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:
*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

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:
*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."


(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)


"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.


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.