24 December 2008

Merry Christmas! II

You know that email that goes around every year showing those photos of kids on Santa's lap, screaming in terror? I love that. Here's my favorite photo in that whole group, mostly because it's exactly what I would have done:



So classic.

We almost had a classic photo like that this year. Peanut wouldn't look at the camera, so Santa's "Helper" started with the incredibly loud doggy squeaky toy to grab his attention. The toy freaked him out. He started to get upset. She squeaked it some more, hoping that he would do a 180 and suddenly love the sound it made. Instead, he cried louder. Genius squeaked it more furiously, Peanut wailed more furiously. During all of this I am shouting over the din at this rocket scientist, "I think the toy is scaring him. Perhaps you should stop." Again with the squeaking, again with the crying, again with the shouting. We only got one photo of Peanut with Santa where he wasn't crying like the world was ending:




No, you can't see his face, but it's the best we've got. Just double what you see there and you've got it. You also can see PW's bruised lip from when she fell on the pavement outside Arlington National Cemetery on our jaunt to D.C. to see Stephen. And for some reason she has some weird lazy-eye action going on there. It's not normally there, so I'll assume it's the photographer's fault. Anyway. Merry Christmas and may your holidays be full of sugar cookies (friggin' jerks....).

23 December 2008

Musings from a Feline

Hi! My name is The Idiot Cat, or Tic for short! Welcome to my deepest thoughts!







Fortunately for all of you, Bonny rode in on her white steed this evening with cookies galore, saving you from more posts exactly like this the next time (this one was already in the works unfortunately, and some things are just too powerful to stop once begun). So feel free to thank her on your way out the door.

22 December 2008

This Will Hurt You More Than It Hurts Me

I'm seeing a lot of excuses and not enough cookies AND YOU CAN'T EAT EXCUSES. UNLESS THOSE EXCUSES ARE MADE OUT OF COOKIES!!

Now, last year I let you all off the hook because only two people were actually reading my blog then: one other person and me. That other person did not send me cookies this year, despite the e-note she made for herself, mostly because she hates me right now. I can't help that. BUT THE REST OF YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES FOR MY SUGARLESS, COOKIELESS EXPERIENCE. Costco?? If I wanted crap from Costco I would have bought it already! And I'm tired of those pink Lighthouse cookies, good as they are. No, only homemade cookies, complete with that extra special ingredient called LOVE--the LOVE I know you feel for me.

Why yes, Bonny, I would be open to any type of edible treat you may dream up for me, as long as those edible treats are deliciously peanut and treenut free. I thank you for your apparently guilt-ridden friendship. This is why you're going to Heaven. I can't say I'll see you there.

And a special thanks to Stephanie, who made me cookies even before she knew I had specifically asked for them. Even if my kid did lick them first.

Here's the deal. I give and give and give on this blog. I GIVE ALL DAMN DAY LONG. Now, if I don't see some love-encrusted cookies coming from somewhere soon, by gum, this blog is going straight down the toilet! That's right! I will only blog about my idiot cat, complete with at least five photos per post with her in only slightly varying poses, and I will add painfully asinine bubble quotes to each and every one! So help me....!

20 December 2008

I'm Waaaaaaiting....

Apparently you've all forgotten, because I'm noticing the same issue this year. You have five days to prove me wrong. FIVE DAYS.

16 December 2008

The Christmas Spirit

Here's my favorite rendition of "O Holy Night," introduced to me by Leslie. It puts me in the Christmas spirit every year, especially the second half of the song. Enjoy.

15 December 2008

Don't Say I Never Did Nothin' For Ya

In case you've forgotten, I don't like doing these things. As I've said before, I already volunteer WAY WAY WAY too much information on here as it is. However, I love Gwennifer with the intensity of a thousand medium-sized suns so I will finally get to the thingy she tagged me for on her blog. I would like to point out at this time that I suspect I was one of the eight people tagged for this because Gwennifer only knows eight people who have blogs. So really, it's not so much of an honor as it is an attempt to irritate everyone she knows. Regardless, I will appease the little twirp. That being said, I cannot guarantee I can think of eight things for every category. OK, here we roll.

8 favorite TV shows:
*Simpsons
*Family Guy
*The Daily Show
*The Colbert Report
*Hogan's Heroes
*Criminal Minds
*The Office
*Whatever my neighbors are watching

2 favorite restaurants (pick one):
*The Palace Arms at the Brown Palace Hotel
*Arby's

8 things I did yesterday:
*Went to church
*Played the piano (please see comments section for a full disclosure of events)
*Made halos for the Christmas party nativity play
*Made dinner
*Watched the movie "Battle of Britain"
*Didn't crash the car
*Didn't murder anyone
*Didn't rob any banks

3 things I look forward to:
*Christmas
*Going to bed
*Eating dinner, followed by going to bed

3 things I love about fall:
*Hellish summer is finally over
*Almost winter!
*Those horrible children are finally back in school and not in my frontyard

8 things on my wishlist:
*Those horrible children will get off my lawn
*Jon Stewart will start stalking me
*Stephen Colbert will apologize to me
*Random passersby will give me money
*I won't ever have to cook again
*My car will fly
*The FDA's newest food pyramid recommending 6-8 servings of brownies per day
*A License to Kill

12 December 2008

An Olympian Named Bob

Speaking of people who stalk me, guess what the Husband's company got him for Christmas this year? A GPS unit for the car. I'M TELLING YOU, IT WON'T HELP. IT'S JUST TOO EVIL.

So I had another dream last night. And if there's one thing people LOVE to read/hear about, it's other people's nonsensical dreams! Yes, you're just that lucky!

I was watching The Colbert Report last night (it's really the only thing I do) and Stephen's guest for the evening was "America's Hottest Ugly Man" Michael Phelps. So I guess I had to dream about him out of principle or something.

For some reason I was racing around London with a gang of ne're-do-wells on a scavanger hunt of the utmost stupidity. I ran into Mr. Phelps (who had put on a few pounds since we last saw him--like 50--perhaps put on from running a halfway house in London instead of swimming his brains out), mostly because we were looking for him as part of our hunt. I had to get his name down on paper to get credit, so I asked him what his full name was.

"Bob Carol."

"What?"

(Winking at me) "I go by Michael Phelps but my real name is Bob Carol."

"OK, Michael Carol."

"No, BOB Carol."

"Rob Carol."

"NO, BOB Carol."

"Oh, BOB! Got it. Bob Phelps." (Because I'm incredibly retarded in every dream I've ever had)

"BOB. CAROL."

"OK. Bob. Carol."

And then he winked at me again.

If I ever meet Michael Phelps in this life, you can bet your can of beans I'm gonna call him Bob Carol while winking madly at him. I'm sure he'll totally get it.

11 December 2008

And YOU Thought I Wasn't Funny

The list of chosen authors for the NieNie Recovery Fund Book have been named and, miraculously, I'm one of them. Time to get down off the chair and untie the noose, Abby, you're going big time (for charity of course)! This is quite an honor indeed, since out of 350-400 (Sue liked to keep us guessing apparently; that, or she's senile and/or crazy) entries, only 40 (including Sue herself, and quasi-celebrities like Eric D. Snider and Seriously So Blessed's TAMN) were chosen. Holy crap.

A lot of you are here from Sue's blog and to you I say welcome. And I'll hazzard a guess and say most of you are also here wondering how on earth I got picked, seeing that I'm clearly unamusing in every sense of the word. I'm assuming I got picked pretty much because my post had exactly the right number of words they were looking for to fit in the book. I'm talented that way.

A great big thank you to Sue and her fellow judges for choosing my Post That Shall Be Unnamed Forthwith Upon Threat of Dismemberment By Sue. And even though I was going to name her in my suicide note if I didn't get picked, I still wouldn't have been angry if I hadn't been on Sue's short list in the end. Because, seriously.

Details about the book (includes 10% more Abby than last week!) and how you can purchase this wonder in publishing achievement will be forthcoming.

I Have Laser Vision

Last night I dreamed about Stephen Colbert. We dined together with friends (some of you were there, although I can't recall exactly which ones, so I'll just pretend I'd moved beyond all of you by then). And then I turned into a freakishly mutated superhero who went on a killing rampage, murdering everyone on earth. And then I travelled to other planets destroying them, too (Saturn got hit the hardest I'm afraid).

Now, you see what happens when you make me hunt for you all over D.C., Stephen?? I KILL THE SOLAR SYSTEM. Now let that be a lesson to you.

08 December 2008

The Very Bowels of Hell: Take Two

I was stuck behind an old people shuttle bus today. On the back it said "Dept. of Aging." We have a Department of Aging? Since when? And why does my Coke taste like eggnog? It's disturbing.

Anyway. Have I ever mentioned that I hate Annapolis? I have? Have I ever told you exactly how much I hate Annapolis? I have? Have I told you lately? No? Then allow me to update you: I FRICKING HATE ANNAPOLIS AND THE WHOLE CITY CAN GO TO HELL. OH WAIT, IT ALREADY IS HELL. NEVERMIND. Consider yourselves appropriately caught up.

Several months ago a friend mentioned some Christmasy show for kids that some kid-based theatrical company puts on every year and it's so cute, yada yada yada. I figured Peawhistle would get a kick out of it, plus it included breakfast, so I signed us up. I noted well at the time that it was in Annapolis--and mind you, not the good part of Annapolis, the part you can actually escape from, but the really bad part that won't let you out. The heart of the evil if you will. I assumed that over the course of three months I could come up with some scheme that would allow me to avoid getting myself stuck in there alone. I tried everything, which is to say I emailed another woman who was going and tried to con her into carpooling, but she would have none of it. Foiled! So I printed off as many directions and maps as I possibly could before trekking into our virtual perpetual graves. I bid a loving final farewell to the Husband and Peanut; PW and I made our way out the door to our demise.

As soon as I approached The Evil's epicenter, I could sense something was wrong. My map showed two roundabouts (a traffic device with which the state of Maryland has a special love affair if you recall) near and around the capitol building--one of which would lead me to my destination, and the other to my doom. It's like I was living a storybook maze. I missed the turnoff to the roundabout that I actually wanted (why? Because Annapolis doesn't believe in properly marking its streets, remember?) and headed for the Hateful Roundabout instead. I began to swear profusely and did not cease doing so for the better part of an hour. We circled the capitol hoping to come upon the exit we needed, never once seeing it. We went up streets and down streets, not having any clue which led where. We got back on the roundabout (SAME DANG ROUNDABOUT MIND YOU) only to discover that some of the streets had changed, while others had not. I came to realize that there were not two roundabouts as promised by Mapquest, but only one mystical and possessed roundabout that constantly shifted depending upon the city's cursed whims.

The street I wanted, which I could see clearly from Lucifer's Roundabout, I could not access as it only led into the roundabout but not from it. I kept trying to drive onto various streets near to it, hoping to find a sidestreet (all of them one way streets) that would allow me to head in its direction, only to find that upon finally finding one that led the correct way it led me no where near it. I finally drove around long enough that I found my sidestreet, parked nearly right next to the Roundabout From Hell, and ran as fast as I could while dragging a four-year-old the entire length of this road to get to this breakfast fiasco. And we made it 15 minutes before they stopped serving breakfast (it having started 45 minutes before) and before they started their idiotic program, what with the kicking and the dancing and the gyrating and the Christmas Bear (?) and Christmas elves and Christmas Rat (?) and whatever.

Tangent Time. I fell asleep watching TV the other night only to waken at 4am to a standup comic talking about how much white people suck at dancing. I started gaining consciousness right around the time he said it's not so much that white people can't dance, it's just that they confuse various dancing moves and put them all together. He then proceeded with an imitation of White People Dancing (I'm assuming anyway; my eyes were still closed). Then he said, "There is one song that no white person can resist dancing to. They hear it and they immediately get up and begin dancing to it; they just can't help it." In my half-awake state I said, "YMCA." And then he said, "YMCA." (Speaking of the Village People, when the Husband was in the Navy lo these many years ago, he had a ship's captain who insisted on departing for every six-month deployment to the tune of the Village People's "In the Navy." That is, until someone told him what it was actually about. He stopped requesting it after that.) Indeed, we do love our "YMCA." Probably because you have to be a total moron to screw it up. [Fun fact: the Village People never spelled YMCA with their arms in their video. Musta been some white kid who couldn't dance who did it.] For the record, I can resist dancing to any song you care to play. Any song at all. Try it and watch me sit with my arms folded as I stare at you.

Back to our story. They had open dance time halfway through the show in which the kids could come down to the performace floor and get down and boogie with it. They played several Christmas songs. Finally they ran out of those and pulled out the non-Christmas songs. Guess which song they played first? And guess which song every fricking person in the place went wild over? And guess which song PW and I both managed to resist dancing to? And guess which song the only black guy in the entire room walked out on?

So the Christmas Show nightmare finally ended and they unchained the doors, unbarred the windows, and allowed us to finally leave. Freedom never tasted so sweet. Until I remembered we still had to get out of the city. We got in the car and headed very quietly (I think PW could instictually sense the need for silence. Especially after I threatened her if she made a sound) towards the Roundabout of Death, so as to sneak up on it and not alarm it as to our approach. We proceeded cautiously, but purposefully, through and out the other side where it told us we should go (remember, following the signs it gives you to follow are its first trick against you). But then we pulled a fast one on it and took a left shortly thereafter leading us straight to the highway! Mind you, the fact that you must turn down this street to escape is never once advertised anywhere in the city. If you were to believe its signs, you would have proceeded down the first street and immediately found yourself in The Parking Lot of Despair. You remember The Parking Lot of Despair, don't you? Of course you do.

As we were leaving with the city of horror well in our rearview mirror, a fire engine roared past us and into the heart of the city. Poor sucker, I thought. Someone finally got desperate and crashed their car just to escape. May he find himself without the confines of the Ninth Circle of Hell very soon.


Just try and resist it.

05 December 2008

The Long Awaited and Now Entirely Forgotten Review

OK, I figure I've put it off long enough to where most people have forgotten I said I was going to do it. Perfect!

I haven't felt exceeding levels of motiviation to review "Twilight" for two reasons: 1) Half of you cornered me the day after I saw it and asked me my opinion then, and 2) You're all going to be very disappointed in what I have to say anyway. Allow me to explain, won't you?

Let's start with an example. Stephanie (you remember Stephanie) knew the movie would suck, but still held out a glimmer of hope that it wouldn't be as bad as she feared. She wound up hating it. Now class, who can point out where she went wrong? Anyone? Anyone? Yes, that's right, the part where she hoped it wouldn't suck. That was her big mistake. You will discover throughout the rest of my comments here that with regard to Twilight, hope is your worst enemy.

Now let's take another example, that being Ethel, who I also saw the film with. Ethel knew the movie would suck. She hoped for nothing, including coming out without having slit her wrists to end the pain. Ethel walked away from the film pleasantly surprised.

I know how Ethel felt, because I had much the same experience as she. Before the film came out I watched the youtube videos of the Twilight film in production and all versions of previews to be had. Why? Because I did not want to go into this film unprepared, specifically for the worst. The previews alone sent me spiraling into a deep abyss of personal horror. The previews are supposed to be examples of the best parts of a film to entice potential viewers to see it. And the previews were embarrassingly bad. The preproduction videos were even worse. I've decided there's only one thing worse than seeing a trainwreck and that's watching it actually happen. Such were the preproduction videos. Even now the thought of them make me heave just a little. "This is gonna be BAD," I said to myself. I went to see it anyway.

What I discovered while watching the film was that I had successfully set my expectations low enough in nearly every category enough to be satisfied. Two categories though, were a problem for me. The first was the special effects of the film. I recall watching the preproduction shots and thinking, "Man, those special effects look awful. I sure hope (DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER) they aren't nearly as bad in the film itself!" They were. Worse even. And they left me intensely disappointed. I didn't expect much mind you, but I expected them to look better than that. It was not to be so. In fact, what they had saved from showing in the previews for us to marvel at in the film itself were some of the silliest effects of the whole movie. I realize they were working with a tight budget, but how do you screw that up so monumentally? They really should have warned us that Edward's version of "running" would resemble more what a cat does when he doesn't want to be picked up but you pick him up anyway--that comical sort of leg-flinging in midair sorta thing. I only recall chuckling twice during the film, and that was one of them.

The other chuckle I got was contributed in large part by reading Eric D. Snider's review of the film first. If you haven't checked out his film reviews before, you are seriously missing out. The worse the grade he gives a movie, the funnier the review. Not only are his reviews hilariously harsh and sarcastic, but he uses a great deal of hyperbole to make his point. When he said that Carlisle's make-up job was so bad he looked like a mime, I laughed out loud thinking, "Oh Eric, your exaggerations sure do crack me up!" And then when I actually saw Carlisle onscreen with caked-on makeup so extreme and pasty white he actually looked like a mime, I again laughed out loud, because honestly, what are the odds? And how can a director look through a film camera and NOT see what that man looks like?

Aside from those two issues, the rest of the film left me either on track with my original lack of hope or even pleasantly surprised. I need to point out, not surprised because it was good, but because it wasn't nearly as bad as I had prepared myself for. I remember thinking about halfway through, "You know, this is actually kinda cute!" I still think that. It was cute--much cuter than I had ever anticipated. And to boot, the acting wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, either. It was bad, no question. But not AS bad. Are you catching on now? I was even impressed that Kristen Stewart seemed to not be playing herself once or twice. Congratulations, Kristin, you little twit! You didn't hose up the movie entirely by yourself!

Speaking of which, I will also admit that the truck-cruching scene was waaaaay better than I assumed it would be based upon preproduction videos. It was actually kind of exciting! And not just due to the thrill of seeing Kristin Stewart almost get crushed to death! It actually looked almost realistic, with great sound effects and everything. So props to the film for having one awesome five-second scene! W00t!!

And I will also gladly compliment Twilight on its modest levels of humor. I recall laughing out loud several times throughout the two hours at honestly funny jokes. A couple were duds, but by and large, the jokes were funny and by and large, all of the good ones came from Bella's dad, Charlie. Billy Burke (the actor who plays Charlie) has been in comedies before (most notably "Jane Austin's 'Mafia!'") and his excellent comedic timing and deadpan delivery did not go unnoticed by me. He was the best part of that whole film (other than Kristen getting squashed).

We were in an audience full of several different kinds of folks, ranging from the young girls to senior citizens out on their date night. And several times during the film we had moments full of laughter that was not intentional by the film. I didn't understand this. If they had done even the slightest amount of research, none of the crappiness they saw should have surprised them to the point of laughter. Who honestly went into this movie thinking it would be good? Like, on normal scales of achievement? Who did these people think they were kidding?

If you have yet to see the film because you live under a rock or are as cheap as all get out, approach the film the same way you should have approached the books: with a healthy dose of caution, extreme research beforehand, and miserably low expectations. If you hope for anything it will not happen. I guarantee that is the only formula for successfully emerging from the experience with happy thoughts.

I'd like to end on a funny note by directing you to Eric Snider's Rejected Twilight Screenplay. For those not in the know, Eric Snider is first and foremost a comedic writer. His "rejected" screenplay is similar in style to the abridged Titanic screenplay he wrote ten years ago that caught on like wildfire around the internets. You might as well go read that one, too.

03 December 2008

The Democrats Have Competition

Dear National Museum of American History,

I get that you're excited about reading about your various adventures/influences upon our lives and all. I really do. If I had millions of people visiting me every year I'd be stalking me, too. But nine looks at one blog entry in one day? And counting? Don't you think that's a little excessively egotistical? I will admit that I'm fairly irresistable in general, evidenced by the NSA, FBI, and the Democratic Party already beating you to the punch here; however, the blog entry about you won't change from the first time you look at to the tenth, OK? If you'd like, I can send you an email if I do change it in any little way so you'll quit losing sleep over it. Until then, assume it's the same and I haven't changed my story. Deal? Now get back to work educating the Amercian masses. Thank you for your valiant work.

Love,
Abby

02 December 2008

Devotion Finally Rewarded

Not everyone has as vivid a memory of my adventures in downtown D.C. eight months ago as I (for me, the nightmares have only increased in magnitude), so let me refresh your memories of the harrowing tale. I dragged Stephanie and our children into D.C. to the National Air and Space Museum to get a glimpse of the Stephen Colbert portrait that wasn't there as promised. The end.

I made a point of describing my loathing for my dear friend, Trina, for her having seen it (in the Portrait Gallery no less, back when it was up in between the bathrooms over the drinking fountain) while I was left in agony after so many (2) failed attempts.

And then she kindly posted about the Portrait's Return to the Smithsonian--this time to the National Museum of American History. She is hereby forgiven for her previous lack of empathy. God bless you, my lovely friend.

I hauled PW and PN on the train the day after Thanksgiving to downtown to see if the Fates would favor my quest. And the first thing I noticed was the mob of people in D.C. HOLY CRAP I haven't seen that many people in D.C....ever. There were more people than I've seen the week of the Fourth of July, if that gives you any indication of the mass of flesh pounding every square inch of that city.

You'll also be completely unfazed to know that they are busily building the inaugural platform on the Capitol steps for this January's festivities. I got a photo. No, you may not see it.

We headed over to the American History Museum and were greeted by THE LONGEST LINE I HAVE EVER SEEN FOR ANYTHING AT ALL. A line just to get through the museum's front doors! You see these photos of all the people in line there? The line that is four-people wide and stretches down the steps and out to and continuing along down the sidewalk out of view?

















We cut in front of all of those people.

Now, I'm not usually one of those folks who think the rules are for everyone but them. Usually. I was there to see one thing and one thing only and I had two little potential nuclear bombs, one of which had valiantly and choicelessly sacrificed his nap to be there. I was not waiting in line. And so I wandered with my stroller up the wheelchair access, leaving those other suckers in line on the steps. And no one said a word as I joined the line/mob at the door. And no one said anything as I shot forward to the empty metal detector as everyone else waited in line behind the other two (am I the only one who notices these things?). And I raced up the escalator, across the building, and to the IMPOSSIBLY LONG LINE TO GET INTO THE POP CULTURE EXHIBIT. SCREW. THAT. Fortunately for the museum (I was not going home empty handed again), they had the foresight to put Colbert's portrait on the wall just heading into the exhibit so it could still be seen by those of us not in line to get into the exhibit proper. So I didn't get the perfect shot I wanted, but I saw it dammit and I got a picture to boot.


I would have stayed longer, but my gosh there were tons and tons and tons of people. What on earth?? Aren't these people supposed to be in Florida or something?

Then we trekked down towards the White House to retake some of the photos I conveniently erased from when my brother was here for a visit. As a bonus, we caught the National Christmas Tree being decorated. Here's a free shot for you.


















Plus the White House being decorated for Christmas.











And thus ends my Colbert Portrait Adventures. Bless you Trina, for providing me closure to this chapter in my life. All in all, a good experience. I hope I can say one day that it was worth the three tries just to get there.

25 November 2008

Take Two Aspirin

Oh, you'll wait for my "Twilight" review, all right. YOU'LL WAIT REAL GOOD.

So I don't have pneumonia, which is what the doctor was askeered of me having when he heard my symptoms today. Instead, I only have a sinus infection (I won't bore you with the disgusting details of that). The doc prescribed Augmentin ("Amoxicillin on crack" he says), Flonase, saline nasal spray, as well as a humidifier and lots and lots of fluids. He said I should be feeling noticably better in 3-4 days. Yeah, well after three weeks with this I don't care how long it takes just as long as I can stop with the gallons upon gallons of mucus already. It takes me a friggin' hour to blow my nose every morning and it's getting old.

I've never been to this doctor before and I suspect he's new, not just because I'd never heard of him (and apparently neither did the doctor's office since his name was not to be found in the list of physicians approved to work there), but because he actually took the time to explain everything to me. And when I mean explain, I mean he got into college professor lecture mode and explained everything in excruciating detail (even in layman's terms no less!). I felt awkward not taking notes, so I just tried to look as enthralled as I possibly could.

It has been my experience that the new doctors fresh outta doctor school are the most likely to explain things to death. Not only have they just finished having things explained to death to them in school, but they don't hate their patients enough yet to not let them in on their thinking processes. I was amazed that he took as much time as he did to explain my medical situation (things I never even knew about myself, but probably didn't need to know, either) and I complimented him on it. He looked at me questioningly as if to ask why I was complimenting him on what he obviously assumed was a standard practice among his fellow physicians. Ah, naive, young doctor--it will come in time my boy. All in good time.

This got me thinking about how the other medical professionals I've met in the recent past would have handled the exact same situation. Here's my best approximation of their reactions to discovering my diagnosis for themselves:

Dr. Referral: Um...hm. I could have sworn we covered this in medical school....
Dr. Smart-alec: Well I know what you DON'T have...cancer! Seriously though, here's a prescription.
Dr. Guilt Trip (PW's doctor): I'm pretty sure whatever it is, it happened because you're a bad mother.
Dr. Drugs (my neurologist): I've got 57 drugs here we can try over the course of the next two years. Which do you want first?
Nurse Excruciating: Does it hurt if I jam my finger into your sinus? Stop screaming, it's distracting. I've also got a hammer here we can try. How about now?
Dr. Pain: I bet if I tap into that sinus it'll get fixed right up. Wait there while I get my nailgun.
Dr. Combat: *scribble scribble* You're fixed. Now go away.

I think I like this new Dr. Over Explain. Call me and I'll recommend him to you. You know, before he catches on that he's not supposed to be helpful.

21 November 2008

"I Can See Russia From My Premiere!"

I can't believe it snowed in Maryland in November. I can't remember the last time that happened. Well, MY part of Maryland that is (my part is the one part getting sunshine while the rest is in the midst of a blizzard; basically, where I live sucks). Anyway. Thought I'd share my joy.

On to the vitriol! Last night I made a concerted effort to catch Letterman since Stephen Colbert was on plugging his Holiday Special coming up this Sunday night at 10pm. We all recall the love and affection I feel for Stephen, despite his hating me for my religion alone (don't deny it Stephen! Not that you would or anything!). Oh yes, I am nothing if full of love, hope, and charity, the pure love of Christ, and that goes for people who hate me in return. Or rather, people who amuse me enough that I don't care whether they hate me or not. You hate me AND you're not even funny about it? Forget that.

So SC was entertaining as always and I'm glad I caught him. I also wanted to catch Letterman because Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame was going to be on. If I'm going to be packing myself (plus Stephanie and Ethel) into a movie theater full of shrieking teenaged girls, I want to know what I'm totally getting into first. I will come to my thing about the movie in a second, never fear my pets. First, Kristen. I've only seen her in two things to date: a bit part in "Jumper" and the "Twilight" previews. Up until last night, I could honestly say I'd hated her as an actress in every single thing I'd seen her in. And after last night on Letterman, I can now say I officially hate her as a person, too. It finally struck me last night that Kristen (and I will refer to her only as Kristen, because calling her "Stewart" would do a severe disservice to Jon of the same) does not just act like a despressed, inert and tragically expressionless teenager, she IS a despressed, inert and tragically expressionless teenager. The only thing I observed her doing last night through her mumbled speech and constant crossing and uncrossing of her hideously toothpick-like legs, was running her fingers through her now red hair and flipping it around. Really, that's it. She even admitted to Dave (who was not amused) that she is incredibly boring and she wondered what on earth she would even talk about when she came on. Huh, how about the movie you're so inexpertly plugging? If your life is as tedius and dull as your expression indicates, then talk about something else. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S GOOD IN THIS WORLD, TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. Her final parting mumbled exchange revealed that when the European premiers are through, she will get a car from where ever she is at that moment ("You know, London, or Berlin, or whatever") and drive to Russia. Dave replied, "Well, let's hope it's Berlin." It amazes me how often he has to save his interviews from his own guests and their collective stupidity.

And then they showed the clip she brought from "Twilight," which was the boring bit about her asking Edward how old he is and how long he's been that-a-way, blah blah blah. She would have done better to bring the clip of her getting squashed by the truck--I'm sure after that interview people would have been mobbing the theaters just to see that. Take my advice, Kristen. People don't like celebrities who look and act like narcissistic jerks who are too cool for the rest of us. And I hate to break it to you, but when the fans don't like you, they don't pay for your movies and you're out of a job. Russell Crowe, bless his crazy frickin' heart, learned that the hard way. One year he earned the #1 spot on the list of celebrities who are jerks to their fans. And then the very next year he was at the top of the list of celebrities who are the most fan-friendly who don't chuck cell phones when they're angry! It's a Christmas miracle! And I hate to bring this tidbit up as well, but Russell Crowe can actually act. He's GOOD at it. In the spirit of the holiday season, I will refrain from completing my thoughts on the list of differences you have with Russell Crowe. Much like Val Kilmer, you are not a good enough actor to be able to go into public without a huge smile on your face and a kind word for every idiot you meet without eventually winding up asking people if they would care for fries with that. I loath being the one to bring this up to you, but you aren't accomplished enough to be who you are at this very moment. If you improve your acting in any possible way, I would hone up your people skills first and act like a normal non-sulky, non-standoffish little lady. You'll get a lot further in life that way. Now go to your room and think about what you've done.

Yes, we're going to the movie tonight. Why wouldn't we? The previews themselves, as I've alluded to earlier, were painful enough to leave me in a cringing heap of siezures; I suspect the movie can't be much better. But see it we must! And try not to laugh we also must! But if I have to kill a few teenagers to get the best theater-going experience possible, I will not hesistate to do so. But in all honesty, that's really my standard operating code in any situation. If they're anything like oxygen-wasting Kristen, I figure I'm doing their families a favor anyway. Zing!

17 November 2008

You Exist to Make Me Feel Better About Myself, Right?

See, this is why I don't exercise.


Also, why I don't leave my house.

Because I would totally do that.

14 November 2008

Help! The DNC is Stalking Me!

HOLY CRAP ALMIGHTY, the Democratic Party DOES read my blog!! Remember when I said the husband and I had been talking about Hillary making a great choice for Secretary of State?

What the crap is this??

I think I need to go change the locks on my doors now (you know what an infestation of Democrats will do to your resale value).

13 November 2008

A Dose of Humility

I know it'll shock you, but I've been known to make fun of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on occasion, mostly for their classical renditions of popular, decidedly non-classical music. But there's no denying it when they get a song absolutely perfect.

12 November 2008

How About a Cheer for the Navy?

I love Veteran's Day. It's the day half the channels on TV show classic war movies. I ran across one of my favorites last night, "This Is the Army," a musical with songs by the famous Irving Berlin, and despite already owning the movie myself, I sat down and watched the entire thing. Not only is the music great, but the entire cast of the film and the musical show it was based upon was made up of active duty Army personnel with all proceeds of the broadway show and the film going to the Army Emergency Relief Fund. The film came out in 1943, the original stage production having come out the year before, and the original Army stage production that was based upon having come out during WWI (also written by Berlin), making the film basically based upon actual events. The film stars people like a then-Lt. Ronald Reagan, and as a special treat, the film is famous for actually featuring Irving Berlin himself on stage, singing one of the songs he wrote for the show. This song, "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" happens to be one of my favorites; the clever lyrics make the song particularly funny, although the idea of murdering the base camp's bugler simply for tending to his military duties as ordered is amusing enough.

As Robert Osborn of TCM recounted last night, one of the behind-the-scenes stories from the film had a stage hand, one who neither knew who wrote the music for the production or who Irving Berlin even was, upon hearing Berlin's less-than-melodious voice belting out his own song, said, "If the guy who wrote that song could hear this guy singing it, he'd roll over in his grave." Indeed, Berlin was not known for his singing ability by any stretch, but considering his extraordinary talent in the music composition field, most people forgave him for it just the same. It was still spectacular to see him in the show.

Admittedly, if you're not into song and dance numbers, you won't enjoy this film. The Husband felt patriotic enough to watch for the first 10 minutes before conveniently wandering off to attend to more pressing matters like staring at the kitchen sink. I did, however, make him come back for the Navy number, which frankly is the best song in the entire movie. In typical Navy fashion, approximately 1 billion sailors crash the Army musical number in progress, rush the stage, scatter the Army guys, and begin singing their own number instead.

The Army this, the Army that
Is all we heard from where we sat,
Now how about a cheer for the Navy?

The Army's great, the Army's tough,
But don't you think we've heard enough?
So how about a cheer for the Navy?


Incredibly enough, these sailors had the foresight to also include a scale mockup of a battleship onstage for their musical performance. Amazing. And I hate to say it, but their coordinated marching far exceeded that of the Army's (although I'm fairly certain it was Army enlisted merely dressed in Navy attire anyway) and made for a spectacular display onstage.

A few years ago the Husband and I went to the 1812 Overture performance on the lawn of the Washington Monument (that's in D.C., my geographically challenged friends). The performance is free and features the U.S. Army band and chorus putting on various numbers, not all military related. (The conclusion, as you may have guessed, is the band's performance of the 1812 Overture, complete with synchronized mortar fire provided by the 3d United States Infantry Regiment--it's incredible.) To my point, some of the numbers the chorus sang were from "This Is the Army." It was my fondest wish that they would get around to "How About a Cheer for the Navy" with the Navy chorus rushing the stage and taking over for one number. That would have been awesome. Why aren't I in charge of making these decisions again?

My point is, if you have never seen actual WWII-era Army enlisted men dancing in a chorus line in heels, boy howdy have you been missing out.

And lookie what I found! Not the best quality, but you still get the effect.

11 November 2008

Confessions of a Strange Woman

The lovely lady who is responsible for my new header, April, tagged me with this thing where you confess to seven weird things about you. Normally I avoid these things since I tend to give away far too much questionable information as it is, but since she is up with the awesome I will do her bidding.

1. No, I most certainly do NOT have a Barbie doll collection so why does everyone keep asking me that?! Just because I have 15 Barbies in pristine condition displayed in our den on shelves does not constitute a Barbie collection in my mind. I just happen to have 15 different Barbies that represent things that interest me, but Barbies in general hold no interest on their own. For example, I have Presidential Candidate Barbie, which represents my love for politics; I have Swan Lake, Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet Barbies, which represents my love for ballet; I have Beatrix Potter Barbie, which represents my love for her books that I was raised with; I have BYU Cheerleader Barbie, which is in honor of my alma mater; and I have various Barbies in traditional attire from countries around the world, which I just think is fine. BUT I DON'T HAVE A BARBIE COLLECTION. SO SHUT UP ALREADY.

2.) I know how to fix toilets. My father taught us so we would quit whining. I've fixed the one that keeps breaking at church more times than you can shake a stick at. You're welcome.

3.) I am an avid egg nog connoisseur. I love egg nog, but it has to taste just right. For example, the egg nog I excitedly purchased last evening at Costco (first of the season no less!) is the Land O'Lakes brand. It has the right texture and thickness, but the flavor is lacking. It is on the right track, but it's slightly too dull. Amazingly enough, it tastes a lot like butter (can't imagine why). I haven't had the perfect egg nog since I was a child and we had it delivered to our home each holiday season. My mother signed up for Royal Crest Dairy milk delivery starting in November every year simply to have their brand of egg nog (the premium stuff, not that lite crap) delivered as often as we wanted up through the New Year. The likes of this egg nog have never been equalled, I assure you. If you hate egg nog, it's because you never tasted Royal Crest. Probably because you weren't raised in Colorado. I can't help it if you weren't.

4.) I am in love with Gregory Peck. Favorite G.P. movie: Twelve O'Clock High. Second favorite: To Kill a Mocking Bird.

5.) One of my favorite things to do is watch people get their hair cut. Fascinates me. If I could have been something I'm not, it would have been a hairdresser.

6.) I am annoyingly tidy in other people's houses. It is second nature for me to push in the dining room chairs, to straighten armchair covers, turn off unused lights, etc. I have to actively tell myself not to do those things in other people's houses so they won't be offended; unfortunately, the more comfortable I am in your house, the more likely I am to do it because I let my guard down. Honestly, if you see me doing that in your house, I'm not saying anything about your homemaking skills--I do the exact same thing in my own home, too. It's just a habit I don't even think about. I'll apologize now so I don't have to later.

7.) Despite my blogheader, I hate parades. They're boring. They're boring because they're slow. Now, if everyone in the parade were running, that would be awesome. Parade floats whipping down the road, honking, marching band members running in every direction. Perfect.

05 November 2008

No One Likes an "I Told You So."

But that won't stop me from giving you one. And I'm not talking about yesterday, I'm talking about nearly a year ago when I said if the DNC could get Barack on the ticket, he would win the White House, and not just because Democrats would vote him in, but because Republicans would, too. (Go read it again; it was good. I'll wait.) He won the election nearly as handily as Reagan won the first time around. And I say, he deserved the win. Well done, Obama. Well done on a hard fight won. Now, please don't screw it up.

As for McCain's loss, I blame Bush. Last night I was angry. Not angry with Barack--as I said, he did a good job and he deserved the win. No, I was angry with Bush--to the point of shaking. I have wanted nothing more in the past ten years than to see my boy, McCain, in the Oval Office. And that IDIOT Bush took it from him. He first took it from him back in 2000. And why did he win? How could a man who is the most retarded a human being can be without being on life support win over someone as qualified as McCain? Name recognition. That's it. He had a famous last name. Retarded or not, he took the Primaries (which cost me no small degree of consternation at the time, I can tell you that) and left McCain in the dust.

I waited for eight years for McCain to be able to run again, all the while aging away. And what did Bush do in that time? What? What's that you say? Make everyone who has ever lived or ever will live hate our ever-living guts? Blow trillions of dollars we don't have on a war that "would pay for itself"? Conveniently forget to capture Bin Laden when it no longer served his purposes? DING DING DING DING! And what did that do for us? It made Americans hate Bush and every single thing that he has ever been associated with, especially my political party and MY CANDIDATE. He stole the White House from McCain in 2000 and he stole it from him again in 2008. I can't wait for that idiot to leave.

McCain and I have had our differences, many of which I have voiced on this blog in the past, and I had to have a long heart-to-heart with him before I voted in this election. This entire past month I seriously weighed the pros and cons of Obama and McCain before I cast my vote yesterday. What I finally realized that what I had admired and loved about McCain ten years ago hadn't changed much. Yeah, he's older and he got a little desperate (hard lesson learned from that campaign against Bush), and possibly a little stupid (*coughpalincough*), but the core was still intact. That's what I'd been looking for all along, and that's what I found again before I checked his name. We don't always agree on issues, but we agree on principles, and that's I wanted in my president.

AND NOW HE'LL DIE OF OLD AGE, POSSIBLY NEXT WEEK. THANKS FOR NOTHING, BUSH.

Anyway. What's done is done. And on to much stranger 100th post-worthy news (this is my 100th post, after all), my post yesterday was featured (and by featured, I mean a vaguely worded link was made to my blog) in something called The Mormon Times! What? When did we get this? Apparently it is a website-based subsidiary of the Deseret News and is dedicated to keeping Mormons up to date with whatever it is we need to know or something. They have a section on LDS-oriented blogs and blogrolls ("containing the best of what we've seen from the world of LDS-oriented blog sites"), and for yesterday's Election Day coverage mine was the personal blog linked to. Thanks for the shout-out, Emily Jensen, whoever you are! Pity she hadn't chosen a post that was actually worth linking to, but hey, I'll take what I can get. I'm famous! W00t!

And I know I just included videos yesterday, but today's video is in true honor of McCain. And it's only a minute and a half. It's one of my favorite campaign ads of all time:

My Blog Header Is Prettier Than Your Blog Header

If you're reading this on your Google Reader, knock it off for a second and come and look at my new blog header. It was fabulously crafted for me by the ever-talented April over at April Showers. Please note how hot she made me look (and by hot, I mean completely accurately hot). And also note how the whole "parade theme" of Delusions of Grandeur has finally been demystified through her master artistry, rather than people simply wondering if I was just really, really in love with parades. Do you get it now? Yeah. Me. All. About. Me.

Thank you, April! Feel free to go visit her. Right now.

04 November 2008

Place "I Voted!" Sticker Here

So much to write about, so much time spent reading everybody else's blogs instead.

Yes, I voted today, thank you for asking/questioning my patriotism and dedication to the democratic process. But voted for who?? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW BECAUSE I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU.

Seriously though, it was McCain. I ignored the fact that he had a running mate. Ah, McCain. The only time I'll finally get to vote for you for president and you have to go and do a whole bunch of stupid crap to make me question my loyalty to you. I admired your stance against torture, what with your firsthand knowledge of it and all. I admired your willingness to work with members of both parties just to get the job done. I admired your voting against allowing people with no money to be given large mortgages that they would never have a chance of repaying which would drag the economy and dump it in the toilet. I admired that your tax plan that would save me more money than Obama's. I liked your healthcare reform plan and how it seemed to work best with what we have now.

I did not appreciate the idiot you picked as your VP, however. What were you thinking, my man? Did it have anything to do with your recent crawl towards the extreme right? Did you honestly think your new campaign strategy didn't appeal enough to Conservatives to the point that you would need to drag along an induhvidual like Palin to keep right-wingers from voting for Obama? Seriously? And I think rabid Hillary fans would have voted for you whether you had a woman on the ticket or not--they were voting against Obama, not for you. If nothing else, dumping Palin on the ticket likely turned many of them off to the point where they thought they might be better off with Obama afterall. Some folks believe that once you're elected Palin will get quickly swept back under the rug. I hope to Hannah that they're right. As much as I didn't want him as president, I think Romney would have made a far better VP candidate. Maybe the McCain camp figured he'd already been dragged in the mud and that would have been brought up all over again if he'd picked him. Who knows.

But in all seriousness, I do believe Obama will win. Liberals/Democrats will vote for him, and heaven knows Bush has upped their membership numbers. The poor and disadvantaged will vote for him, and heaven knows the country's numbers of those are growing. Minorities will vote for him, and heaven knows they've waited a long time to feel like they're being represented in the Oval Office. And everyone else who is disillusioned with the government of today will swing left and vote for him just to get a breath of change, and heaven knows I don't blame them for it. So be prepared to witness history, people!

If you all failed to see it on youtube, you are missing out. The Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is a venue in which each presidential candidate (the two that count, you silly people) roasts the other in front of an audience. I gotta say, their writers did a fabulous job. And McCain did a great job delivering it, too. If only he had humor writers in reality, too....

Yes, each video clip is 6-7 minutes long, so if you have to do it in spurts, do it. It's worth it. The first two are of McCain's bit, and the last two are Obama's. Both did a great job of poking fun at themselves and their opponents.




29 October 2008

"Really??"

See? Look. Really long time. Thanks for commenting, some of you.

Anyway, if you follow Navel Gazing, you've already seen this. If you don't, go follow that blog and then get back to me. I'm stealing the video she has up right now. It's GREAT.




See? GREAT. And in case you hadn't seen it (and thus didn't get some of the parody) here is the official trailer it was based upon:


23 October 2008

If It Helps, I'm Not That Deep, Either

OK, FINE. So you're not sports fanatics. How about humor? Do you like that? One would never know since apparently you're less likely to find it here than in a Robin Williams film, but in case you do, have I got the website for you! Actually, it's a blog, but that still counts, right?

You know how my posts go on and on and on and on and on and never seem to end and you never even make it to the end of them because you're so completely exhausted by then that you pass out? Imagine a humor blog but with really short posts...as in, posts that are able to cram all that funny in one itty-bitty tiny space. Can you imagine it? I sure can! And it's the subject of this week's/month's/year's Abby's Website Pick! It is my new favorite website and/or blog that is fully worthy of my precious, precious stalking time.

So go right now to Notthatdeep.com and merrily enjoy! And subscribe! And comment! And beware the saucy language!

As for the rest of you jerks, I know you're reading! I can see you there! Well, I can't actually see you, I can just see a bunch of numbers. But I know that loads of people I can't readily identify read this friggin' blog every day and YET YOU DO NOT COMMENT. SO THE REST OF THE WORLD THINKS I'M A LOSER. DON'T THINK I DON'T HOLD THAT AGAINST YOU, YOU BLOG-LOOKING THIEVES. Just for that, I'm not going to post for a really, really long time. Which is fairly fortunate, since I couldn't think of anything else to write about anyway.

21 October 2008

Pinstripes and Pinheads

Many hearty congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays for their pennant win! Yes, those Rays that used to be the Devil Rays and still have a devil ray on their uniform sleeves, as well as the new Rays logo of a sunray on the front. Pick one already! You can't have both!

The Rays played a good series this past week. They deserved the win, what with having a great team, fantastic pitching, and an opponent who chokes every chance it possibly can, but only when it's really, really important that they win. So good job, Rays/Devil Rays! You earned it!

Speaking of Boston, I got to thinking about curses the other day. Boston had theirs for certainly long enough--enough so that most of us never thought we would see a World Series win in our lifetimes. The Cubs are well known for their own curse, the only difference being everyone on earth knows they'll never win. And the Yankees have a curse of their own, believe it or not. And that curse is to be forever plagued with a fanbase made up entirely of hosers. Yankee fans are the definition of fair-weather fans. Sure, there are people who live in New York who happen to root for the Yankees because of regional pride. That's fine. But how do you explain the other 1,538,982 idiots across the United States who also consider themselves NYY fans? Have they ever lived in New York? Anywhere near it? Do their roots go back to NYC? No. They root for New York because they can't stand to root for a losing team, and because the NYY are the winningest major league team in history they feel fairly confident that they'll be in a good mood after most games. So that's bad enough. But you take a season like this one where the NYY did not perform up to their fans' ridiculously high standards and suddenly you see people jumping ship like diseased rats from the Titanic. Their loyalty to the Yankees is founded entirely in how well the team performs. What kind of fanbase is that??

Now, take a man like my father: New England roots, raised in Boston by hardcore New England/baseball fans. If my father were even a fraction less straight than he is right now he would have proposed marriage to Ted Williams years ago. Ted would have had to get a restraining order to keep my father's love at bay. He loves Teddy and the Red Sox A LOT. A LOT. REALLY. My dad is another one of those who thought he would never see Boston win in his lifetime and, no exaggeration, he broke down and cried when they won the Series in 2004. My dad loved the Red Sox in good times and in bad. Sure, he inflicted his own personal curses upon them every time they choked when faced with victory, but he never denied them his undying love and affection. And no, Sunday night was not a good night for him. But he still loves them just the same.

The Husband works with a couple of NYY fans. None of them have ever lived anywhere near NY, let alone have any other possible good reason to root for them. One of them even grew up in Boston; he and his father (the original offender here) apparently got tired of getting their hopes up and decided to take the easy route instead. These same fellows, when faced with even one game in which the Yankees have lost, curse the team to death and announce that they will no longer follow the team if they're just going to lose like that. And yet, after the very next win, they are suddenly rabid fans once again.

As if it couldn't get any worse, idiots much like the fans just described have taken to suddenly being Boston Red Sox fans. It's amazing how no one liked them prior to October 2004, and yet starting in November every third car on the road suddenly began sporting some allegiance to the team. 2007's season ender didn't help this trend. But I'm sure they have nothing to fear since as soon as they start losing again and these temporary fans start seeing what it was like being a Boston fan before 2004, they'll flit away to the next highly successful team. It's just a matter of waiting for them to grab their Mojitos and their Abercrombie & Fitch fleece pants and getting lost.

I've also noted a strange propensity for people to root for the Cubs with little or no reason. It has become popular to root for them simply because they consistently lose (man, they nearly screwed that one up a couple years in a row, huh? Coulda lost half their fanbase over that pennant win. Phew!). The Martyr Complex of these foul-weather fans has extended to sports, apparently. Sure, rooting for the underdog can give a person warm fuzzies for, wow...hours even. But continuously rooting for a losing team simply out of pity? What? Why? That's like marrying someone because they're ugly and can't get anyone else. Why would you do that to yourself? You can't stick a brown bag over the head of the Cubs, you know what I mean? You marry them, you're stuck with them. At least with the Red Sox we always knew they would eventually win a World Series again; it was simply a matter of time and waiting it out until the Curse weakened enough for the Sox to overcome it. That, and the Sox's money buying enough good players to properly purchase a Series Yankee-style. But the Cubs? Never. Sorry. Get all the tears out now sweethearts 'cause it just ain't never gonna happen.

And now for a bit of classic hilarity that always made my and the Husband's day.



Nomar! You're nuts! For the love of Ban Johnson, get a shrink you fruitcake.

18 October 2008

Corky's Gonna Be Hacked

For all of you who are wringing your little hands waiting for me to post something, I have family in town this week and they keep wanting me to pay attention to them for some reason so I won't be posting as often for a little while. DRY YOUR EYES, MY SWEETS. However, I saw this tidbit last night and decided I couldn't let it get away.

I was reading an online ad yesterday (yes, I was that bored; come entertain me) and saw an ad for a realtor named Ed something-or-other. However, according to his ad, he apparantly prefers to go by "'Special' Ed" (quotation marks are his). What? OK. First let us examine this. If the man in question were actually mentally disabled in some manner, do you think he would honestly go by this nickname? Or that anyone would actually have the guts to call him that? No. OK, so we've established that he does not have a mental disability. So it then begs the question: why in the name of all that's holy would you voluntarily nickname yourself this and suggest others know you by the same? And not just your friends, but potential business clientele? What could possibly be going through this man's head? According to his website, "I am known as "Special" Ed because of the "Special" treatment you receive when you work with me and my team." Huh. Still unbelievable.

I really can't wrap my mind around this and have nothing further to offer except, what? No seriously, what? What?

16 October 2008

Lobsters and Blueberries

For all you whiners out there, I've broken my last post into two different posts so you won't have as much to read at one time. You know, because I haven't spent the last four days catching up on the 200 posts you wrote while I was gone or anything, but whatever makes your life full of sunshine and rainbows. This is why we're still friends, right? That, and the money?

So here is my mushy post about my undying love for Maine. There's nothing funny here at all I'm sorry to say. There was nothing funny in the last one either, but at least I tried with that one. (Amazing how my thoughts are so much more hilarious to me at 2am.) If the Simpsons have taught me anything it is "You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try." For those of you who already read it in the last post, you can go ahead and skip this. In fact, I highly doubt the rest of this post would be of interest to anyone else but me, so consider yourselves duly warned (and how often do I do that for you?). So go read Here in Idaho instead. It's funny as always. Go.

Since I just deleted the whole portion of the last blog I'll give you the gist of what was there. My ancestors have been in Maine since they moved there from Massachusetts in the 1600s, right on up through my grandfather and his family. Evidence of my family's presence is scattered across the entire town where our cottage is. My dad and his sibling visited every summer to a cottage there on the shore, a cottage up the street from where his father vacationed in the summer and down the street from the cottage we visit in the summer now, all three having been on property that has been in the family for four generations. I have gone there since I was a small kid and I have always loved it there. It's been a part of my heritage, my family, and it's seared into my blood. I long for it and I feel a strong connection to the state, but more to the area we visit. I feel like I'm supposed to belong there. And yet I am an outsider.

Mainers are a private people. They don't like outsiders with loads of money taking their state away from them (we're outsiders with no money at all, does that make it better?). If a Mainer perceives you as one of his own you are treated as an old friend. If a Mainer sees you as an outsider, you get the cold shoulder. I've known this since I was small and I've tried to fit in the best I can when I'm there, trying to avoid typical touristy behavior, if nothing else to avoid the chilly reception. Some people don't perceive it as much, like the Husband (a relative newcomer to the state), who suggested he could get away with laying his own lobster traps off shore expecting to catch his own lobsters. While I couldn't expect him to know otherwise, the thought make me snicker and I had to tell him the best that could possibly come from that situation would be to have his line cut by the other lobstermen. The worst would be, well, much worse. "Oh. So not like crabbing then." "Not at all." I still laugh at the image of him trying to get away with that without getting killed.

Back to the outsider thing. I've explained where I'm coming from. I love it there and I feel the familial and lifelong connection. But I never feel like I belong. Even walking around I feel like I'm wearing a sandwich board advertising I'm a tourist on vacation and it would be in your best interests to shun me. And egg my car if you have time. I don't expect Mainers to accept someone like me, especially knowing their attitude towards people just like me. But I can't help feeling a part of it nonetheless. It's like I'm in some sort of limbo. I love them and their state and they hate me and can't wait for me to leave. It's an awkward feeling to say the least. I have never been one for needing to fit in anywhere--marching to the beat of my own drummer you know--but I want to belong there. And I don't. And I never will, either. It reminds me of a question that was submitted to Yankee Magazine several years ago. A couple had moved to Boston and their children had been born there. They asked if that then meant their children were Bostonians. Yankee's answer was, "If my cat had kittens in the oven, would that make them biscuits?" That's pretty much the attitude in Maine, only more so. And I'd never do something as stupid as try to fake a Maine accent or start saying "wicked" after every third word just to try to fit in or anything. I would just like to be regular, normal me, but minus the fricking sandwich board. Not to be.

And now I will go cry into my little pillow until I feel better. STOP LOOKING AT ME. Go watch Youtube. Hey! Remember, Celtic Thunder is always good for a laugh! Now go.

15 October 2008

"The Pine Tree State" is No Exaggeration

Ahh, Maine. You know Maine is a special state when the second you drive into it the authorities have posted each of the state's laws along the side of the highway. I guess they figure you've got nothing better to look at for a while so why not? I especially enjoyed the last time in, bottlenecking to watch some idiot get put in bracelets by the cops not 50 feet past the border. He obviously didn't read the signs.

For those who didn't know, which is most of you since I avoid human contact, we were off to Maine for a week's vacation this past week. And no Abby Vacation would be complete without incomprehensible levels of Utter Stupidity! Hooray! Earlier last week we went out to Marshall Point Lighthouse, which is known to the rest of you as the Forrest Gump lighthouse. It is gorgeous there. It's impossible to take a bad photo of Marshall Point and I took LOADS of fabulous photos there. We also went to Port Clyde, which for those who have not been, is the quintessential Maine coast town. "Picturesque" is the best word for it. It is also completely impossible to take a bad photo of Port Clyde. You could swing your camera in a circle and fling it into the water and you'd still somehow wind up with several photos suitable for framing. That town is the very definition of perfection. I took another load of marvelous photos (photos I even tried to make look good, which made them even better) and I was so happy with them I could have cried. And then at the end of the week I managed to erase EVERY SINGLE PICTURE. Yes, it's a new digital camera and no, I shouldn't have been screwing around with it going, "Oo! What's this do? Oo! And what's this do?" (FYI, do not reformat your camera while photos are in it or you will lose them all. Every. Last. One.) So it's not even the fact that I lost all of those beautiful photos, but the fact that my own stupidity was what caused it. I would hit myself over the head with a crowbar, but I think it would hurt too much. And probably make me stupider.

And the second bit of stupidity: after leaving the state one of Peanut's toys fell out and under the car. I bent down to pick it up and burned my hand on something on the car underneath. I think they heard me scream in New York. Fortunately, we had stopped at a hotel for the evening so I ran it under cool water every hour and I think it's turned out nicely. And then yesterday it tore. Felt like angels kissing a summer breeze! What you see on the right is pre-tear. I showed Stephanie the tear last night and she started to heave so I figured I'd save you all that pleasure. You're welcome.

Later in the week I insisted we stop in at an art gallery I've driven past for years but never been in. Called "The Art of the Sea," it's made up entirely of maritime-themed artwork and it's great. But the best part of the museum is the restoration workroom. The gallery has you go up one set of steps, tour the upstairs, down the other set of steps, and down into the workroom and back out the front door. I'm not certain if they intended the workroom as part of a "tour feature" of sorts, but it worked out that way just the same. The gallery owners saw me dragging Peawhistle and Peanut and suggested I skip the first set of steep stairs and just go straight back through the workroom; I spent almost the entire time there.

You would absolutely not believe this place. Actually, you probably would. What you wouldn't believe is the man who works there, Jerome Morris. He is a professional ship restorer and he repairs and restores old and damaged model boats and ships (along with other odd requests that he is also capable of fulfilling). The boats range from small toy models to six-foot-long schooners you race on the water. One model clippership he got in the mail from someone asking for its repair had experienced "one or two bumps along the way" according to Mr. Morris. He said this because nearly every single piece of the ship was lying at the bottom of its glass case when he got it. Not only did he clean and restore it to what it was supposed to look like (wooden sails, ship's crew, and all), but he had to take the glass case apart to do it, a glass case that had been built and glued around the ship and had bowed glass--and then he had to put the case back together around the ship without punching the bowed glass in and squashing the ship after he'd fixed it. And that was just one ship of numerous ones he'd done so far. I questioned him to death about the ships and what he does to fix them and he was very kind about answering my questions.

I am especially impressed that he didn't kill Peawhistle, either. The second he saw me drag her into his shop I watched his expression and fully expected him to grab his chest and collapse, but he held it together very well and never said anything. She, of course, was thrilled to see so many boats and naturally wanted to touch every single one. And that's when I leaned down and whispered as lovingly as I could, "DON'T. TOUCH. ANYTHING. YOUR LITTLE LIFE DEPENDS ON IT." I held her hand in a death-grip--everytime she moved he flinched. In a distracted moment she got free of my hand and made a dash for some of the huge sailboats, all while the restorer and I stared in complete horror, but she instead chose to sit in a chair, saving everyone from an embarrassing conversation with the police and paramedics. It is especially fortunate that Mr. Morris did not know of Peawhistle's love of chewing on everything she sees, particularly wood products. I had visions of her tucking a napkin under her chin, declairing "Bottoms up, mate! 100 hours' of work down the hatch!" as he watches one of his restored schooners be devoured by an insane four-year-old.

It was his obvious and extremely warranted discomfort around Peawhistle, combined with a few subtle hints from him ("I'll have to wait to paint the detail on that one until I have no distractions....like customers coming through.") that made me push on to the rest of the gallery, but I was certainly loath to leave. I had approximately 53 more questions I would have thrown at him, were he not completely preoccupied with rescuing his livelihood from my offspring and actually wanting to get any work done. I think if he ever lets me in the door again he will insist on padding me down for small children. Poor man.

I also wish I had actually had the brains to look for some of the model ships he built from scratch himself in the gallery, but I was too busy looking at the ships themselves to notice the names attached to them. Before I went to the gallery I had been eyeing a small tugboat in a shop window in town. I thought it was awesome. I thought, "Man! That is one fabulous tugboat!" After seeing what craftsmanship Mr. Morris is capable of doing, I look at the boat now and think, "Man! That is one crappy tugboat!" I still like it, but holy cow, the difference in ability and detail is like night and day. I wish I had a photo of that clippership he restored so your jaw could hang open, too. I will instead offer my best rendition of the artist and his product:



Clearly, a true genius. Now you know who to go to if you drop-kick your 19th century model riverboat. If you have the chance to visit be sure and stop in and by all means keep him from his work to see what he's done lately. You absolutely won't regret it. But leave the kids at home; his job seems stressful enough as it is.

02 October 2008

An Open Letter to Stephanie's Husband

Did your front lawn murder your family and leave you for dead? Because every time I drive by your house while stalking your wife I can't help but think that what you've done to your lawn can only be described as a very intentional and personal act (I know these things; I watch CSI). I'd ask if perhaps you two could work out your differences, but by the looks of it there would be only one of you left capable of participating in peace talks.

30 September 2008

Je Suis Hilare Dans Toutes les Langues

Read my blog in French! Go on, it's fun!

Google Me This, Batman

As I was driving around town like a woman on crack trying to get ready for our impending road trip, I popped in an audiotape of "Toy Story" for Miss Peawhistle. The very first line read was, "Do you like your toys?" To which she enthusiastically responded, "Why, yes I do!" Why is my child 65?

To the three of you who have expressed intense concern over the previous post's "project" and also expressed an interest in my describing it to you henceforth and immediately: the project does not need to be described as the project is now in the works. Describing it won't be nearly as fulfilling as actually seeing it. When it's presentable I will let you know; until then, you'll just have to dream about my brilliance. For those who are concerned with my potential future within the American justice system, my counselors have agreed that the most wrath I would invoke would be a cease and desist order, which is plausibly bearable, aside from my certain torrent of tears. By the way, not invited to my scary vision: Heidi. Because she never found my crazy very funny, even when she lived with me. DON'T TRY TO DENY IT, HEIDI.

I nearly gave my four-year-old a coronary in an attempt to obtain as many McDonald's Happy Meal Star Wars bobblehead figurines as possible within a two-week framework. Would you call that irresponsible parenting? Or would you call it instilling a sense of stick-to-it-iveness and going the extra mile for your goals? The first you say? Well, too bad. My blog and I pick the second. I'm a wonderful, selfless parent! Hooray for me!

Like others, I'm fascinated by who stops by here, but more than anything which google searches led them here. (FYI, there is an uncomfortable number of people who find my blog searching for "freaky moms." I hope they haven't been too disappointed.) For your enlightenment, I will steal the idea of several other bloggers and list just a few of the google searches that have led others here.

* "the neighbors hate me" (you too??)
* "beautiful moms ugly babies" (I usually get the opposite; at least my kids are cute)
* "do i have delusions of grandeur" (If you have to ask....)
* "abby my sister the ugly" (...Excuse me? I better not know who's asking.)
* "southern food sucks" (A.MEN.)
* "does beer make you funnier" (Depends. How funny were you before?)
* "funny looking baby syndrome" (So I'm not the only one then?)
* "something you learned about parents that surprised you" (Before or after becoming one?)
* "how to talk to a cute kid in your class" (I got nothin' kid. I can't even explain how I got married.)
* "my wrist hurts finkelstein test" (NOOO! Don't do it!!)

And my absolute favorite:

* "how to frost a dora cake" (Good luck with that! Send photos!)

24 September 2008

Ah, Society's Norms: I Hardly Knew Ye

Holy crap, people! I neglect my Google Reader for two days and I come back to 36 unread posts! What in the name of Bill Clinton is going on here? I just spent the last hour catching up, each time expecting to run across that one nutjob-jerk who decided to put out 18 posts in 24 hours. Turns out everyone I know just wrote one-to-two posts per day. That's not nearly as exciting as I'd anticipated, and here I got my panties in a bunch over nothing. Who am I going to yell at now? Quit posting so much, people! I have a life you know! Obviously!

Here's a tidbit I was greeted with on Comcast's news feed today; I'll let you pick out the one glaring word that makes this statement unfathomable: "Former 'Idol' Clay Aiken tells People magazine that he could no longer hide his homosexuality." Let me just get the obvious over with here and ask, was he even trying?

Speaking of Clay Aiken, a few women, including Stephanie and Kristen, and I were playing Catchphrase, a game where you get a word or phrase, describe it, and the others guess. My phrase was "Clay Aiken."

Me: "That idiot from American Idol."
My team: "Ryan Seacrest! Simon Cowell!"
Me: "No, a singer."
Stephanie: "Clay Aiken!"
Ta-da.

I was going to post something about a website I've had an idea for for a while now--an idea that left me completely in stitches over my brilliant sense of humor. However, the more I thought about posting about it, the more I decided I would look incredibly insane doing it. And that while I might be laughing, everyone else would likely be staring at their computer screens in horror, wondering which authorities they should notify first. I considered asking someone like Stephanie if my attempt at humor would translate to anyone else outside of my own brain, but her brother's in town so she's busy thinking about someone besides me for once. It's a shame though--it cracks me up even thinking about it. It was going to have photoshopped pictures, music, a FAQ section, and everything. Oh well. Some crazy things are best left unexplored. NOW DON'T YOU FEEL BAD FOR SUPPRESSING MY CREATIVE GENIUS?!

17 September 2008

Autumn Cleaning

I just looked at my email inbox and I had 230+ messages in it. Most of the messages were from family and friends who I was supposed to respond to for one reason or another--looking at them was making me feel guilty for never getting to them. Then I realized with relief that almost all of them are now obsolete. Into the archives you go 230+ messages! Hooray! I figure those people I just banished from my sight pretty much know they're not getting a response by now and they have come to grips with it. Heaven knows I have. I have two messages in my inbox now, only one of which needs a response before the end of the year. Go me!

I found this among the messages that I'd meant to throw up on my blog back when it was popular to do so but which I'd totally forgotten about. So you're getting it now that it's totally passé.

We all know what I think of my (and everyone else's) kids. Naturally, I was curious to know what my kid thought of me (not that it would change anything of course):

1. What is something mom always says to you?
"It's lunch time." (Seriously, when isn't it lunch time?)
2. What makes mom happy?
A smile
3. What makes mom sad?
[When I'm] bad.
4. How does mom make you laugh?
Making funny faces
5. What was mom like as a child?
A baby (smart, this one)
6. How old is mom?
5 (nevermind)
7. How tall is mom?
Don't know
8. What is mom's favorite thing to do?
At the computer (Hm.)
9. What does mom do when you're not around?
Get dizzy twirling around (what I actually do in my private time is likely to be a vast disappointment to her)
10. What is mom really good at?
Playing at the piano (aw, thanks kid! *sniff*)
11. What is mom not good at?
Not waking up the baby (Oh, what does she know anyway??)
12. What is mom's job?
Mommy (my kid is more perceptive than your kid)
13. What is mom's favorite food?
Cookies (I need to start snacking in private)
14. What makes you proud of mom?
Playing with the toys
15. What do you and mom do together?
"Big and Little" (a game I've clearly never heard of)
16. How are you and mom the same?
Big (she insists this is precisely what she meant)
17. How are you and mom different?
Kids are little (again, she assured me this was correct, despite her previous answer; she's just a little too deep for me)
18. How do you know mom loves you?
A heart. (Better than "She doesn't," right?)

What a cute kid.

Another email?! Crap! DELETE, DELETE! Ahh, crisis averted.