Friday, January 30, 2009

I Love Jesus but I Drink A Little

My dear friend Linda, e-mailing from under 38 feet of snow in Spokane, just sent me a priceless clip from an Ellen show. May not be new to you, but it's new to me, and I almost wet my pants listening to it.

I should go to the bathroom more often.

I Love Jesus but I Drink A Little

Stop bothering me for more. Just go back and watch it again. Read more!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Good, Good Pig

Christopher as a baby. Photo by author Sy Montgomery.

Like most of the world, I have been running on fumes for weeks, now, and I am grateful for anything that reminds me that there are still things in life worth enjoying. (Do I even need to bother mentioning it is 3 degrees F right now? The 3-4 feet of snow we have will never melt. Why does Australia and the Arctic Circle get all the global warming?)
As I was saying...

Sy Montgomery with her dear friend, Christopher. Photo by Ian Redmond.

Last night I read a great tale about a great (big) pig, Christopher Hogwood. He was named after the famous conductor and musicologist, Christopher Hogwood, who even took part in his nation-wide eulogy. Originally brought home as a runt with no chances of surviving, he beat all odds to become a bacon beacon of joy not only for his family, but for his town of Hancock, NH, and far beyond. He brought people together for 14 years.

And he made me smile and cry and remember the good things in the world for at least a few hours last night. That makes this one priceless pig.

"What is beer but liquid grain? Christopher enjoys a Schlitz." Caption and photo by Sy Montgomery.

Ned Rodat enjoying his friend's company. Photo by Mollie Miller.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So Sue Me

I really need a good laugh, and Andy Borowitz delivers everytime. Normally I just post the link, but in a daring new I-don't-give-a-shit attitude (If I say it's new, it's new, damn it) I am re-printing it in its entirety. Maybe Andy will call personally to complain. You know what 2 year-olds say: "Even negative attention is better than no attention at all." (Direct quote from my niece, Jordan)

Poll: Obama Even More Awesome Than Originally Thought

Andy Borowitz
Posted January 27, 2009 11:31 AM (EST)

[Editor's Note: Recently, The Borowitz Report has received a number of letters from readers complaining about columns that have seemed to satirize the nation's 44th president. These readers have pointed out that with all of the challenges facing President Obama, the time for such juvenile shenanigans is over. At The Borowitz Report, our response couldn't be clearer: "We hear you." In keeping with the nation's new, post-satirical spirit, we offer the following column, which represents the new and more positive direction we intend to adopt for the next four years.]

One week into his presidency, Barack Obama gets high marks in a new poll, with a majority of Americans agreeing with the statement, "Barack Obama is even more awesome than I originally thought."

The percentage of voters who believe that Mr. Obama is awesome surged during his first week in office, with 82% thinking he is awesome now compared to 77% who deemed him awesome last week.

And in the latest measure of his popularity, Mr. Obama receives higher approval ratings in the new poll than either leprechauns or unicorns, mythical beings that almost everyone agrees are totally awesome.

In a head-to-head contest, Mr. Obama beats leprechauns and unicorns combined, garnering 64% compared to 21% for leprechauns, 14% for unicorns, and 1% for Congressman Ron Paul.

Mr. Obama remains wildly popular among women, with 72% of the women polled saying that they have experienced longer, more powerful orgasms since he was sworn in as president. "I definitely won't have to fake them like I did for the last eight years," said housewife Tracy Klujian of Madison, Wisconsin, who reported having an four-minute climax while watching the inauguration on MSNBC. "That's change I can believe in."

Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site, He is performing at the 92nd St. Y on April 30 at 8 PM with special guests Judy Gold, Hendrick Hertzberg, and Jonathan Alter. For tickets, go to

ddonar at Flickr
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Requiem for a Weekend

BFF Dave Grohl, always around to sum things up

mis·an·thrope (mĭs'ən-thrōp', mĭz'-)
noun. One who hates or mistrusts humankind.

[French, from Greek mīsanthrōpos, hating mankind : mīso-, miso- + anthrōpos, man.]

I have an alternative definition: One who would rather convince herself she hates mankind than experience her true feelings of disappointment and humiliation.

I try to like people, I really do. I even strive to feel compassion for the ones I don't succeed in liking. Sometimes, however, they make it damn near impossible.

This weekend, I started a new job. I have worked in sales for seven years, and I have grown tired of lying to people--whose trust I often lie to gain--to make a fucking living. I have grown even more tired of being lied to by the people I am supposed to consider my "teammates." In sales, there is no such thing. Why we even pretend is beyond me. It is a profession ludicrous by definition, and I have stayed only because my misanthropy has progressed to such a degree that now, in my 43rd year, my only friends are a handful of relatives and a barnyard of dogs, horses and guinea pigs. I can truthfully say that I am now more comfortable climbing into bed with my pitbull that I will ever be climbing in to a bed with another human.

So this new job was supposed to be a remedy to help treat my runaway misanthropy. I am going back into veterinary nursing, and landed a job working graveyard at a nearby emergency clinic. Yes, there are people in the business, but the ratio of non-humans is much greater than my current job. The pay is less that half what I make in sales, but it is fixed, and not determined by competition with your fellow teammates, which helps decrease shark attacks in the break room.

But there are always pitfalls. In this case, I was unaware that the person I am replacing was not aware 1) that she was about to be terminated, and 2) that I was the one replacing her. So my first shift in training goes pretty well, and I spend all night studying my new workspace and learning how far the industry has progressed in the seven years I've been out of a clinical setting. Then the clock strikes eleven, and the back doorbell rings. A look of terror sets in on the previously-smiling faces surrounding me. It is the woman I am going to replace, and she is an hour early.

The Scream by Edvard Munch
In a scene straight out of a two-star romantic comedy, I am told to grab my coat and run for the other door. I don't even have to time to ask if they are serious. And as always happens in these risque situations, I leave several things behind that any discerning "jiltee" would find unsettling: a stethoscope with my name on it, hanging on the door of a black lab recovering from being hit by a car a few hours before, and a technician study guide, also with my name on it, lying right in the center of the break room table.

Not having met the person yet (we'll call her "Pam") the whole scene still managed to feel somewhat amusing. I believe I even chuckled as I drove myself home.

Still, wanting to avoid this situation from happening again, I called the next day and spoke with the receptionist and the manager to see when the trainer would be in again, and when Pam would not. I had a piece of paper with everyone's schedule on it, but it was missing two important things--the words a.m. and p.m. Everyone works 12-hour shifts, and so there are two people on each day. Both might say they are scheduled from 8-8. Unless you are psychic--or have worked at the clinic for some time--it is completely unclear who works during the day and who works overnight. Which is why I called.

Having secured the information I needed, I slept all day Sunday to prepare myself for a shift that would start at 8 p.m. and last as long as I felt I could handle before having to work my sales job at 8 the next morning. I had also slept all day Saturday after working 8 hours sales and 7 hours nursing back-to-back Friday. (Even if I had wanted to do anything, the temperature high both days was 8 degrees--8 fucking degrees--and I had no money. Winter in Wisconsin is a complete waste of time, and I cannot fathom how this is NOT the state with the highest suicide rate.)

By Sunday night, I was ready for a little action. Even I can only sleep so long. I ironed my trusty scrubs, showered, loaded my pitbull into the car for some clinical practice and headed for town.

Upon arrival, I walked right into the back of the clinic, coming face to face with a woman I did not know. Knowing there was one other technician at the location who was not being fired, I hazarded a lame guess.

"Cindy?" I asked, praying for the best.

I always forget that declaring yourself agnostic means you are not allowed to rely on the power of prayer to get you out of awkward situaions.

"No," she said. "Pam. Who are you?"


Then my trainer walks in and the scene is complete. Everyone resists the urge to throw up simultaneously. What follows is THE lamest attempt to cover up what is ridiculously obvious to everyone, including the white Himalayan cat and the brown terrier watching from the stands.

Pam: "I didn't know they were hiring another tech." Looks at my trainer.

Trainer: Long pause--long enough to invalidate anything she might offer. "She's just part-time."

Good angle, I thought. Following her lead, but still blowing my lines by uttering them while staring at my Chuck Taylors, I said, "Yeah, I have a day job--I just wanted to find some part-time work in a clinic to get my hands-on skills back."

Trainer and I at the same time: "She'll/I'll just be filling in here and there." At least we picked up enough synchronicity from one day together that we could lie together.

This was just another one of those Why-won't-the-earth-just-open-up-and-swallow-me-whole moments of life. And like all the other moments, the earth did not do a damn thing to make it go any easier.

So, after finding an excuse to get the hell out of that room, I listened to Pam in full panic, grilling my trainer as to what was going on, and why hadn't she told her; followed by my trainer having to dig herself in even deeper as she swore she didn't even know herself, and would definitely told Pam had she heard anything.

What a fucking soap opera. I grabbed Ginger and, for the second time in three days, ran out the front door like a lover holding his pants up with one hand. Only then did I also realize that the entire day I had spent sleeping, I could have spent being trained and getting paid for it. I dropped at least four or five resounding F-bombs in the car before I remembered I had a passenger who didn't enjoy being around really pissed off humans. So I couldn't even scream in the car (something we all do when we have to) because I had dragged my innocent dog along for the farce.

And people wonder why the hell I shut myself up in my house and avoid all human contact. Because you're all fucking CRAZY!!!


It took a hard and fast 1.5 mile walk on the treadmill and an iPod full of the ever-cheerful Alice in Chains to bring me down a notch once I finally reached home. I may think I'm angry at times like these, but all I have to do is listen to Layne Staley (R.I.P.) or Sully Erna (Godsmack) to be reminded what real anger is.

Alice in Chains "Dirt"

I have never felt such frustration
Or lack of self control
I want you to kill me
And dig me under, I wanna live no more

One who doesn't care is one who shouldn't be
I've tried to hide myself from what is wrong for me
For me

I want to taste dirty, stinging pistol
In my mouth, on my tongue
I want you to scrape me from the walls
And go crazy like you've made me

One who doesn't care is one who shouldn't be
I've tried to hide myself from what is wrong for me
For me

You, you are so special
You have the talent to make me feel like dirt
And you, you use your talent to dig me under
And cover me with dirt

One who doesn't care is one who shouldn't be
I've tried to hide myself from what is wrong for me
Additional BFFs Sully and Robbie of Godsmack Read more!

Friday, January 23, 2009

This scapegoating must end!

Newspaper Claims Suspect Transformed Into A Goat

Fri Jan 23, 6:07 pm ET AP

LAGOS, Nigeria – One of Nigeria's biggest daily newspapers reported that police implicated a goat in an attempted automobile theft. In a front-page article on Friday, the Vanguard newspaper said that two men tried to steal a Mazda car two days earlier in Kwara State, with one suspect transforming himself into a goat as vigilantes cornered him.

The paper quoted police spokesman Tunde Mohammed as saying that while one suspect escaped, the other transformed into a goat as he was about to be apprehended.

The newspaper reported that police paraded the goat before journalists, and published a picture of the animal. Police in the state couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Belief in black magic is widespread in Nigeria, particularly in far-flung rural areas.

Not a good time to be a goat in Nigeria--that's all there is to it. Read more!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"High-Five Inauguration!"

Funny or Die's high-five guys were spreading the love at the inauguration. Watch them high-five an all-star cast that includes Jack Black, Peggy Noonan, Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich, Obama Girl, Sarah Silverman, Robert Gibbs, Larry King, Arianna Huffington and more.

High-Five Inauguration!

What else do you want from me? Watch it again. You know you didn't know who half those politicians were.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President

We are very relieved to have you with us.
And below. . . How's that for a fun family photo? I love it!

Barack Obama, right, joined by his wife Michelle, second from right, and daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

See ya, dubya.

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush after delivering his speech during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009. Obama became the first African-American president in U.S. history.REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

FBI plans large hiring blitz

(Phil Klein/Reuters)

Yes, I saw it. No, they won't be any more interested in hiring me now than they were in November of 2001. Trust me. You don't get more fluent as time passes, you get less. It's just a funny thing about complex languages with 5 times the vocabulary of English.

And I somehow doubt they'd see the humor in this morning's earlier entry.

Nothing more to see here. Read more!

240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

Image from littlecloudyskye on Flickr

I like, sometimes, to imagine that American citizens are not the stupidest ones on the planet, but most of the time the evidence points so overwhelming in the other direction that I have to throw my arms up and pull my hoodie down over my face. This would be another one of those times.

Just last week we had the family of Muslims ejected from an airplane after one of the women quietly asked a family member (not standing up and canvassing the flight, mind you) where the safest place was to be seated on a plane. You mean Muslims are scared to fly, too? Why, that almost makes them human! Not quite, of course--don't be stupid.

That article can be found here, under More Stupid American Tricks.

Now, word surfaces that another traveler was forced to change shirts so he could board a JetBlue flight back in August.

240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

His transgression--besides being born with Arab features, which is unfortunate--was that he wore a t-shirt with Arabic script on it. I cannot tell you how often I have been tempted to do this. I realize it doesn't have the same punch when worn by a blonde, light-skinned woman, but maybe it would save me the cavity search. Then again, it's been awhile...

Anyway, his shirt--and I will try to figure out how to get the script on here--was Arabic for "We will not be silent." Now if he had worn his other t-shirt, the one that says "You're all going down, suckers" I can see where someone mught be concerned. But the issue here, obviously, is that not enough people know Arabic. Maybe I can get that new job I am struggling to find by offering my services at airport terminals reading subversive (and non-subversive) Arabic t-shirts. Nike actually had one with Arabic script on it years ago as an ad campaign. I tried so hard to get one, but they sold out immediately. I can't remember if they actually said "Just do it" but the thought makes me break into fits of Liberal giggles all the same.

Now, someone is going to read this and think that I am a horrible woman who was pro-9/11. That person, and others like her, are the stupid people I was referring to before. If they really want something to be scared about, they should be watching out for redneck Oklahomans wearing sweat-stained cowboy hats waiting for their connection to Waco. Now THOSE fellas make me piss my pants.

UPDATE: Here is the t-shirt I found on the Internet at United for Peace and Justice.

Photo by AFP

Short on cash? Find a t-shirt with a scary foreign language on it and book your flight today!
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Friday, January 2, 2009

Understanding the Gaza Catastrophe

Israeli soldiers stand on their APC's and gesture towards the Gaza Strip on January 2, 2009 near Israel's border with the Hamas-run territory. Israel continues to reinforce its troops amid talks of an internationally-brokered ceasefire.

I am no high-brow scholar, merely a former student of Arabic and Middle East history with numerous Arab and Jewish friends in the Middle East. I cannot pretend to write an article such as this one found on the Huffington Post, and I won't try.

I do, however, highly recommend it.

Understanding the Gaza Catastrophe by Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories

Posted January 2, 2009 11:00 AM (EST)


"The people of Gaza are victims of geopolitics at its inhumane worst: producing what Israel itself calls a 'total war' against an essentially defenseless society that lacks any defensive military capability whatsoever and is completely vulnerable to Israeli attacks mounted by F-16 bombers and Apache helicopters. What this also means is that the flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions, is quietly set aside while the carnage continues and the bodies pile up. It additionally means that the UN is once more revealed to be impotent when its main members deprive it of the political will to protect a people subject to unlawful uses of force on a large scale. Finally, this means that the public can shriek and march all over the world, but that the killing will go on as if nothing is happening. The picture being painted day by day in Gaza is one that begs for renewed commitment to international law and the authority of the UN Charter, starting here in the United States, especially with a new leadership that promised its citizens change, including a less militarist approach to diplomatic leadership."

Palestinian children from the Al-jojo family look from their family house at the damage after an Israeli air strike destroyed the neighboring house of Dababish family in Gaza, Gaza Strip, January 1, 2009. Israeli warplanes attacked government buildings in the Gaza Strip on New Year's Day after Israel and its Islamist Hamas foe both spurned ceasefire calls.
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Happy Birthday, Dad!

Looking forward to toasting to your health this evening at the Brocach Irish Pub! And how about some free publicity for your blog, Where's Jimbo?

You are going to come dressed normally, right..?

Dad (Jim) and husband, Steve
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