News of No Interest or Use to Others
Every year, I get a nutcracker or nutcrackers for Christmas. I have almost all of the ballet characters themselves, plus some others. They all have the year painted on the bottom, and most of them come from Target.

I have already decided upon this year's. To commemorate our stay in Austin.

I will also be purchasing Austin-themed ornaments for the tree.

That is all. I apologize for this useless and boring post.
Me, Me, Wonderful Me. Don't You Want to Read about Me? I Thought So.
As evidenced by the utter crap that has appeared on this blog, I obviously don't care WHAT you want to read, so I'm going to write about me today.

I have gained valuable insights about myself since living in Austin and returning home (however briefly.) For instance, it's entirely possible that I am part Hobbit. And it's not just my hairy toes.

I am a sentimental, nostalgic homebody who enjoys the occasional adventure but longs to return to my cozy nest. Don't get me wrong -- I don't think that my way of looking at things or living is the BEST, it's just the way I am happiest.

I am eternally grateful for the explorers, adventurers and scientists out there. Somebody needs to forge those new paths and develop those new ideas. I am glad people like that do it happily and lovingly, not begrudgingly or forced self-sacrifice.

But when those people need a little rest and a comfy cushion and a cup of tea and a piece of apple pie, they can come to my house and regale me with their tales of conquest. I, myself, prefer to keep the home fires burning.

In short, I am thrilled to be in my own humble abode back in Downers Grove. It's not that there's anything WRONG with Austin; it's a lovely city with its own wonderful traditions and culture. But those are THEIR traditions and culture. And they're great. I don't feel any ownership for them, however.

I have my reasons for loving my home town.
My Body Hates Me.

I will be getting too personal in the post but I will not be getting disgusting. This isn't about grossing anyone out with descriptions of my bodily functions. This is a self-pitying diatribe with some vitriol not aimed at anyone in particular thrown in for flavoring.

My period was supposed to start last week. It kinda did. I had the headache, and the nausea and cramping, but it gave one weak BLURT and then stopped. The last time(s) it did that I was pregnant.

So, despite the fact that Dilf has already had TWO vasectomies, I sent him to Walgreens to buy me a test to see if he a.) has some sort of super-healing vas deferens, like Claire on "Heroes" if she was a nearly 40 year old man; and/or b.) was going to have to start looking for a bigger house once we get back to Chicago, which by the way will be after February 6 unless something major changes. Actually, for those who need things spelled out for them, it was a pregnancy test. It was negative.

Despite the lack of babies inside me (I was assuming it was twins), the rickety old machinery inside me never did crank into production.

Until today. It's starting. And do you know why? DO YOU??!! Because my body hates me, and wants me to suffer as much as possible. I hear evil laughing echoing from down there. Because...


That's right. Why have a period in the comfort and safety of your own home with a sanitary and readily available bathroom handy, when you can be stuffed into a car seat and be subject to truck-stop restrooms instead? Why have nice things like chamomile tea and a warm compress when you can have ... no nice things? No nice things at all... cramped, with cramps... probably forced to endure hour after hour of "This American Life" on CD because Oklahoma only broadcasts Evangelical preachers and music by guys with "Travis" somewhere in their names.

Also, my body must hate Dilf. Because is it not unpleasant enough to endure an 18-hour car trip with me on a good day? Must he suffer, too? (Yes. But part of that is brought on by his own weird obsession with "This American Life.")

I feel like ripping out my ovaries with my bare hands. And if I meet the asshole who thought it was a good idea to write, "Have a happy period!" on my sanitary napkin wrapper (in both English AND French, by the way), I will stuff those ovaries down his throat until he chokes.
What's Wrong? I'll Tell YOU What's Wrong...
If you Google Image "What's wrong with America?" you'll get images like this, this, and, for some reason, this.

But for my money, not that I spent any, I vote this story as a prime example of how we've gone from this:

to this:

in about a generation or so.

I don't care what political or economic system you pick, it breaks down under the weight of cheaters and schemers and selfish jerks who game the system. Like this woman.

People are driven by compassion and the desire to help others, until they get ripped off by someone taking advantage of their better nature. Like this woman.

Human relationships should be the stuff of love, understanding, empathy, shouldering good times and bad, sharing laughs and sorrows -- unless they are reduced to a crude commodity. Like that woman did. (He'd stay for the chance to touch some big boobies...)

This woman has singlehandedly demonstrated how to take down the basic building blocks of society through her ridiculously selfish and short-sighted actions.

That's pretty impressive, actually.
Flash Fiction Friday
I am cheating just a little with my Flash Fiction Friday this week. It contains elements of actual events. Is that okay? Cormac? JJ? Anyone? As usual, starter sentence in blue.

"The old camera had been in a box for decades, the pictures never developed, and now with the prints in his hand his blood ran cold from looking at the images that came from it."

He was staring at the image of a woman he had seen just days before... and she looked EXACTLY the SAME. Same frizzy bleached hair. Same crazed look in her eyes. Same drawn-on eyebrows. Only her clothing had changed; she had traded the trampy 1960's era mini skirt and go-go boots from the picture for tight jeans and a mini-shirt. But it was her, all right. How could he ever forget?

But what was her photo doing inside Grandpa's camera?

Grandpa wasn't around to ask. He had died in the 1960's. Well, that's when he disappeared, anyways. Did that lunatic-fringe drunk woman he met the other night have anything to do with it?

That evening he had met up with some friends from high school at an Austin, Texas rooftop bar. They were laughing about old times and new ideas when she sashayed past them with a brawny, mulleted man who was way too young for the likes of her. She was odd from the very beginning, with the monkeys hanging off one of her two large handbags, and her obviously inebriated state. But she got odder.

When Brawny stepped away to get a drink or use the men's room, she surveyed her fellow bar patrons, then stood up in the aisle between the tables. She stood painfully close to him, HIM of all people, and started to do calisthenics. Calisthenics, in the middle of the bar. She bent at the waist so her abdomen was nearly touching her face, its flesh taut, but not supple and luscious like a University of Texas cheerleader. Instead, it was dry and papery, like one of Ed Gein's lampshades. He sat absolutely still, suppressing a shudder and keeping his eyes straight ahead at all costs while his friends laughed.

When she failed to get a reaction out of him with her sexy moves, she sat back down and proceeded to take pill bottle after pill bottle out of her purse. The non-monkey purse. By that time, Brawny had returned.

More people sat down, and she got up and flitted from table to table, before returning to her seat to rifle through several wallets filled to bursting with untold numbers of credit cards. Finally, she and Brawny left.

The waitress came over and apologized to him and his friends, saying the drunk woman had unfairly monopolized her time, and had given her numerous credit cards that all were declined, and then accused her of stealing one of them. They all had a good laugh over the silly woman. The waitress left, and he and his friends resumed their earlier conversation.

Until she returned. Sans Brawny. This time, after sitting down heavily and noisily in the seat at the adjoining table, she jumped back up and began spinning a tale about how Brawny was supposed to be her knight in shining armor, but had left her instead. And the bar had lost her ATM card, so she had no way to get back to the airport. So could he please, please give her a ride to the airport?

Luckily, his friends rescued him this time and they extricated themselves from the crazy drunk woman. He thought that he had seen the last of the woman. But now this photo...

The day after he found his grandfather's old camera sitting in a box and had the photos developed, he was enjoying the newspaper with his morning coffee. The police had found an unidentified man's remains. It was difficult to determine exactly how long the corpse had been in the dumpster behind the Iron Cactus bar and restaurant, since it was mummified and drained of all its fluids. Atop the skeletal remains was a glorious mane of brown hair. Mullet-style.


(This is hastily written and probably crappy. I wrote it in 20 minutes so I can go meet some friends for coffee. I apologize.)
While I Think Important Thoughts...
Please contemplate upon this picture:

Bad Music Thursday: Shut Your Stupid Mouth, Diana Ross!
You wanna know what's worse than a bad song from the 70's? When someone takes a bad song from the 70's and puts it to a techno beat:

Here's why I hate this song: it's about a stupid woman romanticizing the fact that she's being used for sex by some jackass.

Look, if someone wants to have a one-night stand or get involved in some mutual "sex-only" relationship, that's up to her (or him). But then don't pretend it's something more! If you want something more, don't let Mister "too cheap to spend a few bucks on a hooker" come over and take advantage of you. Or, if you're just looking for a flesh-and-blood alternative to your vibrator and you're using him just as much as he's using you, then be happy with that and don't subject the world to your delusional sappy "love" song.

Either way, shut your stupid mouth Diana Ross!
Flash Fiction Friday
Friday Flash Fiction, as it is now erroneously termed, has switched things up this week. Instead of an opening sentence, we were given four words we needed to include in the story. They are in blue.

"You understand, of course, why I must appear in disguise," said the woman from behind her rubber mask.

Actually, I understood nothing about this situation, but sometimes it was better to not to ask a crazy person anything. I just stood behind the counter, waiting for the insanity to spill forth. I didn't have to wait long.

"I need to know I can trust you," she said, conspiratorially, looking over her shoulder and to the left and to the right, to make sure no one was listening. At 1:30 a.m. in the Kinkos on Broadway, that meant the one college student sitting at the PC with his earbuds in and his iPod cranked up. I think Crazy Lady was safe. For now!

"If they knew I was here, revealing all their lies, it would be the end of me. AM I MAKING MYSELF CLEAR?" she hissed between clenched teeth, grabbing my apron to pull my face closer to hers. Or, rather, the fake rubber one. "I don't have much time," she continued, slightly more calmly, yet no less unbalanced. "I need you to make 500 copies of this." She handed me a piece of paper.

It was blank.

I looked up at her. "You can't see it, can you?" She said, pityingly. "Only the Chosen Ones can read it. But we will spare you innocent bystanders when the time comes."

"Thank you. You're very kind," I replied. "Do you want this on white or colored paper?"

I couldn't see her face, but from the tone of her voice, she must've been looking at me like I was a brain-damaged cocker spaniel. "Dear," she said, patiently. "Do you think that message would show up on colored paper?"

I retreated to the storeroom, where I opened a fresh ream of white paper, put her sheet into an "originals" folder, waited a few minutes, and returned to the counter. I handed her the stack and cheerily announced, "All finished!"

She looked at the crisp white bundle, then at me. She pointed a manicured claw and me and spat, "You are one of THEM! You are trying to TRICK ME!" She backed away from me, shaking. She was seriously unglued.

"I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to trick you. I ... just thought..."

"That I am crazy? That there is nothing on the paper?" she finished. "I assure you, young man, the future of the human race could very well depend upon you doing as I ask."

"Let's compromise," I said. I'll run this paper through the copier, but I'm only going to charge you for a ream of paper. It would soothe my conscience."

She nodded, so I took the papers back from her. "Uh, which side is...?" She pointed to the side facing me, to indicate where the message appeared. I dutifully performed my service, and handed everything back. This time, she was visibly relaxed.

She paid, of course, in cash.

As soon as she left, the college student jumped up from his seat and ran after her. Dismayed, I raced after them. I found the "student" on top of the masked lady, snarling at her in an unknown language and choking her in an alley. I pick up a metal garbage can lid and smacked him across the back of his head as hard as I could. He fell off and released his grip, but dashed away carrying as many papers as he could from the scene. Only about half of her order lay scattered about the alley, some in puddles of dank water.

"Are you all right? I asked her, panting. I helped her up, and began collecting whatever papers I could find. "Do you want me to make some more copies for you?"

"Yes," she croaked out from her damaged windpipe. "You have achieved redemption!" she announced, with a triumphant gleam in her eye.

Just then, we heard the explosion. I didn't need to look; I knew it was my store. The Kinkos had gone kablooey. But even before the blast had taken my livelihood, I knew that I was now part of something much bigger.
The Beauty Parlor and Shoe Shopping Can Wait! It's Lady Day on AMC!
Blue Gal alerted me to a disconcerting film lineup on American Movie Classics: The Prince of Tides followed by Bridges of Madison County.

If you don't understand why that is nauseating, I can't explain it to you. If you understand, I don't have to.

Moxie Blogged

I don't feel like it, but she does. She wrote about Halloween.
Temporarily Out of Order. Please Check Back Later.
Halloween Wrap-Up*
*not you, you stinkin' mummies.

When you live in a neighborhood where someone owns a margarita machine and every Halloween involves a block party, "things" happen. And by "things," I mean I get tipsy. So tipsy that I believe I drank beer from a CAN. Of course, I've been drunker on Halloween, but anyways...

Überdilf, the girls, the dog and I stumbled home around 10:30 p.m. with the remains of my spiderweb 7-layer dip, 1/5 a bag of Fritos Scoops, our soft-sided cooler (empty), and the happiest hot-dog-and-potato-chip-laden dog in the world. We scrape off our Halloween makeup, put on our jammies and fall into bed. We all fall asleep immediately, including the comatose dog who accompanied the trick-or-treaters leash free and, as I mentioned before, consumed every bit of food that dropped from the drooping paper plates of drunken Halloween revelers.

That explains why she didn't bark when the doorbell rang at 12:30 a.m. (old time. New time: 11:30 p.m.) I was briefly roused from my fog, but thought I was hearing things, because Captain Food Coma the Wonder Dog didn't bark.

At 4:20 a.m. (3:20 new time), I swear I heard a mans voice calling, "Hello. Hello. Hello." from the foyer. Our foyer has a certain echo to it. I sat up. Again, the dog said nothing. I really WAS imagining it this time, but it was a great time to get a tall drink of water and some Tylenol, so I did. As I was about to climb back into bed, the doorbell rang. I KNEW it was for real this time. And the dog finally barked.

Dilf even woke up, which is really saying something, considering he could sleep through an atom bomb WITHOUT tequila being involved. We both went to the door, Dilf opened it and there was A., the ten-year-old girl from two doors down. Crying. She was locked out of her house ALL NIGHT. No one was home. We quickly let her in, put her in the guest bedroom, I rubbed her back and comforted her for a little while, then we went back downstairs (oh, the master bedroom is on the main floor in this house) to bed.

It seems she was supposed to spend the night at a friend's house and her mom took this opportunity to stay out all night. A. tried to call her mom using a neighbor's phone, but when mom saw an unfamiliar number, she didn't pick up. I don't know why A. left the friend's house (she said she was "tired" and wanted to go home.) I don't know why the mom didn't check her messages. I don't know anything other than the fact a 10 year old girl was left outside on her porch on a cold night and I WISH I would've answered the door the first time.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

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

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

Now, who wants cupcakes?

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