Whiny curmudgeon compiles his change

Whiny curmudgeon
compiles his change in cans
Bad television

So on Sunday night I’m watching 60 Minutes, and its the usual 60 Minutes thing–one story about government misdeeds to outrage you (always tempered by the fact that you know 60 Minutes is packaging it to heighten the outrage), one slice of life kind of story (this one was about a 12 year old that could write whole symphonies. I wasn’t that impressed. At that age I could complete almost all the levels of Defender on my Atari, and no one did a story about me), and one celebrity interview that was really about as deep as a similar interview on Access Hollywood, but its got that 60 Minutes class (nice film, painfully tight closeups, baritone voiced interviewer, and nobody’s exposing their midriff (although don’t we all wish Ed Bradley would)) so you don’t feel quite as silly watching it.

And then comes Andy Rooney. Now, I used to enjoy old Andy. I liked his takes on things like cereal boxes that wouldn’t close properly, or the annoying fact that you get 10 hot dogs to a package but only 8 hot dog buns per pack. That kind of stuff I can get behind. But clearly Andy’s lost that fire, that investigative drive that made him a legend. Because on Sunday night, all he talked about was taking his change to the bank. And they actually had video of him doing it. So we got about 5 minutes of Andy telling us that he puts his change in (get this!) old coffee cans, and then, when they fill up he (get ready!) takes the change to the bank to exchange it for bills. And then they show him do it. It was utterly pointless. Oh sure, he tried to make it seem like another one of his curmudgeonly takes on things by saying the government should retire the penny, but it didn’t work. I can’t believe he gets paid for this.

It was the worst television I’ve seen that didn’t have the words “My Big Fat” in the title.

here we go Guest blogger

here we go

Guest blogger nervous
millions of people on Web
may all ignore him

Greetings to the Internet! Thanks to Kari for allowing me to guest blog this week (as you can see from her earlier post, Kari is hoping that I’ll catch the blogging bug, create a blog of my own, link back to her blog, and thereby further her plan to dominate the lucrative Internet haiku market). Kari will be back in a week, so if you find my posts pedantic, annoying, or just plain boring (this means you, Mom) check back in a week, and the quality will have returned to normal.

I’ve got big plans for the week, but I wanted to set a certain tone with my first post. A tone of sophistication and class. That’s why my first post will be on the touchstone of class in our society: Hooters gift cards.

I didn’t know you could buy Hooters gift cards. But through the magic of radio advertising, I discovered this morning that you can, in fact, buy gift cards from Hooters. Its apparently a Christmas thing. Really. Now obviously there’s lots of questions this raises, like “who buys somebody a Hooters gift card for any holiday, let alone Christmas?” But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the ad for the cards.

Like I said, I heard the ad on the radio. And it was basically a Christmas jingle thing, wherein a choir sings about the marvelous benefits of the Hooters gift card. The jingle is set to the tune of “The Carol of The Bells.” It was a terrible jingle, all about how easy it is to buy a Hooters gift card and how thoughtful it is to basically give somebody a lite beer for Christmas. And what I want to know is: who are these people singing the jingle? Are these professional choir people? Are they people who once aspired to choir-singing greatness, and now just hope to do a Gap ad? I don’t want to be too harsh. We all have professional dreams that don’t work out (when I was a kid, I thought that by this time I’d be a 25th level magic-user. But that’s another story). But there was something sort of sad and pathetic that these fairly professional choir singers were using their gifts in service of Hooters. But then again, maybe Hooters only hires girls that are also choir singers.

freak out week creativity is

freak out week

is it even possible
when it is scheduled?

Well, I’ve gone a little crazy. My mother-in-law is in town for the week to watch the wee one. I have a guest blogger all lined up. The only part of my plan that isn’t falling into place is the muse. The goddamned hussy is late. I’ve been calling her and paging her and trying to get the message to her than I have a whole week in front of me with nothing to do but write (with a few breaks for groceries and dance class). But she’s yet to acknowledge me.

She has twelve hours to show up. Otherwise I’m screwed.

See, I had this phenomenal, fantastic chat with The Agent a few weeks ago. And even though he’s still not actually my agent, he’s taken an interest in my book. So he sent me some line edits. We discussed some more revisions. I promised an outline. (I also hung up the phone and squealed a lot and ran around like a high school sophomore who just got asked to the prom.)

So now I have a major project to undertake. I have some major deep breaths to inhale. I have a muse due to arrive any second now so that I can think up some brilliant and tantalizing new ideas for the outline and the revisions that will follow.

Wish me luck.

And be nice to Adam, my guest blogger. I have a feeling, though, you may actually like him better than me. If that’s the case, don’t tell me… just goad Adam into starting a blog of his own. I think after test driving mine he may go for it.

some thanksgiving haiku holiday success

some thanksgiving haiku

holiday success
tarred and feathered with turkey
grease, target receipts

am laying prostrate
or should I say pros”tart” with
holiday goodness

a one point safety!
weird football play gets fat ass
up and out of chair

only two hours
since my last triptophan fix
mmmm lips still greasy

talking politics
with the quiet relatives
creates throbbing veins

take reservation
but can’t hold reservation
flying Satan Air

yay Friday shopping!
except for traffic, crowds, sweat
yay online shopping!

small child eats turkey
chews it, makes face, spits it out
thankful for pasta

forgot to say grace
cause we were all damn hungry
will go to hell full

and speaking of hell
this is where my stomach lives
stupid old gravy

Newman Redux exacting revenge why

Newman Redux

exacting revenge
why take it out on nice shirt?
innocent cashmere

When your dog comes home from the vet after you’ve just spent a gazillion dollars on him, finds your cashmere sweater (that’s stupidly been left on the floor in a “to the dry cleaners” pile) and he pukes on it, well, all bets are off. He had an entire house of newly steam cleaned carpet to puke on, yet he chose the nicest shirt I own.

Is my life a sitcom? I hear no laugh track.

The good news is that he’s feeling much better now. The even better news is that now he has a cashmere sweater to keep him warm this winter.

Newman he is born to


he is born to fetch
he was also born with ears
but they are no fun

I am such an asshole. Well, I’m hoping I’m not really, but deep down inside I think maybe I am.

My dog is sick. He gets chronic ear infections, but this time is the worst I’ve ever seen. His poor ear is all red and swollen and nasty with some kind of smelly funk. He’s constantly in pain and shaking his head and crying out. His left ear has these bald patches from scratching at it so much – and I’m pretty sure the reason why his ear is all red and swollen is because of the scratching not the actual ear infection. This is one of those things that a vet should have taken care of at least a week ago, but I didn’t take him in. Like I said, these infections are chronic and we just can’t afford to fork over $200 every three or four weeks for the meds. Plus, the medication doesn’t really work. It calms him down, which is good, but the infections all seem to be resistant, so they never really get better. I’ve been giving him children’s liquid benadryl, because the vet said that was OK, and it seems to help, but like I said, it doesn’t fix the actual problem.

Anyway, as the accountant of the house I know that we have no money to spare to go to the vet and buy medication that will only partially work. But as the mommy of the house, how can I not take him in? He’s miserable. I’ve made an appointment for this afternoon and I actually told the girl on the phone that we need to do this like filling up your gas tank. I’ll give them a hundred dollars. When the money runs out, top off the tank and we’re done. So I hope they can work with me. I feel like a jerk saying that, because when anyone in your family is sick – even your animals – you want to just throw the bank at getting them well. But I can’t. I really can’t.

So we’re going to the vet this afternoon. And I hope she doesn’t judge me, but I know she will… she’s a vet, how could she help it?

It’ll be me, a howling dog and a scared 2 year old. The dog not only has an ear infection (probably in both ears, though one is worse than the other), he has the longest nails you’ve ever seen. They’re like talons, curving under and everything. Again, this makes me look like an asshole for not taking care of my dog, but with the ear infections, if I cut his nails they’re extremely sharp and he’ll just scratch his ears to ribbons. At least the talons are dull, you know? Not only THAT, he’s managed to chew off these tiny patches of fur behind his front two legs. I have no idea if it’s a neurotic thing or if he got some ant bites or what, but it looks ridiculous – and again, like he’s some neglected animal and I’m a horrible person.

The dog is falling apart. Ears, talons, bare patches… a real mess. And the vet is going to be very nice, but inside she’s going to think I neglect my dog. And maybe I did by not bringing him to her sooner. I hate that my pocketbook dictates things like this. Of course, I also don’t understand why two weeks worth of medication for a dog has to cost $120.

Ah well, sorry for the bummer post. Wish poor Newman a speedy recovery. And hope that the vet doesn’t confiscate him from me and call the dog police.


Poor Newman.

surrealism errant cuticles, and something


errant cuticles,
and something weird about puke
a small child’s vocab

At the sage age of 2 1/2, the wee one is developing his vocabulary at an alarming rate. The most alarming part, though, is that he knows the words, but makes up the meanings for them.

Example 1: “First, we have to blow the whistles on our shoes.”


Example 2 (as he draws a picture): “The cuticles are dropping down to the lake.”


It feels a little like we’re living with Salvador Dali, only without the weird moustache.