Friday, December 25, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Florence.

Crown Jewel

Great site.

From Terry, who's back in Oklahoma for the occasion.

Having a Ball

Wish you were here.

From Tom.
1926: A crowd of happy youngsters chase Father Christmas along a London street whilst on his way to a south London store to distribute presents.
(H.F. Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From Riley.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Peter and Laurie.

Overheard in the Holler

Lesbian neighbor (on phone): Hey, could you do me a favor?

Dan: Sure.

Neighbor: Inside my door there's an axe and a sledgehammer. Could you take them and put 'em outside my door somewhere no one can see 'em? A friend of mine is gonna come pick 'em up.

Dan: Oh, that's boring. I thought you were gonna ask me to kill someone for you.

'Let's Review'

"I died for your sins, but those pumps are unforgivable."

I'd never heard of this song, but it sounds like a gem.

From David.

Measuring Up

The long and short of the matter.

From Derek, who's conducted extensive research.

Style Section

Sophia Jacewicz showed off an iron lung designed for
people on the go in May 1942 at St. Anthony Hospital.

From Riley.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Peggy.

'He May Appear Normal'

"One never knows when the homosexual is about."

From Riley, who's Friendly with a capital F.

Bad Rap

From Derek.

No Takers

This is all I need for Christmas.

For a brief period in childhood, I had an obsessive fear that I'd be kidnapped. At some point I watched a TV movie about Patty Hearst that made quite an impression, but I think this predated it.

My mother did not share my concern. "Who would want to kidnap you?" she said.

To this day, I'm not sure whether she was stressing the first word or the last, and therefore whether I was being comforted or mocked.

Brief Case

From Darlene.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Colleen.
"The war in Afghanistan is like Larry King's show
- it's still going on, but no one knows why."

Andy Borowitz

'There Will Come a Limit'

I like to know where a road leads before I set out on a journey. Right now, one path I could take leads to a place I don't want to go.
I have a feeding tube and find the quantification pointless, but otherwise I share his philosophy.

Poached from Deb.

Overheard on the Subway

A D.C. friend heard this last week:
Teenage boy to teenage girl: Hey, how you baby?
Girl: It good; it gettin' big.
Boy: Word.
And a friend in Boston was moved to poetry:
crowded subway morn
woman sings a happy tune
everyone unnerved

The View From Here

Photo by Dan.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Toy Story

Butt Hollow has its first female resident.

The void left by Zap was so vast, it’s been even tougher to adjust to than I expected. Devo took it hardest of all, launching the most intensive hunger strike in his long and distinguished career.

About a month ago, we started to consider getting another dog. Conscience demanded a rescue, and we weren’t about to inflict a puppy on Devo, much less housebreak one. Far better, we thought, to adopt an older dog, maybe one that had been passed over for younger choices.

At first we ruled out Italian greyhounds, spooked by the idea of a Zap impersonator. But it was those toy-dog qualities that I was craving – the sociability and companionship – and we ended up coming full circle. I love Devo dearly, but he’s no lapdog. So we applied to IGCA Rescue, got approved to adopt, and last Sunday drove up to a small town in snow-covered northern Maryland and picked up our little girl.

With a name like Sparkle*, you’d think her previous owner was a small child or a gay man. She was neither. She was a middle-aged woman, an unlicensed breeder described by many as a dog hoarder. We were told Sparkle was bred twice a year. (“She’s a tired old whore, like us,” I said.) She entered the rescue system when authorities raided the place and plucked her and 15 others from the squalor. According to the rescue rep, it was the second time they’d shut the breeder down. Sparkle spent the next year in foster care as other dogs came and went.

Meeting her now, you’d never guess at her grim past. She’s a happy little thing, amazingly playful for an eight-year-old. Completely self-assured, she stands sentinel at the window, warding off people, other dogs, and squirrels with fierce growls and barks that belie her 14 pounds. She flirts with every visitor, and Dan says she’s the same on walks. One day it’ll be warm enough for me to see for myself.

So far, Devo’s the only one who hasn’t fully succumbed to Sparkle’s sparkle, but he’s coming along. In the meantime, his appetite is back.

*She's royalty, you know.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Word of the Day


From Laurie.

Inspect Her Gadget

A friend received the following message today ... and promptly circulated it.
Date: Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 1:11 PM
Subject: Important!

Hi K,

I need to know soon, like today, the name of that device that has the fairly large screen that you move over with your that a Blackberry?


'What the Freak?'

From the last SNL:

Altar Egos


"Trashing Your Special Day Is Our Prime Directive"

From Peggy.

No Amnety

From Emily Woo-Woo-Woolf.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Today's Top Stories

From Peggy and Riley.

Word of the Day



Olden Girls

I'd watch this.

From Derek and Laurie.

Kate's Secret

One minor quibble: Meredith was née Baxter, not Birney. Great collection, though.

From Kristine.

Hot off the Presses

In this photo taken Nov. 23, 2009, residue is seen on the bottom of
an electric iron at the home of Mary Jo Coady in Methuen, Mass. Coady
says an image of Jesus Christ that she sees in the pattern on the bottom
of the iron, which she first noticed a day earlier, has reassured her that
'life is going to be good.' (AP Photo/The Eagle-Tribune, Grant Morris)

From Riley.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today's Top Story

(608): i'm crying at olive garden. i've hit rock bottom
Texts From Last Night
September 1945: University of Hawaii girls chosen by the student body to serve as princesses and queen in annual May Day ceremony. (Eliot Elisofon)

From Florence.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today's Top Stories

From Peggy.

Yesterday's News

On her way to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving, a New York friend filed this report:
My deranged neighbor harangued me for quite a while yesterday about stealing her newspaper. The doorman found it in recycling bin, she had read it, thrown it out and forgotten. She was mean and crazy fifteen years ago but now it is very sad although she did tell me to fuck myself.

She also asked me if I was taking the 20th Century Limited to LA and if so I should leave a week ahead since the train took quite some time. I said I was flying and she looked amazed.


"[B]eing lectured about what constitutes a
traditional marriage by a Mormon is a bit like
being scolded for loitering by a crack whore."

Tasted Like Chicken

From Derek.


From Riley.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Today's Top Stories

From Peggy and Alan.


From David.

Key Moments in Child Development

When I think of some of the stupid things I did growing up, it’s a wonder I made it to adulthood. Jumping from high places, exploring storm sewers, playing on construction sites, running wood scraps through the table saw …

I had an extensive key collection, and one day when I was quite young I decided to play keymaker. Lacking the hardware store’s machine, I scanned my room for a substitute, eventually settling on the electrical outlet next to my desk. It didn’t look much like a key cutter, but the slots were perfect.

As I remember, I plied my new trade several times before the inevitable occurred. When it finally did, the shock was as much mental as physical. Here I was, just trying to do my job, when I was savagely attacked by an invisible assailant. What the hell?

I went running to my mother, forgetting momentarily that she wasn’t the coddling type. When she got the details out of me, she said, “Well, what did you expect?”

Stand by Me

From Peggy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming to a Head

The stuff of urban legends.

From Peggy.

White Noise

[I]f Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.
From Dan.


From Derek.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Today's Top Story

I can't believe no one told me about this. It was on "Weekend Update" last night.


One day when I was 15, I was headed somewhere with my mother. We got in the car, which as usual was parked in front of the garage. (I've heard rumors that some people actually put the car in the garage, but I'm skeptical. Where, then, would they keep their towering piles of junk?)

For some reason, she put the car in drive instead of reverse. Luckily, several feet of driveway lay between us and disaster. She hit the brakes, and I burst out laughing.

"That does it!" she snapped. "You're not getting your driver's license."

"Why?" I protested. "I'm not the one who almost plowed through the garage door!"

"No, but you thought it was funny."

I sure did, but not as funny as this.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Today's Top Story

Those in a bad mood outperformed those who were jolly - they made fewer mistakes and were better communicators.
This bolsters my long-held suspicion that most cheery people are just too dumb to be depressed. Conveniently, it also explains my razor-sharp mind.

From Riley.
Locked doublewide. Fat cats. Owner missing.

Prattle Assassin
Six Word Stories

You Who?

A friend wrote this the other day:
[A]m laughing at my Mom for singing loudly and dancing around to entertain my baby while I loaded groceries into the back of my minivan... only it wasn't MY baby. Identical minivan next to mine with the side door also open to reveal similar-looking baby. Boy, was HIS mom surprised when she looked up from loading her groceries into the trunk.
Which reminded me of two incidents:
  1. At a local strip mall one evening, I was sitting in the van while Dan strapped down my chair. (You knew I was into that, right?)

    A young girl came running up, then stopped dead. You could see the wheels turning in her cute little head: Wait a minute ... Our van doesn't have a ramp ... or a man in a wheelchair!

    Glancing over, I saw a similar red minivan parked just beyond. Standing next to it was the girl's mother, doubled over with laughter.

  2. Long before the wheelchair and the minivan, I was working out one day with my friend Eddie, an inveterate tease and prankster who delighted in making people squirm. Toweling off after the shower, I thought: I'm gonna slap Eddie on the ass. He'll love it.

    I swung around and delivered such a perfect blow that a loud crack shot through the room, causing every head to jerk in our direction. My victim turned, surprised ... but not nearly as surprised as I was when I saw he wasn't Eddie.

    My jaw dropped open. "Oh my god!" I babbled. "I thought you were Eddie. I thought you were someone else. I'm so sorry! I'm really sorry!"

    "Well!" he said, brilliantly deadpan. "Good to meet you, too."

    Our audience laughed uproariously as I scurried away, mortified.

Hold Up

You can take these to the bank.

From Kristine.

The Sun Also Rises

The mayor of London has decreed that Westminster Bridge will be closed
in the early afternoon on sunny days due to a strange phenomenon
that occurs when sunlight passes through the balustrade.

From Zana.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Terry.

Small Worlds

From Peggy.

Kiss and Tell

From a friend:
i am staying at the w hotel in new orleans for work. it is also voodoo music fest weekend. i drank some wine (by myself, like a loser) at the hotel bar to console my over-worked ass (and all of my work friends arrive tomorrow, so i am all sad and alone) and sat next to some rocker dude who looked obviously rich and famous but could have been joe perry for all i knew. then i saw the unmistakable gene simmons and realized that i was (quietly and unassumingly) "partying" with kiss.

they scared the shit out of me when i was a kid.

gene simmons is just as ugly in real life as you would think.

i texted [my husband] and he told me not to sleep with them. um, no probs.
Later she added:
they were hanging out with women 30 years younger (who had on rings - i looked) or at least had good plastic surgery. some guy was taking cell phone photos, with permission, of gene simmons' shoes and jeans pockets (weird). i was in no mood - i pretended i didn't give a shit. which i actually didn't. good enough to email my friends about, not good enough to actually talk to them. what was i supposed to say? "um, i, also, want to rock and roll all night, and party every day, but i have an annoying job, which is why i am here in a business suit drinking wine at a hotel bar with my blackberry on a friday night"?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's Top Story

From Derek.

Indifferent Strokes

Years ago, we had a pair of goldfish that we named after Dan's parents: Lud and Darlene Iglfish. We thought it was a cute little tribute, but one of the namesakes felt less than honored.

"I'm going to get a couple of cheap pets and name them after you," she huffed.

We decided not to tell them when one of Lud's eyeballs fell out, leaving a spooky little porthole with a view of his brain. It was a disturbing sight, but you just had to look. Again and again. Darlene had developed a voracious appetite and grown much larger than her mate, and I could never shake the suspicion that she'd eaten his eye.

Lud died at some point, and Darlene never looked back. The merry widow just kept eating and growing. By the time we left California, she looked like a small koi.

Taken in by friends, Darlene was still alive years later when Dan went back for a visit (to the friends, not the fish). She was grotesque by then, a side-swimming monster covered with tumors. Her sight was gone, but not her appetite: she'd circle the tank with her mouth gaping open, hoping to suck in some food. Plus ça change ...

F.A.O. Warped

In plenty of time for the holidays, great gift ideas for girls and boys.


From Alan.