Saturday, October 31, 2009
Hope you've all enjoyed your week at the Halloween Humor Carnival over at Humor Bloggers Dot Com. I know I've had a grand time, reading chilling stories, getting ideas for new costumes, giggling over the week's caption contests and spurting hot apple cider out my nose with each guffaw.
And so, my dear departed readers, I leave you with this childhood classic....
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
And some play pinochle on your snout.
Your stomach turns to sickening green
Your guts flow out like whipping cream
Your eyes pop out, your teeth decay
And that's the end of a perfect day...
(It's precisely because of this ditty that I decided as a child to be cremated.)
Be sure to tune in next month as the Humor Bloggers respond to the fight against injustice with
Friday, October 30, 2009
Obesity in children has become a national disgrace. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and become proactive in the fight to reduce the amount of sugar in our kids' diets. Because I care.
As my first step toward eradicating obesity in children, I've established a moratorium on giving out candy this Halloween. Instead, I'm giving out DVD's of this instructional video to all the kids in my neighborhood. I'm sure they'll find it a much healthier treat.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Anyway, you may have heard me talk about Vlad when he was little and his propensity for being a train engineer for Halloween every year. That lasted until he was six. An easy fix for the costume... take what he wore every day and add a red bandana.
Then he actually went as a spider when he was 7... still not too taxing on my skills with haute couture. Buy a set of black sweats and sew on some cheesy fabric legs. No sweat!
However, the next year, he discovered the mysteries of locks and keys. This interest almost landed me in Mommy Jail, but I managed to escape being handcuffed to the bed before the Child Protective Services folks arrived to take me away for neglect. Hey, how did you expect me to watch the child while I was restrained?
So imagine my chagrin when Vlad informed me that he wanted to be a Master padlock for Halloween. Say, what? Hmmm..... this one was going to take some more work. He insisted on having a dial that turned and a hasp that opened. Good luck with that, little buddy!
But being a good mother, I persevered and I must say, the final result was a winner.....
Sadly, I couldn't get Vlad to model it for me in time for this post. Dang! Clever, though, wouldn't you say? Vlad helped writing in the numbers and the word "Master". Surprisingly, nobody else at school showed up in a padlock outfit that year, so it was a real hit!
Take that, stupid Power Rangers, witches and princesses! My kid's a padlock!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
You may remember this old urban legend from the 1950's, as recounted on the website http://urbanlegends.about.com....
A teenage boy drove his date to a dark and deserted Lovers' Lane for a make-out session. After turning on the radio for mood music, he leaned over and began kissing the girl.
A short while later, the music suddenly stopped and an announcer's voice came on, warning in an urgent tone that a convicted murderer had just escaped from the state insane asylum — which happened to be located not far from Lovers' Lane — and that anyone who noticed a strange man lurking about with a hook in place of his right hand should immediately report his whereabouts to the police.
The girl became frightened and asked to be taken home. The boy, feeling bold, locked all the doors instead and, assuring his date they would be safe, attempted to kiss her again. She became frantic and pushed him away, insisting that they leave. Relenting, the boy peevishly jerked the car into gear and spun its wheels as he pulled out of the parking space.
When they arrived at the girl's house she got out of the car, and, reaching to close the door, began to scream uncontrollably. The boy ran to her side to see what was wrong and there, dangling from the door handle, was a bloody hook.
Well, at least when I was in high school, these kinds of stories were still being told. And we took full advantage of them, creeping ourselves out and then laughing hysterically.
Now, at our local amusement park there was a merry-go-round that had a chicken you could ride on that had big, nasty looking claws. I know... chickens instead of horses on a merry-go-round is a stupid idea, but that's what it was! To be fair, they also had a deer with antlers and a goat. Hey, it was Iowa for god's sake! Can I help where I was born?
Anyway, as teenagers we started changing around the infamous "hook" story to incorporate "The Claw" as inspired by the merry-go-round chicken. (Yeah, we had lots of time on our hands.) We made up one story in which "The Claw" lived in a local cemetery and lurked in a tree to surprise unsuspecting mourners who sat on a bench beneath it. Those who sat there risked having their eyes gouged out and their throats slit by the clawed hand that would come sweeping down out of the tree.
So one summer night, a friend and I were out for a drive in the country in his mom's 1968 Mustang convertible. We had the bright idea to go to one of those little country cemeteries where we would "defy the claw" by sitting on a bench under an old gnarly oak tree. To further create the ambiance we were looking for, we had waited until it was a new moon so that it would be totally dark.
We backed into the cemetery lane for a quick get-a-way. We turned the engine off, killed the lights and took the keys with us... wouldn't want anyone sneaking up and stealing the keys while we were away from the car, after all! The rule was you couldn't resort to using a flashlight because that would be cheating. Cautiously, and giggling hysterically, we crept past the tombstones to reach the bench. We had previously determined we would have to sit there for at least 15 minutes for it to count as having "defied the claw." We sat down, but we dared not look up into the overhanging branches of the tree.
Just as we were getting settled down from our giggling fit, we heard something...
A loud shout and a scream came from the back of the cemetery! We screamed in return and leaped off the bench, pushing each other out of the way to be the first back into the car. Luckily we had the top down, so no time was wasted opening doors. As the engine roared to life, lights came on behind us and another car roared into action! We peeled out of the cemetery as fast as the car would go, our hearts beating wildly and our eyes streaming with tears as we laughed uncontrollably...
Turns out we weren't the only ones "defying The Claw" at the cemetery that night. And I'll bet we weren't the last either!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
When people think of Halloween, they think of pumpkins and costumes and candy and hay rides and monsters. Cemeteries provide the backdrop for stories of the undead. Mad slasher movies delight teens. The supernatural provides thrills and chills for many. Tales of mysterious occurrences abound as people try to scare each other and themselves. With that in mind, I share this true story with you. Creepy? Maybe. You decide.
It was one of those days. I had been dragging for a week, but hated staying home from school. My life revolved around the social interactions that went on within the environs of my junior high school. Besides, at our house you didn't stay home from school unless you had a temperature and were actually puking. No slackers allowed in our family. So this was no ruse just to get to stay home and watch Dark Shadows. My mother took one look at me and declared there would be no school for me that day. I was laid low with the flu. I was officially sick. She took my temperature, dosed me with aspirin and a cup of Constant Comment tea and went off to work. Mom was not one to hang around and coddle us unnecessarily.
After a short stint worshiping at the porcelain throne, I went back to bed, delirious and shivering as the sweat poured off of me. Finally I succumbed to the fevered ministrations of Morpheus. Wild dreams made me toss and turn as I slept.
Sometime around mid-day I awoke, drowsy and confused. My eyelids fluttered open and I looked up to see someone standing over me. Concentrating as hard as I could, I made out the features of my brother. He didn't way a word, but just stared down at me. In my delirium, I opened and closed my eyes several times, asking what he was doing home in the middle of the day. He didn't move, but continued to stand there silently, simply observing me. Finally I gave up trying to make conversation, called him a jerk under my breath, rolled over and went back to sleep.
Nobody else disturbed me until dinner time, when my mother came up to see if I felt like eating anything. After putting in my order for a bowl of chicken noodle soup, I asked about my brother. He was known for skipping school occasionally and I was angry with him for trying to creep me out while I was sick. I had no qualms about squealing on him for skipping school. I knew Mom would go to any lengths to get at the bottom of this latest mystery and then he would get what was coming to him.
A few phone calls later, my mother returned with my soup to inform me that my brother had actually been at school all day long. My mind must have been playing tricks on me. Case closed.
Or so we thought... until a few days later when we made an eerie discovery. Our home had been broken into... as indicated by several missing items. The most obvious evidence left behind was the remains of a plastic bank that belonged to my little sister. It was in the shape of a rabbit and the head had been roughly sawed off with a knife to empty it of the coins inside. A steak knife lay next to slivers of pink plastic.
Was the knife-wielding burglar the same person I saw standing over me? What might have happened had I not been incoherent with fever? Who's to know? We never found out. But our view of the world changed after that. For the first time, we started locking our doors even when we were all home together during the day. The world had suddenly become a more dangerous place, full of things that go bump in the night... and day.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Just to set the tone for the week, I'd like to share this blast from the past...
This was the theme song for the Creature Feature that we watched every Saturday night when we were kids... Good times! Good times!
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show over at HBDC!
I'll be back with more Halloween fun tomorrow!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As some of you may recall, the Li’l People came to me from Jules over at Mean Girl Garage. I won her drawing about a month back and my prize was the Li’l People. They arrived in fine shape. Hickory was a little suspicious at first so being the responsible person I am, I had him sniff the box for explosives and/or drugs before opening it.
Once the Wonder Dog gave the “all clear” signal, we unpacked the little people. They were all there: the fat kid, the cowboy, Kanye West, the train engineer, the old hag, the dog, and comb over guy. They’ve spent the last couple of weeks exploring the CatLady’s house. Then last Sunday dawned sunny, crisp and cool. Perfect for exploring the environs of Rochester.
So Vlad and I decided to take the Li’l People for a walk at the Thousand Acre Swamp. Or rather, Vlad and I were going for a walk and I insisted on taking the Li’l People with us, much to his chagrin.
The Thousand Acre Swamp is run by The Nature Conservancy. As such it is a preserve, so no domesticated animals are allowed. There are plenty of animals there already... deer, raccoons, herons, coyotes, snakes, etc. We felt slightly guilty because we had to sneak the Li’l Dog in with us. (Although, we first made him promise not to chase the deer.)
The Li’l People helped us sign in... so the authorities knew whether to go rescue us if we didn’t return by dark.
Then it was off to hit the trails.
We set off down the path. The leaves were plentiful on the ground, so we had to keep a close watch on the Li’l People to avoid stepping on them.
At the end of the long lane, we came to the boardwalk that winds through the swamp proper. The Li’l People enjoyed watching the multitude of birds that live at the swamp and kept their eyes peeled for frogs, fish & snakes in the water.
Mostly we just saw leaves in the water.
Soon after, the boardwalk wends it’s way through the cattails. They’ve not yet exploded into fluff, but are still in the process of drying out. Soon, though, soon! If you’ve never played with a cattail just as it’s about to release its seeds, you haven’t lived. If you get them just at the right time, you can run your fingertip along the brown, velvety section, which in turn creates a sudden burst of light, fluffy seeds. The air around you soon becomes a storm of flying fluff, which sneaks up your nose when you breathe in and causes you to sneeze. Good times! Good times!
Coming to the end of the boardwalk, you enter the woods. Beneath the canopy of trees, there are decaying stumps and logs, ripe with green moss and ferns.
We stopped for several photo ops, which totally embarrassed Vlad as he was worried someone would come by and see us.
Not so nervous, though, that he wouldn’t let Kanye stand guard while he took a leak.
"Vlad, I'm really happy for you and Ima let you finish, but I just wanna say, Niagara Falls has the most impressive fluid output of all time!" *
*Thanks to Nanodance for improving this line!
From there we entered a section of the woods that was filled with creepy looking vines... perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit. You certainly wouldn’t want to spend much time thinking about what it would be like, fumbling around in the dark in this particular place with zombies after you! Be afraid! Be very afraid!
But eventually, the undergrowth thinned out. We found a couple of cool old trees that had great hide-out potential. The Li’l People asked if they could spend the night, but we had to remind them about dogs not being allowed in the park in the first place. We decided to move on.
Vlad found a tree that had grown over a fallen log... which had since disintegrated. Made for a fun photo op.
Finally, though, it was time to head back through the woods toward home. A good time was had by all and since no one observed our photo shoots with the Li’l People, Vlad is still speaking to me. I’ll just have to work a little harder next time in my attempt to humiliate him in public.
Until next time.....
Disclaimer: No Li’l People were harmed or lost during the making of this post.
Friday, October 23, 2009
It's Friday again! This weekend finds me out in the country, taking care of a friend's animals. It makes me happy to spend a week in seclusion. I get to go for walks in the woods & meadow, enjoy a warm fire in the wood stove, watch the birds migrate. And Wednesday was the great ladybug migration out there! One day each year, the lady bugs swarm. It's an amazing sight.
There were only a few ladybugs left when I got out to the country, but still more than usual and fun to see.
Things have been very slow in the job hunting department. But, at least today I was granted an interview. That made me so happy, I took a shower and wore girl clothes and everything! I was absolutely thrilled to be half-way through the interview without crying, laughing inappropriately or barfing. In fact, I was so comfortable with my new found friends that I relaxed a smidgen and crossed my legs. Oh, yeah... I'm cool, calm and collected.
That's when I saw the big splotch of bright white bird shit on my black shoe. Smooth!
Oh well... it was only for a part time job, anyway. *sigh* I may not have come out smelling like a rose, but at least I didn't smell like dog shit. And that makes me happy.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Do you ever imagine your life as a mega road trip? Think about it.
Your trip begins by learning how to navigate your parents' car up and down the driveway to get the feel of the car.
Then you graduate to driving in parking lots and back roads.
The first time you navigate an actual city street, your heart is in your throat. You have to remind yourself to keep breathing.
U-turns and K turns present challenges, but nothing you can't eventually manage. Parallel parking becomes the ultimate barrier to gaining the coveted driver's license, your graduation to being a grown-up. Hopefully, years from now, no one will care how many times you had to take the road exam for your license.
Eventually you learn how to merge onto a main highway and sail away, gaining confidence. You become one with the car, sailing on cruise control.
There are many exciting places to go, people to see, adventures to enjoy!
Until you get to the dreaded "Construction Ahead" sign. Then things start to s...l...o...w down.
Do you do a U-turn to go back and find a more manageable route? Or do you forge ahead, switching over to four wheel drive and weathering the bumps and dents, laughing all the way? Do you see this bump in the road as the making of a great story? Or does it immobilize you all together?
You may feel like you're back at the beginning and it seems like you'll never advance. But then you discover that it was just one of those merge situations, where two lanes of traffic were vying for the same lane. Once you're past the merge point, things speed up again and you sail away.
Hopefully you go through life without any accidents, but every once in a while the inevitable happens. Boom! You're hit head on by some disaster. You won't know until the dust settles whether you've escaped intact and unscathed.
One way or another, you make your way back home again. Whether you pull the car safely back into the driveway in one piece, or barely make it (with the engine sputtering and choking and the bumper hanging) is still a mystery.
So where am I on this ultimate Road Trip of Life? Hopefully, only midway. What I do know is that my car reflects my life. She's got over 150,000 miles on her, there are a few dents and dings and the rust is starting to form around the wheel wells. I've been over some rough roads, but she's always gotten me to where I wanted to go. The engine is still sound and there are many more miles left in her before she's relegated to the scrap heap.
Wait! Hold the phone! What is this schlock that I just wrote? It sounds just like Dr. Seuss in Oh, The Places You'll Go! Oh, crap! Pretend you never read this... it's just too humiliating. (But it was such a cool traffic light picture, I just had to use it.) Damn Theme Thursday!
For a much better Theme Thursday post, go see Otin's... deliciously creepy!
Tune in again next Thursday for something that will hopefully be more entertaining and far less sappy.
P.S. I'm off to mind my friend's critters for a few days... dogs, cats, birds, fish & chickens... so I apologize in advance if I don't get to your posts in a timely fashion. Perhaps I should use the formal apology.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Somebody out there should really compose a theme song for WTF Wednesday. There's Hit 40's banner, there's Otin's vlog... the song can't be far behind.
But today for WTF Wednesday I'd like to address.....
Today's WTF Wednesday winner is....
I performed the perfect WTF double take when I was in Buffalo, taking Vlad out for lunch one day. Amigone? Are you freakin' kidding me? I sure as hell hope you're gone before they embalm you.
If that's not a reason to say WTF, I don't know what is. Just sayin'...
P.S. And, yes, this is a real place... click on the Amigone link above to begin pre-planning for your demise.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
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What the hell? Guess I angered the Google Gods with my last post. This appeared in my Follower widget this morning.
Google obviously does not have a sense of humor. Jerks!
Now I suppose I have to send Google an apology, too. (Or, maybe I'll just appease the Google gods by sending them some of the spammer followers back.)
Screw it... I don't need followers anymore. That's because I'm now in excellent mental health... I just got a letter in the mail saying I've been selected as the poster child for "Better Living Through Chemistry", the new pharmaceutical ad campaign.
Mom will be so proud!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Let me point out that to the average person losing a follower would be a small set-back, but to humor bloggers it is tantamount to a slap in the face, a swift kick in the ass, or (dare I say) sticking it where the sun don't shine.
We are a sensitive people, we bloggers. In our profiles we talk a big line about how we write "simply to please ourselves." But in reality, WTF are we saying? Get real! We obviously blog because
Maybe we didn't get enough attention from our parents at home, from our teachers at school, or from the pedophile next door. (I admit, I've spent many hours talking to my therapist about this.) But one thing is clear... we crave attention and we crave it BIG! Oh, baby, baby... give it to me one more time! Pour some of that bloggy love on me!
So while we may be laughing on the outside, inside a little piece of us dies every time our follower numbers go down. (Not that we're checking our stats hourly or anything like that.) And we keep asking ourselves "Why?" Was it something we said? Duh! Of course it was something we said! (Not to mention the fact that it has come to my attention that there are some new dress codes being imposed by certain bloggers... you might want to rethink that, Nanodance.)
If only we could sit down and talk with those of you out there who have rejected us, we could figure out where we went wrong. But, sadly, we don't always know who you are. (Unless we're so over the top with OCD that we log each and every follower and cross-reference the list according to height, weight, religion, marital status, political leanings, income level, hotness level, number of children, occupation and so on. But I would never do such a thing.)
Anyway.... since it would be virtually impossible to identify our lapsed followers and HUNT THEM DOWN and TAKE THEM OUT just to give them a lesson, the next best thing would be to send out a generalized apology that will hopefully reach the millions out there whom we have offended in some way.
To ease this process of apology, I'm sharing with you a document that will make your lives easier. I know this will be of vital importance to you. Here it is....
See how simple it is... you can apologize for any faux pas... no matter how small or large. Simply fill in the blanks and post it on your site for all to see. I can guarantee your follower numbers will not only remain steady, but continue grow. Please, no need to thank me. (Although I will point out that my PayPal information is listed in my profile for your convenience.)
Let me close with this heartfelt personal apology:
Dear Lapsed Followers,
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Reminds me of the Sappy Sandpiper's classic:
It's amazing to me how many little journeys I can take in my mind just by following along with all of you out there. One blog leads to another and before you know it, it's time for lunch and a cold one. (The rule at our house is you can't drink Dr. Pepper before noon.... yeah, I'm a good parent.)
Anyway, my round about journey led me to three people who elicited snorts of laughter from me today:
Adnoxious with the clever caption to the Screaming Me-Me's caption contest.
Kurt... well, just because he's Kurt. Nobody leads you there... you're just drawn there mysteriously and for some crazy reason, just have to keep going back, hairy eyeball or not!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Jayne, an eclectic writer who's in her own world.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I took the scientific approach and went to the following website:
Call me crazy, but I like their simple explanations.....
- "Sometimes little things can turn into big things. Think about brushing your teeth. If you don't brush for one day, chances are nothing bad will happen. But if you don't brush your teeth for one month, you may develop a cavity. It's the same thing with global temperatures. If temperatures rise above normal levels for a few days, it's no big deal – the Earth will stay more or less the same. But if temperatures continue to rise over a longer period of time, then the Earth may experience some problems."
But getting back to the more serious issue at hand, Climate Change...
It's okay to admit to yourself and to another human being that you're not a rocket scientist. It's okay to start with the kids' version of Climate Change. Sometimes a kid can explain it much better than a grown-up and Al Gore is not everybody's cup of tea.
So, keep it simple. Learn more, even if it's just from a web site for kids. And remember what they say on the Climate Change Kids Site:
- "Climate change may be a big problem, but there are many little things we can do to make a difference. If we try, most of us can do our part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere."