Monday, December 3, 2007

Friday Night Fights

And the pendelum swings...two Fridays ago, as you may recall, I spent the evening being regaled with song and spirit. Right, not exactly. But I did attend Karaoke Night at the Wilmington Village Pub, a virtual love-fest compared to last Friday, which featured a Mixed Martial Arts (think UFC) competition at George Mason University.

Bryan, from the bike team, originally brought up the idea of going. Jared mentioned I was interested, and they told two friends, and so on. And that is how the four of us (aforementioned, plus Darren) ended up at Friday Night Smackdown. A former NCAA Div. 1 college wrestler, Bryan knows some of the mixed martial arts competitors, including Randy Couture, an Ultimate Fighting Champion whom he apparently wrestled against, and some guy named Johnny, who used to wrestle for George Mason, and was on the card for Friday. Jared is fond of mentioning that Bryan could "easily kill anyone we know" which is an interesting thing to ponder. I try to be extremely friendly and helpful whenever Bryan's around. If you know me, you know that's no mean feat.

The actual fighting was interesting--there were some knock-outs, one bout of twitching by a knocked out person that made the words "traumatic brain injury" pop into my head, a few submissions.

What it lacked, though, was the spectacle of a UFC event. There was no Joe Rogan doing color commentary. No famous people in the audience. One guy kept taking five minute breaks because he'd apparently been kicked in the nuts--and the rules say if you get kicked in the nuts you have up to five minutes to allow them to drop back down out of your abdomen, or something like that. I'm not exactly clear on the details, but the point is, they never include 10 minutes of nut recovery in the UFC videos, right? The ring girls were from Hooters (I'm going to have to deal with that in a whole separate post.) You get the picture. There were a few attempts at spectacle (they kept playing "The Final Countdown" which then got stuck in my head, prompting me to raise my fist every now and again, at random intervals throughout the weekend, and sing "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!" Those are all the words I know.) A whole train of people escorted one guy into the ring (think conga line, but more intense) which was kind of spectacle-y, but not all that much.

My recommendations? Well I'm glad you asked. Cheaper seats (the least expensive were $30, the most expensive, $130--that's a joke, right?), free beer (random fights in the stands would definitely add a little something) and maybe let audience members challenge the fighter of their choice. After all, you can't discount the importance of audience participation.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friday Night Lights

**I've been struggling with this post for a week now--some of them just come out fully formed, like Athena from Zeus's forehead. But not this time. I think maybe because what I'm trying to describe was so "experiential" in nature, that you really did kind of have to be there. I wash my hands of the whole thing.**

Last Friday, I experienced something truly special. Something I never would have imagined experiencing, but which changed me profoundly.

The miracle of birth? you might be thinking. (Unless, of course, you've ever met me.) A spiritual awakening of some sort? Jesus Christ, don't be ridiculous. Miracle jeans that make my ass look like someone else's--someone much smaller's? I wish. Okay, stop guessing already, you're never going to get it. After all, who among us would guess Karaoke Night at the Wilmington Village Pub.

Didn't see that coming, didja? While in Vermont over the holidays, we visited Brian, Darren's brother, for whom karaoke night was on the agenda. After about three milliseconds of consideration, I said "count me in." But if karaoke is so intriguing, why have I never been to karaoke night, right? After all, I did live in Wilmington for roughly a century, and God knows there isn't exactly a host of entertainment options through which to sort on any given weekend. I guess for me, you don't karaoke where you eat. Or something like that. Going to karaoke night was especially fun because I'm sort of an outsider now.

To wit, a list of highlights:

1. "Living on a Prayer" especially the audience accompaniment.

2. The Pub's own karaoke diva, who managed to sing the entire "raunchy ho" catalog, including hits like "My Humps," "Don't Cha" (Pussycat Dolls) and "Naughty Girl" (I have no idea.) Her voice, reaching the upper registers of helium intake, was like an angel's. And her between-song patter, featuring such gems as "WHAT'S UP BITCHES?!?" was beyond compare.

3. A bunch of seriously optimistic 50+ year-old men trying to pick up the barely bar-legal gals who, all due credit, seemed to know a quality supply of free drinks when they saw it. Ick.

4. Two girls whose performance sounded
mostly like cats humping--whether because of a natural dearth of talent or interference from Captain Morgan and his merry men, I cannot say.

5. A man so over-beveraged that he was literally no longer able to speak English (if he ever did.) At first it seemed like he might be trying to hit on Brian, but then it became apparent that he was just looking for some help fighting that pesky gravity. The one sentence we were able to translate had to do with his ride home having abandoned him. This came as no great shock to us.

In the words of Gen. MacArthur, I shall return, to karaoke night, I mean. But I'm pretty sure that's not what he was referring to. He has no idea what he missed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

O Pioneers!

On one recent morning, the alarm went off somewhere around 6 am, like it does every weekday, and I hit the snooze like I do every weekday. (Like you don't?) As I lay there, contemplating what must surely be the myriad joys of independent wealth (not having to get up for work at 6 am being just one example) I heard my brother out in the hallway, thoughtfully informing me that the power had gone out, because he didn't want me to be late for work. After getting my mind around the fact that we were without electricity, though my alarm had gone off mere minutes before (I'm a skeptic, what can I say?) I leapt out of bed, full of vim and vigor. Just kidding. But I did get up, motivated in some small part by the curiosity of getting ready for work absent a steady supply of alternating current.
First, I wondered about the shower. After gently rousing Darren (read: forceful nudge) I asked him if it would work. "Try it," he mumbled. Not exactly confidence-inspiring. But I did. It turned on, it seemed to be heating up. I stepped in and, wait for it...the water stopped running entirely. Necessitating all of the drying off, but without the actual cleaning that typically precedes it. I went downstairs, freezing, and gathered candles with which to light the rest of my morning routine. It took me 10 minutes to find matching socks (no, I don't sort them when I do laundry--you have to leave some things to chance, I think) nestling the candle down into the ridiculously deep, dark drawer, and wondering how flammable socks are, actually. I turned on the tap to brush my teeth, and was reminded that the water was not running. I rooted around in the dark bedroom for a water bottle and managed to accomplish the task--a small victory, I thought.
After earning a D-, at best, on my daily ablutions, I went downstairs, where I promptly made a few more discoveries.
1. No electricity means no coffee, which means no will to live.
2. The coffee at 7-11 sucks, no matter what they tell you.
3. No light in the refrigerator makes it hard to find your lunch, or anything else for that matter.
4. It takes roughly eight seconds for the hot wax in the stupid votive candle to spill over and onto your counter.
5. The garage door opener does not work when there is no electricity, which means you have to leave through the front door, whether you want to or not.
As I left through the front door, I asked myself, aloud of course, the question any of us asks in this situation: "How the f*@# did the pioneers do it?"

Monday, November 5, 2007

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

I've never been a big fan of "spirit" myself. You know, school spirit, or that can-do spirit, or American spirit (except the cigarettes, because I really liked those for a while.) It's a curious emotion, or whatever "spirit" is. A sentiment? A state of mind? I just don't find all that much to get spirited about, overall. Unless you can substitute "spirited" and "pissed off" in equal measure, because I find myself gripped by pissed-offedness at least twice an hour.

I know, however, that for many, spirit comes all too naturally--the pom-pon wavers, the church bakesale organizers, the glee club members, fitness guru Jack La Lanne (that could just be the Juice Tiger doing its work, though.) Anyway, the list goes on. And though I haven't spent too much time on the dude ranch circuit, I am at least marginally aware of what some call the "Western spirit," exemplified, I suppose, by the pioneers, and people who still wear Chaps cologne. I did not, however, realize that there was such a thing as a "Western spirit of deliciousness."

But then I heard an advertisement for LongHorn's Steakhouse. I was curious, since I didn't realize that there was a particular cuisine associated with the Western spirit. I mean, beans cooked in a can over an open fire maybe, but that doesn't exactly scream "deliciousness." Maybe it's not a cuisine? Maybe everything in the West is delicious? Like in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with its yummy chocolate river, and tasty candy flowers.

In this specific case, however, LongHorn's is referring to "a tender LongHorn Flo’s Filet paired with a golden, oven-roasted, cold-water lobster tail," which they note "couldn’t be more different, yet they come together in the Western spirit of deliciousness." Besides the Western spirit of deliciousness, about which it taught me, I like this campaign because it seems to imply somehow that LongHorns alone created the concept of pairing beef and seafood. I believe this combination has existed outside the Western spirit of deliciousness, where it is sometimes referred to as surf and turf. But I'm a vegetarian, so what do I know, besides this: listening to commercials on the radio can be very, very educational.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Technical Term

I know, I know. It's been a long time. And for the three of you simply clamoring for more frequent updates about the glamorous, some might even say wondrous, events of my everyday life, my sincere apologies.
With that out of the way, on to the real reason for my post. This morning on my way into work, I was half listening to a "story" on WTOP. I use the quotes because, for the most part, a story on WTOP isn't exactly a story. More like an extended headline. But I digress...The story was on the topic of anticipated Halloween merriment tonight in Georgetown, and how police plan to keep revelers safe. One officer commented that extra personnel would be out on the streets to assist in case anyone became "over-beveraged." It actually made me laugh out loud. When I typed it into Google, the first references had to do with NASCAR (natch) but the reason I like it is because I think it offers a much more sophisticated option than "drunk off your ass." Like rather than saying "Mom, you are drunk off your ass" you could simply say "Mom, I think you've become somewhat over-beveraged." CLASS-EE!
I give you permission to use it liberally. I know I plan to.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Public Notice

Attention drivers:
When you are picking your nose in your car (or doing pretty much anything else, for that matter) I CAN SEE YOU. Your vehicle is not an invisible jet. The action itself does not render you unseen by your fellow drivers, either. It's called a tissue, and is an appropriate tool for accomplishing what you're most likely trying to accomplish, especially in a public setting. If you're not actually trying to accomplish something, and are engaging in this activity just for the fun of it, I would suggest tinted windows.
I realize this may not come as news to some. In fact, I'd like to think that most of us are aware of the point I'm trying to make. But given the frequency with which I regretfully observe this activity, it can't hurt to mention it again, just this one time. In case you were raised by wolves or something.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

OMG I Heart George Clooney

"Yeah, so what?" you might be saying. "Who doesn't?"
But I think I truly do love him. Like, even in an "I just want the best for you George," kind of way. It might even be platonic (though since I do want what's best for him, I would be open to taking our relationship further if he thought it was the right thing to do.)
He's just so cool. He has this "can't be bothered" attitude about the whole Hollywood thing. He's always smirking, which I like. God knows there's always something to be smirking about (if you're paying attention, anyway.) He appears to have an excellent sense of humor, and by most accounts is a genuine smartass (there's virtually no quality I find more appealing.) He may even be a relatively decent human being. Plus he's pretty easy on the eyes.
Many of you may have read that he recently got into a motorcycle accident with his chick, in New Jersey. Apparently a number of hospital staff members violated HIPAA by accessing his medical records. (And let's be honest, who wouldn't in that situation?) Those employees were suspended and, in response, what'd George Clooney do? He probably got all pissed off and made some scathing comments in the press, touching on how horribly difficult it is to be an international superstar, right? Nope. I would have, but all he said was "While I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers." How cool is that? It also pretty much confirms that he's never been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction or genital warts, or something, because you can bet he wouldn't have been so relaxed about the whole thing then.
P.S. He was also on "The Facts of Life" which, while not one of his proudest moments I'm sure, gives him additional cool points in my book. But I warn you, do not start singing the theme song in your head. You know the one. It'll be stuck there all day.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Rally Monkey

I'm what some people might call a "fair weather fan" when it comes to sports. I don't think that's accurate, necessarily, because it seems to imply that I only enjoy a sporting contest when my team is doing well. More to the point, I don't really have a whole lot of teams that I'd bother to call mine. I'm a Red Sox fan, of course, because it's my birthright, but I follow them fairly casually, for most of the summer. I'll watch if they happen to be on when I'm flipping through the channels. I might even go so far as to click on a link as I read the day's headlines. But I don't really start paying attention to any team until it comes to play-off time. There's almost nothing that can make me watch football, and hockey is completely out of the question, fights or no fights. But basketball, and baseball especially, are two sports that I can get behind, once it's crunch time. I'd say I'm more of a Johnny-come-lately, sports-wise.
Which is why the Los Angeles Angels were not on my radar screen. Really, why should they be? Well I'll tell you why--a little something they call the Rally Monkey. Now if you're like me, you probably didn't know there was such a thing, which is a real shame. We were watching the last game of the Red Sox-Angels series this weekend, when out of nowhere, a tiny monkey, which appeared to be licking a treat of some sort, flashed across the screen. "Was that a monkey?" I asked, to no one in particular. Indeed it was. But not just any monkey--a Rally Monkey. And there are rules. The Rally Monkey only appears when the Angels are tied or trailing by three runs or less in the 7th inning or later, with a runner on base. Which I think is great, because it'd be just like us humans to overuse something like the Rally Monkey, draining it of all its magic, without rules.
And then I was thinking I might like a Rally Monkey of my own. You know, for those days when I'm feeling overwhelmed, because I just don't have enough time to do all of the things that need to be done. Or on those really long drives home, when I start feeling like hurling a grenade into the nearest SUV. I think a Rally Monkey would make me feel much better in general. I would, however, take a page from the Angels' play book and implement rules governing use of the monkey. Like--only if it's 6 pm and I'm still just three blocks from the office. Or if we've entered hour three of a meeting at work. And I wouldn't even use him on the weekends at all. Scout's honor.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Prayer

Dear God,
If you're up there, and you're listening, and you happen to have a free moment (I know you must have a lot going on) please find a way to tie up Elizabeth Hasselbeck, of "The View" fame, in a bag full of South African Honey Badgers. I looked it up, because I didn't want to waste your time on deciding what kind of animal. It appears to be the consensus online that the honey badger is at least one of the world's meanest creatures. But you probably already knew that.

I'm not sure how it came to this. I didn't pay much attention when she reportedly came out in favor of torture "for our benefit." Kind of annoying, though. Then she and Rosie had that little spat--embarassing for all parties, I'd say. I also recently found out that on season nine of "The View" she likened gay marriage to marrying a toaster--I didn't see this episode (or any other, for that matter) but I found this troubling, at best. Then she pissed of Barry Manilow. Which is so obviously not cool.
Finally, just the other day I read of her concern about folks wantonly partnering up and squeezing out young'uns without getting married first. “Here’s the problem with it though . . . this is a big trend now – you have people who are cohabitating and bringing children into the world,” Hasselbeck said. “If you owned a car company for instance, you wouldn’t rent somebody a car without a contract and you wouldn’t sign up for a phone without a lease.” To be honest, it's possible that I just don't have a goddamned (sorry God) idea what she's talking about here. Can you rent babies now? And anyway, don't most people actually wish they could sign up for a phone without a contract? I heard someone give her props because she appeared to be defending gay marriage during her commentary. Being so busy disparaging one group that you fail to fully disparage another doesn't raise your stock in my book, however. Overall, I get the sense that if I did fully understand what she said, I'd probably be pretty annoyed, again. I am, after all, an unmarried cohabitor (gasp!) myself. And wasn't it you who said that whole "judge not lest ye be judged" thing in the first place? This is without even considering her anti-choice, pro-war views. Plus being horribly perky and petite--two p's that do not bode well for you in my world.
In summary, God, every time I read anything that Elizabeth Hasselbeck has said, or even just see her face, I find myself annoyed, confused, or minus a few more precious brain cells. Which brings me back to my original request.
Thank you for your help with this matter. When you get a chance, because again, I know you've got your hands full.

Monday, October 1, 2007

One Way Of Looking At It

Yesterday morning I was watching Bobby Flay on The Food Network. Since the show is not exactly veg-centric--it is called "Boy Meets Grill" after all, it's not always on my must-watch list. That having been said, I can pretty much get waylaid by any Food Network show. From Paula's giant (and growing) puff of silvery hair, bulging eyeballs, and butter vats, to Giada's frightening grimace-smile (why have a dentist when the entire Food Network viewing audience can see every single one of your teeth every time you're on screen?) it's all too easy to get sucked into the lost-time vortex that is TFN. For the most part, Bobby Flay doesn't strike me as a big giant ass face, and he doesn't inspire in me the same homicidal tendencies provoked by his unendurable compatriot Rachel Ray. Sometimes he even has some interesting ideas that I can de-meat, so I stayed tuned through my first cup of coffee.
On this particular episode, he was making grilled stuffed portobello mushroom caps. Since I make a version of this myself, it caught my attention. Bobby's version featured onion, spinach, smoked mozzarella, and andouille sausage. When he finished preparing the dish, along with two other mushroom-centric items, he sat down and tucked in to his work, noting the stuffed mushrooms would actually make a nice vegetarian entree.
Which gave me pause, since last time I checked, andouille sausage are made with pork, also known as pig, or, more generally, meat. I think you'd have a pretty pissed off vegetarian on your hands if you fed them a sausage-stuffed mushroom for dinner. But maybe I should only speak for myself. Maybe there's a different definition of vegetarian out there that, in a mystifying twist, accommodates pork sausage. One time I was reading the comments on a vegetarian blog, in which one woman proclaimed herself to be a vegetarian, except that she eats bacon, because she really likes it. That actually made me laugh a little bit.
In the same category (confusing things people say, I guess) I heard someone from Homeland Security on the radio this morning, who said that the government does know what's going on in terms of possible terrorist threats in the U.S., just not "some of the tactical details...the who, what, when, where." Or: Holes in domestic security intelligence, brought to you by the letter "W." But rest assured, they apparently have the "why" nailed down firmly. I kind of thought that was the easy one.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"The Silent Art"

Yesterday, the world of mime bid farewell to one if it's most shining (quietest?) stars. Marcel Marceau died on Saturday in Paris, at the age of 84. Which I figured was notable because surely he was the last mime in existence. I mean, it's not as if anybody likes mime, right? And even if they do, there's no way anyone could like it enough to actually learn how to do it, I assumed. But apparently, I assumed wrong. There are mime troops, mime performances, mime theaters, and (I'm serious here) mime ministries. The mind reels. But quietly.
More interesting to me was the fact, which many probably already know, that Marceau was a Holocaust survivor who worked with the French resistance to protect Jewish children. Now for me personally, that's a legacy slightly more worthy of celebration, but I suppose it all depends on which side of the imaginary mime fence you stand on.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just Picture My Face on Michael Douglas's Head

The Scene That Plays Through My Head
Every Time It Takes 2 Hours To Get Home From Work

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Mean Seriously

I know I should stop blogging about the news I find online, because it seems as if a pattern is developing. But I felt I had to point out this headline from a link on CNN:

"Police Question Armless Man In Neighbor's Death."

From my perspective, a person who is killed by someone with no arms should be officially classified as not trying hard enough to stay alive.

P.S. On an unrelated note, (since everyone in it seems to have at least one, and mostly two arms) I cannot stop watching this video. It's kind of Torrance Community Dance Group-esque. I think the song is super-catchy:

The artist is Feist. Never heard of her before the new iPod commercial, which I blame for keeping the song running in m my head for something like eight hours straight on Sunday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

OMG. Gross.

Men are disgusting. And 33% of men are extra-disgusting (which is saying a lot) along with 12% of women.

"More American adults are leaving public restrooms without washing their hands, and the worst offenders are men, a new survey found. Researchers who staked out public potties found that one-third of men didn't bother to wash after using the bathroom, compared with 12% of women."

And people wonder why I'm (just a little teeny bit) obsessive compulsive. Is there really any reason not to be?

Little Debbie, That Cruel Temptress

The other day while perusing the headlines, I came across this one:
"Girl, 9, Threatens To Kill Classmate Over Zebra Cakes."
When I was eight or nine myself, during a weekend spent at my grandmother's, I consumed an entire box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Snack Cakes. I snuck some, asked permission for others. But in the end, over a period of approximately 10 hours, I ate 'em all. (You didn't think I started working on this girlish figure just recently, did you?) I paid for it later of course. During the small hours of the morning, my grandmother found me in the bathroom, barfing up those Little Debbies. Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure I asked to go buy another box the next day. Which is all simply to say that I'm no stranger to Little Debbie's allure. The siren song of an individually-wrapped snack cake can bring even the strongest among us to our knees.
(In my case, in front of the toilet bowl.)
But even in the darkest moments of my enthusiasm, I'm not sure I would have killed for Little Debbie. Which is why I was surprised when I read the aforementioned headline. The girl who made the threat apparently wanted to have her (snack) cake and eat her chips too, as they say. (Actually, they don't say that, exactly, but the principle applies.) After offering to trade her chips for the zebra cakes, she decided, "eh, to hell with it, I'll keep both," obviously familiar with that whole "possession is 9/10ths of the law" maxim.
While I think one could probably discern something telling about American youth from this story, or the country's troubling eating habits in general, I think it says a lot more about Florida, where the alleged incident took place.
To wit, a sampling of recent headlines from a FL television station news site:
  • "Man On Bike Killed In Drive By"
  • "Stolen Car Smashes Into Retirement Home in Orlando, Driver Flees"
  • "Clerk Shoots Would-Be Robber 14 Times"
  • "Woman's Feet Hurt By Sandals Purchased @ Wal-Mart"
  • "Man Shot After Robbers Take His Pants, Make Him Run"
  • "More Than 100 Snakes Found In Del Ray Warehouse Fire"
And that's without even trying. You get the idea. There's very little reason, if any, to go to Florida. Ever.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fatty Fatty Two by Four

Is Britney Spears seriously getting shit for how she looked in her bikini at the VMAs? Has our concept of an attractive and healthy physique really gotten so far off the mark that we all think Britney Spears looked fat?
I'm not saying that she's not a trainwreck. She's a trainwreck, all right. And I wouldn't claim that her performance was good, because "depressing" is probably a more accurate term. Furthermore, I'm not asserting that, given a nearly limitless selection, I would have opted for that particular outfit. But that girl did not look fat in her bikini. This girl looks fat in her bikini:

If I looked like this in a bikini:

I would make an argument in favor of it being classified as "business casual" and then wear it to work every day. To my office. In Northern Virginia.
And plus, at the end of the day, isn't it a whole lot better than seeing her vagina, all things considered?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Good Fences Keep Out the Little People

Where I'm from, the closest thing to a gated community that you might find is the local cemetery. Sprawling McMansions, tucked away behind gatehouses, manned by folks who can't afford to live in the McMansions they "guard" are all but nonexistent.

"How sad!" you may be thinking. "Why, if we didn't have developers down here to rape and pillage every square inch of undeveloped earth, plunk down gargantuan box after lookalike gargantuan box, and then erect a big giant fence around the whole thing, where would we live? And how would people know that we're better than them, or that we make more money?"

And if you're the kind of person who wants your neighbor's nose up your ass, who craves guidance on issues like when it's okay to have your garage door open, or who believes that anyone whose visitors would park on the street deserves a citation, then a gated community might be just the thing for you.

I can think of a few instances where I might find a gated community appealing. Iraq's Green Zone comes to mind. I might want a big gate and fence there. And it's a safe bet the neighbors would be less concerned about your garage door than about pesky issues like whether you've got explosives strapped to your chest.

But absent insurgents or zombies or something, I'm hard-pressed to figure out why you'd want to live in a gated community. Maybe you think polarizing our society is kind of neat. Perhaps you never really saw much of a problem with that whole "separate but equal" thing. Or maybe you just sort of always wanted to be an elitist pig. In which case, you know, it's good to have goals.

P.S. Darren informs me that Paris Hilton just sold her house, so that she could buy a new one in a gated community. Which should tell you a little something about the kind of people who live in gated communities. How Darren knows this is an issue for a whole separate blog post, however.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

For Those Who Already Rock

As you may know, I recently found myself watching Scott Baio's existential crisis (in which he wonders why screwing Playboy Bunnies is no longer enough, or something) as played out on "Scott Baio is 45 and Single." It's something like watching a car accident occur--you don't want to see what's going to happen, and yet you can't look away. I was once a big, big fan of "Happy Days" (I named my guinea pig "The Fonz") so that might explain my interest in Scott Baio, but the sad truth is, I never really counted myself among Poison's fan base.

Which may be why "Rock of Love" didn't immediately catch my eye. This VH1 show poignantly depicts Poison lead singer Bret Michaels' search for love, via reality television. I was prepared for an emotional roller coaster, of course, but little did I know how high some of the highs would be. During the episode I viewed, Bret's soul mates-in-training were taken to a moto-cross track where they competed for his love. But only after a short motivational speech, which Bret opened with "As you know, I love to rock..." It was a spectacular opening.

From now on, I'm going to try and open all of my important sentences that way.

"As you know, I love to rock, so could you please give me a $10 and two $5's for this $20?"

"As you know, I love to rock, and that's why I'm proposing that we completely overhaul our website navigation..."

"As you know, I love to rock, which means that this Christmas I will be purchasing George Foreman grills for all of my friends and family members."

You get the idea. Try it. It's fun!

Note-Astute readers may have spotted Bret Michaels' Bret Michaels t-shirt in the picture above. Trippy. It's almost like taking a picture of yourself taking a picture of yourself in the mirror. Or ingesting psychedelic mushrooms.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's So Good That I'm Not Having Kids

Because if one of them turned out this stupid, I would have to eat it:

In case you can't be bothered to watch, the question put to Miss Teen South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton was about why one-fifth of Americans can't find the U.S. on a world map. Miss Upton replies:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, ah, education like such as in South Africa, and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., or should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for our children."

Perhaps the most surprising thing for me was to find out that it's "The Iraq" whereas I'd always just been calling it "Iraq."

I'm not sure whether this video is an indictment of beauty pageants in general, Miss Teen USA specifically (obviously just begging for it), or the South Carolina School System (boasting the country's lowest SAT scores just a few short years ago.) Whichever it is, I'm pretty sure I lost a few IQ points watching it.

P.S. She came in third, so that should tell you how heavily the interview portion is weighted in the overall competition.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cuddle Parties

I don't get out much. This is basically an incontrovertible fact. I don't socialize very often. I don't like meeting new people. Mostly because they annoy me. To be fair, I'm also something of a homebody. Malls freak me out. I like to go straight home after work, with as few stops as possible along the way. I rarely enjoy hanging out at other peoples' houses. I don't like using public bathrooms. I'm not a hermit in the technical sense of the word, I don't think, but fairly close. I like to do things, but, you know, mundane kinds of things. A drink and a movie is about as thrilling as it gets (and come to think of it, it's been a long time since I even indulged in that thrilling an activity.)
So, you can imagine my absolute, sheer, and unadulterated horror, as I watched an episode of "Scott Baio is 45 and Single"--I'm a latecomer, I know--during which his life coach suggested he attend, and I can barely even type this...a CUDDLE PARTY. (Time-out while I vomit a little in my mouth.) The website describes a "boundary-appropriate workshop and social event for exploring touch and affection." Shudder. People wear pajamas (which always just makes me feel sick, or old) and lay around spooning with each other, holding hands, etc., in a "non-sexual" atmosphere. As if that's any consolation.
One of the FAQs on the website addresses what happens when you accidentally get wood. Well, maybe not you. Or me. But somebody, and that's more than enough information for me. "At a Cuddle Party, erections become Mother Nature's way of giving us the thumbs-up sign," according to the website. Which goes on to explain that it's A-OK, as long as nobody's dry-humping. Good lord. I have not the words. Scott Baio looked reasonably scared. Which made me like him a little bit better, to be honest.
If this is what happens in the outside world, then I'm just glad I don't leave the house very often.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

God I Hate Those Freaking Cicadas

Those among us who have never gotten up close up and personal with a cicada should be grateful. Many may be familiar with these creatures in passing--they're the ones that hatch in giant broods, so vast that in the worst throes of their uprising, it apparently sounds like driving over miles of Doritos, as the piles of carcasses are crushed under tire. Normally, the very thought of this would disturb me.

While I have what can safely be described as at least a moderate bug phobia, I'm also loathe to kill basically any living creature, which makes removing insects from my home a complicated and tiresome process. But when I think specifically about cicadas being offed, by the hundreds, all I can do is smile. For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to hear a cicada do its thing, you can't really imagine what it's like. Varying tempo, slightly different pitch insect for insect, but all generally sharing a style similar to, say, rhythmic weed-whacking, at volumes which can only be described as absolutely ridiculous, particularly given that this din is being generated by something an inch and a half long. Additionally, it is utterly and completely incessant.

I'll grant you that I may tune into certain noises more easily than others, but this sound is astonishing, distracting, and yes, I'm sorry to say, maddening. I've gone out on my back deck and yelled at the trees, shaking my fist, hoping to scare them off, or scare them silent. Nothing. I've lobbed the broken-off ends of corn that I happened to be shucking when the noise became too much for me to bear. And yet it continues. The other day I thought about the BB gun in our garage, considering whether I could become enough of a marksman, quickly enough, to put a dent in the population of cicadas, at least as they relate to my own backyard. After all, it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that I might get good enough to hit one of these:

It's about the size of my goddamned thumb. More like hitting the broad side of a barn, than a mosquito or some other normally proportioned insect.

Oh the Humanity!

Every day reading the news gets a little sadder. Today I read that 33 people have died from the heatwave in the southern region of the United States. Temperatures have topped out at over 100 degrees, day after day.

And all this poor guy has to drink is a big steaming jug of urine:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good Night, Sweet Prince (of Darkness)

What sad news for humanity this morning, to learn that Karl Rove will be leaving the Bush administration at the end of August. Too soon, my friend, too soon. Not forced out, we're assured. Most likely, Satan just got lonely and called him back home.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

No, It Doesn't Have Any Cabbage In It

Last night at Target, the kid at the check-out rang up my tofu, looked at it and said "Do you like tofu?" I said yes. (It seemed self-evident, but at least he was more pleasant than the girl last week, who must have had a seriously bad experience because she spoke as if she was ringing up vomit, while assuring me she meant "no offense." None taken.) Then he said "Does it have cabbage in it or something?" Hee hee.
Nope, no cabbage I said. Soy. It's soy beans. Which seemed to provide no further clarification for him.

Friday, August 10, 2007

One Man's Trash...

Some of the things I have seen on the side of, or in, the road during my commute from Route 234, to Route 66, to Route 7100, to the Dulles Toll Road:

1. A Cookbook
2. Toothbrush
3. Several bags of mulch
4. Absurd amounts of garbage (There is no way to accurately convey the sheer volume of said garbage, but as for constitution, think primarily fast food and beer bottles.)
5. Shoes-Sneaker(s), Workboot(s), Sandal
6. Mattress
7. Wingback chair
8. Wooden Pallets

9. Ottoman (not an actual mate to the wingback but it would have made a nice set)
10. Sombrero


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Land ho! Set the jib, full speed ahead!

When I was in, let's say, sixth grade, these were the shoes in which to see and be seen:

I'm not sure why. Vermont, as many of you may know, is a landlocked state. And while Lake Champlain is the largest mountain lake, and the sixth largest fresh water lake in the U.S., it's a good three hour drive from where I grew up on the southern end of the state.

Which brings me back to the question: why, oh why, were boat shoes so popular? I had a pair, maybe two. Everyone else had them, so it stood to reason that my miserable existence might be improved by the acquisition of yet another thing the popular (read: rich) kids had. I also lusted for a pair of Tretorn sneakers until my beloved grandma finally acquiesced and bought them for me. I can actually recite a long list of things that I lusted after with nearly overwhelming desperation when I was a kid. Esprit sweatshirts, Reebok hightops, jelly bracelets...there was a time when I would have gladly sold my entire family into white slavery for another Swatch. Sadly, it never occurred to me that my outlook and station in life were not improved significantly or permanently once I'd acquired these items.

But I digress. Happily, most of these trends, along with off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, neon spandex, legwarmers, fingerless lace gloves, shoulder pads, and acid wash, eventually died a well-deserved death. Less happily, some have since made a comeback (Legwarmers, for example, really should have stayed dead.)

It wasn't until I moved to Virginia, however, that I discovered boat shoes worming their way back into the zeitgeist. I first observed them on a member of my brother's biking team, and chalked it up to the misguided taste of one individual. After all, we're talking about men who shave their legs and circulate in public wearing lycra. But, the more I've expressed my disdain for this footwear, the more I come to understand that boat shoes have, in fact, made a comeback in some circles. One of our interns informs me that they are actually one of three sanctioned footgear choices for students at Virginia Tech. Since the bike team member, and another (girl, God help me) who I subsequently observed wearing them, are Virginia Tech students and alumni, I can only pray that this trend will stay in Blacksburg, where I don't have to see it. Or on boats. If you own a boat, of any kind, other than a raft or a canoe, you are excused from my judgment.

In summary, boat shoes yes:

Boat shoes no:

The rest of humanity.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fake Plastic Trees

God--It's like Vermont can't not win at everything it tries. First the Simpson's premiere, and now Vermont, and my own home county, will be representing with this year's national Christmas tree. And while I can attest personally to the fact that Vermont boasts some of the nation's loveliest trees (okay, I haven't seen them all, but a fair sampling, anyway) it has occurred to me since hearing the news that I'm not sure Shrub and his Stepford wife should be allowed to enjoy this great tree. Shouldn't the Bushes have to select their stoopid tree from a stoopid red state? (Full of crappy, small-minded, ignorant trees, you can just bet.) Or maybe they can have Roberto or Condoleeza trudge on down to Wal-Mart and get one of those fake plastic/aluminum jobs. Or (and this is my favorite) perhaps they can figure out how to dislodge the giant tree that's been stuck up Dick Cheney's ass for decades.
As the bumpersticker goes, we didn't vote for him. When the democrats take over, they can choose an authentic Vermont specimen for the national Christmas tree, if they've earned it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On the Road to Crazy Town

On most weekdays I wake up, get ready for work, and drive from the green dot on the map to the red dot on the map, following the purple line. This configuration diverts me from Route 66 just as I'm feeling tempted to get out of my vehicle (easy, since we're generally always stopped) and pound on the hood of the BMW next to me with a tire iron. I don't really have anything against BMWs. Being mostly German-bred myself, I'm inclined to appreciate hinky, expensive-to-maintain European automobiles, despite my better judgment. But almost always it's a BMW, or a Mercedes, or a Lexus, driven by a smug 20- (or 30-) something professional, who's either sitting back, serenely calculating how much money he's going to make this year, or weaving in and out of traffic as if the car was an actual license to act like an asshole. This makes me want to reach for the tire iron. And technically it's not my job to impart important life lessons, like why it's good to not be a smug asshole, but I think I'd be good at it. Which is why I generally opt for "the road less travelled."

My two and a half hours of daily commuting affords a lot of opportunity to contemplate the details on my route. Like "Huh--another McMansion" or "I wonder if that's a dead raccoon or a dead cat?" I also spend a lot of time deciphering northern Virginia's prolific collection of vanity plates. These are sometimes referred to as "personalized" plates, but trust me, at least around here "vanity" is a lot more accurate. One of my favorites today was "BMW 325I." Maybe you're having a hard time imagining what kind of vehicle it was attached to, so I'll just come right out and tell you. It was a BMW 325I. The plate struck me as slightly redundant, perched just below and a few inches to the left of the vehicle's BMW 325I insignia. Perhaps the plate allows the driver to rest assured that whether his fellow motorists are coming or going, gazing at his bumper or his trunk, there will be no mistake about what kind of a car he drives. What it lacks in flair it more than makes up for in, well, thoroughness at least. I'm thinking of starting a clothing line that features items like, say, red t-shirts, which will say "Red T-Shirt" on them. Or blue hats that say "Blue Hat." After I earn my first million, I'm going to publicly thank BMW 325I guy, for making it cool to state the obvious.

"BMW 325I" is just one of hundreds of fantastic and fascinating vanity plates. Other fun ones I've seen recently include "Luvnlyf" (I think it was on the back of a Geo, sitting in traffic, which made me wonder about the veracity of the assertion), "drswife" (yeah, yeah, we're all impressed), "ucantry" (try what, I don't know--illegal drugs, wife-swapping, marathons--the possibilities are endless) and on and on.

When I was reading about vanity plates online I happened across a website called "Dear Northern Virginia driver" which features letters from angry drivers, written to the people who pissed them off. One started "Dear Asshat in the Minivan with anger management issues..." For some reason this struck me as so ridiculously funny that I spent five minutes laughing hysterically, tears streaming down my face, as I tried over and over to read the line to Darren. I kept getting hung up on "asshat." I've never heard the term "asshat" before, but I intend to use it daily, and "jwolf," if you're out there somewhere, thank you for the absurdly hilarious tirade. It totally made my night.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"I'm a level 5 vegan..."

"I'm a Level 5 vegan.
I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."

Last weekend we went to the drive-in, in Stephens City, about 45 miles west and a little bit north of here. It was fun--not as cool as the fabulous nature-y drive-in we used to go to, in Twinfield, MA. This one was a little bit more wrong-side-of-the-tracks-y, with gravel instead of grass, two (smaller) screens, and an extremely, uh, varied audience. Okay, not really varied. Mostly NASCAR fans, I think.

As a professional drive-in attendee, I bring a thoroughly kick-ass selection of food, with all of the major groups represented--Entree, candy, salt, and coffee. After all, one of the best things about the drive-in is that you can eat whatever the hell you want, unlike the regular movie theatre, where it's sometimes necessary to conceal your McFlurry in your bag, and then sometimes it tips over in there and your cell phone is covered with ice cream and your bag smells like sour milk for the rest of its days. I went to Whole Foods in the morning and bought some awesome stuff, including a tofu and noodle salad, and, as it happens, sesame tofu steaks. All of it was totally delicious, a cut above the snackbar chow, for sure. While we were eating, I asked Darren if he thought anyone else at the drive-in was tucking into a big chunk of tofu. "Highly unlikely" he deemed it. We did get a few odd glances from our fellow attendees, but I don't know if that was what we were eating, or that we didn't fit into the predominant demographic.

One of the interns at our office (who is 22 and appears to be in good shape, but has a cholesterol count of OVER 300!) was saying how he loves milk and drinks it all the time, and I told him that I think it's weird for people to drink cow milk, since we're pretty much the only mammal whose practice it is to drink the mother's milk of a different species. Cow milk is for baby cows. We started talking about me being a vegetarian, particularly in light of his hereditary cholesterol problems, and though he was pleasantly open to the idea, you could still tell it was a foreign concept.

If I had a $1 for every person who's asked me "What do you eat?" over the past 18 years, I'd have a few dollars. Because I'm an obsessively meticulous grocery shopper, I organize my grocery list by meal and by aisle, so now I take out my list and read off the weekly meals when I get asked that question. Most people seem to think what we eat sounds fairly appetizing, and one day I'm going to whip up a big tofu dish for everyone at work to try, just to show them that it's not actually disgusting. I don't think I'll necessarily have a whole bunch of converts on my hands, but it's a good way to get people to think about eating less meat and, you know, hugging trees, and singing kum-bah-yah and all that junk. premieres

"Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably.
The lesson is, never try. " --Homer Simpson

I admit, I let out an audible gasp of excitement last night when I read the headline on MSNBC. Darren looked over at me, maybe to see if I was having a stroke. But no, it's just that Springfield, VERMONT, has won hosting rights to the "Simpsons Movie" premiere, which will take place on July 21 in the town's tiny 100-seat theater. Vermont took 15,367 votes, to 14,634 for the next highest vote-getter, Illinois. Yay! Their movie concept was great, the kid who filmed it was only 17(!) and there could be no more perfect place for the Simpsons to live than Vermont. I couldn't be more proud.

Now, of course, the ugliness begins. Comments on USA Today (where the contest ran) range from the appropriately congratulatory to the big fat whiny loser-y. One person from Colorado wrote "Im not saying that the video sucked cause it wasn't that bad, but I honest think there were WAY better ones. The guy chased a doughnut through town. I mean come on." First of all, he "honest" thinks? Second, what was your great concept, big fat LOSER? I'm sorry. I shouldn't gloat. That's unbecoming.

Another post reads "Vermont's Springfield S.U.C.K.S!!!!!!" Umm, excuse me? "S.U.C.K.S!!!!!!"? What the hell is that? Some sort of acronym? I mean, it has to be, right? You don't spell words with punctuation between each letter, do you? If it's an acronym, I'm having a really tough time figuring out what it stands for. I'll post again when I come up with the answer.

Others, however, were gracious in defeat. The mayor of Springfield, Oregon, which would have been the only deserving alternative to Vermont, in my humble opinion, displayed an admirable sense of sportsmanship. "If it wasn't going to be us, then Vermont, to me, is a good choice," Leiken said during a news conference at City Hall. "I'm not disappointed." What a guy, right? And that's why Oregon's Springfield should be deemed runner-up, and take over the title in the event that Vermont's Springfield is unable to fulfull the duties of the position.

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas (whom I've actually interviewed in person, and let's just say he's not exactly hilarious) apparently commented "To all the other Springfields, I say, 'Don't have a cow, man.'" Hee hee.

Go Vermont and congrats Springfield!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Ann Coulter is a Stupid Whore

I realize this is not news to anyone. Or any sentient being, anyway. But it's interesting to think about. How is it that Ann Coulter routinely finds her way to semi-legitimate venues for political discourse, like "Hardball," despite the fact that she is an ignorant, hate-spewing twat? (Plus horse-faced, but that's probably not entirely relevant.) David Duke was often described as attractive and articulate, too, but most people didn't fail to note the rest of the equation: raging, hate-mongering idiot. You don't see Chris Matthews giving Duke a spot on "Hardball" anymore.
So what's so different about Coulter? Why does she get a free pass to call Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot" or suggest that she wishes he'd been killed in a terrorist assassination plot? That doesn't even make any goddamned sense. In terms of intelligent dialogue, it sounds a lot like when an angry five-year-old says to their mom: "I wish you would die!" Only most five-year-olds aren't highly paid and given a soapbox in national media to spout this venom. And, most five-year-olds grow out of the urge to say highly inappropriate, and frankly just plain dumb, things. Ann Coulter, apparently, has not.
On a related note, popular Republican Presidential Candidate Duncan Hunter (wait, who's he again?), in a savvy campaign move, stood up for Coulter on a recent episode of "Hardball." Sadly, he says, "when conservatives talk, they are considered to talk in a mean way." Wait, it's not mean to call someone a faggot and wish for their untimely death? This really puts a whole new spin on things for me. The good news is, apparently I'm not nearly as mean as I'd previously thought.
For your enjoyment--a few of Ann Coulter's most delightful quotes:

1. “They’re [Democrats] always accusing us of repressing their speech. I say let’s do it. Let’s repress them. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of the First Amendment.”

2. “God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.’”

3. "The problem with women voting — and your Communists will back me up on this — is that, you know, women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it."

4. “I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.”

5. “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

The good news is, since it's not a mean thing to say, I feel comfortable admitting that I wish Ann Coulter was dead. God that makes me feel better!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Virginia is for...Creatures

Yes, I know it's been a while. More than three weeks, to be precise. But in my defense, I just finished cranking out somewhere around 40,000 words (and not just any words, specific words, strung together in sentences) for our big summer project at work. For some reason, the idea of coming home and cranking out a few more was not inspiring. But I digress.
Yesterday, when I arrived home from work (TGIF, my friends, TGIF) extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of two whole days off, I bounded upstairs to my bedroom to put on my comfortable (read "crappy") clothes. While in the bedroom I noticed a few stacks of books had been knocked over. The fact of the matter is, we have too many books, though I prefer to think that we simply have too few bookshelves, and as a result, many of my books are stacked up against the wall, near a bookcase in our bedroom. I thought "I live with pigs!" which is not fair in this particular case, but whatever. I began to re-stack and straighten up the books when I noticed the cover of one hardback pretty much shredded. I touched the cover, inspecting the damage, when out popped this:

And sure, it looks all cute and stuff here, peeking out of the leaf litter or what have you. But that's really the point, isn't it? THIS ONE'S NOT PEEKING OUT FROM MY BOOKS! It's a skink, btw. I'll admit, I may have involuntarily made a very small, very restrained noise at the site of the thing semi-slithering away from me. As I recall, my first impression was that it looked like a very, very small alligator. At that point, Michael Jackson (my cat, not the king of pop) pounced on it then let it slither away so he could chase it. I panicked. I'll admit it. I ran out the door, slamming it behind me, and locking Michael in with the creature. I'm not proud of it, but that's what happened. I had tried to get him to come with me, but he ignored me, so I had to throw him under the bus.
Once I collected myself, I went back upstairs, swinging a catfood packet madly, trying to lure the cat with the come hither sound of food about to be served. He ignored me completely. So I screwed up my courage, ran into the room, and grabbed Michael Jackson by the scruff, all while shouting "NO MICHAEL JACKSON! NO! NO!" as he flailed. I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought. I then proceeded to close the bedroom, and stuff a towel in the crack under the door, fully prepared to write that room off forever, if necessary. Then Darren came home, and found the lizard king, after a brief search. Contained in Gladware, he really was quite cute, and I felt very badly about the damage the cats had done. Darren said he thought the little guy would make it, but he pretty much always says that so I won't cry.
And you might think the whole Virginia is for creatures bit is an exaggeration, based on one minor episode, but this is to not even mention the Great Tick Horror of a month or so ago, during which I found TWO of them on me, another on the stairs, one in the bathtub, and one on Darren. The first night I slept with my pajamas tucked into knee-high socks. If you can count being curled up in the fetal position, twitching, with my eyeballs nearly bulging out of my head as sleep. They don't have ticks in Vermont the way they do down here. Or lizards, for that matter. Current score: Vermont: 3; Virginia: 0.

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Sissies

This morning I read on CNN that a fight broke out at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's opening night concert with Ben Folds. On the one hand, this fills me with pride, because as a native Massachusettsian, I admire the fact that it's a state where being a badass and enjoying the symphony are not mutually exclusive. On the other hand, I started to wonder what a fight between symphony aficionados looks like. Did they slap at each other until one of them tripped over his own feet? Swat away with their programs until one's monocle fell off and the other dropped his Blackberry? According to the article, the concert continued through one scream, with conductor Keith Lockhart merely casting a sidelong glance up at the balcony. The second scream stopped the performance entirely. Sadly, I think it's safe to assume that the screams did not issue from any lady bystanders, but rather, the gladiators themselves. Recently, according to my brother's blog, there was a throwdown after a cycling race here in Virginia. Cyclists, a notoriously sissy lot (what with the leg-shaving, and lycra-wearing, and petite frames and all) are probably no better mano a mano than symphony fans, but I'm going to have to reluctantly put my money on the cyclist in a death match between the two, since he or she would have a little fitness on their side, presumably, and a lower median age I imagine. As for the performance, since I really, really love Ben Folds, I think I would have been some pissed off at the interruption. But maybe amused, too. It's hard to say. Anyway, you can read the article here:

Monday, May 7, 2007


Last night we had what I thought was a really delicious dinner. I didn't take a picture of it, since it's not my general practice to photograph my dinner before I eat it (but I do admire it in others) so you're just going to have to use your imagination. I'd seen a reference to dosadillas on a neat vegan blog ( and found the recipe for it online (I love the internet.) It's from "Quick Fix Vegetarian" by Robin Robertson, which I am so ordering.
Anyway, if you've ever had a samosa at an Indian restaurant, and you really should if you haven't, the filling was similar--mashed potato, baby peas, scallions, and curry powder. This is spooned into a whole wheat tortilla, folded over, and heated just as you would any other quesadilla--in this case in a frying pan, with a little bit of olive oil. The name combines "dosa" which is a kind of thin Indian crepe type-thingy, and the aforementioned quesadilla. They rocked and were so easy to make, which in my opinion makes them about 10 times more delicious. I found the recipe here: But I'm thinking it's definitely worth investing in the book. In the meantime, having oft-discussed the moral superiority of vegans lately, last night the household members briefly discussed giving it another try (all of us have done so at one time or another.) We thought maybe we'd start with a week and see how it goes. More updates as events warrant.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

On Donkey Basketball and Morons

Donkey basketball is stupid. And for morons. And I can't believe it's necessary to point that out. Of course it's stupid, for the love of Christ. And smoking will kill you. And It's not good to jump from a moving automobile either, in case you were wondering. It seems equally obvious to me that dragging around a bunch of poor, defenseless animals to hot, smelly, loud gymnasiums, to be ridden by inexperienced individuals as a bunch of mental midgets yuk it up, is not the best way for your booster club to fund its activities. Yet here we are, in the year 2007, and donkey basketball is still considered a fun activity.
In addition to being just plain stoopid, It clearly sucks for the animals. According to one expert: "The deprivation, constant travel, unfamiliar surroundings, loud noise, and rough handling are extremely stressful for the donkeys. They often develop unpredictable temperaments and have been known to lash out in frustration or fear, causing injury to participants or bystanders." Of course, injuries to the players or bystanders, in most cases I can live with. The animals are another question.
Additionally, as one animal rights advocate points out--"The games may desensitize young people to animal suffering and teach them that we have the right to abuse animals for our own entertainment."
And who doesn't think that's great?
Here's a cool article on donkeys:
I totally can't wait to get one.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Virginia is for...Weirdos

Since moving to sunny and magical Northern Virginia eight months ago, I have:
1. Put 18,000 miles on my car, and a new engine in it;

2. Applied for 25 different jobs;

3. Been rejected by 20 different employers;

4. Been informed (not unkindly) that accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior will prevent me from burning in the hellfires of eternal damnation;

5. Entered into the employ of a seriously deranged attorney;

6. Left the employ of said attorney with exactly 0 hours notice;

7. Crashed my car;

8. Joined a new company, with a CEO whose hijinx will surely provide fodder for multiple chapters of my memoir;

9. Observed a woman reading a cookbook whilst driving on the beltway; and

10. Wished a rabbit back to life after it took a flying leap into my spinning car tire.

This concludes the "update" portion of our blog.