Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"Iconostasia has invited you to her virtual slumber party. To accept her invitation, just invite 2,000 more friends."
"JoJo has SuperSlapped you! To SuperSlap your other friends, just allow the SuperSlap application to take over your life, use your credit card, and drive your car."
"Capolito has kidnapped you to join his Pirate Army."
"Richard Bonomo is wondering where the bottle of Mexican vanilla extract on his dining room table came from." (As someone replied, "Mexico!")
I don't know what I'm supposed to do about any of this, so honestly I usually ignore it. Then there are the people from the dim, distant past who see your profile and request to be your friend... and of course the random people from Australia who request to be your friend. I generally accept the friendship of people I know, so now they are added to my list of friends. And, sadly, that's usually as far as it goes for me.
Yesterday my officemate said she found her sister's ex-boyfriend on MyFace, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had never searched for any of my own ex-boyfriends. The first one I looked up was Ubi Caritas, the one I almost married. (True story: during Rich's birthday party one year, one guest jokingly wrapped a streamer around his neck to make a noose, and when I said, "No! Don't do it! You have too much to live for!" my boyfriend said, "Like what?" and the erstwhile suicide victim said, "Well! Mr. Ubi Caritas!") Though we both realized it was not going to work out after all, I was the one who ended it and who didn't want to stay friends. Perhaps an overly hasty decision; we have mutual friends so I have a vague idea what Ubi Caritas is up to these days, but do I really want to see him again? It was a moot point anyhow, since both his first and last names are incredibly common, and I did not want to wade through pages and pages and pages of MyFace profiles trying to figure out if one of them was his. This may give you some idea of why our relationship ended: we were given two books by the priest to read, and he had a brief one about the structure of the nuptial Mass (e.g., do you want to memorize your vows, repeat them after the priest, or simply respond "I do") while I had an incredibly deep and beautiful book about the theology of the sacrament called Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen. Two days later he wanted to swap books and couldn't understand why I wasn't ready yet. Once upon a time we were inseperable, so when we broke up, everyone expressed surprise - and, I couldn't help noting, relief.
So I looked up the boy I was obsessed with back in college, since both his first and last names are unusual. I found him right away, but who knows what he is like now? He was in his mid twenties the last time I saw him and now he is forty. Instead of a picture of himself, he had a picture of some little kids on his profile. His kids? I don't know, and what's more, I don't really care. The reason I never looked him up before must have just been because there was no point. The woman I am now would have no interest in the boy he was, and I have no idea what the man is like. Or what he looks like - maybe he's fat and bald now. Why else would he have a fake picture up? I have a very recent picture of myself on my profile, because so what if I've gained a few pounds? This photo prominently features my prize possession, a taterbug mandolin which is a family heirloom. It has been with me through thick and thin, through Renaissance and mariachi bands, through bluegrass and Mideastern music. I often play it while wearing my Famous Hat!
Don't think I'll bother looking up my high school sweetheart. He has a common first name and an unusual last name, so it's hard to say whether he'd be easy to find or not. But what would I say to him after all this time? Guess I could SuperSlap him and kidnap him for my Pirate Army...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
White Collar Criminals
Now: stuck in a country club they can't leave, then they get out and still have that $20 million they embezzled stashed in some Swiss bank account
Mine: put their rich white patooties to work with everyone else! They can go free when they've paid back the $20 million, or when they die, whichever comes first
Now: "Life," which means maybe 10 years, or the death penalty
Mine: they will spend the rest of their natural lives working to support the family of the person they killed, as well as their own family
Wrong Person Convicted
Now: Oops... our bad. (Double oops if they were executed.)
Mine: They would be released with all the money they had worked to earn over the years. This would come from the infraction pool (see below) and the salary of the lawyers who had them put away - that will keep prosecutors from just trying to get someone convicted and DAs from being lazy
Now: for good behavior
Mine: for working overtime and paying off your debt to society... literally!
Now: lose TV privileges
Mine: 20c/hour deducted for each infraction
Now: no good prospects, so high recidivism rates, which leads to suspicion of all ex-cons
Mine: after all those years of working, they would have marketable skills (at least in the hard labor market)
Added bonus: if you are one of those anti-immigration wackos who think Mexicans are crawling over the border at the rate of 3,000/minute to steal our American jobs, you should LOVE my plan! After all, if we have convicts doing the jobs nobody else wants to do, they won't be available for Mexicans to take. This would stop the flow of illegal immigrants almost as quickly as our currently stalled economy seems to have done.
Monday, November 24, 2008
So yesterday was not only Christ the King but also Archirritant's 50-somethingth birthday, and Rich Bonomo had a birthday party for her. Some of the regulars (such as the B Boys) were not going to be there while other regulars (notably Kathbert and Anna Banana II) felt they should make an appearance even though they are not all that fond of Archirritant either. I had no plans to show up, but then I realized here was Hardingfele's chance, since she had been thwarted at every turn (the only times Archirritant didn't show up for free food were those few times Hardingfele came to meet her!), but I was pretty secure in the knowledge she would be at her own birthday party. So I went and brought Hardingfele along.
The first thing Hardingfele did was tell Kathbert she had not given Voodoo Head enough time to work. Kathbert had given Voodoo Head to Rich in a brown paper bag, as if he were lunch, then he gave it to me, then I gave it to Hardingfele. Kathbert said she was getting rejection letters left and right since Voodoo Head had come into her house, so she wanted it out. (I would think that is sort of an improvement over her previous situation of not even receiving acknowledgement from prospective employers, but I can see her point.) Voodoo Head actually comes with an instruction manual, which Rich told me with some alarm contains "a novena!" and A-Joz wondered if Kathbert had followed the instructions closely. When she heard about the brown paper bag, she started laughing. "Of course he wouldn't work if she stuck him in a bag! Way to disrespect Voodoo Head!"
Archirritant must have been taking etiquette classes, because she asked other people questions - and didn't even interrupt their answers! - instead of completely dominating the conversation. As you may have already guessed, Archirritant and Hardingfele totally hit it off, and this morning Hardingfele sent an email to A-Joz and me saying how she seemed like a wonderful conversationalist. Luckily A-Joz was more than willing to back me up in saying Hardingfele must have caught her on an exceptional day.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Here are the flavors I submitted, in no particular order:
earl gray, lingonberry, pomegranate, pesto, chocolate persimmon, chai, eggnog, green chartreuse, pumpkin pie, gingerbread, starfruit, almond, fuschia, Irish cream, clove, black currant, baba ghanouj, chocolate curry, kumquat, hibiscus, spearmint, fresh baked bread, peppermint, green tea, wintergreen, date, orange creme, baklava, tira misu, apricot, mint julep, eucalyptus, strawberry rhubarb, white Russian, tapioca, chocolate peanut butter, sangria, cookie dough, cheese curd, feta, stout, sea salt, cashew, fig, guacamole, tomato, mulberry, pistachio, mustard, Marmite, sweet potato, rose water, Cthulhu (tastes like calimari), chicken (since everything else tastes like it, why not a jelly bean?), tamarind, lychee, lefse, lukefisk (tastes great, and that's no lye!) and last but not least, bean! (sweet red bean) - nothing like a Bean Jelly Bean!
(OK, maybe that's more than 54, but math was never my best subject.)
And one I didn't submit but kind of wanted to: Communion wafer - tasteless, like this suggestion! (Thanks to Best Friend for this and the lutefisk comment.)
There was also an instant win game every day, and my very first day I won a "giant bean." However, I waited and waited and no Giant Bean was forthcoming, so I began to bombard Scottish Jelly Beans and all their subsidiary corporations with emails demanding an explanation for the deplorable lack of Giant Bean in my life. Eventually I recruited all my family and friends in this email carpet bombing effort, and while I was in New Orleans (a good six months after I won the Giant Bean, mind you), the "Giant Bean" arrived in the mail. Hardingfele and her daughter Rock Star Tailor were bunnysitting for me and collecting my mail, and when Hardingfele saw the little package from Scottish Jelly Beans, she left a note on it saying, "Is this the Giant Bean? Pathetic!" I opened the package and inside was a kidney-shaped tin full of jelly beans which was actually about the size of a kidney, so it had maybe fifteen jelly beans inside. I have to back Hardingfele up on this one: PATHETIC!
They had said they were sending me another prize to make up for that one taking so long, but I didn't actually believe them. However, after another month had elapsed, to my surprise there was a large box from Scottish Jelly Bean Corp. sitting in front of my front door. I opened it to find...
If you are wondering why they are Scottish Jelly Beans, the answer is that we were going to have them be Hawaiian Jelly Beans, and we had this great Spike Jones song called "Hawaiian War Chant" for the background music, but then he talks right in the middle of it! So we decided to go with Scottish fiddle music instead.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday came and went with no call, which frankly did not surprise me one bit. What did surprise me is that yesterday when I got home, there was a message from them on my machine. I could tell from the tone of the message that the woman was more interested in evangelization than discussion, but I set aside my word game puzzle magazine and gamely called her back. She said she understood that I had called and been very upset about some sort of comment about Obama and NARAL. I said, "They asked me what would be a good time to call and I said 7 on Monday, but you called at 4 on Wednesday. If they couldn't convey a message that simple to you correctly, do you really trust their accuracy on any other count?"
The woman seemed slightly surprised that a pro-lifer knew multisyllabic words, but she quickly got down to brass tacks, whatever that means. I thought about telling her that she was wasting her time (I'm a Capricorn born in the year of the Iron Pig, and once I finally make my mind up, it's very hard to change it), but I let her prattle on. She was very into one-upsmanship, like when I said I'd been raised very pro-choice, she smugly informed me that she had been raised pro-life but had traveled the world and learned better. (N.B. She was about twice my age, which I think she figured would awe me, since as my elder she would obviously know more. I said how interesting, an acquaintance of mine who is also a Gen X-er and active in the pro-life cause decided to attend a NARAL meeting undercover, but she was the only woman in the room under 45 so they were all fawning all over her. "So the demographics hold," I said. "It's a generational thing." She was not pleased and told me they had a girl of 13 in their radical collective.) Every time she asked me why I was opposed to this or that, I had cold hard facts or an argument I'd heard from Mark Shea (my hero!) at my disposal, and at one point she got so frustrated, she started to say it was unfair that I had so many facts, then she caught herself and said she'd have to do some more research and get back to me.
"Is it OK if I call you again?" she wondered.
"Sure," I said. "I love to argue. I'm like that Monty Python skit."
You could just hear the frustration in her voice - how could someone well-educated and eloquent not be swayed by her reasoning and, worse yet, make sense? She said they had told her I wanted to present the pro-life side on their radio show, but they all agreed they wouldn't do it. Even as she said it, you could tell she knew how close-minded it sounded. (There's nothing I love more than getting liberals to realize they are just as close-minded as conservatives!) I said I understood, but could they at least say it was news for and about liberal women, not ALL women, but even that she refused to budge on. Nothing like courageously standing by your progressive views in a town where the politicians come in three stripes: Very Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Socialists. Then she pulled out what she must have thought was her best weapon: she started telling me some story about how, while she had been raised in a white, upper-middle-class neighborhood, in college she began volunteering at some inner city place, and I said, "Hm, maybe that explains our differing outlooks. I grew up in the 'hood, surrounded by all different colors of people."
That got her. All her street cred was instantly shot. It's one thing to brag about how you, the big-hearted rich white lady, spend your time helping the unfortunate little dark people have better lives; it's entirely different to say you have lived among them as their equal. One thing I have noticed about liberals is that, for all the good they do on social justice issues, they LOVE to congratulate themselves about all that good. Guess they've already gotten their reward! (Once a boyfriend and I went to the annual protest at the School of the Americas on a bus with a bunch of wacko leftist Catholics, and we were astounded and amused at how the whole way back they were patting themselves on the backs for all the protesting and organizing they had ever done.) (Most pro-life activists I've met are much more matter-of-fact about how many times they've been arrested, etc. except for my Archirritant, who is as far right as they come but could give any Leftie a run for their money with her constant bragging about all her civil disobedience.)
"Really?" said my erstwhile evangelizer in shock. "You grew up in the hood?"
I replied, rather disingenuously, "Oh, does that surprise you?" since of course that had been my goal. (Mission accomplished - stick THAT on a banner and hang it on a ship!) "Why does it surprise you?"
She knew I had her there. She probably was surprised that I was so well-read and highly educated when I'd grown up on Welfare, but she recovered and said people who had grown up in those kinds of circumstances were usually politically liberal. I said, that's interesting, because I saw plenty of abuse of the system (by white people) and then other people (Jamaican and Cambodian families) who worked their tails off and got the heck outta da 'hood. Wouldn't that tend to make a person believe that it's better to solve her own problems than expect the government to take care of her ad infinitum?
I'll let you know if my buddy from the community radio station calls me again, after she's done some more research so she can try more convincingly to convert me. Or maybe this time she will actually consider it a discussion of differing views....? Nah.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Handy Guide to Both Kinds of Irish
Area of origin
IC: Mostly southern part (when I told a native Corkian (?) that my father's family came from Cork, he said, "Why do all American Irish say their families came from Cork?")
SI: Northern Ireland
IC: St. Patrick
SI: What kinda Papist crap y'all tryin' to pull?
Area settled in US
IC: Northeastern US, especially Southy in Boston and Broad Channel in Queens
IC: jigs, reels, Tin Pan Alley schlock like "Tura Lura"
SI: anything with banjos
IC: shamrocks, leprechauns, drinking, fighting
SI: bad teeth, marrying cousins, "if you hear banjo music, paddle faster," drinking, fighting
Beverage of choice
IC: Guinness stout (Beamish stout also acceptable), whiskey
SI: anything made in a bathtub and kept in a jug with three X's on it
IC: like rabbits, if rabbits were ignoring the Church's teachings on contraception these days
SI: the fecundity of cockroaches and the consanguinity of ancient Egyptian royalty
IC: good, now that they can afford modern orthodontry
SI: the toothbrush must have been invented in Appalachia, or it would have been called the "teethbrush"
IC: Patrick, Sean, Michael, Kathleen, Mary
SI: Billy Bob, Bubba Joe, Bobbi Sue
IC: slim to none
How they celebrate their heritage
IC: dress up in green on St. Patrick's Day, have parades, drink green beer
SI: continuous celebration of the glories of White Trash Culture
IC: organized the Catholic parochial school system, took over the Democratic party in big cities
SI: preserved Elizabethan-era English in isolated pockets, inspired numerous redneck jokes
I hope you find this guide helpful.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I added, somewhat flippantly, "Where the picture of the dancing African women used to hang."
To everyone else's surprise, one woman snapped, "How rude!" I hadn't really thought my sarcastic little remark was all that terrible; a little inappropriate maybe... So I immediately apologized. This woman glanced at me with slight surprise, then she said, "Not you - Rich! Making shadow puppets of Our Lady!"
Once we got over our astonishment, we realized she was sitting at such an angle that she couldn't see the picture hanging on the wall, so apparently when RB said, "And HERE is Our Lady!" and gestured, all she saw was the shadow cast by his hand on the wall, so she assumed he was doing shadow puppets. Now anyone who knows Richard Bonomo (who shares a name with the local Mafia don who controlled the Italian area of our town back in the day) could never imagine him making shadow puppets of holy personages! We immediately all started laughing hysterically, except for the bemused woman who had started it all. After twenty minutes, RB gained enough self-control to attempt starting the Rosary, but he glanced at the guy sitting next to him, who was trying mightily not to lose it again, and HE lost it!! Finally he said, "I have to find a book," and he disappeared into his bedroom for twenty minutes. When he emerged, he was not laughing anymore and in fact did have a book, which he insisted took the ENTIRE TWENTY MINUTES to find. Which is possible...
Monday, November 17, 2008
The second level of art would be that aimed at human beholders. Most people find the portraits painted by the old Renaissance Dutch and Venetian masters very beautiful, and so they are, because they were created with the patron in mind. Music up until the time of Beethoven was very much this way as well. I would say Beethoven was the first composer who seemed more concerned with his own creative ideas than with the listeners' perceptions. This has become extreme in modern art and music, to the point that the upheld ideal is not something which is easy to relate to but something "challenging," meaning most people do not care for it. Personally, I would think art, like any other commodity, should be subject to market forces. When painters and composers had to please kings and dukes, look what beauty they created! When they get grants from the NEA, look what downright subversive and smutty things they create using our tax money! And then we, the people who paid for this trash, are at best browbeaten for our populist tastes and failure to embrace ugliness, and at worst are accused of censorship for protesting having to pay for things that offend our religious beliefs, not to mention our sense of beauty! Sorry, censorship means you are not allowed to create this garbage. Nobody is stopping you from doing so; we are merely protesting having to foot the bill.
This brings me to the third level. Who is the "beholder" of so much modern art? It would seem that it is the artist alone, but perhaps it is someone more sinister than that. If God is beauty, then what would ugliness be? And who would be trying to pass ugly off as the new beautiful if not that ancient deceiver, Satan? After all, when an artist creates something not to please God or even other people but only himself, is he not in some sense making the same choice Satan did, to recognize himself above God as the ultimate judge of good and evil? And would Satan not want us to reject the truly beautiful in favor of the pornographic and sacriligious? When a crucifix suspended in urine or a play depicting Jesus as homosexual is held up as great art while an artist like Thomas Kinkade who creates beautiful landscapes is derided for being both "too Christian" and "too accessible," you can easily figure out whose side the critics are on.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
She came from south of the border and she joined our band. Let's call her Bridge Burner. She had joined and been kicked out of/left in a huff all the bands in her town, so she had to come up our way to find new people to play with. The basic issue with her is that she wants to play with groups, but she wants to go at her own speed (supersonic), style (staccato waltzes), and volume (FORTISSIMO!).
Bridge Burner attempts to play many genres. Our band is a folk band, although she tried to get us to change genres at a rehearsal that led to an email argument with our band's leader, culminating in an email from her that basically said: "#@! off, you #%*ing #@%$!!!" She also had a vicious argument with Hardingfele regarding the health and safety of a cat. Hardingfele told us for years that Bridge Burner was insane, so then she got to say, "I told you so!" (But my rabbits are still smarter than her cats!) (And the hedgehog is smartest of all!)
Bridge Burner also joined and left two symphony orchestras and has a running habit of signing up for a week-long Renaissance music festival, coming the first day, and never showing her face there again. Her pet peeve is playing without using music, but oddly she joined first a folk band and then an ethnic band, both of whose modus operandi were playing by ear. Then she complained about it and in both cases the mutual decision was that it wasn't a good fit, to say the least. The most extreme case of her hatred of playing by ear may well have been when she drove all the way up from her home in another state to join us at a hootenanny, and when she found out we'd be playing simple folk songs, that even Hardingfele's 7-year-old daughter can sing in the key of G, Bridge Burner turned around, got back into her car, and drove back to her home state. (Or maybe planet, it's hard to say.)
So now that she has exhausted her possibilities in this university town, she has had to expand her orbit. The last we heard is that she is driving to the closest big cities to find people to play with. This ought to keep her occupied for awhile, at least, since there are so many groups it will take her a few months (maybe even a year or two) to get on all their bad sides.
Famous Hat (with help from Hardingfele and her daughter "Rockstar Tailor")
Friday, November 14, 2008
At my previous job I one day saw someone carrying the sawed-off top of what I thought was a dracaena, and I offered to take it. My coworker also gave me the stump in a ceramic pot that weighed approximately fifty-eight pounds, give or take a ton. I put the very tall top (maybe four feet) in a vase, but it rotted so I cut it back and stuck it in the pot, where it happily rooted. Meanwhile the bottom had sprouted, so instead of one tall plant, I had two short ones. Everyone said to me, "That used to be Dr. Cheung's plant," so I took to calling it Dr. Cheung. Then one day Hardingfele lent me a plant book, and I realized Dr. Cheung was not a dracaena at all but a desert cousin, the yucca. No wonder it rotted in the vase of water!
When I got a new job across the street from my old job, there was an actual window in my office, but not enough room for plants as large as November, The Professor, and Dr. Cheung. One day Hardingfele and I carried them to her office, where she had a lot of window space; November got sicker and sicker until this present day, when it is recuperating in Plant World; but The Professor and Dr. Cheung were happy as could be in a southern exposure window. Then Voodoo Head did his magic and Hardingfele got a new job, so we moved The Professor and Dr. Cheung to the spacious elevator lobby near my office, which is nothing but windows. The Professor and Dr. Cheung were so happy! They basked in the sunlight and photosynthesized.
Meanwhile, Hardingfele had a scraggly poinsettia she had rescued from the cafeteria after Christmas last year, and a few days ago she stuck it in the elevator lobby next to my two plants instead of dragging it all the way to her new job in this cold weather. Nobody had said a thing about The Professor and Dr. Cheung brightening up the elevator lobby, but yesterday the chair (let's call him Dr. Trainy) asked if the plants were mine.
"They look trashy," he said. I owned up to being responsible for The Professor and Dr. Cheung but would only say the poinsettia had been "left there" by somebody. However, I did promise to get all three of them out of there. So last night Hardingfele and I drove to my job, and she carried Dr. Cheung in the 56-pound pot although I said we could use the mailcart. ("I needed the workout anyway," she grunted as she hoisted Dr. Cheung.) I carried The Professor, and her seven-year-old kid carried the poinsettia, which Hardingfele christened Trainy in honor of the man who had exiled the plants. We carried the plants through a driving November rain, brought Trainy to Hardingfele's new job and The Professor and Dr. Cheung to Plant World, which was already quite crowded. It took some creative rearranging to get those two great big plants in there! But now the adventures of The Professor and Dr. Cheung, who have heretofore led more exciting lives than some people I know, have given way to a peaceful existence. Like Bilbo returning to the Shire, they can dream about their past adventures, or maybe they don't give a rat's patootie as long as they can photosynthesize. Which they most definitely can in Plant World, and they have a history of liking fake light as much as sunlight anyhow.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I may not give Sylvia enough credit. I figured she didn't care if it were me or Hardingfele filling her food dish, as long as it was filled every night; but when I returned from New Orleans she covered me with kisses. I always think she is not as smart as the rabbits, and certainly she has no "social intelligence" like they do - they understand a surprising amount of what I say and are very good at getting their thoughts across to me while she never communicates anything - but now and then I wonder if she is secretly brilliant. Perhaps her name should be changed to "Houdini" (she came with the name Sylvia, after her previous owner's prickly professor) since she can escape from anything. And I mean anything. She has gotten into, out of, over, around, and through (?) all manner of barricades, cages, and blocked-off entryways. When she first came into my house, Cashmere was terrified of her although she is a fifth of the size of the rabbits, so I kept her (or tried!) in the back half of the house. Forget it - Sylvia would not be denied her freedom to explore every, and I mean EVERY, inch of my house. She likes to hide under things, and it's amazing some of the spaces she has squeezed into!
I always joke that Sylvia is the bratty kid sister who follows the bunnies around and does whatever they do, which is certainly true as far as the litterbox goes - if they decide for some reason that some patch of the carpet suits them better, she does too. (Which is very annoying since their little pills are easy to clean up, but hers is like miniature dog stuff.) And she is a diva. Once when I was doing the dishes, I heard a blood-curdling, ululating scream right behind me. After I got over my shock, I looked below the stove and found Sylvia sitting beneath it as happy as could be. Maybe she felt ignored...?
Perhaps the strangest stunt she has pulled is the Mealworm Breeding Program. The local pet shop has been unable to get mealworms, which are Sylvia's favorite treat, for months now. I thought she would be disappointed, but apparently she saved one and started a breeding program in her cage (which she hardly uses herself) because one day I found all sorts of them in there, and an adult bug as well. Argh! But I collected them and now she has mealworms to last until the dry spell is over.
Watch this space for video footage of Sylvia getting stuck in a sock or a toilet paper tube (if she will fall for it again), trying to turn herself over, and running. That is never not funny!
Monday, November 10, 2008
My officemate, who is half Canadian and has spent time in Canada, is even more into World War I than I am. She collects vintage posters and other WWI memorabilia. The two of us decided that, since the hospital we work at is adjacent to a VA Hospital, we would go buy some poppies to commmemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. And if you could find Remembrance Poppies anywhere, you'd think it would be a Veterans' Affairs Hospital, right?
We went to the VA Hospital on our coffee break, full of optimism and soon full of coffee as well. (There are many coffee shops all over the hospital complex, but our favorite is the one in the VA Hospital, Etes-Vous Pretes Coffee.) Off we went to the gift shop, which sold toothbrushes (teethbrushes?) but no poppies. The gift shop suggested we go to the front lobby.
In the front lobby we saw yet more coffee and an information desk, behind which were several gentlemen, one wearing a Remembrance Poppy. When we asked where he had gotten it, he said a town halfway to the next state over! Not the answer we had been looking for. He suggested we go up to Volunteer Services, so off we went.
When we walked into Volunteer Services, the people in there (who all looked like vintage WWII era) looked up in surprise and asked what we wanted. When we said poppies, we wondered if they thought we were looking for drugs or something. (In my childhood we had next door neighbors who actually cut the buds off our ornamental poppies because they thought they were opium poppies. Surprise! They never made that mistake again.) Volunteer Services stared at us like we had three heads, until we started to wonder ourselves. Finally one of them said Remembrance Poppies are only sold on Memorial Day, not Veterans' Day. So back to our office we went.
Our solution to this deplorable lack of poppies was this: we found a picture on the Internet (see above), printed it on a color printer with the poem "In Flanders Field" below it, and hung it up prominently in our office. I don't want to hear anyone saying how the younger generation doesn't care about the sacrifices made by our elders! When two Gen Xer's try to find poppies and can't do it, how would you expect anyone younger to remember what they have never been told? My officemate says they had to memorize "In Flanders Field" in Canada, and I remember poppies being sold when I was a child, but have we all forgotten? What a terrible thing to do, when even now young men and women are being sacrificed in this deplorable war (not to mention all the Iraqi civilians!). Let us never forget what any of them have done for us.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Perhaps Voodoo Head will work for you as well. Being a practicing Catholic, I don't actively endorse such nonsense, but if you are looking for a new job or hoping to improve your current position, feel free to download this image of Voodoo Head. (He scanned pretty well, don't you think?) Voodoo Head is a very photogenic guy, and who knows, maybe he will bring you good luck in your job search too.
Monday, November 3, 2008
"Some people who plan to repent at the 11th hour die at 10:45." Ain't it the truth!
"My boss is a Jewish carpenter." Get in good with him, and his old man will love you too.
"Where am I going, and why am I in a handbasket?" A question many of us should ask ourselves.
"Pro-accordion... and I vote!" This one is so random that you have to love it.
And here are some either illogical or offensive ones:
"Opposed to abortion? Don't have one!" Opposed to slavery? Don't own slaves! There are some human rights questions so basic that society has an overwhelming interest in overriding the opinions of the individual. It is always wrong to own other people, and it is always wrong to kill except in extreme cases of self-defense. (Invading other countries pre-emptively does not constitute self-defense, as both recent Popes have attested.)
"If you can't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?" False dichotomy. What about adoption?
"Get your rosaries out of my ovaries!" This one is so disgusting - it makes me feel like they consider women nothing but their reproductive organs - not to mention the religious bigotry. Can you imagine a bumper sticker that starts "Get your yarmulkes.." or "Get your turbans.."? Proof that anti-Catholicism is still a socially accepted prejudice.
Any mean-spirited spoof on the Christian fish, like a shark, a fish skeleton, a Darwin fish with feet (as if no Christians accept the theory of evolution), etc. See above. If any other religion were skewered in this way, the driver of the car would probably be arrested.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I did buy into that myth at the time. (Then again, I was also "pro-choice but personally opposed to abortion," which is as logical as saying, "I would never personally own slaves, but I can't impose my views on other people.") Now I am older and wiser and realize looks are meaningless; the most important thing is whether a man could build a house from scratch. The Ideal Man would be something like Richard Bonomo (though I only require weekly, not daily, Mass attendance) - if he had been on Gilligan's Island, those people would have been stuck for about three seconds. Then again, they probably would have wanted to stay there because RB could get cable reception and running water going, and why leave a private tropical island if you have all the amenities?
Sadly, there are women my age who still have no self-respect when it comes to men. I know one who fell hard for someone who just wanted a green card, and she is still in love with him even after he found some other fool girl to marry him so he could stay in this country. It is both frightening and pitiful to see how sure she is that they were meant to be together. Sure, I once thought that about my youthful mistake, but he married the Other Woman and I got on with my life. Are they living happily ever after or is she still cheating on him and giving him ulcers? Not my problem. I wish I could help my acquaintance get over her Green Card mooch, but she only wants us to tell her that she is right, and one day he will return to her. How I wish I could give her some self-respect! It's a wonderful feeling when you love yourself enough not to let others take advantage of you, and I wish it for all my sisters.