Friday, November 30, 2007

I just hope we don't see no Muslims

Now listen, everyone. I am only going to explain this once:

Okay to be named Muhammad.

Not okay to be named Muhammad.

The fact that Muhammad is an extremely touchy prophet is a very important and serious and not at all laughable or ridiculous tenet of the Muslim faith, everyone. So wipe those smirks off your faces.

Last week, I heard Muhammad was in a bar hanging around with some associates. And Muhammad told this joke, see, and one of the guys remarked that Muhammad was “funny.”

Big mistake. Because, see, Muhammad totally took it the wrong way, asking why he was “funny,” and if that meant that he was like a “clown” to this associate.

So then Muhammad pulled out a jihad, and the other guy pulled out a fatwa, and…Christ, let’s just say it did not end well, okay?

And so, and in honor of the prophet of Islam, and in solidarity with him as he suffers the travail of having the insipid stuffed toys of children named after him, I have decided to rename my cooch “Muhammad.”

But just for the day. Tomorrow she goes back to being Mr. Spock.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Harry & David,

Please stop sending me your catalogues.

I do not need a box of pears, and neither does anyone else I know.

Because you know why? Because I can buy pears in the grocery store. Anyone can. And even if I want individually hand-polished precious overpriced pears, which I don’t, I can go to Whole Foods and get them there. They’re in the produce department right next to the individually chakra-aligned strawberries.

Even if I lived somewhere where I didn’t have access to supermarket pears, even if I lived in a remote corner of Alaska, I don’t think, if I had my choice of things to receive via bush pilot airmail, that I would pick pears. I would probably pick tequila. And cigarettes. Oh, and sex.

You know who you remind me of, Harry & David? You remind me of my mother. And no, I don’t mean that I think you hang out at the Senior Center and sell Avon. I mean that when I was a kid, my mom would always put that giant navel orange in my Christmas stocking. She did that, even though the produce drawer in the fridge was full of navel oranges that I could pretty much help myself to whenever I wanted. That navel orange was, at first, a mystery to me. I thought that there must be something special about it, seeing as how it came from Santa and all. But when I figured out that the orange was a perennial fixture, it was no longer special, and I would unceremoniously return my Christmas orange to the produce drawer so that it would not go bad. Gradually, over the years of course I began to resent the orange. Because if the orange wasn’t there, I figured, then maybe better, rarer, and more expensive things could take its place.

I mean that, Harry & David, you seem like a product of another age, an age like one that my mother lived in the indoor plumbing-free wilds of rural America. An age when all fruit was precious, and a navel orange from Florida must have seemed like a small, fragrant, sticky Christmas miracle.

But these days, in the days of organic heirloom peaches available mere minutes from my front door all year round, getting your catalogue in the mail is pretty much like getting that giant navel orange in my stocking. It’s sweet, but it’s filler. And we all three know it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Campaign commercials that should have been

I’m sure I’m not the only frustrated political junkie who writes campaign commercials in my head. Here’s a golden oldie I composed mentally for the 2004 Kerry campaign:

[Under: Comical music.]


The Bush campaign has tried again and again to smear John Kerry by saying that he’s from “Taxachusetts,” hoping voters will think that tax rates in Kerry’s home state are somehow his fault.

Bush needs a lesson in how government works.

John Kerry has served nineteen years in the U.S. Senate, not the Massachusetts state legislature, and so has no authority to write or sign laws determining the tax rates in Massachusetts.

[Under: Ominous music.]

Voiceover (cont.)

But you know who does have the authority to determine the tax rates? The governor of Massachusetts. Because he signs all the bills into law. And do you know who the governor of “Taxachusetts” is?

Mitt Romney. Republican.

Damn. I swear I don’t know why I don’t get paid to do that.

Yes, the Republicans – and the press, can you believe it? – are strangely silent on the subject of the tax rates in Massachusetts so far this campaign season. And I’m confused by that, because I was in Boston last year, and I had to rent a car, and holy smokes! I paid almost 400 bucks, even though the rental charge itself was only about half of that. The rest, as the townie gal with the elaborate fingernails and the oiled/crispy hair behind the counter explained, shrugging, could be attributed to “Taxachusetts.”

So why haven’t taxes in MA been a huge issue for the Republicans? As governor, Romney has cut the budget deficit largely by raising all sorts of fees and taxes, as well as by closing many tax loopholes. I think if a Democratic governor of MA were running, the opposition, and the press, would’ve brought that up a time or two.

Don’t you?

Monday, November 26, 2007

White House Welcomes American Nobel Prize Winners

Bush: I don't see what the big deal is about this No Bell prize. I coulda won it, but I happen to like bells. Heh, heh. Bells are nice. Like church bells and such. See, the only person who should get excited about a No Bell prize is someone who really hates bells.

Gore: I could kill him now, and not a jury on earth would convict me.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Tacos


About 1 C. mashed potatoes (regular, sweet, or yam – NOT candied though)

About 4 T. salsa verde (regular salsa is okay if you don’t have tomatillo salsa --although you really should keep some on hand)

A smidge of oil

2 soft corn tortillas (are there any other kind?)

Maybe a ¼ C. cranberry relish. If your relish isn’t made with lime juice and jalapenos, like mine is, you might have to spike it a bit.

Mix a couple of spoonfuls of salsa verde into your mashed potatoes. Make a patty out of the potatoes about the size of a corn tortilla. Fry with a little oil until brown on both sides and thoroughly heated.

While you’re at it, warm your tortillas in that pan as well.

Cut the patty in half, and place each half in one of the corn tortillas. Cover the top of the patties with a good amount of cranberry relish.

Toss some more salsa verde on top of your ingredients. Also, a little green Tabasco or hot sauce of your choice would not be remiss.

Serves two gabachos. Or one, if you’re hungry.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jamestown, CA

I am, like just about every other American this time of year, thinking about how thankful I am for various things.

As I was walking by my company’s conference room this morning and looking in the window, I realized that I am thankful that I am not one of those guys who has to sit in a meeting where the Power Point presentation is titled “Gasket Update.”

I am also thankful I am not a member of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Because I don’t know how I could sleep at night, knowing that I am denying the members of the Writer’s Guild from getting even one penny* of the profits that I make on the downloads of programs that they fucking wrote.

I am thankful I am not Hillary Clinton, because if someone were to ask a question about me, in public, and that question was “How can we beat the bitch?”, I would hope that the person on the receiving end of the question, even if he were a Republican, would say, “Hey, that’s not an appropriate way to refer to Bells On blogger Vikkitikkitavi in a public forum,” and not “That’s an excellent question! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

I am also thankful I am not any of the Republican presidential candidates. Because I think it would be very difficult to appeal to both 1) the idiots who still insist that Bush is NOT dangerously incompetent and a criminal worthy of impeachment, and to 2) the other sensible Republicans who are trying to salvage their party from the moral garbage heap. I mean, how do you get BOTH of these groups to vote for you? Besides giving tax cuts to fetuses who make over $200,000 a year, that is.

I am thankful I do not drive a BMW, because, well…those people all seem to be assholes, don’t they?

I am very very thankful that I am not a rape victim in Saudi Arabia. In this country, we’re all too familiar with a legal system that “adds insult to injury,” but there, it’s more like “adding vile and shameful travesty of justice to absolutely crippling physical and emotional trauma.”

I am thankful I am an atheist, because it makes me feel self-reliant in the face of chaos, which, holy shit, prepares you for just about anything life throws at you, including cat-turd-laced dog vomit.

And I am so thankful I am not a member of the armed services in Iraq, trying to deal with the distress and danger and uncertainty of my situation while my “grateful nation” tries to screw me out of my signing bonus and charge me for hospital meals after my legs get blown off.

I am equally thankful that I am not an Iraqi citizen, trying to deal with an army of adrenaline-crazed, heavily-armed foreigners who have no idea, and usually about 1 second to decide, whether I am their enemy or their friend.

But I am not only thankful for those things I am not, you know. I am also thankful for those things I do have, including great friends, and family, and the best boyfriend in the world. Also: weekend morning sex, and farmer’s markets, and diner breakfasts, and coffee, and driving north on Highway 1, and sand dollars, and little silver charms, and 3 a.m. Star Trek reruns.

I am thankful my divorce didn’t make me less likely to love Spooney, but more so.

I am even thankful for this here blog, as juvenile and foul-mouthed and opinionated and intolerant as it may seem to be. I do, as you may have guessed by now, have a bit more love for my fellow countrymen than I let on sometimes. Have a good Thanksgiving Day holiday, all you Americans out there, wherever you find yourselves.

*link courtesy of Very Hot Jews

Monday, November 19, 2007

This is what a bad dog looks like

photo by Kate Levy

So, this weekend, Spooney and I were doing some cleaning, and as a result, we put the dirty cat box outside until we could get to changing it. Unfortunately, we also put Buster outside, completely forgetting that he has a fondness for cat-box crunchies.

Until then, Buster had been foiled in his quest for the crunchies recently, due to Spooney’s ingenious idea of putting the folding stool in front of the only access point to the litter box. Perhaps that is why, unbeknownst to us, the crunchie-deprived Buster gorges himself.

Cut to an hour later. Spooney is in the shower. I am doing yardwork. Suddenly Spooney is screaming blue murder. I run into the house.

There is cat-turd-and-litter-infused vomit EVERYWHERE. On the rug. On the chair. On the floor. More on the floor. Gallons of it. EVERYWHERE.

In between bouts of serious retching, we manage to get it cleaned up. The upholstery goes in the washer. The rug gets a vigorous cleaning with god’s gift to pet owners.

Then I go outside, and I find Buster hiding under a bush, drooling brown drool and looking extremely nauseated and scared. He even skips his dinner of tummy-settling boiled rice that night, which is a first in the history of Buster.

Maybe this will teach that dumb-ass dog a lesson, I think to myself, about the dangers of eating someone else’s shit. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ouch! That hurts.

Oh holy cripes, readers. Mama’s tired. And not just because it’s Friday.

I was reading this story about how Newsweek has hired Karl Rove as an opinionator in order to “balance” out their earlier hiring of liberal blogger (and personal friend of Grant Miller) Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos.

Which got me thinking - remember when Jon Stewart went on Crossfire, the television program dedicated to that type of left vs. right media circus, and told them to “stop hurting America”?

Well, they’re not stopping. They’re not stopping at all. And it’s just so exhausting.

They want us all to believe that their responsibility is to merely provide us with a partisan from the left, and one from the right. Then all they have to do is shrug and say “I guess the truth lies somewhere in between, folks.”

Except it doesn’t always.

But it seems as if too often the press abdicates their responsibility to not just throw up two disparate opinions, but to actually get to the truth of the matter.

Case in point: Voter suppression vs. voter fraud.

You have to admit that the whole “rampant voter fraud” issue is a really fucking brilliantly placed red herring. The right-wing architects of this strategy really knew what they were doing. They knew the press would go for it, and they did. They so did.

Think of it this way: your future as a party depends upon being able to carry certain key districts every four years. Being able to carry certain key districts depends upon a certain amount of, how shall we say…um, keeping the non-Republicans away from the polls?

And by “non-Republicans,” I don’t mean Hollywood liberals with lotsa bucks and their lawyer’s number on their cell phone speed-dial.

I mean a different kind of Democrat. I mean poor Democrats. Democrats that, if they were to actually make the evening news with their complaint, would most likely be viewed by a certain portion of the America public with thoughts along the lines of “Those people again? What do they want now?”

I mean black Democrats.

So, how do you keep the press from crying foul when you keep the black Democrats from voting? How do you keep the press distracted from what is perhaps the most reprehensible conspiracy ever perpetrated by the Republican party?

That’s right. You counter-charge.

Thus was born the non-issue of “rampant voter fraud” in America.

Which was, of course, the issue behind the firing of all those attorneys at the Department of Justice. The guys that got fired were the guys who looked at BushCo’s “voter fraud is #1 DoJ issue” agenda and said “Are you fucking kidding me? You want me to prioritize a problem that doesn’t exist?”

And who is the DoJ mastermind behind the invention of “rampant voter fraud,”and behind the firing of those U.S. attorneys (read: fucking heroes) who refused to play ball?

Hans A. von Spakovsky.

I’m not kidding.

Formerly, he served in the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ, where he was so respected by his colleagues that they banded together to oppose his appointment to the Federal Elections Commission, calling him the “point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division's mandate to protect voting rights.”

Not that it mattered. Bush gave him one of those handy-dandy recess appointments. You know, like the one John Bolton got? Because that’s just the way he rolls, y’all.

Yes, it’s just another fox-guarding-the-hen-house appointment for BushCo.

But the recess appointment term is up, and Congress must now consider whether to allow BushCo to push through a regular 6-year term on the FEC for this, um, criminal.

Senator Obama opposes the appointment, and wrote an editorial in the Chicago Defender saying so. Good on him.

But Edward Blum at the conservative Weekly Standard contends that Obama, by opposing von Spakovsky is…get this…“playing the race card.”

I know! It’s so fucking…I don’t know…ironic and disgusting and just so completely shitty and perverse that I don’t know whether to, as my momma used to say, shit or go blind.

But the best part? The absolutely best motherfucking part of this whole sad, sick deal?

The Democrats might vote to allow von Spakovsky on the FEC, as long as they get to appoint a liberal member to “balance” him.


Y’all must think I’m some kind of bringing-it-all-full-circle kind of god or something, but I swear on my life it’s all true, folks. It’s all too fucking true.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Hobbit mullet

Quest in the front, revelry in the back.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nostradamus, Schmostradamus

So some crackpot anti-choice group in Colorado has just been cleared to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would “define a fertilized egg as a person.”

First of all, let me just say that I used to be the kind of gal who would sign any petition, anywhere. What the hell, I used to think, let them have their day. The voters will sort it out.

No more. Voters are, for the most part, appallingly stupid and can no longer be trusted, I’ve decided, to act sensibly. Look, I’ve already got a female-film-crew-member-groping action star for a governor. Keep the crazy shit off the ballots in my new motto.

To that end, I have some questions for the proponents of this legislation, and for those Colorado residents who may find themselves tempted to sign the petitions to put this joke on the ballot:

  1. Are you crazy?
  2. Seriously. Are you fucking crazy?
  3. How’s Crazytown? Because that’s where you live, you fucking crazy asshole.

If Colorado does put this measure on the ballot, I have a couple of predictions for their future that I would like to share.

First of all, I predict an all-out war between the north-of-Denver liberal Boulderites and the south-of-Denver conservative Colorado Springers, and the entire city of Denver will become their battlefield. At first the Springers will appear to be winning due to their superior firepower, but then the Boulderites will threaten to cut off the Springers’ Croc supply lines, and the Springers will be forced to either surrender, or wear actual non-clown shoes when they go to the Wal-Mart.

Secondly, if the measure gets on the ballot and passes, then of course abortion and stem cell research will be deemed illegal. Also, most female-controlled methods of contraception will be denounced as murder, since their effectiveness relies on preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus, and instead expelling those eggs into, I don’t know, probably the toilet. Women convicted of using those kinds of contraceptives will be forced to register with the state, notify their neighbors of their presence in the neighborhood, and wear t-shirts identifying them as “baby toilet-drowning whores.”

Also, many fertility clinics will be forced to close or move out of state, due to the considerable legal ramifications of performing in-vitro fertilization. One prominent fertility specialist will proclaim the state of Colorado a “fucking medical minefield.”

Women will be required to apply for a pre-birth certificate for every pregnancy, and if a child is not presented to the authorities within the proper time frame for birth, a criminal murder investigation will be mandated. No longer will a woman’s word be sufficient to account for a so-called “miscarriage.” Investigators will be authorized to inquire about the eating, drinking, smoking, driving, running, flying, skiing, biking, skating, sunbathing, fucking and praying habits of all expectant mothers.

Lastly, I predict the bankrupting of the state of Colorado, due to the billions of dollars owed in settlements to 20-year-olds convicted of underage drinking who contended that, counting from their fertilization date, they were actually 21.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thank you, thank you very much

And now, a tour of "the Elvis room."

This is the spare room I stay in when I am at my mom's house.

It is located in mom's beautiful finished basement. And yes, there is simulated wood paneling and plush pile carpet, thank you for asking.

There is also Elvis memorabilia.

More Elvis memorabilia.

The only Elvis memorabilia of my mother's that is not in this room is her 1956 Elvis Presley Fan Club membership card. She gave that to me several years ago. It is one of my most prized possessions.

Hey, James Dean! Git on outta here! This here room belongs to The King of Rock-n-Roll.

You know I totally turned on the lava lamp while I played the officially merchandised Elvis Presley Hand-held Slot Machine®.

And then, the King himself serenaded me to sleep.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I am a muller. I like to mull. If you went to a movie with me, and you asked me, as we were leaving, what I thought of the movie, I would say “Hmmm…”

And then two or three hours would go by.

And then, quite suddenly, usually without prompting, I would start spewing forth on the film. Then the momentum of my opinion would be quite unstoppable. It just takes a little while to get started, is all. I guess it is the last remnant of my Hoosier reticence.

And so I’ve been thinking quite a bit these last couple of days about Nebraska, where my mom lives. I was there over the weekend with my sister. I flew into Denver, where sis lives, and then one six-hour drive with incredibly monotonous scenery later we were at my mom’s house.

You know how you know you are in the Midwest? When you ask for hot sauce at the Taco Bell off the interstate, and the girl behind the counter has to go ask where they keep it.


The best part is when she looked at my sister, who had not ordered yet, and asked “Are you going to be wanting taco sauce, too?” As if something about our (decidedly non-familial) resemblance to one another, perhaps our expensive eyewear, or the studied dishevelment of our hair, marked us as exotic condiment aficionados.

Somewhere in between the famous stubbornness of Iowans, and the “show me” obstinance of Missourians are the Nebraskans, who seem to me, at least in the rural areas, to have a unique talent for ignoring their own self-interest in the most perverse and infuriating ways.

I remember sitting watching tv with my stepdad several years ago, and there was a health alert on the local news warning people not to drink water from the garden hose, on account of the dangerous chemicals that leach into the water from the hose when it sits in the sun. “That’s ridiculous!” he blurted out. “Everyone I know’s been drinking outta the hose their whole lives. Nothing ever happened to them.”

I remember the moment like it was yesterday, because at the time, my stepdad had begun to take pills so that his stomach could digest food properly. It was a medical condition I had never heard of before, and yet there were several people living in his area that were all suffering the same affliction.

I’m sure they didn’t get it from drinking from the garden hose, and yet my stepdad’s attitude was a typical one, both for him and for most residents of Nebraska farmland: governmental health and environmental groups are big over-reacting sissies out to ruin their way of life.

No agency is more hated in that part of the country than the EPA, and the EPA is seen as an invention and instrument of the Democratic party. Farmers, and the myriad of economic systems that support the farming economy, are of the opinion that a man ought to be able to do what he wants with his own land.

That sounds like a fine and patriotic sentiment, except that in order to stay afloat, farmers will put just about anything on their crops in order to bring them in with a profit sufficient to keep them going. And if, in doing that, they also, say, poison the water table that supplies the entire community, their reaction generally is to stick their collective heads in the sand. The water table’s not poisoned, you sissies. We’ve been drinking out of this water table our whole lives, and nothing’s happened to us.

Nothing except that they’re all fucked-up physically. All of them. My stepdad died still sucking on the nebulizer that had kept his respiratory system functioning for years. And if you’d asked him, I’m sure he would’ve denied that it had anything to do with any of the herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or other crop-enabling poisons that he handled over the years.

But there has been progress. My mom told me that, so far, her community had successfully kept a feedlot from opening less than a mile from where she lived.

“Hold on,” I said. “You just told me yesterday that if everyone went vegetarian like me, that Nebraska would be ruined. That the economy was built on beef. And yet, you don’t want a feedlot anywhere near you.”

But of course she doesn’t. Because it would ruin the value of her land. Because feedlots stink. They stink for miles and miles and miles. And if you think the chemical cocktails that farmers use are bad, you should see what a couple thousand gallons of cow piss per day will do to your groundwater. So of course she’s all NIMBY on that issue, but in a state like Nebraska, NIMBYism can be considered progress. Because at least they’re admitting that there’s a problem.

I am not from Nebraska. And it makes me sad, I will admit, to see my mom, who moved back to her family home after her children were grown, growing old in such a place. I understand why Nebraskans love their land, because it is so beautiful sometimes, like when the early evening shadows fall over the dales, that it makes my heart ache in my chest. But I couldn’t live there, not just because I’m too liberal, but because rural Nebraska is changing. No young person who goes to college ever comes back. And those who are not inclined or can’t afford to go to college are lucky if there is a job opening in one of the few remaining small-time meat packaging plants in the county. Mostly they become part of the service economy. They hold two or three jobs in order to make ends meet. They struggle. They spend a lot of money on medicine.

And like those gigantic WalMarts that obliterate not only local businesses, but also acres and acres of countryside, big agribusiness is turning Nebraska into one never-ending facility. Farmers die. The heirs sell the farm to the likes of Archer Daniels Midland. The feedlots grow from 5 acres to 500 acres each, and the way of life for those remaining dies a little each day.

Like I said, it’s sad. I hope my mom’s little corner of Nebraska stays mostly beautiful until her days on the land are done, but in the meantime, I’m glad she finally bought that water filtration system.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky

Don’t let all those Gore-tex®-encrusted tree-hugging liberals fool you with their “look over there, is that patchouli incense?” skills of misdirection: Colorado is a red state. In fact, it’s a red state with an obnoxious Republican ruling class, which is the most exciting kind of red state to, you know, sort of live in. If you can call that living.

Yes, just like Indiana has, or at least had, the Quayles, Colorado has the Coors, supporters of the ultra-evil Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

Hm. Maybe their money would've been better spent on the Rockies payroll.

Hey, I'm just sayin.

Anyhoos, I don’t like their beer, and I don’t like them. But since I believe that they run in slightly different social circles than my sister, they shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid during my visit to her new digs in Boulder.

What I won't be able to avoid in Boulder: Crocs. I believe they were "invented" there.

I’m not sure what she’s got in store for me, other than shopping, shopping, a lot of kitteh scratches on my hands and feet, and shopping.

Actually, in spite of their addiction to comfortable footwear, Boulder/Denver is a pretty fun place to hang. Plus, they have the best Japanese restaurant ever. That's a hint, sis.

Oh, yes. We will also be making a foray into Nebraska, a state so red even the Democrats are Republicans, to visit the Moms. More shopping. Feats of Strength. The Airing of Grievances. At least one trip to Red Lobster.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

See you next week.