Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Betsy Ross I ain't


OMG…I have committed to a sewing project. (Yes, Virginia, there IS a sucker born every minute. – Ed.) I am making 17 mob caps for my daughter’s classroom. What is a mob cap, you ask? It’s that silly thing that looks like a white shower cap that colonial girls and women wore. My daughter helpfully volunteered me to do this. Suddenly going on a field trip seems a lot more palatable, even if it’s a field trip to Hades. Or the Children’s Museum. (Same diff. – Ed.)


To balance things out, I’m considering making my son this project – a felt Bantha. Dang O’Dell – that’s good lookin’.



In other toy news, I’m sure you’ve heard that Barbie has beaten the Bratz dolls in a street fight. Despite the fact that the Bratz have disproportionately large heads, I feel no kinship. Watch out, Groovy Girls – you bitches are next.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good News, M#therF*ck&!s!


A study at the University of East Anglia Norwich in England has found that swearing relieves stress at work. Drop that F bomb, friends, and go to your happy place.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We Dap-Kings of Orient Are...


I. So, it’s definitely been crazy, Lone Reader. How was Sharon Jones, you might ask? Well, it was fantabulous, as one might expect. I think the First Ave. show last year was better, if only because it was absolutely packed with crazy sweaty dancers. (and the concert was longer.) This was definitely a different crowd – the tickets were about twice as much as the First Ave show, and it was in the Pantages Theater, so a fairly gray crowd. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be dancing, but of course, you can’t stop me and my peeps. Those Dap-Kings really bring it, man.

II. Since then, I’ve had a grant in the finishing line and a bunch of xmas tasks to get to. Sigh. I really, really, love Christmas, but mailing so many gifts is wee bit stressful. Today I am lugging the 75 Rubbermaid tubs out of the attic to begin the Christmasification of the house. Yowza, dude – I need to get rid of some of this stuff.

I was desperate to send a can of bacon to my nephews for Christmas, but apparently you have to buy it by the case. It’s funny, but not a $120 of funny. (What is?)

It’s kind of a weird holiday this year, dontcha think? There’s been so much bad news and just about everyone I know is tightening the ol’ belt or fearful of layoffs. My job is secure as long as I can bring in the money for the non-profit gallery where I work. Call me psychic, but I don’t think the end-of-year ask letter is going to draw much cash this year. We’ll see.

I’m considering purchasing the Colbert xmas special, just ‘cause they had it for $15 at Target and I fell asleep during the airing of the show. Is it worth it? Stephen Colbert thinks so.

This morning I took the kids to the bank to see Santa. Every year he makes an appearance and they take pics and give you a free ornament with the picture inside. I have 10 years of these, and although they’re a little cheesy, it’s also very sweet. This year they also had a sleigh ride with two reindeer pulling. (Poor bastards.) The kids were in heaven.

I’m heading out with the fam for Thai food tonight – I’m grateful to not have to cook after cranking out several dozen cookies in the past two days. Yum.

Wishing you and yours a happy Saint Nicholas Day! xoxo, Velma

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shake n' Bake


Tonight is Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings! I am sooo excited. I loves me some Sharon Jones, man. I’ve said it before, but she is truly the love child of James Brown and Tina Turner. I’ve seen her twice before, once at First Ave and again this summer at the MN State Fair. I can’t wait. It’s at the Pantages Theater, which has me a wee bit nervous. Back in the day, before kids, I went to see Elvis Costello (sigh) in one of the Hennepin theaters. It was totally depressing – he sounded great, but the audience was all genteel applause and staying in their seats. Blecch. It’s time to shake a tailfeather, dude!

I’ll post a review tomorrow. Shake your groove thang, Lone Reader!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


Well, I did groove it last night, and successfully cleaned and got everything ready for the big day. Bacon fest was fab, although I shan't make bacon cornbread for awhile. I can now heartily recommend the No Name brand of peppered thick-cut bacon. Delish, man. Sadly, there was an issue with basting the bird in bacon fat. Bacon grease has a fairly low smoking point and suddenly the smoke detector went off. Was it the little one that one can pull the battery from? Nay, it was the one hardwired into the electrical system. Now I'm running up and down the stairs, trying to figure out which circuit I can turn off, without disturbing the cooking process to shut the dang thing off. I finally got it turned off, but it was pretty nuts for about 10 minutes. After this drama, I flipped the bird (get it?) as per Cook's Illustrated's recommendation. (Cook first hour at 420, breast side down, then flip breast side up and lower temp for remaining cooking time.) Only I forgot to lower the temperature. So about an hour later, that bird was gloriously golden and perfect looking, but the dark meat was woefully undercooked. Crap. I started slicing and putting pieces in the microwave. Guests didn't see this part, which is good, and complimented the juicy, flavorful turkey. Hah! Fooled 'em again!

Happy Thanksgiving, Lone Reader! You're what I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!


Lone Reader! How've ya been?

I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving Eve in a most traditional manner - with ol' skool funk music, drop it like it's hot dancin' and a vodka collins. Then I'm going to clean like hell. If we have to spend so much time with family tomorrow, tonight should be a no-holds-barred holiday for goofin'...write your congressperson. (once the recount is over and we know who that is.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

We are the Lizard People!


Submit before us, weaklings! In accordance with intergalactic law, we needed to convince just one confused, MJ-altered voter to write us in to the insignificant piece of detritus you call a ballot.

You may have already seen us on our reconnaissance, but you know us in our repulsive human façades – Ted Nugent? Dean Barkley? Joan Rivers? Dick Cheney? You fools. Now we will rise before you, fierce and proud, ready to tackle universal health care and the Big 3 bailout.

We are the Lizard People! Let them eat crickets!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jive turkey musings


Sigh - what's going on with you, Lone Reader? I've had a busy week. Big grant was due yesterday, and it was in on time. Yay! Now I'm turning my attention to the many other things I've neglected, including you, dear...so sorry for the lack of posts.

Here's what's on: I'm beginning to think about Thanksgiving. It'll be a dinner for 12 at my house. I've done it before and I brine the turkey, but as a person who has profound phobia about handling raw meat, it does give one pause. The brining alone is stressful, but dang, it makes for a good bird.

Thanksgiving morning is a tradition in my house - it is BACON FEST! We watch the parade, waiting for the REAL Santa. (This is the Santa by which all mall Santas will be measured.) We cook pounds and pounds of bacon, eat gingerbread pancakes with maple syrup and laze about. The cooked bacon is then added to the stuffing, the turkey basting liquid and our bellies. A few years ago my brother-in-law suggested we add bacon to all the dishes of the day. It was good, but there have been complaints from a few of this year's guests that they do not want a smokey aftertaste in the pie, for example. We'll rein it in.

Other Thanksgiving food notes: there'll be broccoli, green beans (NOT in a casserole - blecch) carrots, sweet potatoes, mashers, stuffing, gravy and two pies. And maybe a green salad. Oh, and cranberry relish, which only I will eat but I don't care. Rolls? maybe.

Sadly, this Thanksgiving will be the first without my kids in the morning. It's going to be hard for me, but it is fair to my ex. He wants to build his own traditions with the kids, and I get that. I don't like it, but I get it. They'll be home by noon in time to eat and fight.

I do find myself getting pretty dang Christmas-y early this year. I'm eager to decorate the house, hauling my gazillion Rubbermaid tubs out of the attic and unpacking the insane number of holiday things I've got. This year I'm going to go all out, and I won't have to buy a thing to do it. (Okay, I'll buy fresh garland for the outside of the house, but that's it.) Some time I have to go through all the xmas stuff and get rid of a lot of it...but hey, a gal can only do so much, you know?

And speaking of holiday prep, Lone Reader - didn't you promise that you'd clean my house? I'm waiting, man!

More soon!

Monday, November 17, 2008

And the winner is...

Sonnet! For simultaneously making me laugh and have a little throw up in the back of my throat...

Her caption? "Two in the pink, one in the stink. Or, more fitting for this photo, maybe they were going for 'two in the Bush, one in the tush??'"

Ewwww.

More later today from my wee MN roadtrip and the crazy, deeluxe weekend. Stay warm, Lone Reader!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Caption Contest


What do you think this photo is about? (Seems like the Prez is stackin' to me...) Post your theories here. Contest is active until Monday November 17, 12:01am CST in US. What might the winner receive? Well, let's see...some stickers from the now-defunct Coca-Cola product OK Soda (said to be the first national product aimed straight at Gen X-ers), 1 Nivea lip balm (unused) and a package of bacon candy. Oh, and in honor of both the balls of string in Kansas and Minnesota, your very own Velma-approved Ball-O-String starter kit.

Thanks to Boing Boing & Sean Bonner for the photo. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Franken v. Coleman Update


Well, here's the latest, for you out-of-towners:

The recount in the Franken/Coleman election will begin next week. As it stands today, the spread between the two candidates is just 206 votes, placing Norm Coleman ahead by 1/100th of one percent.

What has happened thus far? Counties are certifying their vote tallies. In some counties, the optical scanning machine spits out a vote tally at the end of the election and a person enters the number in the Secretary of State website. This of course, can lead to transversed numbers, etc. Reconciling the slips of paper from the voting machines with the human entries to the tally had reduced Coleman's lead significantly. The canvassing board will certify the results from the polling machines on November 18th, then the state-mandated hand recount begins. To be followed by lawsuits, no doubt.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has promised the recount will be completed by mid-December. My thinking is that the lawsuits won't be resolved before the Senate convenes in January, leaving open the possibility that the full Senate will be called upon to declare the winner. This could be good, as it's Democratically-controlled, but an election called by anyone other than the voting populace leads to painful accusations of partisanship and recriminations all around.

Here's hoping Mr. Ritchie and the good citizens of the recount committee can help us come out of this with a clean win. Oh, and world peace and lots of arts funding, while we're dreaming.

something stoopid this way comes

sing to standard blues, you know, like the Kraft macaroni and cheese ad

I’m trying to work this morn
but facebook is calling my name
If I spend all my time on the web
I think Al Gore’s to blame

My head is throbbing right now.
(I’m under caffeinated)
Bad voting dreams won’t end
‘cuz Norm might be reinstated

We all overslept today
I hurried out looking a fool
I bet that today is the day
that old boyfriend drops off at school

She’s been working on it for two weeks
but where is that homework today?
Oh, I think the recycling truck
just carried it away.

Pomeranian dug in the trash
and now he’s licking the shoes
He’s fixed, he’s old and he’s blind,
He could really sing the blues.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

OMG!!


Obama wins AND I get fifth row Sharon Jones tickets!! What a week!!

Politics, what else?


Well, Lone Reader, it’s been a crazy ride. Like so many of you, I was crying throughout the returns. I had a house full of people, all of whom shared their voting stories. When the election was called, I went upstairs to the kids’ rooms. I gently rubbed my sleeping daughter’s shoulder and whispered in her ear, “Barack Obama is going to be our next president.” “She groggily sat up and murmured, “Yay…” before collapsing back into sweet slumber. I’m pretty sure my son would’ve had a similar reaction, if he could’ve been roused from his deep sleep.

Unlike everyone I talked to, I didn’t love McCain’s concession speech. Yes, it was gracious, but the structure of it bugged me. (Always the editor, I am.) (No, you’re not. – Ed.) It WAS a historic night, as we know, but I think the references to America’s entrenched racism should’ve been after the congratulations for Obama, the reference to Toot and the acknowledgment of the hard campaign. To me it’s not unlike the NBC cameras at Spelman College all night. Yes, this is an extraordinary, historic moment that has been a long time coming. I definitely agree. But millions of Americans were brought together in this election. Obama wasn’t elected because he is black. He was elected because he is the right man at the right time. The fact that he is African American is momentous, but not why he is our President-Elect.

Obama’s speech was simply breathtaking. Filled with hope, gratitude and strength, just like his amazing campaign. I sobbed my way through it. This campaign has changed the way politics is done in America – the vast majority of his donors were under $100. The internet wasn’t treated like an ATM, but a true organizing tool. And when did you ever hear a president include the word “gay” in an acceptance speech? (Not since Millard Fillmore in 1850.) Sad, sad, sad to think that while our President-Elect was speaking about dignity of all, many Californians were deciding that bigotry is acceptable.

There were several heartbreaking races tempering the elation of the evening. For some unknown reason, Michelle Bachmann (she of Bachmann Crazy Overdrive) was re-elected. My beloved Al Franken is likely going to be defeated by 1/400th of a percent when the recount is all said and done. In the MN House, district 37A turned from a hard-working, passionate Democrat to a 24-year-old Republican neophyte.

On the plus side, Minnesotans voted to add the Legacy amendment to the constitution, with a slight sales tax increase now the environment and the arts will now have some additional dedicated funding. I argued passionately with a state senator about this amendment in March of this year. He said this the amendment is basically an end-run around the Legislature. I replied, “Damn right – if you don’t have the backbone to do it, someone’s got to. We’ve tried it your way for a decade now and it’s gotten us nowhere. This is a much harder road for us, but clearly something must be done.” I didn’t convince him, but the people have now spoken and many quintessentially Minnesotan joys will be at least partially protected. (No word yet on whether Surly Furious qualifies, but it should.)

And this morning, Sarah Palin arrived back in the last frontier, being coy about her ambition to run for Prez in 2012. Am I dreaming or is that the best xmas gift ever?

Thanks for the read, groovy ghoulie, and see you in the new normal.

Full Text of Obama's Acceptance Speech


If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta.

She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An affront at the poll

Someone at the poll noticed my "I Voted" sticker and asked if I intended to vote twice. "No," said I, "I'm here to vouch for a neighbor. I brought my kids to vote this morning."

Said she, "Is this your kids first time voting in a presidential election?" WHA?! My kids are 7 and 10...must get Botox, must get Botox...

More from the Polls...


I just vouched for two people in my neighborhood for same day registration. One of them was crying because she thought she had brought all the right documents. It was the first presidential election for both and they were so excited. Afterwards, they hugged me and I congratulated them. I don't know or care who they voted for - three strangers walked away neighbors.

Voting


I arrived at my polling place at 7:20 this morning, two kids in tow, each clutching a container of yogurt and a granola bar. We were done by 8:15. I saw many neighbors and friends there. I actually vote at my church, which feels so cool and interconnected that it makes me shiver.

The kids participated in the Kids Vote and all three of us walked away with our stickers, beaming. We were 20 minutes late to school, and when I signed them in at the office, there about 40 kids already signed in late for being at the polls with their parent(s). As I was getting in my car, I saw a friend hurrying in with her daughter and we hugged each other. "I feel like this is the biggest day of my life," she said, "and I don't care who knows it!" "Me, too!" I said and got a little teary.

She's black, I'm white and we're both standing with our kids on the cusp of a new day. I love this place and this moment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ruminating without Numerating


So much to say, Lone Reader!! First, is this a funny pic or what? "I'm voting the straight line ticket!"

Halloween
I did dress up as Velma on Halloween. It was pretty funny, because several friends who saw me didn't notice that I was dressed up - I guess I must usually look like a dork. (Do I normally wear knee socks and a miniskirt, people?) The kids had a good, albeit short trick-or-treat run. Somehow the fevers and sickness that prevented them from attending school did not impede their ability to beg for corn syrup.

I watched two scary movies: Squirm and Man's Best Friend. Campy, bad movies that were just about perfect. In Squirm, a downed power lines electrify the ground, creating killer worms. In Man's Best Friend, Ally Sheedy plays a reporter who, in the course of her anti-vivesection story on an animal lab, takes home a dog that had been genetically modified to be a vigilante killer. Wacky hi-jinks ensue. The best scene of all was when first the dog head puppet is eating a real cat, then the real dog is swallowing a cat puppet. High dollar effects, lemme tell you.

Sickness
Although my sickness remains, it is now manifested in an inability to regulate body temperature, a nasty cough and fatigue. I'm actually feeling much better, and for the first time in a month, feel like the end is in sight -yay! I also know that I don't have mono, HIV, strep, lupus, anemia, malaria, histoplasmosis or ebola. (Okay, they didn't test for ebola, but I'm pretty sure I don't have it.)

Soap Box
So it's election eve. I'm nervous, but also giddy. When I lived in Alaska, I voted for Bill Clinton. It was the first time I had ever voted for a winning presidential candidate. I remember seeing the returns and jumping up and down, crying. I called my friend Jenny and said, "It's really happening! Things are gonna be so different..." Three days later Clinton reneged on his promise to allow gays in the military, and this political naif was officially deflowered.

I miss those heady moments, when it seemed that real change was upon us...when it seemed like there was a possibility that people with a direct impulse for good were going to earnestly steer the country into the stark clear sunshine.

Fast forward and now I've got a 100-year-old house, an ex-husband, a blind geriatric dog and two amazing kids. Like anyone else, the world is truly too much with me at times, but I awake knowing that I am living an authentic life, engaged in the chaos and beauty around me. I've never been happier than I am at this very moment or more hopeful that, like the water lily arising from the muck, through this mire will come our essential goodness. It's not a single man who will change this country, it is us. With linked arms we can do anything.

I know you'll vote, Lone Reader, you're like that. Thanks for listening and love,
Velma

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo.


Feeling crummy...both kids are home sick today. Are you coming over here to clean my house, Lone Reader? Didn't you promise that? Plus you'd leave a bag of hundys on the front step? Oh wait, that was in my Nyquil-addled dream last night.

If Typhoid Mary knocks on your door tonight, give her, Medusa and the mummy all your candy and valuables and no one will get hurt.

Love, TM

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hippies vs. Squares


Nine ways in which my parents were hippies:

1. we moved a lot & lived for awhile on the edge of a reservation in Oklahoma and went to a res. school

2. Whole Earth Catalogue and Foxfire books were well-worn in our house

3. wrapped the house in used black plastic in the winter to retain solar heat (and all of us slept in one woodstove-heated room in the winter)

4. Both parents used the term "the fuzz" i.e., "Watch it, Jerry! It's the fuzz!"

5. Our dining room table was actually a picnic table, and for years we used glasses and cafeteria trays stolen from Cornell

6. father was an environmental science professor (still is) and we had a ridiculous amount of Stop Acid Rain stickers

7. Forbidden to eat grapes (solidarity with the workers), Wonder bread (supported Nixon), and Nestlé products (corporate boycott)

8. My dad had wild Grizzly Adams hair and full beard.

9. No rules, man…see you when I see you.

Nine ways in which my parents were not hippies:

1. Neither parent had braids.

2. Convenience foods were common at home, fostering a love of that trans-fat-crisp that sadly continues to this day.

3. My mom had a bouffant ‘do for years.

4. Too much tv = a deep appreciation for the disappearing art of the television theme song. sigh. (You take the good, you take the bad…)

5. No fringed vests, tie-dye or love beads. (They both had little John Lennon glasses, though.)

6. No communes!

7. Both parents called Jersey “home” for years and years.

8. All three kids have normal names, not a “Kharma” or “Marley” among us.

9. They both worked for the man – whatever university. It wasn’t until junior high that I realized most people don’t take summers off.

Verdict: Ivy League intellectual wanna-be hippies...the worst kind.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Super sick, man

I am so dang sick, so no real content today other than, yowza does that picture below crack me up. My brother looks like he either has to go to the bathroom or is practicing his supermodel pose. He's definitely the smart one in the group, though - no one can recognize him.

Happy Tuesday, Lone Reader!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Memorable costumes of my youth


This picture is not of people in costume...those are the outfits that the witness protection program gave my family when we got shipped out to Oklahoma.

Indian Princess: (It was the 70’s – no one said Native American yet) That year my mom was sick and my dad had to get me ready for the school Halloween party. It was really, really hard on him. (I believe it was the first time I heard the word "f*ck.") Maybe by now he’s learned how to braid hair.

McDonald's Fries: a great idea, just shouldn’t have been made out of posterboard – as soon as some one spilled something on me, I left trails of watery ink everywhere I walked.

Bag of jellybeans: really cute until some jerk realized that if he popped all the balloons I’d be left wearing a clear bag and a leotard. Super funny, let me tell ya.

Tube of toothpaste: this one turned out great. And it was the very first time I put a lampshade on my head. (and it needed to be a big lampshade)

Molecule at the German Club’s annual Fasching Party: In high school Connie and I dressed as molecules. It was pretty awesome– we had hula hoops on wires around us and we ran into each other all night. Okay, we weren’t in German Club, nor did we take German, and we lost the costume contest to a young man who wore the same damn frog suit year after year, but other than that it was awesome.

My friend Robin and I dressed in black garbage bags for a punk rock party. We were really the only people dressed like that, so it was a little embarrassing.

Once Jen called to remind me it was PJ day at ECFE (Parent/child classes). When I showed up in a long flannel nightgown, I realized it was only for this kids. Again, a little embarrassing.

Wednesday Addams: this was actually pretty recent – the Crystal Ball in 2005. My then-spouse was dressed as Uncle Fester. That part was super scary – he actually really resembled the dude. I always have a black tights, dress and shoes, so it was really only the wig and my companion that clued people in to who I was.

Hally Happoween, Lone Reader! (a little early)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Michelle Bachmann's permanent pucker


U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann said in a debate yesterday that illegal immigrants were "bringing in diseases, bringing in drugs, bringing in violence." Wow...that might be as close a definition of xenophobia as ever written. She also said that the recent fall in gas prices stemmed in part from a congressional relaxation of restrictions on offshore drilling this summer. Hmmm... I naively thought it was reduced consumption and a lower price for crude. Read more here.

From an AP story about the debate - Bachmann said, “If the presidency would somehow go to Barack Obama, I would welcome him to the 6th District as well,” she said after the debate. “As a matter of fact, I would put my hand on his shoulder and give him a kiss if he wanted to.” Watch out, Barack!

Let's hope that the tingly feeling she gets whenever G Dub is in the room resonates more with voters than the unfortunate name of her opponent. (Elwin Tinklenberg - say no more.)

Once again, Target is leading the pack in corporate donation to the Republic National Committee. Sigh. Where am I to shop, people?

Apropos nothing:

Joey Chesnutt dominates! In September he kicked Kobayashi's fanny at the Krystal Burger Square Off, eating 93 burgers in eight minutes. On October 12 he downed 45 slices in 10 minutes Sunday to win the first Famous Famiglia World Pizza Eating Championship in New York's Times Square. Jo-ey! Jo-ey!

I got all excited by the UCLA study suggesting that internet use makes one smarter. Then I read this in the Freakonomics blog on NYT. Dang...I guess I'm stuck here.

Have a great weekend, Lone Reader!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bacon Bits n' more


¡Hola, Lone Reader! Yes, it's been quite awhile...I'm trying very hard to come back from this super freaky illness. Here's the latest:

1. My Elvis cupcakes made Bacon Unwrapped - yay! Oh, and you can't really refrigerate and then re-whip a buttercream. Or at least I can't.

2. I overheard my son say to a visiting friend, "You know how to get my mom to take a pill? Wrap it in bacon." True, but still insulting.

3. I just discovered the delightful Bacon Today. I loved the story about the tragic loss suffered by a store owner in California. There was a huge fire and he lost all the bacon...it seems the sausages survived, but that's really small comfort now, isn't it? On the plus side, his neighbors lost 3 pounds in water weight following the hours of salivating.

4. Did you see this? It appears that 'Joe the Plumber' isn't named Joe, isn't a licensed plumber and owes back taxes. What's the world coming to when you can't rely on rhetorical characters?

5. So, whad'ya think of the debate? It seems like McCain came out with fire in the belly and then lost it in a strange stroke-like series of rambling, angry comments. Obamanos!

6. Nothing to do tomorrow night...sigh. It's my first weekend without the kids in a month and I have nothing on for tomorrow. I need some groovy cats in my life who are willing to put up with my bizarre schedule, lack of time to do anything I don't want to do and general malaise. I think that level of insensitivity leaves me with hiring friends, aka prostitutes. That doesn't seem right. ("Hey officer, I wasn't going to do anything illegal! I just want to go to the Turf Club!")

7. At last, a new TRUE STORY: When my daughter was in Kindergarten, she joined the school's first-ever running club, with the intent on running in a local non-profit race at the end of the school year. She really liked it and did well. When race day arrived, it was pouring rain. We had committed to running, so we went down to River Road for the kids' one-mile. I lined up with my 5-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old son who wanted to run alongside for a bit. After about 1/2 mile, my daughter started complaining and said she was going to quit. I said, "Look, it's just as long to finish the race as it is to go back now." The whining escalated and she sat down on the course. In the rain. This didn't go over well with me. "Get up." "No." "Get up NOW." I'm starting to be aware that the principal and staff are running up and asking if everything is okay...yes, yes...my daughter has decided to sit in the middle of the road. Meanwhile my son is running in circles around the two of us and he begins wailing. "We're going," I say. I start to make like I'm going to continue running, then I think about how very cruel this seems. I don't actually want to leave my five-year-old on the middle of the road. So, if you were on River Road on a May morning in 2003, you might've seen a soaking wet woman, running and panting while carrying a Kindergartner over her shoulder, being dragged by a yelling toddler over the finish line. Next time I'm running it'll be when someone is chasing me. (and s/he better have a weapon or I ain't doing it.)

Ciao, bella!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally...the Elvis Cupcake!!


Well, Lone Reader, I am slowly getting up to speed. Some freak illness is causing big time headaches but my energy is coming back. But enough about me, what you REALLY want to know is...will the Dow ever crack 10,000 again? Will Sarah Palin's grandchild be named Shootin' Not Putin? or is it how was the Elvis Cake?? I thought so.

I decided to make Elvis Cupcakes, just because I didn't want to get stuck with something really unwieldy in case I needed to foist it off on co-workers. So what makes this an Elvis Cupcake? Peanut butter cake, with banana buttercream frosting, drizzled in chocolate, sprinkled with a mix of grey sea salt, turbinado sugar, codeine, Valium, morphine, and Demorol, and crowned with a lovely piece of bacon. That, and it will give you a coronary. Okay, I made up some of that...

The verdict is in: TASTY! And good to be in cupcake size, as you'll really only want one - it's pretty dang rich. The kids wolfed them down, as did my other test subjects. The bacon and banana combo wasn't off-putting like I thought it would be. Or maybe it was just overwhelmed by everything else going on.

There's no recipe, per se, as I was mainly winging it.
1. Make your fave yellow cake, but add about a cup of smooth peanut butter. Bake into cupcakes and cool completely.

2. While the cake is cooling, cook up some bacon pretty dang crispy and cool.

3. Make buttercream frosting, but add a very ripe banana, mashed super smooth. My frosting here is about 2 sticks butter at room temp, 4 cups of sugar, milk and banana. (I usually make frosting with whole milk, but didn't have any so I used a smidge of the 2% evaporated milk...it was fine.) Don't add a pinch of salt, 'cuz it's coming later.

4. Melt dark chocolate (or whatever you've got) for drizzling. Mix 1 part coarse sea salt with 5 parts turbinado sugar in a little dish.

5. Frost generously, drizzle with melted chocolate, sprinkle with the sugar/salt mix and garnish with a good sized piece of bacon.

There you have it...a peanut butter, banana, chocolate, bacon cupcake! Delish, baby!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Quote from the doctor


"no mono, no strep...let's just wait and see if your head cracks open...call back in a week if you're still sick."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blecch

Still sick...doctor said, "Hmmm...let's drain you of blood and see what happens." Stink.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Feelin' Crummy...la dah dee dah dah dah dah


I'm going to the dr. tomorrow. Sick enough to go to a doctor is pretty dang sick in my book. Stink. No posts, even though I thought of two very funny true stories in my delusional, addle-brained state. Sigh. I hope the doctor doesn't lace into me about my nutritional habits - who sez that cashews and Tab aren't a fit breakfast?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Concert review


So, last night was the Weezer show. Tokyo Police Club and Angels & Airwaves opened. I missed Tokyo Police Club, but sadly, saw all of the Angels & Airwaves set. It was truly wretched…a classic example of “I am a rock star” preening and posing. It was so self indulgent and ridiculous that it’s difficult to describe. At one point the lead singer Tom DeLonge danced around in slo-mo while holding some kind of flashlights. He also put a laser helmet on and shines freaky green lasers into the audience. For I second I got excited because I thought it was maybe going to turn all Laser Floyd, but alas, it was still Angels & Airwaves. (It’s a baaad show when Laser Floyd sounds like an improvement.)

Weezer, however, brought it big time. They were amazing! I love to see musicians perform who appear to actually enjoy what they’re doing. Nothing is worse than whining, dour diva performers. (Okay, maybe Angels & Airwaves is.) Rivers and the gang seemed to be genuinely having fun, playing crazy nerdy, defiant power pop. The crowd lapped it up. I was beyond happy and jumped most of the entire show. Plus it was at the x, which is a) close to my house and b) such a great place to see a concert. Two Springsteens and I’ll raise you a Weezer – fab, baby.

So what’s next? I dunno, Lone Reader. No big concerts on the horizon. I’d really like to go see Ben Folds at Myth, but I can’t really swing the $30 right now. sigh

I know I’ve already written about this, but more detail from the Elvis Costello website:

As the leaves turn and the mercury steadily drops, it's time again to turn our thoughts to one of the most special times of the year. Yes, it's nearly time for the return of tinsel and wreaths, stockings and eggnog, and all the trappings of the annual television holiday special season!

Regardless of your religion, a good Christmas TV special can bring us together like nothing else. With that in mind, we are thrilled to announce Elvis Costello's participation in what is sure to be the Christmas television event of the millennium.

On November 23, tune in to Comedy Central for "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All!" Comedian and former Presidential candidate Stephen Colbert will be joined by musical guests Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend, Willie Nelson and of course, longtime friend of 'The Colbert Show' Elvis Costello for an evening of song and cheer.

"A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All!" will be available on DVD November 25, and since it is the Christmas season (kind of), a portion of the proceeds will benefit the charity Feeding America. The DVD also includes extras such as a "book burning Yule log" that will brighten up any Christmas with the glow of the embers of "The Da Vinci Code."


Peace out, Lone Reader! Keep hope alive! Ramp it up!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My RSS Feed - Random Stupid S*#!


Mr. Clean died yesterday at the age of 92. I’m sitting shiva by covering my floor with a layer of Legos and dog hair. He is survived by his wife Mrs. Meyer, daughter Caldrea and twin grandsons, Spic and Span. Mr. Clean’s brother, a custodian, has been incarcerated in a drum for decades and was unavailable for comment.

I started the day with bacon and Tab. It’s gonna be a good day. Tomorrow, WEEZER!!

I am very excited about the debate tonight, but I’m nervous for Joe Biden. It’ll be easy to look too aggressive, too tough and like he’s beating up on a girly-girl. I’ll be watching, 4sure. Let’s hope that Gwen Ifill really puts hard questions out there and demands answers. And Joe, watch the clock, Mr. Loquacious!

Believe it or not, msn.com has an article about how to select beer based upon your astrological sign. Mine is Cancer: OK, it is time for you to veer away from the traditional lager. This autumn, celebrate with a brown ale, such as Newcastle Brown Ale. It is nutty with a whisper of sweet, and it will not leave you dangling outside of your comfort zone. It is brewed with "top-fermenting" yeasts at 15-25 degrees Celsius and will leave you feeling refreshed. Give it the old college try! This may be the very first time in my life that I have actually followed the suggestions of an astrologist.

WOW have you seen the latest Al Franken ad?! It begins, "Al Franken sank these ships...crashed these trains...and he hates puppies." Doggone it, I like him. Watch the YouTube of it here.

Keep on keepin' on, Lone Reader!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Watch your back, Damien Hirst!


Here comes David Ottogalli, master of the Peep as medium. Maybe we could send this as a Trojan horse to Sarah Palin and she could eat until her teeth fell out...

See more of Ottogalli's amazing, obsessive work at peepshow.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How I Became a Sort-Of Minnesotan


I lived in Alaska for a year right after grad school. I worked at The Anchorage Museum of History and Art, and the biggest news while I was there was that a K-Mart would be opening in town. (There were no discount kind-of stores at the time…that’s right, Lone Reader, a pre-Target era.) When that K-Mart opened, people waited outside for hours to get in. This is what you’d do for fun, when you’re not hunting or banning books. It was really a frontier, even in Anchorage…I saw a dude go into McDonalds with a gun in the waistband of his pants. Not to rob the place, mind you, just to get a McDLT.

I really, really didn’t want to raise a family there. There was hardly any art and it was so conservative. It was really harsh. My then spouse and I tried to figure out where to move next. We actually filled out all the paperwork to emigrate to New Zealand, and according to their point system, would’ve gotten in. Our families convinced us that this would not be good. And since we’d never been there, it seemed a little foolhardy. We finally made a list of criteria for finding a home: a city that was at least reasonably affordable with good political involvement, seasonal change, a strong arts community, and two newspapers. (That last one was a hold-over from Mike Kautsch, my beloved Reporting I professor. “Any town that can support rival dailies has at least a moderately literate population. Plus, the papers keep each other honest…in theory anyway.”

This led us to very few places – cities on the East Coast like Boston or Philly, Seattle or Minneapolis. (My mom had dibs on Chicago – no way was I going to share a city with her.) Affordable kicked most cities out. I would’ve liked Seattle, but it was right after the big Seattle migration and you’d hear stories all the time about Californians searching for work in Seattle and being massively bummed about the rain. Minneapolis seemed the logical choice – besides, the state had elected Paul Wellstone, a Jewish, college professor, community organizer who was already making a name for himself as an upstart liberal firebrand. Be still, my bleeding heart.

So we said goodbye to the last frontier, packed all our belongings in containers and sent them off to the Midwest. We, then, packed two weeks worth of stuff in the Miata, put our pug dog on the back ledge and drove home. We staggered out of the car in Minneapolis’ 7 corners Holiday Inn only to be told we had made a reservation at the downtown St. Paul Holiday Inn. After all the planning and list-making, we ended up settling in St. Paul because we called the wrong number in the phone book. The politics have been disappointing at times, and Wellstone’s death was heartbreaking, but the arts are almost thriving in the Twin Cities and I’ve been employed since living here. I’ve made tremendous friends and hardly any enemies. (kidding.) I’m happy that my kids were born here. (I’m not, however, happy that they say “pop” instead of soda and “duck, duck, grey duck”.) I don’t consider myself a Minnesotan, maybe because I moved so much as a kid, I’m reticent to say I’m from anywhere…you know, always have one foot out the door. This is, I guess, the closest I’ve ever come to being “from” somewhere. All in all, it’s pretty good in Minnesota. Maybe I really am a Minnesotan. Well, ask me again in February.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bacon, Failed Ben & Jerry's Flavors n' more

Bacon news:
via my meat-lovin’ co-worker comes this link to the AntiCraft. It’s a delightful site that boldly takes on the gosh-darn-cuteness of so many craftster projects. The following pictures are from this site.

Baconhenge


Pork Princess


Bacon-wrapped Vegan


And although it’s been written about before, the instructables site on how to make soap from bacon fat is pretty informative. and gross.


My bacon experiments? I find myself stalling out, Lone Reader. I can’t bring myself to do more than just cook the bacon. I know, I need to get on the stick. In addition to my traditional election year jack o’lanterns, I think I’ll carve a pork o’lantern.

Gross food news:
A Montpelier newspaper is reporting that PETA asked Ben & Jerry’s to make their products with human breast milk rather than cows’ milk. Ewww…and who’s going to offer up the goods? What will happen to my beloved Coffee Heath Bar? Will the delicate nuance of Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream be tainted by the tofu vindaloo the donor ate the night before? Too scary.

Years ago, when I was in Ithaca New York, I went to a Ben & Jerry’s store that happened to be having a contest to create a new flavor. I suggested a sweet cream base with a raspberry swirl and gummi body parts…Creamy Cadaver! Surprisingly, I did not win.

Financial news:
Yes, it’s true - things are bad. We’ll probably end up with wheelbarrows full of dollars to buy a tank of gas. Oh wait, we’re already there. I find myself anxious about our collective future and somewhat fatalistic about the fall of the American Empire, yet there’s also a little bit of schadenfreude, too. I have a friend who is a professional dancer at the age of 82. She’s a rabble-rouser and told me about 10 years ago that the “huffers and puffers have to do their part, too…otherwise we’ll be carrying them on our backs for the next 100 years.” Dang O’Dell – I’m about ready to vote for Florence for president. Or at least have her pick some lottery numbers for me ‘cuz she’s my psychic friend 4ril.

Some repetitive lyrics for you:
My, my, my…Delilah? Let your bright light shine? My my woo?
Yes, yes, yes, I’m impressed.

Bye, bye, bye - Velma

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Urgent Funds Transfer Proposal from US Minister of Bailouts


Making its way 'round the blogospere is the following e-mail. (I didn't write it.) Forward it to 790,000 of your friends and we'll find our way out of this financial mess.

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Henry Paulson

Bono v. Palin


What follows is an actual transcript of Sarah Palin’s meeting with Bono at the UN today:

Handler: Mr. Bono, I am pleased to introduce you to Governor Sarah Palin.
(they shake hands)

Bono: I agreed to meet with you today to…

Palin: I’m sorry to interrupt you, but oh my stars…I thought you were killed by a tree while you were skiing! (and I LOVE to ski, by the way.) You look great!

Bono: That wasn’t me and I don’t ski. I’m here to talk with you about the grave problem that all citizens are currently facing…

Palin: Do you have cataracts? My mom has cataracts and ya know, you can get surgery for it. Oh goodness…I interrupted you again. Sorry – please continue.

Bono: I do not have cataracts. I’m here to discuss world hunger. This crisis is of epic proportions…

Palin: I couldn’t agree more. For one American to be hungry in this country of so much opportunity and prosperity shames us all.

Bono: Although there are many hungry in the US, the problem of world hunger is reaching epidemic proportions.

Palin: You know what, I respect your people. You guys really pulled yourselves up by the bootstraps with whole potato famine thing. No handouts, just good old fashioned American initiative.

Bono: You know that that was in Ireland, right?

Palin: Aww, c’mon…you know we’re on the same team. Ever since the war, you’re almost like the 49th state!

Bono (abruptly standing and saying to the handler): I told you this was a load of bollocks…she’s insane! (Bono storms out.)

Palin (calling to the rapidly departing musician): Hey, wait! I have some really slick ideas about sending polar bear meat to hungry kids! And do you know David Lee Roth?

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a smarty pants blog - back to stoopid tomorrow, I promise


1. A friend asked me why triclosan was bad...here's the answer.

2. National Geographic is reporting the discovery of hundreds of new species of Australian marine life, including this fantastic, bioluminescent jelly comb. Must be jelly 'cuz jam don't shake like that.

3. Okay, so I read this article in the NYT by Natalie Angier...it's fascinating. It describes the way the kind of numerical logic that many animals have - picking a bush with more berries, rather than one with fewer, for example and how humans use that skill in congress with more traditional, math-test kind of learning.

I liked the fact that it came with a version of the test the survey used to determine levels of innate numerical logic. (A version of the test is here.) I must say, I became very, very smug when I got the test correct for eleven times in a row. (It's pretty heady to see that "100% correct") (She'll always be a suck up to the standardized test. -ed.) Somewhere after number 12 it all went south. What does this tell me - I have great mathematical instincts for a very short time, after which point I'll begin to drool and can be out reasoned by a bar of soap? I hope not. I came out at 84% correct after 25 tests, which is the minimum number needed to get a reasonable result. You know me, I'm gonna go practice now...

tired + cannibals = crazy


Well, Lone Reader, I’m not even sure where to begin. The fundraiser is over – YAY! It went very well, with a 23% increase in income over last year’s event. It was an amazing amount of work. (Am I secretly a caterer? Sometimes it feels that way…) There was a lot of complaining and toting heavy things, not enough eating or drinking, but it was super successful overall. Is there a way to do these things that doesn’t burnout staff? If so, let me know.

After the event, I worked like a dog helping to reset the gallery. Sheesh…I was so tired on Saturday that I was slurring my words, my tongue was thick from having consumed NO liquids in 20 hours, and I thought I was having auditory hallucinations. Then I crashed like a baby on Benadryl and slept a lot. The work dreams are still appearing though – I sit upright in bed, thinking about something I forgot, then remember, “Oh yeah, it’s over.” Now I’m ramping up for a donor event in a few weeks, then the annual ask letter.

In other news:
Did you watch any of the Emmy awards? BORING, man. Seriously dull.

I strongly encouraged my boyfriend to watch the Donner Party DVD over the weekend. It’s a 1997 PBS American Experience by Ric Burns. I highly recommend it. Even though I’ve seen it probably a dozen times, I still find this story incredibly compelling. Sure it’s got cannibalism, but so much more…it’s an epic story of survival, perseverance and the tremendous toll of avarice. (Yeah, I own it, so what?) (weirdo – ed.)

Next weekend is a neighborhood party, then the weekend after is both Weezer and a baby shower. (not simultaneously, of course.) One of my sister’s good friends is also a former blog reader (come back to the fold, Em!) AND she’s having a baby. I’d love to make a bacon-themed party, but my sister has far more taste than that. I’m helping with the desserts. Baking is so enjoyable when it’s for fun, not for work.

The image above is by Dan Goodsell, the creator of Mr. Toast, Shaky Bacon, Joe the Egg and so much more. His stuff rocks. Visit his world here.

Well, I’m off to work, now. Yes, it’s late to be going in, but don’t you judge me, Lone Reader! Peace out, Velma

Friday, September 19, 2008

Think good thoughts...


OMG it's fundraiser day. I'll be at work from 8 am 'til 11 tonight. Wish me luck, Lone Reader! (No whammy, no whammy, no whammy...stop!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Funny things


Funny stuff about a not funny thing:

The Sarah Palin offspring name generator. My name would be Meat Notgay. I'll stick with what I've got, thank you very much.

Tryg Palin, the latest offspring of the Gov and First Dude of Alaska has a middle name of "Van" in tribute to the band Van Halen...get it?

Tina Fey as Palin on SNL - I didn't see it on TV, but you can't avoid it online. Doing my part to advance the blogosphere's obsession...

Genuinely funny stuff:
Comedy Central has announced that Stephen Colbert will be producing a one-hour Christmas special, "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!" Even better, Elvis Costello will appear on the show. If they could get Sharon Jones to appear, life would be dang near perfect. (That'll be after the election and I'm nothing if not an optimist.)

Stay classy, Wassila!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Random poo, just for you


1. The art gallery where I work was broken into last night. WTF are people thinking?
2. I think I've survived a visit from the x-in-laws...I'll know for sure by tomorrow morning, when they leave town and I can breathe again.
3. I want to go see Burn After Reading but I can't until After the Fundraiser.
4. TMBG at First Ave was crazy freakin' tasty. I'll love those nerdy boys so much.
5. Did you see this story about a 33-year-old mom who stole her out-of-state daughter's identity so she could enroll in high school and be a cheerleader? Well, now you have.
6. I've had bacon but once in the past 10 days. My blood isn't used to flowing so freely through my arteries, man.
7. Try the spinach scramble at the Highland Grill - spinach, egg, and Brie. yum.
8. is my lucky number.

Love, Velma

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crazy days and zealots always get me down


I don’t have time for this, Lone Reader! It is officially crazy time around here. Tonight I go see They Might Be Giants – it’ll be awesome, 4ril. Tomorrow bright n’ early the ex in-laws arrive. (The X-in-laws! Appearing soon at a theater near you…) I am bracing myself for a distinctly-them mix of pity, judgment and scorn. Sigh…

Tomorrow night I’m working at a huge opening ‘til 11:30. Sunday morn it’s church w/ the ex-in-laws. I’m really not sure why this dictum came down to me…they’re the most devout Catholics I’ve ever met. (When a priest tells you to calm down, you’re rabid.) Me? Unitarian. The last time these folks visited my church they dropped to their knees and genuflected. Before what? I’m not sure…was it the sight of hippies and open thinking? I dunno.

Sunday afternoon is a picnic, if the weather’s nice. The x-in-laws have requested that they join us at this event. Nay. We don’t need to do that, man. Life is hard enough without having to explain who the white people praying behind me are.

And on top of that, my gallery’s only real fundraiser of the year is next Friday. (Yes, it’s my baby and it wakes me up at night as such.) Oh, and I have a grant due Monday.

And my 1906 Victorian house is beginning rodent season. Blecch. I am tidy and never leave food out, so don’t judge me, Lone Reader. My house is so old that it’s essentially open to the elements, and that includes pests. So, this time of year for me involves all kinds of nasty poison blocks thrown under the deck (“Bon appetit, Mickey!”) and two weeks of traps inside the house. That does the trick, but it’s pretty grueling to be the mouse patrol. And since I have young children, there’s a lot of “You guys wait up here for a few minutes…mommy’s gonna, umm…make a surprise breakfast! yeah, a surprise breakfast…” while I rush down to make the rounds and pitch the corpses. Of course, then the kids come downstairs and say, “Where’s the surprise?” Surprise! I’m letting you get your own breakfast! Woo-hoo! They don’t fall for it again, let me tell ya.

Happy weekend, Lone Reader! Wish me luck for this weekend’s battles, be they rodent or relatives…

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mmm...trans fats...


What makes me a sucker? SO many things, really. The latest example is the 100th anniversary package of Hydrox. I saw it at the Rainbow Grocery in the 'hood (and it is truly in the 'hood). Do I like Hydrox? I don't recall ever having had one. I know for a fact I don't like Oreos. I bought it anyway, just 'cause the packaging was so lovely. Hey, guess what? For all the hoo-ha, they're pretty much Oreos which are gross.

The package sure is purdy, though.

I Stand Corrected!


Apparently in an earlier bacon-related blog I posted a picture of the band Stryper and called them the band "Bacon Hawk." Thank you, JC for the correction and having looked at Bacon Hawk's myspace, your music is 2,000 times funnier than Stryper's. If you come to Minneapolis, send me an e-mail. (And Lone Reader -check out the song The Gravitron - it's awesome!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Coen Bros Reverie


Well, on my way back after dropping off the kids at school, I happened by the Roseville Keys. Okay, it’s several miles out of the way, but I just had to make a surreptitious drive-by to see if the Coen brothers were there. They’re shooting a film in MN and this week they’re in Roseville. It appears that they were at the restaurant…there were cops all over the place, apparently so stalkers can’t get into…whatever.

It went nothing like this: I pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car. From a distance, Ethan Coen sees me and remarks, “Who is that vaguely Sephardic woman getting out of a slammin’ silver minivan? We need her in this film!” He murmurs as much to Joel and the two of them head over. Upon gracious introductions, the bros. immediately insist I sit in a booth in Keys, just in the background. The blintzes are free, so I agree. Sadly, after two takes, a pasty PA comes over to me and says, “The brothers need a word.” Uh-oh. That’s right – I’m out of the booth. Says Joel, “Your beauty is too damn distracting to be a bit player. I insist you have lines…the camera loves you.” I demur. “No, no,” I protest, I’m not an actress.” “That’s what makes you so remarkable,” says Ethan. Out of the corner of my eye I see Frances McDormand shifting uncomfortably in her seat. Has she been through this before, I wonder. They show me the scene on a tiny monitor…why, my goodness! The camera has not added 10 pounds, but taken away 20. I look damn good…I acquiesce and never look back.

Two years from now when I accept my Golden Globe from a slightly inebriated Jeremy Piven, I’ll thank you, Lone Reader. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Reviews and other junk


Yes, there’s a palpable crazy in the air…it’s fundraiser season. I wake up at 2 am in a full panic, startled into full alert by the thought of attempting to match the shade of the lemonade to our new brand standards' CMYK. Arrgh…

So what did you do over the weekend, Lone Reader? I had a bit of a lonely weekend, with no kids for this first time in a month. It’s always an adjustment. Sigh. I’ll get used to this, right? (I’m still waiting. –ed.)

I did get a fair amount of sleep, and went bowling…dude! I got two strikes! Yes, I stink at bowling. My highest score ever was 84. (read my previous bowling post here.) It was still fun, though I wouldn’t want to do it more than every few months.

I also went to see the Don Cheadle movie Traitor. Dude! Seriously fab-ola. I really didn’t know anything about it, and just went with a few girlfriends who were intent on distracting me from my job. It was really good. Pretty standard structure, but a great narrative and the character development was phenomenal. Don Cheadle can read the phone book and I’d pay to see it. Plus it had Guy Pierce in it - bonus! (I loved Memento so much, man.)

Tonight is book club – we’re discussing My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Piccoult. I read it a long time ago, and thus should’ve fessed up to book club so that we could all read the book at the same time, but hey…I needed to coast for a bit this month. I started out the book liking it and found myself getting less and less interested as the pages turned. As the plot progresses the characters become more simplistic and ending of the book made me downright hostile. Should be an interesting discussion tonight, if only because I think some people really liked it.

Well, I’m off to consume my third Tab of the day. (All those fundraiser bad dreams have me a wee bit sluggish today.) Keep hope alive, Lone Reader & I promise bacon soon!

Friday, September 5, 2008

An open letter to the Tooth Fairy


Dear Ms. Fairy, (I assume it’s Ms…if not, please excuse the error)

First let me thank you for visiting my son’s room last night. He is reaching an age where some parents might object to an unknown woman entering their son’s bedroom at night, but I always say, “As long as they leave cash, they’re alright by me.”

That said, WTF!? I’ve heard breathtaking tales of bounty you’ve left behind…Bionicle kits, a ten-spot, a silver charm. In Woodbury I know for a fact you leave Burberry wristlets. Here in Saint Paul, one lousy buck!? This is outrageous -- an egregious case of geographical bias! Why back in 1972 I would get at least a couple of sweaty quarters. That’s the equivalent of $2.57 in today’s dollars. (Annual inflation over this period was about 4.65%.) You’re not paying for gas; I assume you have little need for food, being a fairy and all. I demand equal pay for equal teeth – this is our inalienable right, right? If you decide to correct your irrational discriminatory ways, we would like $10 Target gift cards. And if you promise something from Tiffany, you can check under my pillow as well.

Best wishes,
Velma

Thursday, September 4, 2008

More politics?!

From Adam Nagourney's article in today's NYTimes

“The Gore-Cheney series of vice presidencies have changed the nature of the job,” said Gary Hart, a former Democratic senator from Colorado and a friend of Mr. McCain. “What McCain has done is to try to revert to the 19th-century model, early-20th-century model of vice president — the ‘job isn’t worth a warm pitcher of spit’ model, which means you don’t do anything.”

“But we don’t live in that kind of world anymore,” Mr. Hart said. And, he said, that is a particularly relevant question given Mr. McCain’s age — 72 — and health problems. “I’m sure John thinks he can live forever, or at least for eight years,” Mr. Hart said.

In an interview a month ago on CNBC, Ms. Palin went so far as to disparage the job of vice president, saying, “What is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?”

I know what you're thinking, Lone Reader...when is she going to go back to bacon? How did the Elvis cake turn out? Where is the promised TRUE STORY? Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew?

Answers to these and other pressing matters soon.

Does that make McCain Bill?


How funny.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vetting


FACT: Sarah Palin's oldest son, Track Palin, was born 8 months after the wedding. Hmm...conservatives don't fall far from the trees?

BLOG RUMOR: Sarah Palin's middle daughter, Willow Palin, is not actually related to the family at all. She's actually a very short Dominican national whom the family purchased online as a live-in caretaker.

****
FACT: The Vice-Presidential candidate has left the country only once in her life - last year. She does, however, live in the closest state to Russia.

BLOG RUMOR: The Vice-Presidential candidate does have extensive foreign affairs experience if you count her negotiations with her Dominican nanny and the time she thought about buying a Hyundai.

****
FACT: Bristol Palin's boyfriend/ fiancé/ babydaddy will attend the RNC tonight.

BLOG RUMOR: After making his appearance, Sarah Palin will shoot said babydaddy in the face and chalk it up to Vice Presidential privilege.

Okay, so maybe the "unnamed source" here is actually named Velma...who can say?

(photo from Mudflats