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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holidaze

Well my little lovelies, we made it through the holidaze without bloodshed (except for the arachnid, but more on her later). The monster-in-law and brother-in-lounge have returned to their home planet of NJ, and all is again merry and bright at the Mouse House. After surviving two consecutive years of visits from family on both sides of the aisle on Christmas, I've compiled a listing of activities, nay traditions, that make for a complete holiday experience at the Mouse household.

1. Listing of the faults
This tradition falls to the matriarch on the paternal side of the family, that is, my dear monster-in-law. I believe she prepares all year for this important job. Each member of the family must receive at least one nasty comment, criticism, and/or backhanded compliment during the holiday visit for her assignment to be properly completed. Not one to gush with false praise, I must say that she does a phenomenal job with the annual fault listing.

2. The finding and killing of the venomous beast
This is a new tradition started just this year, but it was such fun and caused so much hilarity amongst the family that I thought it should be kept in perpetuity. The brother-in-lounge had the honor this year of discovering the venomous beast this year, a black widow spider, cleverly hiding in the shower curtain in the guest bathroom that he was using. What a lucky bloke! He bravely squashed the spider but said arachnid maintained enough of its color, shape, and distinctive red underbelly marking that we were able to positively identify it as a black widow. Perhaps next year, we can hope for a scorpion or maybe even a rabid possum!

3. The portioning of the baked goods
I will cop to this one. The tradition here is that I spend a frenzied day or two baking cookies for the holidays and attempting to guess how many I will need for family, friends, neighbors, and various gifts for people in the community. At some point, I will run out of an essential ingredient and develop a full-blown panic attack. The kitchen will be covered in baked goods, laid out in a seemingly random manner but which, to me, represents the ultimate division of goodies for all involved.

Then, some hapless soul (typically the husband) enters and unknowingly takes a cookie and eats it. Woe to him, the poor bastard! Hellfire and brimstone rain down upon his confused countenance as I berate the stunned man for touching the baked goods prior to the allotted eating time. I let him know that by ingesting this single cookie, he has upset the balance of nature and that the portioning of the baked goods will have to be repeated.

It should be mentioned that there is a corollary tradition that on the day after said holiday (Christmas or Hanukkah), I stare at piles of uneaten baked goods and interrogate family members as to why they are not eating more cookies.

4. The saucing of the pasta
For many years, the monster-in-law has brought the traditional Italian Christmas pasta dinner to the Mouse home.  Lolamouse does not object, as this frees her to bake the aforementioned cookies and not have her pasta sauce compared to that of her monster-in-law during the holidaze, a gift in itself. However, the Christmas meal arrives in a to-be-assembled state, which requires defrosting and saucing before serving. Easy, you think? One would believe so. However, one would be wrong.The saucing of the pasta requires a ritualized series of maneuvers that only the monster-in-law is capable of performing, as the husband and I discovered when we attempted to do it ourselves this year.

The pasta sauce must be of the perfect consistency before it may be applied to the pasta. This requires the judgment that only an Italian woman of many decades of experience can provide. If the sauce is too thin, it must be removed (and believe, me, it was removed!) and replaced with sauce of a thicker consistency. The sauce must not be haphazardly poured over the pasta either (shame on you, hubby!) It must be dolloped, ever so slowly, with a spoon of a size appropriate to feed a toothless infant, over each individual pasta serving. Then it must be spooned back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, relentlessly, until all of the sauce atoms have have the opportunity to meet and mingle with one another. Only then is it ready.

5. The recitation of the maladies
This tradition gets both sides of the family happily involved. The recitation of the maladies is the traditional greeting employed by the older generations of the family. It typically begins with one person inquiring as to the health or well-being of another person. Whereas some folks would simply answer "fine, and yourself?" or "fine, thank you" and continue on to another topic of conversation, this tradition requires the questionee to state a malady from which he or she is currently suffering or has recently suffered. After acknowledging said malady and showing appropriate sympathy, the questioner must then respond with a malady of his or her own. Maladies are then bandied back and forth between the two participants until a mutually agreed upon topic change is begun, such as medications and their side-effects.

Now that you know the traditions we at the Casa de Mouse adhere to during holiday family time, perhaps it will inspire you to begin your own holiday traditions. Or perhaps it will inspire you, as it does me, to drink heavily and be thankful that Christmas comes only once a year.






Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Riley Tells It Like It Is

This little girl has it all figured out. Let's allow her to run Wall Street! You go girl!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't You Just Hate It When...

Don't you just hate it when it's just a few days before the holidays, and you celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, and they arrive at the same time this year so that you have double the prep work in the same short amount of time, and you have the house to clean because your monster-in-law is coming to stay forever for a few days, and you still have gifts to buy and gifts to wrap and cookies to bake and THEN your friend (who's also your neighbor) asks you to watch her cats while her family is on vacation  for a week, so now you've got to remember to feed cats every day on top of everything else, and when you go to their house on the first day, you find that someone has locked the dead bolt, which always sticks, and you can't get in the front door, so you have to skulk around the perimeter of the house trying various doors to see which one you may be able to get into, and finally your frozen fingers manage to unlock a door so you can go in and feed the cats, which you do, but you also notice that one of them has crapped all over the kitchen floor as well as the carpet and rug, which is really disgusting, and you start to wonder if this friendship is really worth cleaning up cat caca, but then you suddenly get a sick feeling in your stomach that you've only seen one of the two cats come in to eat thus far, and you slink around the corner toward the front door and stop suddenly because on the floor is a furry, grey cat shaped lump and it is not moving, and you know this is not good, so you walk over hoping that the cat is sleeping (you know it's not sleeping) or that it is sick and that you can bring it to the vet (you also know that it is not sick) and you see that its mouth is open and so are its eyes and it is quite rigid, so now you have to decide what to do with the neighbor's dead cat, which, by the way, is bigger and heavier than your dogs, and you really don't know the protocol for this particular situation, so you find a towel and wrap up the cat and place it in the garage, where you hope the temperature will be cold enough to keep the cat from rotting until the neighbors get home in a few days because you really don't want to put it in their freezer and make a catsicle, and now you have to figure out whether to contact your friend who you know will be really, really, really upset about the cat and ruin her vacation or wait until she's almost home to tell her, and you don't even know if you can contact her because she's overseas, so you try to text her husband and then set about cleaning up the cat crap all over the house and trying to forget the image of a fat, rigor mortised, glassy eyed, dead cat that is now permanently burned into your brain. Yeah, I hate that too.

source

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A True Christmas Tale

Twas two weeks before Christmas, when in Lola's house
We were having our coffee and starting to rouse.
The lights were all strung on the tree from last night
The ornaments also, with nary a fight!

The daughter was nearly all ready for school
And was counting the days til the coming of yule.
And I was quite pleased decorations were done
Now we could just settle back and have fun.

When out from the dining room there was a clatter
We sprang up like hares to see what was the matter.
Away to the tree we all flew like a flash
We looked in the room and saw what looked like trash!

The weight of the tree must have just been too much
The whole thing fell down, barely missing the hutch!
The base was still fastened real tight to the trunk
Spilling water all over the floor for a dunk!

The branches and needles were bent up and tattered
The fragile, glass ornaments - broken and shattered.
Slivers of broken glass lay on the floor
Cleaning this mess up would sure be a chore!

We looked at the scene and were very upset
The daughter said, "Family's not even here yet!"
Although this is not what I would have preferred
I just had to laugh; it was all so absurd.

At least no one got injured; the dogs are okay
Maybe this year, a fake tree is the way.
The neighbor might have a Wet Vac we can borrow
Or we can just leave it and fix it tomorrow!

not our tree but you get the idea! (source)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day

image source
My friend has AIDS and I'm angry. I'm angry that everywhere I go, I don't see mugs, cereal boxes, T-shirts, pins, hats, and even cookies with red ribbons on them like I did in October with the pink breast cancer ribbons. I'm angry that corporate America is too afraid of tarnishing their precious images to put big bucks into HIV/AIDS research and prevention. I'm angry that millions of people still don't have adequate healthcare, still don't know their HIV status, and can't afford their medications when they need them. I'm angry that although we know that condoms can help prevent the spread of HIV infection, there are still people who vote down sex education in the schools. I'm angry that there are people who call themselves Christians who believe that AIDS is a punishment sent by God for immoral behavior and who sully the name of true Christians. I'm angry that so many people think that since they don't hear about AIDS deaths on the news every day, there isn't a problem any longer.

AIDS is still here. There is still no cure. Treatment has advanced, but medications are very expensive and have devastating side-effects. They are not effective for everyone. It's World AIDS Day Today. Remember those who are still living with this disease. Viruses don't discriminate.

(Rabbit-You are an inspiration to me in every respect. Keep kickin' virus butt, love!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Breathe...

So, still doing the yoga thing. This morning, my mind had things on its mind other than "being here now." It's really amazing how many irrelevant and garbled thoughts can travel through my brain in the space of one respiration!

"Inhale..."

Oh my God! My feet look disgusting! How long has it been since I've used moisturizer on them?!! They have more cracks and peels than the ceiling of a tenement! 

Maybe I should've stayed home. My daughter is sick. What if she starts puking and chokes on her vomit and here I am in relaxation pose. The guilt!

What do I need to get at the store after this? What are those thingies called that prevent colds? I wonder if they work or if they're just a rip-off.

What is with that woman on the mat next to me? She sounds like Darth Vader when she breathes!

Why is my left side still so much tighter than my right? I've been doing this for years now. You would think I'd have achieved some symmetry at this point!

My yoga mat smells like a combination of dirty socks and Fritos! How can that be? How does one clean a yoga mat?

Why did I paint my toenails such a bright red color? It's like I'm saying, "Hey, look over here at my disgusting feet!" I may as well have put a neon sign on them. 

I didn't think my yoga teacher's butt could get any rounder, but yet it has. It's like a perfect little bun. I hate her so much!

Looking at my watch is not "being here now." I will not look at my watch. OK, maybe just a glance. Just once. 

I think it must have stopped. We've definitely been doing this more than 20 minutes already.

WTF is a reverse triangle? Isn't a reverse triangle just a triangle? You can't fool me.

Why did they have to kill off Angela on Boardwalk Empire? What's the message here? Smart, independent, free thinking  women who don't fit society's expectations wind up dead? 

Oh no! Balancing poses. I hate balancing poses. Keep your focus. Stare at that doorknob. Stop glancing around! You're going to fall...crap.

I wonder if anyone else can hear my stomach growling.

I can't believe I forgot to buy milk at the grocery store yesterday! Is that a sign of Alzheimer's? Who goes grocery shopping and forgets milk? Who does that?!!

If I have to hold this twisted lunge position one more second, I think I'm going to get a hernia.

What is a hernia, anyway?

Oy vey, did the teacher fall asleep up there? Maybe she died, and her body rigor mortised into a twisted lunge position, and now we'll never get out of it!

I hope I don't run into anyone I know in the store after class. There's some serious camel toe happening in these yoga pants today. Ugh.

It has to be almost relaxation time. I know it. I can feel it winding down. Aw, man! Low plank?!! That's not cool.

Yes! Finally! 

"Exhale."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Steal This Book!


Do you love to read?

Do you love free stuff?

Do you give to others (monetary donations, food, clothing, etc.)?

If you answered "Yes" to the above, I have a website for you! It's called Concord Free Press. Concord Free Press publishes and gives away books. That's right. They give away books. All that they ask in return is that once you've finished reading the book you receive from them, you pass it along to someone else and that you make a donation to a charity or to someone in need (whatever you want to whomever you want) and chart it on their website. Cool, huh?

Concord Free Press wants to "reconceptualize the goals of publishing." They are not about making money but creating value. They aim to connect writers to readers and generate donations within communities and abroad. I've requested and received one book from them already and have requested my second. They do only small print runs, so there are limited numbers of books, generally only once or twice a year. You can get on their mailing list and be informed when a new one comes out.

Given all the crap that we get ripped off for every day by corporations big and small, I just thought it would be nice to let my readers know about an organization that is doing something good. Be a part of it. Here's the link:  http://www.concordfreepress.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different....


Hubby was at a conference in Charlottesville, VA, where I used to go to school. I remembered (much too fondly) a little donut place called Spudnuts that had the most awesome donuts. Wouldn't you know, he found it and brought me home a dozen honey glazed (my absolute fav!) and 1/2 dozen chocolate covered. What a guy!




In Halloween news, my daughter looked awesome as Abby from NCIS.











 
My dogs, Soni and Puck, were dressed as a doctor and nurse for the occasion.

We've had Puck for nearly a year now (adopted him at about age 4) and still haven't been able to totally housebreak him (as my tinkle soaked scrapbooks will attest to-BAD DOG!), so I got crafty and made him a belly band. It wraps around his waist and has an absorbent pad inside it (actually a Kotex!) He doesn't seem to mind, and now he can roam the house, and I don't have to worry about my carpet, furniture, and possessions getting marked. I will, however, have the vet check him out again at his next appointment to make sure all is well physically.

Hey, I'm secure enough in my masculinity to wear a Kotex!

Hope you all had a good Halloween if you participate. Happy November. Please keep my friend Micael in your thoughts. He's in the hospital with a serious illness and needs good vibes.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Women Are People Too

The anti-choice zealots have reached a startling new low in their bid to outlaw abortion in the United States, and if you think that this issue doesn't affect you or anyone you may know, think again. Their new strategy is called "Personhood," and instead of going after abortion directly, it seeks to define "persons" in such a broad manner that every fertilized egg will be considered a person and thus be protected under U.S. laws.

According to their website, which may have been edited for grammatical correctness by an embryo,
"The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child. We serve by starting / coordinating efforts to establish legal "personhood" for pre-born children through peaceful activism, legislative efforts and ballot-access petition initiatives.
Personhood is the cultural and legal recognition of the equal and unalienable rights of human beings.

When the term “person” is applied to a particular class of human beings, it is an affirmation of their individual rights. In other words, to be a person is to be protected by a series of God-given rights and constitutional guarantees such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
This terrifies the pro-abortion foes!
 They know that if we clearly define the preborn baby as a person, they will have the same right to life as all Americans do!

This then also begs the question, is every human being a person?

There is a very real sense in which the need to answer this second question is, in itself, an absurdity.

If you look up the word "person" in your average dictionary (we'll use Webster's), you'll find something like this: "Person n. A human being." http://www.personhoodusa.com
This would all be rather humorous if it weren't being seriously considered by the voters in numerous states. This November, voters in Mississippi will decide on a ballot measure that defines the term "person" in the State Constitution to include fertilized human eggs and would grant them all the rights and protections of other persons. This would not only outlaw abortion in the state, including rape and incest cases, but would also outlaw any form of contraception that prevents a fertilized egg from developing, such as IUDs and birth control pills.

Similarly, fertility clinics would be closed, and doctors could be prosecuted for providing medical care to a pregnant woman if it endangered the life of her unborn child. Indeed, it would be illegal to terminate a pregnancy to save a woman's life if the "Personhood" Initiative passes, as an unborn baby would have the same right to life as the woman carrying it.

If all of this seems too much like Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale for comfort, it's because it is. In that book of a dystopian future, women were hardly more than receptacles for growing babies, which were a valued resource in society. Women had no autonomy over their own reproductive decisions and were punished for interfering with their intended purpose of being baby incubators. Perhaps the women of Mississippi should read the book before they go out to vote in November, that is, if they aren't already ordered to be on bed rest to make sure they don't jeopardize any preborn persons they might be carrying.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Barbie Girls

You can't say that Barbie doesn't keep up with the times, people! Introducing new todidoki Barbie! Get an eyefull of this new addition to the family! She comes complete with permanent ink on her upper torso, a pink bob, tight mini, and a pet named Bastardino. She's described on the Barbie Collector website as "...always ready for cutting-edge fashion! She pops on a pink miniskirt, logo leggings and black top with signature skull heart and bones, carries a large bag from the brand, then adds bracelets, a belt, and sky-high sparkly silvery shoes! This funky fashionista [is] ready for fun in fashion-forward form."

Of course, there's already been controversy about whether or not a tattoo sporting Barbie is appropriate for children. Given the fact that 24 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 50 and 36 percent between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo, arguing about a doll seems rather pointless to me. And at $50 a pop, tokidoki Barbie is being marketed as a collector's item rather than as a toy. Yes, there are many, many adults who collect Barbies. Tokidoki Barbie is a "lifestyle" Barbie. With this in mind, I've scoured the internet in search of other "lifestyle" Barbies that may be of interest to the serious collector. Here is the treasure trove I have discovered:


Trailer Park Barbie
Turleen is a sophisticated and patriotic American and a model working mother. After hours of hard work gathering carts at the Honk & Holler and waitressing at the elegant Bowlarama, she still finds time to spend quality time with her kids.

With seven children and one on the way, she recently won the Mother of the Year Award from the Pink Flamingo Trailer Park Homeowners Association!
This special trophy sits proudly on the kitchen window sill in her luxurious double-wide next to her six first place Little Miss Guzzler Awards from the county fair! Yes this honey has grown up! She's got a bun in the oven and she's ready to hit the town!
Just push her belly button and Trash Talkin' Turleen will share some pearls of wisdom with the sophistication and style that makes her family and third grade teacher proud.
Turleen stands approximately 12" tall. http://ramblingladie.blogspot.com/2007/09/trailer-park-barbie.html 

image source


Punk Rock Barbie

With her colorful mohawk, safety pin nosering and chain, and anarchy fashion jacket, this Barbie is ready to rock!


She and her friends love to hang out wherever they're not welcome and make people uncomfortable with their loud music, insult hurling, and provocative clothing (Barbie's accessories include BDSM collar and wrist cuffs, Karl Marx T-shirt, tutu, fishnet stockings, and Doc Martens).

Emo Barbie
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Poor Emo Barbie! No one understands her. She may as well slit her slender, ivory wrists and watch as the crimson droplets fall to the floor. That's why this special edition Barbie comes with several dozen razor blades!

Dressed in her favorite color, black, Emo Barbie wants to show just how miserable her life can be. This one-of-a-kind Barbie is unable to smile, which really makes her a stand-out among the Barbie family!

Emo Barbie comes with interchangeable hairstyles, from black to red, for when she's feeling slightly less suicidal. Accessories include a chain belt, black lipstick, and plenty of black eyeliner, specially designed to run down her face, for that "just been crying" look that emos love! Get her today because there may not be a tomorrow!



image source
Exotic Dancer Barbie
Who says Barbie can't have a lucrative career? Meet Exotic Dancer Barbie! She's fit and fabulous and freaky! Shake it, girl! This Barbie knows how to work it. She comes with her own stage (pole sold separately), pasties, 3 glittery g-strings, and a half-dozen ping pong balls. (Lap Dance Ken also sold separately)


image source

Gangsta Bitch Barbie
Bitches better watch out cuz Gansta Bitch Barbie be comin'. She one mean mutha and she ready to settle the score with the bitch who put her away for 3 years. And she don't give a f*** who get caught in the crossfire.

This Barbie comes with doorag, smokes, low riding jeans, white T with drug ref, gun, and meth recipe. Purchase the Limited Edition Gangsta Barbie and receive a beautiful, bedazzled keepsake Glock along with your doll! (not available to registered felons)



image source
Goth Barbie
Say hell-o to Goth Barbie! This raven haired beauty loves to go "lurking around in urban dungeons, inhaling whip-its, and asking complete strangers to pierce her genitalia. (Glitter Great Sarcophagus sold separately") http://www.pbase.com/mikerags/dolls_gone_wild  Note: Please keep Goth Barbie out of direct sunlight. 

Come on, people! The holidays are only a few short weeks away! I know there must be some special folks on your list who would just love one of these "lifestyle" Barbies for their very own! I, myself, find them much more inspirational than the boring blond chick with the tiny waist and huge boobs from my own childhood (as well as the Barbies!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yup

“There’s an old joke. Two elderly women are at a Catskill restaurant. One of them says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is just terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah I know. And such small portions.’ Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life. Full of misery, loneliness and suffering and unhappiness – and it’s all over much too quickly.”
 -Woody Allen, from Annie Hall

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Do!!!

According to Marriage Equality USA,  as of June 2011, 6 states and the District of Columbia recognized same-sex marriage; 4 states had civil unions for same-sex couples, and 6 states had registered domestic partnerships. 

In January of 2012, the Maryland legislature will consider a same-sex marriage bill.  Last year in Maryland, a marriage-equality bill stalled in the House of Delegates after passing the state Senate. Maryland Governor O'Malley, who supported marriage equality in 2011, is appearing in a new video supporting marriage equality.

While all of this political action is well and good, there is another tactic that may be even more effective in convincing those who are reluctant to see same-sex couples as essentially the same as Nancy and Joe Smith down the block. Put them on TV in a sitcom! Nothing makes people seem less threatening and more like someone Mr. or Mrs. Average American can identify with than making them part of a sitcom family. Look at the Cosbys or George Lopez.

In this spirit, do I have a show for you!
This is a hilarious webcom in which baseball player, Brady Kelly, and actor Cheeks wake up after a drunken Vegas fling to find themselves legally married thanks to a new law.  Unwilling to publicly undermine their newly won right, they determine to make a go of it and be HUSBANDS. There's even a ditzy friend!

New episodes appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and so far, I've been laughing myself silly. Check it out. A little humor may just be what the cause needs to speed it along!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrate Banned Books Week!

image source
The paper burns, but the words fly away.  ~Akiba ben Joseph

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2011 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 24 through October 1. Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982. For more information on Banned Books Week, click here

According to the American Library Association, there were 348 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2010, and many more go unreported.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2010 were:

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, religious viewpoint, sex education, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group
Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint
Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit
Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unsuited to age group
(http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy New Year!

Forget about the Shake Weight, y'all. If you really want a strenuous total arm workout, try making homemade challah! Yes, it's that time of year again (don't ask me what time or what year-it's too confusing in Jewish months and years!), but it's Rosh Hashanah or Jewish New Year.

If I were an observant Jew, I would be in temple today. However, I consider myself "Jewish Light." I'm more culturally Jewish than religiously Jewish. I married an Italian Catholic for Christ sake! So, in the spirit of both Jews and Italians, I spent the day cooking!

Challah, which is a sweet, egg bread, can be eaten any time of the year, but it is eaten especially at Rosh Hashanah. It's also baked into round loaves at this time to signify the circle of life. Jews believe that during the next 2 weeks, God opens the Book of Life. We scurry around atoning for the previous year's sins and praying to have our names inscribed in the Book for the coming year before the Book is closed again. How do you know if your name is written in the Book? If you die during the next year, it wasn't.
Jabba the Challah?

ready to bake
all done!
Today was quite rainy, which made the proceedings rather sticky and more difficult than usual. Hopefully, it will taste OK. So, to everyone in blogland, Shana Tova (a good and sweet year!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not Playing Nicely

image source
If you work at or seek services at a clinic that provides abortions, you should probably be prepared to find protesters outside the building.  These anti-choice protests have become a staple of the movement to rescind a woman's right to abortion. 

If you attend a Back To School Night at your child's middle school, you would probably not be prepared to find protesters outside the building, nor should you be. However, this is exactly what the parents of children at Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, MD found last Thursday. It seems that the protesters decided that the middle school would be a good place to march around with signs and banners with pictures of aborted fetuses that read "Please STOP the Child Killing." Why here? The landlord of the building that houses an abortion clinic has a child who attends the school.

Reproductive Health Services in Germantown, MD.  is a private clinic that provides abortions. Its staff is all too familiar with anti-choice protesters.  The clinic physician, LeRoy Carhart, M.D., arrived in December of last year and is one of the few doctors who openly acknowledges performing late pregnancy abortions. He has been the target not only of protests but of numerous death threats from "pro-lifers."  The activists have reportedly been trying for months to get the clinic shut down and thought that the middle school would make a good public venue for their protest.  In addition to their slogans and pictures of dead babies, the protesters also held a banner that showed the landlord's photo, full name, and phone number.

Besides being totally appalling and inappropriate, I find it hypocritical that a group of people who say they respect life show such blatant disrespect for the lives of those who are already here. It seems as though the only lives they respect are those still in the womb. What about the life of the landlord's child who attends that middle school? What about the lives of the other parents who were subjected to that protest that night? What about their children, many of whom may have been too young to understand what the pictures were even about but may have been frightened by the whole ordeal?

I can respect those whose opinions differ from my own, but do these zealots really think they are going to change anyone's mind by their methods? When someone attacks my beliefs, they become more entrenched. When someone yells at me, I tune them out. Maybe these protesters should go back to school and learn to play nice.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ever Feel Like This???

Word for the day: matriphagy

When the babies are around a month old teens, the mother spider rolls over on her back allowing the spiderlings to clamber over her, kill her by injecting their venom and digestive enzymes into her body, and eat her.

source: TYWKIWDBI

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lying With Dogs or Ticked Off

It has been a while since I've posted. Earthquakes and hurricanes have come and gone, and these I've taken in stride. Now, however, I have been cursed by the spawn of the Devil himself. I have been tick bombed! Not only have I had to suffer with this horrendous plague, but my poor dogs have been struck. For the past several days, we have been living in tick hell.

For those of you who have the incredible luck (or foresight) not to live in an area where ticks reside, count your blessings! These nasty little critters were put on earth for no reason but to annoy and gross out humanity (and other animals.) I have questioned real, live naturalists about ticks, and they, too, are stumped as to their purpose in nature. I think ticks are God's way of saying F you! to humanity. And, I must've done something to piss off the Big Guy (Gal) this week!

My dogs didn't just bring home ticks after their walk. They do that on a regular basis, and I always keep a tweezers handy to pick the little blood suckers off them, myself, and family members on a daily basis. Yuck! Oh no. They apparently walked through a tick nest and were tick bombed by seed ticks! Seed ticks, you say? What the heck are seed ticks? Hope you never have to find out, my lovelies, because they are the seed of the Demon himself!

seed ticks on finger
Seed ticks are not a particular species of tick but are the larval or nymph stage of a tick. They sit in hundreds, nay thousands, in tall grass waiting for a tasty looking dog or person to walk by. Then they instantaneously attach themselves to the unsuspecting victim and hang on for dear life. They look like tiny poppy seeds (hence the name) or specks of dirt, but when you look closely or remove one, it crawls. The legs are so tiny you can barely see them. Imagine hundreds of poppy seeds suddenly crawling over your ankles. Yeah, it's a nightmare. They can leave itchy bite marks at the attachment site, and may or may not spread tick-borne illness (I've read differing opinions on this).

seed ticks on pants
So, this week, I spent the better part of a day picking tiny, blood filled baby parasites off my dogs' bellies, paws, and legs.  Of course, by the time I discovered the seed ticks all over my dogs, the dogs had already jumped all over my bed, so I also found little, crawling buglets all over my bed and carpet! Can you say freaked out? I've never done so much laundry in my life! Stripped the bed, washed the bathroom carpets, all the blankets the dogs lay on, and all the clothes they came in contact with. Then I vacuumed everywhere. Twice. Not to mention giving the pooches their dose of Frontline, which is essentially a systemic insecticide (don't even tell me that it's toxic-so is Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever!) My poor Maltese had red welts all over his body, and I still have about 2 dozen itchy red bites all over my calves, ankles, and feet! Not fun. 

I think (hope, pray) the tick bomb is getting under control now. I haven't found any new ones on the dogs since yesterday and haven't seen any on my bed or carpet for 2 days now. I'm still vacuuming like a fiend, which is one of my least favorite activities of all time (right after picking seed ticks off dog bellies).  If I don't post again for a while, keep me in your thoughts. I may be battling locusts or cattle disease or some other plague sent from above. Or from below, like those damn ticks!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up

image source
Well, I wanted to make my daughter's last day of summer vacation memorable, but a 5.8 magnitude earthquake is not what I had in mind! I thought a nice day of pleasant mall hopping, some Mommy/Daughter bonding, and some frivolous money spending would be a good way to wrap up the summer. 

So there we were, in the food court, scarfing down Arby's chicken sandwiches when the floor started to shake. My daughter immediately assumed that an obese person was walking too close to our table (a fair assumption here in Southern MD and at a mall food court), but when she looked, no one was near us. The shaking grew stronger, and the overhead signs started swinging back and forth. People began to frantically grab their cell phones, but to no avail. Service was totally disrupted. Then, the realization that here, in Maryland, we were having an actual earthquake started to penetrate the consciousness of the mall masses. People began to panic and dash for the door. I stood up, looked at my daughter in this moment of chaos, and she said to me these words that I will always remember; "I'm not going anywhere until I finish my curly fries." And so it was. We stayed. We ate. We survived the Great Earthquake of 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back To School Lingerie

Don't know about where you all live, but around here it's almost time for the new school year to start! That means time to shop for supplies for school--paper, pens, pencils, lunchbox, lingerie, protractor, highlighters...What's that? Lingerie, you say? You didn't know that school kids need lingerie? No, not Spiderman or Little Mermaid underpants or even new bras for the high school girls; I'm talking lingerie.

Take a gander at this website for the French company Jours Apres Lunes. They are marketing a collection of lingerie for girls aged 3 months through teen. Yes, now your baby can look sexy in that Pampers! And, heck! Who needs breast tissue to rock out a bra?!! Check out some of the preschoolers and elementary school girls on this website (as I'm sure loads of pedophiles will be doing). What really bothers me about all of this (aside from creating a market for something totally unnecessary) is that even when the garments aren't totally inappropriate, like a simple tank top, the company has the young models posing in a provocative manner with make-up and adult hairstyles. It is clear that they are going for the Lolita look in many of the ad photos, and this is disturbing.

 If one looks closely at the ads, as I tend to do, one also notices some other interesting, and bothersome, things. The print in the girl's book reads "Le talent n'attend pas le nombre des annees." Roughly translated, this means, "Her talent belied her years." I have to wonder what talent they were speaking of.  In the next ad, the words around the photo say, "Chic," "French Touch," "Impertinence," "Second Skin," "Glamour," and "Graphique." Then there's a picture of a bird in a cage. Interesting juxtaposition of images, I'd say.

All in all, this ad campaign makes me want to vomit. It attempts to create a market for a totally unnecessary product and in doing so, sexualizes teens and young girls. Kids need lingerie like they need sex toys. What's next? Mini sized dildos for the young beginner in trendy teen colors? Cool vibrators that let you load iTunes into them so your daughter can hear Justin Bieber while she learns to masturbate? Wait! That's my idea!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Something Hinky About Hinkle

And the Hypocrite of the Week Award goes to...Indiana State Rep. Phillip Hinkle!!! Let's hear it for the blatant duplicity, self-righteousness, and deceitfulness of this Republican jackwagon who voted against gay marriage but was recently caught offering a young man $80 plus tip for a "really good time" at a hotel. Seems that it's not OK for gay couples to enjoy the right to have their unions formalized by marriage, but it's just fine for a married, 64 year-old state representative to solicit sex from a Craigslist posting for a "sugga daddy."

An abridged version of the story is as follows: Mr Hinkle allegedly responded to a posting from Kameryn Gibson in the m4m section of Craigslist, which stated, "I need a sugga daddy." Gibson claimed to be 18, although he is, in fact, 20. Portions of emails sent from Hinkle to Gibson read
"Cannot be a long time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?" The email offers "to make it worth (your) while" in cash, and states "I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked." Gibson claims that they met at a hotel and that he became nervous after Hinkle told him that he was a politician. When he stated that he wished to leave, Hinkle allegedly grabbed his rear, tried to prevent him from leaving, and got naked. Gibson then called his sister from the bathroom, who arrived to take him home. At that point, Hinkle allegedly offered Gibson and his sister his iPad, Blackberry, and $100 not to call the police or media.

Now, personally, I really don't care whom Mr. Hinkle has sex with, as long as it's consensual. This incident is creepy for being coerced (no means no, Phil, even if it's a male prostitute), for being behind his wife's back (I assume), and for being initiated by someone who publicly condemns gay marriage but apparently engages in gay sex in private. This kind of hypocrisy has become so prevalent in politics it's hardly surprising any more. Talk of "family values" by politicians is virtually meaningless. Where are the values of respect, courage, and honesty?