Bad Music Thursday: Mr. Bowie, Care to Explain Yourself?
People Who Don't Bother Me as Much as They Bother Others
Let's talk about feelings.

I have some confessions to make.

There are celebrities and other prominent people who seem to arouse a great deal of rancor from people I love and respect, yet I don't find them nearly as annoying.

I'm not saying I love these people, or are fans of their shows or whatever, but they just don't cause me the same level of discomfort that they do to others.

Rachel Ray, for instance. I can understand she's a bit ubiquitous, and has a loud, raspy voice, but I don't see why people hate her so much. I don't have a problem with her recipes, and she doesn't seem mean-spirited or anything. But, to each his or her own.

This one will cause people to turn purple and convulse, but I don't hate Dr. Phil. I know you can come up with thousands of reasons why I should hate him, and I won't disagree with any of them. He just doesn't affect me like he does other people, I guess. Maybe it's because he dots his sanctimony with colorful phrases, which I like. I like colorful phrases.

Finally, Larry King. I don't watch him, but he seems too bland to be annoying. Is it the suspenders? So he's old and marries young women -- at least he doesn't create a creepy TV show about it like Hugh Hefner.
I do believe I've been insulted.

I have reason to believe that the Chicago Tribune is one of the most voraciously anti-Catholic newspapers in the United States of America. Today, it ran Katha Pollitt's Men of the Cloth piece, and under the title it printed, "When it comes to keeping women pregnant and in their place, polygamous Mormons and the pope have a lot in common. But the pope does it on a wider scale."

Now, Ms. Pollitt is certainly no fan of the Church or the Pope, and she makes some rash overstatements for the sake of embellishing her points. (For instance, I find this piece, while still critical of the Church, to be much more enlightening and complete than her glib assertions, but whatever...)

However, no where does she make such an outrageous claim as the Tribune's title would suggest. True, she makes the completely ridiculous claim that if it was "up to Benedict" [women would] "be trapped in marriage and have 15 children just like [the plural wives of FLDS]." Well, that's a crock of shit. I do believe Catholic universities offer women classes beyond Home Economics, to name just one example that refutes her inflammatory claim.

Am I to understand that I, as a Roman Catholic woman, am in the same position as these women? And my fellow religious women? That the pedophilia in the FLDS case is the same as the scandal that racked my church recently? That the family structures and treatment of young girls remotely resemble how Roman Catholics live and raise their daughters? Frankly, them's fightin' words.

I know better than to try to advise the Tribune, whose editorial board is filled with Republican bigots. But Ms. Pollitt, in your zeal to make a point, please do not insult me or embarrass yourself by exaggerating your case.
Let's Talk About Political Ads. Now, C'mon, This Will Only Hurt a Little...

We all expect political ads to be partisan. There's nothing unfair about that -- when they clearly identify themselves as such and don't lie about anything...

Okay, I'm holding the admakers to a higher standard than they actually follow. We all know the dirty stuff gets through, and we all have a responsibility to take them with a grain of salt or verify if the "information" we have seen is true.

Now, however, after years of smear tactics, innuendos and other nasty tricks of their own, the Republican National Committee is whining and crying and trying to prevent the airing of a Democratic National Committee ad that doesn't lie at all.

True, it juxtaposes inflammatory imagery to accompany McCain's words, but the words WERE McCain's, and the imagery IS from the current conflict in Iraq. McCain said he would continue 100 years of that insanity if "necessary," and the pictures show what sort of thing he's willing to continue for 100 years.

Now, the curious thing is, when I Googled "RNC asks NBC not to run ad" in order to write this blog post, I got this: the RNC trying to distance itself from a scurrilous ad about Obama.

Because they like to fight fair.

At the bottom of that Google search, I also noticed a link to this story from News Busters, which claims to "expose and combat liberal media bias."

The only problem is, NBC did not refuse to run the pro-troop message, they "decided not to run the Freedom's Watch ad because the group insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site." They were refusing to advertise the website. They do that, you know. To the left, too. But don't let that stop you from feeling like a wounded puppy.
New and Improved Journalism Techniques: Enhanced With More Yellow Than Ever!

The term "yellow journalism" has been around for generations now, and most people know one of our nation's prime authors of it, William Randolph Hearst.

But did you know he's the reason you can't buy pot over the counter? That's right -- he's the man behind the reefer madness.

And why, you might ask? Was he a champion of public health? Was he concerned about the possible effects rampant intoxication would have on society at large? Was he a prudish ninny afraid of a little fun?

No, it was worse than any of that -- he manipulated the public and created a social issue where there wasn't one to begin with, just to ensure the profits of a side venture of his weren't impacted. With the onset of the decorticator, his lumber-based paper mills were in jeopardy. So, he did something about it.

I have to tell you that I have never smoked pot in my life, but I have nothing against it. I just have a fear of smoking anything or inhaling anything into my lungs. (I'm also afraid of puncturing my veins to inject/extract anything. I have to turn my head when the doctor takes a blood sample.) But most people I know have smoked pot at one point or another. None of them has become addicted. I don't know anyone who has attacked anyone else or stolen anything to get "pot money." When people have pot-related regrets, they're usually about wasting time, being a little stupid and/or having to associate with a greasy, work-avoidant loser who was selling the pot at the time. So, it's kinda like playing video games or Dungeons and Dragons to my mind, not something that needs to be aggressively outlawed or demonized. But I digress...

So, thanks to Mr. Hearst, we've de-forested lands needlessly, advanced the chemical industry at the expense of a naturally-grown product (nylon ropes vs. hemp), furthered racism and prejudice against immigrants, and criminalized something that not only didn't need to be criminalized, but wasn't familiar to the public until he sensationalized it in the first place.

And looking at his tactics, I can see them utilized over and over, year after year, simply by changing out the subject to be vilified and the imagined effects. How often are we going to fall for it?
It's Been Forever Since I've Done a Weekend PinUp

We'll discuss why you can't trust anything you read or hear this week. Starting tomorrow.

Today, this lovely lady remains blissfully unaware of the disinformation spewing out of her television set.
And Now, a Palate Cleanse

There, that's better! Who wants cupcakes?
If We're Going to Survive...

Since the powers that be are manipulating a food shortage, we peasants had better stop our bitter infighting and find common ground before it's too late.

I'm as guilty if not more so than anyone, because as Anton Ego states in Ratatouille, "We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read." But I suggest we find another national sport.

I, and most of my readers, have either a liberal bent or simply hate George Bush's policies. We reject the dogma put forth by Fox News, and view those who embrace BushCo and Fox News as adversaries. While I cannot or will not at this time aim for empathy toward the people who run the right wing show, I beg you to consider developing empathy, understanding and compassion for those who choose to swallow their bullshit.

Is it so wrong to want to believe in good versus evil? To desire to either be Superman, or cheer Superman on? A simple life, where black is black and white is white, feels good and is much less of a struggle, feels more natural and right.

A lot of people want that. They want a clear good, and a clear evil. That's what Fox News provides, just like every propagandist from communist to fascist has done throughout the ages. Do we blame the people who yearn for a defeat of evil by the forces of good, and as a result are mislead by the power hungry for their own purposes? Don't we all do this to some extent or another?

Before you think, "That's right; I should have sympathy for those poor, stupid, deluded right-wingers. Perhaps I can show them the light with my superior intellect," think again.

How many of you view religion and religious people as an intrinsic evil, bent on destroying science and all the scientific gains that have been made throughout the centuries? Oh, but YOU have good reason to believe that, I suppose. YOUR reasons are clear and well-documented.

That's what Fox News watchers believe about THEIR views.

What is your gut reaction to the terms "free market" or "family values?" Exactly what organ should YOU be thinking with?

We're sounding like petulant children, making arguments that start with, "Yeah, but what about the time YOU did..."

I truly feel that if we started looking for common ground, instead of looking for reasons to feel wronged or righteous, we could start changing the world. Until we do, we will all continue to be manipulated by people who know exactly how to pull our emotional strings.
Peanuts Gave Me Some Political Perspective Today
Although it hasn't made me genuinely laugh in quite a while, and can be sadly anachronistic at times, I read Peanuts daily out of loyalty. Largely because of The Great Pumpkin.

Today, however, Linus defines my political stance:

A Peanuts Comic

If Monty Python were in charge of reality, my candidates would stand a chance of winning.

Blogged with the Flock Browser
Order Up, Johnny

Also, Bill Maher and Ben Stein are both assholes.
...And Now, Another Abortion Post

An unspoken yet underlying notion lies within the abortion debate that makes me unable to completely embrace either side of the issue: that somehow babies are a punishment instead of a gift.

As in, "why should a woman be 'punished' for having sex," or "if you didn't want the 'consequences' (punishment) of having sex, you should've kept your legs closed."

Babies require self-sacrifice, maturity and responsibility from their parents, and that's a terrifying, life-long proposition. It's difficult enough to reach within yourself as a parent and pull those things out, especially at 3 a.m., but I can't help thinking it's worth it.

Of course, my children were conceived through love, and when I look at them I don't have to remember coercion, violence or the asshole who knocked me up and then ran away, as some girls/women might. I'm not trying to say everything's roses.

But it's not the babies who are the curse. It is the violence against women, it is the incest, it is the entering into sex before emotional maturity catches up with physical maturity, it is the temporary nature of our attachments that are curses. Why focus on the pregnancy, without looking at these larger issues?

And what if we ALL took responsibility when a woman got pregnant? If we all helped, instead of thinking, "that's someone else's problem?" A baby should be a blessing not just to the parents, but to us all. Why isn't it? Why is it viewed as an onus instead? And after the child is born... well, we all know how our tax dollars are spent. It isn't on children.

Instead of "teaching abstinence" in this day and age of easy porn access and cable television, we should teach children exactly what goes on with their bodies, how everything works, and why sex is so important to them and the entire world.

We should work to find the root causes of violence against women, pedophilia, and abusive sexual practices, instead of just dealing with them after the fact.

Also, we need to re-think what brings us true, lasting happiness and fulfillment. Stability, attachment and community have become underrated, and cheap thrills, instant gratification, and pursuit of individual gains have become overrated.

I blame Mountain Dew:

I've Stopped Reading the Newspaper.

I don't watch TV news anymore; not even The Daily Show. I catch blurbs on the radio by accident sometimes. I only read my local newspaper. Why the news diet?

One: I get upset about things over which I have no control. That starts affecting my mood and attitude about things over which I do have control, and that's no good. No good at all.

Two: I can't figure out what's the truth and what's a lie.

Three: Same shit, different day.

It's not that I no longer give a fuck, despite what my lovely poster here says; it's just that I have to pick my battles, and usually those battles come to me. (Like the Downers Grove Park District. Don't think I've forgotten about you, Downers Grove Park District, because I haven't. You will pay for your iniquities.)

It's not that I don't care about those other battles, it's just that I know they're not my job to handle. For instance, there was a (thankfully small, yet obvious due to their mouthiness and minority status) contingent of gun-toting bigots at my uncle's wake last night. They began spouting some racist bullshit about minority workers. As my hackles began to rise and I picked up a kolachky to smash into his stupid face, Mr. Double Post spoke calmly and authoritatively, "That hasn't been my experience."

And since Mr. Double Post is a foreman who has run numerous construction jobs filled with countless people from just about every nation, he had the real-life, concrete evidence with which to thwart their poisonous rhetoric. And he told them politely and firmly that they were full of shit, without vitriol and without wasting a perfectly good kolachky (it was apricot.) And, they couldn't respond. They sat there a bit like puppies hit on the nose with a newspaper.

So you see, it was Mr. Double Post's job to confront the racism yesterday, not mine. Everything is not my job. Just taking down the Park District Board and keeping my household running smoothly. Which it is, thank you very much.

And that leaves me plenty of time to enjoy my pursuits, like collecting Eastern European chewing gum commercials:

Astoundingly Underrated Wednesday
This clip is from one of my favorite movies:

Unfortunately, I appear to be nearly alone in my opinion.

It also contains one of my favorite lines of all time:

But my money doesn't matter in your neighborhood, because I work for it. Working for your money doesn't matter in your neck of the woods, it's who's crotch the doctor yanked you out of.

I dedicate that one to the Bush family.

Anyways, my uncle's wake is today, so... see you on the flip side.
It's Time I Went to War

Anyone who wants to read about Auntie Julie's face in the mashed potatoes can either ask Double Post or read it referenced here.

Otherwise, I'm starting my war correspondence.

I've been angry at my park district before. I've suffered in silence, and I've let them know how I feel.

But it's come to my attention that these people are a tyrannical regime that must be toppled. It isn't just my park and my neighbors they piss on and annoy -- they seem bent on causing all the good people of Downers Grove to suffer. Well, almost all (I will find the newspaper article that quotes one board member as saying, "we can't [go through with whatever nefarious plot they were hatching at that point] -- that's in an area of higher-priced homes!").

Here are their most recent debacles:


And more assholery

Also, they reconstructed another park (I'm trying to find it; I will in the course of my investigation) which caused the neighbors surrounding it to experience flooding.

I'm going to research and put together a case, then attack them at every board meeting until they cease and desist their evil ways.
Back in the Saddle Again
I have tons of vital insights gleaned while vacationing at Walt Disney World. Right now, however, I am in the midst of discussing deli trays and flower arrangements.

My mother, God bless her, approaches everything as if Funeral Monthly magazine will be writing a review of everything we do, and plans keep whirling and changing as she considers what will be best.

Double Post and I are taking the coward's way out and are working together on the food available in the funeral parlor lounge, leaving NDP to work with mom to decide on flowers.

Sorry, NDP. Sometimes it's a matter of survival.
we're back.

my uncle died this morning.

some people are assholes of enormous proportion.

my happy vacation feelings have already evaporated.
Shhh... It's a secret!!

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., the Übergirls will think they are headed for school as usual, but then... a limo will be in the driveway instead, ready to whisk them away to the airport for a trip to Orlando, Florida!

Their teachers are even in on it. Mrs. Ito put Elder's "Monday" homework in her folder per usual, but gave a packet marked "Mrs. and Mrs. Über" in her backpack container her work for the rest of the week. Sneaky!

As a result, I will not be able to fully blog every day next week. Instead, I will post a question each day for you guys to answer. You can make something up or answer it truthfully; I don't care.

Today's question: I have read that anywhere from 85 to 99 percent of animal species that have lived on this planet at one time or another are now extinct. What percentage of those species died out on their own, and how many were destroyed by humankind? Also, what percentage of plants have gone extinct, that we know?

I want to know, but am too lazy to fully investigate. Thanks a bunch for your help.
"I’m going to write a book called Where Has All the Pubic Hair Gone" -- Janice Hillman, a doctor in the Penn Health System at Radnor

Tits showed me this yesterday.

Obviously, she felt I needed more reasons to put my fist through my monitor.

Now, I will admit to playing "spa" with the ÜberGirls at bathtime. In fact, I would pretend they were princesses coming in for treatment, and I would "gossip" about Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. ("That Prince Charming is sooo dreamy. Snow White is a lucky gal. Of course, she did have to deal with that nasty stepmother of hers...")

They'd take a bath by candlelight while listening to new age music. When they came out of the bath, I'd rub them with some fruit-scented lotion, put on their pajamas, and put them to bed.

My motives were selfish in this scenario: all of these things made them drowsy. They fell more quickly and deeply into dreamland, which meant I could have a cup of tea and watch "Lost" without interruption. It wasn't meant to introduce them to a lifetime of anxiety-induced trips to the salon, where only "certain standards" of grooming will ensure you a "certain standard" of husband who will provide you with a "certain standard" of living. Ah, the sweet smell of progress... smells like... hot wax.

Add to that the abusive, body-loathing, nature-denying aspects of this whole story, and it's enough to make me despondent.

Except, when Elder was asked to circle the one thing that she really, really wanted from her Scholastic Book Club Flyer, she picked this.

And Younger wants to be a Ninja Ballerina. Hy-AAAH! Maybe they'll be a crime fighting team some day...
Today's Advice: When the Only Choices Are "Bitch*" and "Patsy," Choose "Bitch*"

When Shakespeare said, "Neither a borrower nor lender be," he should've been talking about more than money. You also have time, talent, energy, and emotion to give, and you should go through life as neither a ruthless taker/user nor a drained "mark" endlessly depleted by the taker/users.

I'm not saying it's easy to avoid. Sometimes users are in such a pattern of behavior, they don't even realize they're doing it. And accommodators can take years to realize they're being taken advantage of.

I don't have much advice for takers other than, "Cut that shit out!", because I tend toward accommodation. In fact, up until recently I wouldn't have had any advice for the "yes men (women)" because I was still being "nice." I had to be burned at least, oh, 5,835 times before I knew what was happening.

It was difficult for me (or my mom, or Double Post, or Not Double Post, or even my brother, because let's face it, every aspect of human interaction is difficult for him) because we don't come from a family of takers. Both my father's side and mother's side were recent enough immigrants coming from either a poor farming community (my dad's) or the kind of neighborhoods Upton Sinclair talked about in The Jungle (my mom's. And read that book if you haven't already. I command you!), where you helped your neighbors and they helped you because it was a matter of survival for all of you. They didn't have time to think about what they wanted; they were too busy working to get what they needed. True, there were scammers and thieves and such, but they couldn't stick around to rob you more than once because these were desperate people, and desperate people will kill you. And band together for the the job to make sure it hurts first.

But now we have people like Cuntzilla and certain members of Dilf's family to deal with, and they have different ways of getting what they want.

One of Cuntzilla's methods: offer to do someone a small favor. When he/she accepts, you have them where you want them. Afterwards, you ask them to do you the favor you wanted all along. Lesson learned? Never accept a Cuntzilla's unsolicited offers. Another of her methods: ask for something small, when the person agrees, keep building up until you get what you really want. For example, if you want someone to buy you a car, start by asking for some car mats. Lesson learned? Ask lots of questions before agreeing to anything, and try to make the process more painful for her than it is for you.

Now, Dilf's family is less devious but no less annoying. They say something like, "We should all get together for a family reunion..." then let the suggestion hang in the air until someone volunteers to do something. Then, the suggester makes an elaborate Excel spreadsheet and e-mail tree with every little detail assigned to someone else and considers his/her part of the job "done." Only a small handful of people respond, and wind up picking up the slack for everybody. But, they get no thanks because "we all did it together!" Lesson: don't volunteer, or if you do, be very specific and stick to your original offer no matter what. Another of their tactics, once someone handles an ongoing task (like taking care of Great Grandma) or hosts an annual event (like Christmas or Thanksgiving), simply assume that person will do it for now into perpetuity. Just show up on December 25 without an invitation or go into hiding when Grandma has a doctor's visit. Lesson learned? Switch up your holiday plans early and often. Unfortunately, you can't let Grandma suffer because other people are selfish; there's really nothing to be done about that.

It's taken me a while to figure this out, and by now I'm seen as a mouthy bitch because when someone says, "Let's have a family reunion..." I wait a moment, then say firmly, "Don't look at me. Tell me the date, where to show up and how much potato salad to bring. That's all I'm doing." I don't respond to emails and lists or any other bullshit, unless to type repeatedly, "Potato salad. Potato salad. POTATO SALAD."

Also, I yell at Towel Boy who keeps volunteering his house without his wife's permission. Then, when he realizes his wife has just given birth and may not be up to all that's involved in preparing a home for a huge party, says, "Ubie can come over to help clean..." because he's learned from his uncles how this sort of thing is done; just assign people random tasks! Unfortunately for him, he says this within earshot of me, and I say, "Hell, no. You're the one who volunteers your house for a family reunion without consulting anyone; this is YOUR problem." So, yes, some may call me a bitch, but I've been around this rodeo a few times, and I'm not the clown. And I have been in the past. So don't think I'm just being selfish and mean; Towel Boy has to learn. And he's not going to learn until he gets burned as many times as Dilf and I and his own mother have.

And you know who's nowhere in sight? The distant cousin who came up with this hair-brained "family reunion" idea in the first place. She didn't even bother to make a spreadsheet!

Now, sometimes I volunteer fully knowing I am picking up the slack for others; but I do this with my eyes open; I don't expect life to be fair. But it is my decision, my choice to do it, not because I was tricked into it. This is how I keep my spirit intact instead of having it crushed. And if some con artist wants to call me a bitch or talk behind my back because I didn't fall for his/her bullshit, I really don't care. Frankly, I don't value their opinions, and a real relationship with them didn't exist in the first place.

If they're looking for a doormat, IKEA sells some pretty good ones for cheap, or there's always Target. Can I pick one up for you while I'm there? And drive it over to your house? And put it in just the right spot in front of your door for you? Fuck you.

* If you are male, "asshole" may be used instead.
Today's Advice: Beware Imposters!
Someone with the audacity to pose as me posted this video to YouTube:

I am outraged!

There is but one Übermilf. Accept no substitutes.
More Advice from Me

If the constant barrage of messages from advertisers, television shows and pornography are to be believed, life should be one long thrill ride. Our jobs should be non-stop fun AND personally fulfilling, madcap adventures should await us around every corner, and repairmen/delivery guys would get a blow job from every customer.

Obviously, real life does not bear this out, nor should it. The last guy who thought life should be a trip to an amusement park every day wound up a broke pedophile with no nose. Is that how you want to end up? Is it?

Truth be told, occasional bouts of misery and deprivation are good for us. They allow us to catch our breath, remember what's truly important in life and mature properly.

So the next time you encounter those endless images of luxury and excitement and are tempted to wail, "Why can't my life be like THAT?", remember my advice. Advertising, TV and porn all lie. Especially about Floam, living with Jim Belushi, and anal sex.
It May Be April Fool's Day, But This Is No Joke: Stop The Vagina Bidding War
What once was an occasional problem has now become a full-blown epidemic: women underselling their vaginas and driving down the value.

See, we women should be sticking together like OPEC, but instead we're engaging in such cutthroat competition and virtually begging to give our vaginas away, and I want it to stop. Let me demonstrate what I mean.

Throngs of women are throwing their vaginas at penises on television shows, and they don't seem to care if that penis belongs to someone suave and British or old and scabby.
In contrast, the one show where men threw their penises into the ring to catch a vagina, The Bachelorette, is no longer airing.

Add this phenomena to single women competing with wives for their husbands, and it seems to add up to a penis being somehow more valuable than a vagina. I beg to differ.

Now, while I love, admire, and enjoy the company of men (that would be the host organism onto which your beloved penises are attached, gals, in case you never look above the waistlines of your conquests), but vaginas have uses above and beyond sex. Like acting as one of those emergency slides for babies when they're ready to join the world.

I don't mean to demean the penis, but what about these penises you fight for is so special? Do these men have Swiss Army penises, so they can open a bottle of wine on those romantic evenings together? Do they have hidden projectors inside which show movies on the wall when you turn out the lights? Why are you so adamant about "winning" these prizes, when so many available, serviceable penises are lying around unused?

I would guess this isn't about the penises at all, but about winning a competition. If that is the case, may I suggest you take up tennis, bridge or ping pong so as to avoid devaluing womankind's assets, and humiliating yourself in the process?
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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