Thursday, November 29, 2007

Make Your Own Rant Contest!

Pencils ready! And, begin.

I've been seeing a _________(quantity) of those _________(adjective) _________(adjective) ____________(noun) _____________(wild card--gerund, noun adjective, whatever) _________(noun) (_______[noun] is now on 'my _______[noun]') and I realized that I only have maybe ______(quantity) _________(noun) a year.



A. Year.

How can that be? I _________(verb) _________(noun or pronoun). They _______(verb) ________(adjective) AND they're ________(adjective) for you. Yet, I have ________(quantity) a year. _______ (Word meaning delight or dismay you pick)*!

I'm gonna _________(verb) __________(noun) WAY more in 2008.*

To sum up: ___________ (noun or pronoun) _______________ (verb) ________________ (adjective)!

*Bonus words to weave in: "Every," "time," "says," "I want," "kill."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two Random Stories

Story 1: Once upon a time in a land of faraway enchantment, I bought a pair of new sneakers. Actually, it wasn't "once upon a time in a land of faraway enchantment"--it was yesterday, at Dick's Sporting Goods. Word to the wise: If you want to direct a 12-year-old to the Web site for Dick's Sporting Goods, do not--as a friend of mine advised a young nephew--tell the child to "Go online and just type in Dick's."

Let me start over.

Story 1: Yesterday, I bought a pair of new sneakers at Dick's Sporting Goods. Here they are:
After I purchased them, evil gnomes kidnapped me and forced me to bake ginger cookies for them. Okay. That didn't happen but it makes for a better story, doesn't it? What really happened is that it was a purchase fraught with regret. The sneakers are spectacularly comfy--there are little masseuses embedded in the toes or something--but I really wanted black sneakers (and actually, I really wanted black sneakers that turned into little skates like the tots have...with flashing lights and maybe a flat-screen TV in the side). I've had something against white sneakers ever since I had to put white polish on my sneakers when I was little to "keep them fresh looking." So, I see a white sneaker and I want it painted black. The End.

Story 2: Once upon a time in a land of faraway enchantment, there lived a baby in a big china bowl. Here she is:
The baby's nickname was "Beaky"--apparently she had a sizeable schnozz--and I know this baby. Well, kinda. I knew this baby when she was an ancient, ancient woman (whoa--her ghost just slapped the back of my head for that). She was my grandmother, and she told me that I should put white polish on my sneakers to "keep them fresh looking." There are about a million stories about my grandmother. I mean--look at her, she's tiny here and she's already finding a way to vault out of the china bowl in which the fates have placed her! But, for the purpose of this random story, one important thing to know about my grandmother is that from the time that she was a baby she dreamed of dancing. Dancing, dancing, dancing in a field of daisies. I don't think the type of flower changed in the dream, but maybe it did. This is a very, very early picture of my mother. She's got that big stiff bow on her head that girls of a certain era had--it looks like a brisk wind would pull her up, up, and away by the bow. She's also got one heckuva giant scary doll lurking in her lap. I'm not sure if it is her doll or a "prop doll" that the photographer gave her; either way, it's definitely an early prototype of an evil Chucky doll. I like how my mom is kind of slumped back on the stool in a watchful way, and she looks like she might be plotting something. She does have two legs--the other one is tucked under. See?
This is the way it turns out in families sometimes. Mothers dream about dancing in fields full of daisies and their daughters end up dancing. My mom was the Dancin' Sweetheart of Masonic Lodges everywhere and she almost went pro when she was 17. Then she realized she really hated dancing and joined the navy--perhaps that is what she was plotting in the photo above. Me? My grandmother took me to ballet lessons when I was six and I was a butterfly for a little while. I fluttered and fluttered and fluttered and spun and twirled and fluttered. Fortunately, my grandmother grew disgusted with the teacher's lack of discipline and bored with her lack of imagination and I was free to polish my white sneakers in my spare time. The End.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In the Sky and...BERTIE SIGHTING!!!!

Question: What would I bring with me if I knew my plane was going to go all "Lost" a la the TV show? I was stymied by this thought.

Quote of the trip:
Small child looking out window, “I see some parts dragging out there.”
SLAM! Mother shuts window shade.
(She was three--there was no way she could have seen that "Twilight Zone" episode, is there?)

Gotta go! Bertie's running away and jumping on the back of a motorcycle driven by a member of the local gang, "The Mongols"!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Happy Friday to you and you and you and you--whenever you read this!

So, here's the latest word on the Elite Team of Rescue Experts:

Yes, that's what I think, too. The latest word is "ENOUGH!" I've decided to release them from their watery prison before I take off for a trip for the next five(ish) days. I'm almost ready to go. I've got one bag packed, and I'm brushing up on raccoon lore in case I happen to meet one where I'm going. And, the line-up of the newly-grown rescue experts? Well, it's kind of pitiful, actually. They are all now so very swollen that most of them can't stand up on their own. The pirate is especially prone to tipping over. You see? When you tamper with SCIENCE (insert Thomas Dolby voice here, thank you), this is what you get.
Yes. They are all propped up against the train case. Sigh. Ah, well. So much for that elite team of rescue experts; I'll have to try again when I get back. I'll probably post some pictures while I'm away--especially if I manage to spot Bertie.

Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Now Here's Something We Hope You'll Really Like!*

In tribute to "Raccoon Week"*!

Unfortunately, we already know that Lamont will NOT like the clip and say something like, "This is spine-chilling, true crime footage of a home invasion" or "Once they cross the threshhold, they're stew." Sorry Lamont!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Scary Jar of Growing Creatures

HOW BIG WILL THEY GET???????????????????????????????????????????????

Monday, November 12, 2007

Television...In Color!

Howdy, Pardners! I'm back from my observation of a very solemn holiday* this weekend--the milestone of having written 71 posts on this blog. Now, I know that's not too impressive 'cause you have written precisely skadiddlions of 'em, but, it's astonishing when you know that I was planning on just doin' this for a week(ish). I figured I'd limp out in a pitiful haze of lost dreams and forgotten promises, and in the second day I even had my next blog planned: Yet, here I am, hitting the big ol' 71 mark on the blog o' meter. I figured I'd better celebrate my victory in style--maybe fly to Paris or go help the Walmart guy greet people. Something festive!

Yeah, you got my number. All of the above just means that I've been buried in work. I did the next best thing to celebrating; I stacked up my giant hogpile of work-to-be-done and mowed through it while drinking coffee and watching a whole lot of television and movies. In color! Here's what I can report:

1) You should rent/netflix/watch "Kingdom Hospital" if you haven't done so already!
2) It's nice to have a tasty little snack when you watch TV, but it's hard to eat if you're typing really quickly! I'm trying to come up with a machine to help with that!
3) You should rent/netflix/watch "The Lost Room" if you haven't done so already!
4) I want to be able to watch every series all at once, with no commercials, from beginning to end. This means that I maybe can't watch shows while they're on TV and I'll have to wait 'til I can rent 'em.
5) I wish there were more drive-in movie theaters! Okay, this has nothing to do with any of the above. It's just secretly Non-Sequitur Monday.

Hope you had a wonderful Non-Sequitur Monday!

*Actually, this weekend was also Veterans Day and I remembered my uncle who was a paratrooper in World War II. He never talked about it. He was a very cool guy, and I loved him very much.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Miscellaneous Friday!

Okay, it's Miscellaneous Friday. I've got a doctor's appointment in awhile--it's one of those appointments where you have to get johnnied-up and go inadvertently flash people in a "public/private" waiting room. The last time I went there, a woman smoked in the bathroom and almost got jumped by an angry mob when she came slinking out.

The big topic of conversation is waiting, how long it takes for someone to see you, how long it takes AFTER someone sees you, and waiting. It can be a little dull. Once, a medical researcher came in while I was waiting and said, "Can I interview you about the amount of tension you feel now?" I felt like that was a really bad idea, so of course I said "Sure!" She was all young and earnest and Doogie Howserlike and stuff, and smart people had been turning her down. We established that I felt pretty dang tense, and I felt like I'd done my duty for humankind. Unfortunately, then she turned up IN the examination room and asked, "Do you feel more tense now?"

Anyhoo, to perk up the dire mood in the waiting room, I figure I'll take these guys along with me:

If anyone asks me "What's that jar?" I figure I'll say one of two things: "Jar? What jar?" or "It's a urine sample."

How 'bout that, huh? The Elite Team of Rescue Experts is getting scary big. Not that it matters with Bertie AWOL, of course.

Quiz for the Day:
Which Popular Mechanics cover is more frightening?
EARLY HITLER YOUTH/BORG HYBRID HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


[Before we begin, I recommend this book by Jack London! It's all available online with cool old photos. Now...on to today's action-packed post.]

Hey, Bertie! Check it out! I'm growing the elite team of rescue experts to help you save your pals from the robots! Actually, I'm a little bit concerned about Tippy the Turtle--he's lurking in the top of the jar in that "fish-to-be-flushed" kind of way--but you never wanted him anyway, huh? Anyhoo, here they are!I think they look a tad sluggish, but this is just the first day. I figure that if they come out looking not-so-elite I'll just hire a personal trainer for them. Like this guy:Bertie? Yoo-hoo...Bertie?

Holy cow. You know, I SAW that big, spotted handkerchief with all of Bertie's possessions lying near a stick last night, but I just thought, "He must not have put away his Halloween costume yet." I know he has been a little mad at me, but I never put two and two together. Good lord, much like these schoolchildren, Bertie has gone hobo!
How on earth will he survive out there? I mean, let's face it, dinosaurs have a very poor track record of surviving, period. But, let's review. He doesn't have any hobo soup, to my knowledge:
He doesn't know how to steal pies and run gleefully away:
He doesn't KNOW the hobo signs:
He doesn't HAVE a clever sign to help him raise $$$:
Most importantly, Bertie has NO idea how to ride the rails.
And he doesn't know how hostile it is out there! Hobos already have a very hard life. Does Bertie think it will be an easier for a small, plastic dinosaur hobo? C'mon!
A Chain Gang! Oh, man. Bertie is so screwed. But hang on, I just realized something. Bertie has had that sexy poster of popular children's program host Hobo Kelly on his wall for awhile. I don't think he realizes that Hobo Kelly is not on TV anymore! I bet he went out there to try to join HER gang of quirky creatures. GEEZ! Bertie chose Hobo Kelly over me! Dang it! I knew I should have purchased a jaunty little hat this fall. TARNATION! Well, at least I hope he writes a note to let me know he's okay. Hollywood is a meat grinder of wannabe stars. I wonder if he's gonna go hang out at Schwab's Drug Store or somethin'?
Attributions of images and photos: First one is mine, second one is from Popular Mechanics, hobo signs come from Slacktivate, the pie guy is by Norman Rockwell, the hobo under the train is from the book by Jack London, the picture of Hobo Kelly is from the Web site above, and I'm finked if I know where I got the rest of the images. In any event, all of this material is being used purely for educational purposes and I will be glad to take any images down if need be.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I Am A Bosomy Goth Elf

Here's the deal: I'm not really Sparkle. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'm someone else. This someone else has a business e-mail address and Web site, another Web site, an ebay account, a couple of random "back-up" free e-mail boxes, and online IDs for anything and everything you can imagine.

I thought I pretty much had a grip on all of my selves until yesterday morning, when my bosomy goth elf self popped out. I think this is one self too many, and my head is reeling. Who am I? Where am I? What's the frequency, Kenneth? Here is the transcript from yesterday morning:

Teenage Boy: "So, this is my myspace, Sparkle. These are my friends, and this is my music, and--"
Sparkle: "Your mood is weird?"
Teenage Boy: "Yeah! See, you can put down what your mood is, and if you're having a bad day all your friends can give you comments to make you feel better..."
Sparkle: "Awww...that's nice! Hey, who's that girl with the guitar?"
Teenage Boy: "That's my friend China."
Sparkle: "She plays guitar?"
Teenage Boy: "No. She likes to pose with it."
Sparkle: "Ah!"
Teenage Boy: "So, let's set you up and I can send you messages if you're having a bad day!"
Sparkle: "Well, I don't know, uh--"
Teenage Boy: "Yeah. Just type your e-mail address in here and pick a password."
Sparkle: "Well, thank you! This is very nice of you, and I guess I can always remove this if--"
Teenage Boy (begins to heave giant handfuls of HTML around): "Sure, whatever! Now, how old are you, what do you do, how much money do you make, what do you want your quote to be, are you single, what are you looking for here, and--"
Sparkle: "Whoa...that's too fast there. I'm off work today. I haven't had enough coffee for this. Look. Just put stuff down for me, okay?"

Teenage Boy is a blur, arms windmilling, slinging wild clumps of HTML back and forth, up and down.

Sparkle: "Whoa--you're good at this, aren't you?"
Teenage Boy: "Yeah. So, when the zombies attack my mom promised me I could use her truck to go to the gun store, empty it out, then I'll come and pick you up."
Sparkle: "Well, thanks, I--"
Teenage Boy: "Okay, your page is all set up. You're 26, you're a magician, and you make $250,000 large a year. Wait! Let me finish inputting your layout and background."
Sparkle: "Huh? Wuzzat? Who the heck is this 'Tom' guy who says he's my friend?"
Teenage Boy: "Eh, ignore him. Here, I'll remove Tom."
Sparkle: "Okay, not that I have anything against Tom, but--"
Teenage Boy: "Sparkle! Let's get a picture up of you! Do you have any pictures of yourself on this computer?"
Sparkle: "NO!"
Teenage Boy: "Okay, okay. Calm down. We'll get something up. Here, this is where I go to do quizzes--favorite color, would you save a small whimpering creature behind a bush, what would you smell like if you were a food, if it itches do you scratch it or ignore it, paper or plastic?"
Sparkle: "Puh?"
Teenage Boy: "Good, okay. Let me just generate the answer and COOL! That's a nice picture of a goth elf.
Sparkle: "Heyyyyyyy, I'm kinda cute!"
Teenage Boy: "Okay. Let's do this quiz. Would you eat someone or simply dismember them? Sun or moon? Do you have 10 toes?"
Sparkle: "Buhhhhhh."
Teenage Boy: "Okay! Your anime hair color is brown!"
Sparkle: "GEEZ! My REAL hair color is brown! I answered those questions so I would end up with GREEN hair! What happened? And, what's this thing with my anime picture? 'You're really normal and may try to blend in the crowd or stand out of it. Because for some reason you're gorgeous but you're not ultra special. You're still very sweet and down-to-earth.' Okay, put my mood down as 'Angry'."

See? This identity is one too many. While the bosomy goth elf thing is kinda cool, it's just flat-out frustrating that I couldn't manipulate the quiz into giving anime me green hair. Moreover, my shadowy anime self sounds dang boring, and I'm struggling to get rid of the whole thing. Tell ya one thing: I'll be finked if I'm gettin' a "Zwinky."