Monthly Archives: February 2008

Pothole Season

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It’s my least favorite season in the burgh – pothole season. You seriously can not go 20 feet without seeing a pothole. And I’m not talking about those little southern potholes. I’m talking about the huge, yawning abyss type pothole. The kind that swallow cars. For real – there are several instances every year where a pothole becomes a sinkhole and swallows a Buick.

There was a story on the news a few days ago about one that was so bad (and so unavoidable, since it is paired with Pittsburgh also-treacherous narrow streets, steep hills and blind curves) which was blowing tire after tire during the previous day’s morning rush hour, resulting in a group of about 30 people gathered in a parking lot at the bottom of the hill, all going, “What the fuck?” One woman lost two tires, a rim and part of her car’s frame to that particular black hole of death.

And the best part about Pittsburgh potholes is the way they are dealt with. See, we don’t fix th potholes right away. Instead, we have a dedicated team of people that go out with bright orange spray paint and circle the pothole. This is extremely helpful, because now you have a split second to grab your cell phone, dial your family and tell them you love them before hurtling to your death. Before the circle maneuver was implemented, your imminent demise took you completely by surprise. Now – thanks to the neon “Hey look! A pothole!” – you have a chance to say goodbye.

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And if the pothole warning system doesn’t make us look redneck enough, these folks surely will.

Although – at least we aren’t West Virginia, I guess.

Wasteful

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I was watching Big Brother the other day and saw something that really bothered me. What disturbed me was not the vapid, petty people or the stupid fights over who said what or the complete lack of anything resembling brains, but something else entirely. See, they had a food competition which required them to gather fish and throw them into nets. The entire yard was strewn with large fish. And while the first thought of the contestants seemed to be “eww…stinky fish”, mine was of the more than 35 million people in this country who aren’t getting enough to eat. And the fact that we are sting here watching hundreds of pounds of perfectly good food go to waste is like a slap in the face. It sickened me.

And yes – I watch that piece of trash. And I hate the people, I hate Julie Chen, I hate just about everything about Big Brother since Foxy Evil Doctor Will and yet I still find myself watching on the nights when there’s nothing else on. That particular night, the only other thing of note that was on was the Oscars, which I will not watch. There’s nothing more annoying to me than a bunch of celebrities congratulating themselves on being wonderful. I love movies, I love (certain) celebrities, but the awards shows are where I draw the line. The last (and probably only) Oscar I got excited about was for Al Gore’s.

Since were on the topic if wastefulness, my main reason for not liking the awards shows is that they are the absolute epitome of wastefulness and overindulgence. It bothers me to see people wearing ten-thousand dollar gowns when there are men and women wearing old socks on their hands and four beat up, dirty jackets and unraveled hats and covering themselves with newspapers to stay warm.

I hate watching them get out of their fancy, gas-guzzling limousines and town cars and Bentleys while entire families are living in 1982 Buicks. The millions of dollars in diamonds are vulgar in the face of the abject poverty that some people in this country face. And why is it that a celebrity who makes more in one day than most of us make in one year needs a gift basket filled with bejeweled jelly-bean dispensers and fancy beauty products and more fucking diamonds. Why does anyone need a 24 karat fucking cheesecake?

Cows, Muppets & Monkeys

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After I saw the report on the mistreated cows, I decided I am going to give up meat. But I can’t just do it all at once – my body would go into some sort of shock and I would die. OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but seriously – I love meat. So I decided I would give up red meat immediately. And then after a while, I would decide if I wanted to go all the way with it. So Monday night, I gave up all red meat. Then last night, I forgot and ate a bologna sandwich. But then I decided I would give myself a pass because technically, bologna is “pink” meat. Or, more accurately, “pink” “meat”.

Regardless, giving up meat has been something I have toyed with for years. But I always felt that if I were going to do it, I should go completely vegan. But then I start thinking about all the things I wouldn’t be able to have, like toasted marshmallows and cheese (separately, of course, toasted marshmallows with cheese would be gross…or would it?) and I realize that I’ll never be able to do it and besides, I’m totally distracted by the thoughts of yummy animal by-product goodness (behold the power of cheese) (and marshmallow) that I forget all about it anyway. But the video of those poor cows being abused just did me in. And – bologna sandwich not withstanding – I am taking the first step. Even if it goes no further, at least my diet will be slightly better.

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In election news, Obama is rocking the house. I still haven’t made up my mind on who I am voting for – I go back and forth. I like both Obama and Clinton for different reasons. Neither is perfect, but both are infinitely better than the other options. And let’s be honest, anyone who knows me knows that I would most likely vote for a Statler/Waldorf ticket before McCain/Anyone.

I was hoping for Edwards, but since he’s out, I’d like his opinion. John, call me! Of course, I suspect that by the time the primaries make it to PA, my vote won‘t really matter regardless.

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I was flipping through some channels last night and I came across some religious program that was asking the evolution vs. creation question, and basically, they were trying to make people who believe in evolution look stupid by asking them “how it all started”. The assumption was that because they couldn’t give definitive answers and sometimes had to (gasp) say, “I don’t know” that they must be complete morons as well as heathens.

Man, does this piss me off. You know, I don’t know how the universe came to be. I’m not sure I even want to know. And I’m not sure about anything regarding god and heaven and religion. But I have never understood why science and religion can’t coexist (though not to the point of religion in government and schools – to me, science is factual and religion personal). I am fully in the Darwin camp, but I have room to believe that there is a higher power. But shows like this one reduce that room greatly. If the best argument they have is that “Well, you can’t explain your theory, so ours must be right”, then I’m thinking a little visit to PotKettleBlackville may be in order. And also? Mr. “I didn’t come from no monkey!” may not be the best spokesperson for your cause. I’m so sick of hearing that I could just puke. No one’s claiming you did, jackass. There’s a common relative, not a direct lineage. Though in your case, I think it might be a slightly closer relation.

PS. I apologize to any monkeys I may have offended.

I Don’t Need No Stinking Title

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My mom called me the other day and told me she needed me to get on that email or internet or whatever and fax a letter to Pontiac for her. I sighed slightly, since she is always needing me to write something or cook something or look something up (frustrating as she has a computer), but hey – she does a lot for me, so I asked what she needed.

Apparently, a few days ago, she came out of work and tried to unlock her car. She has a new car, but it doesn’t have the auto-locks – just a key. Anyway, she turned the key in the lock and it stripped. Needless to say, she was frustrated, but there wasn’t anything she could do about it just then. So she went around to the passenger door to unlock it from that side and ther5e was no lock! The only key “hole” (I’m big on technical terms, here) is on the driver’s door. What the fuck??

So here is my mother, at night, in the mall parking lot, wondering how the holy hell she’s going to get in her car. It ended up that she climbed (in full on dress clothes and giant high heels) into the trunk and pushed down the rear seat backs, then shimmied into the front seat to get out, close the trunk and get back in. So now she’s pissed off. I don’t blame her, but I really don’t think the car companies give a shit. From what I have been learning, more and more car manufacturers are eliminating the passenger side key hole, and some, even the trunk key hole. This seems kind of stupid if you ask me.

So now – until she can get the broken lock fixed (likely costing her roughly eleventy billion dollars) she either has to leave the door unlocked or climb ass over teakettle into the trunk every time she gets in the car. That’s like deciding between GW Bush and GHW Bush.

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Last night, we were watching Lost and the girl comes strolling through, glances at the TV, sees Sayid and does a double-take. The she smiles and says, “He’s cuuuute!”

Yep – she my girl, alright

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In other four-year-old boy crazy news, we were watching Spiderman III this weekend and during the scene where MJ kisses Harry, she says, “Ewwwww…I don’t want her kissing HIM……….but he’s cute

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I went into the Hallmark store on Wednesday to pick out cards for mr b and the kids, and I was loking around for something cute and chocolate to give them and this employee comes running up to me, all chipper:

“Hiiiiiiiiii! Welcome to Hallmark!!! (in my head, all those I-s were dotted with smiley faces and/or flowers)”

“Um, hi.”

“Can I help you with something?”

“No thanks”

“I can hekp you find anything!!! What can I help you find???”

“Nothing, thanks.”

“Are you looking for anything in particular? I can help you!!!”

“No – I’m just getting some cards (I hold them up)”

“OK, I’ll check you out then.”

“No thanks, I’m still looking.”

“What are you looking for?”

“I’m not sure – I’m just looking.”

“Who are you shopping for?”

“Oh – just my husband and kids, I really don’t…”

“OH! I HAVE JUST THE THING!!! (meanwhile she has no idea what my husband and kids like or what gender or age of my children are, but she has “just the thing”)”

She then proceeds to run around the store like a crazy person, running back to me with random crap – frames, trinkets, chocolate, god-awful stuffed animals that fucking sing, hug or kiss, including (for my husband) a stuffed bull that talks in a Spanish accent about “LOOOVVVE”. I tried to hide from her as I made my way around the store, but she kept finding me, armed with candles and cookies and a fucking travel cup that sings Johnny Cash. Don’t get me wrong – mr b and I like Johnny Cash, but I suspect that after the third playing, he would fill it with poison and drink it to put himself out of his misery.

Finally, I grabbed what I wanted and got the hell out. I mean, it’s the Hallmark Store! It’s the size of my family room! I think I can manage to shop without her help. Though, on second thought, perhaps I should have bought that Johnny Cash cup after all…mr b can really piss me off sometimes.

The Valentine’s Day Massacre (of your bank account)

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Valentine’s Day has never been my thing. At least after I outgrew the school parties and homemade boxes and heart-shaped lollipops and chocolate covered marshmallow hearts (OK, I never actually outgrew the chocolate covered marshmallow hearts).

In high school, I always hated when V-day rolled around. If I had a boyfriend there was the worrying about what to get him, when in actuality I thought it was stupid but I didn’t want to be the loser who got something and didn’t give something in return. And really, I hated cheap candy and stupid plush hearts and teddy bears. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, it actually wasn’t so bad. My friends and I would send each other flowers or lollipops (red for I love you, pink for I like you and white for just friends – we always went with red) and we’d make fun of everyone else’s stupid plush hearts and teddy bears. Hedge and I will be doing this tonight, in fact – twenty-mrtngh years later.

And mr b and I never went all out for V-day either. In the beginning, we were too broke and now we just don’t give a crap. We’ll get a card and maybe a little chocolate treat, maybe a little thrown-together bouquet of flowers, but beyond that? Eh.

I’ve talked about it before, but I am so sick to death of Hallmark and jewelry stores telling me how important it is. I don’t give a shit if he went to Jared. So in case you were wondering, here’s a list of thing to NOT get me on Valentine’s Day, though the constant radio ads will tell you otherwise.

Vermont Teddy Bears
No. Seriously, no. I don’t care about a stuffed animal. I don’t care if it has a little outfit on and looks like me or is sitting at a computer or wearing a tie-dye or whatever. I simply do not need or want a fucking teddy bear. I’m 39. It’s just one more thing for me to dust and take up space in my too-small house. And besides, unless the little fucker is going to get up and clean the house for me, then 70 fucking dollars is too damned much to spend on a stupid space-taking, dust-collecting stuffed toy. Now that I think of it, get me a maid service instead.

Lingerie
Ahhh, yes. The gift that says, “I’d like to get laid”. There is a local lingerie store that has radio ads every Valentine’s Day, with some stupid British bitch telling the “gentlemen” how their “ladies” would love “something sensual” but are afraid to say so. Ummm, not really. Please – If I want lingerie, I’ll go buy it. If I want lingerie, I want something that will a) not embed itself in my ass, b) hold the hooters in place, c) actually be comfortable, and d) be made from fibers found in nature so as not to create a raging yeast infection. If you give me sexy lingerie, I will open it and my first thought will be, “Motherfucker, this is for YOU, not me. Next time get me a table saw, why don’t you??” And don’t be surprised if you get a 20-something pool boy from me next year.

Chocolates Body Paint
See “lingerie.” The only thing I will be doing with this is heating it up and pouring it over ice cream. Sorry.

Gold-Dipped Roses
I do not, I repeat NOT, need another crappy tchochke in my house. Please. Also, see “too much money” and “dust-collector”

Flowers in General
Don’t get me wrong – I love flowers. And roses are OK, though not my favorite. But on V-Day, those things are marked up like 15,000%. And they are FAR crappier then, too. Fuck that shit. It’s complete insanity to expect people to pay that much fucking money for flowers that will be dead shortly anyway. If you want to get me flowers, go to the local supermarket that sells them by the stem, pick out a bunch of different style, different color, mix and match blooms and I’ll love it all the more.

Heart-Boxed Chocolate
I love chocolate. Love it. But I don’t need the heart shaped box. You pay way more because of it and generally, I hate everything in there. I hate the creams and the nougats and the nuts. So get me some Dove hearts, some truffles, some Hershey’s kisses, or hell, some Raisinettes. I’ll love them.

Diamond Heart Jewelry
I am really not a big jewelry person in general, but I really, really hate the heart stuff. I don’t like heart shaped stones, I don’t like the cheesy heart rings and necklaces that come in a box with chocolates or a bear. Seriously, I just don’t care for it. And I really don’t need more jewelry. I already have more than I can wear (one ring on each hand and maybe a necklace or bracelet – and I’m too damned lazy to change every day). And don’t even get me started on the blood diamonds. If you insist on getting me jewelry, go string some beads for me or buy me something artistic and handcrafted. Or something antique. Otherwise, save your money.

Champagne
OK, champagne is fine, as long as you get several bottles and don’t expect it to lead to sex.

Avoiding a Surrender to Terror and Other Bullshit

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Mitt Romney dropped out of the republican primary. He claims it wasn’t because he’s a big fat losing loser, but because staying in would split republican votes and contribute to a Clinton or Obama win. He claimed, “I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

What?? Does he not understand how the primaries work? Because if, like he claims, staying in the race would split the republican vote, it would only split it among the votes for the republican candidate. It has nothing to do with the main election. So, no matter who the republican candidate turns out to be, once the primaries are over, those voters will be choosing between a republican candidate and a democratic candidate, regardless of how many votes Romney did or didn’t get.

But good try on the face-saving maneuver, anyway, Mitt. Unfortunately, it was about as believable as when my cat falls off the TV and does his casual little “I meant to do that” ass licking.

Oh – and I felt like I needed to come back and add that I couldn’t give a good shit about Mitt Romney. But if he were right that staying in the race would guarantee a Democratic win? I’d actually campaign for him.