Monday, January 29, 2007

MilFauxlicious Fried Eggplant Parmigiana

Although I haven't actually joined the Future Milfs--- Girl Exposed, Mamma, Mrs. Mayhem and Oh, The Joys! etc., I've been cheering from the sidelines and doing a little dieting of my own.

I'm happy to say that I'm down 7 pounds, but that hardly made a dimple in my butt, so there isn't any cause to celebrate yet!

Luckily for me, the guys will eat almost everything I put in front of them, and they love Italian. So when the store had a huge sale on eggplant, I stocked up to make Eggplant Parmigiana.

I was talking to a friend about it, and mused over the phone that since I "faux-fry" the dish, it's relatively low in fat and calories. She asked me for the recipe, and as I was writing it down, I decided to see how fattening it really is. I put the recipe into Weight Watcher's recipe builder and into a Calorie counter, and wow! It's not bad at all!

So here is my Milfauxlicious Fried Eggplant and Eggplant Parmigiana recipe! You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

If anyone wants to post their own Milfaliciuous recipes, put them on your blog and send me a link. I'll post it!

Makes 6 Servings

MilFauxlicious Fried Eggplant only: 3 Weight Watchers Flex Points per serving or 220 Calories


MilFauxlicious Fried Eggplant Parmigiana: 6 Weight Watchers Flex Points per serving or 345 Calories

3 pounds raw eggplant
1 cup Old London Bread Crumbs, Plain (sometimes I use Shake and Bake, but that adds to the count)
3/4 cup Egg Beaters
Garlic powder
Black Pepper
Salt
Italian Seasoning
Pam Butter Flavor Cooking Spray
1 pound sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 cups Ragu Mushroom Pasta Sauce
3 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, finely grated
2 oz Reduced Fat Parmesan-style Grated Topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with foil. Spray liberally with Pam Cooking Spray.

Peel and slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Depending on the size/shape of the eggplant, the number of rounds will vary. Just divide the total by 6 when you're portioning out serving sizes.

In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, Italian Seasonings, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper to taste. Since we're not actually going to encrust the eggplants, I tend to go heavy on the Garlic Powder and Italian Seasonings. I only use a small amount of salt---it's easier for everyone to add to their taste on their own plate.

Pour the Egg Beaters into a separate bowl.

Dip the eggplant rounds into the Egg Beaters, then dip into bread-crumb mixture on both sides. Line them up on the baking sheets.

Give the top of each round a short blast with Pam before putting in the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes, flip them over and bake for 15 more until golden brown and crispy on both sides.


At this point, if you just want eggplant, you can stop and eat them to your heart's content. I love this stuff!

For the Eggplant Parmigiana:


In a non-stick frying pan, "steam" cook mushrooms until tender. You don't need any oil for this, but you have to keep adding water to keep the mushrooms from sticking to the pan! Start with a cup and add more if needed. When mushrooms are done, drain and set aside.

Arrange eggplant on a plate.

Drizzle 1/4 cup of sauce across the top. All you need is a little drizzle to enhance the eggplant, not cover it up as you do with pasta, which is basically there to enhance the sauce.

Add mushrooms.

Sprinkle 1/2 oz shredded Mozzarella and 2 shakes of Kraft Grated Topping.

Microwave for a minute or two until cheese is melted.

Enjoy! It's Milfalicious!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Sunday Trumpet---The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets



I'm sorry I'm late getting this up, but my husband was sure there was something dead and decomposing in the Big Kid's room and we had to rush to shovel it out with all it's yarky goodness. But that's for another post!

Our fabulous friend St. Jude is this week's gasbagger, with a review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. Now I must admit that I've never heard of this author, but it seems as if she has a "thing" about hands! Odd.

Check out St. Jude's humorous summary and review here!

________________________________________
If you'd like to join the Gasbags, sign up here!
We're getting to the end of our first review rotation, so now would be a good time to join us!

Previous reviews this season:

The Eleventh

Looking Beyond the Cracked Window

A Droll Way to Look at Things

Miss Keeks

Sven's Personal Memos

My Beautiful Life

Sweet Perdition

Cheaper Than Therapy

Enema Portal For Groan-ups

Basement Epiphanies

Tom's Hideaway


Note to New Gasbags: Don't forget to put these up on your blog on Sundays so the other Gasbags will do the same when it's your turn!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What a Boob!

Since I'm reposting a couple of my favorite posts from the past year, this seems like kismet!

The evil forwarding button genie has struck again! Last year I wrote about this in the below post. This year, District 1 Town Councilor David Watson of Maine "accidentally" forwarded the EXACT SAME email to 18 members of the New Elementary School Building Committee.


Ooops.

It's udderly ridiculous!

This post also gave St. Jude an idea of doing a little cultural boob experiment of her own. Check it out!



Republican and Democratic committee leaders in Warminster, Pennsylvania have come to at least one bipartisan agreement.

GOP Supervisor Fred Gold deserves a booby prize.


And they aren't just a hooterin' and a hollerin'!

Seems Mr. Gold sent out email promoting January 15 as "Breast Appreciation Day". Enclosed was a picture of a topless woman and a caption that read: "Beats Martin Luther King Day, doesn't it?"


Chairmen from both parties described the e-mail as insulting to women and blacks. Bazookas flew from all directions, calling it "offensive" and "an embarrassment".

Short of stringing Gold up on a rack, the pair called for his resignation. But that suggestion was a bust.

The email was sent from Gold's personal account, and the melon-head apologized if anyone found it offensive.

"I certainly don't think I did anything immoral or unethical," he tittered. "To resign because of this, I don't think so."

Somebody needs give this jackass a few knockers upside the head and say Ta-ta!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This Month's Richard Cranium Award Winner

And the award goes to.....

Defense attorney Thomas Egan!

Egan is defending former special education teacher Kathleen Garrett.
Garrett was arrested on charges in November 2004 for abusing the children with autism who were in her care.

According to her arrest affidavit, Garrett, who taught at South Seminole Middle School, "intentionally and repeatedly threatened, battered and tortured these victims in front of their peers."

Among the charges? Garrett allegedly slammed a boy's head so hard on his desk that he chipped two front teeth.


She allegedly pushed another child's face in his own vomit as a punishment.

Witness reports says that she allegedly took children into the bathroom, closed the door and screams could be heard from inside.

Early reports allegedly claim that she broke a child's fingers, but I've been unable to find anything further on that.

...Not to mention the alleged porn on the special-ed class computers. The 6-foot 300-pound Garrett had pictures of herself partially clothed on her own bondage website. Teacher's aides claim to have made complaints two years earlier, and no action was taken.

At least two parents have claimed to have written letters of complaint, but none are in her file. Four teacher's aides claim to have reported abuse to administrators but no action was taken. Two were persistent and assisted police with their investigation.

And here's an ugly fact: "Under Florida law, public school employees don't have to disclose abuse by fellow employees, even though they have to report abuse by anyone else."

An investigation that concluded in June of 2005 found that 6 current and former employees of the school district---2 principals, 2 assistant principals and 2 aides were aware of the abuse and didn't report it to authorities.

I'm not going to grace the evilness that is Kathleen Garrett with one of my weekly Asshats. I believe she has a special spot in Hades waiting for her where she'll get a flaming red hot poker stuck up her ample po-po with satisfying regularity.

Nobody messes with God's kids. You can't run. You can't hide. In the end, it will come back to you. If her Karma plays out, she'll come back as a dung beetle in her next incarnation.

And I'm not awarding the Richard Cranium Award to her attorney simply because he is representing her. We are a country of laws and everyone is entitled to a defense.

What makes Thomas Egan so reprehensible are the reasons why he made a successful motion to have 5 teenagers with severe autism testify against their former teacher.


I don't actually have a problem with the kids' testifying---I think that as citizens they should be able to have their day in court by whatever means necessary.

It's Egan's reasons that have my panties in a bunch:

He said it was vital to have the jurors see the children Garrett had to supervise.

"One of these kids actually eats his feces," Egan said. "I think the world will see volumes when they see these children."

So f*cking what, Dickhead? Does that mean these children deserve to be tortured?

Garrett was employed as a SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER! She was entrusted with the care of and paid to take care of children who had extraordinary needs!

If she wasn't up to the job, she should have gotten out of the goldarn freaking career and worked as a bouncer at a leather bar or something!

Children who have disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in this country, as is every other citizen. We (the parents) pay taxes too.


The fact that our children have issues (some unpleasant), doesn't justify abuse by those who are charged with educating them, no matter what Thomas Egan implies.

Personally, I think he should be force-fed a bucket of corn and then be force-fed a big steaming bowl of his OWN feces. I'd step up to volunteer for duty.

Here is a link to the latest article. If you scroll down the page, you'll find links to the whole case from the beginning.


Autistic Students Must Testify In Abuse Case Against Teacher

Falling Back Into a Routine...



Big Kid and I started back to school yesterday, and have a couple of ducks to line up and kinks to work out for the new semester. I thought I'd share these links that I found interesting reading.

Is a dog's mouth really cleaner than a human's even if it eats its own doody?

Check out The 20 Most Popular Myths in Science.

The Beast's 2006's 50 Most Loathsome People in America is worth an eyeball too. You might not agree with all their picks, but I must say that they're equal opportunity bitch-slappers and hilariously spot-on in many cases!

Have a great (and warm) day!

ATM

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Sunday Trumpet---Nemesis



Our friend Tom over at Tom's Hideaway has found a cure for insomnia. It's the book Nemesis, by Bill Napier. It'll put you to sleep faster than a bonk on the head with a cast-iron skillet!

Although it was written before the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code nonsense, it seems like a lot of readers have been picking it up because they thought it would be somewhat similar. I went over to Amazon to read about it so I could get a better idea, and the reader reviews either loved it or despised it. I don't think I've ever come across that before!

In any case, this isn't a book I'm going to put on my reading list! Thanks Tom!

Go Broncos! Oops. Never mind.

________________________________________
If you'd like to join the Gasbags, sign up here!
We're getting to the end of our first review rotation, so now would be a good time to join us!

Previous reviews this season:

The Eleventh

Looking Beyond the Cracked Window

A Droll Way to Look at Things

Miss Keeks

Sven's Personal Memos

My Beautiful Life

Sweet Perdition

Cheaper Than Therapy

Enema Portal For Groan-ups

Basement Epiphanies

Note to New Gasbags: Don't forget to put these up on your blog on Sundays so the other Gasbags will do the same when it's your turn!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Technology is Amazing!

This post involves a little "girl talk", so if you're uncomfortable with that you might want to hit the back button.

But it's not like this is a private conversation, so feel free to jump on in.

I read an article the other day about a Russian man who grew a penis on his arm.


Once I got beyond the "ewwwww" factor, a lot of questions kept popping up in my mind. Inquiring minds and all...

I tried to talk to Hubby about it, but he just looked pained and made sure "his" were all still there.

Apparently the man had a birth defect. His johnson was only 2 1/2 inches long, crooked and he had no scrotum. Russian doctors amputated it and attached it to his arm.

Yes I know this sounds like the beginning to a really bad joke, but you can read the article here, and see the visuals.


Using body tissue, they grew it to 6 inches, then reattached it in the "right" place.

Unfortunately, the article is pretty vague about many of the particulars.

Like:

How long did this take? I'm guessing that it had to have taken weeks or months. I doubt there is some kind of miracle qualities about arms that grow tissue at an advanced rate, or else we'd hear about people walking around with ears and noses and stuff attached to their arms for replacement parts for accident victims.

Michael Jackson would probably have 4 noses in assorted shapes and styles growing on his staff... I mean his employees.

So considering that the procedure probably took at least a couple of months, did the patient have to have special shirts made? I can't see him strapping that thing under his watchband to keep it in place. Or did he just wear [eek!] short sleeves?

What about nerve endings? Did "it" have sensation or movement, or was it just a flopping useless hunk of meat?


Kevin Federline jokes aside, I tried to imagine what the experience would be like. The closest I could come to was considering strapping a kielbasa to my forearm for a day.

I wouldn't think it would be pleasant, and it would probably make ordinary life difficult, like when you have to stick your hand down the garbage disposal to pull out chicken bones and gunk.

And geez, what if he got excited? I swear, if I was at the mall and saw a guy with a boner on his arm in the panty department at Sears, I'd rip my eyeballs out and throw myself headfirst down the closest escalator!

I think technology today is amazing. The doctors reattached the patient's member and fashioned a new scrotum with silicone testicles. I'm sure it made a huge difference in his life in regards to his body self-image and esteem. They also inserted silicone tubes to ensure that erection is possible.

But I do have a skeptic's view of the surgeon's final claim.

“Women will never suspect it is artificial.”

Yeah, sure. And frog's legs really do "taste just like chicken!"

Heh.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Doh!
















Thanks so much for all your encouraging comments! I think Melanie in Orygun hit the nail on the head when she called the Cranky Admissions Lady "power-tripping 'big fish in little ponds' ".

This is how it all played out. It's all rather anti-climactic really.

I went to the Contacts page at the college website to try to figure out who to call to go over the Cranky Admissions Lady's head.


On the list was the number for the cashier. I figured that this was a good place to start.

So I called and asked what number I could call to pay for our tuition over the phone. I said nothing about Big Kid's suspension.

Very Cheerful Cashier lady said I could pay it right there. I gave her my student number and she told me the total. I gave her Big Kid's student number, and she told me the combined total. I gave her my credit card number and that was that.

No kidding! Can you believe it?

The Cranky Admissions Lady had absolutely nothing to do with the payment of tuition whatsoever! What is UP with this dame?

Boo over at Always Reach for the Moon sent me a really nice email and made some fabulous graphics for my blog. I'm so verklempt about it and for all of your kind compliments on my patience and diplomacy.

But I have to come clean.

Most of the time I'm not patient or diplomatic.


I'm a raging bitch in bunny slippers. Especially when I'm dieting.

Yesterday, right after the whole Cranky Admissions Lady thing, we got a phone call from the Acme Drug and Alcohol Counseling Service.

Let me explain.

Big Kid has had the same therapist for about 9 years. Although he is a great guy, our therapist can't really help with social skills issues. A group therapy situation with his peers would be ideal, but there aren't any in our little town or even in the closest city. In the city there is a group for adults coping with Bi-polar disorder, but none of the attending members are in Big Kid's age range, and he didn't think he'd benefit from it.

So his therapist and I got our little noggins together to try to come up with a creative solution.

The therapist who goes on call for OUR therapist practices at the local Acme Drug and Alcohol Counseling Center. This is a place where people come for group therapy because they are either 1) just out of rehab, or 2) ordered by the court to attend because of some sort of drug or alcohol violation.

One of the groups they have is a bunch of young adults in Big Kid's age range. They do a lot of talking about feelings and coping with life sober. Since Big Kid is at risk for "self-medicating", this seemed like a great idea.

He has limited resources insurance-wise that are earmarked for counseling, so we decided to keep that for his regular therapy and I worked out a pay-as-we-go deal with the therapist for group. As he was there voluntarily, we didn't have to fill out the loads of gubment paperwork either. It's been working out ok so far.

So anyway, after my teeth-grinding experience with the college, Big Kid gets a call from Acme Counseling. He came into my office with the phone.

"Mom, what's my social security number?"

Who wants to know?

"Acme Counseling".

Tell them it's none of their damn business.

"I can't tell her that!"

I gave him the hairy eyeball.


You HAVE been known on occasion to call me an effing bitch when you're throwing a fit, and you can't tell somebody that your personal information is none of their business?

"I can't do it. It's mean. [oh, the irony!] Will you tell her?"

Of course he didn't cover up the phone during this exchange. I took the phone and put on my bestest mommy telephone voice.

I'm sure you heard all that, so I don't know how to put it any other way. His social security number is none of your business.

"Uh, I'm asking because we need it for our federal funding."

No you don't.

"Really we do."

No you don't, and if you don't know why you don't, then let me take a moment to enlighten you.


My son is attending group voluntarily for social skills counseling. He hasn't been in rehab, he isn't court ordered to attend, you don't administer urine tests for him and we pay up front in full every visit, so we aren't asking you to float us a loan.

One thing he certainly DOESN'T need is the name Acme Drug and Alcohol Counseling Center attached in any way to his social security number in some bureaucrat's records for the rest of his life!

So there.

This kills me every time. I've gone through this with the school system for over 12 years advocating for my children and other families who have children with disabilities.

You don't have to tell them just because they ask! Even though we're the Oprah generation, some things really ARE nobody's damn business.

Every year our district used to send out a stack of forms (I don't know if they still do it because they wouldn't dare send me another one) to the families of children who receive disability services. Of course there was the request for information for things you would expect----name, address, phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc.

Some of the questions were downright insulting.

Under Mother's Information: How many times have you been pregnant?

Excuse me?


My kid has a disability and you think this makes you my gynecologist?

The rest of the questions were nearly as intrusive and irrelevant to the education of my children.

So I filled out the relevant questions and X'd out everything else with a big black marker and wrote N/A (not applicable).

And I got the first phone call.

"But you have to fill this out!"

No, I don't. What are going to do, kick my kids out of school? I'd sue you so fast that the district will be buying me a summer home in the Hamptons!


I'll tell you what. When the school makes it a policy to send this questionnaire home with EVERY student and not just the disabled ones, then I'll think about filling it out.

I ate that lady for lunch. I feel kind of bad about it, because she's a nice lady who was required to do a crappy job and my guys are always happy to see her in the grocery store.


She still flinches when she sees me. I think she's afraid I'll rip her arm off and beat her over the head with it.

Second phone call. This time from the school psychologist.

"It seems as if you're resistant to filling out these forms. You seemed to be somewhat hostile when Mrs. B called."


Yes he actually said "hostile"!

It "seems"? You mean I was vague? This is what it all "seems" like to me. It "seems" as if someone is doing a research paper using the students in this district as guinea pigs without asking the permission of their parents.


The school is in the business of educating my children, not diagnosing, treating or medicating them. We have our very own doctor, therapist and neurologist, and none of them work at Happy Camper Elementary School, thank-you-very-much!

I gobbled him up with dispatch as well.

So despite all of your kind words I must confess that I'm really not a very patient or diplomatic person. I'm truly touched that you see me that way, and I hate to burst your bubble.

But thank you all, from the bottoms of my fuzzy bunny slippers on up!


Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

---Sherrilyn Kenyon (I think)

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Return of the Cranky Admissions Lady






So this is what my last week has been like.

After Blizzard #1 (at Christmas), Blizzard #2 (at New Years) and Snowstorm a week later (around the 6th) I hadn't been OUT OF MY FREAKING HOUSE FOR ALMOST A WEEK until a couple of days ago.

And that's only because I made the hubster "get his girl on" (that's an entirely different post) and drive me into town with his jacked-up tank to take me to the grocery store.

I had to get out of the house before the next snowstorm hit Saturday night and Sunday (we got about 8 additional inches).

It's not like we actually needed food. I was desperate for human (translation: mammals not related to me) contact.

Isn't that pathetic?

All I can say is that after another week without contact I'd be writing "All work and no play makes Attila a very dull girl" a zillion times on my blog and be looking for my ax.

After Snowstorm that followed Blizzard #2, we happened to get raging winds close to the "Dorothy hang on to your knickers!" scale.

Meaning that snow falling from the sky wasn't a problem. Blowing snow was. We've had drifts up to 7-8 feet.

Our county nobly promised to work around the clock to keep our roads clear. Bless them.


Asshats.

The winds brought sunshine and a little bit of a thaw. At about 9pm, the plows came through and piled over 3 feet of slush at the mouth of our rather steep driveway.


Which promptly froze overnight into a mass that will require a jackhammer to dislodge.

With the blown snow frosting the top, the pile looked deceptively benign.


Hubby dutifully pulled out "Monica"--his trusty snowblower--to clear the path. His first attempt put her out of commission after hitting solid ice.

Poor thing won't be giving blow-jobs any time in the near future until she gets her teeth fixed!

So instead of being able to get my car out and be independent, I've pretty much been stranded.


I had Hubby drive me around our neighborhood this morning so I could take some pictures, but unfortunately I couldn't talk him into getting out and standing next to the banks for some perspective. These drifts are around 5-6 feet tall. They don't look so big when you're riding high up in the seat of a tank!

Last week I wrote in Vicious Circles our worries about Big Kid and his health insurance. Even though we've applied for disability coverage, we are so fortunate that ex-hubby's insurance company has given him a waiver so that he'll be covered even by attending college only part-time.


All it took was some letters from his attending doctors and one from the disability support services at the college. Whew!

We picked out our classes and I registered for mine online.


Because the State of Colorado is apparently out of its drought cycle (El Nino or El Nina---who the heck knows!), it looks like we're in for a spring with heavy snowfall. There is NO way I'm going to be driving us down the mountain into the city in the middle of this crap. Big Kid and I are going to take a couple of classes online.

Went to sign the kid up, and BAM! He has a suspension. Not probation. A suspension. And nobody bothered to send him a letter or anything. We have a little over a week before registration is closed for the semester (our final day of last semester was December 10th) and NOW it shows up?

So I called the admissions office bright and early (at our closest campus which is "our" campus), home to the Cranky Admissions Lady and her minions. I wrote about her last summer in Feeling More Than a Little Annoyed and Revenge of the Cranky Admissions Lady.

What is this? I asked.

"It seems as if he has a financial aid suspension."

How can that be? He isn't eligible for financial aid. I paid his tuition in full myself on the phone at the beginning of last semester!

"Who are you?"

I'm his mother.

"Well I can't talk to you about this."

Why not? Could you talk to me if I said I was his girlfriend? You've talked to me for 5 minutes already!

"I need to talk to Big Kid."

So I told her to hold on and went and woke him up.

Without taking his morning meds or even having the benefit of a splash of cold water on his face, the kid is about as coherent as an iron doorstop.

I gave him the phone, and he confirmed his identity to the Cranky Admissions Lady. She yakked in his ear for a moment and he turned to me.

"Mom, did I get financial aid?"

No. He repeated this to her. And came back to me.

"Mom, are you sure I didn't get financial aid?"

Do I look like I'm not sure? Your dad actually burst into tears when he wrote the check for that particular credit card statement!

More yakking in his ear. He finally just said, "look, can you talk to my mom, or can I call you back?" and handed me the phone.

Ok, now that you have permission to talk to me, what in the heck is going on?

"Well he must have an academic suspension then. He is going to have to wait out a semester or appeal."

WTF? Wait out a semester? After everything we've gone through to keep his insurance?

Apparently he withdrew from his one withdrawal class a day after the deadline. So he has a technical F. As I said in my previous post, he failed another class and got a B in the third. eek.

How to fix this? He had to file an appeal.


He had to fill out a form, explain what happened, provide documentation (doctors, disability service) have an interview with his advisor and get him to sign off on it, get an interview with the Dean and get her to sign off on it, get them both to approve the classes he wants to take for spring semester, and come down physically to register. Can't do any of this by computer or phone.

All within a week or he's SOL.

This all had to be done at the college's main campus which is around 40 miles away down the mountain into the city. And I couldn't even get out of my freaking driveway.

Sooooo....I made about 10 phone calls until I could get the right person to fax the correct form to me. Had the kid fill it out. I called disability services and explained the situation. They recommended specific documentation about the kid's diagnoses and medication and agreed to back the kid up for the appeal. I called our doctor and he wrote a letter and faxed it to me.

I called the kid's advisor and explained the situation. He agreed to sign off and even did one better. I faxed him the form, he signed it, he walked it down to the Dean's office himself and talked her into signing it. They both signed off on the classes and he faxed it back to me (and kept the original on file).

Now we had to figure out how to get the Kid registered. I called the head of enrollment services and explained the situation. The kid's advisor brought her down the original paperwork in person, and the head released the hold online. We got him registered. Whew! Next time I get into town I'm going to bring these two cookies!

Now all I have to do is pay for the classes. No worries, I did that over the phone last semester.

So bright and early this morning, I called our "home" campus. And got the Cranky Admissions Lady again. I gave her the information, told her that the kid's appeal was successful and I wanted to pay our tuition over the phone.

"Well you can pay for your classes over the phone, but he has to come down and pay in person."


WHAT? Why?

"That's our policy. He has to do everything in person since he was suspended."

All holds have been released! He was even able to register online!

"Well I don't know how you managed THAT, but this is our policy."

So now I'm going to spend a couple of hours on the phone trying to go over her head.

Because if I have to find some way down the mountain to pay her in person after all this, I'm going to be carrying my ax and screaming "Redrum"!


Grrr!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Sunday Trumpet---Gods and Generals



I don't go to see a lot of movies at the cinema. Long gone are the days when theaters were theaters----large upholstered seats with a modicum of legroom.

Nowadays Cineplexes are built to cram as many people in as small a space as possible, which is bad news for those who have wide ends or long legs.

Unfortunately, I have both.

So a movie would have to be pretty darn special for me to agree to wedge my heinie in and sit with my knees under my chin for a couple of hours. Otherwise, I'll wait for the DVD and watch it from the comfort of my own couch, thankyouverymuch!

Dorky Dad at Basement Epiphanies is either a very brave man or a masochist. I haven't been able to decide which yet. He ignored the reviews and the warning signs and got his bad self stuck watching Gods and Generals for almost 4 hours with a couple of buddies.

Run over here to read a very funny and brilliant review of The Worst Movie Ever Made!

What Dad and countless menfolk who've subjected themselves to this epic monstrosity don't realize is that Gods and Generals was produced by STUFF (Spouses Tired Uv Football Fanatics).

Just in retaliation for football season.

It's an intricate plot by wives to suck millions of collective dollars out of your wallets from ticket and concession sales, and keep you incapacitated for a few hours (hence the warning signs) so we can go buy the newest Coach wallet.

Our next production is sure to have guys flocking to the theater in droves---an exciting thriller called The Ice Fishermen. It's set on a frozen lake in Minnesota with a couple of guys sitting in a shack talking about cheese for 4 hours.

I'm mean we have to get the matching lipstick cases too!



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If you'd like to join the Gasbags, sign up here!

Note to New Gasbags: Don't forget to put these up on your blog on Sundays so the other Gasbags will do the same when it's your turn!


Saturday, January 13, 2007

With a Friend Like This....


I've been cheering the Future Milfs from the sidelines.

Blogging buddies Girl in Her Underwear, Mamma, Mrs. Mayhem and Oh, The Joys! have all signed up. Way to go, ladies!

While I haven't signed up to be a future Milf, I have been trying to diet sporadically.

Some days it's just too hard to concentrate on creative ways to cook carrots when all the guys are hollering for spaghetti and meatballs!

So I just try to take it one day at a time, and take dieting inspiration where I can find it.

Today is one of those days. This morning I was reading the news and came across this tasty treat:

Chilean artist Marco Evaristti presented his friends with a meal of pasta with meatballs.

He cooked it in his own body fat, which had been extracted by liposuction last year.

"The question of whether or not to eat human flesh is more important than the result," he said, explaining the point of his creation.

"You are not a cannibal if you eat art," he added.

AIIIGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

There ain't no freaking sketties going to be served in THIS freaking house for at least a freaking month!

It will take a gallon of Lysol to scrub that image from my brain.

Now where in the hell are my carrot sticks?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Blog Pimpin' With the Dogg

I haven't pimped in so long that Snoop aka Huggy Bear is starting to get moldy.

Fer shizzle on my smizzle!

The other day I was reading the Readers Digest and saw an interesting tidbit about dog owners. According to the American Kennel Club, 88% of women dog owners wish their significant other had at least one quality that their dog has.

Hmmm.

That made me think a bit about relationships. Why stop at significant others? Why not friends? Why not blogs? What is it about completely different bloggers that keep us coming back?


Is it because they have at least one quality our dogs have? I decided to put it to the test.

(If you don't see your name on the list, it's not because I've forgotten or don't appreciate you! You'll get a pimpin' soon in the future!)

Here are some "dawgs":

Kevin will goose you with a cold, wet nose. He has ominous (or is that awesome?) nostrils.

Myron is a fabulous companion. Get some hot chocolate and stick around for awhile!

Dorky Dad never fails to entertain.

Rootietoot loves digging in the dirt.

Quinn is loving and caring.

Miss Litzi is so wonderfully courteous that she'd never leave a doody under the couch. And she'll always graciously greet you at the door.

Samantha could make studded collars and leashes into a fashion statement.

Big Pissy knows which are the BEST pillows to stretch out on. Especially the ones with designer linens!

Kim Ayres never fails to be warm and fuzzy.

Ruth chases balls with a vengeance.

Blogarita is full of fun.

Nikki has a hairy a$$.

Beth invites you in and makes you feel as comfortable as if she had offered you a cozy pair of slippers.

Sarala has an incredible vision and sees things that those of us with human eyeballs frequently miss.

Shirley will love you even if you get so drunk that you pass out in your own upchuck. And she won't reproach you afterwards. How cool is that?

Carmachu is most loyal and kind. He should name his next born child Lassie in honor of his loyalty and kindness.

Stinkypaw is the most supportive and encouraging person on the planet. Run over there and give her a well-deserved belly rub!

Texas Goodies will listen to your woe and know exactly what will make you feel better. Big lovely wet sloppy kisses for everybody!

Dutchy is a treat for everybody all on her own.

Shaking a Fist has a bark worse than her bite. Annie has a bite worse than her bark. And they're both as funny as all get out. Neither one ever misses a trick.

Brenda is the best friend ever!

One Ear is really a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Boo and Trish are two furballs from the same litter.

Fab. Well Fab. What could I say about him? If he could figure out how to lick his own balls, he'd be the happiest guy-er-dog on the planet. But I must say that he won't hump your leg unless you ask nicely.


Woof out!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bad Idea #389---Using Your Hoo-hoo to Smuggle Smack

There is just so much wrong with this story that I had to write something about it.

Over the weekend, Cassandra Jones, 42, of Connecticut was arrested trying to smuggle heroin, some unidentified pills and a scalpel to her husband, who is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence in prison.

Up her you-know-what.


Disguised by a tampon.

That must have been some freaking tampon!

Believe you me, there is absolutely no man on earth worth putting a scalpel up my privates for.

No how. No way.

Honey, I love you, but if you're going to be IN the poky instead of giving ME the poky for 25+ years, there's not a snowball's chance in Hades that I'm going to risk a do-it-yourself hysterectomy.

"Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright, who has prosecuted hundreds of prison contraband cases, said he's seen everything from snack cakes to typewriters used by visitors to try to secrete drugs, weapons and other contraband."

Ok, I can theoretically imagine someone sticking a Ho-ho up their hoo-hoo, but a typewriter? Great googly-moogly! How is that possible?

Wait a minute. I read that wrong.

Never mind.

The most disturbing thing about this scenario?

Jones is a 3rd grade teacher.

How scary is that?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Vicious Circles

It seems our assigned gasbagger has forgotten all about us. No worries. Dorky Dad is up next week, and I know he won't let us down!

A new semester is about to start, and I can't claim to be on Christmas vacation any more. Time to buckle down and get down to the real-life bullcrap I've been putting off.

New Year, a whole new steaming bowl full of...argh!

For my friends who've stuck it out this last year (and thank you very much for all your support and advice!), you already know about the issues both of my guys face. I won't go into it again, but for those who've only been tuning into my blog recently, these links will catch you up to speed----Wish Me Luck and I'm Still Here. They're about my Big Kid's breakdown and my decision to go back to college with him.

Here's the new vicious circle.

Last semester at college, Big Kid withdrew or failed every class but one. He actually did quite well in the one class we had together, mainly because I acted as his prime disability support. I took notes for both of us, kept track of assignment dates, and basically did everything but beat him over the head with a shovel to make sure he got his assignments completed and in on time.

I'm not blaming him---we spent the entire semester trying to get his meds for Bi-polar Disorder right, and he was unable to take any kind of meds to help with his ADHD or OCD because he wasn't stable and they could throw him into a manic episode.


So while his cognitive ability wasn't affected, his processing speed was so slow that it was taking him 10 times as long to read or complete assignments.

It was exhausting for all of us.

We've just started him back on stimulant meds for his ADHD. While he's feeling more focused and clear-headed, we've also had to balance his other meds, because you guessed it---wham, bam, manic all over again. It's a tricky tightrope act.

The problem is with his insurance. He's over 19, and the only way he can continue to be insured is if he is a full-time college student. There is absolutely no way he can carry a full load successfully right now.


I'm not being pessimistic. I'm being realistic.

Dropping out isn't an option. He doesn't have the skills to get a good job with benefits (he doesn't even drive!), and an unskilled minimum-wage job would barely cover his medical expenses, much less offer him a career with a future.

There is no way that hubby and I could carry the expense ($700-1300 a month) for an extended length of time.

In Colorado, a new law was put into effect last year. Parents can keep their children on their insurance until they're 25, even if they're not full-time students.


Unfortunately, Big Kid is under his dad's insurance which is out of California so it doesn't apply. His dad is trying to negotiate some kind of disability waiver with his company, and we're keeping our fingers crossed. I'm not holding my breath though. His company has been trying to dump the Big Kid off their insurance rolls for almost a year, because he doesn't actually live in the ex's home. This would be an ideal opportunity.

We've applied for disability medical benefits, but have been advised that the process could take around 6 months. That's if he qualifies.

Soooo---what to do? Enroll full-time in college knowing he's going to tank a couple of classes just to keep him insured? Arrghh---what to do, what to do?

On our plate with Little Guy is that he'll turn 17 in a few months (When You Reach a Fork in the Road). We've been advised by his transitions caseworker to start getting the paperwork together to apply for guardianship after he's 18. Meaning we'd have to go to court while he's still a minor, because it's extremely difficult to do after he reaches the age of majority.

This is something we've been dreading and fighting with ourselves about. While we have every hope that he'll be able to live with minimal assistance in the future, he is of the personality that is ripe for victimization. It wouldn't be hard for some unscrupulous character to get Little Guy's signature on something (credit application, rental agreement, etc) that he'd be legally bound to as an adult. Or be in a position like the young man with autism who was hustled into the military by a recruiter with a quota last spring.

Going to court to seek guardianship just seems-----I don't want to say final.


But there it is.

It's like putting an official period at the end of a sentence. I'm not looking forward to it.

So what crappy things are YOU facing this year? Just so I don't feel so alone and all....

Friday, January 05, 2007

Tiny Voices In My Head

A couple of days ago, our friend Annie Drogynous wrote a post about Pat Robertson's yearly chat with God. It reminded me of my very first blog entry on January 31, 2006, because I too wonder why God chooses to talk to only a select number of people, and wonder how these conversations actually take place. Since it's almost my one-year bloggaversary, I decided to repost it. :-)


One morning, I reached into the fridge for breakfast stuff. As part of my New Year's resolution, I promised myself that I'd try to start each day with something healthier than a cup of high-octane java and a cigarette. I'd just stocked up on Egg Beater's, low-fat cheese and veggies the day before.

A little voice said, "Eat the macaroni and cheese." I looked around. Huh?

It spoke again. "Eat the macaroni and cheese."

I'm still not exactly sure why, but I put the Egg Beaters back and ate the macaroni and cheese.

Later that morning, I was organizing some things in the fridge--ok, so I was eyeballing some leftover pizza--and happened to look at the expiration date on the *brand new* container of Egg Beaters (something I've gotten in the habit of doing on occasion since this is something my oldest, who has OCD, obsesses about). It had expired almost a month ago.

Wow! If I had made an omelet as intended, I might be booting my breakfast for the rest of the day!

Where did that tiny voice in my head come from? Am I suddenly a psychic? Am I nuts?

What if it was a message from God?

When I was a teenager, I had a discussion with a friend about faith.

"...but how do you know?" I remember asking her. "How do you really know that He exists?"

"Because I prayed to Him. And He told me so," she said.

Well, uh... how the heck do you argue with that? I was stymied. On reflection, I should have asked for details.

With this in mind, I've paid particular attention over the years to those who purport to have divine conversations, or claim to know "the will" of God.

I'm dying of curiosity. How come God speaks to some and not to others? How do these conversations take place? I'm pretty sure Dan Rather would come out of retirement if thousands of talking bushes burst into flames across the globe.

Details. I want details!

Does God take the form of human strangers and walk up out of the blue, as portrayed in the now-defunct television series Joan of Arcadia?

Does He appear in dreams, and if so, how do you know it wasn't the Spicy Kung Pao Chicken from the night before?

Does He write messages on the fridge with alphabet magnets?

What was Oral Roberts doing back in 1987 when he got one of many (supposed) taps on the shoulder by The Almighty? Was it something mundane like taking out the trash or clipping his toenails?

"Psst, Orrie! Get me 8 million smackaroos by March or I'll have to whack you!" That makes me imagine God as a celestial Tony Soprano.

Last August 31st, Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, a high-ranking Kuwaiti official, published an article which basically said that Hurricane Katrina was sent by Allah to punish the US. "The Disaster Will Keep Striking the Unbelievers for What They Have Done".

Barely a month later, a catastrophic earthquake devastated Pakistan (with a population that is 97% Muslim), tragically killing around 73,000 men, women and children. We haven't heard anything further from Mr. Al-Mlaifi.

Is that because Allah sent him a candy-gram that said, "This is for opening your yap, ya big bonehead?"

I don't have any answers. I like to think that God is talking to all of us, even the most "unworthy", if only we'd take a moment to listen.

I like to think He's talking to me in the mornings when I'm greeted with a glorious, technicolor mountain sunrise.

I like to think He's talking to me when I get an overwhelming urge to take an elderly person's grocery cart back to the cart corral on a slippery, slushy day, especially when I'm feeling tired and harassed.

I'm pretty sure that He's talking to me when He allows me to witness my prickly, status-conscious son take his brother's hand to help him cross the street, even in the presence of a teenage girl who he's dying to impress with his machismo.

So who knows? Maybe--just maybe, God sent me a direct message in a tiny little voice.

"Eat the macaroni and cheese!"

Now if only He'd go tell Calista Flockhart to eat a Big Mac. Or three.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Asshat of the Week---Jason Mark Harms

The first Asshat of the New Year is Awarded to----Jason Mark Harms!!

Over a 2-month period, Harms is accused of making 15 false 911 calls from his cell phone, reporting car crashes, gas leaks and house fires.

In order to catch this scofflaw, officials in Knoxville, Tennessee set up an elaborate sting designed to catch master criminals such as he.


Yes, that is sarcasm! ;-)

They called him and told him he'd won a gift card from a major retailer and asked him for his name and address.

Proving once again that asshattery is often combined with dumbassery, Harms offered to go one further. He asked if he could immediately come and pick his prize up.

When they slapped the cuffs on him, the first words out of this Mensa candidate's mouth were, "You can't prove it!"

'Doh!

Later he proclaimed to authorities that he was performing a public service to taxpayers by "drawing lazy firefighters out of their cozy halls."

I think we should start getting creative with sentencing, since our prisons are already overcrowded.

I vote we set his shorts on fire and give him a cell phone that is routed directly to Dunkin' Donuts when he dials 911.

You got any creative ideas?



_________________________
Previous Asshats:

August 1st's Asshat

June 10th's Asshat

May 24th's Asshat

May 8th's Asshat

April 25th's Asshat

April 10th's Asshat

March 28th's Asshat


Monday, January 01, 2007

My Wish for the New Year

I woke up early this morning, full of joy in the newness of the year---so many challenges to look forward to, so many things to put behind us from the "old" year! It's our season for starting over, and boy was I enthused!

My good spirits turned to shock when I read about the tragic drive-by shooting death of Denver Broncos' cornerback Darrent Williams last night.

I went to the Denver Post website to read the details. There was a place where I could post a comment. I don't normally post comments myself, but quite often I read to see what other people are thinking. This time I considered offering my condolences to the family, since the Broncos' have been my home team for the past 30-odd years.

I clicked on the link.

I was absolutely appalled by the racial filth posted there. A very talented young man with a promising future was cut down at age 24, and there were asshats dancing on his grave because of the color of his skin.


Someone at the paper got wise and took it down later.

I checked AOL News and clicked on the "Post Your Thoughts" link (those who have AOL will know what I'm talking about). It was the same there. Amongst the sincere condolences was filth. I felt like vomiting.

Where do these people come from? What rocks do they crawl out from under?


I went upstairs and woke my husband up. We watched the news together with our guys. As former Denverites, we knew exactly where the shooting took place.

A week or so ago, I read in an article that golfer Tiger Woods and his wife are expecting their first baby this summer. We're fans, and I was delighted for them. I clicked on the "Post Your Thoughts" link, and was disturbed to find much of the same garbage that I read today. Of course I filed this away in my "things to blog about in the New Year" file, and planned to write about it some time in the future.

I guess the future is today, the first day of the New Year.

How do people live full lives with such hate inside them?

How can they truly taste the wonderfulness of crisp, fresh spring air when their throats are choking on the fumes of malignance?

How can they truly marvel at the music in the laughter of children when their ears are so clogged with loathing?

How can they truly open their souls to another with love when their hearts are full of venomous tumors?

My feeling is that they can't. How sad for them.

So my wish for 2007 is that whatever Higher Power is watching over us will help us look into our own hearts and heal our hate.

Because it's a sickness. It really is.

And it's eating us from the inside out.

Happy 2007!


Wishing you all the very best for the upcoming New Year!

ATM