Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For My Friend Who Suffers From The Only Thing Worse Than Anal Charley Horses

You know who you are friend. Take two of these and pray like hell your ass doesn't seize up like an unoiled engine.

Four short stories in all here my dear friends.

Dog Shit Man

My condo is in a small complex and I sit at the top of a horseshoe section in the back. My initiation into this little community was spear headed by my neighbor, Dog Shit Man. I don't think that's the name on his driver's license, but that’s what I call him.

Dog Shit Man is in his early 60s I would say. He has a slim build and thick head of light brown hair. Benny goes with him almost everywhere. Benny is mostly white with some black spots. He has a distinctly round, lumpy ass. The last time I scratched it, I noticed that there were a few hairless patches. Dog Shit Man’s wife introduces herself as Benny’s mom.

The first time I met Dog Shit Man, he was taking credit for a gift bag of dog shit that was leaning against the bottom of my screen door.

It was my second day at my new house and I was walking up to my front door after a very long move-in day previous. As I approach, I see a small, clear plastic bag leaning at the base of the screen door, neatly knotted at the top. I bent to pick up the bag, confident it was the shelf pegs for my bookcases. I thought perhaps the movers forgot them in the truck the day before and dropped them at the door. As soon as I had the bag in my hand, I noticed some condensation inside which seemed out of place for shelf pegs. Then small-scale horror as I realized -- it was a bag of dog shit! I quickly ditched the awful housewarming present in the garbage bag that was leaning to one side of the door and try to shake off the “what the fuck?!” of the moment.

I rushed to unlock the door, eager to get in and wash my hands, when I saw a middle-aged man come up the main walk. He was about to walk by me when he saw me looking at him. He smiled and said hello to me. I offered the same in return, but my intuition sparked. I sensed the mark of the tool in this man, so I asked, "Do you know, by chance, who put a bag of dog poo on my doorstep?" A beam of pride crosses his face and he quietly says, "Oh, that was me" I’m shocked.

Who actually admits that they skulked around the bushes looking for shit? If that were my hobby [read: freak fetish] I would be very private. Maybe have a poo shrine behind lock and key or something, but no sharing should be allowed. This man was proud of his handy work. He needed to be knocked down a peg.

I couldn’t resist, "I'm sorry, but I thought the tradition leaned more towards cookies." Crickets. Blank stare. Dog Shit Man then started rambling about the logic behind his thoughtful gift.

He tells me he saw my dog follow the movers out the front door and park one near the bushes yesterday afternoon. I’m already lost in a day dream imagining Dog Shit Man tip toeing behind my dog in the bushes, as she goes into her poo stance. He’s dressed as Sherlock Holmes, complete with monocle and he is poised with the little bag open to catch the pitch without smudging the sides of the bag. I snap out of it as he is warning me that we all have to be really careful about cleaning up after our dogs or we will get notes from the home owners’ association.

As time went on, I became more and more bitter about what a dick Dog Shit Man was to me that day. It really pissed me off that he couldn’t just let one slide for a new neighbor. To make myself feel better, I mess with him sometimes. When he tries to say hello and chat -- sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I notice sometimes that he seems to be all twitchy when I walk by him because he doesn't know if I will return his wave or say hi when he does. A time or two he has seen me headed out somewhere dressed up and he has tried to compliment me. I tell him something like "I'm going to a funeral" in the hopes that I just made things super awkward for him. Of course, I never use his birth name. He will forever be known by his self-christened name Dog Shit Man, and I require the same of everyone else around me.

Benny has two furry siblings that like to hang out on the roof of my garage. They also like to shit in the strip of soft dirt that is running alongside the fence there. This particular type of crap doesn’t bother Dog Shit Man at all. I would even go so far as to say that he seems to prefer it since Benny is the only one allowed inside the house. I imagine one day I will find just the right gift bag [maybe something sequined] and reciprocate the gift that keeps on giving to my good neighbor Dog Shit Man.

Drowning Is Like Riding A Bike [feel free to disregard the title - just wanted to call it something]

When I was three, my brother got me to jump into my aunt and uncle’s pool by telling me I knew how to swim. I have only a flash of a memory of falling through the water and then wanting to breath but only seeing bubbles rising above my head. My aunt tells me that my older cousin pulled me out before the adults around the pool really knew what had happened. I remember standing in my underwear by my mother afterward. She dried me off as I cried.

A few years later, Sal taught me how to ride a bike. We lived with my maternal grandparent’s by then and they had a tangle of old bicycles on the side of the garage. All the kids and grandkids that came before us, seemed to have left one behind. I picked the bike that looked small enough for me to ride and we walked over to the church parking lot. Mine was a girls bike with a cracked glittery banana seat and handle bar tassels. The church lot was two houses over on the corner and usually empty during the week. We found it that way when we got there. Paved smooth in black asphalt, it had plenty of room and a cool ramp that came off of the back door of the building, and fed into the lot.

Sal explained how you have to peddle right away or you will fall over. That didn’t seem so hard. He looped around the lot while I stopped and started, trying to balance my momentum. Eventually I was able to follow him for short spurts before keening to one side and tipping myself over.

At dinner, I was eager to tell my grandparents about my big news: I was officially a bike rider. “Let’s wait until after dinner and you can tell your mom too” my grandmother suggested. I rushed through my food but each mouthful seemed to be replaced by another. Finally I had eaten enough that I could be excused from the table. I went straight to my mother’s room.

My brother and I shared a bedroom upstairs, but my mom stayed downstairs in a room off of the back of the kitchen. It was big enough for her hospital bed and all the supplies the night nurse needed. My mother had come to look so different. All of her hair was gone. My grandmother had knit her an array of colorful little caps to wear. My grandfather joked that they kept her brains warm, but I wished she still had her thick, dark hair. Her skin was different too, an undertone of sallowness muting her olive coloring, and the skin under her eyes had gotten so dark as to look like rings had been smudged on with costume paint.

I was triumphant when I got to my mother’s side. “I learned how to ride a bike today - Sal taught me” I announced, and climbed up on the foot of the bed to wait for my grandmother. “That’s great!” and she was smiling when she looked at me. My grandmother came in then with a plate for my mother. She fed it to her in little bits and listened as I recounted the afternoon. I told them how I learned to stay up while I peddled and how Sal was going to teach me to go faster and how to stop.

The next day Sal and I headed right back out to the church to pick up where we left off. That’s when he told me that bikes don’t have brakes. Tipping over or crashing in to something were the only ways to stop a speeding bike. The first day I hadn’t been going fast enough to need to know such things but now I would have to learn to be on the look out for a fitting crash spot when I wanted to get off my bike. I scanned the lot as I started riding . The perimeter fence was completely lined with rose bushes. I could either hit the side of the building or aim for the fence and let the roses break my fall.

My first crash-stop went pretty well. I had been riding around for quite a while and was ready to see if I could do it. My brother promised to watch so I gave it a go. I hit the bushes pretty much straight on and most of the front of the bike caught the limbs and thorns. It really wasn’t so bad.

Someone taught me how to measure out liquid morphine with a syringe and squirt it into a plastic cup with Rose’s lime juice, to make it more palatable. I liked the way the plunger forced the medicine out into the neon juice and filled it with little bubbles that would slowly rise and break on the surface. I felt very grown up and responsible, doing this chore. My mother would shoot down the mixture and wait for relief.

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to perfect my technique. I had it down to where I could almost always hit the bushes without hitting the fence and that would bounce me back a little, and that, for the most part, keep me from snagging in to the thorns.

We saw my grandfather turn down the street, coming home from work. I waved to him and he pulled over outside the lot and got out. “I know how to go fast and stop now” I called out from where I was riding. “That’s good! Show me.” he answered as he waved.

I started with a few figure eights and then went up and down the ramp a couple of times. As I glided back down into the lot I started to look for a grand finale crash-spot. I liked the corner across from the broad side of the building. I headed for it and tried to keep my front tire as straight as possible. I made contact at more of an angle than I realized and scraped my arm through some thorns before coming to a complete stop.

I was untangling myself when my grandfather was at my side, picking up my bike and asking me if I was okay. He looked alarmed. I told him I needed to keep practicing my stops, so I didn’t get so many thorns. This confused him so I explained what Sal had taught me. When I turned around to ask him to help me explain this to my grandfather, he was gone.

My grandfather brought me home, and left me in the kitchen where my grandmother sat me down at the kitchen table and cleaned my scrapes while he took Sal by the elbow and walked him outside. I could hear his stern words to my brother about how he should never have lied to me and allowed me to hurt myself.

That night my mother’s two youngest brothers came over for dinner and they brought their girlfriends. The kitchen was loud with all their talking and laughing. It was interesting to watch them. My dad came over after dinner. He wanted to see my mother. They sat alone in her room while my grandmother served dessert. I was standing in the kitchen when I heard my parents quiet voices. I leaned towards the door and heard my mother, “They’re having a party out there while I’m in here dying”

Sal didn’t get to ride bikes with me for a while. One day my grandfather walked me down to the church and showed me how to stop my bike by pressing backwards on the peddles.

Dear God, It’s Me, Daniella

I have a very primitive, fear based religion that really only flares to rapture when I think I am going to throw up or shit my pants. If my stomach turns or my guts lurch, I pray, I plead, I barter with a God I believe plots my humiliation. I promise I am going to turn things around, pay it forward, be a better person. I rethink all of my bad decisions, and vow to do better if I am granted any more time here on earth. You may think I am silly, but it has worked, most of the time. Close calls always bring me to a spiritual place and road trips sometimes turn into a test of faith.

I was dating a guy with a lake house. After we had been going out for a month or so, he had this very romantical proposition of taking me to his lake house for the weekend. We were going to sip wine, cook, stare at the lake. It sounded wonderful and I was looking forward to the weekend. The trip up was about three hours and we left in the late afternoon on a Saturday. I was watching the sunset out the car window as my guy drove. We were about an hour from the house when I suddenly felt a wave of swirling gurgle come on. My first prayer was meek, asking that this please just be a little gas. In exchange I would risk a stomach ache holding it in until I was perhaps sitting in front of the lake when an SBD could be blamed on a passing goose. A few minutes later another gurgle followed an achy tug in my stomach. Something bigger on the faith scale needed to happen.

Dear God, If you grant me exemption from crapping in this car, I will donate a dollar for every person I have wished scabies and cold sores upon when I am behind the wheel. I hope you will allow me to do that in installment payments. Please just let me hold this together. Thank you - Daniella.

I felt a reprieve after that. I started to relax and go back to enjoying the rest of our trip.

Suddenly I was gut punched from the left with an achy pain and a wave of heat went through my body leaving my forehead beaded with a little rim of sweat. My guts dropped and I realized then that there was a complete red alert in progress at my back door. It was go time.

Dear God! I am sorry about the Oprah rant. Only half of it was true, but that’s beside the point. I get that I need to be nicer to people. I am not going to lie about anything anymore either - nothing - from here on out. Also, last week is the absolute last time I am going to pretend like I’m not home when those Unicef kids ring the bell. I know that the seats in this truck are leather and therefore wouldn’t be impossible to get clean, but please don’t let me shit my pants in front of this guy. He’s really cute and I am trying to look normal this weekend. Thanks - and I love your hair! - Daniella.

God was having none of my shenanigans. I felt beyond redemption this time. “Is there a Starbucks or anything around here? I could really go for something to drink.” Five months later, a small strip of stores, complete with a Starbucks, appeared on the other side of the intersection. Three weeks after that, we got through the light and were parked outside of the door. I pulled off a pretty casual looking launch from the passenger side, and hobble run to the bathrooms in back.

Once inside, on a fresh toilet seat cover, I unraveled and waves of relief and gratitude washed over me. You really scared me that time God - I thought you were going to forsake me. Fighting back tears, I continued, Thank you so much for creating Starbucks, and toilets with black hole vortex flushing power, and toilet paper, and air venting systems, and radial muscles. I swear I will find a way to make this up to you. Seriously, you’re the best - Daniella

I looked at myself in the mirror as I washed my hands. I didn’t look half bad for someone who almost just died on a toilet. Mopping my forehead with a wet paper towel, I was determined to pull myself together. It was time to saunter out there and look for my cute guy with the lake house. I planned to celebrate being saved with a grande two-pump no foam extra whip iced mocha bourbon. When I rounded the corner and got out to the counter, there he was, a little smirk crossed his face and his blue eyes glinted with mischief, “You had to poop, didn’t you?” Dammit. I hate when God’s sense of humor puts me in these predicaments. He makes me promise stuff to keep my pants clean and dignity intact, then puts me on the spot like this. I felt conflicted. Keep my promise to God or try to look semi cute and charming in front of my guy. The right thing to do was then clear in my mind. I felt grounded, unshakable. “What? Me? No, I was just, I was … well I had to pee and then I got distracted by some artwork back there. Neat stuff.”

Please overlook that one God. I got caught off guard. Last time - promise. I really mean it this time.

Folgers Makes Me Want To Date My Brother

There’s a Folgers coffee commercial where a brother comes home from a long absence spent in Africa and his sister answers the door. He makes a funny about having the wrong house because sister looks so grown up, and then they go into the kitchen. It’s very early in the morning when brother makes it home, and mom and dad are still upstairs asleep, so it’s just the two of them in the kitchen while the coffee is brewing. Brother hands sister a present wrapped with a bow on top. Sister plucks the bow from the top of the box and sticks it to brother’s shoulder and tells him, with a tender smile on her face, that he is her gift this year. Then time stands still for one intense moment, as brother and sister look into each other’s eyes. Before brother has a chance to take sister’s face in his hands and kiss her, their meddling parents barge in for the coffee and ruin the whole moment.

Folgers shines a brave light on an intriguing concept. Perhaps one really doesn’t have to look all that far for their soul mate. Maybe the people we are best matched for, are the other people our parents had to raise. Makes me wonder what it would be like to date my brother. Sal has a lot of the qualities I look for in a guy.

He’s one of the funniest people I know. We laugh together all the time. He tells great stories. and has perfect comedic timing when it comes to inserting movie lines into a conversation. It’s adds a level of humor you just don’t always get from independent thoughts.

He is taller than me, which I like. At six foot, I could even get away with heels and not have to worry about topping him. I think dating a shorter brother would be just plain awkward. The kissing alone. Aside from Snow White, (who, let’s face it, is just plain odd anyway) you really don’t ever see women bending over to kiss men.

My brother and I have quite a bit of social overlap. I find this to be a big advantage. All that awkward getting to know you stuff that one has to do for the friends and family of a new partner would be nonexistent for us. No disapproving in-laws to have to try and win over. Telling the story of how you met gets tired pretty quick too. We practically hate all the same family which makes things so much easier than separate shit lists.

Like most healthy couples, Sal and I have a lot in common lifestyle wise and we compliment each other. He has a bunch of horses and I have always thought maybe I would like to learn how to ride. I support his career goal of ranching and he thinks it’s great that I am pursuing writing. He knows how to fix stuff and I know how to cook.

Ultimately, I decided against going after Sal for what in hindsight ended up being a pretty obvious reason. In fact I felt foolish for pitching the whole thing to myself while glossing over the obvious reality all along. Sal lives three hours away. Neither one of us has ever put much faith in long distance relationships. It would never work. Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Twitter Turd

I haven't posted in over three months. I feel shitty that I have left you, dear reader, high and dry all Summer. I hope you have missed me; I have missed you.

I am working my way back to your love, but in the meantime: do you twit? Twat? Tweet.

I've taken my shit to the Twitter world and I am hoping you will follow me there. Follow me, retweet me, I am a turd looking for some exposure.

Imagine how much less annoying I will be in 140 characters or less.

See you soon back here my friends!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Power Gem Activate!

I just clicked on a blog and was totally surprised to see this as their top post for the day.

The subject matter and even more specifically, the color, reminded me of this one time after beauty camp.

Okay, not so much camp -- college.

I finished* a skin care program at a ... you know ... school of beauty about 5 years ago.

Anywho, two of my friends went in on this lavender, sparkly, multi-featured, sleek, racy sports car of a vibrator to help me "celebrate" my graduation from beauty college (there - I said it, happy?).

I thanked them profusely for the very thoughtful gift. After all, they sincerely did have my happiness in mind when they chose it. However, when they left, I threw it in the bottom of my sandal basket. I don't know exactly why, but it just didn't really interest me.

A year later, I went to dig through that basket and give a few things away, and there it was. Looking as shiny and new as the day I hucked it in there.

Sometimes my mind wanders and I daydream about who ended up with the brand new vibrator I donated to Goodwill.

Did an employee snag it before it even made it to the warehouse? Did a manager angrily confiscate it, while making an immediate beeline for the bathroom, muttering how awful people are with the things they will put in bags to the Goodwill? Or maybe it got a price tag and a prime spot in the electronics section, where someone down on their luck was slurking to the back hoping against all hope that Goodwill might have a new Power Gem for an affordable price. Amen.

*I hesitate to use "graduated" because mixing "graduated" and "beauty college" together in the same sentence is a real witch's brew of Mondo Loserdom

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Cure For Epilepsy

If you do it right anyway.

Pull Ovah!

Speeding Tickets
[Via: Auto Insurance>

This is the way a pull over should go. Don't forget to smile.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I've Got A lot On My Plate

I like making time to cook. The more I do it, the more I wonder why I waited so long.

Don't get me wrong - I have cooked before, but not until just recently have I made such a study of food. Where does this come from? What's in season? Is that what I really want to eat? What I really crave? Can I make that myself?

I like it. I am reconnecting with myself in the process of getting to know my kitchen better.

I was hungry, so I made a plate.

Then I grabbed a beer, sat down, and nibbled, gnawed, scooped and savored.

It was tasty.

What's on my plate, you ask?

Fresh Ricotta - easy, inexpensive, relatively fast and absolutely delicious! Try it.

Tomato Relish - that's what I call it anyway. It's sort of just a jazzed up marinara that gets cooked down a little more than you would probably do for pasta. Any marinara sauce skeleton will work and then you can go crazy with what you add -- fresh herbs, mushrooms, fennel etc.

Chickpea dip - this is hummus-esque. It's my lazy way of getting some of those flavors without really having to follow a traditional recipe that would involve tahini. I threw canned chickpeas in the mini chopper with some parsley, olive oil (enough to move things around and get a cream consistency going) lemon juice and toasted sesame seeds (about a teaspoon or so) and salt. Blend to desired thickness and season additionally if needed after taste test.

Fresh veges are just that - I drizzled a little olive oil over them and scattered some salt and pepper on top of that.

Olives - I love em. I picked up these at the olive bar at my grocery store. Olive bars are my second favorite kind of bar actually. Lots of different varieties and you can mix and match to your heart's content.

So what's on your plate? Have you connected with your kitchen lately?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jesus Christ Quiz Score Report

Jesus fascinates me, so of course I am up for a quiz on Big J trivia.

Jesus Christ Quiz Score Report
Total number of Questions in JC Quiz : 14
Total number of Correct answers : 12
Your Score : 86% [Jesus Christ superstar scorer!]
Average Score for this quiz : 56%
Result : Pass [Yesssss!]
Number of People taking this quiz : 992
Number of People Passing this quiz : 748
Number of People failing this quiz : 244 [Jesus thinks these peeps are losers]
Maximum Score for this quiz : 100% [duh]

Let the record show that I scored 23% higher than the average and I am not even religious. That is awesome of me, and Jesus tells me so.

The link to the quiz is here

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Seventy seven of our country's wild horses died after the Bureau of Land Management's last round up. An additional 39 late term foals were aborted as a result of mares being run for days over rocky terrain to the BLM's holding pens.

Most of the deaths occurred as a result of being run (read: chased by a low flying helicopter) to exhaustion, for days during this last winter. Many of the foals and yearlings were simply not strong enough to survive.

Is this okay? Do we care? Is it more important to clear this land of it's original horse herds so it can be reappointed as grazing area for cattle to feed you and other Americans?

This video talks more about the issue and shows some footage of the last roundup.

Do you want to tell the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar, that he is doing a great job? Or perhaps you would rather tell him this movement against these horses is an epic fail?

Either way, a link his site is here.

Not coolio with this? Outraged perhaps? You aren't alone.

The Cloud Foundation has been looking out for our country's wild horses for a while now. I think they are an excellent place to start if you are feeling called to action. A link to their site is here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oh Grated Butter and Sports Bras, How You Liberate Thee!

Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well forgetfulness has to be the daddy then. Or maybe it's more of a bitter younger sib to invention, always trying to feed off of the limelight. Pain in the ass piggybacker that can't be disow-What? Oh yeah, anywho -- I digress....

Almost every time I set out to bake something, I forget to take out the butter to soften ahead of time. No matter how far in advance my baking is planned out, my reflex to pull the butter out of the fridge fails me.

Lamenting this to my step mom one day, she told me that she grates her butter into her recipes when she forgets to take it out in time to soften.

What is this genius idea of which you speak?! I don't have to wait or screw up the recipe? Sweet!

It works too, grates easier than cheese even and incorporates right into the recipe.

The rare occasions that I remember to warm my butter, seem to coincide with completely spacing on the fact that the eggs are supposed to be room temperature in most recipes too. Dammit!

The saving innovation for that, I came up with myself. I nestle the fridge chilly eggs into my bra. I do. Works like a charm. My boobs, like two hens brooding side by side in a nesting box, warm those bad boys right up. And in a fraction of the time it would take just leaving them out on the counter. If you have boobs, or know someone that does, I suggest you try it.

Sour cherry buttermilk cake ~ brought to you courtesy of grated butter and boob-warmed eggs. Don't judge me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I've Got Baggage

I hate the French, but how fabulous is the word "portmanteau"?!

I know there are several meanings, but I am just lovin on one in particular right now....

Will you please sit on my portmanteau so I can zip through the bulge in the middle where the body is bunched up?

Hey man, look alive - your portmanteau has already gone around for three dirt laps on the luggage carousel.

Aw fuck me running! - I am late for this flight, and the wheel just blew out on my portmanteau!

Luggage language is lovely my friends.

I saw this poem on another blog and am sharing it here........because it makes me want to work "portmanteau" into every sentence.


It will clasp
itself shut
around the dark
we have stuffed
with our splurges-
I mean the shimmer,
the silver, the slivers
and trinkets.
I mean,
it will mantle
the hollow
core, cradle the cloaks
and cyborg novels,
the trash and slang
and Sunday brunches
over silent toast
we've smushed
inside and, I mean,
all we'll have to do
is lock it.
All we'll
have to do is lift it,
chuck it, really,
into the attic.
You'll love it-
it's humongous,
I'd guesstimate there's space
for the unfinished bookcase,
the sorry motel with its sign
on the fritz,
the unloved afghan,
the unspoken insult,
your dumbfounded mother,
my collection of twizzle sticks,
the hamster
that died when
we left for a fortnight,
geometry, hassles, casseroles,
and under the false
bottom, a hidden
slot for all of 1986.
I mean, you'll barely
know it's there-
maybe at night a faint
clang or chortle
But that's the past
hinged shut,
clamped tight
beneath the attic eaves,
spread like wings
above our necessary

~ by Gigi Thibodeau*

* You can find out more about the author here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If I Die Before I Wake...

Before last night I had never seen much of the television series House. I fell asleep to an episode and it must have creepy crawled into my subconscious because Hugh Laurie stole my after dark brain-show and became my boyfriend for the night.

I'm not going to lie: He did a stellar job in his role as my lovah. When I woke up, I still had the doctor on my mind. So imagine my delight when I channel surfed this morning and saw that there was a House marathon going. I get to spend my Sunday morning with the guy from last night? Sweet!

Well, here's the thing, love fuzzyed my brain a bit, and I sort of forgot that I am a ginormous hypochondriac. Even without the help of graphic, hospital/medical themed television shows, I diagnose myself with about thirty rare/incurable diseases a day. Catching part of the marathon didn't just amp my love, it pushed my hypochondria right off the charts!

Below is an abbreviated list of my current health concerns as a result of spending a little too much time with my new boyfriend while he is working:

* So far I have Legionnaires disease, Listeria, multiple allergic reactions, nonspecific brain inflammation, and Syphilitic neuropathy.

* I am going to have a seizure at any moment - I just know it. [They almost always have at least one seizure per episode]

* No fluids for me - have to hold off on going onesy for as long as I can, because I am probably going to pee blood due to a kidney blowing out.

* On that note, one of my eyes could very well launch from it's socket due to cranial pressure. That would be followed by blood shooting everywhere, by the way.

* Lots of vomiting is probably on the horizon as I decline. [They throw a lot of surprise puking in these episodes.] And if you don't know how I feel about that, then you didn't read this post.

* Another good reason to stay out of the bathroom as long as I can is that I don't want to go in there and have my scrotum burst open and spurt blood all over a doctor. [It could happen -- trust me]

* My throat is tightening just thinking about the emergency tracheotomy I am going to need. Exacto-knife to the throat - yikeys!

I know I ask too much, but I think I am going to need you to pray for me - again. Also, please send lots of cookie baskets when I am in the hospital. Once my throat and scrotum heal a little, the yummies will really help to bolster my spirit and speed my recovery. Thank you.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Remember George Costanza's angst ridden cry of "Serenity now!"? Well, I've got my own version: "Sicily now!". Every time I hear about another tool cheating the system, or another sue-happy jackass, I get that much closer to fleeing to a foreign land. I'm outtie. I will go back from whence my oily haired ancestors came. When I have my little secluded island villa (complete with hot Sicilian houseboy), you are cordially invited to visit anytime....well most of you anyway.

If you are one of the aforementioned Jackasses or tools, then all bets are off.

What in the french toast is a Fritter? Click here

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Comfy Couch To Hump

I stole this off of Facebook and the caption read, "Inseparable"

The dog in the background of this photo belongs to my brother. Her name is Kona. The dog in the foreground is named Hef, and he belongs to my brother's girlfriend.

Kona was given to Sal as a puppy, and when she got to be around a year old I asked my brother what was up in the hizay* since Hef isn't neutered. He told me there was no prob Bob, because Hef only humps the couch cushions.

I am not making this up. That's is what he told me when I asked him a few months ago.

How cute are puppies? Soooooooo cute!

Guess who decided on a little more variety after humping that couch for a while?

Nine puppies later I wonder if my brother still thinks Hef only gets a case of the humps when he sees large pieces of furniture.

Good times.

*And by "hizay" I meant that I had seen this commercial enough times to know that we are all good on puppies in this country, so fix that shit!**

**And by "fix that shit!" I meant: Everyone thinks their dog is special. There are approximately 9 million companion animals put to sleep in this country every year, and they are no less special than the one you chose to feed. You merely got attached to that one. Your dog ain't that special, so you know....fix that shit!

If my brother finds out about this post, I am going to be in big trouble. Pray for me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vegetarians Are Stoopid

And so are Environmentalists


I love irony. Do you love irony? I'm totally into it.

Take for example one of my neighbors. He needed a strip of my property to run a power line out to his detached garage. I agreed to allow the encroachment if he would agree to go the legal route and get an easement drawn up and recorded. He didn't want to muddle his project's efficiency with these sorts of things and would yell, threaten, and try to steamroll me instead.

His big talking point to anyone who would listen was the loss of the use of his garage. Without power, that is how he saw it. And while I didn't believe his garage was a tear-down merely because he was too big of a candy ass to open the roll up door manually (on a temporary basis), I did sympathize with the inconvenience of it. I thought that was remarkable on my part, considering I was his definition of evil.

He really tested my sympathy too. We went back and forth for almost a year with me insisting on trifles like licensed/insured contractors, permits from the city, and recorded easements before I would grant him use of my land. He suggested I let him in with no notice to do a permit free 3-inch deep trench where he could just direct bury some line (that means right in the dirt) and be done.

We finally ended up seeing eye to eye when he realized he wasn't going to be able to fit his shoe in my ass, and I think maybe someone might have helped him pull his head out of his own as well.

The permits, contractors, and easements magically appeared, and the project was completed without a hitch. His garage has had power for just about three months now.

That's not so ironic is it, but can you see where this is going?

And wait for it.........he doesn't use his garage. He doesn't use the fucking thing.

I haven't seen the door in use one time since power was restored. What I do see is him pulling his car up to the front of his garage door and leaving it there, partially blocking the main driveway to other garages.

In fact, if I was a good photographer, I could take an artsy shot of his car and the No Parking - Will Be Towed sign because the proximity would allow for it.

So that right there my friends is a little bit of layered irony -- and well...venting.

Good times.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Torn In The Time Of Cholera

Did you watch it? Even just the trailer is yummy, right? I told you! Now go Netflix it and savor the whole thing - you can thank me later.

I saw Love In The Time Of Cholera when it came to DVD, and it completely captured me.

The cinematography was breathtaking (sorry to be a drama queen, but it was), the soundtrack was awesome, it had great actors. The plot and character development completely drew me in, and made me never wanted the story to end.

Triumphs, tragedy, love, heartbreak, sex, life. What can I tell you, it was simply fabulous.

I mean come on now party people, it was based on a novel written by a Nobel Prize winning author; of course it was going to be phenomenal, right?!

It got the shittiest of shit reviews. I was hard-pressed to find anyone who had anything good to say about it.

"... Newell and Harwood completely missed the mark with this one, turning a complex love story into a superficial period film with no heart or heat." ~ Viewer - DVD Review

"If you've seen Gone With the Wind, you've seen what Love in the Time of Cholera isn't." ~ Kyle Smith, New York Post

And this one scared me the most...

"Listless, poorly scripted, badly acted and displaying an unforgivable misinterpretation of its source material, Cholera is easily one of the worst adaptations of a great book ever mounted." ~ Anonymous

That last review there strikes a special brand of fear in my heart because I have been waiting to read the book for over a year now. That is a common practice of mine when it comes to my dessert books.

Dessert books are the extra special I Just Know I am Going To Love You books. I come across them in a variety of ways. Many times it is as a result of loving one or more books an author has done previous. Sometimes, it is from reviews and/or recommendations. And every once in a while a movie will make me want to jump on the book (it is usually the other way around). No matter how I find them, as soon as I identify a dessert book, I have the damnedest time cracking them open. I try to tuck them away like fine china or linens you never use.

How bad would that suck though to get mowed down by a bread truck one day, and leave this earth never having given yourself a chance to savor all of your dessert books? Lameski.

Anywho, I digress...

I just stumbled on the movie reviews yesterday when in an effort to prime my courage to finally start the book, I went back and watched the theatrical trailer for the film. I was shocked to encounter so much discontent in the time of Cholera, and now I am also horribly torn.

What if the reviewers are right?! I don't want to fall out of love with the film as a result of having read the book. On the other hand, I don't want to put down the book and feel like all this time I have set aside a not so tasty dessert(I have a 100% "loved it!" success rate thus far on my dessert books, by the way).

I am praying I have enough unconditional love in my heart to forgive any possible stumbles the movie makes on translating the book, and that the book treads softly on that place in my heart, and does not force me to fall out of love with the film.

Pray for me - seriously.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Don't Want Mine - I Want Yours

Oh, I am so very nauseated from reading whiny articles written by mostly women, lamenting that in the wake of January's earthquake, they haven't had any lucky snapping up Haitian children for adoption.

One woman wrote a post that her child needs her now, but all the red tape in Haiti was going to make it impossible for her to adopt from there anytime soon. Her child. When did a Haitian orphan become her child? Asinine.

Like I was saying, they are all pretty much along this same vein, so I won't bore you with every subtle nuance of whining style I came across. That will also wipe out the risk of me whining about the whining. I would much rather think of myself as sweeping and angry, than weak and whiny.

When I am not staving of the heaves, I do have questions about all of this.

Why are these Americans so obsessed with adopting an orphan from another country, when they are children right here in the US that could use loving parents and a secure home?

The foster care system alone includes over 100,000 children up for adoption in this country. Are those kids less abandoned? Do they suffer less from that loss, and the system they are thrust into so young? Are these women making a judgment that moving through the system to legal adulthood here is "good enough" while Haiti's system isn't? Or is it more romantic, and higher up on the Personal Jesus scale to run to an impoverished nation for your little bundle of charity?

Kids these days

Who knows, but they are annoying the hell out of me. When all the children here have what they need to thrive, then I say we look abroad to reach out.

On that note, I sometimes wish I didn't suck at relationships so badly. I have ovarian moments where I muse about finding a partner and adopting a child. In these visions, I co-parent with someone healthy and raise a child who is kind, generous, bright, and filled with drive to give back to his or her world.

These moments usually coincide with wine and cheese, and abruptly end when I remember that I am the only important person I know. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Ruth!

Ruth's parent's had to flee the country today. I like to think it doesn't have anything to do with the anniversary of her birth, but you know...it's a huge coincidence.

Ruth is my cousin and she is two years younger than I am. As a child, I only got to see her occasionally, during my visit to the grandparents we shared, one weekend a month. When that weekend would come, one of the first things I would do is hop on the eggy yellow rotary phone in their kitchen and call Ruth. That wheel of fun fortune couldn't slide back and forth fast enough over those numbers as I dialed. When she got on the phone, I didn't understand much of what she had to say, but we always made sure we were clear on when we were going to get together.

We had a lot of fun.

One day complete good fortune struck while we were hanging out at our grandmother's house. Mamanonie was going to take us to Toys R Us to pick out an outfit for each of our Cabbage Patch Kids. Oh, big day! We hopped into SPOSA (my grandfather got her personalized plates for her 80s Oldsmobile) and headed over to the store. The actual shopping is pretty fuzzy in my memory now. I only recall Ruth's small voice as we waited in line, "Grandma, I don't feel good" Then she passed the fuck out! Just went down cold, executing a perfect drunken sailor backwards fall into my grandmother's arms.

Next thing I know, I've got $20.00 shoved into my hand and my g-ma is dragging Ruth out of the store. She came to in the parking lot.

The story gets even better: Ruth didn't die (it turns out that low blood sugar is a bitch to little kids trying to buy doll clothes) and we got to go to Jack In The Box drive-through on the way home! This was huge. Mamanonie being a big believer in cooking at home, made overpriced fast food stops pretty much unheard of.
New stuff from Toys R Us, Ruth not dying, and fast food. It was a very good day.

We are quite a bit older now, but we still have retained our magic, and she has turned out to be so much more than a younger cousin with a propensity for the low blood sugar faints.

She is funny - we laugh together a lot. She makes fun of the 82 year old woman that lives inside of me, and I mock her body dysmorphia. When we aren't picking on each other, we team up to mock whoever we deem appropriate at the time, and look out - we're good at it!

Some of our fave targets are the special needs peeps in our own family (he's not really a Special, but dwelling on that part lowers the fun factor by a ton so go along with us and suspend disbelief for a while).

She is interesting - we chat up a storm about food, books, and the latest entertainment news. I didn't know about half of the Hollywood deaths last year until Ruth caught me up. This lack of up-to-the-minute breaking entertainment news knowledge on my part horrifies her, so I try to keep more current these days by following not one, but three trashy pop culture blogs. It's the least I can do to keep us fresh and poppin.

Ruth is also our resident event coordinator - she is fab when it comes to making sure we all get to enjoy our family instead of talking about getting together and then running in fifty different directions when it comes to planning (it's like she has JLo from Wedding Planner living in her head).

She is a fabulous friend too. I say that because she has like 700 of them. And not Facebook friends, or voices in her head friends either. She has droves of real people that love her companionship, and they can't all be crazy. She's my friend as well.

The world is a prettier, more creative place with Ruth in it. She is a very talented artist. Without her, we would be missing a vibrant color in not just the art, but the people palette too.

So happy birthday to Ruth! Big loves to you on your special day (don't pay attention to your rents)!!

This isn't Ruth and I, but I wish it was. Being the older of us means I would have to be The Poker, but I don't care. It would have been worth it to have that story in our repertoire. You never know, maybe someday the fates will align and we will get an opportunity to do a cover of this classic shot (Photo courtesy of Awkward Family Photos .com)

Author's note: This post is Ruth approved. She offered up the highest compliment upon reading it yesterday. She said she would like it to be used as her obituary. Thanks Ruth. If anyone else would like an obit from me, please direct your requests to the email on the sidebar. Thanks.

The Romans Gave The Irish Their Holiday

I suck at history very much badly. I can't seem to retain the information. I am a semi-curious soul though so I do still attempt to know a little something about what went on before I got here; even though it isn't all that important, since you know, it happened before I got here.

Anywho, on a whim I did a little reading this morning about Saint Patrick, and came across this:

"Saint Patrick, The Apostle of Ireland, was born at what is now Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 493. At the time of his birth it was known at Briton and ruled by Rome. His parents were Calphurnius and Conchessa. The language of the time was latin and his given name was Patricus. His father belonged to a Roman family of high rank and held the office of decurio in Briton."

Ohhhh snap! He was Roman! What was I just saying last week? I swear, it's pretty much shaking down to us being responsible for about 97% of the good in this world. You are welcome Ireland! Call us if you need anything else.

Happy Saint Patricus Day everyone! Celebrate with Eddie Murphy - a man with genuine appreciation for the awesomeness of our people.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

They Keep Working Your Booty Even After You're Done Working Your Booty Call

White shorts really are the wisest wardrobe choice the morning after a booty call.

I just came across this ad in a magazine and I got all excited; I just have to share. This is special people.

Angry Lesbians have been fighting for womens' rights for decades, and we are finally getting somewhere. Finally! How long have we waited for this day?!

This new penis equality era in advertising when we will be seen and addressed as something more than sex objects. We're here people! We. Are. Finally. Here.

Now, back to the ad above. I know the small print is too small to read, but the magic of the message is within, so here it is for you:

EasyTone uses balance pods in the shoes to create natural instability, much like walking on a sandy beach, which encourages toning through increased muscle activation in 3 key areas of the leg.

The best part is that EasyTone works while you walk the dog, walk down the aisle, country line dance, chase after a bus, do the walk of shame...actually, when doesn't EasyTone work?

Did you catch the magic? Feel the hearts and stars? In case you need a hint, the fun is encased in the "do the walk of shame" part.

Wikipedia defines TWOS as, "The walk of shame refers to a phenomenon in which a person must walk past strangers or peers alone for an embarrassing reason before reaching a place of privacy. Most commonly[citation needed], it occurs the morning after a night out at a bar, dance club, or party. People undertaking the walk of shame are understood to have spent the night at the house, apartment, or dorm of a sexual partner (or perceived sexual partner), particularly a one night stand. The topic is often of the subject of college newspaper commentary."

Urban Dictionary simplifies the term a bit: "n. The course walked home after a night of boozing and fucking that ends in a booty call. One usually wears the clothes they went out in."

Isn't that awesome? No more appeals to our desperation. No more preying on our endless need to be forever considered beautiful. No, no, no. We aren't just seen as sex objects anymore. We can be whores too!

Wait a second...we were whores and sex objects before - godammit!!

Sorry Angry Lesbians. I called an early victory and I was mistaken. I think you won this one for us somewhere around 4000 BCE.

So please disregard this post. Much like the ad people at Reebok, it turns out I am full of shit.

Author's Note: Reebok doesn't appear to make an EasyTone shoe for men. Skechers makes a shoe for men similar to the EasyTone, but nowhere in their ads that I could access online did I see any verbiage about how dudes could stick their dicks in a chick, and then trot home the next morning, building their gluts all the way home.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just Who Do You Think I am?

I ask that (even though I am not really asking) because everyone has a different opinion about us. No surprise there, I know. It's when these viewpoints are become shitty ones, or not linked to the reality of we you are, that they get interesting.

Take for example an opinion one of my aunt's has had for a while now. On the average of about once a quarter, she loves to blurt out, "Oh, you're so bossy!" It has never been said in reaction to anything I have done, but yet I can tell in the way she expresses herself about it that she entirely believes what she is saying. That is her reality.

This particular opinion is deemed shitty by me because I do not want to be considered bossy. As a matter of fact, I am tempted to come to my own Anti-Stalin defense by pointing out that she is the only person who has ever said this, and by telling you a bajillion stories of my being the very opposite of bossy (like the time my hair stylist was burning my scalp with the blow dryer and I winced through it instead of speaking up because I considered anything else to be telling her how to do her job, which would be bossy). However, the point of this post is not for you to outclick convinced I am not bossy.

So what is my point then, right?

Well here's the jam man: once I stopped being defensive about what she thought, that is to say, I dropped the knee jerk reaction to label her opinion as "shitty", it got interesting.

With defenses down one time, I asked her why she thought I was bossy. And then I waited. She told me I was bossy because all Italian women are. All of them.

So okay, some aunt who sees you on holidays stereo-stamped you bossy in context perhaps with her Italian experiences. Not a far fetched thing, right? I mean, how well could she know you over a bustling table of food and conversation twice a year?

Well actually, I sort of anticipated she would know me a little bit better. You see, she raised me for several years when I was a teenager. I see her nowadays on a weekly basis. So it is actually a total curiousity to me that she doesn't know me all that well at all.

It also reminds me that she is not alone.

I had been hanging out with one of my guy friends regularly for at least a year when he made a comment that revealed he thought I was college educated. He just assumed it he said. Really? We have been hanging out all this time, talking about everything under the sun and you just filled in the blanks like that? I didn't take offense, I found it fascinating in a way that he had just sketched in whatever went along with his evolving image of who I am for him.

There's a lot of other examples I could provide you, but who cares?

The truth is what you make it. Your truth is what you believe. That's the interesting, hilarious, shitty, fascinating, terrifying reality folks.

And you probably knew that, but I am still learning.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Plague Upon Our Lasagna

Sometimes I like to switch away from all the down-hearted shit I watch on television, and take in something uplifting. Have a good laugh, bring a little light in.

It was one of these times when I stumbled on to a documentary about the plague. Perfect. The Black Death was getting pretty black at this point in the show, and daily death tolls were being discussed. Most areas of Europe were losing several hundred people a day at the height of the epidemic in their villages. One historian popped on the screen to talk about the mass graves in Italy that were born out of the necessity to bury all of these people.

It was said that the Italians were constructing their mass graves much like a lasagna. No shit - that's what he said. My interest was piqued. So apparently they would put in a layer of people, and then a layer of dirt. Follow that with some ricotta, then another layer of people, another layer of dirt, and so on.

This got me thinking about a couple of things.

First off, nicely done Italians. The modern day lasagna design really is an ideal medieval mass grave layout. Just add that to all of the other things we have given the world. Among the vast list is the Renaissance, Fabio, liposuction, Bagpipes, and the barometer.

This new knowledge also begs a pretty big big question: Which came first, the lasagna or the mass grave?

Did some poor Greaseball serf survive the plague, have flashbacks about the mass graves, and then translate that experience into a tasty pasta cheese and tomato dish? Or was the lasagna already in existence and someone was pulled from the kitchen to help bury the dead and in the heat of the moment, thought ahead and implemented the old May You Rest In Peace Mass Grave Lasagna design?

Who knows, and I am not going to research it. My people have already done enough for you.

You can thank me later. Right now, I've got to get a lasagna in the dir...er - I mean oven.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Got Nothin

Sorry folks -- lately I just seem to keep smacking into the Nothing To Talk About wall. I don't even have anything to share about having nothing to share. Weird huh.

Not So Great

"Being a piece of shit and then occasionally doing something that's good and true, it's a much easier place to be." Amen Kenny, amen.

Monday, February 8, 2010

All faces resemble each other, yet how easily we see in each uniqueness, individuality, an identity. How deeply we value these differences. The ocean is a whole, but it has countless waves, every one different from all the others; it has currents, each unique, ever-changing; the bottom is a landscape all its own, different everywhere; similarly the shoreline. The atmosphere is whole, but its currents have unique signatures, even though they are just wind. Life on earth is a whole, yet it expresses itself in unique time-bound bodies, microscopic or visible plant or animal, extinct or living. So there can be no one place to be. There can be no one way to be, no one way to practice, no one way to learn, no one way to love, no one way to grow or to heal, no one way to live, no one way to feel, no one thing to know or to be known. The particulars count.

~ Wherever You Go There You Are (p. 230)

That up there is some deep shit my friends. It's a passage in my current read and it totally resonated with me. It's like the universe is giving me permission to be whatever kind of nutball freak job I need to be - sweet!

Friday, February 5, 2010


It's not nearly as bad for you as they say, my version anyway.

Parsnip Carrot and Potato Soup

2 large carrots
2 large parsnips
1 large potato
1 smallish onion
3-4 cups of low sodium chicken stock

sliced bread
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese
nonfat plain yogurt

While you are preheating your oven to 425 degrees, peel the vegetables. I think peeling the potato is definitely optional. Personally, I liked the texture of the skin on in the soup, but your meal won't suffer if your tater goes skinless.

Slice all your veges roughly the same size so they will cook evenly but don't make a big deal out of it because they are headed for the blender after roasting.

Then you want to show them the love with a generous oiling and some salt and pepper. Salting preferences tend to be very personal - like thongs and religion - you just know what works for you. I will only offer that you definitely want flavorful PCPs (and onion) when you are done roasting because they are the star of your soup show, so taste them when you pull them out of the oven if you are unsure about the salting.

Once you are done seasoning, spread everything out on a sheet pan in a single layer and roast until fork tender. I roasted mine for about 20 minutes. If you have cut your veges into smaller pieces, you will probably need to shorten that time.

Give everything a few minutes to cool off and then slice into smaller pieces for easy blending. If you have an immersion blender you can throw everything into a pot with the chicken stock and puree. If not, simply do that step in a regular blender and then pour into a soup pot to heat.

Once your PCP is nice and warm, you are ready to roll with garnishes baby! It's like liquid taco bar........except not really...but sorta.

Toasted bread can be cubed into perfect croutons to add some crunch. I like a sprinkle of dill and dollop of sour cream action with my PCP. Shredded cheddar is also yum because it adds a sharp to the sweet. Non fat yogurt is also really good for tang and creaminess. I stirred in a half of an individual serving of plain yogurt when I was heating my soup.

Want to go spicy? Try some curry! Allergic to vegetarian meals? Throw some bacon on that roasting pan before it goes in the oven and then crumble a slice or two on top.

This is your PCP people -- the sky's the limit -- be creative! And enjoy!


may have killed the cat; more likely

the cat was just unlucky, or else curious
to see what death was like, having no cause
to go on licking paws, or fathering
litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Nevertheless, to be curious
is dangerous enough. To distrust
what is always said, what seems
to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,
leave home, smell rats, have hunches
do not endear cats to those doggy circles
where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches
are the order of things, and where prevails
much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Face it. Curiosity
will not cause us to die--
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.

Only the curious have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,
are changeable, marry too many wives,
desert their children, chill all dinner tables
with tales of their nine lives.
Well, they are lucky. Let them be
nine-lived and contradictory,
curious enough to change, prepared to pay
the cat price, which is to die
and die again and again,
each time with no less pain.
A cat minority of one
is all that can be counted on
to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell
on each return from hell
is this: that dying is what the living do,
that dying is what the loving do,
and that dead dogs are those who do not know
that dying is what, to live, each has to do.

~ By Alastair Reid

If the last fifty four seconds don't crack you up, then I fear for your funny bone.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saint Francis Soup Kitchen

I just got back from Saint Francis Soup Kitchen and I am all spunkified from my visit! I wish I could have taken you with me, or at least remembered my camera.

Today was delivery day for the first monthly installment of Guerrilla Goodies (check here if I am confusing you).

SFSK has been serving the hungry for over 25 years. Each day a hearty meal of soup, salad, bread, coffee and milk are served to over 180 people at noon. The Kitchen is one place where those in need will find a kind welcome, food, and an opportunity to rest in safety.

This month we had four different kinds of sweet treats to share and the Director of the kitchen, Richard Crowe, seemed very happy to accept our goodies. In fact he asked me to thank the ladies for him, and everyone at the kitchen.

"Thanks for all the lovely desserts ladies!" ~Richard (Scroll down and see if you think Mr. Crowe had a hand in choosing the paint color for the dining hall)

Richard offered me a little tour and we walked through the small crowded kitchen. It looked like a combination of regular staff and volunteers were working away. The kitchen emptied into the dining hall - what a lovely space [insert no camera on hand remorse here]!

Beautiful high ceilings with walls painted a rich, warm yellow. Every table had a little vase with a flower in it, and the room was filled with light from the wall of windows.

The only picture of the dining hall that I could find online. It really doesn't do it justice. I will have to remember my camera next time.

I think our tasty treats might add a little more light to that room. This month we had two different kinds of cookies - chocolate chip and sweet potato spice cookies. We also had a yummalicious lemon cake and a big batch of brownies.

A quick picture of our sweet treats before I hopped in the car to deliver them. This is just a sampling actually as we had a couple of containers of each. It made for a very nice overflowing bag to share - thanks ladies!

On my way out of the kitchen, I got a treat too. A man with Jesus-esque hair and a little bit of a lazy eye gave me a rapid fire, Rainman cadence blessing. From what I could gather about the risings, the savings and the graces, I think it was a bible passage.

It was actually very sweet and I appreciated him taking the time to try and save me. I might play the lotto this week before the magical powers wear off.

Before you know it, we will be all set to do it again. I am already looking forward to it!

For it is in giving that we receive.
~ St. Francis of Assisi

I think Francis may have been on to something...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Anger Management

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd
forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.
A man answered, saying "Hello."

I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn

Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear "Get the right blankety blank number!" and the phone was slammed down on me.

I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude. When I tracked
down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits.

After hanging up with her, I decided to call the wrong number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled "You're a jackass!" and hung up. I wrote his number down with the word 'jackass' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell,
"You're a jackass!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic jackass calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller ID Program?"

He yelled "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're a jackass!" and hung up.

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first jackass (I had his number on speed dial), I thought that I'd better call the BMW jackass, too. I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?"
He said, "Yes, it is.." I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?"
He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax .
It's a yellow rambler, and the car's parked right out in front."
I asked, "What's your name?" He said, "My name is Don Hansen."
I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?"
He said, "I'm home every evening after five."

I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?"
He said, "Yes?"
I said, "Don, you're a jackass!"

Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too. Now, when I had a problem, I had two jackasses to call.

Then I came up with an idea.
I called Jackass #1.
He said, "Hello."
I said, "You're a jackass!"
(But I didn't hang up.)

He asked, "Are you still there?"
I said, "Yeah."
He screamed, "Stop calling me!"
I said, "Make me."
He asked, "Who are you?"

I said, "My name is Don Hansen."
He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?"
I said, "Asshole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax , a yellow rambler, I have a black Beamer parked in front."

He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don.
And you had better start saying your prayers."
I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, jackass," and hung up.

Then I called Jackass No. 2.
He said, "Hello?"
I said, "Hello, jackass ."
He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..."
I said, "You'll what?"
He exclaimed, "I'll kick your tail,"
I answered, "Well, jackass, here's your chance.

I'm coming over right now."

Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax , and that my gay lover was on his way over to kill me. Then I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oaktree Blvd in Fairfax .

I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax I got there just in time to watch two jackasses beating the devil out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better.

Anger Management really works!

Author behind depiction of this totally well adjusted way to deal with people and telephones is unknown.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Six Word Memoirs - Daniella Style

Do you remember back in this post when I promised to do some of my own SWMs? Well I came up with a few for your consideration.

My she dog has many balls.

No hate, but not exceeding eight.

Doughnut, you had me at 'sprinkle'.

I never saw that salsiccia coming.

Think. Over think. Speak. Awkward. Repeat.

My life supposed to be punchline?

Fat chicken still has skinny face.

Shoebox by the sea, lucky me!

Drinking problem. I missed another round?

Orange scented olives. God loves me.

Want to see world without travel.

Rats way bigger than cats - drats!

You're a big ass. Thank you.

Your ass is big. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Can Keep The Puppy Dog Tails

I like snails. Water snails. Seriously. I have them in a couple of rooms in my house. I don't know exactly what it is about them but I have had many over the years and would have even more if I felt like cleaning all the bowls.

My very first snail was Babbalucci. A gold Mystery snail I got the year I was married (don't say it with diamonds, say it with water snails). He lived for many years and grew from the gumball I got at the aquarium store to the golfball he was in his golden mystery years.

Santo moved into my bedroom about six months ago. A rich yellow like Babbalucci, he is in his gumball era right now too. He's a good eater, respects the house rules of not sliming out of his bowl and breaking his snail ass on the dresser below. He also has a great sense of humor - he loves to wing out his peen when my room gets dark so when you flip on the light, everyone gets to do that awkward laugh for having walked in on him during private time. He always gets a "Whoa tiger! Let's roll that bad boy up and put it away!" out of me every time. I know, I know, he's a total crack up.

Pepino was a little chocolate brown nugget that lived out in the living room, but he died last week. I am not sure what happened to him, (actually I am pretty sure he killed himself after the Jersey Shore marathon, it's just that suicide is a hard thing to come to grips with)but he wasn't with us for long.

The two in the photo are shacked up in his old bowl. I just got them. Unlike other snails, Mystery snails aren't trannies, so you have to have a boy and a girl -- and they have to be in love to hump out some baby snail eggs. Keep your fingers crossed, this is potentially the first honeymoon snail suite we've had.

Now I am learning there are jade colored mystery snails, so I may just have to get another bowl going...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Toss It In And Get It Over With Already!

I think I am going to throw it in. Give up. I know we aren't supposed to do that, but I am just so damned tired.

Tired of being completely mortified every time I ask for money. Sick to death of looking at inventory in my garage that I have no money to ship. Cringing every time I take money out of my savings to pay down corporate debt.

I still marvel at the corporation part. That's right party people: I started a corporation. I still remember my delighted shock when the IRS loved me enough to approve my 54 page exemption application. I know, who would have thought?! OAP will be three years old next month.

The upcoming deadline to renew the website (and corresponding expense that goes with it) has compelled me to really stop and look at the state of my corporation. It's a sorry state, truth be told. I so believed in what OAP was set up to do that I always had this fantasy that the funding would follow based on their sheer rightness of what we were doing.

It was perfect in my mind. Almost everything went directly towards our mission. We didn't pay salaries, office or storage rent, nothing. We bought our supplies, paid our shipping, carried our insurance and did our basics for exposure like modest printing costs and the price of the website.

I thought I was upholding an ideal that I always wished more charities could run on. Now I am so tired I don't even give a damn.

I didn't ask for enough help or enough money and I ended up running both myself and OAP's potential, right into the ground.

I keep thinking I am wrong for being done. You aren't supposed to ever give up, right? I am letting people down because I don't fund raise better. I should try harder. I should wait it out and somehow everything will get itself back on track.

Oh but live and learn Daniella! Failure is such a great teacher! Next time you are going to know so much more! Yeah, whatthefuckever.

I should have learned more this time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All Other Tropical Storms Must Bow Before The Nino

I just read an article about how this week's group of storms in California is moving through in a "classic El Nino pattern". So for those of you who don't know what that means......El Nino...is Spanish for...The Nino.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taking A Sit

Ask Anne - that's a real meditation term. When you settle yourself in and meditate, you are taking a sit.

Or maybe you just got done taking a real satisfying sit. It's been one of those days, and you really feel like you have to take a sit. Your pants fit better after that last si....alright, maybe I am taking it a bit too far, but you get my drift.

I have wanted to try a regular meditation practice for a long time now, but apparently the road to anti-zen is paved with good intentions, because I never got around to it. Then a couple of weeks ago Anne and I were discussing a group she meditates with once a week. She enjoys it and on the days in between their meetings they are broken into texting groups where you text someone to tell them you did your daily meditation. If you miss more than one day in a week, you get booted out of the group. Tossed from the herd. Ostracized to a prison colony.

My heart sang at the potential for social humiliation, so I got Anne to initiate me into her group.

I try to concentrate on my breath. I try to become aware of my whole body. I do my best to allow my thoughts to pass through without judgment. All the good shit.

So here are a few of the things that went through my head while I was supposed to be using my third eye to Zen it up:

"I'm not doing this right."

"Another day and I am still not doing this right."

"That donut upside down cake on Serious Eats looks absolutely fabuloso."

"I'm not doing this right."

"My hands are cold."

"I hope I moved enough of the dirt they didn't repack enough in the yard to keep it from flooding with all these storms that are coming."

"When is the alarm going to go off - it's been three hours already."

"What's up pain in my knee - ow!"

"I want to move my desk"

"I was with so-and-so when I bought that desk -- ewww!"

"I want wall to wall built-in bookcases."

"There's no way I am doing this right."

"I wish I had a long hallway where my two big bookcases could go at the end."

"What should I have for dinner?"

"Why do I still feel like my stomach is trying to digest rocks?"

"Alarm is broken. I swear I am going to open my eyes."

Doesn't look like I got anything close to mediation done, right?

"The monkey mind jumps from thought to thought like a monkey jumps from tree to tree. Rather than existing in the present moment, the monkey mind focuses on one thought after another, and these thoughts distract us from existing in the present, which is one of the goals of yoga."

I will be at it again tomorrow.