I'm Tapped Out. Hey, Jeanne, Look at This!

It's your favorite!
The Greater Good
Sometimes it seems like the whole world is being run by some sort of cosmic homeowner's association, deciding how everyone should look and feel and think and act.

You can't be an atheist. But you can't be too religious, either; you know, thinking too much about what it all really means. And if you do, you should be shipped off to a convent or a monastery somewhere, so you don't get in the way of... normal people.

If you insist on being gay or ethnic, you should be flamboyantly and entertainingly so, so normal people can guess what you are. And you should only hang out with others of your kind, doing your things -- the sort of things we expect you to do, according to our preconceived notions of you. And try to live in themed ghettos -- like Chinatown, or Italian Village, or Boy's town. That way, when we feel like getting some "culture," we can visit and feel good about ourselves. It's like a zoo, only with people inside! Prepare to hear us say words like "amazing," "super," and "neat."

That's supposing you should exist at all, and we aren't entirely sure about that yet.

You shouldn't dress too sexy. Or, too modestly. Or, androgynously. If you're having trouble figuring that all out, buy an age-appropriate magazine. It will tell you what to wear. And what haircut to get.

It goes without saying that you shouldn't be ugly, but don't be too pretty, either. That makes us feel threatened. Tone it down a bit.

And personality-wise? You should be able to make pleasant small talk, but don't be too clever, too funny, to creative or too loud. Like the pretty people, talented and/or funny people make us feel threatened. You should tone it down a bit, too.

Who do you think you are, being better looking or more informed or more entertaining than us?

Of course, you could choose to go against the collective, but you must pay the fine. It may be ostracization, an inability to find a mate, or ridicule. We'll decide when that time comes.

Don't be so stupid that you don' know how to read, but don't be so smart that you're reading too much. How much is "too much?" We'll let you know.

The important thing is not to make normal people uncomfortable with your existence. If you make us question our daily routine, or how we've always thought the world should be, or if we're doing the right thing after all, it makes us very cranky.

Don't question our status symbols; it's our only way of keeping score. And how will we know how much better or worse we are than others without the score? We won't know what social circle we fit into. And if we don't know what herd we belong to, we're lost.

And if you need a movie to demonstrate these principles to you, there is none better than Hot Fuzz. Now there's a group of people who understand how the world should work:

Any questions? Please, don't ask. It makes us uncomfortable. Like purple shutters or an unkempt lawn.
What Republicans Yell Inwardly to Themselves: "Nerds, Nerds, Nerds!!!"
School started. I read this, this and this, among others. Together, they swirled into a confluence of ideas that cumulated into one idea: conformity, and the price paid by those who dare not to adopt it.

That Spongebob episode ties in because Squidward moves to a gated community of fellow Squidwards, where everyone is exactly the same. At first he thinks it's heaven, then he realizes it's hell and rebels in a spectacular fashion. I love that episode.


The word "elitist" is bandied about by Republicans to describe anyone even a pinkie-toe left of center. I believe it's code for "nerd." Think about how they describe "elitist" as an "arugula-eating, pointy-headed-professor type," or Obama supporters as a "Dungeons & Dragons crowd .. from the comfort of mom's basement."

This explains why Obama scares the Republicans so much. They remember this movie.

Specifically, this part:

The head of Lambda Lambda Lambda sitting in his chair probably looks uncomfortably like Obama sitting in the Oval Office to them.

So, the question is: will everyone stay seated in the bleachers this November, either too afraid to stand up or hoping to be mistaken for a "jock" or willing to fill the role as boot-licking toadie, or will they finally be tired of being treated like shit, too?
A theme

It'll make sense next week.
Forget the Nice Guy Crud!

I am not gonna waste my birthday on YOU, Chachi!
What I Learned from THIS After School Special...
Click here. I mean it.

The worst thing that could ever happen to a person is to be named Herbert. As opposed to Charles, which is apparently far superior.

Some people are miffed to hear this.
After School Special Week Continues: Mr. T. Ain't No Fool!
Just like Mr. T. says:

Treat your momma right. Because as Dr. Zaius will tell you, if you don't, I will kick your ass.

Kick Ass Blogger Award

Todd kicks ass.
Darth Roker kicks ass.
CTK kicks ass, when he bothers to blog.
BA kicks ass.
Tits McGee kicks ass.
Nick kicks ass. Well, I kick HIS ass. But I'm trying to think of five people.

But above all, Mr. T kicks ass.
Presenting "After School Special" Week
Since Elder and Younger start school on Friday of this week, I thought I'd have a school-themed week. And what better way to celebrate, than with "After School Specials?"

To start, please enjoy this clip from "Ace Hits the Big Time," based on the novel by the same name:

Ahhh. Can you taste the nostalgia? Can you smell it wafting up to your nostrils? This is going to be a great week. I can feel it.
Bad Music Thursday: How to Make That Sex-Ed Talk Even More Excrutiating
iChat Conversations with Nick
Me: I'm going to fucking rip Cuntzilla's face off and go on a cricket-bat Shaun of the Dead rampage against her family

Nick: ok
Nick: have fun
The World Is Confusing Me.

Now we can all be confused.
It's True -- Sugar IS Bad for You
I had invited Todd to see the Borrachos show with us on Friday, but I'm relieved he didn't come. He would've wound up in Cook County Jail after rushing the Martyr's stage with a shovel, shouting "Die, greasy hipsters! Die!" at the "headline" band.

And I doubt anyone would've stopped him.

Exhibit A.:

A photo of the band.

Exhibit B.:

A quote from a news article:

"What we're trying to do in Chicago is bring back the rootsy, bluesy rock 'n' roll scene that used to have people going out to see live music all the time," Dodson said. "Today's bands seem short on charisma and talent, and so we made sure when we put the band together that we'd never be short on either."

So, you came from L.A. to bring "bluesy" music to Chicago??!! Along with the "charisma and talent" everybody else but you lacks? Fuck you, you pretentious, ignorant, "G'n'R-inspired" little pus bag.

Have you seen the movie Ghost World? I have two words for you: Blues. Hammer.

Exhibit C: Other bands seem to hate you.

People don't usually come to Chicago or stay in Chicago to become big-name stars in any artistic endeavor, really. So when someone is a musician or an artist or a actor or something, they're usually doing it out of love while also working a day job that pays the bills.

Thus, the atmosphere tends to be more supportive and cooperative than jealous and competitive. So when you hear fellow musicians referring to your band derisively as "Green Shitburger" and "Green Clitoris" and "Green Vulva," plus you don't show up to listen to the other bands on the bill with you (I know, why waste your time when they aren't as good as you?), I view you with suspicion from the get-go.

Keep applying to those festivals and sending out your press kits. I'm sure all that self-promotion will pay off for you someday in a way genuine musical talent and respect for your fellow musicians never could.

By the way, the opening band from Friday night? My My My? The band none of you or your posse could be bothered to come see?

"My My My is less than a year old, but, in that short time they’ve twice been featured on WXRT’s Local Anesthetic, played a WXRT sponsored show, the Around the Coyote Festival, released an EP entitled, Conjugation Nation; and in June of 2008, they played Mayor Daley's Bike to Work Rally in Daley plaza and the Taste Stage at TASTE OF CHICAGO."

Maybe that's not as impressive as sending a press kit to Ozzfest, but I still came out to see them, even though I had no idea who they were and had never heard of them before. I just showed up early to show some support. You might want to try it sometime.
FlashBACK Instead of Flash Fiction
We're going to see Los Borrachos tonight. Here's a flashback to another Borrachos show we saw, three years ago. Maybe Dilf's fanny pack friend will be there again! We can only hope.

Insert flashback music, wavy lines, and all that:

from June 15, 2005

So I went to see Los Borrachos. It would seem that I was una borracha grande. After reading about how Chaser (the anti-hangover drug) works on Mr. Underhill's website, I tried to self-medicate on the way home. Since Chaser is basically activated charcoal and vitamin B, I ate a Whopper (activated charcoal) and a vitamin (I'm sure it included B vitamins) before I went to bed. I succeeded in making my pee neon yellow and throwing up a Whopper at 5 a.m.


This is me captured at a very unflattering moment, talking to Miss Abby, who is luckily more photogenic than I at the moment. Thank you, Miss Kathy! But I must say, the alcohol loosened up the dancing hips and I had a very wonderful time. I even got my friend Chris to dance with me! That's right, Miss Amanda, you read that right. After you left, I got stodgy Mr. Chris to dance with me. I believe it was my magic hips! I left a drunken comment on LilRed's blog at 2 a.m. CST testifying to the enormous amounts of fun and alcohol I had.

But as bad as a bad photo and throwing up a Whopper might be during a night of carousing, Uberdilf has it far worse than me. He always, ALWAYS, wherever he goes, captures the attention of the wierdest person around. This person always tries to communicate with him. Sometimes the communication is nonverbal, like in the parking lot following a Notre Dame football game when some random drunken fan came right up to my husband, roared in his face and stuck his tongue out, then continued on his way. Or, as in our outing last night, that person will initiate odd verbal conversations.


My husband is the one NOT wearing the shiny silver shorts and the fanny pack. He claims he merely kept this highly intoxicated man from careening into us dainty ladies at the bar. This is true; I remember this guy lurching unsteadily toward us and Uberdilf stopping his downward fall. Unfortunately, this guy interpreted his actions as proof of deep and abiding friendship, and followed Uberdilf around for most of the night. Ah, memories.
Empathy: Killed over Time, or Simply Never Developed?

I am currently reading this book, not so much by choice but because I took the ÜberGirls and the fruit of the AlGato/Terasita coupling to the library on Tuesday, limiting my book choices to what's available on the first floor. (For those of you who have been inside the Downers Grove Public Library, you know what I mean.)

It's a pleasant little book, certainly not rife with earth-shattering insights, but its focus on the importance of empathy has been coloring my worldview for the last couple of days.

Take this story from B.A.'s blog, for example. The boy in the story felt completely justified in trying to stab his father in the torso because he gave him more than one warning to stay away when the dad came to talk to him about getting a haircut. Even given the relative immaturity of a 15-year-old, how removed from the concept of others' suffering does a person have to be to consider running them through with a sword a fitting punishment for discussing a haircut?

On a less dramatic but far more common note, this commentary in today's paper made me sad. It's an age-old problem with accelerating effects. Like this. And the blog writer has such a lack of empathy as to blame the child and his parents instead of the bullies.

I am wondering if we come naturally equipped with empathy, but lose it through a process of desensitization? By objectifying others? Dividing the world into "winners" and "losers?" Judging people by utterly ridiculous standards like what brand of shoes they wear? Or being subjected to pain oneself so often, that desensitization becomes a method of self-defense?

Or is empathy something that needs to be learned, and is simply not being taught to some people? Do some people feel empathy is "weak," and a lack of it necessary to survive in the world? Do some parents feel they are doing their children a favor by not teaching them empathy? If it's not taught to someone as a child, how hard is it to learn as an adult? Or re-learn?

For myself, as difficult as it is to watch my child suffer in any way, I would much prefer my daughter to be unpopular than a bully. But what will I do if it's not so much a matter of being left out of a certain group, or occasionally teased, but a day in, day out torture to go to school? How do you deal with someone who doesn't care how his/her behavior, or the behavior of his/her children, affects someone else?

As I ponder questions like this, it boggles my mind how so many can read the relentlessly pro-empathy statements of Jesus, yet come to profoundly anti-empathetic conclusions on their meaning.
This Is Me Today

I'm not proud. But at least I'm warning everyone.
Didja See What I Saw? Didja?
This weekend, Dilf, Sysm, Sysmistress and I all went to the closest iMax to see The Dark Knight. (I know, it's been out for weeks and weeks. I have to go when I have someone to watch the Übergirls; I'm not like you footloose and fancy free people who can waltz out to the movies whenever you freakin' feel like it. Shut it.)

In all the rave reviews and inevitable backlash to the rave reviews appearing in publications and blogs from all over the globe, you can read about Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker. But no one seems to remark on what I consider his greatest scene as Joker:

The nurse scene. Specifically, as he's walking away from the hospital. I think it's brilliant because the character maintains his comic demeanor and gait despite the fact he has no audience. (In the movie, I mean. Of course, there's a REAL audience, watching the movie.) That demonstrates the Joker's insanity to me, that he keeps up his act, even when nobody's watching. He's not just doing it for effect.

Also, his entire stint as the nurse reminded me of Amy Sedaris in Strangers With Candy:

Anyways, I enjoyed the movie very much. Some people didn't. Perhaps those people should picture Amy Sedaris next time, and see if it improves their enjoyment.
Flash Fiction Friday Writer's Block

I've been drunk before, but how on earth did I manage to... get sequins stuck between my teeth?

That's all I've got.

I guess it's not my week to write fiction.

I blame Facebook Scrabble.
Return of Return of Return of Return of Return of Return of Flash Fiction Friday
It's not too late, right? It's still Friday, right?

I still miss my friend JJ. I'm going to resurrect his group writing exercise, Flash Fiction Friday. Again, here are the rules, which I copied directly from his website earlier:
  • You will write an anecdote, short story, or novel length prose poem beginning with the sentence below.
  • You will add comments to this post indicating your desire to participate and the completion of your story.
  • You may join in at any time prior to the deadline.
  • You will display your story as a post on your own blog.
  • You will be done by Monday 12:00 Noon CST.

Oh, and if you ask about the rules, Jeanne Martini will style your hair.

Your sentence...

I've been drunk before, but how on earth did I manage to..
More Family Lore

Much to the dismay of Nick and my nephew Dan(ny), I helped my sister Jeannie Martini sign up on Facebook a few days ago. (and, obviously, helped her create a blog.)

Typically, one of the first things we did was check for her former high school classmates. One of the first names that appeared was "Doy Rube." (I changed the name. You'll see why in a minute.)

"Doy Rube?" I asked. "Who's Doy Rube?"

Already laughing, my sister said, "Not Doy Rube. Doy Rub-AY." I understood immediately, and I, too, began to giggle.

Flashback to some point in the mid-1970's. We were all in church, and someone had emitted the foulest, most soul-destroying stench known to man into the air. I think it simultaneously led half the congregation to fear God more strenuously, and the other half to lose faith altogether.

As we all look at each other, my two evil sisters spot poor, (likely) innocent Doy Rube sitting a few rows ahead of us, nudge each other and point. Yes, through (likely) no fault of his own, Doy Rube had been blamed for the toxic emittance.

But it didn't end that day. No, every time someone in my family had gas, someone would ask, "Who had a Doy Rube?" My mom would say to my father, "Rich, if you have to have a Doy Rube, could you please leave the room?" Or, when we passed the Cook County sewage treatment facility on the way to Auntie Julie's house, someone would inevitably say, "Doy Rube was here."

Clearly, I don't want this poor guy to Google his own name and find out how his name has been unfairly slandered through the decades.

Poor Doy Rube.
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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