Monday, March 31, 2008

Better late than never, eh?

Tagged by the Unsinkable Molly Brown, aka
  • Leslie
  • . Ya might wonder what Leslie and the Unsinkable Molly Brown have in common. Molly survived the sinking of the Titanic. Leslie survived gettin hit by a Chicago cab.

    Write a memoir of your life in six words or fewer, mention your tagger, and tag six more people.

    I'll tell ya...I hadda think a while about this one.

    Led a charmed far.

    I'll tag Jen at
  • Keep Passing the Open Window
  • ; Guy at
  • Charming, Just Charming
  • ; Amy at
  • In These Shoes?
  • ; Michele at
  • Meanderings
  • ; Junebugg at
  • Wasted Days, Wasted Nights
  • and Nate at
  • Wasted Electrons
  • .

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    Joiners Anonymous

    I'm just not a "joiner". Never have been really, even in school.

    I mean, I suppose it first started as my own little inner rebellion...a smaller part of the whole "question authority" thing. I didn't wanna be like everyone else and I didn't understand why that was so damned important to some. I couldn't understand why a cohort should...or the boss of me.

    Unless, of course, they signed my paycheck. heh

    If everyone else was doin it, then I sure as shit didn't wanna do it. I'd do something else.

    I am not a lemming, dammit!

    Oh, over the years, I did try. I'd join this group or that organization. Some were more...formal-type things...some were much less formal. I joined a weight-loss group. For several years, I was part of an organizational committee that held a yearly to-do in my little town. I spent a year on a county fair board. Various and sundry classes. Local forums. Stuff like that.

    What I discovered was this.

    No matter how innocuous...the organization seemed to matter how altruistic the group was supposed to have been, there was always drama. Always a pissin contest over who was right and who was wrong. A fight over who held the power and who didn't...and if you didn't, then it was expected of you to kowtow to those that did. Always this feeling of cold fear that somebody in the organization was gonna get more than someone else. More power. More authority. More of...well...whatever. Anything. Clashes of personalities that turned normal, rational, middle-aged (and older) adults into screaming, tantrum-throwing five-year olds.

    Nananana booboo!

    And, ya gets sooooo old. Soooo...useless. Life's just entirely too short for stupid shit like that.

    So, most generally, after the first sign of drama, I'd high-tail it outa whatever piss-ant organization it was. But I'll admit...there were rare times I'd find myself gettin...sucked in. ..right smack-dab in the middle of it. I hated it when that happened. Hated myself for becoming like them.

    So I quit altogether. Cold turkey. I quit bein a joiner.

    The thing is, it still pulls at me sometimes. Even though I know that the Nananana Booboo behavior occurs in every, single organization. I know this. Still. There are those rare times...fleeting moments of weakness...that I feel like maybe...just maybe I'll join somethin again. I hafta fight that urge to join.

    So, I think I'll form my own organization. Joiners Anonymous. I've even thought up a logo.

    Joiners, untie! (Think about it a minute.)

    Wanna join?

    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    Projects...we've got projects

    Now, if Mother Nature will just cooperate.

    I swear ta gawd...I'm so ready for spring. My psyche is already there. But the temperatures...they are not.

    So I'm forcing it. Through sheer power of thought, I'm gonna make it be spring.

    So it is written. So it shall be done.

    Da Zigster and I, we love our projects. He's so fun to bounce ideas off of. No matter how crazy it might sound, together we'll figure out a way to do it. Usually, the projects turn out great. Others...well...we have a good time plannin 'em , anyway.

    The current project is the deck. We spend a lotta time out there on that deck in the spring, summer and early fall. I mean, with a view like this...

    ...who wouldn't?

    We cook out there. We eat out there. We lounge, we talk, we drink beer. A lotta times, Ziggy does what I call "Yul-ling". He'll stand on the deck, hands on his hips (think Yul Brenner in "The King and I") and just watch the river. The King Of All He Surveys. heh It becomes our living room/family room/vacation get-away in the spring/summer.

    Since we're not plannin a big vacation trip this year, we...well, really *I*... decided that a deck re-do was just the thing. Last year, it was sort of a mish-mash of tropical junk...kinda..."tiki-cartoonish", ya know? This year, I'm plannin to class it up a little. Ok, some of the tiki stuff is stayin...but the garish flamingo crap is goin bye-bye...or at least, to another place in the yard.

    I bought a 5'X 7' outdoor rug to go under the dining table. It's much like this one, except it has a black background with a sage, cream and tan palm frond print.

    And, I bought two of these chairs...

    ...and some material that's similar to the pattern in the rug to recover the old chair pads with.

    Somehow, I've managed to winter-over the two palms that we used for the infamous Cheeseburger In Paradise wedding last August, so they'll be the perfect complement to the rug.

    Today, we're gonna go pick up a 9' sage-colored market umbrella for our table and some black spray paint to paint a few of our many pots. Eventually, I'll pack those full of brilliantly-colored bloomers to scatter around the deck and yard. Last year, I chose mostly bright pinks, lavenders, corals and yellows...colors that you traditionally think of as "tropical". I'm thinkin this year's "theme" is gonna be mostly red...with maybe a few oranges and yellows thrown in. Make a nice contrast to the black pots, doncha think?

    Of course, once I start plant-shoppin, all bets are off. No tellin what kinda color combinations I'll come up with.

    Now, if we can just get the temperature above the 60's, we'll be set. I'd much rather use that umbrella to shade my pointy, little head from sun...and not snow.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    New feature here at Lollygaggin!

    The Honorary "Tit in the Wringer" Award

    I like to call things as I see 'em. I also take a perverse delight in the exposure of liars, hypocrites and the like, so I'm planning on making the "Tit in a Wringer" Award a regular feature here at Lollygaggin. I'll include anyone on the local, national or international level, male or female, political or non, that...well...gets their tit caught in a wringer, steps on their dick or otherwise makes some glaring faux pas.

    Of course, I'll rely on the extraordinary PhotoShop artistry of the incredible Ziggy to give my "awardees" their proper...well...award. heh

    First to be honored is none other than...

    The Hildebeest

    Um. Yea. Sniper fire. No welcoming ceremony. Running to the cars. Riiiight. Ohhhh, but that statement was a "mistake", wasn't it? Every little detail was a...mistake.

    No, no it wasn't, you fucking egomaniacal, power-hungry twat. It was a big, fat LIE. Period. Plain and simple.

    Saturday, March 22, 2008

    "So it is written... it shall be done."

    "Behold! The hail comes!"

    Ahhhh, gawd. They just don't make movies like
  • The Ten Commandments
  • anymore.

    I loooove this movie. Yea, I know. But it's great story. And, c''s Cecil B. DeMille, fer gawd's sake.

    I love the ginormous...proportions...of it. I love the corny dialogue. I love the Edith Head costumes. I love the state-of-the-art (for 1956, anyway) special effect. Oh, especially the special effects.

    When Moses turns the Nile to blood...the parting of the Red Sea...the pillar of fire...the burning bush. And who could forget the inscribing of the Ten Commandments on the stone tablets? Oh, and the scene where the Hebrews are leaving the city to follow Moses...the scope...the sheer bigness of it.

    And the color! The filming in Panavision or Vistavision or one of those "visions" just makes everything look surreally real. It's like a big ole Easter feast for the eyes.

    'Course, the major hunkage of Charlton, Yul and John Derek is a pretty nice feast for the eyes, too.

    "Moses, you dirty rat!"

    No, the character of Dathan didn't really say that. But one can't help but expect it to come outa Edward G. Robinson's mouth somewhere during the movie.

    Previously-mentioned John Derek. Tied up. Be still my heart. Screw the Easter Bunny. John Derek in a loincloth is the highlight of my Easter observance.

    Anne Baxter as the conniving slut, Nefertiri. Not to be confused with...


    Add my fascination with ancient Egypt...pharoahs and pyramids and mummies, oh my!...and this movie ranks right up there as one of my all-time favorites.

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Second time's the charm

    A fish tale

    The other day, I decided that if I didn't get some of this lard off my ass, I was gonna die soon. In February of 2005, I started low-carbin it. I did pretty good, too...lost about 50 pounds. 'Course it took me damn near a year to do it, but I was pretty proud of myself.

    It's taken me just two years to pack it back on.

    Soooo, here I go again.

    Now, the staple of a low carb diet is meat. I don't have a problem with that at all. I'm a carnivore, plain and simple. I love my meat. Beef, chicken, fish, shellfish...doesn't matter. I like it all.

    But it is hard to come up with different...and acceptable...ways to fix said beef, chicken, fish and shellfish. Which brings me to the whole point of my blathering.

    Back during the 'ought five carb-out, I tried some pan-seared salmon. Neither of us was too impressed with it. I wanted to like looked pretty...but I just wasn't impressed. As far as I was concerned, it tasted exactly like canned salmon. Or tuna. Ho hum and far more trouble than openin a can.

    So the other day, I was at the grocery store stockin up on fresh veggies and tryin to find something different in the way of meat. There, in the meat case, was the most gorgeous slab 'o salmon you ever did see. As a bonus, it happened to be on sale.

    What the hell. I bought it and figured I'd try it again.

    Today, I went diggin through my recipe sites for salmon. I found one that looked promising...but, of course, I just hadda fuck with it and make it "better".

    HOT DAMN! Was it ever gooooood!

    So, without further's my recipe.

    Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze

    1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
    1/4 C. water
    1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
    4 t. packed brown sugar (I used Splenda's Brown Sugar Blend)
    2 t. crushed garlic
    2 t. ground ginger

    (The garlic and ginger were my "tweaks".)

    4 (6 oz.) center cut salmon fillets (I had a whole side and cut it into 4 pieces)
    2 t. olive or canola oil

    Pat salmon dry, season with kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper and set aside.

    In a non-stick saucepan, stir together vinegar, water, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic and ginger and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and reduces (think honey-consistency).

    Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Increase heat to high and sear salmon, skin side up, until well-browned (3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets). Turn over and sear on the skin side until just cooked through (another 3-4 minutes).

    Transfer salmon to a plate and spoon glaze over the fish.

    It was delicious...but it made a big ole greasy mess on the stove. 'Course, I have an electric stove and can't control the heat very well and I have an essentially useless exhaust fan. I'm thinkin we'll try it outside on the grill the next time.

    Yummy, yummy, yummy!

    Deep thoughts

    Believe it or not, I do have them. Occasionally. Ok, rarely. I've found that it's not...beneficial...for me to think too deeply about things most of the time.


    I caught
  • The Good Shepard
  • on HBO last night.

    Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of the film's narration as he closes in on the leak.

    I thought it was a pretty fascinating look into the beginnings of the CIA.

    There's one particular scene in which the CIA uses (what I assume was)
  • waterboarding
  • on a man who they believe is a Russian spy. It didn't exactly look like a fun experience. But I suppose that's the whole idea, eh?

    Therein lies the kick-start of my particular "deep thought" of the day.


    Or rather, torture in the name of national security and/or during war-time.

    Obviously, I don't think torture just for the sake of torture is a good thing. And obviously I'm pretty naive when it comes to the politics of war strategy. But...ok, here's my conundrum.

    Those that abhor torture say it isn't "humane". Ok, I'll give ya that. But I'd like for someone to tell me just exactly what's "humane" about war. Are bombs that kill and maim hundreds of people at a time humane? Is blowing someone's head off with a high-caliber bullet somehow more humane?

    How could you possibly have a humane war? Isn't that oxymoron?

    Those that abhor torture say that we (the US) should be somehow more moral than our enemies...should set some kinda example. Uh...why? Maybe it's just me, but if given a choice of being moral or being alive...well...I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but...well...fuck morality. I choose life.

    Just who the hell appointed the United States as the guardian of the world's morality, anyway? Are we that egotistical? That bloatedly self-important? Don't answer that. Of course we are. Our "Christian" background dictates that we be more moral than all the rest, doesn't it? (/sarcasm)

    Do you really believe that us trying to set some kind of humane example of war to the rest of the world is gonna make one damn bit of difference? Has it made any difference in the past?

    Is it better to be right...or alive?

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Idly Idolling

    My two favorite far.

    'Course, this isn't exactly Cohen's version of "Hallelujah"...but it's damn close. I dunno what it is about Jason Castro, but...I think he's adorable. (Doncha hate that word?) I thought he kicked ass on Lovin Spoonful's "Daydream", too. He's proven he's a great balladeer, but I wanna see what else he can do. Simon hit it right on the head last night...if you just listen to him, it's really not amazing...ya hafta watch him, too. He's got..."it". Whatever it is. And I thought he did a perfectly passable version of "Michelle" last night.

    I wasn't much of a Chikezie fan...until he did "She's a Woman". Made me wanna get up and dance. Loved the honky-tonk-Oh-Brother-Where-Art-Thou beginning. Loved the switch in tempo. Loved that jiggety-stuttery thing he did towards the end. Loved it that he looked like he was havin a ball. Loved the whole thing.

    Even though (or maybe it's because) I'm a huge Beatle fan, I wasn't overly impressed with any of 'em last night.

    David Archuleta is pretty amazing for a 17 year old. But I still think he's a Howdy Doody kinda way.

    I love Amanda's difference. She can do a kick-ass Joplin...but not much else. I'd like to hear her do a bluesy "Summertime".

    I don't like David Cook. No particular reason...just don't like him.

    Michael Johns? I was blown away when he did "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the tryouts. Haven't been blown away since. But I do love that Aussie accent and he's not a bit hard on the eyes.

    Carly has a great voice. But she's too....pointy. Just look at her sometime. She kinda reminds me of The Joker on Batman.

    I like a sort of a Carly Simon/Carole King/Judy Collins kinda way.

    Syesha, Kristy Lee and Ramiele? Eh, Eh and Eh. Ho, Hum and Yawn.

    I think Kristy'll go bye-bye tonight. Which is about three shows after she should have.

    It's weird. Usually, I have a winner picked by now. But this year...well...I just don't know.

    Land of Linkin'

    Get it? "Linkin"..."Lincoln" in Illinois. Awww...nevermind. I think it's punny, anyway.

    Just a trip around the blogosphere and elsewhere, along with my comments. 'Cause I got nothin original of my own to say.

    This stand on
  • abstinence
  • will go down in the annals of history as one of the funniest I've ever read.
    Heh heh heh...she said ANALS.

    "Also, I truly believe that a hubby who wants a virgin bride might be a bit put off if he can wear your anus like a hat."

    For obvious reasons, this gal's blog has become one of my favorite haunts.

    And because I love
  • irony
  • so much.

    "Nonsense pee pee pants."

    I really like how this guy thinks, too.

  • Leslie
  • thinks
  • this
  • might be a lotta hoo haa to promote the HPV vaccine. I won't argue with her. Statistics can be skewed. However, I do know for a fact, that the STD rates in Peoria County are astronomical. In fact, it shocked even me...and I ain't shocked by nothin anymore. One in four might be an under-estimate.

    I'll also point out that Gardasil wasn't approved by the FDA until 2006...and this study was done in 2003/2004.

    Yea. We reap what we sow, don't we? We're too pussy to teach our kids about sex, I'll just go into a rant that'll make my head spin around.

    So, I was havin a little problem seein street signs, house numbers, etc. Since that's part of my job, I figured I needed my eyes checked, so I trotted right down to Bard Optical last week to...well...get my eyes checked. Duh.

    Four hundred fifty and some odd bucks later, and I have new glasses.

    Now, I know I've got a tough prescription. I have no doubt I'd be declared legally blind if I didn't have my glasses on. And I know that the tougher the script, the more bucks it costs. But...c'mon. Four hundred and fifty fuckin bucks?? And I didn't even get the "designer" frames. Oh, they're cute and stylish. But they don't have "Vera Wang" or "Marc Jacobs" stamped on 'em. So. Fuckin. What? They still cost me $139. As opposed to the $279...and up...for "designer".

    See, the thing is, I not only think of glasses as a necessity...I think of 'em as kind of an...accessory. Like jewelry. I love to change 'em up...change looks. Frequently. But let's face it, 450 bucks is an expensive accessory. So a second pair? Out of the question. A third pair? Waaaay fuckin out.

    Aaaanywho, I'd saved a link for
  • Zenni Optical
  • that I'd picked up somewhere in my travels around internet-land. Now, I'm like...the maven of internet shoppin. But to order glasses online? I dunno. Made me kinda hinky, ya know?

    But, I went ahead and cadged my script from Bard, had Ziggy measure my "pupillary distance", picked out a really cute, edgy pair of
  • scarlet
  • specs and ordered 'em....

    ...for 73 dollars! Aaaaand, that included a four dollar pair of clip-on sunglasses...and five bucks for shippin!

    That's 73. Seven. Three. And, if they're not right, they guarantee ya half of the cost of the glasses back. If they're not right, I'm only out $31.00.

    But....but...if they're right? If they're right, it just re-affirms what I've always thought.

    Places like Bard or Pearle or LensCrafters or some of those other joints are ginormus, money-suckin rackets. Kinda like organized crime. Or religion.

    Should have 'em in a few days. I'll letcha know how it turns out.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Oh, fer the lova gawd....

    Can you hear the trees screaming, Clarice?

    So, we get a letter from the IRS today. Both of us. Even though Ziggy and I filed a joint tax return, we each got a letter.

    We are pleased to inform you that the United States Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which provides for economic stimulus payments to be made to over 130 million American households. Under this new law, you may be entitled to a payment of up to $600 ($1200 if filing a joint return), plus additional amounts for each qualifying child.

    First of all, just who hasn't heard about this? I suppose if you live in a cave and don't have access to a radio, tv or the internet, this might come as a pleasant surprise. But I think most Americans have heard about this somewhere at some point in the last couple of months.

    If ya haven't, you're just plain ignorant and don't deserve an economic stimulus payment (which is just a nice way of saying, "You poor, dumb's some of your own money back. Don't say Uncle Sam never gave ya anything.") any damn way.

    We didn't really need a letter to tell us about this, did we?


    Secondly, if we file jointly, doncha think the IRS coulda saved another buck or two by sending just one letter to those who filed....uh...jointly? I sounds like they're gonna send just one check if you filed...uh...jointly.

    Let's say...remember, a hundred and thirty million least half of those households probably filed jointly. That coulda cut it down to 65 million letters. Why not a joint letter, huh?


    But wait! That's not the best part.

    All individuals receiving payments will receive a notice and additional information shortly before the payment is made.

    A hundred and thirty million MORE letters. Before the actual check is sent.

    We get a tell us a letter is tell us a check is coming.


    Jeezus H. Keerist.

    Each and every one of those hundred and thirty million households prolly coulda got twice the amount they're gonna get if the damned IRS didn't have to kill eleventy million trees.

    But, nooooooooo. We get letters. To tell us more letters are coming. To tell us a check is coming.

    Oh. My. Gawd.

    The incredible waste. The sheer stupidity. The overwhelming indignity.

    Oh, the humanity!

    Oh wait. I forgot. We are talkin about the government, aren't we?

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    "C'mon...if you looked like me...

    "...and your dick was only this big, you'd hafta pay a hooker too."

    No wonder call girl "Kristen" made the comment that Spitzer "..wasn't hard to handle."

    Now personally, I think what a woman does with her own body is her own business. I think prostitution should be legalized. Make it legal...a business...and it'd take some of the...cachet...the thrill of doin somethin wrong...somethin nasty...outa the whole process, wouldn't it?

    It doesn't suprise me...not even one teeny, tiny bit...that some politician paid for the services of a hooker. I'm pretty sure it's a very common occurance. And I normally wouldn't give a rat's ass about what a politician does on his/her own time, as long as he (or she) does the job he/she's gettin the taxes I do.

    I'll tell ya, though. It really warms the ole cockles of my heart to see some fuckin lop-eared, bulgy-foreheaded, scraggly-haired, hypocritical cocksuckin politician like Elliot "Ness" Spitzer get caught with his dick hangin out.

    So to speak.

    Saturday, March 08, 2008


    Could it be? Is it remotely possible?

    I haven't heard it on the radio yet, so I'll post it myself.

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    "Ya want fries with that?"

    Newest fast food craze...

    Kitty in a basket!

    The bones aren't much of a problem, but ya gotta watch out for those stray hairs. And claws.

    Da boys have a nap...

    ...or two...

    ...or maybe three...

    Monday, March 03, 2008

    Can't help lovin dat man of mine

    Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly,
    I gotta love one man 'til I die,
    So I can't help lovin' that man of mine.

    I'm normally a happy person. I am. Really.

    But to say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning would be like...a major understatement.

    Ugly. It was ugly. *I* was ugly.

    Slammin things around. Yellin at the cat. Cryin. Undirected rage just zippin around the kitchen and living room, bouncin off the cowering cat and poor Ziggy, whom I was pointedly ignoring.

    The thing is, I know it's hormone-related (fuckin menopause, anyway). I can no longer trust my body. It's like...I go to bed all normal and shit and when I wake up in the morning, I might be...somebody else. Or in someone else's body.

    Aaaanyway, I knew it was hormones at the time. But there wasn't anything I could do to stop it. It was like a runaway train. Every little thing enraged me.

    I hadda take a shower the minute I got up because...well...I had a little accident, ok? "Motherfuckinsonovabitchcocksuckerwhenthehellisthis shitgonna be OVER?...!"
    The coffee pot was almost empty. BANG! went the cupboard door. There were like...two dirty forks in the sink. SLAM! went the drawer. The cat looked at me funny. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU LOOKIN AT?!"

    I slam-banged around the kitchen, makin coffee, doin dishes (ok...the two forks), puttin last night's dishes away...all the while Ziggy is starin at me. I can feel it.

    The coffee gets done, I grab a cup and sit down across the table from the Zigster and glare at him, fire shootin from my eyes and smoke comin outa my ears.

    He looks at me, his bed-head hair all stickin up every which way, and sings...

    "Good morning...good morning...good youuuuu!"

    Which made me laugh. Then cry. 'Cause I was so fuckin mean.

    And if makin me laugh wasn't enough, that man got up, left his coffee, dressed and went to the store and bought me tampons. AND, he bought the right kind!

    What a man.

    He's my bestest friend and lover. He doesn't bitch when I wanna redecorate...he even offers suggestions because, even though he's like...totally heterosexual, he's in touch with his feminine side. heh He gives me advice when I ask for it, but keeps his mouth shut when I don't...he never says, "What ya oughta do is..." He's kind and gentle and funny as hell. He's confident without being cocky. Well. Most of the time, anyway. He's smart and imaginative and he likes the same things I do. Except beets. And grits. heh He can cook and he can build things and he can make me laugh like nobody else ever could.

    And he's not afraid to go to the store and buy me a box of tampons.

    What a man.

    Sunday, March 02, 2008

    Hope springs anew

    By made me think that spring might actually come.

    The thermometer read damn near 70 degrees at one point, almost all the ice is melted in the river and our big maple in the front yard has buds!

    Talk about strikin while the iron is hot. heh Two days ago, the buds weren't there.

    But then, of course, they're callin for the temp to drop like a lead balloon...again. And more fuckin snow...again.

    But boy...was it ever nice to open the window and let the fresh air in, even if it was only for a couple of hours. I went and bought a new console table which lead to a little re-arrangin which, of course, led to a little dustin and cleanin. The Zigster even cooked up a coupla nice strip steaks on the grill. 'Course, we pretty much use the grill year-round, anyway.

    I hope Mother Nature wasn't just prankin us a little. She can be such a fickle bitch.