The Princess And The Pee\

This is all well and good if you don’t have to get up twice nightly to pee.  I would worry my child would fall out the opening at the top and tumble down the steps to a painful injury.  Even the bottom bunk looks painful.  I’d throw my hips out just trying to crawl up into it, and then there’s no doubt my ankles would graze those drawer knobs at the bottom and bruise me up.  And what about changing the sheets on laundry day?  That would certainly tax the lower back.  I bet it gets warm and humid in there as well, with no ventilation on the sides.  And what if she has a nightmare and bolts upright, only to bump her head on that ceiling light?  Really, this is more trouble than it’s worth.

Does That Star-Spangled Banner Yet Wave?

Flag019Every adult American remembers where he or she was on 9/11.  What you may not recall is that the following Friday was deemed a day of patriotism, and citizens were encouraged to wear their red, white, and blue to show support for all who had perished in the attacks.  That day, I took my camera and two rolls (yes, rolls) of film and drove around the county, snapping photos of homes that had otherwise never flown flags in their yards, of cars and trucks and humans decorated in American colors, and it made my heart swell to see such pride.

It wasn’t a common enemy that we shared; it was the mutual sense of loss, that life as we knew it was over, and even the young ones who had never experienced a world war or the Cold War knew that the security we had always known was gone forever.  People who didn’t know us wanted to kill us on our own soil, and they didn’t mind losing their own lives in the process.  And we didn’t get it.  Who would serve a “god” that wanted  them to kill strangers?  And why kill innocent civilians instead of soldiers, prepared for war?  Who was the Taliban?  It was sick and evil, and so were the men who perpetrated it.

But on that day, the Walmart, the Tractor Supply–all stores big and small–sported flags. Now if you don’t live in America, you might think they always have flags up.  They don’t. That’s because Americans aren’t allowed to feel pride.  Every nation’s peoples should have the right to feel proud of the land where they were born.  But not us.  We’re supposed to feel guilty for every wrong ever perpetuated in the last two hundred years, nevermind any victory in a world war.  Nevermind that we donate billions in aid to other countries, including ones that despise us.  No, we’re not perfect, but our land is not full of hate, of people who seek to destroy other nations.  This is a land with a history of welcoming immigrants who have been persecuted by their own people.

But on that Friday, we didn’t have to apologize for being born American.  It was even permissible to have faith.

What I don’t get is how brief that period of patriotism lasted, how quickly people reverted to their own lives, how little unity meant.  No, these pictures aren’t World Trade Center passersby, covered in ash, and they aren’t pictures of planes plowing into buildings. They are just a window in time during that one week in a small town, where it was “allowable” to mention God, allowable to love the United States, and every soul felt the tangible sadness of the tragedy, from large home to small.

From barbeque marquis to cardboard signs…

from lamppost to balloon…

from lumber store to hardware store…

and of course, churches.

I spotted this woman in the Walmart parking lot.


And as the sun set that day, I saw gratitude for all of our veterans, young and old, and Todd Beamer’s immortal words “let’s roll.”

Twelve years later, I still give thanks for freedom and for all our veterans.  It doesn’t matter if it’s Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day or the Fourth of July.  Or just plain old April 13th.  God bless America.

Cow Or Camo?

Yes, it’s ugly as sin, but it still beats the daylights out of those damn omnipresent swooshes.  I HATE swooshes!  Swooshes belong on Nikes, not recreational vehicles.  I had fully intended to prepare an entire dissertation on this scourge, but dangit–somebody already did.  To see examples of other hideous RVs such as this one decorated by drunk Zorro,


visit:  Nothing says gas-guzzling cross-country road trip like some ugly decals.  This is a travesty!

Eerie Homes & Gardens

Growing up, the closest I ever got to a haunted house was watching episodes of Scooby Doo on Saturday morning cartoons.  As a teenager, I visited facsimiles of haunted houses, made purely for Halloween profit.  But insofar as I’ve never seen a ghost, I don’t believe in them, nor haunted house.  But if by chance, they do exist, I imagine they reside in spooky homes like this, with broken windows and dilapidated porches with rusted railings.

all photos from Shorpy
all photos from Shorpy unless labeled otherwise

This old Victorian mansion may appear innocent enough, with a fruit stand out front, and laundry blowing in the breeze.  But you know there are some kidnapping milk carton victims trapped in that upper bedroom.  Don’t you see their fingerprints on the panes?

Franklin Street, Houston, TX  1943
Franklin Street, Houston, TX 1943

You actually can see the child in the lower left portion of this tenement housing, so it’s a given those curtains upstairs are concealing various abducted persons.  The ones out front are just a cover.

Brockton, Mass 1940
Brockton, Mass 1940

This plantation house is creepy even in brightest sunlight.  No doubt the ghosts of former slaves are flying amongst the rotting shingles and crumbling chimneys.  The boy sitting on the stoop is merely an apparition.

St Charles Parish, Abandoned Plantation 1938
St Charles Parish, Abandoned Plantation 1938

This one looks more like a movie set, like the swamp scene in The Rescuers.

Volusia County, Florida 1904
Volusia County, Florida 1904

RescuersBut this one gives me the williest of willies.  It’s not the broken windows nor decaying wood; it’s the fact that it appears to be tucked into a hillside, maybe in the recesses of some mountain community, where subspecies and dialects exist that you and I know nothing of.


I bet it looked fine in its glory days, but it’s time for the wrecking ball.  Make room for suburbia!

Manatee Insanity

Target should not have to apologize for stocking a plus-sized dress in “manatee grey.”  If you get offended by that, you need to toughen up.  Manatees ARE a greyish hue.   Target has every right to label it what they will.  People get pissy about the craziest things.  I’m sure their intention was not to make plus-sized ladies feel like manatees, but guess what?  If you’re in the “Women’s” section, and not “Misses,” then you ARE fat.  So am I.  Nobody has a cow when they call it “cow print” skirt.  Suck it up, fatties.  I do.

What Target should be apologizing for is not playing music in their stores, for making what was once a pleasurable shopping experience more like a visit to a ghost town or a cemetery.  That’s what Target should fix.  Turn the music on.  And here’s another bone of contention: stop selling Starbucks coffee next to the watches and scarves. Yeah, their coffee is okay, but it’s not $4 okay. It’s about $2 okay. So how they’ve got the country fooled into dropping its disposable income into their cash registers is beyond me. Especially in a recession. I don’t get it.  Trade it out for a Dunkin Donuts.  At least you won’t feel raped when you leave the big red dot.

I buy my own coffee beans at the grocery store for $8.99/pound, grind it fresh in the morning, and it lasts over a week. It smells good, it tastes good, and it’s worth the price. But in the name of discipline, I’m trying to cut back, drinking more Sleepytime hot tea with honey, and less coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.  I’ve got a nice big mug; small mugs don’t do it for me. The problem is it’s covered with snowmen. Cute, but not appropriate for springtime. So for Mother’s Day, I think I’d like this:


And so what if it looks like me in a jacuzzi?  Sometimes I do resemble a sea cow.  So does most of the country.  Get over it.

Manly Mane O’ Glory

Three months into blogging, clearly there is plenty that I don’t get.  My inability to grasp things may allow endless blogging fodder for years to come.  Here’s one such item: The site has existed since I was in my TWENTIES.  It was a hoot back then, if for nothing more than the sheer volume of men who actually did resemble Kenny Rogers.  Please tell me how this site can remain up for soooo long, and yet there is no site yet devoted to Barry Gibb’s glorious lionesque mane?

If you don’t know who Barry Gibb is, I forgive you.  I do resent, however, having to explain that he was the eldest of the three Brothers Gibb, which consisted of his twin brothers, Robin & Maurice, now both deceased.  They peaked with the disco soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever, gracing the cover in tight white suits.  Say what you will about disco (R.I.P.), but they sold a crapload of records, over 220 million. That’s more books than any of us can hope to publish.  Combined.  And they wrote all their own songs, as well as hits by other artists, including “Grease” and “Islands In The Stream.”  No kidding.

But it’s not their tight three part harmonies that deserve a website; it’s the tresses of the elder brother.  Barry’s hair was glorious from the get-go.  Even in the late 60s, he was rocking Elvis sideburns with style (and a white suit).

Like Samson and his strength, so, too, was Barry’s sexiness connected to his lovely locks.   Here he is all Farrah Fawcett, minus the Mexican blanket.

Is it any wonder children purchased these lunchboxes in droves?

Note the halo effect, as though he were the archangel Barry.  Perhaps that’s just the heat generated from his Saturday Night Fever.

And just when you thought he couldn’t feather it anymore–BAM!–superultrafeathered. In combination with the brooding bedtime eyes, gold chain, and chest hair, you can almost imagine the puddles of testosterone seeping out of his pores.

And this?  This is how Grizzly Adams saw himself in dreams.

Here we see the Bee Gees with younger brother, Andy, a solo artist in his own right, also deceased.  Even with Andy’s good looks, his hair was still no match for the wild and woolly Barry Gibb.  You can see it in Barry’s stance; he knows he is the alpha Gibb.

You know, this pic has got me wondering–if men receive their hair pattern gene from their maternal grandfather, how could one brother be bald and one brother be blessed with a thickness and volume of crown otherwise unknown to man?  Don’t they all have the same maternal grandfather?  I am vexed.

Time has thinned his mane and turned it silver, but a trace of its glory exists.  Not enough for me to add it to this fine collection of pictures, but you get the point.  You had a good run, Barry.  Longer than most of us could ever dream of.  And that’s no Jive Talkin’.

Smells Like Orville Redenbacher

At one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, the bathroom soap leaves something to be desired.  Each time I wash my hands before eating, the smell emanating from my fingers makes me not want to reach for the chips and salsa.  It’s like I need another soap to wash the smell of that one off.   I have never understood this concept.  Why would any eatery offer a soap that smells to high heaven, that reeks of Texaco restroom (which is the scent of cherry poop), that does everything to quell one’s hunger at a restaurant?  Isn’t the point to increase one’s appetite?  To that end, I have discovered this today.  I think this would do well to increase the sales of not only appetizers, but buttered popcorn Jelly Bellies at the Walgreen’s down the road, once one departs said restaurant.

If I’d just scrubbed with that, I’d be sniffing my knuckles right and left.  While we’re on the topic, I’ll share this trivia tidbit: El Senor Redenbacher died in his condo jacuzzi, after suffering a heart attack and subsequently drowning.  Did you know that?

So maybe popcorn’s not your bag, baby.  Perhaps you don’t want to smell like a cinema lobby.  Well, sophisticated gentleman, this might be for you.

Mmmm.  Forget Axe For Men; let me smell some merlot on his palms.  And BTW, I hate the UB40 song Red Red Wine.  I just feel like I need to put that out there, so that you know this pic is in no way an endorsement for such a wretched song, but more an endorsement of alcoholism.

And remember, The Mayo Clinic advises you to rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds while washing, no matter how long the line of impatient patrons standing behind you.  If we all work together, we can fight germs and bacteria.

So You Think You Want A Boob Job?

tori spelling

What ARE those?  Isn’t Tori Spelling a millionaire several times over?  Can’t she afford a nice rack?  What was wrong with her old one?

And Victoria Beckham, it’s bad enough that your smile’s been broken for twenty years, but what sort of atrocity is this?  You look like the rough draft of Madame Tussaud’s wax version of Kate Gosling.

I mean, don’t these women have access to the BEST of the BEST?  What kind of botched job would I wind up with, if THEIR doctors are the best in their field?

Really, Jewel?  That’s not very bohemian and down to earth of you.  I thought you lived on a ranch with your cowboy husband; you don’t have to subscribe to the L.A. ideal.  Honestly.

Super Hero Hype & Celebrity Gossipshow
Super Hero Hype & Celebrity Gossipshow

Oh, Tara Reid.  I have no words.

My advice to starlets: don’t do it.  But if you must, you must increase your bust, go small, like Cameron Diaz.

You’ll thank yourself when you’re 55.

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