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Poetry and snark blogger who also has a creative side (who knew?)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turn It Off!!!

Are there some places where you just should not carry on a cell phone conversation?  Are there some people who have absolutely no sense of privacy or shame?  If the answer to this question were "no," would I be writing this?  

I entered the ladies' room in a Marriott hotel the other evening and saw a woman with a cell phone pasted to her ear.  She was apparently in the middle of a conversation but told her caller, "Hold on a minute, I have to go to the bathroom."  Now, at this juncture, I would have hung up the phone and called back after I had finished in the ladies' room. Not this woman, though! She went into a stall and then proceeded with her conversation! 

Imagine what the person on the other end of the phone must have thought as he/she was treated to sounds of women eliminating, toilets flushing, and water running while trying to converse with this woman! YUCK! To add to the weirdness, it seemed to be a business call.  I overheard the woman saying things like, "What was that last transaction again? How much? What about the other loan?" Much repeating was apparently necessary on both ends of the conversation due to the noise in the restroom (hey, ladies, can you keep that toilet flushing down, please, I'm trying to make a business call here?!!)

People seem to think they're surrounded by a cloak of privacy when they're on their cell phones.  They behave as if they're invisible to those around them and that their activities aren't apparent to whoever is on the other end of the phone.  They'll even go so far as giving a dirty look to someone they catch listening to them.  NEWS BULLETIN!!! Everyone is listening!  If you're going to air your business in public, have the courtesy to make it interesting for the rest of us!  No one wants to listen to your financial transactions while we're in the ladies' room! We want drama! Let's hear about your affairs, your husband's perversions, your children's addictions.  Let's hear some dirty, little secret that we can tell our friends at a party!

And as for the woman who thought it was appropriate to discuss her money matters in the restroom at the Marriott last Friday evening, I hope your finances and your cell phone go down the toilet!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Are You Jewish?

Are you Jewish? I don't care! Why is someone's religion or the church he or she attends (or doesn't attend) such a BFD to some people?!! If you're a decent, kind, interesting person, then I'm happy to know you.  If you're a schmuck, get lost. Very simple.  Just because I'm Jewish doesn't mean I'm going to like you if you're Jewish, and I hope that you won't dismiss me because you're Christian or Muslim or Zoroastrian.  Alas, I am so often disappointed.

"The Look" maybe I'm a Vampire?
So much of the social machinery runs on church affiliations.  If I had a dollar for every time someone asked upon meeting me what church I go to, I'd have enough money to treat myself to a nice massage, maybe even 60 minutes with some hot stones! Then, when I say that I don't go to church, I get "the look." It's bad enough that I don't attend their church, but to eschew church altogether? What could this mean? I must be a blasphemous sinner, a demon, or (whisper) a Jew.

When I lived in South Carolina, a woman I worked with actually asked me if "you Jews celebrate Thanksgiving?"  Then they kept inviting me to their Wednesday evening Baptist services, telling me that "some Jews do believe in Jesus."  Did they ever just invite me over for coffee? Nope.

Then there's the opposite phenomenon, which is just as annoying.  It's the "we love you because we think you're one of us" maneuver.  I experienced this one the other day.  I was introduced to a woman at a volunteer event.  She was pleasant but not overly friendly.  Then during the course of the morning, I happened to mention that I did not want to work on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday. Boing! My new acquaintance sprung to life as if someone had just given her a blood transfusion.  She fixed her gaze at me and excitedly asked if I was Jewish. I said I was but that I didn't attend services.  No matter; there was no stopping Jew Woman now!  She was my new instant best friend. She reached out her hand to high five me and began to happily chatter away about the Jewish congregation in the county, who I knew, who I was married to, whether I had kids, blah, blah, blah.  Suddenly I was the most intriguing person in the room!  What utter BS!

If you find your faith gives you comfort, that's great. I don't mean to disparage religion.  I just find that it's one facet of who a person is (perhaps).  There is so much more to know about people than their religious affiliations, and it really ticks me off that people use religion to band together like a pack of jackals and exclude those who don't "belong."  So join me, High Priestess Lolamouse in my Divine Temple of the Unaffiliated. Or don't; I don't care.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Glenn Beck's Dreck
If only I hadn't scheduled that Saturday morning high colonic, I could have joined Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and their minions of teabaggers for their awesome "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Darn. What a great way to salute Dr. King's dream! Hijack the National Mall by booking it on the 47th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech for a group of right wing wackos whose idea of racism is our current president! Of course, Mr. Beck claims that it is a total coincidence that his rally falls on the same day as the anniversary of Dr. King's famous speech and that the rally is a nonpolitical gathering to support our troops. And that babies are made in cabbage patches and the check is in the mail.  However, I am an American, so I do support Mr. Beck's right to free speech, however offensive and idiotic I may find it.  I just hope that people will stop listening to him.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How To Talk Like a Southerner

Just returned from an awesome lunch of shrimp and grits, which got me thinking back to my years in South Carolina.  I was there for grad school and boyfriend (not necessarily in that order), and discovered that Southerners don't talk like you and I.  I don't mean the drawl either; that's obvious. I mean all the little turns of phrase which I had to learn to decipher and to acclimate my ears. That was an education in itself!

In this post, I'm fixin' to tell y'all about the funny things Southerners say.  Did you catch that subtle example?  They use the phrase "fixin' to" to mean "about to" or "I will."  I never did hear anyone say he was "fixin' to fix his car," but I suppose it would be possible.  Of course, y'all is really used in the South for the plural of "you."  I must say, I prefer hearing "What can I get y'all to drink?" from a waiter than "What can I get you guys?" which is what I hear most of the time here.  I'm not a guy, and I'm 46.  I really don't think "you guys" applies to me.

One annoyingly redundant grammatical construction I heard in SC was "might could," as in "I might could use that there gasoline to fill the tractor, but I'm fixin' to go behind the shed and huff it instead."  I guess the words "might," "could," or even "may" aren't iffy enough on their own to express the speaker's ambivalence or indecision, so the compound "might could" was invented.

In my work as a school psychology intern, I quickly learned about the phrase "showing his butt."  I got a call to come to a school to assist with a student who had been "showin' his butt all day."  I hurried to the school expecting to find a kid mooning in the hallway.  After a look around and finding no uncovered rears, I was thoroughly confused.  Turns out, "showing your butt" is a Southern way of saying causing trouble or being disrespectful.  Geez! That's SO much less interesting than a crazed student mooning everyone in the halls!

My favorite Southernism, though, is the way they insult someone.  No matter how nasty the comment, it's always said with a heavy coating of sugar and followed by a blessing.  For example, "Thank the Lord she found herself a fiance who doesn't need a pretty girl to make him happy."  Or "That poor child is dumb as a bag of rocks, bless his heart!"  Now that's a classy way to pone someone!  And who'd expect such class from such an unsophisticated region of the country, bless their hearts?!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

No, No, No, and a Thousand Nos (NOT No's or Noes or Nose)

I'll admit I can be obsessive-compulsive when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  I was one of those strange kids who LOVED diagramming sentences in English class (I hear you snickering). I realize that not everyone is as persnickety as I am when it comes to the proper use of the English language, but for the love of God, how hard is it to make a plural noun, people?!!  Why do the cretins of this Earth insist on inserting apostrophes into plural nouns? For example, the word "apostrophes" has no apostrophe. See? Even though it ends in a vowel, its plural is NOT "apostrophe's." That would be WRONG! For some unfathomable reason, a collection of dunderheads got it into their tiny brains that words ending in vowels needed apostrophes when made plural, and this erroneous "rule" seems to have spread like the swine flu.

The other day while driving, I saw a sign on the road advertising a closet organizing business called "Closet Pro's."  Ugh!  I wanted to swerve off the road right there, jump out of the car, stride into the office, and start a tirade.  This is a business I would never employ.  How could they possibly organize my closet if they can't even organize the letters on their sign properly? An apostrophe indicates possession, like "Lolamouse's migraine", or a contraction, like "it's stupid to use an apostrophe when it's not needed."  What does "Pro's" mean?  Nothing!

If you want to pepper your writing with punctuation marks, start putting commas in your sentences where they belong.  People seem to think that commas are extraneous and have tossed them aside like old Betamax tapes.  Bring back the comma!  Leave the poor apostrophe to do its job as intended and stop sticking it where it doesn't belong. I know what my "s" can handle without any help!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm a Loser, Baby...

Just when I thought I was losing it because I hadn't lost in a while, I lost! Yes, ladies and gents, I am a Style Invitational Loser for the 4th time! I scored an honorable mention (shouldn't it be dishonorable mention?) for this distasteful Venn diagram. For the full list of Losers and their Venns, here's the link:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Jersey Shore (The Real One, Not the TV Show)

I'm back from the shore (they don't say "beach" up in NJ), and it's a huge relief to be out of the land of Guidos! For those who don't watch that TV show or have the pleasure of visiting a mother-in-law at the Jersey Shore, a Guido (or Guidette if female) is an inhabitant of New Jersey with a distinctive appearance and manner. They prowl the seaside towns of NJ in wild, often same-sexed packs, talking loudly, cursing, and smoking.

Being a Guido is not about being Italian per se, although many Guidos are, in fact, Italian. My husband is Italian, and he is most definitively NOT a Guido nor are any members of his family that I've met. Actually, when we were in Italy this summer, I didn't see one Guido. The Italian Italians were WAY too classy to be Guidos. Even the Italian homeless men were pretty hot! Now the uber religious Italian beggar women outside the cathedrals were pretty scary looking, asking for money and praying to Saint Psycho, but they still were not Guidettes. But I digress...

After spending a week observing Guidos and Guidettes in their natural habitat (the Jersey shore and its boardwalks), I have prepared a short tutorial for transforming a "normal" person into a Guido. We begin with the fellas:

1. Lose the neck. Guidos look like a preschooler's drawing of a person: head, body, arms, legs -no neck. This will present no sartorial disadvantages, as Guidos never wear ties.

2. Drastically enlarge the upper body (biceps, triceps, pecs, etc.) while keeping waistline and lower body the same size. Guidos are distinctly disproportionate. When walking, one must appear as if about to topple over.

3. Haircut should be cut in a crewcut and then pomaded or slicked back away from forehead with pomade. "What's pomade?" you ask. Puh-leaze.

4. Tan. Even in winter. Spray on tans are perfectly acceptable. Orange tint not a problem.

5. Accessorize with one or more: tattoos, toothpick, Italian horn necklace.

And now for the ladies:

1. Stand in a large trash compactor and compress your entire body by about 15-20 %. The effect should be to make you shorter, squatter, and more brick-like.

2. Get stacked. If your girls are not naturally ginormous, have Daddy pay for bigger ones. No such thing as "too big."

3. Hair should be increased in volume and height. The use of "Snook-Its" is strongly encouraged.

4. Brunettes are acceptable but bleached blond (roots showing and streaky) is also a strong look.

5. Tan. Even in winter. Spray on tans are perfectly acceptable. Orange tint not a problem.

6. Accessorize with one or more: oversized sunglasses, tramp stamp, condoms in purse.

2 Aging Guidettes: Left One's Shirt Reads "Team Snooki"

Now that you've achieved the look, you have to tauwk da tauwk. Remember, never say "the"; it's "da." Usually, the "o" sound in words like "dog," "frog," and "wrong" can be pronounced as "aw." Likewise, "coffee" is pronounced, "cawfee." However, the "o" sound in words like "Florida" and "horrible" is pronounced "a," making them "Flarida" (Flar-i-da) and har-i-ble. Don't ask why.

As for me, I'm happy to be back among my people. There's no place like HOME (said with the annoying Maryland "o"!!!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

No Implications Whatsoever

I'll be away for about a week visiting the NJ shore (maybe I'll hang with Snooki and The Situation!)  While I'm gone, please enjoy this lovely picture.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It Is What It Is, but It's All Good

It's all good. It is what it is. How many times have I heard these two excruciatingly overused sentences?!! And what, exactly, do they mean? Do they mean anything at all? I believe we can analyze the speaker's psyche and philosophical view of life by REALLY listening to how these phrases are used.

IT'S ALL GOOD: I find that "it's all good" is typically used to summarize a litany of life events the speaker has just related to the listener. It generally functions as a way of stating, "I'm finished telling you my story now and feel the need to wrap it all up for you in a neat package rather than leave it as a messy collection of disparate happenings." Is everything really "all good?" Doubtful. Actually, I've found that "it's all good" tends to be used quite frequently when the speaker has just provided the listener with news that would be judged as bad or unhappy.

So why say, "It's all good?" Perhaps the speaker is in denial about his or her life situation being bad. Although a primitive defense mechanism, denial is quite effective and protects a fragile psyche from being overwhelmed with negative emotion. Or perhaps the need to sweep badness under the rug is motivated by a desire to be seen in only a positive light. Thus, "it's all good" becomes a sign of the narcissistic personality. Lastly, "it's all good" could reflect the belief that all is as it should be or "God is good," that everything happens for a reason. This could be called a faithful, spiritual, or just philosophical belief.

IT IS WHAT IT IS: Let's compare and contrast "it's all good" with "it is what it is." Both statements serve to essentially preempt or end discussion about the meaning of an event or events. The speaker is, in effect, saying, "I am not interested in your opinion of what I've told you, as I've already stated my opinion of its meaning as the definitive one. I am not open to alternative viewpoints and have no need or desire to hear them." Like "it's all good," "it is what it is" is a conversation endpoint.

What does "it is what it is" really mean, though? Despite its tautological reasoning (defining something as itself), this overused tautology can also imply some things about the speaker. Unlike the (perhaps) false optimism of "it's all good," "it is what it is" implies a certain acceptance of the status quo. Whether this stance is a reflection of the speaker's Tao-like acceptance of the state of the Universe and his or her belief in "wei wu wei" or "action without action" or a psychological state of learned helplessness is a question one must ponder. Perhaps, even more disturbingly, "it is what it is" might express the speaker's belief that his or her situation will never change for the better and reflect a depressive mood disorder.

In closing, I wish to advise the careful and considered use of the phrases "it's all good" and "it is what it is." While they may, at first, seem to be merely today's modern language memes, in actuality they may convey more than one thinks. And if by overuse they come to lose all meaning whatsoever? Hey, it's all good. Language is what it is.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"How May I Help You...F*** Off?!!"

I would contribute to Steven Slater's defense fund. I completely understand his decision to quit whoring himself to the ever greedy airline industry and having to cater to the whims of abhorrent passengers. I give him a standing ovation for quitting with such panache! Who hasn't fantasized about escaping on that emergency slide when you feel your IQ being sucked out of your ears to fill the void created by your fellow passengers? I know I've personally wanted to bail out in aggravation despite being thousands of feet above an ocean! Bravo, Steven Slater! You are a hero to both flight attendants and passengers alike.

I could not work in a job where I had to be polite to the public all day long. I give folks who work in "hospitality" jobs a lot of credit. Just today I observed a pillar of patience in action at the auto repair shop where I was waiting for my car. I was reading (John Waters new book "Role Models," which so far is alternately hilarious and sad) when I overheard the receptionist saying, "I'm sorry that happened. Yes, we'll still take your car for your appointment if you're late." Then I heard her say that the person on the phone had driven past the repair shop TWICE and had to turn around TWICE and was very upset. She wasn't upset that she had missed the building, however; she was upset that the building was difficult to spot from the road and was yelling at the receptionist.

A little later, the receptionist answered the phone and again said, in a truly sympathetic sounding tone (which I NEVER would have been able to muster), "Oh no! I'm SO SORRY it happened again! Yes, it is in a difficult location. I'll let him know. Yes, I agree. Well, we'll be waiting for you." What an angel! Then she handed a paper to someone I suppose was a manager and said, "These are her suggestions for better marking our entrance because she missed it 3 times." And she did all of this with a straight face! I would have been wetting myself from laughing at the ninny who felt no shame in admitting that she drove past the same entrance 3 times and missed it every time!

Next, this amazing woman had to deal with a brain dead caller who was apparently lost and needed directions. She kindly explained the directions from a major highway to the repair shop. Pause. Then, "No, sir. I'm afraid I can't tell you how to get on Route 50 (a major highway) from where you are now. Sir, no sir. I'm not familiar with Washington, D.C. We're in Annapolis. Yes, sir." Repeat directions. Repeat directions louder. "Sir, maybe should close your car window so you can hear me better. CLOSE YOUR CAR WINDOW!!!" Repeat directions again. "Sir, you need to close your car win...." I think the conversation ended some time around then. Never once did this paragon of sweetness utter the words "F*** off!" even under her breath. What restraint!

The receptionist asked another employee if she could watch the desk for a minute so she could go outside. I saw her head toward the door with a cigarette in her hand. If it were me, I'd have had a bottle of vodka and a few Valium too!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Giada Must Die!!!

Since I'm on a cooking theme (see previous post), I thought it was about time to mention that Giada De Laurentis must die!!! If you live in a cave without cable or satellite TV, Giada (which is Italian for "gigantic tits") De Laurentis (spawn of the famous film producer Dino De Laurentis) is a hugely popular Food Network star chef. She has several shows on the network and consistently scores high ratings from viewers. I hate her. I don't care that she trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris or that she has worked at prestigious restaurants. That bitch is too damn skinny to be a chef! No one with a passion for food could possibly be as thin as that wench. She doesn't fool me when she opens her full, plumped lips to savor her on-air creations. "Yuuuum," she coos to the audience, as men everywhere put the TV guides over their laps and shift uncomfortably in their lazy boys. As soon as the camera cuts away, she probably runs off to spit the offending mouthful in the toilet like an amateur giving a blowjob. Lame.

Chefs should look like they enjoy eating. They should embody a passion for food in all its shapes, sizes, colors, and tastes. They most definitely should not look like fashion models! Skinny chefs are an abomination. Giada, I hope you choke as one tiny morsel of food sneaks its way down your throat and you die, you skinny bitch.

This is NOT how a chef should look! Note also the manicured hands.

Now, Paula Dean is a chef who obviously LOVES to eat. You go girl!

Yeah, Anthony Bourdain's skinny, but he smoked and did drugs for years. Besides, he's snarkier than I am, so he's cool.

Yum! That's Some Tasty Tot!

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I could really go for some juicy, oven roasted baby for dinner tonight," but dreaded the mess and hassle of filling your sink or bathtub for the brine? Well, now your problems are solved! I just found this wonderful gizmo called the Tummy Tub! It's just the right size and shape for marinating your fat little bundle without dirtying the kitchen or bath! Just fill with the brine or marinade of your choice, set baby inside, and let your little butterball soak up the flavor. What a great idea! I may just try this next Thanksgiving instead of turkey! Yummy!

baby brining comfortably in tub

multiple babies being prepared for catered event

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm a Poet and I'm Cognizant of It

I can write Haiku
Won a weird book and bookmark
Thank you Gama Go!

More contest schwag! Gama Go (great Ts, hoodies, accessories, bags, etc.) had a haiku contest, and I got runner-up! They even mentioned my blog and included a link, so here's a link to their awesome site:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Knives, and Needles, and Blood--Oh Crap!

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I would make a tasty, nutritious, dinner for my family in my slow cooker. I had just the recipe, too: chicken chili. Not too complicated but many ingredients, lots of spices, several steps, and prolonged cooking time. "I can do this!" I said to myself, as I assembled my mis en place. Everything was in the crock pot- chicken, beans, onions, chilis, broth, spices-when I realized that I had forgotten the garlic. Did I just dump some conveniently bottled garlic powder into the mixture and go? Oh no! "Only fresh will do!" I said to myself," and grabbed 2 cloves of garlic to peel. That's where it all went wrong, oh so terribly wrong.

I realize that I was dabbling in dangerous territory best left to the professionals, but I was heady with visions of homemade chili. I grabbed the knife, laid it down sideways on an unpeeled garlic clove, and slammed my hand down on it down HARD. I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong! I did not cut myself with the knife, and the little garlic clove popped out of its skin like a stripper out of a cake. I did, however, bring my hand down on the lid of an empty can of chilis that was sitting out next to the garlic clove. Hmmm, not good.

I looked at my right index finger and saw a vertical slice from about the knuckle joint down to the palm. It wasn't bleeding too much at first. "Maybe it's just like a paper cut," I said to myself (at this point, I should've stopped talking to myself, as it had only gotten me into trouble so far.) So, I played Doctor Lolamouse and examined the finger slice. Bad move. I saw stuff in that opening that I should not have seen. Blood starting seeping out everywhere. Several feet of paper towels and lots of gauze later, it was still bleeding. Off to the ER I went!

Here's a head scratcher-what is it about being questioned by medical personnel that makes me, normally a savvy medical consumer and generally intelligent person, turn into a stuttering, borderline mentally retarded amnesiac? Suddenly, I can't remember what medications I take, when I had my last tetanus shot, when my last period was, what I weigh, where I live, or who I am! I can just mumble "cut finger" and hold up my bloody gauze wrapped digit to whoever looks at me.

I get taken back to a room where I'm given a tetanus shot (since I can't remember when I had my last one, of course!) and told by a very nice doctor that I will need stitches. He proceeds to administer a lidocaine injection, which feels like a hive a angry bees has attacked my finger, but then it goes blissfully numb. After 4 stitches, I'm done. My finger is swollen from the lidocaine and looks like an overstuffed Vienna sausage. The needlework is exquisite!

So, what have we learned from this little adventure in blood and guts? Cooking is a dangerous activity, children, and should be left to the pros. Learn from my mistake-stay out of the kitchen; stay out of the hospital. DON'T DO DINNER!!!

My new stitches!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Undie Dog Strikes Again!!!

They say the first step in overcoming a problem is admitting you have one. I hate to embarrass him in public like this, but his behavior is out of control. I've talked to him, reasoned with him, scolded him, empathized with him, and rewarded him for good behavior, but it's all been to no avail. I'm growing desperate! His habit is affecting my life and costing me money. He needs to deal with this problem and stop this behavior. I'm not usually judgmental, but this is just wrong; it's perverted. My dog is an undie addict!!! He promised me he'd stop after my last post about his behavior, and he did well for a while. Then, he relapsed. I found one of my favorite pairs of undies in the middle of the floor with several big holes chewed in them and guilt written all over the dog's face. Another trip to buy more lingerie for me. Will my husband or daughter's unmentionables be next? We can't continue to live like this! Addiction is a family disease.