Sunday, August 31, 2008

The talented Vincenzo...

...gets the best photo-post award of the day! Over at his blog, he's posted some behind the scenes pics from the McCain Blogette. These photos make Sarah Palin even more endearing. Here's one:

Great find! A Photoshop genius and a blog-spotter extraordinnaire...

Well said, D!

Dymphna, she of the red veil and soulful wisdom I so enjoy, gets the quote of the day award - or maybe the whole election cycle. She sums up Barack Obama's appeal better than anyone I've heard to date:

I've never seen people act so weird about a candidate before in my life. His supporters seem to think he's Jesus, their absent dad and dream lover all wrapped into one.
Spot on!
The cult of personality associated with BO, the Che Guevara-like posters, the mindless hysteria he generates, his rise from being a provincial political agitator...honestly, sometimes I wonder if this is what Germany was like in 1937.
(And no, despite my bizarre dream last week, I don't think he's about to invade neighboring countries, ethnically cleanse our country or anything like that - it's the phenomenon, not the philosophy - that they seem to share).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Feelin' the love

In my last post I mentioned the immediate sensation Sarah Palin has become among the good menfolk of blogdom AND Brookdom.

My dear, still-slightly-gouty Beloved (back to protecting our corner of NY from terrorists and possums this morning) sent me this article by one of my favorites - Mark Steyn - which I also spotted on Rich's blog this morning, with a brief comment: "Naughty Librarian. Ohhhhh yeahhhhh...."

His next email, seconds later: P.S. Please don't hurt me!

My response: Two words: Big. Toe.

His last: NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Methinks I might be enjoying some flowers and/or chocolates when he gets home this afternoon. ;-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Moose Stew

The favorite dish of Gov. Sarah Palin, the new crush of my Beloved and oh so many of my favorite man-bloggers...

If I ate that at night, can you imagine what I might dream about next?

But I digress...I am stoked about Gov. Palin's candidacy - good job, Sen. McCain!

(Image shamelessly stolen from Fr. Erik- another Sarah fan)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Daddy B: A Bad Dream

Ever notice how dreams you have in the morning are more vivid and bizarre that the middle of the night kind?

This morning, I had to get up and do 6 am doggie relief, as the Beloved is still hobbled by his gout. So I got 'em outside, gave 'em kibble, started the coffee, but then came back up and crawled back into bed because it was a bit chilly and my feet were cold. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep again.

Suddenly, it was January 21, 2009, and BO was our new president. (A dream, remember?!?) I was sitting in bed watching the news, which had a new feature, the "Prez-cam," which was embedded in the White House. But BO was not aware of it. So he's in some sort of posh office (not the Oval Office) with Oprah, Michelle, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul (?!?), Jesse Jackson, JFK (who was still alive, but in hiding, and had not aged since 1963) and a bunch of Hollywood celebrities. He was holding some sort of strategy meeting about what to do for his first 100 days in office. Someone in the back of the crowd asked him how soon he would be implementing a bunch of his social policies, and he just laughed and laughed.

"I didn't mean any of that sh*t! You all better just get yourselves out of my office, because Big Daddy B is in the hiz-zouse now, and all we're gonna do is party!"

And then all of a sudden the room - and the White House lawn - was full of his young college supporters, scantily clad, having some sort of MTV Spring Break bump and grind dance beach party. They started flinging paint all over the White House, which Big Daddy B declared could no longer be white, because that was a symbol of racism. The camera then showed an exterior shot of the White House, which was painted (perfectly) in the colors of the rainbow. Big Daddy B came out onto a balcony in some sort of rapper/emperor outfit - think Huggy Bear meets Naploeon Bonaparte - and George Bush handed him a crown and sceptre, which he snatched and put on himself. Then, rather than your typical inaugural speech, he instead announced that he was divorcing his wife, firing everyone from their jobs, and disbanding the military. Someone told him about the Prez-cam, and again he laughed, because he'd abolished term limits and planned to be there for life. Dream me was horrified, and made sleeping me wake up.

This dream disturbs me on so many levels - not only did it contain every negative racial stereotype imaginable (something I abhor in real life), but the country was thrown into chaos, the traditional family chucked aside, the economy destroyed, and there was no hope of recovery.

Where the hell did this come from?!? I mean, it sounds like an allegory, but it was just a dream. And being a morning dream, it was very "real" and vivid - it's midnight now and I remember so much detail from this morning.

I think this might warrant therapy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dickensian Dilemma

Well, our 10 guests have departed (cousins, nieces and nephews of all sorts who came up to the lake this past weekend and said "please" and "thank you" to Aunt Softie and Uncle Pushover) and we are getting back to normal. Except the poor Beloved, who thought he broke his toe out fishin' with the boys, but has in fact come down with the disease of Kings, Founding Fathers, and Scrooges:


Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis, usually in the toe or finger joints (although elbows, knees and even EARS can be affected), brought on by high levels of uric acid in the blood, which results in evil little crystalline cells with horrible "stinger"-like protrusions flitting about in the joint space. My pain-oblivious Marine is hobbling around in misery. And that's saying something.

Here's an excerpt from an article I read on the Johns-Hopkins website - a doctor/gout sufferer's account written in 1683:

The victim goes to bed and sleeps in good health. About 2 o'clock in the morning, he is awakened by a severe pain in the great toe; more rarely in the heel, ankle or instep. This pain is like that of a dislocation, and yet the parts feel as if cold water were poured over them. Then follows chills and shiver and a little fever. The pain which at first moderate becomes more intense. With its intensity the chills and shivers increase. After a time this comes to a full height, accommodating itself to the bones and ligaments of the tarsus and metatarsus. Now it is a violent stretching and tearing of the ligaments-- now it is a gnawing pain and now a pressure and tightening. So exquisite and lively meanwhile is the feeling of the part affected, that it cannot bear the weight of bedclothes nor the jar of a person walking in the room.

It might as well have been written last week - it exactly describes the beloved's progression from late last night's "what the heck did I do to my toe?" to the doctor's office this morning.

Political cartoon of a gouty King George being helped onto his horse

He's camped out on the couch with the remote, his meds, and a huge red toe that simply cannot bear any weight or even a bedsheet touching it. Poor thing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In his own words

I love it!

Go Joebama! LMAO!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

St. Christina The Astonishing

More to entertain you while I am entertaining others...

Further to my lingerie-hoisting cheerleading child's recent gaffe, and because I can't find anything more specific, I have decided to select St. Christina the Astonishing as my personal Patron Saint of Abject Humiliation.

Click on the link for a quick synopsis. Fascinating story. She certainly found herself in a number of seemingly awkward situations. She is a patroness of the mentally ill and is depicted surrounded by branches with unkempt hair (like me, after a day of yardwork!). Here, she's climbed to the topmost branches of a tree to get away from the stench of sin. -->

Credit for this lovely tryptich panel: She has some close-ups and details of the work. Really interesting!

Stay at Home Dad

It's been a bit light on the blogging due to work and some last-minute houseguests, so here's a little entertainment until they all leave on Tuesday - enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The Princess made the final cut!

Thank you St. Sebastian for prayers answered.

Requiem for Andy

Sometimes the muse strikes...late. But it occurred to me this afternoon on my drive home:

In a tree
By the Brook
There's a songbird who sings...

[Ok, well, not so much anymore]

I am still cleaning up bird seed and millet chunks in my library.

Miss you, little buddy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

St. Sebastian

We all know what happened to him....shot with arrows, then clubbed to death when the arrows were not enough. I am not sure how this makes him the patron saint of CHEERLEADING, but there you have it.Our terrified Princess has her final cheerleading tryout/cut tomorrow. She elected to try cheerleading instead of soccer to keep herself away from a few of those snotty girls/former teammates who picked on her so relentlessly last semester, so if she doesn't make the squad, she's eliminated herself from any fall activity. She is the only incoming freshman trying out - small town, even smaller Catholic high school with about 300 kids, so there's only one cheerleading squad of 9th-thru-12th graders...which, while scary, could actually work in her favor. She's got some innate talent, she's cute as heck, but she's very self conscious. I can't imagine the pressure she's putting on herself.

I was an "alternate" cheerleader (read: prayed for someone to break an ankle and thus never cheered once) in junior high school, and then resigned myself to being a french horn playing marching band geek in my high school of 2,600, so I have no frame of reference here - nothing to contribute other than calming chats, hot tea, and lots of confidence-boosting hugs. On the inside, I am beside myself hoping tomorrow goes well for her, not for my own "living vicariously" purposes (honest!), but just so she can have a small victory and regain some self-esteem after 6 months of hurt feelings and tears. And...okay, let's face it....from a purely biased, mean mom standpoint, she will look darling in her uniform - much better than the jerseys, pads and cleats her former friends will be wearing this fall! (Hee!)

We shall see. Prayers, crossed fingers, any well wishes would be appreciated!

On a lighter note, we ran out to the Red Circle Boutique (a.k.a., Target) to get some cheering shorts for tomorrow's tryout.


Oddly enough, we found a cute, non-trashy, inexpensive school-colored (blue with gold trim) cotton bra. We admired it, conferenced, and decided it would be a secret good luck charm for the tryout. Nearby was a shelving unit of various coordinating underwear. My oh my...a matching thong. "Yeah, right." She snorted - loudly - and flung it back down. But then we spied some modest, comfy-looking boy-shorts in the right colors - gold with little blue mustangs, the school mascot - that matched the bra. Fabulous!
She picked them up, turned them over a few times, held the set up for display and said (in that silly, little-girly way 14 year olds barely still have), "Look Mommy! Pretty horsies!"
At that precise moment, a tall, dark, darling upperclassman football player from the new school walked right past us with his parents. (Name escapes me, but we've seen him fairly often at Mass - a good thing.) He looked at her in a non-wolfish-yet-appreciative way...until he realized what was in her hands. He stopped dead in his tracks, did a double take, had the grace to be mortified on both her and his own behalf, and quickly sped away. To her credit, the girl did not freak out. She whipped her head away from him and stood frozen in place, undergarments still aloft, for a good minute until she was sure he was gone. Kid: "Ummm...yeah.....let's go pay for this stuff now, shall we?"

Me: "Ri-i-i-i-ght."

We giggled all the way out of the store, 10 minutes home, and for a good long while afterwards when we told the rest of the family what had transpired.
Is there a Patron Saint of the Abjectly Humiliated?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's the Statute of Limitations here?

Descendants of the Knights Templar are suing Pope Benedict for 700 year old wrongful seizure of property claims.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flippin' Yankees!

Ok. As I mentioned a few days ago, we did a charter bus trip to NYC to see the Friday 7:05 game. Left at 11:30 am on a gorgeous, sunny summer day. Horrible accidents and construction in the Poconos, so we ended up going most of the way on local roads, and thus our 4 hour trip turned into 6.5 hours. We hit the city right about 5:15 pm on a Friday. The view from the GW bridge was....lengthy. But hey, kids are watching movies, we had plenty of snacks, and we muddled through.

The bus parks 6 blocks from the stadium in Lot #11...we get off, and after walking about 50 yards from the bus, the sky rips open with thunder, lightening, and about 2" of downpour in a little over an hour. We are soaked, but with no end in sight, we decided to pay $5 apiece for plastic baggie rain ponchos about halfway to the entrance. We make it in, get some food.... Sabretts in the stadium. Should've gotten one outside. Sigh. Note to self for next time. After all of this trauma, the storm raged on. The thought of a rainout and having to get back on that bus, our $300 wasted, made me sick. So I had a few $9 beers to prepare myself for the inevitable.

But the baseball gods smiled on us, the game started shortly before 9 pm, and the Boy (and his sisters, of course) got to see a game at the soon-to-be demolished Yankee Stadium. After seeing the leaking roofs and rusty beams, I can understand why, but still...

The new stadium across the street looks like it will be pretty cool.

Anyway, the score was tied in the 9th. I was dreading the thought of extra innings, given the 4 hour trip home. Thanks to a wild pitch, the Royals scored (bases loaded, stolen home), and the Yankees lost at 11:59 pm. That's okay with me, because I kept scanning the scoreboard and the CUBS WON after coming from behind.

Then there's the trip back, which got underway at about 12:30. We schlepped back to the bus in RAIN FREE weather, walk up the steps...and practically get knocked back outside by the stench of the broken and raw-sewage-leaking bus bathroom. Our seats were in the row just ahead of the rear. Dear Lord. Fortunately, we were so exhausted, we fell asleep until just a few minutes before we got home. At 4:59 am. The Beloved had to work at 7:00. Oy!

Yesterday was a "lost day" - we all slept in, and no one got out of their jammies until just before Mass today. I am still exhausted.

Hope you've all enjoyed your weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In, then back out

Well, we made it home last night after 11 hours in the car with a very nicely behaved baby, who (along with his carseat) acted as a perfect buffer to two slightly cranky female children.

Sadly, I must do a little [- gulp -] WORK tomorrow, then on Friday we are off to NYC to do something I've never done...a game at Yankee Stadium with the Beloved and crew. One of those things that must happen before the stadium is wrecked and replaced after this season. I've gotta get a picture of the Beloved and the Boy standing out front of the stadium for the sake of posterity.

It's almost as good for a Boy as going to Wrigley with his Mamma.


P.S. I just realized something else - this will also mark my first venture into the Bronx, oddly enough - I think I've driven through and/or at least flown out of every other borough. Digi, I will chow down on a dog and hoist a cold adult beverage in your honor.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Day At The Races

Greetings from the road! On Thursday, we went to Arlington Park (a.k.a., "the track") to watch some good ol' fashioned horse racing. The fabulous Depression-era old wooden grandstand structure burned to the ground about 20 years ago, and despite the track being less than 2 miles from where I grew up, I had not been to the new facility since. Kinda like when they installed the lights for night games at Wrigley, but that's another post.

I was quite impressed by what we saw. The facility is absolutely spotless, wide open space, beautiful horses, abundant seating (and high-stakes boxes, which we did not inspect), and family friendly - as long as you don't sit behind dudes smoking cigars - cough, gasp - which they sell at $5 a pop, along with $8 packs of ciggies, at the concession stands. Worth a few bucks on a sunny summer afternoon if you are ever in the Chicago area.

Here we are, walking in to the park. What you see here is the waiting area for the horses - the grandstand is off-camera to the right. You can walk over and take a look at the contenders before you place your bets, and then the horses are walked/paraded around this inner track by the stablehands before heading through the tunnel, beneath the grandstand, for the races.

WOO HOO!!! I won the princely sum of $12.10 on a $5 bet in the fourth race on this horse, "Fashionable Time" (picked solely for the name, of course). He started at 8-1 when I placed my bet, but I guess he looked good over in the holding area, because the odds dropped precipitously in the 15 minutes before the start...and unlike in Vegas, the payout is on the odds at the start time...not the odds when you place the bet.

Ahhh yessss.....the Princess has caught race fever. Here she is on the rail at the finish line. She actually won twice - one on a win bet, and one on a SHOW bet that she made, via her grandmother. She had the race list ("green sheet") on her lap and was studying it assiduously all afternoon - once she ascertained that there were no horses named "Dover" ( so she could tell him/her to "move yer bloomin' arse") she got down to business. Good thing we don't live here...we had to drag her away with three races to go.

So that's the word from the Windy City (well, the NW suburbs, really). Hope you're all having a good time, and I recommend watching the Arlington Million today if you are not in the Olympic mood.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Out and about

8-4-08 update: Extra day of partying on Seneca we are off to the homeland (sweet home Chicago) tomorrow morning. We decided to stay home tonight and make sure the recyling goes out tomorrow, given the amount of longnecks that've sacrificed their lives in the name of family communing over the past 4 days. We have probably fed a family of 4 for a week with our empties!


Well, Friday is here, as is August (<--that was fast!), and I'm wide awake at 2 a.m. formulating lists and itineraries for the next 10 days. After work tomorrow, I have all the pre-wedding stuff to do - family dinner, hair and nails, then Saturday is the wedding of the Beloved's cousin - two big HUGE Catholic families, 350 guests (note: only immediate family and 1st cousins are allowed, or they were well over 500!), and a very small handful of teetotallers among them. So needless to say, Seneca Lake is crawling with extended family, some of whom are already in "pre-flight" mode. Say your prayers and clear the roads.

If we can lift our heads on Sunday, we will go to an afterparty on the lake, then Monday we are off on the 10 hour drive to IL for as long as my mother and I can tolerate each other. So I'm guessing 3-4 days, tops - maybe an extra if we manage to make it to a Cubs game.

Posting will be light, but I'll be checking in with some an evasive self-defense move if for no other reason.

Wish me luck, and have a great weekend!