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Monday, December 20, 2010

Do you think wieners grow on trees?

Well, it's still pouring. Steady, unrelenting rain. I went out yesterday, as we needed groceries. It was okay walking to Vons, but coming back, with eight bags full (milk, soup mix, juice for the kid with the cold, cat food and the requisite pot roast) I realized that, with both hands full of plastic bags I could not hold an umbrella. I got home literally soaked through to find the hubster putting a stamp on the familiar looking envelope...the one that goes to the Employment Development Department.

It's not awesome news but we're getting ONE weeks worth while they "file" the new claim that congress voted we could have. He sent my older son out to catch the mailman with it, as the mailman was on the other side of the street. My son couldn't find him and came back.

Not to be deterred, I slid into a pair of loafers and grabbed the envelope and umbrella. The mail truck was still parked at the corner, I was going to find him. By the time I got down the stairs and to the curb I was knee deep in water. Literally knee deep. I left my shoes in the gutter and sprinted towards the blue and white truck, the precious envelope in my shirt to keep it dry. Yes, I found the mailman, nice guy. I waded back across the street, slid back into my floating loafers and dragged myself upstairs. This wasn't easy as I was wearing jeans which were now soaked up to my thighs and weighed 20 pounds. I've got enough to haul upstairs, adding all that waterlogged denim to my already ample butt was something akin to rock climbing.

Out of the clothes and into a robe, full of soup, finally beginning to warm up and knowing I had made my last trip out for the day (and I didn't CARE what we ran out of) I decided to fire up the internet and catch up on Conan.

I think it was last Wednesday's show. Anyway, he was featuring some guy who specialized in "retro" Christmas. THIS was just want I needed. The ghost of Christmas Past, right here in my messy living room. How awesome is that? I settled down in front of the monitor, ready for a warm and wonderful trip down Christmas Tree Lane.

There's Mr. Retro. All dressed in green, including the apron, and wearing a little Christmas ribbon tied in a bow around his neck. He looked like a cross between Betty Crocker, Chef Boyardee and that elf in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - the one who wanted to be a dentist? I was suspect about his "retro" credentials already. I was a kid in the 50's. No one dressed like that.

Well, after some odd, inappropriate and only borderline Holiday black and white photos that looked decidedly set-up everyone went to a counter where Betty the dentist elf showed everyone how to make a "retro" hors d'oeuvre Christmas tree by sticking weenies and doughnut holes on toothpicks and poking them into a Styrofoam cone covered with tin foil.

It occurred to me that this guy is the victim of a practical joke. He went looking for "retro" traditions one day and some college sophomore handed him a file full of the most outrageous stuff the sophomore and his buddies could come up with while stoned. "Dude! There were WEENIE TREES!"

Okay, you want "retro"? I was THERE. In the first place, as I said, we didn't dress like that. Our fathers didn't dress like that, nor did our mothers. Aprons tied at the waist, at least any apron being worn outside the barn. The ribbon tied in a bow in place of a necktie meant only one thing...a poofy dime store cowboy. Or Colonel Sanders, who had the dignity to wear a black one. I know of NO ONE who stuck weenies, doughnut holes and possibly gherkins on a tin foil tree and served them. The classic 1950's Christmas Cocktail party consisted of full skirted dresses for the moms and sport coats or suits with very skinny dark ties for the dads. Occasionally a v-neck pullover instead of the coat.

Yes, there WERE cocktail weenies, usually in some sort of sauce and presented in the precious chafing dish. Right next to the rumaki, which was usually followed up by a platter of cleaned and cut celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese and pimentos.
The men all talked business or sports and the women were bright, friendly, beautifully dressed and coiffed. They discussed kids, recipes and the PTA. They were happy and content. This was largely due to the fact that the last thing each one did before leaving their house was to down a Miltown with a martini, but I digress...

My grandmother had an aluminum tree, complete with a color wheel slowly turning behind it. Don't like the silver tree? No problem, wait a few seconds, it's gonna turn pink. And even SHE didn't put weenies on a tin foil cone.

I don't know where he got his information. This display was NOT a "retro" Christmas. This is Christmas with the Jetsons.

For what it's worth, Conan didn't seem to be taking much of this very seriously either. I've never been a talk show guest but even I know you don't go on a show like Conan and discuss poking wieners.

So, my apt is still a dump, the tree is two feet too tall, my jeans are still soaked, the rain isn't supposed to let up for at least another two days, no one's getting any Christmas gifts and I have no clue what I'm serving for Christmas dinner but least I know how to properly serve a cocktail weenie.

It could be worse.

But there is no joy in Anaheim...

The rain is unrelenting. We need the lights on during the day. I'm sitting here watching the morning news, where we're being treated to shots of Oprah Winfrey spending her Christmas on a sail boat in Fiji while she waves the cameras off and begs for her privacy. Unfortunately, even nearsighted ME could see the cameras on the boat she was's a freaking SHOW. Oprah watchers will be treated to the same shots I just Oprah, no, BEYOND rich Oprah, sailing her way around Fiji for Christmas and then showing it to her viewers come January. Oprah, who thinks she connects with the simple folk of the American land.

I may vomit.

Anyway, the tree is up and finished. It looks like crap. Well, it looks like crap during the day. All trees look wonderful when the lights are on and all trees look like crap when they're off. Christmas trees. I'm not talking about the Liquid Amber on your parkway.

Not only do I suddenly find this just way too much work anymore, I find Christmas to be singularly unrewarding. There was always something kind of wonderful about getting the tree up around the first week-end of December, putting the outside light up over Thanksgiving week-end, unpacking the candles and tsotchkes that lined the mantel and I actually enjoyed the shopping...the crowds, the cold, the general festiveness. Entire evenings were planned around "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer."

I used to have our Christmas on Christmas Eve. People have so many places to go and this was ideal. We went to the Children's Mass at 5pm then came home. I loved the roast beef and yorkshire pudding for dinner, the gooey desserts, the flurry of paper in the living room as everyone took childish delight in being able to open gifts a mite "early". We saved our own gifts for Christmas morning, because the hubster hates opening gifts on Christmas Eve, I've no idea why.

Christmas morning were our personal gifts, a breakfast casserole and, as no more guests were coming we were off to Disneyland.

Disneyland was magical on Christmas. Crowded, yes. But wonderful. Dicken's carolers strolled up and down Main Street. Stores were open and there were wonderful things to buy, all on sale. The boys headed for Pirates and Space Mountain, the hubster would stroll the front of the park, listen to the band, the songs, ride the trolley and savor the sights and smells of a world we had, actually, never lived in.

Now? It's impossible to get any help, we have no place to store the tree, we FINALLY got the damn thing up yesterday and it took six hours from unpacking to the final star. No matter how carefully I wrapped the ornaments there were broken ones all over. Unfortunately there were ornaments I liked, all that Disney crap remains intact. I used to LOVE that Victorian Mickey and Minnie thing they did. My tree skirt looks like this:
Except it's not's all cream. It was expensive even when I finally snagged it at half price and I loved it. I have some ornaments like that too. I wish those had broken. I wish the cat had peed on the tree skirt.

I think Disney sucks. I really do. Over the years, Disney has become one of the most corporate, money grubbing pieces of American arrogance in existence. In a time when the country is dying, financially and emotionally, Disney continues to wave happy times at your children while raising prices twice a year. The special trip everyone dreams of, the one Disney peppers your television with so your kids won't miss it, gets more and more expensive. do you have ANY idea how much it COSTS to go to freaking DISNEYLAND? $101 for a one day ticket. Of course it's cheaper for kids...provided they're under TEN. Because at 10 you pay full fare, buddy. A family of FOUR, looking for a splurge, a treat, something, anything to take them away from the crushing worries of this life we're living in America for ONE DAMN DAY will end up paying up to FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS to get in the fucking GATE!

This, I assume, is why Disneyland and all their accompanying fan clubs, is now filled with nothing but DINKS and arrogant, conservative, Fox "News" fans who look down their collective noses at the rest of the country and flash their $500 a year annual passes at the parking attendant as they cruise by in their gas guzzling SUVs and Mini Vans and talk about how wonderful it is that the lower classes can no longer afford such pleasures and if they just stopped spending carelessly on things like food, rent and new shoes for the kids they, too, would be enjoying the delights of the upper class.

Yes, I've known people on these boards, and I blame them in large part for ruining all things Disney for me. I know someone who claims to be a former teacher and a good mother. In the first place, I've never known a good mother who announced that fact. If you have to keep telling people something, you're probably making up for your severe deficiencies. Not only that, I know this person to have been deliberately and hatefully cruel to the children of friends...because she can't distinguish between an adults failure to kiss her ass and the fact that she courted the adults kids and then treated them like crap emotionally, dumping them, ignoring them, refusing all kindnesses sent by the kids of those she no longer considered her equals. This is NOT someone I want to hang out with and this is NOT someone I want to share anything with. If THIS is what hangs out at Disney parks now I want no part of them.

One of these days, I'm going to blast her unkindness to kids everywhere I can post. But for now, I'm really too busy for that kind of shit. She and her fat friends from the great, conservative, chest thumping "America, love it of leave it" counties of the state can keep strolling through the formerly family friendly streets of the Happiest Place on Earth, keeping themselves occupied by spewing hatred and disdain in their path.

I will continue to encourage the cat to play with all the Disney ornaments I have place within a paws reach of the ground, while making sure the ornaments from places I really and truly enjoy, like the Schulz Museum, remain snug and tight and out of reach of batting kitty paws. I will take great joy in thinking of those holier than thous strolling the streets of artificial snow and knowing that they're getting fleeced by the corporation that now stands for Disney.

Walt Disney once said "We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."

Walt must be spinning like a lathe.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You asked for miracles, I give you the F.B.I.

Today is the day I decide I hate the freaking holidays and would be just as happy lighting a menorah. Because Hanukkah is over and done with. I actually sat down and did the "It's a Wonderful Life" bit on myself today. I realized there would be absolutely NO change in the cosmos if I hadn't been born. Seriously. This moroseness started with the weather.

No, it started a month ago, when the unemployment ran out and, in spite of the notice with the last check that said "you're eligible for an extension. Don't do anything, we're going to do everything for you." we've heard nothing. That was a month ago. Well, after two weeks of trying to get through the phone lines, which is an amazing system denying all entry while making you think you're questions have actually been answered, I finally found an e-mail question form which, they said guaranteed a response.

The response, timely though it was, told us to shut up, they were working on it. If we didn't hear from them in 10 days we could ask again.

Lord have mercy!

I've tapped everything I can and managed to pay the power and gas. And half the rent. A week from right now is Christmas night and I've got a 22 year old autistic son who, though on the lower end of "high functioning" and really is more Asperger's than true Autistic, still believes in Santa.

About a week ago I hung a wreath on the door and figured I was done. Not even hardly.
I've no idea what I'm going to do about gifts for the boys but I'll figure something, I always do.

Anyway, the weather. Well, it got cold and rainy. This is cooking weather. A few days ago the hubster had a few bucks and brought home, on spec, a pound of ground round which I decided I could turn into a shepherd's pie. It was, btw, damn good. We're living on dollar bags of pasta and canned tomatoes, so this was a bit of heaven.

The carrot peels, however, were the last straw for the garbage disposal. No, not the disposal, but the u-trap. This was Friday. The sink was draining slowly, but it was draining.

Yesterday morning. Dark and raining. I talk my son into going to storage and getting the Christmas tree. This will be the very first year since we were forced to move we've been able to get the tree. AS I have no car this involves the bus. So there we are, hauling a bagged tree and two cartons of lights and ornaments home, in the rain, on a bus. At least no one else was crazy enough to go out in the pouring rain to ride the bus, we had it pretty much to ourselves.

I went out again, we needed milk, flour, eggs. I came home thoroughly drenched and tired, I decided to take a nap. I had scored a chicken the other day and planned on roasting it for supper. About 4:30 I got up, ready to start the chicken only to find out that the sink was now hopelessly backed up and the kitchen is an explosion of dirty dishes, pots and pans that couldn't be washed. This is what I get for leaving them on Friday night for someone else to do.

Out again to the store for Liquid Plumber and a new plunger, because the one we have is a piece of crap that isn't working. Back home, cold and wet to find out the Liquid Plumber isn't working either. I straighten up the kitchen as best as I could and looked under the sink. I studied the pipes and decided the clog must be in the u-trap. I poured boiling water down the sink and went to bed, hoping it might work. I woke up every hour on the hour and, as long as I was up, I went to check the progress. No dice.

I woke up, got my slip joint pliers and my crescent wrench and went to work. I disassembled the pipes while the hubster read his e-mail and watched. Yep, the u trap was a mess, and so was the pipe leading from it to the outside. I couldn't find a snake, but the hubster came up with a wire hanger which he untwisted. I pulled our as much junk as I could and poked a hole in the rest, re-assembled the pipes and turned on the water.

I had done it. I was now wet, filthy, there were bits of something slimy in my hair, but the damn sink drained. I could have called the landlord, but, given the current situation with the rent, I figured it probably wasn't a good idea to call attention to myself.

I showered, put on clean clothes and commenced doing three sink fulls of dishes. I made lunch. Then we finally started on the tree.

An hour later, all the branches were finally sorted and unpacked, organized by size and the assembly begun. I forgot. I bought the tree for my house. I don't have a house anymore. What I have is a 5 x 8 ft tree in an apartment living room. Looks like freaking Birnam Woods in here.

No one is running "Die Hard" so we put in the DVD. It's not the same, in spite of our family love for this classic Christmas treat. "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho."
For some reason we're just watching it, the dark, hulking tree obscuring all views of the rain, the night sky and the buildings across the street.

There are boxes all over the floor. Trash, ornaments, and DVDs. The hubster is working on a project and there are DVDs being delivered to us. Tons and tons of them. None of them fit to gift or display in public, btw. I have no place to put them so they're stacked in boxes in the living room. The dining room table, beautifully clear and organized on Thanksgiving can't be found. The coffee table is a pile of papers. And I'm having company for Christmas Dinner, a week from today.

The hubster, for all his good properties, doesn't seem to grasp the idea that leaving all the damn cleaning until 11PM on Christmas Eve is NOT the way I want to spend the holidays. I'm off tomorrow and Tuesday and I do NOT want to spend my time off tripping over and dodging boxes and papers and DVDs and God only knows what else. He just sits and writes and drops stuff. I try not to sit and cry.

But once again Alan Rickman has flailed his way out of Nakatomi Plaza to the ground. I have dragged a chair to the monolith in the living room we call the Christmas tree so I can start on the lights and the chicken has finally made it to the oven. The hubster has gone out, we're looking at at least four more days of rain. I'll get the damn tree decorated, I'm hanging the swags that I made for the house on windows they don't quite fit and I'm going to have to spend no small amount of time with a hot glue gun repairing broken decorations.

And in two weeks I'll end up doing it all over again, in reverse.

And no one will look around and say "Holy crap! I can't believe what you've managed to do in here." They'll just sit and text their friends, listen to their iPods and watch "Sponge Bob's Holiday Spectacular" while I haul boxes to the trash and boxes to the bedrooms and gather up year old magazines that have never been removed from their plastic delivery bags but can't be thrown out because "I want to look at that first!"

See? I HATE the holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sometimes, there really are no words...

(CNN) -- Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its radical stance against a myriad of issues including homosexuality and the war in Iraq, said Thursday it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral in Raleigh, North Carolina.

This is just so wrong.

I have faith that a loving God will forgive them. Because I sure as hell can't.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Levi Strauss must be spinning...

Pajama Jeans?


Are they running these during the day? I'm not home to watch television during the day so I don't know. I know that, during the later evening hours, I'm being treated to the newest fashion sensation. The comfort of jeans with the comfort of pajamas. No, the look of jeans with the comfort of pajamas, that's it. Because your jeans aren't comfortable. This is why people have fought to wear jeans in public for years, btw...because they're not comfortable.

So NOW...we have a solution. Pajama pants that are designed to look like your jeans. They complement every size butt, too. Just like your pajamas, I'm guessing. Yeah, I look SO good in those I go to work in them.

Apparently you're supposed to wear these to all the places you would wear your jeans but don't want to wear your jeans because what you would really rather be wearing is your pajamas. However, as society frowns on women of most ages wearing pajama pants to the office we should spend $40 dollars on these:

Now, to be honest, IF my ass looked like that I'd probably go out in these too. It doesn't. I can just picture mine in those...two axe handles across, every lump on display. I'd probably do just as well painting my naked butt navy blue.

The nice man (notice it's a guy, btw) on the commercial says that if I wear these, not only will I look fabulous but I'll be just as comfortable as if I were wearing sleepwear.

So let me get this straight. I'm going to put these on. They'll feel just like my pajamas. Which means the legs will ride up until the hem is wedged between the top of my calf and my knee. The seat will bag and the drawstring waist will stay in one position while the crotch twists itself into a knot. But they're soft, so it's okay. And for $39.95 you too can have this pleasure. Plus shipping, natch. Makes the perfect holiday gift. You can sit around in your pajama jeans while you clap your lights off and on. Sign me up.

But they kindly demonstrate how uncomfortable real jeans are. The same woman who can't use a spatula without gouging the Teflon coating off of her skillet while attempting the most difficult of kitchen tasks (the flipping of a grilled cheese sandwich) is now showing us how awful jeans are to wear. They're difficult to snap, impossible to zip without breaking one's finger and, as she's wearing a low rise cut that's at least 3 sizes too small when she finally peels them off there's an ugly welt right on top of her hips and all the fat in her lower extremities has been forced up to her natural waist, thus making her formerly model perfect belly button the world's biggest outie. This woman, btw, is the luckiest woman in the world. She has managed to find work in commercials where her total lack of life skills pays her handsomely. Because this chick can't drain pasta without setting her kitchen on fire. She probably couldn't make it out of her house to the mail box without breaking something. She'd be on disability if it weren't for all that commercial work.

Although I must admit, I've worn jeans like that. I've spent no small amount of time over the course of my life flat on my back on the floor trying to zip up my 505s because they were fresh out of the dryer and, for some bizarre reason, one is a size smaller when lying on one's back. Don't do this alone, btw, the thing is, the Levi's WILL soon relax and resume their natural shape. BUT not for a few minutes. It's imperative that you have a friend, or a crane, to get you up from the floor, you can NOT do it by yourself. The jeans will NOT relax when you're supine. I have no idea why. Your significant other will find you hours later, flat on your back on your bedroom floor, like some sort of big, blue, pill bug.

And still, I find this infinitely more acceptable than wearing pajama pants painted to look like jeans out in public. But then, I also refuse to pay 100 bucks for a pair of jeans with somebody elses name prominently displayed on the ass. It's the principle. Why should I PAY to advertise someone else? If I'm going to pay into three figures for a pair of pants, shouldn't they at least have MY name on them?

Perhaps I could advertise the blog on the back of my pants. "Could I really make this stuff up?"

Yeah, it's big enough.

Now THIS guy knew how to make pants.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And the beat goes on...

It's a train wreck and I'll be glad when tomorrow comes and goes and Bristol takes that ugly trophy back to Wasilla. In case no one believed that Bristol Palin's votes are politically motivated, take a look. These are the closing paragraphs from an op-ed piece on

"Again, a line was drawn in the sand. And now, every time Bristol graces the floor on Dancing with the Stars, liberal women cross that line and heap handfuls of sand at the struggling young mom, who has done nothing to deserve their scorn.

Well, that’s why I intend to suffer through Dancing with the Stars this Monday, and why I will vote for Bristol Palin as much as I can on every phone line in the house. And because we, too, have chosen life, with a bunch of kids in our house, including foster children, I have a bunch of phones. Ah, the progressive embrace of abortion is a demographic loser. A vote for Bristol Palin on Monday is a vote against the Death Culture, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, MSNBC, the New York Times, Nancy Pelosi, the gals at The View, and everything ugly bubbling and boiling inside the livid left. Tonight, I intend to register my response."

Okay, I held my nose and watched her dance tonight. She's slower than the other finalists, more deliberate. She's never heard of the Broadway show "Chicago" nor has she heard of the movie. So she did her freestyle to the "Cellblock Tango" from said show. Watch her face. She takes no joy in what she's doing. She's dancing like I numbers.

She's there because her mother needs to get her face and her agenda up front again. I guess the target audience on Fox isn't feeding her ego as much as need be. Because there was Sarah tonight, front and center, goofy grin and big hair. BTW...why is it "Sarah Palin's Alaska"? I mean, isn't it just Alaska? What's so different about Sarah Palin's Alaska? Just wondering...

Here's what's really pissing me off though.

I turn on my television to be entertained. Now, agreed, I also turn it on for news, sports and weather. I turn ON the news, I turn ON the Army-Notre Dame game, I turn ON the Weather Channel. When I turn on The Learning Channel I expect to see brides, bakers, people with abnormally large families and people who aren't, how should I put it, people who don't fall into the standard charts labeled "average". I do NOT want to see Sarah Palin's empty headed looking grin staring back at me. Mortimer Snerd had more going on behind his eyes than she does.

See, not that I'm any expert, but if Sarah Palin wanted me to see Alaska, she wouldn't be IN it. I would be looking at the Mendenhall Glacier, not listening to the former Governor bray at her kids and certainly not watching her, barefoot and in shorts, yelling "Willow, no boys allowed upstairs!" Although, I give the devil his due, apparently she learned about not letting the girls cavort alone with the Levi Johnson clan. The hard way.

Mostly I watch movies. BTW, the Tim Burton "Alice In Wonderland" was surprisingly good, I did NOT expect to like it and I did. I watch movies and re-runs and Conan several nights a week. I watch "Castle" and "The Middle" and "Big Bang Theory". I think there's a pattern emerging. I watch things that entertain me. Because I'm finished with the news, at least until 11 or an earthquake interrupts the program currently in progress. Okay, if you've even been in an earthquake, you know it interrupts the program because the power goes out right before all phone service crashes, but I digress.

So I turn on DWTS to take a good, hard look at what's going on, I've read it and I've heard it and I want to see it for myself. I also want to be entertained. I have a job and a family and an unemployed spouse and two kids at home and I just want to have a little FUN. I hang on to my cable for this. And what's going on is a great big political endorsement. And now, I hear, she's trying to make herself the new DWTS casting director too. It's come out that Sarah is pushing her pal and ours, Christine "I'm not a witch, I'm you" O'Donnell for next season. I guess that makes it okay, because it's not just her family she's using, it's her friends, acquaintances and/or political allies too. I can see it now "Sarah Palin's 'Dancing With My Friends.'" Followed by "Sarah Palin: 'Dancing With Myself.'"

Now, part of me feels sorry for Bristol. Who among us hasn't done something we abhorred because our mother pushed us into it. It's right up there with that "no, you can't have bangs, why would you want to hide your pretty face?" crap they used to shove down our throats. And I think "that poor girl." She's NOT a teen activist, she's a stiff, shy girl who jumped into the sack with the first guy who looked twice at her, got knocked up and is now being paraded from one coast to the other by a domineering, overly ambitious mother who is using her as a virtual campaign poster. Look closely, you can see the picket up her butt.

Do the kid a favor. Vote for someone else. Vote even if you didn't see the show. Hell, her supporters aren't watching, why should we? Frankly I think you'll be doing Bristol a great kindness. Maybe if she loses her mother will leave her alone for awhile.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

Or, in this case, the dance floor.

May I just say...Told you so!

What amuses the hell out of me is that it's taken so many people so long to twig to this. Gee...maybe A whole bunch of people are voting for the potty-mouthed homophobic Bristol Palin because they're getting tweets from Sarahpac or the Tea Party Gazette or something.

Oh wait. I apologize. It's her SISTER that's the potty-mouthed homophobic.

Bristol is just a deer in the headlights campaign poster. Of course she's both supported AND apologized for the potty mouthed Willow but that's what a good little "teen activist" does.

Oh yeah. Teen Activist? I went to school with a teen activist. Except back then, we called her unwed and unemployed. I guess idioms evolve. Or is it idiots, I never remember.

Anyway, it's come out that ABC apparently doesn't verify e-mail addresses when one signs up to vote for the talented Ms. Palin at Conceivably, a motivated "fan" could spend an hour signing up with an email address like, vote, log off and sign in again with, oh, and well, before you know it, Bristol's got another 1500 votes.

THIS has just dawned on everyone. Now that's funny. What is it, nine, ten weeks in and the "dancer" who has never been out of the bottom two is now in the finals and this is JUST dawning on people?

Wow. Can't put anything over on reality fans, can you?'s the plan. SAVE REALITY TELEVISION!

Next Monday, plunk your fanny down in front of your Mac and start registering every freaking phony e-mail address you can pull out of your butt. And mount a write in campaign.

Lisa Murkowski. Make sure you spell it right or it won't count. Okay, there's no write in option. Anyway, maybe we should all just overwhelm America's teen sweetheart with a boatload of votes for Jennifer Grey.

On the other hand, maybe we should just sit back and let her win.

I can't wait to see the Tea Party convention in 2012, with that great, big mirror ball trophy prominently displayed on the podium. Classic should be fun. "And here's my daughter Bristol, the too old to be a teen activist. She's promoting abstinence by practicing an alternate hobby. In her case, she won this beautiful trophy for her skill doing the horizontal mambo."

Mama Grizzlies approve.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

ADDENDUM of no small importance. Or maybe it is...

What I said stands, but...

This is NOT a blanket condemnation of everyone. I would have re-written it, but some of you have already read it and I would assume you're not going to spend your Sunday on an hourly check in to see if I've gone in, re-worded, and picked up my typos. Yes, there's one, I saw it so back off...

FIRST: My penultimate blog was NOT about everyone under the age of 75. I sat bolt upright and realized that there are at least two people who might think I was including them...I was NOT. I'm on an internet rampage here, NOT a personal one. To the lovely ladies who are mothers to those endearing pre-school boys...cliche though it may be, don't take it personally. I've become fed up with internet members who will say, in response to a heartfelt post such as "I'm devastated, my grandmother died suddenly last night" "I had a terrible morning, I burned the waffles".

However, in the last few months, this blog has gone WAY off course. It's turned into something vendetta like and I'm increasingly uncomfortable with it. Not that the people I've been targeting don't DESERVE to be on the receiving end of someone's vendetta, they do. But I'm getting kind of tired of it.

SECOND: If you can't come up with something better than "Well, you suck and I'm NOT going to read your blog anymore, I don't like you now. So NOW what do you think? HUH? HUH?" I am probably going to type something along the lines of "So who the hell asked ya?" and then suggest you re-enroll in third grade because it sounds as if you flunked it the first time. JEEZ, grow UP! "I'm not going to read you anymore!" You forgot to stick your tongue out and say "nah, nah, hey hey, good-bye." I stopped reading F.Scott Fitzgerald when I hit 17, I never saw the need to announce that fact until now and it never seemed to bother HIM any either. Yeah, yeah, okay, he was dead. The point is still valid. If he hadn't been dead I doubt he would have cared.

The funny thing was, the person who did that thought I was talking about her. I wasn't. I still don't know if it's paranoia or a guilty conscience but hey, if she's comfortable in it. People tend to think you're talking specifically about them when they know they've crossed the line but refuse to admit it. Been there, done that.

I AM taking a break though. I notice my tongue is no longer clamped in my cheek and I'm not comfortable in that persona.

I will most definitely be back before Thanksgiving. I have yet to decide if I will revive this, or re-open under a new name. We all reach a point where we just need to clear the cobwebs and get the train back on track. An internet closet cleaning as it were.

So I'm goin' fishing for a few weeks. Save my seat?

Saturday, November 6, 2010



I've never denied blowing off steam here. I'm NOT a kid and as I've grown into my ever expanding middle age I find I don't want to be. I don't relate to them. I'm at a pathetic point in life where, having lost damn near everything, I look to my peers for support. Barring that, I take refuge in a blog that is read by few as a means to pretty much bitch about life in general, and my ever changing life in specific.

It's not meant to stroke any egos except my own.

I make nothing from it. I've pretty much let you few into my own, private, self-therapy sessions. You didn't HAVE to read it. I appreciate those of you who understood what it was. Several readers decided to use it as a weapon. I've been hurt by it and frankly, I'm just too fucking OLD to deal with that anymore.

What's it done now is make me an intensely private person, and likely to stay that way. I was an open book. Them days are OVER, sistahs.

You guys over at MousePlanet? Your hatred and hostility towards yourselves and pretty much everyone else has served no one. Judgmental, hateful and controlling, you poison everything you touch. You're despicable and the damage you've caused it far reaching, and irreversible. You took what had been a safe harbor for me when I desperately needed one and viciously attacked people who had the audacity to offer me comfort. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You aren't, but you should be.

To you two or three who looked for a laugh here, well, things just aren't very funny anymore. I opened up in places I should not have.

My life, my weight, my autistic kid complete with the occasional and still terrifying seizures, my crumbling marriage and my non-existent self esteem are going back into the box I took them out of.

See...this wasn't all about YOU.

It was about me.
It's been, in it's way, about what it's like to hand my wedding rings and my mother's weddings rings and the beautiful gold necklace my father gave for Christmas five years ago and the topaz ring I bought in St. Thomas 30 years ago over to a pawn broker. It's about what it's like to wake up at 2am to the sound of someone pounding your door down, screaming you're going to be arrested because you can't give him the car you don't have because you can't drive it and you left it in the locked office parking lot and you can't get it at 2am and it's about having to call your company's emergency security to meet you there at 2:15 and get it out for you. It's been about the insecurities of being evicted from your own home because the bank sold it and didn't have the common decency to tell you - or work with you for that matter. It's about night terrors and pounding stress headaches and worry and constant, pervasive fear. It's wondering how long your heart can pound in your chest like that every time you hear footsteps on the staircase before it actually explodes.

And if I get pissy because someone paid absolutely NO attention to any of this and used my obvious weaknesses to bolster their own ego by attacking, well, I actually have nothing to say. It's low, it's lame, and it's simple meanness.

As the hubster says..."your hangnail is always worse than my broken arm." We're together, in a way, we're healthy, which is a damn good thing since we have no health insurance. But we'll never, ever be the same. So much has been destroyed, things that aren't visible. Bonds have been broken. I'm broken, and I admit that.

And it's over.

Some of it's been grand. But it's increasingly become a burden. I wasn't amusing you as much as I was writing on your side...making veiled references to things that you all enjoyed, understood, and supported. But I'm tired.

It was a wise man who said "you have to pick your fights." And yes, I originally picked this one.

Maybe later I'll be back. As of now there's way too much emotional pain to worry about what other people think I really meant and decided to act upon.

I stand by my mis-trust of rude people. I stand by my frustration of pushy people. I stand by my distaste for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit District too, I spent a LOT of time on buses today. It was quite an experience.

But, for the last time, I digress.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hats, gloves and a real Hot Patootie...

I have decided to become a Red Hat.

I more than qualify, the extremely cool thing is that people don't think I do. This is, most likely, why I tend to feel smug about my age and broadcast it to all and sundry. Frankly, I think it's the rather zoftig nature of my build. Excess weight, as I have said before, is Mother Nature's Botox. Eat pasta, get fat. This pushes the burgeoning wrinkles out from the back. Something along the idea of a water balloon. Balloons are small, wrinkly things when they're new in the bag. Fill them up with either water or hot air, and they become large and smooth, and something people like to play with. This is how I see myself.

Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that I like to hang out with other 50 year olds and this brings me to the Red Hat. I've been on their mailing list for ages, but have rather Scottishly hung on to the 15 bucks a year which would actually give me the wherewithal to meet REAL people.

Real people who remember where they were when Kennedy was assassinated. Here's the thing - if you say "which one?" well, yeah, you're unclear on the concept. If you say "who?" the entire story will be wasted on you. If you ask "what's that mean?" well, you won't find out from me because I will have been struck speechless and will probably just wander off somewhere.

I find myself, once again, in an internet jungle populated by girls with toddlers and attitudes. The toddlers do not yet have attitudes, at least attitudes inappropriate to toddlers (they don't call them the "Terrible (insert age of your pre-teen children here)s" for nothing). The attitudes belong to the mothers, who seem to feel that it's all about them. Maybe it is, and maybe I was like that when I was chasing naked little boys up the street. Yes, I had one who loved to rip off his diaper and take off on high, but I digress.

Anyway, I have taken refuge on line with several people of my basic boomerdom. I can go there and be Eeyore, which is the middle-age equivalent of "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms" and actually get support. Because we're all in the same boat. We're working crappy jobs we don't like and our parents were eying retirement by this age and we're all going to die at our desks and we know it. We're all staring down the harsh reality that we can no longer change horses in mid stream because no one wants people our age riding their horses. We charge too much and they'll have to pay to put us out to pasture.

The fact that I can (and DO) turn Meat Loaf up to 11 (because 11 is better) and dance manically to "Hot Patootie" means nothing to anyone except me and that's because I know that my neck and ass are gonna hurt the next morning from all that motion. It doesn't stop me, I'm just more aware of it now. Dance to THAT, Richard Simmons!

At any rate, I am finding that my conversations with people in venues that are so diversely mixed in age are increasingly going something like this:

A: "I need to paint my father's trash can. I was thinking of black but I wanted some other suggestions. What do you guys think of a black trash can?"

B: "McDonald's has a red box for their chicken McNuggets, why don't you do that?"

Me: "Have you thought of painting it green? It's very popular in my town, although your town may have color restrictions. It might not work where you live."

B: "I like green but it's not appropriate, I know what trash cans are supposed to look like and they should be red. Besides, when I think of A's town I don't think of green trash cans, I think of red ones. Her town may not even ALLOW green trash cans."

ME: "Gee, sorry, I shouldn't have suggested anything, I have no idea what color is anyway. I'm WAY too old to know this know of stuff and I've spent so many years following paint colors I'm not as smart as you."

B: "Oh, I didn't mean to offend you..."

ME: "Oh, fuck off, it's not your trash can anyway, you arrogant twit." Okay, that was what my brain said. My fingers simply came off the keyboard and are staying off.

It's NOT the preference for red. It's the rudeness. It's the "Let me tell you how you're wrong" comment. It's the "maybe her town doesn't allow green" comment because B didn't bother to actually READ my answer, which address the issue.

This seems to be what young women are doing now. Maybe they're too busy to be bothered listening to, or reading all of what someone over 50 says. Maybe they discard anything that ancient as irrelevant in their worlds. Maybe I'm just a tired old lady and getting overly sensitive. Maybe a woodchuck, who knows?

I don't think there's anything deliberate or pre-meditated about it. I don't think they intend to be rude. But, I think it was Mark Twain, said something like "little boys pull the wings off butterflies in jest, but the butterflies die in earnest." It also could have been the legs off of frogs, or maybe the wings off of moths and it could have been Will Rogers. I'm old and I don't remember things. But the point is valid. Just because they don't think they're rude doesn't mean they're not.

I was brought up to not really speak like that (I was also brought up with better grammar than that last sentence). I don't just blurt out "I don't like it", especially when I'm sort of butting into someone elses conversation, but then, that's an internet thing, everyone does it and, while I don't like it, I do understand it. But I would say something like "Green can be pretty too" instead of "WTF does a McDonald's carton have to do with someone painting her FATHER'S trash can? Paint your own damn trash can red" which was pretty much what I wanted to say.

I have decided I'm in the old and crotchety bracket I guess. And I want to hang out with other old and crotchety people. I want to hang out with people who think before they speak, or type. Who say things like "that would be pretty" even when they don't mean it because, well, it takes all kinds to make a world and why make someone feel bad when there's no reason to? Why insult someone and tell them they have no idea what paint colors really are? I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt my feelings but she did. And she didn't HAVE to.

And so, I am shopping for a Red Hat.

I taught my kids to be nice. I taught them that there's no reason to say "I know that's not an appropriate paint color because I say THIS is the appropriate color". I just burst with egotistical pride every time someone says to me "you have the nicest kids and they have such good manners" because that's pretty much want I wanted to do for them. Maybe they're going to regret it, having good manners in a world full of pushy people. I hope not.

Celeste Holm tells the story of working with Bette Davis on "All About Eve." When Ms. Holm walked on the set the first day, quite enthusiastic about working with Bette Davis again (as they had worked together before and she enjoyed the experience) Ms. Davis looked up, saw her and announced "Oh shit. Here comes Miss Good Manners."

I picture that on my headstone.

And it makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Only in America

I'm baaaaaaaack.

This last two weeks has been hell on wheels. I have actually found something I dislike and mistrust as much as I dislike and mistrust the website called "MouseTurd." Sorry, that's "MousePlanet." I hate inaccuracy and avoid it whenever possible. I would LOVE to go there, but there aren't really enough pages and it's so easy to lose interest after paragraph six. So I won't. Let me just say that, around my house we now refer to Wells Fargo as


Wells Fucktard.

Now, on to current programming.

Meg Whitman? You will NOT be re listed. The "Buy It Now" button you installed on the State of California has been disabled and someone else won the auction anyway. If there was any doubt at ALL that you didn't know your own ass from a hole in the ground you (and Carly, but we're getting to her later) proved last night, with unequivocal certainty, that you haven't a freaking CLUE how your new chosen field works. Maybe if you had taken the remotest interest in the system before you needed a new job you might have figured it out.

Because if you had the slightest idea of what the hell you've been doing for the last 8 months you would have KNOWN that Los Angeles County and San Francisco and it's adjoining counties have more registered Democrats than the adjoining six states put together and when the election was called based on the projected vote it was OVER. You do NOT look at the 1% of actual voted ballots from San Bernardino county and claim "We're in a dead heat." Well, the dead part was right.

This is basic election night politics, my CAT knows this. I will try and explain. Let's say 10% of the ballots from Los Angeles County have been counted. And let's say 45% of the ballots in Modoc County indicate they're going to vote overwhelmingly for you, Meg. And the 10% of the ballots currently tallied in Los Angeles county indicate that they are going to vote overwhelmingly for Jerry Brown, who at least speaks Spanish, something you never bothered to learn. Anyway, you look at the actual numbers, right? 2500 votes for Whitman in Modoc. 6000 votes for Whitman in Los Angeles. Totals 8500 votes for Meg. And let's say, oh, 57 votes for Jerry Brown in Modoc and 8400 votes for Jerry in Los Angeles. A difference of what? Less that 50 votes?

However...Modoc County cast less than 3000 votes total. Los Angeles county physically cast in the neighborhood of EIGHT MILLION VOTES. Meg? Math lesson time.

60% of 8 Million is a way bigger number than 60% of 3 thousand. Just saying...

At least you conceded before midnight. I especially LOVED your optimistic statement "Tomorrow, we will ALL be Californians." Meg? I'm probably going to regret asking this, but just WHAT were we before? I've always thought I was a Californian. I've lived here since 4:20pm on June 2, 1954, at least that's what my birth certificate says. I thought that made me a Californian. Now, I'm not so sure.

I also wasn't sure Carly was going to concede at ALL. Same thing. No freaking CLUE how the political machine runs. No freaking CLUE how to call an election.

On the other hand Meg, you spent over $140 million of your own money on a campaign where you were promoting fiscal responsibility for the state. Carly, you spent a modest (by comparison) 6 million and something on a campaign platform that consisted mainly of saying "I'm not Barbara Boxer" and hammering away on the "principles of out of control spending." Although, now that I think about it, I suppose it's possible you were espousing "out of control" spending and, if you were, I've certainly sold you short, as you practice what you preach. There's a lot to be said for someone who stands behind their own rhetoric and teaches by example.

I'm actually somewhat embarrassed that these women represented the State of California and women in general...embarrassing. Seriously embarrassing.

So it's over for another two years. My father is, most likely, reverting back and calling Governor Elect Brown "Governor Elect Moonbeam." I haven't talked to him yet but, like the sun rising in the east, my father's conservatism in the extreme is a constant. As is my progressivism.

As bad as it was, at least we weren't running Christine O'Donnell. This could bring about an entire new blog. I will say I enjoyed the hell out of her concession speech last night and at least she had the common courtesy to acknowledge that she had gone down like a flaming bag of dog crap before every last vote was counted. I really liked her announcement that Delaware would never be the same. Um, hello? Delaware was represented by Democrat Joe Biden and that torch has been passed to Democrat Chris Coons. Delaware sort of IS the same. In case you hadn't noticed.

While I'm indulging in a small amount of pleasure at the lovely shade of blue the West Coast is currently showing, I'm saddened by two things. One...all you people who voted down legalized pot. Did you ever consider that kind of TAX money over the counter weed would bring in? And Colorado voted down the proposition to form an Alien Welcoming Commission. I would have applied for that commission. I can see it now, a bunch of Californians smoking legal weed waiting around to welcome aliens.

God, I love this country!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The price of beauty.

Okay, this is a serious question and I expect comments.

Where the hell did my lips go?

Is this an age thing? And if so, when is my ass going to shrink? Because right now it's the same size it's been for the last 20 years...except lower. It seems to be dropping. I expect to feel it banging on the back of my knees by Christmas.

I thought, several weeks ago, that since I'm trying to SELL make-up and perfume and stuff like that I should start wearing it. It's okay stuff, I like it. But, to this end, I ordered myself some lipstick. I've been noticing in pictures lately that lipstick is in style again. I see a LOT of deep, true, saturated color on lips. LOTS of red lips. I mean RED. "Fire and Ice" RED. Remember "Fire and Ice"? Revlon. That color was really, really hot. My mother wore "Fire and Ice". I used to wear "Love That Red" because it wasn't very red. I didn't have the guts for red lips. I don't have the complexion for them either, but that's another story.

Well, anyway, I quit wearing lipstick years ago anyway because once, while we were dating, the hubster saw me putting on lipstick and claimed I was imitating an astronaut's wife. So I stopped wearing it. Occasionally some gloss but it hurt my feelings to no end and I quit. I was young and in love, what can I say?

Well, I'm looking at these rich lovely colors and I'm thinking "What the hell? Why not?" I bought a red called something cute, the word "Cherry" is involved. And a really bad-ass coral.

The red, actually, looks a bit more like a deep rose on me, which I'm comfortable with. I'm not ENTIRELY at ease with my newly burgeoning. old age "who gives a crap what you think, I like it" attitude and this one is a nice transition.

However, I don't seem to have any lips anymore. I put on the lipstick and I realize that my lips are thinning. I wouldn't mind my hair thinning, I have POUNDS of hair, always have, and it's thick and heavy and damn, is it HOT.

Less hair, more lips.

No, I will NOT "plump", although the thought of having to actually "plump" something is enticing. For the most part, I'm entirely too plump as it is. But the problem with these now rose colored lips is that it's really obvious that they've shrunk. I tried filling in outside my lip line, I looked as if a six year old had applied my make-up. I thought of buying a lip liner pencil and seeing it that would help. But, frankly, I think that's getting entirely too complicated. First you draw them on, then you fill them in...this is already two steps too many. At this age I SHOULD be able to put on my make-up free hand and not have to use a paint by numbers kit.

A couple of years ago my facialist rented out some space to a guy who dyed eyelashes and THAT made me curious. I shelled out 50 bucks and he dyed AND PERMED my lashes. It was actually hella cool. They had a nice, permanent curve and they were BLACK. I didn't need mascara. It lasts as long as your eyelashes don't fall out, which is about three months. I loved it.

But then I had a falling out with my facialist over her wanting to do a chemical peel and me saying "that doesn't sound pleasant, no". I don't care HOW much new skin will be magically brought to the forefront on my fat face, I do NOT want to be peeled, chemically or otherwise.

Besides, she was really, really expensive. I didn't know that at the time. I had my first pedicure after my mother died (she thought they were creepy and passed it on to me), along with my first lip wax and my first facial. And my first highlights. I was a rather quiet daughter, I guess. So yeah, I was in my 40s when I discovered all this stuff that someone will do to/for you and I sort of got real girly. The greatest memory of my childhood was pitching a one-hitter, so me getting all feminine was really quite an event.

Now, logically, I assumed (don't go there, that joke's too old) that, as the purveyors of beauty I was utilizing were both located in the strip mall with the K-Mart and the Chuck-E-Cheeses I was getting a fair shake. My hairdresser was there, as was the facialist. I stopped going to the hairdresser after the morning I showed up for my APPOINTMENT, she painted and wrapped me in foil, set me down to cook for 10 minutes and then took a walk-in, a teen-age girl and her mother. Her mother said "gee, she's having a picture taken in 90 minutes and we need her hair styled and I didn't call for an appointment, can you do it?"

Now I wasn't as annoyed and the walk-ins as I was at my hairdresser, who said "sure I can" and let me sit for FORTY-FIVE effing minutes with foil and bleach on my head while she primped some teen-ager. I wouldn't have minded if I had been a walk-in but I made an appointment and showed up on time. Not only that, when she FINALLY finished with the girl and came back to rinse me several of the little foil packets fell off my head with the hair still in them. She announced it was "beautiful and sexy" and charged me $140 bucks. Which I, wuss that I am, paid. And never went back.

Now my facialist, several doors up in the same strip mall, charged me $120 for a facial AND I refused the chemical peel. I mean, the facial was lovely. But that was sort of pricey. I figured it was a decent deal, considering the neighborhood. But I never went back. Come to think of it, it wasn't just the pushing of the chemical peel, I think the playing of Kenny G. all the time had something to do with it too.

Now I can't go back and have my eyelashes dyed and curled (which I might consider) because I don't want her to see me going to the eyelash guy and not to her. Yeah, I know, it's lame.

I've also discovered that, here in the urban village, I get my hair done, and beautifully, for $50 bucks, which isn't cheap but, compared to what I was paying, it's a steal. It's also a freaking BRILLIANT cut that lasts for 8 weeks easy. Every three months I get what the spa lady calls a "mini facial" and she waxes my eyebrows (because I don't pay any attention to them anymore either, I just let 'em grow and pull them out now and then by hand when I'm stressed)and I get change back from 40 bucks.

This isn't helping me with the thin lips though. For some reason, thin lips look sinister to me. I'm not sure why, Edward G. Robinson played crooks 75% of the time and he didn't have skinny lips. Basil Rathbone was famous for playing an honest detective and he had really skinny lips...and he always looked as if he smelled something really nasty. I do NOT want this look for myself. I'm lucky though, at least the lipstick doesn't melt and run into the little vertical wrinkles that have, most likely, started to form around the outside of my lips. I've seen way too many grandmothers walking down the street in my time, all dressed up, hats and gloves, and their carefully applied lipstick now making their mouths look like a little red sunshine with rays dancing around the edge. Kind of like Gumby when he was surprised.

I'm wondering if this is a result of all those years of never putting anything ON my lips, so not they're all dried up, which would make it all the hubster's fault. Botox scares the hell out of me, I KNOW it's quite safe but a) when you can't make your car payment on time one does NOT want to be stuck on the phone with the Wells Fargo guy saying "I'm really, really sorry, I can have it next week, I spent it on Botox this month" and b) there's just something about the fact that Botox uses botulism that I find disturbing. I can hear it now, as I'm laid out in the mortuary: "OMG, I can't BELIEVE she got BOTULISM, she was always overly careful in the kitchen" and the response "I KNOW! But don't her lips look great?"

Followed by the hubster, looking down into the box and announcing "Crap. She looks like an astronaut's wife."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Workin' in a coal mine, goin' down, down, down..."

So, I've finally surfaced this week. Yes, it's been crazy busy down here in the salt mines and not likely to ease up any time soon. As a friend of mine says though, "it is what it is". Pithy, huh? Not only that, she pretty much says it every five minutes. But we've been friends for over 40 years, oh jeez, it's almost 50 years, and for those of you skulking around trying to see if I'm talking about you, no, I'm not. Apparently I'm way busier than you are. Not only that, I actually DO have a friend or two and I met them LONG before phony online "friends" taught me what absolute pond scum looks like and if you want to talk to her and get proof of this contention go ahead on. Call me, I'm listed, I'll give you her name and number. Do it before you tell everyone else she doesn't really exist and it's all about YOU and she's really just my imaginary friend. It didn't work the last time you pulled that shit and it's not going to work this time. Besides, she's coming up on the first anniversary of her husband's death and could use some extra friends and support. Oh wait, she needs friends and support, you're not it. Never mind.

I AM going to talk about you in about two paragraphs though, so stick around.

Well, there we all were, watching the CNN or MSNBC or FOX "News" (or whatever you chose) live feed of the Chilean miners rescue a few days ago and it was, in it's slow, methodical way, kind of thrilling. I've spent years watching the news and, tragically, mine cave ins aren't a once in a century event. And, again tragically, they don't usually end up like this one did. So it was kind of fun in a way. We all waited for the guy who turned out to have the wife AND the mistress waiting for him, wondering if one of them would cold cock him when he came out and if she did, which one would do it? My money was on the wife, who, in a class move, didn't show up. Although the REALLY classy thing would have been for the MISTRESS to have stepped aside, at least temporarily. Katharine Hepburn did NOT show up at Spencer Tracy's funeral people...take a lesson.

It also occurred to me that it was a good thing Tiger Woods never took up mining.

I was reading this morning that it wasn't all skittles and beer down there the last two months, either. Not just the trials we would light, not enough food, cramped quarters, interminable lack of purpose, but apparently, 33 guys stuck in a rather smallish space with no viable plumbing started to get on each others nerves. Let's face it, put 33 people in one room and it's a good bet they're not ALL going to get along with each other, and that's when they have a working bathroom and a fully stocked pantry. So it stands to reason that the 33 probably didn't all hang out after work anyway. Stories of disagreements, fist fights, and a community of 5 who flounced off and formed their own tribe elsewhere in the cave are surfacing. I'm guessing it's normal. After all, if I'm cooped up with my kids too long I start getting testy - and I LIKE them.

But I got to thinking...this is what's wrong with Internet boards. You take a whole bunch of people with one similar interest. Say, Mickey Mouse. Okay, like mining, there's the common bond, although why adults go nuts for that namby pamby mouse with no real moxie I have NO idea. Jeez, at least Donald Duck has a temper. But I digress.

Anyway, you all find your way to some website where everyone LURVES Mickey Mouse to death. And you all talk about Mickey Mouse. But, after a while, you realize that he's never going to change into blue shorts and his voice is pretty much as low as it'll ever get and you're running out of stuff to talk about.

So you start talking about other stuff. Where you live, what you do, what your kids do, what sort of comestibles you prefer. Yes, there will be members of the board who are SO pretentious they call food "comestibles". TRUST ME. You'll start talking about politics, religion, global warming, you know...the things that make us individuals and prove we have working brains. Fist fights will break out occasionally, alliances will be formed and small groups of members will flounce off to "chat" elsewhere, perhaps even build a new lounge for themselves so they don't have to associate with the rest of the people now in a virtual choke hold in this cave of a website.

Eventually what emerges is a manifesto. Leaders will float to the top. I think it was fictional detective Lew Harper who said "cream and shit rises". Or cream and bastards. I'm not sure. Whichever it was, truer words were never spoken. Anyway, all discussion boards have a manifesto. They all say basically the same thing. "Play nice, make new friends and don't make me call your father." IF the board is run by adults, this usually works nicely. Adults usually accept the fact that other people are also adults and some of them like Mickey Mouse and some of them prefer Donald Duck and that's not a bad thing.

But sometimes, the darkest, most immature part of human nature is embraced by people. They're childish and selfish and they LIKE themselves that way. This would be all right if they accepted the fact that not everyone is like that and it's takes all kinds to make a world. You may wish, with all your might, that's it's the obligation of everyone who crosses your path to keep you entertained, and if you're lucky you've crossed paths with one or two enablers who will go before you with machetes clearing away the overgrowth of maturity you encounter on your way, but let's face it. You're going to end up on the receiving end of a LOT bad blood. This, btw, is basically life as we know it in general.

In an effort to shorten this up a bit, I'll cut to the chase. Eventually, the community deteriorates into an epithet spewing bunch of trolls and sock puppets, things well loved by kindergartners as they're fun to play with. The people who are supposed to be keeping a "fair and balanced" order in the community wander off in search of hipper lounges and leave the crumbling mess in the hands of the children, the board now resembles a kindergarten class being taught be a triumvirate of second graders who simply lock the doors when the people who don't like Mickey Mouse come to class.

One day a Donald fan says "gee, I miss Dick and Jane, they liked Donald and they had well thought out reasons for doing so. Isn't it funny, almost ALL the Donald fans have been locked out and only Mickey fans are welcome here." A week later, in a cowardly move, the Donald fan finds himself locked out of the classroom...but ONLY after they had been out of class for a week. So no one would notice they'd been suspended and/or expelled...because they hadn't been around for awhile anyway. Out of sight, out of mind. Several Mickey supporters then start publicly announcing that Dick and Jane were stupid and probably poopy heads and if they ever, ever, ever even SEE them again they're going to call the Mickey police and have them arrested and they sent them letters telling them that.

A Mickey fan who hasn't even been to class since pre-school decided to re-enroll and said this about Dick and Jane:

WOW, how this little planet of mouse has changed, after being away from this site for close to a year, I read Dick and Jane are gone, Hallelujah. Glad to see that the conservatives are still fighting the fight. Although it will most likely be another year before I visit this site again, I am very happy to see that they are gone! Maybe this is a sign of what is to come this November 4th, the ousting of libertards!

Did I forget to mention that Mickey and Donald were a political analogy? Sorry.

Does this break the aforementioned rules about playing nice, making new friends and not making mom call dad about it? Oh HELLS YEAH! Was the student disciplined? Uh, doesn't look like it. This student is still free to attend class anytime, anywhere. Oh wait! As I looked up towards the front of the class, waiting for the teacher to send the kid to the principals office, I saw the teacher had a sock on her hand. It had a face drawn on it and her fingers were going up and down as she made the puppet speak.

Like miners trapped in a cave, the community has deteriorated to little more than fist fights and name calling. The people who went off and formed their own group are grateful they were thrown into this together, as they have formed friendships and a support system. They occasionally disagree and they're okay with this. Because it's their diversity that bonds them, the opportunity to learn new things and see new points of view. The experience in the mine gives them ties that may never break, they've seen the results of absolutely anarchy and remember what happens when passion is not tempered with reason.

After the last rescue worker at the San Jose mine loaded himself into the Fenix capsule, fastened his seat belts and told the guy with the winch to pull him up the President of Chile, after the hugs, cheering and hand shakes, walked over the the mine shaft and, with great flourish, capped it. The people in charge of Internet discussion should do the same. Like mines all over the world, it's a dangerous business, and is pathetically mis-managed.

Do yourself and everyone else a favor. Cap your mine. In a few days you'll be able to take off your dark glasses and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to see how big and how entertaining the real world can be.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Go See A Show"

Well, it's Saturday morning and damn, I'm awake and up. I HATE that. It's SATURDAY. I should be snoozing but no, here I am, sun's up and so am I. Why? SOMEONE came to bed late last night and neglected, as always, to close the blinds. I like to leave them partway open, so I can peek at the street and get a bit of fresh air but one would think that the last person into bed would actually CLOSE them, wouldn't one? I mean, especially as there's a street light directly outside the window. The hubster complains mightily about said street light and yet, for some reason, closing the blinds doesn't seem to occur to him.

This also means that the sunlight pours into the bedroom. Thus, my state of being awake on a Saturday morning before noon, not that I've been able to do THAT since my early 20s anyway, but you get my drift, no?

Well, I'm slumped in my favorite Ethan Allen chair sipping black coffee and I put my cup up to my forehead. I find this comforting during a sinus headache, and I've got a beaut. I notice the cup for the first time. Now, first off, it's important to know that I use normal sized coffee mugs. This limits what I have to choose from. The rest of my family uses coffee mugs the size of Quaker State Motor Oil cans. Picture it...a quart of motor oil with a handle on the side and Mickey Mouse on the front where the Liberty Bell would be. THIS is my son's coffee cup. The hubster's too, although without the Mickey Mouse pic.

I like plain old, 10 oz straight sided coffee mugs. I usually get them at theaters, I find them a nice reminder of the shows I've seen and loved. "Mack and Mabel." "South Pacific." "A Chorus Line." "Rent."

Like this: And a big thanks to the Playbill shop where I found this, btw. This is actually the cup I'm using this morning, which is why I got to thinking about this. This, btw, is a show logo cup, not one of those stupid "I'm a witch, I'm defying gravity, girl power" cups. Just to get this straight here.

Anyway, as I've mentioned, I used to hang on the internet. A LOT. I thought I had friends on the Internet. Not so much. Well, two or three of these "friends" went to see "Wicked." Now I'd been to see "Wicked," in fact I had to drive 120 miles to the next large city to see it as it was on it's national tour and you couldn't get a ticket in Los Angeles for love nor money. My neighbors got the bright idea (and it WAS a bright idea) to all go in on a block of seats for the San Diego stop and get the group rate while we were at it. And THAT is how I got to see "Wicked" while it was on it's honest to god National tour.

I liked it. Very much. I LOVE Stephen Schwartz and will go see "Pippin" if it's being performed by six year olds in a park. "Sweeney Todd" too. But I'm getting off track here. I liked the show. Very much. I bought the mug. Well, lo and behold, two, maybe three of my message board friends got tickets for the show when it finally came to L.A. and did a year long sit-down. These were people who didn't do theater. That's okay. Just because I'll go to anything put on a portable stage and have been since I was a kid doesn't mean it's for everybody.

They LOVED it. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT! Wow, I was excited for them...well, one of them anyway. The one I thought I knew well. So I was suggesting more theater. There was a revival of "Damn Yankees" in town. "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" was here on tour. We should go, she would love them. We started a theater thread, so we could talk about other shows.

Um, no. They weren't interested in seeing "The Drowsy Chaperone" before it went to Broadway. They weren't interested in seeing why ".....Spelling Bee" won all those Tonys. They weren't interested in the theater. They were only interested in seeing..."Wicked." Again and again and again.

I've seen shows over and over too. The aforementioned "Pippin," "Sweeney Todd," "A Chorus Line," "How to Succeed....," "Twelfth Night." I love those shows. I love a LOT of shows. I love theater. I go to new shows too. We braved the stand-by line for Opening Night tickets to "Leap of Faith" last Sunday and had a GREAT time. Fun, fun show. She, I realized, just loves "Wicked". And herein lies the problem. These two women only loved one show, and one character in that show. It's Elphaba baby, all the way.

Somewhere along the line I realized, they both seem to have decided that they could BE Elphaba in real life and people would give them standing ovations for it. Um, yeah, not so much guys. Elphaba, in case you're not familiar with the show, is the green one who turns into the Wicked Witch of the West. She's abrasive and triumphs in the end. (assuming you've never read the book, which I have.) You know...the classic hooker with a heart of gold scenario. Except they've missed the heart of gold part.

This attitude spilled over into real life, and it's freaking scary as it still continues. Snap judgements. Bad friendships. Angry spells going awry. They get out their spell books and wish people into cornfields simply because they can, and, like the fictional green witch of Oz, they're now left with the wreckage of their abuse of power: A dying website and legions of former members talking trash about them behind their backs on Facebook, Twitter and in real life. They're left with a handful of loyalists, all of whom share the power to abuse the rules of the kingdom, the very rules the ladies of the stage used against their former supporters. And the rule breaking continues, publicly and overtly, there are no hidden names, there is no teasing innuendo. Elphaba is now stuck with it, these flying monkeys who have been changed into something that can exist in no other walk of life except the dark, hidden recesses of the Internet.

They're not defying gravity. They're defying common courtesy, decency and the many outstretched hands of friendship that have been offered and rejected throughout the years. They still think they're "Dancing Through Life" and spread their arms out joyfully in the sun, spinning delightedly while they chirp "...just you and I, defying gravity" as they skip down the Yellow Brick Road, never looking back at the scorched earth they've left behind, running headlong into Elphaba the witch's happy ending.

Did I mention, I've read the book? Want to know what REALLY happens to the Witches of Oz?

Fiyero dies. Elphaba ends up alone, bitter and reclusive, unwed and knocked up. Not entirely unlike "Madam Butterfly."

Oh, that's right. They probably haven't seen THAT, either.

And the moral of this story? Buy some Hot Tix. Check out your local high school, see what they're performing this season. Mine's doing "Barnum" in the spring, I'll be there. But whatever you do, stay the hell away from "Wicked." That thing'll ruin you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Throwing her ...hat into the ring.

Well, holy cow and BFD! Big news broke last night here in the Golden State. Yep, we, like everyone else, are gearing up for an election in less than a month. Usually this is a source of countrywide derision, as we have a tendency to nominate, and elect people like George Murphy, Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's not as much fun since Iowa elected Gopher, but we still pretty much have a corner on, well, let's just say we're broad minded. And we like it that way.

I would LOVE to chat about Carly Fiorina vs. Barbara Boxer but frankly, there's not much to talk about there. Carly runs commercial after commercial in which someone opines that the country is in the crapper, California is in the crapper and, since Barbara Boxer is the Senator from California we should elect Carly Fiorina. This is pretty much all she's got. Well, that and a basquillion bucks she took with her when Hewlett-Packard pushed her out the window and she pulled the ripcord on that golden parachute she was wearing.

But Der Governator is at the end of his term and alas, he runs no more. He didn't do the state much good but he didn't do it a lot of harm either. No lit Tangere, I think it is. So now we have a governor's race going on. For the Democrats: Jerry Brown. Jerry comes from a long line of California politicians, his father, Edmund (Pat) was governor, Jerry himself has been governor, Attorney General and Mayor of Oakland. Many people of a generation not unlike myself remember him as being dubbed "Governor Moonbeam". This was by people in the Midwest who have no freaking CLUE what goes on here on the coast, were probably threatened by his Jesuit education and had problems with Brown's steady gal pal, Linda Ronstadt.

Jerry's running again. Good on him, I had money in my pocket when he governed the state before, I'm good with that.

Representing the Republicans: Meg Whitman. Former CEO of eBay. I said it in June and I'll say it now...What the HELL were you people thinking?

The woman was on the board of Goldman freaking Sachs for Crissake! She got nailed for insider trading, had to give a boatload of money back and paid herself a sweet $100+ MILLION BUCKS her last year at eBay. A congressman from her OWN PARTY called her "corrupt". She has put forth no actual plan for California other than lifting regulations on business (you know, that costly clean air stuff) and "fixing" things. She's gonna "fix" education. How? Well, I guess she'll tell us that if she gets elected, kind of like McCain was going to tell everyone how to beat the Taliban if HE got elected. And apparently, Meg is SO actively concerned with the great State of California and the Silicon Valley (the place that was so good to her) she hasn't voted in something like 28 years. Yep, activism at it's finest.

There's a muddled mess going on regarding Meg's former housekeeper, who seems to be claiming that Meg is a monster who employed her knowing full well that she was an illegal immigrant, then fired her when Meg decided to run for Governor. I'll give Meg the benefit of the doubt here, there's an awful lot of name calling going on between Meg, her former housekeeper and Gloria Allred (the housekeeper's attorney). While I'm probably inclined to lean a little in the housekeeper's direction on this one I must be honest and's a lot of accusations and counter accusations and I'm not really sure who, if anyone, is telling the truth. The answer to that is probably going to end up being "no one", but time will tell.

Up until now, this has all been pretty cut and dried, actually. Jerry is leading Meg by a sizable margin, Barbara is leading Carly. Ho hum.

But yesterday...Oh my. BIG, breaking news! Jerry Brown's campaign had apologized to Meg for calling her a filthy name. Or apologized because an associate called her a dirty name. Or maybe the associate called her a dirty name and Jerry repeated it in agreement. The news teased this all day, I was practically DROOLING to find out what he called her. Seems that Jerry was on the phone with someone leaving a voice mail message and forgot to hit disconnect. He continued to talk and there's now a recording of Jerry's campaign manager I think it is, referring to Meg as a "whore". Now one could say that you can't prove who was speaking. I've heard the tape, several times. Maybe it isn't, but it sort of sounds like Jerry to me. I'm okay with that. Also, it's a lousy recording. An argument could be made that he didn't say "whore". Well, I don't know what else it could have been, so I'm on board with that too. Jerry or his campaign manager or both of them called Meg a "whore" in a private conversation that was overheard.

Jeez, Jerry, that's the best you've got? THAT was the filth? Come ON, how filthy can it be when it's being run all over the networks with NO BLEEPS! Even the airwaves don't consider it that bad.

Meg's camp has countered with outrage and claims Jerry has insulted each and every California woman, vote for MEG! Well, right off the bat...I was born and raised in California and I'm not insulted. Not only that, I've actually been VOTING in California since 1972, which is more than I can say for Meg. I also don't think "whore" was meant in it's most literal term. Take a good look at her. No, I think we're looking at something along the lines of "attention whore" here. That doesn't offend me either.

In fact, if someone called me up right now and said to me "Hey, Jerry Brown just called you a whore" I would probably counter with something along the lines of "What a dickhead". Of course, that wouldn't happen, as neither Jerry nor Meg know me personally. Because if they did, they would probably know that I've been calling Meg an asshat for months now.

What offends me is that Meg is hiding behind her skirts and I can NOT STAND women who pull that crap. You want to stay off the public stage and be all girly? Great. Go ahead on, I will probably have apron envy. BUT...if you're going to step out on the field with the big boys you had better be prepared to swing at the hard balls and stand placidly at the plate with your bat on your shoulder when something as inane as "whore" gets lobbed outside the strike zone. You want to play? Grow a pair. Call him a prick. Accidentally, of course.

But for Gods sake, STOP whining that you've been insulted. If that's the worst thing she gets called in politics she's been on a rose petal covered path. Hell, if it's the worst thing she gets called ANYWHERE she's had a puff ball of a life. And don't tell people I've been insulted because of what someone said to YOU. That's a crock.

You know what insults me? I make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. I spent months at a job unsnarling idiotic mistakes made by a man who had no training in his field, had been at the company four years less than I had and was making $2.50 more an hour than I was. I've been to college. I also have a certificate in accounting. But he had something I don't, and it was worth an extra hundred bucks a week. THAT'S insulting. Although it does explain why you guys hold it in such high regard...

There are still a lot of things I don't know. But I know an asshat when I see one.

And you, Meg, are an asshat.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm just here for the food...

This is something I just HAVE to do. I've seen stewing over it for a long time now and something I came across recently just pushed me over the edge. I have a loooooooooong fuse, I really do. But it does, eventually, reach the powder.


Internet foodies are the WORST. I think that, in over 50 years of hanging around various kitchens, including several in Iowa, I have NEVER found people who despise both food and people as much as Internet Foodies do.

I have, though the last several years, been subjected to perfect bakers, perfect farmers, perfect gourmands. Several of them eat only an a handful of restaurants, as the others do NOT measure up to the exacting standards of the Foodies in question.

I would LOVE to make this funny but damn! Okay, the people themselves are funny. I have, of late, realized that people in general take themselves FAR too seriously. Especially Foodies. Foodies and conservatives. Oh, jeez, there's a horrifying thought. Glenn Beck on the Food Network.

Years ago, when we were watching Food TV a LOT, my younger son came up with an idea for a new show. "FUCK YOU!...with Bobby Flay". He does a mean Bobby Flay impression, btw, and his premise was based largely on Bobby's distinctly New York accent. It was dead on perfect and we would laugh until we couldn't breathe. I admit, you really had to hear him, putting it in writing it loses about 80% of what he did with it. I can imagine Glenn Beck doing the same show...for serious. "You used PACKAGED SHREDDED CHEESE? FUCK YOU!"

Back to Internet Foodies, God help us. Face it, when you start referring to food as "comestibles" you don't care about cooking. You care about showing off. They only dine at restaurants tied into the Patina Group, and therefore Downtown Disney is the Holy Land. It'll be a cold day in hell before I drop money into the overpriced and over garnished Patina Group's idea of over the top cuisine. I don't care HOW many baby turnips you trim, it won't make your food any less ordinary. It also doesn't disguise the fact that they assemble a LOT of it at a central kitchen and ship it pre-packaged. Like Stouffer's. Besides, if I'm going to drop that kind of money at a restaurant I'll drop it at La Toque, in Napa.

This also, much like Temple Grandin's curved cow pathways, will lead one to the Holy Grail of "The Napa Rose". I like their chef, I once cooked with him. I like his attitude about food. His patrons, on the other hand, I can't stand. Every damn one of them think they're better than the people eating at Del Taco. Every damn one of them is a horse's ass. Guys? If your chef is having fun, why aren't you? Why are you sitting at your tables, pretentiously aerating your wine high enough so the other diners can see you do it, rolling your eyes back in your head in rapture over the rack of lamb and frantically tweeting to all and sundry about the subtleties in the pureed turnips?

See, if you really liked food, instead of taking cell phone pictures and tweeting your location and the contents of your plate you would be yelling to the restaurant "OH MY GOD! I can die happy, this is the best shit I EVER ATE!"

This brings me to the difference between the two reactions, inappropriate as the second one may actually be. The first reaction is an affectation. The second - passion.

I used to read and avidly participate in several of these foodie controlled threads. It was fun to share. It was fun to talk about things we cooked, things we ate, let's face it. Food is fun.

As the good times rolled on, I started reading with more thought though. I was seriously offended when one of these Foodies (and I was probably one of them for awhile) posted a horrified mini lecture to a new home cook reaming her for "frying" something. "NEVER, EVER FRY! Brown or saute if you must!" Dear God. I felt sorry for the young woman who had shared a recipe for steak. I immediately went to the store, bought some red meat and pan fried it, just in her honor. EVERYONE pan fries for various reasons and at various times. It was an awakening for me. These Foodies didn't give a crap about their food. They gave a crap about showing off.

After pages of the wonders of fresh chervil I saw these people for what they were. And I went back to my own kitchen. I gleefully used frozen corn and canned black beans. Yes, I do sometimes make beans from scratch, they're delicious. Also time consuming, I have a family and a job and there are just times I'd rather take my needlepoint downstairs to the nice lounge chair in the courtyard on a Saturday afternoon than be in my kitchen (much as I enjoy the kitchen) rolling out fresh pasta and roasting tomatoes. Besides, we have an Italian market here in the urban village, their pasta dough is better. And cheaper. As is their freshly made marinara. Their garlic bread is nirvana.

Cash has been a bit short this week and, well, let's just say it was time to clean out the pantry and fridge anyway. The half pack of chicken tenders sauteed with the can of cream of mushroom soup, thinned with the bottom of the carton of yogurt and served over half a pack of pasta with the leftover sliced almonds sprinkled on top wasn't bad. But here's the important thing, at least to me. In spite of the empty wallet, I was able to feed my family. My herbs were dried and there wasn't any chervil or fresh fennel and the last of the eggs came from a carton I got at the super market, not from the local home grown chicken ranch.

Recently one of my sons told a friend of his (while I was standing there) that I "do the most amazing things with food". Oh. My. God. L'escoffier could never received a greater compliment.

Monday, September 27, 2010

When hinges creak...

Yeah, yeah, I haven't been around much. Goodtime Mommy gets the blues sometimes. I thought of posting the blues, as I'm in a very hot and friendless state lately. The hubster and I drift on different seas, it saddens me that he doesn't want to share the things that give me pleasure. It also pisses me off that he thinks dancing in public while one sings the theme song from "Growing Pains" is unseemly. I find it perfectly normal. Sometimes I think his greying hair (which has been greying since he was in his 30s) has turned him into a fuddy duddy. I, on the other hand, see myself as embracing life. Others see me as a lunatic. I suppose that, between the two of us, we comprise one whole, normal, moderately enthusiastic boomer.

Anyway, this last week has been one of those "take a deep breath, haul it out of bed and get it to work" weeks. The week-end wasn't a LOT better, although a friend of mine had an extra couple of tickets to the Sing-A-Long "Sound of Music" at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday and I went and took one of the boys. It's sort of like the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" for traditional theater people. We hissed the Baroness, cheered when Maria and the Captain FINALLY figured out what the rest of us had known all along and screamed "Don't come out yet" when Christopher Plummer emerges from behind the shelter of the tombstone. The Bowl provided party poppers which we all pulled when Maria and the Captain FINALLY kissed, shooting streamers over all and sundry.We yodeled through "The Lonely Goatherd". We all turned on our cell phone lights, held them up and swayed while we sang "Edelweiss". Eighteen thousand people in an outdoor amphitheater, singing and swaying with their lights in the air.

It was enchanting.

The hubster announced the following morning that he hadn't any interest in attending something like that as he was NOT enthusiastic about being part of a crowd of eighteen thousand people who had come together to mock something.

It was already a bazillion degrees in the apt when he let loose with that one and it didn't go over well. Just saying...

Well, I've been worrying about the fact that the blog has been empty for a week. Of course, the fact I only have three readers mitigated my guilt over the lack of updates. I also figured that posting about how much life sucks isn't exactly something that brings people back.

And then...this morning came.

Someone dear to me sent me (via another board) a post made by someone on the board that banished me, and many others, to the Interwebs Molokai. Not only was I declared unclean and ferried away, they THEN nationalized their oil fields, so that only those with a golden ticket could pass. So this is now super secret stuff, things the general public are not allowed into without showing their passports and visas.

Someone in this super secret society wants to know what other people are putting in their Halloween candy bowls. Holy Cow! No WONDER this club is now ferreted away, available only to those members who have been approved.


And, just to add insult to injury, I'm privy to what the poster is putting in HER Halloween treat bags.

In the first place...BAGS? It's obvious this woman has no children in her life. Biological, adopted, nieces, neighbors, none. Because if she did, she would know that, on Halloween, hoards of children, teens and adults show up at your doorstep. THEY have bags. YOU just toss candy as fast as you can into shopping bags, little plastic pumpkins and pillow cases until they leave and the next marauding band shows up.

But noooooooo. Not this self-styled holier-than-thou and richer too. She just loooooovvvvves to post about her cooking skills and how her entire week's menus are routinely ditched because the local "God, we're rich" Farmer's Market has a cache of organically grown and natural bat guano fertilized black current leaf (I googled it, there IS such a thing)while she posts nasty things about the rest of the pedestrian members who work full time, come home and manage to get a meal on the table for their families, a healthy one if they're lucky and one that will just fill them up if they're not.

Well, there's an entire list of what she has mapped out to buy, to mail order (can't mail order for the chocolate yet, apparently it's too hot or it's only in season in months with an "O" in them or something) but there is a complete breakdown of what must be two dozen different items, all of which will be organized and then put into various gift bags, then to be doled out according to the apparent age and financial status of the night visitors.

Bags are being assembled for toddlers, children, teens (and these seem to be divided by sex as well, one assortment for boys, one for girls) and a super special bag for pre-teen girls who will get a bag with several items including some little plastic glow stick bracelets.


No self-respecting adolescent would be caught DEAD actually wearing a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. I'll give TEN BUCKS to the first person who can produce a pre-teen girl who would voluntarily do such a thing.

Okay, she lives in a very rich neighborhood, on the water I believe. Now, I'm not complaining about that, it's hotter than hell here and I wouldn't mind living at the beach myself. But I also live in an extraordinarily rich neighborhood. Granted, I live in the part reserved for poor people who rent old apartments without air conditioning or washer/dryer hook-ups but hell, we all have the same zip code. My neighborhood goes all out on Halloween, btw. Fog swirls low on village streets, dancers are hired to dance Thriller on rolling front lawns decked out as graveyards, "Young Frankenstein" is running on a 60" HD TV from someones balcony, turned towards the street, 'natch, and Bugatti's are backed out of garages to make room for the haunted mazes. Andy Garcia gave me a candy bar last year. So did one of the Disneys. And now you can Google where I live. It's okay, I'm listed anyway. Guess what? Not ONE of these people handed out age profiled goody bags with appropriately counted out toys and treats in each one.

They were throwing Snicker bars into bags as fast as they could. Of course, for all their money, these people also have kids, dogs, jobs and LIVES. I've passed them on the street, exchanged "good morning" with people I recognized (koffkoffDenzelWashingtonkofffoff) and we exchange these pleasantries because we're NEIGHBORS. NOT because they're rich, you effing snob. Oops...yeah, I digress.

Anyway, I was laughing my head off at the list of toys and treats and how they would be divided and allotted and handed out in neat little gift bags and all I could think of was "DAMN! I'd PAY for that kind of spare time." I'm pretty sure Martha Freaking STEWART doesn't go to all that trouble and she puts on a hell of a Halloween. Know why?

She's too effing BUSY to start dividing the trick-or-treaters into age appropriate groups.

Now, why did this particular story turn my life around this morning?

I thought about it. It's hotter than hell and we have, for all intents and purposes, no a/c and the sweat (and yes, it's SWEAT, perspiration my ASS) was literally running down our faces last night. The hubster is turning into a crotchety old man who dresses WAY too conservatively. My younger son is home only to eat and sleep most of the time. The older son has disabilities that cause me worry. My job isn't very satisfying and my apartment looks like a toxic waste dump because no one with testosterone has any idea how to hang up a jacket on anything except the back of a chair. I have no car. Yet. I've starting selling Avon. The hubster hasn't found work yet.

But after I stopped laughing and finally caught my breath it hit me. In spite of her exotic herb garden and her mail ordered plastic spider rings, this woman has WAY too much time on her hands. And while she was sitting in her all too snooty home probably setting up spread sheets to aid in the assembly of her Halloween bags a month in advance I was sitting on my ass between a friend and one of my sons, drinking what she would most likely consider an inferior red wine from a plastic glass and eating chicken salad I made from a non free-range Costco rotisserie bird dressed with Major Grey's chutney from a jar, Best Foods Mayo and store bought curry powder while I belted out "Do-Re-Mi" with 17,999 other folks who were not planing their Halloweens yet either.

Last night I fell asleep, starkers and sweating on top of the bed clothes and the hubster made not ONE joke about harpoons this morning. The kid who mostly shows up to eat and sleep treated us to malts last night. He's going to get his Bachelor's degree this June. My older son is going to the bank (on a bus) today to get some money so he and I can go play Bingo at the air conditioned Elk's lodge tonight. I bought two hats, which I wear, and I'm going to take a free ballroom dance lesson tomorrow night.

And I remembered that life is FULL of ridiculous people who plan Halloween bags and take themselves WAY too seriously. I think it's God's way of giving the rest of us a good belly laugh every now and then.

Either that, or I'm bi-polar and no one ever noticed. Either way, I'm good with it.