Friday Links: Shutdown Protest Edition

11 Oct

So let’s just have a little quick recap of this week, shall we? My sweet love petal XFE is out of town and my insomnia is in full force. I showed up a week early for a dental cleaning (they declined my offer to go ahead and just do it. They also didn’t appreciate it when I pointed out that since they charge me when I miss an appointment without calling, they should reward me the same amount when I show up for really, really early for appointments. )

The huge mirror over the sink in my bathroom decided it didn’t like my outfit and completely jumped off the wall (the wire holding it broke), cracking the left corner and ruining it.

I left my keys in the door overnight and had to force myself to be Secret Agent Ninja Poe the next morning looking for would-be murderers/rapists/robbers/cat hostage takers.

I finally broke down and got a work-issued phone that is about sixteen generations more advanced than my personal phone (the iLuddite, as one co-worker dubbed it) and has me totally confounded (where is the “dismiss appointment reminder button!”)

And, finally, it rained approximately 160 of the last 168 hours.

Let’s see what was on the Web this week.

Matthew Broderick Does Triple Daddy Duty School Run

  • I agree with ol’Tabitha or Marion or whatever Broderick up there. Fall sucks and leaves are mean.
  • It may seem kinda lame to say, but this risotto from Trader Joe’s was the highlight of my week.  Lick-your-bowl phenomenal. It’s made with spelt. Spelt! I’m not even sure what that is! But I suspect it’s healthy! And nutritious!
  • I finished this book, about reclusive copper heiress Huguette Clark and her fortune and the subsequent fight over that fortune, and yes, her empty mansions. Pretty sure ol’Huguette left the keys in the door, metaphorically speaking. It’s a good  (ie: odd) story, if a little short on action. OK, a lot short on action.
  • I stayed up way too late the other night watching this HBO documentary on the murder of an openly gay teen by a classmate. Valentine Road is heartbreaking, in part because of all the ignorant, homophobic adults saying horrible things about the victim. It got me pretty fired up.
  • Perfection: Jimmy Fallon helps perform What Does the Fox Say?
  • Man, I hope I never drive XFE to fake his own kidnapping in order to get some guilt-free party time away from me. My favorite quote from the Hidalgo County Sheriff: “”Well, he’s going to party in jail now.”
  • Do you know who or what an Absu is? IKEA or Death is an online game that challenges you to correctly label words as either an IKEA product or a death metal band. Even better, the game was created by a marketing agency.
  • Speaking of clever marketing agencies, this mobile ad firm Revolution Marketing has campaign called Drunk Dial Congress. Drunkdialcongress.org connects citizens fed up with the government shutdown to members of the House of Representatives.
  • Listen, I grew up around truckers, literally less than half a mile down the road from an actual truck stop. Hell, my mom even married a few of them. But truckers hijacking the roads around DC to protest congressional inaction is just not a good idea. Your cause may be noble (or, more probably, misguided), but you’re method would just punish the innocent citizens of this swampland. We’ve been through enough lately.
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Maybe I Should Play the Lottery Next

10 Oct

Sometimes you do something so stupid and potentially dangerous it puts a pit in your stomach and lingers around you for a whole day.

I-SEE-DUMB-PEOPLE

I’m not talking about something irresponsible, like, say, for example, staying far too long at a happy hour and not eating anything except a couple of chips and a teaspoon of guacamole, which, as everyone knows is not a sufficient anti-hangover base for 3 top shelf margaritas and a sickly sweet shot. Just as an example.

No, I’m talking about some stupid mistake that makes you question whether you should even be allowed to walk by yourself to the metro.

And every time you start to feel comfortable or safe or push the incident out of your mind, there it is again, sending a cold sheen of sweat over your upper lip.

My guardian-boyfriend XFE is out of town for work this week, so of course, when I went to bed last night, I checked every door and window and made absolutely certain they were locked before I went to bed.

I have recurring bouts of insomnia. I’m currently in one of those bouts, I’d say for going on about 2 weeks now. My insomnia is kinda interesting. To me, at least. I fall asleep easily, then wake up around 3 or 4 in the morning and cannot get back to sleep until about 20 minutes before my alarm goes off. So….super restful, that. If there’s anything worse than waking up for no reason, it’s finally being able to drift back to sleep only to be jolted awake again. It is exhausting, and frustrating, and mystifying.

So, last night, per usual, I woke up around 4 am and tried to lie still in the hopes that I could somehow quiet my mind enough to get back to sleep. I finally started to slowly sink back into sleep after an indeterminate amount of time when I heard the very distinct sound of our front door. Our door has a pretty unmistakable sound. It has a rubber weathering seal around it that makes it sound a little bit like a suction noise. That’s the best way I can describe it, and it’s totally inefficient.

apocalypse bird

Anyway, I know I heard something because even Petunia jumped up from her favorite sleeping spot — ie: between my legs (I also have a theory that perhaps my insomnia stems from the fact that I am physically trapped by a 13 pound cat and can’t roll over to a more comfortable position — I have a lot of theories about my insomnia. You think a lot during those extra 2-3 hours of wakefulness every night).

what was that

I stayed very, very still, holding my breathe and listening; watching the cat to see if she was hearing anything. Nothing. No footsteps on the wood floor. No sound of the door closing. It must have been our collective imaginations. Time to get up and get the day going.

I went through my normal morning routine – brew coffee, feed the cat, pet the cat while she eats, pour cup of coffee plus to-go mug, pet the cat while she eats some more, escape the cat-petting session and get showered and dressed.

Finally, it was time to leave. I open the door and hear the distinct tinkle of my keys still in the lock of the front door, left there from the evening before. Just hanging there vulnerable and exposed. Tempting evil doers of all shapes and stripes to gently turn them and come in our house. I immediately felt sick to my stomach.

defencedoormat

I’ve done this before. XFE has found my keys still in the door lock on at least 2 occasions that I can think of.

I immediately put down my raincoat, my purse, my to-go mug of coffee. I grabbed my phone and a very lethal looking butcher knife and began looking in every closet, behind every door, just waiting for my opportunistic murderer to jump out. I went out back and checked the shed, and behind the shed, my heart caught in my throat.

The scariest moment was the downstairs powder room. That door was completely closed. Was someone in there? What would I do? Also, I’m right handed. So, should I hold my phone in my right hand in case I need to call 911, or should I hold my knife in my right hand, so I can swipe and stab with premium skill?

armed

 

Luckily, my stabbing versus dialing skills were never put to the test. No one was in the house. But could I be sure? I mean, really, really sure? It worried me all the way to work, all day at work, on the way home, and especially while approaching my front door.

Obviously, everything was fine and normal and as it should be.

But I’m not out of the woods yet. I still have to get some sleep tonight and who knows how that’s going to go with the state of my nerves. What fills me with most dread though, (besides the possibility of making that mistake again and not having as much luck the next time around) is how much trouble I’m going to get in when XFE reads this. He hates these kind of stories, quite naturally. He’ll be worried and exasperated and it will come out as harsh and I’ll get defensive and teary-eyed.

But I’ll try to nod and agree and understand that he’s not mad at me, he’s mad at the situation. That I’ve put myself in. He’s far away and completely helpless. He’s only concerned and sad that he can’t do anything to help me or save me from my idiocy.

 

At least this time I didn’t need a locksmith.

The World is Such a Weird and Disturbing Place

8 Oct

I went for drinks with the some ladies the other night. Not just some random ladies, mind you. I actually knew the ladies. So, don’t worry. No stranger danger.

As these things are sometimes wont to do, the talk at one point turned to dating in D.C. Specifically, now difficult it could be. Or for some of us old ladies, how difficult it had been, back in the day. Pre-XFE-fineness.

I, like many ladies in D.C., had a horrible time dating here. I went on a lot of first and last dates. The pinnacle of my illustrious dating history was an evening where a guy I brought to a party left the party with another girl. We were on our first, and last, date.

I never did try online dating, but I certainly did think about it. And, there seems to be a dating site for everyone. One for cat lovers, of course (Purrsonals.com) I’ve also seen the truly masterpiece-level commercial for FarmersOnly.com, which has the excellent tagline: “City folks just don’t get it.”

 

Into the undead? You’ve got a couple of websites to chose from. Zombie Passions is for “zombie lovers & people who have been working in a dead-end job for too long.” Zombie Singles promises “a Zombifier to create your own Zombie profile picture, then meet and browse other Zombies from around the world!” But I couldn’t get it to load on my computer.

From the people who brought you Zombie Passions, we have Vampire Passions, of course. There are actually a whole lot of vampire sites: DateVampires, Vampersonals, and the broader GothicMatch. And from the people who brought you Zombie Passions and Vampire Passions, there’s WerewolfPassions.

And now, finally, there is a dating site for ghosts seeking other ghosts. Because ghosts need love too. What, no GhostPassions? Here’s an excellent description: “Finally, a dating site for singles who know how to get a life! Well, an afterlife. Okay, maybe some sort of in-between, nether-world, ethereal existence. But if you’re looking for love, and you’re dead, Ghost Singles is the site for you.”

Considering how some guys just disappear when you’re dating them, seems like Ghost Singles would actually be a pretty good place to find someone who may or may not actually exist.

ghost boyfriend

During our Lush Ladies Happy Hour, we also discussed another disturbing new trend: Dinosaur erotica. I mean, we discussed it in between contemplating the subtleties of the government shutdowns long-term effects on the voting electorate and solving the debt ceiling crisis with sound fiscal policies that could garner bipartisan support, of course.

But back to the dinosaur erotica. Yeah. That’s a thing. Here’s E! Online’s description:

Christie Sims and Alara Branwen are two authors who have garnered lots of attention lately for their “monster sex” erotica. Mainly, woman getting it on with dinosaurs. But they’re not limited to the prehistoric period, they also have stories of women having sex with weretigers, ogres, dragons, whatever.

You know, I’m a pretty socially liberal person, particularly when it comes to extinct reptiles. But even I cringed at this passage supplied by Huffington Post:

She wasn’t sure if her sudden arousal was because of her earlier thwarted climax in the cool stream, or if she was just desperate for one last pleasant sensation before being torn limb from limb by the great, scaly beast. Either way, Azog relished the rasp of its tongue, hot and rough, on her sensitive skin.

Huffington Post also has this excellent interview with the two authors tackling the really important questions, like which dinosaur makes the best cuddlers and how T-rex’s short arms are a problem during lovemaking.

I didn’t find a dating site for dinosaur lovers, but I did find something called a “dating sim,” which appears to be some sort of Third Life, alternative online thing. It’s called Jurassic Heart. Of course.

trex11

RIP: Unknown Search Terms

4 Oct

What a week, huh? Kray up here in tha DC, y’all, what with the government shutdown and all the crazy effects of that — veterans storming World War II memorials, DC metro saying it will run fewer train cars, and, worst of all, no panda cam at the National Zoo. Then there was that whole crazy car chase/shooting business yesterday.

How can you be so cruel, Congress?

How can you be so cruel, Congress?

All of that (plus the end of “Breaking Bad” — sooooo good; and total work insanity), has distracted us from a true travesty: the end of unknown search terms.

You see, one of the greatest and most amusing features of WordPress was a feature that rounded up terms used in search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing, that somehow led people to your blog. For example, someone found my blog recently by searching for “grand theft auto widow.”

Anyway, this list of search terms brought me a ton of pleasure and laughs. Whenever I found a particularly weird search term, I would post it on Facebook or Twitter as a Totally Random Search Term that Brought Someone to thePoelog, also known as TRSTBS for short. And I would speculate exactly what kind of person would have been searching for that term. Here’s an example from September 11: Totally random search term that brought someone to thePoeLog “rat on a treadmill videos.” Welcome, Pied Piper in training.

Sadly, the search term feature is being relocated to a nice family farm out in the country, never to be heard from again. Here’s what WordPress says:

In September 2013 Google started to rapidly expand the number of searches that it encrypts, which results in a higher proportion of “Unknown search terms” in your stats.  According to some sources, this expansion will eventually result in encryption of all Google searches.  This is being done for privacy reasons by Google when someone searches at Google.com, before a visitor arrives at your WordPress.com site.  Therefore we don’t have any way to unhide the search terms.  We recognize this means a loss of stats information for you and we will look for other ways to show you how users arrived at your site.

Damn you Google! And Edward Snowden! And NSA, who really, when you think about it, started this whole nonsense to begin with. Listen, I got nothing to hide. If NSA wants to look at pictures of my chubby cat and whatever deliciousness XFE has made us for dinner, knock yourselves out. I live my life loud and proud.

However, other people do not really feel the same way I do and like their privacy to remain intact. But now, NSA, you’ve gone and made everyone all wild-eyed and outraged and who pays the price? Cultural observers such as myself who get a snicker out of people finding my blog while searching for “Kate Middleton porno.” (Can’t you just imagine their disappointment?)

kate compares

So far, however, I do have a list of the last month’s search terms that I’ve copied and saved. So, I thought we’d have a little Irish wake here, pour some wine (one for me and one for my fallen homies) and do a little Q&A using a small sampling of those last Totally Random Search Terms that Brought Someone to thePoeLog.

What to pack for doomsday — This is a very good question. Also, quite philosophical. On the one hand, does it really matter? After all, it’s doomsday. But, maybe our erstwhile searcher is an optimist and expects to survive and carry on the human species, perhaps with the assistance of one mighty fine Matthew McConaughey, for example. In that case, you might want to pack something lingerie, a nice sturdy box of wine, a sleeping bag, and a gun. The gun, mind you, isn’t to use on Matthew. It’s to protect Matthew from other the clutches of other lady survivors.

matthewut

How to get in touch with duck dynasty — Well, shouldn’t be too hard. West Monroe is a pretty small place. Population is only 13,000. I think if you hung around the Circle K long enough, you’re bound to run into one of those long-bearded fellas. Or, you could probably start going to their church. Or just stop by Duck Commander headquarters. They say on their website that, “We would be HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY for you to come by and say “HEY”.  You can even pay them to hang out with you, according to the website: for information on booking the Duckmen please visit WME Speakers at ducks@wmeentertainment.com

Is hilary from love it or list it pregnant — I haven’t been watching it lately (we’ve got three episodes hanging out on the DVR), so I don’t really know. But (and no offense here), she seems a bit old to be starting a family. I would guess the answer to this question would probably be no. Now Desta on the other hand, I believe she’s fairly recently married, so that would make sense. And if Hilary is pregnant, congratulations and good luck.

When is gold rush coming back on discovery channel – The Hoffman Knucklehead Crue are back on Discovery Channel on October 25. According to this blog: “In season four of GOLD RUSH, Todd Hoffman puts his life on the line, and asks his crew to do the same, braving malaria, poisonous snakes and quicksand to set up a mining operation in a patch of hostile jungle deep in Guyana, South America.” We saw a few preview episodes on Discovery a few months back, and it looks like plenty of bad decisions ahead.

Can you get brain eating amoebas feom bath water — I believe that should be “from” and my guess is yes. Brain eating amoebas are everywhere and we should all be afraid of them. Best to just take showers whilst holding your breath. But you might want to have a chair in the shower. If you pass out from holding your breath, amoeba-carrying water will definitely get up your nose and eat your brain.

Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.

Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.

When men reading shades of grey — I’m not familiar with the book “Shades of Grey,” so I’m guessing you mean “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Also, this query seems to be missing some very important connecting words here, which changes the possible answers a bit. If you are asking “When do you find men reading fifty shades of grey,” then the answer is most likely when they think they won’t be caught, so maybe when they’re in the tub enjoying a nice bubble bath? If your question is, “what to do when men [are?] reading fifty shades of grey,” my advice is to avert your eyes and calmly and slowly walk away without drawing attention to the awkward situation. The obvious caveat here is that no man should be reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Even Matthew McConaughey.

I feel nervous about an upcoming trip — Totally understandable. Travel can be exciting but scary. After all, a lot of things can happen — the plane might crash, your luggage might get lost, the car rental place might be closed, the hotel might have lost your reservation, the roads might be blocked by protesting fishermen, you might eat bad salami and be violently ill for 10 days in one of the world’s great gourmet regions. Or, you might get a brain eating amoeba from taking a bath while reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.

That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.

But, it’s all worth it because travel provides you with an opportunity to brag about all the great places you’ve been and all the great things you’ve seen on your very own blog. See? Don’t you feel better already?

Paternity Court, It’s Time to Get Tested!*

1 Oct

Ladies with bad taste in men, rejoice.

A new show is heading to a TV screen near you, determined to uncover the truth.

My friend Caroline made me aware of this show, which is, as the fine New York Daily News reports:

“Paternity Court” is a new syndicated show on which people take DNA tests and learn from a “judge” if they are related.

Think of it as a cross between “Judge Judy” and the “Maury.”

P court

I used to love those Maury episodes back in college. So suspenseful.

The show will be “officiated” by Lauren Lake. Here’s the first line of her Wikipedia bio:

Lauren Laniece Lake is an American family lawyer, author, interior designer, real estate developer, background singer, legal/relationship/life consultant, guest host, and talk show presenter.

Lauren

Holy over-achiever, that’s a lot of jobs. No doubt about it: Miss Lake has got some hustle. Respekt.

But I can’t help but notice that “judge” is not listed among the many jobs. As the NY Daily News notes:

Lake is not a real judge and by law her decisions are considered nonbinding mediation.

But she offers good advice.

“Once we get that DNA evidence, then it’s my job as a judge to talk about how that scientific evidence will relate to the law,” Lake said.

That’s odd. I also don’t see scientist listed among her many professions. But I think, based on the very thorough “Paternity Court” Wikipedia page, that what Miss Lake will bring to the proceedings will be far more useful than background in biology (emphasis mine).

In distinct contrast to Judge Judy, Lake maintains little order over her courtroom in handling cases on Paternity Court. Rather, she runs a much more unruly courtroom: Lake allows noisy bickering, interruptions, name-calling, outbursts, dramatics, and misbehavior from the litigants and their witnesses. Even audience members are allowed to make a ruckus and regularly interrupt the judge with boisterous hand-clapping and vocal utterances. Most of the cases are filled with the litigants spewing scurrility and vitriol at each other in unison. In the midst of all the chaos, Lake observes quietly with added dramatic facial expressions. At the end of the cases, Lake offers the DNA test results while dramatic music sounds. Following this, Lake closes with advice in the form of a speech to help the couples move forward.

“Spewing scurrility.” Awesome phrase. Henceforth, all scurrility shall be spewed and only spewed. Those wordsmiths over at Wikipedia were on fire when they wrote this one up.

Dramatic facial expressions? Wait a minute. This gig sounds perfect for me. I have absolutely no poker face whatsoever.

faces

I’m also pretty free with the (unsolicited) advice. And very judgmental. For example, I think people who go on court room TV shows to find out if they’re related are a bit pathetic.

Actually, me and Miss Lake have a lot of things in common. She “calls it the way she sees it.” I tell it like it is. She likes red lipstick. I like red lipstick. She likes to expose deadbeat dads. I had a deadbeat dad.

By Steve Kabelowsky

And we were both weird kids:

“I was always a quirky kid,” said Lake…. “I’d ride my Big Wheel wearing Jackie O sunglasses, plaid pants, a polka dot shirt, a big hat – thank God my parents were OK with it. They didn’t put me in a box, so I was always designing something – clothing, my room, all kinds of things.”

Now that “Breaking Bad” has ended, I figure I have an open slot in my TV viewing schedule for scurrility and vitriol accompanied by dramatic faces and even more dramatic music sounds. After all, that was kind of “Breaking Bad’s” bread and butter, no?

*Paternity Court, it’s time to get tested! is an actual tag line for the show, along with the also awesome: “Paternity Court, where science meets law,” and “Paternity Court; she’s the judge; DNA is the jury!”

Friday Links: Cold Weather and Blue Skin Edition

27 Sep

sheryll princess

The spelling of my first name is pretty unique. I’ve never in my 41 years ever come across anybody else who spelled it the same way. It was actually really annoying when I was a kid and could never find anything personalized at those end-of-the-aisle displays at the truck stop.

But a coworker was at a birthday party in New York last weekend, and she saw a yacht with the same unusual spelling (she supplied the picture above). Sure enough: they have a whole website where you can rent a Sheryll Princess party boat! Having a personalized yacht is way better than some janky ol’ keychain with your name on it.

While I go and scheme on ways to repo my yacht (do you think I can just show them my license and make the case that the boat is indeed registered to my [first] name?), check out these links.

  • As a child of the 1980s, this is beyond awesome. Rufus Starlight. “We Are Brothers.” There just aren’t enough synthesizers and silver unitards at weddings these days. You really need to hang in there till the 4:55 minute mark.
  • Speaking of music videos, one of my Facebook friends dug up this ode (?) to Stonehenge from our favorite Norwegian variety show brothers. I love how they rhyme “so high” with “technolog—iiii” Also, the 1.50 minute mark? What the what?? Oh wait….Stonehenge rising. OK, I get it.
  • Dang. I only know fat, slutty, tatooed, single mom, Halle Berry look-a-likes. Guess I won’t get that finder’s fee from Sleepless in Austin, a wedding photographer/musician looking for a girlfriend. Good luck with that, jerk.
  • Greatest headline ever: Why do people want to eat babies? Also: I must be missing those reward censors they talk about. To me, babies smell like old milk (and sometimes poop), so, no, I do not have impulses to do anything with babies, let alone bite them.
  • This, quite predictably, cracked me up for the entire week, particularly the food bowl emergency. But I’ve also had a cat supervise me while I’m on my hands and knees in my work clothes retrieving cat toys from under sofas. We even have a stretched out wire hanger that we keep on hand for that task. The things we do…..
  • This news is over a month old, but I’m still angry about it. And fearful. Better figure out this whole layering business real fast. Because this winter is going to be cold, wet and white, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
  • And yes, I still believe in the forecasting accuracy of Farmer’s Almanac. It’s far more reliable than listening to the forecasts from these two dueling weathermen. They got into a parking lot brawl over whether or not it was going to rain last weekend. OR DID THEY??
  • One more thing to freak out about: There are people out there with blue skin. Blue. Skin. Not just one person. More than one. Multiple people.  And not makeup. Like, real blue skin. It gives me the heebies even  thinking about it. I just know I would not stop staring.
None of these guys are who I'm talking about. But man, there are a lot of blue people out there.

None of these guys are who I’m talking about. 

I'm talking about this guy. Yikes. Scary. And sad.

I’m talking about this guy. Yikes. Scary. 

 

 

Emmy’s Recap and a PSA from the CDC

25 Sep

I did not watch the Emmy’s Sunday night, but apparently, I missed a fashion shit show.

My friend Katie started to tell me about it at work Monday morning but then, well, work got in the way.

Finally, last night I was watching Fashion Police on E! and holy hot mess. Let’s just quickly recap:

Julie Bowen – RuPaul couture. Too much, gurl. Too. Much

Julianna Hough — Tinkerbell goes slutty. And badly fitted (boob smasher)

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards arrivals in Los Angeles, California

Claire Danes – starving ballerina couture. Please eat a sandwich and cover your chest bones.

January Jones — Flesh-colored boringness. And badly fitted (boob smasher)

Cat Deeley — Darth Vadar couture.

Lena Dunham – Ugly wallpaper couture. And badly fitted.

Zosia Mamet — Water colored-boob-bondage sadness. Also very badly fitted.

lena_dunham_zosia_mamet_emmy_awards

Jessica Pare — Rumpled taffeta boob-bow sadness. And those shoes! Ugh.

Aubrey Plaza — Walked into a full body spider web and then put some beads on it. Also weird boob action. Why do these girls hate their breasts?

Heidi Klum – semi-glamorous space alien. Reminds me of the aliens in Mars Attacks!

Lena-Dunham-Aubrey-Plaza-Heidi-Klum

Anyway. While enjoying my Joan, Kelly and George (Guiliana is on a case-by-case basis with me), the scariest commercial came on right in the middle of the snark-festivities.

http://ispot.tv/a/7bwR

It featured a (according to the voice over) “thoughtful husband and excellent dad” playing golf with his daughter. And then out of nowhere, he starts talking about getting checked or vaccinated for hepatitis B. No explanation or anything. Just a warning from the Centers for Disease Control – Hep B is on the loose and Asian golfers with children need to watch the hell out.

Maybe that’s what afflicted all those dresses at the Emmy’s. Maybe I should go read up on the physical side effects on Hepatitis B.

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