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Eric Garside
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Holy crap. I need this. I need this like flowers need bees. Like milk needs chocolate. Like macaroni needs cheese. I also dig the typewriter in the photo, even though you'll have to pry my computer from my cold dead hands.
I know it's hip to hate on Valentine's Day. The flowers and cards are overpriced. It's a commercial holiday. We should let our loved ones know we love them all year 'round. Yeah, yeah, I get it.
But I love Valentine's Day, and I don't care who knows it. Devon and I went for a couples massage over the weekend. That's a lot less dirty than it sounds. It's just two people getting massages in the same room, mostly naked. With young, attractive women rubbing them down with lotion and oil. And asking them whether they would like it harder.
Oh, fuck it. Forget it.
On Valentine's Day, we made shrimp scampi, roasted asparagus and tiramisu, and we watched Casablanca and drank the last bottle of champagne from the wedding. I got a lovely bouquet of roses, and I made Devon a card.
I know the flowers will die. It's OK. I don't need a lifetime warranty. I don't insist my candles burn forever or that the champagne we drank stay on my tongue for eternity.
And it's not like we're nice to each other on V-Day and tell each other to fuck off every other day of the year. Life is tedious drudgery sometimes, and it's pretty awesome to pick a day where we brighten up the place with flowers, make a rockin' dinner and watch a great movie.
I don't mind being a great big girl sometimes.
The time cube has changed my life. I'd been missing batshit crazy on the Internet for awhile, and I'm so happy it's back.
There are lots of whackos on the Internet. But most of the crazy ends up being political and at least moderately formed, if retarded, ideas. This is old-school crazy. Crazy like Jana's experience watching a homeless guy yell at his nickel . That kind of crazy is like fairy dust and moonbeams and stores that let you use their toilet without buying anything first. In a word: magic.
It's not just the content that makes this crazy. I don't even understand what he's saying. It's something about there being three extra days in one day or somesuch. What he's saying isn't important. It's the way he says it, like a mad poet.
Check this out:
+1 x +1 = +1 as if a male value and
-1 x -1 = -1 as if a female opposite,
Hell awaits those who add these.
Then he goes on to say:
Hands Flat on Table With Thumbs
Touching Proves You Are Mirror
Opposites Not A Diabolic ONEist.
Opposites Pulsate Life, One Is Death,
Earth Has 4 Days In Same 24 Hours.
If the content and writing style weren't enough to make this brilliant, check out the page design and font choices. When I was writing a syndicated column, I got a death threat from a guy who wrote to me on floral-print stationery, in crayon. I'm getting the same vibe here. He's all over the place with font size, color, italics and text placement. Most people left-justify their text, but he doesn't need to follow your goddamn rules, man. He's on a mission. He capitalizes randomly and changes colors from paragraph to paragraph and within sentences. You know he's really intense when his shit turns red for no good reason.
The best part: It goes on to page 2.
I know what you're thinking: How can I generate my own time-cube nuttbaggery? Let me tell you!
Check out Eric Garside's babble generator to play the home game. Also, if you rock Twitter, check out MoarTimeCube . Devon set it up to tweet home-grown time-cubesque nonsense. It makes me weep with joy.
Photo taken at a Target in Brooklyn, NY
Dear Friends,
I call you friends because you might very well be my friends. This return to one of the worst fads of the '80s has infected many people many good, decent people who won't wear white after Labor Day or mix plaids and stripes. So understand that I'm saying this for your own good:
Leg warmers were never cool. They are not cool now. They will never be cool.
Leg warmers are like coffee cozies for your calves. If you're OK with people associating you with something edible that will keep you up all night, carry on. Just understand that it seems like you're advertising. If you're not OK with this, then remove the leg warmers and come back to the light side. We miss you here.
I'll give you a pass if you live in the tundra. If you do, then a bitch gotta do what she gotta do to stay warm. But if you're standing in Atlantic-Pacific station waiting for a train, I'm certain pants will be just fine. Even thermal underwear under your pants can do wonders.
I'm not sure why leg warmers ever became popular. It was like someone said, "What women really want is to look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the waist down." And a whole bunch of women were like, "Yeah, that's awesome. And make them look like Stay Puft made his own leg warmers from a bunch of flags he stole from a gay-pride parade."
I say this because I care. You'll thank me when your grandchildren aren't wading through pictures of you wearing coffee cozies.
Love,
Dirty Hooker
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Dirty Hooker is going to come down hard against these 'personhood' assholes. " But you're wrong. I've given this a lot of thought, and I've come to the conclusion that there would be all kinds of awesome changes to society if we embraced the idea that a zygote is a person. For example:
1) A pregnant woman will be able to file assault charges against anyone who smokes cigarettes in her presence; gives her an X-ray; stresses her out; serves her food that isn't organic; or gives her herpes. Since most women don't know they're pregnant for at least a few weeks, this would effectively make it illegal to do any of these things to any female old enough to menstruate. And since post-menopausal women can get pregnant with the help of science, let's add them, too. Go ahead. Blow smoke in my face. I dare you, muthafucka.
2) It would be illegal to cause pollution and use pesticides on foods, since there's a chance these things can cause miscarriage (or, as the personhood advocates call it, "murder.")
3) Since some doctors say tap water can harm a developing fetus, municipalities would have to provide all women with bottled water, or make all drinking water so clean that they wouldn't have to.
4) All pregnant women would be eligible for top-notch health care. If she miscarries because she can't afford good prenatal care, then the state would be responsible for that child's death. Of course, they could just make it illegal to have a baby if you don't have good medical insurance, so we need to be careful there.
5) Since most miscarriages are the result of genetic abnormalities or other problems that have nothing to do with maternal behavior, we could finally bring God (aka, Biggest Baby Killer Ever) to task for the rivers running red.
Some of you are thinking this whole thing is nuts. It does have its problems. Like, my miscarriage, which happened at 6 weeks, might have required an autopsy and a funeral. I guess I would have had to find a matchbook coffin and treat it like human remains, instead of flushing it down the toilet like I did. And maybe I'd be in prison for neglect if doctors discovered I ate a piece of sushi before I knew I was pregnant. So this isn't a slam dunk.
But really, making human procreation as emotionally wrenching as possible is its own reward.
From Craftzine.com
Here's the obligatory Valentine's Day craft, courtesy of Craft .
This is going to be hard to believe, but I love V-Day. Hating Valentine's Day has become as cliched as the commercial stuff people always complain about. Devon and I are going to celebrate over the weekend, and we're going to get a couples massage and make dinner and drink wine and exchange silly cards. There is nothing not awesome about all of those things.
Taking a dude's light saber is just wrong.
Flynn Michael, an engineer from Bed-Sty, lost his $400 custom-made light saber to a dirty Sith at a bar in Brooklyn.
This is why, if you're going to bring your badass Jedi weapon into the Mos Eisley Cantina, you need to be prepared to shoot first. Like Han.
The Super Bowl halftime show reminded me of why I loved the '80s.
First, there was Madonna. I don't know whether she and Lady Gaga actually have that much in common besides both being attention whores, since I prefer to live in the past regarding my musical tastes, but the show encapsulated the '80s: tacky, over-the-top costumes full of blinding bling and a seizure-inducing mishmash of themes and songs.
I went to a Super Bowl party, and one comment I overheard pretty much said it all: "What the fuck is happening?"
The whole thing could have gone horribly wrong considering Madonna is 53 years old. Age might be just a number, but there's a number at which you look ridiculous in a thong, and Madonna seems to have grasped that her time for thongs is behind her. Lo and behold, she's still sexy fully clothed, despite the camera's many attempts to get cooch shots. Plus, I can totally relate to her missing that step and nearly falling. The last time I wore heels that high, I couldn't even walk on my own.
Rock on, Madonna. Never stop wearing leopard-print capes.
Need a use for all those pennies that never make it to the bank? Check this out. The same thing can be done with boxes and other flat surfaces.
At first glance, this Florida bill prohibiting people from buying "nonstaple, unhealthy" foods using food stamps seems like a good idea. Poor people shouldn't be using taxpayer money to buy foods that are going to kill them when other public programs are suffering.
But if you stop and think about it, it gets more and more retarded. And then you realize why Fark gave Florida its own tag.
Ronda Storms, a Republican state senator from Florida, says it's about the unfairness of taxpayers paying for junk food items combined with concern for the health of poor kids. But it seems the goal is more about gaining a petty sense of moral control. Dog forbid poor people enjoy and let their kids enjoy a snack every once in awhile.
This is increasingly nonsensical when you consider all the unhealthful foods that are still available: orange juice, apple juice, flour, sugar, bread, sugary yogurt, etc. Kids will be putting down the chips and picking up those gross yogurt pops, I guess. I wonder who gets to decide what is junk food and how long it'll be before Florida just starts sending people boxes full of the foods they're allowed to eat. It would be a lot simpler that way.
The worst part: The law doesn't even save Florida any money. It's not about cutting costs. It's about waving a "naughty, naughty" finger at people who are getting kicked in the teeth already. I always assumed these programs were about keeping people from starving to death, not about imposing some state-approved diet on the poor. Stupid me.
Note to Florida: Your poor residents may very well be abusing the system, but it isn't by munching on a 99-cent bag of Cheez Doodles. Back away slowly from the smug self-righteousness.
This blog entry from E.D. Kain from Forbes is evidence not of sexism, but of why people need to take a deep breath and stop seeing isms everywhere.
Summary: His stance is that Star Wars the Old Republic is sexist because it allows you to administer electro shocks to a Twi'lek slave-companion named Vette.
That's about as fair as saying SWTOR is racist because it allows you to shock an alien with long tails on her head.
Kain says: "So the inclusion of a shock-collar-wearing slave in BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic, a new Star Wars MMORPG that released this past December, is not so much surprising as it is disappointing. And really creepy."
Of course it's creepy. It's supposed to be creepy. If you shock her, you are a creep. The Sith are creepy. That's why they follow the Creepy side of the force, and the Jedi follow the Asshole side of the force.
The game is full of morally questionable choices, so it's weird that anyone would fixate on this as evidence that BioWare is morally broken. In one Sith quest. you have to pour poison into some slaves' water supply. You can give them just enough poison to cause unspeakable torment, or you can give them enough to slaughter them all. And slaughtering them is the Light Side option.
While you have the option of torturing Vette with a shock collar, it's clear from the beginning that this is the douche-bag path to galactic domination. And female Sith can inflict just as much pain as male Sith, which is exactly what's happening with me and Devon. He's being super sweet to her in hopes of getting into her pants, and I'm shocking her just about every chance I get to keep her in line. If BioWare would get around to allowing homosexual romances, I might be trying to get into her pants, too.
Maybe I'm a closet sociopath, but I doubt it. Roleplaying games are fun precisely because they let us be the kinds of people we will never be in real life. If I were shocking slave girls left and right in real life, I would be playing RPGs about underemployed crafters with a thing for steampunk.
I keep hearing how hard it is to be a female gamer. Maybe I grew up in an alternate universe, but I've never found it hard to be a gamer. We were pretty rare before the days of Team Unicorn, but I always found gamer dudes pretty welcoming. For some of them, I was one of the few girls who would talk to them, which probably helped. And we were all misfits with a love of looting the corpses of the imaginary fallen. The guys who were inclined to be assholes were assholes to everyone.
Which brings me to John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory .
To see this in action, check out every WoW PvP battleground chat log ever. There's always at least one player bitching and moaning about how much you suck. He doesn't care what you have between your legs. He's just emo because he's going to have to hold off on upgrading his armor a little longer than he'd hoped.
My use of "he" here is probably sexist. For all I know, battlegrounds are full of women roiding out because you insist on fighting midfield in Warsong Gulch.
This is a dragon curve. I don't understand any of this Wikipedia article . Last night, I had a dream I argued with a former co-worker over independent clauses, so this isn't my strength.
It's super red when it's straight, and I cut off 2 inches. I'm inclined to let it go curly, since this is what it wants to do anyway. My friend Dan tells me redheads are nothing but trouble, so you might want to back away from the blog.
My friend Saul and I visited the cemetery last Monday to note Dad's one-year deathaversary. When we visit mom, we hang out under a nearby tree for several hours and make a picnic of it. But Dad was really inconsiderate and died in the middle of January, so he's going to have to deal with us checking out the headstone for a while and then sitting in the car. Still, it was better than last year, when we buried him in the slush and sleet.
It's hard to believe it's been a whole year. At the risk of sounding like an asshole, I've always been less sad about his death than mom's. His life felt done. It's like finishing a great book that ends as it should. I'm sad that it's over, but it was time for it to be over all the same.
Saul brought Mom and Dad a bottle of wine, and I let them have a little in part because Dad loved to booze it and in part to celebrate with them. I wanted to let them know they were going to be grandparents again. Devon and I found out the previous week. I know they would have been excited, especially mom. My brother has two kids, but people who took in 350 foster kids would have gladly welcomed more. When Mom was in ICU, two months before she died, Devon and I told her we were getting married and that if we had a kid and it was a girl, we would name her Aurelia, after my mother's mother. She cried.
So I poured some of the wine into the dirt and told Mom to go easy, because she's a lightweight. I sat by the grave for a bit and talked to them about the future. Then I went home.
Two days later I miscarried. It wasn't very painful and there's wasn't a lot of blood, and I'm fine.
Devon took Friday off and we spent a long weekend cooking and watching movies and playing video games. I drank the wine I couldn't drink at the grave site. We lit the candle over Fitz's tiny urn and enjoyed the amazing lamb and ratatouille Devon made, along with my cream of mushroom soup and vanilla-chocolate pudding.
A lot can happen in the first three months. We were aware I was pregnant for only 10 days. The embryo would have been the size of a lentil bean. But it was a wild 10 days. We're not devastated, certainly not like we would be if one of you died. Sad and subdued is more like it. But we're OK.
Well, that's a relief. Here we are, with wars raging, pollution wrecking our environment and me not getting nearly enough cheese, but at least we don't have to worry about Jay-Z abandoning the b-word . Which I assume is bitch, because it would be really strange to stop saying "breakfast" or "bocci."
I'm glad I'm not famous. More importantly, I'm glad I'm not famous enough that anyone would care if I stopped saying bitch. I don't even know what I would do if I had to stop saying bitch. I couldn't say things like, "Bitch, please," and "Wassup, bitches?" and "I'm gonna cut a bitch."
It's clear I couldn't function.
So good on you, Jay-Z, for sticking with such a versatile word. Don't let those bitches tell you what to do.
Instead of a real blog entry, I will be participating in the Internet blackout today in protest of SOPA and and PIPA. For more information, click this link .
Don't let ass clowns make the Internet lame.
If you're an alcoholic, that is. This multivitamin claims to support liver health and other crap that might keep you from keeling over when your liver finally stiffens into a decrepit paperweight. I have no idea whether that's true. I'll verify it after I finish this whiskey.
My friend Donna and I were playing SWTOR and we decided to name The Force "Ceiling Cat." It started with a discussion of the powerful nature of The Force and how it intervenes in your life, at least according to the dippy master Jedi in the baby consular area. That led to the realization that The Force watches you masturbate.
It's true and you can see where this is going.
Pretty soon, we declared that we could sense a disturbance in the Ceiling Cat. The Ceiling Cat is with you, always. May the Ceiling Cat guide you. You've fallen to the dark side of Ceiling Cat.
And all of this is retarded, but it was hilarious to us. Donna was drinking excessive amounts of hot-buttered rum at the time, which I may or may not have provided for her. I was drinking egg nog without the booze, so I have no excuse.
The egg nog was probably the last time I'll see egg nog until Christmas, which is why I had to beat that old lady down. I promise, the bruises will fade in a few days. I'm not a total monster.
Devon, upon creating his toon: "Twi'lek, really? A fucking cultural dance? That's your special power? Fuck you!"
Their shit is also magically delicious!
For a while, Devon couldn't stop talking about the wonders of Colorado. The air is cleaner! There's more space! Housing is cheaper! Leprechauns wash your windows for free! It was getting pretty ridiculous, so at one point I said, "I know, I know. Colorado is a magical land where unicorns fart rainbows." Now I can have unicorn shit , too. Awesome.
I'm getting a tablet! It's gonna be awesome! It's coming soon! I'm running out of exclamation points (also known as exclamation marks, bangs and dembangers, in case you were wondering, and I know you were)!
Devon won't tell me what kind he got me because it's the only part of my delayed Christmas gift that's going to be a surprise. The only thing I know is that it's not an iPad, because he'd rather stick hot pokers into his eyes and sing Nazi marching songs while he skips around the block naked than buy an Apple.
Also, our ceiling is leaking again. It's not even raining that hard. This bullshit usually happens during hurricane season. I'm going to cut someone.
+++++++
This shit's cool. Trust me:
Women in reasonable armor
Boobs don't work that way
Yes, I'm playing Star Wars The Old Republic .
So far I'm fairly impressed, although my toon is still in newbie land, so there's a lot more to see before I decide whether it's going to be my new boyfriend. I need to roll a Sith and see what it's like to be eeeeeevil. In a video game, I mean.
My Jedi Consular is kind of a dick. In one quest, I bust two young lovers for doing what they do. Jedi are not allowed to fraternize. I felt bad for about a minute before I realized two things:
1) This couple is so cutesy they make me want to vomit, and for that they need to be stopped.
2) The last time a Jedi got his groove on, it led to Episodes 1, 2 and 3. The Jedi are right. Love is a threat to galactic peace and should be squashed beneath my cynical boot heels.
Sorry, kids. You're gonna have to go back to masturbating like the rest of the Jedi.
Maybe I'm more temperamentally suited to Sith. But that can't be true, because busting those crazy kids is a light-side choice. Maybe the light side of the force is just an asshole, like me.
I've got a bone to pick with all my friends who don't drink booze.
Every year, Devon and I like to give the gift of liver disease. Last year we made homemade limoncello. This year it was hot-buttered rum mix with a bottle of rum.
You teetotalers have to make things difficult, though. You and your refusal to be felled by cirrhosis like the rest of us means I have to be creative and do stuff like bake cookies. It's not that I don't like baking cookies. Actually, I fucking love baking cookies, mostly because I fucking love eating cookies even more.
And this is where I run into problems. I've already had more hot-buttered rum this holiday season than you can shake a drunk at. If I make cookies for you non-drinkers, I'm also going to be double-fisting cookie dough until Devon has to roll me down the stairs when I want fresh air.
Please drink so Devon doesn't throw his back out getting my fat ass down the stairs.
Devon and I noted this sad reality as we walked through the village, which, Devon said, has been able to maintain an air of seediness without being dangerous. The ratio of sex shops to Starbucks is also unusual, with Starbucks coming out on the rare losing end.
After a birthday party at The Otheroom, we stopped for pizza, mostly because I had to pee, and you can't pee anywhere in Manhattan unless you buy something or drop trow on the sidewalk, but that solution is fraught with perils of its own, like peeing on your shoes. The pizza place is where I saw these signs.
The people at Karavas Pita 'n' Pizza really want you to eat your goddamn pizza and leave. You can tell because they say it with three signs bunched together. In case you look at the sign and are all, "What does loitering mean? What am I not supposed to do?" there's a helpful sign below it telling you exactly how much time you can spend eating your pizza (or pita).
But it doesn't say how long you can stay if you're NOT consuming food from Karavas Pita 'n' Pizza. If you're getting a massage, maybe you can stay an hour and it's not a problem. I'm not sure.
And then it has a helpful sign asking you to obey the other two signs, in case you weren't sure they were for serious.
See, this is a business that understands communication.
If you clicked on the link to the New York article, don't let the profile of this place fool you. It's not nearly as charming as it sounds. The pizza is mediocre, and the whole place is covered in a layer of skeeze, including the bathroom, which made me want to boil myself clean.
-- From The Domestic Scientist
The Deathwing Cake is not a lie.
This cake from The Domestic Scientist makes me want to slay dragons.
I somehow missed a mainstream sense of fun. When God was installing the mechanism for laughing at The Three Stooges, I was in line for mustard-covered cinnamon toast. Maybe some of you can explain why the following shit is fun, because I don't get it.
PAINTBALL/FOAM-PELLET FIGHTS: Sometimes life is too calm. Sometimes people really need to get shot at with hard paint pellets that leave welts on their skin while they run through an obstacle course. Some people stick to foam pellets. On the up side, they hurt less than paint pellets. On the down side, anyone can use them pretty much anywhere, even in the most benign settings, like your grandpa's funeral. Because your grandma is a douchebag. Nothing says "fun, fun, fun!" like an unexpected jab in the face.
SLAPSTICK : Slapstick was invented when someone decided getting hit with paintballs was bullshit, but watching other people suffer was tons o' fun. When I laugh at someone's pain, it's because I hate them and think they deserve it.
SLOT MACHINES: I tried to like slot machines. So many people seem to enjoy them. But then I realized I was plunking $50-$100 into a machine that offered all the excitement of watching my laundry tumble in the dryer. I could have used that cash to have some tiny, freakishly strong Asian woman dismantle my shoulder muscles. At least if I plunk enough quarters into the dryer, I'll end up with dry clothes eventually.
RUNNING: I'd like to be one of those people who thinks things like, "Whew! Feel those endorphins!" (I wouldn't say that out loud, because I'd expect someone to run me over with a car.) But mostly I enjoy eating cheese and watching "Doctor Who." I'd be less squishy if I altered the cheese-to-running ratio. Or maybe not. Maybe running would make me hungry for more cheese, and it would turn into a vicious cycle. I'll play it safe and just eat cheese.
Clearly, I'm no fun at all.
Don't tell him I said that. I don't want him getting a puffed up head, thinking he's right ALL the time. I'm sure he'd never think to read my blog.
My day in court ended well. In short, my brother has agreed to accept a settlement. In return, he will withdraw his challenge, and I can sell the house.
I can't believe this part is over. I keep pinching myself. It's like my brain tumor got downgraded to a head cold.
In a few weeks we can put the house on the market, and we could be completely done by summer or fall if all goes well.
I keep repeating that last line to myself, but it still doesn't feel real. Maybe I'm asleep. But if I'm writing a blog post in my dreams, then I'm the dullest person on the planet.
Please let me know I'm not dreaming. You can do this by sending me dick jokes.
Christmas made me a sad panda, but not for the reasons you think. I'm actually pretty OK with Mom and Dad being gone. Time is like that, and I have lots of awesome people in my life. What made me sad this year is that we were in Colorado, surrounded by people who love us and want us to be happy and aren't toxic and evil, and then I had to come back.
The worst thing family did in Colorado was offer to get me and Devon a fertility specialist, because apparently it's weird that after a year and a half I am not about to spawn. The worst thing that happened with my family involved police and a CAT scan.
I love all my New York and online peeps, too. You guys make this shit bearable. But this place is ripe with all the stuff that comes along with it. Devon feels it, too. We just want to know when it will end.
I haven't written much about probate or the legal situation I find myself in. That's stuff best saved for later, when I'm not in said legal situation. But I asked Devon to end me again, and he still won't. I said that's what I really want for Christmas, and he said I'm getting a tablet, and I said he could get me a tablet AND stab me in the face, and he said I was greedy. I said I would give him a blow job if he ended me, but he pointed out that that suggested he would only ever get one more, and I said, "Well, yeah, from me," but that wasn't enough to convince him. I have a life-insurance policy, but he didn't even want that. I asked him if he was the kind of dude who didn't want blow jobs and money, and he said he wants those things, but he's not willing to end me for them.
He said I have to accept the fact that he's not going to kill me, but that's quitter talk. I accept nothing.
Later on last night, I asked Devon whether he would kill me if I were a character in Skyrim with really nice magical boots, and he admitted he would.
I have found his price.
Everyone who knows me in real life knows about our travel debacle, because I couldn't shut the fuck up about it this week. The short version is that Continental tied us to a pole, poured honey over our naked bodies and released the hungry lions. The customer-service rep at Continental should drown in a lake of rat pee. Buzzards should peck out his eyeballs. Telemarketers should call his house every day at 3 am to ask him if he has Prince Albert in a can. No trip from New York to Denver should involve a connecting "flight" from Newark to LaGuardia. That douche nugget couldn't find our reservations, so he wanted us to buy brand new tickets, all the while speaking to us in that voice you reserve for people who don't understand for the sixth time that salmon is not a vegetable.
On the other hand, the customer service rep at United was our hero. May she forever relax in a really comfy recliner while well-oiled men (or women, if she prefers) feed her strawberries. She's the reason we made it to Colorado in time for Christmas and got an upgrade to first class. Unlimited wine and wide seats made everything mostly better.
I did have the fun of seeing Devon lose it, which for him is saying "screw you" and threatening to call the Better Business Bureau. He's an animal.
We're torn about the experience, because United and Continental are the same company, except one half sucks ferret peen and the other doesn't.
I've seen this project in a few places and I keep meaning to try it. The Flying Spaghetti Monster knows I have enough empty wine bottles lying around. I'm surprised the lady who rifles through our garbage hasn't staged an intervention.
I could light my apartment -- and yours -- entirely with wine bottles. Photo from MyThirtySpot.com
So Devon and I were talking about what we would name a kid if cynical bitterness turns out to be a poor form of birth control. A girl would be Aurelia, after my grandmother. Devon came up with Ptolemy for a boy, because "Thomas" and "Christopher" and "Assface the Unshowered Hobo" are too pedestrian for him, I guess.
I told him we can't name a boy Ptolemy, because I can't even pronounce it properly most of the time. I pronounce it "Tole-e-may." I know it's wrong, but that's how my lips and tongue want to move, and I can't help it. So I would have to nickname him "Toe," and when he's 16 he would start a garage band called "Toe Jam," which would lead to a life of drugs and whores and roadies with fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He'd burn out by 30 and spend the next 10 years on reality TV trying to convince people that his brand-new No. 1 song is just around the corner, but that would be a lie, because he'd keep forgetting that he bartered his guitar for a bag full of blue M&M's. And I'd have to explain to him that his name is Ptolemy because his father hates him.
I don't want that kind of broken life on my hands.
So I need to convince Devon to stop hating on little boys, which is weird, because normally I'm the one trying to punch small children to switch off whatever horrid noise they're making, so I figured I would be the one on a Child Protective Services watch list.
Devon's more into the psychological abuse, I guess. I can respect that.
There will never be a decade as awesome as the '80s.
I know what you're thinking. Shut up. You know I'm right: You just won't admit it. It's my job to bring you to the light with the top five most bodacious, rad things from the '80s.
WHT
WHT was a subscription movie service in New York City, kind of like HBO's retarded cousin. Having WHT made us the shit. With WHT, you didn't just have 13 channels. You had FOURTEEN!
My Little Pony
My Little Pony is so cool that people who enjoyed it in the '80s have created porn of it in the 21st century. It's THAT cool. This is mostly safe for work unless your boss is a harsh hoser.
Boomboxes
Boomboxes were introduced in the mid-'70s but came into their own in the '80s. The modern trend is to make things small, but the '80s were not a decade for subtlety. You wanted everyone to know that you spent a lot of money on your stereo and that you listened to AC/DC. It wasn't really music if it didn't rattle your teeth.
"Let me put my love into you, babe. Let me put my love on the line. Let me put my love into you, babe. Let me cut your cake with my knife." Remember these lyrics when people bitch about how stupid modern music is.
Ouija Boards
These were awesome for convincing pre-teen girls that Parker Brothers had opened a portal to the afterlife. Funny how the dead always said exactly what I expected them to say.
Modern-style board. You can use it to speak to dead fads.
Scratch and Sniff Stickers
You scratched them. Then you sniffed them. Life was pretty simple then. These stickers smelled vaguely like something fruity or chocolate-y. My cousin took me to a store where, if they sold anything else, I don't remember, because the stickers had my undivided attention.
This shit's cool. Trust me:
They don't make pens like they used to.
Devon and I just started watching "Breaking Bad" because we enjoy being way, way behind on all the latest trends, and I realized I would be a terrible meth dealer. Not just because I suck at chemistry and would blow my face off, which seems obvious and not the kind of thing I need to go into tremendous detail about. I would overlook the little things that make or break or a good meth-selling business.
Like, it would never occur to me that trying to dissolve my former business partner's dead body in a bathtub would dissolve the bathtub and force me to clean up the remains of my colleague with a bucket. I'm not a forward thinker like that. Also, cleaning up cat vomit triggers my gag reflex, so Devon would have to clean up the liquified organs, and I suspect that's where he would draw the line.
When I asked him about it, he said the idea made him uncomfortable, because he's no fun at all. He worried about having to check me into a drug clinic, but I assured him I wouldn't actually use the stuff. It's like making sammiches. I don't eat the sammiches I make because by the time I've made 30 of them, I just want a yogurt parfait.
I could probably handle the marketing and PR end of it, though. I could set up Facebook and Twitter accounts for people who like meth the ones who haven't hocked their computers already, I mean. And I could arrange for dental insurance and bail bonding and lawyers to work with child protective services. It's important to let your customers know you care, even when you don't.
In case anyone from the DEA is reading this, I would never sell meth. Pot is so much easier to grow and distribute and far less likely to send chunks of me, Devon and my cats into the apartment next door. Also, meth is the reason I can't get cough medicine that fucking works and why I have to buy lye in bulk to make soap. Screw meth.
In case the DEA is still reading this, I would also never grow pot, because I am the Grim Reaper of flora. See my other posts for proof.
++++++++++
This shit's cool. Trust me:
Why do the Norwegians need all that butter?
But he was a ronery, ronery man. 
Jesus has style.
I know what you're thinking: Dragon Age II came out about 6,000 years ago, so this review is more like your bald, toothless, one-legged grandpa telling you what a stud he used to be during World War II. To that, I say "pfffft!" I'm cheap, and I waited until it was 20 bucks. For the best review of Dragon Age II, check out Zero Punctuation , which makes me laugh so hard I projectile vomit, and that's pretty hard to do considering what a cynical asshole I am.
I remember all the butthurt fanboy bitching right after the release, mostly centered around how DA II didn't deserve to lick Origins' boots clean. This isn't going to be one of those reviews. I like DA II. Not as much as DA: Origins, which was so awesome I played it twice all the way through, including side quests, and I might do it a third time, but DA II is a solid game.
Here's how they compare.
Scale
Dragon Age: Origins is epic. You're trying to unite three different civilizations against the blight, stop a civil war and, in the case of my human rogue, avenge the slaughter of your entire family. You resolve political unrest among the dwarves, lift an ancient curse on a tribe of werewolves, beat back demons from another realm, save a town from an undead invasion (unless you're a jerk and let them all die, which can be fun, too) and help create a a demon-god baby. And that's before you save the world from a giant dragon.
Howe kills your sister in law and nephew. Your mother and father a little later.
You lift an ancient curse to save the werewolves and elves.
You kill this.
In DA II, as far as I can tell, the point is to do odd jobs around town for extra cash and help your friends with their angst. Most of DA II takes place in the city of Kirkwall and the surrounding area. The city feels like a real city, complete with extras and secondary characters unlike Orizimmar, which is populated mostly by merchants, soldiers, thugs and politicians. If you're going to be trapped in one city, at least it's an interesting one.
One of the highlights of Origins is spending a large part of it planning bloody vengeance on Rendon Howe, who murders the Warden's family if you play a noble. He's voiced by Tim Curry for 100% more evil. I got more satisfaction out of killing Howe than I did the archdemon. In DA II, an ogre kills your brother or sister (depending on which class you play), and then you kill the ogre. Heartbreaking death avenged, I guess. You agree to become a hired hand for one of the shadier local groups, and the game fast forwards to the end of that year with a hand wave.
People in Kirkwall goes on and on about what a raging badass I am, but I have no idea what I've done to earn that reputation, since all I've done in gameplay up to this point is get rescued by an old lady and spend a year working for a living. Hawke could have a rep making awesome blueberry muffins for all I know.
Battle
The battle systems in both games are similar. You can take direct control of your characters or set the battle tactics and let 'em rip. If you don't set the tactics and let the AI take over, your characters will explode in a mess of blood and gore because it never occurs to them to get out of the way of the stabby thing or drink a potion when they're hurt.
Then there's the screaming. In Origins, it's like the game is afraid you won't realize you're being attacked unless everyone is REALLY FUCKING LOUD. A single drunk, blind Genlock can wander out from behind a pillar, and your Warden is all, "ARRRGH!" and your fighter is all, "RRRAAAAWR!" and your mage is all, "WOOOH!" and your rogue is all, "AGGGGGH!" Even in stealth mode. I had to mute the volume during fight scenes because all the screaming was making my brain bleed. DA II is fond of the screaming, too, unfortunately.
I'm not quite done with DA II, but the fights have been cake so far. There was one fight in the Deep Roads that almost led to a TPK, but none of the other fights have been very tough in normal mode. It's possible that I'm the Chuck Norris of gaming, but I doubt it. Bioware's idea of challenging seems to be having enemies teleport from somewhere up Hawke's ass to flank you just when you think the battle is over. This is surprising the first few times, but it gets annoying fast. And the city guard in Kirkwall must all be on the take, because Hawke is constantly being attacked by roaming gangs of thugs throughout the city, often for no reason at all, and no one seems to notice or mind. It's like having the Crips and the local plumbers union and the Boy Scouts trying to cut you every time you go to the store for milk.
On the bright side, no one seems to care that I've slaughtered a third of the population of Kirkwall or that, in a city where being a mage could be a death sentence, I toss lightening bolts and ice storms around in broad daylight with impunity. At one point, you talk to a Qunari who thinks his people should conquer Kirkwall and smack some discipline into the locals. I think you're supposed to be appalled, but I have to agree: Kirkwall is a hive of scum and villainy and should be burned to the ground.
The boss fights aren't much to speak of so far. In Origins, revenants and ogres made me pee my pants, especially at low levels. Dragons sent me crying to my mommy. Flemeth stole my lunch money and told me to like it.
This old lady pwned me. To be fair, she was a dragon at the time.
A dragon like this.
In my first fight with a "Mature Dragon" in DA II, Retardo Dragon stood still while my warrior poked it in the ass with a sword. My other characters had a range greater than the dragon's breath, so they stood just out of reach peppering it with spells and arrows. It never occurred to the dragon to turn around and bite my tank's head off. It got to 50% health before it even tried to go for my other characters. They just don't make dragons like they used to.
Characters
The characters in DA:O are a riot. The inter-party banter is loads of fun, and the ability to have them hate or love you creates the sense that you are in a party of real people who aren't always up your heroic ass. If they hate you, they might leave in a snit, or even shank you in a dark alley. If they love you, they are inspired to fight harder, and some of them will have sex with you. (Two of them will have sex in a foursome with an NPC if you plan it right.)
The only place where the like/hate stuff gets weird is with the gift system. You can give your friends things like slobbery old dog bones, and even the biggest dicks in your party will be all, "Oh, thank you for this bone with bits of rotten meat clinging to it. I like you a little more now." And there are gifts all over the place, so it comes across like exactly what it is: Trying to buy your friends' affection. You can counter any negative ratings with the gift of a shiny rock, and it's easy to have 100% approval from all your companions by the end of the game.
DA II does this better. Your companions aren't exactly three-dimensional (in fact, they are so single-minded and one-dimensional that I wonder how they survived childhood), but they have reactions to just about everything you do, and they have strong opinions of each other. Sometimes the inter-party dialogue is so funny that I stop what I'm doing just to listen to it. Example:
Merrill: "So do you like telling stories?"
Varric: "I enjoy telling them and watching the faces of my audience get excited as I spin a tale."
Merrill: "We had a story teller in the clan."
Varric: "Did he enjoy it as much as I do?"
Merrill: "I think he did. But he did not start his stories with 'I shit you not.'"
Even the random NPCs muttering to themselves are funny. ("Elf this and elf that. I'll elf his mother.")
Instead of the love/hate approval system from Origins, DA II uses friendship/rivalry. Both poles will get you fighting perks, and everything you do is bound to please some people and piss off others, so there's more incentive to role play instead of trying to manage your party's approval ratings.
And on a shallow note, I'm glad the characters are more fleshed out, literally. My rogue from Origins looked more like a yoga instructor than a machine of back-stabby death, but my human mage totally has some junk in her trunk.
This can't be comfortable ass-kicking underwear.
Final call: DA II is a good game, but Origins is a great game. Origins has an epic, "Lord of the Rings" feel to it. DA II is fun, but it feels like the middle part of a story on the way to something bigger.
Christmas ornaments make a great gift, or you can hang them on your own tree if you're protective of your crafts.
-- From Craft
Were you aware that every day in America, children are being flogged for praying in schools and wishing people a merry Christmas? It's true! Rick Perry says so .
"I will end Obama's war on religion. And make sure shitty coffee doesn't make it into your cup."
Here's the story at Fox News : The only legitimate news source on the Internet.
Check this out, from Todd Starnes of Fox News: "It was President Obama who declared in an e-mail to CBN News that 'whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation.'"
How dare Obama point out that people in this country are exercising their freedom of religion. That's what we get for electing a Muslim president.
I, for one, am glad Perry will end Obama's War on Religion when our Lord and Savior makes him president. Then all our brave men and women overseas fighting religion can return home to their families, and we can redirect all those tax dollars to something important, like making sure people can't get married unless their pee pees interlock.
Fine, I'll stop. I can't keep a straight face anymore anyway.
Starnes goes on to say: "It was during the Obama administration that Christian school children were ordered to stop praying outside the Supreme Court building because they were violating the law. Instead, those American boys and girls were forced to pray for the elected officials while standing in a gutter."
This is technically true. But the Supreme Court does not have a policy prohibiting prayer. This happened because one police officer misunderstood the Court's policy on group demonstrations. I'd also like to note that I got a crappy cup of coffee from my local coffee shop today. I'm waiting for an explanation from Obama, as this tragedy happened on his watch.
The rest of his column is equally asinine, but you can read if for yourself.
To avoid making myself bug nuts, I've decided to kick back and enjoy the War on Religion (officially known as the War on Religion, Christmas, Children and Sometimes Yo Momma). Republicans trot it out every December, and it has become warm, comfortable and hairy, a lot like yo momma.
There are three things I love about the War on Religion.
Oh, fuck it. Never mind.
I'm just about done with the "first-world problems" meme.
I get the intent behind it. Every once in awhile, we need to remind ourselves that missing the bus isn't like running from rape gangs in the Congo.
But some people are being jerks about it. Losing my MetroCard isn't like watching my family die in a bloodbath, but it's still a pain in the ass. The little things can add up, and I don't need some zen monk asshole telling me how lucky I am that I'm not bloated with starvation and begging for gruel.
I know I'm lucky. I don't wake up in the morning and think, "Wow, those AIDS victims in Africa have it good. They should see MY life."
It's like when strangers tell me to smile. I don't want to smile. Sometimes I'm pissed or sad. Sometimes I'm just neutral. Why are you so balls to the walls about me smiling? Am I on Candid Camera? Are you with the Happy Police? Are you trying to convince your friends off in the distance that I'm having sex with you?
So here's the deal: If you are having a first-world problem, you can be humble and label it as such. If you tell me my problem is a first-world problem, I'm going to fuck with the wheels on your grocery cart. May your cart always swerve to the left.
This is one of those stories that sounds like an Onion article but isn't.
The Food and Drug Administration is telling  Trent Arsenault  of California to stop giving his sperm away like it's a keg party at Delta Tau Chi.
The best part about this whole story is HuffPo's headline: "Trent Arsenault, Sperm Donor, Gets Cease Order From FDA."
Like, it wasn't enough that this story is made of awesome. HuffPo needs to make sure we remember his name, too. It's like if I said, "David White, Public Masturbator, Does It All For The Kicks." I picked that name randomly. If your name is David White, my apologies. Unless you masturbate in public. Then I'm totally right about you. And you're gonna go blind.
Arsenault is giving the sperm to low-income and gay couples, who he says have a harder time getting donations from sperm banks. I gotta side with Trent on this one. He's not selling it, and if he were, shall we say, making home deliveries, this wouldn't be a problem at all.
By "making home deliveries," I mean "sticking his penis into her vagina." I worried that wasn't clear.
I have to agree with George Carlin: "Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal?" Taking it one step further, why isn't giving away the byproduct of fucking legal?
C'mon, FDA. Give Trent a chance.
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You might have seen  this article  floating around the Internets.
In short, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius vetoed the FDA's decision to make Plan B available over the counter to anyone who wants it. Currently, people 17 and older can get it from a pharmacist with proof of age. Anyone under 17 needs a prescription. Since it needs to be taken within 72 hours of sex to be effective, this makes it very difficult for younger girls to get it.
The FDA decided to make the morning-after pill available to younger girls, but Sebelius used her authority to veto the decision.
Whatever your opinion of abortion, take a look at this statement from Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for Americans United for Life:
"They should not be administered late in a pregnancy because of risk of severe bleeding. In addition, they make vulnerable women and girls even more at risk to abusers who may acquire the drugs to cover up their criminal behavior."
First: All drugs carry potential side effects, especially when you use them improperly. Aspirin can cause severe bleeding, too, but we don't ask people to get a prescription for it.
Second: So the only thing holding your sons, fathers, brothers and husbands back from rape is the possibility of pregnancy. Because they would scrub their victims of all DNA evidence after force-feeding them Plan B, I guess. Nice opinion of American men, assholes.
Third: Childbirth is far more hazardous to a woman's health than anything related to Plan B, especially for young girls .
Another objection to Plan B is that younger girls are not emotionally mature enough to use the pill appropriately. Yet somehow they are emotionally mature enough to raise these babies if they want to, or choose between abortion and adoption. How odd.
I wish these people would just admit that any acknowledgement of teenagers having sex squicks them out. At least it would be honest.
+++++++
This shit's cool. Trust me:
Smoking can make your nipples fall off
Baby rocks out with her chili
Chuck Norris jokes never get old. Never.
Nothing says Christmas like small, green Jedi masters. Yoda was actually the fourth wise man. He brought the gift of whoop-ass.
JustJENN recipes has lots of geeky baking projects. This one can be modified to make ornaments with just about any cookie cutters you happen to have.
-- from justJENN recipes
Enormous pants bring me and Devon closer together
Well, they ARE my pants. Sort of.
I own these pants now thanks to the Finders Keepers Losers Weepers Law. That law was passed right after the Patriot Act, which is why no one noticed. Really, people, you need to pay more attention to politics if you don't want to lose your enormous pants.
I don't know how we got them. They just showed up on our dresser one day. It's like the crappiest Christmas miracle ever. This is what I get for making Tacky Plastic Jesus date my Barbies when I was 9.
I'm trying to be positive, but I'm not exactly a ray of fucking sunshine, so it's hard. Like, there are starving kids in Africa who don't even have pants and would love these. If they had pants, McDonald's would let them in, and then they could buy Happy Meals and they wouldn't be starving anymore. These pants could save their lives.
If these were your pants, I'm sorry. They probably got mixed up with my clothes at the Laundromat. I would give them back, but I'm sending them to Africa. It's the right thing to do.
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This shit's cool. Trust me:
I don't even understand this headline, let alone the underlying science
The 7 Dumbest Video Game Inventions That Actually Exist
I link to this because it would have been useful when Devon's computer sounded like it was          taking off from a tiny runway under his desk
I knew we slipped from the newlywed phase into domestic tranquility when rubbing Devon's back made him think about household appliances.
Devon: The Maytag Maxima is an awesome dryer. I can't wait until we have a house so we can get one.
Me: You've been drooling over that one.
Devon: When I'm not drooling over stoves, like the ones with the griddle in the middle. Oh yeah.
Me: It's too bad you're good at what you do. You missed your calling as a domestic goddess.
Devon: I'm more domestic than most men.
Me: Yeah. If you were a stay-at-home husband, I could spank you for getting the wrong coffee.
Devon: God, that ad is so weird. Who thinks it's OK to spank your wife for getting the wrong coffee? I mean, spanking isn't always bad.
Me: Yeah. It's all about context.
+++++
This shit's cool. Trust me:
In the end, it's always about vagin a
Edible spray paint
Stupid commie Muppets
I was in the holiday spirit and thinking on all the things I am grateful for, and I stumbled upon one old memory that made me grateful I'm not 20 years old anymore.
True story: I went to Great Adventure with my fiance, the man who would be my ex-husband. We left the water-park section and were getting changed when he realized his sneakers were gone. Stolen.
They were a new pair of sneakers that his parents had spent $150 on, given to him as a gift. A normal person would be pretty steamed. My ex decided the whole thing was my fault, since I must have left the locker open the last time I went in there. I argued that that seemed unlikely, since all our other stuff was still in there, including his wallet. No dice. He completely lost his shit in the middle of Great Adventure, screaming and ranting at me. The exact words are lost in time, but the general gist of it was that I was a worthless piece of shit and should be buried in sand up to my neck and eaten alive by fire ants while vultures pecked out my eyes. Or something like that.
Later, he would recall that he had left his sneakers on the bench next to the locker when he was putting his trunks on and didn't remember putting them back in the locker. Oops.
When we hit the parking lot, the hot sun had been beating on it all day, and he was barefoot, so I gave him my shoes, and I walked across the parking lot barefoot.
He was peeing his pants that his parents were going to be mad at him, so I bought him a new pair of sneakers just like the old ones. I had to buy them because we didn't have the cash, and his parents checked his credit card statements and would know he'd lost them. If I recall, he gave me the money back later, but still.
During another trip to an amusement park, I accidentally left a container of powder open in the bag with his wallet. This led to another screaming hissy about how baby powder is flammable. I told him that as long as he didn't set his wallet on fire, everything would be fine. I'm sure the people on line enjoyed that display. Amusement parks made him decidedly unamusing.
It's tempting to be all, "What an asshole." Because it's true. But I'm the asshole who married that asshole. After a long dating hiatus, I vowed not to spend a lot of time with assholes. This got me some shit from my sister, who, in a heated argument, accused me of thinking I'm too good for everyone because I never spent more than six months in a relationship, but it turns out that when you know what you're looking for, six months is more than enough time to tell whether someone's an asshole.
The point of all this is:
1) Holy shit, am I glad I'm not 20 anymore. I was a moron at 20.
2) If I gleaned any wisdom at all from this, it's that I don't believe most people who say, "I never saw it coming." Only the most accomplished and charismatic sociopath can trick people for very long. If you ended up with an asshole, it's because you stuck your fingers in your ears and sang pretty songs while they cursed at you in front of hundreds of people.
This shit's cool. Trust me:
Power cheese!
Getting a little girlie 
More girlie hair goodness
Devon and I were drifting off to the sounds of the forest at night thanks to the sound machine we bought way back when Fitz spent most of her waking hours licking herself. And by that I mean a peaceful forest at night, with crickets and a babbling brook, not horny chimps fighting over poontang.
Me : I like this one. It's nice. Relaxing.
Devon : It would be good for gaming.
Me : Yeah, for the forest scenes. Right before a kobold rapes your face.
Devon : <silence>
Me : You know how it is. You're just wandering thought the forest, all "la la la la," and then kobolds come out of nowhere and rape your face. It happens a lot.
Devon : I think you shouldn't talk anymore.
+++++++
This shit is cool. Trust me:
Nigella Lawson's amazing tits
This 26-pound party Gummy Bear is totally real
Food porn: Twix cheesecakes 
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Hungry now.
This magnet is available from Scarf it Down on Etsy. I linked to a shrimp scampi scarf from this shop a few days ago. I'm not sure I'm eccentric enough to walk around in that scarf, but this magnet is pretty cute.
Devon and I were watching "Bridesmaids," and it was so bad I had to walk away and listen from another room. As Devon noted, I have a problem with displaced embarrassment. I can't groove on movies where I'm expected to laugh at terrible things happening to people. That's why I'm the only person in America who hated "The Office."
My other objection was with Hollywood's hard-on for movies about lonely hot chicks who pine after dickholes. I didn't buy it on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," either, where I was expected to believe that Sarah Michelle Gellar couldn't get a date. Maybe that's true in TV high schools, where everyone is 24 years old and smoking hot, but in real life, kids look like this .
Dear movie chicks: You are hot. You have this problem only so average-looking and ugly women can relate. If you didn't bathe for a year and brushed your teeth with dog poo, you'd still have to beat them off with a cattle prod. And that would only make you hotter.
Devon said he knows a few hot women who have had this problem, but I questioned his judgment when he claimed that I look like Kristen Wiig in that scene where she's primping in her panties and bra. That's just crazy talk.
Not that I don't appreciate the flattery, but I'm all, "Dude, you don't have to bullshit me. I'm ALREADY having sex with you."
I was going to end this blog entry there, but then Devon came over, trying to be all sweet. It was like a movie scene. He leaned over me as I as sitting in my chair. I looked up and puckered my lips for smoochies, and he had a bronchitis-addled coughing fit right in my face.
A movie scene as written by Ben Stiller, I mean.
What bothers me the most is not that this guy is a douche rag. Lots of people, rich and poor, are douche rags. It's that I found a bunch of exceptional Americans in the 99 percent with some 5-minute Wikipedia-fu. It seems our educational system is failing the filthy rich.
Peter Cooper: An American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and candidate for President of the United States. He designed and built the first steam locomotive in the U.S., and founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan, New York City.
Aaron Copland: an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. He was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, and is often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers."
Gertrude B. Elion: An American biochemist and pharmacologist, and a 1988 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Working alone as well as with George H. Hitchings, Elion developed a multitude of new drugs, using innovative research methods that would later lead to the development of the AIDS drug AZT.
Millard Fillmore : Not remembered as our greatest president, but still a pretty impressive achievement.
John D. Rockefeller : Yeah, that guy. He wasn't always stupid rich.
And these are just a handful of 99 percenters from New York state alone. I didn't even mention any of the raft of actors, athletes, poets and other entertainers that have come out of New York's working, middle and upper-middle classes. Or the people doing awesome things who will never get Wikipedia articles about them.
Also, and this is a cheap shot, but dude, if you're that rich, you can afford a suit that fits properly. Damn.
I say "retard" a lot. It's not PC, and that's sad. Not sad to me, of course, but sad to people who wish I wouldn't say "retard."
It's the  euphemism treadmill   where words that had perfectly acceptable meanings become insults, to be replaced by more acceptable words that go on to become insults. Like, "I used to call those retards in the park morons, but I'm more sensitive now and call them 'imbeciles.'"
Idiot, imbecile and moron morphed into "mentally challenged," "special" and "exceptional," which are even now being tossed at that kid in the second grade who never remembers to wipe himself.
For physical disabilities, it was: lame, crippled, handicapped, disabled, physically challenged and now differently abled. "Handi-capable" is still bullshit and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
I expect this to go on forever. People will create new phrases and try kill the old ones by making everyone else feel like insensitive neanderthals. (I have no evidence that neanderthals were insensitive. I'm sure they volunteered at no-kill shelters and sent Christmas gifts to poor kids.)
In the interests of navigating a politically correct world, I agree to use whatever the currently acceptable word happens to be. All I ask in return is that once a word has fallen out of polite usage, it be released to the wilderness of impolite usage, where the rest of us can use it to insult the drooling retards in our lives.
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This shit's cool. Trust me:
Like a Snuggie, but for dorks
Punisher pie 
Why teens are awesome sometimes
If you're the kind of person who complains about shoving too much pumpkin pie into your pie hole, I respectfully beg you to knock it the fuck off. If there was ever a first-world problem, it's this one.
The Huffington Post ran the article " Thanksgiving Food Fears: How to Cope with Holiday Eating Stress ," which is just one of the many articles dedicated to the legions of people quaking in their jeans over the sight of cranberry sauce.
It's too late for this Thanksgiving, but I hope my tips for avoiding eating anxiety can help you not stress over meaningless bullshit during the next holiday you celebrate.
Just say no. Seriously, they won't strap you down and force-feed you more stuffing. If you have the kind of family who does this, my condolences over your traumatic childhood. It's completely reasonable for you to spend Thanksgiving alone with a bottle of bourbon and some video games.
Eat all you want and don't worry about it.  Even if you stuff your face like a whore at a blow job convention, a few days of overeating won't matter much. If you have a weight or binge-eating problem, by all means, do what you need to do to feel better, but double-fisting the cheesecake once a year isn't the reason your pants are tight. You're probably overeating the rest of the year, too, so it's silly to fret over one day. Also, you would have to eat an entire village of starving Ethiopians to gain an appreciable amount of weight over a few days. Don't eat any Ethiopians and you'll be fine.
That's all I've got. If you don't want to eat, don't. If you do want to eat, dive in. Thanksgiving is fucking delicious, and I regret nothing.
+++++++
This shit's cool. Trust me:
Unicorn chopsticks
Scarf good enough to eat
We used to make video games out of real-life fun, like 8-bit Nintendo's Rad Racer, which came with special glasses that let you re-create the experience of driving drunk .
Now we can make video games into real-life games, like this setup for Angry Birds that uses painted cans.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This is a list of shit I'm grateful for. I ended that sentence with a preposition because I'm out of control with holiday spirit.
This is not an exhaustive list. I'm grateful for lots of stuff. But TLDR is no way to kick off Thanksgiving.
Friends : They make life way more fun. And they buy me things like this.
It's a Star Trek phone that sat on my nightstand for a long, long time. A few friends bought this for me in high school, because they accept and nurture my geekiness. I love you guys so much, and I'm not even drunk. Much.
Family : Some family. Not all family. I would tell a few of them to kiss my ass, but I don't trust them to stand behind me. But of the family that doesn't suck, and you know who you are, I love you. You have convinced me that I should not move into in a cave with my cats and a case of Peak Organic.
Devon : Without him, I would have fewer fun things to blog about and fewer tasty omelets to eat. Considering the events of the last three years (many of which I can't blog about now because weasels will eat my toes), I would have also thrown myself in front of a lawnmower. He handles my blog abuse with good humor and sometimes suggests things to abuse him about, which makes me worry for his mental health. He also fits into categories #1 and #2, which is pretty sweet.
Roleplaying games: Gaming might have ensured my virginity for far too long, but as an adult, DnD and Pathfinder are reasons to drink excessively and hang out with awesome friends (see #1). It's also the only chance I have to be a badass half-orc fighter/cleric. It's hard to take yourself seriously when you're summoning a dire rat.
Cats : My cats complete me. Sahrah plays hackysack with my hair bands. Fatass punts Sahrah off the table with her paw. The both demand fuzzy love whenever they damn well please, and they hovered close when I was alone the night Dad died. Cats are so much better than iguanas.
The Internet : Without the Internet, I would have to talk to people face to face and shop in real stores. Many of these stores aren't close to me, which seems like a design flaw. Also, I wouldn't be able to write this blog. I don't know what I would do with all that time. Maybe count really high on my abacus, then shake it up and start over.
What are y'all grateful for?
This shit is cool. Trust me:
When parents learn to text
Cats and dogs, living together
My liberal bias is clear: Abortion laws
You'd think a DIY nerd like Devon would appreciate a woman's love of a good projectile-hurling death machine . With a laser sight. But noooooo.
Devon:  What the fuck does a wrist mounted crossbow need with a  LASER?
Me:  Why DOESN'T a wrist-mounted crossbow need a laser?
Devon:  It doesn't even hit where the laser is.
Me:  Who gives a shit? It's a WRIST-MOUNTED CROSSBOW. It doesn't need to take your crap.
Sigh. He just doesn't understand my needs.
+++++++
This shit is cool. Trust me:
Everything you want, you can get in pewter
Dream job for getting the hell away from your family
Read the comments
I'm ambivalent about the fact that geekiness has gone mainstream.
On one hand, people who like to pretend they're vampires and gnomes don't have to pay for sex anymore. Now we have hot chicks rolling a d6 and guys bragging about the Gandalf quarterstaff replica they scored at Ren Faire.
On the other hand, I want children to suffer as I suffered. Because I'm an asshole.
I was born in the wrong decade. When I was a kid, the rules for popularity were clear: You had to stuff your bra and wear tight clothes.** I chose to ignore these rules, but God, the text-adventure games I wrote were awesome.
I didn't even realize I needed a bra until I was 12 and a friend suggested I think long and hard about it. Probably because my brand new boobs, which showed up out of nowhere while I was eating Cheerios one morning, were distracting in those paper-thin white t-shirts they made us wear for gym. These shirts were like boob alarms for preteen girls.
You'd think that would have gotten me past the "wear tight clothes" rule, but in high school, I was convinced that wearing clothes three sizes too big made me look thinner. I also believed this haircut was a good idea at the time.
High school, 1992. I'm the goober on the right. No, I don't know what I was thinking.
I don't even know what constitutes a social misfit anymore. How weird do you have to be before the jocks stuff you into a locker? And what makes a kid weird? When geeks go mainstream, does it come down to a turf war between vampire LARPers and Civil War re-enactors?
** Stuffing your bra and wearing tight clothes is still a pretty solid path to popularity, from what I've heard.
I heard these words coming from the bathroom and thought Devon had found my cell phone battery next to a tampon again, but no. He found this lonely little M&M next to the light switch.
This is what happens when a dude buys $50 worth of M&M's , leaves them home for two days and expects me to exercise self control.
I considered leaving it there. You know, in case I get locked in the bathroom for days and run out of cat food. But in the end, that M&M never had a chance.
You heard me. I said WRIST-MOUNTED MOTHERFUCKING CROSSBOW. With awesomesauce.
This  makes me wanna roll a d8 for damage. Also, the graphic is really dirty if you look at it long enough.
Graphic from Instructables
Devon ordered some Pathfinder miniatures because he's a geek with a credit card, and this is what came in the mail.
Now look at the bottom. Go ahead. I'll wait.
I won't even start with the supposed necessity of labeling toys like this a choking hazard or the redundancy of pairing these labels. Fine. I give up. You win, minions of the obvious. There might be people who aren't aware that young children divide the world into shit they can fit into their mouths and shit they can't. If my sister's quaaludes had been labeled when I was 2, she might not have left them around for me to munch on. Who's to know, right?
What baffles me is the need to label this "14+." It's not like these are figurines of half-orcs giving blow jobs. I've seen more offensive minis in my Lucky Charms. If your children can't handle these minis at 13, 12, hell, even 7, you need to return them, because they're all broken.
I wore these shoes. For realz. I put them on my feet and walked out of my apartment, to the subway and through Manhattan.
I got about halfway to the subway before Devon was all, "You walk like a toddler on smack" and offered to let me use his arm to stay upright. Because despite the frequent blog abuse I inflict upon him, he loves me. He even worked hard to hail a cab at the end of the night so I wouldn't  have to walk back home. I abuse him enough that it's only fair to not abuse him sometimes.
The reason he had to work hard to hail a cab is because convincing Manhattan cabbies to go to Brooklyn is like convincing Lindsay Lohan to switch to O'Doul's, and the ones who refuse should rot in the hell of first-world problems. But I digress.
These turn me into a bobble-headed doll: Everything is fine as long as I stand perfectly still and don't move too far in any one direction.
For reference, you'll need to know the following:
1)  Rule 34 is the idea that if you can conceive of it, there's porn about it.
2) My Little Ponies are the best toy figures ever. Anyone who questions this truth is a stupid poopy head. Also, some people think they're hawt.
Proceed.
(12:16:14) Devon:  wow, rule 34 is just
(12:16:15) Devon : damn
(12:16:27) Monica : ?
(12:16:29) Devon : there's my little pony porn
(12:16:47) Monica : Wow
(12:16:48)  Devon : not only is there my little pony porn, it's a fucking genre
(12:16:53) Devon : called Clop Clop
(12:17:00) Monica : Hee
(12:17:18)  Devon : we're all going to hell
(12:17:25)  Devon : forever and ever
(12:19:36) Monica : And ever, Amen
(12:21:24)  Devon : indeed
(12:22:25) Monica : Wait: WHY ARE YOU WATCHING MY LITTLE PONY PORN AT WORK?!
(12:22:35)  Devon : heh
(12:22:39)  Devon : I'm not
(12:22:44) Monica : Are too.
(12:23:09)  Devon : so someone sent this out: http://ski.ihoc.net/
(12:23:25)  Devon : which is basically an open source version of an ms basic game from the dos days
(12:23:39)  Devon : which got replied to with this:  http://www.fanfiction.net/game/SkiFree/
(12:23:53)  Devon : so rule 34, there is even SkiFree porn
(12:24:12)  Devon : then one guy suggested that one look at the first suggestion in the dropdown on google
(12:24:20)  Devon : if you type "rule 34
(12:24:33)  Devon : 1) Rule 34 2) See what the first google auto-suggest for rule 34 is, and weep for mankind.
(12:25:01)  Devon : which got this response:
(12:25:04)  Devon :  http://www.reddit.com/r/clopclop
(12:25:13)  Devon : I leave the rest to you
(12:25:46) Monica : I think you like horsie porn.
Devon and I were in a cab with some friends on the way home from a wedding when the conversation turned to kids' shows.
Our friend mentioned she took her daughter to see something called " Freckleface Strawberry ," which is apparently about a girl whose raging insecurity leads her to believe her classmates hate her. After groveling for their acceptance in a vortex of codependent need, she snaps and kills them all with a chainsaw before settling down for some quality time with her XBOX and that kid from "Freckle Juice," who thinks she's pretty effing hot.
At least, that's how it would end if I wrote children's books. Which is why I've been chased out of all the best playgrounds.
UPDATE: The Facebook plugin is buggy as hell, so I killed it. I may resurrect it if the developers fix the part that makes it eat comments.
You might have noticed a few changes to this blog. Or maybe you've been huffing paint thinner and don't notice much. That's OK. I'm not judgmental, and I love you just the way you are. Even if you're retarded from huffing paint thinner.
I've added a button on the right side of the blog to make it easier to subscribe. I've also added the ability to post comments via your Facebook account.
So many of you post comments on my Facebook wall that I thought I would make it easier for you, because I'm sensitive like that. And because with most of the comments going to my Facebook wall, I look like that homeless chick out in the park talking to herself.
This kitchen rack  from Craft is suspended by two belts. It holds utensils by day and dispenses sweet justice by night, when your whiny ass is gonna get somethin' to cry about.
And I know what you were thinking, gutter brain. Sheesh. I can't even run a family blog around here.
Spanking not included
I lied. He's a total pervert.
We went out for dinner with our friends Amy and Ellen over the weekend, and Devon accidentally strolled into the women's bathroom.
It ain't no thang. I remember the time I accidentally walked into the men's bathroom, and I had to camp out in the stall while a seemingly endless stream of men used the urinal. Somehow, the fact that there was a urinal didn't strike me as odd when I walked in.
But anyway, I promised the old ladies he wasn't a pervert, which is where I lied. But it all ended happily and no one went to jail.
Later, we went to the M&M's store in Times Square, where Devon spent $50 on M&Ms because he missed the sign that said the candy was $12.99 a pound, and he filled that bag like a starving Somalian at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
What $50 in M&M's might look like
Then he felt bad, because no one wants to spend 50 bucks on M&M's, but it was too late to turn back, so I told him to just enjoy the chocolate and think fondly of that time he was a total sucker.
This one's mine. If you needs flowery shit, I gots flowery shit.
We were happy to have our friend Amy stay with us for the weekend, but Devon and I made a terrible mistake. We allowed Sahrah to sleep with us in the bedroom for two nights to keep her from bitching and moaning in the hallway, and now she's feeling a bit entitled.
She'd never been able to jump over the child gate we installed by the bedroom door until last night. She finally realized she could get over it if she jumped near the slightly lower edge. Her jumping over might not be so bad if she didn't do it with claws out, ninja-fucking my face on the way in.
We put up a strip of tape on the door and on the floor where she launches herself, and that seems to have solved the problem for now. But I had another idea.
Devon: What do you want for breakfast?
Me: We could eat Sahrah.
Devon: She'd be kind of stringy.
Me : But it would solve the problem.
Devon: That's a more permanent solution than I had in mind.
Me: But we'd be able to keep her with us. Forever.
Devon: You're really disturbing sometimes.
It's never too late to carve a pumpkin . Unless it's June. Then it's probably too late. Even cooler: Doing it underwater.
As Devon and I were getting ready for bed:
Devon: Losing all this weight means I can see my penis better.
Me: Ummthat's awesome! Go you!
See, I'm not the only one who says weird things. I try to be supportive, both of weight loss and of saying weird things.
Just in case I'm giving you the wrong impression, it's not like Jabba the Jones was drowning in his own blubber or anything. I don't notice a difference. But I suppose he's the expert on the subject.
The subject being his penis, in case that wasn't clear.
I'm taking a remedial math class from Knewton , the company Devon works for, because I suxor at the maths and this seemed like a good way to brush up.
I'm working on the graphing-numbers part of it now because I was an English major in college and haven't done graphing since I was a fetus. I have 10 little piggies, and I'm not afraid to use them. When shit gets real, I'll even take off my socks. Beyond that, I beseech the almighty Google for answers.
It's sad. When I have to multiply large numbers, I get distracted by shiny things and lose track of what I'm doing. I'm like Drew Barrymore in " 50 First Dates ," only she could focus on shit for an entire day.
Knewton tries to be tricky. One question asked: What is the opposite of the opposite of 7?
I totally know this. You're not gonna get me today, pigfucker! And by "pigfucker," I mean Devon.
Math brings out the animal in me.
This will be the first of a weekly feature called Craft Friday. Basically, I'll pimp a craft or food project I think is cool. And it will happen on a Friday. That's why I'm calling it Craft Friday. Seemed pretty clever to me. The only rule is that it makes me think, "That's bitchin'. I'm such a hack."
Today's craft is this crocheted brain hat from Flint Knits.   You can find the pattern in Crochet Today.   You can't get the pattern from the site, though. It's available only in hard copy.
This hat's making me kinda hungry.
Zombies get confused when they don't have to shatter your skull.
When I got my bitch ass in the kitchen and started making Devon breakfast sandwiches to take to work, it was to save some money and give him something to eat that wasn't made of cancer. Turns out quite a few people want sammiches that aren't made of cancer, and now I have a small side business on my hands.
Once a week, I'm selling sandwiches to Devon's co-workers: homemade English muffins and sausage, cheddar cheese and eggs. Sometimes things like this just come out of nowhere, and I'm having a pretty good time with it. There are lots of recipes on the Internet for English muffins, but I like the one I linked to here because you can do the mixing and rising part in the bread machine. I've also used buttermilk instead of regular milk with good results.
I saw this link over at Oh, Noa  and had to share.
WTF happened to Christina Aguilera? She looks like someone's divorced, middle-aged alcoholic mom stripping at amateur night to prove she's still got it.
I was floored when I found out she's 30 years old. I keep putting her in the Justin Bieber teeny bopper camp, and learning she's only three years younger than I am made me feel old.
Oh, who am I kidding? It made me feel pretty damn good about myself after seeing those pics.
Before anyone gets on my case, it's not just the weight gain. I've lost and gained the same 20 pounds twice in the last four years. But if you're going to dress like a dominatrix, you need to look like the kind of woman who would look sexy wielding a paddle, not Elvis circa 1977 .
She'd probably be pretty cute here if she brushed her hair, learned how to wear makeup appropriately and didn't dress like she was filming a 1980s skanky aerobics video with Jane Fonda.
God, I AM getting old.
I spent the morning downtown checking out Occupy Wall Street and taking photos. It was a cool fall day, and a lot of people were still sleeping in sleeping bags and under tents.
A lot has already been said about this, and I don't have any wisdom to offer. But it's pretty exciting to see so many people exercising their right to freedom of speech in such a big way, even if it's still a work in progress.
The complaints are mostly financial:
Some are about education, implicitly and explicitly:
Good sign. 
                            Bad sign.
Some people go for the long shot:
Some people relax:
Some people work:
And some go off the deep end:
I can't help but wonder how many will stick it out through the first frost.
I need your help again, guys.
Backstory: I was about 5 when my grandfather, my mother's stepfather, shuffled loose the mortal coil. As my mother and I were going through his house, I wanted something to remember him by, so I chose something I was certain no one else would want: a 1-foot-tall Tacky Plastic Jesus.
I don't use caps for shits and giggles, y'all. Tacky Plastic Jesus has taken on a proper-noun role in my life.
I'm not Catholic anymore. I'm not even sure I believe in God. Yet I can't get rid of him, because a sliver of my primitive lizard brain is certain God will smite me if I throw Tacky Plastic Jesus in the trash.
I'm screwed. I don't want him. Devon doesn't want him. I haven't actually asked, but a wife knows these things, as does anyone who has ever met him. I can't ask him or any of you to do the deed for me, because God might smite you instead, and then I'd have your blood on my hands, and your souls could burn in eternal damnation fires.
I'm taking suggestions. Best suggestion gets my everlasting gratitude or Tacky Plastic Jesus, if that's how you roll.
Holy shit, this makes me so angry I want to stab myself in the face.
Short version: The Topeka, Kansas city council is considering decriminalizing domestic battery to save money.
My brain just broke. Seriously, it cracked wide fucking open, and there is gray matter all over the goddamn floor. If I lived in Topeka, Devon could kick my ass for getting brains all over the hardwood, I guess. Fortunately, he's too tired to pound more than a beer when he gets home.
I'm so pissed that I made a new tag just for this: Things that make me want to stab myself in the face. I think I'll be using it a lot.
Topeka, if you're going to decriminalize something, make it pot-smoking. I bet you'd have a lot fewer domestic assaults to prosecute, too, if people could just smoke some weed every once in awhile.
Sahrah, the mad pisser
She's a pretty asshole, but still an asshole.
Devon had to chuck his old desk chair because he kept getting a pee bath every morning when he sat down on it. He used a wooden chair for a while with no issues, so he assumed the problem was solved.
You know what happens when you assume.
We can speculate on why she pees on the leather chairs but not the other ones, but cat logic is for cats, so I'll just say it's pissing us off. Ha! Pissing us off!
The string of profanity that emerged from Devon this morning was impressive and passionate. We have since covered the chair in bags in hopes of warding off the Pee-inator.
Asshole.
You may have noticed the thingies on the right side of this blog. I have an Etsy store full of crafty thingies you might like to exchange currency for.
OK, "full" is an overstatement. But I have several things on there and will post a few more over the next few days. I'll also be pimping myself here.
Hey, it beats showing up on your doorstep with magazine subscription forms. Don't think I haven't considered it.
Devon and I had the following conversation while he was reading an article in Wired about the top passwords used by Sony's PlayStation customers.
Devon: What's the most popular password?
Me: I guess 'Password.'
Devon: Close. That one is second.
Me: I don't know. Tell me.
Devon: The most popular password is 'Seinfeld.'
stunned silence.
Me: Seinfeld? That's so weird.
Devon: Yeah, especially since Sony's customers have to be pretty young, and Seinfeld hasn't been on TV in years.
Me: Maybe it's a different Seinfeld. Maybe there's a new teen celebrity out there named Seinfeld. Like maybe a rapper.
Devon: Really? A rapper named Seinfeld? Really?!
Me: Hey, I'm just sayin'.
It could happen.
My friend David stood behind his father's casket today, flanked by his mother and wife, and I listened to him talk about how his father would not be there to see him become a father himself. I was reminded that my own parents wouldn't be witness to that part of my life, either, should Devon and I have a child. Then I reminded myself not to be a dick. David's loss is something special unto itself, and this is not about me. But it's difficult not to see my own life reflected in the lives of my friends.
Sheldon lived across the street from my house while I was growing up. He was an older Dad, like mine. David and I would do the goofy crap kids do, like whoop and holler over video games, and he would look on, bemused, then turn back to the quiet predictability of his book or newspaper. He was also my dentist. He would shove dental equipment into my mouth, then ask me questions that required complete sentences to answer, like, "How do you feel about the philosophical differences between capitalism and socialism?" And I'd answer something like, "Garble garble rawr rawr rohk," because that's what political discourse sounds like when you have a mouth full of crap and are high on nitrous.
Also, he was pretty awesome the kind of quiet awesome that sometimes gets lost in the din of more flamboyant personalities but is sorely missed when it's gone.
P.S.  As far as I remember, he never asked me about socialism. But I was high as a kite, so I wouldn't remember. For all I know, he was asking me which Smurf I would doink in the back of a pickup truck if I had the chance.
P.S.S.: Papa Smurf. No question.
One of the plants I bought to hang from the ceiling in the bedroom is not doing so well. It's not much of a mystery why. I haven't watered it in weeks, and I never remember to lift the blinds so it can get some light. I'm surprised it didn't die a month ago.
Not looking so hot
Devon and I used to blame our plant-killing tendencies on not having enough free time. However, I don't have a job or kids or even a super-engrossing hobby, so I will never have more free time than I do right now. Every day I think, "I should water that plant." Then I go do something else, like think about hugging cats .
My confession: I don't give a crap about plants. There, I said it.
I feel like I should, and so does Devon. We think plants are attractive and admire our friends' gardens. Plants can add a lot to a home's decor. But I never seem to care enough to actually water the little fuckers before they keel over.
Devon is still in denial. He says plants are important and he wants them, but the plant currently on death watch has been dying a slow, horrible death right over his side of the bed for over a week and he just noticed last night, so I don't believe him.
On the bright side, the cactus is doing really well.
That seems to be the gist of the comments section for this article in HuffPo.
Summary: Undocumented women are being forced to give birth in handcuffs, their babies are taken away from them shortly after birth, the fathers are barred from being present and other asshattery.
The "logical" conclusion some of these people have come to is that if you're accused of a crime, there are no limits to what the police can do to you. Because these people are dickholes.
The problem for me is that I can't figure out what is the single biggest threat to national security. When I asked Devon whether it was anchor babies or homosexuality, he said, "That's an impossible question, because they're both the end of the world as we know it."
Dear Law Enforcement: If the chick you have in custody is flat on her back and has a 7-pound larva emerging from her hoo-ha, SHE ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE. Really, she's not. She just wants to get it the fuck out. Then she will want to engage in the unspeakable crime of holding, and maybe feeding, her baby. And allowing her husband or boyfriend to be there with her is unlikely to lead to a Mickey and Mallory -style escape from the maternity ward. Everyone will be too goddamn tired for such shenanigans.
Yeah, I know: These women were charged with crimes. Somehow, I doubt you would think this was cool if these people had, say, stolen mascara from MACY's, so just fess up and admit you're racist booger rags.
Even if you're hard-line on immigration because an illegal immigrant stole that lucrative fruit-picking job you were gunning for, there's good news: Human decency will not increase your taxes. We don't need to be assholes just because we can be.
Dad, left, Uncle Tommy, right
Uncle Tommy, one of my father's younger brothers, died Saturday, and the funeral was today. The funeral mass was supposed to be at 10 am. The hearse finally pulled up at 10:30, giving us just enough time to squeeze in a mass before the next mass. I just like typing that word. Mass mass mass mass.
As we waited for my uncle's body to arrive, an old man, probably my uncle's friend, leaned over to another old man and said, "I always told you Tommy would be late for his own funeral."
And he was. Awesome.
Cheers, Uncle Tommy. You picked the one party that couldn't start without you and rocked it.
We were coming home from Maker Faire  when I was planning my menu for the week out loud. I mentioned I was making baked acorn squash and hot dogs with homemade rolls. A death wish is my only explanation for why he pulled a face and complained about hot dogs being made of lips and assholes. I told him at least they were organic hot dogs, and he said, "Organic lips and assholes." The fact that there was also going to be baked squash and homemade bread seemed to elude him.
Devon's lucky I have a slow burn. Someone will say something, and then three days later I'll realize I'm angry, at which point it's pretty stupid to say, "Hey remember that thing you said three days ago? DIE!"
At any rate, lips and assholes are pretty tasty with salsa.
I'm an idiot because for 2-1/2 years, I couldn't watch TV by myself.
Not that I feared doing it: I'm an idiot, not a pussy.
I mean I literally COULD NOT DO IT. Devon's system was so complicated that I could never get it to work with any consistency. There were different settings for the TV, music, Netflix, Boxee, Wii and XBOX 360, and the audio and video did not work together. Even after sacrificing squirrels beneath the full moon, I usually ended up with mute episodes of NOVA.
Mute episodes of NOVA and blood. So much blood.
On the rare occasions I got it all to work together, I did a celebratory endzone dance, complete with pelvic thrusting. It made guests super uncomfortable.
Then I woke up one day and said to myself, "Self, it's bullshit that you can't watch TV by yourself. You should sit on Devon until he fixes this."
So I did, and he did. Convincing him to upgrade our electronics was not hard. In fact, I think he even drooled a bit and did other things he'd rather remain private, but it was hard to tell for sure over IM.
Fixing the thingy that makes the other thingy work required a $600 thingy from Amazon, but it was worth it.
Goddamn aliens, stealing Earthling jobs. If MyWayCup Coffee hadn't hired an alien to work for beans, a human could be standing on the corner of E. 23rd Street enticing you away from Starbucks.
So I was going to blog about the absolutely most disgusting, unromantic thing I have ever asked Devon to do for me, and then I reconsidered.
Like, I want to tell you guys about it, but Devon said, "That falls under the heading of 'too much information.'" He pointed out that nobody wants to know that about me, and he's right. If I tell you, I can't untell you, and then you'll know forever. And if I ever run for president, everyone will know, because you guys are assholes and would probably go on Fox News and tell everyone all about it, even if I deleted this blog post.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. You guys aren't assholes. I must be on the rag.
So I'm not going to tell you. It's better for everyone that way.
But it was amazing. I swear.
Devon just busted me licking sourdough starter off my finger.
He was all, "What the fuck?" And I was all, "Don't judge me! I'm not an animal!" We communicated this largely through eyebrow wiggles.
It reminded me a little of his reaction when I put mustard on my cinnamon toast.
Some people just don't know what tastes good.
This is the latest thing for babies who find staying vertical just a little too scary. Or their parents, I should say, because if your baby can't walk upright yet, she probably doesn't have the motor control to order this off the Internet.
Apparently, you need to make sure your baby never tries to walk except at carefully arranged times, or he might discover that gravity's a bitch.
Check out the description from Babyhaven.com :
"Research has shown that Thudguard is most beneficial when an infant is still less than sure footed and used a few times per day, in short intervals in a controlled and vigilant environment. These training milestones will help to safely aid in the development of your toddlers gross motor skills by protecting our precious loved ones little brains from everyday thuds and bumps.
After confidence has steadily been improved in small amounts when indoors, this unique head cushion can then be reduced to using outdoors and may help by offering extra head protection at play parks or any other, "less than child friendly surroundings".
Comfortable stretchy circumference band allows for growth and holes for ventilation.
½ inch thick impact tested protective foam to absorb the severity of bumps and thuds
Ultra lightweight materials avoid pressure on developing neck muscles.
Thudguard is medically endorsed and supported by experts
Promotes early helmet wearing habits"
The punctuation errors are not mine. Take it up with them.
And I'm not sure what the ears are about, except to make this helmet even more god-fucking-awful. Just one question: What happens when your kid gets his head stuck in the railing of your stairs and strangles himself on the neck band?
Not that I'm an alarmist or anything.
This woman is too awesome for my brain to cope with. My dog would have been bear food, because I would have run screaming like a girl.
Smokey the Bear would never pull that shit, by the way. Smokey has class.
Also, I wrote a lengthy entry about how Eric Cantor needs to DIAF before news broke that he recanted on his asinine plan to tie relief funding to budget cuts. I'm so glad he seems to have seen the error of his political ways (temporarily) that I'm not even going to give him too much shit for being a troll-faced weasel in the first place. It has to be humbling to wake up and realize you are a bigger dick than even the people who voted for you are willing to tolerate.
Cantor says they "found the money," which makes me wonder if he ransacked GE CEO Jeff Immelt's sock drawer.
At the same time, I hold my breath wondering how he is going to use funding the clean-up of Hurricane Irene to starve babies and push old people down stairs. Funny how disaster relief needs to be funded, but wars and tax cuts are like cookies from heaven a right-wing heaven that bakes only heterosexual, God-fearing cookies.
Hurricane Irene has come and gone, leaving the annual giant holes in our ceiling that we have come to expect this time of year. The one on the right is big enough for me to crawl through. We cut open the ceiling to keep it from collapsing like it almost did last year.
Living room ceiling
There are other leaks in the bathroom and second bedroom, and some condensation formed on the vents in the master bedroom. Not to mention the periodic downpour from the AC vent in the kitchen.
Buckets are useful things, and Devon and I set an alarm to take turns every hour emptying them and checking for damage. It was the only way we could get any sleep at all.
Still, no one was injured and the only personal property damage appears to be the living room rug, which is damp and caked with drywall.
I really wish they would just fix the hole properly instead of creating a flood path into our apartment.
Also, if you were trying to read this blog yesterday or the day before and had no luck, it had nothing to do with Irene and everything to do will not renewing the domain name. D'oh!
This made me want to reach out and give this dog a hug.
By Lisa Pembleton / Getty Images / links to TODAY
This reminded me of Dad. The one and only time he ever voted Democrat was for Kerry. He got tired of seeing pictures of dead soldiers in the newspaper. Possibly they reminded him of his friends and neighbors, or his own potential fate. He never explained that much, though. He just left tear stains on newspapers.
You like this. Admit it.
So I asked Devon, "Do we have a nitrous oxide charger?" There was a pause, and he said, "Err, no," like I was some kind of freak for even asking.
I guess he's the only one who can ask questions like that. I'd think buying those 8 pounds of lye a few years back would have raised more eyebrows.
For the fine, upstanding Homeland Security agents who may stumble across this blog, the lye was for making soap, and I bought it through a reputable chemical-supply company that no doubt kept all my credit card and contact info. I sometimes wonder why you forced me to buy enough lye to make me dangerous instead of the small container I used to buy at the hardware store, but I would never question the valiant people on the front lines of the war against oversized bottles of hand cream and knitting needles. I say all this in hopes that when I inevitably refuse to pass through your questionable X-ray scanner, you will not stick your latex-gloved hand so far up my cooch you can use me as a hand puppet. Thank you.
But back to nitrous oxide: About a week ago I posted on Facebook lamenting the lack of whiskey-based breakfast foods. Devon's friend was nice enough to post an Instructable for making bacon-flavored whiskey.
I told Devon it was Alan's idea, and to blame him. I've never met Alan in real life, but Devon seemed to find this explanation extremely plausible and nodded in understanding. Thanks, Alan.
In case you're wondering, nitrous oxide has legitimate uses, like for making whipped cream and re-creating the old-style dentist experience in the comfort of your own home.
TrES-2b, Illustration courtesy David A. Aguilar, CFA
Devon thinks the newly discovered gas-giant planet TrES-2b  could be legitimate evidence of alien life, for reasons that even sorta make sense when he explains it.
I THINK his explanation makes sense. All I know about Dyson Spheres I learned from that episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" where the Enterprise D crew saves Scotty from the transporter.
I really, really, really hope it's aliens. Of course, everyone feels that way until they start eating all your Reese's Pieces and slapping Brent Spiner around with their mighty tentacles of DOOM.
Brent Spiner in "Independence Day," shortly before aliens separate him from life
Rockin' Gen Con like Emi Shortfuse
It was during Gen Con , as my friend Donna and I were struggling to escape the cloud of three-day-old gamer funk we found ourselves trapped in, that I realized I am not the PC of my own life.
Donna and I struggled to find an escape route via the service/maintenance area. We laughed about how our quest was to escape the smelly, unshowered gamers clogging up the dungeon with their pirate and Slutty!Anime costumes. It was hard. Our aggro was high, and we kept pulling adds. Being on a PvP server didn't help.
We ran into a security dude who told us that if we kept going the way we were going, we'd end up on the roof. He escorted us to an area where we could bypass the stench of fermented sweat and escape to the bar for beer and cheese.
That was when we realized this wasn't our quest. It was security dude's escort quest, and we were NPCs.
Goddamnit.
We didn't even give him a sweet magical necklace when we were done. We were like those asshole quest-givers who make you walk all the way across Azeroth for 10 silver.
I think I just choked to death on my own geekery.
Today marks two years Mom is gone, and yesterday my friend Saul and I went to the grave site for our second annual trip. It was also the first time I'd been to the grave since we buried Dad in January. We sipped wine under a tree near the stone while we made up elaborate and possibly insane stories about the lives and deaths of the people around them. Poor Anna really shouldn't have been playing with that wood chipper.
I cranked up the iPod and set it on the grave so Dad could listen to some Sinatra. I hope mom shut up long enough for him to listen. When I picked up the iPod again, "My Way" was playing. It was the song Dad would sing at the top of his lungs at parties, the last song on the playlist, and the one that makes me cry if I've had a couple of glasses of wine.
In front of the stone, right over the grave, five tiny sunflower plants grew up from the dirt: three facing down toward the dirt and two looking up at the sun. When I was 8, I planted a sunflower plant in the front yard that became a towering monstrosity. It was awesome the one and only plant that has thrived under my care. When I played outside, I would stop and eat some seeds. Mom tore it out because it was close to the car and looked like someone lurking in the dark.
It's easy to see why people attach spiritual meaning to mundane things, but I like to think the sunflowers were for me. Apology accepted, Mom.
Then we celebrated Devon's birthday at Toby's Public House . He was 36 yesterday. Give him a hard time if you see him.
In my continuing efforts   to bend milk to my will, I made buttermilk over the weekend using bacteria from Cultures for Health .
Cultured buttermilk is about cultivating bacteria. You'll need to make a fresh batch every week with some of the old batch, though. You can find the directions on Cultures for Health's website, or probably at any number of stores, but that's the one I used.
I like this solution because I end up wasting a ton of buttermilk. I need it rarely, and the stores around here sell it only in huge cartons. If you're not into making buttermilk but have the same problem, I found the powdered buttermilk works pretty well, too, and it lasts forever.
The instructions don't explain that the buttermilk may take longer than the recommended 12-18 hours to set. Mine took about 25 hours, so hang in there.
Note for bacteria geeks: There seems to be some debate about Streptococcus lactis's name. I'm going with the name Cultures for Health used.
So it occurs to me that some of you may be getting the wrong idea.
You see, every time a person or critter I love dies, I write a nice blog entry, saying lots of nice things, like what an awesome mother/father/grandparent/dog he or she was. You might have gotten the impression that it's OK to die, since I will say nice things about you.
Uh-uh. No way. Forget that crap.
I will trash talk you to all your friends. I will say shit about you on Facebook. I will tell your mom where you hid your porn stash.
I know what you're thinking: "I don't have a porn stash." I'm also gonna tell your mom what a goddamn filthy liar you are. If you truly do not have a porn stash, I will put one in your bathroom, right next to a box of tissues and some hand cream. If you do not have a mom, through illness, accident or asexual reproduction, I will create CafePress t-shirts with your naked baby pictures and sell them until the police confiscate my computer.
I hope I'm making myself clear: Don't die. The consequences won't be good for you.
In my ongoing effort to make an income yet never have to commute again, I have opened a CafePress store. Not much on it yet, but you can find things like beer glasses and t-shirts with these two images so far.
The second was inspired by my friend Saul, who really isn't a sociopath. He's just a dick. If you want either of these images on a product that isn't in the store, let me know and I'll make one. Visit the store at Dark Portal Crafts , or click the link at the top right side of this blog.
Another friend (who isn't a dick) is working on a graphic that I hope to turn into some crafts and t-shirts and such. Stay tuned! Or go have a snack. I won't mind either way. I'm pretty chill.
Mom holding Fitz
Forgive the potential incoherence of this post. Devon and I are sitting here drinking whiskey and talking about Fitz.
Fitz was not a smart dog. Nor was she a strong dog. But she was all heart and made of 100% awesome. If you wanted a dog to snuggle your side, Fitz was your dog.
Catching the death is not cool, Fitz. Not cool at all. We've ordered the cats not to die, and Devon has asked me not to die, and I said OK. I mean, anything to make him happy, right? Devon won't make such promises because he's a jerk.
Fitz was 12 years old three years shy of the average lifespan for min-pins, so we lost her too young. We're still waiting for the dog autopsy to come back, since it happened so fast the vets were never able to figure out what was wrong with her.
I like to think we gave Fitz a good life. Devon rescued her from the road, where she was tossed out of a moving car, and gave her lots of love and food and even tried to take the fall when she peed the bed. I took her to get her nails trimmed and made sure she was stylin' in her badass dog hoodies.
Here's to you, Fitz. You were awesome and I love you.
It started with Fitz throwing up in the car on the way to a picnic Saturday. She wouldn't eat that morning, she had diahrrhea, and she spent the rest of the day listless, lounging on a chair.
On the way home from the picnic, we accidentally off-roaded the Prius a bit. The blacktop was a little higher than the edge of the road, and when we pulled it back, we blew both tires on the passenger side. Two busted tires 1 spare = one busted tire and 70 miles to go.
After several hours at a gas station in Milford, N.J., we finally got a AAA tow back to Brooklyn: 70 miles at $4 a mile. I also need to thank a guy named Steve Hill, who stopped and offered us his spare, but it didn't fit. It was pretty darn nice of him to go through so much trouble anyway.
Yesterday, we took Fitz to the pet ER because she still wasn't eating or drinking, and she was on the couch all day, extremely listless. That's where she is now. Her temperature rose to 104 F, then dropped to 94 F. Her blood pressure and blood sugar are low, and she seems to be in some pain in her abdominal area. The doc is running more tests to find out what's wrong with her. It could be a really bad stomach ache, or pancreatitis. Or she could have a uterus infection that's making her septic.
I hope not. Fitz is a good dog. A crazy dog, but a good dog.
Also, we're looking at about a $3000 vet bill, on top of the $1000 we spent on her mouth and the roughly $700 I expect to spend on the car situation.
Ouch.
From left to right: Dad, scrapbooking flower, me and Devon in Rome
My camera phone takes fuzzy pics, but I'm pretty happy with how these pendants turned out. The kit came from Little Windows , which has some fun projects on their website, although if I make more, I'm pretty sure I can get the individual supplies cheaper elsewhere.
Because then I wouldn't gain 3 pounds just looking at a cookie, which is apparently what happened during our recent trip to Colorado. I'm sure shoving that cookie and his two best friends into my gaping cookie hole and washing them down with beer and Bailey's (not at the same time) had something to do with it, too, but let's not discuss that.
If I had a penis, I could be like Devon, who paid very little attention to what he ate and drank for two and a half weeks and didn't gain a pound.
But then I think about all the reasons having a penis sucks. Like, if I were one of those guys on the subway, I'd have to sit with one knee in Seattle and the other knee in Istanbul just to be comfortable. (Note to those guys: If you're average weight and taking up twice the space of the morbidly obese woman next to you, you need to close your legs. No one is that big: no one.)
Guys who are not that big
And then there's the fact that if I had a penis, Devon would probably be irritated with me.
I guess this is the best of all possible worlds.
P.S. To all the web surfers who Googled "penis" and "dirty hooker," my apologies for wasting your time.
This project comes from World of Geekcraft: Step-by-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects by Susan Beal. The magnets are inspired by comic books and will kick your fridge's ass.
Devon's reaction to this poster, which adorns the wall of Denver International Airport on the way to Baggage Claim 3:
"Mmmmrock-climbing."
Oddly enough, I believe he barely noticed the chick with her legs wide open. The boy loves his rocks.
I don't need to go to the gym on days I take Fitz to get her nails trimmed, because she gives me all the workout I need.
You see, Fitz is a jerk.
For the whole 13 blocks between my apartment and the groomer's, she does her best to stop at every tree, pole and patch of weeds to sniff and maybe leave her mark. I say maybe because she doesn't always pee. Mostly she's shooting blanks.
Then she tries to turn herself into puppy chow by taking on every dog and pigeon she sees, like they are offending her oversized min-pin pride by existing. She's a pretty tough dog on a leash.
Every once in awhile, she decides she doesn't want to walk anymore, and I have to drag her or carry her. Sometimes she does this in the middle of the street, when I'm walking against the light, like she's some kind of jaywalking narc.
Rinse, wash, repeat for the walk back.
Like I said, Fitz is a jerk.
But her nails are trimmed now and she is still alive. And I bought her the good dog food, with the real meat. I really shouldn't be rewarding this behavior.
Unemployment + trying to save money = homemade lunch for me and Devon.
I've been getting lots of use out of our slow cooker, although the cats keep whining about how hot it is in there.
I kid! I promise!
This recipe is from " More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: 200 Brand-New, Budget-Friendly, Slow-Cooker Recipes" by Stephanie O'Dea. All of the recipes in this book are gluten free and stupid easy.
Crab and Corn Soup
1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion or 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 (32-ounce) package frozen corn
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (6-ounce) can lump crabmeat, drained
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream, to add later
1 avocado, sliced, to add later
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour the broth into the slow cooker, and add the butter and onion. Stir in the frozen corn, garlic, salt, cayenne, and crabmeat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, high for 4 hours, or until the onion is cooked through and translucent. If you'd like a thicker broth, pulse a few times with a handheld stick blender, or scoop out a cup of soup and blend in a traditional blender, then stir it back in. Add the hald-and-half or cream before serving, and ladle into bowls with avocado slices.
Dear Pinchy the Cactus:
You are my last best hope at a "garden." I am sorry you are stuck in my care, but life's like that sometimes. I have killed every other plant I have attempted to grow in this apartment, which does not bode well for you, but I believe in you.
You are strong. You are brave. You were $4 at the hardware store.
Love,
The Plant Murderer Who is Probably Going to Overwater You
OK, that's not entirely true. I've got my severance package until October. But not having a job to go to is weird. I imagine this is what retirement is like minus the Social Security checks.
Among other things, I cleaned the bedroom windows, which had not been cleaned since they were installed, about two years ago. This is partly because I am a lazy slob, and partly because cleaning these windows requires a DC 30 Acrobatics check or instant death.
Window ledge, three floors up
The windows don't open enough to reach through from the inside. This is because the people who designed our building are assholes and want me dead. Cleaning windows is the No. 1 cause of falling to your death, which is a stat I just pulled out of my ass, but it's totally true. Cleaning windows and gravity. Gravity is also an asshole and wants me dead.
Devon said: "Don't die cleaning the house. Another thing: Don't die cleaning the windows."
I'm pretty sure he just told me to stop cleaning. Who am I to argue?
Research suggests that old people are happier than young people, for reasons nobody's entirely sure of. With this in mind, I'm going to start taking cues from my Dad's life. After all, the dude had arthritis, a colostomy bag, a permanent catheter, a pacemaker, two dead wives and a debilitating degenerative disease, and he was one of the happiest guys I know, which makes me feel like an asshole when I stress about probate.
I think the degenerative disease is the answer. Life is awesome when you can't remember shit. Which is why I'm going to start banging my head against a toaster and hope for the best.
Who are you people?
Happy anniversary to us!
Happy anniversary to us!
Happy anniversary to uuuuuuuus.
Happy anniversary to us.
A year ago, Devon and I stood on a beach on Maui and exchanged rings. It has been a wild year, as it always is.
I warned him I was batshit crazy. He didn't listen. And now he can't get rid of me.
Sucker.
OK, y'all, I need your help again. Devon and I are doing a little redecorating, and we replaced the couch with a futon that takes up less space and can be cleaned more easily, thus reducing the odds that the cats' dander will form its own militia and take out Devon's respiratory system.
This is good, right?
We are also talking about getting rid of the big, worn chair that went with the couch. We could replace it with another chair,  but the truth is, none of you visits us anyway, and we have seriously limited floor space. So a second option is just leaving some empty space.
I know. Empty space in OUR apartment. Call me a motherfuckin' dreamer.
Option #3: KITTY DISCO, BABY!
This is so awesome I can't even stand it. Sadly, Devon feels the same way. I don't know why he doesn't love our cats enough to get this for them. It will keep our cats fit and trim, and it's an amazing work of art all on its own. I know I want this to be the first thing I see when I walk through the door.
Devon is clearly no fun at all. Try and convince him otherwise, OK?
P.S. If you're having a seizure and decide to buy this for yourself, clicking on the link there gets me a small percentage.
Knitting is serious bizness.
You know what my pet peeve of the day is?
People who claim the subway pole in the name of Spain.
If you've ever ridden the NYC subway, you know what I mean. There are poles near the doors to help people who are too far away from seats and doors to remain upright. Pole hoggers are people who damn near wrap their bodies around the pole, often sleeping against it, so no one else can use it.
The result is that the only hand-space available is really high up where only tall people can reach it (i.e., not me) or really down low where only Smurfs can reach it (i.e., also not me). So this morning, while little miss sleepy pants took her nap, Devon held the pole while I clung to the front of his jacket like a galley cook clinging to a life raft off the side of the Titanic.
My other option would have been to hold on to her saggy boobs like doorknobs.
Here are some visual aids.
What a pole hogger might look like (not from this morning)
What an elite level 24 Hogger might look like (also not from this morning)
Devon asked the other day, "What smells like cooch?"
I figured it was me, since I DID need a shower. But even after I showered, the smell lingered. It didn't follow me, though. It hides under my desk like a stealth cooch.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Fitz also spends a lot of time under my desk. I got her bathed, and the smell remains. I was brave enough to risk a quick sniff of her dog bed. Not Fitz.
If anyone knows what's up with the dirty ninja snatch hiding under my desk, please let me know. I've accounted for two actual cooches under that desk, and so far, no dice.
The Most Inexplicably Angry Comment Award goes to Dustin, for his passionate defense of Worgen Death Knights. It makes me proud to see young people passionate about things in this day and age. You know he really cares because of all the exclamation marks. Nothing says "I feel deeply, damnit!" like excessive punctuation.
Dustin, was your mama a Worgen Death Knight? If so, you have my sincerest apologies for the slight to your family honor. At any rate, thanks for the comment. It made the last 10 seconds really special for me. I think we truly connected here.
Fitz is Dogpark Security
You see this dog?
This dog used to smell like sweaty hobo ass. As part of my 33rd birthday gift to myself, I took her to a doggie spa, where she got a thorough de-assification, teeth cleaning and nail trimming.
She's a much better dog now.
Devon got me, among other things, an orthopedic pillow. It's amazing and awesome and you can't have it no matter how much you threaten me.
My friend's 7-year-old daughter gave me a Barbie doll, which is kind of sad and amazing. Sad because I don't have any other Barbies, so she's a little lonely sitting in that box, and amazing because I got a fucking Barbie doll for my 33rd birthday.Eat it, all you losers who didn't get Barbie dolls for your 33rd birthdays.
Again, you can't have it no matter how much you threaten me.
In other news, I will be laid off as of June 1. I'm going to miss being gainfully employed, but this job kind of sucks anyway.
Devon and I were watching the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot movie yesterday (not for the first time), and I need to say it: God, that movie is fun.
Of course, it's also a competition between Kirk and Spock for the Biggest Douchebag in the Universe Award. The original-recipe Kirk had that award on lockdown, but it's nice to see the Vulcans tossing up a strong contender.
Captain James T. Kirk
On Kirk's resume:
1.    Wrecking a classic car (not his own) at the age of 10 running from the po-po, nearly getting himself killed in the process.
2.    Having peen-size contests with everyone on the bridge. I don't know why anyone was even listening to this jerk, considering a few minutes ago he was a cadet on academic probation, let alone having lengthy arguments with him. How the Federation has not been bent over a keg by the Klingons is beyond me.
Spock
Then there's Spock:
1.    Taunting Kirk with his father's death during an academic-probation meeting. Cold, dude.
2.    And the big one: Responding to Kirk's insubordination not by confining him to the brig, like a fucking normal person, but by marooning his ass on an ice planet populated with rabid dinosaurs. To be fair, Spock had had a pretty terrible day up to that point. Genocide is one thing, but watching Winona Ryder die would be traumatic for anyone. "Beetle Juice" was da bomb, kids. On the other hand, don't fuck with Spock. Ever.
And yet these guys are considered among the best officers in the fleet. So maybe the award really needs to go to Starfleet itself.
Starfleet
Consider this:
1.    To address academic issues, they make cadets and instructors plead their case in front of the whole goddamn academy like it was some kind of war-crimes tribunal.
2.    They employ a guy like Christopher Pike, who left the Enterprise in the hands of a loose-cannon cadet and a Vulcan riding the edge of a psychotic break.
3.    They promoted Kirk to captain after a single mission, without even making him finish his training. I don't care how much of a badass he is: That's just retarded.
So congratulations, Starfleet: You are the biggest douchebag in the universe.
Been thinking about Dad a lot these past few weeks, which is probably not surprising. Over the last year and a half, since Mom died, I focused on his many illnesses and what he needed. Now that he's gone, I can see his life in its entirety, or at least as much of it as I was lucky enough to know.
When I was a kid, we went grocery shopping together. He liked to flirt with the 20-year-old cashiers. He also let me ride on the edge of the cart until I got too heavy. That was a sad day, when I nearly toppled the cart and realized I was too big for that stuff.
He gave me horsie rides on his knee until I got too heavy for him to lift. I'm pretty sure the arthritis in that knee was my fault. Sorry, Dad.
He drove me to school every morning and made my lunch every day. Usually peanut butter and jelly.
When we went to church together, he would let me put the tithe in the basket and light the candle. There were few things more exciting than lighting the church candle.
Now, Devon and I look toward the future. There are many decisions to make. We're happy, and, unless one of us gets hit by a pie truck, I know we'll have many more happy years. I just wish Mom and Dad could be here to see it, and to be part of it.
When I tell people about Dad, most often the response is, "Well, he lived a long life." That's true. But mortality sucks at any age.
We buried Dad today.
It was a Catholic funeral, but I haven't been practicing in quite some time. What got me was the military honors. We had them in the chapel, since the ground was soggy from the snow and it was bitterly cold. I was presented with the flag that had draped his coffin. As I watched the men in uniform salute his coffin and fold the flag carefully, I thought about how right it was that people recognized the life of service he led.
My sister's boyfriend said of my Dad: "John Patitucci took care of his shit." And he did. He served his country when asked and took care of his family at all times. He knew what his duty was, and he did it, with no bitching. At the end of his life, he was an echo of himself, but remnants remained. He was honest and generous, and he loved with all his heart.
He's in the same plot as Mom and Mom's first husband now, and the flag that draped his coffin will remind me of his life more than the pretty prayers and words ever could.
Thank you for everything, Dad.
But casket shopping is some freaky shit, y'all. I know they're just boxes for storing dead people, and there are no dead people in them in the showroom, but there's something not right about touring a room full of them like a contestant on old-school Wheel of Fortune. And now I wonder how it would impact sales if they rented dead people for the showroom. I am going to hell.
Also, charging people $7,o0o for a casket is obscene. We did not pay that. I am not crazy enough to buy a high-end dead-person container, but I can see how grieving people might be manipulated into doing that.
Headed back to the funeral home today to bring clothes and paperwork. Dad's getting an honor guard at the burial, which would have pleased the hell out of him.
My Dad, John, U.S. Army, 1942-ish
My Dad loved Frank Sinatra. Sometimes he would hole himself up in the room downstairs listening to his music and cry. I pretended not to notice he was crying. It would have  just embarrassed him.
Dad passed away at 5:10 a.m. His body just couldn't handle the surgery and all the trauma of the past year, and he finally let go.
The last year was hard for him for all of us but I don't want all the suffering to define my memories of him, so I'm trying to focus on the years before that.
When I was 18 and dyed my hair black, my mother had a fit. But before that, I just walked out of the bathroom with my Cher-Little Orphan Annie hybrid, and he looked at me and said, "Your mother is going to kill you," as though he were telling me the baseball score. There wasn't a whole lot he needed from me. As long as I was happy and not in prison or the hospital, he was happy.
Dad enjoyed life fully. His memories of the war, at least the ones he shared with us, were mostly of nurses and food. He loved my mother the way all of us should love and be loved. At parties, he danced until he couldn't dance any more. I danced every first dance of the evening with him.
Dad didn't spend a lot of time brooding. When his first wife died, he mourned intensely and remarried quickly. Life was too short to spend it alone. When he was 60 and his new wife wanted to adopt a child, he was on board, and he threw his heart into it.
The last time I saw him conscious was Christmas Eve. I put him to bed and told him I loved him, and he told me he loved me. Our relationship was simple.
It's finally over, Dad. I miss you. The only thing you ever wanted this past year was to know where Mom was, and now you do.
Devon's grandmother passed away today after a long struggle with breast cancer. I knew her just under three years, but she made an impression. For our wedding party in her garden, she wore a floor-length ballgown with a matching wrap that suited her Southern-belle style perfectly. She was so sick even then, but she played the lady with all her soul. She welcomed me into her family with open arms, and for that I am grateful.
We'll miss you, Marion. Thank you for touching our lives.
Also, Dad had another surgery yesterday to clear an intestinal blockage. The surgery went well (in other words, he survived it, and it accomplished what we hoped), but his kidneys took a  beating, and he tested positive for MRSA , which could complicate matters. He's still heavily sedated, so the conversation was pretty one-sided, but the trip to Scranton was worth it to see him. Also, if I never see another DNR, I'll be happy. But Dad's tough. We've counted him out before.
Dad's been talking to dead people lately. My sister tells me that in his bedroom at night he calls the names of my mother and his dead siblings, then he laughs. Brain damage is the easiest (and most likely accurate) explanation, but I like to think they are surrounding him and giving him the kind of support we can't.
Allowing myself tiny fantasies makes things easier sometimes.
If you don't play World of Warcraft, this post will make less sense than usual. Here, go watch this video about rainbows .
For those of you who remain, I have a question: WTF is up with Worgen Death Knights ? Seriously, Blizzard, I hate you. I have this nightmare of Worgen and Undead Death Knights sitting in a bar, crying emo tears over who has had a more traumatic unlife. The Worgen orders a Sex on the Beach and the Undead orders a Cosmo, because that's how they roll.
Worgen: I was defending my homeland against vile creatures like youI mean mewhatever, when something bit me. A few days later I'm a rabid poodle, cast off from my kind. Then I met a Timelord and was transported back in time, where I shacked up with the Lich King. Don't ask. This shit makes no sense.
Undead: I was plowing the fields when all of a sudden I woke up deadundead, a mindless zombie. It was all "braaaaains this" and "braaaaaains that" for a while before Sylvanus rocked my world. Then Arthas stuck his tongue down my throat and seduced me to the even darker side. Go ahead, drink my tears.
Then a Gnome Death Knight saddles up to the bar and orders a Guinness (because she's stout, get it?). She's all, "Quit yer bitchin'. Gnomes got tired of getting spanked and decided to take their shit back. Weenies."
In my nightmare, she pounds the beer hard and waddles away to the sound of banjo music.
A few weeks ago, when I was feeling sentimental about Christmas and Dad being sick, Devon cheered me up by picking up the world's greatest comfort food: Wonder Bread and Kraft singles slices, for "white trash" grilled cheese sandwiches. I know it was hard for him to spend money on these things, because he doesn't consider either "real food."
This morning, on the way to work, he asked, "What is Wonder Bread made of, anyway?"
It's made of fucking wonder, that's what.
I don't care what anyone says. More for me.
I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas, if you celebrate. If not, I hope you had a bitchin' generic Dec. 25.
Devon and I visited Dad and my sister on Christmas Eve, then spent Dec. 25 with friends playing World of Warcraft's new expansion a gift to each other and watching movies and drinking hot buttered rum . You need to try this recipe. It was enough for 12 servings basically, enough for Devon.
Hot-buttered rum, how I love thee. Thou art creamy and spicy and you make me teh drunk.
Did I mention the phat loot I got? I've been trying to figure out a way to say "Devon gave me a pearl necklace" without you guys going all pervy, but why mess with a sure thing? And I got some chocolate and bread proofing baskets and a digital picture frame to house all the old family photos I have been organizing this year. I've already made a loaf of whole wheat bread with the baskets, and I love them.
I gave Devon a pickle crock, among other things. Shut up, jerk. He wanted it.
It was a perfect low-stress Christmas Day to be followed by another day off thanks to the blizzard, which shut down my office. Thanks to the fact that I am far more productive at home than I am at work, I finished my work by 1 pm, played some WoW, baked some bread and cleaned the hell out of the kitchen.
Our kitchen hasn't been this clean since we moved in. We do much cooking and little cleaning. Come see it while it lasts.
On the subway platform this morning:
Devon: There's "tailor" and "seamstress," but what's the female word for baker?
Me: I don't know.
Devon: Yeastress?
Me: Nobody wants to be the yeastress.
This is the sort of IM convo that happens when I'm being emo.
me:  Kick me in the nuts.
Devon:    you don't have nutz
at least not last time I looked
if you have grown them since
well
then that will be an interesting conversation
me:  What do you mean I don'tOH MY FUCKING GOD, MY NUTS ARE GONE!!
Devon: heh
This was inspired by the fact that I seem to have some weird pre-middle-age ennui.
I want to do stuff, just not enough to actually do stuff. Like, I want a better career, but I don't know what that is. I want to live in a house, but living in an apartment is fine, too. Living in Colorado would be sweet, but packing is hard. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi seem equally (un)appealing, so I'll take whatever's within arm's reach. That sort of thing.
Which is why I asked Devon to kick me in the nuts. But now it seems even my nuts are gone. Oh, woe.
Because plants survive even in death camps, but not in my apartment.
Remember those self-watering planters Devon made awhile back? Well, the thyme started to die almost immediately. The basil lasted a little longer until we went to Colorado and forgot to refill the reservoir.
Seriously, dudes, all I have to do is remember to fill this tiny container with water every couple of weeks. I suck so hard. But at least the pasta sauce had some extra kick that night. That's what happens if you have the nerve to die in my apartment: I'll eat you.
The only reason we've been able to keep the pets alive is because, when the food or water bowl is empty, they have the decency to let us know. Fitz flips her bowl over in a snit, and the cats stare at the bowl equal parts mournful and peeved, like, "Bitch, please, I can't believe I even let you live here."
If only the plants could speak. But that might be worse if they tried to avenge their fallen brothers.
We've decided to stop trying to care for plants. It's too fraught with peril. Plants everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.
I was careening through some Wikipedia randomness when I stumbled across this picture of our first president and first all-around smoking-hot badass. It's a forensic re-creation of Washington at 19 years old. I don't normally like 'em that young, but rowwwwr.
Thank God the NYPD is protecting us from those vile chess players of the world. Chess is a gateway game, you know. Next, they'll be playing Twister, then who knows what. I know I feel safer.
I was flipping through Amazon's recommendations, as I sometimes do, and right between " The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream that Tastes Better than the 'Real' Thing " and " Fallout: New Vegas " was the Fisher-Price Corn Popper Push Toy .
Those pushy motherfuckers at Amazon aren't being subtle at all.
Besides the fact that Devon would look pretty stupid pushing this around the living room, this is definitely the kind of toy I would "accidentally" break on any hypothetical child I had. Lots of tiny plastic balls making lots of noise. Hell to the no.
and bought a hair dryer. I managed to get through three decades without one of my own, and my new hairstylist convinced me it was time.
This came on the heels of me dying my hair red and whacking off about four inches of hair that the dude called "frazzle city." He claimed to be "heartbroken" that I do not use leave-in conditioner.
Every once in awhile I worry that someone is going to revoke my girl card. Like, they're going to discover that I never learned how to style my hair like a supermodel or accentuate my eyes with just the right shade of eyeshadow. Sometimes I wonder whether I should have spent my adolescence learning girlie things instead of playing video games and reading age-inappropriate books. Then I remember how awesome I was at Super Mario Bros., and the feeling passes.
I am slowly accepting that my hair has changed. It's darker than the almost platinum blonde I sported as a kid. It's also finer, and there are some grays that I borrowed from a friend and plan to give back as soon as that jerk comes to pick them up. Seriously, guys, these aren't mine.
The rest of this post, which I considered making a post of its own, is about how I turned my apartment into the site of a porn flick for three quarters of a second.
So I sit here with my newly phenomenal red hair, in a black micro nightie that I sometimes wear to bed, reminding myself that I need to look through the peephole before opening the door, just in case it's the Fresh Direct guy delivering my groceries and not Devon too lazy to get his keys out. Also, Fitz would do well not to dart through the door, as she discovered that being slammed between the door and the doorjamb when I suddenly fling that bitch shut is totally not cool.
We both learned a little something today.
Devon came home after a week in Colorado helping his grandmother, and the first thing he did after saying hello was tidy up the grocery bags I had left near the door. Then he washed the dishes in the sink, cleared the fur and dustbunnies from under the entertainment system, organized some video games and cleaned the counter.
WHO IS THIS GUY AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH MY HUSBAND?!
I know what the "problem" is: His grandmother is a neat freak, and our place looks like a rat ghetto in comparison.
In other news, I went to a friend's wedding this weekend. David and Christine had a beautiful ceremony and reception. He proposed on the ice-skating rink in Central Park, and the proposal was aired on CNN , where they both work.
It was romantic and perfect.
It made me think about how Devon proposed. We had talked about getting married before the actual proposal, and I think he was looking for the perfect moment. Mom was really sick at that point, and it was important to me that she at least know we were getting married, even if she couldn't be there. We woke up one morning, and, with wrinkled pajamas and crud in our eyes, he asked me to marry him.
It was also romantic and perfect.
We marked our 6-month-aversary while he was in Colorado. I'd say something like, "How time flies," but after 6 months, I'd sound like a big dick, so I'll just say, "Six months! Woot!"
I took the first part of a three-part sewing class yesterday because I realized that it was silly to have gotten to 32 years of age not knowing how to sew somethinganything.
Anyway, my apologies to the teacher, who, by the fourth time my thread slipped out of the needle, had that "oh, for fuck's sake" tone in her voice.
I am apparently too stupid to work a sewing machine.
Cutting the fabric was simple enough. It involved outlining patterns with chalk. Having grown up in NYC and seen lots of episodes of "Law & Order," I can outline shit with chalk like a champ.
Threading the machine, on the other hand, is this complicated process that involves slaughtering animals beneath a full moon and scrying with their entrails. The people at Singer should be shot with a rat-feces cannon. By the time the teacher had moved on to French seams, I was all, "Yay! I figured out how to make the thingie go up and down!"
Every time I start having romantic notions about raising chickens on a farm and making my own dairy products, someone please remind me how much I suck at this domestic stuff.
The second class is next week, when I try not to sew myself to the table.
Keeping a journal always seemed like such a good idea. I had fantasies of people hundreds of years in the future finding something profoundly meaningful in what I felt about homework.
I started my first one when I was 6, when they were incoherent, dull exercises in stringing words together, and mostly about what I ate for "diner." I've kept one on and off since then, because I have a short attention span and often leave gaps of months between entries. They've remained dull, but with more vulgarity and fewer spelling errors. When I was in high school, I started writing my journal in (piss-poor) French, since I was convinced my mother was reading it.
This was not entirely a paranoid delusion. She used to do things like pull my old, worn-out underwear out of the garbage and say: "Why are you throwing this away? It's perfectly good!" I didn't have a lock on the door, but as an 8-year-old, I figured out that I could get some privacy by wedging a broomstick handle between the VHS rack and the door. She was pissed but held at bay. Later, when my ex-husband and I lived with her briefly after moving back from Maryland, she discovered we were no longer having sex by counting the condoms in the sock drawer.
Yeah, she was nuts.
So maybe it's weird that I'm writing my latest journal as letters to her now. I'm not trying to mail them or anything. Fuck, the post office can't even get our mail to Colorado. But there's much I want to tell her, and I figure she's probably even more shameless now, so I'll just leave the journal in my underwear drawer under a box of condoms.
If you could write letters to one dead person and have him or her read it, who would it be?
OK, so we've never been friends. It's not like I'm uninviting you to my birthday party. But I can't think of anyone who needs to die in a fire more than you.
You are getting a hearing before the Supreme Court today to defend your right to protest soldiers' funerals, and I think you should probably win that case, freedom of speech being what it is. I also think the next time grieving family members rush your protest to kick the crap out of you, the cops should take a 20-minute smoke break and come back with garbage bags to pick up what's left of you.
BTW, very brave of you picketing from the safety of an American sidewalk, behind a wall of police protection police protection that is paid for in part by the tax contributions of Jews and gays and the rest of us "fag-loving" Americans. Go protest where it matters in Afghanistan or Iraq, in front of the soldiers you scorn so much, with no one to protect your soft, squishy, hateful asses. If your cause is so righteous, I'm sure God will protect you.
You won't do that, though, because you are enormous pussies. And because God is busy watching "Brokeback Mountain" for, like, the 40th time.
I do have to wonder at the psychology of people who hate one group of people with such relentless ferocity. Makes me think maybe you're trying to distract yourselves and us from what is probably your cult's incestuous family circle jerk.
Also, Michael Moore, you are my hero. Not always. But in this case , I adore you. Consider this your "Get out of Dying in a Fire Free" card.
Edited to add: These people will not DIAF, either.
This is Devon's project, inspired by Maker Faire: soda bottle planters. We want to grow herbs, but we have the habit of making our plants dead because we can't water them regularly when we are out of town, and container plants are touchy like that. This will let us fill the reservoir and come back to live plants.
So Devon and I were watching the pilot episode of " Fringe ," because we've been looking for a series to fill the " X-Files "-size hole in our geeky souls, and I was enjoying it just fine for the first few minutes, until HOLY EFFING ZOMBIE JESUS, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH FOX?!
I remember when " Torchwood " first aired, and people were all, "Oh, no, the bisexuals are screwing each other! Won't anyone think of the children?" and I was like, "Dude, half the time they're screwing aliens (space aliens, not Mexicans), but you're OK with that as long as their pee pees interlock?" But now there's "Fringe," where people get their fucking eyeballs cut out, and I haven't heard anyone say a word about it.
Did you hear me? I said they get their FUCKING EYEBALLS CUT OUT! Removal of the eyeballs is not OK!
Over the first two episodes of the series, a hooker was killed when a grandpa baby (it's a long story) burst out of her uterus (but hey, she was pro-life); a dude killed women by surgically removing their pituitary glands via their mouths while they were still conscious; and people's skin and muscles melted off their bodies like ice pops under a hot sun. Which I guess is fine, as long as dudes don't shag each other.
This one time, at Ren Faire, I had to sit down outside to let my stomach settle and the blood flow to my head normalize after the Medieval Implements of Torture exhibit. Screw that guy for laughing at me. I should have hurled all over him, then ripped a grandpa baby out of his stomach just to see how he liked it.
At any rate, "Fringe" is pretty good, even with the torture porn. I'll keep watching with Devon, since he lets me know when it's OK to open my eyes.
Once upon a time there was a woman. This woman was a little on the short side and had weird nails on her pinky toes that sort of made her toes look deformed if she let them grow too long. We'll get back to her toes in a second, but right now, this isn't a story about toes. It's a story about soap.
You see, this woman liked to make breakfast and lunch for herself and her husband so they could pack meals for the day. This was way healthier and cheaper than buying $7 sandwiches made of soggy DEATH. She made healthy breakfasts and lunches because she wanted them both to get old enough to scream things like, "You kids, get off my damn lawn!" And because she's cheap. Very, very cheap.
So one day she got up to pack lunch, only she was a little tired that day, because she was getting old, and because Festergut isn't going to kill himself, as cool as that cut scene would be. She was too tired to turn on the light, so she failed to notice that there was soap in the container she used to store her husband's chili.
Then, tragedy struck: Her husband ate the chili and got a bit of a headache. No one is sure why he kept eating the chili even after realizing there was soap in it, but it's probably because he thought soapy chili was made of magic. And because he didn't think his wife would feed him soap, which was a fair assumption.
I know what you're thinking: What about the toes?
I don't know either. Forget I mentioned them.
I showed Dad a black-and-white pic of his parents, when they were in their 80s. Nanny died when I was 5, and his father died before I was born. Nanny had one leg amputated toward the end of her life, because having 11 kids is hard on a body, and his father owned a hat shop and, by all accounts, got through the Great Depression without too much trouble.
Dad looked at it for a bit, smiled, and asked me whether the picture had been taken recently.
Me: No, Dad, it was taken awhile ago.
Dad: A few years ago?
Me: Yeah.
Dad: Have you seen Mom and Pop?
Me: No, not in some time.
Dad: Did Pop close up the store?
Me: I don't know. Sorry.
Dad: I'm surprised your mother didn't come today.
Me: She was tired. Maybe tomorrow.
His is a happy world, where everyone he loves is alive and well. On the other hand, I had just gotten used to him forgetting about Mom. I wasn't expecting him to lose stuff from that far in the way-back machine.
In other news, he is scheduled to come home next week, but there's blood in his urine again, so we'll see.
I need your help, y'all.
Devon and I plan to buy a house someday, and when that happens, we want chickens. Chickens make eggs, and we like eggs. We also like chicken, and chickens make chicken, too.
We also need a milk source if we want to make yogurt and cheese from scratch. I suggested a cow, and Devon was extremely anti-cow, which I can understand: We don't want those South Park kids cow-tipping in our backyard.
I'm a reasonable woman. That's why I suggested a goat. But he's  anti-goat, too. He just said no to ruminants. I don't know why the dude has to be all bigoted against ruminants, but I guess that means we can't get a llama, either.
So I want you all to convince Devon to get a goat. I'm patient. I can wait. We'd need at least three bedrooms to house a goat, anyway.
Devon and I got a Sous Vide Supreme as a wedding present, and he has been making some pretty damn tasty things with it. Yesterday, I decided to try making some yogurt.
The usual technique for cooking with the SVS involves vacuum-sealed bags, since it's a water bath that keeps the food at a consistent temperature indefinitely. It's useful especially for meat and chicken, for keeping them the same consistency throughout. Since vacuum-sealing yogurt is not terribly helpful because we'd need to add the starter later, we put the milk in a plastic resealable container.
We hit two problems: 1) There's always some air in the container, which makes it float, and 2) We didn't have any airtight containers that were the right size, so we had some milk spill into the water. (We saved it before water spilled into the milk.) The first problem ended up being not that big a deal. We tried to weigh it down with a marble mortar initially, but the mortar fell off during the heating. As I'm writing this, I'm kicking myself in the teeth for not thinking of using plastic zipper bags. I'll do that next time. In the end, as long as the container was submerged up to where the milk was, it was fine.
We used the typical method for making yogurt. We heated the water to 185 F and put the container with the milk into the water bath. We left it there for about 20 minutes at that temperature. After 20 minutes, we took it out and put it into an ice bath to bring it back down to 110 F. While it was cooling, we dumped the water in the SVS, refilled it with fresh water and heated that water to 110 F.
When the milk cooled to 110 F, we added the yogurt culture. Adding the culture when the milk is too hot will kill it dead. You can buy starter, but I always use a few tablespoons of plain store-bought yogurt with good results. Buy yogurt with live active cultures, which is just about every yogurt I've ever seen in the store. Make sure it's fresh. Some people add milk powder to make it creamier, but I find this isn't necessarily if you're making whole-milk yogurt.
When the yogurt is back at 110 F, let it sit for between 4 and 8 hours. We let it sit overnight, and we poured off the whey  in the morning. It's now firming up in the fridge.
The SVS method is not any easier than doing it on the stove, but it's not any harder, either, and it allows for more control over temperature, which makes me happy.
Devon and I decided to rip ourselves away from our computers long enough to take in some modern art at the Guggenheim .
OMFG.
Now, before you art geeks (I'm looking at you, Donna) hurt me, let me say, I liked a lot of it. Until we got about two-thirds through the museum, and Devon and I both hit, as he put it, our OFFS point.
Meaning, "Oh, For Fuck's Sake."
Manet's "Before the Mirror" is an awesome painting and I briefly considered stealing it before I decided I was too pretty to go to prison. And I really liked a memorial to childhood from an artist whose name escapes me now. But Devon and I reached our limit at the same time when we hit a collection of photographs of "life," including an emo chick cutting her hand and bleeding over a piece of paper.
Devon: "I've known too many artist twats who cut themselves."
The Guggenheim is designed so visitors move through it in an ascending circle, and we noted that the art got more pretentious as we ascended.  I get it, guys: Life is full of pain and joy, joy and pain. The only people blown away by this are 11-year-olds discovering their pubic hair for the first time.
P.S.: If you hear of a famous Manet painting disappearing from the Guggenheim, it totally wasn't me.
So I'm finally getting over what I thought was the plague but turned out to be a throat infection and pink eye. Yes, pink eye. A really mild case, though, because I got it the morning I was going to the doctor anyway to find out why my throat felt like I had been doing double shots of that evil goo from Ghostbusters II evil goo and broken glass.
I'm not sure why I said "broken glass." It's not like swallowing intact glass would be more pleasant.
This meant I couldn't go check on Dad, who is in rehab now and fell because he overestimated his ability to get out of bed on his own, which should indicate to the rehab staff that he is not ready to leave fucking rehab. But my sister saw him and tells me he is OK.
Dad will be 89 on Friday, and there will be cake.
Something wicked this way will come.
Dear Mom,
You've been dead a year today. You would have been 77 tomorrow. Either you're completely unaware of this, being dead and all, or you're kicking back a few next to the Everlasting Bocce Ball Court. I prefer to think you're relaxing by a pool somewhere, criticizing my hairstyle choices.
What an intense year it's been. I moved. Dad had surgery, three times. I got married in Hawaii. I wish Devon had known you before you got sick. You were a force of nature then. But I'm glad you got to meet at all. I remember the day he stood by your hospital bed and untangled your yarn. It was slow work, and you looked at him like you adored him. I would have liked more moments like that.
Dad asks for you often. He's not doing so well, and I think he's closer to you than he is to me now, but I'm doing my best. I visited him the other day, and he told me you were in the bedroom, wide awake. I looked toward the room and saw that the light was on. I'm not sure who's crazier: him for saying it or me for checking. Sometimes he knows you're dead. Other times, he thinks you're in the hospital and wants to know when you're coming home.
I miss you every day. I miss sticking my finger in your ear and you trying to hit me for it. I am strange, but then, so were you. I miss having someone tell me I'm too thin. I miss your potty mouth. I learned all the best words from you. I remember you chasing me around the house with the rolling pin when I lacked the wisdom to keep those words to myself. I miss your gravy (marinara sauce, for most people), lentil soup, broccoli and macaroni, and pretty much everything else you ever cooked.
I found a bottle of your perfume in the house, and I keep it by my desk. I can't wear it, because the scent is overpowering and would kill Devon, but smelling it makes me feel like you're here.
Gotta run. Keep an eye on dad, if you can tear yourself away from the pool. I could use a hand, too.
Love,
Monica
It's Devon's birthday today. He's 35, so if you see him, give him a big wet birthday smoochie. Be sure to use tongue.
And he really does live in a zoo, one populated by two cats, a dog, a crazy chick and her batshit crazy family. I don't know how he's survived this long, but I suspect dark magic.
Happy birthday, dude. I'd say I love you on this blog, but I have a badass, hard-as-steel reputation to maintain. Gotta make sure people still fear me in the morning.
I hate the telephone . Hate it like I hate splinters and parking tickets and spilling honey vodka all over my keyboard (which has been repaired and returned, thanks for asking).
If your friend insists on interrupting you every 10 words to discipline her 3-year-old, who is cramming an ice cream cone into the DVD player, there ain't a damn thing you can do about it. Or maybe she's eating a sandwich, and you have to listen to her sentences being punctuated by the smack-smack-smack of lips and digestive juices. People can call you at any time, at any place, with no regard for whether you actually want to talk to them.
I know what you're going to say: There's voicemail. Oh yes, there's voicemail.
Voicemail sucks even more than real-time phone calls, because people leave rambling, 4-minute-long messages that never get to the fucking point, so you're going to have to call them back anyway, and there's never a good time to listen to a 4-minute-long message full of conversational pauses and bullshit, so you spend several days staring at that flashing light, whose sole purpose is to taunt you, until the voicemail becomes irrelevant and you delete it without listening to it. Then, if they ask you about it, you have to either fake technological failure or pretend to be a flake, which works really well, since your default setting is "flake" anyway.
Or maybe that's just me.
The bad news: I've started getting an obnoxious amount of spam. From now on, I'll need to approve your comment before it posts.
The good news: We'll need to do this only once.  After that, you can post freely. As much as I love all the attention from posters like "Bread Machine Parts," a blogger's gotta do what a blogger's gotta do.
I admit it:  I love Craigslist . I almost never buy anything from there, but I love the massage-therapy ads. And by "massage therapy," I mean ads for whores.
I love them for being transparent and easy to mock in their poor writing. Ladies, maybe if you'd paid a little  more attention in school, you'd be NASA engineers instead of selling cooch online.
Take this one:
"Be happy, healthy, and wholesome, with a darling masseusse!!! "
I'm not sure one can be "wholesome and healthy" with this "masseusse!!!" But you can probably be pretty happy, briefly. As long as you don't mind a little exclamation point abuse. Won't anyone think of the exclamation points?
"Perfect hour glass figure, Sandy will perform a therapeutic/sensual bull body massage using Swedish, yoga stretch, sesnsual Thai, for a most relaxing, warm and wonderful full body massage."
Because studies have shown that an hourglass figure makes the massage so much better than one given by a woman built like a refrigerator box. Just watch out for the "bull body massage." It hurts. A lot.
"The father of holistic health Edgar Cayce recommended massage over 1200 times as both curative and preventative for disease, so be fortunate enough to have a healthy habit that actual feels marvelous."
Cayce also said that China would be converted to Christianity by 1968 and that 1933 would be a good year , so screw that guy.
"Free mini pedicure is included and shower is also available. A little pampering would be the best possible thing to feel #1. Regal Treatment."
If you want me to feel regal, you can give me the full pedicure. Seriously.
"Please call for appointment 7:am to 1:am. 4 Hand is also available and birthday week specials too."
Four-hand is available for what? And whose hands? Never mind, I think I know. Also, why is her hair covering her face ? Was she horribly disfigured with sulfuric acid in her past life as a district attorney?
Don't mind me. I'm just bitter because Sandy made more money today than I did all week.  And her job is cooler than mine.
If you're one of my Facebook friends, you may have seen the Salon column I linked to titled " I trusted my gut and got screwed " by Cary Tennis. If you're not one of my Facebook friends, you can clicky the linky. And you should send me a friend request, because I rock and would make an awesome addition to your stable of "friends."
In short, the column is about being honest with ourselves about what we really want in order to avoid making gut decisions that make us want to disembowel ourselves so our guts can never ruin our lives again with their dirty, sweaty lies.
Red Flashlight pointed out that the column was good for not saying crap like, "If you just change your attitude, everything will be moonbeams and kittens, and moonbeams shining out of the asses of kittens, and kittens shining out of the asses of moonbeams." I paraphrased her there.
I got to thinking about how much that advice to look on the bright side pisses me off. It generally means, "If you just delude yourself into being happy, you will be." Of course you will be. But you'll also be deluding yourself. There's a word for people who do that shit, and it's "Scientologist."
I'm not always successful at the brutal self-honesty thing. There's no evidence that Mom can hear me when I talk to her from the toilet or that asstastic people will meet with bad karma, except in the sense that they generally attract each other in a vortex of suck. But if I'm unhappy, there's probably a good reason, so I'd rather be genuinely bitter and pissed off when the occasion calls for it than floating on a cloud of false optimism.
Sometimes, you gotta tell a kitten to piss off and take her moonbeam with her.
It turns out my laptop's keyboard likes honey vodka a lot less than I do, which is why I'm abusing office technology and posting this at work.
My laptop will be gone for about two weeks, which means no WoW, no Facebook and no midget porn. I'm taking votes as to what to do with my time. I'm sure laundry will be part of the deal. Tonight, I'll be taking a belly dancing class. Gotta work off the honey vodka somehow.
Place your votes now!
Find it here.
It's my new favorite song, thanks to The Bloggess posting the link to it on her site. It's embarrassing how much I heart her. I would tell her, but she might get wise to the surveillance equipment I have in her bathroom.
P.S.: Bloggess, if you're reading this, your tile is getting a little grimy. Seriously, step out of Storm Large's vagina long enough to do some housework every once in a while.
P.S.S.: Ignore that part about the surveillance equipment in your bathroom. You're on a need-to-know basis.
Dear Graduates,
You have reached the end of a journey, about to embark on a brand new one. Maybe you are graduating from college and are about to claw your way to the top of your daddy's company. Maybe you were a philosophy major and are planning the only career for which you qualify: graduate school. Maybe you are wrapping up high school and are just glad to be done with that wretched hive of scum and villainy. In any case, pull up a chair and let Old Grandma Dirty Hooker give you some advice.
1. No matter what your mother told you, you can't be anything you want to be when you grow up. Just like you have natural talents, there are things you naturally suck at, and it's important to know the difference. If I'd decided to be an engineer when I was in college, there would be a lot more shit breaking and blowing up today, which is why I fix sentences for a living.
2. Be practical. It's great to love what you do, but it's even better when what you do comes with a paycheck. Being broke is fine when you're 19 and rotating cots with 27 of your closest friends, but it gets old fast, much like you. If you're going to take a risk on a high-poverty career (for example, theater, art, writing), be realistic about your own talent. Again, don't ask your mom for her opinion on this (unless your mom is a bitch and willing to tell it like it is).
3. Don't fall into whatever happens. It's easy to explain why you had three jobs in two years when you're 23. People expect you to be a flake, so try new things now. If you're switching jobs twice a year at 40, people will assume you have a drug problem.
I'm sure there's lots more to say, but this is a blog, not a dissertation, so I guess you'll have to sort out the rest yourselves. Good luck with all that.
A TSA employee is the proud owner of two Leathermans thanks to some seriously incompetent customer service on the part of Delta.
The day did not start well. The Fatass, who tends to pee and shit when she's nervous , did both on Devon's suitcase on the way to Dad's house, where we were leaving them for the week. We got to the airport in plenty of time, but that didn't matter, because Delta kept us on the baggage-check line for an hour because they hate us and want us dead. And because they were letting people cut the line ahead of us and were generally stupid poopy faces, but mostly because they want us dead.
By the time we got to the desk, it was too late to check luggage, so we had to take it through security. We lost $60 in knives because we had to take through a bag that should have been checked a bag that was ultimately checked by the flight attendant anyway.
I'm gonna hire Wayne Brady to choke a bitch.
I Googled "Dirty Hooker" just to see what came up (and did it at work, since I apparently hate gainful employment), and I was pleased to see that I was the second hit, right after Drinksmixer.com's recipe for a Dirty Hooker . It looks really fruity and gross, but I'll have to check it out when we finally finish off the wine and beer we had leftover from the wedding party.
Urban Dictionary's entry was third. The first definition: one who is not only a hooker, but is dirty.
Thanks, Urban Dictionary. You're the bestest.
Also, check out my eHow article on making a small bathroom more inviting. They paid me 15 whole dollars for this.
I don't mean the kind like the guy who called me a "fucking idiot" in a PuG because my Oculus -fu was weaksauce. I mean literal assholes, the kind that serve as ejection holes for feces (and entrance holes for people who dig that sort of thing).
Really, assholes are way more convenient than colostomy bags. You can hide them with pants when they're not in use, and you can direct your waste into even more convenient receptacles, like toilet bowls. The last few months have made me appreciate my asshole like no one has ever appreciated an orifice.
Why the ode to my asshole? Dad finally made it home, so the topic has been of some importance. I think we're all in for an adventure, and by adventure, I mean the kind where you ask your husband to kill you and he says no because he's lame . I marvel at people who find spiritual rewards in this stuff, and by marvel, I think they're probably high or lying to themselves to get through it.  I think they're also the kind of people who believe suffering brings us closer to Zombie Jesus .
The colostomy and urine bags will be emptied and changed; he will be bathed and be given his medications; the pacemaker will be monitored; and we'll take him to the doctor on schedule. But I wonder whether the Dad of 20 years ago would hate us for doing what we did to make him live this long.
I would.
We're cleared to bring Dad home Wednesday. Full disclosure: I'm so nervous I wish I had a permanent catheter, 'cause I want to pee myself.
I keep telling myself it'll be fine. I turned the living room into a functional hospital room when Mom came home, and Dad is in much better shape than she was in, so it'll be fine. That's my new mantra: It'll be fine.
The nurses will finish teaching me how to change the colostomy bag Wednesday. They'll tell me everything I need to know to take care of the catheter. They'll tell me how to bathe him to prevent the catheter from getting infected, and where to go to buy all of his supplies. They'll give me prescriptions for all his new medications. I'll get the wheelchair and bathtub chair off of Amazon if Medicare won't cover them. The home aides are set up and ready to go. Still need the weekend aide, but that'll get done in time, too. I'll do the food shopping, since no one's been living in the house for almost three months. It'll be fine.
Most of the time I feel woefully incompetent, like: "Who the hell put me in charge of this? Shouldn't we get an adult over here?" And then I'm like, "Wait, I'm 32 years old. How the hell did I get to be 32 years old and know so goddamn little?"
I was promised wisdom! Understanding! I've been robbed!
It'll be fine.
"Obama is saying to himself 'How can I distance myself from this problem?' His answer is to throw BP to the wolves." Lord Digby Jones, U.K. businessman, on the President's repeated references to "British Petroleum" being viewed as anti-British in the U.K. The company hasn't traded under that name for 10 years ( Source: TIME )
Screw you, Digby. Don't think you're getting off light just because we have the same last name. I haven't had this last name long enough to give you a pass on your shit. Whatever Obama's failure in responding to the situation, if he's throwing them to the wolves, it's because THEY DESERVE TO BE DEVOURED BY WOLVES.
On his website , Jones goes on to say: "Of course BP are responsible. Of course BP are liable. Of course BP are due a good kicking from every politician to every journalist through the environmentalists and naturalists on the way. But are they totally and solely to blame? Clearly Mother Nature is beating the technology."
Yeah, that bitch has been out to get us for millions of years. Just look at Vesuvius.
"There are many others who should take a long hard look in the mirror before being so quick to point the finger and one group that should be doing that is the gas guzzling, dividend enjoying, tax receiving public ourselves."
Those old ladies trying not to freeze to death in the dead of winter are total scumbags. Hate eating your meat raw? Scumbag! Does this mean you'll be giving up your cushy life to live in the woods with a bucket and a spear, Digby? Didn't think so.
He's confusing two separate issues. The fact that we use too much oil is a flaw of our civilization. The fact that oil is coating the Gulf of Mexico like a thick layer of diarrhea is BP's fault.
His words are especially interesting considering the collapse of the IT contractor iSOFT and the investigation into its accounting practices while he was non-executive director: "There is a limit to what a non-executive can know. They have to rely on what advisers tell them and what the executive team tells them. It is important that people understand this."
Yes, we understand. We understand that, apparently, you didn't see iSOFT disintegrating around you when you had a front-row seat to the whole mess, but the rest of us need to be navel-gazing about what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico.
Playing the "everyone shares a little bit of blame" game obfuscates reality: that BP made a giant fucking mess in a spectacular display of greed and incompetence. And yeah, it's probably the Minerals Management Service 's fault, too, but that's like screwing up at your job and blaming your boss for not supervising you carefully enough. It's a weak excuse and makes you sound like a whiny biotch. If I were driving drunk and killed someone with my car, I could blame Toyota for not making the brakes responsive enough, the local bar for making such tasty apple martinis, the bartender for not noticing I was drunk and my mom for raising the kind of person who would drink and drive, but ultimately, I'm the one who snuffed a life.
DIAF, Digby Jones.
I was reading an article by a woman telling people to live every day as if it were their last, and it occurred to me how awful life would be if people actually did that. You'd show up at your friend's house every morning, tears in your eyes, telling her how much you love her, and how you're sorry you vomited on her bed after that frat party in college, and she'd be all, "Yes, yes, I know, you make me late for work every day with this. It's OK. Don't you have a job?"
And you'd have to tell her that you haven't worked that dead-end job in months, because really, who wants to spend their last day on Earth moving stacks of paper from one part of their desk to another while listening to co-workers fart? No one, that's who. So you quit your job and are homeless now because your landlord is NOT living every day as if it were his last, and God, how you need a shower. Also, you're enormous, because when you had money, you were eating cheesecake sandwiches, which you'll never eat again when you're dead. Now you have to fight bums for their lunch, but at least that's keeping you active.
So take my advice: Do not live every day as if it were your last. Your friends don't want to hear your decades-old angsty bullshit, your ass can't afford the calories, and bums need to eat, too.
So dad had another setback. He's in the hospital now because of blood in his urine and painful urination, likely related to the cancer, and he may need the catheter permanently. This and other bummers prompted this IM conversation between me and Devon.
me:  Will you do me a favor?
Devon:  what?
me:  When I get home tonight, smother me with a pillow until I stop twitching.
Devon:  sorry, nope
me:  Oh, come on, it's just this one little thing.
Devon:  how about smother in kisses?
me:  Are your lips coated in deadly toxin?
Devon:  nope
me:  Then that won't work. Unless you plan to throw yourself over my face for a few very long minutes.
me:  What's a girl gotta do to get her husband to kill her around here?
Devon:  see, american husbands just don't stack up to wahabbists in saudi
I'll have chicken and only chicken. And by that, I mean chicken with everything.
It's Everybody-Draw-Mohammed-Day! In the spirit of the occasion, see my Extremely Shitty Drawing, below.
Thank you to all the journalists and entertainers, pro and amateur, who take real risks to challenge the special whatthefuckery behind the ban on drawing Mohammed. Killing and threatening people for drawing your prophet is not cool, and it makes you an asshole.
Also, please don't kill me. I would not appreciate it.
I'll be walking in Memory Walk 2010, a fundraiser for Alzheimer's care and research, in October. This is where I e-mug you and take your money. Normally. Today, I'm going to just direct you to where you can donate if you have extra cash and are feeling generous in a tax-deductible kind of way.
Either I need to start working out again, Devon is the Nerd Commander or both.
Over the weekend, I made vanilla ice cream the best vanilla ice cream you've never had, by the way. It was creamy, thanks to one part whole milk to two parts heavy cream and five eggs, blended into a sweet vanilla custard that was left overnight to chill before I mixed it into ice cream. And it tastes like real vanilla, not crappy vanilla flavoring. But I digress.
I had just gotten out of the shower when the ice cream finished mixing, so I dropped my towel to scrape it out. Of course, I needed a taste-tester. For some people, this is the start of a lame porn flick, but my version was produced by NERDoVision, where the dude is playing World of Warcraft with his peeps. So I ended up naked and feeding Devon ice cream while he complained through his headset about his lousy DPS. You win this round, Elite Boss Nerdloc .
Before dad went into the hospital, I did his grocery shopping online. I have to say, Waldbaum's online grocery service is quite bitchin'. Good selection, reasonable prices, all delivered to my Dad's door so I don't have to go to the store. Rock on, Waldbaum's.
So I was a little stunned when I got this email from Waldbaum's today:
"We miss you!  Where have you been?  Was it something we did?
We are always listening to our customers and would like to ask you a few questions about why you have stopped using our online service.
Please take a minute to complete a brief on-line survey and tell us how we can make this service meet your expectations.
We hope to see you soon.
Waldbaums of  Valley Stream Customer Care Team"
My actual response:
"Give it some time, dudes. I was buying for my father, who has dementia and doesn't do his own shopping. He's in the hospital now after major surgery and eating crap like individual-serving applesauce.
Way to run your business like an Italian grandmother, with all the guilt, by the way. I promise, I'll start buying from you again when Dad gets home from the hospital. And I'll call home more often and visit on Sunday, too. Just don't give me with switch!
Thanks."
Not married for three weeks yet, and already I'm getting copies of Parenting magazine delivered to my apartment. Pushy fuckers.
I must have bought something for a pregnant friend and ended up on a mailing list, since I'm 32 years old, and all my friends are pregnant, recently pregnant or about to be pregnant.
Look, Parenting magazine, in high school, I was voted "Most Likely to Forget My Baby in a Hot Car During Summer." I don't need you getting all up in my uterus/grill.
Three minutes after getting home from the airport, I realized I couldn't find my keys. We were in the apartment already, since Devon had opened the door, but I launched the epic hunt for my apartment keys, which I couldn't remember taking out of my bag. I spend  more time looking for shit than just about anything else. It's an Olympic event for me.
During the hunt, I cleaned my desk, which was covered in crumbs, and found our long-lost paring knife. I found it in a baking cookbook. At some point, I must have used it as a bookmark. Because I do things like that. This knife had been missing for three months.
I turned the apartment upside down, but I still haven't found my keys.
When I start doing this shit at 60, people are going to think it's Alzheimer's. If I'm still friends with you guys in 30 years, promise me you'll remember I'm just retarded, not demented.
Those sexy mo fos above are me and Devon, freshly married off the beach and eating a spectacular dinner at Spago at the Four Seasons Hotel. It is one of those places that serves meals in very small servings with very fancy presentations, but we got to try lots of different things, including the best cream of mushroom soup I've ever had. Also, chocolate ooze and ice cream, below. The sauce (aka, ooze) took 10 years to perfect and about five minutes to eat. I made that chocolate my bitch.
Other highlights: SCUBA diving for the first time. It turns out a weight belt and an oxygen tank are FREAKIN' HEAVY. Add that to sand and a strong wave, and the sky got a great shot of my ass as I flipped over on the beach. No harm done, though. A lot of SCUBA diving was overcoming the very primal fear of drowning, especially when the dive master asked me to remove my mouthpiece underwater and insert his extra mouthpiece, and I was all, "Dick, I need that to breathe. Hell, no." But they won't actually let you go any further unless you can overcome the natural terror involved in parting with your only source of oxygen. I got over it and was rewarded with views of pretty coral, fish and sea turtles.
Other activities included ziplining, which involves firing yourself 650 feet in the air at 50 mph in a harness attached to a cable; climbing; hiking; snorkeling; sleeping; and drinking margaritas. Drinking margaritas was very important to us.
We also visited Hana, a remote section of Maui where the roads are only sorta paved and they have trees that look like this.
We found some guy and his wife living inside, and they told us to have fun storming the castle, but we had things to do, people to see, so we declined.
Thanks to a couple who missed their plane, we made it to Hawaii. Continental overbooked, but we caught a break at the expense of the misfortune of others. I sit here now listening to the sounds of the Pacific Ocean and drinking a margarita as Devon marinates the fuck out of some chicken for tomorrow's dinner. I'll make some brownies later, because this is the sort of stuff we do on vacation.
I wasn't sure we'd make it. Last Thursday, I spent the night in the ER with Dad, whose colon decided to go rogue and strangle his small intestines. That's the way colons are sometimes, going bad when you least expect it. Dad survived the surgery and is recovering fairly well, minus part of his colon and sporting a colostomy bag. He had a pacemaker put in today, since he has also developed a heart condition. The time in the hospital is not doing good things for his cognitive function. Most of our travel plans seem to be up in the air until we actually leave.
I spent part of the 10-hour flight falling in lovewith Walt Whitman. Few people make me as happy to be alive as Whitman. Dude was actually fired from his day job  for writing Leaves of Grass. People thought he was a big ol' perv. I'm not a big fan of poetry in general. I spent too much time in college listening to too many emo kids whine about their pain, I guess. But Whitman is the shit, y'all.
We're getting married on Monday (me and Devon, not me and Walt Whitman), and I've suggested Devon run from the crazy lady while he can. He is marinating chicken instead. He can't say he wasn't warned.
I admitted to my friend Toni that I talk to my mother sometimes when I'm using the bathroom. It's a great place for that sort of crazy. I'm alone, so no dirty looks to deal with, and it's not like I can do anything else anyway. When I asked Toni whether this was crazy, she made me promise I wasn't going all Joan of Arc.
Mom would never ask me to kill the English. She'd just bitch that I wasn't putting enough salt in the gravy .
Then she said: "I'll talk to my dad sometimes. I wouldn't think yer crazy or nothing, less you started going all Ophelia in Hamlet with gravy recipes. 'She says it needs more salt, must add salt. She promised me the recipe. Where is it???'"
My peeps are funny sometimes.
"I can finally literally touch the back wall. That hasn't happened in a long time. It's like a fat man seeing his penis after a decade."
Devon, on clearing some boxes out of the spare bedroom
Now that we can see our figurative penises again, we should be able to get the back room into shape. We both want a well-ordered, domestic home, but we are not particularly well-ordered people, which is why we still have unpacked boxes after six months.
We have too much stuff. WAY too much stuff. The amount of stuff that would be appropriate for people who have been married for a decade and are living in a large house. In fairness, we were married for about six years total, just not to each other.
Mentally, we do not accept the fact that we live in an apartment in New York City. Devon just bought me a freezer for my birthday. A freezer. Because the one that came with our fridge just wasn't good enough. The freezer will be going in the spare bedroom, which is why Devon was clearing boxes. We have a juicer, an espresso machine, a coffeemaker, a bread machine, a deep fryer, a pressure cooker and more pots and pans than you could shake an infrared thermometer at, and we have two of those.
We haven't decided to toss much. We rented storage space so we could move some out. In other words, we rented an apartment for our stuff. We hope to have a house someday, but for now, we pay rent for our things.
But damn, that freezer is gonna be awesome.
I was reading a blog post about women with femstaches today and was reminded of my mother. Right before one of the last surgeries of her life, she asked me to shave her beard. (It's one of those  things postmenopausal women don't really talk about.) I laughed. She didn't want the doctor who was about to see her intestines to see her beard.
Mom's vanity was just enough to be endearing.
I'm growing my nails long(ish) for the wedding, and hopefully beyond. She was always on me about biting them down to bloody stumps. I wonder whether she would be pleased with them now or pissed that I waited until she kicked it to let them grow.
Miss you, Mom. Wish you were here.
Eric Cartman is a wise manboycartoon. Whatever.
Below, the answer to all your cream-pie prayers, Butterscotch Cream Pie from " How to Bake " by Nick Malgieri.
But first, all pies begin with a good crust. I've adapted the recipes here somewhat because Malgieri offers a lot of info. The book is worth picking up. Some of the recipes are fairly involved,  but I haven't been disappointed yet.
Nut Crumb Crust
1/2 cup (2 to 3 ounces) nutmeats (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans)
1 cup bleached all-purpose flour (I used unbleached because it was what I had, and it turned out fine)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
One 9-inch Pyrex pie pan, buttered
Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and bake to 350 F. Place the nutmeats into the bowl of a food processor with a metal blade. Pule until they are finely ground but not paste. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture is evenly moist and looks crumbly. Remove the blade and turn the mixture out into a prepared pan.
Using your fingertips, distribute the mixture evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan, gently pressing it into place. Make sure the crumb coating is even because thin spots will burn during baking.
Use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface and make the rim of the crust straight and even.
Bake the crust for 20 minutes or until it is a deep, golden brown. (This part took 15 minutes for me.)
Cool on rack.
*********************
Now, for the pie.
Butterscotch Cream Pie
1 recipe Nut Crumb Crust
Filling
2-1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare and bake the crust. Let it cool.
To make the filling, combine 2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and salt in a nonreactive saucepan; whisk once to mix and brig to a boil over low heat.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup milk in a mixing bowl and whisk in the cornstarch, then the eggs. Return the milk and sugar mixture to a boil over low heat, then whisk about a third of it into the egg mixture. Return the remaining milk and sugar mixture to a boil and whisk in the egg mixture, whisking constantly until the filling thickens and comes to a boil. Allow to boil, whisking constantly, for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the butter and vanilla; pour into a nonreactive bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the filling and chill until it is about 75 degrees.
Spread the cooled filling evenly in the cooled crust.
Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds a firm peak. Spread the cream over the filling.
I had some chocolate bits begging to be used, so I sprinkled them over the top, but that's not necessary.
In celebration of Pi Day, I made this butterscotch cream pie with a pecan-cinnamon crust, whipped cream and chocolate bits. Tasty. If there's any interest, I'll post the recipe.
My gift to myself for my 32nd birthday was an IUD. Being reasonably sure there will be no surprise babies  is the gift that keeps on giving, because surprise babies are like ninjas. One day you're just minding your own business, and the next you're all, "Oh, hi there, surprise baby. Did the doorman let you in?"
I was fucking up my birth control enough during stressful times that it will be worth every bit of the $589 I paid a woman in latex gloves to punch me in the cervix.
They had to do it twice, since it didn't take the first time, so I got punched in the cervix a total of four times.
If you are ever in a position to get an IUD and they tell you that it might hurt a little if you've never had a baby, bite those lying assholes on the face. Still, no regrets here. Other than not biting those lying assholes on the face, of course.
Dear Dirtbag Who Broke Into the House of an 88-Year-Old Man with Alzheimer's:
I hope whatever parts dangle from your body whither and die. I have no idea what you were looking for in the mess you scattered across two rooms, but I sincerely hope it was gonorrhea and that you found it. As far as I know, my Dad does not have gonorrhea, but there's a lot of stuff in that house, and he WAS in the Army, so you never know.
The fact that your scumbag hands even touched my mother's wedding album makes me want to sterilize it before I open it again. My one comfort is that the bag you rifled through and left on the bed was full of cat shit not that long ago. I hope you bite your nails.
That is all.
Sincerely,
Dirty Hooker
Devon and I were chillin' in the living room, Devon playing a video game and me not playing a video game, since I've given up World of Warcraft for Lent. (I'm a recovering Catholic, so there's no reason I need to observe Lent except that I want to.) We flipped on the TV for Dad, who is spending the night with us, and Dad said
Look, I'm sorry, I don't even know how to phrase this without sounding like the biggest dick in the world. I'm sorry, really. Sorry that I think this is funny and need to blog it and sorry Dad said it.
But Dad said, "What's up with all the negroes? They're all over the news." This was in response to Gov. Paterson and Al Sharpton appearing in back-to-back segments.
My dad is 88 and has Alzheimer's disease, but I'm pretty sure he would have said the same thing 20 years ago.
Like I said, I'm a dick because I'm still laughing. Sorry.
In other news, I finally had a movie-worthy cabbie experience going from Queens to Brooklyn. I spent last night at Dad's, and we took a cab back to my apartment. Through the rear-view mirror, I watched the cab driver fall asleep. You heard me. I said FALL ASLEEP. He even did the deep-breathing thing people do when they are FUCKING SLEEPING.
Then his girlfriend called. To his credit, he asked her not to curse, since he had to put her on speakerphone to avoid getting nailed by the fuzz. (Yes, I just said "fuzz." Deal with it.)
Apparently, his girlfriend was perturbed because he was sleep-working when he should have been home taking care of her sick ass. Literally. Through the speakerphone, I heard: "You motherfucker sonofabitch. I've got stuff coming out of everywhere, my mouth, my asshole."
I love New York.
A conversation about Dad's bank account that I had with a rep from Chase at 8:30 this morning, three seconds after being  jolted awake by the phone:
Chase guy: I would like to speak to yadda yadda about his account.
Me: Yadda has dementia and is deaf and doesn't do well on the phone. Can I help you?
CG: I need to speak to someone authorized to speak on his behalf. May I speak to his wife?
Me: His wife is dead.
CG: I'm very sorry to hear that.
Me: You can speak to me. I'm his daughter and should be listed as a contact on his account. (We went through that process the last time I needed to speak to someone on Dad's behalf. I gave him my name.)
CG: You are not listed as an authorized contact.
Me: I don't know what else to say.
CG: May I try calling back this afternoon?
Me: Dad will still be deaf and have dementia this afternoon.
CG: Well, I can't speak to you without authorization.
Me: OK, bye, then.
As hard as it is to believe, I'm not usually snarky with strangers. Dude was just doing his job. I guess my social filters need time to kick in when I first wake up.
Above are Valentine's Day cards from the last couple of years. I'll post this year's V-Day card on Feb. 14th. Love is in the air and all that crap.
"It's like living under a mountain with a dragon. Some years it's your virgin daughter they take. Nothing personal."
Devon, after the City of New York towed his car
You know what I didn't want to spend $800 on this month? The list is pretty damn long and includes spider anti-venom, but I most definitely didn't want to pay $800 to reclaim our own car.
The car was towed because, according to the DMV, we owed $400+ in parking fines. Maybe we did, maybe we didn't. Devon says he paid online, but he doesn't have any proof, so the DMV has essentially told us to suck their tail pipe.
Even if we hadn't paid, $400 for an unwanted tow and storage for half a day is bullshit. Somewhere, somebody said: "You know what we should do to people who don't pay their fines? Make them pay an even BIGGER fine." And then a whole bunch of other people laughed maniacally and twirled their mustaches and jabbered on about installing FREAKIN' LASERS at the toll booths to keep traffic moving swiftly.
The part about the lasers is true.*
Anyway, Devon presses on with wanting to own a car in New York, and I press on with not wanting to pay $800 in fines, so life is back to normal.
* The part about the lasers isn't remotely true. Sucker.
Dear Apple,
I remember a time not that long ago when I was in love with you. You were so young and pretty. And I could drop my first love, the iBook, from a billion feet in the air with no damage. In geek parlance, I admired your constitution score.
Times have changed. With the release of the iPad , it's like I truly see you for the first time in all your soggy douchiness. You tout yourself as "magical." No, you are not "magical" you are an ordinary device in an increasingly crowded field, and a shortsighted one at that. You allow publishers like that other douche nozzle, Macmillan , to jack up the price of ebooks and milk your customers. You're pissy at Google for having the nerve to compete with you in a free market. You make using iTunes with non-Apple tech like looking for a Cheerio in a cow patty. And lastly, how did your marketing monkeys not see the MAXiPad jokes coming from space?
I am so disappointed in you, Apple. I feel used used like the 10-cent media whores Steve Jobs has to suck off to get the fawning press he does.
I am ashamed to admit that I still dig my iPod, but I suppose we can be fuck buddies until something better comes along.
Sincerely,
Dirty Hooker
I made these bath salts as Christmas gifts. Add a few drops of red dye to a cup full of salt, then strawberry scent until you're satisfied. This reminds me of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls from my misspent youth. They redesigned them , and now they're all lame. Leave my childhood toys alone, faceless minions of corporate America!
Devon and I awoke to a nasty surprise this morning in the form of a large pee stain in the middle of the bed. I know I didn't do it, and I'm pretty sure he didn't do it. Fitz was curled up on the bed as far from the pee as possible. Needless to say, she's going to be crated at night for the forseeable future. Devon pointed out that what separates adult humans from every other lifeform is responsibility for one's urine. He noted this after spotting the cat pee in his chair. Again. It's their special way of telling him to fuck off when the litter box is dirty. So Fitz was too lazy to get her ass out of bed and over to the pee pad, and the cats were just spiteful.
The Adult Urine Theory also applies to Dad, who got pissy ha ha! with me when we were at a friend's house and I insisted that he change his diaper and let me blow dry his pants.
In other news: I started the process for carving mom's name into the headstone. She used to joke that if she kicked it before Dad, she would be buried between her first husband and second husband a man sandwich. Would it be inappropriate to carve "Bow chica bow wow" into the stone?
I am wholly inappropriate.
Random funny from Devon, as we were walking on the subway platform: "If people commute together long enough, do their Metrocards sync up like periods?"
Episode 2 of Tyrannosaurus Regina has posted. Or be cool and subscribe through iTunes so you can get it automatically. This ep is about Facebook and what it has for real gamers. Bonus: Real-life uses for LARPing shoes.
If you like the show (or hate it and wish we'd stop), let us know in the comments section of the site. We probably won't stop, but at least you'll get it off your chest.
This is hard to write considering I earn my paycheck from the profit fumes of the newspaper industry, but there comes a time in every adult's life when she needs to suck up an unpleasant truth: Print is dead, and it ain't coming back.
Print doesn't know it's dead yet. Its zombie corpse is still flailing about, threatening to eat our brains, but I have accepted the loss and moved on. I expect my job will disappear within the next few years as newspapers take their last gasp, but you know what? I love my nook. Love it, love it, love it. (Don't tell the Amazon ads all over this blog, but the nook was wearing a tight skirt, and well, you know how it goes.) I love having my news and books delivered straight to my nook and not having to deal with piles of dead trees. I love getting my news online instantly. I love seeing photos and reading reports from people who live where the news is happening.
I'm sorry, print. We had a good ride, but I've met someone else. It's not me, it's you.
I've been accused of blasphemy by my peers and friends who still love the feel of pages turning. I admit to a certain fondness for stacks and stacks of books, with all  the promise held within. When I learned to read, it was like I'd been given access to a magical language. I used it to read a lot of Choose Your Own Adventure and Encyclopedia Brown books, but still.
I'm filing my affection for paper books and periodicals into the part of my brain that longs for a return to the use of calling cards and proper handkerchief etiquette. I'll be sad they're gone, but it's time.
I am less pleased about the related death of invegstigative journalism. It's expensive and doesn't bring in the readers, which means we get endless stories about the latest freak-show Octomom-Balloon Boy-Kid Who Got Suspended For Bringing Utensils to School. I'm clinging to the hope that we'll figure it all out eventually.
My life seems to be punctuated by shit explosions, both literal and metaphorical. This time it was literal. Again.
Fitz managed to weasel her way into the garbage and score herself two freezer-burned ham steaks that were about a combined quarter her body weight. She's a tiny dog. She was happy, briefly, until she let loose all over the floor in both bathrooms. Even her pee was full of shit.
She was happy. I was not.
I needed rubber gloves and a whole lot of resolve, but I'm hardcore.
I hate you sometimes, Fitz.
As an editor, I love reading what other editors are doing. As a jerk, I love it more when I can point and laugh at those editors for being retarded. Check out these " 11 Most Painfully Obvious Newspaper Articles Ever. " Then crap yourself in a blanket, if you still want to.
So last week I locked myself out of the apartment when I went downstairs to do laundry. I was stuck out in the hallway for 3-1/2 hours in my bare feet with nothing but a bucket of laundry detergent until Devon came home, because my pride wouldn't let me use a neighbor's phone to call him to ask him to come home and let my sorry, forgetful ass in.
My pride hates me.
When I told him the story, he was all, "You're going to blog this, aren't you?" And it seems like a slam dunk, what with me taking a nap in the hallway with my laundry-detergent bucket as a pillow. But the truth is, it actually wasn't so bad. A neighbor supplemented my bucket with  some socks, a cereal bar, a jacket and some magazines. Another neighbor let me hang at her place for a bit before her daughter had to go to sleep. So instead of a series of misadventures, I have a story that renews my faith in community, and a pretty dull blog entry.
Damn you, community!
I know, you're all wondering, "What did you do for New Year's Eve, Dirty Hooker?" What, you weren't wondering that at all? Shut up, yes you were. If you guessed "partying like it's 2009 in a drunken urban orgy," try again.
It was my turn to watch Dad for the weekend, so Dad and I spent the day repeating the same three conversations a dozen times each and paying bills. When Dad suggested we have a drink at about 4 pm to celebrate the New Year, I was happy to oblige. Alcohol is probably contraindicated in half of the dozen or so medications he's on, but I figure, he's 88 years old, and if he wants a drink, I'm not gonna be the one to tell him no. So I poured him a small glass of some B&B we had in the cabinet.
While I sipped it delicately, because this stuff is strong, he pounded that shit like he was on leave in the army. He's awesome like that.
Then, when Devon got home from work, Dad had a couple of glasses of wine and a glass of champagne with us. He's hardcore.
He was morose for only a few hours before the clock struck midnight, but still, it sucks waching an old man cry. The next day he'd forgotten it was New Year's, so all was well again.
This past week off from work was the greatest gift in the world. I got to play WoW and bake cookies and sleep a ton and generally decompress from the high-intensity second half of 2009. We topped it off with turning my desk from a horizontal shit catcher into a real, functional office space and turning one of the closets in the second bedroom into a usable craft center.
Devon installed shelves. I think I will keep him.
If you're cruising for a new podcast, check out Tyrannosaurus Regina, where I and three other women talk about all things nerdy. You can find it on iTunes by doing a search for Tyrannosaurus Regina, or go directly to our site .
The site is a work in progress, as is the podcast, so suggestions are welcome.
Topic #1: Why aren't there more female nerds? Topic #2, to be recorded this weekend, is about those supreme time wasters we call Facebook games. Are they really games or Facebook's evil attempt to get us to spend real money on virtual money?
Guess which one of the following items DID NOT make it through airport security.
If you guessed the box cutter, you should not be working for the TS-Fucking-A .
When we moved into our new apartment, Devon picked up a bunch of box cutters, and I slipped one of them into my purse in case I needed to cut someone someday. I forgot about it completely. This razor blade made it all the way through airport security, while my Japanese Cherry Blossom body lotion did not.
Something ain't right here.
To be fair, I never get shit stolen confiscated leaving New York only when trying to navigate Denver International Asshats so there's a good chance I would have gotten an anal probe from the TSA Saturday upon my return home.
But do you know what happened as a result of me bringing this deadly weapon onto the airplane? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because I'm an ordinary person trying to get from point A to point B, just like I was the day the TSA protected the world from my overpriced girly products. Just like the vast majority of travelers.
Thank God they remembered to make me take my shoes off. Who knows what could have happened.
I qualify "nerds" because there was a terrific post about scoring with female nerds at The Park Bench , which inspired this one. After speaking* with Devon, I put together this primer on dating male nerds.
Be interested in his obsession
And he WILL be obsessed with something, whether it's Battlestar Galactica, forensic science or making chess pieces out of recycled yak dung. Being genuinely interested makes life easier for everyone, but "fake it 'til you make it" also applies.
Be aggressive
Boy nerds have taken a lot of rejection since high school. A LOT. He may not recognize you shoving his head into your breasts as flirting, in which case you'll need to come on stronger. Nerds are very smart and very, very dumb.
Have breasts
Nerds are still men, and men like boobs.  Anything that emphasizes your breasts (say, shoving his head into them) will let him know you are a woman and that he should consider the possibility of having sex with you at some point in the future.
Build a World of Warcraft toon now
The good news is that you won't be trapped watching football on lazy afternoons. The bad news is that you'd better be ready to part with $15 a month for a World of Warcraft account. A toon is a WoW character you control, and you will need one if you want to spend this time together. Start building now, because your level-15 noob just won't cut it when he's doing level-80 raids. It's OK. While this seems lame now, you will TOTALLY FUCKING LOVE IT BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME.
Feed him
The average nerd isn't so dense that he will die of starvation, but he may consider Whoppers and beer a balanced meal. If you encourage him to eat real food and take care of himself, you might prove invaluable in keeping him alive.
Be prepared to make bizarre abstract arguments
Like, who would win in a fight, Caprica Six or Megatron? Q or Elminster? This is nerd philosophy. Embrace it and your nerd will embrace you.
Wooing a nerd helps if you are also a nerd. Odds are, though, that your nerdiness will have a different flavor than his, so it helps to brush up on the basics. Your learning curve will be steeper if you are not a nerd, but it can work if you are committed and persistent. Go get 'em, tiger.
* Nerds don't speak. We IM. Even ones who live together.
I seem to have misplaced my Christmas spirit. Until about three years ago, I was so amped for Christmas that people had to tell me to calm my shit down, because it was just embarrassing in a grown woman, and I would tell those people to stuff it, because I had some Christmas cookies and eggnog to devour. Then I would waddle myself over to the TV and watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" under the explosion of Christmas lights and decorations.
Christmas is always nice (last year I spent it in Rome, which was awesome), but I haven't felt that giddy excitement in awhile. Maybe it's because global warming has fixed it so that New York hasn't even seen snowfall yet. More likely it's because so many of my Christmas memories have centered around tradition making Italian cookies that take all day to make, even with three people; decorating the tree; making highly alcoholic eggnog punch; mom telling me not to put so much booze in the eggnog punch; mom begging me to open one of my presents early, because she liked giving them even more than I liked getting them.
When I mentioned that I wanted to start creating some traditions of our own, Devon pointed out that those things tend to evolve naturally. Not sure I agree with that, since traditions happen because people make them happen. At any rate, we don't tend to do the same thing twice, which makes it hard to create traditions, so I've decided to create some of my own. I was too wiped to do cards or decorations this year, but I'm going to do one festive thing if I have to kill people to make it happen.
What do you guys do for Christmas that has meaning for you? (If you don't celebrate Christmas, let me hear your other holiday traditions. I'm a fan of yule.)
There are some words that should never be uttered, except ironically, by people over the age of 10. I'm putting "yum" on notice: You're going down, jerk.
My loathing of "yum" was sparked by Rachael Ray's popularization of "yummo." If you Google "yummo," her Web site is the first hit, so she can't even hide from her dirty deed.
Your days are numbered, yum. There's nowhere to hide, for you or your variations, like "yummy" and the worst, "yummy in the tummy." Don't even get me started on "tummy."
I'll make one exception: If you are speaking to a small child and use "yum" and "tummy," I will let you live. Just don't make a habit of it.
This has rapidly become a multifront war. I'd better stop.
Devon has been kicking around the idea of creating a zombie plague for a while now, especially since the whole " meat in vats " idea got snapped up by someone else. I have determined that the only way to stop him is to create zombies before he does. My idea: Think of the children. Yeah, you heard me.
We take a population of people that is prone to violence and irrational behavior anyway children under 4 and we hop them up on sugar and caffeine. Then we eliminate naps. And adult supervision. And lock them all in a room with one toy to share. Instant zombie plague! And wiping out all the children is guaranteed to trigger an apocalypse, which is one of Devon's criterion for an effective zombie plague.
Oh, stop looking at me like that. Devon's PCP-induced zombie rage idea was certain to wipe out all the children anyway, but at least now adults can enjoy the rides at Disney World for a little while before the end.
I am so awesome.
Many have tried. Many have failed. But here I go: I am going to try to read one book a week. It shouldn't be hard, in theory: Until I graduated from high school,  I sometimes read three books a day. Social awkwardness is made, not born, kids. But somewhere in adulthood, I got distracted by other things, and now reading is a struggle.
That's not quite right. I'm literate, I promise: Making time to read is a struggle. I keep getting distracted by shiny hobbies, like cooking and crafting and cleaning up dog shit. And I read things all day long for a living, so reading outside of work is like a janitor mopping floors for kicks. But much of what I edit is deeply terrible, and I need to rediscover the love.
So I'm going to set some ground rules for myself:
1. No books that suck. If, 50 pages into it,  I want to spork my eyes out, the book is gone. This ain't high school, where I HAVE to wade through "Moby Dick." There is absolutely no reason I have to subject myself to Ann Coulter. I'm a grown-up: I bought the book, I can burn it if I want to.
2. No book is off limits. It doesn't have to be great literature, it just has to have words. I'll even allow for audiobooks. I don't "read" many of them, because my sleep circuit fires when people read me stories, but they will do just fine.
I should be able to do this. I'll review the books I read and let you know how it goes. What books do you recommend? Any I should stay the hell away from?
I must be the only chick in the world that people have to scam into accepting gifts.
Don't get me wrong: I like stuff, especially nice stuff. But there's something about expensive presents that makes me want to give them back and tell people to save their money for the inevitable apocalypse, when the cost of sulfur-proof umbrellas will skyrocket. This isn't a "problem" I can share with people. "Oh, your birth mother gave you a thousand dollars with instructions to spend it on something diamond-y? You poor thing. How ever will you cope?" No, people are more likely to be all, "Go die in a fire, skank."
So the super-awesome pearl necklace I got over the weekend is a result of Devon expertly timing whipping out his credit card as I looked through my bag. He's a gift ninja.
He objected to me spending only a fraction of the money Maureen gave me, so now I "have" to go buy something shiny. Maybe shiny new ironic quotation marks, since I've clearly blown through my share in this post.
My necklace is pretty sweet. I fantasize that I am Audrey Hepburn*, navigating through a sepia world where people do things like dress up for the theater and sacrifice true love so Czech resistance leaders can save their country. In reality, I spent Sunday playing World of Warcraft in shorts, a t-shirt and pearls.
Close enough.
*Ingrid Bergman co-starred in Casablanca, but Audrey Hepburn rocked pearls like no one else.
I made this frame a few years ago, to hold a picture of my nephew (now 13) at the pumpkin patch.
Lightly sand a wooden frame (found at most large craft stores).
Measure your ribbons and cut them to fit the frame. (You'll need to trim later anyway, so make them a bit longer than you'll need.)
Paint the frame a color that matches well with your ribbons. Let dry.
Attach ribbons to the frames. I use Mod Podge , but you can also use regular glue slightly watered down. Apply the Mod Podge to the side of the ribbon that will adhere to the frame and stick the ribbons to the frame. Let dry. Apply another coat to the top and let dry. Apply a third coat and let dry.  Trim the ribbon to even out the frame.
The project originally came from PlaidOnline, which you can find in my links.
Sometimes, my dad is awesome.
I was making cheesecake for Thanksgiving and asked him whether he wanted to lick the bowl.
Dad: No, I don't[he sticks his pinky in the bowl and licks it tentatively.] Mmm, this is good. Give me a spoon.
So I let my dad slurp clean the remains of a bowl of cheesecake batter all by himself. Either I'm a very good daughter or a very, very bad one.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night.
Facebook says I should reconnect with Devon Jones. I think Facebook has gone too far in poking its Mafia Wars-lovin' face into my personal life. You don't know me, FB! You don't know anything about my relationship! Devon is sitting 4 feet away, sending email in his pajamas.
God, Facebook is a pushy wench.
In other news, we continue the never-ending battle against bodily fluids. Yesterday, Devon cleaned up more cat pee out of his chair and off of the floor, and I cleaned up a puddle in the bathroom. During the night, I mopped up two separate puddles outside the bathroom. This morning, Sahrah vomited another cat (probably the same cat the Fatass fired out of her ample bottom ).
In Fitz's defense, her pee pad really is disgusting and needs to be changed. I wouldn't step on that, either.
Honestly, this bowl kind of freaks me out. I don't know what I was thinking. It's like the purple eye in the center is staring at me, telling me to do terrible things. This is the inside of the bowl, so, from the outside, the colors are a bit more transluscent.
Me: I'm going to spank you.
Devon: Why?
Me: You're such a dude . We have an empty laundry basket in the closet and an empty laundry bag 3 feet away from it. Where are all your dirty clothes? On the floor between them.
Devon: Well, I got the right room.
Me: That's like me shitting in the shower and saying it's OK because I got the right room.
Devon: Who shits in the shower? Your metaphor is weird.
Me: It's a simile.
Devon: You're right. But a metaphor is like a simile.
Yesterday, I was told by a young man standing on the corner with his equally young friends that I am "smokin' like a Prius." I wish I knew whether to be flattered or insulted. A Prius does not have the street cred of, say, a Porsche, so I doubt he meant I was hot. Or maybe he's just a geek, and a Prius is the IT car for him.
At least I'm not smokin' like a '93 Pontiac dying on a curb in Jersey .
I also considered that he was insulting me, and I am, in fact, not "smokin'" at all.
I ultimately came to the conclusion that he was telling me I am a geek magnet, much like a Prius. Sorry, dude, but you can't be more than 23 years old, and I prefer professional geeks with years of training in the art of nerdom. It's not me, it's you.
Taking care of a man with dementia is like herding ants. Just when you think you have them all under the glass, two or three or 10 escape and run for the grass.
My routine with dad is predictable in its insanity: Tonight, he asks what day it is. I tell him it's Friday. He tells me I need to pay the bills. I tell him they're already paid. He asks me to move back home, since he doesn't intend to date girls anymore. I tell him thank you, but I can't. He asks me what day it is. I tell him it's Friday. He asks me what day tomorrow is. I tell him tomorrow is Saturday. He organizes his medication, because he can do it all by himself, he tells me, and I adjust where necessary. He asks me what day it is. I tell him it's Friday. He goes through his well-worn wallet, making sure he has enough money. He tells me I need to pay the bills. I tell him they're already paid. He shows me his driver's license, his American Express card, his photos, the scrap of paper on which I helped him spell ten through ninety when I was in the fourth grade so he could write out his checks properly. He still got ninety wrong. Dad has never been a scholar. He asks me what day it is. I tell him it's Friday. I finally throw away the stack of mail he's been obsessing over for an hour, because I don't want to hear about it anymore, even though I know he'll just obsess about something else. He goes through his wallet to make sure he has enough money. He asks me what day it is. I tell him it's Friday.
He's following the script in his head.
Trying to keep all the ants under the glass has been challenging, and a task ultimately doomed to failure. I miss mom for lots of reasons, partly because I wish she were here to do this.
I suck at this. Sorry, Dad.
Making this laundry detergent reminded me of running my hands through beach sand, without the danger of getting it stuck in my underwear. Use a wooden or plastic spoon if you don't want to get your hands dusty.
For an ordinary load of laundry, use 1/8 cup per load. You can use any plain, nonscented soap. Most online recipes recommend Fels-Naptha . I couldn't find it in my grocery store, so I used Octagon All Purpose Bar Soap , and it worked out well.
Laundry Detergent
1 part plain, unscented soap
2 parts Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 parts Borax
essential oils or fragrance oils, optional
Grate the soap using a handheld or electric grater. Combine all ingredients and store in a plastic container with a lid.
Like I needed to give Devon another reason to kill me.
I was updating my medical insurance info, and I got to the part about "insurance beneficiary." My company offers 1x base salary in life insurance at no charge to employees. Let's just say that, should I accidentally shoot myself three times in the back of the head, Devon stands to make enough money tothrow a slammin' pizza party. Maybe.
In other news, my future killer did me a huge favor by driving my dad's car, which we animated temporarily by putting in a new battery, back to Queens. It can die a horrible death there for all I care. Good riddance.
I made cream cheese accidentally when I let my yogurt drain too long in an effort to get Greek yogurt-like consistency. Most food surprises don't turn out this happily. If you're expecting the heavy, dense bricks you find in the supermarket, you'll be disappointed. This cream cheese is lighter and spreads nicely.
Add a bit of salt and any flavorings you want, like  jam, for a  morning bagel topper.
Cream Cheese
Yogurt recipe
Drain yogurt in colander lined with cheesecloth overnight, in the fridge. Scrape yogurt into airtight container. This will last up to a month if the container has a strong seal.
Since my dad is never going to drive again as long as we can keep car and keys from meeting, I decided to try and sell the thing. Lo and behold, it is actually a piece of shit. It is 16-years-old, so that shouldn't come as a surprise, but it was fine last year, and I was led to believe that it was in pretty good shape.
Since my friend is not going to buy this piece of shit after all, we decided to bring it back to Dad's and let it rot in the driveway, since one of Dad's meltdown triggers is this car. Unfortunately, the car decided to make its last stand next to a curb in Jersey.
It is dead. Not mostly dead, but completely and utterly dead, dead, dead.
I was going to have it junked, but now dad is melting down daily because the car isn't there. So I'm going to have to pay several hundred dollars to have a dead car towed back to Queens so my dad can see it from the window and calm his shit down.
This is what I get for taking initiative. Initiative: bad.
When my responsibility to my dad is over, I am going to crawl into a hole with a stack of books and some yarn and crochet hooks and never come out, because I never want to be responsible for another person's well being ever again.
With this bowl, I was in the mood for something cartoony and fun.
With black acrylic paint, draw the outline of the flowers, and use green for the vines. Let the paint dry for a few hours or overnight. Paint the inside of the flowers whatever colors you like. Let dry for a few hours or overnight. Paint inner circles yellow. Let the whole thing cure for a week before using.
Handwash only.
Listen, Facebook, I don't care what my mother told you to do before she died: I don't need to hear your shit about my biological clock. I'm not even trying to have a baby, so I don't need "fertility coaching." I call my birth-control pills "baby bombs" for a reason.
Besides, the phrase "fertility coaching" is just bizarre. Like I really need some strange dude standing next to me while I'm having sex, telling me I'm doin' it wrong.
When you see how dead easy it is to make your own yogurt, you'll buy the store-bought stuff only during moments of extreme desperation. It takes a bit of time, but most of that can be spent watching TV or organizing your underwear drawer while the milk and heat do their thing. Devon found that using yogurt instead of milk made for fluffier omelets. I like this recipe because it lets me have plain organic yogurt for half the price of the non-organic kind in stores.
If you're looking for the sugary, gross stuff on the supermarket shelves, this isn't it. This recipe will give you 4 cups of plain yogurt. Adding vanilla extract, sugar or jam will jazz it up a bit, and you control how sweet it gets. This recipe calls for a yogurt maker, but you can make it without one if you can find a consistent, low-temperature heat source, such as an oven that goes as low as 100 F. If you're feeling experimental, you can buy your own yogurt culture , but I've always had good results with a small container of store-bought yogurt.
I also got my yogurt maker at Amazon, but they no longer carry the dirt-cheap one I have, and the ones they do carry are about twice the cost of the one I bought, so look around.
You can skip the dry milk if you're using whole milk, but I recommend it if you're making low-fat or skim yogurt.
Yogurt
4 cups milk (whole, lowfat or skim)
¼ cup dry milk powder (optional)
½ of an 8-ounce container of store-bought plain yogurt
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat to 185 F. Let the milk cool to 100 F to 110 F. While the milk is cooling, plug in the yogurt maker.
Add milk powder, if using, and half of the container of yogurt. (If you add the culture when the milk is too hot, you will kill off the bacteria that make the whole thing work.) Whisk the powder and yogurt in gently until they are incorporated and lumps are gone.
Pour milk into preheated yogurt maker, set up according to appliance directions, and let set for 4 to 7 hours. The longer you let it set, the tarter the yogurt will be.
When yogurt is done, drain off the whey, if desired, and cool in fridge.
Draining off a lot of the whey will give you a thicker yogurt, and I got pretty close to the texture of Greek yogurt by draining it over and over again until all the whey was almost completely drained off. Warning: This technique will cut your yield in half.
When I told Devon I called him a serial killer again on my blog, he said, "At least people won't be Googling me for dating purposes anymore."
That said, now I have to make sure he can never find another date with anyone who can use a search engine. So here goes.
Devon Jones steals from homeless children.
Devon Jones is gay, gay, super gay, Liberace gay.
Devon Jones watches "Rock of Love" while he slaughters puppies.
And this is what I do to people I LIKE.
You may have noticed the Reading List on the side of the page and the Amazon ads at the bottom or top of some pages. If you click on one of those ads or on the Reading List and buy something from Amazon, I get a small percentage of the sale price. I get the referral fee even if you click to Amazon from DirtyHooker and buy something else.
The Reading List contains books I am currently reading or have just finished and think you might like. No pressure or anything.
I decided to become an Amazon Associate when I realized that one big difference between me and actual hookers is that they make money. I didn't want to have to rename the site AGAIN to Dirty Slut.
I made this pumpkin last Halloween, but sadly, I got to enjoy it for only a week before it rotted, because I'm a supreme retard. I didn't realize that drilling holes in the pumpkin for the pipe cleaners without emptying the guts of the pumpkin first = quick-acting rot.
I was sold on Twitter when I realized it could help me stalk William Shatner.
I saw Shatner once in person on a college trip to Montreal. The other English Honor Society geeks and I were there to see a stage production of "Twelfth Night" with our faculty adviser, Professor Byrd, in a bus a friend had dubbed The Byrdcage.
When Toni and I spotted Shatner, it was like the full force of a thousand 14-year-old girls had been unleashed on an unsuspecting Canadian populace. There was screaming. There was squealing. There were high-pitched cries of "IT'S WILLIAM SHATNER!"
The only thing that stopped us from running out and tackling him was that we were enormous weenies.
Hey, stop judging me! You saw how Kirk took out that Gorn. The Shatner is not to be trifled with.
I never imagined 50 people would be following me on Twitter. Fifty isn't a hell of a lot when you consider that Barack Obama has 2,530,372 followers, but it's about 45 more than I expected. Every once in awhile, it drops to 48 when a few people realize they accidentally followed me instead of Kid Rock.
So, my apologies to William Shatner for stalking him. And to everyone on Twitter for not being Kid Rock. I'll try harder.
What's a girl gotta do to get some sodium hydroxide in this town?
Here's where I'd normally joke about making bombs and meth, but that would probably put me on an FBI list somewhere. Of course, I was probably put on a list after telling the world that Devon kills hoboes. I'm sure the "joke" about popping Balloon Boy's only defense against gravity sent up a few red flags, too.
But seriously, all I'd like to do is make some cold-process soap. For that, I need fat, water and lye. I have already rendered the fat of the obese and gathered their tears, so all that's left is the lye. But I'm told that recent laws make it a ridiculous pain in the ass for brick-and-mortar stores to sell lye. So now I have to buy it online and pay shipping costs for something I used to get easily at the local hardware store.
It's no wonder I'm becoming more crazy libertarian every day.
Really, it's the same old blog with a more colorful background. For now. I'll be making improvements to include info about crafts and food, so stay tuned.
Why Dirty Hooker, you ask? According to Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by  Debbie Stoller, one possible etymology of the word "hooker" dates back to the 1800s, when a lace manufacturer admitted that he expected his workers to whore themselves because he didn't pay them a living wage.
There are other explanations, but this ain't a blog about Civil War generals or pickpocketing.
At a friend's house the other day, I learned that children in a school in New Jersey aren't allowed to carry backpacks from class to class anymore, presumably because they're hauling weapons of mass destruction to history class. I know I would.
When I was in high school, I had a bag that could hold about 4,000 pounds of crap. I carried all my morning books in that bag so I wouldn't have to trudge back and forth to my locker. I could fit small freshmen in that bag.
Maybe that's why schools started outlawing backpacks. Good job, me.
What the hell are people so afraid of, and why do they create crap rules that don't keep us any safer?
Cracked explores the problem with its usual brand of ferocious investigative journalism. I always suspected that Amber Alerts and the sex-offender registry were worthless, at best.
Diddling kids sucks, but if it's going to happen, odds are it's going to be creepy Uncle Todd, who REALLY likes giving horsey rides, rather than that dorky loner three blocks down who got nailed once for public urination.
Hell, if anyone had seen me peeing in Mom's backyard , I could be a sex offender now.
You know what's sad? A little boy falling out of a helium balloon and going splat against the Colorado landscape. You know what's not sad? A helium balloon taking off by itself while a little boy hides in an attic.
Move along, people! There's nothing to see here!
I'm a cold-hearted bastard, though. When Devon told me there was a boy trapped in a balloon and they didn't know how to get him down, my response was, "Pop it."
I was sure I had a maternal instinct laying around here somewhere.
And by rich, I mean breathtakingly poor.
Today, I discovered that the ads on my site have earned me 0.06 cents.
Whoever you pity clickers are, thank you. All I ask is that when I'm a hobo , please don't let Devon kill me.
My sister and I took Dad to the urologist today for a blood test to see how well his cancer meds are working, and I discovered the rich fantasy life my Dad has. He told his doctor all about the parties with girls, and how he drinks beer all day when he's not eating cake.
The dude does eat a ton of cake, but I'm pretty sure the rest was bullshit.
Dad may need to get shots that will chemically castrate him. Our conversation, for your entertainment:
Dad: Am I getting a flu shot? Me: No, Dad, a shot in the balls. Dad: What? Me: Oh, come on, it's been ages since anyone's touched your balls.
Yeah, I went there.
I don't normally plug products, but this is So. Fucking. Awesome that I had to give it a shout-out.
I mean, I wouldn't buy one, because I don't live in a dorm, but this makes me wish I did so I could decorate my room with giant condom wrappers. But then, if I did live in a dorm, I probably wouldn't have 50 bucks to spend on a pillow. For 50 bucks, this pillow would have to make me pizza and proofread my papers and rub my feet. And the pizza would have to have mushrooms.
I was really stoked about the 48 roles of toilet paper in my closet that I bought off of Amazon. Their Subscribe and Save system lets me have ridiculous amounts of toilet paper delivered to my apartment every six months, no shipping costs. I even used a gift certificate, so I spent $17 on 48 rolls of toilet paper.
When I was a kid, I used to fantasize about becoming an astronaut, but this was way cooler than the promise of space flight.
Until Devon seriously harshed on my wow. Seems it wasn't enough to get the 2-ply: He forgot to mention that he wanted quilted toilet paper, because he's a sensitive asshole, too. So our conversation went something like this:
Devon: Next time, can you get the quilted kind? It's way cooler than this lame-ass excuse for toilet paper you painstakingly researched and blew a gift certificate on. Me: But it's recyclable. It's good for the environment. Devon: I want the cushy kind or I will make heads roll. Me: Think of your children! And your children's children! Devon: Cushy! Cushy! Me: Why do you hate children?
OK, so maybe that's an exaggeration. But he does want the quilted stuff, so now I have 48 rolls of toilet paper only I can use. Maybe I'll TP a neighbor's house this Halloween.
I have a cold.
I know, this is not unprecedented in human history. It isn't even a bad cold, at least not yet. But my throat is sore and my nose is runny.
A more together woman would have brought tissues on the train, or maybe a nice lace hanky with her monogram in the corner, but I am not one of those women. So I spent the ride sniffling intermittently, which seemed better than letting the snot run down my face and cling to my chin like baby food.
I guess the woman next to me had enough. She said, "Get a tissue! God!" and stormed off to the magical part of the subway car where everyone brings tissues and little plastic bags for proper disposal.
Dear Subway Lady:
I am sorry I was revolting. I did not think to bring a tissue. If it makes you feel any better, I also forgot my lunch bag. I did not mean to have an unplanned-for cold in your presence. A tissue would have been nice. Maybe you could have offered me one, if you had one. That would have been nice, too.
Life in New York City must be very hard for someone with your delicate sensibilities. You are too good for this world.
Love, Tissue-less Dirty Hooker
It's been said before that Romeo and Juliet would have resolved much more happily had T-Mobile been around in Shakespeare's time. Juliet could have sent her beloved a text: "Hey, Romeo, luv u 4evah, don't kill urself." And Romeo could have replied: "U wanna hook up? C U in the crypt."
It would have been awesome, and the Montagues and Capulets could have had a good, long laugh about their little rapscallions' behavior.
Which led me to think how even more awesome it would be if they had IM.
CapChick: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo. Deny thy father, 'cause his shit is whack. LoverBoy: No worries. He's watchin' porn on his laptop. LOL. CapChick: Can u come over 2nite? I Netflixed "Othello." LoverBoy: Talk about whack. Those dudes make me wanna kill myself. Depressing shit. BRB. LoverBoy: OK, back. CapChick: Where'd u go? LoverBoy: Had to pee. Sorry. CapChick: So, r u coming over? I miss u. LoverBoy: Waitin' 4 Dad 2 pass out in his beer. OK, BITCH. CapChick: Did u just call me a bitch? LoverBoy: No, BITCH. Means Basically in the Clear, Homey. CapChick: Does not. U just made that up. LoverBoy: No, really, I got it off of netlingo.com. CapChick: U r sooooooooo lame. But I love u anyway, pookie. LoverBoy: U know I would die 4 u. B there soon.
Actually, now that I think about it, we're all better off that they killed themselves.
Having my dad sleep over our apartment is a weird experience partly because we don't have a bed set up for him yet, so I end up sleeping with dad and Devon takes the couch.
Dad wakes up, like, every hour on the hour to take a leak. Seriously. His bladder must be the size of a shot glass. I'm so happy I declined the prostate option at conception.
Every hour or so, Dad ambles out of bed and looks for the bathroom, because he forgets where it is every. single. time. The bathroom is 3 feet from the bed. He would see it if he simply turned around. I try to tell him where it is, but he can't hear me, because his hearing aids are in the change bowl in the living room, so it ends with me gesturing wildly and screaming, "IT'S OVER THERE! THE BATHROOM'S OVER THERE!"
In the semi-darkness, I might as well be a giant mute octopus.
My main concern is that Dad will pee the bed, which is not outside the realm of possibility. That's why I sleep on Devon's side and Dad sleeps on my side.
The things I do for love.
Pet peeve of the day: Massage-therapy ads that promise to relax my soul.
Leave my soul alone. If you are touching my soul, you are standing way too close. Back up before I bite you.
This has been a public-service announcement from someone who wants you to back your shit away from her soul slowly and with your hands in the air.
If anyone wants one, there's a kitty carrier lined with cat shit on my balcony, free just for you.
I'd been planning to take the Fatass with me since before Mom died, but our moving plans derailed that temporarily. Didn't want three animals freaking out about the new place at once.
So this weekend, I finally brought the Fatass home.
It took a little coaxing with the end of a rolling pin to get her out from under my father's bed. Ten minutes later, we were on the road. That was when we noticed the smell. A lot of Queens smells like shit. I mean, the Mets play there, so I assumed the smell was coming from somewhere nearby. But the smell followed us to Brooklyn, then to the front door of our apartment. No doubt the Fatass had been eating burritos for lunch. Even opening all four windows didn't help.
We stopped for a beer before bringing the cat upstairs, not looking forward to braving the odor. The beer was good. The ambiance was OK. The right side of the bar was exposed brick and fancy booze. The left side looked like somebody's angry girlfriend tore all the pictures off the wall and left the stupid poster of the bull with the ring in its nose.
Thirty minutes later, we were hauling the cat and her stench into the elevator, and I battled between laughing so hard I couldn't stop crying and suppressing my gag reflex. Her shit is foul, y'all.
When we finally got her onto the balcony, the problem was clear: The Fatass had shit smeared all over her back paws, and the inside of the carrier looked like another cat had exploded out of her ass.
Once we cleaned her off, she scurried under the bed, and then we remembered: We hadn't introduced her to the kitty litter box yet. Devon broke out the mop, and the Fatass' internal monologue went something like this: "Oh, hell! Blue foamy thing! Back! Back! Damnit, my claw's stuck in the blue foamy thing! Sons of bitches! Run for the closet!"
The only one who seemed happy with the situation from beginning to end was Fitz. Her internal monologue was more like: "Something's going on! It's going on over there! What's going on? Can I see? Oh boy, it's still going on! Yay!"
I'm pretty sure the Fatass is gonna kill us in our sleep.
Posted inside the Teriyaki Boy on 9th Ave. and 57th Street. It's like people WANT me to blog about them.
I had to watch the presidential address, because, as a liberal, feminist, socialist, communist, fascist, Nazi, politically confused elitist, when my Messiah speaks, I listen. Also, because if I didn't, my entire office would be talking about it today, and I would be outed as the clueless plebe who blew the night watching the "Cake Boss" marathon.
I was rewarded with Joe Wilson of South Carolina calling Barack Obama a liar from the safety of his padded seat. It's like he forgot for a moment that he wasn't on an episode of Dr. Phil. That happens to me sometimes.
Back in the day, Obama could have gone all Aaron Burr on his ass, or even Dick Cheney. That would have been sweet. But then we'd have all those people "thinking of the children" and everything, and we probably wouldn't even get to see it on TV. Americans are a bunch of weenies these days.
BTW: No one in my office even mentioned the speech. They were all probably watching the "Cake Boss" marathon.
Somewhere, in the mess of boxes I carted to our new apartment, I have a 5-pound container of Maxwell House coffee.
I never wanted a 5-pound container of Maxwell House coffee.
When I moved into my apartment in Dyker Heights right after my divorce, Mom took me to BJs and bought me enough food to feed a circus of nomadic acrobats. Of that stash, I still have the coffee and the restaurant-size box of Splenda.
As I told Mom at the time, I don't really make coffee for myself. Even now, Devon and I make our own coffee only on the weekend. When I was living alone, I would grab some at the local bodega or drink the free, deadly coffee at work. Now, I have a 5-pound container of coffee that is almost five years old and not getting better with age. I don't even use Splenda anymore, since I switched to cofffee without sugar. I am screwed.
This coffee has become like the Gideon Bible. I can't throw it away, because Mom will strike me down. I can't use it, because it's gross. There's only so much I can use to absorb smells in the fridge.
This coffee will haunt me until I die. Thanks, Mom.
With the help of some wine and a bit of a mean streak, Devon and I have decided to quit our jobs to sell Rapture insurance.
Yes, if you are certain you are going to be taken by our good Lord Jesus Christ at the end times, you can shield the selfish, lazy heathens in your family from poverty and starvation with our help. Your life insurance won't do Jack, since you won't be dead. You'll need another way to keep your teenage daughter from whoring herself in front of Home Depot and your husband from performing late-term abortions for spare change.
Don't let your family suffer in sin when you are given your eternal reward.
Enroll in Rapture insurance NOW!
My new apartment comes with its very own 4-year-old girl. I wish I'd known that before I signed the lease.
As we were unpacking our boxes yesterday, Fitz made herself a new friend. The kind who never leaves. The kind who wants to play with our swords. She and her mom finally left, for the second time, and Devon laughed when I put the chain on. Can't be too safe. A 4-year-old is notoriously hard to shake off when you wave a tiny dog in her face.
We celebrated the move out of squalor with the traditional move-in feast: frozen pizza and beer. After a lunch of frozen burritos and Vitamin Water. After a breakfast of Dunkin' Donuts sandwiches and coffee.
I am well-preserved.
I took my dad to to the urologist yesterday to find out why his PSA level is so high, and he screamed like I've never heard a dude scream before.
When we were done and waiting for the cab, Dad said: "He stuck a finger up my ass. It reminds me of the Army. Every once in awhile, they stick a finger up your ass. Every once in awhile."
Dad's PSA level is 87, and his doctor says they're not going to do a biopsy, since the only possible explanation is prostate cancer. So Dad has to go for a bone scan and a CAT scan to see whether it has spread, and, if so, how far.
Despite this diagnosis coming so close on the heels of mom's death, I'm not too worried. Dad's tough, and prostate cancer is slow. Plus, the treatment is merely pills and an injection once every four months, so we won't be putting him through the horror that is chemo.
Still, I kind of wish every major medical consultation didn't end with "You have cancer."
Today begins my epic quest to stop biting my nails. Mavala STOP promises to break a three-decades-old coping mechanism with the power of really foul-tasting nail polish.
Problem is, I'm pretty sure biting my nails was the only thing keeping me from killing you all.
Devon has hinted that my hands are disgusting creatures of the night that should be hidden for the sake of human decency. Or maybe I just interpreted it that way. He was pretty careful to phrase it in terms of fear of infection, but we both know he keeps pepper spray under his pillow, just in case.
I wonder what it'll be like when I can't see my nail bed anymore.
That was the conclusion I came to during my mother's wake. Her pale, dead body in her bed didn't creep my shit out the way her heavily made-up body did in a pretty party dress.
Roman Catholics are fucked up.
Also, when people say, "She looks so good," they are full of shit. She doesn't look good. She looks dead. She would look better in her kitchen making pancakes or inappropriately grabbing someone's ass. Mom liked to grab ass a lot. Man, woman, didn't matter. Your ass was hers. Seriously, if you're ever in St. Charles Cemetery in section 35, be careful where you stand. Your ass is not safe.
On a note somewhat related to ass, I found mom's vibrator as I was going through her dresser. I'm choosing to believe she used it to massage her neck, and not a single one of you can convince me otherwise. La, la, la, I'm not listening to you.
Mom died last night at about 6:10 p.m. Devon and I were there when she took her last breath. The nurse and doctor confirmed it, but today, I still have this crazy fear that I shouldn't have let them do the autopsy, because what if she's still alive in there? What a nightmare, waking up during the middle of your own dissection.
I have the crazy.
I'd never been present for someone's last moment before, and I'm so lucky to have witnessed it. With all the drama and violence of the past few months, the universe allowed me the chance to be alone with only her and Devon when she left.
She'd been nonresponsive for a few days, with her eyes half open and no one home behind them. Half an hour before she died, I felt blood dripping onto my foot, blood from her surgical wound that was no longer clotting. A few minutes before she died, her labored breathing became too shallow to hear, then her eyes closed all the way, she drooled a bit from the corner of her mouth, and the pulse in her neck fluttered and stopped.
The part of me that believes in fairies hoped for a bigger pop a gust of air, a vision, a feeling, something. But it was very quiet.
Dad doesn't understand why this is happening to him, how this could happen to someone as wonderful as mom. His grief is very childlike. Or so I thought, until I found myself on the stairs wishing her Jedi spirit would wave at me from the corner.
Dad isn't childlike just honest.
I'm going to live in a cave. My cave will be equipped with electricity and plumping and things for Devon to do, because I want him in my cave. Everyone else can visit my dark, dank hole in the earth, except for people who suck. I have a list of people who suck, and those people will be pitched into the pit of fire, where they will keep my s'mores fire burning strong and bright.
If you are reading this, you probably don't suck, so I will keep an extra marshmallow over the fire for you. You bring the chocolate.
I made the Most Awesome Mac and Cheese in the World , and Dad. Devon and I were sitting around the table talking about nonsense when I was struck with brilliance: When I grow out of the noob zone in my crocheting, I'm going to open an Etsy store called the Dirty Hooker. It'll sell crocheted goods and other crafts, and it'll be totally awesome because hooker refers to both prostitution and crochet hooks, which are used to shape yarn into patterns, get it?
If any of you wankers steals my idea, I will cut you. No lie.
I was calling around for some price quotes on 24/7 home care for mom, for if and when she comes home, and I had this conversation with the receptionist.
Receptionist: So, what is her medical condition? Me: She is terminally ill. Receptionist: What? Me: Terminally ill. Receptionist: Does that mean she's gonna die soon? Me: Yes. Receptionist: Oh. Sorry.
I can't be irritated. I'm still laughing too hard. I'm just surprised the next question wasn't, "So, does that mean this is a short-term assignment?"
So I'm sitting here at 11:47 p.m., eating Devon's tamales, which took about a thousand days to make because he made them from real Aztecs that he slaughtered in 1395, using his time machine made of used Prius parts and paper clips. I'm sitting here eating my tamales and wondering at the awesomeness that is today. No death threats. No bitching. No major health issues blew up in my face, and nobody died. At least, nobody I give a shit about. Walter Cronkite is dead, which is sorta sad, but ol' Walt's been doing the hokey pokey with his own grave for a while, so whatever. I'm sure his family is sad. My brain is full. Found out Michael Jackson died while I was waiting for mom to get out of surgery and the best I could muster was, "Hmmm."
I did laundry. I washed dishes. I played WoW. I crocheted. We saw an apartment. I watched six episodes of "The IT Crowd." Absolutely nothing else happened.
So. Freakin'. Sweet.
And busting up the neighbor's car.
Dad snuck out of the house and smashed into the car in front of him trying to get out of his spot. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to have to deal with this until I had a 17-year-old kid, but my dad's a rebel and he's never ever been any good.
We have definitely taken his keys now. And at least he crashed right in front of the house instead of three blocks away, where he would have been totally lost.
Bad dad. Bad, bad dad. No TV for you.
I'm fine with killing hobos. Someone's gotta do it. But even I have my limits, and those limits are at forcing people into PCP-induced homicidal rages.
This is Devon's great plan in life in case the whole computer thing turns out to be a fad. It'll take him about 10 years to develop the biochemical background necessary to turn normal, mild-mannered citizens of earth into flesh-eating machines of death, but things could move fast, so I gotta be ready.
I'm considering creating the hippie plague, where people wander around all mellow and eating cheezy poofs and stuff.
Also, if you have any ideas for a freakin' awesome and dirt-cheap wedding, let me know. Winner gets an invitation.
Devon and I are moving in September (because we were bored and didn't have enough to do), and this morning we were envisioning a conversation with the movers.
Mover: How did you get dat king-size bed up here? Us: We folded it. Mover: How am I supposed to get it out? Us: Voodoo fucking magic. We don't care. Mover: Voodoo fuckin' magic dis, voodoo fuckin' magic dat. I can't believe dis shit.
If anyone knows any voodoo fucking magic, please let me know.
In other news, I tweet, therefore I am. Look for GroundSquirrel2 on Twitter if you're a complete masochist.
Sometimes, life is a huge fucking disappointment. Like today, at the hospital, when I was waiting for mom to get out of surgery and decided to ingest calories for the sake of nourishment. The cafeteria tempted me with peanut-butter-and-jelly lolly pops. I thought to myself, "Self, this is the most amazing thing you have ever seen. You must make it your own."
So I bought it. Turns out the only thing vaguely PB&J about it was the color scheme, which was caramel-colored on the bottom and red on the top and had a generic sugar coating all around. After about 30 minutes of sucking time, the top fell off the stick and I had to toss it or risk choking to death.
I realize that last sentence is hilarious if you're 12.
A dirty, filthy lie that should never kiss its mother with that mouth. One day, when I am old and gray and relaying stories of my life to a trite soundtrack and spreading my arms wide at the edge of a boat, I will tell my granddaughter of the era when a whole city was duped into believing in the infrastructure fairy. What a bunch of suckers we were, back in the day.
Oh Fitz, how I hate you when you pee on the floor. You do it always.
I stepped on a dead mouse at Austin's Cafe in Manhattan yesterday. I think I did a pretty good job of staying calm, at least on the outside. As I type this, I try not to think about how squishy its dead little body felt beneath my boot as I sat down for lunch with a friend. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Is that what I think it is? Saul: No, it's just trash. Me: I really don't think so. (silence) Saul: Yeah, that's what you think it is.
Then he loudly informed the cashier there was a dead mouse under the table, because if we have to be skeeved out, we're taking everyone down with us.
I still ate the $6 sandwich I'd just bought, though. Six bucks is six bucks.
I lied. That puddle of pee is totally mine.
I gave my mother plenty of warning that I was coming to visit, but she and dad are a combined 1,000 years old, so they were still out grocery shopping in the time it took me to get from Woodside to Howard Beach by bus.
I tried to wait. For about three minutes. Then I decided to pee in the backyard.
I climbed over the fence and the large air conditioning unit so I could get some cover from the fence that separates my parents' backyard from McDonald's drive-thru, thinking that if only I had a penis I wouldn't need to be so athletic.
When Mom got back, I told her what happened and she laughed, because my Mom's awesome like that.
But now I'm faced with a philosophical dilemma. Is that puddle of pee still mine, or does it belong to Mom now? Or maybe God. And if God, what is God going to do with my pee?
Questions like these are why I decided not to be a nun after all.
I didn't even know what this was until I saw that someone had hit my blog searching for it. I still don't know what this is. Urban Dictionary says a cooch ball is "When your vaginal area has been been so torn up, it is swolen and appears as a ball between the legs." Then it gives an example.
"Matt: Damn taylor, you must be a slut!
Taylor: Why do you say that?
Matt: You have a huge cooch ball"
Putting aside the glaringly obvious spelling, capitalization and punctuation errors that let me feel all superior, I find this definition unhelpful. Sometimes I think people just make this shit up. I've known a lot of sluts in my time, and not a single one has had her cooch grow four sizes bigger.
If the person who searched for "cooch ball" is still here, get yer ass over here and explain this whatthefuckery.
I'm that chick who didn't get a cell phone until she was 24 because she didn't see any real use for it. I mean, why would I need a phone for when I'm out of the house? There are pay phones, and no one wants to talk to me anyway. And then text messaging changed my world. I could pass notes to the other kids while I was in class I mean, at work and never have to talk to people over the phone again.
Devon has dragged me further into the darkness with the G1. I had been texting with my freebie Verizon phone just fine. I was perfectly content hitting the button three times for each letter. It was fun, even. Tap tap. Tap. Tap tap tap. Like Morse code, only less desperate.
But now I have the magic of flipping back and forth between The New York Times and an IM conversation with Donna about something so fabulous and profound it would blow your mind if I told you. Really, don't ask.
Or I can play Hangman, which seems like a really barbaric game, now that I think about it. "See this dude? We are totally gonna hang him by the neck until he's dead, dead, dead if you can't figure out _ _ E H A _ _.
I played this all the time in school. No wonder kids are fucked up.
I bought the WoW expansion pack Burning Crusade so I could up my skinning.
Increasingly disturbed by the thought of skinning dead things and not getting any points for it, I paid $30 so I could rip digital skin from digital bodies.
If anyone needs me, I'll be in my time-out corner contemplating my life.
Yeah, I said it: Fuck pirates. Pirates used to be cool, and now those Somali bastards had to go and harsh on my wow. I want peg legs and eye patches and foul-mouthed parrots, not this death and destruction and real-life shit. Johnny Depp would never pull this crap. He'd swing from a vine looking all hot and stuff. That's what pirate-osity should be about. Pirates have no personal pride these days.
And we totally need to stop calling people who steal shit off the Internet "pirates." I know they wanna be cool, but no one is taking hostages over Justin Timberlake singles. And if you are, you're lame. Knock it off with the hostage-taking, you git.
After Vista choked long and hard on Lord of the Rings Online, I decided to go with WoW. I mean, 10 million geeks can't be wrong, right? The level-10 Night Elf hunter I built during my trial period was fun. You've gotta love a chick in tight leather with thighs big enough to crush tanks like Dixie cups. At the end of my trial period, I was ready to pay for the privilege of spending many happy hours traveling back to my rapidly cooling corpse. Then I discovered the truth: There is no game. World of Warcraft was replaced with World of Patchcraft, which lets me spend many happy hours watching shit download.
Oh, look at that, my pet gets its own tree now. LIES! There is no pet. There is no tree. There is only WoP.
It took three days to download all the patches, as I had to take care of it before and after work, and then our Intarweb was down for a full day and a half before Devon recited some mystical incantation to make it work again.
I keep telling myself that it will happen, that I will play someday. I really like skinning dead things, which should come as a surprise to no one.
But I know where you can find one, if you'd like to drive to Kensington, Md., and fish it out of a Dumpster.
Devon and I drove down to DC to see Misty, his friend who was visiting from Colorado. She was a little nauseated after spending an hour in the car looking for a section of town that we never found because it probably got sucked into the Hellmouth. Devon thought a helping of homemade ginger ale would be just the thing to settle her stomach, and it did the hard way.
It's weird now that I don't live in DC, it no longer feels like the soulless, oppressive, empty shell of a city I remember. Or maybe that was just the company I was keeping at the time. We got to tour the Capitol building, which I'd managed to miss in the two years I was there, before meeting up with Pukemaster Ewegen.
And I got a bitchin' bread machine for my birthday, the kind that sends your bread back in time so little old ladies can knead it with their freakishly strong hands and make it smell like homemade awesome. Yes, it's that good.
This is a test of the emergency comments system. This is only a test. One of you (you know who you are!) noted that she couldn't leave comments, so I'm asking that, if you have a moment, leave a message to this post (or another) so I can see whether it's a Blogspot problem or something else. If you've left a message and it hasn't posted, please let me know.
So tell me about you day. Write angsty poetry. Record the nutrition data of your lunch. Whatever. I'd appreciate it.
I promise, this is not just a desperate cry for attention.
You are free to return to your lives.
With my 31st birthday a little over a week away, I've decided to try to arrest the march of time by getting myself a gym membership. Today, I bask in new-gym euphoria. I'm going to go five days a week! I'm going to do yoga and take belly-dancing classes! I'm going to learn kickboxing! I'm going to look svelte and strong and totally fucking awesome by June! Right after I finish this beer!
I had to do something. Moving in with Devon, I packed on 10 pounds. Since August. Because he ties me to a chair and force-feeds me lard and vegetable oil-infused vodka. I've lost 6 of those pounds, but if I want to eat his tasty omelets , I need to get moving.
I'm writing all this here in the hopes that public shame will motivate me. If I don't do these things, you all get to point and laugh and mock me for being a lazy-ass.
Let it be known I did it all for the omelets.
I'm pleased to report that Fitz is still not dead.
After an hour of barking her tiny head off, she finally got to see the vet, who put her under, cleaned her gums and pulled four teeth. Despite what all the cool kids told her, eating cat shit is NOT good for oral hygiene. Just say no, Fitz.
She was barking so much that I had to take her outside. A large dog left a large-dog crap right in front of the door, and when the vet's assistant came out to clean it up, she looked at me and Fitz accusingly, and I was like, hell no. THAT shit did not come out of THIS dog.
THAT shit* THIS dog
It's gotta suck to be a vet's assistant sometimes.
Fitz spent the next few hours groggy, but she was back to normal in no time, and back to her favorite thing in the world fucking her small black blanket.
It's gotta suck to be a small black blanket sometimes.
*A reasonable representation of the shit in question.
So I was doing a little random Google-stalking of people I've lost contact with, and I noticed that an old foster sister of mine could have been on Facebook. I say could have been because I haven't seen her in 20 years, and I imagine she's changed since she was 4. The Facebook pic was of a young woman holding a toddler who looked exactly like she did at that age, leading me to believe 1) She really hasn't aged a day in 20 years, 2) She is all growed up and has a kid of her own, or 3) It's not her and I'm stalking a complete stranger.
I found a Reunion.com entry that matched, so I signed up for it, since it was free. In my zeal to reconnect with my foster sister, I guess I missed the disclaimer that said Reunion would spam my ENTIRE GODDAMN ADDRESS BOOK in a marketing blitz from the bowels of hell. Everyone in my address book got a message from "me" telling them to sign up for Reunion.com including two guys I dated that I lost touch with on purpose, one friend I lost touch with by accident, and two very confused professional contacts.
Does anyone know how to join the witness protection program without actually having to witness something?
P.S.: If you were still considering joining Reunion.com, stop. They don't even let you see anything helpful unless you pay for their "premium" service, which apparently comes with a Taser and a fake mustache for when you accidentally spam everyone you know and everyone you'd hoped to never hear from again.
I'm such an Obama fangirl that it's getting embarrassing.
The angel of journalistic balance is on my right shoulder, whispering sweet words of fairness and impartiality, while the devil of partisan whoring is on my left shoulder, telling me Obama is So. Freakin'. Awesome. I even had a dream last night that he invited me to join his meetings for a whole day. As Nancy Pelosi prattled on about something or other, I noticed Obama was wearing white knee socks and bathroom slippers with his suit. And that only made him cooler.
I'm tempted to start a fan club and send out 8-by-10 glossies of him in his swimming trunks and "official" membership cards and quarterly newsletters, like they used to have for the New Kids on the Block. Or so I hear.
BTW: When I checked Wikipedia to make sure I didn't fuck up the names of the songs, I found out NKOTB has actually gotten back together and is doing a reunion tour with Natasha Bedingfield and Lady Gaga. They were even in NYC at the end of October. I'm disgusted with myself that I missed this, even as I suspect it was a lot like catching my grandma in a thong keeping in mind that my grandma's been dead for 28 years.
But Obama is totally not like my rotting grandmother. He's gonna be so awesome, like, forever.
Don't die like this guy. Really, all your friends will laugh at you. You will not pass go. You will not collect $200. St. Peter will shun you. The virgins will all have headaches. I promise.
Somebody smack me the next time I read comments posted on CNN. I did it today, and something inside me broke like Mickey Rooney in "Boys Town." 
Look, Wayne yes, I'm talking to you the fact that a scientific study indicates that people have a herd mentality even when the herd is dumb does not prove that evolution is wrong. I don't even know how you made that leap, but your shit's all retarded, so stop. 
Sure, there are gaps in our knowledge. There's an 18-year gap in the Bible between when Jesus' voice first cracked and when he kicked off his ministry, but no one is saying the Bible is crap because of it. The Bible is crap for other reasons, but not for that one. Spitting in the face of reason doesn't make you an "independent thinker" who forges his own path. It makes you a fundie nitwit. 
I can't find this article on CNN anymore, since CNN supports creationism and wants you to live in darkness. Take it up with them.
This morning, as we were getting ready for work, Devon noted that it would be nice to have a president who doesn't suck. I replied that, at the very least, it would be nice to have a president who isn't a war criminal.
Lots can and will happen over the next four years, and Obama might turn out to suck and be a war criminal, but for now, we get to start over. We've engendered a little goodwill from the rest of the world the kind of goodwill Bush pissed all over after 9/11, so that's a good start.
On inauguration day, I found out uncertainty lies ahead for my company. A year from now, a lot of people will be looking for work, if they can't jump ship before then. Maybe me, too. But I'd like to enjoy the feeling of hope a little longer before I worry about it.
And despite all Bush has done to ass-ram the spirit of the Constitution, today I still live in a country where I can call the president of the United States a war criminal, so it's not all bad.
I know: Two posts in as many days is insanity. But this is an important service announcement , and the world needs to know.
I want this in the sense that I'm looking at it right now, and as soon as I move on to something else, I will stop wanting it. But seriously, don't fuck with these ovaries. They've seen shit you can only imagine.
Warning: If you're offended by blog posts about cooch, turn back now. This one has a whole lotta vagina.
In anticipation of No More Bush Day, I decided to go to the gynecologist and get my gear checked out. Truthfully, I would have done this anyway, because it's good to get your gear checked out. But the fact that my appointment fell a few days before the Big Event was still pretty neat.
I waited 90 minutes in the middle of a work day just to get into the exam room. Ninety minutes. To give you an idea of how long 90 minutes is, just in case you can't imagine that much time, 90 minutes is enough time to read two copies of Fit Pregnancy and half of Conceive magazine (because that's the kind of material you find in an OB/GYN office). Ninety minutes is also enough time to make my blood pressure go up to 120/90, which seemed to baffle the assistant, who couldn't figure out why I'd be a bit peeved about the fact that I was half an hour late getting back to work and I HADN'T EVEN GOTTEN INTO THE STIRRUPS YET.
After 15 minutes of more waiting in my socks and a front-opening medical gown, I finally got to see the nurse practitioner, who looked down at my chart and asked, "So, you're 38?" And I was like, "Hell, no," and now I need to qualify that, because it sounds like I think 38 is old, and a lot of people bigger than I am are going to kick my ass for calling them old. When I'm 38 I won't have any problem with being 38, but, until then, I'm all, "Dude, no!" But now that I think about it, I don't need to worry about all the people over 38, because they probably have arthritis and brittle bones and stuff.
When the poking and prodding was over, she mentioned that my pressure seemed a little high, and I insisted that it was probably fine, but she took it again, because it would be really bad form to have me drop dead of a heart attack on the way to the elevator. It was 98/70 that time, and she apologized for making me wait for so long, which was cool because I didn't even have to bitch about it. I just had to make it seem like I might die, which I wasn't even trying to do. And it's only now that I realize that Fitz totally played me .
Anyway, if you have a cooch and you haven't had it examined lately, you should totally do it. Just bring something to read.
So I've been trying to figure out where I fall on the Data/Capri-Sun Intelligence Scale (with Data being super-smart and Capri-Sun being drinkable with a tiny straw).*
When I hang out with Devon and his friends and they talk about tech stuff, I feel like I have neurological damage. One time, when John, Devon and I were at a bar in Jersey, my eyes rolled into the back of my head, and I drooled a little into my Sam Adams Octoberfest. One of the benefits of being quiet most of the time is that you can have a 'tard seizure** and no one notices. I recognize the vocabulary and sentence structure as English, but the sentences have no meaning. Like "Window run bright and slow to tomorrow."
I have these seizures often.
Then, just when I think I'm too retarded** to be allowed out in public, I'm forced into a meeting to learn how to use the office phones. Yes, they are training us how to use phones. Next week, we are getting swank new phones with back-lit screens and 28 different ring tones. (They still can't figure out how to get us caller ID, which is sad, because if I had caller ID, I might answer my phone once in awhile.) At the training, half of my co-workers complained that the phones were too complicated. Soft keys are, apparently, too new-fangled for the average cube monkey.
I suppose I can see the problem. Soft keys require a certain psychological flexibility. One minute this key means "call forward," and the next it means "transfer call to a nonexistent extension where caller will listen to pre-recorded music for 20 minutes, then be cut off." It's like dream interpretation. One minute that "naked at the office" dream symbolizes vulnerability, and the next it means you're a sick pervert who shouldn't be allowed near elementary schools.
The lesson in all this is to always carry a beer to catch your 'tard drool. **
* I lost faith in IQ testing when everyone I knew claimed to have an IQ of at least 140. ** I know. People aren't allowed to use this word anymore. Sorry. *** *** I'm not really sorry.
The magic kind, not the 1/8 ounce kind, although they could have a metric fuckton of cocaine and I would never know, so I guess I shouldn't make declarative statements like that.
I got back from my trip to Italy, and I should want to blog about that, but I find myself fascinated by the ads Facebook has targeted to my demographic. Facebook thinks I'm an underpaid, 30-something New Yorker who loves yoga, Botox, drumming and wants to be a ninja. All of that is true except for the Botox and the yoga. I love the idea of yoga. I even do a half-assed Sun Salutation every once in awhile. I should be all over yoga like Botox on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but I can't focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time, let alone on my own breathing. I mean, that's the whole point of having an autonomic nervous system, so I don't have to worry about that stuff.
I clicked the ad that promised me jobs that pay $92 an hour for part-time work, because the only jobs like that that I'm qualified for require monthly VD testing. I turned back when I got to a page that said the offer would expire if I didn't send them my name, address and phone number in 14 minutes and 30 seconds.
I don't need that kind of pressure.
We did the yearly Secret Santa gift exchange, which goes off pretty much the same way every year: I organize it, everybody waits until three minutes before gift time to run out and get a Starbucks gift card, one dude forgets, and we all wander away shaking our heads. Then I vow to myself to never organize this crap again.
I got a large bag of holiday M&Ms, a jar of black-currant jelly and a wooden Christmas-tree ornament from my boss. The ornament makes sense. My entire paycheck goes toward keeping IT quiet about my Smurf-porn addiction, so I can't buy ornaments of my own. The M&Ms and jelly are clear signs that my boss wants me to be a thousand pounds and gasping for air every time I get up to pee. But it could have been worse: They could have been those personalized M&Ms that say things like "I banged your mom" and "Clean out your desk by this afternoon." As for the jelly: My aunt's 89th birthday is tomorrow, and I didn't have a gift yet, so it's all cool.
On a completely unrelated note: I promised myself a long, long time ago that I would never go to meetings that were summaries of other meetings. I had to keep that promise today.
I can post about this now because a few days have passed and Fitz is totally fine and not dead.
I had the day off on Friday and went over to Mr. Kiwi, where I bought, among other things, a gigantic brownie that I planned to share with Devon and a friend later that night. I came downstairs from folding the laundry to find half a brownie and a very guilty-looking 7-pound dog.
I don't know what I expected probably for her to drop dead right on top of the brownie. So I IM'd Devon and told him I'd probably killed his dog, and he was pretty nice about the whole thing, and all I could think about was the ferret-in-the-dishwasher incident with his ex-wife, and wondered whether he was wondering why these crazy bitches keep killing his pets, and I realized I should never have children because I couldn't keep a dog alive for three months and I should get a tubal immediately or even give myself a tubal because it would be faster than trying to convince a doctor to sterilize a 30-year-old woman with no children and oh, shit, I can't, because the knives are in the sink with all the other dirty dishes I haven't washed yet because I suck, and Fitz, you're a pain in the ass, but you're harmless and sweet, so please don't die.
I managed to squeeze all that in while I Googled vets in Brooklyn. One told me to bring her in, but not to him, because he was closing in 40 minutes. He gave me the number for another vet, who told me to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline, which wanted to charge me $60 just to tell me whether I should bring her to a vet or not. In the meantime, Devon found a vet nearby who, after making sure there was no pot in the brownies, told him she'd be fine and to keep an eye on her for signs of toxicity, like hyperactivity and vomitting.
So I spent the rest of the day carrying her with me up and down the stairs so I wouldn't miss anything, which probably pissed her off, but that's what she gets for eating chocolate and making me think she was going to die. She spent the rest of the day sleeping.
So Fitz and I have come to an understanding. I agree to let her be her neurotic, crazy-ass self, and she agrees not to catch the death.
With the newspaper industry spiraling into a vegetative state, I've been considering my career options. I'm seriously regretting that philosophy minor now, as awesome as arguing semantics for a whole semester was. English has been a surprisingly versatile degree, but getting married really screwed me over. 
Note to any young women reading this blog: Never follow your deadbeat husband up and down the Eastern seaboard at the expense of your own career unless you want to end up woefully overqualified for the monkey job you have but without the management experience to score anything better. 
Not that I'm bitter or anything. 
At any rate, I've narrowed my options down to the following three. 
1) Prostitution: In a down economy, prostitution is a growth industry. And I'm a people person! One problem: The average age of an entry-level whore is 13 years old , so I'd be competing with a much younger crowd.
2) Crack dealer: Exciting, and I could set my own hours. But I hate guns, so I'd have to fight off the competition with a fucking iron pipe . And being woken up all hours of the night by strung-out junkies would get on my nerves. Besides, realistically, I'd pee my pants the first time a narc banged on my door. I'm kind of a weenie.
3) Time traveler: This one has real potential. I love to travel, and I'm totally OK with being my own grandma. I just can't figure out how to get paid to do this. 
If you have any better ideas, let me know. I already checked, and those fascists at eBay won't let me sell kidneys, even if they're mine.
Children's birthday parties are fascinating places to watch human behavior at its most petty and brutal. My friend's 5-year-old daughter's party was tame in comparison to some I've seen until we got to musical chairs.
Musical chairs is a psychology experiment, conducted largely on the under-10 crowd, designed to separate the victims from the psychopaths. The point of the "game" is for a bunch of kids to circle around a row of chairs lined up back to back, but there aren't enough chairs for everyone, and one kid is left standing. That kid's job is to beat the crap out of the nearest kid and take his chair. The biggest, strongest kid wins.
I like games that give kids a solid lesson in evolutionary psychology while they're young.
And I'm OK with that. It's important to support each other's goals. I just wish he'd be open about it. It's difficult to build a foundation of trust when one person won't 'fess up about where he hides the bodies. He keeps insisting he's not a serial killer, but he probably just thinks I'll be mad if I find out.
We blew our way through season 1 of "Dexter," and he spent a lot of time waxing poetic about collecting hobo fingers . But I don't think he really kills hobos. That's just silly. Where would he even find hobos around here? Homeless people in New York don't actually go anywhere: They just ride the trains up and down the line until they die or are chased off by The Man.
No, I think he kills people who double park. When he has to swerve around someone parked in a lane of traffic, he takes on a kind of killer glow, like neon rage.
Devon, if you're reading this, it's totally OK to be a serial killer. You gotta be you.
That's the only reason I can think of why they felt the need to confiscate my Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom moisturizer and shower gel. These pleasantly scented $8.50 threats to national security made it through LaGuardia, but the folks at Denver International Asshats are obviously on top of their game. Last time it was my lavender-scented shaving gel. Interestingly enough, Devon made it through with a 6-inch-long iron pipe in his backpack.
A fucking iron pipe.
Clearly, the threat of giving everyone a really good scrubdown is more serious than beating the crap out of passengers with a fucking iron pipe.
Did I mention it was made of iron? And that it was a pipe?
Now, before anyone gets all up in my grill about not reading the security regs the TSA so nicely changes every six hours or so, let me say that I don't question their right to take my shit. When I buy a ticket, I agree to all kinds of nonsense, like boarding the flight fully clothed and leaving my spear gun at home . I question their intelligence in deciding that my moisturizer and shower gel, which were about half empty and, volume-wise, would probably have fit in 3-ounce bottles if I'd had bottles to transfer them into, were a greater threat than a fucking iron pipe. If only I'd thought to bring caps, I could have poured the stuff into the pipe and saved myself about 20 bucks.
I also lost an earring. That's probably not the TSA's fault, even though I really, really want it to be.
So far, I've received two e-mails from Citibank assuring me that my accounts are FDIC insured.
How comforting.
Clearly, I need to find a new bank, but with the rate they're failing, I'm not even sure where to go. During the Depression, my grandparents kept their savings in the Bank of Old Mattresses, and that seems like a better idea every day. Especially if pirates snatch my savings . A Somali pirate tried to steal my lunch money just this afternoon, and I had to beat him off with a sharpened pencil.
No, wait, I mean beat him up. Beating him off is definitely something different.
Devon and I were watching an absolutely wretched episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" last night that sparked a debate about holosuites as sex toys.
In that ep where Odo and Kira finally hook up after wasting most of the episode listening to lounge music in the holosuite, I wondered what freaky things people would do in there if Trek were more like real life or even more like "South Park."
Moral question: Is having sex with a hologram cheating, or is it more like using a super-advanced sex toy? Devon noted penetration as the benchmark, but many toys are designed for that, and lesbians can have sex without it, so we'd have to start by defining "sex." If virtual reality advances that far, will marriages break up over illicit Jacuzzi time with fantasy people? And how does this impact the concept of a threesome? Is it truly a threesome if there are only two biological life forms there? And what if the hologram is programmed to look like one of the other two participants? Is this a creative solution to a problem or the height of narcissism?
When I Googled "pirates," I expected to get lots of baseball crap. But the Pittsburgh Pirates ended up being only the fourth hit down, preceded by Wikipedia entries on piracy and the video game "Pirates!" In first place was something relevant to my search a National Post article on pirates in Somalia.
All of the Johnny Depp jokes have been made on Fark already, so I won't bother, but I don't get why it's so hard to catch these guys. Just steal their peg legs and eye patches, and they'll be gimpy dudes with no depth perception.
It seems pretty simple.
I'm sure international piracy has serious repercussions on blah blah blah and all that, but it's hard to take this shit seriously when all I can think of are parrots screeching, "Shiver me timbers!"
Then I Googled "shiver me timbers" and found that it essentially means "may God strike me dead." Which will happen soon enough, no doubt.
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