Friday, August 31, 2012

My Flight of Ideas had a Three Hour Layover.

Hurricane Isaac has arrived. Except that he has been demoted to a Tropical Storm. Which would explain the steady, gentle rain we have been experiencing. With no gale force winds or torrential rains to report on, I imagine our weathermen have succumbed to severe Tropical Depression.

This is also the beginning of Labor Day Weekend. For my non-United States readers that means thousands of pounds of beef, pork and chicken will be charred beyond recognition on grills around the nation while people drink beer, fall off of boats and celebrate those hard workers that DO NOT have the three day weekend off.

When I was a kid, it was also the Jerry Lewis Holiday. We would sit around in berets, drink wine, talk with a French accent and watch The Nutty Professor and Who's Minding the Store. (Not really, but in retrospect that sounds like a whole lot more fun that watching the telethon for hours on end waiting for the Bay City Rollers to perform.) ((-Again, for you non-U.S. People, Mr Lewis once hosted a yearly telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. It 24 hours of variety show entertainment raising huge amounts of money. We would always cheer when the tote-board rolled over to show a dollar amount far exceeding Mr. Lewis's hope, thus causing him to break down in tears. It was awesome.-))

But, I digress. A tropically rainy day begs for a shopping trip especially when it coincides with payday and a day off. It is like a consumerism trifecta.

First stop was the wood store. There is nothing more to say. The jokes are just too easy.

Next, we hit my favorite grocers: *Trader Joes and *Whole Foods. I don't shop at either of these places regularly. Our bank has put a flag on my 'fancy grocery' account. Also, it is like an episode of SURVIVOR just to navigate the parking lots. These stores are in an area of the city that boasts a median age of 35-45 and a moderately comfortable income. Clearly, these people spend most of their hard earned cash on big ass cars. For shoppers who want only organic food, they seem to be oblivious to the fuel comsumption of their chosen mode of transportation. Of course, technically, gasoline IS organic...

My most exciting purchase today was beets. Red and yellow. On returning home I promptly prepped them for roasting. I L-U-V beet salad. I just have a difficult time spending $9 on one when I go out. So I figured 'why not'? I am a pretty good cook. I own knives, and an oven. I set to prepping as soon as I got home. I was aware that red beets bleed. I was not aware that yellow beets hate people. Probably for making their red breathern exsanguinate. It took me forty minutes to pare those yellow bastards into managable pieces. It was only through a bargin with God that I managed to keep all ten fingers. Not sure how my husband will feel our children becoming priests, especially since we are not Catholic and one of our kids is a girl, but I feel it was a fair trade.

So what does this have to do with Tropical Storm Isaac? I am getting to that.

As the red and yellow devils fried a firey death...I mean while the beets roasted, I ate lunch and read an article in the *Riverfront Times (picked up at *Whole Foods). The story was about a wine box possessed by a Jewish spirit. ( And I wondered what be worse – a hurricane or a pissed off Jewish Spirit who had been stuck in a wooden box for God (which ever one you chose to follow) knows how long. Hurricanes cause flooding, destruction of property and disrupt thousands of lives. Pissed off Jewish Spirits make your house smell like cat pee and probably make you feel really guilty for stuff.

My money is on the spirit.

So where does this bring us and what have we learned from today's installment?

  1. Hurricane Isaac is suffering severe depression.
  2. Weathermen still hate me.
  3. I should probably have spent my youth doing something besides watching telethons.
  4. I have readers outside of the US. (Thank you Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, India and South Korea!
  5. *none of these people are providing paid endorsements. But they should be, I am a fabulous spokes person.
  6. People from Brentwood probably hate me. (oops, meant to keep that one anonymous.)
  7. I love beet salad.
  8. I believe in pissed off Jewish Spirits. (and any other spirit denomination. I am an equal-spiritual believer.)
  9. and lastly, I really wasn't sure what to write about today so, sorry.

Have a safe and fabulous Labor Day Weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for Hairnets, Jewish Spirits, Rogue Beets and people from Brentwood. (They drive like maniacs in parking lots but otherwise I am sure they wonderful people.)

Arnold Palm Tree enjoys the rain and dreams of life on the Coast.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


The Coast of Illinois is on Alert! We have been warned that Hurricane Isaac is moving our way. Our weathermen are pulling all nighters in preparation. They are practicing waving their laser pointers at simulated pictures of the Arch as it is pummeled by waves from the Mississippi. They are standing on overpasses in their raincoats, microphones gripped powerfully, rehearsing phrases like "Its raining cats and dogs here on Highway 64" and "Back to you Dave, hope you're dry in the studio" while camera guys hurl buckets of simulated rain on them.

I imagine the graphics department is working overtime trying to create just the right icon to depict the horror we are sure to endure. We have the twirly tornado and the fluffy snow-spewing clouds which hover in the lower left corner of the television effectively blocking out the secret ingredient for CHOPPED. But so far, the only icon for Hurricane Isaac is a multicolored blob. Might I suggest a nice tropical rum drink?

We are no strangers to rough weather. We have our tornado drills and our snow storm emergency aisle at the grocery. But I am quite sure – if a hurricane can travel the 676.8 miles from New Orleans to St. Louis and wreak the sort of havoc it has on the Gulf Coast, well...I don't think any amount of bottled water and stock piled batteries will save us.

But just in case, I have stocked up on rum.

(Don't take this installment as a slam against the true devastation hurricanes can cause. I have a co-worker whose family had to evacuate and a former co-worker whose family remains on the Gulf Coast without power. Stories from the healthcare workers who survived Katrina are horrifying. As I see it, weathermen are the ones I am going to need to watch out for.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Got This One, Ralph Nader

*The following is an unpaid product review:

A sample of a AGE-PERFECT skin serum recently came into my possession. (Okay, fine. I got it out of my Vogue September issue. No one actually sent it to me.) This sample touted Instant Hydration, Increased Elasticity and MORE RADIANT, RESILIENT SKIN...after 4 weeks of use.

I haven't really measured lately but I feel that I probably have the typical amount of facial surface area as the next woman. So here's a news flash, L'Oreal. That tiny little 1.5ml sample you flaunt at my average sized face will never last 4 weeks. But, I guess *unpaid reviewers can't be choosers.

The sample was well perforated providing easy opening. The serum squished out a little haphazardly, reminding me of some rather disgusting bodily fluid but as the actual produce – as visualized on the sample card – comes in a cool dropper style bottle I will assume that actual retrieval of the serum is less anatomically eewwy.

Basically, the serum stunk. It did feel nice on my average size face and after many muscular test moves – sticking out my tongue and making 'Scream' faces – I did notice that my skin returned to its former shape, resiliently covering my skull. But overall, it smelled. Pretty bad. And that odor lasted for quite a while. Considering that this was only a miniscule amount, I would hate to think what sort of aroma would be emitted when the full size dropper topped bottle were opened.

The best thing I can say about the sample is at $19.99 for a full size bottle, I essentially received a $1 sample for the cost of my magazine. That's like the equivalent of one margarita for the cost of my **Chevy's flautas with mango sauce. That makes this a pretty good value.

I give it One Average Size, Well-Hydrated, Super Elastic, Nutria Moisturized Happy Face.

* I am emphasizing this is unpaid. However, I am not averse to being paid for my opinion. I am a creative writer. You WILL get your money's worth.

**I will give you double your money's worth for flautas, especially with mango sauce.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cue the Singing Waiters with the Huge Sombrero

Today is my sister's birthday. She is five years younger. This makes me the old sister and makes her the one who never kept her socks pulled up on her feet demanding that I tie them together as she rolled on the footstool watching HR Puffenstuff.

I vaguely remember a feeling of excitement when Dad told me I was getting a baby sister. It was short lived. I was forced to pull her around on a sled, which she found impossible to stay on, always rolling off head first into the nearest snow bank. SHE got to have her tonsils out and get cool non-birthday, non- Christmas presents while I was cursed with healthy, yet useless body parts.

AND we had to share a bed. You rarely hear of kids sharing beds these days. Just mention to co-workers that you slept with your sister – the looks range from curious pity to slight fear with the questions always turning toward the possibility of a show on TLC.

With the exception of three years away at school, I shared a room with my little sister. We were thrilled when Mom and Dad brought home bunk beds. I slept in that top bunk until I got married. (and NO – TLC is not interested. I have pitched it. They have asked that I cease and desist.)

Sharing a room for nearly twenty years will bring a certain closeness to people. Just ask the guys on LockDown. We share many of the same interests in books, music, movies. Now. As kids, that five year age difference was like the Grand Canyon. It wasn't until our brother was born that we began to bond. That bond evolved slowly over camping trips where she forgot all her clothes (a classic case of GOT your suitcase vs got YOUR suitcase) and scary scyfy movies requiring racing down the dark hall to our bunks before the Alien and the Amityville Horror teamed up to kill and maim us. (I was faster; she was meaner, but combined we were a 'heard of elephants' according to our Mom.) It wasn't until the night we lay in our respective bunks taunting our brother, IN HIS OWN ROOM, with the fact that we could get him to scream just by screaming ourselves – well – I knew I had a friend for life.

Happy Birthday Sister.

'Seriously Dad, I asked for a Malibu PJ'

(Don't worry Brother - you'll get yours soon enough!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fear the Thighs

I subscribed to a fitness magazine a few weeks back. It was an impossible offer to pass up. Not only did it promise me Abs to Die For and Fifty Meals under 75 Calories, the subscription price was $5 AND if I acted now I would receive the exclusive Elastic-Muscle Lengthening-Tone Your Entire Body Workout!

My giant orange rubber band came in the mail on Friday.

It took me a three days to study the pictures of the smiling models as they demonstrated the Easy to Learn Moves. Each one wrapped to some degree in the giant orange rubber band which promised a quick and simple way to strengthen and tone through gentle resistance.

It took me five tries to secure the giant orange rubber band under my foot for the first exercise. After the fifth snap and subsequent curse word my husband sheepishly crept up the stairs to see if I was OK. He was rewarded with a view of me on my back, legs in the air, giant orange rubber band wrapped around my legs attempting to perform what can only be described as a medically unsanctioned alternative birthing method.

He tried not to laugh too hard. I tried not to leave a mark.

Its amazing how far jello thighs can launch a giant orange rubberband.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hairnet RoundUp 08.24.12

It's been a busy two weeks for the Hairnet Watchers. We have had sightings in hallways, elevators and parking garages. However, I must initiate a new Watcher into the ranks. This week my Mom spotted her first Hairnet. At first, she was afraid to speak out. This is not unusual. But watchers remember – We are stronger when we use our words! After much support from family and friends, Mom finally told her tale.

She was walking from the grocery to her favorite Chinese restaurant to pick up Dad's General Tso chicken and her Sweet and Sour tofu when she spotted a suspicious blob lying on the sidewalk. She was unnerved but curious. Keeping our instruction in mind, she approached WITH CAUTION. The Hairnet was pressed against the brick wall of the strip mall, casually loitering. Making a wide berth, Mom made the trip around the Net, giving it a withering look as she passed.

Sadly, there are no photos of Mom's first spotting. Mom and Dad's cell phone is one of the oldest models out there and Dad just can't handle wearing the satellite dish on his head for the length of time it takes to transmit a photo. Thankfully, a kind police officer was there to document the incident. Below is the police sketch:

Artist's Rendering: Hairnet of medium weave. Believed to be capable of holding in baby-fine to coarsely curly hair.

In less dramatic but no less important news – A rather large Net was spotted riding the elevator in the South Tower of my place of employment. Nice job on the photos Mel. I also spotted one on the slip mat as I exited the elevator in our parking garage. These parking lot Nets are becoming rather routine and I am beginning to suspect that they may be part of a transitional program. 

Approach with Caution!
Leave this close up Photography to the professionals please.

That completes this edition of RoundUp. Keep those eyes open people. Weirdness is all around us and once you start seeing Hairnets, you can't stop!

(And please support your local Stray Pet Rescue and my friend Mel's Stray Pet Photography:

Random shout outs to people and things I support? Why yes, its good to be the blogger!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pythagoras was an Autumn

On my lunch, so this will be quick. I have made the general observation that there is a direct correlation between the number of initials after a person's name and the number of centimeters too short their pants are.
I believe this is the HighWater Equivalency.
(and take note- I used 'centimeters' as I work in science.)

Hairnet update-there was a very large Net resting on the black mat in front of the garage elevator. It was practicing its evolutionary camouflage. More on this and other sightings tomorrow in the RoundUp!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pick an Era!

Would someone please tell me just what time frame is covered by the phrase 'back in the day'. I suppose it is not as far back as 'yesteryear'. Does it cover 'in the good old days'? Seems like it might be a nice reference for shared childhood experiences. 

However, I am quite certain that 'back in the day' does not cover events within the last week. Or earlier today. True dat?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Give the People What They Want

This blogging thing is cracking me up. It seems that Google – who sponsors blogspot – provides several ways to track viewership. This is a luxury I didn't have on the old site. And as a result, I have become obsessed with the weirdness of my viewership.
I have readers, not only in the United States, but also in Canada and Germany – I know who you are! Much to my delight, I also have readers in Russia! I do not know anyone in Russia. I do have a nephew in The Republic of Georgia, but they are quick to point out, they ARE NOT RUSSIA.

This blog is public. So far, I have not been asked to advertise anywhere and the only links I send out are to Facebook and Twitter. Yet, somehow, a handful of sites have found me and it seems they like me (they really like me!) enough to return and it would appear – add a link to this site. As expected, Facebook is my highest source of traffic. But there are several I have never heard of. I decided to investigate the odd sites and – here is where it gets weird - my second highest referrer is a HUGE PORN SITE! From the looks of the pictures there, not only is it HUGE as in busy, it is also HUGE as in devoted to HUGE!

There are some that would say I was sort of asking for the porn industry endorsement with the title of this blog. To them I respond – Get your minds out of the gutter. There are enough Hairnets there already. I am just happy that the people who go to that particular site find my stuff interesting enough to return to MY site. And lets face it pervs also need to be aware of the everyday weirdness.

So, thank you readers! And as a special thank you to my Pervy readers, my I present...My Neighbors bush:

The rare Brazilian Yew

Friday, August 17, 2012

Suck It Dr, Atkins

So, not only am I devoted to getting people to see the weird and interesting in their everyday life. I am also dedicated to getting people to eat the weird and interesting as well. Food, that is, not people. Calm down, that's not what I meant either, this is not THAT sort of site...

Anyway... I have always been an adventurous eater and have happily raised a family of the same. We were enjoying hummus WAY before it was hip. Which leads me to the introduction of one of our favorite snacks: Scroodles.

These are boiled then fried corkscrew macaroni. That's right. Boiled. Then fried. And then liberally doused with garlic salt. The trifecta of dietary no-no's. Totally white flour CARBS – fried in CRISCO – the covered with SALT.


its like my arteries on a really hot day...

Oh, and Sorry about the Suck It, Dr. Atkins. That was really just an attention getting ploy. I am sure Dr. Atkins was a wonderfully delightful person, who before he became all Anti-Carb would have enjoyed Scroodles. God Rest His Soul.

Scroodles. Or, the crap they pull of out or your arteries.

PS - didn't Dr. Atkins actually die of a heart attack? Perhaps if he had re-examined the joy of deep fat fried noodles...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I am special.

I attended a training for my day job yesterday. It started at 0730. Why? Because I work at a hospital and apparently healthcare is only learn-able between the hours of 0730 and 1600. (That would be 4pm for you sane people out there.)
I am not a morning person. Now wait, let me be more specific. I was once a morning person before my mornings began at the butt crack of dawn. Thankfully, opposites attract and my husband, who actually CHOOSES to start his day at the Sacrum of Dawn – which is even earlier than the butt crack, offered to drive me to work.

I suppose I should also mention my disability here. I suffer from car-polepsy. Its like narcolepsy but in cars. As long as I am driving I am fine. But put me in the passenger seat and suddenly lottery officials are printing out tickets for Power Snore in which the winner picks the number of seconds it takes for me to fall asleep. This may be anywhere from minutes to well, minutes.

So, on the drive yesterday I was asleep within the first stop sign. We have several large intersections between our house and the interstate and it was at the last one that I woke. I bravely peeked out of my half opened eyes. Sitting next to me was a van. Not just any van but a maroon van of exact make and model as the one I have proudly driven since the days of Girl Scout field trips. I began wondering why my van was driving itself to work. I then noticed that the woman driver was smoking. There is no smoking in my van. She began to fidget nervously, presumably from my staring. I wonder if she has seen me staring because now I think I might know her. No, she is taller than the woman I am thinking of, but her hair looks the same and…oh crap, now she is looking at me…

I throw myself back into the seat of my husband’s car and take a long nonchalant drink from my go-cup and promptly burn the entire first layer of tissue off the roof of my mouth.  Man, that cup really holds in the heat. As he begins to accelerate through the green light he asks why I am panting and in a cold sweat. I recite my previous thought process ending with my biggest thought. “Do other people have these thoughts?”

“No,” he assures me. “No they do not. No one else I know thinks like you.”
Well. Guess that makes me special...and still pretty sleepy.

(This is a re-do of a previous post a year ago on my old website. As I am at a conference on trauma again today, I will be well prepared to deal with the burn injury I am sure to sustain next time I am forced to get up at this ridiculous hour.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


 (this is a reincarnation of an old post from a blog far far away...)

Could someone tell me – just when did clowns become scary? You mention 'clowns' to any adult I know and they turn pale, wring their hands and change the subject faster than Congressman at a press conference.

I use to love clowns. The clowns I knew growing up were the happy, non-threatening variety. Red Skelton's Clem Kadiddlehopper, Captian Kangaroo's Town Clown and the grandfather clown of them all – Emmett Kelley. These clowns were loveable bums just trying to get by. They stumbled through my favorite television broadcasts trying to solve problems in their bumbling mute manor. I could relate to their clumsiness in the way that only a middle school-er who tripped over the vault horse could. I just wanted to give them a big hug.

And I guess, this is where the notion of scary began to evolve. As an adult I wonder, why would anyone in their right mind want to hug a grown man wearing all that makeup and baggy clothes? There is no doubt that these clowns smelled – most likely of 40 ounce malt liquor. It is now obvious that all three were probably members of some hobo-fueled street gang whose weapon of choice was disarming charm. Their gang sign was the pantomime for a train whistle and they most likely had tattoos of the various balloon animals they created.

I look at the clowns that my children watched growing up: Ronald McDonald and Bozo. One is trying to kill everyone with 'happy' meals full of artery clogging fat. Never mind that his organization provides housing for sick kids and their families. You scrape away all that goodie-two shoes stuff and you have a modern day Hansel and Gretel witch luring children to his french fry play place.

And then there is Bozo. It was while watching Bozo's Circus that I began to notice the subtext, behind the makeup, the poorly masked disdain for all those screaming kids. He would call strange children down from the audience and on local cable television ask them to play with his balls in exchange for 'a surprise'. Really?

Driving home from work a while back I noticed a sign stapled to a telephone pole. In dripping blood red text it advertised Clowns...and more!! WHAT! From the shaky penmanship the sign looked to be the work of some demented mental patient who recently absconded from his cushy padded cell.I have no doubt that the poor mom who answered that ad thinking she was adding a touch of whimsy to her three-year-old's birthday would wind up buried in the woods beyond the post. Thinking it was just me, I mentioned the sign to a number of people and the reaction was the same: shocked speechlessness followed by talk of happy places and hiding under their beds.

Hello? Yes, can you send a half dozen minions of Satan over to celebrate my child's birth?

As an adult, the clown, just seems to be the embodiment of all we teach our children to beware of. Grown adults masking their true selves behind makeup dressed in intentionally deceptive big shoes; they are obviously up to no good. Stephen King used a clown as the consummate image of evil in the book "It". John Wayne Gacy painted picture upon picture of clowns...and we all know how well he turned out. Yet we insist on inviting clowns to birthday parties and allow them to fill the gaps between floats in parades. They stroll the pavement at fairs with their squeaky balloon animals and offer 'whiffs' from their squirty lapel pin flowers. In fact, at a recent event I saw an entire busload of 'Clowns for Jesus'. I am pretty sure Our Lord would not have the following He has now if He wandered the roads of Jerusalem in face paint and asked lepers to 'honk my nose' for salvation.

And think about it. The word 'clown' is never used in a flattering manner. You have 'clown' pants and 'class clown' . If a woman wears too much make-up she looks like a 'clown'. Face it- when was the last time you called someone a 'clown' and meant it in a complimentary manner?

As a child, I had no idea of the scary crap waiting for me in the big wide world. But now, after years spent working in hospital emergency departments and surgical venues, years spent raising children while married to a member of law enforcement, very few things truly scare me. But I must admit, outside of Sock Monkeys, clowns are number one.

I have no doubt that those practising the art of Clowning will take exception to my thoughts. And that is fine. Just pack yourselves into that tiny little car that miraculously seats seventy-five and keep on driving. With anyluck you'll do us all a favor and run over a pack of SockMonkeys on your way back to where ever it is that you keep those giant shoes.

Do Not Open the Door!

Monday, August 13, 2012

What You'll See Will Defy Explanation...

Watched the closing ceremony for the Olympics and all I can think is this: Curt Gowdy must be rolling over in his grave. A giant post-houmous head of John Lennon singing while tiny children from The Wall build a replicate of Lennon's head on a stage and now Russel Brand channeling Willi Wonka? 

And now FatBoy Slim is emerging from a giant balloon octopus? I had no idea FatBoy was not especially Fat, nor particularly youthful. (This just in from the research department -my husband - FatBoy's name was actually Quieten Leo Cook then Norman Cook. Which as my daughter just pointed out - Who actually changes their name to 'Norman'?) But wait! The Spice Girls are back together. No! Now Eric Idle has just flown out of a cannon and Freddy Mercury is goading the crowd in a sing-a-long.

And whoever this Jesse J chick is, she just landed on my husband's 'list'.

Clearly this was not the Olympics of my youth; an Olympics where gymnasts kept their hair is tiny ponytails at the nape of their necks and guys with enormous porno mustaches won all the swimming medals. This was well before the internets and Google.  I would sit glued to the television waiting to catch a glimpse of the culture and lifestyle of countries only seen in National Geographic. Music was provided by oompa bands and orchestras. I spent hours perfecting my Olga Korbut flight off the uneven bars and stuck that landing every time. (Never mind that the bars were in my mind and the neighbors wondered about the 'special girl' in the front yard doing sad cartwheels and speaking in gibberish.)

 Now producers feel they must rely on ever increasingly over the I don't know why. I still want to see the unique and different in the countries that are not our own. This is one of the reasons that the Olympics are so wonderful. I still cheer for our teams but I also cheer for those that strike a cord for their differences, their sacrifice, their ability to keep on going after a spectacular crash. In the end - I cheer for the achievement of actually competing and I cheer for those seventeen days when the world celebrates its same-ness and not its differences. 

I will admit it. As crazy and unexplainable as the opening and closing ceremonies were, I still get teary-eyed when they light the torch and declare the games open and I do it all again with the closing and the promise of more spectacle in two more years in Russia and four more years in Brazil. 

So maybe Curt is merely twitching because in the end, Change IS Good...even if I can't figure out what the frack is going on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hairnet RoundUp 08.10.12

Its been a slow week in the Hairnet spotting biz. I did see one particularly soggy Net lying beside a storm drain. However, it was a little too dark for a good photo with the Ipod and frankly, just a little too gross.

A fellow spotter sent out an alert regarding a guerrilla Hairnet attack in her garden in Tennessee. I have come to the conclusion, based on the Tennessee location and the fact that the Hairnet still had a price tag dangling from it that it was most likely lost and looking for the Grand Ole Opry.

Still, seeing Hairnets is not just about...Hairnets. It is about keeping your eyes peeled for the strange and weird things that most people miss in their day to day lives. Be it an eighty year old man riding a bike in a vintage three piece suit or a whole roasted chicken, still in the package, lying by the side of the road. These are the quickly passing sights that take the boringly everyday to great heights of silliness and wonder.

Which brings me to this weeks Hairnet RoundUP photo of awesomeness. Allow me to introduce SQuirrel, the praying gangsta squirrel. SQ lives in the gigantic maple bush at the side of our yard. (A maple bush, for those that have never seen one, is a maple tree which was cut down yet through perseverance and bad pruning managed to continue to grow, sprouting what are now tree trunk sized offshoots from the stump. It serves as sort of a Bedford-Sty housing project for squirrels and other urban animals.)

When he is not harassing the cat, SQ seeks atonement for his various gang related deeds.He says grace before pillaging the bird feeder. He bows his head before imbibing at the bath. Sometimes he just stands around looking innocent, hoping the Animal Control don't come bust him for chewing up the wiring in the attic.

Ladies and Gentlemen: SQuirrel ~

"Man, those ain't my nuts. Those my cousin's nuts. I was just holding them for him."

Thursday, August 9, 2012


No real update from yesterday or today - at the day job, or as I like to call it in hopes of a huge tax deduction - RESEARCH. 

Anyway, tomorrow will be Hairnet Happenings! Got any Hairnet sightings? Seen anything else unusual? Let me know. We must all stay diligent people! 
(photos, while disturbing, are welcome.)

Start Seeing Hairnets: because once you Start Seeing Hairnets you will never stop Seeing Hairnets.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Super Size Me Pepperidge Farms!

Pepperidge Farms – I salute you.

You have refused to cave to the pressure of 'super sizing' and still maintain that your tiny boxed, frozen cakes serve eight when it is quite clear it only serves four.

I purchased a Pepperidge Farms frozen Red Velvet cake for dessert this evening. I was briefly tempted to bake an actual red velvet cake but given that is has been hotter than Mathew McConaughey's shirtless chest here on the Coast of Illinois, I eschewed the apron clad heat of the oven and took the instant gratification of the prepared cake.

As a child, Pepperidge Farms cakes were a delicacy. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home with a stay at home mom. She was called a 'homemaker'. She baked outstanding desserts but for special occasions we were indulged with the purchased bakery item. As I recall, these cakes served eight quite nicely with a slender slice of semi-frozen cake topped with peel-able frosting.

It was delicious.

So, imagine my surprise when I opened the box to find an eight by eight pastry. I studied the box, which clearly stated 'serves eight'. I cut the cake into fourths. The fourths into eighths. I was met with laughter and what I believe to be muttered obscenities. (Okay, the obscenities were coming from me.)

I tried to pass the tiny slices off as VERY LARGE PETIT FOURS.

In the end, my family of four ate three fourths of a cake. We are not large people. We just like dessert served in a reasonable size.

It was delicious.

Here is where I would insert a picture of the last piece of cake. However, because I sat the still warm plate of BBQ on top of the box, the peel-able frosting was stuck to the top of the box and I feel the mangled remains would not be representative of the spirit of Pepperidge Farms. So instead, I am inserting a picture of my Mom, with one of her amazing homemade desserts. Both serves a family of five.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mean Girls

There is a gang of Mean Girls at my train stop. They stand in a herd with their helmet hair coifs and their jjill business casual. It is junior high, frizzy hair, homemade pantsuit bus ride all over again. One of them must be pretty bright – they have figured out how to wait directly in the spot where the train door opens. And, they have learned that the Blue line originates at our stop thus giving everyone a fair shot at a window seat.

Only they don't take the window seats. They don't even sit together. Each one takes an aisle seat then – in clear defiance of commuter train etiquette – they park their day's supply of purses, lunch bags and totes in the window seat effectively blocking other passengers from sitting next to them.

There is one who exercises her free will and sits in the window seat, parking her bags in the aisle seat. I have witnessed her moving her belongings for other riders. Clearly she is the weakest member.

Easy to cut from the herd...

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I rarely update on Twitter. I am unclear about the real use of the hash-tags and at-marks. So...I just make up my own.

Today's tweet: There is not enough syrup for these pancakes. @pancakeassponge.

It seems there may actually BE a 'pancake ass sponge' out there.

I probably need to quit Twitter.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Start Seeing Hairnets!

I see Hairnets. Everywhere. Well, not just Hairnets. Toilets broken in half, raw TV dinners – lean cuisine to be exact, a kid on a bike carrying a human head... (Okay, it turned out it was just a Halloween mask with a full head of hair, but still.) I have taken to noticing some unusual things along the side of the road. But the most consistently spotted and most disturbing of all are the Hairnets. It started back in July of 2009. During the four block walk to the parking garage I counted no less than eight discarded Hairnets. They lay like tiny hair encasement tumbleweeds on the broken sidewalk. I could almost hear the beginning strains of High Plains Drifter.

During the next two months I began spotting Hairnets everywhere. At first they were only out of doors, lying on the sidewalk or huddled in a corner by the steps, sharing the warm air duct with last night’s homeless guy. Then they began to move in doors. I found one flattened on the up ramp of level six. (Bad parking day.) There were several congregating in the stairwell leading to my department. A particularly bulky one was lounging on the bench in the lobby. My sister even found nonchalantly riding the Metro!

Then the biggest sighting – an entire half head of hair was spotted lying in the on-coming traffic lane of Duncan. A Hairnet drifted past. Later that day, a co-worker found not one but two surrounding her parked car. They were gathering. We were scared. I began to arm myself with Aqua-Net and we instituted a ‘Hairnet security rating’. Sightings decreased. It was as if they knew.

I was lulled into a false sense of security. I left work one Thursday night, late and alone. I had been warned that it was unsafe but I did not heed the voice of reason. As I entered the elevator vestibule for my ride up to the down ramp of level four I spotted it. The net was medium build but with a heavy mesh. It sat in a ball directly in front of my elevator. I eyed it warily as the door opened and stepped around it in what I hoped was a nonthreatening yet dominating manner. Once inside the elevator car, I frantically pressed the door closed button while giving a sympathetic smile and shrugging as the doors inched shut. I hoped my expression said “so sorry, I am pushing the button, it just won’t open back up”.

The net was still there the next morning, waiting…

Sightings of Hairnets are on the rise! I have people out there – on the front lines – sending me pictures and it makes me wonder, if we are just now seeing Hairnets...just what have we been MISSING all these years.
You are probably thinking - wow, a little over dramatic. And what's with the capitalization of 'hairnet', come on, its only a hygiene assistance device. Well...that's exactly what this poor person thought:

And all that was left was a grease spot and a hairnet Hairnet.