Sunday, December 28, 2008

home depoor

Okay. The day had come to take our various measurements and lists and buy supplies for the garage apartment makeover. We'd spent a couple of weeks working on window restoration (see previous post) and tearing out the problem sections of the apartment. Like laminate over shiplap. That had gotten moisture behind it; and crumbled, bowed and smelled like mold. Like drywall that had gotten wet because we had a termite problem (past tense) and the wood under the window sill was like Swiss cheese. Rotten Swiss cheese. And there was drywall tape making appearances all over the place. To name a few things.

Three hours in Home Depot. Three fucking hours of comparing products and weighing the pros and cons. Three hours of occasionally finding an orange apron that knew what we were talking about and which aisle we could find it on. I can't even stand shopping for the things I really like for three hours. And I like home improvement do-it-yourself stores.

I figure we were more than halfway through the expenses on this long overdue project. Halfway through, but done for the day. $300. Holy shit. For the amount of lumber, drywall and bags of random supplies $300 really wasn't that bad. Sad side note: when we add up the total cost of this 500 sq ft job it will probably equal the patient cost of a single 1cm x 1cm dental crown. ONE crown. (If it isn't already apparent, in addition to the property tax people sucker-punching us, the dentist left-jabbed us with some staggering estimates.)

Where was I? Oh, yes, we checked out and guided the wobbly lumber dolly out to the truck. I am often irritated when men assume I need help loading up my purchases. Even if they work there. I am strong and able, dammit. On the other hand, I appreciate service and try not to polish that feminist chip I have on my shoulder. This time, I was three hours exhausted and three hundred dollars poorer, so I figured, what the fuck, let the eager guys load this heavy stuff into the truck bed. I thought about lecturing them on the wonders of bungee cords in securing a load but told myself to stop being so controlling. This was their job. I did warn them not to ding my drywall, however.

We live about 2 miles from Home Depot. It was a Sunday afternoon and the rain had finally stopped (yay, no soggy drywall!). Four blocks from the store, crossing a busy street, we hit a slight bump. The contents of the entire truck bed sailed out into the intersection.

Almost perfectly stacked.

Barbara pulled over as I jumped from the still-moving truck yelling, We've gotta rescue our investment! It is clear that that says something about me that I don't want to over-analyze. The two good Samaritans whose path was blocked by our debris got out of their truck to help us haul everything out of the street. The other three lanes of traffic resisted the urge to run over our drywall and half-dozen 12-foot lengths of lumber. Investment saved.

Next time, we load our own fucking truck.

window to my [wall] hole

For those of you uninterested in DIY home repair just skip this post slog through this anyway. In solidarity and because there might be a quiz when I see you next. Eric, make pretend you're me listening to you about football. There, all set?

Okay, once upon a time there was a double-hung window in our garage apartment. It was a very old window with a rotten...uh, a rotten bottom. A rotten bottom that could not be patched or epoxied or camouflaged. It was dead.

One of the rare occasions that the multifaceted and beloved
duct tape just can't save the day. No disrespect.

We found an incredible place to look for a new old window. Turns out the size we needed was atypical even for the huge range of sizes used in unstandardized 1950. After searching through a plethora* of windows we found one that was the right size.

The window was buried under paint, caulk, glaze and liberally sprinkled with mold and schmutz. I don't think we needed to scrape off every iota but it was so therapeutic, we indulged. Scraped and sanded until Norm Abram would have beamed. We took out the glass, cleaned the shit off of everything and began to reconstruct. Primed, glazed and painted. See how I slipped glazing in there as if it were nothing? I'm too modest. Glazing sounds churning or darning. There used to be people who did nothing but glaze for a living. They were called, oddly enough, glaziers. Suffice it to say, I have new respect.

Yes, Virginia, that is green linoleum on our unrenovated kitchen floor.
Avocado green. Now, try to focus on the story at hand.

In addition to learning how to glaze, we learned that glazing takes 7-14 days to firm up enough to paint. 7-14 days? Who has that kind of time? We thought, well, maybe 7...but then realized that the one-week time frame was for arid, warm-toned, Sonoran Desert windows; two-weeks were definitely needed for windows expecting to reside in the subtropic steaminess of Houston. Well, shit, two-weeks it was.

Then, we had to make some adjustments to the existing window frame. I'll spare you the details. Just know that the new, resurrected (sorry for the misplaced holiday modifiers) window had a greater depth than the old one. There was sill trimming and wood putty involved.

And today, we installed the beauty. It opens. It closes. I'm beside myself.

* 1 plethora = like, 100

Friday, December 26, 2008

wrapping it up

Christmas was quiet. Pleasant but not particularly...festive. Still I appreciated the absence of family drama, love them as I do, and it wouldn't surprise me if the hiatus was welcome for them as well. Missed my kids more than I want to acknowledge, you know, but it's important to let them create their own traditions, yada, yada.

Learned how to glaze a window. It's like caulking only lasts longer. Messy to apply, somewhat tedious to smooth and the attention-to-detail process was tonic to my soul.

We also prepared the paperwork we'll need for our property tax protest. Our tax bill is SO out of hand, the shock moved me right past teeth gnashing and whining (okay, almost past whining) and right into survival mode. We have documentation to focus on.

Enough people know about or read this blog to put a significant damper on any scathing commentary I might have about, for instance, some of my holiday experiences. Dammit.

Okay, that's all for now. Will try and check back in between the DIY pile-ups ahead...

Monday, December 15, 2008

premature preview

I don't usually review a book when I'm only 10 pages in...but I picked up In the City of Shy Hunters by Tom Spanbauer (recommended by my dear and fabulous little sister) and couldn't resist.

The main character gives this description of his friend Rose:

Drop-dead freshly fucked gorgeous.

Maybe a book shouldn't be judged by a single phrase but man, this does bode well.

the sound of one shoe flying

Forgive me for rushing to the trough of blatant blog fodder. Shoes flung at our hapless commander-in-chief are just too hard to resist.

I'm meh on Bush's reaction. Mildly surprised that his reflexes were that good and bored by his smarmy, uninspired commentary. But at least he didn't cry like a pre-schooler or throw them back. Talk about lowered expectations, all he has to do is not pee his pants and I'm like all, hey good job, goober!

It's the Iraqi guy I can't seem to get out of my head. I keep thinking about him slinking home to his disbelieving family and friends:

You had the Blaspheming Devil in your sites and all you could come up with was a shoe? A SHOE? Thrown so lamely that it didn't even glance off of his dull-witted noggin?
This poor guy will never hold his head up again. People will throw shit at him for the rest of his life, "Hey, why didn't you think of this?" and a kebab is airborne.

Addendum: Even though this act was, in fact, a very grave insult in Iraqi culture I have chosen to overlay it with my own silly American interpretation. Not because I don't respect another's culture but because 1. I kinda like the idea of throwing a shoe at Bush because it would be an amusing, albeit harmless, protest (unless I used a stiletto...but I'm getting offtrack here.) and 2. because hurling an epithet at someone in your own language (when they don't understand a single word) may make you feel better but doesn't communicate shit to the shithead.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

magic asses and midnight monkies

I have this theory that there's an invisible force field in my cube created by the contact of ass-to-chair. This force field prevents the phone from ringing. I love this power, though I have no control over it, and I suspect I'm not alone in possessing it. The corollary is, of course, as soon as I'm more than 20 feet away from the 6x6 cell cube, the damn phone is going to ring.

Curiously, at home that force field is maintained by my ass never making contact with the toilet seat. Which contact stimulates not only the phone, but the front door. I'm a skeptic so I don't think this is The Universe, God or Aliens. I think it's electrical...but that's foolishness for another post.

So last night, I settle with a sigh on the throne not long before midnight. I am half-undressed for bed. I hear a car and footsteps on the porch. And then, the firm, insistent knock. Fuck me.

Since we have our share of neighborhood crazies with occasional lapses in what constitutes good manners, I shout out, "Who is it?" (Those among you who might accuse me of yelling like a fishwife from inside the house should note that I didn't holler, "Who the fuck is knocking on my door at this hour?")

Which was fortunate restraint on my part because the answer came back, "[unintelligible...unintelligible] Houston Police."

Oh. So I call out once more (a little less belligerently), "just a moment," throw on a shirt and go to the door. And there are two cops on my porch.

"Ma'am, did someone call the police from this residence?" (Not the time to discuss the issue of calling me ma'am, I silently note.)
"No, not from here."
"We got a call about a monkey loose on this street and they gave your address."
A monkey? No, even my practical joking friends wouldn't risk possible fines for filing a false report. This was just the luck of the draw. I sent the officers away with no more information than they had before interrupting my reverie.

So far, no monkey sightings from us...we will be on the lookout, however.

Did I mention that two FBI agents stopped by in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike? Looking for a coworker who shared St. Barbara's name. FBI. Couldn't find the correct address of their own people, godhelpus.

If I were paranoid, I'd be all high anxiety now. But I'm not. It's all electrical.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

recycle guy gives me a thumbs up

I separate my recycling. Even though, at one point, I was told that the whole bin was upended into the back of the truck willy-nilly...I still separated the plastic from the metal from the paper. It just seemed like a good, pious, righteous thing to do. Some people mocked me.

We walked out of the house yesterday morning just as the recycling truck pulled up. They started emptying our bins (yes, I ordered a second one, fucking earth-mother-tree-hugger that I've become) into two different compartments and the guy looked up at me and said, "good job on separating your recycling!"

I practically beamed. A gold star from the garbage man. Mock me now, suckers.


I'm not feeling holiday-esque this year. Not upset about it, just not interested. It probably doesn't help that the temperature was in the mid-70's today. Even a cold weather hater like myself needs it a couple of degrees lower for any hope of Christmasy feeling.

A cold front was promised for tonight. I mean cold, like in the 30's. A 40-degree drop was not what I had in mind but, let's face it, Nature is completely disinterested in my weather preferences. So, I'm driving home from work with the windows open and warm breeze blowing. By the time I get to the house, the sky is that dark, brooding gray-blue that I love...but the sun is shining in such a way that the trees against the sky stand out in bright contrast. Like a negative. One of the rare times I rue not being a photographer.

In the twenty foot journey from car to the house, the temperature drops 10 degrees. I actually walk through the front wall of a cold front.


Monday, December 08, 2008

holy hybrid salvation


Greater Grace, the largest church in Detroit, invited officials from the United Automobile Workers union to speak before Bishop Ellis gave his sermon, titled “A Hybrid Hope.”

The S.U.V.’s on the stage, a Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Escape and Chrysler Aspen on loan from local dealerships, were all gas-electric hybrids, and Bishop Ellis urged worshipers to combat the region’s woes by mixing hope with faith in God.

Praise be to Oliver and the NYT.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

isolation & thanksgiving pi

Despite the post title, we had a good Thanksgiving weekend. Good food, friends and some quiet time together. I can't fully explain the feeling of isolation. Some of it is self-imposed, some feels imposed externally. I'm sure it's a combination of factors most of which I'll tease out in the post-chaotic funk. Today I question the strength of my alliances with people. The political motives behind weakening connections or the ulterior reasons spurring new connections.

Ah, shit. Maybe it's not enough leftover turkey or too much pie.

Speaking of pies, I made five pies. Two apple, two pecan and my first sweet potato pie. My first vodka-in-the-crust pies. Tasty, flaky and easy to roll out. Those pies put the P in presentation. I even did some math to figure out how many pecan halves I'd have to save out for the pie top arrangement so I wouldn't chop too many. Seriously. I figured out the area of a 9" pie (that's right, dear mathletes, I used pi r 2 for pie. Hakuna matata, people–circle of life), the area of a typical pecan and approximately how many of the latter would fit into the former. I'm not saying this was an exact calculation...but it was pretty close and sharpened the point on my head.

Okay, I'm putting my slide rule away and going to bed now. Thanks for playing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Six Random Things TAG!

Yay! Six Random Things...I've been tagged by Katie.
The Rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.

3. Write six random things about yourself.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post.

5. Let each person know they have been tagged.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I once euthanized a dying pet parakeet.

2. I'm an atheist but I love hymns.

3. I enjoy math word problems.

4. I am enamored of spoonerisms.

5. When I'm anxious, I count silently.

6. I am compelled to stick things (coins, dominoes, bottle caps) to my forehead.


Dr. Ding
Menchuvian Candidate

prop 8 protest

Thank you, once again, Keith Olbermann.

Fucking enough already.

Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008
Time: 12:30pm - 5:30pm
Location: Houston City Hall
Street: 900 Bagby


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

wait for it

I'm in dial-up hell. Problems with my DSL line. Waiting for modem. Must control fist of death.

Friday, October 24, 2008

birthday month continues


ThisMy new baby has arrived in Houston. I'm tracking it like an international flight path.
[update: Location: HOUSTON, TX, US
Date: 10/24/2008 Time: 3:21 A.M

KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer. I'm hearing a fucking chorus of angels. Uh-huh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

eq ca

I know, I know, I'm way behind in catching y’all up to date.
But this just in...

I spent most of my childhood and young adulthood paying tithing to the Mormon church. [I was young...and I suspect someone was sprinkling Brains-be-Gone® on my Raisin Bran.]
Now, into a campaign to undo marriage equality in California, those zealots are pouring donations from their current faithful...the simple folk...

link know, the Real Americans:

Anyway, if any of you out there have not completely passed out from donor fatigue and want to help me get some of my money back, and aid a cause that affects all of us, queers and straights, Californians and the not-terminally-hip, click here for more info.

Friday, October 17, 2008


My birthday in Paris has been perfect. Clear skies, cool weather. The Louvre was wonderful. We'll go to dinner in a little while and drink French wine with the decadent meal of my choosing...
Must sign off now because I need to change and this:

W X C V B N ? . / §
The keyboard is a bit challenging.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

i know, i know

It's been ages. Busy recuping, busy preparing. In five minutes the infamous Dr. Ding will swing by and ferry St. Barbara and I off to our big celebration vacation in Europe. Hope to post while there, but if the internet plays coy with me I have paper on which to scribble. Thank you all for your concern and good wishes.

Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, Vaarwel, Good bye!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

and on the 15th day, they rested

Lean in to your monitor. Can you smell it? It's the powerful perfume of electricity I'm emitting. That's right, faithful readers, there's a light. Over at the Epiphenita/St. Barbara house.

Off the grid for over fourteen days. An odd sabbatical from the usual. Educational, too. But all I can think of right now is being in my own bed while the air conditioner lulls me to sleep.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

day 13 pick-me-up

So I read some corny jokes to pick up my spirits. And now, I'll share them:

So a dung beetle walks into a bar, and pulls up a stool...
If you shoot a mime, do you have to use a silencer?

A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. During a checkup, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

'Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?' he asks.
'Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?'
'Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?' she asks.
'No, I can remember it.'
'Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so's not to forget it?'
He says, 'I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.'
'I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, write it down?' she asks.
Irritated, he says, 'I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream - I got it, for goodness sake!'
Then he toddles into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment.
'Where's my toast?'
One day in the Garden of Eden, God comes to Adam and Eve and tells them he has two gifts, one for each of them. The first, he says, is the ability to pee standing up. Adam starts jumping up and down excitedly and loudly declares that he wants it. Eve, listening to him jabbering on and on about it, rolls her eyes and asks God what he has left for her.
"Multiple orgasms."

A blind guy walks into a bar. He says to the bartender, "I've got a great blonde joke for you!"
The bartender says, "Just a minute there, buddy. There's something you should know. I'm blonde. The guy sitting on your left is a Marine drill sergeant, and he's blonde. The guy on your right is a heavyweight boxer, and he's blonde. Now do you still want to tell that joke?"
And the blind guy says, "Well, no, not if I'm going to have to explain it three times!"
A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and one night he's doing a show in a small town in Arkansas. With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blond jokes when a blond woman in the 4th row stands on her chair and starts shouting: 'I've heard enough of your stupid blond jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does the color of a person's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? Its guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community and from reaching our full potential as a person. Because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in general...and all in the name of humor!'

The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, but the blonde yells, 'You stay out of this mister! I'm talking to that little bastard on your lap!'

Mary, a good Scottish, woman lay dying. She begged her husband of many years,"Jock promise me when I die you'll sit with my sister at my funeral!" Jock answered, "Och, Mary...I hate your sister and your sister hates me!" Mary begged once more, "Promise me Jock that you'll sit with my sister at my funeral!" "Alright, Mary" sighed Jock, "I'll sit with your sister at your funeral. He paused. "But it'll spoil the whole day."

Simple Q&A
Q: What is "Perfect Pitch"?
A: It is the sound created by an accordion hitting a bagpipe in a dumpster.
Q: What did the Minnesotan say to the Pillsbury Dough Boy?
A: Nice tan.
Q: Why is the sand wet at the beach?
A: The seaweed.
Q: What did the fish say when he bumped into the wall?
A: Dam
Q: How do you get a sweet little old lady to say the F-word?
A: Get another sweet little old lady to yell "Bingo!"
Q: Why did the cannibal get sick after eating the missionary?
A: You can't keep a good man down.

[And, my favorite, I'm afraid:]


A State Trooper received an emergency call to respond to a highway crash. When he arrived he found that two turtles had collided and were lying unconscious on the roadway.
While investigating he noticed a snail sitting on a nearby fence.
"Excuse me," he said, "but did you witness this accident?"
"Yes officer," the snail replied, " but it all happened so fast..."

day 13 redux

I don't know whether I'm going to burst into tears or burst into flames.

(As if. When given a choice, my choice is combustion.)

day 13

This is not a catastrophe, it's just a huge inconvenience.

A huge, cranky-making inconvenience. Spent half the night in the truck last night. The trade-off is air conditioning and uncomfortable surfaces OR comfortable bed and sticky heat. Until 2 am, when we schlepped inside for a few hours of sleeping abed in reasonable temperatures.

A half-million Houstonians and I are fucking tired.

I'm not going to use sleep deprivation and temperature torture as license to be a raging lunatic. But, tranquility in the face of sleepiness is not my superpower.

I'm signing off now because I can't stand to hear myself talk about electricity, hurricanes or sleep for one more minute.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

day 12


Monday, September 22, 2008

day 10

Slipping over here between jobs to say that we are now in Day 10 of the electricity-free torpor. The cool front has dissipated, the nights are hot, humid and allergenful. A few thoughts...

I am exploring the idea of hurricane-induced alcoholism. I have met more neighbors and drunk more alcohol in the past week or so than in the previous six months.

Steven and his mom imported (from San Antonio) battery-driven fans. Since there is not an inverter to be had in Houston or surrounding counties (or extension cords or batteries...but you can buy a generator for $800. EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. Shit, we'll just get a room.), he and his mom should be given a medal from the mayor. It's hot but a little fan goes a long way. Thank you, thank you.

Word is that we won't have power until Thursday or Friday. For those of you not suffering from heat-induced counting dementia: that would be Day 13 or Day 14...or as I like to call it: Day Two Weeks. By that time I will have stopped haunting the home improvement stores for electrical inverters and will be stocking up on pitchforks and torches.

One gets cranky after two weeks of no a/c in the subtropical sauna that is Houston. Even pioneer frontierswomen.

Finally, the saddest note:
The day Ike hit Houston was the day David Foster Wallace hung himself. I just learned of this yesterday and am profoundly saddened by his death. What an incredible writer. 46 years old. Goddammit. Goddammit.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

losing the pioneer spirit

Okay. I'll continue with the recap in another post. My inner Sister Goodwife is about to get knocked over by a huge whine. It's Day 6 in the power outage. I've been sleeping in ragweed-sprinkled, mold spored "fresh" air for as many nights.

The across-the-street neighbors have power. The goddamn church next door has power. My sunshiny attitude is curdling like last week's dairy products. I want to slap the shit out of myself for being such a crumbly baby but I'm t-minus-2-days away from going commando and I'm sick of eating meals that remind me of warmed-up dog food.

Sorry. Will be back with better news. Soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

YES, hurrICANe

Your intrepid frontierswoman reporting here.
We're fine. Thanks for asking. House lost some shingles, garage apartment had a window blown out but no gargantuan limbs attacked structures or vehicles. Here's the chronology.

Drop St. Barbara off at work. Find two gas stations open and fill up both vehicles without too much waiting in line.

Expected the storm winds to kick in after midnight but the power transformer in our neighborhood couldn't hold out until then. Believe a harsh BREEZE knocked it out at 7:30pm. Across the street neighbors had power until 3:00am. The Heights Sweat-a-thon begins.

The night was long, people. I mean crazy-ass winds but enough rain so that the doors couldn't be left open. Since the storm was so huge, it seemed to take forever to pass over us. I kept watching the pecan trees in the backyard...willing them to keep it together. The house was so hot and humid that I lay down in a back room next to the a/c window unit. The gusts outside were so strong that periodically a little air was forced backwards through the unit and I got a wisp of breeze. Ahhhh.

But seriously, I wasn't afraid. It's not that I mean to imply that the rest of you are whiny pussies or anything (well, some of you actually are...but none of you read my blog, right?) but what is there to get hysterical about? If a tree falls on your house you can't stop it...just find a dry interior room and try and get some sleep. You'll just figure it out when the sun comes out. And if you can't sleep because it's so goddamn hot and humid, organize the linens. Or something.

I got up every hour through the night, so I slept on and off until 7:00am. Continued to be rainy and windy until noon or so. I assessed the damage outside and was relieved. The church next door (that's right, campers, Fate has a firm grip on irony putting me next door to a church) had a huge pecan tree that could have easily fallen over onto the small office we rent out. But fell instead into the church parking lot. Proving once again that God doesn't give a shit. I suppose, one might say that He did, because it didn't land on the church, but I don't buy that. If the righteous are rewarded and the wicked are punished that tree would have been uprooted and replanted in my living room. Suck on that, you self-righteous Christian-types. (Of course, I'm not talking to you nice, Unitarianesque Christian-types.)

From 9am until 2pm I did what any good pioneer woman would do, I cooked all the perishables in the fridge. Goddammit, there'll be no wasted food in this house. I made potato/kielbasa hash; arroz con pollo, cooked the frozen flounder and hamburger. Hell, I even baked banana bread from the frozen ripe bananas. All I needed was a gingham bonnet.

Happy to have Eric & Steven stop by for a visit. Lori & Mary brought ice. True friends who see you when you look like you've been using Ol' Bacon Grease Hair Gel are friends forever.

I got to go pick up my St. Barbara early from her job, so I wouldn't have to travel crosstown in the dark. 15 miles and not a single traffic light working. So happy to have her home. We set up a pallet for sleeping, on the floor as close to the screened front door as possible. It's hard. It's hot. And totally not in a good way. 3:30am, I snap. We're heading for the car. Don't care how uncomfortable it is to sleep in a Honda Accord. Like magic, black magic, the skies open up...a thunder & lightning tropical storm. Amazing. No matter, we grab the umbrella, pillows and sheets and trudge out by 4am. Just a few hours of cool, dearbabyjesus. So we put the seats back and sleep off and on for a couple of hours. Around 6am I shine the flashlight on the dash. I ask St. B, so what kind of mileage are we getting? I'm such a kidder.

7am, we climb out of the car into our river-runs-through-it-driveway. Our street often floods but the water seems to be rising a bit too much for comfort this time. Soon it's over the curb, over the sidewalk and creeping up our lawn. Pioneer Women Engage! (Okay. So that's a completely lame reference to a completely lame superhero cartoon. I'm tired, please forgive.) The storm drains are crammed full of flotsam and jetsam (how long have I waited to use that phrase...almost correctly) so we arm ourselves with metal rakes and begin mucking out the drain grates. At times, we're more than knee deep in water. An hour-and-a-half later, the water begins to recede. Don't fuck with women holding rakes, people.

To be continued...

Friday, September 12, 2008


The wind is picking up and the decent weatherman said that the storm stretches out 500 miles from the eye...which is 65 miles wide.

My what a huge eye you have, Ike.
You big ol' Cyclops.

you are so much tougher than i am

So here we are. Rather, here I am. The hurricane is about 9 hours away. I can tell, because of the interactive graphic the Chronicle has called Storm...Pulse...Tracker (Each ellipsis represents dramatic notes punching home every serious syllable. In my head.) and all is well. I mean, I'm not seeing anything but light wind and rain.

I don't watch television. Seriously, I turn it on so rarely that I forget which network is on which channel. It's because I'm not as tough as you are. Really. I don't have the stamina. On every local channel, of course, is hurricane coverage. Each newscaster trying to outdo the others in breaking news. Only it's not. So they take the skimpiest facts and wring them out for every useless iota of information. 24/7. I watch for 10 minutes at a time and I have to walk away. They are saying nothing new and using up all the dramatic adjectives so that when there is really something to report, we're all deaf and dumb to the importance.

The last straw: Geraldo Rivera. I've run out of epithets. Couldn't have imagined getting to this point. I can't find a word filthy enough to describe what a repulsive douchebag (see? it just glances off the side of my loathing) he is. Just now, he allowed himself to be tossed by the waves into the water. So he could cut right to the core of the reporter on location, cameras a'rollin'. His microphone is an electrical device, right?
But no. He doesn't get electrocuted. He isn't flicked out to the sea by the colossal hand of the Almighty. Flicked. He should be flicked right into Ike's gigantic swirling crotch and get fucked up but good. Wow, I got a little closer that time.

You see? I'm not tough enough for prime time news. My Bliss runs screaming out of the house and my Disgust hands me a pepperoni pizza and says, sit down honey, you're going to enjoy this.


ay! ike

If it isn't one thing, it's a hurricane. We are 12 hours away from a significant hit on Galveston/Houston. It looks like Ike will remain a category 2 hurricane. Which is no reason to panic nor reason to plan an afternoon on the beach.

I'm not all that worried. Like most Houstonians my biggest concern is losing electrical power (read: air conditioning) for the hot, muggy aftermath. Next is flooding...but I do have, you know, that big, wonderful Tundra, just in case. Of course, I have no intention of getting out in all that if I can help it. (Traffic exiting Houston has been predictably insane.) Our streets flood but Tropical Storm Allison was the acid test for flooding (Houston was inundated) and our little house came within 6 inches of being flooded, so I'm pretty sure we're okay.

Last night we went to Target (for printer ink–I know, but you have your emergencies and I have mine) and drove past a half-dozen gas stations: all of them had bags over the pump handles. There is no gas to be had in this area.

Barbara had volunteered to help out at Menninger, so she'll be there from this (Friday) morning until tomorrow (Saturday) night. It's a psychiatric treatment facility so when they say they'll be in "lock-down," they damn well mean it. It's a little creepy to be anywhere using that phrase. She's a saint, I've said it before, and I'm glad she'll be able to help them out. But, of course, I would rather she'd be huddling in the interior bathroom with me, candles and a stack of books. Maybe some wine.

Okay, I'm signing off. Will update you on the thing before or after.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Monday through Friday. No internet access.

Today is the second day back…will get to the backstory. Suffice it to say that I’ve been gorging on the internets all weekend.

Should have paced myself, but such restraint is sometimes out of our control. Consider this my “sicking-up” after the binge.

[In my frolicking about the web, post-famine, I caught up on blog reading and then some. And, it tasted great. However, I was reminded by the black-out of how much time I spend in front of this machine. Perhaps some time should be web-free. I know, it sounds like heresy…like hating chocolate…but we ate dinner together without the sound of a keyboard clicking. We did crossword puzzles together…using freakin' paper and pencil, even. I’m just saying that it wasn’t all gnashing teeth and cursing the dark this past week. Still, I'm glad to be back.]

support hosed

Racism and xenophobia are so repugnant. And yet it’s naïve to imagine we’re all free and clear on this one. Especially those of us who are cultural minorities and think ourselves politically sensitive. There is a thin, blurry line that separates racism from the acknowledgment of cultural differences. We often avoid mentioning the issue in order to never step over that line. I am going to attempt to navigate this morass.

Tech Support and Outsourcing. It’s a problem. I spent the better part of the week talking to, what felt like, most of the Indian Subcontinent and half of Southeast Asia. I had a problem that wasn’t on the list. A weird DSL configuration that I could. not. make. clear. Swear to god, I must have talked to 30 people. 40, maybe. I was escalated up to the next level. I was transferred. Double-transferred. Call back in 4 hours. We’ll call you back. Talk to the installation department (in Myanmar? Thailand? What does it mean that the tech support is mostly in India but the Installation and Customer Service is in Singapore? Why?) With each call my irritation mounted.

Years ago when I was in school, I worked at the public university library. I am a total research, book, info-junkie nerd. I LOVED working in the library. I went through months of training to work at the reference information desk. Helping students and professors find the answers for their research. Back when there was (jesussaveme) NO internet. We were phasing out the card catalog, starting to use some very clumsy databases…and the dinosaurs had just stopped roaming the earth. Anyway, the information desk was a source of great anecdote. A public library is just that—any crazy-ass fool can walk through the door and come up to you and ask a question. We were all about information, even though we couldn’t always help the ones with the tinfoil hats. We actually helped tons of people find sources for their research or papers. But we were taught that one of the more important aspects of that job is diffusing.

When people feel frustrated or dismissed or just stupid about a thing, they tend to get defensive. And angry at the person embodying their real or imagined ignorance. My daughter pointed this critical skill out to me when I was talking to her about tech support. When I worked the gay-lesbo-bi-trannie switchboard, I also tapped into this training. You need to be able to listen to a person, empathize, help them let off steam and assure them you will truly try and help them solve their problem.

That is, no shit, all most people need. Listen, empathize, convince them you’ll do your best (and of course, back that up by TRYING to do your fucking best).

However. This is hard to do. (Some of our crusty librarians were scathing. Their disdain for the requester's ignorance threw gasoline on the insecurity fire. It was, I’m afraid, quite funny in anecdote…but rare enough.) And this was basically within a culture and face-to-face. Cross-culturally and over-the-phone it is very hard to do. Not impossible, but quite hard. When you deal with a society weaned on leftover British Empire language/manner skill set, you end up with very polite and at times, overly formal responses to anger. This, I feel safe to say, drives most United Statesians completely bonkers.

And that’s just the social niceties part of the challenge.

So, people, outsourcing tech support may be here to stay but I’m pretty sure that this problem will come to a head someday. I’m afraid when presented with two comparable services, the one with the local help line is going to get my vote. And you bigots out there, can not count me in your club. This is all about expediency. We certainly don’t speak the best English in the world and our slang is prolific but we probably understand each other a little better than not.

One last note. When I was trying to get the brand name and model of the DSL modem that my ISP supported, the customer service person said what sounded and spelled out like SpeedCREAM. I said SpeedCREAM? No, SpeedPREAM? No, SpeedSCREAM? How weird. She kept spelling it out but I could not distinguish her t as in thomas from her p as in pomade? pumice? Swear, I couldn’t. She got fairly impatient (couldn’t blame her) and I finally understood that she was spelling out SpeedSTREAM. Oh. Well, that makes sense. She’s probably blogging right now about the illiterate, idiotic American woman she spoke to this week.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

a doll named chernobyl

Proof, once again, that while little is new under the sun, there are still brilliant, fresh ways of communicating creatively:

Jaime Pitarch. Chernobyl (2007). Lime tree wood, aniline, oil, varnish

This is stunning.

sticky fly paper tomfoolery

The weather is beautiful–if you like hot sunny days and blue skies–belying the danger of Hurricane Gustav, bearing down on New Orleans like an arrogant burglar returning for the stuff he left behind.

We just got back from grocery shopping and paying for the Honda registration sticker. I imagined putting the sticker on in the storm and decided to just get it done now. Sitting in the front seat I scrape off the old sticker and begin removing the adhesive. I wonder if I'm getting high from the
Goo Gone (one of the greatest solvents ever concocted) and if the combination of citrusy petrochemicals and Windex are destroying brain cells?

Meanwhile, there are love bugs
(plecia neartica) everywhere:
For those of you unfamiliar with them, look here.

I am, as always, impressed by their aerial copulation and convinced that the name Love Bug is nothing but a silly Victorian throwback. These are Fuck Bugs, my modern friends. There is no tiny bouquet of flowers clutched in her foreleg or hint of wine on his coy fly mouth. They are simply following their biological mandate with a mid-flight twist. Makes you wonder, in a Darwinian sense, if being a member of the
Mile High Club isn't the natural response to a primitive, vestigial urge? Perhaps certain members of our species find themselves strapped in and enjoying a complimentary packet of peanuts when overcome by inexplicable horniness...

Anyway, I finish the clean up and head back in to get the sticker. You used to have to mail away for the registration but now Kroger (among others) has a neat little machine and special paper that spits out the self-adhesive sticker. The only difference is that the old stickers were transparent–you could see through them and be reminded of the expiration date. I'm not sure why they discontinued seems like transparent adhesive paper is certainly within our current technological grasp, eh?

Holyshitonmelbatoast, I fucked up. Shit, shit, shit. I removed the inspection sticker. REMOVED, as in shredded beyond recognition. Jesuschrist. The car was inspected exactly six months ago and I've cut the proof down half-way through its bureacratic little life. I go back in, confess to the kindest woman ever (it's the car she drives and the inspection errand she'll have to rerun), who gives me absolution for my boneheadery before I've gotten through the preamble. Damn, she is sweet to me.

I load up the solvent and cleaner and return to the car to remove the sticker that had actually expired. Then, I fish the mangled inspection sticker out of the trash, assemble its bits like an anthropologist and hope that the reconstruction will suffice for the inspection guy not to charge us full price for a replacement.

And I thought I was being so efficient.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

oiht (overheard in houston tunnels)

My favorite statement heard (again) in the tunnels today:

I'll have to call you later, I can't get a decent signal below ground.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

therapeutic recycling

Stop making that face. This is not a lecture on recycling.

Okay, I'm a liar. This IS absolutely a lecture on recycling.

First, forget all the small print: yes, it is better to reduce and reuse and yes, energy is used to recycle and yes, it's inconvenient and yes, we don't know exactly how much really ends up being used, blah-bah-blah...because
we're throwing away tons of shit that we don't need to throw away. It is wrong on every level. It fucks up our planet, it leaves poison for our children to deal with, hurts our economy and I'm even considering that it destroys our collective soul in an atheistic sort of way. Hell, MacGyver would take all this crap and build another planet with it–all I'm suggesting is that we crunch it up and make something else from it. Like welcome mats or tote bags or something.

Houston is not what you might call an environmentally conscious kind of city. What with the redness of it all and that frontier logic: if god didn't want me to fill up dumpsites, he wouldn't have put 'em there and given me this big honkin' sweet pickup truck.

However, even in Houston recycling is not hard. There are places to take this stuff. There are lots of neighborhoods (like mine, ptl) that have curbside pickup. CURBSIDE PICKUP, for christsake. It gives you no excuse and would only be easier if Mayor White actually walked into your house and carried out your green recycle bin for you. And yet, there are tons of cretins who don't recycle. Jesus Christ on a flapjack, that ticks me off.

Anyhow. We had a party for our dear friend and playwright, Eric, some weeks ago. I may have mentioned it. It was a great fun affair. Much wine and beer was consumed. Now, while my neighborhood does have curbside pickup, they no longer pick up glass. So, we stacked up all the bottles and toted them to the recycling drop-off this past weekend. Here is an aspect of recycling that should appeal to most people (even you earth abusers): we had to throw each kind of glass (clear, green, amber) into separate, enormous containers. They look like industrial barges or rail cars or something.


Go ahead, throw the first one. It has to go pretty far. It crashes and breaks with THE MOST SATISFYING SOUND. I mean, this was (no offense, dear Dr. Ding) better than therapy. Throw, crash, repeat. I was thoroughly exorcised by the time we reached the end of my pile. I only wish I had more bottles in my bin.

Whack-a-mole, step aside. I've discovered breaking glass.

To recap: RECYCLE.

PS. I know there's a Democratic convention going on, by the way. I'm just pacing myself. Besides you can just go here for great convention coverage.

Monday, August 25, 2008

coming out of the crafts closet

I don't know why I feel sheepish about this stuff. Perhaps because it's not, you know, fine art. Whatever. I'm working on it. As I've said before, knitting is to carpentry joints as sewing is to welding. I am enamored of all things beautifully made by hand.

Apple hat with leaf mitts (3-6 months)

This is a gift for a friend. He and his wife are expecting their first in November. Infant stuff is unavoidably, deafeningly cute. Cute is my least favorite adjective but I make an exception for all things baby. Goddammit, this is ADORABLE.

I learned to knit when I was 10 years old. Save for a scarf for each of my children, I've never really finished any knitting project. Knitting is all about soothing process for me. My friends shake their collective heads. It IS. Anyway, my Puerto Rican aunt taught my Japanese aunt who taught me. I'm relatively sure my technique is a little off.

There you have it. This has been my free time activity for a couple of weeks. Granted, I had to redo quite a bit because I purchased my needles and yarn in Spain years ago and I had no idea of gauge or weight. I got my original inspiration here, but cobbled together three or four recipes to make it the way I wanted it.

You know that old adage, "if you haven't used it in three years, throw it out"? That would never, ever work with me. I have ideas simmering over shit I picked up a decade ago. It's a treasure hunt to rummage through my materials and find just the thing I need...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

wrapping up summer

It's been a busy summer. Lots of company and socializing. Which, while a bit tiring, has been very satisfying. But blog-sucking. I find myself full of ideas and sans time and energy.

I'm working on a few little projects that I'm going to post soon. I'm also beginning my things to see and do in France research. I love researching once-in-a-lifetime trip activities. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to make this trip. Dad says that this is the worst time to go to Europe because the dollar is getting the shit beaten out of it by the euro (okay, that's not exactly how he put it). I told him, yes, turning fifty is not an event that fits conveniently into one's schedule.

That silly nod to tired humor about aging aside...people, I am not unhappy about turning 50. Swear to god, I'm just getting started. I've never been so excited about what's ahead. So many things to do, mountains to climb (she said figuratively) and adventures to have.

Monday, August 04, 2008

public transportation calls me grasshopper

I'm back to riding the bus. I won't test your patience with mathematical computations (fun as they were). Suffice it to say, public transportation is now an economically significant savings over driving, for a cheapskate money-wise woman like myself. (Damn you W, for forcing out my reluctant hippie.*)

*stolen shamelessly, but with warning, from my son.

Aside from the savings are the health aspects of walking an extra 15-20 minutes a day. I walk most of that via the downtown tunnel system as the sun has been cuddling right up to Houston of late. And if all that weren't enough, I'm surrounded daily by rich anecdotal material. Which coordinates nicely with the rich aroma. Ramped up by the cuddly sun.

I have long loved a rant. The world is never at a loss for providing crazy-ass things on which to comment. For laughing and catharsis. I have also learned to treasure the ability to rage. Stay with me, you peace-loving, non-confrontational readers (both of you). There's a good ending.

Rage, if you haven't enjoyed it, is powerful. It is especially powerful for women, who while maligned as shrews have also suffered as doormats. I'm not trying to be reductionist here, there are certainly examples all over the spectrum but I think it's fair to say that traditional women have been taught to curb expressions of anger to their detriment. They haven't, to be fair, been taught not to compress that suppression into flinty shards of passive-aggression (so poetical I am today) which is dangerous, to say the least.

Okay, to get personal: I was a cowering, frightened girl-child. I was obedient and self-sacrificing for god and survival. I was afraid of my anger. Of anyone's anger. This hamstrung me on more than one occasion. So, when I found my ovaries, I expressed my rage. It was good. Really good. I wanted to beat the shit out of anyone who threatened me or mine. Empowering.

But you can't stay there. You simply can't. It eats you alive and exhausts you and sends your loved ones running.

No surprise then, my social tolerance has not been...zen-like. I find inane phone, loud restaurant and boring office conversations Mad-Den-Ing. I'm actually not proud of this because I haven't been very successful at filtering that shit out.

Enter my yogi: Metro. Since I have grown quite fond of the remaining, unscarred sections of my stomach lining and am loathe unwilling to donate these to the idiocy surrounding me, I have decided to calm the fuck down. It's ridiculous to go apeshit about behaviors over which I have zero control.

Case in point. Riding home today involved the conscious defusing of my reaction to Rash-Inducing-Cell-Phone-Lady. She spent 15 interminable minutes talking loudly to some other presumably straw-hatted crony about the bus system. The bus she missed. The bus that passed her without stopping. She was going to call Metro. Maybe. She was on the bus that didn't travel via the HOV lane against her wishes. The connection kept petering out, Janey, are you still there? Janey, you're cutting out. Then, we talked about bus stops and schedules. All this at a difficult-to-tune-out volume.

I only glared once. Then, I thought, look at the bright side: she didn't plop down next to you and drill that tedious noise into your tired head! I retracted my fangs and redirected focus towards a happy project or a could almost hear the stomach acid spigot slow to a drip.

When we hit one more cellphone dead zone, Sister Gabby finally gave up and scolded Janey (like she purposely picked a phone service that sucked on bus route 50), Look you keep cutting out and it's driving me nuts. I'll just call you later. Click.

And someone in the next row, in that under your breath/loud enough for everyone to hear
says "Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus!"

And it wasn't me. Ooommm.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

crabby movie review

I'm not much of a current movie kind of gal. Actually I'm not much of a gal, truth be told. But recently I saw two movies that deserve a crabby-ass review.

This should have been solid. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen. All three stand-up-and-applaud kind of actors. But, no. It was such a retread. Uninspired road trip search for self with your best friends and hack chance meetings of predictable strangers. I don't know. I am pretty tired of the sisterhood bonding schtick as substitute for story.

You all know my affection for, fascination with and general squealing delight over all things Vagina Dentata. So, when friends lent us this movie for us to watch, I couldn't resist. They warned us that it wasn't very good but felt the concept was worth the perusal. They were right. Stupid movie but funny idea. It got me to thinking about related specialties. Vaginal Orthodontist (there are gynecological products called Ortho, too. I kid you not). Vaginal Periodontist (yes, Virginia, there's a period in your periodontist). Can you imagine having a cavity or overbite? Or showing off your new caps? Perhaps removable bridges for the wary guest?

I've seen some good movies too. But there are scads of reviews about them out there. Besides this is my blog, dear reader, not some fucking exercise in balanced critiquing.

are those tea stains on your form?

A dear friend of mine was applying for a job and needed to go pee in a cup. (You know, to make sure he wasn't computer programming under the influence.) He was faxing lab paperwork to the potential drug-free employer and I requested a copy because: a) he showed it to me and b) I have no shame.

The form was entitled URINE CHAIN OF CUSTODY FORM (caps are theirs and I swear I heard an industrial door slam shut at the end of it). So serious we are about our urine! The document was certified by, you guessed it, the Signature of Collector. Complete with Collector's Name. (What does your Daddy do for a living? He's a Collector. Of Urine. We beam with pride.)

Finally, at the top of Acme* Lab's officious trip-/quintup-/sextup-licate form was this:


Please tell me there's someone snickering in the design department at Forms 'R Us.

This is as good as the brown colon cancer wristbands that so delighted me in Aught Six.
Note: Oddly enough, Anti-Tobacco is also represented by brown wristbands. And Colon Cancer/Colorectal Cancer now have an alternate color (blue) for the shit-brown-squeamish among us.

*Name changed to protect the pee-stained reputation of the real lab.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

grammatical tagging [happy sigh]

from the rut. via Dave

This may, in fact, be the best cartoon representation of my kind of social disobedience. As ever, Dave, you and your betrothed sparkle with well-mannered bad behavior. I am not barely so worthy (false modesty is just annoying).

Friday, July 25, 2008

taming the chaos

Sister coming to visit. Very busy. DIY mavens, we are. New ceiling fan installed. Check. New kitchen faucet (and sprayer, ptl) installed. Check. Yardwork. St. Barbara's check. Homemade enchiladas and lasagna in the freezer. Check and check. Lists with check boxes checked. Check.

new ceiling fan. cool.

new faucet. smooth.

We're going to have so much fun. And my domestic duties will include far less domestic duty. Will report back.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

ptl and pass the pubic dye

Happened upon two gems in my cyber travels recently.

The first is (I won't even link to it because I can't bear to increase their site traffic. Go there if you don't believe me but you'll only have yourself to blame for the retinal scarring.) A few golden snippets from their page on Doctrine:

3. We believe that man is totally depraved, a sinner in both nature and practice, therefore totally separated from God, totally lost...

There are few things that get me off faster than being called totally depraved. Where do I sign up?

9. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is the absolute authority in determining the faith and practice of God’s people. We affirm that the sixty-six books of the Bible are inerrant, divinely and uniquely inspired, and [yadda, yadda, virgin-v'jay-jay, yadda, yadda]...

Have these folks every played Telephone? (Or as the politically insensitive call it: Chinese Whispers or Russian Scandal.)

Inerrant? As in:

in·er·rant /ɪnˈɛrənt/ [in-er-uhnt]
free from error; infallible.

Nothing new, this literal Bible thing. It just never ceases to amaze me how blithely Fundamentalism kicks Logic right off the cliff.
And here are some beauties under Course Descriptions:
SURVEY OF THE CULTSAn investigation of the Doctrine of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Armstrongism, Christian Science, Unity and others. Attention is also given to the founding fathers.
Yay!! Mormons, Jay-Dubs, Armstrongians (WTF? Lance has branched off into theology?), Christian Scientitians, Unityanites (are they talking about those fucking evil humanists, the Unitarians?) have made it into the Cult Club! With a nod to the evil tenets of the founding fathers. Deism and Theosophy, get thee hence!

PERSONAL EVANGELISMThis is an interesting course in personal soul winning. It is comprehensive in that it deals with the “how to” in soul winning.
ADVANCED EVANGELISMThis is an advanced course dealing with soul winning. This course, taught by Dr. Dabdoub deals with different scenarios that the soul winner will face during door to door soul winning...
Ooo, look, look! Basic, Advanced AND Door-to-Door Soul Winning. I am absolutely sure that Beelzebub Junior College has this exact same course in their catalog. Credits won't transfer, though. Devil take them.

APOLOGETICS 1This is an advanced study, taught by Dr. Dan Botterbrodt, dealing with the subjects of Evolution and the Cults.
For those of you keeping track, there's also an Apologetics 2: More Evolution, Bigger Cults.

Look, obscure words used to sound more...academical...academicky:
HOMILETICSThis course, taught by Pastor Phillip Weaver, offers an introduction to homiletics, which is the art of preaching. Varied considerations for [blah, blah, blah-fuckity-blah] ...sermon delivery.
HERMENEUTICSThis course, taught by Phillip E. Weaver deals with the process of biblical interpretation.

On October 9, 1997, after being examined educationally, ethically, and spiritually, SBS qualified for accreditation by the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, Inc. of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

According to the satanic wizards over at Wikipedia:

American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions (AAATI) is a Christian nonprofit organization offering educational accreditation, based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It was formed in 1983. The composition of the board is unknown. According to Steve Levicoff, it is an accreditation mill operated by Dr. Cecil Johnson, president of Christian Bible College, a distance education Bible college based in Rocky Mount that Levicoff identifies as a diploma mill.

AAATI is not recognized as an accreditor by either the United States Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
(ugly tables, theirs; inconsistent italicizing/bolding for emphasis, all mine.)

I have to stop. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. A tiny barrel and a howitzer.

This second site is proof that the righteous surfer shall be rewarded.

I am delighted to present these two sites in one entry. Pastor ("Dr.") Dabdoub can now share his fame with technicolor pubes.
This site is ridiculous and wonderful for so many reasons:
  • Provides a darling, Mrs. Rubblesque nickname for your lady parts: Betty
  • Gives wordsmiths a plethora of tagline fun:
    Betty Color; Not just for merkins anymore!
    Betty Color; Paint your pudenda!
    Betty Color; Color for your cooch!

  • Creates endless opportunity for coining new phrases about making your hairs all matchy-matchy:
  • Coordinate your collar to your cuff.
    (gobless your betty-free heart, Giuseppe,
    for sending me this link.)
  • Order carpet to match the drapes.
  • Sync up your 'do and hoo-hoo.
  • Match your mullet and muff.
And of course,
  • Get your bob and beaver on the same page.
I cannot get enough. There are dyes (for brides: something blue?) and godsaveme, STENCILS! I am flummoxed, vahklempt...colorize amongst yourselves. Let me give you a topic: snatch is to swatch as religion is to fucktardery. Discuss.

this just in

A perfect blend of catch and skiff here. Enjoy Moby Dick via the interpretive genius of one Aaron Francis, D.V.D., one of my four adopted sons (AQ, JA, PR, you know who you are). The degree letters are for AF to decipher. [Hats off to my virago daughter (definition 2, por supuesto) for the link.]

Dave, Dave, Dave. You bait me with this:
Now I am plagued by unclean thoughts.

  • Is the photo dirty or has she been rolling around with the zebras?
  • I thought zebras were herbivores. Looks like this one ATE HER BOOBS.
  • What could one do with an octopus? (sweater-wise, I mean, you pervs.)
  • How long would it take to knit the matching leggings?
Christ on a flap jack, so many questions. So much zoo crafting envy.

Went to the Bayou City Farmers Market this morning. Nice produce but astrorganically priced. (I'm copyrighting this word.) Okay, it's possible that my love of word coinage leads to hyperbole. Stuff is probably no more overpriced than Whole Foods or Central Market. But I won't pay for that kind of wholesomeness every week. Just won't do it.

Will you look at the time? I've got to get back to the shit on my list...

Friday, July 11, 2008

mnemonics, your ass




adjective: Having well-shaped buttocks.


From Greek calli- (beautiful) + pyge (buttocks).
How I try to remember new words:
Callie called to her pigeon while leaning over the balcony, her callipygian form silhouetted in the fading light.
Have I mentioned how much I love A.Word.A.Day?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

a note about design

To clarify my previous post...I think that design can actually change the world.

Well-designed items or processes can beautify, enable success and, well, reduce suffering. Furniture, web, fashion, information, tool, interior, architectural and auto design (etc., etc.) can all add to or subtract from our everyday experience. Both aesthetically and practically good design is vital.

I also think it's important to poke fun at the collective snobbery that often accompanies design. So, you know, don't be a pretentious fuck.

thank you, o foul-mouthed guru

Monday, July 07, 2008

Six of one

I submitted this entry to Six Sentences and they accepted and posted it here.
Which makes me happy, but that niggling voice in my head mocks me with yeah, but how many entries do they turn away?
I don't know.
But writing succinctly is a great exercise.
Thanks to Veronica for pointing me to 6S.
Well, just look at this, another six sentences.

Monday, June 30, 2008

gay day and blog lint

I have so many things in my head to share. Real thinking things. Ideas and shit. But random and fluffy things have been accumulating in my virtual navel and I must clear them out:

Gay Pride Parade
Best t-shirt spotted (black letters on white shirt, gay man with straw cowboy hat):

Message to trannies:
Girlfriends, buy some decent wigs. I've seen Barbies with more natural coifs.

My queer epiphenita:
I'm the Bacon in the Great Bacon Lettuce Tomato sandwich. I love bacon.

Is anyone else pissed off at Fate's little joke of taking out two ground-breaking comedians within one month of each other (May 29 and June 22)? Korman, Carlin: I hope you two are doing that foul-mouthed voodoo that you do, soooo well.

The Finns were here. Our Finnish host daughter (from 10 years ago) and her boyfriend were spending their vacation in the US and sandwiched 5 days in Houston between New York and San Francisco. They were completely delightful and we had great fun. I've been cooking like my mother (meaning I've been cooking well and in ridiculous quantities. And making menu lists.) for over a week and I am a bit tuckered.

Note: Between Finland's corner on the vowel market and the Czech Republic's capture of most of the consonants, it's amazing that we have enough letters left to cobble together a language.

Hello, Liberals/Progressives? Stop doing the
McCain is so old schtick. It is, in essence, no less of a bullshit prejudice than racism or sexism and he has provided ample fodder for you on the real issues. Really, enough. You lose your integrity with each comment.

[One exception to the ageism slam: The Rude Pundit. A man whose commitment to the egalitarian smear is so wide-ranging and profound, it borders on the holy edge of the profane. When you look up the definition of "nothing is sacred," it links to his site. O Rude One, carry on.]


Dusty Mecca?
How the hell did I miss this?

Rampant Lesbianism
Republican candidate for senator from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn
You know, Josh Burkeen is our rep down here in the southeast area. He lives in Colgate and travels out of Atoka. He was telling me lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that’s happened to us?"

–Tom Coburn, 8/31/04
Atrios (via
All the lesbians I know are going to be pulling up stakes and heading north to Ponca City or OK City or DustyPoonanny City as soon as they close this window.

Sapphobless my dear friend Giuseppe for this holy-fucking gem:

Click on the image (careful!) to enlarge. Click here to go to to peruse the homespun frocks. FLDS stands for Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Über Mormons. Guardians of female hymenity, pastel full-body armor, cheap casseroles and all things caucasian. These are the placenta-makers, my people. Reproducing at a rate that causes great papal shame. And while we're talking about conspiracy, don't think it's a coincidence that FLDS reads exactly like "fluids." That is right. Every sperm is sacred.


And not that I don't think those Monty Python guys are anything less than total fucking geniuses, but they're wrong about the Mormon's spilling their seed.

I swear on the life of my unborn triplets, Chastity, Modesty and Frigidity, I will make me a pastel full-length dress. And I will unlock the secret of extensions and give myself a Christian updo. Amen.