Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why I Hate America

As mentioned before, I’ve really procrastinated about getting a passport. For, oh, about, 32 years. Since I’ve never gone anywhere or done anything – in short “No Life” – it’s never been an issue. Just an “I really should” and “someday I’ll…”. Yeah. Right. Whatever.

So when all the hoopla of “Now You Really Need One or We Won’t let You Back in from Canada*” came up, I thought I really should get around to it. Sometime. Whenever.

First, I got the forms. Back in December, I think. Went to my local post office and picked them up easily. Found out that the post office in next town over would take the completed application, as would the courthouse. I’m on my way!

Fortunately they were festooned with obnoxious orange headers which made them easy to spot as they spent the next six months moving from ‘to do’ pile to ‘just make a neat stack’ pile to ‘I really need to get to this pile’.

Read forms. Filled out simple questions. Argued with Mr. Right about how Hazel is Light Brown, and his eyes are NOT Light Brown, not even close, just put down Blue, damnit! BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!

Shuffle papers.

Applied to get a ‘certified’ copy of my birth certificate. Ranted about how many people can’t prove they are in this country legally, yet my legitimacy is questioned to the tune of $17. Wait another week.

Received proof that I am indeed alive. Lamented fact that there is no fee to pay in order to ‘Get A Life’, as this would be far more useful.

Had Al take my picture. Worried I wouldn’t look ‘innocent’ enough for customs. Worried when photo is flashed on nightly news next to phrase Suspected Al Qaida Operative the girls from High School will say, “Well she certainly has put on some weight!” before getting to: “I always knew she would amount to no good”.

Spent an afternoon discovering there is no way to resize a photo with the crappy software that came with the computer, and figured the next 20 minutes is not the time to try Photoshop out for the first time. Decided that will be my next Procrastination Project.
Wondered if the whole 2” X 2” thing was some plot to keep people from doing their own photos so they could charge $6 for an ugly DMV photo.

Went to appointed post office after work. Big signs greeted me, “Now Open Until 7 p.m.”

Stood in line. Stood. Stood. Wondered why these idiots haven’t learned the joys of on-line bill pay. Stood. Stood. Don’t really care about your kid at college. If he can’t figure out how to pick up his mail, is he really college material? Stood.

“Hi, I’m here for the passport…”

“I’m sorry. We only do passports until 4:30 p.m. Next!!”

Excuse me? Only to 4:30? How did I miss that on your big sign? Oh, wait, IT WASN’T THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This whole passport scam is working like a charm! Now I WANT to leave the country. Forever!!!! Uncle Sam can let some third world blogger come in and do my complaining for pennies on the dollar. I should have asked for some old Priority Mail Boxes. They look pretty waxy. Just give me a shove towards Cuba, I bet Fidel would love to see me. He wouldn’t ask for no stinkin’ passport…

You know, NASCAR started due to some moonshiners trying to out run the law. I’ve always thought Mr. Right would be a prime candidate for being a prescription drug runner for old people…

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Owen, what were you thinking?

Owen Wilson drops out of Stiller movie

...had been due to take part in Tropic Thunder, directed by friend and long-time collaborator Ben Stiller.
However trade journals Daily Variety and the Hollywood reporter said Wilson had now dropped out of the film, which began shooting in Hawaii recently.

NO!! That's Career Suicide!! Nooooooooooo!!! Where's his agent? Get him on the set!! That's a loss of ten million dollars!!! Nooooooooo!!! Suck up some Prozac and get to work!!! Like who can be all 'woe is me' in Hawaii? Didn't see Magnum P.I. crying into his umbrella drink, now did you? Book 'em Dano! On charges of Self-Absorption with Intent to Wallow.

A Special Message From Al

Dear Mr. Stiller:

I can only imagine how distraught you are at the personal turmoil of good friend and Tropic Thunder co-star, Owen Wilson. With days to go before shooting on location in Hawaii, Mr. Wilson had to regretfully drop out of your production.

But, as they say, the show must go on.

Which is why I would like to offer my services as a funny, blond heart-throb.

Oh, sure, my nose is annoyingly small, pert and perfect, but I'm short! 5'7" or so, almost an inch shorter than you. Imagine how good you'll look.

Call me!

Mr. Right

P.S. Next time you visit Owen, say "Hi" to my wife. (Owen got my wife -I got his job - win-win!!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Spin Out City


Here’s one for the “Too much money, Too much horsepower, Too little brains” file.

Once again an idiot celebrity has destroyed an innocent super car with callous disregard. This time the victim is a Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster LP640. (The 640 stands for the horsepower of the car - !)

It has 12 cylinders, cost $353,400, and was seriously damaged in the incident.

Bear’s linebacker Lance Briggs abandoned the car on the Edens Expressway in Chicago shortly after crashing it around 3 a.m. He initially reported the car had been stolen. This has led to speculation he fled the scene to avoid charges of driving while impaired. Right now, there is no evidence to that effect. Or more than speculation that he may have been coming home from a dog fight... At any rate, he needs to be punished!

I’d like to see some public outrage along the lines of Michael Vick here, people!!

One of my favorite bloggers, Jennsylvania,
led the charge to put public pressure on corporations using Vick as a sponsor to drop him after dog fighting charges were filed. Jen actively works to rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls, knowing firsthand the damage that dog fighting can cause. As a sports car aficionado, I would likewise urge others who feel as I do to join me in demanding spoiled celebrities lose custody of their cars once it is proven they don’t deserve them. These vehicles should be then adopted by loving owners who have proven they can care for a fine automobile. You know, people like myself.

Speaking of the La Brea Tar Pits

Louise: There’s a special on the National Geographic channel about the Dire Wolf and how the grey wolf succeeded while they died out…

Me: Cool! Thanks for telling me, I love that stuff. I’ll turn it on.

***(next day)***

Louise: Did you turn on the NG channel? I watched the Dire Wolf, the Saber Toothed-Tiger and the buffalo specials…

Me: I saw some of the first two. You know what caused the extinction of the Dire Wolf? The rise of the mighty NASCAR. Seems Intimidius Minoris edged them out every commercial break, so I didn’t quite get to see everything. We really need two TVs.

Skate N' Stumble

Distraught from yesterday’s loss of skating time, I decided to go straight from work to the bike path tonight in the hopes of getting in some much-needed exercise.

After lacing up, I was barely underway when a bicyclist warned me the cracks in the pavement had been ‘tarred’. Even he was having a problem with it grabbing at his bike tires, and was unhappy with the decision to spread sticky goo on the trail rather than undertake proper repairs.

My guess is the powers-that-be figured it would look like they were ‘maintaining’ the trail to the throngs of holiday revelers out and about over the Labor Day weekend.

In reality, other than a few mowings along the sides of the trail, very little is ever done in the way of care for the trail. What they need to do is use a street-sweeper on it twice a week. I pay taxes. Heck, I’ll even donate extra money to the cause, if they would keep the leaves and twigs off it. They never consider the rollerblader. Only the bicyclists. Frequently sections of the trail will be little gaps of gravel, or gaping holes. Perhaps this is of little consequence to a mountain bike, but to an inline skater, it’s a huge health hazard.

Sure enough, as I start to skate I see hundreds of thin lines where a fresh rubbery black coating has been applied to cracks along the pavement. The vertical ones don’t bother me; I can usually skate to the right or left of them with a swooping ease. It’s the horizontal ones that are the killers. They require an actual ‘hop’ over the fault line, rather than the regular side-to-side gliding motion. So instead of push-glide, push-glide, push-glide - my journey became: skate, skate, hop; skate, skate, hop, hop, skate, swoosh, skate, skate, hop… One false move and my little rubber wheel would snag in the rubbery glop jerking me to the pavement with the force of a freight train. Not a pleasant thought.

Did I mention it was 90 degrees out at 5:30 p.m.? Although I couldn’t go faster than .02 miles per hour, the effort of leaping over ‘fills’ had my forehead starting to perspire. The black tar bubbled with anticipation as it awaited my misstep. Like the La Brea Tar Pits, it gurgled knowingly, lying in wait for that foolish creature bound to become ensnared…

I did less than four miles before giving up. In these weather conditions, the tar might not cure until next season. Between the twigs, leaves, and tar, I became extremely discouraged. I may have to seek out some new paths for the remainder of the season – or switch to biking. Anything that keeps me moving faster than the mosquitoes!

Why Does she Bother Calling?

Mom: Oh my, have you seen the news? The stock market continues to fall! I’m so worried.

Me: And when they declare size-six shoes as currency I’ll own this planet and everyone on it! Bwha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!! Slaves! You’ll all be my slaves!!

Tried to Let Him Down Easy

Owen Wilson suicide attempt!!!

Owen, babe - I love you, really; but it would never work between us. I’m already married, and you have major commitment issues. Sure, you’re gorgeous and rich. But honest, I need to stay here in this crappy little
Main Street town and pour my problems out into cyberspace. You can live the Hollywood jet-set life with out me.

Or, maybe not.

Here's a great article about how much Hollywood really cares about my cutie...

And another thing: what is it about despondency that makes you 'slash a wrist'? Does Freud have something to say about that body part? Why not just take a bath with your toaster and get it over with? Now Owen's going all Sylvia Plath on us? What next? Rehab Crashers? You, Me and the Easy Bake Oven of End-it-All?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Speaking of Strange Butterflies...

Here's a great Maxim article about the disappearance of Philip Taylor Kramer. Love those Conspiracy Theories! Keep 'em coming.

He sounds like a nut, but I've never believed there to be a speed limit to the universe, so I can understand his quest. Not to mention how much I love In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida!

Hog Mild

Me: (Examining white Harley T-Shirt with purple dots across shoulder left atop Evil Maytag Washer) What's this?

Al: A shirt I want you to pre-treat for the laundry.

Me: Do you know what the stain is? Looks like berries....

Al: Butterfly.

Me: (stifling snicker) Butterfly?

Al: I hit a butterfly on my bike. If I would have known, I would have worn a black T Shirt.

Me: (soaking shirt with "Shout" and watching the purple turn to a sickly olive green) Yeah, those roving bands of butterflies are bad news - better tell all the guys over a beer.

Only My Mother

See? Room looks better already.

Me: Wow, Al installed the new fan in our office! It's really nice, makes a huge difference.

Mom: Oh, wasn't that dangerous, working with the electricity?

Me: What's the big deal? There were two wires. He had a 50-50 chance.

Speaking of Mildew...

I took the day off to Rollerblade, yet here I sit watching the pouring rain ruin my just-washed car.

I demand a refund on summer 07!!

Exactly How Much Does it Suck?

Sad to say, but my diatribe on precisely how much Maytag Sucks continues to generate hits. This hapless blogger stopped by to share my pain, so please check out her blog: Are We There Yet?

How much do I hate Maytag? Let's just say I hope the CEO's toddler is chewing on a toy made in China right now.

Maytag Sucks. Not to mention stinks.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Soggy Bloggy

Haven't written in a whale's age, but I've been seriously bummed out by the Wettest August on record for Northern Illinois!!

Somewhere, Al Gore is snickering...

The Bog Days of Summer have ruined all the activities I would normally be enjoying - driving my convertible, rollerblading, watching the grass turn brown and crackly.

On the plus side, I watched a ton of movies and read a few books, which I'll be critiquing here soon. Stay tuned dry.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

At The Big Box Store

Me: Do you have Russian Sage?

Bored Teen leaning on cash register: We've got some sage in the back. (sweeping hand gesture that encompasses the rear half-acre of plants held in the 'lock up' of Lawn and Garden Center) But I dunno if it's Russian.

Me: Don't you check passports? No wonder this country has immigration issues.

Perovskia atriplicifolia

Oh, Admit it!

Ever vacuum up a bee and become afraid to turn the motor off?

700 Club!

This is my 700th post!

Now I'm just ticked I didn't do something special for 666.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Save the Spindle!!

Dear Burrr-wyyyynnnn...

(this is the only correct pronunciation if you grew up watching a fuzzy Chicago TV station late at night, as I did. Assuming you could get the antenna rotor to turn just right...)

I would like to offer your Car-Ka-Bab a home. My back yard. That's right. I've got the room, and a nice highway view. Can't contribute to moving costs, but I think it would be just the thing to piss off the city officials in my neck of the woods. And that's what this is all about, right?

Why isn't Sven speaking out? Visit

Son of Svengoolie, Save Our Spindle!!

Suck it up, Soldier!

Now comes word that my cute little Cars collectibles have dangerous lead paint on them - from China!! Not like I was going to open the packaging and lick any, but still.

The chairman of Mattel is saying they will 'test every batch of toys'.

Why? Why is the burden on us? If you own stock in Mattel, tell them this is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Gosh, I've got an idea - why not pull the contract from China? Hire some US of A workers to make toys that are slightly more expensive for American kids? Maybe there's a reason it's called the Forbidden City.

My Senator is on TV saying basically the same thing - test items from China. NO!! Stop allowing Chinese products into the country!! Oh, wait. Big business owns Mattel. Not to mention my Senator. Never mind. You'd think I'd ingested some lead or something. I forget.

China wants entry back into our market?
Sure, as long as we are the sole suppliers for the following toys to them. (Hint: We're giving the bid to Wal-Mart)

Chinese Checkers
Tea Sets

Should this little tidbit be of any surprise to my loyal Maytag-hating readers?

China is trying to buy companies with strong global brands. Chinese appliance maker Haier was rebuffed in 2005 when it tried to acquire Maytag, which fell into the arms of Whirlpool.

Maytag sucks! So does China. Amazed that fell through.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Little Engine that Could Undercut the Competiton

Thomas the Test-Score Lowering Tank Engine reminds you to brush with Chinese toothpaste!

Will This Train Wreck Even Leave the Station?

Van Halen set for a concert tour? With David Lee Roth as lead singer? Seems I've heard this one before. Think I'll pass. Will they record any new material? Do more than three shows?

As one of the few who thinks there is a place in this world for both Van Halen and Van Hagar, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out the band's problem is NOT the lead singer, but Eddie. I mean, he's down to working with his son - so it's 3 Van Halens to one... What, don't they have some cousin who can sing?

Who cares? Sammy is doing great, and that's the important thing.

You Go, Girl!

Attended the 25th running of the Arlington Million horse race Saturday. (Any event that combines horses and the wearing of big hats is a winner in my book!)

Braved the oppressive heat to watch horses from around the world compete on the composite track and turf in some Grade 1 races.

Last year, there was no problem obtaining seats the day of the race, but this year they were sold out and we had to bake in the direct sun on a park bench.

I didn't make ANY good picks all day, until the Million. I picked Jambalaya to win, making my Major Stakes Picks for this year 3 out of 4. I accurately picked the winners of the Preakness, Belmont and Million; but missed calling the Kentucky Derby correctly.

The neat thing about the Canadian gelding Jambalaya is that his owner/trainer is a woman.

Here's the horse we SHOULD have had our money on - the only one hall of fame jockey Earlie Fires rode all day.

Spotsgone, winner of the Sea O'Erin, trained by his brother William Fires.

With Owner/Trainer Catherine Day Phillips

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dazed and Confused

It's the End of Western Civilization!!!!!! *

Right after I hail Robert Plant's Mighty Rearranger as one of the most important albums of the century (most certainly #1 of the decade), he announces plans to make a bluegrass record!!!

NOooooooooooooo!!!!!! Although I am such a rabid fan of Plant's voice I would buy a recording of him reading the phone book, I hated the album Walking into Clarksdale.

Please Robert, if you're reading this: More Black Dog. Less Bluegrass.

*Hmmm. Second time this week I've sounded that alarm. I have a good future ahead of me in Homeland Security, wouldn't you agree?

They Can Put a Man on the Moon...

But they can't make him phone home.

Me: Where have you been?

Al: At my Mom's.

Me: Why didn't you call?
(Chime sound: be-boo-be-baa)

Al: I Oooh! (squinting at tiny screen) My "Sudoku of the Day" just arrived. Did you say something?

Funny. Al has the new Moto Q that can aim the Hubble telescope from his palm, but it lacks the "call wife" feature. Oh, wait, that was an additional $9.99 per month. Never mind.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

See You Next (geta) Life

BEIJING (AFP) - Tibetan living Buddhas are no longer allowed to be reincarnated without permission from the atheist Chinese government, state media reported Friday.

The new rules are "an important move to institutionalise the management of reincarnation of living Buddhas," the Xinhua news agency said.
According to the regulations, which take effect on September 1, all reincarnation applications must be submitted to religious affairs officials for approval, Xinhua said.

Oh, man, and I've been procrastinating about filling out my Passport paperwork...

Monday, August 06, 2007

How to Waste an Hour of Your (geta)Life

10 Minutes - steam press dress
25 Minutes - wash car
25 Minutes - Flat iron hair in Posh Spice approximation

Leave house looking like a million bucks.

Sit in car. Ruin dress.

Drive to work in light rain. Ruin car.

Walk to door of work in high humidity. Ruin hair.

Why, why, why did I buy a linen dress?
Stop Me Before I Shop Again!
Oh, wait, it was on sale.

Crinkle-ly in Chicago

It's a Miserable (geta)Life

I've always wanted to make a movie showing the REAL outcome of "It's a Wonderful Life".

You know, the one where George Bailey finds out how much happier everyone would have been if he'd never been born...

Like how his family was much better off financially with fewer kids; so they had better and more food for Harry, who then had the strength needed to pull himself out out the freezing pond.

And Mary Hatch marries Mr. Potter instead and enjoys the life of luxury she deserves...

Yeah. That movie.

(Hmmm... Seppuku Doku... I need to use that in a future post)

Look For the Union Label

AP) CHICAGO Do bloggers need their own Norma Rae?

In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, a loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.

Look for the union label
when you are surfing to read 'bout a coat, dress or blouse.

Remember somewhere our union's typing,
our rages trying to inform the kids, and run the house.

We work hard, but who's complaining?
Thanks to the Blogosphere we're saying it our way!

So always look for the union label,
it says we're able to post it in the U.S.A.!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No Time To Blog!

...Have to go to the store and buy a life vest.

No, I'm not going boating. I'm driving to Minneapolis.

Shark Week!

It's the 20th anniversary of Shark Week, and once again I'm overcome with the desire to move to a tiny tropical island and worship sharks.

Oh, admit it. You'd do the same to miss the 2008 elections.

Here's a link to a great Reuter's video report on a rare sighting of a frilled shark:

(I didn't see a way to embed the video, sorry. Do check it out.)

TLickle Me Elmo

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. consumers were unaware for days that retailers were pulling Elmo, Big Bird and other Mattel Inc. toys from shelves last week because of a potential lead-paint hazard.

Mattel said Wednesday it was recalling 1.5 million Chinese-made toys worldwide because their paint might contain too much lead. Of those, 967,000 were recalled in the United States.

And we'll all miss Thomas the Fatigue-Causing, Test-Score Lowering Tank Engine...

Gosh, how much more proof do YOU need that China is trying to kill us?

Oh, wait, they'll just execute another inspector and everything will be all hunky-dory again. A few pets, a few kids, that's just the hidden cost of Low Low Prices Everyday!!

Elmo sad he toxic

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Window Into My (Geta)Life

End of the World as we Know it
No more RSX S-Type??
What is this planet coming to?
I demand to see the Emperor!

Actual Conversations (Your Recollections May Vary)

Al: Hi, Honey. I was just worried about you - it's 9:30 and you aren't home yet.

Me: Sorry, there was an emergency bathing suit sale at TJMaxx. I had to try on all the bikinis. I'm on my way home now. Got a good one.

Al: OK. Your mom called. She wants to talk to you, said you can call late.

Me: Thanks! Love you, be home soon. *** Mom?

Mom: Oh, thanks for calling back, it wasn't anything all that important.

Me: Not like my trauma.

Mom: What trauma?

Me: Didn't you hear? They stopped making my model of Acura. How dare they! I finally found a car to love!!

Mom: That's not trauma. Wait until they stop making the only bra that fits you.

Me: No comparison. Oh, I got a new bathing suit.

Mom: One or Two piece?

Me: Two. But all they have nowadays is brown.

Mom: Brown? That does sound strange.

Me: This one has some peach. Not bad. Wish they still made Yum-Yum Yellow though.


Al: Did you find a web page called Sprint Sucks yet?

Me: Um, no... did you want me to start one?