Who Knew THEY Were Twins?

31 12 2008

Charles Manson, famed serial killer:


and Joaquin Phoenix, who is looking a  hot mess lately (what is HE thinking?):



Goodbye, 2008!

31 12 2008


The day has arrived. The day you spend $40 to get into an overcrowded nightclub that offers a “complimentary champagne toast” (you know, a thimble full of $5-dollar-a-bottle “Andre” poured into a disposable flute). The day you pay inflated prices to eat at restaurants whose quality dips about 50 percent as they rush to feed their partying masses. The day you get all dressed up to get smashed into a group of hundreds of other well dressed partiers who, crammed in like sardines, can’t even see what you put on, and are too drunk to car if they throw up on it. That’s right, New Year’s Eve.  2008 sucked. I won’t mince words, I am glad this year is almost over.

In 2007, I was test driving a new Mercedes. In 2008, I wondered if I shouldn’t sell my Honda.

In 2007, I was hoping my sister had finally started to get her life together. In 2008, she lost her life.

In 2007, my 401K was performing very well. In 2008, I think I owe IT money.

But 2008 wasn’t a total washout. I got to witness one of the most exciting (not sure that’s exactly the right word, but it stays) election years EVER. I started this blog, through which I have met many wonderful, witty, and intelligent people who never fail to make me laugh, occasionally make me cry, and who I’ve come to look forward to making part of my day.

I did some traveling: a wonderful week at the beach, a long weekend in Kansas for a wedding, another long weekend in Philly for another wedding, lots of weekend trips back  home, to Chicago, to Charleston, SC, and Asheville, NC.

I’ve so far weathered an economy that has been particularly brutal to my industry–if not totally unscathed, at least I still have a home, food, and work to do. Let’s hope 2009 sees things turn around or I might be renaming this blog “Tales from a Cardboard Box” I wonder if I can pick up WIFI under an overpass?

Happy New Year to All!

Quip of the Week

30 12 2008


“they were now jogging past a veritable poster of a nude woman urinating on an obviously excited man who, for some particularly odd reason, was licking perhaps the world’s largest lollipop.”

Our Neighborhood Reverend recounts a lifetime of false accusations in this edition of the Quip of the Week. I think it’s a post we can all relate to on some level, and if you aren’t laughing all the way through it, there’s something wrong with you.

Monday Morning Mish Mash

29 12 2008


1. The generation gap at work: a friend of mine got her young son a new video game system for Christmas. As he excitedly ran around the house shouting “Look at my Wii! Look at  my Wii!” he grandfather said “What’s wrong honey, did you hurt your penis?” In fairness to the grandpa, the kiddo calls his penis his “wee”.

2. I got a Wii for Christmas too. At the very least, I hope I can improve my video game skills to the point that my friend’s children can’t continue to massacre me at every game I play with them. I was never into video games as a kid, but this thing is pretty fun, and most of the games require you to be physical…I broke a sweat boxing!

3. I was reminded how old I’m getting. One of my cousins and his wife announced that they are expecting their first child. I can remember when he was so little that I had to be his hide and seek buddy because I was one of the “older kids”. And my younger brother drove my car this weekend–it was the first time I’d been home since he got his learner’s permit, so I let him drive a few miles from a convenience store to our house. Which is a very big deal, because my cars are like my babies.

4. Remember the flat tire I had a week or so ago? Well, I remembered I have road hazard insurance that will pay  up to $150 bucks a tire. Of course, they expected that I know what street I picked the nail up on, the tire dealer to call for authorization, and all sorts of other nonsense that I expect means that they pay out ZILCH on any of their road hazard policies.

5. This is the week I’ve got to order a new computer to replace the dead one. I’m looking at some HPs and Dells. Anyone have a recommendation?

Christmas With Mama

28 12 2008


Mom is not usually one for family functions. Everytime there is a reunion, a party, or a family get together, she generally feigns an illness. But she wasn’t getting away with it this year. She’s done enough of sitting in the house feeling sorry for herself–so I told her there would be no “migraines”, no “upset stomachs”, and no sudden onsets of “the flu.” “Sick” or not, I was dragging her ass to my aunt and uncle’s house for some family time.

Now, mom has a tendency to overmedicate herself. So it wasn’t altogether shocking to show up at her house and find her a little out of it, eyes not quite open as far as they should be, her movements just a bit slower than usual. As we made the fifteen minute trip to my uncle’s house, she opened up her purse and pulled out a bottle of pills.

“What are you taking?” I asked.

“My pain medicine”

“I think you’ve had enough of that.”

“No, it’s time to take it again.”  (Nevermind that several hours earlier she already sounded out of it on the phone, and when I phoned her just before I got there, she told me she was taking something for her aching back.)

“Well, why don’t you wait til you have some food on your stomach.” I said.

Well, ok.” she said. We stopped a few miles later because she needed a pack of cigarettes, and when I came back to the car from the convenience store, she was hurriedly closing her purse, and I was fairly certain she’d popped something. When we pulled into the driveway she said, “I’m just gonna take half of one, I’m hurtin’ awful bad.”

We walked into the house and said our hellos. Everyone had sat down to eat, so mom and I had to crowd around the table to make ourselves a plate. Twice mom nearly dropped hers, and she was so unaware that she dragged her plate through the back of Grandma’s freshly curled hair.

We took a seat in the sunroom and started eating. Before we were finished, my cousin “Midge” and her husband arrived. Mom stopped them in the small foyer and hugged them, and as usual referred to Midge’s husband as “Jeff Gordon.” She hugged them again, and blocked the door into the family room. Midge has been in a couple of local TV commercials, so mom had to tell her how pretty she looked and how she had been telling everyone it was her neice on the TV. “I see it all the time cause I only got two channels”  

“Let’s go inside.” Midge said.

“Well let me get a hug first!” Mom said, as if she had forgotten she already had two from them. While Mom was holding Midge and Jeff Gordon hostage in the foyer, most of the rest of the family had come into the sunroom. As mom walked back to her seat at the table, she stumbled around like a child on roller skates. Moving at a shuffle, tripping over the threshold, and utterly unable to maneuver the swivel chair she was trying to sit in.

“Oh God, she’s gonna fall!” someone said. I went and pulled the chair out.  Mom turned to my aunt, and complimented her sweater, slurring out the words to ask her where she got it and how much she paid for it. She tried to finish eating, but by that point, she didn’t even have the motor skills to bring the fork to her mouth.

“What is wrong with you?” my grandmother asked.


“You’ve been taking too many of your pills!” Grandma said.

No I haven’t!” mom said, “I’m just tard (tard, not tired) from eating so much! It’s the triptolene (sic) in this turkey!”

“You can’t even keep your eyes open!” Grandma said.

“I’ve got a tearduct infected.”  excuses, excuses.

I was trying to ignore her at this point, and was talking to my cousin Midge about her recent cruise. Mom interrupted.

I’ve only got two channels on my TV, so I see your commercial all the time. I heard it one day in the kitchen and went runnin’ in the living room cause I knew that was my niece.”  My aunt asked Midge if she got paid for her commercial appearances. As Midge and my aunt talked about how she came to be in the commercials, mom repeated herself for the third time.

“I see that commercial three or four times a day, cause I’ve only got two channels. They don’t  have telecable out where I live yet.” The aunt wearing the pretty sweater walked past. “That is the prettiest sweater! Where did you find it?”

“Mom, why don’t we get some fresh air.”

“Yeah, I need a cigarette” She got up from her chair and fell back in it, then slowly got to her feet, with the help of my uncle, and had to take my arm to even get outside the house. As we stood in the driveway she decided to check to see if her gentleman friend had called. Her phone was in a small cosmetics bag, and she sifted through it for several minutes.

“I know it’s in here.” she slurred. “Call me, so I can find it.” I flipped open my phone and dialed hers. Her bag began to ring, and the light from her phone became visible. By the time she actually found it, though, my call had gone to her voicemail. She flipped it open.

Missed call!” she shouted. “I wish he’d leave me the fuck alone!”

“The missed call is from me just now!” But she didn’t understand that…instead she flipped open the phone and tried a half dozen times to hit the enter button and see her missed call.

“I don’t wanna go back in there.” she said, “They all think I’m drunk.” I explained that no one thought that, but it was quite obvious she was overmedicated. “I am not! I only take what the doctor says I can!”

“Then your doctor needs to be turned over to the medical board. You can’t even walk. You’re repeating yourself, and you can barely keep your eyes open!”

It’s these new shoes! They hurt my feet. They ain’t broke in yet!”

We made it a few feet further. “Look at my legs shakin” mom said.

“Are you cold? Let’s get back inside.”

“No, I’m sposed to take a valium when I get like this, it will calm me down.”

The hell you are! You’ve had quite enough pills for one day.”

Back inside,  I went to the bathroom, and came back to find Grandma asking mom what she had just taken.

They said I’m supposed to take a valium when I’m feelin this way.I wish everyone would leave me alone! I am not drunk!” By this point, everyone was doing their best to just ignore her.

It was time to open gifts, and I had to help mom walk into the family room. She whispered that my aunt “hadn’t said ten words” to her. I suggested it might be because she asked her twice already where she purchased her sweater. This year, we’d decided just to exchange baked goods and candies, but most of us had still gotten a “real” present for grandma. Grandma had a pile of gifts at her feet.

Open up that purple one!” mom shouted, trying to get Grandma to open the gift from her first. But Grandma had already grabbed another gift, and before she could even finish thanking the person who gave it to her, mom was yelling again “That purple one is from me! Open that one up!” Grandma opened mom’s gift, a pair of pajamas, thanked her, and then reached for another gift. Mom stopped her from opening it, instead telling grandma what kind of material the pajamas were, what store they came from, and then climbing up on my 80-something grandmother’s lap, curling herself into a fetal position and cooing “I love you!”

Now, I do not embarass easily under any circumstances, and it’s next to impossible to embarass me in front of my family, but I was well beyond embarassed at that point. When mom got off grandma’s lap and sat next to my aunt, asking for the third time where her sweater had come from and what price she had paid, I knew it was time to go.

Next year, if mom has a “migraine” I’ll just let her sit at home.

Search Term Saturdays

27 12 2008

You know the drill–someone searches for something bizarre and it somehow leads them here even though I have no clue why. Helpful soul that I am, I don’t want these folks to leave empty handed, so I try to help them.

This week we have:

“crossdressers ladies room manners”

I have a feeling Emily Post has not yet addressed this matter, but I will try to.

1. If you don’t pass for a real woman, just hold it til you get home. No one will be comfortable with seeing a hairy man in a dress in the restroom. I’m sorry, I know that isn’t very progressive of me, but that’s the world we live in. Or try to find a place that just has a one seater. Then you’ll be fine.

2. At any rate, find a stall with a good lock on it. The employees of most of our better department stores have better things to do than help a customer who has fainted after accidentally seeing your toolbox.

3. It would probably be least awkward, in a ladies room, if you would sit to pee. But if you must stand up, don’t dribble and put the damn seat back down.

4. If you’re in there to drop a deuce, light a match or something. This goes for everyone.

Hope that helps!

Monday Morning Mish Mash

22 12 2008


1. Just a few more days and Christmas will be over! Ever wonder how Christmas traditions start? Well I found the answer to at least one, thanks to Noe Noe Girl:

Santa was very cross. It was Christmas Eve and NOTHING was going right. Mrs Claus had burned all the cookies. The elves were complaining about not getting paid for the overtime they had while making the toys. The reindeer had been drinking all afternoon and were dead drunk. To make matters worse, they had taken the sleigh out for a spin earlier in the day and had crashed it into a tree. Santa was furious. “I can’t believe it! I’ve got to deliver millions of presents all over the world in just a few hours – all of my reindeer are drunk, the elves are on strike and I don’t even have a Christmas tree! I sent that stupid Little Angel out HOURS ago to find a tree and he isn’t even back yet! What am I going to do?” Just then, the Little Angel opened the front door and stepped in from the snowy night, dragging a Christmas tree. He says “Yo, fat man! Where do you want me to stick the tree this year?”

And thus the tradition of angels atop the Christmas trees came to pass……..

2. And speaking of that poor angel:

3. Those of you who have been hangin’ around the ole Vinyl Village a while (yes, you two) will recall that back in the late spring I quit smoking using Chantix–which prompted some very strange and detailed dreams. We’re talking indy-film quality stuff! Well, what I haven’t told you is I fell off the wagon a couple months ago. No good excuse why. No “trigger”. I just did. So I’m going back on the Chantix this week. Which means there may be some posts about bizarre dreams coming for your enjoyment.

4. Everyone has seen the crazy Iraqi dude toss his shoes at President Bush by now. Of course it was in poor taste, and brings up questions of security, but really…who among us hasn’t wanted to slap some sense into our elected leaders? Well, now we can: CLICK HERE.

5. Just my luck–during the month of December not only did my computer bite the dust, but I picked up a nail in my tire that, for some reason, couldn’t be patched. The main reason I got rid of my super-sexy, very fast, teenaged-girl attention getting, silver convertible with its like-butter red leather seats was economy. My car is supposed to be sensible, inexpensive to operate, fuel efficient, and all that jazz. So why does it cost almost $200 to replace just ONE of it’s tires??