22 December 2008

And Wernher von Braun Weeps

I hate a lot of things. And a watch a lot of television. So it goes without saying that I hate a lot of things on television, e.g. Nancy Grace, the 700 Club, Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, The Fox News Channel. But more than I hate any of these things -- and I hate Nancy Grace A LOT -- I hate a program I've never even watched: "John and Kate Plus Eight."

Although I've never see this wretched new low in reality television, I know all about it. Because you can't watch anything on the Discovery Channel, Food Network, or TLC without coming across promos for it. So, let's see if I can get the premise of this show without having ever seen an actual episode:

All-American, middle class parents have two kids. But they decide that two aren't enough. Like most Americans, what they have isn't good enough. They want more (so do I - I'm one of those Americans who wants more - but for me that means more shoes. Or more cookies.). So, they decide to have another kid. But wait! Oh noes! The missus can't get pregnant. So instead of looking into adoption or just thinking, "Well, we have two great kids and that's good for us" they have some sort of fertilization treatment. But fertilization treatments are costly. So, they go to some doctor who decides to hedge their bet and implant a lot of fertilized eggs into the Missus. You know, so they don't have to pay for more treatments (cuz treatments are expensive and Mr. and Missus All-American's insurance probably doesn't cover that). They hope one will take.

But all the eggs "take." So, one again, instead of being sensible and selectively terminating some of them, they decide to have them all. Six total. (that is where the "Plus Eight" part comes into the title: 2+6=8). I will hazard to guess that the kids spent a good amount of time in intensive care at who-knows-what-cost. Thanks, taxpayers! And we wonder why our insurance premiums are so high? Idiots like these people.

But wait! There's more! So I guess that some local television station caught wind of this precious bundle of resource-users and put them on the air. And then some channel decided it would be a swell idea to subject the nation to them.

I'm right, aren't I? Even having never watched this sorry excuse for entertainment, I know I'm spot on.

So as far as I can tell, all the show consists of is the two parents complaining about how much work it is to raise eight kids. And we are supposed to be amazed at them and their brood. Hey: YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELVES. Remember? So now we have to watch you complain about your kids on national television. I guess our insurance premiums will be going up even further once you start paying for years of therapy for each of those snotlings of yours.

And just imagine the SUV strollers those people were carting around. I hate them even more at the thought of it.

And the really sickening thing? I was in a bookstore the other day. The store had a display of newly-released biographies. These people have a book out! Why?!?! In in the HELL do we also need some book about these people? Are then done squeezing money out of their side-show of kids? Have we slipped so low as a society that the mundane lives of people with kids is more interesting than the biography of Wernher von Braun that was also sitting on that shelf?

I bought the von Braun biography.

03 December 2008

Stepford Wives of the Food TV network

I use a Nordictrack cross-country ski machine each week day during my lunch break (perk of being a stay-at-home librarian).

Because Nordictracking is miserable experience, I try to make it slightly less miserable by watching tv while I do it. And really, the only things on tv during early-mid afternoon are: soap operas, things narrated by Bill Kurtis, terrible "bringing home baby" shows where one is supposed to be in awe of a woman doing what a lot of women do all the time: being pregnant and having a kid (Why do they think their so special? And why do they think we really care?), and Food TV shows.

I tent to opt for the Food TV shows, even though the network has turned ever single one of their female show hosts into a creepy fembot.

Paula Deen (show: various) - once a loveable, grandma-type southern lady who seemed genuinely excited to show us how to make things with quaint names like "whoopie pies." And then her show became popular and the executives at Food TV forced her into a contract that requires her to say ya'll at least 14 times per episode.

Robin Miller (show: Quick Fix Meals) - I catch this one often since it airs at 12:30pm, which is usually when I'm Nordictracking. She has the second-deadest eyes on all of the Food network. It appears as though she's had a pull-string implanted in her back. An intern pulls the string and some flat-sounding exclamation of how easy/how tasty said dish is spews forth from her Botox-smoothed face.

Sandra Lee (show: Semi-Homemade) - easily the front-runner for the Deadest Eyes on Any Show that is not CSI award. Also a contender for the What Those Southern Beauty Pagent Girls Aspire to Become When They are Thrice Divorced and Desparate to Regain the Adulations of Someone, Anyone, Oh God, Please Make Them Love Me Again award (see also: Real Housewives of Orange County). This woman seriously creeps me out. Likely, they simply return her to her charging station after every episode.

Strangely, the one female show host that doesn't appeared to have been Stepford-ized is Rachel Ray. Then again, her insufferableness has always gone to 11, so there's really nothing left to change there.

Mabye Bill Kurtis would be a better noontime option.

26 November 2008

Proving My Point, One Shopping Trip at a Time

This, in front of the local Petco store. Note: she did not have a handicapped license plate or hangtag. Also note: she was buying things in the "Bird" section of the store.

Furthermore, at a regular, four-way intersection I pass through fairly frequently there is a sign hanging on the stop light arm: WAIT FOR GREEN LIGHT. Since, obviously, Pennsylvania drivers need a reminder.

I rest my case.

19 November 2008

Hey Google, Mind Your Own *(*#$&# Business!

Last night I was washing my face before I went to bed. And as I was drying it off, I noticed a slight dark spot on my cheek. Something about the size of a pencil eraser and about 3-4 shades darker than my normal pale self. Said spot is something that I've never noticed before. Oh damn...wtf?! So I shrieked for Dr. Nate and made him come in and look at it to tell me what he thought this spot was.

Incidentally, once I told him that I'd stab him in the eye if he said it was an age spot, he started laughing hysterically and continued laughing for the next 20 minutes. Thanks, dear, sweet husband with whom I am stuck for the rest of our lives. Jerk.

So this morning has been spent furiously Googling "medical spas doylestown pa" to find a place where highly-paid professionals will make this spot go away. However, I think Google just needs to keep its opinion to itself. Along the right side of paid ads are a list of various spas and such in our area. But the bottom ad was this:

Professional Therapy. Call Us Today
Get Private In House Counseling!
Doylestown, PA

Shut up, Google. I don't need your snarky commentary.

11 November 2008

New Wheels

I finally found the time to get the pictures off the digital camera an on to the computer. And I also realized that we now have a generation of people who will no longer have happy memories of vacations, holidays, and birthdays. They will, instead, look back fondly on 001_352-0088-001, nov200125_001, and asd_11142_2008.

Hell yes, it's a manual.

Dr. Nate in his "I Am The Stig" shirt

07 November 2008

23 October 2008

It Makes My Eyes Bleed

Stuff like this makes me glad that I'm heathen, atheist devil-spawn. I thoroughly suspect my downstairs neighbors are this incredibly dumb, too.

21 October 2008

Dear Lewis Hamilton,

Keep your chin up, young man. Don't let the haters get you down; they're just jealous. I realize Felipe Massa has home track advantage, but neveryoumind.

By the way, I'm pretty sure Kimi is an android.

14 October 2008

Snout Sandwich?

I did something the other day that I normally don't do: purchase breakfast meats. Sausage is pretty darn good and I like it. I rarely buy it, though, since the thought of making anything more involved than cereal in the morning is anathema to me. But Those From Whose Loins Sprang Dr. Nate visited this past weekend. Which meant breakfast was upgraded for a few days.

But that's not the point.

The point is that I was in the grocery store buying said breakfast sausage and ran across something I've never heard of before: Scrapple. Scrapple? Yep, scrapple. I also ran across something called "pork roll" but that doesn't seem quite as interesting.

So, this scrapple...I'm both horrified and intrigued by it, but who wouldn't be horrified and intrigued by any breakfast meat (and I use the term "meat" rather loosely here) that appears to be a gray loaf of pressed glop?

And not only was this scrapple available, it was placed prominently in the case and there were no less than three different brands of it. If companies are paying for eye-level shelf space for this stuff, people have to be eating it, right?

But what, exactly, ARE they eating? What lies in the depths of that pressed loaf 'o grayness?

"Pork Stock, Pork Livers, Pork Fat, Pork Snouts, Corn Meal, Pork Hearts, Wheat Flour, Salt, Spices."

Pork snouts. Did you know you could eat snouts? I didn't.

I was so intrigued (and horrified) by scrapple that I dragged poor Dr. Nate over to the refrigerated case and made him look at it. Strangely, he didn't seem as disturbed as I. Seems he had already heard about said delicacy from coworkers. Dr. Nate even informed me that scrapple isn't confined to pork varieties, but is a catch-all term for any pressed loaf of glop made from the left over bits and pieces of an animal. You could have beef scrapple. Or deer scrapple. I guess it's that old Pennsylvania Dutch ideal of waste not, so eat gross things.

So I'm debating on whether or not I actually want to buy some of this just to torture myself and Dr. Nate in the name of science. Or if I should just stick to cereal. I'm leaning toward cereal.

03 October 2008

Good Movies

Good movies I have watched recently that I didn't expect would be as good as they were:

Battle Royale - then again, Japanese 10th graders killing each other always makes for good viewing.

Mayor of the Sunset Strip - documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer. A veritable "who is awesome in the world of music" feast of cameos, notably David Bowie. Kato Kaelin features prominently, too, but is not awesome. Except that he kind of is.

The Thing - Love Kurt Russell!

Atonement - Because it's Shameless's Steve. Fiona's boyfriend. The truth is out there. Not.

The Wicker Man - the original. Weird; but good.

The Wicker Man - Nicolas Coppola remake. He punches a woman! Cinematic genius. BEES!

Lars and the Real Girl - Awesome.

22 September 2008

To stive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

As we being today's driving lesson, good people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am reminded of the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Let's focus on the poem "Ulysses," specifically the last sentence which ends in: "...and not to yield." Take these words to heart, dear students, for they are truly words to drive by.

Let's discuss the concept of the Interstate (or Turnpike, whatever the case may be) on-ramp, keeping Tennyson's poem in mind. The on-ramp is used to enter the flow of traffic on a highway. As highway speeds are, by and large, faster than most road speeds, the on-ramp allows a driver the space necessary to accelerate his/her vehicle so that it is traveling at the same rate of speed as the traffic on the highway. This makes it much easier to merge with the flow of traffic, since drivers on the highway do not have to slow down to allow you to enter the traffic stream.


Forgive me, students, for my momentary lapse in decorum. Let's go back to the Tennyson poem, shall we? " ...and not to yield." It is my fervent hope that I can send you out into the Commonwealth's driving environment having learned this one little lesson: just as the good Lord Tennyson stated, on-ramps are for accelerating, not for stopping or yielding. Stopping at the end of an on-ramp is not only dangerous for you and those behind you, but it's just plain wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And should I find you doing this again, you will be punished severely.

Our next lesson will focus on emergency pull-off locations. They are for emergencies only. Not for stretching your legs, walking the dog, or throwing out a soda can.

Class dismissed.

16 September 2008

Do Want (Hardware Store Edition)

I needed grease last night. When I told Dr. Nate this he naturally assumed that I'd spent my work day getting drunk at home by myself and needed a greasy meal to remedy the resulting hangover.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, darling.

But I really needed actual grease to fix the ball bearings in a tension thingy on my Nordictrack. So we went to the closest hardware store.

And I found something I must have but cannot justify owning: A gallon tin of WD-40.

I didn't realize you could buy WD-40 by the gallon. I want to be the type of person who finds it necessary to buy WD-40 a gallon at a time for actual usage rather than what I'd do with it now which is use it as decoration in the apartment.

Okay, maybe I take that back. I'd like to hang out on the weekends with someone who buys WD-40 by the gallon. I think whatever someone is doing that requires that much WD-40 is probably a lot more manual labor than I'm used to.

Even so, I've got a great corner of a bookcase where that gallon tin would look just smashing.

04 September 2008

RICO Shrubbery

There is a nursery not far from where we live. We drive by it every time we go to the "good" grocery store (as opposed to the somewhat-ghetto-but-perfectly-fine-for-some-stuff grocery store across the street) or head to Lansdale, Pennsylvania's version of Champaign's north Prospect area.

This nursery never appears to be open. Well, there was the one time I drove by at 4:45pm and it was open, but then closed when I drove by again about one hour later. Not open most mornings. Or most afternoons, for that matter. The sign outside of the place hasn't changed (Plant summer flowers! 2 zinnias for $5) since we visited here in mid-July. Who knows how long that sign has been up. 1978?

But, lo and behold the place was actually open last Saturday when we were driving by! So, of course, we stopped. They do have lots of pretty plants around the place though they never seem rotate inventory or sell anything.

We walked into the building and found a group of Italians standing around the front counter chatting in Italian. We were the only other people there. The inventory inside was sparse, there were no prices on anything, 1/2 of the lights weren't on, most of the non-plant things - like pots and little lawn ornaments and whatnot - were covered in cobwebs and dust...

Mafia cover, obviously. Buy one perennial, get one ounce of cocaine absolutely free! "I need to buy some mulch" is probably code for putting a hit on someone.

So we left lest we end up being turned into compost. Literally.

03 September 2008

Sarah Palin

Well, at least she's not mormon.

30 August 2008

Are You In?

Okay, folks. We'll be there. Who's with us?

Herr Doktor Professor Heien, Ph.D., I'm looking at you especially. Cancel whatever plans you have for that weekend because they just aren't as important. You're coming with us whether you like it or not. You have no choice.

And thanks to Jeff for finding this!! (For those who can't make it: don't worry; there will be a photo essay.)

Zombie Walk at Monroeville Mall, Pittsburgh, PA

November Will Never Get Here

So, yeah, Dr. Nate and I just ordered my Mini Cooper S. But we have to wait until the end of November to get it.

Yes, you heard me right. We just ordered a brand new 2009 Mini Cooper S. British racing green with white bonnet stripes and white top. Manual transmission, of course.

Now I just have to count down the days until my new toy arrives.

It'll look something like this:

26 August 2008

PA Weather Report: 40% Chance of Zombies

I'm rather disappointed to find out that Pennsylvania, our area of it at least, has no Major Weather Thing. No tornadoes, no hurricanes, no blizzards, no nothing. Not even the occasional special marine warning; we live too far from shore. In fact, other than one 1/2 hour's worth of downpouring rain we haven't even had any rainstorms. Although it's dry enough to hope for a wildfire or two.

I suppose thunder and lightening don't come standard in eastern PA. We've been told there is some snow, but it usually melts pretty quickly. So scratch that off the list.

They do test alert sirens often around here. I've heard them on Monday mornings, Thursday afternoons, etc. Though it might just be warning alarms from core meltdowns at the nuclear power plant 20ish miles from here. Which reminds me that I want to take a field trip to Three Mile Island one of these days.

But I digress...

This leaves zombies as the major thing for which we need to prepare (obviously). Dr. Nate is doing his part and has formed the beginnings of a spectacular Zombie Apocalypse Survival Group. We have someone with mad auto mechanic skillz. And a hunter with lots of guns, lots of outdoor survival skills, huge tracts of land, and building equipment. So we're making good progress.

25 August 2008

Cannibalism in the News

See? You go for a few weeks without cable and the Series of Tubes, and you miss an awesome cannibalism story that even includes a free side-order of decapitation!

Greyhound scraps ads after Canada bus beheading

There are types of news stories that I absolutely love. Anything involving cannibalism, stigmata, crazy religious cults, or SHC (for those of you not in the know, "SHC" stands for Spontaneous Human Combustion). I will happily sit down to the same Discovery Channel special on stigmata time after time; they always trot out Padre Pio, but I just don't care. I'll watch it anyhow. And the SHC special on National Geographic? That one where they burn a pig carcass to try to recreate a SHC incident? I'm probably on my fifth sitting of that one. So I've very glad I noticed this story while perusing "Ad Report Card" on slate.com.

20 August 2008

Dear People,

Dear Bob Costas,
You're cute as a button, you are! I've been claiming for, oh, the last 15 years or so that Katie Couric is really just you in drag. I saw you an Olympic broadcast the other day and I gotta say that you look the same as you did 15 years ago. Do you have really good genetics or just a really good plastic surgeon?

Dear Dwight D. Eisenhower (posthumously),
Awesome interstate system, dude! But remember: the Germans did it first.

Dear Bob Seeger,
You have the rhyming skills of a first grader. I'd suggest trying to think up more creative lyrics than all things that end in the "-ee" sound. Let's challenge ourselves, shall we?

Dear Ohio,
Stop it with the "we play anything" radio stations. If I'm listening to the Rolling Stones on one of your radio stations why must you then have the next song be country crap? I don't get it. If I wanted a mixed taped I'd make my own. Use a genre-based system like everyone else does.


09 August 2008

Meet the Neighbors

Our downstairs neighbor stopped by the day we were unpacking to say hello. Somehow we ended up in her apartment, looking at her Wii and Wii Fit. She stopped by later and brought us some chocolate-covered strawberries. Very nice, although she also said that she'd taken the week off work to teach vacation bible school at her church. Uh oh.

AND she showed us her spare "goodies" refrigerator in their garage. Dr. Nate noticed there was no beer in it. How does one keep a goodies refrigerator in their garage with nothing but Snapple and yogurt in it? I thought the whole point of an extra refrigerator was to store copious amounts of liquor. Hell, this is Pennsylvania - ya gotta stock up on beer for the lean times, ya know?

Either way, she is very nice and I am assuming her husband is as well (we haven't met him. Apparently, the men folk don't have to take off work to teach vacation bible school).

Then the doorbell rang today. And our nice, previously chocolate-covered-strawberry-toting neighbor was now toting something quite different. An invitation to join them in worship at their church. *Sigh* I was upstairs on a step ladder hoisting boxes into a closet, so it was Dr. Nate who answered the door. Which was probably a good thing for all involved. Although both Dr. Nate and I suspected this invitation would be forthcoming...I mean, you take vacation from work and, instead of going to the beach or visiting friends, you teach bible school? Then you're probably one to proselytize. Good thing was that she wasn't very pushy (well, except for the fact that she rang our doorbell and foisted a church service invitation at us, which is highly pushy in my anti-religous book).

So, how does one politely tell a very nice person who happens to have different beliefs than you that you are a beer-swilling, heathen, atheist devil-spawn? Without being burned at the stake OR offending your extremely nice and well-meaning neighbors? Or at least let her know that you thank her very much for her well-meaning-ness, but aren't interested in her invitation?

Luckily she's Lutheran and not some fire-breathing, yeshallallburnifyoudonotacceptjesusasyourlordandsavior type. Then I really would expect her to start building the bonfire in the parking lot.

And it could be worse. She could be a mormon.

04 August 2008

Pennsylvania, WTF?!

We move into town and you CLOSE the good grocery store that sold good beer?! You CLOSE it the same day we're pulling into town???? Have you no heart?!?!?

Oh, and also, Pennsylvania, a few things you might want to consider:

Tell your residents to stop with all the procreating. No state needs that many people with that many kids.

And what's up with every third building out here being a church? Does this go hand in hand with all the procreating (see above)? Either way, you're starting to scare me with your puritan liquor laws, religious nuts, and all the people in obvious need of better birth control.

Also, have you ever heard of the grid system for laying out roads? Look into it.

10 July 2008

Things Learned From Watching Too Much VH1 Classics

#1: Angus Young is surprisingly lucid.

#2: Dio is not a great mythical warrior, no matter how many swords and castles are in his music videos. He is, in fact, a 4' 10" irate gnome from New Jersey.

#3: Patton Oswalt is correct; many hair metal bands do seemingly work and then rock out in factories that make nothing but sparks.

#4: Sebastian Bach was extremely pretty back in the late '80s. He has aged badly.

#5: However, Roger Daltrey is still very good looking for a guy in his 60s.

#6: Although I hadn't heard it for approximately 15 years, I still know all the words to Warrant's "Down Boys." There are days when I scare even myself.

#7: Riki Rachtman was, is, and always will be a complete tool.

08 July 2008

07 July 2008

Something to Ponder

Is there anyone anyone alive cooler than David Bowie Willie Nelson?

Nope. Didn't think so.

02 July 2008

The Beertini...

It's not just a drink, it's a lifestyle.

Toes of Love

I present to you: Vibram Five Fingers shoes.

Thanks to some random woman on the street wearing them last night, Dr. Debbie and I swooned over these and I promptly dragged Nate to the local crunchy, granola camping/clothing store in town to buy a pair. Mine are bright red. Cuz if you're gonna look like a kook, may as well go all the way.

01 July 2008

The Cheesesteak and We

Your daily announcement, tepid off the presses:

Dr. Nate and I are moving to Pennsylvania. Dr. Nate took a job with Big Pharma, so we're headed to a secure location outside of Philadelphia so he can do.....whatever it is that he does for a living.

We have no place to call home yet; that information will be forthcoming. Anticipated move dates will be end of July/beginning of August. The sound you hear coming from eastern Ohio will be our cats waking up from the kitty Valium and finding that they are not pleased with their automotive environs.

23 June 2008

New, Disturbing News

My hair stylist is a creationist. As in, "Attila the Hun had dinosaurs as pets."

I wasn't quite sure what to do about the information once I knew it. I know I can't do anything about it - she's free to believe whatever she likes (no matter how bad and wrong it is), but I so desperately wanted to point out such things as, oh, I don't know, the FOSSIL RECORD and CARBON DATING. But that might have caused my ear to be snipped off.

So what did I do, as she was talking about how her cousin was silly enough to believe in evolution for awhile until she, my stylist, found information on the Internet to refute evolution? I'll tell you what I did: I went "uh huh" and bit the inside of my cheek until it bled. Because when someone is hovering above you with a sharp, deadly object, the last thing you want to do is tell them they are an idiot.

16 June 2008

Make That A Double

Dr. Nate and I went out to dinner on Saturday to celebrate our anniversary. The menu had a list of specialty drinks and martinis available for order, which I read even though I wasn't planning to order one.

I don't care for martinis. Yes, I will drink a cosmopolitan on occasion and there was the Unfortunate Chocotini Incident Of 2008 (one that I never care to repeat, thankyouverymuch.) But actual martinis - the clear ones that taste like rubbing alcohol - are bad.

Whee - ethyl alcohol is yummy!

Lots of martinis tend to have something in them. You aren't served just a glass of clear liquid; you also usually get "something on a stick," like an olive or a little onion. Why does it have to always be an olive or a little onion?

But there are other food items that probably could be used in place of the olive or onion. And then it hit me. The perfect combination! I present to you:

The HamtiniTM! Which could also be called the PorkiniTM. And the variation on the theme: The ProsciutiniTM.

06 June 2008

Top Chef Observation

Boy, that Lisa sure is an asshat, isn't she?

05 June 2008

Boyfriend Music Mash-Up

I had the nasty habit of picking up my boyfriends' music listening habits when I dated them. For instance, one old boyfriend really liked guitar stuff. So I now own every Eric Johnson cd ever made -- at least until we broke up -- even Tones . I never listen to them anymore except Venus Isle about once every five years. I'm due to listen to it again in 2011.

Yeah, I've been to a G3 concert. What's it to you?

That same boyfriend is also why I know far, far, far too much about Yngwie Malmsteen and can still get a respectable score in the "Guitar Alphabet Game.'' A is for Alvarez. B is for B.C. Rich. C is for Charvel. G is for Gretsch (you thought I would say Gibson, didn't you?).

Yngwie 's hair rocks out with his Fender

From another boyfriend I learned about the blues. And I do still listen to the blues sometimes. But I might be a heretic because I will freely admit that I prefer the Nirvana cover of "In the Pines" much more than the original. I also listened to way too much Bruce Springsteen with that boyfriend. I had to go on a three year Bruce moratorium after we broke up.

Through the music dregs I've been dragged though, I do sometimes incorporate some of the music into my own personal listening file. Except for one Yanni incident; that's asking too much.

So then I go off and get married to this jazz trumpet guy (aka Dr. Nate). And you'd think that after a massive amount of jazz exposure I would come to like it, too. No way in hell. Not that I didn't try; I did, sort of. But the place where most jazz in town is played DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A GOOD BEER SELECTION. How am I supposed to warm up to a musical genre when I can't even enjoy a decent beer while slogging through it?

I mean, look at this guy. Come on:

And Maynard belts out show tunes or something

I won't listen to jazz and I can't get Dr. Nate to listen to The Clash or Rolling Stones, so I've given up. I'll just go my own musical direction for the rest of my life. I wonder where I put that copy of Rising Force?

30 May 2008

Five Word Movie Review

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:

Gratuitous use of fake cobwebs.

29 May 2008

Pity The Poor Children

I was skimming the articles on CNN.com yesterday and noticed a particularly sad one: A woman who had been in a iron lung for 50 years died because her home lost electricity and her family couldn't keep the iron lung running. Our country can spend billions of dollars and lots of scientists' time and energy sending a remote-controlled soda can to Mars to look at rocks, but we can't keep someone's iron lung running if the power goes out. Awesome (not really).

(Look! Rocks!)

But the article also mentioned that the woman in the iron lung had written a children's book. Which makes me wonder: why is it that everyone thinks they can write children's books? I don't have children nor do I particularly like them, but I do feel sorry for them because an awful lot of people are writing books for them, especially celebrities.

Madonna has written children's books. Think about it. Do you really want your kid reading books written by a 55ish year old woman who still dresses like a two-bit whore and ruined the career of a once-promising British movie director? Is that the model citizen we want to promote to today's youth?

(And Madonna thinks, "I love you, Photoshop!")

Other celebrities who have written children's books: Will Smith, John Travolta ("Hey, Mr. Kotter! I thought you were L. Ron Hubbard, I swear!"), LeAnn Rimes (I'm not sure who she is but she wrote a children's book about a jaguar.... named Jag. How very original.)

Would it be too much to ask to have some decent celebrities write children's book? If I'm going to give my hypothetical child a book written by someone famous, could it at least be someone like Helen Thomas ("So I says to Netanyahu, I says...") or maybe Rob Halford? Seriously, children's books written by Rob Halford would be awesome.

20 May 2008

Starbucks Schmucks

I have decided to hate Starbucks. No, not because they are causing the death of the local coffee shop or because they have bad coffee (I wouldn't know - I don't drink coffee) or because of whatever fair traded-ness issues people have with them. Those are EEEEEEEEHHHHHH HIPPIE reasons for hating Starbucks. And I hate hippies.

I have decided to hate Starbucks for the smugness of their employees. I hate smugness in employees. Except for sommeliers; they've earned the right to be smug.

Dr. Nate and I rarely visit Starbucks although we have several in town. When we do resort to visiting Starbucks is when we are traveling, because they are as ubiquitous as nitrogen. Their ubiquity is not why I hate them either, though. Their ubiquity is driven by good old-fashioned capitalism, of which I'm a fan.

Back to the smugness. I refuse to use the Starbucks language code when I am in one of their establishments. I don't want to order a "piccolo, non-fat whatever-the-heck." I want a small, skim chai. And Dr. Nate would like a large, skim cappuccino. So, stubbornly refusing to play their stupid name game, I never use their language code. But then they get smug with me. They repeat my order back to me using their language with that "you're supposed to call it this, you trifling nit" look on their face.

Which makes me hate them.

14 May 2008

Take Stock of Your Home Arsenal

This is what Dr. Nate and I learned from Personal Defense Television the other day. We learned all about options for our Home Arsenal. Right now our Home Arsenal consists of: two cats who hide when anyone comes to the door, a can of mosquito repellent (expiry date of 2006), a chef's knife, and a half-empty Bic lighter. We also have a pair of candlesticks on the kitchen table, but those come in handy only against Colonel Mustard in the drawing room.

According to Tom Gresham, your host of Personal Defense Television, our Home Arsenal is laughable. Personal Defense Television works under the theory of (I swear I'm not making this up) "any gun is better than no gun." I tend to work under the theory of "no gun is better than any gun someone can take away from me and shoot me with," but that's just me.

Although the focus of your Home Arsenal should be guns - many, many guns - you can also consider knives and TASERs. Incidentally, the TASER shown on the show was pink, presumably because the 'lil woman likes things that are pink. We also learned that a cell phone could be part of your Home Arsenal, but only to call the police AFTER you've killed an intruder with one of your many, many guns.

So this weekend I know I'll be taking stock of my Home Arsenal and purchasing a new bottle of mosquito repellent and a TEC-9.

07 May 2008

R.I.P., Sergio

We had this huge opossum in our neighborhood who used to eat birdseed from under our bird feeder. I named him Sergio.

(Not actually Sergio, but this is what he looked like)

Last night, right in front of our house, someone hit Sergio with their car. And then they drove on. But they came back, found that it was just a mortally wounded opossum, and left again (backing down the road, lest they actually have to drive by the poor thing). Thanks, assholes. You're really great humans to leave a wounded animal in the road to bleed to death.

We, or rather Dr. Nate (I was in the bedroom with the t.v. turned up and my fingers in my ears - I didn't want to go out and see/hear poor Sergio like that), took care of it. Dr. Nate would have taken care of it himself but we simply don't have any implement in our house that would have easily dispatched a very large opossum, and we didn't quite know how to get a very large, mortally wounded, and rather enraged opossum into the car to take to the University's wildlife emergency clinic.

Interestingly enough the city won't do anything about wild animals and they gave us the number of a wild animal removal/trapping service. The nice man came over right away and put poor Sergio out of his misery and took him out of the road. All for only $45! Which I think is a pretty good price.

I saw the car when it came back to see what it had hit, and I'm pretty darn sure it was a silver Impala. And so Dr. Nate and I took a walk around our neighborhood and did find a silver Impala parked about a block away from where we live. Unfortunately, Dr. Nate wouldn't let me sneak into the house's carport to see if there was blood on the front of the car. Something about trespassing and the fact that in jail they take your shoelaces away from you. (Note: I was wearing sandals). I walked by the house again this morning, but the car was already gone.

Either way, there are days I wished I wasn't an atheist so that I could believe in hell. Because I'm sure there's a special place in hell reserved for the sub-humans who leave defenseless animals to die like that.

And, to the person who did leave poor Sergio lying in the road: I would suggest you make a $45 donation to the University of Illinois' Wildlife Clinic. Maybe that would earn you back a karma point or two.

05 May 2008

Why I Love Comcast

Our old cable provider was recently purchased by Comcast, and we were rolled over to their channel lineup on April 30. This is bad news for some things. For instance, our Sundance Channel is now "Sundance Pacific," which means that Shameless airs at 11pm on Sunday nights and not at 8pm.

Thanks to TiVo, we don't have to miss our second favorite program on t.v. (first being, of course, Top Gear). A few channels that we never watched have gone away; some new channels have been added.

Other than the Shameless annoyance, I didn't think this Comcast change really amounted to much. And then....oh, and then! And then Dr. Nate and I were home on Saturday night being a boring married couple. We watched a movie (Brazil - it was okay) and finished it around 9:30 or so. We decided to flip around the channels and came across what may be the single best program in the History Of All Media: Personal Defense Television!

I swear I am not making this up. Comcast added a watch-people-kill-stuff channel to our lineup, and I assumed was just Babe Winkleman and Ted Nugent doing whatever it is they do in forests and/or lakes.

But let me tell you, folks, I assumed INCORRECTLY. The channel also airs Personal Defense Television - a must-see for anyone, like me, who plans to start a militia (okay, well, maybe it's just for me then). Feel free to check out the Personal Defense Television website and watch an episode or two. Here are synopses of recently-aired episodes to pique your interest:
"Vehicle Defense - Criminals attack people in their vehicles. Do you know how to manage your seatbelt, draw safely and effectively and shoot through glass?"

"Using What You Have -- Self defense with a single-shot shotgun? How about a bolt-action rifle? Learn to use anything available..."
And my personal favorite:
"You never know what can happen in a real personal-defense situation. If your shooting hand is disabled, can you shoot, load, unload and resolve malfunctions using only your "weak" hand?"
Note the similarities of everyone on the episode we watched:
  1. One X and one Y chromosome
  2. At least 50 years of age
  3. Caucasian
Don't discount how important information like this is to all the middle-class white guys living in the inner-city ghetto, and battling it out with the Latin Kings.

(Your host of Personal Defense Television - Tom Gresham)

I didn't realize one could buy a hands-free flashlight for nighttime shooting. Much easier and more effective than the "old" method, which, as Dr. Nate and I learned on Personal Defense Television, involved attaching a large O-ring to a small flashlight and hooking it around your finger. You see, the O-ring will keep the light handy as you go to reload your Colt 1911. You just flip the flashlight over the back side of your hand, then grab a new clip, and then...oh well - nevermind. I don't want to give away the ending.

02 May 2008

My Favorite Word

Although I like the words "piteously" and "smote" quite a lot, my favorite word has to be "defenestrate."

I also have an obsession with trying to bring back words and phrases that were once common and now aren't so common (or words that I simply like and think should be used more frequently).

"Look-see," "swell," and "keen" are ones I try to incorporate into my daily language patterns as much as possible. Dr. Nate is not allowed to have a "look" at the TiVo to see why the channels aren't changing properly. He is allowed to have a "look-see" at it, however.

I focus my efforts on the adjective forms of keen and swell, and not the noun and verb forms even though the noun and verb forms of "keen" are also interesting. It's just don't usually have cause to bring up lamentations for the dead in daily conversation.

I've been considering the word "hep" lately; it could be primed for a comeback.

28 April 2008

I've Got No Sorts

I am completely out of sorts, thanks to traveling for various work-related and visiting-type things.

Four factoids about Ball State University/Muncie, Indiana:
#1, Ball State is named after the Ball jar canning people
#2, It's most well-known alumnus is David Letterman
#3, Muncie is the home of Garfield the Cat
#4, Scotty's Brewhouse serves Bell's Oberon beer and an acceptable chicken tortilla soup

I am spending FAR too much time in Indiana these days. Muncie last week for an extra-special, most fascinating conference on copyright in libraries (okay, actually it was a pretty good conference and I learned a lot about sections 107 & 108 of the copyright code). And then Indianapolis this week for an extra-special, not-really-fascinating, mostly-annoying-because-I-have-to-present meeting on the CONTENTdm DAMS (Digital Asset Management System). Ah, such is the life of your friendly, neighborhood information professional. I'm not a librarian, I just play one on t.v.

17 April 2008

Current Formula 1 Standings

Not that you couldn't have gotten these numbers off myriad web sites...but here's the current F1 points standings for both the drivers' and constructors' championships. There are current as of the last race (Bahrain).

Drivers' championship
Driver's Name (Team) and Points
1 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari): 19
2 Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber): 16
3 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes): 14
4 Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber): 14
5 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren-Mercedes): 14
6 Felipe Massa (Ferrari): 10
7 Jarno Trulli (Toyota): 8
8 Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota): 7
9 Fernando Alonso (Renault): 6
10 Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault): 4
11 Kazuki Nakajima (Williams-Toyota): 3
12 Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso-Ferrari): 2
13 David Coulthard (Red Bull-Renault): 0
14 Jenson Button (Honda): 0
15 Nelson Piquet, Jr (Renault):0
16 Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India-Ferrari):0
17 Rubens Barrichello (Honda):0
18 Anthony Davidson (Super Aguri-Hond):0
19 Takuma Sato (Super Aguri-Honda): 0

Constructors' championship
Team and Points
1 BMW Sauber: 30
2 Ferrari: 29
3 McLaren-Mercedes: 28
4 Williams-Toyota: 10
5 Toyota: 8
6 Renault: 6
7 Red Bull-Renault: 4
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari: 2
9 Honda: 0
10 Force-India Ferrari: 0
11 Super Aguri-Honda: 0

It's been a few years since I've actively followed F1. Michael Schumacher's reign (well, once Ferrari started making cars that actually worked) just made it boring. When the drivers' championship is wrapped up by the 9th race of the season, what's the point? But I caught the the final race of last season and saw the end of the Bahrain race this season; things are looking interesting again, what with good drivers spread over several teams. Now, if we could just get Ferrari to replace Felipe Massa with Fernando Alonso. Or an Alonso/Hamilton Ferrari team. Honestly I'd much rather see Alonso in the #1 Ferrari car than Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari might be paying Kimi over $50 million a year, but as we all know: he's no Senna.

10 April 2008

Apropos to Nothing...

...except a debate held between myself and Dr. Nate, while watching Metal Mania:

Ian Astbury: lead singer of The Cult.

Glenn Danzig: lead singer of Danzig; formerly of the Misfits.

Note: the first drummer for Danzig, Chuck Biscuits, was formerly with both Black Flag and Circle Jerks.

Who's Not Your Mommy?

Behold the taxonomy of people:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Genus: Homo
Species: Sapien

An example of this particular taxonomy would be Kimi Räikkönen (see below):

Behold the taxonomy of the domesticated house cat:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species: Catus

An example of this taxonomy would be the common tabby cat (see below):

Yes, both examples are Unikonts. Even Euteleostomes. But the similarities end in the class Mammalia.

I will admit freely that I do consider our felis cata part of the family. We miss them when we are out of town, we converse with them when we are at home, we immediately seek help and have been known to miss work when they don't feel well. We spend far too much money on them; they have more toys than I do. We take them into consideration in various household decisions. They yell, we come running.

But I did not birth them and, as such, I am not their mother. So please do not refer to me (who, like Kimi Raikkonen, is a homo sapien), as the mother of my felis cata. Nor are they my "furkids" or "fur-babies."

07 April 2008

New Toy!

When he knows he's about to get treats or something good, our little black cat (Bit) gets something we call "shaky tail" - his tail perks up and just kind of trembles back and forth with anticipation of whatever tasty thing he's getting. Total excitement reflex.

I've got to admit that I have a severe case of shaky tail this afternoon, since I just talked Dr. Nate into buying a GPS thing for our car. Or, more accurately, I whined all during lunch about needing one and he acquiesced and let me buy it. Woot!

We've been lusting after them ever since seeing one in action last year in the luxury ride of the Cyberninja and Dr. Girlfriend. But we couldn't justify one since we know our way around our town and tend not to travel to unknown remote places that often. But I printed out 1/2 a ream of paper this morning, digging up mapquest directions for a work thing I need to attend in Chicago this Friday. And I have to go to Muncie, IN, in another week or so and then Indianapolis after that. And we have other travel stuff that might be coming up. Plus, Dr. Nate and I have no sense of direction. At all.

So, thanks to Amazon.com, a brand-new Garmin Nuvi 260 is on its way to us. The cool thing about this version is it actually tells you the name of the street on which you have to turn, rather than "turn left in 500 yards."

And, since zombies don't have the intelligence to zap satellites out of the sky, we can chalk this purchase up further supplies for the impending zombie-riddled Trek to a Safe Haven.

01 April 2008

Best of the Edwin Street Zombie Group Leaving

Thanks to knowing folks like Cyberninja and Max Brooks, Dr. Nate and I thought it best to form a plan and compose what we thought was a reasonably good group of people to have around in a zombie apocalypse. Namely, ourselves, our neighbors (yet to be informed of their zombie group status), and my sister.

Our neighbors are hunters and, therefore, have guns, various and sundry munitions, trucks, and mad huntin' skillz--all very useful in a zombie apocalypse situation. And they're really nice and probably won't use our cats as zombie bait if we ask them not to.

The "fifth" in the group is my sister, for several good reasons: #1, she is about as badass as Gregg Allman, if not a bit more so; #2, she works out all the time and is in very good shape, so stamina for travel won't be a problem; #3, she would have no scruples about dispatching zombies; #4, she would have no scruples about dispatching weak links in the zombie group; #5 she comes standard with LASER eyeballs.

So, what with zombie apocalypse surely imminent, I find out that my sister is moving to Montana. Damn. My only hope is to convince her to set up an outpost for us there in the wilderness and stock it with provisions. It seems that any zombie apocalypse should come standard with one group's trek across Regions Unknown to reach a Safe Haven. I suppose Montana is as acceptable a Safe Haven as any.

26 March 2008

Only 27 Created...Ever

I am thoroughly convinced that there are only 27 contemporary christian songs that have ever been written in the history of...contemporary christianity. They simply keep recycling between one compilation cd to the next, give or take a few songs per cd.

I'm a sucker for any Time-Life-y type commercials advertising compilation cds. The commercials where they have song snippets and scroll all the names of the songs across the screen. There was one on the other night for something called: "Christian Power Anthems For Worship" or whatever. You get the gist of the type of cd to which I'm making a reference. The thing I noticed about all these song sound bytes is that they are the exact same songs from all the other "Christian Songs 4 Ever" or "Let Us Praise Him With These Same Songs"music compilation commercials I've been seeing off and on since, oh, 1987.

You may ask why an atheist would actually know anything about contemporary christian music? Well, because I was subjected to it by a former undergraduate dorm suite-mate of mine in the mid-1990s. Although I'm sure she didn't believe that listening to "Our God Is An Awesome God" was torture for me, it was. But my tastes at the time tended toward glam rock, so who am I to judge?

And yes, "Our God Is An Awesome God" is still in the compilation cd rotation, even now. Incidentally, I think those who subscribe to the old-testament-type vision of god might beg to differ with the adjective "awesome." They'd be more apt to go for something like "Our God Is A Smiting God." But I digress...

This reminds me of a guy in my high school PE class. He had penned something like "John 4:19" and "Paul 9:21" on the sweatpants he wore in PE. I was always under the impression that they were people's track times, since he was also on the track team. As in, "John ran the hurdles in 4 minutes and 19 seconds." It was YEARS after high school when I finally realized they were bible verse numbers (about the time I learned that person had become a minister).

25 March 2008

iTunes Is Watching You

I'm growing a bit wary of iTunes' podcast feature. I don't usually listen to podcasts since I prefer to simply have a bit of background noise when I work. Music is good for that; paying attention to a podcast isn't. The exception to my rule is the "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" podcast. It's short so it doesn't take up a lot of time at work, plus I usually either learn something from it or reconfirm some grammar tidbit I already knew.

I've set up iTunes to automatically download each new Grammar Girl podcast for me, but I don't listen to them in a timely manner. Sometimes I have quite a few of them sitting there - even a few months' worth. This isn't a big deal for me. I don't mind seeing the little counter in iTunes reminding me that there are eight or nine Grammar Girl's waiting for me.

What really annoys me is once I get a backlog of them iTunes starts prompting me to either listen to them or unsubscribe from the podcast. Or the new episodes won't automatically download - they require me to click something else to "get" them. My iTunes preferences are set to check for new podcasts everyday, download the new ones, and save them all. There's no option for "hey, if I haven't listened to this in a few months start bothering me about it."

Why would iTunes care if I'm not current on my grammar tips? Why are they monitoring it? Guess what, Steve Jobs, I'll TELL you if I don't want to receive the podcast anymore - remember that your mother always said to never assume...it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me." Maybe I enjoy hoarding Grammar Girl episodes in much the same way some people enjoy hoarding cats.

21 March 2008

Eyeballs 2.0

Thursday, March 20, I got new eyeballs via IntraLase Lasik.

Before the miracle procedure, I looked something like this:

I now look something like this:

The surgery was quick - just a few minutes - and just felt really weird with some minor discomfort during part of it. Afterwards there was quite a bit of discomfort (burning sensation in the eyes) on the hour-long car trip back home. I was expecting this, thanks to information provided by our foreign correspondent in Belgium. Incidentally, my sister, who had the same thing done one month ago, didn't report any discomfort. That's because she's an eyeball sissy and they gave her Valium before the surgery and she slept the whole way home. Of course she didn't have problems. Not being an eyeball sissy, I had no drugs. But after a few hours with my eyes closed I felt MUCH better. And lo and behold! Now I can see. The LASER eyeballs also come in handy for heating up soup.

EYEBALL 2.0 UPDATE: Friday I had my follow-up appointment with the doctor who did my surgery. My vision is 20/15. I'm still having a bit of a problem with the accuracy of the eyeball LASERs though. I keep firing about 8 - 10cm to the right of what I'm trying to zap. I lit some of our curtains on fire by accident....

11 March 2008

NISO Pants Standard

Although I'm planning on devoting at least 254 pages to this topic when I finally get around to writing my manifesto, I'll summarize here:

Women's pants sizes need some kind of NISO standard. I went to a Banana Republic outlet store awhile back and purchased a pair of pants. I went to my local Banana Republic and found some jeans I wanted to buy. Naturally, I chose to try on a pair that were the same size as the pants I'd purchased previously...cuz one would think that if the pants fit in that size, then the jeans from the same retailer would as well. Did the jeans fit? No. They were two sizes too big.

What's with this? Why can Dr. Nate go into a store and buy pants without even trying them on and I'm hauling four different sizes back to the fitting room?! And it's not just a Banana Republic thing. Same thing happens at different stores - try on two different types of "bottoms" (e.g. jeans, skirts) and come away with two different sizes. Hell, try on two different styles of jeans and come away with two different sizes (yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Eddie Bauer). Can't more retailers use inch measurements on women's pants just like men's?

03 March 2008

Universal Truths, Issue 1

Universal Truth #0: Absolute zero is -273.15 Celsius

Universal Truth #1: No one can be in a bad mood while listening to "Fat Bottomed Girls."

Universal Truth #2: If Harry Dean Stanton is in the cast of a film, then any scene with Harry Dean Stanton in it will be cinematic genius even if the rest of the movie is crap.

Universal Truth #3: Gregg Allman is badass.

27 February 2008

Labeling for Nimrods

I was throwing out an empty carton of milk this morning and noticed this useful tidbit on the side of the carton:

Who would have thought that a container of milk, thats ingredient is milk, would need to have an allergy warning stating that it contains milk? And not just any old allergy warning, mind you. Oh no. This is so important that they put it in bold type just to make sure you are sufficiently alerted to the fact that there is milk in your milk.

22 February 2008

One Pair of New Eyeballs, Please

LASERs are awesome. LASERs just reshaped my sister's eyeballs and now she's got, like, bionic eyes with 20/15 vision. (No word yet on if she makes that nifty bionic sound when she runs, though.)

Due to this fact, LASERs will also be reshaping my own eyeballs, through a process known as IntraLase LASIK, next month. Thanks to Dr. Nate for the early birthday present, and for not suggesting that we go do the self-checkout lane of the grocery store and use that LASER in a do-it-yourself attempt.

I can only hope that, once the procedure is over with, I will be able to hold my eyeballs up in a plastic bag and enter secure locations to rescue bald people drowning in soymilk. Hopefully it won't also cause me to go out an join a religious cult and become detestable.

19 February 2008

Thank You, CNN

I love a good cannibal story as much as I love a good religious cult story. So, thank you, CNN, for providing me with the following late afternoon reading:

"Man Goes on Trial in Cannibal Plot"

14 February 2008

Oh Noes! February Blues!

How I HATE February. It certainly doesn't feel like the shortest month. And it's only Feb. 14. - there is still another 1/2 a month to go. Crap. It's nothing but cold and gray and depressing. And all I want to do is sleep. Why can't we hibernate?

05 February 2008

And the Vote Goes To...

Ron Paul!

Yes, it was the Illinois primary today and my non-mormon vote went to Ron Paul. I went to the polls early today, so I'd have time to come home before work and take a long, scalding shower to wash away my sin of asking for Republican ballot.

(I am a fiscal conservative, so it wasn't as squicky as it could have been. But the Republican stance on "morality" is so reprehensible to me that it clouds my fiscal leanings.)

04 February 2008

Super Bowl

Some thoughts on the Super Bowl:

#1. Cheaters never win.

#2. Any team that has a player named "Plaxico" is better than any other team that doesn't have a player named "Plaxico."

01 February 2008

Not Like When I Was Six

Dr. Nate and I were having a discussion the other day on whether or not things from our childhood are as good now as we remember them. Case in point: Tang.

I remember having Tang as a kid and it was always most excellently tasty. Expect for when my grandmother, Mümmy, made it. She used 1 teaspoon Tang drink mix per 5 gallons of water. Basically, it was just orange-colored water. But when in the proper ratio of mix:water it was good stuff.

But is Tang just as good as I remember it? Heck, do they still make Tang?

Why yes, Virginia, they DO still make Tang, as evidenced by the bottom shelf of the "drink mix" section of the Schnucks grocery store in Savoy, Illinois. I bought the last (or was it the only?) container. Following the directions on the package, I carefully measured out the appropriate amount of powdered mix for two cups of water. The water immediately turned neon. A lot like Kryptonite, only orange.

It appears Kraft purchased an old radium watch dial factory on the cheap and is using it to manufacture Tang. I shudder to think what the reading on a Geiger counter is when stuck in a glass of the stuff.

Interesting Day-Glo color aside, the stuff is plain awful. Dr. Nate thought so, too. Sickly sweet (as you'd expect). Even when the ratio of mix:water was adjusted to Mümmy-like weakness, it still was exceedingly nasty.

I suppose I will donate the leftover mix to NASA. I'm sure the astronauts still drink it.

What's up with the weird name for my grandmother, you ask? It's because I couldn't pronounce "Mütti" when I was very young; it came out as "Mümmy." "Mütti" having been family slang (or perhaps just general German slang) or "Mutter."

28 January 2008

Things I Hate: SUV Strollers

Listen up, all you overbearing, self-centered moms and dads everywhere: The rest of us hate your $(*#(*!&# SUV strollers. You crowd up the aisles of stores, making life impossible for those of us who just want to get their shopping done. No, we aren't stopped in front of your pram to tell you how a-DOR-able your little Emma or Skyler is (really, moms and dads - your kid isn't cute OR special. Please realize that.). No, we just want to get to the shelf where the silicone-covered cooking tongs are and your Kiddie-RV-On-Wheels is blocking our way.

And really, hausfraus - why do you need a gigantic stroller with six wheels? When was the last time you left the comfort of watching Oprah to actually venture outside with the thing? Oh, what's that, you say? You don't want Bella to ever be exposed to fresh air? You'd rather fill up the emptiness inside you by acquiring material goods and lunching with your other baby-saddled friends, where you presumably keep reassuring each other how you're still the same, fun people you've always been? Well then listen up: my car doesn't have six wheels. Humvees don't have six wheels. Why in the hell do you need a stroller with six wheels if all you do is push it aimlessly through concrete-floored capitalism meccas and Starbucks?

And don't think you crunchy-type parents with the massive jogging strollers are getting off any easier. Oh, no. If you can afford to buy a jogging stroller, then you can also afford to get a reasonably-sized one for taking to the grocery store.

Here's another thing you SUV-stroller-pushing biddies might want to consider. If your first kid isn't old enough to walk on its own yet, then perhaps you could do the rest of us a favor and cease breeding until it is. Because what's worse than a single-kid SUV stroller? The heinousness of the DOUBLE SUV STROLLER!
See, here's the thing. Back in the day when I was but a wee tot, parents were more sensible. They didn't need a cupholder on their stroller that would accommodate a triple-mocha-half-caf-soy-latte-with-light-foam. They didn't need a stroller that would play soothing forest sounds to lull their kid to sleep. They didn't need to coordinate their stroller with the interior of little Madison's nursey. No. What they needed was a light, portable item that would get their kid from point A to point B without being a burden on themselves and everyone around them. What did those 70s parents use? The umbrella stroller.
Small, light-weight and the option 100% guaranteed to be the least annoying to your fellow shoppers.

So, got it moms and dads?? We don't like your strollers. We're not even so sure about you anymore (you're becoming real drags since you had kids). And we're no longer opposed to kicking your *@*&#)! SUV strollers out of the way when we need to get to the display of silicone-covered cooking tongs.