Friday, March 31, 2006

My favorite plant...

Sometimes, I really, really love my job.

Today I was grading essays in order to get caught up for the end of the marking period. I have to have grades in the computer on Tuesday. I wasn't too far behind, but I had an important assignment to grade that I had been putting off.

You see, the assignment was to design your ideal apartment. I provided the students with handouts that had an apartment layout and furniture already prepared. They were blank, of course, for the students to color, cut, and paste. I required each student, after they had done the arts & crafts portion of the project, to write an essay describing the arrangement of the furniture in the apartment. For example, "there is a yellow lamp on the little table next to the bed" (il y a une lampe jaune sur la petite table à côté du lit). Simple, right?

As I have students of varying abilities and interest levels, I got some fantastic essays with varied sentence structure, lots of excellent descriptive adjectives, and accurate spelling and accents. I also got a load of crap. I did, however, get one essay that made me giggle intermittently all afternoon.

This young man made his sofa (le canapé), easy chair (le fauteuil), and his plants (les plantes) green. Perfectly logical. No problem.

However, he misspelled green (vert or verte, depending on the gender of the noun) as "verge." I don't know how conversant most people are with this word, but it's a lovely slang term for a man's, ahem, member. So, in this essay, I had a dick sofa, a dick chair, and dick plants.

I don't know about you, but I quite fancy having a dick plant about. I imagine it would be kind of like a zucchini plant - you could let them go for a few days and harvest a couple the size of baseball bats. Just for the novelty, you understand. Gag gifts. No pun intended, really. Honest. heeee heee heeee. snicker, snort!

Perhaps they would more resemble trees, and would dangle down temptingly, just out of reach. It would be a nice change of pace, wouldn't it?

The kid got an A-, by the way.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I've been seduced... the iPod.

My mp3 player has had a few problems recently - it lost all of my music but two songs. Bastard useless pile of shite. The keypad never really worked correctly, either, so I took it back to the store the WCM bought it from. This mp3 player was actually a replacement for the first one, which died an ignominious death less than a week after its purchase. The tech guy that was processing the request suggested I go with something different this time. Ok, dude, whatever.

So, I browsed their mp3 department and was seduced by the sleek stylings of the iPod nano. It's tiny. It's sleek. It's a-fucking-dorable. I can't freaking wait until I understand how to work the bloody thing, though. Fucking apple! It has to convert all my songs from one format to another.

Still, it's a sexy little thing!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Warning - graphic prose ahead

Once upon a time, there was a blogger named Herge who wanted to make a blogger movie. He passed the torch to Tina, who passed it to Michelle, who passed it to me. Please click their links in order to get the backstory. I'm going to start it with an excerpt from Michelle's so you have some context. Her text is in blue.

They had even met and went on a few dates, always meeting at the venue in seperate cars, very public and not going anywhere else. She thought that she was being smart about it. He said all the right things and made her feel special. She was special all right, his special target. When she decided that she didn’t want to see him again, he got angry, angrier than what was called for. He was verbally abusive and he made threats to her safety, she was really scared. He soon found out where she lived and was “camping out” in front of her house. He would not leave her alone, not even after she filed a restraining order against him. He’d show up at her work and just “hang” out by the building or in the parking garage and leer at her or follow her to her car, always staying just 150 feet away, just as the restraining order stated that he had to. He’d go to the same church she went to and sit in the back and listen to her sing in the choir. He was everywhere Marissa was. She finally had to move to a different city where she started her life anew. When she first started reading Alice’s blog and saw a commenter with the same handle as James’, she didn’t think anything about it. “Surely, he wouldn’t be using the same name after all these years…” You would have thought that someone that psycho would have changed his on-line name. I guess he’s not as smart as he thinks he is... Marissa: “I really hope that this isn’t the same guy. Maybe I should warn Alice, she’s really vulnerable right now, a perfect target for James.”(fade to black)


Alice stared dumbfounded at her computer screen. James was offering to help her? What was this all about? Absently chewing her thumbnail, Alice leaned back in her computer chair and mulled over James' offer. It's true that she and Dan were no longer functioning as a family unit. His constant sniping and emotional abuse had ground down her innocent softness into a hardened core of determination. She would take control of her life, and her first step would be to do so with the help of another man. That would show Dan who was the stupid cow. She could attract a man with her brains, no matter what Dan said. Resolutely, she sat up, straightened her spine, and typed:

"I'd love to hear more from you, especially how you managed to move out and move on. I so desperately need to do just that."


James sat slouched on his sofa, lovingly stroking a cloth over his long-barreled .44 magnum. Every so often, he'd moisten the cloth from the small bowl of warm oil he used for cleaning his firearms. The oil didn't have to be warm, but James liked to warm his lotion bottle before his nightly ritual, so it was fitting that the extra-long barrel of his handgun be treated the same. After all, he reasoned, each in its own way was powerful, invasive, and classified as weapons.

As the cloth in his hand glided slickly across the dark metal, James' thoughts drifted toward Alice. Would the dizzy bitch accept his offer? Would she prove worthy as Marissa had not? Oh, he'd fucked up with Marissa, had made mistakes. He'd been too eager, too obvious in his affections. She'd spooked and ran right back to her ex-boyfriend. Married the sonofabitch, too, and whelped a little copy of the asshole. Well, she was history. He was on to better things.

Finished with the cloth, James cocked his gun and leveled it at the opposite wall. Sighting down the gleaming barrel, he centered it on one of the many pictures of Alice he'd tacked up there.


The empty chamber echoed as the cylinder rotated. James cocked his wrist, simulating the massive recoil of the .44, then brought the tip of the weapon to his pursed lips, gently blowing across the rim of the barrel. The smoke drifted across his imagination, where he was already standing over Alice. With her, he'd have to be more careful than he was with Marissa. he'd go much slower and reel her in.

Rising from the sofa, James tenderly laid his gun in its custom, foam-lined metal case, reverently fastening down the clasps. He snagged a beer from the fridge and carried it into his study. After clicking on his computer, he laid the bottle's capped rim on the scarred edge of the desk and deftly popped it open with a blow from his palm. Bringing it to his lips, he guzzled the beer, draining half the bottle in one swig. He slouched in his chair and tapped the bottle against his temple while waiting for the ancient machine to dial up his connection to Alice. One-handed, he opened his fly and reached for the bottle of lotion, still sitting in the bottle warmer. As the interned opened, James settled into readiness.

Come on, Alice, he thought, don't be a pussy. James scrolled through his email and landed on Alice's reply. Result! James opened the email and read it through carefully. Even though she didn't want to meet, she was still interested in continuing communication. That worked into his plan. James closed his eyes and softly, rythmically murmered to himself "Yes, Alice. You've been brave. You've made a move. Good girl, Alice. We'll meet, and then I'll have you. I'll have you, you cunt. You dumb cunt. You're mine. All mine. Mine. MINE!"

Opening his eyes, James leaned down and plucked the crumpled tissues from the floor. He headed to the bathroom to wash. Catching a glimpse of his flushed face in the mirror, he smiled slowly and wiggled his nearly invisible eyebrows. His night was complete.

(fade to black)

I'm passing this one to Garfer, as it looks like he needs some inspiration.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


This last week has posed a real challenge coming up with things to write about. What does one resort to when stumped? I thought about picking up the threads of a post on Suburban Bliss, but the backstory would be a bitch to write up. It does kind of strike a nerve for me. For what it's worth, it is worth a look, and while not strictly ladies only, in is more topical to women. I also thought of doing a memorial post for my Father-in-Law, who passed away on St. Patrick's Day, but honestly, who would care to read it? So, what you wind up with are these little crottins which I choose to serve you:

Cocktail weenies: is this the most obscene-sounding snack in the world? I mean, first, you have "cock." It's a pink sausage for fuck's sake, and you're going to call it something starting with a euphemism for penis? Then there's "tail," which is a euphemism for female genitalia - as in "get a piece of tail." With my perverted imagination, I've already got quite the picture show in my head. The pièce de résistance though is the last word: "weenie." As a child, I had boy friends who routinely referred to their equipment as their weenie. When you see the stubby, flesh-colored meat stick on a plate, nothing quite puts you off as much as making that association with your former 8 year old friends. Ick. I think I'll stick to the bacon-wrapped scallops, thank you very much.


When a big girl - euphemistically speaking - has to buy clothes, it's rarely a pleasant prospect. Add to that prospect the additional complication of fashion constraints, and you've got a nightmare in the making. The memorial service was yesterday, which necessitated the purchase of a new black garment, as all the other serviceable black garments I own are too small for my current tonnage. I found, after much frustrated searching, a conservative black suit, suitably voluminous to cover my ample ass assets which didn't make me look like a plus-sized prostitute. Swathed from neck to ankle in black polyester, I was, and was glad of it. Perhaps I shall make use of it again when my Mother-in-Law finally gives up the ghost. If not, Miss Peanut will have a black pup tent for girl scouts.


As I mentioned before, my Father-in-Law passed away. He was 85 years old, suffering from senile dementia and Parkinson's disease. Before he became completely infirm, he was quite a character - oh, the stories I could tell. Ornery as cat shit, always trying to stir up some good-natured trouble, hardworking, alternately caring and cantankerous depending on which way the wind blew - he was an original. People said of him that when he was created, they broke the mold (and then proceeded to beat the hell out of the mold-maker). I'll miss the old bugger.


Number 57,432 on my list of Things That Annoy Me: Acne drugs. You know, back when I was 13, acne medication was reserved for those kids who had really horrible, pitting, disfiguring acne. Those of us with mild to moderate pizza face had to suffer through those years, relying on them to "build character." Nowadays, practically every student I have is on some form of acne drug. It makes them all beautiful, to be sure, but it also makes me feel like such a dirty old woman as I can't help but admire all the tall, clear-skinned young men that enter my classroom. Not that I'm going to go LeTourneau, because 13? Yuck! But honestly - they're too handsome for their own good. Please, take away the Accutane, people. Zits protect them.


Number 74,963 on my list of Things I Can't Do Without: Baby snuggles. My boyfriend, Max, is just as cute as ever. I submit for your perusal, exhibit A - Max at Play.

Is he not the cutest boyfriend ever? He's such a love, and I'll be seeing him and his lovely parents again on Easter. Can't wait to cuddle him.


Makeup is the devil's palette. In my teen years, I liberally slathered my face in foundation, caked on the powder and blush, smeared my lips in fire-engine red, and loaded down my eyelashes Tammy-Faye-style in an effort to disguise my insecurities about my looks. In college, I simply couldn'tbe arsed to keep up that regimen. It was all about efficiency and getting the fuck out of bed in the mornings. Here's my college regimen: sweats? check. ponytail? check. lip balm? check. Voila. Instant undergrad - just add coffee. Nowadays, I usually wear some, just so I can feel professional. Yesterday, though, I went all out and wore the full face. It was so uncomfortable! I felt smothered in paint - like the Bond girls in Goldfinger (which is an urban legend, by the way, as you can't smother in paint unless someone holds you down in a vat of it). I looked like a porcelain doll, though. Do I want to be that uncomfortable every day just to look pretty? Hell no. I can't imagine that anyone actually does the full face every morning. Do you?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

No frontin', yo

I seem to have developed quite a coffee habit over the last couple of months. In the morning, I hit Dunkin' Donuts for a large iced coffee with cream and sugar. After school, I visit Starbucks for a Venti Iced Caffe Mocha. I have two Starbucks' that I frequent: one is a stand-alone boutique, the other is a part of Target, my favorite superstore. The boutique has a more upscale zip code, while the Target accommodates all the plebeans who are already frequenting the store, browsing for automobile accessories or a new set of placemats. Consequently, or so it seems, the baristas are distributed according to their social strata.

At the suburban Starbucks close to my house, the baristas are all white, anal-retentive ("Oh my God, Margie, would you look at the state of this coffee display? They've mixed the espresso with the decaf - what were they thinking?"), and just a bit bitchy snippy if you don't order your drink correctly. I stand up straight with a carefully blank face while I listen surreptitiously as they crab about this, that, or the other. Politely, I smile when they shove my finished drink at me with a "there you go, hon'."

At Target, where I go when I'm running late to pick up Miss Peanut, or if I need to shop for anything, the baristas are all black, low-key, and entertaining as hell. I join in on their conversations about men ("Girl, you know he be cheatin'!"), supervisors from hell, or life in general. We all giggle together. They know my order, as I'm a creature of habit, and I get outstanding service.

Yesterday, when I bellied up to the counter at Target, there was a trainee who looked as confused as a piglet in the hen house. The regular barista appeared to be harassed and overburdened as she went about the process of training the new hire. Seeing me, she grinned and waved, saying to the trainee "Look, child, just follow the instructions on my card while I get my homegirl her drink." I could feel the smile on my face start to swallow my chin.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have arrived. I am somebody's homegirl. I felt like I was given an all-access pass to the Sista's club, with the option of hanging out with the cast of Girlfriends. I was thrilled. Move over Mo'Nique, because Bro'Nwen's in the house, representin' for the thick sistas. Why? Because I'm a homegirl.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Return of the Drunken Lesbian Scrapbooking Weekend

Ok, maybe not so much lesbian, except for the part where I slept with strange women. Alas, no hot ladylove, just lots of snoring (and farting on the second night, but that's another part of the story). Perhaps not so much drunken, either, as the Margaritas at the resort weren't frozen, so I declined to partake of them, and instead had one small Kahlua and Cream. There was, however, lots of fun scrapbooking going on, and was indeed the weekend.

I got to room with Jem, who was born in England and raised in New Orleans. She was completely delightful - the kind of woman who speaks in a German accent when tired, shouting "Touch my monkey! Touch it! Touch it!" She's also refreshingly liberal, something I didn't think I'd ever find in my normal scrapbooking group. It always seems that I'm the closet liberal surrounded by a group of Catholic Republicans when I scrap with this group. It was nice to find another, and together we "outed" Mitzi as a liberal, too. We had our own little Bush-bashing, NPR-listening, ACLU card-carrying Liberal Democratic enclave going on in the corner of the scrapping room. I sort of knew she was one of my people when she announced at dinner that her gay friends hadn't been really surprised that Brokeback Mountain didn't walk away with more Oscars. Silence fell, covert glances were exchanged, the subject was dropped, and discussion of more neutral topics - dogs, daughters, coffee, chocolate - were introduced.

On the second day, I met my other roommate, Flo. No, not Aunt Flo, although that fucking bitch put in a surprise appearance, too. Flo was, well, LOUD! Girlfriend was an open book to all that cared, and some that didn't, to know about her life. She was, however, very fun to hang with, because she knows how to have a laugh. She and Jem went out with Mitzi and her mother for Mexican food that night. Jem got a bit, um, windy from the beans. Whooooooo! We had to warn everybody about open flames in her vicinity.

We also went to see the movie Failure to Launch. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmMathhew MMmmmmmmmmmmmmConaghy, is all I have to say. I've never been a big Sarah Jessica Parker fan - I just don't see it - but she was really cute in this movie. I give it 3.5 of 5 stars. Recommended.

We got some scrapbooking done, too. I finished about 4 layouts, and since I am one of the World's Slowest Scrappers, that's a pretty good number. Mitzi got about 35 done, though. Coming home was really difficult for me this time. I didn't want to come back to reality and have to deal with the WCM (the World's Cheapest Man). He resents it when I have fun, and true to form, the very first thing he did when I got home is blame me because Peanut's banana fell on the floor while she was sitting in his lap! Pain in my ass.

I can't wait for the next DLSW.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I don't do this often, but when something makes me laugh so hard I fear for my blood pressure, I need to share it.

Yes, I realize that she's a big name, a queen among bloggers, doesn't need the publicity, yadda yadda yadda, but come on, people! That was funny as hell!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Poisonous Parents

When I was a little girl, my Daddy used to read me a story every night. I'd get a hug and a kiss and go to sleep. Miss Peanut now sleeps in that same bed. Now, I'm the one that gets to sit on the bed and read her a story, pat her back, and answer her myriad questions:

"What do chimpanzees do?"
"How do you make cheese?"
"Where do sharks poop?"
"Do baby giraffes have short necks?

"Do crocodiles eat little girls?"

It's a trippy feeling, to be that person. My father was always my question-answerer. Still is, for many things. I used to love snuggling up to my Dad when I was Miss Peanut's age and asking him to tell me things. Yes, I was Daddy's girl. Miss Peanut, though, is not. She is Mommy's girl. I have her answers, am her security, and give her love. She's a snuggler and a cuddler. Rarely, when I get the chance to sit down, is she not pressed against my side or shoving her feet under my thigh or pushing herself onto my lap.

Because she is so affectionate with me, it twists my heart when she refuses to kiss her father goodnight, as I never went to bed without a hug and a kiss from my Daddy. The WCM is not a warm-fuzzy, cuddly individual, in general. He loves Miss Peanut to death, but he's not a touchy-feely sort, and the love he has rarely comes out right. He's not entirely to blame - so much of his upbringing was fucked-up, and his role models were bitter and emotionally barren. There was open infidelity and spousal contempt on his father's part, and prudish frigidity and passive-agression from his mother. Had I been older and more experienced when I met him, I think I'd have run a mile once I got to know his parents. They recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.

Even though my parents divorced when I was 7, and my mother is a complete melodramatic wacko (love ya, Mom!), I think they provided me with better role models than the battle-hardened couple that stayed married "for the children." I hate what they've done to their youngest child. The damage that they inflicted on him was unintentional, but thorough. Afraid to really show his emotions and more inclined to nag and order than to chat, he deeply fears rejection. Why do I stay? I honestly don't know. Emotional masochism, maybe?

I can answer Miss Peanut's questions now. Once she gets older, though, and her questions get more complex and deal with these heavy emotional issues, I hope I can answer them as breezily. I also hope that the WCM gets a grip on what it means for a little girl to have a good relationship with her father and can draw that poison out of his system.

On the whole, explaining where sharks poop is easier.

The ocean, duh!