Weekend PinUp -- Parade Watching

Sysm chose this week's theme, and because we celebrate our upcoming Independence Day with parades and picnics and fireworks and such, he chose parades.

I couldn't find a parade participant (I think Sysm may have a beauty queen fetish; I'll have to buy the Sysmistress a tiara, sash and elbow-length gloves for her birthday), I found a spectator.

I really like her shoes!
Health Advice From ÜberElder: Don't Eat Eyeballs

ÜberElder was collecting our newspapers from the driveway this morning ("Yay! It's Two-Newspaper Day!" she shouted, since our local weekly paper comes on Friday), and as she came through the door she calmly announced, "There's a dead mouse on the steps."

More precisely, half a mouse lay on the steps -- with scattered mouse bits in the surrounding area. It was the tail section. Miss Muffin brought us a gift! But, like the time I bought my brother a bag of M&M's only to find temptation irrisistable in the back seat of the car on the ride home, she ate half of it.

While Dilf realized he'd half to dispose of the corpse and I pondered if an ass-end on a pike outside my house would have the same effect as a head on a pike, Elder calmly noted, "I hope she didn't eat the eyeballs. I hope she scraped them out first."

Dilf turned slightly ashen and sputtered, "I haven't had my coffee yet!" I internally pledged to blog this precious moment. Elder matter-of-factly replied, "Well, you shouldn't eat eyeballs."

You heard her, folks. Don't eat eyeballs.
Frontgate, or AFFrontgate?
I bitch and moan about a lot of inconsequential things. You don’t have to tell me this; I have to live with me! Here’s another example of me blowing a minor thing out of proportion:

I hate this catalog. They keep sending it to me, and every time they do, I get pissed off anew. Why, out of the scores of retailers desperate enough to separate me from my money that they send me an expensive, glossy 4-color catalog every month, am I irritated by this one the most?

Because. I get catalogues for expensive things. I get catalogues for cheap kitschy things. I get catalogues for useless crap. I get catalogues for grossly overpriced useless crap. But this one stands out for how brazenly it insults my intelligence.

I also hate it because it glorifies a conspicuous consumerism that offends my delicate sensibilities. More on that later, after I give you but one example of how Frontgate insults the buying public’s intelligence.

On page four of the current catalog, they offer “polycarbonate drinkware and dinnerware.” Polycarbonate, of course, is a fancy way to say “plastic.” You can get them in bronze or clear, at the bargain price of $45.50 for six 11” dinner plates, and $39.50 for six 9” dessert plates. That’s a grand total of $85 for plastic plates.

In comparison, you can get the identical set of plates, dinner and dessert plates, at Target for $29.99. Please, how could those plates from Frontgate be worth $55 more? Who is buying this crap, that guy from Spinal Tap (but these go to 11)?

And that’s but one example. The catalog is full of $500 wicker lawn chairs, $169 hair dryers, and $49.50 toilet plungers. Do you remember what you spent on your last bath mat? Me, neither, but I know it wasn’t $50.

Now, to top it all off, the back page of each month’s catalog is dedicated to showcasing a customer’s outlandish home. This time, it’s Tommy and Chantal Bagwell’s “approximately 20,000 square feet” of opulence on Lake Lanier, 40 miles north of Atlanta.

And every month the people say the same annoyingly stupid thing, phrased slightly differently each time but with the same message: “People are often surprised by the feeling of coziness when they come inside!” Right. Cozy. All 20,000 square feet of it. And I’m sure they furnished it entirely from the Frontgate catalog, too. I bet they drive his-n-hers matching Lexus SUV’s.

I don’t hate rich people; I hate waste. And this catalog reminds me of how much we waste things in this country.

By the way, this guy apparantly agrees with me.
Bad Music Thursday: It Might Be Bad Music, But, Oh, the Hair is Perfect!

This song is horrible because, amongst other things, it sticks in your head like your hand would stick to John Parr's cotton candy-like hair if you touched it.

He may be a man in motion, but his hair is firmly in place.
Brooke Told Me I Had To
1.You are in the Witness Protection Program and must invent a new first, last, and middle name. What is it?
Fresca Joan Sanchez

2.You are in a threesome with two famous people, alive or dead.
Wait, are they dead while I’m there? Or do I go back in time to when they’re still alive? Please clarify.

3.You are in charge of naming your new band. What's the name of the band?
The Desperate Barflies

4. You are going to get a free tattoo. What would it be?
A “Do Not Enter” Sign on my ass.

5. You are being forced to listen to one song over and over, ad infinitum, as a form of torture. What song is it?
“Lovin’ You… is easy ‘cause you’re beautiful. And every day of my life, is (something) because of you. La la la la la…La la la la la”

6. You are leaving your state/province. What state do you move to?
Do I have an infinite amount of money? Because that would factor into my decision. Again, please clarify.

7. You are leaving your country, where would you move?
Ireland. But I like France, too.

8. You get to choose one book as the best ever written. What book do you choose?
The dictionary

9. You get to choose one movie as the best ever made. What movie do you choose?
The Blues Brothers

10. You get to spend one day each as a bird, an insect, and a mammal. What bird would you be? What insect? What mammal?
Bird: Duck. Insect: Lightening bug Mammal: Elephant

11. You must relive one year of your life. Which would you like to relive?

12. Which year(s) would you least like to relive?

13. You have a time machine that will take you backwards anywhere from 1800 to the present. What decade do you most want to visit?

14. You must choose to go skydiving or very-deep-sea diving.

15. You get to return to the past (using that handy dandy time machine we were talking about before) and have a sexual encounter with a rock star who no longer lives. Who do you pick?
Buddy Holly

16. You get to be a contestant on any game show, airing today or in the past. What show do you want to be on?

17. You are given $1 million dollars but you must give it all to one charity. What charity do you choose?
Doctors Without Borders

18. You must ban one word from the dictionary and all usage, to be no longer uttered or written. What word do you ban?
Proactive. Wait, that’s not really a word. Synergy.

19. You can have 100 million dollars tax-free but if you take it, you'll die at the age of fifty. Do you take it?
No. That wouldn’t give me all that much time, anyways.

20. There is no number 20.
Don't Wear Wednesday: Maternity Clothes

I don't know what they call it in Britain, but surely they have a department of child welfare; how can they witness this abomination and allow her to keep her baby? This is monstrous.

Clearly this woman is deranged. Psycopathic, even. If your garment comes with instructions (Insert toggle A into slot B on strap C), you shouldn't wear it under normal circumstances -- let alone during pregnancy. Also, is that her bra, or part of the dress? There is no good answer to that question.

Now, I know from experience that a woman gets easily overheated during pregnancy. ÜberElder was born in August. I understand the desire for ventilation. I just think she took it a little too far in this, um, garment.
I don't feel like it.
Independence Day is Coming!
What Ebenezer Scrooge does the other 364 days of the year
In response to the Warren Buffet and Bill Gates charity extravaganza story, the Chicago Tribue invited its readers to send their answers to the question, "[What] if you had more than $37 billion to unload?"

The answers ranged from the humorous ("I'd buy a Jose Cuervo factory and get the entire USA hammered"), to the community-minded ("...research in the medical and environmental fields...invest the rest in education"), to the athlete-centric ("I'd buy the Cubs, build them a new stadium somewhere in the suburbs where there's adequate parking, and then give $40 billion to Lance Armstrong's cancer research initiative.")

The most heart-warming response came from a kindly individual, who wrote the following:

"I wouldn't give $1 to the homeless, a church, Chicago public schools or a charity. No amount of money can cure the problems that they claim to fix. I'd enjoy every last penny of it and when all the scum come begging I'd tell them to work hard and maybe they could have their own."

What a sweetie! I wish I lived next door to that person. Whoever KJ is, he or she must be truly beloved by all he or she meets.

Now, since he or she does not currently have $37 billion dollars, I can only assume that KJ is lazy. Shame on you, KJ! But I bet all those people working two part-time minimum wage jobs are even lazier than KJ. Also lazy: the public school children with books from the 1970's, the mentally ill individuals roaming the streets, the single mothers who forgo feeding themselves in order to feed their children, the disabled, people who's savings have been wiped out paying for cancer or other catastrophic medical bills, Dilf's grandma.

KJ has clarified my world view, and I thank him or her for it. It was so complicated not judging people by their looks; now I can easily identify the worthy (outrageously wealthy) from the scum (poor people.) I just wonder where middle class people like me and my family fall on the continuum.

I also wonder if KJ would forgo applying for unemployment if laid off from work, or collecting social security payments if disabled. I'm sure he/she would "deserve" it for working so danged hard.
What I need...

I need a nap.
Flash Fiction Friday: Parents Gone Wild!
Note: I tried a different experiment this week. I set a timer for 20 minutes and wrote until I was done. Let me know what you think.

For more info about Flash Fiction Friday, check out the source of it all.

That can't be my mother in the satin Chinese pajamas and geisha wig passing a cucumber between her knees with Mr. Peller, could it?

It IS! It IS my mother! My mother, who was too embarrassed to discuss the birds and the bees with me, who never shaves her legs above the knees and who dutifully says her three “Hail Marys” and three “Our Fathers” every night before bed? In her pajamas playing a sexy game? Wearing a wig, no less?

“Mother!” I gasped, with a mixture of shock and admiration in my voice. “Explain this picture!”

“Oh, that,” my mom said nonchalantly. “That’s from a neighborhood Halloween party from the early 70’s. I was a Chinese girl.”

“I can see that! What are you doing with Mr. Peller?”

“That was a party game. You’re supposed to pass the cucumber to a person of the opposite sex, while holding it between your knees.”

“A party game,” I said, skeptically. “What sort of party was this?”

“A Halloween party, like I said,” she replied, calmly sipping her tea. “What are you getting so excited about?”

“Were there keys exchanged at this party?” I asked, accusingly.

“No! No,” she said. “It was just a party to get to know all the new neighbors.”

“It looks like you got to know Mr. Peller really well!”

“Oh, yeah, it was really hard to pass that cucumber because he was so short and my pajamas were so slippery. It took a long time to pass it.” She was very calm about this sordid affair.

“What other kinds of parties did you have with the neighbors?” I asked, a bit taken aback by her demeanor.

“Well, you remember the Stocktons next door? They were real hippies. They had a party at their house, and there were no chairs. Everyone just sat cross-legged on the floor,” she paused to dunk her cookie. “They were really clique-y. They sat in a circle with their art friends while the rest of us just stood around.”

“Were there illicit substances at this party?” I asked.

“I don’t remember. But you’d think there had to be, for them to think a bunch of rusty farm implements on the wall were ‘art.’” She sniffed disdainfully. “The neighborhood didn’t think much of them after that party, and it got worse when they dug up their front lawn for a rock garden.”

She stopped talking for a moment, reminiscing. “They were weird. They painted a wall black, and then they moved. I think she was some kind of Indian. She thought she was really something, and laid out in the sun in her bikini all day.”

“She wore a peek-a-boo top,” interjected my father, who had joined us in the kitchen while we were deep in conversation. “First you peeked, then you boo-ed.”

“Oh, Charlie,” laughed my mother. “You didn’t think she was pretty.”

“Yeah. Pretty ugly,” said my dad.

“Is there anything else you want to tell me about the neighborhood in the 70’s?” I inquire, hoping for something better than a dirty hippie in a bikini.

“Mr. Terkmeiser left Mrs. Terkmeiser for some woman who wore white go-go boots,” my mother answered.

“Anything else?”

“No, not really,” but from the faraway look in her eyes, I suspected she was lying.
I'm Better Today.

The University of North Dakota Cheer and Dance Squad cheered me up. Can you ever have too much fun? They seem to have a frightening amount of fun at the University of North Dakota.

Also, the Sunday Paper always provides me with endless hours of entertainment. The comics! The ads! The puzzles! I like to search through the coupon section to find new disgusting products to show Dilf. Unfortunately, food companies seem to launch new products in the fall, so the pickings were slim. I'm going with the Hummel stained glass lamp for $200 or the anti-fungal foot cream.

I found a couple of things in the coupon section a bit troubling, however. One was a commemorative plate featuring a "Rottweiler's look of devotion," which looked more like his hunger pangs before he rips off your leg and eats it in front of you as you slowly bleed to death at his feet.

The most disturbing ad was for an anti-snoring device. I tried to find the exact horrifying image, but I can't. It's a wife smothering her struggling husband with a pillow, with the tag line, "There is a better way to stop him from snoring." A better way than murder? Tell me more! I can't believe more people haven't found this offensive! Are women really this angry with their husbands that killing them in their sleep is amusing? I won't belabor the point, but people, how much do we hate each other?

I love Dilf so much I like to share disturbing images and products with him. And really, is there a greater love than that?
What's Wrong With Me and Why Won't Anything Fix It?
In my pre-Übie days, I saw a man in Union Station with MS or some other disease which impaired his ability to walk, and caused him to rely on crutches. He was fairly young, and obviously new to the whole loss of mobility. His crutch slipped, and he had to pull himself up. He lashed out at no one or nothing in particular, clearly frustrated by his uncooperative physiology. I felt empathy pangs for him; I know this sounds sexist, but particularly because he was a man -- a young man. It had to be very difficult for him to adapt to this new, vulnerable identity in a world that expects its men to be strong.

I'm finding myself in a similar boat, only it's my brain that's not functioning properly. I have experienced depression before; I know what it feels like. Why won't it just go away and leave me alone? I want to function normally, dammit.

I'm not sad, but I'm emotionally flat. I'm tired. I can't concentrate. I'm spacing out. I fight to keep my temper under control because for now, my rational brain is still in control. I have no interest in taking care of myself, although I am keeping the ÜberGirls in the style to which they have become accostomed.

I took a shower and shaved my legs and put on a cute dress because I know Dilf is coming home and that it would make him happy. If he wasn't coming home, I'd be a scuzzy mess. As it is, I desperately need a haircut; but as long as I can pull it back in a headband and look decent, I don't have the motivation to do it. I have no idea how I want to look. Whatever. I have chipped nail polish, too. I lack the will to take the old stuff off, let alone apply new stuff.

I'm just in a holding pattern. I'm not happy or sad; I'm resigned. I'm not saying this for sympathy, because I'm not suffering. I just know I'm not the exuberant, playful, imaginative Übie that I should be if I was functioning properly.

These are my symptoms, courtesy of a depression checklist:

"When asked what symptoms you have experienced on a regular basis over at least the past 2 weeks, you selected:

- Lack of motivation
- Irritability
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of isolation, not as involved with
family and friends
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Hopelessness
- Feeling worthless or guilty for no reason
- Fatigue
- Low energy
- Trouble sleeping

Your response also indicated that your symptoms are affecting your ability to be yourself and to function on a daily basis."

I just want myself back. I'm not under any undue stressful circumstances. I'm not in a bad or harmful situation. I want my brain to work again.
Weekend PinUp -- Carl's Choice Awards
This week, I allowed the very special Carl Spackler to choose the pin up theme. Since summer is newly upon us (meteorologically speaking), Carl chose "the beach."

I could be cruel to him and post this:

But I won't. Please enjoy a bikini pin-up classic, in honor of our favorite assistant greenskeeper:

Assorted Anger Issues

First, to the man with the cell phone in the 815 area code:

My name is not Chris. You didn't let me inform you of this fact before you started screaming at me that you wanted your "Bloody fucking ring back." By the way, are you Persian or Turkish or something? Because you sounded like it, before I hung up.

Second, to Ikea:

You are a bunch of lying liars. There is no such thing as a Federal Height Regulation in Regards to Ball Pits. When you didn't allow ÜberYounger into your precious play area because she was 1/4" too short, you made me angry. When you allowed an 18 year old to pose as a manager to appease me, who then claimed that the Federal Government was to blame for your ridiculous and arbitrary rule, you enraged me further.

You also turned away another young girl from another family because she was "too tall." It was her ponytail that reached the height mark, not her head. And for what? You only had two children playing in your "Smälland" or whatever you call it. Two lonely children in that huge space, looking wistfully each time children came in, hoping in vain for playmates.

I hope you are proud of yourselves. You made Younger cry.
Warning: This Post Will Scare the Bejeebus out of Dilf
I know I complain about the hillbilly repair jobs and all, but I'm happy with my house. Yep, I have the kitchen, living room and dining room just about fully decorated in a Parisian Apartment style. I used a color scheme of red, black, ivory and gold. I'm all done. Yep.

Which means I want to change it all around to something new. Because I am a sick, sick woman. I want to make it all mid-century modern. Pink! Aqua! Poodles! Atomic! Black Cats, especially that clock with the moving eyeballs! Re-do! Re-do! Re-do! (pant, pant, pant)

Well, I could keep the color scheme. Look at these, aren't they cool?

And I guess I could just change out a few accessories here and there...

Or maybe I should just wait five minutes until I change my mind again.
Bad Music Thursday: I Admit I Enjoy This One

Yes, I listen to it. That doesn't prevent me from realizing its awfulness.

This song is unapologetic for its truly terribleness, and Falco had the audacity to sing it in TWO DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. That sort of rebellious, "I don't care if I suck or not" attitude deserves some sort of recognition.

So, Falco, I admire your courage. Here's to you, in all your horrible splendor.
Don't Wear Wednesday: Whatever This Is

Mesh tank top? Discolored crotch? I don't approve.
Why Geeks Are Better Than Jocks, Part I
I realized my preference for geeks relatively early in life; well, actually, I discovered jocks were overrated early in life. I did give Jocks a chance. But after three strikes, they were out.

Strike one: First Grade, Billy Horbach. In kindergarten and first grade, Billy Horbach was hot shit in Toughskins jeans. He was brash and swaggering, with brown curly hair and freckles. He made the little girls swoon.

In first grade, our reading teacher grouped our desks together in fours. I was put with two other people who have faded from memory, and with Billy Horbach at a diagonal from me. One day, Billy forgot his pencil. I offered him one of mine. He glared disdainfully at me and said, "I don't talk to YOU." Lucky for me and my self-esteem, I didn't think less of myself due to this encounter, but I thought a whole heck of a lot less of Billy Horbach.

Strike two: Fifth Grade, Chris Walsh. Chris Walsh was such a stud in fifth grade that he was scoring the cream of the crop of SIXTH GRADE GIRLS. In fact, he was so hot, we created a song parody from one of our music class's songs called "Space Explorer." The song was so powerful, I can't think of how the original went, but I can clearly sing, "Chris and Kelly... making out on the slide."

In fifth grade, our school took a class trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to get back to nature and learn crucial life skills like identifying cloud types and making leaf rubbings and how to eat the worst possible food imaginable without complaining. One of the outings involved fishing, and being paired with a member of the opposite sex.

Imagine my delight at being paired with Mr. Walsh. I didn't harbor any false hopes; I was not in bloom at that point. (I bloomed once from age 3 to kindergarten, when neighborhood heartthrob Joey Daughnt was in love with me and gave me my first kiss; then I was dormant until adulthood, when I bloomed again. I would like to think I'm still in bloom, although my blossom has gotten rather full and heavy. But back to our story...) Just being near to the legendary Chris Walsh was enough for me.

Our camp counselor brought over the worms and taught us how to bait a hook. I baited mine, then waited expectantly for my partner to bait his.

He was too squeamish to touch the worm. I had to bait his hook for him. Now, I was, and am, a very girly girl. I was not a tomboy, worm-friendly type of gal. But I also was no coward, as Mr. Walsh clearly was. That ended my infatuation with, and respect for, our class's top jock.

Strike three: Freshman year of high school, Dave Whatsisname the top runningback Admittedly, Dave was pretty like Keaneau Reeves or Ashton Kutcher. He was dumber than a box of rocks, but he could run really fast with a football tucked under his arm. I never had a crush on him per se, but he was nice to look at as long as he didn't talk.

I was his lab partner in Biology class. He was scared of his froggy and wouldn't dissect him because he wouldn't touch him. It was Chris Walsh all over again.

Thank you, gentlemen. You've all taught me a valuable lesson about looks being deceiving and weakness hiding under a thick coat of bluster. I salute you.
That Does It!! ÜberGirlies Are Going to Day Camp!

I have become a prisoner in my own home. A troubled recluse with hygiene issues. A withered shell of a human being, prone to fits of hysteria followed by catatonic states. Dilf is on the road like Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, leaving me with two demanding taskmasters who track me down no matter where I try to hide.

One goes to bed at midnight. The other wakes at 6 a.m. I am never alone. Not even while behind a locked bathroom door. "Are you going poopie, mommy? Okay, I'll just wait outside the door until you're done. Are you done? How about now? Are you done yet? Oooh, are you taking a shower? I want to take a shower with you! Can I?" pound-pound-pound on the door. "Mommy, can you hear me? I want to take a shower. CAN YOU HEAR ME??!!" pause. "Mommy, Younger went potty on the floor."

However, I belong to my nearby YMCA. My nearby YMCA has day camps for ages 3-6 (Hey! Younger's 3 and Elder's 6!) Three days a week. 9 a.m. to noon. I would drop them both up at the same location, and pick them up at the same location.

That's three hours, people. Three hours to take a bubble bath. Go shopping. Get a haircut. Unload the dishwasher without "help."

Hee hee. I can almost taste the freedom. Almost.
My Life Is One Big Ho-Hum Hotel Right Now

Somebody, anybody shock me back to life. Make me laugh. Anger me. Inspire me. Make me sick. I'll take anything you've got. As long as it's interesting.
When Cats Attack!!

When Dilf left at 4:30 this morning for the Twin Cities, he kissed me and told me to go back to sleep.

I tried, I really did.

But almost immediately, I began to hear what I thought was a low moan of pain. Oh, no, I thought. Another ÜberGirl is going to blow girlie chunks in the bathroom. At least, the bathroom, if I'm lucky.

Thankfully, the noise was not coming from an ÜberGirl. It was coming from outside, from Miss Muffin. And it wasn't a low moan of pain, it was the beginnings of a kitty growl, culminating in a ferocious "Rowrr-rowrr!" which I identified as a "I fart in your general direction! Leave before I taunt you a second time!"

I put on my slippers and ran to the deck, which caused two identical black flying furry objects to dart out of the gate and run across my neighbor's lawn. I couldn't tell which of the two was wearing a pink rhinestone collar with heart-shaped tags, so I don't know who was in the lead. But I did hear the tell-tale jangle of her bell, so I know she was involved somehow.

I hope she comes home in one piece. I suspect she will. Despite my best efforts at making her a lazy pampered housecat, she insists on being more the roller-derby brawler type.

She is a Maine Coon Cat, after all.
Things I Learned This Weekend

• I can still play badminton even after drinking 3 gin and ginger ales.

• Red roses and black icing on a graduation cake look really gross when thrown up by
a five year old at four in the morning

• My non-smoking 18 year old nephew can outrun my 35 year old Dilf (light up, there,
smokey). This also means nephew can, and does, insult Dilf at will.

• Three alcoholic drinks an evening will not produce a hangover the next morning.

• My garlic dill potato salad is a crowd pleaser!

• Gin makes it easier to stomach my brother.
Weekend PinUp -- I've Got It All Wrapped Up

Thank you all for helping me pick out a Father's Day gift for Dilf. His present will be ready and waiting for him when he comes back from San Francisco tomorrow. Now all I have to do is wrap it.

I hope he likes it!
Dilf Gift Ideas
Number One: Sexy Garden Gnome

Number Two: New Bathing Suit

Number Three: Finger Nose Hair Trimmer

Shhh! Don't Tell Dilf...

We're going to buy his Father's Day present today!
Most Evil Sicko Award: Non-Clown Division
I've read about some seriously depraved individuals in my day, but this guy takes the cake.

"A former Children's Hospital nurse admitted to police that he sexually abused a terminally ill 4-year-old female patient 'to see if he liked it,' according to court documents released yesterday."

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I enjoy beating a grown man to death with a garden rake. I think I'll experiment on him.

"He said he molested the child a second time because 'he wasn't sure what he was feeling and he wasn't sure if he was interested in children,' police detectives reported in the warrant."

Ah, yes, it's always best to be sure about these things. Perhaps I should just maim him with the rake, before I whack him a few more times to get in touch with my feelings.

Oh, but rest easy, folks:

"Irvin told police that 'he didn't get sexually aroused, so he decided he was not interested in children' but he admitted that he continued looking at pictures of children."

He's makes a good point. Perhaps I should just watch videos of other people hacking at him with a garden rake.

My arms get tired after a while, anyway.
Bad Music Thursday: Squeaky, Shrieky, Annoying Girls
What I find especially nerve-racking about the songs in this week's Bad Music Thursday is their staying power. They're still played on Lite Rock or Jack FM type radio stations, they crop up in advertising, you hear them in the grocery store. WHY...WON'T...THEY...DIE??!!

There are many window-shattering, screeching, soul-destroyingly bad girl bands in recent history; here are a few that sprang to my mind this evening:

Wilson Phillips.

I wanted to choose "Release Me" (Come on baby, Come on baby, 'Cause you're a waste of time to me), but this video will do nicely. I'm glad Carnie is healthier now, but it doesn't make this band sound any better.

Belinda Carlisle.

I admit it: I liked the GoGo's. I still hate this song. I also hate "Mad About You."

The Bangles.

This is the worst song by this band. And keep in mind, they produced both "Manic Monday" AND "Walk Like an Egyptian," so that's saying something.


It pains me to admit this, but... I listened to Bananarama in Junior High. By the time this stink bomb came out, I was already past them, thankfully. They took a bad song and made it worse, and then Gillette had to put its grating refrain in a TV commercial. That song is so bad, my leg hair falls out by itself, no pink plastic razor required.

I know I've missed some doozies. Mariah Carey? Whitney Houston? Oh, just thinking about it makes my teeth ache.
I'm Back from the Dead
It seems the people from whom we purchased our home fled from the term "licensed contractor" like Dracula from a holy water-soaked crucifix made from garlic.

We had previously learned from our neighbors that the former owners believed "building materials" were scavenged from a salvage yard and "labor costs" meant "a couple of cases of Miller Lite for my buddies." Their belief system has bitten us on the ass on a few occasions.

We seem to have the phone and DSL line situation under control at this time.

I missed you all fiercely, and now that I'm back online, I finally feel complete.

Okay, actually, I enjoy having a place to bitch and I'm glad it's back. Cupcakes for everyone!
DSL is down
Hillbillys + Network interface box =

Posted by Dilfie @ the local Caribou. She'll be back by tomorrow hopefully.
So Anyway, Back to Finding My Bliss...

Before my brother interrupted my quest to find happiness by harrassing my parents yet again, I was on a mission to find my bliss, chase my dreams, follow my higher purpose.

But I don't know what that is.

All I know is that while I enjoy creating order from disorder and cooking/meal planning and making sure my children are happy and healthy, it's not scratching whatever's itching me.

I'm hungry for something, but I don't know what it is. Just like when you're trying to decide what would soothe a food craving (ice cream sandwich? potato chips? chili dog?), I keep running through possibilities to see what makes me jump up and say, "That's it! THAT'S what I want!" Nothing does. None of my old childhood fantasies, like being an ace reporter or a fashion model/crusading lawyer or a pudding tester, seem to fit anymore.

Perhaps I should focus on things that bother me (outside of my brother, obviously; we've covered that already.) Like abused/neglected/undereducated/overexposed to violence/health-care deprived children. Maybe I'll start with an easy problem like that.
Weekend PinUp -- Pirates Ahoy!

Maura has a pair of twin boys with whom she's friends (well, a pair of pairs, counting the Sysmidgets). They are having a pirate-themed birthday party tomorrow, which she's attending. There will be a treasure hunt and swords and a pirate ship cake. Fun should be had by all.

Incidentally, I have a pirate fetish. Sometimes I'm the pirate queen, demanding satisfaction; sometimes I'm the wench stripped down to her bodice and pleading for mercy.

Of course, this has nothing to do with a children's birthday party. But it has everything to do with this week's pin-up.
I Didn't Find My Bliss, But I DID Find My Rage
This is what I would say to my brother, if he was talking to me:

I have news for you, asshole! You’re a grown man in his 40’s with a wife and kid – mommy and daddy don’t owe you a goddamn thing! They paid for you through college, then you were able to support yourself. Until Cuntzilla came along, that is.

Now all of a sudden you’ve turned to shit. I’m not blaming her – she is what she is. You’re the one lying, scheming and begging for cash. Whatever our parents think “she must’ve done to you,” you’re going along for the ride without complaint.

And she keeps getting fucking pedicures? When you don’t have money for car insurance? Well, that’s what you told our parents, who don’t have the guts to call you on your bullshit. I’m not sure you even need the money for a legitimate expense.

Do you know our mother has a bleeding ulcer? And our father is still overcoming the effects of his colon cancer? That they couldn’t save for retirement until their 40’s, because they were busy supporting us as kids? Now you want them to keep supporting you? Fuck you.

And another thing, you’re using their love for you and your relationship with them as an extortion tool. Wow, that’s class. What would be enough for you? If they drained their investments and lived on the pittance they get for social security? Or maybe that’s not enough. Maybe they’ll have to sell their home and hand you the cash. After all, they have three other RESPONSIBLE ADULTS for children who could take them in.

And her mom had to give you $300 for a birthday party for your baby? Really, was that a party for her, or for Cuntzilla’s rich bitch sister to show off her new McMansion? Because your sweet little girl would’ve been just as happy in her own home, with just a cake. I would’ve been willing to spring for my own lunch. It would’ve set a lot better in my stomach.

I manage to survive every day without a Kate Spade handbag. That’s right; not even one. I had a Coach once but it got ruined. Oh, yeah… when I had it, I paid for it myself. With cash. And I could still pay my rent and utilities after. And if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t have bought the freakin’ purse.

How many Kate Spades does Cuntzilla own, now, anyway? Hmmm? I hope she can see them by candlelight, since it sounds like you don’t have the money to pay the electric bill.

Oh, wait. That’s right, you just have someone else give you money for bills. Have you paid any back?

Do you know how easily a major illness can drain someone financially? Mom will be 70 next year, and Dad’s already there. What do you think happens in old age? The good health fairy comes along and fixes everything for free? Or were you planning to put them out on an ice floe?

I can’t make you a better person. I can’t make you leave our parents alone. I can’t make them stronger or more willing to deal with reality. I can’t fix this situation.

All I can do is rage about it on my blog and hope it makes me feel better.
I'm Off to Find My Bliss

I'm not coming back until I find it.
Food Rant

Reading this on my friend B.A.'s blog helped crystallize something I've felt but been unable to put my finger on: I'm sick and tired of being told what to eat.

Truth be told, I love vegetables. They add a nice crunch and contrast and color. For the most part, I like the way they taste.

But it pisses me off to be told how many I should eat, that I can't put butter on them, which types I should eat... actually, I hate being told what to do, anyways. But food is something that should come naturally to a person. We shouldn't need a government agency or a magazine or a book to tell us what to eat.

We can address the obesity epidemic without resorting to pyramids and measurements and the like. Do you really think people don't realize that vegetables are healthy for them? If they don't, do you think they're going to read any sort of literature on the subject, anyways?

We didn't grow obese overnight and we're not going to lose weight overnight. We need to wean ourselves off of convenience foods and drive-thrus, soda pop and snack chips. We need to do more active things and less passive things like watching TV. Those things are true.

But we keep going to extremes! How about going bowling, golfing, going for walks in the park, going roller or ice skating -- fun stuff. Do we have to pant and sweat on machines? Measure every bit of food we eat? What does this obsessive-compulsive binge-and-purge attitude toward food say about us? It's like the sex thing, it seems like people are either prudes preaching that sex is dirty or freaky swingers holding orgies in their living rooms. Why can't we just be normal? What's with the weird approach to body functions that shouldn't require all this angst and worry?

Thank you. I feel better now. Go back to your Doritos and porn now.
Don't Wear Wednesday

For your viewing pleasure: a website dedicated to Rennaisance Fair Fashion Faux Pas.

Terrible Toy Tuesday: The Littlest Pet Shop -- of Horrors!

I realize I complain about toys a lot. Here, here and here, for instance.

If that's true, it's only because of the sheer volume of annoying, useless crap bursting forth from the toy manufacturers like so much explosive diarrhea.

I'm not opposed to toys in general. I'm not opposed to new spins on old toys. I'm not opposed to new adjuncts to existing toys.

I hate miniature things. Things packaged so tightly that a blowtorch is required to disengage them from their plastic prisons. Things that are played with for but a moment because they only have one use, and the kids tire of them quickly. Things that are ugly.

The Littlest Pet Shop fills this description. The website makes them look much cuter (and larger) than they are in reality. They have these drippy, downturned eyes which would require a trip to the vet and some eye drops were they to exist in nature. They're always sad and mournful, even though they have more accessories than I do. As a matter of fact, those accessories number in the thousands, are impossible to take on and off the "pets," and wind up scattered all over the floor.

Someone gave the ÜberGirls a set of these for Christmas. They sat in the trunk for months. (Oooops! haha, how did THAT happen?) They were put in the outdoor toys in the garage, and opened yesterday.

Today, they sit in the garbage. They were played with once.

The girls don't miss them.

I wish the same could be said for the purple electric guitar someone bought ÜberElder for her third birthday, an item that got "lost" when we moved from our first house to this one in 2004. ÜberElder asked about it last week. Truthfully, I said I didn't know where it was and I hadn't seen it since we moved.

What she doesn't know won't hurt her.
We Had a Parade Today
I wore a Fez.

We even had a spectator:

Can't Find Me.
Flash Fiction Friday: Evacuate or Die Trying
He said little as they paddled their way along the sunken streets.

“I said I was sorry,” said his smaller companion. “What more do you want from me?”

Briggs, the larger of the two boaters, sat stone-faced, staring grimly ahead.

“How was I supposed to know I’d cause a flood?” asked the small one, whose name was Miggs. “I just pushed something down the hole. I’ve done it dozens of times before and nothing happened.”

Long moments passed in silence save for the slap-woosh-slap rhythm of their oars slicing through the water.

“I don’t see why you’re so upset, anyone could’ve…” began Miggs again, only to be angrily interrupted by a snarling Briggs.

“I’m upset because now THEY know we’re here!” hissed Briggs. “Do you know what this means? DO YOU? Of course you don’t. You haven’t been around long enough. Because if you had been around long enough, you would know not to STUFF THINGS DOWN THE HOLE!”

The chagrined Miggs, duly chastened, slumped his shoulders and moaned. “What’s going to happen now?” He asked his former friend.

“First, a bright light will shine from above,” answered Briggs, grimly. “Then, you’ll hear a piercing wail, followed by Death from Above -- lethal objects falling from the sky. If you manage to survive that, traps will be set all over the city. You won’t be safe anywhere. And after that…”

“What?” gulped Miggs, dreading the answer.

“The gas. THE GAS.” Briggs began sobbing softly. “Nobody survives the gas. Our entire city will be destroyed, and our people will be forced to leave, evacuate, find someplace new.”

Briggs paused, overcome by sorrow for the moment.

“And all because you had to stuff a dozen napkins down the hole!” Brigg’s eyes bulged with fury and he wrapped his four top legs around Migg’s thorax and squeezed.

“I’m…sorry…” wheezed Miggs, struggling to breathe. Briggs released his hold.

“Just keep paddling,” muttered Briggs, despondently. “Maybe we can escape before the bright light comes.”

What's Flash Fiction Friday? Click Here to find out.
Where's Cowboy Nick?

Our intrepid traveler is at it again. He sure does enjoy being in the saddle! He sent us some clues to help us find him:

Archaeologists are still working on site, their findings stored in crude open sheds dotted around the park. Tall pyramids, elaborate ball courts, memorial plaques, ceremonial staircases made of hieroglyphics, skull pyramids etc. are all being arranged in "suitable order" by modern archaeologists.

Some of the taller pyramids look like small hills, hibernating under trees and shrubs grown tall over the centuries. Resurrection of these giants is not easy or inexpensive.

A shady avenue of trees leads to the "Great Plaza". This contains a number of stele, alter stones, pyramids and temples.

This place is famous for its unique hieroglyphic staircase and a beautifully restored ball court. One of the kings recorded the official history of his ancestors on 63 steps of a tall pyramid, which he constructed around 743 AD. Several feet wide and rising far above the trees, the staircase is a mysterious 3-D jigsaw puzzle whose "before" picture has been lost.

Historians and archaeologists are working hard to reconstruct the stairs to put these several thousand glyphs back together.

Confound it, Cowboy, where in tarnation are you?
To Make Up for the Dread Down Below...
Please enjoy my newest find from stupid.com...

"Yes, this product is called Splat Pig. And, as the name implies, it's a pig that splats. More specifically, YOU splat it by hurling it against a wall or table or bathroom stall. Why would you want to do this? Who knows.

When the Splat Pig hits the surface, it splats out into a shapeless mass. But, remarkably, as hard as you throw it, it eventually comes back to looking like a pig.

This is one dumb toy, my friends. We can't imagine a more useless product, but (for some odd reason) we CAN imagine you buying one or two.

I Have an Overpowering Sense of Impending Doom
I don't know if it's my hormones, my brain chemicals, or if I'm picking up on the silent drumbeats of something wicked this way coming, but I feel a sense of dread.

I don't intend to go down without a fight.

Politically, it is difficult to classify me as strictly conservative or liberal. On the one hand, I believe the rampant greed of corporations is ruining not only our country, but our planet and the future of the human race. On the other, I believe traditions and long-held social rules are too easily tossed aside without a thought to the effects losing them may cause.

I'm feeling a bit squeezed in the middle. What if I think abortion is a horrible thing, but believe it is sometimes the lesser of two evils? I'm not pro-abortion, but I'm not against its existence, either. What if I am religious, but oppose the way religion is used politically? I feel pushed on both sides to either defend religion or attack it. And I have to say, neither one seems to have the slightest clue to why I believe what I believe or how I feel about it. One side seems to foam at the mouth at the slightest mention of Christianity, the other seems equally deranged if someone voices any sort of limits on it.

I resist the urge to pick a side, but I feel the pressure nonetheless: polarize or die!

Down the line, both sides seem unwilling to move from their corners. Take gay marriage. It's reasonable to say that the government can't tell religion what to do and religion can't tell government what to do. Why not divide up the two sides of marriage? People go down to the courthouse to legally bind themselves to one another, and that binding contract covers property issues and who gets to decide medical treatment and other legal stuff like that. Separately, they go to church or synagogue or mosque or temple for their religious obligations, should they have them. Why is this such a hard thing to hammer out?

Every day, I hear more about privatizing water. Yes, because it's worked so well for our other utilities. Do "we the people" own nothing? These things were considered everyone's community property at one point -- the airwaves, the natural gas, electricity. Now water? This is bullshit, people. It's a myth that business runs things better than the government. I'm not bragging about the government here, but for-profits screw up, too. And WE'RE the government! So if the government messes up, it's supposed to be OUR job to fix it. Plus, our market choices keep dwindling. When there's no competition to scare a business into performing well, they cut corners and screw the consumer. We better start paying attention and demanding better for ourselves.

This isn't about left-wing or right-wing. This is about 1 percent of our nation's population controlling the other 99 percent. And that is not how America is meant to be.
Weekend PinUp

Shut up -- I'm cranky.
I Want to Stick It to the Man

I want to stick it to the man, but I'm having a hard time developing a comprehensive list of just who and what "the man" encompasses. Also, depending upon which "man" to whom I am sticking "it," the "it" should vary in order to maximize its effectiveness.

For instance, I know oil companies are "the man," and I know oil companies like money. I can withold my money from them, but only temporarily. I need to work on that one.

I know utilities are "the man," but I can only "stick it" to them temporarily, as well, without "sticking it" to myself.

Sometimes "the man" is a woman, as in the pressure to wear ugly clothes and get unnaturally skinny. This is the easiest "man" to "stick," since being healthy and bucking trends isn't too difficult. I guess I can further "stick it" to this "man" by screaming "EAT SOMETHING" at anorexic fashion victims on the street.

Some other "the mans" I have identified include chemical companies, militant lesbian teachers who think all men and their works are evil, certain Evangelicals, certain atheists, and my park district board. Also, the stringent return policies at many department stores, banks and mortgage companies, credit reporting agencies, and the meat departments at most grocery stores who will no longer grind the piece of meat of the customer's choosing. Also, restaurants who decree "no baked potatoes before 5 p.m."

I know there are more "men" out there who need a good "sticking to." I have lots of planning ahead of me. Sadly, it is easier to find "the man" than it is to properly "stick it" to him.
Freak of the Week: Beware! White Castle has Aroused the Wrath of the Undead!
I stole this story from B.A.:

A Cincinnati man who claims he's a vampire is planning to protest a new fast food sandwich made with garlic.

The man says White Castle has "angered the undead" with its new garlic cheese sandwich.

He plans to picket the Queensgate White Castle location on Sunday.

Not even Jamwall could make this crap up.
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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