Airy-Fairy Hippie Dream


Donovan Plans Meditation University

"For a country the size of Scotland it would take only 250 students meditating to protect Scotland from its enemies and to bring peace, to stop violence and drug abuse,"

Happy Halloween to Ted and Noralynn, you little hippies. Hope have on your beads and neckties and that you’re wearing your love like heaven. Hail, Atlantis!

Saints of Suzette


Once a Catholic, always a Catholic, no matter what you want to call yourself – that’s what I say. I’m not overly religious, or overly Catholic (despite the fact that I bring it up regularly here) – I’m more into the dogma, the rules and the consequences. But that’s just me. My real religious philosophy is that  a person should stay what they are in the first place because if you can’t find your inner spirituality there, you’re not going to find it anywhere else.

Now that that’s out of the way, here is my line-up of saints for November:

St Joseph. Should I bury the statue? Heat season is approaching and I wanted to sell the old house before the furnace turns on. Feet up, Joe – you’re goin’ down.

St JudeSt Jude has a festival? I guess so. After all, who among us doesn’t have a pesky hopeless case to be rid of?  Look – a twofer! How convenient – I wonder if that $11.79 is tax-deductible?

I read an article somewhere about how the Catholicism of the Irish was based more on superstition and fear and that of the Italians was more of a free-wheeling debate with God.. As soon as I saw those written words, I remember a friend  telling me that when she was a child, her grandmother would  make her hamburgers on Friday because "God wants you to eat." I couldn’t process that because the rules of the church were so written-in-stone for me. Lithuanians, maybe all Slavs,  fall into the superstitious camp.

So I guess that its like comparing running into a brick wall as compared to ebb and flow. Now as an adult,  I feel secure in my own decisions about the big moral ethical issues without first checking in with Rome, then I can certainly get that debate thing, only now I call it informed decision-making.

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Although, I still don’t get how a person of German background from a church-going family can live his whole life without owning a Nativity set and never even miss it. I wonder if I made him a gingerbread Nativity, if it would survive shipping to Texas?

The Haunting of Suzette


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Things are not always what they seem, my friends. Here we are in the first chill week of the year here – just as you are starting to feel it in your bones and pine for the easy days of summer, the sun slants low and floods your office and warms you and makes you happy. "Why bother striving on your own, having to take care of yourself? Don’t worry" it says. "With me, you’ll have everything you need. Join me. Come to the village – we’ll take care of everything. You won’t even have to think."

But beware! This is a devilish trick to blunt you and make you drowsy and lazy – stay alert! Watch the signs! They’re shown themselves to taunt you, to let you know that no matter what words are used, it’s still the same old devil, pedaling temptation and trying to lure you over with empty promises,  but waiting, waiting to take the spirit right out of you. – There it is! Right at the top of the arm of the chair. It’s burned into the wood, you can still see the smoke rising up from it – I think I smell sulfer, too. Look closely – see it? Behold the image of evil!   Ayyyyyiiiiii!

Run! Run away before its too late! Ayyyyyiiiiii!

In other methods of terror, behold the hunter green door as a compliment to grape wall color. Then add in a teal chair, and a carpet done up in khaki, olive and sage and the triple surge protectors of doom. This Halloween season gets rougher every year, doesn’t it?

Suzette Unfinished


I have a collection of post drafts in my files that I started then abandoned. Some are just random notes and some are several full paragraphs. I no longer have an interest in retaining them, so I’m just piling up the titles and ideas here before I discard them entirely. I do this to get it on the record that I occasionally have more to talk about than business travel and how beautiful my hostas are. Except that I didn’t follow through so I guess that is all I have to talk about.

Distantly Related To Greatness This was about Boris and his audition for Stupid Pet Tricks on the Letterman show. See how cleverly I referenced the recurring Late Show feature "Brush With Greatness"? This one is notable because I actually worked the information into another post, instead of letting it go entirely.

The Escalation of Suzette To bad I never followed through with this one. It was about a plan to leave comments around the internet, a progressive number each day. I do like putting "Suzette" into the post title and I may continue to do that until I grow bored. Possibly tomorrow.

No One Likes A Good Infomercial More Than I Do  Undeterred by his legal spanking for hawking phony cancer cures, Kevin Trudeau is pushing his easy weight loss book all over the wee small hours. Turns out this involves 30 consecutive days of colonic cleansings and 45 days of injecting yourself with Human Growth hormone. Effortless!

I Know You Are But What Am I? All questions – (1) Who doesn’t like singing along with to "Before He Cheats"? (2) Isn’t it so amusing that the phrase "white trash version of Shania kareoke" is used as a put down? (3) Isn’t the whole country music genre white trash? (4) Am I not white trash too for liking this song? (5) Can somebody please teach me how to shoot whiskey?

Ego Sum Promptus I don’t know what I was trying to convey here but I suspect that Babelfish was involved. The only notes in the draft say "Latin Mass" and "wearing hats in church". Have I mentioned that I look good in any hat?

Snapshots from California: Fess Parker Liberates the 405 This one is from January of this year. : "California fairly drips with  good wine and none but the fool would surrender the opportunity. Queen of the wild frontier,
if by wild frontier you mean doors slammed shut, aphasia and jaws
clamped shut by despair. The oasis shimmers in the distance but it
demands the movement of my own hand to liberate me
." What a mess. Who was that person?

 

Give Me Your Ignored, Your Unwanted, Your House-bound Canines Yearning To Run Free


People want to give me dogs. And I want a dog – it’s weird and unsettling to be without one for the first time in 25 years. It must show on me when I’m walking around. I’m dogless and it’s not my natural state.

J
Dog #1 – Joey the Papillion. The secretary where I work now has been a long time owner and trainer of Paps. She has two now – Jack, the toothless 16 year-old and this rambunctious 18 month old. Her only daughter just produced the first grandchild and she wants to move closer to them but her apartment options are limited because she has pets. She’s considering finding a new home for Joey, who is a ton of energy in a 6 pound package. When he was younger, his owner was carefully putting him down on the floor, two legs at a time, when one of those legs snapped. Very delicate, very affectionate.

Pros:

  • fits in a purse
  • lovely dog suitable for a lady
  • long "hair" that does not tangle
  • fits in the bathroom sink for bathing
  • minimal food expenses/minimal poop pick-up

Cons:

  • sissy
  • has a stupid name
  • very delicate structure

B
Dog #2 – Bugsy
the Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier. This 2 year-old is currently in the custody of another person in the building where my office is. She has a close relative with a history of buying dogs and then ditching them. Previously, she’s gotten rid of 2 perfect golden retrievers (because she was getting married) and 2 perfect Labrador retrievers (because she was pregnant). Now she’s got a cocker spaniel and this guy, and says that her children are allergic to dogs so she off-loaded Bugsy to my building mate. That might not be his name exactly, but it’s something equally bad – Buster or Buford, something like that. He lives now with a couple who have another dog and a big unfenced property in coyote country. That means he has to be walked, unlike the resident dog. He also dominates the first dog, which they can’t tolerate that so they are looking for a good home for him.

Pros:

  • more of a regular dog
  • actual dog size
  • good natured

Cons:

  • big galoot
  • terrier = digging
  • that beard is always going to be wet
  • comes from dopey people

So, I don’t know. Both are good dogs, pedigreed dogs, which means nothing unless you want to breed them but they are both true to their breed temperament, and proven socially. Joey is a lover not a fighter and Busgy survived life with small, unruly children and at least 2 other dogs, so he has to be fairly mellow.

You should also know that I have no qualms whatsoever about renaming a dog.

In other news, not directly related, inflatable corgis:
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Corgi_dog_2

I love how they have captured the amazing resemblance to a big baloney.

Breasts Like Martinis


I confess that poetry – sometimes even the word “poetry” – makes me yawn, but every now and then, something comes along that stops me in my tracks and this is one of those times:

Breasts Like Martinis by Jill McDonough

The Fray is filled with love and hate for this piece. Is that the measure of a good work? Or it is merely earnestness, snark, misogyny and pious opining about Breast Cancer Awareness month?

Window To The World


Peg Bracken died today.

Way back in the day, the only glimpse of fame and glamor that came remotely near was was thanks to Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas, even if the fame and glamor was personified by the likes of Ethel Merman, Ann Miller or Steve & Edie. I didn’t really know who they were, but they were all dressed up and seemed to be having so much fun. One frequent visitor to those shows was Peg Bracken,  talking about her best-selling book The I Hate To Cook Book.

No housewife, mother, or other female figure known to us was like this – a woman who did not see her destiny as hearth and home. Little did we know at the time that she had a successful career as a copywriter, or as it was said then, she was a woman who went to business. We didn’t know any women who went to business, or even that there was such a  thing as a copywriter. If it had turned out that she worked in a factory or was a department store clerk, that we could have related to. but we did recognize the clarion call she was trumpeting – she didn’t glorify the life of female servitude we accepted as normal. A breathtaking hint that not everything was like Wilkes-Barre.

I remember her as being wildly funny, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why. She wasn’t like Phyllis Diller, who you could tell was only fantasizing with her tales of substandard homemaking. No, this one was talking what she lived. Maybe I was simply giddy with the idea of it all, or maybe I was anoxic from holding my breath, waiting for someone to come who would put her in her place. I never laid eyes on an actual copy of the book, but I never forgot about it either.

Peg
Only a few years ago, I got a copy of it for Xmas from the eBay holiday fairy herself. It was perfect when she bought it – here it is wearing a tasty dust jacket that met up with Harry the Rabbit. The idea was that I would make fun of it in my cookbook reviews at The Soup, but I could never bring myself to mock it.

The beauty of it was not so much the recipes themselves, but the introductions. Here’s an example from Chapter 2: The Leftover, or Every Family Needs A Dog -

"Do you know the really basic trouble here? It’s your guilt complex. Its the cookbooks you already have that are to blame for your bad concience and, hence,  your leftover problem. They seem to consider everything a leftover.  For instance, cake. This is like telling you what to do with your leftover whiskey. Cake isn’t a leftover; cake is cake and its either eaten or it isn’t. You certainly don’t want to let the cake get stale so that you can make a Stale-Cake Pudding for the family – they’re the ones who left so much of it in the first time, remember?"

You cannot imagine what near-blasphemy thoughts like this were. In the whole town, there was not a woman who would so much as utter the word "whiskey" out loud,  let alone reference it in a cookbook. Neither would they throw out a leftover, a crime of equal magnitude.

Times change. So let’s hoist some Fake Hollandaise and make some CanCan Casserole and hope that old Peg is gone to a place where there are no more potluck suppers. Peg’s closing words capture the guiding spirit  of The Soup. Turns out those afternoons in front of Merv and Mike were preparing me to be the Soup Lady.

"Understand now – you needn’t actually make these things.  Unless you are absolutely up a stump and the chips are down, you merely need to talk about making them.  For, while they’re good, and easy, still it is more trouble to make them than not to make them; and my feelings will not be a bit hurt if you don’t. I will understand."