Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm So Glad I Voted in the Texas Primary

So yesterday was Primary Day in Texas. I cast my vote in the Democratic primary.

I only did it for the sticker. I love the sticker.
It was the high point of my day. Not because democracy in action gives me a huge rush (although, yeah, it's pretty good shit), but because of the awesomeness that unfolded at the polling place.

Now, I live in a middle-class suburb of Dallas. This means I had every right to expect to see tumbleweeds slowly rolling through the Democrats' designated voting site.

Actual location of polling place. Really. Would I lie?
Instead, the joint was hopping. There was a steady flow of people in and out. True, it was a mere 30 minutes before the polls closed, so I figured I was part of the final rush to cast a ballot. Maybe all 26 non-Republicans in the entire city had shown up at once to register their meaningless choices.

My first clue that I was wrong - in an unbelievably awesome way - was a sign taped to the front door. I failed to take a picture of it because I was busy scratching my head, but I swear to God it said this:

Yes, in pink marker.
 Which was an interesting sentiment to post on the door of the city library.

Well, I'm not exactly a Democrat - I'm more of a Pig-Headed Independent - but I was there to vote in the Democratic primary, so I went inside. There was a pretty substantial line of people waiting to enter the voting area. Again, sort of surprising, given the pronounced righty slant of my adopted hometown. But there was about the makeup of the assembled electorate.

These people were, for lack of a better word, well appointed. The men were wearing pressed khaki shorts and designer shoes with no socks. The women carried small, chic purses that were designed to hold credit cards and smartphones. Nobody seemed happy or relaxed. They all looked as if they had somewhere much more important to be than here, performing their messy civic duty.

In short, these people looked like Republicans.

Not shown: Pipe, slippers, sense of entitlement.
And sure enough, about nine in ten of these prospective voters were being turned away by a very tired-looking woman with a clipboard. Which made them look even less happy and relaxed.

In a nutshell, here's what happened. Several weeks ago, a letter was sent to every registered voter in town. That letter included the designated polling place for either the Republican or Democratic primary, based on the recipient's previous voting record. Unfortunately, a glitch occurred, and apparently every single person had been instructed to show up at the Democratic voting location.

Ha. Hahaha. HahahahaHAAAAAAAhahahaha!

I'm sorry, that's not funny. Not funny at all.

Now look what you've gone and done.
In all seriousness, I felt really bad for the poor lady who had to ask every person if they were a  Democrat or a Republican and then inform the latter they were in the wrong place and had approximately 20 minutes to get across town to Romneypalooza. Because those uptight  middle-aged conservatives were uniformly pissed. And they were taking it out on this poor sweet-faced hippie lady who surely thought she was going to have a nice, quiet day with the bare handful of like-minded souls who live around here.

That part was pretty uncool. But here's what was totally awesome:
  • Watching middle-class suburbanites get angry in that huffy, repressed way of theirs.
"Can you believe it, I'm stuck at the library surrounded by commoners.
Lay off half my staff and corner the market on soybeans, will you?"
  • Seeing the steady influx of fresh-scrubbed Republicans walking into the library, proudly bearing their voter registration cards with no idea they were about to be told "no" by a Democrat.
  • Breezing past the milling, confused crowd straight into the voting area.
  • Making the woman who signed me in laugh when I congratulated her on creating so many disgruntled Republicans.
And then I voted and got my little sticker, and I felt warm all over. Then I bought a bottle of vodka and felt even warmer.

Here's the thing, people of Earth. Yesterday morning, I got on the Intertubes and double-checked my polling location. Mostly because I had lost the letter I received immediately after receiving it, but also because I didn't want to waste my time showing up at the wrong place. I went to the website of the local Democratic Party, entered my name and birthday, and boom - it told me where to vote, showed me a sample ballot, and gave me a swell recipe for organic lentil casserole to boot.

And taught me some killer changes for
"I Shall Be Released."
Damn lefty pinko Internet, giving out information to the unwashed masses. Pretty soon they'll be wanting the vote. Oh, wait.

Seriously, five minutes on the computer and I got to experience the rare thrill of feeling better than a Republican. And renewed my right to bitch and moan about the government by voting.

America: Oh Hell Yes.
I'm so glad I got my democracy on.

Don't worry, local Republicans; you'll get your laughs in November, when you undoubtedly will retain your iron grip on democracy's balls in Texas.

God bless America. Hugz.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Texas Primary Day!

Warning: Today's post is not particularly unbiased.

Today Texas is having its long-delayed GOP primary. Oh, and the Democratic primary, too. But this is Texas, and in Texas Democrats have NO CHANCE. Because the Lone Star State consists almost exclusively of rednecks, self-entitled suburbanites who don't give a damn about anything except their HOAs, gun-toting Tea Party wackos who draw heavily from the previous two groups, and a minority of progressive, socially-conscious people who are variously too disorganized, too few in number, and too stoned to mount a strong opposition to the prevailing Republican junta.

The most significant and prolonged movement Texas liberals
have ever managed.
So the two big races on today's Texas ballot are the GOP Presidential primary and the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison.

SPOILER ALERT: Mitt Romney will win.

Likely answers include "I don't remember,"
"Mormons are so too Christians," and "I like money."
So let's move on to the Senate race. There are 312 names on the ballot. Actually, there are nine, but it seems like more because it's funnier that way. One of them is Craig James, who is the only candidate to have played for the New England Patriots and whose real name is Jesse James. Seriously. He is the cutest of the candidates. He also has the best blog devoted to his careeer and candidacy: "Craig James Killed 5 Hookers."

Then there's David Dewhurst, the current lieutenant governor of Texas. For those outside the state, despite my many jabs at Governor Dick Perry, the position he holds is little more than window dressing. It's the lieutenant governor who actually drives policy and wields influence over the state legislature. Why exactly Mr. Dewhurst would want to give up his seat of power to become a junior Senator and languish on minor committees like the Joint Committee on Printing (a real thing) is unclear. What's important is that the lieutenant governor brags openly on his website that he totally supported recent Texas legislation that stripped women of privacy, choice, and access to health care; that he withheld funds from the state education system; that he crippled the right of millions of citizens to seek legal recourse for others' wrongdoing via lawsuits; and that he thinks protecting the environment is for pussies.

Running a strong - and ridiculously expensive - campaign against Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is former Dallas major Tom Leppert. I don't live in Dallas, so I was never directly affected by his decisions as mayor. I'm told by his ads that he "ran Dallas like a business," which explains why, like so many other businesses, it's failing miserably. Mr. Leppert's campaign is distinguished by some of the most mean-spirited negative TV and radio ads I've seen in a long time, as well as by the support of several former Dallas Cowboys including Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, who are now pretty much dead to me. On the issues, Mr. Leppert is pretty much indistinguishable from his opponents: he opposes choice, marriage equality, environmental protection, "Obamacare," taxes, the middle class, and bunnies (one assumes).

Running under the Tea Party banner is Ted Cruz. Although I have nothing good to say about the Tea Party, I have to say Mr. Cruz scores points with me because his high-school yearbook picture was accompanied by a Douglas Adams quote. Also, his website includes unusually detailed and articulate summaries of his economic positions. I mean, there are statistics and references to specific laws and everything. Hooray for policy! On the other hand, his positions are sort of buried on his website, which devotes much more prominent space to rebutting his opponents' "lies" about him. That strikes me as kind of desperate. But hey, he's a Hispanic running as a Tea Party Republican; the attacks against him have been predictably vicious. Oh, and he's endorsed by Rick Santorum. *falls down laughing*

I didn't bother to research the other candidates, one of whom is named "Doc Joe" Agris. And as I said, I'm not paying much attention to the Democrats, because they have no chance. I'll pick them at random when I vote today.

And I will vote today. Despite the futility of keeping the Republicans out of our vacant Senate seat or any of the state and local seats for which they're competing. Because it's not about winning, it's about participating. If I want to keep this whiny, poorly-read forum for my opinions honest, I have no choice but to cast my ballot. It's the price of admission into democracy. Remember that when you're wondering why you should bother.

People die for the right to cast a "meaningless" vote. The least you can do is get off the couch.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I Know His First Name Is Stephan

I'm still looking for info on the ridiculously hot carpenter on HGTV's "White Room Challenge."

His name is Stephan. And thanks to HGTV actually letting him have lines on last week's episode, I know that

And not a mime.
Holy crap, this guy is hot. He can hammer my boards any time he...oh, wait, I'm married. But still.

I'm not putting up a picture of Stephan. Because I still can't find one. And I still don't know his last name. All I know is that he's ridiculously hot and French.

This is an incredibly poor substitute.
So really, I have very little to report. But I wanted you to know I'm still on the hunt.

Hey...maybe I should try out for "White Room Challenge." I can design stuff. I mean, here's the room Stephan helped with last week.

Stephan was appalled, in a ridiculously hot, French way.
So...wish me luck. And for God's sake, if you have a picture, a last name, a bio, anything...hook me up.

I'm just, you know, curious.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Three Day Weekend Checklist

I have a plan of action for the next three days.

Besides honoring our nation's war dead in a way
that doesn't involve characterizing their mortal sacrifice
as a "happy" holiday. Say what?
Here's what I've got lined up.

I've got my trusty Blucig for some extremely enjoyable vaping. Really, I've decided vaping is just the most fun you can have without getting cancer and smelling like a landfill fire. And hip. Soooo hip.

And in case you're wondering, I do not plan
to stop looking for excuses to post pictures of
hipster kitties any time soon.
I've got my Bug in the shop to (finally) get repaired. He's been sick, and now he's going to get better, thanks to a reputable local service facility and, most likely, the greater part of my tax refund check.

Not to mention the giant car-sized ice pack.
Those things are really hard to find.
 I have not a drop of alcohol in the house, and it's going to stay that way all weekend. There's definitely a future post to be written about my most recent episode of drinking. Right now it's being blocked by a large wall of personal embarrassment. On the other hand, when I get past that, it's going to be hilarious. Trust me.

Also, I still don't remember enough to actually write about it.
 I've got a date to play family board games with Beloved Spouse and Precocious Daughter. Which probably sounds incredibly dull to some of you. And maybe it will be. But I can't think of anything I'd rather do that doesn't involve a bottle of honey and Johnny Depp in his underwear.

I couldn't actually find a picture of Johnny Depp
in his underwear. But I had fun looking.
And...yeah, that's about it. Other than the usual housework and shopping and weekend stuff. When I said plan of action, I really meant plan of doing very little and enjoying the hell out of it.

And honoring the sacrifices of our nation's war dead. There's a reason it's called Memorial Day and not Practice Patriotism by Eating an Entire Bag of Flamin' Hot  Cheetos Day.

My Bug and I got a date with a tow truck. Later, gators.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You Ruined My Record, Man

Happy Birthday to Mr. Tommy Chong, who turns - oh, sweet Jesus - 74 years old today. In lieu of smoking a bunch of weed in his honor - because drugs are bad and wrong and I don't have any weed - I present my favorite Cheech and Chong skit, "Earache My Eye." This made me laugh my face off when I was 10, and I was amazed, but not really surprised, to discover that I still know it word for word after all these years. Glad to know it did permanent damage.

So if you're so inclined, raise a bong for Chong. Or just enjoy the track. Happy Birthday, man.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fox News Makes You Dumb, But Not Much Dumber Than Everyone Else

Best laugh I got on the Internetz today was this headline:

STUDY: Watching Only Fox News Makes You Less Informed Than Watching No News At All

In other shocking news...President Obama is black!

Must be Bill O'Reilly's #1 fan.
In a nutshell, 1,185 random people in a PublicMind poll were asked five questions about current domestic affairs and five questions about international affairs, as well as where they usually get their news on. Among responents who identified only a single news source, those who said they watch only Fox News correctly answered fewer questions than those who get their news from CNN, MSNBC, or Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," among others.

Those who exclusively listen to National Public Radio news scored highest on both domestic and international questions.

Granola is brain food.

Personal opinion, but listening to NPR all the time seems a high price to pay for being a tad better informed about current events. Not a huge NPR fan, me. They introduced me to Barenaked Ladies in 1992 and haven't done a thing for me since.

<3 nerd rock.
In any event, if you ask me, this story buried the lead. It's easy to laugh at dumbass Fox News fans. No, really, it is. Let's do it together.

Let's do it like Muttley.
However, the plain fact is that while those dumbass Fox News fans averaged a total of 2.12 correct answers out of 10 questions, the top-of-the-heap, my-latte-is-foamier-than-your-latte NPR listeners averaged 3.48 correct answers to the same 10 questions. That's a score of, let's see, 35% or so.

Why, with a mere 60-point curve,
that's a solid A.
So while the last-place hardcore Fox News junkies get a solid F in their knowledge of current events, the first-place NPR devotees get...a solid F in their knowledge of current events.

I got seven out of ten wrong.
You got eight out of ten wrong.
My superiority is palpable.
Am I wrong to think the bigger story here is that a lot of people are dumb and clueless about the world in which they live? I'm not saying I scored a perfect 10, but according to these results, I could have gotten fully half of them wrong and still be an intellectual Godzilla compared to the smartest randomly-selected tools in this particular shed.

No, more than that. An intellectual Sharktopus.
I mean, 35% of the respondents - over 400 people - didn't know the Republicans control the U.S House of Representatives. And that was the best result of any question on the survey. That's not an effect of ideology. That's just idiotic.

Not that the two are mutually exclusive, mind you.
What is kinda sorta biased is the headline itself. Fox News makes you less informed than watching no news at all? Well, yeah, that's a grabber. But how about "Watching 'Meet the Press' Doesn't Make You As Smart As You Think It Does," or "Fox Viewers Ignorant, But CNN Fans Not Much Better," or the even catchier "Most Americans Have Their Heads Up Their Asses When It Comes to Knowledge of Current Events"?

I like to bash Fox News as much as the next person.

The next person. In my dreams.
But this time I can't bash too hard. In the kingdom of the ignorant, the halfwit is king. Yay?

For the record, I scored seven out of ten, mostly because I didn't remember which Republicans won which primaries. To see the complete survey results, including all the questions and how Americans answered them, click here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Win the Bad Role Model Derby (W00t)

I did it. I totally did what I said I was going to do.

Last night I bought my first e-cigarette.

Blu, not that I'm endorsing anything.
And I horrified, mortified, and angered my Precocious Daughter in the process.

As the kids say: W00t!

Why do they say it? I don't know.
I still say "groovy" unironically.
We were at the drugstore last night, buying a birthday card. At the checkout, I noticed a display of disposable Blucigs among the tobacco-and-tar cancer-sticks. Ten bucks. I've been waiting to shell out the $79 for the entire Blucig kit. I've been waiting to have $79 in my possession that isn't earmarked for milk or gasoline, frankly. But for ten bucks, my inner hipster screamed out that it was time to start vaping.

Look how adorable my inner hipster is!
So I asked the impossibly young dude behind the counter for one. And PDaughter looked at it as if he had just set a mutant alien tentacle in front of me.

Which is strange, because as a rule she's quite fond of the Ood.
Then she looked at me.

"What is that?"


"Why are you buying that?"

Because I want to try it.

"I'm telling Daddy."

So? I'll tell him myself.

PDaughter fumed on the way home. I set the bag from the drugstore on the kitchen table and pulled out the card we had bought for our nephew to show Beloved Spouse. And then, with all the righteousness of a pissed-off tween, PDaughter reached into the bag, pulled out the Blucig, and marched it over to her father.

"Look at this!"

What's that?

"She bought an e-cigarette." (Imagine a tone implying that I had just purchased Jeffrey Dahmer's testicles in a jar as a memento.)

How much did it cost?

Me: Ten dollars.

At this point I could see BelSpouse reviewing nearly a quarter of a century of personal history and the various cockamamie things I've brought into our home during that time. Hermit crabs. Disco shirts. The entire recorded output of the Monkees. A ceramic planter shaped like a Basset hound.

BelSpouse really hates hermit crabs.
It's a bone of contention.
Finally he shrugged and said, "Give your mom a break. Let her have her fun."

PDaughter looked me and hissed, "You're a bad influence." And there was much eye-rolling and heavy sighing. I resisted the urge to stick out my tongue at my own daughter. Because I am mature, bitches.

Anyway, the verdict on vaping?

Love it. I sense a new bad habit sliding into my brain and making itself comfortable. Unless I get bored with it. Or something better comes along. Or I forget I even have an e-cigarette. Or I lose it. Or I decide I prefer vodka to nicotine after all.

PDaughter is giving me way more credit as a bad influence than I deserve. It takes a lot of dedication to be a negative role model. Look at Kanye. He is always on the job. Me? I go whole days without warping my child's sensibilities sometimes. I'm sort of lazy that way.

Plus, she's pretty scary when she goes all stern and disapproving on me. Thank goodness she's around to keep me in line.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stupid Stars

I read my horoscope every day. Because I like to read fiction.

I also believe in poltergeists, ESP, and especially the chupacabra.
The horoscope in my local newspaper - because I also believe in print media, which is stranger than all that other stuff combined - includes a number rating each day in addition to the usual platitudes about love, work, and following your damn heart. So you can see if you're having a day that's a 10 - woo-hoo! - or a two.

AKA most days ending in Y.
So for the last several days, my horoscope has pegged me at a solid 9.

The lesson is: Horoscopes are stupid.

Also a nine.
On the other hand, others look up to me as a leader and true love is just around the corner.

Whatever, stars.

And Bigfoot. I totally believe in Bigfoot.
The only thing that can accurately predict what kind of day I'm going to have is my own attitude. I can look adversity in the face and overcome it, I can stare down obstacles and sail over them, I can get through anything if I believe I can.

Because I always have before. And I'm not going to stop now.

I believe there are better days ahead.

And ghosts in the pantry. Believe that, too.
If I just relax and let things be, they'll work out for the best.

At least that's what my horoscope says.

Oops. Sorry. Force of habit.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Well, If It Ain't Pincers McGee

It's Friday. It's been a long week. I'm crabby.

Sometimes you most need a hug when you're least likely to get one.

Oh, well. Good thing I have this thick, calcified outer layer to tool around in. Otherwise I might feel vulnerable. AND WE CAN'T HAVE THAT.  Can we?

I'll be scuttling sideways if you need me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sweet Spot

Today is not turning out the way I hoped.

Bascially all it's missing is is a hot naked guy.
And a beach. And a sunset.
And me looking good in shorts.
Work is too work-y today. And lunch wasn't nearly lunch-y enough. And the gaggle of hot young technicians who occupied my office for much of this week is gone - which is just as well because I realized I'm old enough to be their mom. And they were all looking at me as if I were old enough to be their mom.

I hate when that happens.

I am one pissed-off cougar.
Anyway, there was one bright spot in all this mess. I had a Crunchie.

Sounds vaguely naughty, but it's not.
I love these things. They come from the United Kingdom, where they know how to make weird and wonderful confectionaries.

"If we took out the bones, it wouldn't be crunchy!"
Crunchie bars are chocolate-covered honeycomb candy. Basically, sugar and corn syrup cooked until it's crispy and filled with little air bubbles. On this side of the pond, it's often called "fairy food."

Doesn't look like any fairy I ever saw.
Maybe it's named for the tooth fairy, who does bang-up
business when this stuff makes all your teeth fall out of your head.
Anyway, having a bite of Crunchie bar today went a long way toward salvaging a kind of crappy day. In fact, I may need to make my own batch of fairy food just to make sure the day ends on a high note. Because I will say anything to justify eating candy.

Here's a recipe for homemade Crunchie/fairy food, in case your own gaggle of hot young studs left you high and dry and the stupid sign vendor messed up your order yet again and there's a stack of paperwork on your desk that you didn't create but have to deal with anyway. It makes enough to share. Or not. Depending on how your day is going.

Fairy Food aka Crunchie Bar Candy (from

1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pound chocolate confectioners' coating
  1. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Heat, without stirring, to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour into prepared pan; do not spread. Mixture will not fill pan. Allow to cool completely.
  3. In the microwave or over a double boiler, melt coating chocolate, stirring frequently until smooth. Break cooled candy into bite sized pieces and dip into melted candy coating. Let set on waxed paper. Store tightly covered.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Prosecution Calls Miss Diana Ross

Check this out, from Yahoo! News:
The defense in the John Edwards corruption trial rested on Wednesday morning in Greensboro, N.C., without calling the former presidential candidate, his daughter Cate or Rielle Hunter, his former mistress, mother of his 4-year-old love child and the woman at the center of the scandal that spawned the federal case against him.
Wait, what?

"Love child"?

Do we still use that term in the year of our Lord 2012?

OMG, apparently we still do.
At least these media outlets aren't calling Sen. Edwards' daughter a "bastard," "illegitimate child," or "sinful spawn of Satan's naughty bits." Although perhaps these alternate definitions are incorporated by reference.

Whatever, it's all the kid's fault.
 I'm reminded, of course, of the classic 1968 hit song by Diana Ross and the Supremes, "Love Child."

Back then, there was still great shame in having a child out of wedlock, and even in being such a child. Fortunately, society's attitudes have changed significantly toward this issue, thanks in part to noble horndogs like John Edwards. His federal corruption trial has brought to light the tragedy of children born "in an old, cold, rundown tenement slum."

Poor Frances Quinn Hunter is forced to call this dump home.
Left to fend for themselves, with nothing but $9,000 a month in diverted campaign funds, Sen. Edwards' love child and her poverty-stricken mother have lived in the shadows on the fringes of society.

Except for the odd National Enquirer spread.
It's a life without glamor or abundance.
And the occasional pantsless GQ photo shoot.
Poor little Frances. As if it's not bad enough to be called out as a "love child," now her daddy might be heading to prison. Sad, but not unexpected in the lives of these outcast children.

I just have to wonder: If the baby Sen. Edwards had with his mistress while his wife was dying of cancer is a "love child," what would you call those other kids he had?

I nominate "loinburgers."
Thank you, Yahoo! News, for giving me such insight into this tragic story. And thank you, Miss Ross, for setting it to a slinky groove. I like my antiquated moralizing rhetoric to have a good beat.