Monday, April 30, 2012

President. Soul Singer. Cowpoke.

In Plano, Texas there's a great burger place called Country Burger. It's been in business since the early 1600s, or maybe it just seems that long. Anyway, it's a family-owned place and it makes the best fast, no-frills hamburgers in the world. In the world. The Baudelaire family has been eating there since before there was a Baudelaire family, when we were just a guy and a girl and an unfertilized egg somewhere deep in my Fallopian tubes.

There, don't say I never run any pictures
of Precocious Daughter.
I could rhapsodize about Country Burger all day, but really, go to Plano and eat there. That might be a bit more difficult for my Ukrainian readers (yo, Ukes!), but still, it's worth the trip from anywhere.

Even Highland Park. Or, you know, send your third butler.
Country Burger is decorated with, in the immortal words of Moe Szyslak, "a whole bunch of crazy crap on the walls." Most of it is Texan, country, Plano, or used license plate in theme. Like the huge ratty cowhide tacked to one wall (which was a lot less ratty 20 years ago, but still huge). But there are also two framed paintings of cowboys, hanging right between the cowhide and the soda fountains. We see them every time we eat there, but it took us a long time to identify the cowboy on the right.

Do you see it yet?
Then one day, a couple of years ago, it hit us:  It's Cowboy President Obama!

Do you see it now?
Or am I on drugs?
Wouldn't you like to know?
Once we saw it, we couldn't unsee it. That picture's residency in Country Burger way predates Barack Obama's presidency, so it's kind of weird. But...I mean, you see the resemblance, right? You see that it's a painting of President Obama sitting on a fence in cowboy garb, don't you? We're not crazy, are we?

I mean, if he can slow-jam the news, he can rope a cow, right?
You think we're crazy, don't you?


Then I won't even show you the other cowboy painting.


Obviously, the idea of Cowboy Vincent is simply absurd.

Oh, when you go, have a strawberry milkshake. Yum. Just don't touch the cowhide - that thing is being held together by cobwebs and hope, I think.

Retro MTV Placeholder

I know I haven't posted anything since Friday, but I'm kind of stuck on a conference call at my "real" job right now. So to amuse you for the next 15 seconds, here's one of the wonderful little promos Bill Plympton used to do for MTV waaaaaaaay back in the day, when they used to need little promos to break up the honest-to-God music videos they used to show. Really, they did. Sometimes for hours on end.

Anyway, if I can I'll post something else later. For the next 15 seconds (or more, if you keep hitting "replay"), enjoy.

P.S. Precocious Daughter took home a second-place medal for her karate form on Saturday. I now fear for my safety.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Please Pray for My Coccyx

Tomorrow the Baudelaire family is driving to Houston to watch Precocious Daughter compete in a state karate tournament. On the one hand, Woohoo! Way to make it to the state tournament, PDaughter! You are the Chuck Norris of sixth-graders, if Chuck Norris were a skinny girl who raises virtual dragons and watches "My Little Pony" but claims to do it ironically.

Have I mentioned how great it is that you can find a picture
of freaking anything on the Internet?

On the other hand, tomorrow we're driving to Houston.

Which, if one believes this photo from,
is infested with dinosaurs.
According to the directions I downloaded from the Google, it's a 4.5-hour drive to the tournament. And presumably a 4.5-hour drive back, if I understand how time and space work (not a given). The tournament itself will last last about eight hours. The time we'll spend actually watching PDaughter perform in her two events might total 10 minutes. If she does well and gets to participate in the medal ceremony, make it 20.

So that's seventeen consecutive hours of sitting - in a car or on bleachers - to watch maybe 20 minutes of a karate tournament.

Oh my God I love my child so much.

If PDaughter wants to demonstrate her mad karate skillz by kicking my butt when we finally get home, she's welcome to do so. I guarantee my butt won't even feel it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Am Literally Too Old for This Sh*t

I am not pregnant. I have a stick with a blue line on it that says so.

Stock photo. NOT my actual pregnancy test
that I peed on. That would be gross.
And while I'm relieved to be not-pregnant, I am also galled beyond belief that I had to buy a pregnancy test to prove it. I'm 44 years old. I have a daughter who will be a teenager in a few short months and a husband who has lost a significant portion of his hair. That is not the ideal family unit to introduce a new baby into. Into which to introduce a new baby. Whatever.

Oh, like you know so much about proper grammar.
You poop yourself eight times a day.
What's more, Beloved Spouse and I are not supposed to be able to make more babies. We have signed affidavits from doctors stating that we can't make more babies. Really. We do. There's a perfectly good reason for that; I mean, we didn't go around to a bunch of doctors and ask them to say under oath that BelSpouse was shooting blanks just because we thought they would look good framed in our library. We're not weird.

We're perfectly lovely people
once you get to know us.

But I'm not going into that story here. It'll be in my book. (Note to self: Get book deal, already.)

The point is, I shouldn't be turning up preggers.

Nonetheless, notarized documents to the contrary, I've been pregnant twice in the last five years.

They didn't take. Obviously.

Our nuclear family is a couple of protons short.
I'm not one of those women who think of my miscarried embryos as "angels" or "children in heaven" or "missed being tax deductions by that much." No disrespect to women who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or delivered a stillborn child. My heart goes out to them. But in my case, I had two completely unplanned, unexpected, and frankly unwanted pregnancies that failed very early, presumably because God realized He was doing no one any favors by giving me another child at this stage of the game.

"Whoops, quality control failure. My bad. We'll just take that one back."
Still, I'm here to tell you that, as unpleasant as it is to endure a miscarriage, it's worse when you simultaneously feel grateful and relieved that the little bundle of cells in your womb turned out to be unviable. And on top of that, those feelings don't stop you from instinctively mourning the loss of something you didn't even want. I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes the best outcome for everyone still kind of sucks. Go figure.

And now I've had to buy a damn pregnancy test again. Because the numbers on the calendar weren't adding up right, if you know what I mean. Ugh. But it came out one line instead of two. So, yay for infertility, or luck, or God's warped sense of humor, or whatever you want to call it.

You've got to admit, the giraffe is a pretty poor argument for intelligent design.
FYI, there is nothing funnier than a woman on the cusp of menopause skulking into a drugstore to buy a First Response kit like a teenager buying his first box of rubbers. Ha. Ha.

This comes close. But no.
Oh, and to answer the question that may be forming at the back of your mind:

Because using protection would be the sign of rational and prudent behavior. Duh.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Shakespeare Day, Thou Cream-Faced Loons

By tradition, April 23 is marked as both the birthday and death date of William Shakespeare. We know he died on this day in 1616, and we think he may have born on this day, or at least thereabouts, in 1564. Which means that he produced the greatest body of written work in the history of the English language in precisely 52 years on this Earth. Which means that I'd better get cracking, because I have just under eight years to match Will's feat.**

I can totally accomplish this. I've already created, uh...

(reviews body of work)

Hey, here's a picture of Shakespeare!

What was I saying? I forgot. Forsooth.
Anyway, to commemorate the birth, death, and all the gooey parts in the middle of Shakespeare, here's a clip from "Sesame Street."

It's totally Shakespearean, I promise. It's got Patrick Stewart, who sounds Shakespearean taking a crap, I'll bet.

Um, brevity is the soul of wit. Too late? Probably.

One more thing: Thanks to Mr. Shakespeare, I have found my ideal job description and professional aspiration (courtesy of Troilus and Cressida): Idol of idiot-worshippers. I'm totally getting business cards made up with that.

** Speaking of feats, Happy Anniversary to my parents, who celebrate 48 years of weddeditude today. Way to set the bar impossibly high for the rest of us. Love you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Another Sunday Morning Sex Dream Analysis

Last night I dreamed that Adam Savage and I tested a myth together.

As complete geeks go, they don't get much hotter
than Adam Savage.
Um...this is where it gets tricky to write about. You see, the myth was, uh, personal in nature and involved getting drunk and, uh.... I don't want to go any further because I totally don't want to give anyone the impression that I had a sex dream about Adam Savage.

Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts.
 Anyway, I told Beloved Spouse about my dream this morning, hoping he would be aghast, but apparently he was only amused. He offered me an on the spot dream analysis, which is a service he is always willing to provide because he loves to point out how ridiculous my dreams are.

His dreams usually involve saving the world from Genghis Khan
with his personal army of Fembots.
I listened to his point-by-point dissection of the imagery and psychological significance of my dream until I got creeped out by the fact that he was obviously starting to make up new stuff that was never in my head. He does that. Because he's a dude and there is soft-core porn movie music running in his head at all times.

A man can look at two librarians and a card catalogue
and see a sorority lesbian jello-shot orgy waiting to happen.
Although I must admit, I find the Dewey Decimal System
pretty sexy, myself.
 Anyway, his analysis (which I'm not going to detail here because it was totally unflattering to my psyche and also pretty accurate) left out one salient point: Why Adam Savage, of all people?

His answer, and I am not making this up: "Because your subconscious knows you couldn't get Jamie Hyneman."



I would be so pissed off. Except he's probably right.

Apropos of nothing,
Moltar and Jamie - separated at birth?
And this is a totally normal Sunday morning conversation at the Baudelaire house.

Welcome to my world.

Friday, April 20, 2012

WEED. That's What You're All Thinking.

I know, I know. Happy 4/20. Hooray for marijuana and all that.

If you were thinking to yourself, "I'll bet easy-listening superstar Neil Diamond never sang a song about the evil weed," well, you're wrong.

Yes, I've heard the Willie Nelson/Snoop Dogg collaboration "Roll Me Up." Yes, it's awesome, not only to listen to but to watch.'s about pot. Srsly.

But here's the thing. Everyone knows today is International Marijuana Appreciation Day, or whatever you want to call it. I mean, middle-aged ladies like me are giggling about it on Facebook. April 20 is about half-a-puff away from having its own section at the Hallmark store.

Thanks to, maybe even closer.

But here's what I want to know: Why wasn't everyone celebrating Bicycle Day yesterday?

The rare and exotic "intact blotter."
Even I wasn't celebrating Bicycle Day yesterday. I was celebrating my wedding anniversary with Beloved Spouse, and the only trip we took was to our local Italian restaurant. I tasted plenty of garlic and mozzarella cheese, but no purple.

Not LSD, but an incredible simulation.
(Snagged from a friend's Facebook page - thanks, pH!)
I'm pretty much a bust when it comes to taking illegal drugs (see what I did there?). My partying days - which I must say were pretty tame to begin with - are pretty much behind me. Just say no and all that. I don't want to lose my suburban mom cred by actually having fun. These days, I get my kicks from safe, legal, and completely non-addicting distilled spirits.

If they were good enough for Hemingway and his cat,
they're good enough for me.
Still, it's good to know that April 19th commemorates something other than the Oklahoma City bombing and the Branch Davidian fire. Thank you, Dr. Albert Hoffman, for bravely taking that first acid trip in 1943. I don't know why you don't get more love today.

Maybe you should have done a duet with Snoop Dogg.

Here, have another hit:


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Now Handing Out Birthday Kisses, Spankings, Really Whatever You Want

Two of my favorite people share a birthday today.

David Tennant, aka the Tenth Doctor, aka the Hottest Freaking Man in the Whole Entire World OMG Are You Kidding Me, turns 41 today.

Holy mackerel.
And you can't even hear his accent in this picture.
I mean, Matt Smith does a fine job on "Doctor Who" and all. But to my knowledge he's never played Hamlet or appeared in a remake of Fright Night or inspired me to drool. To my knowledge.

Also celebrating a birthday today is Conan O'Brien, who turns 49. I love me some Conan.

Posing with a baby chimp. A blatant attempt
to curry my favor. Totally effective, by the way.
Coco is not nearly as hot as David Tennant (who makes me drool, did I mention that?). But he's pretty damn cute. And Irish. Because the Irish are adorable (I'm looking at you, Bono). Oh, and Conan is of course hilarious. Pretty much if you can make me laugh and are willing to pose with baby chimps, I'm putty in your hands. I'm not saying my standards are low, but they are weird.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to these two marvelous men. I will blow out their candles any time.

Seriously, I'm really good at it.
Did you think that was some kind of sexual euphemism?
What is wrong with you?
I'd also like to point out that today is the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco. Not adorable or appropriate to celebrate. But, like David Tennant, very hot.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Did NOT Need to Know This

Today, thanks to a LivingSocial deal in my e-mail, I learned something new and, um, different.
Today I learned what Brazilian sugaring is.
Ha ha, no.
Shows you what I know.
"Sugaring" refers to sugaring wax, a depiliatory paste made of water, lemon juice, and cane sugar.

In other words, lemonade concentrate.
And "Brazilian," in the world of cosmetology, refers to the hoo-hah.

If you watched "Camp Lazlo" on Cartoon Network,
this makes perfect sense. But that's not
what I'm talking about, and you know it.
Brazilian sugaring, therefore, is the process of removing all the hair from the girly parts by smearing it with lemonade concentrate.
I know, right?
And apparently places that do this kind of thing charge $50-100 for it.
Because there's one born every minute.
And I'll bet the yellow one is lemon-flavored.
I did not need to know this existed as a service. The worst part is, I can't help thinking this is just a terrible business model. I mean, don't you think there are people who would pay $100 to smear lemon paste on a woman's hoo-hah?
He's thinking about it right now.
Anyway, if you want to have lemonade concentrate rubbed on your lady area for half price, there's a Living Social deal for that. It's a bargain, I guess. But for that price, it should come with a hot dog.


Monday, April 16, 2012

I Can't Believe This Makes Me a "Liberal"

Silly me.

I want to vote for the Presidential candidate who will best protect our national security, articulate and support sound fiscal policy, improve America's crumbling physical infrastructure, balance economic growth with environmental protection, and promote prosperity and equal opportunity for all Americans.

I don't know where I get such dumb ideas.

Instead I'm watching incredulously as the 2012 election inexorably boils down to the right of all Americans to have sex in whichever orifice they deem suitable.

For the record: This is not the issue upon which I want to base my vote.

Quick: Do you want to have sex with her,
go shopping with her, or ask her where she got
the patterns to make the stuffed animals?
I don't care.
I worry about whether America can sustain a thriving economy without a manufacturing base. I wonder if government investment in alternative energy sources is hampering efficient private-sector development of the technology. I debate the current and future role of the United States as an international peacekeeper. I search for signs that government can do more with less and Congress can commit to fewer earmarks and wasteful programs. I hope we don't become a nation completely dependent on factory farms and monopolistic corporations to provide us with goods and services.

Clearly, I'm an idiot.

What really matters to America in the 21st century is making sure "gay" doesn't become syonymous with "happy."

NOT gay.
Because if we let same-sex couples get married, then...


...uh, America will...

...that is to say...

Well, I'll let presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney explain why he pledges to support a Constitutional amendment denying legal marriage to gay couples:

"Marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom. It is also critical for the well-being of a civilization. That is why it is so important to preserve traditional marriage – the joining together of one man and one woman."

OK, so marriage is critical to the well-being of civilization. Because...well, Mr. Romney doesn't actually say why. Personally, I believe that legal unions produce more stable family units, greater transmission of shared values, and a more solid foundation for raising educated, productive citizens. So let's agree to agree on that point.

Therefore, marriage must be defined as the joining together of one man and one woman. Because...well, Mr. Romney doesn't say why here, either. Let's see. I guess it's because only heterosexual couples can have children. Except the ones that can't or don't want to. And the homosexual couples who adopt or use surrogates.  I guess it's because heterosexual couples never break up. Ha. Haha. HahahaHAHAHAHAHAhahaha!

Stop, you're killing me.
All right, I'm not sure why a social conservative like Mitt Romney doesn't want people, people who want to get married, to get married. I mean, other than not liking gay people, which would be a silly and bigoted position to take. Oh, and that whole "one sentence in the Bible says homosexuality is bad" thing. Yeah, I'll say this once: I'm not electing a spiritual leader. I'm electing someone to keep us out of the next war/recession/other bad thing.

I don't care what Mitt Romney thinks about gay people, and I don't expect him to "do anything about" them. See, I expect our next President to keep my gay friends from losing their jobs or getting cancer from food additives, too, as well as my straight friends, my immigrant friends, my poor friends, and even people I don't like at all. That's the President's job.

Now, on the other side of the race, President Obama has declined to come out in support of gay marriage, although he did repeal the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and oppses the Defense of Marriage Act. But you know what? I don't care.

Stitch that up and frame it.
I mean, those are good things that President Obama has done. But I've got to say, I'm way more interested in what he plans to do about the volatile relations between Israel and Iran than I am in gay couples' wedding plans. No offense, and I know it's an important issue, and not just to gay people. I just don't think it's Job One for the President to declare that scissoring has equal status with missionary position in the eyes of the law.

I don't want to hear anybody's views
on the subject, frankly.
Yet the news bites and the debates and the entire freaking campaign keeps getting sidetracked to the supposedly crucial question of whether gay couples should get to have a go at the incredibly rewarding, validating, tiresome, and difficult institution of marriage like the rest of us. Meanwhile, no one is explaining to my satisfaction why Congress refuses to close tax loopholes on corporations that hijack the free enterprise system.

For God's sake (see what I did there?), let people get married and enjoy the protections and shoulder the burdens afforded by that particular legal status. Do it for no other reason than to get the government out of people's bedrooms and back on the business of healing a badly battered America.

That's my radical, leftist view. Apparently.