Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Don't Mess With Texas' Dowagers

My charming friend Linda H. from Tennessee (another poodle nut--or, in tribute to jenB, "FREAKIN' POODLE NUT") sent this. I listened, and laughed, and then felt bad for laughing...a little. I can guarantee that when Alex hears it, he will laugh so hard that his face will turn red, tears will flow, and he will begin to wheeze. And then he'll have to play it again because he was laughing so hard the first time through he missed half the dialogue.

My editorial on this piece is this: Women have hard lives. We live with a lot of aggravation, turmoil, and seemingly impossible multi-tasking on a daily basis and for the most part just swallow it. Because that's what we are--the peacemakers, the hostesses, the "handlers". Especially if we have lived our lives in the South (and I'm making a rare exception by including Texas for this purpose, even though they would normally have their own designation), it is ingrained in us to prevent and soothe awkward situations and unpleasant confrontations.

An example: If, at a dinner party we were hosting, some guest just went bug-nuts and starting disrobing and doing the Macarena in the living room, we would ignore him, steer you gently toward the buffet in the dining room, and inquire as to the health of your dear mother. (Meanwhile, our husband would have been discretely dispatched by nothing more obvious than an arch look by us in his direction to deal with the naked dancer.) NOTE: The exception to this rule would be if the dinner party happened to be at the home of
Matthew McConaughey.

Generally speaking, this does not make us bitter or resentful, it's just part of what we are. But at some point, if we live long enough, I've got to imagine that the day will come when we've just HAD ENOUGH. Just remember that, guys. Be good to little old ladies...especially those armed with parasols, handbags, and Bibles. The rule of thumb for Southern ladies is, we're mostly Melanie...but Scarlett is always there when the going gets REALLY rough.


Reading my blog and then NOT leaving at least an occasional comment will hereafter carry a stiff penalty of public, internet-wide (remember, I have an audience of tens) humiliation. And I have dirt on all of you, and you know it. Just a sampling (you may recognize your own specific example(s)):

*Bad Hair Photos
*Big Hair Photos
*BIG BAD Hair Photos
*Really, Really Digging Neil Diamond and/or K.C. And The Sunshine Band
*Having Lots of K-Tel Records
*Stories of Sudden, Astonishing Lack of Coordination Resulting in Mayhem and Hilarity
*Dating the Devil
*Dating a Monchichi
*Dating Curious George
*Dating People Who You Now Wish No One In The World Knew About--But I Do.
*Cross-Dressing Photos
*Totally Wrecking My Bicycle Because You Were Trying To Ride It WHILE CARRYING AN UMBRELLA
*Shiny Satin Disco Shorts
*Sparkly Disco Skates
*Loving The Song, "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees
*Actually reading, enjoying and recommending "The Bridges Of Madison County".
*Devastating crushes on Shaun Cassidy and/or Parker Stephenson
*Cross-Dressing while Pants-Wetting Photos
*Drunken Stupidity which I either Witnessed or Heard Over the Phone
*Things You Said That You Wish You Hadn't
*Etc. (This category should frighten you all considerably. This is the "grab bag" of embarrassment).

You get the idea. I do have a streak of Dorothy Parker (albeit slower, and with a smaller vocabulary) in me; Don't make me use it. COMMENT!

That is all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Just because...

...he has permanently irritated me with his cultism and ignorance and totally irresponsible medical advice (which he is in no way qualified to give) to the mentally ill and the fact that he cannot speak in complete sentences unless they are scripted and he's a terrible actor with a face that reminds me of a German Shepherd Dog (no offense to GSDs) and that he exists to shill for the "church" of Scientology, and because I can: Here is the picture of Tom Cruise dressed up as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz". It's always been speculated (rather firmly, in some circles) that ol' Tommy-Boy is a "Friend Of Dorothy", but this is devotion! Looks rather demure, no?
Keep on taking those "vitamins", Tom. Or maybe a few more rounds on the ol' e-meter. Turn the voltage way up, MmmK?

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Horror

So now we are ALL sick. Well, actually Bella's feeling much better, as evidenced by her gleefully hopping up and down on her father and me as we moan in agony and cough on each other. (Note to jenB--if anyone actually figures out how to "call in sick" to your child, you will spill it--or else.) Alex spent all night (and I mean ALL NIGHT) throwing up because of a hideous, spike-through-the-head migraine, which meant that I spent all night VERY VOCALLY BEING VERY SORRY that he was throwing up and his head was hurting. I was also frequently commanded/pleaded with to "help me, Honey, help me!" To which I, of course, had no possible appropriate response. I did give him some of my own precious migraine medication--which he promptly vomited up. That's gratitude for ya. Not to mention sacrilege. I was also accused of trying to kill him (note--I didn't) a couple of times, which, coincidentally, was something my dad used to accuse my mom of when he was very sick and she was tending to him, so that was kind of comforting in a twisted sort of way.

At least I haven't thrown up yet. Bella and I are more in the (WARNING--TOO MUCH INFORMATION COMING RIGHT...NOW!) diarrhea neighborhood than the vomiting neighborhood. And we both have the stupid allergy sinuses, which, I think, can in fact eventually kill you. Feels that way, anyway.

I'd post a group picture of our pitiful selves, but currently, we far too closely resemble the zombie extras from "Shaun Of The Dead".

But sometimes, we look like this.

And Bella is adorable no matter what, even in the middle of apocalyptic tantrums.

Prayers And Assistance For Our Neighbors To The South

Hurricane Katrina has hit the New Orleans area hard. People are dead. People are injured. People are homeless, and people are hungry and in need of medications. YOU can help, RIGHT NOW.

If you're familiar with prayer, in whatever fashion, do your thing. If you're not, and you're the type who needs specific (WAY specific) instructions, click the link. Or, simply talk to God--kinda like you would if He were your Dad, and had the power and will to help you in your need. You know how you'd speak to him, right?

Instantly, online. This is the quickest, easiest way for the Red Cross to get the most-needed supplies to the people who most need them. Any amount you can, no matter how small, will make a difference.

No matter where you live. It will get to where it needs to go, and quickly. The above site advises you of the location nearest you where you can donate. Do it.

Contributions to the AKC/CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund can also
be made online . AKC/CAR is a permanent charitable fund which provides
resources, support and other assistance to not-for-profit animal shelters and similar
not-for-profit organizations providing care for domestic animals orphaned or displaced as
a result of natural or civil disasters.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Future Blogger

Or novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner, whatever. Pictured furiously typing
emails to her grandmothers.


Stolen from an anonymous craigslist poster, this was just too good not to share with the world (or at least the 5 people who read this blog). And really, cat aside, who does Dick Cheney remind you of? Huh? Anyone? He reminds me of old evil Mr. Potter, who steals Jimmy Stewart's $5,000 to ruin the Bank & Loan and take over the town (see any Iraq war-Halliburton parallels there?) in "It's a Wonderful Life". If Mr. Potter had also been some sort of underworld ghoul who ate live bats. I'm not saying Cheney is/does that, just that his APPEARANCE suggests that it's a possibility. I'm certainly not suggesting an image of Cheney and Rove, in the deep woods at midnight under a full moon, standing in the middle of a pentagram wearing black robes, chanting "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto", eating live bats, and then making out.

And Dick--seriously--is that your version of a smile? Needs work.

But the cat--it's funny, right? Speaking of funny cats, check this out. Pet owners can be demented, can't we?

If I Had My Little Way...*

Midnight. Husband and I snug in bed, sleeping medications having been administered. Daughter is spending the night with my mother. All is peaceful. Then:

Alex: "What can you fix me to eat?"

Me: "Are you serious? You know we didn't go to the grocery store today like we were supposed to."

Alex: "There's got to be something. I just thought you might be able to come up with something."

Me: "I think there are some single-serving size cans of peach slices. Do you want me to get you some peaches?"

Alex: (Pay special attention to this part) "Yes, get me some peaches."

I get out of bed, go to the kitchen, get a pop-top can of peach slices and a spoon. I bring them back and present them to still-in-bed husband.Then:

Alex: (Tossing peaches aside) "I don't want peaches."

Me: (Staring blankly at him for a moment) "Then WHY did you make me go and get them for you?"

Wait for it...

Alex: "I figured you might get to looking around in there and find something better."

Even I didn't see that one coming. Apparently the sleep-aid Lunesta, while not really making you fall asleep right away, makes you do bizarre things like ask for peaches you don't want. If it happens again, I'm reporting it to the manufacturer as a side-effect.

*I'd eat peaches every day; sun-soakin' bulges in the shade...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Truth Will Out

Ever since Bella has entered the Tantrum Child stage, my husband, her father, has repeatedly insisted that this behavior MUST come from my side of the family, despite the fact that my mother has consistently maintained what a quiet, non-confrontational child I was. Because Alex, you see, by his account, was a mild-mannered angel at ALL times. And there are, indeed, plenty of old photographs of the little tow-headed cherub appearing as though sugar would not melt in his mouth. (God help me, he was as beautiful a child as he is a man.) So, hmmm....the tantrums, they must be a throwback to another ancestor, right? Or something.

So anyway, I'm talking to Alex's very sweet and charming mother (I could not possibly have gotten any luckier in the mother-in-law department) this morning, and she's asking how my anxiety problems are coming along, and complimenting me on my blogging, and she says, AND I QUOTE:

"Well, it's no wonder you're having anxiety if Bella is throwing the caliber of tantrum that Alex did when he was that age."

Me: (Incredulously) "WHAT?!?"

MIL: "Oh, he could be a little terror. He was sweet, most of the time, but boy, could he throw a fit."

Me: (Eyeing husband with the highbeams now, to his befuddled "What?" expression) "Oh, REALLY? Well, you know, he maintains that he was just gooder'n ary angel as a child, never a moment's trouble."

MIL: (Laughs expressively) "Oh, dear...ask him about the time we were at J.C. Penney and he wanted me to buy him a cowboy hat that was identical to one he already had. I wouldn't get it for him, and he just laid down on the floor and kicked and screamed. For a moment, I considered just leaving him there." (Laughs again--this is not the sort of woman who would walk 5 FEET away from her child in a public place.)

Me: (Laughing hysterically--with a slightly bitter edge--now) "Well, I am certainly glad to learn of this. Now I know who to call when trying to deal with the Tantrum Child. All my mom ever has to offer is, "I don't and Andrea never did that."

So from now on, when Bella wants to sleep in her Easter dress, or won't get out of the tub, or is running around naked yelling, "I NEVER GET DRESSED AGAIN! NEVER NEVER NEVER!" I am calling my wonderful mother-in-law.

I'm currently imagining the stars she must have in her crown.

A Debate Without Merit

I really can't even BELIEVE I'm having this argument. On watching a movie tonight, since Mom has Bella (bless you, my mother). My choice is "Arsenic and Old Lace". I LOVE that movie. Alex's current choice is "Eight-Legged Freaks."

I ask you, internets, is there really a question when comparing Cary Grant to giant hopping spiders? Tell me if I'm wrong. But I'm not.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

New (Old) Woodpeppers!!*

I haven't been able to ascertain whether anyone has actually laid EYES on one yet, but apparently the folks in the know about these things are confident enough of what they're HEARING in the Big Woods of Arkansas to declare that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, previously thought extinct, is alive and well right here among us! I, for one, think this is waaaaaaaaaay cool. Go, 'peppers!
This image circa 1930's

*Isabella, the term "woodpepper" originated from an innocent slip of the tongue from your grandfather, my dad, when he was in a state of high exasperation due to ultra-persistent woodpeckers pecking on the SIDING of our home. That's right, they weren't even pecking on WOOD. These were some dumb 'peckers. Dad had tried everything from hanging shiny pie plates to putting up fake scary owls and fake scary snakes on the roof to deter the woodpeckers, but still they came. And the noise, from inside the house, was LOUD, like artillery fire. One night when the 'peckers started up, Dad stood it as long as he could, then jumped up and in his excitement and frustration, said, "Those darn woodpeppers! I'm sick of them!" Well, of course, we all, including him, burst out laughing, and from that time forward in this family, these birds have, and will evermore be, referred to as "woodpeppers." We expect you to carry on this proud tradition.

A Poodle's Obsession, And No Night At The Opera

Alex--this is what happens while you're away, apparently. Your lovesick standard poodle gloms onto anything that smells remotely of her true love, and just pines until 5:00, when she begins her tense, standing-at-attention-trembling vigil at the window watching the driveway for your truck. You may have other dogs in your life, but I don't think you will ever know the level of canine devotion to you and only you that is Delta.
Yup, that's your pillow, your spot in the bed. (Bella tried to cover her up with the monkey blanket, but she wasn't having it.) I've also caught her carrying around your previously-worn t-shirts and sleeping in your recliner. I'm telling you, this borders on unhealthy...the first sign of her trying to bump me off so she has no competition for your affection, there's gonna be trouble.

And speaking of poodles, we just accidentally discovered last night while blog-browsing, that there is a law on the books in Chicago that it is illegal to take a "French" poodle to the opera. (We could go off on a whole tangent here about how poodles are NOT French, but rather of German and possibly Russian derivation, but we won't. Besides, we just did.)

Anyway, the girls, Gabby (silver, pictured) and Hope (black, pictured) are just sooo disappointed. See how they are all dressed up with no place to go? Gabby actually won a major at the Chicago cluster this year, and I promised them all that if J.T. does that show next year, I'd treat them all to bullystix and a night at the opera. Well, now that's shot. Darn. I wonder if I could get them in on the argument that they're not actually FRENCH poodles, but rather AMERICAN poodles, or "FREEDOM" poodles, if it pleases the Bush administration. In any case, I'm going to be checking the local laws about just what cultural events poodles are allowed to attend around here. My girls actually prefer ballet music, especially "Swan Lake" and "The Sleeping Beauty". It's too soon to tell about J.T., though I suspect he is a hip-hop fan, and Reggie, well, he just likes the kind of music that doesn't wake him up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ann is a HOOT

I think humor is a defense mechanism that happens to women when they become mothers. Not that non-maternal women aren't funny--they are--but that there is an almost tangible element of self-preservation in the humor of women with children. It's that "laugh to keep from crying" thing, most likely.

Now, PLEASE READ THIS. And make sure that 1.) You're not drinking anything while you read it, and 2.) You don't need to pee before you read this.

That is all.

Favorite Philosophical Pondering So Far Today

From my friend Lisa, who doesn't think she's funny (whatever, Lisa--would an unfunny person use THIS-- as their avatar on bulletin boards? I don't think so). Anyway, she said:

"You know, I just feel like...if someone's gonna make my life harder, they should at least be someone I love, right?"

Indeed. Don't be mucking up my life or getting in my craw if you're not a loved one. And hey, you loved ones who ARE getting all stuck in my craw? Knock it off!

Sick Day

You don't feel well today, Punkin' Seed (that was your Daddy's choice of pet names for you today; He has lots of 'em). It's these darn Arkansas allergies. The copious drainage into your throat makes you cough--you barked like a seal all night--and makes your throat sore (as you tell it, "a boo-boo inside your neck"). So we're taking it easy today, reading books and magazines and watching way too much "Dora The Explorer", and keeping the antihistamines flowing. Oh, and Reggie is having sympathetic puniness--not that he needs much of an excuse to act pitiful:
And those are not his baby-wipes or his red handbag, but that is his copy of Bookmarks magazine. He does like to keep up with the latest literary news.

UPDATE, 6:00 P.M.--Your Daddy, who, by the way, has his extremely thoughtful moments, came home and brought you a big snuggly stuffed monkey, a soft fleece monkey blanket, both of which match your much-loved monkey pillow. And also some very clever "lollipops" which are actually zinc-fortified cough drops. Good Daddy. We hope you feel better soon, Punkin' Seed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Gong fu"

Or in the English release, "Kung Fu Hustle". Pretty entertaining, all in all..."Gangs of New York" meets "West Side Story" meets "Hero". Fighting, funny, and dancing. In Cantonese with English subtitles, which makes for funny lines in itself. My favorites:

"The slippers are a little crappy."

"Don't put your snot on the glass."

"All of his bones and tendons are broken. The herbs should help."

Favorite character name: "Donut"

Favorite commentary from Alex, during the scene in which Sing, who desperately wants to join "The Axe Gang" has to break into an asylum for the criminally insane, and as soon as he gets in, the building glows with evil and a river of blood comes rushing down the hallway: "Uh, I think this is the moment when I'd decide to beat it outta there and settle for joining 'The Pointy Stick Gang'."

Biggest regret: Not enough all-male line-dancing.

That's about as much of a review as I'm capable of right now...if there is a man in your life (or if you are a man), rent it.

My Recurrent Goat Problem

Here she is, the bane (OK, maybe just "a" bane) of my existence. She's a pygmy goat. She is not MY pygmy goat. She lives on a neighboring property, and for some reason, they cannot keep her contained in her sad little pen. Once she gets out of there, she just scrambles over OUR fence and into our pasture and hangs out with our horses--who are highly suspicious of her.

I feel kind of bad for her owners, but really--why would you keep a goat in a little dirt pen in your backyard? It's no wonder that she wants to escape, and that our 10 acres of grass and OTHER ANIMALS to socialize with is more appealing than her little solitary goat-prison.
There is another neighbor who keeps goats and sheep, who would be happy to take this little goat to live with her animals, and I have told the escaping-goat-owners so. But for whatever reason, they don't seem to want to give her up. I think it took them a couple of hours to catch her last night and take her home. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last.

I already have an antagonistic relationship with a couple of ram sheep that I DO own (see picture above), but at least they don't actively cause trouble, like the goat does.

I am sad for the little goat--she's so happy when she's over here, wagging her little tail while she raids the horse feed--and I am sad for her owners, who keep having to come over here and have a mini-rodeo and drag her back to her little goat gulag. I wish I could convince them to give her to Pat--she'd be so much happier, she'd have friends, and best of all, she'd be behind a 6-foot chainlink fence on about 30 acres! I'm sorry, wee little goat. I know you want to live here, but you wreak too much havoc, and you don't belong to me. I wish you a better life, Sweetheart.

Monday, August 22, 2005

How Conflicted Am I?

How liberal am I? A lot more than I thought, even. But really, it's not the greatest test, because many of the questions are not black/white issues, and I had feelings on both sides most of the time. I think the 0% conservative on crime was because I'm against capital punishment. Yes, I think prisoners should be protected against sodomy and the like, but I think prison should be punishment. But at the same time, I don't feel it's our place to kill people. So those values are definitely off. But mandatory sentencing? Seriously, that blows. And for the abortion question, they lumped in "discouraged" with "illegal". Now, I ask you--is discouraging something the same thing as making it illegal? And personally, abortion? Well, I'm agin' it. BUT that does not mean that I believe it should be illegal under any and all circumstances and criminalized. I don't think a minor ought to be able to have one without parental consent, for sure. Gay marriage? I seriously do not get why I, as a married heterosexual, am supposed to be threatened by this. They deserve the same rights when it comes to things like medical decisions, legal matters, etc., (not to mention just plain RESPECT as fellow humans) that the rest of us have. If they called it something besides "marriage", would that be OK? Less scary? Most of the "religious" (note I don't use the term "Christian", because there's definitely a difference) people I know have condemned homosexuals to hell already, so what's a little more fuel for the fire, in their minds? And for the question about what's wrong with the U.S. justice system? Um, BOTH answers were correct, in my book. Iraq? A war built on a lie, that we can't get out of, and more of our youth die every day. The more time goes by, the more people seem to be accepting the fallacy that September 11 was connected to Iraq. And that our troops (who absolutely ARE brave and noble) are somehow protecting us...but against what? Latest estimate is that we'll be out of Iraq by 2009...that's a long, long way from the day that "Mission Accomplished!" was announced. Go ahead and give the test a look yourself--you'll see what I mean.

Belinda--all about shades of gray, don'tcha know?
Try being a Christian, (Southern Baptist, no less), left-leaning female in the South, who doesn't buy into the Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld fantasy, and see if you're not conflicted! Greenspan for President, I say. And Billy Graham for V.P. There. Confused?

Your Political Profile

Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

And here's Hubby's, which is REALLY surprising to me, since I'm usually the apologist for our conservative friends and family, and able to see both sides of almost any issue...but he agrees with me that it is a very flawed test.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 40% Conservative, 60% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal


I don't know what flavor of "Baptist" these nut-cases from the Westboro Baptist Church based out of Topeka, Kansas are, but let me state unequivocally that THEY AIN'T MINE. I've heard of Southern Baptists, General Baptists, and many others, but what are these jokers--SATANIC Baptists? You can read the whole article about these whack-jobs protesting at the funeral of fallen soldier, Rusty Bell, in Pocahontas, Arkansas, but I think these images pretty much sum up the ideology of Fred Phelps and his followers.

Um, yeah. Anybody home? You plan to serve God by deliberately disobeying Him and acting in a way that would be shameful to Him? Good plan. I'm sure He's just waaaaay proud of you right now.

To see how much more closely this group resembles a cult than it does a church, see Wikipedia's excellent entry on them, and Fred Phelps. I'd direct you to his hateful websites, but I don't want to encourage traffic for him.

What I DO want to encourage traffic for is this: Bell’s mother says he loved to read and was a member of the organization called Books For Soldiers. If anyone would like to make a contribution in his honor, they can do that at

Uh, Mr. President?

I have stumbled across this picture on blog entries as far back as last November, but nowhere--nowhere--have I been able to find an explanation of exactly what is going on here. I could buy a possible "wardrobe malfunction" (especially in light of this other picture I found through mad Googling):
But back to the first photo--what of the big guy all snugged up to the Pres' hindmost parts, WITH A GIANT GOOFY GRIN ON HIS FACE? That part reminds me of the scene in "Bringing Up Baby", when Katherine Hepburn rips the back out of her evening gown, and Cary Grant has to walk in lock-step behind her out of the nightclub. Was there a simultaneous catastrophe with both the front AND back of Bush's pants? And why is the fellow on flank duty so HAPPY about it?

I won't stoop so low as to reflect on the possibility that Dub has trouble dressing himself...respect for the office, and all that. Besides, you're perfectly capable of making your own jokes, including ones about looking for WMD. Do I have to do everything?

But seriously--if you're a beltway (no pun intended) insider, and you know what's up here--PLEASE enlighten.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

No; No; A Thousand Times No

Dear Hubby, I don't believe you have even seen this yet, but just let me say, unequivocally, right now--this will not be happening at Impulse Farm. Yes, I have coveted the new VW Beetles, and yes, you have begged me to figure a way to get a snout and corkscrew tail on your red pickup...but this is not the answer.
I just couldn't bear it. There will be no Razorbug here. I'll make it up to you some other way, I promise.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

He's Putting His Foot Down

I'm not sure about what--there's a lot of grumbling under the breath going on. It has to do with one or more of the following things: ham sandwiches, finding a pen, getting me some ice, watching "Raging Bull", and Bella going to bed. I know I distinctly heard the phrase "putting my FOOT down". I don't know if he's putting it down for me, Bella, or one or more of the dogs...or all of us. Poor, modern man. I imagine there's a time or two in every married man's life when he'd like to behave like the husband character in an Ibsen play.

Please, Torvald, it's just a little macaroon..."

I Know Him So Well...It's Frightening

Just this minute, this happened. Observe how I am expected to be, first, a human encyclopedia, and second, psychic, where my husband is involved.

Alex: (Whistles "Jurassic Park" theme.) " Who's that guy that wrote all that music?"

Me: "You're thinking of John Williams, but I'm not 100% sure he was the Jurassic Park composer." (note--he was.)

Alex: "Yeah, but I was thinking of "Indiana Jones." You shoulda known that."

Me: (Incredulously) You were thinking of "Indiana Jones" (I hum the beginning of the "Indiana Jones" theme), but you were WHISTLING the "Jurassic Park" theme. (I hum the beginning of the "Jurassic Park" theme) And I'm supposed to know what you mean inside your head."

Alex: "Yes. You're smart like that. Google "Jurassic Park" and see who did the music."

Me: "I'm pretty sure it was Williams, just not 100%....there it is. John Williams."

Alex: " See? I told you so."

Me: "YOU DID NOT!" (Lets out the 4,789,542nd exasperated sigh of my marriage.)

Alex: "You married me."


Friday, August 19, 2005

Whassssssssssup, Arkansas?

The copperheads are up to something. There is a more in-depth article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, but you have to be a subscriber to access it.

Basically, 100 or more copperhead snakes, which are pitvipers, are congregating nightly at one man's home near Mountain Home, Arkansas. Nobody knows why, and that's what's unnerving. What are they discussing at these meetings? What do they have planned next? How come it seems to be a "boy's club" of poisonous snakes?

The most disturbing quote in the referenced article, for me, is this one, from Chuck Miller, the owner of the property that is playing host to the nightly hissfests:

"Something's making them do it. They know something we don't know. There's got to be something more to this."

Remember how, on "Buffy" or "Angel", they would sometimes, after a great struggle, kill some mega-powerful foe, only to find out that the Big Bad they'd dispatched wasn't the REAL Big Bad?* That's the kind of feeling I get from the above statement by Miller.

Could there be some sort of copperhead version of the Ubervamp (geeky "Buffy" reference) out there, drawing his "children" to him for the final stage of his plan to unleash who-knows-what manner of snake-related chaos upon Arkansas? I don't think we have a hellmouth (another geeky "Buffy" reference) here, but the New Madrid faultline does run through the state. Who knows what lurks beneath? My money was on mole-people, but it could be a snake-thing, I suppose.

*If you don't, then immediately go rent every season of both "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Angel". They have them all at Netflix. You'll feel better, even if we're about to become slave-labor for a race of super-copperhead overlords. I hope they let us keep TiVo.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Ones Who GET IT

I have gone on and on about how, outside my family, people just "don't get" the huge, ragged hole in my being that is the loss of my dear father last fall. Apparently "most" people don't grieve this long. Whatever. But some do "get it", and still respect my continuing status as a grieving daughter. Kerri gets it--because she knew him, and because she has an amazing Daddy of her own. Lisa gets it, because she knew him and she knows how much of me IS him. Sue gets it, because she recognizes the importance of the things that made him so precious to me, and spoke some of the sweetest words I heard in the days after his death. She said, "I grieve for you in your loss, but I also envy you for having had such a wonderful presence in your life. Not everyone, nor even most, do, you know."

And today, at the pharmacy, dear friend Clarice, who I see not anywhere near enough of anymore, but who is the best kind of person you can imagine having for a friend, really, really did a good thing for me (Hi, Clarice! I didn't cry until I left!). She said, "I think about Zane every day. Belinda, he was the best man I have ever known in my life." Thank you, Kiks, not just for saying it, but for meaning it. Hearing that validates the very high value I place upon Dad's life, and his place in my life.

Also, thank you for telling me that it is supposed to take a minimum of two years to grieve such a major loss...I don't know where you got that information, and I don't even care whether it's accurate, because it makes so much more sense than this "six months" crap I've been hearing all year.

Shrunk, and Failure to Communicate

Got head-shrunk today. The update on my current weirdness, from today's pdoc visit: Sticking with the AD dose that was increased a week ago, since it seems to be doing its job, and adding a longer-acting benzo for the bizarro, no-logical-reason anxiety. It's prescribed for 3 times daily, but I really can't imagine needing that much. We'll see. Oh, and something to FORCE me to get some sleep, since that really is at the root of a lot of my nuttiness--the fact that I'm not sleeping. And on the lighter side...

On the way home from picking up my new meds, Alex driving:

Me: "Lookoutlookoutlookout! Doggieintheroad!"

Alex: "I see the dog. Calm down." (Yes, tell the anxiety-ridden person to "calm down." Much money could be saved on drugs and therapy with this radical and ingenius method--we must notify Tom Cruise. Surely the same treatment approach could be applied to all manner of affective disorders. Bipolar? Level out! Depressed? Snap out of it! Manic? Settle down! Schizophrenic? Knock it off, already!)

Me: "Look, if you don't want me to holler out about upcoming traffic hazards (he really does hate it, and I really can't seem to stop doing it), then you will have to spot them first, and announce to me that you are aware of the upcoming hazard and that I don't have to warn you. Like, 'I see the puppy in the road, and I will not hit it.' "

Alex: "OK, I got it." (Takes on "Cool Hand Luke" chain-gang accent) "Curve ahead, Boss."
"Stop sign, Boss."
"Slowing down, Boss."
"Turning left, Boss."

If I had been feeling better, I'd have played along with the proper responses, such as "Slow 'er on down..." but I just didn't feel up to it. But I'm sure now that he's had this burst of inspiration, I'll get another dozen or so chances before he tires of the gag. I ain't boiling any eggs, though, I can tell you that.

And just how crazy am I right now? A DHL truck just pulled up and left something on the porch, I have no idea what, and I'm not even going to look. Any of my family reading this is probably calling for the butterfly nets NOW. "Belinda is not opening, or even retrieving, a PACKAGE. Head for the hills!"

Sleep now, perchance to be rested when Bella gets home, and to add to the 2 lousy hours I got last night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Got Milk?

Marijuana-fed dairy cows. Milk. It does a body...groooooovy, man. (That was dated, I know, but I have no idea what the pot-smoking kids are saying these days. Never was my thang even in my own time, so I'm clueless.) Make up your own joke about cows eating "grass".

And in a seamless segue, I relate the following late-night exchange between my loving husband and me. The setup: He had asked me, at a ridiculously late hour (both of us are having some trouble sleeping of late), to prepare, for him, a snack. One which involved actual cooking. With the actual oven, not the microwave. After staring at him in disbelief for a minute or two, I actually went and did it. (Hey, I haven't been good for much else lately, and I certainly wasn't sleeping, so why not?) But I went with a fair share of grumbling. Time lapsed, and I returned to the bedroom with Alex's midnight repast. After (note that--the AFTER part) I'd served him and gotten myself fully tucked back into the bed, he turns to me with an expectant look on his face.

Alex: "Milk?" (I'm not sure where he thought I was hiding it, or if he was really so deluded as to think that it was reasonable to ask me to get back up and fetch it for him.)

Me: (No words, just the highbeam "I feel a bad time a-comin' " look directed at the milk-requester.)

Alex: "Um...'Milk' my new pet name for you. Have I told you you today how much I love you, Milk?"

Me: (Unable to not laugh) "Milk? How is MILK a term of endearment?"

Alex: "Because it is sweet, wholesome, and pure, and gives life-sustaining nutrition and goodness, the way you nourish me with love..."

Me: (cringing) "OK, stop, stop. Decent save."

He's quick, that one.

Aluminum Underpants Revisited

Well, I feel like somebody now. I like to look at the logs of traffic for this site, and see how people are getting here. Especially those who get here through search engines, 'cuz I'm pretty sure they ain't lookin' for me. But sometimes, even though my site is obviously not their intended destination, they come anyway. And for that, I love them. Two of my recent favorite search engine visitors were someone using Spanish Google to search about crankbaits (and I apologize for your certain disappointment, Spanish-Speaking Crankbait Researcher), and someone searching for "how to make a home made ninja suit".

But today's search beats all, so far. Someone found their way here by Googling "aluminum underpants". My site came up because I wrote a post titled "Aluminum Underpants" (see how that works?). I don't know who this person is, but I think I love him/her. Not just for letting me know that someone out there is looking to educate themselves about and/or procure aluminum underpants, but for leading me to this bit of legislative wonder:

"In July, Colorado House Bill 01-1221 became law, banning aluminum underpants. Its purpose is to discourage shoplifters' using them to get past electronic detectors, but the law does provide an exception that allows people to wear them if they can prove it's for a "personal" reason. [Denver Post, 7-1-01]"

Did you get the best part of that? You can get an exemption from the aluminum underpants ban if you can prove you wear them FOR A "PERSONAL" REASON.

I would now like to open the floor for speculation as to possible "personal" reasons for the wearing of aluminum underpants. Obviously, this discussion can not include any form of shoplifting, because that would be wrong. Discuss. Please. If ever you were going to leave a comment, now is the time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Have you read about Volvo's new concept car that was designed by an all-female design team? It's fantastic really, and sounds like the kind of car I'd love to drive. But if Volvo actually puts it into production, you know what people are going to call it, don't you? I don't have to even say it, do I? Good.

Oh, and my favorite quote from Volvo's president and CEO? Regarding the results of his company's customer research: "We learned that if you meet women's expectations, you exceed those for men," he said.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Great Pony-Getting Adventure (A Story In Pictures)

Bella, this is the story of the day you got your first pony, "Magic." In your own words, we were "on an adventure" that day!

You were READY TO GO that morning. You have always, since infancy, been a wonderful traveler. You looked at Highlights magazine, ate Pop-Tarts (bad Mom), sang along to XM Kids and made google-eyes at your Daddy in the rear-view mirror all the way there, a three-hour trip.

Before we knew it, we were near Clinton. Arkansas is just so pretty. We were behind this camper for about 4 million miles, I think.

We didn't.

I wanted to live here when I saw it. Take my buckboard to town four times a year for supplies, and just nestle in. I do hope you appreciate the beauty of this state. It's hot as all get-out all summer long (and summer is LONG), but it's lush, green, and pretty, and full of nice people.

We didn't.

Again, pretty.

Again, no.

Because JUNK is pariah.

We had to get off the beaten path to find The Happy Pony Farm. (It's not actually called that, it's a very nice place owned by fine, lovely people, but I will forever remember it as The Happy Pony Farm. How could you not be happy on a pony farm?)

WAY off the beaten path.

OK, by this time, we were actually ON a "beaten path", rather than an actual road, I think.

It was this point at which we realized that in order to get to The Happy Pony Farm, you have to really WANT to get to The Happy Pony Farm. If you are ever placed in the Witness Protection Program, I recommend relocating to The Happy Pony Farm.

Here is where you first spotted PONIES! We were getting close...

MORE PONIES! Closer yet!

We found it! We were there at last. All in all, a pleasant trip, and what a charming place it was.

You were all atwitter when we arrived. You held tight to Daddy's hand and walked up a rocky hill to the barn, just chattering all the way. (By the way...the dress? Your newest poodle dress at the time--you've had lots of them--and agreeing to let you wear it was the only way I could convince you to get out of the tub that morning. "Dressing appropriately" has never been something you cared a whole lot about.)

In the barn, you saw your first tiny kitten.

Daddy held the kitten for you so you could pet it.

You were tickled to pieces by the silly kitten!

And then you met Magic. Miss Jill introduced you, and Magic put her nose down to sniff the new little critter who'd come to see her.

You were very gentle, and patted her smooth little nose and rubbed her head. You asked Miss Jill very softly if you could have a hairbrush.

Miss Jill got you a brush, and showed you the proper way to brush a pony.

You asked permission before starting to brush each new spot.

Pretty soon, you were grooming like a pro!

We could have stayed and visited with the pretty ponies all day, but we said goodbye to Miss Jill and Courtney and the dogs and the kitten and all the ponies, put Magic in the trailer, and got all set to go.

And then we were on our way home. What could go wrong? (It is important that you learn early about "tempting fate" with questions such as these.)

Shortly after passing the junk-shunning place, THIS happened. A blowout.

A BIG blowout!

Fortunately, we were not too far from this place, and were able to get THE Barry on the phone, and he said he'd come right out.

While we were waiting on Barry, you and I walked over to the nearby truck stop and got drinks. You were holding my hand, and just being a fantastic sport about the whole thing. You asked me, "Are we going to the office?" I said, "No, Honey, we're a long way from the office. We're a long way from home, too." You gave that a little thought, then informed me, "Mommy, we are on an ADVENTURE." Indeed. You selected a bottle of cold water to drink, and we walked back and settled into the air-conditioned truck to wait.

This is Barry. He totally lived up to the Barry hype, and got right to work.


Barry got our blown tire off, replaced it with the spare, good as new, so that we could once again get on our way.

You got M&Ms as a reward for being so completely wonderful throughout this whole ordeal. Yeah, yeah, I know...but you really love chocolate, and you were really good.

The inevitable sugar-crash came several miles later, and the rest of the trip home was uneventful.

Home at last! You had to check Magic out as soon as she got out of the trailer, and make sure she was all right. You begged to ride her then, poodle dress and all (see above, re: "appropriate attire").

We set you up on Magic's back, and you were enthralled.

It was getting dark by that time, so you reluctantly grazed your new pony for a bit and then put her to bed in her new stall, next to Rosa and her foal. We think you will be a great pony-girl.

And that, my dear, is the story of the day we got Magic. I hope the two of you remain friends for a long, long time!