Thursday, November 5, 2009

Out to lunch

Margarita Today I picked up my mother-in-law, and we headed out on some errands and lunch. After she got her hair cut, oh look! Hacienda is right next door! (Actually, that was the plan all along.) We stopped in for a bite to eat, and it was fun to chat with her. I was also happy that she got out of the house, as her husband is pretty much on bed rest right now due to a back injury, and I know it did her good to just get out and have a few laughs. And we did have some.

We both had margaritas, and they were tasty as always. The picture shows my kind of margarita—none of that frozen junk for me. Shaken, baby. (Not shaken baby...that is something completely different, and totally unrelated to this conversation.) The specialty margaritas at this place come in a shaker, and it's enough for two small glasses. Two of these is my limit (believe me...three is a bad idea), and I was good today and only had one. As she was pouring the last of hers out of her shaker, she was making sure she got it all, and said, "Good to the last drop!" It just tickled me and made me laugh!

But where she really got me was when we were talking about taking calcium. She can't take tablets, but they sell liquid calcium and she's been using that. She went on to tell me, "Well...we've kind of gotten into a bad habit. I have my shot of calcium in my orange juice late in the morning. We have screwdrivers."

I happened to be taking a bite of my seafood taco salad when she said that, and I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from spewing salad everywhere. Yeah, she's pretty cool!

We had a nice afternoon, and I anticipate a nice evening. I foresee Rock Band in my future. In the meantime, here's a little tequila for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did mine at lunch.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I’ve been a bad, bad blogging girl

GOP Blowback My apologies to my blogging friends...I have been a terrible reader and commenter as of late, and I can only chalk it up to the time of year. I'll get back to my rounds soon, I promise. I always struggle a little around this time, as we say goodbye to summer and a reluctant hello to winter. Actually, "hello" is not exactly what I want to say to winter, but I'll skip it...this time. I even missed making an entry yesterday, but the one I wanted to make required a little more thought than I was ready to devote to it, plus I wanted to see the outcome of yesterday's elections. Yeah, it's a political one...shocking, I know. I've got my usual Ken-is-on-a-business trip (a couple of days in Chicago) dinner of Eggplant Parmigiana put together, and can pop it in the oven when I'm ready. I put on the Ting Tings while I puttered in the kitchen ("That's not my name! That's not my name!"), and had fun dancing around and singing. Eggplant is a kind critic. Sheeba is not. He looked at me with wide eyes and started tearing around the house, but that's pretty typical for him, so maybe it wasn't me. :)

So, to the meat of this entry (although I'm going vegetarian tonight). Like many political junkies followers, I was interested to see what would happen with some of these races going on around the country. Many were calling it a referendum on President Obama's Presidency, but I think that's probably a bit of an exaggeration. Basing the success or failure of a Presidency on an off-year election seems a little silly to me. I don't know what the long-term impact of this will have...I suspect very little.

What was more interesting to me was the NY-23 race in which Sarah Palin endorsed the Conservative Party candidate, causing others to jump on the bandwagon and also endorse him. I found that interesting, because from everything I read, Doug Hoffman had little knowledge of or interest in that district. It seemed to me to be a typical kneejerk reaction to buzzwords, without bothering to do a little digging. Again, shocking! Palin's endorsement was apparently and inexplicably influential, causing the moderate Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, to drop out of the race. Limbocontin and others were quick to join in condemning the moderate Republican (Scozzafava didn't toe the party line with social issues), and that bloated gasbag went so far as to make a joke about her "bestiality" in dealing with RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). I thought that was pretty offensive, but that is nothing unusual coming from him.

The choice for voters then was the Conservative Hoffman and the Democrat Bill Owens, and they chose Bill Owens, giving the district a Democratic Congressman for the first time in more than a century.

This is fascinating to me, because I have to wonder if we are witnessing the death of the Republican Party as we know it, or possibly the ascension of a third, the Conservative Party. My personal opinion is yes to the former and no to the latter. Is this the Nader Effect writ large?

RIP GOP I don't believe that the GOP is really going to die off in my lifetime, but I believe its days are numbered if they continue with this platform. With people like Palin and Limbaugh unable to recognize that we aren't living in 50's-era America any longer--it wasn't all that great for anyone but middle class white males, anyway--and unwilling to broaden their tent to be more inclusive, I don't believe they can survive for long in an increasingly diverse America. Hey, like REO Speedwagon said, roll with the changes or shut the fuck up. (Well, they didn't actually say that last part.) There are all kinds of people in this country and world, and their exclusionary tactics are offensive to me. Right here at Nutwood, they have lost 100% of the residents' support, and although I remain fiscally conservative in many ways, I also believe that we are not helping our fellow citizens as much as we can, and I will never accept such a narrow view of social issues. They have lost me for good. And if they keep calling, they're going to get an earful pretty soon.

As for the Conservative Party, I think they overestimate their influence. Well, I suppose in the NY-23 race, their influence was fairly substantial...causing the Democrat candidate to win. If Scozzafava had stayed in the race, she may well have beat him, and the Republicans would have another Representative. But nope. So I guess in this case, I can say, "Thanks for the help, Palin!" Overall, though, the teabaggers are pretty much a tempest in a teapot. Glenn Beck may have up to 3 million viewers on any given night, but that's really not a whole lot in a nation with a population of 308,000,000. [whipping out her handy dandy Google calculator] Thank you, Google...I see that equates to less than one hundredth of one percent. I'm reasonably certain that the majority of people find him an imbecilic fucktard who is a complete and utter loon. Oh, and I also see that as of Tuesday afternoon, drooling idiot Michele Bachmann's call to arms to verbally assault legislators in the halls of Congress has garnered an impressive 25 participants.

As you can imagine, I find all of this extremely fascinating, watching the dynamics of these things play out. The hysteria of the Becks, Bachmanns, et al, is entertaining from a psychological perspective. It makes me feel a little like Alice in Wonderland at times, but at least in Wonderland that caterpillar had a hookah to share. Here, I just stare open-jawed at the TV as I hear the latest lunacy from these people, wonder if they've encountered that hookah-smoking caterpillar themselves, and then burst into laughter. If nothing else, it's sure good for a laugh!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Haunting Last night there wasn't much on TV, so we decided to watch a movie. Ken pulled out three possibilities from which I was to choose, and since it was Halloween weekend, I thought a scary movie was in order. I chose one called "Haunting," also known as "A Haunting in Connecticut." Looked like a classic scary movie, allegedly based upon a true story, of a family moving into a house that just isn't quite right. The usual hi-jinx occur, cold pockets of air, mysterious voices, ghosts appearing in the little girl's bedroom, demonic possession, priests, an exorcism...good, scary stuff, right?

Well, it was good, all right, but I'm sure not in the way they were intending. I laughed my ass off (but quickly reattached it). Apparently, this originally appeared on the Discovery Channel as a documentary, and the entire movie was narrated in that style. As if that weren't annoying enough, they often talked to the participants so that their faces were in shadow; all of the action took place in a "this is a reenactment" manner, complete with bad acting and ridiculous dialogue. And I have a question. If these people were from the East coast, why did the women all have southern accents worthy of a Springer guest discussing how she isn't sure which of her boyfriends knocked her up?

A quick synopsis, and I'm not even going to warn of spoilers, because if you waste your time on this movie, you deserve to have it spoiled! Teenage boy has leukemia, has to have special treatments out of state in Connecticut. It's breaking the family's back financially, so they decide to move there to save the cost of commuting daily. Mom makes a trip out there, finds a big ol' house for amazingly reasonable rent (has she never seen a freakin' horror movie?!), family moves, shit starts happening. The sick kid and his little brother sleep in the basement, and Mom and Dad find an adjacent room that Mom didn't see when she first looked at the house. What is all this strange equipment? Why is there a steel gurney in the middle of the room? Why is there a freezer here? Why is this tubing coiled in the middle of the floor, and why does it look...stained? And that a bone saw?

That's right, this beautiful old house used to be a funeral home, and the boys are sleeping next to the embalming room. They soon start seeing movement through the glass doors to the embalming room, and the sick kid starts hearing someone whispering his name. The little girl is playing in her room and looks up to see a creepy female ghost. Mom (who seems to be a bit of a sadist) points out that there is no one there, and the little girl needs to shut her pie hole. Mom is mopping the kitchen floor...and is shocked and horrified when the water turns to blood, and she just keeps right on mopping it around. Yeah, they're living in a haunted funeral home, but the rent is so cheap!

Haunting house Ohhh, let's see, then some other stuff happens...sick kid gets possessed by some goateed demon wearing full black contact lenses, sick kid's personality changes (evidenced by him sitting in his basement room listening to that evil rock music with *gasp* electric guitar, and starting to wear all black clothes—I kid you not), sick kid tries to get freaky with his girl cousin, sick kid gets hauled off to the loony bin, warning his family that "Now it will come after you." It does. Mom gets knocked on her back by goateed demon and her neck starts to swell. (What exactly was that demon doing to her, anyway?) A priest is consulted, determines that the place is lousy with demon infestation, an exorcism is authorized. Holy water is flung, words are said, demon picks up girl cousin and slams her against the wall (I think demon has some rage issues against women), demon flees, sick kid gets out of the loony bin and is no longer loony (or infested with a demon), family moves out.

Maybe it was the half a bottle of Chardonnay I consumed during dinner and this movie, but I was cracking up. This has got to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen, right up there with the likes of "Plan 9 From Outer Space," "Howard the Duck," and that crappy meteor flick with Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis. I think they really intended this to be creepy and spooky, but I couldn't stop laughing. Would I watch it again? Only if some of you cool kids come over and watch it with me while we give it the full Mystery Science Theater treatment. It was so deliciously bad that I want to share it with others and spread the misery around a little bit. It would be a hell of a lot of fun to MST-ify it with some of you.

::sigh:: Have I become too jaded in my horror movie life experience? Is a haunting old hat? Are demons outdated? Do exorcisms induce ennui? I don't think so; I still can't watch "The Exorcist" by myself. But movies like "Haunting" are so non-scary that they're humorous. If some of you want to come over and enjoy make fun of it with me, I'll make munchies and get a keg. C'mon over. We'll have some laughs. It'll be fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How do I love thee, Football?

ND football First things first: Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit! Evil spirits begone from Nutwood! Especially important after yesterday's Satanic revelries, and all those demons in our back yard going at it like...well, rabbits. They sound kind of like cats. Quite disturbing.

Fantastic outcome to the Notre Dame-Washington State game yesterday, with the Irish finally winning handily, 40-14, and saving me another coronary. (Thanks, guys.) The play of the game for me was in the closing seconds of the first half, when Jimmy Clausen threw to Golden Tate in the end zone. Golden had double coverage on him for most of the game, but this time...he had triple coverage. He leaped into the air to make the catch and hung on to get the touchdown. If I recall correctly, I believe my reaction was "OH MY GOD did he just fucking catch that ball?!" Or something to that effect.

Today was the Colts and San Francisco, and although the Colts started off slow and looked flat the entire game, they pulled out the win 18-14 and are one of two teams left in the league with a perfect record (New Orleans is the other one). I know all too well that going unbeaten for a while does not mean you are invincible, but it's still fun to see your team get a winning streak going. Also great to see one of my favorite Colts, Bob Sanders, playing after his injury. He's not a real big guy, but man, he's fierce! The Bears also won, so it's been a good football weekend. Not for everyone, though. My pal Darren's--you know, the cereal killer, haha--Winnipeg team lost. I'm sorry you didn't get a win, too, buddy!

It's on days like this when my heart is filled with love for football. Watching that Golden Tate catch--and I have, several times--gives me incredible joy. If you watch that video, you'll see Clausen gesture for Golden to "c'mere!" and give him a big grin and a hug. When I saw that happen in real time, I was like "Awww!" and got more than a little choked up. I suppose it's silly to get choked up over something like that, but seeing their smiles and such an incredible play just makes me so very happy.

Colts Of course, it can go the other way. When my team loses, I'll spend a few hours in a blue funk. And I've actually gotten better over the years, if you can believe that. When I lived in Indianapolis and was so into the Pacers, my friends and family knew better than to call me after a loss, or even worse, during a game. A friend from Montana called me once during a playoff game, and I said, "Lisa, I can't talk. Watching the game." She laughed. I said, "I'm not kidding. I'll call you back afterwards." This seems natural to me, but then you're talking to someone from a family who gets pissed off if someone plans a wedding or something during a Notre Dame game (and some people have been known to use headphones during such an event).

For anyone who isn't a sports fan, it's hard to explain. But a love of sports is truly the international language. There is something communal in the mutual joy we experience in our love of the game.

Sorry about the long video, but here's one from one of my favorite bands, The Tubes, and my favorite album of theirs, "The Completion Backward Principle." The target song begins around the five-minute mark. Warning: Some of you may be familiar with the Tubes and will know that they are not G-rated. You get the full monty from Fee Waybill in this one!

Gimme a B! Gimme another B!