Ash Wednesday
My Family's Insane.
We celebrate everything. Witness my sister arriving today to eat paczkis with us:

She's dressed for Mardi Gras. She threw beads and coins at my daughters, and gave them masks:

So far this year alone, we have gathered together to celebrate New Years Day, a football playoff, two birthdays, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. If my dad didn't go to get re-biopsied today to make sure his colon cancer didn't return (it didn't. Yay! Maybe we should celebrate?), we'd be making gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, po'boy sandwiches and drinking hurricanes tonight.

Also coming up in the month of March: six birthdays and St. Patrick's Day, which we celebrate at Gaelic Park every year. Then on March 19, we will celebrate St. Joseph's Day with a meatball and spaghetti sauce cook off, judged by Reverend Jack. Then Easter comes in April. Plus more birthdays, anniversaries, and more.

I guess it's better than living in a dour, lifeless family who doesn't own Clancy Brothers music or an album with the "Fanny Shake Polka", or know how to say "Happy New Year" in Chinese (Gung Hay Fat Choy!) or Merry Christmas in Thai (I had it written down, but I lost it.) It may be dizzying, but it's never boring.
Long Live Paczkis. All Hail Paczkis.

These are paczkis, on my breakfast table.

It’s Paczki Day in Downers Grove. In Poland, Paczki Day is the Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday; Poles in the U.S. celebrate it on Mardi Gras… Fat Tuesday… the day immediately preceding Ash Wednesday. I think it’s to ensure the global supply of fruit filling doesn’t deplete in one day.

Downers Grove is one of the Paczki hubs of the Chicago Suburbs because our bakery, while named for a Swede named Ingram, was purchased by Poles when it was discovered that Swedes, in fact, cannot bake. Well, they can’t bake anything without rye or seeds or crap like that. Anyway.

One must pre-order Paczki in order to be sure your flavor of choice will be available. Nothing causes more heartache than arriving at Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery at 10 a.m. on Paczki day only to find nothing but prune and poppy seed paczki left. It’s sad, indeed.

The UberGirls and I arrived at 8:10 a.m. to pick up our order. Had we witnessed the mob scene at 6 or 7 a.m., when the train commuters descended upon the place, we’d have seen lines around the block. As it was, we saw armies of Paczki zombies marching down the sidewalk, white bakery boxes in hands or arms or being loaded into the back of a van.

We successfully bypassed the poor ignorant slobs who neglected to pre-order, pitying them as they filled out their order forms, only to groan and scratch out their choices as the horrifying announcements rang out: “Fresh strawberry is out.” “No more raspberry.” “Blueberry – gone.”

We picked up our pre-packed box of chocolate creams, strawberry and blueberry and headed home to wait for Aunt Jeanne to arrive. Long Live Paczkis. All Hail Paczkis.
UberNews Update: Younger Found Tied to Chair; "It Was an Accident!" Claims Elder
Capitalizing on the momentary absence of peace negotiater UberMilf, UberElder broke today's ceasefire by tying her little sister to a dining room chair.

The shattering wails of UberYounger and the unmistakable sound of a chair being dragged across the floor could be heard downstairs, where UberMilf was vainly attempting to access Target Online to find a basket to match the existing one located in the Kitchen Sector.

"It was an accident!" UberElder announced from her bedroom, where she had taken refuge following the assault. "We were just playing!"

UberMilf was able to free the captive. Normal activities will resume after a brief hiatus to consume GirlieChow.

We'll continue to update you if the hostilities continue.
Women's Bodies: Magical Beyond Compare

I went to my good friend Mrs. Kathy's baby shower yesterday afternoon. This will be Mrs. Kathy's first baby, so some of the other already-mommies and I gave her some advice -- both solicited and un-solicited.

As we talked, I relived some of the memories of birth and infancy. Women's bodies can do some really cool shit.

I'm not trying to put down men's bodies, because Lord knows I love them. It's just that they're not as multi-functional as women's. I'm beginning to think Freud had it wrong; I don't think women have penis envy, I think men have boob and baby envy. That's why, in their jealousy, they tried for centuries to convince us we were weak and second-class citizens. Now that all but the most scaredy-cat of men have given that up, men just hope we won't hurt them too badly.

But let's face it, women's bodies can do amazing things. We're like shape-shifters. Our hips expand and contract, our abdomen blows up and deflates like a giant balloon, and we shoot food out of our breasts. I know no man but Todd who could provide another human with sustenance for any period of time with a fluid produced from his own body.

True, a lot of this comes at a price: pain, mess, monthly distress. But you have to admit, we're still pretty cool.

And I think that monthly distress would go a lot more smoothly if we were allowed to pamper ourselves instead of carry on bravely with our usual activities. Maybe we can work on that one.
Good Morning, Daddy!

For the fourth week in a row, Dilf is traveling for business.

He's gotten a mite homesick.

So, I am posting a picture to brighten his day. Witness the Ubergirls, in their early-morning glory.
Things I can't explain.
This is the #1 picture when you Google "bad case of the Mondays":

Also, more people arrive at my blog by Googling this image than any other:

It is followed by this one, by a slim margin:

If any of you can explain any of those, I'd appreciate it.
Look! Vanilla Cupcake with Ube Jam!
I'm purple when boiled down into jam. I hope I'm still as sweet!
Weekend PinUp: Mardi Gras, Carnivale, And All That Stuff
This upcoming Tuesday is known by any and all of the following names:
• Mardi Gras
• Carnivale
• Fat Tuesday
• Shrove Tuesday
• Pazcki Day

Enjoy this pin-up in celebration of the season!

I'm Calling in Sick
Bad Music Thursday: Music to Stalk By
Yes, we have more scary stalker music today. And it's not even from David Soul! It's from a guy named Bob Lind.

He scored one big hit in 1966 called Elusive Butterly. In all it's creepy, call-911-immediately glory, here it is:

Click Here, to set the mood

You might wake up some mornin'
To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind
And if you're quick enough to rise
You'll catch a fleeting glimpse of someone's fading shadow
Out on the new horizon
You may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings
And if the sleep has left your ears
You might hear footsteps running through an open meadow

Don't be concerned, it will not harm you (!!!!)
It's only me pursuing somethin' I'm not sure of (!!!!!!)
Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love

You might have heard my footsteps (call the cops)
Echo softly in the distance through the canyons of your mind
I might have even called your name
As I ran searching after something to believe in
You might have seen me runnin'(Hopefully chased by cops)
Through the long-abandoned ruins of the dreams you left behind
If you remember something there
That glided past you followed close by heavy breathin'(Forget the cops; get a weapon!)

Don't be concerned, it will not harm you (I don't believe you)
It's only me pursuing somethin' I'm not sure of (I'm sure -- I'm getting a restraining order)
Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love

[Instrumental Interlude]

Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love

Wasn't that a nice love song, ladies? He just loves her SO VERY MUCH! Why doesn't she love him???!!!
Nick is Bored. I Can't Have That.
I live to please Nick, and my last post failed to arouse his interest.

So, I Googled "Fun for Nick" so I would know what he likes.

Here's some of what I found:

Where's My Pitchfork? I've Got Some Stabbin' to Do

In wake of the various lobbying scandals in Washington, D.C., most notably involving Abramoff, both houses of Congress and both leading political parties vowed reform.

That is, up until they had a chance to think what it would mean to them. They seem to be changing their tune now:

Lawmakers reluctant to give up free meals, tickets to sports events and other lobbyist-provided perks may need to see more indictments before agreeing to move forward, said Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

"Right now, a number of members are betting on the public losing interest and getting away without any new reforms," Noble said.

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, an advocacy group for lobbying and campaign finance reform, said lawmakers have entered what he calls "the reality stage" of the fight as they begin to realize what they would actually have to give up.

"I just think we've reached a stage here where the blowback from people who want to maintain the status quo of lobbyists paying for the pleasures of their life is now out on the table," Wertheimer said.

Isn't that nice? They're greedy bastards who think we're a bunch of ass-scratching morons with a 20-minute attention span. Don't you feel well-represented right now? They really care about us.

So, are we going to focus on Brangelina and ice dancing and "What's In for Spring?" or are we going to remind our Congressmen and Congresswomen for whom they work?
What? I Have ANOTHER Mental Illness? Why Am I Always the Last to Know?

Somehow, I missed this announcement last January.

Apparently, caffeine addiction is a mental disorder. Who knew?

Oh, but that's probably only applicable to those long-haul truck drivers who pop No-Doz like M&M's, right?

"...studies had demonstrated that people who take in as little as a hundred milligrams of caffeine per day—about the amount in half a cup of coffee—can acquire a physical dependence that would trigger withdrawal symptoms."


"The studies suggested five clusters of common withdrawal symptoms:
• Headache
• Fatigue or drowsiness
• Depression or irritability
• Difficulty in concentrating
• Flulike symptoms including nausea, muscle pain, and stiffness"

How long can it last?

"Peak unpleasantness occurred within the first two days, but other symptoms could continue for as long as nine days."

I hate that Dr. Griffith.
My Soul Feels Better. My Bedding Does Not.

My cat's going nutty. She has to go to the Vet on March 8 to get her lady business taken care of. In the meantime, she's meowing all night at the window, wanting to go outside and get her groove on.

So she got locked downstairs the night before last. When her pitifully sad crying made me open the door at about 5:45 a.m., she jumped up onto our bed, purred, received cuddles and pettings, then went to the foot of the bed and peed on Dilf's leg.

Stop laughing.

We changed all the bedding, Dilf's pajama pants and hosed off Dilf. My down comforter, duvet cover, and sheets were all freshly laundered and put back on the bed.

Last night passed without incident. When the meowing started, I opened the door to the UberGirls' bedroom, and she pranced happily in and snuggled next to UberElder, and slept peacefully through the night.

In the morning, UberGirls joyfully jumped into bed with me, with Miss Muffin close behind. She purred and played for a few minutes, then went to the foot of the bed and... peed in exactly the same spot as yesterday.

I think I need to replace my bedding. Cat owners, what do you say?
I'm Cleansing My Soul

Out with the bad, in with the good.
And She Said NO?
I know Sysm and I share some readers, so if you read this there first, I apologize.

It's just too... too...

Oh, you just have to read it. And the guy probably thinks other men agree with him, that he's the only one with enough guts to put it on paper.

I want to give each and every male reader of my blog a hug right now, just because you're not this guy.
You Say You Want a Revolution...

I don't know about people in the rest of the world, but we here in the U.S. continually hear that everyone's "too busy" to eat dinner together. "Aim for once a month!" the media chirps at us.

Who says we're too busy to engage in a ritual that not only humans, but also animals who form social groups, have engaged in since the dawn of time? This is getting ridiculous.

My family will sit together for dinner every evening. Period. I'm taking a stand. I am openly rebelling against the anti-family-dinner forces of evil!

The conspiracy theorist in me makes me think the Soft Machine is trying to shift loyalties from family and human tradition to "organized" activities. This reminds me of the Hitler Youth program.

The pragmatist in me says, "I'm not running around getting stressed out and reheating dinners at all times of the day and night. Screw that!"

Since the sane part of my brain and the crazy part agree, this must be correct. What good are "achievements" on the field, on stage, or academically if you have nobody to share them with? Relationships must be tended and nurtured, and there is no place better to do it than the dinner table.

Especially if I'm cooking. I'm an excellent cook, if I do say so myself.
I'm Such a Copycat

Once again, I am stealing from Miss Kendra. Hey, at least I steal from the best!

This time, I stole this. It's called a Johari Window.

Please participate by clicking here, lest I remain in the dark about the inner workings of my mind. As you can see, I need a little help.
Tell the Truth or Be Popular?
When I was in high school, I was an honors student and editor of my school paper. Senior year, some of my fellow honors students decided they didn't need to finish the fourth quarter. They wanted to take April through June off. And they wanted the school to sanction it. After all, they reasoned, they already had their test scores and their teacher recommendations; an "A" in every class was inevitable; and they were oh-so-very smart anyways.

These people were in my circle of friends. But not for long. Because I wrote an editorial stating that if these people wanted to choose early graduation, they could have -- in January. And, being the academic superstars of the school, they were setting a bad example for other students: that education is not an end in itself, but instead the ticket to a prestigious university, and, hence, big dollars and a big McMansion in a gated community. Plus, students who excelled in other areas didn't seem to think they "knew enough already." After all, the star football players still went to practice, right? I thought I made a reasoned argument. It was an editorial, after all, so I was entitled to my opinion. Right?

A shitstorm rained down upon me. People who didn't even know me were calling me a bitch. I was thrust from the social circle. My ex-boyfriend, one of the elitist scum, threatened to sue me for libel. He also sent a moaning, blatantly self-pitying letter to the paper whining that I hadn't done a thorough job of researching the issue since I "didn't call him to discuss it."

Only a handful of true friends stood by my side -- one of whom agreed to go to prom with the guy who got a 1600 on the SAT "as a friend," then spent the entire evening mouthing "help me" to me while her date clamped a sweaty palm around her shoulders and pressed her to his side.

The truth is, people aren't terribly fond of criticism, constructive or otherwise. I forget that, because while I am passionate in my beliefs, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. It doesn't offend me. As a result, I offend people. That makes me sad. But it doesn't make me want to change.
In Honor of the Winter Olympics

Our Weekend Pin-Up
This Gets Me So Hot.

I'm still thinking about Slappy.

I'm Off to Explore the Wilds of Downers Grove
To many of you, the glories of Downers Grove are unknown. Its mysteries call to you in the middle of the night, producing fevered dreams and unquenchable desires.

Fear not, my delirious dumplings. I will take you on the adventure of a lifetime. No more will you be deprived of the hidden treasures of Muriel Mundy's and Herbert's Men Shop. No longer will your wishes to learn the sugary secrets lining the shelves of Busy Bee Bakery be denied you.

I will take you on the journey of your dreams -- a journey through Downers Grove.

Starting next week. Unless I'm too busy. In which case I'll just post more pin-up pictures.
I'm Searching for the Meaning of Life

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the subject.
I've Decided: When I Go Insane, I'm Going to Become Carmen Miranda
Some people become Napolean when they go nuts. Or they think they're Jesus, or Satan, or the president. Everybody seems to want power when they become delusional. So, when I buy my one-way ticket to crazy town, I'll dare to be different. I'm going to become Carmen Miranda.

I already know where I'll get my bra:

Hats are easy to come by:

And then I'll need a ruffled skirt:

After I start showing up everywhere in my new persona, I figure everyone will pretty much leave me alone. And if they don't, I'll just start shaking maracas and break into a little song and dance. That's what Carmen used to do. Life just seems like it would be lived much better as Carmen Miranda. Music, dancing, romancing... fresh fruit. What's not to like?

Just so I'll be ready when I finally flip my lid, I'll practice with some paper dolls.

Cupcake of the Week: Raging Yoghurt Cupcake

In honor of my raging hormones, I bring you Raging Yoghurt Cupcakes for your enjoyment.

I am not responsible if you make these and, in fact, fly into a rage. Just so we're clear.
My Head's Gonna Explode
I'm ready to take to the streets and become a subversive.

Announcing this intention in a public forum probably isn't the best idea, but then again maybe that's just how subversive I've become. I don't care.

I'm just wondering what I should do. Traditional protests don't work anymore. I mean, you can get people to show up, and the media to cover them, but it doesn't affect public policy. Everyone likes to tell you that your congressmen and senators pay attention when you write letters, but I don't think they do.

These stupid fat asses in charge of things need to hurt. They like money, so maybe depriving them of cash and ruining all their stuff is in order. I'm not sure what to do about the cash, but maybe we could flood all of their properties with raw sewage. Befoul their automobiles. Make them eat off of paper plates.

They also like to be comfortable; maybe the people who do their laundry and dry cleaning can make their clothes really itchy all the time. Their servants can replace all of their shoes with identical pairs a half size smaller. Then, the next day, a half size bigger.

For all their wealth and power, these people really don't know how to do anything for themselves. Their pampering has made them weak and vulnerable. It should be fairly easy to come up with a plan to make them miserable.

I'm going to keep thinking about this. When I come up with a plan, I'll let you know.
What Would Valentine's Day Be Without A "Love Is" Comic?
Karl Rove: He's Got You in His Sights

Dick Cheney's not the only White House VIP armed with lethal weapons.
Happy Valentines Day, Everybody!

It'll all be over tomorrow.
Brains! Delicious Brains!
I will now give in to the impulse that prevented me from becoming popular in high school -- thinking too much. I am sacrificing comments for introspection. Anyway.

I have been reading a book by psychiatrist Elio Frattaroli titled Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain.

While ostensibly about his profession, it also touches on the issue of technocracy. From the book:

"Why, for instance, do we consider it scientific to believe that our most profound inner experiences are by-products of neurons firing - though this can never be proved - but dismiss the idea of an immaterial soul as religious prejudice precisely because it can never be proved? Why do we imagine that science, in which our culture seems to place a quasi-religious faith, is nevertheless free from religious prejudice, when we know nothing at all about the religious or antireligious convictions of the scientist? Why are we so ready to trust someone else's statistics? Why are we so reluctant to trust our own instinct?"

I find this paragraph compelling for a number of reasons, not all relating to psychology.

For instance, while I strongly oppose introducing the concept of "Intelligent Design" into our classrooms, I think the scientific community may have let itself open to attack by being so rigid in its beliefs, just as religion did in recent centuries.

Also, it also speaks to our willingness to hand over responsibility and power to "experts." That's just pure laziness on our part. Self-discovery? Knowledge? Understanding? The search for truth in an uncertain world? In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, "Can't somebody ELSE do it?"

I will ponder this passage while I clean up after breakfast and start the laundry. Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves.
Oh, Dilfie, Dilfie, Dilfie
As I was composing my Flash Fiction Friday this week, I was torn between using the “My hand! Oh, God my hand…" opening phrase in a poker-themed story, or a story about a man whose autographed giant foam-rubber finger was stolen.

I turned to my husband for advice. My dirty, disgraceful Dilf. He replied, “I think it should be about ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ with Bea Arthur.”

My husband is a foul beast. Now, I have lost my will to write. Perhaps forever.
Weekend Pinup for February 11-12

Happy Valentine's Day
My Valentine
I know I may be hurting a number of people I care about with this announcement. Please try to understand. The heart wants what the heart wants, and mine wants Slappy.

Slappy, will you be my Valentine? I put together a special song for you:

My Heart Belongs to Slappy

I used to fall
In love with all
Those boys who call
On young cuties
But now I find
I'm all inclined
To keep my mind
On my duties
Since I've begun to share
In such a sweet love affair

Though I'm in love, I'm not above
A date with a duke or a caddie
It's just a pose, 'cause my baby knows
That my heart belongs to Slappy

When some good scout, invites me out
To dine om some fine fin and haddie
My baby's sure, his love is secure
Cause my heart belongs to Slappy

Yes my heart belongs to Slappy
So I simply couldn't be bad
Yes I'm gonna marry Slappy
If you feel romantic laddy
Let me warn you right from the start
That my heart belongs to Slappy
And my Slappy belongs to my heart
Freaky Friday: The Venus Hottentot
Sara Baartma, the Hottentot Venus

Baartman was displayed in public shows throughout England. Her genitalia, according to one authority, "were assumed to include uncommonly long labia, dangling down to form what scientists called the 'Hottentot apron' or 'tablier'." Baartman was at one time exhibited "like a wild beast" in a cage at Piccadilly, a move which prompted English abolitionists to take action. However, under legal interrogation at the time, Baartman claimed to have come to Europe of her own free will, and said her antics in a cage were all part of a show to make money.

Bartmann was similarly exhibited in Paris during 1815, and died there at the end of that year from an "inflammatory and eruptive malady". One particular fascination to Europeans who flocked to watch her shows was her large, steatopygous buttocks.

After her death in Paris in 1815, Baartman landed under the knife of the leading French anatomist of the day, Baron Cuvier. He had her body cast in wax, dissected, and her skeleton articulated. Her genitalia and brain were preserved, and displayed at the Musee de l'Homme (Museum of Mankind) in Paris until as recently as 1974 when her remains were transferred to her homeland near Capetown, RSA.
Bad Music Thursday: Donny. Osmond. Disco.
Click Here.


Any questions?
Attention, DILF's Employers:
garbage_canToday is Wednesday. That means my pathological milkman will be coming today. It also means the garbage must go to the curb, as Thursday is my pick-up day.

Here's the issue: DILF left at 5:15 a.m. today for a client visit in Detroit. He won't be back until tomorrow night. Do you see where I'm going with this, DILF's Employers? This means I, the Übermilf, must take out the garbage.

This is unacceptable.

If this were the only Wednesday I would be required to put aside my usual daintiness to perform such a task, I could accept the situation. However, DILF has been scheduled for four more out of town client visits in the upcoming weeks, and they all require Wednesday overnight stays.

Now, I know you didn't know about the garbage situation before, so I forgive you. But now that you know, please see to it that DILF is home on Wednesday evenings to take out the garbage. Thank you.

Now, Back to the Milkman

We've established earlier that the owner of the dairy that supplies my milk may or may not be a Nazi. This has caused me to consider switching to another delivery service or forgoing home delivery altogether.

That raises other issues, however. How will the chronically-angry milkman react to the news? He knows where I live, and he's guaranteed to be in my neighborhood every Wednesday.

And what if he were to drive by and see another milkman's truck in my driveway? He could go berserk! He could run over from my neighbor's house, meaty fingers inserted into the necks of empty milk bottles, clacking them together while taunting, Milkman, come out and plaaa-aaay.

Nobody wants that to happen. Okay, maybe me, a little. Still, I think it's best to keep Angry Milkman's rage to a minimum.
Kidnapped by Pornographers!
retired pornographerIt appears that Jacob Deems and his wife Sarah have been kidnapped by pornographers.

They didn't leave a ransom note. They simply hijacked their blogs.

Perhaps the Blog Affiliates of Justice can intervene on their behalf?
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

So you want more huh?
Click here!

Perverts, scram. There's nothing for you here.

Now, who wants cupcakes?

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