Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Gee. Here's a shocker.

Remember, Tuesday's election day. Get out there and vote- there are no excuses, and we can't afford to have a repeat of 2000. If you're e-voting, and you notice an anomaly, get your polling supervisor right away. If you're disenfranchised, call the media. Don't let the fuckers get away with it. We are NOT going to take this one lying down.

On a wholly unrelated note.
I have a gigantic crush on Brett Roethlisberger.

Congratulations to the Steelers for taking the Patriots to their knees today. Streak, schmeak. Joey Porter slapped Tom Brady around like a redheaded stepkid. Heh.

And I start my new job tomorrow. I reserve the right to come up with an appropriate nickname and moniker for my employer after I have become comfortable with the level of weird.



Old and Moldy...

Hee! Found these as I was cleaning up email. I wrote them in my "bitchy" period. Yes, it's ongoing. The first is from my days as a drive-up bank teller. Nope, don't run into any morons there. Nosiree.


To be posted at each drive up tube, along with FDIC deposit information, and sent to every human who may come in contact with a drive up bank.

1. This is a drive up. You must be on or in some kind of motorized vehicle. Children and adults are not permitted to walk up to the drive up window and beg for lollipops. Skateboards, foot-powered scooters, bicycles and feet are not considered motorized vehicles. Do not expect the drive up teller to even acknowledge your existence unless you are in a motorized conveyance.

2. A drive up was installed for quick, convenient transactions. The key word in the preceeding sentence is "quick". It is not for people who are too lazy to get up off their ever-expanding asses and walk fifteen feet to the bank lobby. It is for people who are in somewhat of a hurry, and need to process one, or at the most, two simple transactions. The following are examples of transactions not permitted in the drive up area. Violations are punishable by various means up to, and including death:

a. Transactions containing either 3 or more deposit slips, or 1 inch worth of bills to be hand counted. The drive up is not for depositing an entire week's worth, or month's worth of daily reciepts. Violations will be punished by a forfeiture of all drive up priveliges.

b. Exchange of rolled coins shall not take place at "tube" stations, and shall not exceed ten (10) dollars worth at the commercial drawer. The drive up is not a substitute for a Coinstar machine. Coin must be rolled. Presentation of unrolled coins will be met with an eyeroll, hearty guffaw, and a stream of obscenities that would make Dick Cheney blush.

c. If you do not have an account with this bank, you are not permitted to even look in the general direction of the drive up window. There are no exceptions to this rule. Violations shall be punished by a swift and terrible death
3. You are not permitted to keep the pens issued by the drive up teller. Failure to return a pen will result in immediate forfeiture of all assets tied to the bank and diverted directly to the teller whom the pen was stolen from.

4. The drive up teller is not the same as an automated teller. When the drive up teller acknowledges your presence, by saying "hello", you are required to look in their general direction and respond with, "hello". When the drive up teller closes your transaction with "have a good afternoon" or some other pleasantry, you are required to respond in kind. Remember that the Drive Up teller has access to your most private financial information, and would gleefully distribute it to Amway salesmen if the teller feels you did not treat them with a modicum of respect.

5. You may press the "call teller" button once, and only once. The teller does know you are there, and will speak with you as soon as possible. Additionally, you do not need to press the "call teller" button to talk. Drive Up Tellers are omnipotent, and know you wish to speak. If the teller does not hear you, they will say "I am sorry, I did not hear you." Excessive use of the "call teller" button will result in large men named Vinny and Guido swinging in S.W.A.T. style, and breaking off your fingers.

6. Just because the drive up teller is omnipotent, does not mean the teller wishes to try to divine your chicken scratches or that you wanted cash back, but didn't list it. They will instead figure you are just a nitwit who cannot perform simple mathematic tasks. Deposit slips must be filled out properly and completely. Failure to do so, especially followed with a chastisement of the teller for neglecting to read your mind, will result in your immediate decapitation.

7. Do not doubt the drive up teller. If the teller informs you that you may not perform a specific transaction, you may not perform that transaction. Do not anger the teller, or the teller is permitted to close your account, take your money, call into question the paternity of your children, compare your family tree to that of a lightning charred stump, and generally make you wish you had never been born.

8. If a transaction requires photo ID, and you do not provide it, even though there are signs requesting ID in no fewer than 75 places in the drive up area, the teller will return your transaction and stare at you like the moron that you are, until you provide the required identification.

9. Do not ask the drive up teller to credit something as "before 2:00" if it is after 2:00. Also, do not stare at the teller in disbelief when the teller informs you that a transaction will not be credited until the next evening, or you will be considered too stupid to hold a bank account, and your assets will be forfeited.

10. If you request that cash be deposited into your account, it must be arranged in the following manner:

a. all bills facing up, and the presidents all "looking" the same direction.
b. all bills must be grouped by denomination, and arranged neatly in either ascending or descending order.

If the preceeding guidelines are not followed, and your cash deposit appears to have been put together by a blind person, with an iq of 15 who was suffering a seizure, the cash will be removed from your posession, and given to the teller. Credit will not be given for your cash, and if questioned, the teller will respond:
a. "I am sorry, you are too stupid to be trusted with cash, so it is being removed from your possession for your own good" or
b. "Cash? There was no cash here. Only something in an envelope marked 'bonus for
teller' I saw no cash."
These rules, regulations and penalties may be altered/revoked/increased as the drive up teller sees fit, and punishments may be inflicted at will, depending on the kind of day the teller is having.

Thank you for banking with us, and have a pleasant day.

This one was written after the "mutual breakup" with the "guy" I was "dating". (Mr. Ex.) Believe it or not, despite the fact that he was a belittling, Republican, chauvanist cokehead, he did have his moments. I do wish him well, whatever he's doing. (with no hidden meaning.) That said...

Common phrases used during a breakup, and what they actually mean.

"Lets remain friends" actually means: "Lets not talk again. Ever."

"I need some time to figure some things out" actually means: "I want to figure out if I can sleep with your best friend, a few tourists, and half the island and still con you into sleeping with me and cooking every once in a while."

"We need a break" actually means: "I am a weasel and want to break up with you, but don't have the guts to do it. I hope that if I piss you off enough, you'll just dump me instead"

"Take Care" actually means "Fuck you."

"Best Wishes" actually means "Fuck you, AND your new girlfriend."

"I hope you find your happiness someday" actually means "I hope you die alone, in an alley somewhere, with only a scorching case of herpes and a copy of Hustler to keep you company."

"I think we should see other people" actually means: "I'm already seeing someone else, and she's as limber as a 12 year old Roumanian gymnast."

"I never wanted to hurt you" actually means: "I hope that by saying this, you won't run out and tell everyone you see how small my penis really is."

"I'm just not ready for a relationship" actually means: "I'd rather be in a relationship with anybody but you."


Hicks. The good kind.

Yes. The good kind of Hicks. Bill Hicks.

Go here, now. I'll wait. The DVD came out today, I suggest getting a copy for yourself, and for your siblings, parents, and anyone else who needs to see the light. There's a book too. Remember, the holidays are coming, and if you're looking for that special present for a special sauce... heh.

Anyway. Gave the Benevolent Dictator my resignation today. Orally. She guessed my news before I could spring the letter on her. I'll still give her the letter, so she doesn't get confused, and think I meant next Monday, or some other day. She was surprisingly good today, and didn't give me a lot of static. I'm sure tomorrow will be different, after she's had the chance to think about it for a while. I don't think the reality of the situation has sunk in yet. I am done in three days. Monkey's not "going back to work" for three more weeks. Still, she didn't even ask me what I was working on, or to explain what I actually do in the office, so she can handle things herself for the next two weeks. Nope. (Changing the phone over for December, buying letterhead and taking an hour and a half to take lunch-money to her kid were more important...)

Of course, if she does go batshit crazy on me tomorrow, I'll just pick up my stuff and inform her that today was a volunteer day, and walk out. Heh. Things just get so much easier when you really don't care. I finished the vast majority of what I needed to do, already, so I wouldn't feel terrible leaving early.

On a Halloween related note, I've decided to go as the singlemost frightening thing I can come up with, and Monkey's in on the act. We're going as ourselves... in Junior High. Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Truly the stuff nightmares are made of. (And much simpler than my Tippi Hedrin costume) Oh yes... baby doll dress, white tights, red socks- slouched, natch- a backpack, a horrible bobbed wig with bangs, and ugly white sneakers. Yep. I'm livin' the dream. All I need are smaller boobs, bigger glasses and a passel of cool kids to torture me and I am sooooo back in Jr. Hi. At least this time around I can drink legally.




I drafted two resignation letters today. One I'll give to my Benevolent Dictator, one I'll merely savor. I'll let you guess which one I've posted. (FYI- the one I'll savor takes directly from the actual resignation, which explains some of the slightly odd syntax.)

October 24, 2004

Dear Benevolent Dictator,

I am elated to inform you that I have accepted a position at another organization, and if you think I'm telling you which one it is you're even loonier than I had first believed. My last day with the Little Nonprofit That Could (still haunt my darkest hours) will be Friday, October 29 and that can't come soon enough, I assure you. I relish the inconvenient timing of my departure, and probably should have emailed you my resignation and never entered the office again, but I really do want to see the look of horror on your face when you realize you're going to be stuck in the office alone. My new employer wishes me to begin November 1, and actually probably wants me there sooner, but some masochistic part of me couldn't leave you completely in the lurch, so I'll put up with your bleating and whining for four more godawful days.

I've fantasized about leaving this flaming pit of suck for months, because you're quite possibly the most batshit insane person I've ever had the displeasure of knowing--and I've worked with dementia patients. What the organization has accomplished thus far is nothing short of a miracle, especially in light of the fact that you sabotage everything you do, because you can't stand to see anyone happy except yourself. And quite frankly, the only thing that makes you happy is acting the part of the martyr, so I'm sure this little letter should do the trick nicely. It is difficult to believe that G. Monkey put up with your bullshit as long as she did, truly a testament to the fact that she should be nominated for sainthood. I am astonished I lasted as long as I did with this organization, and have learned many things from my time here. Namely, precisely what not to do when it comes to starting and maintaining my own business, how not to treat employees, and how to recognize the seven signs of mental illness.

Because I really want to keep your bitching and moaning to a minimum, I've decided to be somewhat kind to the next person who takes my spot. I am developing a manual of the office procedures I handle on a daily basis, which are actually so fucking simple that a brain-damaged weasel could do them-although for all you know, I sit at this desk and practice witchcraft to get things done. This will be an excellent resource for the individual(s) who replace me and I'll be sure to include a coded message, warning them they should leave as quickly as they can, lest they get sucked into your deranged vortex. If feasible, (although I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you) I can be available to train my replacement on a Saturday when you are nowhere around. Additionally I can make myself available for freelance assignments, which we can negotiate on an individual project basis. For your edification, "Freelance" does not mean, "I work for free". I will not assume any project for less than $16.00/hour, with a 2-hour minimum rate. Anything that requires me to leave my house starts at $20.00/hour. Good luck, skinflint.

Again, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you and the Little Nonprofit That Could (suck the life out of everyone it touches). It has truly been an unforgettable experience, and I assure you that I have tried. I certainly do hope that you have fresh goats to slaughter to the dark lord of Office Staffing, otherwise- good luck finding some other jackass to jump through hoops for you for $8.00/hour. It's no coincidence that the only long-term secretary you were able to keep, had massive head trauma. Perhaps you should troll the 8th floor at LGH for new staff, I hear psychotics can smell their own kind.

I'm sure you'll immediately take this letter and have it engraved on a gigantic concrete cross, perfect for dragging around and inspiring pity from everyone who doesn't know you. Anything to avoid actually changing your ways, doing some legitimate work or taking responsibility for the fact that you are a manipulative, obsessive control-freak who has no grasp of reality. I know I'll be a convenient scapegoat for you, someone to blame things on when you inevitably fuck up so badly that you will have no choice but to close up shop. Luckily, everyone in town that counts knows exactly how utterly insane you are. Reality check, Bosslady- you're not paranoid; they really do talk about you behind your back. Most of them also roll their eyes, marvel at the fact that you can even tie your shoes and would rather have a hot Clorox enema than actually talk to you.

See you in Hell,

Special Sauce


Happiness is...

Knowing that you get to turn in your resignation.

Oh yeah. I am officially leaving the Little Nonprofit That Could (send me to the 8th floor at the local hospital, where they take your shoelaces away) effective November 1. I'm so happy I could quite possibly vomit. Then again, it could have just been the week for it to happen. Shall I start from the beginning?

G. Monkey has had this horrendous gut pain for several weeks, and finally had it checked out. Turns out she has (another!) dermoid cyst (the cool kind, painful, but with teeth and hair and stuff in 'em) and needs to have it removed. This means surgery, which Monkey's not too thrilled about, but it beats being in perpetual pain and the last time she let one go, it ruptured (evil little toothy bastard). Monkey had her surgery on Monday, and I'm really glad to report that she is doing fine, they got the little dermoid devil, and she's going to be back up to snuff in a few weeks. They did the big ol' smiley face incision, however, and it's taking a toll on her- she's pretty much couchbound for a while. (Although she gets good drugs!) I got to spend today with her, while her husband is at work, and she's in great spirits. To make things even better for Missus Monkey, she finally heard from her other prospective employer, and she has the job. She'll be headed over to the Other Nonprofit With Structure and Budget and Consistency sometime in November, and cannot wait. This is a great opportunity for her. Which brings us to the rest of the story.

editor's note: before I proceed, I just want to make abundantly clear that I am not in any way complaining about G. Monkey having surgery. All complaints are strictly about my boss at the Little Nonprofit That Could (benefit by firing the biznatch.) G. Monkey is the best friend a girl could have, and she rocks mightily.

Because Monkey's been out all week, I've dealt with our benevolent dictator by myself. I've gotten to experience what it must have been like for Monkey the past four years. This has been an absolutely ridiculous seven days as we have had the following:
Thursday- Lecture
Friday-breakdown and tally
Wednesday-community meeting

This wouldn't have been terrible if there were three of us, or even two who knew what they were doing, but Benevolent Dictator likes to schmooze, and take the event speakers to dinner, and generally have her head up their asses for the entirety of their stay, which leaves... Me. (To be fair, Monkey was there for the first lecture, thank Elvis.) I got to keep my Monday off, since a local university took over the main work for our Monday, but wound up planning and executing everything for our community meeting on Wednesday, and the lecture Thursday. BD came strolling in at 1:00 on Wednesday, professing that she "forgot we even HAD a meeting (that night)". Mere words can't even begin to describe how hellacious it was trying to explain the structure of a board of directors/committees to a nitwit. (point: She, officially titled the "Executive Director" had no idea what the difference was between an "Executive Director of a Nonprofit" and the "President of the Board of Directors" was, and why she couldn't and shouldn't be both). Like nailing custard to a tree... (did I mention SHE was supposed to lead the meeting?)

All of this to say, when NewBoss (in need of a nickname) came over to G Monkey's house today, bearing lunch and flowers (and news of insurance and a concrete job offer) it couldn't just move smoothly. Heh. Noooooo... NewBoss knocked on the door, Monkey's Dog freaked out and wouldn't STOP because NewBoss had fur (I know, real fur...eep) on her coat and Monkeydog really REALLY wanted to play with her jacket. Meanwhile, NewBoss's daughter has had a seizure at school, and she has to run quickly to go tend to her, and Monkey didn't even get to say anything to her, because she was stuck on the phone with Benevolent Dictator (who was not calling out of concern for her employee's well-being- she called to prattle on about work! WOOOORK!!!) It was definitely a sight, me trying to calm the dog down, while NewBoss asks when I can start, Monkey on the couch trying desperately to hang herself with a piece of yarn, and Mr. Monkey wondering what the hell was going on.

Somehow it's all worth it. Heh. I'll turn in my resignation on Tuesday, and start for NewBoss in one week. It's nice to know I'll have $2/hour more (although that is still no great shakes for what I do, it's at least less of an insult) and an extra day per week, and in 90 days, I'll actually have reasonably priced healthcare. I'm so happy I could vomit blood (or would, if I had insurance NOW).

And finally- thank you Memphis Word Nerd and Sister Sunshine! You have both warmed the cockles of my heart, and rock most mightily. (forgive me, we watched School of Rock today.)



It's the Guns, Stupid...

'nuther old'n'moldy from my days as an actual columnist. Or something to that effect. This one never saw print- the guy who published the magazine wasn't skilled enough to keep it going. This was the first "stunt" column I was to have done- a companion column was written by a local conservative radio show host, and the articles would be on the same spread- left and right. Heh.


(or not)

Ask someone to name a place where a school shooting has taken place, and the list of names fairly rolls off the tongue. Santee, Columbine, Williamsport, Jonesboro, the body counts grow. It is a fact that any time a gun is involved in an altercation, the likelihood of having a fatality increases dramatically. But Representative Ray Haynes from Riverside, California, has said that lawnmowers and microwaves are more dangerous than guns, and the recent lawnmower maulings at a suburban high school prove this to be true. What, you haven’t heard of a lawnmower mauling? What about the fabled leaf blower incident in Stockdale? No? What about the Microwave Massacre in Middletown? Aren’t any of these incidents ringing a bell? There’s a good reason, because they never took place. Lets face it; kids with guns kill kids, end of argument. The question now is why.

After each shooting the same excuses and scapegoats are trotted out. “It’s not the guns that do the killing; it’s the deranged kids, hopped up on Eminem albums and Jackie Chan movies that do the killing.” “We don’t need new gun laws, we need to enforce the ones we have.” “Don’t take my fully-automatic assault weapon away, I need that for hunting squirrels.” My favorite; “ Harry Potter/ Jerry Springer/Captain Kangaroo warped their minds.” And the ever popular refrain; “They didn’t read enough of the Bible/Ten Commandments/Koran/Torah/Dianetics Series and that’s why they didn’t care about the sanctity of human life.” My friends, this is, in a word, crazy. Spreading the blame to these sources won’t solve the problems of school violence. All this blame laying does is momentarily give the country an excuse to wring its hands, point its fingers, and make itself feel better about letting the kids of America down.

California, the Mecca of modern thought has come up with a new and novel approach to keep kids from bringing guns to school. Los Angeles County has decided that any child caught bringing a gun to school will be required to view an autopsy. Supposedly, this will shock children into realizing that there are consequences to violent acts, and that unlike a videogame, you don’t get a “do over”. While on the surface, this may seem like a great idea, sure to impress the quick-fix folks, but when you think about it, it’s hardly an appropriate punishment. A kid who takes a gun to school is already a disturbed individual. Forcing them to see a dead body isn’t going to help them, counseling is. The lawmakers say that it will humanize the experience for the juveniles, but I just don’t see that happening. Kids see dead bodies on television, in movies, and occasionally right in their own backyards. Seeing one more on a table isn’t going to faze them. Perhaps if the lawmakers took it a step further, by taking the children to visit the families/friends/co-workers of the victims, then the crimes could take on a more human face. Maybe then the kids would realize that the individual who died had people who cared for them, depended on them, and are going to be irreparably harmed by their demise. Coupled with counseling, this could be an effective treatment for kids who take guns to school.

After a school shooting, security is usually increased, and the prevailing attitude is:”The more authority figures, metal detectors, ID badges, and security checkpoints there are, the safer little Johnny is going to be.” However, this mentality could be the very thing that helps foster school violence. Expect and encourage a child to do well, and they will. Expect the worst, and subject them to frightening Gestapo-like lockdowns, searches, and pen them in a classroom all day long and what will keep them from behaving like animals? Our schools have stopped being safe havens and have become prisons. Even as little as five years ago if you had said that you were going to increase security in your school, it meant you were going to lock the side doors, not add a new armed guard to your staff. Conservative voices say that if we get God back into our schools, specifically the Ten Commandments, we will have a decrease in violent acts, more respect, and everyone will pretty much turn into a modern version of the old Coca-Cola “I’d like to teach the world to sing” commercial. However, the shooting at a Catholic school in Williamsport pretty much blew that theory right out of the water.

We know what doesn’t work; now we must focus on finding real solutions to the violence problem. Limiting access to weapons is a good start, but frankly, the police have better things to do than check to see if every gun is locked in a cabinet, with the ammunition stored securely, and separately from the firearm. 95% of gun owners have enough common sense to do so, it’s that remaining 5% who ruin it for the rest of the nation, and act as unwitting accomplices to these shootings. Chances are if there were no gun readily available, many of these shootings would not have taken place. There is no excuse for not locking up your gun, even if you do not have a child or young adult in your house. We don’t need a law to tell us this; we just need people to take responsibility (A scary thought, I know).

A key element in most school shootings is the “bully factor.” Often the shooters had spent the majority of their formative years being “pushed around” physically and verbally by their peers. While this does not make shooting your classmates and teachers any less wrong, it does shed light on a way to prevent school violence in the first place. Children need to be taught from the very start that teasing, bullying, and physical violence are unacceptable. It is not a “normal part of growing up”. It is not something kids grow out of. It does not make kids stronger/tougher/smarter. Recent studies have shown that students who are bullied have a greater incidence of low self-esteem and suicide than children who were not bullied. The same studies have also shown that 60% of boys who were bullies during their middle school years had at least one criminal conviction by the time they were 23. 35-40% of them had 3 or more criminal convictions. As you can see, the effects are long reaching, and not just for the two parties involved. Bullies often become “problem adults” and the cost of dealing with them at the adult stage is dramatically increased.

The difficulty comes in identifying bullies and other students who would cause harm or do violent acts. In 1999 a survey of American students was done, and almost a third of them had heard another student threaten to kill another and one in five personally know someone who brought a gun to school. In both instances, nearly 80% of respondents did not report the incident to an adult. In school situations, teachers were only able to identify approximately 10 percent of students being bullied. Why is it that students are reluctant to identify their tormentors, or potential attackers? A big fear is that of retribution, but the other roadblock is adult indifference, whether real or imagined. For the average teenager, perception is reality. Going to a guidance counselor is not always an option, as their schedules are often ‘appointment only’ and by the time you get in, it may be too late. There are excellent teachers out there, whom students can turn to in times of need, but often they are few and far between. There are safe, anonymous places where one can report threats of violence, or weapons being brought to schools- the most popular of which is Report It.com This website enables students to log on and report incidents without giving their name- but that will be reported to the school to be followed up upon.

Acting on problems once they develop is good, but what about being proactive? School districts, instead of pumping our tax dollars into new-fangled metal-detectors and super-sensitive security cameras that don’t prevent anything , would better spend the money on educating their teachers first. It may not be tangible, but providing educators with the basics and allowing them to teach anger-management, conflict resolution and creative problem solving to their students will go a long way toward reducing the number of violent outbreaks. Additionally, not waiting until junior high and high school to implement these programs is key. It is easier to teach children non-violence from the beginning, than it is to unlearn over a decade of unacceptable behavior.

The scare tactics in use now are doomed to failure, but how many more dead bodies will it take before we take a hard look at ourselves, at our schools, and our communities and implement new measures. Students must be encouraged to find non-violent methods to resolve their conflicts, and those methods must be implemented from the youngest grades in order to have lasting effect. Talk to your kids and make sure they know what your values are. Talk to your school districts, and see if there is any way that you can help implement changes. Don’t wait for Columbine or Santee to come here, before you are spurred to action. We owe our kids so much more.


Yeah, But You Won't Believe the View...

This is an old'n'moldy I pulled off of my (now defunct) website. A story I forgot I wrote, during my second trip to Key West. (After that I just decided to save on airfare and move down.) I wince a bit in some spots, and may edit again, but in all, not a bad little bit of something.


Is it July sixth? July seventh? Damned if I can remember. All I know is that it’s Saturday, and I got here sometime on Tuesday. I’m sitting on the beach, and the atmosphere is pure Chamber of Commerce. I look up into the palm trees, not really surprised that there are camera crews stealthily secreted away among the coconuts. The temperature is a balmy 85 degrees, a gentle breeze is rolling in off the water, causing the palms to sway ever so slightly (though, not enough to injure the hidden cameramen) and the metallic notes of a steel drum come drifting my way. I begin to nod off, soothed by the melody, and silently thanking the Chamber for creating a perfect afternoon.

Wait a minute. Isn’t that “Kiss to Build a Dream On?” I’d think that the Chamber of Commerce folks would want something just a little more um, “island” sounding or even some Jimmy Buffett. As the man with the mallets continues to tap out his melodies (segueing into “What a Wonderful World next- hmm, an Armstrong fan) I sit up and scan the area trying to figure out where the tunes are coming from as it sounds too good to be piped in. Just as I am about to ask the cameramen where they’ve got him (perhaps up another tree), I see a conflagration of tropical shirts and dresses, circled around the man with a thing for Louis Armstrong. A few feet away are rows of chairs that look like they’ve been stolen from a conference room at the local Holiday Inn. The blazing tiki torches in front of the chairs worry me. They could mean one of only two things, Parrotheads or ritualistic sacrifice. Perhaps both. Fearing for my life I start humming “Margaritaville” in an attempt to blend in. My shirt is subtly tropical, and I hastily contemplate an attempt to infiltrate their ranks and sneak away without any harm coming to me. Believe me, nothing is worse than a Parrothead who finds out you don’t know about or utterly adore Jimmy Buffett (they have surgically implanted CD players and enough of his CD’s to make your ears bleed).

Of course, I should have known it wasn’t a Parrothead gathering. Smathers is a Margarita-Free beach (thank you, Mayor Weekley), and the steel drum guy wasn’t playing “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” No, this had to be something else. My curiosity piqued, I surreptitiously look at the gaggle of tropically clad folks. Hmm. They’re too normal looking to be tourists or even rabid Parrotheads; they’ve got to be locals, but why the atrocious ensembles? “What the hell is that?” I ask myself out loud. Then it hits me, literally, and I hear a voice from above. “Hey nitwit- it’s a wedding! By the way, have you heard the new live Buffett album?” For a moment, I think I’m hearing God or perhaps Jimmy himself, but then look up and realize it’s just a cameraman. “Sorry about the coconut,” he adds with a red face. “It’s ok; I didn’t need that head anyway.” I told him, and continued, “A wedding. Gotchya. Oh yeah, the new album, I got the liner notes tattooed in a very delicate spot, I loved it that much. Thanks dude.” Christ, those Parrotheads are everywhere. I make a mental note to keep humming “Margaritaville” at all times to ensure my safety. Ahhh…a wedding. Now it all makes sense. Outfits that even Elton John would call “flamboyant”, chairs that shout “bank lobby” in the middle of the sand, Senor Steel Drum and the cameras. “Of course it is a wedding,” I chide myself. (Well, it could have been a Parrothead thing.)

Eventually a limo shows up, and the assembled guests take their seats (mercifully, the wearers are much quieter than their outfits). Mystified I watch the bride come up the macadam aisle, to meet her soon-to-be-husband. Her white gown catches the remnants of sunlight and the sequins and beading attempt to outshine the ocean for a brief moment. Of all the people on the beach, she is the most conservatively attired. Even the groom is wearing a tropical shirt that would be considered a lethal weapon in an optometrist’s shop. The contrast between tradition and tomfoolery is stark, but she does look breathtaking. The steel drums begin the wedding march, and they’re off. She sheds her escort, smiles at her almost-husband and the steel drum falls silent. The crowd sits en masse and two more people are about to get turned into one, even without the aid of duct tape or sutures. At this point, the only things I can hear are clicking shutters and cameramen mumbling softly in their trees. I return to my book happily, and aside from a dull throbbing in my skull (thanks again, Snaps McDropalot) I forget about the wedding. The water tonight is gorgeous, not the crystalline turquoise I’ve come to expect from the Keys, instead it is a delicate ice-blue and mirror smooth. Happy tourists from Michigan slather on SPF 70 and blindingly enter the water. It’s so shallow that they are forced stroll quite a long way out, before even getting past their kneecaps. Those who remain on the beach instinctively don their sunglasses before watching them go any further.

My mind begins to wander as I gaze upon the glassy water. Just as I get to the part where Steve Buscemi arrives with a plate of pitted cherries and a box of Dream Whip, a garbage truck runs over a whale. At least, that’s what it sounds like. If not that, perhaps it was just an owl. A large owl. With pneumonia. My eyes fly open and I instinctively cringe as I look up at my erstwhile friend, the cameraman. “What in the name of all that is holy, was THAT?” I query. “Conch horn,” he replied, “and I said I was sorry about that coconut thing.” “I’m sorry. I just get a little punchy when stuff gets dropped from great heights onto my head.” I remind him, and decided for safety’s sake to refrain from further sudden movements. “What gives with the horned hoopla?” I ask softly. The cameraman examines me like I have an extra head, (and given the swelling on my noggin, that may not be far from the truth). He explains simply, “Oh, they use that whenever there’s a celebration. You’re not from around here, are you?” At that moment another long rumble could be heard for blocks. It sounded like the mating call of one exceptionally lonely yak. “Not a very auspicious sounding start to wedded bliss.” I mumble to myself, ignoring the “not from around here” comment. Instead, I watch the wedding party pose for pictures as the guests mill around getting sand in their loafers.

I turn to my book, as the excitement a few yards away has finally ceased. The wedding party hops back into their limousine, their guests zoom off toward their next destination and the tourists from Michigan emerge from the water at last. A few chapters later my curiosity again gets the best of me, and I look up at my coconut dropping companion. His camera clicks and whirs as he angles to get the best pictures. “So tell me, are you with the Chamber of Commerce?” I ask. He looks down and laughs at me, “I am. How’d you guess?” “Just a hunch,” I told him, “just a hunch.” We laughed for a few moments, as I start packing up my things. I wonder how many pictures of paradise you have to take, before you convince people they not only want to, but need to live here. I guess that’s why I don’t work for the Chamber. “Hey, “I call, “Isn’t it a little bit uncomfortable up there, what with the coconuts and the tripod and all?” “Yeah,” he remarks, “but you won’t believe the view.” I smile, and make my way back toward Atlantic Boulevard, knowing that the Chamber of Commerce has won once again.


No news is...

...good news?

Um, sure it is.

As of 8:15 PM Tuesday, I am still waiting on a call from the woman that will permit me to do my "I hateyouIhateyouIhateyouIhateyouIhateyouIhateyou.....I QUIT!" jig. This morning's email said she's still working with Blue Cross (yay!) to get info on insurance before she completes an offer. At least I'm being kept in the loop, but I am itchin' to get away from my present job.

In other news...
A special "Happy Anniversary" to G. Monkey and Mr. Monkey, who were married 2 years ago today. Never before have I seen two people so very right for each other. I wish them a lifetime of happiness together.

I only hope that someday I will meet someone as fabulous as Mr. Monkey, he is quite possibly the most placid yet amazing person to ever walk the planet. He is a perfect match for G. Monkey, the most incredible friend a sauce could ever have. I can't wait till they have little monkeys, for they will be perfect offspring.

Working on: A top secret christmas present for G. Monkey, (almost done), a sock, the multi-directional-tomato scarf (which I have discovered is unnecessary- I found about 8 scarves and hats in the storage unit last week- but will finish anyway), a powerful crush on Steelers QB Ben Rothlisberger, a plot to take over the world, a nervous ulcer if that woman doesn't call soon.

That is all...


Waitin' by the phone...

Yes, Dear Readers (all none of you) it's a very special edition of the Sauce-o-Rama that (none of) you have come to know and love.

Today I sit by the phone.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait for the freakin' thing to ring.

I had a meeting with the founder of a new nonprofit on Monday, and received an email from her Saturday telling me to expect a phonecall today. I checked with my sources, and the founder really liked me, liked my resume, and is hoping to have my baby. Well, maybe not that last part, but she definitely is interested in having me work for her. Believe me, that feeling's mutual. (and it's not just because I'll get to do my "I hate you, I quit" dance for the Benevolent Dictator on Tuesday)

The organization I'm trying to join is a startup dedicated to helping developmentally challenged individuals and their families through a reverse-inclusion campus including step-down care for senior citizens (and yes, I do know what this means). The situation is ideal for me because it's a startup, and my lack of education can't work against me. (Minor rant: never mind the fact that I have excelled in every position I have ever held, and have worked my way up to a supervisory position in most of them, never mind the fact that I am an organizational whiz, enjoy learning new tasks, multitask like a motherfucker, and have a damned good amount of common sense- most places I have sent resumes to have ignored me like a bastard child at a family reunion. I may not have a college degree, but I do have a hell of a lot of experience, and am smart enough to learn a job if shown. I'm not a moron, and I'm not applying for rocket science positions where a degree is an integral part of the process, I'm trying to work in an office, for the love of Elvis. So HR folks, lighten up a tad, and give a girl a chance. Rant mode off.)
Where was I? Oh yeah- this job would rock because it's a startup, the founder needs my awe-inspiring (permit the ego for a mo.) office molding skills, and my background in eldercare should be a good fit.

Assuming she calls me.

I will keep you posted, but keep your fingers crossed (all none of you) and hope that this call finally arrives.
I've been waiting for months to do my little jig...


Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?

As much as I disliked the man, the quote above, is still apt today.

The 1990s brought unbelievable prosperity to the United States. There was a budget surplus, we were at peace, and the biggest problem the nation had was a bunch of overzealous Republicans who couldn't believe that the President enjoyed getting his dick sucked. They were heady, wonderful days, and we surely thought that there was no way Al Gore wouldn't be elected President. I mean, his opposition was a bumbling numbskull from the "fry me" state, who couldn't manage his way out of a damp paper bag, much less debate someone with a rudimentary mastery of the English language or- Elvis forbid- lead the nation.

What idiots we were.

We never believed, in our wildest dreams, we'd be stuck with someone as unqualified as George W. Bush as our President. Over the past four years, he has smirked his way into a war with someone who hadn't done anything to us (unless you count the fact that Saddam hated Dub's Daddy) while all but ignoring the man who did order the September 11 attacks. (more on that in a moment) He gave tax cuts to "everyone". Yeah, and that check for $200.00 really offset taking 22% of my income, while enormous corporations were free to exploit every loophole available to avoid paying any income tax at all. Lets not forget the richest people in the nation received the biggest tax break of all, because they were Dubs biggest supporters. At least Dub is smart enough to remember that delightful southern adage "you gots to dance with them what brung you".

Then there's the little matter of war. Almost 1,100 American soldiers are dead, and twenty times that number crippled mentally or physically. Men and women my age-- my brother's age, are fighting this war while old men watch from the safety of their homes, cheering on the heroism of the President. We are embroiled in a battle that has absolutely nothing to do with Al Queda, and everything to do with oil, and revenge. It simultaneously enrages and depresses me to think of the lives that have been lost for no reason. The soldiers are doing their jobs- they got sold on the "join the military, see the world, pay for college" rap we all got. They didn't have a choice in getting sent to Iraq. Most of them hoped to get sent to Germany, or maybe a quick tour in the Phillipines- get in, do their time, and get out. Alive. Sane. With all of their limbs. Instead, they got sent to settle a damned grudge. The most that I can hope for is that George W. Bush will see the faces of those he murdered and damaged every night as he tries to sleep. I hope those shades of lives cut short, and forever changed- not just of soldiers, but their families too- torment that man for the rest of his life.

After watching the debates, much like last time around, I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would vote for Dub. He can't string a sentence together, he won't answer questions, and he refuses to acknowledge that what he did was wrong. John Kerry is educated, intelligent, coherent and has a plan to return our country to the respected position it once occupied. He did his duty in Vietnam, and understands what it's like to be stuck in a war that we should never have been in. I know he will end this one before we have another 10,000 soldiers killed, and still keep us safe here at home. He has proposed a logical plan for providing real tax relief to those of us who pay the most, and provide medical insurance for all Americans. For even half of these things, he should be President. It sickens me to think that there is a possiblity he may not win the election. For the sake of our country, for the sake of all of the little brothers out there, and for the sake of our sanity, he must be elected.

Places to go:

Bartcop A man with a modem, a smart mouth, and the power of truth behind him.

The man who will save us. John Kerry's website

Help a Soldier out -Books for Soldiers brings sorely-needed reading material to those serving overseas

I promise I'll get back to the snarky, happy installments sometime soon, but for now, do your duty, educate yourself, then vote Kerry/Edwards this November.


Thank Elvis it's Saturday.

Never before have I been so thrilled for a weekend to come. This week has been one of the most unpredictable, uncomfortable, and unproductive ones I've experienced in a long time. While I showed up at work every day, I didn't stay every day, due to our Benevolent Dictator's complete lack of ability to decide what the hell she wants to do.

The latest decision (subject to change hourly) is that BD will keep the Little Nonprofit That Could (make me drink myself to sleep) open through an abbreviated season (4 speakers instead of 12), but is not guaranteeing that it will remain open after that if the community doesn't support it/her. We had an "emergency" meeting on Thursday night with random attendees, and BD managed to convey her complete and total idiocy to all present. She rambled for an hour (yes, a full hour) before actually getting to the point, took credit for doing way more than she does (to garner sympathy), bestowed a verbal promotion on me (I am now an "executive" secretary, apparently, which is still a far cry from what I actually do), and incorrectly pronounced the name of one of our authors not less than 7 times. People still want to help her, however, which amazes me.

In brighter news, I do have an interview, of sorts, with a woman who is starting a nearby nonprofit. She wants to work with the deveopmentally challenged, and their families. Everything I have heard sounds excellent, and I am interested in hearing what she has to say. IF this goes well, I may be able to make a lot of money, and do something that would actually make a difference in someone's life. I couldn't ask for a more interesting kind of job.

Also, if all none of you who read this, have a recipe handy for fried oreos, pickles or olives, I'd be indebted to you if you'd pass it on.

Today's Project: Still the multi-directional diagonal scarf
Today's Mood: anticipatory
Today's State of Being: Chilly.

That is all.