Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Little Perspective...

Just when I've been feeling a bit stifled in my own little universe, something comes along to give me some perspective.

Check out
A Spot on the Sun.

Don't forget to enlarge the picture!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

An Army of Angels

I was hoping to have another humorous "Conversations in the Quad" post from school this week, but no such luck.

However I did witness an absolutely astounding (and disturbing) occurrence that I wanted to share.

Our college is situated in the middle of downtown in a fairly large city. It's a small campus and consists of two buildings that are adjoined by a long hallway (or breezeway). One side opens up onto the "quad" which abuts a parking lot and the back-side of other businesses. The other sides opens onto a busy street. There are tables and chairs in the hallway for studying or hanging out.

Yesterday morning I was sitting at one of those tables inside working on my dreaded math. Since I find this subject difficult and dull, my mind was wandering yet again. I was facing the street side of the hallway and gazed outside.

Suddenly an SUV screeched to a stop in the middle of the street. A woman got out, ran forward and flung open her arms. Out of nowhere, a BABY ran into them and she scooped it up.

A man in a road construction uniform (orange vest, hard hat) came into view from the right side and snatched the baby from her. From the left side, a man with a military hair-cut joined them. Heated words were exchanged, and the construction guy handed the baby back to the woman.

By this time, I was bugging out a little bit. Maybe this was some weird child-custody argument. Maybe it was something else. Why was a baby running around in the middle of a busy city street?

I hustled my butt down to the campus police office and asked the officer on duty for help. He went outside, and I went back to my table to watch. The campus officer spoke into his walkie-talkie. Another man walked up from the left and offered the officer a baby-sized coat.

In about 10 minutes the city police showed up. They all stood around and conferred for awhile, then the city police guy, campus police guy, lady and baby got in the police car and drove away.

And as Paul Harvey would say, "Now for the rest of the story..."

After class, I went to the campus police office to see if the officer was back.

He was.

He was glad I came back because he needed to take down my information for his report.

They found the baby's mother. The baby was 18 months old. The mother had taken some "medicine" and had fallen asleep in a downtown city park.

6 blocks away.


That baby must have an army of guardian angels to have traveled that far without being hit by traffic.

If you've got a moment, say a prayer for thanks for his safety.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Calling All Gasbags

It's creeping up on autumn again, and the nude beaches have closed for the season.

Some people don't have enough to complain about until nekkid ice fishing season starts.

How about trashing all the popular media crap we so love to hate?

The Sunday Trumpet took the summer off, but now we're ready to load up on fiber and let fly for a new season!

You game?

Here are the rules:

Anyone can join, as long as they follow the rules (or else it would be anarchy, I tell you! Anarchy!)

The Rules:

1. Sign up in the comments section on this entry.

2. Everyone who signs up will be given a date (a Sunday) to supply a review. First come first served. The date for the first review is October 15.

3. It has to be a review of a movie, a book or a television show you absolutely despised.

4. It has to be popular media---nothing really obscure, preferably within the last 5 years, exceptional exceptions accepted. ;-)

5. On Sundays, when the new review comes out, everyone on the list MUST write an entry on their own blogs with the logo (you can copy it from here) and pimp the reviewer's blog. You can write comments about what you thought of it, etc, on your entry if you choose.

It's completely reciprocal. If you don't mention the review/reviewer on your blog on Sundays (give or take a day to accomodate time zones), don't be miffed if your review doesn't get pimped.

Don't be shy! We'd love to have you join us!

This is how it all got started. And this is the review that inspired this whole mess, written by our beloved pal Admiral Pooper.

You can see last season's Gasbag Reviews here.

Let's get gassy!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wanna-be Parents Behaving Badly

In yet another case of baby-rabies gone wild, the body of a St. Louis woman was found with her fetus cut out of her womb. Chief on the list of suspects is a cousin, who confided to her boyfriend that the "stillborn" baby they recently buried wasn't actually theirs.

Update---the woman was a friend, not a cousin, and is now being charged in the deaths of the victim's three other children. The bodies were found yesterday.

This came hot on the heels of the kidnapping of baby Abigail Woods, also of Missouri, which fortunately didn't end in the death of either baby or mother (not for lack of trying on the part of the suspect though---mom suffered a slashed throat).

Last year in Missouri, a similar crime happened when Bobby Jo Stinnet was murdered, her baby cut out of her body and stolen. The baby was later rescued, unharmed, in Kansas.

Makes a person wonder...

What in the hell do they put in the water in Missouri?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

He Who Smelt it Dealt it...

My friend The Blair Bitch wrote a post about hygiene the other day, and I started wondering about some things...

Last week I took the Big Kid out for his driving lesson. Because of his anxiety issues, he's been taking some intensive private lessons to help him gain confidence behind the wheel.

The company has a private range with a couple of driving tracks on it. There's a really nice double-wide on the premises with an office and a classroom and a place for parents to wait if the weather isn't great.

When we got there, Pretty Ms. Driving Instructor met us outside. "They're having an employee meeting in there," she said. "It wasn't scheduled until the last minute, but they should be done soon."

I didn't mind. The weather was beautiful, and I was planning on sitting at the benches to watch the kid drive anyway.

About 15 minutes later, several men of varying ages came from the building. One of them was carrying a pizza box to the dumpster. "You can go in now!" he called out cheerfully.

The other men got into cars and started driving on one of the tracks. I decided to go inside and--ahem--use the facilities.

As soon as I walked in the door, a putrid stench almost knocked me over.

The entire building smelled like butt.

Geez, what were they doing in here, having a inspirational ass-ripping session?

How in the heck did they manage to breathe, much less eat pizza?

It was a beautiful day outside, and nobody thought to prop open the door? Open a couple of windows?

I stumbled blindly through the fumage and made my way to the bathroom. It was 10 times worse in there, and there was no fan.

Great, I thought to myself. Maybe they're having a septic system problem.

I stepped outside the bathroom and took a gulp of (somewhat) fresher air before plunging back in there to pee.

I lifted up the toilet seat and....

...a humongous turd sat up and said hi.


After flushing the offender down the pooper and quickly doing my business, a thought occurred to me. If people were to come into the building while I was still there, they might mistakenly think that the malodorous funk had come flying out of MY heinie. So I got the hell out.

But I was considerate and left the front door open.

While outside again watching Big Kid parallel park, I realized something. There wasn't any toilet paper in the bowl.

So not only did the culprit leave a big foul present for the next person (how could he have put the lid down without noticing his buddy in the bowl doing the backstroke?), he didn't wipe himself either.


I spent the rest of lesson giving those employees the stink eye, and tried to guess which one had the dingleberry butt. I pitied the poor driving student who had to sit in an enclosed space with this joker.

I debated on whether or not to mention anything to Pretty Ms. Driving instructor, but I didn't know what to say.

"Excuse me, but one of your fellow employees is a big nasty ass in more ways than one?"

What I'm wondering is WHY was I so worried that people might think that stench came from me?

Everybody farts.

Do men even care about this? Is it a woman thing or what?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Books and Covers

Big Kid has an earlier class than I do, so I have a free period on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I'm really enjoying this time, because it gives me a chance to finish up any last minute schoolwork, review my notes, or even read a novel.

I've been taking advantage of the glorious end-of-summer weather and sitting out in "The Quad"---an open area with benches and picnic tables. Students congregate there to smoke, chat and soak up the sun between classes.

The other day, I was at a table reviewing my math (which is becoming the bane of my existence---I STILL have dreams of numbers chasing me!), when two lovely young ladies sat on a nearby bench.

I'm one of those people who think all young people are lovely in their own way, and during these last few weeks, I've come to really appreciate the earnestness and enthusiasm with which many of these students approach their learning in these formative years.

It brings back a lot of memories, and makes me feel so---uh---jaded.

I surreptitiously admired the way the sun accented the contrast of the girls' long hair---one nearly white blond, the other dark with red highlights.

Since we were the only people in the quad, it was difficult not to overhear parts of their conversation. I wasn't deliberately trying to eavesdrop, mind you, but math is so mind-numbingly BORING that my thoughts were wandering.

The tiny, angelic-looking blond said to her friend, "I'm not going to be in class tomorrow afternoon. Could I borrow your notes after?"

Brunette: Sure. Anything wrong?

Blond: "No, I just have to make an appearance in court."

Brunette: Traffic ticket?

Blond: "An assault case."

Brunette: Wow, you witnessed an assault?

Blond: "No, the charges are against me. My friend's dad wouldn't let her go out, so I smashed a rock in his face."


I got busy looking busy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is the Grass Always Greener?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called No Good Deed about my oldest son and a couple of his friends. I was bemoaning the fact that none of them seemed to have a lick of sense, and compared the knuckleheads to The Three Stooges.

After reading an article yesterday, I'm happy to report that I'm not quite so worried about them any more.

I've been imagining this scene over and over in my mind. This is how it's played out for me:

Enter The Three Stooges on acid. With Beavis and Butthead voices.

Hey, look at the picture of this chick in the newspaper!

Wow. She's hot!

Yeah, dude. She's really hot!

I'd do her!

Yeah, well I'd do her too!

Not if I did her first!!

Why don't we all do her?

Kewl, man! Let's all do her!!

Who's got the shovel?

Stop the music. Cue screeching car crash sound.

A shovel?

Yep. A shovel.

In Wisconsin, twin brothers Alexander and Nicholas Grunke, and Dustin Radke, all 20, were arrested in the act of digging up a corpse to have sex with.

Nicholas Grunke read an obituary complete with picture of a young woman who had tragically died in an accident a couple of weeks earlier.

He decided she was "the one", and enlisted the other two bird brains to help him.

Luckily they hadn't yet opened the crypt when they were apprehended.

Boggles the mind, doesn't it?

I'm off to hug my Big Kid now.

...And to thank my lucky stars.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

As If I Weren't Embarrassed Enough...

Friday morning, the Little Guy had an early orthodontist appointment. We usually go later in the morning, but since school has started, it's easier to take him directly there and then to school instead of going through the whole check-out process at the attendance office.

I'm suffering from end-of-season allergies and have been waking up in the mornings with concrete-face after taking an antihistamine before bed. It takes a couple of hours standing upright for that crap in my sinuses to loosen up and flow. Needless to say, I feel like my head is 5 feet wide!!

When we got to the ortho's in time for our 7:30 appointment, the place was packed---standing room only.

As soon as a seat opened up far across the room, I told Little Guy to go sit down. I stood on the other side by the windows and gazed up into the mountains. People came in, people went out...I was amazed at how quietly this was done.

After awhile, one of my most favorite songs ever came on the radio from behind the receptionist's desk. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. I stood there tapping my foot to the tune, and looked out on a glorious landscape.

It was shaping up to be a beautiful morning.

I turned around. And clapped my hands over my mouth to keep from guffawing out loud.

There was an entire room of heads bobbing up and down in perfect time to the music!

I tried to hold it in.

I did, I promise! Tears were spurting out of my eyes from the effort.

Little Guy, ever-so-observant, called to me from across the room. Are you ok, Mom? Are you crying?

20 Bobble Heads swiveled my way.

Yes, they were still bobbing.

I didn't break out into hysterical laughter.

Oh no. That would have been merciful under the circumstances.

I did something worse.


A humongous geyser of snot flew out of my nose, through my fingers and all over the backs of my hands. I ran out of the office like my ass was on fire to find the ladies room.

I could hear Little Guy calling after me...Mom? Did you get snot all over you? Mom?

Kids, gotta love 'em.

Or sell them to a traveling circus...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Only 24 Hours in a Day....

Another week, and I've been so busy! Sorry for the lack of posts, but I'm settling into a routine.

The good news is that 3 weeks into school, all my submitted work has received A's.

The bad news is that I can't seem to sleep without nightmares of Pre-Algebra. Numbers chasing me. Numbers swirling around in my coffee. Having to take fraction tests on my phone with option menus (Where the hell is the slash key???!!!).

Plus a bunch of miniature pigs reproducing like rabbits that are running around in my basement since I've neglected to make them into bacon.

Ok these are dreams. They DON'T have make sense!

Good grief!!! If I have to dream about pork, porking and pork products, why can't I dream about Colin Firth and a squeezy bottle of BBQ sauce?


Since I've been bemoaning the fact that there are only 24 hours a day, I've been thinking about the series 24.

When I first started blogging, I wrote a post about how we've never watched 24, due to hubby's intense dislike of Kiefer Sutherland.


Because Kiefer was mean to Sally Field, Silly Reader! You can read all about it here.

Since I wrote that, there has been an extreme dearth of good or interesting new releases on the video front in the last year or so. We're wallowing in execrable remakes.

We live in the mountains, so we don't actually get to see anything good or interesting in our tiny theater which shows about 4 movies a month. Now playing: "Ant Bully" and "Step Up".


Soooooo, on movie night, we've been catching up on series like "The Wire", "The Shield", "Rescue Me" and "Deadwood".

But they only last so long, and I finally talked hubby into watching "24". Four whole seasons we haven't ever watched and by all accounts, it's a great series!

So we've been watching it all summer and are now halfway into season 4.

For all you oldtimer 24 fans, we just have a few questions about things that have puzzled us (since we watch about 4 episodes in a row instead of one a week):

Is Jack Bauer human or is he an android? The only time he ever ate or drank anything was episode 1 on season 1 and the last episode of season 3. Since the episodes are supposed to be in "real time", what real human sustains the energy without a drink of water?

How come the bathrooms in CTU are only used to make clandestine phone calls? Doesn't anyone ever have to actually pee?

And speaking of CTU---how come so many "moles" infiltrate it? If this is supposed to be a top-of-the-line gubment agency, complete with it's own torture devices, doesn't anyone ever do background checks?

Why is it that every single phone call (Law & Order and CSI are guilty of this too) is immediately relevant to the case at hand or to a backstory? In a very busy day, filled with real people, does no one ever get a call from a spouse saying "what time will you be home for dinner, and pick up the clothes from the cleaners while you're at it?" or from the dentist to remind him/her of a pending appointment?

The viewer just KNOWS when the stars are sitting around that when their phone rings, it's a clue. How freaking boring already! Yawn and doh!

Of course I'm excusing President Palmer, because he had a staff to deal with that.

Last but not least---am I the only person who was boggled about how certain ::koff:: agents were so worried about their personal lives in the face of national crisis that they wasted valuable time messing around with the drama of it all?


Who gives a rat's ass if your boyfriend had a child out of wedlock that you didn't know about when in 5 hours you and your loved ones could be flailing around with deadly infective blisters that make you bleed from the eyeballs! Get some perspective, you idiot!

Makes you wonder about our government at work, doesn't it? Gak!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Quick! It's an Emergency!!

One thing I really love about blogging is how reading someone else's post based on their experiences can trigger memories of your own and inspire you to write about something else.

I've been so neglectful the last week or so since school started---both in posting and reading. I'm working my way through everybody's blogs trying to catch up this weekend, so thanks for your patience!

Today while reading my friend Ma Titwonky's blog, I stopped to comment on a post that she wrote a couple of days ago about the absolute hell she went through trying to get a doctor's appointment.

If you haven't taken the time to visit her blog Enema Portal for Groan Ups, I highly recommend it! Especially if you want a very brilliant, funny and no-nonsense commentary on various topics in the news and everyday life. I might not agree with everything she writes, but I truly admire her panache.

Her latest post has coined the phrase "The League of People With Sh*t For Brains" which struck me as very funny.

When she wrote in her entry about her troubles getting an appointment with her doc, she said:

"So I call the professional with whom I wish to make the appointment. Naturally I have to go through the options menu. I did notice that they removed the ridiculous line, “if this is a TRUE medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911.” I referenced this quote to a number of the staff and asked how many fake medical emergencies they got. No one had an answer… no, let me amend that. None of the staff even had a clue to what I was referring. I know this because that kind of puzzled blank stare cannot be faked. Or maybe they just don’t know how to adequately deal with smart asses. Yeah, that’s probably it."

I started to comment about the "ridiculous line" regarding TRUE medical emergencies, but halfway through it, I realized that my comment was so long it really could be worked into its own post!

Smooches to you Ma Titwonky! Hope you don't mind my hijacking your post!

Back in the days before "Options menus", when my little guy was a little tadpole swimming in his own universe that was my uterus, I worked nights at an answering service that catered primarily to the medical community after hours. We served a couple of hundred doctors and/or HMO clinics around the metro area.

Most doctors' offices are open 9-5 Monday through Friday (unless they are after-hour clinics), and sometimes with morning hours on Saturday. After hours, there are doctors who rotate taking over each other's practices and are on what is called "on call". For urgent calls.

I'm not trying to be condescending---I'm hoping that most of the people who read my blog already know this, but really---I mean it---there is, what Ma Titwonky calls, "The League of People with Sh*t for Brains".

I totally "get" the message on the voicemail/options menu that says "If this is a TRUE medical emergency, hang up and call 911".

This is why:

Because you have to rein in the dolts and give them a good reality check and/or bitchslapping.

During my time at the answering service (and over the years I can only imagine it's gotten worse) some people think that their family doctor has no life and is there to serve them 24/7 to fit THEIR schedules.

They might insist that their problem is an "emergency" after hours when it comes to talking to the doc, but not such an "emergency" that they're willing to call 911. I mean, if you think you're having a heart attack, you aren't really going to call your doc, are you? You're going to call 911!

Let me explain.

About 5% of the total calls that come in at night could be considered really "urgent".

These included calls like food or other poisoning, an accident where someone needs stitches or has a broken bone, a small child that might have suddenly spiked a high fever out of the blue, or in one memorable case, a woman who called and said to me, "I'm having what is like a really heavy period".

Me: "Like?"

Caller: "I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago!"


These calls were usually to get primary care authorization to go to the emergency room for insurance purposes.

Most doctors on the service would have a protocol, which would come up on the screen whenever we'd get a forwarded call.

It was usually like this:

Urgent: Page the doctor.

Not bleeding or dying: Save for when the doc checks in for messages (which the on-call doc did every couple of hours or so).

Save: Non-urgent calls that can be picked up by the office in the morning.

95% of the calls every night were from "The League of People With Sh*t For Brains".

They went like this:

Call comes in at 8pm. "My pharmacy closes in an hour and I'm out of refills on my prescription!"

Um, like you didn't know this a day or so ago when you only had a couple of pills left?

Call comes in on Friday after hours. "I've been sick with the flu all week and I think I need to talk to the doctor!"

This is the kind of asshat who has gone to work all week, coughed germs all over his co-workers and thinks the doc will prescribe something over the phone if he calls on the weekend so he can save his sick days to go to the Teste Festival in Missoula Montana.

And my personal favorite...

Call comes in around 9pm. "I'm not feeling well and I need to know right away if the doc has anything available first thing in the morning so I can plan my day around it! I need to know now!!!"

Doh. Let me page the doctor on call this week for your personal doctor's schedule and get back with ya, K? Hahahahaha!

Of course, back in the answering service days, if the doc didn't call back within 20 minutes or so, we'd get repeated calls about these "emergencies" and be subjected to all kinds of verbal abuse. If we broke down over it and paged a doc, we'd get our heads handed to us on a platter.

It was "no win" for us.

I LOVE the fact that docs' office messages say "If this is a TRUE emergency, hang up the phone and call 911".

No BS. Nobody to argue with or verbally abuse.

Helps give the "League" a reality check, you know?

If you think the sniffles you've had all week are an after-hours emergency, go to the ER, you doof! And be prepared to pay for it when your insurance company refuses to pay the emergency fees!