Sunday, March 13, 2011

Permanent Vacation

So long, suckahs! I am out of here! I'm on the next train to Latersville! Oh you'll be seeing me; only if I don't see you first! Adios, muchchacho! Don't try to follow me, cuz our time has come to a close! Sure it's been fun, but me, I'm a rambler, and I got to move on. The musings of the great Mango seem illustrative here: "Can you know the mighty ocean? Can you lasso a star from the sky? Can you say to a rainbow... 'Hey, stop being a rainbow for a second'? No! " Such is Mango, and such is me. One cannot deny one's nature nor one's destiny, so be gone, be gone, and when you think of me- oh, and think of me you will - be kind. Consider this your break up call. Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.
You! I miss you already! Come find me! Search high, search low, never give up on me, on our love, on what once was, and -dare I dream?- to what could be yet again! Leave no stone unturned; or if you are too stoned to turn, just click this link:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just a Few Words...

The Supreme Court recently clarified that freedom of speech, even if the subject, tone or intent of that speech is vile, incendiary, misguided or hurtful, is a sacrosanct and inalienable right in this country; for the time being, at least. Even though the Court found in favor of the vicious, hate-spewing, possibly inbred Phelps family that picket schools, funerals and public thoroughfares in the hopes of convincing the masses that we deserve the punitive fury of the Divine because we tolerate homosexuality*, I say, "Yay!" While I use that word often, it is one that is well-chosen, not just for its resounding affirmation, but also for its exuberance and joie de vivre. Even if your words are truly shitty, I think you should be able to speak them. I also believe there is a responsibility that comes with having a voice, and that you should think before you speak. Or type. Definitely before you text, especially if you're drunk. Sometimes I forget that I believe this, and sometimes thinking is just too much effort, but I still want to talk or write, so I do it anyway, but this post isn't about me, it's about WORDS. Why don't you just shut up, Imaginary Cyber-Conscience that's always interrupting me? Always nagging, always whining! You're not the boss of me! Shut it!

Like I was saying, words are potent. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his ruling, "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and...inflict great pain." In 1984, arguably the best book written in the history of ever, one of the cornerstones of mass control is the manipulation and restriction of words. This is a partial explanation of Newspeak, the language Orwell created in the book. Here Syme, who is working on the latest edition of the Newpeak dictionary, is speaking to Winston Smith, the protagonist of the story:

'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. 'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?'

Diabolically brilliant, non?

Self-expression is a gift we shouldn't take for granted. Nate Fisher, the fictional character in Six Feet Under (played by Peter Krause, now Adam Braverman on Parenthood, if that means anything to you), said in one memorable episode that I have completely forgotten, "If there's one thing about death I know it's this: death will shut you up right quick, so if you have something to say in this world, just say it." (I forgot the ep, but I wrote the quote down on a Kleenex that I've been carrying in my pocket ever since. I do that. I'm big on scraps and stickies.)

Of course, sometimes just saying it is easier said than done.

Henry B. Adams said: "No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous." Robert Frost said "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it."

I was explaining the importance of choosing your words carefully to my 10 year old nephew, who I'll call Eli in this blog. He was talking about how kids in his school use the "...B-word and the F-word and the C-word (I later found out that one was 'crap'; who'd a thunk?) all the time," and how there was profanity in the music that he likes, which includes Weezer, the Clash and Beck. He's really cool.

I told him that those kids probably didn't understand all the things the words could mean, and their connotations, and that if you were going to cuss, you should make sure that profanity was the best option for the situation. (I know what you are thinking here; something along the lines of "practice what you preach." Shut yer piehole, Judgey! Nobody cares what you think and your mama's ugly! Burn!)

Eli is profound, and has great depths of understanding.

"Yeah," he concurred. "It's gotta be at the right place at the right time. Like if you were in the bushes, takin' a pee, and you really had to go, but then you got abducted, that would be a good time to let the F-word fly."

Excellent speculation. That would probably be a fine time.

His sister, who is six, says "poop" a lot. Poop is a great word. Easy to say, easy to spell.

Here's an interesting example of the use and interpretation of words:

Really, are those the words you would associate with this guy? Actually, now that I look a little closer, he kinda has it going on...

Here is a brief poem I wrote a long time ago about words, kind of. It's called:


Scraps of paper

In your pockets

In your shoes

In your memory

Shreds of love

Curled at the edges

Witty quips

Shards of a life

Stuffed in a pocket

To be read

and reread

Read between the lines

Underlined in red

Unfurled far away

In a piece of a place

A slip of a spark


So little

So much

On a scrap of paper

Well, oddly, I'm out of words right now. I didn't feel like I had too much to say, but I didn't want to deprive you of me for more than a week. That would be uncool.

P.S. to Mr. Roll 'Em If You Got 'Em Mario: You're in adenial clever!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Public Service Announcement

I realize that most of you will not actually watch this, so here's a quick summary of the most salient points:
1. Everyone should pitch in to avert a crisis that concerns us all.
2. People should have the right to collaborate, debate and negotiate in situations where their livelihoods and areas of expertise are effected, or when problems without clear solutions arise.

This has been a public service announcement. We now return you to the self-centered inanity that is The Smaller Adventure. Thank you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Very First

Just in case you're keeping a chronological list:
The very first blog post I wrote for this blog was this one:
That was back when I was adorable. Look how cute I was!
I wrote a blog before this one about a trip I took with McAdams to Montana.That was the birth of the magic. My very first favorite picture from that blog was this one, entitled "Holy Shit House, Batman!"
I was modest back then, and put asterisks between the 'S' and the 'T' of 'shit'. How cute is that?!

My first kiss was in a closet at a party, with a guy from my seventh grade class. "So," he said, "do you wanna?" I said ok - I was trying to be cool about the whole thing, not over eager or desperate, you know, but then I blew it and admitted, "I don't really know how." He said nothing, but I felt him move in the dark and his lips found mine, and then our mouths opened, and we kissed - French kissed! - very tentatively and experimentally, and then people banged on the door and said clever, sophisticated seventh grade things, like "OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH! Y'all Frenched!", and then it was over. I still know that guy, though I haven't seen him in a long time. I think he's gay, but probably I have nothing to do with that. I should call him and tell him that the first kiss was weird, but real nice, and thank him for not telling everyone that I didn't know how to go to first base.My very first favorite song, I think, was "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears; at least that's what I've been told. I heard it on my dad's record, back when he was a hippie, and oh, how I danced! The first song I remember really liking all on my own was either:
I still love it! Historically accurate rock rules!
Or maybe it was this one:

Oh, just listen to my love sound! By the way, The DeFrancos were Canadian. That's just another little fun fact I offer you here, on this blog, free of charge. Anyway, this just proves that I have always had impeccable taste in music, and you should think that I am wise, discerning and urbane. Think that now, please.
Thank you.

I had my very first ladies only February 14th dinner party this year! I called it the Vagintines Buffet, and it was a great success! Eat your heart out, people who have dates!

My first favorite poem was this one:

I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on my knife.

Oddly, the author is unknown; you can bet if I'd written that baby, my name would be all over it!

The very first time I understood the meaning of the word "sexy" was at an Aerosmith concert. I was twelve or thirteen, and I was smitten with Steven Tyler, even though he was so wasted he literally fell over under the weight of a ridiculous fur coat he was wearing, and the concert was unanimously voted "Worst of the Year" by our local music critics. What can I say? The heart wants what the heart wants. I wanted his huge, leering fish-mouth, gold floor-length scarf, and bored-looking, chain-smoking guitar player. Grrrr. I've had a weakness for musicians with addictions that look at me with abject boredom through squinty eyes ever since. Whether or not a man can actually remain upright is overrated when it comes to matters of the coochie-coochie, n'est pas?
Speaking of coochie coochie* ...
The first time I ever understood the meaning of the word 'sex" goes a little something like this...

Mama came home from school and shrugged the heavy book bag from her sagging shoulder. Then came the slow process of shedding the armor she wore against the cold: the peeling off of the gloves, finger by finger; the wool hat releasing the damp hair beneath; the unwinding of the scarf, over the head and around, over and around, enough to make you dizzy; thick coat, button down sweater, pullover, and finally the elegant figure of mama emerged, like a delicate bird that had landed uncertainly in the living room. Only her belly looked incongruous, as if she had swallowed a beach ball. Where had she found a beach ball, here in the middle of a Wisconsin winter?

“You asked me where your sister came from, and how she got in my stomach. Those are good questions. I got you a special book from the library today. Shall we make some hot chocolate and read it?”

The book was filled with pictures made from figures cut out of brightly colored construction paper. It was called Where Did I Come From? We spread the pages across our laps, warm and filled with the taste of sweet, curled in on each other like the leaves of a cabbage. I smiled. I was happy and ready to begin. “Your Mommy and Daddy love each other very much,” she began, as I fingered the picture of a smiling, dark haired man, holding the hand of a pretty blonde lady…

I think I am about to embark on some firsts coming up in the near future. Normally, change scares the heck outta me, and I resist it like kitties resist the shower. Try it. They resist real hard. But many of my firsts have been great, and if it weren't for them, there would never have been seconds. Bring it on, life! I ain't afraid of you!

*Charo pronounces it "cuchi - cuchi". Two free fun facts in one posts! Damn, this blog is good!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm free to do what I want, any old time

By the way, I am aware that many of you hate these sad-sack political posts.

What do I care? This blog is free! You get what you pay for! If you don't like it, shut the front door!*

*I'm trying to be less profanity laced, on account of the cocksuckers who make the rules believe that teachers don't have freedom of speech. Oops.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You Don't Need A Weatherman...

Man, oh man. We are living in some strange times, right? I guess every generation has occasion to say that, and probably more than once, but it's so bizarre how you'll just be going along, living life, and all of a sudden the road that you're traveling becomes some bizarre Escher landscape, all fragmented fractals and tessellated tangents. Things are completely falling apart and being reformed, almost simultaneously. Chaos versus new order, indecision seems the most secure option, hope looms large while being scattershot by snipers. All over the world, people are committing to change and possibility, even if that promise is eyelash slim. One estimates how hot the fire blazes, and then dives headlong out of the frying pan. People desperately cling to new found faith; faith that the system will work or will topple; faith that we are doing the right thing; faith that if we accept and obey, everything will turn out all right; faith that there is a plan.

I hope everybody will be ok, and everything will right itself eventually...

Hmmm. Que sensitiva, right? I can't let struggles halfwafy across the world get me down, right? I need to buck up soldier!

But then I think about what's up in my own country. First there's Detroit, which has been deserted by almost everyone who has the means to hightail it out of there. The city has massive unemployment, and is being sucked ever downward by a continuing spiral of debt, mismanagement, crime, and lack of opportunity, much like residing in a low-flow terlit. What was once Motown and the heart of the automotive industry that symbolized the American spirit of freedom, self-reliance and ingenuity, is now the poster child for the United States' Most Likely To Become A Third World City. Detroit just announced that it was going to CLOSE 50% of its schools. Excellent idea.

In Prichard, Alabama, city workers, who have for years sacrificed big bucks from their monthly paychecks in order to save for their retirements, are being denied their pensions - since 2009, when the city ran out of money. How are those people supposed to live?

In my own city, 3,100 teachers are going to be fired while our superintendent draws one of the highest paychecks in the nation. School administrators say that those who are allowed to keep teaching will have to prepare for salary cuts, unpaid furlough days and classes of 35 or more students. What will become of all those kids who won't be able to get even the most basic education? What will become of all of us when the illiterate and unconscious inherit the earth?
In the meantime, legislators are pushing a bill to allow college kids to carry guns, saying it will make the campuses a safer place. That's just great. A bunch of tripping frat boys with weapons... I've seen that movie!

The thing is, teachers didn't cause enormous budget shortfalls. Neither did the cops, clerks, firefighters, secretaries, cafeteria workers, nurses, bailiffs, construction workers or janitors that keep things relatively safe and running.

It's hard not to point fingers. The targets seem so obvious, and I am growing to hate them. It's hard to keep hope. It's hard not to cry and to get up and go to work in the morning. It's hard not to drink too much. It's so very easy to give up.

But I can't. I get so angry. I'm really frustrated and beaten down. I am depressed and despairing, and I don't sleep well and I feel like I'm getting old. But I can't give up, give in, get out. Not yet.

Revolution is in the air. I dunno. Maybe it's time.

Like I said, I hope everyone will be ok...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

VD 2011

"Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, well, that's all I'm after
Whenever you need me,
I'll be there.
I'll be there to protect you,
With unselfish love, I'll respect you,
Just call my name,
and I'll be there."

-Micheal Jackson

What exactly were you expecting? It's Valentine's Day, the corniest holiday ever!

Still and all, what's not to like about love, right?

Happy VD to everyone! I send you a gift of love that I hope you'll spread around, just like I have been, ever since a particularly confusing Texxas Jam in the 80's!

"There are four questions of value in life: What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same ...only love."

Don't hate just because that's a JOHNNY DEPP quote! Who expected that? Not me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


My niece is turning six this month. What a great year! It's full of surprise, too. When I was six, I realized that I was going to keep getting older, forever. At the time, that was a good thing.

I also figured out that I would never have an older brother. That made me sad.

When I was six, my front teeth were too big for my mouth. They still are, kind of. I have bunny teeth and shark mouth, which is an odd combination.

My sister and mom were my best friends. Again, still true.

Sometimes, just for fun, I wore a long, red-checkered dress with an apron thing that had an applique of Holly Hobby on it and a Little House On the Prarie bonnet to school. I looked like this, only with bunny teeth and shark mouth:

It was a phase.

I loved to read when I was six. My mom and I read Charlotte's Web together, and then a book about the Holocaust called the Upstairs Room. Hmm. This says a lot about my personality today...

On vacations, we went to Texas to visit my grandparents. I played with my cousins, and one of them had a go-cart. We would vroom up and down the alley, and then later pile into the bed of my uncle's truck - we don't need no stinkin' seat belts! - and go to 7-11 to get a Slurpee, which was something my mom wouldn't let me have at home. One time on the go-cart we drove into a passing wasp, who stung me right under my eye. Once I got heat stroke from riding around in the back of the truck in the 1,000 degree (farenheit) Texas heat.

Great times!

Here's what my aunt said about six:

I lived across the street from the school and I started the first grade in September (no preK or Kindergarten for us, we just manned up and learned it all in one year!)

Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic , and it was taught to the tune of a hickory stick, they could spank you if you were bad. I never got spanked. Others did.

I went to school with my older brother and lots of cousins and everyone in the neighborhood went to the same school.

I had crazy curly red hair and my mother made all my school clothes. She sewed all summer for my wardrobe. It was not extensive or creative. It was functional.

My Mom starched my petticoats (until they cut your naked legs) on the weekends and hung them out on the clothes lines to dry.

My brother had stretchers that they put in his jeans to make a crease. Laundry had its own life!

I had skinny feet and needed good shoes (my father didn’t enjoy that!). We got ONE pair per year. Period.

I had lots of playmates and we played after school and after dinner until dark. No homework until you were older. Maybe the 3rd grade and not much at that.

I loved my box of Crayola’s and never pealed the paper off or broke them. I was so happy when I moved up to 16 from 8 colors.

My favorite color was Burnt Sienna and that was a big step on the color wheel.

We did not have TV or even a clue about TV. We listened to the radio. We took naps. We read books. We wrote in tablets so our handwriting improved.

I had the chicken-pox and nearly clawed my skin off. And Measles also. No shots for us. Just endure and survive.

We had the first Polio vaccine and we took it in sugar lumps. Yummy, but very edgy.

We had only little white children in our schools, and celebrated Christian holidays only.

I bit my nails. I had bird legs and looked like a stick figure. It was all part of a journey that we all took together.

I still have lunch and talk to those kids that were with me in Miss West’s first grade class at James B. Bonham.

We are still on that journey that began at age 6. It was a great adventure, and amazingly enough it started 60 years ago!

I had a Miss West, too. I loved her. She let me choose my spelling words right out of the dictionary.

I'd like to give my niece an illustrated booklet of people's six year old memories. I think that would be a cool gift. What do you remember about six?

This is Nikki Sixx. He has nothing to do with this post, but this is what he looks like when he shouts at the devil.

Blizzard 2011 Rages On...Yay!

Click here to see this image if you have old eyes and it's all too tiny as is:
Words and pictures by Grant Snider

Conversation between teachers in BSISD on eve of possible snow day:

Veteran Teacher: Say, there! What's in that enormous rolling suitcase you're dragging?

New Teacher: (huffing and puffing) Grading. Since we may have a snow day tomorrow, I thought I'd try to catch up on some of this at home...

VT: Oh, right. Have I told you about my grading system?

NT: I don't think so! I'm always interested in "best practices", though! Will you share it with me?

VT: Sure! What I do is, I get all my papers together and divide them by class and period, being careful to vary which one is on top...

NT: Clever! I like this already! That way I can look at each class with fresh eyes!

VT: Right! Then I open the trunk and set the papers in the back half, right corner of the trunk...

NT: So they will be less likely to shift out of order! Practical! It's so great to have a mentor teacher!

VT: Indeed! Then I leave the trunk open and drive to happy hour. Any of the papers that have ideas in them that are weighty enough to keep them from flying out into the universe get 100 points!

NT:! Neat! I'll try that method after I put all the new vocabulary up on the word wall and make some foldables to teach the students about the Age of Reason...

NT thinking to self: Crazy old teachers! They should all be forced to retire! I can't imagine thinking number grades aren't the end-all measure of a student's worth, or that it is even remotely possible that teachers or administrators can just "make grades up"! Meaningless grades...impossible!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Legal Retraction, Beiber Infraction

After being notified by a concerned citizen that I was treading on slanderous ice, and following exhaustive counsel with my team of legal experts, I would like to fully retract all areas of my previous post regarding Justin Bieber, especially those passages in reference to any nocturnal admissions of any female, be she chaste, of questionable morals, or of unparalleled skankitude, into any room of a hotel, motel or Holiday Inn. And also, please disregard any references to the size or dimensions of his weenus, or his alleged weenus; the truth is, I cannot state with any certitude anything about said wingwang or lack thereof, as I would not like to be construed in anyway libelous or even unkind to the boy star. Or his willie.
Furthermore, if rumors of his mafia-like,vindictive, litigious handlers turn out to be true, let me clarify; I was not even writing about the fair-haired phenom Justin Bieber! Not at all! I know that the post said that's who I was talking about, but that was just a typo. You can't sue me for not proofreading, right? Hell, I don't even bathe! I was actually talking about someone you don't know; she's not famous and not even a boy. Her name is Justine Beiber, and sometimes I just like to write about her Beiber beaver. Is that so wrong?
So anyway, what meant to say is, I have a friend who works at a hotel, and he said that Justine Beiber stayed there and hired a ho. Apparently, she was interested in a prostitute with windswept, Beiber-blown hair. Several people (may or may not have) showed up, even some celebrities (or celebrity look-alikes, or not even celebrities at all. Some of them may or may not have worked at Starbucks. I don't know, and I have no malicious intent.) Here are some pictures allegedly taken on the ho-cam at the ho-tel:

Sexy, right? I would have paid extra for any of these hirsute harlots. I especially like the one who may or may not look like a lady whose name rhymes with "Godzilla Porker-Gnomes", on account of I like how eager she is to show off her Beiber-do. Beiber-do-me-right, right?! Yeah, she wants me...I mean, she wants Justine. Anyway, according to my source, who may or may not be a figment of my imagination, Justine went for this guy, the uber-hottie Baby Boy 87 Zevran Sierra, a sim-star in his own virtual universe:
Grrrr! Baby Boy Zevran looks like a sweetie, but he's a real nasty minx! In the Smelly Pages, which is a listing of all things stanky, B.B. Ate Sev-Zev, as I like to call him, is described as "... a suave young boy with windswept hair. He had brown eyes and brows which made him looked [sic] perpetually frightened and scared." Dang y'all! How hot is that?! Sounds kind of like a man-child we all know who is comin' atcha with a new 3-D biopic, on screens in a theater near you later this month, right? But it gets better still; BB87z has an identical twin, Baby 86 Giovanni Sierra! Double my pleasure, double my fun! Can I get a discount if I double my order? (Seriously, you must check this out! I didn't know things like this really existed!

Anyway I digress. And change font. My point is: Threes of people read this blog every day, and it has been made clear to me that I should watch my virtual tongue. I do not wish to be hurtful or unkind to anyone, even if he is a star, or if he is twelve (but built like an eleven year old), or if he pays for sweet, sweet love. It's none of my business, and I don't want to perpetuate myths, lies or rumors.

But really, I have nothing better to do. I'm bored and snowed-in. So I'll probably speak ill of someone again, because I'm not really a nice person.

Please don't sue me.

And also, I don't take back anything I said about that douchebag Custer. He had it coming.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Zippity-zeke! My oh my, it's a wonderful week! The BSISD just announced that we would have another snow day! One snow day is a precious gift, to be savored and relived throughout the year. Two days is unprecedented glory. Three snow days... I can't even begin to describe the joy I feel right now. It's like a unicorn in a tutu, or a porpoise dancing on a cloud made of rainbow mist. With chocolate. And valium. Valiums. (Vali-yums! Yes, please!)

Don't get me wrong; I feel badly for the rest of the states. I know it's vicious cold, and people don't have power, or live on the streets, and there is snow suffocating the city, with no real way to dig out, and trapped, and frostbite, and icy danger, and misery everywhere. Poor, poor Chicago! Are you OK, Oklahoma? Coldorado, I feel you! Do you feel ConnectiCUT off from the rest of the world? Poor babies, everyone!

The nightly news keeps me in a state of awe and fear. Only one inch of ice can equal a TON of weight on a power line! Yikes! This is the seventh storm since mid-December, and there's more to come... Zoinks! Wind can blow you down and ice can cause you to TOTALLY LOSE CONTROL in your car, or even on foot! Shizowie! So horrible and scary! But...

right now I am so happy I could pee all over myself! No school! Yayyy! School sucks! Boo school! Yay, no school! Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These snow days haven't been like the snow days of yore. (Here's what I wrote last time there was a snow day, which was way back in yore:

For one thing, it's cold up in here. My house is old, weak and full of crevices - much like my body, actually- and is therefore unable to keep in the heat and keep out the chill. Blizzard brrr comes in through the windows, carpets the floor, and wraps itself like an icy cloak around my shivering shoulders. I have on tights, sweat pants, double socks and two sweaters. I look like a wool sausage, but it's frosty in the living room. I could turn up the heat, but in my city the companies that control warmth are imposing rolling blackouts to conserve energy for the rich Superbowl fans who clog the hotels and bars like so much greasy hair in a big, suckhole drain. I don't want to call attention to myself, so I keep the heat at below-the-radar levels. Smart, right?

Also, I don't feel so well. The flu is going around -not to mention the TB - and I'm afraid I may be standing on the the corner of Puke and Rhea; believe you me, I don't want to cross over! My nephew was sick on Monday, and my niece is ill now; it seems like just a matter of time. So far I'm ok, because I'm sticking to my routine of rigid denial; I know this isn't really the flu, just allergies, but if I succumb for just one moment, I'm afraid snow day will turn into sick day, which is UNCOOL, FOOL!

Furthermore, I have been wasting my time! I have been so non-productive during this special unforeseen break that even I am ashamed of myself. I haven't changed out of my pajamas in three days. I wake up only to take naps. Instead of reading all of the fantastic books I have stacked up near my bed, I've been catching up on TMZ and drunken Hoda Kotb. Instead of exercising, I've been watching The Biggest Loser and eating cheese. Every day before I go to bed, I say to myself, "Tomorrow, things are going to be different." In fact, I said that last night. And yet today, I:
* Had a dream that I was hanging out with my good friends Alec Baldwin and Justin Bieber. Turns out, we're not as close as I thought we were, because they started making fun of my stereo (do people still call them 'stereos'?) and then said I wasn't funny. Bastards.
* Woke up and spent 45 minutes on the computer trying to find a joke that would put Baldwin and Bieber to shame. Spent an hour watching Mitch Hedberg clips I have already seen.
Mitch Hedberg. Never not funny.
*Called McAdams to tell her I was lazy. She too has snow days, and was already on her second Bailey's Chai Latte. I told her about Baldwin and Bieber, and about how this friend of mine works in a hotel, and Justin Bieber allegedly stayed there. Apparently, the Biebster had a late night visitor whom my friend knows as a frequent visitor of hotel patrons, if ya know what I mean... a frequent paid visitor of hotel patrons... let me sing it for ya, just to make sure it's clear: Justin Bieber had a ho, doo-dah, doo-dah! Somehow, this got us talking about Bieber wiener (McAdams: "But, he's ten, right? It's gotta be tiny!"), which, as I'm sure you can discern, is not the type of conversation a person has to make herself feel better about wasting her time.
*Found two dry, scaly places on my leg when I was putting on my socks. Either I have a touch of the eczema, whatever that is, or I'm turning into an anaconda.
*Made an enormous vat of soup to replace the enormous half-vat of soup I just had to throw out, because really, how much soup can one girl slurp?

*And...that's about it. For the whole day, up until now.

Still... even a wasted snow day is better than no snow day. And I've been given a second chance! Really, tomorrow things are going to be different! Yay, snow day!

Here is a picture of Atticus Shaffer, adorable star of the ABC comedy "The Middle", when asked to estimate the size of the Bieber baton:

I think he looks a lot like David Sedaris, world famous author, commentator and funny man. They have the same teeth.

Here is a picture of Sedaris imagining Justin Bieber's monkey, but not really feeling bad about it:
Special BONUS for all those men and women out there working on the electricity lines during the Great Snowstorm of 2011:

Thanks, and don't cut my power!

IPM 2011

Oh, boy! It's International Poetry Month again! Check it out: I f you go to this site, you can read a different poet every day. Today's poet is brilliant! I love her so much! Go, go, click that thang!
Here are two poems to whet your whistle:


Gale warning hail warning
Sky sifts high drifts
Finding bright blinding white
Snowball snowfall
Moonscape snowscape
Fostbite dost bite
Rococo swirls Hot cocoa curls
Icy glove spicy love
Huddle in cuddle in
Rock salt Clocks halt

Barbara Reiher-Meyers, copyright 2006

It Was So Cold
Paris, February 1986

The horses on the carousel refused to budge.
Notes of music froze and
shattered with prismatic finality...
The mimes couldn't change their expressions.
When a bread truck overturned and
baguettes were suspended in mid-air
pigeons were afraid to leave their roosts for the feast.
Women in expensive fur hats could not retract icy stares.
Rats went skating on rivers of frozen dog piss.
Double busses refused to straighten out
continued running in circles indefinitely.
Terrorist bombs exploded in s l o w m o t i o n
allowing everyone to escape harm.
A fountain in the Place Edmond Rostand became
a crystal pineapple inhabited by eskimos.
A Norwegian with a pickax broke off pieces for souvenirs.
Outside Paris waterfalls retreated back into mountains.
God Himself became an irrelevant ice cream vendor
slowly scooping a ball of lemon sherbet
from horizon to painted horizon.

©1986, Whitman McGowan

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blah diddy blue...

So, I guess you could tell from that last post, I am a wee bit out of sorts. Could you tell I was a tad tipsy, too? No matter, I suppose. The truth is, I've The Weight of the World upon me, with a smidge of Malaise thrown in to give it a little razzamatazz. (I've already explained my self-obsessed taxonomy of all of the ways I could possibly feel bad. If you're into self-punishment, read them again here:; by the way, this is actually one of my most popular posts because it begins with a picture of a blue meanie I jacked from Google Images. People just love them Meanies, I tell you what!)

I also have allergies - oh, my achin' bacon! To all my fail allergy sufferers, I join you in cursing the air! Oooh, air! You make me so angry! RRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Anyway, I am on the road to feeling 100% better -yay!- and in the meantime, I will leave you with some cool things I have seen I have seen recently.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Live In The Present, No Matter What You Think!

Upon rereading my last post, it occurs to me that some of my followers- that's right, I have followers- might have studied American history, and might, therefore, have prior awareness of certain factual information, like, for instance, the douchebaggery of George Armstrong Custer. Perhaps, though I find it difficult to fathom, you don't find my take on certain important events, like the lead up to the Battle of Little Bighorn, what one would term "breaking news." I understand that just because something happened over 130 years ago and you learned about it when you were twelve, some of you might not think that a rehashing, no matter how vibrantly told, is really relevant to today's complex and turbulent times. Really, I get that. Misguided as it is, I feel your boredom with my historical fascination.

Alas, as a graduate of the BSISD, I have almost no knowledge of my country's past, nor do I have any sense at all of basic geography, chemistry, physics, or algebra of any kind. Sometimes I get confused about what it means when the big hand is on or near the nine, and if you use obscure directional terms like "north" and "south", I am bound to end up near Oklahoma, a place nobody really goes by choice.

I think back over my education and wonder why I never learned about things that others seem to know.

In the BSISD high schools, many history and government classes are taught by coaches, often of the ignorant, foaming, Republican nature. I went to a school that had no athletics, so the powers that be had to import a survivalist, child-loving redneck to fill in for a football dude. Mr. McCartwright, as I will call him, spoke as if he always had a hunka chaw under his lip. "I hate to tell yew yer wrong, cowboy.... but yew shure ain't right," he'd say when we'd question the ethical nature of the Confederacy, or mention the hypocrisy of the Puritans. I particularly remember his enthusiastic portrayal, in a series of seemingly interminable lectures - no print-rich, stimulating word walls for this guy, I tell you what!- on "The Plight of the American Injun."

"What happened with yer injuns," he said, with a sad and knowing smile, "wuz that they re-lied on the buffaloes, for evrythang...evrythang you could pawsibly imajun!"

While I imagined the Indians relying on the buffalo for electricity, rock concerts, snow days, weed, Flashdance t-shirts, and blowdryers - I had a pretty vivid, if not juvenile, imagination at that time - Mr.McCartwright would suck at his teeth and shake his head in the mock pity of those who know better.

"Sad to say," he went on, "but them buffaloes got sum disease, sumpin' real bad, like a buffalo flu. They got to gettin' real sick, and then hell! They all up and died!"

He proceeded to explain, with charts and graphs that he drew on the blackboard - back in the day, we used a substance called 'chalk', that left a thick, white dust on a black board- that the Indian was totally unable to adapt to the loss of the buffalo, and therefore succumbed to a quick and relatively painless death on paradises called 'reservations' that the United States government set up for their final days.

Is it any wonder that until recently, I thought that George Custer was a great American hero?

Anyhoo, I could tell you many more stories about Mr. McCartwright, who ended up being reprimanded for attempting to force me into writing a major paper about a book called The Great Hoax, which was about how the Holocaust never happened; this, even though he was made aware that my grandmother wore an unwanted tattoo from her long years at Bergen Belsen, and my grandfather spent WWII in a Prisoner of War camp; or about how he married a student (her parents were happy about it, even though she was shy of 17), named Betsy McSlutterson (okay, okay, not her real name!); but that's not really what I want to talk about here, at this point, today.

Today, I'd like to be relevant.

So...the Superbowl, right? I hear they're playing it in DALLAS, this year! Dallas, Texas! Yeah, that's right! Dallas: it's not just for presidential assassinations anymore, right?! Hellz, no, dawg! Hope those teams from those places win, right? Can I get a what-what? By the way, happy fidddieth anniversary, JFK's Inaugural address! Address that changed America, right? Sorry Dallas killed you, JFK! Possibility and promise...shoot that bitch right in the head, what?! Hellz to the yeah! That was some old style shit; hope and change, no lie, GI! Do ya feel me?

So, speaking of fitness- oh, hell no! Segue much, Ex-Lax? How about that Jack Lalanne, right?He's dead! Dead as Kennedy! Guess all that fitness and shizz only paid off only for ninety-four years! Fo-nitey-fo! Guess he feels like a fool, what? Let's all go to Mickey D's and celebrate, right! That shit's on me, fo' sho! It's cheap, so I should buy it!

I heard that Camden, New Jersey, which has a crazy high crime rate, decided that the police department was not a top priority and laid off 44% of it's force and a good chunk of firefighters...has anyone been following what's going on south of the border, about what's up down Mexico way? Drug cartels and death, that's what's up! Lawless chaos and scared citizens, wondering how it can get any worse! Maybe instead of making sure we get rid of 'sanctuary states' and making sure registered voters have picture ID, we might look at finding ways to fund basic safety and security essentials...other than just firing a bunch of people. Do I smell administrative mismanagement and overspending? Ah, yes, I always do!

And talkin' 'bout 'bout that news I watched today on the teevee? Now that's some relevant shit, right? Less see...Oprah's got a sister! OMG! Who knew? I did not know that! Thank you, news on teevee! And that's not all! Gabby Giffords is continuing to slowly improve! Since all signs have pointed towards her very fortunate betterment, and I have been continuously bombarded by information regarding her every progressive twitch, I must say, I am shocked by her...predicted progress! The other day, the TV news preempted regularly scheduled programming to show an ambulance moving her from one hospital to another - LIVE! Oooooeeee! That's riveting!

And speaking of's going to be cold this winter, with snow, and ice! BRRRR! Let's talk about it some more, shall we? Get this! On the news the other day, I learned that the Octamom, a misnomer fo' sho', since she actually has 14 broke! I did not see that coming! Also, if you deep fry healthy foods in lard and fat... they lose their health benefits and actually cause you to increase calories, and therefore gain weight! So that's what's up with your unforeseen obesity, lard ass! Thanks, teevee! I did not realize that! And it's flu season! I forgot, even though it happens at this same time every year! I wondered why all around me kids at school were turning pale and puking on their desks! Whoopsie! Wash those hands, boys and girls, and quit coughing with your dirty mouth aimed right at me, biyotch! Sneeze in my eye again and I Will Cut You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, did I tell you I went on vacation? I did, and it was so relaxing...


P.S. Here's something else I know: yellow fever causes black vomiting. It's not the scarlet death, but still, what exciting color combinations!

P.P.S. In case you were wondering, I don't have TB. Whew! Close one! Now about the syph...
Just kidding! All clear!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saddle Up, Sucker!

After writing that last post, I had a mighty strong hankerin' to do two things: finish telling you about the trip I took last summer to the great state of South Dakota, and stand on the corner of a busy street and scream,with the joyful abandon of a drunken banshee, a certain word that will remain untyped in this post. Can you guess what it is? Go on...guess! Perhaps you could if you had something to lubricate your mind a bit, massage the old membrane, if you will... not that membrane and not that kind of massage, Ass Nasty! I'm speaking, of course, of a drink, a restorative beverage, a rum drink perhaps, a rum cocktail, a cockrum, a ...uh-oh! I almost wrote it! I was so close! Must not write the word! Must be careful!

Anyway, I forgot where I left off in the tales of my travel and the saga of McAdams and her quest to avoid human contact and 50's music. She doesn't like people, generally, though she is fond of bears, and she is unreasonably afraid of any music that even approaches doo-wap, as she believes those smooth soul stylings are harbingers of doom. Other than these and a few other idiosyncrasies, she is the perfect traveling companion.

OK, so I told you about Mount Rushmore (boo!) and The Crazy Horse Memorial (yay!), Keystone and the shacklet, Porter Sculpture Park and the 1880's train. That brings us, without further doodoo, to Deadwood! Yay! FINALLY!

Like all things that get an unnecessarily long introduction, are much anticipated, and over-hyped, Deadwood itself was kind of a letdown.
The historic part of Deadwood is mostly torn down, burned up, or remodeled, nowadays. The area was severely economically depressed until 1989 when gambling was legalized, and the gaming industry gave the city a much needed financial shot in the arm. Unfortunately, now Deadwood is filled with casinos that are dimly lit and tacky, like I imagine all of Reno to be. I don't know why, I just do. The HBO series also did much to generate interest and tourism to the city, so there are a lot of cheesy souvenir stores and uninspired eateries, including one that is owned by Kevin Costner that is crammed with memorabilia from his movies. That was kind of weird. Deadwood is a little out of the way, because it was bypassed by I-90, and I found its sister city, Lead, to be more interesting and charming. Even the famous whorehouses are gone, the victims of a big raid in 1980. The last one to close was called "Pam's Purple Door." There's some trivia for ya! After some industrious sleuthing, I did happen to spot a sinful roundheel strumpet plying her wares in front of a "slot house"...
If modern Deadwood lacks a bit to be desired, its history is still fascinating, and we loved the tiny Adams Museum - no relation to Mc- which had artifacts like chairs, scissors, hardware, blankets and old, yellowing ledgers behind ropes or under glass.
Here is a brief account of the city of Deadwood:

Deadwood Gulch, as it was originally known, was so named because it had a bunch of dead trees in a gulch. (What exactly were you expecting?!) It was an illegal settlement, because due to the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868, it was part of the Black Hills territory ceded in perpetuity to the Lakota Sioux, and early on, the government sent troops to several forts to keep people from entering the Hills.

The Black Hills are magnificent and rich in minerals and resources, and settlers took notice and sneaked in to exploit them, despite the military presence. By 1873, the U.S. government began trying to buy the land back from the Sioux to open it for mining. In 1874, the coc - the conquered commander George Armstrong Custer was sent to investigate rumors of gold, which instigated the rush.

(A word here about Custer... I don't like him. After barely graduating at the bottom of his class at Westpoint in 1861, he was known for not obeying rules and playing assholey practical jokes on his fellow soldiers - just the kind of guy you'd like to serve next to in a combat situation, right? He excelled in self-promotion, travelling with a 16 piece band, a small group of journalists, and dressing up in stupid costumes, like buckskins and boots. He wore his blonde, flowing hair down and loose, like an 1800's Jim Morrison, and more than once his recklessness caused unnecessary danger to his troops. He was only made a general because of social promotion; his title was an honorarium from a high-ranking fan, and it was temporary. After the Civil War, his permanent rank was that of captain. He invented fancy-pants social events for his inner circle, which included young and dashing favored officers and his family members. This group was known as 'the royal circle' by resentful enlisted men.

He was sent to scout the Hills because he had already fought and won some battles against small bands of Sioux, when he was charged with protecting railroad interests. Prior to this, Custer had skirmished with the Cheyenne at the Battle of the Washita River, where he claimed to have killed 103 warriors. The Cheyenne estimated their own losses at 11 warriors and 19 women and children, plus Custer took 53 women and children prisoner, and shot most of their 500 plus ponies. Dick. Because he was arrogant, he assumed a quick and easy victory if he met up with the Sioux again.

Custer took about a thousand men into the Black Hills, and he took his time doing it. He hunted and shot a grizzly, hiked (but didn't scale -wuss!) Mt. [Me So] Harney, played a lot of baseball, and threw nightly champagne parties for the winning teams.

By the time Custer and his men encountered the tribes, tensions between the Indians and the U.S. government were running high, on account of constant treaty-breaking and continuing American advancement on Indian landed. The government decided that all remaining free Plains Indians be rounded up and "corralled." Instead of willingly reporting to designated areas, Sitting Bull gathered together the largest ever gathering of Cheyenne, Lakota, and Arapaho Indians at Little Big Horn River, to discuss what to do about the white devils that were destroying their way of life, stealing their land and murdering their people.

Custer had no idea what he was getting into. His famous last words were: "Hurrah, boys, we've got them! We'll finish them up and then go home to our station!" WRONG!!!)

Right. So back to Deadwood. In 1875, a miner found gold in Deadwood Gulch, and it was on like Donkey Kong. In no time a-tall, the population of the still-on-the-DL town reached an estimated 5,000. In 1876, Charlie Utter and his brother Sam rode up in a covered wagon train filled with prostitutes and gamblers. That same year Wild Bill Hickok (Hickok-sucker?) was shot in the back of the head in the Number 10 Saloon, and shortly after that Calamity Jane began making up rumors that she had been romantically involved with the famous marksman, though by all accounts he was said to have found her somewhat repugnant. Al Swearengen (I admit, I just said it, LOUDLY, but I didn't write it, so it doesn't count!) opened up the Gem Variety Theater in 1877 and quickly cornered the opium trade. The Homestake Mine, the largest and most profitable in the area, thrived, and Sheriff Seth Bullock kept order, if not law, in town. 1878 saw the first telephone exchange in Deadwood. In 1879 a fire almost destroyed the town (this would happen three more times, the last being in the 1950's), by 1880 there was a Chinatown, and in 1883 Deadwood was almost wiped out by a flood. In 1890, the railroad pushed through the Black Hills.

I know all of this stuff is true because I read two books, a bunch of pamphlets, and consulted the Internet.

The coolest part of Deadwood is Mt. Moriah, the cemetery, which was created between 1877 and 1878. You can see famous graves like these:

You can see less famous graves like this:
Ms. DuFran was the most profitable madam in Deadwood, and also had brothels in Belle Fourche and Rapid City. The one in Belle Fourche was called "Diddlin Dora's" and was advertised as "Three D's - Dining, Drinking and Dancing - A Place Where you Can Bring Your Mother!", which is especially convenient if your mother is Elliot Spitzer, Jimmy Swaggart, or Hugh Grant. Calamity Jane worked for Dora DuFran as an occassional cook and maid, and it was from Diddlin' Dora's that Jane went off on her final bender. The little devil planter in the corner of the photo is one of four, that represent Dora's four business establishments. Also buried at Mt. Moriah is Dora DuFran's beloved husband and her pet parrot, Fred.

Mt. Moriah has a big section for children, many of whom died in epidemics, one headstone for an unidentified Chinese man, and a large Jewish section.

All right, my precious co- umm, concubines, that's about it for Deadwood. My fingers are tired and my mind's half worn from thinkin', so I hope you're satisfied, coc- Caucasians and other racial groups who read this blog. I'm out! Signing off from Deadwood,
Your COurageous Correspondent, Queen of the DaKotas...
So long for now, SUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!