Sunday, April 30, 2006

Cruciferous Vegetable Update

Bearded Dragons eat cauliflower; Box Turtles do not.

Some people cook; I laundry.

When it came time to buy appliances, I asked the salesman which range was the cheapest, and I took it. Couldn’t care less. They all heat frozen pizza, right? The washer dryer combo on the other hand was the best money could buy. I’m already feeling inadequate as they came out with the steam chamber dual dryer feature not long after. But the stove? Low miles. Looks new. Just a big white thing to wipe when cleaning.

As an avid meal prep-a-phobe, my eating habits are pretty bad. If it can’t be eaten out of the package, made with three ingredients or less, or involve nothing more complex than “microwave on high, turning tray half way though cooking time”, I’m just not interested. As I’ve said before, cooking is like milking a rattlesnake for anti-venom; it’s a dangerous task best left to professionals.

Mr. Right on the other hand, has the makings of a great cook, if only I could get him to do it more often. The only problem is he makes meals that are so unhealthy Ronald McDonald would cringe. Every entrée involves the killer combo of ‘crumble fresh bacon’ and ‘fry in bacon fat’. Thank goodness the planet is in such sad shape I have no desire to live much longer anyhoo…

A recent newspaper article on how to make the perfect poached egg caught our eye last week, and Al decided to give it a whirl. What a difference the whole left-brain/right-brain approach makes!

I consider a recipe to be a guideline. A general idea. A your-results-may vary (in my case: stink) kind of thing. Those little numbers besides the differ rent items? Suggestions. I mean let’s not get all anal here; a ¼ tsp. means a pinch. Just throw some in and move on. Not for Mr. I’ve Got to Do This Right.

Yes, folks, it’s time for another episode of
Cooking With An Engineer!

The first clue I was in for a culinary treat was noticing he was holding a tape measure up to a saucepan. Excuse me? I asked. The article says at least three inches of water, he replies. Hmmm. Ok, maybe that’s why nothing I make comes out vaguely resembling the photo, but a tape measure? Really. What’s that in millimeters? I ask, trying to throw him off track. Too late. He’s already got the pot on, awaiting the magical boiling point. I continue to read my paper,

Now it’s getting good. He’s standing there with a meat thermometer, trying to deduce the precise moment that the 212-degree water drops to the desired 180 degrees. Sheesh. Again, I suspect his attention to detail will pay off, but really, who has this kind of time?

Now he smashes an egg into the water. You’re supposed to slide it in, I gasp. I know how to break an egg, he retorts. Yeah. Right. Whatever.

Now he’s going much slower with the second egg. Did you measure those with calipers? I ask. You want them the same volume, don’t you? Undeterred, he continues. Gallantly, he gives me the second, gentler egg.

Have to say, that was the best poached egg EVER.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I Resemble That Remark

"I envy paranoids: they actually feel people are paying attention to them."
Susan Sontag

Friday, April 28, 2006

How Opal Mehta got Her Book Yanked Off the Shelves

Dear Little, Brown (Or do you prefer Hachette?):

Please allow me to jump on the bandwagon for just a moment and point out the amazing similarities in Ms. Viswanathan’s text How Opal Mehta Tot Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life and my blog: an obvious and blatant act of plagiarism worthy of several million little dollars worth of redress.

The main plot element of the book is that of parents trying to help their daughter gain Harvard admission after being told she needed well-rounded real life adventures, not just a stellar GPA. They devise a plan dubbed How Opal Will Get A Life, or HOWGAL, that involves her attending teen parties and finding a boyfriend.

1) The title. Do we even need a number two here, your honor? I thought not.
2) If I must persist, the theme of the book and my blog are the same. Female outsider seeks approval and acceptance, realizing popularity and designer clothes are a must. I didn’t see much about sports cars, but her love interest has a 72 Mercedes he considers one of the three most important figures in his life.
3) My parents just hoped I’d move out and not come back.
Ok, that isn’t much of a parallel here.
4) The letter “E” is used more than any other in both her book and my blog!Coincidence? I think not.
5) “Dedicated to TK” I know a TK!!

Well, if you had any question over who has the best lawyers, score one for Random House. Copies of Kaavya Viswanathan’s new book have been recalled. No word yet on who she will be ‘inspired’ by for book two.

Read some great debate on the subject

Who Knew?

Preliminary clinical trials indicate reptiles do not like cauliflower.

This Stinks

Well, Something Was Afoot…

podiatrist was given the death penalty for killing a patient of his who was about to testify in his fraud case. He was also convicted of bilking Medicare for more than 6,000 foot surgeries he never performed. Sounds kind of corny, doesn’t it? He was quite the heel. OK, I’ll stop with the blistering commentary….

Will a Frango Under Any Other Flagship Still Taste as Sweet?

Still seething from the impending Macy’s takeover of the Marshall Field’s chain (are they going to rename it Macy’s Museum of Natural History?* The heretics!!) I am eyeing the Frango flap with skepticism. Too little, too late, I fear. As per my earlier posts, I see no reason to change the Field’s name and have sworn to never shop there under the Macy banner.

Amazingly, an
article on the front page of the Chicago Tribune points out some tempting reasons to re-think the prohibition on spending my hard-earned retail dollars at 111 N. State ever again.

Seems Macy’s is trying to get Frango production back into the city, something that never should have left. Yes, it’s due to foreign sugar competition (I tend to be anti-free trade, unlike
KaneCitizen. But let’s face it; I’m pretty much anti-everything.) but the candies weren’t cheap to begin with. Oooh! I wonder if the Gold Coast condos give those out for Halloween? Only one way to find out…

They also depict a tasteful awning that says Macy’s below the metal nameplate of Field’s, which will be allowed to remain on the building. I guess the clock stays too.

Refurbishing plans include washing the building (oh, that will stay clean about as long as my car. The black one.) and restoring the elevator to the 28 shop. Like I could ever dream of shopping there. We kind of wandered through it on our
audio tour, and saw some cool funky outfits that would require a large inheritance. Also on the drawing board are plans for valet parking (like I’d drive downtown?) and having customers announced by a doorman and greeted by their favorite sales associate. Oh, I’ll get that service, I’m sure. More like the You Can’t Afford This, Keep Moving raised eyebrow. I get that one a lot.

One of the more unusual features will be the addition of a fresh food court. Great. I can buy an orange on the lower level, and by the time my hands are good and sticky I’ll be on fourth-floor furs. Stellar idea.

But they haven’t announced the scale-tipper. Will they clean the ladies restroom???

*I need to do some research. What if Macy’s owners are a bunch of Creationists?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Million Little Similarities

Quick! Hide your manuscripts!

So I was sitting around doing what I do best (seething over the good fortune of others) as I read the tale of the 19 year old college sophomore at Harvard who received a $500,000 advance while still in high school. Nothing makes my day more than knowing I’m a total failure. A big, fat, over-the-hill failure.

However, just days later, Kaavya Viswanaathan, author of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life by Little, Brown, is under intense fire amid
charges of plagiarism. Turns out her book has passages that mirror text from Megan McCafferty’s books Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. Viswanaathan apologized profusely on the Today show, but the lawsuit stands. Seems Little, Brown has no plans to pull the book, and that is what Mcafferty and Random House are seeking.

I have not read any of the books in question, but I would certainly like to see some examples of the passages in question in order to judge for myself. After all, even Helen Keller was pilloried regarding a short story, and Mark Twain himself championed her; confessing to unconscious regurgitation. In short, the jury is still out.

In the meantime, I can now agonize over not only being unpublished, but being unplagiarized.

Open Season on Pandas

Maybe at the back of the yard, over by the blackberry bushes...

Yesterday I debated the whole notion that a ‘gas shortage’ exists. Today comes news that the president has temporarily suspended environmental rules for gasoline. His whole administration has been leading up to the shining moment when the gas industry can do what they please while shooting spotted owls (and good friends) on the weekends to unwind.

I really think my favorite was when Bush said, “Our addiction to oil is a matter of national security concerns. After all, today we get about 60 percent of our oil from foreign countries.” Oh, yes, national security. All those oil-producing nations attacking US….As for those foreign countries supplying that whopping 60 percent? Gosh, I seem to recall we are occupying one. Why aren’t we pumping that oil over here for free? It’s needed to rebuild Iraq? Hmm. Why does it need rebuilding again? Oh, yeah, we attacked it…

The Democrats don’t have a clue, but they certainly are benefiting from the situation. And by the way, until a magnificently styled 450 H.P. high-performance hybrid is built, I’m not buying one. We all know one could have been made years ago, but the same guys running the nation now suppressed it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On One Issue, I'm Not Alone...

Everything I need to know I learned from the Bible Ray Harryhausen
Nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks the Evil Oil Cartel who runs our nation must be stopped. Some even use the same fox-in-the-hen-house analogy that came to mind when I read that President Bush wants to investigate allegations of price gouging.

Oh, come on, the "if I launch an investigation I'll look like an innocent concerned leader" stuff went out in the 60s with the Warren commission. No, wait, there was that 9/11 commission...

So ol' Bushie is afraid he's lost a few opinion poll points, boo-hoo. Supposedly he's at his lowest approval rating level ever. I read a really scary thing in the Chicago Tribune today. They claim that about half of Americans endorse creationism. (Note to Self: Rant about that in a future post...) Hmmm. Less than half approve of his job performance, meaning he's losing his own fundamentalist backers. Just proves you still need to drive that SUV across town to bomb the abortion clinic.

There is no oil shortage, and I'm starting to get the sneaky feeling there is no Federal Oil Reserve either. The Strategic Oil Reserve was created as a cushion during energy disruptions. I mean, do you really think there's all this untouched "money" lying about? It's like Social Security. A great idea, but some crooked politicians took a little here, took a little there, and guess what? It doesn't even exist anymore. Bet there are only fumes in those salty barrels.

For my vacation, I'll wax up the Vette and drive it carefully to the end of the driveway and back. I really do like to think I'm having an impact on the economy by not planning big driving vacations the past two years. Take that, flooded out NOLA.

Want my approval Bushie? (I mean, firing Rumsfeld would be a start, but that's not going to happen.) Ninety- nine cents. Say it with me - High Octane Gas-O-Line for Ninety-Nine Cents a Gallon.

I am a performance car enthusiast, and I vote.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Big Night Out

Received an invitation to a Random House soirée last week, and decided to attend despite the fact that it was held on a ‘school night’. As an aspiring author, all I can say is: I’d make Faust look like a pious God-fearing Puritan for the chance to get that publicity juggernaut behind something I did. Wow!

A swanky dinner was held at the Blackbird restaurant downtown to promote first-time author Matthew Skelton’s new children’s book Endymion Spring. Wonderful venue, we had a banquet room all to ourselves, and there was plenty of opportunity to discuss this excellent book and the creative process behind it with the very personable Matthew. The food was superb and the service stellar. Standing around with a glass of Chardonnay and discussing a book was so… so… so… NOT my life and so the “Life I’d Like To Get”. At least now I know what the life in I Need A Life is. Well, if I were the celebrated author being feted, of course.

Anyhoo… I recommend Endymion Spring as a literate fantasy for young people. Let’s see how it sells!

Of course, the true highlight of the evening was stepping out of the restaurant and seeing not one, but TWO Ferraris parked on the street. It was like seeing a Van Gogh dangling from a second-story window: So rare! So beautiful! So valuable! So unsafe!

Sorry, but downtown Chicago is not the place I’d want to park or drive a Ferrari. Had a nice time taking to some gentleman about the cars (were they the owners? Or valets?) To imagine I spent all that time agonizing over the color of the new Corvette, when it was the Forbidden Fruit I should have been lusting after…

The black one had no top and the most incredible buttery tan leather interior that contrasted nicely with the batmobile-esqe exterior. The odor of finely tanned leather wafted out as I leaned as near as I dared. There was no gear shift in the middle console, just some small T-shaped lever. Huge paddles hugged the back of the steering wheel – the tipitronic shifter.

The rear hood, or hatch, whatever you call the engine cover, had a clear Plexiglas window that allowed observation of the motor wedged behind the roll bars. Awesome! No badging was present that identified the model, just a very small insignia on the front hood and a Pininfarina* badge on the rear quarter panel. The red one looked quite similar. Just one of these vehicles cost more than my house, property, vehicles, clothes, shoes, furniture and anything else I might possess put together.

After doing a little research, it seems I had the privilege of seeing one of the first 2006 F430 Spyders – read about this aggressive supercar here and here. Be sure to note the $217,000 price tag. Wow! It really was a night to remember.

Now there’s a life…having to go to Italy in order for technicians to custom-fit the seats and pedals to your frame. Then it’s off to the Italian Alps to try out your new purchase!!!

*Mark of Excellence! Found on my old X1/9 and the Daytona Spyder

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Oranges to Oranges

To add insult to the loss of Daytona Sunset Orange from the Corvette line-up, the replacement color, Atomic Orange, has been
unveiled. No thanks. No desire to drive a Sunkist ad. Too light. Too bright. I want a very dark, almost coppery color. Burt Sienna-ish. I like odd colors (like Warbonnet Yellow) but I'm not hankering for the flat 70s orange. Just more proof the world is out to crush my spirit. Right up there with deadly contact lens solution and high gas prices, these conspiracies to crush my soul add up little by little.

Book Blog

Classic Children’s Literature as Penned by Yours Truly

Sarah Plain and Tall Short and Sarcastic

Pushy Northeastern bride straightens out loser widower and his two bratty children

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

12-year-old Harry discovers the devilishly evil witchcraft that occurs in illegal closed-session meetings between the mayor, council, and land developers

Caddie Woodlawn Woodfield

Wisconsin tween dreams of the day she can travel south to the world’s largest (retail space) shopping mall

Charlie and theChocolate Nike Factory

Vietnamese boy works in sweatshop sewing shoes for greedy American investors

By the Shores of Silver Crystal Lake

Confused about her sexuality, young Laura discovers true love at a Gay Games rowing event

Because of Winn-Dixie Wal-Mart

Woman loses job trying to organize union at local retailer and leaves town to spare her family harassment

Where the Wild Things Are

Midwestern woman raises reptiles in sunroom to chagrin of husband

Cricket in Times Square Plain View

Aforementioned pets’ dinner escapes to Living Room

Click Clack Moo

Cowtown woman who Blogs

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Tis a sad, sad day for this (formerly) great nation of ours when driving around to find a gas station advertising high-octane under $3 a gallon proves impossible.

I pulled in across four lanes of traffic at a Mobile advertising $2.99 only to find the fine print reading “with wash’. As soon as I’m elected president, such fine print at the pump will be made illegal. It won’t be needed anyways, as gas would be much cheaper under the reign of SSMW. Not to mention the fact that heavy tax credits would be offered to citizens who had no children but multiple cars. Yes, things would run so much better if the world would only listen to ME.

You know those annoying little bumper stickers that say drivel like ‘my child is an honor student at Lincoln Elementary’? Perhaps you’ve even seen one of the funny rebuttals of ‘my kid beat up your honor student’. Cute. But I’d like to go one better. Since my car is my pride and joy, I need a bumper sticker that says ‘my car ran over your honor student’.

Oh, do you like the new wheels? Hot, but very, very hard to keep clean. As I’ve said before, buying a black car is just announcing to the world you’re getting far too much sleep and your time would be better spent waxing and polishing. Add chrome wheels, and you might as well skip those leisurely three minute showers and just hose off after getting the car clean before work.

In other depressing news, Chevrolet announced there would not be a Daytona Sunset Orange Corvette offered in 2007. Great. I’ve obsessed over this color since it was introduced and they yank it after a mere 12 months. Figures.

In even worse news, “Development” continues unabated, and I will have to fill you in on all the depressing details another time. Like when I have a cup of hemlock nearby.

Do you realize I’ve been doing this blog for a year now? Big whoop. I haven’t obtained a book contract or made an iota of difference in the world. Yep, pretty much the same thing I was doing BB. (Before Blog) As the T-Shirt says, Some Days it Isn’t Even Worth Chewing Through the Restraints.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Great Friday

After seeing a weather report predicting rain and 60s, I promptly overdressed for my little outing to the Shedd with Martha. I wore jeans, a tank top, pull over sweater, olive green ankle boots and matching belt. I even took a light rain jacket. Mistake!

We arrived downtown around 8:30 and decided to walk to the museum. We were shocked at how warm it was even at that hour, and thoroughly enjoyed walking by the lake stripped down to our lightest layers. Just past nine, the line was already starting to form at the aquarium, so we wasted no time in checking out the Komodo dragon. Faust was fast asleep in a corner of his plush enclosure, and didn’t make for a good picture. After wandering through the reptile section and peeking at a few tanks, we decided the best course of action was to have lunch.

One glace at the food court filled with screaming kids solidified the decision to eat in the upscale sit-down restaurant overlooking the lake. We were among the first seated at eleven, and tables filled fast. A glass dish of Goldfish crackers was brought to the table and we enjoyed an excellent meal in a pleasant setting. Ok, I’ll admit to my surprise that the menu wasn’t filled with seafood ‘mistakes’. Stuff like: Didn’t Make It Damsel Fish, Who Forgot to Check the PH in Tank Five Flounder, and Baby Beluga on a Bun.

Things were getting really crowded by the time we finished, but we soldiered on to see all the exhibits and dolphin show. The highlight of the afternoon was the rare Blue Cayman Iguanas. They were very active and the male was as interested in the crowd as they were in him. Hard to believe there are only 30 left in the wild.

To see the shark tank, visitors must use an elevator to a lower floor, which allowed me to quip, “Now to complete your fishy experience, we will pack you in like sardines…”. Got a pretty good laugh on that one. Even better was the man on the return trip who looked at his watch and told his little girl that the gift shop closed at 1:20 p.m. and she was out of luck… I think he’s been speaking with Mr. Right or something. Anyhoo…

After buying some pins at the gift shop (which was very open, thank you) we proceeded to walk back to State Street to commence the Serious Shopping. Glancing about, we concluded that others had heard the same confusing weather reports that we had: many people carried umbrellas, and dress ranged from skimpy jogging attire to layered sweaters and long pants. Stopped off at the Architectural Store and saw lots of cool stuff we couldn’t afford. Like the $59.95 shirt emblazoned with the city skyline. Nice, but not happening at that price.

Our next stop was Nordstrom's Rack, then over to Filene’s Basement and TJ Maxx. I bought a lot of gauchos and Capri type pants. Reports of a sagging economy are greatly exaggerated according to my observation of the check-out lines in these stores. They announced TJ was closing for the night, and the line was incredible. We checked the train schedule and decided we weren’t doomed … yet… and shuffled along to checkout. Walking back we enjoyed an evening temp of 76 degrees! Tulips and daffodils were blooming in planter boxes along the streets (thank you Mayor Daley) and trees were beginning to bud.

Martha suggested stopping at an open air bar/café and I’m so glad we did. It was a beautiful night to sit outside and enjoy a drink and some appetizers. We decided to do a Chicago trip once a month, checking out a different museum each time. Sounds like a plan! Not sure how I’m going to afford all that world class shopping however…

Open Letter to Former Illinois Governor George Ryan

Dear Fatso,

When it’s 105 in the shade and you’re shuffling down my pot-hole-riddled road dressed in that natty orange jumpsuit with a trash bag slung over your shoulder, stay alert. That jerk in the semi who’s doing 90 MPH over the hill while yakking on a cell phone and blaring Toby Keith probably has you to thank for his license. Oh, and watch out for the dead mice in the beer bottles. If the snakes haven’t gotten in there first.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Longer Blog Later

No time to write!! So sorry I've been busy, but thanks to everyone who visits and posts comments. I will respond soon. Going to see Faust tomorrow and am faced with the awesome task of Which Shoes Do I Wear??

Lots of walking. Possible rain. Unseasonably warm.

And the number one consideration?

Entering Big City. Must Look Cool!!!

I'm wearing jeans and a green tank w/green sweater, so I have been screening my 14 pairs of green shoes all evening. I'm worried the best choice could become uncomfortable after a few hours of walking, and have begun trying alternates. The most comfortable sandals (black and brown) give off the Jesus Sandal vibe, and that's just not right for this outfit. I want high fashion, but as I said, it's not the best choice over the long haul.

I have some light green Minnetonka that are very low but nice, yet I haven't broken them in yet. Bought at the end-of-summer sidewalk sale, they've never been worn, and they don't quite feel right. How could I have bought an uncomfortable pair of Minnetonka? Only me. That's why they were on clearance. Too many ER visits brought on from giant blister pops caused the discontinuation of that model. Bet the green dye causes cancer too. Oh, and let me tell you about my contact lens solution...

Gotta run. Need to make a few more 'test runs' up and down the driveway in various footwear in the hopes of picking one before daybreak. Need to be on that train by 7 a.m.!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

But What Really Knocked Me Out

What can I say? Yes, my ambitions in life are quite small*, especially when you consider one of my loftiest goals to be the ability to wear cheap sunglasses.

Why? I’ve been a slave to prescription eyewear since about age nine, and I hate it. I had a brief stint with contacts in high school, but it didn’t work out, especially with my seasonal allergies. With the advent of Lasik surgery, there seems to be hope on the horizon, but I can’t quite overcome my abject terror at the thought of laser beams directed at my eyes. I know many people who are thrilled with the results, but some people have serious permanent vision problems afterwards. I mean, sure, I love dogs and most books are available as audio, but no driving? I don’t think so!

As a last-ditch effort, I asked once again about contacts at my most recent eye exam. After careful research (picking up the phone and asking how much an exam cost) I selected a uniquely qualified practitioner (read: low bid) at the local Meijer’s Superstore (motto: We’re Not as Evil as Wal-Mart! Yet.). I was pleased to learn contact technology has come a long way over the years and decided once again to try and free my face from the tyranny of designer eyewear.

I’m narrowing in on the proper brand and fit, and hope to be able to enjoy this new found freedom. Everything is better without the cumbersome glasses! Pulling off a sweatshirt without having to take the glasses off! Washing the car without having to wipe them clean of overspray! Driving without seeing the edges of the lens. Best of all: picking out those cheap sunglasses!!! Whee! I want a dozen! All shades! All sizes! The ultimate fashion accessory!

I did ask about extended-wear lenses, the type you can sleep in. My eye doctor said they did not have an FDA approved lens for astigmatism. Now had she merely said they didn’t make one for my prescription needs, I would have understood. But when you tell me there isn’t an FDA approved something, well, that must mean there’s a non-FDA approved item, right? So, over in Russia there are people running around with extended wear lenses that I can’t buy here, right? To say that the FDA approval process is flawed is an understatement. I could very well be wearing contacts 24/7 if not for some bureaucratic baloney keeping me from my Bill of Rights guaranteed Right to Make Stupid Decisions. I’m going on line to see if I can order some from the Balkans or something. Some sweatshop in Taiwan must be churning out cut-rate contacts for sale abroad.

* See future posts for further exploration of this philosophical concept

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tastes Great! Less Filling Life!

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (a wet blanket if ever there was one), Americans eat far too much of the super-deadly Trans-Fat. Although Trans-Fat has yet to be assigned a Daily Value, you can rest assure I’ve exceeded that amount by eight a.m. What, you don’t eat Pop-Tarts and Oreos for breakfast? What kind of health nut are you?

As Lisa Ryckman of Scripps Howard News Service described it, Trans Fat is the “Voldemort of the fat world”. It’s been called “metabolic poison” by Walter Willett, professor of the Harvard School of Public Health. An estimated 100,000 deaths a year are attributed to hidden Trans Fats. A National Academy of Sciences panel concluded the only safe intake of Trans Fat is zero.
So where is it lurking? Just in everything that ever made you want to take a second helping.

From the FDA website:

Trans fat can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers,
candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed
foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Small amounts of
naturally occurring trans fat can be found in some animal products, such as
butter, milk products, cheese, beef, and lamb.

Public Enemy Number One? McDonald’s French fries. Why doesn’t Billy Graham just come out and denounce those fries as the work of Satan? They’ve been blamed for absolutely everything except 9/11, which we all know was Saddam Hussein’s fault. Bet he force-fed dissidents Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

Although new food labeling guidelines are a step in the right direction, amounts of half a gram or less get the designation 0 grams of trans fat, and restaurants are not required to reveal the use of trans fats. McDonald’s has been notoriously deceptive in revealing what exactly is IN those fries, so don’t expect any movement there. Heroin would be my guess.

Anyhoo, please take this little quiz.
Count how many of the following products you consumed this week:

French Fries
0-2 Might Live to See Your Next Birthday
3-5 Health Insurance is a Must
6-9 Nice Knowing You
9+ Want to Come Over to My House For Dinner? Bring the Crisco!

Monday, April 03, 2006

First for Faust


Well, gosh, look who got near the computer again…Mr. Right tied it up for some six hours last night downloading tax forms. Why do I get the feeling Al Capone Jr. is going to get me in some sort of trouble with our do-it-yourself tax return? I’m not worried about doing jail time (however, the thought of catching up on all my reading is VERY tempting…). If the feds started grilling me about the taxes I’d just say, “Oh, you think Mr. Right is a tax cheat! Ha! Let me tell you some of the really good stuff…for complete immunity of course. Then I’d make up a bunch of lies and go on Oprah to cry about how my husband’s in jail and things are so tough. She could introduce me to Jim Frey’s agent or something.

Just read The $64 Tomato by William Alexander. Not impressed. Cute idea – man figures out how much it really cost him to raise his own tomatoes and comes up with $64 each. I was expecting Erma Bombeck, but it fell far short. I never cared about him or his family. The writing (he’s an English major) failed to pop – not hysterically funny, not deeply profound. I was never drawn into the garden, caring as fiercely as he did about each little sprout. All I saw was a rich yuppie throwing away money because he couldn’t stand up to contractors. At the end, when he had to retire from gardening due to a bad back, I felt nothing. There were some amusing anecdotes, but that’s about it. On the other hand, I could read Bill Bryson’s grocery list and laugh, cry, and ponder the beginnings of the universe. It’s all in the writer.

Mr. I-Could-Save-The-World-Too, Right is watching 24. They have this disclaimer come on warning viewer discretion due to violence or some such nonsense. A more accurate statement would be: Due to Impossible Situations, Viewer Gullibility is Advised.

Excited about the prospect of seeing
Faust, the 8 ft. Komodo Dragon who’s on loan from the Fort Worth Zoo. Faust will appear at the Shedd Aquarium beginning Saturday. The Shedd is the most visited aquarium in America. (You may recall Monterey Aquarium in California was posting record receipts, but they had to let their Great White Shark go because it was acting, well like a Great White Shark. It was eating everything else in the tank. Personally, I think that would not have been reason to release it back to the wild, but certainly reason to double the entrance fee!) I will NOT be waiting A) for Flu Boy B) until the last minute.

It’s my own darn fault. I gleefully filled out two of those ‘how do you like your new car’ surveys, and now I have received two more in the mail! I suppose I think I am actually influencing automotive design or some crap. More like skewing some demographic. They just must be selling my name to a bazillion survey lists. Who cares? So far, I’ve made $2 filling out these stupid forms. Can’t beat that!

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices.
Oh. My. God.
I always knew they were evil, but this was beyond the pale. 5 stars! (Not so much for style, just for change-your-life-ism)
*Tribune photo of Faust by Milbert O. Brown

Saturday, April 01, 2006


The ONLY good thing about living this far north is there aren't a lot of insects about. However, I found this little cutie while cleaning this evening, and just had to post it. It's a Pseudoscorpion. Related to both spiders and scorpions (yet neither), this tiny bug is found all over the world. Harmless predators, they eat spiders and winged insects many times their size. I let it live, just because it is so cool looking. Awwww..!

Ugly Couch Cam III

Hey Kids, It's the Easter Bucky!!