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You know, I’m thinking of adding a new category for blog posts. That category would be “disturbing shit I could go the rest of my life without seeing.”

Because if I add that category, then I can properly assign it to this.

Yeah. Stop rubbing your eyes. It’s exactly what you think it is. And you can see it in all its (forgive the pun) corny glory–because honestly, aside from being completely unqualified for the office of vice president, Sarah Palin is the very definition of corny, and not in a good way–by going here: Β http://www.whitehousecornmaze.com/

Β I have never understood the appeal of the corn maze. Is walking through a bunch of moldering corn stalks supposed to make me feel hearty, as though I’m a pioneer lost in a field that will surely claim me if I don’t make it out by dark? Is there some thrill of terror, that maybe a chainsaw-wielding maniac (though why you would need a chainsaw in a field of corn is beyond me) will spring forth and chase me farther and farther into the maze until I drop of exhaustion and can be properly dismembered? Besides, there are always a bunch of spare cobs lying around that are just super for stepping on and spraining your ankle. Add this little bit of artwork to the mix and it’s some downright disturbing shit.

Anyway, I challenge all you Ohioans to boycott the Palin corn maze. It’s nothing but a vast right-wing conspiracy. πŸ˜‰

Or just prone to the power of suggestion? A little backstory, if you will.

My boys love pierogies. I admit to being partial to them, too. They’re potatoes. They’re pasta. They’re a carb-laden comfort food good time. And if you add a little hot sauce, a little sour cream…hoo yeah. If you’ve never had one, they look like this.

Well, ours look similar to that. Omit the onion, because if my husband ate an onion, he would surely perish. And nix the garnish because, well, that’s just too fancified.

Anyway, my mother-in-law gave me a bag of burgers from her freezer, so I decided to fix them for dinner. I usually fix fries with burgers, or something equally gluttonous, like macaroni and cheese. And, just as an aside, folks, it’s macaroni and cheese, or MAYBE mac and cheese. It is NOT mac ‘n chz, mac ‘n’ cheez, or mac-n-chz. Jeez. It’s no wonder most eighth-graders can’t read. But back to the eventual point…

I looked in the freezer for fries and stumbled upon the corner of a box of pierogies. I got distracted, closed the freezer, and started thinking that maybe, just maybe, pierogies and burgers would would work together. I thought, hey, I’m onto something unusual here. So I pulled out the box. And there, on the front of the box, was a picture of the pierogies…next to a cheeseburger. See?

So I’m no innovator. I just file away suggestions and reprocess them as my own thoughts. Isn’t that special?

But all I want for Christmas is a CD of dogs barking Christmas tunes. Seriously. And verily.

Why, you might ask, would I yearn to possess such a cacophony of canine caroling?

Well, for revenge, of course.

Every now and again I have to post about my neighbors and their barking dogs, because frankly, if I don’t vent my spleen in blog-land, I might vent it directly on the neighbors, and that might be something I regret in the morning.

I don’t know why this inverse relationship exists, but it seems the less people have to protect, the more mangy, noisy dogs they keep around to protect it. The guy next door has had an array of dogs: Rottweilers, pit bulls, shepherds, beagles (Oh, lord, the beagles). Every single one of them is kept outside, either chained or in a pen, and is quite vocal about expressing its dissatisfaction with the situation. The people behind us have at least five yappy Chihuahuas. At one point, guy-next-door’s Rottweiler killed all the Chihuahuas belonging to people behind us. It was sad, but boy, was that a blissful three days of quiet. So guy behind us shot and killed one of (note, ONE OF) guy-next-door’s dogs. In a neighborhood with 1/3- to 1/2-acre lots. In broad daylight. With kids around. But that’s another story.

ANYWAY, I have enjoyed a week of unbridled yapping from the shepherd, pit bull, and husky next door, and from the numerous Chihuahuas behind. Seriously, whatever happened to having a nice dog that was part of your family? Why on earth would you want multiple dogs that you just leave outside, regardless of weather, and allow to bark for hours and hours and HOURS on end? I mean, don’t you think you yourself would be irritated by all that barking?

So that’s where the dogs-barking-Christmas-carols CD comes in. We have a big screened porch. I have a grand plan to finally use the beautiful stereo my husband has been storing in a closet for the past few years due to lack of space. I’m going to set it up on the porch, on a beautiful day when everyone is outside. I’m going to point those Boston Acoustics. One to the side, one to the back. I’m going to insert the CD of dogs barking Christmas carols. I’m going to turn it up, man. And then I’m going to leave for the day.

Is that petty and small? We paid too much money for a modest little house that we like. I’m kind of resentful that I can’t enjoy my yard because every time I walk outside, I’m accosted by barking. We’ve planted screening trees and are biding our time waiting for them to grow. But until then, can’t I have a *little* satisfaction? Because really, after hearing a solid hour of dogs barking “Deck the Halls,” I would bring that dog the fuck indoors.

So, fall is here. Another season…another admission of defeat…another round of fat clothes for those of us who weren’t able to lose those 40 (or, um, 60) pounds over the summer (or the last ten years). It’s depressing, I tell you. I don’t know what my stumbling block is, but it is a tall and mighty block indeed, covered with stinging nettles, scorpions, and all sorts of sundry creepy and perhaps gelatinous things. It’s just not good. Must. Start. Exercising. Seriously, here. Can someone motivate me? Anyone? I wore new jeans today and didn’t have a lot of room in my back pocket for a capo. It’s demoralizing. But it (and fall) also bring on the topic of…

…comfort foods. Because when you’re buying more fat clothes (not bigger fat clothes, just seasonal fat clothes), you turn to comfort food because it’s your best way of dealing with such a purchase. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, fall is prime comfort food weather. Soups, stews, chicken and dumplings, chili, stuffing (oh, yes, stuffing), and pizza. Carbs, cheese, and tomato sauce…what could be better?

I had a gig today, outside, with serious downpours. We all emerged wet, tired, and kind of sticky from humidity. So of course we had to order pizza. This is always a hard-won victory for one of us. I’m a cheese girl, when it comes down to it. Maybe bacon and black olives if I’m feeling saucy. Get it? Saucy? Okay, moving on….My boy loves pepperoni and would be quite content to make a meal of naught but the greasy pork discs. And he’s vocal about it. My husband abhors vegetable matter of any sort on pizza (and generally in life). He’s a meat pizza man, and sausage in particular. Our lovely local pizzeria makes the only sausage pizza I will touch. They finely chop the sausage instead of slapping on gigantic gristly chunks (pardon me while I shudder). Anyway, tonight we ordered pizza with bacon. So good. Because everything’s better with bacon. Dare I say it? I’m kind of tempted to order a pizza featuring bacon, sausage, and pepperoni–just once, to taste the triumvirate of pizza meats on one luscious pie.

Will I do it? Of course not. That would mean more defeat. More fat clothes. Must cast out sinful pork-related thoughts. God help me. But jeez, where will I run for comfort? πŸ˜‰

From the bottom of my little old heart. Thank you.

Β http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4476649n

So here’s an interesting development.

A friend of mine called me this morning to tell me that while reading the paper, she saw that the guy who lives behind us is on the neighboring county’s “Top 10 Most Wanted” list for failure to appear in court and probation violation. There’s a reward for information that leads to his apprehension.

Honestly. He’s holed up in his house nearly every day while his stupid, stupid, STUPID six Chihuahuas bark their heads off. You’d think the cops would just cruise on by. But my friend said she thinks I should turn him in. There might be enough reward to go out to lunch, she said. πŸ˜‰ Ahh, she knows my priorities well, this one.

No way in hell, though. This guy is so foul, so repulsive, so low on the evolutionary scale that he’s maybe one step above amoeba,Β if you catch him on a dayΒ when he combs his hair. He’s just gross. He came to our door once to ask a perfectly normal and civilized question, and it was all I could do not to puke on his feet. Because of him, what has the potential to be a nice little pocket of the neighborhood is instead its stinky armpit. He and his foul-mouthed troglodytic wife are the topic of a blog unto themselves, and a topic best left for another day. Never fear, fair readers. You too will one day know the, um, wonder of the man my friend has coined the Waddling Wall-eyed Wonder.

Anyway, besides being all those things, he’s also the kind of guy who would break your car windows if he suspected you of doing anything untoward, such as, say, informing the police of his whereabouts (even though he is clearly AT HOME). I’m just not stepping into that territory.

Wise decision, no? I’m just saying.

Hehehe. If that’s not melodrama, I don’t know what is.

Today is perfect chili weather. It’s in the low 60s, windy, and rainy from an incoming nor’easter. So chili it is. For reasons I’ll discuss in another post, I don’t use easy, incredibly convenient packets of chili seasoning. My husband can’t dig it. So I just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, add spices and an insane amount of chili powder, and it turns out magically delicious.

I had exactly one tablespoon of chili powder, and anyone knows that’s not enough for a decent pot of chili. I had errands to run, including a trip to Dollar Tree, so I figured I would pick up some there. Any store has chili powder. I even asked. No chili powder. I just can’t pay $5 for the grocery store stuff, so I figured that of course, in the back of my spice cabinet, I would have a spare jar. I always do. And I did. And it was empty.

I don’t know why in the hell I would return an empty jar of chili powder to the cabinet, but there you have it. I think I may be slightly moronic. Regardless, I’m making it work. There is a bitching pot of chili simmering on the stove. But dinner might be interesting….

πŸ˜€

I’m back! My husband (the one who hates both chili and taco seasoning, thus guaranteeing that making either of these ostensibly easy dishes is generally a pain in the ass) declared it my best pot of chili in the entire 16 years he has known me. I should make it this way every time. Um. That’s the downside of just throwing a bunch of crap in a pot. πŸ˜‰

…is today! It’s National Punctuation Day! Yay!

This hits me where I live. Editing, writing, and proofreading are where I make my extremely unlavish living, and you know, kids, you can’t do those things without a solid punctuation background.

So if you don’t know a colon from a semicolon or a comma from an apostrophe, if you have finally realized that the number of exclamation points used in a sentence is in direct reverse proportion to one’s IQ score, or if you want to learn all about how an ‘s does NOT make ANYTHING plural, you can read up on all things punctuatory (Is that a word? If not, it should be. Maybe punctuational? Punctual?) at www.nationalpunctuationday.com. You can even find a recipe for the Official Meatloaf of National Punctuation Day! Because if the warm, savory glow of question mark-shaped meatloaf doesn’t make you want to punctuate correctly, then I fear all hope is lost.

Picture, if you will, this little morning treat.

I woke Monday morning to a sick kid covered with hives. To give you an indication of how rotten he was feeling, he crawled in bed with me, curled up, and actually asked if we could go back to sleep. Aww. Anyway, I called and made a doctor’s appointment, decided to keep him home from the light-year pace of pre-k, and decided to plop him in front of the TV with fluids and do some much-needed cleaning. Let me reiterate: MUCH needed cleaning.

Mid-morning, I thought I saw a car pull into the driveway. This is never good. No one ever pulls into the driveway, except the Fed-Ex lady, one of us, or someone turning around. I assumed it was the latter, until I heard the knock on the door. I fully intended to ignore it, despite the blaring of Atlantis: The Lost Empire that clearly indicated occupation. My boy, however, lifted his head from the couch and bellowed, “Mommmmm! There’s someone at the door.” Sigh.

Let’s take stock in my appearance at that moment. Too-tight pajama shorts, wrinkled ugly T-shirt (I was cleaning, after all), gigantic thick glasses, hideously askew ponytail, braless, no makeup (the horror), and no lipstick (even more of a horror). I opened the door ever so slightly and was promptly met with….a religious tract.

This isn’t your standard tract, either. First of all, it actually calls itself a tract. Second, it tells me that joy and peace are possible the whole world over if I’m just willing to surrender my independent thought. The cover depicts the most Prozac-popping people you could possibly imagine doing peaceful things like petting lions and cuddling with tigers while a sheep and a wolf (or possibly a German Shepherd) look lovingly at a butterfly. Deer gambol gaily in the background while a family picks a bushel basket of what looks like lemons.

The inside says “A PEACEFUL NEW WORLD: Will It Come?” And, ahem… “When you look at the scene on this tract, what feelings do you have? Does not your heart yearn for the peace, happiness, and prosperity seen there? Surely it does. But is it just a dream, or fantasy [um, thanks for clarifying that], to believe that these conditions will ever exist on earth?”

So, aside from being written on a fifth-grade level (and quite possibly by Velvet Jones), this little brochure tells me that I can experience this lemon-picking, lion-stroking, butterfly-gazing delirious happiness if I become a Jehovah’s Witness. Okay, then. Nothing against the JW’s. You can believe whatever the heck you want. I do, however, have an issue with trying to turn the rest of the world to that belief and, if I may go a step further, bringing that belief directly to my doorstep and trying to pressure me into accepting it. That would be akin to my showing up on their doorsteps with, say, the latest Harry Potter book in hand and trying to tell them about it, or bringing by my favorite Beatles album and demanding they listen to it. It’s not the belief, it’s the method of dissemination. If I feel I need it, I’ll come looking. But sometimes, the things you cherish are best kept close, you know?

Anyway, I told her I had a sick kid and that we weren’t shopping around for anything new right now. But I promised that I would read the pamphlet and take it under advisement. And so I have. πŸ˜›

I’m beginning to think I don’t do nearly enough with my boy in the morning before he goes to school. The husband is home, sick, and Nicholas hasn’t dropped a syllable all morning.

Anyway, he’s flitting around, playing pirates, playing chef, playing all kinds of stuff, and he asked if he could make his dad some soup to help him feel better.

The offering…”Dad, let’s pretend I give you the soup, and it has roaches and eyeballs in it, and let’s pretend you think that’s ‘scusting.”

No need for pretending there.

Roaches AND eyeballs. Apparently both are needed to actually make it “‘scusting.”

πŸ˜€