Friday, February 29, 2008

And you didn't think it was possible.

The phenomenon that has rendered me speechless:

Or very nearly so.

I don't understand how this happened. One minute, Oprah's all, "I never even bring bacon into my house," and the next thing, it's all over the Internet.

Wake up, people. This bacon contingency is dead set on taking over the world. How much more evidence do you need?

courtesy Bacon Unwrapped

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grab a seat.

I really like the idea of having these Livingstones indoor cushions in my house, where I would like to use them in place of furniture. I like that idea almost as much as I like the idea of a new La-Z-Boy deluxe recliner parked in the functional center of my living room, and which I would use in place of moving around and doing anything productive. Ever.

As far as that goes, I wouldn't mind plopping either one down in front of a gigantic, big-screen LCD HDTV with surround sound home theater system.

And although I might be able to redecorate around a pile o' rocks or a man-chair, I can't see me ever getting one of those great-big-honking televisions. I simply can't afford it.

Not unless they invent one I can also drive to work.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As you know, I've been a little busy with the new Christmas book. I've been preoccupied. I've been so distracted, that I think I must have left the door open a crack when it should have been closed.

And now I've misplaced my Tawana.

I've tried all the usual things: standing in the doorway, shaking a can of her favorite treats while making come-here kiss-y noises. I called her name out the open window while driving up and down the street. I hung MISSING signs. Tomorrow, I'm posting a reward.

I don't know what's left to do, so I'm taking it to the people.

If you see my pal, tell her I'm looking for her. And to answer her damn phone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dude, u like copied my whole myspace.

Okay. I've been trying and trying to avoid addressing this, but I don't appear to have the willpower to refrain altogether. I think I might be able to satisfy myself by dealing with it in a half-assed kind of way, though.

Which is really kind of appropriate, if you think about it.

According to Jennifer Saranow's article, not all the online daters and social networkers out there are the real authors of the information on their profiles. Some of it is actually lifted from other people.

Which isn't that surprising, when one stops to consider how well-written most of them are. They are, in fact, so well written that I don't have the heart to make fun of them. Too much of that kind of thing, and I could get a rep for being mean and uncaring. Then, the next thing you know, I'm torturing puppies and threatening small children with the boogie man.

But as I indicated before, I'm not sure I'll be able to let it go, completely. But for now, I am taking the higher ground. So while you read Ms. Saranow's article, I'm going to practice being a better person.

Pray for me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A narrow escape.

Yesterday, as I was returning home from the grocery store, I pulled to a stop at the intersection and just happened to glance off to my right.

My heart stopped.

There, in somebody's backyard and with both Mom and Dad in attendance, little Bucky Somebody was simultaneously pirouetting while twirling a very large, knobby stick as though it were a majorette's baton. Every pass by the swingset just narrowly missed pinata-ing his little sister's head by the merest fraction of an inch.

Swoosh. Whew. Swoosh. Whew. Swoosh. Whew.

As you know, I am for the most part helplessly at the mercy of my rapidly dying ovum, which so often compel me to insert my nose and opinions into situations that do not immediately concern me. Fortunately, just as I was debating whether to park the car and get out or just roll down my window and shout my warning, the family dog--a large, bucketheaded rottweiler--came bounding into the family vignette.

The danger quotient at that point simply became too much for me. Obviously, these were people who were actively trying to decrease their number.

My powers could not help these people.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Top of the Charts

I have a long laundry list of things I should be doing on Saturday afternoon, but I'm laughing at these instead.

Via Chris Glass.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's another corndog day!

I promised my Friend Fred a Haiku for his birthday. At the time, I was all like, "I'm a professional writer. Haiku's are easy. Sheesh, they don't even have to rhyme."

And I was drinking beer.

As usual, I've overestimated my competency.

Oh, well. Happy Birthday Fred.

An imported beer
for every year you've been here
will give you good cheer

Yeah, I know. It's not even a real Haiku.

As to the rest of you, today's my big huge printer day. You'll have to write your own Haiku.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Yesterday, as I was sitting in one of the writer's cubicles, I reached my hand back behind my head to floof my hair, and brought out a straight pin.

Buried up in my hair. On my head. Where my brain lives. Yet I'm fairly certain I removed all the straight pins from my hair before I left the house that morning.

I am not terribly surprised that this pin Houdinied its way way into my hair just as I was sitting with the one writer whom I've tormented so mercilessly in pursuit of a Christmas book deadline. But I think she must surely have had an accomplice, and so am left trying to determine which of the others might also have it in for me.

Unless it's all of them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The bird's eye view.

I don't like to fly.

Because I don't like doing it, I avoid it altogether unless my boss absolutely orders me to. And when she does, I always make sure we fly together. That way, I know she's getting her money's worth.

I believe I've hinted here before that I am what's termed an anxious flyer. If it were up to me, I would never even think about it, let alone do it. I don't even really like to talk about it. Yet, flying--and my dread of having to do it--seems to come up in a lot of my everyday conversations.

Unfortunately, it's almost always never enough to simply say "I don't like to fly" and be done with it. The person on the other end of the conversation always wants to know why I don't like to fly. If my list of reasons (which is fairly long) does not strike them as reasonable (and it usually doesn't), they set out to give me the talking cure.

Listening to these people, I get the exact same feeling I used to get on the playground, watching from the sidelines as all the other girls were doing handsprings--or somersaults as we called them then.

"Oh, pshaw! It's easy. See me? I can do it!"

You know what happens when you listen to girls who are born knowing how to go from standing position to handstand to back again? You walk home with a mouth full of fescue and the indelible mental image of you flying ass-over-teakettle--and not in a somersault-y way.

photo, Onofre Bouvila, via wikipedia.

And speaking of up.

Watch the night sky tonight to see the last total lunar eclipse before the year 2010. Here's the schedule according to NASA (in Central Standard Time):

7:43 PM - Partial Eclipse Begins
9:01 PM - Total Eclipse Begins
9:26 PM - Mid-Eclipse
9:51 PM - Total Eclipse Ends
11:09 PM - Partial Eclipse Ends

NASA has more info, along with the schedule for other time zones.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You know how it is when something comes out of your mouth that surprises even you, right? Right?

I've been referring to them in just this way on the blog for so long now, that yesterday evening I pulled up to the speaker and ordered, "Two crunchy and delicious drive-through tacos, please."

The dude who took my order never batted an eyelash.

The person with whom I was speaking to on the cellphone at the time, however, was really quite amused.

photo, Bandini, Taco Reporter.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Keep your laws off my pullet.

Truly, I thought this was the kind of thing that could only happen in my part of the world. So, imagine my surprise to hear of this tempest brewing in the teapot of Missoula, MT.

According to Wikipedia, the town of Missoula boasts a "thriving arts scene." Surely, everybody knows this to be code for farm-animal-friendly. If wouldn't surprise me a bit to find a goat or two hidden in the backyards of a couple of these folks.

photo of "America" The Chicken © All rights reserved by Anne Medley

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Aw, Come on. It's Presidents' Day. You know you're not doing anything.

I'll be recording Chicken Freedom live this Monday (2/18) for KUAR/Tales From the South at Starving Artist Cafe, 416 W. 7th Street, at 5:30pm. Come out and cheer me on. The bar will be open; the kitchen closed.

There's a map at the cafe website. Click the logo. (The link works now.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

The return of the campaign song.

This has been out in the world for a couple weeks now, but I didn't catch it until last night.

All I can say is, "Damn."

Hillary. Sister. Step up. See can you get Feist on the horn.

Appearing are Adam Rodriguez, Alfonso Ribeiro, Amaury Nolasco, Amber Valletta, Auden Mccaw, Anson Mount, Austin Nichols, Aisha Tyler, Bryan Greenberg, Cliff Collins, Common, Derek Watkins, Ed Kowalczyk, Enrique Murciano, Eric Balfour, Eric Olsen, Esthero, Fred Goldring, Harold Perrineau, Herbie Hancock, Hill Harper, John Legend, John Schaech, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kate Walsh, Kelly Hu, Maya Rubin, Nick Cannon, Nicole Scherzinger, Sam Page, Sarah Wright, Scarlett Johansson, Shoshannah Stern, Taryn Manning, Tatyana Ali, Tracee Ellis Ross, and

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's February 14. Are you ready?

Maybe you remember hearing the story on the news last year about how most women would rather receive a love letter than virtually anything else in the world for Valentine's Day?

Man, that's a lot of pressure! Don't you think so? I do.

Because unless you are compelled by the urging of your heart--unless the writing of such a thing is entirely your idea, a love letter is hard to perfect. On any day. Once you complicate things by trying to do it and do it well on the national love holiday--well, I just don't know that I would risk it.

If I've just talked you out of that idea, you're going to need a plan B. Fortunately for you, I'm something of an expert in this area, since I've been married twice, and was the wife both times.

So here's my Valentine's Day gift-giving advice:

If it doesn't normally come with a slit or a pair of tassles, don't buy it. If it's important to you that she have it, you can ask for it for your birthday.

If you absolutely must buy undergarments for Valentine's Day, replace your own threadbare underwear. The fact that you have new drawers will make her very happy. The fact that she didn't have to buy them for you will make her love you forever. And here's an extra tip: If you've been wearing shorts that you've outgrown, but replace them with appropriately-sized underwear, she may very well make you King of the forest.

Listen. She doesn't want a teddy bear. No matter what she says after you've given her one. Seriously.

Pajamas are really great gifts. Especially ones that match her tube socks.

Know what else is a great gift? Chores. So vacuum. Unload the dishwasher. Fold the clothes in the dryer and put them away. Find a chore that she does every single day and get to it first. Then, don't tell her about it. You're going to have to trust me on this one. She'll notice, and you'll get extra points for not having pointed it out. Yeah, I know. It's complicated.

If all else fails, make a mix-tape. It's the working man's love letter. No matter how long you've been hanging around, it'll still make her smile.

And that's what you were going for wasn't it?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Next time, somebody's taking a Xanax. I think it'll be me.

As some of you are already aware, I traveled to New Mexico last week. What you might not know is that I made the trip--all 2200 miles of it, by automobile.

And I took my 21-year-old with me.

We've made this trip by car before, back during the halcyon days before she was old enough to drive, buy alcoholic beverages, or vote. Back when I was still-- clearly--the one in charge.

But she's not even the tiniest bit afraid of me anymore, and by the time we'd reached the county line, like chickens squeezed into too small a cage, we had very nearly pecked one another to death.

In retrospect, I can see now that flying--despite my fears--would have been much less painful.

Statistically speaking, it's been proven over and over again that driving is much more dangerous than flying. I get that. But then I think of all the conversations I've had with survivors of automobile crashes (both of the minor and the heart-stopping variety), in which almost every one of them said "I dunno. It all happened so fast."

And then I think of myself up there in economy class, hurtling toward earth as I count, "One-Mississippi. Two-Mississippi. Three-Mississippi..."

And I think, "Oh hell. What's a scab or two, anyway--among family?"

photo, Renato Cardoso.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My family and I thank you for your kind words and gestures of sympathy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

And we all shine on--Like the moon, and the stars and the sun.

There's been a death in the family.

Posting will resume on Wednesday.

photo, Andrew Stuart.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thanks for waiting.

I'll return as soon as possible.

photo, Stephanie Berghaeuser

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Survivor recounts U.S. cat attack

Thurs Feb 7, 2008 6:24am

NEW MEXICO (Reuters) - A survivor of Monday's vicious cat attack at a New Mexico residence told the paper last evening that no waving or yelling at the animal occurred before it struck, a newspaper reported today.

Muffin Uptown, 21, said she was sitting in her grandmother's living room when the animal attacked her, the New Mexico Chronicle said, citing a police document filed in court.

Police are confident that the attack was not provoked by taunting. The 45-pound, gray calico named Penny has a history of aggressive and abusive behavior.

According to authorities, the animal scaled a large mission-style chair to attack Ms. Uptown. The cat mauled the girl, impaling one of her right fingers with an extremely long and potentially lethal claw, which neither the cat nor Ms. Uptown could then dislodge.

"I was just sitting there and the cat walked by and looked up, like 'howyadoin'"? So I reached my hand out for her to have a sniff. I DID NOT PET HER. I didn't make a move to touch her at all. All of a sudden, she had my hand and was dragging me off the chair and into the floor."

Family standing in the nearby kitchen heard Ms. Uptown's cries of "OwOwOwOwOWOWOW," and ran into the living area to investigate. Several adults were required to disengage the animal from its human prey.

Ms. Uptown, who is an artist, declined to speculate on whether or not her injuries may affect her future career. She was, however, openly pessimistic about the future of the cat.

photo, Hagit.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I had absolutely no idea that this many people still had album sleeves.

So many, that this has become a fairly popular pastime. See the Flickr pool devoted to these here.

The Liberace sleeves are my favs.

Image, sweet baby boy's photostream.

Sorry, I forgot to give you the link. It's there now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

All dressed up with nothing to read.

Due to family illness, I'm unable to post original content just now.

Because I know some of you start your day here, though, I offer the following.

via Swiss Miss.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I haven't been able to whistle since we crossed the Texas state line.

Okay. So maybe someone who was just complaining of dry skin might be a tad uncomfortable in a part of the country with 29% humidity and 45 mph winds.

Travel tales to come. Thanks for waiting.

Photo, Steven Ritts.

Friday, February 1, 2008

See that acorn right over there? No, closer than that. Closer. THAT one.

Muffin Uptown received an alarming letter from the powers that be at the Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, warning her that she was in danger of being removed from the church rolls for non-attendance. I guess they're expecting a rush and want to be sure that they have plenty of available seating.

I know just how she feels. I received my expulsion letter many years ago. And although you might be wondering, I was not asked to leave because I was bad. However, if any of the church leaders get a load of this, I may be asked to return just so they can throw me out again.

Apparently, it's in the rulebook. If you don't come to church, they give your spot to someone else. They're very pro-active.

Their letter, which is a standard form letter, leaves several important questions unanswered. Like, who, exactly, took roll? Because maybe I was in the bathroom at the time.

And did they not turn up the house lights and take a good look around on Easter? What about Christmas? I know I sat through the Christmas Pageant a couple of times. I remember; it was interminable. The dinner after, though, was really good. I probably didn't have anything decent to take to that potluck, either.

And what if I had a doctor's excuse? Surely I was sick on Sunday at least once during that five year period when I should have been in God's house.

But what I really need to know is, how in the world will I get the Jehovah's Witnesses off my porch, now? "Thanks for stopping by, but I'm already a member at... Oh, wait. They threw me out."

I may as well ask for my subscription to The Watchtower right now. Say, do you think they have an attendance policy?

photo, New Hope Congregation, 1926 (not our church, but they probably threw people out for sleeping in, too.)

Extra Stuff: I hope next week's posts will be coming to you from the slightly warmer western state of New Mexico. If I get out there and find that I can stand outside in my shirtsleeves, I'm not coming back until May.
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