Apr. 30: Mistaken identity

SayMyNameRight The other day I wrote about seeing David Sedaris in Eugene on Friday night, and how he was introduced as “Peter Sedaris.” Incredibly embarrassing for the guy who made the mistake, but when one does not refer to one’s notes, those things happen.

This morning I Googled “Peter Sedaris” to see if I could find any other reviews of the Eugene show; right away I found a Willamette Week piece. No surprise; if any Portland paper’s going to review David Sedaris, it’s going to be WW. The writer mentioned the bad intro, as well as the election story. No mention of the ostrich/emu.

Nearly every other Google result was one reference after another to “Peter Sedaris” and the books he’s written, which, coincidentally, have the same titles as David Sedaris’ books. In fact, there were five pages of Google hits. Five.

Really? That many people make the same mistake?

The amusing part was how many of those hits were Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster profiles, in which the person wrote something like, “And I’ll read anything by Peter Sedaris!” That’s how you can tell someone’s a big fan, when they don’t even know the name of their favorite author.

Well, that’s enough of making fun of dummies today. Time to get back to my library. I’m re-reading all the Jeff Potter novels and just got to the part when he first goes to Hogwarts. These are the best books ever!


Apr. 30: Thursday Thirteen #16

For today’s Thursday Thirteen, I present 13 random and amusing bumper stickers I’ve collected from around the ‘net. These are the best of those in the non-political and non-religious categories. Enjoy!

1. stickeryoda

2. stickerbacon

3. stickerclosed

4. stickerdragon

5. stickeremolawn

6. stickerhair

7. stickerkickbox

8. stickernag

9. stickernobelprize

10. stickerpiranha

11. stickerstabby

12. stickeranalogy

13. stickerpunctuationsaveslives 


What is Thursday-13? Read all about it here.


Apr. 28: Too much talent? Time?

I’m not sure I should admit this, but we have a John Williams CD in our collection. I will readily admit that I did not purchase said CD; it was part of the deal when I married Vic, and in the 12+ years that we’ve been married, I don’t think we’ve played it even once.

The guy in this video—whose taste in T-shirts is to be admired, by the way—makes me feel like the biggest loser ever. I could never, in a googolplex years, come up with something so brilliant. I’m gonna go drown my self-pity in swine flu medicine.

Sherilee, woulda been cool to hear the Messengers do this medley, huh?  :)


Apr. 27: More pigs, and lots to read

Lookie here! I’m still alive! But now I have company—EmCityGuy and Sherilee both have variations of the swine flu right along with me. I wonder if their spouses are making as much fun as them as mine is. I’ve been coughing on all the doorknobs in our room today, in hopes that he’ll find out for himself just how un-fun the swine flu is and maybe he shouldn’t tease his wife when she feels super-crappy.

I promised my mom last week I’d send her a link to the David Sedaris articles in the online version of The New Yorker magazine, and thought I might as well share it here so all y’all can read them too. This is a link to search results, so if you bookmark it, any newly published articles will show up whenever they’re available.

David Sedaris on The New Yorker

A piece published in 2007, Journey Into Night, is one I’ve written about before. Don’t miss it.


Apr. 27: Oink

pigMy throat started feeling scratchy last night and this morning I woke up with a full-on sore throat, swollen glands, etc. Of course, my first thought is that I probably  have that swine flu because that’s exactly the kind of thing that happens to me. Besides, my body’s probably looking for another excuse to go to the emergency room; the new one just opened at our (“our”!) hospital and I have not yet had the privilege of being a patient there. My brain has no interest in going to the emergency room, but my body knows that’s where they keep the good drugs.

Symptoms - such as fever, body ache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, and dry cough - begin showing in adults one to four days after being infected. (from livescience.com)

See? All the symptoms are there. OK, so I don’t have a fever. Or body aches. But I’m always tired! And my throat hurts! I’m not coughing, but I did almost choke yesterday when someone said something funny while I was eating a strawberry. So I’m pretty sure I’ve got swine flu. Also, you know how trendy I can be...

Last night I watched a bunch of TiVo’d episodes of The New Adventures of Old Christine—one of the funniest shows on television, by the way—and in one there was a lice breakout at Richie’s school. So naturally, I had a dream about lice last night. They weren’t just regular ol’ lice, though; they were super lice (swine flu lice?) that could be seen from far away and sat on our heads like coonskin caps but were alive and mean. And before you start blaming this dream wackiness on alcohol, I haven’t had any for weeks, unless Cristina spiked Mack’s party punch yesterday and that would be kinda inappropriate at an eight-year-old’s First Communion reception.


So, I’ve got swine flu and now I’m going to work—at the hospital!—to spread it work on a database. If I die of this pandemic before I can blog again, it’s been lovely to know you all.


Apr. 26: Awkward years

One of the things I enjoy most about Facebook is when people post old photos of themselves, their friends, their family, whoever. I know not everyone in these photos appreciates them being published for all the world to see, but I think they’re fun.

PAA Class of 1986, just before leaving on our class trip

This picture was hidden (pasted) in my senior memory book until our 20th reunion in 2006. I put it on my Facebook page a few months ago and recently a bunch of classmates have been commenting on it. We’ve made fun of all the white shoes (Keds, natch), hairstyles, and the way Shevaun and I (on the far left) are standing like we gotta pee. But really, as embarrassing photos go, this one’s pretty tame.

Here’s a link to a photo gallery I think a lot of celebrities wish could be destroyed. It’s one of those things that must really, really suck about fame.


Apr. 25: He Talk Pretty One Day

Last night my mom and I went to hear David Sedaris at the Hult Center in Eugene. It was outstanding.

When we walked into the lobby, I looked to one side and saw he was at a table signing books. I had assumed he wouldn’t be doing any signing at this show—it was a ticketed event, set up much more like a concert than any previous author reading I’ve attended—so I was instantly irritated at myself for not bringing my pile of his books, or at least the most recent one. Upon seeing the line that had formed, though, I think I might not have wanted to stand in it as long as I would have had to. It was one of those European lines, where people just jump in wherever and even though the line keeps getting longer, I’m always at the end of it.

Instead, I stepped closer to the table and pulled out my phone to take a picture of him. The first one was a little blurry…

Clicky clicky

… so I stepped forward and took another.

Clicky clicky again

Dang! Even blurrier! I was about to take another when a guy standing behind Mr. Sweatered Dude leaned over and said to me, “The sign says ‘no photos allowed.’” See that thing on the table? That’s the sign. It was right in front of me and I didn’t see it. I’m a total rule-follower when it comes to that kind of thing, so I felt like I should apologize to Mr. Sedaris, but then I thought it was too late and he probably already hated me anyway. I think he’s written stuff about how he doesn’t understand why people ignore signs that are big and impossible to miss and how those people should die.

Instead, Mom and I went in and sat down.

The show began with a representative of Wells Fargo coming out and blathering on about how they were a sponsor of the event and they got their start stage-coaching and our money’s safe with them and who knows what else because the guy seemed to have no idea what he was supposed to say even though he had notes. And then he welcomed everyone to the Peter Sedaris show.

I guess people were paying attention to the Wells Fargo guy after all, because they actually booed. I felt sorry for him because he was very obviously nervous and having a rough time EVEN THOUGH HE HAD NOTES. But Mr. Wells Fargo Representative, if there was ever a time to peek at those notes, that time is WHEN YOU ARE INTRODUCING THE AUTHOR. Gah!

When David Sedaris came out, he stepped up to the microphone and said cheerily, “Thank you, Dick!” Awesome.

He started out by reading a new piece he’d written about the U.S. presidential election and witnessing much of it from France, where he lives most of the year. Lots of jabs at Bush made it particularly funny—it wasn’t that it was so pro-Obama, but it was enough anti-Bush to satisfy the crowd.

He read another new piece that reminded me a lot of his Christmas letter in Holidays on Ice; this one was an e-mail thank-you for a coupon for two free pizzas that was given as a wedding gift. Like the Christmas letter, it was horrifying and hilarious all in one.

At this point he stopped reading and talked a bit about his 35-city book tour. He said that before he started the tour, he wrote eight new stories for it. I thought, WOW—what a bonus for his audiences, to hear new material that has not yet been published! He told some amusing anecdotes about some of the cities he’d been to so far, and mentioned seeing an emu that had been hit on the freeway between Portland and Eugene earlier that afternoon. I guess he and I had been traveling about the same time because I went by that scene too; there was a police car, three vehicles, a large feathery animal (I thought ostrich, he thought emu), and tons of feathers in the grassy median. One of the vehicles had obviously hit the beast, but the others looked undamaged. And as I had wondered when I drove past, David Sedaris wondered where on earth an emu would have come from to end up dead on the freeway. Of course, he told the story in a way that got applause and big laughs. I cannot.

Speaking of weird animals, the next piece he read was one he just sold to The New Yorker, about a kookaburra he “met” in Australia (sort of). It was very funny, of course, but also quite touching—watch for it to be published soon. He also read several journal entries from the past 15 or so years, “journal entries” being more like “hopefully fake stories for the sake of those in them.”

David Sedaris writes (and reads) with the kind of humor that makes you laugh until you cry or pee your pants or possibly both. He was totally worth the effort to drive two hours south, even though that drive included seeing a dead bird-like creature on the side of the road and its aftermath, which was almost comical in that it looked like an exploded down comforter.

It was one of my favorites of the cultural events I had scheduled in April. And I got to see my mom too! Everyone wins! Well, but-cept for the ostrich/emu thing.

What should be on your reading list:

Holidays on Ice (1997)

Naked (1998)

Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000)

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004)

When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008)


Apr. 23: Grease is the word

Tonight Erin and I went to see Grease, the last show of the 2008-09 Broadway in Portland season. Victor didn’t go because we didn’t have a sitter and he opted to stay home and let me take a friend in his place. He’s kind of a nice guy.

Click to get a close-up view of the sparkliness that is Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel The big deal with this particular production was that Taylor Hicks played Teen Angel. When I first heard that he was on tour with Grease I don’t know why I assumed he would play Danny Zuko, and I was horrified at the idea! I’m not all that smart, I know.

For those of you who’ve seen the movie but not the stage show, Teen Angel is the character played by Frankie Avalon, and he sings Beauty School Dropout to Frenchy. More specifically, he sings at her—it’s really not a very nice song at all.

I thought Taylor Hicks played the part of Teen Angel well. There was a little bit too much hoopla over his appearance though, in a show in which he was the only “known.” He’s only in the one scene, and it’s in the second act, so by the time he finally finally finally comes out, the show pretty much stops.

One very funny moment: near the end of his song, Frenchy climbs on his lap, looks up into his eyes and dreamily says, “I voted for you!”

At the end of the song, as he ascends in the ice cream cone (don’t ask), he plays the harmonica—very “Taylor” touch, and fun. I think the only non-Taylor thing about his performance was his hairstyle (look at the photo above and tell me he doesn’t look 40 years older than he is).

After the curtain calls, he sang Grease is the Word with the cast. For the fans who came to the show just to see him, I’m sure this was a huge, sparkly treat.

Victor and I saw Grease on stage about 15 years ago, starring Sally Struthers as the principal, Adrian Zmed as Danny, Joe Piscopo as Vince Fontaine, and Sheena Easton as Rizzo. They were all very good in their roles—maybe D-list actors try harder??? Having only seen the movie version before that, we were surprised at some big differences in the stage version. But that’s how those things usually are, so, y’know, whatever. They were both big fun.

In tonight’s show, though, there was one huge difference I don’t remember from 15 years ago and it’s going to bother me until I figure out if I’ve just forgotten or it really was different. At the end, when Danny and Sandy both transform into what they think the other wants? Tonight Sandy did the makeover, but Danny didn’t. Is that right? I swear it wasn’t like that before, and of course, I know it’s not like that in the movie. Time for some research…


Apr. 23: Thursday Thirteen #1 or #15

It’s been ages since I last participated in Thursday Thirteen. The thing is, the site disappeared and after a couple months someone started up another one at Thursday-13, and it’s taken a while for the news to get around. Technically, I’m not sure if this is my first or 15th edition. Anyway, my thirteen things for this week are wedding-related because one of the authors of Thursday-13 is getting married. Congratulations, Megan!

13 things about our wedding

We got married February 23, 1997.

  1. We chose a wedding date exactly halfway between our birthdays. Romantic, no? Problem is, it’s also a week after Valentine’s Day, so either our anniversary or Valentine’s Day get the shaft every year. Not the best planning after all.
  2. Click for a larger view We didn’t want to leave any of our closest friends out of our wedding party, so we had eight bridesmaids and six groomsmen, two junior ushers and three flower girls. People joked that there were more people on the platform than there were wedding guests, but we had 200+ guests so those people were exaggerating a teence.
  3. The week before the wedding I went to my hairdresser for a trial run on my hairstyle. She did it up a few different ways and we liked them all, so although we didn’t settle on anything for sure, I was confident that whatever she did would look fine.

    On the morning of the wedding she did my hair up in a zillion bobby pins and I left with what she called “a Gibson girl look.” I thought it looked like a butt crack up the back of my head. My veil covered it, though, and except for the groomsmen who kept lifting my veil to show people, no one even noticed.

    The funny thing is, I didn’t mind; I mean, it was funny and memorable and really looked just fine. People still remind me of it. And I still have the same hairdresser because she’s FAB.U.LOUS. Really.
  4. Our wedding video is really lovely, with music we chose and lots of slow-mo shots, etc. But the ceremony itself has some sound problems; we think it’s probably a microphone that wasn’t working correctly. Unfortunately, it sounds like someone farted through the whole wedding.
  5. Our 'Butterfly Kisses' momentSpeaking of farts, my dad was kind of a butthead leading up to the wedding. He kept saying he wasn’t going to wear a tux, didn’t want to give me away, etc. I never took his threats seriously, but his refusal to cooperate beforehand sometimes had me a little concerned. But for the rehearsal and wedding/reception, Dad really came through. He was perfect.

    This photo was taken just before we walked down the aisle and is one of my favorites from that day. It means even more now that Dad’s gone.
  6. I tried on dresses at several bridal shops, but didn’t LOVE any of them. I found the perfect dress in the window of a formal dress shop—it was ivory silk with a shimmery organza overlay My maid of honor and future mother-in-law and niece helping me get dressedand a sash that criss-crossed in the front. I added some pearl trim around the neck and armholes, and got long gloves to wear during the ceremony. (Click the photo to see a larger version, pretty much the only place the dress detail can be seen. Also, see? My hair looks just fine!)

    I made the headband to which I attached my veil, using organza ribbon and pearl beads, which I also used on the ballet slippers I wore so I wouldn’t tower over my groom.

    To complete the match-iness of everything, we used organza bows on the wedding invitations and throughout the wedding and reception decor.
  7. February is not usually a very nice time of year in Portland, but on the day of our wedding the sun shone brightly. It was a gorgeous day. We were able to take a big batch of outdoor portraits, which we never expected we’d be able to do.
  8. I talked to my church’s wedding coordinator several times before the wedding. She gave me information about the church’s evil women should carry signscandelabras, lighting, sound, etc., but we never talked about any ceremony specifics  because I had my own coordinator. Somehow she did not understand this, and tried to take control of the proceedings during the rehearsal.

    First, she said we couldn’t use tape to mark our spots on the platform because people would see it. Then she yelled at my nephews. But when she said I couldn’t have my sister walk down the aisle before everyone else, I decided not to put up with her anymore. I was tempted to say to this woman, “Guess what? I can have my sister cartwheel down the aisle if I want her to.” Instead I explained to her very clearly that I wanted things a certain way, and unless those things were violations of church policies, they were going to be done my way. And then I stabbed her with the screwdriver I carry for just such an occasion. OK, not really. She got pissed and refused to help the rest of the rehearsal—fine with me.

    On our wedding day, she unlocked the church, turned on the lights, and then left until after the reception was over.

    As most of my friends said, WHAT IS HER PROBLEM? AND WHO ARGUES WITH THE BRIDE? Best news: not a single guest was aware of any of her attempts to make our wedding NOT go off as planned. HA!
  9. See, they weren't TOO obnoxious... Our toasting goblets were crystal with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the stems because we are dorks. We use them every year to toast each other on New Year’s Eve because we are still dorks.
  10. My sister did not want to be called a “matron of honor,” so I declared her to be an “attendant of distinction.” She sang at the wedding, so in the program I noted that she was a “vocal artist of distinction.” This made my maid of honor, Sherrice, who also sang, a “plain ol’ vocal artist.” Sherrice has a good sense of humor and my sister was pleased with her titles. Win-win.
  11. Victor broke a finger on his right hand a few days before the wedding. If you look closely, you can see his splint in a lot of the portraits. You can also tell he wore lens-less glasses for the portraits—no glare! We found a generous optician who let him borrow the frames for a couple weeks.
  12. Our reception food was delicious. The original caterer we planned to use backed out a few weeks before the wedding so I was panicked and didn’t know if the new one would work out. Leaving the receptionBut the new one worked out and then some—people still talk about how good that food was.
  13. I didn’t want Victor to see me before the wedding, but I knew it made more sense for us to have the portraits taken before the guests arrived. What we ended up doing: Victor stood in the chapel and waited for me; when I was all ready I came in and twirled for him (actually, for the videographer). We talked for a few minutes, practiced our kiss, and went out for portraits. The private moment made for a very nice memory. 

What is Thursday-13? Read all about it here.


Apr. 23: Thursday Thunks #4

  1. thursdaythunks If you could skywrite anything you wanted, what would it be?
    Something profound, for sure. One possibility: “Girls are NOT complicated. Seriously, how hard it is to say ‘you're pretty’ and give us chocolate?”
  2. Did you get drunk at your prom?
    Adventist schools = no prom
  3. What is your favorite spice to use cooking?
    Is sugar a spice? I’d say I probably use basil, oregano and cilantro more than anything (I don’t know if they count, but I’m gonna say they do). I don’t have a favorite spice, exactly; I use what the food tells me it wants. (If that sugar thing doesn’t make me sound like a weirdo, my food talking to me should... heh heh…)
  4. What color is your roof?
  5. In a land far, far away I _____________
    think people have it all figgered out.
  6. In the Miss USA pageant, Miss California was asked; “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?” and her answer was; “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and in, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Carrie said to a mix of boos and applause. “No offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think that it should be between a man and a woman.” Do you think that cost her the crown?
    If Perez Hilton was voting, then it most certainly made a difference. My first reaction to Miss California’s response was that it’s shameful how close-minded she is, but then I thought about how young she is… and the fact she used the term “opposite marriage” kind of says to me that she probably hasn’t given the issue much serious thought. Why should she? She’s a pageant girl who’s probably never needed to. And she deserves a little bit of pardon for the nervousness factor.
  7. Do you watch Miss USA/Miss America pageants?
    I remember watching them as a kid. I thought they were fascinating, but my interest waned as an adult. I admit to paying more attention since my friend Annalee represented Washington State in Miss America, and since our very own Miss Oregon won a few years ago.
  8. Have you ever driven/ridden on a tractor?
  9. For the parents - what cartoon/children show did your child watch obsessively? (Hey, if you aren’t a parent, maybe a niece or nephew...)
    Pretty much everything on Disney Channel.
  10. If I set a level on your living room floor - would it show that it was level?
    Yes. The walls aren’t straight, but the floor is fairly level.
  11. What was the last restaurant you ate at?
    California Pizza Kitchen on Tuesday.
  12. What’s the picture on your wall calendar for this month?
    Um, who uses wall calendars? Is it 1980 again somewhere?
  13. Are you superstitious?
  14. If I get into your car and turn on the radio - what type of radio station will I hear?
  15. Would you rather wake up with a snake in your bed or a lizard?
    Neither, thank you.
  16. Do you think schools have changed at all since the Columbine tragedy 10 years ago? In what ways?
    The “zero-tolerance” thing is definitely enforced now, at least around here. I’m thankful for that, but if kids really want to shoot up a school, they’re still going to find a way to do it. More importantly, parents need to remember they still have a job to do at home, like (for starters) keeping guns separated from ammo and keeping both locked up.

As always, now it’s your turn. Answer in a comment or on your own blog and post a link at the Thursday Thunks site. Thanks for playing.

What is THURSDAY THUNKS? Thursday Thunks (TT) is a blog meme for those who need a little kick in the butt to find something to post about. Your blog posts/answers to TT’s can be type or pictures, doesn’t matter! YOU pick, not us, we just give you the assignment (yep, just like English class... only we won’t grade your spelling and grammar).


Apr. 22: Ketchup

I haven’t blogged much lately. No reason, really, except that I’ve not been feeling like there’s much to say. I know, you’re wondering what one has to do with the other.

So rather than individual posts about a bunch of different topics like I usually write, I’m going to smash everything I haven’t said for the past several days into one post to get caught up. Totally cheating, yes.


For Manullang Family Movie Night on Friday, Jack chose Monsters vs Aliens. We went to the cinemas and approximately $467 later, enjoyed a very, very funny movie. I was pleasantly surprised. The voice talent was good—Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Stephen Colbert (as the president!), Rainn Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland, just to name a few—and the story was sweet. Not Pixar-caliber, but still good, and deserving of many alien thumbs up from the Manullang Fam.

Jen and Lori waiting for the Spinal Tap guys to find the stage (they did!)Concert

Lori and I went to Unwigged & Unplugged at Keller on Sunday evening. If you enjoyed the movies This is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind, you should punch yourself in the nuts if you missed this concert. It was Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, appearing as themselves, and incredible—it’s amazing what those guys can do; they play several instruments and create some awesome harmonies. And their lyrics—oh my word, they are talented! They did songs from all their movies and albums, interspersed with film footage of various types and a couple special treats, like 3-D effects for one lucky audience member and a dramatic reading of an NBC censors’ memo. The crowd was enthusiastic and that made it even more fun. Lori and I loved it.

My friend Chris also went, and even got autographs before the show. Is this the coolest?

Photo ripped off from Chris Dunlop's Facebook page

He left me a very strange and amusing message on my Facebook wall yesterday:

I didn’t look closely to see what was available at the merch stand, but I saw the green skeleton t-shirt on several audience members. If only I’d known they had “Big Bottom” spandex Speedos! They’d be perfect to wear at the Lassens’ housewarming pool party!


Jack stayed home from school today. He said his stomach hurt but we weren’t altogether sure he didn’t just want to stay home and play with his Nintendo DS. Still, he was moving pretty slow and I didn’t want to get to work and then get a call from the school saying he needed to go home. I stayed home with him and babied my little guy, which I loved much more than he did.

He seems to be feeling better; right this minute he’s sleeping on the couch with his hand in his pants.

New bed

Our new bed was delivered Saturday morning and I could hardly wait to go to sleep that night. I was disappointed that I slept terribly, though—it was one of those nights where I felt like I just tossed and turned and never really fell asleep. A nap a few hours later went fine, but Sunday night was more tossing. Of course, I wasn’t ready to return the mattress quite yet, but I was frustrated at it being less than perfect. As I said before, I had unreasonably high expectations in that bed.

Monday and Tuesday nights, I slept much, much better. Like a baby, even. Now I think I’m loving it. My back pain is gone. GONE!

Victor’s been sleeping just fine, as snore-y as ever.


It’s official: I’ve been nominated for the PTO board. Next month they vote. I’ll probably be the VP of Student Programs, which means I’ll coordinate a bunch of the events that are supposed to make the kids smarter. Because of my responsibilities, I think a more appropriate title would be VP of Central Intelligence. Not sure when I should propose that revision…

Many homes in our neighborhood are now well-represented by the PTO board and active members, and more than one person has called us a gang because of this. This is thrilling because I’ve never been in a real gang before. When do I get to kill someone for looking at me the wrong way? Soon, I hope, because I’ve already got my eye on someone.


My favorite iPhone applications so far are twitterific, Huff Post, and Scramble. Scramble is like Boggle, and you can play against other people. Sometimes I rock at it and sometimes I think I must be playing against that guy who wrote the dictionary himself.

My fat fingertips are getting used to the teeny-tiny keys on the keyboard, and although I’ve not received nearly as many texts as I had been promised (ahem!), I’m getting better at texting too. Yay.

The lack of my custom ringtones still pisses me off. Boo.

Bad guys

I ran into a friend of mine yesterday whom I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Her 26-year marriage is ending and the reasons why are completely depressing to me. It was really good to see her again and catch up a little, but she’s planning to move soon to get away from all the bad stuff and that was the saddest news of all (for me). I don’t blame her for wanting to move; I’d want to too. Strange how you think you know someone and then realize how much they’ve kept from you all along. Gah. Makes me mad.

Also, some people’s exes are just jackasses extraordinaire, or so they tell me. Makes me mad.

EmCityGuy’s wife Bryan got hit by a car while riding his bike yesterday. He’s alive but hurtin’. The idiot who hit him wasn’t paying attention because she was “rushing home to relieve her au pair.” (I’m sorry, Ma’am, but you have a babysitter. You can call her an au pair, but you’ll sound exactly like the moron you are.) I’d like to hit HER with a car! Stupid woman shouldn’t have a license. Makes me mad.

I’m like the Hulk (if he was in a gang)

And you should not make me mad. Remember, I’m in a gang and we are BAD ASS.


Apr. 21: Direct from Schrute Farms

I ate beets tonight. I think it was a bad idea. They were in a Cobb salad, so there were enough other flavors that they didn’t stand out all that much. But now, thinking back, they were kinda like perfumey dirt and they’re ruining my memories of an otherwise delicious salad.

In other news, I have nothing to blog about. Betcha didn’t notice.


Apr. 19: Plinky ~ Outdoors

Today’s Plinky prompt:

What's your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors? Describe Mother Nature's beauty.

I like fresh air and all, but if I have to do anything strenuous to be in it, I’m going back inside, thankyouverymuch. So really, the best response I have to this Plinky prompt is this:



Apr. 19: You know you’re… when…

I kinda like these lists. Most of them are embarrassingly entertaining and we see way more of ourselves in them than we want to admit. I found the first two at The Shadowlands, along with links to a bunch of other nationalities’ lists. Check them out if you’re interested.

This first one is from Zompist. There’s no mention of the date it was written, but a few indications that it’s several years old.

If you’re American...

  • You believe deep down in the First Amendment, guaranteed by the government and perhaps by God.
  • You’re familiar with David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Saturday Night Live, Bewitched, The Flintstones, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Donald Duck, the Fonz, Archie Bunker, Star Trek, The Honeymooners, The Addams Family, The Three Stooges, and Beetle Bailey.
  • You know how baseball, basketball, and American football are played. If you’re male, you can argue intricate points about their rules. On the other hand (and unless you’re under about 20), you don’t care that much for soccer.
  • You count yourself fortunate if you get three weeks of vacation a year.
If you died tonight...
  • You’re fairly likely to believe in God; if not, you’ve certainly been approached by people asking whether you know that you’re going to Heaven.
  • You think of McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC etc. as cheap food.
  • You probably own a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom. You do your laundry in a machine. You don’t kill your own food. You don’t have a dirt floor. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs.
  • You don’t consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food.
  • A bathroom may not have a bathtub in it, but it certainly has a toilet.
  • It seems natural to you that the telephone system, railroads, auto manufacturers, airlines, and power companies are privately run; indeed, you can hardly picture things working differently.
  • You expect, as a matter of course, that the phones will work. Getting a new phone is routine.
  • The train system, by contrast, isn’t very good. Trains don’t go any faster than cars; you’re better off taking a plane.
  • You find a two-party system natural. You expect the politicians of both parties to be responsive to business, strong on defense, and concerned with the middle class. You find parliamentary systems (such as Italy’s) inefficient and comic.
  • You don’t expect to hear socialism seriously defended. Communism, fuhgeddaboudit.
  • Between “black” and “white” there are no other races. Someone with one black and one white parent looks black to you.
  • You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.
  • You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don’t use it. You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court.
  • You’d respect someone who speaks French, German, or Japanese--but you very likely don’t yourself speak them well enough to communicate with a monolingual foreigner. You’re a bit more ambivalent about Spanish; you think the schools should teach kids English.
  • It’s not all that necessary to learn foreign languages anyway. You can travel the continent using nothing but English--and get by pretty well in the rest of the world, too.
  • You think a tax level of 30% is scandalously high.
  • School is free through high school (at least, it’s an option, even if you went to private school); college isn’t, unless you get a scholarship.
  • College is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long.
Everybody knows that…
  • Mustard comes in jars. Shaving cream comes in cans. Milk comes in plastic jugs or cardboard boxes, and occasionally in bottles.
  • The date comes second: 11/22/63. (And you know what happened on that date.)
  • The decimal point is a dot. Certainly not a comma.
  • A billion is a thousand times a million.
  • World War II was a just war, and (granted all the suffering of course) ended all right. It was a time when the country came together and did what was right. And instead of insisting on vengeance, the US very generously rebuilt Europe instead, with the Marshall Plan.
  • You expect marriages to be made for love, not arranged by third parties. Getting married by a judge is an option, but not a requirement; most marriages happen in church. You have a best man and a maid or matron of honor at the wedding--a friend or a sibling. And, naturally, a man gets only one wife at a time.
  • If a man has sex with another man, he’s a homosexual.
  • Once you’re introduced to someone (well, besides the President and other lofty figures), you can call them by their first name.
  • If you’re a woman, you don’t go to the beach topless.
  • A hotel room has a private bath.
  • You’d rather a film be subtitled than dubbed (if you go to foreign films at all).
  • You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes.
  • If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.
  • Just about any store will take your credit card.
  • A company can fire just about anybody it wants, unless it discriminates by doing so.
  • You like your bacon crisp (unless it’s Canadian bacon, of course).
  • Labor Day is in the fall.
Contributions to world civilization…
  • You’ve probably seen Star Wars, ET, Home Alone, Casablanca, and Snow White. If you’re under forty, add Blazing Saddles, Terminator, Jaws, and 2001; otherwise, add Gone with the Wind, A Night at the Opera, Psycho, and Citizen Kane.
  • You know the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Michael Jackson, Simon & Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt. If not, you know Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, and Kate Smith.
  • You count on excellent medical treatment. You know you’re not going to die of cholera or other Third World diseases. You expect very strong measures to be taken to save very ill babies or people in their eighties. You think dying at 65 would be a tragedy.
  • You went over US history, and some European, in school, Not much Russian, Chinese, or Latin American. You couldn’t name ten US interventions in Latin America.
  • You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You may not be able to name the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Your country has never been conquered by a foreign nation.
  • You’re used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy.
  • You still measure things in feet, pounds, and gallons.
  • You are not a farmer.
  • Comics basically come in two varieties: newspaper comics and magazines; the latter pretty much all feature superheroes.
  • The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, authors.
  • You drive on the right side of the road. You stop at red lights even if nobody’s around. If you’re a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them.
  • You think of Canada as a pleasant, peaceful, but rather dull country, which has suddenly developed an inexplicable problem in Québec. You probably couldn’t explain why the Canadians didn’t join the other British colonies in rebelling against King George.
  • You consider the Volkswagen Beetle to be a small car.
  • The police are armed, but not with submachine guns.
  • If a woman is plumper than the average, it doesn’t improve her looks.
  • The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.
  • The nationality people most often make jokes about is the French.
  • There’s parts of the city you definitely want to avoid at night.
Outside the Beltway…
  • You feel that your kind of people aren’t being listened to enough in Washington.
  • You wouldn’t expect both inflation and unemployment to be very high (say, over 15%) at the same time.
  • You don’t care very much what family someone comes from.
  • The normal thing, when a couple dies, is for their estate to be divided equally between their children.
  • You think of opera and ballet as rather elite entertainments. It’s likely you don’t see that many plays, either.
  • Christmas is in the winter. Unless you’re Jewish, you spend it with your family, give presents, and put up a tree.
  • You may think the church is too powerful, or the state is; but you are used to not having a state church and don’t think that it would be a good idea.
  • You’d be hard pressed to name the capitols or the leaders of all the nations of Europe.
  • You aren’t familiar with Mafalda, Lucky Luke, Corto Maltese, Milo Manara, Guido Crepax, Gotlib, or Moebius.
  • You’ve left a message at the beep.
  • Taxis are generally operated by foreigners, who are often deplorably ignorant about the city.
  • You are distrustful of welfare and unemployment payments--you think people should earn a living and not take handouts. But you would not be in favor of eliminating Social Security and Medicare.
  • If you want to be a doctor, you need to get a bachelor’s first.
  • There sure are a lot of lawyers.
Space and time
  • If you have an appointment, you’ll mutter an excuse if you’re five minutes late, and apologize profusely if it’s ten minutes. An hour late is almost inexcusable.
  • If you’re talking to someone, you get uncomfortable if they approach closer than about two feet.
  • About the only things you expect to bargain for are houses, cars, and antiques. Haggling is largely a matter of finding the hidden point that’s the buyer’s minimum.
  • Once you’re past college, you very rarely simply show up at someone’s place. People have to invite each other over--especially if a meal is involved.
  • When you negotiate, you are polite, of course, but it’s only good business to “play hardball.” Some foreigners pay excessive attention to status, or don’t say what they mean, and that’s exasperating.
  • If you have a business appointment or interview with someone, you expect to have that person to yourself, and the business shouldn’t take more than an hour or so.

This next list came from Culture Clash.

You Know You’re a Canadian When...

  • You stand in “line-ups” at the movie, not lines.
  • You’re not offended by the term “Homo Milk.”
  • You understand the sentence, “Could you please pass me a serviette, I just spilled my poutine.”
  • You eat chocolate bars instead of candy bars.
  • You drink pop, not soda.
  • You know what it means to be on pogey.
  • You know that a mickey and 2-4’s mean “Party at the camp, eh!”
  • You can drink legally while still a teen.
  • You talk about the weather with strangers and friends alike.
  • You don’t know or care about the fuss with Cuba, it’s just a cheap place to travel with good cigars and no Americans.
  • When there is a social problem, you turn to your government to fix it instead of telling them to stay out of it.
  • You’re not sure if the leader of your nation has EVER had sex and you really don’t want to know if he has!
  • You get milk in bags as well as cartons and plastic jugs. mapleleaf
  • Pike is a type of fish, not some part of a highway.
  • You drive on a highway, not a freeway.
  • You know what a Robertson screwdriver is.
  • You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.
  • You know that Thrills are something to chew and “taste like soap.”
  • You know that Mounties “don’t always look like that.”
  • You dismiss all beers under 6% as “for children and the elderly.”
  • You know that the Friendly Giant isn’t a vegetable product line.
  • You know that Casey and Finnegan are not a Celtic musical group.
  • You participated in “ParticipACTION.”
  • You have an Inuit carving by your bedside with the rationale, “What’s good enough protection for the Prime Minister is good enough for me.”
  • You wonder why there isn’t a 5 dollar coin yet.
  • Unlike any international assassin/terrorist/spy in the world, you don’t possess a Canadian passport.
  • You use a red pen on your non-Canadian textbooks and fill in the missing u’s from labor, honor, and color.
  • You know the French equivalents of “free,” “prize,” and “no sugar added,” thanks to your extensive education in bilingual cereal packaging.
  • You are excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
  • You make a mental note to talk about it at work the next day.
  • You can do all the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram’s “Skin-a-ma-rinky-dinky-doo” opus.
  • You can eat more than one maple sugar candy without feeling nauseous.
  • You were mad when “The Beachcombers” were taken off the air.
  • You know what a toque is.
  • You have some memento of Doug and Bob.
  • You know Toronto is not a province.
  • You never miss “Coaches Corner.”
  • Back bacon and Kraft Dinner are two of your favorites food groups.

My Canadian friends will have to tell me how much of that is really typical of their citizens. They are also invited to explain to stupid Americans like myself the definitions of “pogey,” “Thrills,” and “Canadian Tire money.” Thank you.

This next list has been all over the ‘net. I think I’ve even posted it here before. I think it applies to Portlanders more than Oregonians in general, but whatev.

You know you’re an Oregonian if...

  • You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
  • You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it’s not a real mountain.
  • californiascanada You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima and Willamette.
  • You are not fazed by “Today’s forecast: showers followed by rain,” and “Tomorrow’s forecast: rain followed by showers.”
  • You know the state flower (Mildew).
  • You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
  • You use the statement “sun break” and know what it means.
  • You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
  • You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
  • You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the “Walk” signal.
  • You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Veneto’s.
  • You consider swimming an indoor sport.
  • In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark while only working eight-hour days.
  • You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
  • You know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.
  • You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
  • You know that Boring is a place and not just a state of mind.
  • You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.
  • Our gorgeous Mt. HoodYou can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.
  • You notice “the mountain is out” when it’s a pretty day and you can actually see it.
  • You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50°, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
  • You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60°, but keep the socks on.
  • You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
  • You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.
  • You buy new sunglasses every year because you can’t find the old ones after such a long time.
  • You measure distance in hours.
  • You often switch from heat to air conditioning in the same day.
  • You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
  • You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer and Elk season (Fall).

This last one is for those of us who were raised in no way prepared to live among the “normals” of society.

You Know You Were raised SDA If:

  • You pronounce “Adventist” as “AD-ventist,” not “ad-VEN-tist.”
  • Your Little Friend wasn’t a person.
  • Your bedtime stories were about real people instead of fairy tales.
  • You had an Uncle Arthur, Uncle Dan, and Aunt Sue and were amazed to find out that all your friends in Sabbath School did too.
  • Ellen G. White You think of kids instead of cars when you hear the term “Pathfinder.”
  • You can remember what the letters “MV” and “JMV” stand for.
  • You have a board somewhere in your attic with a bunch of knots glued to it.
  • You wondered if the earth would last long enough to have a girlfriend/boyfriend.
  • Parenthood held many nasty surprises because you really believed Uncle Arthur when he said, “and he never disobeyed again.”
  • You know “HMS” as a name, not a ship.
  • You know how to play poker with Bible Authors cards and Wheat Thins.
  • You know how to play Rook but not Bridge or Hearts.
  • You have looked for angels outside of a movie theater.
  • On Saturdays you catch yourself telling your children, “You can wade, but don’t swim.”
  • The word “Philistine” has a meaning in current terminology.
  • Your tie falls in your soup because you don’t wear a tie tack.
  • The Review is not a full military dress inspection.
  • You agreed to sing so you wouldn’t have to solicit.
  • Saturday Night Live had meaning before the TV program.
  • You read labels on cans years before nutritional labeling was available.
  • You saved labels off of cans years before recycling became fashionable.
  • You have asked for a Veggie-Whopper at Burger King.
  • You take more time at the Taco Bell counter than the last six customers.
  • You take a helping of Nuteena because you like it, not out of courtesy.
  • frichik You can tell the difference between Linkettes and Vegelinks with your eyes closed.
  • You know 101 ways to prepare FriChik.
  • You have more than twelve uses for soybeans.
  • You can stack 3,000 calories on a plate at a church potluck.
  • Your guilt trip ended the day Nabisco started using vegetable shortening in Oreos.

You May Have Gone To An SDA Boarding School If:

  • You know all the basic square dance steps but only know how to execute them to march music.
  • Your high school principal was an expert on female hemlines.
  • prison You rolled down your skirt on the way to the principal’s office.
  • Your Friday night date was to vespers.
  • You went to banquets instead of dances or proms.
  • You were called out of class to clean your room.
  • You can grill cheese sandwiches on the bottom of an iron.
  • You learned how to study in the dark after lights out.
  • You’ve seen The Sound of Music with a hand in front of the projector during the kissing scenes.
  • You have been to movies during which the lights came on periodically for a hand check.
  • You knew who was engaged by asking the time.
  • You couldn’t dance at school parties, but passing an orange under the neck was a non-sensual activity.
  • The only time you could hold hands was while roller-skating in the gym.
  • The other side of campus was no-man/woman’s land.
  • You know what MCC stands for.
  • You took cinnamon rolls back to the dorm on Friday afternoon.
  • You have referred to high school as academy.

Source: the ‘net, of course



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