Monday, November 29, 2010

RIP Auxiliary Bishop

Tomorrow is the funeral for our retired auxiliary bishop.  He was a great guy.  Allow me to demonstrate with a few stories:

One evening Richard was having a party, and I was bringing a bunch of fruit (including a fresh pineapple) in a lavendar colander, so I set it on my head and sashayed into his house a la Carmen Miranda.  The first person I saw was a very dignified elderly man who introduced himself as the auxiliary bishop.  Before I could think of a response that might explain my appearance, he added, "I wish I still had hair like that pineapple!"

Once the auxiliary bishop was telling us how people were always insisting on feeding him and bringing him pies.  Kathbert commented that she should have been a bishop, and the bishop said he had some old vestments she could have.  We laughed heartily, thinking he realized she was Lutheran - and a female - but then he made a comment about her beautiful head of hair.  (To be fair to the bishop, I should point out that he is far from the only person who ever mistook Kathbert for a man.  Even Rich once stopped her as she was about to go into the bathroom at Our Lady of Perpetual Sobriety and said, "Wait - that's the ladies' room!")

When Mr. Why met the auxiliary bishop, he said he liked to eat priests.  Being a bit deaf due to his advanced age, the auxiliary bishop said that was nice, he liked to meet people who liked to meet priests.  Mr. Why said, "You misunderstand - I like to CONSUME priests!" and without missing a beat, the auxiliary bishop said, "You wouldn't want to eat me.  I'm way too skinny.  There's a much plumper priest who lives just down the road from me."

Maybe the auxiliary bishop and Mr. Why are laughing about that right now, wherever they are.

Famous Hat

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Post*

*PC translation: African-American Friday Post

It's Black Friday, and I am not shopping.  As a matter of fact, I am at my office, playing ePlush and blogging, because I am a very contrary individual.  Since today is a furlough day for state workers, we are not even supposed to show up at work or check email from home.  But I am just physically here; I am not working.  Today I got beaten on ePlush by a hippo named Special (like riding the short bus Special?) but the best was when I got beaten by a chicken named Sunday Dinner.  There is no way a kid named that ePlush!

Yesterday at Chez Bonomo there were 22.5 people at Thanksgiving dinner.  (The baby is the half a person, since he didn't eat anything.)  I had procured a 20-pound turkey (actually 19.9 pounds) and it was picked clean by the end of the night, despite the presence of several vegetarians.  (At least three.)  I mostly talked to Mr. Icon, who had great theological stories.  My two favorites:

Mr. Icon often visits the Jesus People (is this the official name of the group?  I have no idea), who are a bunch of evangelical types.  Last year they had a Good Friday service, which he found surprising enough, but during the Litany (which he said they "borrowed" from the Lutherans), they asked for the prayers of all the saints in Heaven and on Earth.  Did I mention these are Evangelicals?  He sat bolt upright in shock, and the guy next to him, a dyed-in-the-wool Jesus person, noticed his reaction and said, "Dude."

Mr. Icon's friend, who is also Catholic, said during Mass he often felt a movement in his soul, he wasn't saying it was necessarily the Holy Spirit, compelling him to pray for the repose of the soul of Martin Luther.  When he wondered if he should pray for the repose of the soul of John Calvin as well, this same voice - he isn't saying it is necessarily the Holy Spirit - replied, "Don't bother."

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Feral Kids

Today I asked Rockstar Tailor what I should blog about, and she said, "Feral kids."  I asked if those were kids without owners, but she tells me they are just kids who are out of control.  (She also wants me to refer to her as "Olivia" from now on, but for the sake of clarity I will continue to call her Rockstar Tailor.)

Since kids eat free on Tuesdays at Jerkins, Hardingfele and I took Rockstar Tailor and her pal Subcontinent out for dinner.  Hardingfele was a bit concerned that I would never be able to pass off Subcontinent as my own child, since I am very, very white and she is very, very black, but I figured Jerkins doesn't care which kids go with which adults, as long is there at least one adult paying for a full meal for every kid eating for free.  Rockstar Tailor and Subcontinent had lots of amusing stories about the "feral" boys on their bus who like to say "motherf--ker" and record themselves saying the F word on their iPhones.  Did I mention these kids are nine?  I am several times their age, and I do not own an iPhone.  But I digress.  Subcontinent came up with a novel way to deal with boys who say bad words on the bus:  she sprays Silly String on them.  Hardingfele thought that was more likely to get her in trouble than the feral boys, but I personally thought that was hilarious.  Then again, if Subcontinent were my kid, perhaps I would feel differently about the situation, like, oh, not supplying her with Silly String.

Hardingfele asked if Subcontinent had gotten the email she had sent her, and I was like, "You email your kid's friends?  You're just like my mom - she sends Christmas cards to my friends so her list will seem longer!"  But it turns out that Hardingfele had contacted the bus company about the feral kids on Rockstar Tailor's bus, and measures have been put in place to stop the nonsense.  Subcontinent's mother was wondering how she could get the same measures implemented on her own daughter's bus, since Subcontinent rides a different bus than Rockstar Tailor does, even if she does live right across the street.  (That's our school bus system in a word:  efficient.)  Apparently Hardingfele doesn't know the email address for Subcontinent's mother, so she emailed the information to Subcontinent instead.  And I'm thinking, if I were Subcontinent, would I really pass this information on to my mother?  Or would I continue to pursue vigilante justice with my trusty can of Silly String?  And while Hardingfele must once have been a nine-year-old girl herself, why does she have no memory of how they think?  (Mostly about boys, from what I could ascertain.  And how is that different from big girls my age, right?)

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Mysteries of Life

Today I slept in till noon, got up, and took a nap, but I did have time to do a few productive things, like ponder the following mysteries:

Why is it that plots that seem utterly compelling in a dream don't make any sense when you wake up?  For example, I am eternally working on a novel, let's call it The Great American Hat Novel, and today I had a dream that the hats would all meet in New Orleans on Spring Break, when one hat was escaping from a vicious employer and the other hats provided refuge in their hotel room... and then I woke up and thought, "That makes no more sense than the way the story is now."  Less, even.  But it was so great in the dream!  (Maybe Hardingfele can comment on this, since she is the only one who has read this book - besides me - and her assessment of it was, "It was so weird that I couldn't put it down!"  Would New Orleans on Spring Break make you even less likely to put it down?)

Why did my office mate Light Bright leave me a chirpy message saying she had hooked up the filter on my small aquarium the Tallis Palace, and it was working very well so I wouldn't have to come in to clean out the Tallis Palace, but when I stopped by this evening the filter was turned off, the Palace was filthy, and Tallis and Taverner are at Death's doorstep?  If it was working so well, why did she turn it off?  If she didn't turn it off, who did?  This is the kind of mystery that makes me want to never return to work.  In fact, it makes me want to change my identity, burn my fingerprints off with acid, and move to Mexico.  Is someone trying to give me a message, the kind of message other people get with horse heads in their beds?  I have never appreciated people making innocent animals suffer to send a message to other people.  You got something to say, say it to me - leave my fish out of it.

Do you think if I went down to New Orleans I could find some fun people on vacation who would give me refuge in their hotel room? 

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Staycation Update

I am really tired and have five minutes to blog, so who knows how much sense this post will make?  I have already deviated from my staycation itinerary; for example, I did spend a good deal of time on Friday cleaning.  (Friday was my Christmas, since December 25 is on a Saturday this year so we get a floating holiday.)  Then after the rosary with the girls, I ended up talking with Luxuli until 5:30 in the morning about such important topics as people who annoy us.  Luxuli taught me a new insult:  know how a black person who acts too much like a white person gets called an Oreo?  Apparently Asians who act too much like white people get called bananas because they're yellow on the outside but white on the inside.  And what do white people act like?  Apparently we stay up until 5:30 talking trash about annoying people.  But wait, Luxuli did that too, and she's Korean, so does that make her a banana?

Yesterday my besty Tiffy came up and we went shopping.  We didn't see anything too inspiring from a purchasing point of view, other than the necessities I had come to buy (you know, thrilling things like socks), but I did get inspiration for things to have at my department store, should I ever open one.  For example, we saw some simulated diamonds, and I said at my store I would have stimulated diamonds, and if anyone asked me if that was a typo, I would say, "No, ma'am, those diamonds are in a permanent state of arousal."  (Can you see why I do not own a department store?)  Then Tiffy was looking at sunglasses, and I asked if they were polarized.  See, the sunglasses at my department store would be polarized because the left lens would be a Democrat and the right lens would be a Republican.  Then we passed an e - yes, a little clay letter - and I asked Tiffy if she could use an e, but surprisingly she said no.  I said but an e is so useful, it's not like a Q that you would hardly ever use, plus you would have to get the U upgrade to use it.  Maybe at my store I would sell clay X's.  What is the point of X?  If you think about it, what does it do that a KS couldn't do?  Or a Z?  Seriously, can't you read these words?  Taksi.  (That is actually how they spelled it on the taxis in Istanbul.) Zylophone.  Or sometimes X is pronounced "Kriss," as in the word Xmas.  (It must be a word; Spell Check recognizes it.)

Then last night Tiffy and I went to an amazing concert of Bach cantatas, and today we watched our team spank that traitor Brett Favre.  Boo, Brett!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


I have so much vacation to use up before the end of the year that I am off of work from today until a week from Monday, and yet I will still have some left over.  So what am I going to do with all that time off?  How about an economical and relaxing staycation!

Thursday:  sleep in, do sudoku, play computer games
Friday:  sleep in, clean, no wait, do sudoku, play computer games, Rosary with the girls
Saturday:  sleep in, confession, hang out with Tiffy, go to Bach concert
Sunday:  Mass, brunch, hang out with Tiffy
Monday - Wednesday:  Anna Banana II and I will entertain the Mothership
Thursday:  THANKSGIVING!!!  - eat with Rich, the Mothership, Kathbert, Mombert, etc.
Friday:  sleep in, do sudoku, play computer games
Saturday:  sleep in, confession (if needed), another early music concert
Sunday:  Mass, brunch, nap

Notice a word prominently missing from each of these days?  Hint:  it's a four-letter word.  That's right, WORK.  It doesn't really matter what you do, if you're not at work, you're probably having fun.

Today, since I had some time, I inspected Plant World.  All my "Christmas" cacti are blooming or have buds, even the smallest cuttings.  Two of my orchids look like they will bloom eventually, but they are taking their sweet time about it.  All the plants seem happy except for, oddly, the spider plants.  Every one of those looks just awful.  The desert cacti don't seem so crazy about the fake light in Plant World either, so today I brought them over to Rich's house and set them in the window of his loft, which faces south and is very, very cold.  Desert cacti love sun, and supposedly cold will get them to bloom.  We'll see...  Of course The Professor, Dr. Cheung, Jolly Bob, and Greg are still at Rich's too, basking in the full southern exposure (plus skylight!) of the floor-to-ceiling windows in his breakfast nook.

The bunnies are happy when I am around so much.  They even both let me pick them up and snuggle them!  I can't say if Sylvia the Hedgehog cares one way or the other about my staycation.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Electric Koolaide Acid Litmus Test for Politicians

Toque McToque and I, being state employees, were discussing today whether the furloughs we suffer through apply to our esteemed elected officials as well.  Now while a furlong is 220 yards or one-eighth of a mile (or an Irish surname, isn't that interesting?), a furlough is basically a pay cut with some days off for compensation, since by union rules they cannot actually cut our pay or make us work any unpaid time.  Light Bright LOVES our furloughs and is hoping for even more, since the rumor is that our new governor-elect plans to double the number we currently have, but as I have previously mentioned, she gets paid a lot more than either Toque or me, plus she has a rich husband in another state, so what does she care?  Toque and I would like to know if the new governor-elect plans to give himself all these furlough days as well, and that got us to thinking of more questions we would like to ask politicians before an election.

My questions:

What is your stand on realtors killing palm trees?
What superpower would you most like to have?
If you found a $100 bill on the street, would you keep it? Would your answer change if nobody was watching?
Please write a short story (500 words or less) on the following premise: "A well-respected surgeon and his wife in Victorian London live in domestic bliss, despite the whispers about their children that don't look like him and questions about his sexuality, until tragedy strikes when they fall for the same man."
What is your sign of the zodiac? If you could choose a plant instead of an animal, what would you choose for your plant sign?
Who or what would you put on a postage stamp?

Toque's questions:

If you could eat only one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Do you wash your hands every time you use the bathroom, or only in public?
Were you a bully or bullied?
Are you willing to take a lie detector test?

Feel free to leave your own questions for politicians in the comments.

Famous Hat

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Banjo Player in Salt Lake City

Relating to my post on Mormon underwear, Banjo Player's travels have apparently taken her to Salt Lake City, and she has sent me some lovely photographs.  She regrets to tell me that she was unable to take a photo of any Mormon underwear, since nobody would show her theirs, but I said that's OK, we all know how secretive they are about it.

Here is the Latter Day Saints Temple from the outside.  It's kind of spooky looking.  Maybe I'll have to use this photo again on my Halloween post next year!

Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal.  It's on Thursday nights, just like the OTHER choir I sing in.  Unlike the Lutheran choir, however, hundreds of people show up for rehearsals.

The view from the University of Utah's Medical Center cafeteria is way better than ours.  (It might help if ours had windows...)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tallis and Taverner

The good news is that I got a new buddy for my little goldfish Tallis. It is orange with white tips on the fins, and I thought I had carefully selected a very active fish with long flowing fins and a thin body, but somehow once it was in the Tallis Palace, it looked stubby and chunky. I am afraid the girl may have grabbed the wrong one, and I now have two females. At first they totally ignored one another, but now they seem to be cautiously friendly, and Tallis does seem much happier for the company. Kathbert suggested I name the new fish Taverner, since he is another English Renaissance composer like Tallis. (Thought Byrd was the most obvious choice, Taverner makes a much better fish name.)  I will try to get a picture of Taverner to post on here soon.

The bad news is that the Powers That Be are wondering what is going on with my job search, i.e., when the heck am I going to get out of here? Believe me, I would love to be able to walk into my boss’s office and give my two weeks’ notice, but though I have gotten a few nibbles, nothing has materialized. They wondered if I hadn’t applied for a job just down the hall. Wouldn’t that be ideal? What could be better than having to see people every day who basically kicked you out the door? Since I am union, they have not been able to fire me yet, but I am curious to see if they will now start the process.

And I don’t know who to give credit for this, but I had to post it. (A fellow alto in the choir sent it to me.) Boo, Brett!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Save the Pyare Square Building!

There is a very cool building in our city called the Pyare Square (because it's round, see) that those in power would like to tear down.  Everyone I talk to likes the Pyare Square building, which is a nearly vacant office building, and personally I think it would make a much better bunch of condos than some of the buildings they either convert or just build.  Here is a picture:

In case that doesn't give enough detail for your taste, you are in luck, because I have a close-up:

It's not really the Leaning Tower of Pyare Square; I just must have had the camera at a funny angle.  This year the only Halloween party I went to was not a costume party, but there was a costume contest where Toque McToque works, and I thought about going as the Pyare Square building with a sign that said:  "Save me!"  My other idea was to be the mysterious upsilon statue in my neighborhood:

I did discover a plaque at the bottom of the sculpture, giving the name and artist:

It would be pretty amusing to dress like the upsilon, stand in front of it waving at traffic, and watch all the ensuing accidents.  But for now I will refrain from causing my fellow citizens to run into each other while rubbernecking at the crazy waving upsilon.

A couple of weekends ago the weather was beautiful, so I went for a long walk and brought my camera. However, I only ended up taking a couple of pictures.  Here is one of some beautiful trees:

And this is the Old Rugged Cross!  I found this behind a local Methodist church:

And finally, here are some pictures of some of my "Christmas" cacti blooming.  The one that blooms around Thanksgiving is covered with buds, so I should soon have some shots of it blooming as well.  Also, two of my orchids appear to be growing flower spikes, but they are moving at a very slow pace so I cannot promise when I will be able to put orchid pictures on here for you to enjoy.

Famous Hat

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Foundations of Mormonism: Holy Underwear

So I was telling my peeps about the Flow Chart to Choose a Religion (which can be found here), and Kathbert, Anna Banana II, and I all found out, after all these years of being either Catholic or Lutheran, that in fact we should be Moslem.  Rich, of course, turned out Regular Christian.  (There is no breakdown on this flow chart between Catholic and Protestant.)  Mad props to A-Joz for introducing me to this flow chart.  That much of the story might be vaguely amusing, but Kathbert was curious about the "magic underwear" path, and so we spent a great deal of time last night researching Mormon undergarments on the internet.  

I would like to let my 5.6 faithful readers know that, according to the first website we consulted, there is an enormous problem out there with websites disseminating erroneous information about Mormon underwear.  (This is according to, and I am not making this site up.)  Who knew that underwear misinformation was such a huge social issue on the World Wide Web?  We found stories about the undergarments and flatulence written by ex-Mormons, and some truly hilarious videos on YouTube, including one of a guy shooting a set of undergarments and another of some Australian guy buying a set and modeling them.  All I can say about this is:  Holy Underwear, Batman!

Actually, as a Catholic (and yes, I am still a Catholic, even after finding out I should be a Moslem), my underwear motto must be in Latin:  Semper ubi sub ubi.

(Thanks to Kathbert and Rich for contributions to the title and content of this post.)

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Amminadab: 2007-2010

Some sad fish news:  Amminadab passed away yesterday.  Now Tallis his little buddy is just moping around, and I don't know if she is sick as well, or if she is just depressed.  Should I get her a new friend?  I feel very bad for her.  Maybe Arphaxad and Amminadab just reached an old fishy age...?  In which case, I should definitely get Tallis a new friend!  But if she is sick, I hate to expose another fish to something.  Here is a picture of Amminadab:

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

True Adventure: KARMA

Here is a totally true story: a couple of weekends ago, Luxuli convinced Richard Bonomo, Kathbert, and me to look at houses with her. We saw one that had a palm tree sitting on the balcony, and I said what a shame that it was going to freeze to death. Luxuli said the family had already moved out, so I tried to convince Rich to climb up and rescue the poor palm, but he said that although he was capable of doing so, he would not steal. I called the realtor and inquired about the palm tree, and she said she would have to ask the family about it.

I could not get the poor palm off my mind as every morning I woke up to see frost on the ground. However, when I called the realtor, she said the family was in a foreign country, and she had emailed them but they hadn’t responded. So I gave it some time and called her yesterday, and we had the most unbelievable conversation:

FH: Have you heard from the family about the palm tree?
R: No, they’re in a foreign country.
FH: But you emailed them, right?
R: No.
FH: You told me you had last week.
R: I did, but they haven’t replied yet.
FH: Can you bring the tree into the house?
R: No, this man is a doctor and his house is very neat. That scraggly tree does not fit in.
FH: Then can I take it?
R: I’m not going to give it to you without their permission.
FH: So you’re just going to let it freeze to death??
R: It’s no concern of yours.
FH: It’s a living thing!
R: Why don’t you hassle his neighbors about their plants instead?
FH: They all took their plants in because it’s cold out. So you won’t bring it in, and you won’t let me have it? But why would they want it back once it’s dead?
R: They can throw it away once it dies. It’s their palm tree. Be sure and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.
FH: (incredulously) You mean besides the palm tree?
R: Yes.

OK, this woman just belittled my concern, was sarcastic and rude, and lied to me about emailing the family, yet she thinks I would hire her as a realtor???? I said I would be sure to tell everyone not to hire her and hung up. It took me a few hours, but it suddenly occurred to me that if this man was a doctor visiting this particular country, he could be a former coworker. This morning I looked up his address and BOO-YEAH!! So I shot him an email advising him to change realtors, then I sent her an email from my special email address of telling her about it. If you want to help me in my quest to ruin this woman’s career, contact me privately, because I better not mention her name on this blog. If you’re Rich, go ahead and pray for me. It’s too late anyway. Remember, hubie got demoted after being a jerk. Karma is some wicked strong stuff.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pictures of England

Today, my 5.8 faithful readers, I would like to present some lovely photos taken by A-Fooze for your viewing pleasure. A-Fooze is, as I may have mentioned, currently doing a postdoc at Oxford, which of course is located in Merry Olde England.

Salisbury Cathedral

Details of facade, Salisbury Cathedral



White horse in hill near Avebury

Stone circle at Avebury

Avebury Cathedral

Behind the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Merton College

Brasenose College

St. Giles Festival in Oxford

St. Giles Festival in Oxford

St. Giles Festival in Oxford

Camden Town in London, where the Goths hang out

Chinatown in London

Stable Market in Camden

Apollo Theatre in London

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Politics at Work

So today Mr. Sunshine the Delivery Guy stopped by the office and started badmouthing the Right Wing Whackadoos.  Light Bright cut in and said she was a White Ring Whackadoo (yes, this is what she said), but she was embarrassed by the extremists who are opposed to abortion and fetal stem cell research.  So I said, "Guess I'm an extremist, then, since those are the only issues I agree with the Right Wing on."  So Light Bright and I must be complete opposites, since she's clearly a Libertarian and I am either a Lefty for Life or a Crunchy Conservative, though I have never figured out exactly which.

One of the lab guys got a T-shirt from a company he buys reagents from.  Check it out!  When he got it, it was about the size and shape of a kitchen sponge, so that it why it is so wrinkly.  I am still amazed that they can compact a T-shirt that tightly.

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