Forty years after the National Lampoon was a monthly addiction for snarkologists, Cheech Wizard remains an Amusement Destination for those of us who like our snark mixed with rare plant juices, stage magic and acute testicular swelling.
Even in clunky computer claymation, the Zydeco Hat is the Cultural King of my g-g-generation. DUCK, LIZARD!
I dropped the kiddo off at school this morning, like I do most weekdays when it’s not summer. I was driving away, reeling from the teenage-pheromones contact buzz and listening to NPR’s breathless coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, and it occurred to me for the millionth time that we—all of us—are generally able to ignore the specter of death due to a lifelong practice of internal terror management, using whatever ways work best for us.
None get out alive, and the unlucky are separated forever from those they love in an instant by extraordinarily violent means. Sometimes it makes screaming headlines; more often it goes unnoticed by all except those directly affected. But the pain and despair are the same.
I saw this crane family in a median strip on the highway, two fuzzy hatchlings and their parents:
Of course, it all looks fuzzy because I suck as a photographer and was using a camera phone while stopped on the highway and watching for oncoming traffic in my rearview mirror. But trust me—the babies are adorable fuzz balls on stalky legs following sleek, elegant, purposeful parents who stand more than three feet tall:
Did seeing this lovely crane family turn my morbid thoughts to life and spring and hope? Well hell no, actually: For one thing, the damn cranes were on the median strip of a highway with a 45 MPH speed limit, so I worried that they’d be flattened by a school bus or dump truck.
But the cranes were focused on the moment, attentive to the task of finding the next juicy bug, with the adults helping the chicks learn to ruin flowerbeds and putting greens while navigating swampy landscapes with all the attendant hazards. Their kind—and ours—will continue about the business of daily life until the earth chokes to death on emissions, is rendered barren by an asteroid or is incinerated by the sun, whichever comes first. There’s some comfort in that, I suppose.
Here’s Joan Jett, the boss hen (and my pal Ravenclaw the Red, who appears to be popping out of JJ’s breast, “Alien”-style):
JJ is nice to humans, but she’s pretty mean to her fellow fowl. I mentioned her bullying ways once before, and some of you gently admonished me, saying that JJ was being firm, not a bully. Well, maybe. All I know is I’m glad I don’t have a red comb or neck dooley-bobs for her to pull!
Not the dementia-addled former president who deinstitutionalized the mentally ill so they could start new lives under crumbling overpasses and reconstituted Congress as a hub of sociopathy – we know where HE is. I mean Florida Governor Rick Scott’s “rescue dog” / campaign prop, which shared a name with the president who popularized the notion of government-hating government officials in the modern era.
TALLAHASSEE — Shortly after winning the GOP nomination in 2010, Rick Scott announced to the world through Facebook that his family had rescued a Labrador retriever. And, with help from his Facebook friends, Scott gave it a name: Reagan.
Asked last week what had happened to the dog, Scott’s current and former communications directors refused to answer.
After reporters, uh, dogged the Scott administration about the whereabouts of Reagan and got an increasingly bizarre runaround, the paper went directly to the governor:
“He was a rescue dog,’’ Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything, and so he wouldn’t get better.”
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone but “scared the living daylights’’ out of people at the mansion. He said one kitchen employee threatened to quit and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy’’ every time he saw him with a camera.
So the Scotts gave the dog back to his prior owner, Scott said, about a month after the family moved to Tallahassee.
After learning that Times reporters had talked to the governor, a spokeswoman called to say Reagan had been returned about a year ago to All Pets Grooming and Boarding, a business in Naples.
Okay, this sounds fishy. For one thing, is this Naples grooming service actually a dog rescue operation? Doesn’t look like it from the organization’s minimal web presence. Maybe that part is legit.
Still, Scott made enough money bilking Medicare that he was able to purchase the state governorship for $72 million. He couldn’t hire Cesar Millan or Victoria Stilwell to train his dog? Or, failing that, he couldn’t let the dog live with the staff in one of his numerous residences so it wouldn’t scare people in the Governor’s Mansion?
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog.
“Her name is Tallee and she is a 7-year-old rescue Lab,’’ said Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Scott.
Where Tallee came from and where Reagan went were still unknown.
I’m guessing poor Tallee is another political prop, perhaps on loan from a GOP donor. Obviously, Scott doesn’t know the beast well:
“This dog is the neediest dog. When I worked out this morning, he wants to be right next to you the whole time. If you do a push-up, he wants to be underneath you as you do a push-up. He’s a sweet dog,’’ Scott said.
Um, Tallee is a girl, Governor Scott. At least, that’s what Mrs. Scott’s spokeswoman said. WTF? Seamus wept.
This really happened. One year, right after Christmas, my mom decided to drive herself, my little sister and me up to North Carolina to see snow. As native Floridians, my sister and I had never seen snow before. We complained bitterly about this fact, especially during the holidays when all the TV specials featured snowmen, sleigh rides, etc.
This was a very long time ago, back when people drove ugly green station wagons with fake wood paneling. Anyhoo, we had a little dog—a poodle mix of some sort. He was a kind of goldish color, so we named him Butterscotch. But we all called him Scotch.
We couldn’t take Scotch with us since we were staying with dog-phobic relatives in North Carolina. So my mom asked her younger sister to housesit and watch after Scotch. Auntie agreed to do this for us and promised to take good care of our beloved pet:
Poor Auntie had to spend New Year’s Eve all by herself. However, my mom had generously given Auntie permission to raid the liquor cabinet. She polished off a few cocktails and then rang in the New Year watching Dick Clark on TV as she lounged in our recliner and finished an entire bottle of champagne:
I took y’all’s advice and cancelled the Christmas soirees due to illness. Actually, my husband called people and told them I was down with possibly the flu. A few people turned up anyway, but they were forewarned, so if they get the crud, it’s not my fault.
From what I hear, this nasty virus is laying people low nationwide. I feel a little better today, but still shaky. I’ve been piled up on the sofa since Saturday. Thank god for Roku. I’ve watched a ton of movies plus a couple of seasons of Julia Child’s “The French Chef” from the 1960s.
My dogs joined me on our L-shaped couch, mimicking my burrowing behavior with whatever blankets and throws they could steal from my nest. These glowing green eyes have haunted my fever-wracked dreams:
I went ahead and cooked a ginormous standing rib roast that I already had on hand, but I haven’t tried it yet. My husband says it’s good. I usually make French onion soup with roast leftovers, which I plan to do this time as well. But now I’ve got tons of leftovers. Any suggestions?
I hope you all had a nice holiday. Please discuss whatever!
I’m in charge of holiday planning, prep and execution at my house. Not because of patriarchal oppression but just because that’s how we choose to break it down (picking up dog turds in the yard, for example, is thankfully outside my bailiwick).
Well, Saturday morning, I woke up feeling nauseated and achy in every bone. My head was pounding, my nose was stuffy, and I had a hacking cough. I tried to eat something and ended up tossing my waffle. So even though I had a million things to do to get ready for Christmas, I made a nest of quilts on the sofa and stayed there all day and all night.
The dogs were happy to keep me company, what with a little cold snap we had (it’s in the high 60s / low 70s, which causes my wimpy boxers to channel their inner Malamutes). I laid around alternately snoozing, watching TV and staring at the Christmas tree lights in a Nyquil-induced daze. I drank herb tea and munched a few soup crackers from time to time, which is about all I can keep down.
I didn’t feel much better yesterday, and I still feel lousy now. I’ve been dragging myself from room to room, dusting furniture, sweeping, cleaning out the fridge, etc. I’ve pressed my kid into service more than I normally would to complete errands and assist with housework.
Mr. C always handles Christmas Eve dinner, so I’m off the hook for that, but I’ve got a slew of people coming by at various times today and tomorrow. I’ve got all the holiday meal stuff, but I have no idea where I’m going to find the energy to put the Christmas Day feast together and deal with a houseful of guests. My husband and kid are more than willing to help, but they’ll just fuck up whatever I assign to them. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true.
There’s no point at all to this post; I just felt like whining. Open thread!
Truly, YouTube is a pharaoh’s treasure horde of groundbreaking cultural Ur-media. Here is my ancient friend Ron Hankison, known in those days by his recording talent moniker “Ronnie Wasp.” The cut is from his ‘80s album Nolo Contendere, a disk on which only lunatic survivalists like this outer space ant-farmer would dare make wretched jokes about human/ant fornication (or is that formication?).
All in all, an epic song by a prodigious creative mind.
Our hens raided the container garden during their free-range jaunt yesterday:
I never participate in the garden threads because my husband does every bit of the gardening around here. I couldn’t even grow a Chia pet or keep an air fern alive.
Anne Laurie’s early morning open thread featured the image of commenter Hitchhiker’s lovely cat in front of a Christmas tree. But instead of going, “Awwwww,” I went, “Sweet mother of fuck! It’s almost Christmas, and I haven’t done a damn thing!”
My fake tree and all the decorations are still in the shed. I haven’t ordered the Christmas dinner prime rib yet. We haven’t even quite wrapped up our kitchen renovations (although it’s mostly done – we lack cabinet toe-kicks and the backsplash only at this point), and our dining room still sports a bare concrete slab as we haven’t gotten around to laying the tile. Oh, and I haven’t bought the first present yet.
Why? Well, the home renovations have become a convenient excuse for being slobs. Why bother dusting or sweeping when there’s 70s-era glue on the walls where we ripped out the old laminate backsplash and bare concrete underfoot? We’ve actually enjoyed the respite.
As for the lack of Christmas spirit, it just doesn’t seem Christmas-y yet, partly because it’s been so warm. I’m a native Floridian, so warm Decembers aren’t a foreign or unwelcome concept to me. But it does seem unusual to get this far towards the solstice without once having to put on a pair of socks or rifle the closet for a jacket. There have been a few flannel-shirt-over-the-tee-shirt days, but I haven’t had to bust out the woolies. Nonetheless, there is work to be done.
Romneys Spread Loser Stink
Speaking of indolent people, Mitt and Ann Romney are continuing their loser tour. Noted fans of “sport,” the Romneys took in the Pacquiao-Marquez boxing match last night:
I don’t follow boxing, but I think Pacquiao was favored to beat Marquez. That was before Romney visited Pacquiao in his dressing room, exuding a giant cloud of loser dust:
“Hello Manny. I ran for president. I lost,” Romney told the fighter, according to Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg.
Then this happened:
“LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao never saw it coming. He never saw the punch that snapped his head back Saturday and dropped him to the canvas and left him sprawled there momentarily, face down, while his wife sobbed uncontrollably and the packed crowd at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena rose to its feet in shock.
With that, a rivalry known for its lack of a definitive triumph suddenly had the most definitive ending of them all.”
I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope Mitt and Ann Romney decide to pay the Notre Dame locker room a visit prior to the BCS title game.
Speaking of Losers
Remember the group One Million 51,700 [homophobic] Moms (OMM)? No? Me neither, but this spring, they failed spectacularly in a bid to get Ellen Degeneres fired as JC Penney spokesperson. After that effort flopped, OMM director Monica Cole announced that the breeder klatch was “moving on.”
But a JC Penney commercial featuring Ellen and several Christmas elves attracted their ire again last week.
It wasn’t that Ellen groped a female elf in the ad or anything. It’s just that everyone knows she’s a lesbian, and think of the chiiiiildren!
Because the commercial that occasioned the protest was so innocuous, onlookers found the OMM action confusing. (Pro tip: When you have to explain why you’re taking umbrage, you’re not successfully inciting it.) So OMM declared that the group is “moving on.” Again. Maybe someday they actually will.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, whose attempts to disenfranchise Democrats backfired when he inspired them instead to endure waits as long as eight hours to vote, now says it’s time to review and reform the voting system:
“We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process,” Scott said in a statement. “I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”
Maybe it’s time to federalize voting processes. A democracy can’t function if eligible voters are prevented from casting ballots, and Scott and other GOP clowns were openly subverting the process. They shouldn’t be in a position to do so.
Thanks to my highly productive Reds and Australorps, I will have no egg shortage to contend with during this year’s eggnog season. Maybe it’s too soon to talk about eggnog—we haven’t even had Thanksgiving in the US. Oh well.
I have what I consider a very fine eggnog recipe, which I post at Rumproast each year and am sharing below. It not only tastes good, it’s deceptively strong and is highly effective for silencing tiresome wingnut relatives, dispatching the Sandman to whisk them to Dreamland in front of the television. That way the bakers don’t have to hear the self-described makers bitching about the goddamned takers:
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Southern Comfort*
1/2 cup rum**
1/2 cup bourbon***
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Separate eggs and reserve whites in fridge in a separate container. In a large bowl, beat yolks until lemony, gradually adding sugar. Add the booze. Refrigerate mixture overnight.****
Next day, add milk to booze mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peak stage. Separately beat whipping cream to the consistency of that nasty Cool Whip crap. Fold egg whites into booze mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Don’t over-mix—leave it a little lumpy. Grate nutmeg over top and enjoy!
* As vile and hideous as Southern Comfort is (and no one despises it more than I do, having once yerked up great quantities of it all over a golf course during a teenage drinking binge), it is for some reason an essential ingredient in this recipe. I tried doubling the GOOD bourbon once and eliminating the SoCo, and it wasn’t as good. Really.
** I generally use Appleton’s, but last year I tried it with Kraken rum, which is just insanely good. In my opinion.
*** I usually use Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek. Because I care.
**** We’ve omitted the refrigerate overnight step a time or two. If you’ve already had several cups of it made the proper way, you won’t notice the difference. If you haven’t you will. Funny how that works.
I haven’t found a recipe to rival this one, but I am open-minded. Please feel free to share your all-time favorite eggnog recipe. Or talk about whatever.