Blah diddy blue…

So, I guess you could tell from that last post, I am a wee bit out of sorts. Could you tell I was a tad tipsy, too? No matter, I suppose. The truth is, I’ve The Weight of the World upon me, with a smidge of Malaise thrown in to give it a little razzamatazz. (I’ve already explained my self-obsessed taxonomy of all of the ways I could possibly feel bad. If you’re into self-punishment, read them again here:; by the way, this is actually one of my most popular posts because it begins with a picture of a blue meanie I jacked from Google Images. People just love them Meanies, I tell you what!)
I also have allergies – oh, my achin’ bacon! To all my fail allergy sufferers, I join you in cursing the air! Oooh, air! You make me so angry! RRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Anyway, I am on the road to feeling 100% better -yay!- and in the meantime, I will leave you with some cool things I have seen I have seen recently.
Have a great week!

Sick TV

Urrgh. I’ve been sick, and not just allergy sick; I’m talking can-I-make-it-to-the-bathroom sick. I hear it’s going around, which only adds to a raging case of misanthropy I’ve been cultivating. Stupid people with their breath and fluids. One of those disease spreaders recently said that at least I was lucky enough to be on vacation when the dreaded stomach virus hit. It’s a well-intentioned comment I know, but really people, THINK! Who wants to be sick on vacation! I would gladly miss school to lay on the couch all day watching bad tv than waste a day of vacation laying around on the couch watching bad tv.

Which, as it turns out, is all I have been doing for the past two days. While I am beginning to feel better in my tum-tum, the low-level, chronic hatred of human-kind that I suffer from is getting much, much worse. I watched the Ladies of The View (Oh, so shrill! Please, ladies, let the stupid-ass guest finish answering the stupid-ass question you just asked!) Maury Povich, Dr. Oz, Regis and Kelly, and Rachael Ray. Twice I woke up to the Today Show; not the part that has the news, but the part that has crazy, drunken Kathie Lee Gifford (“Welcome to the Today Show! It’s Booze Tuesday! It’s Wine Wednesday!”) I also checked out Sesame Street; it’s different from back in the day, but still good. I especially enjoyed a riveting segment on “Things that Open and Close,” hosted by Elmo.
All parodies of daytime tv are true. It is inane, ridiculous, and actually destroys brain cells and independent thought. I know things now that are clogging my brain like a shellacking, a phrase I swear I hear every time I turn on any Fox station. I feel my synapses shattering, and those are some hard bridges to rebuild, I tell you what. Here are some things I have learned:
1. Erica Kane is still alive. She’s still a pretty crappy actress, and still looks exactly the same as she has for the last 30 years. Now there’s a shellacking for ya!
2. That guy who plays the Spanish teacher on Community and the crazy gangster guy in The Hangover is really a doctor. An MD. Really. Go figure.

3. Men are dicks and women are bitches. (I learned this on Maury. Hard to believe that show ever went off the air, huh? It was always so healing and uplifting…)
4. Some girl on a teenage mother show on MTV beat the crap out of her big, dough boy baby daddy on an episode and then got arrested for it.
5. Justin Bieber’s girlfriend, who is two years older than he is – scandal!- and who is also apparently some kind of star, is no longer wearing her Promise ring, so that means they are doing it!
6. The first manned untethered hot air balloon ride covered 5.5 miles over Paris, France. (Jeopardy is not always as interesting as I remembered it.)
7. There is a big bed bug infestation, it’s cold in the winter, and placebos can be effective. (I filed these in an ever-growing mind folder labelled “Things in the News I Thought Everyone Already Knew, But are Reported as if they had Just Been Discovered.”)
8. “Blue carpet is killing me.” This is from Nate Berkus. I am not sure who Nate Berkus is, but he has a show.
9. I am smarter than a 5th grader. Mostly.
10. Cable is 20,000 channels of crap.
I hope I feel better soon.
P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two really good things that happened during “mah layin‘-in spell”: My friend sent me a FABULOUS New Year’s present that was left on my front step in fancy-pants gift bag, which I found when, huddled up in my flannel pj’s, robe, sweater and bedspread, I went outside to dump the water out of a big bucket I had just rinsed. I LOVE gifties, and there is nothing better than a happy surprise! Thank you, E.D.!
Also, my mom made me delicious soup and then came out, in the cold and rain to deliver it. When she got here she called me a “Poor Baby!” about thirty times and told me I was being brave.
Even when I am sick, I remain the Luckiest Girl In the World! Yay, me!

Television Trisuckta

The other day I was simultaneously watching three terrible TV shows. While this didn’t compel me to turn off the box, it was a real eye opener as to what people are entertained by today. On one channel, Entertainment Tonight was doing a long piece on Bristol Palin’s triumphant return to Wasila to film an episode of Dancing With the Stars. I can’t be sure, but it appeared from the segment that perhaps Bristol is neither too bright nor too interesting. In fact, there was some evidence that all of Wasila is neither too bright nor too interesting, and that Entertainment Tonight is not so entertaining.

Saturday Night Live was on, and Katy Perry was singing. If I’d missed that girl, I would have liked it, but that was not meant to be. I try not to be mean or too negative, but the performance was embarrassingly bad. Truly awful, I tell you. I felt sorry for the band and the back up dancers. They’re just trying to make a living after all. They were all dressed up like football players and slutty school girls. It’s bad enough that they have to play that crap, but to make them look so stupid is just cruel. Why is Katy singing about her teenage dreams? She’s 25! I don’t want to say she carries her talent in her tahtahs, but they were, by far, her most impressive asset. I know this guy who is an animator working on her next video. I don’t want to give anything away, but in a surprise move, she’ll be calling attention to her chestial area, with what I understand to be nipple fireworks. OK, so I’m not a fan.
The last show I watched I dvr’d, because I thought it would be good. It was billed as a documentary-type reality show about revisiting a high school class in Austin, Texas. It has a name almost irresistible to people of my age – My Generation. It blew so hard I can’t even dignify it with description.
While all of this saddens me, it helped me to remember what is sincerely important about time and tv. Time spent not watching Mad Men is better spent watching The Choir or Modern Family, or even POV or CBS Sunday Morning. I must be more discerning, and use my time wisely.
I gotta get out more!

Dirty Knobs

The other day I had a ridiculous early meeting at school and then a preposterous late meeting at the theater, so when I came home it was dark. The motion detector on the light at my back door had burned out, so I fumbled for my keys, and when I finally turned the door knob, it was all caked with mud.

“Oh no! I’ve been robbed again!” I thought. Some crook with muddy hands had broken in and ransacked my home and stolen all the worldly goods his criminal brethren (I believe that’s the second time in as many posts that I’ve managed to use that word, but who’s counting, right?) had overlooked the last time I got jacked. The house was dark as I made my way through the kitchen and flipped on the light.
False alarm! Nothing was amiss, nothing awry. Yay! Tragedy averted, confidence restored, worldly goods safely hidden in a box under the brown boots in the bottom left hand corner of my closet. Hmmm… perhaps I’ve said too much…
Still one thing puzzled me; why had my door knob been mud encrusted? I poured a glass of wine and mentally relived my day…
Alarm goes off. Nina Tottenberg talking loudly, then louder. I hit snooze. Second alarm goes off. This one is in the living room. I throw first alarm clock at second, but miss. I have to get up. I do, and remember the early meeting. I get dressed in a hurry. My shirt is inside out. I make coffee and decide I really should shower. I do, cuz I’m professional like that. Time’s ticking. Gotta make that meeting. We’ll be talking about foldables and word walls*, and I can’t be late for that. I put on my little teacher shoes and go outside. Forgot my lunch, gotta go back in. Notice I also forgot my coffee. No wonder I’m so sluggish. Lock up, head out. From inside I hear my cell phone. Forgot my cell phone. Dammit! It’s my mom. She’s calling to make sure I’m up. She’s a real nice lady, and we have a real nice chat. I lock up again and go outside. I’m going to be a teeny bit late for the meeting, but I’ll still be able to sign in as if I cared about making it on time. It’s been raining all night. My little kitten heel sinks in the mud, and then…wait…it’s all coming back to me…then, knowing I was about to be mighty late, I went over to the garden and dug my hand in the ground, to feel just how much it had rained. Plenty, as it turned out. That garden was muddy, I tell you what. That’s what happens when it rains. And that reminded me that I was supposed to present an article about recycling in the classroom, so I went back inside to get it, and then I headed off to school, where I was 20 minutes late for the meeting, but, as it turned out, didn’t miss anything of consequence.
Mystery solved! I darkened my own doorknob! And look! There, on my wrist and palm, a streak of mud remained. Still there, after all the doo-dah day.
I still don’t know why I felt the need to touch the dirt, or why I sabotage myself so that I’m late for inane meetings every time they are held, or why when I touch a dirty doorknob I immediately assume I’ve been robbed. Such is the mystery that is me. I am not proud of the fact that I walked around from dusk until dawn with a yucky dirty hand, or that I never succeeded in washing it off, though I swear to you I really do wash my hands whenever I…well, at the usual times when people wash their hands for all of those reason that we do. I don’t even know why I’ve written about the whole episode here; it’s not really interesting, and is probably better left unsaid.
It’s official; I am an enigma, even to myself.

* Foldables are papers that you fold. Word walls are words you stick on the wall. This is what high school administrators think will save the youth of America from failing test scores and a depressing creativity crisis. Both “strategies” are mandatory in my school, according to the bonehead who led the meeting I should have skipped.

On the road again…

We started in Omaha, Nebraska. That’s a great first line to a novel nobody really wants to read, right? Don’t hate on Omaha, y’all! There’s a lot going on there, and I’ll tell you more about that later, because I’ll be back there before you know it. Here’s just a teaser for the Omaha homage I am going to write up: Omaha is the 40th largest city in the U.S.; a dog bit me there; I met the mayor, who was drunk and looking for a baby to kiss; I met the head of the mayor’s security detail, who was stone-cold sober and looking to kiss the mayor; and people get dressed up as superheros or furry creatures and roam the downtown area for no discernible reason. What’s not to love?
By 6 a.m., McAdams was up and at ’em, busily flying all around the house, last minute packing, loading up the car, blah, blah, blah. I’m not really the type to get up before my coffee’s been delivered, but I sat on the couch and kept her company, cuz I’m cool like dat. She loaded the suitcases and the cooler and a million other things we would soon deem unnecessary, and we were off! Lest you think I didn’t pull my weight, let me remind you, I have very delicate wrists that appear to be made of tiny hollow bird bones, so the union won’t let me do any heavy lifting. I’m not up to code.
The first day we were on the road for 10 hours. Here are some of things we saw:
*11 animals “sleeping” by the side of the road, including 3 possums, 2 raccoons, 2 deer, 1 half porcupine, half badger, a baby chupacabra, and two ULFM (Unidentified Large Furry Masses).
* A sign that informed us that Le Mars, Iowa, is “The Ice Cream Capital of the World.”
* 168 bikers, some with more than one “fatback” on the “hog”. (NOTE: I’m not exactly up on my biker lingo, so please don’t stab me if I don’t use the proper terminology.) I notice that almost all of these motorcycling enthusiasts are middle aged, and almost none of them wear a helmet, which is legal in some states, including South Dakota. There is a huge motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota every year, with bikers coming in from all over and loads of entertainment; this year Bob Dylan and Stone Temple Pilot are playing and Pee Wee Herman is showing up and Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus is the emcee. Have I told you yet that we are headed for South Dakota? We are!!! Congratualtions to Smurp for guessing right away.
* A trucker who looked just like Charles Manson, pre-forehead swastika, who tooted his horn and smiled a grisly, psycho killer smile at us.
*85 signs for Wall Drugs, that began at the beginning of the state and followed us all the way until, well, Wall Drugs. We didn’t stop, because we can’t be manipulated by hype and propaganda (and also because we decided we’d do it on the way back to Nebraska. Something to look forward to!)
* The following signs –
I’m Senor Weiner! You know you want me! (Advertising hot dogs…I think)
Candy Corn and New Potatoes, next exit (Yum! Another roadside farmer diversifies!)
Prepare to Meet Thy Maker (This one was in the middle of nowhere, stuck in a cornfield. It freaked me out for miles.)
2,500 loose slots- you’re bound to get lucky! (For a casino; gambling’s big in SD.)
Reptile Gardens – One of the Top Ten Places to Stay in America! (I don’t even need to comment on this one.)
*One awesome, way-cool sculpture garden off the highway near Montrose. I’ll post the pictures as soon as I have the technology.
*The following towns-
Yankton (named after the famous Native American tribe that go around doing practical jokes and yankton my chain)
De Smet (home of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous little house)

The dog that bit me in Omaha is named Belle, so my Wild West name is going to be Belle Scar.

Oh Boy!

Before I begin, a word to all you cyberstalkers, gangstas, hood rats, bad guys, evil doers and ne’er do wells: Don’t think that I am going on vacation and leaving Casa Paradiso unprotected and vulnerable. First of all, you don’t know where I live. You may think that I live in the city recently voted to be the second ugliest city in America (Detroit, we’re gaining on you!), but I am not going to confirm or deny that rumor. Second, I have people – large, powerful people- staying at the casa whilst I am away. I don’t want to scare you, but they come from the NEW YORK area and you might refer to them as “a family”; take that as you will. The “patriarch” of “the family” is named Mario, and he’s in “construction”; that’s all I’m saying, kapish?
I am going with McAdams to ….I’m still not ready to tell you where! The only guess anybody wagered was “to take a nap.” I like your thinking, but no, we are going to somewhere magical, mystical, and miraculous, some place exotic and off the beaten track…oh, it’s going to be so fun!
So, oh boy! Today is the day my friend McAdams and I are leaving for our annual roadtrip. You may remember her from the big Montana Adventure (, where we drove 7,000 miles and conquered the wilderness for about a month. Perhaps you remember when we joined the Navajo nation in the Four Corners are of Utah. McAdams is key to these trips. She is in charge of planning, booking reservations, hotels and extras, driving, heavy lifting, packing, protecting me from wild beasts and rednecks, holding my hair if necessary, the itinerary, and adaptation to my whims and moods. I am in charge of chatter, research (factual or imagined) and not forgetting my toothbrush. Each of us has jobs that are customized to utilize or strengths, and we run like a confused gender African racer, which is to say real well.
So, what fantastic destination spot are we headed to now? Is the anticipation just killing you? Can you just not wait? OK, I’ll tell you…we’re going to South Dakota! WOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!