Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Now We Know

How to wash a cat.

That Ain't Right

I'm still a little unsettled by a disturbing sight I encountered last Saturday: a fat greyhound.

Like their owners, a lot of dogs get too much food and not enough exercise. There are plenty of portly pooches waddling around, and certain breeds seem predisposed to it. Pugs and Labradors, for instance. But an obese sighthound?

I did see a potbellied whippet once, and that was just as freaky. It almost never happens. Most salukis, Afghans, etc. look like they could stand to gain several pounds. More than once, someone in a passing car has shouted, "Feed those dogs!"

Their sleekness is a crucial part of their design, just like the pointy head and a deep ribcage to house their oversized heart and lungs. It's all about speed. A fat greyhound is like a wispy football player: wrong, all wrong.

It did seem happy, and that's what really matters, isn't it? But damn was that thing freaky looking.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Crazy With a "Z"

What better way to start the week than with an on-air celebrity crack-up? Liza never disappoints.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cabin Fever

Yesterday I went out for the first time in almost two weeks. And if the forecast is at all accurate, I'll be stuck indoors again for a while.

Surprisingly, I don't get antsy. With an inert body that gets cold in minutes but takes forever to warm up, my craving for comfort has grown stronger than the urge for a change of scenery. Thank God for the Internet and cable TV.

For me, cabin fever isn't claustrophobia; it's the desire to own a cozy home somewhere scenic. Sites like this one and this one are like pornography for me, just with houses instead of people. If I had one of those places, I might never leave.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Literary Train Wrecks

Coming soon to the sale table at Barnes & Noble: a memoir by ... wait for it ... Scott Baio. The title? BaioWatch: How I Dated and Loved Hollywood's Most Beautiful Women and Ended Up Alone.

Radar shares details that are almost too rich; it's like downing an entire box of Little Debbies in one sitting. For example, Joanie really did love Chachi -- enough to deflower him, anyway. And don't miss his introduction to Beverly D'Angelo. Good times.

Fun for the Anglophile

I've become a big fan of armchair tourism, and this site is quite interesting in its limited way, but I want to peek behind the doors you're not supposed to.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lost in Translation

A funny French ad for March of the Penguins -- or March of the Emperor, as it was called there.

Free to a Good Home

My neighbor has a puppy he's giving away (FREE!).

It's a dachshund, it's housebroken, and it's great with kids.

He's giving it away because his wife says the dog "stares" at her when she's undressing. And that gives her the heebie-jeebies. I think she's just weird.

If you're interested, or know someone who is, let me know.

Here's a picture of the dog:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Frosty the Moron

Am I the last person in the country to hear about the amusingly named Frosty Hardison and his role in banning An Inconvenient Truth from the classrooms of his school district?

It's a great story, and the creationist father of seven is taking full advantage of his moment in the spotlight to publish his manifesto and pop up on blogs.

God bless America.

"The human race has one really effective weapon,
and that is laughter."
Mark Twain

Super Size Me

Monday, January 22, 2007

Remember Me Well

When people opt to pay for a death notice rather than having an editor write a free obituary, it's usually so they can lavish praise on the departed, portraying his or her life in heroic terms. But not always:

It would be good, but untrue, to say that Shirley had a good life. As a child, she had a mastoid on one ear and another operation to correct pronounced cross-eyes. Both operations were successful, but left emotional scars. She felt like the ugly duckling of the family and grew bitter. She was pretty but did not think she was; she shrank from men and had few close friends. In Washington, she lived alone in the Garfield condo on upper Connecticut Ave., participated in condo committees, did volunteer work at the Hirshhorn Museum and the Kennedy Center, saw family members and a few friends occasionally. She was particularly fond of and relaxed with young children and regretted that she had not been able to find a decent job looking after or teaching them. As she aged, she grew more withdrawn and unhappy; toward the end, she was so depressed she did not return phone calls.
Good times.

Resquiat in pace, Shirl.

Noteworthy Names

The latest installment from the ever-growing list of names that have caught my attention:

(Mrs.) L'Angel Hardgrove
Elvis Beach
Ptolemy David and True Ellen Eggers
Lori Sweatt Cave
Beuford Stickley
Crystal Jolly
Taishika Waddy
Louis and Joe Louis Winbush (brothers)
Lola May Beeler
Leora Lightfoot
Amber Berry
Jailyn and Jazmyn Chittams (sisters)
Paula Vample
Clifford Clapper
Pastor Festus Shaw
Babi Meekins
(Miss) Dulcy Pippel
Daryl Kangarloo
Cortez Wall
(Mrs.) Arizona Brown
Latravetta Lee
Millard Gooch
Lenona Person
Geneva Swann
Luvenda C. Talley
Dr. Kin Kong
Oak DeBerg
Modestine Snead
Nellie Blue
Titus W. Dickens
Cornelius Froeb
Belva Compher
Eboni Queen
Orieyama Linebarger
Constance Nettles Parker
Joy Blamer
lonette Applewhite and Verlia Pouchet (sisters)
Rev. Filbert Martin
India Lofty
Antonina Waltz
Angelina Floor
Amber Violette
(Ms.) Skye Burger
Randy Randall
Michael Carmichael
Lona Funn
Dawn Cummings
Lucie Giegengach Teegarden
Paul Gray Ruff IV
Patricia Hanket Buckles
Hampton Lee Peed, Jr.
MaDisa Campfield
(Ms.) Vernie E. Umberger
Octavia Crone
Burton Booze
Pearlie Breedlove
Ovid Bush Frost, Sr.
Gary Cooper
(Mr.) Corbett O. Jonker
Gaye Cox
Earl Suite
Quandetta White
(Mrs.) Burline McLamb Wintersteen
Krystle Merchant
Christian Fink
Eulalia Holley
Rose Fedora
Rose Wort
Renata Reeks
Altwennetta Murray
(Mr.) Clell "Puzz" Ware
Hunter Oland
Geneva Farewell
Omelia Spurgeon
(Mrs.) Bean F. Williams
Mona Lisa Young
Barry Didcock
Nanny Combs
Nancy Nuthall
Mytease Decosita Brown
Milton Fagerstrom
Jackson Thigpen
Wilbert McPhee
Mabel Fletcher Phucas
Elizabeth Taylor
(Ms.) Descendre' Upshur
Cornelius Baytop
(Mrs.) Syvella Crump
Tiny Wilkins Davis, MD
(Mr.) Goldwin Dyke
Tumie C. Hurd I
James Epiphany "Pick" Flamer
Ettalena McKinney
(Mrs.) Maudie Bert Gillikin
Jessica Snoots
Fannie Skinner
Maverick Mills
Louzina Downing
Crystal Green
Ruby Way
Pearl Dick
Nakeeda L. Rice
Gertrude Crotzer
(Mr.) Glenwood Dail
(Mr.) Lacy LeGrande
Rose Huggins

Sunday, January 21, 2007

That's Smart

Maybe it's my contrarian nature, but when I first saw a smart car, years ago in Edinburgh, I was instantly drawn to it.

A joint venture of Swatch and Mercedes, smarts are as freaky and adorable as pug puppies. There's even one on display at MoMA in New York. They look like something Elroy Jetson would build out of Lego and Tinkertoys. And they're tiny -- so small you can park 'em in a regular spot sideways. They make Mini Coopers look like Lincoln Navigators.

Smarts have been popular in space-challenged Europe for years now, and Chrysler plans to introduce them here next January. The company's U.S. Web site isn't terribly informative, but it does have some cute videos. Good article here.

Will they sell in our bloated, nothing-is-big-enough culture? People are still snapping up Hummers to fill the three-car garages of their McMansions, so it seems counterintuitive. But maybe all the bad news about climbing temps and dwindling oil reserves will finally sink in and smarts will begin to look smart. It could happen.

Friday, January 19, 2007

They Called Her Eve

Just a few hours after reading yet another depressing article warning that we're about to run out of natural resources, I came across a death notice for a woman who had 12 children and 37 grandchildren. Jesus.

Neither Dead nor Canadian

A couple of friends were over recently, and Sherman Hemsley's* name inevitably came up. I'm sure it happens all the time chez vous too.

Some people remember him as the irascible Deacon Ernest Frye on "Amen," but to most he will forever be the irascible** George Jefferson, the success of whose seven dry-cleaning establishments enabled him to move his family to a "dee-luxe apartment in the sky" on Manhattan's fabled Upper East Side. It might have been "All in the Family" for neighbors Archie and Edith Bunker, but when "The Jeffersons" debuted in 1975, George and his long-suffering wife, "Weezie," left behind their gauche neighbors in gritty Queens with scarcely a backward glance. They'd finally got their piece of the pie, you see. No more fried fish or grilled beans for the Jeffersons.***

The mention of Hemsley's name prompted one friend to ask, "Is he still alive?" which in turn jarred the memory of a skit from long ago, back when "Saturday Night Live" was funny. Structured as a game show, "Dead or Canadian?" featured an emcee who would toss out the name of a long-forgotten celebrity. Contestants would guess in which of the two categories the has-been belonged. It was often difficult and always amusing.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I can report that Brother Hemsley is neither dead nor Canadian. He's not even very old, turning 69 on February 1st, inshallah. Still working, he has one movie in production and another in the can. And in a 2005 episode of "Family Guy" he appeared as himself, establishing a religion based on ... George Jefferson. That's got to be good; maybe I can find it at Netflix.

* Many people say "Helmsley." This is how you know they're not true fans.
** No one did irascible like Sherman Hemsley. No one.
*** Do people really grill beans? Seems tricky.

Mona Liza

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good Morning

Warm dog under the
Covers and cold drool on my
Pillow* – rise and shine

* My drool, not the dog's. Speaking of which, I'm surprised no one's bought me this. Probably doesn't come in my size.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Intimate Portraits

The perfect gift for someone who has everything. Or a narcissist.

Read about it here. Order yours here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Best of

It started here.

So great was my amusement/horror that I traced it back to the mother lode, bursting with such gems as: "You are very attractive in a hagged-out Motley Crue video slut sort of way, and your husband is rarely home."

Hours of riveting entertainment. Enjoy.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Saddam's Cat

Did you laugh at this? Shame on you! You're sick.

In the Company of Hags

Do I seem different today? Wiser, more mature? Have I assumed a mantle of gravitas?

I didn't think so.

Midweek birthdays are inconvenient. Not so much for us welfare queens, but for the rest of you workaday drudges with your tiresome schedules and commitments. So we invited some friends over on Saturday evening, a plan that satisfied almost everyone.

Everyone except for my college pal Caroline, who lives in North Carolina and couldn't make it this weekend. She began hailing the arrival of my 40th a couple of weeks ago with a cheerfully grim countdown: "Only 12 days till you're an old hag," "You're gonna be an old hag on Thursday," etc. She should know; she's been one for 10 months now.

Since the Saturday get-together wasn't possible, she mused, "What are you doing on your actual birthday? Maybe I'll jump on a plane." Caroline is one of those rare people whose maybes tend to become reality, so I wasn't surprised when she announced a few hours later that she'd bought a ticket. She doesn't like to fly, but her desire to be on hand for my initiation into haghood was far stronger. And Dan couldn't stand the idea of us having fun without him, so he took the day off work. By Caroline's standard, Dan's been a hag for almost three years already, so it was a vanload o' crones. (I believe that's actually the scientific plural.)

With three young boys, Caroline is a professional celebratrix. Hence the huge psychedelic hat she was wearing when we picked her up at the airport. It was shaped like a birthday cake, complete with candles. She said she'd worn it on the plane, and I didn't doubt her for a second.

The confection was transferred to my head, and Caroline produced two slightly less elaborate ones for herself and Dan. In honor of my new status as a hag, I'd worn my lesbian pantsuit and loafers, accented with a strand of Mardi Gras beads; the hat went quite well.

As we headed off to Baltimore, Caroline remarked how long it had been since she'd been in a car without kids. "I feel like such a grownup," she said, the floppy candles bobbing on her cake hat.

After a hearty lunch at a piss-elegant restaurant in Little Italy, we proceeded to the real attraction: the Visionary Art Museum. It's one of my favorite galleries, and I knew Caroline, with her Condi-with-a-dildo sense of aesthetic discernment, would appreciate it.

Which she did -- to the point of missing her flight home. No worries; she caught the next one.

Thus was my induction into haghood both enjoyable and memorable, celebrated with copious hooting and howling -- as it should be. Good times.

P.S.: The pictures posted yesterday (which I found through Google image searches for desert, desolate, and moonscape) were brought to you by the number 40.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Dear Miss Manners:
How do I reply to people who ask me to guess how old they are?


Blessed Art Thou

Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary shopping at Wal-Mart. Like Condi with a strap-on, that's my kind of art.

Here is an AP story, and here's the artist's Web site.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Licensed to Kill

There are so many bad drivers on the road these days, you'd think they give a license to anyone.

I could swear I remember reading long ago that octogenarians in Florida could renew their licenses by mail without so much as a vision test. A few sane people wanted to change the law, but common wisdom said the elderly 80 or 90 percent of the populace would riot if they even tried. The thought of all those canes and walkers rattling with righteous rage was too disturbing, so the bureaucrats backed down. That's my memory, anyway.

Here in Virginny, you can be functionally quadriplegic and they'll still give you a driver's license. I got a shiny new one in the mail yesterday. I can barely hold my big head up anymore, and if I turn it more than a few degrees in either direction it's likely to get stuck. Apparently that's not a concern, though, because I wasn't asked whether I was fit to drive. In fact, the online renewal process took maybe five minutes. The toughest question was, Do you require corrective lenses to operate a motor vehicle? No, I require a driver to operate a motor vehicle.

Don't panic, folks. I haven't been behind the wheel in years. I only renewed my license to use as a photo ID. And to see if I could do it.

Meet Me by the Toupee Display

Today's perusal of the obits found a notice for evident spinster Sallyjo Wagner, 59, of Jupiter, Fla. There will be a private* memorial service at the Burt Reynolds Museum.

I wonder if the distinguished thespian will in attendance himself. And, if so, whether he'll be offering free mustache rides to the bereaved. Good times.

* Don't even think of trying to crash, no matter how sorely tempted you might be.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Noteworthy Names

The latest installment from the ever-growing list of names that have caught my attention:

S. Goya Wannamethee, PhD
Adonis Adams
Brantley Y. Blue
Schumpart Davis
Betty Eddy
Mary Berry
Harry Rimmer
(Mrs.) Zollie Tilson Wilson
Pearl and Earl Knickelbein
Cleta and Frieda Travis
Carrissa Crochet
Lavinia Lemon Pitzer
Fletcher D.P. Plumley
Arnecia Chatmon
DaRen, MyAsha, MyShia, and DaVaun Cheatham (siblings)
Magelene Chittams
Virginia, Hibernia, Missouri, Scennie, Hazel, Neadom, and Maryland Brown (siblings and spouses)
(Mrs.) Rindy Dowdy
Lila Mae Cheeks
Ofers and Ella Mae Nall
Precious M. Queen
Rodney J. Wylie
Victor "Vic" Dick
Dick Polman
General Stephens
Colonel G. Barnes
Lauranetta Jackson
(Mr.) Thornal Coachman
Angelo and Angela Easter (siblings)
Shaunta and Shauntice Culp (siblings)
Hazel Fields
Boisfeuillet Jones
Emma Bumbry
Otis and Pearlie Mae Lynch
Eloise Quick Mange
Pearl Alcampe Kreckel
Melvalee Wills
Willis H. Wills
Wilma Wills
Schuyler Apt
Otha and Opie Hinkle
Otha John Hamer Jr. (children: Otha III and Othalene)
Dottie Deck
Mimi Noggle
Elmer and Wilma Boik
Zerline R. Applegate
Brandi Loveless
Mavis and Melford Boodie
Woodrow and Wilson Judy (brothers)
Valda Murfree
Mozelle Verda McCleain
Deacon Presper Melvin
(Mr.) Eltora Minor
Eula, Delma, and Reckina Penn
Anna Butt Gravalles
Earline I. Shifflett
Rev. Pearly Selby
Frances Henkel Wallrodt
Credella White
Ossie Mae Wylie
Lula Belle Cotton
Jethro Glass
Barbara Brown Butts
Clofus H. Clayton
Fontini Leftdwrige
Bernadette Broadnox
Patrice Dudley-Zogdoule
Anastasia V. Wingo
Babette Grout
Rodney Koozmin
Felicia Funderburk
Daisy L. Roach
Mabel Mae McDonald and Dixie Gene Holland (sisters)
Elwood and Wanda Hovermale
Tonya Shellnutt
Patti Shunk Blinkhorn
Brooklyn Macklin
Elco L. Greenshields
Kitty Etter
Gertrude Greenspoon
Kerry and Kelly Klinksieck
Wilma Dykeman (and son Dykeman Stokely)
Lesbia Salguero
(Mr.) Lastarza Hunt
(Ms.) Belvyn Pyles
(Mr.) Nopadon Woods
Clark Kent
John Paul Jones
Jimmy Carter
(Mrs.) Gerri Springer
Velveteen Gaskins
Ruby Rose Ice
Rovella Ledbetter
Lord Marmaduke Hussey
Shamara Feggins
Cordelia Boggins
Austin and Savannah Gentry
Hazel Fritter
John Jacob Astor Green
(Mrs.) Peppie Limber
Quinette Napper
(Mr.) Green Berry Bohon
(Mr.) Angush LaRay Bostic
Dr. Lumbus T. Burrell
Velina Shuler
Iomia Bland
Horace and Goller Tidwell (children: Horace Jr., Lasava, Marchavia, Schavez, and Miguel)
Lori Windsor-Yakuchev
(Mrs.) Enalee Bounds
Joetta Cramm
Grover and Imajean Delp
Veda Zirkle
Fannie B. Dickens
(Mr.) Golden Driver
Damon Gooch
Olean Netzel
Holden and Atticus Boba (brothers)
(Mr.) Hildrus Burrus
Unita and Crystal Crudup (siblings)
LaPearle Philyaw
Donzella Hamm
Gwendolyn Smuts
(Mr.) Itche Goldberg
Haroldine "Kitty" Bonnett
Hughlene B. Frank
Manley Mincer
Garland Rakestraw
(Miss) Maurie Moorhead
(Mr.) Earcell Barnett
Latasha and Lateshia Brown (2 of 12 siblings)
Maxine Nettles
Felix Tweraser
Monique Creek
Chalsedonia Archer
Crystal Fountain
Jervie and Winona Fox
Felicia Fagelson
Marian Paper Binder
Aradine Tardy
Orpha Violet Kagey
(Mrs.) Mattie P. Sours
Aileen Bean
Thurman Higginbotham
Fannie Falk
Bonnie Beaver
London and Ikea Henderson (siblings)
George Madison Lady
Constance Love
Dr. Nick DiNubile, orthopedic surgeon
Beulah G. Taltavull
Bransby W. Bushey III
Sedatrice Gibbons
Christamae Zimpel
Birdie Nicely
Bernice Forgosh
Warrant Oxford
Col. Shirly Ray Trumps

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Gracious Hostility

Blessed are the church ladies, for their typos and malapropisms makest us mirthful:

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

PRAYER & FASTING Conference: The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.

The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water. The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus.

Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say Hell to someone who doesn't care much about you.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

Miss Charlene Mason sang I will not pass this way again, giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: Break Forth Into Joy.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be What Is Hell? Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM -prayer and medication to follow.

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

This evening at 7PM there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

Low Self-esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7PM. Please use the back door.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours."

Saturday, January 06, 2007


If I had twins, I would name them Medulla and Fontanelle. Or maybe Tibia and Fibula. I can't decide.

Anatomy provides a trove of pretty names; so do diseases.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Trash Talk With Huggy Bear

My mother heard a soft tapping at the door yesterday morning and opened it to find her garbageman. He wanted to thank her for the Christmas tip.

I thought that was slightly unusual, but then she casually mentioned that "he likes to hug me," at which point I almost fell out of my chair.

When my head stopped spinning, I asked the only logical question: "Is he simple?"

She assured me that was he was not. Just remarkably affectionate, evidently. Usually she's in the car and can drive by with a wave. But when she's out gardening or whatever, she's vulnerable and has to keep an eye out in case he approaches.

We have a whole crew of garbagemen over here. I see them five days a week, and if we cross paths we exchange a wave or a brief greeting. I can't recall a single instance of physical contact, even a handshake. This always seemed normal to me, but maybe I'm missing out on something.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

As Seen on TV

I really want to make fun of this, and God knows it's an easy target. But I guess it's no worse than finding inspiration in a magazine.

Dance On, Betty

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

May Your 2007 Be a Scream

George W. Bush: Stoking Fears Since 2001