In Pursuit of the Hairy-Nosed Wombat

Every American girl who ever saw Grease wanted to be Sandy Olsson, to look like her and speak in her cool Australian accent. Elementary school had taught us about the nation’s indigenous kangaroos and koala bears, so we knew it must be the coolest place on earth.

When Elle McPherson graced the covers of our magazines and Nicole Kidman our movie screens, we wondered if they only churned out attractive people.  Even our own celebrities were not immune to their charms.  We couldn’t figure out why anyone would ever want to leave happy smiley Dennis Quaid, but Meg Ryan did it for an Aussie.  Then Hugh Jackman and Keith Urban showed up on our radar, and that was all she wrote.  By the time Take  Home Chef debuted on TLC, American women could only respond with, “Yes, please.”  Have you not seen Curtis Stone?

So I did what anyone else would do: I Google Mapped the directions to see how far Sydney was from my home.  Google gave me 187 steps, #81 being “Sail across the Pacific Ocean,” and the last being “Turn right onto George Street.”  It says it would take 503 hours to travel the 15,000 plus miles.  The Proclaimers said they would walk 500 miles, but even THEY would not walk 15,000.  I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.  So it was decided.  Australia was no longer my destination nation.

That was, until this morning, when Jack Hanna described the tough armored bum of a Tasmanian wombat, and I melted at the sight of its face.   Look at that.

Then I found out wombats viciously maul people, probably because it is in their Australian blood to eliminate humans.  What is up with that?  But then I saw this picture, and I forgave them.  I figured they must have been provoked.  He’s clearly not ripping her face off.

However, I read Bill Bryson’s In A Sunburned Country, so I know Australia is chock-full of the world’s deadliest creatures.  Bryson made it clear that venomous creatures lurk at every corner, waiting to fell you.  No snorkeling at Batt Reef for me.

But then I saw THIS!

I’m so confused.  Should I brave the outback and its lethal creatures or just stay home?


We Are Never Ever Ever Ever Talking About Kevin

There was a movie that came out in 2011 called We Need To Talk About Kevin.  I didn’t see it because I’m not really keen on high school massacres; I’d rather laugh at Talladega Nights.  Dramas are serious, and serious sucks.  Hard.  Dramas don’t have lines like: Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin’ there in your ghost manger, just lookin’ at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin’ ’bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin’ me and my mama together, and also that my kids no longer sound like retarded gang-bangers.

So we definitely do not need to talk about Kevin.  What we DO need to talk about is Stephen.  Stephen Pearcy, the lead singer of Ratt.  This is why we called them “hair bands.”


No, he’s not the tall drink of water who resembles the pretty Skid Row front man.  He’s the one in the Jackson Pollock jumpsuit, airing out his right nipple in the summer breeze. The one with the water balloon shoved down his pants.  It’s like Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers revisited, and no–I’m not posting that gag-inducing cover.  You can Google that yourself.

Another way to identify Stephen Pearcy is to find the one with a huge lock of hair in his face, spilling over his headband/bandana like some Purple Rain reject.


Prince’s Hot Rock?  Oy vey.

Three decades later, both El Senor Pearcy and the li’l purple one have managed to stay lean and mean, if not even leaner.  Stephen has added some ink and kept the scowl (eerily similar to today’s “Duck Face”), but he’s aging as gracefully as a rocker can.

Keep on truckin’.

Ten Songs With Which I Take Issue (And BTW, What On Earth Is A Verve Pipe?)

Be warned: This is way random.


1) “Three Marlenas” by The Wallflowers. Is Marlena schizophrenic?  Why are there one two three Marlenas?  He sings that she “always prayed to heaven lights,” but for YEARS I thought she always prayed to “headlights.”  And then I was like, are all your songs about headlights?  “We could drive it home…with one headlight.”

2) Is it me or does the devil’s fiddle solo in “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” sound cooler than Johnny’s?  I realize Johnny told “the son of a gun” that he’s the best there’s ever been, but maybe he’s not.

3) When I first heard “Somebody’s Knockin’,” I thought a man was singing.  It’s not, although Terri Gibbs is an androgynous name, so it was unclear. And how does she know the devil has “blue eyes and blue jeans”?  She’s blind, so I guess she could feel the denim, but how would she know about his eyes?  It’s an honest question. Props for playing the piano, though.

4) “There’s a girl that’s been on my mind all the time. Sussudio.” Really? A girl with a nonsense name has been on your mind? And she doesn’t have a nickname yet? Maybe it was a case of an illiterate mama who meant to write “Studio”–kind of like how Oprah’s mother meant to write “Orpah.” Although Studio is pretty stupid as well.

5)  Ratt’s “Round and Round.” Pearcy specifically says, “What comes around goes around; I’ll tell you why.” But then he never does.

6) Toto’s “99.” I can’t take it no more. I’ve read that the song was inspired by George Lucas’s film “THX1138,” but who saw that?  Oh, no one.

7) Rod Stewart, just how old was Maggie May for the morning sun to show her age? Mrs. Robinson’s age? Does she have crow’s feet? Yuck. Cougars of the days of yore.

8) “Punk Rock Girl” by The Dead Milkmen. The song states they hear a Beach Boys song, but then cite “California Dreamin'” was playing, which was actually by The Mamas & The Papas.

9) “Bring on the Dancing Horses” by Echo and the Bunnymen. Every word of it.

10) Pearl Jam’s “Daughter.” I thought it was about a dad who neglected his daughter, but apparently it’s about a learning disability. How are we supposed to pick up on that?  “Don’t call me daughter, not fit to, the picture kept will remind me” is kind of like Engrish. It doesn’t make sense grammatically.

For The Seafood Lover In You


Along with a handful of birthday greetings in my in-box today, was this inviting gem of an email, reminding me that “Lobster is back for a limited time.”  Nevermind that I asked to be removed from their mailing list seven years ago.  In their defense, the terms do say “Please allow 10 days as noted in the CAN-SPAM Law for Quiznos� to remove you from all future email advertisements.”  Maybe it’s just taking longer than usual because of global warming or the recession or changing gun control laws.

Nevermind that my husband has a lobster allergy, so we never eat it at home.  Nevermind that I don’t even eat lobster at RED LOBSTER (although I did enjoy a pre-Prom dinner there), due to the fact that I go into sodium chloride shock each time we take part of their salty cheddar bay biscuits.

In fact, it’s been so long since I partook of lobster, that I have no idea what it tastes like.  No clue.  But I can tell you that Quizno’s wouldn’t be my go-to place.  Oh, heck, no.  I would have warm lobster with butter sauce, not a mish-mash of mayo.  And BTW, the bottom of the ad says it’s only 51% lobster.  Why not 50%?  So they could legitimately say the MAJORITY of it is lobster, by a percent?  I suspect it’s like the “krab” at Subway, devoid of any “crab” at all.

Perhaps it’s even better than McDonald’s latest treat, fish bites.


Now, McDonald’s claims that these fried balls are made of tender, flaky wild-caught Alaskan Pollock.  Isn’t this the same company whose jingle began, “Two ALL BEEF patties, special sauce…,” and then it turned out that the Big Mac was really just pink slime, and not so much of the all beef?

Maybe if I ever get up to Maine one day (or north of Dallas), I’ll stop inside some fisherman’s wharf where Rachael Ray once spent $20 on a po’ boy that made her giddy, and taste an authentic lobster dish.  Until then, Quizno’s, I’ll pass on your former slogan: Eat Up.

I Want To Hold Your Hand (While I Sleep)

As if sea otters weren’t adorable enough, it turns out they hold hands while they sleep.  According to Wikipedia, “sea otters tend to rest together in single-sex groups called rafts. A raft typically contains 10 to 100 animals, with male rafts being larger than female ones. The largest raft ever seen contained over 2000 sea otters.”  I just got a cavity.  Too sweet.

How is that even possible?  I don’t mean the buoyancy or the fact that they have no blubber, and their thick fur keeps them warm.  What I mean is–how can anyone sleep touching someone else?  I know dog owners who let their dogs sleep not only in their bedroom (where the humans go), but on or even IN their beds.  I’m sure some of you needy people who like animals better than people do this, don’t you?  And you don’t think about how their little paws walk around in feces in the back yard?  Don’t tell me your dog’s nasty genital-licking tongue is cleaner than my toilet.  Just do not.

And you people who spoon each other–one of you doesn’t really enjoy that.  Usually the man.  He does that to appease you.  Didn’t you see the Friends episode where Ross teaches Chandler the “hug ‘n’ roll”?

Last Sunday at church, they discussed Dr. Gary Smalley’s personality type test.  Each of us falls into one of these categories, possibly two: a lion, an otter, a golden retriever, or a beaver.  Evidently, a fellow blogger already posted their traits on his blog many, many moons ago, so you can find out more info at:

The bottom line is that otters are outgoing and talkative, but unproductive and unstable.  I would think any proficient writers would not be otters, or a post would rarely get published.  Who needs to blog when you look like this?

Oh, my gosh, it doesn’t even look real.  But I still wouldn’t hold its paw while I slept.  I don’t even touch my husband’s paw while he sleeps.  We have a glorious dividing line down the middle of our king-sized bed, with a strict code of conduct that entails neither shall cross the line unless to give a hearty shove to stop snoring, or to advise the other to grab the shot gun and start pouring bullets into intruders.

Another reason I could not be an otter is the violent mating.  Sadistic male otters bite the female’s nose and often hold her underwater while getting busy, like some sick David Carradine foreplay gone wrong.  Eventually, the wear and tear on her nose leads to permanent scarring, which leads less playful, more modest otters to identify her as easy.  It’s like a scarlet letter for marine mammals.

That otter is to’ up from the flo’ up.   Somebody, fetch her some Neosporin before they start yelling, “Get thee to a nunnery!”

Otters can be so cruel.

Oppa Chunky-Style


Sweet Lord, that’s a jumbo-sized newborn!  I can see why Mom’s not smiling–or laughing-or jumping rope–or coughing–anymore.  Unless that baby was delivered C-section, there’s a 99% of light bladder leakage in the forecast.  Where is Whoopi Goldberg when you need her?


No one likes a fragile, underweight infant.  A big chub is the picture of good health.  But that double-digit pounded baby in the Mennen ad is intended to depict a newborn.  Really?  Here is the small print:


I think we’re gonna need a few more cans, Ma! There’s a lot of swaddling to be done…

According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the “heaviest baby born to a healthy mother was a boy weighing 10.2 kg (22 lb 8 oz) who was born to Sig. Carmelina Fedele (Italy) at Aversa, Italy in September 1955.”  There’s no pic to back that up, but let’s just recognize that it’s even bigger than this one.

It’s straight to bottles for you, Michelin boy!  Even La Leche League gave his mom a free pass on the nursing.  Seriously, his arms look like little Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.  Bless his heart.


I’m not saying the redheaded Mennen baby isn’t precious; with a good heavy lifting belt velcroed around my waist, I’d like to hold it as well.  I’d just like a little more truth in advertising.  BTW, I wonder what that now-fifty-five-year-old baby looks like?  Could it be that that little porker was Kevin Bacon?

Wing Droppings

What do you think of when I say “wings”?  Red Bull?  Paul McCartney? The 90s NBC sitcom?  Well, if you’re like most gluttonous Americans, probably these:

If you’re a lady between the ages of 13 and 49, currently bloated and irritable, craving chocolate and Pinot Grigio, it might mean this:


“Normal Plus?”  Three drops of moisture denotes, “Don’t worry, you may be losing an inordinate amount of blood today, but you’re only borderline anemic, and consequently still in the spectrum of normal.  Congrats!”  Chafing wings in your bikini area?  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But if you don’t foresee buying many more of those boxes in your future, or you’re done with them entirely, “wings” might mean this most awesome of hairstyles.    You probably attempted some semblance of it at one point.

I’m familiar with all of those wings, sometimes incorporating the three of them in the same moment.  But never had I seen a power mower with wings until today.

my 1955 Life magazine

my 1955 Life magazine

The small print reads, “This giant of precison mowers…is the pride and joy of many men who mow grass for a living–and more than a few wealthy men who mow grass for fun.”  For fun!  Interpret as you will.

Hey, BTW, is it wrong of me to assume that any print image I’ve ever seen should be easily accessed on Google Images?  I found this ad in my 1955 Life magazine, but could not find its digital counterpart on Google.  Maybe I should have risked carpal tunnel and scrolled down seventeen more pages.  It just seems like if Google Maps can deliver the address and photo of the backwoods Smokey Mountain hideout of my eighth grade volleyball coach, then it should have the power to deliver an image printed on twenty million Life magazines.  That’s all I’m saying.

Ahem.  There are also scads of songs with “wings” in the titles.  Broken wings, dove’s wings, eagle’s wings, butterfly wings, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp…Oh, sorry.  I had a Bubba moment from Forrest Gump.  Little wings, silver wings, paper wings.  But the song I never ever want to hear again, so help me God–not at a wedding or a funeral or a bris–is “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  I can’t take it one more time.  I really can’t.  Not by any artist, and not by your cousin Sheila.  It makes me cringe.

INXS told us that, “We all have wings, but some of us don’t know why.”  Does this gal know why?  To fly from catwalk to catwalk?  Those look heavy.

Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel during the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel during the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Wings have inspired quotes from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens, but only one as elegant and classy as Mae West could have confessed, “I’m no angel, but I’ve spread my wings a bit.”  Which reminds me of this:



What’s the shelf life on that tat?  A wee bit more than this unfortunate gal’s…

Ouch.  Pass the blue cheese.

So whether you are right wing or left wing or a Detroit Red Wing, remember that we can all soar on wings like eagles.  Or not.