Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pardon My French

Twice in the last 24 hours, I have been in meetings where someone has said, “excuse me, but . . .” just before they used a curse word. And I suddenly discovered a new pet peeve.

You see, I love to cuss. I love using all of those words. In fact, with ONE notable exception that begins with “c” I use ‘em all on a regular basis. I know, this comes as a shock to exactly NONE of you. My mother used to beg me to find alternatives for my “foul language.” I would simply retort that it wasn’t a vocabulary issue. I don’t use these words because I lack alternatives. I use them because I think they’re the perfect words sometimes. So sue me. And fuck off.

But I discovered yesterday that I actually throw up in my mouth a little bit when someone apologizes preemptively, then uses the most benign cuss words. Damn, hell and shit are practically Pollyanna in my book. And excuse me motherfucker, but if you have the self-control to apologize, then don’t use the fucking word. You’re obviously a pussy, so just revert back to your goshes and darns and geewhillickers.

And what do the French have to do with it. French is one of the most lyrical, poetic languages. Even when they spit out the word “merde” (shit, for those of you aren’t cuss-bilingual), it sounds like something from the sea! Is it because our grandparents, just as they were “saving their frog asses from the Nazis” realized the French were a bit . . . saucy? If you're going to say "pardon my French" then SAY SOMETHING IN FRENCH for fuck's sake.

It’s false piety. It’s the worst kind of apologea. The same goes for substitute words. Frickin’, freakin’ fargin’—it’s all fuckin’, okay? You MEAN the same thing. You just don’t say what you mean.

I had an uncle who would say “goshdamnit.” Whatevs. I’m pretty sure the big guy either doesn’t care, or can see right through your intent. I have the same disdain for people who say “oh my gosh.” Really? Do you realize how absurd that is? Saying “Oh My God” is actually a cry to your higher power. And who is your gosh, anyway?

So the next time you feel compelled to apologize before you use the word “butt,” just stop. Just say the word. NO ONE cares. And if they do, you don’t want to be around them anyway. Now, if one of those folks had said, “Excuse me, that’s just fucking bullshit,” I might not have minded so much.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Clean Up on Aisle 9

I’m a bit under the weather. Nothing major, just enough to completely fuck up my busy week. When I’m sick, I’m a complete baby. Only I don’t want anyone fussing over me. I just want to sit in a corner and pout. Yeah, I know, lovely character trait. My Beloved has long since adjusted. He knows how to strike the perfect balance between nurturing and avoiding the freak show. And I love him for that, among a billion other things.

In my quest for sick self-sufficiency, I dropped by the local grocery chain for some canned soup. Progresso Hearty Chicken Noodle, to be precise. It soothes me when I’m feeling icky. When I got to the soup aisle, it was clogged. Two women were standing, back-to-back, each perusing different products. One was an average, non-descript woman. The other was a tall, willowy blonde, sharply and expensively dressed, and carrying one of those giant designer purses that are all the rage now.

Poking into the aisle was an endcap of cheesy Valentine’s cards. Sort of a cross between the ones we handed out to classmates when we were kids and the more elaborate, embellished ones Hallmark gags us with annually.

So, given the traffic jam, I parked myself discreetly out of everyone’s way and waited for the ladies to make their selections.

Miss Big Bag was apparently one of those people who is blissfully unaware of her surroundings, I’m guessing so that she doesn’t have to feel like one of the masses. As she shifted to get a closer look at the canned goods, her purse knocked an entire section of cards off the end cap. It was a rather noisy affair, so Plain Jane turned to look. And that’s when it got weird.

Miss Big Bag looked at Plain Jane with that condescending “Oh you poor clumsy dear” face. AS IF JANE HAD DONE THE DAMAGE. And Jane bought it, kneeling down and beginning to pick up the cards. Then, as I stood there with my mouth hanging open, Miss Big Bag deigned to kneel down to “help.”

I waited for the detritus to be cleared, grabbed my soup and bolted. But I was absolutely gobsmacked by the woman’s cluelessness. Did she really not know that she had done it? Was she really that clueless? Or was she just a West Austin bitch who had become bored with running people off the road with her Suburban. Either way, it was a nice bit of street theater. But it didn't make me feel any better.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why Is It Always The Guy From Texas?

So, the junior senator from our great state (and my former boss—blech) decided that it was critical to block a voice vote on the confirmation of his fellow Senator, HRC, as Secretary of State. Why? Because he had grave concerns and unanswered questions about The Clinton Global Initiative’s foreign contributors.


I think it’s great to work within the rules to make sure there is no rush, to make sure that all of your questions are cleared up.

So he waited a day and then voted to confirm her. Hunh?!

Of course, if a “Global Initiative” were only being funded by Americans, it wouldn’t look very global, now would it? But that wasn’t really the point, was it? I mean the Obama team had pretty much already vetted all this, right? The point was to play “gotcha” with an Obama appointee on inauguration day. A day when over 80% of Americans (I’m guessing the other 20% were mostly cracker Texans. Sheesh.) were agreeing that Obama was the right man in the right job. Thanks, Senator. Way to start the new day with the spirit of bipartisan cooperation. Beady-eyed motherfucker.

You know, I had wondered what Cornyn would be like once his Master left office. I don’t say that lightly. Cornyn was Bush’s guy from the day he was elected AG here in Texas. He didn’t really care about much except doing Bush’s bidding and building a power base to further his political career. He served one term and ran for Senate, where he was in absolute lockstep with the White House, carrying Bush water on the Hill again and again. And we are SO proud.

But at least now I have my answer. He will continue to be obstructionist, petty and mean. He’s like a schoolyard bully. But let me tell you, he has incredibly thin skin. My favorite word to describe him is “embarrassed.”

Several of his senior staffers and I thought it was a joke the first time we were told that something had “embarrassed” the General (that’s what our AG is called. Pretty funny stuff, huh?). We thought, “whatever dude. There’s no way a man who has managed to get elected to statewide office in Texas can be embarrassed by such trivial bullshit. We were so wrong. And when he gets embarrassed (which happens with alarming frequency) he gets angry. And when he gets angry, his big old balloon head turns bright red and that white hair just glows.

So maybe he’ll read the article in today’s Austin paper (“Cornyn’s Pettiness Sullies a Historic Day”) and pop a gasket. More likely though, he’ll gloat at the “success” of his maneuver. Just to torture myself, I read through all the comments. It was the typical schoolyard taunting between ignorant people of divergent ideologies. Some defended Cornyn’s right to process (I agree) and some called Clinton everything short of the AntiChrist (I disagree), but the best comment came from RobInGTown:

Dear Senator Cornyn: I know you will be taking heat for casting what seem to be a petty vote on Senator Clinton's nomination to be Secretary of State, but I wish to applaud your efforts and make a further suggestion. From the founding of Harken Oil through the operation of Ignite!, the Bush family has received tens of millions of dollars from the Arab world, from some of the very same figures who financed the terror attacks of 2001. Perhaps you would, Senator, devote your remaining time in Congress to the profitable examination of the Bush family's many connections to terrorist funders. And it's only a shame you didn't start years ago. Sincerely, RobInGTown

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


MY last day of bush was actually somewhere in the mid 80’s.

But I felt I should take a moment to acknowledge something here in the last few hours of the Bush “presidency.” You see, most of you are relishing the thought of only occasionally having to see or hear the man. But for those of us who reside in central Austin, we know that he can pop up at any time.

See, they still have friends here. And although it’s FAR more likely to run into Laura “Packaday” Bush (my god, that woman can suck down a ciggy!), there’s still the off chance of an encounter. And I would prefer to let this presidency evaporate like a bad dream.

I actually have a history with this President. When he was Governor of our Great State, I had to work with him a couple of times. It wasn’t pretty. Everything you think about him now, times ten. He was like the privileged, cocky frat boy that found out he’d just come into his trust.

Shortly before he was elected, I was approached by someone I knew well, a politico with ties to the Bush camp, and asked if I would be interested in a White House appointment, should the Governor win. It seems Bush was intent on appointing a gay or lesbian, just for diversity’s sake. I know how hard that is to believe now, given his penchant for far right ululation, but I was quietly impressed that he was even thinking about it. I still said no.

Then, during the transition, I was approached again. In the interim, I had seen an amazing episode of West Wing, where a young Republican girl takes a job at the liberal Bartlett White House because the country belongs to all of us, or some other poignant Aaron Sorkin phrase. I begin to think that having a dissenting voice, no matter how small, might be a positive thing. I was again told that the President-elect had held one slot open for a gay or lesbian appointee. This time, I said “Why not?” The chance to serve my country shouldn’t be taken so lightly. And wouldn’t it be historic?

Oh, I was all up in myself. I’m surprised I could get my head through a door. The process didn’t get very far, however. Mr. Bush decided to give the “gay” appointment to a straight white guy.

In the end, I wouldn’t have lasted very long, had I even been able to make it through vetting. As presentable as I must have looked, you wouldn’t have had to scratch the surface very far to find dirt.

So I stayed home. The Bushes went to Washington. And America begin it’s descent from Mount Olympus.

Today, the trek back up the mountain begins. Good Luck, President Obama! Good Riddance, President Bush. And as we say in the South, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's My Dick in a Box!

I’m so sorry I haven’t gotten around to writing about this yet. But I’m sure you’ve seen the clip of Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper on New Year’s Eve, right? The one where Kathy thinks they’ve gone to commercial and yells at a heckler, “Hey, I don’t come down to where you work and knock the dick out of your mouth!”

God, I love Kathy Griffin.

I didn’t see a ton of coverage of it. I’m guessing the comment was just too . . . too for mainstream media to figure out a workaround. The best though was that, because of the way she was turned, some thought she was talking to the sexually ambiguous (except when he’s undercover with a twentysomething Filipino) Cooper. Anderson’s sexuality is a really open secret, but with Kathy’s will to shock, I guess people always expect the elephant in the room to be acknowledged.

Anderson, of course, knew that Kathy wasn't referring to him. He doesn't suck dick for a living, silly!

Nancy, Why Do I Hate You So?

Can we please stop referring to Casey Anthony as the Tot Mom? She has a name and deserves to have it spat out of people’s mouth with all the venom and loathing they can possess. Of course, it doesn’t help me that Nancy Grace, the Paula Deen of soft news, coined the term. GAWD, that woman (Grace) grates on me. My idea of hell would be to be trapped in a small room with her and Rachael Ray. FINGERNAILS on chalkboard, with a side of righteous indignation. Shoulda been a preacher Nance. Then there would be almost NO chance of me stumbling across your ridiculous rhetoric.

But back to Casey Anthony. What is a Tot Mom? Does anyone even use the word Tot? Ever? Obviously, she’s innocent until proven guilty. But I’m pretty sure that if she WERE innocent, she might have been a little more helpful throughout all this. I’m thinking coat her naked body with something gators like (what do gators like, besides Sooners?), tie her ass to a stake in the swamp and broadcast it live. Or is that not punishment enough?

Then maybe Nancy Grace could start referring to her as Gator Bait. Or Half-eaten Mom. Either way, the story would be put to rest. Who knows, maybe Nancy Grace would have to go off the air since she didn't have anything to talk about.

Now what can we do about Rachael Ray?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making Babies in Batches

Okay, maybe it’s a hetero thing and I just don’t get it. But what the fuck is the American public’s fascination with multiple births? The top story in our local paper today is a local family that is expecting quintuplets. The TOP STORY.

Really? There’s nothing more pressing or vital than a couple of breeders who managed to fertilize FIVE EGGS at once? You’d never know that we are mere days away from an historic turning point in American history. You’d never know that Israel and Hamas are bombing the shit out of each other.

No, we want to laud and publicize this “blessing” of “God’s will.”

Naturally, the couple are avid churchgoers. In fact, there were originally SIX fertilized eggs and the doctors recommended “selective reduction” to ensure the viability of some of the babies, but the couple refused. One of the feti didn’t develop, so now there will just be 5 new hungry mouths to feed. Plus the kid they already had.

My favorite paragraph from the article is:

“Casey and Ethan met in the seventh grade at the "Howdy" back-to-school dance in Denton. He was a soccer player with spikey hair and a pseudo-mullet. She was a green-eyed blonde with long permed hair and big '80s bangs.”

Are you fucking kidding me? This is NEWS? This is my TOP STORY of the day?

Of course their friends are “rallying around” and donating tons of things like diapers and high-chairs (I sent a giant box of condoms and a bottle of RU486). All of this will go into their four-bedroom 3800 square foot home. Nice. (You know, I just can’t help thinking how much nicer it would have been for 5 underprivileged families to have received this kind of help.)

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my beloved is an avid viewer of “Jon and Kate + 8” a treacly reality show about a bossy wife and her pushover husband how had TRIPLETS, then QUINTS. I have to leave the room when it’s on. More than a minute or two and I start to feel my NRA membership kicking in.

In the end, though, I respect that individuals have the right to breed profligately, if they so desire. But it really does baffle me. And I think that God probably has his own sense of humor. “You wanted some babies? I’ll give you some babies!!!”

I have a feeling Casey and Ethan may not be as enamored of the whole thing a few weeks after the babies are born.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bobbitt One-Upped

I saw a report today on one of my favorite blogs that an Australian woman had set her husband’s penis on fire. (insert burning bush joke here) Apparently, she saw him hug another woman and immediately assumed an affair. Because . . . that’s what people do when they’re having an affair? Hug their girlfriends in front of their wives? Uh-huh.

So Mrs. Loster Marbles decides that she wants to “mark” her hubby’s piece as “her property.” Could you not have just pissed on it? Or maybe used a sharpie to write your name, like you do on kids’ clothes for camp?

But wait! Apparently, she doused his member in a flammable liquid, set it on fire while he was asleep. Naturally, the smell of burning hair and flesh (and maybe the pain) woke him up. In his frenzy put out the “fire down below” the fellow knocked over the flammable liquid, set the house on fire and caused over a million dollars worth of damage. And threatening the lives of their three children, who were sleeping at the time and barely made it out of the blaze.

Crazy people. When will they learn. Not that a burned stump of a dick isn’t a definite deterrent to future extramarital activity, but HEY CRAZY LADY, it’s also a deterrent to intra-marital relations. So NOW what are you going to do? Oh, that’s right, you’ll be taking a broomstick up the ass from some lovely lass in the Aussie penal system.

The man whose shrimp was put on the barbie has denied any extramarital infidelity. I can only assume he will honestly be able to say that from now on, as well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It’s Worse Than We Thought

Over the holidays, I finished another Matt Taibbi book. The Amazing Gardog was kind enough to pass it on to me.

Matt is the political reporter for Rolling Stone and one of the most entertaining writers I know. If you’re a liberal. If you’re a conservative, you OUGHT to be entertained by him, but it’s hard to be entertained when someone is pointing out the inherent hypocrisy of you and your peers.

Taibbi spends most of his ammo on Congress and how the system is essentially wired to be ineffectual. The rest he reserves for conservative Christians mega-ministers and their lemming-like flock.

The book I just finished, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics & Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire, saw him embed himself in a San Antonio mega-church. Since Matt is a self-described atheist, the journey he takes is surprising and enlightening, even to him. And his characters are straight out of Christopher Guest. Or maybe Christopher Guest’s characters are straight out of a mega-church. Hmmm. That could be a great next movie from him. Sir Chris? Lady Jamie Leigh? Are you listening? Anyone?

Prior to the election, Gardog had handed off Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire, and advised me to wait until after the election to read it. It was full of microscopic reportage about Tom Delay and his brazen sadism. Also knows as House Majority Leader skills.

All I’m going to say is READ THESE BOOKS! I’m relieved that, with the election of Obama and a congressional majority, the Rule of the Stupid People may be drawing to a close. But these books serve as a cautionary tale, especially in light of Bush One’s suggestions this week of what a great President his son Jeb would make. Well he should have thought of that before we elected the retarded one. Some have snarkily suggested the former Florida Governor should adopt his wife’s maiden name. Alas, her maiden name is Gallo. Which means “rooster” or “cock” in Spanish. (And “cheap ass wine” in most other parts of the world.) No, I’m afraid poor Jeb is out of luck. As Robin Williams said recently, “What does it say about the family when the smart one is named Jeb?”

Maybe we should just refrain from electing any Republicans until they’re able to rid themselves of the cancer of fundamentalism that plagues them. Or maybe we’ll just sink back into our torpor of apathy in about 100 days.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective People

1. Always make a “to do” list. If you put the days on it, then you can just copy whatever didn’t get done on Monday and paste it to Tuesday. Repeat.
2. Deadlines should be set and met. But it’s actually more of a challenge if you wait until the last possible minute to get started, then sprint across the finish line. What a rush! And completing even the most mundane tasks gives you a HUGE sense of accomplishment.
3. Surf the internet for inspiration. A lot. But remember, porn isn’t technically “inspiration” and shouldn’t be surfed on your work computer.
4. Work from home as often as possible.
5. Meetings are an amazingly useful tool for passing time without actually making any progress. The more meetings you can schedule in a week, the busier you are. 50% is a good starting point.
6. Be very familiar with your company’s policies and procedures, especially as it pertains to “vacation” and “sick leave.” Mental Health is as important as physical health, so you might be able to use a sick day to recharge your batteries. Game on.
7. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.

And I Thought Carville and Matalin Had Issues

I have a longstanding love/hate relationship with Christmas letters. Or hate/love.

You know the ones. The rambling, chatty letters from friends and family you don't really ever talk to, providing way TMI about their goings-on for the past 12 months.

“Becky’s still in National Honor Society. We’re so grateful to God and Jesus that she’s had her studies to distract her from her anus horribleness (as Queen Elizabeth would say). At the beginning of the year, she found herself in a family way. I think she considered trying to convince us it was another “virgin birth” situation, but I just flat out told her flat out, “Unless you’re planning on naming that baby Jesus 2, you better tell the truth.” Fortunately, we were able to place the baby in a good home. Becky was distraught at first, but since Blake (her former beau and father of the child) needed to focus all his energy on his senior year performance (he’s quarterback of the football team) so that he can get a scholarship to Tech, parenting just wasn’t in the cards. And Ed and I really believe that a child should be raised by a mother AND a father, so we insisted that the baby be given up.”

Obviously, that’s fiction, but I swear my Aunt Glendene’s letters were never far from this. Surgeries. Illness. New calves a-birthin’. Nothing was too mundane for Glendene.

This year, however, I received my very first ever Christmas letter from a gay couple. The first 19 paragraphs were all about E and his joy of the season. The paper was lined with poinsettia leaves. It was holly jolly right down to the next to the last paragraph. That’s where E’s partner D appeared. I paraphrase, but not by much:

“D is still actively involved in the Atheist community here in (our little town). His energy and dedication have seen him quickly evolve as a leader in this movement and he seems to derive great joy from it.”

What? The Fuck?

That has to top it all. Baby Jesus and Atheism, all in one letter. Let me tell you, I don’t care what it takes this year, but I will MAKE SURE I am on their mailing list next year.

2009 Things To Do

No, that’s not the calendar year. That’s how many things are on my “to do” list. Sheesh. I might as well just call them “resolutions.” At least that way I’ll manage to accomplish some of those.

At the top of my list is my poor neglected child. This blog. Stupid people are doing stupid things all over the world and I’m sitting back on my ever-expanding buttocks, calling out holiday salutations and begging someone to “fix me another Manhattan!”

So, my number one resolution is to blog more. Lots more. Of course, who knows if anyone is still out there reading? Surely there are a few Stupidistas still hanging in?

So, off we go. And only 2008 “resolutions” to begin. What’s that in the road? A head?