Thursday, September 28, 2006

I smell like a Sensual Amber Pumpkin Brown Sugar and Fig Cherry Blossom

In other words, I smell like a 'ho.

I loooooves me some smelly stuff. I really, really like good perfume, but I have a hard time finding one that doesn't change scents with my body chemistry. Nothin I hate worse than spending sixty or seventy bucks for something that smelled delicious at first, but winds up smelling like an outhouse on a hot day after a few hours.

I find that most of the lighter "body sprays" don't do that. And most brands now come with accompanying lotions and/or shower you can "layer" your scent. Whatever. But, I love some of the stuff from Victoria's Secret and from
  • Bath And Body Works
  • .

    My particular favorites are the "food" scents...cinnamon, pumpkin, some vanillas, chocolate (yes, Virginia...there IS chocolate perfume), etc. The "spicy" things. I dunno why those are particular favorites of mine...guess I just like smellin like a warm dessert. Hey, it's better'n an outhouse, right?

    Anywho, I just spent about 45 minutes at B & BW browsing and sniffing...sniffing and browsing. And those little cards they have to spray the stuff on? Do I use 'em? Nah. I wind up spritzing some of this on my hand...some of that on my wrist...some of the other on the other hand. You get the idea.

    So what'd I wind up with? A body spray and shower gel of something new called "Sensual Amber". Sounds like a stripper, huh? Oh, and some "Brown Sugar and Fig". That one sounds like a dessert. They're both yummy. Oh, and I had a coupon for a freebie Wallflowers plug-in room stinker-upper with I snagged one of those in Pumpkin. Oooo...very nice.

    I figured those would last me for a while. But what'd the salesgirl go and do? Gave me another coupon for a freebie with purchase of some of the new scents that are coming out in October.

    Ooooo, gawd! "Pumpkin Pie". "Pecan Passion". "Cinnamon Bun Heaven". "Spiced Apple Rapture".

    "Pecan Passion"? Hmmmm....probably fitting that I should smell like a nut.

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    I've got it bad

    A nasty case of idol worship. And believe me, I'm just not an idol-worshipper in any way, shape or form.

    What's got my panties in a wad this time?

  • her
  • . Erin O'Brien.

    Uh. Maybe I shouldn't have used the particular phrase "panties in a wad". Just for clarification, I'm not a lesbian. Hell, I'm not even bisexual. Ok, maybe a just a teeny bit bi. But not enough so you'd notice.

    No, it's nothing like that, really. I worship the woman for her mind. Gawd, but I love the way it works. Especially when it comes to
  • Mike Rowe
  • , that gorgeous, funny, dirty hunk o'man from the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs".

    I'd give anything to be able to write like her. And if she gets this particular "dirty" job, I'd give anything to be able to take pictures.

    Hell, even just watch.

    Him, I mean. I wouldn't watch her. That'd just be gay.

    Re-inventing myself....yet again

    I'm not exactly an "introspective" kinda girl. I don't sit and think about my reasons for doing things...mull them over...wonder why I'm doing something or if I'm doing the right thing. I've always just kinda rolled with the punches. Let life take me where it will. Sorta re-invented myself each time to fit the situation...daughter, wife, mother, working mother, nurse, girlfriend, shack-up...but still keeping enough of myself to make it interesting. Does that make any sense?

    Anywho, I start my new job next week. I'm excited about it because it's something that I've never done before. I like change. I like new challenges. But I'm also kinda scared for the same reasons. It will be a change. A BIG one. For several reasons.

    First of all, I haven't worked...really over 2 years. Almost 3, actually. Since I've been home, I've developed a routine. Sorta. I'm not really a "routine" kinda girl, either. But as far as routines go, it's a bit of a routine. That'll change. I'll hafta invent new ones as far as cooking and household duties go.

    (Are you listening, Ziggy? I know, I know. I'll only be working part-time, but there'll be times you'll hafta scrounge for your own supper. hehe)

    Secondly, it's all about timing. And I mean that, literally. I'm just not used to gettin up and hittin it early in the morning. I haven't had a "normal" (ie: day) job in lotsa years. I've almost always worked second (my favorite) or third shift, so my body just isn't programmed to go to bed early and get up early. I don't expect that I'll ever really get used to it, but I'll cope, somehow. Another re-invention.

    Thirdly, I'll be a quasi-office drone. I haven't done the office thing for...oh, gawd....years and years. That's gonna be like a major change. Working as a nurse in a hospital, in an emergency-room setting more specifically, is about as far from working in an office as ya can get. In an ER, though of course there are rules and regs to follow, a lot of it is kind of a "seat of your pants" kinda thing. The ole adrenalin peaks and valleys. The suprises. The zippety-doo-dah, get 'em in, get 'em out, keep your head down and work fast thing.

    Not that I'll miss any of that...not a bit...but there just won't be very much of that at the new job. Like none, really. Though it's still technically in the nursing field, there won't be nearly as much "hands-on" nursing. Not even a fraction, probably. And what there is certainly won't be of an "emergent" nature. Not even "serious" as in nursing on a regular unit. In fact, the whole nature of the job is just...waaaay different. That's definitely gonna take some getting used to. Some re-inventing.

    Finally, I'll have to be dealing with co-workers who have a completely different...I dunno...mindset, I guess...than me...on a long-term basis. Again, not something I'm used to doing, really. I mean, of course I had co-workers as a hospital nurse. But it was different. You simply didn't have a chance to really get to know others that you worked with. Not really. Not like you do in an office setting. In ER nursing, you're on your own a lot because of the demands of the job. If you need help, they're there, but only temporarily and only to do what needs to be done. Ya just don't get much of a chance to chit-chat during a code.

    I know it might sound funny to you, but I really am worried about that part. I mean...I think I'm pretty easy to get along with, but I'll admit I have a sick sense of humor that a lotta people just don't get. At least in the ER, a sick sense of humor was fairly common. In an office setting, though? Not so much. I'm really gonna hafta watch myself when it comes to that. Sorta re-invent myself. Again. Without actually losing me. I mean...I'm gonna hafta be nice 99% of the time.

    I have a feeling that that one is gonna be the most difficult.

    I hafta re-invent myself into a nice person.

    Yea. Right.

    Dear Governor Blagojevich and Madame Treasurer Topinka,

    For weeks now, you've both been running those reverse-negative type ads on tv, each trying to out-bash the other.

    STOP already, fer chrissake!

    Obviously neither of you have a agenda...other than to shit on the head of your opponent. Which leads me to believe that neither of you have any business being the governor of Illinois. Not that I didn't already realize that you, Mr. Blagojevich, have no business being our governor. You can't even be pried away from the Chicago machine long enough to acutally spend some time in your real place of employment.

    Whatsa matter? Governor's mansion ain't good enough for ya? have my sympathy. I understand how degrading it must be to have to live in a dump like that. And in the middle of Hicksville, Illinois to boot. After all...we all know that Chicago is the center of the universe, right? Why, I betcha ya can't even get "real" pizza in Springfield, can ya?

    As for those sticky little issues like payoffs and bribes? Surely not! Tell me it ain't so, Blago. Why, doesn't every six year old child get a $1500 "birthday gift" from their parents' friend who just coincidentally received a plum of a state job? Of course they do. If you're a Chicago politician like you. And, make no mistake about are a Chicago politician.

    And you, Madame Topinka...I'm sorry, but as state treasurer, I can't help but think that you surely had to have some inkling as to what our illustrious former governor (ie: convicted felon) was doing. And you had nooooo idea, whatsoever, huh? Boy, I bet they coulda knocked you over with a feather when you found out, right?
    C'mon. You can tell me. I won't tell anybody. Promise.

    And I wanted to ask you about your flip-flopping thoughts on opening up Illinois to more gambling. What's up with that? Not that I don't think Illinois should have more gambling. I just thought you floppin back and forth like a beached carp was a little unusual. Uh. Oh, I'm sorry. I guess that was a stupid question, wasn't it? Gambling proponents have the big bucks to pay for...uh...things, don't they? Like "special interest groups". And campaign contributions.

    Oh, and honey? This really doesn't have anything to do with politics, but ya might wanna slow down a little on the bourbon and cigarettes. They're really not doin much for your public speaking voice.

    Yea, yea, yea. You can both explain til you're blue in the faces. Talk til the cows come home, even. Offer all kinds of explanations and rationalizations and "proof". I ain't buyin it. None of it. Not. One. Word. That. Comes. Out. Of. Your. Mouth.

    As far as I'm concerned, you're both detriments to this state. You're embarrassments. Money-grubbing, power-hungry, crooked-as-the-day-is-long, lying, conniving, thieving, political embarrassments and I have no intention of voting for either of you, regardless of what political affiliation you claim.

    This time, there is no voting for the "lesser of the two evils" because there is no lesser. I'd call it a draw.

    Not Yours Truly,

    A jaded Illinoisian

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    The call of the wild

    It's kinda like an icepick...stabbing in your ear, over and over and over and over and over again.

    We have a retarded chipmunk in our backyard. Well, he's either retarded or he's schizo...mentally ill...meshuggina.

    For the last several weeks, we've had the distinct pleasure of listening to this little noodge screech and squawk at all times of the day and night. 5 am. 9 am. 2pm. 6pm. Right at this very minute, he's emitting this high-pitched, squealing chirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchirpchirp. Sometimes, like now, it only lasts 10 minutes or so. Other times, he goes on for a half hour or more.

    It's continuous and unrelenting and shrill. It's obviously a distress call of some kind. Ahhh...but there's the rub.


    We've watched him sit at the corner of the fence and just...screech for the sake of screeching, I guess. I can't imagine that this could be any kind of mating call. I mean, if I were a girl chipmunk, I'd think he was doin an awful lotta braggin and I'd probably hit him in the head with a rock.

    He moves well....for a chipmunk, he doesn't seem to be in any kind of pain. I've seen him stealing what's left of our cherry tomatoes, so I know he's not hungry. There are no cats prowling around. No giant birds of prey circling the area. No possums. No raccoons. No humans threaten his furry little ass. There's no discernable threat to him, I assume his terror is imagined.

    Maybe he hears little chipmunk voices in his head telling him that all the other chipmunks are out to get him. Who knows what lurks in the minds of chipmunks?

    Ziggy's tried chucking green tomatoes at him. That works, but only for a few minutes. As soon as the coast is clear, he's right back at it again. I've tried clapping my hands and hollering "Shut UP!" with pretty much the same effect.

    He looks as me as if I were the one who's crazy....then goes right back to his agenda. Whatever the hell that is.

    I got up waaaaay too early the other morning, thanks to him. As I staggered out into the living room, Ziggy asked, "Did Youssarian wake you up?" Not being completely awake, I looked at him like he was the crazy one. It took me a minute to get it.



    Friday, September 22, 2006

    What could be better than a Testicle Festival?

    I dare ya to try to think of anything.

    I first heard mention of it from
  • Elisson
  • . Since I knew that Byron isn't that far away from us, I did a little googling and found the site for
  • Byron's Turkey Testicle Festival
  • .

    It just has a musical ring to it, doesn't it? Testicle Festival.

    Being lovers of all things quirky and bizarre, of course we're planning on going. It's only a couple of hours away, after all, and by October 14, the leaves ought to be starting to turn.

    Ahhhh...a lovely, scenic drive with a steaming plate of hot turkey testicles waiting for us at the end.

    Now there's something I never thought I'd see myself typing.

    Some days, it's just not worth chewin through the straps

    There are other days though, when everything just seems to go right.

    I've had two of those, now. I'm waitin for the other shoe to drop.

    Ya know what I mean? Days when everything just works the way it's supposed to. Take yesterday. I hit green lights at nearly every intersection on the way to the lab to get my pre-employment drug/alcohol screening done. I found the joint with no problem whatsoever. I only had to wait about 10 minutes. I blew a .000 on the breathalyzer. I not only could pee on demand, I peed the exact amount they needed for the dope screen. Ok, so I peed on my hand. But only a little. Even that didn't ruin my day.

    But, about the breathalyzer thing....I really kinda fail to see the usefulness of that. Unless someone is a raging alcoholic, I mean, and drinks like...all the time. Yea, for that brief second, they might be sober...but 20 minutes later, they're walkin into the local bar. What's it gonna prove? They were sober for the test. Period. It's not gonna prove they weren't drunk as a skunk the day before. Ya know what I mean? Now, the drug screen, I can understand. There are a lotta drugs that'll show up, even days after using. And street drugs are illegal. Booze isn't, though.

    Aaaanyway, my good fortune continued yesterday. I hit green lights at nearly every intersection on the way back, too. And the traffic was decent. Not a single moron with a cell phone plastered to the side of his/her head irritated me. I did a little shopping and found a great pair of dress pants to work in. They fit so well, I grabbed two more pairs in different colors. Hot damn!

    Oh...OH! And while I was out shopping, I picked up my early (only a month..hehe) birthday present from Ziggy. Ok, so I picked it out and I bought it, but I used his money. So it's from him, right? Bless his heart...he was worried that it might not be....romantic. Him not gettin it for me, I mean. Hey, it's a friggin diamond ring! (I'm worth it, ok?) Diamond rings are always romantic, no matter who buys 'em, right? That's the way I look at it, anyway. Besides that, it was on sale and the sale ends tomorrow. He just wouldn't have had the time to go get it. See? I'm always thinkin of ways to make life easier for him. hehe

    I came home and made a killer pot of chili...possibly the best I've ever made. And I actually slept fairly well last night, despite the chili. Not great, but I haven't had what could be described as a great night's sleep in a loooong time, anyway.

    So yesterday...yea, it was goooood.

    The dreaded trip to the Seventh Circle of Hell, otherwise known as the local grocery store, was on the agenda for today. Sweet. I'd usually rather have my eyeballs poked out with a sharp stick, but it actually wasn't bad. Yea, it was packed. Yea, there were only 3 friggin checkout lanes open for the 87 people in line. But I managed to whip right through, find everything on my list and walked right into an opening at a checkout.

    The bonus? No idiots encountered on the way home, either.

    The bestest part? It's Friday and I'll get to spend some "quality" time with the Zigster this weekend. And I'll get a chance to properly thank him for the birthday present.

    Yea. Yesterday and today? It was definitely worth chewin through the straps.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    I guess my life as a "kept woman" is over

    Remember the
  • interview
  • ?

    Evidently, they liked me and I didn't have a big booger hangin outa my nose 'cause they called me this morning and said that they believe I'd be an "excellent asset to _________". They offered me the job.

    An excellent asset, huh? Shows ya how much they know. heh

    I nearly made a biiiig mistake, though. Huge mistake. I had to go pick up a form for the prelim drug and alcohol testing. I was gonna go ahead and run it to the lab and get it over with...until I remembered that I took one of Ziggy's Vicodin really late last night/early this morning for some gawdawful...uh...well, I'll just say I had some major female issues. I was up most of the night.

    I can't, for the life of me, remember how long a codeine-based drug remains in your system. Guess I'll hafta look it up. But it coulda been a disaster if I'd have gotten the blood test and forgotten to mention that I'd taken a Vicodin. Which I would have, I'm sure. Forgotten, I mean, because I very rarely take usually makes me throw up.

    Wouldn't that have been the shits? A 50+ year old, fat grandma flunkin a drug test? hehehe

    Anywho, this job, while still in the nursing field, is waaaaaay far different from emergency nursing. In fact, it's waaaay different from hospital-based nursing, altogether. I'm kinda lookin forward to learning something new.

    In fact, there are a lotta things I'm lookin forward to. Getting to wear "real" clothes. Actually having a real lunch break. Not working nights, weekends or holidays. Not being on a dead run for 12 hours at a time. Not being forced to work a double shift. Not gettin phone calls on my days off to come in extra. Not gettin spit on, pooped on, pinched, hit, kicked or being called every name in the book. And that's by management. No patients to do it, either.'s like...a "real" job, huh? A normal one. Whatta concept. I don't know if I can adjust to that. It's been a lotta years since I've had a "normal" job.

    Though I don't know when I start, they've already given me a schedule. It's awesome. No Mondays and only 1/2 a day on Fridays. Yea, I know. But ya know what they's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.

    Yea, it's gonna be an adjustment. I think I can handle it.

    The Rendezvous and my Memphis "adventure"

    Warning! Long story alert!

  • Chef Kevin
  • and I have started a "BBQ" conversation in the comments section of one of my posts. He mentioned Memphis BBQ and it reminded me (I bet this'll teach him to never "remind" me about something again...heh) of the one and only time I've ever had the pleasure...ok, it was a dubious visit that particular city.

    Lotsa years ago, my ex and I joined a group of 11 other people to travel to Memphis for a men's bowling tournament. None of us had ever been to the city before, but several of the other group members had a friend that lived there. He and his wife wanted to show us the town when we got there.

    We stayed right downtown, somewhere..don't remember the name of the place, which is kind of amazing, considering our little...ah...adventure there. Anywho, like I said, it was right downtown. Fairly close to the hotel where MLK was assassinated.

    Our little caravan of country hicks eventually found our way to the hotel after driving through some really scary parts of town. We got checked in and found that all our rooms were on the 15th floor. Remember this little fact. It'll be important later.

    So, we get checked in and one of the group calls this friend and his wife. They meet us in the hotel lobby and tell us that they wanna take us to
  • The Rendezvous
  • ...a local 'hotspot' for BBQ. We all load up...13 of us...15 counting the Memphis friends...and drive a few blocks and park. They start to lead us down this DARK alley.

    Uh...excuse me? We're in the damn MIDDLE of downtown Memphis. It's dark. It's scary. And they wanna take us on a shortcut DOWN AN ALLEY??

    No, no, they explain...The Rendezvous is IN the alley.

    I'll be damned if it wasn't. A bare lightbulb hung over the sign that hung over the doorway. That's it. Just not much in the way of fanfare.

    We walked through the door, down a flight of stairs (if I recall right) and entered this big room just crammed with people...and stuff. Stuff hung on the walls. Stuff hung from the rafters. Antiques, pieces of junk, old signs...all kinds of stuff. It was hot, but ooooo, my gawd! The smell! It was the most amazing smell. Spicy and smokey and sweet.

    We got a few tables pushed together and our waiter, Albert (check out the website...he's STILL THERE!), came over to take our drink order. Beer. Lotsa pitchers of beer. After everyone was settled and had a nice, cold glass of beer in front of 'em, Albert came back to take our order...all 15 of 'em...WITHOUT a pen. WITHOUT a pad. He took our orders, remembered them all and didn't miss a thing. NOT ONE THING. I was amazed.

    "Don't you need to write this down? I mean, there ARE 15 of us." I asked Albert.

    "Honey, I been doin this fo' (I forget how many years he said). If Ah cain't remembah, Ah bettah be a quittin." he replied in his deeeeep baritone.

    After a short wait, he starts bringin out the food. I had ordered pork chops...I swear ta' gawd, they were 2 inches thick. TWO of 'em. A big helping of baked beans and another equally humongous helping of coleslaw accompanied the meal...which was served on FOAM plates...with PLASTIC silverware.

    Those plastic knives cut through those chops like buttah, I tell ya. I'd never tasted anything quite like 'em...and haven't since. They were awesome. Spicy without being TOO hot. They had a 'rub' rather than the goopy sauce I was used to. The beans were excellent and the cole was different. It was downright SPICY...horseradish-y...not at all like what I'm used to, but it was great.

    So anywho, all 15 of us are just chowin down, drinkin beer and it's gettin hotter and hotter. A combination of the beer, the spicy food and the general crowdedness of the joint started gettin to one guy, in particular. As I looked at him across the table, I noticed that his face was beet red and the sweat was just beading across his forehead. He looked up at me, wiped his brow with his napkin and said...loudly....

    "I'm sweatin like a N#$%#R!"

    The table, which had been quite noisy, went dead silent. I mean DEAD silent. And we all gaped at him like he'd just grown another head.

    Now, ya gotta remember...we were a buncha hicks from the sticks. NONE of us were used to being around anyone of a different ethnicity. And we're in the freakin MIDDLE of downtown Memphis. At night. With LOTS of people of a different ethnicity.

    Ya know, they say that God protects idiots and drunks. I guess he was lookin out for ole Red that night, cause he fit into both categories, right then. Honest ta gawd, his beet-red face went dead white and he clapped his mouth shut so fast that his teeth clacked together.

    We all started talkin LOUDLY. Tryin to cover his shocking faux pas, I suppose. After the shock wore off a bit...and we saw that no one was comin over to kick his ass...we all went into hysterics. Kinda like when you just miss gettin into a horrific accident or somethin.

    When Albert came back to give us our checks, we chatted with him a bit. This trip wasn't too awfully long after Elvis keeled over on the shitter and we'd been discussin the whole "is Elvis REALLY dead?" thing and he overheard one of the group opine that she didn't think he was dead...he was just hidin out somewhere.

    "I tell ya what, Missy", said Albert in that deep voice. "Elvis been heah lotsa times befo'. He loooved him some Rendezvous bahbeque. But if I sees Elvis a comin in that front do', I'm a headin out the back do'. And they AIN'T no back do' heah."

    We all finish our totally awesome BBQ "experience" and the Memphis couple say they wanna take us to this other place, somewhere across town. I can't remember the name of it, but it was a huge, famous cowboy joint, complete with the mechanical bull. Swear ta gawd, it looked like somethin outa "Urban Cowboy". We have a few drinks there and decide that we're all pooped and it might be a nice idea to head back to the hotel.
    A coupla guys stick cans of beer into their pockets...for later...and we head back.

    Just as an aside, the next day, we found out that that particular place was infamous for it's nightly knifings and shootings. And someone had, indeed, been knifed that very night. Sweet. Given the nature of our trip so far, just how we managed to miss out on that, I'll never know.

    We get back to the hotel, say our goodbyes and thank-yous to our Memphis hosts...and proceed to pile into an elevator. All 13 of us. Most of us with more than a good snootful.

    The elevator goes up...and up...and up...and comes to a screeching, squalling STOP. Right between the 13th and 14th floor. Which are office spaces. Which means that there's NO ONE THERE TO HEAR OUR SCREAMS. We're stuck. And I do mean stuck. Big-time stuck. Horribly, terribly stuck.

    Six women. Seven men. Most drunk. Stuck in an elevator. On the empty 13th floor of a high-rise hotel. At 1 a.m. The idea of being stuck wasn't nearly as bad as the thought of the damn thing falling. "Stuck", I can deal with. "Falling"...well...the only thing that saved me from going into a complete panic at that thought was that if it DID fall, at least there'd be 12 other bodies to cushion me. Yea, it's kinda self-serving. YOU try it sometime and see if you don't think the same way. heh

    One woman decides she wants to faint. You go right ahead, sister. But you ain't lyin down. No way, no how. You wanna faint, you stand up and do it cause there ain't no room for your fat ass to lie down. Besides that, if we've all gotta be conscious for this clusterfuck, so do you. You can damn well faint when (and if) we get outa this mess.

    'Course, lotsa beer means lotsa peeing. Well, there wasn't gonna be much of that. Not for a while, anyway. Not for us girls, for sure. But remember they guys who stuck cans of beer in their pockets? Uh huh. Those cans got sucked up pretty fast. And it wasn't because they were thirsty.

    It took a little over two hours, a guy from the elevator company, the Memphis Fire Department, the Jaws of friggin Life and a ladder to get us outa there.

    Lemme tell ya...stuck in an elevator on the 13/14th floor for over two hours with 12 other drunk people and a bladder that feels like it's the size of the Hindenburg just AIN'T an experience I care to repeat. EVER again.

    But, boy-howdy...would I ever like to visit the Rendezvous again.

    Oh, and the bowling tournament? I don't even remember that part. I know we visited Graceland at some point, too. I've got the photos to prove it. But I don't remember much about that, either.

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    I'd give it a 8 on my "Sick Sense of Humor Scale"

    It made me snork coffee through my nose. I really hate it when that happens. But I do love a twisted sense of humor.

    I can't help but think my favorite crocodile hunter woulda gotten a big belly laugh outa it, himself.

    Unashamedly swiped from my favorite
  • Curmudgeon
  • . Yea, I know. I have a lotta "favorite" things.

    Pure poetry

    They just don't write like this anymore.

    ............. for as soon as he had kiss'd me, he rolled down the bed-cloaths, and seemed transported with the view of all my person at full length, which he cover'd with a profusion of kisses, sparing no part of me. Then, being on his knees between my legs, he drew up his shirt and bared all his hairy thighs, and stiff staring truncheon, red-topt and rooted into a thicket of curls, which covered his belly to the navel and gave it the air of a flesh brush; and soon I felt it joining close to mine, when he had drove the nail up to the head, and left no partition but the intermediate hair on both sides.

    His stiff, staring, red-topt truncheon.

    I tell's poetry, people.

    And I'm gonna tell ya right now. You'd better protect your right to read poetry like this 'cause somewhere, someone wants to ban it. To keep you from EVER reading it. To pretend it never existed. To "protect" you for your own good.

  • Junebugg
  • , I've always been one to buck authority. The instant someone tells me I shouldn't do something, especially if it's "for my own good", my hackles raise a stiff truncheon.

    And nothing...I mean NOTHING...can push my buttons faster than someone trying to force their idea of morality down my throat. I'll admit that there are some things that I don't mind being pushed down...uh...nevermind.

    "Morality" ain't it. I'll leave it at that.

    I'm not one for touting "causes", but supporting the American Library Association's
  • Banned Book Week
  • (September 23-30) IS one that I'm firmly behind.

    (Too bad I couldn't have written that differently...gawd...I'd LOVE to say my "behind is firm".) But, I digress.

    The list of
  • banned books
  • is staggering.

    I'm cynical as hell, but it even suprised me. It ranges from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Catcher in the Rye to Clan of the Cavebear, fer chrissake. Brave New World. Elmer Gantry. Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Works by Shakespeare. Of Mice and Men. Silas Marner. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Wizard of Oz.

    The fuckin' Wizard of Oz. Banned for "fantasy elements and negativism". FANTASY ELEMENTS! Duh. I thought that was of the goals of a good fiction let the reader escape into the fantasy of the story.

    Gawd screwed up as our world is, escaping into a fantasy now and then is a good thing.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I hear a fantasy about hairy thighs and stiff, red-topt truncheons callin my name.

    After that, I'm gonna go read a banned book.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    'Cause I got nothin else today

    Schwiped from El Cap at
  • Baboon Pirates
  • .


    What is your salad dressing of choice?
    Ranch or Bleu Cheese...depends on my mood.

    What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
    Haven't eaten at a fast food joint in ages, but I think it'd be a toss-up between Burger King and Sonic. And speaking of Sonic, anyone know why there isn't one in Peoria?

    What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
    Hmmmmm. We usually avoid the chain-type sit down restaurants like the plague. Except Cracker Barrel. I looooves me some grits.

    On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
    Zig's pretty good at leaving a consistent 20%, unless the service is downright pissy. Then they get what they deserve. Zip.

    What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
    Two weeks is a loooong time to eat the same thing. I gots to have some variety. But I'd probably say chicken in one form or another. I can fix chicken a zillion different ways.

    What are your pizza toppings of choice?
    Ham or Canadian bacon, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, black olives and LOTSA gooey cheeeeeese.

    What do you like to put on your toast?
    I rarely eat toast, but when I do, just plain butter'll do fine.

    What is your favorite type of gum?
    Currently, Wrigley's Extra Cool Watermelon. Blows great bubbles, too. I also like Ice Breakers Peppermint.


    Number of contacts in your cell phone?
    Don't own a cell phone. Don't want a cell phone. I don't want to be that accessible. Zig has one that we rarely use. We don't have any contacts...I'm not sure he even knows how to put 'em in. heh

    Number of contacts in your email address book?
    Maybe 20-25.

    What is your wallpaper on your computer?
    A shot of a big, ole white crane checkin out the Ziggymobile when we were in the Keys this past April.

    What is your screensaver on your computer?
    The MSN logo.

    How many televisions are in your house?
    3. We only use 2, though.

    What kitchen appliance do you use the least?
    It'd be a toss-up between the electric skillet and the toaster.

    What is the radio station you listen to the most?
    Uh....93.3, I think. I'll be damned if I know what the call letters are. It's the local 'oldies' station.


    What do you consider to be your best physical attribute?
    My, wait. My hair. I've got great hair.

    Are you right handed or left handed?

    Do you like your smile?
    Yea, I do. Crooked teeth, just a teeny overbite and all.

    Would you like to have something removed from your body?
    Another 50 pounds would be nice.

    Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom?
    Depends on how long the visit is. If it's one of those "Oh, my gawd! I think I'm gonna DIE...what the hell did I eat!? kinda things, War and Peace is good bathroom reading.

    Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
    Hearing. My ex used to call me "eagle ears". Which, I suppose, is better than "beagle ears", huh?

    When was the last time you had a cavity?
    Pretty sure I've got one now.

    What is the heaviest item you lift regularly?
    My boobs.

    Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
    Once. Didn't like it.

    **A bunch of stuff-OLOGY**

    If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
    Nope. I want it to sneak up on me.

    If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
    I think Aphrodite has a nice ring to it. WORSHIP me!

    How do you express your artistic side?
    I paint, I decorate, I craft, I create, I carve, I cook, I write...sorta.

    What color do you think you look best in?
    I've had tons of compliments when I wear a particular coral-colored shirt I have, but I think I look best in basic black. Slimming, ya know?

    How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison?
    I'd give it 5 minutes, tops.

    Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
    hehehehe...oh...uh...yea. A bug.

    If we weren't bound by society's conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at?
    Nope. Too many other interesting men out there.

    How often do you go to church?
    How often does hell freeze over?

    Have you ever saved someones life?
    Personally? Only one...kept a suicidal guy on the phone long enough for the cops to get there. As part of a team, probably quite a few. Never kept count.

    Has someone ever saved yours?
    Technically, I suppose so. I had pneumonia once several years ago. When I finally (I know...I didn't realize I was thatsick) went to the little ER that I worked at, the doc told me that another 24 hours and I'd have been so hypoxic that I probably would have died. I was this close to being put on a vent. Scared me, it did.


    Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000?
    For a hundred grand? You betcher ass. You'd hafta hand out sunglasses...or blindfolds...first, though.

    Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
    Well, hell. Ya mean somebody'd pay me to do that?? heh

    Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
    As long as I could be sedated first. And got plenty of pain pills after.

    Would you never blog again for $50,000?
    LOL. I'm sure there are a few out there who'd be glad to pay me to never blog again. I dunno if they'd go as high as 50 grand, though.

    Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
    You mean to tell me somebody'd PAY me to do that, too??? Damn.

    Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
    Maybe. I'd prolly hafta drink and entire bottle of something else first, though. Like maybe vodka.

    Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
    Like El Capitan, it depends. A true horror of a human being? No problem.

    Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5000?
    Hey. There are some things I just won't do. Shaving my head is one of 'em. (Ok, how sad is that? I'd knock someone off for a mil, but I wouldn't shave my head for 5 K. Vanity, thy name is woman.)

    Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?
    In a heartbeat.

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    How much ya wanna bet they were "engineers"?

    Mechanical engineers, probably.

    I know...I'm typecasting...or profiling. Still.....

    I've spoken before about the...uh...diversity...around this apartment complex. We have quite a large number of those of a Middle-Eastern persuasion. Some, like our upstair neighbor, are from India. Others...well, I'm not sure where they're from. Exactly. I know they're from countries where the women wear black birkas and keep their faces covered, don't drive and keep their eyes downcast when meeting you face to face. 'Nuff said.

    I'm not exactly sure just what brings them all here to Peoria, but
    I know for a fact that the upstairs neighbor is an engineer and works for Caterpillar. I'm sure some of his friends do, as well. I know that Bradley seems to draw it's fair share of Middle-Eastern students and faculty, so I'm assuming that some of them are here because of BU. I know that some of them are doctors, so they're probably here because of the three local hospitals.

    Anywho, this evening, our buzzer rang. At the door were two young men of some Middle-Eastern extraction. In heavily accented English, they asked if they could step inside our apartment in order to move a humongous sofa upstairs. The landing is on the tight side, so they were unable to make the turn without bringing part of the sofa in here, first.

    Now, both these guys were on the small side. Maybe 140 pounds, soak and wet. And the particular sofa was, like I said, on the humongous side. It was also a recliner-type, so I'm sure it was heavy as hell. Annnd, it was wrapped up like a mummy...cardboard and plastic. Which, of course, just made it that much harder to handle, not to mention bulkier.

    As they began to wrestle the monster, I suggested that they take off the plastic and cardboard. I mean...we're talkin savin a couple inches, at least. Which could make a HUGE difference. I've done my fair share of wrestling furniture around tight spots...I know my shit when it comes to this, ok?

    But, being a mere woman, I'm sure they took my advice as seriously as they would from a talking pig. In other words, they completely ignored me and continued to struggle and fight with the damned thing. Even when I pulled Ziggy's big ole Buck knife out of the drawer and offered it to them.

    I dunno...maybe I scared 'em? Or maybe it was the fact that I was wearin a nightgown and didn't have my face covered. They probably thought, "Aieeeeee! The woman is unclothed! She is disgraceful!" I had half a notion to try to help, put my hands all over the sofa and then say, "Oh, I'd probably better not do this...I started my period today."

    "AIEEEEEE! UNCLEAN woman!" Bet we coulda had a free sofa. heh

    So Zig and I stood here and watched while they switched places and sweated and grunted and jabbered in some language with a lotta "L"'s in it. Then they'd switch places again and jabber and grunt and sweat some more. In a stage whisper, I said to Zig, "I bet they're engineers."

    I swear ta looked like a monkey tryin to fuck a football. No, two monkeys.

    After knocking down the 20 pound fire extinguisher off the hallway wall and my wreath off my front door, Ziggy finally stepped in and tried to help. Then, it looked like three monkeys tryin to fuck a football. Zig again suggested they cut some of the damn packing off, and...imagine that...they listened to him.

    And, guess what? It helped. Duh. Between the three of 'em, they managed to get the monster around the corner, up over the stair railing and headed up the stairs.

    Guess what else? The bastards didn't even say "Thank you".

    I shoulda put my "unclean" hands all over it.

    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    I spent the night with a young, hunky stud

    I've gotta admit, it's been a loooong time since I've been in bed with a young guy.

    Unfortunately, I looked pretty much like the illustration...not exactly your traditional femme fatale, huh? It's a damn good thing he liked me for my mind and not for my looks.

    Oooook. So it was a sleep study and not a dangerous liaison. And the 30 year old hunk was my sleep tech, Jason. Dammit. (Say it. Jaaaassson. Just kinda rolls off the ole tongue, doesn't it?)

    (sigh) After my age, rollin around the sack with a 30 year old guy would be a dangerous liaison.

    Anywho, it was, shall we experience.
    I had 7...count ' attached to my scalp with this goopy, waxy, lard-y shit. I had 6 electrodes attached to my face in various places. I had TWO nasal cannulas. I had two electrodes on my right leg, two on my left leg. Two big, elastic band-things around my chest, one just above my large just below. Four electrodes in various areas on my chest. A pulse ox taped firmly to one finger.

    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    All the wires and cannulas were pulled up, gathered together and taped in a topknot...on top of my head.

    Oh, and when I went to the bathroom just prior to settling down for the night, I took a peek in the mirror. I also had three big red crosses grease-penciled on my forehead. Nice. Lemme tell ya...I was a babe. I could kick myself for not taking the camera.

    Then they tell me to try to stay on my back, but "sleep normally".

    You've got to be fuckin kiddin me.

    I sleep naked. I sleep with a fan on. I sleep in every position but on my back. And I always have a hard time sleeping anywhere but my own bed.

    I not only had to wear a nightgown, but underpants, as well. Lemme tell sensibilities were injured!

    I gotcher "sleep normally" right here, bud.

    And of course, I had to pee a couple of times during the night.
    "Ohhhh, Jaaaaasssson? I need to use the bathroom...can you come and unhook me?" spoken in my best breathy, Marilyn Monroe voice into the intercom.

    Every time I'd roll over, I'd pop a wire which, of course, meant another visit from Jaaaassson. I popped a lotta wires.

    Yea, I tried every trick in the book...used every feminine wile I ever had. He just didn't seem to be that interested.

    Go figure.

    Aaaanyway, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was pretty much worse. In fact, it sucked big, black donkey balls. I finally fell asleep...sorta...for what seemed like maybe 15 minutes...and I was awakened by Jaaasssson's voice over the intercom.

    "Ok, Pam. Wake up. We're gonna stop the study, now."

    Oh sure. Ain't that just like a young guy? Just when you start gettin a little satisfaction, he's done.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    "The Chairman of the Department of Common Sense"

    As you might've read, I'm in the midst of a job-hunt. The problem has been that I've not been sure of what I want to do. Nothin like tryin to switch professions in mid-stream, so to speak.

    But I believe that I've finally found a good "fit".

    I wanna be a "researcher".

  • Dave's
  • post reminded me that there must be an awful lotta people out there with big, fancy offices and very important titles that do all these "common sense" studies.

    Hey...I want a big, fancy office and an important title, too. I wouldn't mind gettin paid...and paid very well...for having common sense. It surely must be a rare commodity, right? I mean, it's gotta be. It seems that so few people are blessed with it.

    Besides that, I could do the work in a helluva lot less time than it takes these buffoons to figure out that caffeine keeps you awake or that happy people live longer or that, as Dave pointed out, high school dropouts make less money.

    Hell, I coulda told 'em that stuff a loooong time ago.

    In fact, I've already got the answers to most of the studies that are being done, will be done or are in the process of being thought about being done.

    1. Too much of anything isn't good for you. Except sex.

    2. If it hurts, stop doing it. If it doesn't hurt, it's probably ok. If it makes you feel too good, it's iffy...could go either way.

    3. Just because it tastes good doesn't mean it's good for you. In fact, most of the time, just the opposite is true. Take antifreeze, for instance. Uh...NO, I DO NOT MEAN TAKE ANTIFREEZE! I'm using it as as example.

    4. If you keep poking food in your mouth and don't exercise, you'll get fat.

    5. A hot bubblebath, six or eight good orgasms and/or a solid half-hour of laughing will make almost anything feel better.

    6. If it makes you feel sick/sad/depressed/morose/suicidal, STOP doing it. Immediately.

    7. Coffee keeps you awake. Those "relaxation" CD's will put you to sleep. If you don't drink coffee before listening to them.

    8. Do NOT listen to any CD's that have the words "relaxation" or "soothing" or "nature sounds" anywhere in the title while driving on the interstate. No matter how much coffee you drink.

    9. If it's sharp, it DOES have the potential to injure you. You really don't need all those warnings to know that a running garbage disposal will take a couple of fingers you? Same goes for things that are hot, heavy, uses bullets or generates electricity.

    10. Mean people suck. Period.

    11. There's nothing more terrifying than a "reformed" or "fundamentalist" anything.

    12. Accept yourself. You're the only "you" you'll ever have. Be nice to it.

    13. No amount of face lifts, lip "plumping", fake tits or botox can make a 70 year old woman look 40. Ever. I don't care what your plastic surgeon says.

    14. Movie stars or supermodels are not "real" people and should not be emulated, worshipped or stalked. Except for Matthew McConaughey.

    15. It doesn't matter how rich, beautiful, powerful, important or influentual someone is. If they're mean, they still suck. And remember...they still have to wipe their own butts...just like you.

    I'm sure I could think of at least a dozen more. But, you see, I'm a very important person. I'm the Chairman of the Department of Common Sense and I have some very important work to do.

    Besides that, I'm sure you're getting as bored with this as I am.

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    I think it went well

    But who can really tell about interviews?

    I mean, unless you commit some major faux pas like...oh...I dunno...forgetting what company you're interviewing with or maybe having an uncontrollable case of flatulence...who ever really knows how an interview goes?

    Well, ya don't know until ya either get the job or get a "Thank you very much for your application, but..." letter.

    Quite honestly, I don't know which to expect. Whatever it is, though, I'm supposed to find out "within two weeks".

    It really was one of the more pleasant interviews I've had, though. At least these gals had an "interview module" (good gawd...yet another catchphrase..."module"). It was a friggin list of "What would you do...what would you do?" kinda questions. (My apologies to Karl Malden).

    I really hate it when they don't have anything prepared and they expect you to just "tell me a little about yourself". I hate that.

    I'm me. How do you explain that? I surely don't want to be completely honest. I mean, telling them that I'm one of the laziest people I know probably wouldn't get my foot in the door, huh? Or telling them that I'm opinionated...or outspoken...I guess those might be good qualities if I'm interviewing for a bouncer in a bar. But in this place? Naaahhhh. Not so much.

    Should I tell them that I'm just about as jaded as a person can get? Probably not. Should I tell 'em that some people are just plain stupid and there's just not much you can do about that? Uh...nope. Not that, either.

    Should I tell 'em that, in my opinion, common sense is far more important than a Master's degree? Maybe. But only if I know that my interviewer doesn't possess a Master's degree. I mean, I've known a few people with multiple degrees...and they had no more common sense than your average 3 year old.

    Anywho, we'll see. They were both smiling when I left, so maybe that's like...a good thing?

    Or maybe I just had a big booger hangin outa my nose?

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    You'd think I'd know better...

    ...than to try to talk politics.

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm just not a smart person when it comes to world politics. But I do watch and read a variety of news sources. I know some of them are biased, so I try to mix it up...I figure that by doing that, I can glean some semblance of what the real story is.

    And I wondered, from the get-go, just exactly why we were going after Sadaam Hussein after 9/11, when most of the news sources clearly stated that Bin Laden was the one who masterminded it. I know that Hussein was a cruel, egomaniacal dictator who butchered thousands of innocent people. But why were we saying that we were going to Iraq to beat his ass? There are several cruel, egomaniacal dictators that deserve to have their asses kicked. Why him, in particular? Why now?

    I know that there are those that say we're just trying to protect the world's oil reserves...that it's really all about the oil. I don't buy that, either.

    I gathered that Hussein must've contributed in some way, if only the terrorists. At least that's what all the newsies were parroting, via "White House sources". But I still couldn't understand that. I mean, I figured that surely he wasn't the only financial backer. I trusted that our government would go after the right guy, even though I obvously really don't know my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to politics.

    In the years after 9/11, I continued to wonder why we were in Iraq. Ok, we might be helping the Iraqi's develop a democratic society. That's nice. I don't think it'll ever happen..I don't think there'll ever be any kind of lasting peace anywhere in the Mid-East, but bless our soldiers for trying.
    I'd decided that surely our government knew what they were doing, even though it seemed to me like Bush had such a hard-on for Hussein simply because he couldn't find Bin Laden.

    It's like when a guy's mad at his boss, but comes home and kicks his dog instead.

    Over these five years, I've become more and more disillusioned with our fearless leader...with our government, in general. And I still continued to wonder just exactly why we were in Iraq.

    As it turns out, there IS no connection between Iraq/Hussein and 9/11.

    WASHINGTON - The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday that Osama bin Laden met with a top Iraqi official in 1994 but found “no credible evidence” of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States.

    The whole story is
  • here
  • .

    In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaida operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public.

    ...Bush officials left that impression with the American public.

    Exactly. Bush and his officials have given that impression. An impression that most Americans bought. Including me, at first. We're not in Iraq fighting terrorists. We might be fighting for democracy there...but we're not fighting the terrorists who are responsible for 9/11, which is what we ought to be doing.

    Maybe I'm not quite as stupid as I thought I was.

    What scares me...what really scares the fact that, while we've been so busy chasing our tails in Iraq...losing hundreds of our brave soldiers in a fight that we can never really win, Bin Laden is still out there. He and all those like him...all his fundamentalist followers...still hate us...still think that everyone who does not believe like they do...should be dead. Gone from this earth. Obliterated. Period. End of discussion.

    And despite all the "Homeland Security" bullshit, I truly don't think we're prepared for another attack like 9/11. I don't think we're even close to being prepared.

    We'll never be truly prepared until we decide to fight like they do. Until we start thinking like the terrorists. Until we decide we're no longer fearful of stepping on toes. Until we decide to can all the politically correct bullshit and call a spade a spade. Until we decide to hit them before they hit us. Because they will. They surely will hit us again.

    Gawd help us all...I hope it doesn't take another 9/11 for us to get that message.

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Inbred cannibals... the hills of West Virginia.

    Now, I ask ya...could there be a better premise for a "slasher" movie?

    Intriguing, no?

    I caught
  • Wrong Turn
  • on FX tonight. Even though I'm a great fan of the genre (as is
  • Sandy
  • ), I wasn't gonna watch it. I fully expected it to be just another ho-hum, guts and gore flick. Until I read the description on the guide thingy on the tv. And it really turned out to be not such a stinker. I've definitely watched worse.

    Of course, the whole "inbred cannibal" thing really piqued my interest. I mean, just think about it....think "Deliverance"...and cannibals. Think Ned Beatty squeeeeealin like a pig...on a spit...with an apple in his mouth.

    I like scary slasher movies that can really happen. It's the whole possibility thing. And I could happen, right? I mean...there's gotta be places in West Virginia that are waaaay off the beaten path, so to speak. There's probably some inbreeding goin on there, too. Prolly not a the way of mates of the opposite sex. From there, it's just a hop, skip and jump to cannabilism, right?

    It's the whole "make do with what ya have" kinda thing.

    Cannibal-type stories and movies just tend to ick people out, anyway, doncha know? In kind of a primal way. Ever read about the Donner party? Ever read about Ed Gein? Ever read or see Alive!? The story about the Venezuelan soccer team whose plane crashed in the Andes? The idea of eating another human being is just so on soooo many levels.

    And it's not like it was some improbable sci-fi thing like
  • Jimbo
  • talks about, though that was so campy it was great. Klaatu barada nikto to you too, bud.

    It's not like some suppurating-flesh-can't-kill-the-bastards zombie flick (though I AM a big fan of those, too)...the kind that gives
  • Eric
  • a raging case of the shiverumshakums.

    I mean, we all know that zombies aren't real. Aliens aren't rea...uh...well...ok. Aliens might be real. But I bet they don't look anything like Gort. And I bet they wouldn't eat ya.

    But I mean...c'mon, man...inbred cannibals. It could sooooo totally happen.

    Ooooo...ya know what sounds good? A nice, big rare steak. Bloody rare. Or maybe some liver and onions.

    Out of the frying pan...

    ...into the fire.

    I have a job interview on Monday.

    Isn't it strange how you lose your job hunting skills when you haven't used them for a while? I swear ta gave me a case of the hot squirts (thanks to
  • Jimbo
  • , that's become one of my favorite phrases) just doing a damn resume and filling out the 6-page application.

    And, I hate doing resumes! I don't even know what the resume...etiquitte is now...or if there even is one. And do employers really read the damn things in the first place? I'm guessing that most don't, especially if there's a big, long application already. I mean...a resume is like...redundant. All the information an employer really needs is on one or the other. Why be forced to do both? I've never understood that.

    I suppose, though, a real resume is supposed to paint you in glowing terms, right? You're supposed to merchandise yourself in a resume. As far as I'm concerned, that's what the interview is for. You can say anything you like in a resume about yourself, but if you have no more personality than a hedgehog it's not really gonna do you much good, is it?

    And resumes are just a great place to use all those trendy catchphrases and power verbs, aren't they?

    Instead of "thought about it", you say "aggressively analyzed" or conceptualized.

    Instead of saying you did something "on the cheap", you say you "cost effectively created".

    Helped someone else do something? Heavens NO! You "facilitated" or "fostered".

    Innovated, integrated, introduced, marketed, orchestrated, renegotiated, streamlined, accelerated....

    The list goes on and on. BAH!

    As far as I'm concerned it's just substituting fancy words for substance.

    I'm tellin ya right now...if I was an employer, the first thing I'd do is throw out every single resume that used a word like "conceptualized". Yea, ok. They can spell...or use a thesaurus. But can they do the job?

    The funny thing is, in all my years of working and/or job hunting, I've very rarely not gotten a job that I really wanted. I've gotten a few that I didn't really want, too.

    And I never...ever...used the word "conceptualized" in a resume.

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Forget the cholesterol-lowering drugs...

    ...just point me directly to the closest open heart surgery center.

    Ziggy and I, being lovers of most things Italian and all things garlic, tried something new today.

    I was reading about Farmington's
  • Italian Fest
  • this past weekend, and noticed something about a recipe that I'd never heard of. Bagna calda. The Italian translation is "hot bath".

    I think the Italians missed it on the translation, though. Something like "garlic putanesca" might be more appropriate. Or maybe "liquid heart attack".

    So I googled the recipe, found a couple variations and tried one this evening.

    Oh. My. Gawd.

    I fixed it and added some crusty French bread and some nice plump, pink shrimp for dipping. Zig raided our little patio garden and came up with a few end-of-season tomatoes. I chopped those up, added some fresh chopped basil (also from the patio), a can of black olives (I's heresy...I didn't have any Klamatas on hand, though) and drizzled the whole thing with some good olive oil, a little kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper. A couple different kinds of cheeses rounded out our Italian feast.

    Did I say "Oh. My. Gawd."?

    So anywho, here's the recipe I used:

    1/4 lb. butter
    1 C. good EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
    2 cans anchovy filets, chopped
    8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 pint heavy cream

    In a large skillet, combine all hot dipping sauce ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes on med/low until the anchovies have disappeared (they really DO just kinda...liquefy). Raise heat and cook until bubbling, then simmer to keep hot or serve in a fondue pot. Makes approximately 2 cups of dip. Serve with bite-sized fresh vegetables or chunks of crusty bread.

    I cheated and used 3 heaping teaspoons of bottled, crushed mixed up a lot easier. I also used Half and Half rather than the whole cream...just because. Oh, I also added 8 or 10 good cranks of the ole pepper mill. Absolutely DO NOT add any salt, though...the anchovies are briny. Aaaand, I used a whisk to really combine the hot ingredients...otherwise, it separates.

    The bagna calda is the most sensuous, utterly decadent thing I've ever wrapped my lips around. Well...almost. I just can't believe I've never heard of it before. I'm thinkin maybe a little drizzled over a big ole rare grilled sirloin would be absolutely scandalous.

    The other recipe I found was nearly identical, except they omitted the cream altogether. I tasted it before adding the cream and it was good that way, too.

    I'm thinkin, though...olive oil is supposed to be good for ya. Anchovies, though incredibly salty, are a good source of fish oil which is also supposed to be good for ya. We all know that garlic is supposed to be good for ya. So maybe it's not quite so bad as I think, right? All that good stuff oughta cancel out the butter and cream, right?

    Uh huh. I'll keep tellin myself that.

    In the meantime, I don't think we'll hafta worry about vampires around here any time soon.


    A couple weeks ago, I paid a visit to our friendly neighborhood sleep disorder center at one of the local hospitals. It was just a basic exam to see if I met the criteria for a sleep study (I do).

    My appointment was at 8:30 am. I was walking back to my car at 9:05. Yea, it was great. I got there, filled out the required paperwork and was called right in. A nursing assistant weighed me (ick) and checked my blood pressure (another ick). I was ushered into one of the sleep study rooms, where I was visited by a nurse practitioner. No doc. A nurse practitioner.

    Don't get me wrong...I put more trust in a good NP than I would a mediocre doc. That's not my point. I'll get to that in a minute.

    She did a fairly basic neuro exam and asked me a dozen questions. She told me that I definitely needed a sleep study (I already knew that) and had me watch a 10 minute video about the procedure.

    After the video, a scheduler came in and we set the date. That's it. I was outa there. 35 minutes total. I was actually in the presence of the NP for no more than 10 minutes, tops.

    I got the bill Saturday. For $444.00

    Four hundred and forty-four fuckin dollars. For a ten minute visit with a nurse practitioner. In a non-profit hospital.

    I don't know how they can even look people in the face.

    If that, dear friends, is not the most perfect...the most descriptive example of the word obscene, I don't know what is.

    Musta been a reeeeally slow news day

    I caught
  • this
  • juicy little blurb on my favorite local tv channel's website today.

    Sep 03, 2006 - Manito residents say a person was life-flighted to Peoria after an incident this weekend. Manito police will not say anything about the happening and are referring all questions to the Mason County State's attorney.

    News 25 called Kristen Miller's office multiple times this evening but no one is answering the phone.

    Oooook. First of all, this is news? What was the "incident"? The "happening"? Evidently they talked to someone from Manito...didn't they even get a hint of what the "incident" was? Why the hell even mention it as news in the first damn place if they have no clue as to what "it" even was?

    Uh...we think something happened, but we're not sure what.

    What the hell ever happened to the ole "who, what, where, when and/or how"? The basics of news reporting. At least they were basics when I learned 'em. I know that was back in the stone age, but it seems like they'd still apply.

    And another thing...notice the date. September 3rd. That was yesterday...Sunday. Now, I'm just guessin here, but I'm pretty sure that the Mason County State's Attorney Kristen Miller probably wasn't in her office on a Sunday night...on Labor Day Weekend...unless it was something pretty a murder. In which case, I'd think we'd have heard something about it.

    Probably not from WEEK, though.

    I'm kinda embarrassed for 'em.