. No matter, it still doesn’t meant that I’m going to hell. I’m not the one talking about my long-dead spouse to strangers on Thanksgiving. I steeled myself for the inevitable lecture, resolved to take it politely and not yell back at the guest.

But I was saved by Donna. With Mr. Brunt’s first wife now safely dead, she didn’t miss a beat. She carried on with the death theme, telling us all about her first husband, forty years her senior. “I met him when I was sixteen and working at the diner. He was fifty-six. He had a glass eye when he was younger, because he had played with knives. He learned not to do that.”

She married him a year after she met him, chattering on like it was the most normal thing in the world to do to marry someone nearly old enough to be your grandfather when you are seventeen. Because he thought that women should cover their hair, she started wearing the Amish thing after they were married. “He died of cancer. When he died, I had to get him a suit to burry him in. He’d never had one while he was alive.” Blah, blah, blah, blah... more about wife’s long-dead first spouse… blather, blather, blather.

By this point, my family and I were all staring at each other in something approaching awe. What, exactly, had happened? Here we were having Thanksgiving dinner, and our guests were talking about their long-dead spouses—in great detail. We even knew what kind of clothes they were buried in. Their Chihuahua was in a playpen in our living room, yipping away. Clearly this wasn’t normal.

Donna was still chattering away about old-man hubby, and no one else had said much of anything. Somehow, all this morbid talk began to strike me as very funny. My sister and brother-in-law were on the same wavelength, because I looked over at them, and they were both smirking and staring down at their mashed potatoes. Dad was eating very intently, and my mother had a nervous look on her face, like something was about to happen.

Donna meanwhile was going on and on about some story or other about the one-eyed husband, when she all of the sudden exclaimed, “Oh yes. That’s when the quadriplegic dwarf moved in with me after his wife left him for another man. He lived with us for four years.”

Come again? Dead spouses and cuckolded quadriplegic dwarves? I feel horrible saying this, but that did it. The bizarre scales had tipped. I started coughing and laughing into my napkin. I shot up from the table, and nearly knocking my dad over, I ran into the family room and shut the door. I was doubled-over convulsing with laughter. My sister was right behind me. We were both shaking our heads, tears streaming down our faces. “Dead people?” we gasped. “Nugget! Haa haa haa haa! Why did she mention the dwarf? What’s happening? I’m scared! Ha hahahahaha!”

My father soon joined us, looking stern. “Girls,” he said in his “I mean it” voice to his adult daughers. But his face cracked and he laughed too for a couple of seconds, doing this really funny little hee hee dance, kind of like the Twist. “OK,” he finally whispered. “Get it together.”

Deep centering breaths all around. Pursed lips. Don’t laugh. I went back in first, followed by my sister and Dad. “Sorry about that. I just needed to blow my nose.”

“Me too,” my sister said. My brother-in-law had his face in his hands, and he wouldn’t look up. My mother had a twinkle in her eye and mouthed the words “quadriplegic dwarf.” I looked at her imploringly, and she made her face stern. Donna’s husband looked a bit perturbed, but Donna didn’t seem to notice that anything had happened. She was still talking away.

After dinner, we cleared away the dishes, and I made coffee. My mom served the pies. Donna was still talking about the one-eyed dead husband. She was blathering on and on and then burst out with, “Oh! That’s right! I wanted to show you all something!”

She ran into the living room and came back with her purse. “Where is it?” she muttered, digging through her bag. “Oh here it is!”

Out came a vinyl change purse. She reached in and pulled out a grey-green glass eyeball. “This is my first husband’s glass eye! I keep it in my change purse! He keeps an eye on my money! Isn’t that great?” She started passing it around.

“WHAT?” A bite of pie fell out of someone’s mouth. There was no decorum—we had lost it. “This is your first husband’s glass eyeball?” I gasped incredulously. “Really?”

“Yes,” she said, beaming.

“Get out! That’s really it? That’s your first husband’s glass eyeball?”

My sister was laughing so hard that she was almost in tears. Brother-in-law was staring back down at his plate, and his shoulders were shaking. "Shoot," he said at one point.

“OK, Donna,” said her husband, looking annoyed with us. “I think they’ve had enough. Why don’t you eat your pie?”

Donna put the glass eye back in her purse and ate her dessert. We went out to the living room, and she started to talk again. She told us several more stories, including one about her niece falling into an old well. How much worse was this poor woman’s life going to get?

Right when everything was getting rather maudlin, with the niece in the well and all, Mr. Brunt suddenly got out of his chair and started dismantling the playpen. “I think it’s time we be off, Donna,” he said sternly. Donna looked disappointed but gathered up Nugget, still telling us stories. She put on Nugget’s red jacket and picked up her photo album. My mother went into the kitchen and came back with plates piled high with leftovers for them to take with them.

And just like that, they were gone.


My mother plopped down on the couch and sighed. We just all looked at each other.

“What was THAT?” I shouted, and we just started laughing. It was the most bizarre Thanksgiving ever.

“Nugget” was all anyone needed to say, and the laughter would start up again.

“That really happened. She showed us her dead husband’s glass eyeball. Oh my God. His EYEBALL! At dessert. On Thanksgiving.”

“Oh hee hee hee…”

“That’s IT!” I said when the laughter died down. “We aren’t doing this again. Ever. Right, Mom?”

“Yes. That’s it,” she sighed before laughing again. “Oh dear.”

Thing is, for her it wasn’t really it. Right around the next Thanksgiving, she said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about inviting so and so over…”

“NO!” we said. And that was that. We had a peaceful dinner that year, free of freaks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Travels with Fluff: Vacation Photos Starring a Tub of Fluff (Part V: Fluff in Italy)

Fluff and Duomo in Orvieto

Welcome Back to Travels with Fluff!

New to Travels with Fluff? Check out the previous posts.
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City
Fluffy in Memphis

Don’t forget to take the Fluff Quiz at the bottom of this post. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz posted too!

This past spring, Fluff and I got to go see my sister and brother-in-law while they were working at an art program in Orvieto, Italy. This was the best vacation I’ve ever had. Mostly I just hung out in Orvieto, a beautiful hill town in Umbria, but I also went to Rome and Florence for day trips.

Alas, there are no Fluff pictures from Rome, as I went there alone and everyone warned me not to take what I didn’t want to lose while sightseeing there. A Fluffnapping would have broken my heart. There are, however, some good Fluff shots of Florence. Enjoy!

Sister's balcony

View from my sister’s window

Fluff's digs

Fluff’s digs at sister’s

Piazza de Republica, Orvieto

Piazza della Republica, Orvieto

Fluff and clock tower, Orvieto

Torre del Moro, Orvieto

Fluff on the Clock Tower, Orvieto

View from the top of the Torre del Moro

Eagle on gate

Eagle from the Roman Gate, Orvieto

Fluff on Duomo Steps

Piazza del Duomo, Orvieto

Fluff with blue ape

Fluff and a blue Ape

Electric Rickshaw

Fluff and an electric rickshaw

Fluff and Italian Boxed Wine

Fluff and Italian boxed wine

Firenze e Roma

Road sign near sister's place (I took the train)

Fluff and Fake David

Fluff and David

Ponte Vecchio, Firenze

Ponte Vecchio

Fluff at Uffize

The Uffizi

ugly fountain, Firenze

Ugly Fountain of Neptune

Fluff and Donatello

Fluff and Duomo in Firenze

View of the Campanile (bell tower)
from the top of Brunelleschi's Dome
Climbed a lot of steps to get here

From dome in Firenze

Another view from the top of Brunelleschi's Dome

San Miniato

View of Florence from San Miniato

Top photo: Fluff and the Duomo in Orvieto. Someone from Flickr said it was brilliant.

Fluff Quiz the Fourth!
Put your books away, it’s time for the Fluff Quiz. Remember, if you cheat, you only cheat yourself. It’s better to know something about Italy than it is to know something about Fluff. E-mail me the answers if you would like, but you can also post them in the comments. As I will be gone for a few days, e-mails will be answered when I return. Answers to this quiz will be posted in the dispatch from Washington, DC. May the Fluff force be with you.

1. In one of the above photos, Fluff is pictured with an Ape (pronounced ah-pay). What does Ape mean, and why is the name clever?
2. The David in the photograph is a replica. Where is the original?
3. To what did the title of E.M. Forester’s A Room with a View refer?
4. My sister and I stopped in a caffé in Florence in the afternoon. A man walked in (not American) and ordered a cappuccino. The bartender wouldn’t give it to him. Why?
5. Italian boxed wine. Discuss.

Answers to Fluff Quiz the Third!
Robyn wins this round, but Dive did admirably well. His poetic answers gladdened my heart.

1. What is the shelf life of Fluff?
Fluff is eternal, in that it does not go bad.
2. Dusty Springfield is best known for “Son of a Preacher Man,” recorded with the Memphis Sound. The song, however, was originally written for someone else. Who turned “Preacher Man” down? Huge-ass hint: She later recorded it.
Aretha Franklin.
3. Name two people who recorded at Sun Studio. I don’t want anyone telling me that my quizzes are too hard.
Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis…
4. Fluffy fell in love with Aqua Net in Memphis and has been heartbroken ever since. Have you ever felt this way? Discuss.
My recent sadness is well known to some of you, but I thought that I would share my first experience of ill-timed love (well, not love, but some serious crushing going on). When I was eleven, my parents took us to an amusement park in northern New Hampshire. While there, I met a boy my age, and he and I spent the entire day not looking at each other everywhere we went—that is, until near the end of the day when we both wound up in line for the bumper cars. He bashed my car, I bashed his car, we both got whiplash. It was puppy love. Afterwards we exchanged a few awkward words, and he gave me the bent-nail ring he got at one of the attractions at the park. We both blushed like crazy when it was time to leave, but since both of our parents were standing there, we only said goodbye. I spent the rest of the summer dreaming about him, and I never knew where he was from. I never saw him again.

Coming soon! Fluff goes to Washington!

Previous Posts
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City
Fluffy in Memphis

Celebrity Skunk Water

During my early morning news surf (I feel so Point Break saying that) I came across this little article about the proliferation of celebrity perfumes. From Elizabeth Taylor to JLo, it seems that everyone who is anyone has a signature scent—and they want you to wear it.

I, for one, am thrilled that the little people can feel famous by dabbing on celebrity skunk water. I just think that we need to open up the field a little bit more. If you had a perfume or cologne, what would you call it? What would it smell like? Is there a celebrity out there who deserves a place in the department store olfactory pantheon? Let your creativity run wild.

Signature Scent for Keanu Reeves—Substance D
Citrus blended with sandalwood,
with subtle undertones of patchouli and bong water
Wear this scent and you know Kung-Fu and feel Minnesota

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Little Sassy Schmoozer

Sigh… On Friday I’m off to Washington, DC, for a four-day conference for work (yes, Fluff will be taking the trip too). My job while I’m there is to be the nicest, most friendly person on the planet. One major facet of my position is author relations, and this conference is my big gig. I will be at a booth for ten hours a day, making sure that authors meet with the appropriate people and feel like an important part of our house. In addition, I am also hosting our cocktail party for 150 people, plus grad student crashers.

I am so good at this part of my job that it terrifies me. Until three years ago I had no idea I had an inner schmoozer. Sure I’m warm and friendly, and I’m certainly a talker once someone gets to know me, but I’m not one of those people at parties who knows absolutely everyone in five minutes. Or I didn’t think I was. Well, I have since learned that little Sassy Schmoozer resides within me. In just a few days, she’s going to come out to play.

Everyone loves little Sassy Schmoozer. I would like to state for the record that I hate little Sassy Schmoozer. Little Sassy Schmoozer can mollify assholes who need a dope slap more than they need someone to coddle their fragile egos. Little Sassy Schmoozer smiles all the time. Little Sassy Schmoozer is professional, witty, and very, very nice. Little Sassy Schmoozer exhausts me. Little Sassy Schmoozer drives me to drink.

By this time next week, I will officially hate the human race. And then I get to go home for Thanksgiving. No wonder I’m depressed.

Escape from Club Suck: It's a Survey!

Bless Old Knudsen. He was tagged with a survey, and he tagged us. I am taking this opportunity to pull myself out of the pre-holiday depression by answering some strange questions about blogging. Answer them yourself if you’d like.

1-Do you like the look and the contents of your blog?
I like the look OK. If I had more time to figure out the code, I’d change some more things around, but I like the colors.

As for the contents, since they are nothing short of brilliant, I am most pleased with them.

2-Does your family know about your blog?
My sister knows about it. I think I might have accidentally mentioned it to my mother, but she doesn’t know the address. Having my mother read my blog would be interesting. I don’t think she’d like the idea of me being a Dirty Little Secret. She definitely wouldn’t approve of my liberal use of the word “fuck.”

3-Can you tell your friends about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?
Oh, I’ve told just about everyone about this blog. Most of my friends aren’t on the blogosphere, but occasionally they say they’ve read something I wrote (the Elton John story was a big hit among them—one friend is going to print it out so she doesn’t have to ask me to tell it again).

4-Do you just read the blogs of those who comment on your blog? or you try to discover new blogs?
I always read certain blogs, and I try to find new ones. I always check out the blogs of those who comment on my blog.

5-Did your blog positively affect your mind? Give an example.
I like the airy feel of this question. I feel like I’m surrounded by candles, and there’s new-agey music playing.

Yes, I suppose it has. It’s forced me to write on a more consistent basis, and this makes me feel good. I’ve explored ideas more fully than I would have otherwise, and I’ve heard from others about what they think of these ideas. If I make people laugh, it makes my day. That’s positive.

6-What does the number of visitors to your blog mean? Do you use a traffic counter?
It means that a certain number of people have visited my blog. I do use a site meter, but not obsessively.

7-Did you imagine how other bloggers look like?
Yes—though I do know what some of them look like. I've recently learned that one blogger looks remarkably like me.

8-Do you think blogging has any real benefit?
Yes. If for nothing else, I’ve got a new group of people to talk to who I never would have met otherwise. I like the new perspectives, as they make me think (and laugh my fool head off). It gives me something to do.

9-Do you think that the blogosphere is a stand alone community separated from the real world.
That’s a tricky question. Do I have a community here? Yes, I’d say so, after a fashion. We’ve gotten to know each other, more deeply on some levels than I imagine we would have as acquaintances in the “real world.” I value that. But I don’t think it replaces community in the “real world.”

10-Do some political blogs scare you? Do you avoid them?
No. I think some blogs are ignorant and/or cruel in their politics, so I avoid them. Life’s too short to spend one’s time reading the ramblings of idiots. But as an advocate of free speech, that they are out there doesn’t scare me.

11-Do you think that criticizing your blog is useful?
It depends on how it’s done, like criticizing in the “real world.”

12-Have you ever thought about what would happen to your blog in case you died?
Good Lord, I thought this was the escape from the maudlin.

13-Which blogger had the greatest impression on you?
For a variety of reasons, my general blogging group has had a great impression on me. I don’t think I could single anyone out.

14-Which blogger do you think is the most similar to you?
I certainly hope I’m unique.

15-Name a song you want to listen to?
If I wanted to listen to it, I would. Right now I'm listening to Carl Kasell deliver the news on NPR.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pre-Holiday Depression

The holidays are coming. That time of year when we are supposed to be filled with love and peace. That time of year we are supposed to share with our loved ones.

That time of year when it hurts like hell to be alone.

It hit me like a ton of bricks today. Normally I like the holidays, but right now I just want to crawl under my bed and hide for the next month and a half.

We were supposed to go see Bob Dylan last night. That was our last plan. I didn’t really care about the show, and honestly I would have been more interested in the Raconteurs, but that’s not the point. The point is that we had a plan.

The point is the holidays are coming.

And I’m alone.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My Elton John Story

So late last night at the wino party, when everyone still there was feeling toasty and the conversation was getting confusing, someone put in a documentary that featured a number of live musical performances from the late 70s at a club in England (I should remember what club it was—but I was in my cups last night, so I don’t). People were singing along and talking about the performances, and gradually the entire party wound up sitting around watching the documentary.

I went in the room when I heard “I Will Follow,” and joined in the critique of Bono’s mullet (for the record—I fell in love with U2 at the age of ten after my babysitter played “War” for me, so I can live with the hair. I couldn’t really live with Zoo TV). Countless other acts followed, Bonnie Rait, REM, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits (with an unlined face—I always think of him as an ancient man), and then Elton John. Oh oh.

Elton John spelled trouble. The reason's a bit complicated.

As much as I hate the whole “Candle in the Wind” crap, that isn't the reason why Elton John makes me cringe. The man made some beautiful music in the 70s. He’s phenomenally talented. I used to really love listening to him when I was a kid. Until this one evening when I was ten, I thought he was amazing. After that evening, I didn’t listen to him again for nearly twenty years. Now I can listen to him, but I usually have to tell people my Elton John story. So here’s my Elton John story.

When I was a kid, my parents and their friends used to celebrate each other’s birthdays with rowdy dinner parties. The kind with lots of booze and inappropriate humor. We kids would always wind up stuck upstairs (we’d sneak down, but we’d usually be caught and sent back upstairs to bed).

Well, I’d just turned ten when the party was again at my parents’ house. I’d done my sneaking around and had been sent to bed. I must have fallen asleep, because it was really dark when I woke up. Something was wrong, though, because Elton John was being played rather loudly on the stereo. I couldn’t get back to sleep because of the music, so I decided to go downstairs to ask if they could be quiet, or barring that, if I could have some cake.

I padded down the stairs, and discovered that the house was dark. Perhaps the party moved to the porch, I thought. I wandered over to the porch door, and it was dark there too. No one seemed to be here anymore. Huh.

In my family, we didn’t do things like shut doors and such. Things were pretty open, so I didn’t think anything at all about heading to my parents’ room to tell them to turn the music off. I walked toward my parents’ room, and yep, you guessed it.

My parents were having sex.

Now I was ten. I knew what sex was. My parents had given me the basic rundown as to how my sister and I came into the world, and I had watched enough HBO at my friends’ houses to know the other details. What I didn’t get was why in the hell anyone would want to do such a thing. It was so, so… Ick.

Not one to keep things to myself, I decided to make myself heard. I shouted out, “I know what you’re doing, and I think it’s DISGUSTING!!!!”

I’ve never seen my parents move so fast in all my days. My dad was out of that room in about two seconds flat. The music was off a second later.

My mom, realizing that she was going to have to deal with this, gathered up some blankets and tried to soothe her distressed child.

“Come here,” she said, and patted the bed.
I looked at her like she was dangerous. I did not trust her one little bit. “I don’t want to sit down.”

“It’s OK,” she said. “I think we need to have a little talk. Please sit down.”

I sat down. “What did you think we were doing, honey?” my mother asked me.

I stared down at the covers, shame flooding through me. I couldn’t say it at first, but I managed to mumble it, still staring at the pattern of my parents’ quilt, “Humping. You and dad were humping.”

“Well, honey, that isn’t what I call it…” and she went on to explain that when two married people love each other, blah dee blah dee blah… After she finished her explanation, I felt better about things, but I still needed to make something clear. “If I get a little brother or sister out of this, I’m going to be really mad. One’s enough.”

My mother replied, “Well, we’re not trying to have a baby, honey, so don’t worry.”

“Then why were you doing it?” I demanded. This unfortunately led to more conversation about loving people and sex and nonsense like that. I was sorry I’d brought it up. I went back upstairs and tried to sleep. I couldn’t get Elton John music out of my head.

The next month or so was awkward as ass around my parents, especially my dad (there was no eye contact for a good bit), but eventually things returned to normal. And about a year or two later, I had an inkling as to what the fuss was all about.

But I still couldn’t listen to Elton John without wincing. Elton John equaled catching my parents in the sack. Elton John was yucky. People would occasionally play Elton John music, and I’d tell them to turn that shit off. If they wouldn’t turn it off, I’d tell them my story. Problem was, they'd usually laugh, and I'd have to tell it again when other people were around.
In the retelling, I’ve realized just what an appalling little shit I was, sounding off like that. My poor, poor parents.

It seems that time has also gone a long way toward mending that moment, because as I watched Elton John perform “Tiny Dancer,” on the TV last night, I once again thought that he was pretty great.

But I still had to tell my Elton John story after the song was over.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wino Party

So tonight I’m off to a wine tasting party. It’s also a betting party. See, everyone is to bring a bottle of pinot noir (under $20) and one dollar. Cork out of the bottle, dollar in the pool. The bearer of the best bottle brings home the bucks.

I foresee a few issues that should make this an interesting evening. First, if everyone brings a bottle of wine, and every bottle of wine is opened, the potential for everyone getting a bit tipsy is high. Who wants to see all of that wine go to waste? The Democrats have won! Let’s celebrate! Mmmm… Yummy pinot. We ain’t drinking the fucking merlot.

Second, if a lot of people show up, and if everyone tastes everything (there ain’t going to be a lot of spitting, as we ain’t that sophisticated), the person who uncorks the last bottle is going to win, even if he or she brought plonk.

This is my bottle.
At $14, it’s a decent bottle of pinot
that stands a chance of winning.
Still, I’m going last.

Third, I have to work in the morning and deal with people all day long. The company that owns the company I work for has a warehouse sale every couple of months. Just to spite us, I think, they make us work the sale. I will be standing up all day long tomorrow, and I will be required to be nice to people. I should be responsible and take it easy, but I was reasonably responsible last weekend, and I was rewarded with the worst head cold I've had in ages. So screw that idea.

Wish me luck. If all goes well, I will wake up on someone’s couch $30 richer and late for work due to a splitting hangover.

Contagious Quiz Mania Continues

It’s not just me. When I checked out Dive’s blog this morning, my initial thought was that I’d created a monster. After I took my dating persona quiz two nights ago, I became obsessed with quiz taking. Last night I took a celebrity quiz (I am apparently like Susan Sarandon), a Sesame Street quiz (I am like Kermit the Frog), a quiz on commonly misused words (I aced it), and a host of other quizzes that I only vaguely remember. I stayed up too late; I felt guilty for wasting all that time.

The guilt was only compounded when I saw that Dive, too, has been taking online quizzes. Oh shit, I thought, I owe him an apology and a link to a 12-step quiz program (you get to take a quiz to find out if you are addicted).

But wait! Who did he ruefully thank for this latest time sucker? He didn’t thank me. He thanked Old Knudsen. I then checked out Old Knudsen’s blog to see if I’d somehow gotten him addicted and that he’d gone and gotten Dive addicted (thereby making my time suckage bad karma much worse than I thought). I held my breath and read.


It wasn’t me. Knudsen got the idea from someone else.

Apparently this quiz-taking obsession is just in the air. Rather like this cold I have that my friend in Memphis, Tennessee, also has—we haven’t seen each other in months, and so we couldn't possibly have given it to each other. It's just one of those things.

Greatly relieved and now treating the quizzing thing more like a cold than an addiction, I reached for my tissues and took this new quiz. I'm feeling rather smug about catching a typo in the text. I am this kind of Tarot card (note the secret theme?):

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluctuation, particularly when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oh Hurrah! Oh Joy!

Allen conceded. Burns conceded. Katherine Harris and Rick Santorum went down in flames. The Democrats control the Senate.

Rummy’s gone (OK, Gates is a lousy choice for a replacement, but still, Rummy’s gone).

The Democrats control the House.

Rove was wrong.

Diebold didn’t steal another victory.

For the first time in six years, I have a glimmer of hope for my country.

Off to join
Taihae running naked through the streets and shouting Woohoo with Dive. James and I have exchanged cyber high-fives. Way to go US!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sooo . . . Enough Politics

OK, I couldn’t think of the election anymore, so I took some online quizzes instead. This one, courtesy of OK Cupid, killed me. I answered a couple of questions, and they told me that I’m a nice girl . . . kind of.

These quizzes are bullshit (people are far more complicated than this). However, I’ve taken this one a couple of times, in a couple of different moods, and received the same answer, so I guess I'll accept it. At least this profile is more interesting than the one I got from Nerve ("Social Philosopher"). Don’t get any funny ideas, but feel free to take the quiz.

Oh, and I also took their politics test. I'm a socialist. Go figure.

The Fallout from the Thumpin’ At Last Night’s Rodeo

If you didn’t to the Bush news conference, you might want to check it out the news reports. In it, he admits that last night’s election (aka, a “rodeo”) was a “thumpin’.” You can read about it on's War Room blog (you'll have to scroll down, as this is an ongoing news blog).

Good riddance, Donald Rumsfeld.

South Dakota rejected the all-out abortion ban.

Democrat Jon Tester won a Senate seat in Montana. Guess associating with criminals can cost even an old warhorse like Conrad Burns a seat.

Everything hangs on the Virginia Senate now. Looks like it might (and perhaps should) go to a recount. The Greens will really be in the outs if they cost the Democrats the Senate. I am considering sending their party chair a little note about their decision to run a candidate in such a close election.

We Just Might Get Our Country Back

Well, now, this is a better day, isn’t it? The American people, it seems, have woken up and smelled the lies and corruption. The Democrats have taken the House. A quick check on the Senate races in Montana and Virginia shows that Democrats are leading in both races, albeit by tiny, tiny margins.* We knew the Senate would be tough, but let’s hope those leads hold, and W. gets an even louder message about what the people think about where this country is going.

As sweet as this victory is, however, it isn’t the end of the fight. We now have to hold the Democrats accountable to the principles of the party. That might not (OK, probably won’t) be possible. A time will probably come, when, with the neocons safely confined to the dustbin of history, we will have to vote Green to have progressive voices heard. When this doesn’t mean de facto voting Republican, I will gladly vote Green.

This election, however, wasn’t about the Greens vs. the Democrats (ahem, Virginia, see note below). This election was about sending a message to George W. Bush that the American people will not stand for his actions anymore. It was about telling the neocons that we still stand for freedom and decency and not for fear and torture. That we do not stand for this war waged with lies and incompetence. And if it meant supporting the lesser of two evils to get rid of the vilest evil to ever take control of our country, then so be it.

It looks like it worked.

We just might get our country back. And that is a happy thought.

*A note to the Green Party of Virginia: WHAT IN HELL WERE YOU THINKING??????? OK, Webb isn’t an ideal candidate, but he is against the war. Allen? For it. There were larger issues at stake in this election. This just wasn’t the time for this. It wasn’t the time.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


OK, my fellow Americans, today is the big day. Vote. Voting is what makes democracy work. Do your part.

I voted

This is the little sticker I got from the little old lady
who cranked in my ballot. I put it on my little old lady hat
(which I was wearing to cover my sicky little head).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Remember This? Throw the Neocon Bums OUT!

Remember this? Let's not have it happen again, OK? OK.

The time has come. Throw the neocon bums out!

They've bungled the war they launched under cover of deception.
They’ve failed to bring to justice those responsible for September 11.
They’ve dispensed with the foundation of western democracy.
They’ve tortured in our name.
They’ve mortgaged our future to secure the support of the rich.
They’ve sacrificed the environment for industry profits.
They’ve spread hate, distrust, and fear.
They’ve shown no shame after being caught spying on us.

They’ve controlled this country long enough.

Tomorrow we have a responsibility to stand up for democracy. To stand up for freedom. To stand up to those arrogant bastards who have taken everything good this country has ever stood for and tossed it aside for power’s sake.

Vote them out!
Check out Dr. James for information on how to keep your vote secure.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Funtime Gods Smile Upon Me

Ah... The funtime gods finally smiled upon me this past weekend. About fucking time, I say, but not too loudly, because I am so very grateful.

Friday night featured a fun, low-key gathering for my sister’s birthday. Although I had planned to bring The Stuff (see
recipe below, if you wish), I wound up being asked to bring a main dish suitable for vegetarians. So while I made my roasted root vegetables, my friend ____ got the recipe for The Stuff off of my blog. When he arrived with the hot Stuff, he was hailed a great chef. I felt like I had put something good out into the world as I watched people shovel it onto their plates.

Saturday night’s costume party was pretty much exactly what I’d been begging the funtime gods to send my way for ages now. Any evening where some guy (apparently straight) dons a little girl’s pink unicorn costume over nothing but his boxers and gets out on the dance floor is automatically a good time in my book. The Bavarian bar maid (my dear hilarious sister) broke her one of her steins while dancing away, and my witchy costume (complete with stripey tights---got checked out so blatantly in the liquor store by some cutie that I very nearly invited him to come along) was a hit.

And… best of all, I didn’t overdo it on the boozy treats either night (in part because I had to drive), and so the little family shindig to celebrate my sister’s birthday today went off just fine. So, parties, two; hangovers, zero. An equation that equals one happy Sassy Sundry.