Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Analyze This

One of the recurring dreams I'm having lately is about houses.

It's always my house in the dream, but it's not my ACTUAL house, which is smallish, rather nondescript and single-story. When I dream this dream, I have sold my current house and have moved into this other place. I seem to usually be taking someone on a tour of my new house.

The details of this house vary, but it seems that it is either multi-leveled or with multiple, curving hallways. On this tour that I'm giving, it is occurring to me that I have perhaps made a serious mistake in selling my (real) house to purchase this new place. It's clearly bigger, and I seem to be trying to talk myself into believing that the floor space alone was a good reason to buy it. And, a few of the rooms seem OK; brightly lit, with decent furniture.

But, as I'm touring the place with this person, I am suddenly very aware that there are places where the paint is peeling, and there are boards showing through the drywall. There's been water damage, and the floorboards are spongy and smell of mold.

In one incarnation of the dream, I go down to the basement, and there are rooms down there that someone left without emptying, with, like, old beer cans and cigarette butts and dirty laundry that have sat there for years, untouched. In another version, I am walking down one of the twisty hallways, thinking, "Geez, who thought up this floor plan? I don't think I even know where this one GOES!" And, when I get to the end, it's another of these shabby, shitty rooms.

The rooms aren't scary, exactly, but they are very - um, unsettling. It's not like there's a murderer or a dead body in's more like I get this sinking feeling when I open the door, like, "Oh, crap, that room needs a LOT of cleaning up." I always kind of start to pick up a few things, and then it's just too much for me, and I leave the room. And that's about it.

I'm sure this is all very fraught with symbolism. Anyone do dream analysis? I'm sure it's something along the lines of the house being a symbol for the self, and that I'm probably need to cleanse my psyche of all my buried, inner trauma.

I really think I just need to clean my house, though.

The other dream I keep having is of kissing people I know. Co-workers, acquaintances, old friends, current friends. There does not seem to be a correlation between whom I kiss and who (in the real world) that I actually find attractive. It's not really passionate kissing, either, and it doesn't lead to anything sexual. (And, oddly, I'm never cheating on Lee, as it's either just fine with him, or it's like before I met him.) It's just kissing that flummoxes me, even in my dream. I've even kissed girls in my dreams, and I'm super-boringly straight in real life.

It really doesn't pain me, I suppose, but I always feel somewhat guilty in the morning, not to mention a little weird the next time I see that person. (Last night's was a poker person. And no, I won't tell you who.)

Help me, doc! Am I a dream lip-slut?

And ZOMG, oh no she did NOT say that!


(As found over at Teetering Between, an awesome blog I need to add to my roll to the right.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Caption My Iris LOLCat! head is too congested and stupid to think of a funny caption! Help a girl out, willya?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Something Special For Karla May

You REALLY haven't seen the Star Wars Trilogy?

Could you do better than this?

The Star Wars Trilogy (As Retold by Someone Who Hasn't Seen It)

Thanks, Arky Trish! You know me well. (Should, though, what's it been, like 30 years or something absurd like that?)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Maybe I'm Amazed

Tomorrow, the work begins.

I am suddenly struck by the enormity of the task ahead of us, and of the impossibly high expectations that BHO faces. As the great philosopher Daniel Ash once said, when you're down, it's a long way up. And, of course, when you're up, it's a long way down.

I'm terrified for his safety, and may be holding my breath and crossing my fingers - and desperately hoping that his security detail is made up of hundreds of individual Batmans on Adderall - for the next four years.

Tonight, though, I crack the pinot noir, and toast my new president, and my beautiful first lady. (And, Jill Biden? Wearing that red dress with the Eff Me Boots? You kick ass!)

Your steady snark drip returns tomorrow. Peace out.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Dear W,

At last, at LAST, it is time for us to say goodbye. Eight years? Seems like fifty.

I'm not going to lie to you; I never liked you. Oh, yes, way back in the day, when you were just the ineffectual governor of my state, I might have murmured something less than completely hostile about you from time to time, such as "Oh, well, he's not particularly racist, for a Republican."

(Which does appear to be true, if I can still summon up the will to cut him the tiniest sliver of a break. At least personally, I don't think he's racist, nor do I think he hates immigrants with the slobbering vitriol that his cohorts in the right--wing base do. There you go.)

However, even then, I didn't buy any of this "affable" crap. I HATE it when people use that word to describe you. You are the farthest thing from "affable" that I can think of. You are, in fact, a sullen, spoiled little frat boy with a cruel streak, and the diametric opposite of any person that "I would have a beer with."

I am so tired of your smirking, stupid voice. "Nails on a chalkboard" would be the most charitable comparison. Towards the end, it was more like a broomstick in a generator. For at least the past six years, I have turned off HOW many news programs because, unbidden, the howl would escape from my lips..."Oh, god, he's TALKING again!"...and off it would go.

I'd love to write here all of the reasons I hate you so, so much, but the length of that list is, quite frankly, daunting. I'd have to neglect my children's dinner, and their bedtime, and quite possibly getting them to school in the morning. (And, there is already a super awesome one here, as it turns out.) But, here's...oh, 15 reasons, off the top of my head:

1) Iraq - everything, EVERYTHING - 4000+ American lives, "greeting us with roses," lies, treason, "yellowcake," "Mission Accomplished," an occupation that will last us 100 years. Dear lord, I just...I just weep.

2) Katrina - no explanation necessary. This response was one of the most vile stains on our nation's history. Heckuva job.

3) Abu Ghraib

4) Gitmo

5) The outing of Valerie Plame - which is by definition, a SECURITY BREACH, you paranoid jingoist BASTARDS - as retaliation for her husband writing an editorial.

6) The Bush/Cheney/Gonzalez-orchestrated purging of justice department employees who were not considered sufficient party loyalists - and then LYING about the reason, thus smearing their reputation immeasurably, and unfairly, and GOD I HATE THEM

7) The appointment of TWO Supreme Court justices that, even now, if given a chance, will set back the rights of women forty years

8) Ignoring the "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Within the US" memo (August, 2001)

9) The 2000 election by judicial fiat (oh, man, the "Brooks Brothers Riot," Katherine Harris, "Sore-Loserman"... ah, memories!)

10) Jeff Gannon, Male Prostitute

11) Enron

12) Paying conservative "journalists" to shill for No Child Left Behind

13) No Child Left Behind (a.k.a. "No Child Left Untested")

14) John Ashcroft, my homeboy; singer of patriotic harmony and coverer of statue boobs

15) One word...Cheney! I'm almost inspired to compose something to the tune of "Maria." (Almost. Because to do so would be to spend valuable minutes of my life thinking of him. And that I will not do.)

It's so time for you to go now. It was so time four - eight - years ago. You - you - incurious, ignorant, ungracious little man. If you had had any sense of yourself, and your own limitations, you would have refused their cynical kingmaking scheme in the first place, and not let this travesty occur in the first place.

As I've stated before, I do not think Barack Obama is the messiah. I believe he is a politician, although a preternaturally gifted one. And, I will admit to rolling my eyes a bit when the MSNBC anchors tonight were talking about a lady being saved from choking today at an inauguration dinner, and the Hudson River plane crash, as the "beginning of the Obama miracles." (Tongue-in-cheek, one assumes...but, hey, have you WATCHED MSNBC lately?)

But, nevertheless, I am so, so happy, to have someone leading this nation that is not a worldwide laughing stock. Who has thoughts. Of his own. Who converses with others he disagrees with. Who has READ A BOOK or two. Who can speak in complete sentences.

BO; welcome, sir. I sit, tonight, in great anticipation of tomorrow. I fully expect to haul my li'l 12-inch TV to work, and I'll watch every second that I can.

GWB; I hope never to hear your voice again. (Although, truth be told, I might prefer it slightly over Palin's.) Please enjoy your time in Dallas with the other rich white bastards in your gated community. We'd prefer if you stay locked behind the gates, though; we don't really want your kind mixing with the civilized folks.

Goodbye. Don't let the front door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

We're done.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blogger Suckage

**UPDATE** - It appears the "Spreading Wal-Marts" map was the culprit. Let me know if it's not all fixded now.

Hi all,

I am hearing that there is a PROBLEM viewing my blog. I noticed that I could no longer see it at work, but I thought it was just some weirdness on our server's end.

Very possibly, one of the widgets may not be working anymore, so I was about to go in and delete them (at least Backwards more need! Yaaaay) - HOWEVER, the "delete widgets" function ALSO appears to be effed up.

Soooo...I'll keep working on it; apologies for any difficulty on your end.

In the meantime, please go over to read this Most Loathsome People of 2008 list. This is the list I intended to write, but they did it MUCH MUCH better than I ever could.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Of the OG

My dear little OG is going through her annual winter blahs.

By "blahs," what I mean is this somewhat controversial syndrome called PANDAS. PANDAS stands for "Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep" (which is, upon examination, a rather tortured acronym, but whaddya gonna do). She was diagnosed with it a couple years ago, by the nutty West Austin doctors that specialize in this sort of thing (e.g. ADHD, autism, Tourette's).

Kids with this syndrome react with neurologic symptoms - e.g. tics, obsessive/compulsive behavior, hyperactive/impulsive behavior changes, mood lability - to the presence of elevated strep titers, or the antibodies created after an exposure to strep. These kids are misdiagnosed all the time as ADHD, or Tourette's, or Asperger's. (If you Google it, look up "PANDAS" and "strep," because if you leave out the "strep" part, all you get is stuff, pandas. Ask me how I know.)

What's different about PANDAS kids is that they have these episodes, usually during cold and flu season, for several weeks, long enough for you to start thinking "oh, my god, my child is INSANE....and then, they GET BETTER. And they aren't crazy, tic-ing, repetitive, hyperactive nutballs anymore! They're fine!

Unfortunately, it's cold and flu season again, and the OG got her first strep exposure of the season via her little cousin (who is a strep carrier, I of those kiddos that has it ALL the time. That's not good, either.) About a week later, she started in with the fatigue, and sleeping until ten o'clock, which is NOT typical behavior for my Type A morning girl.

However, I didn't know she was truly getting sick until she started engaging in the most BIZARRE behavior, for her, that I have ever seen. And, believe me, I love her and respect her and think she is the coolest chick in the world...but that is saying something!

What she is doing is stressing - to the point of sobbing, sometimes - over the guilt she feels about thinking something bad about someone. Not SAYING it, mind you...just THINKING about it. For like two weeks she has cried multiple times per day about death. Why? Because she is terrified that if she thinks about someone dying, it must mean she WANTS them to die, and what if they DID die, and what if she CAUSED them to die by THINKING about them dying, and boo hoo hoo hoo!

Or, like, when she thinks something insulting about someone, she feels ABSOLUTELY COMPELLED to tell me about it! Every day! Like, I pick her up from school, and she immediately volunteers - often crying - "I thought about calling someone a nincompoop today," or "It occurred to me that so-and-so is overweight. WHAT IF I CALLED THEM FAT? Boo hoo hoo! Am I a horrible person?"

The good part, like I mentioned, is that we've been here before, and know it'll get better. Our marvelous female pediatrician - as good the missed and lamented Dr. H., but with an actual bedside manner - agreed to put her on the same hardcore antibiotics, a MONTH of Zithromax, that the West Austin freaky doctor clinic put her on a couple of years ago, which WORKED. (I LOVE her. I LOVE that she believes me, and that she actually read the doctor's report, and that she called me well after hours to talk about what she read. The OG asked me if she was my doctor, and I said, wistfully, "I wish...")

And, yes, a week into the antibiotics, she's already way better. She's still feeling the need to tell me every evil thought she has - and is just a little too interested in what exact words are "cuss" words, but that may just be because she's in third grade - but her facial tics have stopped, and she's no longer freaking out her after-school teacher by sobbing about how all she thinks about is death. (I had a brief "don't call CPS" moment, there, having to explain to the nice concerned young lady, "No, she's not depressed; no, there's nothing weird going on at home; no, we don't systematically kill her pets one by one in front of her.")

The other good part is that I think she has finally tapped into her bleeding-heart liberal side, which she could not help but have. It's like, suddenly, empathy has entered her heart, and it's freakin' BREAKING it. I think she's suppressed thinking about pain and suffering and loss up till now. But, now, though she's completely devastated by these notions, I think she has reached the point that she can wrap her mind around them. And, lo and behold, she's being nice to her sister - hugging, comforting, and EVEN SLEEPING with her - due to, I think, her sudden realization that we don't have each other forever.

Raising kids is hard. Although kind of funny. Two rather priceless moment during all this: First, over break, The Man was giving her some minor reprimand for something, and told her to go sit in her room for a bit. I came by a bit later and heard her crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "I got in trouble. AND I CALLED DADDY 'STUPID'!"

I'm all, hmmm...that doesn't sound right. So, I said, " his face?" And she sobbed, breaking down, "No, but I THOUGHT IT!!!"

Next, the other night, she came up to me, stricken, saying "I keep thinking about a cuss word!" I said, OK, what word is it? She said, "It's um...(whimper, whine)...I CAN'T SAY IT!!!" I gently prodded a bit longer, and she finally said, "It's...THE 'C' WORD!"

Me, I'm all..."What 'C' word do you mean?" Because, I tell you, my mind was kinda reeling. She replied, "The...'CR' word!"

Oh..."crap," of course.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Spring 2009 Workout Mix

In attempting to fulfill my perennial New Year's Resolution, it occurred to me that a fresh start on the exercise campaign required a new workout mix on the old pod. So, after a brief yet manic indulgence at iTunes (and with some assistance from Erin's kickass Christmas mix CDs) this is what I've come up with:

(Note: Not all of the music is new; it's just new to ME. And, not all of the music is what you would call, um, GOOD. I cannot help that. The workout wants what the workout wants.)

1) The Jimmy Choos - Chester French
I think this is the only song I've ever bought without hearing it, and strictly on the basis of an article I read - at the gym, no less - in Blender. It's quite infectious, and who doesn't love a chorus that involves the repeated elongation of the word "Choos," as in "She's got...Jimmy Chooooos, ooooos, oooooos!"

2) Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
I held off on buying this song until I didn't hear it on every radio station like 10 times a day. When I was no longer sick of it, I realized that I desperately needed it.

3) Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs

4) L.E.S. Artistes - Santogold
I LOVE this album. Modern-day Philly girl that sounds like Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons. Also "You'll Find A Way." This whole album makes me feel swirly/dancey as a 21-year-old.

5) Never Miss A Beat - Kaiser Chiefs

6) Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis
It's a car commercial song, but I kinda love it. Sorry, hipster cred, you will just have to endure yet another slight.

7) The Mesopotamians - They Might Be Giants
I defy you to listen to this song ONE TIME without getting it stuck in your head FOREVER.

8) Pocket Full of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield
I TOLD you not all of it was good. Hey, I bought it for the OG, NOT myself. But, it works on an elliptical in ways that I cannot describe.

9) Mercy - Duffy
It's a commercial song, too, but at least I can honestly say that I liked it well before that. Didn't like the rest of this album, but this song cannot be denied.

10) Rock and Roll Machine - The Donnas
Not quite the Ramones, but a reasonable substitution. Plus, chick band, which is always cool.

11) A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Same thing about not buying it until I wasn't sick of it anymore. Now, I'm glad to have it.

12) Golden Age - TV on the Radio
I think this might be the next whole album I get. They interest me quite a bit.

13) Love in a Trashcan - The Raveonettes
Doesn't Jack White have something to do with this band, or am I thinking of something else?

14) In These Shoes? - Kirsty MacColl
Definitely not new. But I love having this "cougarish" song playing in my ear as I survey all the nubile coeds at 24-Year-Old Fitness.

15) I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You - The Black Kids

16) White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
I HATE HATE HATE whoever got this song stuck in my head - not sure if it was Badger, or goddam John Aielli on Eklektikos, or who, but it WILL NOT LEAVE and the only remedy is to listen to it on my iPod like twice a day. It's good for cooldowns, as is...

17) The Crane Wife #3 - The Decemberists
Except it makes me sad. And I hate to get teary-eyed at the gym, because, you know, I look so AWESOME otherwise.

18) Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
Because no playlist is complete without some form of 80's goth. Represent!

OK, it's currently rather heavy on the jangly white boy angsty intellectual-nerd music that I am always attracted to. But, it helps me get my sweat on.

I am, however, taking submissions...what is this list missing? Lay all your love on me.

(I am considering throwing that damn Beyonce "Ring on It" song in the mix; again, mostly to help get it out of my head, but also because it lends itself to the shakin of the booteh.)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Just a survey...

Can you guess which one of these headlines from Yahoo! News made me scream out loud just now?

(Hint: For once, it has NOTHING to do with Sarah Palin.)

LOL Stoops!

Eh...this is too tiny. (Lee sez you can click on it to enlarge it.)

But is it not super awesome happy fun to remind ourselves of the FIVE STRAIGHT TIMES that stupid Oklahoma has lost the title game?*

*Sorry, Jaye. JK! (O noes I'm not! LOLZ! )

Monday, January 05, 2009

There's Bacon on my Website!

Super Cool!!

Relax; you jealous freaks can have bacon on YOUR website, too.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter Break Movie Rundown

Over the past two weeks - Ah! Short, wonderful, winter break! How I will miss you day after tomorrow - I've had the chance to catch up on a few movies that I've missed over the past year or so. (Some I watched by choice, and some I saw just by virtue of being at my mother's house in her comfy recliners and feeling that changing the channel would require just too much exercise.) Here's a rundown of what I've seen thus far:

1) Once - Cristen and I watched this one last night. I really liked it. Quiet little movie - almost a musical - that sinks into your subconscious mind and hangs, rather tenaciously, for quite some time after you've seen it. It's short, and unassuming, and just does what it does without fuss...but leaves you aching.

Fantastic soundtrack, too. It's going on my iTunes forthwith.

2) Casino Royale - Yeah, I know, I know, it's like two years old. I REALLY don't see movies like I used to. And, to be honest, I've never actually ELECTED to watch a James Bond movie before. I've seen a few, but usually because some guy I liked at the time wanted to go see one. They've always left me cold (even View to a Kill, my favorite due to the sole reason that Duran Duran did the theme song. I remember nothing else about it other than Grace Jones, however). But, everybody raved about how great this one was, and I have liked Daniel Craig in everything I've seen him in - and, plus, I knew it was about poker, a hobby/slavish habit of mine - so I turned it on while we were in KC.

And? Well...I guess I'm just a James Bond philistine, because I thought it was just another Bond movie. I will not deny that Daniel Craig is super hot, and fills out a tux better than just about anybody except George Clooney, and that he is a reasonably good actor overall. And, I liked his thuggy take on the Bond character, which provided me more interest than the movie itself. But, it's nothing I'd really seek to watch again, which is always my measure of a great movie.

3) The Golden Compass - I had heard mixed reviews about this one, but I liked it fairly well. I'm glad I've seen it before the girls do, if for nothing else than the fact that I now have some semblance of an idea of what exactly the fuck this story is about, for explanation purposes. I have the book, but haven't read it yet...I'll probably dig it out and give it a whirl, as I'm in between books at the moment.

Daniel Craig, again, is very good, as is the main girl, as is Nicole Kidman. You know, I don't think of myself as a huge Nicole fan, but I can't think of a movie that I absolutely hated with her in it. (I even liked Eyes Wide Shut, and I think I am the only person in the world who did. I did fall asleep in The Hours, but I was on a transatlantic flight, and had had quite a bit of red wine, and possibly a Xanax.) Moulin Rouge? To Die For? Flirting? I think I must like her just fine.

4) The Bucket List - This one goes under the category of "can't get up to change the channel." No, actually, my mom made me watch it. It A gratingly predictable tearjerker. I will admit to tearing up at the end, but I was even annoyed by that total bit of manipulation. Oh, gee, Morgan Freeman is noble and elderly, and Nicholson is a giant canned ham with a cackle that belies his inner pain. Very original.

(It is entirely possible that I am just an unfeeling jerk, however. Carry on.)

5) Prince Caspian - Again, I really must read the book before I attempt to explain this one to my children. Who was that guy again? What land is he from? Is he Trumpkin? Snufflefrump? Wizzleguard? How about Bumpletum? Whangdoodle? Why are they fighting? Why are they fighting NOW? Who knows? Hell if I do...

Actually, we only made it halfway into this one tonight before we had to call it quits. It's long, and it was late, and the deaths in it were freaking out the OG to some degree, and there was the matter of an exciting football game going on that The Man couldn't help but notice. We'll watch the rest tomorrow, presumably.

6) Bolt - One of two that I saw in the theater. LOVED it. It's basically a Pixar movie, and it's written as well as the Pixar flicks. Funny, sweet, touching. This one EARNED my tearing up at the end, damn it. This is one I feel confident we'll buy.

7) The Tale of Despereaux - The other one I saw in the theater. (And yes, there is a theme to movies I tend to see in theaters. The key letters always include "G.")

Voices by Kevin Kline? Dustin Hoffman? Sigourney Weaver? Matthew Broderick? TRACEY ULLMAN? Beautiful animation, like a Boticelli set to motion? You would think I would totally love this one. I really did not love it. It is long, and slow, and my generally good movie-watching children were fidgeting noticeably, as was my ADHD husband. Go see Bolt instead.

Next up on the Netflix: Tropic Thunder and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Sadly, I just hope I get to them before spring break.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Check out the GWB countdown calendar...

It says that there are only 17 DAYS LEFT of Bush's presidency.

Can you even believe this long national nightmare is almost over?

Screw Christmas. THIS is the day I'll be anticipating this year. (Oh, and also when Flight of the Conchords starts back up again.)