Sunday, November 30, 2008

In my dreams, I'm a Kenyan

An old high school friend has been hired to come up with some ideas for t-shirts for an upcoming half marathon and marathon. Knowing that I run, she asked me if I'd answer some questions for her. One of the first was if there were any things that all runners discuss or things common to long distance running. "Oh that's easy, I replied. We talk about shitting our pants a lot." She laughed and I attempted an explanation.

It's true. We really do talk about defecating far too much. Fortunately, I have never shit my pants during a race (and purposely rise and eat at least two hours before leaving the house for a long run so that I can clear out the system) but I've known several friends who have had a few accidents. I can think of nothing more miserable than running with "mud butt". One friend in particular had several accidents and we came to refer to "shitting one's pants" by her first name as a bit of a tribute.

The body just doesn't particularly care for bouncing up and down for a couple hours. Add the food or carbohydrate gels necessary for running long distances, the water, and sport drinks, and the tummy can get a little upset. Running has been known to cause The Runs or at the very least, some vomiting. Throw in menstrual cycles for the chicks and you start to understand why there are hundreds of port-o-johns at the starting lines for half and full marathons. Unfortunately, there are rarely enough port-o-johns out on the course and that's why during any given race you see runners coming in and out of wooded areas at a good clip. Occasionally, we have races through strictly residential areas and some people have to make drastic decisions. I've seen at least one friend cry after a race because she found herself in the unenviable position of pooping in someone's yard, using a leaf to wipe herself.

OK, I'm aware this is probably much more than you ever wanted to know, but I needed a blog for today, THE LAST DAY OF NABLOPOMO!!!

As I said, I've been lucky and I've not had any pooping or vomiting issues to date. But, it's time for me to start training for my next full marathon in March, so there's always time. I'll keep you posted!

Now don't you all want to take up long distance running?

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Now where did I place those tools...?

After helplessly watching an expensive NASA tool bag drift clear of her flailing grasp during a recent maintenance space walk outside the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), the galactic gaff of American astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper is now being tracked by a Canadian amateur astronomer.

[AJ here. I have to assume that dear Heidemarie, although she's an astronaut (a decidedly un-girly-girl profession), is in fact a straight chick. A lesbian would never have let this happen. Lose tools?? Puh-lease.]

Specifically, budding star gazer Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario, claims to have used nothing more than his amateur equipment and enthusiast knowledge to accurately calculate the positioning of Stefanyshyn-Piper's $100,000 USD orbiting tool bag before then capturing its movements on camera.

“I don't have any [professional] background in astronomy,” revealed Mr. Fetter while speaking to Australian publication The Age of Melbourne. “Just one night I looked up at the night sky and got hooked on astronomy. It was many years later that I started satellite observing.”

According to Mr. Fetter, he was able to locate the positioning of NASA's missing tool bag by using an orbital calculator found on astronomy Web site, with which he was then able to determine when the bag would be passing overhead.

In terms of subsequently capturing the tool bag on video, Mr. Fetter said that success was largely dependent on the physical size of the object and exactly how much surface light it reflected while moving across the night sky.

However, the part-time astronomer claims to have struck it lucky with his efforts and posted the resulting footage to video-sharing Web site YouTube for all to see.

“It was easily 8th magnitude or brighter as it passed by the 4th magnitude star eta Pisces,” said Mr. Fetter in his YouTube description.

Those worried about being struck on the head by a flaming grease gun or solar panel wrench should take solace from space experts who say the NASA tool bag will burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere when it finally loses orbit.

Somewhat more of a concern until that happens is the potential risk it poses for the crew of the International Space Station, the docked space shuttle Endeavour, and orbiting satellites. (

Here's the video. I defy anyone to confirm or disprove that this is the tool bag. LOL.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt! Nice night for a trip to the International Space Station, wouldn't you say, Mrs. Schmidt?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Brain, the Other White Meat

Let's wash those hands, shall we folks? And I love the doctor's unintentional nematode pun ("fluke")...

Doctors find worm in woman's brain

Hi Mrs. Schmidt! Want some improperly cooked pork, Mrs. Schmidt?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble, Y'all

I still can't get enough of the Atlanta Housewives and I'm just not ready to let them go. Their reunion this week was beyond my wildest dreams -- trash, trash, trash and really bad wigs. Seriously, what more could you possibly ask for -- except for a new season of Pushing Daisies (please help save my favorite show by signing a petition here: Save Pushing Daisies!)

The following parody isn't really all that funny, but it doesn't have to be for two reasons: 1) It features one of my favorite funny ladies, Bonnie Hunt, and 2) She's sporting my favorite Kim-nasty-breast-pirate outfit!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I got rickrolled by Matt Lauer and thought it was hysterical. Hope it becomes a Turkey Day tradition! :)

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Three years in with my house and I finally made an appointment with a chimney sweep to clean and inspect my fireplace. Not sure where all the time has gone exactly, but I know the winters have been COLD. We had a string of 30-degree days last week and I decided enough was enough. As usual, I like to get motivated at the most inconvenient times. I replaced my back doors the day before my trip to Italy and scheduled the chimney thing the day before Thanksgiving. I somehow thought the whole country checked out early today, mentally if not physically, but apparently no one told my chimney sweeps.

They arrived around 2:30 this afternoon -- both all in black, one with those huge earlobe stretcher rings and the other with a thick accent. Don't remember Earlobes' name, but accent guy's was Giovanni. He mentioned he was from Italy and proceeded to inspect my fireplace. Now I knew there was a huge chunk of something missing from the back of it, but thought that maybe they could just caulk it up or something.

Nope. Giovanni said the firebrick had to be replaced and I believed him. He started making faces, so I knew it was going to be pricey. He asked if I was in the military -- which you learn very quickly down here means that there's a discount available that you're NOT getting if you're not in the military... I told him no, that I worked for the state crime lab -- that I was a forensic scientist -- and he perked up right away: "CSI??" I said, "No, well yeah, well no, it's not like that..." to which he responded, "CSI or no CSI?" I told him, "Yes, CSI" and let it go at that. He then told me he would give me the "forensic discount" of 10%. Very cool. Well, when all was said and done, the estimate for the inspection, cleaning, sealing and painting of the exterior pipe, and replacement of the firebrick was close to $800. I promised my dog a fire on Thanksgiving (I'm serious) so I agreed to it. Earlobes had to go get the firebrick from the home office and Giovanni got started on everything else.

We chatted a little bit about my trips to Italy and his move to America. He's been here 3 years and started out as a fireman/EMT -- which is what he also did in Sicily. I told him how I had planned to learn Italian before my last trip but still hadn't and he laughed when he spotted my various "Learn Italian" CDs and DVDs. His English was very good and he said he learned after he got here -- from Sponge Bob! He also mentioned that everyone here thinks he's Muslim and he has trouble traveling as a result. I was immediately ashamed.

He couldn't have been any nicer. "My accent, you cannot hear, no?" he asked in all seriousness. I made a face and said, "Maybe...just a little." LOL. He was impressed that I was from New Jersey and said, "New York! All the Italians are in New York!" I told him they are and that I miss them...

It took Earlobes a while to get back with the firebrick and Giovanni and I covered quite a few topics. He's offered to help me learn Italian and I think I'm going to take him up on it. In true Italian fashion, when it came time for him to charge me, he furrowed his brow and started click-clacking away on his calculator. I approached him with my credit card and he said, "Not yet." More key punching, some writing on the estimate, and next thing I know...we're down to $649! He crossed off the inspection cost and wrote in a "Forensic Discount" of 15%! Frankly, I think I got the blond-hair-blue-eyes discount. I should have grown my hair out years ago!

And now, thanks to my Sicilian chimney sweep, I'm all warm and toasty near my cracklin' fire. And my house, lo these many years later, is that much closer to becoming a home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amy Wine-o-Lantern

So my friend Bert left a comment regarding yesterday's story (Pam & The Poppy Seed) and I thought he referred to me as Amy (I prefer Amy Jo and kind of expected him to know that). I sent him an email giving him crap about calling me Amy and he told me to click on the links (which I didn't realize were links at the time)...

Anyhoo, I just checked out the links and now Bert's comment is hysterically funny -- at least, it is to me. Thought some of you might like it too!

Let me break it down for you:

Amy, I think you have a poppy seed..., no it’s in your teeth.

Oh, never mind.

LOL! I must admit to being fascinated by her teeth when I first discovered what was left of them. I loved her voice when she first came out, but let's face it, she's not long for this world. Thank God Adele has recorded an awesome debut album, "19". And as best I can tell, she's not a heroin-addicted toothless chanteuse, which is good news for music fans.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pam & The Poppy Seed

I originally posted the following on myspace last October. I recently realized I hadn't shared it with the Cranial Vault folks. It's an amusing story and I'm feeling lazy tonight, so here ya' go! I hope you enjoy it. :) And if you should happen to know the subject of the story, I'd appreciate it if you'd feign ignorance!

Voldemort had a new hire and we went to the movies with her and her husband. Let's call her Pam. Because her name is Pam.

Now, I am typically not the person who's going to tell you that you have food in your teeth or shnottus hanging from your nose or toilet paper stuck to your feet or what-have-you unless I know you pretty well. I've taken that whole "never ask a woman if she's pregnant" thing to heart and just don't cross into most people's dance space that way. So, I really don't understand what changed for me that night.

After watching the movie, Voldemort, Pam, and her husband...we'll call him Ben (because his name is Ben) and I were talking in the lobby of the movie theater. Voldemort and Ben were talking about something and Pam and I were chatting on our own. I noticed Pam had a poppy seed stuck between her front tooth and the next one off to the right -- what is that a bicuspid or something? -- no matter. For whatever reason, I chose to break my own rule and thought I was being nice and doing this poor girl a favor:

AJ, pointing: "Oh hey, Pam, you've got a poppy seed in your teeth."

P: "Oh! Thanks," as she discreetly sucks on her teefers, "Did I get it?"

AJ: "No, it's still there."

P (more sucking): "Now?"

AJ: "No."

P (more sucking): "How 'bout now?"

AJ: "No, it's still there."

P (etc): "Now?"

AJ: "Nope. Still there."

On about our tenth exchange, I get a different shot at her poppy seed and realize TO. MY. HORROR -- it's a HOLE IN HER TOOTH!!!! I've never seen anything like it. It's about a 3/4 hole and it's off on the edge of one tooth right next to the edge of another so that any normal person would think it was a poppy seed!!

So now I'm panicking. What if this is when the lightbulb finally goes off for her and she realizes I'm actually referring to her hole??? Because surely she knows she has this thing, right?

P: "How 'bout now?"

AJ: "Yup! You got it! Great job! Ha ha....hey.....heh....... Uh, what was your favorite part of the movie?"

And for the next 3 or 4 years that she worked with us I saw that beady little hole every time I spoke to her and I wondered, did she put it together at some point? OH THE SHAME!

And that's why I didn't tell Kendall about the long strand of seaweed stuck to his head.

That's a story for another day, my friends.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Tale of Two Lawns

Psycho lawn care neighbors seem to follow me or I, them. Voldemort (my ex) and I lived next door to a guy who used to cut and landscape his lawn a minimum of once a week. Pete didn't just edge his lawn, he had a two-inch wide and two-inch deep moat running around all edges of his lawn that he SWEPT after cutting the grass. He would chastise me regularly if any of our grass clippings blew onto his side of our shared space. We were also pretty confident at the time that he was running a meth lab out of his bathroom. The fact that he was a 40-something white guy who was far too popular with black teenagers and unemployed seemed to justify our neighbor paranoia. Perhaps he was a tutor or they were helping him with his computer, but there was an awful lot of traffic over there. I'm just sayin'. I had planned to place some bleach-induced "crop circles" on his perfect lawn at some point, but was evicted by the Big V before I got the chance.

I moved three years ago and found Pete's soul mate. This guy doesn't sell drugs (that I know of, but I'm watchin' him) but he is equally obsessed with his lawn. And to make matters worse, he is an obsessive leaf blower. He cranks that thing up at 7 am on the weekends and keeps it going for at least an hour during the summer. He seems to spend most of that time blowing the grass clippings out of his edging trough! What is it with these guys? Now that it's fall, he's cut back to about 30-40 minutes. His lawn is as yellow and dead as can be, but damn if it isn't perfectly edged. I just find the whole leaf blower thing about the rudest thing you can do. Besides the noise, he blows all the leaves off of his property and into the street -- where they then take flight into his neighbors' yards. Rude! I'm fairly confident he's out there for hours on end on the weekends in an effort to avoid his wife. She's a very large woman. She struts between the front door and her car (the only time she's outside) as if she owns that place. He's in the Navy, but she's definitely his superior. I actually saw them fighting outside one day and while he was ignoring her and using the leaf blower to drown out her screams, she starting smacking him upside the head with her slipper! He just kept ignoring her and she eventually proceeded on her way to the car.

I know he's going to snap some day and I hope it's not on me because my lawn isn't up to his standards. This comic was in our local paper yesterday and it sums my feelings up perfectly:

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Birthday?

I just began reading a new book, Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. I love when you can tell almost immediately that you're going to enjoy an author's voice and his creation. I'm barely into the book, but the initial premise is the old adage that the rich get richer. My college economics professor liked to add "and the poor get pregnant," which unfortunately is terribly accurate. (If you think this is an insult, you're mistaken).

The first example of the rich getting richer is the discovery in the 1980s that elite hockey players in Canada were all born in January, February, and March, with a smattering of outliers thrown in. The greatest number were in fact born in January, followed by February, followed by March and so on through the calendar year. It was discovered that the age cutoff for youth hockey teams in Canada was January 1st. Therefore, a child born on January 2nd could be playing with kids 12 months younger. As a result, the older child would most likely be stronger, more agile, etc. and would be selected for better teams. He would then have more practices, better coaching, more opportunities to grow as a player, etc. and before long you have a self-fulfilling prophecy. While he probably would not have been an elite player against children of equal age, by the time the Canadian hockey system was done with him, he was. The same was found in the NHL and European football teams who had birth date cutoffs. A similar phenomenon is also seen in academics in America. The younger children in a given class typically do worse than the older children, which really should come as a surprise to no one. The older child then has a better chance at advanced classes and so on. The rich get richer.

All this got me thinking about my birth date and what characteristics are associated with it. Whether you believe in this stuff or not is up to you, but I always find it interesting. My birth date is significant to me because I was born on my grandfather's birthday and as a result named after him. It's funny to think that we might have been similar as a result of our shared birth date, because I never really saw it. Granted, he died when I was sixteen, so I'll always view him with a child's eye. I wish (for many reasons) that I had been allowed to keep him longer so that I could have gotten to know him as an adult. It would have been interesting to see if the similarities truly existed...

I found a birth date significance website and since you were all clamoring for the "what career is best for me?" quiz the other day, I've gone ahead and attached it for your amusement, along with my result. Enjoy!

Your Birthdate: May 26

You lucked out the the skills to succeed in almost any arena.

Put you in almost any business or classroom, and you'll rise to the top.

You're driven and intense, but you also know when to kick back and cooperate.

Your ability to adapt to almost any situation is part of what's going to make you a success.

Your strength: Your attention to detail

Your weakness: You can be a little too proud of your successes

Your power color: Turquoise

Your power symbol: Arrow pointing up

Your power month: August

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Friday, November 21, 2008

An American in Norfolk

Well, Monica over at 5 Cats Shy has tried to help me out once again by tagging me on a "7 things about me" blog, but I'm passing once again. I didn't realize I offended her by not continuing her meme yesterday, so now I imagine she may get overtly hostile! I mean no offense, really, but I just couldn't accept her offer today. I could barely get past her first "thing" because it reminded me of one of my most absurd childhood memories. Monica's first "thing" is that she's deathly afraid of ketchup.

See? I knew you'd understand.

So here I am without anything creative tonight. I could drag out another humiliating story (there seems to be no end to them), but I want to read and enjoy a glass of wine so I need to keep this short.

Today was relatively tame and ordinary -- for me at least. I'm only scheduled to work 4 hours on Fridays, but worked all day because I owe the state some time {cough} facebook {cough} and because next week is short due to the holiday. My friends Gloria and Ruth decided to order in some Chinese food since it was a full-fledged blizzard in Norfolk (read: sporadic flurries that turned to rain before hitting the ground) and we didn't want to leave our building. Another friend, Leslie, and I decided to join them. I tried phoning and got busy signals at both numbers. I then decided to write out our order and fax it over. The fax went through but never connected. Our fax machine stores the fax and tries again if a connection isn't made at first. So I was kind of stuck. I couldn't go phone in the order for fear that they'd receive the fax order and we'd wind up with two. I waited a while and then hit 'cancel' on the fax machine. This coincidentally woke the machine up and it tried connecting to the Chinese restaurant once again. Fortunately, the fax machine is very much like me and gave up after two tries. I got a printout telling me to phone the remote location.

I returned to the office and phoned the restaurant. I got through this time and placed the order. I prefer my full name of Amy Jo to Amy, but use 'Amy' when ordering food to avoid the name being mangled into Mary Jo, Joanne, or Suzanne (it's happened). So I left the name of Amy and then realized later that we have another employee named Amy at work. Since our Security section was going to page "Amy" when the food arrived and it so happens Amy is pregnant and probably capable of lunch theft, I went out to Security to tell them about the food order:

Me: "If you see an Asian man bearing Chinese food, please page me..."
Him: "I'm only supposed to page you if it's an Asian man, not a..."
Me (laughing): "That's right, just an Asian; not an Irishman, or an Italian, or a..."
Him: "...American..."


Just then, a Southern 'gentleman' in the lobby chimes in with something that ends in "chinky".

Dear God.

I don't know what he said, but for the life of me, I can think of nothing inoffensive that would end in the word "chinky".

It was at this point that I exclaimed, "Dear God, I have to get out of here!" and ran back to my office.

The food arrived, I was paged, and I had to laugh because the delivery man was in fact "American" -- a Caucasian male.

I brought the food back to the office and realized the name on the order was "Irma" something and the address was not ours. Crap! I ran into the lobby, saw the elevator had already taken The American away, and headed for the stairs. Somehow, when running down flights of stairs carrying a sack of Chinese food, they seem to multiply. I kept thinking I was at the bottom, but damn there was another flight of stairs! I burst out of the building just as The American was getting in his car. I explained what had happened, he apologized, thanked me for saving him a trip back from the other location, and we got everything squared away.

After all that effort, I sucked most of my Chinese food down. I was stuffed to the point of mild nausea and confident I wouldn't be eating dinner. But damned if my stomach wasn't growling with hunger pangs an hour later! What the hell is that all about? It always happens with Chinese food. Maybe I'll buy "American" next time.

Good grief.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt! I'm sure aspects of this were very confusing for you...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Real Celebrities of Atlanta Rehab

I sometimes over complicate things through no fault of my own. Monica over at 5 Cats Shy tagged me in a meme and I could just fill in my own answers and send it on its way. But I just checked out the topics and some of the questions seemed harder than creating a blog from scratch ("Five favorite singers/groups?" Where would I start? Way too difficult!)

I was just trying to find a pic of Kim from The Real Housewives of Atlanta. There's this one outfit she wears during the "confessional" shoots that exposes her enormous, veined, sagging decolletage. This is train wreck television at its finest and Kim's breasts are the decapitated body by the side of the tracks. Three other housewives have their own significant racks, but there's something particularly obscene and revolting about Kim's. Add to the fact that she has weird plastic Barbie hair and smokes menthols like there's no tomorrow -- all the while thinking she's going to have a country music career -- and I'm just riveted. She claims she's 29 but looks 45, so maybe it's all the smoking. Clearly, no one ever told her about the supposed smoking-makes-your-boobs-sag rumor...

I followed up Housewives with the latest episode of Celebrity Rehab, starring Jeff Conaway (once again) and a brain damaged (seriously, alas) Gary Busey. Several of the Housewives are in a good old fashioned cat fight and referred to the drama as "high school" on several occasions. Then I get to Jeff and Gary who get into an obscenity-laced screaming match over who called "shotgun" for their return trip to the rehab center from an art trip. I'm dead serious. And there was pushing.

It was at this point that I wondered how many of us never really evolve beyond our inner child. I think the greater majority of us can keep him or her quiet for the most part, but when things get down to basics, we're all just Ego. So maybe if we remembered that and saw the inner child in each other more, we'd all get along a lot better and have a lot more fun.

Remember, all we ever really needed to know, we learned in kindergarten:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life.

Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.

Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: look.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

~Robert Fulghum

Hello, Mrs. Schmidt. How are you today, Mrs. Schmidt?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Career Will Suit Your Personality?

Gloria has just delicately reminded me to post the link for the "what career is right for you?" test that I took last night. Several folks have asked for it here and on myspace. I was going to post it in the original blog, but truth be told, I was concerned we would all wind up with the same exact answers and discover it was all horse pucky!

But another friend with an investigative bent found the test on her own, took it, and has different results. So now I feel comfortable posting it.

Good luck and feel free to post your own results to my comments.

What career will suit your personality?

PS -- I noted the sense of desperation, Gloria. LOL.

The Great Diarrhea Incident of 1999

A fellow blogger posted an item about a room covered in dog feces yesterday, and it reminded me of a special day in the beginning of my relationship with Miss Bodhi, my beagle mix.

I had never had a dog on my own, let alone a puppy, and when the chance arose to get one, I phoned my mother and asked her to talk me out of it. BIG MISTAKE. I should have asked her to encourage me to adopt the dog because then perhaps I would have fought her on it and not done so. Now, I love Bodhi with all my heart, but she has put quite the dent in my freedom over the last nine years. I believe that was one of the points my mother raised in our phone conversation -- the one that resulted in my listing all the reasons why I COULD, nay SHOULD, adopt this dog and she was not going to stop me!!


Anyhoo, a good friend whose family had raised several dogs offered to help out and so I adopted The World's Sweetest Puppy. I had a small plastic dog crate when I first got her and placed her in it when I went to work in the morning. I came home at lunch to let her out and then put her back in the crate for my return to work. Things went all right for the first week or two but then my friend Anne, who was helping me watch Bodhi when I was at my second job, went away on a trip. I had run out of dry food for Bodhi at some point but didn't want to leave her in the crate while I went to the store after work. When I had adopted Bodhi, her "Aunt Louise" had given me a couple cans of wet dog food that Anne had advised not giving her because it was bad for her teeth. Thinking it would be okay to give Bodhi some wet food in this emergency situation, I placed half of a can in her bowl. Well she wolfed that right down. Thinking she was just starving, I then gave her an entire large can, bringing the total to one-and-a-half cans of wet dog food.

Things seemed perfectly fine that evening and the next morning. And then I came home at lunch.

As I approached the door, Bodhi was barking like usual, if not more panicked in retrospect. I walked in the door of my teeny tiny apartment and was immediately overcome by a rich stench. Everything seemed normal until I peered into the crate at my adorable puppy.


All I could see in this massive sea of diarrhea were her little white eyeballs. She was COVERED in diarrhea. The interior of her crate was COVERED in diarrhea. It was hanging off the ceiling of the crate like stalactites. I was equally horrified and amused. Bodhi was just horrified. She blinked and barked, barked and blinked. I didn't know what to do with her. I couldn't just open the crate because I'd have a diarrhea-covered dog running around the apartment. I was afraid to jostle the crate too much for fear the poop (which had miraculously stayed on the inside) would start oozing out of the many holes in the crate walls. I finally decided to drag the whole thing into my bathroom, shut the door, and take it from there.

It was easily the most disgusting lunch hour I've ever experienced. I had to hose down the dog and the crate and boil my bath towels. And the apartment smelled lovely for days to come. When Anne returned and I told her about it, she couldn't believe I gave the puppy an entire can of wet dog food. Frankly, I blame her for not warning me. What did I know?? Maybe if she hadn't gone on the trip, this wouldn't have happened. And maybe I wouldn't have tried to pull the puppy's esophagus out of her throat mistaking it for a piece of rawhide on which she was choking... Yes, it's true.

Hmm...maybe this is why she eats my stuff on occasion.

And now, what we've all missed... Your Daily Moment of Schmidt:

Yes, he may have completely backfired on McCain, but damned if The Bullet isn't back at work already. What's it been, two weeks? Bravo, Steve, bravo.

"Meg Whitman May Run for Calif. Governor

Former eBay chief Meg Whitman is mulling a run to replace California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when he leaves office in two years.

Whitman supported Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign until he dropped out of the race, then joined John McCain’s campaign as a national co-chair. She spoke at this year’s GOP convention, and was mentioned by McCain as a possible Treasury secretary.

The 52-year-old Republican was eBay’s chief executive officer when she stepped down from the post after 10 years at the online shopping company. She remains an eBay director.

New York-born Whitman, who now lives in Atherton, Calif., has hired a Sacramento public relations firm and retained Steve Schmidt, the GOP strategist who ran McCain’s campaign and managed Schwarzenegger’s re-election bid in 2006, the Los Angeles Times reports.

She has never held elected office, but with a net worth of at least $1.4 billion, she could finance her own campaign..."

This is clearly a woman of solid judgement...

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

Not getting the promotion last week seems to have been a swift kick in the arse for me. We're all guilty at some point of going through life in a trance and I'm quickly realizing I haven't really enjoyed my job in a long, long,..........ever. It sounds cool to other people and I'm good at it, but it's never made me leap out of bed in the morning and it's not terribly satisfying for me personally. I feel like I've awakened from a years-long professional coma but unfortunately I've done so when we're on the brink of a Depression. Not exactly the best time to make a career change. I know I should be thankful that I have a job -- even as our building maintenance guys went around our building today removing 33% of the fluorescent lightbulbs in an effor to save money -- and should just keep my mouth shut, do my work, and nourish my soul outside of work. But just for kicks, I decided to take an online "what career is best for you?" quiz. Here are the results (the quiz is out of the UK, if some of the spelling seems sketchy). They're pretty darn accurate. You'll note that 'jaded forensic scientist' isn't listed as one of my recommendations...

What career will suit your personality?

This description is a generalisation. If it rings true, you've found your career type. If it doesn't, return to the quiz, decide whether you answered truthfully, and not by what you think you should answer. Redo your answers and read your new results.

You would be very happy in a career that utilised your people skills. You want a career that allows you to stimulate your senses and your mind. Some careers that would be perfect for you are:


Recruitment Consultant




Religious Minister


Social Worker

Human Resources Manager




You are a great leader. You genuinely enjoy being around other people. Your relationships with others are very important to you. You love talking and meeting new people. You are very enthusiastic about work and about all that you do and have in your life. You love being the focus of attention. You enjoy a fast pace. You are very socially oriented. Therefore, you are much happier being with others than you are alone. You crave interaction with others.

You are very spontaneous and often act before you think. You are always quick to answer when you are asked a question, even if you aren't sure of the answer. It is easier for you to improvise as you go along. You enjoy thinking out loud, and are most creative when brainstorming with friends or colleagues. You enjoy being involved in many activities.

You are very easy to read, and often wear your heart on your sleeve. You are never afraid to tell people what you think. You are very empathetic and genuine. You can sometimes be seen as over-emotional or too involved by others. But that is only because you tend to get so involved in the things you do that they become personal.

You want to be adored, loved and appreciated. You like to please others and to make sure people are happy.

You trust what is certain. You only like new ideas if they can be practically applied to the situation. You value what is real. You use your common sense. You like to utilise the skills you have instead of learning new ones. You are very specific and detailed when writing or talking to others. You follow directions well. You don't like leaving things in limbo. You like to know what you are getting into before you commit to something.

You like to focus on the here and now. You enjoy completing projects. It is important for you to achieve and succeed. Therefore, you believe in working hard and playing later. You like to set goals and work towards them.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shiba Inu: Japanese for "No Productivity"

I seem to be experiencing mid-NaBloPoMo laziness. I say laziness instead of writer's block because I still have a couple embarrassing stories up my sleeve, but I'm not in the mood to bang them out at the moment. It was my first day back at work in a week and I'd like to just chill out now and enjoy this week's episode of "Little People, Big World".

So I'm going to share my newest diversion with you (thanks and curses to Gloria for clueing me in to it):

Streaming .TV shows by Ustream

I'm assuming my mother and her dial-up internet access will see that as a still image, but the rest of you should be getting a live feed of some six week old Shiba Inu puppies out of San Francisco. If you're a dog person, just try to stop watching! (And no, I've never heard of this breed either).

Yeah, you're welcome. Be sure to watch it with sound so you can hear all their little squeaks and squawks. (When they're not sleeping, which they're doing most of the time).

Hi Mrs. Schmidt! Please don't scare the puppies, Mrs. Schmidt.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Will They Think of Next?

An article in today's paper discussed several people who are using the latest in laundry technology -- solar dryers. Some of you old enough may remember these things. They consist of the sun, a clothesline, and some clothes pins...

I'm intimately acquainted with solar dryers. My mom sprained her ankle pretty badly when I was ten (Let your fingers do the walking) and I was suddenly required to do the dishes and my own laundry. (Shortly thereafter I discovered that if you break enough dishes, they stop making you wash them...) I have a vague feeling that we owned a dryer but that we only used it for "special occasions". That was the deal with the dishwasher at least. We owned one, but used it only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. By this logic, I'm surprised we were allowed to use the oven or the indoor plumbing every day.

The clothesline was attached just outside the back door and was one of those "fancy" ones that had pulleys at each end so we could stand on the back stoop, attach the article of clothing, and send it on its way. There were also these little gizmos you had to add every so often to keep the two opposing lines together so that the clothes didn't cause the bottom line to droop down to the ground. Fascinating stuff, I know, but I still have two weeks of NaBloPoMo to go!

I wasn't a huge fan of the outdoor drying as the clothes always came back erect and scratchy. Down the shore was an entirely different situation. I would gladly dry myself with sandpaper towels today if they smelled of the ocean. And as sick as it sounds, one of my fondest memories was going outside to retrieve my father's crunchy jock strap from the clothesline! Listen, you have your cherished childhood memories, I have mine. He wore an athletic supporter under his bathing suit while bodysurfing. And no, I don't know why, but let's just keep it that way, shall we?

Where was I?

I'm kind of intrigued by the prospect of line drying today. I have the perfect, sunny yard for it, but I'm not sure I could pull it off. I live on a corner and my back yard is wide open. I also have a bunch of teens walking by my place at all hours of the day and night. I'm just assuming I'd be missing some clothes at the end of the day. My other problem is the berry tree. I have a feeling my stuff would be covered in bird berry sh*t more often than not. It's a tough call -- help save the environment and save some money vs. lost clothes and bird sh*t.

Unless I move closer to the ocean, it looks like I may be sticking with the gas dryer...

Wake up, Mrs. Schmidt!

Wow. When I search "Steve Schmidt" in the news now, the first few stories are about random guys in Alabama, Ohio, and Arkansas...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Driving Me Crazy

Ride back from Jersey was pretty uneventful, save for the old woman who nearly drove into Bodhi and me in Maryland and the occasional torrential downpour... Let's review a few things, shall we?

1) The left lane of the highway is for PASSING. It's for passing cars immediately; not because you will eventually pass them or because you don't feel like driving behind anyone. If you're going fast enough that you're actively passing people in the lane to your right, then by all means, stay in the left lane. But if you look in your rear view mirror [sub note: LOOK IN YOUR FREAKING MIRROR OCCASIONALLY!!!] and see what looks like a funeral procession behind you with grimacing, apoplectic drivers, MOVE THE F*CK OVER! There was a white pickup truck on 64 East near Williamsburg who held tens of cars hostage for miles by chilling in the left lane. It's only two lanes there and no one could get around this jackass. Someone {cough} finally got close, beeped, and pointed to the sign on the side of the road that said, "Slower cars keep right". That same someone, after much jockeying, was finally able to squeeze in front of the pickup and taste sweet freedom, approximately 40 seconds before Jackass finally moved into the right lane.

2) I would never have the audacity to accuse someone on a cell phone of not paying attention or slowing well below the speed limit, but don't you think you'd be more comfortable over in the right lane? That way, when you're leaning on your window with your "cell arm" up to your ear, you can block out all the other people on the highway and just concentrate on your call. I'm just thinking of you.

3) If you plant yourself in the left lane, I will give you a chance to redeem yourself but will eventually ride your ass. I will also shake my head in disgust when you finally wake up and get over. You'll note that once I pass you, I will then get over to the middle or right lanes until the next time I have to pass someone. See how easy that is?

I'm sure there are others, but that's it for now. If you have any driving questions, please let me know. If you're lucky, I'll share my "lane ends soon, merge now" dissertation with you down the road. Pun intended.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt! Get the hell over, Mrs. Schmidt. I just know you're one of those people.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Greetings from the Shore

I'm still in Jersey, still pretty sleepy, and not feeling terribly creative, so I'm just going to fill you in on my day. Mom and I did a little damage at a department store and a Bass outlet. Since the economy's in the sh*tter, the stores are having some crazy sales. I spent about 300 bucks and walked away with 2 sweaters, 2 shirts, a pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes (including a new pair of my 'hipster' loafers!), 9 pairs of socks, and a pea coat. Not too shabby...

Whenever in Jersey I feel I must return to one of the motherships -- a diner. We hit the OB Diner in Point Pleasant. This particular diner had a spiral bound menu and offered the usual 400 items. But as usual, I limited my choice to my top three diner meals: a pork roll, egg, & cheese sandwich on a hard roll, a tuna melt, or a Happy Waitress. For those of you not in the know, a Happy Waitress is: 1) surprisingly NOT an oxymoron in a Jersey diner and 2) an open faced grilled cheese, bacon, and tomato sandwich. Perfect! That's what I went with. I was tempted to get "disco fries" -- french fries drenched in brown gravy and covered in melted mozzarella cheese, but decided my waistline didn't really need them. (But I may have to break down at Christmas and get some because my mouth won't stop watering just thinking about them!)

Our path from the diner to my mom's house brought us down my favorite road of all time -- Route 35 from Point Pleasant, through Bay Head, Mantoloking, Normandy, and eventually to my beloved Lavallette. Many of the homes and businesses have changed, but many others have blessedly stayed the same. As we drove by, I daydreamed about living in the huge, cedar shingled homes of Bay Head and Mantoloking just like I did as a kid. In Lavallette, I took a detour past the bungalow we used to rent and drove up to "say Hi" to the ocean as we did whenever we first arrived on our vacation and as we left at its conclusion. If only the folks in charge would knock down the darn mountainous dunes they started cultivating in the late 80s so I could see the ocean from the boardwalk again!

Well, I guess that's about it for now. Time for me to enjoy mom's meatloaf. That's what we do here -- eat, shop, and reminisce!

To be continued...

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On the Good Ship, Sugar-Is-Crack

One two-year-old child plus one gigantic Shirley Temple drink (her first) at 6 pm equals...? One chatty, hopped up two-year-old child who's WIDE-THE-FREAK-AWAKE until 1 am. Yes, you read that correctly. My eyes were completely bloodshot and I was so tired I was about to vomit, but dammit I was not going to let this wide eyed little person outlast me! We even made her watch old episodes of The Facts of Life (which sent her father to bed) and Fantasy Island (how did I never notice that dead squirrel atop Ricardo Montalban's head??) to no avail. I was ready to grab some ether and a handkerchief, but Lauren wouldn't play along.

Consequently, someone (me) was ready to return to bed this morning about 30 minutes after rising. Lauren's cake biz (Gobblin' Cakes) is taking off and we had to run to the store for more buttermilk so she could finish a triple layer creation. Berit (the beautiful, blond, blue-eyed creature of the night from above) crashed in the car on the way to the store and that's how I found myself sitting in an Acme parking lot once again. I was in the wrong town, but it still illicited some childhood memories. I phoned my mother and said, "And so I find myself in yet another Acme parking lot while a mom is shopping." Acme was my small home town's grocery store and I spent nearly every afternoon of my childhood in the car while my mother ran inside for a "few things." Yeah, a few things and hours of conversation. But that's a blog for another day.

Lauren wasn't gone terribly long, but she returned to the car empty-handed. I asked if she had been mugged and she started fussing and fuming about the Acme, much as my mother did on many occasions. Apparently, as she was about to pay, the carton of buttermilk exploded. It was the last carton of buttermilk and the primary reason for our trip to the store (the other being a standard issue New Jersey Survival Kit: Taylor pork roll, eggs, cheese, and hard rolls), hence Lauren's frustration. So off we went to another grocery store.

I again found myself in the parking lot with napping Berit. Lauren returned to the car with full grocery bags in hand this time. "I just wiped out," she said as she entered the car. "What??" She had a scraped knee to prove it. It had been raining all day and the bottom of her jeans were wet and hanging under her shoes a little bit. She was having trouble getting past some store workers in an aisle and when she brushed aside them in frustration, karma knocked her on her ass -- or more literally, her right knee. I curse the heavens for having missed it!! She said I would have sh*t my pants and then pissed myself. Man! It was so bad it illicited shocked "Oh!"s from the other shoppers and a couple people offered to help her up although in true embarrassed New Jerseyan style, she wouldn't let them. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

March of the Penguin

Crazy, right?

The rest of the day was pretty mellow as I faded more and more. That was always our thing though. Lauren would stay up until the crack of dawn watching movies while I tended to crash after the first one. It was great seeing Lauren, Cormac (her hubby), and Berit again as I don't see them nearly often enough. I always miss Lauren, but now I'm missing her daughter's childhood as well...

At least the kid let out one great belch for me to enjoy after her Shirley Temple last night. My hope is to see her often enough that I can still be a bad influence!

And now, in all fairness, a nice Daily Moment of Schmidt:

From an email from another high school friend: "I had NO IDEA that the Steve Schmidt who worked on the McCain/Palin campaign was THAT Steve Schmidt. His career choice aside, I did want to share one positive thing I could think of about him…. Ready? Here it is: I would never have graduated high school if he hadn’t helped me pass Sincavage’s history class. See? He is not 100% evil, despite outward appearances."

Feel better, Mrs. Schmidt?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


What I failed to tell you earlier, dear readers, is that part of the reason my weekend of illness threw everything off is because I was driving up to New Jersey on Tuesday (yesterday) to surprise my bff on her 40th birthday. I had a TON of things to do on Sunday to prepare for the trip but spent the day on my couch instead. I played hooky from work on Monday and got most of my errands done. I drove up to the Jersey Shore yesterday morning, stayed with my mom overnight, and then headed up to Lauren's today. So after a couple days of ulcer, ovarian cyst, and crushed career ambition, it was all worthwhile when Lauren opened the door and said, "Are you f*cking kidding me???"

My original plan was to bust out some AJ/Lauren stories of yesteryear in celebration of her birthday, but I'm sitting in her dining room right now and should probably cut this short and socialize with her and her hubby [author of the new book you should purchase, The Forgotten History of America: Little-Known Conflicts of Lasting Importance from the Earliest Colonists to the Eve of the Revolution].

So I bid you goodnight with this little Daily Moment of Schmidt:

I received this email from an old friend: "I always will remember the time Mike B. spat a mouthful of Cheetos into Steve's face during lunch one day because Mike was sick of listening to Steve drone on about something. (Mike had an odd way of dealing with people he didn't like sometimes.) Steve sat there stunned and then literally shivered in disgust/horror and ran off without saying anything."

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't Mess With An Only Child's Food!

I started my illustrious college career at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I spent a year there and acquired a best friend and acne. Both are still with me twenty years later. I was paired with a sophomore roommate who belonged to some godforsaken sorority. I thought it was curious that she was a sophomore and a sorority member, yet was without a roommate and had to take on an incoming freshman. I soon found out why. Missy was something special all right. Among her treats for me that year was her constant rotation of boyfriends who shared our 9 X 4' cell. Most of her boyfriends had later classes and she would shush me if I woke them getting ready in the morning. I'd come back from class (on the few occasions I attended) and would find them still fast asleep in my dark dorm room. If I awakened them, I'd hear about it from my whiny roommate later.

My mother visited sometime in the fall and brought me several goodies from home (because I wasn't gaining enough weight from the constant beer and late night pizzas) including a pumpkin pie from Geiger's. I put it in the fridge and foolishly thought Missy would recognize it as mine and not eat it. I came back to our room and discovered not only had she eaten it, but she'd called several of her sorority sisters over to share it as well. They ate the whole blasted thing.

A month or so later I was doing terribly in school. I had strep the first week of classes, missed most of them and never really recovered. Around finals of the fall semester, I stole my dissected lab rat from the bio lab in an effort to cram back in my dorm room. When I was done with it for the day, I wrapped it up a couple times in plastic and then in aluminum foil and laughed when I realized it looked like half a sub sandwich. I put it in our fridge and as I was leaving the room, Missy arrived. I offhandedly said, "I have half a sub in the fridge, please don't eat it" and she assured me she wouldn't.

I came back a couple hours later and found Missy crying on her side of the room and my rat splayed out on my desk!

I believe that was the last time she tried to eat my food.

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Went to an Interview and All I Got Was This Lousy Ulcer!

I was still in a bit of pain this morning and decided (after seeing one friend's warning about a gall bladder problem on myspace -- yes, I get all my medical advice from myspace...) it was time to see a doctor, just in case. Getting in to see my internist on short notice isn't usually an option, so I headed out to the Doc-in-a-Box. The parking lot was packed and I nearly turned around, but I had so many errands to run today that I figured I should just suck it up and get in there. They checked me in at the front desk and before I could sit down in the comfy seats and watch some TV, they whisked me off to the dreaded scale. Fortunately, I had on a jacket which contained my phone, wallet, and keys and that explained the additional 20 pounds that registered on the scale.

Off I went to my exam cell where I knew I'd be sitting TV-less for upwards of an hour. I was prepared and brought a book, at least. My phone rang about half-an-hour in and my work number appeared. I assumed it was my friend Anne checking in on me. Nope, it was our Lab Director. Telling me that they had decided on the new Group Supervisor position in our section and that they had given it friend Anne. Groovy. I think they ultimately made the right decision, but not for the reasons they probably did...

And so I waited some more. Got my blood drawn. Eventually the doc arrived. I told her my symptoms, she scolded me for not coming in on Saturday, and then she palpated my belly. Ow! Well, that's new. That's not really where the pain is. 1-2-3, we're done here: "It's your ulcer [I have some history with a duodenal ulcer] and you have an ovarian cyst." ???? Well, that was news to me!

I have to make a follow-up appointment with my internist and they'll do an ultrasound to confirm. I don't know the first thing about ovarian cysts and I have a lot to do this week, so don't tell me. The doc also gave me a prescription for Prevacid for the ulcer. I had to go to Costco anyway and decided to take a look at their selection of antacids to see if the OTC Prevacid was the same concentration. Well, guess what? There is no OTC Prevacid.

I ran a couple more errands and trotted over to Walgreen's to drop off the scrip. It was then I saw the doctor's name: Farah Khan. Awesome. She wasn't wearing a little bowtie though or singing calypso. [Look it up]. They phoned about an hour later to tell me there was a problem with my insurance. Apparently, the insurance company requires prior authorization from the doctor before they will approve payment for Prevacid. Maybe I should have just gone to the insurance company for the exam... I spoke with the pharmacist and they said it usually took about 24-48 hours before the approval would go through. Now I've had a handful of ulcer attacks since I was 18 and I've never taken any meds for it. I have to assume that by the time they get this medication approved, I WON'T NEED IT ANYMORE!!!!

Breathe, breathe...

Oh! I forgot the best part of the day! When I left the Doc-in-the-Box, I phoned my mother to fill her in. I was driving down a particularly busy road in Virginia Beach when my car just stopped in the middle of the street! I looked and the fuel gauge was below E! No, this can't be happening, I thought. I knew I had half a tank in there when I left this morning. I thought someone must have siphoned it out while I was at the doctor, but that's just insane. Well, turns out it was insane. I turned the car off and started it again and everything was fine. My mother said she thought the car had a vapor lock, which sounded impressive until I asked her what it was and she couldn't explain. :) Love you, Moo.

So here I am. Belly with a slight ache, heart with a slight ache, ego with a moderate dent. All will be fine. All will definitely be fine faster than I get my damn prescription!!

Hello, Mrs. Schmidt. I'm sure you're just loving this, aren't you?? You think I brought this on myself karmically, don't you?? Don't you??? Well, if you think what I've done has brought this on, then I really fear for your son! hahahahaha

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Still sick...

Not much to report. I found some anti-spasmodics from when I had similar symptoms with the flu a year or so ago, took those, and am in less pain. Since I'm guessing the meds have expired, it may just be a coincidence. Less pain, but still pain. It doesn't hurt to sit or lie down as much, but lying on my side or walking is very uncomfortable. So I've spent much of the day on a heating pad on the couch. And Bodhi, my dog, has only landed on top of my painful belly once today, so that's good. I'm hoping to feel even better tomorrow and thank you for your patience with my blog. :)

Hi Mrs. Schmidt.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ugh, I'm Sick!

We had our kickball tourney in the rain this morning and when we were eliminated (after two games) I realized my usually dormant ulcer seemed to have awakened. My abdomen was in a ton of pain, so I packed up and left. Well, that was almost five hours ago and it's just getting worse. The last time I felt like this, I actually had some weird strain of the flu. So I'm wondering if this is that stomach virus that's been going around and not the ulcer. All I know is that I'm in a great deal of pain and the chills have started to kick in. Oh joy!

Hi Mrs. Schmidt.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mon Dieu!

It's early on a Friday evening, but I'm fading fast. I have to rise and shine early tomorrow for our end-of-season kickball tournament and I have a feeling I'll be zonked out on the couch shortly. But as you all know, it's NaBloPoMo and I've got to come up with a blog. And when nothing springs immediately to mind, I turn to that bottomless well of inspiration: the humiliations of my youth... Oh, goody!!

Picture it, Sicily 1937... No wait, that's not right.

Picture it, the first day of seventh grade, 1981... We all trotted into French class for the first time and claimed a desk. We had more students than desks and by the time the teacher got there, a good many kids were lined up along the walls of the classroom. My friend Heather and I were sitting in the front row (my sitting in the front row should immediately indicate how sparse seats were. Chuckleheads like myself always head for the back of the room!) Miss Moro arrived and realized we didn't have enough desks. She appealed to the boys in the class to offer their seats to the girls who were without. "Would all the gentlemen please stand up and let the ladies sit down?"

Of course, the guys thought this was stupid, but a couple begrudgingly stood. There still weren't enough seats and some girls remained standing. "Would all the gentlemen please stand up and let the ladies sit down?" A few more guys got up and that was it; there were no more boys seated.

"Would ALL the GENTLEMEN PLEASE stand up and let the LADIES sit down??" came the voice from the front of the room. I'm thinking, "What the hell is wrong with this woman, all the guys are standing..."

I'm looking around the room trying to find the wayward boy and then I hear right in front of me, "WOULD ALL THE GENTLEMEN PLEASE STAND UP AND LET THE LADIES SIT DOWN??" Just as I began to realize, with all due measure of appropriate horror, that she was speaking directly to ME, my friend Heather leaned over and said quietly, "Miss Moro, she's a GIRL."

{Insert lifetime scarring here}

I blushed, Miss Moro got all flustered, and Heather managed to stifle what must have been a GIGANTIC laugh out of pure empathy and compassion on her part. I don't really remember much after that. I believe I got home that night and demanded to get my ears pierced. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I got my ears pierced a total of 3 times within the next month or so. Of course, it didn't help. When the yearbook came out that year, I discovered I had been listed as my cousin. My MALE cousin, Patrick. In the wrong class. Above the picture of the boy I had a crush on.

Really, does it get much worse than this???

I believe I cried for 4 days straight. And I can only imagine how thrilled my cousin was as well.

But I have to say, I made a damn cute boy!

And now, your Daily Moment of Schmidt:

Flashback, Oct. 25th: "These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves"

A "McCain aide," who we can now reasonably conclude is the fired Randy Scheunemann, predicted precisely this.

He names names. Schmidt and Wallace.

Are they behind this? I don't know. But he predicted they'd do this. And now it's been done:

"Even as John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to close the gap in the final days of the 2008 election, stirrings of a Palin insurgency are complicating the campaign's already-tense internal dynamics.
Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.

"She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane," said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

"I think she'd like to go more rogue," he said.

The emergence of a Palin faction comes as Republicans gird for a battle over the future of their party: Some see her as a charismatic, hawkish conservative leader with the potential, still unrealized, to cross over to attract moderate voters. Anger among Republicans who see Palin as a star and as a potential future leader has boiled over because, they say, they see other senior McCain aides preparing to blame her in the event he is defeated.

"These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week.

"A number of Gov. Palin's staff have not had her best interests at heart, and they have not had the campaign's best interests at heart," the McCain insider fumed, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign." ~Ace of Spades HQ.

Me again. Gosh, are they implying that Steve Schmidt is not an honorable person? No, that can't be...

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

(She'll probably be happy to know I'm running out of DMOS. He's just not in the news much these days. But I'm sure he's going to write a book out of all of this, right after he weasels himself out of turning McCain into a dishonorable curmudgeon and inflicting Wasilla Barbie on the lower 48. So hopefully he won't be gone for too long.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Haiku Thursday!

According to Monica, Thursdays are Haiku Days, though you'll note she did not actually post a haiku today (5 Cats Shy). I hope this isn't some sort of blogger joke at my expense...

Since it's 9:40 pm and I just got home wet and cold from a kickball game in the rain, I've decided to follow Monica's fake lead and compose a haiku. Um... About... Let's see.............. Well, I'm just going to wing it. And I'd LOVE if all of you commented with your own haikus!

Last night of kickball
Rain and mud plus swampy fields
Thank goodness for beer

Well, that just brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it?? This poetry thing just isn't so hard. Wonder why all those goth teen girls are so tortured about it all...? Must be the hormones.

Anyhoo, a return to...Your Daily Moment of Schmidt. It seemed crass to post anything yesterday. What with that BIG. HONKIN'. LOSS. !!!!!!! :)

Daily Moment of Schmidt:

Dickipedia: Steve Schmidt

Thanks to Lauren for the link!

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

I'm guessing this is the only way I can get my mother, who has been boycotting elections for twenty years, to participate albeit tenuously in our democracy. Maybe if she reads this, it will remind her of how she raised me -- to be compassionate, to not judge people by the color of their skin, to act when others stand by, to fight for what I believe in. Maybe after reading this, she'll put her cynicism aside for a second or two. And maybe her heart will grow three sizes this day.

Herewith, the acceptance speech of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama:

“Hello, Chicago.

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

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

“It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

“We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

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

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

“A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain.

“Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

“I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

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

“And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady Michelle Obama.

“Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the new White House.

“And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

“To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

“And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

“To my chief strategist David Axelrod who’s been a partner with me every step of the way. To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics, you made this happen and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

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

“I was never the likeliest candidate for this office.

“We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements.

“Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

“It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give 5 and 10 and 20 to the cause.

“It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy, who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

“It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organised and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

“This is your victory.

“And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.

“You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

“Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

“There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

“There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

“I promise you, we as a people will get there.

“There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.

“But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

“What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

“This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

“It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

“Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

“In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

“Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

“Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

“As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

“And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

“And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

“To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

“That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

“This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

“And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

“Yes we can.

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

“This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

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

“Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.”

(Hi Mrs. Schmidt)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dear Mr. President

As long as we're all hanging out waiting to see who the next Leader of the Free World will be, I thought this would be a good chance for me to discuss a very important topic, one that's dear to my heart. And maybe, just maybe, the next President (Obama!) will be the man to answer my question.

Just what in the hell is wrong with Wendy's that they can't make a better french fry?? How freakin' difficult can it be?? Even before they had to eliminate trans fats, their french fries sucked ass. No matter what time you go there -- early afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, late evening...fourth meal -- those things are a soggy stick of grass-tasting disappointment. (If you ever wore mittens as a child and dug a hole in the ground and then stuck the mitten in your mouth, you know what "grassy" potatoes taste like). They're either salted too much or not salted at all. I just can't DEAL with it anymore!! They have fantastic hamburgers. They served white meat chicken back when serving actual chicken (see McDonald's recent ad campaign, "Now with 100% chicken!" WTF??) was not the industry standard. They have Frostys and introduced all sorts of healthy sides (salads, mandarin oranges, free yoga classes while you wait) and yet, they can't make a decent french fry!!

By the way, for any of you keeping track, this is not a complaint. And my "A Complaint Free World" bracelet actually snapped in two last week anyway. I am allowed to state a fact without it being a complaint. One can walk into a room and say, "It's hot in here," but one cannot say, "Jesus Christ, why the f*ck is it so freakin' hot in here?? I HATE when it's this hot! And you people are morons for not being hot!"

Likewise, I am allowed to point out that Wendy's french fries have always been as limp as Clay Aiken's penis in a room full of naked women.

What? Too easy? Beneath me?

I'm sorry. I know you deserve better but I'm tired...

I've been up since 4:30 am, stood in line in the rain for over an hour to vote for BARACK OBAMA! and then had to drive out to West Bumblef*ck to testify.

OK, that last part might have been a complaint. But I was happy to vote. And was relatively happy to stand in line to do so. I was just worried that I would have to leave before getting the chance to vote. I was actually thrilled to see so many people at the polls. And I'm such a big ol' goober that I got choked up with emotion as I turned in my 'check card' computer ballot. I hope others did too. Making history always brings a lump to my throat.

And now, your Daily Moment of Schmidt:

"The punditocracy's Seven Biggest Blunders of the 2008 election

2) Steve Schmidt Is a Genius

When McCain took the lead after the GOP convention in many national polls, the immediate reaction was to lionize top strategist Steve Schmidt for imposing order and discipline on the unruly campaign. But, in truth, Schmidt's ascension probably only intensified a problem that has dogged McCain from the outset -- a focus on day-to-day tactics over long-term strategy and a coherent rationale for the campaign. McCain often dominated the daily news cycle, but failed to dominate the hearts and minds of voters. Many in the Obama campaign believe that the turning point in the race came when McCain dramatically suspended his campaign on the eve of the first debate in order to fly to Washington to join in the ineffectual dithering over the economic crisis. Schmidt's war-room mentality (he ran the rapid-response team for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004) may have been ill-suited for a political year when McCain needed a Big Idea to compete with Obama."

Uh......ya think??

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Monday, November 3, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Election 2008

I'm having computer issues this evening, so I hope I can bang this blog out before the darn thing crashes again. (Go Vista! Grrrrr).

So here we are. Twenty-four long flippin' months later, it's the night before the 2008 Presidential election. Thank God for small favors. I don't think we could really take it that much longer. And we need at least one day of rest before everyone gets all fired up again about who won, who lost, their transition team, their Cabinet appointees, oh good grief!

It seems that everyone has really gone out of their way to remove race from the election (as it should be). Well, I suspect it's been mentioned quite a bit in the Right Red states, but probably not within earshot of us bleeding heart Liberals. If you're going to be a bigot, at least have the decency to be proud to be a bigot. You're ignorant, you're here, and you're not going anywhere!

Anyhoo, the reason I want to bring race into it is because I can't help but wonder what impact a black United States President will have on the black community. I'm wondering as a caucasian female, so I'm an outsider on that front. But even from over here, I have to assume that this will be monumental. For a country that has oppressed black people since its inception to elect a black person as its leader has to be a tremendous sense of validation. And now black families everywhere can tell their children that yes, you really can grow up to be the President of the United States. (Girls, you'll have to wait just a bit longer). It's no secret that black boys and men suffer from some of the greatest stereotypes in this country. In many instances, society treats them as if they're disposable. Far too many don't even make it to adulthood or if they do, they're uneducated and/or incarcerated at a disproportionate rate. Granted, personal responsiblilty does come into play to some extent. But if you never see the top of the well, how can you possibly climb out?

I know there are plenty of decent role models in the black community, but I'm really looking forward to the most high profile role model that community has ever seen: President Obama.

And now, your Daily Moment of Schmidt

A Mavericky Limerick!

A "maverick" named John McCain

Said he wanted a clean campaign

But he hired Steve Schmidt

So that plan went to shit

And his poll numbers went down the drain

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sweet Dreams, Old Friend

Reading the comics this morning was bittersweet as I was forced to say goodbye to yet another cherished friend. He had me at "hairy fishnuts" and I spent many wonderful years with him, Bill, Milo, Binkley, Oliver Wendell Jones, Steve, Cutter John, Portnoy, and Hodge-Podge. Oh! And Lola Granola and the Basselope...and so many others. I had wanted to do a more thorough stroll down memory lane, but Berkeley Breathed's website has been down all day (on purpose?) and I wasn't able to find my favorite strips. So for today I'll just do one of the first.......and the last. Goodnight, Opus. I'll miss you...

Goodnight Opus

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh Sh*t!

I was finally about to shut down the computer and go take the dog for a run when I realized today is November 1st and therefore, the first day of NaBloPoMo! Despite sounding like I'm not going to offer poor people fellatio anymore, NaBloPoMo for the uninitiated actually stands for National Blog Posting Month. Which is November. By joining NaBloPoMo, I pledge to write at least one blog post per day for the month of November. Fortunately, there are no requirements as to the quality of the blog posts... Especially since I don't have an idea for today.

Oh wait, I forgot! I do have a guest rant from a good friend of mine that I can share with all of you. His email helps express some of my frustration with this election campaign and with the intolerance and lack of compassion that I see day in and day out with many (supposed) Christians. I dated a born again Christian who once said, "Christians are the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity" and his words were never more true than the last few months. The level of hatred I've seen has done nothing but sadden me and make me wonder if we as a country will ever recover -- regardless of who wins this election. I'd like to say it's been the exclusive domain of the Republicans, but I have some Democrat friends up north who could give the worst of the Right a run for their money where anger and insults are concerned. We will never reach our full potential as human beings if we are unable or unwilling to consider and understand each other's point of view. It doesn't mean we have to agree, but at least be respectful enough to consider that you do not know everything and do not have all the answers. Be open to the fact that other people are led by their experiences or how they were taught and be flexible enough to consider changing your mind on occasion. Having said all that, I know two absolute truths: oppression will never prevail and The Golden Rule (do unto others...) always will.

Without further ado, an anonymous guest editorial:

"Regardless of what Mrs. Schmidt says, or what Steve was like in high school, I can not believe that he is a decent guy. Anyone who works as a high-level, behind the scenes, political operative for the REPUBLICANS is, by definition, a bastard child of Satan. I believe that with all of my heart. Republicans, in general, are NOT nice people. They might put on a nice front, but they are NOT nice people. I also believe that 99% of those who are strongly against Obama have a racial element to their dislike. When they are around you or me, they will play nice. When they are among other like-minded individuals, they drop the front and let the ignorance flow freely with liberal (a touch of irony) use of racial epithets.

Conservative people are more likely to ponder, "What would Jesus do" than perhaps, oh, you or me. Sorry - I shouldn't drag you into hell with me, so let's just leave that as "me." But I wonder, what would Jesus say about something like health care?

-"Hey - you want health care? How about getting an education, get a good job. Don't expect other hard working Americans to cover your lazy ass!"


-"You should care for each other. Period."

What would he think about, oh, gay marriage?

-"It is a sin for two people who love and are committed to each other to share that bond - BURN IN HELL!"


-"You should care for each other."

Sorry - I am getting off on a tangent. (Kind of funny when the heathen seem to be closer to the spirit of their Lord than they are, huh?)"

OK, I'm back. And yes, I realize these are all generalizations. I hope that there are some Republicans out there who don't fit into these stereotypes. But when I repeatedly see people acting selfishly and somehow turning taxes -- which pay for our schools, police, firemen, EMS, roads, social services, my job!, etc. -- into charges of socialism, I have to just shake my head and wonder how on earth those people can live with themselves.

And now, your Daily Moment of Schmidt:

22 Oct 2008 08:09 am

Will Anyone Hire Steve Schmidt Again?

He's a man who makes even Karl "Durable Majority" Rove look smart. Robert Draper's forthcoming campaign piece apparently has the following nugget:

The decision [to pick Palin] may have been even more impulsive than initially thought. Gov. Sarah Palin, who had never been on the VP shortlist, was advanced at the last minute by Schmidt and Rick Davis, and was picked after a less-than-hour-long chat in with McCain at his ranch in Arizona.

From what I hear, the Palin selection was completely last-second stuff. Utterly unvetted. Utterly reckless. McCain was intent on Lieberman until the very last moment. If you want a commander-in-chief who will make vital decisions at the last minute, on impulse, according purely to polls and electoral tactics, against his own judgment and deferring to Rovian hacks: vote for McCain.

He's George W. Bush, without the prudence and caution.

~Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic

Hi Mrs. Schmidt!