Saturday, March 31, 2007

5 a.m.

Woke up this morning at the end of the drowning dream. Kept swimming furiously to the surface as it receded and my lungs felt filled to bursting. I fucking hate that dream. Jaw clenched and mind racing, I couldn't get back to sleep (it's Saturday, damn it all) and then, a thunderstorm came through. Two rounds of lighting and the rumbling of thunder and I slipped back into unconsciouness. Ahhh.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

is that mollusk running out of your nose?

An acquaintance was telling me about his sick niece and remarked that she was miserable in part because she had crustaceans all around her eyes.

I laughed so hard my arthropods flared up.

(This just in: Jesus had a bad case of the crustaceans once, too.)

blag, blag, blag

When you invert the first two consonant sounds in a word or phrase sometimes it means something else or just sounds good. Like kitchen and chicken. Or crooks and nannies instead of nooks and crannies. Well, lately I've been calling my blog, my glob. I like the way it sounds. Bloggers are getting a lot of shit for being so trendy and/or full of inflated self-importance. It's good to poke fun at blogging even though, you know, I'm so not like those other globbers.

I think this guy is funny. Unexpectedly science-math-nerd
poignant funny.

I'm not a high maintenance kind of woman...

...Sometimes a clever statement is all I need to resurrect a crapulent day.

My brother-in-law, the one that once sent me nunchucks anonymously (bless his divine humor), saw this and sent it to me yesterday:

Creationists should not be allowed to burn fossil fuel.
See? All better now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

finally, a hobo name to be proud of

I'm not saying that I will never have another hobo name but this first one will always hold a special place in my heart:

Inside-Out Mathilda
A long-awaited epiphenita, this one.

The origin comes from a more-often-than-normal tendency of mine to leave the house with an article of clothing on inside-out, backwards, mismatched or missing. This happened when I was a kid. A teenager. A young adult and it happened last month and again last week. A sign, I sigh, of my lifelong inability to give enough weight* to appearance. It's not that I don't care. I just don't care as much as most people. I can say this, because I rarely see my female or male coworkers with mismatched shoes, inside-out t-shirts, skirts spun around, etc. And I'm always looking for comrades in carelessness.

The Mathilda is a conglomeration: Tom Waits song, my ancient aunt and any name that hides the word math. So there you have it. From Inside-Out Mathilda who loves stew and swearing, too.

*pun gleefully intended

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

in awe of the rude

My friend Bryan made a comment on my last blog that referenced The Rude Pundit. He included a warning, because the Rude Pundit is not for the faint of heart or anyone who thinks George Bush is not laps ahead of Nixon and Harding in the race for the all-time worst president this country has ever had. I love the creative fucking ballsiness of it all. Statements like "no one...would have given a happy monkey fuck about the damn thing" leave me wheezing. I live for expressions like happy monkey fuck.

When my normal breathing resumed, I read this snippet and wondered if my old inhaler was still functional:

In answer to a couple of whiny questions about yesterday's post regarding the Fox "News" website's home page headlines being nearly completely devoid of anything remotely related to news, listen, you wads of fuck:

1. It wasn't photoshopped. If the Rude Pundit were going to waste his time photoshopping a Fox web page, it'd have a headline like "Rupert Murdoch Raped By Angry Wallaby"...
I am also partial to "wads of fuck" and references to wallaby sex.

One of the harsh lessons of adulthood is that no matter how much you might have in common with someone, nor how much you like and respect them, your humor Venn Diagrams may not intersect. Enough. With that disclaimer, I will say that I think that the Rude Pundit is too goddamn funny. And it's okay if you don't. It's okay if you sniff disapprovingly at me and my vulgar ways during high tea. Ms. Fussypants.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the peter principal, in general

General Peter Pace: "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals[*] are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts." General Pace said he believed homosexuality was like adultery, the military doesn't condone either. [source]
Peter, Peter, Peter.

General Pace thinks the queers are immoral. No major surprise there (I
am a pun-lovin fool). However, when in uniform, speaking as a military leader (not as Peter Pace The Everyman Self-Righteous Prick) he is not smart enough to keep his own holier-than-thou ideas private (
make me stop).

Here's the obvious problem with aiming that moral flamethrower
: there is no end to the list of things or people that an individual might label "immoral." So pretty soon, everything's on fire. And everyone's incendiary is pointed in a different direction. If PP finds adultery immoral and homosexuality immoral and behaviors worthy of military punishment, what's to stop him from throwing interracial marriage into the conflagration? Or gamblers? Or atheists? Or women who work while their husbands are at home raising the chitlins?

It's a Pandora's box old Pete is opening up and it's got teeth. I'm not saying he doesn't have the right to his own ignorant opinions. I just don't think he ought to be espousing them from the military pulpit.

*one more thing, and this is just my wordsmithing pettiness, but this phrase "homosexual acts between individuals" has gotten stuck in my craw. Does this imply that homosexual acts between groups are okie-dokie? Or is he reassuring us that that homosexual acts between, let's say, two fruitflies or two german shepherds are not a punishable military offense?

when i die, remember something funny i said

When a comedian dies, you just want to remember why they made you laugh. CNN had a few Richard Jeni quotes and these are my favorites:

On religion: "You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend."

On Chicago: "I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.' "

Monday, March 12, 2007

rainy days and dst mondays

This was a tough daylight savings time "spring forward" Monday. At 5 a.m. (or so) a fantastic thunder and lightning storm opened up in Houston. About 20 feet above our roof, it seemed. Not only should you get to stay in bed when it's dark and thundering and you're short an hour of sleep but you shouldn't have to leave all that bliss to slog around in the rain.

However, let me set the record straight, I'm not blaming DST. I'm really pretty neutral on that hotly debated yawn. The only beef I have with the subject is when people talk about how great it is to get an extra hour of daylight. People, we're not getting an extra hour of daylight. We don't have that kind of power. We're shifting our workday to take advantage of the natural system of the earth's rotation blah blah blah, not the other way around.
Stop mucking up the science with sloppy descriptions. For petesake.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

country goodness

Just got back from the grocery store. I try and comfort myself with the cow-milking, butter-churning alternative to shopping but I still hate it.

Whenever possible, I try and buy free-range products. Like eggs from cage-free chickens. Barbara worked on a chicken farm in her colorful youth and her descriptions of that abuse make the extra dollar I shell out well worth it. So I bring home my reduced-guilt eggs. They are each stamped with, what one assumes is the mark of free chickens everywhere, a little red symbol. It seems a bit fussy but maybe the department of poultry rights insists on the labels.

What I really don't understand are the little bits of hen crap left on the shells. If they go to the trouble to stamp each egg, (and presumably the ink won't stick to dirty eggs) they must have to clean them first. My theory is that they take the pristine eggs, stamp them and then have a poultry poop sprayer that imparts a so-fresh-from-the-farm-they-still-have-chicken-shit-on-them authenticity.

Shit sprayers. The best metaphor for the field of advertising/marketing. I should know, that's where I work. Bill Hicks, rest his ranting soul, would probably agree.

which way to the pub, old bean?

Every month or so, it seems, there's a headline about a motorist's death due to driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Seriously, this is a regular story. And I find it incredible. One must assume the bulk of these fatalities have some drug-related factor to them (and for the most part, I mean alcohol).

It would be easy to understand, let's say, turning the wrong way on a one-way street downtown. It's a confusing grid if you're not used to it. But you don't tend to pick up enough speed for fatalities partly because the ability to spot oncoming cars from a distance is quite good. Which leads to the stranger fact that most of these accidents occur on the freeway. On the freeway.

Driving on the right side of the road is about as ingrained as gas-pedal-to-the-right, brake-pedal-to-the-left in this country. Shit, in the whole western hemisphere. So, even drunk, wouldn't you have one of those, "what about this just feels wrong?" moments? These are not soused Brits speeding willy-nilly southbound down I-45 north at 2 a.m., blissfully unaware of which side of the pond they're on.

It's not that I don't believe in the power of drunken misdirection. I just have never been so drunk that I thought going downstairs would lead me to the roof.

crazy old man

Robert is the senior citizen who lives next door to us. For years, I just referred to him as old fucker. He is racist, sexist and has a tendency to impose himself like a sticky booger. I suspected that he was not "right in the head" since we first moved here 13 years ago but he was such an irritation that I couldn't dredge up much compassion over this. He lives in the house that I believe he grew up in. He lived there with his mother until she passed away. Like 100 years ago.

He has a couple of "friends" who are homeless or not all there either. Most of the time their exchanges consist of yelling at each other through his screen door. Sometimes they are fighting and sometimes they are just conversing. Sometimes, I wish I owned a fire hose.

Ocassionally, it gets too loud to ignore. Then it is ALL I can do to resist bellowing from my front porch, "Would you two nutcakes please hold it down? I know it's hard to hear yourselves speak over the voices in your heads but I am going to have to apply for membership in your batshit crazy club if you don't fucking learn to rant more quietly." I do resist, however, because recently Robert came by and explained through his saliva-encrusted lips that he has The Alzheimers. It takes some of the steam out of my vehemence and helps me to retract my claws. A little.

Our tenant recently had piano movers come and move a little upright piano into his garage apartment. Robert saw the moving truck and asked anyone who made eye contact with him that day, "Are the lesbians moving?" "Do you think the two lesbians are moving out?" "I think the lesbian woman are moving!" Even his enthusiasm didn't piss me off.

investigate this

Headline in today's Chronicle:

Houston police probe rape of pregnant woman
Surely we can find a better word to describe a rape investigation than "probe."

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Sometimes when people say, so what have you been doing lately? A voice in my head softly prods, "say 'retaining fluids'" or when someone asks me what I'm doing for lunch, my hoarse whisperer urges, "say that you can't leave because you're working on your thrombosis" or "love to join you but if I move I'll lose all the work I've put into making this blood clot."

sirens must jar the hell out of them

My mom and dad are 70-ish and live in a retirement community. They are happier than I've ever known them to be. They have dinner parties and go swimming and bike riding. Mom said they had to go to a funeral last week. She said it like she does, matter-of-factly, implying that funerals were pretty much part of the package at their age. She mentioned ambulances coming and going. It dawned on me how ambulance sirens must jar the hell out of them.

When I get older, I hope I find a community like theirs (but I'm not moving to Florida). I hope I never stop swearing. If my brain stays healthy and my body gets decrepit and anyone within earshot says, "but her mind is still sharp as a tack" I will hurl my colostomy bag at them, sohelpmegod.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

the wacko cracko world of dolls

Sometimes an epiphenita is nothing more than remembering a soft-focus childhood moment in the harsh light of maturity and education. Digging around the doll graveyard dredged up the following oddities:

Tiffany Taylor Doll 1974-76 (Ideal Toy Corp)

"She's blonde, she's brunette! 19 inches of what you want her to be. To change hair color quick-as-a-wink rotate top of her head." So what is it about being about to rotate a doll's scalp 180° that seems kind of nauseating? I mean, is having reversible hair worth all that violence?

Mommy's Having A Baby 1992 (Tyco)

Well. I'm of two minds on this failed attempt. It's not a bad idea to demystify pregnancy and defy the yuck attitudes surrounding it. That's a good thing.
However, here are just a sprinkling of my concerns with preggo doll:

  • First, she looks like she's 8 years old. That's creepy.
  • Second, the baby comes out of a fold of her dress. Now, I suspect we're not ready for Vaginal Delivery Mommy (with Velcro®!) but on a topic which is so poorly addressed with most children, I am put off by this sanitized version of birth.
  • Third, immediately upon giving birth Mommy is standing there in her perfect size 8 sundress with her clean, quiet infant and nary a milk stain on her petite plastic breasts. We must stop lying to the children. Especially to the little girls who will grow up to be royally pissed off post-partum mothers.

Growing Up Skipper (and her brunette afterthought clone: Growing Up Ginger) 1975-77 (Mattel)

Finally, the pièce de résistance and inspiration for today's walk down mammary lane. First, the mechanics: Skipper is a nice little girl until your crank her arm around clockwise at which point her waist (freakishly) elongates and her flat chest sprouts demure breasts. Voila! she is transformed into a nubile teen.

Once again, I'm split on this intellectually. Those crazy toy designers at Mattel gave conservative and traditional dollery the heave-ho and tackled the uncharted borderlands of toy puberty.
I give kudos to the attempt, however unsuccessful.

Then again, there are so many things wrong with this. Not the least of which is the number of SkipperGinger dolls who became amputees due to the "enthusiastic" arm twisting by many a little boy, and truth be told, quite a number of little girls. Because Logic bates you: if one revolution gives you a B cup, what would you have after three?

more on doll weirdness

We are a prurient puritanical nation because puberty is taboo and porn is not.

Growing up Skipper
highlights this gap and begs for sequels: First Period Peggy, Noturnal Emissions Emile (just fill up the reservoir with Ivory Liquid®!), Bobby Boner Doll and of course, Pubic Hair Paul(a) which I envision would work very much like the Play Doh® Fun Factory. A lever in the arm or leg would force squiggles of pubic hair to be extruded out of "pore" holes in the crotch, armpits, legs, face, etc. Naturally, this would make the smooth asexual crotches sort of a moot point, so that would have to be addressed...well, it'll never happen outside of liberal hippie world because mature or not, grown women and, increasingly, grown men are supposed to be as hairless as possible. Which is fucktarded and pedophilic in my opinion. (Thank you Barry for the vocabulary reminder.) But I digress.

Dolls are strange cultural barometers. Even as a child, I found Barbies vapid. Okay, I liked making clothes for them (design/crafts nerd) and coupling them with GI Joe, Ken or each other for space-age-polyvinyl-chloride sex games. But even that grew boring. As I got older I saw the damage done by promoting Barbie as the beauty ideal. And before all you Barbie lovers get indignant and fall off your stands, Barbie is just the symbol of our society's unhealthy and inflexible standard of beauty for women. In this case, however, I think it would be okay to shoot the messenger.

working girl

I created an advertisement for a snake oil salesman recently and it made me feel dirty. But not in a good way.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


We went to the symphony last Friday. It had been a week full of late nights and pressure. Not a good lead-in to a Brahms performance or any classical music, for that matter – Brahms didn't just write lullabies, you know. Anyhow, here are some observations from the evening. They've been translated from my blind scrawls across several pages of the program/magazine (why are those things so lengthy? I can never find the program I'm there to see without wading through pages of musician bio puff pieces and endless ads for upscale everything):

  • The first part of the program was a piece composed by GL Frank. The GL stands for Gabriela Lena. It was very cool to hear the "world premiere" (whatever that really means) of a work by a female composer. Especially since she spoke to the audience and seemed genuinely delighted about being there.
  • By the way, she is of Peruvian-Jewish-Chinese heritage. They got to check off a lot of boxes on their how-diverse-are-we form.
  • I enjoyed her "tone poem" entitled "La Llorona," written for viola and orchestra.
  • As the violist prepared to play, I noticed that his mannerisms were not unlike a batter's in the batting box. Funny little stretches and stances.
  • Second part was Brahms "A German Requiem." Written, so the slick program notes say, after the death of his mother.
  • 160 or so black-and-white-clad members of the Houston Symphony Chorus filled the tiered rows (for godsakes, don't call them bleachers) behind the orchestra.I'm not a big fan of choruses. One might say I'm not a team player; I prefer soloists. However the chorus added quite a bit to the requiem-ness and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them.
  • During the delightful, chaotic orchestra tune-up, I wished the chorus members would join in, each humming a note until they knocked the flatness or sharpness out of it. It would have been a symphony cacophony. (I love saying shit like that more than I can explain.)
  • In spite of the fact that I had a bad case of the fidgets (like some strung out tweaker, I could not sit still), I ended up falling asleep during the fifth movement of Brahms' somber piece.
  • Barbara woke me up before I started snoring. I think.
  • Finally, what's up with all the fucking posturing at classical presentations? Stop that dramatic 20-second pause between the first violinist sitting down and the conductor striding in. It's annoying and affected. So are the four encores. Enough. Stop it. This isn't the royal court. Music is reward enough without all your pompous frippery.